Rowan E. Cole

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Emerson

Third Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah


deforestation, remote sensing, GIS, Russia, forestry

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


With over one-fifth of the planet’s forested area, Russia has become a major source of round wood and wood products. In 2003, the Russian government established an energy policy aimed at reducing the negative impacts of industry on the environment and improving the nation’s environments as a whole. This study analyzes deforestation and logging activities in the forests along the Amur River in Khabarovsk Krai in the Russian Far East to determine the effectiveness of Russian government policy in achieving the goals put forward in the 2003 energy policy. Changes in land-use and land-cover will be assessed using 500-meter resolution MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) imagery for the years from 2000 to 2016. This information, when analyzed in conjunction with the Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) data, and Landsat imagery will provide a baseline for assessing the effectiveness of the energy policy. Despite statements in the energy policy that indicate the government’s intent to improve the environmental record of the forest products industry, a lack of enforcement of environmental protection laws as well as statements by Russian political leaders regarding economic expansion in the Russian Far East indicate that positive change to the environment has not taken place. This research, focused on a portion of the Amur River in Khabarovsk Krai, will help ascertain the actual changes in forest area, and potentially forest productivity, since the new laws were introduced.

Included in

Geography Commons