The United States of America faces an enormous correctional crisis. With 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's incarcerated population, the US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Despite spending close to $70 billion annually on corrections, the conditions in the US prison system are deplorable. In an attempt to explore options for policy changes, I examined the policy and prison design of the Nordic countries. Home to internationally renowned prisons and low incarceration and recidivism rates, the Nordic region provides a number of options for corrections improvements. First and foremost, the de-politicization of penal policy and focus on expert research and results is crucial. Second, shortening prison sentences and using alternative sentencing practices could reduce the prison population without affecting crime levels. Third, using natural light, open space and exposure to nature in prison design can create an atmosphere more conducive to rehabilitation and lower recidivism rates.
This thesis presents an analysis of Egyptian water policy in light of rapidly changing domestic and regional circumstances. It analyzes proposed technical solutions to scarce water, Egyptian and Ethiopian domestic preferences, and their dynamics within the Nile River basin. It represents an attempt to identify the linkages between Egyptian domestic water management and international negotiation on the Nile River, the constraints of Egyptian and Ethiopian domestic politics, and suggestions for how to overcome those constraints.
Based on case studies and interviews in Ethiopia and Egypt, this thesis suggests that Egyptian water policy has yet to respond to the growing power of Ethiopia and the resulting diminution of Egypt’s hydro-hegemony (its primacy within the basin). To do so, and achieve a permanent Nile solution that serves its interests, Egyptian policy makers should focus on domestic political constraints on water negotiation: the Egyptian securitization rhetoric, the wasteful and overlarge agriculture sector, the ineffective governmental structure, and the water entitlement system. Finally, in an analysis of shifting power trends in the Nile River Basin, it suggests that Egypt should act quickly to institutionalize the power it currently holds on the Nile through bi- or tri-lateral negotiations with Ethiopia.
Collectively, the recommendations presented here form a framework Egypt might consider to secure water interests as its hydro-hegemony declines.
As global temperatures continue to rise, more and more permafrost within the high Arctic thaws each year. Given that permafrost is one of the largest terrestrial soil organic carbon (SOC) reservoirs, it is imperative that we understand how this environment will react to rising global temperatures in the coming decades. Previous global climate models have indicated that rising temperatures in the Arctic would lead to increased methanogenesis; however, a few studies have noted that the active layer of soil in the High Arctic may serve as a CH4 sink. As the climate continues to change, areas in the high Arctic will be subjected to warmer temperatures as well as increased rainfall. The effects of increased water saturation as well as temperatures have not yet been modeled. The purpose of my thesis was to study the effects of changes in temperature and water saturation throughout the active layer and permafrost collected from Axel Heiberg Island. The results indicated enhanced levels of methanotrophy within the top 10cm of the active layer at lower saturation points and higher temperatures which are then suppressed by higher water content. Overall, the results from my thesis indicated that temperature and water saturation play an important role in changing the net flux of CH4 in high Arctic permafrost and the data will be useful for future climate models to better predict the atmospheric concentration of CH4 in the coming decades.
Rapid population growth and rising temperatures in the Southwest United States in recent decades have strained regional power and water supply. Renewable energy technologies that can tap into the area’s abundant solar resources are being explored to sustainably meet this demand. Concentrated solar power (CSP) has large-scale power generation capabilities and the potential for integration with desalination processes, such as multi-effect distillation (MED), to produce both power and water. A project by Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie in 2010 proposed a design for a CSP-MED plant for the East Mediterranean and North African region. This paper provides a technical evaluation of the CSP-MED design, using a plant simulated with Aspen Plus software, to assess its viability for the Southwest United States. A tradeoff in power to water production was established that reveals that the desalination of water via the Observatoire Méditerranéen de l’Energie configuration comes at too high a cost in power reduction of the plant. An alternate CSP-MED configuration is suggested that can desalinate water by MED without reducing gross power output and may be a more viable option that warrants further investigation.
