Database for Inventory, Monitoring & Assessment

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  • Simple interface (an Access database that doesn't require knowledge of Access to use)
  • Tablet PC (touchscreen) and keyboard modes
  • Flexible – adapts to most monitoring applications
  • Drop-down choice lists increase data entry speed and precision
  • Automated indicator calculations and reports, and ability to create user-defined queries
  • Import data from Excel into database
  • Automated species list downloads from USDA-NRCS PLANTS database

Current Computers in Use

Windows tablet or PC


Development of this application began in October 2003. The following individuals have contributed to the project: Jeff Herrick, Laura Burkett, Ericha Courtright, Justin Van Zee, Dave Pyke, Mike Pellant, Pat Shaver, Jeff Repp and Kara Hempy Mayer. Special kudos go to the principal developer Barry Lavine ( for his programming genius, infinite patience, and creativity.



The Demo Database offers a sample of what the full database has to offer and allows the user to work through a small subset of line-point intercept, gap and soil stability data. The password is 9999.

DOWNLOAD NEW DIMA DATABASE VERSION 5.6 Released January 17, 2022

This version is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit Access!

This version of DIMA includes the following: plotVisitDate added to tables for LPI, Gap, Plant Production, Soil Stability, Species Richness, Sage Grouse Habitat, and Aeolian to allow easy data import into the Landscape Data Commons; added sediment g/cm2/day to the Aeolian Sediment Flux Report; added Utilization "All Detail Data" report; and miscellaneous bug fixes. Check out this new release and continue to let us know of any problems you encounter, as well as enhancement requests.

Please note, if you collected Species Richness data in DIMA 5.3/5.3A, you may need to edit tblSpecRichDetail due to an error. If species are present, change the "subPlotID" from 0 to 1. This way, data will be imported into the new DIMA. Any data with a "subPlotID" of 0 will be removed in order to fix unintentional errors.

A comments page can be accessed from DIMA so please let us know how we are doing.

Have a group that wants to learn DIMA? Contact Ericha Courtright at to organize a training.

An introductory webinar on using DIMA is posted as flash and as wmv. In addition, an advanced webinar is posted as flash and as wmv.

Suggestions for future enhancements should be directed to Ericha Courtright. If you make any structural changes, you will not be able to import your database into the next version.

Older databases must be updated prior to being imported into the latest version. This means updating sequentially through each version. Download old versions below.

Download Database Version 5.5
Download Database Version 5.4
Download Database Version 5.3B
Download Database Version 5.3
Download Database Version 5.2A
Download Database Version 5.2
Download Database Version 5.1
Download Database Version 5.0
Download Database Version 4.1B
Download Database Version 4.1A
Download Database Version 4.1
Download Database Version 4.0
Download Database Version 3.2
Download Database Version 3.1
Download Database Version 3.0A
Download Database Version 2.5B
Download Database Version 2.5A
Download Database Version 2.5
Download Database Version 2.4A
Download Database Version 2.4
Download Database Version 2.3A
Download Database Version 2.3
Download Database Version 2.2A
Download Database Version 2.2
Download Database Version 2.1
Download Database Version 2.0B
Download Database Version 1.6
Download Database Version 1.5

Please contact Ericha Courtright at or 575-640-6533 if you experience problems with DIMA.


When you open this database, you may see a security warning from Microsoft, that the database has been signed by an untrusted certificate. The certificate should show as 'USDA-ARS Jornada'. In order to prevent the security warning from displaying every time the database is opened, do the following procedure (you only have to do it once, per computer).

  • When the 'Security Warning' alert shows, click the 'Options' button.
  • The signature shows as 'USDA-ARS Jornada'. Click the 'Show Signature Details' link.
  • Click the 'View Certificate' button.
  • Click the 'Install Certificate...' button.
  • In the Certificate Import Wizard, click 'Next'.
  • On the 'Certificate Store' screen, leave the default ('Automatically') and click 'Next'.
  • Click 'Finish'.
  • When it asks 'Do you want to install this certificate?' answer 'Yes'. You should see 'The import was successful'.
  • Click 'OK' to close the 'Certificate' screen.
  • Click 'OK' to close the 'Digital Signature Details' screen.
  • On the 'Security Alert' screen, click the 'Trust all documents from this publisher' option, then click 'OK'.

You may create/designate a specific folder on your computer as a 'Trusted Folder', and place the MDB file in that Folder (or a subfolder). See Access documentation on how to create a Trusted Folder.

Alternately, see:

If you continue to experience problems, you will need to enable macros in Access. With Access open, click on the Access image in the top left corner then click the button at the bottom of the screen that reads Access Options. Click Trust Center in the left menu bar then click the Trust Center Settings button. Click Macro Settings in the left menu bar and select Enable all macros. Close and re-open Access.


Q: Why do I receive a Microsoft Access Security warning when I open the database?

A: Please see instructions for dealing with this here.

Q: How do I set up multiple databases for the same field project?

A: Create a single database for the field project. Copy this database to the tablets used for the project. In order to keep track of the copies, you should identify them in some way (i.e., field group name, computer name, etc).

Q: How do I merge multiple databases?

A: Use one of the databases as the "main" database. Open the "main" DIMA you wish to import your data into and then under Administrative Functions/Data Management/Data Imports/Exports, click on "Import ALL data from another DIMA database". In the next screen, browse to the DIMA you wish to import, click on "Validate Source Database", click OK through the 2 warning screens, and then pick which database takes precedence. Click "Validate Source Database" then "Continue" when it tells you everything looks ok. The data will be imported from the selected DIMA into the "main" DIMA. Note: Always make backup copies of all the DIMAs prior to merging just in case something goes wrong. Also, remember that all the DIMAs need to be the same version in order for this to work. Excel must be closed while performing this process.

Q: How do I delete an extra row of gap data?

A: Click arrow next to row and hit "Delete" on the keyboard. Confirm deletion.

Additional questions should be directed to Ericha Courtright.


Mention of trade names or commercial products in this webpage is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.