Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forestry (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Blair D Orr


The objective of this study is to gain a quantitative understanding of land use and land cover change (LULCC) that have occurred in a rural Nicaraguan municipality by analyzing Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) images. By comparing the potential extent of tropical dry forest (TDF) with Landsat 5 TM images, this study analyzes the loss of this forest type on a local level for the municipality of San Juan de Cinco Pinos (63.5 km2) in the Department of Chinandega. Change detection analysis shows where and how land use has changed from 1985 to the present. From 1985 to 2011, nearly 15% of the TDF in San Juan de Cinco Pinos was converted to other land uses. Of the 1434.2 ha of TDF that was present in 1985, 1223.64 ha remained in 2011. The deforestation is primarily a result of agricultural expansion and fuelwood extraction. If current rates of TDF deforestation continue, the municipality faces the prospect of losing its forest cover within the next few decades.