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.
Over 9 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) were reported worldwide in 2013. While the TB rate is much lower in the US, its uneven distribution and associated explanatory variables require interrogation in order to determine effective strategies for intervention and control. However, paucity of case data at fine geographic scales precludes such research. This research, using zip code level data from 837 confirmed TB cases in Tarrant County obtained from Texas Department of State Health Services, explores and attempts to explain the spatial patterns of TB and related risk markers within a framework of place vulnerability. Readily available census data is then used to characterize the spatial variations in TB risk. The resulting model will enable estimations of the geographic differences in TB case variables using this readily available census data instead of time-consuming and expensive individual data collection.
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.
GIS has been utilized in cultural resources management for decades, yet its application has been largely isolated to predicting the occurrence of archaeological sites. Federal and State agencies are required to protect archaeological sites that are discovered on their lands, but their resources and personnel are very limited. A new methodology is evaluated that uses modern light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and historic aerial photogrammetry to create digital terrain models (DTMs) capable of identifying sites that are most at risk of damage from changes in terrain. Results revealed that photogrammetric modeling of historic aerial imagery, with limitations, can be a useful decision making tool for cultural resources managers to prioritize conservation and monitoring efforts. An attempt to identify key environmental factors that would be indicative of future topographic changes did not reveal conclusive results. However, the methodology proposed has the potential to add an affordable temporal dimension to future digital terrain modeling and land management. Furthermore, the methods have global applicability because they can be utilized in any region with an arid environment.
Rainfall interception is one mechanism by which tree canopies can reduce surface runoff in urban areas. The objectives of this research were to: 1) quantify rainfall interception by urban tree canopies, and 2) determine the influence of vegetation and microenvironmental factors on rainfall interception rates. In the city of Denton, Texas, 30 mature post oak (Quercus stellata) and blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) trees were selected for study. Trees were assigned to one of three categories: clusters of trees on greenspace (CG), isolated trees on greenspace (IG), and isolated trees surrounded by pavement (IP). Throughfall (the volume of water that travels through the canopy and reaches the soil surface) collectors were placed beneath these trees and rainfall collectors were placed in nearby open areas. Throughfall and rainfall were collected daily from 19 March to 4 July. Interception was calculated as the difference between throughfall and gross rainfall. Over the study period, there were 27 days with measurable rainfall; daily rainfall ranged from 1-51 mm. Over the sampling period, rainfall interception for individual trees ranged from -10% to 49%, indicating high spatial variability in interception. Percent interception was highest for the CG treatment (22.7 ± 3.8 SE), intermediate for IG (27.4 ± 2.3 SE), and lowest for IP (9.1 ± 4.9 SE). Factors like wind exposure, wind-driven rain and overall tree health may help explain this variability. This research will contribute to our knowledge of hydrological fluxes in urban areas and the role of urban green infrastructure in stormwater runoff mitigation.
Assessing the impact of climate variability on water resources is one of the difficult tasks in planning the future growth of North-Central Texas. This study defined twelve extreme climate scenarios. Data from each scenario was input to a hydrological model (HEC-HMS) to calculate watershed runoff to Lake Ray Roberts. Model parameters are determined using Geographic Information System (GIS). The water balance was calculated for current and future water demand and resulting change in the volume and level of this reservoir. The results indicate certain climate scenarios decrease in volume. Thus, local governments should plan alternative water management strategies during droughts.
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.
