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MnRAM 3.3 Database Training. Visual Quick Start User Manual. Database information Downloading MnRAM software Getting started entering data Overview of reports Using MnRAM highlights Field/office procedures List of all questions Step by step through all the questions.

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Mnram 3 3 database training

MnRAM 3.3 Database Training

Visual Quick Start User Manual

Contents of this slideshow

Database information

Downloading MnRAM software

Getting started entering data

Overview of reports

Using MnRAM highlights

Field/office procedures

List of all questions

Step by step through all the questions

Contents of this slideshow


  • 3.3 is in beta release—not yet fully tested (although much improved over 3.2).

  • Your comments are welcome.

  • If you don’t see a soil type, watershed, or other item you expect in a drop-down list, contact us.

  • MnRAM is being improved all the time. Planning for Version 4.0 has already begun.

Downloading mnram 3 3
Downloading MnRAM 3.3

<Save> the file to your hard drive.

Downloading mnram 3 3 cont
Downloading MnRAM 3.3, cont.

Documentation to supplement MnRAM:

These will help you understand the assessment tool, how to prepare for field work, and one way to manage the data after you collect it. They are not required to run the program. Comprehensive Guidance includes a written Quick Reference guide.

Opening the database

This is the first screen of an empty database. Click <OK>.

These are a standard Microsoft security warnings. Click <Open> on each screen.

Opening the Database

Adding a new wetland

Wetland Name can be any combination of text +/or numeric id.

LocationID will fill in automatically.

Three-digit identifier unique to each wetland in a cluster (see Comprehensive Guidance) or leave blank.

Letter indicates first (a) or subsequent assessment visits.

Adding a New Wetland

Press <X> to close. Your data is saved.

Project name

Assigning a Project Name is optional.

A single Project Name for multiple, related Wetland IDs allows grouping of records in Reports.

The database aspect of MnRAM is fully utilized when a single copy is used to store wetland quality information.

Instead of making several copies of the database for each project, assign unique Project Names

Project Name

Wetland size

Existing wetland area (0.0001 if none).

Estimated original size of the total wetland if effectively drained or filled areas were restored (not including any buffer area).

Successful creation projects will show negative restorable acreage, upon completion.

Wetland Size

Restorable area and % drained/altered is calculated automatically in the database.

Adding a new wetland id using copy wetland

If several wetlands share similar characteristics, you can copy data from one record over to another…

Adding a New Wetland ID Using <Copy Wetland >

Copy wetland two options
Copy Wetland: Two Options copy data from one record over to another…

  • If you are entering an additional wetland “on the fly,” use “Copy to New Wetland” to name the new wetland now.

  • If you entered all your wetland names ahead of time, use the simple “Copy Wetland” option.

Copy wetland record cont

Even similar wetlands can differ in small ways—be sure to run through all the questions for every site!

Copy wetland record, cont.

Reminder: <Copy to New> will result in identical location data. Don’t forget to return to <Add/Edit> to change the ID of the new wetland.

Wetland photos cont
Wetland photos, cont. Information tab...

From this window you add, view, or delete photos. Choose the “open folder” icon to browse to a folder with photo files (set up ahead of time).

Wetland photos cont1

Add photos one at a time. Click the “camera” icon to view the photo. Once the photo is open, double-click the image to close it.

Wetland photos, cont.

Caution: photos take up lots of disk space! Work out a plan for managing photo files ahead of time.

Import export data

Use this feature to view the photo. Once the photo is open, double-click the image to close it.

Import data from a previous version of MnRAM

Export data to an excel file for custom sorting

Compile data from different users into a single copy of the database.

Import/Export data

Import export data cont

Only records that are checked “complete” on the Summary tab will be exported.

Import/Export data, cont.

  • Importing will overwrite existing wetlands with new data if their Wetland IDs match.

  • To import without overwriting, use the <Upgrade from 3.2> option.

Import gis data

Set up in comma-delimited format. tab will be exported.

Comprehensive Guidance has detailed instructions.

Imported data will overwrite existing data with same Wetland ID.

Import GIS data

Update functional summary

This option no longer has a function. tab will be exported.

Update functional summary

Getting data out reports

Run Summary Report tab will be exported.

Individual Site Response

Individual Site Print Summary

Getting Data Out: Reports

Run summary report
Run Summary Report tab will be exported.

Subsets of records can be filtered for:

  • Project

  • Location

  • Complete status of record

    Report Choices:

  • Numeric or Text

  • Veg or Functional

    (click to see sample report)

Individual site response summary
Individual Site Response Summary tab will be exported.

Shows your responses to each question for a single site.

