Riverscapes Report Card - BRAT 4.3.2

BRAT is one of several tools developed by the Riverscapes Consortium. This report card communicates BRAT’s compliance with the Riverscape Consortium’s published tool standards.

Report Card Summary

Tool BRAT - Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool
Version 4.3.2 (experimental, not an official release)
Date 2021-11-22
Assessment Team Bailey, Wheaton & Gilbert
Current Assessment production Production Grade
Target Status commercial Commercial Grade
Riverscapes Compliance Compliant Compliant
Assessment Rationale BRAT has been applied extensively throughout the Western US and in the UK. It has been used extensively to inform policy and planning and state-wide, regional and watershed extents, but also to inform restoration planning and design at the reach-scale. Others have applied the model, but for the most part it has been implemented by the USU ETAL team. It’s wide use, scalability, and documentation result in a Production Grade.

Report Card Details

This tool’s discrimination evaluation by the Riverscapes Consortium’s is:

Evaluation Key: None or Not Applicable: • Minimal or In Progress: • Functional: • Fully Developed:

Criteria Value Evaluation Comments and/or Recommendations
Tool Interface(s) : CLI = Command Line Interface Tool is two primary command line commands that specify inputs and use lookup tables for parameterization. The tables contain information specific to freely available US data, but can be extended to contain other data.
Scale Network (reach scale resolution, watershed extent) This tool has been applied across entire states, regions and watersheds, resolving detail down to 250 m to 300 m length reaches of riverscape.
Language(s) and Dependencies Python Python package dependencies are open source.
Vetted in Peer-Reviewed Literature Yes. Macfarlane et al. (2015) The existing capacity model is vetted, and the historical capacity model is well described. The version in the publication is 2.0, but the capacity model is basically the same in 3.0. Many of the risk, beaver management, conservation and restoration concepts have not yet been vetted in scholarly literature but have been applied, tested and vetted by many scientists and managers across the US and UK.
Source Code Documentation Available at Github Source code is clearly organized and documented
Open Source open-source with GNU General Public License v 3.0  
User Documentation Documentation is in progress. Previous versions were thoroughly documented but much of that documentation is out of date with the current version. New, updated documentation for sqlBRAT is currently in progress.
Easy User Interface Tool is accessed via command prompt. Most BRAT runs right now are performed by North Arrow Research analysts. For a user to run this version of the tool themselves would require advanced understanding (programming capability) and significant documentation on the process.
Scalability Batch processing The tool is typically batch processed at the HUC 8 level
Produces Riverscapes Projects Yes BRAT is now producing Riverscapes Projects that are fully-compatible with RAVE, but some changes to curation and business logic are still being made

Tool Output Utility

Criteria Value Evaluation Comments
RAVE- Compliant Riverscapes Projects Yes  
RAVE Business Logic Defined Yes Business logic is defined, but undergoing minor changes and not finalized for a release
Riverscapes Projects hosted in public-facing Riverscapes Warehouse(s) Yes. Current BRAT runs are being housed in the Riverscapes Warehouse. There is data in the warehouse, but is provisional and wider access to the warehouse is forthcoming
Riverscapes Projects connected to Web-Maps Current projects are viewable in WebRAVE through the Riverscapes Warehouse. A DataBasin entry exists for Utah BRAT All old data sets should be made Web Map accessible and clear about what version they were produced from and what years they correspond to (i.e. Riverscapes Project metadata)
Riverscapes Projects connected to Field Apps Not publicly. Some simple Arc Data Collector field apps have been used, but they are not reliable, scalable or deployable to external audiences. Workflows and forms are well tested and vetted. This needs funding to develop as commercial, professional-grade reliable web app.

Developer Intent

The current (unreleased) Production Grade version of BRAT will improve on previous versions by:

  • Having an inviting web-map interface so non GIS-users can discover BRAT runs and explore them and interrogate them.
  • Making it easy for GIS users to download BRAT for use in RAVE with Riverscapes Projects
  • Allowing discovery of past BRAT runs in Warehouse
  • Presenting transparent ranking of level of BRAT model curation or dataset rank and facilitating community commenting

The BRAT development team are in the process of building a Commercial Grade version of BRAT, which would additionally:

  • Encourage more user-interaction with BRAT outputs and crowd-sourcing of information to create ownership of outputs
  • Allow users to visualize dynamic outputs of BRAT through time
  • Allow users to upload their own BRAT projects
  • Allow users to provide their own inputs locally (@ a reach) and produce local realizations.
  • Allow users to upload (or make) their own beaver dam and activity observations
  • Facilitate users paying modest prices (i.e. commercial) to have new runs or more carefully curated (validated, resolved, etc.) for a specific watershed and then share them with broader community

This report card is for a current, beta version of a Production Grade version of BRAT (sqlBRAT with no release yet), which will be necessary to support the Commercial Grade product.

If you share this vision, get in touch with the developers to support/fund the effort.

The Riverscapes Consortium’s Technical Committee provides report cards for tools either deemed as “riverscapes-compliant or “pending riverscapes-compliance.