Melinda Laituri

Melinda Laituri
Colorado State University | CSU · Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Doctor of Philosophy

About

92
Publications
27,155
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Introduction
Geospatial tools and technologies for disaster preparedness and emergency response International water resources Urbanization in the Anthropocene

Publications

Publications (92)
Article
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We have more data about wildlife trafficking than ever before, but it remains underutilized for decision-making. Central to effective wildlife trafficking interventions is collection, aggregation, and analysis of data across a range of source, transit, and destination geographies. Many data are geospatial, but these data cannot be effectively acces...
Article
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This research has been developed in the city of Esmeraldas, which is one of the poorest urban centers of Ecuador. Historically, the economic dynamics of the city have been related to the extraction of natural resources, but little has been invested in local populations. The objectives of this paper are, first, to create a predictive scenario of urb...
Article
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This research examines water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) accessibility and opportunity in Kibera and Mathare during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Kibera and Mathare are two of the largest urban informal settlements in Nairobi (the capital city of Kenya) as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Accessibility indicates how easily a person can reach WASH f...
Article
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Secondary cities are rapidly growing areas in low- and middle-income countries that lack data, planning, and essential services for sustainable development. Their rapid, informal growth patterns mean secondary cities are often data-poor and under-resourced, impacting the ability of governments to target development efforts, respond to emergencies,...
Article
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This paper examines the current state of knowledge focusing on the second-order impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through a geospatial lens. The purpose is twofold: (1) present a global programme – Cities’ COVID Mitigation Mapping (C2M2) programme – focusing on urban areas that explores second-order impacts through the use of geospatial tools and te...
Preprint
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Riskscapes are interdisciplinary concepts that integrate multiple facets of physical, environmental, and social components in a spatial and temporal context. While the notion of risk is well documented for landslides, riskscapes are a novel approach in the natural hazard and spatial assessment studies. This term, ‘riskscape’, is described in terms...
Chapter
The complexity of water demand management issues due to the existence of interconnected natural, political, social and economic areas makes it important to know the behavior of the agents. This complexity influences modeling and simulation that predict the behavior of agents as consumers. National and international disputes contribute to water mana...
Article
Water is the essential resource of the 21st century where innovative water management strategies are needed to improve water security. This paper examines three case studies that exemplify the global water crisis, situated in rapidly urbanizing watersheds: Nairobi River Basin, Kenya; Citarum River Basin, Indonesia; and Addis Ababa River Basin, Ethi...
Article
The twenty-first century is experiencing the emergence of secondary cities (small-to-medium-sized cities) as major growth areas, especially in low-and middle-income countries. Secondary cities experience rapid, unplanned, and informal growth patterns, creating water issues that influence human insecurity. The Department of State's Secondary Cities...
Article
In semi-arid regions, air temperatures have increased in the last decades more than in many other parts of the world. Mongolia has an arid/semi-arid climate and much of the population are herders whose livelihoods depend upon limited water resources that fluctuate with a variable climate. Herders were surveyed to identify their observations of chan...
Article
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Introduction Urbanization and the continued growth of cities, both demographically and spatially, are topics of research studied across a range of disciplines in the urban millennium — a time in history when the majority of people live in cities. However, scholarly research has focused little attention on secondary cities, despite being the most ra...
Article
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Arctic Indigenous communities have been classified as highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The remoteness of Arctic communities, their dependence upon local species and habitats, and the historical marginalization of Indigenous peoples enhances this characterization of vulnerability. However, vulnerability is a result of diverse historical,...
Article
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The Bale Mountains of Ethiopia contain the largest contiguous area of alpine habitat in Africa. The region provides critical water resources and other essential environmental services to highland communities, endemic wildlife, and millions of downstream people in East Africa. Increasing land use change has created concern over degradation to headwa...
Article
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Natural gas and oil extraction, while meeting much of our current energy demand, also generates large volumes of waste water (“produced water”) that creates risks for groundwater contamination when spilled. Weld County, Colorado, where the majority of extraction occurs in Colorado, was used as a case study to understand how groundwater impacts were...
Article
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Across the globe, station-based meteorological data are analyzed to estimate the rate of change in precipitation. However, in sparsely populated regions, like Mongolia, stations are few and far between, leaving significant gaps in station-derived precipitation patterns across space and over time. We combined station data with the observations of he...
Article
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Surface spills of water produced from hydraulic fracturing can expose soil and groundwater to organics such as BTEX and naphthalene (BTEX&N) as well as high concentrations of salt. As an alternative to soil excavation, we evaluated the effectiveness of BTEX&N soil remediation using 2 grasses present in Colorado. Perennial ryegrass and foxtail barle...
Article
