Effects of training for inexperienced surveyors on data quality of tree diameter and height measurements

Fumiaki Kitahara, Nobuya Mizoue, Shigejiro Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the large number of sample plots and variables to be measured, inexperienced surveyors are expected to take field measurements in National Forest Inventories (NFIs). However, very little information exists on the data quality that can be expected from inexperienced surveyors given different levels of training. We evaluated the quality of data produced by inexperienced undergraduate students when measuring the most fundamental variables: tree diameter using a diameter tape and height using an ultrasonic Vertex III hypsometer. We found that a single training session on how to use the instruments and how to reduce measurement errors was insufficient for inexperienced surveyors to achieve measurement quality objectives (MQOs). Providing a single feedback of control team measurements significantly improved data quality, except in the measurements of tree height of broad-leaved trees, but additional feedback did not contribute to further improvement. We propose that field training courses for inexperienced surveyors incorporate a one-day exercise with feedback instruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-667
Number of pages11
JournalSilva Fennica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Ecological Modelling


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