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The Effects of Glyphosate Based Herbicides on Chick Embryo Development

Description: Glyphosate based herbicides are among the most widely used herbicides in the world. The purpose of this study was to determine developmental toxicity of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the common herbicide Roundup, on developing chicken embryos. Few studies have examined toxic effects of glyphosate alone versus the full compound formulations of Roundup, which include adjuvants and surfactants. Adjutants and surfactants are added to aid in solubility and absorption of glyphosate. In this study chicken embryos were exposed at the air cell on embryonic day 6 to 19.8 or 9.9 mg / Kg egg mass of glyphosate in Roundup or glyphosate only. Chickens treated with 19.8 and 9.9 mg / Kg glyphosate in Roundup showed significant reduction in survivability compared to glyphosate alone treatments and controls. On embryonic day 18, embryos were sacrificed for evaluation of developmental toxicity using wet embryo mass, dry embryo mass, and yolk mass as indicators. Morphology measurements were taken on liver mass, heart mass, tibiotarsus length and beak length. Embryos treated with 19.8 mg / Kg glyphosate and 9.9 mg / Kg glyphosate in Roundup showed significant reductions in wet and dry embryo mass and yolk mass. Tibiotarsus length in 9.9 mg / Kg glyphosate in Roundup treatments were significantly reduced compared to 9.9 mg / Kg glyphosate treatments. Beak length was significantly reduced in 9.9 mg /Kg glyphosate in Roundup treatments compared to all other groups.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Winnick, Blake Edward
Partner: UNT Libraries

Intimate Partner Homicide Rates in Chicago, 1988 to 1992: a Modified General Strain Theory Approach

Description: Using data from the Chicago Homicide Dataset for years 1988-1992 and the Chicago Community Area Demographics, multiple regression and mediation analysis are used to examine various community level factors’ impact on Intimate Partner Homicide (IPH) rates per Chicago community area. The relationship between the percentage of non-white and IPH rate per Chicago community area is significant and positive, but disappears once economic strain is taken into account, as well as when family disruption is included in the model. There is a weak, but positive relationship between population density and IPH rates, but neither economic strain nor family disruption mediates the relationship between population density and IPH rates. Economic deprivation is positively related to IPH rates, but economic strain and family disruption partially mediate the relationship between economic deprivation and IPH rates. Finally, the relationship between the percentage of males aged 30-59 and IPH rates per community area in Chicago is moderately negative, but this relationship disappears once economic strain is accounted for in the model. However, family disruption does not mediate the relationship between the percentage of males aged 30-59 and IPH rates. These results indicate that some structural covariates impact IPH rates and that some relationships are mediated by economic strain and family disruption. These results also lend support to a modified approach to general strain theory (GST). More research is necessary to validate these results.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Johnson, Natalie Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Similar Approach with Different Results: the Use of Baroque Elements in Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne (1933), Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata in G Major, Op 134 (1968) and Schnittke’s Suite in the Old Style (1972)

Description: Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) and Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) were three of the most important avant-garde Russian composers of the twentieth century. Even though their music shares a number of important traits, their work also reflects very individualized and distinct compositional styles. This study illustrates the similarities in their approach and the contrasting elements present in three selected pieces: Stravinsky´s Suite Italienne for Violin and Piano (1933), Shostakovich’s Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 134 (1968), and Schnittke’s Suite in the Old Style for Violin and Piano (Harpsichord) (1972). The study disseminates Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Schnittke’s musical influences in these works, focusing particularly in the use of baroque elements by tracing a number of important aspects from their backgrounds. In addition, a chronological outline of compositions containing baroque elements is provided. Finally, this research examines stylistic traits of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the three selected compositions: Suite Italienne, Violin Sonata, Op. 134, and Suite in the Old Style.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Oh, Hyun Sun
Partner: UNT Libraries

Revisioning a Masterpiece: Jon Magnussen’s “Psalm”

