• Neural Network Algorithms for Ontology Informed Information Extraction

      Bethard, Steven; Xu, Dongfang; Cui, Hong; Surdeanu, Mihai; Miller, Timothy (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      Ontology, as a formal and explicit specification of a shared conceptualization for a particular domain, is useful in information extraction. On the one hand, since information extraction is concerned with retrieving information for a particular domain, formally and explicitly specifying the concepts of that domain through an ontology defines the boundary of what information needs to be extracted. On the other hand, an ontology, typically consisting of classes (or concepts), attributes (or properties), and relationships (or relations among class members), contains the structured information that information extraction systems aim to extract. In this thesis, we are interested in how using an ontology can improve the information extraction process. We explore two research directions that both employ ontologies in the information extraction process, temporal normalization and biomedical concept normalization. In both research directions, we show that leveraging resources in ontologies helps to build high-performance information extraction systems, and presenting the extracted output using such ontologies makes the structured information concise and interchangeable.
    • Data Assimilation and Applications in Forecasting

      Morzfeld, Matthias; Harty, Travis Michael; Snyder, Chris; Venkataramani, Shankar C.; Arellano, Avelino F. (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      The work presented here spans two projects which are connected by data assimilationand specifically the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF). The first explores how spatial localization, an important method commonly used in the EnKF, can be extended to multiscale problems. Rather than using a single length scale when localizing, we construct a localized covariance matrix through the estimation of eigenvectors. Specifically, we estimate the leading large-scale eigenvectors from a sample covari- ance matrix calculated from a spatially smoothed ensemble with spatial localization applied with a long localization distance. We then create projection matrices from these eigenvectors which allows us to calculate the space orthogonal to these initial large scales. This process can then be repeated for multiple scales if required. We present numerical experiments using this localization method using both simplified examples in which the correct covariance matrix is known and cycling experiments with the Lorenz Model III. The second project explores an application of the EnKF. We use the EnKF as part of a system to forecast cloud cover. Cloud cover forecasts are useful when forecasting solar power generation because clouds are the primary driver of reducing irradiance and therefore solar power generation. Our method uses satellite images, optical flow, and numerical weather prediction (NWP) in conjunction with an EnKF to estimate cloud motion vectors (CMVs) which are then used to advect cloud index (CI) fields using a 2-D advection scheme. This system produces an ensemble forecast which can be used to produce deterministic forecasts. We explore the effectiveness of these forecasts over Tucson, AZ.
    • Breaking Barriers: The Study of Human Perception as it Relates to Intergenerational Reciprocity

      Bockman, Julia; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2020-12-20)
      We are born into a set of circumstances. Society and our perception of it influence the way we regard others. We are typically inclined to give what we receive, and the state of existing public policy during our lifetime plays into our regard for future generations. Democracy is seen as the only facet that can promote intergenerational reciprocity and give future generations a voice. Unfortunately, however, it also has its disadvantages as it depends on community involvement and is subject to raw, uneducated opinion. Through this study, we identified connections between various demographics like age, location and political party, and the willingness of the participants to improve the state of public policy currently and over the course of numerous generations. Twenty four participants were surveyed across the United States and questioned about their willingness to increase taxes by 2% in order to fund programs for improving unemployment, climate change, and healthcare. We found that, overall, those who identified as members of the Democratic party were more willing to increase taxes, and there was greatest receptivity for improving climate change both currently and for future generations. Overall, participants’ willingness to improve public policy within a group decreased as the generational gap increased. Finally, there was an increased willingness to increase taxes for only the wealthy (dollars earned over 500,000) versus all tax brackets in order to fund the same public policy programs as solutions. To better gauge the relationship of regard for future generations with demographics and human perception, further studies need to remove the element of increased taxes.
    • Fiber for the Future: Transitioning Cotton in Arizona to Hemp

      Scanlon, Moira; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Zuniga-Teran, Adriana; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2020-12-16)
      This study aims to examine the potential consequences of switching cotton cultivation in Arizona to industrial hemp production. Data supporting this proposition are drawn from literature review and an interview. Hemp has potential as a replacement crop for cotton, but its implementation faces numerous hurdles. Suggestions for expanding on this study, including a qualitative consumer survey and producer survey, are included.
    • Successful Cost-Effective Green Implementations

