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open access

GIS-Based Analysis of Local Climate Zones in Denton, Texas

Description: This study implemented a GIS-based analysis of local climate zones (LCZ) in Denton, TX with data sets from 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2016. The LCZ scheme enables evaluation of distinct regions' thermal characteristics with greater granularity than conventional urban-rural dichotomies. Further, the GIS-based approach to LCZ mapping allows use of high-resolution lidar data, the availability of which for the study area enabled estimation of geometric and surface cover parameters: height of roughness elements, sky-view factor, and building surface fraction. Pervious surface fraction was estimated from National Landcover Database impervious imagery. A regular grid was used to estimate per-cell mean values for each parameter, and with a decision-making algorithm (if/then statements) two maps were produced (2011 and 2015) and six LCZ identified in each: LCZ 6 (open low-rise), LCZ 8 (large low-rise), LCZ 9 (sparsely built), LCZ A (dense trees), LCZ B (scattered trees), and LCZ C (bush/scrub). Post-processing was carried out to ensure identified zones met the spatial minimum for qualification as LCZ. Landsat Collection 2 Level 2 surface temperature products from various seasons of 2011 and 2015 were acquired to examine LCZ thermal differentiability, and preliminary surface urban heat island intensity values were estimated. Particular attention was afforded to issues regarding data quality and classifier threshold adjustment.
Date: December 2021
Creator: Michel, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Building Resiliency: The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in the Trauma-Affected Community of Santa Fe, Texas

Description: On May 18, 2018, a shooter entered Santa Fe High School, killing eight students and two teachers. Using ethnographic methods, this research examines the role of faith, rituals, language, and symbols in the trauma-affected community during the response, recovery, and resiliency efforts as perceived by the Santa Fe community and those impacted by the tragedy. Qualitative data collected from 100 individuals ages of 17-84 illustrated how historical trauma, community culture, and faith-based organizations impact community resiliency and how illusions of a homogenous view of the community left many feeling shocked, divided, forgotten or muted.
Date: August 2021
Creator: Jordan, Mandy M
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Crafting Downtown Denton: An Exploration of Craft Beer Consumption as an Activity in Denton, Texas

Description: Craft beer as a cultural phenomenon coincided with the revitalization of downtown Denton, Texas. Much of the existing literature on craft beer and its relation to place focuses on breweries rather than bars. This exploratory study aims to explain why people consume craft beer, what factors influenced its popularity in Denton despite little beer production, and to explore considerations for the promotion of Denton as a craft beer destination and making downtown an inclusive space. Data was collected through interviews, participant observation, and a survey. Findings indicated that craft beer consumption in Denton is largely related to perceptions of community, localism, and knowledge seeking. The ethos of the craft beer industry closely aligned with participants' perceptions of Denton as a city.
Date: December 2020
Creator: Hooker, Jenny
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Gainsay Taxonomies

Description: Through painting, I use materiality to describe the material world. By rooting my practice in visual culture and art history, I seek to extend the meaning of images beyond their initial form. The coalescing of opposing and complimentary formal elements accentuate the visual and contextual friction. This allows the work to exist in an ambiguous state. Seen together, my works appear disparate, but they suggest alternative meanings through association with one another. The works can exist on their own, but engage in dialogue when juxtaposed against each other. Although about specific occurrences, the works afford the viewer their own interpretations.
Date: December 2020
Creator: Huynh, Loc
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
open access

Information Seeking Behaviors of Transitioning Veterans When Job Hunting in North Texas

