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Analytical tools for national and regional assessments


The task covers the full range of technical support that the EPA Office of Water (OW), National Aquatic Resource Survey staff require from ORD to both implement the national surveys and to synthesize and interpret the data and publish a national assessment for each water resource (i.e., flowing waters, lakes and reservoirs, wetlands and coastal waters). This support includes annual survey designs for the national effort plus designs for collaborating states. Included are also development and refinement of the syntheses of data into usable indicators and a scientifically defensible approach to defining expectations or thresholds with which to interpret the indicators. This task will also undertake refinement of the analytical tools, e.g., relative risk and attributable risk, for ranking stressors. Population estimates of these selected indicators for the populations and subpopulations of interest for the national assessment are also required. This task will contribute to the technical foundations necessary for the initial drafts of each national assessment.

Rationale and Research Approach:

ORD developed the approach and tools used by OW in their national assessments. ORD is the only research organization in the country with the full range of expertise necessary to advise and support OW in the collection and assessment of the information necessary for reporting to Congress and the public on the state of the nation’s aquatic resources. OW will perform QA review of the field collection and laboratory analyses of data from each water resource. ORD will use the resulting data to provide the necessary technical support for the highly visible national assessments.

MED Scientists:

Brian Hill
Ted Angradi
Dave Bolgrien
Tim Corry
Jill Scharold
Peder Yurista


Hill, B.H., R.K. Kolka, F.H. McCormick, and M.A. Starry. 2014. A synoptic survey of ecosystem services from headwater catchments in the United States. Ecosystem Services, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/aip/22120416 (in press).

Kireta, A.R., E.D. Reavie, G.V. Sgro, T.R. Angradi, D.W. Bolgrien, B.H. Hill, and T.M. Jicha. 2012. Planktonic and periphytic diatoms as indicators of stress on great rivers of the United States: Testing water quality and disturbance models. Ecological Indicators 13:222-231.

Kireta, A.R., E.D. Reavie, G.V. Sgro, T.R. Angradi, D.W. Bolgrien, T.M. Jicha, and B.H. Hill. 2012. Assessing the condition of the Missouri, Ohio, and Upper Mississippi rivers (USA) using diatom-based indicators. Hydrobiologia  691:171-188.

Sgro, G.V., E.D. Reavie, A.R. Kireta, T.R. Angradi, T.M. Jicha, D.W. Bolgrien, and B.H. Hill. 2010. Comparison of diatom-based indices of water quality for mid-continent (USA) great rivers. Journal of Environmental Indicators 5:48-67.

Expected Products:





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