Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 101–134

The role of sample surveys for monitoring the condition of the nation's lakes

  • D. P. Larsen
  • K. W. Thornton
  • N. S. Urquhart
  • S. G. Paulsen

DOI: 10.1007/BF00547131

Cite this article as:
Larsen, D.P., Thornton, K.W., Urquhart, N.S. et al. Environ Monit Assess (1994) 32: 101. doi:10.1007/BF00547131


In order to meet a growing need to determine the condition of the nation's ecosystems and how their condition is changing, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed EMAP, the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program. A common survey design serves as the foundation on which to base monitoring of status and trends among diverse ecosystem types. In this paper, we describe the need for a statistically based survey design, briefly summarize the basic EMAP design, describe how that design is tailored for the selection of a probability sample of lakes on which to make measurements of lake condition, and illustrate the process for selecting a sample of lakes in the northeastern United States. Finally, we illustrate how measurements taken on the sample of lakes can be summarized, with known uncertainty, to describe the condition of a population of lakes.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. P. Larsen
    • 1
  • K. W. Thornton
    • 2
  • N. S. Urquhart
    • 3
  • S. G. Paulsen
    • 4
  1. 1.U.S. EPA Environmental Research LaboratoryCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.FTN AssociatesLittle RockUSA
  3. 3.c/o U.S. EPA Environmental Research LaboratoryOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  4. 4.c/o U.S. EPA Environmental Research LaboratoryUniversity of Las VegasCorvallisUSA

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