WorldWideScience

Sample records for ecologically valid assessment

  1. Ecological validity of virtual environments to assess human navigation ability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ineke eVan Der Ham

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Route memory is frequently assessed in virtual environments. These environments can be presented in a fully controlled manner and are easy to use. Yet they lack the physical involvement that participants have when navigating real environments. For some aspects of route memory this may result in reduced performance in virtual environments. We assessed route memory performance in four different environments: real, virtual, virtual with directional information (compass, and hybrid. In the hybrid environment, participants walked the route outside on an open field, while all route information (i.e. path, landmarks was shown simultaneously on a handheld tablet computer. Results indicate that performance in the real life environment was better than in the virtual conditions for tasks relying on survey knowledge, like pointing to start and end point, and map drawing. Performance in the hybrid condition however, hardly differed from real life performance. Performance in the virtual environment did not benefit from directional information. Given these findings, the hybrid condition may offer the best of both worlds: the performance level is comparable to that of real life for route memory, yet it offers full control of visual input during route learning.

  2. An ecologically valid performance-based social functioning assessment battery for schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Chuan; He, Yi; Cheung, Eric F C; Yu, Xin; Chan, Raymond C K

    2013-12-30

    Psychiatrists pay more attention to the social functioning outcome of schizophrenia nowadays. How to evaluate the real world function among schizophrenia is a challenging task due to culture difference, there is no such kind of instrument in terms of the Chinese setting. This study aimed to report the validation of an ecologically valid performance-based everyday functioning assessment for schizophrenia, namely the Beijing Performance-based Functional Ecological Test (BJ-PERFECT). Fifty community-dwelling adults with schizophrenia and 37 healthy controls were recruited. Fifteen of the healthy controls were re-tested one week later. All participants were administered the University of California, San Diego, Performance-based Skill Assessment-Brief version (UPSA-B) and the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). The finalized assessment included three subdomains: transportation, financial management and work ability. The test-retest and inter-rater reliabilities were good. The total score significantly correlated with the UPSA-B. The performance of individuals with schizophrenia was significantly more impaired than healthy controls, especially in the domain of work ability. Among individuals with schizophrenia, functional outcome was influenced by premorbid functioning, negative symptoms and neurocognition such as processing speed, visual learning and attention/vigilance. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Validating the Assessment for Measuring Indonesian Secondary School Students Performance in Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachmatullah, A.; Roshayanti, F.; Ha, M.

    2017-09-01

    The aims of this current study are validating the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Ecology assessment and examining the performance of Indonesian secondary school students on the assessment. A total of 611 Indonesian secondary school students (218 middle school students and 393 high school students) participated in the study. Forty-five items of AAAS assessment in the topic of Interdependence in Ecosystems were divided into two versions which every version has 21 similar items. Linking item method was used as the method to combine those two versions of assessment and further Rasch analyses were utilized to validate the instrument. Independent sample t-test was also run to compare the performance of Indonesian students and American students based on the mean of item difficulty. We found that from the total of 45 items, three items were identified as misfitting items. Later on, we also found that both Indonesian middle and high school students were significantly lower performance with very large and medium effect size compared to American students. We will discuss our findings in the regard of validation issue and the connection to Indonesian student’s science literacy.

  4. Monitoring dietary intake and physical activity electronically: feasibility, usability, and ecological validity of a mobile-based Ecological Momentary Assessment tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spook, Jorinde Eline; Paulussen, Theo; Kok, Gerjo; Van Empelen, Pepijn

    2013-09-24

    Despite the growing body of research on complex lifestyle behaviors (eg, Dietary Intake [DI] and Physical Activity [PA]), monitoring of these behaviors has been hampered by a lack of suitable methods. A possible solution to this deficiency is mobile-based Ecological Momentary Assessment (mEMA), which enables researchers to collect data on participants' states in real-time by means of a smartphone application. However, feasibility, usability, and ecological validity need to be anticipated and managed in order to enhance the validity of mEMA. To examine the feasibility, usability, and ecological validity of a mEMA application (app) with regard to DI and PA among Dutch vocational education students. The students (n=30) participated in the mEMA study for seven consecutive days. They downloaded the mEMA app on their smartphone. Feasibility and usability of the mEMA app were evaluated by completing an online evaluation after seven days of participation. Ecological validity was measured by assessing the degree to which the content of the mEMA app approximated the real-world setting that was being examined, through several multiple-choice questions. Compliance rates, as registered by the mEMA app, declined 46% over a seven-day period, while self-reported compliance, as measured with an online evaluation questionnaire afterwards, indicated a smaller decrease in compliance (29%). The students evaluated the mEMA app as feasible and usable. Ecological validity analyses showed that all DI and almost all PA multiple-choice options were covered with the compound response categories. The mEMA app offers the opportunity to assess complex health behaviors (eg, DI and PA) in real-time settings, in which specifically routinized behaviors are involved. However, the mEMA app faced several challenges that needed to be overcome in order to improve its validity. Overall, the present study showed that the mEMA app is a usable and ecologically valid tool to measure DI and PA behaviors among

  5. Use of Crowdsourcing to Assess the Ecological Validity of Perceptual-Training Paradigms in Dysarthria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lansford, Kaitlin L; Borrie, Stephanie A; Bystricky, Lukas

    2016-05-01

    It has been documented in laboratory settings that familiarizing listeners with dysarthric speech improves intelligibility of that speech. If these findings can be replicated in real-world settings, the ability to improve communicative function by focusing on communication partners has major implications for extending clinical practice in dysarthria rehabilitation. An important step toward development of a listener-targeted treatment approach requires establishment of its ecological validity. To this end, the present study leveraged the mechanism of crowdsourcing to determine whether perceptual-training benefits achieved by listeners in the laboratory could be elicited in an at-home computer-based scenario. Perceptual-training data (i.e., intelligibility scores from a posttraining transcription task) were collected from listeners in 2 settings-the laboratory and the crowdsourcing website Amazon Mechanical Turk. Consistent with previous findings, results revealed a main effect of training condition (training vs. control) on intelligibility scores. There was, however, no effect of training setting (Mechanical Turk vs. laboratory). Thus, the perceptual benefit achieved via Mechanical Turk was comparable to that achieved in the laboratory. This study provides evidence regarding the ecological validity of perceptual-training paradigms designed to improve intelligibility of dysarthric speech, thereby supporting their continued advancement as a listener-targeted treatment option.

  6. Using SMS Text Messaging to Assess Moderators of Smoking Reduction: Validating a New Tool for Ecological Measurement of Health Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkman, Elliot T.; Dickenson, Janna; Falk, Emily B.; Lieberman, Matthew D.

    2011-01-01

    Objective Understanding the psychological processes that contribute to smoking reduction will yield population health benefits. Negative mood may moderate smoking lapse during cessation, but this relationship has been difficult to measure in ongoing daily experience. We used a novel form of ecological momentary assessment to test a self-control model of negative mood and craving leading to smoking lapse. Design We validated short message service (SMS) text as a user-friendly and low-cost option for ecologically measuring real-time health behaviors. We sent text messages to cigarette smokers attempting to quit eight times daily for the first 21 days of cessation (N-obs = 3,811). Main outcome measures Approximately every two hours, we assessed cigarette count, mood, and cravings, and examined between- and within-day patterns and time-lagged relationships among these variables. Exhaled carbon monoxide was assessed pre- and posttreatment. Results Negative mood and craving predicted smoking two hours later, but craving mediated the mood–smoking relationship. Also, this mediation relationship predicted smoking over the next two, but not four, hours. Conclusion Results clarify conflicting previous findings on the relation between affect and smoking, validate a new low-cost and user-friendly method for collecting fine-grained health behavior assessments, and emphasize the importance of rapid, real-time measurement of smoking moderators. PMID:21401252

  7. Ecological risk assessment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Suter, Glenn W; Barnthouse, L. W. (Lawrence W)

    2007-01-01

    Ecological risk assessment is commonly applied to the regulation of chemicals, the remediation of contaminated sites, the monitoring of importation of exotic organisms, the management of watersheds...

  8. The Stick Design Test on the assessment of older adults with low formal education: evidences of construct, criterion-related and ecological validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Paula, Jonas Jardim; Costa, Mônica Vieira; Bocardi, Matheus Bortolosso; Cortezzi, Mariana; De Moraes, Edgar Nunes; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro Fernandes

    2013-12-01

    The assessment of visuospatial abilities is usually performed by drawing tasks. In patients with very low formal education, the use of these tasks might be biased by their cultural background. The Stick Design Test was developed for the assessment of this population. We aim to expand the test psychometric properties by assessing its construct, criterion-related and ecological validity in older adults with low formal education. Healthy older adults (n = 63) and Alzheimer's disease patients (n = 92) performed the Stick Design Test, Mini-Mental State Examination, Digit Span Forward and the Clock Drawing Test. Their caregivers answered Personal Care and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living). Construct validity was assessed by factor analysis, convergent correlations (with the Clock Drawing Test), and divergent correlations (with Digit Span Forward); criterion-related validity by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and binary logistic regression; and Ecological validity by correlations with ADL. The test factor structure was composed by one component (R 2 = 64%). Significant correlations with the Clock Drawing Test and Digit Span Forward were found, and the relationship was stronger with the first measure. The test was less associated with formal education than the Clock Drawing Test. It classified about 76% of the participants correctly and had and additive effect with the Mini-Mental State Examination (84% of correct classification). The test also correlated significantly with measures of ADL, suggesting ecological validity. The Stick Design Test shows evidence of construct, criterion-related and ecological validity. It is an interesting alternative to drawing tasks for the assessment of visuospatial abilities.

  9. Ecological impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, J.M.; Eberhardt, L.L.

    1975-01-01

    Quantitative problems in accomplishing ecological impact assessment with particular reference to defining population effects are discussed with some comments on the two approaches most commonly used, e.g., the experimental and simulation models. Some alternatives are suggested because both methods will probably fail to detect real population effects mostly due to poor understanding of ecosystems or because of the limitations inherent in field census methods. Most judgments of ecological impact are not quantitatively defensible but are qualitative, subjective, or political in nature. An examination of aggregates of data from various nuclear power plant sites may be one way to obtain enough replication to judge ecological impact. Thus, currently available data from such studies as well as appropriate demographic, vegetation, census, and bibliographic material could offer an interesting challenge to computer professionals if such an undertaking were contemplated. Present research programs at PNL and computer involvement are described. Future possibilities and directions are discussed. (U.S.)

  10. Ecological content validation of the Information Assessment Method for parents (IAM-parent): A mixed methods study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bujold, M; El Sherif, R; Bush, P L; Johnson-Lafleur, J; Doray, G; Pluye, P

    2018-02-01

    This mixed methods study content validated the Information Assessment Method for parents (IAM-parent) that allows users to systematically rate and comment on online parenting information. Quantitative data and results: 22,407 IAM ratings were collected; of the initial 32 items, descriptive statistics showed that 10 had low relevance. Qualitative data and results: IAM-based comments were collected, and 20 IAM users were interviewed (maximum variation sample); the qualitative data analysis assessed the representativeness of IAM items, and identified items with problematic wording. Researchers, the program director, and Web editors integrated quantitative and qualitative results, which led to a shorter and clearer IAM-parent. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Framework for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodier, D.; Norton, S.

    1992-02-01

    Increased interest in ecological issues such as global climate change, habitat loss, acid deposition, reduced biological diversity, and the ecological impacts of pesticides and toxic chemicals prompts this U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, A Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment ('Framework Report'). The report describes basic elements, or a framework, for evaluating scientific information on the adverse effects of physical and chemical stressors on the environment. The framework offers starting principles and a simple structure as guidance for current ecological risk assessments and as a foundation for future EPA proposals for risk assessment guidelines

  12. Validation of 131I ecological transfer models and thyroid dose assessments using Chernobyl fallout data from the Plavsk district, Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zvonova, I.; Krajewski, P.; Berkovsky, V.; Ammann, M.; Duffa, C.; Filistovic, V.; Homma, T.; Kanyar, B.; Nedveckaite, T.; Simon, S.L.; Vlasov, O.; Webbe-Wood, D.

    2009-01-01

    Within the project “Environmental Modelling for Radiation Safety” (EMRAS) organized by the IAEA in 2003 experimental data of 131I measurements following the Chernobyl accident in the Plavsk district of Tula region, Russia were used to validate the calculations of some radioecological transfer models. Nine models participated in the inter-comparison. Levels of 137Cs soil contamination in all the settlements and 131I/137Cs isotopic ratios in the depositions in some locations were used as the main input information. 370 measurements of 131I content in thyroid of townspeople and villagers, and 90 measurements of 131I concentration in milk were used for validation of the model predictions. A remarkable improvement in models performance comparing with previous inter-comparison exercise was demonstrated. Predictions of the various models were within a factor of three relative to the observations, discrepancies between the estimates of average doses to thyroid produced by most participant not exceeded a factor of ten. PMID:19783331

  13. Ecological validity of the screening module and the Daily Living tests of the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery using the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4 in postacute brain injury rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zgaljardic, Dennis J; Yancy, Sybil; Temple, Richard O; Watford, Monica F; Miller, Rebekah

    2011-11-01

    The assessment of ecological validity of neuropsychological measures is an area of growing interest, particularly in the postacute brain injury rehabilitation (PABIR) setting, as there is an increasing demand for clinicians to address functional and real-world outcomes. In the current study, we assessed the predictive value of the Screening module and the Daily Living tests of the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) using clinician ratings from the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Inventory-4 (MPAI-4) in patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. Forty-seven individuals were each administered the NAB Screening module (NAB-SM) and the NAB Daily Living (NAB-DL) tests following admission to a residential PABIR program. MPAI-4 ratings were also obtained at admission. Linear regression analysis was used to examine the association between these functional and neuropsychological assessment measures. We replicated prior work (Temple at al., 2009) and expanded evidence for the ecological validity of the NAB-SM. Furthermore, our findings support the ecological validity of the NAB-DL Bill Payment, Judgment, and Map Reading tests with regards to functional skills and real-world activities. The current study supports prior work from our lab assessing the predictive value of the NAB-SM, as well as provides evidence for the ecological validity for select NAB-DL tests in patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury admitted to a residential PABIR program.

  14. Ecological momentary assessment in addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukasiewicz, M; Fareng, M; Benyamina, A; Blecha, L; Reynaud, M; Falissard, B

    2007-08-01

    Numerous symptoms in psychiatry are subjective (e.g., sadness, anxiety, craving or fatigue), fluctuate and are environment dependent. Accurate measurement of these phenomena requires repeated measures, and ideally needs to be performed in the patient's natural environment rather than in an artificial laboratory environment or a protected hospital environment. The usual paper and pencil questionnaires do not meet these two conditions for reasons of logistics. A recently developed method, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), made it possible to implement these field assessments via ingenious use of various devices (most frequently an electronic diary) coupling an auditory signal with computerized data capture. The subject carries the device with him/her at all times, and data is recorded in vivo in real time. The programming of repeated measures in the form of a Likert scale or pull-down menu is easily achieved. A recall alarm system can help increase compliance. Compared with classical self-report, EMA improves the validity of the assessment of certain symptoms, which are the main evaluation criteria in clinical trials concerning certain pathologies (e.g., craving and treatment of addiction), where measurement was previously liable to bias. This article sets out to present this method, its advantages and disadvantages, and the interest it presents in psychiatry, in particular via three original applications developed by the authors including: measurement of reaction time without the knowledge of the subject in order to test certain cognitive models; use of a graphic solution for the data recorded for functional analysis of disorders; and the use of data collection via mobile phone and text messages, which also enables therapeutic interventions in real time by text messages, personalized on the basis of the situational data collected (e.g., in the case of craving, the associated mood, solitary or group consumption or concomitant occupations).

  15. Ecological risk assessment: Lessons learned?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    This conference was held November 14--18, 1993 in Houston, Texas for the purpose of providing a forum for exchange of state-of-the-art information on ecological risk assessment. This book is comprised of the abstracts of the presentations at this symposium. Individual abstracts have been processed separately for inclusion in the appropriate data bases

  16. A quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantitative approaches to measure and assess resilience are needed to bridge gaps between science, policy, and management. In this paper, we suggest a quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience. Ecological resilience as an emergent ecosystem phenomenon can be de...

  17. Construct Validity and Case Validity in Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teglasi, Hedwig; Nebbergall, Allison Joan; Newman, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Clinical assessment relies on both "construct validity", which focuses on the accuracy of conclusions about a psychological phenomenon drawn from responses to a measure, and "case validity", which focuses on the synthesis of the full range of psychological phenomena pertaining to the concern or question at hand. Whereas construct validity is…

  18. Influence of region and site-specific factors on the degree of general validity of ecological and primary-energy-related assessments of biogas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dressler, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    As described in this publication, since the early 1990s numerous studies based on the life cycle assessment methodology have been dedicated to assessments of different kinds of bioenergy in comparison with fossil energy resources in terms of their energy balance and environmental impact. On reviewing the results of these studies one finds a strikingly wide range of variation. One major factor of influence on the results of life cycle assessments, besides methodological factors such as the choice of allocation method, is the representativeness of the data used. Thus, widely varying results are also obtained when balance calculations and assessments are performed on energy crops with due consideration to regional and site-specific factors. To address this problem the present study endeavoured to identify region and site-specific factors and assess them in terms of their influence on the life cycle assessment of the cultivation and conversion to biogas of different kinds of energy crops. For this purpose the following questions were explored: What influence do region, site and equipment-specific factors have on the results of ecological and primary-energy-related assessments; and how large are the differences in results between region and site-specific assessments on the one hand and assessments based on general assumptions on the other? It transpires that the results of region and site-specific assessments differ from one another in terms of both the assessment of energy cropping and the assessment of the entire process chain of biogas production and conversion to electricity.

  19. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches.

  20. Use of ecological exposure units in ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferenbaugh, R.; Myers, O.; Gallegos, A.; Breshears, D.; Ebinger, M.

    1995-01-01

    The traditional approach to ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites that are being evaluated for cleanup under CERCLA or RCRA requirements is to focus on the immediate impacts at or adjacent to a site. While this may be acceptable in some situations, it is not ecologically defensible in situations where there are numerous contaminated sites in proximity to each other. In the latter case, transport from the sites, potential cumulative effects, and wide-ranging receptors must be considered. The concept of the Ecological Exposure Unit (EEU) has been proposed to address this situation. Ecological Exposure Units are defined on the basis of ecological considerations and each EEU may contain several to many contaminated sites. The initial steps involved in performing ecological risk assessments using the EEU approach include (1) selection of appropriate receptors and assessment endpoints, and (2) geographical definition of EEUs. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, receptors have been identified and EEUs have been defined for these receptors. GIS is being used as a tool to map EEUs. Receptors include representatives from threatened or endangered species, species reflecting status of ecological health, species with social or cultural relevance, and other species of concern. After definition of EEUs, cumulative impacts of all stressors at all sites within each EEU must be evaluated. The two major advantages to performing ecological risk assessments using this approach are that risk assessments are performed in a more scientifically defensible manner because they are performed on ecologically defined units and that resources are used optimally by minimizing redundant remedial activities

  1. Development of an ecological momentary assessment scale for appetite

    OpenAIRE

    Kikuchi, Hiroe; Yoshiuchi, Kazuhiro; Inada, Shuji; Ando, Tetsuya; Yamamoto, Yoshiharu

    2015-01-01

    Background An understanding of eating behaviors is an important element of health education and treatment in clinical populations. To understand the biopsychosocial profile of eating behaviors in an ecologically valid way, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is appropriate because its use is able to overcome the recall bias in patient-reported outcomes (PROs). As appetite is a key PRO associated with eating behaviors, this study was done to develop an EMA scale to evaluate the within-indivi...

  2. Validation of ecological state space models using the Laplace approximation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thygesen, Uffe Høgsbro; Albertsen, Christoffer Moesgaard; Berg, Casper Willestofte

    2017-01-01

    Many statistical models in ecology follow the state space paradigm. For such models, the important step of model validation rarely receives as much attention as estimation or hypothesis testing, perhaps due to lack of available algorithms and software. Model validation is often based on a naive...... for estimation in general mixed effects models. Implementing one-step predictions in the R package Template Model Builder, we demonstrate that it is possible to perform model validation with little effort, even if the ecological model is multivariate, has non-linear dynamics, and whether observations...... useful directions in which the model could be improved....

  3. Validation of self-reported cannabis dose and potency: an ecological study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Pol, P.; Liebregts, N.; de Graaf, R.; Korf, D.J.; van den Brink, W.; van Laar, M.

    2013-01-01

    Aims To assess the reliability and validity of self-reported cannabis dose and potency measures. Design Cross-sectional study comparing self-reports with objective measures of amount of cannabis and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration. Setting Ecological study with assessments at

  4. Validation of self-reported cannabis dose and potency: an ecological study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Pol, Peggy; Liebregts, Nienke; de Graaf, Ron; Korf, Dirk J.; van den Brink, Wim; van Laar, Margriet

    2013-01-01

    To assess the reliability and validity of self-reported cannabis dose and potency measures. Cross-sectional study comparing self-reports with objective measures of amount of cannabis and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration. Ecological study with assessments at participants' homes or in

  5. Using Ecological Momentary Assessment to Evaluate Current Physical Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolanta Marszalek

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of ecological momentary assessment in evaluating physical activity among children, adolescents, and adults. It also determines whether ecological momentary assessment fulfills the criteria of validity, reliability, objectivity, norms, and standardization applied to the tools used for the evaluation of physical activity. Methods. The EBSCO-CINHAL, Medline, PsycINFO, PubMed, and SPORTDiscuss databases were reviewed in December 2012 for articles associated with EMA. Results. Of the 20 articles examined, half (10 used electronic methods for data collection, although various methods were used, ranging from pen and paper to smartphone applications. Ten studies used objective monitoring equipment. Nineteen studies were performed over 4 days. While the validity of the EMA method was discussed in 18 studies, only four found it to be objective. In all cases, the EMA procedures were precisely documented and confirmed to be feasible. Conclusions. Ecological momentary assessment is a valid, reliable, and feasible approach to evaluate activity and sedentary behavior. Researchers should be aware that while ecological momentary assessment offers many benefits, it simultaneously imposes many limitations which should be considered when studying physical activity.

  6. US EPA's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    BackgroundThe ERASC provides technical information and addresses scientific questions of concern or interest on topics relevant to ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) personnel and the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) staff. Requests are channeled to ERASC through the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF). To assess emerging and complex scientific issues that require expert judgment, the ERASC relies on the expertise of scientists and engineers located throughout EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) labs and centers.ResponseERASC develops responses that reflect the state of the science for ecological risk assessment and also provides a communication point for the distribution of the responses to other interested parties. For further information, contact Ecology_ERASC@epa.gov or call 513-569-7940.

  7. Ecological Validity in Eye-Tracking: An Empirical Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinner, Patti; Gass, Susan M.; Behney, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Eye-trackers are becoming increasingly widespread as a tool to investigate second language (L2) acquisition. Unfortunately, clear standards for methodology--including font size, font type, and placement of interest areas--are not yet available. Although many researchers stress the need for ecological validity--that is, the simulation of natural…

  8. Ecological validity of the Yo-Yo SFIE2 test

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krustrup, Peter; Randers, Morten Bredsgaard; Horton, J

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigated the movement pattern of Portuguese top-level futsal referees (n=16) during competitive games and the ecological validity of the new Yo-Yo Sideways-Forwards Intermittent Endurance level 2 test (Yo-Yo SFIE2). Total distance covered (TD), high-intensity running (HIR...

  9. Development and validation of a bacteria-based index of biotic integrity for assessing the ecological status of urban rivers: A case study of Qinhuai River basin in Nanjing, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jie; Li, Yi; Qian, Bao; Niu, Lihua; Zhang, Wenlong; Cai, Wei; Wu, Hainan; Wang, Peifang; Wang, Chao

    2017-07-01

    With the increasing human disturbance to urban rivers, the extinction and biodiversity losses of some macroorganism species decreased the accuracy of bioassessment. In this study, a novel index of biotic integrity based on bacteria (Ba-IBI) was first developed for Qinhuai River in Nanjing city, China. Thirty-two biofilm samples were collected along the river bank and the bacterial communities were identified by high-throughput sequencing. By the range, responsive, and redundancy tests, four core metrics were selected from the dataset of 78 candidate metrics, including Pielou's evenness index, proportion of Paenibacillus, proportion of OTUs tolerant to organic pollution and proportion of Nitrosomonas. The results showed that the Ba-IBI was able to effectively discriminate different impaired site groups, and had a good correlation with the index of water quality (r = 0.79, p river. Our study revealed that the Ba-IBI is an effective and reliable approach for assessing the ecological status of Qinhuai River basin, which can complement the existing ecological assessment approaches for urban rivers. Meanwhile, repeted surveys and field validations are still needed to further improve the applicability of the index in future studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Studying the neurobiology of human social interaction : Making the case for ecological validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hogenelst, Koen; Schoevers, Robert A.; Rot, Marije Aan Het

    2015-01-01

    With this commentary we make the case for an increased focus on the ecological validity of the measures used to assess aspects of human social functioning. Impairments in social functioning are seen in many types of psychopathology, negatively affecting the lives of psychiatric patients and those

  11. Road ecology in environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karlson, Mårten; Mörtberg, Ulla; Balfors, Berit

    2014-01-01

    Transport infrastructure has a wide array of effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and road and railway networks are increasingly being associated with a loss of biodiversity worldwide. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are two legal frameworks that concern physical planning, with the potential to identify, predict, mitigate and/or compensate transport infrastructure effects with negative impacts on biodiversity. The aim of this study was to review the treatment of ecological impacts in environmental assessment of transport infrastructure plans and projects. A literature review on the topic of EIA, SEA, biodiversity and transport infrastructure was conducted, and 17 problem categories on the treatment of biodiversity were formulated by means of a content analysis. A review of environmental impact statements and environmental reports (EIS/ER) produced between 2005 and 2013 in Sweden and the UK was then conducted using the list of problems as a checklist. The results show that the treatment of ecological impacts has improved substantially over the years, but that some impacts remain problematic; the treatment of fragmentation, the absence of quantitative analysis and that the impact assessment study area was in general delimited without consideration for the scales of ecological processes. Actions to improve the treatment of ecological impacts could include improved guidelines for spatial and temporal delimitation, and the establishment of a quantitative framework including tools, methods and threshold values. Additionally, capacity building and further method development of EIA and SEA friendly spatial ecological models can aid in clarifying the costs as well as the benefits in development/biodiversity tradeoffs. - Highlights: • The treatment of ecological impacts in EIA and SEA has improved. • Quantitative methods for ecological impact assessment were rarely used • Fragmentation effects were recognized

  12. Road ecology in environmental impact assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karlson, Mårten, E-mail: mkarlso@kth.se; Mörtberg, Ulla, E-mail: mortberg@kth.se; Balfors, Berit, E-mail: balfors@kth.se

    2014-09-15

    Transport infrastructure has a wide array of effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and road and railway networks are increasingly being associated with a loss of biodiversity worldwide. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are two legal frameworks that concern physical planning, with the potential to identify, predict, mitigate and/or compensate transport infrastructure effects with negative impacts on biodiversity. The aim of this study was to review the treatment of ecological impacts in environmental assessment of transport infrastructure plans and projects. A literature review on the topic of EIA, SEA, biodiversity and transport infrastructure was conducted, and 17 problem categories on the treatment of biodiversity were formulated by means of a content analysis. A review of environmental impact statements and environmental reports (EIS/ER) produced between 2005 and 2013 in Sweden and the UK was then conducted using the list of problems as a checklist. The results show that the treatment of ecological impacts has improved substantially over the years, but that some impacts remain problematic; the treatment of fragmentation, the absence of quantitative analysis and that the impact assessment study area was in general delimited without consideration for the scales of ecological processes. Actions to improve the treatment of ecological impacts could include improved guidelines for spatial and temporal delimitation, and the establishment of a quantitative framework including tools, methods and threshold values. Additionally, capacity building and further method development of EIA and SEA friendly spatial ecological models can aid in clarifying the costs as well as the benefits in development/biodiversity tradeoffs. - Highlights: • The treatment of ecological impacts in EIA and SEA has improved. • Quantitative methods for ecological impact assessment were rarely used • Fragmentation effects were recognized

  13. Ecological Risk Assessment in Water Resource Management ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The US EPA published guidelines for the application of ecological risk assessment (ERA) in the USA in 1998 (US EPA 1998). The process diagram derived by Murray and Claassen (1999) in an evaluation of the US EPA framework is discussed in the context of the South African National Water Act. The evaluation discusses ...

  14. Ecological risk assessment as a framework for environmental impact assessments

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Claassen, Marius

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Environmental impact assessments in South Africa are usually conducted according to the integrated environmental management (IEM) procedure. The preliminary investigation reported here, indicated that most of the ecological requirements specified...

  15. Assessment of juveniles testimonies’ validity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dozortseva E.G.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The article presents a review of the English language publications concerning the history and the current state of differential psychological assessment of validity of testimonies produced by child and adolescent victims of crimes. The topicality of the problem in Russia is high due to the tendency of Russian specialists to use methodical means and instruments developed abroad in this sphere for forensic assessments of witness testimony veracity. A system of Statement Validity Analysis (SVA by means of Criteria-Based Content Analysis (CBCA and Validity Checklist is described. The results of laboratory and field studies of validity of CBCA criteria on the basis of child and adult witnesses are discussed. The data display a good differentiating capacity of the method, however, a high level of error probability. The researchers recommend implementation of SVA in the criminal investigation process, but not in the forensic assessment. New perspective developments in the field of methods for differentiation of witness statements based on the real experience and fictional are noted. The conclusion is drawn that empirical studies and a special work for adaptation and development of new approaches should precede their implementation into Russian criminal investigation and forensic assessment practice

  16. Ecological risk assessment of hydropower dam construction based on ecological network analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Shaoqing; Fath, Brian D.; Chen, Bin

    2010-01-01

    Dam construction is regarded as one of the major factors contributing to significant modifications of the river ecosystems, and the ecological risk (ER) assessment of dam construction has received growing attention in recent years. In the present study, we explored the potential ecological risk caused by dam project based on the general principles of the ecological risk assessment. Ecological network analysis was proposed as the usable analytic method for the implement of ecological risk asse...

  17. Investigating the effects of caffeine on executive functions using traditional Stroop and a new ecologically-valid virtual reality task, the Jansari assessment of Executive Functions (JEF(©)).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soar, K; Chapman, E; Lavan, N; Jansari, A S; Turner, J J D

    2016-10-01

    Caffeine has been shown to have effects on certain areas of cognition, but in executive functioning the research is limited and also inconsistent. One reason could be the need for a more sensitive measure to detect the effects of caffeine on executive function. This study used a new non-immersive virtual reality assessment of executive functions known as JEF(©) (the Jansari Assessment of Executive Function) alongside the 'classic' Stroop Colour-Word task to assess the effects of a normal dose of caffeinated coffee on executive function. Using a double-blind, counterbalanced within participants procedure 43 participants were administered either a caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and completed the 'JEF(©)' and Stroop tasks, as well as a subjective mood scale and blood pressure pre- and post condition on two separate occasions a week apart. JEF(©) yields measures for eight separate aspects of executive functions, in addition to a total average score. Findings indicate that performance was significantly improved on the planning, creative thinking, event-, time- and action-based prospective memory, as well as total JEF(©) score following caffeinated coffee relative to the decaffeinated coffee. The caffeinated beverage significantly decreased reaction times on the Stroop task, but there was no effect on Stroop interference. The results provide further support for the effects of a caffeinated beverage on cognitive functioning. In particular, it has demonstrated the ability of JEF(©) to detect the effects of caffeine across a number of executive functioning constructs, which weren't shown in the Stroop task, suggesting executive functioning improvements as a result of a 'typical' dose of caffeine may only be detected by the use of more real-world, ecologically valid tasks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Automated Ecological Assessment of Physical Activity: Advancing Direct Observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Jordan A; Liu, Bo; Sallis, James F; Kerr, Jacqueline; Hipp, J Aaron; Staggs, Vincent S; Papa, Amy; Dean, Kelsey; Vasconcelos, Nuno M

    2017-12-01

    Technological advances provide opportunities for automating direct observations of physical activity, which allow for continuous monitoring and feedback. This pilot study evaluated the initial validity of computer vision algorithms for ecological assessment of physical activity. The sample comprised 6630 seconds per camera (three cameras in total) of video capturing up to nine participants engaged in sitting, standing, walking, and jogging in an open outdoor space while wearing accelerometers. Computer vision algorithms were developed to assess the number and proportion of people in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous activity, and group-based metabolic equivalents of tasks (MET)-minutes. Means and standard deviations (SD) of bias/difference values, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) assessed the criterion validity compared to accelerometry separately for each camera. The number and proportion of participants sedentary and in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) had small biases (within 20% of the criterion mean) and the ICCs were excellent (0.82-0.98). Total MET-minutes were slightly underestimated by 9.3-17.1% and the ICCs were good (0.68-0.79). The standard deviations of the bias estimates were moderate-to-large relative to the means. The computer vision algorithms appeared to have acceptable sample-level validity (i.e., across a sample of time intervals) and are promising for automated ecological assessment of activity in open outdoor settings, but further development and testing is needed before such tools can be used in a diverse range of settings.

  19. Examining the ecological validity of the Talent Development Environment Questionnaire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martindale, Russell J J; Collins, Dave; Douglas, Carl; Whike, Ally

    2013-01-01

    It is clear that high class expertise and effective practice exists within many talent development environments across the world. However, there is also a general consensus that widespread evidence-based policy and practice is lacking. As such, it is crucial to develop solutions which can facilitate effective dissemination of knowledge and promotion of evidence-based talent development systems. While the Talent Development Environment Questionnaire (Martindale et al., 2010 ) provides a method through which this could be facilitated, its ecological validity has remained untested. As such, this study aimed to investigate the real world applicability of the questionnaire through discriminant function analysis. Athletes across ten distinct regional squads and academies were identified and separated into two broad levels, 'higher quality' (n = 48) and 'lower quality' (n = 51) environments, based on their process quality and productivity. Results revealed that the Talent Development Environment Questionnaire was able to discriminate with 77.8% accuracy. Furthermore, in addition to the questionnaire as a whole, two individual features, 'quality preparation' (P < 0.01) and 'understanding the athlete' (P < 0.01), were found to be significant discriminators. In conclusion, the results indicate robust structural properties and sound ecological validity, allowing the questionnaire to be used with more confidence in applied and research settings.

  20. Enhancing the ecological risk assessment process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Virginia H; Biddinger, Gregory R; Newman, Michael C; Oris, James T; Suter, Glenn W; Thompson, Timothy; Armitage, Thomas M; Meyer, Judith L; Allen-King, Richelle M; Burton, G Allen; Chapman, Peter M; Conquest, Loveday L; Fernandez, Ivan J; Landis, Wayne G; Master, Lawrence L; Mitsch, William J; Mueller, Thomas C; Rabeni, Charles F; Rodewald, Amanda D; Sanders, James G; van Heerden, Ivor L

    2008-07-01

    The Ecological Processes and Effects Committee of the US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board conducted a self-initiated study and convened a public workshop to characterize the state of the ecological risk assessment (ERA), with a view toward advancing the science and application of the process. That survey and analysis of ERA in decision making shows that such assessments have been most effective when clear management goals were included in the problem formulation; translated into information needs; and developed in collaboration with decision makers, assessors, scientists, and stakeholders. This process is best facilitated when risk managers, risk assessors, and stakeholders are engaged in an ongoing dialogue about problem formulation. Identification and acknowledgment of uncertainties that have the potential to profoundly affect the results and outcome of risk assessments also improves assessment effectiveness. Thus we suggest 1) through peer review of ERAs be conducted at the problem formulation stage and 2) the predictive power of risk-based decision making be expanded to reduce uncertainties through analytical and methodological approaches like life cycle analysis. Risk assessment and monitoring programs need better integration to reduce uncertainty and to evaluate risk management decision outcomes. Postdecision audit programs should be initiated to evaluate the environmental outcomes of risk-based decisions. In addition, a process should be developed to demonstrate how monitoring data can be used to reduce uncertainties. Ecological risk assessments should include the effects of chemical and nonchemical stressors at multiple levels of biological organization and spatial scale, and the extent and resolution of the pertinent scales and levels of organization should be explicitly considered during problem formulation. An approach to interpreting lines of evidence and weight of evidence is critically needed for complex assessments, and it would

  1. Integrating tidal and nontidal ecological assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark Southerland; Roberto Llanso

    2016-01-01

    The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has a long history of conducting rigorous assessments of ecological conditions in both tidal and nontidal waters. The Long-Term Benthic (LTB) Monitoring Program and the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) both use reference-based indicators of benthic invertebrate communities to provide areawide estimates of ...

  2. [Ecological validity and multitasking environments in the evaluation of the executive functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Cardas-Ibáñez, Jaione; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai

    2014-07-16

    Evaluation of executive functions is a major issue of neuropsychological assessment, due to the role displayed by these on a cognitive, behavioural and emotional level, and the implication of these functions in daily life functioning. In order to perform a reliable assessment, the strategy traditionally followed for the evaluation of executive functions has been their atomization in different cognitive subprocesses, which is useful in a clinical or a research context. However, in clinical practice it is frequently artificial to disintegrate a global and complex cognitive process, such as executive functions, in a variety of related components; thus, tests designed according to these theoretical processes have low value in clinical procedures (diagnosis, rehabilitation design) due to their poor correspondence with the subject's or patient's clinical reality. The aims of the present work are to revise the concept of ecological validity applied to the evaluation of executive functions, and to perform a critical review of executive functions assessment by means of multitask paradigms as a way to increase the ecological validity and predictive value of the subject's functional performance. After a historical journey around the (low) ecological validity of single-task tests, and the bet in favour of a multitask paradigm for the evaluation of executive functions, up-to-date existing multitask tests are presented meticulously (with their respective advantages and disadvantages). Finally, concrete recommendations about how to develop multitask tests in the future are presented, attending to concrete parameters related to the context, tasks, objectives, rules and scoring.

  3. Studying the neurobiology of human social interaction: Making the case for ecological validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogenelst, Koen; Schoevers, Robert A; aan het Rot, Marije

    2015-01-01

    With this commentary we make the case for an increased focus on the ecological validity of the measures used to assess aspects of human social functioning. Impairments in social functioning are seen in many types of psychopathology, negatively affecting the lives of psychiatric patients and those around them. Yet the neurobiology underlying abnormal social interaction remains unclear. As an example of human social neuroscience research with relevance to biological psychiatry and clinical psychopharmacology, this commentary discusses published experimental studies involving manipulation of the human brain serotonin system that included assessments of social behavior. To date, these studies have mostly been laboratory-based and included computer tasks, observations by others, or single-administration self-report measures. Most laboratory measures used so far inform about the role of serotonin in aspects of social interaction, but the relevance for real-life interaction is often unclear. Few studies have used naturalistic assessments in real life. We suggest several laboratory methods with high ecological validity as well as ecological momentary assessment, which involves intensive repeated measures in naturalistic settings. In sum, this commentary intends to stimulate experimental research on the neurobiology of human social interaction as it occurs in real life.

  4. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munns, Wayne R; Rea, Anne W; Suter, Glenn W; Martin, Lawrence; Blake-Hedges, Lynne; Crk, Tanja; Davis, Christine; Ferreira, Gina; Jordan, Steve; Mahoney, Michele; Barron, Mace G

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem services are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future. Those outputs include food and drinking water, clean air and water, and pollinated crops. The need to protect the services provided by natural systems has been recognized previously, but ecosystem services have not been formally incorporated into ecological risk assessment practice in a general way in the United States. Endpoints used conventionally in ecological risk assessment, derived directly from the state of the ecosystem (e.g., biophysical structure and processes), and endpoints based on ecosystem services serve different purposes. Conventional endpoints are ecologically important and susceptible entities and attributes that are protected under US laws and regulations. Ecosystem service endpoints are a conceptual and analytical step beyond conventional endpoints and are intended to complement conventional endpoints by linking and extending endpoints to goods and services with more obvious benefit to humans. Conventional endpoints can be related to ecosystem services even when the latter are not considered explicitly during problem formulation. To advance the use of ecosystem service endpoints in ecological risk assessment, the US Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Assessment Forum has added generic endpoints based on ecosystem services (ES-GEAE) to the original 2003 set of generic ecological assessment endpoints (GEAEs). Like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are defined by an entity and an attribute. Also like conventional GEAEs, ES-GEAEs are broadly described and will need to be made specific when applied to individual assessments. Adoption of ecosystem services as a type of assessment endpoint is intended to improve the value of risk assessment to environmental decision making, linking ecological risk to human well-being, and providing an improved means of communicating those risks. Integr Environ Assess Manag

  5. Divergence is not enough: the use of ecological niche models for the validation of taxon boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnino, D; Minuto, L; Casazza, G

    2017-11-01

    Delimiting taxon boundaries is crucial for any evolutionary research and conservation regulation. In order to avoid mistaken description of species, the approach of integrative taxonomy recommends considering multidisciplinary lines of evidence, including ecology. Unfortunately, ecological data are often difficult to quantify objectively. Here we test and discuss the potential use of ecological niche models for validating taxon boundaries, using three pairs of closely related plant taxa endemic to the south-western Alps as a case study. We also discuss the application of ecological niche models for species delimitation and the implementation of different approaches. Niche overlap, niche equivalency and niche similarity were assessed both in multidimensional environmental space and in geographic space to look for differences in the niche of three pairs of closely related plant taxa. We detected a high degree of niche differentiation between taxa although this result seems not due to differences in habitat selection. The different statistical tests gave contrasting outcomes between environmental and geographic spaces. According to our results, niche divergence does not seem to support taxon boundaries at species level, but may have had important consequences for local adaptation and in generating phenotypic diversity at intraspecific level. Environmental space analysis should be preferred to geographic space as it provides more clear results. Even if the different analyses widely disagree in their conclusions about taxon boundaries, our study suggests that ecological niche models may help taxonomists to reach a decision. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  6. Study on the Progress of Ecological Fragility Assessment in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Pei; Hou, Kang; Chang, Yue; Li, Xuxiang; Zhang, Yunwei

    2018-02-01

    The basic elements of human survival are based on the ecological environment. The development of social economic and the security of the ecological environment are closely linked and interact with each other. The fragility of the environment directly affects the stability of the regional ecosystem and the sustainable development of the ecological environment. As part of the division of the national ecological security, the assessment of ecological fragility has become a hot and difficult issue in environmental research, and researchers at home and abroad have systematically studied the causes and states of ecological fragility. The assessment of regional ecological fragility is a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the unbalanced distribution of ecological environment factors caused by human socio-economic activities or changes in ecosystems. At present, researches on ecological fragility has not formed a complete and unified index assessment system, and the unity of the assessment model has a direct impact on the accuracy of the index weights. Therefore, the discussion on selection of ecological fragility indexes and the improvement of ecological fragility assessment model is necessary, which is good for the improvement of ecological fragility assessment system in China.

  7. Automated Ecological Assessment of Physical Activity: Advancing Direct Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan A. Carlson

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Technological advances provide opportunities for automating direct observations of physical activity, which allow for continuous monitoring and feedback. This pilot study evaluated the initial validity of computer vision algorithms for ecological assessment of physical activity. The sample comprised 6630 seconds per camera (three cameras in total of video capturing up to nine participants engaged in sitting, standing, walking, and jogging in an open outdoor space while wearing accelerometers. Computer vision algorithms were developed to assess the number and proportion of people in sedentary, light, moderate, and vigorous activity, and group-based metabolic equivalents of tasks (MET-minutes. Means and standard deviations (SD of bias/difference values, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC assessed the criterion validity compared to accelerometry separately for each camera. The number and proportion of participants sedentary and in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA had small biases (within 20% of the criterion mean and the ICCs were excellent (0.82–0.98. Total MET-minutes were slightly underestimated by 9.3–17.1% and the ICCs were good (0.68–0.79. The standard deviations of the bias estimates were moderate-to-large relative to the means. The computer vision algorithms appeared to have acceptable sample-level validity (i.e., across a sample of time intervals and are promising for automated ecological assessment of activity in open outdoor settings, but further development and testing is needed before such tools can be used in a diverse range of settings.

  8. Influence of region and site-specific factors on the degree of general validity of ecological and primary-energy-related assessments of biogas; Einfluss regionaler und standortspezifischer Faktoren auf die Allgemeingueltigkeit oekologischer und primaerenergetischer Bewertungen von Biogas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dressler, Daniela

    2015-11-01

    As described in this publication, since the early 1990s numerous studies based on the life cycle assessment methodology have been dedicated to assessments of different kinds of bioenergy in comparison with fossil energy resources in terms of their energy balance and environmental impact. On reviewing the results of these studies one finds a strikingly wide range of variation. One major factor of influence on the results of life cycle assessments, besides methodological factors such as the choice of allocation method, is the representativeness of the data used. Thus, widely varying results are also obtained when balance calculations and assessments are performed on energy crops with due consideration to regional and site-specific factors. To address this problem the present study endeavoured to identify region and site-specific factors and assess them in terms of their influence on the life cycle assessment of the cultivation and conversion to biogas of different kinds of energy crops. For this purpose the following questions were explored: What influence do region, site and equipment-specific factors have on the results of ecological and primary-energy-related assessments; and how large are the differences in results between region and site-specific assessments on the one hand and assessments based on general assumptions on the other? It transpires that the results of region and site-specific assessments differ from one another in terms of both the assessment of energy cropping and the assessment of the entire process chain of biogas production and conversion to electricity.

  9. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

    Ecology is a science that studies the mutual interactions between organisms and their environment. The fundamental subject of interest in ecology is the individual. Topics of interest to ecologists include the diversity, distribution and number of particular organisms, as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems. Today, ecology is a multidisciplinary science. This is particularly true when the subject of interest is the ecosystem or biosphere, which requires the knowledge and input of biologists, chemists, physicists, geologists, geographists, climatologists, hydrologists and many other experts. Ecology is applied in a science of restoration, repairing disturbed sites through human intervention, in natural resource management, and in environmental impact assessments.

  10. Quality Enhancement of Environmental Aesthetics Experience Through Ecological Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Ali Reza Sadeghi; Mohammadreza Pourjafar; Ali Akbar Taghvaee; Parviz Azadfallah

    2014-01-01

    In this article by reviewing the environmental aesthetics experience, natural towns cape, and ecological assessment related concepts, ecological assessment is known as a process that pave the way for achieving a positive (pleasant) experience of natural aesthetics in natural towns cape. In fact, it seems that ecological assessment and evaluation of the natural context should be the fundamental part in the process of urban design of large scale projects, which are developed to improve the qual...

  11. Validity in assessment of prior learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahlgren, Bjarne; Aarkrog, Vibe

    2015-01-01

    , the article discusses the need for specific criteria for assessment. The reliability and validity of the assessment procedures depend on whether the competences are well-defined, and whether the teachers are adequately trained for the assessment procedures. Keywords: assessment, prior learning, adult...... education, vocational training, lifelong learning, validity...

  12. Bioavailability in ecological risk. Assessment for radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garnier-Laplace, J.; Gilbin, R.; Della-Vedova, C.; Adam, C.; Simon, O.; Denison, F.; Beaugelin, K.

    2005-01-01

    The guidance for performing Ecological Risk Assessments (ERA) in Europe has been published in 2003 in the EC's Technical Guidance Document. This document constitutes the official reference in which current water quality standards and risk assessment approach for metals/metalloids are still mainly based on total or dissolved concentrations. However, it has been recognized that accurate assessment of the bio-available metal fraction is crucial, even if the way to incorporate bioavailability into these procedures is still under discussion. The speciation of a pollutant in the exposure medium is the first factor that regulates its bioavailability and consequently its bioaccumulation and the induced biological effects. Therefore, within any ecological risk assessment, bioavailability has obvious implications: firstly in exposure analysis which aim is to determine Predicted Exposure Concentration (PEC); secondly in effect analysis while deriving the so-called Predicted No-Effect Concentrations (PNEC) as toxicity is often linked to the amount of the contaminant incorporated into the tissues of biota. Similarities between metals/metalloids and radionuclides are limited to the biogeochemical behaviour of the element considered and to the need to use bioavailability models. In addition, for radionuclides, emitted ionising radiations (type and energy) need to be taken into account for both exposure and effect analyses whilst performing dosimetric calculations appropriate to the exposure scenarios. A methodology for properly implementing bioavailability models is explained and illustrated for aqueous U(VI), starting from a comprehensive review of the thermodynamic data relevant to environmentally-realistic physico-chemical conditions. Then, the use of thermodynamic equilibrium modelling as a tool for interpreting the bioavailability of U(VI) is presented. Using a systematic approach, different bioavailability models of increasing complexity were tested to model U bio

  13. Exploring sarcasm detection in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis using ecologically valid measures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew eStaios

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressive condition involving degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. Recent research suggests that a proportion of persons with ALS show a profile similar to that of FTD, with this group of ALS patients exhibiting social cognitive deficits. Although social cognitive deficits have been partially explored in ALS, research has yet to investigate such changes using ecologically valid measures. Therefore, this study aimed to further characterise the scope of social cognitive and emotion recognition deficits in non-demented ALS patients using an ecologically valid measure of social cognition. A sample of 35 ALS patients and 30 age-and-education matched controls were assessed using the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination, the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test, and The Awareness of Social Inference Test, where participants were required to discriminate between various emotions and decipher socially challenging scenarios enacted in video vignettes. Participants with ALS showed significant difficulties in recognising both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements, but not sincere statements, when compared to controls. After controlling for executive difficulties, ALS patients still displayed significant difficulties on tasks that assessed their comprehension of both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements. The inability to read social cues and make social inferences has the potential to place significant strain on familial/interpersonal relationships in ALS. The findings of this study highlight the importance of employing a broader range of neuropsychological assessment tools to aid in early detection of frontal lobe impairment in non-demented ALS patients.

  14. Exploring sarcasm detection in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis using ecologically valid measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staios, Mathew; Fisher, Fiona; Lindell, Annukka K.; Ong, Ben; Howe, Jim; Reardon, Katrina

    2013-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive condition involving degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. Recent research suggests that a proportion of persons with ALS show a profile similar to that of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), with this group of ALS patients exhibiting social cognitive deficits. Although social cognitive deficits have been partially explored in ALS, research has yet to investigate such changes using ecologically valid measures. Therefore, this study aimed to further characterize the scope of social cognitive and emotion recognition deficits in non-demented ALS patients using an ecologically valid measure of social cognition. A sample of 35 ALS patients and 30 age-and-education matched controls were assessed using the Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination, the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test, and The Awareness of Social Inference Test, where participants were required to discriminate between various emotions and decipher socially challenging scenarios enacted in video vignettes. Participants with ALS showed significant difficulties in recognizing both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements, but not sincere statements, when compared to controls. After controlling for executive difficulties, ALS patients still displayed significant difficulties on tasks that assessed their comprehension of both sarcastic and paradoxical sarcastic statements. The inability to read social cues and make social inferences has the potential to place significant strain on familial/interpersonal relationships in ALS. The findings of this study highlight the importance of employing a broader range of neuropsychological assessment tools to aid in early detection of frontal lobe impairment in non-demented ALS patients. PMID:23734113

  15. Ecological geology environmental assessment of open-pit mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dong Shuangfa; Jiang Xue

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, there is a detail description of ecological geology environmental assessment of open-pit mines, including method, process and results. We took ecological geology environmental assessment work on the base of the results of some open-pit mines such as extremely low content magnetite in Hebei Province, inducted and summarized the ecological geology environment quality. The results are reasonable. It provides basic data for the second mines programming in Hebei Province. (authors)

  16. Structural Validation of the Holistic Wellness Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Charlene; Applegate, E. Brooks; Yildiz, Mustafa

    2015-01-01

    The Holistic Wellness Assessment (HWA) is a relatively new assessment instrument based on an emergent transdisciplinary model of wellness. This study validated the factor structure identified via exploratory factor analysis (EFA), assessed test-retest reliability, and investigated concurrent validity of the HWA in three separate samples. The…

  17. Ecological assessment of riparian forests in Benin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Natta, A.K.

    2003-01-01

    The present research deals with the flora, phytosociology and ecology of riparian forests. The overall objective of this research is to contribute to a better knowledge of the flora, diversity and ecology of riparian forests in

  18. Virtual Reality for Enhanced Ecological Validity and Experimental Control in the Clinical, Affective and Social Neurosciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Thomas D.

    2015-01-01

    An essential tension can be found between researchers interested in ecological validity and those concerned with maintaining experimental control. Research in the human neurosciences often involves the use of simple and static stimuli lacking many of the potentially important aspects of real world activities and interactions. While this research is valuable, there is a growing interest in the human neurosciences to use cues about target states in the real world via multimodal scenarios that involve visual, semantic, and prosodic information. These scenarios should include dynamic stimuli presented concurrently or serially in a manner that allows researchers to assess the integrative processes carried out by perceivers over time. Furthermore, there is growing interest in contextually embedded stimuli that can constrain participant interpretations of cues about a target’s internal states. Virtual reality environments proffer assessment paradigms that combine the experimental control of laboratory measures with emotionally engaging background narratives to enhance affective experience and social interactions. The present review highlights the potential of virtual reality environments for enhanced ecological validity in the clinical, affective, and social neurosciences. PMID:26696869

  19. Ecological Compliance Assessment Project: 1994 Summary report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandt, C.A.

    1994-11-01

    The Ecological Compliance Assessment Project (ECAP) began full operation on March 1, 1994. The project is designed around a baseline environmental data concept that includes intensive biological field surveys of key areas of the Hanford Site where the majority of Site activities occur. These surveys are conducted at biologically appropriate times of year to ensure that the data gathered are current and accurate. The data are entered into the ECAP database, which serves as a reference for the evaluation of review requests coming in to the project. This methodology provided the basis for over 90 percent of the review requests received. Field surveys conducted under ECAP are performed to document occurrence information for species of concern and to obtain habitat descriptions. There are over 200 species of concern on the Hanford Site, including plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. In addition, Washington State has designated mature sagebrush-steppe habitat as a Priority Habitat meriting special protective measures. Of the projects reviewed, 17 resulted or will result in impacts to species or habitats of concern on the Hanford Site. The greatest impact has been on big sagebrush habitat. Most of the impact has been or will be within the 600 Area of the Site

  20. A Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) for synthesising high-frequency sensor data for validation of deterministic ecological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Hamilton P; Carey, Cayelan C.; Arvola, Lauri; Arzberger, Peter; Brewer, Carol A.; Cole, Jon J; Gaiser, Evelyn; Hanson, Paul C.; Ibelings, Bas W; Jennings, Eleanor; Kratz, Tim K; Lin, Fang-Pang; McBride, Christopher G.; de Motta Marques, David; Muraoka, Kohji; Nishri, Ami; Qin, Boqiang; Read, Jordan S.; Rose, Kevin C.; Ryder, Elizabeth; Weathers, Kathleen C.; Zhu, Guangwei; Trolle, Dennis; Brookes, Justin D

    2014-01-01

    A Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON; www.gleon.org) has formed to provide a coordinated response to the need for scientific understanding of lake processes, utilising technological advances available from autonomous sensors. The organisation embraces a grassroots approach to engage researchers from varying disciplines, sites spanning geographic and ecological gradients, and novel sensor and cyberinfrastructure to synthesise high-frequency lake data at scales ranging from local to global. The high-frequency data provide a platform to rigorously validate process- based ecological models because model simulation time steps are better aligned with sensor measurements than with lower-frequency, manual samples. Two case studies from Trout Bog, Wisconsin, USA, and Lake Rotoehu, North Island, New Zealand, are presented to demonstrate that in the past, ecological model outputs (e.g., temperature, chlorophyll) have been relatively poorly validated based on a limited number of directly comparable measurements, both in time and space. The case studies demonstrate some of the difficulties of mapping sensor measurements directly to model state variable outputs as well as the opportunities to use deviations between sensor measurements and model simulations to better inform process understanding. Well-validated ecological models provide a mechanism to extrapolate high-frequency sensor data in space and time, thereby potentially creating a fully 3-dimensional simulation of key variables of interest.

  1. Radiological endpoints relevant to ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrison, F.

    1997-01-01

    Because of the potential risk from radiation due to the releases of radionuclides from anthropogenic activities, considerable research was performed to determine for humans the levels of dose received, their responses to the doses and mechanisms of action of radioactivity on living matter. More recently, there is an increased interest in the effects of radioactivity on non-human species. There are differences in approach between risk assessment for humans and ecosystems. For protection of humans, the focus is the individual and the endpoint of primary concern is cancer induction. For protection of ecosystems, the focus is on population stability and the endpoint of concern is reproductive success for organisms important ecologically and economically. For these organisms, information is needed on their responses to irradiation and the potential impact of the doses absorbed on their reproductive success. Considerable information is available on the effects of radiation on organisms from different phyla and types of ecosystems. Databases useful for assessing risk from exposures of populations to radioactivity are the effects of irradiation on mortality, fertility and sterility, the latter two of which are important components of reproductive success. Data on radiation effects on mortality are available both from acute and chronic irradiation. In relation to radiation effects, reproductive success for a given population is related to a number of characteristics of the species, including inherent radiosensitivity of reproductive tissues and early life stages, processes occurring during gametogenesis, reproductive strategy and exposure history. The available data on acute and chronic radiation doses is reviewed for invertebrates, fishes and mammals. The information reviewed indicates that wide ranges in responses with species can be expected. Parameters that most likely contribute to inherent radiosensitivity are discussed. (author)

  2. A survey of ecological risk assessment at DOE facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnthouse, L.W.; Bascietto, J.; Joseph, T.; Bilyard, G.

    1992-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Risk-Based Standards Working Group is studying standard-setting and remedial action based on realistic estimates of human health and ecological risks. Federal and state regulations require DOE to assess ecological risks due to present and past operation of DOE facilities and ecological damage caused by remedial actions. Unfortunately, little technical guidance has been provided by regulatory agencies about how these assessments should be performed or what constitutes an adequate assessment. Active ecological research, environmental characterization, and ecological risk assessment programs are already underway at many locations. Some of these programs were established more than 30 years ago. Because of the strength of its existing programs and the depth of expertise available within the DOE complex, the agency is in a position to lead in developing ecological risk assessment procedures that are fully consistent with the general principles defined by EPA and that will ensure environmentally sound and cost-effective restoration of its sites. As a prelude to guidance development, the working group conducted a survey of ecological risk assessment activities at a subset of major DOE facilities. The survey was intended to (1) identify approaches now being used in ecological risk assessments performed by DOE staff and contractors at each site, (2) record successes and failures of these approaches, (3) identify new technical developments with potential for general application to many DOE facilities, and (4) identify major data needs, data resources, and methodological deficiencies

  3. Ecological Risk Assessment of Jarosite Waste Disposal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihone Kerolli-Mustafa

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Jarosite waste, originating from zinc extraction industry, is considered hazardous due to the presence and the mobility of toxic metals that it contains. Its worldwide disposal in many tailing damps has become a major ecological concern. Three different methods, namely modified Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP, three-stage BCR sequential extraction procedure and Potential Ecological Risk Index (PERI Method were used to access the ecological risk of jarosite waste disposal in Mitrovica Industrial Park, Kosovo. The combination of these methods can effectively identify the comprehensive and single pollution levels of heavy metals such as Zn, Pb, Cd, Cu, Ni and As present in jarosite waste. Moreover, the great positive relevance between leaching behavior of heavy metals and F1 fraction was supported by principal component analysis (PCA. PERI results indicate that Cd showed a very high risk class to the environment. The ecological risk of heavy metals declines in the following order: Cd>Zn>Cu>Pb>Ni>As.

