Expert Reviews

Answers to common questions about Transect Expert Reviews.

In this article:

What is an expert review?

How do I request an expert review?

When are expert reviews conducted?

How long does it take for an expert review?

Are expert reviews included in my subscription?

Why might I choose not to get an expert review?

What is an Expert Review?

Transect's expert reviews verify the species habitat characteristics, regulations and permits, and concern level conclusions made in a report. A Transect Specialist conducts each review. 

Transect can make a lot of conclusions through with data rules and triggers, but there are a couple of things that technology still can't do perfectly - these are the items that are addressed as part of an expert review.

We discuss each below:

Habitat Characteristics: Transect uses data like land cover, soils, geology, and waterways to make assessments about onsite habitat characteristics for protected species. But sometimes real world conditions shown on aerial imagery don't match that data. The expert review ensures that Transect resolves any discrepancies between the data and aerial imagery. For instance, the National Wetlands Inventory dataset may depict a wetland on a project, but aerial imagery shows that the wetland has been converted into agricultural land.  In this case, the expert review would override "wetlands" as a habitat characteristic, and ensure that "croplands" is on instead. As a result, species that rely on wetland habitat will have a Not Likely to Occur status. Species that rely on croplands for their habitat will have a Species of Concern status.

Regulations and Permits: Regulations and permits are activated or deactivated in a report using a combination of the context questions answered by you when you create the report, the geography of the project, and onsite data/characteristics.  The expert review confirms that the regulations and permits presented in the report appropriately represent the project context and onsite/data characteristics.

Concern Level Conclusions: If any updates were made the habitat characteristics or regulations and permits, those changes need to be reflected in the Concern Level in the Executive Summary. The expert review confirms that the Concern Levels accurately reflect any changes made during the expert review.

An expert review will almost always make the report more precise. A report that has not been expert reviewed is still correct, but may be more conservative in its conclusions.

How do I request an expert review?

Expert reviews are requested as part of the context questions when you order your report.

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If you did not request an expert review during report creation, but you would like one, no problem. Please use the help chat button to request that an expert review is conducted for your report.

When is an Expert Review conducted?

Expert reviews are conducted after a user requests an expert review when creating a report. You don't have to wait on the expert review to check out your report; you get access to your report as soon as the report is complete. While the expert review is pending, the following notification will display at the top of the Executive Summary of your Transect Report:

Once the expert review is complete, the following notification will display at the top of the Executive Summary:

You will also receive an email notifying you when the expert review is complete.

How long does it take for an expert review?

The length of time for an expert review depends on if the project is in an instant state or two business day state.  Reviews are completed within 24 hours for instant states and within two business days for non-instant states.

Check here for state availability.

Are expert reviews included in my subscription?

Yes, expert reviews are available for all Transect subscriptions.  

Why might I choose no expert review?

You might not want an expert review if you are in the very early stages of your site selection and expert verification the regulation, species, and concern levels is not yet necessary.  Or, you may be seeking data other than regulations, species, or concern levels, such as contours, land cover class, or parcels. These datasets do not require expert review.