WorldWideScience

Sample records for understand complex environmental

  1. Understanding the complex interplay between tourism, disability and environmental contexts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Packer, Tanya L; McKercher, Bob; Yau, Matthew K

    2007-02-28

    To explore and describe the complex issues and factors related to participation in tourism as perceived by people with disabilities in Hong Kong. Naturalistic inquiry using key informant interviews and focus groups with 86 people with disabilities. Interviews were transcribed, translated and coded to develop themes and relationships. Triangulation of three investigators from different backgrounds occurred. The Process of Becoming Travel Active emerged as a six-stage process, intricately related to the personal/disability context and the environmental/travel context. Personal and environmental factors contribute to the six-stage model explaining the complex interplay between tourism, disability and environmental context. Understanding the complexity provides insight into ways to increase active participation in tourism. Health, tourism and disability sectors have a role to play in the development of accessible tourism.

  2. Complex response of white pines to past environmental variability increases understanding of future vulnerability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Iglesias

    Full Text Available Ecological niche models predict plant responses to climate change by circumscribing species distributions within a multivariate environmental framework. Most projections based on modern bioclimatic correlations imply that high-elevation species are likely to be extirpated from their current ranges as a result of rising growing-season temperatures in the coming decades. Paleoecological data spanning the last 15,000 years from the Greater Yellowstone region describe the response of vegetation to past climate variability and suggest that white pines, a taxon of special concern in the region, have been surprisingly resilient to high summer temperature and fire activity in the past. Moreover, the fossil record suggests that winter conditions and biotic interactions have been critical limiting variables for high-elevation conifers in the past and will likely be so in the future. This long-term perspective offers insights on species responses to a broader range of climate and associated ecosystem changes than can be observed at present and should be part of resource management and conservation planning for the future.

  3. Developing Seventh Grade Students' Understanding of Complex Environmental Problems with Systems Tools and Representations: a Quasi-experimental Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doganca Kucuk, Zerrin; Saysel, Ali Kerem

    2017-03-01

    A systems-based classroom intervention on environmental education was designed for seventh grade students; the results were evaluated to see its impact on the development of systems thinking skills and standard science achievement and whether the systems approach is a more effective way to teach environmental issues that are dynamic and complex. A quasi-experimental methodology was used to compare performances of the participants in various dimensions, including systems thinking skills, competence in dynamic environmental problem solving and success in science achievement tests. The same pre-, post- and delayed tests were used with both the comparison and experimental groups in the same public middle school in Istanbul. Classroom activities designed for the comparison group (N = 20) followed the directives of the Science and Technology Curriculum, while the experimental group (N = 22) covered the same subject matter through activities benefiting from systems tools and representations such as behaviour over time graphs, causal loop diagrams, stock-flow structures and hands-on dynamic modelling. After a one-month systems-based instruction, the experimental group demonstrated significantly better systems thinking and dynamic environmental problem solving skills. Achievement in dynamic problem solving was found to be relatively stable over time. However, standard science achievement did not improve at all. This paper focuses on the quantitative analysis of the results, the weaknesses of the curriculum and educational implications.

  4. Toward an analytical framework for understanding complex social-ecological systems when conducting environmental impact assessments in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Bowd

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Consideration of biophysical impacts has historically dominated environmental impact assessment (EIA practice. Despite the emergence of social impact assessment, the consideration of socioeconomic impacts in EIA is variable, as is the extent of their integration in EIA findings. There is growing recognition for the need to move EIA practice toward sustainability assessment, characterized by comprehensiveness, i.e., scope of impacts, integration, i.e., of biophysical and socioeconomic impacts, and a greater strategic focus. This is particularly the case in developing regions and in countries like South Africa, which have statutory requirements for the full consideration of socioeconomic impacts in EIA. We suggest that EIA practice could benefit from incorporating evolving theory around social-ecological systems (SES as an effective way of moving toward sustainability assessment. As far as we are aware, our study constitutes the first attempt to apply and formalize SES constructs to EIA practice within a regulated procedure. Our framework goes beyond conventional scoping approaches reliant on checklists and matrices by requiring the EIA practitioner to cocreate a conceptual model of the current and future social-ecological system with the implicated communities. This means social and biophysical impacts are assessed integratively, and that communities participate meaningfully in the EIA process, thereby helping address two of the most common shortfalls of EIA practice. The framework was applied in two case studies, establishment of community-based accommodation linked to existing tourism infrastructure (Eastern Cape, South Africa, and a proposed wine estate (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The framework revealed impacts, which would not be considered in a biophysically-oriented EIA, and helped identify development synergies and institutional and governance needs that are equally likely to have been overlooked. We suggest the framework has value as a

  5. Towards Understanding and Managing Sustainable Complex, Dynamic Environmental/Economic/Social Systems - The Evolving Role of the Natural Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Historically the natural sciences have played a major role in informing environmental management decisions. However, review of landmark cases like Love Canal, NY and Times Beach, MO have shown that the value of natural science information in decision making can be overwhelmed by ...

  6. Stability constants important to the understanding of plutonium in environmental waters, hydroxy and carbonate complexation of PuO2+

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennett, D.A.; Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA

    1990-01-01

    The formation constants for the reactions PuO 2 + + H 2 O = PuO 2 (OH) + H + and PuO 2 + + CO 3 2 = PuO 2 (CO 3 ) - were determined in aqueous sodium perchlorate solutions by laser-induced photoacoustic spectroscopy. The molar absorptivity of the PuO 2 + band at 569 nm decreased with increasing hydroxide concentration. Similarly, spectral changes occurred between 540 and 580 nm as the carbonate concentration was increased. The absorption data were analyzed by the non-linear least-squares program SQUAD to yield complexation constants. Using the specific ion interaction theory, both complexation constants were extrapolated to zero ionic strength. These thermodynamic complexation constants were combined with the oxidation-reduction potentials of Pu to obtain Eh versus pH diagrams. 120 refs., 35 figs., 12 tabs

  7. Managing Complex Environmental Risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karlsson, Mikael

    2006-01-01

    Environmental and public health risks are often handled in a process in which experts, and sometimes policy makers, try their best to quantitatively assess, evaluate and manage risks. This approach harmonises with mainstream interpretations of sustainable development, which aim at defining a desirable relationship between human and natural systems, for instance by policies that define limit values of different forms of disturbances. However, under conditions of high scientific incertitude, diverging values and distrust, this approach is far from satisfactory. The use of cell phones, hazardous chemicals, nuclear or fossil energy systems, and modern biotechnology are examples of activities causing such risks with high complexity. Against this background, a complementary interpretation of the concept of sustainable development is suggested. This interpretation is operationalised through new formulations of three common principles for public risk management; the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle and the principle of public participation. Implementation of these reformulated principles would challenge some foundations of present mainstream views on environmental decision-making, but would on the other hand contribute to improved practices for long-term human welfare and planetary survival (full text of contribution)

  8. Simulating human behavior for understanding and managing environmental resource use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager, Wander; Mosler, Hans Joachim

    2007-01-01

    Computer simulation allows for the experimental study of dynamic interactions between human behavior and complex environmental systems. Behavioral determinants and processes as identified in social-scientific theory may be formalized in simulated agents to obtain a better understanding of

  9. Environmental ethics: An African understanding

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    based on the eco-bio-communitarian attitude of 'live and let live' can be substituted for the aggressive motivation of domination to the immeasurable advantage of the whole of mankind (Tangwa, 2004: 394). SOME CRITICAL COMMENTS ON AFRICAN. ORIENTATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS. Ogungbemi's proposal ...

  10. Understanding the development of international environmental agreements

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stærdahl, Jens

    There are many different theoretical schools concerned with how international regimes develop, and each supplies its own interpretation focusing on one or a few aspects of the process. Such ‘one shot’ explanations may be fruitful for scientific debate, but less useful as conceptual frameworks...... for practitioners and planners manoeuvring in a complex world. On the basis of a review of selected theories of international and environmental regulation, this article initiates the development of a conceptual framework for understanding the development of internationalenvironmental agreements. The point...... of departure for developing the model is the actor-structure debate within social science and theory of international relations. Based on critical realism, a framework is developed specifying the relation between collective action problem situations and negotiation situations. It is argued that the main...

  11. Understanding leadership in the environmental sciences

    OpenAIRE

    Evans, L.; Hicks, C.; Cohen, P.; Case, P.; Prideaux, M.; Mills, D.

    2015-01-01

    Leadership is often assumed, intuitively, to be an important driver of sustainable development. To understand how leadership is conceptualised and analysed in the environmental sciences and to discover what this research says about leadership outcomes, we conducted a review of environmental leadership research over the last ten years. We find that much of the environmental leadership literature we reviewed focuses on a few key individuals and desirable leadership competencies. It also reports...

  12. Understanding Supply Networks from Complex Adaptive Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamur Johnas Marchi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This theoretical paper is based on complex adaptive systems (CAS that integrate dynamic and holistic elements, aiming to discuss supply networks as complex systems and their dynamic and co-evolutionary processes. The CAS approach can give clues to understand the dynamic nature and co-evolution of supply networks because it consists of an approach that incorporates systems and complexity. This paper’s overall contribution is to reinforce the theoretical discussion of studies that have addressed supply chain issues, such as CAS.

  13. Understanding Complex Construction Systems Through Modularity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tor Clarke; Bekdik, Baris; Thuesen, Christian

    2014-01-01

    finds that the main driver of complexity is the fragmentation of the design and production, which causes the production modules to construct and install new product types and variants for each project as the designers are swapped for every project. The many interfaces are characteristics of an integral......This paper develops a framework for understanding complexity in construction projects by combining theories of complexity management and modularization. The framework incorporates three dimensions of product, process, and organizational modularity with the case of gypsum wall elements. The analysis...... system, rather than a modular, although the industry forces modular organizational structures. This creates a high complexity degree caused by the non-alignment of building parts and organizations and the frequent swapping of modules....

  14. Understanding the Data Complexity continuum to reduce data management costs and increase data usability through partnerships with the National Centers for Environmental Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesick, S.; Weathers, K. W.

    2017-12-01

    Data complexity can be seen as a continuum from complex to simple. The term data complexity refers to data collections that are disorganized, poorly documented, and generally do not follow best data management practices. Complex data collections are challenging and expensive to manage. Simplified collections readily support automated archival processes, enhanced discovery and data access, as well as production of services that make data easier to reuse. In this session, NOAA NCEI scientific data stewards will discuss the data complexity continuum. This talk will explore data simplification concepts, methods, and tools that data managers can employ which may offer more control over data management costs and processes, while achieving policy goals for open data access and ready reuse. Topics will include guidance for data managers on best allocation of limited data management resources; models for partnering with NCEI to accomplish shared data management goals; and will demonstrate through case studies the benefits of investing in documentation, accessibility, and services to increase data value and return on investment.

  15. Understanding leadership in the environmental sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa S. Evans

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Leadership is often assumed, intuitively, to be an important driver of sustainable development. To understand how leadership is conceptualized and analyzed in the environmental sciences and to discover what this research says about leadership outcomes, we conducted a review of environmental leadership research over the last 10 years. We found that much of the environmental leadership literature focuses on a few key individuals and desirable leadership competencies. The literature also reports that leadership is one of the most important of a number of factors contributing to effective environmental governance. Only a subset of the literature highlights interacting sources of leadership, disaggregates leadership outcomes, or evaluates leadership processes in detail. We argue that the literature on environmental leadership is highly normative. Leadership is typically depicted as an unequivocal good, and its importance is often asserted rather than tested. We trace how leadership studies in the management sciences are evolving and argue that, taking into account the state of the art in environmental leadership research, more critical approaches to leadership research in environmental science can be developed.

  16. Stability constants important to the understanding of plutonium in environmental waters, hydroxy and carbonate complexation of PuO2+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bennett, Dianne Angelo [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1990-04-20

    The formation constants for the reactions PuO2+ + H2O = PuO2(OH) + H+ and PuO2+ + CO32- = PuO2(CO3)- were determined in aqueous sodium perchlorate solutions by laser-induced photoacoustic spectroscopy. The molar absorptivity of the PuO2+ band at 569 nm decreased with increasing hydroxide concentration. Similarly, spectral changes occurred between 540 and 580 nm as the carbonate concentration was increased. The absorption data were analyzed by the non-linear least-squares program SQUAD to yield complexation constants. Using the specific ion interaction theory, both complexation constants were extrapolated to zero ionic strength. These thermodynamic complexation constants were combined with the oxidation-reduction potentials of Pu to obtain Eh versus pH diagrams.

  17. Dependency visualization for complex system understanding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smart, J. Allison Cory [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    1994-09-01

    With the volume of software in production use dramatically increasing, the importance of software maintenance has become strikingly apparent. Techniques now sought and developed for reverse engineering and design extraction and recovery. At present, numerous commercial products and research tools exist which are capable of visualizing a variety of programming languages and software constructs. The list of new tools and services continues to grow rapidly. Although the scope of the existing commercial and academic product set is quite broad, these tools still share a common underlying problem. The ability of each tool to visually organize object representations is increasingly impaired as the number of components and component dependencies within systems increases. Regardless of how objects are defined, complex ``spaghetti`` networks result in nearly all large system cases. While this problem is immediately apparent in modem systems analysis involving large software implementations, it is not new. As will be discussed in Chapter 2, related problems involving the theory of graphs were identified long ago. This important theoretical foundation provides a useful vehicle for representing and analyzing complex system structures. While the utility of directed graph based concepts in software tool design has been demonstrated in literature, these tools still lack the capabilities necessary for large system comprehension. This foundation must therefore be expanded with new organizational and visualization constructs necessary to meet this challenge. This dissertation addresses this need by constructing a conceptual model and a set of methods for interactively exploring, organizing, and understanding the structure of complex software systems.

  18. Environmental problems in the nuclear weapons complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fultz, K.O.

    1989-04-01

    This paper provide the authors' views on the environmental problems facing the Department of Energy. Testimony is based on a large body of work, over 50 reports and testimonies since 1981, on environmental, safety, and health aspects of DOE's nuclear weapons complex. This work has shown that the complex faces a wide variety of serious problem areas including aging facilities, safety concerns which have shut down DOE's production reactors, and environmental cleanup

  19. Listening, understanding and interpreting: reflections on complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtenberg, J D

    1999-08-01

    Beginning with the premise that a contemporary approach to analytic exchanges has become far more complex and multi-faceted than in earlier times, the author addresses listening, understanding and interpreting. The opening section presents the basis and utility of a proposed theory of five motivational systems and identifies the need for a shift from conceptualising 'structures' to systems. The nature of communication during analysis is considered from several standpoints including listening for needs and intentions, the place of theory as a background to listening, an optimal state for analysand and analyst, and the significance of the distinction between inner monologue and spoken discourse. Differing views of free association and narrative, especially questions arising from findings of the 'adult attachment interview', are discussed. The patient's sensitivity to the presence and influence of the analyst and the analyst's recognition of non-verbal as well as verbal communications completes this section. In the final section a brief clinical example is presented to introduce a differentiated depiction of the variety of interventions that analysts employ. Throughout the paper, the author presents his view of listening, understanding and interpreting in dialectic contrast with the many other perspectives held by analysts in this period of theoretical pluralism.

  20. Personality traits and environmental choices: On the search for understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farizo, Begoña A; Oglethorpe, David; Soliño, Mario

    2016-10-01

    In this paper we hypothesize that individuals will choose among alternative courses of action for power generation from wind farms according to their personality profiles. Through a factor analysis we found that certain characteristics of personality do indeed have an effect on environmental choice. The study involves an extensive survey based on the Big Five Traits model to find a pattern of choice that will help to better understand environmental decisions and be useful for policy makers to identify target groups and preview reactions to different courses of action. The research is potentially useful for the better preparation and design of publicity material, awareness raising campaigns and information provision for complex or unpopular policies affecting the environment or in environmental education in general. This research is especially interested in shedding some light on how personality is involved in the processes of environmental decision making, despite the limitations of the present study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Addressing Complexity in Environmental Management and Governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Kirschke

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Governance for complex problem solving has been increasingly discussed in environmental sustainability research. Above all, researchers continuously observe that sustainability problems are complex or “wicked”, and suggest participatory models to address these problems in practice. In order to add to this debate, this study suggests a more differentiated theoretical approach to define governance for complex environmental problem solving than in previous studies. The approach consists of two vital steps: First, we operationalize complexity and define management strategies for solving environmental sustainability problems based on findings from psychology research. Second, we identify governance strategies that facilitate these management strategies. Linking those strategies suggests that the role of diverse institutions, actors, and interactions differs for five key dimensions of complexity: goals, variables, dynamics, interconnections, and informational uncertainty. The results strengthen systematic analyses of environmental sustainability problems in both theory and practice.

  2. Assembling large, complex environmental metagenomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Howe, A. C. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences; Jansson, J. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Earth Sciences Division; Malfatti, S. A. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Tringe, S. G. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Tiedje, J. M. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences; Brown, C. T. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Computer Science and Engineering

    2012-12-28

    The large volumes of sequencing data required to sample complex environments deeply pose new challenges to sequence analysis approaches. De novo metagenomic assembly effectively reduces the total amount of data to be analyzed but requires significant computational resources. We apply two pre-assembly filtering approaches, digital normalization and partitioning, to make large metagenome assemblies more computationaly tractable. Using a human gut mock community dataset, we demonstrate that these methods result in assemblies nearly identical to assemblies from unprocessed data. We then assemble two large soil metagenomes from matched Iowa corn and native prairie soils. The predicted functional content and phylogenetic origin of the assembled contigs indicate significant taxonomic differences despite similar function. The assembly strategies presented are generic and can be extended to any metagenome; full source code is freely available under a BSD license.

  3. Intertextuality for Handling Complex Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byhring, Anne Kristine; Knain, Erik

    2016-01-01

    Nowhere is the need for handling complexity more pertinent than in addressing environmental issues. Our study explores students' situated constructs of complexity in unfolding discourses on socio-scientific issues. Students' dialogues in two group-work episodes are analysed in detail, with tools from Systemic Functional Linguistics. We identify…

  4. Understanding Environmental Security: A Military Perspective

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, William

    2000-01-01

    .... In the context of this report environmental security is a process of addressing those environmental issues having the potential to cause crisis or conflict to such an extent that they represent...

  5. Environmental ethics: An African understanding | Ojomo | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    One of the fundamental underlying features connecting these environmental ethical theories is their grounding in Western perspectives and cultural experiences. Given that environmental concerns are global concerns, and that the imperative of environmental ethics is challenging those life-threatening concerns, critical ...

  6. Complexities of Parental Understanding of Phenylketonuria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibinga, Maarten S.; Friedman, C. Jack

    1971-01-01

    Parental understanding of PKU, investigated through a questionnaire, was evaluated as to completeness and with respect to distortion. Education of parents was found to be unrelated to their understanding or tendency to distort. Effectiveness of the pediatrician's communication with parents is discussed. (Author/KW)

  7. Understanding the Etiology of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-01

    of life as infantile spasms that are unresponsive to conventional anti-epileptic drug therapies (Curatolo et al., 2001; Holmes and Stafstrom, 2007... Infantile spasms in tuberous sclerosis complex. Brain Dev 23:502-507. DiMario FJ, Jr. (2004) Brain abnormalities in tuberous sclerosis complex. J...on chromosome 16. Cell, 75, 1305–1315. 3. Curatolo, P., Seri, S., Verdecchia, M. and Bombardieri, R. (2001) Infantile spasms in tuberous sclerosis

  8. Environmental sustainability: Understanding young adults' learning, thinking, and actions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kola-Olusanya, Anthony O.

    This thesis explores the ways in which young-adults' environmental learning and experiences influence their decision to live sustainably. In particular, this thesis focuses on young adults' environmental and sustainability learning. It elaborates on young peoples' views about environmental and sustainability issues, such as climate change, the sources for their learning about these issues, and how young adults' learning encounters, in turn, affect their actions toward environmental protection and decision-making. Through a series of in-depth individual interviews with 18 young adults from three universities in southeastern Ontario, this qualitative study provides in-depth insight into young adults' understanding, learning experiences, and actions in relation to environmental and sustainability issues. Employing a Contextual Model of Learning framework the narratives of the young adults in this study are analyzed and discussed within three overlapping environmental learning contexts: personal, sociocultural, and physical settings. This framework allows for an examination of the complex interactions and relationships that shape how and where environmental learning occurs. The findings in this study suggest that the three overlapping learning contexts, that is the personal, sociocultural, and physical play an important role in shaping young adults' learning about environmental and sustainability issues. The data reveal that despite the unavailability or near-absence of environmental studies and education within the formal school curriculum (particularly at the elementary and high school levels), the young adults rely on other locations for learning, such as the internet, environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs), television, and family. In light of this, the research participants suggest the re-introduction of environmental programs and content in the school curriculum. Finally, the results of this study demonstrate the centrality of knowledge and

  9. School Phobia: Understanding a Complex Behavioural Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitiyo, Morgan; Wheeler, John J.

    2006-01-01

    School phobia affects about 5% of the school-age population. If left untreated, school phobia can have devastating long-term consequences in children challenged by this condition. Various treatment approaches have been used to explore this complex behavioural response, major among them being the psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, pharmacological and…

  10. Shared Understandings: Environmental Perspectives of Kenyan Community Members and Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quigely, Cassie F.; Dogbey, James; Che, S. Megan; Hallo, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Environmental issues are a shared human concern as communities in all nations and geographic regions are grappling with environmental degradation. Despite this concern, there are multiple different viewpoints on the current state of environmental issues and how to understand these problems. Understanding how different communities conceive of the…

  11. Understanding the Complexity of a Rising China

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-26

    at the macro-level are determined by security interests derived from anarchy.48 From this mindset , Waltz attempted to draw on elements of complexity...artificialities. The restrictions prevented the expansion of the PRC multinational corporations, as it was more difficult for Chinese entrepreneurs to receive...unknowable.” This does not mean there is no point in planning. It simply establishes a mindset that there are no universal truths or solution sets. All

  12. Environmental ethics: An African understanding | Ojomo | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 5, No 8 (2011) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

  13. Understanding the Complexity of Teacher Reflection in Action Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luttenberg, Johan; Meijer, Paulien; Oolbekkink-Marchand, Helma

    2017-01-01

    Reflection in action research is a complex matter, as is action research itself. In recent years, complexity science has regularly been called upon in order to more thoroughly understand the complexity of action research. The present article investigates the benefits that complexity science may yield for reflection in action research. This article…

  14. Understanding complex interactions using social network analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pow, Janette; Gayen, Kaberi; Elliott, Lawrie; Raeside, Robert

    2012-10-01

    The aim of this paper is to raise the awareness of social network analysis as a method to facilitate research in nursing research. The application of social network analysis in assessing network properties has allowed greater insight to be gained in many areas including sociology, politics, business organisation and health care. However, the use of social networks in nursing has not received sufficient attention. Review of literature and illustration of the application of the method of social network analysis using research examples. First, the value of social networks will be discussed. Then by using illustrative examples, the value of social network analysis to nursing will be demonstrated. The method of social network analysis is found to give greater insights into social situations involving interactions between individuals and has particular application to the study of interactions between nurses and between nurses and patients and other actors. Social networks are systems in which people interact. Two quantitative techniques help our understanding of these networks. The first is visualisation of the network. The second is centrality. Individuals with high centrality are key communicators in a network. Applying social network analysis to nursing provides a simple method that helps gain an understanding of human interaction and how this might influence various health outcomes. It allows influential individuals (actors) to be identified. Their influence on the formation of social norms and communication can determine the extent to which new interventions or ways of thinking are accepted by a group. Thus, working with key individuals in a network could be critical to the success and sustainability of an intervention. Social network analysis can also help to assess the effectiveness of such interventions for the recipient and the service provider. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Environmental Education: Understanding the World around Us

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodor, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Environmental education teaches children and adults how to learn about and investigate their environment and to make intelligent, informed decisions about how they can take care of it. It is taught in traditional classrooms, in communities, and in settings like nature centers, museums, parks, and zoos. Learning about the environment involves many…

  16. Global Environmental change: Understanding the Human Dimensions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrisette, P.M.

    1993-01-01

    This book is from the National Research Council's Committee on the Human dimensions of Global Change. The object is to examine what is known about human dimensions of global environmental change, identify the major immediate needs for knowledge, and recommend a strategy over the next 5-10 years. Case studies are used in human causes of global change. issues related to theory, methods, and data are covered, as well as institutional needs for interdicipinary approaches

  17. Actinides and environmental interfaces: striving for molecular-level understanding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heino Nitsche

    2005-01-01

    Actinides can undergo a variety of complex chemical reactions in the environment. In addition to the formation of solid precipitates, colloids and dissolved solution species common to aqueous systems, actinide ions can interact with the surrounding geo and biomedia to change oxidation states or sorb on surfaces and colloids. The rate of migration is determined by aqueous solubility, and interactions with solid surfaces such as minerals, soils, natural organic matter, and soil microorganisms Sorption of aqueous actinide species on biological and geological matrices can be quantitatively described by a surface complexation or site-binding model. The disadvantage of this model is the difficulty in the experimental determination of the model parameters and surface reaction constants. Usually, a set of surface reactions and species are proposed based on knowledge of the solution speciation of the solute, and the reaction constants are usually derived by fitting computer-calculated absorption curves to experimental data. Because this process typically involves a large number of potentially adjustable parameters, it is likely to lead to non-unique parameter fitting and does not always result in a consistent set of parameters for the same systems. A fundamental molecular-level understanding of sorption processes of actinides on environmental surfaces is required to better understand and predict their transport behavior in nature. Several different surface spectroscopic techniques have been applied to the characterization of the adsorbed species and surface reactions and a direct determination of the sorbed species and surface reactions has become possible. The non-linear optical techniques of second harmonic and sum frequency generation (SHG and SFG) are ideally suited to study surfaces and interfaces of mineral oxides, biosurfactants and biopolymers, organic adlayers adsorbed on solid/mineral surfaces and soil organic matter, including humic and fulvic acids. Resonant

  18. Simple, complex and hyper-complex understanding - enhanced sensitivity in observation of information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bering Keiding, Tina

    enhanced transparency in selection of understanding as well as enhanced sensitivity and definition in dept. The contribution suggest that we distinguish between three types of understanding; simple, complex and hyper-complex understanding. Simple understanding is the simultaneous selection of understanding......-order observation. Hyper-complex, or third-order observation, observes conditions for indication; that is conditions for actualization of the specific form of the difference constructed through second-order observation. The three types are partly deduced from Luhmanns concept of understanding, partly generated...

  19. Understanding Learner Agency as a Complex Dynamic System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Sarah

    2011-01-01

    This paper attempts to contribute to a fuller understanding of the nature of language learner agency by considering it as a complex dynamic system. The purpose of the study was to explore detailed situated data to examine to what extent it is feasible to view learner agency through the lens of complexity theory. Data were generated through a…

  20. Ecosystemic Complexity Theory of Conflict: Understanding the Fog of Conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, Greg; Lassiter, Pamela S.; Hill, Michele B.; Moore, Sarah A.

    2011-01-01

    Counselors often engage in conflict mediation in professional practice. A model for understanding the complex and subtle nature of conflict resolution is presented. The ecosystemic complexity theory of conflict is offered to assist practitioners in navigating the fog of conflict. Theoretical assumptions are discussed with implications for clinical…

  1. Advances in complex societal, environmental and engineered systems

    CERN Document Server

    Essaaidi, Mohammad

    2017-01-01

    This book addresses recent technological progress that has led to an increased complexity in many natural and artificial systems. The resulting complexity research due to the emergence of new properties and spatio-temporal interactions among a large number of system elements - and between the system and its environment - is the primary focus of this text. This volume is divided into three parts: Part one focuses on societal and ecological systems, Part two deals with approaches for understanding, modeling, predicting and mastering socio-technical systems, and Part three includes real-life examples. Each chapter has its own special features; it is a self-contained contribution of distinguished experts working on different fields of science and technology relevant to the study of complex systems. Advances in Complex Systems of Contemporary Reality: Societal, Environmental and Engineered Systems will provide postgraduate students, researchers and managers with qualitative and quantitative methods for handling th...

  2. an understanding of environmental concepts and issues among

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    environmental knowledge, attitudes and concern are also conflicting. As there is disagreement about the direction of relationships between different variables, therefore, there is a need to investigate the understanding of environmental concepts and issues among Grade 10-12 students from rural and urban schools.

  3. Environmental assessment report: Nuclear Test Technology Complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tonnessen, K.; Tewes, H.A.

    1982-08-01

    The US Department of Energy (USDOE) is planning to construct and operate a structure, designated the Nuclear Test Technology Complex (NTTC), on a site located west of and adjacent to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NTTC is designed to house 350 nuclear test program personnel, and will accommodate the needs of the entire staff of the continuing Nuclear Test Program (NTP). The project has three phases: land acquisition, facility construction and facility operation. The purpose of this environmental assessment report is to describe the activities associated with the three phases of the NTTC project and to evaluate potential environmental disruptions. The project site is located in a rural area of southeastern Alameda County, California, where the primary land use is agriculture; however, the County has zoned the area for industrial development. The environmental impacts of the project include surface disturbance, high noise levels, possible increases in site erosion, and decreased air quality. These impacts will occur primarily during the construction phase of the NTTC project and can be mitigated in part by measures proposed in this report

  4. Understanding complex urban systems multidisciplinary approaches to modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Gurr, Jens; Schmidt, J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding Complex Urban Systems takes as its point of departure the insight that the challenges of global urbanization and the complexity of urban systems cannot be understood – let alone ‘managed’ – by sectoral and disciplinary approaches alone. But while there has recently been significant progress in broadening and refining the methodologies for the quantitative modeling of complex urban systems, in deepening the theoretical understanding of cities as complex systems, or in illuminating the implications for urban planning, there is still a lack of well-founded conceptual thinking on the methodological foundations and the strategies of modeling urban complexity across the disciplines. Bringing together experts from the fields of urban and spatial planning, ecology, urban geography, real estate analysis, organizational cybernetics, stochastic optimization, and literary studies, as well as specialists in various systems approaches and in transdisciplinary methodologies of urban analysis, the volum...

  5. Study of Environmental Data Complexity using Extreme Learning Machine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuenberger, Michael; Kanevski, Mikhail

    2017-04-01

    The main goals of environmental data science using machine learning algorithm deal, in a broad sense, around the calibration, the prediction and the visualization of hidden relationship between input and output variables. In order to optimize the models and to understand the phenomenon under study, the characterization of the complexity (at different levels) should be taken into account. Therefore, the identification of the linear or non-linear behavior between input and output variables adds valuable information for the knowledge of the phenomenon complexity. The present research highlights and investigates the different issues that can occur when identifying the complexity (linear/non-linear) of environmental data using machine learning algorithm. In particular, the main attention is paid to the description of a self-consistent methodology for the use of Extreme Learning Machines (ELM, Huang et al., 2006), which recently gained a great popularity. By applying two ELM models (with linear and non-linear activation functions) and by comparing their efficiency, quantification of the linearity can be evaluated. The considered approach is accompanied by simulated and real high dimensional and multivariate data case studies. In conclusion, the current challenges and future development in complexity quantification using environmental data mining are discussed. References - Huang, G.-B., Zhu, Q.-Y., Siew, C.-K., 2006. Extreme learning machine: theory and applications. Neurocomputing 70 (1-3), 489-501. - Kanevski, M., Pozdnoukhov, A., Timonin, V., 2009. Machine Learning for Spatial Environmental Data. EPFL Press; Lausanne, Switzerland, p.392. - Leuenberger, M., Kanevski, M., 2015. Extreme Learning Machines for spatial environmental data. Computers and Geosciences 85, 64-73.

  6. Environmental Identity: A New Approach to Understanding Students' Participation in Environmental Learning Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaksha, Amanda P.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of this study is to develop an understanding of how participants express their environmental identities during an environmental learning program. Past research on the outcomes of environmental learning programs has focused primarily on changes in knowledge and attitudes. However, even if knowledge or attitudes can be accurately measured,…

  7. Understanding complex systems: lessons from Auzoux's and von ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2009-12-09

    Dec 9, 2009 ... Animal and human anatomy is among the most complex systems known, and suitable teaching methods have been of great importance in the progress of knowledge. Examining the human body is part of the process by which medical students come to understand living forms. However, the need to ...

  8. Understanding the Complexity of Social Issues through Process Drama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, Joanne

    2002-01-01

    Attempts to capture the process of understanding and questioning deforestation through process drama (in which students and teacher work both in and out of role to explore a problem, situation, or theme). Notes that moving topics such as the destruction of a rainforest into process drama introduces complexity into social issues. Considers how…

  9. Understanding complex urban systems integrating multidisciplinary data in urban models

    CERN Document Server

    Gebetsroither-Geringer, Ernst; Atun, Funda; Werner, Liss

    2016-01-01

    This book is devoted to the modeling and understanding of complex urban systems. This second volume of Understanding Complex Urban Systems focuses on the challenges of the modeling tools, concerning, e.g., the quality and quantity of data and the selection of an appropriate modeling approach. It is meant to support urban decision-makers—including municipal politicians, spatial planners, and citizen groups—in choosing an appropriate modeling approach for their particular modeling requirements. The contributors to this volume are from different disciplines, but all share the same goal: optimizing the representation of complex urban systems. They present and discuss a variety of approaches for dealing with data-availability problems and finding appropriate modeling approaches—and not only in terms of computer modeling. The selection of articles featured in this volume reflect a broad variety of new and established modeling approaches such as: - An argument for using Big Data methods in conjunction with Age...

  10. Increasing process understanding by analyzing complex interactions in experimental data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naelapaa, Kaisa; Allesø, Morten; Kristensen, Henning Gjelstrup

    2009-01-01

    There is a recognized need for new approaches to understand unit operations with pharmaceutical relevance. A method for analyzing complex interactions in experimental data is introduced. Higher-order interactions do exist between process parameters, which complicate the interpretation...... understanding of a coating process. It was possible to model the response, that is, the amount of drug released, using both mentioned techniques. However, the ANOVAmodel was difficult to interpret as several interactions between process parameters existed. In contrast to ANOVA, GEMANOVA is especially suited...... for modeling complex interactions and making easily understandable models of these. GEMANOVA modeling allowed a simple visualization of the entire experimental space. Furthermore, information was obtained on how relative changes in the settings of process parameters influence the film quality and thereby drug...

  11. Understanding sustainability from an exergetic frame in complex adaptive systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aguilar Hernandez, Glem Alonso

    2017-01-01

    The concept of sustainability was developed from thermodynamic properties applied to complex adaptive systems. The origins of the perception about sustainable development and limitation in its application to analyze the interaction between a system and its surroundings were described. The properties of a complex adaptive system were taken as basis to determine how a system can to be affected by the resources restriction and irreversibility of the processes. The complex adaptive system was understood using the first and second law of thermodynamics, generating a conceptual framework to define the sustainability of a system. The contributions developed by exergy were shown to analyze the sustainability of systems in an economic, social and environmental context [es

  12. An understanding of environmental concepts and issues among ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The major aim of this study is to assess the knowledge and understanding of Grade 10-12 students about selected environmental concepts and issues such as population, ozone layer, green house effect, and acid rain. Another aim of this study is to find out whether there is any difference between the knowledge and ...

  13. Parametric Linear Hybrid Automata for Complex Environmental Systems Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samar Hayat Khan Tareen

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Environmental systems, whether they be weather patterns or predator-prey relationships, are dependent on a number of different variables, each directly or indirectly affecting the system at large. Since not all of these factors are known, these systems take on non-linear dynamics, making it difficult to accurately predict meaningful behavioral trends far into the future. However, such dynamics do not warrant complete ignorance of different efforts to understand and model close approximations of these systems. Towards this end, we have applied a logical modeling approach to model and analyze the behavioral trends and systematic trajectories that these systems exhibit without delving into their quantification. This approach, formalized by René Thomas for discrete logical modeling of Biological Regulatory Networks (BRNs and further extended in our previous studies as parametric biological linear hybrid automata (Bio-LHA, has been previously employed for the analyses of different molecular regulatory interactions occurring across various cells and microbial species. As relationships between different interacting components of a system can be simplified as positive or negative influences, we can employ the Bio-LHA framework to represent different components of the environmental system as positive or negative feedbacks. In the present study, we highlight the benefits of hybrid (discrete/continuous modeling which lead to refinements among the fore-casted behaviors in order to find out which ones are actually possible. We have taken two case studies: an interaction of three microbial species in a freshwater pond, and a more complex atmospheric system, to show the applications of the Bio-LHA methodology for the timed hybrid modeling of environmental systems. Results show that the approach using the Bio-LHA is a viable method for behavioral modeling of complex environmental systems by finding timing constraints while keeping the complexity of the model

  14. Understanding Decision Making through Complexity in Professional Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kon Shing Kenneth Chung

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The attitudes of general practitioners (GP play an influential role in their decision making about patient treatment and care. Considering the GP-patient encounter as a complex system, the interactions between the GP and their personal network of peers give rise to “aggregate complexity,” which in turn influences the GP’s decisions about patient treatment. This study models aggregate complexity and its influence in decision making in primary care through the use of social network metrics. Professional network and attitudinal data on decision making responsibility from 107 rural GPs were analysed. Social network measures of “density” and “inclusiveness” were used for computing the “interrelatedness” of components within such a “complex system.” The “number of components” and “degree of interrelatedness” were used to determine the complexity profiles, which was then used to associate with responsibility in decision making for each GP. GPs in simple profiles (i.e., with low components and interactions in contrast to those in nonsimple profiles, indicate a higher responsibility for the decisions they make in medical care. This study suggests that social networks-based complexity profiles are useful for understanding decision making in primary care as it accounts for the role of influence through the professional networks of GPs.

  15. Environmental Perception as a Diagnostic Probe of Environmental Complexity Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, Mirlaine R.; Macedo, Renato L. G.; Freitas, Matheus P.; Nunes, Cleiton A.; Venturin, Nelson

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Educational methods to diagnose and improve the level of environmental conception are required. The present work reports a methodology based on studies about the environmental perception of a university public, divided into general students and those related to the forest sciences, who are involved with disciplines and researches related…

  16. Disaster forensics understanding root cause and complex causality

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    This book aims to uncover the root causes of natural and man-made disasters by going beyond the typical reports and case studies conducted post-disaster. It opens the black box of disasters by presenting ‘forensic analysis approaches’ to disasters, thereby revealing the complex causality that characterizes them and explaining how and why hazards do, or do not, become disasters. This yields ‘systemic’ strategies for managing disasters. Recently the global threat landscape has seen the emergence of high impact, low probability events. Events like Hurricane Katrina, the Great Japan Earthquake and tsunami, Hurricane Sandy, Super Typhoon Haiyan, global terrorist activities have become the new norm. Extreme events challenge our understanding regarding the interdependencies and complexity of the disaster aetiology and are often referred to as Black Swans. Between 2002 and 2011, there were 4130 disasters recorded that resulted from natural hazards around the world. In these, 1,117,527 people perished and a mi...

  17. Complexity and simplification in understanding recruitment in benthic populations

    KAUST Repository

    Pineda, Jesús

    2008-11-13

    Research of complex systems and problems, entities with many dependencies, is often reductionist. The reductionist approach splits systems or problems into different components, and then addresses these components one by one. This approach has been used in the study of recruitment and population dynamics of marine benthic (bottom-dwelling) species. Another approach examines benthic population dynamics by looking at a small set of processes. This approach is statistical or model-oriented. Simplified approaches identify "macroecological" patterns or attempt to identify and model the essential, "first-order" elements of the system. The complexity of the recruitment and population dynamics problems stems from the number of processes that can potentially influence benthic populations, including (1) larval pool dynamics, (2) larval transport, (3) settlement, and (4) post-settlement biotic and abiotic processes, and larval production. Moreover, these processes are non-linear, some interact, and they may operate on disparate scales. This contribution discusses reductionist and simplified approaches to study benthic recruitment and population dynamics of bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates. We first address complexity in two processes known to influence recruitment, larval transport, and post-settlement survival to reproduction, and discuss the difficulty in understanding recruitment by looking at relevant processes individually and in isolation. We then address the simplified approach, which reduces the number of processes and makes the problem manageable. We discuss how simplifications and "broad-brush first-order approaches" may muddle our understanding of recruitment. Lack of empirical determination of the fundamental processes often results in mistaken inferences, and processes and parameters used in some models can bias our view of processes influencing recruitment. We conclude with a discussion on how to reconcile complex and simplified approaches. Although it

  18. "Understanding Adam" multiple reciprocal translocations: complex case presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, Carie E; Lu, Xianglan; Kim, Young Mi; Li, Shibo; Pineda, Jose

    2009-01-01

    This article presents a case review of a newborn diagnosed with a complex chromosomal rearrangement, as demonstrated through a painted chromosomal analysis. This infant presented with multiple dysmorphology including cutis aplasia, multiple ocular malformations, bilateral cleft lip and palate, and postnatal hydrocephaly. A chromosomal analysis revealed multiple-ways, balanced translocation involving chromosomes 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9. This case study provides a unique opportunity to, in retrospect, trace each malformation exploring the pathophysiology, etiology, and correlating origin with chromosomal variation. Careful review of this case, enhanced by the visually augmented representation of each translocation, will increase understanding of chromosomal anomalies and their implications in embryological development and clinical presentation.

  19. Understanding Parkinson Disease: A Complex and Multifaceted Illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishna, Apoorva; Alexander, Sheila A

    2015-12-01

    Parkinson disease is an incredibly complex and multifaceted illness affecting millions of people in the United States. Parkinson disease is characterized by progressive dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction and loss, leading to debilitating motor, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Parkinson disease is an enigmatic illness that is still extensively researched today to search for a better understanding of the disease, develop therapeutic interventions to halt or slow progression of the disease, and optimize patient outcomes. This article aims to examine in detail the normal function of the basal ganglia and dopaminergic neurons in the central nervous system, the etiology and pathophysiology of Parkinson disease, related signs and symptoms, current treatment, and finally, the profound impact of understanding the disease on nursing care.

  20. Land, power and conflict in Afghanistan: seeking to understand complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Pain

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the diverse links between land and power under conditions of conflict in Afghanistan, taking into account the complexities of Afghan society. These complexities are structured around interconnecting informal institutions and personalised relationships, culturally specific, diverse and shifting patterns of social relations, and spatially specific patterns of land ownership inequalities. The paper draws on a decade of empirical fieldwork in Afghanistan and recent work on livelihood trajectories and the opium economy. An understanding of the evolution of land ownership and access issues needs to be associated with an appreciation of diverse and potentially contradictory long-term drivers of change in the rural economy. The first of these long-term drivers of change relates to the effects of conflict, not only on land but also of water access under conditions of an increasingly scarce water supply. The second driver relates both to the roles played by village elites and to the structural contrasts between villages located in the mountains and in the plains, with the latter displaying major inequalities in land ownership. The third driver relates to the declining economic role of land in rural livelihoods, given long-term agrarian change and falling farm sizes. An understanding of history is fundamental to explaining these phenomena. How such conflicts play out, and which social groups or individuals they involve, also depend to a large degree on spatial positioning.

  1. Correcting environmental problems facing the nuclear weapons complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rezendes, V.S.

    1990-06-01

    This report discusses DOE's efforts to correct the environmental problems facing the nuclear weapons complex. It focuses on three main points. First, the weapons complex faces a variety of serious and costly environmental problems. Second, during the past year, DOE has made some important changes to its organization that should help change its management focus from one that emphasizes materials production to one that more clearly focuses on environmental concerns. Third, because resolution of DOE's environmental problems will require considerable resources during a period of budgetary constraints, it is imperative that DOE have internal controls in place to ensure that resources are spent efficiently

  2. Understanding Mechanism of Photocatalytic Microbial Decontamination of Environmental Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chhabilal Regmi

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Several photocatalytic nanoparticles are synthesized and studied for potential application for the degradation of organic and biological wastes. Although these materials degrade organic compounds by advance oxidation process, the exact mechanisms of microbial decontamination remains partially known. Understanding the real mechanisms of these materials for microbial cell death and growth inhibition helps to fabricate more efficient semiconductor photocatalyst for large-scale decontamination of environmental wastewater or industries and hospitals/biomedical labs generating highly pathogenic bacteria and toxic molecules containing liquid waste by designing a reactor. Recent studies on microbial decontamination by photocatalytic nanoparticles and their possible mechanisms of action is highlighted with examples in this mini review.

  3. Evolution in students’ understanding of thermal physics with increasing complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elon Langbeheim

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We analyze the development in students’ understanding of fundamental principles in the context of learning a current interdisciplinary research topic—soft matter—that was adapted to the level of high school students. The topic was introduced in a program for interested 11th grade high school students majoring in chemistry and/or physics, in an off-school setting. Soft matter was presented in a gradual increase in the degree of complexity of the phenomena as well as in the level of the quantitative analysis. We describe the evolution in students’ use of fundamental thermodynamics principles to reason about phase separation—a phenomenon that is ubiquitous in soft matter. In particular, we examine the impact of the use of free energy analysis, a common approach in soft matter, on the understanding of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. The study used diagnostic questions and classroom observations to gauge the student’s learning. In order to gain insight on the aspects that shape the understanding of the basic principles, we focus on the responses and explanations of two case-study students who represent two trends of evolution in conceptual understanding in the group. We analyze changes in the two case studies’ management of conceptual resources used in their analysis of phase separation, and suggest how their prior knowledge and epistemological framing (a combination of their personal tendencies and their prior exposure to different learning styles affect their conceptual evolution. Finally, we propose strategies to improve the instruction of these concepts.

  4. Environmental Complexity: ethic-environmental propositions of the Latin- American Environmental Thought

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noguera de Echeverri, Ana Patricia

    2007-01-01

    In this article, are compiled the most important ethic-environmental propositions of the Latin- American Environmental Thought, that had been growing up 30 years ago. In it are authors outlined in the field of the philosophic environmental thought, as the philosopher and Colombian thinker, of Latin-American transcendence, Augusto Angel Maya, who pustules the possibility of build en Ethical - Esthetic Environmental Philosophy, in fact of the Modern Philosophy have been metaphysic, even in the empiric, positivist and neo-positivist tendencies. It has been outlined the Enrique Leff's work, Mexican, who proposes his concepts of Complexity and Environmental Known as an initial point of an ethic in the education, science and technology into of an systemic and holistic relations. Equally, the Julio Carrizosa's ethical - esthetic proposition, also Colombian, which this essay shows as a fundamental political propose against Colombian problems as violence and exclusion. The propositions of Colombian philosophers of big relevance in the politic-moral philosophy had become in a public and communicative environmental ethic, that's the case of Guillermo Hoyos Vasquez and other thinkers as in Colombia and so other Latin-American countries which are shown in this space, with the finality of to pick up in a critical way our ideas about the possibility of an environmental ethic, that means an decentred ethic, with out subject and object, and systemic ethic, where the values has come being constructed 2.500 millions years ago, of which we are pure threads, an ethic that pass of been an object to be first a value in his greater sense

  5. Neuroanthropological Understanding of Complex Cognition – Numerosity and Arithmetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zarja Mursic

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Humankind has a long evolutionary history. When we are trying to understand human complex cognition, it is as well important to look back to entire evolution. I will present the thesis that our biological predispositions and culture, together with natural and social environment, are tightly connected. During ontogenetically development we are shaped by various factors, and they enabled humans to develop some aspects of complex cognition, such as mathematics.In the beginning of the article I present the importance of natural and cultural evolution in other animals. In the following part, I briefly examine the field of mathematics – numerosity and arithmetic. Presentation of comparative animal studies, mainly made on primates, provides some interesting examples in animals’ abilities to separate between different quantities. From abilities for numerosity in animals I continue to neuroscientific studies of humans and our ability to solve simple arithmetic tasks. I also mention cross-cultural studies of arithmetic skills. In the final part of the text I present the field neuroanthropology as a possible new pillar of cognitive science. Finally, it is important to connect human evolution and development with animal cognition studies, but as well with cross-cultural studies in shaping of human ability for numerosity and arithmetic.

  6. Understanding and measuring quality of care: dealing with complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanefeld, Johanna; Powell-Jackson, Timothy; Balabanova, Dina

    2017-05-01

    Existing definitions and measurement approaches of quality of health care often fail to address the complexities involved in understanding quality of care. It is perceptions of quality, rather than clinical indicators of quality, that drive service utilization and are essential to increasing demand. Here we reflect on the nature of quality, how perceptions of quality influence health systems and what such perceptions indicate about measurement of quality within health systems. We discuss six specific challenges related to the conceptualization and measurement of the quality of care: perceived quality as a driver of service utilization; quality as a concept shaped over time through experience; responsiveness as a key attribute of quality; the role of management and other so-called upstream factors; quality as a social construct co-produced by families, individuals, networks and providers; and the implications of our observations for measurement. Within the communities and societies where care is provided, quality of care cannot be understood outside social norms, relationships, trust and values. We need to improve not only technical quality but also acceptability, responsiveness and levels of patient-provider trust. Measurement approaches need to be reconsidered. An improved understanding of all the attributes of quality in health systems and their interrelationships could support the expansion of access to essential health interventions.

  7. Understanding complexity in neurodegenerative diseases: in silico reconstruction of emergence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey eKolodkin

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Healthy functioning is an emergent property of the network of interacting biomolecules that comprise an organism. It follows that disease (a network shift that causes malfunction is also an emergent property, emerging from a perturbation of the network. On one hand, the biomolecular network of every individual is unique and this is evident when similar disease-producing agents cause different individual pathologies. Consequently, a personalized model and approach for every patient may be required for therapies to become effective across mankind. On the other hand, diverse combinations of internal and external perturbation factors may cause a similar shift in network functioning. We offer this as an explanation for the multi-factorial nature of most diseases: they are ‘systems biology diseases’, or ‘network diseases’. Here we focus on neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s disease, as an example. Because of the inherent complexity of these networks, it is difficult to understand multi-factorial diseases using simply our ‘naked brain’. When describing interactions between biomolecules through mathematical equations and integrating those equations into a mathematical model, we try to reconstruct the emergent properties of the system in silico. The reconstruction of emergence from interactions between huge numbers of macromolecules is one of the aims of systems biology. Systems biology approaches enable us to break through the limitation of the human brain to perceive the extraordinarily large number of interactions, but this also means that we delegate the understanding of reality to the computer. We no longer recognize all those essences in the system’s design crucial for important physiological behavior (the so-called ‘design principles’ of the system. In this paper we review evidence that by using more abstract approaches and by experimenting in silico, one may still be able to discover and understand the design

  8. Socio-Environmental Resilience and Complex Urban Systems Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deal, Brian; Petri, Aaron; Pan, Haozhi; Goldenberg, Romain; Kalantari, Zahra; Cvetkovic, Vladimir

    2017-04-01

    The increasing pressure of climate change has inspired two normative agendas; socio-technical transitions and socio-ecological resilience, both sharing a complex-systems epistemology (Gillard et al. 2016). Socio-technical solutions include a continuous, massive data gathering exercise now underway in urban places under the guise of developing a 'smart'(er) city. This has led to the creation of data-rich environments where large data sets have become central to monitoring and forming a response to anomalies. Some have argued that these kinds of data sets can help in planning for resilient cities (Norberg and Cumming 2008; Batty 2013). In this paper, we focus on a more nuanced, ecologically based, socio-environmental perspective of resilience planning that is often given less consideration. Here, we broadly discuss (and model) the tightly linked, mutually influenced, social and biophysical subsystems that are critical for understanding urban resilience. We argue for the need to incorporate these sub system linkages into the resilience planning lexicon through the integration of systems models and planning support systems. We make our case by first providing a context for urban resilience from a socio-ecological and planning perspective. We highlight the data needs for this type of resilient planning and compare it to currently collected data streams in various smart city efforts. This helps to define an approach for operationalizing socio-environmental resilience planning using robust systems models and planning support systems. For this, we draw from our experiences in coupling a spatio-temporal land use model (the Landuse Evolution and impact Assessment Model (LEAM)) with water quality and quantity models in Stockholm Sweden. We describe the coupling of these systems models using a robust Planning Support System (PSS) structural framework. We use the coupled model simulations and PSS to analyze the connection between urban land use transformation (social) and water

  9. Understanding and controlling complex states arising from magnetic frustration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zapf, Vivien [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-06-01

    Much of our national security relies on capabilities made possible by magnetism, in particular the ability to compute and store huge bodies of information as well as to move things and sense the world. Most of these technologies exploit ferromagnetism, i.e. the global parallel alignment of magnetic spins as seen in a bar magnet. Recent advances in computing technologies, such as spintronics and MRAM, take advantage of antiferromagnetism where the magnetic spins alternate from one to the next. In certain crystal structures, however, the spins take on even more complex arrangements. These are often created by frustration, where the interactions between spins cannot be satisfied locally or globally within the material resulting in complex and often non-coplanar spin textures. Frustration also leads to the close proximity of many different magnetic states, which can be selected by small perturbations in parameters like magnetic fields, temperature and pressure. It is this tunability that makes frustrated systems fundamentally interesting and highly desirable for applications. We move beyond frustration in insulators to itinerant systems where the interaction between mobile electrons and the non-coplanar magnetic states lead to quantum magneto-electric amplification. Here a small external field is amplified by many orders of magnitude by non-coplanar frustrated states. This greatly enhances their sensitivity and opens broader fields for applications. Our objective is to pioneer a new direction for condensed matter science at the Laboratory as well as for international community by discovering, understanding and controlling states that emerge from the coupling of itinerant charges to frustrated spin textures.

  10. Complexity and interdisciplinary approaches to environmental research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammen, Daniel M.

    2013-03-01

    The launch of volume 8 of Environmental Research Letters (ERL) comes at a critical time in terms of innovations and exciting areas of science, but particularly in the areas linking environmental research and action. The most recent climate change Conference of the Parties meeting (COP), in Doha in December 2012, has now come and gone. As has been dissected in the press, very little was accomplished. Some will see this as a failure, as I do, and others will reasonably enough note that this meeting, the 18th such COP was1 never intended to be a milestone moment. The current plan, in fact, is for a 'post-Kyoto' international climate agreement to be adopted only at the COP20 summit in December 2015. As we lead up to COP20, and potentially other regional or national approaches to climate protection, innovations in science, innovations in policy tools, and political commitment must come together. The science of climate change only continues to get clearer and clearer, and bleaker [1]. Later this year the IPCC will release its Fifth Assessment Report, AR5. The draft versions are out for review now. ERL has published a number of papers on climate change science, mitigation and adaptation, but one area where the world needs a particular focus is on the nexus of science and action. A summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's findings from the first assessment report (FAR; 1990) to the latest report is presented in figure 1. This graphic is specifically not about the scientific record alone. What is most important about this figure is the juxtaposition of the language of science and the language of ... language. Figure 1. Figure 1. A superposition of the state of climate science in three key data sets, and the dates of the first, second, third and fourth assessment reports (FAR, SAR, TAR, and AR4, respectively) plotted as vertical lines. On the right are the key statements from each of these reports, along with the conclusion of the Special Report on

  11. An African Understanding of Environmental Ethics | Ojomo | Thought ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Global concerns about the current environmental crisis have culminated in some controversial environmental ethical theories, among which are normative environmental ethics, sentientist ethics, biocentric ethics, ecocentric ethics and eco-feminist ethics. One of the underlying features connecting these environmental ...

  12. Health and environmental effects of complex chemical mixtures: proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1985-01-01

    The Office of Health and Environmental Research (OHER) of the Department of Energy supports a broad long-term research program on human health and environmental effects from potential exposure to energy-related complex chemical mixtures. The program seeks basic mechanistic data on the effects of complex mixtures at the cellular, molecular, and whole animal levels to aid in predicting human health effects and seeks ecological data on biological and physical transformations in the mixtures, concentrations of the mixtures in various compartments of the environment, and potential routes for human exposure to these mixtures (e.g., food chain). On June 17-18, 1985, OHER held its First Annual Technical Meeting on the Complex Chemical Mixtures Program in Chicago, IL. The primary purpose of the meeting was to enable principal investigators to report the research status and accomplishments of ongoing complex chemical mixture studies supported by OHER. To help focus future research directions round table discussions were conducted.

  13. Environmental impact assessment for the Nova projects (Building 391 complex)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Odell, B.N.

    1979-01-01

    The environmental impact assessment of the Nova projects (Building 391 Complex) describes (1) the proposed actions, (2) the existing environment in and around the Livermore Valley, and (3) the potential environmental impacts from the construction and operation of these facilities. It shows that the proposed action does not conflict with any Federal, State, Regional, or Local Plans and Programs. Possible alternatives to the proposed action are discussed. However, it is concluded that the proposed actions were the most reasonable of the alternatives and would involve relatively minor adverse environmental impacts

  14. Environmental Survey preliminary report, Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex, Piketon, Ohio

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-08-01

    This report presents the preliminary findings from the first phase of the Environmental Survey of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex (PUEC), conducted August 4 through August 15, 1986. The Survey is being conducted by an interdisciplinary team of environmental specialists, led and managed by the Office of Environment, Safety and Health's Office of Environmental Audit. Team specialists are being supplied by a private contractor. The objective of the Survey is to identify environmental problems and areas of environmental regulation. It is being performed in accordance with the DOE Environmental Survey Manual. This phase of the Survey involves the review of existing site environmental data, observations of the operations performed at PUEC, and interviews with site personnel. The Survey team developed a Sampling and Analysis Plan to assist in further assessing certain of the environmental problems identified during its on-site activities. The Sampling and Analysis Plan will be executed by Argonne National Laboratory. When completed, the results will be incorporated into the PUEC Environmental Survey Interim Report. The Interim Report will reflect the final determinations of the PUEC Survey. 55 refs., 22 figs., 21 tabs

  15. Environmental Survey preliminary report, Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex, Piketon, Ohio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1987-08-01

    This report presents the preliminary findings from the first phase of the Environmental Survey of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex (PUEC), conducted August 4 through August 15, 1986. The Survey is being conducted by an interdisciplinary team of environmental specialists, led and managed by the Office of Environment, Safety and Health's Office of Environmental Audit. Team specialists are being supplied by a private contractor. The objective of the Survey is to identify environmental problems and areas of environmental regulation. It is being performed in accordance with the DOE Environmental Survey Manual. This phase of the Survey involves the review of existing site environmental data, observations of the operations performed at PUEC, and interviews with site personnel. The Survey team developed a Sampling and Analysis Plan to assist in further assessing certain of the environmental problems identified during its on-site activities. The Sampling and Analysis Plan will be executed by Argonne National Laboratory. When completed, the results will be incorporated into the PUEC Environmental Survey Interim Report. The Interim Report will reflect the final determinations of the PUEC Survey. 55 refs., 22 figs., 21 tabs.

  16. Environmental monitoring program for Itataia industrial complex before operational phase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Condessa, M.L.M.B.

    1982-01-01

    This environmental monitoring program aims to characterize the environment in adjacent area of Itataia Industrial Complex. The places and frequencies of samples and measurements, as well as analysis and parameters to be measured in each type of samples are presented. (C.M.) [pt

  17. Global environmental change: local perceptions, understandings, and explanations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aili Pyhälä

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Global environmental change (GEC is an increasingly discussed phenomenon in the scientific literature as evidence of its presence and impacts continues to grow. Yet, while the documentation of GEC is becoming more readily available, local perceptions of GEC - particularly in small-scale societies - and preferences about how to deal with it, are still largely overlooked. Local knowledge and perceptions of GEC are important in that agents make decisions (including on natural resource management based on individual perceptions. We carried out a systematic literature review that aims to provide an exhaustive state-of-the-art of the degree to and manner in which the study of local perceptions of change are being addressed in GEC research. We reviewed 126 articles found in peer-reviewed journals (between 1998 and 2014 that address local perceptions of GEC. We used three particular lenses of analysis that are known to influence local perceptions, namely (i cognition, (ii culture and knowledge, and (iii possibilities for adaptation.We present our findings on the geographical distribution of the current research, the most common changes reported, perceived drivers and impacts of change, and local explanations and evaluations of change and impacts. Overall, we found the studies to be geographically biased, lacking methodological reporting, mostly theory based with little primary data, and lacking of indepth analysis of the psychological and ontological influences in perception and implications for adaptation. We provide recommendations for future GEC research and propose the development of a "meta-language" around adaptation, perception, and mediation to encourage a greater appreciation and understanding of the diversity around these phenomena across multiple scales, and improved codesign and facilitation of locally relevant adaptation and mitigation strategies.

  18. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. DEEP ECOLOGY: THE AWAKENING PROCESS TO A COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia Braga Lovatto

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Facing the contemporary environmental crisis, the environmental education emerges as a tool for coping and minimizing the impacts of human civilization on natural resources. So, in most of the works, what is observed is the predominance of environmental thinking, often devoid of ecosystem vision. The speech is limited to the need of preserving resources related to a distorted and uncritical development. Little attention is given to the dimensions of sustainability, the environment being treated as a part of the individual, mere outer portion of the human body. This perspective demonstrates the fragility of this speech to an effective awareness by revealing the disorder of the actions that occur within a deterministic ecological process, with little attention to the educational sphere, related to cognitive, ethical and cultural factors. Within these aspects, Complex Environmental Education suggests self-knowledge, awareness and environmental action in pursuit of the development that considers the integral quality of life, rather than the economic variable. In this sense, the deep ecology booster acts as an agent in the process of awakening to environmental education that is self-sustainability and so complex, because it helps the human perception on the integrative and dependent view of all beings, unifying them for the life.

  20. AN INTEGRATED NETWORK APPROACH TO IDENTIFYING BIOLOGICAL PATHWAYS AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE INTERACTIONS IN COMPLEX DISEASES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darabos, Christian; Qiu, Jingya; Moore, Jason H

    2016-01-01

    Complex diseases are the result of intricate interactions between genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. In previous studies, we used epidemiological and genetic data linking environmental exposure or genetic variants to phenotypic disease to construct Human Phenotype Networks and separately analyze the effects of both environment and genetic factors on disease interactions. To better capture the intricacies of the interactions between environmental exposure and the biological pathways in complex disorders, we integrate both aspects into a single "tripartite" network. Despite extensive research, the mechanisms by which chemical agents disrupt biological pathways are still poorly understood. In this study, we use our integrated network model to identify specific biological pathway candidates possibly disrupted by environmental agents. We conjecture that a higher number of co-occurrences between an environmental substance and biological pathway pair can be associated with a higher likelihood that the substance is involved in disrupting that pathway. We validate our model by demonstrating its ability to detect known arsenic and signal transduction pathway interactions and speculate on candidate cell-cell junction organization pathways disrupted by cadmium. The validation was supported by distinct publications of cell biology and genetic studies that associated environmental exposure to pathway disruption. The integrated network approach is a novel method for detecting the biological effects of environmental exposures. A better understanding of the molecular processes associated with specific environmental exposures will help in developing targeted molecular therapies for patients who have been exposed to the toxicity of environmental chemicals.

