UNT Theses and Dissertations - 111 Matching Results

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Spatial Mismatch Between Hiv Infection and Access to Hiv Service Facilities in Texas

Description: Since 2004, the number of people living with HIV (PLWH) has steadily increased by about 5% and currently, the number in Texas is about 86,000. Though the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan seeks to ensure “unfettered access to quality healthcare”, barriers to access still exist especially among minority populations. This study examines the relationship between HIV infection rates and the geographic location of HIV service centers with a focus on 4 counties: namely, Dallas, Denton, Harris and Tarrant. The goal is to show whether there is a spatial mismatch between HIV rates and service providers. Are service facilities located in zip codes where they are most needed? Using the vulnerability framework and the Inverse Care Law (ICL), we address the research question using demographic variables (race/ethnicity, sex, poverty, education attainment) and HIV data. Our results show that extreme vulnerable zip codes have high HIV rates and closest proximity to HIV service providers.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Aggrey Korsah, Emmanuel
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Spatially Explicit Environmental Health Surveillance Framework for Tick-Borne Diseases

Description: In this paper, I will show how applying a spatially explicit context to an existing environmental health surveillance framework is vital for more complete surveillance of disease, and for disease prevention and intervention strategies. As a case study to test the viability of a spatial approach to this existing framework, the risk of human exposure to Lyme disease will be estimated. This spatially explicit framework divides the surveillance process into three components: hazard surveillance, exposure surveillance, and outcome surveillance. The components will be used both collectively and individually, to assess exposure risk to infected ticks. By utilizing all surveillance components, I will identify different areas of risk which would not have been identified otherwise. Hazard surveillance uses maximum entropy modeling and geographically weighted regression analysis to create spatial models that predict the geographic distribution of ticks in Texas. Exposure surveillance uses GIS methods to estimate the risk of human exposures to infected ticks, resulting in a map that predicts the likelihood of human-tick interactions across Texas, using LandScan 2008TM population data. Lastly, outcome surveillance uses kernel density estimation-based methods to describe and analyze the spatial patterns of tick-borne diseases, which results in a continuous map that reflects disease rates based on population location. Data for this study was obtained from the Texas Department of Health Services and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The data includes disease data on Lyme disease from 2004-2008, and the tick distribution estimates are based on field collections across Texas from 2004-2008.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Aviña, Aldo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Western Spruce Budworm Effects on Throughfall C, N, and P Fluxes in a Central Washington Forest

Description: Western spruce budworm (Choristoneura occidentalis) outbreaks periodically disturb Western US conifer forests by defoliating canopies, which could alter the quantity and chemistry of throughfall delivered to the forest floor. Our objectives were to: i) quantify throughfall water, carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) fluxes under budworm-impacted canopies, and ii) examine the influence of herbivore intensity on flux magnitudes. In June 2015, we installed throughfall collectors in two watersheds experiencing high and background levels of herbivory. In each watershed, four plots, each with three throughfall collectors, were established (n=24) collectors), and two bulk rainfall collectors were installed in areas without canopy cover. Throughfall and rainfall were collected from late June to early November 2015. Samples were analyzed for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), ammonium (NH4-N), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP). Over the sampling period, throughfall fluxes ranged 8.57 to 47.59 kg/ha for DOC, 0.004-0.011 kg/ha for NH4-N, and 007 - 0.29 kg/ha for SRP. Percent throughfall was slightly, but not significantly, higher in the high (48%) compared to the background watershed (42%). There were no differences in solute concentrations among the watersheds. Net throughfall fluxes, the sum of canopy uptake and leaching and dry/fog deposition, differed significantly for NH4-N by herbivory level and through time for NH4-N and DOC but not SRP. Over time, net NH4-N throughfall fluxes showed a clear transition from net uptake of NH4-N to net leaching of NH4-N in the high herbivory watershed. There was also a clearn NH4-N pulse in the high herbivory watershed after the first, but not subsequent, rainfall events. In this N-limited forest, altered throughfall N may affect soil nutrient cycling and downstream water quality.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Bailey, Jennifer Meghan
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Barker, Andrew L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Chinese Privet (Ligustrum Sinense) on the Survival and Re-Establishment of Native Plants at the Dallas Floodway Extension