Description: In 2001, composer Jon Magnussen met the unusual challenge of unifying his new score for Psalm, an already-existing dance work from 1967, with the original artistic conceit of the choreographer, José Limón, who died in 1972. Limón was inspired directly by his reading of André Schwartz-Bart’s Holocaust novel, The Last of the Just, and had initially desired to use Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms as the score for the dance. Faced with cost-preclusive licensing fees for the Stravinksy, Limón engaged Eugene Lester to compose a score for Psalm. The Lester score, now lost, served the work for only a brief time, when the piece fell out of the repertory. When approached to create a new score for the extant dance work, Magnussen chose to draw his own influence from three works: the dance itself, Schwartz-Bart’s novel, and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. In addition, Limón Company Artistic Director Carla Maxwell served as Magnussen’s collaborator in reworking Psalm to resemble the work she believed Limón had desired all along. Magnussen’s influence from Stravinsky and Schwartz-Bart are revealed in the choices of text, the scored forces, and melodic ideas generated by the composer by mapping the names of significant Holocaust sites onto scalar patterns. Limón’s memoir, personal articles, and sketches of artistic ideas along with personal interviews with Magnussen and Maxwell will inform my research. These sources easily establish Magnussen as a significant composer, and Psalm as a significant work of art; its value is reflected in the careful confluence of the artistic contributions of three significant artists, Limón, Schwartz-Bart, and Magnussen.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Burnett, Jason
Partner: UNT Libraries

Surface Modifications to Enhance the Wear Resistance and the Osseo-integration Properties of Biomedical Ti-alloy

Description: The current study focuses on improving the wear resistance of femoral head component and enhancing the osseo-integration properties of femoral stem component of a hip implant made of a new generation low modulus alloy, Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta or TNZT. Different techniques that were adopted to improve the wear resistance of low-modulus TNZT alloy included; (a) fabrication of graded TNZT-xB (x= 0, 1, 2 wt%) samples using LENS, (b) oxidation, and (c) LASER nitriding of TNZT. TNZT-1B and TNZT-O samples have shown improved wear resistance when tested against UHMWPE ball in SBF medium. A new class of bio-ceramic coatings based on calcium phosphate (CaP), was applied on the TNZT sample surface and was further laser processed with the objective of enhancing their osseo-integration properties. With optimized LASER parameters, TNZT-CaP samples have shown improved corrosion resistance, surface wettability and cellular response when compared to the base TNZT sample.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kami, Pavani
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examination of Contributing Factors for Successful Postsecondary Transitions to Institutions of Higher Education for Youth with High-incidence Disabilities

Description: Transitions are a natural part of life. Youth grow and develop physically, socially, psychologically, and intellectually during primary and secondary school years. The transition from secondary to postsecondary education is an important transition as youth not only move from high school to college, but also from adolescence to young adulthood. It is a time when young adults naturally desire to become more independent in pursuit of their personal dreams and aspirations. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that academic, psychological, and social factors on youth with high-incidence disabilities as they strive to make successful postsecondary education transitions. Current trends indicate youth with high-incidence disabilities are graduating from high school and are attending vocational schools, colleges, and universities in increasing numbers. Transition barriers still limit many youth who could otherwise attend institutions of higher education regardless of disability type. Findings suggest academic and psychological factors most significantly predict successful postsecondary education transitions. Recommendations for improved transition planning and parental training are suggested.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Collins, Emerald R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Veterans’ Service Experiences in Healthcare: a Self-service Technology Orientation

Description: This work focuses on how to improve medical services for veterans in a manner that will result in high levels of satisfaction and attainment of needed services. This research assess how veterans access healthcare and receive service. The problem to be addressed relates to reports by veteran healthcare organizations regarding the presence of gaps in coverage and customer service disparities in healthcare. Common concerns involve the gaps between veterans’ expectations for services and the provided services. This study created a survey instrument that contextualized components of established scales along with demographics and constructs specific to the current study. This study assessed the relationships among a variety of constructs and dimensions with healthcare expectations and service quality using a series of simple regressions. The results showed a statistically significant relationship between quality and the use or intention to use technology. The study supports the contention that respondents are willing to use self-service technologies. Technology that incorporates digital devices into healthcare services offers an opportunity to bridge service gaps and holds a promise for giving veterans faster access to service and care in a beneficial manner.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Robertson, Rachael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Gender, Peace and Democracy

