In order to help pack as much training into as short a time as possible, participants are asked to read and watch some pre-course materials so that less time has to be spent covering them at the event. That way everyone can spend more time getting hands-on experience in the field instead of sitting in a classroom. Before they arrive, participants should familiarize themselves with the major topics covered in the training course:
- Watch the Core Methods demonstration videos hosted on the Landscape Toolbox YouTube channel. Note that plant productivity and vegetation structure with a cover pole aren’t Core Methods and aren’t required viewing before a training.
- Read volume I of the Monitoring Manual for Rangeland, Shrubland and Savanna Ecosystems, to learn the background of what the Core Methods measure, why that matters, and how the data gathered apply to important indicators of ecosystem function in greater monitoring efforts on large scales.
- Watch or attend a webinar on how to use the Database for Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment (DIMA) or read through the DIMA tutorials. The tutorials will give the basic background on how to use the database, but they make the most sense when the reader has a copy of DIMA open and can follow along. The latest version of DIMA can be downloaded from the Jornada website here.
- Complete this DIMA Data Entry Exercise and email your completed DIMA to Baili Foster firstname.lastname@example.org at least one week prior to the course.
- Introduction to the BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (video) and Society for Range Management 2015 Meeting (video, pdf)
- Understand the objectives of local monitoring efforts.
- Familiarize yourself with local plant species and soils.
Core Monitoring Concepts
Optional Soils and Ecological site resources