Michael Koon

Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Anita Walz

Second Advisor

Larry Jarrett

Third Advisor

Michael Little


Two sets of remotely sensed images, 1986 Landsat Multispectral Scanner and a 2000 Landsat Thematic Mapper +, were used in a change detection study to determine decline and growth of conifers in Grant and Tucker Counties. The images were registered, preprocessed for atmospheric effects, ratioed using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, and categorized. A thematic change calculation was performed indicating growth and decline of vegetation. The resulting information was combined with ancillary data for GIS spatial analysis. The results showed an overall increase in vegetation and specifically on abandoned mine lands. Statistical tests showed decline occurred on steeper slopes, but was variable for growth. Experimenting with spectral signature information found it difficult to discriminate between Picea spp., but a difference among Pinus spp. and Picea spp. was evident.


Conifers - West Virginia - Grant County.

Conifers - West Virginia - Tucker County.

Conifers - Remote sensing.

Spatial ecology.

Vegetation mapping - West Virginia.