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Characterizing the Municipal Solid Waste Stream in Denton, Texas

Description: Forty-two commercially collected dumpsters from Denton’s Municipal Solid Waste Stream were emptied, sorted and weighed to characterize the material types and make preliminary recycling policy recommendations. The general composition of Denton’s solid waste stream was not significantly different from the composition of the nation’s solid waste stream. Fifty-eight percent of the observed waste stream was recyclable. Paper made up the largest portion of recyclable materials and the "grocery" source category had more paper than any of the other five categories. Based on these findings, an incrementally aggressive approach is recommended to reduce certain types of wastes observed in the waste stream. This would include a Pay-As-You-Throw Program followed by an Intermediate Processing Center that can be converted to a Materials Recovery Facility.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Brady, Patricia D.

Comparative Bioavailability of Dietary and Dissolved Cadmium to Freshwater Aquatic Snails

Description: Heavy metal bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms may occur through direct or indirect uptake routes. Research indicates that the significance of uptake route varies with contaminant and organism exposed. The relative importance of different metal sources in aquatic systems was investigated by exposing freshwater snails to dietary or dissolved sources of cadmium. Snails were exposed to control, contaminated food only, contaminated water only, and contaminated food and water treatments. During the 15-day exposure, samples were taken to determine Cd concentration in snail soft tissue, snail shell, algal food, and overlying water. Analyses of snail soft tissue and shells indicate that exposure route significantly affects Cd concentrations in the tissues. In both cases, dissolved Cd is the primary contributor to metal body burden.
Date: December 2003
Creator: White, Jessica C.

Comparison of GPS Point Selection Methods for GIS Area Measurement of Small Jurisdictional Wetlands

Description: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regulates fill of jurisdictional waters of the United States including wetlands. Recent USACE regulations set a threshold of impacts to wetlands at one-half acre. Impact area can be determined by Global Positioning System (GPS) measurement of wetland boundary and Geographic Information System (GIS) calculation of impact area. GPS point selection methods include (1) equal time interval, (2) transect and (3) intuition. Four two-acre shapes were measured with each GPS method and brought into GIS for area calculation. Analysis of variance and Root Mean Square Error analyses determine that the transect method is an inferior point selection method in terms of accuracy and efficiency.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Shelton, Michael

Culturing Vallisneria americana for Restoration Efforts

Description: Robust Vallisneria americana was cultured for restoration purposes. Preliminary studies, with various iron treatments, were conducted to ascertain the amount of phosphorous release into the water column from sediments. There was a significant difference in the amount of phosphorous released if commercial sediment was used with a low iron amendment or without an iron amendment. The second study consisted of planting V. americana on two different sediment types while supplying half of the plants with additional CO2. Plants grown on pond sediment with additional CO2 had significantly more biomass. In the third study all plants were grown on pond sediment, and half were treated with CO2. All plants that were treated with additional CO2 had significantly more biomass than those that were aerated.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Tanski, Erin M.

Development of a Pre-Impact Environmental Site Characterization for the Bryan Mound, Texas Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Description: This thesis presents a model for developing site-specific contingency plans to be used during spill response, remediation, and post-spill monitoring using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve's Bryan Mound site as a case study. Bird and vegetation observations provide baseline data for biological conditions, and sediment sampling for total petroleum hydrocarbons serves as a chemical component of the model. Results demonstrate previously unknown conditions that would hinder remediation and affect the persistence of petroleum contaminants. Results also established previously unmapped dominant bird and vegetation types likely to be impacted by a spill at the site. This model points to a reconsideration of individual facilities' responsibilities when planning for large-scale disasters and protecting the sensitive ecosystems surrounding their sites.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Hernandez, Sylvia A.

The Effect of Natural Gas Well Setback Distance on Drillable Land in the City of Denton, Texas

Description: Municipalities protect human health and environmental resources from impacts of urban natural gas drilling through setback distances; the regulation of distances between well sites and residences, freshwater wells, and other protected uses. Setback distances have increased over time, having the potential to alter the amount and geographical distribution of drillable land within a municipality, thereby having implications for future land use planning and increasing the potential for future incompatible land uses. This study geographically applies a range of setback distances to protected uses and freshwater wells in the city limits of Denton, Texas to investigate the effect on the amount of land remaining for future gas well development and production. Denton lies on the edge of a productive region of the Barnett Shale geological formation, coinciding with a large concentration of drillable land in the southwestern region of the study area. This region will have the greatest potential for impacts to future municipal development and land use planning as a result of future gas well development and higher setback standards. Given the relatively high acreage of drillable land in industrially zoned subcategory IC-G and the concern regarding gas well drilling in more populated areas, future drilling in IC-G, specifically in IC-G land cover classes mowed/grazed/agriculture and herbaceous, would have the least impact on residential uses and tree cover, as well as decreasing the potential for future incompatible land uses.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Daniel, Michael

An examination of the riparian bottomland forest in north central Texas through ecology, history, field study, and computer simulation

Description: This paper explores the characterization of a riparian bottomland forest in north central Texas in two ways: field study, and computer simulation with the model ZELIG. First, context is provided in Chapter One with a brief description of a southern bottomland forest, the ecological services it provides, and a history of bottomland forests in Texas from the nineteenth century to the present. A report on a characterization study of the Lake Ray Roberts Greenbelt forest comprises Chapter Two. The final chapter reviews a phytosocial study of a remnant bottomland forest within the Greenbelt. Details of the ZELIG calibration process follow, with a discussion of ways to improve ZELIG's simulation of bottomland forests.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Holcomb, Sheralyn S.