      Olivarez, Ramiro, III; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2020-12-15)
      Concerns of rising temperatures are growing due to climate change, pushing us to find alternative strategies to mitigate it. This paper focuses on cost-effective green implementation design strategies to combat rising temperatures for homeowners who cannot afford the newest technologies. With increasing temperatures, this paper aims to answer which strategies will best optimize comfort levels to avoid a crisis event where temperatures are unbearable and air conditioning and heating units or the power stops working, making the home indoor climate uncomfortable and unsafe. Our current residential building stock accounts for 21% of energy consumption, and a majority of that energy is to create indoor comfort conditions (Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), n.d.). This study uses Tucson, Arizona, climate data gathered as a case study. Data collected included sample population habits of making their indoor home climate comfortable, climate data and design strategies gathered by Climate Consultant, a computer software, and an interview. The data was used to find the most successful, cost-effective green design implementations. This paper will assert financially friendly green design implementations, such as cost-effective overhangs or trees to maximize shading in the summer but allow sunlight in the winter, weatherstrips, and double-pane windows for those with financial constraints to help them avoid rising temperatures with no working mechanical systems.  
    • The Scope of Solar Energy

      DiCamillo, Michael; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2020-12-14)
      This study aims to inform and show different ways to utilize solar energy. Solar Energy is defined as energy obtained from sunlight and heat. Solar energy is widely abundant and has numerous uses and applications in addition to the conventional photovoltaic panel. In addition, other methods use solar energy in more passive and subtle ways that can promote sustainability and energy efficiency. This study will analyze the benefits of Solar Energy in the built environment in the Sunbelt States. This study answers the questions of what are ways that people can use solar energy, implement solar energy into architectural designs, what are effective materials to use in said design, how affordable are these methods, and what are possible ways to encourage the use of solar energy? Building orientation paired with smart building materials and other design choices provide an alternative method to utilize solar energy in the built environment. Solar panels enable homeowners to eliminate their electric bills. Adobe and rammed earth structures offer an alternative to conventional concrete that can reduce if not altogether remove, the need for utilities like air conditioning. Proper building orientations will save thousands of kilowatt-hours over the course of a year in large buildings.
    • Farming Sustainably: Using Renewable Energy to Power Hydroponic Farming

      Kelly-Jones, William; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2020-12)
      Vertical hydroponic containerized farming offers a unique, globally relevant and game changing innovation, which in theory, provides a blueprint for solving the global food supply and at the same time solving many grave factors that are contributing to climate change. The crux of this model is the large electrical energy input required for its operation. Little thought has been given towards the ability to solve this problem through renewable means. The purpose of my capstone was to confirm the feasibility of powering these hydroponic systems from renewable energy sources. I wanted to know what sources are available? Which are the most viable? Finally, do the benefits outweigh the costs? As demonstrated in this paper, wind and solar energy are renewable sources that, if sized correctly, are viable alternatives for powering a containerized vertical hydroponic farm in Tucson, Arizona. We should draw inspiration and unquenchable enthusiasm from this application of renewable energy to a food supply model. It is just one of many designs that will increase the world's window for solving the global food and fresh water crisis.

      DiCindio, Carissa; Byrd, Kayah (The University of Arizona., 2020-06)
      Many western avant-garde movements have outwardly criticized the commercialism of the art market and held disdain for the large role that collectors played. Yet with many modes of resilience, almost all of these movements have been enfolded into collections and museums, even contemporary works which clearly critique the exorbitant prices at auctions and galleries and those who purchase them. Considering this phenomenon, I explore the reasons so many artistic movements fail in eschewing the commercial sector and use the expertise of economists and historians studying the contemporary art market as to what artistic practices might succeed. I posit that it is a true subversion of authorship, or rather anonymity which is key to subverting commodification. The conception of authorship within the paper is informed by Foucault’s ​What is an Author?​, looking at the ways in which authorship influences the contextualization of an artist's work and the discord it surrounds. I use Atelier Populaire, a poster workshop and artistic collective active during the revolts of 1968, as a case study to examine my theories of anonymity as an effective practice to critique and avoid the embrace of the art market. Paris during the 1960s was a wellspring of philosophy, literature, and fine art that questioned the predominant role of authorship within their field. Atelier Populaire expanded on the practices of their predecessors and embraced anonymity within their work. They utilized three crucial tactics which allowed their work to circumvent the monetization. These methods were anonymity through collectivity, anonymity of intellectual labor, and anonymity by lack of proper authentication.
    • Lighting Retrofit of the Robert L. Nugent Building

