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  Access Rights: Public
 Degree Discipline: Environmental Science
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Modeling the Relationship Between Golden Algae Blooms in Lake Texoma, Usa, Versus Nearby Land Use and Other Physical Variables

Modeling the Relationship Between Golden Algae Blooms in Lake Texoma, Usa, Versus Nearby Land Use and Other Physical Variables

Date: August 2012
Creator: Ware, Trudy M.
Description: Pyrmnesium parvum, commonly known as golden algae, is an algal species that under certain circumstances releases toxins which can lead to fish kills and the death of other economically and ecologically important organisms. One of the major objectives of the study was to investigate whether a relationship exists between land use and Prymnesium parvum abundance in littoral sites of Lake Texoma, USA. Another objective was to investigate whether a relationship exists between other physical variables and counts of P. parvum. Lastly, developing a valid model that predicts P. parvum abundance was an objective of the study. Through stepwise regression, a small but highly significant amount of the variation in P. parvum counts was found to be explained by wetlands, soil erodibility and lake elevation. The developed model provides insight for potential golden algae management plans, such as maintaining wetlands and teaching land owners the relationship between soil erosivity and golden algae blooms.
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Optimizing Scientific and Social Attributes of Pharmaceutical Take Back Programs to Improve Public and Environmental Health

Optimizing Scientific and Social Attributes of Pharmaceutical Take Back Programs to Improve Public and Environmental Health

Date: August 2012
Creator: Stoddard, Kati Ireland
Description: Research continues to show that pharmaceutical environmental contamination has caused adverse environmental effects, with one of the most studied effects being feminization of fish exposed to pharmaceutical endocrine disruptors. Additionally, there are also public health risks associated with pharmaceuticals because in-home reserves of medications provide opportunities for accidental poisoning and intentional medication abuse. Pharmaceutical take back programs have been seen as a remedy to these concerns; however a thorough review of peer-reviewed literature and publicly available information on these programs indicates limited research has been conducted to validate these programs as a purported solution. Furthermore, there are significant data gaps on key factors relating to take back program participants. The purpose of this dissertation was therefore to address these gaps in knowledge and ultimately determine if take back programs could actually improve public and environmental health. This was accomplished by conducting social and scientific research on a take back program called Denton Drug Disposal Day (D4). Socioeconomic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of D4 participants were investigated using surveys and geographic analysis. Impacts on public health were determined by comparing medications collected at D4 events with medications reported to the North Texas Poison Center as causing adverse drug exposures in Denton ...
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Organic carbon dynamics of the Neches River and its floodplain.

Organic carbon dynamics of the Neches River and its floodplain.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Stamatis, Allison Davis
Description: A large river system typically derives the majority of its biomass from production within the floodplain. The Neches River in the Big Thicket National Preserve is a large blackwater river that has an extensive forested floodplain. Organic carbon was analyzed within the floodplain waters and the river (upstream and downstream of the floodplain) to determine the amount of organic carbon from the floodplain that is contributing to the nutrient dynamics in the river. Dissolved organic carbon was significantly higher at downstream river locations during high discharge. Higher organic carbon levels in the floodplain contributed to increases in organic carbon within the Neches River downstream of the floodplain when Neches River discharges exceeded 10,000 cfs. Hurricane Rita passed through the Big Thicket National Preserve in September 2005. Dissolved organic carbon concentrations recorded after Hurricane Rita in the Neches River downstream of the floodplain were significantly higher than upstream of the floodplain. Dissolved organic carbon was twice as high after the hurricane than levels prior to the hurricane, with floodplain concentrations exceeding 50 ppm C. The increase in organic carbon was likely due to nutrients leached from leaves, which were swept from the floodplain trees prior to normal abscission in the fall. ...
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A paleozoological perspective on predator extermination and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Boddaert) overabundance in central Texas.

A paleozoological perspective on predator extermination and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Boddaert) overabundance in central Texas.

Date: May 2007
Creator: Wolverton, Steven J.
Description: Archaeological and paleontological datasets are used in conservation to add time-depth to ecology. In central Texas several top carnivores including prehistoric Native American hunters have been extirpated or have had their historic ranges restricted, which has resulted in pest-level white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus texana) populations in some areas. Predator extermination has dramatically reduced the average body size of members of the extant predator guild, and large carnivores most capable of hunting white-tailed deer are extirpated. Character release in the remaining “large” predatorsmesocarnivoresis a predicted outcome related to the adaptive vacuum at the top of the trophic hierarchy. Differences in body size of deer between prehistory and modernity are expected given that a lack of predation likely has increased intraspecific competition for forage among deer resulting in smaller body size today. In fact modern deer from settings without harvest pressure are significantly smaller than those from harvested areas and from prehistoric deer. From a natural history perspective, this research highlights potential evolutionary causes and effects of top-predator removal on deer populations and related components of biological communities in central Texas.
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Population Dynamics of Zebra Mussels (Dreissena Polymorpha) in a North Texas Reservoir: Implications for Invasions in the Southern United States

Population Dynamics of Zebra Mussels (Dreissena Polymorpha) in a North Texas Reservoir: Implications for Invasions in the Southern United States

