Search Results

Determining the Suitability of Functional Landscapes and Wildlife Corridors Utilizing Conservation GIS Methods in Denton County, Texas.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Sales, Joshua
Partner: UNT Libraries

Use of In-Stream Water Quality Measurements and Geospatial Parameters to Predict Consumer Surfactant Toxic Units in the Upper Trinity River Watershed, Texas

Description: Surfactants are used in a wide assortment of "down-the-drain" consumer products, yet they are often discharged in wastewater treatment plant effluent into receiving water, potentially causing environmental harm. The objective of this project was to predict surfactant toxic units and in-stream nutrients in the upper Trinity River watershed. Surface and pore water samples were collected in late summer 2005. General chemistries and surfactant toxic units were calculated. GIS models of anthropogenic and natural factors were collected and analyzed according to subwatersheds. Multiple regression analyses using the Maximum R2 improvement method were performed to predict surfactant toxic units and in-stream nutrients using GIS and in-stream values. Both geospatial and in-stream parameters generated multiple regression models for surfactant surface and pore water toxic units, as well as in-stream nutrients, with high R2 values. Thus, GIS and in-stream parameter modeling have the potential to be reliable and inexpensive method of predicting surfactant toxic units and nutrient loading in the upper Trinity River watershed.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Johnson, David Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Assessment of Storm Water Toxicity from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and Denton, Texas

Description: With the advent of national storm water regulations, municipalities with populations greater than 100,000 are required to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits (NPDES) for storm water discharges. In addition to the sampling required for the permit process, the City of Fort Worth contracted with the University of North Texas' Institute of Applied Sciences to conduct acute toxicity testing using Pimephales prcmelas and Ceriodaphnia dubia on storm water samples received from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. A Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) was performed on four samples that exhibited acute toxicity to C. dubia. High levels of metals as well as diazinon were some of the probable toxicants found.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Keating, Paul Redmond
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparison of Remediation Methods in Different Hydrogeologic Settings Using Bioplume II

Description: A contaminant fate and transport computer model, Bioplume II, which allows simulation of bioremediation in ground water systems, was used to compare the effects of 11 remediation scenarios on a benzene plume. The plume was created in three different hydrogeologic settings from the simulation of an underground gasoline storage tank leak.
Date: May 1996
Creator: White, Sherry A. (Sherry Anne)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Integration of field-based analysis of plant community dynamics with quantitative analysis of landscape change in the Ray Roberts Lake area, 1987—1997

Description: This study focused on the effectiveness of integrating traditional plant community analyses with landscape ecological analyses based on remotely sensed data. A temporal analysis of plant community diversity was conducted for major plant communities of the Ray Roberts Lake area using transect monitoring data collected between 1987 and 1997. Landscape analyses were performed with FRAGSTATS*ARC using classified SPOT satellite imagery for 1987 and 1997. Although the methodology developed in this work was exploratory, it was found that characterizing the dynamics of major plant communities in the study area produced a more effective and insightful analysis of Ray Roberts Lake area landscape dynamics.
Date: May 2000
Creator: McDonough, Theresa J.
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.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Bhattacharjee, Nilanjana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Home range analysis of rehabilitated and released great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) in Denton County, Texas, through radio telemetry.

Description: Raptor rehabilitation has become commonplace globally, yet studies on the survival and adaptation of great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) after release has been neglected to an appreciable extent. The primary objective of this study is to provide quantitative data on the success of rehabilitated and released great horned owls in the North Texas region. Owls (N=12) were rehabilitated and released onto the Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor in Denton County, Texas, and monitored using radio telemetry to evaluate home range (November 2002 - February 2005). With approximately 75% of the birds released for this study surviving until transmitter battery failure, it is believed that the rehabilitation process was successful for these birds.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Johnston, Jennifer Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determination of Habitat Preferences of Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) on the Rolling Plains of Texas Using GIS and Remote Sensing

Description: The Rocker b Ranch on the southern Rolling Plains has one of the last sizeable populations of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) in Texas. To investigate habitat utilization on the ranch, pronghorn were fitted with GPS/VHF collars and were released into pastures surrounded by a variety of fences to determine how fence types affected habitat selection. Habitat parameters chosen for analysis were vegetation, elevation, slope, aspect, and distances to water, roads, and oil wells. Results showed that pronghorn on the ranch crossed modified fencing significantly less than other types of fencing. Pronghorn selected for all habitat parameters to various degrees, with the most important being vegetation type. Habitat selection could be attributed to correspondence of vegetation type with other parameters or spatial arrangements of physical features of the landscape. Seasonal differences in habitat utilization were evident, and animals tended to move shorter distances at night than they did during daylight hours.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Aiken, Robin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Shelton, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modulation of the Coelomic Fluid Protein Profile in the Earthworm, Lumbricus Terrestris, After Exposure to Copper as Copper Sulfate

