Science Inventory

EVALUATION GUIDELINES FOR ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS

Citation:

Jackson, L E., J C. Kurtz, AND W S. Fisher. EVALUATION GUIDELINES FOR ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/620/R-99/005, 2000.

Description:

This document presents fifteen technical guidelines to evaluate the suitability of an ecological indicator for a particular monitoring program. The guidelines are organized within four evaluation phrases: conceptual relevance, feasibility of implementation, response variability, and interpretation and utility. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development has adopted these guidelines as an iterative process for internal and (EPA's) affiliated researchers during the course of indicator development, and as a consistent framework for indicator review. Chapter One describes the guidelines; Chapters Two, Three, and Four illustrate application of the guidelines to three indicators in various stages of development. The example indicators include a direct chemical measure, dissolved oxygen concentration, and two multi-metric biological indices, an index of estuarine benthic condition and one based on stream fish assemblages. The purpose of these illustrations is to demonstrate the evaluation process using real data and working with the limitations of research in progress. Furthermore, these chapters demonstrate that an evaluation may emphasize individual guidelines differently, depending on the type of indicator and the program design. The evaluation process identifies weaknesses that may require further indicator research and modification. This document represents a compilation and expansion of previous efforts, in particular, the initial guidance developed to EPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP).

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Product Published Date: 05/01/2000
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record ID: 63170

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR ECOLOGY

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING ASSESSMENT PROGRAM STAFF