Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Leslie Hopkinson

Committee Co-Chair

Avinash Unnikrishnan

Committee Member

Yoo Jung Yoon


The West Virginia Divisions of Highways (WVDOH) utilizes the establishment of grass cover as a temporary and permanent management practice to mediate the effects of erosion on highway construction sites. Current West Virginia regulations include five seed mixtures for permanent applications that include combinations of nine species. Six of these species are identified as invasive, and all nine species are considered introduced or both native and introduced. This research developed alternative seed mixtures that included low threat or native species. The alternative seed mixtures were then evaluated in a field test. The research also examined seedbed preparation techniques, the performance of soil amendment and media products, and need for a high elevation specific mixture. Four plots were developed to test these variables over a 90 day period. The sites were monitored biweekly for percent cover. Sensors were in place to monitor precipitation, ambient air and soil temperatures, volumetric water content, and electrical conductivity. Four alternative mixtures (mowable areas, warm season, cool season and high elevation) performed as well or better than current WVDOH seed mixtures. Statistical analysis determined a high elevation specific mixture was not required to achieve adequate coverage at high elevations in West Virginia. After ninety days there were no significant differences among seedbed preparation techniques.