• Changes at the Great Sand Dunes National Park

      Mason, Jennifer; Grogan, Andrew; Wade, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-05)
      Sand Dune Geomorphology occurs much faster than most geological processes, and is heavily influenced by the small scale weather events and current climatology. Aeolian forces can be difficult to study directly, but they directly affect areas with large amounts of free sediment not restricted by vegetation. The Great Sand Dunes National Park was upgraded from a national monument in 2000, but the dunes themselves are thought to have formed as recently as 18,000 – 400,000 years ago after a large glacial lake receded from the valley. There is even evidence that large amounts of sediment joined the main dunefield 750 years ago due to a severe and prolonged drought. With improvements in technology, it is now possible to look at the dunes with LIDAR, seeing the changes from 2014 to 2021. Using Lidar data, it may be possible to identify possible causes or variables that influenced the changes that occurred to the Great Sand Dunes over the course of 7 years. Large nearby features like the 14,000 foot (4267 meters) Sangre De Cristo Mountains with their effect on the weather, and creating ephemeral streams from snowmelt. This study tests and identifies variables to ascertain whether they influence the dunes, and may help us predict what may happen in the near future, as well as possibly the far future, and the dunes may reveal secrets about how the climate is changing as they are impacted by the climate.
    • Spatial Relationship between Demographics and Brownfields in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

      Mason, Jennifer; Lowden, Meredith (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-04)
      The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the sixth largest city in the United States and resides within Philadelphia County. There is a large population within a small area, which can make environmental contamination more impactful to the population. Environmental contamination sites known as brownfields, are common throughout Philadelphia County, which many residents may not realize exist. This project focused on analyzing the spatial relationships between environmental contaminated sites and demographics at the county level. Bivariate and choropleth analysis were used as a way to understand the relationships. Three demographics were used including race, poverty percentage, and median household income. The African American or Black population is greatest in Philadelphia and is also the population with the highest percentage of poverty. In addition, median household income became important as the county has a below average income per household compared to the United States average. When looking at the distribution of brownfields throughout the county it appears that there are an abundance of locations, but when looking at the locations within each census tract, there are only a few tracts with more than 20 locations per area. Both bivariate maps that show the relationship of brownfields versus poverty status and median household income show similar results. African American population and brownfields showed a different relationship, but all three relationships showed at least one census tract where both variables were high. Understanding environmental injustice will help bring awareness and force policy members to address change in communities.
    • GIS Analysis of the Bighorn Fire Evacuation Orders

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Camp, Katrina (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-03)
      The Bighorn Fire of 2020 burned 119,978 acres of the Santa Catalina Mountains and threatened urban interface five days into a forty-nine-day burn. Arizona’s Ready, Set, Go! emergency response evacuation plan was activated to ensure the safety of those residing within the danger zone of the wildfire. Evacuation zones were created specifically for this natural disaster which proved confusing for many residents attempting to determine their location in conjunction with the wildfire. This historical spatial analysis depicts the evacuation orders as they were initiated by the Pima County Office of Emergency Management. For each of the twenty-five Pima County evacuation orders initiated during the Bighorn Fire, ArcGIS Pro was used to map each zone by evacuation order and the correlating evacuation status (Ready, Set, Go!). The evacuation meeting point, as well as the animal sheltering location, have been digitized on each map displaying the distance between the evacuation zones and the meeting points. An ArcGIS StoryMap has been created to narrate the events of the Bighorn Fire. An interactive evacuation map was developed using ArcGIS Web App Builder. Users can enter their address and choose a point on the map to determine the distance, route, and length of time from their house to a safe point outside of the evacuation zones. This project will improve understanding of the events that occurred during this natural disaster and the emergency responses used to ensure the safety of citizens near the urban interface. Additionally, it can be used as a learning tool to improve wildfire evacuation communication with the community as well as community safety education.
    • Las Vegas Metropolitan Area Urban Sprawl Assessment Using Shannon's Entropy

