Associate Professor
Department of Community
and Regional Planning

Phone: 515.294.8979
Office: 583 College of Design

Resume Teaching Students GIS Seminar Iowa State University GIS Certificate Program GIS Links GIS Workshops

GIS Seminar

The seminar starts promptly at 12:10 p.m. and ends around 1:00 p.m. - located in the GIS Lab, Room 526 at the College of Design.

February 19, 2018
12:10 pm

Cody Barrett, Senior Design/Developer, Consultant at Iowa Dept. of Transportation

WeatherView: An application for Iowa DOT

February 26, 2018
12:10 pm

Pete Buckingham, GISP, JCG Land Services, Inc.

GIS applications for the utility and public works sectors

March 5, 2018
12:10 pm

Teresa Blader, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Entomology
Adviser: Dr. Monica Haddad

Estimating milkweed stem density effects on monarch butterfly oviposition on gravel roadsides in Iowa utilizing GIS

Abstract: Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, overwintering populations in Mexico have declined along with monarch butterfly habitat in the Midwest for the summer breeding season. Roadsides provide an important milkweed resource for ovipositing monarch butterflies and hungry caterpillars. Establishing quality habitat for successful monarch butterfly reproduction includes patch size and patch density, and monarchs have been shown to lay more eggs on isolated stems. In a gravel roadside landscape, it becomes challenging to determine which stems are “isolated”. In this study all milkweed stems were georeferenced on 4 separate miles of Iowa gravel roadsides. The number of neighbors joined from buffers at various distances was used in a regression model to determine the effect neighbor density has on stem egg density. This value also assisted in determining an aggregation scheme to produce a Global and local Moran’s I test statistic to determine if egg density is correlated to patch size. In this study we also extrapolated the collected data to produce a hypothetical estimate of the number of stems Iowa gravel roadsides could produce if they were managed in similar ways as Story and Boone Counties. These results are used to inform the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium on appropriate habitat restoration strategies.

March 19, 2018
12:10 pm

Penny Vossler, Boone County GIS Coordinator

Life of an Iowa County GIS Coordinator - knowledge and useful skills, other duties as assigned

April 02, 2018 (two presentations, class ends at 1:30 pm)
12:10 pm

Courtney Lynn Zambory, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
Adviser: Dr. Clay Pierce

Integrating LiDAR Landscape Analysis and Species Distribution Models to Prioritize Areas for Restoration in a Highly Modified Landscape

Abstract: Coupling the high-resolution visualization of the earth's surface with species distribution models (SDM)s have the potential to improve conservation activities by supporting managers’ selection of suitable areas for restoration. In Iowa and Minnesota conservation efforts for the federally endangered Topeka Shiner (Notropis topeka) focus on restoring off-channel areas in riparian floodplains to provide habitat that has been lost through anthropogenic alterations of the stream and riparian zone. To create sustainable habitats and protect restored areas from complete dissection, relic stream channels and oxbow scars are ideal target locations for restoration as they have a greater level of connectivity to the groundwater table. Using LiDAR-derived digital elevation models (DEM)s we have developed a process to identify areas of relic stream meanders and oxbow scars as candidate site locations. We then created a SDM for Topeka Shiners in our area of study based on landscape variable associations to oxbow site presence/absence records. Overlaid, these data allowed us to prioritize candidate sites based both on site availability and habitat suitability. Our goal is to streamline and guide restoration site selection so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the conservation of one of Iowa’s native fish species.

Qilin Liu, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Civil Engineering
Adviser: Dr. Shauna L. Hallmark

Applying GIS to compare urban and rural intersection crashes in Iowa.

Abstract: Geographic information system (GIS) is a worldwide tool for visualization of any data and it has been used in transportation safety application. GIS were used by a lot of traffic agencies for accident analysis and the purpose of utilizing GIS is because it helps to locate crashes and safety deficient areas. US Department of Transportation (USDOT) (2001) stated that transportation accidents were ranked as the seventh single leading cause of death. Previous study shows that intersection crashes account for 30 percent of severe crashes and 40 percent crashes happening in rural intersections. To identify high crashes point or intersection Hot Spots in Benton, Clay, and Buena Vista counties in Iowa. A 250ft buffer will be created in each intersection and all crashes that are within the buffer will be counted as intersection related crashes. City/urban area and rural area will be identified. Hot Spots and crashes type will be compared between rural area and urban area. Countermeasures such as overhead beacons, stop sign mounted beacons and other stop sign treatments will be suggested after this analysis.

