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Project Scope of Work

Project Scope of Work 2003

Wading Bird Colony Location, Size, Timing and Wood Stork and Roseate Spoonbill Nesting Success

1. Introduction/Background. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2000 authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) as a framework for modifications and operational changes to the Central and Southern Florida Project needed to restore the south Florida ecosystem. Provisions within WRDA 2000 provide for specific authorization for an adaptive assessment and monitoring program. A Monitoring and Assessment Plan (MAP) has been developed as the primary tool to assess the system-wide performance of the CERP by the REstoration, COordination and VERification (RECOVER) program. The MAP presents the monitoring and supporting enhancement of scientific information and technology needed to measure the responses of the South Florida ecosystem.

The MAP also presents the system-wide performance measures representative of the natural and human systems found in south Florida that will be evaluated to help determine the success of CERP. These system-wide performance measures address the responses of the South Florida ecosystem that the CERP is explicitly designed to improve, correct, or otherwise directly affect. A separate Performance Measure Documentation Report being prepared by RECOVER provides the scientific, technical, and legal basis for the performance measures.

Generally, the statement of work (SOW) is intended to support four broad objectives of the AAT Monitoring and Assessment Plan (MAP):

a. Establish pre-CERP reference state including variability for each of the performance measures,
b. Determine the status and trends in the performance measures,
c. Detect unexpected responses of the ecosystem to changes in stressors resulting from CERP activities, and
d. Support scientific investigations designed to increase ecosystem understanding, cause-and-effect, and interpret unanticipated results

The SOW described below is intended to support the Greater Everglades (GE) Wetlands module of the MAP and is directly linked to the monitoring or supporting research components identified as MAP Activity Numbers 3.1.3.13 and 3.1.3.14. This SOW includes the objectives of the work effort, a general description of the scope citing the methodologies to be used by the field teams to perform the data collection, a detailed breakdown of the tasks to be performed, associated deliverables and timeframes, planning, coordination, data review, report preparation and submittal, equipment purchases, rental and ownership and Project Management. The three-year work order associated with this SOW is designed to continue and enhance monitoring of populations of breeding wading birds in the south Florida ecosystem. Wading birds are a dominant predator in the GE region and represent a large part of the vertebrate biomass; breeding population responses are considered to be integrative and reflective of many aspects of the wetland habitat. Success and productivity of breeding is also predicted to improve, especially for two species specifically for which past information is available - Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) and Roseate Spoonbills (Ajaia ajaja). This SOW continues to build on an existing database of reproductive success and productivity information extending back to the 1960's for Wood Storks and to the 1930's for spoonbills and it continues a large and fruitful wading bird dataset which has already served as an early warning of the collapse of ecosystem function, the widespread contamination of the wetland biota with mercury, and the critical functions provided by droughts, to name a few.

The locations, timing and numbers of the wading bird colonies throughout the system are critical to evaluate the trophic hypothesis upon which restoration is centered. With reference to wading birds, this hypothesis states that more appropriate hydrology will generate both more dense populations of fishes and macroinvertebrates, and also create better conditions for making those prey available. In turn, these enhanced and more reliable foraging opportunities will result in more wading birds feeding and more of them breeding. A specific part of this hypothesis also predicts that because of the restoration of water flows to coastal regions, that nesting will be restored in the coastal areas. Without information on the numbers, locations, timing and success of birds nesting it will be very difficult to evaluate this string of predictions. This hypothesis also predicts that because of the restoration of water flows to coastal regions, that nesting will be restored in the coastal areas. Storks and spoonbills clearly did nest in large numbers in the coastal region and their reproduction can serve as a potent bell-weather of change in that region. Without information on success and productivity of nesting, it will be very difficult to evaluate this string of predictions.