      Mason, Jennifer; Stuht, Casey M (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-03)
      A population center’s growth, known as urbanization, can pressure delicate environments and place strain on a region’s natural resources. Remote sensing combined with Geographic Information Systems can analyze and map the phenomenon of urban sprawl. This study quantifies growth within the Las Vegas, Nevada urban boundary using the aforementioned tools and Shannon’s Entropy method for 2000 and 2020. Shannon’s Entropy measures urban morphology, calculating compactness and dispersion of binary categorization, in this case, ‘developed’ and ‘undeveloped’ land cover. Eighteen multi-ring buffers were placed around Las Vegas City Hall at 1-mile intervals and found entropy values of 1.10 and 1.15 respectively. In comparison for the same years mentioned, five multi-ring buffers were set around the study area’s three main highways at 1-mile intervals and found entropy values of .608 and .628 respectively. All entropy values using the multi-ring buffer method were > 50% of log(n) for each dataset, meaning that the ‘developed’ land cover spatial variable is evenly dispersed across the study area with compactness or clustering of the ‘developed’ class found within each buffer zone. Temporally, over the 20-year period, the dispersion of development continued, with an increase in entropy values. Further, a geographic quadrant assessment revealed that the greatest land cover change-over from ‘undeveloped’ to ‘developed’ occurred in the northwestern and southwestern portions of the study area. This exercise provides a framework for developing municipalities that seek a cost effective, accessible, and expeditious method to better recognize sprawl patterns with the aim of correcting inefficient land and resource management.
    • ANALYZING THE AGRICULTURAL DEMAND OF H-2A FARM WORKERS IN LABOR-INTENSIVE SPECIALTY CROPS

      Mason, Jennifer; Camacho, Nicholas (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-03)
      The United States has a long history of relying on foreign farm labor to sustain and support its agricultural industry. In 1942, the first agricultural guest worker program was initiated and named the Bracero Program, which implemented the means of temporarily importing workers from Mexico to fill labor shortages in the United States during World War II. In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act established the H-2 Non-Immigrant Visa Program, which allowed foreign workers to be admitted into the United States to fill seasonal and temporary employment. The H-2A agricultural worker visa is a guest program that allows employers in the agricultural sector to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. Today, the H-2A program continues to be in high demand and is the best source for legal and reliable farm labor in the United States. This project uses bivariate analysis to explore agricultural demand of H-2A farm workers in vegetables, fruits and tree nut commodities throughout the United States. Bivariate analysis identified Monterey County, California as the largest producer of vegetables and had the second highest demand of H-2A workers in the United States. Maps also revealed, Moore County, North Carolina as both the number one requestor and employer of H-2A workers in the United States with over ten thousand by North Carolina Grower's Association, Inc. This project contributes and further strengthens the reality there is an increasing demand of H-2A workers in agriculture, especially those sectors producing vegetables, fruits and tree nut commodities.
    • SITING NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES

      Mason, Jennifer; Wiens, Anastiaza (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-03)
      As the United States shifts to a greener mindset, going away from fossil fuel power has been an increasingly popular choice to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. One method that provides more power and efficiency on a larger scale is nuclear. As technology has evolved and improved nuclear power, these power plants can be built smaller and are more efficient than the nuclear power plants built 20-40 years ago. In this study, GIS analyses were used to find suitable areas in the Western U.S. for siting a new nuclear power plant. This will produce a map including rankings of most suitable, suitable, and not suitable sites. The most suitable areas will contain no geological hazards, population density of less than 500 persons per square mile, and within a mile of perennial bodies of water. The ranking of suitable will include areas that contain everything in the most suitable ranking except no bodies of water. The not suitable areas contain geohazards, a population density of more than 500 person per square mile and have no water. The resulting percentages are the most suitable areas account for 1.17% of the study area, the suitable areas account for 22.45% of the study area, and the not suitable areas make up 76.38% of the study area.
    • LAND USE EFFECTS ON URBAN HEAT ISLANDS IN MARICOPA COUNTY

      Mason, Jennifer; Bollinger, Kyle (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
      Maricopa County of Arizona is the 4th most populous county in the US, growing over 20% in population between 2010 and 2020. The Urban Heat Island (UHI) phenomenon in the county has increased alongside. The continued growth of urban and suburban structures, roads, and vegetation removal have created a heating effect near the ground that can be measured by the Land Surface Temperature (LST). By comparing Landsat-8 Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) data the LST and thus UHI can be analyzed to better understand the long-term costs associated with urbanization. This effect is commonly associated with the removal of vegetation and using low reflective building and paving materials which can disproportionally influence the surface temperatures and thus heat in the area. Due to the sparse desert vegetation of Maricopa County, one would suspect that the newly developed areas may not be much warmer but due to the nature of the built materials that can absorb and release more energy after the sun sets than typical Arizona dirt. However, newly planted, and harvested farmland had the largest mean LST shifts within the study period contributing to the UHI problem even though farming occurs in rural areas. The urban space needs additional considerations and model variables that county officials could consider. Using an exploratory regression with an average land use per American Community Survey census tract and a generalized linear regression, results show which areas might exacerbate UHI issues so that the associated costs can be considered as part of future planning.
    • QUANTIFYING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES AND HYDROLOGIC FEATURES: A CASE STUDY

