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Addressing Social Elements of Wildfire: Risk, Response, and Recovery in Highland Village, TX

Description: Representatives of the City of Highland Village expressed concern over the risk of wildfires for their community. Anthropology provides many tools for and examples of disaster assessment of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. These tools combined with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can provide a holistic, cultural ecological look at how such a disaster may take place in the city. The project's methods included a detailed survey of preparedness steps which was analyzed using SPSS and also imported into ArcGIS for spatial analysis, and semi-formal, in-depth interviews with residents of the community regarding preparedness, response, and recovery. Residents fell into a middle category of preparedness, with the majority of participants considering or implementing a few recommended preparedness steps. Interview participants expressed respect for and trust of the city and first-responders, as well as a willingness to volunteer their help during response and recovery stages. Finally the American Community Survey showed that resident socioeconomic vulnerability was considerably low, and no action needed to be taken to advocate for at-risk individuals. Overall, the City of Highland Village showed a high resiliency to disaster. A wildfire likely will not have a major impact on the community as a whole, though the city may reduce the impact even further by informing the public of their risk, clearing natural areas of dead brush, sharing preparedness and evacuation information via social media and newsletters, and planning relief stations for those who may have been impacted.
Date: May 2016
Creator: MacKinnon, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Urban Green Spaces on Declining Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Description: Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are adept pollinators of countless cultivated and wild flowering plants, but many species have experienced declines in recent decades. Though urban sprawl has been implicated as a driving force of such losses, urban green spaces hold the potential to serve as habitat islands for bumble bees. As human populations continue to grow and metropolitan areas become larger, the survival of many bumble bee species will hinge on the identification and implementation of appropriate conservation measures at regional and finer scales. North Texas is home to some the fastest-growing urban areas in the country, including Denton County, as well as at least two declining bumble bee species (B. pensylvanicus and B. fraternus). Using a combination of field , molevular DNA and GIS methods I evaluated the persistence of historic bumble bee species in Denton County, and investigated the genetic structure and connectivity of the populations in these spaces. Field sampling resulted in the discovery of both B. pensylvanicus and B. fraternus in Denton County's urban green spaces. While the relative abundance of B. fraternus in these spaces was significantly lower than historic levels gleaned from museum recors, that of B. pensylvanicus was significantly higher. Statistical analyses found that both bare ground and tree cover surrounding sample sites were negatively associated with numbers of bumble bee individuals and hives detected in these green spaces. Additionally, limited genetic structuring of bumble bee populations was detected, leading to the conclusion that extensive gene flow is occurring across populations in Denton County.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Beckham, Jessica Lorene
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Parcel-Based Change Detection Using Multi-Temporal LiDAR Data in the City of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Description: Change detection is amongst the most effective critical examination methods used in remote sensing technology. In this research, new methods are proposed for building and vegetation change detection using only LiDAR data without using any other remotely sensed data. Two LiDAR datasets from 2009 and 2013 will be used in this research. These datasets are provided by the City of Surrey. A Parcel map which shows parcels in the study area will be also used in this research because the objective of this research is detecting changes based on parcels. Different methods are applied to detect changes in buildings and vegetation respectively. Three attributes of object –slope, building volume, and building height are derived and used in this study. Changes in buildings are not only detected but also categorized based on their attributes. In addition, vegetation change detection is performed based on parcels. The output shows parcels with a change of vegetation. Accuracy assessment is done by using measures of completeness, correctness, and quality of extracted regions. Accuracy assessments suggest that building change detection is performed with better results.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Yigit, Aykut
Partner: UNT Libraries

Archaeological Site Vulnerability Modeling for Cultural Resources Management Based on Historic Aerial Photogrammetry and LiDAR

Description: 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.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Helton, Erin King
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

An Analysis of the Habitat of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros Unicornis (Mammalia: Perissodactyla: Rhinocerotidae) at the Chitwan National Park, Nepal

Description: This article uses geographic information systems and landscape-level data obtained from remote sensing sources to build a habitat suitability index model for the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros.
Date: August 14, 2013
Creator: Thapa, Vivek; Acevedo, Miguel F. & Limbu, Kul P.
Partner: UNT College of Engineering

Computational Epidemiology - Analyzing Exposure Risk: A Deterministic, Agent-Based Approach

Description: Many infectious diseases are spread through interactions between susceptible and infectious individuals. Keeping track of where each exposure to the disease took place, when it took place, and which individuals were involved in the exposure can give public health officials important information that they may use to formulate their interventions. Further, knowing which individuals in the population are at the highest risk of becoming infected with the disease may prove to be a useful tool for public health officials trying to curtail the spread of the disease. Epidemiological models are needed to allow epidemiologists to study the population dynamics of transmission of infectious agents and the potential impact of infectious disease control programs. While many agent-based computational epidemiological models exist in the literature, they focus on the spread of disease rather than exposure risk. These models are designed to simulate very large populations, representing individuals as agents, and using random experiments and probabilities in an attempt to more realistically guide the course of the modeled disease outbreak. The work presented in this thesis focuses on tracking exposure risk to chickenpox in an elementary school setting. This setting is chosen due to the high level of detailed information realistically available to school administrators regarding individuals' schedules and movements. Using an agent-based approach, contacts between individuals are tracked and analyzed with respect to both individuals and locations. The results are then analyzed using a combination of tools from computer science and geographic information science.
Date: August 2009
Creator: O'Neill II, Martin Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries

