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- Distribution and Probable Sources of Nitrate in the Seymour Aquifer, North Central Texas, USA
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This study utilized GIS and statistical methods to map the spatial variability of nitrate and related groundwater constituents in 30 counties above the Seymour Aquifer, analyze temporal patterns of nitrate pollution, identify probable sources of pollution, and recommend water development strategies to minimize exposure to nitrate and reduce future aquifer contamination. Nitrate concentrations in excess of 44 mg/L (US EPA limit) were commonly observed in the Seymour Aquifer region, especially in the central agricultural belt. Data indicated that this is an ongoing problem in the Seymour Aquifer and that agricultural activity and rural septic systems are the likely sources of the nitrate. Inconclusive results emphasized the need for a more comprehensive spatial and temporal water quality monitoring.
- Automated Treetop Detection and Tree Crown Identification Using Discrete-return Lidar Data
- 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.
- Assessing the Role of Smaller Format Retailers on the Food Desert Landscape in Dallas, Texas
- 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 do offer a variety of products needed for a balanced diet. However, the products in these stores are mostly not affordable, and most stores offer more unhealthy foods, than unhealthy. Overall, results suggest dollar stores may play a role in alleviating the impact of food deserts.
- Use of geographic information systems and infrared-triggered cameras to assess white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) habitat in Denton County, Texas.
- This study utilized geographic information systems, remote sensing, and infrared-triggered cameras to assess white-tailed deer habitat in Denton County, Texas. Denton County is experiencing tremendous growth in both population and development. Despite their presence here historically, white-tailed deer were all but extirpated by the beginning of the 20th century, and there are no data available which support their presence in Denton County again until the 1980's. This study attempts to equate the increase in white-tailed deer population to Denton County's transformation from an agricultural to an urban economy and lifestyle. Eighteen sites were chosen throughout the county to research the following metrics: geology, soils, landcover, landscape ecology, streams, shorelines, land use, population, roads, structures, and census methods.
- Geoarchaeological Analysis of Two New Test Pits at the Dmanisi Site, Republic of Georgia
- This thesis presents the results of geoarchaeological investigations conducted at two new test pits, M11 and M12, at the paleoanthropological site of Dmanisi during the 2012 field season. This research is important for understanding the site formation processes occurring along the north-south axis of the Dmanisi site and how that affects the chronostratigraphic sequence and interpretation of archaeological materials here. With these excavations we can build a stronger interpretation for how broader areas of this site formed and changed both geologically and archaeologically. The geologic results of this study indicate that changes in sediment deposition and development episodes can affect interpretations of how long these sediments accumulated, how likely bones are to preserve, as well as how secondary gravel deposition can influence several archaeological interpretations. The archaeological results suggest that there could have been changes in occupation intensity between the stratum A and B phases although different rates of sediment deposition and surface stability could affect such artifact accumulations. In addition, during the stratum B phase there appears to be little change in artifact procurement behaviors and reduction characteristics by these hominins. The overall results of this research indicate that geologic factors should be addressed and cautions should be taken prior to making interpretations about archaeological assemblages.
- Spatial Analysis of North Central Texas Traffic Fatalities 2001-2006
- A traditional two dimensional (planar) statistical analysis was used to identify the clustering types of North Central Texas traffic fatalities occurring in 2001-2006. Over 3,700 crash locations clustered in ways that were unlike other researched regions. A two dimensional (x and y coordinates) space was manipulated to mimic a one dimensional network to identify the tightest clustering of fatalities in the nearly 400,000 crashes reported from state agencies from 2003-2006. The roadway design was found to significantly affect crash location. A one dimensional (linear) network analysis was then used to measure the statistically significant clustering of flow variables of after dark crashes and daylight crashes. Flow variables were determined to significantly affect crash location after dark. The linear and planar results were compared and the one dimensional, linear analysis was found to be more accurate because it did not over detect the clustering of events on a network.
- Spatio-temporal Variation of Nitrate Levels in Groundwater in Texas, 1970 to 2010
- This study looks at spatial variation of groundwater nitrate in Texas and its fluctuations at 10 year increments using data from the Texas Water Development Board. While groundwater nitrate increased in the Ogallala and Seymour aquifers across the time period, the overall rate in Texas appears to be declining as time progresses. However, the available data is limited. Findings show that a much more targeted, knowledge based strategy for sampling would not only reduce the cost of water quality analysis but also reduce the risk of error in these analyses by providing a more realistic picture of the spatial variation of problem contaminants, thereby giving decision-makers a clearer picture on how best to handle the reduction and elimination of problem contaminants.
- GIS application in emergency management of terrorism events on the University of North Texas campus.
- This thesis presents a Web-based geographic information system (GIS) application for campus emergency management that allows users to visualize, integrate, and analyze student population, facilities, and hazard data for efficient emergency management of University of North Texas before, during, and after a terrorism event. End-users can locate and search the source area of an event on a digital map from the ArcIMS-based Website. The website displays corresponding population information and attributes of impacted facilities in real time. School officials and first responders including police, firefighters and medical personnel can promptly plan the appropriate rescue and response procedures according to the displayed results. Finally, the thesis outlines the limitations of Web-based GIS in the arena of campus emergency management.
