• Selecting Prospective Sites for Future Riparian Areas in Arizona

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Rhodes, Patrick (The University of Arizona., 2022-04-28)
      Within the desert areas of Arizona, riparian habitat attracts a diverse range of flora and fauna, concentrating their populations along the banks of streams and washes. Due to a variety of factors over the past century, these areas have degraded in size and quality, resulting in a loss of native vegetation and wildlife habitat. Ultimately, if this trend is to be reversed, one approach might be to create new, artificial riparian areas. To achieve that, suitable, non-riparian locations must first be identified for possible conversion into prospective riparian zones. Hence, the goal of this project is to perform a suitability analysis to locate tracts of land within Arizona which might be suitable for riparian conversion. Issues such as water rights, engineering, and funding are not covered in this paper. Several spatial criteria were identified as indicators for success, including land ownership, flooding potential, fire potential, length of streams/washes, proximity to human development and current habitat. Many geographic datasets were utilized to produce maps showing these locations, according to their ability to apply these criteria. Further, once these locations were identified, a historical analysis was performed to show the vegetative health of each area over time, as well as potential rainfall metrics, both of which provided detailed indicators of success. The results revealed several tracts of land in disparate areas which fulfilled all criteria and could be considered for Arizona riparian habitat conversion projects.
    • Site Suitability Analysis for a Land Conservation Easement in El Paso, Texas

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Van Essen, Daniel (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
      The Chihuahuan desert is an ecologically diverse landscape and the largest desert in North America, covering parts of New Mexico, Texas, and northeastern Mexico. Urbanization, overgrazing, and water depletion threatens the viability of this ecosystem. For the protection of this desert and the wildlife and waterways within it, land conservation is integral. One land conservation strategy is the establishment of a land conservation easement. This type of easement is a voluntary agreement with a non-profit organization or government agency that prevents development and specifies best practices within the easement while the owner of the land maintains ownership. In response to the need of land conservation, this study utilizes a multi-criteria evaluation with weighted overlay technique to identify suitable and ecologically valuable land for a land conservation easement in El Paso County, Texas. Criteria for suitability was developed with Frontera Land Alliance, a non-profit conservation organization. GIS software was utilized to implement the multi-criteria evaluation with weighted overlay technique and map suitable conservation land in El Paso County. This study ranks all land within El Paso County based on a scale of five with one being the least suitable land and five being the most suitable land. Approximately 77,916 acres of land, equating to 12 percent of the land within El Paso County was ranked as a five in terms of high suitability. This study identifies the twenty-five most suitable parcels for a land conservation easement. The results of the study will help Frontera Land Alliance identify the most suitable parcels to pursue acquisition for a land conservation easement.
    • A Site Suitability Analysis to Reduce Lead Poisoning Through Small-Scale Retail in Syracuse, NY

      Mason, Jennifer; Hernandez, Erika (The University of Arizona., 2022-05)
      Syracuse, New York has been fighting an uphill battle against lead. It’s in their homes, soil, and water and disproportionately affects lower-income communities. Children are especially sensitive before the age of 6, experiencing decreased cognitive function, reduced motor control, developmental disabilities, and death, among others. 12 percent of children in Syracuse tested positive for elevated blood lead levels, four times the national average. Diet can help combat lead contamination by increasing iron levels. Iron and lead bind to the same transport protein in the small intestine where metals are absorbed into the bloodstream. With only 77 grocery stores to cover 25.5 square miles and over 140,000 people, Syracuse’s residents may rely on convenience stores, dollar stores, and fast-food restaurants to pick up the slack. Combating food insecurity may be possible by targeting food deserts and increasing access to healthy foods. To find the areas where small-scale retail would benefit the most, a Boolean Suitability Analysis was used to find food deserts using poverty levels, minority status, population density, existing grocery stores, and vacant lot parcel data. A Weighted Linear Combination Suitability Analysis found the locations that ranked higher for the intersection of food deserts, childhood elevated blood lead levels, current lead violations, and tracts with high numbers of children under 5-years-old. Of the 165 locations from the resulting analysis, 65 locations ranked between medium and high suitability. This analysis will help local officials, community leaders, and non-profit organizations determine where to combat food deserts and elevated blood lead levels in children.

