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Environmental Studies

ENVS senior takes 1st place in URISA student paper competition

September 12, 2011

  • One of Riso's models showing phosphorus loading risk classes.
    One of Riso's models showing phosphorus loading risk classes.

Undergraduate Campus

Congratulations to Taylor Riso, senior ENVS major, for being awarded 1st place in URISA’s (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) 2011 Student Paper Competition!

Taylor’s 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, was submitted in the spring while Taylor was still a junior.  The paper was evaluated along with other submissions on the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of expertise and understanding of geographic information science, spatial technologies and their application.
  • Explanation of how the paper contributes to a larger body of work in the field
  • Demonstration of innovative approach and critical thinking
  • Quality of writing and presentation of the material

In the prize package, Taylor receives:

  • A one year membership to URISA
  • A free conference registration and recognition at the 2011 GIS Pro Annual Conference, November 1-4, 2011 in Indianapolis, IN and an invitation to present the paper at the conference
  • Possible publishing of the paper in the URISA Journal

URISA is a professional nonprofit organization for individuals who use GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in solving spatial and environmental problems in all levels of government.  URISA provides professional development, conferences, publications, and much more to those to whom the GIS community as a whole is an important resource

Taylor’s paper can be found on the URISA website.  Read the abstract below:

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.

Well done, Taylor!