It is important to note that the MAP activities here are underwritten to a large degree by activities on other projects. In both the freshwater Everglades and Florida Bay, the personnel, housing, transportation and boat costs incurred by completing tasks 1 and 3 will be largely covered via the colony monitoring studies in task 2 and 4. Ongoing and collaborative monitoring of wading bird nesting effort will be performed in Everglades National Park, and Water Conservation Areas (WCA) 1, 2, and 3 of the central and northern Everglades (funding through Mod Waters program, Corps, and annual funding of surveys in Everglades National Park (ENP) by ENP internal budget). Coverage of the south Florida ecosystem is clearly patchwork however, and incomplete data over a broad geographic area limits inferences about whether effects are system wide or local, and whether we are missing some important component of the population or dynamic that is integral to the management of the population - for example, in years when birds are not nesting in the central Everglades, are they nesting in Lake Okeechobee or Florida Bay? Do the components have ecological functions that are coordinated, or staggered in their ability to provide nesting habitat for wading birds? This work order will expand the coverage to Florida Bay, Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP), and Lake Okeechobee to help fill this void. Similarly, while annual aerial surveys have been standardized in ENP and the WCA's for some time, there have been few or no ground counts in colonies in ENP. The three-year work order associated with this SOW will complement existing aerial coverage in ENP with new ground coverage. In addition, this work order will fill and institutionalize a long- standing need for integration and standardization of data collection throughout this extremely large (5000 km2) study area, and will refine techniques for survey and estimation in heavily wooded areas.

The information about locations, timing and numbers of wading bird nesting produces products that are directly used to evaluate ecosystem recovery and management of the Everglades. The locations, timing, numbers, and species composition of wading birds nesting are parameters used directly in annual evaluations and five-year evaluations "CERP Report Card" of wading bird nesting.

This work order also links directly with other MAP projects. Ultimately, it is critical to evaluate whether the population of wading birds using the Everglades is successful enough in nesting to be able to replace itself, or whether it functions as a population sink. The results from wading bird colony investigations will be used along with wood stork and spoonbill nest success information, as critical inputs for population dynamic modeling in the existing individual-based models of wading bird populations.

The breeding information is also very important for other comparisons with population and geographic information on the wading birds. The numbers of wading birds nesting and location of colonies can be directly compared to the numbers of all wading birds in the ecosystem to understand the relationship of colonies to foraging areas - where are the breeding wading birds feeding, and are those the areas in which prey availability is maximized. The location information of colonies and foraging wading birds will also be used to identify "hotspots" of foraging so that those sites can be examined on a short-term basis to identify conditions that create foraging opportunities for wading birds. The breeding numbers can also be compared with numbers of wading birds using the ecosystem to get an index of the proportion of the population in the ecosystem that is actually nesting. This is critical to evaluating whether foraging areas are being used by breeding wading birds, and to evaluating whether the proportion of adults that nests is changing over time.

One direct test of the hydrology-secondary productivity-bird population hypothesis is whether breeding by the wading birds using the Everglades becomes successful enough in nesting for replacement to occur, or whether it functions (as it probably does now) as a population sink. To evaluate this, the nest success and productivity information (=fecundity) needs to be linked with demographic information (size of population breeding, numbers and species composition of nests, and individual survival information (currently funded project under Mod Waters through Corps for Wood Storks, project in development through USGS for spoonbills) as critical inputs for population dynamic modeling in the existing individual-based models of wading bird populations.

Under the work order associated with this SOW, monitoring will be accomplished through coordinated systematic aerial and ground surveys of wading birds during the breeding season (January through July). The surveys will focus on complete coverage of colonies containing large numbers (>25 pairs) of white-colored waders, and on accurately estimating the numbers of breeding pairs in those colonies. The small colonies of dark-colored species will not be surveyed except incidentally, since there is little historical information on dark-colored species with which to compare future responses. An important feature of this SOW is that the work effort will be overseen by a dedicated coordinator, who will be directly responsible for ensuring that survey methods, data collection and management are standardized throughout the region, and who will be primarily responsible for writing up a comprehensive, public access report in a timely fashion each year.

The work effort associated with the SOW will also develop and test techniques for adapting aerial survey techniques to the heavily vegetated areas of mangrove and cypress forest in ENP and BCNP. It will also develop and test new techniques to decrease estimation error of counts of nests, particularly in large dense colonies.