  4. SPECIAL SECTION: Perspectives of the Scientific Community on the Status of Ecological Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power; Adams

    1997-11-01

    / Views from a wide variety of practicing environmental professionals on the current status of ecological risk assessment (ERA) indicate consensus and divergence of opinion on the utility and practice of risk assessment. Central to the debate were the issues of whether ERA appropriately incorporates ecological and scientific principle into its conceptual paradigm. Advocates argue that ERA effectively does both, noting that much of the fault detractors find with the process has more to do with its practice than its purpose. Critics argue that failure to validate ERA predictions and the tendency to over-simplify ecological principles compromise the integrity of ERA and may lead to misleading advice on the appropriate responses to environmental problems. All authors felt that many improvements could be made, including validation, better definition of the ecological questions and boundaries of ERA, improved harmonization of selected methods, and improvements in the knowledge base. Despite identified deficiencies, most authors felt that ERA was a useful process undergoing evolutionary changes that will inevitably determine the range of environmental problems to which it can be appropriately applied. The views expressed give ERA a cautious vote of approval and highlight many of the critical strengths and weaknesses in one of our most important environmental assessment tools.KEY WORDS: Ecological risk assessment; Ecology; Probability

  5. Strategy for an assessment of cumulative ecological impacts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boucher, P.; Collins, J.; Nelsen, J.

    1995-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a strategy to conduct an assessment of the cumulative ecological impact of operations at the 300-square-mile Savannah River Site. This facility has over 400 identified waste units and contains several large watersheds. In addition to individual waste units, residual contamination must be evaluated in terms of its contribution to ecological risks at zonal and site-wide levels. DOE must be able to generate sufficient information to facilitate cleanup in the immediate future within the context of a site-wide ecological risk assessment that may not be completed for many years. The strategy superimposes a more global perspective on ecological assessments of individual waste units and provides strategic underpinnings for conducting individual screening-level and baseline risk assessments at the operable unit and zonal or watershed levels. It identifies ecological endpoints and risk assessment tools appropriate for each level of the risk assessment. In addition, it provides a clear mechanism for identifying clean sites through screening-level risk assessments and for elevating sites with residual contamination to the next level of assessment. Whereas screening-level and operable unit-level risk assessments relate directly to cleanup, zonal and site-wide assessments verity or confirm the overall effectiveness of remediation. The latter assessments must show, for example, whether multiple small areas with residual pesticide contamination that have minimal individual impact would pose a cumulative risk from bioaccumulation because they are within the habitat range of an ecological receptor

  6. Ecological Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Higher Plants (GMHP)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, C.; Damgaard, C.; Kjellsson, G.

    Preface This publication is a first version of a manual identifying the data needs for ecological risk assessment of genetically modified higher plants (GMHP). It is the intention of the authors to stimulate further discussion of what data are needed in order to conduct a proper ecological risk...... of the project Biotechnology: elements in environmental risk assessment of genetically modified plants. December 1999 Christian Kjær Introduction In ecological risk assessment of transgenic plants, information on a wide range of subjects is needed for an effective and reliable assessment procedure...... in the amendment to the directive. This report suggests a structured way to identify the type of data needed to perform a sound ecological risk assessment for genetically modified higher plants (GMHP). The identified data types are intended to support the evaluation of the following risks: risk of invasion...

  7. Development of an ecological momentary assessment scale for appetite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Hiroe; Yoshiuchi, Kazuhiro; Inada, Shuji; Ando, Tetsuya; Yamamoto, Yoshiharu

    2015-01-01

    An understanding of eating behaviors is an important element of health education and treatment in clinical populations. To understand the biopsychosocial profile of eating behaviors in an ecologically valid way, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is appropriate because its use is able to overcome the recall bias in patient-reported outcomes (PROs). As appetite is a key PRO associated with eating behaviors, this study was done to develop an EMA scale to evaluate the within-individual variation of momentary appetite and uses this scale to discuss the relationships between appetite and various psychological factors. Twenty healthy participants (age 23.6 ± 4.2 years old) wore a watch-type computer for a week. Several times a day, including just before and after meals, they recorded their momentary psychological stress, mood states, and ten items related to appetite. In addition, they recorded everything they ate and drank into a personal digital assistant (PDA)-based food diary. Multilevel factor analysis was used to investigate the factor structure of the scale, and the reliability and validity of the scale were also explored. Multilevel factor analyses found two factors at the within-individual level (hunger/fullness and cravings) and one factor at the between-individual level. Medians for the individually calculated Cronbach's alphas were 0.89 for hunger/fullness, 0.71 for cravings, and 0.86 for total appetite (the sum of all items). Hunger/fullness, cravings, and total appetite all decreased significantly after meals compared with those before meals, and hunger/fullness, cravings, and total appetite before meals were positively associated with energy intake. There were significant negative associations between both hunger/fullness and total appetite and anxiety and depression as well as between cravings, and depression, anxiety and stress. The within-individual reliability of the EMA scale to assess momentary appetite was confirmed in most subjects and it

  8. The ecological and construct validity of a newly developed measure of executive function: the Virtual Library Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renison, Belinda; Ponsford, Jennie; Testa, Renee; Richardson, Barry; Brownfield, Kylie

    2012-05-01

    Virtual reality (VR) assessment paradigms have the potential to address the limited ecological validity of pen and paper measures of executive function (EF) and the pragmatic and reliability issues associated with functional measures. To investigate the ecological validity and construct validity of a newly developed VR measure of EF, the Virtual Library Task (VLT); a real life analogous task--the Real Library Task (RLT); and five neuropsychological measures of EF were administered to 30 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and 30 healthy Controls. Significant others for each participant also completed the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX), which is a behavioral rating scale of everyday EF. Performances on the VLT and the RLT were significantly positively correlated indicating that VR performance is similar to real world performance. The TBI group performed significantly worse than the Control group on the VLT and the Modified Six Elements Test (MSET) but the other four neuropsychological measures of EF failed to differentiate the groups. Both the MSET and the VLT significantly predicted everyday EF suggesting that they are both ecologically valid tools for the assessment of EF. The VLT has the advantage over the MSET of providing objective measurement of individual components of EF.

  9. Ecological Risk Assessment Process under the Endangered Species Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    This document provides an overview of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ecological risk assessment process for the evaluation of potential risk to endangered and threatened (listed) species from exposure to pesticides.

  10. Web-enabling Ecological Risk Assessment for Accessibility and Transparency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological risk methods and tools are necessarily diverse to account for different combinations of receptors, exposure processes, effects estimation, and degree of conservatism/realism necessary to support chemical-based assessments. These tools have been continuously developed s...

  11. Regional scale ecological risk assessment: using the relative risk model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Landis, Wayne G

    2005-01-01

    ...) in the performance of regional-scale ecological risk assessments. The initial chapters present the methodology and the critical nature of the interaction between risk assessors and decision makers...

  12. Theory of mind in remitted bipolar disorder: Younger patients struggle in tasks of higher ecological validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feyerabend, Julia; Lüttke, Stefan; Grosse-Wentrup, Fabienne; Wolter, Sibylla; Hautzinger, Martin; Wolkenstein, Larissa

    2018-04-15

    To date, research concerning Theory of Mind (ToM) in remitted bipolar disorder (rBD) has yielded inconclusive results. This may be a result of methodological shortcomings and the failure to consider relevant third variables. Furthermore, studies using ecologically valid stimuli are rare. This study examines ToM in rBD patients, using ecologically valid stimuli. Additionally, the effects of sad mood induction (MI) as well as of age and gender are considered. The sample comprises N = 44 rBD patients (rBDPs) and N = 40 healthy controls (HCs). ToM decoding is assessed using the Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice-Battery (CAM) and ToM reasoning using the Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC). Both tasks were divided into two parts to conduct one part with and one without MI. While across the whole sample there was no evidence that rBDPs and HCs differed in ToM decoding or reasoning, in the younger subsample (age < 45) rBDPs performed worse than HCs in ToM decoding. While MI negatively influenced reasoning in both groups, gender had no effect. Most patients in this study had a high level of social functioning, limiting the generalizability of the results. As important social steps have to be undertaken before middle-age, the decoding deficits in younger rBDPs might be of particular importance not only for social functioning but also for the course of illness. Furthermore, this age-related deficit may explain the inconclusive findings that have been reported so far. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Integrating Fuzzy Logic, Optimization, and GIS for Ecological Impact Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bojórquez-Tapia, Luis A.; Juárez, Lourdes; Cruz-Bello, Gustavo

    2002-09-01

    Appraisal of ecological impacts has been problematic because of the behavior of ecological system and the responses of these systems to human intervention are far from fully understood. While it has been relatively easy to itemize the potential ecological impacts, it has been difficult to arrive at accurate predictions of how these impacts affect populations, communities, or ecosystems. Furthermore, the spatial heterogeneity of ecological systems has been overlooked because its examination is practically impossible through matrix techniques, the most commonly used impact assessment approach. Besides, the public has become increasingly aware of the importance of the EIA in decision-making and thus the interpretation of impact significance is complicated further by the different value judgments of stakeholders. Moreover, impact assessments are carried out with a minimum of data, high uncertainty, and poor conceptual understanding. Hence, the evaluation of ecological impacts entails the integration of subjective and often conflicting judgments from a variety of experts and stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to present an environmental impact assessment approach based on the integration fuzzy logic, geographical information systems and optimization techniques. This approach enables environmental analysts to deal with the intrinsic imprecision and ambiguity associated with the judgments of experts and stakeholders, the description of ecological systems, and the prediction of ecological impacts. The application of this approach is illustrated through an example, which shows how consensus about impact mitigation can be attained within a conflict resolution framework.

  14. Validation of Visual Caries Activity Assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guedes, R S; Piovesan, C; Ardenghi, T M

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the predictive and construct validity of a caries activity assessment system associated with the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS) in primary teeth. A total of 469 children were reexamined: participants of a caries survey performed 2 yr before (follow-up rate...... of 73.4%). At baseline, children (12-59 mo old) were examined with the ICDAS and a caries activity assessment system. The predictive validity was assessed by evaluating the risk of active caries lesion progression to more severe conditions in the follow-up, compared with inactive lesions. We also...... assessed if children with a higher number of active caries lesions were more likely to develop new lesions (construct validity). Noncavitated active caries lesions at occlusal surfaces presented higher risk of progression than inactive ones. Children with a higher number of active lesions and with higher...

  15. Assessment of validity with polytrauma Veteran populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Shane S; Bass, Carmela

    2015-01-01

    Veterans with polytrauma have suffered injuries to multiple body parts and organs systems, including the brain. The injuries can generate a triad of physical, neurologic/cognitive, and emotional symptoms. Accurate diagnosis is essential for the treatment of these conditions and for fair allocation of benefits. To accurately diagnose polytrauma disorders and their related problems, clinicians take into account the validity of reported history and symptoms, as well as clinical presentations. The purpose of this article is to describe the assessment of validity with polytrauma Veteran populations. Review of scholarly and other relevant literature and clinical experience are utilized. A multimethod approach to validity assessment that includes objective, standardized measures increases the confidence that can be placed in the accuracy of self-reported symptoms and physical, cognitive, and emotional test results. Due to the multivariate nature of polytrauma and the multiple disciplines that play a role in diagnosis and treatment, an ideal model of validity assessment with polytrauma Veteran populations utilizes neurocognitive, neurological, neuropsychiatric, and behavioral measures of validity. An overview of these validity assessment approaches as applied to polytrauma Veteran populations is presented. Veterans, the VA, and society are best served when accurate diagnoses are made.

  16. Screening-Level Ecological Risk Assessment Methods, Revision 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mirenda, Richard J. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2012-08-16

    This document provides guidance for screening-level assessments of potential adverse impacts to ecological resources from release of environmental contaminants at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL or the Laboratory). The methods presented are based on two objectives, namely: to provide a basis for reaching consensus with regulators, managers, and other interested parties on how to conduct screening-level ecological risk investigations at the Laboratory; and to provide guidance for ecological risk assessors under the Environmental Programs (EP) Directorate. This guidance promotes consistency, rigor, and defensibility in ecological screening investigations and in reporting those investigation results. The purpose of the screening assessment is to provide information to the risk managers so informed riskmanagement decisions can be made. This document provides examples of recommendations and possible risk-management strategies.

  17. A tool for assessing ecological status of forest ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman Kassim, Abd; Afizzul Misman, Muhammad; Azahari Faidi, Mohd; Omar, Hamdan

    2016-06-01

    Managers and policy makers are beginning to appreciate the value of ecological monitoring of artificially regenerated forest especially in urban areas. With the advent of more advance technology in precision forestry, high resolution remotely sensed data e.g. hyperspectral and LiDAR are becoming available for rapid and precise assessment of the forest condition. An assessment of ecological status of forest ecosystem was developed and tested using FRIM campus forest stand. The forest consisted of three major blocks; the old growth artificially regenerated native species forests, naturally regenerated forest and recent planted forest for commercial timber and other forest products. Our aim is to assess the ecological status and its proximity to the mature old growth artificially regenerated stand. We used airborne LiDAR, orthophoto and thirty field sampling quadrats of 20x20m for ground verification. The parameter assessments were grouped into four broad categories: a. forest community level-composition, structures, function; landscape structures-road network and forest edges. A metric of parameters and rating criteria was introduced as indicators of the forest ecological status. We applied multi-criteria assessment to categorize the ecological status of the forest stand. The paper demonstrates the application of the assessment approach using FRIM campus forest as its first case study. Its potential application to both artificially and naturally regenerated forest in the variety of Malaysian landscape is discussed

  18. Population-level ecological risk assessment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Barnthouse, L. W. (Lawrence W.); Sorensen, Mary T; Munns, Wayne R

    2008-01-01

    ... and Effect Assessment Vethaak, Schrap, de Voogt, editors 2006 Assessing the Hazard of Metals and Inorganic Metal Substances in Aquatic and Terrestrial Systems Adams and Chapman, editors 2006 Pe...

  19. Oil sands tailings preliminary ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    Chemical data collected from various oil sands soil-tailings mixtures were used to determine the ecological risk that such tailings would pose to terrestrial wildlife at the surface of a reclaimed site. A methodology that could be used to evaluate the risks posed by various reclamation options (for dry land only) was proposed. Risks associated with other reclamation options, such as wet landscapes or deeper in-pit disposal, were not evaluated. Ten constituents (eight organic and two inorganic) were found to pose a threat to terrestrial biota. The relative contribution of different exposure pathways (water and food ingestion, incidental soil ingestion, inhalation) were studied by probabilistic models. Some physical and chemical reclamation alternatives which involve incorporating oil sands tailings in the landscape to produce a surface that could sustain a productive ecosystem, were described. 53 refs., 15 tabs., 3 figs

  20. An integrated framework for health and ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, Glenn W.; Vermeire, Theo; Munns, Wayne R.; Sekizawa, Jun

    2005-01-01

    The worldHealth Organization's (WHO's) International Program for Chemical Safety has developed a framework for performing risk assessments that integrate the assessment of risks to human health and risks to nonhuman organisms and ecosystems. The WHO's framework recognizes that stakeholders and risk managers have their own processes that are parallel to the scientific process of risk assessment and may interact with the risk assessment at various points, depending on the context. Integration of health and ecology provides consistent expressions of assessment results, incorporates the interdependence of humans and the environment, uses sentinel organisms, and improves the efficiency and quality of assessments relative to independent human health and ecological risk assessments. The advantage of the framework to toxicologists lies in the opportunity to use understanding of toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics to inform the integrated assessment of all exposed species

  1. Initial Verification and Validation Assessment for VERA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dinh, Nam [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Athe, Paridhi [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States); Jones, Christopher [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Hetzler, Adam [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Sieger, Matt [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2017-04-01

    The Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA) code suite is assessed in terms of capability and credibility against the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) Verification and Validation Plan (presented herein) in the context of three selected challenge problems: CRUD-Induced Power Shift (CIPS), Departure from Nucleate Boiling (DNB), and Pellet-Clad Interaction (PCI). Capability refers to evidence of required functionality for capturing phenomena of interest while capability refers to the evidence that provides confidence in the calculated results. For this assessment, each challenge problem defines a set of phenomenological requirements against which the VERA software is assessed. This approach, in turn, enables the focused assessment of only those capabilities relevant to the challenge problem. The evaluation of VERA against the challenge problem requirements represents a capability assessment. The mechanism for assessment is the Sandia-developed Predictive Capability Maturity Model (PCMM) that, for this assessment, evaluates VERA on 8 major criteria: (1) Representation and Geometric Fidelity, (2) Physics and Material Model Fidelity, (3) Software Quality Assurance and Engineering, (4) Code Verification, (5) Solution Verification, (6) Separate Effects Model Validation, (7) Integral Effects Model Validation, and (8) Uncertainty Quantification. For each attribute, a maturity score from zero to three is assigned in the context of each challenge problem. The evaluation of these eight elements constitutes the credibility assessment for VERA.

  2. The role of ecological models in linking ecological risk assessment to ecosystem services in agroecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galic, N.G.; Schmolke, A.; Forbes, V.; Baveco, J.M.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2012-01-01

    Agricultural practices are essential for sustaining the human population, but at the same time they can directly disrupt ecosystem functioning. Ecological risk assessment (ERA) aims to estimate possible adverse effects of human activities on ecosystems and their parts. Current ERA practices,

  3. Validation of self-reported cannabis dose and potency: an ecological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Pol, Peggy; Liebregts, Nienke; de Graaf, Ron; Korf, Dirk J; van den Brink, Wim; van Laar, Margriet

    2013-10-01

    To assess the reliability and validity of self-reported cannabis dose and potency measures. Cross-sectional study comparing self-reports with objective measures of amount of cannabis and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration. Ecological study with assessments at participants' homes or in a coffee shop. Young adult frequent cannabis users (n = 106) from the Dutch Cannabis Dependence (CanDep) study. The objectively measured amount of cannabis per joint (dose in grams) was compared with self-reported estimates using a prompt card and average number of joints made from 1 g of cannabis. In addition, objectively assessed THC concentration in the participant's cannabis was compared with self-reported level of intoxication, subjective estimate of cannabis potency and price per gram of cannabis. Objective estimates of doses per joint (0.07-0.88 g/joint) and cannabis potency (1.1-24.7%) varied widely. Self-reported measures of dose were imprecise, but at group level, average dose per joint was estimated accurately with the number of joints made from 1 g [limit of agreement (LOA) = -0.02 g, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -0.29; 0.26], whereas the prompt card resulted in serious underestimation (LOA = 0.14 g, 95% CI = -0.10; 0.37). THC concentration in cannabis was associated with subjective potency ['average' 3.77% (P = 0.002) and '(very) strong' 5.13% more THC (P cannabis] and with cannabis price (about 1% increase in THC concentration per euro spent on 1 g of cannabis, P cannabis use appear at best to be associated weakly with objective measures. Of the self-report measures, number of joints per gram, cannabis price and subjective potency have at least some validity. © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  4. Landscape metrics application in ecological and visual landscape assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavrilović Suzana

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The development of landscape-ecological approach application in spatial planning provides exact theoretical and empirical evidence for monitoring ecological consequences of natural and/or anthropogenic factors, particularly changes in spatial structures caused by them. Landscape pattern which feature diverse landscape values is the holder of the unique landscape character at different spatial levels and represents a perceptual domain for its users. Using the landscape metrics, the parameters of landscape composition and configuration are mathematical algorithms that quantify the specific spatial characteristics used for interpretation of landscape features and processes (physical and ecological aspect, as well as forms (visual aspect and the meaning (cognitive aspect of the landscape. Landscape metrics has been applied mostly in the ecological and biodiversity assessments as well as in the determination of the level of structural change of landscape, but more and more applied in the assessment of the visual character of the landscape. Based on a review of relevant literature, the aim of this work is to show the main trends of landscape metrics within the aspect of ecological and visual assessments. The research methodology is based on the analysis, classification and systematization of the research studies published from 2000 to 2016, where the landscape metrics is applied: (1 the analysis of landscape pattern and its changes, (2 the analysis of biodiversity and habitat function and (3 a visual landscape assessment. By selecting representative metric parameters for the landscape composition and configuration, for each category is formed the basis for further landscape metrics research and application for the integrated ecological and visual assessment of the landscape values. Contemporary conceptualization of the landscape is seen holistically, and the future research should be directed towards the development of integrated landscape assessment

  5. Assessment and management of ecological integrity: Chapter 12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Thomas J.; Freeman, Mary C.

    2010-01-01

    Assessing and understanding the impacts of human activities on aquatic ecosystems has long been a focus of ecologists, water resources managers, and fisheries scientists. While traditional fisheries management focused on single-species approaches to enhance fish stocks, there is a growing emphasis on management approaches at community and ecosystem levels. Of course, as fisheries managers shift their attention from narrow (e.g., populations) to broad organizational scales (e.g., communities or ecosystems), ecological processes and management objectives become more complex. At the community level, fisheries managers may strive for a fish assemblage that is complex, persistent, and resilient to disturbance. Aquatic ecosystem level objectives may focus on management for habitat quality and ecological processes, such as nutrient dynamics, productivity, or trophic interactions, but a long-term goal of ecosystem management may be to maintain ecological integrity. However, human users and social, economic, and political demands of fisheries management often result in a reduction of ecological integrity in managed systems, and this conflict presents a principal challenge for the modern fisheries manager. The concepts of biotic integrity and ecological integrity are being applied in fisheries science, natural resource management, and environmental legislation, but explicit definitions of these terms are elusive. Biotic integrity of an ecosystem may be defined as the capability of supporting and maintaining an integrated, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to that of a natural habitat of the region (Karr and Dudley 1981). Following that, ecological integrity is the summation of chemical, physical, and biological integrity. Thus, the concept of ecological integrity extends beyond fish and represents a holistic approach for ecosystem management that is especially applicable to aquatic systems. The

  6. Uncertainty in ecological risk assessment: A statistician's view

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, E.P.

    1995-01-01

    Uncertainty is a topic that has different meanings to researchers, modelers, managers and policy makers. The perspective of this presentation will be on the modeling view of uncertainty and its quantitative assessment. The goal is to provide some insight into how a statistician visualizes and addresses the issue of uncertainty in ecological risk assessment problems. In ecological risk assessment, uncertainty arises from many sources and is of different type depending on what is studies, where it is studied and how it is studied. Some major sources and their impact are described. A variety of quantitative approaches to modeling uncertainty are characterized and a general taxonomy given. Examples of risk assessments of lake acidification, power plant impact assessment and the setting of standards for chemicals will be used discuss approaches to quantitative assessment of uncertainty and some of the potential difficulties

  7. Ecological Development and Validation of a Music Performance Rating Scale for Five Instrument Families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrigley, William J.; Emmerson, Stephen B.

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated ways to improve the quality of music performance evaluation in an effort to address the accountability imperative in tertiary music education. An enhanced scientific methodology was employed incorporating ecological validity and using recognized qualitative methods involving grounded theory and quantitative methods…

  8. Valid Competency Assessment in Higher Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the 15 collaborative projects conducted during the new funding phase of the German research program Modeling and Measuring Competencies in Higher Education—Validation and Methodological Innovations (KoKoHs is to make a significant contribution to advancing the field of modeling and valid measurement of competencies acquired in higher education. The KoKoHs research teams assess generic competencies and domain-specific competencies in teacher education, social and economic sciences, and medicine based on findings from and using competency models and assessment instruments developed during the first KoKoHs funding phase. Further, they enhance, validate, and test measurement approaches for use in higher education in Germany. Results and findings are transferred at various levels to national and international research, higher education practice, and education policy.

  9. Spatial assessment of landscape ecological connectivity in different urban gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sohyun

    2015-07-01

    Urbanization has resulted in remnant natural patches within cities that often have no connectivity among themselves and to natural reserves outside the urban area. Protecting ecological connectivity in fragmented urban areas is becoming crucial in maintaining urban biodiversity and securing critical habitat levels and configurations under continual development pressures. Nevertheless, few studies have been undertaken for urban landscapes. This study aims to assess ecological connectivity for a group of species that represent the urban desert landscape in the Phoenix metropolitan area and to compare the connectivity values along the different urban gradient. A GIS-based landscape connectivity model which relies upon ecological connectivity index (ECI) was developed and applied to this region. A GIS-based concentric buffering technique was employed to delineate conceptual boundaries for urban, suburban, and rural zones. The research findings demonstrated that urban habitats and potential habitat patches would be significantly influenced by future urban development. Particularly, the largest loss of higher connectivity would likely to be anticipated in the "in-between areas" where urban, suburban, and rural zones overlap one another. The connectivity maps would be useful to provide spatial identification regarding connectivity patterns and vulnerability for urban and suburban activities in this area. This study provides planners and landscape architects with a spatial guidance to minimize ecological fragmentation, which ultimately leads to urban landscape sustainability. This study suggests that conventional planning practices which disregard the ecological processes in urban landscapes need to integrate landscape ecology into planning and design strategies.

  10. Guide for developing conceptual models for ecological risk assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W., II.

    1996-05-01

    Ecological conceptual models are the result of the problem formulation phase of an ecological risk assessment, which is an important component of the Remedial Investigation process. They present hypotheses of how the site contaminants might affect the site ecology. The contaminant sources, routes, media, routes, and endpoint receptors are presented in the form of a flow chart. This guide is for preparing the conceptual models; use of this guide will standardize the models so that they will be of high quality, useful to the assessment process, and sufficiently consistent so that connections between sources of exposure and receptors can be extended across operable units (OU). Generic conceptual models are presented for source, aquatic integrator, groundwater integrator, and terrestrial OUs

  11. System for ecological monitoring and assessment for NPP site environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vorob'ev, E.I.; Olejnikov, N.F.; Reznichenko, V.Yu.

    1987-01-01

    On the basis of the Leningrad NPP named after V.I. Lenin the development of a system for ecological monitoring and assessment (EMA) of the environment state and health of personnel and population has started in the EMA program framework. The program of ecological monitoring and assessment coordinates the works on the study of NPP effect on the nature and people, effect of separate factors and their combination, methods and models for the description of the effects, forecasting and evaluation, selection of the optimal protection strategies. Scientific foundations, structure and content of the EMA program are given to coordinate the works carried out according to the program with other works carried out in the country in this direction. The paper deals with the composition of monitoring parameters of the standard system of ecological monitoring of the environment for NPP

  12. Nominal radio ecological benchmarks for the ecological risk assessment of radioactive waste management facilities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garisto, N.C. [SENES Consultants Ltd., Richmond Hill, Ontario (Canada)]. E-mail: ngaristo@senes.ca

    2006-07-01

    Ecological risk assessments are used to assess potential ecological impacts from contaminated sites, such as radioactive waste management and disposal facilities. These assessments determine the overall significance of the impact of such facilities on non-human biota. Specific indicator species are selected as representative non-human biota at the study sites for the purposes of these risk assessments. Potential environmental impacts are generally assessed in terms of 'screening indices'. In simple terms, a screening index is the ratio of an estimated exposure level of the indicator species (or environmental concentration) divided by a level or concentration deemed unlikely to have a significant ecological effect. These latter levels or concentrations are referred to as 'estimated no effect value' or ENEVs. Nominal ENEV values for chronic radiation effects based on our current interpretation of literature data are presented in this paper. They are: 5 mGy/d for fish and amphibians; 2.4 mGy/d for aquatic plants; 2 mGy/d for reptiles; 5 mGy/d for benthic and terrestrial invertebrates; 1 mGy/d for slow-growing terrestrial animals that reproduce late in life; 10 mGy/d for short-lived prolific terrestrial animals; 2.4 mGy/d for terrestrial plants; 5 mGy/d for birds. The paper identifies major areas of uncertainty regarding the selection of these nominal ENEVs for practical applications. (author)

  13. Nominal radio ecological benchmarks for the ecological risk assessment of radioactive waste management facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garisto, N.C.

    2006-01-01

    Ecological risk assessments are used to assess potential ecological impacts from contaminated sites, such as radioactive waste management and disposal facilities. These assessments determine the overall significance of the impact of such facilities on non-human biota. Specific indicator species are selected as representative non-human biota at the study sites for the purposes of these risk assessments. Potential environmental impacts are generally assessed in terms of 'screening indices'. In simple terms, a screening index is the ratio of an estimated exposure level of the indicator species (or environmental concentration) divided by a level or concentration deemed unlikely to have a significant ecological effect. These latter levels or concentrations are referred to as 'estimated no effect value' or ENEVs. Nominal ENEV values for chronic radiation effects based on our current interpretation of literature data are presented in this paper. They are: 5 mGy/d for fish and amphibians; 2.4 mGy/d for aquatic plants; 2 mGy/d for reptiles; 5 mGy/d for benthic and terrestrial invertebrates; 1 mGy/d for slow-growing terrestrial animals that reproduce late in life; 10 mGy/d for short-lived prolific terrestrial animals; 2.4 mGy/d for terrestrial plants; 5 mGy/d for birds. The paper identifies major areas of uncertainty regarding the selection of these nominal ENEVs for practical applications. (author)

  14. Ecosystem services as assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services (ES) are defined as the outputs of ecological processes that contribute to human welfare or have the potential to do so in the future, and include the production of food and drinking water, purification of air and water, pollination, and nutrient cycling. The n...

  15. Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) using the ecological scarcity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    After it is done, the inventory will be interpreted to the environmental impacts in life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). Two LCIA methods identified were “midpoint and endpoint” approaches. The ecological scarcity (ecopoints) is an LCIA method using “midpoint” approach. From the analysis to both life cycle stages, analysis ...

  16. Formative Assessment Design for PDA Integrated Ecology Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Pi-Hsia; Lin, Yu-Fen; Hwang, Gwo-Jen

    2010-01-01

    Ubiquitous computing and mobile technologies provide a new perspective for designing innovative outdoor learning experiences. The purpose of this study is to propose a formative assessment design for integrating PDAs into ecology observations. Three learning activities were conducted in this study. An action research approach was applied to…

  17. The use of degradation gradients for the assessment and ecological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The use of degradation gradients for the assessment and ecological interpretation of range condition. Guach H.G., Bosch O.J.H., Gauch H.G.. Abstract. Multivariate procedures were used to subdivide the Southern African climatic climax grasslands of the 700-800 mm rainfall zone into relatively homogeneous grazing areas.

  18. PROBABILITY SURVEYS , CONDITIONAL PROBABILITIES AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    We show that probability-based environmental resource monitoring programs, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program, and conditional probability analysis can serve as a basis for estimating ecological risk over ...

  19. Attempts for an integrative (ecological) assessment of groundwater ecosystems status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griebler, Christian; Kellermann, Claudia; Jürgen Hahn, Hans; Stein, Heide; Brielmann, Heike; Berkhoff, Sven; Fuchs, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Today the assessment of the ecological status of surface waters is routine and made its way into national and international (e.g. European Water Framework Directive) regulations. For groundwater and aquifers a comparable approach, considering ecological aspects, is still missing. In contrast, groundwater monitoring and management schemes follow exclusively physical-chemical and quantitative criteria. However, groundwater systems are, although persistently neglected, ecosystems harboring diverse communities of microorganisms and invertebrates. Directly linked to the biological components, groundwater systems provide various ecosystem services of societal relevance (natural production of clean drinking water). In the recent past, we developed a first concept of an ecologically sound assessment scheme for groundwater systems. Work included (1) the selection of appropriate biological/ecological criteria, (2) set-up of a groundwater ecosystem typology, (3) deduction of natural biological groundwater background values and definition of reference conditions for selected sites, and (4) a first evaluation model. Groundwater has been analyzed repeatedly of more than 100 wells distributed over five investigation areas spread all over Germany. The investigated sites could be assigned to different natural regions, geological regions, hydrogeological units, and aquifer types. The mismatch of groundwater faunal communities with the established classification schemes led to the proposal of 'stygoregions' for Germany. The presentation introduces a number of microbial and faunistic assessment criteria, which have been tested and natural background values which have been deduced. Finally, a tiered framework for assessing groundwater ecosystem status which allows an easy and fast evaluation is introduced.

  20. Assessment of ecological, economic and social impacts of grain for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In order to noticeably and systematically assess ecological, economic and social effects of the grain for green project on county level, this study investigated the benefits of carbon sequestration to the soil of farmland-converted forestland (in 0 to 20 cm soil depth), the change in household income structure and social ...

  1. Ecological models and pesticide risk assessment: current modeling practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmolke, Amelie; Thorbek, Pernille; Chapman, Peter; Grimm, Volker

    2010-04-01

    Ecological risk assessments of pesticides usually focus on risk at the level of individuals, and are carried out by comparing exposure and toxicological endpoints. However, in most cases the protection goal is populations rather than individuals. On the population level, effects of pesticides depend not only on exposure and toxicity, but also on factors such as life history characteristics, population structure, timing of application, presence of refuges in time and space, and landscape structure. Ecological models can integrate such factors and have the potential to become important tools for the prediction of population-level effects of exposure to pesticides, thus allowing extrapolations, for example, from laboratory to field. Indeed, a broad range of ecological models have been applied to chemical risk assessment in the scientific literature, but so far such models have only rarely been used to support regulatory risk assessments of pesticides. To better understand the reasons for this situation, the current modeling practice in this field was assessed in the present study. The scientific literature was searched for relevant models and assessed according to nine characteristics: model type, model complexity, toxicity measure, exposure pattern, other factors, taxonomic group, risk assessment endpoint, parameterization, and model evaluation. The present study found that, although most models were of a high scientific standard, many of them would need modification before they are suitable for regulatory risk assessments. The main shortcomings of currently available models in the context of regulatory pesticide risk assessments were identified. When ecological models are applied to regulatory risk assessments, we recommend reviewing these models according to the nine characteristics evaluated here. (c) 2010 SETAC.

  2. Ecological aspects of environmental assessment of contaminated areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Templeton, W.L.

    1990-04-01

    When large landscapes are contaminated by radionuclides released from nuclear activities, physical processes, such as atmospheric and hydrological transport may move the radioactive materials over large distances resulting in direct external exposure of man and organisms. This paper provides an overview of the modeling of radionuclide movement through defined ecological pathways, describes some ecological problems at remediated sites, and briefly reviews effects of environmental radiation on terrestrial and aquatic biota. This paper describes pathways that should be considered when conducting environmental dose assessments for radionuclides released to the environment. 4 refs

  3. Site-Specific ecological risk assessment. Case-study 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, John

    “Development of a decision support system for sustainable management of contaminated land by linking bioavailability, ecological risk and ground water pollution of organic pollutants”or in short “LIBERATION”. The presentation includes examples on how to scale and integrate the results from various scientific......The decision supporting and integrating assessment tool, TRIAD, is used site-specific on PAH- and heavy metal contaminated sites in Denmark. The various aspects of the TRIAD approach are used on a set of chemistry-, ecotoxicology- and ecology related data collected among others in the EU project...

  4. Potential ecological risk assessment and predicting zinc accumulation in soils

    OpenAIRE

    Baran, Agnieszka; Wieczorek, Jerzy; Mazurek, Ryszard; Urbański, Krzysztof; Klimkowicz-Pawlas, Agnieszka

    2017-01-01

    The aims of this study were to investigate zinc content in the studied soils; evaluate the efficiency of geostatistics in presenting spatial variability of zinc in the soils; assess bioavailable forms of zinc in the soils and to assess soil–zinc binding ability; and to estimate the potential ecological risk of zinc in soils. The study was conducted in southern Poland, in the Malopolska Province. This area is characterized by a great diversity of geological structures and types of land use and...

  5. Validation of the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heritage, Brody; Pollock, Clare; Roberts, Lynne

    2014-01-01

    Organizational culture is a commonly studied area in industrial/organizational psychology due to its important role in workplace behaviour, cognitions, and outcomes. Jung et al.'s [1] review of the psychometric properties of organizational culture measurement instruments noted many instruments have limited validation data despite frequent use in both theoretical and applied situations. The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) has had conflicting data regarding its psychometric properties, particularly regarding its factor structure. Our study examined the factor structure and criterion validity of the OCAI using robust analysis methods on data gathered from 328 (females = 226, males = 102) Australian employees. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a four factor structure of the OCAI for both ideal and current organizational culture perspectives. Current organizational culture data demonstrated expected reciprocally-opposed relationships between three of the four OCAI factors and the outcome variable of job satisfaction but ideal culture data did not, thus indicating possible weak criterion validity when the OCAI is used to assess ideal culture. Based on the mixed evidence regarding the measure's properties, further examination of the factor structure and broad validity of the measure is encouraged. PMID:24667839

  6. Validation of the organizational culture assessment instrument.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brody Heritage

    Full Text Available Organizational culture is a commonly studied area in industrial/organizational psychology due to its important role in workplace behaviour, cognitions, and outcomes. Jung et al.'s [1] review of the psychometric properties of organizational culture measurement instruments noted many instruments have limited validation data despite frequent use in both theoretical and applied situations. The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI has had conflicting data regarding its psychometric properties, particularly regarding its factor structure. Our study examined the factor structure and criterion validity of the OCAI using robust analysis methods on data gathered from 328 (females = 226, males = 102 Australian employees. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a four factor structure of the OCAI for both ideal and current organizational culture perspectives. Current organizational culture data demonstrated expected reciprocally-opposed relationships between three of the four OCAI factors and the outcome variable of job satisfaction but ideal culture data did not, thus indicating possible weak criterion validity when the OCAI is used to assess ideal culture. Based on the mixed evidence regarding the measure's properties, further examination of the factor structure and broad validity of the measure is encouraged.

  7. Brazilian adaptation of the Hotel Task: A tool for the ecological assessment of executive functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Caroline de Oliveira; Zimmermann, Nicolle; Paraná, Camila Borges; Gindri, Gigiane; de Pereira, Ana Paula Almeida; Fonseca, Rochele Paz

    2015-01-01

    Over recent years, neuropsychological research has been increasingly concerned with the need to develop more ecologically valid instruments for the assessment of executive functions. The Hotel Task is one of the most widely used ecological measures of executive functioning, and provides an assessment of planning, organization, self-monitoring and cognitive flexibility. Objective The goal of this study was to adapt the Hotel Task for use in the Brazilian population. Methods The sample comprised 27 participants (three translators, six expert judges, seven healthy adults, ten patients with traumatic brain injuries and one hotel manager). The adaptation process consisted of five steps, which were repeated until a satisfactory version of the task was produced. The steps were as follows: (1) Translation; (2) Development of new stimuli and brainstorming among the authors; (3) Analysis by expert judges; (4) Pilot studies; (5) Assessment by an expert in business administration and hotel management. Results The adapted version proved adequate and valid for the assessment of executive functions. However, further research must be conducted to obtain evidence of the reliability, as well as the construct and criterion validity, sensitivity and specificity, of the Hotel Task. Conclusion Many neurological and/or psychiatric populations may benefit from the adapted task, since it may make significant contributions to the assessment of dysexecutive syndromes and their impact on patient functioning. PMID:29213957

  8. Brazilian adaptation of the Hotel Task: A tool for the ecological assessment of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Caroline de Oliveira; Zimmermann, Nicolle; Paraná, Camila Borges; Gindri, Gigiane; de Pereira, Ana Paula Almeida; Fonseca, Rochele Paz

    2015-01-01

    Over recent years, neuropsychological research has been increasingly concerned with the need to develop more ecologically valid instruments for the assessment of executive functions. The Hotel Task is one of the most widely used ecological measures of executive functioning, and provides an assessment of planning, organization, self-monitoring and cognitive flexibility. The goal of this study was to adapt the Hotel Task for use in the Brazilian population. The sample comprised 27 participants (three translators, six expert judges, seven healthy adults, ten patients with traumatic brain injuries and one hotel manager). The adaptation process consisted of five steps, which were repeated until a satisfactory version of the task was produced. The steps were as follows:(1) Translation;(2) Development of new stimuli and brainstorming among the authors;(3) Analysis by expert judges;(4) Pilot studies;(5) Assessment by an expert in business administration and hotel management. The adapted version proved adequate and valid for the assessment of executive functions. However, further research must be conducted to obtain evidence of the reliability, as well as the construct and criterion validity, sensitivity and specificity, of the Hotel Task. Many neurological and/or psychiatric populations may benefit from the adapted task, since it may make significant contributions to the assessment of dysexecutive syndromes and their impact on patient functioning.

  9. Validated assessment scales for the lower face.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narins, Rhoda S; Carruthers, Jean; Flynn, Timothy C; Geister, Thorin L; Görtelmeyer, Roman; Hardas, Bhushan; Himmrich, Silvia; Jones, Derek; Kerscher, Martina; de Maio, Maurício; Mohrmann, Cornelia; Pooth, Rainer; Rzany, Berthold; Sattler, Gerhard; Buchner, Larry; Benter, Ursula; Breitscheidel, Lusine; Carruthers, Alastair

    2012-02-01

    Aging in the lower face leads to lines, wrinkles, depression of the corners of the mouth, and changes in lip volume and lip shape, with increased sagging of the skin of the jawline. Refined, easy-to-use, validated, objective standards assessing the severity of these changes are required in clinical research and practice. To establish the reliability of eight lower face scales assessing nasolabial folds, marionette lines, upper and lower lip fullness, lip wrinkles (at rest and dynamic), the oral commissure and jawline, aesthetic areas, and the lower face unit. Four 5-point rating scales were developed to objectively assess upper and lower lip wrinkles, oral commissures, and the jawline. Twelve experts rated identical lower face photographs of 50 subjects in two separate rating cycles using eight 5-point scales. Inter- and intrarater reliability of responses was assessed. Interrater reliability was substantial or almost perfect for all lower face scales, aesthetic areas, and the lower face unit. Intrarater reliability was high for all scales, areas and the lower face unit. Our rating scales are reliable tools for valid and reproducible assessment of the aging process in lower face areas. © 2012 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. An approach to grouping species for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hampton, N.L.; VanHorn, R.L.; Morris, R.; Brewer, R.

    1994-01-01

    The ecological risk assessment (ERA) paradigm acknowledges all levels of ecological organization as having potential for defining assessment and measurement endpoints. However, assessment goals and endpoints are generally concentrated at individual species and population levels. As part of a sitewide, screening-level ERA process at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), a ''functional group'' approach was developed to incorporate assessment at a higher level of ecological organization into the risk analysis process. Functional groups demonstrating biological similarity and similar potential for contaminant exposure were developed using taxonomic, trophic and habitat parameters. As defined, all species are potential surrogates for the other members of the same functional group. Measurement endpoint data for several species may be integrated to address the risk to the group as a whole. The functional group concept was applied throughout the problem formulation, analysis, and risk characterization phases of the assessment process. This approach allows the ERA to be focused on risk to the integrity of individual functional groups, which can subsequently be related to guild and community integrity

  11. Cross validation of bi-modal health-related stress assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broek, Egon; van der Sluis, Frans; Dijkstra, Ton

    This study explores the feasibility of objective and ubiquitous stress assessment. 25 post-traumatic stress disorder patients participated in a controlled storytelling (ST) study and an ecologically valid reliving (RL) study. The two studies were meant to represent an early and a late therapy

  12. Baseline ecological risk assessment Salmon Site, Lamar County, Mississippi

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-04-01

    The Salmon Site (SS), formerly the Tatum Dome Test Site, located in Mississippi was the site of two nuclear and two gas explosion tests conducted between 1964 and 1970. A consequence of these testing activities is that radionuclides were released into the salt dome, where they are presently contained. During reentry drilling and other site activities, incidental liquid and solid wastes that contained radioactivity were generated, resulting in some soil, ground water and equipment contamination. As part of the remedial investigation effort, a Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment was conducted at the SS. The purpose is to gauge ecological and other environmental impacts attributable to past activities at the former test facility. The results of this facility-specific baseline risk assessment are presented in this document

  13. Baseline ecological risk assessment Salmon Site, Lamar County, Mississippi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-04-01

    The Salmon Site (SS), formerly the Tatum Dome Test Site, located in Mississippi was the site of two nuclear and two gas explosion tests conducted between 1964 and 1970. A consequence of these testing activities is that radionuclides were released into the salt dome, where they are presently contained. During reentry drilling and other site activities, incidental liquid and solid wastes that contained radioactivity were generated, resulting in some soil, ground water and equipment contamination. As part of the remedial investigation effort, a Baseline Ecological Risk Assessment was conducted at the SS. The purpose is to gauge ecological and other environmental impacts attributable to past activities at the former test facility. The results of this facility-specific baseline risk assessment are presented in this document.

  14. Evaluation of Ecological Momentary Assessment for Tinnitus Severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldberg, Rachel L; Piccirillo, Marilyn L; Nicklaus, Joyce; Skillington, Andrew; Lenze, Eric; Rodebaugh, Thomas L; Kallogjeri, Dorina; Piccirillo, Jay F

    2017-07-01

    Existing patient-reported outcome measures of tinnitus assess the severity and disability retrospectively, which may result in adequate reliability, but cannot capture the fluctuating and individualized nature of tinnitus. Experience sampling may provide an alternative. To use an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to measure tinnitus disability and associated constructs. Forty adults with tinnitus provided self-report of their tinnitus bother using 5 questions measured by EMA, as well as standard retrospective outcome measures. In this 6-week longitudinal observational study conducted from July 15 to December 22, 2014, participants provided EMA data for 2 weeks (part 1); then after a 2-week break, they provided EMA data for an additional 2 weeks (part 2). A text message with a link to the EMA survey was sent for a total of 56 assessments during each 2-week assessment period. Ecological momentary assessment responses were evaluated using multilevel confirmatory factor analysis to assess the fluctuating nature of bothersome tinnitus across the group and within the pool of individuals over time. Ecological momentary assessment questions measured tinnitus disability and associated constructs. Compliance in each study part was assessed based on response rates. The Tinnitus Functional Index and the Overall Global Rating of Bother Scale were assessed at the beginning and end of each 2-week assessment period to explore the effect of the frequent EMAs on the perceived level of bother from tinnitus. Of the 40 participants in the study (10 women and 30 men; mean [SD] age, 60.0 [10.5] years), the median survey response rate was high (49 responses to 56 surveys sent [88%] for part 1 and 47 responses of 56 surveys sent [84%] for part 2). The latent factor identified by the 2-level confirmatory factor analysis models demonstrates that within-individual tinnitus bother, loudness, and stress vary together over time. In addition, tinnitus bother, feeling, and stress symptoms all

  15. IV&V Project Assessment Process Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driskell, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    The Space Launch System (SLS) will launch NASA's Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). This launch vehicle will provide American launch capability for human exploration and travelling beyond Earth orbit. SLS is designed to be flexible for crew or cargo missions. The first test flight is scheduled for December 2017. The SLS SRR/SDR provided insight into the project development life cycle. NASA IV&V ran the standard Risk Based Assessment and Portfolio Based Risk Assessment to identify analysis tasking for the SLS program. This presentation examines the SLS System Requirements Review/System Definition Review (SRR/SDR), IV&V findings for IV&V process validation correlation to/from the selected IV&V tasking and capabilities. It also provides a reusable IEEE 1012 scorecard for programmatic completeness across the software development life cycle.

  16. Ecological validity of virtual reality daily living activities screening for early dementia: longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarnanas, Ioannis; Schlee, Winfried; Tsolaki, Magda; Müri, René; Mosimann, Urs; Nef, Tobias

    2013-08-06

    Dementia is a multifaceted disorder that impairs cognitive functions, such as memory, language, and executive functions necessary to plan, organize, and prioritize tasks required for goal-directed behaviors. In most cases, individuals with dementia experience difficulties interacting with physical and social environments. The purpose of this study was to establish ecological validity and initial construct validity of a fire evacuation Virtual Reality Day-Out Task (VR-DOT) environment based on performance profiles as a screening tool for early dementia. The objectives were (1) to examine the relationships among the performances of 3 groups of participants in the VR-DOT and traditional neuropsychological tests employed to assess executive functions, and (2) to compare the performance of participants with mild Alzheimer's-type dementia (AD) to those with amnestic single-domain mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and healthy controls in the VR-DOT and traditional neuropsychological tests used to assess executive functions. We hypothesized that the 2 cognitively impaired groups would have distinct performance profiles and show significantly impaired independent functioning in ADL compared to the healthy controls. The study population included 3 groups: 72 healthy control elderly participants, 65 amnestic MCI participants, and 68 mild AD participants. A natural user interface framework based on a fire evacuation VR-DOT environment was used for assessing physical and cognitive abilities of seniors over 3 years. VR-DOT focuses on the subtle errors and patterns in performing everyday activities and has the advantage of not depending on a subjective rating of an individual person. We further assessed functional capacity by both neuropsychological tests (including measures of attention, memory, working memory, executive functions, language, and depression). We also evaluated performance in finger tapping, grip strength, stride length, gait speed, and chair stands separately and

  17. PRA (Probabilistic Risk Assessments) Participation versus Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMott, Diana; Banke, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Probabilistic Risk Assessments (PRAs) are performed for projects or programs where the consequences of failure are highly undesirable. PRAs primarily address the level of risk those projects or programs posed during operations. PRAs are often developed after the design has been completed. Design and operational details used to develop models include approved and accepted design information regarding equipment, components, systems and failure data. This methodology basically validates the risk parameters of the project or system design. For high risk or high dollar projects, using PRA methodologies during the design process provides new opportunities to influence the design early in the project life cycle to identify, eliminate or mitigate potential risks. Identifying risk drivers before the design has been set allows the design engineers to understand the inherent risk of their current design and consider potential risk mitigation changes. This can become an iterative process where the PRA model can be used to determine if the mitigation technique is effective in reducing risk. This can result in more efficient and cost effective design changes. PRA methodology can be used to assess the risk of design alternatives and can demonstrate how major design changes or program modifications impact the overall program or project risk. PRA has been used for the last two decades to validate risk predictions and acceptability. Providing risk information which can positively influence final system and equipment design the PRA tool can also participate in design development, providing a safe and cost effective product.

  18. Do we understand children's restlessness? Constructing ecologically valid understandings through reflexive cooperation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Helle-Valle

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is the most widely used children's mental health diagnosis today, but the validity of the diagnosis is controversial, for instance, because it might conceal relational and ecological dimensions of restlessness. We invited parents and professionals from one local community in western Norway to participate in cooperative group discussions on how to conceptualize and understand children's restlessness. We carried out a thematic and reflexive analysis of the cooperative group discussions on ADHD and children's restlessness, and present findings related to three ecological levels inspired by Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems model. At the level of the individual, restlessness was discussed as individual trait, as the expectation to be seen and heard, and as a result of traumatization. At the level of dyad, group or family, restlessness was discussed as a relational phenomenon and as parents' problems. At the level of community, restlessness was discussed as lack of cooperation and lack of structures or resources. Our findings show how contextualized and cooperative reflexivity can contribute to more valid understandings of children's restlessness, and how cooperative inquiry can stimulate reflections about solidarity and sustainability in relation to adult's actions.

  19. Assessing ecological sustainability in urban planning - EcoBalance model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wahlgren, I., Email: irmeli.wahlgren@vtt.fi

    2012-06-15

    Urban planning solutions and decisions have large-scale significance for ecological sustainability (eco-efficiency) the consumption of energy and other natural resources, the production of greenhouse gas and other emissions and the costs caused by urban form. Climate change brings new and growing challenges for urban planning. The EcoBalance model was developed to assess the sustainability of urban form and has been applied at various planning levels: regional plans, local master plans and detailed plans. The EcoBalance model estimates the total consumption of energy and other natural resources, the production of emissions and wastes and the costs caused directly and indirectly by urban form on a life cycle basis. The results of the case studies provide information about the ecological impacts of various solutions in urban development. (orig.)

  20. Enhancing criterion-related validity through bottom-up contextualization of personality inventories: The construction of an ecological conscientiousness scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    dr René Butter; Marise Born

    2011-01-01

    In this paper the concept of "ecological personality scales" is introduced. These are contextualized inventories with a high ecological validity. They are developed in a bottom-up or qualitative way and combine a relatively high trait specificity with a relatively high situational specificity. An

  1. Innovative human health and ecological risk assessment techniques at Hanford

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clarke, S.; Jones, K.; Goller, E.

    1993-01-01

    The open-quotes Hanford Site Baseline Risk Assessment Methodologyclose quotes (HSBRAM) was developed to enhance the preparation of risk assessments supporting the Hanford site cleanup mission. This methodology satisfies a Hanford federal facility agreement and consent order (tri-party agreement) milestone and is used to evaluate the risk to human health and the environment under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The methodology was prepared by the Hanford Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) consisting of tri-party representatives: the U.S. Department of Energy, the State of Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with associated contractors. The risk assessment guidance provided by EPA is sufficiently general to permit tailoring of specific parameters to meet the risk assessment needs of individual sites. The RAC utilized EPA's Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, (RAGS) as the cornerstone of the HSBRAM. The RAC added necessary Hanford-specific elements to construct a complete risk assessment guidance for utilization as an independent document. The HSBRAM is a living document because the RAC charter emphasizes the importance of continued methodology reevaluation. The HSBRAM also provides guidelines for the application of EPA's open-quotes Framework for Ecological Risk Assessmentclose quotes to Hanford-specific environmental baseline risk assessments by including endangered and threatened species in addition to sensitive habitats potentially associated with the Hanford site and guidance for selection of ecotoxicological data. Separate negotiations for the selection of risk parameters for each operable unit were avoided by defining parameters in the HSBRAM. There are 78 past-practice operable units at Hanford requiring risk assessments

  2. Potential ecological risk assessment and predicting zinc accumulation in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Agnieszka; Wieczorek, Jerzy; Mazurek, Ryszard; Urbański, Krzysztof; Klimkowicz-Pawlas, Agnieszka

    2018-02-01

    The aims of this study were to investigate zinc content in the studied soils; evaluate the efficiency of geostatistics in presenting spatial variability of zinc in the soils; assess bioavailable forms of zinc in the soils and to assess soil-zinc binding ability; and to estimate the potential ecological risk of zinc in soils. The study was conducted in southern Poland, in the Malopolska Province. This area is characterized by a great diversity of geological structures and types of land use and intensity of industrial development. The zinc content was affected by soil factors, and the type of land use (arable lands, grasslands, forests, wastelands). A total of 320 soil samples were characterized in terms of physicochemical properties (texture, pH, organic C content, total and available Zn content). Based on the obtained data, assessment of the ecological risk of zinc was conducted using two methods: potential ecological risk index and hazard quotient. Total Zn content in the soils ranged from 8.27 to 7221 mg kg -1 d.m. Based on the surface semivariograms, the highest variability of zinc in the soils was observed from northwest to southeast. The point sources of Zn contamination were located in the northwestern part of the area, near the mining-metallurgical activity involving processing of zinc and lead ores. These findings were confirmed by the arrangement of semivariogram surfaces and bivariate Moran's correlation coefficients. The content of bioavailable forms of zinc was between 0.05 and 46.19 mg kg -1 d.m. (0.01 mol dm -3 CaCl 2 ), and between 0.03 and 71.54 mg kg -1 d.m. (1 mol dm -3 NH 4 NO 3 ). Forest soils had the highest zinc solubility, followed by arable land, grassland and wasteland. PCA showed that organic C was the key factor to control bioavailability of zinc in the soils. The extreme, very high and medium zinc accumulation was found in 69% of studied soils. There is no ecological risk of zinc to living organisms in the study area, and in 90

  3. Ecological validity of cost-effectiveness models of universal HPV vaccination: A systematic literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favato, Giampiero; Easton, Tania; Vecchiato, Riccardo; Noikokyris, Emmanouil

    2017-05-09

    The protective (herd) effect of the selective vaccination of pubertal girls against human papillomavirus (HPV) implies a high probability that one of the two partners involved in intercourse is immunised, hence preventing the other from this sexually transmitted infection. The dynamic transmission models used to inform immunisation policy should include consideration of sexual behaviours and population mixing in order to demonstrate an ecological validity, whereby the scenarios modelled remain faithful to the real-life social and cultural context. The primary aim of this review is to test the ecological validity of the universal HPV vaccination cost-effectiveness modelling available in the published literature. The research protocol related to this systematic review has been registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO: CRD42016034145). Eight published economic evaluations were reviewed. None of the studies showed due consideration of the complexities of human sexual behaviour and the impact this may have on the transmission of HPV. Our findings indicate that all the included models might be affected by a different degree of ecological bias, which implies an inability to reflect the natural demographic and behavioural trends in their outcomes and, consequently, to accurately inform public healthcare policy. In particular, ecological bias have the effect to over-estimate the preference-based outcomes of selective immunisation. A relatively small (15-20%) over-estimation of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained with selective immunisation programmes could induce a significant error in the estimate of cost-effectiveness of universal immunisation, by inflating its incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) beyond the acceptability threshold. The results modelled here demonstrate the limitations of the cost-effectiveness studies for HPV vaccination, and highlight the concern that public healthcare policy might have been

  4. EEG-neurofeedback for optimising performance. II: creativity, the performing arts and ecological validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruzelier, John H

    2014-07-01

    As a continuation of a review of evidence of the validity of cognitive/affective gains following neurofeedback in healthy participants, including correlations in support of the gains being mediated by feedback learning (Gruzelier, 2014a), the focus here is on the impact on creativity, especially in the performing arts including music, dance and acting. The majority of research involves alpha/theta (A/T), sensory-motor rhythm (SMR) and heart rate variability (HRV) protocols. There is evidence of reliable benefits from A/T training with advanced musicians especially for creative performance, and reliable benefits from both A/T and SMR training for novice music performance in adults and in a school study with children with impact on creativity, communication/presentation and technique. Making the SMR ratio training context ecologically relevant for actors enhanced creativity in stage performance, with added benefits from the more immersive training context. A/T and HRV training have benefitted dancers. The neurofeedback evidence adds to the rapidly accumulating validation of neurofeedback, while performing arts studies offer an opportunity for ecological validity in creativity research for both creative process and product. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Momentary Assessment of Adults’ Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior: Feasibility and Validity

    OpenAIRE

    Dunton, Genevieve Fridlund; Liao, Yue; Kawabata, Keito; Intille, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Mobile phones are ubiquitous and easy to use, and thus have the capacity to collect real-time data from large numbers of people. Research tested the feasibility and validity of an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) self-report protocol using electronic surveys on mobile phones to assess adults’ physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Methods: Adults (N = 110) (73% female, 30% Hispanic, 62% overweight/obese) completed a four-day signal-contingent EMA protocol (Sat. - Tues.)...

  6. Assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of energy crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanegraaf, M.C.; Biewinga, E.E.; Bijl, G. van der

    1998-01-01

    The production and use of biomass for energy has both positive and negative impacts on the environment. The environmental impacts of energy crops should be clarified before political choices concerning energy are made. An important aid to policy-making would be a systematic methodology to assess the environmental sustainability of energy crops. So far, most studies on the environmental aspects of energy crops deal mainly with the energy production of the crops and the possible consequences for CO 2 mitigation. The Dutch Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CLM) has developed a systematic methodology to assess the ecological and socio-economic sustainability of biomass crops. The method is best described as a multicriteria analysis of process chains and is very much related to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Characteristics of our methodology are the use of: definition of functional units; analysis of the entire lifecycle; definition of yield levels and corresponding agricultural practices; analysis of both ecological and economic criteria; definition of reference systems; definition of procedures for normalisation and weighting. CLM has applied the method to assess the sustainability of ten potentially interesting energy crops in four European regions. The results are used to outline the perspectives for large scale production of biomass crops with regard to the medium and long term land availability in Europe. For the crops considered, net energy budget ranges from 85 GJ net avoided energy per ha for rape seed for fuel to 248 GJ net avoided fossil energy per ha for silage maize for electricity from gasification. The methodology of the tool and its results were discussed at the concerted action ''Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'' (AIR3-94-2455), organised by CLM in 1996. Major conclusions of the research: multicriteria analyhsis of process lifecycles is at present the best available option to assess the ecological

  7. Cumulative Effects Assessment: Linking Social, Ecological, and Governance Dimensions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marian Weber

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Setting social, economic, and ecological objectives is ultimately a process of social choice informed by science. In this special feature we provide a multidisciplinary framework for the use of cumulative effects assessment in land use planning. Forest ecosystems are facing considerable challenges driven by population growth and increasing demands for resources. In a suite of case studies that span the boreal forest of Western Canada to the interior Atlantic forest of Paraguay we show how transparent and defensible methods for scenario analysis can be applied in data-limited regions and how social dimensions of land use change can be incorporated in these methods, particularly in aboriginal communities that have lived in these ecosystems for generations. The case studies explore how scenario analysis can be used to evaluate various land use options and highlight specific challenges with identifying social and ecological responses, determining thresholds and targets for land use, and integrating local and traditional knowledge in land use planning. Given that land use planning is ultimately a value-laden and often politically charged process we also provide some perspective on various collective and expert-based processes for identifying cumulative impacts and thresholds. The need for good science to inform and be informed by culturally appropriate democratic processes calls for well-planned and multifaceted approaches both to achieve an informed understanding of both residents and governments of the interactive and additive changes caused by development, and to design action agendas to influence such change at the ecological and social level.