- Geography of tuberculosis in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana
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In Ghana, spatial patterns of TB vary for different regions and variations may occur within the same region. This study examines TB distribution in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Behavioral, cultural and economic variables associated with TB morbidity are examined. From January 1998 to June 1999, data obtained from the Ghana Ministry of Health revealed that, men had a higher TB rate than women, TB was common among the age groups 20-29 and 30-39, and the average TB rate of 67.7 per 100, 000 population in the Greater Accra Region was higher than the national average (58.6 per 100,000 population). Using the human ecology model, this study attempts to explain the spatial distribution of the disease.
- Developing a wildlife tracking extension for ArcGIS
- Wildlife tracking is an essential task to gain better understanding of the migration pattern and use of space of the wildlife. Advances in computer technology and global positioning systems (GPS) have lowered costs, reduced processing time, and improved accuracy for tracking wild animals. In this thesis, a wildlife tracking extension is developed for ArcGIS 9.x, which allows biologists and ecologists to effectively track, visualize and analyze the movement patterns of wild animals. The extension has four major components: (1) data import; (2) tracking; (3) spatial and temporal analysis; and (4) data export. Compared with existing software tools for wildlife tracking, the major features of the extension include: (1) wildlife tracking capabilities using a dynamic data layer supported by a file geodatabase with 1 TB storage limit; (2) spatial clustering of wildlife locations; (3) lacunarity analysis of one-dimensional individual animal trajectories and two-dimensional animal locations for better understanding of animal movement patterns; and (4) herds evolvement modeling and graphic representation. The application of the extension is demonstrated using simulated data, test data collected by a GPS collar, and a real dataset collected by ARGOS satellite telemetry for albatrosses in the Pacific Ocean.
- The Impact Of Land Use And Land Cover Change On The Spatial Distribution Of Buruli Ulcer In Southwest Ghana
- Buruli ulcer (BU) is an environmental bacterium caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. Modes of transmission and hosts of the disease remain unknown. The purposes of this study are to explore the environmental factors that are possibly explain the spatial distribution of BU, to predict BU cases by using the environmental factors, and to investigate the impact of land use and land cover change on the BU distribution. The study area covers the southwest portion of Ghana, 74 districts in 6 regions. The results show that the highest endemic areas occur in the center and expand to the southern portion of the study area. Statistically, the incidence rates of BU are positively correlated to the percentage of forest cover and inversely correlated to the percentages of grassland, soil, and urban areas in the study area. That is, forest is the most important environmental risk factor in this study. Model from zero-inflated Poisson regression is used in this paper to explain the impact of each land use and land cover type on the spatial distribution of BU. The results confirm that the changes of land use and land cover affect the spatial distribution of BU in the study area.
- Gis, Modeling And Human Civilization: The Birth Of Geo-social Engineering
- Computer-based, mathematical models have significant value in describing the processes behind urban development and its inhabitants. The following research describes the theories and concepts behind modeling and offers insight into the potential future of the field. First, the research covers a brief history of applicable modeling strategies. This is followed by a summary of current popular approaches. The numerical background of geo-social engineering is developed through mathematical techniques. Geo-social engineering is the integration of modeling into the basic design human civilization. The mathematical models will be incorporated into a design of a computer program. From this, a possible geo-social model structure is presented and its architecture is described.
- Integrating GIS with Benthic Metrics: Calibrating a Biotic Index to Effectively Discriminate Stream Impacts in Urban Areas of the Blackland Prairie Eco-Region
- Rapid Bioassessment Protocols integrate a suite of community, population, and functional metrics, determined from the collection of benthic macroinvertebrates or fish, into a single assessment. This study was conducted in Dallas County Texas, an area located in the blackland prairie eco-region that is semi-arid and densely populated. The objectives of this research were to identify reference streams and propose a set of metrics that are best able to discriminate between differences in community structure due to natural variability from those caused by changes in water quality due to watershed impacts. Using geographic information systems, a total of nine watersheds, each representing a different mix of land uses, were chosen for evaluation. A total of 30 metrics commonly used in RBP protocols were calculated. Efficacy of these metrics to distinguish change was determined using several statistical techniques. Ten metrics were used to classify study area watersheds according to stream quality. Many trends, such as taxa presence along habitat quality gradients, were observed. These gradients coincided with expected responses of stream communities to landscape and habitat variables.
- Geologic and Lithic Analysis of the Red River Cache
- The Red River Cache is an assemblage of 33 bifaces, found in Cooke County, along Cache Creek, a tributary to the Red River. Also found with the cache was a hearth which yielded charcoal for AMS dating which returned an age of 2770- 2710 Cal YBP placing the cache in the Late Archaic. The geologic investigation of Cache Creek established 3 Holocene allostratigraphic units that provide information depositional environments adjacent to the Red River. Lithic analysis explored the production of bifaces during the Late Archaic and compared the cache to regional records. Using both geologic and lithic analysis this thesis investigates the temporal and cultural context of the cache using a geoarchaeological approach.
