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The Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District: A Case Study in Texas Groundwater Conservation

The Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District: A Case Study in Texas Groundwater Conservation

Date: August 2011
Creator: Teel, Katherine
Description: This thesis examines the history of groundwater management through the development of groundwater conservation districts in Texas. Political, economic, ideological, and scientific understandings of groundwater and its regulation varied across the state, as did the natural resource types and quantities, which created a diverse and complicated position for lawmakers and landowners. Groundwater was consistently interpreted as a private property right and case law protected unrestricted use for the majority of the twentieth-century even as groundwater resources crossed property and political boundaries, and water tables declined particularly during the second-half of the century. The case study of the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District describes the complicated history of groundwater in Texas as the state attempted to balance natural resource legislation and private property rights and illuminate groundwater’s importance for the future.
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Application of FTIR for Quantification of Alkali in Cement

Application of FTIR for Quantification of Alkali in Cement

Date: May 2011
Creator: Springfield, Tyler
Description: Alkali-silica reaction (ASR) in cement is a major contributor to failure of cement structures around the world, causing increased repair costs and possible rebuild expenses. Alkali levels are indicative of the potential for ASR and are therefore measured and quantified. A linear correlation relating cement alkali concentration measured by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and peak ratio measured by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is developed. Regression analysis of plots correlating alkali content measured by FTIR absorption band (750 cm-1/923 cm-1) ratio versus equivalent alkali (Na2O)e (%Na2O + 0.658 % K2O) quantified by XRF show linear correlation coefficient, R2, of 0.97. Results of this investigation are discussed in terms of microstructural disorder coefficient Cd which is a reactivity criterion for ASR-susceptible aggregates proposed by Bachiorrini [31]. XRF is a popular technique for alkali quantification but FTIR is faster, safer, and less expensive technique compared to XRF. Portable instrumentation is available for both techniques but FTIR systems are less expensive.
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Computational Investigation of Molecular Optoelectronic and Biological Systems

Computational Investigation of Molecular Optoelectronic and Biological Systems

Date: August 2011
Creator: Tekarli, Sammer M.
Description: The scope of work in this dissertation has comprised several major investigations on applications and theoretical studies of ab initio quantum mechanics and density functional theory where those techniques were applied to the following: (i) investigation of the performance of density functionals for the computations of molecular properties of 3d transition metal containing systems; (ii) guidance for experimental groups for rational design of macrometallocyclic multinuclear complexes with superior π-acidity and π-basicity that are most suitable for p- and n-type semiconductors of metal-organic molecules and nanomaterials; (iii) investigation of the metallo-aromaticity of multi-nuclear metal complexes; (iv) investigation of the kinetics and thermodynamics of copper-mediated nitrene insertion into C-H and H-H bond; and (v) accurate computations of dissociation energies of hydrogen-bonded DNA duplex moieties utilizing the resolution of identity correlation consistent composite approach (RI-ccCA).
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Advancements in Instrumentation for Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy

Advancements in Instrumentation for Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy

Date: August 2011
Creator: Dewberry, Christopher Thomas
Description: The efforts of my research have led to the successful construction of several instruments that have helped expand the field of microwave spectroscopy. The classic Balle-Flygare spectrometer has been modified to include two different sets of antenna to operate in the frequency ranges 6-18 GHz and 18-26 GHz, allowing it to function for a large range without having to break vacuum. This modified FTMW instrument houses two low noise amplifiers in the vacuum chamber to allow for the LNAs to be as close to the antenna as physically possible, improving sensitivity. A new innovative Balle-Flygare type spectrometer, the efficient low frequency FTMW, was conceived and built to operate at frequencies as low as 500 MHz through the use of highly curved mirrors. This is new for FTMW techniques that normally operate at 4 GHz or higher with only a few exceptions around 2 GHz. The chirped pulse FTMW spectrometer uses horn antennas to observe spectra that span 2 GHz versus the standard 1 MHz of a cavity technique. This instrument decreases the amount of time to obtain a large spectral region of relative correct intensity molecular transitions. A Nd:YAG laser ablation apparatus was attached to the classic Balle-Flygare and chirped ...
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Bioconcentration of Triclosan, Methyl-Triclosan, and Triclocarban in the Plants and Sediments of a Constructed Wetland

Bioconcentration of Triclosan, Methyl-Triclosan, and Triclocarban in the Plants and Sediments of a Constructed Wetland

Date: August 2011
Creator: Zarate, Frederick M., Jr.
Description: Triclosan and triclocarban are antimicrobial compounds added to a variety of consumer products that are commonly detected in waste water effluent. The focus of this study was to determine whether the bioconcentration of these compounds in wetland plants and sediments exhibited species specific and site specific differences by collecting field samples from a constructed wetland in Denton, Texas. The study showed that species-specific differences in bioconcentration exist for triclosan and triclocarban. Site-specific differences in bioconcentration were observed for triclosan and triclocarban in roots tissues and sediments. These results suggest that species selection is important for optimizing the removal of triclosan and triclocarban in constructed wetlands and raises concerns about the long term exposure of wetland ecosystems to these compounds.
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Simulation Study of Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump System in the Hot-Humid Climate

Simulation Study of Hybrid Ground Source Heat Pump System in the Hot-Humid Climate

