Expert Reviews

Understanding Transect's Expert Review Process

When running a report in Transect, you can request an Expert Review to ensure that the data in your report is accurate and reflects real-world conditions. 

Table of Contents:

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. While Transect's technology automates much of the data analysis, there are certain nuances that require human expertise. Expert Reviews bridge this gap, providing an extra layer of confidence in your report's accuracy.

Transect's Specialists will conduct these reviews to verify the following information:

  • Habitat Characteristics: Transect utilizes data such as land cover, soils, geology, and waterways to evaluate onsite habitat characteristics for protected species. Occasionally, discrepancies arise between the data and real-world conditions depicted in aerial imagery. The Expert Review process ensures that Transect addresses these inconsistencies. For example, the National Wetlands Inventory dataset may indicate a wetland on a project site, but aerial imagery reveals that the wetland has been converted into agricultural land. In such cases, the Expert Review will amend the habitat characteristic from "wetlands" to "croplands" to accurately reflect the current conditions. Consequently, species dependent on wetland habitats will receive a "Not Likely to Occur" status, while those relying on croplands will be designated as "Species of Concern".
  • Regulations and Permits: Regulations and permits are added or removed from a report using a combination of the context question answers, the geography of the project, and onsite data and characteristics. The Expert Review confirms that the regulations and permits presented in the report accurately reflect the project's context and onsite characteristics.
  • Concern Level Conclusions: Any updates made to the habitat characteristics, regulations, and permits will also need to be reflected in the Executive Summary. The Expert Review confirms these Concern Levels and updates them to reflect any adjustments made during the 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 when answering the report's Context Questions. You'll use the dropdown to request an Expert Review, then click Save & Order Report.

If you did not select the option above to include an Expert Review during the creation process, you can follow these steps to change your selection:

  • Within the Executive Summary, select Supporting Resources & Docs on the left-side menu.
  • Click Essentials.
  • In the 'Would you like to include an expert review?' field, change the dropdown to Yes
  • Select Update Report Context.

Your report will now show the header that 'An expert review has not yet been completed for this report.'

When is an Expert Review conducted?

All Expert Reviews are conducted within 24 hours of a user's request. During this time, you can still access and view your report. While the Expert Review is pending, the following notification will display at the top of the Executive Summary of your Transect Report:

Screenshot 2024-02-02 at 3.40.36 PM

Once the Expert Review is complete, the following notification will be displayed at the top of the Executive Summary:

Screenshot 2024-02-02 at 3.43.20 PM

You will also receive an email letting you know when the Expert Review is complete.

How long does an Expert Review take?

All reviews for the 48 contiguous states are completed within 24 hours from request.  

Where can I see the changes made in the Expert Review?

During an Expert Review, the Transect Specialist will make changes directly to your report's Executive Summary.

To see what changes were made to your report, navigate to Supporting Docs & Resources > Essentials > Status. This will show any changes made to report fields with corresponding timestamps.   

Are Expert Reviews included in my subscription?

Yes, Expert Reviews are available for all Transect subscriptions.  

When might I opt out of an Expert Review?

You may not need an Expert Review if you are in the very early stages of your site selection process and verification of the regulations, species, or concern levels are not yet necessary. An Expert Review may also not be necessary if you are looking for data on contours, land cover class, or parcels.