Does not show vegetation rating.

Site summary report

A complete summary of the wetland tab will be exported.

Numeric and text ratings of all functions.

Vegetative communities, with ratings.

Site Summary Report

Data collection procedures

Plan ahead to ensure quality data. tab will be exported.

Comprehensive Guidance covers:

Procedures for an actual inventory.

Map notation, GIS labeling, managing incoming field data, etc.

Data Collection Procedures

Data collection procedures cont

Collect background documentation: tab will be exported.

Site survey, hydrology, topography, aerial photos, soils data

Review other project information

Enter all Wetland IDs

Answer certain marked questions:

Database red highlighted

Excel fieldsheet italicized

Text version “~” in left margin

Data Collection Procedures, cont.

Before you go outside…

Entering data getting started

Start on the General Information tab. tab will be exported.

Project name and Watershed.

Other location data is optional.

Size of existing and original size of wetland (anything = zero, enter “0.0001”).

Record special notes and purpose of assessment.

(See next slide for screen view and animated highlights)

Entering Data: Getting Started

General information
General Information tab will be exported.

Drop down lists

Some drop-down lists can be edited. tab will be exported.

Most are restricted, to limit confusing duplicates.

Report missing choices to the MnRAM


FacWet Asclepias Last Seen

Drop-down lists

Entering area data

Formula calculations tab will be exported.require area data.

If the current size is zero, enter 0.0001.

Entering area data

Introduction tab

Background history and purpose of wetland assessment and ranking structure.

No data entry on this page.

Introduction tab

Using mnram

Next set of slides for manual and digital users. ranking structure.

Some data recording differs in manual versus database version, esp. in vegetation portion.

Using MnRAM

Special features tab

Check all that apply. ranking structure.

Use scroll bar to see lower portion of page:

Special Features tab

Some special features “bump” a wetland into an Exceptional rating. Others are for record-keeping.

Special features in detail a f

Is the wetland part of, or directly adjacent to, an area of special natural resource interest?

Check those that apply:

a.     ____ Designated trout streams or trout lakes (see MnDNR Commissioners Order 2450 Part 6262.0400 subparts 3 and 5) (If yes, Fishery Habitat Rating is Exceptional).

b.     ____ Calcareous fen (Special Status see MN Rule Chapter 7050) (If yes, Vegetative Diversity/Integrity functional rating is Exceptional) Consult MN DNR for regulatory purposes.

c.     ____ Designated scientific and natural area (If yes, then Aesthetics/Recreation/Education/Cultural functional rating is Exceptional).

d.     ____ Rare natural community (refer to MnDNR County Biological Survey/Natural Heritage)(If yes, Vegetative Diversity/Integrity is Exceptional, also if question 36 is yes and Wildlife Habitat functional rating is Exceptional);

e.     ____ High priority wetland, environmentally sensitive area or environmental corridor identified in a local water management plan,

f.       ____ Public park, forest, trail or recreation area.

Special Features in detail, a-f

Special features in detail g m
Special Features in detail, g-m special natural resource interest?

In the field

Equipment: special natural resource interest?


Field sheets



Site, topo map


In the field

1 identify plant communities

Up to five communities may be listed. special natural resource interest?

Each community’s contribution to the whole wetland is counted as a percentage of 100%.

Communities less than 10% are not counted*.

#1: Identify Plant Communities

*With one exception (see next slide)

1 identify plant communities1

Key out plant communities: special natural resource interest?

Floodplain forest, 3B

Sedge meadow, 13A

Shrub-carr, 8B

Shallow, open water, 16A

Shallow marsh, 13B

Wondering what happened to #2? It comes up later….


#1: Identify Plant Communities

#3: Rate Plant Communities

Rate quality of each community:

– High

– High

  • [10% rule exception for shallow, open water: any fringe emergent community]

– High

Unsure after seeing the ratings? Reconsider your classification.

– High

– High





1 identify 3 rate

# 1 Identify communities. special natural resource interest?

Fill in Cowardin and Circular 39 ratings for each community.

#3 Rate each community for quality.

#1: Identify#3: Rate

~ Plant Communities ~

#2 is a separate table...

2 dominant species cover class

Click here for a drop-down Cover Category list… special natural resource interest?

#2: Dominant Species/Cover class

Identify the dominant species that make up at least 10% coverage…

2 dominant species drop down list

Look up species by common/group name or by scientific name. special natural resource interest?

Click the Display Name Toggle to alternate.

Don’t try to list every plant.

#2: Dominant Species drop-down list

  • Use the <3% cover class only for rare or invasive species.

Image file for diagrams
Image file for diagrams special natural resource interest?