Description: This study explored a part of our population that can be misunderstood, marginalized, and underserved: veterans who are seeking to transition from the military to employment in North Texas. At the time of this research (before the COVID-19 pandemic), overall unemployment in North Texas was only 3.9%.Veteran unemployment was calculated at approximately the same before considering the underemployed veterans or those who have given up finding employment (and before the COVID-19 global pandemic), and that calculation likely exceeds 16-18% according to the Texas Workforce Commission. By understanding the information-seeking behaviors of the veteran population targeting North Texas for future employment, their ability to find useful information for successful relocation, attainment of employment, and the resources that enables their sense-making processes, the services provided to veterans seeking employment can be improved. Further understanding can be gained by using a qualitative approach that references Dervin's sense making model (SMM) as the framework. The revelations and conclusions can be used to improve existing programs, inspire new programs, and provide answers that are useful to the Veteran's Administration (VA), other veteran-focused organizations, policymakers, non-profits who serve veterans, veterans themselves, and future employers who enable successful transitions by providing satisfying and inclusive employment opportunities for veterans.
Date: December 2020
Creator: Eaves, Tresia D.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Role of Faith-Based Congregations during Disaster Response and Recovery: A Case Study of Katy, Texas

Description: When governments are unable or unwilling to provide necessary relief to communities, local faith-based congregations (FBCs) step in and fill the gap. Though shown to provide for so many needs following disaster, FBCs have largely been left out of the institutional emergency management cycle. The aim of this study was to explore the role of FBCs in the disaster response and recovery process and investigate how recovery impacts FBCs. The primary objective of this study is to gain a better understanding of FBCs and how to better integrate them into the formal emergency management process.The main questions were as follows: First, what is the role of FBCs during the disaster recovery process? Second, how do FBCs change (temporarily and permanently) during disaster recovery, and what factors may promote or inhibit change? To answer these questions, qualitative semistructured interviews were held to develop a case study of Katy, Texas and its recovery from Hurricane Harvey of 2017. The applied and conceptual implications resulting from this study, which apply to FBCs, researchers, emergency managers, and policy makers, highlight the opportunity to better incorporate FBCs formally into emergency management practices.
Date: December 2020
Creator: Elliott, Julie R
Partner: UNT Libraries

Unlocking Digital Literacy: A Multiple Case Study of Digital Literacy Instruction and the Interactive Decision Making of Teachers in a Texas Charter School

Description: The rapid expansion of computers and digital technology requires citizens to be digitally literate. Teachers must prepare students for a digital world despite the lack of consensus on a definition or its components. This multiple case study explored the digital literacy instruction and interactive decision making of teachers with varied levels of expertise. Each participant completed a survey and the General Decision Making Style Questionnaire prior to a series of interviews and classroom observations. Findings from a qualitative analysis of the data suggest variations in the use of digital literacy components during instruction and that skills are related to one another. Findings also indicate similarities and differences in interactive decision making and teaching expertise behaviors related to instruction. Based on these findings, recommendations to better promote digital literacy are directed toward teachers, administrators, teacher preparation institutions, and future researchers. Current events emphasize the need for increased efforts in turning the key of digital literacy for students.
Date: December 2020
Creator: Stone, Barbara K.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Early Music Audiences: A Survey and Analysis of Early Music Consumers in Texas

Description: Texas has a rich tradition of Early Music ensembles that dates back to 1969. However, there is little reliable information based on statistical data collection and analysis concerning Texas Early Music consumers. Little is known about why they attend Early Music performances or other important factors that affect the Early Music industry. Through the use of an extensive survey and accompanying statistical analysis, this study answers many questions regarding Early Music consumers in the State of Texas. This study collected demographic and psychographic data in January 2020 about the Early Music concert-going public in three major Texas cities - Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Other factors were identified in two primary areas: audience characteristics and ticket pricing practices.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Emanski, Julianna
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Effect of Barrier Height on Magnitude and Character of Hurricane Harvey Washover Fans, Matagorda Peninsula, Texas

