Study Design Facilitation

Event Information: Study Design Facilitation, June 13, Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, Havre de Grace, MD

At ALLARM, we get to partner with different organizations on different levels. We got to work with the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative (CMC) in setting the foundation for the Head of the Chesapeake Watershed Alliance (HCWA) by facilitating a discussion on developing monitoring program. The HCWA is a coalition established by various watershed alliances and environmental groups all located around the head of the Bay, established by the Deer Creek Watershed Association (DCWA), the Elk and North East Rivers Watershed Association (ENERWA), Havre de Grace Maritime Museum and Environmental Center, Octoraro Watershed Association (OWA), and Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers, along with Friends of the Bohemia as partners.

To help this alliance get up and running, ALLARM staff drove down to the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum in Maryland to meet with representatives of each individual organization and facilitate a discussion about study design with our CMC partner, Liz Chudoba from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Before any group can begin a monitoring program, certain questions need to be answered to ensure all goals are met. The three major questions needed to establish the base for a monitoring program are 1) what are the major goals and objectives, 2) why are you monitoring, and 3) how will the data be used.

Establishing a strong study design is crucial to ensure that data collected are of known value and answer all questions the organization is asking. In order to so, it is important to listen to any and all perspectives as a facilitator and work to establish objectives that everyone deems fitting to the questions they have. This was my first opportunity to listen in on a study design meeting, and I was able to build my knowledge on how an outside organization like ALLARM can foster collaboration between many other organizations with similar missions. It was fascinating to learn about how independent organizations can find overlapping objectives and expand their goals to focus on one cause: conservation and restoration of the head of the Chesapeake Bay.

Members of the HCWA discussing study design.