      Evans, Sasha; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Hoffman, Michael; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2020-05-11)
      The goal of this project is to reduce energy consumption at the University of Arizona by retrofitting the existing light bulbs in the Robert L. Nugent Building. Through Students for Sustainability, this project aimed to apply for grant money from the Green Fund to make sustainable retrofits to buildings on campus. This capstone project serves as a guide for lighting retrofits and explains how to work with organizations on campus to reduce energy consumption.
    • Ocean Pollution Knowledge & Actions

      Smith, Delaney; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Mullen, Kelly; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2020-05-10)
      With global plastic production on the rise and the continuous amount of mismanaged waste, marine fauna's future is at stake. Plastic pollution is a major environmental concern and efforts are needed globally in order to protect our environment. This report focuses on whether ocean pollution and single-use plastic education and outreach can be a part of a community's solution. This study is a quasi-experimental design based on a survey, intervention, and post-survey format. It was found that ocean pollution education and reducing personal waste guidance can help raise awareness because it can positively impact individuals' environmental attitudes and actions.

      Iuliano, Joey; Valenzuela, Carlos Francisco; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Adkins, Arlie; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2020-05-08)
      In the United States, from 2015 to 2016, a nine percent increase was recorded in pedestrian-related fatalities from motor vehicle crashes (NHTSA 2017). To reduce the number of pedestrian-related accidents, and to reduce the dependence of the motor vehicle for primary transportation, the roadway infrastructure needs to be centered around pedestrian usage, multiple modes of transportation need to be offered, and the environment needs to be made exciting and comfortable for all users. This study provides an overview of factors that contribute to pedestrian-related accidents and reduce walkability in South Tucson. This study also provides an overview and a step-by-step process of solutions and recommendations for future development in troubled areas. This work will be accomplished through a) US census data analysis, b) crash data analysis, and c) an assessment of roadway/pedestrian infrastructure design. It found that there were some trends between the two zip codes 85713 and 85704 which are; the zip code 85713 had higher poverty status rates, the household income was significantly lower than in zip code 85704, the average population age was younger than in zipcode 85704, and that more people were cycling to work than in zip code 85704. The mapping of the crash data showed there were more pedestrian-related accidents within a South Tucson location than in a location in North Tucson. It also found that the roadway design and pedestrian infrastructure in South Tucson offered significantly fewer safety elements to pedestrians than in North Tucson. To make South Tucson more walkability and pedestrian-friendly, the roadway, which includes; the intersection, streets, crosswalks, and bikeways, needs to be redesigned.
    • Complete Streets Critique

      Wardell, Tyler; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Keith, Ladd; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2020-05-08)
      People have been traveling for thousands of years in an attempt to improve their lives by some means. “For many centuries individual movement and trade relied on walking, packhorses, and horse-drawn carts and wagons” (Black, 2003). The facilities for these modes were placed along the natural pathways people used to get around. Black (2003) explains, “The first major roads to be built in Europe are attributable to the Roman Empire...among their many and varied skills was a talent for road building... Their roads were built in response to a potential need to move armies quickly from one place to another, and they were built to last forever.” Roads have changed over the centuries since the time of the Romans. Modern materials have replaced cobblestones, and new transportation options have complicated roads. However, the underlying goal is still the same: to move people, goods, and services from A to B. More often then not, we see roads built for moving cars while other transportation options such as walking, cycling, or using transit are often an afterthought. While Tucson roads provide options, they are not necessarily safe or comfortable ones. Sidewalks in Tucson are infrequent outside of the urban core and often without shade. Bike lanes tend to be narrow and unprotected. Transit stops are unshaded and service has a long headway, leaving people to wait in the hot sun. All of which leads to uncomfortable walking conditions, the potential for automotive bike accidents, and heat stroke from sun exposure. It does not have to be this way; roads can be friendly to all modes of transportation with better design and planning. Adding trees along the street can provide shade over sidewalks. Buffers and barriers on bicycle lanes help keep drivers and cyclists separate. Shaded transit stops, and more frequent service creates a more pleasant experience for users. There are so many options that it can be difficult to pick the right ones for any given situation. Wardell 3 Up until recently, policies in place that dictated how to design roads for all users were limited to The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design standards and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The design standards have favored drivers over alternative transportation. However, more cities have started to adopt complete streets policies. These policies often follow designs from NACTO- National Association of City Transportation Officials- which favor a blend of options for all users. In Spring 2019, Tucson passed its Complete Streets Initiative, which put into place new guidelines for building and designing our roads. At the same time, the passing of Prop 407- Parks and Connectivity Bond- provided funding to implement complete street designs. While many roads will not see an upgrade until they are repaved, the city now has a policy in place to elevate non-personal vehicle modes. However, is this a policy that works- will it improve our transportation options and create a more vibrant built environment- or is it one that will gather dust on a shelf? This study sets out to critique and compare Tucson’s Complete Streets Initiative to other examples, one in the Southwest and one in the Northwest to compare a similar climate and a differing one. Our plan will be compared against Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Hailey, Idaho in categories such as enforceability, design standards, and transportation options. The strengths of those plans will be identified and then used to propose ways to improve Tucson’s policy.
    • The Connection between People and Place: A Case Study on Social Interactions in UA Outdoor Public Spaces