- Interpreting Prehistoric Patterns: Site Catchment Analysis in the Upper Trinity River Basin of North Central Texas
- Archaeologically site catchment analysis produces valuable information regarding prehistoric subsistence strategies and social organization. Incorporating archaeological data into catchment analyses is an effective strategy to develop regional models of prehistoric site selection and settlement patterns. Digital access to data permits the incorporation of multiple layers of information into the process of synthesizing regional archaeology and interpreting corresponding spatial patterning. GIS software provides a means to integrate digital environmental and archaeological data into an effective tool. Resultant environmental archaeology maps facilitate interpretive analysis. To fulfill the objectives of this thesis, GIS software is employed to construct site catchment areas for archaeological sites and to implement multivariate statistical analyses of physical and biological attributes of catchments in correlation with assemblage data from sites. Guided by ecological, anthropological and geographical theories hypotheses testing evaluates patterns of prehistoric socio-economic behavior. Analytical results are summarized in a model of prehistoric settlement patterns in North Central Texas.
- Analysis of Micro Enterprise Clusters in Developing Countries: A Case Study of Toluca, Mexico.
- 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.
- Assessment of sediment runoff from natural gas well development sites.
- Storm water sediment runoff from disturbed landscapes has the potential to impair aquatic environments. Small construction sites of 1-5 acres in the United States are currently regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to minimize storm water runoff damages to the environment. Gas well construction sites are similar to other construction sites in how the landscape is altered, but are not similarly regulated. This study identified sediment runoff from gas well development sites by collecting it in traps and weirs, and by measuring sediment debris lobes. Sediment primarily consisted of silt and clay sized particles. Sediments from two gas well sites formed five debris lobes that ranged in size from 325 to 3,290 square feet. Sediment loadings estimated from the debris lobes averaged 57.1 tons per year/acre. Future studies should focus on further quantification of sediment movement off of gas well sites and identify effective erosion control methods.
- The Geologic and Archaeological History of the Dickie Carr Site 41PR26
- This thesis is an analysis and synthesis of the geologic and archaeological history of the Dickie Carr site, 41PR26, on Mill Creek in north central Texas. Included are analyses of the stratigraphy, sedimentary environments, and soils of the locality. A regional comparison is made with respect to the Late Quaternary geology of the upper Trinity River basin, Texas to interpret the geologic data. Two stratigraphic units were identified that record the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. The buried lower unit is comprised of terrace, floodplain, and channel deposits with extensive pedogenesis. The unit is Late Pleistocene in age and contains the remains of Mammuthus columbi. The upper stratigraphic unit is comprised of terrace and floodplain sediments with well-expressed pedogenesis. The unit is Early Holocene in age with Late Paleoindian and Late Archaic occupations. The archaeological components are compared and contrasted with documented sites from the Elm and East Forks of the Trinity River. The occupations are examined in a geoarchaeological context. The Late Paleoindian occupation is post-depositional and located in terrace deposits. The Late Archaic occupation is syndepositional and located in floodplain deposits.
- Hyperspectral and Multispectral Image Analysis for Vegetation Study in the Greenbelt Corridor near Denton, Texas
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In this research, hyperspectral and multispectral images were utilized for vegetation studies in the greenbelt corridor near Denton. EO-1 Hyperion was the hyperspectral image and Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) was the multispectral image used for this research. In the first part of the research, both the images were classified for land cover mapping (after necessary atmospheric correction and geometric registration) using supervised classification method with maximum likelihood algorithm and accuracy of the classification was also assessed for comparison. Hyperspectral image was preprocessed for classification through principal component analysis (PCA), segmented principal component analysis and minimum noise fraction (MNF) transform. Three different images were achieved after these pre-processing of the hyperspectral image. Therefore, a total of four images were classified and assessed the accuracy. In the second part, a more precise and improved land cover study was done on hyperspectral image using linear spectral unmixing method. Finally, several vegetation constituents like chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, caroteoids were distinguished from the hyperspectral image using feature-oriented principal component analysis (FOPCA) method and which component dominates which type of land cover particularly vegetation were correlated.
- Selecting Optimal Residential Locations Using Fuzzy GIS Modeling
- Integrating decision analytical techniques in geographic information systems (GIS) can help remove the two primary obstacles in spatial decision making: inaccessibility to required geographic data and difficulties in synthesizing various criteria. I developed a GIS model to assist people seeking optimal residential locations. Fuzzy set theory was used to codify criteria for each factor used in evaluating residential locations, and weighted linear combination (WLC) was employed to simulate users' preferences in decision making. Three examples were used to demonstrate the applications in the study area. The results from the examples were analyzed. The model and the ArcGIS Extension can be used in other geographic areas for residential location selection, or in other applications of spatial decision making.
- An Investigation of the Relationship between HIV and Prison Facilities in Texas: The Geographic Variation and Vulnerable Neighborhood Characteristics
- Previous research suggests that prisons may be fueling the spread of HIV infection in the general population. In 2005, the HIV rate was more than 2.5 times higher in US prison populations. Environmental factors in prisons such as illicit drug use and unprotected sexual activities can be conducive for HIV transmission. Because the vast majority of prison inmates are incarcerated for less than three years, transmission of HIV between prison inmates and members of the general population may occur at a high rate. The environment in which an individual lives and the entities that comprise it affect the health of that person. Thus the location of prisons within communities, as well as socio-demographic characteristics may influence the geography of HIV infection. HIV surveillance data, obtained from the Texas Department of State Health Services, were used to investigate the relationship between the location of prison units in Texas and HIV infection rates in the surrounding zip codes. The results suggest that HIV prevalence rates are higher among geographic areas in close proximity to a prison unit. With continued behavioral risks and low treatment adherence rates among individuals infected with HIV, there is a possibility of increased HIV prevalence. Vulnerable places, locations with higher HIV prevalence, should be targeted for resource allocation and HIV prevention and care service. This study illustrates the importance of spatial analysis of places vulnerable to increased HIV prevalence in creating more effective public health prevention strategies and interventions.