Date: December 2013
Creator: Churchill, Christopher J.
Description: This dissertation has two main objectives: first, quantify the effects of environmental conditions on spatio-temporal spawning and larval dynamics of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha [Pallas 1771]) in Lake Texoma, and second, quantify the effects of environmental conditions on survival, growth, and reproduction of young of the year (YOY) juvenile zebra mussels. These biological responses directly influence population establishment success and invasive spread dynamics. Reproductive output of the zebra mussel population in Lake Texoma was significantly related to water temperature and lake elevation. Annual maximum larval (veliger) density decreased significantly indicating a population crash, which was likely caused by thermal stress and variability of lake elevation. In 2011, temperatures peaked at 34.3°C and lake elevation decreased to the lowest level recorded during the previous 18 years, which desiccated a substantial number of settled mussels in littoral zones. Estimated mean date of first spawn in Lake Texoma was observed approximately 1.5 months earlier than in Lake Erie, and peak veliger densities were observed two months earlier. Veligers were observed in the deepest oxygenated water after lake stratification. During a 69-day in situ experiment during summer in Lake Texoma, age-specific mortality of zebra mussels was generally high until temperatures decreased to approximately 28°C, ...
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Portrait of your stream: Development and assessment of a stream ecology program for middle-school student

Portrait of your stream: Development and assessment of a stream ecology program for middle-school student

Date: May 2001
Creator: Swirczynski, Brenda J.
Description: Portrait of Your Stream (POYS) is a stream ecology and student action program designed for use with middle-school students. The program is correlated with learning cycle pedagogical methods emphasizing student-centered lessons and activities in both classroom and outdoor settings. Implementation of a pilot program in the Fall semester of 1999 was used to collect formal and informal responses and data from students and teachers. Data included changes in student knowledge, skills and attitudes and were analyzed for determination of the success of program objectives and modifications to the program. The final POYS program is currently distributed and administered by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
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Pretreatment Optimization of Fiberglass Manufacturing Industrial Wastewater

Pretreatment Optimization of Fiberglass Manufacturing Industrial Wastewater

Date: December 1998
Creator: Dragoo, Ron
Description: Wastewater effluent produced in the fiberglass manufacturing industry contains a significant amount of total suspended solids. Environmental regulations require pretreatment of effluent before it is discharged to the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Chemical precipitation by coagulation and flocculation is the method of pretreatment used at the Vetrotex CertainTeed Corporation (VCT). A treatability study was conducted to determine conditions at which the VCT Wastewater Pretreatment Plant could operate to consistently achieve a total suspended solids concentration ≤ 200-mg/L. Jar tests varied pH, polymer dosage, and ferric sulfate dosage. Total suspended solids and turbidity were measured to evaluate treatment performance. The data were used to determine an optimum set of conditions under project guidelines. Of twelve polymers screened, BPL 594 was selected as the most effective polymer. For cost efficiency in the wastewater pretreatment operation, recommendations suggested that treatment chemical injection be electronically controlled according to turbidity of the treated effluent.
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Quantifying Forest Vertical Structure to Determine Bird Habitat Quality in the Greenbelt Corridor, Denton, Tx

Quantifying Forest Vertical Structure to Determine Bird Habitat Quality in the Greenbelt Corridor, Denton, Tx

Date: August 2013
Creator: Matsubayashi, Shiho
Description: This study presents the integration of light detection and range (LiDAR) and hyperspectral remote sensing to create a three-dimensional bird habitat map in the Greenbelt Corridor of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. This map permits to examine the relationship between forest stand structure, landscape heterogeneity, and bird community composition. A biannual bird census was conducted at this site during the breeding seasons of 2009 and 2010. Census data combined with the three-dimensional map suggest that local breeding bird abundance, community structure, and spatial distribution patterns are highly influenced by vertical heterogeneity of vegetation surface. For local breeding birds, vertical heterogeneity of canopy surface within stands, connectivity to adjacent forest patches, largest forest patch index, and habitat (vegetation) types proved to be the most influential factors to determine bird community assemblages. Results also highlight the critical role of secondary forests to increase functional connectivity of forest patches. Overall, three-dimensional habitat descriptions derived from integrated LiDAR and hyperspectral data serve as a powerful bird conservation tool that shows how the distribution of bird species relates to forest composition and structure at various scales.
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Rainfall-runoff changes due to urbanization: a comparison of different spatial resolutions for lumped surface water hydrology models using HEC-HMS.

Rainfall-runoff changes due to urbanization: a comparison of different spatial resolutions for lumped surface water hydrology models using HEC-HMS.

Date: December 2005
Creator: Redfearn, Howard Daniel
Description: Hydrologic models were used to examine the effects of land cover change on the flow regime of a watershed located in North-Central Texas. Additionally, the effect of spatial resolution was examined by conducting the simulations using sub-watersheds of different sizes to account for the watershed. Using the Army Corps of Engineers, Hydrologic Engineering Center Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS), two different modeling methods were evaluated at the different sub-watershed resolutions for four rainfall events. Calibration results indicate using the smaller spatial resolutions improves the model results. Different scenarios for land cover change were evaluated for all resolutions using both models. As land cover change increased, the amount of flow from the watershed increased.
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Recovery of the Fish Population of a Municipal Wastewater Dominated, North Texas Creek after a Major Chlorine Disturbance

Recovery of the Fish Population of a Municipal Wastewater Dominated, North Texas Creek after a Major Chlorine Disturbance

Date: August 2002
Creator: Maschmann, Gerald F.
Description: This study evaluated the effects of a major chlorine disturbance on fish communities in Pecan creek by the City of Denton's Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant. Fish communities in Pecan Creek were sampled using a depletion methodology during February, April, July, and November, 1999. February and April sampling events showed that the fish communities were severely impacted by the chlorine. Sampling during July and November showed fish communities recovered in Pecan Creek. The first-twenty minutes of shocking and seining data were analyzed to mirror an equal effort methodology. This methodology was compared to the depletion methodology to see if the equal effort methodology could adequately monitor the recovery of Pecan Creek after the chlorine disturbance. It was determined that the equal effort methodology was capable of monitoring the recovery of Pecan Creek, but could not accurately represent the fisheries community as well as the depletion method. These data using the twenty-minute study were compared to a previous study. Results of this study were similar to those found in a previous study, although fish communities were more severely impacted and took longer to recover.
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