Browsing Theses and Dissertations, Capstones, and Directed Research by Title
Results Per Page
Item0% More Water: A Geographic Comparison of the Conservation Strategies of San Antonio Water Systems and Colorado Springs Utilities(2011-05) Rowell, Melissa; Stroup, Laura J.Water is one of the most precious commodities in the world. While water as a resource is often taken for granted by those in developed countries, the availability of water as a basic necessity for human life is in doubt due to human misuse, overuse, and population growth. Conservation is by far the most effective means to reduce demand for new and threatened water resources. It offers hope to humanity in terms of the challenging problems surrounding water resources. The purpose of this study is to critically analyze what conservation practices were chosen by Colorado Springs Utilities and San Antonio Water Systems in order to improve water use efficiency in semi-arid municipalities in the United States. As two rapidly growing regions with limited new water sources and groundbreaking water conservation initiatives, these utilities provide a model for other regions to contend with rapid water demand increases without similar increases in water supply. Based upon this geographic comparison, a municipality looking to conservation measures should first use technology, like high efficiency toilets, to reduce demand. However, in the long run, this will not be enough. Changing the social acceptability of water waste and changing associated behaviors and constant conservation program reassessment, will have to be the long-term water conservation strategies in U.S. cities. The most effective way for utilities to change their customers water use habits is to educate them on making conscious and personal decisions to use less water and to use the water they do need more efficiently. Item2-D Transition Metal Cyanide Nanosheets as Precursor Material for an Ultra-Low Platinum Group Metal Catalyst(2014-05) Nash, Tyler; Beall, Gary W.; Powell, Clois E.; Martin, Benjamin R.; Ji, Chang; Badrinarayanan, Vishag A.Two methods were developed to coat activated carbon with NiPt(CN)4 nanosheets by reacting potassium tetracyanoplatinate(II) with nickel(II) sulfate in the presence of the carbon substrate. The modification of pH released nickel(II) ions from the carbon surface to participate in the reaction. Upon pyrolysis, a Pt-Ni alloy was formed. Based on EDS and XPS data, platinum had segregated to the surface of the metallic structure in higher concentration samples. The Pt-Ni catalyst exhibited significant activity in the hydrogenation of styrene to ethylbenzene. When compared to a catalyst prepared by traditional methods, the Pt-Ni catalyst prepared from NiPt(CN)4 nanosheet precursors exhibited up to 2.8x the activity on a platinum metal basis. Item2-Dimensional Intercalated Cyano-Metallate Complexes- Approach to Ultrafiltration(2019-05) Adebiyi, Babatunde Mattew; Beall, Gary W.; Martin, Benjamin R.; Lewis, Kevin; Zakhidov, Alexander; Chittenden, William T.
The discovery of graphene and other two-dimensional (2-D) materials has opened the way for a huge opportunity in material development, manipulation, and their corresponding potential applications. 2-D materials including graphene have been shown to have unique properties such as high electrical conductivity, high mobility, and high surface area. These properties have made 2-dimensional materials amenable to small scale electronic applications, molecular sieves and for high strength composite applications. Despite the promise graphene holds, it has been difficult to completely harness its potential because it is difficult and expensive to produce single layer graphene sheets in substantial quantity. A unique class of 3-dimensional nanomaterials that can be produced in substantial quantity and cost effectively processed into 2-dimensional hybrid structures are the Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs). MOFs, which are basically a composition of molecular complexes formed between metals and salts, organic and inorganic molecules, have been rationalized to be a coordination complex with a stereospecific structure. Transition Metal Cyanates are a unique class of 3-dimensional cyanometallate network. The most common are hexacyano transition metal complexes with divalent transition metal counter ions. We have prepared and exfoliated transition metal cyanates into 2-dimensional structures by exfoliation into separates sheets. Hybrid 2-D structures have also been produced and studied by intercalation with organic linkers.
Density Function Theory (DFT) studies have predicted an increase in the d spacing of potassium tetra-cyanonickelate, on substitution with di-metallic cation such as Fe2+, Mn2+, Cd2+ and Co2+, and additional processing with organic linkers. Dodecyl pyrrolidone (DDP) was used to intercalate the metal complexes and X-ray diffraction results showed significant peak shifts to the left on all metal complexes, corroborating the DFT predictions. The increased distance between layers allows for further separation into exfoliated sheets. In this report, we have demonstrated an approach for producing a long range defect-free 2-D sheets. We have grown di-metallic cation complexes of Fe2+, Mn2+, Ni2+ and Co2+ on Teflon supports. This was done by placing hydrophilic 1.0 micron Teflon as a barrier between a desired salt of the complex and potassium tetracyano nickelate. The desired metal complex was formed by diffusion of the opposing solution in the Teflon support. The membrane was dried and used as barrier for Na+ ion selectivity test. The test was carried with 1.0 M NaCl. The solution was pumped under vacuum through the membrane, and a pristine membrane was used as a control. Results showed that the Fe and Mn tetracyano nickelate selectively reject Na+ ion salts while control experiments proved otherwise.