An ecohydrological stream type classification was developed to improve decision making for ephemeral and intermittent streams at four military reservations in the southwestern U.S.: Fort Irwin, Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), Fort Huachuca, and Fort Bliss. Agglomerative hierarchical cluster analysis was used to classify stream reaches by ecohydrologic p...
Article
US Mountain West Water access and allocation institutions have a history of adapting policy and practice to increase flexibility for diverse water uses. We examine how flexible access has developed over time and space by operationalizing the historical institutional (HI) theoretical and methodological framework. We trace historical water access for...
Article
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The widespread use of unconventional drilling involving hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has allowed for increased oil-and-gas extraction, produced water generation, and subsequent spills of produced water in Colorado and elsewhere. Produced water contains BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene) and naphthalene, all of which are known to ind...
Article
New Guinea is widely known for rich biodiversity. This study provides a foundation for understanding vascular and non-vascular plant distributions at the genus taxonomic level. Analyses objectively and quantitatively showed collection density and biases at 50 km spatial resolution and predict genus richness at 1 km spatial resolution. To model the...
Chapter
The use of geographic information systems (GIS) in environmental science is a complex, multifaceted, and amorphous topic. Environmental science is a multidisciplinary field that integrates the biological, social, and physical sciences to address the seemingly intractable environmental problems humans face. Increasingly, GIS is the tool used to orga...
Article
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In regions lacking socio-economic data, pairing satellite imagery with participatory information is essential for accurate land-use/cover (LULC) change assessments. At the village scale in Papua New Guinea we compare swidden LULC classifications using remote sensing analyses alone and analyses that combine participatory information and remotely sen...
Article
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Indigenous Arctic and Subarctic communities currently are facing a myriad of social and environmental changes. In response to these changes, studies concerning indigenous knowledge (IK) and climate change vulnerability, resiliency, and adaptation have increased dramatically in recent years. Risks to lives and livelihoods are often the focus of adap...
Article
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Over the last decade, western North America has experienced the largest mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) outbreak in recorded history, and Rocky Mountain forests have been severely impacted. Although bark beetles are indigenous to North American forests, climate change has facilitated the beetle's expansion into previously uns...
Chapter
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Water access, sanitation, and security remain key foci of international aid and development. However, the increasing interconnectedness of hydrologic and social systems can cause water initiatives to have unexpected and cascading effects across geographic scales. This presents new challenges for geoscientists working in water development, as distan...
Article
Allegretti, A. M., J.L. Thompson and M. Laituri. 2015. Engagement and accountability in transdisciplinary space in Mongolia: principles for facilitating a reflective adaptive process in complex teams. This paper explores how reflective adaptive processes (RAPs) may facilitate communication in transdisciplinary research and examine stakeholder engag...
Article
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Maximum flood extent--a key data need for disaster response and mitigation--is rarely quantified due to storm-related cloud cover and the low temporal resolution of optical sensors. While change detection approaches can circumvent these issues through the identification of inundated land and soil from post-flood imagery, their accuracy can suffer i...
Article
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Water governance in the Colorado River Basin (CRB) is based on a historical and complex set of policies, legal decisions, and operational guidelines called the Law of the River. Behind the complex institutional structure lies an intricate web of data on water, most of which are hydrogeological in nature. However, we posit that in order to realise s...
Article
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National Parks are hallmarks of ecosystem preservation in the United States. The introduction of alien invasive plant species threatens protection of these areas. Bromus tectorum L. (commonly called downy brome or cheatgrass), which is found in Rocky Mountain National Park (hereafter, the Park), Colorado, USA, has been implicated in early spring co...
Article
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We used correlative models with species occurrence points, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices, and topo-climatic predictors to map the current distribution and potential habitat of invasive Prosopis juliflora in Afar, Ethiopia. Time-series of MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Indices (EVI) and Normalized Difference Veg...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The distribution of invasive Prosopis juliflora in invaded ranges has not been properly mapped. We used correlative models with species occurrence points, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation indices, and topo-climatic predictors to map the current distribution and potential habitats of P. j...
Article
Across the globe, wind speed trends have shown a slight decline for in situ meteorological datasets. Yet few studies have assessed long-term wind speed trends for alpine regions or how such trends could influence snow transport and distribution. Alpine-region meteorological stations are sparsely distributed, and their records are short. To increase...
Chapter
Researchers in international environmental politics (IEP) have devoted little attention to their field’s methods. With a few exceptions, they have simply carried out their research without exploring which methods are best for the field as a whole. This is a laudable approach to an area of research whose data can range from the cultural discourses i...
Chapter
This article situates water deficits within the context of regional famine in Africa. Consideration of the global hydrologic cycle that treats water as a renewable resource is contrasted with local hydrologic cycles that intersect with human activity and regional patterns of climate change. Humans continue to use increasing amounts of water competi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background/Question/Methods National parks are the hallmarks of ecosystem preservation in the United States. The introduction of non-native invasive species into these areas threatens natural ecosystems, altering their structure and functioning. Species distribution models (SDMs) are commonly used for evaluating the potential spread of invasive s...
