Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Sciences


Geography and Environmental Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Alford, Jennifer


This study represents an interdisciplinary analysis of the changing landscape of the Salton Sea Watershed from 2013 to 2021, focusing on land use land cover (LULC) category changes, climatic variations, and socioeconomic factors. The findings of this research show a shift in land cover categories, portrayed by the changes of natural landscapes and vegetative areas into rapidly increasing urbanized expansion and increased impervious surfaces. These changes pose concerns about increased temperature in the region, a decrease in overall water availability and groundwater infiltration, and an increase in pollution. The study explores 10 sub-watersheds within the Salton Sea Watershed basin, focusing on the changes of LULC categories and overall temperature in the region, as well as exposing the steady decline of water in the Salton Sea sub-watershed which show a trend that could exacerbate issues regarding water and air quality that would affect nearby human and ecological environments. As the landscape of this region continues to change, primarily with reduction of vegetation and the expansion of impervious surfaces, it is important to continue growing and implementing watershed management policies to reduce further environmental and public health impacts.