A Recent Sound Science Project:

"Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests: A National Call to Action" is a national Task Force of thought leaders convened by the USDA Forest Service and New York Restoration Project to produce recommendations for the USFS's engagement in urban
forestry. S2 Chief Scientist David Maddox is an organizer & lead facilitator.
Click here for more information.


A Recent Sound Science Project:

David Maddox facilitated an evaluation and planning workshop for the green jobs training program of MillionTreesNYC -- "Supporting Success" -- leading to adjustments in the design and implementation of the program. See the report here.

Bob Unnasch teaching a field workshop
(Photo by David Maddox)

A Sound Science workshop class in Louisiana
(Photo by David Maddox)

Workshops, Training in Monitoring Programs and Methods, and Facilitated Meetings on adaptive management, statistics, monitoring and assessment, water resource management, urban ecology, and more.

Upcoming Workshops!
We will offer our next five-day monitoring methods course in 2013. For more information on the courses we offer click here or click here. If you'd like to host a workshop, or have a workshop designed to meet your needs, email Christine.

Facilitated Meetings

Sound Science designs and organizes facilitated meetings among diverse stakeholders. Meeting design follows a thorough assessment of the goals of the meeting and needs of the stakeholders.

S2 Chief Scientist David Maddox has planned and facilitated meetings for urban ecologists, green jobs training programs, Kenyan film makers, biologists from federal agencies, US Army land mangers, and others.

S2 Associate Shawn Dalton is sociologist with 20 years experience in facilitation and conflict resolution.

S2 Chief Scientist Bob Unnasch and Senior Associate David Braun lead meetings in land management, management of grazing lands, water resources and other topics.


Recent facilitated meetings include:

1. "Vibrant Cities and Urban Forests: A National Call to Action" is a national Task Force of thought leaders convened by the USDA Forest Service and New York Restoration Project to produce recommendations for the USFS's engagement in urban forestry. S2 Chief Scientist David Maddox is an organizer and lead facilitator. Click here for more information.

2. "Urban Wetlands Protection and Restoration Workshop: Identifying Regional Priorities" was held at Columbia University in New York City in 2010. S2 Chief Scientist David Maddox served as a moderator and breaout leader for monitoring and evaluation.

3. "Supporting Success: Making the Transition to Green Collar Jobs" was held in June 2010 in New York City. S2 Chief Scientist David Maddox was a lead organizer and facilitator. See the report here.

4. "MillionTreesNYC, Green Infra-structure and Urban Ecology: A Research Symposium," was held 5-6 March 2010 in New York City. Click here for more information. S2 Chief Scientist David Maddox was a lead organizer. A proceedings is planned in the journal "Cities and the Environment" (CATE).

5. "MillionTreesNYC, Green Infrastructure, and Urban Ecology: Building a Research Agenda."Held in New York City in April 2009, the Workshop brought together researchers, practitioners and local policymakers to collaboratively develop prospectus for a research agenda that supports MillionTreesNYC and contributes to the accumulating knowledge on urban landscapes and green infrastructure.

6. "Land Condition Mission Analysis," for the Integrated Training Area Management staff of
Grafenwóhr Military Installation, Germany. The meeting involved the facilitation of 20 stake holders
to create the outlines of a monitoring and assessment program for the environmental land management of the installation. S2 Chief Scientists Bob Unnasch and David Maddox facilitated.

Sound Science Workshops

Sound Science has conducted workshops in the U.S. and internationally for hundreds of monitoring scientists and land managers from the US Forest Service, the US Park Service, state agencies, the US Military and others.

Workshops can be tailored in length and content to fit the needs of individual clients.

The Sound Science team members are also experienced meeting facilitators, adept at guiding groups of stake holders through discussion of complex material.

For inquiries, contact Christine Wisnewski.


Recent workshops include:

1. "Foundations of Ecological Monitoring in a Management Context" was given to US Forest Service staff at Umatilla National Forest in June 2011.

2. "Asking and answering the right monitoring questions" was given to US Forest Service staff in Salt Lake City, UT.

3. "Asking and answering the right monitoring questions" was given to US Forest Service staff in Tucson, AZ.

4. "Data analysis over large areas: two-stage plot allocation and options for statistical analysis" was given to US Army Environmental Command and associated staff in Hampton, VA.

5. "Monitoring in a management context" was given to US Army Environmental Command and
associated staff in Ft. Campbell, KY.

 

Training in Monitoring Programs and Methods

Sound Science LLC
Ecological Monitoring Workshops

Ecological monitoring in a land management context is only effective when designed around implied, or explicit, management goals. At best, these goals articulate what a manager or organization wants the land to look like (with respect to specific attributes). The purpose of biological monitoring and assessment is the measurement of the land’s condition relative to these goals. Sound Science LLC provides a series of workshops meant to meet the needs of land management professionals responsible for the design, implementation and communication of a variety of monitoring programs.

For more information on these courses, when they are offered, or organizing your own group, contact Christine Wisnewski.


Foundations of Ecological Monitoring in a Management Context (5-days, plus 5 hours of webinar the week before)

Next offering is in May 2012, in Ft. Collins, Colorado (probable dates 21-25 May 2012)
Register Here
or at the USFS site

For more information, to register, or to pay the tuition: Contact Christine Wisnewski

This workshop equips natural resource managers and program coordinators with the skills to design and implement ecological monitoring programs. The primary emphasis of this course is on design and methodology for monitoring landscapes, communities, and plant and animal populations. The 5-day (+ 5 hours of webinars the week prior) workshop is a combination of the workshops “Asking the Right Questions: Matching Management Goals & Monitoring Objectives ” and “Getting the Most from Your Monitoring: Fundamentals of Sampling Design, Monitoring Data Analysis, and Interpreting Results ”, and adds field-based exercises. The workshop consists of 3.5 days of in-class instruction (lectures and exercises) and 1.5 days of field application.

