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Biodiversity and Genetic Structure of Benthic Macroinvertebrates along an Altitudinal Gradient: A Comparison of the Windhond and Róbalo River Communities on Navarino Island, Chile
Altitudinal gradients in Sub-Antarctic freshwater systems present unique opportunities to study the effect of distinct environmental gradients on benthic macroinvertebrate community composition and dispersal. This study investigates patterns in biodiversity, dispersal and population genetic structure of benthic macroinvertebrate fauna across an altitudinal gradient between two watersheds on Navarino Island in southern Chile. Patterns in diversity, density, evenness and functional feeding groups were not significantly different across the altitudinal gradient in both the Windhond and Róbalo Rivers. Taxa richness in both rivers generally increased from the headwaters of the river to the mouth, and functional feeding group patterns were consistent with the predictions of the River Continuum Concept. Population genetic structure and gene flow was investigated by sampling the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene in two invertebrate species with different dispersal strategies. Hyalella simplex (Amphipoda) is an obligate aquatic species, and Meridialaris chiloeense (Ephemeroptera) is an aquatic larvae and a terrestrial winged adult. Contrasting patterns of population genetic structure were observed. Results for Hyalella simplex indicate significant differentiation in genetic structure in the Amphipod populations between watersheds and lower genetic diversity in the Róbalo River samples, which may be a result of instream dispersal barriers. Meridialaris chiloeense exhibited weak population structure but higher genetic diversity, which suggests this species is able to disperse widely as a winged adult.
Naturalistic Study of College Drinking
The prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorders is rapidly increasing among college students. The use of real time monitoring in conjunction with contingency management procedures to reduce alcohol consumption has only recently been developed. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to learn more about natural patterns of alcohol consumption in college-aged adults. A second goal was to evaluate a novel, handheld technology for obtaining reliable samples over extended time periods. College students were given a SoberLinkTM SL2 breathalyzer for eight weeks to monitor their drinking behaviors and asked to self-report the number of drinks consumed each day. Participants received one to three text messages per day to provide breath samples and earned monetary rewards for submitting samples within the allotted time. The results of this study showed that college students tend to consume alcohol during the evening hours and mostly on the weekends. There was a weak to medium correlation between average breath alcohol concentration and conditional average drinks. Compliance with prompts ranged between 77 and 84 percent and monetary earnings ranged between $152 and $160. Naturalistic observations of college drinking may aid in the development of interventions to prevent excessive drinking and the SL2 breathalyzer may have great potential to be used in a number of therapeutic approaches.
The Effects of a Parent Training Program that is Responsive to Current Repertoire and Affect
Social deficits are one of the defining symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and affect a child’s ability to build relationships with others. These deficits put children with autism at a disadvantage when most of their world is focused on building connections with others – family, friendships, and community ties. Sunny Starts, a service-learning project, was created to specifically meet the needs of families with young toddlers with autism. The primary focus of Sunny Starts is to enhance the quality of the parent-child relationship by teaching parents a basic teaching interaction and to arrange the child’s environment in ways that are mutually reinforcing. The purpose of this experiment is to study the effects of the Sunny Starts DANCE training package, a responsive parent training program, on three levels of parent and child behaviors: 1) teaching episodes, 2) turn taking, social attending, vocal requests, and 3) synchronous engagement. Participants included two parent-child dyads. Parent training included 5-minute video assessments, video review, descriptions, rationales, modeling, practice, and feedback. The effects of the parent training were evaluated using a concurrent multiple baseline across participants. Results indicate parent teaching episodes and child behaviors (turn taking, social attending, and verbal requests) increased during the intervention phase. The duration of parent-child synchronous engagement maintained at high levels and slightly increased.
The Study of Temporal and Spatial Variability of Degree Day Factor of Snowmelt in Colorado
Snowmelt is one of the major sources of surface water supply and ground-water recharge in high elevation areas and can also cause flooding in snow dominated watersheds. Direct estimation of daily snowmelt requires daily snow water equivalent (SWE) measurements that are not always available, especially in places without monitoring stations. There are two alternative approaches to modeling snowmelt without using direct measurements of SWE, temperature-based and energy-based models. Due to its simplicity, computational efficiency, and less input data requirement, the temperature-based method is commonly used than the energy-based method. In the temperature-index approach snowmelt is estimated as a linear function of average air temperature, and the slope of the linear function is called the degree-day factor (DDF). Hence, the DDF is an essential parameter for utilizing the temperature-based method to estimate snowmelt. Thereby, to analyze the spatial properties of DDF, 10 years DDF from the entire state of Colorado was calculated for this research. Likewise, to study the temporal properties, DDFs for 27 years from the White Yampa water basin and the Colorado Headwaters water basin were calculated. As a part of the spatial analysis, the calculated DDFs were correlated with spatial variables (slope, aspect, latitude and elevation) and a spatial correlation graph was created to observe the possibility of predicting DDF. Also a multivariate regression model was prepared using these spatial variables to predict the DDF using spatial variables. Further, the DDFs calculated from Colorado headwaters and the White Yampa water basins were correlated for annual temporal variation, daily variation, variation with peak snow water equivalent and variation with important temporal cycles like accumulation period and melting period of snowmelt. The result obtained from this study showed that the variability of DDF is more dependent upon temporal factors compared to the spatial factors. Also, the results showed that predicting ...