Description: Invasive woody shrubs are a problem when they displace native species and threaten habitats, especially those that harbor rare or endangered species. They not only compete with native plants, but also alter habitat and food that many organisms depend upon. Invasive plants undergo a release from their specialist predators in the nonnative range, providing them advantages over native species. Because modes and pathways of how invasive species spread are not fully understood, predicting spread and implementing restoration ecological controls remain inexact. Due to the lack of comparative studies on woody shrubs, especially invasive privets, we understand very little about conditions affecting their invasiveness. A study was conducted near Dallas, Texas to determine if privet has allelopathic properties that influences growth of native plants. Soil nutrients and other analyses were made and compared between field plots supporting privet, plots in which privet has been removed, and plots where privet has not been observed. In some field plots, natives were planted under the three previously mentioned conditions, and their survival and condition were monitored to evaluate effects of privet on their establishment and growth. It was found that Chinese privet did hinder seed germination in red mulberry, soapberry and beautyberry and root formation in beautyberry cuttings. The soil in the sites were found to be normal for bottomland forests that endured two flooding events within one year.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Barnett, Jennifer M
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hyperspectral and Multispectral Image Analysis for Vegetation Study in the Greenbelt Corridor near Denton, Texas

Description: 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.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Bhattacharjee, Nilanjana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Emergency Fire Response in Ghana: The Case of Fire Stations in Kumasi

Description: Comprehensive emergency management and response is crucial for disaster prevention and health emergencies. However, in African countries with an abundance of natural disasters and a rising surge in cardiovascular and obstetric emergencies, little research exists on emergency response. This study examines the fire emergency response in Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Ghana's second largest city. We use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools including location -allocation modeling to evaluate the existing system of fire facilities, identify gaps in service, and suggest locations for new fire stations to maximize population coverage. Our results show that fire stations within KMA are poorly distributed and large portions of the metropolis are underserved, a situation that is partly responsible for the huge losses of lives and property during fire outbreaks.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Boakye, Kwadwo Adu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Looking Outward from the Village: The Contingencies of Soil Moisture on the Prehistoric Farmed Landscape near Goodman Point Pueblo

Description: Ancestral Pueblo communities of the central Mesa Verde region (CMVR) became increasingly reliant on agriculture for their subsistence needs during Basketmaker III (BMIII) through Terminal Pueblo III (TPIII) (AD 600–1300) periods. Researchers have been studying the Ancestral Pueblo people for over a century using a variety of methods to understand the relationships between climate, agriculture, population, and settlement patterns. While these methods and research have produced a well-developed cultural history of the region, studies at a smaller scale are still needed to understand the changes in farming behavior and the distribution of individual sites across the CMVR. Soil moisture is the limiting factor for crop growth in the semi-arid region of the Goodman Watershed in the CMVR. Thus, I constructed the soil moisture proxy model (SMPM) that is on a local scale and focuses on variables relevant to soil moisture – soil particle-size, soil depth, slope, and aspect. From the SMPM output, the areas of very high soil moisture are assumed to represent desirable farmland locations. I describe the relationship between very high soil moisture and site locations, then I infer the relevance of that relationship to settlement patterns and how those patterns changed over time (BMIII – TPIII). The results of the model and its application help to clarify how Ancestral Pueblo people changed as local farming communities. The results of this study indicates that farmers shifted away from use of preferred farmland during Terminal Pueblo III, which may have been caused by other cultural factors. The general outcome of this thesis is an improved understanding of human-environmental relationships on the local landscape in the CMVR.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Brown, Andrew D
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Geologic and Archaeological History of the Dickie Carr Site 41PR26

Description: 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.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Byers, Johnny A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Caldwell, Amanda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identifying Cultural and Non-cultural Factors Affecting Litter Patterns in Hickory Creek, Texas

Description: Plastic deposition in hydrological systems is a pervasive problem at all geographic scales from loci of pollution to global ocean circulation. Much attention has been devoted to plastic deposition in marine contexts, but little is known about inputs of plastics into local hydrological systems, such as streams. Any attempt to prevent plastic litter must confront people’s behaviors, so archaeological concepts are used to distinguish between various cultural inputs (e.g., littering) and non-cultural forces (e.g., stream transport) that affect litter patterns on the landscape. Litter surveys along Hickory Creek in Denton, TX, are used to assess these factors.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Carpenter, Evan S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Geoarchaeological Investigation of Site Formation in the Animas River Valley at Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM

Description: This paper presents an investigation of sedimentary deposition, soil formation, and pedoturbation in the Animas River Valley to determine the provenience of archaeological deposits in an open field at Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM outside of the Greathouse complex. Four stratigraphic pedounits correlated with active fan deposition have been proposed for the lower terrace in the project area with only one of these units retaining strong potential for buried archaeological deposits from the Anasazi late Pueblo II/Pueblo III period. The distal fan on the lower terrace and the Animas River floodplain appear to show poor potential for archaeological deposits either due to shallow sediment overburden with historic disturbance or alluvial activity during or after occupation. Based on these findings, four other zones of similar fan development have been identified throughout the Animas Valley and are recommended for subsurface testing during future cultural resource investigations.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Caster, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

Developing a Wildlife Tracking Extension for ArcGIS

Description: 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.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Chen, Cai
Partner: UNT Libraries

Soil Characteristics Estimation and Its Application in Water Balance Dynamics

Description: This thesis is a contribution to the work of the Texas Environmental Observatory (TEO), which provides environmental information from the Greenbelt Corridor (GBC) of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The motivation of this research is to analyze the short-term water dynamic of soil in response to the substantial rainfall events that occurred in North Texas in 2007. Data collected during that year by a TEO soil and weather station located at the GBC includes precipitation, and soil moisture levels at various depths. In addition to these field measurements there is soil texture data obtained from lab experiments. By comparing existing water dynamic models, water balance equations were selected for the study as they reflect the water movement of the soil without complicated interrelation between parameters. Estimations of water flow between soil layers, infiltration rate, runoff, evapotranspiration, water potential, hydraulic conductivity, and field capacity are all obtained by direct and indirect methods. The response of the soil at field scale to rainfall event is interpreted in form of flow and change of soil moisture at each layer. Additionally, the analysis demonstrates that the accuracy of soil characteristic measurement is the main factor that effect physical description. Suggestions for model improvement are proposed. With the implementation of similar measurements over a watershed area, this study would help the understanding of basin-scale rainfall-runoff modeling.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Chen, Liping
Partner: UNT Libraries

What's in Your Garden? Assessing the "Eco-friendliness" of Plant Choices of Denton, Texas Gardeners

Description: Urbanization is seen as a threat to biodiversity within urban ecosystems, which are largely reliant on humans for their composition. Two types of extremes exist in the spectrum of urban domestic gardens; on one end, the typical urban garden which is planted by landscapers at the time the house is built and is generally left unchanged, and, at the other, a "wild" landscape planted entirely with native plants which provides habitat for native fauna and pollinators. This study assesses the plant choices made by members of organized gardening groups-the Denton County Master Gardeners (DCMG), the Elm Fork Master Naturalists (EFMN), the Trinity Forks Native Plant Society (TFNPS), and Keep Denton Beautiful (KDB)-and toward which extreme these choices put these gardens on the psectrum. TFNPS and EFMN both fall closer to the wild garden extreme, with TFNPS the closest to a "wild garden." DCMG was almost directly between the two extremes, but fell closer to the typical urban garden. By looking at how these groups manage their gardens, we begin to understand the ways in which gardeners can mitigate and soften the harsh changes between wild landscapes and urban environments. Collaboration between groups could have the potential to encourage more people to use native plants which provide habitat for native fauna and pollinators if those in the typical urban garden spectrum could find in the "wild" gardens of those on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cloutier, Andrea Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Site Formation Processes and Bone Preservation Along the Trinity River Basin, North Central Texas

Description: This thesis presents the results of geoarchaeological investigations of several archaeological sites along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River in north central Texas. Archaeological data recorded from mitigation excavations in Denton and Cooke counties were analyzed to understand the geologic impacts on faunal preservation resulting from site formation processes. The faunal assemblages are highly fragmented, even in settings known for good preservation. A combined approach using geoarchaeological and taphonomic techniques was implemented to examine how fragmentation, evidence of soil weathering, and differential preservation were impacted by differing geologic conditions throughout the river basin. Intrasite and intersite results of the sites show that a great deal of variability of faunal preservation is present at difference scales of analysis.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Colvin, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spatial Patterns in Development Regulation: Tree Preservation Ordinances of the DFW Metropolitan Area