      Mason, Jennifer; Wiens, Anastiaza (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-03)
      As the United States shifts to a greener mindset, going away from fossil fuel power has been an increasingly popular choice to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. One method that provides more power and efficiency on a larger scale is nuclear. As technology has evolved and improved nuclear power, these power plants can be built smaller and are more efficient than the nuclear power plants built 20-40 years ago. In this study, GIS analyses were used to find suitable areas in the Western U.S. for siting a new nuclear power plant. This will produce a map including rankings of most suitable, suitable, and not suitable sites. The most suitable areas will contain no geological hazards, population density of less than 500 persons per square mile, and within a mile of perennial bodies of water. The ranking of suitable will include areas that contain everything in the most suitable ranking except no bodies of water. The not suitable areas contain geohazards, a population density of more than 500 person per square mile and have no water. The resulting percentages are the most suitable areas account for 1.17% of the study area, the suitable areas account for 22.45% of the study area, and the not suitable areas make up 76.38% of the study area.
    • Socioeconomic status and land cover as predictors of the urban heat island effect in Tempe, Arizona

      Sanchez Trigueros, Fernando; Madigan, Sean (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      Developed land emits heat more effectively than rural land. This results in an urban heat island effect, where cities have hotter temperatures than surrounding rural areas. Urban heat islands pose a public health risk in many cities and especially affect areas of lower socioeconomic status, where people are more vulnerable to extreme heat conditions. The Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Arizona is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States and regularly experiences extreme heat in the summer. Tempe, a city within the metropolitan area, has outlined a plan to decrease the urban heat island effect by increasing tree cover to 25% by 2040. Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS satellite imagery was used to estimate land surface temperature (LST), a measure commonly associated with urban heat island effects. A land cover classification and US Census data were used to predict mean LST in Tempe. Exploratory regression and spatial regression identified a six-variable model with increases in mean household income, college population, grass land cover, and water cover all decreasing mean LST, while increases in urban land use and a spatial lag variable increased mean LST. Although overall estimates of tree cover were 23% of the land surface, estimates were high as the classification model overestimated tree cover due to the spatial resolution of the Landsat 8 sensor. Results suggest that although Tempe has made progress in its goal, there are discrepancies between areas of differing socioeconomic status.
    • Southern Sierra Nevada Backpacking Route Planner

      Sanchez Trigueros, Fernando; Dufour, Hilary (The University of Arizona., 2021-08-15)
      The process for planning backpacking trips in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range takes into account a multitude of geographic data, which is dispersed across multiple sites. This dispersal makes the process laborious. Wilderness permits are linked to trailheads and reserved online through Recreation.Gov or Yosemite Conservancy, which lack sufficient spatial information required for planning. I developed an ArcGIS WebAppBuilder application for backpacking route planning in the Inyo National Forest, Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. The application was developed through data gathering and vetting, geoprocessing and digitizing, use of geometric networks, Arcade expressions, Python, web maps and WebAppBuilder. Data is centralized from various sources and enhanced in ways that make it easily consumable in a web application format. Widgets are utilized for simple filtering and viewing of layers such as trails and trailheads. It is a much-needed solution for planning wilderness travel in the Southern Sierra Nevada.
    • A Spatial Analysis of Community Development in Arizona from Seed Grants

      Christopherson, Gary; Herndon, Carly (The University of Arizona., 2017-12)
      Agricultural crop diversity in the Southwest has diminished significantly over the past hundred years. A local nonprofit in Tucson by the name of Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S) aims to conserve Southwestern crop diversity for the sake of keeping indigenous culture alive, improving food security, and to nourish a changing world. One way NS/S works towards these goals is to freely distribute seeds through their Community Seed Grant (CSG) program. The CSG program supports educational, food security, and community development projects in the Greater Southwest region. These seed donations are meant to serve underprivileged groups, including but not limited to Native American and Hispanic individuals as well as areas with high poverty rates. These populations are among some of the most food insecure in the region. This study analyzes the successfulness of the CSG program by measuring if intended audiences are being awarded CSGs. Summary statistics suggests that CSGs are in areas with higher than average Hispanic and Native American individuals as well as individuals living below the poverty line. A logistic regression was also done to spot correlations between target areas and where the seeds were sent. This analysis suggests that seed grants favor areas with higher percentages of Hispanic and Black or African American individuals as well as areas with higher poverty rates. This study will help NS/S perform more targeted marketing and assistance about the program as well as show potential and current funders the outcomes of the CSG program.
    • Spatial Relationship between Demographics and Brownfields in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

