Sampling Techniques

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United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-126 April 2004

Statistical Techniques for Sampling and Monitoring Natural Resources

Hans T. Schreuder, Richard Ernst, and Hugo Ramirez-Maldonado

Schreuder, Hans T.; Ernst, Richard; Ramirez-Maldonado, Hugo. 2004. Statistical techniques for sampling and monitoring natural resources. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-126. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 111 p.


We present the statistical theory of inventory and monitoring from a probabilistic point of view. We start with the basics and show the interrelationships between designs and estimators illustrating the methods with a small artificial population as well as with a mapped realistic population. For such applications, useful open source software is given in Appendix 4. Various sources of ancillary information are described and applications of the sampling strategies are discussed. Classical and bootstrap variance estimators are discussed also. Numerous problems with solutions are given, often based on the experiences of the authors. Key additional references are cited as needed or desired.


We owe a considerable measure of gratitude to reviewers for valuable comments. Chistopher Kleinn, Steen Magnusson, Ray Czaplewski, Rudy King, and Keith Rennolls reviewed the entire book, Geoff Wood revised an earlier draft, and Jule Caylor took the time to check the remote sensing section and added some updates to it. Mike Williams reviewed the coarse woody debris section, Jim Baldwin and Paul Geissler the wildlife section, Ron McRoberts and Nick Crookston the modeling section, Frank Roesch and Paul Patterson the section on discrete variable sampling, Charles Scott the section on multilevel sampling, and Gretchen Moisen the section on small area estimation. Gary Boyak reviewed and partially rewrote the sections on...