2. Objectives.

a. Provide for annual monitoring of size, location, and species composition of nesting aggregations by long-legged wading birds (Great Egrets, White Ibises, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Snowy Egrets) in new areas (Lake Okeechobee, BCNP, Holey Land, Rotenberger and Florida Bay) that complement ongoing survey efforts that are funded by others.

b. Provide annual quantitative information on nest success and nest productivity of Wood Storks and Roseate Spoonbills in the Everglades through repeat visits to marked individual nests in a variety of colonies in both fresh and saltwater areas of the Everglades.

c. Standardize methods and integrate results from all survey projects monitoring wading birds in the south Florida ecosystem.

d. Develop and refine systematic survey methods for nesting wading birds for National BCNP and mangrove regions of ENP. The work order associated with this SOW will initially test methods for survey in BCNP and the mangrove regions of ENP during the first year of study.

e. Provide an annual report with species-specific estimates of breeding wading birds in each colony. The wading bird monitoring information will: a) become part of the long-term database, b) become available to researchers and modelers, c) be used to assess whether the hydrology/trophic restoration hypothesis is valid, and d) be used to assess the system-wide dynamics of populations of storks and spoonbills. Monitoring from this SOW will consist of quantitative information and qualitative descriptions of nest success and productivity, and will be published as a annual paper and electronic report, a summary report, and as a part of the public-access Wading Bird Nesting Report, which will be available online.

3. Scope of Work.

a. Species Monitored: Species for which there exist the best historical comparisons in one or more of the parameters of interest are: Wood Storks, White Ibises, Roseate Spoonbills, Snowy Egrets, and Great Egrets. These five species span a range of trophic levels, prey sizes, and foraging techniques used. In addition, these are all white- or light-colored species, which present the least difficulties for monitoring. Dark-colored species (Great Blue Herons, Little Blue Herons, Tricolored Herons, Glossy Ibises) are considered less useful for monitoring because there is little quantitative historical (pre-drainage or 1930's) information against which we can compare future responses, and because these species are much more difficult and expensive to survey accurately.

b. Timing and Frequency of Monitoring: Monitoring will be done annually between January and late June of each year, with the exception of Florida Bay (November through June). However, there is the possibility that monitoring in the mainland areas will need to be expanded if Wood Storks begin nesting earlier than January. Evidence of early nesting (eggs or young) is likely to be discovered on January surveys, and timing of surveys can be adjusted accordingly.

c. Monitoring Techniques: Information on nest success and productivity of Wood Stork and Roseate Spoonbill, will be collected from repeat visits to a large sample of individually identifiable nests, as well as (in the case of storks) helicopter surveys of productivity. Nest success will be expressed using both traditional and Mayfield methods. Other reproductive parameters will be clutch size, hatchability, brood size and numbers of young produced per nest start.

d. Refinement of Survey and Counting Methods: Aerial counts are also likely to be affected strongly by timing of nesting, and degree of synchrony within the colony. This is because surveys are a snapshot of numbers at any one time, and do not take into account nests which may have started and failed in between survey dates, and may confuse nests that are overlapping in time with single nests. One way to estimate this error is to measure degree of synchrony within colonies, which can be done by regular nest censuses throughout the breeding season. Although time-consuming, this work is probably very necessary for accurate censusing, and can be efficacious if focused on the very largest colonies. For the largest colonies that are accessible, we will establish regular nest census (once per week) trails through the colonies to estimate turnover. Aerial counts are also affected by vegetation, sometimes resulting in errors of over 40%. Error estimation can be achieved through the use of quadrates that are marked so that they can be seen and counted from both air and ground. This allows estimation of the true numbers of birds.

e. Timing, Location and Size of Nesting Events:

1) For Wood Storks, nest success will be monitored for a minimum of two colonies each year by documenting success at individual nests through repeated ground visits. Visits will be weekly, and all nests on an established transect will be monitored (probably 40 nests at minimum per colony). This information will yield clutch size, nest success rate, hatching rate, and young per nest start. In addition, helicopter censuses will be performed at one or more points during the nestling period at all active colonies, and numbers of large, standing young per nest will be counted. This yields young per successful nest, which is directly comparable with measures from several years in the 1960s and 1970s. Young per nest start will be calculated by using the total number of estimated starts in each colony as the denominator. Stork nesting may occur anywhere in the mainland Everglades, including freshwater and coastal locations.

