Environmental and Ecological Statistics

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 181-204

First online:

The National Resources Inventory: a long-term multi-resource monitoring programme

  • S. M. NUSSERAffiliated withDepartment of Statistics, Iowa State University
  • , J. J. GOEBELAffiliated withUS Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service

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Interest in natural resources and the environment has led to the development of new federal monitoring efforts, the expansion of existing federal inventory programmes, and discussions of inter-agency collaboration for natural resource assessment data collection. As federal programmes evolve, knowledge gained from existing long-term survey programmes can provide valuable contributions to statistical and operational aspects of survey efforts. This paper describes the National Resources Inventory (NRI), which has been conducted by the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service in cooperation with the Iowa State University Statistical Laboratory for several decades. The current NRI is a longitudinal survey of soil, water, and related environmental resources designed to assess conditions and trends every five years on non-federal US lands. An historical overview is provided highlighting the development of the survey programme. Sample design, data collection, and estimation procedures used in the 1992 NRI are described, and statistical issues related to long-term monitoring are discussed.

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