- Gentrification in Oklahoma City: Examining Urban Revitalization in Middle America
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Gentrification applies not only to the largest and oldest cities; it is a multi-scalar phenomenon playing out in smaller and less prominent settings as well. This study examines temporal changes in property values, demographic characteristics, and types of businesses in the central Oklahoma City area. A major urban revitalization project which began in 1993 created strong gentrification characteristics near the renewal's epicenter, the Bricktown entertainment district. Data suggest that several specific neighborhoods in the surrounding area exhibited rising property values, improving educational attainment rates, decreasing household sizes, and a shift toward cosmopolitan retail activity. While it is evident that Bricktown has been transformed, the socio-economic traits of surrounding neighborhoods have been altered by the ripple effects of urban renewal.
- An Exploration of the Ground Water Quality of the Trinity Aquifer Using Multivariate Statistical Techniques
- The ground water quality of the Trinity Aquifer for wells sampled between 2000 and 2009 was examined using multivariate and spatial statistical techniques. A Kruskal-Wallis test revealed that all of the water quality parameters with the exception of nitrate vary with land use. A Spearman’s rho analysis illustrates that every water quality parameter with the exception of silica correlated with well depth. Factor analysis identified four factors contributable to hydrochemical processes, electrical conductivity, alkalinity, and the dissolution of parent rock material into the ground water. The cluster analysis generated seven clusters. A chi-squared analysis shows that Clusters 1, 2, 5, and 6 are reflective of the distribution of the entire dataset when looking specifically at land use categories. The nearest neighbor analysis revealed clustered, dispersed, and random patterns depending upon the entity being examined. The spatial autocorrelation technique used on the water quality parameters for the entire dataset identified that all of the parameters are random with the exception of pH which was found to be spatially clustered. The combination of the multivariate and spatial techniques together identified influences on the Trinity Aquifer including hydrochemical processes, agricultural activities, recharge, and land use. In addition, the techniques aided in identifying areas warranting future monitoring which are located in the western and southwestern parts of the aquifer.
- Faunal Exploitation during the Depopulation of the Mesa Verde Region (A. D. 1300): A Case Study of Goodman Point Pueblo (5MT604)
- This analysis of faunal remains from Goodman Point Pueblo (5MT604), a large village occupied just before the ancestral Puebloans permanently left southwestern Colorado at the end of the thirteenth century, explores the effect of dietary stress during abandonment in the Four Corners region. As archaeologists, we interpret what these former cultures were like and what resources they used through what they left behind. By specifically looking at faunal remains, or remains from food resources, environmental change and dietary stress can be assessed. Identifications of taxa identified at Goodman Point are made explicit via a systematic paleontology. This is followed by site-level taxonomic abundances and spatial analysis. Then, effects of technological innovations, environmental change, and sample quality are examined as alternate explanations of shifts in foraging efficiency, particularly related to animal hunting. Analyzing why and if the availability of faunal resources changes over time helps to clarify why the ancestral Puebloans left southwestern Colorado.
- Spatial Patterns in Development Regulation: Tree Preservation Ordinances of the DFW Metropolitan Area
- Land use regulations are typically established as a response to development activity. For effective growth management and habitat preservation, the opposite should occur. This study considers tree preservation ordinances of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area as a means of evaluating development regulation in a metropolitan context. It documents the impact urban cores have on regulations and policies throughout their region, demonstrating that the same urban-rural gradient used to describe physical components of our metropolitan areas also holds true in terms of policy formation. Although sophistication of land use regulation generally dissipates as one moves away from an urban core, native habitat is more pristine at the outer edges. To more effectively protect native habitat, regional preservation measures are recommended.
- "A Tale of Two Weapons": Late Holocene Hunting Technology in North Central Texas
- This research is an investigation of the Late Holocene technological transition from the spearthrower and dart to the bow and arrow in north central Texas. It is conducted through a theoretical approach that utilizes ethnographic research, experimental archaeology and the archaeological record to elucidate differences in the behaviors and hunting strategies of Late Archaic and Late Prehistoric groups. It first confirms that there was a transition. Second, a lithic analysis demonstrates that there are fundamental differences in the sizes of the stone dart and arrow points that relate to the propulsive requirements of the weapon systems. Third, it is shown these size differences constrain maintenance potentials and that indeed dart and arrow points exhibit stark differences in their life histories in spite of being employed for the same task. And finally, the faunal record suggests that this transition was associated with an increase in foraging efficiency.
- Assessment of transportation emissions for ferrous scrap exports from the United States: Activity-based maritime emissions model and theoretical inland transportation model.
