Integrating Hands-On Undergraduate Research in an Applied Spatial Science Senior Level Capstone Course

David L. Kulhavy, Daniel R. Unger, I-Kuai Hung, David Douglass

Abstract


A senior within a spatial science Ecological Planning capstone course designed an undergraduate research project to increase his spatial science expertise and to assess the hands-on instruction methodology employed within the Bachelor of Science in Spatial Science program at Stephen F Austin State University. The height of 30 building features estimated remotely with LiDAR data, within the Pictometry remotely sensed web-based interface, and in situ with a laser rangefinder were compared to actual building feature height measurements. A comparison of estimated height with actual height indicated that all three estimation techniques tested were unbiased estimators of height. An ANOVA, conducted on the absolute height errors resulting in a p-value of 0.035, concluded the three height estimating techniques were statistically different at the 95% confidence interval. A Tukey pair-wise test found the remotely sensed Pictometry web-based interface was statistically more accurate than LiDAR data, while the laser range finder was not different from the others. The results indicate that height estimates within the Pictometry web-based interface could be used in lieu of time consuming and costly in situ height measurements. The findings also validate the interactive hands-on instruction methodology employed by Geographic Information Systems faculty within the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture in producing spatial science graduates capable of utilizing spatial science technology to accurately quantify, qualify, map, and monitor natural resources.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v4n1p52

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online)

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