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Lesser, Virginia M. & Kalsbeek, William D. (1997). A Comparison of Periodic Survey Designs Employing Multi-Stage Sampling. Environmental and Ecological Statistics, 4(2), 117-130.


Sampling designs considered for a national scale environmental monitoring programme are compared. Specifically, design strategies designed to monitor one aspect of this environmental programme, agro-ecosystem health, are assessed. Two types of panel survey designs are evaluated within the framework of two-stage sampling. Comparisons of these designs are discussed with regard to precision, cost, and other issues that need to be considered in planning long-term surveys. To compare precision, the underlying variance of a simple estimator of mean difference is derived for each of the two designs. A variance and cost model accounting for the different rotational sampling schemes across designs are developed. Optimum stage allocation for each design are assessed with the variance-cost models. The best choice of design varied with the conditions underlying the variance model and the degree of other sources of survey error expected in the programme.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Environmental and Ecological Statistics


Lesser, Virginia M.
Kalsbeek, William D.