Description: This study uses topographic profiles, washover fan volumes, and shoreline retreat rates to explore relationships between barrier types and Hurricane Harvey storm washover sedimentation. Pre- and post-Hurricane Harvey topographic profiles were created on 15 transects using Bare Earth LiDAR (2016) and surveyed elevations (2019). Depth and area of washover fan measurements were collected to estimate washover fan volumes. An inverse relationship was found between washover fan volume and pre- and post-storm barrier heights. Based on the topographic profiles, one section of shoreline had a scarp up to 3m high which blocked overwash, but appears to have increased shoreline erosion. In contrast, a low-lying section of shoreline generated relatively large washover fans, but experienced less shoreline retreat. Shoreline retreat was further quantified between 2014 and 2019 using Google Earth Imagery from 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019 to track migration of the shoreline. The entire shoreline in the study area is undergoing relatively rapid retreat, but the results suggest that Hurricane Harvey increased erosional rates. The Colorado River Jetty borders the study area and may have acted as an anthropogenic barrier, likely reducing storm surge energy and contributing to marsh aggradation on transects in its close proximity. The study findings indicate that the identification and incorporation of other variables that influence washover magnitude would further the understanding of this complex natural system. The research results provide valuable information on the interaction of hurricane storm surge with natural and anthropogenic barriers, beach and dune erosion, and marsh aggradation along the coast of Texas.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Rains, Bradley Jacob
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Measuring College Readiness: Developing a System of On-Track and Off-Track Metrics for Texas High School Students

Description: The purpose of this study was to analyze and determine the predictive power of individual and a combination of different indicators that are used to determine college readiness. For this study a logistic regression analysis was conducted due to the dichotomous nature of the dependent variable. The dependent variable for the study was the earning of a post-secondary credential. The independent variables included high school diploma type, Advanced Placement course taken, Advanced Placement test performance, SAT performance, ACT performance, a multidimensional index made up of all the variables, and high school GPA. The study found that high school GPA had the strongest odds ratio, Exp(B), for the participants earning a post-secondary credential (Exp(B) = 6.597), followed by diploma type (Exp(B) = 6.316), taking an Advanced Placement course (Exp(B) = 4.368), earning at least one qualifying Advanced Placement test score (Exp(B) = 3.846), a multidimensional index (Exp(B) = 2.318), ACT score (Exp(B) = 1.161) and SAT score (Exp(B) = 1.003). Future analysis is needed by using live data of student's college performance, stratifying the data to account for differences in post-secondary performance by different racial and socio-economic groups, and studying the effects of the State of Texas' chosen college readiness variables.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Saenz, David Pael
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Refugee Employment in Dallas, TX: Experiences and Barriers

Description: Changing national policies in recent years represent an unprecedented attack on refugee resettlement in the United States. In this period of political and social uncertainty, understanding the barriers to refugee economic integration is more critical than ever. Following a review of existing literature on refugee resettlement and economic integration, this research assesses experiences of refugee employment in Dallas, Texas—one of the cities that resettles the most new refugees nationwide—through investigating the experiences of four key populations: resettled individuals themselves (including refugees, asylees, and SIVs), resettlement caseworkers, third-party staffing agencies, and the management/HR staff of refugee employers. These diverse perspectives will assist in understanding the structural constraints that shape refugee employment services, as well as the interaction of these various individuals and organizations as parts of a dynamic system. The project also aims to explore employers' experiences of hiring refugees and working with resettlement programs, as the perspectives of entrepreneurs and the business community are those most likely to influence the attitudes of legislators and encourage renewed support of resettlement in Texas. The conclusion of this study offers recommendations for how resettlement organizations can navigate the ambiguities of a resettlement system driven by neoliberal economics and a push for rapid employment while supporting clients' successful economic integration and avoiding the exploitative work relationships that have come to characterize refugee employment in many areas.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Orzech, Mark N.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

That Isolation Creeps In: Exploring the Intersection of Public Transit and Mental Health in Dallas County, Texas

Description: The primary goal of the research project was to organize a community needs assessment, which culminated in a report attached in the appendix. Data from sixteen interviews with community leaders involved in mental health promotion throughout Dallas County, Texas was used as the foundation of the professional report. This data revealed several key barriers faced by those with mental illness in their ability to access mental health services in Dallas County. The information gathered prompted further exploration into the intersection between public transit and mental health. Transit became the focus of this work when it came up as simultaneously a barrier to care and mode of prevention in the majority of the interviews. Interestingly, Dallas County has public plans to address transit related disparities; however, their intervention pulls from strategies determined to be ineffectual among the poor and disenfranchised. In this work we explore community needs and the civic culture of Dallas with a specific focus on transportation.
Date: August 2020
Creator: Sanderson, Brittney
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Administration of Unemployment Relief by the State of Texas during the Great Depression, 1929-1941