These results hold promise for material applications in waste water remediation, separations, desalination, and purification. In this work, we also reported a simple process of synthesizing Nickel Ferrite-graphitic layers with inverted magnetic hysteresis.
Item2011 Assessment of Smart Growth in Austin, Texas(2011-04) Summerville, Jason; Longoria, Thomas; DeSoto, William H.; Garza, Ana LisaSmart Growth refers to a variety of goals focused on curbing urban sprawl throughout the world. Though it has the potential to resolve many of the current problems faced by American cities, Smart Growth has yet to be formalized into a coherent policy. In the United States, some cities have tried and succeeded but others have failed in developing sustainable Smart Growth practices. In Austin, Texas, Smart Growth became a goal for future planning and was implemented in 1999 to create a "smarter," more sustainable city. This research paper gauged the current implementation of Smart Growth practices with an emphasis on Partnerships, Development Models and Transportation. City planning and transportation documents were reviewed to measure Smart Growth goals against practical ideal types discussed in the existing scholarly research. The methodology used to assess Smart Growth practices in Austin was document analysis, direct observations, field research. The research revealed that the City of Austin has met and exceeded expectations in the sub-categories of Non-Profit Advocacy Groups, Intergovernmental Agreements, Business Entitlement Programs, Traditional Neighborhood Design, Transit-Oriented Development and Value-Added Services. The only sub-category failing to meet expectations of Smart Growth practices in this research was Transit Reorientation. Recommendations made to improve all sub-categories to exceed expectations would be to empower citizens by providing an advisory chair on final decisions, providing a mass transit liaison at major transit centers to improve customer satisfaction and creating more amenities to improve rider experience on public transportation. Item2020 Golden-Cheeked Warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) Range Wide Breeding Habitat Availability and Change Detection(2022-12) Colgan, Kevin S.; Jensen, Jennifer L. R.; Duarte, Adam; Krause, SamanthaNo abstract prepared. Item30 Years of Hazelwood: Revisiting the First Amendment Rights of Minors in the Education System During the Social Media Age(2018-12) Ienatsch, Zachary; Martinez, Gilbert D.; Otto, Anabell A.In 1969, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District that students were entitled to protections of the First Amendment and “do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate”. However, subsequent Supreme Court decisions have chipped away at this protection by granting greater power to school administrators to restrict student liberties. After the Tinker decision, the three most influential cases were Bethel School District v. Fraser, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, and Morse v. Frederick, with Hazelwood being the most broad, sweeping restriction on freedom of expression for American students. The Morse decision—the most recent of such cases—was decided in 2007, which predates the expansion of social media and the digital pervasiveness students are familiar with today. Given these new circumstances, the Supreme Court must revisit student free speech rights and err on the side of the Tinker decision and not on the one in Hazelwood. Failure to establish a new precedent in this digital age is bad for both students and administrators. If the Supreme Court remains silent on student rights in the digital age—or worse, if the Court continue to rule in favor of administrators over student freedoms— it would be one of the biggest mistakes the Court could make in this day and age. Item360° Performance Evaluations: An Assessment of the Attitudes of Human Resource Directors in the State of Texas(2000-12) Garza, Melissa C.; Shields, Patricia M.; Gilley, Larry D.Performance evaluations are an integral part of most Human Resource systems. For this reason, performance evaluation systems command an inordinate amount of research attention. This study assesses attitudes of Human Resource directors in Texas state agencies with regard to key aspects of the 360° performance evaluation process. First, an examination of literature identifies recurring themes, issues and characteristics associated with the implementation and use of 360° systems including organizational culture, anonymity, utilization, accountability, resources, training and rater variance. To assess attitudes regarding key characteristics of the 360° evaluation process, data were collected from Human Resource directors in Texas state agencies via survey questionnaires. Next, the study reports attitudinal findings from the survey with regard to key characteristics derived from the literature review. Results indicate that Human Resource directors generally agree with the information pertaining to the conceptual categories revealed through the literature review. The findings indicate, for example, that organizational culture is a strong predictor of the success or failure of the implementation of 360° feedback systems. There is also support for the incorporation of accountability mechanisms, training and resources. Interestingly, it is found that utilization of feedback data for purely developmental purposes does not necessarily preclude sharing data with supervisors even though the data will be included in performance appraisals. This is important because experts in the field argue that feedback ceases to remain purely developmental when it is shared with