This study explores the political and economic institutions that affect the natural resource decisions of governments, in order to highlight the dynamics between resource management and the political characteristics of a society. In a resource-constrained world, theories of how to best allocate natural resources are important in order to assess both the factors that affect the decisions and the decisions’ lasting effects on societies. This study focused on examining the factors that affected American Indian tribes’ decisions concerning the storage of hazardous waste and their decisions about entering into discussions about the storage of nuclear waste on their tribal lands with the United States federal government. This study found that political, economic, and social characteristics all play a role in natural resource decision-making and the variables that have the largest effect on the probability that a tribe will choose to store hazardous waste are the level of democracy, the provisions for a judicial system, the level of economic development, and the presence of a gaming facility owned by the tribe. As the level of democracy increases, the level of accountability within a tribe increases, or as the level of economic development increases, a tribe becomes less likely to choose to store hazardous waste. On the other hand, having a tribally owned gaming facility increases the likelihood that a tribe will choose to store hazardous waste. While previous literature has emphasized the important role that public participation plays in natural resource decision-making, this study found that the ability of the public to participate in the process was not a significant predictor of the choice to store hazardous waste. Thus, this study argues that governmental natural resource decision-making is affected not only by the level of democracy within a society, but also by the quality of specific institutions that increase accountability and enable self-determination.
In contemporary emerging markets, a small but powerful group of innovative, high-growth entrepreneurs are generating jobs, raising GDP, and contributing to poverty reduction faster than their peers – making entrepreneurship a sought-after strategy for economic development. However, the quality of the entrepreneurial policy environment in these countries varies widely, presenting a critical puzzle for modern political research. This thesis analyzes the politics of interest groups and their impact on the formation of entrepreneurship policy by examining the dynamics of (1) labor unions, (2) natural resource corporations, and (3) ethnic fractionalization in a sample of efficiency-driven economies, a group of 22 high-potential emerging markets, from 2005 to the present. My methodological approach consisted of a case study of South African entrepreneurial policy development built from archival research and a fieldwork trip to Cape Town in August 2012, as well as a quantitative portion that used multiple linear regression to confirm the hypotheses. In the process of research, I constructed an original composite index called the Regulatory Environment Policy Index (REPI) that measures the quality of OECD-recommended entrepreneurial ecosystem indicators that can only be altered by government intervention.
The evidence and analysis support my claim that certain interest groups have an effect on whether entrepreneur-friendly policy is passed in efficiency-driven economies. In particular, I show that labor unions have a consistently negative relationship with the entrepreneurial policy environment, that the type of natural resource matters for entrepreneurial interests, and that a high level of ethnic diversity, especially when it is related to income inequality, also negatively impacts the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The results of this thesis have implications for the expansion of the study of entrepreneurial politics, the ways in which entrepreneurs organize politically, and the strategy that legislators and governments use to approach policymaking for entrepreneurship as a development strategy.
Urbanization has significant effects on riparian ecology and hydrology. Due to development and land use changes in Princeton New Jersey, the Washington Road Stream became unstable and a natural restoration project was carried out to mitigate the instability, and also improve the riparian habitat. The restoration was carried out based of the Rosgen classification system to design a stable channel and with an appropriate geometry. Data collected after the restoration shows promise for dissolved oxygen levels, and the capability of designed wetland areas to remove nitrates. Fully assessing the success of the restoration project requires long-term monitoring. However, post-restoration data on channel shape, water levels, and water quality was collected to serve as a benchmark for future research. The stream was also instrumented with a stream gauge, and six soil moisture sensors in the floodplain to gauge hydrologic cycles over time. In addition, a Gridded Surface Subsurface Hydrological Analysis (GSSHA) model of the Washington Road Stream Basin was created. This was used to compare the effects of 100-year rainfall duration on stream discharges. It was found that 100-year rainfall durations less than an hour lead to comparable discharges.