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Pober, Rachel (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
      Proximity to a water source has been a consistent environmental variable used in predictive modeling of archeological site locations. Currently, there is limited research that has been done to quantify the relationship between water sources and archeological site locations. The Sand Hollow area, located in Southern Utah, has had many modern construction projects consisting of roadway expansions, a reservoir, and golf courses. These projects required compliance with Section 106 consisting of mitigation measures using archeological excavation. With these required excavations, the Sand Hollow area provides a robust dataset of archeological sites. Thus, the Sand Hollow area is used as a case study to research if there is a correlation between hydrologic features and archeological sites using GIS. Sand Hollow reservoir was constructed in June 2000. A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was downloaded from February 2000 to remove impacts from modern construction of the reservoir on the derived hydrologic features. To quantify the relationship between archeological sites and hydrologic features, buffer zones at 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and >500 meters from hydrologic features are created. The chi-squared test is used to compare the observed to the expected relationship between archeological sites and hydrologic features. Through these methods, archeological sites were found to have a significant relationship to hydrologic features within the study area. The archeological dataset from Shifting Sands is divided into three time periods of Archaic, Anasazi, and Late Prehistoric. Using the chi-squared test, the Anasazi period has the most significant relationship to hydrologic features.
    • TUCSON PARKS AND RECREATION: LAND ACQUISITION PRIORITIZATION

      Mason, Jennifer; Ali, Abdelrhman (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
      Parks play an essential environmental and cultural function by improving the quality of life and creating valuable green space. Providing new parkland with adequate distribution and accessibility can assist in planning and development and enhance recreation projects. The Parks and Recreation Department in Tucson needs to identify and evaluate acquisitions to make informed decisions on building new parks. Doing that will provide value and benefits to the system and grow equitable access to the parks —it also aligns with other city goals to understand potential priorities of expanding the parks for underserved areas. A comprehensive acquisition strategy was formulated based on several factors to evaluate and prioritize parkland opportunities that ensure the parks are equally distributed. Using existing data from The Trust for Public Land, Pima Association of Governments, and other datasets from the City of Tucson's open data portal, ranked suitability analysis was used to find suitable areas for new parks. The analysis gave us a classification of all the possible places that can be considered appropriate and the rank of their importance. Moreover, Model Builder was utilized to update and automate the individual factors for future analysis. The outcomes of this study will provide the city with a roadmap for acquiring land for parks that meet the community's needs.
    • COLLECTION OF PLSS SECTION CORNERS IN PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA

      Mason, Jennifer; Gardner, Nathan (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
      The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was the beginning of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) and subdivided the lands of the United States into a rectangular grid system. This grid did not include the 13 original colonies or Texas, but it did cover the remaining current and future lands of the US. In most cases this grid system controls how land is divided regardless of who owns it. While each corner in the PLSS has a unique location and name, there is not a universal system to record and share their monumented locations. Each state and county have been left to decide if they will create a location database and how they would like to achieve that. This project is starting that process for Pima County, Arizona. This was accomplished using a data collection process for both field work and data files, then populating a web map database and displaying that on a dashboard. The dashboard allows viewing and downloads of those points to the public. These are available as tools for those who need to locate PLSS corners for any reason. The locations in this database may not be the most precise and accurate locations or considered “survey” grade. They do give a starting point for anyone needing to find one of these entries, and provide a record, including a timestamp, of what is or was at that location. This information can be used by professionals, the public, and municipalities to increase map accuracy or just find the point.
    • DETECTION OF DISTRESS AND DISEASE IN DECIDUOUS TREES UTILIZING REMOTE SENSING

