What we heard:

A Track Record of Success

External reviewers expressed a high level of confidence in the ABMI’s program design and concluded that there are no fatal flaws in its approach to biodiversity monitoring. They observed that ten years is a relatively short time period in the context of monitoring biodiversity and encouraged the ABMI to continue its efforts.

What we heard:

Stratify Site Revisits

External reviewers advised that, if challenged to find savings, the ABMI should consider a Value of Information approach that considers how much information is “enough” to make policy decisions. For example, it may be possible to reduce the frequency or geographic extent of sampling in some areas, in exchange for targeted sampling in others.

About the Review and Process

During 2017, ABMI staff and contractors evaluated the ABMI’s various scientific activities such as sampling design, protocol development, and data analysis. The team involved created a final synthesis report describing the extent to which the ABMI had met its scientific program goals. ABMI Science Directors, Dr. Jim Schieck and Dr. Stan Boutin, oversaw the process to ensure its comprehensiveness and accuracy.

The final report was then submitted to an external Science Expert Committee (SEC) for review. The SEC comprised independent scientific experts with diverse ecological backgrounds, strong analytical skills, and extensive experience with environmental

monitoring. Experts were chosen to span the breadth of species, habitat, and landscape elements surveyed by the ABMI.The SEC created their own short report providing scientific evaluation of the analyses and conclusions reached in the longer report.

The SEC report, along with the long report produced by ABMI staff and contractors, was forwarded to the 10-year review Steering Committee, in addition to the SAG report, for consideration. Based on these reports, the Steering Committee developed its recommendations for the ABMI’s future operations, which were then presented to the ABMI Board of Directors.

Science Expert Committee

Dr. Robert Brooks
Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Rob Rempel
Centre for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Dr. Kirsten de Beurs
University of Oklahoma

Dr. Thomas J. Givnish
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Dr. Thomas Nudds
University of Guelph

Jeff Bellinger
External Facilitator
Nichols Applied Management

10-year Science REview

SEC Key Findings: Overall Program Outcomes

Overall, the SEC concluded that, in its first 10 years of formal operations, the ABMI has exceeded expectations, delivered on its goals and objectives, and provided a service that is extremely beneficial to stakeholders and the public alike.

10-year Science REview

SEC Key Findings: Program Design

The SEC expressed a high level of confidence in the ABMI’s program design and concluded that there are no fatal flaws in its approach to biodiversity monitoring. Notwithstanding, the SEC also identified several areas for potential improvement and increased efficiency.

10-year Science REview

SEC Key Findings: Other Issues

The SEC identified other areas for consideration, including the significant positive value of the ABMI’s province-wide monitoring grid; the need to plan for a changing climate; and the ongoing need to balance strong science with the information needs of the ABMI’s stakeholders.

Have Questions or Feedback?

The ABMI’s 10-year Science and Program Review was built around listening to our partners and stakeholders. We welcome questions, comments, or suggestions about the review process or output.

The ABMI is a Leader in Biodiversity Monitoring

We track changes in Alberta's wildlife and habitats from border to border, and provide ongoing, relevant, scientifically credible information on Alberta's living resources. For our province's land use decision-makers. For Alberta's future land stewards. For Albertans.

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