Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) for Wetlands

What is the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands (ORAM)?

ORAM provides a relatively quick way to place a wetland in its correct antidegradation category for Ohio's state and federal wetland permit reviews. ORAM is also an excellent rapid assessment tool for determining wetland ecological condition, and can serve as a highly accurate human disturbance gradient.  ORAM is recognized in Ohio rule and law as the method to be used to categorize both federal jurisdictional and isolated wetlands in Ohio, and has served as a model for many other rapid assessments that are in use across the United States.

Day One: Classroom Instruction at MBI

This day will focus on the background and concepts underlying the method and explanation of the protocols for conducting ORAM evaluations.  Scientific data that demonstrates the accuracy of ORAM will be presented and participants will receive instruction on the correct way to evaluate and score each of six metrics and 14 sub-metrics. The protocols to assemble all of the information on a single wetland will then be applied in order to place it in the appropriate category.  

Day Two: Field Training 

Participants will visit nearby wetlands that present different assessment challenges, and will learn how to produce ORAM evaluations that accurately incorporate the principles learned in the classroom. Wetlands from each of three categories recognized in Ohio will be visited and evaluated.  The resulting ORAM data forms will be reviewed in the field and used to illustrate and support the correct way to score each of the metrics and sub-metrics.


Participants can expect to leave the course with a firm understanding of the methods for accurate wetland assessments using ORAM. Upon completion of the two-day training, participants should be confident in their abilities to effectively evaluate wetlands in the field and know how and where to seek additional guidance when needed. Participants will receive a certificate documenting successful course completion.

* Continuing educations credits are available for this course (as certified by the Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program).