Causes of the Jewish Diaspora Revolt in Alexandria: Regional Uprisings from the Margins of Greco-Roman Society
This thesis examines the progression from relatively peaceful relations between Alexandrians and Jews under the Ptolemies to the Diaspora Revolt under the Romans. A close analysis of the literature evidences that the transition from Ptolemaic to Roman Alexandria had critical effects on Jewish status in the Diaspora. One of the most far reaching consequences of the shift from the Ptolemies to Romans was forcing the Alexandrians to participate in the struggle for imperial patronage. Alexandrian involvement introduced a new element to the ongoing conflict among Egypt’s Jews and native Egyptians. The Alexandrian citizens consciously cut back privileges the Jews previously enjoyed under the Ptolemies and sought to block the Jews from advancing within the Roman system. Soon the Jews were confronted with rhetoric slandering their civility and culture. Faced with a choice, many Jews forsook Judaism and their traditions for more upwardly mobile life. After the outbreak of the First Jewish War Jewish life took a turn for the worse. Many Jews found themselves in a system that classified them according to their heritage and ancestry, limiting advancement even for apostates. With the resulting Jewish tax (fiscus Judaicus) Jews were becoming more economically and socially marginalized. The Alexandrian Jews were a literate society in their own right, and sought to reverse their diminishing prestige with a rhetoric of their own. This thesis analyzes Jewish writings and pagan writings about the Jews, which evidences their changing socio-political position in Greco-Roman society. Increasingly the Jews wrote with an urgent rhetoric in attempts to persuade their fellow Jews to remain loyal to Judaism and to seek their rights within the construct of the Roman system. Meanwhile, tensions between their community and the Alexandrian community grew. In less than 100 years, from 30 CE to 117 CE, the Alexandrians attacked the Jewish community on ...
Hungering for Independence: The Relationship between Food and Morale in the Continental Army, 1775-1783
An adequate supply of the right kinds of foods is critical to an army's success on the march and on the battlefield. Good food supplies and a dire lack of provisions have profound effects on the regulation, confidence, esprit de corps, and physical state of an army. The American War of Independence (1775-1783) provides a challenging case study of this principle. The relationship between food and troop morale has been previously discussed as just one of many factors that contributed to the success of the Continental Army, but has not been fully explored as a single issue in its own right. I argue that despite the failures of three provisioning system adopted by the Continental Congress - the Commissariat, the state system of specific supplies, and the contract system - the army did keep up its morale and achieve the victory that resulted in independence from Great Britain. The evidence reveals that despite the poor provisioning, the American army was fed in the field for eight years thanks largely to its ability to forage for its food. This foraging system, if it can be called a system, was adequate to sustain morale and perseverance.
Forgotten Legacies: The U.S. Glider Pilot Training Program and Lamesa Field, Texas, During World War II
Rapidly initiated at the national, regional, and local levels, the American glider pilot training program came about due to a perceived need after successful German operations at the outset of World War II. Although the national program successfully produced the required number of pilots to facilitate combat operations, numerous changes and improvisation came to characterize the program. Like other American military initiatives in the twentieth century, the War Department applied massive amounts of effort, dollars, and time to a program that proved to be short-lived in duration because it was quickly discarded when new technologies appeared. At the local level, the real loser was Lamesa, Texas. Bearing the brunt of these changes by military decision makers, the citizens of Lamesa saw their hard-fought efforts to secure an airfield fall quickly by the wayside in the wake of changing national defense priorities. As generations continue to pass and memories gradually fade, it is important to document and understand the relationship between this military platform that saw limited action and a small Texas town that had a similarly short period of significance to train the pilots who flew the aircraft.
Identifying Breast Cancer Disparities in the African-American Community Using a Mixed Methods Approach
Utilizing a mixed methods approach in assessing cities and metropolitan areas with the highest rates of breast cancer disparities in African-American communities, this study presents the Affiliate perspective of the Susan G. Komen non-profit organization in combination with available socioeconomic data and academic literature. Analyzed through an anthropological lens, qualitative and quantitative data illuminate the lived experiences and dynamic circumstances in which breast cancer disparities are disproportionately experienced in 21 of the nation’s populations of African-Americans. Two main recommendations arose from this research: prioritization of granting to activities such as patient navigation, usage of patient narrative messaging, community-based participatory research methods of program development and implementation, mobile mammography delivery, usage of lay health educators, and self-advocacy education to alleviate barriers to healthcare and supplementation of the current educational activities of the Komen Affiliates through program sharing and leverage of current assets with consideration of current Affiliate capacity. These recommendations may help in alleviating breast cancer disparities present in African-American communities with the highest levels of disparities in the nation.
Understanding the Culture of Giving among Utility Fuel Fund Donors in Southern California
The Energy Assistance Fund (EAF) is a voluntary, nonprofit fuel fund that provides grants to income qualified utility customers in an effort to help those customers avoid electricity service disconnection. The administering utility and the energy industry as a whole is undergoing transformative change, resulting in a projected decrease of fundraising capacity for EAF among its most substantial donor pool - utility shareholders and employees. Utility customers represent a small percentage of EAF donors, despite the significant size of the customer base. Through a series of ethnographic interviews and secondary research, this thesis seeks to understand the demographics and motivations of utility customers who donate to EAF in order to help improve EAF’s fundraising strategy and donor solicitations to eventually grow customer donations. The goal of EAF is to maintain or grow donations from 2014 levels so the Fund can continue to serve income qualified customers facing energy poverty. This thesis provides a contextual review of fuel funds; challenges faced by the energy and utility industry; the politics and culture of energy; as well as nonprofit sector fundraising challenges and cultures/motivations of giving. This thesis includes client deliverables such as thick description of donor motivation, motivation themes and a donor motivation map, demographic data which could be used to target solicitations, and lastly a series of recommendations for EAF to improve its fundraising strategy.
"Deborah": The Creation of a Chamber Oratorio in One Act
In comparing oratorio traits across history, three aspects of oratorio were found to be particularly applicable to the creation of "Deborah: A Chamber Oratorio in One Act." These aspects were: the selection of topic and the creation or adaptation of text; the differences between recitative and aria, in form and function; and the level of stylistic diversity within a given work.
"Deva Plus Dog"
Deva Plus Dog is a look at the life of a teenage girl singularly devoted to the sport of dog agility. The film explores how relationships develop and evolve in the high stakes world of competition, and how an alternative lifestyle impacts a youth’s coming of age.
