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Concentrations of Triclosan in the City of Denton Wastewater Treatment Plant, Pecan Creek, and the Influent and Effluent of an Experimental Constructed Wetland

Description: The Pecan Creek Waste Reclamation Plant in Denton, Texas, an activated sludge WWTP, was sampled monthly for ten months to determine seasonal and site variation in concentrations of triclosan (5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol), an antibacterial additive. SNK separation after the highly significant ANOVA on ranked data were: summer = fall > winter = spring and influent > downstream = effluent = wetland inflow > wetland outflow (a=0.05). After the plant converted to ultraviolet disinfection, measurements were made before and after the UV basin to determine if significant amounts of triclosan were converted to dioxin. Percent loss at each of the treatment steps was determined. Concentrations of triclosan in the downstream site were below the published NOEC for the most sensitive species.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Waltman, Elise Lyn

Density, Distribution and Habitat Requirements for the Ozark Pocket Gopher (Geomys Bursarius Ozarkensis)

Description: A new subspecies of the plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius ozarkensis), located in the Ozark Mountains of north central Arkansas, was recently described by Elrod et al. (2000). Current range for G. b. ozarkensis was established, habitat preference was assessed by analyzing soil samples, vegetation and distance to stream and potential pocket gopher habitat within the current range was identified. A census technique was used to estimate a total density of 3, 564 pocket gophers. Through automobile and aerial survey 51 known fields of inhabitance were located extending the range slightly. Soil analyses indicated loamy sand as the most common texture with a slightly acidic pH and a broad range of values for other measured soil parameters and 21 families of vegetation were identified. All inhabited fields were located within an average of 107.2m from waterways and over 1,600 hectares of possible suitable habitat was identified.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Kershen, Audrey Allbach

Dissolved Organic Carbon Assessment on Selected Creeks and Rivers within the Elmfork Subwatersheds of Denton, Texas

Description: The primary focus of the study was to compare dissolved organic carbon (DOC) at baseline stream flow to DOC at a higher post-rain stream flow, with a secondary focus on comparison of DOC between sites. Comparisons were also done on suspended solids at baseline flow to those of the higher post-rain flow, as well as suspended solids between sites. Significant differences did exist between DOC sampled at baseline flow and DOC in samples taken at peak flow. The study found no difference in suspended solids among sites neither on either baseflow sampling nor on the post rain event sampling.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Jackson, Pamela J.

Evaluation of the Economic, Social, and Biological Feasibility of Bioconverting Food Wastes with the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)

Description: Food waste in the waste stream is becoming an important aspect of integrated waste management systems. Current efforts are composting and animal feeding. However, these food waste disposal practices rely on slow thermodynamic processes of composting or finding farmers with domestic animals capable of consuming the food wastes. Bioconversion, a potential alternative, is a waste management practice that converts food waste to insect larval biomass and organic residue. This project uses a native and common non-pest insect in Texas, the black soldier fly, which processes large quantities of food wastes, as well as animal wastes and sewage in its larval stage. The goal of this research is to facilitate the identification and development of the practical parameters of bioconversion methods at a large cafeteria. Three major factors were selected to evaluate the practicality of a bioconversion system: (1) the biological constraints on the species; (2) the economic costs and benefits for the local community; (3) the perception of and interaction between the public and management agencies with respect to the bioconversion process. Results indicate that bioconversion is feasible on all levels. Larvae tolerate and consume food waste as well as used cooking grease, reducing the overall waste volume by 30-70% in a series of experiments, with an average reduction of 50%. The economical benefits are reduced collection costs and profit from the sale of pupae as a feedstuff, which could amount to as much as $1,200 per month under optimal conditions. Social acceptance is possible, but requires education of the public, specifically targeting school children. Potential impediments to social acceptance include historical attitudes and ignorance, which could be overcome through effective educational efforts.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Barry, Tami

Green Improvements: A Consumer's Guide to Environmentally and Economically Responsible Home Repairs and Improvements for the North Central Texas Region

Description: The Consumer's Guide is designed to help consumers by providing guidelines for the purchase of specific energy-efficient household appliances- water heaters, air conditioning and heating systems, windows, dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes washers, and dryers. This serves two major purposes: to decrease the environmental impact of those products and to save consumers money over the lifetime of the products. The seven major appliances covered in this work are things that consumers tend to purchase quickly when their older models wear out and with little research into their energy and/or water efficiency. The guide begins with a general introduction and an explanation of the need for energy conservation. Explanations of how they work, purchasing tips, installation tips, maintenance tips, tips for additional energy efficiency, and case studies are given for each appliance. Printable pamphlets are included at the end.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Dickason, Deborah

Revisiting Aldo Leopold's "Perfect" Land Health: Conservation and Development in Mexico's Rio Gavilan

Description: The Rio Gavilan watershed, located in Mexico 's northern Sierra Madre Occidental , has significance in conservation history. Upon visiting the remote, largely unĀ­developed watershed during two hunting trips in the 1930s, renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold thought it was the best picture of land health he had seen. His main indicators of healthy land were slow water runoff rates regulating erosion and historical predator-prey relationships. The visits confirmed Leopold's concept of land health, inspired many of his essays, and helped shape his land ethic. Leopold proposed the area as a control site to research healthy land throughout North America . The proposal never went forward and the area has since been more intensively logged and grazed. This dissertation research used extensive literature review, archives, oral histories, citizen surveys, and rapid assessment of forest, rangeland, riparian, and socioeconomic health to assess impacts of past cultures and update the area's land health status. Projects that could restore land health, such as linked eco-tourism, forest density reduction, and rotational grazing, were assessed for feasibility. Recent critiques of Leopold's land ethic were also reviewed. Results indicate most pre-1940s impacts were light, current land health status is moderate, and local interest exists in restoring land health. Many fish and wildlife populations are reduced, temporarily stabilized, but still at risk. Soil and riverbed erosion, service sector economics, and (at some ridge-top sites) forest density are the land health indicators in worst condition. Land health restoration projects are feasible.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Forbes, William

Simulation of local watershed nutrient and sediment delivery to Lake Texoma.

Description: A hydrologic model and watershed export model was used to estimate the loading of nutrients and total suspended solids from un-gaged local watersheds associated with Lake Texoma. Discharge to the reservoir from local watersheds was predicted using a modification of the curve number method in HEC Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS). Event mean concentrations were applied to land use to estimate loadings of nutrients and TSS. Total discharge from the local watersheds was estimated to be 3.02 x 107 cubic meters for a study window of March 1 to May 31, 1997, less than 10 percent of the input to the lake from the Red River and Washita River systems. Loadings were estimated to be 33,553 kg nitrogen, 4,401 kg phosphorus, and 3,423,140 kg TSS. The models and results obtained from their application appear to have potential utility for use in a water quality management decision support system for the reservoir.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Upton, Alexandra C.

Surface Water and Groundwater Hydrology of Borrow-Pit Wetlands and Surrounding Areas of the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, Lewisville, Texas

Description: The focus of this study was to characterize the surface water and groundwater hydrology of borrow-pit wetlands located within the borders of the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA), east of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The wetlands were excavated into alluvial deposits downstream of the Lewisville Lake Dam. Both surface water and groundwater contribute to the hydro-period of the borrow-pit wetlands. Nearby marshes exhibit characteristics of groundwater discharge. Salinity in groundwater-fed wetlands could affect establishment of vegetation, as suggested from plant surveys. Surface water input from storm events dilutes salinity levels. Management of LLELA wetlands should include long-term evaluation of hydrology and plantings to enhance habitat. Plans for additional wetlands should consider both surface water and groundwater inputs.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Dodd-Williams, Lynde L.