      Mason, Jennifer; Morris, Jacob (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
      Locating and identification of plant stress and diseases plays a major role in plant conservation and human safety concerns relating to falling hazards and reduction in fire blocks between structures in medium sized population centers. Overall flora heath can be indicated by visual observations of the chlorophyll and other pigments in the leaves. As outside interference with the plants ability to naturally produce the required nutrients, such as environmental and pathological interference, the visible pigmentation change. In this study, pigment variation is evaluated and analyzed by machine learning methods including image classification for the evaluation of health in deciduous trees. By utilizing multispectral imagery this study compares wavelength values for identified affected individuals showing visual symptoms to located other affected individuals both showing symptomatic and non-symptomatic individuals. Data analysis was conducted utilizing a trained supervised classification, support vector machines and K nearest neighbor method to determine which methods was most precise in identifying affected pixels for fast-tracking management evaluations for resource managers. The overall classification accuracy of targeted, healthy, fields, and urban was relatively good, with kappa values ranging from 0.66 to 0.75 and overall accuracy ranging from 70%to 83%. Support vector machines accuracy of 82.13% with a kappa coefficient of 0.74 at a 750 point accuracy assessment making it the best method of the two for detections of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
    • Site Suitability Analysis for a Land Conservation Easement in El Paso, Texas

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Van Essen, Daniel (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
      The Chihuahuan desert is an ecologically diverse landscape and the largest desert in North America, covering parts of New Mexico, Texas, and northeastern Mexico. Urbanization, overgrazing, and water depletion threatens the viability of this ecosystem. For the protection of this desert and the wildlife and waterways within it, land conservation is integral. One land conservation strategy is the establishment of a land conservation easement. This type of easement is a voluntary agreement with a non-profit organization or government agency that prevents development and specifies best practices within the easement while the owner of the land maintains ownership. In response to the need of land conservation, this study utilizes a multi-criteria evaluation with weighted overlay technique to identify suitable and ecologically valuable land for a land conservation easement in El Paso County, Texas. Criteria for suitability was developed with Frontera Land Alliance, a non-profit conservation organization. GIS software was utilized to implement the multi-criteria evaluation with weighted overlay technique and map suitable conservation land in El Paso County. This study ranks all land within El Paso County based on a scale of five with one being the least suitable land and five being the most suitable land. Approximately 77,916 acres of land, equating to 12 percent of the land within El Paso County was ranked as a five in terms of high suitability. This study identifies the twenty-five most suitable parcels for a land conservation easement. The results of the study will help Frontera Land Alliance identify the most suitable parcels to pursue acquisition for a land conservation easement.
    • Analyzing Future Human Exploration Sites in Areas with Hydrated Sulfates on Mars

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Thomas, Melissa (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-01)
      Human exploration missions to the surface of Mars have been a topic of interest for scientists around the world and determining landing sites for missions such as these is key. A landing site must meet certain requirements including: a large enough area and a smooth surface for a safe landing, the potential for scientific exploration, the presence of resources capable of sustaining a manned mission, etc. In this study, five areas located in different regions of Valles Marineris were analyzed using the aforementioned criteria. These areas were chosen based on data from related literature that shows locations where hydrated sulfates were detected. For each of the five areas, DTMs were found on the HiRISE database and GIS tools were used to measure the area and roughness of flat surfaces and create slope, aspect, and hillshade maps. From these maps, suitability maps were created showing the most ideal landing sites for each area. Based on the statistics of each map, Eos Chasma and Candor Chasma seem to be the most ideal candidate site due to the greater number of suitable landing sites determined by the criteria mentioned above.
    • Finding The Tongva

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Gonzales, Alexander (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-01)
      Finding The Tongva is focused on Locating sites of Tongva influence throughout the county of Los Angeles. The county area was once the homeland of the Tongva Tribe who once had approximately 100 villages throughout Southern California. The Tongva tribe is not well known because the tribe does not have any reservations and most of the land is covered by urban and suburban construction. This project is focused on finding sites of significant Tongva influence to share with the public. The first part of the project was to find various websites that can provide locations and addresses to be converted into point features. These point features are separated into feature layers based on their attributes: Museums, People, Arts, and Monuments. The results show that there are around 100 places of Tongva sites including arts, monuments, museums, and organizations that are dedicated to preserving Tongva culture. The map also includes polygon features such as county boundaries and survey areas to show scale and general area. These results are then uploaded to ArcGIS Online to create a Web Application. This Web Application allows the public to visualize the data and allows for easy user interaction. The widgets allow the public to locate, modify, print, and search for routes on the map. The goal of this project is to preserve the Tongva’s history and to teach the public about the tribe’s value as a culture.
    • Using ArcGIS Dashboards To Monitor Scheduled Python Geoprocessing Scripts

