Now showing items 1-20 of 154

    • Geo-Spatial Analysis of the Number of Active Fuel Supply Equipment Registered in Oregon under the Clean Fuels Program

      Korgaonkar, Yoganand (The University of Arizona., 2023-12)
      The Oregon Clean Fuels Program (CFP), launched by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in 2016, principally aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuels such as diesel and gasoline. The CFP has set standards to reduce the carbon intensity of these fuels by 10% in 2025, 20% in 2030, and 37% in 2035. Within the CFP framework, "Fuel Supply Equipment" (FSE) is the umbrella term for various equipment that dispense alternative fuels, from electric vehicle chargers to hydrogen fueling stations and propane dispensers. Credit Generators, i.e., providers of natural gas, propane, electricity, and hydrogen, must register such equipment to accurately report the fuel dispensed and consequently generate credits. This research investigates the relationship between the active FSEs registered under the CFP and Oregon’s demographics, such as population, housing units, and employer establishments. Utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistical methodologies, this study analyzes data from 2016 through September 30, 2023, at both state and county levels. It found a high concentration of active FSEs in counties along the U.S. Interstate Highway 5 (I-5). Spatial autocorrelation analyses revealed a positive correlation between active FSEs and demographics in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. The analysis reveals that counties with higher populations, more housing units, and more commercial establishments are likely to have more active FSEs, contributing to the achievement of the state's emission reduction goals.

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Ortega, Caleb (The University of Arizona., 2023-12)
      Renewable energy, specifically solar power, has witnessed significant growth globally, emerging as a dominant energy source. While solar energy is praised for its emissions-reducing potential, it raises environmental concerns related to land use. One important consideration is the local temperature impact of photovoltaic arrays, referred to as the photovoltaic heat island effect (PVHI). This potential effect has halted many proposed solar developments and has significant implications in urban planning. This paper investigates multiple solar sites in the southwest region of the United States measuring the distance to drop-off (the furthest distance in where the panels significantly affect land surface temperature), and the average increase in temperature within the system from a natural non developed state. Secondarily, this paper will investigate the effects of nontraditional array types such as Agrivoltaics—which integrates crop and energy production within the same space. Analysis is conducted using raster data from the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Natural Earth Portal, utilizing Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 Collection 2 Level 2 Surface Temperature data. Seasonal temperature variations are normalized by creating an urban heat island index. Temperature drop-off is examined by using transects which extend from edge of arrays outwards to create scatter plot graphs for each solar site. The implications for the water, food, energy nexus is examined and informs policymakers and stakeholders facilitating sustainable development and potential PVHI mitigation strategies.

      Korgaonkar, Yoganand; Myers, Gregory (The University of Arizona., 2023-12)
      Present day inhabitants of Kaiserslautern and the surrounding area are largely unaware of a battle that occurred in 1793 between France and Prussia, which witnessed nearly 70,000 soldiers fighting over a region that belonged to neither nation. This study provides an analysis of a study area located in the vicinity of present-day Kaiserslautern, Germany to assess key moments in a series of smaller skirmishes. Two eyewitness account documents provide the information necessary to perform this research. The first document is an encyclopedia of Prussian battles from 1741 – 1815. The second document is a diary which complements and validates the encyclopedia. This research uses data from digital elevation models, in conjunction with known locations of French and Prussian forces as based on eyewitness accounts, to create an array of visualization techniques that include least cost modeling, viewshed, and line of sight, which rely heavily on topographic features such as water and slope. The results demonstrate how the Prussians, although hundreds of kilometers away from Prussia, were able to defeat the French in a battle that occurred 230 years ago. Additionally, the findings indicate that although the French army was much closer to their home borders, that an advantage was never gained due to the diverse battlefield topographic features.

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; Reiff, Jeffrey (The University of Arizona., 2023-12)
      Stage and lifecycle crop monitoring and assessment are pivotal in agriculture and farming. The increase in global populations, food demand, tighter regulations, and the overall cost of doing business have increased the burden on farmers to meet these challenges while sustaining their businesses and the environment. Farmers must adapt their growing and harvest operations to increase yields that meet the global market and adhere to sustainable farming standards that combat environmental impacts. All while reducing their operating costs. Crop management is often a fieldwork and labor-intensive data collection process. This work will highlight how modern technology in the areas of remote sensing, raster analytics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and WebGIS can be applied to analyze and process raster data and environmental information that can be used to calculate vegetation indices. If properly applied, these derived datasets and analyses can be transformed into web services for modern farm equipment and native mobile or web applications for field work, informing precision agriculture practices to tackle the problems mentioned above that today’s local farmers and agronomists encounter.