supervisors and included in the performance appraisal process. Finally, recommendations for future research are identified. One suggestion is to study organizations actually utilizing the 360° performance evaluation process. As agencies could potentially employ some, but not all, elements of 360, future research may focus on elements or portions of the process state agencies use. Subsequent studies may also include a population representative of all state agencies and may compare and contrast 360° systems in public and private sectors. Item3D Sketch Recognition Using The Microsoft Kinect(2014-05) Bulgerin, Travis; Lu, Yijuan; Ngu, Anne; Zong, ZiliangThe concept of sketch-based recognition has recently been used to enhance object categorization and speed up image retrieval. However, in each of the previous studies, the user was required to sketch on a two-dimensional plane. Currently there haven’t been any studies on the performance of incorporating depth information into a sketch. The motivation behind this project is to develop software that will allow a user to draw in a three-dimensional space, incorporating this information, as well as determining whether this depth information will result in higher accuracies for object categorization. First, utilizing the Microsoft Kinect, software was developed to establish a virtual drawing board for three-dimensional sketching. Second, a new learning-based approach is proposed to allow for model feature extraction and recognition. The experimental results demonstrate the validity of the study as well as the effectiveness of the proposed solution. Item71 Years(2020-05) Park, Jeffrey Wayne; Morille, JordanThis TV show will focus on a group of time traveling car thieves. They work for an organization that they themselves know very little about. Their clientele is very niche, but also very rich. They are put into contact with clients who are looking to buy historically famous cars. The crew goes back in time, grabs the car from whatever celebrity is driving it at the time (example: Burt Reynolds) and bring it back to the present. The point of this is to implement different aspects of my studies. I am a General Studies major, with minors in English, History and Theater. I saw this pilot as an opportunity to combine skill sets gained in those three minors. Item798: Protest Subculture and Creative Industry(2013-05) Domer, Brittany Nicole; Duganne, Erina; Tarver, GinaThe Beijing 798 Art District in China has evolved from oppressed subculture to commercial entity. The argument has now been raised over the nature of the 798 artist community in today’s art world. The 798 originated as a subculture of avant-garde artists and now functions as a creative industry. The 798 is depicted by scholars as either a persecuted protest culture or a commodified and marketed Chinese identity. I gathered my research from sources on 798 evolution such as Jeroen de Kloet's article Social Semiotics, and Chinese scholars that study the 798's development in terms of China's communist past, most influentially Rey Chow. As a result of my research I discovered the identity of the 798 is a fusion of both commercial and protest. The current role of the 798 is complex, but is unraveled through comparison of past and present 798 works. From the evaluation of these works and their role, one thing becomes evident; that the 798 no longer functions as a subculture. The larger implications of this project lead to a questioning of the nature of a subculture, the definition of an artist community, and the role of the artist in oppressive cultures. ItemA 4-Week Neuromuscular Stimulation Intervention on Skeletal Muscle Fatigue in Older Adults(2020-08) Mendoza, Monica A.; Mettler, Joni A.; Kipp, Lindsay E.; Doucet, Barbara M.No abstract prepared. ItemA Benefit-Cost Analysis of Jail-Based Competency Restoration Services in Travis County, Texas(2018-05) Muller, Krystal R.; Shields, Patricia M.; DeSoto, William; Miears, RebeccaNo abstract prepared. ItemA Benefit-Cost Analysis of the San Marcos Conference Center in San Marcos, Texas(2007-12) Tanous, William Brandon; Hofer, Martha Kay; Tajalli, Hassan; Molina, EddieThis study accomplishes three things. First, it presents a detailed discussion of benefit-cost analysis and how public officials use this information to impact and improve capital budgeting decisions. Second, it applies the theory of benefit-cost analysis to a real project: the Conference Center in San Marcos, Texas. Finally, this research pinpoints the motivation behind building the Conference Center and whether city officials used internal analysis to assess need or if the decision was based on perceived indirect benefits and/or other political factors. A discussion detailing benefit-cost analysis identifies how to properly assess the benefits and costs associated with a project using monetary amounts. The conceptual framework links these benefits and costs associated with conference centers to existing scholarly literature. The operationalization of the benefit and cost variables from the conceptual framework are identified, showing how the research measured each variable of the project. To ensure a credible study, an appropriate discount rate and time horizon were used to calculate the viability of the project. The decision criteria of present value and net present value were used to determine the viability of the project. The results of the benefit-cost analysis of the Conference Center project found that the project is not economically viable at either discount rate. However, indirect (external) benefits from the project are expected to economically benefit the City and outweigh the costs of the conference center. This