  8. The use of ecological momentary assessment to test appraisal theories of emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Eddie M W; Bishop, George D; Enkelmann, Hwee Chong; Why, Yong Peng; Diong, Siew Maan; Khader, Majeed; Ang, Jansen

    2005-12-01

    Although appraisal theories have received strong empirical support, there are methodological concerns about the research, including biased recall, heuristic responding, ethical issues, and weak and unrealistic induction of emotions in laboratories. To provide a more ecologically valid test of appraisal theories, the authors used ecological momentary assessment, in which the emotions and appraisals of Singaporean police officers were measured online over the course of an ordinary workday. The research focused on happiness. Support was obtained for predictions, demonstrating the generalizability of appraisal theories to a nonlaboratory setting and circumventing the shortcomings of previously used methodologies. Also, evidence was obtained that happiness was reported primarily in association with a specific combination of 3 relevant appraisals: high pleasantness, high perceived control, and low moral violation. Copyright (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved.

  9. Technical challenges in the qualitative ecological risk assessments performed on the Hanford Site operable units

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Probasco, K.M.

    1994-01-01

    Qualitative Risk Assessments (QRAS) have been selected as the method for providing the risk-driver indications for interim, remedial, and cleanup actions for the Hanford Site operable units' ecological risk assessments. This expedited response action path has been developed for the Hanford Site to facilitate time-critical decisions and generate immediate emergency cleanup actions. Tight budgets and aggressive time schedules are a major factor in the development of the QRA process. The QRA is a quick way to find immediate threats and a good precursor to a full risk assessment. However, numerous technical challenges have been identified with the QRA approach. The QRA approach differs from a baseline risk assessment in several ways. The main differences involve the use of data that have previously been gathered from the site, and the development of a ''bias-for-action'' document that would reveal qualitative risks from the contaminants identified at the operable units. Technical challenges concerning the ecological portion of these QRAs have raised questions about using the ORA for decision-making and may have weakened the validity of its use in the established procedural framework. Challenges involving such issues as the extrapolation of the contaminant data, data validation and screening techniques, receptor selections, and the final risk characterization outcome threaten the feasibility of the QRA as a decision-making tool. This discussion provides insight into resolving technical challenges and may be a ''lessons-learned'' device for those interested in the QRA approach. Ultimately, these challenges are proving to be learning tools for scientists, regulators, and ecologists and are identifying the data gaps and research direction for future ecological baseline risk assessments

  10. Ecological risk assessment at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory: Overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    VanHorn, R.; Bensen, T.; Green, T.; Hampton, N.; Staley, C.; Morris, R.; Brewer, R.; Peterson, S.

    1994-01-01

    The paper will present an overview of the methods and results of the screening level ecological risk assessment (ERA) performed at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). The INEL is a site with some distinct characteristics. First it is a large Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory (2,300 km 2 ) having experienced 40 years of nuclear material production operations. Secondly, it is a relatively undisturbed cold desert ecosystem. Neither of these issues have been sufficiently addressed in previous ERAs. It was necessary in many instances to develop methods that differed from those used in other studies. This paper should provide useful methodologies for the ERAs performed at other similar sites

  11. Assessing ecological effects of radionuclides: data gaps and extrapolation issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garnier-Laplace, Jacqueline; Gilek, Michael; Sundell-Bergman, Synnoeve; Larsson, Carl-Magnus

    2004-01-01

    By inspection of the FASSET database on radiation effects on non-human biota, one of the major difficulties in the implementation of ecological risk assessments for radioactive pollutants is found to be the lack of data for chronic low-level exposure. A critical review is provided of a number of extrapolation issues that arise in undertaking an ecological risk assessment: acute versus chronic exposure regime; radiation quality including relative biological effectiveness and radiation weighting factors; biological effects from an individual to a population level, including radiosensitivity and lifestyle variations throughout the life cycle; single radionuclide versus multi-contaminants. The specificities of the environmental situations of interest (mainly chronic low-level exposure regimes) emphasise the importance of reproductive parameters governing the demography of the population within a given ecosystem and, as a consequence, the structure and functioning of that ecosystem. As an operational conclusion to keep in mind for any site-specific risk assessment, the present state-of-the-art on extrapolation issues allows us to grade the magnitude of the uncertainties as follows: one species to another > acute to chronic = external to internal = mixture of stressors> individual to population> ecosystem structure to function

  12. The development of ecological impact assessment in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xuehua; Li, Zhouyuan; Liao, Chenghao; Wang, Qing; Zhu, Annah; Li, Dong; Li, Yajun; Tang, Zhuo

    2015-12-01

    The balance between economic development and ecological conservation in China has become a critical issue in recent decades. Ecological impact assessment (EcoIA) was established beginning in the 1980s as a component of environmental impact assessment (EIA) that focuses specifically on human-related changes in ecosystem structure and function. EcoIA has since been widely applied throughout the country with continuous refinements in theory and practice. As compared to EIA, EcoIA is often performed at a larger scale in the long-term, and thus requires more advanced tools and techniques to quantify and assess. This paper reviews the development of EcoIA over the past 30years in China, with specific consideration given to refinements in legislation and methodology. Three stages in the development of EcoIA in China are identified, along with their achievements and limitations. Supplementing this qualitative analysis, the paper also provides a quantitative bibliometrics review of academic publications concerning EcoIA in China over the three identified stages. Lastly, general trends in the development of EcoIA are summarized with the aim of conveying potential future trajectories. This review is intended to introduce the EcoIA system to scholars interested in the growing field of environmental management in China. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Ecological momentary assessment in a behavioral drinking moderation training program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, R L; Morsheimer, E T; Shiffman, S; Paty, J A; Gnys, M; Papandonatos, G D

    1998-08-01

    We assessed predictors of self-reported excessive drinking (> 5 drinks) in a sample of heavy drinkers. Participants were randomly assigned to moderation training or a waiting-list control condition. They were trained in ecological momentary assessment (EMA) involving self-monitoring of drinking and other variables on a small hand-held computer, the electronic diary (ED). During the 8-week study, participants were compliant in their use of the ED for both random prompts and the entry of data related to specific drinking episodes. Generalized estimating equations were used to fit models involving predictors related to past history of drinking, aspects of the training program, drinking restraint, and episode-specific mood. The models indicated robust predictors of decreased and increased drinking. Our results suggest that EMA is a useful methodology for assessing drinking and related behaviors.

  14. Integral statistical eco-indices - effective complementary tool for assessment of ecological state of and ecological risks for water ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bashamkova, I

    2010-01-01

    Eco-indices are successfully used for assessment of the ecological state and risks of water reservoirs. They allow, already at early stages, to detect negative effects on water ecosystems caused by progressive anthropogenic impacts and widening of the spectrum of pollutants, and to quantitatively evaluate ecological risks and damage for water reservoirs. Implementing these modern tools to water quality assessment is one of the lines to make decisions concerning challenging environmental problems.

  15. Ecological-economical approach to assessment of environment state at the Semipalatinsk test site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chugunova, N.S.; Balykbaeva, S.Y.

    2002-01-01

    The paper presents methods used for ecological-economical assessment of the environment condition at the former Semipalatinsk Test Site. It also presents methodology of calculating ecological and economical parameters for different options. Besides, the paper provides data describing assessment of ecological and economical damage caused by defense establishment activities at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. (author)

  16. Assessment model validity document FARF31

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elert, Mark; Gylling Bjoern; Lindgren, Maria

    2004-08-01

    The prime goal of model validation is to build confidence in the model concept and that the model is fit for its intended purpose. In other words: Does the model predict transport in fractured rock adequately to be used in repository performance assessments. Are the results reasonable for the type of modelling tasks the model is designed for. Commonly, in performance assessments a large number of realisations of flow and transport is made to cover the associated uncertainties. Thus, the flow and transport including radioactive chain decay are preferably calculated in the same model framework. A rather sophisticated concept is necessary to be able to model flow and radionuclide transport in the near field and far field of a deep repository, also including radioactive chain decay. In order to avoid excessively long computational times there is a need for well-based simplifications. For this reason, the far field code FARF31 is made relatively simple, and calculates transport by using averaged entities to represent the most important processes. FARF31 has been shown to be suitable for the performance assessments within the SKB studies, e.g. SR 97. Among the advantages are that it is a fast, simple and robust code, which enables handling of many realisations with wide spread in parameters in combination with chain decay of radionuclides. Being a component in the model chain PROPER, it is easy to assign statistical distributions to the input parameters. Due to the formulation of the advection-dispersion equation in FARF31 it is possible to perform the groundwater flow calculations separately.The basis for the modelling is a stream tube, i.e. a volume of rock including fractures with flowing water, with the walls of the imaginary stream tube defined by streamlines. The transport within the stream tube is described using a dual porosity continuum approach, where it is assumed that rock can be divided into two distinct domains with different types of porosity

  17. Assessment of teacher competence using video portfolios: reliability, construct validity and consequential validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Admiraal, W.; Hoeksma, M.; van de Kamp, M.-T.; van Duin, G.

    2011-01-01

    The richness and complexity of video portfolios endanger both the reliability and validity of the assessment of teacher competencies. In a post-graduate teacher education program, the assessment of video portfolios was evaluated for its reliability, construct validity, and consequential validity.

  18. Validity Semantics in Educational and Psychological Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hathcoat, John D.

    2013-01-01

    The semantics, or meaning, of validity is a fluid concept in educational and psychological testing. Contemporary controversies surrounding this concept appear to stem from the proper location of validity. Under one view, validity is a property of score-based inferences and entailed uses of test scores. This view is challenged by the…

  19. Ecological assessment of nano-enabled supercapacitors for automotive applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weil, M.; Dura, H.; Shimon, B.; Baumann, M.; Zimmermann, B.; Ziemann, S.; Lei, C.; Markoulidis, F.; Lekakou, T.; Decker, M.

    2012-09-01

    New materials on nano scale have the potential to overcome existing technical barriers and are one of the most promising key technologies to enable the decoupling of economic growth and resource consumption. Developing these innovative materials for industrial applications means facing a complex quality profile, which includes among others technical, economic, and ecological aspects. So far the two latter aspects are not sufficiently included in technology development, especially from a life cycle point of view. Supercapacitors are considered a promising option for electric energy storage in hybrid and full electric cars. In comparison with presently used lithium based electro chemical storage systems supercapacitors possess a high specific power, but a relatively low specific energy. Therefore, the goal of ongoing research is to develop a new generation of supercapacitors with high specific power and high specific energy. To reach this goal particularly nano materials are developed and tested on cell level. In the presented study the ecological implications (regarding known environmental effects) of carbon based nano materials are analysed using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Major attention is paid to efficiency gains of nano particle production due to scaling up of such processes from laboratory to industrial production scales. Furthermore, a developed approach will be displayed, how to assess the environmental impact of nano materials on an automotive system level over the whole life cycle.

  20. Ecological effects assessment: requirements vs state-of-the-art

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKenzie, D.H.; Thomas, J.M.; Eberhardt, L.L.

    1981-05-01

    Concerns for environmental quality, the ecologist's understanding of ecosystems, and the ability to quantitatively sample and evaluate hypotheses have contributed to current requirements and the state-of-the-art in ecological effects assessments in refard to nuclear power plants. The current cooling system approaches, data collection programs, and ecological effects assessments reflect these contributions. Over a decade of experience provides the basis for a timely review and evaluation of current proactice. The magnitude of economic and environmental resources being committed to cooling system alternatives mandates that the decision-making process result in as many optimal choices as possible. In addition, the resources being devoted to environmental data collection and integration provide considerable motivation for providing meaningful input to the decision-making process. It is maintained that the input should be as quantitative and as free from subjective content as is reasonably possible. An alternative viewpoint suggests that the past several decades of experience be considered but a first step, and the current task to be one of designing a second step

  1. Ecological assessment of nano-enabled supercapacitors for automotive applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weil, M; Dura, H; Shimon, B; Baumann, M; Zimmermann, B; Ziemann, S; Decker, M; Lei, C; Markoulidis, F; Lekakou, T

    2012-01-01

    New materials on nano scale have the potential to overcome existing technical barriers and are one of the most promising key technologies to enable the decoupling of economic growth and resource consumption. Developing these innovative materials for industrial applications means facing a complex quality profile, which includes among others technical, economic, and ecological aspects. So far the two latter aspects are not sufficiently included in technology development, especially from a life cycle point of view. Supercapacitors are considered a promising option for electric energy storage in hybrid and full electric cars. In comparison with presently used lithium based electro chemical storage systems supercapacitors possess a high specific power, but a relatively low specific energy. Therefore, the goal of ongoing research is to develop a new generation of supercapacitors with high specific power and high specific energy. To reach this goal particularly nano materials are developed and tested on cell level. In the presented study the ecological implications (regarding known environmental effects) of carbon based nano materials are analysed using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Major attention is paid to efficiency gains of nano particle production due to scaling up of such processes from laboratory to industrial production scales. Furthermore, a developed approach will be displayed, how to assess the environmental impact of nano materials on an automotive system level over the whole life cycle.

  2. Ecological risk assessment of TBT in Ise Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Joji; Yonezawa, Yoshitaka; Nakata, Kisaburo; Horiguchi, Fumio

    2009-02-01

    An ecological risk assessment of tributyltin (TBT) in Ise Bay was conducted using the margin of exposure (MOE) method. The assessment endpoint was defined to protect the survival, growth and reproduction of marine organisms. Sources of TBT in this study were assumed to be commercial vessels in harbors and navigation routes. Concentrations of TBT in Ise Bay were estimated using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model, an ecosystem model and a chemical fate model. Estimated MOEs for marine organisms for 1990 and 2008 were approximately 0.1-2.0 and over 100 respectively, indicating a declining temporal trend in the probability of adverse effects. The chemical fate model predicts a much longer persistence of TBT in sediments than in the water column. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the harmful effects of TBT on benthic organisms.

  3. Bioassessment in nonperennial streams: Hydrologic stability influences assessment validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazor, R. D.; Stein, E. D.; Schiff, K.; Ode, P.; Rehn, A.

    2011-12-01

    Nonperennial streams pose a challenge for bioassessment, as assessment tools developed in perennial streams may not work in these systems. For example, indices of biotic integrity (IBIs) developed in perennial streams may give improper indications of impairment in nonperennial streams, or may be unstable. We sampled benthic macroinvertebrates from 12 nonperennial streams in southern California. In addition, we deployed loggers to obtain continuous measures of flow. 3 sites were revisited over 2 years. For each site, we calculated several metrics, IBIs, and O/E scores to determine if assessments were consistent and valid throughout the summer. Hydrology varied widely among the streams, with several streams drying between sampling events. IBIs suggested good ecological health at the beginning of the study, but declined sharply at some sites. Multivariate ordination suggested that, despite differences among sites, changes in community structure were similar, with shifts from Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera to Coleoptera and more tolerant organisms. Site revisits revealed a surprising level of variability, as 2 of the 3 revisited sites had perennial or near-perennial flow in the second year of sampling. IBI scores were more consistent in streams with stable hydrographs than in those with strongly intermittent hydrographs. These results suggest that nonperennial streams can be monitored successfully, but they may require short index periods and distinct metrics from those used in perennial streams. In addition, better approaches to mapping nonperennial streams are required.

  4. Guidance for treatment of variability and uncertainty in ecological risk assessments of contaminated sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-06-01

    Uncertainty is a seemingly simple concept that has caused great confusion and conflict in the field of risk assessment. This report offers guidance for the analysis and presentation of variability and uncertainty in ecological risk assessments, an important issue in the remedial investigation and feasibility study processes. This report discusses concepts of probability in terms of variance and uncertainty, describes how these concepts differ in ecological risk assessment from human health risk assessment, and describes probabilistic aspects of specific ecological risk assessment techniques. The report ends with 17 points to consider in performing an uncertainty analysis for an ecological risk assessment of a contaminated site

  5. Cognitive—Motor Interference in an Ecologically Valid Street Crossing Scenario

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christin Janouch

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Laboratory-based research revealed that gait involves higher cognitive processes, leading to performance impairments when executed with a concurrent loading task. Deficits are especially pronounced in older adults. Theoretical approaches like the multiple resource model highlight the role of task similarity and associated attention distribution problems. It has been shown that in cases where these distribution problems are perceived relevant to participant's risk of falls, older adults prioritize gait and posture over the concurrent loading task. Here we investigate whether findings on task similarity and task prioritization can be transferred to an ecologically valid scenario. Sixty-three younger adults (20–30 years of age and 61 older adults (65–75 years of age participated in a virtual street crossing simulation. The participants' task was to identify suitable gaps that would allow them to cross a simulated two way street safely. Therefore, participants walked on a manual treadmill that transferred their forward motion to forward displacements in a virtual city. The task was presented as a single task (crossing only and as a multitask. In the multitask condition participants were asked, among others, to type in three digit numbers that were presented either visually or auditorily. We found that for both age groups, street crossing as well as typing performance suffered under multitasking conditions. Impairments were especially pronounced for older adults (e.g., longer crossing initiation phase, more missed opportunities. However, younger and older adults did not differ in the speed and success rate of crossing. Further, deficits were stronger in the visual compared to the auditory task modality for most parameters. Our findings conform to earlier studies that found an age-related decline in multitasking performance in less realistic scenarios. However, task similarity effects were inconsistent and question the validity of the multiple

  6. Virtues, Ecological Momentary Assessment/Intervention and Smartphone Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason D Runyan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Virtues, generally understood as stable and robust dispositions for certain responses across morally relevant situations, have been a growing topic of interest in psychology. A central topic of discussion has been whether the existence of virtues (as a kind of stable and robust disposition is called into question by studies showing that, to a significant degree, an individual’s situation can influence their responses. In this review, we examine reasons for thinking that these kinds of situational studies are limited in their ability to test dispositional stability and robustness; or, then, whether virtues exist. We make the case that these limitations can be addressed by aggregating repeated, cross-situational assessments of environmental, psychological and physiological variables within everyday life—a form of assessment often called ecological momentary assessment (EMA, or experience sampling. We, then, examine how advances in smartphone application (app technology, and their mass adoption, make these mobile devices an unprecedented vehicle for EMA and, thus, the psychological study of virtue. We, additionally, examine how smartphones might be used for virtue development by promoting changes in thought and behavior within daily life; a technique often called ecological momentary intervention (EMI. While EMA/I have become widely employed since the 1980s for the purposes of understanding and promoting change amongst clinical populations, few EMA/I studies have been devoted to understanding or promoting virtues within non-clinical populations. Further, most EMA/I studies have relied on journaling, PDAs, phone calls and/or text messaging systems. We explore how smartphone app technology provides a means of making EMA a more robust psychological method, EMI a more robust way of promoting positive change, and, as a result, opens up new possibilities for studying and promoting virtues.

  7. A simple fish-based approach to assess the ecological quality of freshwater reservoirs in Central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blabolil Petr

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of ecological quality in freshwater ecosystems is a key issue in many countries, but conditions for the development of assessment methodologies are often country-specific. This study proposes a simple methodology for the assessment of the ecological potential of reservoirs based on fish communities using a dataset covering major environmental and pressure gradients in reservoirs in the Czech Republic. Fish data obtained by gillnet sampling were correlated with a proxy of eutrophication as a key indicator of anthropogenic pressure for selecting appropriate fish-based indicators, establishing scoring criteria and developing the index of ecological quality. Expert judgement was also used to select potential fish indicators. Nine indicators were selected for the final fish-based index, fulfilling the criteria required by the Water Framework Directive. Two steps were used to validate the fish-based index quantification of its inter annual stability and sensitivity analysis of individual indicators. Finally, the index was compared to a previously developed general index for Central and Western Europe. Our study demonstrates that a combination of expert judgement and strict validation methods can result in an informative assessment of the ecological conditions, which can help identify conservation and restoration priorities.

  8. Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalusche, D.

    1978-01-01

    The book turns to the freshment, the teacher, for preparation of ecological topics for lessons, but also to pupils of the secondary stage II, and the main course ecology. The book was knowingly held simple with the restriction to: the ecosystem and its abiotic basic functions, simple articles on population biology, bioceonotic balance ith the questions of niche formation and the life form types coherent with it, of the substance and energy household, the production biology and space-wise and time-wise differentations within an ecological system form the main points. A central role in the volume is given to the illustrations. Their variety is to show and deepen the coherences shown. (orig./HP) [de

  9. Session-RPE Method for Training Load Monitoring: Validity, Ecological Usefulness, and Influencing Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monoem Haddad

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The aim of this review is to (1 retrieve all data validating the Session-rating of perceived exertion (RPE-method using various criteria, (2 highlight the rationale of this method and its ecological usefulness, and (3 describe factors that can alter RPE and users of this method should take into consideration.Method: Search engines such as SPORTDiscus, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases in the English language between 2001 and 2016 were consulted for the validity and usefulness of the session-RPE method. Studies were considered for further analysis when they used the session-RPE method proposed by Foster et al. in 2001. Participants were athletes of any gender, age, or level of competition. Studies using languages other than English were excluded in the analysis of the validity and reliability of the session-RPE method. Other studies were examined to explain the rationale of the session-RPE method and the origin of RPE.Results: A total of 950 studies cited the Foster et al. study that proposed the session RPE-method. 36 studies have examined the validity and reliability of this proposed method using the modified CR-10.Conclusion: These studies confirmed the validity and good reliability and internal consistency of session-RPE method in several sports and physical activities with men and women of different age categories (children, adolescents, and adults among various expertise levels. This method could be used as “standing alone” method for training load (TL monitoring purposes though some recommend to combine it with other physiological parameters as heart rate.

  10. Mechanistic effect modeling for ecological risk assessment: where to go from here?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Volker; Martin, Benjamin T

    2013-07-01

    Mechanistic effect models (MEMs) consider the mechanisms of how chemicals affect individuals and ecological systems such as populations and communities. There is an increasing awareness that MEMs have high potential to make risk assessment of chemicals more ecologically relevant than current standard practice. Here we discuss what kinds of MEMs are needed to improve scientific and regulatory aspects of risk assessment. To make valid predictions for a wide range of environmental conditions, MEMs need to include a sufficient amount of emergence, for example, population dynamics emerging from what individual organisms do. We present 1 example where the life cycle of individuals is described using Dynamic Energy Budget theory. The resulting individual-based population model is thus parameterized at the individual level but correctly predicts multiple patterns at the population level. This is the case for both control and treated populations. We conclude that the state-of-the-art in mechanistic effect modeling has reached a level where MEMs are robust and predictive enough to be used in regulatory risk assessment. Mechanistic effect models will thus be used to advance the scientific basis of current standard practice and will, if their development follows Good Modeling Practice, be included in a standardized way in future regulatory risk assessments. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  11. Assessing the accuracy and stability of variable selection methods for random forest modeling in ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Eric W; Hill, Ryan A; Leibowitz, Scott G; Olsen, Anthony R; Thornbrugh, Darren J; Weber, Marc H

    2017-07-01

    Random forest (RF) modeling has emerged as an important statistical learning method in ecology due to its exceptional predictive performance. However, for large and complex ecological data sets, there is limited guidance on variable selection methods for RF modeling. Typically, either a preselected set of predictor variables are used or stepwise procedures are employed which iteratively remove variables according to their importance measures. This paper investigates the application of variable selection methods to RF models for predicting probable biological stream condition. Our motivating data set consists of the good/poor condition of n = 1365 stream survey sites from the 2008/2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment, and a large set (p = 212) of landscape features from the StreamCat data set as potential predictors. We compare two types of RF models: a full variable set model with all 212 predictors and a reduced variable set model selected using a backward elimination approach. We assess model accuracy using RF's internal out-of-bag estimate, and a cross-validation procedure with validation folds external to the variable selection process. We also assess the stability of the spatial predictions generated by the RF models to changes in the number of predictors and argue that model selection needs to consider both accuracy and stability. The results suggest that RF modeling is robust to the inclusion of many variables of moderate to low importance. We found no substantial improvement in cross-validated accuracy as a result of variable reduction. Moreover, the backward elimination procedure tended to select too few variables and exhibited numerous issues such as upwardly biased out-of-bag accuracy estimates and instabilities in the spatial predictions. We use simulations to further support and generalize results from the analysis of real data. A main purpose of this work is to elucidate issues of model selection bias and instability to ecologists interested in

  12. [Ecological hygienic assessment of soils quality in urban areas].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vodyanova, M A; Kriatov, I A; Donerian, L G; Evseeva, I S; Ushakov, D I; Sbitnev, A V

    Assessment of the soil quality is ofprime importance essential for the characterization of the ecological and hygienic condition of the territory, as the soil is the first link of the food chain, the source of secondary air and water pollution, as well as an integral index of ecological well-being of the environment. Herewith the qualitative analysis of soil complicated by the specifics of the soil genesis in the urban environment, in which an important role is played by manmade land bulk and alluvial soils; the inclusion of construction of material debris and household garbage in upper horizons; the growing up of the profile due to the perpetual introduction of different materials and intensive aeolian deposition. It is advisable to consider the currently neglected question of the study of soil vapor containing volatile chemicals. These pollutants penetrate into the building through cracks in the foundation and openings for utilities. Soil evaporation may accumulate in residential areas or in the soil under the building. Because of this, it is necessary to pay attention to the remediation of areas allocated for the built-up area, possessing a large-scale underground parking. Soil contamination is the result of significant anthropogenic impacts on the environment components. In general, about 89.1 million people (62.6% of the population of the country) live in terms of complex chemical load, determined by contamination offood, drinking water, air and soil. The list of microbiological and sanitary-chemical indices of the assessment of soils of urban areas may vary in dependence on the data obtained in pilot studies due to changes and additions to the assigned tasks. Timely forecast for the possibility of the usage of released lands of urban territories for the construction and the creation of new objects for different purposes should become the prevention of chronic non-infectious diseases in the population residing in urban areas.

  13. A Novel Inexpensive Use of Smartphone Technology for Ecological Momentary Assessment in Middle-Aged Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlers, Diane K; Huberty, Jennifer; Buman, Matthew; Hooker, Steven; Todd, Michael; de Vreede, Gert-Jan

    2016-03-01

    Commercially available mobile and Internet technologies present a promising opportunity to feasibly conduct ecological momentary assessment (EMA). The purpose of this study was to describe a novel EMA protocol administered on middle-aged women's smartphones via text messaging and mobile Internet. Women (N = 9; mean age = 46.2 ± 8.2 y) received 35 text message prompts to a mobile survey assessing activity, self-worth, and self-efficacy over 14 days. Prompts were scheduled and surveys were administered using commercial, Internet-based programs. Prompting was tailored to each woman's daily wake/sleep schedule. Women concurrently wore a wrist-worn accelerometer. Feasibility was assessed via survey completion, accelerometer wear, participant feedback, and researcher notes. Of 315 prompted surveys, 287 responses were valid (91.1%). Average completion time was 1.52 ± 1.03 minutes. One participant's activity data were excluded due to accelerometer malfunction, resulting in complete data from 8 participants (n = 252 [80.0%] valid observations). Women reported the survey was easily and quickly read/completed. However, most thought the accelerometer was inconvenient. High completion rates and perceived usability suggest capitalizing on widely available technology and tailoring prompting schedules may optimize EMA in middle-aged women. However, researchers may need to carefully select objective monitors to maintain data validity while limiting participant burden.

  14. Guidance Manual for Conducting Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessments at the INEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R. L. VanHorn; N. L. Hampton; R. C. Morris

    1995-06-01

    This document presents reference material for conducting screening level ecological risk assessments (SLERAs)for the waste area groups (WAGs) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Included in this document are discussions of the objectives of and processes for conducting SLERAs. The Environmental Protection Agency ecological risk assessment framework is closely followed. Guidance for site characterization, stressor characterization, ecological effects, pathways of contaminant migration, the conceptual site model, assessment endpoints, measurement endpoints, analysis guidance, and risk characterization are included.

  15. Digit Span as a measure of everyday attention: a study of ecological validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth-Marnat, Gary; Baker, Sonya

    2003-12-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of the WAIS-III Digit Span subtest to predict the everyday attention of 75 participants with heterogeneous neurological conditions who were administered the Digit Span subtest as well as the ecologically valid Test of Everyday Attention. In addition, the more visually oriented Picture Completion subtest along with the verbally loaded National Adult Reading Test were administered. Analysis indicated that, although Digit Span was a weak but statistically significant predictor of attentional ability (accounting for 12.7% of the unique variance). Picture Completion was a somewhat stronger predictor (accounting for 19% of the unique variance). The weak association of Digit Span and the Test of Everyday Attention, along with the finding that Picture Completion was a better predictor of performance on the Test of Everyday Attention, question the clinical utility of using Digit Span as a measure of everyday attention.

  16. The Influence of Contextual Cues in Judgment Formation: An Ecologically Valid Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacoby, Jacob; Galak, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    An ecologically valid experiment investigated the propositions that (a) people's judgments are influenced by contextual cues, (b) that they are often unaware that those cues influenced them, and (c) that even when they know the cues should influence them, they do not readily incorporate those cues into their judgment formation. After participating in a realistic simulation of a shopping experience, 405 consumers made judgments about whether the product they examined contained fresh or preserved grapefruit sections. Our findings show that despite being aware that contextual cues (such as the location within a store where the product is sold, the type of container it is sold in, and whether the container is chilled or not) generally influence the judgment at hand, people generally fail to realize that their specific judgments were influenced at all. These findings replicate prior studies, thereby extending the generalizability and robustness of prior research.

  17. Ecological validity of the five digit test and the oral trails test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiva, Gabrielle Chequer de Castro; Fialho, Mariana Braga; Costa, Danielle de Souza; Paula, Jonas Jardim de

    2016-01-01

    Tests evaluating the attentional-executive system are widely used in clinical practice. However, proximity of an objective cognitive test with real-world situations (ecological validity) is not frequently investigated. The present study evaluate the association between measures of the Five Digit Test (FDT) and the Oral Trails Test (OTT) with self-reported cognitive failures in everyday life as measured by the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ). Brazilian adults from 18-to-65 years old voluntarily performed the FDT and OTT tests and reported the frequency of cognitive failures in their everyday life through the CFQ. After controlling for the age effect, the measures of controlled attentional processes were associated with cognitive failures, yet the cognitive flexibility of both FDT and OTT accounted for by the majority of variance in most aspects of the CFQ factors. The FDT and the OTT measures were predictive of real-world problems such as cognitive failures in everyday activities/situations.

  18. Sudbury soils study : summary of volume 3 : ecological risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2009-03-15

    The Sudbury soils study was comprised of 3 volumes: (1) a background, study organization and 2001 soils survey; (2) a human health risk assessment; and (3) an ecological risk assessment (ERA). This document provided details of the ERA, which was conducted to characterize the current and future risks of chemicals of concern (COC) to terrestrial and ecosystem components from Sudbury smelter particulate emissions. The extent to which COC are preventing the recovery of regionally representative terrestrial plant communities was investigated. Risks to terrestrial wildlife populations and endangered species and communities were evaluated. Samples of soil, water, sediment, plants, terrestrial invertebrates, and fish tissue were collected. Data were then analyzed by scientists and independent consultants in order to assess the impacts of arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, nickel and selenium. Results of the study indicated that terrestrial plant communities in the region continue to be impacted by COC in the soil, as well as by soil erosion, low nutrient levels, and a lack of soil organic matter. Direct impacts on wildlife populations were also observed. 5 refs., 7 tabs., 21 figs.

  19. [Ecological suitability assessment and optimization of urban land expansion space in Guiyang City].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Cong-hao; Li, Yang-bing; Feng, Yuan-song

    2015-09-01

    Based on the case study of Guiyang City, the minimum cumulative resistance model integrating construction land source, ecological rigid constraints and ecological function type resistance factor, was built by use of cost-distance analysis of urban spatial expansion resistance value through ArcGIS 9.3 software in this paper. Then, the ecological resistance of city spatial expansion of Guiyang from 2010 was simulated dynamically and the ecological suitability classification of city spatial expansion was assessed. According to the conflict between the newly increased city construction land in 2014 and its ecological suitability, the unreasonable city land spatial allocation was discussed also. The results showed that the ecological suitability zonation and the city expansion in the study area were basically consistent during 2010-2014, but the conflict between the new city construction and its land ecological suitability was more serious. The ecological conflict area accounted for 58.2% of the new city construction sites, 35.4% of which happened in the ecological control area, 13.9% in the limited development area and 8.9% in the prohibition development area. The intensification of ecological land use conflict would impair the ecological service function and ecological safety, so this paper put forward the city spatial expansion optimal path to preserve the ecological land and improve the construction land space pattern of Guiyang City so as to ensure its ecological safety.

  20. Methodologies for assessment of power plant ecological effects in the marine environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, S.M.

    1978-01-01

    Various types of models or methodologies relevant to the assessment of entrainment, thermal, and impingement impacts of power plant operation in the marine environment are presented. The majority of methodologies available for assessing power plant effects are focused at the organism or population level. The most widely applied approaches for estimating entrainment effects on fish populations are the equivalent adult and trophic-conversion methodologies. Current methods to predict the number of fish and distribution of species impinged consider physical factors of the environment but not the biological or behavorial characteristics of fish. With proper validation, ecosystem-level models that consider aggregate responses of biological components to stress may prove to be a viable approach for investigating power plant ecological effects

  1. Ecological assessment of divided attention: What about the current tools and the relevancy of virtual reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez Maïté, C; Gaétane, D; Axel, C

    2016-01-01

    The ability to perform two tasks simultaneously has become increasingly important as attention-demanding technologies have become more common in daily life. This type of attentional resources allocation is commonly called "divided attention". Because of the importance of divided attention in natural world settings, substantial efforts have been made recently so as to promote an integrated, realistic assessment of functional abilities in dual-task paradigms. In this context, virtual reality methods appear to be a good solution. However to date, there has been little discussion on validity of such methods. Here, we offer a comparative review of conventional tools used to assess divided attention and of the first virtual reality studies (mostly from the field of road and pedestrian safety). The ecological character of virtual environments leads to a better understanding of the influence of dual-task settings and also makes it possible to clarify issues such as the utility of hands-free phones. After discussing the theoretical and clinical contributions of these studies, we discuss the limits of virtual reality assessment, focusing in particular: (i) on the challenges associated with lack of familiarity with new technological devices; (ii) on the validity of the ecological character of virtual environments; and (iii) on the question of whether the results obtained in a specific context can be generalized to all dual-task situations typical of daily life. To overcome the limitations associated with virtual reality, we propose: (i) to include a standardized familiarization phase in assessment protocols so as to limit the interference caused by the use of new technologies; (ii) to systematically compare virtual reality performance with conventional tests or real-life tests; and (iii) to design dual-task scenarios that are independent from the patient's expertise on one of the two tasks. We conclude that virtual reality appears to constitute a useful tool when used in

  2. Hydrodynamic and Ecological Assessment of Nearshore Restoration: A Modeling Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Zhaoqing; Sobocinski, Kathryn L.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Khangaonkar, Tarang; Thom, Ronald M.; Fuller, Roger

    2010-01-01

    Along the Pacific Northwest coast, much of the estuarine habitat has been diked over the last century for agricultural land use, residential and commercial development, and transportation corridors. As a result, many of the ecological processes and functions have been disrupted. To protect coastal habitats that are vital to aquatic species, many restoration projects are currently underway to restore the estuarine and coastal ecosystems through dike breaches, setbacks, and removals. Information on physical processes and hydrodynamic conditions are critical for the assessment of the success of restoration actions. Restoration of a 160- acre property at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River in Puget Sound has been proposed. The goal is to restore native tidal habitats and estuary-scale ecological processes by removing the dike. In this study, a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model was developed for the Stillaguamish River estuary to simulate estuarine processes. The model was calibrated to observed tide, current, and salinity data for existing conditions and applied to simulate the hydrodynamic responses to two restoration alternatives. Responses were evaluated at the scale of the restoration footprint. Model data was combined with biophysical data to predict habitat responses at the site. Results showed that the proposed dike removal would result in desired tidal flushing and conditions that would support four habitat types on the restoration footprint. At the estuary scale, restoration would substantially increase the proportion of area flushed with freshwater (< 5 ppt) at flood tide. Potential implications of predicted changes in salinity and flow dynamics are discussed relative to the distribution of tidal marsh habitat.

  3. Policy and Validity Prospects for Performance-Based Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Eva L.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    This article describes performance-based assessment as expounded by its proponents, comments on these conceptions, reviews evidence regarding the technical quality of performance-based assessment, and considers its validity under various policy options. (JDD)

  4. Study protocol on ecological momentary assessment of health-related quality of life using a smartphone application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mareva, Silvana; Thomson, David M; Marenco, Pietro

    2016-01-01

    recall and current mood state may undermine their validity and reliability. Retrospective tools can be further criticized for their lack of ecology, as individuals are usually assessed in less natural settings such as hospitals and health centers, and may be obliged to spend time and money traveling...... to receive assessment. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is an alternative, as mobile assessment using mobile health (mHealth) technology has the potential to minimize biases and overcome many of these limitations. Employing an EMA methodology, we will use a smartphone application to collect data on real-time...... HRQoL, with an adapted version of the widely used WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire. We aim to recruit a total of 450 healthy participants. Participants will be prompted by the application to report their real-time HRQoL over 2 weeks together with information on mood and current activities. At the end of 2...

  5. Comparison of models used for ecological risk assessment and human health risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryti, R.T.; Gallegos, A.F.

    1994-01-01

    Models are used to derive action levels for site screening, or to estimate potential ecological or human health risks posed by potentially hazardous sites. At the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is RCRA-regulated, the human-health screening action levels are based on hazardous constituents described in RCRA Subpart S and RESRAD-derived soil guidelines (based on 10 mRem/year) for radiological constituents. Also, an ecological risk screening model was developed for a former firing site, where the primary constituents include depleted uranium, beryllium and lead. Sites that fail the screening models are evaluated with site-specific human risk assessment (using RESRAD and other approaches) and a detailed ecological effect model (ECOTRAN). ECOTRAN is based on pharmacokinetics transport modeling within a multitrophic-level biological-growth dynamics model. ECOTRAN provides detailed temporal records of contaminant concentrations in biota, and annual averages of these body burdens are compared to equivalent site-specific runs of the RESRAD model. The results show that thoughtful interpretation of the results of these models must be applied before they can be used for evaluation of current risk posed by sites and the benefits of various remedial options. This presentation compares the concentrations of biological media in the RESRAD screening runs to the concentrations in ecological endpoints predicted by the ecological screening model. The assumptions and limitations of these screening models and the decision process where these are screening models are applied are discussed

  6. Principles and issues in radiological ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Daniel; Domotor, Stephen; Higley, Kathryn; Kocher, David; Bilyard, Gordon

    2003-01-01

    This paper provides a bridge between the fields of ecological risk assessment (ERA) and radioecology by presenting key biota dose assessment issues identified in the US Department of Energy's Graded Approach for Evaluating Radiation Doses to Aquatic and Terrestrial Biota in a manner consistent with the US Environmental Protection Agency's framework for ERA. Current radiological ERA methods and data are intended for use in protecting natural populations of biota, rather than individual members of a population. Potentially susceptible receptors include vertebrates and terrestrial plants. One must ensure that all media, radionuclides (including short-lived radioactive decay products), types of radiations (i.e., alpha particles, electrons, and photons), and pathways (i.e., internal and external contamination) are combined in each exposure scenario. The relative biological effectiveness of alpha particles with respect to deterministic effects must also be considered. Expected safe levels of exposure are available for the protection of natural populations of aquatic biota (10 mGy d(-1)) and terrestrial plants (10 mGy d(-1)) and animals (1 mGy d(-1)) and are appropriate for use in all radiological ERA tiers, provided that appropriate exposure assumptions are used. Caution must be exercised (and a thorough justification provided) if more restrictive limits are selected, to ensure that the supporting data are of high quality, reproducible, and clearly relevant to the protection of natural populations.

  7. Ecological risk assessment of protected species at a military installation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, M.L.; Faulk, S.T.; Lukin, C.; Kochel, M.J.

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative ecological risk assessment was performed to determine adverse effects posed by potential chemical contamination for two state-protected mammal species (Skull Valley pocket gopher and spotted bat) known to occur or potentially occur within the confines of the US Army Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Surface soil and prey items were analyzed for metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons. Concentrations of the target analytes in forage were estimated. Receptor-specific biological parameters and the use of a geographic information system allowed the risk assessment to be tailored to the very different natural histories of the two mammals. A grid of interpolated soil concentrations was created for the entire base using measured soil concentrations and knowledge of site history. Spatially-averaged soil exposure concentrations were calculated using receptor home range areas. Doses were stochastically computed using the probability density functions of soil exposure concentration data, biomagnification factors, and measured prey concentration data. An extensive literature search provided the ecotoxicological benchmark values for the contaminants and hazard quotients were computed. The use of receptor-specific information and a geographic information system for spatial analysis of contaminant concentrations and animal exposure allowed a more precise estimate of risk for these two state-protected mammal species

  8. Ecological validity and reliability of an age-adapted endurance field test in young male soccer players

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Castagna, Carlo; Krustrup, Peter; D'Ottavio, Stefano

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability and the association with relevant match activities (ecological validity) of an age-adapted field test for intermittent high-intensity endurance known as Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 children test (YYIR1C) in young male soccer players......-intensity metabolic power (r=0.46) distances. Match total distance was largely associated with YYIR1C (r=0.30). The results of this study showed that YYIR1C may be considered a valid and reliable field test for assessing intermittent high-intensity endurance in young male soccer players. Due to the relevance...... performance showed an excellent relative (ICC=0.94) and a good absolute reliability (TEM as %CV=5.1%). Very large and significant associations were found between YYIR1C performance and match high-intensity activity (r=0.53). Large correlations were found between YYIR1C and match sprinting (r=0.42) and high...

  9. An exploration of the ecological validity of the Virtual Action Planning-Supermarket (VAP-S) with people with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubin, Ginette; Béliveau, Marie-France; Klinger, Evelyne

    2018-07-01

    People with schizophrenia often have functional limitations that affect their daily activities due to executive function deficits. One way to assess these deficits is through the use of virtual reality programmes that reproduce real-life instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). One such programme is the Virtual Action Planning-Supermarket (VAP-S). This exploratory study aimed to examine the ecological validity of this programme, specifically, how task performance in both virtual and natural environments compares. Case studies were used and involved five participants with schizophrenia, who were familiar with grocery shopping. They were assessed during both the VAP-S shopping task and a real-life grocery shopping task using an observational assessment tool, the Perceive, Recall, Plan and Perform (PRPP) System of Task Analysis. The results show that when difficulties were present in the virtual task, difficulties were also observed in the real-life task. For some participants, greater difficulties were observed in the virtual task. These difficulties could be explained by the presence of perceptual deficits and problems remembering the required sequenced actions in the virtual task. In conclusion, performance on the VAP-S by these five participants was generally comparable to the performance in a natural environment.

  10. Validation of a rubric to assess innovation competence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frances Watts

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses the development and validation of rubrics, materials and situations for the assessment of innovation competence. Research was carried out to verify the viability of the first draft of the assessment criteria, which led to refinement of the criteria and proposals to enhance the ensuing validation process that will include students and raters of different language backgrounds.

  11. Development and Evaluation of a Three-Tier Diagnostic Test to Assess Undergraduate Primary Teachers' Understanding of Ecological Footprint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liampa, Vasiliki; Malandrakis, George N.; Papadopoulou, Penelope; Pnevmatikos, Dimitrios

    2017-08-01

    This study focused on the development and validation of a three-tier multiple-choice diagnostic instrument about the ecological footprint. Each question in the three-tier test comprised by; (a) the content tier, assessing content knowledge; (b) the reason tier, assessing explanatory knowledge; and (c) the confidence tier that differentiates lack of knowledge from misconception through the use of a certainty response index. Based on the literature, the propositional knowledge statements and the identified misconceptions of 97 student-teachers, a first version of the test was developed and subsequently administered to another group of 219 student-teachers from Primary and Early Childhood Education Departments. Due to the complexity of the ecological footprint concept, and that it is a newly introduced concept, unknown to the public, both groups have been previously exposed to relevant instruction. Experts in the field established face and content validity. The reliability, in terms of Cronbach's alpha, was found adequate (α = 0.839), and the test-retest reliability, as indicated by Pearson r, was also satisfactory (0.554). The mean performance of the students was 56.24% in total score, 59.75% in content tiers and 48.05% in reason tiers. A variety of concepts about the ecological footprint were also observed. The test can help educators to understand the alternative views that students hold about the ecological footprint concept and assist them in developing the concept through appropriately designed teaching methods and materials.

  12. Development of an Ecological Momentary Assessment Mobile App for a Low-Literacy, Mexican American Population to Collect Disordered Eating Behaviors

    OpenAIRE

    Connelly, Kay; Stein, Karen F; Chaudry, Beenish; Trabold, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    Background Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a popular method for understanding population health in which participants report their experiences while in naturally occurring contexts in order to increase the reliability and ecological validity of the collected data (as compared to retrospective recall). EMA studies, however, have relied primarily on text-based questionnaires, effectively eliminating low-literacy populations from the samples. Objective To provide a case study of design ...

  13. Ecological risk assessment in the context of global climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Wayne G; Durda, Judi L; Brooks, Marjorie L; Chapman, Peter M; Menzie, Charles A; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jennifer L

    2013-01-01

    Changes to sources, stressors, habitats, and geographic ranges; toxicological effects; end points; and uncertainty estimation require significant changes in the implementation of ecological risk assessment (ERA). Because of the lack of analog systems and circumstances in historically studied sites, there is a likelihood of type III error. As a first step, the authors propose a decision key to aid managers and risk assessors in determining when and to what extent climate change should be incorporated. Next, when global climate change is an important factor, the authors recommend seven critical changes to ERA. First, develop conceptual cause-effect diagrams that consider relevant management decisions as well as appropriate spatial and temporal scales to include both direct and indirect effects of climate change and the stressor of management interest. Second, develop assessment end points that are expressed as ecosystem services. Third, evaluate multiple stressors and nonlinear responses-include the chemicals and the stressors related to climate change. Fourth, estimate how climate change will affect or modify management options as the impacts become manifest. Fifth, consider the direction and rate of change relative to management objectives, recognizing that both positive and negative outcomes can occur. Sixth, determine the major drivers of uncertainty, estimating and bounding stochastic uncertainty spatially, temporally, and progressively. Seventh, plan for adaptive management to account for changing environmental conditions and consequent changes to ecosystem services. Good communication is essential for making risk-related information understandable and useful for managers and stakeholders to implement a successful risk-assessment and decision-making process. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.

  14. The Development of the Functional Literacy Experience Scale Based upon Ecological Theory (FLESBUET) and Validity-Reliability Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özenç, Emine Gül; Dogan, M. Cihangir

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to perform a validity-reliability test by developing the Functional Literacy Experience Scale based upon Ecological Theory (FLESBUET) for primary education students. The study group includes 209 fifth grade students at Sabri Taskin Primary School in the Kartal District of Istanbul, Turkey during the 2010-2011 academic year.…

  15. Ecological models for regulatory risk assessments of pesticides: Developing a strategy for the future.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thorbek, P.; Forbes, V.; Heimbach, F.; Hommen, U.; Thulke, H.H.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2010-01-01

    Ecological Models for Regulatory Risk Assessments of Pesticides: Developing a Strategy for the Future provides a coherent, science-based view on ecological modeling for regulatory risk assessments. It discusses the benefits of modeling in the context of registrations, identifies the obstacles that

  16. An Ecological Momentary Assessment of the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Patterns of University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouse, Peter C.; Biddle, Stuart J. H.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: We used ecological momentary assessment to understand the physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns of university students. Study design: Cross sectional, opportunistic sample from a university in the English midlands. Methods: Ecological momentary assessment diaries were completed every 15 minutes across two days. The sample…

  17. [Study on ecological risk assessment technology of fluoride pollution from arid oasis soil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Su-Yin; Li, Ping; Wang, Sheng-Li; Nan, Zhong-Ren

    2014-03-01

    According to translocation regulation of fluoride in the typical oasis soil-plant system under field, an ecological risk assessment model of fluoride was established, and this model was used to assess ecological risk to fluoride pollution from suburban oasis soils in Baiyin City, which was specifically expressed with the potential ecological risk of bioavailability (ER(bc)) model to assess ecological risk of fluoride pollution in oasis regions. Results showed that the ecological risk indices of fluoride pollution from this region were 1.37-24.81, the level of risk at most sites was high to very high, the average ecological risk index was 11.28, belonged to very high risk. This indicated that in the suburb soil of Baiyin City needs to be concerned about the remediation of fluoride pollution.

  18. Reliable and valid assessment of Lichtenstein hernia repair skills

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carlsen, C G; Lindorff Larsen, Karen; Funch-Jensen, P

    2014-01-01

    PURPOSE: Lichtenstein hernia repair is a common surgical procedure and one of the first procedures performed by a surgical trainee. However, formal assessment tools developed for this procedure are few and sparsely validated. The aim of this study was to determine the reliability and validity...... of an assessment tool designed to measure surgical skills in Lichtenstein hernia repair. METHODS: Key issues were identified through a focus group interview. On this basis, an assessment tool with eight items was designed. Ten surgeons and surgical trainees were video recorded while performing Lichtenstein hernia...... a significant difference between the three groups which indicates construct validity, p skills can be assessed blindly by a single rater in a reliable and valid fashion with the new procedure-specific assessment tool. We recommend this tool for future assessment...

  19. Ecological compensation and Environmental Impact Assessment in Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villarroya, Ana; Puig, Jordi

    2010-01-01

    To achieve meaningful sustainable development, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should avoid the net losses in the environment resource base. But EIA practice does not always avoid the losses caused by the implementation of the projects under EIA regulation. Some environmental impacts are, simply, admitted, even without enforcing any form of compensation. When applied, compensation is sometimes just a monetary payment to offset the environmental loss. This paper looks for evidence on the role that compensation is given at present in EIA practice in Spain, and for some of its conceptual and regulatory roots. Specifically, it explores how compensation is addressed in 1302 records of decision (RODs) on those projects subject to the Spanish EIA regulation published during the years 2006 and 2007, to know how far Spain is from preserving the environmental resource base managed through this particular aspect of EIA practice. As a result, it is concluded that the practice of ecological compensation in EIA in Spain is much lower than it could be expected in a theoretical sustainability context committed to avoid net losses in the environment resource base, mainly due to an EIA practice focused on on-site mitigation that allows these net losses.

  20. Case study of ecological risk assessment at an Alaska airport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, J.A.; Foster, T.L.; Zieber, P.A.

    1995-01-01

    An ecological risk assessment was conducted for 10 sites at a remote location that has unique biological resources. Chemicals of concern included petroleum, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and dioxins and furans. Risks to 23 species of mammals and birds were evaluated by using toxicity reference values and a hazard quotient approach analogous to the US Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA's) approach for evaluating noncarcinogenic human health effects. Risks to fish and aquatic invertebrates were evaluated using risk-based concentrations for water analogous to the USEPA's water quality criteria. Risks to plants were evaluated using risk-based concentrations for soil. Toxicity reference values and risk-based concentrations were developed by applying uncertainty factors to the highest quality toxicity data available in the literature. Intake rates for wildlife were obtained from the USEPA's wildlife exposure factors handbook, or were estimated using allometric equations. The sizes of wildlife home ranges were compared with the size of each site to determine species- and site-specific exposure frequencies. Indicator chemicals were selected to represent the chemical and toxicological characteristics of petroleum fractions. The species most often at risk were found to be fish and aquatic invertebrates, as well as small-bodied, ground-dwelling or ground-feeding wildlife

  1. Physical, Ecological, and Societal Indicators for the National Climate Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenney, Melissa A.; Chen, Robert; Baptista, Sandra R.; Quattrochi, Dale; O'Brien, Sheila

    2011-01-01

    The National Climate Assessment (NCA) is being conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), pursuant to the Global Change Research Act of 1990, Section 106, which requires a report to Congress every 4 years. The current NCA (http://globalchange.gov/what-we-do/assessment/) differs in multiple ways from previous U.S. climate assessment efforts, being: (1) more focused on supporting the Nation s activities in adaptation and mitigation and on evaluating the current state of scientific knowledge relative to climate impacts and trends; (2) a long-term, consistent process for evaluation of climate risks and opportunities and providing information to support decision-making processes within regions and sectors; and (3) establishing a permanent assessment capacity both inside and outside of the federal government. As a part of ongoing, long-term assessment activities, the NCA intends to develop an integrated strategic framework and deploy climate-relevant physical, ecological, and societal indicators. The NCA indicators framework is underdevelopment by the NCA Development and Advisory Committee Indicators Working Group and are envisioned as a relatively small number of policy-relevant integrated indicators designed to provide a consistent, objective, and transparent overview of major variations in climate impacts, vulnerabilities, adaptation, and mitigation activities across sectors, regions, and timeframes. The potential questions that could be addressed by these indicators include: How do we know that there is a changing climate and how is it expected to change in the future? Are important climate impacts and opportunities occurring or predicted to occur in the future? Are we adapting successfully? What are the vulnerabilities and resiliencies given a changing climate? Are we preparing adequately for extreme events? It is not expected that the NCA societal indicators would be linked directly to a single decision or portfolio of

  2. Assessing the ecological state and managing Armenia's farmlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saghatelyan, Armen; Asmaryan, Shushanik; Muradyan, Vahagn; Tepanosyan, Garegin; Minasyan, Lilit

    2014-05-01

    The territory of the Republic of Armenia (RA) occupies an area 29.8 sq. km, the major part of which - 2077 hectares - falls on farmlands located at a height 400-3200m a.s.l. Such a variation in altitude complicates development of territories especially in the case they have an extensive character stemmed from the Soviet era: land plough-up on sites lying at a very steep angle of decline - >20 grade, unregulated grazing and so on. A long-term, unplanned and unregulated use of farmlands entailed intense washout of upper soil horizon, which subsequently provoked intense development of erosion and degradation of lands. A practicable solution to this problem is a scientifically and methodically grounded assessment of ecological state of farmlands and economically 'competent' planning and management of agricultural resources. With the view of developing animal husbandry and managing pastures/hayfields, in 2011-2012 the Government of the Republic of Armenia under support of the World Bank implemented a Farm Resources Management and Competitiveness Program. The goal of the Program is ceasing a trend to overgrazing and degradation of close-to-village sites, using remote pastures/hayfields in the best effective manner, improving feed production and animal feeding networks, and promoting a growth in animal feed production volumes. To achieve that, the following works were planned and implemented successfully in 23 rural communities of 6 marzes of the RA, which was done by 3 stages. In preparatory stage • Accessible web resources - programs and sites (Google Earth, www.landcocer.org) with a view of identifying information to support implementation of the planned activities, were explored and evaluated. • Cartographic material (topographic maps sc.1:10000, landscape maps, panchromatic and multi-spectral high- and medium - resolution satellite images /LANDSAT ETM, QuickBird/ and other thematic cartographic and archival material) required for subsequent treatment of

  3. Real-life memory and spatial navigation in patients with focal epilepsy: ecological validity of a virtual reality supermarket task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grewe, P; Lahr, D; Kohsik, A; Dyck, E; Markowitsch, H J; Bien, C G; Botsch, M; Piefke, M

    2014-02-01

    Ecological assessment and training of real-life cognitive functions such as visual-spatial abilities in patients with epilepsy remain challenging. Some studies have applied virtual reality (VR) paradigms, but external validity of VR programs has not sufficiently been proven. Patients with focal epilepsy (EG, n=14) accomplished an 8-day program in a VR supermarket, which consisted of learning and buying items on a shopping list. Performance of the EG was compared with that of healthy controls (HCG, n=19). A comprehensive neuropsychological examination was administered. Real-life performance was investigated in a real supermarket. Learning in the VR supermarket was significantly impaired in the EG on different VR measures. Delayed free recall of products did not differ between the EG and the HCG. Virtual reality scores were correlated with neuropsychological measures of visual-spatial cognition, subjective estimates of memory, and performance in the real supermarket. The data indicate that our VR approach allows for the assessment of real-life visual-spatial memory and cognition in patients with focal epilepsy. The multimodal, active, and complex VR paradigm may particularly enhance visual-spatial cognitive resources. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Ecological assessment of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease using the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolló-Gasol, S; Piñol-Ripoll, G; Cejudo-Bolivar, J C; Llorente-Vizcaino, A; Peraita-Adrados, H

    2014-01-01

    The Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (RBMT) is a short, ecologically-valid memory test battery that can provide data about a subject's memory function in daily life. We used RBMT to examine daily memory function in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer disease (AD), and in healthy controls. We also evaluated differences between the memory profiles of subjects whose MCI remained stable after 1 year and those with conversion to AD. Sample of 91 subjects older than 60 years: 30 controls, 27 MCI subjects and 34 AD patients. Subjects were assessed using MMSE and RBMT. The 40 men and 51 women in the sample had a mean age of 74.29±6.71 and 5.87±2.93 years of education. For the total profile and screening RBMT scores (Pde Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  5. Assessing the construct validity of aberrant salience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Schmidt

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We sought to validate the psychometric properties of a recently developed paradigm that aims to measure salience attribution processes proposed to contribute to positive psychotic symptoms, the Salience Attribution Test (SAT. The “aberrant salience” measure from the SAT showed good face validity in previous results, with elevated scores both in high-schizotypy individuals, and in patients with schizophrenia suffering from delusions. Exploring the construct validity of salience attribution variables derived from the SAT is important, since other factors, including latent inhibition/learned irrelevance, attention, probabilistic reward learning, sensitivity to probability, general cognitive ability and working memory could influence these measures. Fifty healthy participants completed schizotypy scales, the SAT, a learned irrelevance task, and a number of other cognitive tasks tapping into potentially confounding processes. Behavioural measures of interest from each task were entered into a principal components analysis, which yielded a five-factor structure accounting for ~75% percent of the variance in behaviour. Implicit aberrant salience was found to load onto its own factor, which was associated with elevated “Introvertive Anhedonia” schizotypy, replicating our previous finding. Learned irrelevance loaded onto a separate factor, which also included implicit adaptive salience, but was not associated with schizotypy. Explicit adaptive and aberrant salience, along with a measure of probabilistic learning, loaded onto a further factor, though this also did not correlate with schizotypy. These results suggest that the measures of learned irrelevance and implicit adaptive salience might be based on similar underlying processes, which are dissociable both from implicit aberrant salience and explicit measures of salience.

  6. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Swains, American Samoa in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  7. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Guguan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  8. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Maui, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  9. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Aguijan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  10. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Hawaii, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  11. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Johnston, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  12. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Niihau, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  13. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Saipan, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  14. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Ofu & Olosega, American Samoa in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  15. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Palmyra, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  16. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Jarvis, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  17. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Kingman, Pacific Remote Island Areas in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  18. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Kauai, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  19. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Farallon de Pajaros, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  20. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Tau, American Samoa in 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  1. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Pearl & Hermes, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  2. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Guam, Marianas in 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  3. CRED Rapid Ecological Assessment Line Point Intercept Survey of Benthic Parameter Assessments at Lanai, Main Hawaiian Islands in 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Line point intercept (LPI) surveys and benthic composition assessments were conducted during Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) as part of the Pacific Reef...

