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University of Wyoming


Sampling Design: Comparison to a reference condition

Similar to the reference site approach, this approach compares the project site to a cumulative data set comprised of all reference quality sites found in the same eco-region, watershed, or sub watershed. Chemical, physical, and/or biological conditions exhibiting a high degree of variation between reference quality sites are generally discounted. The best situations to use this approach are those chemical, physical, and/or biological conditions that are consistent among reference sites but are clearly influenced by human activities.