April 09, 2018 (two presentations, class ends at 1:30 pm)
12:10 pm

Jevan James, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Adviser: Dr. Shauna Hallmark

Comparing Flashing beacons treatment for crashes at Rural Intersections in Iowa

Abstract: In Iowa, intersection crashes account for 30 percent of severe crashes, with 40 percent of those crashes occurring in rural areas. Rural intersection crashes can be very severe due to the high approach speeds present. Additionally, emergency response is often longer in rural areas which exacerbates the severity of crashes when they do occur. Crashes at rural intersections are frequently a result of failure to yield. As a result, agencies attempt to find countermeasures which encourage drivers to stop and yield appropriately. The objective of this research is to select one or two high crash rural intersection treatments and evaluating their impact on improving safety. The GIS Portion of this project will involve comparing the selected crash locations that have flashing beacons installed to crashes in 2004 and 2014 to note any changes and trends and reasons for these changes. These changes will prove how accurate the Iowa DOT was in selecting these treatment locations and also prove if socioeconomic reasons influence choosing these locations.

April 16, 2018
12:10 pm

Willine Richardson, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Adviser: Dr. Shauna Hallmark

Evaluating Socioeconomic Aspect to Consumer Acceptance of Biofuels in Iowa

Abstract: In Iowa, 53 percent of the corn harvest is used for ethanol production. Almost two-fifth of the ethanol that is generated is used for fuel. The Iowa General Assembly legislated an act item in 2006 (H.F.2754) with the objective to replace 25 percent of the petroleum used in the formation of gasoline with biofuels by 2020. However, the state of Iowa has only allocated biofuels at the rate of 0.7 percent per year hence, the set target of replacing 25 percent of gasoline with biofuels by 2020 would not be satisfied. Therefore, this underscores the need for programs such as “Fueling our Future,” which was created as an effort to gain a greater understanding of the impacts of alternative blends of ethanol-based fuels. Hence, as part of the program, surveys were conducted at various gas stations in Iowa. The purpose of these surveys were to investigate consumer fuel choices as well as the reasoning behind those choices. With the use of Geographic Information System (GIS), the socioeconomic aspect of the area where the target gas stations are located will be investigated to determine possible influential factors regarding consumer awareness to alternative fuel choices.

April 23, 2018 (two presentations, class ends at 1:30 pm)
12:10 pm

Pawan Upadhyay, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Adviser: Dr. Amy Kaleita

Estimates of farm depressions in the Prairie Pothole Region of Iowa based on remote sensing and GIS.

Abstract: Nearly 90% of the four million acres of farm depressions in Iowa have been lost to agriculture and urban development. The management of these farmed wetlands has received inadequate attention, identification of wetland’s location and its extent is an integral part of wetland management, it is important to identify the depth, extent and location of wetlands as precise as possible in order to proceed further with any kind of management operation. So, we will be identifying the pothole depressions in the agricultural fields near Iowa State University using digital elevation model (DEM), which is created in the GIS environment using LIght Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data. Specifically, we will see how to download the LiDAR data, processing of data to form a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and clipping the DEM to the study area. Then we will develop depth-area and depth-volume relationships for surface depressions from the site topography data in order to translate the observed depth data into estimates of pothole water area and water volume. Finally, we will see the application of created DEM in the hydrological modeling of farmed depressions (potholes) in Des Moines lobe region of the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) located just outside of Ames.

