Land or Protected Areas Managers, Managers of Formal Monitoring Programmes, Natural Resource Managers

Through the collection of ecological data using standardized methods, monitoring can establish baselines representing the current status of ecosystem components. Repeat observations and analysis of ecological data can allow for the detection of changes over time, changes that are above the natural variation for these baselines. This leads to the communication of status and trends, providing information to scientists and decision-makers about environmental changes that may require further attention. Analysis can also lead to recommendations about ways to create a better environment for all Canadians.

As the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN) is not a funding agency, we try to contribute to partnerships by providing expertise, information, collaborative opportunities and coordination. EMAN can provide managers with standardized methods and protocols for many monitoring variables in order to allow for comparison and analysis of datasets across ecological zones and over time. EMAN is also working to provide a comprehensive data management system for project managers. EMAN provides a range of tools and monitoring information that can meet the diverse needs of different monitoring projects. Participation in the Network can present opportunities for managers to collaborate with others doing similar work or other organizations conducting monitoring projects within the same ecozone.  The sharing of data and findings with EMAN allows for the dissemination of monitoring information to decision-makers through the development of collaborative reports, the posting of findings on the EMAN website and through the presentation of monitoring findings at the EMAN National Science Meeting.

EMAN is currently working with many organizations such as the Canadian Nature Federation (CNF), Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada in order meet the needs of the various agencies and organizations involved in ecological monitoring at local, regional and national scales.
If you are starting a monitoring programme or project, go to the EMAN recommended monitoring protocols page for information on the standardized protocols available for data collection. The choice of protocols will depend on the goal of your monitoring project. Many natural areas managers used plot-based monitoring systems, based on the Smithsonian Institute/Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Programme (SI/MAB) along with additional Ecosystem Monitoring Protocols (EMPs) that compliment this system. The SI/MAB protocols have been modified by Drs. Patricia Roberts-Pichette and Lynn Gillespie and are available online as the Terrestrial Vegetation Biodiversity Monitoring Protocols. Most of the Ecosystem Monitoring Protocols (for earthworms, soil decay rate, lichens etc) in the terrestrial protocols section can be easily added to this plot-based programme.

The NatureWatch programme offered through a joint partnership between EMAN and the Canadian Nature Federation (CNF), can be used by natural areas managers to increase the geographical coverage of monitoring information and early detection of change as these programmes can be done by volunteers with differing levels of monitoring experience.

If you are currently managing a monitoring programme please contact EMAN to share datasets and information, to learn about standardized protocols now available for implementation and to discuss opportunities for collaborative projects with other partners.

Small electronic data sets can be shared via email to File Transfer Protocol (FTP) areas for sharing data, and a distributed data network are other ways to share and become a part of the data network within EMAN.  . Hard copies of data can also faxed to (905) 336-4499 or mailed to the following location:

Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network Coordinating Office 
Environment Canada 
Canada Centre for Inland Waters 
867 Lakeshore Road 
Burlington, Ontario, CANADA 
L7R 4A6