  4. Validity of radiographic assessment of ankylosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stenvik, A.; Beyer-Olsen, E.; Aabyholm, F.; Haanaes, H.R.; Gerner, N.W.

    1990-01-01

    The accuracy and sensitivity of radiographic assessments of reactive processes in dental tissues were evaluated by comparison of radiographs and histologic sections. Experimental lesions inflicted on the roots of 10 monkey incisors had been observed by means of serially obtained radiographs over a period of 315 to 370 days. The material was used for evaluation of radiographic assessment of ankylosis. For comparative purposes, assessment of the experimental lesion penetrating to the pulp and periapical radiolucency was added. True and falsely positive or negative recordings formed the basis for calculation of the accuracy and sensitivity of the radiographic assessment. The sensitivity, or the obsevers ability to detect the actual changes, was high for pulp penetration, intermediate for inflammation, and low for ankylosis. 6 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs

  5. Impaired executive functioning in subclinical compulsive checking with ecologically valid stimuli in a Working Memory task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben eHarkin

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We previously showed that working memory performance of subclinical checkers can be affected if they are presented with irrelevant but misleading information during the retention period (Harkin & Kessler, 2009, 2010. The present study differed from our previous research in the three crucial aspects. Firstly, we employed ecologically valid stimuli in form of electrical kitchen appliances on a kitchen countertop in order to address previous criticism of our stimuli in terms of validity with respect to compulsive checking symptomatology. Secondly, we tested whether the new stimuli would allow us to employ a simpler (un-blocked design while obtaining similarly robust results. Thirdly, in Experiment 2 we improved the measure of confidence as a metacognitive variable by using a quantitative scale (0-100, which indeed revealed more robust effects that were quantitatively related to accuracy of performance. The task in the present study was to memorise four appliances, incl. their states (on/off, and their locations on the kitchen countertop. Memory accuracy was tested for the states of appliances in Experiment 1, and for their locations in Experiment 2. Intermediate probes were identical in both Experiments and were administered during retention on 2/3 of the trials with 50% resolvable and 50% misleading probes. Experiment 1 revealed a general impairment of high checkers, which confirmed the efficacy of our stimuli. In Experiment 2 we observed the expected, more differentiated pattern: High checkers were not generally affected in their WM performance (i.e., no general capacity issue; instead they showed a particular impairment in the misleading distractor-probe condition. Also, high checkers’ confidence ratings were indicative of a general impairment in metacognitive functioning.

  6. Ecological Assessment of Lake Hora, Ethiopia, Using Benthic and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bheema

    Lake Hora needs protection management strategies to maintain its sustainable use. Key words: Benthic Fauna, Ethiopia, Lake Hora, Specimens, Weed-bed. 1. ..... Loam soils often contain a good amount of organic matter. 3.3. Ecological ...

  7. Validation of a scenario-based assessment of critical thinking using an externally validated tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buur, Jennifer L; Schmidt, Peggy; Smylie, Dean; Irizarry, Kris; Crocker, Carlos; Tyler, John; Barr, Margaret

    2012-01-01

    With medical education transitioning from knowledge-based curricula to competency-based curricula, critical thinking skills have emerged as a major competency. While there are validated external instruments for assessing critical thinking, many educators have created their own custom assessments of critical thinking. However, the face validity of these assessments has not been challenged. The purpose of this study was to compare results from a custom assessment of critical thinking with the results from a validated external instrument of critical thinking. Students from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences were administered a custom assessment of critical thinking (ACT) examination and the externally validated instrument, California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST), in the spring of 2011. Total scores and sub-scores from each exam were analyzed for significant correlations using Pearson correlation coefficients. Significant correlations between ACT Blooms 2 and deductive reasoning and total ACT score and deductive reasoning were demonstrated with correlation coefficients of 0.24 and 0.22, respectively. No other statistically significant correlations were found. The lack of significant correlation between the two examinations illustrates the need in medical education to externally validate internal custom assessments. Ultimately, the development and validation of custom assessments of non-knowledge-based competencies will produce higher quality medical professionals.

  8. Examining ecological validity in social interaction: problems of visual fidelity, gaze, and social potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reader, Arran T; Holmes, Nicholas P

    2016-01-01

    Social interaction is an essential part of the human experience, and much work has been done to study it. However, several common approaches to examining social interactions in psychological research may inadvertently either unnaturally constrain the observed behaviour by causing it to deviate from naturalistic performance, or introduce unwanted sources of variance. In particular, these sources are the differences between naturalistic and experimental behaviour that occur from changes in visual fidelity (quality of the observed stimuli), gaze (whether it is controlled for in the stimuli), and social potential (potential for the stimuli to provide actual interaction). We expand on these possible sources of extraneous variance and why they may be important. We review the ways in which experimenters have developed novel designs to remove these sources of extraneous variance. New experimental designs using a 'two-person' approach are argued to be one of the most effective ways to develop more ecologically valid measures of social interaction, and we suggest that future work on social interaction should use these designs wherever possible.

  9. Moderators and Mediators in Social Work Research: Toward a More Ecologically Valid Evidence Base for Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magill, Molly

    2012-01-01

    Summary Evidence-based practice involves the consistent and critical consumption of the social work research literature. As methodologies advance, primers to guide such efforts are often needed. In the present work, common statistical methods for testing moderation and mediation are identified, summarized, and corresponding examples, drawn from the substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health literature, are provided. Findings While methodologically complex, analyses of these third variable effects can provide an optimal fit for the complexity involved in the provision of evidence-based social work services. While a moderator may identify the trait or state requirement for a causal relationship to occur, a mediator is concerned with the transmission of that relationship. In social work practice, these are questions of “under what conditions and for whom?” and of the “how?” of behavior change. Implications Implications include a need for greater attention to these methods among practitioners and evaluation researchers. With knowledge gained through the present review, social workers can benefit from a more ecologically valid evidence base for practice. PMID:22833701

  10. Floating Forests: Validation of a Citizen Science Effort to Answer Global Ecological Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, I.; Byrnes, J.; Cavanaugh, K. C.; Haupt, A. J.; Trouille, L.; Bell, T. W.; Rassweiler, A.; Pérez-Matus, A.; Assis, J.

    2017-12-01

    Researchers undertaking long term, large-scale ecological analyses face significant challenges for data collection and processing. Crowdsourcing via citizen science can provide an efficient method for analyzing large data sets. However, many scientists have raised questions about the quality of data collected by citizen scientists. Here we use Floating-Forests (http://floatingforests.org), a citizen science platform for creating a global time series of giant kelp abundance, to show that ensemble classifications of satellite data can ensure data quality. Citizen scientists view satellite images of coastlines and classify kelp forests by tracing all visible patches of kelp. Each image is classified by fifteen citizen scientists before being retired. To validate citizen science results, all fifteen classifications are converted to a raster and overlaid on a calibration dataset generated from previous studies. Results show that ensemble classifications from citizen scientists are consistently accurate when compared to calibration data. Given that all source images were acquired by Landsat satellites, we expect this consistency to hold across all regions. At present, we have over 6000 web-based citizen scientists' classifications of almost 2.5 million images of kelp forests in California and Tasmania. These results are not only useful for remote sensing of kelp forests, but also for a wide array of applications that combine citizen science with remote sensing.

  11. Developing and validating rapid assessment instruments

    CERN Document Server

    Abell, Neil; Kamata, Akihito

    2009-01-01

    This book provides an overview of scale and test development. From conceptualization through design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation, critical concerns are identified and grounded in the increasingly sophisticated psychometric literature. Measurement within the health, social, and behavioral sciences is addressed, and technical and practical guidance is provided. Acknowledging the increasingly sophisticated contributions in social work, psychology, education, nursing, and medicine, the book balances condensation of complex conceptual challenges with focused recommendations for conceiving, planning, and implementing psychometric study. Primary points are carefully referenced and consistently illustrated to illuminate complicated or abstract principles. Basics of construct conceptualization and establishing evidence of validity are complimented with introductions to concept mapping and cross-cultural translation. In-depth discussion of cutting edge topics like bias and invariance in item responses...

  12. Restoration in Its Natural Context: How Ecological Momentary Assessment Can Advance Restoration Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Femke Beute

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available More and more people use self-tracking technologies to track their psychological states, physiology, and behaviors to gain a better understanding of themselves or to achieve a certain goal. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA also offers an excellent opportunity for restorative environments research, which examines how our physical environment (especially nature can positively influence health and wellbeing. It enables investigating restorative health effects in everyday life, providing not only high ecological validity but also opportunities to study in more detail the dynamic processes playing out over time on recovery, thereby bridging the gap between laboratory (i.e., short-term effects and epidemiological (long-term effects research. We have identified four main areas in which self-tracking could help advance restoration research: (1 capturing a rich set of environment types and restorative characteristics; (2 distinguishing intra-individual from inter-individual effects; (3 bridging the gap between laboratory and epidemiological research; and (4 advancing theoretical insights by measuring a more broad range of effects in everyday life. This paper briefly introduces restorative environments research, then reviews the state of the art of self-tracking technologies and methodologies, discusses how these can be implemented to advance restoration research, and presents some examples of pioneering work in this area.

  13. (Re)conceptualizing validity in (outcomes-based) assessment

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Erna Kinsey

    how the construct validity has evolved within social research discour- ses. Third, we invoke particular ..... understanding and, ideally, self-determination through research participation. .... Handbook of classroom assessment. San Diego, CA: ...

  14. A knowledge-driven approach to cluster validity assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolshakova, Nadia; Azuaje, Francisco; Cunningham, Pádraig

    2005-05-15

    This paper presents an approach to assessing cluster validity based on similarity knowledge extracted from the Gene Ontology. The program is freely available for non-profit use on request from the authors.

  15. Monitoring needs to perform ecological risk assessments in Switzerland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kraeuchi, N.

    1999-07-01

    There is enormous pressure to come up with answers to questions asked by politicians and the public concerning the development of the environment and the potential risks society might be confronted with. Forests for example are expected to fulfill specific functions (e.g., timber production, protection of soil and water resources, recreation). As the environmental and social context itself is rapidly changing it is unknown what uses of a forest will appear in the future. The changing social and ecological context under which forestry operates is therefore calling for an appropriate management mode to deal with uncertainties. There is a need to act, monitor the results, learn from the past, adapt to new conditions through planning and to accept a philosophy of managing an ecosystem with the purpose of reducing potential future socio-ecological and environmental risk by understanding potential problems before they arise. Thus, ecosystem-based management must follow established ecological principles and appropriate guidelines must be derived from a thorough understanding of the origin of the risks potentially threatening the forests and the relevant ecosystem processes. In order to evaluate the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur as a result of exposure to one or more stressors long-term monitoring data, information, assumptions and uncertainties need to be systematically evaluated and analyzed. This is needed to understand and predict the relationships between stressors and ecological effects in a way that is useful for environmental decision making.

  16. Contents of risk assessments to support the retrieval and closure of tanks for the Washington State Department of Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MANN, F.M.

    2003-01-01

    Before the Integrated Mission Acceleration Plan can be performed, risk assessments of various options must be performed for ORP, DOE Headquarters, and the Washington State Dept. of Ecology. This document focuses on the risk assessments for Ecology

  17. Some considerations for validation of repository performance assessment models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eisenberg, N.

    1991-01-01

    Validation is an important aspect of the regulatory uses of performance assessment. A substantial body of literature exists indicating the manner in which validation of models is usually pursued. Because performance models for a nuclear waste repository cannot be tested over the long time periods for which the model must make predictions, the usual avenue for model validation is precluded. Further impediments to model validation include a lack of fundamental scientific theory to describe important aspects of repository performance and an inability to easily deduce the complex, intricate structures characteristic of a natural system. A successful strategy for validation must attempt to resolve these difficulties in a direct fashion. Although some procedural aspects will be important, the main reliance of validation should be on scientific substance and logical rigor. The level of validation needed will be mandated, in part, by the uses to which these models are put, rather than by the ideal of validation of a scientific theory. Because of the importance of the validation of performance assessment models, the NRC staff has engaged in a program of research and international cooperation to seek progress in this important area. 2 figs., 16 refs

  18. Risk-informed approaches to assess ecological safety of facilities with radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vashchenko, V.N.; Zlochevskij, V.V.; Skalozubov, V.I.

    2011-01-01

    Ingenious risk-informed methods to assess ecological safety of facilities with radioactive waste are proposed in the paper. Probabilistic norms on lethal outcomes and reliability of safety barriers are used as safety criteria. Based on the probability measures, it is established that ecological safety conditions are met for the standard criterion of lethal outcomes

  19. Quantifying accelerated soil erosion through ecological site-based assessments of wind and water erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    This work explores how organising soil erosion assessments using established groupings of similar soils (ecological sites) can inform systems for managing accelerated soil erosion. We evaluated aeolian sediment transport and fluvial erosion rates for five ecological sites in southern New Mexico, USA...

  20. Ecological models in support of regulatory risk assessments of pesticides: developing a strategy for the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Valery E; Hommen, Udo; Thorbek, Pernille; Heimbach, Fred; Van den Brink, Paul J; Wogram, Jörn; Thulke, Hans-Hermann; Grimm, Volker

    2009-01-01

    This brief communication reports on the main findings of the LEMTOX workshop, held from 9 to 12 September 2007, at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, Germany. The workshop brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from academia, regulatory authorities, contract research organizations, and industry, representing Europe, the United States, and Asia, to discuss the role of ecological modeling in risk assessments of pesticides, particularly under the European regulatory framework. The following questions were addressed: What are the potential benefits of using ecological models in pesticide registration and risk assessment? What obstacles prevent ecological modeling from being used routinely in regulatory submissions? What actions are needed to overcome the identified obstacles? What recommendations should be made to ensure good modeling practice in this context? The workshop focused exclusively on population models, and discussion was focused on those categories of population models that link effects on individuals (e.g., survival, growth, reproduction, behavior) to effects on population dynamics. The workshop participants concluded that the overall benefits of ecological modeling are that it could bring more ecology into ecological risk assessment, and it could provide an excellent tool for exploring the importance of, and interactions among, ecological complexities. However, there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome before such models will receive wide acceptance for pesticide risk assessment, despite having been used extensively in other contexts (e.g., conservation biology). The need for guidance on Good Modeling Practice (on model development, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, documentation, and communication), as well as the need for case studies that can be used to explore the added value of ecological models for risk assessment, were identified as top priorities. Assessing recovery potential of exposed

  1. Challenges in using fish communities for assessing the ecological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2009-10-02

    Oct 2, 2009 ... context of a Reserve determination process, in order to comply ... natural conditions and a Category F represents a critically- ... Define ecological categories and recommend one ... that the Seekoei River experiences surface flow for approxi- ... To apply the FRAI model to the acquired fish data, the 8 steps.

  2. Metal Pollution and Ecological Risk Assessment in Sediment of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    ... displayed a steady state of progressive deterioration and presented a very high ecological risk. .... forests, relics of mangroves that line Ebrié system. Climate is ..... lagoon bays. Conclusion: This work has shown that Vridi channel .... circulation in tropical lagoon (Ebrié, Ivory. Coast). J. Afr. Earth Sci. 55: 47-51. Effendia, H ...

  3. Adding Value to Ecological Risk Assessment with Population Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forbes, Valery E.; Calow, Peter; Grimm, Volker

    2011-01-01

    population models can provide a powerful basis for expressing ecological risks that better inform the environmental management process and thus that are more likely to be used by managers. Here we provide at least five reasons why population modeling should play an important role in bridging the gap between...

  4. Ecological assessment of fish biodiversity in relation to hydrological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This research analysed the fish species diversity; ecological distribution and abundance in relation to hydrological variables of Ogun coastal water. Fish species were collected with the use of graded gillnet bimonthly for six-months. Correlation analysis between fish species richness with the hydrological attributes showed ...

  5. ArcticDEM Validation and Accuracy Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Candela, S. G.; Howat, I.; Noh, M. J.; Porter, C. C.; Morin, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    ArcticDEM comprises a growing inventory Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) covering all land above 60°N. As of August, 2017, ArcticDEM had openly released 2-m resolution, individual DEM covering over 51 million km2, which includes areas of repeat coverage for change detection, as well as over 15 million km2 of 5-m resolution seamless mosaics. By the end of the project, over 80 million km2 of 2-m DEMs will be produced, averaging four repeats of the 20 million km2 Arctic landmass. ArcticDEM is produced from sub-meter resolution, stereoscopic imagery using open source software (SETSM) on the NCSA Blue Waters supercomputer. These DEMs have known biases of several meters due to errors in the sensor models generated from satellite positioning. These systematic errors are removed through three-dimensional registration to high-precision Lidar or other control datasets. ArcticDEM is registered to seasonally-subsetted ICESat elevations due its global coverage and high report accuracy ( 10 cm). The vertical accuracy of ArcticDEM is then obtained from the statistics of the fit to the ICESat point cloud, which averages -0.01 m ± 0.07 m. ICESat, however, has a relatively coarse measurement footprint ( 70 m) which may impact the precision of the registration. Further, the ICESat data predates the ArcticDEM imagery by a decade, so that temporal changes in the surface may also impact the registration. Finally, biases may exist between different the different sensors in the ArcticDEM constellation. Here we assess the accuracy of ArcticDEM and the ICESat registration through comparison to multiple high-resolution airborne lidar datasets that were acquired within one year of the imagery used in ArcticDEM. We find the ICESat dataset is performing as anticipated, introducing no systematic bias during the coregistration process, and reducing vertical errors to within the uncertainty of the airborne Lidars. Preliminary sensor comparisons show no significant difference post coregistration

  6. Chronic pelvic pain: Pathogenesis and validated assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Yosef

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Chronic pelvic pain (CPP is a disabling disease that causes distress as the quality of life of CPP patients is vastly diminished. In addition, CPP is a public health crisis and is a burden on healthcare expenditure. In the United States, the annual costs for the diagnosis and treatment of CPP are 2.8 billion US $. Moreover, to the indirect cost resulting from the absence from work and CPP associated family problems add 550 million US $ more making the economic burden more than 3.4 billion US $ (Mathias et al., 1996. Yet, the diagnosis of CPP is usually complicated as there are no gold standard guidelines that clearly define this syndrome. Although we have a limited understanding of its etiology, CPP has been found to be correlated with central sensitization, painful bladder syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis and adhesions. As such, in the evaluation of patients, it is imperative to take a comprehensive patient history. Performing physical examinations and ultrasound imaging is of particular value to elucidate the etiology of pain. As CPP patients are at risk for psychological disorders, psychological assessments are critical to diagnose associated psychological disorders and to take these into account in planning a holistic treatment plan for patients. By such evaluation techniques, we can provide better diagnostic service and patient care to people with CPP.

  7. Improving communication and validation of ecological models : a case study on the dispersal of aquatic macroinvertebrates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Augusiak, Jacqueline A.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, ecological effect models have been put forward as tools for supporting environmental decision-making. Often they are the only way to take the relevant spatial and temporal scales and the multitude of processes characteristic to ecological systems into account. Particularly for

  8. Assessing students' communication skills: validation of a global rating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffer, Simone; Muehlinghaus, Isabel; Froehmel, Annette; Ortwein, Heiderose

    2008-12-01

    Communication skills training is an accepted part of undergraduate medical programs nowadays. In addition to learning experiences its importance should be emphasised by performance-based assessment. As detailed checklists have been shown to be not well suited for the assessment of communication skills for different reasons, this study aimed to validate a global rating scale. A Canadian instrument was translated to German and adapted to assess students' communication skills during an end-of-semester-OSCE. Subjects were second and third year medical students at the reformed track of the Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin. Different groups of raters were trained to assess students' communication skills using the global rating scale. Validity testing included concurrent validity and construct validity: Judgements of different groups of raters were compared to expert ratings as a defined gold standard. Furthermore, the amount of agreement between scores obtained with this global rating scale and a different instrument for assessing communication skills was determined. Results show that communication skills can be validly assessed by trained non-expert raters as well as standardised patients using this instrument.

  9. Measuring Exposure to Protobacco Marketing and Media: A Field Study Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharf, Deborah M.; Setodji, Claude M.; Shadel, William G.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: The aims of this study were to validate ecological momentary assessment (EMA) as a method for measuring exposure to tobacco-related marketing and media and to use this method to provide detailed descriptive data on college students’ exposure to protobacco marketing and media. Methods: College students (n = 134; ages 18–24 years) recorded their exposures to protobacco marketing and media on handheld devices for 21 consecutive days. Participants also recalled exposures to various types of protobacco marketing and media at the end of the study period. Results: Retrospectively recalled and EMA-based estimates of protobacco marketing exposure captured different information. The correlation between retrospectively recalled and EMA-logged exposures to tobacco marketing and media was moderate (r = .37, p marketing through multiple channels in a relatively short period: Exposures (M = 8.24, SD = 7.85) occurred primarily in the afternoon (42%), on weekends (35%), and at point-of-purchase locations (68%) or in movies/TV (20%), and exposures to Marlboro, Newport, and Camel represented 56% of all exposures combined and 70% of branded exposures. Conclusions: Findings support the validity of EMA as a method for capturing detailed information about youth exposure to protobacco marketing and media that are not captured through other existing methods. Such data have the potential to highlight areas for policy change and prevention in order to reduce the impact of tobacco marketing on youth. PMID:22039076

  10. Measuring exposure to protobacco marketing and media: a field study using ecological momentary assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martino, Steven C; Scharf, Deborah M; Setodji, Claude M; Shadel, William G

    2012-04-01

    The aims of this study were to validate ecological momentary assessment (EMA) as a method for measuring exposure to tobacco-related marketing and media and to use this method to provide detailed descriptive data on college students' exposure to protobacco marketing and media. College students (n = 134; ages 18-24 years) recorded their exposures to protobacco marketing and media on handheld devices for 21 consecutive days. Participants also recalled exposures to various types of protobacco marketing and media at the end of the study period. Retrospectively recalled and EMA-based estimates of protobacco marketing exposure captured different information. The correlation between retrospectively recalled and EMA-logged exposures to tobacco marketing and media was moderate (r = .37, p marketing through multiple channels in a relatively short period: Exposures (M = 8.24, SD = 7.85) occurred primarily in the afternoon (42%), on weekends (35%), and at point-of-purchase locations (68%) or in movies/TV (20%), and exposures to Marlboro, Newport, and Camel represented 56% of all exposures combined and 70% of branded exposures. Findings support the validity of EMA as a method for capturing detailed information about youth exposure to protobacco marketing and media that are not captured through other existing methods. Such data have the potential to highlight areas for policy change and prevention in order to reduce the impact of tobacco marketing on youth.

  11. Construction and validation of an ecological version of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test applied to an elderly population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzuti, Lina; Mastrantonio, Elisa; Orsini, Arturo

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this project was to construct and validate an ecological version of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) aimed at the elderly. This was accomplished by replacing the geometric stimuli of the traditional version with stimuli belonging to the semantic category of transport vehicles, and by elimination of the color yellow. The results showed the ecological WCST version was preferred over the traditional version and older people felt less tired during test performance. In the two independent normal elderly groups, all pairs of scores that can be derived from the WCST correlated significantly with each other. Six of 11 outcome measures of the traditional WCST-128 (long) version were significantly influenced by age. By contrast, in the WCST-64 (short) version and in the ecological WCST-54 version only one measure was affected by the age variable. No significant effect of education level or gender emerged from the results in any WCST version. Again, the subjects with cognitive deterioration had lower performance in the ecological WCST-54 version than in the two traditional WCST versions. It seems reasonable to assume that the ecological version of WCST is more discriminating and has more advantages than the traditional versions. Further research on individual differences in the performance on this task will increase understanding of the components of the test, and of the variety of factors and possible deficits that could lead to an impaired performance of the test.

  12. Validation of a clinical assessment tool for spinal anaesthesia.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Breen, D

    2011-07-01

    There is a need for a procedure-specific means of assessment of clinical performance in anaesthesia. The aim of this study was to devise a tool for assessing the performance of spinal anaesthesia, which has both content and construct validity.

  13. Photographic assessment of burn size and depth: reliability and validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hop, M.; Moues, C.; Bogomolova, K.; Nieuwenhuis, M.; Oen, I.; Middelkoop, E.; Breederveld, R.; de Baar, M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of using photographs of burns to assess both burn size and depth. Method: Fifty randomly selected photographs taken on day 0-1 post burn were assessed by seven burn experts and eight referring physicians. Inter-rater

  14. Validity of portfolio assessment: which qualities determine ratings?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Driessen, E.W.; Overeem, K.; Tartwijk, J. van; Vleuten, C.P.M. van der; Muijtjens, A.M.M.

    2006-01-01

    The portfolio is becoming increasingly accepted as a valuable tool for learning and assessment. The validity of portfolio assessment, however, may suffer from bias due to irrelevant qualities, such as lay-out and writing style. We examined the possible effects of such qualities in a portfolio

  15. Valid and Reliable Science Content Assessments for Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tretter, Thomas R.; Brown, Sherri L.; Bush, William S.; Saderholm, Jon C.; Holmes, Vicki-Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Science teachers' content knowledge is an important influence on student learning, highlighting an ongoing need for programs, and assessments of those programs, designed to support teacher learning of science. Valid and reliable assessments of teacher science knowledge are needed for direct measurement of this crucial variable. This paper…

  16. Examining the Construct Validity of the Elemental Psychopathy Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Joshua D.; Gaughan, Eric T.; Maples, Jessica; Gentile, Brittany; Lynam, Donald R.; Widiger, Thomas A.

    2011-01-01

    Lynam and colleagues recently developed a new self-report inventory for the assessment of psychopathy, the Elemental Psychopathy Assessment (EPA). Using a sample of undergraduates (N = 227), the authors examined the construct validity of the EPA by examining its correlations with self and stranger ratings on the Five-Factor Model, as well as…

  17. Reliable and valid assessment of Lichtenstein hernia repair skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlsen, C G; Lindorff-Larsen, K; Funch-Jensen, P; Lund, L; Charles, P; Konge, L

    2014-08-01

    Lichtenstein hernia repair is a common surgical procedure and one of the first procedures performed by a surgical trainee. However, formal assessment tools developed for this procedure are few and sparsely validated. The aim of this study was to determine the reliability and validity of an assessment tool designed to measure surgical skills in Lichtenstein hernia repair. Key issues were identified through a focus group interview. On this basis, an assessment tool with eight items was designed. Ten surgeons and surgical trainees were video recorded while performing Lichtenstein hernia repair, (four experts, three intermediates, and three novices). The videos were blindly and individually assessed by three raters (surgical consultants) using the assessment tool. Based on these assessments, validity and reliability were explored. The internal consistency of the items was high (Cronbach's alpha = 0.97). The inter-rater reliability was very good with an intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.93. Generalizability analysis showed a coefficient above 0.8 even with one rater. The coefficient improved to 0.92 if three raters were used. One-way analysis of variance found a significant difference between the three groups which indicates construct validity, p fashion with the new procedure-specific assessment tool. We recommend this tool for future assessment of trainees performing Lichtenstein hernia repair to ensure that the objectives of competency-based surgical training are met.

  18. Reliability and validity of subjective assessment of lumbar lordosis in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Radiological assessment of lumbar lordotic curve aids in early diagnosis of conditions even before neurologic changes set in. Objective: To ascertain the level of reliability and validity of subjective assessment of lumbar lordosis in conventional radiography. Design: A blinded, repeated-measures diagnostic test was carried ...

  19. Validity in work-based assessment: expanding our horizons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Govaerts, M.; Vleuten, C.P.M. van der

    2013-01-01

    CONTEXT: Although work-based assessments (WBA) may come closest to assessing habitual performance, their use for summative purposes is not undisputed. Most criticism of WBA stems from approaches to validity consistent with the quantitative psychometric framework. However, there is increasing

  20. Evaluating the Validity of Portfolio Assessments for Licensure Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Mark; Hallam, P. J.; Pecheone, Raymond; Moss, Pamela A.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines one part of a validity argument for portfolio assessments of teaching practice used as an indicator of teaching quality to inform a licensure decision. We investigate the relationship among portfolio assessment scores, a test of teacher knowledge (ETS's Praxis I and II), and changes in student achievement (on…

  1. Monitoring long-term ecological changes through the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network: science-based and policy relevant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, H; Brydges, T; Fenech, A; Lumb, A

    2001-01-01

    Ecological monitoring and its associated research programs have often provided answers to various environmental management issues. In the face of changing environmental conditions, ecological monitoring provides decision-makers with reliable information as they grapple with maintaining a sustainable economy and healthy environment. The Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN) is a national ecological monitoring network consisting of (1) about 100 case study sites across the country characterized by long-term multi-disciplinary environmental work conducted by a multitude of agencies (142 partners and counting); (2) a variety of less comprehensive yet more extensive monitoring sites; (3) a network where core monitoring variables of ecosystem change are measured; and (4) geo-referenced environmental observations. Environment Canada is the co-ordinating partner for the network through the EMAN Co-ordinating Office. EMAN's mission is to focus a scientifically-sound, policy-relevant ecosystem monitoring and research network based on (a) stabilizing a network of case-study sites operated by a variety of partners, and (b) developing a number of cooperative dispersed monitoring initiatives in order to deliver unique and needed goods and services. These goods and services include: (1) an efficient and cost-effective early warning system which detects, describes and reports on changes in Canadian ecosystems at a national or ecozone scale; and (2) cross-disciplinary and cross-jurisdictional assessments of ecosystem status, trends and processes. The early warning system and assessments of ecosystem status, trends and processes provide Environment Canada and partner organizations with timely information that facilitates increasingly adaptive policies and priority setting. Canadians are also informed of changes and trends occurring in Canadian ecosystems and, as a result, are better able to make decisions related to conservation and sustainability.

  2. DMM assessments of attachment and adaptation: Procedures, validity and utility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnfield, Steve; Hautamäki, Airi; Nørbech, Peder; Sahhar, Nicola

    2010-07-01

    This article gives a brief over view of the Dynamic-Maturational Model of attachment and adaptation (DMM; Crittenden, 2008) together with the various DMM assessments of attachment that have been developed for specific stages of development. Each assessment is discussed in terms of procedure, outcomes, validity, advantages and limitations, comparable procedures and areas for further research and validation. The aims are twofold: to provide an introduction to DMM theory and its application that underlie the articles in this issue of CCPP; and to provide researchers and clinicians with a guide to DMM assessments.

  3. Conceptual Framework for Trait-Based Ecological Risk Assessment for Wildlife Populations Exposed to Pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Between screening level risk assessments and complex ecological models, a need exists for practical identification of risk based on general information about species, chemicals, and exposure scenarios. Several studies have identified demographic, biological, and toxicological fa...

  4. Use of traits-based bioassessment approaches in biomonitoring and ecological risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brink, van den P.J.; Alexander, A.; Desrosiers, M.; Goedkoop, W.; Goethals, P.L.M.; Liess, M.; Dyer, S.

    2011-01-01

    We discuss the application of traits-based bioassessment approaches in retrospective bioassessment as well as in prospective ecological risk assessments in regulatory frameworks. Both approaches address the interaction between species and stressors and their consequences at different levels of

  5. Do daily fluctuations in inhibitory control predict alcohol consumption? : An ecological momentary assessment study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jones, Andrew; Tiplady, Brian; Houben, Katrijn; Nederkoorn, Chantal; Field, Matt

    RATIONALE: Deficient inhibitory control is predictive of increased alcohol consumption in the laboratory; however, little is known about this relationship in naturalistic, real-world settings. OBJECTIVES: In the present study, we implemented ecological momentary assessment methods to investigate the

  6. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program Humpback Whale Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Since 1980, the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory has been collecting photos of humpback whales (Megaptera...

  7. Interpretation and evaluation of the US Environmental Protection Agency ecological risk assessment guidelines

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Murray, K

    1999-10-01

    Full Text Available In order to facilitate a common understanding, on-going debate and increasing application of ecological risk assessment (ERA) in South Africa, the ERA process of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been summarised and evaluated...

  8. A framework for assessing ecological risks of petroleum-derived materials in soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II

    1997-05-01

    Ecological risk assessment estimates the nature and likelihood of effects of human actions on nonhuman organisms, populations, and ecosystems. It is intended to be clearer and more rigorous in its approach to estimation of effects and uncertainties than previously employed methods of ecological assessment. Ecological risk assessment is characterized by a standard paradigm that includes problem formulation, analysis of exposure and effects, risk characterization, and communication with a risk manager. This report provides a framework that applies the paradigm to the specific problem of assessing the ecological risks of petroleum in soil. This type of approach requires that assessments be performed in phases: (1) a scoping assessment to determine whether there is a potential route of exposure for potentially significant ecological receptors; (2) a screening assessment to determine whether exposures could potentially reach toxic levels; and (3) a definitive assessment to estimate the nature, magnitude, and extent of risks. The principal technical issue addressed is the chemically complex nature of petroleum--a complexity that may be dealt with by assessing risks on the basis of properties of the whole material, properties of individual chemicals that are representative of chemical classes, distributions of properties of the constituents of chemical classes, properties of chemicals detected in the soil, and properties of indicator chemicals. The advantages and feasibility of these alternatives are discussed. The report concludes with research recommendations for improving each stage in the assessment process

  9. Benthic macroinvertebrates as ecological indicators for estuarine and coastal ecosystems : assessment and intercalibration

    OpenAIRE

    Teixeira, Heliana Lilita Gonçalves

    2010-01-01

    Tese de doutoramento em Biologia (Ecologia) apresentada à Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra The aim of the research work presented in this thesis is to be a contribution to the field of ecological assessment in coastal and transitional ecosystems. The main goals were: a) to present a method for the assessment of the ecological status of benthic macroinvertebrate communities in Portuguese transitional waters that would meet the requirements of the Eur...

  10. Derivation of Ecological Protective Concentration using the Probabilistic Ecological Risk Assessment applicable for Korean Water Environment: (I) Cadmium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Sun-Hwa; Lee, Woo-Mi; An, Youn-Joo

    2012-06-01

    Probabilistic ecological risk assessment (PERA) for deriving ecological protective concentration (EPC) was previously suggested in USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Netherland. This study suggested the EPC of cadmium (Cd) based on the PERA to be suitable to Korean aquatic ecosystem. First, we collected reliable ecotoxicity data from reliable data without restriction and reliable data with restrictions. Next, we sorted the ecotoxicity data based on the site-specific locations, exposure duration, and water hardness. To correct toxicity by the water hardness, EU's hardness corrected algorithm was used with slope factor 0.89 and a benchmark of water hardness 100. EPC was calculated according to statistical extrapolation method (SEM), statistical extrapolation methodAcute to chronic ratio (SEMACR), and assessment factor method (AFM). As a result, aquatic toxicity data of Cd were collected from 43 acute toxicity data (4 Actinopterygill, 29 Branchiopoda, 1 Polychaeta, 2 Bryozoa, 6 Chlorophyceae, 1 Chanophyceae) and 40 chronic toxicity data (2 Actinopterygill, 23 Branchiopoda, 9 Chlorophyceae, 6 Macrophytes). Because toxicity data of Cd belongs to 4 classes in taxonomical classification, acute and chronic EPC (11.07 μg/l and 0.034 μg/l, respectively) was calculated according to SEM technique. These values were included in the range of international EPCs. This study would be useful to establish the ecological standard for the protection of aquatic ecosystem in Korea.

  11. [Ecological environmental quality assessment of Hangzhou urban area based on RS and GIS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Pengwei; Zhao, Duo

    2006-06-01

    In allusion to the shortage of traditional ecological environmental quality assessment, this paper studied the spatial distribution of assessing factors at a mid-small scale, and the conversion of integer character to girding assessing cells. The main assessing factors including natural environmental condition, environmental quality, natural landscape and urbanization pressure, which were classified into four types with about eleven assessing factors, were selected from RS images and GIS-spatial analyzing environmental quality vector graph. Based on GIS, a comprehensive assessment model for the ecological environmental quality in Hangzhou urban area was established. In comparison with observed urban heat island effects, the assessment results were in good agreement with the ecological environmental quality in the urban area of Hangzhou.

  12. Translating and validating a Training Needs Assessment tool into Greek

    OpenAIRE

    Markaki, Adelais; Antonakis, Nikos; Hicks, Carolyn M; Lionis, Christos

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Background The translation and cultural adaptation of widely accepted, psychometrically tested tools is regarded as an essential component of effective human resource management in the primary care arena. The Training Needs Assessment (TNA) is a widely used, valid instrument, designed to measure professional development needs of health care professionals, especially in primary health care. This study aims to describe the translation, adaptation and validation of the TNA questionnaire...

  13. Assessment of integrated watershed health based on the natural environment, hydrology, water quality, and aquatic ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. R. Ahn

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Watershed health, including the natural environment, hydrology, water quality, and aquatic ecology, is assessed for the Han River basin (34 148 km2 in South Korea by using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT. The evaluation procedures follow those of the Healthy Watersheds Assessment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA. Six components of the watershed landscape are examined to evaluate the watershed health (basin natural capacity: stream geomorphology, hydrology, water quality, aquatic habitat condition, and biological condition. In particular, the SWAT is applied to the study basin for the hydrology and water-quality components, including 237 sub-watersheds (within a standard watershed on the Korea Hydrologic Unit Map along with three multipurpose dams, one hydroelectric dam, and three multifunction weirs. The SWAT is calibrated (2005–2009 and validated (2010–2014 by using each dam and weir operation, the flux-tower evapotranspiration, the time-domain reflectometry (TDR soil moisture, and groundwater-level data for the hydrology assessment, and by using sediment, total phosphorus, and total nitrogen data for the water-quality assessment. The water balance, which considers the surface–groundwater interactions and variations in the stream-water quality, is quantified according to the sub-watershed-scale relationship between the watershed hydrologic cycle and stream-water quality. We assess the integrated watershed health according to the U.S. EPA evaluation process based on the vulnerability levels of the natural environment, water resources, water quality, and ecosystem components. The results indicate that the watershed's health declined during the most recent 10-year period of 2005–2014, as indicated by the worse results for the surface process metric and soil water dynamics compared to those of the 1995–2004 period. The integrated watershed health tended to decrease farther downstream within the watershed.

  14. [Comparison of the Wechsler Memory Scale-III and the Spain-Complutense Verbal Learning Test in acquired brain injury: construct validity and ecological validity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna-Lario, P; Pena, J; Ojeda, N

    2017-04-16

    To perform an in-depth examination of the construct validity and the ecological validity of the Wechsler Memory Scale-III (WMS-III) and the Spain-Complutense Verbal Learning Test (TAVEC). The sample consists of 106 adults with acquired brain injury who were treated in the Area of Neuropsychology and Neuropsychiatry of the Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra and displayed memory deficit as the main sequela, measured by means of specific memory tests. The construct validity is determined by examining the tasks required in each test over the basic theoretical models, comparing the performance according to the parameters offered by the tests, contrasting the severity indices of each test and analysing their convergence. The external validity is explored through the correlation between the tests and by using regression models. According to the results obtained, both the WMS-III and the TAVEC have construct validity. The TAVEC is more sensitive and captures not only the deficits in mnemonic consolidation, but also in the executive functions involved in memory. The working memory index of the WMS-III is useful for predicting the return to work at two years after the acquired brain injury, but none of the instruments anticipates the disability and dependence at least six months after the injury. We reflect upon the construct validity of the tests and their insufficient capacity to predict functionality when the sequelae become chronic.

  15. Work plan for the Oak Ridge Reservation ecological monitoring and assessment program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashwood, T.L.; Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W. II; Turner, M.G.; Loar, J.M.; Barnthouse, L.W.

    1994-08-01

    This plan describes an approach for developing an ecological monitoring and assessment program (EMAP) for the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). Such a program is required to assess existing ecological risks, to predict changes in those ecological risks from proposed remedial actions, and to monitor the effectiveness of remedial actions in reducing ecological risks. Ecological risk assessments must be based on Reservation-level data for those widespread or wide-ranging plant and animal species that occupy the entire ORR. In recognition of this need, Region 4 of the US Environmental Protection Agency has specifically requested that DOE develop a Reservation-wide monitoring and assessment program. The current strategy distinguishes four types of potentially contaminated areas: (1) source operable units (OUs), which may contain waste disposal areas, (2) groundwater aquifers that are potentially contaminated by source OUs, (3) aquatic integrator OUs which are streams and associated floodplains that drain source OUs, and (4) the terrestrial integrator, which encompasses the Reservation. Source OUs may contain sources of contamination that potentially impact local plant and animal population and communities that are restricted to the areal extent of the OU. Such local impacts must be assessed for each OU. However, these source OUs also contribute to risks within the aquatic OUs and within the Reservation-wide terrestrial ecosystem. Therefore, remedial investigations at source OUs must provide data necessary to support ecological risk assessments at the larger scales

  16. Ecological Aspects of the Assessment of Quality of Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yelena Viktorovna Ryumina

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article is devoted to the search of indicators, which reflect the ecological conditions and environmental behaviour and can be used for economic analysis. This environmental and economic issue still remains unsolved. The indicators of the emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere and water objects, which are used in many economic works, characterize the future impact on the environment and cannot adequately reflect its state. From the ecologists’ point of view, the result of the environmental monitoring are, in particular, the indicators of the tests of air and water exceeding MPC (maximum permissible concentration in a total number of the studied tests as a percentage. They have been already included in a number of official statistical bulletins. The paper shows their advantages for a concise accounting of a state of the environment in economic. The regional values of the chosen indicators are studied and various hypotheses of their strong differentiation are analyzed. The introduction of the ecological component to the indicators of quality of life as well as to the human development index is especially important at present time. The authors propose to use the indicator of a share of the negative tests of water and air as an additional fourth component in the human development index. The results of the calculation of the ecologically corrected index of human development for all entities of the Russian Federation are presented. It differs significantly for a number of regions from the traditional index of human development

  17. A comparison between the original and Tablet-based Symbol Digit Modalities Test in patients with schizophrenia: Test-retest agreement, random measurement error, practice effect, and ecological validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Shih-Fen; Chen, I-Hui; Chiang, Hsin-Yu; Wu, Chien-Te; Hsueh, I-Ping; Yu, Wan-Hui; Hsieh, Ching-Lin

    2017-11-27

    We aimed to compare the test-retest agreement, random measurement error, practice effect, and ecological validity of the original and Tablet-based Symbol Digit Modalities Test (T-SDMT) over five serial assessments, and to examine the concurrent validity of the T-SDMT in patients with schizophrenia. Sixty patients with chronic schizophrenia completed five serial assessments (one week apart) of the SDMT and T-SDMT and one assessment of the Activities of Daily Living Rating Scale III at the first time point. Both measures showed high test-retest agreement, similar levels of random measurement error over five serial assessments. Moreover, the practice effects of the two measures did not reach a plateau phase after five serial assessments in young and middle-aged participants. Nevertheless, only the practice effect of the T-SDMT became trivial after the first assessment. Like the SDMT, the T-SDMT had good ecological validity. The T-SDMT also had good concurrent validity with the SDMT. In addition, only the T-SDMT had discriminative validity to discriminate processing speed in young and middle-aged participants. Compared to the SDMT, the T-SDMT had overall slightly better psychometric properties, so it can be an alternative measure to the SDMT for assessing processing speed in patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Ecologic assessment of closure options for Savannah River Plant waste sites: Task 38, AX-681812

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

    Ecologic assessment of closure options is one of several analyses being documented in the EIDs (along with analysis of relative potential health risks, accident risks, and costs). This information will serve as a basis for choosing the best option for closing a particular waste facility. This report presents the methodology adopted for SRP waste site ecological assessment, and the results of its application. The results of the ecologic assessment indicated that no impacts are expected for any of the closure options at eleven sites. Significant ecologic impacts are possible at the eight waste sites or groups of waste sites including the Radioactive Waste Burial Grounds, Old TNX Seepage Basin, CMP Pits, F-Area Seepage Basins, H-Area Seepage Basins, SRL Seepage Basins, R-Reactor Seepage Basins, and L-Area Oil and Chemical Basin. 104 refs., 22 figs., 241 tabs

  19. When Educational Material Is Delivered: A Mixed Methods Content Validation Study of the Information Assessment Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badran, Hani; Pluye, Pierre; Grad, Roland

    2017-03-14

    The Information Assessment Method (IAM) allows clinicians to report the cognitive impact, clinical relevance, intention to use, and expected patient health benefits associated with clinical information received by email. More than 15,000 Canadian physicians and pharmacists use the IAM in continuing education programs. In addition, information providers can use IAM ratings and feedback comments from clinicians to improve their products. Our general objective was to validate the IAM questionnaire for the delivery of educational material (ecological and logical content validity). Our specific objectives were to measure the relevance and evaluate the representativeness of IAM items for assessing information received by email. A 3-part mixed methods study was conducted (convergent design). In part 1 (quantitative longitudinal study), the relevance of IAM items was measured. Participants were 5596 physician members of the Canadian Medical Association who used the IAM. A total of 234,196 ratings were collected in 2012. The relevance of IAM items with respect to their main construct was calculated using descriptive statistics (relevance ratio R). In part 2 (qualitative descriptive study), the representativeness of IAM items was evaluated. A total of 15 family physicians completed semistructured face-to-face interviews. For each construct, we evaluated the representativeness of IAM items using a deductive-inductive thematic qualitative data analysis. In part 3 (mixing quantitative and qualitative parts), results from quantitative and qualitative analyses were reviewed, juxtaposed in a table, discussed with experts, and integrated. Thus, our final results are derived from the views of users (ecological content validation) and experts (logical content validation). Of the 23 IAM items, 21 were validated for content, while 2 were removed. In part 1 (quantitative results), 21 items were deemed relevant, while 2 items were deemed not relevant (R=4.86% [N=234,196] and R=3.04% [n

  20. Validation of an organizational communication climate assessment toolkit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wynia, Matthew K; Johnson, Megan; McCoy, Thomas P; Griffin, Leah Passmore; Osborn, Chandra Y

    2010-01-01

    Effective communication is critical to providing quality health care and can be affected by a number of modifiable organizational factors. The authors performed a prospective multisite validation study of an organizational communication climate assessment tool in 13 geographically and ethnically diverse health care organizations. Communication climate was measured across 9 discrete domains. Patient and staff surveys with matched items in each domain were developed using a national consensus process, which then underwent psychometric field testing and assessment of domain coherence. The authors found meaningful within-site and between-site performance score variability in all domains. In multivariable models, most communication domains were significant predictors of patient-reported quality of care and trust. The authors conclude that these assessment tools provide a valid empirical assessment of organizational communication climate in 9 domains. Assessment results may be useful to track organizational performance, to benchmark, and to inform tailored quality improvement interventions.

  1. Ecological risk assessment of depleted uranium in the environment at Aberdeen Proving Ground

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clements, W.H.; Kennedy, P.L.; Myers, O.B.

    1993-01-01

    A preliminary ecological risk assessment was conducted to evaluate the effects of depleted uranium (DU) in the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) ecosystem and its potential for human health effects. An ecological risk assessment of DU should include the processes of hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. Ecological risk assessments also should explicitly examine risks incurred by nonhuman as well as human populations, because risk assessments based only on human health do not always protect other species. To begin to assess the potential ecological risk of DU release to the environment we modeled DU transport through the principal components of the aquatic ecosystem at APG. We focused on the APG aquatic system because of the close proximity of the Chesapeake Bay and concerns about potential impacts on this ecosystem. Our objective in using a model to estimate environmental fate of DU is to ultimately reduce the uncertainty about predicted ecological risks due to DU from APG. The model functions to summarize information on the structure and functional properties of the APG aquatic system, to provide an exposure assessment by estimating the fate of DU in the environment, and to evaluate the sources of uncertainty about DU transport

  2. A Benthic Macroinvertebrate Multimetric Index for Assessment of the Ecological Integrity of Northeast Streams, Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nantiya Rattanachan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to develop a benthic macroinvertebrate multimetric index for assessing the ecological quality of streams in Northeastern Thailand. ANOSIM indicated that the benthic macroinvertebrate assemblage in both of each basin and each season were not significantly different (R = 0.09, p = 0.24 and R = 0.07, p = 0.35, respectively. The efficacy metrics of each basin consisting of the Mekong II, the Chi, and the Mun basins were integrated and calibrated. A total of 255 data sets of water physico-chemical and benthic macroinvertebrates during the dry period (cool and hot seasons were obtained. The stream classification could be divided into three groups: the reference group (48 stations, the stressed group (42 stations, and the intermediate group (165 stations. Twelve out of 56 metrics have been considered as a core metric for the development of a biological index for quality streams in the Northeast, including Total taxa, EPT taxa, Ephemeroptera taxa, Coleoptera taxa, % EPT, % Chironomidae, % Tolerant individuals, % Intolerant individuals, Beck's index, HBI, Predator taxa, and Clinger taxa. Moreover, this metric set covered the structure and function of organisms including the diversity of species, community structure, tolerance/intolerance measures, functional feeding group, and habit. From the efficacy validation of the biological index, the results of stream assessment corresponded to the classification sites with the physico-chemical characteristics.

  3. A Comparison of Affect Ratings Obtained with Ecological Momentary Assessment and the Day Reconstruction Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dockray, Samantha; Grant, Nina; Stone, Arthur A.; Kahneman, Daniel; Wardle, Jane

    2010-01-01

    Measurement of affective states in everyday life is of fundamental importance in many types of quality of life, health, and psychological research. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is the recognized method of choice, but the respondent burden can be high. The day reconstruction method (DRM) was developed by Kahneman and colleagues (Science, 2004, 306, 1776–1780) to assess affect, activities and time use in everyday life. We sought to validate DRM affect ratings by comparison with contemporaneous EMA ratings in a sample of 94 working women monitored over work and leisure days. Six EMA ratings of happiness, tiredness, stress, and anger/frustration were obtained over each 24 h period, and were compared with DRM ratings for the same hour, recorded retrospectively at the end of the day. Similar profiles of affect intensity were recorded with the two techniques. The between-person correlations adjusted for attenuation ranged from 0.58 (stress, working day) to 0.90 (happiness, leisure day). The strength of associations was not related to age, educational attainment, or depressed mood. We conclude that the DRM provides reasonably reliable estimates both of the intensity of affect and variations in affect over the day, so is a valuable instrument for the measurement of everyday experience in health and social research. PMID:21113328

  4. Smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment for Chinese patients with depression: An exploratory study in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Shan; Li, Min-Shan; Chen, Yen-Lin; Chiang, Jung-Hsien; Chen, Ying-Yeh; Hung, Galen Chin-Lun

    2016-10-01

    Mobile mental health has a potential to improve the recognition and management of Chinese patients with depression. Currently, evidence regarding ecological momentary assessment (EMA) for depressive disorder mostly originates from Western studies. Herein, we examined the validity of smartphone-based EMA for depression in Chinese patients and explored the determinants of use. A smartphone application, iHOPE, was used to perform daily EMA of depression, anxiety, sleep and cognitive performance. Outpatients with depressive disorder were recruited to use iHOPE for 8 weeks. Clinical characteristics and smartphone use patterns were assessed at baseline. We enrolled 59 Chinese patients with depression. In 8 weeks, participants interacted with iHOPE for an average of 10.8 (SD=12.3) days; a trend of decreased frequency of use (p=0.03) was observed. Scores of HAM-D at baseline was associated with, of the first 2 weeks, scores of PHQ-9 (p=0.005), EMA of depression (p=0.003) and anxiety (psleep quality (p=0.023). Among the demographic, clinical and smartphone-use variables examined, only limited internet package for smartphone (smartphone-based EMA in Chinese patients with depression. Level of engagement needs to be improved before determining its clinical usefulness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Reliable and valid assessment of performance in thoracoscopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konge, Lars; Lehnert, Per; Hansen, Henrik Jessen

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: As we move toward competency-based education in medicine, we have lagged in developing competency-based evaluation methods. In the era of minimally invasive surgery, there is a need for a reliable and valid tool dedicated to measure competence in video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery....... The purpose of this study is to create such an assessment tool, and to explore its reliability and validity. METHODS: An expert group of physicians created an assessment tool consisting of 10 items rated on a five-point rating scale. The following factors were included: economy and confidence of movement...

  6. An Ecological Assessment of the Pandemic Threat of Zika Virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Colin J; Dougherty, Eric R; Getz, Wayne

    2016-08-01

    The current outbreak of Zika virus poses a severe threat to human health. While the range of the virus has been cataloged growing slowly over the last 50 years, the recent explosive expansion in the Americas indicates that the full potential distribution of Zika remains uncertain. Moreover, many studies rely on its similarity to dengue fever, a phylogenetically closely related disease of unknown ecological comparability. Here we compile a comprehensive spatially-explicit occurrence dataset from Zika viral surveillance and serological surveys based in its native range, and construct ecological niche models to test basic hypotheses about its spread and potential establishment. The hypothesis that the outbreak of cases in Mexico and North America are anomalous and outside the native ecological niche of the disease, and may be linked to either genetic shifts between strains, or El Nino or similar climatic events, remains plausible at this time. Comparison of the Zika niche against the known distribution of dengue fever suggests that Zika is more constrained by the seasonality of precipitation and diurnal temperature fluctuations, likely confining autochthonous non-sexual transmission to the tropics without significant evolutionary change. Projecting the range of the diseases in conjunction with three major vector species (Aedes africanus, Ae. aegypti, and Ae. albopictus) that transmit the pathogens, under climate change, suggests that Zika has potential for northward expansion; but, based on current knowledge, our models indicate Zika is unlikely to fill the full range its vectors occupy, and public fear of a vector-borne Zika epidemic in the mainland United States is potentially informed by biased or limited scientific knowledge. With recent sexual transmission of the virus globally, we caution that our results only apply to the vector-borne transmission route of the pathogen, and while the threat of a mosquito-carried Zika pandemic may be overstated in the media

  7. Ecological risk assessment of pesticides in the EU

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hunka, Agnieszka; Meli, Mattia; Palmqvist, Annemette

    2015-01-01

    . As we followed the advocacy coalition framework, our findings focus on stakeholders’ processes, interrelations and values behind the ERA policy change. The main challenges emerging from our analysis turned out to be the slow uptake of scientific developments into ERA and very broadly defined protection......-protectiveness lies deep in the perception of stakeholders and depends greatly on their priorities. Academics strive for better ecological relevance as a priority. They have concerns that ERA is oversimplified. Regulators worry that ERA relies too much on risk mitigation and is possibly not protective enough...

  8. Validating the JobFit system functional assessment method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenny Legge; Robin Burgess-Limerick

    2007-05-15

    Workplace injuries are costing the Australian coal mining industry and its communities $410 Million a year. This ACARP study aims to meet those demands by developing a safe, reliable and valid pre-employment functional assessment tool. All JobFit System Pre-Employment Functional Assessments (PEFAs) consist of a musculoskeletal screen, balance test, aerobic fitness test and job-specific postural tolerances and material handling tasks. The results of each component are compared to the applicant's job demands and an overall PEFA score between 1 and 4 is given with 1 being the better score. The reliability study and validity study were conducted concurrently. The reliability study examined test-retest, intra-tester and inter-tester reliability of the JobFit System Functional Assessment Method. Overall, good to excellent reliability was found, which was sufficient to be used for comparison with injury data for determining the validity of the assessment. The overall assessment score and material handling tasks had the greatest reliability. The validity study compared the assessment results of 336 records from a Queensland underground and open cut coal mine with their injury records. A predictive relationship was found between PEFA score and the risk of a back/trunk/shoulder injury from manual handling. An association was also found between PEFA score of 1 and increased length of employment. Lower aerobic fitness test results had an inverse relationship with injury rates. The study found that underground workers, regardless of PEFA score, were more likely to have an injury when compared to other departments. No relationship was found between age and risk of injury. These results confirm the validity of the JobFit System Functional Assessment method.

  9. Toxicity Bioassays for Ecological Risk Assessment in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems. Reviews Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 168:43-98.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markwiese, J.T.; Ryti, R.T.; Hooten, M.M.; Michael, D.I.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    2001-02-01

    This paper discusses current limitations for performing ecological risk assessments in dry environments (i.e., ecosystems that are characteristic of many DOE Facilities) and presents novel approaches to addressing ecological risk in such systems.

  10. Toxicity Bioassays for Ecological Risk Assessment in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems. Reviews Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 168:43-98

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markwiese, J.T.; Ryti, R.T.; Hooten, M.M.; Michael, D.I.; Hlohowskyj, I.

    2001-01-01

    This paper discusses current limitations for performing ecological risk assessments in dry environments (i.e., ecosystems that are characteristic of many DOE Facilities) and presents novel approaches to addressing ecological risk in such systems

  11. Validity and reliability of balance assessment software using the Nintendo Wii balance board: usability and validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Dae-Sung; Lee, GyuChang

    2014-06-10

    A balance test provides important information such as the standard to judge an individual's functional recovery or make the prediction of falls. The development of a tool for a balance test that is inexpensive and widely available is needed, especially in clinical settings. The Wii Balance Board (WBB) is designed to test balance, but there is little software used in balance tests, and there are few studies on reliability and validity. Thus, we developed a balance assessment software using the Nintendo Wii Balance Board, investigated its reliability and validity, and compared it with a laboratory-grade force platform. Twenty healthy adults participated in our study. The participants participated in the test for inter-rater reliability, intra-rater reliability, and concurrent validity. The tests were performed with balance assessment software using the Nintendo Wii balance board and a laboratory-grade force platform. Data such as Center of Pressure (COP) path length and COP velocity were acquired from the assessment systems. The inter-rater reliability, the intra-rater reliability, and concurrent validity were analyzed by an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) value and a standard error of measurement (SEM). The inter-rater reliability (ICC: 0.89-0.79, SEM in path length: 7.14-1.90, SEM in velocity: 0.74-0.07), intra-rater reliability (ICC: 0.92-0.70, SEM in path length: 7.59-2.04, SEM in velocity: 0.80-0.07), and concurrent validity (ICC: 0.87-0.73, SEM in path length: 5.94-0.32, SEM in velocity: 0.62-0.08) were high in terms of COP path length and COP velocity. The balance assessment software incorporating the Nintendo Wii balance board was used in our study and was found to be a reliable assessment device. In clinical settings, the device can be remarkably inexpensive, portable, and convenient for the balance assessment.

  12. Landscape ecological assessment: a tool for integrating biodiversity issues in strategic environmental assessment and planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mörtberg, U M; Balfors, B; Knol, W C

    2007-03-01

    To achieve a sustainable development, impacts on biodiversity of urbanisation, new infrastructure projects and other land use changes must be considered on landscape and regional scales. This requires that important decisions are made after a systematic evaluation of environmental impacts. Landscape ecology can provide a conceptual framework for the assessment of consequences of long-term development processes like urbanisation on biodiversity components, and for evaluating and visualising the impacts of alternative planning scenarios. The aim of this paper was to develop methods for integrating biodiversity issues in planning and strategic environmental assessment in an urbanising environment, on landscape and regional levels. In order to test developed methods, a case study was conducted in the region of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, and the study area embraced the city centre, suburbs and peri-urban areas. Focal species were tested as indicators of habitat quality, quantity and connectivity in the landscape. Predictive modelling of habitat distribution in geographic information systems involved the modelling of focal species occurrences based on empirical data, incorporated in a landscape ecological decision support system. When habitat models were retrieved, they were applied on future planning scenarios in order to predict and assess the impacts on focal species. The scenario involving a diffuse exploitation pattern had the greatest negative impacts on the habitat networks of focal species. The scenarios with concentrated exploitation also had negative impacts, although they were possible to mitigate quite easily. The predictions of the impacts on habitats networks of focal species made it possible to quantify, integrate and visualise the effects of urbanisation scenarios on aspects of biodiversity on a landscape level.

