Riverscapes Consortium

2021 Riverscapes Monitoring Summit

2021 Riverscapes Monitoring Summit

November 2-4, 2021

10:30 to 16:30 MST each day

Virtual Summit will be conducted on Zoom (see calendar invite for link).

Note: Meeting will be recorded for those who cannot make entire meeting.

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 (please email me if you want yours listed):

References on some Existing Stream and Riverscape Monitoring Protocols

If you have other suggestions, please contribute them

Example of Conceptually Similar Framework for Rangeland Health

  • Pellant M, Shaver P, Pyke DA, Herrick JE. 2005. Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health. Techncial Reference 1734-6 . Version 4-2005. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, National Science and Technology Center: Denver, CO.

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.

Summit Agenda

Some participants will be coming and going throughout the workshop due to other commitments. That is fine. For the sake of those that can’t make the morning introductions on Tuesday, please provide a little intro to who you are here.

We will start at 10:30 AM each morning (all times MST), break around 12:30ish for a half hour lunch, and adjourn around 4:30 PM each afternoon. We may call short breaks throughout of 5 - 10 minutes when momentum is lagging and we all need a little stretch.

The first evening we will host (on same Zoom URL) an awkward, virtual evening social from 5:30 to 6:30. So bring your (adult-optional) beverage of choice and try not and spill on your keyboard.

As for overall agenda, it will proceed roughly as follows:

  • Day 1 - Tuesday, November 2nd - Riverscape Health
    • Morning - Intros / Purpose & Overview
    • Afternoon - Proposed Principles of Riverscape Heath & Manuscript
  • Day 2 - Wednesday, November 3rd - Assessments of Riverscape Health
    • Morning - What are the measures and metrics & indicators that feed assessments?
    • Afternoon- How do we meaningfully estimate “expected” in an O:E sense?
  • Day 3 - Thursday, November 4th - Framework & Framework-Compliant Protocols
    • Morning - Framework Outline & Organization
    • Afternoon- Protocols to Make Framework Compliant in Parallel


Day 1 Resources

Day 2 Resources

  1. Visit http://data.riverscapes.net and register for an account if you do not have one. Then email info@northarrowresearch.com to get access (or send him a private chat in the Zoom).

  2. Once you have access, we will primarily being playing in https://data.riverscapes.net/#/BEAR

Today, we will do a “LTPBR Conservation Planning Process” exercise as a whole group. Although the purpose of this summit and framework IS NOT just to focus on LTPBR, a planning assessment for LTPBR is a perfect example to ground our discussion (there are many others we could choose). The exercise we will do is based on:

To do the exercises, you will need to:

  1. Open up this indicator assessment spreadsheet from google Sheets, and
  2. Go to File → “Make a Copy” and rename it as you see fit.
  3. If doing this as group exercise (in afternoon) you will want to use the “Share” button and make sure your group members all have access.
  4. We will only worry about existing conditions for now (i.e., columns E & F)

Day 3 Resources

Riverscapes Consortium Sample Projects

Visit http://data.riverscapes.net and register for an account if you do not have one. Then email info@northarrowresearch.com to get access (or send him a private chat in the Zoom).

Summit Videos

1. Introductions

1. Introductions The summit participants introduce themselves.

2. Overview and Objectives

2. Overview and Objectives Joe goes over the objectives of the summit and what he hopes to achieve.

3. What is a Riverscape?

3. What is a Riverscape? The idea of and definition of a riverscape is introduced and discussed.

4. What is Riverscape Health?

4. What is Riverscape Health? The idea of what constitutes a healthy riverscape is introduced and discussed.

5. Riverscapes General Discussion pt. 1

5. Riverscapes General Discussion pt. 1 The group begins more in depth discussion about defining riverscapes.

6. Riverscape General Discussion pt. 2

6. Riverscapes General Discussion pt. 2 The group continues the discussion from part 1.

7. Riverscape Health Discussion

7. Riverscape Health Discussion The group has a more in-depth discussion about what riverscape health means and how to measure it.

8. Principles of Riverscape Health Discussion

8. Principles of Riverscape Health Discussion The group discusses the proposed principles of riverscape health.

9. Revisiting the Principles of Riverscape Health

9. Revisiting the Principles of Riverscape Health The principles of riverscape health are revisited following revisions from the discussions on day 1.

10. Preparation for Exercises

10. Preparation for Exercises Instructions on downloading resources and getting set up to do the exercises later in the day.

11. Examples of Riverscape Health Indicators

11. Examples of Riverscape Health Indicators Some examples of indicators that address specific principles of riverscape health are introduced.

12. Discussion of Indicators for Riverscape Health Monitoring

12. Discussion of Indicators for Riverscape Health Monitoring The group discusses different types of indicators and how they can be used in monitoring frameworks.

13. Relating Indicators to Principles of Riverscape Health

13. Relating Indicators to Principles of Riverscape Health The group discusses the idea of identifying indicators that relate to the previously discussed principles of riverscape health.