How I Approached This Problem--
I took the paper with the outline on it and divided it into as many different shapes as I could. Then, I used my ruler to measure the base, width, and/or diameter/radius of each shape. From there, I calculated the area of each shape. Then I added them all up (still in centimeters) to find the area of the whole shape. Then I multiplied that number by 15 (two times), since the scale was 1 cm = 15 mi. That was how I found the area of the oil slick outline.
The Work I Did (excuse the bad quality of the pictures) --
Total Area of the Oil Spill--
30,993.75 miles squared
1. Do you think your area is an exact measure of the space affected by the spill? No, I do not think that my area is an exact measure of the space affected by the spill. The shapes had to be modified to fit into the outline, so they are not 100% accurate as to what the actual area of the oil spill is.
2. How accurate do you think your polygons compare to the actual spill area? Do you expect your answer to be more or less than the actual spill area? I think my polygons would be less than the actual spill area was. Because I had to modify them to different sizes, a lot of the times taking off corners and things like that. So I expect my answer to be less than the actual spill area.