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Spring NEARC 2019 has ended
Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Spring NEARC Conference! For tips on how to navigate this site, visit the "Helpful Info" section. To return to the NEARC website, go to: www.northeastarc.org/spring-nearc.html.

The schedule is subject to change (as of May 13, 2019). Please check back for updates.

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Posters [clear filter]
Tuesday, May 14
 

8:00am

POSTER: Demographic Factors Influencing the Spatial Distribution of Lottery Store Cash Prize Payouts
AUTHORS: Sasha Powers, and another student, TBD.

ABSTRACT: Students were introduced to ArcGIS this year. They were given 3 data sets, each with over 1600 features, of lottery stores. Attributes included name, location, and total store prize payout ($) in 2017. Students were shown how to upload csv files to ArcMap, how to symbolize the data, and how to use proportional symbology. Students were then asked to use demographics to analyze the spatial distribution of stores that had above average prize payouts. Students were shown how to locate data layers from ArcGIS Online, how to filter the data, and how to use analysis tools such as Aggregate.Data. Students created a count of points data table to determine the % of above average payout stores located in census blockgroups characterized by one, two, or three attributes: '25% or more of the population is identified as minority, 25% or more of the households have an income below 65% of the 2010 state median, and/or 25% of the households include no one over the age of 14 who speaks English well or very well.' This data layer was called the MA Environmental Justice layer. Students found a disproportionate number of stores were found in these census blockgroups and that this phenomenon was 2-3 times greater than comparable stores in neighborhoods with high median income ($1000,000). Students noted that given this findings, the lottery as a revenue tool raises many questions for further discussion and analysis.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Evaluating Bias of FEMA’s Disaster Relief Aid After Hurricane Harvey
AUTHORS: Allison Brown, Eastern Connecticut State University

ABSTRACT: In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf Coast of the United States and resulted in $125 billion in damages.  Recovery from a national disaster like this requires necessary mitigation strategies to occur for continued resiliency and sustainability of the community.  This is the primary goal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which allocates funds at the discretion of the federal administration upon receiving a state governments’ appeal for disaster assistance. As such, FEMA distributed $1.5 billion in federal funds over the following year to the heaviest hit states including Texas and Louisiana. Although FEMA must abide by Section 308 and 309 of the Stafford Act which prohibits discrimination of funds based on race, disability, sex, English proficiency, home ownership or economic status, research has shown that FEMA has distributed funds unethically after natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina.  Thus, this study statistically and spatially analyzed whether socio-economic factors were significant in predicting the quantity of aid received.  Results of the multivariable regression analysis identified that the percent of people speaking one language at home (French) was significant in determining allocation of disaster relief per county, yet this only explained 2% of the observed disaster relief aid. Therefore, results suggest FEMA did not discriminate by the socio-economic factors; FEMA has demonstrated the effectiveness of incorporating new approaches to reach affected communities. In the future, FEMA should continue to implement Congress’s inclusive approach towards creating resilient communities when mitigating areas through the usage of disaster aid relief.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Expanding the CitiBike Share Program: A GIS Approach to Identifying Potential Locations for New Docks
AUTHORS: Vincent Saputo

ABSTRACT: In the past decade, bike sharing systems have become an integral component of the North American urban landscape. In New York City, most residents choose to forgo the automobile for a variety of reasons, and are reliant on walking, cycling, and public transit for daily travel. In 2013, the City of New York launched their bike sharing program, CitiBike. Ever since, the program has proved increasingly successful, servicing a wide range of New Yorkers and tourists alike, providing an efficient alternative to walking and public transit. Consequently, the City intends to expand the program to 40,000 bikes within the next few years. However, city residents have voiced concerns over the social equity of the program, as many docks are in the wealthiest areas of New York. Recent efforts have been taken to offer lower income residents the opportunity to participate in the bike share program, including offering a discounted monthly membership for residents of NYC Housing Authority properties and residents receiving food assistance. Now, as the program continues to expand, the City will need to account for a variety of factors when deciding where to locate their next set of CitiBike Docks. In line with the new equity goals of the CitiBike program, this project attempts to identify the most suitable locations for new docks through various GIS applications.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Exploring Relationships between Bird Song Characteristics and Satellite Data
AUTHORS: David Guerra*, Saint Anselm College; Jay Pitocchelli, Saint Anselm College; Connor Gilbert, Saint Anselm College