Description: During the Great Depression, for the first time in its history, the federal government provided relief to the unemployed and destitute through myriad New Deal agencies. This dissertation examines how "general relief" (direct or "make-work") from federal programs—primarily the Emergency Relief and Construction Act (ERCA) and Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)—was acquired and administered by the government of Texas through state administrative agencies. These agencies included the Chambers of Commerce (1932-1933), Unofficial Texas Relief Commission (1933), Texas Rehabilitation and Relief Commission (1933), Official Texas Relief Commission (1933-1934), Texas Relief Commission Division of the State Board of Control (1934), and the Department of Public Welfare (1939). Overall, the effective administration of general relief in the Lone Star State was undermined by a political ideology that persisted from, and was embodied by, the "Redeemer" Constitution of 1876.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Park, David B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of Interrelationships between Climate Change and Cotton Yield in Texas High Plains

Description: The Texas High Plains produces the most substantial amount of cotton in Texas. The region is a semi-arid area with limited precipitation, and it is, therefore, susceptible to climate change. Cotton production in the Texas High Plains is mostly dependent on irrigation to increase yield. The overall goal of this research was to study the interrelationships between climate change and cotton yield using correlation analysis and also to study how climate has changed in the region using trend analysis. A three-decade data (1987-2017) was analyzed to establish the relationship between climate change and cotton and also to determine how climate has changed in the area over the last 30 years. The research used precipitation and temperature data to assess climate change.The results of this research showed that annual mean temperature has lesser impacts on cotton yield, and the correlation between annual precipitation and cotton yield is insignificant. It also found out that high rates of temperature at the boll opening stage of cotton growth results in decreased cotton yield and that at the boll development and boll opening stages, precipitation is needed. Again, the research indicated that, on average, there had been a significant increase in temperature, but precipitation trends are insignificant. About 60% of cotton acreage in the area is irrigated. Therefore the research also found out that increasing trends of cotton yield may contribute to the decline of groundwater in the area.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Sarbeng, Lorenda
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Differences in Mental Effort and Task Difficulty between Veterans and Non-Veterans in Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science Degree Programs at Texas Public Universities

Description: This dissertation seeks to determine the differences between veteran and non-veteran students' mental effort and task difficulty within undergraduate online courses in Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) programs at three public Texas universities. The BAAS program is geared toward non-traditional students, which includes veterans. The courses are delivered in flexible formats, including online courses, face-to-face courses, and blended courses, which use a combination of online and face-to-face courses. After reviewing literature and utilizing both the cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the cognitive learning theory, a survey was conducted using undergraduate students enrolled in BAAS programs at three public Texas universities. The data was analyzed by conducting a factorial ANOVA and Pearson correlation to determine if there was a difference between veterans and non-veteran students' mental effort and task difficulty within online courses within the BAAS programs. The results indicated that that all three hypotheses failed to reject the null hypotheses that: (1) there is no difference in mental effort of students who had military service, versus those who did not have military service, (2) there is no difference in mental effort of students who had military service, versus those who did not have military service, and (3) there is no difference in the correlation between successful completion of distance learning courses of students who had military services versus those who did not have military service.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Turner, Arielle
Partner: UNT Libraries

Equitable Early Childhood Education for Young Bilingual Learners in North Texas: Examining Kindergarten Entry Assessments for Bilingual Children