2) For Roseate Spoonbills, the two largest colonies within each sub-region of Florida Bay will be used to estimate nesting success. Survey transects will be established in each of these colonies so that representative samples of nests can be monitored. On the initial visit, 25 to 50 nests will be marked with numbered plastic tags (unless a colony has less than 25 nests, in which case all nests will be marked) and the number of eggs per nest counted. Each colony will be visited approximately every ten days and the contents of each nest recorded. Information on clutch size, duration of nesting, reproductive success and cause of nest failure will be collected for each nest. Nests will be monitored until failure or until all surviving chicks reach >21 days of age. All nests with chicks >21 days of age will be considered a successful nesting attempt (fledged).

f. Area Monitored. The geographic area monitored will include Florida Bay, mangrove estuaries and freshwater marshes of Everglades National Park, and marshes of Rotenberger and Holey Land, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Lake Okeechobee.

1) Florida Bay-Colony Surveys. Spoonbill and ibis nests are generally located in dense red mangrove stands and are not generally visible from outside the colony. Therefore, all possible colony locations must be visited by field personnel in order to get an accurate nest count for Florida Bay. These surveys are labor intensive and physically grueling. All islands that were previously reported to have had nesting colonies will be surveyed monthly during the nesting season and the number of nests counted. While traversing Florida Bay by boat, locations of Roseate Spoonbill and White Ibis activity will be investigated for new nesting sites. In an attempt to minimize any impact, full surveys of colonies will not begin until late in the incubation period, well after the birds are settled into the nesting cycle. Furthermore, field personnel will attempt to limit the time in an individual colony to less than 1 hour whenever possible and colonies will only be entered during mild climatic conditions.

2) Inland Freshwater Marshes. Methods used to monitor populations must be adapted to specific habitats. The main techniques used in the past in the freshwater marsh sections of the study area have been systematic aerial survey followed by ground visits and in some cases ground counts at the larger colonies. A combination of these techniques is essential to systematically locate and estimate the size of colonies. However, ground count efforts and frequency of survey should be focused on the largest colonies of each species. Analysis of past years suggests that 90% of nesting birds are found on average in 3 colonies (Wood Storks), 4 colonies (White Ibises), 7 (Snowy Egrets) and 33 colonies (Great Egrets). Since large colonies are usually multi-specific, the number of colonies intensively monitored may be considerably smaller than the simple sum of the species specific averages above. Although a large number of colonies must be surveyed to discover 90% of Great Egrets, this species is probably the most accurately surveyed using aerial techniques, and so requires the least ground truthing effort. Recent research has suggested that aerial counts of large colonies can be improved considerably (reduction of error of 50%) through the use of aerial photography followed by later counts of those photos, so photos will be taken of all colonies. Aerial surveys will be flown in east-west transects spaced 1.6 nautical miles apart in a Cessna 182 at 100 knots airspeed and 800 feet altitude, and one observer on each side of the aircraft. These conditions have been shown to produce overlapping areas of coverage on adjacent transects in the open country of the central Everglades; transect spacing will likely be reduced in the more densely vegetated Big Cypress and mangrove regions. Since birds do not nest in areas without surface water, only areas with at least transitional surface water conditions at the time of survey will actually be flown.

3) Big Cypress National Preserve. These techniques may be adaptable to the more heavily wooded Big Cypress region through closer spacing of transects. As part of this wading bird monitoring plan, an empirical determination of the efficacy and cost of surveys in Big Cypress will be performed during 2004 as a pilot project. Since Big Cypress is often dry for some or all of the nesting season, surveys may not be necessary in some years in this unit.