When an earthquake happens, one of the most important tasks of disaster managers is to conduct damage assessment; this is mostly done from remotely sensed data. This study presents a new method for building detection and damage assessment using high-resolution satellite images and LiDAR data from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A graph-cut method is used for building detection due to its advantages compared to traditional methods such as the Hough transform. Results of two methods are compared to understand how much our proposed technique is effective. Afterwards, sensitivity analysis is performed to show the effect of image resolution on the efficiency of our method. Results are in four groups. First: based on two criteria for sensitivity analysis, completeness and correctness, the more efficient method is graph-cut, and the final building mask layer is used for damage assessment. Next, building damage assessment is done using change detection technique from two images from period of before and after the earthquake. Third, to integrate LiDAR data and damage assessment, we showed there is a strong relationship between terrain roughness variables that are calculated using digital surface models. Finally, open street map and normalized digital surface model are used to detect possible road blockages. Results of detecting road blockages showed positive values of normalized digital surface model on the road centerline can represent blockages if we exclude other objects such as cars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This paper presents methods and results of county-level population estimation using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images of Denton County and Collin County in Texas. Landsat TM images acquired in March 2000 were classified into residential and non-residential classes using maximum likelihood classification and knowledge-based classification methods. Accuracy assessment results from the classified image produced using knowledge-based classification and traditional supervised classification (maximum likelihood classification) methods suggest that knowledge-based classification is more effective than traditional supervised classification methods. Furthermore, using randomly selected samples of census block groups, ordinary least squares (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models were created for total population estimation. The overall accuracy of the models is over 96% at the county level. The results also suggest that underestimation normally occurs in block groups with high population density, whereas overestimation occurs in block groups with low population density.
Although Costco operates over 580 warehouse stores throughout North America, their location strategy remains relatively unexamined in the economic geography literature. A cursory examination of Costco’s network makes it clear that the firm chooses to locate primarily in the suburbs of major cities, where income levels are somewhat higher than the national average. However, what is not clear is the extent to which other demographic and geographic factors adequately account for Costco’s store locations, and what strategy underlies the geography of the firm’s warehouse stores, especially in relation to its distribution network. This research studies Costco in order to decode the location strategies that have guided the company’s North American and international expansions. The investigation attempts to identify key elements of Costco’s multinational retail network, including this network’s evolution over time. This paper seeks to benefit both retail business and public policymakers by highlighting elements of Costco’s location strategy that have contributed to the firm’s success.
The archaeology of the Northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico has recently received an increased amount scholarly attention. In particular, understanding past trends in demographics, agricultural productivity, violence, and social networks have been primary goals of archaeological research. Understanding patterns in animal exploitation has, however, received far less attention due to a small yet growing regional zooarchaeological database. Through the identification of animal remains from a site called Ponsipa (occupied ca. A.D. 1300 to 1600), this thesis adds one large dataset to this growing database. In addition, this thesis expands on the pre-impoundment distribution of an endangered native freshwater fish species in the state of New Mexico called the blue sucker (Cycleptus elongatus). The blue sucker is a unique fish that is currently experiencing range reduction across all of its known North American distribution due to anthropogenic habitat fragmentation and degradation. Skeletal remains that were identified from Ponsipa represent the farthest known northern record of its occurrence in the state of New Mexico and highlight the extent of range restriction of the species in the area. The data concerning the historical biogeography of the blue sucker from Ponsipa have implications for the effective conservation and restoration of blue sucker located in the Rio Grande Basin.
Denton County's unique cultural and natural landscape has undergone dramatic transformations during the past two centuries due to agricultural, urban and suburban processes which accelerated the loss and removal of native habitat and wildlife. This research sought out to identify the remaining natural areas which retain their natural features and support wildlife. Research methodology included fundamental principles of Conservation Planning, Geographical Information Systems, and Habitat Evaluation Procedures for identifying remnant functional landscapes and wildlife corridors. The final results suggest that Denton County's rural landscape retains the functional properties and elements suitable for habitat conservation and wildlife corridors, while also pointing to the fundamental obstacles to conservation posed by continued growth and private landownership.
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 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.
Locational decisions based on stigma and low funding have handicapped the efficiency of community based mental healthcare in the United States since 1963. However, the pattern of services in the 21st century American South remains largely unknown. This thesis addresses this gap in knowledge by using a mixed methodology including location allocation, descriptive statistics, and qualitative site visits to explore the geography of community clinics offering both physical and mental health services. The City of Houston has proposed using these facilities to anchor new supportive housing, but introducing more fixed costs to a mismatched system could create more problems than solutions. The findings of this study suggest the presence of an unnecessary concentration of services in the central city and a spatial mismatch between accessible clinics and the poor, sick people in need. Furthermore, this research reveals a new suburban pattern of vulnerability, calling into question long-held assumptions about the vulnerability of the inner city. Building supportive housing around existing community clinics, especially in the central city, may further concentrate vulnerable people thereby contributing to intensifying patterns of service-seeking drift and the continued traumatization of mentally ill homeless persons in Houston.
