Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Natural Resources (MNR)


Natural Resources

Committee Chair(s)

Chris Luecke


Chris Luecke


Invasive species issues have been on the rise in the United States for decades. These organisms can disrupt the natural flow of an ecosystem and overtake native species, altering an environment as a whole. The introduction of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) in 1988, followed by the quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis) in 1989 is arguably the most prolific aquatic infestation the nation is currently up against (Hoddle, 2022). Beginning in the Great Lakes, both quagga and zebra mussels quickly spread their infestations through the Midwest and the East coast. The potential invasion of these species across the West poses the same environmental concerns as the current infestations, though an introduction of quagga or zebra in the western states would affect the economy, residents’ taxes and utility bills, and the agriculture and recreation industries.