      Korgaonkar, Yoga; McNulty, Rhiannon (The University of Arizona., 2023-12)
      Olympic National Park covers nearly 1 million acres of the eponymous peninsula in Washington State with over 600 miles of maintained trails across diverse ecosystems. Recreational activities using the trails found in Olympic National Park are enjoyed by 2.4 million people every year. Olympic National Park has designated addressing climate change, which refers to long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns, as a priority for the National Park in the next century. Climate changes in the park are projected to result in a variety of hydrological changes, such as decreased snow residence times and an increase in flood frequency and magnitude, in addition to extreme and unseasonable weather patterns. Regardless, there is no scientific literature studying the effects of climate change on recreational trails in Olympic National Park and the weather pattern changes that would have the highest levels of impact and what those levels would be. Data from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), the National Park Service, the Forest Service and NASA helped paint a picture of five specific climate change scenarios: temperatures, flooding, precipitation levels, snowmelt, and sea level rise. Using the highest projections, with a Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) of 8.5, it was found that a majority of the 201 recreational trails in Olympic National Park will be impacted by either one or more of the stated climate change scenarios in the next century.

      Korgaonkar, Yoganand; Latham-Jones, Edward (The University of Arizona., 2023-12-10)
      In recent years, a surge in pedestrian fatalities has necessitated a close examination of their causes. This study, based on five years of data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the American Community Survey (ACS) in Tucson, Arizona, aims to determine the impact of the racial composition of census blocks on these fatalities. Between 2017 and 2021, 142 pedestrians lost their lives in Tucson, Arizona. Furthermore, annual pedestrian fatalities during this five-year period increased by 57 percent. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the presence of a discernible geographic pattern in pedestrian fatalities, shedding light on the relationship between demographics, the built environment, and pedestrian fatalities. This study examined the potential influence of age, income, and race on pedestrian fatalities. Of those categories, race proved to be the most statistically significant. Analysis of FARS data revealed a significant bias toward fatalities involving non-white and Hispanic individuals during this five-year period. A comparison of FARS and ACS data during this period displayed a higher incidence of pedestrian fatalities in census blocks with high percentages of non-white and Hispanic populations. Furthermore, analysis of the FARS data indicated a non-random distribution of pedestrian fatalities. Subsequent regression analysis quantified the link between the racial composition of neighborhoods and pedestrian fatalities in Tucson. While this study revealed a statistically significant association between the racial composition of census blocks and pedestrian fatalities, it by no means provided a comprehensive explanation for pedestrian fatalities and their increased frequency.

      Mason, Jennifer; Webb, Amber (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      The canyons and badlands in El Golfo, Sonora, México have been found fossiliferous with land mammal fossils from the Irvingtonian age and Calabrian stage of the Pleistocene Epoch. There has not been any extensive GIS analyses performed on the fossil sites in El Golfo. The goal of this project is to build a geodatabase with associated feature classes of various El Golfo paleontological, geological, and physiographical data. Next construct cartographic products to look for patterns of paleofauna distribution and create an online webmap available for the scientific community for visualization and analysis. Finally, geoprocess a DEM to obtain elevation, slope, and aspect to predict fossil locations. For the suitability study GPS data was obtained from previous fossil prospecting and was paired with a digital elevation model to see what elevation, aspect and slope was prevalent. Histograms were then used to identify which values were favorable to use in the study. Finally, ModelBuilder was used to create a map of ideal sites. The results of the analysis identified areas which are more probable for finding fossils. This project is of value for future international researchers and the data will contribute to the natural resource management of fossils in El Golfo.