  1. Understanding global health governance as a complex adaptive system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Peter S

    2011-01-01

    The transition from international to global health reflects the rapid growth in the numbers and nature of stakeholders in health, as well as the constant change embodied in the process of globalisation itself. This paper argues that global health governance shares the characteristics of complex adaptive systems, with its multiple and diverse players, and their polyvalent and constantly evolving relationships, and rich and dynamic interactions. The sheer quantum of initiatives, the multiple networks through which stakeholders (re)configure their influence, the range of contexts in which development for health is played out - all compound the complexity of this system. This paper maps out the characteristics of complex adaptive systems as they apply to global health governance, linking them to developments in the past two decades, and the multiple responses to these changes. Examining global health governance through the frame of complexity theory offers insight into the current dynamics of governance, and while providing a framework for making meaning of the whole, opens up ways of accessing this complexity through local points of engagement.

  2. Understanding Participant and Practitioner Outcomes of Environmental Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Sarah E.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental education can deliver benefits to individuals, society and the environment, but few studies have asked practitioners or participants what they feel these benefits are. This research compares the perspectives of practitioners and participants in environmental education projects, using questionnaires, focus groups and participant…

  3. Understanding dyadic promoter-stakeholder relations in complex projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janita Vos

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we propose a Bilateral Double Motive framework of stakeholder cooperation in complex projects. The framework analyses and explains dyadic promoter-stakeholder relationships at a micro level by acknowledging both transactional and relational motives. We demonstrate the framework’s usefulness by illustrating its explanatory power in two instances of cooperation and two of non-cooperation within two health information technology projects. The study contributes to project management theory through its combined focus on transactional and relational motives. Further, the study contributes to practice by providing a tool for planning and evaluating cooperation in health Information Technology projects and similar complex multi-stakeholder environments.

  4. Matrix Models – An Approach to Understand Complex Systems

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Matrices with random matrix elements appear to have applications in physics, mathematics, bi- ology, telecommunications, etc. In fact, experi- mental data of many complex systems, such as the spacing distribution of energy level spectra of heavy nuclei, and the distribution of the non- real zeros of the Riemann zeta function ...

  5. Understanding dyadic promoter-stakeholder relations in complex projects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, Janita F.J.; Boonstra, Albert; Achterkamp, Marjolein C.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we propose a Bilateral Double Motive framework of stakeholder cooperation in complex projects. The framework analyses and explains dyadic promoter-stakeholder relationships at a micro level by acknowledging both transactional and relational motives. We demonstrate the framework’s

  6. How Information Visualization Systems Change Users' Understandings of Complex Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allendoerfer, Kenneth Robert

    2009-01-01

    User-centered evaluations of information systems often focus on the usability of the system rather its usefulness. This study examined how a using an interactive knowledge-domain visualization (KDV) system affected users' understanding of a domain. Interactive KDVs allow users to create graphical representations of domains that depict important…

  7. Understanding the biological and environmental implications of nanomaterials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Sijie

    quantified by UV-vis spectrophotometry and fitted with the Freundlich isothem. Effects of the adsorption of QDs on the photosynthetic activities of the algae are evaluated using O2 evolution and CO2 depletion assays, and the ecological impact of such adsorption is discussed. To understand the effects of nanomaterials on the cell membrane, nanoparticles (Au, TiO2, and QDs) of different surface charges and chemical compositions are introduced to HT-29 mammalian cells in Chapter 4. The polarization of the cell membrane is investigated using a FLIPR membrane potential kit. The phase of the cell membrane, in the presence of both positively and negatively charged nanoparticles, are examined using laurden, a lipophilic dye that serves as a molecular reporter on the fluidic or gel phase of the host membrane. To address the effects of nanomaterials on biological and ecological systems within the same context, Chapter 5 offers a first parallel comparison between mammalian and plant cell responses to nanomaterials. This study is conducted using a plant cell viability assay, complimented by bright field, fluorescence, and electron microscopy imaging. Discussions of this study are presented based on the hydrophobicity and solubility of C60(OH) 20 and of supramolecular complex C70-NOM, hydrophobicity and porous structure of the plant Allium cepa cell wall, and the amphiphilic structure and endocytosis of the plasma cell membrane of both Allium cepa and HT-29 cells. Chapter 6 summarizes and rationalizes results obtained from the entire dissertation research. Future work inspired by this research is presented at the end of the chapter. Specifically, this dissertation is structured to embody the following essential and complementary chapters: (1) Chapter 1: Literature review (2) Chapter 2: Nano-Eco interactions at the whole organism level; (3) Chapter 3: Nano-Eco interactions at the cellular level; (4) Chapter 4: Nano-Bio interactions at the cellular level; (5) Chapter 5: Parallel comparison

  8. New perspectives in ecosystem services science as instruments to understand environmental securities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, Ferdinando; Voigt, Brian; Erickson, Jon D.

    2014-01-01

    As societal demand for food, water and other life-sustaining resources grows, the science of ecosystem services (ES) is seen as a promising tool to improve our understanding, and ultimately the management, of increasingly uncertain supplies of critical goods provided or supported by natural ecosystems. This promise, however, is tempered by a relatively primitive understanding of the complex systems supporting ES, which as a result are often quantified as static resources rather than as the dynamic expression of human–natural systems. This article attempts to pinpoint the minimum level of detail that ES science needs to achieve in order to usefully inform the debate on environmental securities, and discusses both the state of the art and recent methodological developments in ES in this light. We briefly review the field of ES accounting methods and list some desiderata that we deem necessary, reachable and relevant to address environmental securities through an improved science of ES. We then discuss a methodological innovation that, while only addressing these needs partially, can improve our understanding of ES dynamics in data-scarce situations. The methodology is illustrated and discussed through an application related to water security in the semi-arid landscape of the Great Ruaha river of Tanzania. PMID:24535393

  9. Understanding, creating, and managing complex techno-socio-economic systems: Challenges and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbing, D.; Balietti, S.; Bishop, S.; Lukowicz, P.

    2011-05-01

    This contribution reflects on the comments of Peter Allen [1], Bikas K. Chakrabarti [2], Péter Érdi [3], Juval Portugali [4], Sorin Solomon [5], and Stefan Thurner [6] on three White Papers (WP) of the EU Support Action Visioneer (www.visioneer.ethz.ch). These White Papers are entitled "From Social Data Mining to Forecasting Socio-Economic Crises" (WP 1) [7], "From Social Simulation to Integrative System Design" (WP 2) [8], and "How to Create an Innovation Accelerator" (WP 3) [9]. In our reflections, the need and feasibility of a "Knowledge Accelerator" is further substantiated by fundamental considerations and recent events around the globe. newpara The Visioneer White Papers propose research to be carried out that will improve our understanding of complex techno-socio-economic systems and their interaction with the environment. Thereby, they aim to stimulate multi-disciplinary collaborations between ICT, the social sciences, and complexity science. Moreover, they suggest combining the potential of massive real-time data, theoretical models, large-scale computer simulations and participatory online platforms. By doing so, it would become possible to explore various futures and to expand the limits of human imagination when it comes to the assessment of the often counter-intuitive behavior of these complex techno-socio-economic-environmental systems. In this contribution, we also highlight the importance of a pluralistic modeling approach and, in particular, the need for a fruitful interaction between quantitative and qualitative research approaches. newpara In an appendix we briefly summarize the concept of the FuturICT flagship project, which will build on and go beyond the proposals made by the Visioneer White Papers. EU flagships are ambitious multi-disciplinary high-risk projects with a duration of at least 10 years amounting to an envisaged overall budget of 1 billion EUR [10]. The goal of the FuturICT flagship initiative is to understand and manage complex

  10. Mapping the environmental and biogeographic complexity of the Amazon basin using remote sensing methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streher, A. S.; Cordeiro, C. L. O.; Silva, T. S. F.

    2017-12-01

    in the past. Our work also highlights the environmental complexity of the Amazon region, often considered as "environmentally homogeneous", and shows how environmental mapping can contribute to better understanding of the processes explaining the current assembly and distribution of Amazon biodiversity.

  11. Fusion in computer vision understanding complex visual content

    CERN Document Server

    Ionescu, Bogdan; Piatrik, Tomas

    2014-01-01

    This book presents a thorough overview of fusion in computer vision, from an interdisciplinary and multi-application viewpoint, describing successful approaches, evaluated in the context of international benchmarks that model realistic use cases. Features: examines late fusion approaches for concept recognition in images and videos; describes the interpretation of visual content by incorporating models of the human visual system with content understanding methods; investigates the fusion of multi-modal features of different semantic levels, as well as results of semantic concept detections, fo

  12. Parametric linear hybrid automata for complex environmental systems modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Tareen, Samar H. K.; Ahmad, Jamil; Roux, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Environmental systems, whether they be weather patterns or predator–prey relationships, are dependent on a number different variables, each directly or indirectly affecting the system at large. Since not all of these factors are known, these systems take on non-linear dynamics, making it difficult to accurately predict meaningful behavioral trends far into the future. However, such dynamics do not warrant complete ignorance of different efforts to understand and model close approximations of ...

  13. Understanding the Complex Patterns Observed during Hepatitis B Virus Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carracedo Rodriguez, Andrea; Chung, Matthias; Ciupe, Stanca M

    2017-05-19

    Data from human clinical trials have shown that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) follows complex profiles, such as bi-phasic, tri-phasic, stepwise decay and rebound. We utilized a deterministic model of HBV kinetics following antiviral therapy to uncover the mechanistic interactions behind HBV dynamics. Analytical investigation of the model was used to separate the parameter space describing virus decay and rebound. Monte Carlo sampling of the parameter space was used to determine the virological, pharmacological and immunological factors that separate the bi-phasic and tri-phasic virus profiles. We found that the level of liver infection at the start of therapy best separates the decay patterns. Moreover, drug efficacy, ratio between division of uninfected and infected cells, and the strength of cytotoxic immune response are important in assessing the amount of liver damage experienced over time and in quantifying the duration of therapy leading to virus resolution in each of the observed profiles.

  14. Quantifying 'causality' in complex systems: understanding transfer entropy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatimah Abdul Razak

    Full Text Available 'Causal' direction is of great importance when dealing with complex systems. Often big volumes of data in the form of time series are available and it is important to develop methods that can inform about possible causal connections between the different observables. Here we investigate the ability of the Transfer Entropy measure to identify causal relations embedded in emergent coherent correlations. We do this by firstly applying Transfer Entropy to an amended Ising model. In addition we use a simple Random Transition model to test the reliability of Transfer Entropy as a measure of 'causal' direction in the presence of stochastic fluctuations. In particular we systematically study the effect of the finite size of data sets.

  15. Quantifying ‘Causality’ in Complex Systems: Understanding Transfer Entropy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Razak, Fatimah; Jensen, Henrik Jeldtoft

    2014-01-01

    ‘Causal’ direction is of great importance when dealing with complex systems. Often big volumes of data in the form of time series are available and it is important to develop methods that can inform about possible causal connections between the different observables. Here we investigate the ability of the Transfer Entropy measure to identify causal relations embedded in emergent coherent correlations. We do this by firstly applying Transfer Entropy to an amended Ising model. In addition we use a simple Random Transition model to test the reliability of Transfer Entropy as a measure of ‘causal’ direction in the presence of stochastic fluctuations. In particular we systematically study the effect of the finite size of data sets. PMID:24955766

  16. Understanding Complex Human Ecosystems: The Case of Ecotourism on Bonaire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Abel

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available It is suggested that ecotourism development on the island of Bonaire can be productively understood as a perturbation of a complex human ecosystem. Inputs associated with ecotourism have fueled transformations of the island ecology and sociocultural system. The results of this study indicate that Bonaire's social and economic hierarchy is approaching a new, stable systems state following a 50-yr transition begun by government and industry that stabilized with the appearance of ecotourism development and population growth. Ecotourism can be understood to have "filled in" the middle of the production hierarchy of Bonaire. Interpreted from this perspective, population growth has completed the transformation by expanding into production niches at smaller scales in the production hierarchy. Both a consequence and a cause, ecotourism has transformed the island's social structure and demography. The theory and methods applied in this case study of interdisciplinary research in the field of human ecosystems are also presented.

  17. From structure of the complex to understanding of the biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rossmann, Michael G., E-mail: mr@purdue.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Arisaka, Fumio [Graduate School and School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 5249 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama 226-8501-B39 (Japan); Battisti, Anthony J.; Bowman, Valorie D.; Chipman, Paul R.; Fokine, Andrei; Hafenstein, Susan [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Kanamaru, Shuji [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Graduate School and School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 5249 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama 226-8501-B39 (Japan); Kostyuchenko, Victor A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V.; Shneider, Mikhail M. [Laboratory of Molecular Bioengineering, Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, 16/10 Miklukho-Maklaya Street, Moscow, 117997 (Russian Federation); Morais, Marc C.; Leiman, Petr G. [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States); Palermo, Laura M.; Parrish, Colin R. [James A. Baker Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Xiao, Chuan [Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054 (United States)

    2007-01-01

    The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy single-particle reconstructions. This paper concerns itself with the study of the macromolecular complexes that constitute viruses, using structural hybrid techniques. The most extensive structural information on viruses relates to apparently icosahedral virions and is based on X-ray crystallography and on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) single-particle reconstructions. Both techniques lean heavily on imposing icosahedral symmetry, thereby obscuring any deviation from the assumed symmetry. However, tailed bacteriophages have icosahedral or prolate icosahedral heads that have one obvious unique vertex where the genome can enter for DNA packaging and exit when infecting a host cell. The presence of the tail allows cryo-EM reconstructions in which the special vertex is used to orient the head in a unique manner. Some very large dsDNA icosahedral viruses also develop special vertices thought to be required for infecting host cells. Similarly, preliminary cryo-EM data for the small ssDNA canine parvovirus complexed with receptor suggests that these viruses, previously considered to be accurately icosahedral, might have some asymmetric properties that generate one preferred receptor-binding site on the viral surface. Comparisons are made between rhinoviruses that bind receptor molecules uniformly to all 60 equivalent binding sites, canine parvovirus, which appears to have a preferred receptor-binding site, and bacteriophage T4, which gains major biological advantages on account of its unique vertex and tail organelle.

  18. Applying a complex adaptive system's understanding of health to primary care [version 2; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Bircher

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of a new concept of health. Investigations into the nature of health have led to a new definition that explains health as a complex adaptive system (CAS and is based on five components (a-e. Humans like all biological creatures must satisfactorily respond to (a the demands of life. For this purpose they need (b a biologically given potential (BGP and (c a personally acquired potential (PAP. These properties of individuals are embedded within (d social and (e environmental determinants of health. Between these five components of health there are 10 complex interactions that justify viewing health as a CAS. In each patient, the current state of health as a CAS evolved from the past, will move forward to a new future, and has to be analyzed and treated as an autonomous whole. A diagnostic procedure is suggested as follows: together with the patient, the five components and 10 complex interactions are assessed. This may help patients to better understand their situations and to recognize possible next steps that may be useful in order to evolve toward better health by themselves. In this process mutual trust in the patient-physician interaction is critical. The described approach offers new possibilities for helping patients improve their health prospects.

  19. Using GIS to understand the environmental chemistry of manganese ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Iron on the other hand is very low in the mine working area and is high on the northern part of the study area. Suggestions are advanced for the Mn interplay in the soils and environment around the Kgwakgwe abandoned Mn oxides ore mine. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management Vol 9(2) 2005: 37- ...

  20. Renewable biomass energy: Understanding regional scale environmental impacts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graham, R.L.; Downing, M.

    1993-12-31

    If biomass energy is to become a significant component of the US energy sector, millions of acres of farmland must be converted to energy crops. The environmental implications of this change in land use must be quantitatively evaluated. The land use changes will be largely driven by economic considerations. Farmers will grow energy crops when it is profitable to do so. Thus, models which purport to predict environmental changes induced by energy crop production must take into account those economic features which will influence land use change. In this paper, we present an approach for projecting the probable environmental impacts of growing energy crops at the regional scale. The approach takes into account both economic and environmental factors. We demonstrate the approach by analyzing, at a county-level the probable impact of switchgrass production on erosion, evapotranspiration, nitrate in runoff, and phosphorous fertilizer use in multi-county subregions within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region. Our results show that the adoption of switchgrass production will have different impacts in each subregion as a result of differences in the initial land use and soil conditions in the subregions. Erosion, evapotranspiration, and nitrate in runoff are projected to decrease in both subregions as switchgrass displaces the current crops. Phosphorous fertilizer applications are likely to increase in one subregion and decrease in the other due to initial differences in the types of conventional crops grown in each subregion. Overall these changes portend an improvement in water quality in the subregions with the increasing adoption of switchgrass.

  1. Understanding the Environment. Ag Ed Environmental Education Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulloch, Rodney W.

    The document is a student resource unit to be used in teaching high school vocational agriculture students about the environment. The relationship between ecology and changes in the ecosystems induced by man are discussed. The kinds of environmental problems treated are pollution, land use, and natural resources. Some causes of environmental…

  2. Understanding complex host-microbe interactions in Hydra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosch, Thomas C.G.

    2012-01-01

    Any multicellular organism may be considered a metaorganism or holobiont—comprised of the macroscopic host and synergistic interdependence with bacteria, archaea, fungi, viruses, and numerous other microbial and eukaryotic species including algal symbionts. Defining the individual microbe-host conversations in these consortia is a challenging but necessary step on the path to understanding the function of the associations as a whole. Dissecting the fundamental principles that underlie all host-microbe interactions requires simple animal models with only a few specific bacterial species. Here I present Hydra as such a model with one of the simplest epithelia in the animal kingdom, with the availability of a fully sequenced genome and numerous genomic tools, and with few associated bacterial species. PMID:22688725

  3. SpaceTime Environmental Image Information for Scene Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    framework for real-time foreground detection . J Real-Time Image Process . 2015;10:423–433. 36. Tu Z, Zheng A, Yang E, Luo B, Hussain A. A biologically...important to incorporate space- and time-varying environmental image information from the very beginning of the data collection process so that the recorded...of Congress), and c) nuclear power plant , Bushehr, Iran (photo courtesy of Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

  4. Understanding, Classifying, and Selecting Environmentally Acceptable Hydraulic Fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-01

    organizations such as the Coordinating European Council (CEC), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ( OECD ), and the United States...international standards with respect to biodegradability testing and classifications (such as OECD ), will be considered by USACE on a case-by-case basis...Army Corps of Engineers • Engineer Research and Development Center Fluid chemistry. In addition to the critical environmental properties detailed above

  5. Visualizing and Understanding Socio-Environmental Dynamics in Baltimore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaitchik, B. F.; Omeara, K.; Guikema, S.; Scott, A.; Bessho, A.; Logan, T. M.

    2015-12-01

    The City of Baltimore, like any city, is the sum of its component neighborhoods, institutions, businesses, cultures, and, ultimately, its people. It is also an organism in its own right, with distinct geography, history, infrastructure, and environments that shape its residents even as it is shaped by them. Sometimes these interactions are obvious but often they are not; while basic economic patterns are widely documented, the distribution of socio-spatial and environmental connections often hides below the surface, as does the potential that those connections hold. Here we present results of a collaborative initiative on the geography, design, and policy of socio-environmental dynamics of Baltimore. Geospatial data derived from satellite imagery, demographic databases, social media feeds, infrastructure plans, and in situ environmental networks, among other sources, are applied to generate an interactive portrait of Baltimore City's social, health, and well-being dynamics. The layering of data serves as a platform for visualizing the interconnectedness of the City and as a database for modeling risk interactions, vulnerabilities, and strengths within and between communities. This presentation will provide an overview of project findings and highlight linkages to education and policy.

  6. Understanding Life : The Evolutionary Dynamics of Complexity and Semiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeckenhoff, Helmut K.

    2010-11-01

    Post-Renaissance sciences created different cultures. To establish an epistemological base, Physics were separated from the Mental domain. Consciousness was excluded from science. Life Sciences were left in between e.g. LaMettrie's `man—machine' (1748) and 'vitalism' [e.g. Bergson 4]. Causative thinking versus intuitive arguing limited strictly comprehensive concepts. First ethology established a potential shared base for science, proclaiming the `biology paradigm' in the middle of the 20th century. Initially procured by Cybernetics and Systems sciences, `constructivist' models prepared a new view on human perception and thus also of scientific `objectivity when introducing the `observer'. In sequel Computer sciences triggered the ICT revolution. In turn ICT helped to develop Chaos and Complexity sciences, Non-linear Mathematics and its spin-offs in the formal sciences [Spencer-Brown 49] as e.g. (proto-)logics. Models of life systems, as e.g. Anticipatory Systems, integrated epistemology with mathematics and Anticipatory Computing [Dubois 11, 12, 13, 14] connecting them with Semiotics. Seminal ideas laid in the turn of the 19th to the 20th century [J. v. Uexküll 53] detected the co-action and co-evolvement of environments and life systems. Bio-Semiotics ascribed purpose, intent and meaning as essential qualities of life. The concepts of Systems Biology and Qualitative Research enriched and develop also anthropologies and humanities. Brain research added models of (higher) consciousness. An avant-garde is contemplating a science including consciousness as one additional base. New insights from the extended qualitative approach led to re-conciliation of basic assumptions of scientific inquiry, creating the `epistemological turn'. Paradigmatically, resting on macro- micro- and recently on nano-biology, evolution biology sired fresh scripts of evolution [W. Wieser 60,61]. Its results tie to hypotheses describing the emergence of language, of the human mind and of

  7. Measurements of student understanding on complex scientific reasoning problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izumi, Alisa Sau-Lin

    While there has been much discussion of cognitive processes underlying effective scientific teaching, less is known about the response nature of assessments targeting processes of scientific reasoning specific to biology content. This study used multiple-choice (m-c) and short-answer essay student responses to evaluate progress in high-order reasoning skills. In a pilot investigation of student responses on a non-content-based test of scientific thinking, it was found that some students showed a pre-post gain on the m-c test version while showing no gain on a short-answer essay version of the same questions. This result led to a subsequent research project focused on differences between alternate versions of tests of scientific reasoning. Using m-c and written responses from biology tests targeted toward the skills of (1) reasoning with a model and (2) designing controlled experiments, test score frequencies, factor analysis, and regression models were analyzed to explore test format differences. Understanding the format differences in tests is important for the development of practical ways to identify student gains in scientific reasoning. The overall results suggested test format differences. Factor analysis revealed three interpretable factors---m-c format, genetics content, and model-based reasoning. Frequency distributions on the m-c and open explanation portions of the hybrid items revealed that many students answered the m-c portion of an item correctly but gave inadequate explanations. In other instances students answered the m-c portion incorrectly yet demonstrated sufficient explanation or answered the m-c correctly and also provided poor explanations. When trying to fit test score predictors for non-associated student measures---VSAT, MSAT, high school grade point average, or final course grade---the test scores accounted for close to zero percent of the variance. Overall, these results point to the importance of using multiple methods of testing and of

  8. Entropy: A Unifying Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-01

    us now address complex systems which include a substantial social component. We may start with economics and theory of finance. Given the long memory ...Entropy: A Unifying Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems * Constantino Tsallis Centro Brasileiro de...Path for Understanding Complexity in Natural, Artificial and Social Systems 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA23861114006 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT

  9. 3D Geological Mapping - uncovering the subsurface to increase environmental understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, H.; Mathers, S.; Peach, D.

    2012-12-01

    parameterize their numerical models using outputs from 3D mapping. In some cases model code is being re-designed in order to deal with the increasing geological complexity expressed by Geologists. These 3D maps contain have inherent uncertainty, just as their predecessors, 2D geological maps had, and there remains a significant body of work to quantify and effectively communicate this uncertainty. Here we present examples of regional and national 3D maps from Geological Survey Organisations worldwide and how these are being used to better solve real-life environmental problems. The future challenge for geologists is to make these 3D maps easily available in an accessible and interoperable form so that the environmental science community can truly integrate the hidden subsurface into a common understanding of the whole geosphere.

  10. Hierarchy and Interactions in Environmental Interfaces Regarded as Biophysical Complex Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihailovic, Dragutin T.; Balaz, Igor

    The field of environmental sciences is abundant with various interfaces and is the right place for the application of new fundamental approaches leading towards a better understanding of environmental phenomena. For example, following the definition of environmental interface by Mihailovic and Balaž [23], such interface can be placed between: human or animal bodies and surrounding air, aquatic species and water and air around them, and natural or artificially built surfaces (vegetation, ice, snow, barren soil, water, urban communities) and the atmosphere. Complex environmental interface systems are open and hierarchically organised, interactions between their constituent parts are nonlinear, and the interaction with the surrounding environment is noisy. These systems are therefore very sensitive to initial conditions, deterministic external perturbations and random fluctuations always present in nature. The study of noisy non-equilibrium processes is fundamental for modelling the dynamics of environmental interface systems and for understanding the mechanisms of spatio-temporal pattern formation in contemporary environmental sciences, particularly in environmental fluid mechanics. In modelling complex biophysical systems one of the main tasks is to successfully create an operative interface with the external environment. It should provide a robust and prompt translation of the vast diversity of external physical and/or chemical changes into a set of signals, which are "understandable" for an organism. Although the establishment of organisation in any system is of crucial importance for its functioning, it should not be forgotten that in biophysical systems we deal with real-life problems where a number of other conditions should be reached in order to put the system to work. One of them is the proper supply of the system by the energy. Therefore, we will investigate an aspect of dynamics of energy flow based on the energy balance equation. The energy as well as

  11. Understanding the Impact of Anthropogenic and Environmental Changes on Dengue Fever Cases in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akanda, A. S.; Serman, E. A.; Couret, J.; Puggioni, G.; Ginsberg, H. S.

    2016-12-01

    Worldwide, there are an estimated 50-100 million cases of dengue fever each year, roughly 30 times the number of cases as 50 years ago. Dengue was introduced to Puerto Rico (PR) in 1963 and it has experienced epidemic activity ever since. There have been 4 large epidemics since 1990, the most recent in 2010 where almost 27,000 cases were reported. Vaccine development remains in the testing stages, and years away from mass distribution. Effective control thus depends on our understanding of the complex relationships between environmental and anthropogenic factors, mosquito vector ecology, and disease epidemiology. Dengue virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which also carry the Zika virus, and humans in urban environments are their preferred hosts. The purpose of our analysis is to identify trends between anthropogenic and environmental changes and dengue fever cases in PR over the past 15 years. Data on housing and population density, percent impervious surface, and percent tree canopy at the municipality level were procured from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium (MLRC) project, respectively. Land cover data from the National Land Cover Database, created by USGS and NOAA, as well as environmental data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), were also used. Smaller land cover and green space analysis studies have been performed for PR, but this is the first study to consider the island as a whole, and in six distinct regions, with regards to increases in dengue fever cases. The results from this study can be used to understand the effects of urbanization and climate change on vector-borne disease transmission in PR and to project the impact of growing sub-urban and urban areas on dengue cases in coming years. Our results could also be used to assess Dengue and Zika transmission in growing megacites of the world, where urban slums provide a favorable habitat for Ae. aegypti and foster

  12. Microarray applications to understand the impact of exposure to environmental contaminants in wild dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancia, Annalaura; Abelli, Luigi; Kucklick, John R; Rowles, Teresa K; Wells, Randall S; Balmer, Brian C; Hohn, Aleta A; Baatz, John E; Ryan, James C

    2015-02-01

    It is increasingly common to monitor the marine environment and establish geographic trends of environmental contamination by measuring contaminant levels in animals from higher trophic levels. The health of an ecosystem is largely reflected in the health of its inhabitants. As an apex predator, the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) can reflect the health of near shore marine ecosystems, and reflect coastal threats that pose risk to human health, such as legacy contaminants or marine toxins, e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and brevetoxins. Major advances in the understanding of dolphin biology and the unique adaptations of these animals in response to the marine environment are being made as a result of the development of cell-lines for use in in vitro experiments, the production of monoclonal antibodies to recognize dolphin proteins, the development of dolphin DNA microarrays to measure global gene expression and the sequencing of the dolphin genome. These advances may play a central role in understanding the complex and specialized biology of the dolphin with regard to how this species responds to an array of environmental insults. This work presents the creation, characterization and application of a new molecular tool to better understand the complex and unique biology of the common bottlenose dolphin and its response to environmental stress and infection. A dolphin oligo microarray representing 24,418 unigene sequences was developed and used to analyze blood samples collected from 69 dolphins during capture-release health assessments at five geographic locations (Beaufort, NC, Sarasota Bay, FL, Saint Joseph Bay, FL, Sapelo Island, GA and Brunswick, GA). The microarray was validated and tested for its ability to: 1) distinguish male from female dolphins; 2) differentiate dolphins inhabiting different geographic locations (Atlantic coasts vs the Gulf of Mexico); and 3) study in detail dolphins resident in one site, the Georgia coast, known to

  13. Complexity analysis of the turbulent environmental fluid flow time series

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihailović, D. T.; Nikolić-Đorić, E.; Drešković, N.; Mimić, G.

    2014-02-01

    We have used the Kolmogorov complexities, sample and permutation entropies to quantify the randomness degree in river flow time series of two mountain rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, representing the turbulent environmental fluid, for the period 1926-1990. In particular, we have examined the monthly river flow time series from two rivers (the Miljacka and the Bosnia) in the mountain part of their flow and then calculated the Kolmogorov complexity (KL) based on the Lempel-Ziv Algorithm (LZA) (lower-KLL and upper-KLU), sample entropy (SE) and permutation entropy (PE) values for each time series. The results indicate that the KLL, KLU, SE and PE values in two rivers are close to each other regardless of the amplitude differences in their monthly flow rates. We have illustrated the changes in mountain river flow complexity by experiments using (i) the data set for the Bosnia River and (ii) anticipated human activities and projected climate changes. We have explored the sensitivity of considered measures in dependence on the length of time series. In addition, we have divided the period 1926-1990 into three subintervals: (a) 1926-1945, (b) 1946-1965, (c) 1966-1990, and calculated the KLL, KLU, SE, PE values for the various time series in these subintervals. It is found that during the period 1946-1965, there is a decrease in their complexities, and corresponding changes in the SE and PE, in comparison to the period 1926-1990. This complexity loss may be primarily attributed to (i) human interventions, after the Second World War, on these two rivers because of their use for water consumption and (ii) climate change in recent times.

  14. Environmental influences on neural systems of relational complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Layne eKalbfleisch

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Constructivist learning theory contends that we construct knowledge by experience and that environmental context influences learning. To explore this principle, we examined the cognitive process relational complexity (RC, defined as the number of visual dimensions considered during problem solving on a matrix reasoning task and a well-documented measure of mature reasoning capacity. We sought to determine how the visual environment influences RC by examining the influence of color and visual contrast on RC in a neuroimaging task. To specify the contributions of sensory demand and relational integration to reasoning, our participants performed a non-verbal matrix task comprised of color, no-color line, or black-white visual contrast conditions parametrically varied by complexity (relations 0, 1, 2. The use of matrix reasoning is ecologically valid for its psychometric relevance and for its potential to link the processing of psychophysically specific visual properties with various levels of relational complexity during reasoning. The role of these elements is important because matrix tests assess intellectual aptitude based on these seemingly context-less exercises. This experiment is a first step toward examining the psychophysical underpinnings of performance on these types of problems. The importance of this is increased in light of recent evidence that intelligence can be linked to visual discrimination. We submit three main findings. First, color and black-white visual contrast add demand at a basic sensory level, but contributions from color and from black-white visual contrast are dissociable in cortex such that color engages a reasoning heuristic and black-white visual contrast engages a sensory heuristic. Second, color supports contextual sense-making by boosting salience resulting in faster problem solving. Lastly, when visual complexity reaches 2-relations, color and visual contrast relinquish salience to other dimensions of problem

  15. Understanding the link between environmental exposures and health: does the exposome promise too much?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, A.; Hoek, G.; Katsouyanni, K.

    2012-01-01

    Environmental exposures affecting human health range from complex mixtures, such as environmental tobacco smoke, ambient particulate matter air pollution and chlorination by products in drinking water, to hazardous chemicals, such as lead, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, such as benz(a)pyrene.

  16. Specialized Environmental Chamber Test Complex: User Test Planning Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montz, Michael E.

    2011-01-01

    Test process, milestones and inputs are unknowns to first-time users of the Specialized Environmental Test Complex. The User Test Planning Guide aids in establishing expectations for both NASA and non-NASA facility customers. The potential audience for this guide includes both internal and commercial spaceflight hardware/software developers. It is intended to assist their test engineering personnel in test planning and execution. Material covered includes a roadmap of the test process, roles and responsibilities of facility and user, major milestones, facility capabilities, and inputs required by the facility. Samples of deliverables, test article interfaces, and inputs necessary to define test scope, cost, and schedule are included as an appendix to the guide.

  17. Mission to Planet Earth: A program to understand global environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    A description of Mission to Planet Earth, a program to understand global environmental change, is presented. Topics discussed include: changes in the environment; global warming; ozone depletion; deforestation; and NASA's role in global change research.

  18. The emergence of environmental homeostasis in complex ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James G Dyke

    Full Text Available The Earth, with its core-driven magnetic field, convective mantle, mobile lid tectonics, oceans of liquid water, dynamic climate and abundant life is arguably the most complex system in the known universe. This system has exhibited stability in the sense of, bar a number of notable exceptions, surface temperature remaining within the bounds required for liquid water and so a significant biosphere. Explanations for this range from anthropic principles in which the Earth was essentially lucky, to homeostatic Gaia in which the abiotic and biotic components of the Earth system self-organise into homeostatic states that are robust to a wide range of external perturbations. Here we present results from a conceptual model that demonstrates the emergence of homeostasis as a consequence of the feedback loop operating between life and its environment. Formulating the model in terms of Gaussian processes allows the development of novel computational methods in order to provide solutions. We find that the stability of this system will typically increase then remain constant with an increase in biological diversity and that the number of attractors within the phase space exponentially increases with the number of environmental variables while the probability of the system being in an attractor that lies within prescribed boundaries decreases approximately linearly. We argue that the cybernetic concept of rein control provides insights into how this model system, and potentially any system that is comprised of biological to environmental feedback loops, self-organises into homeostatic states.

  19. The emergence of environmental homeostasis in complex ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dyke, James G; Weaver, Iain S

    2013-01-01

    The Earth, with its core-driven magnetic field, convective mantle, mobile lid tectonics, oceans of liquid water, dynamic climate and abundant life is arguably the most complex system in the known universe. This system has exhibited stability in the sense of, bar a number of notable exceptions, surface temperature remaining within the bounds required for liquid water and so a significant biosphere. Explanations for this range from anthropic principles in which the Earth was essentially lucky, to homeostatic Gaia in which the abiotic and biotic components of the Earth system self-organise into homeostatic states that are robust to a wide range of external perturbations. Here we present results from a conceptual model that demonstrates the emergence of homeostasis as a consequence of the feedback loop operating between life and its environment. Formulating the model in terms of Gaussian processes allows the development of novel computational methods in order to provide solutions. We find that the stability of this system will typically increase then remain constant with an increase in biological diversity and that the number of attractors within the phase space exponentially increases with the number of environmental variables while the probability of the system being in an attractor that lies within prescribed boundaries decreases approximately linearly. We argue that the cybernetic concept of rein control provides insights into how this model system, and potentially any system that is comprised of biological to environmental feedback loops, self-organises into homeostatic states.

  20. Compliance with Environmental Regulations through Complex Geo-Event Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federico Herrera

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In a context of e-government, there are usually regulatory compliance requirements that support systems must monitor, control and enforce. These requirements may come from environmental laws and regulations that aim to protect the natural environment and mitigate the effects of pollution on human health and ecosystems. Monitoring compliance with these requirements involves processing a large volume of data from different sources, which is a major challenge. This volume is also increased with data coming from autonomous sensors (e.g. reporting carbon emission in protected areas and from citizens providing information (e.g. illegal dumping in a voluntary way. Complex Event Processing (CEP technologies allow processing large amount of event data and detecting patterns from them. However, they do not provide native support for the geographic dimension of events which is essential for monitoring requirements which apply to specific geographic areas. This paper proposes a geospatial extension for CEP that allows monitoring environmental requirements considering the geographic location of the processed data. We extend an existing platform-independent, model-driven approach for CEP adding the geographic location to events and specifying patterns using geographic operators. The use and technical feasibility of the proposal is shown through the development of a case study and the implementation of a prototype.

  1. Complex Environmental Data Modelling Using Adaptive General Regression Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanevski, Mikhail

    2015-04-01

    The research deals with an adaptation and application of Adaptive General Regression Neural Networks (GRNN) to high dimensional environmental data. GRNN [1,2,3] are efficient modelling tools both for spatial and temporal data and are based on nonparametric kernel methods closely related to classical Nadaraya-Watson estimator. Adaptive GRNN, using anisotropic kernels, can be also applied for features selection tasks when working with high dimensional data [1,3]. In the present research Adaptive GRNN are used to study geospatial data predictability and relevant feature selection using both simulated and real data case studies. The original raw data were either three dimensional monthly precipitation data or monthly wind speeds embedded into 13 dimensional space constructed by geographical coordinates and geo-features calculated from digital elevation model. GRNN were applied in two different ways: 1) adaptive GRNN with the resulting list of features ordered according to their relevancy; and 2) adaptive GRNN applied to evaluate all possible models N [in case of wind fields N=(2^13 -1)=8191] and rank them according to the cross-validation error. In both cases training were carried out applying leave-one-out procedure. An important result of the study is that the set of the most relevant features depends on the month (strong seasonal effect) and year. The predictabilities of precipitation and wind field patterns, estimated using the cross-validation and testing errors of raw and shuffled data, were studied in detail. The results of both approaches were qualitatively and quantitatively compared. In conclusion, Adaptive GRNN with their ability to select features and efficient modelling of complex high dimensional data can be widely used in automatic/on-line mapping and as an integrated part of environmental decision support systems. 1. Kanevski M., Pozdnoukhov A., Timonin V. Machine Learning for Spatial Environmental Data. Theory, applications and software. EPFL Press

  2. Environmental influences on neural systems of relational complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalbfleisch, M Layne; Debettencourt, Megan T; Kopperman, Rebecca; Banasiak, Meredith; Roberts, Joshua M; Halavi, Maryam

    2013-01-01

    Constructivist learning theory contends that we construct knowledge by experience and that environmental context influences learning. To explore this principle, we examined the cognitive process relational complexity (RC), defined as the number of visual dimensions considered during problem solving on a matrix reasoning task and a well-documented measure of mature reasoning capacity. We sought to determine how the visual environment influences RC by examining the influence of color and visual contrast on RC in a neuroimaging task. To specify the contributions of sensory demand and relational integration to reasoning, our participants performed a non-verbal matrix task comprised of color, no-color line, or black-white visual contrast conditions parametrically varied by complexity (relations 0, 1, 2). The use of matrix reasoning is ecologically valid for its psychometric relevance and for its potential to link the processing of psychophysically specific visual properties with various levels of RC during reasoning. The role of these elements is important because matrix tests assess intellectual aptitude based on these seemingly context-less exercises. This experiment is a first step toward examining the psychophysical underpinnings of performance on these types of problems. The importance of this is increased in light of recent evidence that intelligence can be linked to visual discrimination. We submit three main findings. First, color and black-white visual contrast (BWVC) add demand at a basic sensory level, but contributions from color and from BWVC are dissociable in cortex such that color engages a "reasoning heuristic" and BWVC engages a "sensory heuristic." Second, color supports contextual sense-making by boosting salience resulting in faster problem solving. Lastly, when visual complexity reaches 2-relations, color and visual contrast relinquish salience to other dimensions of problem solving.

  3. Using Simulations in Linked Courses to Foster Student Understanding of Complex Political Institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Michelle Hale

    2015-01-01

    Political institutions provide basic building blocks for understanding and comparing political systems. Yet, students often struggle to understand the implications of institutional choice, such as electoral system rules, especially when the formulas and calculations used to determine seat allocation can be multilevel and complex. This study brings…

  4. What Influences Children's and Adolescents' Understanding of the Complexity of the Internet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Zheng

    2006-01-01

    This study aimed at analyzing complex relationships among Internet use, Internet users, and conceptual understanding of the Internet. It used path models to examine factors related to Internet use (duration of Internet use, frequency of Internet use, and informal Internet classes) and Internet users (age and gender) in affecting understanding of…

  5. Developing integrated methods to address complex resource and environmental issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kathleen S.; Phillips, Jeffrey D.; McCafferty, Anne E.; Clark, Roger N.

    2016-02-08

    IntroductionThis circular provides an overview of selected activities that were conducted within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Integrated Methods Development Project, an interdisciplinary project designed to develop new tools and conduct innovative research requiring integration of geologic, geophysical, geochemical, and remote-sensing expertise. The project was supported by the USGS Mineral Resources Program, and its products and acquired capabilities have broad applications to missions throughout the USGS and beyond.In addressing challenges associated with understanding the location, quantity, and quality of mineral resources, and in investigating the potential environmental consequences of resource development, a number of field and laboratory capabilities and interpretative methodologies evolved from the project that have applications to traditional resource studies as well as to studies related to ecosystem health, human health, disaster and hazard assessment, and planetary science. New or improved tools and research findings developed within the project have been applied to other projects and activities. Specifically, geophysical equipment and techniques have been applied to a variety of traditional and nontraditional mineral- and energy-resource studies, military applications, environmental investigations, and applied research activities that involve climate change, mapping techniques, and monitoring capabilities. Diverse applied geochemistry activities provide a process-level understanding of the mobility, chemical speciation, and bioavailability of elements, particularly metals and metalloids, in a variety of environmental settings. Imaging spectroscopy capabilities maintained and developed within the project have been applied to traditional resource studies as well as to studies related to ecosystem health, human health, disaster assessment, and planetary science. Brief descriptions of capabilities and laboratory facilities and summaries of some

  6. Understanding Attitudes and Pro-Environmental Behaviors in a Chilean Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolás C. Bronfman

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Environmental protection and restoration are some of the major challenges faced by our society. To address this problem, it is fundamental to understand pro-environmental behaviors in the population, as well as the factors that determine them. There are, however, very few studies conducted in Latin America that are focused in understanding the environmental behavior of its citizens. The main goal of this research was to study the environmental behaviors of a Chilean community and identify the factors that determine them. To that end, a diverse set of environmental behaviors (power and water conservation, environmentally-aware consumer behavior, biodiversity protection, rational automobile use and ecological waste management and sociodemographic and attitudinal factors—based on the VBN model—were evaluated. Survey data was obtained from a statistically representative sample (N = 1537 in Santiago, Chile. Our results suggest that several participants displayed tendencies that favor more responsible environmental behaviors, with high environmental concern, and demonstrating their ample awareness of the consequences of failing to protect the environment. Nevertheless, the highest average scores of environmental behavior were related to low cost behaviors and those that imposed the fewest behavioral restrictions. In global terms, we concluded that the youngest subjects in the lowest socioeconomic group obtained the lowest scores across the pro-environmental behavior spectrum.

  7. Measuring spatial patterns in floodplains: A step towards understanding the complexity of floodplain ecosystems: Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scown, Murray W.; Thoms, Martin C.; DeJager, Nathan R.; Gilvear, David J.; Greenwood, Malcolm T.; Thoms, Martin C.; Wood, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Floodplains can be viewed as complex adaptive systems (Levin, 1998) because they are comprised of many different biophysical components, such as morphological features, soil groups and vegetation communities as well as being sites of key biogeochemical processing (Stanford et al., 2005). Interactions and feedbacks among the biophysical components often result in additional phenomena occuring over a range of scales, often in the absence of any controlling factors (sensu Hallet, 1990). This emergence of new biophysical features and rates of processing can lead to alternative stable states which feed back into floodplain adaptive cycles (cf. Hughes, 1997; Stanford et al., 2005). Interactions between different biophysical components, feedbacks, self emergence and scale are all key properties of complex adaptive systems (Levin, 1998; Phillips, 2003; Murray et al., 2014) and therefore will influence the manner in which we study and view spatial patterns. Measuring the spatial patterns of floodplain biophysical components is a prerequisite to examining and understanding these ecosystems as complex adaptive systems. Elucidating relationships between pattern and process, which are intrinsically linked within floodplains (Ward et al., 2002), is dependent upon an understanding of spatial pattern. This knowledge can help river scientists determine the major drivers, controllers and responses of floodplain structure and function, as well as the consequences of altering those drivers and controllers (Hughes and Cass, 1997; Whited et al., 2007). Interactions and feedbacks between physical, chemical and biological components of floodplain ecosystems create and maintain a structurally diverse and dynamic template (Stanford et al., 2005). This template influences subsequent interactions between components that consequently affect system trajectories within floodplains (sensu Bak et al., 1988). Constructing and evaluating models used to predict floodplain ecosystem responses to

  8. Understandings of Environmental Quality: Ambiguities and Values Held by Environmental Professionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Bruce Hull; David Richert; Erin Seekamp; David Robertson; Gregory J. Buhyoff

    2003-01-01

    The terms used to describe and negotiate environmental quality are both ambiguous and value-laden. Stakeholders intimately and actively involved in the management of forested lands were interviewed and found to use ambiguous, tautological, and value-laden definitions of terms such as health, biodiversity, sustainability, and naturalness. This confusing language...

  9. Gene-disease network analysis reveals functional modules in mendelian, complex and environmental diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer-Mehren, Anna; Bundschus, Markus; Rautschka, Michael; Mayer, Miguel A; Sanz, Ferran; Furlong, Laura I

    2011-01-01

    Scientists have been trying to understand the molecular mechanisms of diseases to design preventive and therapeutic strategies for a long time. For some diseases, it has become evident that it is not enough to obtain a catalogue of the disease-related genes but to uncover how disruptions of molecular networks in the cell give rise to disease phenotypes. Moreover, with the unprecedented wealth of information available, even obtaining such catalogue is extremely difficult. We developed a comprehensive gene-disease association database by integrating associations from several sources that cover different biomedical aspects of diseases. In particular, we focus on the current knowledge of human genetic diseases including mendelian, complex and environmental diseases. To assess the concept of modularity of human diseases, we performed a systematic study of the emergent properties of human gene-disease networks by means of network topology and functional annotation analysis. The results indicate a highly shared genetic origin of human diseases and show that for most diseases, including mendelian, complex and environmental diseases, functional modules exist. Moreover, a core set of biological pathways is found to be associated with most human diseases. We obtained similar results when studying clusters of diseases, suggesting that related diseases might arise due to dysfunction of common biological processes in the cell. For the first time, we include mendelian, complex and environmental diseases in an integrated gene-disease association database and show that the concept of modularity applies for all of them. We furthermore provide a functional analysis of disease-related modules providing important new biological insights, which might not be discovered when considering each of the gene-disease association repositories independently. Hence, we present a suitable framework for the study of how genetic and environmental factors, such as drugs, contribute to diseases. The

  10. Understanding a Complex World: Why an Emphasis on Empathy Could Better Enable Army Leaders to Win

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-10

    the problem of how to win in a complex world. 1 Brig. Gen. Oscar W. Koch and Robert G. Hayes, G-2: Intelligence for Patton (Atglen, PA: Schiffer...UNDERSTANDING A COMPLEX WORLD: WHY AN EMPHASIS ON EMPATHY COULD BETTER ENABLE ARMY LEADERS TO WIN A thesis presented to the...Leaders to Win 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Matthew J. Fontaine, MAJ 5d. PROJECT NUMBER

  11. Assessing the Role of Environmental Factors on Baltic Cod Recruitment, a Complex Adaptive System Emergent Property

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dionysis Krekoukiotis

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available For decades, fish recruitment has been a subject of intensive research with stock–recruitment models commonly used for recruitment prediction often only explaining a small fraction of the inter-annual recruitment variation. The use of environmental information to improve our ability to predict recruitment, could contribute considerably to fisheries management. However, the problem remains difficult because the mechanisms behind such complex relationships are often poorly understood; this in turn, makes it difficult to determine the forecast estimation robustness, leading to the failure of some relationships when new data become available. The utility of machine learning algorithms such as artificial neural networks (ANNs for solving complex problems has been demonstrated in aquatic studies and has led many researchers to advocate ANNs as an attractive, non-linear alternative to traditional statistical methods. The goal of this study is to design a Baltic cod recruitment model (FishANN that can account for complex ecosystem interactions. To this end, we (1 build a quantitative model representation of the conceptual understanding of the complex ecosystem interactions driving Baltic cod recruitment dynamics, and (2 apply the model to strengthen the current capability to project future changes in Baltic cod recruitment. FishANN is demonstrated to bring multiple stressors together into one model framework and estimate the relative importance of these stressors while interpreting the complex nonlinear interactions between them. Additional requirements to further improve the current study in the future are also proposed.

  12. Understanding environmental contributions to autism: Causal concepts and the state of science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Schmidt, Rebecca J; Krakowiak, Paula

    2018-04-01

    The complexity of neurodevelopment, the rapidity of early neurogenesis, and over 100 years of research identifying environmental influences on neurodevelopment serve as backdrop to understanding factors that influence risk and severity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This Keynote Lecture, delivered at the May 2016 annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research, describes concepts of causation, outlines the trajectory of research on nongenetic factors beginning in the 1960s, and briefly reviews the current state of this science. Causal concepts are introduced, including root causes; pitfalls in interpreting time trends as clues to etiologic factors; susceptible time windows for exposure; and implications of a multi-factorial model of ASD. An historical background presents early research into the origins of ASD. The epidemiologic literature from the last fifteen years is briefly but critically reviewed for potential roles of, for example, air pollution, pesticides, plastics, prenatal vitamins, lifestyle and family factors, and maternal obstetric and metabolic conditions during her pregnancy. Three examples from the case-control CHildhood Autism Risks from Genes and the Environment Study are probed to illustrate methodological approaches to central challenges in observational studies: capturing environmental exposure; causal inference when a randomized controlled clinical trial is either unethical or infeasible; and the integration of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental influences on development. We conclude with reflections on future directions, including exposomics, new technologies, the microbiome, gene-by-environment interaction in the era of -omics, and epigenetics as the interface of those two. As the environment is malleable, this research advances the goal of a productive and fulfilling life for all children, teen-agers and adults. Autism Res 2018, 11: 554-586. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc

  13. How Understandings Colour the Means and Ends in the Case of Environmental Innovations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holgaard, Jette Egelund

    2002-01-01

    Different understandings of the concept of innovation have resulted in different means and ends in the innovation activities within Dan-ish industry. The different emphasis on economic, technical, organ-isational, inter-organisational and institutional issues in product and process-innovation has...... influenced the initiatives made by state, market and civil society. Focusing on environmental innovations, this is revealed in the initiatives and outcome of the previous envi-ronmental policy in Denmark. The paper, makes an analyti-cal distinction between different understandings of innovation, ex...

  14. Environmental Restoration Strategic Plan. Remediating the nuclear weapons complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-08-01

    With the end of the cold war, the US has a reduced need for nuclear weapons production. In response, the Department of Energy has redirected resources from weapons production to weapons dismantlement and environmental remediation. To this end, in November 1989, the US Department of Energy (DOE) established the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (renamed the Office of Environmental Management in 1994). It was created to bring under a central authority the management of radioactive and hazardous wastes at DOE sites and inactive or shut down facilities. The Environmental Restoration Program, a major component of DOE's Environmental Management Program, is responsible for the remediation and management of contaminated environmental media (e.g., soil, groundwater, sediments) and the decommissioning of facilities and structures at 130 sites in over 30 states and territories

  15. Speech Understanding in Complex Listening Environments by Listeners Fit with Cochlear Implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorman, Michael F.; Gifford, Rene H.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this article is to summarize recent published and unpublished research from our 2 laboratories on improving speech understanding in complex listening environments by listeners fit with cochlear implants (CIs). Method: CI listeners were tested in 2 listening environments. One was a simulation of a restaurant with multiple,…

  16. Landscape community genomics: understanding eco-evolutionary processes in complex environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hand, Brian K.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Kovach, Ryan P.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Luikart, Gordon

    2015-01-01

    Extrinsic factors influencing evolutionary processes are often categorically lumped into interactions that are environmentally (e.g., climate, landscape) or community-driven, with little consideration of the overlap or influence of one on the other. However, genomic variation is strongly influenced by complex and dynamic interactions between environmental and community effects. Failure to consider both effects on evolutionary dynamics simultaneously can lead to incomplete, spurious, or erroneous conclusions about the mechanisms driving genomic variation. We highlight the need for a landscape community genomics (LCG) framework to help to motivate and challenge scientists in diverse fields to consider a more holistic, interdisciplinary perspective on the genomic evolution of multi-species communities in complex environments.

  17. Febrile illness diagnostics and the malaria-industrial complex: a socio-environmental perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoler, Justin; Awandare, Gordon A

    2016-11-17

    Global prioritization of single-disease eradication programs over improvements to basic diagnostic capacity in the Global South have left the world unprepared for epidemics of chikungunya, Ebola, Zika, and whatever lies on the horizon. The medical establishment is slowly realizing that in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), particularly urban areas, up to a third of patients suffering from acute fever do not receive a correct diagnosis of their infection. Malaria is the most common diagnosis for febrile patients in low-resource health care settings, and malaria misdiagnosis has soared due to the institutionalization of malaria as the primary febrile illness of SSA by international development organizations and national malaria control programs. This has inadvertently created a "malaria-industrial complex" and historically obstructed our complete understanding of the continent's complex communicable disease epidemiology, which is currently dominated by a mélange of undiagnosed febrile illnesses. We synthesize interdisciplinary literature from Ghana to highlight the complexity of communicable disease care in SSA from biomedical, social, and environmental perspectives, and suggest a way forward. A socio-environmental approach to acute febrile illness etiology, diagnostics, and management would lead to substantial health gains in Africa, including more efficient malaria control. Such an approach would also improve global preparedness for future epidemics of emerging pathogens such as chikungunya, Ebola, and Zika, all of which originated in SSA with limited baseline understanding of their epidemiology despite clinical recognition of these viruses for many decades. Impending ACT resistance, new vaccine delays, and climate change all beckon our attention to proper diagnosis of fevers in order to maximize limited health care resources.

  18. Understanding the Attitude-Action Gap: Functional Integration of Environmental Aspects in Car Purchase Intentions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mairesse, Olivier; Macharis, Cathy; Lebeau, Kenneth; Turcksin, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    This study aims at understanding how a general positive attitude toward the environment results in a limited purchase of environmentally friendlier cars, often referred to as the attitude-action gap. In a first experiment 27 volunteers performed a judgment task on car purchase intention. Participants were asked to evaluate the probability of…

  19. Environmental management on the basis of Complex Regional Indicators Concept: case of the Murmansk region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, A.; Gutman, S.; Zaychenko, I.; Rytova, E.; Nijinskaya, P.

    2015-09-01

    The article presents an approach to sustainable environmental development of the Murmansk region of the Russian Federation based on the complex regional indicators as a transformation of a balance scorecard method. The peculiarities of Murmansk region connected with sustainable environmental development are described. The complex regional indicators approach allows to elaborate the general concept of complex regional development taking into consideration economic and non-economic factors with the focus on environmental aspects, accumulated environmental damage in particular. General strategic chart of sustainable environmental development of the Murmansk region worked out on the basis of complex regional indicators concept is composed. The key target indicators of sustainable ecological development of the Murmansk region are presented for the following strategic chart components: regional finance; society and market; industry and entrepreneurship; training, development and innovations. These charts are to be integrated with international environmental monitoring systems.

  20. Integrating different understandings of landscape stewardship into the design of agri-environmental schemes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raymond, Christopher Mark; Reed, Mark; Bieling, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    understandings of landscape stewardship, with production respondents citing that AES do not encourage food production, whereas environmental and holistic farmers citing that AES do not support the development of a local green food culture and associated social infrastructure. These differences also emerged......While multiple studies have identified land managers’ preferences for agri-environmental schemes (AES), few approaches exist for integrating different understandings of landscape stewardship into the design of these measures. We compared and contrasted rural land managers’ attitudes toward AES...... and their preferences for AES design beyond 2020 across different understandings of landscape stewardship. Forty semi-structured interviews were conducted with similar proportions of small holders, medium holders and large holders in southwest Devon, UK. Overall, respondents most frequently cited concerns related...

  1. Understanding the implementation of complex interventions in health care: the normalization process model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogers Anne

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Normalization Process Model is a theoretical model that assists in explaining the processes by which complex interventions become routinely embedded in health care practice. It offers a framework for process evaluation and also for comparative studies of complex interventions. It focuses on the factors that promote or inhibit the routine embedding of complex interventions in health care practice. Methods A formal theory structure is used to define the model, and its internal causal relations and mechanisms. The model is broken down to show that it is consistent and adequate in generating accurate description, systematic explanation, and the production of rational knowledge claims about the workability and integration of complex interventions. Results The model explains the normalization of complex interventions by reference to four factors demonstrated to promote or inhibit the operationalization and embedding of complex interventions (interactional workability, relational integration, skill-set workability, and contextual integration. Conclusion The model is consistent and adequate. Repeated calls for theoretically sound process evaluations in randomized controlled trials of complex interventions, and policy-makers who call for a proper understanding of implementation processes, emphasize the value of conceptual tools like the Normalization Process Model.

  2. Children's and Adolescents' Thoughts on Pollution: Cognitive Abilities Required to Understand Environmental Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Manuel; Kohen, Raquel; Delval, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Pollution phenomena are complex systems in which different parts are integrated by means of causal and temporal relationships. To understand pollution, children must develop some cognitive abilities related to system thinking and temporal and causal inferential reasoning. These cognitive abilities constrain and guide how children understand…

  3. Understanding the dimensions of intensive care: transpersonal caring and complexity theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    do Nascimento, Keyla Cristiane; Erdmann, Alacoque Lorenzini

    2009-01-01

    This is a descriptive, interpretive and qualitative study carried out at the ICU of a Brazilian teaching hospital. It aimed to understand the dimensions of human caring experienced by health care professionals, clients and their family members at an ICU, based on human caring complexity. The Transpersonal Caring and Complexity theories support theory and data analysis. The following dimensions of care emerged from the themes analyzed according to Ricoeur: self-care, care as an individual value, professional vs. informal care, care as supportive relationship, affective care, humanized care, care as act/attitude, care practice; educative care, dialogical relationship, care coupled to technology, loving care, interactive care, non-care, care ambience, the essence of life and profession, and meaning/purpose of care. We believe in care that encompasses several dimensions presented here, based on the relationship with the other, on the empathetic, sensitive, affectionate, creative, dynamic and understanding being in the totality of the human being.

  4. FuturICT: Participatory computing to understand and manage our complex world in a more sustainable and resilient way

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbing, D.; Bishop, S.; Conte, R.; Lukowicz, P.; McCarthy, J. B.

    2012-11-01

    We have built particle accelerators to understand the forces that make up our physical world. Yet, we do not understand the principles underlying our strongly connected, techno-socio-economic systems. We have enabled ubiquitous Internet connectivity and instant, global information access. Yet we do not understand how it impacts our behavior and the evolution of society. To fill the knowledge gaps and keep up with the fast pace at which our world is changing, a Knowledge Accelerator must urgently be created. The financial crisis, international wars, global terror, the spreading of diseases and cyber-crime as well as demographic, technological and environmental change demonstrate that humanity is facing serious challenges. These problems cannot be solved within the traditional paradigms. Moving our attention from a component-oriented view of the world to an interaction-oriented view will allow us to understand the complex systems we have created and the emergent collective phenomena characterising them. This paradigm shift will enable new solutions to long-standing problems, very much as the shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric worldview has facilitated modern physics and the ability to launch satellites. The FuturICT flagship project will develop new science and technology to manage our future in a complex, strongly connected world. For this, it will combine the power of information and communication technology (ICT) with knowledge from the social and complexity sciences. ICT will provide the data to boost the social sciences into a new era. Complexity science will shed new light on the emergent phenomena in socially interactive systems, and the social sciences will provide a better understanding of the opportunities and risks of strongly networked systems, in particular future ICT systems. Hence, the envisaged FuturICT flagship will create new methods and instruments to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. FuturICT could indeed become one of the most

  5. Febrile illness diagnostics and the malaria-industrial complex: a socio-environmental perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Stoler

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Global prioritization of single-disease eradication programs over improvements to basic diagnostic capacity in the Global South have left the world unprepared for epidemics of chikungunya, Ebola, Zika, and whatever lies on the horizon. The medical establishment is slowly realizing that in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA, particularly urban areas, up to a third of patients suffering from acute fever do not receive a correct diagnosis of their infection. Main body Malaria is the most common diagnosis for febrile patients in low-resource health care settings, and malaria misdiagnosis has soared due to the institutionalization of malaria as the primary febrile illness of SSA by international development organizations and national malaria control programs. This has inadvertently created a “malaria-industrial complex” and historically obstructed our complete understanding of the continent’s complex communicable disease epidemiology, which is currently dominated by a mélange of undiagnosed febrile illnesses. We synthesize interdisciplinary literature from Ghana to highlight the complexity of communicable disease care in SSA from biomedical, social, and environmental perspectives, and suggest a way forward. Conclusion A socio-environmental approach to acute febrile illness etiology, diagnostics, and management would lead to substantial health gains in Africa, including more efficient malaria control. Such an approach would also improve global preparedness for future epidemics of emerging pathogens such as chikungunya, Ebola, and Zika, all of which originated in SSA with limited baseline understanding of their epidemiology despite clinical recognition of these viruses for many decades. Impending ACT resistance, new vaccine delays, and climate change all beckon our attention to proper diagnosis of fevers in order to maximize limited health care resources.

  6. Toward understanding the thermodynamics of TALSPEAK process. Medium effects on actinide complexation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peter R Zalupski; Leigh R Martin; Ken Nash; Yoshinobu Nakamura; Masahiko Yamamoto

    2009-07-01

    The ingenious combination of lactate and diethylenetriamine-N,N,N’,N”,N”-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) as an aqueous actinide-complexing medium forms the basis of the successful separation of americium and curium from lanthanides known as the TALSPEAK process. While numerous reports in the prior literature have focused on the optimization of this solvent extraction system, considerably less attention has been devoted to the understanding of the basic thermodynamic features of the complex fluids responsible for the separation. The available thermochemical information of both lactate and DTPA protonation and metal complexation reactions are representative of the behavior of these ions under idealized conditions. Our previous studies of medium effects on lactate protonation suggest that significant departures from the speciation predicted based on reported thermodynamic values should be expected in the TALSPEAK aqueous environment. Thermodynamic parameters describing the separation chemistry of this process thus require further examination at conditions significantly removed from conventional ideal systems commonly employed in fundamental solution chemistry. Such thermodynamic characterization is the key to predictive modelling of TALSPEAK. Improved understanding will, in principle, allow process technologists to more efficiently respond to off-normal conditions during large scale process operation. In this report, the results of calorimetric and potentiometric investigations of the effects of aqueous electrolytes on the thermodynamic parameters for lactate protonation and lactate complexation of americium and neodymium will be presented. Studies on the lactate protonation equilibrium will clearly illustrate distinct thermodynamic variations between strong electrolyte aqueous systems and buffered lactate environment.