Description: Proteomic techniques were used to analyze the protein profile of earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, coelomic fluid collected by either whole body dissection method or the coelomic cavity puncture method. Data demonstrated that collection of coelomic fluid using the coelomic cavity puncture method protocol resulted in a 32% reduction, 377 +/- 4.5 vs 253+/- 19.9 (p=0.0007), in the number of individual proteins. It was determined that the coelomic cavity puncture method yielded a "cleaner" preparation, one less contaminated with extraneous proteins from intestinal tissue, gut contents, and body wall materials. This protocol was used in all later studies. The same proteomic techniques were used to evaluate the effects that exposure to Cu (1.0 μg/cm2) as CuSO4 had on the earthworm coelomic fluid profile. Comparison of protein profile from exposed earthworms demonstrated a significant reduction in the number of proteins expressed (184 ± 2.64 vs 253 ±19.9 p=0.0192) when compared to control organisms. Cu exposure also resulted in a modulation of the protein profile with treated earthworms expressing 47 new proteins that were not identified in unexposed worm coelomic fluid. Additionally, 116 proteins found in coelomic fluid collected from normal worms were absent in Cu exposed organisms. Finally, 137 proteins were conserved or found in both control and exposed organisms; however of these proteins, 24 were up-regulated, 105 were down-regulated, and 8 were unchanged as a result of Cu exposure.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Herring, Reese
Partner: UNT Libraries

The proposed Fastrill Reservoir in east Texas: A study using geographic information systems.

Description: Geographic information systems and remote sensing software were used to analyze data to determine the area and volume of the proposed Fastrill Reservoir, and to examine seven alternatives. The controversial reservoir site is in the same location as a nascent wildlife refuge. Six general land cover types impacted by the reservoir were also quantified using Landsat imagery. The study found that water consumption in Dallas is high, but if consumption rates are reduced to that of similar Texas cities, the reservoir is likely unnecessary. The reservoir and its alternatives were modeled in a GIS by selecting sites and intersecting horizontal water surfaces with terrain data to create a series of reservoir footprints and volumetric measurements. These were then compared with a classified satellite imagery to quantify land cover types. The reservoir impacted the most ecologically sensitive land cover type the most. Only one alternative site appeared slightly less environmentally damaging.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Wilson, Michael Ray
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing Outcomes of a Recycling Education and Service Program within an Elementary School

Description: During the spring 2004 a pilot school recycling program was implemented within Robert E. Lee Elementary. The primary goal of the program was to determine how recycling education in the school would affect curbside recycling rates within the surrounding community. The program was a cooperative effort between the University of North Texas, City of Denton Solid Waste Department and Keep Denton Beautiful. Throughout the first months of the study during the spring 2004, an increase in curbside recycling within the Robert E. Lee Elementary attendance zone was observed, with a dramatic decrease in participation over the summer and a rapid increase once again during the second full semester of the study. In a survey conducted with 3rd and 5th grade students at the pilot project school, most students expressed positive attitudes about recycling. Students whose survey responses indicated a high level of knowledge about what could be recycled were 37% more likely to claim to recycle regularly, than those students that scored low on the knowledge portion of the survey. Although the total amount of waste generation (recyclable and non-recyclable) at Robert E. Lee Elementary did not decrease during the study, the campus was able to divert recyclable material from their trash at a much higher rate than two other local elementary campuses with paper-only recycling and no associated recycling education program. Based upon the success of the recycling program at Robert E. Lee Elementary, the City of Denton Recycling Division has agreed to move forward with offering recycling to more schools within the Denton Independent School District during the 2005-2006 school year.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Cunningham-Scott, Carey Beth
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

Stream water quality corridor assessment and management using spatial analysis techniques: Introduction, evaluation, and implementation of the WQCM model.

Description: The rapid development of once-rural landscapes often produces detrimental effects on surface water quality entering local reservoirs through vulnerable stream channels. This study presents a methodology that incorporates geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques for the creation of a stream corridor evaluation mechanism, coined the water quality corridor management (WQCM) model. Specifically, the study focuses on determining the viability of the WQCM model in assessing the stream corridor conditions within a northern Denton County pilot study region. These results will aid in the prediction and evaluation of the quality of stream water entering reservoirs that serve as the primary drinking water source for local municipalities.
Date: August 2007
Creator: English, April R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Water Quality Mapping on Lake Texoma USA

