John Crowell and Michael Pretes
Recent media reports have suggested that members of the Millennial Generation (born 1981- 1997) and Generation Z (born after 1997) are less inclined to visit national parks, compared to older generations. We used three methods to examine the validity of these media statements: Qualtrics-based social media surveys (on Facebook and Instagram), face to face semi-structured interviews with park rangers at four Pacific coast national parks—Redwood, Crater Lake, Mount Rainier, and Olympic—and on-site visitor counts at park visitor centers and on trails. We compared these observations with the limited historical data on visitor ages available from the National Park Service. Our results suggest that media reports are overstated, and that the number of both Millennial Generation and Generation Z members visiting national parks is at least stable and perhaps even increasing. A possible explanation for divergent results is that younger people may be accessing park information through online and social media sources, and therefore bypassing visitor centers and direct contact with park rangers.
Unmitigated effects of sprawl in many small rural towns have been documented. The common thread in the literature identifies the negative externalities of sprawl, especially the consumptive and inefficient nature of land use. Some of the most commonly cited sprawl mitigation strategies include revitalization of downtowns, investing in public transportation, and infill development among others. However, little attention has been given to repurposing of brownfields into usable space as a sprawl mitigation strategy. This study examines, first, how analytical GIS tools can help in the assessment of small town sprawl; and second, to identify city space designated as brownfields for repurposing into developable land. The city of Florence, Alabama is used as a case study and the following questions are addressed: What is the total land area of repurposable brownfield space relative to the amount of land annexed into the city through sprawl over a given period of time? How might GIS help to identify brownfields as a sprawl mitigation strategy? Is repurposing of brownfields an effective sprawl mitigation strategy for small towns such as Florence, Alabama? To address these questions, a GIS conceptual framework is employed. After establishing the theoretical context through literature review, geospatial data is assembled and analyzed in an ArcGIS environment. Preliminary analysis supports the strategy of brownfield repurposing as an effective sprawl mitigation strategy for small rural towns.
GIS Analysis of Human Excreta Management in Slum areas and its Impacts on the Environment -Viwandani, Nairobi Kenya
Stephen Osero and Jian Chen
Informal settlement in many developing countries in the world are overwhelmed by lack of essential infrastructure, scarce and strained resources, which causes significant public health problems. Nairobi, the largest city in Kenya, has several informal settlements, which lack systems for managing human excreta. Managing effectively of human excreta remains elusive in the highly populated informal settlement. Inadequate urban sanitation excessively impacts the social determinants of slum population health. This impacts on health range from food contamination, malnutrition, and chronic diseases like typhoid and cholera. In this research, we closely examined the human waste management problem in the Viwandani informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. We combined quantitative survey of sociodemographic, housing, and land use data; mapped out toilets and water points; utilized qualitative focus group information to better find how sanitation is linked to slum population and the impacts human Excreta generation has on Mukuru slums. The results showed that, 82% of population in the slum don’t have toilets, and the ones’ present are shared with large populations. For the households with access to toilets, and the average distance to a public toilet (which are few) is over 52 meters. Some toilets were also found located near clean water point, which exposes the population to sanitation issues. Mukuru residents report that diarrhea is the third biggest health complication they experience, which takes 35% of the survey. Scarce, unsafe, and unhygienic sanitation facilities result in multiple and overlapping health problems in urban informal settlements.
Mapping Populations at Greater Risk of Malaria Due to Hydroelectric Dams in Ethiopia: A Case Study of the Gilgel Gibe III Hydroelectric Dam
Malaria is a communicable disease that is spread by female mosquitos of the Anopheles genus. It is acutely prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of malaria deaths occur each year. One Sub-Saharan African country historically impacted by malaria is Ethiopia. In the past twenty years, malaria prevalence has been significantly decreased throughout Sub-Saharan Africa; yet, anthropogenic environmental changes are changing the landscape of malaria. Scholarly literature has cited a positive relationship between hydroelectric dams and malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Ethiopia is currently expanding their hydroelectric infrastructure. The Gilgel Gibe III hydroelectric dam is located on the Omo River in Southwestern Ethiopia. It began generating electricity in 2015 and its reservoir has a capacity of 14,700 million cubic meters of water. This research utilizes Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing to identify populations at an increased risk of malaria due to the Gilgel Gibe III hydroelectric dam. Two different techniques are utilized to quantify populations at an increased risk of malaria. The first technique is based solely on distance from the reservoir. It identifies all populations living within three kilometers of the reservoir as being at an increased risk. The second technique evaluates slope, elevation, NDVI, LST, and land use/landcover type to identify probable mosquito breeding sites. Then, locates populations living within three kilometers of those sites from remotely sensed imagery. The first technique identifies more people as being at an increased risk of malaria, but does not account for the conditions that are necessary for mosquito breeding.
Analyzing the Rate of Reconstruction and the Socioeconomic/ Cultural Regions in Post-Katrina New Orleans
Adrienne Swindle and Lisa Keys-Mathews
Following the 2005 environmental disaster event of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the surrounding cities of the Gulf Coast were forced to implement plans of recovery and reconstruction within their communities. Hurricane Katrina is known as one of the deadliest natural disaster events to occur in the United States. This research intends to show the relationship between cultural, economic and ethnic groups and the rate at which communities rebuild following a natural disaster. Do ethnic, economic, and cultural characteristics impact the rate at which a neighborhood redevelops following a natural disaster event? New Orleans provides a community with preexisting racial tensions and ethnic groups that exhibit a deep contrast in cultural communities and regions. Prior research conducted by Christina Finch and Susan Cutter has concluded that the rate of reconstruction is dependent on the “social vulnerability” of an area which is the “resilience of communities when confronted by external stresses on human health, stresses such as natural or human-caused disasters, or disease outbreaks.” (https://svi.cdc.gov/). This research will expand on this theory by also analyzing the ethnic and cultural characteristics of a region compared to the rebuilding of New Orleans. By using census and neighborhood data acquired from the Data Center Research Organization of New Orleans, the data will be cross-analyzed to find areas that have recovered which is defined based on its returned population, vacancy rates, and business continuity. This research expects to demonstrate through data analytics that there are slower patterns of recovery in historically ethnic locations.
This study examines China’s expansion in the Pacific Ocean, especially in the South China Sea, and how this expansion is portrayed in local media. China’s interventions in the Spratly and Paracel islands have the potential to cause regional and global disruption. What impact will China’s continuing expansion have on global power relations? Using a content analysis of various broadcast, print, and online news sources, I will identify how the populations of these states have reacted to Chinese expansion. Does non-Chinese media reporting suggest that China’s expansion an issue of concern? Or is this issue largely ignored? My results will indicate levels of awareness and concern in states inside and outside the region, and may help to understand why China has been able to occupy most islands of the South China Sea without facing any significant international response
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