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  1. Green walls have been used in built environments as a natural element to bring various benefits, thus improving human health and well-being. However, in conventional virtual environments, the visual connection with a green wall is the only way that this natural element could benefit humans. Unfortunately, the impact of such visual connection on human thermal perception is still not well understood. Thus, we conducted an experimental study with 40 participants comparing the thermal state of two virtual sessions: biophilic (a room with a green wall) and non-biophilic (the same room without a green wall). Both sessions were conducted in a climate chamber under a slightly warm condition (28.89 °C and 50% relative humidity). Participants’ thermal state, skin temperature, and heart rate data were collected. According to the results, participants’ thermal comfort and hand skin temperature were significantly different between the two sessions, and their mean skin temperature was statistically increased over time. The study suggests that before the extent to which the impact of visual stimuli (e.g., green walls) on thermal perception is fully understood, researchers may need to control visual and thermal stimuli separately when using them in immersive virtual environments. Furthermore, the virtual exposure time should be anmore »important consideration when designing experimental procedures.« less
  2. Iqbal, Shamsi ; MacLean, Karon ; Chevalier, Fanny ; Muelle, Stefanie (Ed.)
  3. Abstract. While there are numerical landscape evolution modelsthat simulate how steady-state flows of water and sedimentreshape topography over long periods of time,r.sim.terrain is the first tosimulate short-term topographic changefor both steady-state and dynamic flow regimesacross a range of spatial scales.This free and open-sourceGeographic Information Systems (GIS)-based topographic evolution modeluses empirical models for soil erosionand a physics-based modelfor shallow overland water flow and soil erosionto compute short-term topographic change.This model uses either a steady-stateor unsteady representation of overland flowto simulate how overland sediment mass flows reshape topographyfor a range of hydrologic soil erosion regimesbased on topographic, land cover, soil, and rainfall parameters.As demonstrated by a case studyfor the Patterson Branch subwatershedon the Fort Bragg military installation in North Carolina,r.sim.terrain simulates the development offine-scale morphological features includingephemeral gullies, rills, and hillslopes.Applications include land management, erosion control,landscape planning, and landscape restoration.