      Mason, Jennifer; Lowden, Meredith (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-04)
      The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the sixth largest city in the United States and resides within Philadelphia County. There is a large population within a small area, which can make environmental contamination more impactful to the population. Environmental contamination sites known as brownfields, are common throughout Philadelphia County, which many residents may not realize exist. This project focused on analyzing the spatial relationships between environmental contaminated sites and demographics at the county level. Bivariate and choropleth analysis were used as a way to understand the relationships. Three demographics were used including race, poverty percentage, and median household income. The African American or Black population is greatest in Philadelphia and is also the population with the highest percentage of poverty. In addition, median household income became important as the county has a below average income per household compared to the United States average. When looking at the distribution of brownfields throughout the county it appears that there are an abundance of locations, but when looking at the locations within each census tract, there are only a few tracts with more than 20 locations per area. Both bivariate maps that show the relationship of brownfields versus poverty status and median household income show similar results. African American population and brownfields showed a different relationship, but all three relationships showed at least one census tract where both variables were high. Understanding environmental injustice will help bring awareness and force policy members to address change in communities.
    • A Spatio-Temporal Change Analysis of Shorebird Habitat Using Remote Sensing at Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, NV

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Ontiveros, Chelsea (The University of Arizona., 2022)
      Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge provides critical wetland stopover habitat for thousands of breeding and non-breeding migrating shorebirds during the spring and fall seasons. Habitat loss and degradation at the refuge due to climate change and human activities are of great concern to shorebird conservation groups. Evaluations of critical habitat features utilizing GIS can be leveraged as powerful, cost-effective tools in shorebird conservation and management efforts. In this study, three years (2001, 2011, and 2019) of remote sensing data captured during the fall season were analyzed for changes in select land cover factors impacting quality of shorebird habitat: presence of surface water using the Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MNDWI), preferred land cover types, food and shelter availability using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and human disturbance using impervious surface data. Results successfully detected temporal changes in many of the select environmental factors, including sizeable increases in NDVI and MNDWI results, both in value and spatial distribution, and notable transitions between land cover classes and their represented areas. Findings support the ongoing habitat conservation efforts at the refuge and demonstrate the use of remote sensing and GIS techniques in monitoring land cover conditions related to vital migratory shorebird habitat.
    • A Spatiotemporal Exploratory Analysis of Assault Crimes Near Portland's TriMet Public Transportation Network

      Sánchez-Trigueros, Fernando; Shigeta, Robert (The University of Arizona., 2021-08-17)
      Portland’s public transportation system, TriMet, is an extensive network of buses, light rail, and streetcars. Millions of passengers ride on the transit system every year. Likewise, each year thousands of people are victims of violent crimes in public spaces throughout the city. A geospatial analysis of assault crimes may offer law enforcement an invaluable tool for examining the spatial patterns of assaults. This project is a spatiotemporal exploratory analysis of assault crime near transit nodes in Portland, Oregon. The analysis calculates location quotients for aggravated assaults, simple assaults, and intimidation assaults at the macro, meso and micro levels. Location quotients measure the concentration of each offense type in buffered areas around transit nodes relative to the surrounding area at each level of the analysis. Location quotients at the macro level for each offense type in each year of the study period were between 2.4 and 2.8, indicating assault crime concentrations were approximately two and a half times to nearly three times higher in areas within 500 feet of the transit system throughout the entire city. The results of the macro analysis suggest that a spatial relationship exists between Portland’s public transportation network and locations of assault crimes. Results of the meso and micro levels varied considerably between neighborhoods and intersections, suggesting other underlying factors should be studied.
    • Tackling Tree Equity: Social and Economic Predictors of Urban Tree Canopy in Tucson, AZ