  13. Assessment on ecological environment impact caused by the exploitation of a uranium mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Xueli; Xu Lechang; Li Xianjie; Wang Erqi; Wei Guangzhi; Hu Penghua

    2008-01-01

    On the basis of investigation, the assessment index of ecological environment impact is determined from the aspects of natural eco-environment and social eco-environment. Both qualitative analysis and quantitative assessment are adopted for assessing the ecological environment impact during the exploitation of a uranium mine in Jiangxi province. The results show that some values of the assessment index in natural eco-subsystem decline slightly, while those of the assessment index in social eco-subsystem ascend so that the ecological environment quality around the uranium mine ascend slightly. Moreover, some reasonable advices on eco-environment protection measures are put forward in order to build a ecotype uranium mine. (authors)

  14. The assessment validity of the curriculum in gender and education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa María González

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The study of validity applied to the studies specialized in gender in an education that has been offered by the National Pedagogical University since 1999 basing itself on two major areas: the external validity and internal validity. The first one contemplates four sections that include the review of gender studies in education as a field of knowledge, the comparative analysis of this educational program with similar (national and international, reviewing its relevance to public gender policy and education, as well as an overview of the demands of the professional workplace – the work of specialists in the field.Moreover, the assessment of internal validity followed a strategy that consisted of verifying consistency between course objectives with the overall objective of the curriculum, as well as reviewing the correspondence between the scope proposed for each theme for each course and the characteristics of the graduate profile.

  15. Assessing the Ecological Footprint of Ecotourism Packages: A Methodological Proposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Serena Mancini

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Tourism represents a key economic sector worldwide, constituting great leverage for local economic development but also putting noticeable environmental pressures on local natural resources. Ecotourism may be a viable alternative to mass tourism to minimize impacts on ecosystems, but it needs shared sustainability standards and monitoring tools to evaluate impacts. This paper presents a first methodological proposition to calculate the environmental impact of ecotourism packages through the use of an ad-hoc, customized version of the Ecological Footprint methodology. It follows a participatory, bottom-up approach to collecting input data for the four main services (Accommodation, Food & Drinks, Activity & Service, and Mobility & Transfer provided to tourists through the use of surveys and stakeholders engagement. The outcome of our approach materializes in an excel-based ecotourism workbook capable of processing input data collected through surveys and returning Ecological Footprint values for specific ecotourism packages. Although applied to ecotourism in Mediterranean Protected Areas within the context of the DestiMED project, we believe that the methodology and approach presented here can constitute a blueprint and a benchmark for future studies dealing with the impact of ecotourism packages.

  16. Assessing Ecological Impacts According to Land Use Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, S.; Lee, D. K.; Jeong, W.; Jeong, S. G.; Jin, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Land use patterns have changed by human activities, and it has affected the structure and dynamics of ecosystems. In particular, the conversion of forests into other land use has caused environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity. The evaluation of species and their habitat can be preferentially considered to prevent or minimize the adverse effects of land use change. The objective of study is identifying the impacts of environmental conditions on forest ecosystems by comparing ecological changes with time series spatial data. Species distribution models were developed for diverse species with presence data and time-series environmental variables, which allowed comparison of the habitat suitability and connectivity. Habitat suitability and connectivity were used to estimate impacts of forest ecosystems due to land use change. Our result suggested that the size and degree of ecological impacts are were different depending on the properties of land use change. The elements and species were greatly affected by the land use change according to the results. This study suggested that a methodology for measuring the interference of land use change in species habitat and connectivity. Furthermore, it will help to conserve and manage forest by identifying priority conservation areas with influence factor and scale.

  17. Developing predictive systems models to address complexity and relevance for ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Valery E; Calow, Peter

    2013-07-01

    Ecological risk assessments (ERAs) are not used as well as they could be in risk management. Part of the problem is that they often lack ecological relevance; that is, they fail to grasp necessary ecological complexities. Adding realism and complexity can be difficult and costly. We argue that predictive systems models (PSMs) can provide a way of capturing complexity and ecological relevance cost-effectively. However, addressing complexity and ecological relevance is only part of the problem. Ecological risk assessments often fail to meet the needs of risk managers by not providing assessments that relate to protection goals and by expressing risk in ratios that cannot be weighed against the costs of interventions. Once more, PSMs can be designed to provide outputs in terms of value-relevant effects that are modulated against exposure and that can provide a better basis for decision making than arbitrary ratios or threshold values. Recent developments in the modeling and its potential for implementation by risk assessors and risk managers are beginning to demonstrate how PSMs can be practically applied in risk assessment and the advantages that doing so could have. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  18. An ecological assessment of pasturelands in the Balkhash area of Kazakhstan with remote sensing and models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebed, L; Qi, J; Heilman, P

    2012-01-01

    The 187 million hectares of pasturelands in Kazakhstan play a key role in the nation’s economy, as livestock production accounted for 54% of total agricultural production in 2010. However, more than half of these lands have been degraded as a result of unregulated grazing practices. Therefore, effective long term ecological monitoring of pasturelands in Kazakhstan is imperative to ensure sustainable pastureland management. As a case study in this research, we demonstrated how the ecological conditions could be assessed with remote sensing technologies and pastureland models. The example focuses on the southern Balkhash area with study sites on a foothill plain with Artemisia-ephemeral plants and a sandy plain with psammophilic vegetation in the Turan Desert. The assessment was based on remotely sensed imagery and meteorological data, a geobotanical archive and periodic ground sampling. The Pasture agrometeorological model was used to calculate biological, ecological and economic indicators to assess pastureland condition. The results showed that field surveys, meteorological observations, remote sensing and ecological models, such as Pasture, could be combined to effectively assess the ecological conditions of pasturelands and provide information about forage production that is critically important for balancing grazing and ecological conservation. (letter)

  19. Assessing performance and validating finite element simulations using probabilistic knowledge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dolin, Ronald M.; Rodriguez, E. A. (Edward A.)

    2002-01-01

    Two probabilistic approaches for assessing performance are presented. The first approach assesses probability of failure by simultaneously modeling all likely events. The probability each event causes failure along with the event's likelihood of occurrence contribute to the overall probability of failure. The second assessment method is based on stochastic sampling using an influence diagram. Latin-hypercube sampling is used to stochastically assess events. The overall probability of failure is taken as the maximum probability of failure of all the events. The Likelihood of Occurrence simulation suggests failure does not occur while the Stochastic Sampling approach predicts failure. The Likelihood of Occurrence results are used to validate finite element predictions.

  20. Validation of a new assessment tool for qualitative research articles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schou, Lone; Høstrup, Helle; Lyngsø, Elin

    2012-01-01

    schou l., høstrup h., lyngsø e.e., larsen s. & poulsen i. (2011) Validation of a new assessment tool for qualitative research articles. Journal of Advanced Nursing00(0), 000-000. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05898.x ABSTRACT: Aim.  This paper presents the development and validation of a new...... assessment tool for qualitative research articles, which could assess trustworthiness of qualitative research articles as defined by Guba and at the same time aid clinicians in their assessment. Background.  There are more than 100 sets of proposals for quality criteria for qualitative research. However, we...... is the Danish acronym for Appraisal of Qualitative Studies. Phase 1 was to develop the tool based on a literature review and on consultation with qualitative researchers. Phase 2 was an inter-rater reliability test in which 40 health professionals participated. Phase 3 was an inter-rater reliability test among...

  1. Assessment of metals contamination and ecological risk in ait Ammar abandoned iron mine soil, Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nouri Mohamed

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study is an attempt to assess the pollution intensity and corresponding ecological risk of phosphorus and metals including Cd, Cr, Cu, Zn, Pb and Fe using various indices like geo-accumulation index, enrichment factor, pollution and ecological risk index. In all, 20 surface soil samples were collected from the Ait Ammar iron mine of Oued Zem city, province of Khouribga, in central Morocco. The concentrations of heavy metals in soil samples were used to assess their potential ecological risks. According to the results of potential ecological risk index (RI, pollution index (PI, geo-accumulation index (Igeo, enrichment factor (EF, potential contamination index (Cp, contaminant factor (Cf and degree of contamination (Cd, based on the averages, considerable pollution of metals in soils of study area was observed. The consequence of the correlation matrix and principal component analysis (PCA indicated that Fe, Cu, Zn, Cr and P mainly originated from natural sources and Cd and Pb are mostly derived from anthropogenic sources. The results showed that these metals in soil were ranked by severity of ecological risk as Pb > Cd > Cu > Cr > Zn, based on their single-element indexes. In view of the potential ecological risk (RI, soils from all soil samples showed a potential ecological risk. These results will provide basic information for the improvement of soil environment management and heavy metal pollution prevention in Ait Ammar.

  2. Content Validation and Evaluation of an Endovascular Teamwork Assessment Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hull, L; Bicknell, C; Patel, K; Vyas, R; Van Herzeele, I; Sevdalis, N; Rudarakanchana, N

    2016-07-01

    To modify, content validate, and evaluate a teamwork assessment tool for use in endovascular surgery. A multistage, multimethod study was conducted. Stage 1 included expert review and modification of the existing Observational Teamwork Assessment for Surgery (OTAS) tool. Stage 2 included identification of additional exemplar behaviours contributing to effective teamwork and enhanced patient safety in endovascular surgery (using real-time observation, focus groups, and semistructured interviews of multidisciplinary teams). Stage 3 included content validation of exemplar behaviours using expert consensus according to established psychometric recommendations and evaluation of structure, content, feasibility, and usability of the Endovascular Observational Teamwork Assessment Tool (Endo-OTAS) by an expert multidisciplinary panel. Stage 4 included final team expert review of exemplars. OTAS core team behaviours were maintained (communication, coordination, cooperation, leadership team monitoring). Of the 114 OTAS behavioural exemplars, 19 were modified, four removed, and 39 additional endovascular-specific behaviours identified. Content validation of these 153 exemplar behaviours showed that 113/153 (73.9%) reached the predetermined Item-Content Validity Index rating for teamwork and/or patient safety. After expert team review, 140/153 (91.5%) exemplars were deemed to warrant inclusion in the tool. More than 90% of the expert panel agreed that Endo-OTAS is an appropriate teamwork assessment tool with observable behaviours. Some concerns were noted about the time required to conduct observations and provide performance feedback. Endo-OTAS is a novel teamwork assessment tool, with evidence for content validity and relevance to endovascular teams. Endo-OTAS enables systematic objective assessment of the quality of team performance during endovascular procedures. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Reliable and Valid Assessment of Point-of-care Ultrasonography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Todsen, Tobias; Tolsgaard, Martin Grønnebæk; Olsen, Beth Härstedt

    2015-01-01

    physicians' OSAUS scores with diagnostic accuracy. RESULTS: The generalizability coefficient was high (0.81) and a D-study demonstrated that 1 assessor and 5 cases would result in similar reliability. The construct validity of the OSAUS scale was supported by a significant difference in the mean scores......OBJECTIVE: To explore the reliability and validity of the Objective Structured Assessment of Ultrasound Skills (OSAUS) scale for point-of-care ultrasonography (POC US) performance. BACKGROUND: POC US is increasingly used by clinicians and is an essential part of the management of acute surgical...... conditions. However, the quality of performance is highly operator-dependent. Therefore, reliable and valid assessment of trainees' ultrasonography competence is needed to ensure patient safety. METHODS: Twenty-four physicians, representing novices, intermediates, and experts in POC US, scanned 4 different...

  4. The ecological impact assessment of a proposed road development (the Slovak approach)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Igondova, Erika; Pavlickova, Katarina; Majzlan, Oto

    2016-01-01

    The construction of roads is one of the most widespread forms of natural landscape modification. Over the last 20 years, dozens of road constructions have been assessed in Slovakia, which makes it possible to talk about methodological positives and negatives. A special feature of Slovakia is that many planned or renovated roads are located in protected areas or are in contact with them (including Natura 2000 sites). Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the roads' ecological impacts and find ways for their appropriate evaluation and incorporation into the Environmental Impact Assessment process. For this reason, the Ecological Impact Assessment methodology can be used as a basis for our research, which consists of three stages. In the first stage (scoping), a buffer circumventing the proposed road is created to determine the area for impact prediction and evaluation. Subsequently, the landscape structure and baseline landscape conditions are discussed, a map of current landscape structure is created and the current ecological status of the affected area is calculated. In the second stage (the evaluation of ecological resources), important ecological parts of the landscape are delineated. This step is based on the importance of previous information and its vulnerability, and leads to the mapping of the road ecological impact zone. In the third stage (impact assessment), important ecological parts are spatially correlated with the proposed road construction. Finally, the significance of ecological impacts of the activity is evaluated by applying specific criteria (duration, reversibility, magnitude, size and road ecological impact zone significance). A scale is proposed for each criterion to evaluate the total significance of impacts. In this way, detailed significant ecological impacts can be found which will help lead to proposed correct mitigation measures and a post-project analysis. - Highlights: • This paper proposes a methodology for the Ec

  5. The ecological impact assessment of a proposed road development (the Slovak approach)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Igondova, Erika, E-mail: erika.igondova@gmail.com; Pavlickova, Katarina, E-mail: pavlickova60@gmail.com; Majzlan, Oto, E-mail: majzlan@fns.uniba.sk

    2016-07-15

    The construction of roads is one of the most widespread forms of natural landscape modification. Over the last 20 years, dozens of road constructions have been assessed in Slovakia, which makes it possible to talk about methodological positives and negatives. A special feature of Slovakia is that many planned or renovated roads are located in protected areas or are in contact with them (including Natura 2000 sites). Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the roads' ecological impacts and find ways for their appropriate evaluation and incorporation into the Environmental Impact Assessment process. For this reason, the Ecological Impact Assessment methodology can be used as a basis for our research, which consists of three stages. In the first stage (scoping), a buffer circumventing the proposed road is created to determine the area for impact prediction and evaluation. Subsequently, the landscape structure and baseline landscape conditions are discussed, a map of current landscape structure is created and the current ecological status of the affected area is calculated. In the second stage (the evaluation of ecological resources), important ecological parts of the landscape are delineated. This step is based on the importance of previous information and its vulnerability, and leads to the mapping of the road ecological impact zone. In the third stage (impact assessment), important ecological parts are spatially correlated with the proposed road construction. Finally, the significance of ecological impacts of the activity is evaluated by applying specific criteria (duration, reversibility, magnitude, size and road ecological impact zone significance). A scale is proposed for each criterion to evaluate the total significance of impacts. In this way, detailed significant ecological impacts can be found which will help lead to proposed correct mitigation measures and a post-project analysis. - Highlights: • This paper proposes a methodology for the

  6. Study Protocol on Ecological Momentary Assessment of Health-Related Quality of Life using a Smartphone Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana Mareva

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL is a construct of increasing importance in modern healthcare, and has typically been assessed using retrospective instruments. While such measures have been shown to have predictive utility for clinical outcomes, several cognitive biases associated with human recall and current mood state may undermine their validity and reliability. Retrospective tools can be further criticized for their lack of ecology, as individuals are usually assessed in less natural settings such as hospitals and health centers, and may be obliged to spend time and money travelling to receive assessment. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA is an alternative, as mobile assessment using mobile health (mHealth technology has the potential to minimize biases and overcome many of these limitations. Employing an EMA methodology, we will use a smartphone application to collect data on real-time HRQoL, with an adapted version of the widely used WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire. We aim to recruit a total of 420 students from seven different universities across Europe. Participants will be prompted by the application to report their real-time HRQoL over two weeks together with information on mood and current activities. At the end of two weeks, students will complete a retrospective assessment of their HRQoL and provide information about their sleep quality and perceived stress. The psychometric properties of real-time HRQoL will be assessed, including analysis of the factorial structure, reliability and validity of the measure, and compared with retrospective HRQoL responses for the same two-week testing period. Further, we aim to identify factors associated with real-time HRQoL (e.g. mood, activities, the feasibility of the application, and within- and between-person variability in real-time HRQoL. We expect real-time HRQoL to have adequate validity and reliability, and positive responses on the feasibility of using a smartphone application for

  7. Study Protocol on Ecological Momentary Assessment of Health-Related Quality of Life Using a Smartphone Application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mareva, Silvana; Thomson, David; Marenco, Pietro; Estal Muñoz, Víctor; Ott, Caroline V; Schmidt, Barbara; Wingen, Tobias; Kassianos, Angelos P

    2016-01-01

    Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) is a construct of increasing importance in modern healthcare, and has typically been assessed using retrospective instruments. While such measures have been shown to have predictive utility for clinical outcomes, several cognitive biases associated with human recall and current mood state may undermine their validity and reliability. Retrospective tools can be further criticized for their lack of ecology, as individuals are usually assessed in less natural settings such as hospitals and health centers, and may be obliged to spend time and money traveling to receive assessment. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is an alternative, as mobile assessment using mobile health (mHealth) technology has the potential to minimize biases and overcome many of these limitations. Employing an EMA methodology, we will use a smartphone application to collect data on real-time HRQoL, with an adapted version of the widely used WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire. We aim to recruit a total of 450 healthy participants. Participants will be prompted by the application to report their real-time HRQoL over 2 weeks together with information on mood and current activities. At the end of 2 weeks, they will complete a retrospective assessment of their HRQoL and they will provide information about their sleep quality and perceived stress. The psychometric properties of real-time HRQoL will be assessed, including analysis of the factorial structure, reliability and validity of the measure, and compared with retrospective HRQoL responses for the same 2-week testing period. Further, we aim to identify factors associated with real-time HRQoL (e.g., mood, activities), the feasibility of the application, and within- and between-person variability in real-time HRQoL. We expect real-time HRQoL to have adequate validity and reliability, and positive responses on the feasibility of using a smartphone application for routine HRQoL assessment. The direct comparison of real

  8. Clinical and psychometric validation of the psychotic depression assessment scale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Østergaard, Søren D; Pedersen, Christina H; Uggerby, Peter

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Recent studies have indicated that the 11-item Psychotic Depression Assessment Scale (PDAS), consisting of the 6-item melancholia subscale (HAM-D6) of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and 5 psychosis items from the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), is a valid measure for the ...

  9. Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC): Spanish Validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahera, G.; Boada, L.; Pousa, E.; Mirapeix, I.; Morón-Nozaleda, G.; Marinas, L.; Gisbert, L.; Pamiàs, M.; Parellada, M.

    2014-01-01

    We present the Spanish validation of the "Movie for the Assessment of Social Cognition" instrument (MASC-SP). We recruited 22 adolescents and young adults with Asperger syndrome and 26 participants with typical development. The MASC-SP and three other social cognition instruments (Ekman Pictures of Facial Affect test, Reading the Mind in…

  10. Predicting the ungauged basin : Model validation and realism assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Emmerik, T.H.M.; Mulder, G.; Eilander, D.; Piet, M.; Savenije, H.H.G.

    2015-01-01

    The hydrological decade on Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB) led to many new insights in model development, calibration strategies, data acquisition and uncertainty analysis. Due to a limited amount of published studies on genuinely ungauged basins, model validation and realism assessment of

  11. Development and Validation of the Personality Assessment Questionnaire: Test Manual.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, Ronald P.; And Others

    Data are presented evaluating the validity and reliability of the Personality Assessment Questionnaire (PAQ), a self-report questionnaire designed to elicit respondents' perceptions of themselves with respect to seven personality and behavioral dispositions: hostility and aggression, dependence, self-esteem, self-adequacy, emotional…

  12. Validating a Questionnaire Assessing Knowledge and Awareness of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Rwanda Journal Series F: Medicine and Health Sciences Vol. 2 No. 2, 2015. Validating a Questionnaire Assessing Knowledge and Awareness of Emergen- cy Trolleys: Revisions Required to Account for Variances in a Low Resource. Setting. Charles Twagirayezu1, Stephanie Taylor1, Julie Pfeffer1. 1University Teaching ...

  13. development and validation of an instrument for assessing junior ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. BARTH EKWEME

    school Mathematics classroom environment as it affects teaching and learning of Mathematics in Enugu. State. ... plays a significant role in computer technology. ... classroom. The main purpose of this study was to develop and validate an instrument for assessing junior secondary school Mathematics classroom learning ...

  14. Development and external validation of a new PTA assessment scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, B.; van Ekert, J.; Vernooy, L.P.; Dieperink, P.; Andriessen, T.M.J.C.; Hendriks, M.P.; van Vugt, A.B.; Emons, M.A.; Borm, G.F.; Vos, P.E.

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) is a key symptom of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Accurate assessment of PTA is imperative in guiding clinical decision making. Our aim was to develop and externally validate a short, examiner independent and practical PTA scale, by selecting the most

  15. Predicting the ungauged basin: model validation and realism assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Emmerik, Tim; Mulder, Gert; Eilander, Dirk; Piet, Marijn; Savenije, Hubert

    2015-01-01

    The hydrological decade on Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB) led to many new insights in model development, calibration strategies, data acquisition and uncertainty analysis. Due to a limited amount of published studies on genuinely ungauged basins, model validation and realism assessment of

  16. A Validation Study of the Student Oral Proficiency Assessment (SOPA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Lynn E.; Kenyon, Dorry M.; Rhodes, Nancy C.

    This study validated the Student Oral Proficiency Assessment (SOPA), an oral proficiency instrument designed for students in elementary foreign language programs. Elementary students who were tested with the SOPA were also administered other instruments designed to measure proficiency. These instruments included the Stanford Foreign Language Oral…

  17. Ecological risk assessment of radionuclides in the Columbia River System ''a historical assessment''

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friant, S.L.; Brandt, C.A.; Probasco, K.M.

    1993-01-01

    The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Site in southcentral Washington State has been the location of nuclear production activities since 1943. Radioactive effluents were discharged to the Columbia River, which runs through the northern portion of the Site and borders it on the east (the Hanford Reach). The assessment was conducted using historical Hanford Site monitoring data for the aquatic environment of the Columbia River over the time period from 1963 to 1964. The time period was chosen because it was then that peak production of nuclear material was occurring and the maximum number of reactors were operational. Exposure characterization consisted of measured radioactivity in water, sediments, and biota. Two approaches were used in assessing ecological risk to Columbia River organisms. In the first approach, environmental exposure data were used to calculate internal dose to a variety of aquatic organisms, including the most sensitive receptors (fish). In the second approach, measured tissue concentrations were used for selected aquatic organisms to calculate organism internal dose directly. Organism dose was used to assess potential toxic effects and assess regulatory compliance. Risk characterization was developed by comparing dose levels in fish and other organisms found in the Columbia River to known concentrations through a hazard quotient for acute dose and developmental effects

  18. Technical Overview of Ecological Risk Assessment - Analysis Phase: Exposure Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exposure Characterization is the second major component of the analysis phase of a risk assessment. For a pesticide risk assessment, the exposure characterization describes the potential or actual contact of a pesticide with a plant, animal, or media.

  19. Waste area grouping 2 Phase I task data report: Ecological risk assessment and White Oak Creek watershed screening ecological risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Efroymson, R.A.; Jackson, B.L.; Jones, D.S. [and others

    1996-05-01

    This report presents an ecological risk assessment for Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 2 based on the data collected in the Phase I remedial investigation (RI). It serves as an update to the WAG 2 screening ecological risk assessment that was performed using historic data. In addition to identifying potential ecological risks in WAG 2 that may require additional data collection, this report serves to determine whether there are ecological risks of sufficient magnitude to require a removal action or some other expedited remedial process. WAG 2 consists of White Oak Creek (WOC) and its tributaries downstream of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) main plant area, White Oak Lake (WOL), the White Oak Creek Embayment of the Clinch River, associated flood plains, and the associated groundwater. The WOC system drains the WOC watershed, an area of approximately 16.8 km{sup 2} that includes ORNL and associated WAGs. The WOC system has been exposed to contaminants released from ORNL and associated operations since 1943 and continues to receive contaminants from adjacent WAGs.

  20. [Development and validation of an instrument for initial nursing assessment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Sola, Cayetano; Granero-Molina, José; Mollinedo-Mallea, Judith; de Gonzales, María Hilda Peredo; Aguilera-Manrique, Gabriel; Ponce, Mara Luna

    2012-12-01

    The objective of this study, conducted in Bolivia from April to July of 2008, is the design and validation of an initial nursing assessment instrument to be used in clinical and educational environments in Santa Cruz (Bolivia). Twelve Bolivian nurses participated; both document analysis as well as consensus techniques were used to determine the categories and criteria to be assessed. Categories included in the nursing assessment instrument are a physical assessment and the eleven Gordon's Functional Health Patterns. The nursing assessment instrument stands out as being concise, easy to complete and utilizing a nursing approach. It does not include items for advanced nursing assessment. However, it incorporates items regarding lifestyle and the patient's autonomy. The nursing assessment instrument contributes to improving the quality of clinical records, supports the nursing diagnosis and implementation of the nursing process, promotes the nurse's role and helps to standardize practice.

  1. Justification of system of assessment of ecological safety degree of housing construction objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kankhva, Vadim

    2017-10-01

    In article characteristics and properties of competitiveness of housing construction objects are investigated, criteria and points of national systems of ecological building’s standardization are structured, the compliance assessment form on stages of life cycle of a capital construction project is developed. The main indicators of level of ecological safety considering requirements of the international ISO standards 9000 and ISO 14000 and which are based on the basic principles of general quality management (TQM) are presented.

  2. Ecological footprint analysis as a tool to assess tourism sustainability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gossling, Stefan [Institute of Cultural Geography, Freiburg University, Werderring 4, 79085 Freiburg (Germany); Hansson, Carina Borgstrom [Human Ecology Division, Lund University, 223 62 Lund (Sweden); Horstmeier, Oliver [Department of Economic Geography and Tourism Research, Paderborn University, 33095 Paderborn (Germany); Saggel, Stefan [Institute of Cultural Geography, Munster University, 48149 Munster (Germany)

    2002-12-01

    This article has the aim to provide a methodological framework for the calculation of ecological footprints related to leisure tourism. Based on the example of the Seychelles, it reveals the statistical obstacles that have to be overcome in the calculation process and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of such an approach. As many tropical island-states depend heavily on foreign exchange earnings derived from visitors arriving by air, special attention is paid to the use of energy associated with air travel. Furthermore, implications of the findings for national greenhouse inventories are discussed. Finally, as the Seychelles have safeguarded a wide range of ecosystems in protected areas, which are for their existence ultimately dependent on financial resources derived from tourism, the question is raised if long-distance travel can be a means to safeguard biodiversity.

  3. Application of probabilistic quantitative ecological risk assessment to radiological dose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Twining, J.; Ferris, J.; Copplestone, D.; Zinger, I.

    2004-01-01

    Probabilistic ERA is becoming more accepted and applied in evaluations of environmental impacts worldwide. In a previous paper we have shown that the process can be applied in practice to routine effluent releases from a nuclear facility. However, there are practical issues that need to be addressed prior to its regulatory application for criteria setting or for site-specific ERA. Among these issues are a) appropriate data selection for both exposure and dose-response input, because there is a need to carefully characterise and filter the available dose-response data for its ecological relevance, b) A coherent approach is required to the choice of exposure scenarios, and c) there are various questions associated with treatment of exposure to mixed nuclides. In this paper we will evaluate and discuss aspects of these issues, using an illustrative case study approach. (author)

  4. Approaches for integrated assessment of ecological and eutrophication status of surface waters in Nordic Countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper H.; Aroviita, Jukka; Carstensen, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles for...... principles applied within BQEs are critical and in need of harmonisation if we want a better understanding of potential transition in ecological status between surface water types, e.g. when riverine water enters a downstream lake or coastal water body.......We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles...

  5. Designing ecological climate change impact assessments to reflect key climatic drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofaer, Helen R; Barsugli, Joseph J; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Abatzoglou, John T; Talbert, Marian K; Miller, Brian W; Morisette, Jeffrey T

    2017-07-01

    Identifying the climatic drivers of an ecological system is a key step in assessing its vulnerability to climate change. The climatic dimensions to which a species or system is most sensitive - such as means or extremes - can guide methodological decisions for projections of ecological impacts and vulnerabilities. However, scientific workflows for combining climate projections with ecological models have received little explicit attention. We review Global Climate Model (GCM) performance along different dimensions of change and compare frameworks for integrating GCM output into ecological models. In systems sensitive to climatological means, it is straightforward to base ecological impact assessments on mean projected changes from several GCMs. Ecological systems sensitive to climatic extremes may benefit from what we term the 'model space' approach: a comparison of ecological projections based on simulated climate from historical and future time periods. This approach leverages the experimental framework used in climate modeling, in which historical climate simulations serve as controls for future projections. Moreover, it can capture projected changes in the intensity and frequency of climatic extremes, rather than assuming that future means will determine future extremes. Given the recent emphasis on the ecological impacts of climatic extremes, the strategies we describe will be applicable across species and systems. We also highlight practical considerations for the selection of climate models and data products, emphasizing that the spatial resolution of the climate change signal is generally coarser than the grid cell size of downscaled climate model output. Our review illustrates how an understanding of how climate model outputs are derived and downscaled can improve the selection and application of climatic data used in ecological modeling. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Development and external validation of a new PTA assessment scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacobs Bram

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA is a key symptom of traumatic brain injury (TBI. Accurate assessment of PTA is imperative in guiding clinical decision making. Our aim was to develop and externally validate a short, examiner independent and practical PTA scale, by selecting the most discriminative items from existing scales and using a three-word memory test. Methods Mild, moderate and severe TBI patients and control subjects were assessed in two separate cohorts, one for derivation and one for validation, using a questionnaire comprised of items from existing PTA scales. We tested which individual items best discriminated between TBI patients and controls, represented by sensitivity and specificity. We then created our PTA scale based on these results. This new scale was externally evaluated for its discriminative value using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC analysis and compared to existing PTA scales. Results The derivation cohort included 126 TBI patients and 31 control subjects; the validation cohort consisted of 132 patients and 30 controls. A set of seven items was eventually selected to comprise the new PTA scale: age, name of hospital, time, day of week, month, mode of transport and recall of three words. This scale demonstrated adequate discriminative values compared to existing PTA scales on three consecutive administrations in the validation cohort. Conclusion We introduce a valid, practical and examiner independent PTA scale, which is suitable for mild TBI patients at the emergency department and yet still valuable for the follow-up of more severely injured TBI patients.

  7. Use of ecotoxicological screening action levels in ecological risk assessment at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferenbauah, R.; Ebinger, M.; Gallegos, A.; Hansen, W.; Myers, O.; Wenzel, W.

    1995-01-01

    Regulatory drivers found in several environmental statutes require that ecological risk assessment and Natural Resource Damage Assessment be performed to assess potential environmental impact from contaminated sites and from proposed remedial alternatives. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, the initial phase of the ecological risk assessment process required preliminary evaluation of contaminated sites to determine whether potential for ecological impact exists. The preliminary evaluations were made using Ecotoxicological Screening Action Levels (ESALS) calculated as a function of reference toxicity dose, body weight, food/water/air intake, and fraction of soil intake with food. Reference toxicity doses were derived from the Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) and Health Effects Assessment Summary Tables (HEAST) toxicology databases. Other parameters required for ESAL calculations were derived from physiological, metabolic, and behavioral data available in the literature. The Los Alamos ESALs were derived for guilds of animals with similar behavioral patterns, which were identified from natural resource survey data collected at Los Alamos. Subsequent to development of Ecotoxicological Screening Action Levels, Hazard Quotients, which are ratios of soil concentrations to Ecotoxicological Screening Action Levels, were calculated for potential contaminants of concern. The Hazard Quotients were used to identify which potential contaminants of concern should be evaluated further for ecological impact. There is potential for ecological impact when the Hazard Quotient is equal to or greater than one

  8. Validation of the Early Childhood Ecology Scale-Revised: A Reflective Tool for Teacher Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Belinda Bustos; Casebeer, Cindy M.; Riojas-Cortez, Mari

    2011-01-01

    Given increasing numbers of young culturally and/or linguistically diverse (CLD) children across the United States, it is crucial to prepare early childhood teachers to create high-quality environments that facilitate the development of all children. The Early Childhood Ecology Scale-Revised (ECES-R) has been developed as a reflective tool to help…

  9. Developing and Validating a New Classroom Climate Observation Assessment Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Stephen S; Thomas, Duane E; Shapiro, Edward S; Paskewich, Brooke; Wilson, Kim; Necowitz-Hoffman, Beth; Jawad, Abbas F

    2011-01-01

    The climate of school classrooms, shaped by a combination of teacher practices and peer processes, is an important determinant for children's psychosocial functioning and is a primary factor affecting bullying and victimization. Given that there are relatively few theoretically-grounded and validated assessment tools designed to measure the social climate of classrooms, our research team developed an observation tool through participatory action research (PAR). This article details how the assessment tool was designed and preliminarily validated in 18 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade classrooms in a large urban public school district. The goals of this study are to illustrate the feasibility of a PAR paradigm in measurement development, ascertain the psychometric properties of the assessment tool, and determine associations with different indices of classroom levels of relational and physical aggression.

  10. Ecological effects and animal risk assessment of radiation pollution in Russia and former USSR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krivolutsky, D.

    1995-01-01

    The ecological after-effects of long-term radiation pollution, animal biodiversity changes and life-cycle assessment of model species of soil invertebrates mammals, birds, reptiles have been studied in 1968-1994 in the former USSR (Russia, Ukraine, Kazachstan). There has been observed an initial reduction of animal biodiversity community structure in Kyshtym (south Ural) and Chernobyl polluted areas and a low return to the former ecosystems. The secondary changes and side-effects for the active migrants (insects, birds, mammals) have been registered. The most valid bioindicators and biomarkers of radioactive pollution may be stable populations of reptiles, birds, earthworms, centipede, microarthropods. The radioactive soil pollution exerts the greatest impact on the permanent soil dwelling animals. As direct effects it has been seen the appreciable reduction of population density disturbance of the breeding process, degradation of species diversity community structure. In fact a soil with high level 90 Sr and a radiation 1--3 R/day containing 10-fold reduction of population soil inhabit millipedes earthworms, insect larvae, Enchytraeidae aranea. The accumulation of radionuclides by terrestrial and soil animals effects of trophic levels, zoogenical radionuclides migration have been studied in polluted ecosystems of South Ural and Chernobyl

  11. The effect of taxonomic resolution on the assessment of ecological water quality classes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmidt-Kloiber, A.; Nijboer, R.C.

    2004-01-01

    Within the ecological assessment of running waters based on benthic macroinvertebrates different levels of taxonomic resolution (species, genus, family and higher) are in use. Although assessment systems are often developed with detailed data on species level, water managers and other end-users

  12. Fishes, mussels, crayfishes, and aquatic habitats of the Hoosier-Shawnee ecological assessment area

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. Burr Brooks; Justin T. Sipiorski; Matthew R. Thomas; Kevin S. Cummings; Christopher A. Taylor

    2004-01-01

    The Hoosier-Shawnee Ecological Assessment Area, part of the Coastal Plain and Interior Low Plateau physiographic provinces, includes 194 native fish species, 76 native mussel species, and 34 native crayfish species. Five of the subregions (e.g., Mississippi Embayment) that make up the assessment area were recently ranked as either globally or bioregionally outstanding...

  13. Quantitative Assessment of a Field-Based Course on Integrative Geology, Ecology and Cultural History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheppard, Paul R.; Donaldson, Brad A.; Huckleberry, Gary

    2010-01-01

    A field-based course at the University of Arizona called Sense of Place (SOP) covers the geology, ecology and cultural history of the Tucson area. SOP was quantitatively assessed for pedagogical effectiveness. Students of the Spring 2008 course were given pre- and post-course word association surveys in order to assess awareness and comprehension…

  14. Priorities to improve the ecological risk assessment and management for pesticides in surface water

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brock, T.C.M.

    2013-01-01

    This article deals with prospective and retrospective ecological risk assessment (ERA) procedures for pesticides in surface waters as carried out under European legislation (Regulation 1107/2009/EC; Directive 2009/128/EC; Directive 2000/60/EC). Priorities to improve the aquatic risk assessment and

  15. Validity of instruments to assess students' travel and pedestrian safety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baranowski Tom

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Safe Routes to School (SRTS programs are designed to make walking and bicycling to school safe and accessible for children. Despite their growing popularity, few validated measures exist for assessing important outcomes such as type of student transport or pedestrian safety behaviors. This research validated the SRTS school travel survey and a pedestrian safety behavior checklist. Methods Fourth grade students completed a brief written survey on how they got to school that day with set responses. Test-retest reliability was obtained 3-4 hours apart. Convergent validity of the SRTS travel survey was assessed by comparison to parents' report. For the measure of pedestrian safety behavior, 10 research assistants observed 29 students at a school intersection for completion of 8 selected pedestrian safety behaviors. Reliability was determined in two ways: correlations between the research assistants' ratings to that of the Principal Investigator (PI and intraclass correlations (ICC across research assistant ratings. Results The SRTS travel survey had high test-retest reliability (κ = 0.97, n = 96, p Conclusions These validated instruments can be used to assess SRTS programs. The pedestrian safety behavior checklist may benefit from further formative work.

  16. Translating and validating a Training Needs Assessment tool into Greek

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hicks Carolyn M

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The translation and cultural adaptation of widely accepted, psychometrically tested tools is regarded as an essential component of effective human resource management in the primary care arena. The Training Needs Assessment (TNA is a widely used, valid instrument, designed to measure professional development needs of health care professionals, especially in primary health care. This study aims to describe the translation, adaptation and validation of the TNA questionnaire into Greek language and discuss possibilities of its use in primary care settings. Methods A modified version of the English self-administered questionnaire consisting of 30 items was used. Internationally recommended methodology, mandating forward translation, backward translation, reconciliation and pretesting steps, was followed. Tool validation included assessing item internal consistency, using the alpha coefficient of Cronbach. Reproducibility (test – retest reliability was measured by the kappa correlation coefficient. Criterion validity was calculated for selected parts of the questionnaire by correlating respondents' research experience with relevant research item scores. An exploratory factor analysis highlighted how the items group together, using a Varimax (oblique rotation and subsequent Cronbach's alpha assessment. Results The psychometric properties of the Greek version of the TNA questionnaire for nursing staff employed in primary care were good. Internal consistency of the instrument was very good, Cronbach's alpha was found to be 0.985 (p 1.0, KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy = 0.680 and Bartlett's test of sphericity, p Conclusion The translated and adapted Greek version is comparable with the original English instrument in terms of validity and reliability and it is suitable to assess professional development needs of nursing staff in Greek primary care settings.

  17. Translating and validating a Training Needs Assessment tool into Greek

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markaki, Adelais; Antonakis, Nikos; Hicks, Carolyn M; Lionis, Christos

    2007-01-01

    Background The translation and cultural adaptation of widely accepted, psychometrically tested tools is regarded as an essential component of effective human resource management in the primary care arena. The Training Needs Assessment (TNA) is a widely used, valid instrument, designed to measure professional development needs of health care professionals, especially in primary health care. This study aims to describe the translation, adaptation and validation of the TNA questionnaire into Greek language and discuss possibilities of its use in primary care settings. Methods A modified version of the English self-administered questionnaire consisting of 30 items was used. Internationally recommended methodology, mandating forward translation, backward translation, reconciliation and pretesting steps, was followed. Tool validation included assessing item internal consistency, using the alpha coefficient of Cronbach. Reproducibility (test – retest reliability) was measured by the kappa correlation coefficient. Criterion validity was calculated for selected parts of the questionnaire by correlating respondents' research experience with relevant research item scores. An exploratory factor analysis highlighted how the items group together, using a Varimax (oblique) rotation and subsequent Cronbach's alpha assessment. Results The psychometric properties of the Greek version of the TNA questionnaire for nursing staff employed in primary care were good. Internal consistency of the instrument was very good, Cronbach's alpha was found to be 0.985 (p 1.0, KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin) measure of sampling adequacy = 0.680 and Bartlett's test of sphericity, p < 0.001. Conclusion The translated and adapted Greek version is comparable with the original English instrument in terms of validity and reliability and it is suitable to assess professional development needs of nursing staff in Greek primary care settings. PMID:17474989

  18. When Assessment Data Are Words: Validity Evidence for Qualitative Educational Assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, David A; Kuper, Ayelet; Hatala, Rose; Ginsburg, Shiphra

    2016-10-01

    Quantitative scores fail to capture all important features of learner performance. This awareness has led to increased use of qualitative data when assessing health professionals. Yet the use of qualitative assessments is hampered by incomplete understanding of their role in forming judgments, and lack of consensus in how to appraise the rigor of judgments therein derived. The authors articulate the role of qualitative assessment as part of a comprehensive program of assessment, and translate the concept of validity to apply to judgments arising from qualitative assessments. They first identify standards for rigor in qualitative research, and then use two contemporary assessment validity frameworks to reorganize these standards for application to qualitative assessment.Standards for rigor in qualitative research include responsiveness, reflexivity, purposive sampling, thick description, triangulation, transparency, and transferability. These standards can be reframed using Messick's five sources of validity evidence (content, response process, internal structure, relationships with other variables, and consequences) and Kane's four inferences in validation (scoring, generalization, extrapolation, and implications). Evidence can be collected and evaluated for each evidence source or inference. The authors illustrate this approach using published research on learning portfolios.The authors advocate a "methods-neutral" approach to assessment, in which a clearly stated purpose determines the nature of and approach to data collection and analysis. Increased use of qualitative assessments will necessitate more rigorous judgments of the defensibility (validity) of inferences and decisions. Evidence should be strategically sought to inform a coherent validity argument.

  19. Principles and issues in radiological ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, Daniel; Domotor, Stephen; Higley Kathryn; Kocher, David; Bilyard, Gordon

    2003-01-01

    This paper provides a bridge between the fields of ecological risk coefficients.variability o published particle-solution distribution coeffiissues identified in the US Department of Energy's Graded Approach fo Evaluating Radiation Doses to Aquatic and Terrestrial Biota in a manner consistent with the US Environmental Protection Agency's framework for ERA. Current radiological ERA methods and data are intended for use in protecting natural populations of biota, rather than individual members of a population. Potentially susceptible receptors include vertebrates and terrestrial plants One must ensure that all media, radionuclides (including short-lived radioactive decay products), types of radiations (i.e., alpha particles electrons, and photons), and pathways (i.e., internal and external contamination) are combined in each exposure scenario. The relative biological effectiveness of alpha particles with respect to deterministic effects must also be considered. Expected safe levels of exposure are available for the protection of natural populations of aquatic biota (10 mGy d -1 ) and terrestrial plants (10 mGy d -1 ) and animals (1 mGy d -1 ) and are appropriate for use in all radiological ERA tiers, provided that appropriate exposure assumptions are used. Caution must be exercised (and a thorough justification provided) if more restrictive limits are selected, to ensure that the supporting data are of high quality, reproducible, and clearly relevant to the protection of natural populations

  20. Young adult non-smokers' exposure to real-world tobacco marketing: results of an ecological momentary assessment pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Shyanika W; Anesetti-Rothermel, Andrew; Elmasry, Hoda; Niaura, Ray

    2017-08-31

    The aims of this pilot study were to assess and characterize non-current smoking young adults' exposure to tobacco marketing through an ecological momentary assessment protocol. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) consists of repeated measurement of momentary phenomena and is well-suited to capture sporadic experiences in the real-world, such as exposure to tobacco marketing. EMA has the potential to capture detailed information about real-world marketing exposures in ways that reduce recall bias and increase ecological validity. In this study, young adults (n = 31; ages 18-25) responded to random prompts regarding their momentary exposure to tobacco marketing via text messages on their smartphones for 14 days (n = 1798 observations). Unadjusted and adjusted analyses were conducted using multilevel logistic regression to assess the odds of exposure accounting for correlation of multiple repeated measures within individuals while controlling for variability between individuals. Respondents reported, on average, two momentary exposures to tobacco advertising in the 14-day study period. In adjusted analyses, African-American (aOR 3.36; 95% CI 1.07, 10.54) and Hispanic respondents (aOR 5.08; 95% CI 1.28, 20.13) were more likely to report exposure to tobacco advertising. Respondents were also more likely to report exposure when also exposed to others using tobacco products and when they were at stores compared with at home (aOR 14.82; 95% CI 3.61, 60.88). Non-smoking young adults report exposure to tobacco marketing particularly at the point-of-sale, with the highest likelihood of exposure among African-American and Hispanic young people. EMA protocols can be effective in assessing the potential impact of point-of-sale tobacco marketing on young adults.

  1. Validation of geotechnical software for repository performance assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    LeGore, T.; Hoover, J.D.; Khaleel, R.; Thornton, E.C.; Anantatmula, R.P.; Lanigan, D.C.

    1989-01-01

    An important step in the characterization of a high level nuclear waste repository is to demonstrate that geotechnical software, used in performance assessment, correctly models validation. There is another type of validation, called software validation. It is based on meeting the requirements of specifications documents (e.g. IEEE specifications) and does not directly address the correctness of the specifications. The process of comparing physical experimental results with the predicted results should incorporate an objective measure of the level of confidence regarding correctness. This paper reports on a methodology developed that allows the experimental uncertainties to be explicitly included in the comparison process. The methodology also allows objective confidence levels to be associated with the software. In the event of a poor comparison, the method also lays the foundation for improving the software

  2. Ecological risk assessment guidance for preparation of remedial investigation/feasibility study work plans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pentecost, E.D.; Vinikour, W.S.

    1993-08-01

    This guidance document (1) provides instructions on preparing the components of an ecological work plan to complement the overall site remedial assessment investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) work plan and (2) directs the user on how to implement ecological tasks identified in the plan. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended by the Superfired Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), an RI/FS work plan win have to be developed as part of the site-remediation scoping the process. Specific guidance on the RI/FS process and the preparation of work plans has been developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA 1988a). This document provides guidance to US Department of Energy (DOE) staff and contractor personnel for incorporation of ecological information into environmental remediation planning and decision making at CERCLA sites. An overview analysis of early ecological risk assessment methods (i.e., in the 1980s) at Superfund sites was conducted by the EPA (1989a). That review provided a perspective of attention given to ecological issues in some of the first RI/FS studies. By itself, that reference is of somewhat limited value; it does, however, establish a basis for comparison of past practices in ecological risk with current, more refined methods

  3. Software Tool Implementing the Fuzzy AHP Method in Ecological Risk Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radionovs Andrejs

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to the increased spread of invasive animals and plants in the territory of Latvia, the necessity of ecological risk assessment related to such kind of spread has grown lately. In cases with sufficient statistical data, the risk assessment may be successfully performed on the basis of statistical methods. The amount of statistical data in the context of spread of invasive animals and plants is pretty poor; therefore, the only method of ecological risk assessment remains subjective judgements of experts. The present paper proposes using a programming tool for ecological risk analysis elaborated by the authors. With the help of this programming tool the method of Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchical Process is implemented. The elements of the pairwise comparison matrix are allowed to be expressed by triangular and trapezoidal fuzzy sets. The presented tool makes it possible to design the fuzzy pair-wise comparison matrix and process the results in a user-friendly way.

  4. Visualizing ecological sensitivity assessment of Huangnan, in the Three-river Region, China, based on GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Xia; Guo, Luo

    2017-07-01

    Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is located in the three-river source region (the TRSR) in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China, which is characterized with ecological sensitivity and vulnerability. In the paper, we integrated remote sensing images, field investigation and social-economic data , and with the help of analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and comprehensive index methods, a sensitivity assessment system was built to calculate ecological sensitivity scores and assign levels for the study area. Results show that: areas which are moderately or even highly ecologically sensitive account for 54.02%, distributed in south, north and northeast of study area and those that have most apparent ecological sensitivity are mainly located in Zeekog, northwest of Huangnan while other counties enjoy relatively lower sensitivity. The results will facilitate future region management and planning for decision-makers.

  5. Mammography image assessment; validity and reliability of current scheme

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, C.; Robinson, L.

    2015-01-01

    Mammographers currently score their own images according to criteria set out by Regional Quality Assurance. The criteria used are based on the ‘Perfect, Good, Moderate, Inadequate’ (PGMI) marking criteria established by the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP) in their Quality Assurance Guidelines of 2006 1 . This document discusses the validity and reliability of the current mammography image assessment scheme. Commencing with a critical review of the literature this document sets out to highlight problems with the national approach to the use of marking schemes. The findings suggest that ‘PGMI’ scheme is flawed in terms of reliability and validity and is not universally applied across the UK. There also appear to be differences in schemes used by trainees and qualified mammographers. Initial recommendations are to be made in collaboration with colleagues within the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP), Higher Education Centres, College of Radiographers and the Royal College of Radiologists in order to identify a mammography image appraisal scheme that is fit for purpose. - Highlights: • Currently no robust evidence based marking tools in use for the assessment of images in mammography. • Is current system valid, reliable and robust? • How can the current image assessment tool be improved? • Should students and qualified mammographers use the same tool? • What marking criteria are available for image assessment?

  6. Ecological Assessment of Storm Impacts on Marine Resources (EASI)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The project provides information that can be used in preliminary land use-based risk assessments for pesticides potentially used in the St. Johns River watershed,...

  7. Personality disorder assessment: the challenge of construct validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, L A; Livesley, W J; Morey, L

    1997-01-01

    We begin with a review of the data that challenge the current categorical system for classifying personality disorder, focusing on the central assessment issues of convergent and discriminant validity. These data indicate that while there is room for improvement in assessment, even greater change is needed in conceptualization than in instrumentation. Accordingly, we then refocus the categorical-dimensional debate in assessment terms, and place it in the broader context of such issues as the hierarchical structure of personality, overlap and distinctions between normal and abnormal personality, sources of information in personality disorder assessment, and overlap and discrimination of trait and state assessment. We conclude that more complex conceptual models that can incorporate both biological and environmental influences on the development of adaptive and maladaptive personality are needed.

  8. An assessment of adherence to basic ecological principles by payments for ecosystem service projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager, C M; Varga, A; Olmsted, P; Ingram, J C; Cattau, M; Freund, C; Wynn-Grant, R; Naeem, S

    2016-08-01

    Programs and projects employing payments for ecosystem service (PES) interventions achieve their objectives by linking buyers and sellers of ecosystem services. Although PES projects are popular conservation and development interventions, little is known about their adherence to basic ecological principles. We conducted a quantitative assessment of the degree to which a global set of PES projects adhered to four ecological principles that are basic scientific considerations for any project focused on ecosystem management: collection of baseline data, identification of threats to an ecosystem service, monitoring, and attention to ecosystem dynamics or the formation of an adaptive management plan. We evaluated 118 PES projects in three markets-biodiversity, carbon, and water-compiled using websites of major conservation organizations; ecology, economic, and climate-change databases; and three scholarly databases (ISI Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, and Google Scholar). To assess adherence to ecological principles, we constructed two scientific indices (one additive [ASI] and one multiplicative [MSI]) based on our four ecological criteria and analyzed index scores by relevant project characteristics (e.g., sector, buyer, seller). Carbon-sector projects had higher ASI values (P < 0.05) than water-sector projects and marginally higher ASI scores (P < 0.1) than biodiversity-sector projects, demonstrating their greater adherence to ecological principles. Projects financed by public-private partnerships had significantly higher ASI values than projects financed by governments (P < 0.05) and marginally higher ASI values than those funded by private entities (P < 0.1). We did not detect differences in adherence to ecological principles based on the inclusion of cobenefits, the spatial extent of a project, or the size of a project's budget. These findings suggest, at this critical phase in the rapid growth of PES projects, that fundamental ecological principles should be

  9. Validity of instruments to assess students' travel and pedestrian safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Jason A; Watson, Kathy; Baranowski, Tom; Nicklas, Theresa A; Uscanga, Doris K; Hanfling, Marcus J

    2010-05-18

    Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs are designed to make walking and bicycling to school safe and accessible for children. Despite their growing popularity, few validated measures exist for assessing important outcomes such as type of student transport or pedestrian safety behaviors. This research validated the SRTS school travel survey and a pedestrian safety behavior checklist. Fourth grade students completed a brief written survey on how they got to school that day with set responses. Test-retest reliability was obtained 3-4 hours apart. Convergent validity of the SRTS travel survey was assessed by comparison to parents' report. For the measure of pedestrian safety behavior, 10 research assistants observed 29 students at a school intersection for completion of 8 selected pedestrian safety behaviors. Reliability was determined in two ways: correlations between the research assistants' ratings to that of the Principal Investigator (PI) and intraclass correlations (ICC) across research assistant ratings. The SRTS travel survey had high test-retest reliability (kappa = 0.97, n = 96, p < 0.001) and convergent validity (kappa = 0.87, n = 81, p < 0.001). The pedestrian safety behavior checklist had moderate reliability across research assistants' ratings (ICC = 0.48) and moderate correlation with the PI (r = 0.55, p = < 0.01). When two raters simultaneously used the instrument, the ICC increased to 0.65. Overall percent agreement (91%), sensitivity (85%) and specificity (83%) were acceptable. These validated instruments can be used to assess SRTS programs. The pedestrian safety behavior checklist may benefit from further formative work.

  10. Ecotoxicological and analytical assessment of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and application to ecological risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saterbak, A.; Toy, R.J.; Wong, D.C.L.; McMain, B.J.; Williams, M.P.; Dorn, P.B.; Brzuzy, L.P.; Chai, E.Y.; Salanitro, J.P.

    1999-07-01

    Ecotoxicological assessments of contaminated soil aim to understand the effect of introduced chemicals on the soil flora and fauna. Ecotoxicity test methods were developed and conducted on hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and on adjacent uncontaminated control soils from eight field locations. Tests included 7-d, 14-d, and chronic survival tests and reproduction assays for the earthworm (Eisenia fetida) and seed germination, root length, and plant growth assays for corn, lettuce, mustard, and wheat. Species-specific responses were observed with no-observed effect concentrations (NOECs) ranging from <1 to 100% contaminated soil. The 14-d earthworm survival NOEC was equal to or greater than the reproduction NOEC values for numbers of cocoons and juveniles, which were similar to one another. Cocoon and juvenile production varied among the control soils. Germination and root length NOECs for mustard and lettuce were less than NOECs for corn and wheat. Root length NOECs were similar to or less than seed germination NOECs. Statistically significant correlations for earthworm survival and seed germination as a function of hydrocarbon measurements were found. The 14-d earthworm survival and the seed germination tests are recommended for use in the context of a risk-based framework for the ecological assessment of contaminated sites.

  11. Assessment of Corn Densities on Ecological Indices of Weed Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G Mahmoodi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Diversity, dominance, and stability of weeds are the most important ecological properties in agricultural systems, which influenced by management factors such as crop density, abundantly. This experiment was conducted in 2009 at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad Research Field. The experimental design was interval mapping with four levels of corn densities (5, 6, 7 and 9 plant.m-2 and four levels of weed control (full-control, without control, broad-leaves control and grasses control. Weed sampling was done at 3 stages included beginning and end of critical period weed control and harvesting time. The results showed that the effect of plant density on species diversity was significant; some how the amount of Shanon and Simpson Indices were lowest in the 9 plant.m-2 (0.39 and 0.45, respectively and greatest in 5 plant.m-2 (0.84. The results also showed that the maximum amount of dominance index was observed in 9 plant.m-2, that was seen in Echinochloa crus- galli and Convulvulus arvensis at the beginning of growing season, then in Solanum nigrum and Amaranthus retroflexus in the end of growing season. The amount of community dominance index in 9 plant.m-2 was higher than other densities, and it decreased with decline of densities. based on the results of present experiment the linear relationship between plant species and area was found. The calculated amount of Alpha and Beta diversities. in a θ and β scales based on coefficients of this relationship were 0.534 (four species per unit area and 0.29 (two species per unit area, respectively. In conclusion the result of this experiment pointed that the weeds diversity decreased with increasing of corn density, weed diversity decreased and therefore, having appropriate plant density is very efficient for sustainable weed management.

  12. Measuring Children's Environmental Attitudes and Values in Northwest Mexico: Validating a Modified Version of Measures to Test the Model of Ecological Values (2-MEV)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneller, A. J.; Johnson, B.; Bogner, F. X.

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes the validation process of measuring children's attitudes and values toward the environment within a Mexican sample. We applied the Model of Ecological Values (2-MEV), which has been shown to be valid and reliable in 20 countries, including one Spanish speaking culture. Items were initially modified to fit the regional dialect,…

  13. Coordinating ecological risk assessment with natural resource damage assessment: A panel discussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Brenda; Ammann, Mike; Hoff, Rebecca; Huston, Mark; Jenkins, Kenneth; Palagyi, Tony; Pelto, Karen; Rettig, Todd; Wagner, Anne

    2016-10-01

    Contaminated sites in the United States undergo remediation and restoration through regulatory programs that lead the 2 processes through independent but often parallel pathways with different objectives. The objective of remediation is to reduce risk to human health and the environment, whereas that of restoration is to restore injured resources and compensate the public for lost use of the services that natural resources provide. More complex sites, such as those associated with large river systems and urban waterways, have resulted in increasingly larger-scale ecological risk assessments (ERAs) and natural resource damage assessments (NRDAs) that take many years and involve diverse practitioners including scientists, economists, and engineers. Substantial levels of effort are now frequently required, creating a need for more efficient and cost-effective approaches to data collection, analyses, and assessments. Because there are commonalities in the data needs between ERAs and NRDAs, coordination of the design and implementation of site-specific studies that meet the needs of both programs could result in increased efficiency and lower costs. The Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation convened a panel of environmental practitioners from industry, consulting, and regulatory bodies to examine the benefits and challenges associated with coordinating ERA and NRDA activities in the context of a broad range of regulatory programs. This brief communication presents the opinions and conclusions of the panelists on these issues and reports 2 case studies for which coordinated ERA and NRDA activities produced a positive outcome. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:616-621. © 2015 SETAC. © 2015 SETAC.

  14. A National Disturbance Modeling System to Support Ecological Carbon Sequestration Assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawbaker, T. J.; Rollins, M. G.; Volegmann, J. E.; Shi, H.; Sohl, T. L.

    2009-12-01

    changes in biomass pools. Vegetation succession among LANDFIRE vegetation types is initiated using burn perimeter and severity data at the end of each annual simulation. Results from NDMS are used to update land-use/land-cover layers used by FORE-SCE and also transferred to GEMS for quantifying and updating carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes. In this presentation, we present: 1) an overview of NDMS and its role in USGS's national ecological carbon sequestration assessment; 2) validation of NDMS using historic data; and 3) initial forecasts of disturbances for the southeastern United States and their impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, and post-fire carbon stocks and fluxes.

  15. Introducing a Method for Social-ecological Assessment of Small Urban Parks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zanariah Jasman

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Small parks in cities are important to support overall urban biodiversity and ecological network. The aim of this paper is to introduce a method of identifying and assessing the ecological characteristics and anthropogenic factors of small urban parks. We developed a framework that combined structured observation and field measurement. The method suggests an integrative assessment that is practical and understandable to the park planners and managers to enhance small parks to support overall urban biodiversity and ecosystem services. High biodiversity can provide opportunities for humans to experience nature and wildlife in cities, thus contributing to the quality of life of urban dwellers.

