National Park Service

Chihuahuan Desert Network (CHDN)

The Southwest Network Collaboration

The Southwest Network Collaboration (SWNC) is a joint effort between three natural resource inventory & monitoring programs in the National Park Service (NPS): Chihuahuan Desert Network, Sonoran Desert Network, and Southern Plains Network. Through this collaboration, the programs share monitoring protocols as well as data collection and reporting duties. The goal of the SWNC is to improve effectiveness and efficiency across all three networks.

Under the SWNC, the networks, in varying combinations, share protocols, training, data management, and reporting responsibilities for eight different protocols: air quality, climate, invasive exotic plants, groundwater, landbirds, surface water (streams and seeps/springs/tinajas), and terrestrial vegetation & soils, as well as mammal monitoring with trailmaster cameras. 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 shared across the programs. For example, the Sonoran Desert Network's aquatic ecology crew conducts streams monitoring in Southern Plains Network parks, with their expenses paid by the Southern Plains Network. For protocols shared across programs, the methods and datasheets used by field crews are uniform. Data management duties are shared among the three program data management staff members. The data for all programs collaborating on a given protocol are stored in a central database accessible to all of the networks. In most cases, analysis and reporting duties are assigned to a single network.

SWNC map

Southwest Network Collaboration networks and parks.


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