  7. Kolmogorov Complexity and Chaotic Phenomenon in Computing the Environmental Interface Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihailović, Dragutin T.; Mimić, Gordan

    2012-10-01

    In this paper, we consider the chaotic phenomenon and Kolomogorov complexity in computing the environmental interface temperature. First, the environmental interface is defined in the context of the complex system, in particular for autonomous dynamical systems. Then we consider the following issues in modeling procedure: (i) how to replace given differential equations by appropriate difference equations in modeling of phenomena in the environmental world? (ii) whether a mathematically correct solution to the corresponding differential equation or system of equations is always physically possible and (iii) phenomenon of chaos in autonomous dynamical systems in environmental problems, in particular in solving the energy balance equation to calculate environmental interface temperature. The difference form of this equation for computing the environmental interface temperature is discussed and analyzed depending on parameters of equation, using the Lyapunov exponent and sample entropy. Finally, the Kolmogorov complexity of time series obtained from this difference equation is analyzed.

  8. Parametric linear hybrid automata for complex environmental systems modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tareen, Samar Hayat Khan; Ahmad, Jamil; Roux, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    Environmental systems, whether they be weather patterns or predator–prey relationships, are dependent on a number different variables, each directly or indirectly affecting the system at large. Since not all of these factors are known, these systems take on non-linear dynamics, making it difficult

  9. Multimodal cues improve prey localization under complex environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rhebergen, F.; Taylor, R.C.; Ryan, M.J.; Page, R.A.; Halfwerk, W.H.

    2015-01-01

    Predators often eavesdrop on sexual displays of their prey. These displays can provide multimodal cues that aid predators, but the benefits in attending to them should depend on the environmental sensory conditions under which they forage. We assessed whether bats hunting for frogs use multimodal

  10. 17 The Complexity of Environmental Protection in Sub-Saharan ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    `123456789jkl''''#

    esearch identifies poverty as the main cause and consequence of man-made environmental degradation in. Africa. Poverty is multidimensional and goes beyond the lack of an income to include, as stated by the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) “the denial of opportunities and choices most basic to human.

  11. Gene-Disease Network Analysis Reveals Functional Modules in Mendelian, Complex and Environmental Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer-Mehren, Anna; Bundschus, Markus; Rautschka, Michael; Mayer, Miguel A.; Sanz, Ferran; Furlong, Laura I.

    2011-01-01

    Background Scientists have been trying to understand the molecular mechanisms of diseases to design preventive and therapeutic strategies for a long time. For some diseases, it has become evident that it is not enough to obtain a catalogue of the disease-related genes but to uncover how disruptions of molecular networks in the cell give rise to disease phenotypes. Moreover, with the unprecedented wealth of information available, even obtaining such catalogue is extremely difficult. Principal Findings We developed a comprehensive gene-disease association database by integrating associations from several sources that cover different biomedical aspects of diseases. In particular, we focus on the current knowledge of human genetic diseases including mendelian, complex and environmental diseases. To assess the concept of modularity of human diseases, we performed a systematic study of the emergent properties of human gene-disease networks by means of network topology and functional annotation analysis. The results indicate a highly shared genetic origin of human diseases and show that for most diseases, including mendelian, complex and environmental diseases, functional modules exist. Moreover, a core set of biological pathways is found to be associated with most human diseases. We obtained similar results when studying clusters of diseases, suggesting that related diseases might arise due to dysfunction of common biological processes in the cell. Conclusions For the first time, we include mendelian, complex and environmental diseases in an integrated gene-disease association database and show that the concept of modularity applies for all of them. We furthermore provide a functional analysis of disease-related modules providing important new biological insights, which might not be discovered when considering each of the gene-disease association repositories independently. Hence, we present a suitable framework for the study of how genetic and environmental factors

  12. Gene-disease network analysis reveals functional modules in mendelian, complex and environmental diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Bauer-Mehren

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Scientists have been trying to understand the molecular mechanisms of diseases to design preventive and therapeutic strategies for a long time. For some diseases, it has become evident that it is not enough to obtain a catalogue of the disease-related genes but to uncover how disruptions of molecular networks in the cell give rise to disease phenotypes. Moreover, with the unprecedented wealth of information available, even obtaining such catalogue is extremely difficult. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed a comprehensive gene-disease association database by integrating associations from several sources that cover different biomedical aspects of diseases. In particular, we focus on the current knowledge of human genetic diseases including mendelian, complex and environmental diseases. To assess the concept of modularity of human diseases, we performed a systematic study of the emergent properties of human gene-disease networks by means of network topology and functional annotation analysis. The results indicate a highly shared genetic origin of human diseases and show that for most diseases, including mendelian, complex and environmental diseases, functional modules exist. Moreover, a core set of biological pathways is found to be associated with most human diseases. We obtained similar results when studying clusters of diseases, suggesting that related diseases might arise due to dysfunction of common biological processes in the cell. CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, we include mendelian, complex and environmental diseases in an integrated gene-disease association database and show that the concept of modularity applies for all of them. We furthermore provide a functional analysis of disease-related modules providing important new biological insights, which might not be discovered when considering each of the gene-disease association repositories independently. Hence, we present a suitable framework for the study of how genetic and

  13. The Transmission of Environmental Values from Sources of Influence to Young Adults: Toward an Understanding of the Process Leading to Environmental Values Internalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Depper, Gina L.

    2017-01-01

    The world faces significant environmental challenges due largely to unsustainable human behavior. Values have been found to be a direct and indirect predictor of human behavior and understanding how they are formed/influenced is critical to any strategy of behavioral change. Our understanding of how environmental values are transmitted and…

  14. Understanding the GPCR biased signaling through G protein and arrestin complex structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, X Edward; Melcher, Karsten; Xu, H Eric

    2017-08-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of cell surface receptors and are important drug targets for many human diseases. The determination of the 3-D structure of GPCRs and their signaling complexes has promoted our understanding of GPCR biology and provided templates for structure-based drug discovery. In this review, we focus on the recent structure work on GPCR signaling complexes, the β2-adrenoreceptor-Gs and the rhodopsin-arrestin complexes in particular, and highlight the structural features of GPCR complexes involved in G protein- and arrestin-mediated signal transduction. The crystal structures reveal distinct structural mechanisms by which GPCRs recruit a G protein and an arrestin. A comparison of the two complex structures provides insight into the molecular mechanism of functionally selective GPCR signaling, and a structural basis for the discovery of G protein- and arrestin-biased treatments of human diseases related to GPCR signal transduction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The application of nuclear science technology to understanding and solving environmental problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuk, W.M.

    1997-01-01

    The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has for many years been involved in applying nuclear science-based and related technologies to the understanding of environmental processes and to the development and implementation of practical and effective solutions to site specific problems, for a broad spectrum of industry, government regulatory agencies, and other organisations in Australia, Europe, North and South America and South East Asia. ANSTO's environmental science program arose out of the need for research to predict, measure, evaluate and monitor the environmental impacts associated with : uranium mining and processing in Australia; the operation of the research reactor at Lucas Heights; and the safe treatment and disposal of radioactive and conventional wastes associated with these activities. The expertise developed in these activities, has found application to a much broader range of environmental concerns. This paper will present an overview of ANSTO's application of nuclear science-based techniques to, inter alia: coastal and marine studies; minesite rehabilitation; transport and geochemical modelling of radionuclides, heavy metals and organic chemicals in the geosphere; the application of naturally-occurring radionuclides and radioactive tracers to corrosion and sedimentation studies in the coastal environment; dating sediments, fish corals and archaeological samples; the understanding of the kinetics and the physiological responses of aquatic organisms to radionuclides and metals in the environment: and the use of aquatic organism as archival and 'realtime' monitors of pollutants

  16. Assessment of complex environmental health problems: framing the structures and structuring the frameworks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knol, Anne B; Briggs, David J; Lebret, Erik

    2010-06-15

    Many environmental risks are multi-faceted and their health consequences can be far-ranging in both time and space. It can be a challenging task to develop informed policies for such risks. Integrated environmental health impact assessment aims to support policy by assessing environmental health effects in ways that take into account the complexities and uncertainties involved. For such assessment to be successful, a clear and agreed conceptual framework is needed, which defines the issue under consideration and sets out the principles on which the assessment is based. Conceptual frameworks facilitate involvement of stakeholders, support harmonized discussions, help to make assumptions explicit, and provide a framework for data analysis and interpretation. Various conceptual frameworks have been developed for different purposes, but as yet no clear taxonomy exists. We propose a three-level taxonomy of conceptual frameworks for use in environmental health impact assessment. At the first level of the taxonomy, structural frameworks show the wide context of the issues at hand. At the second level, relational frameworks describe how the assessment variables are causally related. At the third level, this causal structure is translated into an operational model, which serves as a basis for analysis. The different types of frameworks are complementary and all play a role in the assessment process. The taxonomy is illustrated using a hypothetical assessment of urban brownfield development for residential uses. We suggest that a better understanding of types of conceptual frameworks and their potential roles in the different phases of assessment will contribute to more informed assessments and policies. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. The Complexity of Environmental Protection in Sub-Saharan Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The principal purpose of this article is to draw attention to the growing threat to human health and the environment posed by the increased generation of and the complex problems attending hazardous wastes in sub-Saharan Africa, and the need to protect this region. This subject is vitally linked to the need to reduce ...

  18. A Diagrammatic Approach to Understanding Complex Eco-Social Interactions in Kathmandu, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Cynthia. Neudoerffer

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available As part of developing an international network of community-based ecosystem approaches to health, a project was undertaken in a densely populated and socio-economically diverse area of Kathmandu, Nepal. Drawing on hundreds of pages of narrative reports based on surveys, interviews, secondary data, and focus groups by trained Nepalese facilitators, the authors created systemic depictions of relationships between multiple stakeholder groups, ecosystem health, and human health. These were then combined to examine interactions among stakeholders, activities, concerns, perceived needs, and resource states (ecosystem health indicators. These qualitative models have provided useful heuristics for both community members and research scholars to understand the eco-social systems in which they live; many of the strategies developed by the communities and researchers to improve health intuitively drew on this systemic understanding. The diagrams enabled researchers and community participants to explicitly examine relationships and conflicts related to health and environmental issues in their community.

  19. Rediscovering nature as commons in environmental planning: new understandings through dialogue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikaela Vasstrom

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A core challenge in environmental planning is the gap between a strong participatory ethos and top-down defined nature protection policies. Nature protection policies for large areas are concerned with securing ecological biodiversity and wildlife habitats against increasing societal claims. Such planning objectives also affect the socio-economic and cultural relations between the local community and the area they live in, and raise conflicts between local and national protection objectives and steering levels. Despite attempts to facilitate participatory planning approaches as a means of reducing conflict, nature protection continues to be contested in local communities. This paper explores the different understandings of nature at play between citizens and planning authorities throughout a habitat protection planning process in Norway. The paper discusses whether environmental planning of large spatial areas could develop communication arenas designed to deliberate different understandings of an area as a matter of commons between institutional planning perspectives of nature protection and (local understandings of the area as part of everyday life. The paper sheds light on how large spatial areas are understood at different government levels and from everyday life orientations, and how these could be used to develop mutual understandings of the area as a common.

  20. Environmental study of the waters of Mandovi - Zuari estuarine complex, Goa

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Singbal, S.Y.S.

    variations of some environmental parameters at different stations at surface and bottom waters of complex were studied during 1972-73, 1975 and 1977-78. In general, weak thermal stratification is developed at some stations during monsoon and post...

  1. Framing participation with multicriterion evaluations to support the management of complex environmental issues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soma, K.

    2010-01-01

    A repeated statement observed in the literature is that stakeholder participation can contribute to improve complex environmental management decisions. However, transparent and legitimate decision-making processes cannot be ensured without suitable involvement strategies and information treatments

  2. A systematic approach to analyzing environmental issues involving complex systems (a web-based course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marston Johnston

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The course “Conceptual Modeling for Decision Support” (Univ. Gothenburg, Sweden is a web-based course, given the first time in October 2015. This introduction and other supporting documents on the website intend to provide a background for independent work with the five tutorials that comprise the core of this course. The openly accessible website will allow study at any time, but can ideally be combined with the blended-learning course in “Environmental Geology” or with project work at various institutes in the relevant cooperation networks. The introduction below develops both the philosophical and the practical framework for modeling environmental systems. Differences in scale, time and the complexity are necessary to consider when evaluating the parameters within the system, but modeling is also an attempt to simplify in order to understand the net effects of the combined components. Multi-criteria evaluation allows predictive modelling by combining the typically qualitative and quantitative information from multidisciplinary sources.  The course structure and tutorials are briefly presented.

  3. Mediation, moderation, and context: Understanding complex relations among cognition, affect, and health behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiviniemi, Marc T; Ellis, Erin M; Hall, Marissa G; Moss, Jennifer L; Lillie, Sarah E; Brewer, Noel T; Klein, William M P

    2018-01-01

    Researchers have historically treated cognition and affect as separate constructs in motivating health behaviour. We present a framework and empirical evidence for complex relations between cognition and affect in predicting health behaviour. Main Outcome, Design and Results: First, affect and cognition can mediate each other's relation to health behaviour. Second, affect and cognition can moderate the other's impact. Third, context can change the interplay of affect and cognition. Fourth, affect and cognition may be indelibly fused in some psychological constructs (e.g. worry, anticipated regret and reactance). These four propositions in our framework are not mutually exclusive. Examination of the types of complex relations described here can benefit theory development, empirical testing of theories and intervention design. Doing so will advance the understanding of mechanisms involved in regulation of health behaviours and the effectiveness of interventions to change health behaviours.

  4. Understanding valve program complexity in a refurbishment environment - learning from the past

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roth, H.E.

    2012-01-01

    The complexity of Valve Program development, planning, execution and management in a refurbishment environment is an enormous undertaking requiring the proper coordination and integration of many moving parts. As such, lack of attention and understanding of this complexity has led to significant cost and schedule overruns in past refurbishment projects in the province. OPEX indicates the challenges in completing valve scope during refurbishments are related but not limited to; lack of detailed condition assessments, improper scope development, insignificant strategic approach to work task planning, scheduling and procurement, absence of contingency planning for common ‘as found’ conditions during execution, lack of proper training requirements, etc. In addition, past contracting strategies to employ numerous companies in collaboration to complete such a complex and specialized program, has resulted in further complications surrounding the management and integration of multiple quality programs and internal company processes. Finally, the aftermath of such fragmented projects results in an absolute closeout nightmare, often times taking years to locate, sift through and re-integrate pertinent information back into customer systems. Valve Program complexity cannot be understood by just anyone, only those that have lived through a refurbishment project and experienced the challenges mentioned above have the knowledge, skill, and ability to appreciate how to tactically apply past learning to realize future improvements. Furthermore, effective contractor-customer collaboration is crucial; true and in-depth knowledge and understanding of the customer quality programs, engineering and work management processes, configuration management requirements, and most importantly the imperative significance of nuclear safety, are all essential components to ensure overall alignment and program success. (author)

  5. Toward understanding the thermodynamics of TALSPEAK process. Medium effects on actinide complexation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zalupski, Peter R.; Martin, Leigh R.; Nash, Ken; Nakamura, Yoshinobu; Yamamoto, Masahiko

    2009-01-01

    The ingenious combination of lactate and diethylenetriamine-N,N,N',N(double p rime),N(double p rime)-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) as an aqueous actinide-complexing medium forms the basis of the successful separation of americium and curium from lanthanides known as the TALSPEAK process. While numerous reports in the prior literature have focused on the optimization of this solvent extraction system, considerably less attention has been devoted to the understanding of the basic thermodynamic features of the complex fluids responsible for the separation. The available thermochemical information of both lactate and DTPA protonation and metal complexation reactions are representative of the behavior of these ions under idealized conditions. Our previous studies of medium effects on lactate protonation suggest that significant departures from the speciation predicted based on reported thermodynamic values should be expected in the TALSPEAK aqueous environment. Thermodynamic parameters describing the separation chemistry of this process thus require further examination at conditions significantly removed from conventional ideal systems commonly employed in fundamental solution chemistry. Such thermodynamic characterization is the key to predictive modelling of TALSPEAK. Improved understanding will, in principle, allow process technologists to more efficiently respond to off-normal conditions during large scale process operation. In this report, the results of calorimetric and potentiometric investigations of the effects of aqueous electrolytes on the thermodynamic parameters for lactate protonation and lactate complexation of americium and neodymium will be presented. Studies on the lactate protonation equilibrium will clearly illustrate distinct thermodynamic variations between strong electrolyte aqueous systems and buffered lactate environment.

  6. Integrating Social Science, Environmental Science, and Engineering to Understand Vulnerability and Resilience to Environmental Hazards in the Bengal Delta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilligan, J. M.; Ackerly, B.; Goodbred, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    In populated delta environments, it is impossible to separate human and natural systems. Human activities change the landscape by altering the dynamics of water and sediment and in return, humans themselves are affected by the natural and anthropogenic changes to the landscape. Such interactions can also have significant impacts on the ecology and natural resources of a delta system, affecting local and regional food supply, livelihoods, and economies, particularly in developing nations. Successful adaptation to environmental change in a strongly coupled human-natural system, such as the Bengal delta, requires understanding how the physical environment and the changing social, political, and economic conditions of people's lives interact. Research on human-delta interactions has largely focused on macro-scale effects from major dams, water diversions, and catchment-scale land use; but at the smaller scale of households and communities, decisions, actions, and outcomes may occur abruptly and have significant local impacts (positive or negative). Southwest Bangladesh experiences profound environmental problems at the local human-landscape interface, including groundwater salinity, soil fertility, conflicting land-use practices, management of engineering structures, and declining land-surface elevations. The impacts of climate-induced sea-level rise, especially with respect to population migration, receive great attention and concern, but neither sea level rise nor migration occurs against a background of static physical or human environments. For example, changing land use (e.g., building embankments, which affect drainage, sediment transport, and the evolution of tidal channels; and the transformation of rice fields to shrimp aquaculture, which affects soil chemistry, labor markets, river ecology, and possibly the integrity of embankments) can significantly change the impact that sea level rise will have on flood hazards and the resulting effect on people living on

  7. Using chemistry and microfluidics to understand the spatial dynamics of complex biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastrup, Christian J; Runyon, Matthew K; Lucchetta, Elena M; Price, Jessica M; Ismagilov, Rustem F

    2008-04-01

    Understanding the spatial dynamics of biochemical networks is both fundamentally important for understanding life at the systems level and also has practical implications for medicine, engineering, biology, and chemistry. Studies at the level of individual reactions provide essential information about the function, interactions, and localization of individual molecular species and reactions in a network. However, analyzing the spatial dynamics of complex biochemical networks at this level is difficult. Biochemical networks are nonequilibrium systems containing dozens to hundreds of reactions with nonlinear and time-dependent interactions, and these interactions are influenced by diffusion, flow, and the relative values of state-dependent kinetic parameters. To achieve an overall understanding of the spatial dynamics of a network and the global mechanisms that drive its function, networks must be analyzed as a whole, where all of the components and influential parameters of a network are simultaneously considered. Here, we describe chemical concepts and microfluidic tools developed for network-level investigations of the spatial dynamics of these networks. Modular approaches can be used to simplify these networks by separating them into modules, and simple experimental or computational models can be created by replacing each module with a single reaction. Microfluidics can be used to implement these models as well as to analyze and perturb the complex network itself with spatial control on the micrometer scale. We also describe the application of these network-level approaches to elucidate the mechanisms governing the spatial dynamics of two networkshemostasis (blood clotting) and early patterning of the Drosophila embryo. To investigate the dynamics of the complex network of hemostasis, we simplified the network by using a modular mechanism and created a chemical model based on this mechanism by using microfluidics. Then, we used the mechanism and the model to

  8. Understanding the topological characteristics and flow complexity of urban traffic congestion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Tzai-Hung; Chin, Wei-Chien-Benny; Lai, Pei-Chun

    2017-05-01

    For a growing number of developing cities, the capacities of streets cannot meet the rapidly growing demand of cars, causing traffic congestion. Understanding the spatial-temporal process of traffic flow and detecting traffic congestion are important issues associated with developing sustainable urban policies to resolve congestion. Therefore, the objective of this study is to propose a flow-based ranking algorithm for investigating traffic demands in terms of the attractiveness of street segments and flow complexity of the street network based on turning probability. Our results show that, by analyzing the topological characteristics of streets and volume data for a small fraction of street segments in Taipei City, the most congested segments of the city were identified successfully. The identified congested segments are significantly close to the potential congestion zones, including the officially announced most congested streets, the segments with slow moving speeds at rush hours, and the areas near significant landmarks. The identified congested segments also captured congestion-prone areas concentrated in the business districts and industrial areas of the city. Identifying the topological characteristics and flow complexity of traffic congestion provides network topological insights for sustainable urban planning, and these characteristics can be used to further understand congestion propagation.

  9. A Novel Global Sensitivity Analysis Technique for an Enhanced Multi-criteria Analysis of the Behavior of Complex Environmental Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghnegahdar, A.; Razavi, S.

    2016-12-01

    Complex physically-based environmental models are being increasingly used as the primary tool for watershed planning and management due to advances in technologies for heavy computation and data acquisition. An improved decision needs a proper approach to modelling. This implies that sensitivity analysis (SA) should be considered as an integral part of modelling, since it plays a crucial role for understanding the behavior of these complex models and improving their performance. Local sensitivity analysis approaches are helpful in this context but insufficient to thoroughly characterize model sensitivity. This is mainly due to non-linear behaviour of complex environmental systems and interactions within them. Therefore, a global sensitivity analysis (GSA) should be adopted to provide a comprehensive understanding of model behavior in these cases. One of the main challenges associated with the GSA methods is their substantial computational demand to generate robust sensitivity metrics over the entire factor space. Accordingly, a novel GSA technique, Variogram Analysis of Response Surfaces (VARS) is recently developed. VARS uses the Variogram concept to efficiently provide a variety of global sensitivity indices across a range of scales within the parameter space; a feature that is unique to VARS. In this work, for an enhanced understanding of the model behavior, we adopted a multi-criteria multi-model approach to conduct a thorough GSA. We applied VARS to a couple of environmental models, with various levels of complexity, and used various metrics to measure sensitivity of model response (streamflow) to model parameters. These metrics measure model performance for simulating high flows, low flows, and flow volume. It is indicated that VARS can be used efficiently to provide a thorough and unique GSA for models, and that the metric choice has a great influence on the assessment of model sensitivity.

  10. Simulation-based education: understanding the socio-cultural complexity of a surgical training 'boot camp'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleland, Jennifer; Walker, Kenneth G; Gale, Michael; Nicol, Laura G

    2016-08-01

    The focus of simulation-based education (SBE) research has been limited to outcome and effectiveness studies. The effect of social and cultural influences on SBE is unclear and empirical work is lacking. Our objective in this study was to explore and understand the complexity of context and social factors at a surgical boot camp (BC). A rapid ethnographic study, employing the theoretical lenses of complexity and activity theory and Bourdieu's concept of 'capital', to better understand the socio-cultural influences acting upon, and during, two surgical BCs, and their implications for SBE. Over two 4-day BCs held in Scotland, UK, an observer and two preceptors conducted 81 hours of observations, 14 field interviews and 11 formal interviews with faculty members (n = 10, including the lead faculty member, session leaders and junior faculty members) and participants (n = 19 core surgical trainees and early-stage residents). Data collection and inductive analysis for emergent themes proceeded iteratively. This paper focuses on three analytical themes. First, the complexity of the surgical training system and wider health care education context, and how this influenced the development of the BC. Second, participants' views of the BC as a vehicle not just for learning skills but for gaining 'insider information' on how best to progress in surgical training. Finally, the explicit aim of faculty members to use the Scottish Surgical Bootcamp to welcome trainees and residents into the world of surgery, and how this occurred. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical study of a surgical BC that takes a socio-cultural approach to exploring and understanding context, complexities, uncertainties and learning associated with one example of SBE. Our findings suggest that a BC is as much about social and cultural processes as it is about individual, cognitive and acquisitive learning. Acknowledging this explicitly will help those planning similar enterprises and

  11. Western Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center--providing comprehensive earth science for complex societal issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, David G.; Wallace, Alan R.; Schneider, Jill L.

    2010-01-01

    supports approximately 40 USGS research specialists who utilize cooperative agreements with universities, industry, and other governmental agencies to support their collaborative research and information exchange. Scientists of the WMERSC study how and where non-fuel mineral resources form and are concentrated in the earth's crust, where mineral resources might be found in the future, and how mineral materials interact with the environment to affect human and ecosystem health. Natural systems (ecosystems) are complex - our understanding of how ecosystems operate requires collecting and synthesizing large amounts of geologic, geochemical, biologic, hydrologic, and meteorological information. Scientists in the Center strive to understand the interplay of various processes and how they affect the structure, composition, and health of ecosystems. Such understanding, which is then summarized in publicly available reports, is used to address and solve a wide variety of issues that are important to society and the economy. WMERSC scientists have extensive national and international experience in these scientific specialties and capabilities - they have collaborated with many Federal, State, and local agencies; with various private sector organizations; as well as with foreign countries and organizations. Nearly every scientific and societal challenge requires a different combination of scientific skills and capabilities. With their breadth of scientific specialties and capabilities, the scientists of the WMERSC can provide scientifically sound approaches to a wide range of societal challenges and issues. The following sections describe examples of important issues that have been addressed by scientists in the Center, the methods employed, and the relevant conclusions. New directions are inevitable as societal needs change over time. Scientists of the WMERSC have a diverse set of skills and capabilities and are proficient in the collection and integration of

  12. A reduced complexity discrete particle model for understanding the sediment dynamics of steep upland river confluences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tancock, M. J.; Lane, S. N.; Hardy, R. J.

    2012-12-01

    There has been a significant amount of research conducted in order to understand the flow fields at natural river confluences. Much of this has been made possible due to advances in the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). However, much of this research has been conducted on river confluences with negligible water surface slopes and any understanding of the sediment dynamics is largely implied from the flow fields. Therefore, a key challenge is to understand the flow and sediment dynamics of steep river confluences with dynamic boundaries. Two numerical modelling developments are presented which together are capable of increasing our understanding of the sediment dynamics of steep river confluences. The first is the application of a Height-of-Liquid (HOL) model within a CFD framework to explicitly solve the water surface elevation. This is a time-dependent, multiphase treatment of the fluid dynamics which solves for the change in volume of water and air in each vertical column of the mesh. The second is the development of a reduced complexity discrete particle transport model which uses the change in momentum on a spherical particle to predict the transport paths through the flow field determined from CFD simulations. The performance of the two models is tested using field data from a series of highly dynamic, steep gravel-bed confluences on a braidplain of the Borgne d'Arolla, Switzerland. The HOL model is validated against the water surface elevation and flow velocity data and is demonstrated to provide a reliable representation of the flow field in fast-flowing, supercritical flows. In order to validate the discrete particle model, individual particles were tracked using electronic tacheometry. The model is demonstrated to accurately represent the particle tracks obtained in the field and provides a new methodology to understand the dynamic morphology of braid plains.

  13. Understanding the genetic and epigenetic architecture in complex network of rice flowering pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Changhui; Chen, Dan; Fang, Jun; Wang, Pingrong; Deng, Xiaojian; Chu, Chengcai

    2014-12-01

    Although the molecular basis of flowering time control is well dissected in the long day (LD) plant Arabidopsis, it is still largely unknown in the short day (SD) plant rice. Rice flowering time (heading date) is an important agronomic trait for season adaption and grain yield, which is affected by both genetic and environmental factors. During the last decade, as the nature of florigen was identified, notable progress has been made on exploration how florigen gene expression is genetically controlled. In Arabidopsis expression of certain key flowering integrators such as FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) are also epigenetically regulated by various chromatin modifications, however, very little is known in rice on this aspect until very recently. This review summarized the advances of both genetic networks and chromatin modifications in rice flowering time control, attempting to give a complete view of the genetic and epigenetic architecture in complex network of rice flowering pathways.

  14. Understanding and quantifying cognitive complexity level in mathematical problem solving items

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SUSAN E. EMBRETSON

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The linear logistic test model (LLTM; Fischer, 1973 has been applied to a wide variety of new tests. When the LLTM application involves item complexity variables that are both theoretically interesting and empirically supported, several advantages can result. These advantages include elaborating construct validity at the item level, defining variables for test design, predicting parameters of new items, item banking by sources of complexity and providing a basis for item design and item generation. However, despite the many advantages of applying LLTM to test items, it has been applied less often to understand the sources of complexity for large-scale operational test items. Instead, previously calibrated item parameters are modeled using regression techniques because raw item response data often cannot be made available. In the current study, both LLTM and regression modeling are applied to mathematical problem solving items from a widely used test. The findings from the two methods are compared and contrasted for their implications for continued development of ability and achievement tests based on mathematical problem solving items.

  15. Using a complex adaptive system lens to understand family caregiving experiences navigating the stroke rehabilitation system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazzawi, Andrea; Kuziemsky, Craig; O'Sullivan, Tracey

    2016-10-01

    Family caregivers provide the stroke survivor with social support and continuity during the transition home from a rehabilitation facility. In this exploratory study we examined family caregivers' perceptions and experiences navigating the stroke rehabilitation system. The theories of continuity of care and complex adaptive systems were integrated to examine the transition from a stroke rehabilitation facility to the patient's home. This study provides an understanding of the interacting complexities at the macro and micro levels. A convenient sample of family caregivers (n = 14) who provide care for a stroke survivor were recruited 4-12 weeks following the patient's discharge from a stroke rehabilitation facility in Ontario, Canada. Interviews were conducted with family caregivers to examine their perceptions and experiences navigating the stroke rehabilitation system. Directed and inductive content analysis and the theory of Complex Adaptive Systems were used to interpret the perceptions of family caregivers. Health system policies and procedures at the macro-level determined the types and timing of information being provided to caregivers, and impacted continuity of care and access to supports and services at the micro-level. Supports and services in the community, such as outpatient physiotherapy services, were limited or did not meet the specific needs of the stroke survivors or family caregivers. Relationships with health providers, informational support, and continuity in case management all influence the family caregiving experience and ultimately the quality of care for the stroke survivor, during the transition home from a rehabilitation facility.

  16. Unsafe occupational health behaviours: Understanding mercury-related environmental health risks to artisanal gold miners in Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederick Ato Armah

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between environmental exposure and health outcomes is complex, multidirectional and dynamic. Therefore, we need an understanding of these linkages for effective health risk communication. Despite the severe health hazards, artisanal gold mining is widespread globally, with an estimated 30 million people engaged in it. In this study, the relationships between artisanal gold miners’ knowledge of environmental and health effects of Hg and compositional, contextual and occupational factors were assessed using generalized linear models (negative log-log regression. A cross-sectional survey in three urban gold mining hubs in Ghana (Prestea, Tarkwa and Damang, was carried out among 588 (482 male and 106 female artisanal gold miners. The results showed that 89% of artisanal gold miners had very low to low levels of knowledge whereas 11% had moderate to very high levels of knowledge of deleterious health effects of Hg. Also, individuals who perceived their health-related work conditions to be excellent had very low to low levels of knowledge of environmental and health effects of Hg. Interestingly, artisanal gold miners who were still working were less likely to know the environmental and health effects of Hg compared with their counterparts who were currently unemployed. Similarly, artisanal gold miners who had attained either primary or secondary education were less likely to know the environmental and health effects of Hg compared with their counterparts who had no formal education. This finding, although counterintuitive, can be understood within the fact that artisanal gold miners in Ghana without formal education tend to have considerably higher number of years of practical experience compared with their counterparts with formal education. Female artisanal gold miners were 68% less likely to know the environmental and health effects of Hg compared with their male counterparts (OR=0.32, p<0.05. Artisanal gold miners who had

  17. The Exposome Research Paradigm: an Opportunity to Understand the Environmental Basis for Human Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck Louis, Germaine M; Smarr, Melissa M; Patel, Chirag J

    2017-03-01

    This paper presents an overview of the exposome research paradigm with particular application to understanding human reproduction and development and its implications for health across a lifespan. The exposome research paradigm has generated considerable discussion about its feasibility and utility for delineating the impact of environmental exposures on human health. Early initiatives are underway, including smaller proof-of-principle studies and larger concerted efforts. Despite the notable challenges underlying the exposome paradigm, analytic techniques are being developed to handle its untargeted approach and correlated and multi-level or hierarchical data structures such initiatives generate, while considering multiple comparisons. The relatively short intervals for critical and sensitive windows of human reproduction and development seem well suited for exposome research and may revolutionize our understanding of later onset diseases. Early initiatives suggest that the exposome paradigm is feasible, but its utility remains to be established with applications to population human health research.

  18. Fan array wind tunnel: a multifunctional, complex environmental flow manipulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Christopher; Veismann, Marcel; Gharib, Morteza

    2017-11-01

    The recent emergence of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has reshaped the aerospace testing environment. Traditional closed-loop wind tunnels are not particularly suited nor easily retrofit to take advantage of these coordinated, controls-based rotorcraft. As such, a highly configurable, novel wind tunnel aimed at addressing the unmet technical challenges associated with single or formation flight performance of autonomous drone systems is presented. The open-loop fan array wind tunnel features 1296 individually controllable DC fans arranged in a 2.88m x 2.88m array. The fan array can operate with and without a tunnel enclosure and is able to rotate between horizontal and vertical testing configurations. In addition to standard variable speed uniform flow, the fan array can generate both unsteady and shear flows. Through the aid of smaller side fan array units, vortex flows are also possible. Conceptual design, fabrication, and validation of the tunnel performance will be presented, including theoretical and computational predictions of flow speed and turbulence intensity. Validation of these parameters is accomplished through standard pitot-static and hot-wire techniques. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) of various complex flows will also be shown. This material is based upon work supported by the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) at the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories of the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT).

  19. The Crucible simulation: Behavioral simulation improves clinical leadership skills and understanding of complex health policy change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Daniel; Vlaev, Ivo; McMahon, Laurie; Harvey, Sarah; Mitchell, Andy; Borovoi, Leah; Darzi, Ara

    2017-05-11

    The Health and Social Care Act 2012 represents the most complex National Health Service reforms in history. High-quality clinical leadership is important for successful implementation of health service reform. However, little is known about the effectiveness of current leadership training. This study describes the use of a behavioral simulation to improve the knowledge and leadership of a cohort of medical doctors expected to take leadership roles in the National Health Service. A day-long behavioral simulation (The Crucible) was developed and run based on a fictitious but realistic health economy. Participants completed pre- and postsimulation questionnaires generating qualitative and quantitative data. Leadership skills, knowledge, and behavior change processes described by the "theory of planned behavior" were self-assessed pre- and postsimulation. Sixty-nine medical doctors attended. Participants deemed the simulation immersive and relevant. Significant improvements were shown in perceived knowledge, capability, attitudes, subjective norms, intentions, and leadership competency following the program. Nearly one third of participants reported that they had implemented knowledge and skills from the simulation into practice within 4 weeks. This study systematically demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral simulation for clinical management training and understanding of health policy reform. Potential future uses and strategies for analysis are discussed. High-quality care requires understanding of health systems and strong leadership. Policymakers should consider the use of behavioral simulation to improve understanding of health service reform and development of leadership skills in clinicians, who readily adopt skills from simulation into everyday practice.

  20. From process complexity to communication effectiveness: A challenge to those within and outside of the environmental sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, K. E.; McGlynn, B. L.

    2014-12-01

    Interdisciplinary work has become a cornerstone in research across the environmental sciences. Our work does so by evaluating biogeochemical cycling, specifically methane, in the context of landscape hydrology. Atmospheric methane is a greenhouse gas 27 times more potent than carbon dioxide and has been increasing at an unprecedented rate. This drastic increase in atmospheric methane has been attributed to anthropogenic activities such as burning of fossil fuels, ruminants, and rice cultivation, which together constitute approximately 67% of global methane sources. Characterizing CH4 flux in natural systems has remained difficult due to complex relationships among environmental variables (e.g. soil temperature and soil water content). To address this, we focus on how the redistribution of water in complex terrain influences the magnitude and direction of flux in upland and riparian soils. Distilling this complex behavior and scaling these observations is complicated by interacting feedback loops and uncertainties associated with global scale modeling. However, progress is critical given that predicting future climate is necessary to forecasting the quantity and distribution of available fresh water, and understanding how ecosystem processes, and energy/food production will be affected. Water sciences and environmental science as a whole must improve communication to a range of audiences, and advocate for researchers, policy makers, and business leaders to work together for a more sustainable future. A crucial step in this process is to optimize the appropriate level of information to convey that is both memorable and meaningful given the complexity of environmental systems. The challenge also extends to artists and filmmakers to present the subject in compelling ways that inspire audiences to take action in their own communities. True integration of professionals across environmental, social, political, and economic disciplines while motivating local involvement

  1. Understanding the Complexities of Food Safety Using a "One Health" Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kniel, Kalmia E; Kumar, Deepak; Thakur, Siddhartha

    2018-02-01

    The philosophy of One Health is growing in concept and clarity. The interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health is the basis for the concept of One Health. One Health is a comprehensive approach to ensure the health of people, animals, and the environment through collaborative efforts. Preharvest food safety issues align with the grand concept of One Health. Imagine any food production system, and immediately, parallel images from One Health emerge: for example, transmission of zoonotic diseases, antibiotic residues, or resistance genes in the environment; environmental and animal host reservoirs of disease; challenges with rearing animals and growing fresh produce on the same farm; application and transport of manure or diseased animals. During a recent celebration of #OneHealthDay, information was shared around the globe concerning scientists dedicated to One Health research systems. An ever-growing trade and global commerce system mixed with our incessant desire for food products during the whole year makes it all the more important to take a global view through the One Health lens to solve these growing challenges. The recent explosion of Zika virus around the globe renewed the need for assessing transmissible diseases through the eyes of One Health. It is not good enough to know how a disease affects the human population without a thorough understanding of the environment and vector reservoirs. If 60 to 75% of infectious diseases affecting humans are of animal origin, the need for better One Health research strategies and overdue solutions is imperative.

  2. Educational understanding of pollution prevention in decontamination and decommissioning/environmental restoration activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Betsch, M.D.; Lewis, R.A.

    1995-05-01

    Demolishing outdated structures from the US Department of Energy Hanford Site in Washington, generates large quantities of waste which can be minimized. The Hanford cleanup is one of the world's largest and most complex environmental restoration efforts. Approximately 280 square miles of ground water and soil are contaminated; there are more than 80 surplus facilities, including nine shut-down nuclear reactors in various stages of decay; and there are 177 underground waste storage tanks containing highly radioactive waste. In all, 1,500 cleanup sites have been identified and the Environmental Restoration Contractor (ERC) is currently responsible for surveillance and maintenance of 170 structures. A two hour orientation training in pollution prevention was developed by the Westinghouse Hanford Company to provide all Decontamination and Decommissioning/Environmental Restoration (D ampersand D/ER) personnel with the knowledge to apply waste minimization principles during their cleanup activities. The ERC Team Pollution Prevention Workshop serves to communicate pollution prevention philosophies and influences the way D ampersand D/ER projects are conducted at the Hanford Site

  3. Using Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Practices to Address Scientific Misunderstandings Around Complex Environmental Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrin, M.; Kenna, T. C.

    2014-12-01

    The new NGSS provide an important opportunity for scientists to develop curriculum that links the practice of science to research-based data in order to improve understanding in areas of science that are both complex and confusing. Our curriculum focuses in particular on the fate and transport of anthropogenic radionuclides. Radioactivity, both naturally occurring and anthropogenic, is highly debated and largely misunderstood, and for large sections of the population is a source of scientific misunderstanding. Developed as part of the international GEOTRACES project which focuses on identifying ocean processes and quantifying fluxes that control the distributions of selected trace elements and isotopes in the ocean, and on establishing the sensitivity of these distributions to changing environmental conditions, the curriculum topic fits nicely into the applied focus of NGSS with both environmental and topical relevance. Our curriculum design focuses on small group discussion driven by questions, yet unlike more traditional curriculum pieces these are not questions posed to the students, rather they are questions posed by the students to facilitate their deeper understanding. Our curriculum design challenges the traditional question/answer memorization approach to instruction as we strive to develop an educational approach that supports the practice of science as well as the NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts and the Science & Engineering Practices. Our goal is for students to develop a methodology they can employ when faced with a complex scientific issue. Through background readings and team discussions they identify what type of information is important for them to know and where to find a reliable source for that information. Framing their discovery around key questions such as "What type of radioactive decay are we dealing with?", "What is the potential half-life of the isotope?", and "What are the pathways of transport of radioactivity?" allows students to evaluate a

  4. Concept of Complex Environmental Monitoring Network - Vardzia Rock Cut City Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elashvili, Mikheil; Vacheishvili, Nikoloz; Margottini, Claudio; Basilaia, Giorgi; Chkhaidze, Davit; Kvavadze, Davit; Spizzichino, Daniele; Boscagli, Franceso; Kirkitadze, Giorgi; Adikashvili, Luka; Navrozashvili, Levan

    2016-04-01

    Vardzia represents an unique cultural heritage monument - rock cut city, which unites architectural monument and Natural-Geological complex. Such monuments are particularly vulnerable and their restoration and conservation requires complex approach. It is curved in various layers of volcanic tuffs and covers several hectares of area, with chronologically different segments of construction. This monument, as many similar monuments worldwide, is subjected to slow but permanent process of destruction, expressed in following factors: surface weathering of rock, active tectonics (aseismic displacement along the active faults and earthquakes), interaction between lithologically different rock layers, existence of major cracks and associated complex block structure, surface rainwater runoff and infiltrated ground water, temperature variations, etc. During its lifetime, Vardzia was heavily damaged by Historical Earthquake of 1283 and only partly restored afterwards. The technological progress together with the increased knowledge about ongoing environmental processes, established the common understanding that the complex monitoring of the environment represents the essential component for resolving such a principal issues, as: Proper management and prevention of natural disasters; Modeling of environmental processes, their short and long term prognosis; Monitoring of macro and micro climate; Safe functioning and preservation of important constructions. Research Center of Cultural Heritage and Environment of Ilia State University in cooperation with Experts from ISPRA, with the funding from the State agency of Cultural Heritage, has developed a concept of Vardzia complex monitoring network. Concept of the network includes: monitoring local meteorological conditions (meteorological station), monitoring microclimate in caves (temperature and humidity in the air and rock), monitoring microtremors and ambient seismic noise in Vardzia (local strong motion network), monitoring

  5. Improving our understanding of environmental controls on the distribution of C3 and C4 grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pau, Stephanie; Edwards, Erika J; Still, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    A number of studies have demonstrated the ecological sorting of C3 and C4 grasses along temperature and moisture gradients. However, previous studies of C3 and C4 grass biogeography have often inadvertently compared species in different and relatively unrelated lineages, which are associated with different environmental settings and distinct adaptive traits. Such confounded comparisons of C3 and C4 grasses may bias our understanding of ecological sorting imposed strictly by photosynthetic pathway. Here, we used MaxEnt species distribution modeling in combination with satellite data to understand the functional diversity of C3 and C4 grasses by comparing both large clades and closely related sister taxa. Similar to previous work, we found that C4 grasses showed a preference for regions with higher temperatures and lower precipitation compared with grasses using the C3 pathway. However, air temperature differences were smaller (2 °C vs. 4 °C) and precipitation and % tree cover differences were larger (1783 mm vs. 755 mm, 21.3% vs. 7.7%, respectively) when comparing C3 and C4 grasses within the same clade vs. comparing all C4 and all C3 grasses (i.e., ignoring phylogenetic structure). These results were due to important differences in the environmental preferences of C3 BEP and PACMAD clades (the two main grass clades). Winter precipitation was found to be more important for understanding the distribution and environmental niche of C3 PACMADs in comparison with both C3 BEPs and C4 taxa, for which temperature was much more important. Results comparing closely related C3 -C4 sister taxa supported the patterns derived from our modeling of the larger clade groupings. Our findings, which are novel in comparing the distribution and niches of clades, demonstrate that the evolutionary history of taxa is important for understanding the functional diversity of C3 and C4 grasses, and should have implications for how grasslands will respond to global change. © 2012

  6. Does problem complexity matter for environmental policy delivery? How public authorities address problems of water governance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirschke, Sabrina; Newig, Jens; Völker, Jeanette; Borchardt, Dietrich

    2017-07-01

    Problem complexity is often assumed to hamper effective environmental policy delivery. However, this claim is hardly substantiated, given the dominance of qualitative small-n designs in environmental governance research. We studied 37 types of contemporary problems defined by German water governance to assess the impact of problem complexity on policy delivery through public authorities. The analysis is based on a unique data set related to these problems, encompassing both in-depth interview-based data on complexities and independent official data on policy delivery. Our findings show that complexity in fact tends to delay implementation at the stage of planning. However, different dimensions of complexity (goals, variables, dynamics, interconnections, and uncertainty) impact on the different stages of policy delivery (goal formulation, stages and degrees of implementation) in various ways. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The major histocompatibility complex: a model for understanding graft-versus-host disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersdorf, Effie W

    2013-09-12

    Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) afflicts as much as 80% of all patients who receive an unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) for the treatment of blood disorders, even with optimal donor HLA matching and use of prophylactic immunosuppressive agents. Of patients who develop acute GVHD, many are at risk for chronic GVHD and bear the burden of considerable morbidity and lowered quality of life years after transplantation. The immunogenetic basis of GVHD has been the subject of intensive investigation, with the classic HLA genetic loci being the best-characterized determinants. Recent information on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region of chromosome 6 as an important source of untyped genetic variation has shed light on novel GVHD determinants. These data open new paradigms for understanding the genetic basis of GVHD.

  8. Computational Cellular Dynamics Based on the Chemical Master Equation: A Challenge for Understanding Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jie; Qian, Hong

    2010-01-01

    Modern molecular biology has always been a great source of inspiration for computational science. Half a century ago, the challenge from understanding macromolecular dynamics has led the way for computations to be part of the tool set to study molecular biology. Twenty-five years ago, the demand from genome science has inspired an entire generation of computer scientists with an interest in discrete mathematics to join the field that is now called bioinformatics. In this paper, we shall lay out a new mathematical theory for dynamics of biochemical reaction systems in a small volume (i.e., mesoscopic) in terms of a stochastic, discrete-state continuous-time formulation, called the chemical master equation (CME). Similar to the wavefunction in quantum mechanics, the dynamically changing probability landscape associated with the state space provides a fundamental characterization of the biochemical reaction system. The stochastic trajectories of the dynamics are best known through the simulations using the Gillespie algorithm. In contrast to the Metropolis algorithm, this Monte Carlo sampling technique does not follow a process with detailed balance. We shall show several examples how CMEs are used to model cellular biochemical systems. We shall also illustrate the computational challenges involved: multiscale phenomena, the interplay between stochasticity and nonlinearity, and how macroscopic determinism arises from mesoscopic dynamics. We point out recent advances in computing solutions to the CME, including exact solution of the steady state landscape and stochastic differential equations that offer alternatives to the Gilespie algorithm. We argue that the CME is an ideal system from which one can learn to understandcomplex behavior” and complexity theory, and from which important biological insight can be gained. PMID:24999297

  9. Environmental Sampling FY03 Annual Report - Understanding the Movement of Mercury on the INEEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael L. Abbott

    2003-01-01

    Environmental mercury measurements were started in Fy-01 at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEEL) to monitor downwind impacts from on-going waste treatment operations at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) and to improve our scientific understanding of mercury fate and transport in this region. This document provides a summary of the sampling done in FY04. Continuous total gaseous mercury (TGM) measurements were made using a Tekran Model 2537A mercury vapor analyzer during October 2002 and from February through July 2003. The equipment was deployed in a self-contained field trailer at the Experimental Field Station (EFS) four kilometers downwind (northeast) of INTEC. Mercury surface-to-air flux measurements were made in October 2002 and from February through May 2003 to better understand the fate of the estimated 1500 kg of mercury emitted from 36 years of calciner operations at INTEC and to improve our scientific understanding of mercury environmental cycling in this region. Flux was measured using an INEEL-designed dynamic flux chamber system with a Tekran automated dual sampling (TADS) unit. Diel flux was positively correlated with solar radiation (r = 0.65), air temperature (r = 0.64), and wind speed (r = 0.38), and a general linear model for flux prediction at the INEEL was developed. Reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) was measured at EFS in July using a Tekran Model 1130 mercury speciation unit. Based on comparisons with other published data around the U.S., mercury air concentrations and surface flux rates directly downwind from INTEC were not distinguishable from remote area (non-industrial) background levels during the monitoring period

  10. Understanding immune function as a pace of life trait requires environmental context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tieleman, B Irene

    2018-01-01

    This article provides a brief historical perspective on the integration of physiology into the concept of the pace of life of birds, evaluates the fit of immune function into this framework, and asks what it will take to fruitfully understand immune functioning of birds in pace of life studies in the future. In the late 1970s, physiology started to seriously enter avian life history ecology, with energy as the main currency of interest, inspired by David Lack's work in the preceding decades emphasizing how food availability explained life history variation. In an effort to understand the trade-off between survival and reproduction, and specifically the mortality costs associated with hard work, in the 1980s and 1990s, other physiological phenomena entered the realm of animal ecologists, including endocrinology, oxidative stress, and immunology. Reviewing studies thus far to evaluate the role of immune function in a life history context and particularly to address the questions whether immune function (1) consistently varies with life history variation among free-living bird species and (2) mediates life history trade-offs in experiments with free-living bird species; I conclude that, unlike energy metabolism, the immune system does not closely covary with life history among species nor mediates the classical trade-offs within individuals. Instead, I propose that understanding the tremendous immunological variation uncovered among free-living birds over the past 25 years requires a paradigm shift. The paradigm should shift from viewing immune function as a costly trait involved in life history trade-offs to explicitly including the benefits of the immune system and placing it firmly in an environmental and ecological context. A first step forward will be to quantify the immunobiotic pressures presented by diverse environmental circumstances that both shape and challenge the immune system of free-living animals. Current developments in the fields of infectious

  11. Understanding organization and institutional changes for management of environmental affairs in the Brazilian petroleum sector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliveira, J.A.P. de

    2003-01-01

    This article analyzes how governments and an oil company adapted their institutional and organization frameworks to manage actual and potential environmental impacts of oil-related activities in Brazil. Two major factors are important for understanding these changes. First, the monopoly of the state to explore and produce oil is over. Foreign companies have entered Brazil and increased the competitiveness of the oil sector. Second, major oil spills into waterways in recent years resulted in severe fines and an increasing outcry from government and civil society representatives for greater control over oil activities. These two factors raised a debate about what are, or should be, the roles of various stakeholders involved in controlling oil activities and their impacts on the environment. Legislative changes assigned different roles to the state oil company, to a newly created regulatory agency, to the Navy and to federal and state environmental agencies. Because many of the legal changes were not well defined, accountability among institutional actors remained unclear and institutional conflicts about who is accountable for what were likely to occur. As well, government organizations, public prosecutors, media and civil society increasingly influenced the regulation of both government agencies and companies. As a result, these responded to regulatory change and market forces by changing their relations with external stakeholders and their organizational arrangements for environmental management. This article identifies some of the institutional conflicts in selected case studies from the oil industry, the difficulties in clarifying regulatory roles within the industry, and responses in terms of the environmental strategies of regulatory bodies and oil companies, specifically the Brazilian state company, Petrobas. (author)

  12. Understanding students visions about environmental global problems. Experience and lessons learned of teaching in Lithuania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Siarova, Hanna; Misiūnė, Ieva; Cerda, Artemi; Úbeda, Xavier

    2015-04-01

    Nowadays, environment is accepted to be an important element of our welfare. Our activities and societal status are strongly related with the quality of the environment where we live. On the other hand historical and cultural backgrounds shape importantly our views about the environment and how we act towards it in our daily life. In a context of globalization and increase of competition at international level, knowledge appears to be one of the key components for the advance of the word. Most of the knowledge produced comes from high level education institutions and research centres, which have responsibility to create and encourage critical thinking. Individuals aware of the problems can be more active and can push things forward. We think that environmental knowledge and awareness are fundamental for the future of the society. In order to develop better methodologies are developed if we have a better perception of students understanding of environmental problems. The objective of this work is to study the Lithuanian university level student's perception about some environmental challenges of our society. We selected several questions for the students rate according the relevance of the question, as "Air Pollution", "Waste Management", "Resources overexplotation", "Biodiversity reduction", "Human Overpopulation" "Poverty", "Global Warming/Climate change", Natural disasters", "Terrorism", "Economical crisis", "War and armed conflicts" and the "Spread of infectious diseases". We ask to the respondents to rate the importance using a likert scale (1=Not Important, 2= not so important, 3=important, 4=very important, 5=the most important). Among all the questions, the most rated where the Water pollution, the Spread of infectious diseases and Air Pollution and the less important where Biodiversity Reduction, Human overpopulation and climate change. These results helped us to identify where some efforts should be taken to raise student's awareness about global

  13. Venom Resistance as a Model for Understanding the Molecular Basis of Complex Coevolutionary Adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holding, Matthew L; Drabeck, Danielle H; Jansa, Sharon A; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2016-11-01

    SynopsisVenom and venom resistance are molecular phenotypes widely considered to have diversified through coevolution between predators and prey. However, while evolutionary and functional studies on venom have been extensive, little is known about the molecular basis, variation, and complexity of venom resistance. We review known mechanisms of venom resistance and relate these mechanisms to their predicted impact on coevolutionary dynamics with venomous enemies. We then describe two conceptual approaches which can be used to examine venom/resistance systems. At the intraspecific level, tests of local adaptation in venom and resistance phenotypes can identify the functional mechanisms governing the outcomes of coevolution. At deeper evolutionary timescales, the combination of phylogenetically informed analyses of protein evolution coupled with studies of protein function promise to elucidate the mode and tempo of evolutionary change on potentially coevolving genes. We highlight case studies that use each approach to extend our knowledge of these systems as well as address larger questions about coevolutionary dynamics. We argue that resistance and venom are phenotypic traits which hold exceptional promise for investigating the mechanisms, dynamics, and outcomes of coevolution at the molecular level. Furthermore, extending the understanding of single gene-for-gene interactions to the whole resistance and venom phenotypes may provide a model system for examining the molecular and evolutionary dynamics of complex multi-gene interactions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. The Nevada Rural Ozone Initiative (NVROI): Insights to understanding air pollution in complex terrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustin, Mae Sexauer; Fine, Rebekka; Miller, Matthieu; Jaffe, Dan; Burley, Joel

    2015-10-15

    The Nevada Rural Ozone Initiative (NVROI) was established to better understand O3 concentrations in the Western United States (US). The major working hypothesis for development of the sampling network was that the sources of O3 to Nevada are regional and global. Within the framework of this overarching hypothesis, we specifically address two conceptual meteorological hypotheses: (1) The high elevation, complex terrain, and deep convective mixing that characterize Nevada, make this state ideally located to intercept polluted parcels of air transported into the US from the free troposphere; and (2) site specific terrain features will influence O3 concentrations observed at surface sites. Here, the impact of complex terrain and site location on observations are discussed. Data collected in Nevada at 6 sites (1385 to 2082 m above sea level (asl)) are compared with that collected at high elevation sites in Yosemite National Park and the White Mountains, California. Average daily maximum 1-hour concentrations of O3 during the first year of the NVROI ranged from 58 to 69 ppbv (spring), 53 to 62 ppbv (summer), 44 to 49 ppbv (fall), and 37 to 45 ppbv (winter). These were similar to those measured at 3 sites in Yosemite National Park (2022 to 3031 m asl), and at 4 sites in the White Mountains (1237 to 4342 m asl) (58 to 67 ppbv (summer) and 47 to 58 ppbv (fall)). Results show, that in complex terrain, collection of data should occur at high and low elevation sites to capture surface impacts, and site location with respect to topography should be considered. Additionally, concentrations measured are above the threshold reported for causing a reduction in growth and visible injury for plants (40 ppbv), and sustained exposure at high elevation locations in the Western USA may be detrimental for ecosystems. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Understanding Student Cognition about Complex Earth System Processes Related to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeal, K. S.; Libarkin, J.; Ledley, T. S.; Dutta, S.; Templeton, M. C.; Geroux, J.; Blakeney, G. A.

    2011-12-01

    The Earth's climate system includes complex behavior and interconnections with other Earth spheres that present challenges to student learning. To better understand these unique challenges, we have conducted experiments with high-school and introductory level college students to determine how information pertaining to the connections between the Earth's atmospheric system and the other Earth spheres (e.g., hydrosphere and cryosphere) are processed. Specifically, we include psychomotor tests (e.g., eye-tracking) and open-ended questionnaires in this research study, where participants were provided scientific images of the Earth (e.g., global precipitation and ocean and atmospheric currents), eye-tracked, and asked to provide causal or relational explanations about the viewed images. In addition, the students engaged in on-line modules (http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/climate/index.html) focused on Earth system science as training activities to address potential cognitive barriers. The developed modules included interactive media, hands-on lessons, links to outside resources, and formative assessment questions to promote a supportive and data-rich learning environment. Student eye movements were tracked during engagement with the materials to determine the role of perception and attention on understanding. Students also completed a conceptual questionnaire pre-post to determine if these on-line curriculum materials assisted in their development of connections between Earth's atmospheric system and the other Earth systems. The pre-post results of students' thinking about climate change concepts, as well as eye-tracking results, will be presented.

  16. Environmental justice and health practices: understanding how health inequities arise at the local level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frohlich, Katherine L; Abel, Thomas

    2014-02-01

    While empirical evidence continues to show that people living in low socio-economic status neighbourhoods are less likely to engage in health-enhancing behaviour, our understanding of why this is so remains less than clear. We suggest that two changes could take place to move from description to understanding in this field; (i) a move away from the established concept of individual health behaviour to a contextualised understanding of health practices; and (ii) a switch from focusing on health inequalities in outcomes to health inequities in conditions. We apply Pierre Bourdieu's theory on capital interaction but find it insufficient with regard to the role of agency for structural change. We therefore introduce Amartya Sen's capability approach as a useful link between capital interaction theory and action to reduce social inequities in health-related practices. Sen's capability theory also elucidates the importance of discussing unequal chances in terms of inequity, rather than inequality, in order to underscore the moral nature of inequalities. We draw on the discussion in social geography on environmental injustice, which also underscores the moral nature of the spatial distribution of opportunities. The article ends by applying this approach to the 'Interdisciplinary study of inequalities in smoking' framework. © 2013 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2013 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Understanding the Complexities of Communicating Management Decisions on the Subsistence Use of Yukon River Salmon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, J. F.; Trainor, S.

    2017-12-01

    Over 20,000 residents in Alaska and Yukon Territory rely upon the Yukon River to provide them harvests of Pacific salmon each year. Salmon are a highly valued food resource and the practice of salmon fishing along the Yukon is deep rooted in local cultures and traditions. Potential future impacts of climate change on the health of Yukon River salmon stocks could be significant. Collaborative managerial processes which incorporate the viewpoints of subsistence stakeholders will be crucial in enabling communities and managerial institutions to adapt and manage these impacts. However, the massive extent of the Yukon River makes it difficult for communities rich with highly localized knowledge to situate themselves within a drainage-wide context of resource availability, and to fully understand the implications that management decisions may have for their harvest. Differences in salmon availability and abundance between the upper and lower Yukon, commercial vs. subsistence fishery interests, and enforcement of the international Pacific Salmon Treaty further complicate understanding and makes the topic of salmon as a subsistence resource a highly contentious issue. A map which synthesizes the presence and absence of Pacific salmon throughout the entire Yukon River drainage was requested by both subsistence fishers and natural resource managers in Alaska in order to help facilitate productive conversations about salmon management decisions. Interviews with Alaskan stakeholders with managerial, biological, and subsistence harvest backgrounds were carried out and a literature review was conducted in order to understand what such a map should and could accomplish. During the research process, numerous data gaps concerning the distribution of salmon along the Yukon River were discovered, and insights about the complexities involved in translating science when it is situated within a charged political, economic, and cultural context were revealed. Preliminary maps depicting

  18. Bringing content understanding into usability testing in complex application domains—a case study in eHealth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Simon Bruntse; Rasmussen, Claire Kirchert; Frøkjær, Erik

    2017-01-01

    A usability evaluation technique, Cooperative Usability Testing with Questions of Understanding (CUT with QU) intended to illuminate users’ ability to understand the content information of an application is proposed. In complex application domains as for instance the eHealth domain, this issue...... of users’ content understanding is sometimes crucial, and thus should be carefully evaluated. Unfortunately, conventional usability evaluation techniques do not address challenges of content understanding. In a case study within eHealth, specifically the setting of a rehabilitation clinic involving...... the participation of four physiotherapists and four clients in a period of 3.5 months, it was demonstrated how CUT with QU can complement conventional usability testing and provide insight into users’ challenges with understanding of a new complex eHealth application. More experiments in other complex application...

  19. Is Hunting Still Healthy? Understanding the Interrelationships between Indigenous Participation in Land-Based Practices and Human-Environmental Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ursula King

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Indigenous participation in land-based practices such as hunting, fishing, ceremony, and land care has a long history. In recent years, researchers and policy makers have advocated the benefits of these practices for both Indigenous people and the places they live. However, there have also been documented risks associated with participation in these activities. Environmental change brought about by shifts in land use, climate changes, and the accumulation of contaminants in the food chain sit alongside equally rapid shifts in social, economic and cultural circumstances, preferences and practices. To date, the literature has not offered a wide-ranging review of the available cross-disciplinary or cross-ecozone evidence for these intersecting benefits and risks, for both human and environmental health and wellbeing. By utilising hunting as a case study, this paper seeks to fill part of that gap through a transdisciplinary meta-analysis of the international literature exploring the ways in which Indigenous participation in land-based practices and human-environmental health have been studied, where the current gaps are, and how these findings could be used to inform research and policy. The result is an intriguing summary of disparate research that highlights the patchwork of contradictory understandings, and uneven regional emphasis, that have been documented. A new model was subsequently developed that facilitates a more in-depth consideration of these complex issues within local-global scale considerations. These findings challenge the bounded disciplinary and geographic spaces in which much of this work has occurred to date, and opens a dialogue to consider the importance of approaching these issues holistically.