ABSTRACT: Geographic variation in mating signals of birds is of interest to evolutionary biologists because the consequences of spatial divergence may lead to behavioral discrimination, assortative mating, and speciation. Spatial divergence may be influenced by environmental variables that affect sound transmission. To this end, we studied the geographic relationships between the song characteristics of the Mourning Warbler and environmental characteristics measured with satellite data. Specifically we investigated relationships between bird song characteristics, measured across Canada and across decades, to environmental indicators derived from Landsat data. We will present the processes we employed with ARCGIS Pro for this study.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Investigations on the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Collecting Thematic Map Accuracy Assessment Reference data in Complex Natural Environments.
AUTHORS: Benjamin T. Fraser* and Russell G. Congalton

ABSTRACT: With the expansion of modern technologies, remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) are able to capture and analyze data at ever progressing scales. These advances help todays? users create vital land cover and land use (thematic) maps using novel classification methods to represent increasingly complex environments. For these resulting thematic maps to serve as proper decision support tools for research and management, their accuracy must first be evaluated. The methods for assessing thematic accuracy have developed considerably over the years, now advising site-specific multivariate analysis using an error matrix. Despite improved methods of analysis, immense costs and time restraints on the collection of samples used as a standard of comparison for reality, reference data, often limit accuracy assessments. Many projects have high-resolution remote sensing, ground-based sampling, or maps of known accuracy as reference data, with ground-based reference data being the most sound yet costly. The relatively recent proliferation of Unmanned Aerial Systems (i.e., UAS, UAV, or Drone), with high spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions may help to overcome this challenge. Our research at the University of New Hampshire analyzed first the ability to collect data of sufficient comprehension, in New England Forests. Next, we conducted a pilot study over 377.57 ha of woodlands that achieved 71.43% and 85.71% agreement to ground-based samples under pixel-based and object-based classifications respectively despite noted sources of uncertainty. Future applications and research objectives are briefly discussed to further encourage the use of emerging technologies as tools for providing information at management needed scales.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Mapping Climate and Weather-Induced Vulnerabilities: A Case Study of Majuro Atoll
AUTHORS: Bryanna Weigel

ABSTRACT: The ways in which the island nations of Oceania have or have not been able to cope with the growing number of extreme and hazardous effects of climate change have made the region frequently looked on upon as an example of how other countries plan to address future weather and climatic events in their local regions. This project looks to examine the vulnerabilities to sea-level rise and extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and inundation, of coastal properties – both residential and commercial – on the Majuro Atoll of the Marshall Islands. To map the vulnerabilities experienced at a particular site in the region, this project will utilize data from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) detailing, at one-meter resolution, the topobathymetric characteristics of Majuro Atoll. The USGS data set consists of data sources dating back to 1944 and as recent as 2016, as well as 20,000 images using Structure from Motion (SfM) Imagery. Elevations calculated in the DEM data set will be used in combination with a georeferenced image base map of the Majuro atoll so that properties on the atoll can be located. Census data collected by the Marshall Islands government will provide key demographic information that will further highlight certain populations’ vulnerability.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Parcel-Based Suitability Analysis of Proposed Zoning Development Changes in Greenfield, MA
AUTHORS: Nathaniel Hussey, Antioch University New England, Keene NH; Steven Lamonde, Antioch University New England, Keene NH

ABSTRACT: To confront the realities of high property taxes and increased pressure to be more business friendly, Greenfield MA is debating amendments to its Zoning By-laws to encourage economic development. The amendments proposed on 14 February 2019 pertain to the Major Development review process, will allow for a larger maximum square footage of gross floor area for future non-residential construction projects in all city districts. To identify parcels in specific districts suitable for development per the proposed amendment, a parcel-based suitability model was developed to map development potential within six focus districts in Greenfield. Using GIS data layers from the Massachusetts GIS database, four submodels were created to account for natural features and built infrastructure on the landscape. Submodels were then weighted and combined to analyse each tax parcel?s overall suitability for development. Additionally, two Zonal Statistic analyses were run to determine the suitability of parcels, based on the slope of the landscape, and district-specific dimensional requirements for open space per parcel. This analysis determines which parcels within the six districts are suitable for development. The conclusions found in this analysis will provide a more holistic interpretation of many of Greenfield?s tax parcels. The findings will assist Greenfield?s Planning Board to more effectively review, evaluate and recommend development proposals. Additionally, the findings will assist the Greenfield Zoning Board of Appeals streamline their deliberation process and decision making on issues of special permits and variances under the Greenfield's Zoning Ordinance.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Runoff Analysis of Proposed Trails in Bellows Falls and Rockingham, Vermont
AUTHORS: Emmy Whistler*, Antioch University New England; Steven Lamonde, Antioch University New England; Joe Frigo, WCoTA