Identification of a consequential increase in atmospheric carbon resulting from human activities has motivated research into the carbon storage potential of forests (Harmon et al. 1990, Hudiberg et al. 2009). The forests of S. sempervirens are the tallest in the world, a quality that has increased their utility in providing timber, sites for recreation, and potential to sequester large amounts of atmospheric carbon (Noss 2000, Koch et al. 2004, Keith et al. 2009). Old-growth redwood forests are extremely massive, but young-growth redwood forests are more productive (Lindquist and Palley 1963, Busing and Fujimori 2005, Sillett et al. 2010). The objective of this thesis is to compare the current carbon stock and change in carbon stock over 77 years of old-growth and second-growth redwood stands located within state and local parks of the Santa Cruz Mountains, by resurveying a historical tree demography dataset collected in 1935 (Kelly 2005, Francis 2012). The second objective of this thesis is to compare the estimates yielded by a national scale carbon prediction equation with those from a carbon prediction equation specific to redwoods (Wensel and Krumland 1986, Jenkins 2003). Carbon content of redwood plots that were harvested before 1935 significantly increased between 1935 and 2012, in contrast to the old-growth plots that showed an insignificant decrease in carbon. Coupled with the significantly lower tree density old-growth redwood forests, the greater tendency for second-growth plots to increase in carbon signifies density dependent limits on carbon accumulation (Keith et al. 2010). The national-scale biomass equation yielded significantly higher carbon estimates for young-growth redwoods, suggesting that it could be improved by formulating biomass equations for species groups that are more specific to their empirically measured wood density values.
This study explores emerging trends in sea turtle nest predation on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica over the past few years. Nesting data was collected under the auspices of Osa Conservation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) based on the Osa Peninsula. Trends identified from raw data are crucial in designing conservation programs that maximize protection of nests against both natural and human predation. A concerted focus is placed specifically upon dog and human predation because these groups have historically been the most frequent predators of turtle nests. Independent variables investigated in this study include month, beach, inland habitat, turtle species, and distance of nests from the vegetation line. Logistic regressions run between nest predation and these independent variables expose key relationships that help define specific parameters for at-risk nests. A structured conservation program that combines the use of protective meshes, pepper powder, translocation, and controlled development in hatcheries for at-risk nests is recommended to give turtle hatchlings the best chance of survival against predation.
Abstract: My thesis examines two sets of maps of the Old Northwest United States from the 18th century--the birch bark scrolls of the Ojibwe and the township grid of the first U.S. national land policy. I trace the origins and influences that went into the construction of these maps, and the environmental philosophies that they represent. Ultimately, the U.S. grid map was used to control all settlement into the western United States, putting in place a cartography that leads to environmentally destructive land use practices.
Spillover from domestic host reservoirs can initiate epidemic outbreaks in small, wild populations. Macroparasite transmission within a wild/domestic host community has not been well studied. Macroparasites can exert considerable top-down regulatory effects on host populations, and many macroparasites of domestic dogs are able to infect multiple species.
My study explored patterns of macroparasite infection on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. This study area is home to over a dozen small populations of domestic dogs and to five wild felid species. Flotation analysis was used to characterize the macroparasite community infecting domestic dog and wild felid hosts. Five parasite species were identified in domestic dogs and two of the same species were identified in wild felids. Numerous statistical associations were identified between parasite prevalence and variables in microhabitat or dog movement. A spatially explicit patch transmission model was also used to predict the effects of dog mobility on domestic dog worm burdens, antihelmintic treatment efficacy and transmission potential to wild felid hosts.
In polyandrous species, sexual selection acts both before (precopulatory) and after (postcopulatory) mating on traits that are important for reproductive success. Precopulatory traits are important for mate acquisition and include weapons and ornaments. Postcopulatory traits include components of sperm quantity and quality, which determine a male’s fertilization success in the presence of sperm from other males. Sperm competition theory predicts trade-offs between investment in pre- and postcopulatory traits since reproductive traits are energetically costly and the amount of energy available for investment is typically fixed. However, evidence for this theory is mixed and few studies have experimentally examined whether resource limitation, together with forced precopulatory investment yield trade-offs between investment in pre- and postcopulatory sexually selected traits. In this study I examine whether manipulations of diet quantity and courtship investment expose trade-offs between investment in pre- and postcopulatory traits in guppies (Poecilia reticulata). I accompl this by comparing behavioral, ornamental, and sperm characteristics between males assigned at random to restricted or ad libitum diet treatments, with or without visual contact with females, while controlling for genetic background. My results show that certain precopulatory traits (sigmoid courtship display rate and standard body area) and postcopulatory traits (sperm viability, sperm flagellum and sperm midpiece length, and sperm number) are more sensitive to manipulations in diet quantity and courtship investment. Additionally, these results, to the best of my knowledge, are the first to reveal some evidence for phenotypic trade-offs between investment in precopulatory traits (sperm viability and sperm flagellum length) and postcopulatory traits (sexual interest); this is consistent with the predictions of sperm competition theory and suggests that trade-offs predicted by this theory may be revealed when diet is limiting and courtship is forced.
