Advanced GIS Exercise: Estimating Beach and Dune Erosion in Coastal South Carolina
Hall, Steven T. | Post, Christopher J.
Many natural resources graduate students across the nation are being required to learn proper use of geographic information systems (GIS) to include not only in their graduate research, but to also prepare for a career as a professional in natural resources. This demand creates a need for graduate students to be properly instructed in GIS. Advanced GIS exercises can be useful in teaching common techniques and methodologies in GIS. We have developed an advanced GIS exercise that uses the spatial analyst extension in GIS and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data. The goal of this laboratory exercise was to determine the amount of erosion that has occurred over a 4-year period on the coast of South Carolina. All students, individually, had the opportunity to use the Cut/Fill tool and create their own digital elevation model (DEM). Students stated that this exercise helped them to understand how to work with LIDAR data and also how to estimate erosion. Independently, students estimated that there has been a loss of more than 50,000 m3 of material from Folly Beach during the 4-year period included in this study.Show more [+] Less [-]