Integrating Faculty Led Service Learning Training to Quantify Height of Natural Resources from a Spatial Science Perspective

Daniel Unger, David Kulhavy, Kai Busch-Petersen, I-Kuai Hung


Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture (ATCOFA) faculty members were trained how to integrate service learning activities within senior level classes at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) in Nacogdoches, Texas. The service learning training, taught under the acronym Mentored Undergraduate Scholarship (MUGS), involved meeting with fellow faculty members over the course of an academic year during the fall semester to first learn how to incorporate service learning activities in a senior level class followed by its incorporation into a class the following spring semester. The service learning model was applied to students in GIS 420, a senior level Landscape Modeling, Spatial Analysis, and Quantitative Assessment course within ATCOFA. The students were instructed within a hands-on interactive environment on how to use geospatial analysis to quantify natural resources. The overall goal was for a student to demonstrate proficiency in understanding how to apply aerial photo interpretation, satellite remote sensing, global positioning system and geographic information systems technology to quantify, qualify, map, monitor and manage natural and environmental resources at the local and landscape scales. Students applied this concept within a quantitative resource assessment, whereby students compared the conventional methodology of measuring height of vertical features within a landscape using a clinometer with the newer ways of measuring height using Pictometry hyperspatial imagery and drone acquired digital imagery. Conventional results were compared to newer technological methodologies to determine the most efficient and accurate way to quantify vertical resources from a spatial perspective.

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

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