Delmarva Wetlands

Project Title: Mapping and Monitoring of Wetland Dynamics for Improved Resilience and Delivery of Ecosystem Services in the Mid-Atlantic Region
Timeline: January 2012-February 2016 (extended)
Funding Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Overview

Little progress has been made in the study of the effects of Land Cover and Land Use Change (LCLUC) on regional-scale wetland distribution, extent and function. Fundamental data are few. For example, many US wetland maps are out of date and do not represent wetland dynamics; forested wetland maps are inaccurate; principle process-based regional water quality models do not explicitly incorporate wetlands; and wetland functional assessments are not quantitative. Thus, a fundamental understanding of land-water processes is severely impeded and adaptive management and conservation of wetlands is based on scant fundamental understanding.

The overall objectives of this study are to (1) develop improved wetland mapping and change detection using remote-sensing data from multiple, complementary sensors at various temporal and spatial scales; (2) study the socioeconomic and physical drivers of wetland change affecting wetland extent and function at regional scales; (3) assess the impacts of multiple environmental stressors, particularly the anthropogenic ones; and (4) quantify vulnerability of wetlands and wetland ecosystem services under multiple climate and land use change scenarios. Outputs of this project will advance scientific understanding of the types, extent and processes of LCLUC and climate change on wetland extent, distribution, and provision of ecosystem services. It should also advance the US obligations to the scientific component of the RAMSAR Treaty as well as state and local management strategies to mitigate and adapt to future changes.

The Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW) will be used for this study because of its wide variation in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry, vegetation, and other factors, including human disturbance and wetland related policies.

Affiliated Scientists:

Claire Jantz, Ph.D. – Director

Professor, Department of Geography-Earth Science

Project Lead: Delaware River Basin

B.A. in College Scholars from University of Tennessee
M.A. in Geography from University of Maryland
Ph.D. in Geography from University of Maryland

Dr. Claire Jantz is the Director of the CLUS. She has extensive expertise in land use and land cover change analysis and modeling, and interdisciplinary research. Dr. Jantz has particular expertise within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the Delaware River Basin, and the Delmarva Peninsula. She has participated in several collaborative research efforts funded by NASA, Maryland SeaGrant, NPS, and the William Penn Foundation.

Alfonso Yáñez Morillo

Research Analyst, Department of Geography-Earth Science

A.S. in forest engineering from the Universidad Politecnica of Madrid
B.S. in biology from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid
M.S. in environmental management and administration from the Fundación Biodiversidad

Alfonso specializes in landscape ecology and connectivity and has over 10 years experience applying GIS to a wide range of environmental consultancy projects. Focus areas include environmental impact assessments, land use change, planning evaluation, forest fires, and ecological flows regimes.