Highly Stretchable Miniature Strain Sensor for Large Dynamic Strain Measurement
This thesis aims to develop a new type of highly stretchable strain sensor to measure large deformation of a specimen subjected to dynamic loading. The sensor was based on the piezo-resistive response of carbon nanotube(CNT)/polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) composites thin films, some nickel particles were added into the sensor composite to improve the sensor performance. The piezo-resistive response of CNT composite gives high frequency response in strain measurement, while the ultra-soft PDMS matrix provides high flexibility and ductility for large strain measuring large strain (up to 26%) with an excellent linearity and a fast frequency response under quasi-static test, the delay time for high strain rate test is just 30 μs. This stretchable strain sensor is also able to exhibit much higher sensitivities, with a gauge factor of as high as 80, than conventional foil strain gauges.
A Sequential Analysis of Therapist and Child Social Behavior Following a Conditioned Reinforcement Procedure
We conducted a contingency analysis to evaluate if a sequential relation between social initiations and positive social responses increased for both therapists and children with autism following a conditioned reinforcement procedure. Participants included child-therapist dyads, which were previously identified as having low rapport. These dyads were observed prior to and following an intervention designed to establish therapists' social behavior as a reinforcer. Sessions consisted of unstructured play between the therapist and child. Results from a Yule's Q analysis show that both the child and adult positive responding to the others' social initiations increased following the intervention. Findings highlight the reciprocal effects of therapist-child interactions as well as the effectiveness of establishing social attention as a reinforcer via an operant discrimination training procedure.
Microstructural Phase Evolution In Laser Deposited Compositionally Graded Titanium-Chromium Alloys
A compositionally graded Ti-xCr (10≤x≤30 wt%) alloy has been fabricated using Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENSTM) to study the microstructural phase evolution along a compositional gradient in both as-deposited and heat treated conditions (1000°C followed by furnace cooling or air cooling). The alloys were characterized by SEM BSE imaging, XRD, EBSD, TEM and micro-hardness measurements to determine processing-structure-property relations. For the as-deposited alloy, α-Ti, β-Ti, and TiCr2 (C15 Laves) phases exist in varying phase fractions, which were influential in determining hardness values. With the furnace cooled alloy, there was more homogeneous nucleation of α phase throughout the sample with a larger phase fraction of TiCr2 resulting in increased hardness values. When compared to the air cooled alloy, there was absence of wide scale nucleation of α phase and formation of ω phase within the β phase due to the quicker cooling from elevated temperature. At lower concentrations of Cr, the kinetics resulted in a diffusionless phase transformation of ω phase with increased hardness and a lower phase fraction of TiCr2. In contrast at higher Cr concentrations, α phase separation reaction occurs where the β phase is spinodally decomposed to Cr solute-lean β1 and solute-rich β2 resulting in reduced hardness.
A New Lacunarity Analysis Add-In for ArcGIS
This thesis introduces a new lacunarity analysis add-in for ArcGIS
Performance Evaluation of UNT Apogee Stadium Wind Turbines
The following report chronicles the University of North Texas Wind Turbine Project at Apogee Stadium. The timeline of events will include the feasibility study conducted by and for the university, grant awards from the Texas State Energy Conservation Office to fund the project, and a three-year sample of real time performance data since installation. The purpose of this case study is to compare the energy generation estimates by various stakeholders to the measured energy generation using a new but uniform performance relationship. In order to optimize energy generation in wind turbine generator systems, the most common wind speeds measured at the site should also be the most efficient wind speeds at which the wind turbine can convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical energy and ultimately electrical energy. The tool used to convey this relationship will be a figure plotting the wind speed profile against the efficiency curve of the wind turbine. Applying this relationship tool to the UNT Apogee Stadium wind turbines provided valuable results. The most common wind speeds at Apogee Stadium are not the most efficient wind speed for the turbine. Also, the most common wind speeds were near the lower limit of the wind turbine’s performance parameters. This scenario was evident in both the energy generation predictions as well as the real-time recorded data. This case study will also present the economic analysis of the Apogee Stadium wind turbines using another tool that was not previously used in the feasibility study. The case study concludes with future steps to improve wind turbine performance, and to budget future cost using past, present and future energy savings.
Commercial Diplomacy: The Berlin-Baghdad Railway and Its Peaceful Effects on Pre-World War I Anglo-German Relations
Slated as an economic outlet for Germany, the Baghdad Railway was designed to funnel political influence into the strategically viable regions of the Near East. The Railway was also designed to enrich Germany's coffers with natural resources with natural resources and trade with the Ottomans, their subjects, and their port cities... Over time, the Railway became the only significant route for Germany to reach its "place in the sun," and what began as an international enterprise escalated into a bid for diplomatic influence in the waning Ottoman Empire.
Online Pornography and Its Effects on the Behavior of College Students
The primary goal of this study was to investigate the habits of college students who use pornography. The study was designed to collect data on the use of online pornography by college students. Through the use of an online survey, the study collected general demographic data and data on the frequency with which students used online pornography. The study also collected data on the general attitudes of college students towards online pornography. Participants consisted of students enrolled at the University of North Texas during the Spring 2016 semester. The participants of the study were contacted by an email requesting the student to respond to an online anonymous survey regarding their use of online pornography. The survey consisted of thirty questions and statements, primarily utilizing a five point Likert scale. Analysis of the data collected as well as a discussion of the findings are included.
Manhood in Spain: Feminine Perspectives of Masculinity in the Seventeenth Century
The question of decline in the historiography of seventeenth-century Spain originally included socio-economic analyses that determined the decline of Spain was an economic recession. Eventually, the historiographical debate shifted to include cultural elements of seventeenth-century Spanish society. Gender within the context of decline provides further insight into how the deterioration of the Spanish economy and the deterioration of Spanish political power in Europe affected Spanish self-perception. The prolific Spanish women writers, in addition, featured their points of view on manhood in their works and created a model of masculinity known as virtuous masculinity. They expected Spanish men to perform their masculine duties as protectors and providers both in public and in private. Seventeenth-century decline influenced how women viewed masculinity. Their new model of masculinity was based on ideas that male authors had developed, but went further by emphasizing men treating their wives well.