      Sanchez Trigueros, Fernando; Montes, Celso (The University of Arizona., 2022-05)
      There is a need in Pima County’s Information Technology Department, Geographic Information Systems Division for visualizing the status of GIS scheduled Python jobs that run on various servers throughout the day and night. Most scheduled job owners get notified if there is a problem with the script. However, end users of the data may not necessarily be notified that the data they are viewing did not update. This leads to the end users being perplexed on why their edits made the day before are not visible. The solution was to create a Python module called PC_Monitor that the script owner imports into the beginning of an existing or new script that is executed at the end of the script in either its own try, except statement or at the end of a finally statement. Parameters need to be passed into one of the module’s functions to successfully update the database table. The database table is then used for visualizing the status of the script using ArcGIS Dashboards widgets. The module captures various information programmatically using user inputs. Most importantly, the module captures and records the status of the script (Success, Finished with Warnings, or Failed) and the first 255 characters of the status message for Finished with Warnings and Failed. The module has been successful in various test situations on multiple servers. The PC_Monitor module alongside the ArcGIS Dashboard will help our organization’s GIS users to visually monitor the status of Python scripts, keep track of Python scripts, and the effect those scripts have on data sets.
    • A Site Suitability Analysis to Reduce Lead Poisoning Through Small-Scale Retail in Syracuse, NY

      Mason, Jennifer; Hernandez, Erika (The University of Arizona., 2022-05)
      Syracuse, New York has been fighting an uphill battle against lead. It’s in their homes, soil, and water and disproportionately affects lower-income communities. Children are especially sensitive before the age of 6, experiencing decreased cognitive function, reduced motor control, developmental disabilities, and death, among others. 12 percent of children in Syracuse tested positive for elevated blood lead levels, four times the national average. Diet can help combat lead contamination by increasing iron levels. Iron and lead bind to the same transport protein in the small intestine where metals are absorbed into the bloodstream. With only 77 grocery stores to cover 25.5 square miles and over 140,000 people, Syracuse’s residents may rely on convenience stores, dollar stores, and fast-food restaurants to pick up the slack. Combating food insecurity may be possible by targeting food deserts and increasing access to healthy foods. To find the areas where small-scale retail would benefit the most, a Boolean Suitability Analysis was used to find food deserts using poverty levels, minority status, population density, existing grocery stores, and vacant lot parcel data. A Weighted Linear Combination Suitability Analysis found the locations that ranked higher for the intersection of food deserts, childhood elevated blood lead levels, current lead violations, and tracts with high numbers of children under 5-years-old. Of the 165 locations from the resulting analysis, 65 locations ranked between medium and high suitability. This analysis will help local officials, community leaders, and non-profit organizations determine where to combat food deserts and elevated blood lead levels in children.
    • OPTIMIZED COMMUNITY CENTER PLACEMENT IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

      Mason, Jennifer; Bacon, Thomas (The University of Arizona., 2022-05)
      Violent crime has risen sharply in Minneapolis in the last two years and with that, youth and teenagers as young as 13 years old participating in violent crime has also seen a sharp increase. With on-going teacher strikes, remote learning, and other factors allowing youth more opportunity to be out of school, Minneapolis can greatly benefit from the implementation of a new community center. Attempting to solve this problem comes with a twofold approach of an overlay analysis, analyzing socio-economic factors, currently occupied and vacant public institutions, and relative crime per neighborhood – then using these same variables with a weighted overlay analysis. The simple overlay approach indicates that a community center would be optimally placed in Northeast Minneapolis however, it should be noted that the relative crime there is far lower than any location the weighted overlay would result in. The results from the weighted analysis are far more practical than the results of the simple overlay would suggest, having more possible locations in North and South Minneapolis. It would be beneficial to talk to community stakeholders and gather their opinion for influence on the weighted overlay for future iterations of this research.
    • Arizona and the Influence Behind Rising Properties Values

