Coordinating a national rangeland monitoring training program: Success and lessons learned

TitleCoordinating a national rangeland monitoring training program: Success and lessons learned
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsFoster BM, McCord S, Kachergis E
Conference NameSociety for Range Management Meeting
VolumeJanuary 28-February 2, 2018
Date Published01/28/2018
PublisherSociety for Range Management Meeting Proceedings
Conference LocationReno, NV
ARIS Log Number350484
Abstract

One of the best ways to ensure quality of information gathered in a rangeland monitoring program is through a strong and uniform set of trainings. Curriculum development and delivery of monitoring trainings poses unique challenges that are not seen in academic settings. Participants come from a range of educational and experience backgrounds. Additionally, participants may only have the period of the training to receive the necessary instruction before fully implementing the protocol as part of their job duties. Consequently, careful consideration for content delivery and hands on learning activities is critical for active learning. We present the lessons learned from the Bureau of Land Management’s Assessment Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) training program with the partnership of USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range. The successes and lessons were developed from web-based and in-person trainings targeting BLM staff, seasonal staff, non-profit organizations, and academic partners for topics relating to data collection, analysis, database use and more. Consideration was given to the identification and education of both the target audience and the potential non-target audiences while taking into account the unique needs of adult learners. The AIM program has formatted training curriculum that addresses the needs of spatial, auditory, linguistic and kinesthetic learners. Challenges that impact training quality such as inconsistency in staff availability, a seasonal workforce, timing of data needs, phenology, and funding were also factored into the development of the training program. The importance of forming a training cadre and what factors should be assessed in this process has been an additional consideration. The final portion of the process was to review the most effective methods for assessing success. The training program of AIM is continually evolving, building on the success and lessons learned of the past to provide high quality information for rangeland management.