This study determined the movement patterns of the feral goats inhabiting the Pohakuloa Training Area of Hawai’i. Analysis showed that weather, specifically rainfall, seasonality, and air temperature, significantly affected the feral goats’ habitat selection. Furthermore, the sexually dimorphic male and female feral goats showed different habitat preferences.
Twelve goats, six male and six female, were collared, and their locations were tracked every two hours for one year. Combining the GPS locations with plant communities, air temperature, and rainfall data, analysis was done to show that feral goats selectively chose habitats based on weather, and sexual segregation.
Ever since feral goats were introduced into the Hawaiian Islands in 1778, they caused detrimental effects on Hawai’i’s ecosystem (Coblentz 1978). The problem Hawai’i currently faces is how to manage the feral goat population so that further damage can be prevented without unethical means such as completely eradicating all the feral goats living in Hawai’i.
China's pollution is not confined to its borders. China's air pollution and soil contamination have regional and international ramifications. Foreign stakeholders in China's pollution problem, however, have been unable to use existing institutions to influence China's environmental governance. This thesis explores why foreign actors can and should engage with Chinese citizens to clean up China's environment. While existing literature has largely dismissed the possibility of an environmental movement in China, this thesis identifies "non-institutionalized citizen activism" (NICA), whereby contentious citizen acts - albeit localized and fragmented - are able to improve environmental governance. The contemporary case studies used in this thesis demonstrate that NICA not only can address lackluster environmental enforcement at the local level, but also can force the Chinese central government to bring about structural changes that prioritize the environment. By analyzing existing literature on transnational human rights activism and the 'Boomerang Pattern' proposed by Keck and Sikkink (1998), this thesis explores how foreign actors can engage with Chinese NICA. Information exchange is found to be at the crux of effective transnational environmental activism; its two pillars, pollution monitoring and "translation," are both essential to NICA success. This thesis concludes that foreign actors can and should engage with Chinese citizens in non-institutionalized citizen activism. Such transnational environmental activism is an essential complement to existing international environmental institutions. While existing efforts have been effective at sharing scientific and technological know-how, leveraging domestic pressures from Chinese citizens who increasingly demand clean air, clean water and clean soil will be crucial to cleaning up China's pollution.
Fluorosis is caused by chronic excessive ingestion of fluoride primarily through drinking contaminated water, and affects millions of people, particularly those in developing countries. The motivation for this thesis was to address the concern about fluorosis by looking for an inexpensive simple method for treating drinking water and removing fluoride. My thesis focused on designing nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite coated limestone for a defluoridation filter. Apatite coated limestone was synthesized in batch experiments under a range of experimental conditions and analyzed using scanning electron microscopy to determine the best way to obtain complete high surface area coatings. Higher temperatures, slightly acidic pH, and higher phosphate concentrations resulted in well-covered apatite-coated limestone particles with generally high surface area apatite crystal morphologies. Fluoride sorption batch experiments were conducted to see how efficiently the filter particles removed fluoride from solution. Apatite-coated limestone grains of a smaller size fraction consistently reduced fluoride concentrations to levels below the World Health Organization’s recommended fluoride drinking water limit. The resulting aqueous solutions were also studied and this analysis suggests that ion-exchange of hydroxyapatite with fluoride to form fluorapatite at the surface or solid solutions of fluoridated hydroxyapatite, dissolution and reprecipitation of hydroxyapatite to form fluorite, and adsorption are all possible mechanisms for fluoride removal.