GPS CaPPture: a System for GPS Trajectory Collection, Processing, and Destination Prediction

Description: In the United States, smartphone ownership surpassed 69.5 million in February 2011 with a large portion of those users (20%) downloading applications (apps) that enhance the usability of a device by adding additional functionality. a large percentage of apps are written specifically to utilize the geographical position of a mobile device. One of the prime factors in developing location prediction models is the use of historical data to train such a model. with larger sets of training data, prediction algorithms become more accurate; however, the use of historical data can quickly become a downfall if the GPS stream is not collected or processed correctly. Inaccurate or incomplete or even improperly interpreted historical data can lead to the inability to develop accurately performing prediction algorithms. As GPS chipsets become the standard in the ever increasing number of mobile devices, the opportunity for the collection of GPS data increases remarkably. the goal of this study is to build a comprehensive system that addresses the following challenges: (1) collection of GPS data streams in a manner such that the data is highly usable and has a reduction in errors; (2) processing and reduction of the collected data in order to prepare it and make it highly usable for the creation of prediction algorithms; (3) creation of prediction/labeling algorithms at such a level that they are viable for commercial use. This study identifies the key research problems toward building the CaPPture (collection, processing, prediction) system.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Griffin, Terry W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Storm Water Runoff Investigation Using Gis and Remote Sensing

Description: Environmental controls are becoming more and more expensive to implement, so environmental management is becoming more technologically advanced and efficient through the adoption of new techniques and models. This paper reviews the potential for storm water runoff for the city of Denton, Texas and with the main objective to perform storm water runoff analyses for three different land use datasets; each landuse dataset created with a different methodology. Also analyzed was the difference between two North Central Texas Council of Governments land use datasets and my own land use dataset as a part of evaluating new and emerging remote sensing techniques. The results showed that new remote sensing techniques can help to continually monitor changes within watersheds by providing more accurate data.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Jennings, Laura
Partner: UNT Libraries

Geography of HIV Infection Among Adults Aged 50 Years and Older in Texas From 1999-2009

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Hedrich, Mara Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling the Relationship Between Golden Algae Blooms in Lake Texoma, Usa, Versus Nearby Land Use and Other Physical Variables

Description: Pyrmnesium parvum, commonly known as golden algae, is an algal species that under certain circumstances releases toxins which can lead to fish kills and the death of other economically and ecologically important organisms. One of the major objectives of the study was to investigate whether a relationship exists between land use and Prymnesium parvum abundance in littoral sites of Lake Texoma, USA. Another objective was to investigate whether a relationship exists between other physical variables and counts of P. parvum. Lastly, developing a valid model that predicts P. parvum abundance was an objective of the study. Through stepwise regression, a small but highly significant amount of the variation in P. parvum counts was found to be explained by wetlands, soil erodibility and lake elevation. The developed model provides insight for potential golden algae management plans, such as maintaining wetlands and teaching land owners the relationship between soil erosivity and golden algae blooms.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Ware, Trudy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Use of Satellite Imagery and GIS to Model Brood-Rearing Habitat for Rio Grande Wild Turkey Populations Occurring in the Western Cross Timbers Region of Texas

Description: Remote sensing and GIS have become standard tools for evaluating spatial components of wildlife habitats. These techniques were implemented to evaluate Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) poult-rearing habitat in the Western Cross Timbers region of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) random roving turkey counts for 1987-1989 and 1998-2000 were selected, indicating locations where hens with poults were observed. Satellite imagery from 1988 and 1999 was classified and then processed with Patch Analyst. To add robustness, stream, road and census population densities were also evaluated for each turkey location. Analysis of the 1988 canopy cover image, comparing observed locations with randomly-selected habitat cells (N = 20) indicated significant differences (p <.05) for patch edge variables. Mean patch edge was significantly greater for habitat locations where hens with poults were observed than for those selected at random. Spatial data for 1999 did not indicate a significant difference (p < .05) between sampling groups (observed vs. random, N = 30). Significant differences (p <.05) did occur for turkey locations observed in both 1988 and 1999 (N = 7). This demonstrates the adaptability of wild turkey hens, as habitats change over time, hens continued to visit the same locations even though the habitat had significantly changed for select spatial variables.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Miller, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of the One-Horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros Unicornis) Habitat in the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal.