project will be the first of its size in the I-35 corridor between San Antonio and Austin and is expected to attract business, association, and organizational meetings. ItemA Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Digital Imaging Project(2009-07) Stott, Brenda G.; Tajalli, Hassan; Hofer, Martha Kay; Tanous, William BrandonThis study accomplishes three things. First, it provides a detailed discussion on benefit-cost analysis and how it is used in the decision making process. Second, it provides background information on digital imaging technology and discusses its current uses. Finally, it applies the technique of benefit-cost analysis to privatization of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) digital imaging project to determine if it is cost beneficial. A discussion of the scholarly literature defines the benefits and costs associated with a project and offers uses for a benefit-cost analysis. The conceptual framework links the benefits and costs of a digital imaging project to the existing literature. The operationalization of the benefit and cost variables are identified, showing how each is measured. Finally, the decision criteria of present value and net present value are used to determine the viability of the project. The results of the benefit-cost analysis of the TCEQ digital imaging project finds that it is economically viable at two discount rates. A sound benefit-cost analysis can help decision makers evaluate choices and assure the chosen project will provide the best return on investment. The findings of this study show TCEQ administrators and others considering similar projects that digital imaging is a good investment. ItemA Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Wonder World Drive Overpass in San Marcos, Texas(2006-05) Ascott, Elizabeth J; Shields, Patricia M.; Hale, RoyThe purpose of this paper is to two fold. First is to hold a detailed discussion about benefit-cost analysis and how it is used. The second is to apply the theory of benefit-cost analysis to a real project: the Wonder World Drive overpass in San Marcos, Texas. The discussion about benefit-cost analysis looks at how to identify costs and benefits that are involved in a project and then how to measure these costs and benefits in dollar amounts. The importance of time and discount rate is discussed and an appropriate discount rate established. Finally the types of decision criterion are identified and correlated with the appropriate policy type. The City of San Marcos has approved funding to build an overpass on Wonder World Drive in order to bypass the frequent trains that plague the City. This will be the first train overpass in the city. Because this is the first overpass, there were many benefits to be considered. The costs and benefits of the project are identified and utilized in a conceptual framework table. This conceptual framework table is then operationalized to measure the costs and benefits in dollar amounts. The Wonder World Drive overpass is a single decision model, meaning that there are no competing policies decisions. The best decision criterion is to find the Net Present Value of the project. The Discount rate that has been used is the same that is mandated by the Office of Management and Budget. Private and social rates are used to show what the project is worth using varying rates. The costs and benefits are considered over the life of the project (25 years) and discounted accordingly to find the present value. Once the present value of each cost and benefit is know, the net present value of the project is established. The results show the Wonder World Drive overpass is not a viable project. The costs exceed the expected benefits at both the private and social discount rates. This does not necessary mean that this is a poor investment for the City of San Marcos. This overpass is an important step for the City to bring its transportation infrastructure up to speed with its rapidly growing population. This benefit-cost analysis can be used as a model for future proposed overpasses in the area to improve the decision making policy makers are faced with. ItemA Biaxial Magneto-optical Kerr Magnetometer for Studying Magnetic Thin Films(2000-05) Watts, Charles B.; Geerts, Wilhelmus; Galloway, Heather; Michalk, VictorI have designed and built a biaxial magneto-optical Kerr magnetometer to study thin magnetic films. The design enables researchers to measure perpendicular and in-plane hysteresis curves of ultra thin films down to a thickness of 9 A. The optical components are fastened to a vibration isolation table and the sample is suspended between the pole pieces of an electromagnet resting on the floor. The magnetometer allows for the examination of two independent Kerr effect measurements for application in magneto-optical recording. I have tested the equipment on ferromagnetic films and Fe/ Al2O3 multilayers. Angle dependent measurements show that the polar magneto-optical Kerr effect diminishes as the poles are rotated towards an in-plane applied magnetic field. Polar and longitudinal measurements on the Fe/ Al2O3 multilayers show that a change in the reversal mechanism occurs for films thicker than 15 A. ItemA Brief Historical-Legal-Political Perspective of the Arab-Israeli Conflict(2008-12) Sherman, Trent AndersonNo abstract prepared. ItemA Brief History of the Civilian Conservation Corps, 1932-1937(1966-08) Smith, Richard Gary; Conrad, David E.; Pool, William C.; Hughes, MarshallNo abstract prepared. ItemA Brief History of the United States Magazine and Democratic Review and its Attitude Toward the Issues of Temperance, Peace, and Abolition(1971-05) Kennedy, Larry J.No abstract prepared.