Evaluating Interactive Transect Area Assessments Hands-On Instruction for Natural Resource Undergraduate Students

Daniel Unger, Sarah Schwab, Ryan Jacques, Yanli Zhang, I-Kuai Hung, David L. Kulhavy

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Undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Spatial Science degree at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) receive instruction in the spatial sciences with a focus on hands-on applications. All undergraduate students take the course Introduction to Spatial Science which includes a comprehensive overview of spatial science incorporating a comparison of standard inexpensive area assessment techniques with high-end computer based area assessment methodologies. Students within this course were instructed how to assess the area of a surface feature on an aerial image with a ruler applying the transect method. Student's average Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) between a student's transect derived area and surveyed area was 0.45, 0.13, 0.07, and 0.02 acres for 5, 10, 15, and 20 transect lines, respectfully. An ANOVA analysis of area assessment and area error assessment indicated that mean area and mean absolute area error were statistically different between transect line groups. In addition, the accuracy of area measured increased significantly as the number of transect lines increased which: (1) indicates students receiving hands-on instruction in estimating area using the transect method can record accurate area measurements after only a limited 2 hour introduction; (2) reveals the accuracy of the transect method is not user dependent; (3) shows area accuracy increases as the number of transects increases; and, (4) validates the interactive hands-on instruction methodology employed at SFASU.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalFaculty Publications
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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