Science and Monitoring

Science Strategy

The Science Strategy is a tool to implement adaptive management, linking science to the common agenda priorities through identified themes, allowing users to explicitly understand and communicate the rationale for conducting a research project and the expected contribution of the science to management actions. The strategy is a set of working hypotheses that reflect the current state of knowledge for each Common Agenda and Theme category (idenitifed in the Strategic Vision document) along with testable research hypotheses.

As projects and actions are completed, tested research hypotheses either support the existing working hypotheses or indicate that revisions to them should be considered. Over time, an understanding of how to manage the system to meet the Strategic Vision and Common Agenda will be enhanced through applied science. The Science Strategy should guide researchers in their development of projects that address specific hypotheses to improve the working knowledge on how to achieve the Common Agenda priority. How well a proposed project is likely to improve the working knowledge, in turn provides useful criteria to assist with decisions involving coordination and prioritization of research projects that are most likely to achieve the Shared Vision in the Initiative.

Monitoring Plan

Along with the Science Strategy, the Monitoring Plan is another tool to implement adaptive management, providing the means for users to assess current status, develop targets or endpoints, and to measure progress toward achieving the outcomes of the Shared Vision and Common Agenda. Measurable indicators (response variables) for the set of working and research hypotheses are important needs of the Science Strategy.

Standardized monitoring of water chemistry, fish populations, and other aquatic organisms is also routinely used by water quality and natural resource managers in their decisions and actions, but is lacking for some of the above theme areas in the SCDRS. Therefore, the purpose of this tool is to provide measurable indicators (where monitoring is available), for implementation of the Science Strategy, and to provide recommendations on the development of monitoring programs to address deficiencies essential for measuring progress toward the Common Agenda.