4) Mainland mangrove estuary. In the mainland mangrove estuary aerial survey techniques work less well, but remain the best tool for detecting new colonies of white colored birds. Transect spacing will be empirically developed for the mangrove habitat (similar to Big Cypress, above) before routine surveys are continued in this region.

g. Coordination of Project. This SOW is for monitoring wading bird areas that span over 5,000 square miles, and requires the coordination of several teams from USGS and NPS-ENP in order to effectively accomplish the tasks. One person from the USGS-University of Florida (UF) team will be designated the work order POC to ensure coordination of all data collection, including survey methods, timing of surveys, and results for publication of the annual nesting reports. This person will most likely work with the personnel from all field teams to accomplish this goal.

4. Work Breakdown Structure.

a. Introduction. The results of the work performed under this statement of work will be used to develop the cumulative finds of the AAT System Status Annual Reports. These annual reports will be used by the AAT to develop a RECOVER Technical Report at five-year intervals, as pursuant to the regulations [Section 385.31 (b)(4)]. This Technical Report presents an assessment of whether the goals and purposes of the CERP are being achieved. The Report will also include an assessment of whether the Interim Goals and Interim Targets are being achieved or likely to be achieved and evaluating whether corrective actions should be considered based on scientific findings of system-wide or regional ecological needs. The Principal Investigator(s) (PI) will be required to work with the AAT Modules Chair to assist in the development of the AAT System Status Annual Report and asked to include their participation as a task in this work breakdown structure. Additionally, the following reporting guidance is offered by AAT to the principal investigator(s):

1) Evaluate Ability to Detect Change - PI Level
a) Describe the results of the power analysis for the sampling design.
b) Determine the minimum detectable difference of the power analysis, and its associated confidence and uncertainty.
c) Describe changes in the MAP sampling design and its implications for the power analysis and the minimum detectable difference.

2) Establish Reference Condition - PI Level
a) Describe the non-MAP data sources, if any, used in the assessment. If non-MAP data were used, did the data meet the guidance criteria? If the non-MAP data were used and did not meet the guidance criteria, provide a rationale to justify the inclusion of the data.
b) Describe how representative the data are in space and time.
c) Describe the approaches used to address measuring variability.
d) Enter the data into the CERPP-Zone and update Module Group

3) Measure Change from Reference Condition - PI Level
a) Describe the methods used to estimate the direction and magnitude of change in performance measures from the reference state both annually and back-cast for multiple years.
b) Compare current status of the PM with its desired trend or target.
c) Evaluate consistency of monitoring results with MAP hypotheses.
d) Determine if there are indications of unanticipated events and describe how they are affecting the desired outcome.

4) Annual Integration of Performance Measures (PM) To Evaluate Module Hypotheses - Module Group Level
a) Annually integrate multiple PMs to provide an assessment of module level hypotheses.
b) Describe the direction and magnitude of change in the integrated performance measures, and determine if the changes are consistent with expected responses described in the CERP hypotheses.
c) If the trends do not correspond to expected responses provide scientific explanation.
d) Evaluate progress toward achieving module-level Interim Goals and Interim Targets.

5) System-Wide Performance Evaluation - AAT Level
a) Synthesize findings across-modules and across years to provide a holistic description of the status of the system.
b) Evaluate the results in relationship to; supporting system level hypotheses and achieving system-wide Interim Goals and Interim Targets.
c) Summarize those system-wide changes that are consistent with goals and hypotheses and those that are not.
d) Provide a scientific discussion of why the goals and hypotheses are not being achieved.

b. Task Descriptions.

1) Task 1 - Estimate numbers of nests, timing and locations of nesting colonies in Florida Bay.

Deliverable - Annual wading bird nesting report, which includes location and species-specific estimates of nesting activity in each colony in the region; this report will be part of the integrated Wading Bird Nesting report. Final report will include information collected in all years of study.

Timeframe - Begin in November of each year of study, end in June of each year of study. Annual and final report due July 30 of each year of monitoring

2) Task 2 - Estimate numbers of nests, timing and location of nesting in colonies in Big Cypress National Preserve and develop and test transect spacing in cypress and mangrove habitat.

Deliverable - Annual wading bird nesting report, which includes location and species-specific estimates of nesting activity in each colony in the region; this report will be part of the integrated Wading Bird Nesting report. Final report will include information collected in all years of study. Note that this will include specific information on efficacy of various transect spacing in mangrove and cypress habitat.