Date: August 2011
Creator: Zhu, Jiang
Description: The beachfront hotel with hybrid geothermal heat pump system (HyGSHP), located in the hot-humid climate, is simulated by TRNSYS in the thesis, and the simulation results are validated by the measured data. The simulation of alternative HVAC systems, complete ground source heat pump and conventional air source heat pump, are included to conduct the comparative study with HyGSHP based on the energy consumption and life cycle analysis. The advantages and disadvantages of HyGSHP are discussed in the thesis. Two ground source heat exchanger parameters, U-tube size and grout materials, are investigated in order to study the effects on the ground heat exchanger thermal performance. The preliminary work and results are shown in the thesis.
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Kalman Filtering Approach to Optimize OFDM Data Rate

Kalman Filtering Approach to Optimize OFDM Data Rate

Date: August 2011
Creator: Wunnava, Sashi Prabha
Description: This study is based on applying a non-linear mapping method, here the unscented Kalman filter; to estimate and optimize data rate resulting from the arrival rate having a Poisson distribution in an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) transmission system. OFDM is an emerging multi-carrier modulation scheme. With the growing need for quality of service in wireless communications, it is highly necessary to optimize resources in such a way that the overall performance of the system models should rise while keeping in mind the objective to achieve high data rate and efficient spectral methods in the near future. In this study, the results from the OFDM-TDMA transmission system have been used to apply cross-layer optimization between layers so as to treat different resources between layers simultaneously. The main controller manages the transmission of data between layers using the multicarrier modulation techniques. The unscented Kalman filter is used here to perform nonlinear mapping by estimating and optimizing the data rate, which result from the arrival rate having a Poisson distribution.
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Ruinous Pride: The Construction of the Scottish Military Identity, 1745-1918

Ruinous Pride: The Construction of the Scottish Military Identity, 1745-1918

Date: August 2011
Creator: Matheson, Calum Lister
Description: Following the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 many Highlanders fought for the British Army in the Seven Years War and American Revolutionary War. Although these soldiers were primarily motivated by economic considerations, their experiences were romanticized after Waterloo and helped to create a new, unified Scottish martial identity. This militaristic narrative, reinforced throughout the nineteenth century, explains why Scots fought and died in disproportionately large numbers during the First World War.
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Molecular Basis of Plant Defense Against Aphids: Role of the Arabidopsis Thaliana PAD4 and MPL1 Genes

Molecular Basis of Plant Defense Against Aphids: Role of the Arabidopsis Thaliana PAD4 and MPL1 Genes

Date: August 2011
Creator: Louis, Joe
Description: Myzus persicae (Sülzer), commonly known as green peach aphid (GPA), utilizes its slender stylet to penetrate the plant tissues intercellularly and consume copious amounts of photoassimilates present in the phloem sap causing extensive damage to host plants. The compatible interaction between GPA and Arabidopsis thaliana enabled us to characterize plant response to aphid infestation. Upon GPA infestation, Arabidopsis PAD4 (PHYTOALEXIN DEFICIENT4) gene modulates premature leaf senescence, which is involved in the programmed degradation of cellular components and the export of nutrients out of the senescing leaf. Senescence mechanism is utilized by plants to limit aphid growth. In addition, PAD4 provides antixenosis (deters insect settling and feeding) and antibiosis (impair aphid fecundity) against GPA and adversely impact sieve element availability to GPA. Basal expression of PAD4 contributes to antibiosis, and the GPA-induced expression of PAD4 contributes to antixenosis. Mutation in the Arabidopsis stearoyl-ACP desaturase encoding SSI2 (suppressor of SALICYLIC ACID [SA] insensitivity2) gene that results in an accelerated cell death phenotype and dwarfing, also conferred heightened antibiosis to GPA. Results of this study indicate that PAD4 is required for the ssi2-mediated enhanced antibiosis to GPA. The PAD4 protein contains conserved Ser, Asp and His residues that form the catalytic triad of ...
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Genetic Analysis of Development and Behavior in Hypoxia and Cellular Characterization of Anoxia Induced Meiotic Prophase Arrest in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Genetic Analysis of Development and Behavior in Hypoxia and Cellular Characterization of Anoxia Induced Meiotic Prophase Arrest in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Date: August 2011
Creator: Little, Brent Ashley
Description: It was hypothesized that chronic hypoxia will affect various biological processes including developmental trajectory and behavior. To test this hypothesis, embryos were raised to adulthood in severe hypoxic environments (0.5% O2 or 1% O2, 22°C) and analyzed for survival rate, developmental progression, and altered behaviors. Wildtype hermaphrodites survive chronic hypoxia yet developmental trajectory is slowed. The hermaphrodites raised in chronic hypoxia had different phenotypes in comparison to the normoxic controls. First, hermaphrodites exposed to chronic hypoxia produced a significantly lower number of embryos and had a slight increase in male progeny. This suggests that chronic hypoxia exposure during development affects the germline. Second, animals raised in chronic hypoxia from embryos to young adults have a slight increase in lifespan when re-exposed to a normoxic environment, indicating that chronic hypoxia does not negatively decrease lifespan. Finally, hermaphrodites that were raised in hypoxia will lay the majority of their eggs on the area of the agar plate where the bacterial lawn is not present. This is in contrast to animals in normoxia, which lay the majority of their eggs on the bacterial lawn. One hypothesis for this hypoxia-induced egg-laying behavior is that the animal can sense microenvironments in hypoxia. To examine if ...
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