Investigators: Marina Alberti (PI), Daniele Spirandelli

Funding: EPA

Description: The goal of this research is to test selected landscape metrics as appropriate measures to assess land cover change in Western Washington over the last decade (1991-2001). Appropriate metrics are used as land cover indicators for monitoring basin and sub-basin scale land cover patterns and trends. We measure and test landscape composition (e.g., percent paved land or forest cover), landscape configuration (e.g., level of clustered development or forest fragmentation), and land use intensity (impervious surfaces and population density). We quantify the sensitivity of these metrics to the changes in land cover that have occurred in western  Washington from 1991 to 2001 to assess their usefulness as regional land cover change indicators. With the completion of this project, relevant land cover indicators and maps will be provided to the Washington Department of Ecology for publication as part of a web-based Coastal Atlas mapping program. The results of this research will assist planners and policy makers to foster environmentally responsible land uses through greater understanding of regional landscape patterns and trends at the watershed and sub-basin scales