Timeframe - Begin in January of each year of study, end in June of each year of study. Annual and final report due July 30 of each year of monitoring

3) Task 3 - Estimate numbers of nests, timing and location of nesting in colonies in Lake Okeechobee.

Deliverable - Annual wading bird nesting report, which includes location and species-specific estimates of nesting activity in each colony in the region; this report will be part of the integrated Wading Bird Nesting report. Final report will include information collected in all years of study.

Timeframe - Begin in January of each year of study, end in June of each year of study. Annual and final report due July 30 of each year of monitoring

4) Task 4 - Provide ground-truthing of aerial surveys in Everglades National Park.

Deliverable - Annual wading bird nesting report, which includes location and species-specific estimates of nesting activity in each colony in the region; this report will be part of the integrated Wading Bird Nesting report. Final report will include information collected in all years of study.

Timeframe - Begin in November of each year of study, end in June of each year of study. Annual and final report due July 30 of each year of monitoring

5) Task 5 - Monitor nest success and productivity of Wood Storks.

Deliverable - Annual, summary and final Wood Stork reports containing quantitative information on nest success, clutch size, brood size, hatchability and numbers of young per nest start.

Timeframe - Reproductive information will be collected between January and July of each year. Annual reports are due on August 30 of each year. Summary reports (containing information from all years of study) are due on September 30 of final year of the work order. Note that this task relies on colony survey and monitoring information provided by Tasks 1, 2, and 3.

6) Task 6 - Monitor nest success and productivity of Roseate Spoonbills.

Deliverable - Annual, summary and final Roseate Spoonbill reports containing quantitative information on nest success, clutch size, brood size, hatchability and numbers of young per nest start.

Timeframe - Reproductive nest success information will be collected from November through June of each year. Annual reports are due by August 30 of each year. Summary reports (containing information from all years of study) are due on September 30 of final year of the work order. Note that this task relies on colony survey and monitoring information provided by tasks 1, 2, and 3.

c. Relationships of Tasks 1-6: All six tasks in this SOW are integral to the main deliverable annual and final summary reports.

1) The work order associated with Task 1 will be accomplished by utilizing the Interagency Agency between Department of the Army (DA) and NPS-ENP and a cooperative agreement between NPS-ENP and Audubon Society of Florida.

2) The work order associated with Task 2 will be accomplished by utilizing the Memorandum of Agreement between DA and USGS and a cooperative agreement between USGS and the UF.

3) The work order associated with Task 3 will be accomplished by utilizing the Interagency Agency between DA and NPS-ENP and a cooperative agreement between NPS-ENP and Florida Atlantic University (FAU).

4) The work order associated with Task 4 will be accomplished by utilizing the Memorandum of Agreement between DA and USGS and a cooperative agreement between USGS and the UF.

5) The work order associated with Task 5 will be accomplished by utilizing the Memorandum of Agreement between DA and USGS and a cooperative agreement between USGS and the UF.

6) The work order associated with Task 6 will be accomplished by utilizing the Interagency Agency between DA and NPS-ENP and a cooperative agreement between NPS-ENP and Audubon Society of Florida.

d. Coordination, Data Review and Planning: The work orders associated with this SOW continue to build upon a well defined and reviewed dataset, and involve partners (USGS, NPS-ENP, UF, FAU, and AFL) that have worked together on similar surveys for over 10 years. A planning meeting will be held in late April or early May of 2004 at some location in south Florida to ensure that field methods, data collection and data management are standardized. A detailed work plan will be developed at that meeting for the 2004 field investigations. Note Task 4 will focus on the detectability of colonies, not nests. Provided NTP is given early in 2004, Task 4 should begin in early 2004, and continued (if necessary) through June of 2005.