  20. Is hunting still healthy? Understanding the interrelationships between indigenous participation in land-based practices and human-environmental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ursula; Furgal, Christopher

    2014-05-28

    Indigenous participation in land-based practices such as hunting, fishing, ceremony, and land care has a long history. In recent years, researchers and policy makers have advocated the benefits of these practices for both Indigenous people and the places they live. However, there have also been documented risks associated with participation in these activities. Environmental change brought about by shifts in land use, climate changes, and the accumulation of contaminants in the food chain sit alongside equally rapid shifts in social, economic and cultural circumstances, preferences and practices. To date, the literature has not offered a wide-ranging review of the available cross-disciplinary or cross-ecozone evidence for these intersecting benefits and risks, for both human and environmental health and wellbeing. By utilising hunting as a case study, this paper seeks to fill part of that gap through a transdisciplinary meta-analysis of the international literature exploring the ways in which Indigenous participation in land-based practices and human-environmental health have been studied, where the current gaps are, and how these findings could be used to inform research and policy. The result is an intriguing summary of disparate research that highlights the patchwork of contradictory understandings, and uneven regional emphasis, that have been documented. A new model was subsequently developed that facilitates a more in-depth consideration of these complex issues within local-global scale considerations. These findings challenge the bounded disciplinary and geographic spaces in which much of this work has occurred to date, and opens a dialogue to consider the importance of approaching these issues holistically.

  1. Childhood disability in Turkana, Kenya: Understanding how carers cope in a complex humanitarian setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuurmond, Maria; Nyapera, Velma; Mwenda, Victoria; Kisia, James; Rono, Hilary; Palmer, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Although the consequences of disability are magnified in humanitarian contexts, research into the difficulties of caring for children with a disability in such settings has received limited attention. Based on in-depth interviews with 31 families, key informants and focus group discussions in Turkana, Kenya, this article explores the lives of families caring for children with a range of impairments (hearing, vision, physical and intellectual) in a complex humanitarian context characterised by drought, flooding, armed conflict, poverty and historical marginalisation. The challenging environmental and social conditions of Turkana magnified not only the impact of impairment on children, but also the burden of caregiving. The remoteness of Turkana, along with the paucity and fragmentation of health, rehabilitation and social services, posed major challenges and created opportunity costs for families. Disability-related stigma isolated mothers of children with disabilities, especially, increasing their burden of care and further limiting their access to services and humanitarian programmes. In a context where social systems are already stressed, the combination of these factors compounded the vulnerabilities faced by children with disabilities and their families. The needs of children with disabilities and their carers in Turkana are not being met by either community social support systems or humanitarian aid programmes. There is an urgent need to mainstream disability into Turkana services and programmes.

  2. Next Steps Toward Understanding Human Habitation of Space: Environmental Impacts and Mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globus, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    factor alone implying at least some shared underlying mechanisms. Thus, both ground based and spaceflight research utilizing model organisms provide the opportunity to better understand environmental factors and biological mechanisms that contribute to human health and survival in space.

  3. Carbon-water Cycling in the Critical Zone: Understanding Ecosystem Process Variability Across Complex Terrain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnard, Holly [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Brooks, Paul [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2016-06-16

    One of the largest knowledge gaps in environmental science is the ability to understand and predict how ecosystems will respond to future climate variability. The links between vegetation, hydrology, and climate that control carbon sequestration in plant biomass and soils remain poorly understood. Soil respiration is the second largest carbon flux of terrestrial ecosystems, yet there is no consensus on how respiration will change as water availability and temperature co-vary. To address this knowledge gap, we use the variation in soil development and topography across an elevation and climate gradient on the Front Range of Colorado to conduct a natural experiment that enables us to examine the co-evolution of soil carbon, vegetation, hydrology, and climate in an accessible field laboratory. The goal of this project is to further our ability to combine plant water availability, carbon flux and storage, and topographically driven hydrometrics into a watershed scale predictive model of carbon balance. We hypothesize: (i) landscape structure and hydrology are important controls on soil respiration as a result of spatial variability in both physical and biological drivers: (ii) variation in rates of soil respiration during the growing season is due to corresponding shifts in belowground carbon inputs from vegetation; and (iii) aboveground carbon storage (biomass) and species composition are directly correlated with soil moisture and therefore, can be directly related to subsurface drainage patterns.

  4. Studying the complexity of change: toward an analytical framework for understanding deliberate social-ecological transformations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele-Lee Moore

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Faced with numerous seemingly intractable social and environmental challenges, many scholars and practitioners are increasingly interested in understanding how to actively engage and transform the existing systems holding such problems in place. Although a variety of analytical models have emerged in recent years, most emphasize either the social or ecological elements of such transformations rather than their coupled nature. To address this, first we have presented a definition of the core elements of a social-ecological system (SES that could potentially be altered in a transformation. Second, we drew on insights about transformation from three branches of literature focused on radical change, i.e., social movements, socio-technical transitions, and social innovation, and gave consideration to the similarities and differences with the current studies by resilience scholars. Drawing on these findings, we have proposed a framework that outlines the process and phases of transformative change in an SES. Future research will be able to utilize the framework as a tool for analyzing the alteration of social-ecological feedbacks, identifying critical barriers and leverage points and assessing the outcome of social-ecological transformations.

  5. Examining complexity across domains: relating subjective and objective measures of affective environmental scenes, paintings and music.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuela M Marin

    Full Text Available Subjective complexity has been found to be related to hedonic measures of preference, pleasantness and beauty, but there is no consensus about the nature of this relationship in the visual and musical domains. Moreover, the affective content of stimuli has been largely neglected so far in the study of complexity but is crucial in many everyday contexts and in aesthetic experiences. We thus propose a cross-domain approach that acknowledges the multidimensional nature of complexity and that uses a wide range of objective complexity measures combined with subjective ratings. In four experiments, we employed pictures of affective environmental scenes, representational paintings, and Romantic solo and chamber music excerpts. Stimuli were pre-selected to vary in emotional content (pleasantness and arousal and complexity (low versus high number of elements. For each set of stimuli, in a between-subjects design, ratings of familiarity, complexity, pleasantness and arousal were obtained for a presentation time of 25 s from 152 participants. In line with Berlyne's collative-motivation model, statistical analyses controlling for familiarity revealed a positive relationship between subjective complexity and arousal, and the highest correlations were observed for musical stimuli. Evidence for a mediating role of arousal in the complexity-pleasantness relationship was demonstrated in all experiments, but was only significant for females with regard to music. The direction and strength of the linear relationship between complexity and pleasantness depended on the stimulus type and gender. For environmental scenes, the root mean square contrast measures and measures of compressed file size correlated best with subjective complexity, whereas only edge detection based on phase congruency yielded equivalent results for representational paintings. Measures of compressed file size and event density also showed positive correlations with complexity and arousal in

  6. Examining complexity across domains: relating subjective and objective measures of affective environmental scenes, paintings and music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Manuela M; Leder, Helmut

    2013-01-01

    Subjective complexity has been found to be related to hedonic measures of preference, pleasantness and beauty, but there is no consensus about the nature of this relationship in the visual and musical domains. Moreover, the affective content of stimuli has been largely neglected so far in the study of complexity but is crucial in many everyday contexts and in aesthetic experiences. We thus propose a cross-domain approach that acknowledges the multidimensional nature of complexity and that uses a wide range of objective complexity measures combined with subjective ratings. In four experiments, we employed pictures of affective environmental scenes, representational paintings, and Romantic solo and chamber music excerpts. Stimuli were pre-selected to vary in emotional content (pleasantness and arousal) and complexity (low versus high number of elements). For each set of stimuli, in a between-subjects design, ratings of familiarity, complexity, pleasantness and arousal were obtained for a presentation time of 25 s from 152 participants. In line with Berlyne's collative-motivation model, statistical analyses controlling for familiarity revealed a positive relationship between subjective complexity and arousal, and the highest correlations were observed for musical stimuli. Evidence for a mediating role of arousal in the complexity-pleasantness relationship was demonstrated in all experiments, but was only significant for females with regard to music. The direction and strength of the linear relationship between complexity and pleasantness depended on the stimulus type and gender. For environmental scenes, the root mean square contrast measures and measures of compressed file size correlated best with subjective complexity, whereas only edge detection based on phase congruency yielded equivalent results for representational paintings. Measures of compressed file size and event density also showed positive correlations with complexity and arousal in music, which is

  7. High School Students' Understanding of Change over Time and System Complexity: A Focus on the Cryosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeal, K. S.; Libarkin, J.; Ledley, T. S.; Guthrie, C.

    2010-12-01

    Most students have difficulty articulating processes that are key for Earth’s changes and may have limited ability to understand Earth system science and think across spatial and temporal dimensions. The cryosphere, a complex and dynamic Earth system that exhibits change over time (e.g., seasonal, yearly, decadal, and millennial), can be difficult for students to reason about. The presented research assesses the effectiveness of the project developed on-line modules on high school students’ cryosphere content knowledge and skill development, including their: (1) conceptual understanding of ice, thermodynamics, climate, changes in ice cover over time, Earth system interactions, and complexity, and (2) use and interpretation of data and graphs about the cryosphere. Pre- and post- student assessments, classroom observations, and teacher interviews were collected from four high school classrooms in Texas to determine the effectiveness of the Earthlabs cryosphere modules in reaching the specified learning goals. Preliminary analysis of pre-and post-test data revealed a number of interesting changes where students displayed an increase in their awareness of the cryosphere, increase in confidence about cryosphere knowledge, and an increase in their ability to read and interpret graphs. Furthermore, classroom observations made for 25 minutes during a class period illustrated that for over 84% of the class period the students were engaged with the Earthlabs materials and spent the majority (>50%) of their time either discussing (31%) or working on the on-line Earthlabs cryosphere materials (29%). Finally, forty-five minute individual telephone interviews conducted with the four implementing cryosphere teachers revealed that teachers overwhelmingly reflected that the materials supported students’ ability to learn about the (i) nature and importance of the cryosphere, (ii) manipulation, analysis, interpretation of data, (iii) physical changes over multiple time scales

  8. Understanding the Environmental and Climate Impacts of Biomass Burning in Northern Sub-Saharan Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichoku, Charles; Gatebe, Charles; Bolten, John; Policelli, Fritz; Habib, Shahid; Lee, Jejung; Wang, Jun; Wilcox, Eric; Adegoke, Jimmy

    2011-01-01

    The northern sub-Saharan African (NSSA) region, bounded on the north and south by the Sahara and the Equator, respectively, and stretching from the West to the East African coastlines, has one of the highest biomass-burning rates per unit land area among all regions of the world. Because of the high concentration and frequency of fires in this region, with the associated abundance of heat release and gaseous and particulate smoke emissions, biomass-burning activity is believed to be one of the drivers of the regional carbon and energy cycles, with serious implications for the water cycle. A new interdisciplinary research effort sponsored by NASA is presently being focused on the NSSA region, to better understand the possible connection between the intense biomass burning observed from satellite year after year across the region and the rapid depletion of the regional water resources, as exemplified by the dramatic drying of Lake Chad. A combination of remote sensing and modeling approaches is being utilized in investigating multiple regional surface, atmospheric, and water-cycle processes, and inferring possible links between them. In this presentation, we will discuss preliminary results as well as the path toward improved understanding'of the interrelationships and feedbacks between the biomass burning and the environmental change dynamics in the NSSA region.

  9. Transparency of Environmental Computer Models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, de M.G.; Top, J.L.; van Hage, W.R.; Schreiber, A.Th.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental computer models are considered essential tools in supporting environmental decision making, but their main value is that they allow a better understanding of our complex environment. Despite numerous attempts to promote good modelling practice, transparency of current environmental

  10. Understanding the Structure-Function Relationships of Dendrimers in Environmental and Biomedical Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo

    We are living an era wherein nanoparticles (NPs) have been widely applied in our lives. Dendrimers are special polymeric NPs with unique physiochemical properties, which have been intensely explored for a variety of applications. Current studies on dendrimers are bottlenecked by insufficient understandings of their structure and dynamic behaviors from a molecular level. With primarily computational approaches supplemented by many other experimental technics, this dissertation aims to establish structure-function relationships of dendrimers in environmental and biomedical applications. More specifically, it thoroughly investigates the interactions between dendrimers and different biomolecules including carbon-based NPs, metal-based NPs, and proteins/peptides. Those results not only provide profound knowledge for evaluating the impacts of dendrimers on environmental and biological systems but also facilitate designing next-generation functional polymeric nanomaterials. The dissertation is organized as following. Chapter 1 provides an overview of current progresses on dendrimer studies, where methodology of Discrete Molecular Dynamics (DMD), my major research tool, is also introduced. Two directions of utilizing dendrimers will be discussed in following chapters. Chapter 2 will focus on environmental applications of dendrimers, where two back-to-back studies are presented. I will start from describing some interesting observations from experiments i.e. dendrimers dispersed model oil molecules. Then, I will reveal why surface chemistries of dendrimers lead to different remediation efficiencies by computational modelings. Finally, I will demonstrate different scenarios of dendrimer-small molecules association. Chapter 3 is centered on dendrimers in the biomedical applications including two subtopics. In the first topic, we will discuss dendrimers as surfactants that modulating the interactions between proteins and NPs. Some fundamental concepts regarding to NPs

  11. Towards a Stochastic Predictive Understanding of Ecosystem Functioning and Resilience to Environmental Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, C.

    2017-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem processes respond differently to hydrometeorological variability across timescales, and so does our scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Process-based modeling of ecosystem functioning is therefore challenging, especially when long-term predictions are envisioned. Here we analyze the statistical properties of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability, i.e., the variability of ecosystem process related to vegetation carbon dynamics, from hourly to decadal timescales. 23 extra-tropical forest sites, covering different climatic zones and vegetation characteristics, are examined. Micrometeorological and reanalysis data of precipitation, air temperature, shortwave radiation and vapor pressure deficit are used to describe hydrometeorological variability. Ecosystem variability is quantified using long-term eddy covariance flux data of hourly net ecosystem exchange of CO2 between land surface and atmosphere, monthly remote sensing vegetation indices, annual tree-ring widths and above-ground biomass increment estimates. We find that across sites and timescales ecosystem variability is confined within a hydrometeorological envelope that describes the range of variability of the available resources, i.e., water and energy. Furthermore, ecosystem variability demonstrates long-term persistence, highlighting ecological memory and slow ecosystem recovery rates after disturbances. We derive an analytical model, combining deterministic harmonics and stochastic processes, that represents major mechanisms and uncertainties and mimics the observed pattern of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability. This stochastic framework offers a parsimonious and mathematically tractable approach for modelling ecosystem functioning and for understanding its response and resilience to environmental changes. Furthermore, this framework reflects well the observed ecological memory, an inherent property of ecosystem functioning that is currently not

  12. Toward a better understanding of the complex geochemical processes governing subsurface contaminant transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puls, R.W.

    1990-01-01

    Identification and understanding of the geochemical processes, including ion exchange, precipitation, organic partitioning, chemisorption, aqueous complexation, and colloidal stability and transport, controlling subsurface contamination is essential for making accurate predictions of the fate and transport of these constituents. Current approaches to quantify the effect of these processes primarily involve laboratory techniques, including the use of closed static systems (batch experiments) where small amounts of aquifer solids or minerals are contacted with an aqueous phase containing the components of interest for relatively short durations; and dynamic systems (column experiments) where a larger segment of the aquifer is investigated by analyzing the breakthrough profiles of reactive and non-reactive species. Both approaches are constrained by differences in scale, alteration of media during sample collection and use, and spatial variability. More field reactivity studies are needed to complement established laboratory approaches for the determination of retardation factors and scaling factors, corroboration of batch and column results, and validation of sampling techniques. These studies also serve to accentuate areas of geochemical process research where data deficiencies exist, such as the kinetics of adsorption-desorption, metal-organic-mineral interactions, and colloidal mobility. The advantages and disadvantages of the above approaches are discussed in the context of achieving a more completely integrated approach to geochemical transport experiments, with supportive data presented from selected studies. (Author) (16 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.)

  13. Understanding Epistatic Interactions between Genes Targeted by Non-coding Regulatory Elements in Complex Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Kyung Sung

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Genome-wide association studies have proven the highly polygenic architecture of complex diseases or traits; therefore, single-locus-based methods are usually unable to detect all involved loci, especially when individual loci exert small effects. Moreover, the majority of associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms resides in non-coding regions, making it difficult to understand their phenotypic contribution. In this work, we studied epistatic interactions associated with three common diseases using Korea Association Resource (KARE data: type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM, hypertension (HT, and coronary artery disease (CAD. We showed that epistatic single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were enriched in enhancers, as well as in DNase I footprints (the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements [ENCODE] Project Consortium 2012, which suggested that the disruption of the regulatory regions where transcription factors bind may be involved in the disease mechanism. Accordingly, to identify the genes affected by the SNPs, we employed whole-genome multiple-cell-type enhancer data which discovered using DNase I profiles and Cap Analysis Gene Expression (CAGE. Assigned genes were significantly enriched in known disease associated gene sets, which were explored based on the literature, suggesting that this approach is useful for detecting relevant affected genes. In our knowledge-based epistatic network, the three diseases share many associated genes and are also closely related with each other through many epistatic interactions. These findings elucidate the genetic basis of the close relationship between DM, HT, and CAD.

  14. Complexities in Understanding Attentional Functioning among Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly eLane

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Parental reports of attention problems and clinical symptomatology of ADHD among children with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD were assessed in relation to performance on standardized subtests of attantional control/shifting and selective attention from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch; Manly et al., 1998. The participants included 14 children with FASD with a mean CA of 11.7 years and a mean MA of 9.7 years, and 14 typically developing (TD children with no reported history of prenatal exposure to alcohol or attention problems with a mean CA of 8.4 years and a mean MA of 9.6 years. The children with FASD were rated by their caregivers as having clinically significant attention difficulties for their developmental age. The reported symptomatology for the majority of the children with FASD were consistent with a diagnosis of ADHD, combined type, and only one child had a score within the average range. These reports are consistent with the finding here that the children with FASD demonstrated difficulties on the Creature Counting subtest of attentional control/shifting, but inconsistent with the finding that they outperformed the TD children on the Map Mission subtest of selective attention. These findings are considered within the context of the complexity in understanding attentional functioning among children with FASD and discrepancies across sources of information and components of attention.

  15. Understanding Immune Resistance to Infectious Bronchitis Using Major Histocompatibility Complex Chicken Lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, A P; Hauck, R; Zhou, H; Gallardo, R A

    2017-09-01

    Genetic resistance or susceptibility to infectious diseases has been largely associated with the avian major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes. Our goal was to determine resistance and susceptibility of MHC B haplotype in congenic and inbred chicken lines in order to establish a resistant-susceptible model. Eight congenic lines (253/B18, 254/B15, 330/B21, 312/B24, 331/B2, 335/B19, 336/B21, and 342/BO), two inbred lines (003/B17 and 077/B19), and three commercial lines (white leghorn, brown layers, and broilers) were used in two experiments. We analyzed and compared immunologic responses and the effect of challenge by measuring viral load, IgG and IgA humoral responses, histopathology and histomorphometry, clinical signs, and immune cell populations in the different MHC B haplotype lines. We found that respiratory signs, tracheal deciliation and inflammation, airsacculitis, viral shedding in tears, and local humoral responses were good parameters to determine resistance or susceptibility. Based on these results, we identified 331/B2 as the most resistant and 335/B19 as the most susceptible congenic chicken lines. These two lines will be used as an animal model in subsequent experiments to understand the mechanisms by which the immune system in chickens generates resistance to infectious bronchitis virus.

  16. Expert views on scientific policy advice on complex environmental health issues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spruijt, P.

    2016-01-01

    Fact-based policies grounded in solid uncontested scientific evidence: this may sound as the ideal relation between science and policy. However, this ideal rarely holds for complex environmental health risks. When scientific knowledge is contested or incomplete, scientists can take different roles

  17. Childhood disability in Turkana, Kenya: Understanding how carers cope in a complex humanitarian setting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Zuurmond

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Although the consequences of disability are magnified in humanitarian contexts, research into the difficulties of caring for children with a disability in such settings has received limited attention.Methods: Based on in-depth interviews with 31 families, key informants and focus group discussions in Turkana, Kenya, this article explores the lives of families caring for children with a range of impairments (hearing, vision, physical and intellectual in a complex humanitarian context characterised by drought, flooding, armed conflict, poverty and historical marginalisation.Results: The challenging environmental and social conditions of Turkana magnified not only the impact of impairment on children, but also the burden of caregiving. The remoteness of Turkana, along with the paucity and fragmentation of health, rehabilitation and social services, posed major challenges and created opportunity costs for families. Disability-related stigma isolated mothers of children with disabilities, especially, increasing their burden of care and further limiting their access to services and humanitarian programmes. In a context where social systems are already stressed, the combination of these factors compounded the vulnerabilities faced by children with disabilities and their families.Conclusion: The needs of children with disabilities and their carers in Turkana are not being met by either community social support systems or humanitarian aid programmes. There is an urgent need to mainstream disability into Turkana services and programmes.

  18. Collaborative Research. Damage and Burst Dynamics in Failure of Complex Geomaterials. A Statistical Physics Approach to Understanding the Complex Emergent Dynamics in Near Mean-Field Geological Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rundle, John B. [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States); Klein, William [Boston Univ., MA (United States)

    2015-09-29

    We have carried out research to determine the dynamics of failure in complex geomaterials, specifically focusing on the role of defects, damage and asperities in the catastrophic failure processes (now popularly termed “Black Swan events”). We have examined fracture branching and flow processes using models for invasion percolation, focusing particularly on the dynamics of bursts in the branching process. We have achieved a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of nucleation in complex geomaterials, specifically in the presence of inhomogeneous structures.

  19. ENVIROSUITE: USING STATE-OF-THE-ART SYNCHROTRON TECHNIQUES TO UNDERSTAND ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION SCIENCE ISSUES AT THE MOLECULAR LEVEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    FITTS, J.P.; KALB, P.D.; FRANCIS, A.J.; FUHRMANN, M.; DODGE, C.J.; GILLOW, J.B.

    2004-01-01

    Although DOE's Environmental Management program has made steady progress in cleaning up environmental legacies throughout the DOE complex, there are still significant remediation issues that remain to be solved. For example, DOE faces difficult challenges related to potential mobilization of radionuclides (e.g., actinides) and other hazardous contaminants in soils, removal and final treatment of high-level waste and residuals from leaking tanks, and the long-term stewardship of remediated sites and engineered disposal facilities, to name just a few. In some cases, new technologies and technology applications will be required based on current engineering expertise. In others, however, basic scientific research is needed to understand the mechanisms of how contaminants behave under specific conditions and how they interact with the environment, from which new engineering solutions can emerge. At Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Stony Brook University, scientists have teamed to use state-of-the-art synchrotron techniques to help understand the basic interactions of contaminants in the environment. Much of this work is conducted at the BNL National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which is a user facility that provides high energy X-ray and ultraviolet photon beams to facilitate the examination of contaminants and materials at the molecular level. These studies allow us to determine how chemical speciation and structure control important parameters such as solubility, which in turn drive critical performance characteristics such as leaching. In one study for example, we are examining the effects of microbial activity on actinide contaminants under conditions anticipated at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. One possible outcome of this research is the identification of specific microbes that can trap uranium or other contaminants within the intracellular structure and help mitigate mobility. In another study, we are exploring the interaction of contaminants with

  20. The Impact of Environmental Complexity and Team Training on Team Processes and Performance in Multi-Team Environments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cobb, Marshall

    1999-01-01

    This study examined how manipulating the level of environmental complexity and the type of team training given to subject volunteers impacted important team process behaviors and performance outcomes...

  1. The dichotomy between disease phenotype databases and the implications for understanding complex diseases involving the major histocompatibility complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P M; Kunkel, M; Monos, D S

    2015-12-01

    Many genes related to innate and adaptive immunity reside within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and have been associated with a multitude of complex, immune-related disorders. Despite years of genetic study, this region has seen few causative determinants discovered for immune-mediated diseases. Reported associations have been curated in various databases including the Genetic Association Database, NCBI database of clinically relevant variants (ClinVar) and the Human Gene Mutation Database and together capture genetic associations and annotated pathogenic loci within the MHC and across the genome for a variety of complex, immune-mediated diseases. A review of these three distinct databases reveals disparate annotations between associated genes and pathogenic loci, alluding to the polygenic, multifactorial nature of immune-mediated diseases and the pleiotropic character of genes within the MHC. The technical limitations and inherent biases imposed by current approaches and technologies in studying the MHC create a strong case for the need to perform targeted deep sequencing of the MHC and other immunologically relevant loci in order to fully elucidate and study the causative elements of complex immune-mediated diseases. © 2015 The Authors. International Journal of Immunogenetics Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Effects of presentation duration on measures of complexity in affective environmental scenes and representational paintings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Manuela M; Leder, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    Complexity constitutes an integral part of humans' environment and is inherent to information processing. However, little is known about the dynamics of visual complexity perception of affective environmental scenes (IAPS pictures) and artworks, such as affective representational paintings. In three experiments, we studied the time course of visual complexity perception by varying presentation duration and comparing subjective ratings with objective measures of complexity. In Experiment 1, 60 females rated 96 IAPS pictures, presented either for 1, 5, or 25s, for familiarity, complexity, pleasantness and arousal. In Experiment 2, another 60 females rated 96 representational paintings. Mean ratings of complexity and pleasantness changed according to presentation duration in a similar vein in both experiments, suggesting an inverted U-shape. No common pattern of results was observed for arousal and familiarity ratings across the two picture sets. The correlations between subjective and objective measures of complexity increased with longer exposure durations for IAPS pictures, but results were more ambiguous for paintings. Experiment 3 explored the time course of the multidimensionality of visual complexity perception. Another 109 females rated the number of objects, their disorganization and the differentiation between a figure-ground vs. complex scene composition of pictures presented for 1 and 5s. The multidimensionality of visual complexity only clearly emerged in the 5-s condition. In both picture sets, the strength of the correlations with objective measures depended on the type of subdimension of complexity and was less affected by presentation duration than correlations with general complexity in Experiments 1 and 2. These results have clear implications for perceptual and cognitive theories, especially for those of esthetic experiences, in which the dynamical changes of complexity perception need to be integrated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights

  3. Understanding environmental and climatic influences on regional differences and spatio-temporalscale issues of dengue fever transmission in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serman, E. A.; Akanda, A. S. S.; Ginsberg, H. S.; Couret, J.

    2015-12-01

    Each year, there are an estimated 50-100 million cases of dengue fever worldwide, roughly 30 times the number of cases as 50 years ago, with some estimates even higher. Puerto Rico (PR) has experienced epidemic dengue activity since 1963, and the disease is currently endemic. Since 1990 there have been 4 large epidemics, the most recent in 2010 where there were nearly 27,000 cases reported, amounting to almost 1% of the island's total population. Because no vaccine is currently available, effective control is dependent on our ability to understand the complex relationship between environmental factors, mosquito vector ecology, and disease epidemiology. Dengue virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, as humans are the preferred host for Ae. aegypti. The purpose of our analysis is to assess temporal and spatial patterns of dengue transmission in PR and relate this to both climatic and anthropogenic factors. Unlike past studies, which have used San Juan to represent the island as a whole, our research will investigate regional dynamics in dengue transmission, as preliminary results have shown significant differences in population density, disease incidence, and environmental and climatic variables. Data from the Passive Dengue Surveillance System of CDC, meteorological observations from NCDC, and remote sensing data from USGS and NASA will be used together to identify relationships between climate, urbanization, and dengue incidence for PR at various spatial and temporal scales. Preliminary climatic factors considered include precipitation, temperature, humidity, and soil moisture. Finally, we will assess measures of urbanization such as land cover, land use, population density, and infrastructure that can make regional differences in dengue incidence each year. Results from this study could help create early warning systems for dengue surveillance in Puerto Rico, and develop techniques that can be applied to other areas of the world.

  4. How innovative ICT tools can enhance understanding of interactions between societal, hydrological and environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foglia, L.; Borsi, I.; Cannata, M.; De Filippis, G.; Criollo, R.; Mehl, S.; Rossetto, R.

    2017-12-01

    The interaction of environmental, physical, and socioeconomic processes alter and are altered by water and by how human can affect water use. For example, a warming climate increases the chance of warm temperatures and lack of precipitation, and when combined with growing population requires understanding of impact on water resources and on all the processes related to the water budget including evapotranspiration. On this foundation, humans add engineered and social systems to control, manage, utilize, and alter our water environment for a variety of uses and through a variety of organizational and individual decisions. Some engineered systems have mixed consequences, for example groundwater helped sustain agriculture during drought periods, but then groundwater levels critically decrease with no chances to recover in some parts of the world. Innovative ICT tools have been demonstrated as a helpful tool for enhancing human understanding of the effect that societal, economical, and policy-based decisions have on the water resources and on the environment in general. Here we apply the new FREEWAT platform to demonstrate the importance of developing ad-hoc database and hydrological models to simulate different scenarios using a participatory approach. Stakeholders have been involved in data collection, database design and model development during the entire project period and discussion between researcher and stakeholders have been fostered during Focus Groups and workshops organized in many countries in Europe and beyond (including case studies in Ukraine and Africa). FREEWAT is an open source and public domain GIS integrated modelling environment for simulation of water quantity and quality in surface water and groundwater with an integrated water management and planning module. FREEWAT aims at promoting water resource management by simplifying the application of the Water Framework Directive and related Directives. Fourteen case studies have been considered and

  5. The Value of a Comparative Approach to Understand the Complex Interplay between Microbiota and Host Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morella, Norma M; Koskella, Britt

    2017-01-01

    The eukaryote immune system evolved and continues to evolve within a microbial world, and as such is critically shaped by-and in some cases even reliant upon-the presence of host-associated microbial species. There are clear examples of adaptations that allow the host to simultaneously tolerate and/or promote growth of symbiotic microbiota while protecting itself against pathogens, but the relationship between immunity and the microbiome reaches far beyond simple recognition and includes complex cross talk between host and microbe as well as direct microbiome-mediated protection against pathogens. Here, we present a broad but brief overview of how the microbiome is controlled by and interacts with diverse immune systems, with the goal of identifying questions that can be better addressed by taking a comparative approach across plants and animals and different types of immunity. As two key examples of such an approach, we focus on data examining the importance of early exposure on microbiome tolerance and immune system development and function, and the importance of transmission among hosts in shaping the potential coevolution between, and long-term stability of, host-microbiome associations. Then, by comparing existing evidence across short-lived plants, mouse model systems and humans, and insects, we highlight areas of microbiome research that are strong in some systems and absent in others with the hope of guiding future research that will allow for broad-scale comparisons moving forward. We argue that such an approach will not only help with identification of generalities in host-microbiome-immune interactions but also improve our understanding of the role of the microbiome in host health.

  6. Raman analysis of DLC coated engine components with complex shape: Understanding wear mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaoul, C.; Jarry, O.; Tristant, P.; Merle-Mejean, T.; Colas, M.; Dublanche-Tixier, C.; Jacquet, J.-M.

    2009-01-01

    Hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) films were deposited on flat samples and engine components using an industrial scale reactor. Characterization of the coating allowed validating its application on engine parts due to high hardness (32 GPa) and high level of adhesion achieved using sublayers. The original approach of this work concerned the use of Raman analysis not only on flat samples after tribometer tests but also directly on coated engine parts with complex shape (like cam/follower system), in order to understand wear mechanisms occurring in motorsport engines. As wear could lead to a coating thickness decrease, a particular attention was paid on the Raman signal of the sublayers. Among the different values extracted from Raman spectrum to characterize structural organization, the value of G peak intensity appeared as a criterion of validity of analyses because it is directly linked to the remaining thickness of the a-C:H layer. For flat samples tested on ball-on-disc tribometer, structure of a-C:H film observed by Raman spectroscopy in the wear track remained stable in depth. Then, a-C:H coated engine components were studied before and after working in real conditions. Two different wear mechanisms were identified. The first one did not show any structural modification of the bulk a-C:H layer. In the second one, the high initial roughness of samples (R t = 1.15 μm) lead to coating delaminations after sliding. Massive graphitization which decreases drastically mechanical properties of the coatings was observed by Raman analyses on the contact area. The increase of the temperature on rough edges of the scratches could explain this graphitization.

  7. The Value of a Comparative Approach to Understand the Complex Interplay between Microbiota and Host Immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norma M. Morella

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The eukaryote immune system evolved and continues to evolve within a microbial world, and as such is critically shaped by—and in some cases even reliant upon—the presence of host-associated microbial species. There are clear examples of adaptations that allow the host to simultaneously tolerate and/or promote growth of symbiotic microbiota while protecting itself against pathogens, but the relationship between immunity and the microbiome reaches far beyond simple recognition and includes complex cross talk between host and microbe as well as direct microbiome-mediated protection against pathogens. Here, we present a broad but brief overview of how the microbiome is controlled by and interacts with diverse immune systems, with the goal of identifying questions that can be better addressed by taking a comparative approach across plants and animals and different types of immunity. As two key examples of such an approach, we focus on data examining the importance of early exposure on microbiome tolerance and immune system development and function, and the importance of transmission among hosts in shaping the potential coevolution between, and long-term stability of, host–microbiome associations. Then, by comparing existing evidence across short-lived plants, mouse model systems and humans, and insects, we highlight areas of microbiome research that are strong in some systems and absent in others with the hope of guiding future research that will allow for broad-scale comparisons moving forward. We argue that such an approach will not only help with identification of generalities in host–microbiome–immune interactions but also improve our understanding of the role of the microbiome in host health.

  8. Applying Within-Family Differences Approaches to Enhance Understanding of the Complexity of Intergenerational Relations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suitor, J Jill; Gilligan, Megan; Pillemer, Karl; Fingerman, Karen L; Kim, Kyungmin; Silverstein, Merril; Bengtson, Vern L

    2017-12-15

    The role of family relationships in the lives of older adults has received substantial attention in recent decades. Scholars have increasingly looked beyond simple models of family relations to approaches that recognize the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of these ties. One of the most exciting conceptual and methodological developments is the application of within-family differences approaches. In this paper, we focus on the ways in which such within-family approaches can extend the understanding of patterns and consequences of intergenerational ties in adulthood. Following a review of the conceptual underpinnings of within-family differences approaches, we provide empirical illustrations of these approaches from three projects conducted in the United States: the Family Exchanges Study (FES), the Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG), and the Within-Family Differences Study (WFDS). Analyses from the FES, LSOG, and WFDS reveal differences in the consequences of patterns of intergenerational relations found when using within-family compared to between-family approaches. In particular, these analyses demonstrate considerable variation within families that shapes patterns and consequences of parent-adult child ties that is masked when such variations are not taken into account. Within-family differences approaches have been shown to shed new light on intergenerational relations. Despite the value of within-family designs, their use may be limited by the higher investment of finances and time required to implement such studies. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Bringing content understanding into usability testing in complex application domains—a case study in eHealth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Simon Bruntse; Rasmussen, Claire Kirchert; Frøkjær, Erik

    2017-01-01

    A usability evaluation technique, Cooperative Usability Testing with Questions of Understanding (CUT with QU) intended to illuminate users’ ability to understand the content information of an application is proposed. In complex application domains as for instance the eHealth domain, this issue...... the participation of four physiotherapists and four clients in a period of 3.5 months, it was demonstrated how CUT with QU can complement conventional usability testing and provide insight into users’ challenges with understanding of a new complex eHealth application. More experiments in other complex application...... domains involving different kinds of users and evaluators are needed before we can tell whether CUT with QU is an effective usability testing technique of wider applicability. Performing CUT with QU is very demanding by drawing heavily on the evaluators’ ability to respond effectively to openings...

  10. Understanding and applying principles of social cognition and decision making in adaptive environmental governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental governance systems are under greater pressure to adapt and to cope with increased social and ecological uncertainty from stressors like climate change. We review principles of social cognition and decision making that shape and constrain how environmental governance...

  11. Environmental surveillance for the INEL radioactive waste management complex. Annual report, 1979

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wickham, L.E.; Janke, D.H.

    1980-12-01

    This document is the 1979 annual environmental surveillance report for the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Included are tabulated data from and discussions about routine radiological monitoring of atmospheric, hydrologic, geologic, and biotic environments of the RWMC. Also included are discussions of selected nonradiological pollutants (e.g., sodium, etc.). It is concluded that (a) RWMC operations have not adversely affected local, existing environments; (b) environmental conditions within the Transuranic Storage Area are not corrosive enough to adversely affect transuranic waste storage containers, and (c) the addition of lakebed soil to pit, trench, and soil test plot areas has altered the moisture cycle characteristic of RWMC soil

  12. Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Oil and Natural Gas Operations: Potential Environmental Contamination and Recommendations to Assess Complex Environmental Mixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassotis, Christopher D; Tillitt, Donald E; Lin, Chung-Ho; McElroy, Jane A; Nagel, Susan C

    2016-03-01

    Hydraulic fracturing technologies, developed over the last 65 years, have only recently been combined with horizontal drilling to unlock oil and gas reserves previously deemed inaccessible. Although these technologies have dramatically increased domestic oil and natural gas production, they have also raised concerns for the potential contamination of local water supplies with the approximately 1,000 chemicals that are used throughout the process, including many known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals. We discuss the need for an endocrine component to health assessments for drilling-dense regions in the context of hormonal and antihormonal activities for chemicals used. We discuss the literature on a) surface and groundwater contamination by oil and gas extraction operations, and b) potential human exposure, particularly in the context of the total hormonal and antihormonal activities present in surface and groundwater from natural and anthropogenic sources; we also discuss initial analytical results and critical knowledge gaps. In light of the potential for environmental release of oil and gas chemicals that can disrupt hormone receptor systems, we recommend methods for assessing complex hormonally active environmental mixtures. We describe a need for an endocrine-centric component for overall health assessments and provide information supporting the idea that using such a component will help explain reported adverse health trends as well as help develop recommendations for environmental impact assessments and monitoring programs.

  13. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and oil and natural gas operations: Potential environmental contamination and recommendations to assess complex environmental mixtures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassotis, Christopher D.; Tillitt, Donald E.; Lin, Chung-Ho; McElroy, Jane A.; Nagel, Susan C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Hydraulic fracturing technologies, developed over the last 65 years, have only recently been combined with horizontal drilling to unlock oil and gas reserves previously deemed inaccessible. While these technologies have dramatically increased domestic oil and natural gas production, they have also raised concerns for the potential contamination of local water supplies with the approximately 1,000 chemicals used throughout the process, including many known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals.Objectives: We discuss the need for an endocrine component to health assessments for drilling-dense regions in the context of hormonal and anti-hormonal activities for chemicals used.Methods: We discuss the literature on 1) surface and ground water contamination by oil and gas extraction operations, and 2) potential human exposure, particularly in context of the total hormonal and anti-hormonal activities present in surface and ground water from natural and anthropogenic sources, with initial analytical results and critical knowledge gaps discussed.Discussion: In light of the potential for environmental release of oil and gas chemicals that can disrupt hormone receptor systems, we recommend methods for assessing complex hormonally active environmental mixtures.Conclusions: We describe a need for an endocrine-centric component for overall health assessments and provide supporting information that using this may help explain reported adverse health trends as well as help develop recommendations for environmental impact assessments and monitoring programs.

  14. Health effects of environmental pollution in population living near industrial complex areas in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang-Yong Eom

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Several epidemiological studies have reported an association between environmental pollution and various health conditions in individuals residing in industrial complexes. To evaluate the effects of pollution from industrial complex on human health, we performed a pooled analysis of environmental epidemiologic monitoring data for residents living near national industrial complexes in Korea. The respiratory and allergic symptoms and the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases, including cancer, were used as the outcome variables for health effects. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the relationship between exposure to pollution from industrial complexes and health conditions. After adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, occupational exposure, level of education, and body mass index, the residents near the industrial complexes were found to have more respiratory symptoms, such as cough (odds ratio [OR], 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06 to 1.31 and sputum production (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.24, and symptoms of atopic dermatitis (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.20. Among residents of the industrial complexes, the prevalence of acute eye disorders was approximately 40% higher (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.84 and the prevalence of lung and uterine cancer was 3.45 times and 1.88 times higher, respectively, than those among residents of the control area. This study showed that residents living in the vicinity of industrial complexes have a high risk of acute and chronic diseases including respiratory and allergic conditions. These results can be used as basic objective data for developing health management measures for individuals residing near industrial complexes.

  15. Health effects of environmental pollution in population living near industrial complex areas in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eom, Sang-Yong; Choi, Jonghyuk; Bae, Sanghyuk; Lim, Ji-Ae; Kim, Guen-Bae; Yu, Seung-Do; Kim, Yangho; Lim, Hyun-Sul; Son, Bu-Soon; Paek, Domyung; Kim, Yong-Dae; Kim, Heon; Ha, Mina; Kwon, Ho-Jang

    2018-01-01

    Several epidemiological studies have reported an association between environmental pollution and various health conditions in individuals residing in industrial complexes. To evaluate the effects of pollution from industrial complex on human health, we performed a pooled analysis of environmental epidemiologic monitoring data for residents living near national industrial complexes in Korea. The respiratory and allergic symptoms and the prevalence of acute and chronic diseases, including cancer, were used as the outcome variables for health effects. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to analyze the relationship between exposure to pollution from industrial complexes and health conditions. After adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, occupational exposure, level of education, and body mass index, the residents near the industrial complexes were found to have more respiratory symptoms, such as cough (odds ratio [OR], 1.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06 to 1.31) and sputum production (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.24), and symptoms of atopic dermatitis (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.20). Among residents of the industrial complexes, the prevalence of acute eye disorders was approximately 40% higher (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.84) and the prevalence of lung and uterine cancer was 3.45 times and 1.88 times higher, respectively, than those among residents of the control area. This study showed that residents living in the vicinity of industrial complexes have a high risk of acute and chronic diseases including respiratory and allergic conditions. These results can be used as basic objective data for developing health management measures for individuals residing near industrial complexes.

  16. The animal sensorimotor organization: a challenge for the environmental complexity thesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keijzer, Fred; Arnellos, Argyris

    2017-01-01

    Godfrey-Smith's environmental complexity thesis (ECT) is most often applied to multicellular animals and the complexity of their macroscopic environments to explain how cognition evolved. We think that the ECT may be less suited to explain the origins of the animal bodily organization, including this organization's potentiality for dealing with complex macroscopic environments. We argue that acquiring the fundamental sensorimotor features of the animal body may be better explained as a consequence of dealing with internal bodily-rather than environmental complexity. To press and elucidate this option, we develop the notion of an animal sensorimotor organization (ASMO) that derives from an internal coordination account for the evolution of early nervous systems. The ASMO notion is a reply to the question how a collection of single cells can become integrated such that the resulting multicellular organization becomes sensitive to and can manipulate macroscopic features of both the animal body and its environment. In this account, epithelial contractile tissues play the central role in the organization behind complex animal bodies. In this paper, we relate the ASMO concept to recent work on epithelia, which provides empirical evidence that supports central assumptions behind the ASMO notion. Second, we discuss to what extent the notion applies to basic animal architectures, exemplified by sponges and jellyfish. We conclude that the features exhibited by the ASMO are plausibly explained by internal constraints acting on and within this multicellular organization, providing a challenge for the role the ECT plays in this context.

  17. Energy and complex industrial systems environmental emissions data reporting and acquisition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moskowitz, P.D.; Hamilton, L.D.

    1987-07-01

    The Joint International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UNEP and WHO Project on Assessing and Managing Health and Environmental risks from Energy and Other Complex Technologies intends to complile emissions data for mportant energy systems and other complex technologies from a wide variety of countries. To facilitate data generation and compilation, this report: outlines data reporting protocols; identifies potential information sources; demonstrates how to estimate coefficients; presents some compiled US emission coefficients or criteria air pollutants for some energy process; and, compares national air emission standards for electricity generating plants in OECD member countries. 27 refs., 2 fis., 1 tabs

  18. Understanding Adult Learning in the Midst of Complex Social "Liquid Modernity"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaides, Aliki; Marsick, Victoria J.

    2016-01-01

    This chapter describes the changing nature of adult education theory and practice in the face of complex, disruptive change and explores theories that are suited to tectonic shifts in a period of what we describe as "liquid modernity" in the midst of complex sociocultural-economic-political change in a global environment.

  19. Understanding IS Complexity and the Heterogeneity of Frames: The Illusion of Agreement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jochemsen, E.J.; Rezazade Mehrizi, M.H.; van den Hooff, B.J.; Plomp, M.G.A.

    2016-01-01

    Organizations are confronted with increasing levels of IS complexity. The socio-technical nature of IS implies that IS complexity stems from not only the structure of technology (e.g., how many elements and relations), but also from the subjective perceptions organizational actors have regarding

  20. Understanding complex governance relationships in food safety regulation : The RIT model as a theoretical lens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Havinga, Tetty; Verbruggen, Paul

    In this contribution we discuss the added value of the RIT model for the analysis of complex governance relationships in the regulation of food safety. By exploring regimes of food safety involving the European Union and the Global Food Safety Initiative, we highlight the diverse and complex

  1. Chaos in Computing the Environmental Interface Temperature: Nonlinear Dynamic and Complexity Analysis of Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mimić, Gordan; Mihailović, Dragutin T.; Budinčević, Mirko

    2013-10-01

    In this paper, we consider an environmental interface as a complex system, in which difference equations for calculating the environmental interface temperature and deeper soil layer temperature are represented by the coupled maps. First equation has its background in the energy balance equation while the second one in the prognostic equation for deeper soil layer temperature, commonly used in land surface parametrization schemes. Nonlinear dynamical consideration of this coupled system includes: (i) examination of period one fixed point and (ii) bifurcation analysis. Focusing part of analysis is calculation of the Lyapunov exponent for a specific range of values of system parameters and discussion about domain of stability for this coupled system. Finally, we calculate Kolmogorov complexity of time series generated from the coupled system.

  2. Understanding the Underground Hydrous Minerals on Mars: Stability Field, Phase Transitions, and Environmental Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, A.; Chou, I. M.; Ling, Z.; Sobron, P.

    2017-12-01

    Three types of studies form the bases of our understandings: (1) systematic laboratory experiments on the thermodynamics and kinetic properties of hydrous (Mg, Fe2+, Fe3+, Ca, Al, Na) -sulfates, -chlorides, and -perchlorates, made by this and many other teams. (2) the thermal modeling of two-layer regolith with very different thermal inertia (TI) and its validating observation on Mars [Mellon et al., 2004, 2009]. (3) the mission observations on Mars and the field investigations at analog sites. Following are some examples of these understandings, with more to be presented at AGU. Hydrous salts (sulfates, chlorides, perchlorates) in an enclosure could keep a relatively stable RH%, i.e., they are environmental RH buffers. Underground layers of hydrous salty soils (high TI) on Mars could be considered as a quasi-closed system, equilibrated within their environments. The RH% range kept by them would help to stabilize many hydrous salts. For example, Mg- & Fe3+-sulfates with high hydration degrees (6-20 H2O) were observed in the subsurface layers in a terrestrial hyperarid region and at Gusev on Mars. A general trend was found that the RH% levels kept by hydrous sulfates in an enclosure are much higher than those by hydrous perchlorates and by hydrous chlorides. This implies that in an underground layer of mixed hydrous salts, one type of salts (e.g. sulfates) can provide the necessary RH-buffering for the phase transition of other types,, e.g., the deliquescence of perchlorates or chlorides, to trigger RSL or to provide liquid H2O at relatively warm T. The dehydration rates of hydrous sulfates have a high dependence on cation types. Among them, Mg and Fe2+-sulfate have higher dehydration rates, and ferric sulfates dehydrate much slow. This lab-observation was validated by MER mission observation, i.e., the finding of highly hydrated ferric sulfates, i.e. Fe4.67(SO4)6(OH)2.20H2O, in subsurface at Gusev crater. However, the dehydration rate of hydrous sulfates can also

  3. Understanding the Complexity of Temperature Dynamics in Xinjiang, China, from Multitemporal Scale and Spatial Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianhua Xu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on the observed data from 51 meteorological stations during the period from 1958 to 2012 in Xinjiang, China, we investigated the complexity of temperature dynamics from the temporal and spatial perspectives by using a comprehensive approach including the correlation dimension (CD, classical statistics, and geostatistics. The main conclusions are as follows (1 The integer CD values indicate that the temperature dynamics are a complex and chaotic system, which is sensitive to the initial conditions. (2 The complexity of temperature dynamics decreases along with the increase of temporal scale. To describe the temperature dynamics, at least 3 independent variables are needed at daily scale, whereas at least 2 independent variables are needed at monthly, seasonal, and annual scales. (3 The spatial patterns of CD values at different temporal scales indicate that the complex temperature dynamics are derived from the complex landform.

  4. Understanding complex clinical reasoning in infectious diseases for improving clinical decision support design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Roosan; Weir, Charlene R; Jones, Makoto; Del Fiol, Guilherme; Samore, Matthew H

    2015-11-30

    Clinical experts' cognitive mechanisms for managing complexity have implications for the design of future innovative healthcare systems. The purpose of the study is to examine the constituents of decision complexity and explore the cognitive strategies clinicians use to control and adapt to their information environment. We used Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) methods to interview 10 Infectious Disease (ID) experts at the University of Utah and Salt Lake City Veterans Administration Medical Center. Participants were asked to recall a complex, critical and vivid antibiotic-prescribing incident using the Critical Decision Method (CDM), a type of Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA). Using the four iterations of the Critical Decision Method, questions were posed to fully explore the incident, focusing in depth on the clinical components underlying the complexity. Probes were included to assess cognitive and decision strategies used by participants. The following three themes emerged as the constituents of decision complexity experienced by the Infectious Diseases experts: 1) the overall clinical picture does not match the pattern, 2) a lack of comprehension of the situation and 3) dealing with social and emotional pressures such as fear and anxiety. All these factors contribute to decision complexity. These factors almost always occurred together, creating unexpected events and uncertainty in clinical reasoning. Five themes emerged in the analyses of how experts deal with the complexity. Expert clinicians frequently used 1) watchful waiting instead of over- prescribing antibiotics, engaged in 2) theory of mind to project and simulate other practitioners' perspectives, reduced very complex cases into simple 3) heuristics, employed 4) anticipatory thinking to plan and re-plan events and consulted with peers to share knowledge, solicit opinions and 5) seek help on patient cases. The cognitive strategies to deal with decision complexity found in this study have important

  5. Department of Energy environmental management complex-wide integration using systems engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fairbourn, P.

    1997-10-01

    A systems engineering approach was successfully used to recommend changes to environmental management activities across the DOE Complex. A team of technical experts and systems engineers developed alternatives that could save tax payers billions of dollars if the barriers are removed to allow complete implementation. The alternatives are technically-based and defensible, and are being worked through the stakeholder review process. The integration process and implementing project structure are both discussed.

  6. Environmental Fate of a Complex Mixture, Creosote, in Two Species of Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-04-01

    present results demonstrate the potential usefulness of isolated fish hepatocytes as an alternative to live animals in studies of aquatic toxicology . Accesion...to live animals in studies of aquatic toxicology . 8 INTRODUCTION Creosote is a complex mixture of mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds and is used...J.M.J., (1982) Use of aquatic toxicology and quantitative chemistry to estimate environmental deactivation of marine- grade creosote in seawater

  7. Department of Energy environmental management complex-wide integration using systems engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fairbourn, P.

    1997-01-01

    A systems engineering approach was successfully used to recommend changes to environmental management activities across the DOE Complex. A team of technical experts and systems engineers developed alternatives that could save tax payers billions of dollars if the barriers are removed to allow complete implementation. The alternatives are technically-based and defensible, and are being worked through the stakeholder review process. The integration process and implementing project structure are both discussed

  8. Using environmental tracers in modeling flow in a complex shallow aquifer system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Troldborg, Lars; Jensen, Karsten Høgh; Engesgaard, Peter Knudegaard

    2008-01-01

    was developed. Using a groundwater model and particle tracking we modeled age distributions at screen locations. By enveloping modeled age distributions and estimated recharge concentrations, environmental tracer breakthroughs were simulated for specific screens. Simulated age distributions are of irregular...... of traditional approaches. Accordingly, constraining flow models by "age observations" may lead to misrepresentations that are biased depending on sampling time. If environmental tracers are used directly in terms of concentrations instead of ages, spatial as well as temporal variations become useful......Using environmental tracers in groundwater dating partly relies on the assumption that groundwater age distribution can be described analytically. To investigate the applicability of age dating in complex multiaquifer systems, a methodology for simulating well specific groundwater age distribution...

  9. The Understanding of "Concept Study" in Teachers' Professional Learning: A Lived Experience of Complexity Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiong

    2015-01-01

    This paper used narrative to present the author's understanding process of "concept study" in teachers' professional learning. The understanding process was advanced by several questions emerging from the preparation of doing "concept study". Thus, the several questions and their solutions became the threads of the narrative.…

  10. Complex contexts and dynamic drivers: Understanding four decades of forest loss and recovery in an East African protected area

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sassen, M.; Sheil, D.; Giller, K.E.; Braak, ter C.J.F.

    2013-01-01

    Protected forests are sometimes encroached by surrounding communities. But patterns of cover change can vary even within one given setting – understanding these complexities can offer insights into the effective maintenance of forest cover. Using satellite image analyses together with historical

  11. On understanding creative language : The late positive complex and novel metaphor comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rataj, Karolina; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; van der Lubbe, Rob H.J.

    2018-01-01

    Novel metaphoric sentences have repeatedly evoked larger N400 amplitudes than literal sentences, while investigations of the late positive complex (LPC) have brought inconsistent results, with reports of both increased and reduced amplitudes. In two experiments, we examined novel metaphor

  12. Understanding the Fatigue Behavior of FML Structures and Materials under Complex Variable Amplitude Loading

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alderdiesten, R.; Benedictus, R.; Khan, S.

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents various failure mechanisms in FMLs, highlights the presence or absence of interaction effects, and describes how the failure mechanisms can be described for predicting damage growth under arbitrary complex load spectra.

  13. Understanding and Mitigating the Charging Behavior of Next Generation Complex and Active Spacecraft

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Spacecraft that are fundamentally more complex and higher powered are necessary to expand our scientific missions and take commercial space endeavors to the next...

  14. X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Identifies Calcium-Uranyl-Carbonate Complexes at Environmental Concentrations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelly, Shelly D.; Kemner, Kenneth M.; Brooks, Scott C.

    2007-01-01

    Current research on bioremediation of uranium-contaminated groundwater focuses on supplying indigenous metal-reducing bacteria with the appropriate metabolic requirements to induce microbiological reduction of soluble uranium(VI) to poorly soluble uranium(IV). Recent studies of uranium(VI) bioreduction in the presence of environmentally relevant levels of calcium revealed limited and slowed uranium(VI) reduction and the formation of a Ca-UO2-CO3 complex. However, the stoichiometry of the complex is poorly defined and may be complicated by the presence of a Na-UO2-CO3 complex. Such a complex might exist even at high calcium concentrations, as some UO2-CO3 complexes will still be present. The number of calcium and/or sodium atoms coordinated to a uranyl carbonate complex will determine the net charge of the complex. Such a change in aqueous speciation of uranium(VI) in calcareous groundwater may affect the fate and transport properties of uranium. In this paper, we present the results from X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) measurements of a series of solutions containing 50 lM uranium(VI) and 30 mM sodium bicarbonate, with various calcium concentrations of 0-5 mM. Use of the data series reduces the uncertainty in the number of calcium atoms bound to the UO2-CO3 complex to approximately 0.6 and enables spectroscopic identification of the Na-UO2-CO3 complex. At nearly neutral pH values, the numbers of sodium and calcium atoms bound to the uranyl triscarbonate species are found to depend on the calcium concentration, as predicted by speciation calculations

  15. Effects of environmental complexity and temporary captivity on foraging behavior of wild-caught meadow voles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozuch, Amaranta E; McPhee, M Elsbeth

    2014-01-01

    Increased housing of wild nonhuman animals in captivity for conservation, research, and rehabilitation has revealed the importance of systematically analyzing effects of the captive environment on behavior. This study focused on the effects of complexity and time held in captivity on foraging behaviors of wild-caught, adult meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus). Forty-six individuals captured from a meadow outside Oshkosh, WI, were assigned to 1 of 4 captive treatment groups: simple/50 days, complex/50 days. Number of dish visits, proportion foraging, and frequency of nonforaging behaviors recorded during a 15-min foraging trial were measured for all subjects. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U Tests were conducted to analyze 4 different comparisons within this behavioral data. Overall, neither time in captivity or environmental complexity affected nonforaging behaviors. In contrast, foraging behaviors did change with treatment: Voles were less active at food dishes and visited control dishes more in treatment group SS than in the other treatment groups. In addition, sex-related differences in foraging behaviors were maintained when voles were exposed to environmental complexity. This article includes options for wildlife managers to adapt captive environments to meet the welfare and behavioral needs of translocated wild nonhuman mammals.

  16. Environmental Screening for the Scedosporium apiospermum Species Complex in Public Parks in Bangkok, Thailand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natthanej Luplertlop

    Full Text Available The Scedosporium apiospermum species complex, comprising filamentous fungal species S. apiospermum sensu stricto, S. boydii, S. aurantiacum, S. dehoogii and S. minutispora, are important pathogens that cause a wide variety of infections. Although some species (S. boydii and S. apiospermum have been isolated from patients in Thailand, no environmental surveys of these fungi have been performed in Thailand or surrounding countries. In this study, we isolated and identified species of these fungi from 68 soil and 16 water samples randomly collected from 10 parks in Bangkok. After filtration and subsequent inoculation of samples on Scedo-Select III medium, colony morphological examinations and microscopic observations were performed. Scedosporium species were isolated from soil in 8 of the 10 parks, but were only detected in one water sample. Colony morphologies of isolates from 41 of 68 soil samples (60.29% and 1 of 15 water samples (6.67% were consistent with that of the S. apiospermum species complex. Each morphological type was selected for species identification based on DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the β-tubulin gene. Three species of the S. apiospermum species complex were identified: S. apiospermum (71 isolates, S. aurantiacum (6 isolates and S. dehoogii (5 isolates. In addition, 16 sequences could not be assigned to an exact Scedosporium species. According to our environmental survey, the S. apiospermum species complex is widespread in soil in Bangkok, Thailand.

  17. Using a Council of Beings to Ascertain Student Understanding of the Relationship between Sense-of-Place and Environmental Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogan, Margaret B.

    2012-01-01

    A modified J. Seed, Council of Beings is used to ascertain participants' understanding of their sense of place within the environment. Over the past 15 years, students in environmental education, teachers in-service programs or undergraduate face-to-face and Internet sustainability education courses have been exposed to pedagogy that leads to the…

  18. Public communication on times of environmental crisis. The opening of San Rafael 's uranium complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calvino, Carlos; Cisneros, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Full text: Argentina has had a lot of cultural changes in the last few years. An environmental movement has gathered and is trying to stop the opening of the Sierra Pintada uranium complex, near the city of San Rafael, in the south of Mendoza province. Since 2005, several 'groundless information' have been published in the local media about the dangers of this re-opening. These news exaggerate the properties of radon gas, claiming that it will reach San Rafael city (20 miles from the complex), rising radiological risk among the population, etc. This scene shows a 'non-real' picture of the regulatory activities that the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN), a government agency that regulates nuclear facilities in Argentina, is really and systematically accomplishing. In this situation, the board of Directors of ARN decided to entrust a full analysis of the environmental issue in the area. The Office of Press and Communication implemented a local communication plan, using a Strategic and Systemic tool kit. The period to be analyzed is from second semester 2005 to February 2007. A little bit of history: the San Rafael Complex started in September 20 of 1979. It belongs to the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA), a government agency. Until its temporary suspension in 1995 for international market reasons (uranium price was U$S 10 / pound), almost 2 million tons of uranium were processed. Besides its temporary suspension, the ARN has been constantly monitoring this particular former complex. In the year 2001, CNEA notices that the uranium price starts to rise and entrust National Technology University, Avellaneda Branch, to accomplish an Environmental Impact Report, according to the argentine law 25.585. Due especially to the rising of uranium price, (actually, the uranium price is approximately U$S 200) the national government determined to restart the extraction of the mineral again. By the year 2004, with the results of the Environmental Impact report, CNEA

  19. Understanding the environmental implications of energy transitions. A case study for wind power

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arvesen, Anders

    2013-03-01

    A fundamental change in the ways in which we provide energy to run our economies, an energy transition, is needed to mitigate climate change. Wind power is an important part of future global energy supply in most energy scenarios. This thesis aims to contribute to a better understanding of the environmental implications of energy transitions, primarily by examining the case of wind power. This involves new investigations of both potential negative impacts of wind power and the positive role of the technology in emission reduction, as well as a critical review of past research. Three papers on wind power are presented: a comprehensive literature review of life cycle assessments (LCA) of wind power, a scenario-based LCA of large-scale adoption of wind power, and an LCA of an offshore wind farm. A hybrid LCA methodology is employed in the scenario-based LCA and LCA of an offshore wind farm. Another paper is presented which is not concerned with wind power in particular, but takes the form of an evaluation of limitations of climate change mitigation literature. It helps to achieve the aim stated above by bringing together knowledge of indirect effects of mitigation measures, and by elucidating how these effects may influence the viability of proposed mitigation strategies. The literature review aims to take stock of insights from past research, with a particular view to identifying remaining challenges. A survey of results indicates 0.063 ({+-}0.061) and 0.055 ({+-}0.037) kWh energy used and 20 ({+-}14) and 16 ({+-}10) Co2 emitted per kWh electricity for onshore and offshore cases. Evidence suggests strong positive effects of scale in the lower end of the turbine size spectrum, but is inconclusive for the megawatt range. LCAs tend to assume higher capacity factors than current real-world averages. Limitations of existing research are discussed; this includes poorly understood toxicity and resource depletion impacts, cut-off errors and seemingly inconsistent modelling

  20. Understanding the Role of GPCR Heteroreceptor Complexes in Modulating the Brain Networks in Health and Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borroto-Escuela, Dasiel O; Carlsson, Jens; Ambrogini, Patricia; Narváez, Manuel; Wydra, Karolina; Tarakanov, Alexander O; Li, Xiang; Millón, Carmelo; Ferraro, Luca; Cuppini, Riccardo; Tanganelli, Sergio; Liu, Fang; Filip, Malgorzata; Diaz-Cabiale, Zaida; Fuxe, Kjell

    2017-01-01

    The introduction of allosteric receptor-receptor interactions in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) heteroreceptor complexes of the central nervous system (CNS) gave a new dimension to brain integration and neuropsychopharmacology. The molecular basis of learning and memory was proposed to be based on the reorganization of the homo- and heteroreceptor complexes in the postjunctional membrane of synapses. Long-term memory may be created by the transformation of parts of the heteroreceptor complexes into unique transcription factors which can lead to the formation of specific adapter proteins. The observation of the GPCR heterodimer network (GPCR-HetNet) indicated that the allosteric receptor-receptor interactions dramatically increase GPCR diversity and biased recognition and signaling leading to enhanced specificity in signaling. Dysfunction of the GPCR heteroreceptor complexes can lead to brain disease. The findings of serotonin (5-HT) hetero and isoreceptor complexes in the brain over the last decade give new targets for drug development in major depression. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in depression via 5-HT, galanin peptides and zinc involve a number of GPCR heteroreceptor complexes in the raphe-hippocampal system: GalR1-5-HT1A, GalR1-5-HT1A-GPR39, GalR1-GalR2, and putative GalR1-GalR2-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes. The 5-HT1A receptor protomer remains a receptor enhancing antidepressant actions through its participation in hetero- and homoreceptor complexes listed above in balance with each other. In depression, neuromodulation of neuronal networks in the raphe-hippocampal system and the cortical regions via 5-HT and fibroblast growth factor 2 involves either FGFR1-5-HT1A heteroreceptor complexes or the 5-HT isoreceptor complexes such as 5-HT1A-5-HT7 and 5-HT1A-5-HT2A. Neuromodulation of neuronal networks in cocaine use disorder via dopamine (DA) and adenosine signals involve A2AR-D2R and A2AR-D2R-Sigma1R heteroreceptor complexes in the dorsal and

  1. Understanding M-ligand bonding and mer-/fac-isomerism in tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) metallic complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Carlos F R A C; Taveira, Ricardo J S; Costa, José C S; Fernandes, Ana M; Melo, André; Silva, Artur M S; Santos, Luís M N B F

    2016-06-28

    Tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) metallic complexes, Mq3, are one of the most important classes of organic semiconductor materials. Herein, the nature of the chemical bond in Mq3 complexes and its implications on their molecular properties were investigated by a combined experimental and computational approach. Various Mq3 complexes, resulting from the alteration of the metal and substitution of the 8-hydroxyquinoline ligand in different positions, were prepared. The mer-/fac-isomerism in Mq3 was explored by FTIR and NMR spectroscopy, evidencing that, irrespective of the substituent, mer- and fac-are the most stable molecular configurations of Al(iii) and In(iii) complexes, respectively. The relative M-ligand bond dissociation energies were evaluated experimentally by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS-MS), showing a non-monotonous variation along the group (Al > In > Ga). The results reveal a strong covalent character in M-ligand bonding, which allows for through-ligand electron delocalization, and explain the preferred molecular structures of Mq3 complexes as resulting from the interplay between bonding and steric factors. The mer-isomer reduces intraligand repulsions, being preferred for smaller metals, while the fac-isomer is favoured for larger metals where stronger covalent M-ligand bonds can be formed due to more extensive through-ligand conjugation mediated by metal "d" orbitals.