      Christopherson, Gary; Boyer, Jessica Caitlin (The University of Arizona., 2021-08-20)
      Urban tree canopy provides essential ecosystem services to cities, from improving human wellbeing and health to reducing the urban heat island effect. However, previous studies have shown that tree canopy is often inequitably distributed. In 2019, Tucson was named the 3rd fastest-warming city in the United States. In response, the city government implemented the Tucson Million Trees initiative to help mitigate rising temperatures in the desert city. In an effort to make tree canopy more equitable, this study intends to determine what factors contribute to tree inequity in Tucson so that these factors can be considered in decision-making for tree-planting locations. Using existing data from the Pima Association of Governments, average tree canopy in each census block group was determined. This tree canopy data was tested against 26 variables commonly associated with tree inequity using exploratory regression. Regression analysis identified a seven-variable model with positive correlations between average tree canopy and population density, median household income, percent population with a bachelor’s degree, percent rental households, white population, and vacant households. The model showed negative correlations between tree canopy and percent population living alone. We hope that the results of this study can guide decision makers within the Tucson city government to prioritize block groups using the variables identified as predictors of tree canopy.

      Sanchez-Trigueros, Fernando; Carini, Kiri (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
      As urban areas grow around the world it is important to understand whether species biodiversity can adapt to these environs. Birds are known to be indicator species of ecosystem health. Furthermore, they are relatively easy to observe. In 2001, the Tucson Bird Count (TBC) was initiated to establish a long-term monitoring effort of bird biodiversity in urban Tucson. This project investigates long-term trends in the relative abundances of six common urban Tucson bird species across land classifications using the latest National Land Cover Database products, spanning 15 years. Using zonal statistics methods to aggregate bird count data within land cover classifications, this analysis determined mean relative abundance for six species over time and across land cover types. The results found that population abundance for these species has been relatively stable over time and consistent across land classifications. While overall bird species populations have declined in North America, in urban Tucson, birds are adapting. Further analysis of the TBC is needed to gain insight into species distribution and the complexities of urban habitats.
    • Traces of Existence: Evidence of Prehistoric Populations in the Cibola National Forest of New Mexico

      Lukinbeal, Christopher; Gregory, Teresa L. (The University of Arizona., 2016-12)
      Is there more we can learn about the movement of prehistoric Puebloan people during the A.D. 900–1400 time period? In those moments of time when small groups of people dispersed across the landscape and formed aggregated communities. Some of the answers lie in the generally understudied landscape of the federally protected Cibola National Forest in west-central New Mexico. This area is on the eastern periphery of a well-documented Zuni region, and preliminary archaeological site data revealed the potential to further that knowledge. During a 10-day pedestrian survey, 42 archaeological sites containing a variety of traditional Zuni and local Lion Mountain pottery types were recorded. The presence of these Puebloan peoples was confirmed through analysis of the ceramics using the accepted Stanley South Mean Ceramic Dating techniques. Patterns of site locations dating from the Pueblo II to Pueblo IV time period were evaluated using ESRI ArcGIS mapping software. Specific data analysis including nearest neighbor, euclidean distance, and least cost analysis were used to relate the archaeological sites to each other and to the Pueblo communities in the southwest. This recently discovered settlement area near Lion Mountain revealed remnants of past Zuni populations and is further evidence of the expansion of these prehistoric peoples. The pottery shreds discovered at those sites, along with the architecture and specific kiva types, links the distinctive aggregated Zuni and Lion Mountain Communities together and allows for further investigations to explore settlement organization, exchange networks, and a facet of other archaeological questions.