- 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.
- A Spatial-Temporal Analysis of Retail Location and Clustering: A Case Study of Port Huron, MI
- Retail geography is a field of study that is growing in significance and importance within the academic, business, economic, and governmental realms. This study's main focus is on the changing retail environment with regards to business location and function within a small Midwestern city. The research focuses on Port Huron, Michigan because of the growth and shift of the retail community within the city over the past twenty years. The study specifically examines the changing influence and roles of Port Huron's central business district and of Birchwood Mall a retail development opened on the urban area's north end in 1990. The study uses the chi-squared, ANOVA, and cross tabulation statistical tests to analyze the changing geography of retail functions in the city. These statistics are used along with relative entropy equations to distinguish areas of high diversification, changing area functions, and common locations for multiple retail types.
- National Patterns and Community Impacts of Major Domestic U.S. Military Base Closures, 1988-present
- This thesis analyses major U.S. military bases closed by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission since 1988. The study focuses on geographic patterns of pre-existing versus BRAC bases, statistical attributes, environmental restoration, and reuse of bases. Comparative case studies supplement the analysis, highlighting rural versus urban location, success versus failure, politics, conflict, and local versus national goals. Thesis findings are that: 92 bases closed versus 97 commonly published; a fairly even national closure pattern occurred, indicating Commission efforts to achieve equity, except for three closure clusters indicating efforts to consolidate functions in some regions and leave others; base reuse, while commonly perceived negatively, has been positive in most cases; the BRAC process is becoming more efficient, such that allowed years between BRAC closure decisions and base closures should be reduced from six to three years to benefit both communities and the Defense Department.
- Geology as a Georegional Influence on Quercus Fagaceae Distribution in Denton and Coke Counties of Central and North Central Texas and Choctaw County of Southeastern Oklahoma, Using GIS as an Analytical Tool.
- This study elucidates the underlying relationships for the distribution of oak landcover on bedrock and soil orders in two counties in Texas and one in Oklahoma. ESRI's ArcGis and ArcMap was used to create surface maps for Denton and Coke Counties, Texas and Choctaw County, Oklahoma. Attribute tables generated in GIS were exported into a spreadsheet software program and frequency tables were created for every formation and soil order in the tri-county research area. The results were both a visual and numeric distribution of oaks in the transition area between the eastern hardwood forests and the Great Plains. Oak distributions are changing on this transition area of the South Central Plains. The sandy Woodbine and Antlers formations traditionally associated with the largest oak distribution are carrying oak coverage of approximately 31-32% in Choctaw and Denton Counties. The calcareous Blackland and Grand Prairies are traditionally associated with treeless grasslands, but are now carrying oak and other tree landcover up to 18.9%. Human intervention, including the establishment of artificial, political and social boundaries, urbanization, farming and fire control have altered the natural distribution of oaks and other landcover of this unique georegion.
- An Analysis of UNT Commuting Patterns
- 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.
- Rail Transit and Its Influence on Land Use: A Dallas Case Study
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Mass transit investments continue to be utilized in many cities as means of dealing with various transportation issues. In Dallas Texas, light rail transit was developed with the hopes of encouraging compact and orderly growth. This research uses the DART system as a case study in examining transportation/land use relationships in Dallas. As such, this thesis reviews past research that examined transit systems impacts on urban areas, analyzes historical changes in land use pattern development around the existing twenty stations of the DART light rail starter system, and summarizes the progression of land use trends in the transit corridor as they relate to DART impacts. Results of this study suggest that DART's light rail system has been an effective tool used in achieving the transportation and land use goals for the region. Finally, recommendations are presented with respect to what can be expected for future light rail development in Dallas.
- Use of GIS to Identify and Delineate Areas of Fluoride, Sulfate, Chloride, and Nitrate Levels in the Woodbine Aquifer, North Central Texas, in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s
- ArcView and ArcInfo were used to identify and delineate areas contaminated by fluoride, sulfate, chloride, and nitrate in the Woodbine Aquifer. Water analysis data were obtained from the TWDB from the 1950s to 1990s covering 9 counties. 1990s land use data were obtained to determine the relationship with each contaminant. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to calculate relationships between variables. Land uses had little effect on distributions of contaminants. Sulfate and fluoride levels were most problematic in the aquifer. Depth and lithology controlled the distributions of each contaminant. Nitrate patterns were controlled mainly by land use rather than geology, but were below the maximum contaminant level. In general, contaminant concentrations have decreased since the 1950s.
- Archaeological Proteomics: Method Development and Analysis of Protein-Ceramic Binding
- 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.
- Using Geographic Information Systems for the Functional Assessment of Texas Coastal Prairie Freshwater Wetlands Around Galveston Bay
- The objective of this study was to deploy a conceptual framework developed by M. Forbes using a geographic information system (GIS) approach to assess the functionality of wetlands in the Galveston Bay Area of Texas. This study utilized geospatial datasets which included National Wetland Inventory maps (NWI), LiDAR data, National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery and USGS National Land Cover data to assess the capacity of wetlands to store surface water and remove pollutants, including nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals, and organic compounds. The use of LiDAR to characterize the hydrogeomorphic characteristics of wetlands is a key contribution of this study to the science of wetland functional assessment. LiDAR data was used to estimate volumes for the 7,370 wetlands and delineate catchments for over 4,000 wetlands, located outside the 100-yr floodplain, within a 2,075 square mile area around Galveston Bay. Results from this study suggest that coastal prairie freshwater wetlands typically have a moderate capacity to store surface water from precipitation events, remove ammonium, and retain phosphorus and heavy metals and tend to have a high capacity for removing nitrate and retainremove organic compounds. The results serve as a valuable survey instrument for increasing the understanding of coastal prairie freshwater wetlands and support a cumulative estimate of the water quality and water storage functions on a regional scale.
