Effects of Xeriscaping on Surface Temperatures

Non-EPSCoR Presenters: 
Kyia Hill, Hailey Burton, Emily Kaemmer, Heather Couturier.
Type of Presentation: 
Thu, 2018/03/01
What is the name of the event (if any) where you presented?: 
Intermountain Sustainability Summit
Please enter a brief description of your presentation.: 

Weber State University is working to minimize landscape water consumption by implementing  xeriscaping. However, xeriscape surfaces can potentially cause higher surface temperatures in the area  due to reduced moisture content, which allows for more energy to be partitioned into sensible heat rather than latent heat. The goal of this study was to provide a more complete picture of costs and benefits of xeriscape landscaping.

This was a student project for a class at Weber State University, which four students turned into a poster for conference presentation. The research utilized an iUTAH weather station for measuring solar radiation, air temperature and wind speed and direction; students measured ground surface temperatures of different surfaces. Regression analysis revealed the temperature responses of different surfaces to inputs of solar radiation, showing that the xeriscape surface of choice for the campus, dark wood chips, heats up significantly more than any other surface, including road, when the sun shines on it.

This poster was presented by four undergraduate students, and received the event's Best Undergraduate Research Poster and People's Choice awards. The same students presented a revised version of the same poster at a major professional conference in April 2018 (American Association of Geographers annual meeting).

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