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Legette, Dominic (The University of Arizona., 2022-04-29)
      Over the past decade, Arizona has seen an increase in property values, which in turn has increased the cost of living. Housing unit reports have shown a steady rise of new construction in the most populated cities in Arizona. This study should allow potential homeowners or investors to become aware of the best time to purchase homes or property as the market continues to rise and fall. The study also sheds light on potential root causes for the rising costs of living. Climate change has been a major issue in California, as there have been increases in wildfires over the last decade. Data is used to show the amount of damage caused by wildfires throughout the state. Assessing Arizona and California’s population disparity over the last decade provides fidelity of population to housing unit growth. This data is then compared to the average cost of the housing in the respective counties. The implications of this study, for future homeowners or investors, would be an anticipation in equity losses if the said property is purchased during inflation. Since 2016, the study depicts a steady 1% increase in housing units every year. This may not seem like a significant amount; however, for one county in Arizona it was an increase of 100,000 housing units (as well as a 200,000-population increase) in just five years. The analysis implies a strong correlation between the areas in California affected by wildfires also being the areas with the most population loss. The reported number of Californians leaving these affected areas also correlates to the amount of realty purchased in Arizona. Cities in Arizona share climate similarities as well as boast a lower cost of living, making Arizona an ideal spot for relocating. The total number of population increases are a direct reflection of the most populated counties in Arizona. As the study focuses on the root causes of the inflated prices, the outside influences that are migrating people to Arizona will cause a housing crisis when the economy bounces back.
    • VEGETATIVE CHANGES WITHIN AREAS OF CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN IN TAOS AND RIO ARRIBA COUNTIES OF NORTHERN NEW MEXICO 2000 - 2020

      Mason, Jennifer; Tala (The University of Arizona., 2022-04-29)
      Climate change will likely lead to major changes in plant distribution and thus in biomes and habitats. Humans and other species will be affected as our ecology is intimately linked not only to climate but also to habitat availability. This study looks at the vegetative changes within the Bureau of Land Management’s Areas of Critical Environmental Concern designated areas. These areas are in Rio Arriba County and Taos County in New Mexico and the study is from 2000 and 2020 to determine if the Bureau of Land Management’s protective measures have helped mitigate drought effects within the region. The study area includes the Areas of Critical Environmental Concern designated areas of Lower Gorge, Copper Hill, Ojo Caliente, and the Taos Plateau, which cover approximately 327,040 acres within the two study counties. Using surface reflectance and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index analysis, datasets are compared for changes in vegetation health over 5-year increments – 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2020. Datasets are also compared between 2000 and 2020. Although precipitation levels fluctuate over the temporal extents and vegetation changes accordingly, overall, there has been a decline in vegetative cover over the entire study area. These vegetation changes are most drastic within the Ojo Caliente and Lower Gorge/Copper Hill Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. More research is needed to determine whether the Bureau of Land Management’s protective measures, or lack thereof, have contributed to the decline in vegetation, or if it has to do with the overall effects of long-term drought and climate change.
    • Selecting Prospective Sites for Future Riparian Areas in Arizona

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Rhodes, Patrick (The University of Arizona., 2022-04-28)
      Within the desert areas of Arizona, riparian habitat attracts a diverse range of flora and fauna, concentrating their populations along the banks of streams and washes. Due to a variety of factors over the past century, these areas have degraded in size and quality, resulting in a loss of native vegetation and wildlife habitat. Ultimately, if this trend is to be reversed, one approach might be to create new, artificial riparian areas. To achieve that, suitable, non-riparian locations must first be identified for possible conversion into prospective riparian zones. Hence, the goal of this project is to perform a suitability analysis to locate tracts of land within Arizona which might be suitable for riparian conversion. Issues such as water rights, engineering, and funding are not covered in this paper. Several spatial criteria were identified as indicators for success, including land ownership, flooding potential, fire potential, length of streams/washes, proximity to human development and current habitat. Many geographic datasets were utilized to produce maps showing these locations, according to their ability to apply these criteria. Further, once these locations were identified, a historical analysis was performed to show the vegetative health of each area over time, as well as potential rainfall metrics, both of which provided detailed indicators of success. The results revealed several tracts of land in disparate areas which fulfilled all criteria and could be considered for Arizona riparian habitat conversion projects.