Adapting the rangeland database for managing ecological site description data

TitleAdapting the rangeland database for managing ecological site description data
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMeccage R., Alexander J., Courtright E, Herrick JE, Bestelmeyer B, Kluck J.
Conference NameSociety for Range Management Annual Meeting
Date Published02/09/2007
Conference LocationReno/Sparks, NV
ARIS Log Number208973
KeywordsEcological Data Descriptions, ESD
AbstractField data collection for writing Ecological Data Descriptions (ESD) creates a paperwork burden that reduces efficiency of ESD preparation. The recently developed Rangeland Database and Field Data Entry System is well suited to managing ESD data. This database was developed to automate data entry and analysis for protocols in – Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland, and Savanna Ecosystems. After collecting 2005 data on paper and entering into Ecological Site Information System, Synergy Resource Solutions, Inc., looked for a more efficient solution to data management. Scientists at Jornada Experimental Range released the Rangeland Database before the 2006 field season. Synergy used the new database to collect and analyze ESD (and other data) Collaboration between field personnel and database developers resulted in several adaptations to increase utility of the database for ESD purposes. Field application has shown that the database saves data entry time without sacrificing in-the-field efficiency, reduces data entry errors, provides for real time analysis, provokes real time field discussion of ecological theory, and reduces the time lag (and motivational challenge) associated with data entry months after fieldwork is complete. The ease of use and adaptation of the Rangeland Database allow for project-specific customization. Adaptation of project tracking and progress reporting increased efficiency of our current project.