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Methods Board "Mini" Meeting Minutes

10/23 and 10/24/2001

Madison Wisconsin


In person - Herb Brass, Charlie Peters, Chuck Spooner, Jerry Diamond, Larry Keith, Katherine Alben, Dan Sullivan, Abby Markowitz, James Boiani

By Phone - Gail Mallard, Bob Berger, Dennis McChesney, Geoffrey Ekechukwu, Julie Turell, Bernie Malo, Khuone Dhittavong, Al who?


Discussed input form updates, server stability issues, long-term server issues, and the probability that phase 3 will last a couple years with a phase four to follow.

Discussed peer review process, possible revisions to various options, and a beta test approach.

Discussed the tabs on the top of the page - The title database info is somewhat cryptic, instead add useful queries and keep the database info on the left side of the page. Include list of synonyms, approved methods, methods by source list, ATP list on the left side.

Discussed future content - develop a suggestions/wish list for phase 3 from Beta test and by adding a comments field on website, discussed Larry's NSF grant and how it will be a step toward the front end that can link the various Council products. Prepare a 2 nd NEMI paper - how NEMI fit's with DQO and PBMS processes. Consider an educational component to NEMI.

Discussed regulatory fields approach - provide a link to regulations (see EMMI), develop a list of approved methods as a part of NEMI - from regular query for an analyte? Include more detailed (EMMI) analyte specific reg info during phase 3.

Discussed Excel forms and on-line forms - will maintain excel spreadsheet for the near term. On-line security maintained by 2 tier approach, allow anyone to submit methods, develop a flow path for the review process, add a disclaimer about what criteria the methods must meet for inclusion in NEMI, include an indication of required fields in on-line forms.

Discussed method inclusion by organization - Try and get all of phase 2 info input by end of November or mid December.

Discussed relative cost info - definition of cost field should be clarified. Discussed adding field parameters/measurements or physico chemical measurements. Have nutrient work group provide a more complete list of nutrients for inclusion in NEMI (P, N, DO, etc). Where do various tracers fit in NEMI (SF6, He/H3, CFCs, etc). Mary and Julie check radiochemical categories - should be all inclusive.

Discussed possibly using ruggedness field for presence/absence versus enumeration (quantitation)

Discussed release date for NEMI - methods input and NEMI cleaned up by mid January. Actual release at time of Council meeting - Feb 4 th . Discussed beta testing approach - develop a survey for users to fill out - possibly on-line as a part of NEMI.

Discussed NEMI budget - need an extramural; status report, fully funded through phase 2, phase 3 - GS 25 K carry over from Klein, 25 K to NWQL for methods input, EPA - 25 K Herb, 25K Chuck, 2 program offices, in kind contributions, New $$ from Miller at usgs?

Look into easy to remember URL.

Action - provide NEDI link, outreach to NEDI developers , add method source/reg ling field/ descriptive name to Option 1, describe precision and accuracy info in more detail, use mouse overs and clickable links as possible, reduce # words used on each page, add reg search to options 1 and 3, develop and add a site map, make it so the option page comes to the fore when it opens, revise the tabs and organization of the left side of the page, add additional links, update links page font size, add a comments field on website develop a list of approved methods as a part of NEMI develop a flow path for the review process, contact Renee Parris (NIST), call ASTM computer folks - when will they input info, contact Teresa Smith (Hach) about who right person, James will put together a description of the cost development approach, get permission to use cleaned up URL. Nutrients workgroup needs to provide list of nutrients and methods - table 2 in Tetratech paper. DOE needs to review radiochemical categories. Add regulatory field and information for Biology methods. Develop NEMI review flow chart - include in NEMI. Develop a schedule for public release and what will be included at that time. Extramural budget ststus report. Determine GS/EPA funding for phase 3. Obtain approvals for NEMI.Gov URL.

Conference Planning

There will need to be iteration between track leads and authors to make papers fit conference. Track conference calls happening during next 2 weeks. Discussion sessions will be focused on themes. The Council should develop a framework to help guide the conference (discuss at plenary and by session moderators) and it's sessions - use to help sum up at theme sessions end of each day.

Discussed possibly combining tracks 2 and 3, and maybe 4 and 5.

Action - Send Gale the plenary conference call in info. Solicit papers from emerging contaminants meeting. Contact monitoring conferences to solicit abstracts. Charlie prepare an abstract for a framework workshop.

Peer Review

Discussed making sure Board products receive adequate review, both technically and operationally as needed by various organizations. Is there a distinction between types of review needed for types of products? Do web products need organizational review?

a document will be prepared to describe the review process for Board producst, include the WG formation (broad consensus), Board approval, Council approval, ACWi approval aspects, and relationship to internal communication framework. Bring to Next Council meeting.