Integrating life cycle analysis and the ecological footprint calculator to foster sustainable behaviors

Description: Many tools have been developed to assess global, national or regional sustainable development policies. However, as governments develop sustainable policies, individuals must also feel empowered to affect their personal impact on the planet. This thesis integrates three sustainability concepts that lend themselves to individual sustainability: The natural step, life cycle assessment, and the ecological footprint. TNS serves to provide the meaning and substance toward sustainable development. LCA helps provide the framework for assessing sustainability. The EF calculator determines the driving components and measures the qualitative decisions made through TNS and LCA. From the analysis of the household footprint calculator a simplified footprint calculator was developed to assist individuals and communities in setting benchmarks and goals as they move away from over-consumption and towards a sustainable lifestyle.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Anderle, Kathryn

Photoinduced Toxicity in Early Lifestage Fiddler Crab (Uca Longisignalis) Following Exposure to Deepwater Horizon Spill Oil

Description: The 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill resulted in a large release of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) into the Gulf of Mexico. PAH can interact with ultraviolet radiation (UV) resulting in increased toxicity, particularly to early lifestage organisms. The goal of this research was to determine the sensitivity of fiddler crab larvae (Uca longisignalis) to photo-induced toxicity following exposure to Deepwater Horizon spill oil in support of the DWH Natural Resource Damage Assessment. Five replicate dishes each containing 20 larvae, were exposed to one of three UV treatments (10%, 50%, and 100% ambient natural sunlight) and one of five dilutions of water accommodated fractions of two naturally weathered source oils. A dose dependent effect of PAH and UV on larval mortality was observed. Mortality was markedly higher in PAH treatments that included co-exposure to more intense UV light. PAH treatments under low intensity sunlight had relatively high survival. These data demonstrate the importance of considering combined effects of non-chemical (i.e. UV exposure) and chemical stressors and the potential for photo-induced effects after exposure to PAH following the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Taylor, Leigh M.

The Potential of Coelomocyte Chemotaxis as an Immune Biomarker in the Earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris

Description: Coelomocyte migration responses, both random and chemotatic, were examined in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris. Coelomocyte random migration patterns towards non-stimulatory, non-chemotatic solutions were described. Migration responses to immunostimulatory agents lipopolysaccharides (LPS), N-formly-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP), sheep erythrocytes, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Aeromonas hydrophila, Eisenia fetida and Rhabditis pellio were characterized. Chemotaxis was reported to LPS, FMLP, sheep erythrocytes, S. cerivesae and E. fetida. Bio-indicator potential of chemotaxis is discussed relative to variability in migration responses.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Mota, Jennifer A.

Solid phase microextraction of amino-dinitrotoluenes in tissue.

Description: TNT (2,4,6-trinitrotoluene) readily and predominantly transforms to 2ADNT (2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene) and 4ADNT (4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene) in environmental matrixes and tissues. Solid phase microextraction (SPME) was used to extract ADNTs (amino-dinitrotoluenes) from tissue as a potential method to investigate the recalcitrance of metabolically-generated ADNTs versus absorbed ADNTs. Tubifex tubifex was allowed to metabolize TNT into ADNTs in 24-hr static non-renewal exposure test followed by 24-hr depuration in clean reconstituted hard water. Polyacrylate-coated (PA) SPME fibers were then deployed and agitated in tissue homogenates containing metabolically-generated ADNTs for 48 hr to provide a measure of available ADNTs. Extractability of ADNTs from T. tubifex tissue containing metabolically-generated ADNTs was significantly less than extractability of ADNTs from T. tubifex tissue containing absorbed ADNTs: 50-60% and 81-90% of expected extractability based on fiber-water partition ratio. The lower SPME extractability of metabolically-generated ADNTs may stem from the unavailability of metabolically-generated ADNTs sequestered in tissue or bound to tissue macromolecules during metabolism of TNT to ADNT. Tissue extractions using SPMEs may be able to estimate such bound organic residues in tissue and serve as potential indicators of toxicological bioavailability and biomagnification potential of tissue-associated organic compounds.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Tsui-Bowen, Alethea

Temperature tolerances and predation susceptibilities of transgenic and wildtype zebra danios, Danio rerio.

Description: Both the upper and lower temperature tolerances of red fluorescent protein transgenic zebra danios and wildtype zebra danios, Danio rerio, were significantly different via two different methods; however, all differences are small (< 1°C) and probably not ecologically important. The U.S. geographic distributions of both transgenic and wildtype zebra danios will not be restricted by their upper thermal tolerances, but will be limited to the southern and western portions of the U.S. by their lower thermal tolerances. Largemouth bass did not preferentially prey upon transgenic zebra danios compared to wildtype danios or wildtypes relative to a native fish. If transgenic or wildtype zebra danios are released into southern or western U.S. waters, it is possible they could be eliminated by predation.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Cortemeglia, Cheryl