Date of Award


Degree Name

Physical and Applied Science


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael L. Little

Second Advisor

Ralph E. Oberly

Third Advisor

Ralph Taylor


One of the most complete references to date of fish species distribution in West Virginia is a 1995 book entitled “The Fishes of West Virginia” (Stauffer, et al.). In this project, geographic information systems (GIS) and relational database technology have been utilized to adapt that reference into a system where spatially arranged collection site features are related to distribution data through a series of common fields among tables in a geodatabase. The geodatabase is stored in an MDB-formatted database management system (DBMS) which is readable by Microsoft Access and useful in its own right as a means to query distribution data when there is no need for a mapping environment. A search form was built-in to assist in the most common search parameters, and results display in print-formatted reports. Much of the same search potential is achieved by loading the geodatabase into the GIS package ArcGIS®. In addition to traditional query power, the geodatabase houses the shapefile data layers used in mapping and spatial analysis. This system has been applied in a preliminary assessment to examine distribution data versus land use for four small streams under study by Marshall University.


Fishes - Geographical distribution


Fish communities - West Virginia


Spatial behavior in animals - West Virginia