Developing Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program for Rivers and Streams in South-East Queensland, Australia

Bronwyn D. Harch, CSIRO Mathematical & Information Sciences,
Monday, 13 September 2004
4:10 PM
232 Wagar


During the last decade, the long-term ecological health of Australian rivers and streams has emerged as one of the biggest national natural resource management objectives. The National Water Quality Management Strategy forms a national program in Australia to achieve ecologically sustainable use of water resources by protecting and enhancing their quality, while maintaining economic and social development.

The main focus for monitoring the ‘health’ of rivers and streams has progressed from only measuring water chemistry attributes to measuring aspects of ecosystem health – chemical, physical and biological. Ecosystem health for freshwaters is now increasingly being diagnosed using aquatic macro-invertebrates (water bugs), fish, frogs, nutrients (forms of N and P), algae, macrophtyes, plankton, the production and consumption of organic carbon, sediment bacteria and the more traditional water chemistry parameters.

Examples of involvement with the development of ecosystem health programs in South-East Qld will be presented with an emphasis on the contributions made by statistics. Aspects of sampling program design, statistical analysis and reporting of ecosystem health assessment will be highlighted.

A brief overview of the statistical research group “Environmental Monitoring for Management” within the CSIRO division of Mathematical & Information Sciences will also be provided.

Biography: Bronwyn Harch is a statistician in CSIRO Mathematical & Information Sciences (CMIS). She graduated from Griffith University with BSc in Australian Environmental Studies (Hons) in 1992 and obtained her PhD in statistics from The University of Queensland in 1996. Most of Dr Harch's consulting and research focuses on the application of statistics to environmental and biological problems. In many projects Dr Harch often finds herself as a member of a multi-disciplinary team focused on natural resource problems that include for example, scientists from numerous disciplines and various organisations, data base managers, policy makers, council representatives, and community groups. She is an accredited statistician with the Statistical Society of Australia Inc. (SSAI) and a Board Member of The International Environmetrics Society (TIES).

Refreshments will be served at 3:45 p.m. in Room 008 of the Statistics Building



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