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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Geography
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Analysis of Micro Enterprise Clusters in Developing Countries:  A Case Study of Toluca, Mexico.

Analysis of Micro Enterprise Clusters in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Toluca, Mexico.

Date: August 2011
Creator: Drauschke, Kristin
Description: Businesses cluster to achieve agglomeration benefits. However, research in developing countries suggests that the economic environment limits small business’ propensity to benefit from agglomerations. The study examines the location, networking patterns, formal structures and owner characteristics of 1256 micro businesses from ten industries and thirteen sample areas in Toluca, Mexico. First, the thesis analyses whether clustering has a positive impact on the success rates of the surveyed enterprises, e.g. higher sales per employee. On an industry scale only Retail benefits from agglomerations economies. However, results of the neighborhood data show that specific areas benefit from urbanization economies. Overall, the study finds that businesses located within agglomerations, have higher levels of formalization, networking and professional training, hence constituting a more sophisticated base for economic development. Conclusions can be drawn for development policies and programs, arguing for a more differentiated approach of small business development depending on business location and cluster characteristics.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
An Analysis of UNT Commuting Patterns

An Analysis of UNT Commuting Patterns

Date: May 2010
Creator: Waskey, Susan L.
Description: Academic institutions have recently organized to address their campus' greenhouse gas emissions. Along those lines, the University of North Texas (UNT) pledged to minimize the campus' environmental impact, and conducted a transportation survey in May 2009. The analyses confirm that commuting to campus was the second highest source (29%) of UNT's greenhouse gas emissions, following purchased electricity (48%). Students, faculty and staff drive over 89 million miles per year, 84% of which comes from students. Forty‐two percent of student driving trips originate in the primary and secondary core areas surrounding Denton, which are partially served by buses. However, because these core areas are in close proximity to the campus, they contribute only 8% of the total student driving distance. Beyond the Denton core, the inner periphery of Denton County contributes another 22% of driving mileage. Students living in the outer periphery (outside Denton County) contribute the remaining 70% of total driving distance, and carpooling is currently their only alternative.
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Archaeological Proteomics: Method Development and Analysis of Protein-Ceramic Binding

Archaeological Proteomics: Method Development and Analysis of Protein-Ceramic Binding

Date: May 2010
Creator: Barker, Andrew L.
Description: The analysis of protein residues recovered from archaeological artifacts provides a unique opportunity to reveal new information about past societies. However, many scientists are currently unwilling to accept protein-based results due to problems in method development and a basic lack of agreement regarding the ability of proteins to bind to, and preserve within, artifacts such as pottery. In this paper, I address these challenges by conducting a two-phase experiment. First, I quantitatively evaluate the tendency of proteins to sorb to ceramic matrices by using total organic carbon analysis and spectrophotometric assays to analyze samples of experimentally cooked ceramic. I then test a series of solvent and physical parameters in order to develop an optimized method for extracting and preparing protein residues for identification via mass spectrometry. Results demonstrate that protein strongly sorbs to ceramic and is not easily removed, despite repeated washing, unless an appropriate extraction strategy is used. This has implications for the future of paleodietary, conservation ecology and forensic research in that it suggests the potential for recovery of aged or even ancient proteins from ceramic matrices.
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Assessing the Role of Smaller Format Retailers on the Food Desert Landscape in Dallas, Texas

Assessing the Role of Smaller Format Retailers on the Food Desert Landscape in Dallas, Texas

Date: May 2013
Creator: Regan, Amanda D.
Description: Many policy and business decisions regarding food deserts in the U.S. are based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition of a food desert. This definition only includes large/national chain grocery retailers, based on the assumption that these major retailers are the only affordable sources of food contributing to balanced diets. As alternative distribution channels, including smaller stores, start to include groceries in their product offering, the need to consider the role of other businesses in the food retailing environment should be addressed. This thesis assesses the role of smaller format grocery retailers (small local grocers, convenience stores, gas stations, dollar stores, and drug stores) in shaping the food desert landscape in Dallas, Texas. The analysis evaluates the products offered in these stores, and then identifies the difference these stores make when included in the USDA analysis. This was done by collecting in-store data to determine the variety of products offered, the affordability of those products, and the overall healthfulness of the store. In addition, the gaps in supply and demand were identified in the USDA-defined food deserts in order to identify the impact any smaller format retailer may have. The findings suggest that, overall, smaller format retailers ...
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Assessment of Post-earthquake Building Damage Using High-resolution Satellite Images and Lidar Data - a Case Study From Port-au-prince, Haiti

Assessment of Post-earthquake Building Damage Using High-resolution Satellite Images and Lidar Data - a Case Study From Port-au-prince, Haiti

Date: August 2014
Creator: Koohikamali, Mehrdad
Description: When an earthquake happens, one of the most important tasks of disaster managers is to conduct damage assessment; this is mostly done from remotely sensed data. This study presents a new method for building detection and damage assessment using high-resolution satellite images and LiDAR data from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A graph-cut method is used for building detection due to its advantages compared to traditional methods such as the Hough transform. Results of two methods are compared to understand how much our proposed technique is effective. Afterwards, sensitivity analysis is performed to show the effect of image resolution on the efficiency of our method. Results are in four groups. First: based on two criteria for sensitivity analysis, completeness and correctness, the more efficient method is graph-cut, and the final building mask layer is used for damage assessment. Next, building damage assessment is done using change detection technique from two images from period of before and after the earthquake. Third, to integrate LiDAR data and damage assessment, we showed there is a strong relationship between terrain roughness variables that are calculated using digital surface models. Finally, open street map and normalized digital surface model are used to detect possible road blockages. Results of ...
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Assessment of Transportation Emissions for Ferrous Scrap Exports from the United States: Activity-Based Maritime Emissions Model and Theoretical Inland Transportation Model.