ABSTRACT: The non-profit Windham County Trail Alliance (WCoTA) is proposing to construct and maintain a recreational trail system on two publicly owned properties on Oak Hill in Rockingham and Bellows Falls, Vermont. Due to its geographical proximity to Minard's Pond, the drinking water reservoir for the town of Rockingham and the Village of Bellows Falls, runoff in this area has the potential to be a pollutant to this critical water source. By understanding the geography of runoff along Oak Hill it provides a tool of analysis for the local communities as they undertake projects in the area such as logging or trail building. As manufacturing and other historic industry continues to decline in the area, towns and villages in southern Vermont continue to look for alternative sources of economic security. WCoTA has proposed that outdoor recreation is the future of economic stability in this region and this hydrological analysis allows WCoTA to operate along Oak Hill with an understanding of the region's hydrology. Using the hydrology toolset in ArcMap, this analysis provides an accurate representation of runoff along the Oak Hill ridge line. This analysis benefits the local communities surrounding Oak Hill in a number of ways: trail expansion and construction can be undertaken in a manner that recognizes the importance of maintaining high quality drinking water for the town and looks to limit possible impacts to the regions hydrology and to limit any possibility of pollutants entering Minard's Pond.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Think Outside the Bulb: Modeling Solar Potential in Keene, New Hampshire
AUTHORS: Christopher Klem, Gwendolyn Thayer, Samantha Menke

ABSTRACT: The City of Keene has resolved to transition to 100% renewable energy by the year 2030. The purpose of this study is to provide a baseline assessment of the viability of this ambitious goal. In collaboration with the Keene Energy and Climate Committee, this research analyzes residential solar potential throughout Keene. Critical solar variables of rooftop pitch and orientation, as well as shadows are determined for every residential property in the City. These variables were input into Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a computer-mapping program that reveals which areas in Keene have the highest residential solar potential. Our methodology also includes SPSS statistical analysis to test survey results of 137 Keene State students regarding their knowledge of solar and renewable energy. Results from the GIS analysis and survey research support promising potential for a future in renewable energy for the City of Keene.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Tightening the “Diabetes Belt”
AUTHORS: Katrishia Bell, Eastern Connecticut State University

ABSTRACT: Diabetes, a condition where high amounts of sugar in the blood impairs the body’s ability to process glucose, has become a global concern given the epidemic proportions.  A high percentage of adult diabetics are located in developing countries and the U.S. is no exception.  The “Diabetes Belt” is composed of several states in the southeastern U.S. and is known for high rates of obesity and physical inactivity which are two of the leading contributors.  Given the physical and financial toll associated with diabetes, it’s critical to identify appropriate strategies to effectively reduce diabetes in this area.  Therefore, this analysis evaluated the spatial distribution of diabetes prevalence for the Diabetes Belt and statistically evaluated the influence of physical inactivity and obesity, as well as socioeconomic factors, to explain diabetes prevalence.  Socioeconomic factors considered included income, age, sex, educational attainment, poverty, health insurance, food stamps and poverty, foreign born citizens, race, and employment status.  Clustering of high diabetes prevalence were evident in many counties of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee.  The global multivariable regression model indicated physical inactivity, obesity, and all socioeconomic variables except educational attainment were significant in explaining diabetes prevalence (95% confidence interval) yet this model only explained 64% of diabetes prevalence rates in the southeast.  The variability in the socioeconomic and health factors identified suggests the Diabetes Belt would benefit from participating in the CDC’s state and local public health actions which develop prevention strategies which involve environmental interactions, health care systems, and community programs to reduce diabetes.  

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Using ArcGIS to Document Health of Eel Grass Habitats
AUTHORS: Lucy Clay, Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research

ABSTRACT: Citizen-science plays a key role in the global effort to conserve seagrasses such as mangrove habitats and eel grass beds in coastal New England. Students from the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research has been engaged in this global effort since 2015 and have been using ArcGIS tools over the years to document the location, extent, health, and habitat of eel grass beds in Cohasset waters. Using Collector on mobile devices and ArcGIS Online in the classroom, students have experimented with various ways to illustrate attributes of healthy beds that include, but are not limited to the following: length of shoots, number of shoots, presence of broken shoots, percent tunicate coverage, percent reproductive shoots, sediment characteristics, wasting disease, and presence of epiphytes (algal growth). Many GIS iterations have taken place over the years as students have struggled with methodologies (snorkeling v using GoPros), GPS considerations (above water, below water), and ArcGIS Online analysis tools (interpolation, density). Much has been learned, and students will display latest findings as well as present evidence from EPA stakeholders that their citizen science efforts and GIS applications make a difference to those charged with protecting this vital ecosystem resource. 

