|Title||Land cover classification and change detection in drylands: an evaluation of remote sensing approaches|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Degree||Master of Applied Geography|
|Number of Pages||156|
|University||New Mexico State University|
|Keywords||drylands, land cover change, land cover classification, Mesilla Valley, remote sensing, technique, Yuma Valley|
Land cover change is occurring at unprecedented rates worldwide and is believed to contribute to environmental concerns such as altered biogeochemical cycles, loss of wildlife habitat, decreases in biodiversity, and reduction of soil productivity. Of particular concern are dryland regions of the world because they are experiencing rapid population growth which is a driver of land cover change. The Southwestern United States is one dryland region which is experiencing rapid population growth and associated expansion of urban land cover. The Mesilla Valley of Southern New Mexico is no exception. In this region, which has experienced rapid growth during the last four decades, it is unclear at what rate land cover is changing and what effects this has had on desert ecosystems.