Article
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This paper presents results of a study of watershed factors on storm runoff and daily variation of stream flow. Fifteen watersheds representing different in ecological regions, climate regimes, and forest types in Vietnam are selected for this study. The basic hydrological data set corresponding to each watershed included rainfall and stream flow r...
Article
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The Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act 2005, the UN Millennium Development Goals, and Water as a Human Right are all mechanisms for enhancing access to water for the world's poorest populations. However, these water policies are not integrated into a holistic framework. They are fragmented between multiple governing agencies, founded on competing id...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Bromus tectorum L. (common names downy brome or cheatgrass) is a winter annual grass that was introduced into the United States from Eurasia in the late 19th century, and has since altered the structure and function of native and agro- ecosystems throughout the western United States. In Rocky Mountain National Park (RM...
Article
This article describes the development of community-based integrated fire management planning in response to destructive forest fires on national forests in east-central Honduras. These pineoak forests are co-managed by a complex of community interests that include local peoples, a forestry cooperative, development agencies and national authorities...
Chapter
This book contains 12 chapters providing information on case studies that describe the change, loss, re-emergence and resilience of seven herder communities located in distinct socio-ecological settings ranging from the Gobi Desert of Mongolia to the Tibetan Plateau regions of China's Sichuan and Gansu Provinces. It will be useful for policy makers...
Article
Citizen science and community-based monitoring programs are increasing in number and breadth, generating volumes of scientific data. Many programs are ill-equipped to effectively manage these data. We examined the art and science of multi-scale citizen science support, focusing on issues of integration and flexibility that arise when programs span...
Article
Citizen science and community-based monitoring programs are increasing in number and breadth, generating volumes of scientific data. Many programs are ill-equipped to effectively manage these data. We examined the art and science of multi-scale citizen science support, focusing on issues of integration and flexibility that arise for data management...
Article
Camping activities are known to damage vegetation, impede ecological processes, and negatively affect visitor experiences in wilderness areas. Understanding the spatial distribution of wilderness campsites prior to inventory, monitoring, and impact assessments can help direct land managers to minimize costs and use of limited resources. Spatial mod...
Article
Full-text available
Air temperatures in semi-arid regions have increased more over the past few decades than those in many other parts of the world. Mongolia has an arid/semi-arid climate where large portions of the population are herders whose livelihood depends upon limited water resources. This paper combines local knowledge and understanding of recent changes in w...
Article
Full-text available
Citizen science programs are emerging as an efficient way to increase data collection and help monitor invasive species. Effective invasive species monitoring requires rigid data quality assurances if expensive control efforts are to be guided by volunteer data. To achieve data quality, effective online training is needed to improve field skills an...
Article
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Citizen science websites are emerging as a common way for volunteers to collect and report geographic ecological data. Engaging the public in citizen science is challenging and, when involving online participation, data entry, and map use, becomes even more daunting. Given these new challenges, citizen science websites must be easy to use, result i...
Article
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The driving institutional mechanisms behind solutions for increasing access to water, sanitation and hygiene for the poor are driven by hydrophilanthropy, monies donated by non-government organizations to create solutions to problems caused by water poverty. Water poverty is the stress and/or scarcity of water resources (institutional, social, econ...
Article
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Water is the critical concern of countries around the world due to increasing population and environmental change. The Paul Simon Water for the World Act, passed in early 2010, aims to provide support and funding for the provision of safe water and sanitation. Universities are uniquely poised to address solutions and assessments of efforts to addre...
Conference Paper
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Drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) are at the forefront of hydro-philanthropic and political agendas. Goal 7, Target 3 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is ‘to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.’ This goal is far from being met causing heighten...
Article
For almost a century, the Natural Resources College (and its predecessors) has been offering field courses at the Colorado State University (CSU) Pingree Park Mountain Campus. This campus is located just north of Rocky Mountain National Park on the Little South of the Cache la Poudre River at an elevation of 2750 meters, approximately 40 kilometers...
Conference Paper
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The Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (PL 109-121) aims to "make access to safe water and sanitation to the developing countries a specific objective of the United States foreign assistance programs." Although the Act makes no mention of a right to water and sanitation (RTWS), but instead focuses on issues related to sustainability, equity,...
Article
The Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR) at Colorado State University (CSU) has had a long tradition of integrating field measurements into the classroom, dating back to the first forestry summer camp held in 1917 at the CSU Pingree Park mountain campus. In the early 1960s, the Cooperative Watershed Management Unit coordinated efforts to unde...
Article
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Interactions between road and stream networks are complex and are influenced by a range of environmental and road design characteristics. These interactions are not clearly understood and are the subjects of current research. To increase understanding of these interactions we explore the concepts of Road and Stream Network Connectivity (R/S Connect...