Defining Roles & Responsibilities

Implementation of the BLM’s Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) Strategy involves considerable effort, but with advanced planning and coordination, the workload is very manageable and can be shared by different members of the implementation team. Below we outline common members of an implementation team and divide tasks among the Washington Office Staff, the NOC and Partners(BLM/USU National Aquatic Monitoring Center and the USDA-ARS Jornada Research Station), State Leads and State Monitoring Coordinators, District or Field Office level Project Leads,  and Field Crews.

National AIM Lead (Washington Office)

  • Policy development and implementation
  • Identify funding sources, including short- and long-term sources
  • Work with Washington Budget office (800), the NOC and State Offices to ensure that the appropriate targets and PE codes are being utilized
  • Communication, coordination, and outreach with internal (multiple BLM programs) and external stakeholders (e.g. public interest groups)
  • Work to integrate AIM strategy into core work processes of BLM resource programs
  • Ensure effectiveness of AIM program in meeting commitments and achieving objectives, e.g. for FLPMA, LUP effectiveness and GRSG Conservation Strategy and other relevant policy

NOC and Partners (USDA-ARS Jornada, and the BLM/USU National Aquatic Monitoring Center)

Team of specialists including terrestrial and aquatic ecologists, data managers, statisticians, and analysts

  • Technical support for nationwide monitoring efforts led by regional teams, and state, district, and field offices across BLM resource programs and needs (e.g., land use plan effectiveness, treatment effectiveness, wildlife habitat)
  • Coordinate with Washington Office regional, state, district and/or project leads to ensure that AIM implementation is successful (e.g., answer questions regarding  the AIM strategy, monitoring plans, access to resources for projects, etc.)
  • Select monitoring points based on field/district/regional/state needs (as captured in their Monitoring Design Worksheet)
  • Centralized data management (TerrADat and AquADat), including QA/QC procedures
  • Enable data access to BLM and the public through geospatial infrastructure and tools
  • Support data analysis for management decision-making through applying statistical expertise
  • Provide standard reporting templates and approaches for resource information needs across BLM
  • Generate training content and provide a central set of instructors, on subjects ranging from standard methods to analysis and reporting
  • Make tools and resources available throughout BLM and to our partners (http://aim.landscapetoolbox.org)

Regional Team

Regional Monitoring Coordinator or other Regional Coordinator (as applicable)

  • Logistical support for sage-grouse monitoring efforts across the Region
  • Point of coordination for study design and analysis to ensure needs are met across state boundaries
  • Coordinate with Geospatial Ecologist, Mitigation Coordinator, Sage Grouse Coordinator, and other leads in the Region as well as the AIM team at the NOC
  • Provide data analysis support for States
  • Support data analysis for management decision-making through applying statistical expertise

State Offices

State Monitoring Coordinator and/or State Lead

  • Technical and logistical support for monitoring efforts in the state across BLM resource programs and needs (e.g., land use plan effectiveness, treatment effectiveness, wildlife habitat)
  • Point of contact for District/Field Office project leads regarding questions about the AIM strategy, access to resources for projects, management and monitoring objectives, etc.
  • Ensure project leads are completing the steps in the AIM implementation timeline, including kick-off and design meetings, training, sample design implementation, mid-season checks, data submission, etc.
  • Coordinate with District and Field Offices to secure and manage funding
  • Manage agreements/contracts to to hire field crews to collect AIM monitoring data, and assist with crew hiring when necessary
  • Oversight of statewide monitoring work completed
  • Facilitate communication among BLM offices and BLM staff at different levels (e.g. adjacent Field Offices; Project Leads and Field Office Managers)
  • Final QA/QC of data, approve data and submit to NOC (terrestrial only)
  • Ensure that training needs are met within the state (e.g., core monitoring methods, applying information to decision-making)
  • Coordinate report preparation to support land health assessments, land health evaluations, authorizations, and decision making within the state
  • Coordinate with Geospatial Ecologist, Mitigation Coordinator, Sage Grouse Coordinator, and other state leads
  • Communicate with stakeholders and partners within the state and provide technical information when needed
  • Provide data analysis support for District and Field Offices and/or if possible complete data analysis.

District/Field Offices

Project Lead or District/Field Office Monitoring Coordinator, in conjunction with an ID team

  • Plan and coordinate monitoring efforts with other office resource leads based on multiple resource needs (e.g., land use plan effectiveness, treatment effectiveness, wildlife habitat)
  • Document monitoring objectives and plans in a Monitoring Design Worksheet
  • Establish field crews (if needed, depending on contract/agreement or other arrangement)
  • Assemble field equipment
  • Provide local support and supervision to monitoring field crews throughout the field season
  • Oversee field crew QA/QC of data and submit final dataset to State Office (terrestrial only)
  • Interpret data and apply monitoring information to management decisions (e.g., evaluate land health standards, sage grouse habitat condition, land use plan effectiveness)

Field crew

Typically field crews are only hired for the duration of the field season, plus a few weeks for pre-season prep and post-season clean-up and the bullets below reflect this model. Occasionally, crew leads are asked to stay on for a longer duration and in that case, the list below should be amended to reflect the additional roles and responsibilities assumed by the crew lead.

  • Crew lead potential responsibilities:
    • Point evaluation
    • Trip planning
    • Coordination with field office staff
    • Final data QC, especially at the end of the field season
  • Participate in AIM core methods training
  • Calibrate on data collection methods
  • Plan or assist in planning field sampling trips
  • Collect field data following standardized methods and follow quality assurance procedures
  • Communicate with supervisory staff on a daily basis to facilitate safety oversight
  • Communicate with project lead regarding data collection and data submission processes
  • Properly process, store, and document samples collected in the field
  • Perform data quality control checks
  • Maintain field equipment and vehicle

Implementation teams are encouraged to use the Implementation Task List to identify which team members will play roles or assume responsibilities for various aspects of implementation. This document can be used as a checklist and timeline, and to communicate how roles and responsibilities will be divided among State Leads, Project Leads, and the AIM team.

Helpful Links and Documents

AIM Contacts

Crew Hiring and Equipment

 Implementation Task List 

 

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