Cummings, Anthony R.

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Anthony Cummings is an Associate Professor of Geospacial Information Sciences. He began his career at UT Dallas in September 2013 as a visiting assistant professor and occupied his current position in August 2014. Currently his research is focused on the rainforests and particularly the impact of humans upon them.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Combining Water Fraction and DEM-Based Methods to Create a Coastal Flood Map: A Case Study of Hurricane Harvey
    (MDPI AG, 2019-05-18) Li, Xiaoxuan; Cummings, Anthony R.; Alruzuq, A. R.; Matyas, C. J.; Amanambu, A. C.; Li, Xiaoxuan; Cummings, Anthony R.
    Tropical cyclones are incredibly destructive and deadly, inflicting immense losses to coastal properties and infrastructure. Hurricane-induced coastal floods are often the biggest threat to life and the coastal environment. A quick and accurate estimation of coastal flood extent is urgently required for disaster rescue and emergency response. In this study, a combined Digital Elevation Model (DEM) based water fraction (DWF) method was implemented to simulate coastal floods during Hurricane Harvey on the South Texas coast. Water fraction values were calculated to create a 15 km flood map from multiple channels of the Advanced Technology Microwave Sound dataset. Based on hydrological inundation mechanism and topographic information, the coarse-resolution flood map derived from water fraction values was then downscaled to a high spatial resolution of 10 m. To evaluate the DWF result, Storm Surge Hindcast product and flood-reported high-water-mark observations were used. The results indicated a high overlapping area between the DWF map and buffered flood-reported high-water-marks (HWMs), with a percentage of more than 85%. Furthermore, the correlation coefficient between the DWF map and CERA SSH product was 0.91, which demonstrates a strong linear relationship between these two maps. The DWF model has a promising capacity to create high-resolution flood maps over large areas that can aid in emergency response. The result generated here can also be useful for flood risk management, especially through risk communication. © 2019 by the authors.
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    Comparing Logging and Subsistence Values of Plants Across an Indigenous Peoples’ Influenced Landscape
    (Elsevier B.V.) Shah, Muna; Cummings, Anthony R.; Shah, Muna; Cummings, Anthony R.
    The ecosystem services derived from tropical plants sustain local societies and make significant contributions to the global economy. Often many types of ecosystem services are derived from a single plant species, introducing the potential for tensions between forest users. Despite the potential for forest users having different approaches to how a plant is used, little has been done to understand how a plant species’ sustainability may be impacted by opposing views on their utility. In this paper, the inherent properties of plants were used to propose a conceptual approach for comparing the values of plant species from the perspectives of commercial loggers and indigenous peoples. Using the provisioning ecosystem services associated with a sample of plants from the Rupununi, Southern Guyana, commercial logging and subsistence use indices were developed to compare how plant species may be perceived by the two opposing views of tropical forest management. The analysis suggested that for more than 84% of plants the subsistence value indices were greater than the logging indices. This study suggested that by examining opposing approaches to forest management, and adopting indices to document how different users approach plants, forest managers can begin to answer questions on where in space, and for which species, conservation and management efforts should be pursued. The methods proposed in this paper can be used by indigenous peoples and their allies to make spatial optimization decisions on their use of forest resources for conservation and payment for ecosystem services initiatives such as REDD+.
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    National Redd+ Implications for Tenured Indigenous Communities in Guyana, and Communities' Impact on Forest Carbon Stocks
    (MDPI) Overman, Han; Butt, Nathalie; Cummings, Anthony R.; Luzar, Jeffrey B.; Fragoso, Jose M. V.; 0000-0003-0902-6883 (Cummings, A); Cummings, Anthony R.
    Early project-level initiatives of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation' (REDD+) have left a negative impression among many forest-dependent peoples (FDP) across the tropics. As countries move towards national-level implementation and results-based payments, it is timely to analyze the effects of national REDD+ on FDP. We use Guyana's technically approved United Nations Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL) submission and Opt-In Mechanism to assess how fifteen indigenous communities with tenured forestland may financially benefit from national REDD+, and evaluate whether, and to what extent, Guyana forms a best-case scenario. In addition, we provide a first-time assessment whether field estimates of the average carbon density of mature forests managed by fifteen forest-dependent communities (beyond rotational farming lands) equals that of nearby unmanaged mature forest, as this could affect REDD+ payment levels. We conclude that, notwithstanding some pending issues, Guyana's national REDD+ program could be very beneficial for FDP, even under a modest United States (US) $5 unit carbon price. We present economic evidence to support forest governance change domestically in sovereign developing countries that may ease FDP tenure and national REDD+ implementation. The average carbon density was locally substantially less in FDP-managed forest, but had little effect on the overall carbon stock of the titled forest area, and is considered modest when incorporating ecological and socioeconomic attributes. Partnerships with FDP when combined with advances in remote sensing could have potential for economic monitoring of forest emissions across the tropics.

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