The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) to move toward an improved environmental monitoring approach. EMAP is a research program that is used to develop the tools necessary to monitor and assess the status and trends of ecological systems. EMAP's goal is to develop the scientific understanding for translating environmental monitoring data from multiple spatial and temporal scales into assessments of ecological condition. The product from this research will be a US EPA internal report entitled Internal Report - Landscape Metrics for EMAP-West, which describes the development of landscape metrics which were applied to the Western United States. These metrics were developed to test stream condition indicators and to help discover relationships between surface water data and landscape metrics. The landscape monitoring and assessment approach will involve the analysis of spatially explicit patterns of biophysical features, including soils, topography, climate, vegetation, land use, and drainage pathways.