Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Jane M. Read


Emerald Ash Borer, Geographic information systems (GIS), Invasive species, Spatial modeling

Subject Categories



After going undetected for roughly a decade, the emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis)--an invasive beetle native to Asia--was first detected in North America near Detroit, MI, in the summer of 2002 where it has continued to decimate native ash trees (Fraxinus species) and increase its footprint ever since. The beetle's ability to disperse via human-facilitated mechanisms as well as biological means has resulted in an alarming pace of infestation, with the first positive EAB identification in the state of New York taking place in 2009. Using geographic information systems technology, logistic regression, and maximum entropy modeling (Maxent), this project identifies the environmental predictors that are most associated with the presence of the EAB in the 16-county, western New York quarantine zone. From here, risk maps predicting which areas in this study zone are most susceptible to a future invasion of the EAB were created and compared to a second dataset of known locations of the EAB for accuracy assessment. These results were then considered for their ability to inform EAB management and prevention efforts at the present time and in the near future when the effects of climate change are taken into account.


Open Access

Included in

Geography Commons