Paper No. 4-7
Presentation Time: 10:20 AM
IMPLEMENTATION OF A LONG-TERM DESERT SPRINGS MONITORING PROTOCOL
The Mojave Desert Network Inventory and Monitoring Program is one of 32 ecoregional networks established by the National Park Service to monitor the status and trends of natural resource conditions. The Desert Springs protocol monitors a rotating panel of nearly 240 springs across five national park units in the Mojave Desert. Monitoring objectives focus on the availability and seasonality of surface water at these springs, as well as water quality (temperature, pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen) where surface water is present. This presentation covers the design and implementation of a long-term springs monitoring protocol. It examines preliminary data collected during the first five years of monitoring, coinciding with recent drought, as well as data collected during the initial inventory in 2005, coinciding with much wetter conditions. It concludes by discussing the ways that monitoring data may be used in the future to assess drought and changing resource conditions at desert springs and lessons learned from the first few years of monitoring.