  16. Novel two-tiered approach of ecological risk assessment for pesticide mixtures based on joint effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Dayong; Mao, Haichen; Lv, Huichao; Zheng, Yong; Peng, Conghu; Hou, Shaogang

    2018-02-01

    Ecological risk assessments for mixtures have attracted considerable attention. In this study, 38 pesticides in the real environment were taken as objects and their toxicities to different organisms from three trophic levels were employed to assess the ecological risk of the mixture. The first tier assessment was based on the CA effect and the obtained sum of risk quotients (SRQ species-CA ) were 3.06-9.22. The second tier assessment was based on non-CA effects and the calculated SRQ species-TU are 5.37-9.29 using joint effects (TU sum ) as modified coefficients, which is higher than SRQ species-CA and indicates that ignoring joint effects might run the risk of underestimating the actual impact of pesticide mixtures. Due to the influences of synergistic and antagonistic effects, risk contribution of components to mixture risks based on non-CA effects are different from those based on the CA effect. Moreover, it was found that the top 8 dominating components explained 95.5%-99.8% of mixture risks in this study. The dominating components are similar in the two tiers for a given species. Accordingly, a novel two-tiered approach was proposed to assess the ecological risks of mixtures based on joint effects. This study provides new insights for ecological risk assessments with the consideration of joint effects of components in the pesticide mixtures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Socio-ecological Fit of Human Responses to Environmental Degradation: An Integrated Assessment Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briassoulis, Helen

    2015-12-01

    The scientific and policy interest in the human responses to environmental degradation usually focuses on responses sensu stricto and 'best practices' that potentially abate degradation in affected areas. The transfer of individual, discrete instruments and 'best practices' to different contexts is challenging, however, because socio-ecological systems are complex and environmental degradation is contextual and contingent. To sensibly assess the effectiveness of formal and informal interventions to combat environmental degradation, the paper proposes an integrative, non-reductionist analytic, the 'response assemblage', for the study of 'responses-in-context,' i.e., products of human decisions to utilize environmental resources to satisfy human needs in socio-ecological systems. Response assemblages are defined as geographically and historically unique, provisional, open, territorial wholes, complex compositions emerging from processes of assembling biophysical and human components, including responses sensu stricto, from affected focal and other socio-ecological systems, to serve human goals, one of which may be combatting environmental degradation. The degree of match among the components, called the socio-ecological fit of the response assemblage, indicates how effectively their contextual and contingent interactions maintain the socio-ecological resilience, promote sustainable development, and secure the continuous provision of ecosystem services in a focal socio-ecological system. The paper presents a conceptual approach to the analysis of the socio-ecological fit of response assemblages and details an integrated assessment methodology synthesizing the resilience, assemblage, and 'problem of fit' literature. Lastly, it summarizes the novelty, value, and policy relevance of conceptualizing human responses as response assemblages and of the integrated assessment methodology, reconsiders 'best practices' and suggests selected future research directions.

  18. The Socio-ecological Fit of Human Responses to Environmental Degradation: An Integrated Assessment Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briassoulis, Helen

    2015-12-01

    The scientific and policy interest in the human responses to environmental degradation usually focuses on responses sensu stricto and `best practices' that potentially abate degradation in affected areas. The transfer of individual, discrete instruments and `best practices' to different contexts is challenging, however, because socio-ecological systems are complex and environmental degradation is contextual and contingent. To sensibly assess the effectiveness of formal and informal interventions to combat environmental degradation, the paper proposes an integrative, non-reductionist analytic, the `response assemblage', for the study of `responses-in-context,' i.e., products of human decisions to utilize environmental resources to satisfy human needs in socio-ecological systems. Response assemblages are defined as geographically and historically unique, provisional, open, territorial wholes, complex compositions emerging from processes of assembling biophysical and human components, including responses sensu stricto, from affected focal and other socio-ecological systems, to serve human goals, one of which may be combatting environmental degradation. The degree of match among the components, called the socio- ecological fit of the response assemblage, indicates how effectively their contextual and contingent interactions maintain the socio-ecological resilience, promote sustainable development, and secure the continuous provision of ecosystem services in a focal socio-ecological system. The paper presents a conceptual approach to the analysis of the socio-ecological fit of response assemblages and details an integrated assessment methodology synthesizing the resilience, assemblage, and `problem of fit' literature. Lastly, it summarizes the novelty, value, and policy relevance of conceptualizing human responses as response assemblages and of the integrated assessment methodology, reconsiders `best practices' and suggests selected future research directions.

  19. Content validation of an interprofessional learning video peer assessment tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisbet, Gillian; Jorm, Christine; Roberts, Chris; Gordon, Christopher J; Chen, Timothy F

    2017-12-16

    Large scale models of interprofessional learning (IPL) where outcomes are assessed are rare within health professional curricula. To date, there is sparse research describing robust assessment strategies to support such activities. We describe the development of an IPL assessment task based on peer rating of a student generated video evidencing collaborative interprofessional practice. We provide content validation evidence of an assessment rubric in the context of large scale IPL. Two established approaches to scale development in an educational setting were combined. A literature review was undertaken to develop a conceptual model of the relevant domains and issues pertaining to assessment of student generated videos within IPL. Starting with a prototype rubric developed from the literature, a series of staff and student workshops were undertaken to integrate expert opinion and user perspectives. Participants assessed five-minute videos produced in a prior pilot IPL activity. Outcomes from each workshop informed the next version of the rubric until agreement was reached on anchoring statements and criteria. At this point the rubric was declared fit to be used in the upcoming mandatory large scale IPL activity. The assessment rubric consisted of four domains: patient issues, interprofessional negotiation; interprofessional management plan in action; and effective use of video medium to engage audience. The first three domains reflected topic content relevant to the underlying construct of interprofessional collaborative practice. The fourth domain was consistent with the broader video assessment literature calling for greater emphasis on creativity in education. We have provided evidence for the content validity of a video-based peer assessment task portraying interprofessional collaborative practice in the context of large-scale IPL activities for healthcare professional students. Further research is needed to establish the reliability of such a scale.

  20. Ecological momentary assessment for chronic pain in fibromyalgia using a smartphone: A randomized crossover study

    OpenAIRE

    Garcia-Palacios, A.; Herrero, R.; Belmonte, M.A.; Castilla, D.; Guixeres Provinciale, Jaime; Molinari, G.; Baños, R.M.; Botella, C.

    2014-01-01

    Background Daily diaries are a useful way of measuring fluctuations in pain-related symptoms. However, traditional diaries do not assure the gathering of data in real time, not solving the problem of retrospective assessment. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) by means of electronic diaries helps to improve repeated assessment. However, it is important to test its feasibility in specific populations in order to reach a wider number of people who could benefit from these procedures. ...

  1. Developing and validating a psychometric scale for image quality assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mraity, H.; England, A.; Hogg, P.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Using AP pelvis as a catalyst, this paper explains how a psychometric scale for image quality assessment can be created using Bandura's theory for self-efficacy. Background: Establishing an accurate diagnosis is highly dependent upon the quality of the radiographic image. Image quality, as a construct (i.e. set of attributes that makes up the image quality), continues to play an essential role in the field of diagnostic radiography. The process of assessing image quality can be facilitated by using criteria, such as the European Commission (EC) guidelines for quality criteria as published in 1996. However, with the advent of new technology (Computed Radiography and Digital Radiography), some of the EC criteria may no longer be suitable for assessing the visual quality of a digital radiographic image. Moreover, a lack of validated visual image quality scales in the literature can also lead to significant variations in image quality evaluation. Creating and validating visual image quality scales, using a robust methodology, could reduce variability and improve the validity and reliability of perceptual image quality evaluations

  2. Predicting the ungauged basin: Model validation and realism assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim evan Emmerik

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The hydrological decade on Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB led to many new insights in model development, calibration strategies, data acquisition and uncertainty analysis. Due to a limited amount of published studies on genuinely ungauged basins, model validation and realism assessment of model outcome has not been discussed to a great extent. With this paper we aim to contribute to the discussion on how one can determine the value and validity of a hydrological model developed for an ungauged basin. As in many cases no local, or even regional, data are available, alternative methods should be applied. Using a PUB case study in a genuinely ungauged basin in southern Cambodia, we give several examples of how one can use different types of soft data to improve model design, calibrate and validate the model, and assess the realism of the model output. A rainfall-runoff model was coupled to an irrigation reservoir, allowing the use of additional and unconventional data. The model was mainly forced with remote sensing data, and local knowledge was used to constrain the parameters. Model realism assessment was done using data from surveys. This resulted in a successful reconstruction of the reservoir dynamics, and revealed the different hydrological characteristics of the two topographical classes. This paper does not present a generic approach that can be transferred to other ungauged catchments, but it aims to show how clever model design and alternative data acquisition can result in a valuable hydrological model for an ungauged catchment.

  3. Assessing validity of observational intervention studies - the Benchmarking Controlled Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmivaara, Antti

    2016-09-01

    Benchmarking Controlled Trial (BCT) is a concept which covers all observational studies aiming to assess impact of interventions or health care system features to patients and populations. To create and pilot test a checklist for appraising methodological validity of a BCT. The checklist was created by extracting the most essential elements from the comprehensive set of criteria in the previous paper on BCTs. Also checklists and scientific papers on observational studies and respective systematic reviews were utilized. Ten BCTs published in the Lancet and in the New England Journal of Medicine were used to assess feasibility of the created checklist. The appraised studies seem to have several methodological limitations, some of which could be avoided in planning, conducting and reporting phases of the studies. The checklist can be used for planning, conducting, reporting, reviewing, and critical reading of observational intervention studies. However, the piloted checklist should be validated in further studies. Key messages Benchmarking Controlled Trial (BCT) is a concept which covers all observational studies aiming to assess impact of interventions or health care system features to patients and populations. This paper presents a checklist for appraising methodological validity of BCTs and pilot-tests the checklist with ten BCTs published in leading medical journals. The appraised studies seem to have several methodological limitations, some of which could be avoided in planning, conducting and reporting phases of the studies. The checklist can be used for planning, conducting, reporting, reviewing, and critical reading of observational intervention studies.

  4. Validity of Dietary Assessment in Athletes: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Capling

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Dietary assessment methods that are recognized as appropriate for the general population are usually applied in a similar manner to athletes, despite the knowledge that sport-specific factors can complicate assessment and impact accuracy in unique ways. As dietary assessment methods are used extensively within the field of sports nutrition, there is concern the validity of methodologies have not undergone more rigorous evaluation in this unique population sub-group. The purpose of this systematic review was to compare two or more methods of dietary assessment, including dietary intake measured against biomarkers or reference measures of energy expenditure, in athletes. Six electronic databases were searched for English-language, full-text articles published from January 1980 until June 2016. The search strategy combined the following keywords: diet, nutrition assessment, athlete, and validity; where the following outcomes are reported but not limited to: energy intake, macro and/or micronutrient intake, food intake, nutritional adequacy, diet quality, or nutritional status. Meta-analysis was performed on studies with sufficient methodological similarity, with between-group standardized mean differences (or effect size and 95% confidence intervals (CI being calculated. Of the 1624 studies identified, 18 were eligible for inclusion. Studies comparing self-reported energy intake (EI to energy expenditure assessed via doubly labelled water were grouped for comparison (n = 11 and demonstrated mean EI was under-estimated by 19% (−2793 ± 1134 kJ/day. Meta-analysis revealed a large pooled effect size of −1.006 (95% CI: −1.3 to −0.7; p < 0.001. The remaining studies (n = 7 compared a new dietary tool or instrument to a reference method(s (e.g., food record, 24-h dietary recall, biomarker as part of a validation study. This systematic review revealed there are limited robust studies evaluating dietary assessment methods in athletes. Existing

  5. Ecological and financial assessment of late-successional reserve management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan Stevens Hummel; R. James Barbour; Paul F. Hessburg; John F. Lehmkuhl

    2001-01-01

    This paper documents methods for assessing the potential effects of variable-intensity management in late-successional reserves (LSRs) and provides an example (the Gotchen LSR) from the Cascade Range in eastern Washington. The Gotchen LSR study investigates changes in forest vegetation associated with silvicultural treatments, and how different treatment combinations...

  6. Modeling and Validation of the Ecological Behavior of Wild-Type Listeria monocytogenes and Stress-Resistant Variants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metselaar, Karin I; Abee, Tjakko; Zwietering, Marcel H; den Besten, Heidy M W

    2016-09-01

    Listeria monocytogenes exhibits a heterogeneous response upon stress exposure which can be partially attributed to the presence of stable stress-resistant variants. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the presence of stress-resistant variants of Listeria monocytogenes and their corresponding trade-offs on population composition under different environmental conditions. A set of stress robustness and growth parameters of the wild type (WT) and an rpsU deletion variant was obtained and used to model their growth behavior under combined mild stress conditions and to model their kinetics under single- and mixed-strain conditions in a simulated food chain. Growth predictions for the WT and the rpsU deletion variant matched the experimental data generally well, although some deviations from the predictions were observed. The data highlighted the influence of the environmental conditions on the ratio between the WT and variant. Prediction of performance in the simulated food chain proved to be challenging. The trend of faster growth and lower stress robustness for the WT than for the rpsU variant in the different steps of the chain was confirmed, but especially for the inactivation steps and the time needed to resume growth after an inactivation step, the experimental data deviated from the model predictions. This report provides insights into the conditions which can select for stress-resistant variants in industrial settings and discusses their potential persistence in food processing environments. Listeria monocytogenes exhibits a heterogeneous stress response which can partially be attributed to the presence of genetic variants. These stress-resistant variants survive better under severe conditions but have, on the other hand, a reduced growth rate. To date, the ecological behavior and potential impact of the presence of stress-resistant variants is not fully understood. In this study, we quantitatively assessed growth and inactivation behavior of wild-type L

  7. An assessment of long term ecosystem research activities across European socio-ecological gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, M J; Bunce, R G H; van Eupen, M; Mirtl, M

    2010-06-01

    Integration of European long term ecosystem research (LTER) would provide important support for the management of the pan-European environment and ecosystems, as well as international policy commitments. This does require appropriate coverage of Europe and standardised frameworks and research methods between countries. Emerging interest in socio-ecological systems prompted the present assessment of the distribution of LTER activities across European socio-ecological gradients. This paper presents a European stratification with a 1 km(2) resolution, delineating 48 broad socio-ecological regions. The dataset is based on an existing biogeophysical stratification constructed using multivariate clustering of mainly climatic variables and a newly developed socio-economic stratification based on an economic density indicator. The coverage of European LTER facilities across the socio-ecological gradients is tested using this dataset. The analysis shows two strong biases in the present LTER effort. Firstly, urban and disturbed regions are consistently under-represented, illustrating a bias for traditional ecological research away from human activity. Secondly, the Mediterranean, for which some of the most extreme global change impacts are projected, is receiving comparatively little attention. Both findings can help guide future investment in the European LTER network - and especially in a Long Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) component- to provide a more balanced coverage. This will provide better scientific understanding of pan-European environmental concerns and support the management of natural resources and international policy commitments in the European Union. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Ecological risk assessment of cheese whey effluents along a medium-sized river in southwest Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karadima, Constantina; Theodoropoulos, Chris; Rouvalis, Angela; Iliopoulou-Georgudaki, Joan

    2010-01-01

    An ecological risk assessment of cheese whey effluents was applied in three critical sampling sites located in Vouraikos river (southwest Greece), while ecological classification using Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EU criteria allowed a direct comparison of toxicological and ecological data. Two invertebrates (Daphnia magna and Thamnocephalus platyurus) and the zebra fish Danio rerio were used for toxicological analyses, while the aquatic risk was calculated on the basis of the risk quotient (RQ = PEC/PNEC). Chemical classification of sites was carried out using the Nutrient Classification System, while benthic invertebrates were collected and analyzed for biological classification. Toxicological results revealed the heavy pollution load of the two sites, nearest to the point pollution source, as the PEC/PNEC ratio exceeded 1.0, while unexpectedly, no risk was detected for the most downstream site, due to the consequent interference of the riparian flora. These toxicological results were in agreement with the ecological analysis: the ecological quality of the two heavily impacted sites ranged from moderate to bad, whereas it was found good for the most downstream site. The results of the study indicate major ecological risk for almost 15 km downstream of the point pollution source and the potentiality of the water quality remediation by the riparian vegetation, proving the significance of its maintenance.

  9. Ecological Equivalence Assessment Methods: What Trade-Offs between Operationality, Scientific Basis and Comprehensiveness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezombes, Lucie; Gaucherand, Stéphanie; Kerbiriou, Christian; Reinert, Marie-Eve; Spiegelberger, Thomas

    2017-08-01

    In many countries, biodiversity compensation is required to counterbalance negative impacts of development projects on biodiversity by carrying out ecological measures, called offset when the goal is to reach "no net loss" of biodiversity. One main issue is to ensure that offset gains are equivalent to impact-related losses. Ecological equivalence is assessed with ecological equivalence assessment methods taking into account a range of key considerations that we summarized as ecological, spatial, temporal, and uncertainty. When equivalence assessment methods take into account all considerations, we call them "comprehensive". Equivalence assessment methods should also aim to be science-based and operational, which is challenging. Many equivalence assessment methods have been developed worldwide but none is fully satisfying. In the present study, we examine 13 equivalence assessment methods in order to identify (i) their general structure and (ii) the synergies and trade-offs between equivalence assessment methods characteristics related to operationality, scientific-basis and comprehensiveness (called "challenges" in his paper). We evaluate each equivalence assessment methods on the basis of 12 criteria describing the level of achievement of each challenge. We observe that all equivalence assessment methods share a general structure, with possible improvements in the choice of target biodiversity, the indicators used, the integration of landscape context and the multipliers reflecting time lags and uncertainties. We show that no equivalence assessment methods combines all challenges perfectly. There are trade-offs between and within the challenges: operationality tends to be favored while scientific basis are integrated heterogeneously in equivalence assessment methods development. One way of improving the challenges combination would be the use of offset dedicated data-bases providing scientific feedbacks on previous offset measures.

  10. Watermill and Small-Scale Hydroelectric Power Plant Landscapes Assessed According to Ecological Aspects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilita Lazdāne

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Research of watermill and small-scale hydroelectric power plant (HPP landscapes in Latvia according to ecological aspects is a part of a more complex research. The aim of this research is to examine the existing situation of watermill and small-scale HPP landscapes in Latvia by applying the ecological assessment criteria, and then try to formulate a definition of common tendencies of the landscape character. This paper provides a landscape inventory matrix for research in the field stu­dies of landscape identification at the local planning level. The duration of the research was from 2010 to 2012. The research includes 42 territories starting with the three most densely developed areas in Latvia: in Latgale, Kurzeme and Vidzeme uplands distribution ranges. The research results reflect tendencies of the landscape features assessed according to the previously developed criteria of ecological aspects.

  11. Assessment of mutual influence of economic and ecological processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Vasil’evich Druzhinin

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The article considers two issues: the assessment of the influence of economic development on the environment and the assessment of the impact of climate change on the development of certain economic sectors. The authors used methods of statistical analysis and economic-mathematical modeling. The article reveals differences in the dynamics and defines the nature of the relationship between GRP per capita and emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere (including greenhouse gases for Russia’s regions. It is shown that the dynamics in some regions in 2000–2011 corresponds to the environmental Kuznets curve. The factors that affect the reduction of anthropogenic impact were determined. Several models for estimating the impact of changes in climatic conditions on the productivity of various crops were designed and tested

  12. A Social-Ecological Resilience Assessment and Governance Guide for Urbanization Processes in East China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Zhang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This article presents a social-ecological resilience assessment and attempts to explicitly examine the impacts of urbanization on resilience, with a view to explore how to strengthen social-ecological governance of the resilience of urban ecosystems. We use a combined Grey-Fuzzy evaluation model to discuss a case study of the Su-Xi-Chang city cluster, a metropolitan area in East China, in which total social-ecological resilience scores generally exhibited an upward trend, from 0.548 in 2001 to 0.760 in 2013. In the same period, resilience increased in relation to deterioration of environmental quality, pollution discharge, and landscape and ecological governance change, but decreased in relation to social-economic development. Besides, different contributions of indicators to their related resilience values reveal the heterogeneity of the resilience in terms of various disturbances. In addition, several scenarios are posited in an attempt to detect the relationship between social-ecological resilience and urbanization with the goal of improving urban governance. The results suggested that rapid urbanization under rigid and vertically organized forms of governance would cause the social-ecological system to lose resilience, or even to bring it near collapse. When the growth rate of urban land expansion reaches 16%, disturbances caused by urbanization would push the social-ecological system over a particular threshold, where the way it functions changes. However, it is found that adaptive and collaborative governance, incorporating increases in both public participation and the efficiency of environment administration, would strengthen social-ecological governance of resilience to provide the urban system with a wide operating space, and even with accelerated urbanization ratios.

  13. [Assessment on the changing conditions of ecosystems in key ecological function zones in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Wu, Dan; Gong, Guo-li; Zhao, Guo-song

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of ecosystem macrostructure, qualities and core services during 2000 and 2010 were analyzed for the key ecological function zones of China, which were classified into four types of water conservation, soil conservation, wind prevention and sand fixation, and biodiversity maintenance. In the water conservation ecological function zones, the areas of forest and grassland ecosystems were decreased whereas water bodies and wetland were increased in the past 11 years, and the water conservation volume of forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems increased by 2.9%. This region needs to reverse the decreasing trends of forest and grassland ecosystems. In the soil conservation ecological function zones, the area of farmland ecosystem was decreased, and the areas of forest, grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were increased. The total amount of the soil erosion was reduced by 28.2%, however, the soil conservation amount of ecosystems increased by 38.1%. In the wind prevention and sand fixation ecological function zones, the areas of grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were decreased, but forest and farmland ecosystems were increased. The unit amount of the soil. wind erosion was reduced and the sand fixation amount of ecosystems increased lightly. In this kind of region that is located in arid and semiarid areas, ecological conservation needs to reduce farmland area and give priority to the protection of the original ecological system. In the biodiversity maintenance ecological function zones, the areas of grassland and desert ecosystems were decreased and other types were increased. The human disturbances showed a weakly upward trend and needs to be reduced. The key ecological function zones should be aimed at the core services and the protecting objects, to assess quantitatively on the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation and improvement.

  14. Emergy assessment of ecological compensation of groundwater overexploitation in Xuchang city

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, C.; Ling, M.; Cao, Q.; Guo, X.

    2017-12-01

    In recent 30 years, the amount of groundwater extraction in China is increasing at a rate of 2.5 billion m3 per year. And the growing amount led to form a predatory exploitation in many parts, and caused serious exploitation problems, such as land subsidence, sea water intrusion, surface runoff reduction, vegetation decline, groundwater pollution, and so on. Ecological compensation of overexploitation has become an important mean to adjust the environmental benefits distribution relationship related to the groundwater system and to alleviate the problem of groundwater overexploitation. Based on the ecological economics emergy value theory and analysis method, the emergy loss value calculation method of eco-environmental problems caused by groundwater overexploitation, such as environmental land subsidence (collapse), salt (sea) water intrusion, surface runoff reduction, vegetation deterioration and groundwater pollution, is established, and the assessment method, which takes emergy loss value as the quantity of ecological compensation of groundwater overexploitation, is put forward. This method can reflect the disaster loss degree of groundwater overexploitation more intuitively, and it helps to improve, manage and restore a series of problems caused by groundwater overexploitation, construct a scientific and reasonable groundwater ecological compensation mechanism, and provide good ecological security for the sustainable and healthy development of national economy in our country. Taking Xuchang city as an application example, the results showed that the ecological economic loss of groundwater overexploitation was 109 million in 2015, accounting for 0.3% of the total GDP. Among them, the ecological economic loss of land subsidence is the largest, which was 77 million, accounting for 70.3% of the total loss, the second one is surface runoff reducing loss, which was 27 million, accounting for 24.7% of the total loss, and underground water pollution loss is the

  15. Daily functioning profile of children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder: A pilot study using an ecological assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, Sara; Frisch, Carmit; Deutsh-Castel, Tsofia; Josman, Naomi

    2015-01-01

    Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often present with activities of daily living (ADL) performance deficits. This study aimed to compare the performance characteristics of children with ADHD to those of controls based on the Do-Eat assessment tool, and to establish the tool's validity. Participants were 23 children with ADHD and 24 matched controls, aged 6-9 years. In addition to the Do-Eat, the Children Activity Scale-Parent (ChAS-P) and the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) were used to measure sensorimotor abilities and executive function (EF). Significant differences were found in the Do-Eat scores between children with ADHD and controls. Significant moderate correlations were found between the Do-Eat sensorimotor scores, the ChAS-P and the BRIEF scores in the ADHD group. Significant correlations were found between performance on the Do-Eat and the ChAS-P questionnaire scores, verifying the tool's ecological validity. A single discriminant function described primarily by four Do-Eat variables, correctly classified 95.5% of the study participants into their respective study groups, establishing the tool's predictive validity within this population. These preliminary findings indicate that the Do-Eat may serve as a reliable and valid tool that provides insight into the daily functioning characteristics of children with ADHD. However, further research on larger samples is indicated.

  16. [Uncertainty analysis of ecological risk assessment caused by heavy-metals deposition from MSWI emission].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Zhi-Heng; Sun, Jia-Ren; Wu, Dui; Fan, Shao-Jia; Ren, Ming-Zhong; Lü, Jia-Yang

    2014-06-01

    The CALPUFF model was applied to simulate the ground-level atmospheric concentrations of Pb and Cd from municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) plants, and the soil concentration model was used to estimate soil concentration increments after atmospheric deposition based on Monte Carlo simulation, then ecological risk assessment was conducted by the potential ecological risk index method. The results showed that the largest atmospheric concentrations of Pb and Cd were 5.59 x 109-3) microg x m(-3) and 5.57 x 10(-4) microg x m(-3), respectively, while the maxima of soil concentration incremental medium of Pb and Cd were 2.26 mg x kg(-1) and 0.21 mg x kg(-1), respectively; High risk areas were located next to the incinerators, Cd contributed the most to the ecological risk, and Pb was basically free of pollution risk; Higher ecological hazard level was predicted at the most polluted point in urban areas with a 55.30% probability, while in rural areas, the most polluted point was assessed to moderate ecological hazard level with a 72.92% probability. In addition, sensitivity analysis of calculation parameters in the soil concentration model was conducted, which showed the simulated results of urban and rural area were most sensitive to soil mix depth and dry deposition rate, respectively.

  17. Validating Imaginary Worlds? The AdViSHE Assessment Tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Langley

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The publication in April 2016 of the Assessment of the Validation Status of Health-Economic Decision Models (AdViSHE checklist for decision models raises a number of issues that the health technology assessment literature has yet to address. The principal issue being the role of decision models in generating claims that are evaluable and replicable. Unfortunately, this is not addressed in this new checklist which is intended to address the perceived need for a tradeoff between confidence in a decision model and the need to allocate resources by developers and payers to validating the model. Irrespective of the degree of confidence a developer or payers may have in the sufficiency of the model in representing ‘reality’ unless the model has generated evaluable claims and evidence for those claims in target treating populations, the model fails the standards of normal science. Apart from the absence of a commitment in the AdViSHE checklist to the modeling of claims that are evaluable and replicable, the validation check list makes no allowance for a product pricing strategy that may commits a manufacturer to regular and substantial annual or semi-annual product price increases. Indeed, product pricing assumptions are conspicuous by their absence. The commentary argues that failure to accommodate anticipated pricing behavior renders lifetime cost-per-QALY models and the application of willingness-to-pay thresholds meaningless.   Type: Commentary

  18. Investigating the construct validity of a development assessment centre

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia M. Brits

    2013-11-01

    Research purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the construct validity of a one-day development assessment centre (DAC using a convenience sample of 202 managers in a large South African banking institution. Motivation for the study: Although the AC method is popular, it has been widely criticised as to whether it predominantly measures the dimensions it is designed to measure. Research design, approach and method: The fit of the measurement models implied by the dimensions measured was analysed in a quantitative study using an ex post facto correlation design and structural equation modelling. Main findings: Bi-factor confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess the relative contribution of higher-order exercise and dimension effects. Empirical under-identification stemming from the small number of exercises designed to reflect designated latent dimensions restricted the number of DAC dimensions that could be evaluated. Ultimately, only one global dimension had enough measurement points and was analysed. The results suggested that dimension effects explained the majority of variance in the post-exercise dimension ratings. Practical/managerial implications: Candidates’ proficiency on each dimension was used as the basis for development reports. The validity of inferences holds important implications for candidates’ career development and growth. Contribution/value-add: The authors found only one study on construct validity of AC dimensions in the South African context. The present study is the first use the bi-factor approach. This study will consequently contribute to the scarce AC literature in South Africa.

  19. An Extended Validity Argument for Assessing Feedback Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougas, Steven; Clyne, Brian; Cianciolo, Anna T; Chan, Teresa M; Sherbino, Jonathan; Yarris, Lalena M

    2015-01-01

    NEGEA 2015 CONFERENCE ABSTRACT (EDITED): Measuring an Organization's Culture of Feedback: Can It Be Done? Steven Rougas and Brian Clyne. CONSTRUCT: This study sought to develop a construct for measuring formative feedback culture in an academic emergency medicine department. Four archetypes (Market, Adhocracy, Clan, Hierarchy) reflecting an organization's values with respect to focus (internal vs. external) and process (flexibility vs. stability and control) were used to characterize one department's receptiveness to formative feedback. The prevalence of residents' identification with certain archetypes served as an indicator of the department's organizational feedback culture. New regulations have forced academic institutions to implement wide-ranging changes to accommodate competency-based milestones and their assessment. These changes challenge residencies that use formative feedback from faculty as a major source of data for determining training advancement. Though various approaches have been taken to improve formative feedback to residents, there currently exists no tool to objectively measure the organizational culture that surrounds this process. Assessing organizational culture, commonly used in the business sector to represent organizational health, may help residency directors gauge their program's success in fostering formative feedback. The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) is widely used, extensively validated, applicable to survey research, and theoretically based and may be modifiable to assess formative feedback culture in the emergency department. Using a modified Delphi technique and several iterations of focus groups amongst educators at one institution, four of the original six OCAI domains (which each contain 4 possible responses) were modified to create a 16-item Formative Feedback Culture Tool (FFCT) that was administered to 26 residents (response rate = 55%) at a single academic emergency medicine department. The mean

  20. Life cycle assessment-driven selection of industrial ecology strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardente, Fulvio; Cellura, Maurizio; Lo Brano, Valerio; Mistretta, Marina

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents an application of the Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) to the planning and environmental management of an “eco-industrial cluster.” A feasibility study of industrial symbiosis in southern Italy is carried out, where interlinked companies share subproducts and scraps, services, structures, and plants to reduce the related environmental impact. In particular, the research focuses on new recycling solutions to create open recycling loops in which plastic subproducts and scraps are transferred to external production systems. The main environmental benefits are the reduction of resource depletion, air emissions, and landfilled wastes. The proposed strategies are also economically viable and they suggest cost abatement for the involved companies. This research shows the need for a multidisciplinary approach to data processing and to complexity managing of the investigated systems. In this context, life-cycle thinking is required to be promoted throughout the economy, as well to be as a part of all decisions on products and other criteria such as functionality, health, and safety. The Life-Cycle Assessment approach can be assumed as a methodology for influencing decision makers to make sustainable choices.

  1. Estimating the Reliability of Aggregated and Within-Person Centered Scores in Ecological Momentary Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Po-Hsien; Weng, Li-Jen

    2012-01-01

    A procedure for estimating the reliability of test scores in the context of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) was proposed to take into account the characteristics of EMA measures. Two commonly used test scores in EMA were considered: the aggregated score (AGGS) and the within-person centered score (WPCS). Conceptually, AGGS and WPCS represent…

  2. A Bayesian approach to landscape ecological risk assessment applied to the upper Grande Ronde watershed, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimberley K. Ayre; Wayne G. Landis

    2012-01-01

    We present a Bayesian network model based on the ecological risk assessment framework to evaluate potential impacts to habitats and resources resulting from wildfire, grazing, forest management activities, and insect outbreaks in a forested landscape in northeastern Oregon. The Bayesian network structure consisted of three tiers of nodes: landscape disturbances,...

  3. A Framework for Linking Population Model Development with Ecological Risk Assessment Objectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The value of models that link organism‐level impacts to the responses of a population in ecological risk assessments (ERAs) has been demonstrated extensively over the past few decades. There is little debate about the utility of these models to translate multiple organism&#...

  4. A Comparison of Affect Ratings Obtained with Ecological Momentary Assessment and the Day Reconstruction Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dockray, Samantha; Grant, Nina; Stone, Arthur A.; Kahneman, Daniel; Wardle, Jane; Steptoe, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Measurement of affective states in everyday life is of fundamental importance in many types of quality of life, health, and psychological research. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is the recognized method of choice, but the respondent burden can be high. The day reconstruction method (DRM) was developed by Kahneman and colleagues ("Science,"…

  5. Experience sampling and ecological momentary assessment studies in psychopharmacology : A systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, Fionneke M.; Schoevers, Robert A.; Rot, Marije Aan Het

    2015-01-01

    Experience sampling methods (ESM) and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) offer insight into daily life experiences, including symptoms of mental disorders. The application of ESM/EMA in psychopharmacology can be a valuable addition to more traditional measures such as retrospective self-report

  6. Restoration in its natural context : how ecological momentary assessment can advance restoration research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beute, F.; de Kort, Y.A.W.; IJsselsteijn, W.A.

    2016-01-01

    More and more people use self-tracking technologies to track their psychological states, physiology, and behaviors to gain a better understanding of themselves or to achieve a certain goal. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) also offers an excellent opportunity for restorative environments

  7. Spatially based methods to assess the ecological status of riverine fish assemblages in European ecoregions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmutz, S.; Beier, U.; Bohmer, J.; Leeuw, de J.J.

    2007-01-01

    The objective was to develop spatially based (type-specific) methods to assess the ecological status of European rivers according to the EU Water Framework Directive. Some 15 000 samples from about 8000 sites were pre-classified within a five-tiered classification system based on hydromorphological

  8. Current and historical forest conditions and disturbance regimes in the Hoosier-Shawnee ecological assessment area

    Science.gov (United States)

    George R. Parker; Charles M. Ruffner

    2004-01-01

    We review the historical and current status of forests in the Hoosier-Shawnee Ecological Assessment Area. Native American people influenced the vegetation through fire and agricultural clearing across the region until the early 1800s when European settlers arrived. Clearing of the land for agriculture peaked in the early 1900s after which badly eroded land was...

  9. EMDS users guide (version 2.0): knowledge-based decision support for ecological assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith M. Reynolds

    1999-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis, Oregon, has developed the ecosystem management decision support (EMDS) system. The system integrates the logical formalism of knowledge-based reasoning into a geographic information system (GIS) environment to provide decision support for ecological landscape assessment and evaluation. The...

  10. Quantitative Adverse Outcome Pathways and their Utility to Ecological Risk Assessments of Endangered Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological risk assessments of endangered species are often hampered by a lack of knowledge about the sensitivity of endangered species to chemicals of concern. However, traditional in vivo toxicity testing of endangered species is often not possible for practical and ethical rea...

  11. Disparity in Physical Activity among Urban Youth: An Ecologically Guided Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenhart, Clare M.; Patterson, Freda; Brown, Michael D.; O'Brien, Matthew J.; Nelson, Deborah B.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Insufficient physical activity among urban youth increases risk of chronic disease.Purpose:This study assessed reported physical activity to determine when disparities in participation emerge and what ecologically guided factors are linked with high activity. Methods:We administered a cross-sectional survey to a diverse sample of 321…

  12. THE INTERSECTION OF INDEPENDENT LIES: INCREASING REALISM IN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 1966, Levins presented a philosophical discussion on making inference about populations using clusters of models. In this article we provide an overview of model inference in ecological risk assessment, discuss the benefits and trade-offs of increasing model realism, show the...

  13. Validation of the Australian Midwifery Standards Assessment Tool (AMSAT): A tool to assess midwifery competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweet, Linda; Bazargan, Maryam; McKellar, Lois; Gray, Joanne; Henderson, Amanda

    2018-02-01

    There is no current validated clinical assessment tool to measure the attainment of midwifery student competence in the midwifery practice setting. The lack of a valid assessment tool has led to a proliferation of tools and inconsistency in assessment of, and feedback on student learning. This research aimed to develop and validate a tool to assess competence of midwifery students in practice-based settings. A mixed-methods approach was used and the study implemented in two phases. Phase one involved the development of the AMSAT tool with qualitative feedback from midwifery academics, midwife assessors of students, and midwifery students. In phase two the newly developed AMSAT tool was piloted across a range of midwifery practice settings and ANOVA was used to compare scores across year levels, with feedback being obtained from assessors. Analysis of 150 AMSAT forms indicate the AMSAT as: reliable (Cronbach alpha greater than 0.9); valid-data extraction loaded predominantly onto one factor; and sensitivity scores indicating level of proficiency increased across the three years. Feedback evaluation forms (n=83) suggest acceptance of this tool for the purpose of both assessing and providing feedback on midwifery student's practice performance and competence. The AMSAT is a valid, reliable and acceptable midwifery assessment tool enables consistent assessment of midwifery student competence. This assists benchmarking across midwifery education programs. Copyright © 2017 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Visual Impairment Screening Assessment (VISA) tool: pilot validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Fiona J; Hepworth, Lauren R; Hanna, Kerry L; Howard, Claire

    2018-03-06

    To report and evaluate a new Vision Impairment Screening Assessment (VISA) tool intended for use by the stroke team to improve identification of visual impairment in stroke survivors. Prospective case cohort comparative study. Stroke units at two secondary care hospitals and one tertiary centre. 116 stroke survivors were screened, 62 by naïve and 54 by non-naïve screeners. Both the VISA screening tool and the comprehensive specialist vision assessment measured case history, visual acuity, eye alignment, eye movements, visual field and visual inattention. Full completion of VISA tool and specialist vision assessment was achieved for 89 stroke survivors. Missing data for one or more sections typically related to patient's inability to complete the assessment. Sensitivity and specificity of the VISA screening tool were 90.24% and 85.29%, respectively; the positive and negative predictive values were 93.67% and 78.36%, respectively. Overall agreement was significant; k=0.736. Lowest agreement was found for screening of eye movement and visual inattention deficits. This early validation of the VISA screening tool shows promise in improving detection accuracy for clinicians involved in stroke care who are not specialists in vision problems and lack formal eye training, with potential to lead to more prompt referral with fewer false positives and negatives. Pilot validation indicates acceptability of the VISA tool for screening of visual impairment in stroke survivors. Sensitivity and specificity were high indicating the potential accuracy of the VISA tool for screening purposes. Results of this study have guided the revision of the VISA screening tool ahead of full clinical validation. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  15. The Validity of the School Assessment in the Craft Subject

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antti Hilmola

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In this research project, the validity of the school assessment is examined in the craft subject in Finland’s basic education. The criteria for the school assessment are based on the Finnish Na-tional Core Curriculum (FNCC in which the idea of the Entire Craft (EC is highlighted. How-ever, the discussion as to whether or not the school practice is based on the idea of EC, or whether the teachers are still focused on the technical details of products in reflecting on the pupils’ tool-handling skills, is still an ongoing debate. Learner-centred learning is implicated in EC since the pupils are expected to set goals for the implementation of their own ideating, plan-ning and constructing. And, finally, in such a process, the self-reflection of the implemented out-comes against the goals will take place.  Altogether 73 craft teachers from 59 upper level schools participated in this research project. The pupils’ (N = 982 success was assessed during an EC period using the indicator validated by the previous nation-wide evaluation by the Finn-ish National Board of Education (FNBE. Since the valid school assessment was expected to reflect the success in the Entire Craft Assessment Period (ECAP, the outcomes were assessed against the criteria of the FNCC and compared to the pupils’ school scores. The data was ana-lysed using the Linear Regression Analysis (Enter Method. The central observation was that the pupils’ success in the criteria of the EC do not reflect the 7th grade school scores, in all re-spects. Moreover, the pupils’ success does not reflect the 6th grade school scores. The instruc-tions and supplementary education of the FNCC criteria are needed for craft teachers, especial-ly for class teachers at the lower level. In Finland, also the craft subject is taught by the class teachers at the lower level while, at the upper level, the subject teachers take their place. Ac-cording to the new FNCC, the number of class lessons will be

  16. Ecological and human exposure assessment to PBDEs in Adige River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giulivo, Monica; Suciu, Nicoleta Alina; Eljarrat, Ethel; Gatti, Marina; Capri, Ettore; Barcelo, Damia

    2018-07-01

    The interest for environmental issues and the concern resulting from the potential exposure to contaminants were the starting point to develop methodologies in order to evaluate the consequences that those might have over both the environment and human health. Considering the feature of POPs, including PBDEs, such as bioaccumulation, biomagnification, long-range transport and adverse effects even long time after exposure, risk assessment of POPs requires specific approaches and tools. In this particular context, the MERLIN-Expo tool was used to assess the aquatic environmental exposure of Adige River to PBDEs and the accumulation of PBDEs in humans through the consumption of possible contaminated local aquatic food. The aquatic food web models provided as output of the deterministic simulation the time trend of concentrations for twenty years of BDE-47 and total PBDEs, expressed using the physico-chemical properties of BDE-47, in aquatic organisms of the food web of Adige River. For BDE-47, the highest accumulated concentrations were detected for two benthic species: Thymallus thymallus and Squalius cephalus whereas the lowest concentrations were obtained for the pelagic specie Salmo trutta marmoratus. The trend obtained for the total PBDEs, calculated using the physico-chemical properties of BDE-47, follows the one of BDE-47. For human exposure, different BDE-47 and total PBDEs concentration trends between children, adolescent, adults and elderly were observed, probably correlated with the human intake of fish products in the daily diet and the ability to metabolize these contaminants. In detail, for the adolescents, adults and elderly a continuous accumulation of the target contaminants during the simulation's years was observed, whereas for children a plateau at the end of the simulation period was perceived. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Ecological risk assessment for the terrestrial ecosystem under chronic radioactive pollution - Ecological risk assessment for the biota on regional radioactive waste storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavrentyeva, G.V.; Synzynys, B.I.; Shoshina, R.R.; Mirzeabasov, O.A. [Obninsk Institute for Nuclear Power Engineering, branch of the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, Department of Ecology, Studgorodok,1, 249040 Obninsk, Kaluga region (Russian Federation)

    2014-07-01

    Now the methods of ecological regulation of a radiation factor from risk assessment are developed poorly. The paper attempts to assess and forecast the terrestrial ecosystem conditions under chronic ionizing radiation by calculating the critical loads. The paper is aimed at developing a methodology to assess the ecological risk for a terrestrial ecosystem under chronic radioactive pollution in a biotope of a regional radioactive waste storage. Objects and Methods: Biotope monitoring of a radioactive waste storage makes clear that the radioecological situation in this territory is stipulated by technogenic {sup 90}Sr found in soil, ground water and biota. Terrestrial mollusks of a shrubby Snail type (Bradybaena fruticum) were chosen as reference species due to their activity to accumulate {sup 90}Sr in shells and the number of colony-forming soil units (CFU) as reference indices. The number of CFU was determined by inoculation of solid medium. Soil and mollusk samples have been collected at most representative sites identified in the previous studies. To assess {sup 90}Sr content in the samples collected, radiochemical separation was used with further radionuclide activity measurements by a 'BETA-01C' scintillation beta-ray spectrometer according to a standard procedure of {sup 90}Sr content assessment from beta-radiation of its daughter radionuclide {sup 90}Y. Ecological risk was calculated from analyzed critical loads using a 'dose-effect' dependence. Statistical data processing was realized with Excell 2007 and R software programs [R Development Core Team, 2010]. The software R was also used for GIS creation. Results and Discussion: A methodology of ecological risk assessment for the terrestrial ecosystem under chronic radioactive pollution of a biotope near a regional radioactive waste storage has been developed in terms of the critical environmental loads analyzed. It consists of five stages: determination of effect indicators and assessment

  18. A novel tool for the communication of ecological risk assessment information in an urbanized watershed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zandbergen, P.

    1995-01-01

    A tool was developed for the communication of ecological risk assessment information on various types of point and nonpoint source pollution in the Brunette River watershed, an urbanized watershed in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The communication of ecological risks is a complex task, since the outcomes of quantitative ecological risk assessments are often not well understood by interested parties, and the results of the scientific analysis are generally quite different from the public perception of risk. Scientists should try to assist in the effective communication of their analysis by presenting it in a form more accessible to a variety of stakeholders, exposing the assessment process itself and the uncertainties in the analysis. This was attempted in developing a tool for the effective communication of ecological risk assessment information and management alternatives to the community in the watershed. Longstanding concerns over various forms of point and non-point sources of pollution in the watershed have resulted in a major effort to document the releases of pollutants, the exposure pathways, and the consequences for aquatic life. Extensive monitoring of ecosystem parameters, data-integration by means of a Geographic Information System, and the use of numerous databases and sub-models have resulted in the ecological risk assessment of four types of pollution in the watershed: petroleum fuels, metals, pesticides and basic industrial chemicals. Results will be presented of the attempts to integrate this information into a communication tool, which will demonstrate the principles, values and assumptions underlying the scientific analysis, as well as the quantitative end results and inherent uncertainties. The tool has been developed in close cooperation with several scientists who did most of the original data collection and with the feedback from some of the stakeholders in the community

  19. Ecological risk assessment in a large river-reservoir. 1: Introduction and background

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, R.B.; Suter, G.W. II; Sain, E.R.

    1999-01-01

    The US Department of Energy initiated a remedial investigation of the Clinch River/Poplar Creek system Superfund Site in 1989. This site, located in eastern Tennessee near Oak Ridge, consists of 70 river kilometers and 40 km 2 of surface area. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the nature and extent of contamination, perform an ecological and human health risk assessment, and evaluate possible remedial alternatives. This introductory article summarizes the environmental setting, the contamination history, and the study approach and provides some general results of the site characterization. Subsequent papers in this series describe the ecological risks to fish, piscivorous and insectivorous wildlife, and benthic invertebrates

  20. On Some New Indicators for the Energo-Ecological Assessment of Thermo-Power Plants Operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cardu, M.; Sandu, D.; Negoitescu, A.S.

    2008-01-01

    The authors offer a critical analysis of pollution indicators currently applied for the ecological assessment of the thermo power plant's operation. They forward new energo-ecological indicators to highlight both the qualitative aspect of polluting emissions and their quantitative aspect, by relating their concentration in the flue gases purged into the atmosphere to the energy produced during the same interval. The application of these indicators contributes to the attenuation of the global warming phenomenon and to the protection of the world's resources of fossil fuels.

  1. The occurrence and ecological risk assessment of phthalate esters (PAEs) in urban aquatic environments of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lulu; Liu, Jingling; Liu, Huayong; Wan, Guisheng; Zhang, Shaowei

    2015-07-01

    Phthalate esters (PAEs) are widely used in the manufacturing of plastics, and the demand for PAEs has grown rapidly, especially in China. This trend will lead to much more environmental PAE contamination. PAEs are listed as priority substances in the European Union and are therefore subject to ecological risk assessments. This paper reviews the literature concerning the pollution status of PAEs and their ecological risk to aquatic environments. Risk quotients (RQs) based on the predicted no effect concentration and PAE concentrations in aquatic environments demonstrated significant (10 ≤ RQ plastics are produced.

  2. Description and validation of the Simple, Efficient, Dynamic, Global, Ecological Simulator (SEDGES v.1.0)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiewonsky, Pablo; Elison Timm, Oliver

    2018-03-01

    In this paper, we present a simple dynamic global vegetation model whose primary intended use is auxiliary to the land-atmosphere coupling scheme of a climate model, particularly one of intermediate complexity. The model simulates and provides important ecological-only variables but also some hydrological and surface energy variables that are typically either simulated by land surface schemes or else used as boundary data input for these schemes. The model formulations and their derivations are presented here, in detail. The model includes some realistic and useful features for its level of complexity, including a photosynthetic dependency on light, full coupling of photosynthesis and transpiration through an interactive canopy resistance, and a soil organic carbon dependence for bare-soil albedo. We evaluate the model's performance by running it as part of a simple land surface scheme that is driven by reanalysis data. The evaluation against observational data includes net primary productivity, leaf area index, surface albedo, and diagnosed variables relevant for the closure of the hydrological cycle. In this setup, we find that the model gives an adequate to good simulation of basic large-scale ecological and hydrological variables. Of the variables analyzed in this paper, gross primary productivity is particularly well simulated. The results also reveal the current limitations of the model. The most significant deficiency is the excessive simulation of evapotranspiration in mid- to high northern latitudes during their winter to spring transition. The model has a relative advantage in situations that require some combination of computational efficiency, model transparency and tractability, and the simulation of the large-scale vegetation and land surface characteristics under non-present-day conditions.

  3. Ecological risk assessment of a site contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Starodub, M.E.; Feniak, N.A.; Willes, R.F.; Moore, C.E.; Mucklow, L.

    1995-01-01

    The aquatic and terrestrial health risks associated with petroleum contamination on a decommissioned military base, contaminated with products ranging from Bunker C oil to aviation fuel, were assessed using a methodology whereby an analytical measurement of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) could be correlated with compositional characterization and thus with toxicity. The constituents of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination represent wide ranges of physical-chemical properties, environmental fate, and toxicity. The composition of TPH can vary greatly, dependent on the sources or fuel types and the interaction of age as well as site- and chemical-specific characteristics in determining the impact of weathering processes. Therefore, a bulk sum analysis of TPH cannot be related to toxicity without characterization of its composition and association of the constituents, and therefore composition, with actual toxicity data. To address this need, the constituents of TPH were represented by surrogate chemicals, with selection based on structure-activity relationships and available toxicity data. Toxicological profiles were developed from governmental regulations and on the published literature for both the aquatic and terrestrial media. Risk characterization consisted of a comparison of water concentration limits and exposure limits, developed for each surrogate, to estimated surrogate concentrations throughout the site. The concentrations of surrogates were extrapolated from TPH composition characterization analyses, conducted at a select number of sampling locations, to bulk sum analyses of TPH at related sampling locations

  4. Dynamics and ecological risk assessment of chromophoric dissolved organic matter in the Yinma River Watershed: Rivers, reservoirs, and urban waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Sijia; Zhang, Jiquan; Guo, Enliang; Zhang, Feng; Ma, Qiyun; Mu, Guangyi

    2017-10-01

    The extensive use of a geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing in ecological risk assessment from a spatiotemporal perspective complements ecological environment management. Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), which is a complex mixture of organic matter that can be estimated via remote sensing, carries and produces carcinogenic disinfection by-products and organic pollutants in various aquatic environments. This paper reports the first ecological risk assessment, which was conducted in 2016, of CDOM in the Yinma River watershed including riverine waters, reservoir waters, and urban waters. Referring to the risk formation theory of natural disaster, the entropy evaluation method and DPSIR (driving force-pressure-state-impact-response) framework were coupled to establish a hazard and vulnerability index with multisource data, i.e., meteorological, remote sensing, experimental, and socioeconomic data, of this watershed. This ecological vulnerability assessment indicator system contains 23 indicators with respect to ecological sensitivity, ecological pressure, and self-resilience. The characteristics of CDOM absorption parameters from different waters showed higher aromatic content and molecular weights in May because of increased terrestrial inputs. The assessment results indicated that the overall ecosystem risk in the study area was focused in the extremely, heavily, and moderately vulnerable regions. The ecological risk assessment results objectively reflect the regional ecological environment and demonstrate the potential of ecological risk assessment of pollutants over traditional chemical measurements. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Remedial investigation report for J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Volume 3: Ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Hayse, J.; Kuperman, R.; Van Lonkhuyzen, R.

    2000-01-01

    The Environmental Management Division of the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is conducting a remedial investigation (RI) and feasibility study (FS) of the J-Field area at APG, pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended. As part of that activity, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) conducted an ecological risk assessment (ERA) of the J-Field site. This report presents the results of that assessment

  6. Remedial investigation report for J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Volume 3: Ecological risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Hayse, J.; Kuperman, R.; Van Lonkhuyzen, R.

    2000-02-25

    The Environmental Management Division of the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is conducting a remedial investigation (RI) and feasibility study (FS) of the J-Field area at APG, pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended. As part of that activity, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) conducted an ecological risk assessment (ERA) of the J-Field site. This report presents the results of that assessment.

  7. Ecological Momentary Assessment of social functioning in schizophrenia: impact of performance appraisals and affect on social interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granholm, Eric; Ben-Zeev, Dror; Fulford, Daniel; Swendsen, Joel

    2013-04-01

    Research concerning the complex interplay between factors that contribute to poor social functioning in schizophrenia has been hampered by limitations of traditional measures, most notably the ecological validity and accuracy of retrospective self-report and interview measures. Computerized Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMAc) permits the real-time assessment of relationships between daily life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In the current study, EMAc was used to record daily social interactions, subjective performance appraisals of these interactions (e.g., "I succeeded/failed"; "I was liked/rejected"), and affect in 145 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Participants completed electronic questionnaires on a personal digital assistant (PDA) four times per day for one week. Time-lagged multilevel modeling of the data revealed that more positive interaction appraisals at any point in a day were associated with greater positive affect which, in turn, was a strong predictor of more social interactions over subsequent hours. Social functioning, therefore, was linked to positive performance beliefs about social interactions that were associated with greater positive affect. The findings suggest a useful treatment target for cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychosocial interventions that can be used to challenge defeatist beliefs and increase positive affect to enhance social functioning in schizophrenia. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Ecologically relevant neurobehavioral assessment of the development of threat learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulanger Bertolus, Julie; Mouly, Anne-Marie; Sullivan, Regina M

    2016-10-01

    As altricial infants gradually transition to adults, their proximate environment changes. In three short weeks, pups transition from a small world with the caregiver and siblings to a complex milieu rich in dangers as their environment expands. Such contrasting environments require different learning abilities and lead to distinct responses throughout development. Here, we will review some of the learned fear conditioned responses to threats in rats during their ontogeny, including behavioral and physiological measures that permit the assessment of learning and its supporting neurobiology from infancy through adulthood. In adulthood, odor-shock conditioning produces robust fear learning to the odor that depends upon the amygdala and related circuitry. Paradoxically, this conditioning in young pups fails to support fear learning and supports approach learning to the odor previously paired with shock. This approach learning is mediated by the infant attachment network that does not include the amygdala. During the age range when pups transition from the infant to the adult circuit (10-15 d old), pups have access to both networks: odor-shock conditioning in maternal presence uses the attachment circuit but the adult amygdala-dependent circuit when alone. However, throughout development (as young as 5 d old) the attachment associated learning can be overridden and amygdala-dependent fear learning supported, if the mother expresses fear in the presence of the pup. This social modulation of the fear permits the expression of defense reactions in life threatening situations informed by the caregiver but prevents the learning of the caregiver itself as a threat. © 2016 Boulanger Bertolus et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  9. Ecologically relevant neurobehavioral assessment of the development of threat learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouly, Anne-Marie

    2016-01-01

    As altricial infants gradually transition to adults, their proximate environment changes. In three short weeks, pups transition from a small world with the caregiver and siblings to a complex milieu rich in dangers as their environment expands. Such contrasting environments require different learning abilities and lead to distinct responses throughout development. Here, we will review some of the learned fear conditioned responses to threats in rats during their ontogeny, including behavioral and physiological measures that permit the assessment of learning and its supporting neurobiology from infancy through adulthood. In adulthood, odor–shock conditioning produces robust fear learning to the odor that depends upon the amygdala and related circuitry. Paradoxically, this conditioning in young pups fails to support fear learning and supports approach learning to the odor previously paired with shock. This approach learning is mediated by the infant attachment network that does not include the amygdala. During the age range when pups transition from the infant to the adult circuit (10–15 d old), pups have access to both networks: odor–shock conditioning in maternal presence uses the attachment circuit but the adult amygdala-dependent circuit when alone. However, throughout development (as young as 5 d old) the attachment associated learning can be overridden and amygdala-dependent fear learning supported, if the mother expresses fear in the presence of the pup. This social modulation of the fear permits the expression of defense reactions in life threatening situations informed by the caregiver but prevents the learning of the caregiver itself as a threat. PMID:27634146

  10. First assessment of the ecological status of Karaoun reservoir, Lebanon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fadel, A.; Lemaire, B.; Vinc on Leite, B.; Tassin, B.; Amacha, N.; Slim, K.; Atoui, A.

    2014-01-01

    Many reservoirs have been constructed throughout the world during the 20th century, with many also suffering from eutrophication. The resulting increased phytoplankton biomass in reservoirs impairs their use. Except for Lake Kinneret, the environmental status of lakes and reservoirs in the Middle East is poorly documented. Karaoun reservoir, also known as Qaroun, Qaraoun or Qarun, is the largest water body in Lebanon, having been constructed for irrigation and hydropower production. This present study reviews Karaoun reservoir, including its characteristics, uses, water quality and phytoplankton succession, to assess the environmental status of the reservoir on the basis of the few existing previous publications about the reservoir. Since 2004, which is 39 years after its construction, the reservoir is considered to be hypereutrophic, with low phytoplankton biodiversity and regular blooms of toxic cyanobacteria. The nutrient and trace metal concentrations would not prevent use of the reservoir for a drinking water supply for Beirut, as is currently being planned, although not all the micropollutants in the lake were documented. Karaoun reservoir is compared to other monitored lakes and reservoirs around the Mediterranean Sea. They share annual toxic cyanobacteria blooms of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum and of Microcystis aeruginosa. The phytoplankton composition and succession of Karaoun reservoir is more similar to El Gergal reservoir (Spain) than nearby natural lakes such as Lake Kinneret (Israel) and Lake Trichonis (Greece). Phytoplankton diversity in Karaoun reservoir was the lowest, due to higher nutrient concentrations and a larger decrease in water level in the dry season. Karaoun reservoir represents an interesting example of the potential response of the phytoplankton community in other lakes and reservoirs during the drought periods expected to occur as a result of global climate change. (author)

  11. Baseline ecological risk assessment and remediation alternatives for a hydrocarbon-contaminated estuarine wetland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vedagiri, U.

    1993-01-01

    Prior to a property transaction, the groundwater at an industrial refinery site in New Jersey was found to be contaminated with a variety of petroleum-based organic compounds. The highly built-up site included an on-site estuarine wetland and was located in a developed, industrialized area near ecologically important estuarine marshes. A preliminary ecological risk assessment was developed on the basis of available data on site contamination and ecological resources. The onsite wetland and its user fauna were identified as the sensitive receptors of concern and the primary contaminant pathways wee identified. The ecological significance of the contamination was assessed with regard to the onsite wetland and in the context of its position within the landscape and surrounding land uses. The wetland exhibited a combination of impact and vitality, i.e., there were clearly visible signs of contaminant impact as well as a relatively complex and abundant food web. Because of its position within the developed landscape, the onsite wetland appeared to function as a refugium for wildlife despite the level of disturbance. The feasibility of achieving regulatory compliance through natural remediation was also examined with respect to the findings of the risk assessment and the resultant conclusions are discussed

  12. BIOLOGICAL RESPONSES OF THE SEA URCHIN, ARBACIA PUNTULATA, TO LEAD CONTAMINATION FOR AN ESTUARINE ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    An estuarine ecological risk assessment for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) Kittery, ME, was conducted utilizing the U.S. EPA's Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). As part of the analysis phase of the ERA, laboratory studies were conducted to develop quantitative ...

  13. Response to Ecological Risk Assessment Forum Request for Information on the Benefits of PCB Congener-Specific Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    In August, 2001, the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF) submitted a formal question to the Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) on the benefits of evaluating PCB congeners in environmental samples. This question was developed by ERAF members Bruce Duncan and Cla...

  14. Study on Ecological Risk Assessment of Guangxi Coastal Zone Based on 3s Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Z.; Luo, H.; Ling, Z. Y.; Huang, Y.; Ning, W. Y.; Tang, Y. B.; Shao, G. Z.

    2018-05-01

    This paper takes Guangxi coastal zone as the study area, following the standards of land use type, divides the coastal zone of ecological landscape into seven kinds of natural wetland landscape types such as woodland, farmland, grassland, water, urban land and wetlands. Using TM data of 2000-2015 such 15 years, with the CART decision tree algorithm, for analysis the characteristic of types of landscape's remote sensing image and build decision tree rules of landscape classification to extract information classification. Analyzing of the evolution process of the landscape pattern in Guangxi coastal zone in nearly 15 years, we may understand the distribution characteristics and change rules. Combined with the natural disaster data, we use of landscape index and the related risk interference degree and construct ecological risk evaluation model in Guangxi coastal zone for ecological risk assessment results of Guangxi coastal zone.

