Customizable tool for ecological data entry, assessment, monitoring, and interpretation

TitleCustomizable tool for ecological data entry, assessment, monitoring, and interpretation
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsCourtright E, Herrick JE, Bestelmeyer BT, Burkett LM
Conference Name93rd Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting
Date PublishedAugust 4-8, 2008
Conference LocationMilwaukee, WI
ARIS Log Number230396
Keywordsassessment, ecological, interpretation, monitoring, tool
AbstractThe Database for Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment (DIMA) is a highly customizable tool for data entry, assessment, monitoring, and interpretation. DIMA is a Microsoft Access database that can easily be used without Access knowledge and is available at no cost. Data can be entered for common, nationally accepted (by NRCS, BLM and others) vegetation and soil monitoring methods, including the methods described in the “Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland, and Savanna Ecosystems.” Additionally, NRCS ecological site description data can be collected starting at a low intensity (e.g., general site characteristics, waypoints and photos) and building to a high intensity (e.g., detailed soil and vegetation data). Stored data are easily exported to other databases and spreadsheets while previously entered data can be quickly imported into the database via Excel templates. Indicators and reports, including graphs, are automatically generated from entered data. In addition to data, the database stores critical metadata such as field crew personnel, plant species lists downloaded from the USDA/NRCS PLANTS database, driving directions, method rule sets, soil data and links to photos. The objective of this poster is to make the database available to other ecologists, to review current applications, and to identify areas for future enhancements.