Description: This study analyzes the remaining suitable habitat of the one-horned rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis, in Royal Chitwan National Park of Nepal. An April 2003 Landsat image was classified into eight land cover types: wetland, sand, water, mixed forest, sal forest, agriculture, settlement, and grassland. This image was converted into habitat suitability maps using cover, food, and water. The rhinoceros prefers grassland habitat with oxbow lakes and closed canopy during the monsoon season. Nominal values of five parameters were used to create a map of habitat suitability index. The map was categorized into four habitat classes: highly unsuitable, unsuitable, moderately suitable habitat, and suitable. Landscape metrics, patch metrics and class metrics associated with habitat were determined through the use of FRAGSTATS.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Thapa, Vivek
Partner: UNT Libraries

Geology as a Georegional Influence on Quercus Fagaceae Distribution in Denton and Coke Counties of Central and North Central Texas and Choctaw County of Southeastern Oklahoma, Using GIS as an Analytical Tool.

Description: This study elucidates the underlying relationships for the distribution of oak landcover on bedrock and soil orders in two counties in Texas and one in Oklahoma. ESRI's ArcGis and ArcMap was used to create surface maps for Denton and Coke Counties, Texas and Choctaw County, Oklahoma. Attribute tables generated in GIS were exported into a spreadsheet software program and frequency tables were created for every formation and soil order in the tri-county research area. The results were both a visual and numeric distribution of oaks in the transition area between the eastern hardwood forests and the Great Plains. Oak distributions are changing on this transition area of the South Central Plains. The sandy Woodbine and Antlers formations traditionally associated with the largest oak distribution are carrying oak coverage of approximately 31-32% in Choctaw and Denton Counties. The calcareous Blackland and Grand Prairies are traditionally associated with treeless grasslands, but are now carrying oak and other tree landcover up to 18.9%. Human intervention, including the establishment of artificial, political and social boundaries, urbanization, farming and fire control have altered the natural distribution of oaks and other landcover of this unique georegion.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Maxey, George F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A geospatial tool for assessing potential wildland fire risk in central Texas.

Description: Wildland fires in the United States are not always confined to wilderness areas. The growth of population centers and housing developments in wilderness areas has blurred the boundaries between rural and urban. This merger of human development and natural landscape is known in the wildland fire community as the wildland urban interface or WUI, and it is within this interface that many wildland fires increasingly occur. As wildland fire intrusions in the WUI increase so too does the need for tools to assess potential impact to valuable assets contained within the interface. This study presents a methodology that combines real-time weather data, a wildland fire behavior model, satellite remote sensing and geospatial data in a geographic information system to assess potential risk to human developments and natural resources within the Austin metropolitan area and surrounding ten counties of central, Texas. The methodology uses readily available digital databases and satellite images within Texas, in combination with an industry standard fire behavior model to assist emergency and natural resource managers assess potential impacts from wildland fire. Results of the study will promote prevention of WUI fire disasters, facilitate watershed and habitat protection, and help direct efforts in post wildland fire mitigation and restoration.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Hunter, Bruce Allan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interpreting Prehistoric Patterns: Site Catchment Analysis in the Upper Trinity River Basin of North Central Texas

Description: Archaeologically site catchment analysis produces valuable information regarding prehistoric subsistence strategies and social organization. Incorporating archaeological data into catchment analyses is an effective strategy to develop regional models of prehistoric site selection and settlement patterns. Digital access to data permits the incorporation of multiple layers of information into the process of synthesizing regional archaeology and interpreting corresponding spatial patterning. GIS software provides a means to integrate digital environmental and archaeological data into an effective tool. Resultant environmental archaeology maps facilitate interpretive analysis. To fulfill the objectives of this thesis, GIS software is employed to construct site catchment areas for archaeological sites and to implement multivariate statistical analyses of physical and biological attributes of catchments in correlation with assemblage data from sites. Guided by ecological, anthropological and geographical theories hypotheses testing evaluates patterns of prehistoric socio-economic behavior. Analytical results are summarized in a model of prehistoric settlement patterns in North Central Texas.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Williams, Marikka Lin
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

Differential use of space: An analysis of the Aubrey Clovis site.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Witt, Benjamin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Shoreline Erosion at Mad Island Marsh Preserve, Matagorda County, Texas

Description: The Nature Conservancy of Texas (TNC) is concerned with the amount of shoreline erosion taking place at its Mad Island Marsh Preserve (MIMP), located in Matagorda Bay, Texas. The MIMP is a 7,100 acre nature preserve that borders the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and is eroded by waves generated by barge traffic. TNC is concerned that erosion will shorten Mad Island Bayou which may increase the salinity of Mad Island Lake; with detrimental effects on lake and marsh habitats. This study uses GPS technology to map the current shoreline and GIS to determine ten year erosion rates (1995 - 2005). Results show that erosion is occurring at various rates along the shoreline as well as along the oxbow bend in Mad Island Bayou.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Mangham, Webster
Partner: UNT Libraries

GIS Modeling of Wetlands Elevation Change in Response to Projected Sea Level Rise, Trinity Bay, Texas

Description: 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.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Lee, Erica Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

FACET Simulation in the Imataca Forest Reserve, Venezuela: Permanent Plot Data and Spatial Analysis

Description: 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.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Figuera, Dilcia
Partner: UNT Libraries