The Southwest Network Collaboration
The Southwest Network Collaboration (SWNC) is a joint effort between the Sonoran Desert Network, Chihuahuan Desert Network, and Southern Plains Network to share not only monitoring protocols, but also data collection and reporting duties. The goal of the SWNC is to improve effectiveness and efficiency across all three networks.
Under the SWNC, the three networks, in varying combinations of two or three, share protocols, training, data management, and reporting responsibilities for eight different protocols: air quality, climate, invasive exotic plants, uplands, groundwater, landbirds, and surface water (streams and seeps/springs/tinajas). A complete breakdown of which protocols and responsibilities are shared among which networks can be found at the SWNC SharePoint site (NPS only).Field crews are not shared across networks, with the exception of one Sonoran Desert Network staff member who conducts streams monitoring in Southern Plains Network parks, and whose expenses while doing that monitoring are covered by Southern Plains Network. However, for protocols shared across networks, the methods and datasheets used by field crews are uniform, and the data for all networks collaborating on a given protocol are stored by a single designated network. In most cases, analysis and reporting duties are similarly assigned to a single network. Information distribution is also consolidated under the SWNC, as most SWNC protocols, reports, and other information products are hosted by the Learning Center of the American Southwest.