      Mason, Jennifer; Wilshin, Liz (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      This study looks at historic housing discrimination based on race and ethnicity in Tucson, Arizona. By studying 2020 U.S. Census data spatially joined with Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCRs) obtained from the Pima County Recorder's Office, the research explores the social and spatial implications of discriminatory practices. Through data collection and preparation combined with spatial analysis techniques, a web application was developed visualizing the impact of CCRs on housing patterns. The web application showcases subdivision polygons, demographic information from the Census, and allows users to explore the connections between CCRs and contemporary housing trends. While any findings from the spatial analyses are preliminary and require further verification due to potential data consistency issues, the web application serves as a proof of concept for the broader research initiative, "Mapping Racist Covenants." The study contributes to a deeper understanding of the lasting effects of discriminatory practices and provides valuable insights into the complex relationships between race, housing, and urban development.

      Mason, Jennifer; Lawrence, Brianne (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      On July 13th, 2021, the Dixie fire was reported after a Pacific Gas and Electric employee who saw flames about the size of 600 square feet within the Feather River Canyon. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire, arrived within 25 minutes and began their efforts to contain the fire. The Feather River Canyon is known for having a scenic byway filled with large trees, steep canyons and high winds. The area had the perfect conditions for a wildfire due to exceptional drought causing moisture levels within the forest to be at historic lows. 963,309 acres were burned until the fire was contained on October 25th, 2021. Small towns and communities were destroyed leaving the area bare and without life. This study seeks to model vegetation responses after land cover changes following the Dixie Fire. The burn scar made on-the-ground measurements difficult and impractical so instead, the imagery from Landsat 8 is used to form the basis of the measurements. The vegetation changes is calculated using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the normalized burn ratio (NBR) showing vegetation regeneration. This study can help local and federal agencies determine bare ground exposure which could lead to increased flooding, and to determine where vegetation regeneration has occurred.
    • Lackawanna River Watershed

      Mason, Jennifer; Becker, Jacob (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      The purpose of this study is to create and display a spatial analysis study on the Lackawanna River Watershed in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Specifically, an analysis that displays data containing contaminants in the air and water within the watershed study area, potentially correlating with the areas heavy use of coal mining historically. Using fugitive emission data to measure air contaminants and water pH, sulfates, and hard metals data to examine potentially polluted waters will show how this small yet essential watershed has been impacted. It is extremely important to run these studies to show the damage that is caused by coal mining and create preventative measures for the future. Protection of watersheds is paramount in conserving the local flora and fauna that feed us and nurture their surrounding ecosystems. Education and outreach can be a useful tool to make people aware of the issues at hand in their own backyards. With the devastating impacts a toxin filled watershed can have on its surrounding watersheds and environments, there should be more publicly accessible research studies that are user friendly to provide the proper awareness and education.
    • Assessing Habitat Value in Sonora for the Leopardus Pardalis

      Mason, Jennifer; Searles, Savanna (The University of Arizona., 2023)
      The ocelot can be found from northern Argentina to southern United States, with a small known population in southern Texas and a possible population in southern Arizona. They are protected both in the United States and in Mexico as an endangered species. Northeast Sonora deserves more research as an important extent of the current ocelot range, and one of the last linkages for ocelots in the United States. Identifying appropriate territory in Sonora exposes reasonable corridors for movement north into Arizona, where a small number of sightings and historical presence of ocelots are confirmed. This project examines habitat suitability using satellite derived data on canopy cover, vegetative land cover, as well as utilizing proximity to lakes, and distance from roads as raster inputs to a weighted rank suitability model. Testing multiple models reinforces the suitability of high scoring areas that are shared between scenarios. A review of the result showcases the need for additional research on habitat fragmentation, movement or dispersal, and cross-border studies of the ocelot.
    • Spectral Assessment of Vegetational Recovery Following the Owyhee Mountains' 2015 Soda Fire

      Mason, Jennifer; Albertson, James (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      Between August 10 and August 23, 2015, the Soda Fire burned 279,144 acres of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem in Idaho’s Owyhee and Oregon’s Malheur counties, southwest of Idaho’s capital, Boise. This project attempts to examine, visualize, and explain the impacts of this fire on the sagebrush steppe, while demonstrating the need for boots-on-the-ground perspective to give context to spectral analyses like those used in this study. The dNBR analysis shows a largely net-neutral or positive change in vegetation in comparison to pre-fire values with a mean value of -0.02. An NDVI analysis of 2018 values showed an 11% increase in vegetation health over pre-fire values, while an analysis of values in 2020 showed a 17% increase over pre-fire values.

