Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Second Advisor

Dr. Ilya Zaslavsky

Third Advisor

Dr. Eric Anderson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Coastal wetland protection and monitoring in the United States is becoming an increasingly important issue. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) has been developed to provide a protocol for satellite monitoring of the coastal regions of the United States. This research evaluated the effectiveness of the C-CAP program when being applied to a freshwater Great Lakes ecosystem in the Saginaw Bay region by investigating four components of the protocol: (1) suitable classification methodology, (2) suitable change detection logic, (3) accuracy assessment, and (4) source of digital data. Using two dates of satellite imagery, it was determined that the C-CAP protocol could be used to effectively detect and monitor coastal wetland and upland changes in this region with minor modifications. This research determined that single scene unsupervised classification logic alone could not produce a classification product to the required C-CAP accuracy standard of 85 percent. Also, it was determined that the Landsat Thematic Mapper data provided better results in discriminating between C-CAP informational classes than Landsat Multispectral Scanner data.

Included in

Geography Commons