  2. Improving the understanding and treatment of complex grief: an important issue for psychotraumatology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul A. Boelen

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Netherlands, every year 500,000 people are confronted with the death of a close relative. Many of these people experience little emotional distress. In some, bereavement precipitates severe grief, distress, and dysphoria. A small yet significant minority of bereaved individuals develops persistent and debilitating symptoms of persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD (also termed prolonged grief disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression. Knowledge about early identification of, and preventive care for complex grief has increased. Moreover, in recent years there has been an increase in treatment options for people for whom loss leads to persistent psychological problems. That said, preventive and curative treatments are effective for some, but not all bereaved individuals experiencing distress and dysfunction following loss. This necessitates further research on the development, course, and treatment of various stages of complex grief, including PCBD. Highlights of the article:

  3. “Touching Triton”: Building Student Understanding of Complex Disease Risk

    OpenAIRE

    Loftin, Madelene; East, Kelly; Hott, Adam; Lamb, Neil

    2016-01-01

    Life science classrooms often emphasize the exception to the rule when it comes to teaching genetics, focusing heavily on rare single-gene and Mendelian traits. By contrast, the vast majority of human traits and diseases are caused by more complicated interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Research indicates that students have a deterministic view of genetics, generalize Mendelian inheritance patterns to all traits, and have unrealistic expectations of genetic technologies. T...

  4. Further Understanding of Complex Information Processing in Verbal Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Diane L.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Goldstein, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    More than 20?years ago, Minshew and colleagues proposed the Complex Information Processing model of autism in which the impairment is characterized as a generalized deficit involving multiple modalities and cognitive domains that depend on distributed cortical systems responsible for higher order abilities. Subsequent behavioral work revealed a…

  5. Contemporary Leadership Theories. Enhancing the Understanding of the Complexity, Subjectivity and Dynamic of Leadership

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winkler, Ingo

    . Leadership is understood as product of complex social relationships embedded in the logic and dynamic of the social system. The book discusses theoretical approaches from top leadership journals, but also addresses various alternatives that are suitable to challenge mainstream leadership research...

  6. Sedimentary Melanges and Fossil Mass-Transport Complexes: A Key for Better Understanding Submarine Mass Movements?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pini, Gian Andrea; Ogata, Kei; Camerlenghi, Angelo; Festa, Andrea; Lucente, Claudio Corrado; Codegone, Giulia

    2012-01-01

    Mélanges originated from sedimentary processes (sedimentary mélanges) and olistostromes are frequently present in mountain chains worldwide. They are excellent fossil examples of mass- Transport complexes (MTC), often cropping out in well-preserved and laterally continuous exposures. In this article

  7. Understanding the Complex Dimensions of the Digital Divide: Lessons Learned in the Alaskan Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramony, Deepak Prem

    2007-01-01

    An ethnographic case study of Inupiat Eskimo in the Alaskan Arctic has provided insights into the complex nature of the sociological issues surrounding equitable access to technology tools and skills, which are referred to as the digital divide. These people can overcome the digital divide if they get the basic ready access to hardware and…

  8. Understanding the Complex Processes in Developing Student Teachers' Knowledge about Grammar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svalberg, Agneta M.-L.

    2015-01-01

    This article takes the view that grammar is driven by user choices and is therefore complex and dynamic. This has implications for the teaching of grammar in language teacher education and how teachers' cognitions about grammar, and hence their own grammar teaching, might change. In this small, interpretative study, the participants--students on…

  9. Language complexity during read-alouds and kindergartners' vocabulary and symbolic understanding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mascareño Lara, Mayra; Snow, Catherine E.; Deunk, Marjolein I.; Bosker, Roel J.

    2016-01-01

    We explored links between complexity of teacher-child verbal interaction and child language and literacy outcomes in fifteen whole-class read-aloud sessions in Chilean kindergarten classrooms serving children from low socioeconomic backgrounds. We coded teacher and child turns for function

  10. Supporting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Understanding and Coping with Complex Social Emotional Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlers, Kaitlyn P.; Gabrielsen, Terisa P.; Lewis, Danielle; Brady, Anna M.; Litchford, April

    2017-01-01

    Core deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) center around social communication and behavior. For those with ASD, these deficits complicate the task of learning how to cope with and manage complex social emotional issues. Although individuals with ASD may receive sufficient academic and basic behavioral support in school settings, supports for…

  11. Using multi-criteria analysis of simulation models to understand complex biological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maureen C. Kennedy; E. David. Ford

    2011-01-01

    Scientists frequently use computer-simulation models to help solve complex biological problems. Typically, such models are highly integrated, they produce multiple outputs, and standard methods of model analysis are ill suited for evaluating them. We show how multi-criteria optimization with Pareto optimality allows for model outputs to be compared to multiple system...

  12. Understanding Environmental Education in the People's Republic of China: A National Policy, Locally Interpreted.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwan, Tammy Yim-Lin; Lidstone, John

    1998-01-01

    Describes the processes whereby environmental policies are created and disseminated in China and points to some of the issues facing western educators who wish to work with Chinese colleagues in advancing global sustainability. (Author/PVD)

  13. Critical Knowledge Gaps in Our Understanding of Environmental Cycling and Transmission of Leptospira spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barragan, Veronica; Olivas, Sonora; Keim, Paul; Pearson, Talima

    2017-10-01

    Exposure to soil or water contaminated with the urine of Leptospira -infected animals is the most common way in which humans contract leptospirosis. Entire populations can be at high risk of leptospirosis while working in inundated fields, when engaging in aquatic sports, or after periods of heavy rainfall. The risk of infection after contact with these environmental sources depends on the ability of Leptospira bacteria to survive, persist, and infect new hosts. Multiple variables such as soil and water pH, temperature, and even environmental microbial communities are likely to shape the environmental conditions needed by the pathogen to persist. Here we review what is known about the environmental phase of the infectious Leptospira transmission cycle and identify knowledge gaps that will serve as a guide for future research. Copyright © 2017 Barragan et al.

  14. Understanding Crisis-based Communication on Environmental Protection in China : Mass Media and Individuals

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Bo; Yabe, Mitsuyasu; Xia, Wei; Zeng, Yinchu; 矢部, 光保

    2010-01-01

    Beijing has been frequently stroked by sandstorms. During the occurrence of sandstorms, related information increased dramatically due to mass media. How did the mass media in China react to the sandstorm crisis? Did the crisis arouse public awareness of environmental protection? Were the majority willing to pay an environmental tax for air quality improvement? In response to these questions, the purpose of this study is to analyze the impacts of a short-term information explosion from mass m...

  15. Techniques to better understand complex epikarst hydrogeology and contaminant transport in telogenetic karst settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    The movement of autogenic recharge through the shallow epikarstic zone in soil-mantled karst aquifers is important in understanding recharge areas and rates, groundwater storage, and contaminant transport processes. The groundwater flow in agricultural karst areas, such as Kentucky’s Pennyroyal Plat...

  16. Complex Problem Solving in Radiologic Technology: Understanding the Roles of Experience, Reflective Judgment, and Workplace Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Jennifer L.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this research study was to explore the process of learning and development of problem solving skills in radiologic technologists. The researcher sought to understand the nature of difficult problems encountered in clinical practice, to identify specific learning practices leading to the development of professional expertise, and to…

  17. Preschoolers' Implicit and Explicit False-Belief Understanding: Relations with Complex Syntactical Mastery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Jason

    2010-01-01

    Three studies were carried out to investigate sentential complements being the critical device that allows for false-belief understanding in 3- and 4-year-olds (N = 102). Participants across studies accurately gazed in anticipation of a character's mistaken belief in a predictive looking task despite erring on verbal responses for direct…

  18. A Process-Philosophical Understanding of Organizational Learning as "Wayfinding": Process, Practices and Sensitivity to Environmental Affordances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chia, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to articulate a practice-based, non-cognitivist approach to organizational learning. Design/methodology/approach: This paper explores the potential contribution of a process-based "practice turn" in social theory for understanding organizational learning. Findings: In complex, turbulent environments, robust…

  19. Fast identification of microplastics in complex environmental samples by a thermal degradation method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dümichen, Erik; Eisentraut, Paul; Bannick, Claus Gerhard; Barthel, Anne-Kathrin; Senz, Rainer; Braun, Ulrike

    2017-05-01

    In order to determine the relevance of microplastic particles in various environmental media, comprehensive investigations are needed. However, no analytical method exists for fast identification and quantification. At present, optical spectroscopy methods like IR and RAMAN imaging are used. Due to their time consuming procedures and uncertain extrapolation, reliable monitoring is difficult. For analyzing polymers Py-GC-MS is a standard method. However, due to a limited sample amount of about 0.5 mg it is not suited for analysis of complex sample mixtures like environmental samples. Therefore, we developed a new thermoanalytical method as a first step for identifying microplastics in environmental samples. A sample amount of about 20 mg, which assures the homogeneity of the sample, is subjected to complete thermal decomposition. The specific degradation products of the respective polymer are adsorbed on a solid-phase adsorber and subsequently analyzed by thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry. For certain identification, the specific degradation products for the respective polymer were selected first. Afterwards real environmental samples from the aquatic (three different rivers) and the terrestrial (bio gas plant) systems were screened for microplastics. Mainly polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) and polystyrene (PS) were identified for the samples from the bio gas plant and PE and PS from the rivers. However, this was only the first step and quantification measurements will follow. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Environmental Assessment for Central Campus Complex John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dankert, Donald

    2013-01-01

    This Environmental Assessment addresses the Proposed Action to consolidate multiple facilities in the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Industrial Area by constructing two new buildings in the existing headquarters area between NASA Parkway, 3rd Street, C Avenue, and D Avenue. Under the Proposed Action, the historic Headquarters Building will be demolished and a new building will be constructed closer to the Operations and Checkout Building by centering it on D A venue (Hunton Brady Architects, P A and Jones Edmunds and Associates, Inc. 2011). This option was selected from a group of 15 initial sketches as the most viable option during a Central Campus Complex Siting Study completed in February 2011. A No-Action Alternative is also presented in which no demolition or construction of new facilities would occur. Implementing the Proposed Action will have major impacts to cultural resources, while the remaining environmental impacts will be minor.

  1. The use of ‘macro’ legal analysis in the understanding and development of global environmental governance

    OpenAIRE

    Turner, Stephen J.

    2017-01-01

    This article examines the manner in which ‘macro’ legal analysis can potentially assist in overcoming some of the issues that are faced in the understanding and development of global environmental governance (GEG). It argues that the analysis of law through separate and distinct disciplines such as environmental law, trade law, corporate law, and human rights law, results in what this article refers to as ‘micro’ legal analysis. As such, it contends that this can have the effect of creating o...

  2. Eating disorder emergencies: understanding the medical complexities of the hospitalized eating disordered patient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Martina M

    2004-12-01

    Eating disorders are maladaptive eating behaviors that typically develop in adolescence and early adulthood. Psychiatric maladies and comorbid conditions, especially insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, frequently co-exist with eating disorders. Serious medical complications affecting all organs and tissues can develop and result in numerous emergent hospitalizations. This article reviews the pathophysiologies of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and orthorexia nervosa and discusses the complexities associated with the treatment of medical complications seen in these patients.

  3. Using mLearning and MOOCs to Understand Chaos, Emergence, and Complexity in Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    deWaard, Inge; Abajian, Sean; Gallagher, Michael Sean; Hogue, Rebecca; Keskin, Nilgun; Koutropoulos, Apostolos; Rodriguez, Osvaldo C.

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we look at how the massive open online course (MOOC) format developed by connectivist researchers and enthusiasts can help analyze the complexity, emergence, and chaos at work in the field of education today. We do this through the prism of a MobiMOOC, a six-week course focusing on mLearning that ran from April to May 2011. MobiMOOC…

  4. Systems-synthetic biology in understanding the complexities and simple devices in immunology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soni, Bhavnita; Nimsarkar, Prajakta; Mol, Milsee; Saha, Bhaskar; Singh, Shailza

    2018-03-23

    Systems and synthetic biology in the coming era has the ability to manipulate, stimulate and engineer cells to counteract the pathogenic immune response. The inherent biological complexities associated with the creation of a device allow capitalizing the biotechnological resources either by simply administering a recombinant cytokine or just reprogramming the immune cells. The strategy outlined, adopted and discussed may mark the beginning with promising therapeutics based on the principles of synthetic immunology. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Complex Systems Biology Approach To Understanding Coordination of JAK-STAT Signaling

    OpenAIRE

    Soebiyanto, Radina P.; Sreenath, Sree N.; Qu, Cheng-Kui; Loparo, Kenneth A.; Bunting, Kevin D.

    2007-01-01

    In this work, we search for coordination as an organizing principle in a complex signaling system using a multilevel hierarchical paradigm. The objective is to explain the underlying mechanism of Interferon (IFNγ) induced JAK-STAT (specifically JAK1/JAK2-STAT1) pathway behavior. Starting with a mathematical model of the pathway from the literature, we modularize the system using biological knowledge via principles of biochemical cohesion, biological significance, and functionality. The modula...

  6. Health, safety, and environmental risk assessment of steel production complex in central Iran using TOPSIS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jozi, S A; Majd, N Moradi

    2014-10-01

    This research was carried out with the aim of presenting an environmental management plan for steel production complex (SPC) in central Iran. Following precise identification of the plant activities as well as the study area, possible sources of environmental pollution and adverse impacts on the air quality, water, soil, biological environment, socioeconomic and cultural environment, and health and safety of the employees were determined considering the work processes of the steel complex. Afterwards, noise, wastewater, and air pollution sources were measured. Subsequently, factors polluting the steel complex were identified by TOPSIS and then prioritized using Excel Software. Based on the obtained results, the operation of the furnaces in hot rolling process with the score 1, effluent derived from hot rolling process with the score 0.565, nonprincipal disposal and dumping of waste at the plant enclosure with the score 0.335, walking beam process with the score 1.483 respectively allocated themselves the highest priority in terms of air, water, soil and noise pollution. In terms of habitats, land cover and socioeconomic and cultural environment, closeness to the forest area and the existence of four groups of wildlife with the score 1.106 and proximity of villages and residential areas to the plant with the score 3.771 respectively enjoyed the highest priorities while impressibility and occupational accidents with the score 2.725 and cutting and welding operations with score 2.134 had the highest priority among health and safety criteria. Finally, strategies for the control of pollution sources were identified and Training, Monitoring and environmental management plan of the SPC was prepared.

  7. Douglas Hanahan: The daunting complexity of cancer: understanding the battlefield is a step towards winning the war

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2014-01-01

    The Inaugural Grace-CERN Lecture The daunting complexity of cancer: understanding the battlefield is a step towards winning the war  Douglas Hanahan, Ph.D. Director, Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC)  Professor of Molecular Oncology, School of Life Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) Vice Director, Swiss Cancer Center Lausanne Synopsis (version francaise ci-dessous) Cancer is a disease with hundreds of variations, both in affected organs and in responses to different therapies.  Modern human cancer research is producing an avalanche of data about the distinctive genetic aberrations of its specific types, further accentuating the diversity and vast complexity of the disease. There is hope that elucidating its mechanisms will lead to more informed and more effective therapeutic strategies.  Understanding the enemy is paramount, and yet tumors arising in different organs can be so different as to de...

  8. Environmental management plan of the mining and industrial uranium complex in Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Figuereido, N.; Hilton, M.; Wiikman, L.; Oliveira, M.; Taddei, J.

    1996-01-01

    The Mining and Industrial Complex of the Pocos de Caldas Plateau (CIPC) is located at Caldas, county in the southwest of Minas Gerais state. It is a plant of the Industrias Nucleares do Brazil S.A. -INB, the only installation in Brazil for the production of uranium concentrate (yellow-cake) as ammonium diuranate (Adu). The Environmental protection and control program in practice assures the environmental management plan, in operation, maintaining the Complex within technology standards required by updated environmental concepts. The mine is an open pit operation with a surface diameter of 1000 m and an actual average depth of 120 m. Some 44 x 10 6 m 3 of the overburden material were used in embankments structures to civil engineering works in the implantation of several installations in CIPC, and the other portion of the removed material was deposited in two pre-selected areas having both an upper area of about 2,0 x 10 6 m 2 . The annual average volume of waters transported to chemical treatment is about 9,0 x 10 5 m 3 . The mill, in its full operation, processes 2500 t of ore per day and the solid and liquid tailings are directed to a waste pond system where are contained approximately 2,0 x 10 6 m 3 (2,2 x 10 6 t) of solid wastes with an estimation of further 70 x 10 5 m 3 to be disposed. The upper surface of tailings pond is about 2,0 x 10 5 m 2 . Nowadays, the environmental protection and control program aims to the development of potential pollutant areas stabilization reintegrating them into their original features or adjusting them to other forms of laudable restoration. (authors). 1 fig

  9. Urban GHG emissions and resource flows: Methods for understanding the complex functioning of cities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yetano Roche, María

    2015-01-01

    This paper sums up the recent developments in concepts and methods being used to measure the impacts of cities on environmental sustainability. It differentiates between a dominant trend in research literature that concentrates on the accounting and allocation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use to cities, and a re-emergence of studies focusing on the direct and indirect urban material and resource flows. The availability of reliable data and standard protocols is greater in the GHG accounting field and continues to grow rapidly

  10. Understanding ageing effects using complexity analysis of foot-ground clearance during walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karmakar, Chandan; Khandoker, Ahsan; Begg, Rezaul; Palaniswami, Marimuthu

    2013-01-01

    Ageing influences gait patterns which in turn can affect the balance control of human locomotion. Entropy-based regularity and complexity measures have been highly effective in analysing a broad range of physiological signals. Minimum toe clearance (MTC) is an event during the swing phase of the gait cycle and is highly sensitive to the spatial balance control properties of the locomotor system. The aim of this research was to investigate the regularity and complexity of the MTC time series due to healthy ageing and locomotors' disorders. MTC data from 30 healthy young (HY), 27 healthy elderly (HE) and 10 falls risk (FR) elderly subjects with balance problems were analysed. Continuous MTC data were collected and using the first 500 data points, MTC mean, standard deviation (SD) and entropy-based complexity analysis were performed using sample entropy (SampEn) for different window lengths (m) and filtering levels (r). The MTC SampEn values were lower in the FR group compared to the HY and HE groups for all m and r. The HY group had a greater mean SampEn value than both HE and FR reflecting higher complexity in their MTC series. The mean SampEn values of HY and FR groups were found significantly different for m = 2, 4, 5 and r = (0.1-0.9) × SD, (0.3-0.9) × SD and (0.3-0.9) × SD, respectively. They were also significant difference between HE and FR groups for m = 4-5 and r = (0.3-0.7) × SD, but no significant differences were seen between HY and HE groups for any m and r. A significant correlation of SampEn with SD of MTC was revealed for the HY and HE groups only, suggesting that locomotor disorders could significantly change the regularity or the complexity of the MTC series while healthy ageing does not. These results can be usefully applied to the early diagnosis of common gait pathologies.

  11. Using a Design Science Perspective to Understand a Complex Design-Based Research Process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bækgaard, Lars

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate how a design science perspective can be used to describe and understand a set of related design-based research processes. We describe and analyze a case study in a manner that is inspired by design science. The case study involves the design of modeling......-based research processes. And we argue that a design science perspective may be useful for both researchers and practitioners....... tools and the redesign of an information service in a library. We use a set of guidelines from a design science perspective to organize the description and analysis of the case study. By doing this we demonstrate the usefulness of design science as an analytical tool for understanding related design...

  12. Environmental Restoration and Waste Management manpower needs assessment: US Department of Energy complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holmes, C.W.; Lewis, R.E.; Hunt, S.T. (Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)); Finn, M.G. (Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc., TN (United States))

    1992-06-01

    A study was conducted Pacific Northwest Laboratory and Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc. to assess the supply and demand for 53 scientific, engineering, and technical occupations relevant to the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste management (EM). These assessments were made by examining budget projections and the input of program/project and human resources managers throughout the DOE complex. Quantitative projections of full-time equivalent employees slots for each occupation have been developed for the 1993--1997 time frame. Qualitative assessments of the factors that affect recruitment, staffing, and retention are also reported. The implications of the study are discussed within the likely skills mix of the future workforce and the education and organization interventions most likely to address the needs of the DOE complex.

  13. Environmental Restoration and Waste Management manpower needs assessment: US Department of Energy complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holmes, C.W.; Lewis, R.E.; Hunt, S.T. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Finn, M.G. [Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc., TN (United States)

    1992-06-01

    A study was conducted Pacific Northwest Laboratory and Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc. to assess the supply and demand for 53 scientific, engineering, and technical occupations relevant to the US Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste management (EM). These assessments were made by examining budget projections and the input of program/project and human resources managers throughout the DOE complex. Quantitative projections of full-time equivalent employees slots for each occupation have been developed for the 1993--1997 time frame. Qualitative assessments of the factors that affect recruitment, staffing, and retention are also reported. The implications of the study are discussed within the likely skills mix of the future workforce and the education and organization interventions most likely to address the needs of the DOE complex.

  14. International technology transfer to support the environmental restoration needs of the DOE complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DuCharme, A.R.; Jimenez, R.D.; Roberds, W.J.

    1992-01-01

    One of the principal objectives of the International Technology Exchange Program (ITEP) is the exchange of waste management and environmental restoration (WM/ER) technologies between the US and other nations. The current emphasis of ITEP is the transfer of technologies to the US that could provide better, faster, cheaper, or safer solutions to the needs of the DOE complex. The 10 candidate technologies that have been identified thus far by ITEP are discussed. The highlights of preliminary evaluations of these technologies through a systems approach are also described. The technologies have been evaluated by a screening process to determine their applicability to the leading WM/ER needs of the DOE complex. The technologies have been qualitatively compared with the known or anticipated capabilities of domestic, base case technologies

  15. Enacting understanding of inclusion in complex contexts: Classroom practices of South African teachers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Engelbrecht

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available While the practice of inclusive education has recently been widely embraced as an ideal model for education, the acceptance of inclusive education practices has not translated into reality in most mainstream classrooms. Despite the fact that education policies in South Africa stipulate that all learners should be provided with the opportunities to participate as far as possible in all classroom activities, the implementation of inclusive education is still hampered by a combination of a lack of resources and the attitudes and actions of the teachers in the classroom. The main purpose of this paper was to develop a deeper understanding of a group of South African teachers' personal understanding about barriers to learning and how their understanding relates to their consequent actions to implement inclusive education in their classrooms. A qualitative research approach placed within a cultural-historical and bio-ecological theoretical framework was used. The findings, in this paper, indicate that the way in which teachers understand a diversity of learning needs is based on the training that they initially received as teachers, which focused on a deficit, individualised approach to barriers to learning and development, as well as contextual challenges, and that both have direct and substantial effects on teachers' classroom practices. As a result, they engage in practices in their classrooms that are less inclusive, by creating dual learning opportunities that are not sufficiently made available for everyone, with the result that every learner is not able to participate fully as an accepted member of their peer group in all classroom activities.

  16. Emergent nested systems a theory of understanding and influencing complex systems as well as case studies in urban systems

    CERN Document Server

    Walloth, Christian

    2016-01-01

    This book presents a theory as well as methods to understand and to purposively influence complex systems. It suggests a theory of complex systems as nested systems, i. e. systems that enclose other systems and that are simultaneously enclosed by even other systems. According to the theory presented, each enclosing system emerges through time from the generative activities of the systems they enclose. Systems are nested and often emerge unplanned, and every system of high dynamics is enclosed by a system of slower dynamics. An understanding of systems with faster dynamics, which are always guided by systems of slower dynamics, opens up not only new ways to understanding systems, but also to effectively influence them. The aim and subject of this book is to lay out these thoughts and explain their relevance to the purposive development of complex systems, which are exemplified in case studies from an urban system. The interested reader, who is not required to be familiar with system-theoretical concepts or wit...

  17. NASA's Advanced Environmental Barrier Coatings Development for SiC/SiC Ceramic Matrix Composites: Understanding Calcium Magnesium Alumino-Silicate (CMAS) Degradations and Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Dongming

    2014-01-01

    Environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) and SiCSiC ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) systems will play a crucial role in next generation turbine engines for hot-section component applications because of their ability to significantly increase engine operating temperatures with improved efficiency, reduce engine weight and cooling requirements. The development of prime-reliant environmental barrier coatings is essential to the viability and reliability of the envisioned CMC engine component applications, ensuring integrated EBC-CMC system durability and designs are achievable for successful applications of the game-changing component technologies and lifing methodologies.This paper will emphasize recent NASA environmental barrier coating developments for SiCSiC turbine airfoil components, utilizing advanced coating compositions, state-of-the-art processing methods, and combined mechanical and environment testing and durability evaluations. The coating-CMC degradations in the engine fatigue-creep and operating environments are particularly complex; one of the important coating development aspects is to better understand engine environmental interactions and coating life debits, and we have particularly addressed the effect of Calcium-Magnesium-Alumino-Silicate (CMAS) from road sand or volcano-ash deposits on the durability of the environmental barrier coating systems, and how the temperature capability, stability and cyclic life of the candidate rare earth oxide and silicate coating systems will be impacted in the presence of the CMAS at high temperatures and under simulated heat flux conditions. Advanced environmental barrier coating systems, including HfO2-Si with rare earth dopant based bond coat systems, will be discussed for the performance improvements to achieve better temperature capability and CMAS resistance for future engine operating conditions.

  18. [Isolation of Sporothrix pallida complex in clinical and environmental samples from Chile].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz Choappa, Rodrigo M; Vieille Oyarzo, Peggy I; Carvajal Silva, Laura C

    2014-01-01

    The isolation of S. pallida complex from medical samples and home garden soil of a patient in Chile is here in reported. Fungi of the Sporothrix schenckii complex can cause various infections. In Chile, the medical and environmental isolates of these this complex are rare. The aim of this study was to identify an unusual agent in a case of onychomycosis and to detect its presence in the patient's home garden. For this purpose, clinical samples were obtained by scraping the patient's subungueal first right toe nail as well as by taking soil samples from different areas of her home garden. Species identification was performed by morphophysiology and one of the strains isolated from the patient's toe nail was sent to CBS for molecular confirmation (14.062). S. pallida complex was identified both from the patient's toe nail and samples taken from her home garden. Copyright © 2014 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  19. Understanding the Narratives Explaining the Ukrainian Crisis: Identity Divisions and Complex Diversity in Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smoor Lodewijk

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The central argument of this paper is that radical and opposing interpretations of the Ukrainian conflict in politics and media should be studied as offspring of broader narratives. These narratives can be better understood by examining the national identity of Ukraine. Since Ukrainian national identity shows a high degree of diversity, it offers a rich source of arguments for any party wanting to give an interpretation of the present Ukrainian crisis. Narratives explaining the crisis often ignore this complex diversity or deliberately use elements from it to construct the ‘desired’ narrative.

  20. Achieving healthy school siting and planning policies: understanding shared concerns of environmental planners, public health professionals, and educators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Alison

    2010-01-01

    Policy decisions regarding the quality of the physical school environment-both, school siting and school facility planning policies-are often considered through the lens of environmental planning, public health, or education policy, but rarely through all three. Environmental planners consider environmental justice issues on a local level and/or consider the regional impact of a school. Public health professionals focus on toxic exposures and populations particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes. Educators and education policymakers emphasize investing in human capital of both students and staff. By understanding these respective angles and combining these efforts around the common goals of achieving adequacy and excellence, we can work toward a regulatory system for school facilities that recognizes children as a uniquely vulnerable population and seeks to create healthier school environments in which children can learn and adults can work.

  1. Take a stand on understanding: electrophysiological evidence for stem access in German complex verbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolka, Eva; Gondan, Matthias; Rösler, Frank

    2015-01-01

    The lexical representation of complex words in Indo-European languages is generally assumed to depend on semantic compositionality. This study investigated whether semantically compositional and noncompositional derivations are accessed via their constituent units or as whole words. In an overt visual priming experiment (300 ms stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA), event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded for verbs (e.g., ziehen, "pull") that were preceded by purely semantically related verbs (e.g., zerren, "drag"), by morphologically related and semantically compositional verbs (e.g., zuziehen, "pull together"), by morphologically related and semantically noncompositional verbs (e.g., erziehen, "educate"), by orthographically similar verbs (e.g., zielen, "aim"), or by unrelated verbs (e.g., tarnen, "mask"). Compared to the unrelated condition, which evoked an N400 effect with the largest amplitude at centro-parietal recording sites, the N400 was reduced in all other conditions. The rank order of N400 amplitudes turned out as follows: morphologically related and semantically compositional ≈ morphologically related and semantically noncompositional morphologically related primes produced similar N400 modulations-irrespective of their semantic compositionality. The control conditions with orthographic similarity confirmed that these morphological effects were not the result of a simple form overlap between primes and targets. Our findings suggest that the lexical representation of German complex verbs refers to their base form, regardless of meaning compositionality. Theories of the lexical representation of German words need to incorporate this aspect of language processing in German.

  2. Understanding characteristics in multivariate traffic flow time series from complex network structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Ying; Zhang, Shen; Tang, Jinjun; Wang, Xiaofei

    2017-07-01

    Discovering dynamic characteristics in traffic flow is the significant step to design effective traffic managing and controlling strategy for relieving traffic congestion in urban cities. A new method based on complex network theory is proposed to study multivariate traffic flow time series. The data were collected from loop detectors on freeway during a year. In order to construct complex network from original traffic flow, a weighted Froenius norm is adopt to estimate similarity between multivariate time series, and Principal Component Analysis is implemented to determine the weights. We discuss how to select optimal critical threshold for networks at different hour in term of cumulative probability distribution of degree. Furthermore, two statistical properties of networks: normalized network structure entropy and cumulative probability of degree, are utilized to explore hourly variation in traffic flow. The results demonstrate these two statistical quantities express similar pattern to traffic flow parameters with morning and evening peak hours. Accordingly, we detect three traffic states: trough, peak and transitional hours, according to the correlation between two aforementioned properties. The classifying results of states can actually represent hourly fluctuation in traffic flow by analyzing annual average hourly values of traffic volume, occupancy and speed in corresponding hours.

  3. Integrating Process and Factor Understanding of Environmental Innovation by Water Utilities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spiller, Marc; McIntosh, Brian S.; Seaton, Roger A.F.; Jeffrey, Paul J.

    2015-01-01

    Innovations in technology and organisations are central to enabling the water sector to adapt to major environmental changes such as climate change, land degradation or drinking water pollution. While there are literatures on innovation as a process and on the factors that influence it, there is

  4. Understanding Our Energy Footprint: Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory Investigation of Environmental Impacts of Solid Fossil Fuel Wastes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Michael; Goldfarb, Jillian L.

    2017-01-01

    Engaging undergraduates in the environmental consequences of fossil fuel usage primes them to consider their own anthropogenic impact, and the benefits and trade-offs of converting to renewable fuel strategies. This laboratory activity explores the potential contaminants (both inorganic and organic) present in the raw fuel and solid waste…

  5. Chemical approaches to understanding the environmental behavior of Pu, Np, and Tc

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bondietti, E.A.

    1978-01-01

    Some topics discussed are as follows: speciation behavior of Pu, Np, and Tc; thermodynamic and radiochemical behavior; sorption studies with soils; Pu oxidation states in fresh water; Np oxidation states in soils; effect of oxidation state of Tc on environmental transport predictions; and thermodynamic calculations of Tc speciation

  6. Intermolecular Forces as a Key to Understanding the Environmental Fate of Organic Xenobiotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, Ryan E.; Pittman, Faith A.

    2005-01-01

    A module that can be incorporated into chemistry or environmental science classes at the high school or undergraduate level is described. The module is divided into a series of segments, each of which incorporates several concepts and results in students making significant predictions about the behavior of organic xenobiotics.

  7. Understanding environmental DNA detection probabilities: A case study using a stream-dwelling char Salvelinus fontinalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor M. Wilcox; Kevin S. McKelvey; Michael K. Young; Adam J. Sepulveda; Bradley B. Shepard; Stephen F. Jane; Andrew R. Whiteley; Winsor H. Lowe; Michael K. Schwartz

    2016-01-01

    Environmental DNA sampling (eDNA) has emerged as a powerful tool for detecting aquatic animals. Previous research suggests that eDNA methods are substantially more sensitive than traditional sampling. However, the factors influencing eDNA detection and the resulting sampling costs are still not well understood. Here we use multiple experiments to derive...

  8. The modeling of understanding and sense’s generation processes in different architectural environmental situations of socio-cultural interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Марія Юріївна Блінова

    2015-01-01

    The article is an attempt to modeling of understanding and sense’s generation processes in different architectural environmental situations of socio-cultural interaction. Methodologically interpretation of the subject sociocultural interaction offered to make from the standpoint of modern social theories, the entity that is the social role, understood as a model of human behavior objectively given social position of the individual in the system of social relations

  9. #consumingitall: Understanding The Complex Relationship Between Media Consumption And Eating Behaviors

    OpenAIRE

    Albert, Stephanie L.

    2017-01-01

    Adolescents spend almost nine hours a day engaging with media. As a result, they are confronted with large amounts of obesogenic content that shapes their understanding of what are normal and acceptable eating behaviors. Utilizing primary data collected from a sample of 4,838 low-income, racially and ethnically diverse middle school students in Los Angeles County, I studied the effects of different types of media use (i.e., social media, TV/movies/videos, gaming, music, Internet) on dietary p...

  10. A Micro and Mesocosm Approach to Understanding the Response of Branched GDGTs to Environmental Perturbation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Sosa, P.; Tierney, J. E.; Castañeda, I. S.

    2017-12-01

    Branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) are membrane lipids with 15 known structures. Thought to be synthesized by bacteria, they are found in peatlands, soils, near-shore marine sediments and lakes. Previous studies have reported a correlation between the number and position of methyl groups and cyclopentane moieties in these lipids with environmental factors such as pH and temperature, leading to the creation of the methylation and cyclisation indices (MBT and CBT respectively). Although an empirical relationship between these structural modifications and environmental conditions has been described, the source organism for these molecules remains unknown. Lacking pure cultures of brGDGT producing bacteria, a different approach is necessary to study their response to environmental perturbations under controlled conditions. To this end, we studied the production of brGDGTs in water from two fishing lakes in Arizona using a series of microcosms, comprised by 1L flasks filled with environmental water; and mesocosm experiments, where two 20L tanks were filled with either lake water or lake water and synthetic sediments. This experimental design allowed us to modify environmental factors while preserving the natural conditions of the sample. Our experiments point to a production of brGDGTs on the suspended particulate matter in the water column, which appears to contribute to some extent to the presence of this molecules on lake sediments. Furthermore, we observed a shift in the ratio between 5' and 6' isomers related to both the presence of a carbon source and temperature. Limited oxygen availability appears to correlate with higher brGDGT concentration. Notably, we find that methylation decreases with increasing temperature in our experiments at a rate that is roughly in agreement with empirical observations. To our knowledge, these experiments provide the first evidence of growth and alteration of brGDGTs under laboratory conditions, which could be

  11. The premises is the premise: understanding off- and on-premises alcohol sales outlets to improve environmental alcohol prevention strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinman, Matthew; Burkhart, Q; Ebener, Patricia; Fan, Cha-Chi; Imm, Pamela; Osilla, Karen Chan; Paddock, Susan M; Wright, Annie

    2011-06-01

    Environmental strategies to prevent the misuse of alcohol among youth--e.g., use of public policies to restrict minors' access to alcohol--have been shown to reduce underage drinking. However, implementation of policy changes often requires public and private partnerships. One way to support these partnerships is to better understand the target of many of the environmental strategies, which is the alcohol sales outlet. Knowing more about how off-premises outlets (e.g., liquor and convenience stores) and on-premises outlets (e.g., bars and restaurants) are alike and different could help community-based organizations better tailor, plan, and implement their environmental strategies and strengthen partnerships between the public and commercial sectors. We conducted a survey of managerial or supervisory staff and/or owners of 336 off- and on-premises alcohol outlets in six counties in South Carolina, comparing these two outlet types on their preferences regarding certain alcohol sales practices, beliefs toward underage drinking, alcohol sales practices, and outcomes. Multilevel logistic regression showed that while off- and on-premises outlets did have many similarities, off-premises outlets appear to engage in more practices designed to prevent sales of alcohol to minors than on-premises outlets. The relationship between certain Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) practices and outcomes varied by outlet type. This study furthers the understanding of the differences between off- and on-premises alcohol sales outlets and offers options for increasing and tailoring environmental prevention efforts to specific settings.

  12. The ecopoiesis as the basis for an environmental perspective to the administration, complex organization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arango Fernandez, Wilfer Ignacio

    2008-01-01

    Reality is not as simple as we would like. It is complex so that can't always be understood through simple rules. That's why the explorations of the science have catalyzed a profound reconceptualization of the universe. A wholly new way of seeing, thinking, knowing in the world has been introduced. The new perspective seeks to understand systems that change in ways not amenable to the linear vision. The organizations, most particularly the enterprise, are subject to the very same principles of the new science, and one major impact in applying the concepts of complexity is the way in which they are seen. In the X Xl century, companies will no longer be effectively managed by rigid and lineal objectives or perspectives. The state of chaos leads to creativity, innovations and self organisation?disorder, dissipation and change are the rules, no more the exceptions. This article proposes the understanding of organizations in terms of a holistic perception confronts the traditional visions and explores the relevance of the new paradigm in the field of the relation between organizations and environment. An overview of the significance of the change of perception is provided, followed by the way in which the theory (complexity, ecopoiesis, and dissipative structures, living organization) can be applied to the field of management

  13. Application for 3d Scene Understanding in Detecting Discharge of Domesticwaste Along Complex Urban Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninsalam, Y.; Qin, R.; Rekittke, J.

    2016-06-01

    In our study we use 3D scene understanding to detect the discharge of domestic solid waste along an urban river. Solid waste found along the Ciliwung River in the neighbourhoods of Bukit Duri and Kampung Melayu may be attributed to households. This is in part due to inadequate municipal waste infrastructure and services which has caused those living along the river to rely upon it for waste disposal. However, there has been little research to understand the prevalence of household waste along the river. Our aim is to develop a methodology that deploys a low cost sensor to identify point source discharge of solid waste using image classification methods. To demonstrate this we describe the following five-step method: 1) a strip of GoPro images are captured photogrammetrically and processed for dense point cloud generation; 2) depth for each image is generated through a backward projection of the point clouds; 3) a supervised image classification method based on Random Forest classifier is applied on the view dependent red, green, blue and depth (RGB-D) data; 4) point discharge locations of solid waste can then be mapped by projecting the classified images to the 3D point clouds; 5) then the landscape elements are classified into five types, such as vegetation, human settlement, soil, water and solid waste. While this work is still ongoing, the initial results have demonstrated that it is possible to perform quantitative studies that may help reveal and estimate the amount of waste present along the river bank.

  14. Understanding the Complexities of Subnational Incentives in Supporting a National Market for Distributed Photovoltaics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bush, B.; Doris, E.; Getman, D.

    2014-09-01

    Subnational policies pertaining to photovoltaic (PV) systems have increased in volume in recent years and federal incentives are set to be phased out over the next few. Understanding how subnational policies function within and across jurisdictions, thereby impacting PV market development, informs policy decision making. This report was developed for subnational policy-makers and researchers in order to aid the analysis on the function of PV system incentives within the emerging PV deployment market. The analysis presented is based on a 'logic engine,' a database tool using existing state, utility, and local incentives allowing users to see the interrelationships between PV system incentives and parameters, such as geographic location, technology specifications, and financial factors. Depending on how it is queried, the database can yield insights into which combinations of incentives are available and most advantageous to the PV system owner or developer under particular circumstances. This is useful both for individual system developers to identify the most advantageous incentive packages that they qualify for as well as for researchers and policymakers to better understand the patch work of incentives nationwide as well as how they drive the market.

  15. Photosynthetic complex stoichiometry dynamics in higher plants: environmental acclimation and photosynthetic flux control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Aurel Schöttler

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The composition of the photosynthetic apparatus of higher plants is dynamically adjusted to long-term changes in environmental conditions such as growth light intensity and light quality, and to changing metabolic demands for ATP and NADPH imposed by stresses and leaf ageing. By changing photosynthetic complex stoichiometry, a long-term imbalance between the photosynthetic production of ATP and NADPH and their metabolic consumption is avoided, and cytotoxic side reactions are minimized. Otherwise, an excess capacity of the light reactions, relative to the demands of primary metabolism, could result in a disturbance of cellular redox homeostasis and an increased production of reactive oxygen species, leading to the destruction of the photosynthetic apparatus and the initiation of cell death programs. In this review, changes of the abundances of the different constituents of the photosynthetic apparatus in response to environmental conditions and during leaf ontogenesis are summarized. The contributions of the different photosynthetic complexes to photosynthetic flux control and the regulation of electron transport are discussed.

  16. Coping with Complex Environmental and Societal Flood Risk Management Decisions: An Integrated Multi-criteria Framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Love Ekenberg

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available During recent years, a great deal of attention has been focused on the financial risk management of natural disasters. One reason behind is that the economic losses from floods, windstorms, earthquakes and other disasters in both the developing and developed countries are escalating dramatically. It has become apparent that an integrated water resource management approach would be beneficial in order to take both the best interests of society and of the environment into consideration. One improvement consists of models capable of handling multiple criteria (conflicting objectives as well as multiple stakeholders (conflicting interests. A systems approach is applied for coping with complex environmental and societal risk management decisions with respect to flood catastrophe policy formation, wherein the emphasis is on computer-based modeling and simulation techniques combined with methods for evaluating strategies where numerous stakeholders are incorporated in the process. The resulting framework consists of a simulation model, a decision analytical tool, and a set of suggested policy strategies for policy formulation. The framework will aid decision makers with high risk complex environmental decisions subject to significant uncertainties.

  17. Food, health, and complexity: towards a conceptual understanding to guide collaborative public health action

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannon E. Majowicz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background What we eat simultaneously impacts our exposure to pathogens, allergens, and contaminants, our nutritional status and body composition, our risks for and the progression of chronic diseases, and other outcomes. Furthermore, what we eat is influenced by a complex web of drivers, including culture, politics, economics, and our built and natural environments. To date, public health initiatives aimed at improving food-related population health outcomes have primarily been developed within ‘practice silos’, and the potential for complex interactions among such initiatives is not well understood. Therefore, our objective was to develop a conceptual model depicting how infectious foodborne illness, food insecurity, dietary contaminants, obesity, and food allergy can be linked via shared drivers, to illustrate potential complex interactions and support future collaboration across public health practice silos. Methods We developed the conceptual model by first conducting a systematic literature search to identify review articles containing schematics that depicted relationships between drivers and the issues of interest. Next, we synthesized drivers into a common model using a modified thematic synthesis approach that combined an inductive thematic analysis and mapping to synthesize findings. Results The literature search yielded 83 relevant references containing 101 schematics. The conceptual model contained 49 shared drivers and 227 interconnections. Each of the five issues was connected to all others. Obesity and food insecurity shared the most drivers (n = 28. Obesity shared several drivers with food allergy (n = 11, infectious foodborne illness (n = 7, and dietary contamination (n = 6. Food insecurity shared several drivers with infectious foodborne illness (n = 9 and dietary contamination (n = 9. Infectious foodborne illness shared drivers with dietary contamination (n = 8. Fewer drivers were

  18. Physical Chemistry of Nanomedicine: Understanding the Complex Behaviors of Nanoparticles in Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Lucas A.; Qian, Ximei; Smith, Andrew M.; Nie, Shuming

    2015-04-01

    Nanomedicine is an interdisciplinary field of research at the interface of science, engineering, and medicine, with broad clinical applications ranging from molecular imaging to medical diagnostics, targeted therapy, and image-guided surgery. Despite major advances during the past 20 years, there are still major fundamental and technical barriers that need to be understood and overcome. In particular, the complex behaviors of nanoparticles under physiological conditions are poorly understood, and detailed kinetic and thermodynamic principles are still not available to guide the rational design and development of nanoparticle agents. Here we discuss the interactions of nanoparticles with proteins, cells, tissues, and organs from a quantitative physical chemistry point of view. We also discuss insights and strategies on how to minimize nonspecific protein binding, how to design multistage and activatable nanostructures for improved drug delivery, and how to use the enhanced permeability and retention effect to deliver imaging agents for image-guided cancer surgery.

  19. Complex bifurcation patterns in a discrete predator–prey model with periodic environmental modulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harikrishnan, K. P.

    2018-02-01

    We consider the simplest model in the family of discrete predator-prey system and introduce for the first time an environmental factor in the evolution of the system by periodically modulating the natural death rate of the predator. We show that with the introduction of environmental modulation, the bifurcation structure becomes much more complex with bubble structure and inverse period doubling bifurcation. The model also displays the peculiar phenomenon of coexistence of multiple limit cycles in the domain of attraction for a given parameter value that combine and finally gets transformed into a single strange attractor as the control parameter is increased. To identify the chaotic regime in the parameter plane of the model, we apply the recently proposed scheme based on the correlation dimension analysis. We show that the environmental modulation is more favourable for the stable coexistence of the predator and the prey as the regions of fixed point and limit cycle in the parameter plane increase at the expense of chaotic domain.

  20. Monitoring and Analysis of Environmental Gamma Dose Rate around Serpong Nuclear Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.P. Susila

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available An environmental radiation monitoring system that continuously measures gamma dose rate around nuclear facilities is an important tool to present dose rate information to the public or authorities for radiological protection during both normal operation and radiological accidents. We have developed such a system that consists of six GM-based device for monitoring the environmental dose rate around Serpong Nuclear Complex. It has operated since 2010. In this study, a description of the system and analysis of measured data are presented. Analysis of the data for the last five years shows that the average dose rate levels were between 84-99 nSv/h which are still lower than terrestrial gamma radiation levels at several other locations in Indonesia. Time series analysis of the monitoring data demonstrates a good agreement between an increase in environmental gamma dose rate and the presence of iodine and argon in the air by in situ measurement. This result indicates that system is also effective for an early warning system in the case of radiological emergency.

  1. Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex environmental monitoring report for calendar year 1984

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-05-01

    At the Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex all effluent streams are sampled regularly and analyzed to assess compliance with applicable environmental standards. Radioactivity is measured in air, water, fish, produce, soil, and sediments; and radiation doses to the public are calculated. The calculated public radiation doses from process effluents are within US Department of Energy (DOE) and US Environmental Protection Agency standards. An extensive amount of engineering effort is underway to modify existing airborne radioactivity emissions sources to further reduce emissions in compliance with DOE policy. Non-radioactive effluents either presently comply with federal standards or will comply upon completion of planned projects. CY-1984 was the fourth full year under the current National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for liquid effluents, and the second year the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assumed responsibility for administering the NPDES program. Compliance with the permit's discharge limits, with the exception of violations due to the startup of two new wastewater treatment facilities, did not present any significant problems. Overall compliance was 94.7%

  2. Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex environmental monitoring report for calendar year 1985

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    At the Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex all effluent streams are sampled regularly and analyzed to assess compliance with applicable environmental standards. Radioactivity is measured in air, water, fish, produce, soil, sediments and vegetation; and radiation doses to the public are calculated. The calculated public radiation doses from process effluents are within US Department of Energy (DOE) and US Environmental protection Agency (USEPA) standards. An extensive amount of engineering effort is underway to modify existing airborne radioactivity emissions sources to further reduce emissions in compliance with DOE policy. Non-radioactive effluents either presently comply with federal standards or will comply upon completion of planned projects. CY-1985 was the fifth full year under the current National Pullutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for liquid effluents, and the third year since the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) assumed responsibility for administering the NPDES program. Compliance with the permit's discharge limits, with the exception of violations due to the Coal Pile Treatment Facility and the Biodenitrification Plant for which projects to improve performance are currently underway, did not present any significant problems. Overall compliance was 95.5%. There was increased activity in the areas of groundwater monitoring, hazardous waste and PCB waste management to comply with Federal regulations

  3. Complexity, rhizome and magma, three key elements in pattern building in environmental research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noguera de Echeverri, Ana Patricia

    2002-01-01

    The following reading synthesizes the rur-urban-agrary environmental research pattern that appear from the research Caldas Agrary Environmental Profile (IDEA, National University, Manizales - Colciencias, 1998 - 2000). This pattern is constructed from three ideas of the contemporary philosophy: complexity, rhizome and magma that comes from another disciplines: the mathematics, botanic, and geology. The genetics-historical method that follows this article, starts with a critical analysis to the relation forms between society and nature that belongs to the modernity, to do then, a presentation of the influence of the ecology in the construction of new relations between society and nature, culture and nature, and the influence of the theory of systems in a systemic view of society, culture, and nature. Finish with a presentation of the pattern ecosystem-culture made for Augusto Angel Maya and the critical-development that becomes form this pattern, that we had named rur-urban-agrary rhizoma. For example we show how this research pattern let us to amplify the methodology of river basins that we use inside the Agrary Environmental Profile

  4. Environmental assessment report: Nuclear Test Technology Complex. [Construction and operation of proposed facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tonnessen, K.; Tewes, H.A.

    1982-08-01

    The US Department of Energy (USDOE) is planning to construct and operate a structure, designated the Nuclear Test Technology Complex (NTTC), on a site located west of and adjacent to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NTTC is designed to house 350 nuclear test program personnel, and will accommodate the needs of the entire staff of the continuing Nuclear Test Program (NTP). The project has three phases: land acquisition, facility construction and facility operation. The purpose of this environmental assessment report is to describe the activities associated with the three phases of the NTTC project and to evaluate potential environmental disruptions. The project site is located in a rural area of southeastern Alameda County, California, where the primary land use is agriculture; however, the County has zoned the area for industrial development. The environmental impacts of the project include surface disturbance, high noise levels, possible increases in site erosion, and decreased air quality. These impacts will occur primarily during the construction phase of the NTTC project and can be mitigated in part by measures proposed in this report.

  5. Using design principles to foster understanding of complex health concepts in consumer informatics tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Rupananda; Mark, Jessica H; Khan, Sharib; Kukafka, Rita

    2010-11-13

    Consumer health informatics tools can only be effective if patients comprehend their content. Optimal design may foster better patient comprehension and health literacy, which can improve health outcomes. We developed a patient-centric decision aid, Tailored Lifestyle Conversations (TLC), to help patients comprehend behavioral risks and set behavior change priorities for reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. The TLC decision aid was developed using a design framework based on Gestalt Principles of Perception. Further iteration was informed by qualitative user feedback. Preliminary analysis showed that the TLC decision aid helped patients understand their risk and supported their decisions on health behavior change. We identified design elements that supported patient comprehension, and other elements that were not effective, to inform iterative revision. This paper describes an effective methodology for the development of consumer health informatics tools that includes grounding in design principles complemented by iterative revision based on user testing and feedback.

  6. APPLICATION FOR 3D SCENE UNDERSTANDING IN DETECTING DISCHARGE OF DOMESTICWASTE ALONG COMPLEX URBAN RIVERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Ninsalam

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In our study we use 3D scene understanding to detect the discharge of domestic solid waste along an urban river. Solid waste found along the Ciliwung River in the neighbourhoods of Bukit Duri and Kampung Melayu may be attributed to households. This is in part due to inadequate municipal waste infrastructure and services which has caused those living along the river to rely upon it for waste disposal. However, there has been little research to understand the prevalence of household waste along the river. Our aim is to develop a methodology that deploys a low cost sensor to identify point source discharge of solid waste using image classification methods. To demonstrate this we describe the following five-step method: 1 a strip of GoPro images are captured photogrammetrically and processed for dense point cloud generation; 2 depth for each image is generated through a backward projection of the point clouds; 3 a supervised image classification method based on Random Forest classifier is applied on the view dependent red, green, blue and depth (RGB-D data; 4 point discharge locations of solid waste can then be mapped by projecting the classified images to the 3D point clouds; 5 then the landscape elements are classified into five types, such as vegetation, human settlement, soil, water and solid waste. While this work is still ongoing, the initial results have demonstrated that it is possible to perform quantitative studies that may help reveal and estimate the amount of waste present along the river bank.

  7. Enactive cinema paves way for understanding complex real-time social interaction in neuroimaging experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikka, Pia; Väljamäe, Aleksander; de Borst, Aline W; Pugliese, Roberto; Ravaja, Niklas; Kaipainen, Mauri; Takala, Tapio

    2012-01-01

    We outline general theoretical and practical implications of what we promote as enactive cinema for the neuroscientific study of online socio-emotional interaction. In a real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (rt-fMRI) setting, participants are immersed in cinematic experiences that simulate social situations. While viewing, their physiological reactions-including brain responses-are tracked, representing implicit and unconscious experiences of the on-going social situations. These reactions, in turn, are analyzed in real-time and fed back to modify the cinematic sequences they are viewing while being scanned. Due to the engaging cinematic content, the proposed setting focuses on living-by in terms of shared psycho-physiological epiphenomena of experience rather than active coping in terms of goal-oriented motor actions. It constitutes a means to parametrically modify stimuli that depict social situations and their broader environmental contexts. As an alternative to studying the variation of brain responses as a function of a priori fixed stimuli, this method can be applied to survey the range of stimuli that evoke similar responses across participants at particular brain regions of interest.

  8. Using Interactive Case Studies to Support Students Understandings of Local Environmental Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Kostova

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The article presents designed and refined an interactive-enhanced curriculum module for 9th grade secondary school students in Bulgaria, based on environmental case studies. In the module activities students from two schools studied the local environments, performed observations and experiments, collected and analyzed data, prepared and presented posters and role plays, made connections between scientific processes and socio-scientific issues and drew conclusions about the global effects of locally created environmental problems. The students’ critical observations of the quality of their surroundings helped them to make a list of local environmental problems, to apply interactive strategies in studying them and to propose rational scientifically based solutions. In the study the attention was directed to the advantages and disadvantages of poster presentations and role playing and to the specific learning difficulties that students had to overcome. Students’ achievements from the two experimental schools were assessed independently in order to give us insights into the details of learning using different interactive strategies and into the acquired performance skills, dependant on students’ interests and personal abilities. The three versions of the module (traditional, dominated by teacher presentation; poster preparation and presentation in which students imitate scientific team research; and role playing in which students not only study the local environmental problems but assume social roles to cope with them demonstrate three levels of students learning independence. Specific assessment tests and check lists were developed for analyzing, evaluating and comparing students’ achievements in each version of the module and in each school. Ecological knowledge assessment tests were based on Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. Poster and role playing preparations and presentations were assessed by specific criteria, shown in the

  9. Assessing and managing health and environmental risks from energy and other complex industrial systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-03-01

    There is a growing awareness that it is necessary to identify, assess, and manage the risks of energy and other complex industrial activities in order to minimize their potential to harm public health and the environment. Therefore, quantitative risk analysis with emphasis on risk management has become an important aspect in high level decision making for regulation in developed and developing countries. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have initiated a project to promote the use of risk assessment and risk management in environmental health and safety decision making throughout the world. A meeting was held in Paris, France on October 13-17, 1986. The purpose of the meeting was to: a) Discuss the state of the art of national and international experience in conducting case studies in the field of assessing and managing industrial risks from energy and other complex industrial systems either at the plant level or in highly industrialized areas within a country; b) Present and discuss planned regional risk management case studies within a country or international research projects on risk management to be implemented in the future; and c) Review the Project Document on ''Assessing, Controlling, and Managing Health and Environmental Risks from Energy and Other Complex Industrial Systems''. The full texts, together with abstracts, of the papers given at the meeting are presented. The summary reviews briefly some of the major points that arose in papers or in the ensuing discussions. Where a consensus view resulted, conclusions were drawn. Major differences of opinion are also noted

  10. A phenomenological understanding of residents' emotional distress of living in an environmental justice community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dory, Gabriela; Qiu, Zeyuan; Qiu, Christina M; Fu, Mei R; Ryan, Caitlin E

    2017-12-01

    Deteriorative environmental conditions in environmental justice (EJ) communities not only post direct health risks such as chronic illnesses, but also cause emotional distress such as anxiety, fear, and anger among residents, which may further exacerbate health risks. This study applies a descriptive phenomenological method to explore and describe the emotional experience of residents living in Ironbound, a known EJ community located in Newark, New Jersey. Twenty-three residents participated in the study. Four essential themes regarding the residents' emotional experiences were elicited from 43 interviews: (1) being worried about the harmful effects of the surrounding pollution; (2) being distressed by the known historical pollution sources; (3) being frustrated by the unheard voices and/or lack of responses; and (4) being angered by the ongoing pollution sources. Participants not only expressed their emotions of worry, distress, frustration, and anger in detail but also described reasons or situations that provoked such negative emotions. Such detailed depictions provide insights into potential meaningful strategies to improve residents' psychological wellbeing by alleviating negative emotions and meaningfully engaging residents in developing, implementing, and enforcing environmental laws, regulations, and policies to achieve EJ goals.

  11. Understanding and applying principles of social cognition and decision making in adaptive environmental governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel A. DeCaro

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Environmental governance systems are under greater pressure to adapt and to cope with increased social and ecological uncertainty from stressors like climate change. We review principles of social cognition and decision making that shape and constrain how environmental governance systems adapt. We focus primarily on the interplay between key decision makers in society and legal systems. We argue that adaptive governance must overcome three cooperative dilemmas to facilitate adaptation: (1 encouraging collaborative problem solving, (2 garnering social acceptance and commitment, and (3 cultivating a culture of trust and tolerance for change and uncertainty. However, to do so governance systems must cope with biases in people's decision making that cloud their judgment and create conflict. These systems must also satisfy people's fundamental needs for self-determination, fairness, and security, ensuring that changes to environmental governance are perceived as legitimate, trustworthy, and acceptable. We discuss the implications of these principles for common governance solutions (e.g., public participation, enforcement and conclude with methodological recommendations. We outline how scholars can investigate the social cognitive principles involved in cases of adaptive governance.

  12. Using frameworks to diagram value in complex policy and environmental interventions to prevent childhood obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swank, Melissa Farrell; Brennan, Laura K; Gentry, Daniel; Kemner, Allison L

    2015-01-01

    To date, few tools assist policy makers and practitioners in understanding and conveying the implementation costs, potential impacts, and value of policy and environmental changes to address healthy eating, active living, and childhood obesity. For the Evaluation of Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC), evaluators considered inputs (resources and investments) that generate costs and savings as well as benefits and harms related to social, economic, environmental, and health-related outcomes in their assessment of 49 HKHC community partnerships funded from 2009 to 2014. Using data collected through individual and group interviews and an online performance monitoring system, evaluators created a socioecological framework to assess investments, resources, costs, savings, benefits, and harms at the individual, organizational, community, and societal levels. Evaluators customized frameworks for 6 focal strategies: active transportation, parks and play spaces, child care physical activity standards, corner stores, farmers' markets, and child care nutrition standards. To illustrate the Value Frameworks, this brief highlights the 38 HKHC communities implementing at least 1 active transportation strategy. Evaluators populated this conceptual Value Framework with themes from the strategy-specific inputs and outputs. The range of factors corresponding to the implementation and impact of the HKHC community partnerships are highlighted along with the inputs and outputs. The Value Frameworks helped evaluators identify gaps in current analysis models (ie, benefit-cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis) as well as paint a more complete picture of value for potential obesity prevention strategies. These frameworks provide a comprehensive understanding of investments needed, proposed costs and savings, and potential benefits and harms associated with economic, social, environmental, and health outcomes. This framing also allowed evaluators to demonstrate the interdependence

  13. Understanding Complex Tribofilms by Means of H3BO3-B2O3Model Glasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spadaro, F; Rossi, A; Ramakrishna, Shivaprakash N; Lainé, E; Woodward, P; Spencer, N D

    2018-02-13

    The discovery of the spontaneous reaction of boric oxides with moisture in the air to form lubricious H 3 BO 3 films has led to great interest in the tribology of boron compounds in general. Despite this, a study of the growth kinetics of H 3 BO 3 on a B 2 O 3 substrate under controlled relative humidity (RH) has not yet been reported in the literature. Here, we describe the tribological properties of H 3 BO 3 -B 2 O 3 glass systems after aging under controlled RH over different lengths of time. A series of tribological tests has been performed applying a normal load of 15 N, at both room temperature and 100 °C in YUBASE 4 oil. In addition, the cause of H 3 BO 3 film failure under high-pressure and high-temperature conditions has been studied to find out whether the temperature, the tribostress, or both influence the removal of the lubricious film from the contact points. The following techniques were exploited: confocal Raman spectroscopy to characterize the structure and chemical nature of the glass systems, environmental scanning electron microscopy to examine the morphology of the H 3 BO 3 films developed, atomic force microscopy to monitor changes in roughness as a consequence of the air exposure, focused-ion-beam scanning electron microscopy to measure the average thickness of the H 3 BO 3 films grown over various times on B 2 O 3 glass substrates and to reveal the morphology of the sample in the vertical section, tribological tests to shed light on the system's lubricating properties, and finally small-area X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to investigate the composition of the transfer film formed on the steel ball while tribotesting.