Implementation of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for New Generation Peterbilt Trucks
As science and technology continue to advance, innovative developments in transportation can enhance product safety and security for the benefit and welfare of society. The federal government requires every commercial truck to be inspected before each trip. This pre-trip inspection ensures the safe mechanical condition of each vehicle before it is used. An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) could be used to provide an automated inspection, thus reducing driver workload, inspection costs and time while increasing inspection accuracy. This thesis develops a primary component of the algorithm that is required to implement UAV pre-trip inspections for commercial trucks using an android-based application. Specifically, this thesis provides foundational work of providing stable height control in an outdoor environment using a laser sensor and an android flight control application that includes take-off, landing, throttle control, and real-time video transmission. The height algorithm developed is the core of this thesis project. Phantom 2 Vision+ uses a pressure sensor to calculate the altitude of the drone for height stabilization. However, these altitude readings do not provide the precision required for this project. Rather, the goal of autonomously controlling height with great precision necessitated the use of a laser rangefinder sensor in the development of the height control algorithm. Another major contribution from this thesis research is to extend the limited capabilities of the DJI software development kit in order to provide more sophisticated control goals without modifying the drone dynamics. The results of this project are also directly applicable to a number of additional uses of drones in the transportation industry.
The Effects of Neonicotinoid Exposure on Embryonic Development and Organ Mass in Northern Bobwhite Quail
Since their emergence in the early 1990s, neonicotinoid use has increased exponentially to make them the world's most prevalent insecticides. Although there is considerable research concerning the lethality of neonicotinoids, their sub-lethal and developmental effects are still being explored, especially with regards to non-mammalian species. The goal of this research was to investigate the effects of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid on the morphological and physiological development of northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus). Bobwhite eggs (n = 650) were injected with imidacloprid concentrations of 0 (sham), 10, 50, 100 and 150 grams per kilogram of egg mass, which was administered at day 0 (pre-incubation), 3, 6, 9, or 12 of growth. Embryos were dissected on day 19 when they were weighed, staged, and examined for any overt structural deformities. Embryonic heart, liver, lungs and kidneys were also weighed and preserved for future use. Treated embryos exhibited increased frequency of severely deformed beaks and legs, as well as larger hearts and smaller lungs at the higher dosing concentrations. Some impacts are more pronounced in specific dosing periods, implying that there may be critical windows of development when embryos are highly susceptible to neonicotinoid exposure. This investigation suggests that imidacloprid could play a significant role in chick survival and declining quail populations in treated regions of the country.
Field Validation of Zero Energy Lab Water-to-Water Ground Coupled Heat Pump Model
Heat pumps are a vital part of each building for their role in keeping the space conditioned for the occupant. This study focuses on developing a model for the ground-source heat pump at the Zero Energy lab at the University of North Texas, and finding the minimum data required for generating the model. The literature includes many models with different approaches to determine the performance of the heat pump. Each method has its pros and cons. In this research the equation-fit method was used to generate a model based on the data collected from the field. Two experiments were conducted for the cooling mode: the first one at the beginning of the season and the second one at the peak of the season to cover all the operation conditions. The same procedure was followed for the heating mode. The models generated based on the collected data were validated against the experiment data. The error of the models was within ±10%. The study showed that the error could be reduced by 20% to 42% when using the field data to generate the model instead of the manufacturer’s catalog data. Also it was found that the minimum period to generate the cooling mode model was two days and two hours from each experiment, while for the heating mode it was four days and two hours from each experiment.
Facilitating Positive Relationships between Foreign-Born Providers and Their Patients in South Central Pennsylvania
Foreign-born providers make up over a quarter of the physician workforce nationally. Patients in south central Pennsylvania are primarily white with limited interaction with foreigners which can produce barriers to communication and trust. This study proposes practical steps for building positive relationships between patients and their foreign-born providers. Ethnographic methods were used to interview and survey patients and providers about the relationships between foreign-born providers and patients, primarily in the Summit Health system. The results of the study provide a framework of how trust is built between patients and providers in general, suggest additional actions for foreign-born providers, and propose ways patients can do their part to achieve a positive relationship with their provider. While much of the literature on cultural competence is in the context of patients who are from minority ethnicities, this study adds to the body of research by also considering the providers as part of minority groups.
Social Anxiety and Non-Medical Prescription Stimulant Use among College Students
Current evidence suggests that non-medical prescription stimulant (NMPS) use is on the rise, particularly among college students. Identifying individuals at risk for regular and problematic use is a critical step towards the development of effective intervention efforts. A growing body of work has noted that individuals with elevated levels of social anxiety (SA) or social anxiety disorder are at an enhanced risk for developing substance use problems, including NMPS use disorder. Despite the relevance of SA and NMPS use among college students, no studies have attempted to examine subclinical SA or the relation between SA and NMPS use among college students specifically. Thus, the present study sought to extend this area by testing the relation of SA symptoms and NMPS use frequency among college students. A large online study of college students was conducted (N=1604) to identify 252 NMPS users (18-25 years; 68.3% female). A hierarchical linear regression was used to test the moderation of positive prescription stimulant expectancies on SA symptoms in predicting past year NMPS use frequency. A subsample of 15 participants was also brought into the lab to assess subjective (State Anxiety) and physiological (salivary cortisol) responding to a social stressor task. Overall, the current study did not provide evidence that SA, via retrospective self-report or real-time responding was related to past year NMPS use frequency. Additional research is needed to resolve the discrepancies between the present findings and prior work.
Adhesion and Surface Energy Profiles of Large-area Atomic Layers of Two-dimensional MoS2 on Rigid Substrates by Facile Methods
Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) show great potential for the future electronics, optoelectronics and energy applications. But, the studies unveiling their interactions with the host substrates are sparse and limits their practical use for real device applications. We report the facile nano-scratch method to determine the adhesion energy of the wafer scale MoS2 atomic layers attached to the SiO2/Si and sapphire substrates. The practical adhesion energy of monolayer MoS2 on the SiO2/Si substrate is 7.78 J/m2. The practical adhesion energy was found to be an increasing function of the MoS2 thickness. Unlike SiO2/Si substrates, MoS2 films grown on the sapphire possess higher bonding energy, which is attributed to the defect-free growth and less number of grain boundaries, as well as less stress and strain stored at the interface owing to the similarity of Thermal Expansion Coefficient (TEC) between MoS2 films and sapphire substrate. Furthermore, we calculated the surface free energy of 2D MoS2 by the facile contact angle measurements and Neumann model fitting. A surface free energy ~85.3 mJ/m2 in few layers thick MoS2 manifests the hydrophilic nature of 2D MoS2. The high surface energy of MoS2 helps explain the good bonding strength at MoS2/substrate interface. This simple adhesion energy and surface energy measurement methodology could further apply to other TMDs for their widespread use.
