Date of Graduation

Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Environmental Management

First Advisor

Tracy Benning

Second Advisor

David Saah

Third Advisor

John Callaway

Abstract

In the past 30 years, anthropogenic activities like urbanization, agriculture, road fragmentation and deforestation have resulted in changes in the land use and land cover (LULC) in the Mexican Water Forest. Due to the important ecosystem services, and the natural resources this forest provides, in Mexico, it has become increasingly necessary to use new technologies and tools to support the planning, implementation and integration of forest management and conservation plans, as well as ecological and socioeconomic analysis of this ecosystem. Remote Sensing techniques and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been a true technological and methodological revolution in the acquisition, management and analysis of geographic information. A case study of a land cover change analysis performed on the Mexican Water Forest from 1990 to 2010 is described as an example of an actual application of remote sensing and GIS technologies, and to show how these technologies can be used to improve forest management in the region. As a result, I identified nine challenges of managing the Water Forest, along with their corresponding solutions provided by the use and application of remote sensing techniques as key tools in the management and conservation of the Mexican Water Forest. Based on these results, I propose recommendations on how remote sensing and GIS tools can be used to create adequate forest management plans in this region.