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.
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 ...
Understanding spatial perspectives on the spread and incidence of a disease is invaluable for public health planning and intervention. Choropleth maps are commonly used to provide an abstraction of disease risk across geographic space. These maps are derived from aggregated population counts that are known to be affected by the small numbers problem. Kernel density estimation methods account for this problem by producing risk estimates that are based on aggregations of approximately equal population sizes. However, the process of aggregation often combines data from areas with non-uniform spatial and population characteristics. This thesis presents a new method to aggregate space in ways that are sensitive to their underlying risk factors. Such maps will enable better public health practice and intervention by enhancing our ability to understand the spatial processes that result in disparate health outcomes.
Data on rates of atmospheric deposition is limited in many montane ecosystems, where high spatial variability in meteorological, topographic, and vegetation factors contributes to elevated atmospheric inputs and to the creation of deposition hotspots. Addressing the ecological consequences of increasing deposition in these areas will require a better understanding of surface controls influencing atmospheric deposition rates at both large and small-scales. The overarching objective of this thesis research was to understand the influence of vegetation structure and canopy exposure on small-scale patterns of atmospheric sulfate, nitrate, and chloride deposition inputs to a conifer forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California. Throughfall ion fluxes (i.e., ions delivered in water that pass from the forest canopy to the forest floor), bulk deposition (i.e., primarily wet deposition), and rainfall data were collected during the rainy period from October 2012 to May 2013. Throughfall SO42-, Cl-, and NO3- fluxes were measured beneath eight clusters of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) trees (three trees per cluster) differing in tree size (i.e., diameter at breast height; DBH) and canopy exposure. In each cluster, a throughfall collector was placed 1-meter from the bole of an individual tree, for a total of 24 individual collectors. The position of each throughfall collector was recorded with a Trimble® GPS. In addition, tree height, tree diameter, and leaf area index, were measured for all trees. LiDAR data were obtained from GeoEarthScope’s Northern California Airborne LiDAR project and used to model the elevation (DEM), canopy surface height (DSM), tree height (CHM), slope, and curvature of the canopy surface across the entire study area. Over the rainy season, total throughfall flux of SO42--S, a conservative tracer of total deposition (wet + dry + fog), to Douglas fir clusters ranged from 1.44 - 3.84 kg S ha-1 wet season-1, while dry and fog deposition ranged ...
Rain gardens are low impact developments designed to mitigate a suite of issues associated with urban stormwater runoff. The site for this study was a Denton City rain garden at the Denton Waste Water Treatment Plant. Nitrogen and phosphorus removal was examined in light of two overflow events comprised of partially treated wastewater from an upslope anaerobic digester pond. Nitrate removal efficiency was examined across differing dry spell intervals of 5, 8, and 12 d, displaying a moderate negative correlation (r2 = 0.59). Continued phosphorus removal capacity was assessed, showing phosphorus removal in cases where P was in excess of 0.8 mg/L, reflecting an equilibrium phosphorus concentration. A high expanded shale component in the soil media (25%) was likely a factor in the continued removal of phosphorus. Overall the rain garden proved to be a large source of nitrate (+425%) and total nitrogen (+61%) by mass. The study showed that while the rain garden intercepted a large volume of partially treated wastewater during the overflow events, preventing it from reaching a nearby creek, the mitigation of an acute event has extended to a chronic one as nitrogen is gradually processed and flushed from the system as nitrate.
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.
