Marissa Matsler

Advisor: Gabe Benoit


The USVI have been under constant settlement since the age of the early exploration through the Caribbean. Recently, human activity on the islands has exacerbated climatic stress on the extensive coral reefs surrounding the islands. Sedimentation from construction erosion on the steeply sloped volcanic islands is one of the many detrimental human impacts on coral reefs in the USVI.

Remote Sensing can play a role in helping track and quantify the extent of construction and land use change on in the USVI. This project looks specifically at land use change on St Thomas island using aerial photographs from 1954 through 2004 and will integrate satellite imagery to create more accurate mapping of the area. Ultimately, analyzing slope of developed land (and other factors) using remote sensing techniques can inform land use policy decisions throughout the USVI. (Exploration of using RS for sediment tracking in marine environments will also be undertaken.)