  15. STUDY ON ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF GUANGXI COASTAL ZONE BASED ON 3S TECHNOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Zhong

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper takes Guangxi coastal zone as the study area, following the standards of land use type, divides the coastal zone of ecological landscape into seven kinds of natural wetland landscape types such as woodland, farmland, grassland, water, urban land and wetlands. Using TM data of 2000–2015 such 15 years, with the CART decision tree algorithm, for analysis the characteristic of types of landscape’s remote sensing image and build decision tree rules of landscape classification to extract information classification. Analyzing of the evolution process of the landscape pattern in Guangxi coastal zone in nearly 15 years, we may understand the distribution characteristics and change rules. Combined with the natural disaster data, we use of landscape index and the related risk interference degree and construct ecological risk evaluation model in Guangxi coastal zone for ecological risk assessment results of Guangxi coastal zone.

  16. Validation study of safety assessment model for radioactive waste disposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munakata, Masahiro; Takeda, Seiji; Kimura, Hideo [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan). Tokai Research Establishment

    2001-12-01

    The JAERI-AECL collaboration research program has been conducted to validate a groundwater flow and radionuclide transport models for safety assessment. JAERI have developed a geostatistical model for radionuclide transport through a heterogeneous geological media and verify using experimental results of field tracer tests. The simulated tracer plumes explain favorably the experimental tracer plumes. A regional groundwater flow and transport model using site-scale parameter obtained from tracer tests have been verified by comparing simulation results with observation ones of natural environmental tracer. (author)

  17. Development and Validation of a Family Meeting Assessment Tool (FMAT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagiwara, Yuya; Healy, Jennifer; Lee, Shuko; Ross, Jeanette; Fischer, Dixie; Sanchez-Reilly, Sandra

    2018-01-01

    A cornerstone procedure in Palliative Medicine is to perform family meetings. Learning how to lead a family meeting is an important skill for physicians and others who care for patients with serious illnesses and their families. There is limited evidence on how to assess best practice behaviors during end-of-life family meetings. Our aim was to develop and validate an observational tool to assess trainees' ability to lead a simulated end-of-life family meeting. Building on evidence from published studies and accrediting agency guidelines, an expert panel at our institution developed the Family Meeting Assessment Tool. All fourth-year medical students (MS4) and eight geriatric and palliative medicine fellows (GPFs) were invited to participate in a Family Meeting Objective Structured Clinical Examination, where each trainee assumed the physician role leading a complex family meeting. Two evaluators observed and rated randomly chosen students' performances using the Family Meeting Assessment Tool during the examination. Inter-rater reliability was measured using percent agreement. Internal consistency was measured using Cronbach α. A total of 141 trainees (MS4 = 133 and GPF = 8) and 26 interdisciplinary evaluators participated in the study. Internal reliability (Cronbach α) of the tool was 0.85. Number of trainees rated by two evaluators was 210 (MS4 = 202 and GPF = 8). Rater agreement was 84%. Composite scores, on average, were significantly higher for fellows than for medical students (P < 0.001). Expert-based content, high inter-rater reliability, good internal consistency, and ability to predict educational level provided initial evidence for construct validity for this novel assessment tool. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. All rights reserved.

  18. Validation of screening tools to assess appetite among geriatric patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanisah, R; Suzana, S; Lee, F S

    2012-07-01

    Poor appetite is one of the main contributing factors of poor nutritional status among elderly individuals. Recognizing the importance of assessment of appetite, a cross sectional study was conducted to determine the validity of appetite screening tools namely, the Council on Nutrition Appetite questionnaire (CNAQ) and the simplified nutritional appetite questionnaire (SNAQ) against the appetite, hunger and sensory perception questionnaire (AHSPQ), measures of nutritional status and food intake among geriatric patients at the main general hospital in Malaysia. Nutritional status was assessed using the subjective global assessment (SGA) while food intake was measured using the dietary history questionnaire (DHQ). Anthropometric parameters included weight, height, body mass index (BMI), calf circumference (CC) and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC). A total of 145 subjects aged 60 to 86 years (68.3 ± 5.8 years) with 31.7% men and 68.3% women were recruited from outpatients (35 subjects) and inpatients (110 subjects) of Kuala Lumpur Hospital of Malaysia. As assessed by SGA, most subjects were classified as mild to moderately malnourished (50.4%), followed by normal (38.6%) and severely malnourished (11.0%). A total of 79.3% and 57.2% subjects were classified as having poor appetite according to CNAQ and SNAQ, respectively. CNAQ (80.9%) had a higher sensitivity than SNAQ (69.7%) when validated against nutritional status as assessed using SGA. However, the specificity of SNAQ (62.5%) was higher than CNAQ (23.2%). Positive predictive value for CNAQ and SNAQ were 62.6% and 74.7%, respectively. Cronbach's alpha for CNAQ and SNAQ were 0.546 and 0.578, respectively. History of weight loss over the past one year (Adjusted odds ratio 2.49) (p risk factors for poor appetite among subjects. In conclusion, malnutrition and poor appetite were prevalent among the geriatric outpatients and inpatients. SNAQ was more reliable and valid as an appetite screening tool among this special

  19. How will climate novelty influence ecological forecasts? Using the Quaternary to assess future reliability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Blois, Jessica L; Williams, John W; Nieto-Lugilde, Diego; Maguire, Kaitlin C; Lorenz, David J

    2018-03-23

    Future climates are projected to be highly novel relative to recent climates. Climate novelty challenges models that correlate ecological patterns to climate variables and then use these relationships to forecast ecological responses to future climate change. Here, we quantify the magnitude and ecological significance of future climate novelty by comparing it to novel climates over the past 21,000 years in North America. We then use relationships between model performance and climate novelty derived from the fossil pollen record from eastern North America to estimate the expected decrease in predictive skill of ecological forecasting models as future climate novelty increases. We show that, in the high emissions scenario (RCP 8.5) and by late 21st century, future climate novelty is similar to or higher than peak levels of climate novelty over the last 21,000 years. The accuracy of ecological forecasting models is projected to decline steadily over the coming decades in response to increasing climate novelty, although models that incorporate co-occurrences among species may retain somewhat higher predictive skill. In addition to quantifying future climate novelty in the context of late Quaternary climate change, this work underscores the challenges of making reliable forecasts to an increasingly novel future, while highlighting the need to assess potential avenues for improvement, such as increased reliance on geological analogs for future novel climates and improving existing models by pooling data through time and incorporating assemblage-level information. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Ecological land classification and terrestrial environment effects assessment for the Port Hope and Port Granby projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylor, M.; Wittkugel, U.; Kleb, H.

    2006-01-01

    The Ecological Land Classification system was developed to provide a standardized methodology for describing plant communities and wildlife habitat in southern Ontario. The method employs a hierarchical classification system. It can be applied at different levels of accuracy, i.e., at regional, sub-regional, and local scales with an increasing differentiation of vegetation communities. The standardization of the approach permits a comparison of vegetation communities from different sites and an evaluation of the rarity of these communities within the province. Further, the approach facilitates the monitoring of changes in terrestrial communities with time. These characteristics make Ecological Land Classification mapping a useful tool for environmental assessment such as the ones undertaken for the Port Hope and Port Granby Long-Term Waste Management Projects, which were conducted pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 1992. In the context of the Environmental Assessment for the Port Hope and Port Granby Projects, an Ecological Land Classification study was undertaken to characterize the terrestrial environment at regional, local and site levels. Vegetation patches (polygons) were delineated on the basis of air photo interpretation. The individual polygons were then visited for detailed inventory and classified to the most detailed level; that is to the vegetation type. Plant communities were then compared with those listed in the Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre database to determine their rarity and to determine where they rank as Valued Ecosystem Components. Ecological Land Classification mapping results were used in the assessment of effects to Valued Ecosystem Components. A spatial analysis of the digitized vegetation maps showed the geographic extent of habitat losses and impairments due to various project works and activities. Landscape rehabilitation strategies and concepts were subsequently developed based on Ecological Land

  1. Farmers' assessment of the social and ecological values of land uses in central highland Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duguma, Lalisa Alemayehu; Hager, Herbert

    2011-05-01

    Often in land use evaluations, especially those in developing countries, only the financial aspect receives serious attention, while the social and ecological values are overlooked. This study compared the social and ecological values of four land use types (small-scale woodlot [SSW], boundary tree and shrub planting [BTP], homestead tree and shrub growing [HTG] and cereal farming [CF]) by a criteria-based scoring approach using a bao game. The impacts of local wealth status and proximity to a forest on the value the community renders to the land use types were also assessed. The value comparison, assessed by relative scoring, was accompanied by farmer's explanations to reveal the existing local knowledge about land use values. It was found that HTG ≥ SSW > BTP > CF for both social and ecological values. Though this trend applies for the medium and rich households, the poor ones chose SSW as the most valuable. With increasing distance from a forest, the social and ecological values of land uses increased. The accompanying scoring justifications indicated the existence of in-depth ecological knowledge, which conform to contemporary scientific reports. Generally, this study showed that social and ecological values, besides financial values, strongly influence farmer's decision in implementing various practices related to the land use types. Thus, such values are worth considering for a holistic understanding of the diverse benefits of land uses. Finally, the strong preference for tree and shrub-based land use types is a good opportunity for enhancing tree and shrub growing to minimize the major environmental problems (e.g., soil degradation, wood shortage and deforestation) in the central highlands of Ethiopia.

  2. Farmers' Assessment of the Social and Ecological Values of Land Uses in Central Highland Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duguma, Lalisa Alemayehu; Hager, Herbert

    2011-05-01

    Often in land use evaluations, especially those in developing countries, only the financial aspect receives serious attention, while the social and ecological values are overlooked. This study compared the social and ecological values of four land use types (small-scale woodlot [SSW], boundary tree and shrub planting [BTP], homestead tree and shrub growing [HTG] and cereal farming [CF]) by a criteria-based scoring approach using a bao game. The impacts of local wealth status and proximity to a forest on the value the community renders to the land use types were also assessed. The value comparison, assessed by relative scoring, was accompanied by farmer's explanations to reveal the existing local knowledge about land use values. It was found that HTG ≥ SSW > BTP > CF for both social and ecological values. Though this trend applies for the medium and rich households, the poor ones chose SSW as the most valuable. With increasing distance from a forest, the social and ecological values of land uses increased. The accompanying scoring justifications indicated the existence of in-depth ecological knowledge, which conform to contemporary scientific reports. Generally, this study showed that social and ecological values, besides financial values, strongly influence farmer's decision in implementing various practices related to the land use types. Thus, such values are worth considering for a holistic understanding of the diverse benefits of land uses. Finally, the strong preference for tree and shrub-based land use types is a good opportunity for enhancing tree and shrub growing to minimize the major environmental problems (e.g., soil degradation, wood shortage and deforestation) in the central highlands of Ethiopia.

  3. Calibration and Validation of the National Ecological Observatory Network's Airborne Imaging Spectrometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leisso, N.

    2015-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is being constructed by the National Science Foundation and is slated for completion in 2017. NEON is designed to collect data to improve the understanding of changes in observed ecosystems. The observatory will produce data products on a variety of spatial and temporal scales collected from individual sites strategically located across the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Data sources include standardized terrestrial, instrumental, and aquatic observation systems in addition to three airborne remote sensing observation systems installed into leased Twin Otter aircraft. The Airborne Observation Platforms (AOP) are designed to collect 3-band aerial imagery, waveform and discrete LiDAR, and high-fidelity imaging spectroscopy data over the NEON sites annually at or near peak-greenness. The NEON Imaging Spectrometer (NIS) is a Visible and Shortwave Infrared (VSWIR) sensor designed by NASA JPL for ecological applications. Spectroscopic data is collected at 5-nm intervals across the solar-reflective spectral region (380-nm to 2500-nm) in a 34-degree FOV swath. A key uncertainty driver to the derived remote sensing NEON data products is the calibration of the imaging spectrometers. In addition, the calibration and accuracy of the higher-level data product algorithms is essential to the overall NEON mission to detect changes in the collected ecosystems over the 30-year expected lifetime. The typical calibration workflow of the NIS consists of the characterizing the focal plane, spectral calibration, and radiometric calibration. Laboratory spectral calibration is based on well-defined emission lines in conjunction with a scanning monochromator to define the individual spectral response functions. The radiometric calibration is NIST traceable and transferred to the NIS with an integrating sphere calibrated through the use of transfer radiometers. The laboratory calibration is monitored and maintained through

  4. Produced water discharges to the Gulf of Mexico: Background information for ecological risk assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meinhold, A.F.; Holtzman, S.; DePhillips, M.P.

    1996-06-01

    This report reviews ecological risk assessment concepts and methods; describes important biological resources in the Gulf of Mexico of potential concern for produced water impacts; and summarizes data available to estimate exposure and effects of produced water discharges. The emphasis is on data relating to produced water discharges in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, especially in Louisiana. Much of the summarized data and cited literature are relevant to assessments of impacts in other regions. Data describing effects on marine and estuarine fishes, mollusks, crustaceans and benthic invertebrates are emphasized. This review is part of a series of studies of the health and ecological risks from discharges of produced water to the Gulf of Mexico. These assessments will provide input to regulators in the development of guidelines and permits, and to industry in the use of appropriate discharge practices

  5. Tools for sustainability assessment in island socio-ecological systems: an application to the Canary Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Banos-González

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available An integral dynamic model, in combination with other methods (indicators, policy and scenario analysis, is presented as a tool for sustainability assessment in island socio-ecological systems (SES. The Fuerteventura sustainability model (FSM, tested for the 1996-2011, allows a better understanding of the dynamic interactions between sustainability indicators and other factors of this island. The FSM was first applied to analyse the vulnerability of this island to climate change for the 2012-2025 period; results point to the need for urgent measures to mitigate its effects on some of the analysed indicators. A set of policy measures was then assessed from the behaviour of nine indicators and their sustainability thresholds. Finally, the FSM facilitated the development of a dynamic model of the island of El Hierro, extrapolating the features common to both SES. We propose this to be a useful tool for the quantitative sustainability assessment and the management of real island socio-ecological systems

  6. Produced water discharges to the Gulf of Mexico: Background information for ecological risk assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meinhold, A.F.; Holtzman, S.; DePhillips, M.P.

    1996-06-01

    This report reviews ecological risk assessment concepts and methods; describes important biological resources in the Gulf of Mexico of potential concern for produced water impacts; and summarizes data available to estimate exposure and effects of produced water discharges. The emphasis is on data relating to produced water discharges in the central and western Gulf of Mexico, especially in Louisiana. Much of the summarized data and cited literature are relevant to assessments of impacts in other regions. Data describing effects on marine and estuarine fishes, mollusks, crustaceans and benthic invertebrates are emphasized. This review is part of a series of studies of the health and ecological risks from discharges of produced water to the Gulf of Mexico. These assessments will provide input to regulators in the development of guidelines and permits, and to industry in the use of appropriate discharge practices.

  7. Mesocosm soil ecological risk assessment tool for GMO 2nd tier studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    D'Annibale, Alessandra; Maraldo, Kristine; Larsen, Thomas

    Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) of GMO is basically identical to ERA of chemical substances, when it comes to assessing specific effects of the GMO plant material on the soil ecosystem. The tiered approach always includes the option of studying more complex but still realistic ecosystem level...... effects in 2nd tier caged experimental systems, cf. the new GMO ERA guidance: EFSA Journal 2010; 8(11):1879. We propose to perform a trophic structure analysis, TSA, and include the trophic structure as an ecological endpoint to gain more direct insight into the change in interactions between species, i.......e. the food-web structure, instead of relying only on the indirect evidence from population abundances. The approach was applied for effect assessment in the agro-ecosystem where we combined factors of elevated CO2, viz. global climate change, and GMO plant effects. A multi-species (Collembola, Acari...

  8. Reliability and Validity Assessment of a Linear Position Transducer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garnacho-Castaño, Manuel V.; López-Lastra, Silvia; Maté-Muñoz, José L.

    2015-01-01

    The objectives of the study were to determine the validity and reliability of peak velocity (PV), average velocity (AV), peak power (PP) and average power (AP) measurements were made using a linear position transducer. Validity was assessed by comparing measurements simultaneously obtained using the Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer Systemi and T-Force Dynamic Measurement Systemr (Ergotech, Murcia, Spain) during two resistance exercises, bench press (BP) and full back squat (BS), performed by 71 trained male subjects. For the reliability study, a further 32 men completed both lifts using the Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer Systemz in two identical testing sessions one week apart (session 1 vs. session 2). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) indicating the validity of the Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer Systemi were high, with values ranging from 0.853 to 0.989. Systematic biases and random errors were low to moderate for almost all variables, being higher in the case of PP (bias ±157.56 W; error ±131.84 W). Proportional biases were identified for almost all variables. Test-retest reliability was strong with ICCs ranging from 0.922 to 0.988. Reliability results also showed minimal systematic biases and random errors, which were only significant for PP (bias -19.19 W; error ±67.57 W). Only PV recorded in the BS showed no significant proportional bias. The Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer Systemi emerged as a reliable system for measuring movement velocity and estimating power in resistance exercises. The low biases and random errors observed here (mainly AV, AP) make this device a useful tool for monitoring resistance training. Key points This study determined the validity and reliability of peak velocity, average velocity, peak power and average power measurements made using a linear position transducer The Tendo Weight-lifting Analyzer Systemi emerged as a reliable system for measuring movement velocity and power. PMID:25729300

  9. Impact of Cognitive Abilities and Prior Knowledge on Complex Problem Solving Performance – Empirical Results and a Plea for Ecologically Valid Microworlds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heinz-Martin Süß

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The original aim of complex problem solving (CPS research was to bring the cognitive demands of complex real-life problems into the lab in order to investigate problem solving behavior and performance under controlled conditions. Up until now, the validity of psychometric intelligence constructs has been scrutinized with regard to its importance for CPS performance. At the same time, different CPS measurement approaches competing for the title of the best way to assess CPS have been developed. In the first part of the paper, we investigate the predictability of CPS performance on the basis of the Berlin Intelligence Structure Model and Cattell’s investment theory as well as an elaborated knowledge taxonomy. In the first study, 137 students managed a simulated shirt factory (Tailorshop; i.e., a complex real life-oriented system twice, while in the second study, 152 students completed a forestry scenario (FSYS; i.e., a complex artificial world system. The results indicate that reasoning – specifically numerical reasoning (Studies 1 and 2 and figural reasoning (Study 2 – are the only relevant predictors among the intelligence constructs. We discuss the results with reference to the Brunswik symmetry principle. Path models suggest that reasoning and prior knowledge influence problem solving performance in the Tailorshop scenario mainly indirectly. In addition, different types of system-specific knowledge independently contribute to predicting CPS performance. The results of Study 2 indicate that working memory capacity, assessed as an additional predictor, has no incremental validity beyond reasoning. We conclude that (1 cognitive abilities and prior knowledge are substantial predictors of CPS performance, and (2 in contrast to former and recent interpretations, there is insufficient evidence to consider CPS a unique ability construct. In the second part of the paper, we discuss our results in light of recent CPS research, which predominantly

  10. Impact of Cognitive Abilities and Prior Knowledge on Complex Problem Solving Performance – Empirical Results and a Plea for Ecologically Valid Microworlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Süß, Heinz-Martin; Kretzschmar, André

    2018-01-01

    The original aim of complex problem solving (CPS) research was to bring the cognitive demands of complex real-life problems into the lab in order to investigate problem solving behavior and performance under controlled conditions. Up until now, the validity of psychometric intelligence constructs has been scrutinized with regard to its importance for CPS performance. At the same time, different CPS measurement approaches competing for the title of the best way to assess CPS have been developed. In the first part of the paper, we investigate the predictability of CPS performance on the basis of the Berlin Intelligence Structure Model and Cattell’s investment theory as well as an elaborated knowledge taxonomy. In the first study, 137 students managed a simulated shirt factory (Tailorshop; i.e., a complex real life-oriented system) twice, while in the second study, 152 students completed a forestry scenario (FSYS; i.e., a complex artificial world system). The results indicate that reasoning – specifically numerical reasoning (Studies 1 and 2) and figural reasoning (Study 2) – are the only relevant predictors among the intelligence constructs. We discuss the results with reference to the Brunswik symmetry principle. Path models suggest that reasoning and prior knowledge influence problem solving performance in the Tailorshop scenario mainly indirectly. In addition, different types of system-specific knowledge independently contribute to predicting CPS performance. The results of Study 2 indicate that working memory capacity, assessed as an additional predictor, has no incremental validity beyond reasoning. We conclude that (1) cognitive abilities and prior knowledge are substantial predictors of CPS performance, and (2) in contrast to former and recent interpretations, there is insufficient evidence to consider CPS a unique ability construct. In the second part of the paper, we discuss our results in light of recent CPS research, which predominantly utilizes the

  11. Quantum mechanics concept assessment: Development and validation study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Homeyra R. Sadaghiani

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available As part of an ongoing investigation of students’ learning in first semester upper-division quantum mechanics, we needed a high-quality conceptual assessment instrument for comparing outcomes of different curricular approaches. The process of developing such a tool started with converting a preliminary version of a 14-item open-ended quantum mechanics assessment tool (QMAT to a multiple-choice (MC format. Further question refinement, development of effective distractors, adding new questions, and robust statistical analysis has led to a 31-item quantum mechanics concept assessment (QMCA test. The QMCA is used as post-test only to assess students’ knowledge about five main topics of quantum measurement: the time-independent Schrödinger equation, wave functions and boundary conditions, time evolution, and probability density. During two years of testing and refinement, the QMCA has been given in alpha (N=61 and beta versions (N=263 to students in upper division quantum mechanics courses at 11 different institutions with an average post-test score of 54%. By allowing for comparisons of student learning across different populations and institutions, the QMCA provides instructors and researchers a more standard measure of effectiveness of different curricula or teaching strategies on student conceptual understanding of quantum mechanics. In this paper, we discuss the construction of effective distractors and the use of student interviews and expert feedback to revise and validate both questions and distractors. We include the results of common statistical tests of reliability and validity, which suggest the instrument is presently in a stable, usable, and promising form.

  12. Momentary assessment of adults’ physical activity and sedentary behavior: Feasibility and validity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genevieve Fridlund Dunton

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Mobile phones are ubiquitous and easy to use, and thus have the capacity to collect real-time data from large numbers of people. Research tested the feasibility and validity of an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA self-report protocol using electronic surveys on mobile phones to assess adults’ physical activity and sedentary behaviors. Methods: Adults (N = 110 (73% female, 30% Hispanic, 62% overweight/obese completed a four-day signal-contingent EMA protocol (Sat. - Tues. with eight surveys randomly spaced throughout each day. EMA items assessed current activity (e.g., Watching TV/Movies, Reading/Computer, Physical Activity/Exercise. EMA responses were time-matched to minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA and sedentary activity (SA measured by accelerometer immediately before and after each EMA prompt. Results: Unanswered EMA prompts had greater MVPA (±15 min. than answered EMA prompts (p = .029 for under/normal weight participants, indicating that activity level might influence the likelihood of responding. The 15-min. intervals before vs. after the EMA-reported physical activity (n = 296 occasions did not differ in MVPA (p > .05, suggesting that prompting did not disrupt physical activity. SA decreased after EMA-reported sedentary behavior (n = 904 occasions (p < .05 for overweight and obese participants. As compared with other activities, EMA-reported physical activity and sedentary behavior had significantly greater MVPA and SA, respectively, in the ±15 minutes of the EMA prompt (p’s < .001, providing evidence for criterion validity. Conclusions: Findings generally support the acceptability and validity of a four-day signal contingent EMA protocol using mobile phones to measure physical activity and sedentary behavior in adults. However, some MVPA may be missed among underweight and normal weight individuals, and EMA may disrupt sedentary behavior among overweight/obese individuals.

  13. Hydrologic analysis for ecological risk assessment of watersheds with abandoned mine lands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gallagher, D.; Babendreier, J.; Cherry, D.

    1999-01-01

    As part of on-going study of acid mine drainage (AMD), a comprehensive ecological risk assessment was conducted in the Leading Creek Watershed in southeast Ohio. The watershed is influenced by agriculture and active and abandoned coal-mining operations. This work presents a broad overview of several quantitative measures of hydrology and hydraulic watershed properties available for in risk assessment and evaluates their relation to metrics of ecology. Data analysis included statistical comparisons of metrics of ecology, ecotoxicology, water quality, and physically based parameters describing land use, geomorphology, flow, velocity, and particle size. A multiple regression analysis indicated that abandoned mining operations dominated impacts upon aquatic ecology. It also indicated low flow velocity measurements and a ratio of maximum velocity to average velocity at low flow where helpful in describing variation in macroinvertebrate Total Taxa scores. Other key parameters also identified strong impact relationships with biodiversity trends and included pH, simple knowledge of any mining upstream, calculated % of the subshed covered by strip mines, and the measured depth of streambed sediments from site to site

  14. Probabilistic ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in southwestern catchments of the Bohai Sea, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Lin; Zeng, Siyu; Dong, Xin; Zhang, Tianzhu; Chen, Jining

    2013-10-01

    A probability risk assessment was undertaken to study the individual and combined ecological risks induced by six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) both in surface water and sediment from southwestern catchments of the Bohai Sea, China. The actual measured PAH concentrations in water and sediment were compared with toxicity effect data (the 10th percentile of predicted no effect concentration) to calculate the risk quotients (RQs) for an individual PAH. The equilibrium partitioning method was applied to estimate toxicity data in sediment. A method based on the equivalent concentration concept was proposed and applied to assess the combined ecological risk of multiple PAHs. Monte Carlo simulation and bootstrap technique were utilized to calculate the distribution of RQs and associated uncertainties. The ecological safety level was defined by RQ ≤ 1. Results indicated that both in water and sediment, fluoranthene and pyrene posed the highest risks, whereas acenaphthene and fluorene posed negligible risks. Naphthalene and phenanthrene did not pose risks to the ecological community in surface water but had relatively higher risks in sediment. The median RQs of combined risk in surface water and sediment were 0.934 and 2.42, and the probabilities of RQ > 1 were up to 0.473 and 0.599, respectively, which were much higher than the individual compound acting alone. The risk level in sediment was quite higher than in surface water probably owing to the non-equilibrium distribution between two phases, which suggested that local authorities should focus more on sediment quality management.

  15. Ecological assessment of integrated bioenergy systems using the Sustainable Process Index

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krotscheck, C.; Konig, F.; Obernberger, I.

    2000-01-01

    Biomass utilisation for energy production presently faces an uphill battle against fossil fuels. The use of biomass must offer additional benefits to compensate for higher prices: on the basis of a life cycle assessment (using BEAM to evaluate a variety of integrated bioenergy systems in connection with the Sustainable Process Index as a highly aggregated environmental pressure index) it is shown that integrated bioenergy systems are superior to fossil fuel systems in terms of environmental compatibility. The implementation of sustainability measures provides additional valuable information that might help in constructing and optimising integrated bioenergy systems. For a set of reference processes, among them fast pyrolysis, atmospheric gasification, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), combustion and steam cycle (CS) and conventional hydrolysis, a detailed impact assessment is shown. Sensitivity analyses of the most important ecological parameters are calculated, giving an overview of the impacts of various stages in the total life cycle and showing 'what really matters'. Much of the ecological impact of integrated bioenergy systems is induced by feedstock production. It is mainly the use of fossil fuels in cultivation, harvesting and transportation as well as the use of fertilisers in short-rotation coppice production that impose considerable ecological pressure. Concerning electricity generation the most problematic pressures are due to gaseous emissions, most notably the release of NO x . Moreover, a rather complicated process (high amount of grey energy) and the use of fossil pilot fuel (co-combustion) leads to a rather weak ecological performance in contrast to other 100% biomass-based systems. (author)

  16. Ecological risk assessment of RAPS waste water disposal in RPS Lake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verma, P.C.; Hegde, A.G.; Sharma, L.L.; Venkatramani, B.

    2007-01-01

    The ecological risk assessment is important tool in predicting the likelihood of future adverse effects from a given facility. Ecological risk assessment in itself has several features that contribute to effective environmental decision making for supporting the management actions. This paper attempts to asses the ecological risk evaluated on the basis of thermal ecological studies carried out at Rana Pratap Sagar (RPS) lake during 2002-2005. The study includes monitoring of several water quality parameters, biological and bacterial parameters and data on thermal stratification in respect of RPS reservoir. The monitored data on water quality were subjected to statistical analysis to evaluate the risk. Using fuzzy synthetic evaluation system on the basis of water quality guidelines from WHO, BIS and ICMR with combination of expert perception the water quality belongs to desirable category during all the seasons through out the year. The study reveals that there is no adverse effect on RPS water quality due to release of warmed effluents from Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS). Moreover, it shows that RPS water is nearly homogeneous and shows weak thermocline and chemocline patterns. Based on monitoring data, the reservoir can be assigned mild eutrophic status. (author)

  17. Calcium toxicity in a freshwater stream: Results of an ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, D.S.; Stewart, A.J.; Smith, J.G.; Phipps, T.L.

    1995-01-01

    Calcium and other essential elements are often excluded a priori from ecological risk assessments. However, calcium can be a credible contaminant of ecological concern in systems with high concentrations of anions. A baseline ecological risk assessment was performed as part of the CERCLA Remedial Investigation of Bear Creek Valley at the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, TN. Unlined surface impoundments at the headwaters of Bear Creek (BC) received nitric acid waste solutions between 1951 and 1984. The resulting groundwater plume now discharges into BC and contains high concentrations of nitrates and dissolved metals, including calcium. Weight-of-evidence suggests that BC water poses a significant risk to benthic invertebrates. The three available lines of evidence indicate that calcium contributes to these risks: (1) dissolved calcium concentrations in upper BC exceed the chronic value for Daphnia magna and a previous evaluation of the charge balance suggested that the solubility of calcium in BC is high because of high concentrations of nitrate ions; (2) water from BC inhibits Ceriodaphnia dubia reproduction and calcium concentrations explained approximately 80% of the variation in this inhibition; (3) the benthic invertebrate community in upper BC, and in particular the Ephemeroptera, are severely degraded, relative to reference streams. These findings serve as a reminder that contaminants of potential ecological concern need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and that interactions among contaminants may yield unexpected results

  18. Ecological Input Assessment and EIA: A Study On EIA Report For Quarry Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahimah Wahid

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA was introduced as mandatory in Malaysia since 1988 as a measurement tool to achieve sustainable development. This study attempts to assess the EIA reports for quarrying activities which have been submitted to the Department of Environment. There are 19 scheduled activities requiring an EIA prior to project implementation. As the ecological input is an important part of the EIA report, these studies have tried to analyze the ecological quality of input in four EIA reports prepared for quarrying activities in Peninsular Malaysia. The results show that all aspects of the report comply with the review and sampling methods although there are deficiencies which may be remedied. Four EIA reports show weaknesses in the acquisition of the latest available data. For the preparation of the existing environment sections, the consultants do not feel inclined to make sampling on rock habitat, aquatic habitats and flora and fauna. The insulation measures suggested are not only exhaustive but also ineffective. The residual impact on the ecology is briefly mentioned in all the reports. Generally these EIA reports are found to have many shortcomings in the quality of ecological input and can be improved. Thus, a suggestion with a comprehensive approach and the cooperation of all parties is needed to sustain and complement the EIA.

  19. Patient Experiences with the Preoperative Assessment Clinic (PEPAC): validation of an instrument to measure patient experiences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Edward, G. M.; Lemaire, L. C.; Preckel, B.; Oort, F. J.; Bucx, M. J. L.; Hollmann, M. W.; de Haes, J. C. J. M.

    2007-01-01

    Background. Presently, no comprehensive and validated questionnaire to measure patient experiences of the preoperative assessment clinic (PAC) is available. We developed and validated the Patient Experiences with the Preoperative Assessment Clinic (PEPAC) questionnaire, which can be used for

  20. Doloplus-2, a valid tool for behavioural pain assessment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loge Jon H

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Doloplus-2 is used for behavioural pain assessment in cognitively impaired patients. Little data exists on the psychometric properties of the Doloplus-2. Our objectives were to test the criterion validity and inter-rater reliability of the Doloplus-2, and to explore a design for validations of behavioural pain assessment tools. Methods Fifty-one nursing home patients and 22 patients admitted to a geriatric hospital ward were included. All were cognitively impaired and unable to self-report pain. Each patient was examined by an expert in pain evaluation and treatment, who rated the pain on a numerical rating scale. The ratings were based on information from the medical record, reports from nurses and patients (if possible about pain during the past 24 hours, and a clinical examination. These ratings were used as pain criterion. The Doloplus-2 was administered by the attending nurse. Regression analyses were used to estimate the ability of the Doloplus-2 to explain the expert's ratings. The inter-rater reliability of the Doloplus-2 was evaluated in 16 patients by comparing the ratings of two nurses administrating the Doloplus-2. Results There was no association between the Doloplus-2 and the expert's pain ratings (R2 = 0.02. There was an association (R2 = 0.54 between the expert's ratings and the Doloplus-2 scores in a subgroup of 16 patients assessed by a geriatric expert nurse (the most experienced Doloplus-2 administrator. The inter-rater reliability between the Doloplus-2 administrators assessed by the intra-class coefficient was 0.77. The pain expert's ratings were compared with ratings of two independent geriatricians in a sub sample of 15, and were found satisfactory (intra-class correlation 0.74. Conclusion It was challenging to conduct such a study in patients with cognitive impairment and the study has several limitations. The results do not support the validity of the Doloplus-2 in its present version and they

  1. Validity of assessing child feeding with virtual reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persky, Susan; Goldring, Megan R; Turner, Sara A; Cohen, Rachel W; Kistler, William D

    2018-04-01

    Assessment of parents' child feeding behavior is challenging, and there is need for additional methodological approaches. Virtual reality technology allows for the creation of behavioral measures, and its implementation overcomes several limitations of existing methods. This report evaluates the validity and usability of the Virtual Reality (VR) Buffet among a sample of 52 parents of children aged 3-7. Participants served a meal of pasta and apple juice in both a virtual setting and real-world setting (counterbalanced and separated by a distractor task). They then created another meal for their child, this time choosing from the full set of food options in the VR Buffet. Finally, participants completed a food estimation task followed by a questionnaire, which assessed their perceptions of the VR Buffet. Results revealed that the amount of virtual pasta served by parents correlated significantly with the amount of real pasta they served, r s  = 0.613, p < .0001, as did served amounts of virtual and real apple juice, r s  = 0.822, p < .0001. Furthermore, parents' perception of the calorie content of chosen foods was significantly correlated with observed calorie content (r s  = 0.438, p = .002), and parents agreed that they would feed the meal they created to their child (M = 4.43, SD = 0.82 on a 1-5 scale). The data presented here demonstrate that parent behavior in the VR Buffet is highly related to real-world behavior, and that the tool is well-rated by parents. Given the data presented and the potential benefits of the abundant behavioral data the VR Buffet can provide, we conclude that it is a valid and needed addition to the array of tools for assessing feeding behavior. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Individuals versus organisms versus populations in the definition of ecological assessment endpoints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suter, Glenn W; Norton, Susan B; Fairbrother, Anne

    2005-11-01

    Discussions and applications of the policies and practices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in ecological risk assessment will benefit from continued clarification of the concepts of assessment endpoints and of levels of biological organization. First, assessment endpoint entities and attributes can be defined at different levels of organization. Hence, an organism-level attribute, such as growth or survival, can be applied collectively to a population-level entity such as the brook trout in a stream. Second, assessment endpoints for ecological risk assessment are often mistakenly described as "individual level," which leads to the idea that such assessments are intended to protect individuals. Finally, populations play a more important role in risk assessments than is generally recognized. Organism-level attributes are used primarily for population-level assessments. In addition, the USEPA and other agencies already are basing management decisions on population or community entities and attributes such as production of fisheries, abundance of migratory bird populations, and aquatic community composition.

  3. Influence of psychological factors on acute exacerbation of tension-type headache: Investigation by ecological momentary assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Hiroe; Yoshiuchi, Kazuhiro; Ando, Tetsuya; Yamamoto, Yoshiharu

    2015-09-01

    In this study, we investigated whether psychological factors were associated with subsequent acute exacerbation of tension-type headache (TTH) in a prospective and ecologically valid manner with computerized ecological momentary assessment. Eighteen women and five men with TTH wore watch-type computers that acted as an electronic diary for 1week. The subjects recorded momentary headache intensity, psychological stress, anxiety, and depressive mood with a visual analog scale of 0-100 approximately every 6h as well as when waking up, when going to bed, and at acute headache exacerbations. Multilevel logistic regression analysis with acute headache exacerbation occurrence as the outcome was conducted. Person-mean centering was applied to psychological factors to disaggregate between- and within-individual association. Momentary psychological stress was associated with subsequent increase in headache exacerbation within 3h [Odds Ratio (95% CI)=1.32 (1.07, 1.64) for 10-point increments] while the individual mean of psychological stress was not. These results support the possibility that psychological stress could trigger acute exacerbations of TTH. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. A tiered approach for probabilistic ecological risk assessment of contaminated sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zolezzi, M.; Nicolella, C.; Tarazona, J.V.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a tiered methodology for probabilistic ecological risk assessment. The proposed approach starts from deterministic comparison (ratio) of single exposure concentration and threshold or safe level calculated from a dose-response relationship, goes through comparison of probabilistic distributions that describe exposure values and toxicological responses of organisms to the chemical of concern, and finally determines the so called distribution-based quotients (DBQs). In order to illustrate the proposed approach, soil concentrations of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4- TCB) measured in an industrial contaminated site were used for site-specific probabilistic ecological risks assessment. By using probabilistic distributions, the risk, which exceeds a level of concern for soil organisms with the deterministic approach, is associated to the presence of hot spots reaching concentrations able to affect acutely more than 50% of the soil species, while the large majority of the area presents 1,2,4- TCB concentrations below those reported as toxic [it

  5. A real-life, ecologically valid test of executive functioning : The executive secretarial task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamberts, Kirsten F.; Evans, Jonathan J.; Spikman, Jacoba M.

    2010-01-01

    A major goal of neuropsychological assessment is predicting a person's level of functioning in daily life. Making predictions about everyday executive functioning based on tests is problematic because of the contrast between demands made in the test environment and demands made in everyday life

  6. Regional Ecological Risk Assessment in the Huai River Watershed during 2010–2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Lu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem deterioration has been and is still a serious threat to human survival and regional economic development. Theoretical and methodological challenges exist in assessing ecological risk of watershed ecosystem that is imposed by natural changes or human activities. To fill this research gap, this research proposes an interdisciplinary and quantitative methodology based on some techniques such as the Procedure for Ecological Tiered Assessment of Risk (PETAR, the Entropy, and the Celluar Automata Markov (CA-Markov. We focused on six vulnerable environmental variables, namely land-use change, water quantity, water quality, gross domestic product (GDP, environmental pollutants, and soil erosion in the Huai River watershed in the Henan Province in order to build multi-dimensional quantitative method. Further, the Coupling Coordination Degree Model is constructed, and the “threshold index” is also addressed to reflect the limitation of ecological risk. Our results show that the spatio-temperal distribution of the eco-environmental quality has greatly varied across this study area during different time spans. Natural eco-environmental quality has moderately degraded in 70% of this study area (mainly agricultural region, at a prefectural level from 2000 to 2010, and has slightly improved over the agricultural region (<170 m above sea level during 2010–2015. However, when considering negative stressors from human social system on the natural ecosystem, the extent and distribution of the ecological risk varied across the whole area during 2000–2015. The results show that there was almost 90.40% of this region under the ecological risk, with varying extents over the study time, e.g., Kaifeng, Shangqiu, Xuchang, and Xinyang, with a moderate deterioration in the eco-environmental quality, and Zhengzhou with a slight deterioration in the eco-environmental quality. This paper provides a valuable perspective for governments at all levels to manage

  7. Further validation of the Internet-based Dementia Risk Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Jason; Blehar, Justin; Anderson, Allan; Gross, Alden L

    2014-01-01

    Most approaches to the detection of presymptomatic or prodromal Alzheimer's disease require the costly collection and analysis of biological samples or neuroimaging measurements. The Dementia Risk Assessment (DRA) was developed to facilitate this detection by collecting self-report and proxy-report of dementia risk variables and episodic memory performance on a free Internet website. We now report two validation studies. In Study 1, 130 community-residing older adults seeking memory screening at senior health fairs were tested using the Mini-Cog, and were then observed while taking the DRA. They were compared to a demographically-matched subsample from our anonymous Internet sample. Participants seeking memory screening had more dementia risk factors and obtained lower scores on the DRA's recognition memory test (RMT) than their Internet controls. In addition, those who failed the Mini-Cog obtained much lower scores on the RMT than those who passed the Mini-Cog. In Study 2, 160 older adults seeking evaluation of cognitive difficulties took the DRA prior to diagnostic evaluations at outpatient dementia clinics. Patients who ultimately received the diagnosis of a dementia syndrome scored significantly lower on the RMT than those diagnosed with other conditions or deemed normal. Lower education, family history of dementia, presence of hypercholesterolemia and diabetes, and memory test score distinguished the dementia and no-dementia groups with around 82% accuracy. In addition, score on the RMT correlated highly with scores on other instruments widely used to detect cognitive decline. These findings support the concurrent validity of the DRA for detecting prevalent cognitive impairment. Prospective studies of cognitively normal persons who subsequently develop dementia will be necessary to establish its predictive validity.

  8. Reliability and Validity Assessment of a Linear Position Transducer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel V. Garnacho-Castaño

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The objectives of the study were to determine the validity and reliability of peak velocity (PV, average velocity (AV, peak power (PP and average power (AP measurements were made using a linear position transducer. Validity was assessed by comparing measurements simultaneously obtained using the Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer Systemi and T-Force Dynamic Measurement Systemr (Ergotech, Murcia, Spain during two resistance exercises, bench press (BP and full back squat (BS, performed by 71 trained male subjects. For the reliability study, a further 32 men completed both lifts using the Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer Systemz in two identical testing sessions one week apart (session 1 vs. session 2. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs indicating the validity of the Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer Systemi were high, with values ranging from 0.853 to 0.989. Systematic biases and random errors were low to moderate for almost all variables, being higher in the case of PP (bias ±157.56 W; error ±131.84 W. Proportional biases were identified for almost all variables. Test-retest reliability was strong with ICCs ranging from 0.922 to 0.988. Reliability results also showed minimal systematic biases and random errors, which were only significant for PP (bias -19.19 W; error ±67.57 W. Only PV recorded in the BS showed no significant proportional bias. The Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer Systemi emerged as a reliable system for measuring movement velocity and estimating power in resistance exercises. The low biases and random errors observed here (mainly AV, AP make this device a useful tool for monitoring resistance training.

  9. The Role of Ornitofauna in the Ecological Assessment of Turyanchay State Nature Preserve Biocenoses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vahid Farzaliyev

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Floristic composition of the vegetation of the reserve is analyzed in the article. The effect of vegetation on the formation of ornitocomplexes in the territory of reserve and their interaction are interpreted. The role of ornitofauna in the activity, development and health of vegetation here is discussed. For the revelation and assessment of phytosenoses, their stability and changes in the territory of reserve birds as the most appropriate indicators for the ecological monitoring and the concrete species are proposed.

  10. ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE HUMAN -TRANSFORMED SYSTEMS OF THE IRPIN RIVER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svitlana Madzhd

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to learn the interaction of natural and anthropogenic factors and their consequences in the system “Natural environment (Irpin river – human-transformed environment (Nyvka river”. Methods: To assess the structural and functional changes of hydroecosystems, transformed under technogenic impact, hydrochemical, toxicological and biological techniques, as well as the methods of mathematical statistics for experimental data processing and summarization of obtained results, were applied. Results: it is proposed to determine the dynamics of the biotic self-regulation mechanism change under impact of the modifying (anthropogenic factors, by the example of the two-component system – “Natural environment (Irpin River – environment, transformed under technogenic impact (Nyvka River, the right-hand tributary of the Irpin River”. It is proposed to extend additionally the opportunities of the ecological assessment due to application of the integrating index – the index of ecological conformity. Discussion: obtained results stipulate necessity of the further investigation of structural and functional patterns of the Irpin River ecosystem in space and time. Assessment of anthropogenic factors impact on hydroecosystem condition will make it possible to correct the nature guard activity concerning the improvement of the fishery object ecological condition and recreation essence of the Irpin River. Integration of the Nyvka and Irpin Rivers into a single system “Natural environment – environment, transformed under technogenic impact” will make it possible to obtain the objective assessment of technogenic changes in hydroecosystems. Implementation of the index of ecological conformity will make it possible to estimate completely the inner processes in the rivers.

  11. Landscape Ecological Analysis and Assessment in an Urbanising Environment - forest birds as biodiversity indicators

    OpenAIRE

    Mörtberg, Ulla

    2004-01-01

    To achieve a sustainable development, impacts onbiodiversity of urbanisation, infrastructure, land use changesand other developments must be considered on a landscape andregional scale. Landscape ecology can provide a conceptualframework for the assessment of consequences of long-termdevelopment processes like urbanisation on biodiversity on alandscape scale, and for evaluating the impacts of alternativeplanning scenarios. The aim of this study was to explore theeffects of habitat quality, qu...

  12. Constructing Ecological Networks Based on Habitat Quality Assessment: A Case Study of Changzhou, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yu; Ma, Lei; Liu, Jiaxun; Zhuang, Zhuzhou; Huang, Qiuhao; Li, Manchun

    2017-01-01

    Fragmentation and reduced continuity of habitat patches threaten the environment and biodiversity. Recently, ecological networks are increasingly attracting the attention of researchers as they provide fundamental frameworks for environmental protection. This study suggests a set of procedures to construct an ecological network. First, we proposed a method to construct a landscape resistance surface based on the assessment of habitat quality. Second, to analyze the effect of the resistance surface on corridor simulations, we used three methods to construct resistance surfaces: (1) the method proposed in this paper, (2) the entropy coefficient method, and (3) the expert scoring method. Then, we integrated habitat patches and resistance surfaces to identify potential corridors using graph theory. These procedures were tested in Changzhou, China. Comparing the outputs of using different resistance surfaces demonstrated that: (1) different landscape resistance surfaces contribute to how corridors are identified, but only slightly affect the assessment of the importance of habitat patches and potential corridors; (2) the resistance surface, which is constructed based on habitat quality, is more applicable to corridor simulations; and (3) the assessment of the importance of habitat patches is fundamental for ecological network optimization in the conservation of critical habitat patches and corridors. PMID:28393879

  13. Ecological carrying capacity assessment of diving site: A case study of Mabul Island, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li-Ye; Chung, Shan-Shan; Qiu, Jian-Wen

    2016-12-01

    Despite considered a non-consumptive use of the marine environment, diving-related activities can cause damages to coral reefs. It is imminent to assess the maximum numbers of divers that can be accommodated by a diving site before it is subject to irreversible deterioration. This study aimed to assess the ecological carrying capacity of a diving site in Mabul Island, Malaysia. Photo-quadrat line transect method was used in the benthic survey. The ecological carrying capacity was assessed based on the relationship between the number of divers and the proportion of diver damaged hard corals in Mabul Island. The results indicated that the proportion of diver damaged hard corals occurred exponentially with increasing use. The ecological carrying capacity of Mabul Island is 15,600-16,800 divers per diving site per year at current levels of diver education and training with a quarterly threshold of 3900-4200 per site. Our calculation shows that management intervention (e.g. limiting diving) is justified at 8-14% of hard coral damage. In addition, the use of coral reef dominated diving sites should be managed according to their sensitivity to diver damage and the depth of the reefs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Ecological assessments at DOE hazardous waste sites: Current procedures and problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Krummel, J.R.; Irving, J.S.; Vinikour, W.S.

    1989-01-01

    Major actions at US Department of Energy (DOE) hazardous waste sites require CERCLA compliance that meets NEPA considerations. Although NEPA compliance includes ecological considerations, neither the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) nor the DOE provide detailed guidance for conducting ecological assessments under NEPA. However, the identification of the form and magnitude of potential ecological impacts associated with a proposed action is directly dependent on the quality of the baseline data available for a particular site. Using the Surplus Facilities Management Program Weldon Spring site as an example, we discuss the collection of baseline ecological data for the site. This site is surrounded by approximately 17,000 acres of wildlife area. Available wildlife data consisted of qualitative, county-level species lists, and vegetation data was in the form of a regional qualitative narrative. Detailed site-specific occurrence data for listed species and high quality natural communities was provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation Heritage data base. 30 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab

  15. Assessing the Role of Free-Roaming Horses in a Social-Ecological System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Jonaki; Murphy, Stephen D.

    2015-08-01

    Management actions concerning free-roaming horses attract controversy in many areas. In the Chilcotin region of British Columbia, Canada, social and cultural values influence debates about management of free-roaming horses and perceptions of their ecological impacts. A dearth of current, empirical research on the role and impacts of horses in local ecosystems results in management decisions being informed largely by studies from other ecoregions and locations, which may not accurately represent local ecological, social, cultural, and economic influences. We initiated the first socio-ecological study of horse sub-populations, their grazing habitat, and past management approaches affecting current conditions in the ?Elegesi Qayuse Wild Horse Preserve in Xeni Gwet'in (Tsilhqot'in) First Nations' territory. This exploratory study used mixed methods including a review of literature and unpublished data, assessment of vegetation in core grazing habitat, and exploration of local ecological and cultural knowledge and perceptions. Plant community composition and abundance in core grazing habitat of the Wild Horse Preserve are consistent with a structurally sound ecosystem. Socio-cultural factors are important for managers to consider in effective decision-making concerning horse populations.

  16. [Heavy Metals Pollution in Topsoil from Dagang Industry Area and Its Ecological Risk Assessment].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qian; Chen, Zong-juan; Peng, Chang-sheng; Li, Fa-sheng; Gu, Qing-bao

    2015-11-01

    Based on previous studies and field investigation of Dagang industry area in Tianjin, a total of 128 topsoil samples were collected, and contents of 10 heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Pb, Ni, V, Zn and Hg) were determined. The geoaccumulation index and geostatistics were applied to examine the degree of contamination and spatial distribution of heavy metals in topsoil. The assessment on ecological risk of heavy metals was carried out using Hakanson's method, and the main resources of the heavy metals were analyzed as well. It was found that As, Cd and Co had the highest proportions exceeding Tianjin background value, which were 100%, 97.66% and 96.88%, respectively; the heavy-metal content increased to some extent comparing with that in 2004, and the pollutions of As and Cd were the worst, and other metals were at moderate pollution level or below. The ecological risks of heavy metals were different in topsoil with different land use types, the farmland soil in the southwest as well as soils adjacent to the industrial land were at relatively high potential ecological risk level, and the integrated ecological risk index reached up to 1 437.37. Analysis of correlation and principal component showed that traffic and transportation as well as agricultural activities might be the main resources of heavy metals in the area, besides, the industrial activities in the region might also affect the accumulation of heavy metals.

  17. RBCA-based approaches to ecological risk assessment for TPH-contaminated areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hummell, R.; Vedagiri, U.

    1995-01-01

    The RBCA guidelines proposed by ASTM form an evaluation and decision-making framework for sites potentially contaminated by petroleum releases. They present a three-tiered approach of decreasing conservatism and increasing site-specificity that primarily evaluates risks to human health. While RBCA includes consideration of environmental impacts, there are no specific recommendations on how this is to be achieved. A RBCA-based ecological risk assessment approach was developed for TPH-contaminated areas in Alaska. The approach presents a habitat-based selection process for surrogate chemicals and indicator chemicals of ecological relevance, evaluation of ecotoxicity, derivation of matrix-specific Tier 1 RBSLs (including soils) and determination of Tier 2 and 3 SSTLS. Chemicals are considered by class, aquatic (freshwater and saltwater) and terrestrial habitats are evaluated independently, and chemical concentrations are screened in all media of concern (air, soil, water, sediment). Data needs and decision points specific to ecological receptors are identified for each tier of the approach. Other aspects of the approach include consideration of contaminant migration pathways and habitats that are typical of Arctic conditions. Areas where ecological and human risk concerns may overlap are identified

  18. Ecological risk assessment and carcinogen health risk assessment of arsenic in soils from part area of the Daye City, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, F.; Wang, T.; Xiao, M. S.; Cai, Y.; Zhuang, Z. Y.

    2018-01-01

    Soils in four sampling sites from part area of the Daye City were collected. Concentrations of arsenic (As) in soils in sampling sites were detected by Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry, ecological risk was calculated by potential ecological risk index (RI) and human health risk was measured by human health risk assessment model established by USEPA. The results showed that, the total content of As in soils in Daye was decreased in the order of S4 (66.58 mg/kg)>S2 (44.73 mg/kg)>S3 (34.86 mg/kg) >S1 (21.84 mg/kg), concentrations in all sampling sites were higher than background values of Hubei Province. The potential risk and human health risk were decreased in the order of S4>S2>S3>S1 and S4>S3>S2>S1, respectively. Specially, S1, S2 and S3 were at low potential ecological risk while S4 was at moderate ecological risk. But there was no carcinogenic risk for human exposure to As in soil in Daye.

  19. The ChimERA project: Coupling mechanistic exposure and effect models into an integrated platform for ecological risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laender, de F.; Brink, van den P.J.; Janssen, C.R.; Guardo, Di A.

    2014-01-01

    Current techniques for the ecological risk assessment of chemical substances are often criticised for their lack of environmental realism, ecological relevance and methodological accuracy. ChimERA is a 3-year project (2013-2016), funded by Cefic's Long Range Initiative (LRI) that aims to address

  20. The PERLA system in the Czech Republic: A multivariate approach for assessing the ecological status of running waters

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kokeš, J.; Zahrádková, S.; Němejcová, D.; Hodovský, J.; Jarkovský, J.; Soldán, Tomáš

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 566, - (2006), s. 343-354 ISSN 0018-8158 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) 1QS500070505 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : benthic macroinvertebrates * ecological quality * stream assessment Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.049, year: 2006

  1. Dynamic Assessment of Microbial Ecology (DAME): A web app for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dynamic Assessment of Microbial Ecology (DAME) is a shiny-based web application for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data. DAME provides researchers not familiar with R programming the ability to access the most current R functions utilized for ecology and gene sequenci...

  2. Ecological Risk Assessment of the Southern Fujian Golden Triangle in China Based on Regional Transportation Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinyi Yang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Regional transportation development (RTD is an important stressor of urban agglomeration ecosystems. Groundwater recharge potential may be adversely affected when natural soil is replaced by impervious materials. To systematically identify the urban agglomeration ecological risk (UAER of RTD in the southern Fujian Golden Triangle, water regulation was used as an assessment endpoint, and RTD was considered the stressor. We used the Soil Conservation Service Curve Number method (SCS-CN to analyze the internal relationship between the assessment endpoint and the stressor factors. Then, a multi-level risk characterization method was used to show the evolutionary process of risk, and to provide a scientific basis for the management of UAER. Based on the current RTD plan, the UAER assessment shows that there is a 0.90 probability of that the risk distribution results will occur by 2030. The intensity of stress from arterial roads on the urban agglomeration ecosystem is greater than that of the railway system. By considering the development of the railway system as a factor in the stress of RTD, this study of UAER assessment differs from past studies of urban ecological risk assessment, since the latter considers only highways. We also propose a systematic method of risk assessment simulation-prediction.

  3. Ecological risk assessment and natural resource management on the Outer Continental Shelf

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goeke, G.; Roscigno, P.F.

    1993-01-01

    Since 1988 beginning with the Drilling Impact Assessment Task Force, Minerals Management Service (MMS) has used formal risk analysis methodologies in the Gulf of Mexico to determine the potential impact of gas and oil activities son natural resources. In the process, a list of assumptions, critical for the assessment of potential impacts, was generated. These assumptions were incorporated into a scenario where several levels of certainty described the hazards in terms of expected frequency of effects and the seriousness of the consequences. A risk matrix was generated from these assumptions and was used to generate a risk assessment for the various impact-producing factors on ecological endpoints. Recommendations for risk management were also provided so that decision-makers were given insight into acceptable/unacceptable levels of risk. This process insured that those issues with the highest potential impact were given the highest priority in terms of resources. One of the most important aspect so f the development of a risk assessment was determining the frequency of effects of the impact-producing factors. A paucity of data concerning the effects of impact-producing factors on estuarine and marine ecosystems remains the primary limiting factor in the development of ecological risk assessments. Presented here is a broad outline of the risk assessment methodology using chemosynthetic communities found in the Gulf of Mexico as an example

  4. An Ecological Approach to Understanding Assessment for Learning in Support of Student Writing Achievement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwen Cowie

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we report on a project conducted in a New Zealand primary school that aimed to enhance the writing achievement of primary school boys who were achieving just below the national standard for their age or level through the use of peer feedback and information and communication technologies (ICTs. The project involved a teacher collaborative inquiry approach where all seven teachers in the school and the school principal participated to achieve the project aim. We adopt an ecological approach as a lens to offer a holistic and comprehensive view of how peer assessment and use of ICTs can be facilitated to improve writing achievement. Data were collected through teacher interviews and written reflections of practice and student learning, teacher analysis of student work, team meeting notes, classroom observations, and student focus group interviews. Findings from the thematic analysis of textual data illustrate the potential of adopting an ecological approach to consider how teacher classroom practices are shaped by the school, community, and wider policy context. At the classroom level, our ecological analysis highlighted a productive synergy between commonplace writing pedagogy strategies and assessment for learning (AfL practices as part of teacher orchestration of an ensemble of interdependent routines, tools, and activities. Diversity, redundancy, and local adaptations of resources to provide multiple pathways and opportunities—social and material and digital—emerged as important in fostering peer assessment and ICT use in support of writing achievement. Importantly, these practices were made explicit and taken up across the school and in the parent community because of whole staff involvement in the project. The wider policy context allowed for and supported teachers developing more effective pedagogy to impact student learning outcomes. We propose that an ecological orientation offers the field a productive insight into the

  5. Decision-Making and the Iowa Gambling Task: Ecological validity in individuals with substance dependence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Verdejo-Garcia

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Substance Dependent Individuals (SDIs usually show deficits in real-life decision-making, as illustrated by their persistence in drug use despite a rise in undesirable consequences. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT is an instrument that factors a number of aspects of real-life decision-making. Although most SDIs are impaired on the IGT, there is a subgroup of them who perform normally on this task. One possible explanation for this differential performance is that impairment in decision-making is largely detected on the IGT when the use of drugs escalates in the face of rising adverse consequences. The aim of this study is to test this hypothesis, by examining if several real-life indices associated with escalation of addiction severity (as measured by the Addiction Severity Index -ASI- are predictive of risky decisions, as revealed by impaired performance on different versions of the IGT. We administered the ASI and different versions of the IGT (the main IGT version, a variant IGT version, and two parallel versions of each to a large sample of SDI. We used regression models to examine the predictive effects of the seven real-life domains assessed by the ASI on decision-making performance as measured by the IGT. We included in regression models both ASI-derived objective and subjective measures of each problem domain. Results showed (i that several aspects of real-life functioning associated with addiction severity were moderate predictors of IGT decision-making performance; (ii that the combined assessment of decision-making using different versions of the IGT yielded better predictive measures than assessment using isolated versions of the IGT; and (iii that objective measures of real-life functioning were better predictors of decision-making performance on the IGT than subjective measures based on SDI's insight about their problems. These results support the notion that decision-making deficits as measured by the IGT are associated with a rise in

  6. Ecological risk assessment for radiological and chemical contaminants at a site with historical contamination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garisto, N.C.; Janes, A.; Peters, R.