      Kramer-Lazar, Sean; Morrissey, Lauran; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Zuniga-Teran, Adriana; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2020-05-08)
      This study aims to investigate how the design of three outdoor public spaces on the University of Arizona campus effects the level of social interaction at each site. Social interaction is defined by interchangeable sequences of exchanges where individuals can attach meaning, interpret, and respond; which includes looking, listening, and talking (Salih & Ismail 2017). With similar sizes and locations, The Women’s plaza of Honor, The Highland Bowl, and The University Services Building Courtyard were chosen to compare their ability to promote social interaction through five different criteria: placement, usage, image/design, elements, and access (Salih & Ismail 2017). This study found that the highest count of social interactions directly relate to the diversity of areas and seating for people to interact in. Addtionally, the quality, interest, and comfort of the seating and elements (like grass, art, etc.) had an effect on the success of people using these spaces.
    • Using Desalination in a Sustainable Fashion

      Kilman, Sterling; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2020-05-07)
      As the world’s population grows and climate change continues to affect the planet regional water supply has become an important issue for many places. The state of California has its own unique issues with water supply given its drought history and massive population. This case study aims to look at the feasibility of widescale implementation of desalination to supplement and replace California’s supply of Colorado River Water. Using desalination to purify ocean saltwater into potable water is a unique form of water production that has its own advantages and disadvantages.
    • Where am I? Developing Spatial Thinking Skills

      Lukinbeal, Chris; Glueck, Mary (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
      Middle school students are inundated with a plethora of geographic and GIS instructional resources; however, these students often lack the spatial thinking skills necessary to orient themselves in space and make meaningful geographic connections to the world. The question, “Where am I?”, is challenging without an understanding of spatial orientation, distance, and connections. Developing geographic literacy, even geographic media literacy, being able to locate and connect themselves in the world, is critical to their greater understandings. With this Master’s Project, I document a learner-centered exercise that develops spatial thinking skills. Spatial thinking combines spatial concepts, visualization, and reasoning. Spatial thinking reaches beyond answering “where” with a simple “here” to consider personal awareness of spatial orientation along with spatial connections, and pattern recognition at different spatial scales for problem-solving, decision-making, or policy purposes. Middle school, a time of growth in student understandings from concrete to abstract, is an optimal stage to advance and implement spatial thinking skills. Furthermore, curriculum standards focus on crosscutting concepts of patterns, change, and scale, providing ample opportunity for increasing spatial understandings. This research project involved a sixty-five student cohort that was guided through a geographic inquiry process to build spatial thinking skills and conceptual understandings by orienting themselves in the classroom, applying historical survey methods to create a grid map of the school courtyard, and extending this to GIS-based virtual transects of student-selected connections. Outcomes indicate considerable growth in student spatial thinking skills and understandings. Their knowledge will be applied to future Earth Science investigations ensuring strong engagement and greater spatial understandings. Keywords: Geographic education, reasoning, spatial connections, spatial orientation, visualization
    • Opioid Treatment Accessibility in Maricopa County, Arizona: A Network Analysis of Certified Opioid Treatment Programs and Buprenorphine Providers

      Sanchez-Trigueros, Fernando; Jacobs, Amanda (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
      The United States opioid epidemic has been at the forefront of national response efforts. Despite tightening regulations on opioid prescribing, opioid addiction continues to be problematic. This study was designed to analyze opioid treatment accessibility in Maricopa County, Arizona, one of the most populous counties in the U.S. Based on data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 656 buprenorphine providers and 182 certified opioid treatment center locations in Maricopa County were incorporated to evaluate for treatment accessibility. Using GIS network analyst tools, distance to the closest treatment location was determined for each Maricopa County census tract. To further visualize accessibility, 2.5, 5, and 10-mile service areas were also located. The analysis demonstrated route distances increased moving outwards from the urban city areas of Maricopa County. Likewise, service areas also tended to branch outward from the urban city core. Spatially, rural areas are disproportionately impacted with regards to opioid treatment accessibility and populations living in these areas are at higher risk for encountering barriers to opioid treatment. These findings provide key information that may assist in population health outreach services and potentially useful data for public health policy efforts aimed at improving access to opioid addiction treatment.
    • Feng Shui and Sustainability