Feasibility of a New Technique to Determine Dynamic Tensile Behavior of Brittle Materials
Dynamic tensile characterization of geo-materials is critical to the modeling and design of protective structures that are often made of concrete. One of the most commonly used techniques currently associated with this type of testing is performed with a Kolsky bar and is known as the spall technique. The validity of the data from the spall technique is highly debated because the necessary boundary conditions for the experiment are not satisfied. By using a technique called pulse shaping, a new “controlled” spall technique was developed to satisfy all boundary conditions so that the analyzed data may be useful in modeling and design. The results from this project were promising and show the potential to revolutionize the way Kolsky bar testing is performed.
“Just Tell Me the Truth”: Understanding Health Risks and Community Perspectives in Karnes County, Texas, an Oil and Gas Community
Using ethnographic research methods, I collaborated with the organization Earthworks to conduct a community assessment on the health issues related to the air quality in Karnes County, Texas, an oil and gas community. The research consisted of in-depth interviews with residents on their experiences and knowledge on the health issues associated to air quality. This research is going to be used to inform the community and develop strategies to empower community members in improving their environmental conditions.
Exploring Analog and Digital Design Using the Open-Source Electric VLSI Design System
The design of VLSI electronic circuits can be achieved at many different abstraction levels starting from system behavior to the most detailed, physical layout level. As the number of transistors in VLSI circuits is increasing, the complexity of the design is also increasing, and it is now beyond human ability to manage. Hence CAD (Computer Aided design) or EDA (Electronic Design Automation) tools are involved in the design. EDA or CAD tools automate the design, verification and testing of these VLSI circuits. In today’s market, there are many EDA tools available. However, they are very expensive and require high-performance platforms. One of the key challenges today is to select appropriate CAD or EDA tools which are open-source for academic purposes. This thesis provides a detailed examination of an open-source EDA tool called Electric VLSI Design system. An excellent and efficient CAD tool useful for students and teachers to implement ideas by modifying the source code, Electric fulfills these requirements. This thesis' primary objective is to explain the Electric software features and architecture and to provide various digital and analog designs that are implemented by this software for educational purposes. Since the choice of an EDA tool is based on the efficiency and functions that it can provide, this thesis explains all the analysis and synthesis tools that electric provides and how efficient they are. Hence, this thesis is of benefit for students and teachers that choose Electric as their open-source EDA tool for educational purposes.
Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms During Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study of The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysfunction
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related disorder that may develop in response to traumatic or stressful events. Dysfunction of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the disorder. Studies support such dysfunction as being a consequence of PTSD, rather than a precursor. However, most studies of the HPA are either cross-sectional or have been carried out in adults. The aim of the present study was to identify whether HPA dysregulation interacts with stressful experiences to increase the likelihood of developing PTSD symptoms in a community-recruited sample of healthy adolescent girls. Adolescent girls (N = 550) and one of their parents participated. Adolescents’ clinical symptoms were assessed at baseline and at a nine month follow-up. Saliva samples were collected from all adolescent participants at waking, 30 minutes after waking, and 8 pm on 3 consecutive days. Flattened diurnal slope of cortisol at baseline was associated with increased PTSD symptoms nine months later. Baseline cortisol awakening response (CAR) per se was not prospectively related to developing PTSD symptoms, but its interactions with stressful experience was associated with elevated PTSD symptoms at follow-up. Effects were small and need to be replicated in samples with more severe stressors, as well as more clinical levels of PTSD. Nevertheless, findings suggest that dysregulated basal HPA functioning may be involved in the development of PTSD symptoms.
Addressing Social Elements of Wildfire: Risk, Response, and Recovery in Highland Village, TX
Representatives of the City of Highland Village expressed concern over the risk of wildfires for their community. Anthropology provides many tools for and examples of disaster assessment of preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. These tools combined with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can provide a holistic, cultural ecological look at how such a disaster may take place in the city. The project's methods included a detailed survey of preparedness steps which was analyzed using SPSS and also imported into ArcGIS for spatial analysis, and semi-formal, in-depth interviews with residents of the community regarding preparedness, response, and recovery. Residents fell into a middle category of preparedness, with the majority of participants considering or implementing a few recommended preparedness steps. Interview participants expressed respect for and trust of the city and first-responders, as well as a willingness to volunteer their help during response and recovery stages. Finally the American Community Survey showed that resident socioeconomic vulnerability was considerably low, and no action needed to be taken to advocate for at-risk individuals. Overall, the City of Highland Village showed a high resiliency to disaster. A wildfire likely will not have a major impact on the community as a whole, though the city may reduce the impact even further by informing the public of their risk, clearing natural areas of dead brush, sharing preparedness and evacuation information via social media and newsletters, and planning relief stations for those who may have been impacted.
Carnaval, grotesco y dialogismo en las zarzuelas de Pablo Sorozábal
In the present study, the three principal theories of Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin--the carnavalesque, grotesque, and dialogical--are applied to the musical-theatre genre of the Spanish zarzuela. The focus of the study centers on the works of composer Pablo Sorozábal and the various librettists who collaborated with him, among them the renowned literary author Pío Baroja. Within this study, zarzuela is first analyzed on its own in terms of the academic debate surrounding the genre and its importance in terms of both literary and musical criticism. After establishing the particular capacity of the zarzuela to make important cultural contributions, the central theoretical framework of the thesis is established via Bakhtinian theory, and several links are drawn between this theory and the genre of the zarzuela, which is shown to be a body of work often capable of conveying subversive messages, both cultural and sociopolitical. With this critical lens, then, the specific sociopolitical context of Spain between 1931-1942 is analyzed and described in order to illustrate the various extratextual and intertextual elements at play in Sorozábal's zarzuelas. The three works ultimately studied are Katiuska (1931), Adiós a la bohemia (1933), and Black, el payaso (1942). By way of highlighting the Bakhtinian characteristics at play in these three zarzuelas, the composer's intention to challenge and criticize Spain's sociopolitical reality, including Francoist dictatorship, is revealed, illustrating the capacity of the zarzuela to challenge and transgress existing norms--an aspect that many critics have failed to recognize in the genre up to the present day.