Description: A considerable amount of research has been done surrounding education in classrooms from kindergarten to Grade 12, but little research has been done surrounding early childhood education (ECE) beginning with birth to age 4. As a result, research is needed that examines interventions aimed to improve the quality of early childhood education for young bilingual learners at the earliest stages of schooling. The present study examines current efforts to serve the specific population of young bilingual children entering classrooms in an urban school district in North Texas. The focus of this study includes the access and examination of quality ECE programs (defined by the extent to which bilingual children have access to bilingual education programming). The present study also observes the visibility of young bilingual children who receive services that are responsive to their characteristics, experiences, and specific needs. Lastly, this study used a multiple regression analysis to examine the Kindergarten Early Assessment test that has been put in place to measure the school readiness performance of bilingual children in this urban district. Specifically, the analysis included program type, language of assessment, socio-economic status and gender variables.
Date: May 2020
Creator: McEntire, Celina Angelica
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Evaluation of Long-Term Air Quality Trends in North Texas using Statistical and Machine Learning Techniques

Description: While ozone design values have decreased since 2000, the values measured in Denton Airport South (DEN), an exurban region in the northwest tip of the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex, remains above those measured in Dallas Hinton (DAL) and Fort Worth Northwest (FWNW), two extremely urbanized regions; in addition, all three sites remained in nonattainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) ozone despite reductions in measured NOx and CO concentrations. The region's inability to achieve ozone attainment is tied to its concentration of total non-methane organic compounds (TNMOC). The mean concentration of TNMOC measured at DAL, FWNW, and DEN between 2000 and 2018 were 67.4 ± 1.51 ppb-C, 89.31 ± 2.12 ppb-C, and 220.69 ± 10.36 ppb-C, respectively. Despite being the least urbanized site of the three, the TNMOC concentration measured at DEN was over twice as large as those measured at the other two sites. A factor-based source apportionment analysis using positive matrix factorization technique showed that natural gas was a major contributing source factor to the measured TNMOC concentrations at all three sites and the dominant source factor at DEN. Natural gas accounted for 32%, 40%, and 69% of the measured TNMOC concentration at DAL, FWNW, and DEN, respectively. The Barnett Shale region, an active shale gas region adjacent to DFW, is a massive source of unconventional TNMOC emissions in the region. Also, the ozone formation potential (OFP) of the TNMOC pool in DEN were overwhelmingly dominated by slow-reacting alkanes emitted from natural gas sources. While the air pollutant trends and characteristics of an urban airshed can be determined using long-term ambient air quality measurements, this is difficult in regions with sparse air quality monitoring. To solve the lack in spatial and temporal datasets in non-urban regions, various machine learning (ML) algorithms were used to train a computer …
Date: May 2020
Creator: Lim, Guo Quan
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

In the Tall Grass West of Town: Racial Violence in Denton County during the Rise of the Second Ku Klux Klan

Description: The aim of this thesis is to narrate and analyze lynching and atypical violence in Denton County, Texas, between 1920 and 1926. Through this intensive study of a rural county in north Texas, the role of law enforcement in typical and systemic violence is observed and the relationship between Denton County Officials and the Ku Klux Klan is analyzed. Chapter 1 discusses the root of the word lynching and submits a call for academic attention to violence that is unable to be categorized as lynching due to its restrictive definition. Chapter 2 chronicles known instances of lynching in Denton County from its founding through the 1920s including two lynchings perpetrated by Klavern 136, the Denton County Klan. Chapter 3 examines the relationship between Denton County Law Enforcement and the Klan. In Chapter 4, seasons of violence are identified and applied to available historical records. Chapter 5 concludes that non-lynching violence, termed "disappearances," occurred and argues on behalf of its inclusion within the historiography of Jim Crow Era criminal actions against Black Americans. In the Prologue and Epilogue, the development and dissolution of the St. John's Community in Pilot Point, Texas, is narrated.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Crittenden, Micah Carlson
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Key Factors in Developing a Successful Bond Referendum in Texas School Districts