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Using ArcGIS to Document Spatial Distribution of Marine Debris
AUTHOR: Beck LaBash, Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research

ABSTRACT: Citizen-science plays a key role in understanding the plastic pollution problem that plagues our oceans. Students from the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research have been engaged in this global effort since 2015 and have been using ArcGIS tools over the years to document Marine Debris. Many GIS iterations have taken place over the years as students have struggled with methodologies (snorkeling v using GoPros), GPS considerations (above water, below water), and ArcGIS Online analysis tools (interpolation, density). Students will display latest findings and analyses conducted using ArcGIS Online.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Using Inkscape Software to Produce Disc Golf Course Maps and Signage
AUTHORS: David Scherf, City of Torrington

ABSTRACT: Using freely available orthoimagery and digital elevation data from the State of Connecticut and a couple of long tape measures, this poster shows how the freely available, open-source vector graphics software Inkscape, along with ArcGIS desktop, was used to produce disc golf course maps and signage for the Alvord Park Disc Golf Course, a joint venture of the Tri-State Disc Golf Club and the City of Torrington. The GIS data created during this project was also exported to ArcGIS Online and used to populate a Story Map for the disc golf course.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: Weeding Out Canada Thistle
AUTHORS: Taylor Brown, Eastern Connecticut State University

ABSTRACT: Globally, invasive non-native species have contributed to 40% of animal extinctions over the last 400 years and caused a 5% loss of annual production to the world economy. Canada Thistle is one of the most prevalent, invasive weeds on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Minnesota, occurring in 65 to 75% of CRP fields.  The potential economic losses due to further invasion of this plant makes evaluating the current distribution and the potential environmental/biotic factors contributing to the expansion critical for Minnesota.  Therefore, the objective of this study was to spatially and statistically identify the significance of land use and environmental characteristics on the density of Canada Thistle.  Contributors to Canada Thistle invasion included temperature, precipitation, elevation, disturbances (roads, streams, and wildfires) and the presence of other invasive weeds including Common Tansy, European Buckthorn, and Spotted Knapweed. Towns in Minnesota where high and low densities of Canada Thistle clustered were determined and a multivariable regression analysis was performed at the global and local scale to evaluate the relationship of environmental and disturbance factors, as well as the presence of other invasive plants, on Canada Thistle. Results showed that the presence of Common Tansy and the density of wildfires were significant in predicting the density of Canada Thistle.  High densities of Canada Thistle were observed where Common Tansy was present yet in locations with a low density of wildfires.  Thus, fire ecology may be an appropriate management strategy for eradicating Canada Thistle in Minnesota if proven to benefit the entire ecosystem.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: What is the Real Dead Zone?
AUTHORS: Morgan Kuryluk, Eastern Connecticut State University

ABSTRACT: Despite the increased incidence of brain tumors, brain cancer remains relatively uncommon making it the least understood and studied cancer.  However, the increased use and dependence of cellular technology in completing everyday tasks has many questioning the safety of the technology given the emitted radiation and harm to human health. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to use a geographic information system to evaluate the spatial distribution of deaths attributed to brain cancer and statistically evaluate whether cell phone towers were significant in predicting the observed brain cancer death rates across the northeastern U.S.  This analysis also considered socioeconomics (income) and air pollution (nitrogen dioxide) as additional predictors of brain cancer distributions.  Clustering of high brain cancer death rates were present in counties along the east coast which included Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.  Results of the global multivariable regression model indicated that median household income and the number of cell phone towers were significant and explained 55% of the observed brain cancer death rates across the northeast.  In conclusion, despite results of previous studies, the potential harm and increased risk of brain cancer due to cell phones should continue to be studied as results from this study suggest that cell phone towers, and potentially the radiation emitted from the towers, do have an influence on brain cancer.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)

8:00am

POSTER: What’s Making It Harder to Breathe in the Southeast?
AUTHORS: Erick Bora, Eastern Connecticut State University

ABSTRACT: Currently COPD is the 4th leading cause of death worldwide and it’s projected to become the 3rd leading cause of death by 2030 unless necessary steps are taken to reduce the underlying risk factors. COPD prevalence is high south of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River, yet little research has been conducted to address this issue. The objective of this study was to analyze the spatial distribution of COPD prevalence and statistically determine the significance of socioeconomics, occupation, air quality, physical inactivity, household size, and smoking in predicting rates of COPD. High COPD rates clustered in eastern Kentucky, western Virginia, and southern Missouri which corresponded to areas with high smoking rates. Smokers, healthcare workers, construction workers, age, and percent of people physically inactive were statistically significant in predicting these distributions. Thus, medical professionals and health officials should address these underlying risks to reduce COPD in the U.S.

Tuesday May 14, 2019 8:00am - 5:00pm
STUDENT CENTER: 1st Floor Lobby (Appian Way Entrance)