    2010-01-01

    An Ecological Risk Assessment was carried out for a uranium conversion facility in Ontario, located on a site with a history of contamination. The ERA assessed risk to aquatic and terrestrial biota from exposure to radionuclides and non-radionuclides in soil and groundwater associated with the site. The results indicated no undue risk to aquatic biota from radionuclides. Small potential risks were identified for terrestrial biota at limited locations associated with this industrial site. Recommendations are provided for follow-up risk-informed activities. (author)

  7. Comparative Analysis of Fuzzy Set Defuzzification Methods in the Context of Ecological Risk Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Užga-Rebrovs Oļegs

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Fuzzy inference systems are widely used in various areas of human activity. Their most widespread use lies in the field of fuzzy control of technical devices of different kind. Another direction of using fuzzy inference systems is modelling and assessment of different kind of risks under insufficient or missing objective initial data. Fuzzy inference is concluded by the procedure of defuzzification of the resulting fuzzy sets. A large number of techniques for implementing the defuzzification procedure are available nowadays. The paper presents a comparative analysis of some widespread methods of fuzzy set defuzzification, and proposes the most appropriate methods in the context of ecological risk assessment.

  8. [Assessment of heavy metal pollution and potential ecological risks of urban soils in Kaifeng City, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi-Meng; Ma, Jian-Hua; Liu, De-Xin; Sun, Yan-Li; Chen, Yan-Fang

    2015-03-01

    Ninety-nine topsoil (0-15 cm) samples were collected from Kaifeng City, China using the grid method, and then the concentrations of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in the samples were measured by standard methods. Soil pollution levels and potential ecological risks of the heavy metals were assessed using the pollution load index (PLI) and potential ecological risk index (RI), respectively. Ordinary Kriging interpolation technique was employed to investigate the spatial distribution of PLI and RI of the city. The results showed that high pollution of Cd occurred in Kaifeng urban soils, and there was moderate pollution of Zn, slight pollution of Pb and Cu, and no pollution of Ni, Cr and As. Very high ecological risk was posed by Cd and low risk by other metals. The mean PLI of the 7 metals from all sample points was 2.53, which was categorized as moderate pollution. The average RI was 344.58 which represented a considerable ecological risk. PLI and RI shared a similar spatial distribution with high values centralized in the old industrial area in the southeast and railway stations for passengers and goods in the south of the city, followed by the old town within the ancient city wall, and low values located in the north and west areas. Cadmium was the main factor for both soil pollution and potential ecological risk primarily due to farmland topsoil in the eastern suburb of Kaifeng City with high Cd concentrations resulted from sewage irrigation deposited in the urban area by wind, human activities such as soot discharged from the chemical fertilizer plant of Kaifeng, transportation and coal combustion.

  9. Ecological status assessment of regulated lakes; Saeaennoesteltyjen jaervien ekologisen tilan arviointi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keto, A.; Sutela, T.; Aroviita, J.; Tarvainen, A.; Haemaelaeinen, H.; Hellsten, S.; Vehanen, T.; Marttunen, M.

    2008-10-15

    Although regulated lakes have been studied extensively during the last 20 years in Finland, biological data are still scattered. Especially in mildly regulated lakes, data have been insufficient to determine reference conditions and to estimate ecological status as required by the Water Framework Directive. The objective of this study was to increase information about the biological quality elements in order to develop ecological classification system and to define environment objectives for regulated lakes. Both existing and new data were collected from littoral fishes, littoral macroinvertebrates and macrophytes from regulated lakes and unregulated reference lakes. New biological classification metrics were then developed and tested. Moreover, alternative combinations of the biological classification parameters were tested for assessment of ecological status of lakes. Impacts of water-level regulation were found in all three biological quality elements: the littoral fishes, macroinvertebrates and macrophytes. The ecological status of the study lakes was at its worst when winter draw-down of water-level exceeded 2-3 meters. Very sensitive species for water-level regulation were recognized in all three biological quality elements. In macrophytes these species were large isoetids, in macroinvertebrates species with at least two-year life cycle and in fishes' minnow and European bullhead. In a same lake, the status of littoral fishes, macroinvertebrates and macrophytes often differed from each other As a result, when results from different biological quality elements are combined to an overall ecological status, quite large differences can exist depending on the method used to derive the overall status; i.e., whether the most sensitive quality element (i.e. the 'one-out all-out' principle) or a median value over all quality elements is used. (orig.)

  10. The assessment of the ecological quality of WECs as an impetus for R and D activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinsch, C.

    1995-01-01

    Mankind with most of its contemporary behaviour causes mindless consumption and waste of resources thus creating environmental damages. To reduce - or even better: to avoid - this situation, it is necessary to examine the complete life cycle of a product with respect to its ecological quality. Lately, changing customer behaviour as well as new legislation like the European Community regulation on eco-audits are gradually changing the market conditions in favour of a higher significance of the product's ecological quality. At the same time in the discussion about public acceptance of wind energy a new argument was brought up by wind energy critics: the lack of a proven environmentally safe disposal concept for the WEC after operation. In the past, exclusive emphasis in the development of a WEC has been placed on technical aspects, neglecting the environmental aspects. The ecological quality of the product 'WEC' is not considered at the moment, leading to the use of ecologically critical materials like PVC, hydraulic fluids, reinforced plastics, etc. Therefore it is necessary to assess and employ the existing and available know how in order to examine all phases of a WEC's life cycle with respect to their effects on environment. Weak points will thus be recognized and suggestions for advanced production procedures and substitutes materials, in terms of environmental amicability, can be given. Without doubt further R and D activities in the field of materials, fatigue evaluation and measuring methods will be initiated and supported. The technical development of new wind turbines will thus be broadened by incorporating the quoted aspects making the product 'wind turbine' inherently ecologically safe. Furthermore, R and D activities should identify the possible ways of disposal for wind energy converters. These ways of disposal shall be examined with respect to their environmental amicability and the cost involved. (Abstract Truncated)

  11. Work plan for conducting an ecological risk assessment at J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hlohowskyj, I.; Hayse, J.; Kuperman, R. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States). Environmental Assessment Div.] [and others

    1995-03-01

    The Environmental Management Division of Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, is conducting a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) of the J-Field area at APG pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended. J-Field is within the Edgewood Area of APG in Harford County, Maryland, and activities at the Edgewood Area since World War II have included the development, manufacture, testing, and destruction of chemical agents and munitions. The J-Field site was used to destroy chemical agents and munitions by open burning and open detonation. This work plan presents the approach proposed to conduct an ecological risk assessment (ERA) as part of the RI/FS program at J-Field. This work plan identifies the locations and types of field studies proposed for each area of concern (AOC), the laboratory studies proposed to evaluate toxicity of media, and the methodology to be used in estimating doses to ecological receptors and discusses the approach that will be used to estimate and evaluate ecological risks at J-Field. Eight AOCs have been identified at J-Field, and the proposed ERA is designed to evaluate the potential for adverse impacts to ecological receptors from contaminated media at each AOC, as well as over the entire J-Field site. The proposed ERA approach consists of three major phases, incorporating field and laboratory studies as well as modeling. Phase 1 includes biotic surveys of the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, biological tissue sampling and analysis, and media toxicity testing at each AOC and appropriate reference locations. Phase 2 includes definitive toxicity testing of media from areas of known or suspected contamination or of media for which the Phase 1 results indicate toxicity or adverse ecological effects. In Phase 3, the uptake models initially developed in Phase 2 will be finalized, and contaminant dose to each receptor from all complete pathways will be estimated.

  12. 49 CFR 1522.121 - Security threat assessments for personnel of TSA-approved validation firms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 49 Transportation 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Security threat assessments for personnel of TSA... FOR ALL MODES OF TRANSPORTATION TSA-APPROVED VALIDATION FIRMS AND VALIDATORS TSA-Approved Validation... for personnel of TSA-approved validation firms. Each of the following must successfully complete a...

  13. Heavy metal enrichment and ecological risk assessment of surface sediments in Khorramabad River, West Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rastmanesh, F; Safaie, S; Zarasvandi, A R; Edraki, M

    2018-04-11

    The ecological health of rivers has often been threatened in urbanized catchments due to the expansion of industrial activities and the population growth. Khorramabad River which flows through Khorramabad city, west of Iran, is an example of such settings. The river water is used for agricultural purposes downstream. In this study, the effect of Khorramabad city on heavy metal and metalloid (Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Cr, and As) loads in Khorramabad River sediments was investigated. To evaluate sediment pollution and potential adverse biological effects, surface sediment samples were collected at selected locations along the river and were characterized for their geochemical properties. Contamination factor (CF), pollution load index (PLI), and ecological risk assessment (RI) were calculated. Also, sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) were used to screen contaminants of concern in the study area. The results showed that sediments were moderately polluted, with stations located in more densely populated areas showing higher pollution indicators. Copper, Zn, and Pb sources could be attributed to urban wastewater, whereas Ni, Cr, and As had both natural and anthropogenic sources. Moreover, ecological risk assessments showed that sediments could be classified in the category of low risk. The results of the present study showed the effect of anthropogenic activities on heavy metal loads of the river sediments and these findings can be used to mitigate potential impacts on the environment and human health.

  14. Ecological and human health sediment risk assessment for a hydrocarbon-impacted site in Lake Athabasca

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mcdonald, B.; Wagenaar, A.; LaPorte, J.; Misfeldt, G.; Chatwell, I.

    2009-01-01

    The operation of a public port facility near Uranium City, Saskatchewan has resulted in elevated levels of hydrocarbons in soil, groundwater and sediment. Remedial action in the uplands portion of the site was successful and a risk management approach was initiated for the aquatic portion of the site in order to resolve human health and ecological issues. Ecological risks were assessed using a sediment weight-of-evidence approach involving chemistry, toxicity, bioaccumulation and benthic community structure. Human health risks were assessed via fish consumption, water ingestion and direct contact according to Health Canada guidance. This presentation included an overview of the general risk assessment approach as well as site-specific data and findings. The primary focus was on the challenges confronted during the risk assessment process, such as the need to include alkylated PAHs as a COPC in the human health risk assessment and to evaluate ongoing propeller wash and sediment resuspension for sediment risk management, even though the facility is no longer operational.

  15. Environmental biodosimetry: a biologically relevant tool for ecological risk assessment and biomonitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ulsh, B. E-mail: ulshb@mcmaster.ca; Hinton, T.G.; Congdon, J.D.; Dugan, L.C.; Whicker, F.W.; Bedford, J.S

    2003-07-01

    Biodosimetry, the estimation of received doses by determining the frequency of radiation-induced chromosome aberrations, is widely applied in humans acutely exposed as a result of accidents or for clinical purposes, but biodosimetric techniques have not been utilized in organisms chronically exposed to radionuclides in contaminated environments. The application of biodosimetry to environmental exposure scenarios could greatly improve the accuracy, and reduce the uncertainties, of ecological risk assessments and biomonitoring studies, because no assumptions are required regarding external exposure rates and the movement of organisms into and out of contaminated areas. Furthermore, unlike residue analyses of environmental media environmental biodosimetry provides a genetically relevant biomarker of cumulative lifetime exposure. Symmetrical chromosome translocations can impact reproductive success, and could therefore prove to be ecologically relevant as well. We describe our experience in studying aberrations in the yellow-bellied slider turtle as an example of environmental biodosimetry.

  16. U.S. Geological Survey Methodology Development for Ecological Carbon Assessment and Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zhi-Liang; Stackpoole, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    Ecological carbon sequestration refers to transfer and storage of atmospheric carbon in vegetation, soils, and aquatic environments to help offset the net increase from carbon emissions. Understanding capacities, associated opportunities, and risks of vegetated ecosystems to sequester carbon provides science information to support formulation of policies governing climate change mitigation, adaptation, and land-management strategies. Section 712 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 mandates the Department of the Interior to develop a methodology and assess the capacity of our nation's ecosystems for ecological carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas (GHG) flux mitigation. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) LandCarbon Project is responding to the Department of Interior's request to develop a methodology that meets specific EISA requirements.

  17. Elements for a comprehensive assessment of natural resources: bridging environmental economics with ecological economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodriguez Romero, Paulo Cesar; Cubillos Gonzalez, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    The predominance of economic assessments regarding the value of natural resources has caused a sub-valuing of the real benefits which societies can obtain from nature. This is due to a lack of knowledge about the complexity of ecological functions, as well as a dismissal of the integrated relations of the sub-systems which make up the environment. It is therefore necessary to establish conceptual bridges between environmental sciences to fill in the gaps in economic valuation methods by recurring to diverse measuring scales, participation from the different actors involved, and a principle of precaution regarding the limits of nature. This paper explores the concepts of value and economic valuation methods from the perspectives of Environmental Economics and Ecological Economics. It then proposes an integration of valuing methodologies which take into account how complementary and complex natures value relations are. This proposal of valuing integrally ecosystem goods and services contributes to adjusting political decisions more accordingly to real environmental conditions.

  18. An ecologically-based method for selecting ecological indicators for assessing risks to biological diversity from genetically-engineered plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andow, D. A.; Lövei, Gabor L; Arpaia, Salvatore

    2013-01-01

    into ecological functional groups and selecting those that deliver the identified environmental values. (3) All of the species or ecosystem processes related to the selected functional groups are identified and (4) multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is used to rank the indicator endpoint entities, which may...... adverse effects to biological diversity. The approach starts by (1) identifying the local environmental values so the ERA addresses specific concerns associated with local biological diversity. The model simplifies the indicator endpoint selection problem by (2) classifying biological diversity...... be species or ecological processes. MCDA focuses on those species and processes that are critical for the identified ecological functions and are likely to be highly exposed to the GE organism. The highest ranked indicator entities are selected for the next step. (5) Relevant risk hypotheses are identified...

  19. Phase two of Site 300's ecological risk assessment: Model verification and risk management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlson, T.M.; Gregory, S.D.

    1995-01-01

    The authors completed the baseline ecological risk assessment (ERA) for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Site 300 in 1993. Using data collection and modeling techniques adapted from the human health risk assessment (HRA), they evaluated the potential hazard of contaminants in environmental media to ecological receptors. They identified potential hazards to (1) aquatic invertebrates from heavy metal contaminants in surface water, (2) burrowing vertebrates from contaminants volatilizing from subsurface soil into burrow air, and (3) grazing deer and burrowing vertebrates from cadmium contamination in surface soil. They recently began collecting data to refine the estimates of potential hazard to these ecological receptors. Bioassay results form the surface water failed to verify a hazard to aquatic invertebrates. Soil vapor surveys of subsurface burrows did verify the presence of high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, they have not yet verified a true impact on the burrowing populations. The authors also completed an extensive surface soil sampling program, which identified local hot spots of cadmium contamination. In addition, they have been collecting data on the land use patterns of the deer population. Their data indicate that deer do not typically use those areas with cadmium surface soil contamination. Information from this phase of the ERA, along with the results of the HRA, will direct the selection of remedial alternatives for the site. For the ecological receptors, remedial alternatives include developing a risk management program which includes ensuring that (1) sensitive burrowing species (such as rare or endangered species) do not use areas of surface or subsurface contamination, and (2) deer populations do not use areas of surface soil contamination

  20. Issues in developing valid assessments of speech pathology students' performance in the workplace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAllister, Sue; Lincoln, Michelle; Ferguson, Alison; McAllister, Lindy

    2010-01-01

    Workplace-based learning is a critical component of professional preparation in speech pathology. A validated assessment of this learning is seen to be 'the gold standard', but it is difficult to develop because of design and validation issues. These issues include the role and nature of judgement in assessment, challenges in measuring quality, and the relationship between assessment and learning. Valid assessment of workplace-based performance needs to capture the development of competence over time and account for both occupation specific and generic competencies. This paper reviews important conceptual issues in the design of valid and reliable workplace-based assessments of competence including assessment content, process, impact on learning, measurement issues, and validation strategies. It then goes on to share what has been learned about quality assessment and validation of a workplace-based performance assessment using competency-based ratings. The outcomes of a four-year national development and validation of an assessment tool are described. A literature review of issues in conceptualizing, designing, and validating workplace-based assessments was conducted. Key factors to consider in the design of a new tool were identified and built into the cycle of design, trialling, and data analysis in the validation stages of the development process. This paper provides an accessible overview of factors to consider in the design and validation of workplace-based assessment tools. It presents strategies used in the development and national validation of a tool COMPASS, used in an every speech pathology programme in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. The paper also describes Rasch analysis, a model-based statistical approach which is useful for establishing validity and reliability of assessment tools. Through careful attention to conceptual and design issues in the development and trialling of workplace-based assessments, it has been possible to develop the

  1. Novel Automated Morphometric and Kinematic Handwriting Assessment: A Validity Study in Children with ASD and ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirlikov, Benjamin; Younes, Laurent; Nebel, Mary Beth; Martinelli, Mary Katherine; Tiedemann, Alyssa Nicole; Koch, Carolyn A.; Fiorilli, Diana; Bastian, Amy J.; Denckla, Martha Bridge; Miller, Michael I.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2017-01-01

    This study presents construct validity for a novel automated morphometric and kinematic handwriting assessment, including (1) convergent validity, establishing reliability of automated measures with traditional manual-derived Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA), and (2) discriminant validity, establishing that the automated methods distinguish…

  2. Modelling the pre-assessment learning effects of assessment: evidence in the validity chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cilliers, Francois J; Schuwirth, Lambert W T; van der Vleuten, Cees P M

    2012-11-01

    We previously developed a model of the pre-assessment learning effects of consequential assessment and started to validate it. The model comprises assessment factors, mechanism factors and learning effects. The purpose of this study was to continue the validation process. For stringency, we focused on a subset of assessment factor-learning effect associations that featured least commonly in a baseline qualitative study. Our aims were to determine whether these uncommon associations were operational in a broader but similar population to that in which the model was initially derived. A cross-sectional survey of 361 senior medical students at one medical school was undertaken using a purpose-made questionnaire based on a grounded theory and comprising pairs of written situational tests. In each pair, the manifestation of an assessment factor was varied. The frequencies at which learning effects were selected were compared for each item pair, using an adjusted alpha to assign significance. The frequencies at which mechanism factors were selected were calculated. There were significant differences in the learning effect selected between the two scenarios of an item pair for 13 of this subset of 21 uncommon associations, even when a p-value of value. For a subset of uncommon associations in the model, the role of most assessment factor-learning effect associations and the mechanism factors involved were supported in a broader but similar population to that in which the model was derived. Although model validation is an ongoing process, these results move the model one step closer to the stage of usefully informing interventions. Results illustrate how factors not typically included in studies of the learning effects of assessment could confound the results of interventions aimed at using assessment to influence learning. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2012.

  3. Pacific Islands Coral Reef Ecosystems Division (CRED) Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) algae species lists (NODC Accession 0010352)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Quadrats were sampled along consecutively placed transect lines as part of Rapid Ecological Assessments conducted at sites in American Pacific Islands: CRED REA...

  4. Ecological Momentary Assessments and Automated Time Series Analysis to Promote Tailored Health Care : A Proof-of-Principle Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Krieke, Lian; Emerencia, Ando C; Bos, Elisabeth H; Rosmalen, Judith Gm; Riese, Harriëtte; Aiello, Marco; Sytema, Sjoerd; de Jonge, Peter

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Health promotion can be tailored by combining ecological momentary assessments (EMA) with time series analysis. This combined method allows for studying the temporal order of dynamic relationships among variables, which may provide concrete indications for intervention. However,

  5. Using Tradtional Ecological Knowledge to Protect Wetlands: the Swinomish Tribe's Wetland Cultural Assessment Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, T.

    2017-12-01

    "Traditional" wetland physical assessment modules do not adequately identify Tribal cultural values of wetlands and thus wetlands may not be adequately protected for cultural uses. This Swinomish Wetlands Cultural Assessment Project has developed a cultural resource scoring module that can be incorporated into wetland assessments to better inform wetland protections. Local native knowledge was gathered about the traditional uses of 99 native wetland plant species. A cultural scoring matrix was developed based on the presence of traditionally used plants in several use categories including: construction, ceremonial, subsistence, medicinal, common use, plant rarity, and place of value for each wetland. The combined score of the cultural and physcial modules provides an overall wetland score that relates to proscribed buffer protection widths. With this local native knowledge incorporated into wetland assessments, we are protecting and preserving Swinomish Reservation wetlands for both cultural uses and ecological functionality through the Tribe's wetland protection law.

  6. Terrestrial population models for ecological risk assessment: A state-of-the-art review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emlen, J.M.

    1989-01-01

    Few attempts have been made to formulate models for predicting impacts of xenobiotic chemicals on wildlife populations. However, considerable effort has been invested in wildlife optimal exploitation models. Because death from intoxication has a similar effect on population dynamics as death by harvesting, these management models are applicable to ecological risk assessment. An underlying Leslie-matrix bookkeeping formulation is widely applicable to vertebrate wildlife populations. Unfortunately, however, the various submodels that track birth, death, and dispersal rates as functions of the physical, chemical, and biotic environment are by their nature almost inevitably highly species- and locale-specific. Short-term prediction of one-time chemical applications requires only information on mortality before and after contamination. In such cases a simple matrix formulation may be adequate for risk assessment. But generally, risk must be projected over periods of a generation or more. This precludes generic protocols for risk assessment and also the ready and inexpensive predictions of a chemical's influence on a given population. When designing and applying models for ecological risk assessment at the population level, the endpoints (output) of concern must be carefully and rigorously defined. The most easily accessible and appropriate endpoints are (1) pseudoextinction (the frequency or probability of a population falling below a prespecified density), and (2) temporal mean population density. Spatial and temporal extent of predicted changes must be clearly specified a priori to avoid apparent contradictions and confusion.

  7. Choosing and using climate change scenarios for ecological-impact assessments and conservation decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amy K. Snover,; Nathan J. Mantua,; Littell, Jeremy; Michael A. Alexander,; Michelle M. McClure,; Janet Nye,

    2013-01-01

    Increased concern over climate change is demonstrated by the many efforts to assess climate effects and develop adaptation strategies. Scientists, resource managers, and decision makers are increasingly expected to use climate information, but they struggle with its uncertainty. With the current proliferation of climate simulations and downscaling methods, scientifically credible strategies for selecting a subset for analysis and decision making are needed. Drawing on a rich literature in climate science and impact assessment and on experience working with natural resource scientists and decision makers, we devised guidelines for choosing climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment that recognize irreducible uncertainty in climate projections and address common misconceptions about this uncertainty. This approach involves identifying primary local climate drivers by climate sensitivity of the biological system of interest; determining appropriate sources of information for future changes in those drivers; considering how well processes controlling local climate are spatially resolved; and selecting scenarios based on considering observed emission trends, relative importance of natural climate variability, and risk tolerance and time horizon of the associated decision. The most appropriate scenarios for a particular analysis will not necessarily be the most appropriate for another due to differences in local climate drivers, biophysical linkages to climate, decision characteristics, and how well a model simulates the climate parameters and processes of interest. Given these complexities, we recommend interaction among climate scientists, natural and physical scientists, and decision makers throughout the process of choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment.

  8. Site-specific probabilistic ecological risk assessment of a volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon-contaminated tidal estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, James; Birch, Gavin; Warne, Michael St J

    2010-05-01

    Groundwater contaminated with volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons (VCHs) was identified as discharging to Penrhyn Estuary, an intertidal embayment of Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia. A screening-level hazard assessment of surface water in Penrhyn Estuary identified an unacceptable hazard to marine organisms posed by VCHs. Given the limitations of hazard assessments, the present study conducted a higher-tier, quantitative probabilistic risk assessment using the joint probability curve (JPC) method that accounted for variability in exposure and toxicity profiles to quantify risk (delta). Risk was assessed for 24 scenarios, including four areas of the estuary based on three exposure scenarios (low tide, high tide, and both low and high tides) and two toxicity scenarios (chronic no-observed-effect concentrations [NOEC] and 50% effect concentrations [EC50]). Risk (delta) was greater at low tide than at high tide and varied throughout the tidal cycle. Spatial distributions of risk in the estuary were similar using both NOEC and EC50 data. The exposure scenario including data combined from both tides was considered the most accurate representation of the ecological risk in the estuary. When assessing risk using data across both tides, the greatest risk was identified in the Springvale tributary (delta=25%)-closest to the source area-followed by the inner estuary (delta=4%) and the Floodvale tributary (delta=2%), with the lowest risk in the outer estuary (delta=0.1%), farthest from the source area. Going from the screening level ecological risk assessment (ERA) to the probabilistic ERA changed the risk from unacceptable to acceptable in 50% of exposure scenarios in two of the four areas within the estuary. The probabilistic ERA provided a more realistic assessment of risk than the screening-level hazard assessment. Copyright (c) 2010 SETAC.

  9. Assessing Ecological Flow Needs and Risks for Springs and Baseflow Streams With Growth and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, A. E.; Stevens, L. E.

    2008-12-01

    Ecological flow needs assessments are beginning to become an important part of regulated river management, but are more challenging for unregulated rivers. Water needs for ecosystems are greater than just consumptive use by riparian and aquatic vegetation and include the magnitude, frequency, duration and timing of flows and the depth and annual fluctuations of groundwater levels of baseflow supported streams. An ecological flow needs assessment was adapted and applied to an unregulated, baseflow dependent river in the arid to semi-arid Southwestern U.S. A separate process was developed to determine groundwater sources potentially at risk from climate, land management, or groundwater use changes in a large regional groundwater basin in the same semi-arid region. In 2007 and 2008, workshops with ecological, cultural, and physical experts from agencies, universities, tribes, and other organizations were convened. Flow-ecology response functions were developed with either conceptual or actual information for a baseflow dependent river, and scoring systems were developed to assign values to categories of risks to groundwater sources in a large groundwater basin. A reduction of baseflow to the river was predicted to lead to a decline in cottonwood and willow tree abundance, decreases in riparian forest diversity, and increases in non-native tree species, such as tamarisk. These types of forest vegetation changes would likely cause reductions or loss of some bird species. Loss of riffle habitat through declines in groundwater discharge and the associated river levels would likely lead to declines in native fish and amphibian species. A research agenda was developed to develop techniques to monitor, assess and hopefully better manage the aquifers supporting the baseflow dependent river to prevent potential threshold responses of the ecosystems. The scoring system for categories of risk was applied to four systems (aquifers, springs, standing water bodies, and streams) in

  10. Survey and assessment of conventional software verification and validation methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, L.A.; Groundwater, E.; Mirsky, S.M.

    1993-04-01

    By means of a literature survey, a comprehensive set of methods was identified for the verification and validation of conventional software. The 134 methods so identified were classified according to their appropriateness for various phases of a developmental lifecycle -- requirements, design, and implementation; the last category was subdivided into two, static testing and dynamic testing methods. The methods were then characterized in terms of eight rating factors, four concerning ease-of-use of the methods and four concerning the methods' power to detect defects. Based on these factors, two measurements were developed to permit quantitative comparisons among methods, a Cost-Benefit metric and an Effectiveness Metric. The Effectiveness Metric was further refined to provide three different estimates for each method, depending on three classes of needed stringency of V ampersand V (determined by ratings of a system's complexity and required-integrity). Methods were then rank-ordered for each of the three classes in terms of their overall cost-benefits and effectiveness. The applicability was then assessed of each method for the four identified components of knowledge-based and expert systems, as well as the system as a whole

  11. On Consistency Test Method of Expert Opinion in Ecological Security Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Zaiwu; Wang, Lihong

    2017-09-04

    To reflect the initiative design and initiative of human security management and safety warning, ecological safety assessment is of great value. In the comprehensive evaluation of regional ecological security with the participation of experts, the expert's individual judgment level, ability and the consistency of the expert's overall opinion will have a very important influence on the evaluation result. This paper studies the consistency measure and consensus measure based on the multiplicative and additive consistency property of fuzzy preference relation (FPR). We firstly propose the optimization methods to obtain the optimal multiplicative consistent and additively consistent FPRs of individual and group judgments, respectively. Then, we put forward a consistency measure by computing the distance between the original individual judgment and the optimal individual estimation, along with a consensus measure by computing the distance between the original collective judgment and the optimal collective estimation. In the end, we make a case study on ecological security for five cities. Result shows that the optimal FPRs are helpful in measuring the consistency degree of individual judgment and the consensus degree of collective judgment.

  12. Potential ecological risk assessment and prediction of soil heavy-metal pollution around coal gangue dump

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, X.; Lu, W. X.; Zhao, H. Q.; Yang, Q. C.; Yang, Z. P.

    2014-06-01

    The aim of the present study is to evaluate the potential ecological risk and trend of soil heavy-metal pollution around a coal gangue dump in Jilin Province (Northeast China). The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr and Zn were monitored by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The potential ecological risk index method developed by Hakanson (1980) was employed to assess the potential risk of heavy-metal pollution. The potential ecological risk in the order of ER(Cd) > ER(Pb) > ER(Cu) > ER(Cr) > ER(Zn) have been obtained, which showed that Cd was the most important factor leading to risk. Based on the Cd pollution history, the cumulative acceleration and cumulative rate of Cd were estimated, then the fixed number of years exceeding the standard prediction model was established, which was used to predict the pollution trend of Cd under the accelerated accumulation mode and the uniform mode. Pearson correlation analysis and correspondence analysis are employed to identify the sources of heavy metals and the relationship between sampling points and variables. These findings provided some useful insights for making appropriate management strategies to prevent or decrease heavy-metal pollution around a coal gangue dump in the Yangcaogou coal mine and other similar areas elsewhere.

  13. A critical assessment of the ecological assumptions underpinning compensatory mitigation of salmon-derived nutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Scott F.; Marcarelli, Amy M.; Baxter, Colden V.; Wipfli, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    We critically evaluate some of the key ecological assumptions underpinning the use of nutrient replacement as a means of recovering salmon populations and a range of other organisms thought to be linked to productive salmon runs. These assumptions include: (1) nutrient mitigation mimics the ecological roles of salmon, (2) mitigation is needed to replace salmon-derived nutrients and stimulate primary and invertebrate production in streams, and (3) food resources in rearing habitats limit populations of salmon and resident fishes. First, we call into question assumption one because an array of evidence points to the multi-faceted role played by spawning salmon, including disturbance via redd-building, nutrient recycling by live fish, and consumption by terrestrial consumers. Second, we show that assumption two may require qualification based upon a more complete understanding of nutrient cycling and productivity in streams. Third, we evaluate the empirical evidence supporting food limitation of fish populations and conclude it has been only weakly tested. On the basis of this assessment, we urge caution in the application of nutrient mitigation as a management tool. Although applications of nutrients and other materials intended to mitigate for lost or diminished runs of Pacific salmon may trigger ecological responses within treated ecosystems, contributions of these activities toward actual mitigation may be limited.

  14. A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Toby A.; Ferreira, Joice; Barlow, Jos; Lees, Alexander C.; Parry, Luke; Vieira, Ima Célia Guimarães; Berenguer, Erika; Abramovay, Ricardo; Aleixo, Alexandre; Andretti, Christian; Aragão, Luiz E. O. C.; Araújo, Ivanei; de Ávila, Williams Souza; Bardgett, Richard D.; Batistella, Mateus; Begotti, Rodrigo Anzolin; Beldini, Troy; de Blas, Driss Ezzine; Braga, Rodrigo Fagundes; Braga, Danielle de Lima; de Brito, Janaína Gomes; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Campos dos Santos, Fabiane; de Oliveira, Vívian Campos; Cordeiro, Amanda Cardoso Nunes; Cardoso, Thiago Moreira; de Carvalho, Déborah Reis; Castelani, Sergio André; Chaul, Júlio Cézar Mário; Cerri, Carlos Eduardo; Costa, Francisco de Assis; da Costa, Carla Daniele Furtado; Coudel, Emilie; Coutinho, Alexandre Camargo; Cunha, Dênis; D'Antona, Álvaro; Dezincourt, Joelma; Dias-Silva, Karina; Durigan, Mariana; Esquerdo, Júlio César Dalla Mora; Feres, José; Ferraz, Silvio Frosini de Barros; Ferreira, Amanda Estefânia de Melo; Fiorini, Ana Carolina; da Silva, Lenise Vargas Flores; Frazão, Fábio Soares; Garrett, Rachel; Gomes, Alessandra dos Santos; Gonçalves, Karoline da Silva; Guerrero, José Benito; Hamada, Neusa; Hughes, Robert M.; Igliori, Danilo Carmago; Jesus, Ederson da Conceição; Juen, Leandro; Junior, Miércio; Junior, José Max Barbosa de Oliveira; Junior, Raimundo Cosme de Oliveira; Junior, Carlos Souza; Kaufmann, Phil; Korasaki, Vanesca; Leal, Cecília Gontijo; Leitão, Rafael; Lima, Natália; Almeida, Maria de Fátima Lopes; Lourival, Reinaldo; Louzada, Júlio; Nally, Ralph Mac; Marchand, Sébastien; Maués, Márcia Motta; Moreira, Fátima M. S.; Morsello, Carla; Moura, Nárgila; Nessimian, Jorge; Nunes, Sâmia; Oliveira, Victor Hugo Fonseca; Pardini, Renata; Pereira, Heloisa Correia; Pompeu, Paulo Santos; Ribas, Carla Rodrigues; Rossetti, Felipe; Schmidt, Fernando Augusto; da Silva, Rodrigo; da Silva, Regina Célia Viana Martins; da Silva, Thiago Fonseca Morello Ramalho; Silveira, Juliana; Siqueira, João Victor; de Carvalho, Teotônio Soares; Solar, Ricardo R. C.; Tancredi, Nicola Savério Holanda; Thomson, James R.; Torres, Patrícia Carignano; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Zagury; Veiga, Ruan Carlo Stulpen; Venturieri, Adriano; Viana, Cecília; Weinhold, Diana; Zanetti, Ronald; Zuanon, Jansen

    2013-01-01

    Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here, we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazônia Sustentável, RAS): a multidisciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organizations working to assess both social and ecological dimensions of land-use sustainability in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The research approach adopted by RAS offers three advantages for addressing land-use sustainability problems: (i) the collection of synchronized and co-located ecological and socioeconomic data across broad gradients of past and present human use; (ii) a nested sampling design to aid comparison of ecological and socioeconomic conditions associated with different land uses across local, landscape and regional scales; and (iii) a strong engagement with a wide variety of actors and non-research institutions. Here, we elaborate on these key features, and identify the ways in which RAS can help in highlighting those problems in most urgent need of attention, and in guiding improvements in land-use sustainability in Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. We also discuss some of the practical lessons, limitations and realities faced during the development of the RAS initiative so far. PMID:23610172

  15. Linking Ecological and Perceptual Assessments for Environmental Management: a Coral Reef Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Dinsdale

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Integrating information from a range of community members in environmental management provides a more complete assessment of the problem and a diversification of management options, but is difficult to achieve. To investigate the relationship between different environmental interpretations, I compared three distinct measures of anchor damage on coral reefs: ecological measures, perceptual meanings, and subjective health judgments. The ecological measures identified an increase in the number of overturned corals and a reduction in coral cover, the perceptual meanings identified a loss of visual quality, and the health judgments identified a reduction in the health of the coral reef sites associated with high levels of anchoring. Combining the perceptual meanings and health judgments identified that the judgment of environmental health was a key feature that both scientific and lay participants used to describe the environment. Some participants in the survey were familiar with the coral reef environment, and others were not. However, they provided consistent judgment of a healthy coral reef, suggesting that these judgments were not linked to present-day experiences. By combining subjective judgments and ecological measures, the point at which the environment is deemed to lose visual quality was identified; for these coral reefs, if the level of damage rose above 10.3% and the cover of branching corals dropped below 17.1%, the reefs were described as unhealthy. Therefore, by combining the information, a management agency can involve the community in identifying when remedial action is required or when management policies are effectively maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

  16. Using ecological indicators and a decision support system for integrated ecological assessment at two national park units in the Mid-Atlantic region, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahan, Carolyn G.; Young, John A.; Miller, Bruce; Saunders, Michael C.

    2014-01-01

    We implemented an integrated ecological assessment using a GIS-based decision support system model for Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (UPDE) and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA)—national park units with the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Our assessment examined a variety of aquatic and terrestrial indicators of ecosystem components that reflect the parks’ conservation purpose and reference condition. Our assessment compared these indicators to ecological thresholds to determine the condition of park watersheds. Selected indicators included chemical and physical measures of water quality, biologic indicators of water quality, and landscape condition measures. For the chemical and physical measures of water quality, we used a water quality index and each of its nine components to assess the condition of water quality in each watershed. For biologic measures of water quality, we used the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera aquatic macroinvertebrate index and, secondarily, the Hilsenhoff aquatic macroinvertebrate index. Finally, for the landscape condition measures of our model, we used percent forest and percent impervious surface. Based on our overall assessment, UPDE and DEWA watersheds had an ecological assessment score of 0.433 on a −1 to 1 fuzzy logic scale. This score indicates that, in general, the natural resource condition within watersheds at these parks is healthy or ecologically unimpaired; however, we had only partial data for many of our indicators. Our model is iterative and new data may be incorporated as they become available. These natural parks are located within a rapidly urbanizing landscape—we recommend that natural resource managers remain vigilant to surrounding land uses that may adversely affect natural resources within the parks.

  17. Using Ecological Indicators and a Decision Support System for Integrated Ecological Assessment at Two National Park Units in the Mid-Atlantic Region, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahan, Carolyn G.; Young, John A.; Miller, Bruce J.; Saunders, Michael C.

    2015-02-01

    We implemented an integrated ecological assessment using a GIS-based decision support system model for Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (UPDE) and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA)—national park units with the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Our assessment examined a variety of aquatic and terrestrial indicators of ecosystem components that reflect the parks' conservation purpose and reference condition. Our assessment compared these indicators to ecological thresholds to determine the condition of park watersheds. Selected indicators included chemical and physical measures of water quality, biologic indicators of water quality, and landscape condition measures. For the chemical and physical measures of water quality, we used a water quality index and each of its nine components to assess the condition of water quality in each watershed. For biologic measures of water quality, we used the Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera aquatic macroinvertebrate index and, secondarily, the Hilsenhoff aquatic macroinvertebrate index. Finally, for the landscape condition measures of our model, we used percent forest and percent impervious surface. Based on our overall assessment, UPDE and DEWA watersheds had an ecological assessment score of 0.433 on a -1 to 1 fuzzy logic scale. This score indicates that, in general, the natural resource condition within watersheds at these parks is healthy or ecologically unimpaired; however, we had only partial data for many of our indicators. Our model is iterative and new data may be incorporated as they become available. These natural parks are located within a rapidly urbanizing landscape—we recommend that natural resource managers remain vigilant to surrounding land uses that may adversely affect natural resources within the parks.

  18. Determination of significance in Ecological Impact Assessment: Past change, current practice and future improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D., E-mail: mdh@soton.ac.uk

    2013-01-15

    Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is an important tool for conservation and achieving sustainable development. 'Significant' impacts are those which disturb or alter the environment to a measurable degree. Significance is a crucial part of EcIA, our understanding of the concept in practice is vital if it is to be effective as a tool. This study employed three methods to assess how the determination of significance has changed through time, what current practice is, and what would lead to future improvements. Three data streams were collected: interviews with expert stakeholders, a review of 30 Environmental Statements and a broad-scale survey of the United Kingdom Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) members. The approach taken in the determination of significance has become more standardised and subjectivity has become constrained through a transparent framework. This has largely been driven by a set of guidelines produced by IEEM in 2006. The significance of impacts is now more clearly justified and the accuracy with which it is determined has improved. However, there are limitations to accuracy and effectiveness of the determination of significance. These are the quality of baseline survey data, our scientific understanding of ecological processes and the lack of monitoring and feedback of results. These in turn are restricted by the limited resources available in consultancies. The most notable recommendations for future practice are the implementation of monitoring and the publication of feedback, the creation of a central database for baseline survey data and the streamlining of guidance. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The assessment of significance has changed markedly through time. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The IEEM guidelines have driven a standardisation of practice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Currently limited by quality of baseline data and scientific understanding. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Monitoring

  19. Geospatial Assessment of Forest Fragmentation and its Implications for Ecological Processes in Tropical Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adepoju Kayode Adewale

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The study assessed the patterns of spatio-temporal configuration imposed on a forest landscape in Southwestern Nigeria due to fragmentation for the period 1986 – 2010 in order to understand the relationship between landscape patterns and the ecological processes influencing the distribution of species in tropical forest environment. Time-series Landsat TM and ETM satellite images and forest inventory data were pre-processed and classified into four landuse/landcover categories using maximum likelihood classification algorithm. Fragstats software was used for the computation of seven landscape and six class level metrics to provide indicators of fragmentation and landscape connectivity from the classified images.

  20. The assessment of dentistry status in districts with unfavourable ecological situation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopbaeva, M.T.; Gusev, B.I.; Ajdzhanov, M.M.; Sadykov, R.Kh.

    1996-01-01

    The problem of ecological influence on health level, including dentistry is extremely actual. In this connection the attempt of study of Semipalatinsk region population's mouth status was undertaken. For assessment of dentistry status have been 9779 inhabitants of Abaj, Beskargaj, Zhana-Semej, Borodulikhinskij districts and Semipalatinsk city were examined. The 3289 inhabitants of Kokpekty district according WHO recommendations with use methodic of definition of dentistry level of health were examined also. The insensitivity of paradonta diseases by CPITN indexes is given. Diseases of mouth mucous most diagnose are adduced

  1. Higher tier field research in ecological risk assessment: a case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faber, J. [Alterra, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2003-07-01

    A newly developed basic procedure for site-specific ecological risk assessment in The Netherlands was followed in practice for the first time. In line with conventional Triade approaches, the procedure includes multidisciplinary parameters from environmental chemistry, toxicology and ecology to provide multiple weight of evidence. However, land use at the contaminated site and its vicinity is given more importance, and research parameters are selected in accordance to specific objectives for land use in order to test for harmful effects to underlying ecosystem services. Moreover, the approach is characterized by repetitive interactions between stakeholders and researching consultants, in particular with respect to the choice of parameters and criteria to assess the results. The approach was followed in an ecological risk assessment to test the assumptions underlying a soil management plant for a rural area in The Netherlands, called 'Krimpenerwaard'. Throughout this region some 5000 polder ditches have been filled with waste materials originating from local households, waterway sludge, industrial wastes, car shredders, and more. Several sites are severely polluted by heavy metals, cyanide, PAH or chlorinated hydrocarbons and require remediation or clean up. However, the exact distribution of these wastes over the entire region is scarcely known, and the Krimpenerwaard as a whole is treated as one case of serious soil pollution. A soil management plan was constructed by 13 stakeholding parties, aiming for a 'functional clean up' in view of land use, by means of covering 'suspected' categories of wastes with a 30-cm layer of local type soil. The ecological risk assessment aims to verify the assumptions in the soil management plan regarding the prevention of possible undesirable effects induced by the various waste materials. A tiered approach is followed, including a screening for bioavailable contaminants, a testing for general effects

  2. Mobile Phone-Based Unobtrusive Ecological Momentary Assessment of Day-to-Day Mood

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Asselbergs, Joost; Ruwaard, Jeroen; Ejdys, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Background: Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) is a useful method to tap the dynamics of psychological and behavioral phenomena in real-world contexts. However, the response burden of (self-report) EMA limits its clinical utility. Objective: The aim was to explore mobile phone-based unobtrusive...... is a technically feasible and potentially powerful EMA variant. The method is young and positive findings may not replicate. At present, we do not recommend the application of FSR-based mood prediction in real-world clinical settings. Further psychometric studies and more advanced data mining techniques are needed...

  3. Combining ecosystem services assessment with structured decision making to support ecological restoration planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, David M; Mazzotta, Marisa; Bousquin, Justin

    2018-04-10

    Accounting for ecosystem services in environmental decision making is an emerging research topic. Modern frameworks for ecosystem services assessment emphasize evaluating the social benefits of ecosystems, in terms of who benefits and by how much, to aid in comparing multiple courses of action. Structured methods that use decision analytic-approaches are emerging for the practice of ecological restoration. In this article, we combine ecosystem services assessment with structured decision making to estimate and evaluate measures of the potential benefits of ecological restoration with a case study in the Woonasquatucket River watershed, Rhode Island, USA. We partnered with a local watershed management organization to analyze dozens of candidate wetland restoration sites for their abilities to supply five ecosystem services-flood water retention, scenic landscapes, learning opportunities, recreational opportunities, and birds. We developed 22 benefit indicators related to the ecosystem services as well as indicators for social equity and reliability that benefits will sustain in the future. We applied conceptual modeling and spatial analysis to estimate indicator values for each candidate restoration site. Lastly, we developed a decision support tool to score and aggregate the values for the organization to screen the restoration sites. Results show that restoration sites in urban areas can provide greater social benefits than sites in less urban areas. Our research approach is general and can be used to investigate other restoration planning studies that perform ecosystem services assessment and fit into a decision-making process.

  4. Adapting ecological risk valuation for natural resource damage assessment in water pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shuzhen; Wu, Desheng

    2018-07-01

    Ecological risk assessment can address requirements of natural resource damage assessment by quantifying the magnitude of possible damages to the ecosystem. This paper investigates an approach to assess water damages from pollution incident on the basis of concentrations of contaminants. The baseline of water pollution is determined with not-to-exceed concentration of contaminants required by water quality standards. The values of damage cost to water quality are estimated through sewage treatment cost. To get a reliable estimate of treatment cost, DEA is employed to classify samples of sewage plants based on their efficiency of sewage treatment. And exponential fitting is adopted to determine the relation between treatment cost and the decrease of COCs. The range of damage costs is determined through the fitting curves respectively based on efficient and inefficient samples. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Assessing Discriminative Performance at External Validation of Clinical Prediction Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daan Nieboer

    Full Text Available External validation studies are essential to study the generalizability of prediction models. Recently a permutation test, focusing on discrimination as quantified by the c-statistic, was proposed to judge whether a prediction model is transportable to a new setting. We aimed to evaluate this test and compare it to previously proposed procedures to judge any changes in c-statistic from development to external validation setting.We compared the use of the permutation test to the use of benchmark values of the c-statistic following from a previously proposed framework to judge transportability of a prediction model. In a simulation study we developed a prediction model with logistic regression on a development set and validated them in the validation set. We concentrated on two scenarios: 1 the case-mix was more heterogeneous and predictor effects were weaker in the validation set compared to the development set, and 2 the case-mix was less heterogeneous in the validation set and predictor effects were identical in the validation and development set. Furthermore we illustrated the methods in a case study using 15 datasets of patients suffering from traumatic brain injury.The permutation test indicated that the validation and development set were homogenous in scenario 1 (in almost all simulated samples and heterogeneous in scenario 2 (in 17%-39% of simulated samples. Previously proposed benchmark values of the c-statistic and the standard deviation of the linear predictors correctly pointed at the more heterogeneous case-mix in scenario 1 and the less heterogeneous case-mix in scenario 2.The recently proposed permutation test may provide misleading results when externally validating prediction models in the presence of case-mix differences between the development and validation population. To correctly interpret the c-statistic found at external validation it is crucial to disentangle case-mix differences from incorrect regression coefficients.

  6. Using water quality to assess ecological condition in the St. Marys River and Huron-Erie Corridor

    Science.gov (United States)

    The St. Marys River and Huron-Erie-Corridor were assessed by EPA for the first time in 2014-2016 as part of the National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA). NCCA uses a probabilistic survey design to allow unbiased assessment of ecological condition across the entire Great Lakes...

  7. Validity and Responsiveness of Concept Map Assessment Scores in Physical Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yun Soo; Jang, Yongkyu; Kang, Minsoo

    2015-01-01

    Concept map assessment has been applied to many education areas to measure students' knowledge structure. However, the proper and valid use of concept map assessment has not been examined in physical education. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the evidence of validity and responsiveness of the concept map assessment scores in physical…

  8. Applying Kane's Validity Framework to a Simulation Based Assessment of Clinical Competence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Walter; Brydges, Ryan; Myre, Paul; Prpic, Jason; Turner, Linda; Yelle, Richard; Huiskamp, Maud

    2018-01-01

    Assessment of clinical competence is complex and inference based. Trustworthy and defensible assessment processes must have favourable evidence of validity, particularly where decisions are considered high stakes. We aimed to organize, collect and interpret validity evidence for a high stakes simulation based assessment strategy for certifying…

  9. Construction of Valid and Reliable Test for Assessment of Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osadebe, P. U.

    2015-01-01

    The study was carried out to construct a valid and reliable test in Economics for secondary school students. Two research questions were drawn to guide the establishment of validity and reliability for the Economics Achievement Test (EAT). It is a multiple choice objective test of five options with 100 items. A sample of 1000 students was randomly…

  10. Assessment of Irrational Beliefs: The Question of Discriminant Validity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Timothy W.; Zurawski, Raymond M.

    1983-01-01

    Evaluated discriminant validity in frequently used measures of irrational beliefs relative to measures of trait anxiety in college students (N=142). Results showed discriminant validity in the Rational Behavior Inventory but not in the Irrational Beliefs Test and correlated cognitive rather than somatic aspects of trait anxiety with both measures.…

  11. Potential bioavailability assessment, source apportionment and ecological risk of heavy metals in the sediment of Brisbane River estuary, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duodu, Godfred Odame; Goonetilleke, Ashantha; Ayoko, Godwin A

    2017-04-15

    A weak acid extraction was used to mobilize the loosely bound metals in estuary sediment samples. More than 30% of Ag, As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Hg, Mn Ni, Pb and Zn were leached from the sediment showing that these metals are significantly present in the bioavailable form. PCA/APCS identified three sources of the metals, namely: lithogenic accounting for 72%, shipping related contributing 15% and traffic related representing 13% of the total load. Application of pollution index (PI) and modified pollution index (MPI) revealed that the sediment range from unpolluted to heavily polluted while ecological risk index (RI) classifies the sediment as posing low ecological risk modified ecological risk index (MRI) suggests considerable to very high ecological risk. To provide holistic insights into the ecological risks posed by metals, enrichment factor, MPI and MRI are recommended for the assessment of sediment in complex environments such as estuaries. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A Valid and Reliable Tool to Assess Nursing Students` Clinical Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Mehrnoosh Pazargadi; Tahereh Ashktorab; Sharareh Khosravi; Hamid Alavi majd

    2013-01-01

    Background: The necessity of a valid and reliable assessment tool is one of the most repeated issues in nursing students` clinical evaluation. But it is believed that present tools are not mostly valid and can not assess students` performance properly.Objectives: This study was conducted to design a valid and reliable assessment tool for evaluating nursing students` performance in clinical education.Methods: In this methodological study considering nursing students` performance definition; th...

  13. Traditional and formal ecological knowledge to assess harvesting and conservation of a Mexican Tropical Dry Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroy-Ortiz, Columba; García-Moya, Edmundo; Romero-Manzanares, Angélica; Luna-Cavazos, Mario; Monroy, Rafael

    2018-05-15

    This research integrates Traditional and Formal Ecological Knowledge (TEK / FEK) of a Tropical Dry Forest in central Mexico, in order to assess harvesting and conservation of the non-timber forest species. We were interested in: knowing the structure and diversity of the forest community; identifying which are the tree resources of common interest to the users through participatory workshops. A further interest was to identify those resources which are important to local people in terms of preservation; explaining the relationship of the species with some environmental factors; and visualizing which management practices endanger or facilitate the conservation of species. Studied areas were defined and labelled on a map drawn by local informants, where they indicated those plant species of common interest for preservation. Ethnobotanical techniques were used to reveal the TEK and assess harvesting and conservation of the species. With the FEK through community and population ecology, we detected the importance of five environmental factors, obtained various ecological indicators of the vegetation, and studied the population structure of the relevant species. The FEK was analyzed using descriptive and multivariate statistics. As a result, low density and small basal area of trees were registered. Species richness and diversity index were similar to other natural protected areas in Mexico. Tree species harvested shown an asymmetric distribution of diameters. Harvesting, elevation, and accessibility were the most influential factors on tree density. FEK demonstrated that TEK is helpful for the assessment of forest harvesting. Ecological analysis complemented the local knowledge detecting that Lysiloma tergemina is a species non-identified for the people as interesting, although we discover that it is a threatened species by over-harvesting. Haematoxylum brasiletto was identified as important for conservation due to its scarcity and medicinal use. Our results advanced

  14. Two prototype tools for assessing good environmental/ecological status (GES) in aquatic ecosystems – DEVOTES and WATERS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Murray, Ciarán; Carstensen, Jacob; Andersen, Jesper

    2015-01-01

    -based tools, which classify ecological/environmental status in two classes (good or not good) and five classes (High, Good, Moderate, Poor or Bad) by comparing observed indicator values with specified status classification boundaries. Assessments are made for geographical entities (“sectors” in DEVOTES......We present two prototype tools for assessment of GES (good ecological status and good environmental status) in aquatic ecosystems: the DEVOTES biodiversity assessment tool (for the MSFD) and the WATERS ecological status assessment tool (for the WFD). Both tools are multi-metric indicator...... for sub-division of sectors and habitat types into hierarchical structures. The DEVOTES tool weights indicator results from different sectors according to their geographical extent and/or assigned quantitative value scores. The DEVOTES tool allows the assessment to be targeted to a particular ecosystem...

  15. Assessing the validity of discourse analysis: transdisciplinary convergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaipal-Jamani, Kamini

    2014-12-01

    Research studies using discourse analysis approaches make claims about phenomena or issues based on interpretation of written or spoken text, which includes images and gestures. How are findings/interpretations from discourse analysis validated? This paper proposes transdisciplinary convergence as a way to validate discourse analysis approaches to research. The argument is made that discourse analysis explicitly grounded in semiotics, systemic functional linguistics, and critical theory, offers a credible research methodology. The underlying assumptions, constructs, and techniques of analysis of these three theoretical disciplines can be drawn on to show convergence of data at multiple levels, validating interpretations from text analysis.

  16. A scheme to scientifically and accurately assess cadmium pollution of river sediments, through consideration of bioavailability when assessing ecological risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zhixin; Tang, Wenzhong; Shan, Baoqing

    2017-10-01

    Evaluating heavy metal pollution status and ecological risk in river sediments is a complex task, requiring consideration of contaminant pollution levels, as well as effects of biological processes within the river system. There are currently no simple or low-cost approaches to heavy metal assessment in river sediments. Here, we introduce a system of assessment for pollution status of heavy metals in river sediments, using measurements of Cd in the Shaocun River sediments as a case study. This system can be used to identify high-risk zones of the river that should be given more attention. First, we evaluated the pollution status of Cd in the river sediments based on their total Cd content, and calculated a risk assessment, using local geochemical background values at various sites along the river. Using both acetic acid and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid to extracted the fractions of Cd in sediments, and used DGT to evaluate the bioavailability of Cd. Thus, DGT provided a measure of potentially bioavailable concentrations of Cd concentrations in the sediments. Last, we measured Cd contents in plant tissue collected at the same site to compare with our other measures. A Pearson's correlation analysis showed that Cd-Plant correlated significantly with Cd-HAc, (r = 0.788, P < 0.01), Cd-EDTA (r = 0.925, P < 0.01), Cd-DGT (r = 0.976, P < 0.01), and Cd-Total (r = 0.635, P < 0.05). We demonstrate that this system of assessment is a useful means of assessing heavy metal pollution status and ecological risk in river sediments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Combined ecological momentary assessment and global positioning system tracking to assess smoking behavior: a proof of concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, John T; Schick, Robert S; Hallyburton, Matt; Dennis, Michelle F; Kollins, Scott H; Beckham, Jean C; McClernon, F Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods have provided a rich assessment of the contextual factors associated with a wide range of behaviors including alcohol use, eating, physical activity, and smoking. Despite this rich database, this information has not been linked to specific locations in space. Such location information, which can now be easily acquired from global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices, could provide unique information regarding the space-time distribution of behaviors and new insights into their determinants. In a proof of concept study, we assessed the acceptability and feasibility of acquiring and combining EMA and GPS data from adult smokers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were adults with ADHD who were enrolled in a larger EMA study on smoking and psychiatric symptoms. Among those enrolled in the latter study who were approached to participate (N = 11), 10 consented, provided daily EMA entries, and carried a GPS device with them during a 7-day assessment period to assess aspects of their smoking behavior. The majority of those eligible to participate were willing to carry a GPS device and signed the consent (10 out of 11, 91%). Of the 10 who consented, 7 participants provided EMA entries and carried the GPS device with them daily for at least 70% of the sampling period. Data are presented on the spatial distribution of smoking episodes and ADHD symptoms on a subset of the sample to demonstrate applications of GPS data. We conclude by discussing how EMA and GPS might be used to study the ecology of smoking and make recommendations for future research and analysis.

  18. Landfill mining in Austria: foundations for an integrated ecological and economic assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermann, Robert; Baumgartner, Rupert J; Sarc, Renato; Ragossnig, Arne; Wolfsberger, Tanja; Eisenberger, Martin; Budischowsky, Andreas; Pomberger, Roland

    2014-09-01

    For the first time, basic technical and economic studies for landfill mining are being carried out in Austria on the basis of a pilot project. An important goal of these studies is the collection of elementary data as the basis for an integrated ecological and economic assessment of landfill mining projects with regard to their feasibility. For this purpose, economic, ecological, technical, organizational, as well as political and legal influencing factors are identified and extensively studied in the article. An important aspect is the mutual influence of the factors on each other, as this can significantly affect the development of an integrated assessment system. In addition to the influencing factors, the definition of the spatial and temporal system boundaries is crucial for further investigations. Among others, the quality and quantity of recovered waste materials, temporal fluctuations or developments in prices of secondary raw material and fuels attainable in the markets, and time and duration of dumping, play a crucial role. Based on the investigations, the spatial system boundary is defined in as much as all the necessary process steps, from landfill mining, preparing and sorting to providing a marketable material/product by the landfill operator, are taken into account. No general accepted definition can be made for the temporal system boundary because the different time-related influencing factors necessitate an individual project-specific determination and adaptation to the facts of the on-site landfill mining project. © The Author(s) 2014.

  19. Geomatic techniques for assessing ecological and health risk at U.S. Department of Energy facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Regens, J.L.; White, L.; Albers, B.J.; Purdy, C.

    1994-01-01

    Hazardous substances, including radionuclides, heavy metals, and chlorinated hydrocarbons, pose unique challenges in terms of environmental restoration and waste management, especially in aquatic environments. When stored, used or disposed of improperly, hazardous materials including transuranic wastes, high level wastes, low level wastes, greater than class C wastes, mixed wastes or chemical wastes can contaminate an array of environmental receptors ranging from soils, sediments, groundwater to surface water. Depending on the specific hazardous substance and site attributes, assessing ecological and health risk as a basis for environmental restoration and waste management can be a complex, problematic activity. This is basis for environmental restoration and waste management can be a complex, problematic activity. This is particularly true for the major Defense Programs facilities managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Environmental Restoration (ER) program of DOE was initiated in 1987 to consolidate and coordinate those regulatory activities designed to identify and remediate sites at installations contaminated with radioactive, chemical or mixed wastes. To supply the tools necessary for defining, describing, and characterizing the nature of contaminants within the DOE complex and identifying alternative post-remediation land use options, DOE has implemented a program for the research and development of spatial data technologies to aid in assessing ecological and health risk

  20. Species selection methodology for an ecological assessment of the Columbia River at the Hanford Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Becker, J.M.; Brandt, C.A.; Dauble, D.D.; Maughan, A.D.; O'Neil, T.K.

    1995-01-01

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is conducting an ecological risk assessment of the Columbia River to evaluate the current hazards posed by residual contamination from past nuclear production operations at Hanford. Due to the complexity of the aquatic and riparian ecological communities, a three-step species selection process was developed. In step 1, a comprehensive species list was developed using natural resource agency databases that identified plant and animal species known to occur in the Columbia River study area. In step 2, a panel of regional biologists from federal and state resource additional criteria to derive a list of 181 species of concern. In step 3, the species of concern were qualitatively ranked based on a scoring of their potential exposure and sensitivity to contaminants using a conceptual exposure model for the study area. In this model, species were scored based on (1) potential dietary exposure to biomagnifying and non-biomagnifying contaminants, (2) potential dermal and inhalation exposure to contaminants, (3) exposure duration, and (4) sensitivity to contaminants. From this ranking the stakeholders selected 65 tentative species for further evaluation. By excluding species that seldom use the river and riparian areas, and selecting within the same foraging guild, this list was further reduced to 43 species for evaluation in the screening-level risk assessment