      Guo, Longhao; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Bean, Jonathan; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
      Feng Shui, as ancient environmental art and science, provides a significant reference for many East Asians to choose the living environment and building environment. Nowadays, the concept of Feng Shui has gradually been introduced to some western countries. And some experts have found that the traditional Chinese Feng Shui theory is similar to the western concept of sustainable development in many ways (Mak and Ge, 2013). It can be seen from the analysis results of the building cases; the western sustainable design perspective focuses more on the physical characteristics of the building. However, the focus of Chinese Feng Shui is on the exterior and interior of the building space, and the connection between people and the surrounding living environment (Mak and Ge, 2010). Today’s interpretation of Feng Shui principles has incorporated Western concepts of sustainability, but some of these effects are difficult to measure (Mak and Ge, 2010). This situation also shows that if architects can consider the concept of Feng Shui when designing buildings, and combine it with Western sustainable design concepts, it will be conducive to enhancing the development and application of sustainability. Therefore, scientific research on Feng Shui and how to integrate it with the western concept of sustainable development requires more studies.
    • Assessment of Post-Fire Vegetation Recovery in Washington State Using Landsat and Geographical Data

      Sanchez Trigueros, Fernando; Hare, Leah (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
      Consequences of wildfires often result in the loss or change of vegetation, causing a reduction of biodiversity and an increase in soil erosion. Studies aiming to understand the potential dynamics in vegetation regeneration after a fire can benefit restoration programs by defining probable contributing factors. This report considered environmental variables and their impact on fire recovery for six fires in Washington State over a five-year period. Variables included the differenced normalized burn ratio (dNBR), the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), land cover type, and topological variables. Regression modeling was performed using both Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Geographic Weighted Regression (GWR) to determine the best-fit model. Over the five-year period, mixed vegetation showed the highest recovery rate with varied rates for both forested and desert vegetation. OLS regression demonstrated that land cover had high multicollinearity with other variables and land cover factors, thus it was excluded from GWR calculations. The best-fit models revealed a positive relationship with pre-fire NDVI and burn severity for most fire locations, indicating an increase in revegetation based on an increase in burn severity. Topological variable slope had both positive and negative relationships with NDVI. R2 values calculated through GWR were between 0.85 and 0.98. As Washington State is a diverse, widespread area, this study serves as an initial step to understand the potential relationships between fire recovery and the contributing factors. Additional steps should be taken to focus on specific vegetation type and assessing longer recovery time.

      Sanchez-Trigueros, Fernando; Carini, Kiri (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
      As urban areas grow around the world it is important to understand whether species biodiversity can adapt to these environs. Birds are known to be indicator species of ecosystem health. Furthermore, they are relatively easy to observe. In 2001, the Tucson Bird Count (TBC) was initiated to establish a long-term monitoring effort of bird biodiversity in urban Tucson. This project investigates long-term trends in the relative abundances of six common urban Tucson bird species across land classifications using the latest National Land Cover Database products, spanning 15 years. Using zonal statistics methods to aggregate bird count data within land cover classifications, this analysis determined mean relative abundance for six species over time and across land cover types. The results found that population abundance for these species has been relatively stable over time and consistent across land classifications. While overall bird species populations have declined in North America, in urban Tucson, birds are adapting. Further analysis of the TBC is needed to gain insight into species distribution and the complexities of urban habitats.

      Dovi, Suzanne; Adamson, Bennett (The University of Arizona., 2020-05)
      The U.S. Congress has become less productive since the 1970’s. Although many factors contribute to this decrease in productivity, I will examine how diminished institutional capacity and the increased influence of special interest groups have contributed to that decrease. I begin by empirically establishing the decline in Congress’ productivity as measured by the year-over-year decrease in total passage of legislation. Then, I will examine how diminished institutional capacity has enabled this loss of productivity. I employ a market-based approach to argue that the decline is akin to a shift in supply. I make the claim that, as the supply of legislation has become scarcer, the only viable remaining market participants are lobbyists. I then outline how the increasing influence of lobbyists over the legislative process constitutes a threat to the general welfare through the proliferation of economic inequalities. I conclude by presenting a set of plausible reforms to curtail the impact of lobbyists and restrengthen the legislative branch.