Hurricane Storm Surge Sedimentation on the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, Texas: Implications for Coastal Marsh Aggradation
This study uses the storm surge sediment beds deposited by Hurricanes Audrey (1957), Carla (1961), Rita (2005) and Ike (2008) to investigate spatial and temporal changes in sedimentation rates on the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Texas. Fourteen sediment cores were collected along a transect extending from 90 to 1230 meters inland from the Gulf Coast. Storm-surge-deposited sediment beds were identified by texture, organic content, carbonate content, the presence of marine microfossils, and Cesium-137 dating. The hurricane-derived sediment beds are marker horizons that facilitate assessment of marsh sedimentation rates from nearshore to inland locations as well as over decadal to annual timescales. Near the shore, on a Hurricane Ike washover fan, where hurricane-derived sedimentation has increased elevation by up to 0.68 m since 2005, there was no measurable marsh sedimentation in the period 2008-2014. Farther inland, at lower elevations, sedimentation for the period 2008-2014 averaged 0.36 cm per year. The reduction in sedimentation in the period 2008-2014 on the nearshore part of the marsh is likely due to reduced flooding in response to increased elevation from hurricane storm surge sediment deposition. These results provide valuable knowledge about the sedimentary response of coastal marshes subject to storm surge deposition and useful guidance to public policy aimed at combating the effects of sea level rise on coastal marshes along the Gulf of Mexico.
Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia in Student Veterans' Adaptation to College
Since 2002, the number of veterans enrolled in universities has nearly doubled, although 30-40% of veterans fail to complete their degree. While research efforts to understand the challenges veterans face transitioning from military life to college has increased in recent years, few studies have looked beyond the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Insomnia is the most frequently reported symptom of combat veterans and can have serious implications for college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of insomnia and student veteran adaptation to college relative to civilian students. College students (N = 588) were administered a Background Information Questionnaire, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory, and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire. Results revealed that students with insomnia reported significantly lower adaptation to college than students without insomnia. Student veterans reported better academic and personal-emotional adaptation to college than civilian students, while civilians reported better social adjustment than veterans. Although combat veterans without insomnia scored consistently higher academic adjustment than non-combat veterans and civilian students, when present insomnia seemed to have a greater negative effect on combat veterans’ academic adjustment relative to civilian students. Furthermore, insomnia mediated the relationship between combat exposure and veteran’s personal-emotional adjustment to college. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.
The Landscape Legacies of Gas Drilling in North Texas
In North Texas, the Barnett Shale underlies large areas of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW), which magnifies debates about the externalities of shale gas development (SGD). Continued demand for natural gas and expansive urbanization in DFW will cause more people to come in contact with drilling rigs, gas transport, and other urban shale gas landscapes. Thousands of gas wells within the DFW region occupy a large, yet scattered land surface area. DFW city planners, elected officials, and other stakeholders must deal with current and future urban growth and the surface impacts that are associated with gas development. This research examines how shale gas landscapes affect urban land uses, landscapes, and patterns of development in DFW. The study focuses on multiple fast growing DFW municipalities that also have high numbers of gas well pad sites. This study asks what are the spatial characteristics of gas well production sites in DFW and how do these sites vary across the region; how do gas well production sites affect urban growth and development; and how are city governments and surface developers responding to gas well production sites, and what are the dominant themes of contestation arising around gas well production sites and suburban growth?
An Empirical Study of How Novice Programmers Use the Web
Students often use the web as a source of help for problems that they encounter on programming assignments.In this work, we seek to understand how students use the web to search for help on their assignments.We used a mixed methods approach with 344 students who complete a survey and 41 students who participate in a focus group meetings and helped in recording data about their search habits.The survey reveals data about student reported search habits while the focus group uses a web browser plug-in to record actual search patterns.We examine the results collectively and as broken down by class year.Survey results show that at least 2/3 of the students from each class year rely on search engines to locate resources for help with their programming bugs in at least half of their assignments;search habits vary by class year;and the value of different types of resources such as tutorials and forums varies by class year.Focus group results exposes the high frequency web sites used by the students in solving their programming assignments.
Transient Delete: Original Composition with a Critical Examination of the Compositional Process and a Survey of Digital Technology in Opera
This paper explores various technologies available to the modern composer and utilized in recent modern opera, providing creative approaches to producing aural, visual, and theatrical performance environments. It also explores my own use of digital technology in Transient Delete. Transient Delete is a digital miniature-opera that explores different aspects of a community of post-human cyborgs. The story follows Iméra, a newly converted cyborg as she acclimates herself to this new cybernetic existence. During this process she meets several other cybernetic entities that are there to help guide her through her metamorphosis.
Stress, Spirituality and Self-Esteem: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in an LGB Sample
In the current study, we aimed to explore the relationship between perceived stress, spirituality and self-esteem and how they are related to psychological QOL. We found that our overall model accounted for 58% of the total variance in psychological QOL (adj. R2 = .58, F(10, 136) = 21.79, p < .001) with stress (β = -.37, p < .01) and self-esteem (β = .45, p < .01) as the significant predictors. Additionally we found that spiritual beliefs and practices moderate the relationship between stress and QOL (adj. R2= .49, F(11, 135) = 13.88, p < .001). Lastly, we conducted a principle component analysis (PCA) on our three variables of interest and outcome variable to determine whether the proposed structure of our measures holds true for our sample (i.e., LGB populations).