Description: The primary objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a system capable of rapid, continuous collection of water quality and locational data on Lake Texoma. Secondary objectives included developing monthly distribution maps for chlorophyll-a, turbidity, and specific conductivity in Lake Texoma and investigating the spatial and temporal relationships between these common water quality indicators. A modified YSI multiprobe was used to develop a system capable of surveying the lake within 4 days with samples at 330 to 400 meter intervals. Data generated with this system compared favorably with previous studies of Lake Texoma. Two sets of raster format maps were developed for the monthly distributions of chlorophyll-a, turbidity, and specific conductivity across the lake. Spatial and temporal relationships generally took the form of decreasing gradients running from the lake arms towards the Main Lake Zone in the case of chlorophyll-a and turbidity. Or, in the case of specific conductivity, a decreasing gradient from the Red River arm to the Washita River arm. All three water quality indicators were strongly influenced by river discharge levels.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Mabe, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Thermal Identification of Clandestine Burials: A Signature Analysis and Image Classification Approach

Description: Clandestine burials, the interred human remains of forensic interest, are generally small features located in isolated environments. Typical ground searches can be both time-consuming and dangerous. Thermal remote sensing has been recognized for some time as a possible search strategy for such burials that are in relatively open areas; however, there is a paucity of published research with respect to this application. This project involved image manipulation, the analyses of signatures for "graves" of various depths when compared to an undisturbed background, and the use of image classification techniques to tease out these features. This research demonstrates a relationship between the depth of burial disturbance and the resultant signature. Further, image classification techniques, especially object-oriented algorithms, can be successfully applied to single band thermal imagery. These findings may ultimately decrease burial search times for law enforcement and increase the likelihood of locating clandestine graves.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Servello, John A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Influence of stormwater drainage facilities on mosquito communities within the city of Denton, Texas.

Description: Weekly collections were conducted from May to December, 2007 (153 trap nights, total) in Denton, Texas, in and around large storm drains and overpass drainage facilities in residential and non-residential areas, using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) light traps and gravid traps. A total of 1964 mosquitoes were collected, representing 24 species within 6 genera: Aedes, Anopheles, Culiseta, Culex, Psorophora, and Uranotaenia. Culex was the most abundant genus, representing 75% of all mosquitoes collected; Aedes was the second most abundant, representing 12 % of all mosquitoes collected. Cx. quinquefasciatus was the dominant species collected via gravid traps; Cx. (Melanoconion) species were the dominant species collected via CDC light traps. Data of gravid traps and light traps were analyzed separately using nonparametric correlation analysis, comparing environmental data and physical characteristics to total abundance of mosquitoes. There was no significant correlation found when comparing the three dominant species collected in light traps (unidentified Cx. (Melanoconion) sp, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and Ae. vexans) to environmental characteristics and physical characteristics. Analysis of Cx. quinquefasciatus collected in gravid traps indicated no significant correlation between abundance, environmental data, and physical characteristics. Linear regression models were analyzed to determine if either environmental variables or physical characteristics of the drainage system explained the species abundance collected; no individual variable showed an association of significance. Analysis of Cx. quinquefasciatus collected in storm drains via gravid traps determined temperature to be the most important variable in determining population abundance and explained 99% of the population variability.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Kavanaugh, Michael David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing Effects of an Environmental Education Field Science Program Fostering Responsibility at an Urban Middle School

Description: The study investigated the ability of an extracurricular program to influence environmental responsibility of sixth and seventh graders. The Children's Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Survey (CHEAKS) was evaluated for appropriateness in assessing the worth of this particular environmental education strategy emphasizing water quality fieldwork and technology. CHEAKS is designed with psychometric reliability and validity that may be used in comparing disparate programs. Wilcoxon two sample tests were used to analyze data gathered from two student groups; one participated in an "Enviro-Mentals Club"; the other received no treatment. Analysis showed no significant change in environmental attitudes between groups, but did show significance (p <= 0.05) in environmental knowledge growth. Therefore, the investigated program had marginal success in influencing environmental responsibility.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Sills, Blake
Partner: UNT Libraries

Pretreatment Optimization of Fiberglass Manufacturing Industrial Wastewater

Description: Wastewater effluent produced in the fiberglass manufacturing industry contains a significant amount of total suspended solids. Environmental regulations require pretreatment of effluent before it is discharged to the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Chemical precipitation by coagulation and flocculation is the method of pretreatment used at the Vetrotex CertainTeed Corporation (VCT). A treatability study was conducted to determine conditions at which the VCT Wastewater Pretreatment Plant could operate to consistently achieve a total suspended solids concentration ≤ 200-mg/L. Jar tests varied pH, polymer dosage, and ferric sulfate dosage. Total suspended solids and turbidity were measured to evaluate treatment performance. The data were used to determine an optimum set of conditions under project guidelines. Of twelve polymers screened, BPL 594 was selected as the most effective polymer. For cost efficiency in the wastewater pretreatment operation, recommendations suggested that treatment chemical injection be electronically controlled according to turbidity of the treated effluent.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Dragoo, Ron
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ecological Association Between the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker and Southern Pine Beetle in the Homochitto National Forest: a Geographic Information System Approach