  14. Understanding complexities in coupled dynamics of human-water and food security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usmani, M.; Kondal, A.; Lin, L.; Colwell, R. R.; Jutla, A.

    2017-12-01

    Traditional premise of food security is associated with satisfying human hunger by providing sufficient calories to population. Water is the key variable associated with the growth of crops, which is then used as a metric of success for abundance of food across globe. The current framework often negates complex coupled interaction between availability of food nutrients and human well-being (such as productivity, work efficiency, low birth weight, physical and mental growth). Our analysis suggests that 1 in 3 humans suffer from malnutrition across the globe. In last five decades, most of the countries have a decreasing availability trend in at least one of the twenty-three essential food nutrients required for human well-being. We argue that food security can only be achieved if information on use of water for crops and consumption of food must include availability of nutrients for humans. Here, we propose a new concept of "consumptive nutrients" that include constant feedback mechanism between water-human and societal processes- essential for growth, distribution and consumption of food nutrients. Using Ethiopia as a signature rain-fed agricultural region, we will show how decreasing precipitation has led to an increase in crop productivity, but decreased availability of nutrients for humans. This in turn has destabilizing impact on overall regional economy. We will demonstrate why inclusion of nutrients must be a part of discussion for ensuring food security to human population.

  15. Urban High School Students' Critical Science Agency: Conceptual Understandings and Environmental Actions around Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeill, Katherine L.; Vaughn, Meredith Houle

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates how the enactment of a climate change curriculum supports students' development of critical science agency, which includes students developing deep understandings of science concepts and the ability to take action at the individual and community levels. We examined the impact of a four to six week urban ecology curriculum…

  16. Understanding sudden environmental and societal change through coupled geochronological and artefact shape analyses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoggard, Christian Steven; Sauer, Florian Rudolf; Zernack, Anke Verena

    Over the last twenty years, advances in geometric morphometric methodologies have revolutionised how archaeologists understand changes in artefact shape and form (size plus shape) throughout the Quaternary period. Such methodologies provide a high resolution of artefact coverage, and allow a crit...

  17. Understanding the complexities of functional ability in Alzheimer's disease: more than just basic and instrumental factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahle-Wrobleski, Kristin; Coley, Nicola; Lepage, Benoit; Cantet, Christelle; Vellas, Bruno; Andrieu, Sandrine

    2014-05-01

    Dementia of the Alzheimer's type (AD) is defined by both cognitive and functional decline; new criteria allow for identification of milder, non-functionally impaired patients. Understanding loss of autonomy in AD is essential, as later stages represent a significant burden and cost to patients, their families, and society. The purpose of the present analyses was to determine the factor structure of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living Scale (ADCS-ADL) in a cohort of AD patients. Baseline ADCS-ADL assessments of 734 AD patients from the PLASA study were included in an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Because the ADCS-ADL was designed to assess change over time, change from baseline scores over 2 years were also analyzed using an EFA. Factorial solutions were evaluated based on cross-loading, non-loadings, and number of items per factor. Mean age at baseline was 79.3, mean MMSE was 19.8 and 73.3% of participants were female. Baseline data suggested a 4-factor solution that included factors for basic ADLs (BADLs), domestic/household activities, communication/engagement with the environment, and outside activities. The change scores EFA suggested a 2-factor solution of BADLs and instrumental ADLs (IADLs). Distinct factors of IADLs should be considered for further validation as areas of attention to catch early functional decline.

  18. Integrated approach to the understanding of the degradation of an urban river: local perceptions, environmental parameters and geoprocessing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, Carolina A; Almeida Neto, Miguel S de; Aretakis, Gabriela M A; Santos, Rangel E; de Oliveira, Tiago H; Mourão, José S; Severi, William; El-Deir, Ana C A

    2015-09-15

    The use of interdisciplinary approaches such as the proposed report provides a broad understanding of the relationship between people and the environment, revealing reliable aspects not previously considered in the study of this relationship. This study compiled evidence on the environmental degradation of an urbanized river over the past few decades, providing a diagnosis of the consequences of this process for the river, its ichthyofauna, and the local human population. The study was focused on the Beira Rio community on the Capibaribe River in the municipality of São Lourenço da Mata, Pernambuco, Brazil. Data were collected using geoprocessing and ethnobiological approaches, as well as environmental parameters. This research was conducted with the most experienced long-term residents in the local community, through interviews and participatory methodologies to recovering information about the river environment, its ichthyofauna and its environmental services for the last decades. According to the GIS analysis, the study area was subject to an accelerated process of urbanization, with the total urban area increasing from 73 565, 98 m(2) in 1974 to 383 363, 6 m(2) in 2005. The informants perceived the urban growth, especially in the late twentieth century, being this period recognized as the phase of greatest negative changes in the river environment. The perceived decline of fish stocks was indicated by the community as one of the effects of river degradation. According to the interviews, the deterioration of the river affected the ecosystem services and the relationship of the adjacent human community with this ecosystem. The environmental data indicated that the river is suffering eutrophization and has fecal coliform concentrations 160 times higher than the maximum level permitted by Brazilian legislation. The interdisciplinary approach used in this research allowed the understanding of the degradation process of an urban river and some negative effects

  19. Two logics of NGO advocacy: understanding inside and outside lobbying on EU environmental policies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Junk, Wiebke Marie

    2016-01-01

    Contributions by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to European governance supposedly enhance participatory democracy. It matters for this democratic surplus how NGOs foster relationships to both policy-makers and publics by engaging in inside and outside lobbying on European Union policies....... This article investigates the factors that explain this lobbying behaviour. It contrasts organization-level hypotheses on the NGOs’ relational and resource characteristics with issue-level hypotheses on the complexity, salience and beneficiary group of the policy issue. Expectations are formulated under...... the assumption that different logics of influence and reputation drive inside and outside lobbying by NGOs. The findings suggest that issue-level characteristics have more explanatory power than organization-level factors. More salient, less complex issues and issues involving a public good have significantly...

  20. Effective Two-way Communication of Environmental Hazards: Understanding Public Perception in the UK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorono-Leturiondo, Maria; O'Hare, Paul; Cook, Simon; Hoon, Stephen R.; Illingworth, Sam

    2017-04-01

    Climate change intensified hazards, such as floods and landslides, require exploring renewed ways of protecting at-risk communities (World Economic Forum 2016). Scientists are being encouraged to explore new pathways to work closely with affected communities in search of experiential knowledge that is able to complement and extend scientific knowledge (see for instance Whatmore and Landström 2011 and Höpner et al. 2010). Effective two-way communication of environmental hazards is, however, a challenge. Besides considering factors such as the purpose of communication, or the characteristics of the different formats; effective communication has to carefully acknowledge the personal framework of the individuals involved. Existing experiences, values, beliefs, and needs are critical determinants of the way they perceive and relate to these hazards, and in turn, of the communication process in which they are involved (Longnecker 2016 and Gibson et al. 2016). Our study builds on the need to analyze how the public perceives environmental hazards in order to establish forms of communication that work. Here we present early findings of a survey analysing the UK public's perception and outline how survey results can guide more effective two-way communication practices between scientists and affected communities. We explore the perception of environmental hazards in terms of how informed and concerned the public is, as well as how much ownership they claim over these phenomena. In order to gain a more accurate image, we study environmental hazards in relation to other risks threatening the UK, such as large-scale involuntary migration or unemployment (World Economic Forum 2016, Bord et al. 1998). We also explore information consumption in relation to environmental hazards and the public's involvement in advancing knowledge. All these questions are accompanied by an extensive demographics section that allows us to ascertain how the context or environment in which an

  1. Understanding complex coacervation in serum albumin and pectin mixtures using a combination of the Boltzmann equation and Monte Carlo simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yunqi; Zhao, Qin; Huang, Qingrong

    2014-01-30

    A combination of turbidimetric titration, a sigmoidal Boltzmann equation approach and Monte Carlo simulation has been used to study the complex coacervation in serum albumin and pectin mixtures. The effects of the mass ratio of protein to polysaccharide on the critical pH values, the probability of complex coacervation and the electrostatic interaction from charge patches in serum albumin were investigated. Turbidimetric titration results showed an optimum pH for complex coacervation (pHm), which corresponded to the maximum turbidity in the protein/polysaccharide mixture. The pHm monotonically decreased as the ratio decreased, and could be fitted using the sigmoidal Boltzmann equation. It suggests that pHm could be a good ordering parameter to characterize the phase behavior associated with protein/polysaccharide complex coacervation. Qualitative understanding of pHm by taking into account the minimization of electrostatic interaction, as well as quantitative matching of pHm according to the concept of charge neutralization were both achieved. Our results suggest that the serum albumin/pectin complexes were ultimately neutralized by the partial charges originated from the titratable residues in protein and polysaccharide chains at pHm. The Monte Carlo simulation provided consistent phase boundaries for complex coacervation in the same system, and the intermolecular association strength was determined to be several kBT below the given ionic strength. The strongest binding site in the protein is convergent to the largest positive charge patch if pure electrostatic interaction was considered. Further inclusion of contribution from excluded volume resulted in the binding site distribution over five different positive charge patches at different protein/polysaccharide ratios and pH values. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Pathways of understanding: The interactions of humanity and global environmental change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobson, H.K.; Katzenberger, J.; Lousma, J.; Mooney, H.A.; Moss, R.H.; Kuhn, W.; Luterbacher, U.; Wiegandt, E.

    1992-01-01

    How humans, interacting within social systems, affect and are affected by global change is explored. Recognizing the impact human activities have on the environment and responding to the need to document the interactions among human activities, the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) commissioned a group of 12 scientists to develop a framework illustrating the key human systems that contribute to global change. This framework, called the Social Process Diagram, will help natural and social scientists, educators, resource managers and policy makers envision and analyze how human systems interact among themselves and with the natural system. The Social Process Diagram consists of the following blocks that constitute the Diagram's structural framework: (1) fund of knowledge and experience; (2) preferences and expectations; (3) factors of production and technology; (4) population and social structure; (5) economic systems; (6) political systems and institutions; and (7) global scale environmental processes. To demonstrate potential ways the Diagram can be used, this document includes 3 hypothetical scenarios of global change issues: global warming and sea level rise; the environmental impact of human population migration; and energy and the environment. These scenarios demonstrate the Diagram's usefulness for visualizing specific processes that might be studied to evaluate a particular global change issues. The scenario also shows that interesting and unanticipated questions may emerge as links are explored between categories on the Diagram

  3. Understanding smallholders’ intended deforestation behavior in the Brazilian Cerrado following environmental registry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vang Rasmussen, Laura; Jung, Suhyun; Dantas Brites, Alice; Watkins, Cristy; Agrawal, Arun

    2016-09-01

    Brazil’s Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) is a potentially promising avenue to slow deforestation on private properties as it facilitates the monitoring of land use. Yet limited empirical evidence exists on how the CAR affects smallholders’ behavior and recent scholarly efforts have in fact indicated that it may be doing less to protect forests than previously assumed. Based on 1177 smallholder surveys conducted in the Cerrado, we assess 1) whether the CAR might incentivize smallholders to pursue deforestation and 2) which factors are associated with smallholders’ intended deforestation behavior. We find that upon CAR registration, factors significantly associated with smallholders’ intention to deforest are: the existing percentage of native vegetation on the property, the use of agricultural loans, property owner’s age, and livestock production experience. To curb deforestation that may follow expressed intentions of smallholders, the CAR, and environmental registration programs alike, should account for existing land use by, for example, improving the system already in place for trading areas of native vegetation as this system is not widely adopted by those smallholders with more native vegetation than the legal cut-off. Also, such programs should assess the role of whether conditions related to land cover maintenance may protect against deforestation if credit access is supported especially to younger smallholders and/or livestock producers with a high percentage of native vegetation in their properties.

  4. Living with heterogeneities in bioreactors: understanding the effects of environmental gradients on cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, Alvaro R; Galindo, Enrique; Ramírez, Octavio T; Palomares, Laura A

    2006-11-01

    The presence of spatial gradients in fundamental culture parameters, such as dissolved gases, pH, concentration of substrates, and shear rate, among others, is an important problem that frequently occurs in large-scale bioreactors. This problem is caused by a deficient mixing that results from limitations inherent to traditional scale-up methods and practical constraints during large-scale bioreactor design and operation. When cultured in a heterogeneous environment, cells are continuously exposed to fluctuating conditions as they travel through the various zones of a bioreactor. Such fluctuations can affect cell metabolism, yields, and quality of the products of interest. In this review, the theoretical analyses that predict the existence of environmental gradients in bioreactors and their experimental confirmation are reviewed. The origins of gradients in common culture parameters and their effects on various organisms of biotechnological importance are discussed. In particular, studies based on the scale-down methodology, a convenient tool for assessing the effect of environmental heterogeneities, are surveyed.

  5. Regulatory requirements and tools for environmental assessment of hazardous wastes: understanding tribal and stakeholder concerns using Department of Energy sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Powers, Charles; Gochfeld, Michael

    2010-12-01

    Many US governmental and Tribal Nation agencies, as well as state and local entities, deal with hazardous wastes within regulatory frameworks that require specific environmental assessments. In this paper we use Department of Energy (DOE) sites as examples to examine the relationship between regulatory requirements and environmental assessments for hazardous waste sites and give special attention to how assessment tools differ. We consider federal laws associated with environmental protection include the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), as well as regulations promulgated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Tribal Nations and state agencies. These regulatory regimes require different types of environmental assessments and remedial investigations, dose assessments and contaminant pathways. The DOE case studies illustrate the following points: 1) there is often understandable confusion about what regulatory requirements apply to the site resources, and what environmental assessments are required by each, 2) the messages sent on site safety issued by different regulatory agencies are sometimes contradictory or confusing (e.g. Oak Ridge Reservation), 3) the regulatory frameworks being used to examine the same question can be different, leading to different conclusions (e.g. Brookhaven National Laboratory), 4) computer models used in support of groundwater models or risk assessments are not necessarily successful in convincing Native Americans and others that there is no possibility of risk from contaminants (e.g. Amchitka Island), 5) when given the opportunity to choose between relying on a screening risk assessments or waiting for a full site-specific analysis of contaminants in biota, the screening risk assessment option is rarely selected (e.g. Amchitka, Hanford Site), and finally, 6) there needs to be agreement on whether

  6. Strategic planning model for achieving stakeholder involvement in environmental at DOE weapons complex sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, G.

    1994-01-01

    Within today's reality a public manager often needs to develop cooperative relationships among a number of individual, program, and organizational stakeholders to accomplish particular projects, programs, or policies. A DOE site manager charged with accomplishing environmental restoration and conversion at former weapons production sites is no exception. Important reasons for this include the technical and political complexity of the clean-up problem; limits on the funding, authority, and other resources available to DOE; authority, responsibilities, and interests of other stakeholders; and the ever present potential for conflict among stakeholders, and power of any one to hinder, if not halt, the clean-up process if conflicts aren't managed and cooperative relationships established and maintained

  7. Molecular typing of environmental Cryptococcus neoformans/C. gattii species complex isolates from Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Gleica Soyan Barbosa; Freire, Ana Karla Lima; Bentes, Amaury Dos Santos; Pinheiro, José Felipe de Souza; de Souza, João Vicente Braga; Wanke, Bodo; Matsuura, Takeshi; Jackisch-Matsuura, Ani Beatriz

    2016-08-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii are the main causative agents of cryptococcosis, a systemic fungal disease that affects internal organs and skin, and which is acquired by inhalation of spores or encapsulated yeasts. It is currently known that the C. neoformans/C. gattii species complex has a worldwide distribution, however, some molecular types seem to prevail in certain regions. Few environmental studies of Cryptococcus have been conducted in the Brazilian Amazon. This is the first ecological study of the pathogenic fungi C. neoformans/C. gattii species complex in the urban area of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. A total of 506 samples from pigeon droppings (n = 191), captive bird droppings (n = 60) and tree hollows (n = 255) were collected from June 2012 to January 2014 at schools and public buildings, squares, pet shops, households, the zoo and the bus station. Samples were plated on niger seed agar (NSA) medium supplemented with chloramphenicol and incubated at 25°C for 5 days. Dark-brown colonies were isolated and tested for thermotolerance at 37°C, cycloheximide resistance and growth on canavanine-glycine-bromothymol blue agar. Molecular typing was done by PCR-RFLP. Susceptibility to the antifungal drugs amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole and ketoconazole was tested using Etest(®) strips. In total, 13 positive samples were obtained: one tree hollow (C. gattiiVGII), nine pigeon droppings (C. neoformansVNI) and three captive bird droppings (C. neoformansVNI). The environmental cryptococcal isolates found in this study were of the same molecular types as those responsible for infections in Manaus. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  8. Toward an integrated understanding of perceived biodiversity values and environmental conditions in a national park

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Riper, Carena J.; Kyle, Gerard T.; Sherrouse, Ben C.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Sutton, Stephen G.

    2016-01-01

    In spatial planning and management of protected areas, increased priority is being given to research that integrates social and ecological data. However, public viewpoints of the benefits provided by ecosystems are not easily quantified and often implicitly folded into natural resource management decisions. Drawing on a spatially explicit participatory mapping exercise and a Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES) analysis tool, the present study empirically examined and integrated social values for ecosystem services and environmental conditions within Channel Islands National Park, California. Specifically, a social value indicator of perceived biodiversity was examined using on-site survey data collected from a sample of people who visited the park. This information was modeled alongside eight environmental conditions including faunal species richness for six taxa, vegetation density, categories of marine and terrestrial land cover, and distance to features relevant for decision-makers. Results showed that biodiversity value points assigned to places by the pooled sample of respondents were widely and unevenly mapped, which reflected the belief that biodiversity was embodied to varying degrees by multiple locations in the park. Models generated for two survey subgroups defined by their self-reported knowledge of the Channels Islands revealed distinct spatial patterns of these perceived values. Specifically, respondents with high knowledge valued large spaces that were publicly inaccessible and unlikely to contain on-ground biodiversity, whereas respondents with low knowledge valued places that were experienced first-hand. Accessibility and infrastructure were also important considerations for anticipating how and where people valued the protected land and seascapes of Channel Islands National Park.

  9. The understanding of solid wastes from healthcare services in academic education: a contribution to environmental education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.B. Corrêa

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available This article shows solid wastes of health services have been approached in the process of formation of undergratuation courses of the field of health. Data were collected from coordinators, teachers and students of the courses of Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Nursery-Obstetrics and Medicine of a Public Institution of higher education in the southern region of Brazil. A reform of teaching is taken as necessary, in order to include in the pedagogic processes new understandings: of integrality, articulation, dialogue, problematização, so that to prepare future professionals for facing the problem of solid wastes of health services, with responsibility and commitment.

  10. Understanding tourists’ perceptions of distance: a key to reducing the environmental impacts of tourism mobility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Gunvor Riber; Guiver, Jo W

    2013-01-01

    , as are emissions, with little evidence of the reductions required to comply with emission reduction targets. This research used discourse analysis of in-depth interviews with Danish tourists to explore how they understand distance. Respondents rarely referred to physical distance (e.g. kilometres), but instead...... from links tourists make between physical distance and reaching cultural dissimilarity. Sometimes travel itself was integral with the holiday experience. While cost and time savings were important, the total holiday price was more important than the journey price. Measures are suggested for reducing...

  11. Characteristics of environmental pollution related with public complaints in an industrial shipbuilding complex, Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Jae-Woo; Lee, Myoung-Eun; Lee, Hyeon-Don

    2011-06-01

    The shipbuilding industry of Korea, ranked number one in the world in annual amount of ship orders, has contributed to national economic growth; however, this has resulted in various environmental problems. Characteristics of environmental pollution, such as particulate matters, odor, and noise, which are closely related with public complaints, were evaluated in an industrial shipbuilding complex. The concentrations of PM-10 and TSP were significantly affected by the distance between the measurement site and shipbuilding workplace, as well as the height of the measurement site. Average PM-10 concentrations in the residential area ranged from 40.10 to 44.10 μg/m(3), which were not high in comparison with the ambient air quality standard and those of major cities in Korea. Paint particles could affect a wider area than typical particulate matters due to their generation and transport properties. The properties of odor in the study area were widely affected by the work intensity in shipyards and the temperature. Twenty-five out of total 54 samples collected in the residential area exceeded the dilution factor of 10, which is the tolerable limit adopted in Korea. Noise had an influence on a limited area due to the extinction effect with distance from the shipyards, while severe noise levels higher than 90 dB(A) were frequently found inside the shipyards.

  12. The determination of arsenic, selenium, antimony, and tin in complex environmental samples by hydride generation AAS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, D.; Beach, C.

    1990-01-01

    Hydride generation techniques are used routinely for the determination of As, Se, Sb and Sn in water samples. Advantages include high sensitivity, simplicity, and relative freedom from interferences. Continuous-flow designs greatly reduce analysis time as well as improve precision and allow for automation. However the accurate analysis of more complex environmental samples such as industrial sludges, soil samples, river sediments, and fly ash remains difficult. Numerous contributing factors influence the accuracy of the hydride technique. Sample digestion methods and sample preparation procedures are of critical importance. The digestion must adequately solubilize the elements of interest without loss by volatilization. Sample preparation procedures that guarantee the proper analyte oxidation state and eliminate the nitric acid and inter-element interferences are needed. In this study, difficult environmental samples were analyzed for As, Se, Sb, and Sn by continuous flow hydride generation. Sample preparation methods were optimized to eliminate interferences. The results of spike recovery studies will be presented. Data from the analysis of the same samples by graphite furnace AAS will be presented for comparison of accuracy, precision, and analysis time

  13. Suitability Analyses of Wind Power Generation Complex in South Korea by Using Environmental & Social Criterias

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Y.; Jeon, S. W.; Seong, M.

    2017-12-01

    In case of wind-power, one of the most economical renewable energy resources, it is highly emerged owing to the strategic aspect of the response of environmental restriction and strong energy security as well as the upcoming motivation for huge industrial growth in the future. According to the fourth Fundamental Renewable Energy Plan, declared in Sep. 2014, the government instituted the scheme to minimize the proportion of previous RDF(Refused Derived Fuel) till 2035, promoting the solar power and wind power as the core energy for the next generation. Especially in South Korea, it is somewhat desperate to suggest the standard for environmentally optimal locations of wind power setup accompanied with the prevention of disasters from the climate changes. This is because that in case of South Korea, most of suitable places for Wind power complex are in the ridge of the mountains, where is highly invaluable sites as the pool of bio-resources and ecosystem conservations. In this research, we are to focus on the analysis of suitable locations for wind farm site which is relevant to the meteorological and geological factors, by utilizing GIS techniques through the whole South Korea. Ultimately, this analyses are to minimize the adverse effect derived from the current development of wind power in mountain ridges and the time for negotiation for wind power advance.

  14. Environmental (Saprozoic Pathogens of Engineered Water Systems: Understanding Their Ecology for Risk Assessment and Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J. Ashbolt

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Major waterborne (enteric pathogens are relatively well understood and treatment controls are effective when well managed. However, water-based, saprozoic pathogens that grow within engineered water systems (primarily within biofilms/sediments cannot be controlled by water treatment alone prior to entry into water distribution and other engineered water systems. Growth within biofilms or as in the case of Legionella pneumophila, primarily within free-living protozoa feeding on biofilms, results from competitive advantage. Meaning, to understand how to manage water-based pathogen diseases (a sub-set of saprozoses we need to understand the microbial ecology of biofilms; with key factors including biofilm bacterial diversity that influence amoebae hosts and members antagonistic to water-based pathogens, along with impacts from biofilm substratum, water temperature, flow conditions and disinfectant residual—all control variables. Major saprozoic pathogens covering viruses, bacteria, fungi and free-living protozoa are listed, yet today most of the recognized health burden from drinking waters is driven by legionellae, non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM and, to a lesser extent, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In developing best management practices for engineered water systems based on hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP or water safety plan (WSP approaches, multi-factor control strategies, based on quantitative microbial risk assessments need to be developed, to reduce disease from largely opportunistic, water-based pathogens.

  15. Effects of environmental parameters on the chestnut gall wasp and its complex of indigenous parasitoids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonsignore, Carmelo Peter; Bernardo, Umberto

    2018-04-01

    The chestnut gall wasp (CGW), Dryocosmus kuriphilus, an invasive pest native to China, has caused severe yield and economic losses to chestnut production in Europe since its arrival in 2002. In Southern Italy, the complex of indigenous parasitoids colonizing CGW was monitored between 2013 and 2015, with the aim of estimating the composition of the indigenous parasitoid complex, its ability to control CGW populations, and the interactions of both factors with several measured environmental parameters. We compared results among three differently managed field types. Results showed an increase in the rate of parasitism both when the host population density was lower and in unmanaged chestnut stands with more natural conditions. The percentage of parasitism in galls was related to morphological traits of the galls and to higher seasonal temperatures, which reduced the parasitism intensity because CGW develops earlier under such conditions. The host-parasitoid mortality inside galls varied among sites and was associated mostly with rot fungi during wet spring and summer months. Parasitoid species richness was similar among the study sites, but the proportion of parasitoid species differed between orchards and unmanaged coppice stands. The timing of attack by parasitoids followed a species-specific successional sequence throughout the larva-to-adult life cycle of the CGW. These interactions should be considered in future research on trophic relationships and when modeling invasive scenarios for new pest species.

  16. Approaches for the environmental evaluation of two swamp complexes of the Momposina depression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caballero, Humberto; Durango, Consuelo

    1998-01-01

    The swamp complexes of the Momposina depression in the lower Magdalena River have been submitted to irrational exploitation, transformation and contamination mainly since the beginning of the century, process that has be en getting worse in the last decade. The most evident manifestation of the environmental deterioration is expressed by the drastic reduction of fishing, with important socio-economic effects to the population that lives from this source. The most notorious causes of the actual state of the ecosystem were detected, and some preliminary considerations for its management are presented. However, due to the modifications that the complexes have suffered (closure of the natural sewer, construction of jarillones, modifications of the internal water flows and sediments, over exploitation, of fish and herpetofauna), the deterioration of the limnologic conditions is moderated, which allows to begin recuperation plans. The major impacts were observed in the fauna of birds and reptiles associated to the swamps; the decrease of the ictics populations seems to be related to the strong impact generated by the fishing action used and the interruption of the natural cycles of fish. The possibility of rebuilding the communication swamp-river should be studied with care because it seems the system has arrived to new conditions. The re-opening of the sewers could mean a new unbalanced condition represented mainly by the contamination coming from the Magdalena River

  17. Effects of Environmental Air Pollution on Pulmonary Function Level of Residents in Korean Industrial Complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunju Hong

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to identify environmental air pollution adversely affecting pulmonary function among a community-based general population living in Korean industrial complexes. A total of 1963 residents participated in a pulmonary function test (PFT. The sample population consisted of an exposed group (n = 1487 living within a radius of 5 km of industrial complexes and a control group (n = 476 living over a radius of 10 km from the industrial complexes in Gwangyang and Yeosu cities. PFT results were calculated for each resident of the study population. On-site questionnaire surveys with face-to-face interviews were also conducted to collect more detailed information on personal lifestyles, medical history, exposure to air pollution, and respiratory disease and related symptoms. A total of 486 measured samples were collected by eight automated air-monitoring stations installed in four counties of Gwangyang and four counties of Yeosu in South Korea from January 2006 to February 2007. Mean levels of SO2 (0.012 ppm, CO (0.648 ppm, NO2 (0.02 ppm, O3 (0.034 ppm, and PM10 (43.07 μg/m3, collected within a radius of 5 km, were significantly higher than those collected over a radius of 10 km from Gwangyang and Yeosu industrial complexes. Prevalence odds ratio (OR of abnormal pulmonary function in the exposed group of residents (<5 km was elevated at 1.24 (95% CI 0.71–1.96, but not statistically significant (p > 0.05. In multiple linear regression analysis, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1 and forced vital capacity (FVC levels significantly declined as SO2, CO, and O3 levels increased when adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI, alcohol, smoking, secondhand smoke, and respiratory disease and related symptoms (n = 1963 (p < 0.05. These results suggest that exposure to air pollution affects pulmonary function levels of residents living in Korean industrial complexes.

  18. Preparation and Characterization Challenges to Understanding Environmental and Biological Impacts of Ceria Nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karakoti, Ajay S.; Munusamy, Prabhakaran; Hostetler, Kasey E.; Kodali, Vamsi K.; Kuchibhatla, Satyanarayana V N T; Orr, Galya; Pounds, Joel G.; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Thrall, Brian D.; Baer, Donald R.

    2012-08-01

    It has been increasingly recognized that understanding and predicting the behaviors of nanoparticles is often limited by the degree to which the particles can be reliably produced and are adequately characterized. Examining data from the literature for ceria nanoparticles suggests that thermal history is one factor that has a strong influence on biological impact. Thermal processing may alter many physicochemical properties of the particles including density, crystal structure and the presence of surface contamination, but these may not be sufficiently recorded or reported to determine the ultimate source of an observed impact. A second example shows the types of difficulties that can be encountered in efforts to apply a well-studied synthesis route to producing well defined particles for biological studies. These examples and others highlight the importance of characterizing particles thoroughly and recording details of particle processing and history that are often not recorded and/or reported.

  19. One Health: Understanding and Improving Human, Animal, and Environmental Health as a Connected System Across NOAA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giltz, S.; Trtanj, J.; Jones, H.

    2017-12-01

    The One Health concept recognizes that the health of humans is inextricably linked with the health of animals and the environment. With a growing world population, changing climate, and increased global travel One Health approaches are increasingly useful. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides key stakeholders in the public health sector with the environmental intelligence they need to mitigate emerging health threats. The NOAA One Health Working Group's mission is to integrate and coordinate the network of observing systems and in situ sensors, detection and diagnostic capacity, research and modeling efforts, and sustained engagement with health partners to deliver useful information to public health and resource management communities. The NOAA One Health group divides its broad focus into themes: thermal extremes, water-borne disease, seafood security, Arctic, wildlife and zoonotic disease, vector-borne disease, and air quality (including wildfire). The group connects the work being done throughout NOAA to coordinate One Health related efforts, increase information sharing, promote interdisciplinary approaches, and work towards better disease prevention. We are working to enhance NOAA Science and services to deliver useful information on current and emerging health risks and benefits to health decision makers.

  20. Understanding environmental DNA detection probabilities: A case study using a stream-dwelling char Salvelinus fontinalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Taylor M; Mckelvey, Kevin S.; Young, Michael K.; Sepulveda, Adam; Shepard, Bradley B.; Jane, Stephen F; Whiteley, Andrew R.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Schwartz, Michael K.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental DNA sampling (eDNA) has emerged as a powerful tool for detecting aquatic animals. Previous research suggests that eDNA methods are substantially more sensitive than traditional sampling. However, the factors influencing eDNA detection and the resulting sampling costs are still not well understood. Here we use multiple experiments to derive independent estimates of eDNA production rates and downstream persistence from brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in streams. We use these estimates to parameterize models comparing the false negative detection rates of eDNA sampling and traditional backpack electrofishing. We find that using the protocols in this study eDNA had reasonable detection probabilities at extremely low animal densities (e.g., probability of detection 0.18 at densities of one fish per stream kilometer) and very high detection probabilities at population-level densities (e.g., probability of detection > 0.99 at densities of ≥ 3 fish per 100 m). This is substantially more sensitive than traditional electrofishing for determining the presence of brook trout and may translate into important cost savings when animals are rare. Our findings are consistent with a growing body of literature showing that eDNA sampling is a powerful tool for the detection of aquatic species, particularly those that are rare and difficult to sample using traditional methods.

  1. Complex Systems Are More than the Sum of Their Parts: Using Integration to Understand Performance, Biomechanics, and Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Emily A; Higham, Timothy E

    2015-07-01

    Organisms are comprised of many interacting parts, and an increased number or specialization of those parts leads to greater complexity and the necessity for increased integration (the ability of those parts to perform together and maintain a functioning organism). Although this idea is widely recognized among biologists, organisms are more tangibly studied when those parts are considered independently. This reductionist approach has successfully advanced our understanding of organisms' performance. However, performance of one system might (or might not) be dependent on performance of another system to achieve a relevant outcome, and the mechanism of this dependence is poorly understood. We synthesize the concepts of complexity and integration and discuss their application in a biomechanical context. Capture of prey by predatory fishes is used as an example to highlight the application of these ideas. We provide a theoretical framework for future hypotheses of integration and predict an "integration space" for fishes that is then populated with data extracted from the literature. Additionally, using the kinematics of prey-capture in two species of sculpin (Scorpaeniformes: Cottidae), we show that species exhibit multivariate integration in distinct ways, and that these differences add additional insight into ecological divergence that would not be apparent by considering systems independently. Finally, we discuss new insights into organismal performance gained through the study of integration as an emergent property of kinematic systems working together during a common task. Integration is rarely the trait of interest, but we show that future work should adopt a more holistic approach to understand why and how animals perform complex behaviors. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. A preliminary investigation of the applicability of surface complexation modeling to the understanding of transportation cask weeping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Granstaff, V.E.; Chambers, W.B.; Doughty, D.H.

    1994-01-01

    A new application for surface complexation modeling is described. These models, which describe chemical equilibria among aqueous and adsorbed species, have typically been used for predicting groundwater transport of contaminants by modeling the natural adsorbents as various metal oxides. Our experiments suggest that this type of modeling can also explain stainless steel surface contamination and decontamination mechanisms. Stainless steel transportation casks, when submerged in a spent fuel storage pool at nuclear power stations, can become contaminated with radionuclides such as 137 Cs, 134 Cs, and 60 Co. Subsequent release or desorption of these contaminants under varying environmental conditions occasionally results in the phenomenon known as open-quotes cask weeping.close quotes We have postulated that contaminants in the storage pool adsorb onto the hydrous metal oxide surface of the passivated stainless steel and are subsequently released (by conversion from a fixed to a removable form) during transportation, due to varying environmental factors, such as humidity, road salt, dirt, and acid rain. It is well known that 304 stainless steel has a chromium enriched passive surface layer; thus its adsorption behavior should be similar to that of a mixed chromium/iron oxide. To help us interpret our studies of reversible binding of dissolved metals on stainless steel surfaces, we have studied the adsorption of Co +2 on Cr 2 O 3 . The data are interpreted using electrostatic surface complexation models. The FITEQL computer program was used to obtain the model binding constants and site densities from the experimental data. The MINTEQA2 computer speciation model was used, with the fitted constants, in an attempt to validate this approach

  3. Web mapping system for complex processing and visualization of environmental geospatial datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titov, Alexander; Gordov, Evgeny; Okladnikov, Igor

    2016-04-01

    Environmental geospatial datasets (meteorological observations, modeling and reanalysis results, etc.) are used in numerous research applications. Due to a number of objective reasons such as inherent heterogeneity of environmental datasets, big dataset volume, complexity of data models used, syntactic and semantic differences that complicate creation and use of unified terminology, the development of environmental geodata access, processing and visualization services as well as client applications turns out to be quite a sophisticated task. According to general INSPIRE requirements to data visualization geoportal web applications have to provide such standard functionality as data overview, image navigation, scrolling, scaling and graphical overlay, displaying map legends and corresponding metadata information. It should be noted that modern web mapping systems as integrated geoportal applications are developed based on the SOA and might be considered as complexes of interconnected software tools for working with geospatial data. In the report a complex web mapping system including GIS web client and corresponding OGC services for working with geospatial (NetCDF, PostGIS) dataset archive is presented. There are three basic tiers of the GIS web client in it: 1. Tier of geospatial metadata retrieved from central MySQL repository and represented in JSON format 2. Tier of JavaScript objects implementing methods handling: --- NetCDF metadata --- Task XML object for configuring user calculations, input and output formats --- OGC WMS/WFS cartographical services 3. Graphical user interface (GUI) tier representing JavaScript objects realizing web application business logic Metadata tier consists of a number of JSON objects containing technical information describing geospatial datasets (such as spatio-temporal resolution, meteorological parameters, valid processing methods, etc). The middleware tier of JavaScript objects implementing methods for handling geospatial

  4. Advances in Understanding Sorption and Transport Processes Affecting the Fate of Environmental Pollutants in the Subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karapanagioti, H. K.; Werner, D.; Werth, C.

    2012-04-01

    The results of a call for a special issue that is now in press by the Journal of Contaminant Hydrology will be presented. This special issue is edited by the authors and is entitled "Sorption and Transport Processes Affecting the Fate of Environmental Pollutants in the Subsurface". A short abstract of each paper will be presented along with the most interesting results. Nine papers were accepted. Pollutants studied include: biocolloids, metals (arsenic, chromium, nickel), organic compounds such as hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, micropollutants (PAHs, PCBs), pesticides (glyphosate, 2,4-D). Findings presented in the papers include a modified batch reactor system to study equilibrium-reactive transport problems of metals. Column studies along with theoretical approximations evaluate the combined effects of grain size and pore water velocity on the transport in water saturated porous media of three biocolloids. A polluted sediment remediation method is evaluated considering site-specific conditions through monitoring results and modelling. A field study points to glogging and also sorption as mechanisms affecting the effectiveness of sub-surface flow constructed wetlands. A new isotherm model combining modified traditionally used isotherms is proposed that can be used to simulate pH-dependent metal adsorption. Linear free energy relationships (LFERs) demonstrate ability to predict slight isotope shifts into the groundwater due to sorption. Possible modifications that improve the reliability of kinetic models and parameter values during the evaluation of experiments that assess the sorption of pesticides on soils are tested. Challenges in selecting groundwater pollutant fate and transport models that account for the effect of grain-scale sorption rate limitations are evaluated based on experimental results and are discussed based on the Damköhler number. Finally, a thorough review paper presents the impact of mineral micropores on the transport and fate of

  5. Assessing Canadian inventories to understand the environmental impacts of mercury releases to the Great Lakes region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trip, Luke; Bender, Tonya; Niemi, David

    2004-01-01

    North American pollutant release and transfer registries have been continuously developing with an eye to understanding source/receptor relationships and ensuring that the polluter-paid principle is applied to the appropriate parties. The potential contribution of mercury to the Great Lakes Basin arising from the rerelease of historic mercury pollution from contaminated aquatic and terrestrial media is poorly understood and the subject of concern. Although a considerable amount of data may be available on the atmospheric component of mercury releases to the Basin, further inventory work is needed to quantify the rerelease of the historic mercury. Much of the related existing inventory information is either not derived from direct measurement or not bounded by a mass-balance accounting. Critical to this determination is an increased confidence in the inventories of mercury from past and current practices. This may be enhanced through comprehensive and thorough surveys of contributions from specific products and their life-cycle assessments. An even greater challenge is to determine the bioavailability of the mercury emanating from land-based sources and from aquatic media. This paper describes the interplay among the sources and receptors of mercury and provides a quantitative assessment of current Canadian contributions of mercury as a contaminant to the Great Lakes. Recommendations for improved assessments are provided

  6. Understanding Spatially Complex Segmental and Branch Anatomy Using 3D Printing: Liver, Lung, Prostate, Coronary Arteries, and Circle of Willis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javan, Ramin; Herrin, Douglas; Tangestanipoor, Ardalan

    2016-09-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) manufacturing is shaping personalized medicine, in which radiologists can play a significant role, be it as consultants to surgeons for surgical planning or by creating powerful visual aids for communicating with patients, physicians, and trainees. This report illustrates the steps in development of custom 3D models that enhance the understanding of complex anatomy. We graphically designed 3D meshes or modified imported data from cross-sectional imaging to develop physical models targeted specifically for teaching complex segmental and branch anatomy. The 3D printing itself is easily accessible through online commercial services, and the models are made of polyamide or gypsum. Anatomic models of the liver, lungs, prostate, coronary arteries, and the Circle of Willis were created. These models have advantages that include customizable detail, relative low cost, full control of design focusing on subsegments, color-coding potential, and the utilization of cross-sectional imaging combined with graphic design. Radiologists have an opportunity to serve as leaders in medical education and clinical care with 3D printed models that provide beneficial interaction with patients, clinicians, and trainees across all specialties by proactively taking on the educator's role. Complex models can be developed to show normal anatomy or common pathology for medical educational purposes. There is a need for randomized trials, which radiologists can design, to demonstrate the utility and effectiveness of 3D printed models for teaching simple and complex anatomy, simulating interventions, measuring patient satisfaction, and improving clinical care. Copyright © 2016 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Health-related claims on food labels in Australia: understanding environmental health officers' roles and implications for policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condon-Paoloni, Deanne; Yeatman, Heather R; Grigonis-Deane, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Health and related claims on food labels can support consumer education initiatives that encourage purchase of healthier foods. A new food Standard on Nutrition, Health and Related Claims became law in January 2013. Implementation will need careful monitoring and enforcement to ensure that claims are truthful and have meaning. The current study explored factors that may impact on environmental health officers' food labelling policy enforcement practices. The study used a mixed-methods approach, using two previously validated quantitative questionnaire instruments that provided measures of the level of control that the officers exercised over their work, as well as qualitative, semi-structured, in-depth interviews. Local government; Australia. Thirty-seven officers in three Australian states participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews, as well as completing the quantitative questionnaires. Senior and junior officers, including field officers, participated in the study. The officers reported a high level of autonomy and control of their work, but also a heavy workload, dominated by concerns for public health and food safety, with limited time for monitoring food labels. Compliance of labels with proposed health claims regulations was not considered a priority. Lipsky's theory of street-level bureaucracy was used to enhance understanding of officers' work practices. Competing priorities affect environmental health officers' monitoring and enforcement of regulations. Understanding officers' work practices and their perceptions of enforcement is important to increase effectiveness of policy implementation and hence its capacity to augment education initiatives to optimize health benefits.

  8. Fool’s Gold: Understanding Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts from Gold Mining in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nhi Nguyen

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Extractive industries are often claimed to contribute to both poverty reduction and economic growth. Yet, there is also a body of research that suggests natural resource dependence can result in limited development, environmental degradation and social upheaval. This paper examines differences in the socioeconomic and environmental state of mining and non-mining communities in rural Vietnam in order to understand the extent to which mining contributes to livelihood development and socioeconomic well-being. In particular, we examine the role that “corporate social responsibility” (CSR plays in supporting community development in Phuoc Son and Phu Ninh districts, Quang Nam province. Content analysis of newspapers, government documents and mining company reports provided a contextual overview of mining operations and community relations in each study area. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect information from local and regional stakeholders to further understand perceived impacts of mining operations on local communities. Our study finds that in comparison to non-mining communities, communities with active mines demonstrated increased job development, decreased poverty rates, enhanced infrastructure and social development along with increased incidences of CSR initiatives. However, a number of adverse effects from mining activities were reported including environmental degradation (e.g., deforestation, water pollution, etc. increased criminal activity and drug addiction. Dependence on mine-related employment in local communities becomes acutely apparent when temporary mine closures result in widespread unemployment. Local governments may be the greatest beneficiaries of mining with increased tax revenues and enhanced management potential of leased land. Non-mining communities without direct benefits from mining activities maintained economic diversity and were therefore more resilient to economic shocks such as nearby mine closures.

  9. Understanding sustainable diets: a descriptive analysis of the determinants and processes that influence diets and their impact on health, food security, and environmental sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Jessica L; Fanzo, Jessica C; Cogill, Bruce

    2014-07-01

    The confluence of population, economic development, and environmental pressures resulting from increased globalization and industrialization reveal an increasingly resource-constrained world in which predictions point to the need to do more with less and in a "better" way. The concept of sustainable diets presents an opportunity to successfully advance commitments to sustainable development and the elimination of poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, and poor health outcomes. This study examines the determinants of sustainable diets, offers a descriptive analysis of these areas, and presents a causal model and framework from which to build. The major determinants of sustainable diets fall into 5 categories: 1) agriculture, 2) health, 3) sociocultural, 4) environmental, and 5) socioeconomic. When factors or processes are changed in 1 determinant category, such changes affect other determinant categories and, in turn, the level of "sustainability" of a diet. The complex web of determinants of sustainable diets makes it challenging for policymakers to understand the benefits and considerations for promoting, processing, and consuming such diets. To advance this work, better measurements and indicators must be developed to assess the impact of the various determinants on the sustainability of a diet and the tradeoffs associated with any recommendations aimed at increasing the sustainability of our food system. © 2014 American Society for Nutrition.

  10. Understanding Sustainable Diets: A Descriptive Analysis of the Determinants and Processes That Influence Diets and Their Impact on Health, Food Security, and Environmental Sustainability123

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Jessica L.; Fanzo, Jessica C.; Cogill, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    The confluence of population, economic development, and environmental pressures resulting from increased globalization and industrialization reveal an increasingly resource-constrained world in which predictions point to the need to do more with less and in a “better” way. The concept of sustainable diets presents an opportunity to successfully advance commitments to sustainable development and the elimination of poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, and poor health outcomes. This study examines the determinants of sustainable diets, offers a descriptive analysis of these areas, and presents a causal model and framework from which to build. The major determinants of sustainable diets fall into 5 categories: 1) agriculture, 2) health, 3) sociocultural, 4) environmental, and 5) socioeconomic. When factors or processes are changed in 1 determinant category, such changes affect other determinant categories and, in turn, the level of “sustainability” of a diet. The complex web of determinants of sustainable diets makes it challenging for policymakers to understand the benefits and considerations for promoting, processing, and consuming such diets. To advance this work, better measurements and indicators must be developed to assess the impact of the various determinants on the sustainability of a diet and the tradeoffs associated with any recommendations aimed at increasing the sustainability of our food system. PMID:25022991

  11. Ionic liquid and solid HF equivalent amine-poly(hydrogen fluoride) complexes effecting efficient environmentally friendly isobutane-isobutylene alkylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olah, George A; Mathew, Thomas; Goeppert, Alain; Török, Béla; Bucsi, Imre; Li, Xing-Ya; Wang, Qi; Marinez, Eric R; Batamack, Patrice; Aniszfeld, Robert; Prakash, G K Surya

    2005-04-27

    Isoparaffin-olefin alkylation was investigated using liquid as well as solid onium poly(hydrogen fluoride) catalysts. These new immobilized anhydrous HF catalysts contain varied amines and nitrogen-containing polymers as complexing agents. The liquid poly(hydrogen fluoride) complexes of amines are typical ionic liquids, which are convenient media and serve as HF equivalent catalysts with decreased volatility for isoparaffin-olefin alkylation. Polymeric solid amine:poly(hydrogen fluoride) complexes are excellent solid HF equivalents for similar alkylation acid catalysis. Isobutane-isobutylene or 2-butene alkylation gave excellent yields of high octane alkylates (up to RON = 94). Apart from their excellent catalytic performance, the new catalyst systems significantly reduce environmental hazards due to the low volatility of complexed HF. They represent a new, "green" class of catalyst systems for alkylation reactions, maintaining activity of HF while minimizing its environmental hazards.

  12. Understanding titanium-catalysed radical-radical reactions: a DFT study unravels the complex kinetics of ketone-nitrile couplings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streuff, Jan; Himmel, Daniel; Younas, Sara L

    2018-04-03

    The computational investigation of a titanium-catalysed reductive radical-radical coupling is reported. The results match the conclusions from an earlier experimental study and enable a further interpretation of the previously observed complex reaction kinetics. Furthermore, the interplay between neutral and cationic reaction pathways in titanium(iii)-catalysed reactions is investigated for the first time. The results show that hydrochloride additives and reaction byproducts play an important role in the respective equilibria. A full reaction profile is assembled and the computed activation barrier is found to be in reasonable agreement with the experiment. The conclusions are of fundamental importance to the field of low-valent titanium catalysis and the understanding of related catalytic radical-radical coupling reactions.

  13. An Approach to Understanding Complex Socio-Economic Impacts and Responses to Climate Disruption in the Chesapeake Bay Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, R. K.; Nix, M.; Ihde, A. G.; Paxton, L. J.; Weiss, M.; Simpkins, S.; Fountain, G. H.; APl GAIA Team

    2011-12-01

    In this paper we describe the application of a proven methodology for modeling the complex social and economic interactions of a system under stress to the regional issues that are tied to global climate disruption. Under the auspices of the GAIA project (http://gaia.jhuapl.edu), we have investigated simulating the complex interplay between climate, politics, society, industry, and the environment in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and associated geographic areas of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. This Chesapeake Bay simulation draws on interrelated geophysical and climate models to support decision-making analysis about the Bay. In addition to physical models, however, human activity is also incorporated via input and output calculations. For example, policy implications are modeled in relation to business activities surrounding fishing, farming, industry and manufacturing, land development, and tourism. This approach fosters collaboration among subject matter experts to advance a more complete understanding of the regional impacts of climate change. Simulated interactive competition, in which teams of experts are assigned conflicting objectives in a controlled environment, allow for subject exploration which avoids trivial solutions that neglect the possible responses of affected parties. Results include improved planning, the anticipation of areas of conflict or high risk, and the increased likelihood of developing mutually acceptable solutions.

  14. Topological Characteristics of the Hong Kong Stock Market: A Test-based P-threshold Approach to Understanding Network Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ronghua; Wong, Wing-Keung; Chen, Guanrong; Huang, Shuo

    2017-02-01

    In this paper, we analyze the relationship among stock networks by focusing on the statistically reliable connectivity between financial time series, which accurately reflects the underlying pure stock structure. To do so, we firstly filter out the effect of market index on the correlations between paired stocks, and then take a t-test based P-threshold approach to lessening the complexity of the stock network based on the P values. We demonstrate the superiority of its performance in understanding network complexity by examining the Hong Kong stock market. By comparing with other filtering methods, we find that the P-threshold approach extracts purely and significantly correlated stock pairs, which reflect the well-defined hierarchical structure of the market. In analyzing the dynamic stock networks with fixed-size moving windows, our results show that three global financial crises, covered by the long-range time series, can be distinguishingly indicated from the network topological and evolutionary perspectives. In addition, we find that the assortativity coefficient can manifest the financial crises and therefore can serve as a good indicator of the financial market development.

  15. Understanding the dynamics of the Seguro Popular de Salud policy implementation in Mexico from a complex adaptive systems perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigenda, Gustavo; González-Robledo, Luz María; Juárez-Ramírez, Clara; Adam, Taghreed

    2016-05-13

    In 2003, Mexico's Seguro Popular de Salud (SPS), was launched as an innovative financial mechanism implemented to channel new funds to provide health insurance to 50 million Mexicans and to reduce systemic financial inequities. The objective of this article is to understand the complexity and dynamics that contributed to the adaptation of the policy in the implementation stage, how these changes occurred, and why, from a complex and adaptive systems perspective. A complex adaptive systems (CAS) framework was used to carry out a secondary analysis of data obtained from four SPS's implementation evaluations. We first identified key actors, their roles, incentives and power, and their responses to the policy and guidelines. We then developed a causal loop diagram to disentangle the feedback dynamics associated with the modifications of the policy implementation which we then analyzed using a CAS perspective. Implementation variations were identified in seven core design features during the first 10 years of implementation period, and in each case, the SPS's central coordination introduced modifications in response to the reactions of the different actors. We identified several CAS phenomena associated with these changes including phase transitions, network emergence, resistance to change, history dependence, and feedback loops. Our findings generate valuable lessons to policy implementation processes, especially those involving a monetary component, where the emergence of coping mechanisms and other CAS phenomena inevitably lead to modifications of policies and their interpretation by those who implement them. These include the difficulty of implementing strategies that aim to pool funds through solidarity among beneficiaries where the rich support the poor when there are no incentives for the rich to do so. Also, how resistance to change and history dependence can pose significant challenges to implementing changes, where the local actors use their significant power

  16. Ecosystem function in complex mountain terrain: Combining models and long-term observations to advance process-based understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieder, William R.; Knowles, John F.; Blanken, Peter D.; Swenson, Sean C.; Suding, Katharine N.

    2017-04-01

    Abiotic factors structure plant community composition and ecosystem function across many different spatial scales. Often, such variation is considered at regional or global scales, but here we ask whether ecosystem-scale simulations can be used to better understand landscape-level variation that might be particularly important in complex terrain, such as high-elevation mountains. We performed ecosystem-scale simulations by using the Community Land Model (CLM) version 4.5 to better understand how the increased length of growing seasons may impact carbon, water, and energy fluxes in an alpine tundra landscape. The model was forced with meteorological data and validated with observations from the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research Program site. Our results demonstrate that CLM is capable of reproducing the observed carbon, water, and energy fluxes for discrete vegetation patches across this heterogeneous ecosystem. We subsequently accelerated snowmelt and increased spring and summer air temperatures in order to simulate potential effects of climate change in this region. We found that vegetation communities that were characterized by different snow accumulation dynamics showed divergent biogeochemical responses to a longer growing season. Contrary to expectations, wet meadow ecosystems showed the strongest decreases in plant productivity under extended summer scenarios because of disruptions in hydrologic connectivity. These findings illustrate how Earth system models such as CLM can be used to generate testable hypotheses about the shifting nature of energy, water, and nutrient limitations across space and through time in heterogeneous landscapes; these hypotheses may ultimately guide further experimental work and model development.

  17. Science Outside the Lab: Helping Graduate Students in Science and Engineering Understand the Complexities of Science Policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Michael J; Reifschneider, Kiera; Bennett, Ira; Wetmore, Jameson M

    2017-06-01

    Helping scientists and engineers challenge received assumptions about how science, engineering, and society relate is a critical cornerstone for macroethics education. Scientific and engineering research are frequently framed as first steps of a value-free linear model that inexorably leads to societal benefit. Social studies of science and assessments of scientific and engineering research speak to the need for a more critical approach to the noble intentions underlying these assumptions. "Science Outside the Lab" is a program designed to help early-career scientists and engineers understand the complexities of science and engineering policy. Assessment of the program entailed a pre-, post-, and 1 year follow up survey to gauge student perspectives on relationships between science and society, as well as a pre-post concept map exercise to elicit student conceptualizations of science policy. Students leave Science Outside the Lab with greater humility about the role of scientific expertise in science and engineering policy; greater skepticism toward linear notions of scientific advances benefiting society; a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the actors involved in shaping science policy; and a continued appreciation of the contributions of science and engineering to society. The study presents an efficacious program that helps scientists and engineers make inroads into macroethical debates, reframe the ways in which they think about values of science and engineering in society, and more thoughtfully engage with critical mediators of science and society relationships: policy makers and policy processes.

  18. Environmental change and hydrological responses in the interior of western Canada: Towards improved understanding, diagnosis, and prediction by the Changing Cold Regions Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBeer, C. M.; Wheater, H. S.; Carey, S. K.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Stewart, R. E.

    2016-12-01

    The past several decades have been a period of rapid climatic and environmental change. In western Canada, as in other areas globally, warming and changes in precipitation have led to vast reductions in seasonal snowcover and freshwater ice cover, retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, changing forest composition and structure, increasing northern shrub coverage, and earlier timing of river flows in spring. Yet streamflow volume has exhibited a variety of responses across the region and over different time scales, and patterns of change are not easily generalizable. Improved understanding, diagnosis, and prediction of the rapidly changing components of the Earth system are key to managing uncertain water futures, but this is challenging due to complex system behavior and sometimes compensatory responses. The Changing Cold Regions Network (CCRN) is a Canadian research network and GEWEX Regional Hydroclimate Project that is addressing these issues, with a geographic focus on the Saskatchewan and Mackenzie River basins. This paper will present examples of the changes that have been observed at a set of long-term and well-studied headwater research basins, and highlight how various processes confound hydrological responses here, pointing to the need for careful diagnosis. We will discuss some recent CCRN activities and progress toward improving conceptual understanding and developing scenarios of change for the 21st century, which can then be applied within process-based hydrological models for future prediction. Several priority research areas that will be a focus of continued work in CCRN will be recommended.

  19. Understanding the determinants of the complex interplay between cost-effectiveness and equitable impact in maternal and child mortality reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chopra, Mickey; Campbell, Harry; Rudan, Igor

    2012-06-01

    One of the most unexpected outcomes arising from the efforts towards maternal and child mortality reduction is that all too often the objective success has been coupled with increased inequity in the population. The aim of this study is to analyze the determinants of the complex interplay between cost-effectiveness and equity and suggest strategies that will promote an impact on mortality that reduce population child health inequities. We developed a conceptual framework that exposes the nature of the links between the five key determinants that need to be taken into account when planning equitable impact. These determinants are: (i) efficiency of intervention scale-up (requires knowledge of differential increase in cost of intervention scale-up by equity strata in the population); (ii) effectiveness of intervention (requires understanding of differential effectiveness of interventions by equity strata in the population); (iii) the impact on mortality (requires knowledge of differential mortality levels by equity strata, and understanding the differences in cause composition of overall mortality in different equity strata); (iv) cost-effectiveness (compares the initial cost and the resulting impact on mortality); (v) equity structure of the population. The framework is presented visually as a four-quadrant graph. We use the proposed framework to demonstrate why the relationship between cost-effectiveness and equitable impact of an intervention cannot be intuitively predicted or easily planned. The relationships between the five determinants are complex, often nonlinear, context-specific and intervention-specific. We demonstrate that there will be instances when an equity-promoting approach, ie, trying to reach for the poorest and excluded in the population with health interventions, will also be the most cost-effective approach. However, there will be cases in which this will be entirely unfeasible, and where equity-neutral or even inequity-promoting approaches may

  20. Understanding Magmatic Timescales and Magma Dynamics in Proterozoic Anorthosites: a Geochronological Investigation of the Kunene Complex (Angola)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brower, A. M.; Corfu, F.; Bybee, G. M.; Lehmann, J.; Owen-Smith, T.

    2016-12-01

    The Kunene Anorthosite Complex, located in south west Angola, is one of the largest massif-type anorthosite intrusions on Earth, with an areal extent of at least 18 000 km2. Previous studies considered the Complex to consist of a series of coalesced plutons. However, the ages and relative emplacement sequence of these plutons are unknown. Understanding the relative timing of the pluton emplacement is crucial for understanding how these enigmatic magmas form and how they rise through the crust. Here we present new high precision U-Pb ID-TIMS ages (n=10) on zircons and baddeleyites for many of the coalesced plutons across the 300-km-long anorthositic complex. These new geochronological results reveal subtle variations in crystallization age between the coalesced plutons. There is no gradual age progression between plutons, but distinct groupings of ages (Fig.1). Age clusters of 1379.8 ± 2 Ma (n=5) occur north of the Red Granite NE-SW-striking intrusions, whereas in the south there is an older age grouping of 1390.4 ± 2.3 (n=3). Two additional ages of 1400.5 ± 1.3 in the centre and 1438.4 ± 1.1 Ma in the south east have been obtained. These results indicate that the Kunene anorthosites were emplaced over 60 Ma and may suggest long-lived magmatic systems and/or slowly ascending plutons. We also find a link between pluton composition and age. In general, leuconoritic domains are older than the leucotroctolitic domains. This may imply that the first pulses of magma received a greater degree of contamination, forcing the broadly basaltic magma to produce orthopyroxene as the main mafic phase. The later pulses receive less contamination as they ascend through the already partially melted crust, producing olivine as the mafic phase and deforming the older domains. This study reiterates the multiphase petrogenesis of Proterozoic anorthosites and sheds light on the assembly of crystal-rich magmas as they ascend through the crust.

  1. Development of innovative tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good environmental status, within the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borja, Angel; Uyarra, María C.

    2014-05-01

    Marine natural resources and ecosystem services constitute the natural capital that supports economies, societies and individual well-being. Good governance requires a quantification of the interactions and trade-offs among ecosystem services and understanding of how biodiversity underpins ecosystem functions and services across time, scales and sectors. Marine biodiversity is a key descriptor for the assessment within the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), approved in 2008, which comprises a total of 11 descriptors. However, the relationships between pressures from human activities and climatic influences and their effects on marine biological diversity are still only partially understood. Hence, these relationships need to be better understood in order to fully achieve a good environmental status (GEnS), as required by the MSFD. This contribution is based upon the FP7 EU project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status), which focus on developing innovative conceptual frameworks, methods and coherent, shared protocols to provide consistent datasets and knowledge at different scales, within four regional seas (Black Sea, Mediterranean, Atlantic and Baltic Sea). This project is developing innovative approaches to valuate biodiversity and ecosystem services and to develop public goods and sustainable economic activities from them. The research will benefit sea users and stakeholders, and will contribute to assess and monitor the environmental status of marine waters. The main objectives are: (i) to improve our understanding of the impact of human activities and variations associated to climate on marine biodiversity, (ii) to test indicators (referred in the Commission Decision on GEnS) and develop new ones for assessment at several ecological levels (species, habitat, ecosystems) and for the characterization and status classification of the marine waters, (iii) to develop, test

  2. Sound understanding of environmental, health and safety, clinical, and market aspects is imperative to clinical translation of nanomedicines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rösslein, Matthias; Liptrott, Neill J; Owen, Andrew; Boisseau, Patrick; Wick, Peter; Herrmann, Inge K

    2017-03-01

    Nanotechnology has transformed materials engineering. However, despite much excitement in the scientific community, translation of nanotechnology-based developments has suffered from significant translational gaps, particularly in the field of biomedicine. Of the many concepts investigated, very few have entered routine clinical application. Safety concerns and associated socioeconomic uncertainties, together with the lack of incentives for technology transfer, are undoubtedly imposing significant hurdles to effective clinical translation of potentially game-changing developments. Commercialisation aspects are only rarely considered in the early stages and in many cases, the market is not identified early on in the process, hence precluding market-oriented development. However, methodologies and in-depth understanding of mechanistic processes existing in the environmental, health and safety (EHS) community could be leveraged to accelerate translation. Here, we discuss the most important stepping stones for (nano)medicine development along with a number of suggestions to facilitate future translation.