- Finding Terroir in Southwest Iowa
- Terroir combines the physical landscape of the vineyard with the grapevines and the methods and techniques used to produce wine from the grapes. This study used a GIS to identify the characteristics of the physical landscape in Pottawattamie, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont, and Page counties in southwestern Iowa. The components were combined in the GIS using a weighted linear index to identify areas suitable for vineyard development and to identify the general characteristics of the area. Vineyard owners were interviewed to help determine the weighting system to use in the GIS and to determine their perceptions of how the physical landscape impacts their vineyards, as well as to determine what grape varieties they plant in their vineyards and their decisions on making wine from these grapes. This information was collected to identify whether the vineyard owners had developed a sense of place for their vineyards and how this sense might aid them in the development of a terroir for their wines. The resulting perceptions about the individual wineries were then considered in conjunction with the results from the GIS modeling to understand how the physical landscape influences the concepts of sense of place and terroir in southwest Iowa. The physical landscape of southwest Iowa was fairly uniform, as were the grape varietals planted in the vineyards. This created a measure of similarity among the wineries, while individuality between wineries was then created by the wine-makers as they used different techniques to produce wine from the grapes. This allows each winery to develop a sense of place, yet be part of a larger sense of place that encompasses multiple wineries within the area.
- Examining the Role of Latitude and Differential Insolation in Asymmetrical Valley Development
- Valley development through erosional processes typically tends to create symmetrical valleys. Over time, water cuts through the substrate to create valleys, gorges, and canyons for which the sides are the valley are evenly sloped. However, there are anomalies to this process. Asymmetrical valleys have been well-documented even in areas of uniform substrate or little tectonic uplift. One proposed explanation for the asymmetry of these valleys is differential insolation. This may lead to different microclimates from one slope to another which alter the rate and extent of erosion. Since the differences in received insolation vary with latitude (especially in streams that flow along an east/west axis), it follows that the degree of asymmetry should also vary with latitude if differential insolation is a primary driving factor in the development of these valleys. To evaluate if insolation plays a role in the development of asymmetrical valleys, this study examines variability in asymmetry across 447 valleys in nine study areas located at different latitudes. The degree of asymmetry for each valley was measured by using 30 meter resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) to determine the slope angle of each side of the valley. Asymmetry was measured by computing a ratio of the average slope angle for each side of the valley (larger value divided by smaller). If the resulting value is one, the valley is deemed symmetrical. As the value increases, the degree of asymmetry increases. This investigation found that contrary to expectations, valleys at lower latitudes tend to have a higher degree of asymmetry than those at higher latitudes, which suggests that differential insolation does not play a major role in the development of these valleys. Instead, this study found that high altitudes and low latitudes are more frequently associated with a higher degree of asymmetry. These unexpected findings open the door to new avenues of investigation into the causes of asymmetrical valley development.
- A Multiscalar Analysis of Buruli Ulcer in Ghana: Environmental and Behavioral Factors in Disease Prevalence
- Buruli ulcer (BU), an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is the third most common mycobacterial disease after leprosy and tuberculosis and a WHO-defined neglected tropical disease. Despite years of research, the mode of transmission of BU remains unknown. This master’s thesis provides an integrated spatial analysis of disease dynamics in Ghana, West Africa, an area of comparatively high BU incidence. Within a case/matched control study design, environmental factors associated with BU infection and spatial behaviors are investigated to uncover possible links between individual daily activity spaces and terrains of risk across disturbed landscapes. This research relies upon archival and field-collected data and analyses conducted with geographical information systems (GIS).
- Spatial Analysis of Hiv/aids Survival in Dallas and Harris Counties, Texas
- More Texans are living with HIV infection than ever before. in fact, there has been a 6% increase annually, since 2002. This trend is not a result of increased HIV/AIDS incidence, but rather improving life expectancy of those living with HIV. Due to significant advances in HIV/AIDS testing, prevention, and treatment, individuals with HIV are living longer than ever before. However, throughout the state, the life expectancy of a person infected with HIV/AIDS varies spatially. This study investigates and attempts to explain the spatial distribution of HIV/AIDS survival rates by examining neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics. the results suggest that, contrary to expectation, the lowest survival rates occur, not in extreme poverty areas, but rather in moderate SES areas. Too rich to qualify for free treatments, but not rich enough to afford purchasing such treatments, the middle income living with HIV infection are caught between the cracks. the results provide important input for targeting public health interventions to improve HIV/AIDS survival.
- Comparison of IKONOS Derived Vegetation Index and LiDAR Derived Canopy Height Model for Grassland Management.