Monsters Like Us: Reexamining “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” Through the Decades
The purpose of this paper is to examine the multiple versions of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" in concert and determine the reason for their continued presence in the American cultural landscape. To do so I will look at the novel and four films and examine the context in which they were created. In reexamining the novel and films, a central theme begins to emerge: interiority. Fear in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" moves from an external to an internal threat. The bodily locus of the monstrous other has been re-purposed and re-projected outward. The internal nature of the monstrous threat is displayed in the narrative’s use of production and distribution, mental health professionals, pseudo-families, and the vilification of sleep. Finally, this paper will examine the studio influence on the various films and their impact on the relative endings.
Exploring Inorganic Catalysis with Electronic Structure Simulations
Organometallic catalysis has attracted significant interest from both industry and academia due to its wide applications in organic synthetic transformations. Example of such transformations include the reaction of a zinc carbenoid with olefins to form cyclopropanes. The first project is a computational study using both density functional and correlated wavefunction methods of the reaction between ethylene and model zinc carbenoid, nitrenoid and oxenoid complexes (L-Zn-E-X, E = CH2, NH or O, L = X = I or Cl). It was shown that cyclopropanation of ethylene with IZnCH2I and aziridination of ethylene with IZnNHI proceed via a single-step mechanism with an asynchronous transition state. The reaction barrier for the aziridination with IZnNHI is lower than that of cyclopropanation. Changing the leaving group of IZnNHI from I to Cl, changes the mechanism of the aziridination reaction to a two-step pathway. The calculation results from the epoxidation with IZnOI and ClZnOCl oxenoids suggest a two-step mechanism for both oxenoids. Another important example of organometallic catalysis is the formation of alkyl arenes from arenes and olefins using transition metal catalysis (olefin hydroarylation). We studied with DFT methods the mechanism of a novel Rh catalyst (FlDAB)Rh(TFA)(η2–C2H4) [FlDAB = N,N’ -bis(pentafluorophenyl)-2,3-dimethyl-1,4-diaza-1,3-butadiene; TFA = trifluoroacetate] that converts benzene, ethylene and air-recyclable Cu(II) oxidants to styrene. Possible mechanisms are discussed.
A Behaviorally Planned Community of Practice: A Description and Evaluation of one Area of Staff Development
Staff training packages combining instructions, modeling, practice, and feedback have been shown to be effective in demonstrating skills to work in early intensive behavioral intervention, but maintenance and generalization of the skills trained are often not addressed. Establishing a community of practice, in which staff members continue to learn and develop new skill sets from one another through shared experiences and information, may lead to the endurance and maintenance of desired staff behavior over time. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the effects of a behaviorally designed community of practice on staff use of socially embedded consequences. The effects of the training procedure were evaluated using a concurrent multiple baseline design across two sites (7 staff members). The results suggest that the behaviorally planned community of practice was effective in reinforcing and maintaining staff use of socially embedded consequences for at least 5 to 9 weeks. Additionally, the number of learning opportunities provided by the staff and social engagement between staff and child increased.
Investigating the Impact of Patient-Provider Communication on HIV Treatment Adherence
Today over 1.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States; over the last 4 decades mortality rates have decreased largely made in part because of advancement in awareness and treatment options. Treatment adherence has long been considered a vital component in decreasing HIV/AIDS related mortality and has proven to reduce the risk of transmission. However not all patients take their medicine as prescribed. This research study, sponsored by The North Central Texas HIV Planning Council explored how Patient and Provider communication impacted treatment adherence. By utilizing a mixed-methods approach survey data and semi-structured interviews were used to collect insights from both Patients and Providers. Data gleaned through the interview process provided a perspective that could not be captured by using quantitative methods alone. The results from this research yielded multiple themes related to patient and provider communication with recommendations as to how The North Central Texas HIV Planning Council could address treatment adherence, such as Providers focus on Patients perceived severity based on their understanding of disease and illness; that side-effects remain a concern for patients and should not be dismissed; and finally that the word AIDS is perceived to be more stigmatized and as such organizations providing HIV/AIDS related services should explore alternative names where the word AIDS in not included.
Evaluating the Pulse Sensor as a Low-Cost and Portable Measurement of Blood Pulse Waveform
This study was aimed at determining whether the digital volume pulse waveform using the Pulse Sensor can be used to extract features related to arterial compliance. The Pulse Sensor, a low-cost photoplethysmograph, measures green light reflection in the finger and generates output, which is indicative of blood flow and can be read by the low-cost Arduino UNO™. The Pulse Sensor code was modified to increase the sampling frequency and to capture the data in a file, which is subsequently used for waveform analysis using programs written in the R system. Waveforms were obtained using the Pulse Sensor during two 30-s periods of seated rest, in each of 44 participants, who were between the ages of 20 and 80 years. For each cardiac cycle, the first four derivatives of the waveform were calculated and low-pass filtered by convolution before every differentiation step. The program was written to extract 19 features from the pulse waveform and its derivatives. These features were selected from those that have been reported to relate to the physiopathology of hemodynamics. Results indicate that subtle features of the pulse waveform can be calculated from the fourth derivative. Feature misidentification occurred in cases of saturation or low voltage and resulted in outliers; therefore, trimmed means of the features were calculated by automatically discarding the outliers. There was a high efficiency of extraction for most features. Significant relationships were found between several of the features and age, and systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure, suggesting that these features might be employed to predict arterial compliance. Further improvements in experimental design could lead to a more detailed evaluation of the Pulse Sensor with respect to its capability to predict factors related to arterial compliance.