  3. Genome sequencing of environmental Escherichia coli expands understanding of the ecology and speciation of the model bacterial species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Chengwei; Walk, Seth T; Gordon, David M; Feldgarden, Michael; Tiedje, James M; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2011-04-26

    Defining bacterial species remains a challenging problem even for the model bacterium Escherichia coli and has major practical consequences for reliable diagnosis of infectious disease agents and regulations for transport and possession of organisms of economic importance. E. coli traditionally is thought to live within the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other warm-blooded animals and not to survive for extended periods outside its host; this understanding is the basis for its widespread use as a fecal contamination indicator. Here, we report the genome sequences of nine environmentally adapted strains that are phenotypically and taxonomically indistinguishable from typical E. coli (commensal or pathogenic). We find, however, that the commensal genomes encode for more functions that are important for fitness in the human gut, do not exchange genetic material with their environmental counterparts, and hence do not evolve according to the recently proposed fragmented speciation model. These findings are consistent with a more stringent and ecologic definition for bacterial species than the current definition and provide means to start replacing traditional approaches of defining distinctive phenotypes for new species with omics-based procedures. They also have important implications for reliable diagnosis and regulation of pathogenic E. coli and for the coliform cell-counting test.

  4. Characterizing large river sounds: Providing context for understanding the environmental effects of noise produced by hydrokinetic turbines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bevelhimer, Mark S; Deng, Z Daniel; Scherelis, Constantin

    2016-01-01

    Underwater noise associated with the installation and operation of hydrokinetic turbines in rivers and tidal zones presents a potential environmental concern for fish and marine mammals. Comparing the spectral quality of sounds emitted by hydrokinetic turbines to natural and other anthropogenic sound sources is an initial step at understanding potential environmental impacts. Underwater recordings were obtained from passing vessels and natural underwater sound sources in static and flowing waters. Static water measurements were taken in a lake with minimal background noise. Flowing water measurements were taken at a previously proposed deployment site for hydrokinetic turbines on the Mississippi River, where sounds created by flowing water are part of all measurements, both natural ambient and anthropogenic sources. Vessel sizes ranged from a small fishing boat with 60 hp outboard motor to an 18-unit barge train being pushed upstream by tugboat. As expected, large vessels with large engines created the highest sound levels, which were, on average, 40 dB greater than the sound created by an operating hydrokinetic turbine. A comparison of sound levels from the same sources at different distances using both spherical and cylindrical sound attenuation functions suggests that spherical model results more closely approximate observed sound attenuation.

  5. The Climate Change-Road Safety-Economy Nexus: A System Dynamics Approach to Understanding Complex Interdependencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Alirezaei

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Road accidents have the highest externality costs to society and to the economy, even when compared to the externality damages associated with air emissions and oil dependency. Road safety is one of the most complicated topics, which involves many interdependencies, and so, a sufficiently thorough analysis of roadway safety will require a novel system-based approach in which the associated feedback relationships and causal effects are given appropriate consideration. The factors affecting accident frequency and severity are highly dependent on economic parameters, environmental factors and weather conditions. In this study, we try to use a system dynamics modeling approach to model the climate change-road safety-economy nexus, thereby investigating the complex interactions among these important areas by tracking how they affect each other over time. For this purpose, five sub-models are developed to model each aspect of the overall nexus and to interact with each other to simulate the overall system. As a result, this comprehensive model can provide a platform for policy makers to test the effectiveness of different policy scenarios to reduce the negative consequences of traffic accidents and improve road safety.

  6. Understanding the complex determinants of height and adiposity in disadvantaged daycare preschoolers in Salvador, NE Brazil through structural equation modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lander, Rebecca L; Williams, Sheila M; Costa-Ribeiro, Hugo; Mattos, Angela P; Barreto, Danile L; Houghton, Lisa A; Bailey, Karl B; Lander, Alastair G; Gibson, Rosalind S

    2015-10-23

    Earlier we reported on growth and adiposity in a cross-sectional study of disadvantaged Brazilian preschoolers. Here we extend the work on these children, using structural equation modelling (SEM) to gather information on the complex relationships between the variables influencing height and adiposity. We hope this information will help improve the design and effectiveness of future interventions for preschoolers. In 376 preschoolers aged 3-6 years attending seven philanthropic daycares in Salvador, we used SEM to examine direct and indirect relationships among biological (sex, ethnicity, birth order, maternal height and weight), socio-economic, micronutrient (haemoglobin, serum selenium and zinc), and environmental (helminths, de-worming) variables on height and adiposity, as reflected by Z-scores for height-for-age (HAZ) and body mass index (BMIZ). Of the children, 11 % had HAZ  1. Of their mothers, 8 % had short stature, and 50 % were overweight or obese. Based on standardized regression coefficients, significant direct effects (p children.

  7. Applying a new understanding of supergene REE deposit formation to global exploration initiatives for environmentally sustainable resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, Liam; Smith, Martin; Hood, Leo; Heller, Shaun; Faltyn, Rowan; Blum, Astrid; Bamberger, Axel

    2017-04-01

    ). Rare earth elements: A review of production, processing, recycling and associated environmental issues; EPA600/R-12/572. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Hardy, L. (2016). A novel mechanism for the formation of REE ion-adsorption deposits. Presented to: MDSG Winter Meeting, Bristol University, 20/12/16. Jenkins, R. (1979). The Road to Alto: An account of peasants, capitalists and their soil in the mountains of Southern Portugal. London: Pluto, ISBN: 0861040767. Marquis, E. (2016). Ion Adsorption-Type REE Deposit associated with the Ambohimirahavavy Alkaline Complex: Potential Controls on Mineralisation. Presented to: MDSG Winter Meeting, Bristol University, 20/12/16.

  8. The renewable energy industry in Massachussetts as a complex system: Developing a shared understanding for policy making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Charles A.

    A model-based field study was conducted to understand the mental models of participants in the photovoltaic industry in Massachusetts, with the purpose of understanding of how that industry works as a complex system. Mental models of industry participants are important, both as the holders of the best system information and as the critical actors in any policy solution. Experts from manufacturing, installation, development, policy, and advocacy sectors were interviewed. The knowledge they conveyed was expressed as a set system dynamics models; these models were characterized, compared, and combined in order to answer the following research questions: What are the mental models of participants? How widely are mental models shared among participants? What is the combined model of the system? How accurate are these models? Given these models, what policies would lead to success? The system described by informants is revealed as one of distributed and embedded agency---actors have the ability to take meaningful action, but that action and its effects are limited by the complexity of the system and by the actions of other actors. Both the growth of the industry and constraints on the growth occur through dynamic processes, many however outside local control. Mental models are shared in clusters of informants, with some differences between these groupings. Informants vary on the level of aggregation needed to express their descriptions and on the most important dynamic force. However, many processes are commonly perceived across informants, they perceive the same system trajectories, and the behavior of the simulation models constructed from their mental models was similar. A combined model was constructed which included a full range of potential feedback loops within an abstracted version of the described system. Testing for policy using the combined model reveals that the structures necessary for growth are present, as expected. Under several reasonable conditions

  9. Prefrontal Hemodynamics of Physical Activity and Environmental Complexity During Cognitive Work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKendrick, Ryan; Mehta, Ranjana; Ayaz, Hasan; Scheldrup, Melissa; Parasuraman, Raja

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this study was to assess performance and cognitive states during cognitive work in the presence of physical work and in natural settings. Authors of previous studies have examined the interaction between cognitive and physical work, finding performance decrements in working memory. Neuroimaging has revealed increases and decreases in prefrontal oxygenated hemoglobin during the interaction of cognitive and physical work. The effect of environment on cognitive-physical dual tasking has not been previously considered. Thirteen participants were monitored with wireless functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as they performed an auditory 1-back task while sitting, walking indoors, and walking outdoors. Relative to sitting and walking indoors, auditory working memory performance declined when participants were walking outdoors. Sitting during the auditory 1-back task increased oxygenated hemoglobin and decreased deoxygenated hemoglobin in bilateral prefrontal cortex. Walking reduced the total hemoglobin available to bilateral prefrontal cortex. An increase in environmental complexity reduced oxygenated hemoglobin and increased deoxygenated hemoglobin in bilateral prefrontal cortex. Wireless fNIRS is capable of monitoring cognitive states in naturalistic environments. Selective attention and physical work compete with executive processing. During executive processing loading of selective attention and physical work results in deactivation of bilateral prefrontal cortex and degraded working memory performance, indicating that physical work and concomitant selective attention may supersede executive processing in the distribution of mental resources. This research informs decision-making procedures in work where working memory, physical activity, and attention interact. Where working memory is paramount, precautions should be taken to eliminate competition from physical work and selective attention.

  10. Formation of complexes between hematite nanoparticles and a non-conventional galactomannan gum. Toward a better understanding on interaction processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Verónica M; Loosli, Fréderic; Santagapita, Patricio R; Buera, M Pilar; Stoll, Serge

    2015-11-01

    The physicochemical characteristics of hematite nanoparticles related to their size, surface area and reactivity make them useful for many applications, as well as suitable models to study aggregation kinetics. For several applications (such as remediation of contaminated groundwater) it is crucial to maintain the stability of hematite nanoparticle suspensions in order to assure their arrival to the target place. The use of biopolymers has been proposed as a suitable environmentally friendly option to avoid nanoparticle aggregation and assure their stability. The aim of the present work was to investigate the formation of complexes between hematite nanoparticles and a non-conventional galactomannan (vinal gum--VG) obtained from Prosopis ruscifolia in order to promote hematite nanoparticle coating with a green biopolymer. Zeta potential and size of hematite nanoparticles, VG dispersions and the stability of their mixtures were investigated, as well as the influence of the biopolymer concentration and preparation method. DLS and nanoparticle tracking analysis techniques were used for determining the size and the zeta-potential of the suspensions. VG showed a polydispersed size distribution (300-475 nm Z-average diameter, 0.65 Pdi) and a negative zeta potential (between -1 and -12 mV for pH2 and 12, respectively). The aggregation of hematite nanoparticles (3.3 mg/L) was induced by the addition of VG at lower concentrations than 2mg/L (pH5.5). On the other hand, hematite nanoparticles were stabilized at concentrations of VG higher than 2 mg/L. Several phenomena between hematite nanoparticles and VG were involved: steric effects, electrostatic interactions, charge neutralization, charge inversion and polymer bridging. The process of complexation between hematite nanoparticles and the biopolymer was strongly influenced by the preparation protocols. It was concluded that the aggregation, dispersion, and stability of hematite nanoparticles depended on biopolymer

  11. Socio-hydrologic modeling to understand and mediate the competition for water between agriculture development and environmental health: Murrumbidgee River basin, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Emmerik, T. H. M.; Li, Z.; Sivapalan, M.; Pande, S.; Kandasamy, J.; Savenije, H. H. G.; Chanan, A.; Vigneswaran, S.

    2014-10-01

    Competition for water between humans and ecosystems is set to become a flash point in the coming decades in many parts of the world. An entirely new and comprehensive quantitative framework is needed to establish a holistic understanding of that competition, thereby enabling the development of effective mediation strategies. This paper presents a modeling study centered on the Murrumbidgee River basin (MRB). The MRB has witnessed a unique system dynamics over the last 100 years as a result of interactions between patterns of water management and climate driven hydrological variability. Data analysis has revealed a pendulum swing between agricultural development and restoration of environmental health and ecosystem services over different stages of basin-scale water resource development. A parsimonious, stylized, quasi-distributed coupled socio-hydrologic system model that simulates the two-way coupling between human and hydrological systems of the MRB is used to mimic and explain dominant features of the pendulum swing. The model consists of coupled nonlinear ordinary differential equations that describe the interaction between five state variables that govern the co-evolution: reservoir storage, irrigated area, human population, ecosystem health, and environmental awareness. The model simulations track the propagation of the external climatic and socio-economic drivers through this coupled, complex system to the emergence of the pendulum swing. The model results point to a competition between human "productive" and environmental "restorative" forces that underpin the pendulum swing. Both the forces are endogenous, i.e., generated by the system dynamics in response to external drivers and mediated by humans through technology change and environmental awareness, respectively. Sensitivity analysis carried out with the model further reveals that socio-hydrologic modeling can be used as a tool to explain or gain insight into observed co-evolutionary dynamics of diverse

  12. A Different Trolley Problem: The Limits of Environmental Justice and the Promise of Complex Moral Assessments for Transportation Infrastructure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epting, Shane

    2016-12-01

    Transportation infrastructure tremendously affects the quality of life for urban residents, influences public and mental health, and shapes social relations. Historically, the topic is rich with social and political controversy and the resultant transit systems in the United States cause problems for minority residents and issues for the public. Environmental justice frameworks provide a means to identify and address harms that affect marginalized groups, but environmental justice has limits that cannot account for the mainstream population. To account for this condition, I employ a complex moral assessment measure that provides a way to talk about harms that affect the public.

  13. Coupling environmental, social and economic models to understand land-use change dynamics in the Mekong Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexis eDrogoul

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Vietnamese Mekong Delta has undergone in recent years a considerable transformation in agricultural land-use, fueled by a boom of the exportation, an increase of population, a focus on intensive crops, but also environmental factors like sea level rise or the progression of soil salinity. These transformations have been, however, largely misestimated by the ten-year agricultural plans designed at the provincial levels, on the predictions of which, though, most of the large-scale investments (irrigation infrastructures, protection against flooding or salinity intrusion, and so on are normally planned. This situation raises the question of how to explain the divergence between the predictions used as a basis for these plans and the actual situation. Answering it could, as a matter of fact, offer some insights on the dynamics at play and hopefully allow designing them more accurately.The dynamics of land-use change at a scale of a region results from the interactions between heterogeneous actors and factors at different scales, among them institutional policies, individual farming choices, land-cover and environmental changes, economic conditions, social dynamics, just to name a few. Understanding its evolution, for example, in this case, to better support agricultural planning, therefore requires the use of models that can represent the individual contributions of each actor or factor, and of course their interactions.We address this question through the design of an integrated hybrid model of land-use change in a specific and carefully chosen case study, which relies on the central hypothesis that the main force driving land-use change is actually the individual choices made by farmers at their local level. Farmers are the actors who decide (or not to switch from one culture to another and the shifts observed at more global levels (village, district, province, region are considered, in this model, as a consequence of the aggregation of these

  14. Understanding clusters of risk factors across different environmental and social contexts for the prediction of injuries among Canadian youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, K; Davison, C; King, N; Pike, I; Pickett, W

    2016-05-01

    Among Canadian youth, injury is the most common reason for presentation to the emergency department. Youth who commonly engage in multiple risk-taking behaviours are at greater risk for injury, but is it unknown if this phenomenon is more pronounced in different contexts. We aimed to study relationships between risk-taking behaviours and injury, and variations in such relationships between different environmental and social contexts, among youth in Canada. Risk-taking behaviour and injury outcome data were collected from grade 9 to 10 students using the 2009-2010 (Cycle 6) of the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Survey (n=10,429). Principal components analysis was used to identify clusters of risk-taking behaviours. Within each identified cluster, the degree of risk-taking was categorized into quartiles from lowest to highest engagement in the behaviours. Risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated to determine the association between the risk of any injury and the degree of risk-taking behaviour specific to the cluster. Clusters were then examined across home, school, neighbourhood and sport contexts. Four clusters of risk-taking behaviour were identified which were labelled as "gateway substance use", "hard drugs and weapons", "overt risk-taking", and "physical activity". Each cluster was related to injury occurrence in a graded fashion. Clusters of risk behaviour were most strongly associated with injuries sustained in neighbourhood settings, and expectedly, increasing physical activity behaviours were associated with increased risk of sport injuries and injuries occurring at school. This study furthers understanding of clustered risk-taking phenomena that put youth at increasing levels of injury risk. Higher risks for injury and associated gradients were observed in less structured contexts such as neighbourhoods. In contrast, clustered physical activity behaviours were most related to school injury or sport injury and were more likely to

  15. Decree 435/994 Environmental Impacts : establish a standard joint complex named Evaluation Regulations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    The Regulation of Evaluation of environmental Impact in the chapter I art.2 item 14 it establishes that It will require the previous Environmental Authorization the activities that refer to the construction of production factories and transformation of Nuclear Energy r, without damage of that settled down for the articulate 215 of the law 16.226 of October 29 1991 [es

  16. Reducing the environmental impact of the fuel and energy complex in the USSR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minaev, E.V.

    1991-01-01

    In this article there is a brief overview of some of the Soviet Union's environmental problems. Democratization, decentralization and privatization have stimulated the use of environmental impact assessments and of measures to prevent industrial accidents. A long-term nature conservation and natural resources management programme for the USSR has been developed for the period 1991-2005. (author). 1 tab

  17. Landscape dynamics in Mediterranean oak forests under global change: understanding the role of anthropogenic and environmental drivers across forest types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acácio, Vanda; Dias, Filipe S; Catry, Filipe X; Rocha, Marta; Moreira, Francisco

    2017-03-01

    The Mediterranean region is projected to be extremely vulnerable to global change, which will affect the distribution of typical forest types such as native oak forests. However, our understanding of Mediterranean oak forest responses to future conditions is still very limited by the lack of knowledge on oak forest dynamics and species-specific responses to multiple drivers. We compared the long-term (1966-2006) forest persistence and land cover change among evergreen (cork oak and holm oak) and deciduous oak forests and evaluated the importance of anthropogenic and environmental drivers on observed changes for Portugal. We used National Forest Inventories to quantify the changes in oak forests and explored the drivers of change using multinomial logistic regression analysis and an information theoretical approach. We found distinct trends among oak forest types, reflecting the differences in oak economic value, protection status and management schemes: cork oak forests were the most persistent (62%), changing mostly to pines and eucalypt; holm oak forests were less persistent (53.2%), changing mostly to agriculture; and deciduous oak forests were the least persistent (45.7%), changing mostly to shrublands. Drivers of change had distinct importance across oak forest types, but drivers from anthropogenic origin (wildfires, population density, and land accessibility) were always among the most important. Climatic extremes were also important predictors of oak forest changes, namely extreme temperatures for evergreen oak forests and deficit of precipitation for deciduous oak forests. Our results indicate that under increasing human pressure and forecasted climate change, evergreen oak forests will continue declining and deciduous oak forests will be replaced by forests dominated by more xeric species. In the long run, multiple disturbances may change competitive dominance from oak forests to pyrophytic shrublands. A better understanding of forest dynamics and the

  18. Comparative Metagenomics of Gut and Ocean: Identification of Microbial Marker Genes for Complex Environmental Properties (2011 JGI User Meeting)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bork, Peer

    2011-03-23

    The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) invited scientists interested in the application of genomics to bioenergy and environmental issues, as well as all current and prospective users and collaborators, to attend the annual DOE JGI Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting held March 22-24, 2011 in Walnut Creek, Calif. The emphasis of this meeting was on the genomics of renewable energy strategies, carbon cycling, environmental gene discovery, and engineering of fuel-producing organisms. The meeting features presentations by leading scientists advancing these topics. Peer Bork of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory on Comparative Metagenomics of Gut and Ocean: Identification of Microbial Marker Genes for Complex Environmental Properties at the 6th annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 23, 2011.

  19. Management approaches for environmental restoration at the U.S. Department of Energy Weapons Complex, Savannah River Site: A case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, S.V.; Mayberry, J.J.

    1993-01-01

    This paper introduces the management approaches for environmental restoration at the US Department of Energy Weapons Complex. A brief chronology of environmental restoration complex-wide is presented. This chronology, which focuses on the changing climate at DOE facilities, is then keyed to activities at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina, USA. Past, present, and future environmental restoration activities at SRS are discussed, reflecting the change in emphasis at the site

  20. Understanding complex exposure history of Mount Hampton, West Antarctica using cosmogenic 3He, 21Ne and 10Be in olivine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carracedo, Ana; Rodes, Angel; Stuart, Finlay; Smellie, John

    2016-04-01

    Combining stable and radioactive cosmogenic nuclides is an established tool for revealing the complexities of long-term landscape development. To date most studies have concentrated on 21Ne and 10Be in quartz. We have combined different chemical protocols for extraction of cosmogenic 10Be from olivine, and measured concentrations in olivine from lherzolite xenoliths from the peak of Mount Hampton (~3,200 m), an 11 Ma shield volcano on the West Antarctic rift flank. We combine this data with cosmogenic 3He (and 21Ne) in the olivines in order to unravel the long-term environmental history of the region. The mean 3He/21Ne ratio (1.98 ± 0.22) is consistent with the theoretical value and previous determinations. 10Be/3He ratios (0.012 to 0.018) are significantly lower than the instantaneous production ratio (~0.045). The data are consistent with 1-3 Ma of burial. The altitude of the volcano rules out over-topping of the peak by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet only possible burial could be generated by the growth of an ice cap although this contradicts the absence of evidence for ice cover. The 3He-10Be data can also be generated during episodic erosion of the volcanic ash over the last few million years. The data requires a minimum depth of 1 to 2.5 m for the samples during a minimum age of 5 Ma and maximum long-term erosion rate of ~0.5 m/Ma with at least one erosive episode reflecting short-term erosion rate of ~7 m/Ma that would have brought the samples into the surface during the last ~350 ka. Erosion in this type of landscape could be related to interglacial periods where cryostatic erosion can occur generating an increase in the erosion rate. This study shows that episodic erosion can produce stable-radioactive cosmogenic isotope systematics that are similar to those generated by exposure-burial cycles.

  1. Hydrologic analyses in support of the Navajo Generating Station–Kayenta Mine Complex environmental impact statement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, Stanley A.; Macy, Jamie P.; Truini, Margot

    2016-06-01

    IntroductionThe U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region (Reclamation) is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Navajo Generating Station-Kayenta Mine Complex Project (NGS-KMC Project). The proposed project involves various Federal approvals that would facilitate continued operation of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) from December 23, 2019 through 2044, and continued operation of the Kayenta Mine and support facilities (collectively called the Kayenta Mine Complex, or KMC) to supply coal to the NGS for this operational period. The EIS will consider several project alternatives that are likely to produce different effects on the Navajo (N) aquifer; the N aquifer is the principal water resource in the Black Mesa area used by the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, and Peabody Western Coal Company (PWCC).The N aquifer is composed of three hydraulically connected formations—the Navajo Sandstone, the Kayenta Formation, and the Lukachukai Member of the Wingate Sandstone—that function as a single aquifer. The N aquifer is confined under most of Black Mesa, and the overlying stratigraphy limits recharge to this part of the aquifer. The N aquifer is unconfined in areas surrounding Black Mesa, and most recharge occurs where the Navajo Sandstone is exposed in the area near Shonto, Arizona. Overlying the N aquifer is the D aquifer, which includes the Dakota Sandstone, Morrison Formation, Entrada Sandstone, and Carmel Formation. The aquifer is named for the Dakota Sandstone, which is the primary water-bearing unit.The NGS is located near Page, Arizona on the Navajo Nation. The KMC, which delivers coal to NGS by way of a dedicated electric railroad, is located approximately 83 miles southeast of NGS (about 125 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona). The Kayenta Mine permit area is located on about 44,073 acres of land leased within the boundaries of the Hopi and Navajo Indian Reservations. KMC has been conducting mining and

  2. Environmental impact assessment of benthic community stability in an estuarine complex

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ansari, Z.A.; Abidi, S.A.H.

    . There was also a substantial decrease in clam production during the 10 year time under consideration. The implication of ever increasing mining rejects in the estuarine system and the utilization of quantitative benthic parameters in environmental impact studies...

  3. Understanding environmental drivers in the regulation of soil respiration dynamics after fire in semi-arid ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Lewandrowski, Wolfgang; Erickson, Todd E.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Merritt, David J.

    2016-04-01

    Keywords: Pilbara, soil CO2 efflux, soil C, soil moisture, soil temperature Introduction Soil respiration (Rs) has become a major research focus given the increase in atmospheric CO2 emissions and the large contribution of these CO2 fluxes from soils (Van Groenigen et al., 2014). In addition to its importance in the global C cycle, Rs is a fundamental indicator of soil health and quality that reflects the level of microbial activity and provides an indication of the ability of soils to support plant growth (Oyonarte et al., 2012; Munoz-Rojas et al., 2015). Wildfires can have a significant impact on Rs rates, with the scale of the impact depending on environmental factors such as temperature and moisture, and organic C content in the soil. Vegetation cover can have a significant effect on regulating organic C contents; and while advances are made into understanding the effects of fire on organic C contents and CO2 fluxes (Granged et al., 2011; Willaarts et al., 2015; Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016), there is limited knowledge of the variability of Rs across ecosystem types, vegetation communities, and responses to fire. In this research we aimed to assess the impacts of a wildfire on the soil CO2 fluxes and soil respiration in a semi-arid ecosystem of Western Australia (Pilbara biogeographical region), and to understand the main environmental drivers controlling these fluxes in different vegetation types. The study has application for other arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Methods The study area was selected following a wildfire that affected 25 ha in February 2014. Twelve plots were established in the burnt site (B) within a 400 m2 area, and 12 plots in an adjacent unburnt control site. At each site, three plots were installed below the canopy of each of the most representative vegetation types of the areas: Eucalyptus trees, Acacia shrubs and Triodia grasses, and three on bare soil. Soil sampling and measurement of soil CO2 efflux, temperature and moisture were

  4. Multiple environmental tracers for a better understanding of water flux in a wetland area (La Bassée, France)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gourcy, L.; Brenot, A.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding water exchange between groundwater and streams, or groundwater/surface-water relationships, is of primary importance for solving conflicts related to water use and for restoring water ecosystems. To this end, a combination of classic geochemical tools and isotopic tools were tested on the Bassée study site, located in the alluvial plain of the River Seine, to see whether they are relevant for tracing multiple and complex groundwater/surface-water relationships. The Ca/Sr ratio associated with Sr isotopes shows contrasted values and suggests that infiltration of surface water to groundwater increases when approaching the Seine. Furthermore, stable isotopes of the water molecule indicate that water from gravel-pit lakes may infiltrate into groundwater. Tritium and CFC tools confirmed surface-water influence on the Alluvial and Chalk aquifers. This geochemical approach, tested on the Bassée site, clearly demonstrates the need of using various geochemical tools for describing groundwater/surface-water relationships, and can be conclusively addressed to other case studies for helping decision makers in their management of natural water resources.

  5. Predicting Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Suitability of Red Spruce (Picea rubens Sarg. in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of the USA: Understanding Complex Systems Mechanisms through Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Ah Koo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Alpine, subalpine and boreal tree species, of low genetic diversity and adapted to low optimal temperatures, are vulnerable to the warming effects of global climate change. The accurate prediction of these species’ distributions in response to climate change is critical for effective planning and management. The goal of this research is to predict climate change effects on the distribution of red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg. in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP, eastern USA. Climate change is, however, conflated with other environmental factors, making its assessment a complex systems problem in which indirect effects are significant in causality. Predictions were made by linking a tree growth simulation model, red spruce growth model (ARIM.SIM, to a GIS spatial model, red spruce habitat model (ARIM.HAB. ARIM.SIM quantifies direct and indirect interactions between red spruce and its growth factors, revealing the latter to be dominant. ARIM.HAB spatially distributes the ARIM.SIM simulations under the assumption that greater growth reflects higher probabilities of presence. ARIM.HAB predicts the future habitat suitability of red spruce based on growth predictions of ARIM.SIM under climate change and three air pollution scenarios: 10% increase, no change and 10% decrease. Results show that suitable habitats shrink most when air pollution increases. Higher temperatures cause losses of most low-elevation habitats. Increased precipitation and air pollution produce acid rain, which causes loss of both low- and high-elevation habitats. The general prediction is that climate change will cause contraction of red spruce habitats at both lower and higher elevations in GSMNP, and the effects will be exacerbated by increased air pollution. These predictions provide valuable information for understanding potential impacts of global climate change on the spatiotemporal distribution of red spruce habitats in GSMNP.

  6. A cost-analysis of complex workplace nutrition education and environmental dietary modification interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Sarah; Kirby, Ann; Murphy, Aileen; Geaney, Fiona; Perry, Ivan J

    2017-01-09

    The workplace has been identified as a priority setting to positively influence individuals' dietary behaviours. However, a dearth of evidence exists regarding the costs of implementing and delivering workplace dietary interventions. This study aimed to conduct a cost-analysis of workplace nutrition education and environmental dietary modification interventions from an employer's perspective. Cost data were obtained from a workplace dietary intervention trial, the Food Choice at Work Study. Micro-costing methods estimated costs associated with implementing and delivering the interventions for 1 year in four multinational manufacturing workplaces in Cork, Ireland. The workplaces were allocated to one of the following groups: control, nutrition education alone, environmental dietary modification alone and nutrition education and environmental dietary modification combined. A total of 850 employees were recruited across the four workplaces. For comparison purposes, total costs were standardised for 500 employees per workplace. The combined intervention reported the highest total costs of €31,108. The nutrition education intervention reported total costs of €28,529. Total costs for the environmental dietary modification intervention were €3689. Total costs for the control workplace were zero. The average annual cost per employee was; combined intervention: €62, nutrition education: €57, environmental modification: €7 and control: €0. Nutritionist's time was the main cost contributor across all interventions, (ranging from 53 to 75% of total costs). Within multi-component interventions, the relative cost of implementing and delivering nutrition education elements is high compared to environmental modification strategies. A workplace environmental modification strategy added marginal additional cost, relative to the control. Findings will inform employers and public health policy-makers regarding the economic feasibility of implementing and scaling dietary

  7. Predicted distribution of major malaria vectors belonging to the Anopheles dirus complex in Asia: ecological niche and environmental influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obsomer, Valerie; Defourny, Pierre; Coosemans, Marc

    2012-01-01

    Methods derived from ecological niche modeling allow to define species distribution based on presence-only data. This is particularly useful to develop models from literature records such as available for the Anopheles dirus complex, a major group of malaria mosquito vectors in Asia. This research defines an innovative modeling design based on presence-only model and hierarchical framework to define the distribution of the complex and attempt to delineate sibling species distribution and environmental preferences. At coarse resolution, the potential distribution was defined using slow changing abiotic factors such as topography and climate representative for the timescale covered by literature records of the species. The distribution area was then refined in a second step using a mask of current suitable land cover. Distribution area and ecological niche were compared between species and environmental factors tested for relevance. Alternatively, extreme values at occurrence points were used to delimit environmental envelopes. The spatial distribution for the complex was broadly consistent with its known distribution and influencing factors included temperature and rainfall. If maps developed from environmental envelopes gave similar results to modeling when the number of sites was high, the results were less similar for species with low number of recorded presences. Using presence-only models and hierarchical framework this study not only predicts the distribution of a major malaria vector, but also improved ecological modeling analysis design and proposed final products better adapted to malaria control decision makers. The resulting maps can help prioritizing areas which need further investigation and help simulate distribution under changing conditions such as climate change or reforestation. The hierarchical framework results in two products one abiotic based model describes the potential maximal distribution and remains valid for decades and the other

  8. Predicted distribution of major malaria vectors belonging to the Anopheles dirus complex in Asia: ecological niche and environmental influences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Obsomer

    Full Text Available Methods derived from ecological niche modeling allow to define species distribution based on presence-only data. This is particularly useful to develop models from literature records such as available for the Anopheles dirus complex, a major group of malaria mosquito vectors in Asia. This research defines an innovative modeling design based on presence-only model and hierarchical framework to define the distribution of the complex and attempt to delineate sibling species distribution and environmental preferences. At coarse resolution, the potential distribution was defined using slow changing abiotic factors such as topography and climate representative for the timescale covered by literature records of the species. The distribution area was then refined in a second step using a mask of current suitable land cover. Distribution area and ecological niche were compared between species and environmental factors tested for relevance. Alternatively, extreme values at occurrence points were used to delimit environmental envelopes. The spatial distribution for the complex was broadly consistent with its known distribution and influencing factors included temperature and rainfall. If maps developed from environmental envelopes gave similar results to modeling when the number of sites was high, the results were less similar for species with low number of recorded presences. Using presence-only models and hierarchical framework this study not only predicts the distribution of a major malaria vector, but also improved ecological modeling analysis design and proposed final products better adapted to malaria control decision makers. The resulting maps can help prioritizing areas which need further investigation and help simulate distribution under changing conditions such as climate change or reforestation. The hierarchical framework results in two products one abiotic based model describes the potential maximal distribution and remains valid for decades

  9. Assessing the links among environmental contaminants, endocrinology, and parasites to understand amphibian declines in montane regions of Costa Rica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Leary

    Full Text Available Amphibians inhabiting montane riparian zones in the Neotropics are particularly vulnerable to decline, but the reasons are poorly understood. Because environmental contaminants, endocrine disruption, and pathogens often figure prominently in amphibian declines it is imperative that we understand how these factors are potentially interrelated to affect montane populations. One possibility is that increased precipitation associated with global warming promotes the deposition of contaminants in montane regions. Increased exposure to contaminants, in turn, potentially elicits chronic elevations in circulating stress hormones that could contribute to montane population declines by compromising resistance to pathogens and/or production of sex steroids regulating reproduction. Here, we test this hypothesis by examining contaminant levels, stress and sex steroid levels, and nematode abundances in male drab treefrogs, Smilisca sordida, from lowland and montane populations in Costa Rica. We found no evidence that montane populations were more likely to possess contaminants (i.e., organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate pesticides or benzidine and chlorophenoxy herbicides than lowland populations. We also found no evidence of elevational differences in circulating levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, estradiol or progesterone. However, montane populations possessed lower androgen levels, hosted more nematode species, and had higher nematode abundances than lowland populations. Although these results suggested that nematodes contributed to lower androgens in montane populations, we were unable to detect a significant inverse relationship between nematode abundance and androgen level. Our results suggest that montane populations of this species are not at greater risk of exposure to contaminants or chronic stress, but implicate nematodes and compromised sex steroid levels as potential threats to montane populations.

  10. Assessing the links among environmental contaminants, endocrinology, and parasites to understand amphibian declines in montane regions of Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leary, Christopher J; Ralicki, Hannah F; Laurencio, David; Crocker-Buta, Sarah; Malone, John H

    2018-01-01

    Amphibians inhabiting montane riparian zones in the Neotropics are particularly vulnerable to decline, but the reasons are poorly understood. Because environmental contaminants, endocrine disruption, and pathogens often figure prominently in amphibian declines it is imperative that we understand how these factors are potentially interrelated to affect montane populations. One possibility is that increased precipitation associated with global warming promotes the deposition of contaminants in montane regions. Increased exposure to contaminants, in turn, potentially elicits chronic elevations in circulating stress hormones that could contribute to montane population declines by compromising resistance to pathogens and/or production of sex steroids regulating reproduction. Here, we test this hypothesis by examining contaminant levels, stress and sex steroid levels, and nematode abundances in male drab treefrogs, Smilisca sordida, from lowland and montane populations in Costa Rica. We found no evidence that montane populations were more likely to possess contaminants (i.e., organochlorine, organophosphate and carbamate pesticides or benzidine and chlorophenoxy herbicides) than lowland populations. We also found no evidence of elevational differences in circulating levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, estradiol or progesterone. However, montane populations possessed lower androgen levels, hosted more nematode species, and had higher nematode abundances than lowland populations. Although these results suggested that nematodes contributed to lower androgens in montane populations, we were unable to detect a significant inverse relationship between nematode abundance and androgen level. Our results suggest that montane populations of this species are not at greater risk of exposure to contaminants or chronic stress, but implicate nematodes and compromised sex steroid levels as potential threats to montane populations.

  11. Separation and characterization of nanoparticles in complex food and environmental samples by field-flow fractionation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kammer, Frank von der; Legros, Samuel; Hofmann, Thilo

    2011-01-01

    The thorough analysis of natural nanoparticles (NPs) and engineered NPs involves the sequence of detection, identification, quantification and, if possible, detailed characterization. In a complex or heterogeneous sample, each step of this sequence is an individual challenge, and, given suitable ...

  12. STATE TRANSITION7-Dependent Phosphorylation Is Modulated by Changing Environmental Conditions, and Its Absence Triggers Remodeling of Photosynthetic Protein Complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergner, Sonja Verena; Scholz, Martin; Trompelt, Kerstin; Barth, Johannes; Gäbelein, Philipp; Steinbeck, Janina; Xue, Huidan; Clowez, Sophie; Fucile, Geoffrey; Goldschmidt-Clermont, Michel; Fufezan, Christian; Hippler, Michael

    2015-06-01

    In plants and algae, the serine/threonine kinase STN7/STT7, orthologous protein kinases in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), respectively, is an important regulator in acclimation to changing light environments. In this work, we assessed STT7-dependent protein phosphorylation under high light in C. reinhardtii, known to fully induce the expression of light-harvesting complex stress-related protein3 (LHCSR3) and a nonphotochemical quenching mechanism, in relationship to anoxia where the activity of cyclic electron flow is stimulated. Our quantitative proteomics data revealed numerous unique STT7 protein substrates and STT7-dependent protein phosphorylation variations that were reliant on the environmental condition. These results indicate that STT7-dependent phosphorylation is modulated by the environment and point to an intricate chloroplast phosphorylation network responding in a highly sensitive and dynamic manner to environmental cues and alterations in kinase function. Functionally, the absence of the STT7 kinase triggered changes in protein expression and photoinhibition of photosystem I (PSI) and resulted in the remodeling of photosynthetic complexes. This remodeling initiated a pronounced association of LHCSR3 with PSI-light harvesting complex I (LHCI)-ferredoxin-NADPH oxidoreductase supercomplexes. Lack of STT7 kinase strongly diminished PSII-LHCII supercomplexes, while PSII core complex phosphorylation and accumulation were significantly enhanced. In conclusion, our study provides strong evidence that the regulation of protein phosphorylation is critical for driving successful acclimation to high light and anoxic growth environments and gives new insights into acclimation strategies to these environmental conditions. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  13. Addressing the complexity of water chemistry in environmental fate modeling for engineered nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sani-Kast, Nicole; Scheringer, Martin; Slomberg, Danielle; Labille, Jérôme; Praetorius, Antonia; Ollivier, Patrick; Hungerbühler, Konrad

    2015-12-01

    Engineered nanoparticle (ENP) fate models developed to date - aimed at predicting ENP concentration in the aqueous environment - have limited applicability because they employ constant environmental conditions along the modeled system or a highly specific environmental representation; both approaches do not show the effects of spatial and/or temporal variability. To address this conceptual gap, we developed a novel modeling strategy that: 1) incorporates spatial variability in environmental conditions in an existing ENP fate model; and 2) analyzes the effect of a wide range of randomly sampled environmental conditions (representing variations in water chemistry). This approach was employed to investigate the transport of nano-TiO2 in the Lower Rhône River (France) under numerous sets of environmental conditions. The predicted spatial concentration profiles of nano-TiO2 were then grouped according to their similarity by using cluster analysis. The analysis resulted in a small number of clusters representing groups of spatial concentration profiles. All clusters show nano-TiO2 accumulation in the sediment layer, supporting results from previous studies. Analysis of the characteristic features of each cluster demonstrated a strong association between the water conditions in regions close to the ENP emission source and the cluster membership of the corresponding spatial concentration profiles. In particular, water compositions favoring heteroaggregation between the ENPs and suspended particulate matter resulted in clusters of low variability. These conditions are, therefore, reliable predictors of the eventual fate of the modeled ENPs. The conclusions from this study are also valid for ENP fate in other large river systems. Our results, therefore, shift the focus of future modeling and experimental research of ENP environmental fate to the water characteristic in regions near the expected ENP emission sources. Under conditions favoring heteroaggregation in these

  14. Soluble 1:1 complexes and insoluble 3:2 complexes - Understanding the phase-solubility diagram of hydrocortisone and γ-cyclodextrin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schönbeck, Christian; Madsen, Tobias Løvgren; Peters, Günther H.

    2017-01-01

    -cyclodextrin in solution and the solid phase. The drug-solubilizer interaction was also studied by isothermal titration calorimetry from which a precise value of the 1:1 binding constant (K 11 =4.01mM-1 at 20°C) was obtained. The formation of water-soluble 1:1 complexes is responsible for the initial increase...

  15. The Comparison of the Skill of Understanding Complex Syntax at Children Attending to a Preschool Education Institution (TRNC-TR Sample)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazici, Elçin

    2016-01-01

    The current study was carried out to compare the skills of understanding complex syntax at children attending to preschool education institutions. In the current study, relational screening model, a model providing to determine the current study, was used. The working group of the study was made up of 224 children at the age of 4-5 attending to a…

  16. A Preliminary Environmental Assessment for the Preservation and Restoration of Fujian Hakka Tulou Complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minoru Ueda

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In 2007 and 2009, research trips were taken, mainly in the Fujian province of China, to investigate the construction materials, methods, structures and floor plans of Hakka Tulou. Researchers lived in several Tulou, interviewed residents and experienced traditional Hakka lifestyle. Typically, Tulou are located in remote regions at relatively high elevations in climatic conditions characterized by hot summers, cold winters, and with high incidents of typhoons and earthquakes. The extent of damage and level of preservation were examined with respect to the age of many of these structures, the relatively harsh environment, and changing demographics in the region. The majority of occupants are now elderly. They maintain a traditional and efficient lifestyle utilizing minimum electricity, water, and energy. This study discusses the findings from these two field trips and assesses environmental load and sustainability within the context of current environmental standards using the Japanese Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency (CASBEE from data collected at Cheng Qi Lou. The goal was: firstly to undertake a preliminary environmental assessment to determine sustainable elements of Hakka Tulou construction methods; secondly, to identify potential sustainable solutions to preserve existing structure; and finally, to identify appropriate sustainable solutions to repair and retrofit damaged and underutilized structures to modern living standards, while retaining traditional building techniques and lifestyle.

  17. Test Area C-80 Complex Final Range Environmental Assessment, Revision 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-08-14

    and Rodenticide Act Insecticide and Environmental Pesticide Control (FIFRA); Establishes requirements for use of pesticides that may be relevant to...would contribute to the added dissociation of water soluble molecules in the air. Sunlight would also cause photodegradation of chemicals released

  18. Nitrogen availability is a primary determinant of conifer mycorrhizas across complex environmental gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filipa Cox; Nadia Barsoum; Erik A. Lilleskov; Martin I. Bidartondo

    2010-01-01

    Global environmental change has serious implications for functional biodiversity in temperate and boreal forests. Trees depend on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrient uptake, but predicted increases in nitrogen availability may alter fungal communities. To address a knowledge gap regarding the effects of nitrogen availability on mycorrhizal communities at large scales, we...

  19. The clean coal initiative: An appropriate response to complex environmental issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, C.L.

    1991-01-01

    The paper discusses the Department of Energy's Clean Coal Technology Program that can offer significant benefits when these technologies are used for power production, pollution control or the conversion of coal into other alternative energy products. The paper describes the status of the program, the 35 projects currently in the program, and the environmental role of clean coal technologies

  20. Environmental Communication Pedagogy for Sustainability: Developing Core Capacities to Engage with Complex Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGreavy, Bridie; Druschke, Caroline Gottschalk; Sprain, Leah; Thompson, Jessica L.; Lindenfeld, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Pedagogy informed by environmental communication can enhance collaboration within and outside the classroom. Through our collaborative, sustainability-focused work within the United States and internationally, we identified core capacities that prepare people to work together to form inclusive organizations and identify and respond to pressing…

  1. Comparison between the Understanding Levels of Boys and Girls on the Concepts of Environmental Degradation, Meteorology and Climate Change in Tanzanian Secondary Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kira, Ernest S.; Komba, Sotco C.

    2015-01-01

    The study aimed to determine whether there was any significant difference in understanding levels between secondary school boys and girls on the concepts of environmental degradation, meteorology and climate change. Both structured survey and focus group discussions were used to collect information from 480 students, sampled randomly from 12…

  2. Local Actions, Global Effects? Understanding the Circumstances in which Locally Beneficial Environmental Actions Cumulate to Have Global Effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas K. Rudel

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Environmentally beneficial actions come in diverse forms and occur in a wide range of settings ranging from personal decisions in households to negotiated agreements between nations. This article draws upon both social and ecological theory to outline, theoretically, the circumstances in which localized actions, undertaken by citizens, should cumulate to have global effects. The beliefs behind these actions tend to be either 'defensive environmentalism' in which actors work to improve their personal, local environments or 'altruistic environmentalism' in which actors work to improve the global environment. Defensive environmental actions such as creating common property institutions, limiting fertility, reducing waste streams, using energy efficient technologies, and eating organic foods have cumulative effects whereas altruistic environmental action often occurs through threshold crossings following a focusing event. Defensive environmentalism expedites altruistic environmentalism by persuading politicians, after focusing events, that rank and file citizens really do want a regime change. The resulting political transformation should, at least theoretically, create a sustainable development state that would promote additional defensive and altruistic environmental actions.

  3. Understanding Barriers to Optimal Cleaning and Disinfection in Hospitals: A Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Survey of Environmental Services Workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Daniel A; Salsgiver, Elizabeth; Simon, Matthew S; Greendyke, William; Eiras, Daniel P; Ito, Masahiro; Caruso, Dean A; Woodward, Timothy M; Perriel, Odette T; Saiman, Lisa; Furuya, E Yoko; Calfee, David P

    2016-12-01

    In this study, we used an online survey to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to environmental cleaning and other infection prevention strategies among environmental services workers (ESWs) at 5 hospitals. Our findings suggest that ESWs could benefit from additional education and feedback as well as new strategies to address workflow challenges. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2016;1492-1495.

  4. Nuclear inelastic scattering and density-functional-theory calculations on the understanding of the vibronic properties of polynuclear iron complexes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faus, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Transition metal complexes of 3d elements with an electronic configuration of d 4 to d 8 can show a temperature dependent spin transition. This process is called spin crossover (SCO) effect and describes the transition between two states, the low spin (LS) state and the high spin (HS) state. In the LS state the spin is as low as possible, caused by none or a minimal number of unpaired electrons. In the HS state the spin is as high as possible with a maximal number of unpaired electrons. Because of this bistability, SCO materials are promising candidates for innovative molecular storage devices. Directly related to the SCO effect is the cooperativity, which specifies the interaction of metal centers between molecules (intermolecular cooperativity) or in a molecule (intramolecular cooperativity). Cooperativity is of vital importance for the switching behavior of SCO complexes with broad hysteresis. Therefore, three dinuclear SCO complexes which show a varying degree of cooperativity due to different geometries of their bridging ligands were investigated. By means of nuclear inelastic scattering (NIS), it could be clarified whether it is possible to find intramolecular cooperative effects in the vibrational patterns of these complexes. With corresponding density functional theory (DFT) calculations, it was possible for all of the dinuclear complexes to correlate the experimental NIS bands to the corresponding molecular vibrational modes. In the LS-LS or HS-HS state of the three complexes two modes exist lying energetically close together, which show a similar movement of the whole complex, with only a difference in the movement of the iron atoms. Thereby, the irons are moving either in the same or in the opposite direction. For complexes with a high degree of cooperativity there are nearly exclusively small energy shifts between this kind of nearly twofold energetically degenerated modes (ΔE <7 cm -1 ), for the complex with a low degree of cooperativity there are

  5. The Programmatic Approach; a Flexible and Complex Tool to Achieve Environmental Quality Standards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.N. Boeve

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This contribution focuses on the integrated or programmatic approaches at both the European and national level, which are used as a tool to attain environmental quality standards. These approaches leave much room for flexibility with respect to the choice of measures to be adopted in order to achieve the quality standards. However, difficulties can arise while implementing the integrated or programmatic approach. Instruments or measures which are laid down in other relevant EU legislation can for instance restrict flexibility in the choice of measures. Furthermore, the polluter pays principle requires a fair allocation of costs in situations where multiple polluters have contributed to the pollution. In the Netherlands the principle of égalité devant les charges publiques applies. In principle, polluters will not have a right to compensation for the costs of environmental measures. However, in special circumstances, liability in damages based on a breach of égalité could be an issue.

  6. The complex system of environmental monitoring (CSEM). An analysis of concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazatsev, Yury I.; Mitchenkov, Igor G.

    2018-01-01

    Researches of ecological processes in Russia testify to rather difficult and adverse situation. It is quite obviously that we need a reasonable concept of an exit from the situation. It could become the strategic program for the solution of ecological tasks at the same time. In this regard, it is obviously necessary not just to develop new scientific and technological mechanisms to overcome of critical situations, but to offer a new research platform which will be able to give ideas to predict tendencies of ecological development and to analyses the consequences of their embodiment. Our offer for it is “the composite system of environmental monitoring” (CSEM) of the territory or region. We use a method of the conceptual analysis. Also, we will try to show how definition of the term influences to contents of social practicing, namely, environmental monitoring of the region.

  7. A novel voltammetric method for the direct determination of copper in complex environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Jianjun; Wei, Wanzhi; Hu, Yanbo; Tao, Han; Wu, Ling

    2004-07-01

    A novel voltammetry with a modified gold electrode for the direct determination of copper in environmental samples, without any pretreatment, is proposed in this paper. A porous disorganized monolayer was formed on the surface of the gold electrode by the self-assembly of mercaptoacetic acid (MAA), which could selectively permeate small molecules. Subtractive square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SASV) was applied to determine copper, in which the underpotential deposition (UPD) of copper was used as the deposition step. The linear range was from 8 x 10(-7) to 1 x l0(-5) mol l(-1) by the modified electrode in the presence of human serum albumin, and the determination was not interfered with common metal ions. Copper in a real environmental sample was successfully detected.

  8. The Effect of Genetic and Environmental Factors on Craniofacial Complex: A Twin Study

    OpenAIRE

    Yelampalli Muralidhar Reddy; CAB Sreekanth; B Vishnuvardhan Reddy; B Lakshman Kumar

    2011-01-01

    Aim : The aim of the study was to determine the extent of genetic influence and environmental contribution to craniofacial growth and development. Materials and methods : A total of 15 pairs of twins were selected and divided into monozygotic (8) and dizygotic (7) with the help of DNA fingerprinting. Lateral cephalograms were taken. Linear measurements-anterior cranial base, posterior cranial base, anterior facial height, upper/lower anterior facial height, posterior facial height, mandibu...

  9. Impact of different environmental stimuli on the release of 1-MCP from boron-MCP complexes

    Science.gov (United States)

    In our previous report, boron derivatives of methylene cyclopropane complexes (B-MCP) were developed to stabilize the gaseous 1-MCP (1-methylcyclopropene), a commercial plant growth regulator, for eventual release in open crop fields when under humid conditions or in contact with water. To meet the ...

  10. Evaluating the response of complex systems to environmental threats: the Σ II method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corynen, G.C.

    1983-05-01

    The Σ II method was developed to model and compute the probabilistic performance of systems that operate in a threatening environment. Although we emphasize the vulnerability of complex systems to earthquakes and to electromagnetic threats such as EMP (electromagnetic pulse), the method applies in general to most large-scale systems or networks that are embedded in a potentially harmful environment. Other methods exist for obtaining system vulnerability, but their complexity increases exponentially as the size of systems is increased. The complexity of the Σ II method is polynomial, and accurate solutions are now possible for problems for which current methods require the use of rough statistical bounds, confidence statements, and other approximations. For super-large problems, where the costs of precise answers may be prohibitive, a desired accuracy can be specified, and the Σ II algorithms will halt when that accuracy has been reached. We summarize the results of a theoretical complexity analysis - which is reported elsewhere - and validate the theory with computer experiments conducted both on worst-case academic problems and on more reasonable problems occurring in practice. Finally, we compare our method with the exact methods of Abraham and Nakazawa, and with current bounding methods, and we demonstrate the computational efficiency and accuracy of Σ II

  11. Impact of environmental diversity of hunting complexes in the Lublin region on ontogenetic quality indicators in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czyżowski, Piotr; Drozd, Leszek; Karpiński, Mirosław; Tajchman, Katarzyna; Goleman, Małgorzata; Wojtaś, Justyna; Zieliński, Damian

    2018-01-01

    Populations of game are not confined to single ecosystems but function within higher-order units, e.g. ecological landscape. The basis for the establishment of the hunting complexes was the assumption that the existing game hunting grounds, i.e. the basic units implementing game management, are too small and do not cover the natural areas inhabited by game populations. Roe deer are flexible species and easily adapt to various site conditions, so they inhabit many different habitats, from large forest complexes, through small in-field tree stands and shrubs, to treeless grounds and field monocultures. The aim of the study was to determine a possible impact of environmental conditions prevailing in the hunting complexes of the Regional Directorate of State Forests (RDLP in Lublin) on the ontogenetic quality of roe deer. The study was conducted on 518 European roe deer ( Capreolus capreolus ) aged from 4 to 7 years (379 bucks and 139 does) harvested within hunting seasons 2010/2011-2013/2014. The results have shown that animals originating from areas with greater forest cover and denser stands are characterised by lower values of the mean ontogenetic quality parameters (carcase weight, kidney fat index, chest girth, weight of antlers) in comparison with animals from typical agricultural areas with fragmented forest complexes. These results indicate that, even in the case of such a eurytopic species as the roe deer, the ontogenetic quality differs between individual hunting complexes. The study has proved that strategies for hunting management of the roe deer should take into account the impact of the landscape structure, which provides a rationale behind creation of hunting complexes.

  12. Surfactant-free nanoparticle-DNA complexes with ultrahigh stability against salt for environmental and biological sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, Jun Hyuk; Cho, Hui Hun; Lee, Jung Heon

    2014-11-21

    We report the development of surfactant free-gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-DNA complexes that remained stable in solutions with extremely high ionic strength, using seawater as a model solution. Although the stability of AuNPs can be increased to a certain degree by functionalizing negatively charged DNA strands on their surfaces, they still have limited stability in highly concentrated salt solutions. However, we found that AuNPs functionalized with poly-T bases have exceptional stability in high ionic strength solutions. For example, AuNPs functionalized with a 5T spacer remained highly stable in seawater, with no color change and no red-shift in absorbance spectra for up to 9 days. Using this surprising property of poly-T spacers, we prepared highly stable AuNP-DNA complexes containing random sequences by introducing 5T spacers on the random sequenced DNA strand. The random sequenced AuNP-DNA complexes remained stable in seawater, several molar concentrations of monovalent metal ion solutions (6.1 M Na(+) or 4.8 M K(+)), and millimolar concentrations of diverse divalent metal ions. In addition, the highly stable AuNP-DNA complex maintained biological activity in seawater, which was demonstrated by complementary reaction and aptamer based biosensing. These results provide important insight into NP use for various applications under harsh biological and environmental conditions.

  13. Symposium on Short-Term Genetic Bioassays in the Evaluation of Complex Environmental Mixtures

    CERN Document Server

    Sandhu, Shahbeg; Lewtas, Joellen; Claxton, Larry; Strauss, Gary; Nesnow, Stephen

    1985-01-01

    With this proceedings of the fourth symposium on complex mixtures, we continue to revise and extend our knowledge of genetic methods for the evaluation of chemical mixtures in the environment. The early chapters of this volume are devoted to new bioassay techniques that are directly applicable to the monitoring of environments contaminated with genotoxic chemicals. Microbiological methods have been further refined to meet the special needs of atmospheric monitoring so that very small samples may now be efficiently tested. New in situ methods utilizing green plants actually avoid many of the usual difficulties of sample collection and preparation and offer special advantages in monitoring wastewater, sludges, and hazardous wastes. Insects also are being employed very effectively in the evaluation of gaseous air pollutants in controlled laboratory investigations. Increased emphasis has been placed on a comprehensive assessment of the potential of complex mixtures t9 cause various kinds of genetic damage. New as...

  14. Interaction of natural complexing agents with soil bound heavy metals -geochemical and environmental technical aspects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fischer, K.

    1994-01-01

    The sanitation of heavy metal polluted soils requires the application of an adequate technology, which should be consistent in its ecological aims and methodology. Therefore a research programme has been developed at the 'Institute of Ecological Chemistry' of the 'GSF-Research Center', Neuherberg, which has its starting point in the study of influences of natural organic complexing agents on the chemical activity and dynamic of heavy metals in soils. The groundlaying idea is to elevate the concentration of complexing agents in the soil solution by additional application and possible stimulation of their microbial production to such an extent, that heavy metals will be enhanced solubilized, mobilized and removed together with the seepage water. Batch experiments in order to extract heavy metals from typical soil components (bentonite, peat) by amino acids demonstrate, that removal rates up to 95% can be obtained. (orig.) [de

  15. Environmental Literacy of Sixth Grade Students in Arkansas: Implications for Environmental Education Reform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Lisa S.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental education must be better integrated into K-12 curriculum to advance environmental literacy. Producing a citizenry that can understand and address the complex environmental issues facing the world today and in the future is essential to sustainable life on this planet. Using the Middle School Environmental Literacy Survey, 6th grade…

  16. [Environmental pollution by products of wear and tear automobile-road complex].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levanchuk, A V

    2014-01-01

    North-West State Medical University named after I.I. Mechnikov, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, 191015. There is supposed the method for the assessment of amounts of pollutants released into the environment during the operational wear of tyre treads, brake system of cars and the road pavement. There are presented results of chemical analysis of residues of combustion. The necessity of control of products of work wear of automobile-road complex has been substantiated.

  17. Tandem Extraction/Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Protocol for the Analysis of Acrylamide and Surfactant-related Compounds in Complex Aqueous Environmental Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of a liquid chromatography‐mass spectrometry (LC‐MS)‐based strategy for the detection and quantitation of acrylamide and surfactant‐related compounds in aqueous complex environmental samples.

  18. Local Actions, Global Effects? Understanding the Circumstances in which Locally Beneficial Environmental Actions Cumulate to Have Global Effects

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas K. Rudel

    2011-01-01

    Environmentally beneficial actions come in diverse forms and occur in a wide range of settings ranging from personal decisions in households to negotiated agreements between nations. This article draws upon both social and ecological theory to outline, theoretically, the circumstances in which localized actions, undertaken by citizens, should cumulate to have global effects. The beliefs behind these actions tend to be either 'defensive environmentalism' in which actors work to improve their...

  19. Environmental program audit: Portsmouth Uranium Enrichment Complex, Piketon, Ohio. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, W.M.

    1985-01-01

    The audit was performed by observing operations, inspecting facilities and equipment, examining monitoring procedures and data, and evaluating compliance with applicable DOE Orders and federal and state regulations. On the basis of available information, no imminent danger to public health or safety was disclosed by the audit. Wastewater treatment facilities are well operated, and there appears to be adequate characterization of current hazardous waste. Similarly, regulatory compliance with NPDES surface water monitoring and discharge requirements is satisfactory. Specific deficiencies in the environmental management program are defined for improvement. These areas include the monitoring network and compliance with air quality standards, water quality standards, waste disposal, and record keeping

  20. Using a Complexity-Based Perspective to Better Understand the Relationships among Mentoring, School Conflicts, and Novice Retention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waterman, Sheryn Elaine Spencer

    2011-01-01

    In this study I used complexity-thinking, ecologically-based sustainable capacity-building, narrative methodology, and pragmatism to explore the relationships among mentoring, conflict, and novice retention. In order to explore these relationships, I constructed stories from my interviews with six mentor-novice dyads in a southeastern 9-12 high…

  1. The development of second-order social cognition and its relation with complex language understanding and working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arslan, Burcu; Hohenberger, Annette; Verbrugge, Rineke

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the development of second-order social cognition and its possible relationship with language and memory were investigated. For this reason two second-order false belief tasks (FBT_2), a short term memory task (WST), a complex working memory task (LST), a linguistic perspective-taking

  2. Ti(IV) and the Siderophore Desferrioxamine B: A Tight Complex Has Biological and Environmental Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Kayleigh E; Batchler, Kathleen L; Zalouk, Célia; Valentine, Ann M

    2017-02-06

    The siderophore desferrioxamine B (DFOB) binds Ti(IV) tightly and precludes its hydrolytic precipitation under biologically and environmentally relevant conditions. This interaction of DFOB with Ti(IV) is investigated by using spectro-potentiometric and spectro-photometric titrations, mass spectrometry, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), and computational modeling. The data from pH 2-10 suggest two one-proton equilibria among three species, with one species predominating below pH 3.5, a second from pH 3.5 to 8, and a third above pH 8. The latter species is prone to slow hydrolytic precipitation. Electrospray mass spectrometry allowed the detection of [Ti(IV) (HDFOB)] 2+ and [Ti(DFOB)] + ; these species were assigned as the pH Ti(IV)-DFOB was determined by using UV/vis-monitored competition with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Taking into consideration the available binding constant of Ti(IV) and EDTA, the data reveal values of log β 111 = 41.7, log β 110 = 38.1, and log β 11-1 = 30.1. The former value was supported by ITC, with the transfer of Ti(IV) from EDTA to DFOB determined to be both enthalpically and entropically favorable. Computational methods yielded a model of Ti-DFOB. The physiological and environmental implications of this tight interaction and the potential role of DFOB in solubilizing Ti(IV) are discussed.

  3. Clean production and design of products - Complex system and environmental politics of products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanchez, M.

    1999-01-01

    The orientation of the environmental problem in sustainable terms, especially in the industrialized economies, a new profile in the last years has found. In these economies, the search of a clean production franked by a coherent politics of products and the contribution of the design of products, it have given to the environmental speech a new dimension. With the present text it is sought to respond to the necessity of exploring in Colombia this topic that has a decisive paper inside the instruments of protection of the environment cooperating to improve the quality of life in other latitudes. At the moment the theoretical foundations around the development of products play a important role in the different lines of applied investigation carried out by these countries, especially in the mark of a politics of sustainable development. In spite of the importance of this factor in the industrialized countries where the capacity of integration of a coordinated administration is of great meaning, in Colombia, particularly, the relationship between development and design of products with industry, investigation and political of development and, for our case with a clean production, it is characterized by the scarce insert and attention of this discipline

  4. Use of biological priors enhances understanding of genetic architecture and genomic prediction of complex traits within and between dairy cattle breeds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fang, Lingzhao; Sahana, Goutam; Ma, Peipei

    2017-01-01

    sequence variants in Holstein (HOL) and Jersey (JER) cattle were analysed. We first carried out a post-GWAS analysis in a HOL training population to assess the degree of enrichment of the association signals in the gene regions defined by each GO term. We then extended the genomic best linear unbiased......BACKGROUND: A better understanding of the genetic architecture underlying complex traits (e.g., the distribution of causal variants and their effects) may aid in the genomic prediction. Here, we hypothesized that the genomic variants of complex traits might be enriched in a subset of genomic...

  5. Understanding the Complexity of the Lived Experiences of Foundation Degree Sport Lecturers within the Context of Further Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldous, David

    2014-01-01

    This paper provides an ethnographic account of the lived experiences of Further Education (FE) lecturers (N = 4) who are engaged in the transmission of pedagogic knowledge within a Foundation Degree. To further understand the experiences of the lecturers the paper draws upon Stones' quadripartite cycle of structuration. This conceptual and…

  6. Environmental Complexity Related Information for the Assessment of Country Logistics Environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinra, Aseem

    2015-01-01

    by using a content analysis approach. We demonstrate the immensity and nature of this information, are able to confirm the changing spatial transaction cost structures, and to reflect upon the overall conditions of information-related complexity and globalisation in the environment. Besides making...... a contribution to the further development of the spatial impedance factors and measures that form the basis for decision maker unpredictability, the paper offers an alternative approach for measuring the importance of transportation costs in industrial location, and offers a useful lens to distinguish between...