The urban human population is projected to reach 70% of the world’s population by 2050 (UN-Habitat 2009). Although most of the urbanization is expected to take place in the Asian tropics, very limited studies on urban ecology have been done there (UNDESA 2012; Sachs 2000). This study evaluated the relative importance of different environmental variables on the dragonfly richness, abundance and species composition of the urban habitat fragments of Asian subtropical city Hong Kong. Among the 15 environmental variables tested using generalized linear mixed models (GLMM), distance to the nearest major road was found to be the most important predictor for dragonfly richness and abundance. Site area, on the other hand, was not a good predictor. Furthermore, predictors associated with human development surrounding a site were in general found to be a lot more important than those concerning the habitat characteristics within a site. Regarding species composition, urban parks, open drains and semi-wild sites each had a community that was distinct from the others according to canonical correspondence analysis. However, the average richness and abundance of semi-wild sites were both significantly higher than that of the other two habitat types (Kruskal-Wallis, Richness: χ2 = 6.38, df = 2, p=0.041; Abundance: χ2 = 9.30, df = 2, p=0.0096). Alongside with other minor suggestions, it was recommended that a network of small urban dragonfly sites distant to major roads be maintained with good connectivity. What constitutes a good connectivity pathway, however, requires further research.
The issue of whether pollution-intensive industries in rich countries relocate to poor countries with less stringent environmental regulation, thereby turning them into “pollution havens,” has engendered considerable controversy. This paper estimates the strength of the pollution haven behavior in China by investigating the effect of environmental regulation on inward foreign direct investments on a provincial and industry level. Results suggest that there is evidence of a pollution haven effect. Weak environmental regulation attracts FDI inflows into the province and, in particular, inflows into the manufacturing sector. However, the size of the effect varies across the different industries within manufacturing and is dependent on the measure of environmental stringency. Overall, the pollution haven effect is relatively small and does not appear to be the most significant determinant for foreign investment location decisions.
Cyanobacteria in the rainforest canopy contribute a significant amount of nitrogen (N), and nitrogen is one of the dominant controlling factors on carbon storage (Luo, 2004). In order to determine the controls on carbon storage, we must determine the controls on cyanobacteria and other N-fixers, including limitations by nutrients and microclimatic factors. I studied the limitations of phosphorus (P), molybdenum (Mo), moisture, temperature, and light on cyanobacteria through an observational study and a canopy fertilization experiment. In my observational study, I measured the percent cover of cyanobacteria and other epiphytes on 5 species of phorophyte with different leaf size, leaf longevity, and foliar phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations, and at high, middle and low zones of the canopy. I found that epiphytes and cyanobacteria preferentially colonized certain phorophyte species over others, and were most abundant on the lower leaves of the canopy. In my canopy fertilization experiment, I suspended artificial substrates soaked in different treatments (P, Mo, Mo+P, control) from branches in the canopy. I found that heterocyst frequency (amount of nitrogen fixing cells to regular cells) decreased over time, indicating that individual cyanobacteria can down-regulate their N-fixation once enough N builds up within their colony. I also found a higher percent cover of cyanobacteria on substrates at the top of the canopy, which had higher light, rainfall events, temperature and vapor pressure differential (VPD) than substrates at the bottom of the canopy. This implies that cyanbacteria may be able to withstand periods of water stress and high temperatures and may be more controlled by light availability. I did not find a difference in percent cover or heterocyst frequency between nutrient treatments. I estimated an average N-input of 0.01 kg N ha-1 yr-1 for cyanobacteria. My results have important implications for predicting the response of cyanobacteria to climate change and other human disturbance, and the repercussions for terrestrial carbon storage.
Copper (Cu) is necessary for the survival of marine microorganisms such as phytoplankton, but it is toxic at high concentrations. When anthropogenic (originating from human activity) copper enters the marine environment it can accumulate in marine sediments on the ocean floor. Because of this, ecosystems near boatyards and treatment plants tend to have highly copper contaminated sediments.