This study analyzes the proposed passenger rail line expansion along US Interstate Highway 35 in Denton County, Texas. A multi-dimensional approach was used to investigate potential environmental justice (EJ) consequences from the expansion of the transportation corridor. This study used empirical and historical evidence to identify and prioritize sites for potential EJ concerns. Citizen participation in the decision making process was also evaluated. The findings of this research suggest that the southeast Denton community has the highest potential for environmental justice concerns. This study concludes by offering suggestions for an effective public participation process. These include the incorporation of a community's local history into an environmental justice assessment, and tailoring the public planning process to the demographics and culture of the residents.
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.
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 ...
Urbanization causes various environmental issues including water pollution, air pollution, and solid waste. Urbanization of watersheds has a profound influence on the quality of stormwater runoff. The quality of stormwater runoff is highly associated with land use. This study analyzed the exceedance frequency of stormwater quality in five watersheds of Denton over eleven years and also analyzed the relationship between stormwater quality and land use/cover of each watershed. The results showed that the most of the water quality parameters that were examined in the Lower Pecan watershed exceeded their threshold most frequently. The higher frequency of exceedance in this watershed can be attributed to the wastewater treatment plant and landfill site. Total suspended solids and turbidity were frequently exceeded in Hickory and Clear Creek watersheds. Conductivity was found to have highest percentage of exceedance in Upper Pecan and Cooper watersheds. Thus, rural watersheds were related with higher exceedance of TSS and turbidity whereas urban watersheds were related with higher exceedance of conductivity.
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.
Tree diameter data from 29 years of observations in six permanent plots was used to calculate the growth rate parameter of the FACET gap model for 39 species in the Imataca forests in Venezuela. The compound topographic index was used as a measure of differential soil water conditions and was calculated using geographic information systems. Growth rate values and topographic conditions typical of hill and valley were input to FACET to simulate dynamics at the species level and by ecological and functional groups. Species shade-tolerance led to expected successional patterns. Drought-tolerant/saturation-intolerant species grew in the hills whereas drought-intolerant/saturation-tolerant species occurred in the valleys. The results help to understand forest composition in the future and provide guidance to forest management practices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ghana is identified among the developing countries with high maternal mortality ratio in Africa. This study unpacked the Demographic and Health Survey data by examining the maternal health indicators at the district level using GIS methods. Understanding the geographic patterns of antenatal care, place of delivery, and skilled birth attendants at the small scale will help to formulate and plan for location-specific health interventions that can improve maternal health care behavior among Ghanaian women. Districts with high rates and low rates were identified. Place of residence, Gini-Coefficient, wealth status, internet access, and religious affiliation were used to explore the underlying factors associated with the observed patterns. Economic inequality was positively associated with increased use of maternal health care services. The ongoing free maternal health policy serves as a cushion effect for the economic inequality among the districts in the Northern areas. Home delivery is common among the rural districts and is more prominent mostly in the western part of Northern Region and southwest of Upper West. Educating women about the free maternal health policy remains the most viable strategy for positive maternal health outcomes and in reducing MMR in Ghana.
Maternal mortality is the leading cause of death among women in Nigeria, especially women aged between 15 and 19 years. This research examines the geography of maternal mortality in Nigeria and the role of cultural and religious practices, socio-economic inequalities, urbanization, access to pre and postnatal care in explaining the spatial pattern. State-level data on maternal mortality rates and predictor variables are presented. Access to healthcare, place of residence and religion explains over 74 percent of the spatial pattern of maternal mortality in Nigeria, especially in the predominantly Muslim region of northern Nigeria where poverty, early marriage and childbirth are at its highest, making them a more vulnerable population. Targeting vulnerable populations in policy-making procedures may be an important strategy for reducing maternal mortality, which would also be more successful if other socio-economic issues such as poverty, religious and health care issues are promptly addressed as well.
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.
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.
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.
