The U.S. Geological Survey hosted the Interagency Biological Methods Workshop in Reston, Virginia, during June 22-23, 1993. The purposes of the workshop were to (1) promote better communication among Federal agencies that are using or developing biological methods in water-quality assessment programs for streams and rivers, and (2) facilitate the sharing of data and interagency collaboration. The workshop was attended by 45 biologists representing numerous Federal agencies and programs, and a few regional and State programs that were selected to provide additional perspectives. The focus of the workshop was community assessment methods for fish, invertebrates, and algae; physical habitat characterization; and chemical analyses of biological tissues. Charts comparing program objectives, design features, and sampling methods were compiled from materials that were provided by participating agencies prior to the workshop and formed the basis for small workgroup discussions. Participants noted that differences in methods among programs were often necessitated by differences in program objectives. However, participants agreed that where programs have identified similar data needs, the use of common methods is beneficial. Opportunities discussed for improving data compatibility and information sharing included (1) modifying existing methods, (2) adding parameters, (3) improving access to data through shared databases (potentially with common database structures), and (4) future collaborative efforts that range from research on selected protocol questions to followup meetings and continued discussions.
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USGS Numbered Series
Report of the Interagency biological methods workshop