Date of Award





Earth and Space Science - Environmental Science Track


Earth & Space Science

First Advisor

James A. Gore


The concept of Measurements Quality Objectives (MQOs), in bioassessment programs is a useful tool in evaluating the consistency of data and limiting variability and potential sources of measurement error. Typical evaluations of data repeatability and/or data quality center on the use of a series of calculations that quantify variability between measures. These calculations provided some indication of not only the quality of the data collected, but also acted as a measure of how representative the biological data were to each ecoregion. The evaluation of the Quality Control data for this project provides a framework for data users and water resource managers to assess the reliability and inherent variability of the proposed biotic indices for the state of Georgia. In bioassessment programs, it is important to identify natural variability of reference and impaired sites, as well as the variability of the influences anthropogenic stressors. Calculations of variance within the biological parameters measured are necessary for identifying the effects of measurement errors and/or inherent differences between sampling sites in relation to the overall variance of a metric or index on an ecoregional and sub-ecoregional level. Considering the invertebrate data produced by the Georgia Ecoregions Project, the consistency of all metric categories having average precision measures above the prescribed MQOs for both raw metric values and standardized metric scores may demonstrate that the lotic systems across the state of Georgia naturally have high variability from year-to-year and spatially within catchments. This in turn may indicate that the established precision thresholds of the MQOs may not be indicative of the data quality for this specific project.