HEAT - Habitat Evaluation and Assessment Tools for Effective Environmental Evaluations: User's Guide
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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Rapidly assessing changing habitat conditions and the evaluation of the effects these changes have on species, communities and ecosystems must be determined by planners, resource managers, and biologists when comparing environmental design alternatives. Many techniques e.g., population assessments, qualitative matrices, life-history modeling, and habitat evaluation techniques have been developed to investigate and predict environmental impacts on ecological systems at numerous scales with varying degrees of success. Advances in technology have led many agencies to automate and distribute automated environmental evaluation tools to users. The value and validity of these packages depends greatly on their objectivity, repeatability, and efficiency. To guarantee their consistent use, these systems must be easy to apply, cost-effective, and instantly responsive. The Habitat Evaluation and Assessment Tools HEAT software was developed to provide a user-friendly intuitive, flexible, and efficient means to conduct Habitat Evaluation Procedures HEP and the Hydrogeomorphic Approach to Wetland Assessments HGM, using Microsoft Windows programming capabilities. HEAT operates on a personal computer with a 486 or better processor, using readily available commercial software. Two modules within HEAT, namely EXHEP EXpert Habitat Evaluation Procedures and EXHGM EXpert HydroGeoMorphic Approach to Wetland Assessments, calculate outputs for with-project conditions comparing these to baseline and without-project conditions. HEAT accommodates a variety of data input and output files incorporates a broad range of user-specified index models allows customization of outputs and dramatically reduces computation time. This document is a Users Guide, intended to provide both a step-by-step protocol for completing a HEP andor an HGM analysis using the software, and an illustration of this softwares effectiveness in the evaluation of contemporary index models.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Environmental Health and Safety