This course is designed to present information necessary to meet the real-life monitoring and assessment needs of land managers in an effective learning environment. It focuses on concepts and methods readily applicable to a wide range of natural resource monitoring needs. The workshop provides an overview of all steps required for the scoping, planning, design, and implementation of monitoring programs. Through group and individual exercises, participants apply concepts to realistic monitoring scenarios including rare and endangered species, plant and animal populations, unique habitats, communities, and natural landscapes.

In addition to providing a solid foundation in the technical aspects of ecological monitoring, this course places those tools in within the broader management context. Participants will benefit from the practical expertise of Sound Science’s instructors who have for more than 20 years assisted agencies and organizations in the design, implementation, and evaluation of monitoring programs. Course instructors have extensive experience designing programs that address site-specific needs, while overcoming the common challenge of constraints on time and resources. Sound Science instructors understand the competing priorities and organizational constraints typically placed on land managers, and are expert at finding creative, scientifically rigorous monitoring solutions that balance information needs with resource realities.

Overview of Agenda:
Week prior: Two 2.5 hour webinars covering Adaptive Management, Goals, Management Objectives, Organizing Monitoring Programs
Day 1 Conceptual Models, Technology Tools, Sampling Design Issues for Monitoring
Day 2 Sampling Design (continued), Communities, Landscapes, Remote Sensing
Day 3 Field exercise, Analysis and Communication of Monitoring Data
Day 4 Full day field exercise and analysis (case study)
Day 5 Discussion of field exercise, Questionnaires and Opinion Surveys

Asking the Right Questions: Matching Management Goals, Measures of Success, & Monitoring Objectives (2.5 days)

Typically offered in January in Salt Lake City
Next offering is scheduled for January 2013
Register Here or at the USFS site
For more information, registration, or to pay the tuition: Contact Christine Wisnewski

A crucial but too often neglected step in ecological monitoring is clearly defining how the data will inform management decisions and create measures of success. This workshop focuses on what to do before boots hit the ground, including how to create measures of success, frame effective monitoring questions, and how to know when monitoring questions have been answered. The objective of this workshop is to provide participants with foundational tools for the design of monitoring programs that assess populations, communities, and ecological systems relative to management actions. The emphasis is on matching management goals to clear management and monitoring objectives; that is, crafting the right monitoring questions for the management context and designing monitoring programs that assess ecological systems relative to management action. This is a lecture-based course that is supplemented with in-class exercises.

This workshop provides land management professionals and program managers with an overall approach to generating a set of monitoring questions that will inform the design of a monitoring program that meets the needs of the organizations’ land management goals. Covered topics include:

• Developing management objectives based on goals
• Creating and using conceptual models
• Measures of Success and Impact
• An overview of the levels of monitoring intensity
• Matching management goals with monitoring objectives
• Required steps before implementing any monitoring program
• Conceptual Models
• Identifying the best monitoring protocols given the questions that must be answered
• Dealing with the reality of limited monitoring resources
• Photographic monitoring
• Creating Questionnaires
• Challenges specific to monitoring large areas
• Designing a program that will be maximally responsive to the needs of decision-makers
• Learning the best way to communicate monitoring results to your audience
• Adaptive management; everyone says its important, but no one does it
• Knowing when to say “when” with your monitoring program
• What do to with an inherited monitoring program that doesn’t tell you what you need to know

Featured Exercises:
• Developing Management Objectives
• Conceptual Models
• Management Goals and Levels of Monitoring
• Setting Monitoring Priorities

This course is about concepts in monitoring, and is for anyone interested in the general principals involved in scoping, planning, and interpreting the results of monitoring projects and programs. This course will not cover the topics the details of sampling design, statistical testing and power analyses, and data analysis methods.

Getting the Most from Your Monitoring: Fundamentals of Sampling Design, Monitoring Data Analysis, and Interpreting Results (2.5 days)
This is the technical companion workshop to “Asking the Right Questions: Matching Management Goals, Measures of Success & Monitoring Objectives”. This course focuses on the technical aspects of designing, implementing, and analyzing rigorous monitoring protocols. Topics include an introduction to sampling objectives, designs and methods, an overview of the statistical analyses used in designing and analyzing monitoring data, and the interpretation and communication of results.

The course combines lectures and in-class exercises (no field time). Specific topics include:

• Crafting management objectives from goals
• Determining monitoring/sampling objectives from management objectives
• Introduction to sampling
• Sampling methods
• Creating Questionnaires and Analyzing Opinion Data
• Interpretation of monitoring results
• Photographic monitoring
• Communication of monitoring results
• Statistical calculations for determining confidence intervals
• Techniques specific to monitoring large areas, communities, and landscapes
• Specific techniques for endangered species, plants, and wildlife

Featured Exercises include:
• Calculating Means and Standard Deviations
• Sampling/Monitoring Objectives
• Sampling a Clumped Population
• Procedures for Calculating Confidence Intervals Around a Sample Mean or a Population Total
• Identifying Statistical Populations, Sampling Units, and Samples
• Positioning Sampling Units
• Population estimates for wildlife
• Matching Sampling Design Problems with the Correct Sample Size Equation
• Determining the Necessary Sample Sizes by using the Standard Equations
• Developing a Monitoring Plan for a Large Area


 
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