Assessment of Transportation Emissions for Ferrous Scrap Exports from the United States: Activity-Based Maritime Emissions Model and Theoretical Inland Transportation Model.

Date: December 2011
Creator: Caldwell, Amanda
Description: Industrial ecology is a field of study that encourages the use of closed-loop material cycles to achieve sustainability. Loop closing requires the movement of materials over space, and has long been practiced in the iron and steel industry. Iron and steel (ferrous) scrap generated in the U.S. is increasingly exported to countries in Asia, lengthening the transportation distance associated with closing the loop on the iron and steel life cycle. In order to understand the environmental cost of transporting this commodity, an activity-based maritime transportation model and a theoretical in-land transportation model are used to estimate emissions generated. Results indicate that 10.4 mmt of total emissions were generated, and emissions increased by 136 percent from 2004 to 2009. Increases in the amount of emissions generated are due to increases in the amount of scrap exported and distance it is transported.
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Automated Treetop Detection and Tree Crown Identification Using Discrete-return Lidar Data

Automated Treetop Detection and Tree Crown Identification Using Discrete-return Lidar Data

Date: May 2013
Creator: Liu, Haijian
Description: Accurate estimates of tree and forest biomass are essential for a wide range of applications. Automated treetop detection and tree crown discrimination using LiDAR data can greatly facilitate forest biomass estimation. Previous work has focused on homogenous or single-species forests, while few studies have focused on mixed forests. In this study, a new method for treetop detection is proposed in which the treetop is the cluster center of selected points rather than the highest point. Based on treetop detection, tree crowns are discriminated through comparison of three-dimensional shape signatures. The methods are first tested using simulated LiDAR point clouds for trees, and then applied to real LiDAR data from the Soquel Demonstration State Forest, California, USA. Results from both simulated and real LiDAR data show that the proposed method has great potential for effective detection of treetops and discrimination of tree crowns.
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Contribution of Hurricane Ike Storm Surge Sedimentation to Long-term Aggradation of Coastal Marshes in Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana

Contribution of Hurricane Ike Storm Surge Sedimentation to Long-term Aggradation of Coastal Marshes in Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana

Date: August 2013
Creator: Denlinger, Emily E.
Description: Coastal marshes and wetlands are vital natural resources that offer habitats for plants and animals, serve as ecological filtration for soil and water pollutants, and act as protection for coastlines. Fishing, both commercial and sport, has a large economic impact in the study area – the Gulf Coast between Galveston Bay, TX and Oak Grove, LA. The objective of this research was to determine the contribution of Hurricane Ike storm surge sedimentation to long-term marsh aggradation in Texas and Louisiana coastal marshes. The research hypothesized that Hurricane Ike’s storm surge deposit would be equal to decades and possibly even a century’s worth of the average annual non-storm sedimentation. A quantitative field study was performed. The storm surge deposit was examined in a series of 15 transects covering approximately 180 km east of Hurricane Ike’s landfall. Nine of the 15 transects were re-surveyed a year after the initial measurement to assess preservation of the deposit. The results demonstrate that Hurricane Ike contributed between 10 to 135 years’ worth of sediment to coastal marshes along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, and the sediment deposits have been preserved for over two years.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
County Level Population Estimation Using Knowledge-Based Image Classification and Regression Models

County Level Population Estimation Using Knowledge-Based Image Classification and Regression Models

Date: August 2010
Creator: Nepali, Anjeev
Description: This paper presents methods and results of county-level population estimation using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images of Denton County and Collin County in Texas. Landsat TM images acquired in March 2000 were classified into residential and non-residential classes using maximum likelihood classification and knowledge-based classification methods. Accuracy assessment results from the classified image produced using knowledge-based classification and traditional supervised classification (maximum likelihood classification) methods suggest that knowledge-based classification is more effective than traditional supervised classification methods. Furthermore, using randomly selected samples of census block groups, ordinary least squares (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models were created for total population estimation. The overall accuracy of the models is over 96% at the county level. The results also suggest that underestimation normally occurs in block groups with high population density, whereas overestimation occurs in block groups with low population density.
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Effects of Non-homogenous Population Distribution on Smoothed Maps Produced Using Kernel Density Estimation Methods

Effects of Non-homogenous Population Distribution on Smoothed Maps Produced Using Kernel Density Estimation Methods

Date: December 2014
Creator: Jones, Jesse Jack
Description: Understanding spatial perspectives on the spread and incidence of a disease is invaluable for public health planning and intervention. Choropleth maps are commonly used to provide an abstraction of disease risk across geographic space. These maps are derived from aggregated population counts that are known to be affected by the small numbers problem. Kernel density estimation methods account for this problem by producing risk estimates that are based on aggregations of approximately equal population sizes. However, the process of aggregation often combines data from areas with non-uniform spatial and population characteristics. This thesis presents a new method to aggregate space in ways that are sensitive to their underlying risk factors. Such maps will enable better public health practice and intervention by enhancing our ability to understand the spatial processes that result in disparate health outcomes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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