Estimating Sources of Valley Fever Pathogen Propagation in Southern Arizona: A Remote Sensing Approach

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/311322
Title:
Estimating Sources of Valley Fever Pathogen Propagation in Southern Arizona: A Remote Sensing Approach
Author:
Pianalto, Frederick Scott
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is an environmentally-mediated respiratory disease caused by the inhalation of airborne spores from the fungi Coccidioides spp. The fungi reside in arid and semi-arid soils of the Americas. The disease has increased epidemically in Arizona and other areas within the last two decades. Despite this increase, the ecology of the fungi remains obscure, and environmental antecedents of the disease are largely unstudied. Two sources of soil disturbance, hypothesized to affect soil ecology and initiate spore dissemination, are investigated. Nocturnal desert rodents interact substantially with the soil substrate. Rodents are hypothesized to act as a reservoir of coccidioidomycosis, a mediator of soil properties, and a disseminator of fungal spores. Rodent distributions are poorly mapped for the study area. We build automated multi-linear regression models and decision tree models for ten rodent species using rodent trapping data from the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (ORPI) in southwest Arizona with a combination of surface temperature, a vegetation index and its texture, and a suite of topographic rasters. Surface temperature, derived from Landsat TM thermal images, is the most widely selected predictive variable in both automated methods. Construction-related soil disturbance (e.g. road construction, trenching, land stripping, and earthmoving) is a significant source of fugitive dust, which decreases air quality and may carry soil pathogens. Annual differencing of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) mid-infrared images is used to create change images, and thresholded change areas are associated with coordinates of local dust inspections. The output metric identifies source areas of soil disturbance, and it estimates the annual amount of dust-producing surface area for eastern Pima County spanning 1994 through 2009. Spatially explicit construction-related soil disturbance and rodent abundance data are compared with coccidioidomycosis incidence data using rank order correlation and regression methods. Construction-related soil disturbance correlates strongly with annual county-wide incidence. It also correlates with Tucson periphery incidence aggregated to zip codes. Abundance values for the desert pocket mouse (Chaetodipus penicillatus), derived from a soil-adjusted vegetation index, aspect (northing) and thermal radiance, correlate with total study period incidence aggregated to zip code.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
GIS; Landsat; nocturnal desert rodents; soil; Valley Fever; Geography; construction-related soil disturbance
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Geography
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Yool, Stephen R.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleEstimating Sources of Valley Fever Pathogen Propagation in Southern Arizona: A Remote Sensing Approachen_US
dc.creatorPianalto, Frederick Scotten_US
dc.contributor.authorPianalto, Frederick Scotten_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractCoccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is an environmentally-mediated respiratory disease caused by the inhalation of airborne spores from the fungi Coccidioides spp. The fungi reside in arid and semi-arid soils of the Americas. The disease has increased epidemically in Arizona and other areas within the last two decades. Despite this increase, the ecology of the fungi remains obscure, and environmental antecedents of the disease are largely unstudied. Two sources of soil disturbance, hypothesized to affect soil ecology and initiate spore dissemination, are investigated. Nocturnal desert rodents interact substantially with the soil substrate. Rodents are hypothesized to act as a reservoir of coccidioidomycosis, a mediator of soil properties, and a disseminator of fungal spores. Rodent distributions are poorly mapped for the study area. We build automated multi-linear regression models and decision tree models for ten rodent species using rodent trapping data from the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (ORPI) in southwest Arizona with a combination of surface temperature, a vegetation index and its texture, and a suite of topographic rasters. Surface temperature, derived from Landsat TM thermal images, is the most widely selected predictive variable in both automated methods. Construction-related soil disturbance (e.g. road construction, trenching, land stripping, and earthmoving) is a significant source of fugitive dust, which decreases air quality and may carry soil pathogens. Annual differencing of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) mid-infrared images is used to create change images, and thresholded change areas are associated with coordinates of local dust inspections. The output metric identifies source areas of soil disturbance, and it estimates the annual amount of dust-producing surface area for eastern Pima County spanning 1994 through 2009. Spatially explicit construction-related soil disturbance and rodent abundance data are compared with coccidioidomycosis incidence data using rank order correlation and regression methods. Construction-related soil disturbance correlates strongly with annual county-wide incidence. It also correlates with Tucson periphery incidence aggregated to zip codes. Abundance values for the desert pocket mouse (Chaetodipus penicillatus), derived from a soil-adjusted vegetation index, aspect (northing) and thermal radiance, correlate with total study period incidence aggregated to zip code.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectGISen_US
dc.subjectLandsaten_US
dc.subjectnocturnal desert rodentsen_US
dc.subjectsoilen_US
dc.subjectValley Feveren_US
dc.subjectGeographyen_US
dc.subjectconstruction-related soil disturbanceen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGeographyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorYool, Stephen R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberComrie, Andrew C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHutchinson, Charles F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMarsh, Stuart E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberYool, Stephen R.en_US
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