AirSniffer: A Smartphone-Based Sensor Module for Personal Micro-Climate Monitoring
Environmental factors can have a significant impact on an individual's health and well-being, and a primary characteristic of environments is air quality. Air sensing equipment is available to the public, but it is often expensive,stationary, or unusable for persons without technical expertise. The goal of this project is to develop an inexpensive and portable sensor module for public use. The system is capable of measuring temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit, heat index, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration. The sensor module, referred to as the "sniffer," consists of a printed circuit board that interconnects a carbon dioxide sensor, a temperature/humidity sensor, an Arduino microcontroller, and a Bluetooth module. The sniffer is small enough to be worn as a pendant or a belt attachment, and it is rugged enough to consistently collect and transmit data to a user's smartphone throughout their workday. The accompanying smartphone app uses Bluetooth and GPS hardware to collect data and affix samples with a time stamp and GPS coordinates. The accumulated sensor data is saved to a file on the user's phone, which is then examined on a standard computer.
"The Great Hanging"
"The Great Hanging" is a documentary film that tells the story of the largest extra-legal mass hanging in U.S. History. This story is told through stage play recital of "October Mourning" written by historian and professor Dr. Pat Ledbetter. Using the stage play as a vehicle, the film showcases cinematic re-enactments based in the events in Gainesville, Texas during October 1862. These events show how a small community became overwhelmed by the fog of war and delved into madness as the Civil War crept closer and closer to their doorstep.
Why Breastfeed? Understanding the Factors that Influence Women to Breastfeed in Southeast Fort Worth
Today breastfeeding is a common conversation with the ever-growing holistic movement and the effort to 'go green' as demonstrated by the proliferation of the organic food industry in recent years within the United States. Breastfeeding may reduce poor health outcomes including infant morbidity and mortality. Infant mortality is a priority in Tarrant County within southeast Fort Worth as defined by this project’s client Healthy Moms – Healthy Babies – Healthy Community. The purpose of this research was to identify the contextual factors that influence breastfeeding decisions among the zip codes in southeast Fort Worth in which infant mortality is greatest. In analysis of the data among breastfeeding mothers and stakeholders, support was the greatest contribution to successful breastfeeding.
Russian Peasant Women's Resistance Against the State during the Antireligious Campaigns of 1928-1932
This study seeks to explore the role of peasant women in resistance to the antireligious campaigns during collectivization and analyze how the interplay of the state and resistors formed a new culture of religion in the countryside. I argue that while the state’s succeeded in controlling most of the public sphere, peasant women, engaging in subversive activities and exploiting the state’s ideology, succeeded in preserving a strong peasant adherence to religion prior to World War II. It was peasant women’s determination and adaptation that thwarted the party’s goal of nation-wide atheism.
Developing Policy for a Tech Program Based on Understanding Organizational Practices
This thesis contributes to research that informs the studies of organizational management and organizational anthropology. It examines the internal hierarchy and organizational practices of a Tech Company and describes how findings contributed to policy recommendations aimed towards supporting a “guild” model for organizational success. The data collecting and research were undertaken while working as an employee of the Tech Program and subsequent analysis continued past the end of that phase of work. Methods included semi-structured interviews which captured the sentiments and understandings of employees within the organization, and a questionnaire which revealed sentiments and experiences from former employees. These were buttressed with participant observation engaged through a participatory action research methodology. Findings add to the work directed towards understanding the effect of Founder’s Syndrome within organizations. Additionally, this thesis contributes to a growing body of research centered on best practices for fostering positive organizational growth by creating lines of communication from front-line employees to management level employers.
The Usage of Clitic Pronouns and the Influence of the Definite Article in Spanish among Spanish-Quechua Bilinguals in Peru
This study focuses on the clitic pronoun usage by Spanish-Quechua bilingual speakers in Cuzco, Peru when faced with a question that includes a definite article preceding the direct object. Answers are analyzed to determine whether or not the definite article has an effect on the presence or absence of the clitic pronoun. Direct objects tested were both [+human] and [-human] objects to determine if these variables affect clitic pronoun use as well. Speakers who have identified themselves as bilingual in both Spanish and Quechua were given a survey to complete in order to see what factors may contribute to the use or omission of the clitic pronouns.
Ozone Pollution of Shale Gas Activities in North Texas
The effect of shale gas activities on ground-level ozone pollution in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is studied in detail here. Ozone is a highly reactive species with harmful effects on human and environment. Shale gas development, or fracking, involves activities such as hydraulic fracturing, drilling, fluid mixing, and trucks idling that are sources of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC), two of the most important precursors of ozone. In this study two independent approaches have been applied in evaluating the influences on ozone concentrations. In the first approach, the influence of meteorology were removed from ozone time series through the application of Kolmogorov-Zurbenko low-pass filter, logarithmic transformation, and subsequent multi-linear regression. Ozone measurement data were acquired from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) monitoring stations for 14 years. The comparison between ozone trends in non-shale gas region and shale gas region shows increasing ozone trends at the monitoring stations in close proximity to the Barnett Shale activities. In the second approach, the CAMx photochemical model was used to assess the sensitivity of ozone to the NOX and VOC sources associated with shale oil and gas activities. Brute force method was applied on Barnett Shale and Haynesville Shale emission sources to generate four hypothetical scenarios. Ozone sensitivity analysis was performed for a future year of 2018 and it was based on the photochemical simulation that TCEQ had developed for demonstrating ozone attainment under the State Implementation Plan (SIP). Results showed various level of ozone impact at different locations within the DFW region attributed to area and point sources of emissions in the shale region. Maximum ozone impact due to shale gas activities is expected to be in the order of several parts per billion, while lower impacts on design values were predicted. The results from the photochemical modeling can ...
Understanding Road User Interaction: An Exploratory Ethnographic Study Toward the Design of Autonomous Vehicles
This thesis contributes to research that informs the design of autonomous vehicles (AVs). It examines interactions among various types of road users, such as pedestrians and drivers, and describes how findings can contribute to the design of AVs. The work was undertaken as part of a research internship at Nissan Research Center-Silicon Valley on the Human Understanding in Design team. Methods included video ethnography “travel-alongs” which captured the experience of travel from the point of view of drivers and pedestrians, analysis of interaction patterns taken from video of intersections, and analysis of road laws. Findings address the implications of what it will mean for AVs to exist as social entities in a world of varied road contexts, and how AVs might navigate the social act of driving on roads they share with a variety of human users. This thesis contributes to an emerging body of research and application on the subject of the AV in the world.