- Forest encroachment is understood to be the main reason for prairie grassland decline across the United States. In Texas and Oklahoma, juniper has been highlighted as particularly opportunistic. This study assesses the usefulness of three remote sensing techniques to aid in locating the areas of juniper encroachment for the LBJ Grasslands in Decatur, Texas. An object based classification was performed in eCognition and final accuracy assessments placed the overall accuracy at 94%, a significant improvement over traditional pixel based methods. Image biomass was estimated using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for 1 meter resolution IKONOS winter images. A high correlation between the sum of NDVI for tree objects and field tree biomass was determined where R = 0.72, suggesting NDVI sum of a tree area is plausible. However, issues with NDVI saturation and regression produced unrealistically high biomass estimates for large NDVI. Canopy height model (CHM) derived from 3-5m LiDAR data did not perform as well. LiDAR typically used for digital elevation model (DEM) production was acquired for the CHM and produced correlations of R = 0.26. This suggests an inability for this particular dataset to identify juniper trees. When points that registered a tree height where correlated with field values, an R = 0.5 was found, suggesting denser point spacing would be necessary for this type of LiDAR data. Further refining of the methods used in this study could yield such information as the amount of juniper tree for a given location, fuel loads for prescribed burns and better information for the best approach to remove the juniper and ultimately management juniper encroachment into grasslands.
- High Resolution Satellite Images and LiDAR Data for Small-Area Building Extraction and Population Estimation
- Population estimation in inter-censual years has many important applications. In this research, high-resolution pan-sharpened IKONOS image, LiDAR data, and parcel data are used to estimate small-area population in the eastern part of the city of Denton, Texas. Residential buildings are extracted through object-based classification techniques supported by shape indices and spectral signatures. Three population indicators -building count, building volume and building area at block level are derived using spatial joining and zonal statistics in GIS. Linear regression and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models generated using the three variables and the census data are used to estimate population at the census block level. The maximum total estimation accuracy that can be attained by the models is 94.21%. Accuracy assessments suggest that the GWR models outperformed linear regression models due to their better handling of spatial heterogeneity. Models generated from building volume and area gave better results. The models have lower accuracy in both densely populated census blocks and sparsely populated census blocks, which could be partly attributed to the lower accuracy of the LiDAR data used.
- The proposed Fastrill Reservoir in east Texas: A study using geographic information systems.
- Geographic information systems and remote sensing software were used to analyze data to determine the area and volume of the proposed Fastrill Reservoir, and to examine seven alternatives. The controversial reservoir site is in the same location as a nascent wildlife refuge. Six general land cover types impacted by the reservoir were also quantified using Landsat imagery. The study found that water consumption in Dallas is high, but if consumption rates are reduced to that of similar Texas cities, the reservoir is likely unnecessary. The reservoir and its alternatives were modeled in a GIS by selecting sites and intersecting horizontal water surfaces with terrain data to create a series of reservoir footprints and volumetric measurements. These were then compared with a classified satellite imagery to quantify land cover types. The reservoir impacted the most ecologically sensitive land cover type the most. Only one alternative site appeared slightly less environmentally damaging.
- The effects of attendance at a senior center on the quality of life and well being of grandparents rearing grandchildren.
- The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of attendance at a senior center on the well being and quality of life of grandparents that were rearing grandchildren. Using convenience sampling, grandparents (N=130) who were rearing grandchildren were given a self administered demographic data survey along with an attendance at a senior center questionnaire, the Quality of Life Scale, the Well Being Scale by Liang, the UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Caregiver Burden Scale, and the Role Satisfaction Scale. An initial MANOVA (F 7, 69 = 2.72, p < .01) suggesting that senior center attendance affect the measures as a set was conducted and then a series of one way ANOVAs were carried out to test the hypothesis that attending a senior center has an effect on the dependent variables: well being, quality of life, role satisfaction, caregiver burden, loneliness, current health, and heath one year ago. Subsequently, a hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to find out whether frequency and quality of attendance of a senior center predicted quality of life, caregiver burden, well being, loneliness, and role satisfaction, controlling for the demographic data. The results of the MANOVA showed that the dependent variables: quality of life, caregiver burden, well being and role satisfaction were impacted positively by the attendance of a senior center. The results of the regression analyses showed that for each of the major dependent variables, after controlling for the demographic data, the quality and frequency of involvement at the senior center did not have a uniquely significant role in predicting the dependent variables. The results of this study shows that further research need to be conducted to answer other questions regarding grandparents who are rearing minor grandchildren and the affects that senior centers may have in assisting in the management of this new task that grandparents have found themselves dealing with.
- Water systems, water policy, and Karst terrain: An analysis of the complex relationships between geology, economy, public perceptions, and policy in southern Trelawny, Jamaica.
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Jamaica has an abundance of freshwater resources, however, a lack of infrastructure makes treated, piped water inaccessible in many areas. Through literature reviews and site visits, this thesis is an analysis of how the people and land, and money and policy, interact with one another in relation to Jamaica's freshwater resources and water infrastructure. Special attention is given to the island's type-example Cockpit karst geology; tourism, mining, and farming's relation to this karst; types of water delivery systems in rural southern Trelawny's Cockpit Country; southern Trelawny residents' perceptions of the water situation; and policy and development goals in the context of Jamaica and southern Trelawny. I hope to bring attention to the unique social, geologic, and developmental context of water in Jamaica, and more specifically to garner attention for major water infrastructure improvements in south Trelawny. A number of recommendations for improvements with policy and infrastructure are made.