Castle Harbour, Bermuda is the location of an Airport Waste Management Facility (the Airport Dump), where copper in solid metal waste can easily leach into the Castle Harbour ecosystem. Very few studies have been conducted to determine the total amount of copper in contaminated marine sediments in Castle Harbour, with only one study being published since 1990. In this thesis, marine sediment was collected from various sites in Castle Harbour, as well as from St. George's Boatyard. The total amount of copper in the sediments was determined, and the sediments were then exposed to natural incubations of phytoplankton communities from Castle Harbour.
Results showed that there is a slight increase of sediment copper contamination toward the Airport Dump within Castle Harbour. However, when compared to sediment collected from St. George's Boatyard, sediment copper contamination in Castle Harbour is significantly lower. Phytoplankton communities exposed to copper contaminated sediments from St. George's Boatyard showed significant declines in biomass and growth, while little to no decline was observed in the phytoplankton communities exposed to sediment collected from Castle Harbour.
Jules Verne’s 1870 classic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea tells the story of Captain Nemo and his three guests as they journey around the world in Nemo’s submarine, the Nautilus. At the center of this epic saga is the mysterious captain. He is the driving force behind the story, the designer of an extraordinary machine that enables him to penetrate the secrets of the seas. Any attempt to understand Nemo must begin with the way he reacts towards mankind. Aronnax, the novel’s narrator and a professor of science in Paris, discerns that the primary function of the Nautilus is to insulate Nemo from having to interact with the rest of the world. However, it would be overly simple to analyze Nemo’s emotions as merely an antisocial aversion to all people. He truly has a hatred for the people he left behind, as can be seen in the severity of his convictions. His hatred is not completely unfounded; Aronnax discovers in seeing the picture of Nemo’s wife and children that Nemo must have lost his family in some conflict.
I will examine Nemo’s complexity in his interactions with his crew, his interactions with his guests, and his interactions with nature. These interactions will help contextualize Nemo and situate him as a man of the mid-nineteenth century, rather than one who had escaped it, despite what Nemo would have us think. Examining the mysteries that surround Nemo and his various interactions, we will see that Verne raises several questions about humanity in the nineteenth century, leaving many ambiguities. I will explore Verne’s view on the possibility of creating a new society that is simultaneously avant-garde and frozen in history. Verne also questions the possibility of maintaining a single point of view of history. In trying to guard the isolated viewpoint that defines the society on the Nautilus, is it possible for Nemo to remain idealistic and forgo violence? Finally, I will analyze in the majority of this presentation the paradox that Verne put forward regarding living in nature in a world focused on the conquests of imperialism.
The crew is the only group of people that we know from the beginning that Nemo does not hate, as they are the people that he chose to include in his underwater society. The society has several characteristics consistent with nineteenth century views of utopian ideals, including a self-sufficiency and distribution of work reminiscent of Charles Fourier and the unifying force of a private language reminiscent of the creation of Esperanto. On the other hand, a large emotional stagnation on board, paired with a slow degradation of the society, shows that their lives are largely dystopian as well. Ultimately, we see that regardless of the success of the society, there is an immeasurable bond between the men who set out to create it.
Nemo’s private society is confronted with the outside world when Aronnax and his two companions arrive on the Nautilus. Nemo fights constantly to retain the absolute control that he used to have over his ship. He gets visibly upset towards his guests when they question his power and he always presents situations in such a way that he is appears in control. When he is confronted with a warship hailing from his old enemies, Nemo shows that he is not capable of restraining from using violence when confronted by the world outside of the Nautilus.
Nature is a very important theme in the novel, and Verne uses it as a metaphor for some of the larger issues surrounding Nemo. After massacring a large number of sperm whales to protect a pod of baleen whales, Nemo notices that one of the baleen whales he had been unable to save had a young calf. Nemo then takes the milk from this deceased baleen whale to provide for his crew. This scene serves as a metaphor for the rest of Nemo’s behavior. Almost all of the wealth that Aronnax sees him amass is taken from the leftovers of conflict. This can be seen explicitly when he retrieves the gold from the Spanish shipwreck in Vigo Bay. While the majority of Nemo’s actions indicate that he is only able to amass wealth but not to create it, his decision to invest time into allowing his hidden pearl to grow shows that he understands the need to create wealth as well. His greatest achievement at this is his ship, the Nautilus. It is a technological marvel completely of his own design, without which none of his adventures would have transpired.
