VSP is a software tool that supports the development of a defensible sampling plan based on statistical sampling theory and the statistical analysis of sample results to support confident decision making. VSP couples site, building, and sample location visualization capabilities with optimal sampling design and statistical analysis strategies. VSP is currently focused on design and analysis for the following applications.
* Environmental Characterization and Remediation * Environmental Monitoring and Stewardship * Response and Recovery of Chemical/Biological/Radiation Terrorist Event * Footprint Reduction and Remediation of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Sites * Sampling of Soils, Buildings, Groundwater, Sediment, Surface Water, Subsurface Layers.
VSP is a tool that helps ensure that the right type, quality, and quantity of data are gathered to support confident decisions and provides statistical evaluations of the data with decision recommendations. Developed with support from DOE, EPA, DoD, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the United Kingdom, VSP has more than 5000 users. VSP has many sampling design and statistical analysis modules focused on soils, sediments, surface water, streams, groundwater, buildings, and unexploded ordnance sites. Many statistical sampling designs are available including random, systematic, sequential, adaptive cluster, collaborative, stratified, transect, multi-increment, combined judgment/probabilistic, and rank set sampling. VSP is being recommended by many regulators for defensible sampling design and statistical analysis.
The underlying methodology employs statistically defensible approaches and has strong Data Quality Objectives (DQO) Process underpinnings. The objective is to ensure that the right type, quality, and quantity of data are gathered to support confident decisions.
It allows real-time evaluation of the tradeoffs between increased confidence in decisions and costs or number of samples required. VSP answers the questions of how many samples are required and where samples should be obtained. Designed for the non-statistician, VSP is organized around the possible data uses. Before developing a data-gathering plan, each user must determine what they will do with the data to support their decision-making process.
This review is based on working through the tutorials that come with VSP and some limited experimenting with other datasets.
VSP is a powerful program for designing samples that has a lot of different functions for designing statistically-rigorous sampling schemes. It was originally developed for measuring and monitoring things like environmental pollutants, site contamination, and unexploded ordinance, but it could have uses for rangeland applications - especially for smaller, well defined areas like pastures or even allotments.
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