Data Interpretation

Interpreting the monitoring data that your group is collecting is an essential part of understanding your ecosystem. Communicating key findings from your data is necessary for continued stakeholder engagement as well as drawing attention to values and threats in your watershed.

The CMC service providers offer a variety of data interpretation and synthesis support based on the communication and data use goals of each monitoring group. Data Interpretation workshops are provided by a CMC service provider to all organizations within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed who have collected water quality and/or benthic monitoring data for at least one year. Organizations do not have to be a CMC member to participate in Data Interpretation Workshops.

All data tier can be used during the Data Interpretation process, however, only specific Tier 2 and Tier 3 data can be used to generate report cards.

Introductory Data Interpretation Workshops

Introductory workshops are focused on giving meaning to your data. They will help answer the objectives you’ve set out for your monitoring programs, including collecting baseline data, effectiveness of management actions on a system, and more. The workshops include:

  • Cleaning datasheets
  • Excel graphing and figure-making
  • PowerPoint slides and active titles
  • Key messages and storytelling

Report card production workshop

Report card workshops encompass the entire 5-step report card process from conceptualization to production of a report card for public dissemination. The 5-steps are:

  • Conceptualization
  • Choose indicators
  • Determine thresholds
  • Score data
  • Communicate results

Report card scoring and grading workshop

This paired down workshop focuses on scoring and grading water quality indicators into watershed score and grade. This grade can be used in a variety of digital or print media and does not include a full report card document with a communications plan.

  • Evaluation of water quality data for inclusion in report card score and grade
  • Assessment of data (scoring)
  • Summarized results to be used in multiple communications














report card example