Throughout the novel, Nemo challenges the forces of nature and uses it as a way of proving his own self worth. He accomplishes feats that no other human of his time would be able to accomplish. When he reached the South Pole, he made sure to note that he had succeeded where so many others had failed. Just the fact that he is able to survive under the intense pressure of the oceans sets him apart. Nemo uses these challenges as away of distinguishing himself from the humanity that he hates. Through his herculean feats, he proves his autonomy and that he is better than they are. However, at the same time, the metric that he uses to measure himself is ultimately an imperialistic relic of the world he left behind.
In several instances, the forces of nature are so great that Nemo is not able to maintain complete control of his surroundings. In these situations, like when the Nautilus is trapped under the Antarctic ice, he continues to show the force of his own will power. In the end, however, Nemo chooses to give up his control to nature, as he sails into the Maelstrom in an attempt to redeem himself for his nefarious action of sinking a ship, sealing the fate of all those on board. This natural baptism shows that while Nemo has been challenging nature throughout the novel, he also has a deep respect for it.
A goal of fisheries management is to predict the probability of successful establishment of invasive fish species. To address this goal, species distribution models are used to project species distribution under different climate-change scenarios. In this study, the geographic distribution of the invasive, Red Sea migrant fish species Siganus luridus and Siganus rivulatus is predicted using the maximum entropy model MaxEnt. MaxEnt represents the study area with a set of grid cells, with the dependent variable being the known species distribution, and with independent environmental variables defined. MaxEnt then determines a function of the environmental variables to identify the degree to which each cell is suitable for each species. The main objective of this paper is to determine what factors may have led to the large-scale spreading of S. luridus and S. rivulatus upon the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Two possible hypotheses are that they are spreading due to warming sea surface temperature (SST) or that the building of the Suez Canal simply opened up habitat that would have been suitable even without warming. Model results show a large area of suitable habitat for both species where no current known record of the species has been collected, signifying an invasion potential not yet realized or an insufficient knowledge of the current species distribution. No significant relationship between warming SSTs and the predicted geographic distribution is found for S. rivulatus, while a slight trend is identified for S. luridus.
Despite successful control of the disease in the United States and the developed world almost a hundred years ago, typhoid fever causes over 21.7 million cases of illness and 217,000 deaths each year (Crump et al. 2004). This thesis seeks to better quantify the influence of environmental drivers, particularly rainfall, on typhoid dynamics and explore the impact of the development of municipal water systems on typhoid prevalence and patterns. Typhoid data is analyzed from six American cities, including New York, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC, Chicago, IL and Baltimore, MD, between 1888 and 1932 as well as Kathmandu, Nepal, between 1993 and 2011. Periodicity and correlation with rainfall are analyzed using power spectral density analysis, magnitude squared coherence estimates, and wavelet analysis. Typhoid dynamics are also explored through the adaptation of a doubly stochastic TSIR (time series susceptible-infected-recovered) model. It was discovered that the strength of annual cycles of typhoid is correlated with water source. Rainfall and typhoid cycles are also correlated. Using a TSIR model to predict disease dynamics of historical typhoid data in New York and Philadelphia revealed that the model was better equipped to predict the regular and strong seasonality of New York rather than the variability of typhoid in Philadelphia. These results show the impact of water source and treatment, and environmental drivers on typhoid dynamics, which should be considered when designing future typhoid models or public health interventions.
