ATBI and other possible nested projects
From a statistical point of view, for the purpose of detecting change (monitoring), surveys of the type like the ATBI, BioBlitz, and general collecting have very low statistical utility. However, for issues of general discovery, detection of rarities, public appeal, generation of specimen material for taxonomic work, and, to some extent financial support by agencies these types of approaches are useful. This is more so for something not taxonomically well know like bees rather than, say, vertebrate groups. My guess is that these would not be primary focuses of new money for monitoring, but would continue to play some sort of role in the larger scheme and if handled correctly could be combined into initial inventory efforts still very much needed in most regions.
Other studies such as the goldenrod surveys and things along the line of what the Ladybug folks are proposing, or surveys that have volunteer or public participation do have potential to nest within a structure for collecting rigorous information. I very much doubt that there will be funding anytime soon to completely fund the set of surveys we would all like to see and consequently, survey programs that incorporate citizens into the collection of data (e.g., bee bowls, digital pictures, etc.) are going to have to be looked at as important if not primary contributions. If you look at what animals are surveyed on a national level its either pests (often only to genus or family…such as grasshoppers) or its vertebrate groups such as amphibians (NAAMP, Frogwatch) or birds (e-bird, Breeding Bird Survey, etc.) most run primarily by volunteers.
Atlas-like models with standardized surveys within geographic units provide good possibilities for development of bee surveys.
w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
The Plover and the Clover can be told
apart with ease,
By paying close attention to the
habits of the Bees,
For ento-molo-gists aver, the Bee
can be in clover,
While ety-molo-gists concur, there
is no B in Plover.
-Robert Williams Wood - The Clover and the Plover