Description: Since the introduction of management practices by the Forest Service to stabilize red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) populations, the number of cavity trees killed by southern pine beetles (SPB) has increased. A model of the landscape ecology of RCW and SPB in the Homochitto National Forest was created using data collected from the Forest Service and Global Atmospherics. The conclusions of the study were that the RCW and SPB utilize the same type of habitat and the stand hazard maps are an accurate means of determining the locations of SPB infestations. The functional heterogeneity maps created for the SPB and RCW would be useful predictors of future occurrences of either species if complete data were obtained.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Skordinski, Karen R. (Karen Renee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Environmental Factors Influencing Chlorophyll-a Concentrations in Lake Texoma

Description: An analysis of algal biomass measured by chlorophyll-a concentration in Lake Texoma was performed as a part of a monitoring program to develop baseline environmental data in order to detect the potential effects of engineered changes in chloride concentrations in the reservoir. This portion of the research project focused on two main research objectives. The first objective was evaluating the effect of sampling strategy on the ability to adequately reflect standing crop estimates and trends in algal biomass. Two sampling regimes utilizing replication of three versus ten samples were applied and then analyzed using a minimum detectable difference algorithm to determine the necessary magnitude of replication to represent the variation in the metric. Chlorophyll-a distribution was analyzed for zonation patterns expected in a river-run reservoir to establish the importance of representative sampling of river, transition and main lake zones of the reservoir for management decisions and trophic characterization.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Gibbs, Jennifer S. (Jennifer Sokolovic)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conception and Design of Constructed Wetland Systems to Treat Wastewater at the Biosphere 2 Center with Use of Reaction Rate Models and the Habitat Evaluation Procedure to Determine the Effects of Designing for Wildlife Habitat on Treatment Efficiency

Description: A study was undertaken to explore relationships between wetland characteristics which make them efficient water purifiers versus their ability to serve as wildlife habitat. The effects of designing constructed wetlands for improved habitat on water treatment efficiencies were quantified. Results indicate that some sacrifice in treatment efficiency is required and that the degree of efficiency reduction is dependant upon pollutant loading rates. However, sacrifice in efficiency is much smaller than increase in habitat quality, and can be offset by increasing wetland area. A practical, theoretical application was then attempted.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Clingenpeel, Glenn C. (Glenn Christopher)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Underwater Optical Properties of Lake Texoma (Oklahoma-Texas) Using Secchi Disk, Submarine Photometer, and High-Resolution Spectroscopy

Description: The underwater optical climate of Lake Texoma was measured at eleven fixed stations from August 1996 to August 1997. Secchi transparency and submarine photometry characterized seasonal and spatial values of secchi depth (SD), vertical attenuation coefficient (η''), and depth of euphotic zone (Zeu). Indices of Zeu:SD and η'' × SD were compared with universally applied values derived from inland and coastal waters. Turbidity explained 76% of the variation (p = 0.0001) of η'' among water quality parameters, including chlorophyll-α. Using a spectroradiometer, spectral signatures of chlorophyll-α and turbidity were located. Stations with low turbidity exhibited a distinct green reflectance peak around 590-610 nanometers, indicating presence of chlorophyll-α. Stations with high turbidity exhibited a reflectance peak shift towards the red spectrum, making it difficult to detect the chlorophyll signature. Derivative analysis of the reflectance signal at 590-610, and 720-780 nanometers allowed discrimination of this chlorophyll signature from those of turbidity (0.66 ≤ r^2 ≤ 0.99).
Date: August 1998
Creator: Rolbiecki, David A. (David Alan)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Documentation of Biodiversity Impacts (Including Cumulative Biodiversity Impacts) in Environmental Impact Statements

Description: In the United States, biodiversity impact assessment has historically received little attention. Responding in 1993, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released guidelines on incorporating biodiversity into environmental impact assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The objectives of the study here were to identify the level of documentation of biodiversity impact assessment in sample Environmental Impact Statements (EISs); identify whether in the years following the release of 1993 CEQ guidelines any significant changes have taken place in assessment of biodiversity; identify deficiencies, and if the need exists, formulate appropriate recommendations and approaches for addressing biodiversity in EISs. The study involved a systematic review of 30 EISs published since the release of CEQ guidelines, and five EISs published prior to it. The review involved answering a series of standard questions, which attempted to ascertain the level of biodiversity impacts included in each impact statement. Trends in approaches to biodiversity impact assessment were investigated and deficiencies summarized. The analysis resulted in a series of recommendations for improving the manner in which biodiversity impact assessment can be approached.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Bhatia, Sarika
Partner: UNT Libraries