      Mason, Jennifer; Youngstrum, Gavin (The University of Arizona., 2021-08)
      California has been in a drought since the year 2000 and is now considered to be in a “megadrought” (Borunda, 2021). Dead and weak trees are susceptible to native bark beetles and as the drought continues to create more vulnerable trees, the bark beetle population has been increasing, causing more tree mortality (Rosner, 2020). Giant sequoia trees are the largest trees on Earth and live for thousands of years (“Giant Sequoias”, 2021). Scientist have seen not a severe increase in sequoia tree mortality due to the drought but have seen a “die-back” in their foliage and canopy loss caused by low water stress (“Leaf to Landscape”, 2016). Fire is an important part to the life cycle of giant sequoia trees, and they have been known to survive through many fires throughout their existence (“Giant Sequoias and Fire”, n.d.). However, with an increase in forest fire fuel from the drought, rising temperatures causing dryer tinder and many years of fire suppression, fires are getting unnaturally hotter and stronger, putting sequoia trees at risk (Fox, 2021). When scientists noticed their dying foliage and canopy loss, the Leaf to Landscape Project was created through partnership with multiple federal agencies and universities to study the giant sequoia trees health (“Leaf to Landscape”, 2016). The project collected tree data by flying an aircraft over Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park using LiDAR technology (Nydick, 2018). My project utilizes the LiDAR data to analyze dead tree clusters and their proximity to giant sequoia groves using a variety of cluster finding techniques using ArcGIS Pro. Locating dead tree clusters will help assist with future fire planning for the protection of sequoia trees.

      Mason, Jennifer; Ali, Abdelrhman (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
      Parks play an essential environmental and cultural function by improving the quality of life and creating valuable green space. Providing new parkland with adequate distribution and accessibility can assist in planning and development and enhance recreation projects. The Parks and Recreation Department in Tucson needs to identify and evaluate acquisitions to make informed decisions on building new parks. Doing that will provide value and benefits to the system and grow equitable access to the parks —it also aligns with other city goals to understand potential priorities of expanding the parks for underserved areas. A comprehensive acquisition strategy was formulated based on several factors to evaluate and prioritize parkland opportunities that ensure the parks are equally distributed. Using existing data from The Trust for Public Land, Pima Association of Governments, and other datasets from the City of Tucson's open data portal, ranked suitability analysis was used to find suitable areas for new parks. The analysis gave us a classification of all the possible places that can be considered appropriate and the rank of their importance. Moreover, Model Builder was utilized to update and automate the individual factors for future analysis. The outcomes of this study will provide the city with a roadmap for acquiring land for parks that meet the community's needs.
    • Tunnel Fire's Effects on Northern Arizona 2022

      Sanchez, Fernando; Allen, David "Wil" (The University of Arizona., 2022)
      Flagstaff, Arizona has a diverse landscape and despite the regular monsoons and snowfall, Flagstaff is still subject to fires. The Tunnel Fire started on April 17, 2022 and burned almost 20,000 acres just outside of Flagstaff’s city limits. While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, authorities do not believe it was started by lightning. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) will be used to analyze the health of the landscape before and after the fire occurred. In addition, hydrological modeling was performed to model theoretical watersheds of Flagstaff and its greater area. Then several of the theoretical watersheds are used to define the study area around the fire as watersheds can play a role in the spread or containment of fires. Then further hydrological modeling was conducted on the defined study area. Data for this project was obtained by the National Map, Sentinel 2A, Landsat 8, and Landsat 9. Upon completion of this project, the difference in the NBR or the dNBR showed a fire scar on the landscape and the NDVI where the fire took place had its values decreased significantly. Climate change is leading to more forest fires and managing the forests is of upmost importance in preventing and minimizing damage from future fires as climate change affects the wind patterns, rain patterns, temperatures, and the overall health of the forests.
    • Understanding Patterns of Extraterrestrial Phenomena: An Exploratory Spatial Analysis of UFO Sightings Throughout the Contiguous United States from 1910-2014

      Lukinbeal, Chris; Prichett, Hannajane (The University of Arizona., 2021-08)
      Are humans alone in the universe? It is one of the most profound existential questions of all time. It is a question that this project regrettably will not answer. We all want to know if UFOs are real because not understanding the unexplained is uncomfortable. Analyses in this project seeks to uncover consistent patterns in the reported sightings of extraterrestrial phenomena in the contiguous United States in the last century. The purpose of this master’s project is to analyze data to look for patterns and relationships between UFO sightings and population density, population movement over the last century, and UFO sightings relationships to military installations across the Contiguous United States. To do so, tabular data was geocoded, and a geodatabase was established reflecting sightings between 1910 and 2014. The points were clipped to the Contiguous United States and analysis of the data focused on density and buffer analyses to examine population density relationships, mean center for population movement through time, and buffer analyses to examine sightings relationships to military installations. Results tend to show a relationship between population density and increased sightings of UFOs. No conclusive results showing temporal patterns related to a mean center analysis and mixed results related to military installations were found. GIS based research on UFOs is an important and growing field of study. This Masters Project contributes to helping us better understand UFO data from a spatial science perspective.
    • Using ArcGIS Dashboards To Monitor Scheduled Python Geoprocessing Scripts

