Riverscapes Consortium

2021 Riverscapes Monitoring Summit

2021 Riverscapes Monitoring Summit

November 2-4, 2021

Virtual Summit will be conducted on Zoom

Summit Purpose

The purpose of the summit will be to start building a Riverscapes Health Monitoring Framework. The framework will not prescribe the specific methods like a protocol would, but instead define the guiding principles, the target indicators and common currencies, and provide the sideboards for which specific monitoring protocols can minimally adhere to and expand as is appropriate for their specific purposes.

Why a Framework?

There will never be one protocol to rule them all. Protocols, necessarily, digress into specifics of how and imposing consistency and minimizing unnecessary variability so that everything from data capture to data processing can be tractably administered. Moreover, every protocol exists for rather specific reasons (e.g. funding, mandates, regulatory requirements) and first and foremost needs to make sure it is serving those purposes. However, there are some common purposes that can unite these disparate efforts, and we believe the general call to understand and track riverscape health is one such common cause. A framework can help provide context and targets in terms of indicators that all monitoring protocols can make sure they minimally can enumerate and reproduce.

How do Protocols fit in?

In conjunction with authoring a framework, we will look to run the development or revision 2-4 protocols that are simply examples of protocols that follow the framework. For some existing protocols, this will represent some rather modest and minor changes and adaptations and new citations. For new protocols, it might represent a rather streamlined and focused effort.

There are a plethora of Monitoring Protocols. On MonitoringResources.org there are over 87 monitoring programs alone listed.

From our participants in this summit, the following monitoring programs are worth noting:

What will we actually do during workshop?

Jeremy Maestas of NRCS’s National Technical Training Center has graciously agreed to act as our facilitator and keep things on track. In the last workshop we shared different experiences with monitoring and identified common short-comings and barriers to working in some common currencies. In this workshop we will spend a small amount of time reviewing what was learnt, and hopefully agreeing on some riverscape health principles. We will spend the bulk of our time crafting the outline for the Framework white paper. We will split into working groups to work on various aspects of populating narrative and ideas and working through the details of how specific protocols can adhere to specific parts of the framework. We will have some time each day for pop-up presentations to share experiences and perspectives. We will keep focused on agreeing on the structure of a framework and queuing up assignments and next steps so we can get the document completed over the winter. Also by the end, we hope that individuals will be able to identify opportunities to co-develop specific protocols that comply with the framework. We will be working on collaborative documents throughout the workshop so we can capture ideas together in real time. It will suck not being able to meet in person, but we’ll have a social happy hour at the end of the first two days when beer-o-clock hits.

What are expected Summit outcomes?

  1. Agree the structure and divy up the authorship and writing tasks of publishing a white paper on “Riverscapes Health Monitoring Framework”. This will have a target publication of Spring 2022, and be co-authored by at least the participants of the workshop as a “Riverscapes Consortium” publication.
  2. Co-Authorship of a Peer-Reviewed Manuscript on “Principles of Riverscape Health” based in part on Chapter 2 of the LTPBR Manual, but with a co-author list of any of the interested participants in this workshop, and broader international group of riverscape scientists. This paper will not be as focused as much on the monitoring, but will provide a foundation on which our Riverscapes Monitoring Framework is built off of.
  3. Compliant Protocols - Identify among the group who will work on writing new or adapting existing monitoring protocols that serve as working examples of following this “Riverscapes Health Monitoring Framework” (we know of at least 4 protocols from this group primed for this).
  4. Networking a group of riverscape monitoring experts.

As many of you/us have funding with deliverables and remits to work on related efforts, we’re confident we can achieve the above outcomes in a near-term time-frame following the workshop.

Prior to Workshop

You will be sent a draft manuscript on “Principles of Riverscape Health” and asked if you wish to contribute as a co-author and if you have any suggested changes/additions or if you fundamentally disagree with any aspects of it. We will also circulate a straw-man skeleton of the Framework outline for you to work on.