      Mason, Jennifer; Williams, Connor (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      Seattle is the largest city in Washington State and has an estimated tree canopy cover of 28.1%. The health of the urban forest is a critical part of what gives the city its identity, as well as providing important ecosystem services to the city’s residents. The city is slowly losing its canopy through time, and the neighborhoods where canopy loss is happening the fastest have histories of economic and racial inequality. Various departments across the municipality are responsible for managing trees and they need to work together to manage the urban forest. Unfortunately, these departments each track only the trees they are directly responsible for. In this study I describe the methods used to design and create a combined tree inventory of all trees tracked and managed by the city of Seattle. I then use the resulting combined tree inventory to perform several example analyses that an urban forester at the city might perform. I found that this was a reliable method to manage the complex integration of many contributing data sources into a single, simple, user-friendly dataset while also supporting the inevitable changes made to the contributing datasets as business needs evolve.
    • Assessing the Urban Heat Island Effect in New York City

      Mason, Jennifer; Erol, Eda (The University of Arizona., 2023)
      This paper investigates the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect in New York City (NYC) by analyzing temperature data from 2016 and 2023. The aim is to compare the seven-year changes and forecast UHI conditions for 2030, considering the implications of climate change and urbanization. Using a comprehensive methodology, an interactive web application is developed to map the UHI phenomenon in NYC. Python and Node.js are utilized for web development, integrating OpenStreetMap, US Census and ZIP Code data for the basemap. Z-score calculations are conducted using Land Surface Temperature (LST) data to quantify temperature differences between urban and rural areas. Analysis of Urban vs. Rural Temperature incorporates LST data, air temperature measurements, day/night temperature patterns, and seasonal temperature patterns. Hot spot analysis identifies areas with significant temperature anomalies based on air-related data. By analyzing the temperature data from 2016 and 2023, this study provides insights into UHI intensity changes and spatial patterns over the seven-year period. Findings inform predictions of UHI conditions in 2030, which hold environmental significance. Implications for energy consumption, human health, and urban livability are examined, facilitating informed decision-making for sustainable urban design and UHI mitigation strategies.
    • Geographic Analysis of Heat-Related Deaths in Maricopa County, Arizona

      Mason, Jennifer; Snyder, Troy (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      Heat-related deaths are on the rise in Maricopa County, Arizona. Land use, climate change, and human development are contributing to increases in extreme heat, adversely impacting local populations. Though many factors affect heat-related deaths each year and not all of these are measurable, this study looks at the impacts of urban development and local temperature trends as two key players. The relationship between these factors and historic heat-related death data is explored, revealing areas where improvements can be made to better protect citizens from patterns of harsh summer heat. This study uses geographic analysis tools including supervised classification, inverse distance weighted (IDW) methods, choropleth mapping, and visual analysis to identify correlations in weather and environmental data with heat-related deaths. Results show that strategically identified areas can implement heat-reducing measures such as living walls, green roofs, and cooling centers to improve the quality of life for residents.

      Lukinbeal, Chris; Beall, Brad (The University of Arizona., 2023)
      Severe wildfires are an all-too-common feature of the Western American landscape. Worse still, the frequency of such fires is on the increase. Each year, new wildfires add hundreds of thousands of fire-damaged acres to the millions of acres of forests burned in previous years. While some of these areas can recover naturally, forests that suffer prolonged, severe burning may not recover without human assistance. Due to the increase in frequency of such events, America’s reforestation needs have exceeded available reforestation resources (e.g., seedlings for replanting, forestry professionals experienced in wildfire remediation, labor for replanting and maintenance, etc.). Passage of the Federal REPLANT Act in November of 2021 means that more resources will be available in the future, but forestry managers must still decide which of the most severely damaged and at-risk areas of the American West should be given priority for remediation. Two commonly used tools for evaluating wildfire damage are the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Using reflectance data captured by satellites, these tools can be used to assess 1) wildfire boundaries, 2) relative wildfire severity, and 3) whether natural regrowth in a previously burned area is taking place. The goal of this project is to assess the effectiveness of NBR and NDVI values using the 2012 Pine Creek (Montana) Fire as a test case.

