Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geography and Geology


Human impacts on environmental conditions have long concerned researchers investigating changing forest conditions in the world's tropical regions. This thesis uses repeat photography, satellite imagery, and quantitative spatial statistics to evaluate landscape change in western Honduras between 1957 and 2010, and specifically focuses on changes in tree cover. Results from repeat photography and satellite classification show an increase in tree cover. Spatial statistics indicate that increases in shade coffee production may also be related to much of the observed increases in tree cover. Forest transition theory is used as a framework to help explain the observed changes, such as dooryard gardens, trees among settlements, fence rows, and small reforested and afforested areas.

Included in

Geography Commons