Natalie Thompson, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
Adviser: Dr. Yuyu Zhou

Constructing a three-dimensional urban model from LIDAR data

Abstract: Urban growth is playing a significant and ever increasing role in environmental change, particularly with respect to energy use, emissions and the formation of urban heat islands. We can use GIS mapping techniques to monitor the impacts of urban development on the environment. Typically, the size of a city is determined by its two-dimensional area, but as more cities grow upwards rather than outwards, we also need to take the height of these cities into consideration. The main goal of this project is to create a model that can be used to determine the three-dimensional footprint of urban areas, using LANDSAT imagery and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data. The initial model is based on data from the Des Moines metro area, which is determined based on land cover type and the % impervious surface. LIDAR data will provide a way to quantify the height of buildings, and thus construct a three-dimensional model of Des Moines. Once complete, this model will be tested on cities with markedly different footprints, including Shanghai, New York and London.

April 30, 2018 (three presentations, class ends at 2:10 pm)
12:10 pm

Kwasi Abebrese, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Community and Regional Planning
Adviser: Dr. Christopher Seeger and Dr. Alenka Poplin

Retrofitting the Street Addressing System in an Evolving Urban Center. A Case Study of the Kumasi Metropolitan Area in Ghana.

Abstract: The contribution of an efficient street addressing system towards effective urban management cannot be gainsaid. The system makes it possible to identify the location of a parcel or dwelling in an urban area to facilitate service delivery, revenue generation and emergency response services. Recent rapid urbanization in many African countries has increased the need for an efficient street addressing system. The lack of an efficient and standardized addressing system coupled with the mounting rate of urbanization hinders the efficient delivery of courier and emergency response services as well as effective revenue generation by local government authorities and central revenue agencies. The study therefore highlights the significance of an effective street addressing system in efforts to deal with the challenges posed by urbanization as well as attaining United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) eleven (11) which focuses on the creation of sustainable cities and communities. It specifically examines the effectiveness of the various approaches use in address database management with a view of drawing important lessons to enhance implementation processes within the Kumasi Metropolitan Area in Ghana. In other words, the study seeks to explore the techniques used in address geocoding as well as address database management in order to propose a context-appropriate address model/prototype for the Kumasi Metropolitan Area in Ghana.

Elaine Vizka, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Agronomy
Adviser: Dr. Bradley Miller

Optimizing soil health testing and soil mapping using GIS tools.

Abstract: Understanding the interactions of land-use management and landscape position on soil health is important to create predictive soil maps that capture soil processes. Our goal is to optimize soil health assessments and understand the relationship between soil health indicators, land-use management, and landscape position. A modified stratified sampling design based on management treatment, hillslope position, and aspect was created using GIS tools. Soils from two sites of long-term research plots in central and northeast Iowa were sampled from 0-15 centimeters at the V5 corn growth stage. Soil health indices were analyzed in the laboratory. The physical properties measured were soil moisture content and particle size distribution. The biological processes measured were dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, and soil respiration. The chemical attributes measured were pH, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Predictive soil property maps were interpolated and created using Kriging and Spline in ArcGIS. Results indicate hillslope position has the most consistent significant effect on soil health metrics, and the subsequent soil property maps follow this pattern.

Daniel Dvorjak, GIS Certificate Candidate, Department of Community and Regional Planning
Adviser: Dr. Mônica A. Haddad

Abstract: Cities throughout the Midwest are investing in public transportation to promote sustainability. A well-connected, walkable transportation system reduces greenhouse gas emissions and promotes equity, two important goals to achieve a sustainable future. Ensuring that there are walkable sidewalks integrated into the public transit helps people who rely on public transit the most, the poor, the elderly and young people, access well-connected transportation. Within central Iowa, Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART), wants to determine how walkable the areas around their bus stops are. The main goal of this project is to spatially analyze the sidewalk connectivity within the DART service area. This will be accomplished in three steps, Spatial Analyst, Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), and Automation. Spatial Analyst tools will be used to determine the current locations of sidewalks. ESDA will identify where there are populations that are more reliant on public transportation. Automation will combine these previous steps to identify where sidewalks are missing from the DART service area and compare these missing sidewalks to areas with public transit dependent populations. This project will allow DART to understand if and where they need to make investments into sidewalks. This project will additionally benefit the City of Des Moines and the region to meet their planning goals of becoming more walkable communities with diversified transportation options.

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Department of Community and Regional Planning, College of Design, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011-3091

Monica A. Haddad