Description: 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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Cox, Carissa
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Quantitative Assessment of Site Formation at the Dmanisi Archaeological Site, Republic of Georgia

Description: The focus of this thesis was to gather and analyze micromorphological and petrographic data on soils at the archaeological site of Dmanisi in order to better understand the extent to which the deposition and alteration of the sediments has affected the preservation of artifacts and faunal remains. A major goal of this research was to test hypothesis related to why bone material is discovered in some strata and not in others. This research focuses on the application of micromorphology (supplemented with other methods) to the soils through the use of petrographic analysis of thin sections and scanning electron microscopy. These techniques complement previous field analyses by providing a quantitative assessment of individual strata through point counting and chemical mapping. The results of this research support the hypothesis that the sediments are predominantly mafic ashes, while showing that there is very little soil development in the strata. This suggests quick episodic burial in a relatively dry climate, confirming the hypothesis for a short time sequence in the strata. Additionally, differential weathering probably did not play a significant role in the differential abundance of bone remains among the strata at Dmanisi.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Crislip, Peter S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examining the Role of Latitude and Differential Insolation in Asymmetrical Valley Development

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Curran, Lorna L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Finding Terroir in Southwest Iowa

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Deines, Dory
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Denlinger, Emily E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Testing New Measures of Age Independent Body Size in White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Description: The four elements of the lower hind foot (calcaneus, metatarsal, naviculo-cuboid, and tibia) were tested for use as age-independent proxies of body size in white-tailed deer using known aged specimens from Ft. Hood Texas. Statistical analysis indicates that the calcaneum and the tibia are good proxies of age-independent body size in white-tailed deer. In addition to expanding the list of elements that can be used for studies of age-independent body size, these elements can also be used to age faunal remains to an ordinal scale of juveniles and adults. This is useful for research regarding prehistoric prey populations; as a single element can be used to determine prey body size and age simultaneously, which are the two variables used to assess changes in human subsistence practices via the archaeological remains of their prey.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Densmore, Julie A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Estimating Buruli Ulcer Prevalence in Southwestern Ghana

Description: Mycobacterium ulcerans is sweeping across sub-Saharan Africa, but little is known about the mode of transmission and its natural reservoirs. Since the only effective treatment is excision of the infection and surrounding tissue, early diagnosis and treatment is the only way to reduce the havoc associated with Buruli ulcer. Using data from a national case search survey conducted in Ghana during 2000 and suspected risk factors this study tests the hypothesized factors and probes the challenges of developing a spatial epidemiological regression model to explain Buruli ulcer prevalence in the southwestern region of Ghana representing 42 districts. Results suggest that prevalence is directly related to the degree of land cover classified as soil, elevation differential, and percent rural population of the area.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Denton, Curtis James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Influence of the Choice of Disease Mapping Method on Population Characteristics in Areas of High Disease Burdens

Description: Disease maps are powerful tools for depicting spatial variations in disease risk and its underlying drivers. However, producing effective disease maps requires careful consideration of the statistical and spatial properties of the disease data. In fact, the choice of mapping method influences the resulting spatial pattern of the disease, as well as the understanding of its underlying population characteristics. New developments in mapping methods and software in addition to continuing improvements in data quality and quantity are requiring map-makers to make a multitude of decisions before a map of disease burdens can be created. The impact of such decisions on a map, including the choice of appropriate mapping method, not been addressed adequately in the literature. This research demonstrates how choice of mapping method and associated parameters influence the spatial pattern of disease. We use four different disease-mapping methods – unsmoothed choropleth maps, smoothed choropleth maps produced using the headbanging method, smoothed kernel density maps, and smoothed choropleth maps produced using spatial empirical Bayes methods and 5-years of zip code level HIV incidence (2007- 2011) data from Dallas and Tarrant Counties, Texas. For each map, the leading population characteristics and their relative importance with regards to HIV incidence is identified using a regression analysis of a CDC recommended list of socioeconomic determinants of HIV. Our results show that the choice of mapping method leads to different conclusions regarding the associations between HIV disease burden and the underlying demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Thus, the choice of mapping method influences the patterns of disease we see or fail to see. Accurate depiction of areas of high disease burden is important for developing and targeting appropriate public health interventions.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Desai, Khyati Sanket
Partner: UNT Libraries