Description: In May of 2002, Wichita Falls ISD, a district in Texas with a stagnate enrollment of 14,000 students for multiple years, asked for the community to support a $120 million bond to help cover the cost of four new elementary campuses and to maintain and upgrade aging facilities. The bond failed. Additionally, a 2004 bond failed again. Finally, in 2006, the district is finally able to pass a $60 million bond and only includes two new elementary campuses and no funding to address the aging facilities. At the same time, other districts in fast growing areas of Texas are able to pass school bonds with little to no issues. This begs the question, is there a formula for getting school bonds passed? The purpose of this study is to discover what key factors influence a bond package; to help find those answers, eight districts in Texas were selected, five considered to be a fast-growth district" and three considered to be no-growth district. The study used a qualitative research approach, using semi-structured interviews with 24 participants. After all factors were analyzed, a pattern and recommendation is developed for districts to follow allowing a high degree of success for school bonds.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Griffiths, Peter Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Mixed Method Inquiry into Student Academic Optimism: Validation of the Construct and Its Use to Give Voice to Latinx Student Experiences

Description: This study examined student academic optimism in four diverse North Texas school districts. This study used a convergent parallel mixed methods design to analyze results of an online administration of the survey, and Latinx student responses to a focus group protocol derived from the survey. Quantitative results indicate the individual scales making up the construct align with previous research results. The three scales were found to be strongly and significantly correlated, indicating the potential for validation. Qualitative results indicate Latinx students' perceptions of their academic careers align with four themes. Latinx students are keenly aware of their teachers as a person, their school as a community, the intrusion of the outside world, and students as agents. Qualitative results support the importance of the three components of the construct, student trust in teachers, student academic press, and student identification with school. As a new source of data, combined with existing metrics of instructional effectiveness, student academic optimism could increase the ability of decision makers to improve the overall efficacy of school systems especially when addressing the persistent opportunity gaps for Latinx and other students of color.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Viamontes Quintero, Jesika
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Perceptions of Restorative Practices by Male Students of Color in Middle School

Description: Zero-tolerance discipline policies have been in use in U.S. schools for almost 25 years. Since their enactment in the 1990s, researchers have found that zero tolerance disciplinary policies and practices can cause students to enter the school-to-prison pipeline. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand the perceptions of middle-school male students of color regarding the discipline process on a campus that supplemented zero-tolerance discipline with restorative practices (RPs). Additional intents of this study were to discover the challenges students encountered when they returned from a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) and determine whether RPs helped or hindered their transition to the home campus. Six middle-school male students of color who were placed at the district's DAEP and returned to their home campus participated in the study. The conceptual framework was based on Braithwaite's concept of stigmatized shame following an exclusion and Nathanson's human reactions to shame. The study yielded seven major themes: (a) student perceptions of exclusion, (b) behaviors related to exclusion from school, (c) human reactions to shame—attacking others, (d) human reactions to shame—avoidance, (e) the need for reintegration and acceptance, (f) traumatic events, and (g) dissonance in the discipline process.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Millican, Deborah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Storm Water Retention Ponds: An Important Source of Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Diversity in a Semi-Arid Urban Landscape of Denton, Texas

Description: The City of Denton, located in a semi-arid region of Texas, has over 200 manmade ponds within its city limits. Many of these ponds, located in densely populated areas, are engineered to control storm water runoff. There is a general lack of recognition of the value these waters contribute to regional biodiversity and as greenspaces. This study, conducted in Denton, is monitoring habitat variables and macroinvertebrate diversity in a series of ponds selected to represent a gradient of urban influences. The objective of this study is to identify the variables associated with the highest diversity. Using drone imagery and a meter square box sampler, the quantitative approach allowed for delineation of three habitat types and area. The macroinvertebrates where identified to the genus level which allowed for higher resolution and resulted in stronger comparisons of the communities and conditions of the ponds. Taxa richness was positively correlated to pond size and trees along shoreline and negatively associated with average depth. Overall, submerged vegetation supported highest diversity and abundance, especially genera of Chironomidae (Diptera). Conductivity was associated with urban influences and the most urban influenced pond had the lowest taxa richness, but also reduced habitat area. Results of this study conclude that these stormwater ponds benefit to the ecology of the city and provide beautiful, green spaces. If managed correctly, these systems can be incorporated into sustainable development in the future of the City of Denton.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Moore, Sabrina
Partner: UNT Libraries
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