To access the images, press “Image”

Field worksheet side 1
Field Worksheet: Side 1 special natural resource interest?

  • On the Excel worksheet, each community has its own section.

  • You enter cover class and invasives, as well as community quality.

2 dominant species
#2: Dominant species special natural resource interest?

  • Text version: list by community

    • Each community has a space for the dominants or invasive plants

  • Digital version: one list for entire site

    • No breakdown by community

    • List the dominant plants from the entire site

  • Whether text or database, this list is for record-keeping only: species entries do not affect ratings

2 cattail key table

For help distinguishing among native, invasive, and hybrid cattail, click on the Key (for a written description) or Table (summary version).

(click for image)

#2: Cattail Key/Table

4 5 rare or endangered vegetation

4. Y N Are state or federally listed rare plant species or species found or known to be found recently?

If Special Features questions d or i [rare natural community and rare plant species] are answered yes, then this question is yes and Vegetative Diversity function is Exceptional.

5. Y N Is the wetland plant community scarce or rare within the watershed, imperiled (S2), or critically imperiled (S1).?

Yes if Special Features question b is answered yes. If the wetland community identified in Question #1 is 3A (not dominated by silver maple), 4A, 4B, 7A, 7B, 10A, 13A, 13B (mixed emergent marsh not dominated by cattails), 14A, 15A, AND has a High quality rating from Question #2, then this question is yes and Vegetation function is Exceptional; otherwise continue with following questions.

#4-5: Rare or endangered vegetation

5 guidance rare community

Guidance: or species found or known to be found recently? The Mn DNR Natural Heritage Program collects, manages, and interprets information about nongame animals, native plants, and plant communities to promote the wise stewardship of these resources. The Natural Heritage Program has developed a ranking system that is intended to reflect the extent and condition of natural communities and species in Minnesota. These ‘state ranks’ have no legal ramifications, they are used by the Natural Heritage Program to set priorities for research and for conservation planning. They are grouped as follows:

State Element Rank:

S1: Critically imperiled in the state because of extreme rarity.

S2: Imperiled in state because of rarity.

S3: Rare or uncommon in state.

S4: Apparently secure in state.

S5: Demonstrably secure in state.

#5 Guidance, rare community

6 pre european settlement condition

Y N Does the wetland represent pre-European-settlement conditions? (e.g. MnDNR Native Plant Communities publication)

If yes, then Vegetation function is Exceptional (continue to answer subsequent questions).

Created wetlands would not qualify, regardless of quality.

#6: Pre-European-settlement Condition

Formula vegetative integrity diversity

There are four ways to report this function: conditions?

Individual Community Scores: maintain raw data as recorded.

Highest Quality Community: report the highest-functioning community.

Non-Weighted Average Quality of all Communities: straight average

Weighted Average Quality Based on Percentage of Each Community: multiply each community rating by its percentage, then add all together.

Formula: Vegetative Integrity/Diversity

Field worksheet side 2

Four columns per sheet conditions?

One wetland per column


Same wetland, different assumptions (one as-is, another as expected, etc.)

Watch ratings! You might circle High when the answer you want give is called “Low” on the worksheet.

(click to see the sheet)

Field Worksheet: Side 2

Field worksheet useful tips

The italicized questions require maps or other data to be answered.

Every other question is formatted as bold just to make it easier to read.

If the question asks for a percentage of H-M-L, put the percentage of each under the correct heading:

Field Worksheet: useful tips


20% 60% 20%

7 topographic data

Describe answered. the hydrogeomorphology of the wetland and associated topography (check those that apply):

___ Depressional/Isolated (no discernable outlets)

___ Depressional/Flow-through (apparent inlet and outlet)

___ Depressional/Tributary (outlet but no perennial inlet or drainage entering from upstream subwatershed)

___ Riverine (within the river/stream banks)

___ Lacustrine Fringe (edge of deepwater areas)/Shoreland

___ Extensive Peatland/Organic Flat

___ Slope

___ Floodplain (outside waterbody banks)

___ Other ________________________

#7: Topographic data

Stormwater pond

8 10 site data

8. Approximate maximum depth of standing water in the wetland (inches): ______

Percent of wetland area inundated: ______%

9. What is the estimated area of the wetland's immediate drainage area in acres?_____

10. Wetland size. This information should have been entered on the General Information page. The number remains as a placeholder.

#8-10: Site data

11 soils data

Survey Classification(s): wetland (inches): ______

Adjacent upland (within 500 feet)

Wetland area

click for image of soil data website

#11: Soils data

Mnram rating questions

Starting with #12, questions are answered (generally) by filling in A-B-C.

