Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Information Systems

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Brian Bennett

Committee Members

Andrew Joyner, Ghaith Husari


The Plant Hardiness Zone Map consists of thirteen geographical zones that describe whether a plant can survive based on average annual minimal temperatures. As climate change progresses, minimum temperatures in all regions are expected to change. This work programmatically evaluates predicted future climate projection data and converts it to United States Department of Agriculture-defined hardiness zones. Through the next 80 years, hardiness zones are projected to move poleward; in effect, colder zones will lose area and warmer zones will gain area globally. Some implications include changes in crop growing degree days, which could alter crop productivity, migration and settlement of invasive species over native species in shifted zones, and the interruption of plant vernalization, which is an important factor in establishing dormancy. The programmatic evaluation and analysis of hardiness zone change is a strategic lens for viewing the effects and rate of climate change using an easy-to-grasp metric.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.