Thiol chemistry in natural systems is important to Hg biogeochemistry. The sorption of Hg to high affinity thiols of cell envelopes seems to influence Hg bioavailability and its subsequent methylation and reduction, since these transformations are primarily intracellular processes. Using a qBBr fluorescence titration method in water, I have observed that there are 24±2, 49±12, and 240±80 μmoles thiols per gram wet weight on the surface of Bacillus subtilis, Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, and Geobacter sulfurreducens, respectively, for the growth conditions presented. I also determined the thiol concentrations on a dry weight basis, as dry weight does not depend on the centrifugation speed used to harvest the cells: I observed 120±10, 300±70, and 1000±300 μmoles thiols per gram dry weight for B. subtilis, S. oneidensis MR-1, and G. sulfurreducens, respectively. These measurements support the hypothesis that the thiol density distribution directs Hg-(thiol)x complexation on cell surfaces. It seems that clusters of three thiols in close proximity leads the nonmethylators B. subtilis and S. oneidensis MR-1 to form inert Hg-(thiol)3 complexes at low Hg concentrations (Mishra et al., unpublished), since they have lower average cell densities than G. sulfurreducens. The Hg-methylating G. sulfurreducens theoretically does not have such clusters on its cell envelope, as it does not form tridentate complexes (Mishra et al., unpublished) despite a relatively high average surface thiol density. To further our understanding of the thiol chemistry of Hg-contaminated natural systems, there is evidence that total thiols on the surface of S. oneidensis MR-1 will increase when the cells are grown in the presence of 250nM and 750nM Hg in Luria-Bertani (LB) broth. I have also observed that the fraction of Hg-thiol complexes that are Hg-(thiol)3 is largest when S. oneidensis MR-1 is grown with 100nM Hg2+ in LB broth (inoculated to about 5×106 cells/L) compared to the same concentration of cells grown with 0 nM, 50 nM, 250 nM, 500 nM, and 750nM Hg2+ in LB broth, which preliminarily suggests that at least some of the additional thiols are in clusters that are conducive to insoluble Hg-(thiol)3 complex formation.
Hepatitis B is an infectious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that may lead to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer. HBV has infected a third of the world's population, and more than 600,000 people worldwide die from complications of HBV infection each year. A third of the world's chronic HBV carriers reside in China, where hepatitis B is endemic and has been one of the most important public health issues. Since 2005, the Chinese government has provided the hepatitis B vaccine completely free of charge for all children, and the prevalence of HBV has been decreased to less than 1% in children under 5 years of age with the National Immunization Program. However, the hepatitis B vaccination program has hit roadblocks in trying to increase vaccination rates in rural China and raising awareness about the disease. Here, I provided a review of hepatitis B, hepatitis B in China, and hepatitis B vaccination and education issues in China. I examined the causes behind regional disparities in hepatitis B vaccination rates in China through data collection and personal interviews with vaccination workers and parents in various community vaccination and prevention centers in the urban city of Nanjing and the rural city of Huai'an in Jiangsu Province. Through data collection, I found that while vaccination rates between the general infant populations of Nanjing and Huai'an were not significantly different, vaccination rates and ontime birth dose vaccination rates are significantly lower for infants in the rural floating population. Through both data collection and interviews with vaccination workers, I found that Nanjing vaccination centers are burdened with more infants to serve and more staff shortages than their rural counterparts, while Huai'an vaccination centers are burdened with more economic difficulties than 2 their urban counterparts. Through the administering of questionnaires to vaccination workers, I found that there is a lack of standard medical and health training for vaccination workers in both Nanjing and Huai'an. Through the administering of questionnaires to parents and guardians, I found a significant lack of hepatitis B education and awareness, especially among parents and guardians in Huai'an. Based on the data I collected and the interviews I conducted, I identified a collection of policies that the Chinese government should implement to increase hepatitis B vaccination rates and increase public awareness about the disease in the future to prevent more people from contracting the disease and to decrease the stigma surrounding hepatitis B patients.
This thesis attempts to determine how the 50 states can create green economies that are based on inclusion and equity. To better inform this determination, this thesis first examines the factors that influence the wide variation in state renewable energy policy portfolios. Findings include that political factors such as voter ideology and control of the state legislature are more important than economic factors, such as the presence of strong fossil fuel industries, in predicting a state’s renewable energy policy portfolio. It also finds that independent and forward thinking public utilities commissions can counteract forces that tend to prevent the establishment of strong renewable energy standards. This thesis concludes by synthesizing these findings with existing literature to develop guidelines for the creation of state-led green economies.