Each question has guidance to assist the user in interpreting the question and understanding how to answer in difficult site conditions…

MnRAM Rating Questions

Guidance how to

For help with individual questions, click the “?”… filling in A-B-C.

Guidance, how to

…then use the scroll bar to read the text:

Questions 12 22

#12: Outlet/Flood retention filling in A-B-C.

#13: Outlet/hydrologic regime

#14: Upland conditions/Immediate upland land use

#15: Wetland soil condition

16-18: Flow-Through Wetlands

#16: Wetland vegetation

#17: Detention of floodwater

#18: Sediment delivery

Questions #12 - 22

#19: Upland watershed soils

#20: Stormwater runoff

#21: Subwatershed wetland density

#22: Channelization

23 28 upland area quality

#23: Buffer width filling in A-B-C.

#24: Upland area management

#25: Upland Area Diversity and Structure

#26: Upland Slope

#27: Water Quality Protection (downstream resource)

#28: Nutrient loading

#23–28: Upland area quality

Difference between #24 and #25:

  • Upland area management (#24) measures the amount of any vegetative cover. This is important for water quality.

  • Upland Diversity & Structure (#25) measures the quality of that cover as habitat for native species.

29 34 shoreland questions
#29-34: Shoreland Questions filling in A-B-C.

#29: Shoreline wetland?

#30: Rooted Shoreline Vegetation

#31: Wetland width

#33: Erosion potential (opportunity)

#30: Percent cover (density)

#31: Average width (in-water area)

#32: Emergent shore protection

#33: Shoreline erosion

#34: Bank protection

35 41 habitat
#35-41: Habitat filling in A-B-C.

  • #35: Rare wildlife

  • #36: Rare / natural community

  • #37: Open water/cover interspersion

  • #38: Veg. community interspersion

  • #39: Detritus

  • #40: Wetland Interspersion

  • #41: Barriers to wildlife movement

42 44 amphibian habitat 45 47 fish habitat
#42–44: Amphibian habitat filling in A-B-C.#45–47: Fish habitat

#42: Amphibian –hydroperiod

#43: Amphibian—Fish

#44: Depth for Overwintering

#45: List Wildlife Species

#46: Fishery Quality

#47: List fish species

48 57 aesthetics values
#48-57: Aesthetics/values filling in A-B-C.

  • #48: Unique/rare Opportunity

  • #49: Visibility

  • #50: Opportunity for use/nearby population

  • #51: Ownership

  • #52: Public Access

  • #53: Human Disturbance

  • #54: Viewshed Quality

  • #55 Spatial buffer

  • #56: Recreational use (potential)

  • #57: Commercial effects and wetland quality

58 63 hydrogeology

#58: Wetland Soils filling in A-B-C.

#59: Land use/runoff

#60:Wetland size/soils

#61: Hydroperiod

#62: Inlet/Outlet for GW

#63: Topographic relief

#58-63: Hydrogeology

64 72 restoration related questions optional

#64: Hydrologic Restoration Potential filling in A-B-C.

#65: Landowners

#66 Wetland Size

#67: Potential Buffer Width

#68: Restoration Ease

#69: Hydrologic Alteration

#70: Potential Classification

#71: Stormwater Sensitivity

#72: Nutrient Loading

#64-72 Restoration-related questions, Optional

Formulas filling in A-B-C.

  • See Comprehensive Guidance for a description of all the formulas.

  • Formulas are also visible “in action” on the digital version of the Excel field worksheet.

Run summary report1

The last tab is the summary report. filling in A-B-C.

Formulas are used to arrive at numeric ratings for each function.

Each Vegetative Community is listed with its rating, as well as the other options for that function.

Scroll to see all functions.

(click for image)

Run summary report

This is the last tab in the database, where you can see individual ratings for each function for that particular wetland.

Management classification

A standard method for assessing MnRAM results, endorsed by the MnRAM Workgroup.

Guide policy approaches using MnRAM wetland data.

Two levels allow flexibility for regional landscape or policy differences.

Management Classification

Mc preset options basic or increased

Basic the MnRAM Workgroup. Protection: fewer wetlands will remain in the “Preserve” category

Increased Standard keeps more wetlands in the stronger protection levels.

MC Preset Options: “Basic” or “Increased”

Known bugs

Deleting an entry from #24-25-26 without entering a zero may result in a run-time error. Pressing <End> will return you to the field to correct your error.

Known bugs

Bwsr mnram support

Natasha DeVoe result in a run-time error. Pressing <End> will return you to the field to correct your error.

(651) 205-4664

BWSR MnRAM Support