e. Data Collection and Ground-Truthing: Details for the data collection in Tasks 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 are found in Section C, subparagraphs 1 through 10 above. For the development of transect spacing in Task 4, the basic idea is to empirically establish transect spacing that are appropriate for the heavier cover in mangrove and cypress woods. This can be done by flying naive observers by known active colonies at decreasing horizontal distances until the colonies are consistently detected. If wading birds do not nest in these areas, it may be necessary to establish randomly spaced artificial colonies, composed of white objects such as pizza boxes in trees. A minimum of six colonies will be located in this fashion, using a minimum of four observers; since visibility changes radically in the cypress forest with leaf-out. Detectability estimates will be accomplished in both winter (January and February) and late spring (April/May). The analysis of these data will focus on the repeatability and variance in distances at which various colonies are detected.

f. Reports: Annual reports generated by work order tasks will integrate information from all components of this SOW. It will contain information on the numbers of wood stork and roseate spoonbill nests, the timing and size of wading bird nesting, the location of nesting, and the rough success of entire colonies for all colonies in the south Florida ecosystem, including Florida Bay, ENP, the WCA's, BCNP and Lake Okeechobee. The final report will contain information from all years in the work orders associated with this SOW.

g. Equipment purchase, Rental, and Ownership: Trucks, boats, computers and other capital expense items are included in the cost proposals associated with this SOW. Since the work order associated with this SOW is long-term (3 years) in nature, and possibly funded in future years, it is considered more cost effective to purchase equipment than to rent or lease these items even through the life expectancy of some vehicles and boats is likely to be >5 years in some cases. Ownership of all trucks, boats, computers and other capital expense items purchased under work orders associated with this SOW will become property of the government (USGS or NPS-ENP) at the conclusion of the work order.

5. Project Management.

a. Statement of Work Change Control. Changes in the SOW must be requested by the Principle Investigator(s) team leader in writing, with supporting justification. Any requested changes in the SOW will require, on the part of the contracting entity, submission of an updated project work plan with supporting detail, updated scheduling, and budget information. No changes to the SOW will occur without permission from the RECOVER Adaptive Assessment Team (AAT) tri-chairs. Any delays or changes in the project scheduling and budget will require consultation with the RECOVER AAT. If the original SOW requires any approved changes, USGS or NPS-ENP must include documentation of these scope changes in the "lessons learned" section of the final report.

In addition, for multi-year projects in which the results of each year's work can or will modify what happens in the subsequent years of the contract/project, the annual report can or will provide a summary of work completed to date and proposed revisions to the future schedule of tasks/deliverables.

b. Data Management. USGS will designate one person from the University of Florida team as the POC for all work order tasks to ensure coordination of the data for publication of the annual and final reports. Submission of all data is required for work order closeout. Data formatting, analysis, and delivery will be required to meet all CERP data management standards that can be obtained from the CERP Data Management Program Managers. Any data derived from the work orders will be provided to the AAT at predetermined intervals and be made publicly available or available to the MAP coordinator at the conclusion of the work order.

c. Quality Control and Assurance. The work plan will include a quality assurance plan in order to determine which quality control and quality assurance procedures are appropriate for each project (e.g., QASR, FDEP standards). Methods used for each task should be selected based upon the following criteria (if appropriate): cost-benefit analysis, flowchart diagram of the system process, and determination of the best statistical experimental design. The burden of proof of compliance with standardized quality control and assurance procedures is the responsibility of the USGS and/or ENP. In the case where there are not standardized methods for quality control and assurance, the USGS and/or ENP must prove that the suggested methodologies are rigorous. Citation of peer-reviewed and published methods may be used to support this documentation.

d. Status Reporting: Regular progress reports will be made to the Module Group Chair and AAT team as deemed by the task list. Reports will be written (verbal reports are not acceptable). Informal reports regarding status of permits needed for the project or timely progress of field work or those that describe the completion of specific tasks may be transmitted via email or fax. Reports that include any type of data analysis, datasets, and formal quarterly or interim reports will also be sent via electronic mail; however, signed hard copies with data attached in appropriate format must be mailed to the project manager.

e. Lessons Learned. The causes of variances in the statement of work, project scheduling and budgeting, the reasoning behind any corrective action, as well as, any other lessons learned will be documented in the final project report. These lessons learned will become part of the historical database for this project and other RECOVER projects.



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