Comparing Southern Connecticut Landcover Change with Social/Environmental Demographics

Investigator:

Beth Owen: F & ES

Advisor:Gaboury Benoit

Description:

I intend to expand upon my OEFS final project completed in the spring of 2003: "Using Remote Sensing as a Mechanism for Detecting Areas of Highest Vulnerability in Urbanizing Watersheds." I will be consulting with Connecticut NEMO Project researchers at UCONN over the summer to find out exactly what they have done, and are currently doing, to see where my research will fit in. I have already spoken with Martha Smith, director of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies' Center for Coastal and Watershed Systems, and we agreed that an expansion of this project would be very valuable asset to the CCWS.

My intention is to further refine the supervised classification techniques I used to classify the Quinnipiac, Mill, and West River Watersheds for the OEFS project, and apply those techniques to watersheds in three coastal Connecticut areas - Bridgeport, New Haven, and one other area that is yet to be decided upon.

I will be using my refined landcover change analysis in conjunction with water quality data trends obtained from the USGS, and a variety of Connecticut social demographic information obtained from an organization called Center Edge. I am hoping to develop a reliable way to identify rapidly urbanizing watersheds that are most vulnerable to water quality impairment, and loss of public beneficial uses of water bodies, and that are in most dire need of municipal and state funding. This work could be an important supplement to the Connecticut NEMO municipal landcover classification maps and educational materials now available on the web to assist local, state, and regional planners and other agencies.



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2 June 2003