Date of Graduation

Fall 2016


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Xiaomin Qiu


academic performance; cognitive development; geographic information systems; geographically weighted regression; lead; Missouri Assessment Program

Subject Categories

Hydrology | Spatial Science | Toxicology


Lead exposure can come from various sources, e.g., lead mines, industrial areas, and lead based paint. Missouri has more than 4,128 lead mines. Lead is a neurotoxin. The objectives of the study were to investigate i) the spatial relationship between lead mines and lead distribution in groundwater, ii) the statistical impact of lead in groundwater on students' Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) scores, and iii) the geographic variations of lead's impact on students' MAP scores. Geographic Information Science spatial analysis tools were used to analyze the concentration of lead in groundwater within school districts in Missouri. Regression analysis was utilized to study the effect of neighborhood lead concentration in groundwater on students' MAP scores. Geographically weighted regression (GWR) analysis results show the geographic variations of lead's impact on students' MAP scores across different areas in Missouri from significant to insignificant. The results of this study show no relationships between lead mines density and lead level distribution in groundwater. In localized areas, it shows the geographical variability of the spatial relationship between lead in groundwater and MAP scores. This study provides better understanding of the relationship between environmental factors and elementary students' academic performance.


© Lynnette Xiangling Li

Open Access