      Mason, Jennifer; Breeding, Landon (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      The potential benefits of incorporating digitized geologic maps and hyperspectral data for identifying new exploration mining targets at Frisco gold mine are explored in this project. The digitization of geologic maps converts valuable geologic information from traditional paper maps into a digital format, making it easier to analyze and integrate with other geological datasets. This integration helps identify spatial relationships, patterns, and trends in the geologic data, leading to the discovery of potential gold mineralization zones. Hyperspectral data is also crucial in enhancing exploration efforts. Hyperspectral imaging technology captures data across a broad range of wavelengths, enabling detailed characterization of mineralogy and alteration minerals associated with gold deposits. By analyzing hyperspectral data, geologists can identify spectral signatures indicative of gold mineralization, allowing for the precise delineation of potential exploration targets. Combining digitized geologic maps in Datamine Discover with hyperspectral data analysis provides a powerful toolset for gold mine exploration. The integrated approach efficiently identifies additional exploration targets by leveraging the spatial information from geologic maps and the spectral signatures captured by hyperspectral data. This workflow enhances understanding of the geology and mineralization processes, ultimately leading to improved targeting and resource estimation in gold mining operations.

      Mason, Jennifer; Gerski, Jessica (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      In a Marine Corps Installation public works department, the planning branch and Geospatial Information and Services branch needed a solution for collecting geospatial sites and data in a hybrid working environment. In the past, printed maps were passed back and forth between the branches with many details missed or not communicated properly. This project develops a web solution for collecting data and displaying the data at a glance. By using Field Maps, the planning branch can easily create new projects, modify existing information, or archive projects that are no longer needed. This data is displayed using standardized symbology on a web map and popups are enabled to show additional information as needed. A dashboard was also created to easily show the web map, project information, and number of project sites and project boundaries. Coordination and communication would still need to exist between the branches, but this solution greatly reduces the amount of hours and personnel needed to create and maintain the future project data.

      Lukinbeal, Chris; Schmidt, Carrie (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      AZSITE, the Arizona state geospatial inventory for cultural resources, is widely used by the archaeological community in the region. One application provided by AZSITE is a free web map for displaying generalized, non-sensitive versions of cultural resource data layers. For many planning and development professionals, AZSITE Public Mapping is their first exposure to the larger AZSITE geodatabase. The current AZSITE Public Mapping application has outdated interfaces and data layers. As a result, the application is underutilized. A modernized user interface with additional functionalities would turn this application into an excellent tool for non-archaeological professionals and further support the protection of cultural resources in the state. The purpose of this project is to create an updated AZSITE Public web application using Esri Web AppBuilder. The main data layer will display cultural resource sensitivity (site area) and survey area as a percentage of the total Township Range Section (TRS) section area. This layer and related tables will be generated from core AZSITE sites and projects data using a Python script that will be integrated into AZSITE’s weekly sync to the production server. To direct users to additional resources, more fields including land ownership divisions and links to cultural resource guidance have been included in the popup. These application enhancements will improve usability and better guide users to their next steps in cultural resource management.
    • Assessing Deoxygenation in Gulf of Mexico through Interpolation and 3D Modeling

      Lukinbeal, Chris; Lopez, Lucia (The University of Arizona., 2023-08)
      Deoxygenation poses a significant global concern, affecting oceans and marine reliant industries. The Gulf of Mexico stands out as an area with persistent hypoxia and yearly eutrophication events, resulting in reduced biodiversity, shifts in species distributions, and diminished fishery resources. Focusing on the central Gulf of Mexico 200 miles south of Louisiana, using World Ocean Database oxygen measurements over the year 2022, this study strives to shed light on methods used for predicting DO at various depths as well as the use of 3D modeling and Bathymetry to create advanced visuals on ocean-based elevation data. By applying Empirical Bayesian Interpolation in 3D, different transformations of the data are explored, and continuous surfaces of predicted DO levels at various depths are yielded. Models are assessed using cross-validation, semivariograms, and statistical performance measures. Among the three models tested, the highest performing model exhibited the lowest average standard error and mean error and with no applied data transformation or vertical trend removals. Exploring local Kriging models at different locations and standard errors, revealed larger standard errors at locations further away from known data points Arrived at confirmation of no hypoxic conditions in this Gulf location. 3D rendering through exportation of prediction surfaces as multidimensional voxel layers is exercised. Vertical and horizontal angled sections show the predicted DO measurements as intersections of different slopes, as well as isosurfaces visualizing depths showing the same DO values. These advanced 3D renderings exhibited that predicted DO concentrations are at their lowest between 66 and 1,000 meters.