This study is a test of a methodology to predict changes in elevation and shoreline position of coastal wetlands in Trinity Bay, Texas, in response to projected sea level rise. The study combines numerical modeling and a geographic information system. A smoothing technique is used on a United States Geographical Survey (USGS) digital elevation model to obtain elevation profiles that more accurately represent the gently sloping wetlands surface. The numerical model estimates the expected elevation change by raster cell based on input parameters of predicted sea level rise, mineral and organic sedimentation rates, and sediment autocompaction rates. A GIS is used to display predicted elevation changes and changes in shoreline position as a result of four projected sea level rise scenarios over the next 100 years. Results demonstrate that this numerical model and methodology are promising as a technique of modeling predicted elevation change and shoreline migration in wetlands. The approach has potential utility in coastal management applications.
This research focuses on the global expansion of the transnational retail industry. Globalization is a phenomenon experienced by many industries in the present global economy. The global production network (GPN) framework can be used to explain and interpret the phenomenon of transnational firms' adaptation strategies. Due to market saturation in their home countries, retailers began to expand into East Asia in the 1980s. However, cultural differences and legislative limitations created barriers and restrictions for the transnational retailers making this transition. How do firms overcome these challenges? Through a case study of Costco in Taiwan, this research investigates the ways in which retailers adapt their strategies with regard to three concerns: site decisions, product mix selection, and supply network consolidation. The results shows that Costco opted for a strategy of lesser localization in all three domains. This research provides evidence to support this characterization along with examples of Costco's localization strategies via a case study and focuses on the issue of the balance between localization and standardization in the GPN framework.
This paper critically analyzes the implementation of compressed natural gas and the ways in which it creates discourse in urban Bolivia. The rapidly developing nation is keen on making ubiquitous use of compressed natural gas a reality by issuing subsidies, citing increased mobility, savings, and environmental stewardship as the primary motives. Currently, eight out of every 10 public vehicles in Bolivia are powered by compressed natural gas. Through semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and secondary data collection, this paper elucidates the transitional process of building a natural gas-based transport network through discursive governance. This work draws on the critical discourse analysis literature to dissect disaggregated modal preference data, government documents, and news articles collected in Santa Cruz, Latin America's second fastest growing city. Moreover, this paper identifies and examines the ways in which the counter-discourse impacts the transformation of the country’s energy matrix. Results show that Bolivian automobile owners are reluctant to convert their automobiles, despite reduced transportation costs, stating that minimal compressed natural gas infrastructure exists outside of urban areas, and the conversion damages their vehicles’ motor. Additionally, the research reveals that automobile owners are currently the main beneficiaries, though respondents who do not posses an automobile speak more favorably of natural gas. Finally, this research illustrates that the compressed natural gas-oriented policies encourage personal automobile use that continues to drive socio-spatial segregation of Santa Cruz’s residents. Thus, the compressed natural gas discourse helps shape the urban landscape by persuading the public to consume domestically extracted and manufactured natural gas.
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.
This study uses the storm surge sediment beds deposited by Hurricanes Audrey (1957), Carla (1961), Rita (2005) and Ike (2008) to investigate spatial and temporal changes in sedimentation rates on the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Texas. Fourteen sediment cores were collected along a transect extending from 90 to 1230 meters inland from the Gulf Coast. Storm-surge-deposited sediment beds were identified by texture, organic content, carbonate content, the presence of marine microfossils, and Cesium-137 dating. The hurricane-derived sediment beds are marker horizons that facilitate assessment of marsh sedimentation rates from nearshore to inland locations as well as over decadal to annual timescales. Near the shore, on a Hurricane Ike washover fan, where hurricane-derived sedimentation has increased elevation by up to 0.68 m since 2005, there was no measurable marsh sedimentation in the period 2008-2014. Farther inland, at lower elevations, sedimentation for the period 2008-2014 averaged 0.36 cm per year. The reduction in sedimentation in the period 2008-2014 on the nearshore part of the marsh is likely due to reduced flooding in response to increased elevation from hurricane storm surge sediment deposition. These results provide valuable knowledge about the sedimentary response of coastal marshes subject to storm surge deposition and useful guidance to public policy aimed at combating the effects of sea level rise on coastal marshes along the Gulf of Mexico.
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.
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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