Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Biological Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 62 pages) : color illustrations, color maps

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

George Robinson

Committee Members

John Davis


Conservation, GIS, Restoration, Stormwater, Urban environment, Watershed management, Biodiversity conservation, Urban runoff, Municipal water supply

Subject Categories

Environmental Sciences | Geographic Information Sciences


Many planning and land use decisions in New York State are controlled at the local (town or municipal) level, not an optimal scale for planning and implementing resource conservation management. Watershed boundaries provide a more ecologically meaningful scale for conservation, because they capture a full range of natural ecosystem processes that span political boundaries. However, defining an urban watershed is complicated by stormwater infrastructure, so standard topographic watershed boundaries may be inadequate for urban resource conservation even when applied at the watershed scale. Storm-watersheds distort both municipal and watershed boundaries, because the flows are redirected in ways that are often uncertain and difficult to monitor. As a result, ecological impacts of stormwater runoff are difficult to assess. For example, Minimum Control Measure 3 (MCM3), of the SPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) Permit, addresses illicit discharge detection and elimination of stormwater pollution, but its application can be problematic in “novel” storm-watersheds.