University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

Fall - Winter 2007

DEVELOPMENT OF THE WATERSHED EVALUATION TOOL USING REMOTELY SENSED DATA

Amy T. Haase and Cynthia N. Cudaback, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
North Carolina State University

Toby N. Carlson
Department of Meteorology
Pennsylvania State University

Abstract

When analyzing the effects that proposed land development might have on water quality, managers and other decision makers can now use satellite data to capture high level metrics like the ratio between vegetation and impervious surface area (ISA) to predict water quality.  This paper addresses scientific issues in predicting water quality and demonstrates the capabilities of the final model dressed up in an interactive website (www.sharp.psu.edu).  To create and precisely tune the model, statistical regression equation relating woodland and impervious surface area to nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment yields in 42 Pennsylvania watersheds were developed to predict nutrient and sediment loading in Pennsylvania and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.  This topic is of interest to watershed managers, conservation groups, urban and regional planners and developers as well as educators and physical geographers.


WATER QUALITY PERCEPTIONS AND FERTILIZER APPLICATION PRACTICES OF PROPERTY OWNERS ALONG THE WICOMICO RIVER, MARYLAND

Dr. X. Mara Chen, Department of Geography and Geosciences
Salisbury University

Dr. Judith Stribling, Department of Biological Sciences
Salisbury University

David Mueller, Department of Geography
University of Delaware

Carrie Kellams, Delmarva Power Sports, LLC

Zachary Baccala, GIS Analyst II, PBS&J
 
Abstract

Anthropogenic nutrient loading has caused substantial degradation of water quality in Chesapeake Bay. Agricultural fertilizers and wastewater treatment plants have been two major nutrient sources. However, residential fertilizer has become an increasingly important nutrient source due to its widespread use and extensive land use conversion from agricultural to residential. This study conducted a survey on water quality perceptions and fertilizer application practices of waterfront residents along the Wicomico River in Maryland. Overall, 72% of the participants applied fertilizers to their properties, with an average application frequency of 2.3 times per year. A majority (62%) believed that the quality of the Wicomico River had declined, yet 62% did not test the nutrient content of the soil to see whether fertilizers were needed. Over 71% ranked the Salisbury Wastewater Treatment Plant as the most important contributor, and only 1% ranked “residential runoff” as the largest contributor to the water quality decline.


SEASONAL AND HISTORICAL EVAPORATION ESTIMATES FOR A SMALL RESERVOIR IN SOUTH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

Kristopher K. Goetz and Timothy W. Hawkins, Department of Geography and Earth Science
Shippensburg University

Abstract

Evaporation estimates were made for a small municipal water supply reservoir in south central Pennsylvania using two common methods for estimating evaporation: the bulk profile and Thornthwaite methods.  Data, including air temperature, water surface temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity, were collected from a meteorological buoy from May 17 to Oct 20, 2006.  Thornthwaite evaporation estimates were generally higher during warm periods while bulk profile estimates were larger during cooler periods.  However, over the five-month period estimates differed by 9.1%.  Using historical meteorological data and the Thornthwaite method, 23.9 m of water (683 mm/yr) were estimated to have evaporated from the reservoir over its life.  Estimated evaporation has been increasing in conjunction with known climate changes in the region. 


A NEW POTENTIAL WATER SUPPLY SOURCE FOR BUCHAREST CITY

Alina Cocos, Center for Environmental Research and Impact Studies
and
Octavian Cocos, Department of Geography
University of Bucharest

Abstract

This paper summarizes a research project carried out with the purpose of identifying a new water supply source for Bucharest City. The drillings in the Uzunu area, south of Bucharest, have intercepted a deep Cretaceous aquifer made up of limestones with cave-like hollows filled with water. Unfortunately, the high content of hydrogen sulphide has hindered so far the authorities from using it directly to cover consumption demand of population and industry. Although the treatment technology is available the high production costs and the great distance from the existing treatment stations to the city are limiting factors for the future expanding of Bucharest water supply system. However, efforts have been made in order to find the best solutions to overcome this situation.


ZEBRA MUSSEL (DREISSENA POLYMORPHA) INVASION INTO THE PLATTE RIVER: USING GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) AND GENETIC ALGORITHM RULE-SET PREDICTION (GARP) TO MODEL SPREAD

Mitchel J. Stimers, Department of Geography
Kansas State University

Abstract

The introduction of non-native species has been one of the most damaging human impacts on specific ecosystems and the environment in general.  Invasive species, such as the Zebra Mussel (Dreisenna polymorpha), are often introduced into an ecosystem inadvertently, but with negative and far-reaching effects on native species.  D. polymorpha, since its introduction, has exhibited a devastating talent for altering the trophic state of lakes and rivers, and has rapidly populated many throughout North America.  Two rules added to a genetic algorithm rule-set prediction (GARP) model reflected the temporal dimension and the spatial extent of spread.  Utilizing GARP, TableCurve, and GIS, an attempt to model several possible scenarios was made.  Results of the models proved to be crude, but serve to illustrate the potential for D. polymorpha to continue spreading deeper into the United States as well as the difficulty in predicting the spread of an invasive species.



PROXIMITY TO JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND THE COMMUTING TIME GENDER GAP IN PENNSYLVANIA

Melanie A. Rapino and Thomas J. Cooke, Department of Geography
University of Connecticut

Abstract

Women have shorter commutes to work than men, especially married women.  The geographical literature points toward these shorter commutes as evidence that married women are “spatially entrapped” in searching for ubiquitous, low-wage, secondary labor market opportunities close to home for a variety of reasons, but primarily because traditional gender-based family roles limit the time available for searching for jobs. Thus, this research improves the specification of models of the gender gap in commuting time by incorporating a more precise measure of job access using data from the 5% sample of the 2000 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) of the U.S. Census (Ruggles et al. 2004).  The authors concluded that gender roles, not proximity to jobs, are an important explanation for women’s shorter commutes and provide support for the spatial entrapment hypothesis. 



ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF TRUCKING AND WAREHOUSING IN SOUTH-CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

Kurt Fuellhart and Paul Marr, Department of Geography and Earth Science
Shippensburg University

Abstract

This study focuses on the economic impact of trucking and warehousing on the southern Interstate 81 (I-81) corridor in south-central Pennsylvania – specifically in Franklin and Cumberland Counties.  We estimate the economic contributions that trucking and warehousing make to the combined two-county region using input-output analysis and IMPLAN regional modeling software.  When multiplier effects are accounted for, we find that the trucking and warehousing industries contribute $2.5 billion in regional output, approximately 28,000 jobs, and about $1.41 billion in value added.  While the region is very attractive to both trucking and warehousing from a relative locational standpoint, labor shortages, a diminishing quantity of prime undeveloped real estate and community opposition to further growth may be important limiting factors for the industries in the future.


THE HEADCOUNT APPROACH TO MEASURING PEDESTRIANISM:  A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF FIVE NEIGHBORHOODS IN JOHNSTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

Aaron Mulhollen, Department of Geography
University of Maryland

Abstract

This paper investigates pedestrian behavior in five Johnstown, Pennsylvania neighborhoods with different physical and socio-economic characteristics. The primary method of data gathering was to conduct “headcounts” – recording the number of pedestrians through direct observation. At discrete time periods, observation teams conducted simultaneous pedestrian counts at the study sites. Data from the Census was subsequently used to correlate socio-economic characteristics with neighborhood pedestrian behavior. Previous studies of pedestrianism has used aggregate survey data; however, the headcount approach also allows for the comparison of individual, qualitative neighborhoods characteristics that can augment planners’ understanding of what factors affect pedestrian behavior.