Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Jeffrey Onsted

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ligia Collado-Vides

Third Advisor's Name

Keqi Zhang

Keywords

sea turtle, sea level rise, SLR, habitat, acquisition parcel, Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, nests, GIS, Inundation polygons, Loggerheads

Date of Defense

3-29-2013

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to determine the extent of sea level rise (SLR) impact on sea turtle nesting beach habitat on Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) as well as impacts on management strategies. The Archie Carr NWR is of exceptional importance due to the high density of Loggerhead, Leatherback, and Green sea turtles that nest there in the summer months. GIS data provided by the Archie Carr NWR and various SLR scenarios, provided by both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as leading scholars, were used to determine inundation area loss across the Refuge as well as nearby parcels targeted for possible acquisition. Inundation losses for the six scenarios were calculated to be in the 20-25% range. Approximately 26% of current lower priority parcels are reclassified as high priority when integrating this information. Therefore, a significant revision to future acquisition strategies is recommended.

Identifier

FI13042311

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