  7. International technology catalogue: Foreign technologies to support the environmental restoration and waste management needs of the DOE complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matalucci, R.V.

    1995-07-01

    This document represents a summary of 27 foreign-based environmental restoration and waste management technologies that have been screened and technically evaluated for application to the cleanup problems of the Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons complex. The evaluation of these technologies was initiated in 1992 and completed in 1995 under the DOE's International Technology Coordination Program of the Office of Technology Development. A methodology was developed for conducting a country-by-country survey of several regions of the world where specific environmental technology capabilities and market potential were investigated. The countries that were selected from a rank-ordering process for the survey included: then West Germany, the Netherlands, France, Japan, Taiwan, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and the Former Soviet Union. The notably innovative foreign technologies included in this document were screened initially from a list of several hundred, and then evaluated based on criteria that examined for level of maturity, suitability to the DOE needs, and for potential cost effective application at a DOE site. Each of the selected foreign technologies that were evaluated in this effort for DOE application were subsequently matched with site-specific environmental problem units across the DOE complex using the Technology Needs Assessment CROSSWALK Report. For ease of tracking these technologies to site problem units, and to facilitate their input into the DOE EnviroTRADE Information System, they were categorized into the following three areas: (1) characterization, monitoring and sensors, (2) waste treatment and separations, and (3) waste containment. Technical data profiles regarding these technologies include title and description, performance information, development status, key regulatory considerations, intellectual property rights, institute and contact personnel, and references

  8. International technology catalogue: Foreign technologies to support the environmental restoration and waste management needs of the DOE complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matalucci, R.V. [ed.] [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States). International Programs Dept.; Jimenez, R.D.; Esparza-Baca, C. [ed.] [Applied Sciences Lab., Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1995-07-01

    This document represents a summary of 27 foreign-based environmental restoration and waste management technologies that have been screened and technically evaluated for application to the cleanup problems of the Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear weapons complex. The evaluation of these technologies was initiated in 1992 and completed in 1995 under the DOE`s International Technology Coordination Program of the Office of Technology Development. A methodology was developed for conducting a country-by-country survey of several regions of the world where specific environmental technology capabilities and market potential were investigated. The countries that were selected from a rank-ordering process for the survey included: then West Germany, the Netherlands, France, Japan, Taiwan, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and the Former Soviet Union. The notably innovative foreign technologies included in this document were screened initially from a list of several hundred, and then evaluated based on criteria that examined for level of maturity, suitability to the DOE needs, and for potential cost effective application at a DOE site. Each of the selected foreign technologies that were evaluated in this effort for DOE application were subsequently matched with site-specific environmental problem units across the DOE complex using the Technology Needs Assessment CROSSWALK Report. For ease of tracking these technologies to site problem units, and to facilitate their input into the DOE EnviroTRADE Information System, they were categorized into the following three areas: (1) characterization, monitoring and sensors, (2) waste treatment and separations, and (3) waste containment. Technical data profiles regarding these technologies include title and description, performance information, development status, key regulatory considerations, intellectual property rights, institute and contact personnel, and references.

  9. Aspects of the Environmental Diagnosis of the swampy Complex Paredes - Chorros

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herrera Arango, Jairo; Sepulveda Lopez, Laura Patricia

    2003-01-01

    Some observations done during the execution of the environmental diagnostic of the basins of Sabana de Torres Santander, are presented This zone whose anthropic intervention involves from the exploitation of the quinine in XIX century to the current petroleum exploitation, presents as main threats the erosion generalized with the consequent processes of colmatation of the swamps and the alluvial channels, periods of more than 120 days without rainfall, the inadequate management of the petroleum infrastructure that has given as a result the hydrocarbons in the drainage network, the absence of the management plans in the mining industry of the gold and the siliceous sand reduction of human population, indiscriminate animal hunting and an advanced process of sabanization associated with the deforestation

  10. Flower-Visiting Social Wasps and Plants Interaction: Network Pattern and Environmental Complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mateus Aparecido Clemente

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Network analysis as a tool for ecological interactions studies has been widely used since last decade. However, there are few studies on the factors that shape network patterns in communities. In this sense, we compared the topological properties of the interaction network between flower-visiting social wasps and plants in two distinct phytophysiognomies in a Brazilian savanna (Riparian Forest and Rocky Grassland. Results showed that the landscapes differed in species richness and composition, and also the interaction networks between wasps and plants had different patterns. The network was more complex in the Riparian Forest, with a larger number of species and individuals and a greater amount of connections between them. The network specialization degree was more generalist in the Riparian Forest than in the Rocky Grassland. This result was corroborated by means of the nestedness index. In both networks was found asymmetry, with a large number of wasps per plant species. In general aspects, most wasps had low niche amplitude, visiting from one to three plant species. Our results suggest that differences in structural complexity of the environment directly influence the structure of the interaction network between flower-visiting social wasps and plants.

  11. A fuzzy logic-based tool to assess beef cattle ranching sustainability in complex environmental systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Sandra A; de Lima, Helano Póvoas; Massruhá, Silvia M F S; de Abreu, Urbano G P; Tomás, Walfrido M; Salis, Suzana M; Cardoso, Evaldo L; de Oliveira, Márcia Divina; Soares, Márcia Toffani S; Dos Santos, Antônio; de Oliveira, Luiz Orcírio F; Calheiros, Débora F; Crispim, Sandra M A; Soriano, Balbina M A; Amâncio, Christiane O G; Nunes, Alessandro Pacheco; Pellegrin, Luiz Alberto

    2017-08-01

    One of the most relevant issues in discussion worldwide nowadays is the concept of sustainability. However, sustainability assessment is a difficult task due to the complexity of factors involved in the natural world added to the human interference. In order to assess the sustainability of beef ranching in complex and uncertain tropical environment systems this paper describes a decision support system based on fuzzy rule-approach, the Sustainable Pantanal Ranch (SPR). This tool was built by a set of measurements and indicators integrated by fuzzy logic to evaluate the attributes of the three dimensions of sustainability. Indicators and decision rules, as well as scenario evaluations, were obtained from workshops involving multi-disciplinary team of experts. A Fuzzy Rule-Based System (FRBS) was developed to each attribute, dimension and general index. The essential parts of the FRBS are the knowledge database, rules and the inference engine. The FuzzyGen and WebFuzzy tools were developed to support the FRBS and both showed efficiency and low cost for digital applications. The results of each attribute, dimension and index were presented as radar graphs, showing the individual value (0-10) of each indicator. In the validation process using the WebFuzzy, different combinations of indicators were made for each attribute index to show the corresponding output, and which confirm the feasibility and usability of the tool. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The evolution of the Dogger Bank, North Sea: A complex history of terrestrial, glacial and marine environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotterill, Carol J.; Phillips, Emrys; James, Leo; Forsberg, Carl Fredrik; Tjelta, Tor Inge; Carter, Gareth; Dove, Dayton

    2017-09-01

    This paper presents a summary of the results of a detailed multidisciplinary study of the near surface geology of the Dogger Bank in the southern central North Sea, forming part of a site investigation for a major windfarm development undertaken by the Forewind consortium. It has revealed that the Dogger Bank is internally complex rather than comprising a simple ;layer cake; of the Quaternary sediments as previously thought. Regional and high-resolution seismic surveys have enabled a revised stratigraphic framework to be established for the upper part of this sequence which comprises the Eem (oldest), Dogger Bank, Bolders Bank formations and Botney Cut Formation (youngest), overlain by a typically thin Holocene sequence. Detailed mapping of key horizons identified on the high-resolution seismic profiles has led to the recognition of a series of buried palaeo-landsystems which are characterised by a range of features including; glacial, glacifluvial and fluvial channels, a large-scale glacitectonic thrust-moraine complex with intervening ice-marginal basins, a lacustrine basin and marine ravinement surfaces. Interpretation of these buried landscapes has enabled the development of an environmental change model to explain the evolution of the Dogger Bank. This evolution was driven by the complex interplay between climate change, ice sheet dynamics and sea level change associated with the growth and subsequent demise of the British and Irish and Fennoscandian ice sheets during the Weichselian glaciation. Following the decay of these ice sheets the Dogger Bank entered a period of significant climatic and environmental flux which saw a terrestrial landscape being progressively inundated as sea levels rose during the Holocene.

  13. Introducing the Green Protein Footprint method as an understandable measure of the environmental cost of anchovy consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laso, Jara; Margallo, María; Serrano, María; Vázquez-Rowe, Ian; Avadí, Angel; Fullana, Pere; Bala, Alba; Gazulla, Cristina; Irabien, Ángel; Aldaco, Rubén

    2018-04-15

    In a global framework of growing concern for food security and environmental protection, the selection of food products with higher protein content and lower environmental impact is a challenge. To assess the reliability of different strategies along the food supply chain, a measure of food cost through the environmental impact-protein content binomial is necessary. This study proposes a standardized method to calculate the Green Protein Footprint (GPF) index, a method that assesses both the environmental impact of a food product and its protein content provided to consumers. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to calculate the environmental impact of the selected food products, and a Life Cycle Protein Assessment (LCPA) was performed by accounting for the protein content along the supply chain. Although the GPF can be applied to all food chain products, this paper is focused on European anchovy-based products for indirect human consumption (fishmeal) and for direct human consumption (fresh, salted and canned anchovies). Moreover, the circular economy concept was applied considering the valorization of the anchovy residues generated during the canning process. These residues were used to produce fishmeal, which was employed in bass aquaculture. Hence, humans are finally consuming fish protein from the residues, closing the loop of the original product life cycle. More elaborated, multi-ingredient food products (salted and canned anchovy products), presented higher GPF values due to higher environmental impacts. Furthermore, the increase of food loss throughout their life cycle caused a decrease in the protein content. Regarding salted and canned products, the packaging was the main hotspot. The influence of the packaging was evaluated using the GPF, reaffirming that plastic was the best alternative. These results highlighted the importance of improving packaging materials in food products. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Understanding Phlebotomus perniciosus abundance in south-east Spain: assessing the role of environmental and anthropic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risueño, José; Muñoz, Clara; Pérez-Cutillas, Pedro; Goyena, Elena; Gonzálvez, Moisés; Ortuño, María; Bernal, Luis Jesús; Ortiz, Juana; Alten, Bulent; Berriatua, Eduardo

    2017-04-19

    Leishmaniosis is associated with Phlebotomus sand fly vector density, but our knowledge of the environmental framework that regulates highly overdispersed vector abundance distributions is limited. We used a standardized sampling procedure in the bioclimatically diverse Murcia Region in Spain and multilevel regression models for count data to estimate P. perniciosus abundance in relation to environmental and anthropic factors. Twenty-five dog and sheep premises were sampled for sand flies using adhesive and light-attraction traps, from late May to early October 2015. Temperature, relative humidity and other animal- and premise-related data recorded on site and other environmental data were extracted from digital databases using a geographical information system. The relationship between sand fly abundance and explanatory variables was analysed using binomial regression models. The total number of sand flies captured, mostly with light-attraction traps, was 3,644 specimens, including 80% P. perniciosus, the main L. infantum vector in Spain. Abundance varied between and within zones and was positively associated with increasing altitude from 0 to 900 m above sea level, except from 500 to 700 m where it was low. Populations peaked in July and especially during a 3-day heat wave when relative humidity and wind speed plummeted. Regression models indicated that climate and not land use or soil characteristics have the greatest impact on this species density on a large geographical scale. In contrast, micro-environmental factors such as animal building characteristics and husbandry practices affect sand fly population size on a smaller scale. A standardised sampling procedure and statistical analysis for highly overdispersed distributions allow reliable estimation of P. perniciosus abundance and identification of environmental drivers. While climatic variables have the greatest impact at macro-environmental scale, anthropic factors may be determinant at a micro

  15. Using a Virtual Tablet Machine to Improve Student Understanding of the Complex Processes Involved in Tablet Manufacturing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattsson, Sofia; Sjöström, Hans-Erik; Englund, Claire

    2016-06-25

    Objective. To develop and implement a virtual tablet machine simulation to aid distance students' understanding of the processes involved in tablet production. Design. A tablet simulation was created enabling students to study the effects different parameters have on the properties of the tablet. Once results were generated, students interpreted and explained them on the basis of current theory. Assessment. The simulation was evaluated using written questionnaires and focus group interviews. Students appreciated the exercise and considered it to be motivational. Students commented that they found the simulation, together with the online seminar and the writing of the report, was beneficial for their learning process. Conclusion. According to students' perceptions, the use of the tablet simulation contributed to their understanding of the compaction process.

  16. Soluble 1:1 complexes and insoluble 3:2 complexes - Understanding the phase-solubility diagram of hydrocortisone and γ-cyclodextrin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönbeck, Christian; Madsen, Tobias L; Peters, Günther H; Holm, René; Loftsson, Thorsteinn

    2017-10-15

    The molecular mechanisms underlying the drug-solubilizing properties of γ-cyclodextrin were explored using hydrocortisone as a model drug. The B S -type phase-solubility diagram of hydrocortisone with γ-cyclodextrin was thoroughly characterized by measuring the concentrations of hydrocortisone and γ-cyclodextrin in solution and the solid phase. The drug-solubilizer interaction was also studied by isothermal titration calorimetry from which a precise value of the 1:1 binding constant (K 11 =4.01mM -1 at 20°C) was obtained. The formation of water-soluble 1:1 complexes is responsible for the initial increase in hydrocortisone solubility while the precipitation of entities with a 3:2 ratio of γ-cyclodextrin:hydrocortisone is responsible for the plateau and the ensuing strong decrease in solubility once all solid hydrocortisone is used up. The complete phase-solubility diagram is well accounted for by a model employing the 1:1 binding constant and the solubility product of the precipitating 3:2 entity (K 32 S =5.51 mM 5 ). For such systems, a small surplus of γ-cyclodextrin above the optimum concentration may result in a significant decrease in drug solubility, and the implications for drug formulations are briefly discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Enhanced Systemic Understanding of the Information Environment in Complex Crisis Management - Analytical Concept, Version 1.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-22

    comprises the dimensions of ‗ media literacy ‘ and ‗intercultural communicative competence‘63. Figure 25: Communicative Competence...competence‘ comprises the dimensions of ‗ media literacy ‘ and ‗intercultural communicative competence‘89. Figure: Communicative Competence ‗ Media literacy ‘ aims...at successfully using media and media-related technology: "We have defined media literacy as: ‗the ability to access, understand and create

  18. Environmental Justice at School: Understanding Research, Policy, and Practice to Improve Our Children's Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampson, Natalie

    2012-01-01

    Background: No overarching federal agencies or policies are responsible for ensuring environmental health at schools in the United States, potentially allowing many inequities for low-income and minority communities to persist. This article examines emergent research, policy, and practice-based efforts that may be used to identify and address…

  19. Undergraduate Understanding of Climate Change: The Influences of College Major and Environmental Group Membership on Survey Knowledge Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huxster, Joanna K.; Uribe-Zarain, Ximena; Kempton, Willett

    2015-01-01

    A survey covering the scientific and social aspects of climate change was administered to examine U.S. undergraduate student mental models, and compare knowledge between groups based on major and environmental group membership. A Knowledge Score (scale 0-35, mean score = 17.84) was generated for respondents at two, central East Coast, U.S.…

  20. Understanding Free Radicals: Isolating Active Thylakoid Membranes and Purifying the Cytochrome b6f Complex for Superoxide Generation Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Stofleth

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available All life persists in an environment that is rich in molecular oxygen. The production of oxygen free radicals, or superoxide, is a necessary consequence of the biogenesis of energy in cells. Both mitochondrial and photosynthetic electron transport chains have been found to produce superoxide associated with cell differentiation, proliferation, and cell death, thereby contributing to the effects of aging. Aerobic respiration in mitochondria consumes oxygen, whereas photosynthesis in chloroplasts or cyanobacteria produces oxygen. The increased concentration of molecular oxygen may serve to allow greater availability for the production of superoxide by cytochrome bc complexes in photosynthetic membranes compared to those of mitochondrial membranes. The isolation of well-coupled chloroplasts, containing the cytochrome b6f complex of oxygenic photosynthesis, is a vital initial step in the process of comparing the rate of production of superoxide to those of the homologous cytochrome bc1 complex of aerobic respiration. It is necessary to determine if the isolated chloroplasts have retained their oxygengenerating capability after isolation by an oxygen evolution assay with a Clark-type electrode. A necessary second step, which is the isolation of cytochrome b6f from spinach, has yet to be successfully performed. Oxygen measurements taken from chloroplasts in the presence of the uncoupler, NH4Cl, exhibited a rate of oxygen evolution over three times greater at 344 +/- 18 μmol O2/mg Chlorophyll a/hr than the rate of oxygen evolution without uncoupler at 109 +/- 29 μmol O2/mg Chlorophyll a/hr. These data demonstrate that the technique used to isolate spinach chloroplasts preserves their light-driven electron-transport activity, making them reliable for future superoxide assays.

  1. Regional molecular and cellular differences in the female rabbit Achilles tendon complex: potential implications for understanding responses to loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huisman, Elise S; Andersson, Gustav; Scott, Alexander; Reno, Carol R; Hart, David A; Thornton, Gail M

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was: (i) to analyze the morphology and expression of extracellular matrix genes in six different regions of the Achilles tendon complex of intact normal rabbits; and (ii) to assess the effect of ovariohysterectomy (OVH) on the regional expression of these genes. Female New Zealand White rabbits were separated into two groups: (i) intact normal rabbits (n = 4); and (ii) OVH rabbits (n = 8). For each rabbit, the Achilles tendon complex was dissected into six regions: distal gastrocnemius (DG); distal flexor digitorum superficialis; proximal lateral gastrocnemius (PLG); proximal medial gastrocnemius; proximal flexor digitorum superficialis; and paratenon. For each of the regions, hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed for histological evaluation of intact normal rabbit tissues and mRNA levels for proteoglycans, collagens and genes associated with collagen regulation were assessed by real-time reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction for both the intact normal and OVH rabbit tissues. The distal regions displayed a more fibrocartilaginous phenotype. For intact normal rabbits, aggrecan mRNA expression was higher in the distal regions of the Achilles tendon complex compared with the proximal regions. Collagen Type I and matrix metalloproteinase-2 expression levels were increased in the PLG compared to the DG in the intact normal rabbit tissues. The tendons from OVH rabbits had lower gene expressions for the proteoglycans aggrecan, biglycan, decorin and versican compared with the intact normal rabbits, although the regional differences of increased aggrecan expression in distal regions compared with proximal regions persisted. The tensile and compressive forces experienced in the examined regions may be related to the regional differences found in gene expression. The lower mRNA expression of the genes examined in the OVH group confirms a potential effect of systemic estrogen on tendon. © 2014 Anatomical Society.

  2. Complex function in the dynamic brain. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Michael L.

    2014-09-01

    There is much to commend in this excellent overview of the progress we've made toward-and the challenges that remain for-developing an empirical framework for neuroscience that is adequate to the dynamic complexity of the brain [17]. Here I will limit myself first to highlighting the concept of dynamic affiliation, which I take to be the central feature of the functional architecture of the brain, and second to clarifying Pessoa's brief discussion of the ontology of cognition, to be sure readers appreciate this crucial issue.

  3. Know Your Client and Know Your Team: A Complexity Inspired Approach to Understanding Safe Transitions in Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah Tregunno

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Transitions in care are one of the most important and challenging client safety issues in healthcare. This project was undertaken to gain insight into the practice setting realities for nurses and other health care providers as they manage increasingly complex care transitions across multiple settings. Methods. The Appreciative Inquiry approach was used to guide interviews with sixty-six healthcare providers from a variety of practice settings. Data was collected on participants’ experience of exceptional care transitions and opportunities for improving care transitions. Results. Nurses and other healthcare providers need to know three things to ensure safe care transitions: (1 know your client; (2 know your team on both sides of the transfer; and (3 know the resources your client needs and how to get them. Three themes describe successful care transitions, including flexible structures; independence and teamwork; and client and provider focus. Conclusion. Nurses often operate at the margins of acceptable performance, and flexibility with regulation and standards is often required in complex sociotechnical work like care transitions. Priority needs to be given to creating conditions where nurses and other healthcare providers are free to creatively engage and respond in ways that will optimize safe care transitions.

  4. Avoiding genetic genocide: understanding good intentions and eugenics in the complex dialogue between the medical and disability communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Paul Steven; Levine, Rebecca Leah

    2013-02-01

    The relationship between the medical and disability communities is complex and is influenced by historical, social, and cultural factors. Although clinicians, health-care researchers, and people with disabilities all work from the standpoint of the best interest of disabled individuals, the notion of what actually is "best" is often understood quite differently among these constituencies. Eugenics campaigns, legal restrictions on reproductive and other freedoms, and prenatal testing recommendations predicated on the lesser worth of persons with disabilities have all contributed toward the historic trauma experienced by the disability community, particularly with respect to medical genetics. One premise of personalized medicine is that different individuals require different solutions. Disabled persons' experiences are a reminder that these solutions can be best realized by maintaining awareness and sensitivity in a complex ethical and moral terrain. Geneticists should recognize that their research may have implications for those with disabilities; they should recognize the impact of the historical trauma of the eugenics movement, and seek to involve people with disabilities in discussions about policies that affect them. Dialogue can be messy and uncomfortable, but it is the only way to avoid the mistakes of the past and to ensure a more equitable, and healthful, future.

  5. Improved water resource management using three dimensional groundwater modelling for a highly complex environmental

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeck, Christian; Affolter, Annette; Radny, Dirk; Auckenthaler, Adrian; Huggenberger, Peter; Schirmer, Mario

    2017-04-01

    Proper allocation and management of groundwater is an important and critical challenge under rising water demands of various environmental sectors but good groundwater quality is often limited because of urbanization and contamination of aquifers. Given the predictive capability of groundwater models, they are often the only viable means of providing input to water management decisions. However, modelling flow and transport processes can be difficult due to their unknown subsurface heterogeneity and typically unknown distribution of contaminants. As a result water resource management tasks are based on uncertain assumption on contaminants patterns and this uncertainty is typically not incorporated into the assessment of risks associated with different proposed management scenarios. A three-dimensional groundwater model was used to improve water resource management for a study area, where drinking water production is close to different former landfills and industrial areas. To avoid drinking water contamination, artificial groundwater recharge with surface water into the gravel aquifer is used to create a hydraulic barrier between contaminated sites and drinking water extraction wells. The model was used for simulating existing and proposed water management strategies as a tool to ensure the utmost security for drinking water. A systematic evaluation of the flow direction and magnitude between existing observation points using a newly developed three point estimation method for a large amount of scenarios was carried out. Due to the numerous observation points 32 triangles (three-points) were created which cover the entire area around the Hardwald. We demonstrated that systematically applying our developed methodology helps to identify important locations which are sensitive to changing boundary conditions and where additional protection is required without highly computational demanding transport modelling. The presented integrated approach using the flow direction

  6. A model for understanding diagnostic imaging referrals and complex interaction processes within the bigger picture of a healthcare system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makanjee, Chandra R.; Bergh, Anne-Marie; Hoffmann, Willem A.

    2014-01-01

    Using experiences from the South African public healthcare system with limited resources, this review proposes a model that captures a holistic perspective of diagnostic imaging services embedded in a network of negotiated decision-making processes. Professional interdependency and interprofessional collaboration, cooperation and coordination are built around the central notion of integration in order to achieve a seamless transition through the continuum of various types of services needed to come to a diagnosis. Health-system role players interact with patients who enter the system from the perspective of their life-world. The distribution of diagnostic imaging services – within one setting or at multiple levels of care – demonstrates how fragments of information are filtered, interpreted and transformed at each point of care. The proposed model could contribute to alignment towards a common goal: services providing holistic quality of care within and beyond a complex healthcare system

  7. Intermolecular vibrations of the CO2-CS2 complex: Experiment and theory agree, but understanding remains challenging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehghany, M.; Rezaei, Mojtaba; Moazzen-Ahmadi, N.; McKellar, A. R. W.; Brown, James; Wang, Xiao-Gang; Carrington, Tucker

    2016-12-01

    The infrared spectrum of the cross-shaped van der Waals complex CO2-CS2 is observed in the region of the CO2 ν3 fundamental band (≈2350 cm-1) using a tuneable diode laser to probe a pulsed supersonic slit jet expansion. Two combination bands are assigned, corresponding to the intermolecular torsion and CO2 bend modes, and their positions and rotational structure agree extremely well (torsional band is well-behaved, but the a-type CO2 bending band is highly unusual, with large shifts between the subband origins for Ka = 0, 2, and 4. The shifts may be rationalized as due to tunnelling effects and Ka-dependent perturbations from other intermolecular modes. But even though they are well predicted by our calculations, there is no simple qualitative explanation. The predicted low-lying planar slipped parallel isomer of CO2-CS2 is not observed.

  8. Teachers' understandings and enactments of social and environmental justice issues in the classroom: What's "critical" in the manufacturing of road-smart squirrels?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sammel, Alison J.

    How do five new teachers understand and enact counter-hegemonic pedagogies in their own classes? This study developed from this question. The question arose as I taught critical environmental education, a counter-hegemonic pedagogy, to preservice science teachers. I encouraged the exploration of social and environmental injustices and how they function to reproduce dominant economic agendas. To understand how five teachers, in the second year of their practice and my former students, made sense of the critical environmental education I taught them, I used Gadamer's hermeneutic phenomenology as my research frame. Gadamer argues that meaning develops through dialogue, so data collection occurred mainly through lively research conversations over leisurely dinners. As practicing teachers, the six of us jointly explored taken-for-granted meanings and actions in our everyday pedagogical experiences. In these conversations we made meaning (the hermeneutic aspect) of the lived experiences (phenomenological aspect) of incorporating critical environmental education into our practices. This led me to a deeper understanding and increased awareness of how science education reform agendas have influenced and shaped our individual science pedagogies. The analytic lens of critical education showed that these teachers were strongly influenced by the dominant science reform agenda. Regardless of the science curriculum, or the strong social and environmental beliefs some of these teachers held, they did not perceive the teaching of the social and environmental justice issues to be 'critical' or 'their job.' They demonstrated a belief that it was 'critical' to teach well-defined, "hard science" facts. Student success, hence teacher success, involved playing the academic game well and gaining long-term financial security. Re/viewing the data stories through the additional analytic lens of feminist poststructuralism, I saw how dominant discourse constructs the identity of teachers

  9. The Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis as a Framework for Understanding the Association between Motor Skills and Internalizing Problems: A mini-review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Oreste Mancini

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Poor motor skills have been shown to be associated with a range of psychosocial issues, including internalizing problems (anxiety and depression. While well-documented empirically, our understanding of why this relationship occurs remains theoretically underdeveloped. The Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis by Cairney, Rigoli, and Piek (2013 provides a promising framework that seeks to explain the association between motor skills and internalizing problems, specifically in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD. The framework posits that poor motor skills predispose the development of internalizing problems via interactions with intermediary environmental stressors. At the time the model was proposed, limited direct evidence was available to support or refute the framework. Several studies and developments related to the framework have since been published. This mini-review seeks to provide an up-to-date overview of recent developments related to the Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis. We briefly discuss the past research that led to its development, before moving to studies that have investigated the framework since it was proposed. While originally developed within the context of DCD in childhood, recent developments have found support for the model in community samples. Through the reviewed literature, this article provides support for the Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis as a promising theoretical framework that explains the psychosocial correlates across the broader spectrum of motor ability. This evidence promotes the external validity of the framework for use across the broader spectrum of motor ability. However, given its recent conceptualisation, ongoing evaluation of the Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis is recommended.

  10. The Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis as a Framework for Understanding the Association Between Motor Skills and Internalizing Problems: A Mini-Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancini, Vincent O; Rigoli, Daniela; Cairney, John; Roberts, Lynne D; Piek, Jan P

    2016-01-01

    Poor motor skills have been shown to be associated with a range of psychosocial issues, including internalizing problems (anxiety and depression). While well-documented empirically, our understanding of why this relationship occurs remains theoretically underdeveloped. The Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis by Cairney et al. (2013) provides a promising framework that seeks to explain the association between motor skills and internalizing problems, specifically in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The framework posits that poor motor skills predispose the development of internalizing problems via interactions with intermediary environmental stressors. At the time the model was proposed, limited direct evidence was available to support or refute the framework. Several studies and developments related to the framework have since been published. This mini-review seeks to provide an up-to-date overview of recent developments related to the Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis. We briefly discuss the past research that led to its development, before moving to studies that have investigated the framework since it was proposed. While originally developed within the context of DCD in childhood, recent developments have found support for the model in community samples. Through the reviewed literature, this article provides support for the Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis as a promising theoretical framework that explains the psychosocial correlates across the broader spectrum of motor ability. However, given its recent conceptualization, ongoing evaluation of the Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis is recommended.

  11. Current Understanding of Lifestyle and Environmental Factors and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: An Epidemiological Update

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassig, B. A.; Zhang, Y.; Zheng, T.; Lan, Q.; Rothman, N.

    2012-01-01

    The incidence rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have steadily increased over the last several decades in the United States, and the temporal trends in incidence can only be partially explained by the HIV epidemic. In 1992, an international workshop sponsored by the United States National Cancer Institute concluded that there was an “emerging epidemic” of NHL and emphasized the need to investigate the factors responsible for the increasing incidence of this disease. Over the past two decades, numerous epidemiological studies have examined the risk factors for NHL, particularly for putative environmental and lifestyle risk factors, and international consortia have been established in order to investigate rare exposures and NHL subtype-specific associations. While few consistent risk factors for NHL aside from immunosuppression and certain infectious agents have emerged, suggestive associations with several lifestyle and environmental factors have been reported in epidemiologic studies. Further, increasing evidence has suggested that the effects of these and other exposures may be limited to or stronger for particular NHL subtypes. This paper examines the progress that has been made over the last twenty years in elucidating the etiology of NHL, with a primary emphasis on lifestyle factors and environmental exposures.

  12. Safety assessment document for the environmental test complex (Building 834) at Site 300

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Odell, B.N.; Pfeifer, H.E.

    1981-03-03

    A safety assessment was performed to determine if accidents occurring at the 834 Complex at Site 300 could present undue hazards to the general public, personnel at Site 300, or have an adverse effect on the environment. The credible accidents that might have an effect on these facilities or have off-site consequences were considered. These were earthquake, extreme wind (including missiles), lightning, flood, criticality, high explosive (HE) detonation that disperses uranium and beryllium, spontaneous oxidation of plutonium, explosions due to finely divided particles, and a fire. Seismic and extreme wind (including missiles) analyses indicate that the buildings are basically sound. (However, there are a few recommendations to further enhance the structural integrity of these facilities). Additional lightning protection for these facilities is being installed. These buildings are located high above the dry creek bed so that a flood is improbable. A criticality or a high explosive detonation involving plutonium is very remote since the radioactive materials are encased and plutonium and HE are not permitted concurrently in the same area at Site 300. (The exceptions to this policy are that explosive actuating devices are sometimes located in assemblies containing fissile materials. However, a planned or accidental actuation will not effect the safe containment of the fissile material within the assembly). Even though the possibility of an HE explosion involving uranium and beryllium is remote, the off-site lung doses were calculated and found to be below the accepted standards. It was determined that a fire was unlikely due to the low fire loading and the absence of ignition sources. It was also determined that the consequences of any accidents were reduced by the remote location of these facilities, their design, and by administrative controls.

  13. Safety assessment document for the environmental test complex (Building 834) at Site 300

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Odell, B.N.; Pfeifer, H.E.

    1981-01-01

    A safety assessment was performed to determine if accidents occurring at the 834 Complex at Site 300 could present undue hazards to the general public, personnel at Site 300, or have an adverse effect on the environment. The credible accidents that might have an effect on these facilities or have off-site consequences were considered. These were earthquake, extreme wind (including missiles), lightning, flood, criticality, high explosive (HE) detonation that disperses uranium and beryllium, spontaneous oxidation of plutonium, explosions due to finely divided particles, and a fire. Seismic and extreme wind (including missiles) analyses indicate that the buildings are basically sound. (However, there are a few recommendations to further enhance the structural integrity of these facilities). Additional lightning protection for these facilities is being installed. These buildings are located high above the dry creek bed so that a flood is improbable. A criticality or a high explosive detonation involving plutonium is very remote since the radioactive materials are encased and plutonium and HE are not permitted concurrently in the same area at Site 300. (The exceptions to this policy are that explosive actuating devices are sometimes located in assemblies containing fissile materials. However, a planned or accidental actuation will not effect the safe containment of the fissile material within the assembly). Even though the possibility of an HE explosion involving uranium and beryllium is remote, the off-site lung doses were calculated and found to be below the accepted standards. It was determined that a fire was unlikely due to the low fire loading and the absence of ignition sources. It was also determined that the consequences of any accidents were reduced by the remote location of these facilities, their design, and by administrative controls

  14. Lessons of the 11 years of environmental monitoring of the Phase 1 LaGrande complex, Quebec, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Demers, C.

    1993-01-01

    Phase 1 of the LaGrande complex involves creation of five hydroelectric reservoirs covering 11,335 km 2 in northwestern Quebec. Environmental studies began in 1973, at the same time as construction started. Since 1978, when the first reservoir was filled, an environmental monitoring network has been in place to follow the evolution of the aquatic environment. The network has shown that the water quality has remained adequate for the survival of aquatic organisms. The observed modifications have generally been of weak amplitude in the productive zone of water habitats and have reached their maximum 2-3 y after installation of facilities. For most of the LaGrande reservoirs, the modifications in water quality are related to decomposition of submerged organic matter. In most of the modified environments, an increase in zooplankton biomass has been noted which reached a maximum in the fourth summer season after reservoir filling. Fish populations, after an initial decrease in density, increased in subsequent years to reach a maximum and then declined to a level slightly above the pre-reservoir population

  15. Macroalgal diversity along an inshore-offshore environmental gradient in the Jakarta Bay - Thousand Islands reef complex, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draisma, Stefano G. A.; Prud'homme van Reine, Willem F.; Herandarudewi, Sekar M. C.; Hoeksema, Bert W.

    2018-01-01

    The Jakarta Bay - Thousand Islands reef complex extends to more than 80 km in northwest direction from the major conurbation Jakarta (Indonesia) along a pronounced inshore to offshore environmental gradient. The present study aims to determine to what extent environmental factors can explain the composition of macroalgal communities on the reefs off Jakarta. Therefore, the presence-absence of 67 macroalgal taxa was recorded for 27 sampling sites along the inshore-offshore disturbance gradient and analysed with substrate variables and water quality variables. The macroalgal richness pattern matches the pattern of other reef taxa. The 27 sites could be assigned to one of four geographical zones with 85% certainty based on their macroalgal taxon assemblages. These four zones (i.e., Jakarta Bay and, respectively, South, Central, and North Thousand Islands) had significantly different macroalgal assemblages, except for the North and South zones. Along the nearshore gradient there was a greater shift in taxon composition than within the central Thousand Islands. The patterns of ten habitat and water quality variables resembled the macroalgal diversity patterns by 56%. All ten variables together explained 69% of the variation in macroalgal composition. Shelf depth, % sand cover, gelbstoff/detrital material, chlorophyll a concentration, seawater surface temperature, and % dead coral cover were the best predictors of seaweed flora composition. Furthermore, 44 macroalgal species represented new records for the area. The present study provides important baseline data of macroalgae in the area for comparison in future biodiversity assessments in the area and elsewhere in the region.

  16. Associations between speech understanding and auditory and visual tests of verbal working memory: Effects of linguistic complexity, task, age and hearing loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherri L. Smith

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Listeners with hearing loss commonly report having difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Their difficulties could be due to auditory and cognitive processing problems. Performance on speech-in-noise tests has been correlated with reading working memory span (RWMS, a measure often chosen to avoid the effects of hearing loss. If the goal is to assess the cognitive consequences of listeners’ auditory processing abilities, however, then listening working memory span (LWMS could be a more informative measure. Some studies have examined the effects of different degrees and types of masking on working memory, but less is known about the demands placed on working memory depending on the linguistic complexity of the target speech or the task used to measure speech understanding in listeners with hearing loss. Compared to RWMS, LWMS measures using different speech targets and maskers may provide a more ecologically valid approach. To examine the contributions of RWMS and LWMS to speech understanding, we administered two working memory measures (a traditional RWMS measure and a new LWMS measure, and a battery of tests varying in the linguistic complexity of the speech materials, the presence of babble masking, and the task. Participants were a group of younger listeners with normal hearing and two groups of older listeners with hearing loss (n = 24 per group. There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS. There was a significant correlation between both working memory measures only for the oldest listeners with hearing loss. Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures. These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding.

  17. Associations between speech understanding and auditory and visual tests of verbal working memory: effects of linguistic complexity, task, age, and hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sherri L; Pichora-Fuller, M Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Listeners with hearing loss commonly report having difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Their difficulties could be due to auditory and cognitive processing problems. Performance on speech-in-noise tests has been correlated with reading working memory span (RWMS), a measure often chosen to avoid the effects of hearing loss. If the goal is to assess the cognitive consequences of listeners' auditory processing abilities, however, then listening working memory span (LWMS) could be a more informative measure. Some studies have examined the effects of different degrees and types of masking on working memory, but less is known about the demands placed on working memory depending on the linguistic complexity of the target speech or the task used to measure speech understanding in listeners with hearing loss. Compared to RWMS, LWMS measures using different speech targets and maskers may provide a more ecologically valid approach. To examine the contributions of RWMS and LWMS to speech understanding, we administered two working memory measures (a traditional RWMS measure and a new LWMS measure), and a battery of tests varying in the linguistic complexity of the speech materials, the presence of babble masking, and the task. Participants were a group of younger listeners with normal hearing and two groups of older listeners with hearing loss (n = 24 per group). There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS. There was a significant correlation between both working memory measures only for the oldest listeners with hearing loss. Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures. These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding.

  18. Associations between speech understanding and auditory and visual tests of verbal working memory: effects of linguistic complexity, task, age, and hearing loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sherri L.; Pichora-Fuller, M. Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Listeners with hearing loss commonly report having difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Their difficulties could be due to auditory and cognitive processing problems. Performance on speech-in-noise tests has been correlated with reading working memory span (RWMS), a measure often chosen to avoid the effects of hearing loss. If the goal is to assess the cognitive consequences of listeners’ auditory processing abilities, however, then listening working memory span (LWMS) could be a more informative measure. Some studies have examined the effects of different degrees and types of masking on working memory, but less is known about the demands placed on working memory depending on the linguistic complexity of the target speech or the task used to measure speech understanding in listeners with hearing loss. Compared to RWMS, LWMS measures using different speech targets and maskers may provide a more ecologically valid approach. To examine the contributions of RWMS and LWMS to speech understanding, we administered two working memory measures (a traditional RWMS measure and a new LWMS measure), and a battery of tests varying in the linguistic complexity of the speech materials, the presence of babble masking, and the task. Participants were a group of younger listeners with normal hearing and two groups of older listeners with hearing loss (n = 24 per group). There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS. There was a significant correlation between both working memory measures only for the oldest listeners with hearing loss. Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures. These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding. PMID:26441769

  19. Understanding pulp delignification by laccase-mediator systems through isolation and characterization of lignin-carbohydrate complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Xueyu; Li, Jiebing; Gellerstedt, Göran; Rencoret, Jorge; Del Río, José C; Martínez, Angel T; Gutiérrez, Ana

    2013-09-09

    The effects and mechanism of pulp delignification by laccases in the presence of redox mediators have been investigated on unbleached eucalyptus kraft pulp treated with laccases from Pycnoporus cinnabarinus (PcL) and Myceliophthora thermophila (MtL) and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HBT) and methyl syringate (MeS) as mediators, respectively. Determination of the corrected κ number in eucalyptus pulps after the enzymatic treatments revealed that the PcL-HBT system exhibited a more remarkable delignification effect than the MtL-MeS system. To obtain further insight, lignin-carbohydrate complexes were fractionated and subsequently characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance, thioacidolysis (followed by gas chromatography and size exclusion chromatography), and pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (pyrolysis-GC-MS) analyses before and after the enzymatic treatments and their controls. We can conclude that the laccase-mediator treatments altered the lignin structures in such a way that more lignin was recovered in the xylan-lignin fractions, as shown by Klason lignin estimation, with smaller amounts of both syringyl (S) and guaiacyl (G) uncondensed units, as shown by thioacidolysis and gas chromatography, especially after the PcL-HBT treatment. The laccase-mediator treatment produced oxidation at Cα and cleavage of Cα and Cβ bonds in pulp lignin, as shown by pyrolysis-GC-MS. The general mechanism of residual lignin degradation in the pulp by laccase-mediator treatments is discussed in light of the results obtained.

  20. Teaching Environmental Geochemistry: An Authentic Inquiry Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koretsky, Carla M.; Petcovic, Heather L.; Rowbotham, Katherine L.

    2012-01-01

    A field-based environmental geochemistry course was developed at Western Michigan University for undergraduate geosciences and environmental studies students to (1) improve student understanding of complex environmental systems, specifically targeting lake systems; (2) facilitate student development of professional-level, field- and…

  1. Zn(II)-concentration dependent Raman spectra in the dithizone complex on gold nanoparticle surfaces in environmental water samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ly, Nguyen Hoang; Joo, Sang-Woo

    2015-11-01

    After the formation of dithizone with metal ion complexes, a selective Raman detection method for the Zn2+ ions in aqueous solutions was developed by observing the intensity change of the ring mode peaks at ∼1585 cm-1 on gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). At high concentrations of Zn2+ ions, the conformation of the dithizone complex may have different orientations on AuNPs to yield the spectral changes at ca. ∼510 and ∼1585 cm-1. The concentration dependent spectra changes indicated that a detection limit would be in the submicromolar region of Zn2+ ions. The other ions of Mg2+, K+, Fe3+, Hg2+, Co2+, Fe2+, Pb2+, Cu2+, Ni2+, Cr3+, NH4+, Cd2+, Na+, Ca2+, and Mn2+ at micromolar concentrations of 1 μM did not produce such spectral changes. The detection limit based on the Raman band intensities was estimated to be as low as 500 nM of Zn2+ ion in aqueous solutions. The three real samples of tap, river, and seawater were tested under the interference of the commonly existing interfering ions. Despite the presence of highly concentrated Na, Ca, Mg, and K, our interfacial spectroscopic methodology of Zn2+ determination could be applied in the environmental water samples.

  2. Understanding reflection behavior as a key for interpreting complex signals in FBRM monitoring of microparticle preparation processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vay, Kerstin; Friess, Wolfgang; Scheler, Stefan

    2012-11-01

    The application of focused beam reflectance measurement (FBRM) was studied in a larger scale PLGA microparticle preparation process for monitoring changes of the particle size and the particles' surface properties. Further understanding how these parameters determine the chord length distribution (CLD) was gained by means of single object measurements and data of monodisperse microparticles. It was evaluated how the FBRM signal is influenced by the surface characteristics of the tested materials and the measuring conditions. Particles with good scattering properties provided comparable values for the CLD and the particle size distribution. Translucent particles caused an overestimation of the particle size by FBRM, whereas the values for transparent emulsion droplets were too low. Despite a strong dependence of FBRM results on the optical properties of the samples, it is a beneficial technique for online monitoring of microparticle preparation processes. The study demonstrated how changing reflection properties can be used to monitor structural changes during the solidification of emulsion droplets and to detect process instabilities by FBRM. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Resistance Switching in Complex Oxides: Improvements in Understanding and Function for Use as Non-Volatile Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kristina Garrison

    2011-12-01

    Pro0.7Ca0.3MnO3 (PCMO) is a complex oxide that is studied for use as a non-volatile memory with potential to replace flash-type memory. PCMO functions as a resistive random access memory (RRAM) whose memory function is due to an oxygen vacancy concentration change that occurs in the top interface of the PCMO during the application of an electric field. The concentration of the oxygen ions/vacancies in this top interface region significantly affects the resistance seen in a simple thin film device. The electric field required to move ions/vacancies within PCMO is generated by a short (ns), low voltage (few V) pulse. During the pulse a high current is seen that is not commensurate with the resistance seen after the removal of the pulse. Additionally, after the removal of the pulse there is a degradation of the resistance state set by the pulse. The high current seen during the pulse has been explored using electrical characterization techniques and is believed to be due to quantum mechanical tunneling through the high resistance interface region. Modeling of conduction values confirms that quantum mechanical tunneling is the source of the high current. The degradation of the state after the removal of the pulse has been improved through the nanostructure modification of the PCMO film. A thin (barrier layer was placed immediately below the interface of the PCMO minimizing the back diffusion of ions/vacancies after removal of the pulse. The modification improved the EPIR ratio, fatigue and retention in PCMO.

  4. Tackling Complexity: Understanding the Food-Energy-Environment Nexus in Ethiopia’s Lake Tana Sub-basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise Karlberg

    2015-02-01

    , fodder and fuel. We propose that a stakeholder-driven nexus approach, underpinned by quantitative and spatially explicit scenario and planning tools, can help to resolve these outstanding dilemmas and can support more consistent policy and decision making, towards improved resource productivities, lower environmental pressures and enhanced human securities.

  5. Genome sequencing of environmental Escherichia coli expands understanding of the ecology and speciation of the model bacterial species

    OpenAIRE

    Luo, Chengwei; Walk, Seth T.; Gordon, David M.; Feldgarden, Michael; Tiedje, James M.; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T.

    2011-01-01

    Defining bacterial species remains a challenging problem even for the model bacterium Escherichia coli and has major practical consequences for reliable diagnosis of infectious disease agents and regulations for transport and possession of organisms of economic importance. E. coli traditionally is thought to live within the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other warm-blooded animals and not to survive for extended periods outside its host; this understanding is the basis for its widesprea...

  6. Environmental Aesthetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svabo, Connie; Ekelund, Kathrine

    2015-01-01

    The philosophical subfield environmental aesthetics can contribute to the design of sustainable futures. Environmental aesthetics provides a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between nature and culture. Current positions in environmental aesthetics are lined out and used...

  7. Responsible Environmental Action: Its Role and Status in Environmental Education and Environmental Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Philip C.

    2009-01-01

    This century will be one of continued global population growth, technological advancement, and subsequent burdens on the natural world from consumer demands. A citizenry capable of understanding the complexity of environmental issues and actively participating in their resolutions is vital. The ultimate goal of environmental educators should be to…

  8. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN AND ENVIRONMENTALLY ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, environmental concern has been conceptualised as the manifestation of attitudes that are directed at behavioural intentions of active personal involvement in caring about environmental matters. Based on a critique of theoretical approaches towards understanding the formation of environmental attitudes, ...

  9. Hypoxia monitoring activities within the FP7 EU-project HYPOX: diverse approaches to understand a complex phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssen, F.; Waldmann, C.; Boetius, A.

    2012-04-01

    Hypoxic conditions in aquatic systems and the occurrence of 'dead zones' increase worldwide due to man-made eutrophication and global warming with consequences for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. Monitoring of hypoxia and its consequences has to (1) account for the appropriate temporal and spatial scales, (2) separate anthropogenic from natural drivers and long-term trends from natural variations, (3) assess ecosystem response, (4) use modeling tools for generalization and prediction, and (5) share data and obtained knowledge. In 2009 the EU FP7 project HYPOX (www.hypox.net) started out as a pioneering attempt to improve and integrate hypoxia observation capacities addressing these requirements. Target ecosystems selected for HYPOX cover a broad range of settings (e.g., hydrography, oxygenation status, biological activity, anthropogenic impact) and differ in their sensitivity towards change. Semi-enclosed basins with permanent anoxia (Black Sea, Baltic Sea), are included as well as seasonally or locally hypoxic land-locked systems (fjords, lagoons, lakes) and open ocean systems with high sensitivity to global warming (North Atlantic - Arctic transition). Adopted monitoring approaches involve autonomous, cabled, and shipboard instruments and include static and profiling moorings, benthic observatories, drifters, as well as classical CTD surveys. In order to improve observatory performance, project activities encompass developments of oxygen sensors as well as calibration procedures and technologies to reduce biofouling. Modeling and data assimilation are used to synthesize findings, to obtain an in-depth understanding of hypoxia causes and consequences, and to improve forecasting capacities. For integration of the collected information into a global oxygen observing system, results are disseminated through the HYPOX portal following GEOSS data sharing principles. This presentation will give an overview of

  10. Understanding the addiction cycle: a complex biology with distinct contributions of genotype vs. sex at each stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, C J; Hashimoto, J G; Roberts, M L; Sonmez, M K; Wiren, K M

    2014-10-24

    Ethanol abuse can lead to addiction, brain damage and premature death. The cycle of alcohol addiction has been described as a composite consisting of three stages: intoxication, withdrawal and craving/abstinence. There is evidence for contributions of both genotype and sex to alcoholism, but an understanding of the biological underpinnings is limited. Utilizing both sexes of genetic animal models with highly divergent alcohol withdrawal severity, Withdrawal Seizure-Resistant (WSR) and Withdrawal Seizure-Prone (WSP) mice, the distinct contributions of genotype/phenotype and of sex during addiction stages on neuroadaptation were characterized. Transcriptional profiling was performed to identify expression changes as a consequence of chronic intoxication in the medial prefrontal cortex. Significant expression differences were identified on a single platform and tracked over a behaviorally relevant time course that covered each stage of alcohol addiction; i.e., after chronic intoxication, during peak withdrawal, and after a defined period of abstinence. Females were more sensitive to ethanol with higher fold expression differences. Bioinformatics showed a strong effect of sex on the data structure of expression profiles during chronic intoxication and at peak withdrawal irrespective of genetic background. However, during abstinence, differences were observed instead between the lines/phenotypes irrespective of sex. Confirmation of identified pathways showed distinct inflammatory signaling following intoxication at peak withdrawal, with a pro-inflammatory phenotype in females but overall suppression of immune signaling in males. Combined, these results suggest that each stage of the addiction cycle is influenced differentially by sex vs. genetic background and support the development of stage- and sex-specific therapies for alcohol withdrawal and the maintenance of sobriety. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. The genetic and environmental bases of complex human-disease: extending the utility of twin-studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas S Goodin

    Full Text Available Making only the assumption that twins are representative of the population from which they are drawn, we here develop a simple mathematical model (using widely available epidemiological information that sheds considerable light on the pathogenesis of complex human diseases. Specifically, for the case of multiple sclerosis (MS, we demonstrate that the vast majority of patients (≥94%, possibly all, require genetic susceptibility in order to get MS. Nevertheless, only a tiny fraction of the population (≤2.2% is actually susceptible to getting this disease; a finding which is highly consistent in all of the studied populations across both North America and Europe. Men are more likely to be susceptible than women although susceptible women are more than twice as likely to actually develop MS compared to susceptible men (i.e., they have a greater disease penetrance. This is because women are more responsive to the environmental factors involved in MS pathogenesis than men. These differences account for the current gender-ratio (3∶1, favoring women and also for the increasing incidence of MS in women around the world. By contrast, the most important genetic marker for MS susceptibility (DRB1*1501 influences the likelihood of susceptibility but not the penetrance of the disease. Nevertheless, even for this major susceptibility allele, only a very small fraction of DRB1*1501carriers (<5% are susceptible to getting MS and for only a minority of MS patients (∼41% does this allele contribute to their susceptibility. Moreover, each copy of this allele seems to make an independent contribution to susceptibility. Finally, at least three environmental events are necessary for MS pathogenesis and, during the course of their lives, the large majority of the population (≥69% experiences an environmental exposure, which is sufficient to produce MS in, at least, some susceptible genotypes. Also, susceptible men (compared to susceptible women have a lower

  12. Understanding the environmental impacts of large fissure eruptions: Aerosol and gas emissions from the 2014-2015 Holuhraun eruption (Iceland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilyinskaya, Evgenia; Schmidt, Anja; Mather, Tamsin A.; Pope, Francis D.; Witham, Claire; Baxter, Peter; Jóhannsson, Thorsteinn; Pfeffer, Melissa; Barsotti, Sara; Singh, Ajit; Sanderson, Paul; Bergsson, Baldur; McCormick Kilbride, Brendan; Donovan, Amy; Peters, Nial; Oppenheimer, Clive; Edmonds, Marie

    2017-08-01

    The 2014-2015 Holuhraun eruption in Iceland, emitted ∼11 Tg of SO2 into the troposphere over 6 months, and caused one of the most intense and widespread volcanogenic air pollution events in centuries. This study provides a number of source terms for characterisation of plumes in large fissure eruptions, in Iceland and elsewhere. We characterised the chemistry of aerosol particle matter (PM) and gas in the Holuhraun plume, and its evolution as the plume dispersed, both via measurements and modelling. The plume was sampled at the eruptive vent, and in two populated areas in Iceland. The plume caused repeated air pollution events, exceeding hourly air quality standards (350 μg/m3) for SO2 on 88 occasions in Reykjahlíð town (100 km distance), and 34 occasions in Reykjavík capital area (250 km distance). Average daily concentration of volcanogenic PM sulphate exceeded 5 μg/m3 on 30 days in Reykjavík capital area, which is the maximum concentration measured during non-eruptive background interval. There are currently no established air quality standards for sulphate. Combining the results from direct sampling and dispersion modelling, we identified two types of plume impacting the downwind populated areas. The first type was characterised by high concentrations of both SO2 and S-bearing PM, with a high Sgas/SPM mass ratio (SO2(g)/SO42-(PM) > 10). The second type had a low Sgas/SPM ratio (<10). We suggest that this second type was a mature plume where sulphur had undergone significant gas-to-aerosol conversion in the atmosphere. Both types of plume were rich in fine aerosol (predominantly PM1 and PM2.5), sulphate (on average ∼90% of the PM mass) and various trace species, including heavy metals. The fine size of the volcanic PM mass (75-80% in PM2.5), and the high environmental lability of its chemical components have potential adverse implications for environmental and health impacts. However, only the dispersion of volcanic SO2 was forecast in public warnings

  13. Complexity explained

    CERN Document Server

    Erdi, Peter

    2008-01-01

    This book explains why complex systems research is important in understanding the structure, function and dynamics of complex natural and social phenomena. Readers will learn the basic concepts and methods of complex system research.

  14. The Holocene history of the North American Monsoon: 'known knowns' and 'known unknowns' in understanding its spatial and temporal complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, Sarah E.; Barron, John A.; Davies, Sarah J.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence for climatic change across the North American Monsoon (NAM) and adjacent areas is reviewed, drawing on continental and marine records and the application of climate models. Patterns of change at 12,000, 9000, 6000 and 4000 cal yr BP are presented to capture the nature of change from the Younger Dryas (YD) and through the mid-Holocene. At the YD, conditions were cooler overall, wetter in the north and drier in the south, while moving into the Holocene wetter conditions became established in the south and then spread north as the NAM strengthened. Until c. 8000 cal yr BP, the Laurentide Ice Sheet influenced precipitation in the north by pushing the Bermuda High further south. The peak extent of the NAM seems to have occurred around 6000 cal yr BP. 4000 cal yr BP marks the start of important changes across the NAM region, with drying in the north and the establishment of the clear differences between the summer-rain dominated south and central areas and the north, where winter rain is more important. This differentiation between south and north is crucial to understanding many climate responses across the NAM. This increasing variability is coincident with the declining influence of orbital forcing. 4000 cal yr BP also marks the onset of significant anthropogenic activity in many areas. For the last 2000 years, the focus is on higher temporal resolution change, with strong variations across the region. The Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) is characterised by centennial scale ‘megadrought’ across the southwest USA, associated with cooler tropical Pacific SSTs and persistent La Niña type conditions. Proxy data from southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean reveal generally wetter conditions, whereas records from the highlands of central Mexico and much of the Yucatan are typified by long -term drought. The Little Ice Age (LIA), in the north, was characterised by cooler, wetter winter conditions that have been linked with increased

  15. EO2HEAVEN: mitigating environmental health risks

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Le Rouw, Wouter J

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available EO2HEAVEN has the primary objective to contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationships between environmental changes and their impact on human health. To achieve this, the project followed a multidisciplinary and user...

  16. The Influence of Business Environmental Dynamism, Complexity and Munificence on Performance of Small and Medium Enterprises in Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Washington Oduor Okeyo

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this article is to examine how business environment affects small and medium enterprises. The paper is motivated by the important contributions small and medium enterprises have in many countries, especially Kenya towards job creation, poverty reduction and economic development. Literature however argues that effectiveness of the contributions is conditioned by the state of business environmental factors such as politics, economy, socio-culture, technology, ecology and laws/regulations. Dynamism, complexity and munificence of these factors are therefore vital to achievement of organizational objectives and overall performance. Even so, a review of literature reveals contradictory views regarding the effect of these factors on performance of organizations. Furthermore, studies focusing on these factors in the Kenyan context, particularly with regard to their effect on performance of small and medium firms, are scarce. This article bridges this gap based on a study focusing on 800 manufacturing organizations in Nairobi – Kenya. A sample of 150 enterprises was selected through stratification by business sector followed by simple random sampling. The research design was cross sectional survey where data was collected using a structured questionnaire over a period of one month at the end of which 95 organizations responded giving a response rate of 64%. Reliability and validity of the instrument were determined through Cronbach’s alpha tests and expert reviews. Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used to determine normality through descriptive statistics and study hypotheses tested using inferential statistics. The study established that business environment had an overall impact on organizational performance. Specifically, dynamism, complexity and munificence each had a direct influence on the enterprises in the study. Furthermore the combined effect on performance was found to be greater than that of dynamism and

  17. Insight to structural subsite recognition in plant thiol protease-inhibitor complexes : Understanding the basis of differential inhibition and the role of water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukhopadhayay Bishnu P

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This work represents an extensive MD simulation / water-dynamics studies on a series of complexes of inhibitors (leupeptin, E-64, E-64-C, ZPACK and plant cysteine proteases (actinidin, caricain, chymopapain, calotropin DI of papain family to understand the various interactions, water binding mode, factors influencing it and the structural basis of differential inhibition. Results The tertiary structure of the enzyme-inhibitor complexes were built by visual interactive modeling and energy minimization followed by dynamic simulation of 120 ps in water environment. DASA study with and without the inhibitor revealed the potential subsite residues involved in inhibition. Though the interaction involving main chain atoms are similar, critical inspection of the complexes reveal significant differences in the side chain interactions in S2-P2 and S3-P3 pairs due to sequence differences in the equivalent positions of respective subsites leading to differential inhibition. Conclusion The key finding of the study is a conserved site of a water molecule near oxyanion hole of the enzyme active site, which is found in all the modeled complexes and in most crystal structures of papain family either native or complexed. Conserved water molecules at the ligand binding sites of these homologous proteins suggest the structural importance of the water, which changes the conventional definition of chemical geometry of inhibitor binding domain, its shape and complimentarity. The water mediated recognition of inhibitor to enzyme subsites (Pn...H2O....Sn of leupeptin acetyl oxygen to caricain, chymopapain and calotropinDI is an additional information and offer valuable insight to potent inhibitor design.

  18. Researching Complex Heat, Air and Moisture Interactions for a Wide-Range of Building Envelope Systems and Environmental Loads

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karagiozis, A.N.

    2007-05-15

    This document serves as the final report documenting work completed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Fraunhofer Institute in Building Physics (Holzkirchen, Germany) under an international CRADA No. 0575 with Fraunhofer Institute of Bauphysics of the Federal Republic of Germany for Researching Complex Heat, Air and Moisture Interactions for a Wide Range of Building Envelope Systems and Environmental Loads. This CRADA required a multi-faceted approach to building envelope research that included a moisture engineering approach by blending extensive material property analysis, laboratory system and sub-system thermal and moisture testing, and advanced moisture analysis prediction performance. The Participant's Institute for Building physics (IBP) and the Contractor's Buildings Technology Center (BTC) identified potential research projects and activities capable of accelerating and advancing the development of innovative, low energy and durable building envelope systems in diverse climates. This allowed a major leverage of the limited resources available to ORNL to execute the required Department of Energy (DOE) directives in the area of moisture engineering. A joint working group (ORNL and Fraunhofer IBP) was assembled and a research plan was executed from May 2000 to May 2005. A number of key deliverables were produced such as adoption of North American loading into the WUFI-software. in addition the ORNL Weather File Analyzer was created and this has been used to address environmental loading for a variety of US climates. At least 4 papers have been co-written with the CRADA partners, and a chapter in the ASTM Manual 40 on Moisture Analysis and Condensation Control. All deliverables and goals were met and exceeded making this collaboration a success to all parties involves.

  19. Understanding the physical and environmental consequences of dredged material disposal: history in New England and current perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredette, T J; French, G T

    2004-07-01

    Thirty-five years of research in New England indicates that ocean disposal of dredged material has minimal environmental impacts when carefully managed. This paper summarizes research efforts and resulting conclusions by the US Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, beginning with the Scientific Report Series and continuing with the Disposal Area Monitoring System (DAMOS). Using a tiered approach to monitoring and a wide range of tools, the DAMOS program has monitored short- and long-term physical and biological effects of disposal at designated disposal sites throughout New England waters. The DAMOS program has also helped develop new techniques for safe ocean disposal of contaminated sediments, including capping and confined aquatic disposal (CAD) cells. Monitoring conducted at many sites in New England and around the world has shown that impacts are typically near-field and short-term. Findings such as these need to be disseminated to the general public, whose perception of dredged material disposal is generally negative and is not strongly rooted in current science.

  20. Land-Use Change and the Billion Ton 2016 Resource Assessment: Understanding the Effects of Land Management on Environmental Indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, K. L.; Eaton, L. M.; Efroymson, R.; Davis, M. R.; Dunn, J.; Langholtz, M. H.

    2016-12-01

    The federal government, led by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), quantified potential U.S. biomass resources for expanded production of renewable energy and bioproducts in the 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy (BT16) (DOE 2016). Volume 1 of the report provides analysis of projected supplies from 2015 to2040. Volume 2 (forthcoming) evaluates changes in environmental indicators for water quality and quantity, carbon, air quality, and biodiversity associated with production scenarios in BT16 volume 1. This presentation will review land-use allocations under the projected biomass production scenarios and the changes in land management that are implied, including drivers of direct and indirect LUC. National and global concerns such as deforestation and displacement of food production are addressed. The choice of reference scenario, input parameters and constraints (e.g., regarding land classes, availability, and productivity) drive LUC results in any model simulation and are reviewed to put BT16 impacts into context. The principal LUC implied in BT16 supply scenarios involves the transition of 25-to-47 million acres (net) from annual crops in 2015 baseline to perennial cover by 2040 under the base case and 3% yield growth case, respectively. We conclude that clear definitions of land parameters and effects are essential to assess LUC. A lack of consistency in parameters and outcomes of historic LUC analysis in the U.S. underscores the need for science-based approaches.