Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences


Geological Sciences

First Reader/Committee Chair

Alford, Jennifer


The human-environmental landscape influences water quality across highly variable spatiotemporal scales. One such example is the human-environmental landscape in California, which has changed dramatically over the past several decades leading to a multitude of environmental issues including the reduction and impairment of water resources. This study compares surface water quality at four headwater streams in the San Bernardino National Forests using multiple assessment tools including in situ data, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPAs) Model My Watershed Tool and multiple databases within a GIS framework. These collective efforts enabled headwater watershed landscape changes and the extent of impacts to soil erosion and surface water quality to be modeled. The primary objectives of this include: 1. to determine the type of physical changes that will occur if the watershed landscape is altered; 2. to model these changes especially as they relate to soil erosion and changes in surface runoff related to precipitation events; and 3. to use findings to identify and recommend appropriate stormwater and watershed best management practices that reduce soil and water impacts and promote the protection and conservation of water resources that support community resilience. The results show the impact of climate change and also indicate that land use changes in the landscape draining to and forming headwater streams is a primary factor of hydrological variations in the catchments.