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Access Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Watershed systems are experiencing rapid changes to water quality and hydrologic regimes due in part to climate-induced changes in temperature and precipitation, urbanization, and increases in aquatic invasive species. Aquatic invasive species are one of the primary threats to ecosystems, contributing to loss of biodiversity, altered hydrologic regimes, and stream degradation. Urban land use and climatic factors influence the spread of invasive species, presenting greater challenges for future invasive species management. There is a need for more research that evaluates the watershed process in connection with urban land use and climate change factors in relation to invasive species spread. This study will examine factors of climate change and land use that may be influencing the spread and occurrence of aquatic invasive plants within the Connecticut River watershed. There will be four species involved in this study: Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), Variable milfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum), Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillate), and the European water chestnut (Trapa natans). Hydrological conditions within the watershed will be analyzed using the SWAT model through the HAWQS interface. ArcGIS Pro will be used to combine and prepare data so that it may be utilized through MaxEnt. MaxEnt will be used to create species distribution models to estimate the probability of the presence of invasive aquatic plant species in the Connecticut river watershed.


First Advisor

Timothy Randhir

Second Advisor

Michael Nelson