URISA is pleased to announce the results of its 2011 URISA Student Competition. Submissions were received in both Paper and Poster categories. The evaluation criteria and submissions are posted online.

Student Paper Awards

First Place Paper: Estimating Phosphorous Potential from Non-Point Source Pollution to Determine High-Risk Areas in the Missisquoi Watershed: A comparison of the Endreny and Wood and Sivertun and Prange Models
Submitted by: Taylor Riso, Lewis and Clark College

ABSTRACT: This paper describes a raster-based comparison of the Endreny and Wood (2003) and Sivertun and Prange (2003) models for estimating the amount of phosphorous loading from non-point sources. Endreny and Wood use an unweighted and weighted export coefficient model in which the weighted model accounts for topography and buffers. The Sivertun and Prange model characterizes loading by ranking soil, slope, watercourse, and land use variables.  Both models were used in the Missisquoi watershed of northwestern Vermont to predict areas of high risk for phosphorous loading. The results of this paper should be compared with actual phosphorous loading in the Missisquoi watershed to determine their accuracy.

Second Place Paper: Spatial Analysis of US Ethanol Production Infrastructure Vulnerability to Flooding
Submitted by: Yingying Chen and Nicholas Cuba, Clark University

ABSTRACT: Early-growing season, long duration floods are harmful to the cultivation of maize, the source of 80% of the US bioethanol fuel. Due to the centrality of this industry to US government efforts to bolster domestic energy production, Midwest flooding has implications for US energy production. This paper uses spatial statistics to characterize the spatial distribution of ethanol plants relative to maize production in twelve Midwestern US states which account for approximately 90% of US corn production. County-based territories are delineated for each of the 176 plants in these states, and the total maize production and average annual production are summed for each plant. Multi-decadal flooding data from the Dartmouth Flood Observatory (1982-2007) are used in conjunction with data from the US Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistical Service to derive flood risk levels for each plant, and for total production capacity in the region.

Third Place Paper: Minimizing Transportation Costs with Location-Allocation Analysis: An Application to Recycling
Submitted by: Laura Reading, University of Southern Maine and University of Michigan

ABSTRACT: Ecomaine, a regional non-profit waste management company in Portland, Maine, sought to reduce transportation costs to member communities that transport recycling in 30 square yard collection roll-off containers (known as “silver bullets”) to the Ecomaine recycling facility. This study objective was to minimize transportation costs by identifying the minimum number of consolidation locations to serve all silver bullets in fewer than twenty miles and the minimum number of locations to serve all silver bullets in fewer than thirty miles using the location-allocation analysis tool in GIS. The economic benefits of using the new consolidation locations were calculated by determining the net cost savings based on the reduction in distance traveled. The environmental benefits were also calculated by determining the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions based on the reduction in distance traveled.

Student Poster Awards

– Winning Poster Submission:
Mapping and Monitoring Storm Drain Outfalls on the Raritan River
Scott Jablonski and Nicola Mammes, Rutgers University

Honorable Mentions:

– Community Gardens, Food Deserts and Vacant Lots – Chicago’s Opportunity
John Owens, Chicago State University

– Considering Public Art Within the Context of Urban Revitalization and Redevelopment
Rebecca Davoudian and Nicola Mammes, Rutgers University

– Using R to Produce Maps for Google’s My Maps
Erin Hodgess, University of Houston – Downtown

Congratulations to all of the participants! Again, the submissions and evaluation criteria are all posted online.

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