      Sanchez Trigueros, Fernando; Montes, Celso (The University of Arizona., 2022-05)
      There is a need in Pima County’s Information Technology Department, Geographic Information Systems Division for visualizing the status of GIS scheduled Python jobs that run on various servers throughout the day and night. Most scheduled job owners get notified if there is a problem with the script. However, end users of the data may not necessarily be notified that the data they are viewing did not update. This leads to the end users being perplexed on why their edits made the day before are not visible. The solution was to create a Python module called PC_Monitor that the script owner imports into the beginning of an existing or new script that is executed at the end of the script in either its own try, except statement or at the end of a finally statement. Parameters need to be passed into one of the module’s functions to successfully update the database table. The database table is then used for visualizing the status of the script using ArcGIS Dashboards widgets. The module captures various information programmatically using user inputs. Most importantly, the module captures and records the status of the script (Success, Finished with Warnings, or Failed) and the first 255 characters of the status message for Finished with Warnings and Failed. The module has been successful in various test situations on multiple servers. The PC_Monitor module alongside the ArcGIS Dashboard will help our organization’s GIS users to visually monitor the status of Python scripts, keep track of Python scripts, and the effect those scripts have on data sets.
    • Using Classification and Regression Tree and Valley Bottom Modeling Techniques to Identify Riparian Vegetation in Pinal County, Arizona

      van Leeuwen, Willem J.D.; Hickson, Benjamin (The University of Arizona., 2015-01-01)
      The ecological value and functionality of riparian systems along ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial streams in the Southwest is well established. In Pinal County, Arizona the existing datasets available to environmental managers and governing bodies drastically underestimate the extent and presence of riparian zones. This study addresses the issue through the use of remote sensing land cover classification techniques. Landsat 8 data, topographic data, and high-resolution color infrared (CIR) imagery, and several derived vegetation indices are used to construct a classification and regression tree (CART) model. Using training data, the CART model is used for the identification and delineation of basic land cover classes across the County. Woody annual and perennial species are identified and associated to riparian zones using a valley bottom model (VBM) developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The CART model (kappa value of 0.76) found that 929 square-miles of annual vegetation and 651 square-miles of perennial vegetation are present across Pinal County. Annual and perennial vegetation classifications are assessed for density using a 0.33 acre moving window. The density values for both classes are then used in conjunction to differentiate upland, xeroriparian, mesoriparian, and hydropriarian vegetation zones. Vegetation zones are clipped to regions where the VBM identifies valley bottom probability to be 62 percent or greater. The results generated provide a sufficiently comprehensive dataset that gives County managers and environmental professionals improved insight into the presence and distribution of important riparian habitats.
    • Using Earth Observations to Map the Spatial Distribution of Buffelgrass in the Sonoran Desert

      Lukinbeal, Chris; Jackson, Scarlet (The University of Arizona., 2022)
      The Sonoran Desert is recognized as an arid ecosystem with a year-round warm climate and biodiverse desert flora. The desert spans across the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Much of the native flora, like the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), are important members of the Sonoran Desert for native wildlife and human society. Currently, the ecosystem is being threatened by the rapid spread of an invasive grass species known as buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris), as it is changing the desert landscape to a grassland and contributes to more flammable fuel of surging wildfires. This project, in partnership with the Tucson Sonoran Desert Museum’s “Save our Saguaros” initiative, utilized satellite imagery of Tumamoc Hill and Sentinel Peak from Google Earth to develop and assess an optimal workflow marking the spatial distribution of buffelgrass via manual mapping. This would aid in early detection and rapid response management not only within the study area but other areas of the Sonoran Desert. GIS analysts worked with a predetermined buffelgrass identification key to manually plot growth sites of the species across the study site. Satellite Imagery from 2016-2020 was found to provide the best visual reference for historical buffelgrass growth and through remote mapping and ground truthing a significant accuracy level was achieved.