When we use visual estimation it is important to try to minimise accidental bias to ensure the data is as accurate as possible. We follow the procedure listed below and always refer to the percent cover standards (right image). These were produced by seagrass experts and give us a really good reference point to make our estimations.
Use the photo above as an example; when we compare the amount of seagrass in the white square to the standard guide to the right we can see that the seagrass falls between 8% and 15%. When we look closely it is much closer to 15%, so your visual estimation would be around 12% seagrass cover.
We train all our volunteers and supervise visual estimation until we are confident in your ability. This means the data is accurate and you also have confidence in your newly acquired scientific skill!
Please click complete when you have finished this lesson!