NDOT is fortunate to have several nationally recognized experts who, in addition to their normal jobs, contribute to the greater transportation knowledge base by publishing their research work in national academic publications. We are pleased to announce the department's latest authors, Nova Simpson (Environmental Services) and Brian Wilson (Hydraulics).
Nova Simpson, Lead Author
"Overpasses and Underpasses: Effectiveness of Crossing Structures for Migratory Ungulates" in Journal of Wildlife Management (online)
Wildlife crossing structures are an important tool in multiple ecosystems to allow safe passage for wildlife across roadways. We used mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), a widespread species across diverse bioregions in western North America, to test hypotheses about efficacy of 2 different types of crossing structures for ungulates. We documented behavioral responses and use of overpasses and underpasses by mule deer. Crossing structures were used by mule deer immediately following construction and although all of the crossing structures were used, we observed greater passage rates at overpasses than underpasses. Wildlife crossing structures reduced habitat fragmentation and enhanced connectivity by allowing safe passage across US 93, making the highway safer for wildlife and motorists.
Brian Wilson, Contributing Author
"Design Storm Temporal and Spatial Rainfall Distributions from Radar and Rain Gauge Data Analysis in Nevada" in World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2016: Hydraulics and Waterways and Hydro-Climate/Climate Change
This study presents analysis methodology and results of characterizing the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall used for design purposes by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). An assumption of uniform rainfall over watersheds can lead to unreasonably large peak flow rates, especially in regions where rainfall is highly variable or isolated in areal extent. Analysis of actual storm events in terms of temporal and spatial distributions is expected to be more representative of rainfall experienced in Nevada, thus making design of drainage infrastructure more efficient.