Biology WQDEs

Discussed background and history, develop workgroup and chair, minimum "core set", use available data bases for compatibility check, use chemical and microbiology list as starting point, obtain broad consensus on list, develop outreach and pilot testing. Start with in-situ population and community, add toxicology where fits in either of 2 lists. Databases available - FWS, NAWQA, WDNR, FDEQ, EDAS, Maine, STORET, NOAA status and trends.

Action - develop invitation for membership, contact Banach for council contacts.

Outreach Strategic Planning

Abby presented powerpoint presentation. Discussed changes to the Board framework - arrow directions?

Brainstorm on applying strategic plan to PBMS - develop distribution list, roll COD and dog papers together for E,S &T, develop presentation, get the MDCB name out as a player in this field, train folks on the PBMS process, Put PBMS process in context.

Apply strategy to NEMI - objectives: MDCB name and mission out, this is a major step towards the mission, connect managers, field, lab, project investigators thinking in regards monitoring. How - ACWI and their constituents enlisted as a partner, EPA/USGS announcement, council and board approval, connect to States and TMDLs. "Use NEMI 1 st ", "Make Monitoring Easier", Strategy for NEMI at conference.

NEMI at the conference - workshop, track 1 DQO paper, track 3 overview/demo, on-line demo with poster (nuts and bolts, with flow chart of process), track 2 - future of NEMI (field + biology + triad).

Board and Council booth at conference. WI District and USGS booth at conference.

Have a Board and Council outreach conference call to determine how to best work together. Linda, Fred, Toni, Cliff, Chuck, Bob, Dennis, Abby, Charlie, Herb, Don, Jim, Tim.

Action - PBMS WG should use outreach strategy approach to determine what to do next with dog and pilot. Develop a checklist approach to make applying the strategy easier for workgroups - objectives, audience, etc. Letter to ACWI from Council co-chairs - inspire to transmit for use, talking ppt (10 slides), one page advertisement, federal register announcement, fact sheet on how to use, in NEMI instructions for use by various audiences, ask ACWI how audiences will use NEMI. Develop press release for list serves, emails, journals. Get Outreach strategy info to Council Outreach members. Present to WQTC in November. Abby will put NEMI abstract placeholders on-line.

New Technologies

Look into web site for information exchange. New technologies approach to NEMI, PBMS, WQDEs, Accreditation (similar to nutrients and biology workgroups). Role of Board must be value added - warehouse of information, move from research to frequent application, board involved in the prove out process (ETV, ATP programs), approach to move between technologies (e.g. antiquated nutrient methods), YSI/Hydroloab, etc into NEMI, remote sensing aspect, early warning technology hook for probes and sensors. Continue to establish contacts and generate interest. Develop a workgroup.

Board Business

Discussed sending letters to organizations to recognize significant contributions to Board efforts in addition to plaques when individuals leave the Board. Discussed quarterly progress reports - Tetratech draft to members and organizations - overview of activities, newsletter or newslist approach, hardcopy, web, perhaps biannual, with occasional updates. Discussed delegate solicitation and rotation - discuss excel spreadsheet at next meeting, develop a past member archive. Discussed travel administration. Discussed 2-month council/board chair conference calls - include in the process document. Discussed having Judi provide some administrative secretarial support and getting additional technical support

Discussed WG leadership:

Charlie - Biology, nutrients, outreach, WQDEs, Conference;

Herb - Accreditation, PBMS, NEMI, New technologies

Discussed WG chairs and support:

- Biology - Alben, Miller, Ingersoll, Francy , Diamond support, need a chair - Dichter, Barbara Hayes?

- WQDE - Patterson and Spooner - chem. And micro; need a chair - Biology WQDE

- Nutrients - Ed and Ron, TT support

- Outreach - Dennis and Bob, Markowitz support

- Accreditation - Bart and need a Fed (Bill Ingersoll?)

- PBMS - Cliff, Diamond support

- NEMI - Larry, Sullivan support

- New technologies - Alben

Next meeting - ask for feedback on 2 dates and locations, then select and set up 2/4 in Aluquerque and 2/11 in Tuscon. Council and Board meeting coordination - back to back, versus separate, vs at same place.

Discussed using a common file naming approach.

Action - follow up with workgroups for next steps/conference calls. Prepare next meeting agenda and call to reserve meeting space. Arrange for presentations in Aluquerque. Develop progress report approach with Tetratech. Fill various workgroup chair and support positions.

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