Every monitoring effort needs to start with a planning process. Investing adequate resources into the planning process will ensure that the monitoring effort is tailored to meet the information needs of resource management staff and will help secure funding.
Step 1: Coordinate with your AIM State Lead and State Monitoring Coordinator to discuss monitoring priorities, budget, and crew hiring options;
- Field, District, and State Offices will work together and with the Washington Office to identify funding for monitoring efforts throughout the duration of the iterative AIM process.
- Consider the timeline (Figure 1) for which you will need to begin implementing your AIM project. Work with your AIM State Lead to establish timelines for your project. The Timeline Template is a tool that you can use to document your timelines and individuals that will be involved in developing and implementing your AIM project.
- Capacity for completing monitoring work is often gained through seasonal employees or partnerships with other organizations, such as those that engage youth. It is never too early to begin planning for crew hiring, but a general rule of thumb is to being the hiring process at least 5 months in advance of your field season. Check the crew hiring and equipment page for more details. Other capacity needs (e.g., project management) are met through field, district, and state offices with support from the NOC.
Step 2: Identify Roles and Responsibilities
- Implementation of AIM monitoring 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.
- Visit the Roles and Responsibilities page for detailed descriptions of what is expected of each member of an AIM Implementation team.
Step 3: Form an Interdisciplinary (ID) Team
- In order to gain the most information from your AIM project it is imperative to collaborate with other resource specialists to begin planning workload, funding, and monitoring goals and objectives.
- Consider that monitoring efforts from one land use or treatment can provide valuable information for other programs and monitoring questions.
- A fundamental tenet of the AIM Monitoring Strategy is that information can be collected once and used many times for different purposes across many programs (e.g., recreation, grazing, energy, wildlife, and wild horse and burro management). Further, these data can be easily compared and combined to simultaneously address a wide range of local, regional, and national management needs.
Step 4: Begin Filling Out a Monitoring Design Worksheet
- The Monitoring Design Worksheet is a template that should be used to guide and document the development of AIM monitoring efforts. The Worksheet is also used a means of communicating design specifications to that various design experts who will assist you in creating your monitoring design.
- See the Design pages for more information.
Helpful Links and Documents