- Hydrological Impacts of Urbanization: White Rock Creek, Dallas Texas
- This research project concerns changes in hydrology resulting from urbanization of the upper sub-basin of the White Rock Creek Watershed in Collin and Dallas Counties, Texas. The objectives of this study are: to calculate the percent watershed urbanized for the period of 1961 through 1968 and the period of 2000 through 2005; to derive a 1960s average unit hydrograph and a 2000s average unit hydrograph; and, to use the two averaged hydrographs to develop a range of hypothetical storm scenarios to evaluate how the storm response of the watershed has changed between these two periods. Results of this study show that stormflow occurs under lower intensity precipitation in the post-urbanized period and that stormflow peaks and volumes are substantially larger compared to the pre-urbanized period. It is concluded that changes in watershed surface conditions resulting from urbanization have lowered the precipitation-intensity threshold that must be surpassed before storm run-off is generated.
- Differential use of space: An analysis of the Aubrey Clovis site.
- The Aubrey Clovis site is one of the oldest late-Pleistocene sites in North America, dated to ~11,550 B.P., and contains two camps with a range of lithic debitage, numerous hearths, and excellent faunal preservation. Couched in rules of classification, a series of artifact distributions are analyzed with qualitative and quantitative techniques, including maps produced in a geographic information system (GIS) and tests of artifact associations using correlation statistics. Theoretical and methodological protocols are promoted to improve spatial analysis in archaeology. The results support the short-term occupation interpretation and expose the differential patterning among bone, stone, and raw materials distributions. The spatial structure and diverse content of the site challenge models of Clovis-age people as strictly big game hunters.
- Shoreline Erosion at Mad Island Marsh Preserve, Matagorda County, Texas
- The Nature Conservancy of Texas (TNC) is concerned with the amount of shoreline erosion taking place at its Mad Island Marsh Preserve (MIMP), located in Matagorda Bay, Texas. The MIMP is a 7,100 acre nature preserve that borders the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and is eroded by waves generated by barge traffic. TNC is concerned that erosion will shorten Mad Island Bayou which may increase the salinity of Mad Island Lake; with detrimental effects on lake and marsh habitats. This study uses GPS technology to map the current shoreline and GIS to determine ten year erosion rates (1995 - 2005). Results show that erosion is occurring at various rates along the shoreline as well as along the oxbow bend in Mad Island Bayou.
- The Role of Knowledge and Attitude in Residential Irrigation Efficiency
- Residential irrigation efficiency is a long-term concern for any community that faces water supply stress. When ability to raise water prices is constrained, public education and conservation programs can produce reduced water usage. Understanding the factors behind residential irrigation efficiency allows the design of more effective conservation campaigns. Combining site-specific water budgets with usage data for four hundred homes in North Texas enables quantifying efficient irrigation behavior. A survey of homeowners tests for the presence of conservation-positive attitudes and the knowledge required to implement those attitudes. The influence of neighbors’ watering habits is investigated using spatial clustering tools. Findings are analyzed in the context of an attitude, knowledge, and habit model of conservation behavior. The presence of automatic irrigation systems, small irrigated areas, and having knowledge of the amount that one waters one’s lawn are found to contribute to more intensive irrigation. Mixed evidence for small-scale clustering in irrigation intensity is presented.
- Geography of Hiv Infection Among Adults Aged 50 Years and Older in Texas From 1999-2009
- Twenty four percent of all HIV infections in the United States occur among adults aged 50 and older (mature adults), yet little is understood of the dynamics of HIV infection among this group in Texas. Data from 1999 to 2009 examined the relationship between HIV spatial and temporal patterns affecting socio-economic and demographic variables including poverty, gender, race/ethnicity and mode of exposure. Results revealed highest HIV infection rates among White homosexual men, Black males engaged in IV-drug use, Black female heterosexuals and minorities in poverty. Concentrations of HIV infection among mature adults were located primarily in urban centers of Houston and Dallas and indicated increasing HIV infection rates from 1999 to 2009. These results will assist future allocation of resources by zip code in urban areas for this understudied population.
- Quantitative Comparison of Lidar Data and User-generated Three-dimensional Building Models From Google Building Maker
- Volunteered geographic information (VGI) has received increased attention as a new paradigm for geographic information production, while light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data is widely applied to many fields. This study quantitatively compares LiDAR data and user-generated 3D building models created using Google Building Maker, and investigate the potential applications of the quantitative measures in support of rapid disaster damage assessment. User-generated 3D building models from Google Building Maker are compared with LiDAR-derived building models using 3D shape signatures. Eighteen 3D building models are created in Fremont, California using the Google Building Maker, and six shape functions (distance, angle, area, volume, slope, and aspect) are applied to the 18 LiDAR-derived building models and user-generated ones. A special case regarding the comparison between LiDAR data and building models with indented walls is also discussed. Based on the results, several conclusions are drawn, and limitations that require further study are also discussed.