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ALRS Students at GPSC Student Showcase 2014

The GPSC Student Showcase 2014 took place on Friday, November 7, 2014, from 9am-5pm at the UA Mall.  This annual event typically takes place starting the Friday of Homecoming Weekend.

The Student Showcase attracts the best of student academic work at the University of Arizona, and thus it is quite competitive.

Three Arid Lands Resource Sciences graduate students participated in this year's competition: Adriana Zuniga Teran, Omar Youssef, and Sandra Bernal. Omar and Sandra took the first and second place respectively in the Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture category.

Description of the ALRS students posters are listed below:


Abstract: There are ample green building incentive programs that support the notion of sustainability such as USGBC, LEED for healthcare facilities, Green Globe, The Natural Step, etc.  LEED is by no means a perfect measure of built environment sustainability, but not necessarily addressing human well-being aspects.  It is perhaps the most standard tool currently available, however architects and designers must still strive for sustainability beyond LEED creating conditions in which human and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and particularly health care for future generations.

It is understood that different environmental variables define the so-called “ambiance” of a space, thus affecting humans within that space.  Therefore, to increase human comfort within the space an extensive study has been undertaken by the author to identify those environmental variables and their potential relationship to human health environment. These complex relationships have been proposed to be depicted in a matrix format that illustrates direct and indirect effects on each.  Results concluded from the matrix have suggested different methodologies that researchers can or will use to conduct empirical research to achieve evidence base health care facility design that best serves human health environment. 

In conclusion the main goal of the author is to provide not only a sustainable environment but also one that will provide a positive and healthier way of living.

 SANDRA BERNAL            

My poster is about the convenience of the natural ventilation as a strategy for air supply considering the exposures to pollutants indoors. The first part has Mexico City as an example of a country with environmental and economic circumstances that promote the use of natural ventilation but with high incidence of particulate matter on air. The second part compares the three most used ventilation systems using temperature and particle deposition measurements. The third part explain the health implications of the exposure to particles related to its characteristics and finally the conclusions. 


Poster Title -"From Neighborhoods to WEllbeing and Convervation: Enhancing the Use of Greenspace through Design


The Influence of the Built Environment on the Use of Greenspace and Wellbeing

Advisors: Randy Gimblett and Barron Orr

Committee: Nader Chalfoun, Stuart Marsh and Phil Guertin

Background: Most people in the world now live in cities. Urbanization is detrimental to human health and greenspace alleviate some of its negative effects. The provision and access to greenspace is determined by the built environment. Walkable neighborhoods that provide and facilitate access to greenspace may be a catalyst for activity and health.

Problem statement: Little is known about the potential synergies between walkable neighborhoods and the use of greenspace and its effects of wellbeing.

Methods: Data was collected using a questionnaire. Statistical analysis looked for associations between the built environment and the frequency of use of greenspace; the reasons why people visit greenspace; and its relationship to wellbeing.

Results: Walkable neighborhoods were positively and significantly related to the frequency of use of greenspace; and this was related to better health. Factor analysis identified two groups of people visiting greenspace: (1) the “urban-oriented” that favored infrastructure, and (2) the “nature-oriented” that preferred natural features. Dog-walking was identified as an important use of greenspace.

Broader impact: This study found wellbeing synergies between walkable neighborhoods and access to greenspace. Greenspace design also influences the type of people visiting and must include amenities that consider the main uses. This research highlights the importance of walkable neighborhoods and greenspace design in public health initiatives, land-use policy, transportation, and urban design.



Last updated 27 Oct 2015