Description: In the last several decades there has been immense international emphasis and promotion of gender equality and female participation in the social, economic, and political spheres of society. There has also been an increase in civil conflict recurrence in countries as well as countries transitioning to democracy. This study explores the effect of female participation on peace and democracy. In the first part, I focus on the effect female participation has on decreasing the risk of peace failing in post-civil conflict countries. In many countries, women are marginalized and conflict further marginalizes them. However, I argue that the post-conflict environment allows women to escape this cycle of marginalization and their inclusion and participation is very crucial to sustaining peace. I find that female political and social female decreases the risk of peace failing in post-civil war countries. In the second part, I focus on the effect female participation has on decreasing the risk of authoritarian reversals in countries that have transitioned to and toward democracy. Previous empirical research has focused on women’s role in transitions to democracy, factors that contribute to the survival of democracy, as well as how women’s participation affects the stability country. I argue that women’s social, economic, and political participation decreases the risk of authoritarian reversals in countries that have newly transitioned to and toward democracy. I find that female social participation sustains democracy in countries that have transitioned to democracy and that female economic participation sustains democracy in countries that have transitioned toward democracy. Overall I find support that female participation matters for both peace and democracy.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kelly, Eliza G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Use of Visual-performance Feedback and Its Effect on Behavior-specific Positive Praise in a Self-contained Behavior Classroom

Description: The present study aimed to understand the relationship between the use of visual-performance feedback and its effects on behavior-specific positive praise in classrooms for students who exhibit behavioral challenges. The current study included 15 children being served by four teachers in elementary self-contained behavior classrooms. Data collection and instrumentation included (a) a pre-service training for all four teachers, (b) two weeks of baseline data on behavior-specific positive praise, (c) eight weeks of data collection in which visual-performance feedback was reported to all four teachers, (d) one consultation session, and (e) two weeks of additional data collection. Observational data attempted to determine the functional relationship between visual-performance feedback, behavior-specific positive praise, and student outcomes using a mixed methods research model. Analysis revealed identified patterns in the relationship between visual-performance feedback, the amount of behavior-specific positive praise, and student behavioral and academic outcomes. These patterns are displayed through both quantitative results taken from the observational data as well as qualitative information given by teachers. Conclusions surrounding the positive outcomes for students were derived from the strongest correlations of between behavior-specific positive praise and visual-representation feedback. Implications drawn from the study were: (a) behavior-specific positive praise training should be a standard for teachers in behavior classrooms, and (b) group consultation should be an important part of monitoring behavior-specific positive praise for classroom teachers.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Gibbins, Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Nonprofit Advertising and Behavioral Intention: the Effects of Persuasive Messages on Donation and Volunteerism

Description: Nonprofit organizations are dependent on donations and volunteers to remain operational. Most rely on persuasive communications to inform, educate, and convince recipients of their messaging to respond in order to raise funds and generate volunteers. Though the marketing and psychology literature has examined charitable giving and volunteerism, the effectiveness of persuasive messages to affect philanthropy, gift-giving, and fundraising is a gap in the cause marketing literature (Dann et al. 2007). Because consumers rarely enter a situation without preexisting attitudes or beliefs, it is expected that individuals exposed to an advertisement by a nonprofit organization will look for ways to compare the messages within the ad to their own beliefs and attitudes. Two theories help explain the processing that takes place in relation to attitudes, beliefs, and persuasive communications – elaboration likelihood model (ELM) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB). The research presented here combines these theories to answer questions regarding behavioral intention related to donating and volunteering when individuals are exposed to certain persuasive messages from a nonprofit organization. Results show that one’s involvement with the advertisement combines with one’s attitude toward donating to help determine propensity to donate and the amount of the donation. However, this is dependent upon the message in the ad. When messages indicate that others are supportive of the cause, donations increase when one is more involved with the ad and is generally agreeable to donating. But these messages have the opposite effect when one is not involved with the ad – donations decrease when the message indicates others support the cause. And when messages indicate that even a minimal donation is possible, the attitude driver has no effect on donation behavior. However, when involvement is low, one’s age plays a role in driving individuals toward action, with older people more driven to give ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Van Steenburg, Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries

Confirming the Constructs of the Child Interpersonal Relationship and Attitudes Assessment

Description: The purpose of this study was to confirm the four-factor model of the Child Interpersonal Relationship and Attitudes Assessment (CIRAA) in order to establish the instrument’s factor/structure validity using a sample different than that used in instrument development. The CIRAA was the first parent-report instrument based on child-centered theory and designed to measure play therapy outcomes. Its four factors are Self-Regulation (formerly Self-Control), Interpersonal Relationships, Coping Skills, and Internal Locus of Evaluation. For this study, the CIRAA was administered to 206 parents; their children were 75 females and 131 males aged 3 to 10 years old. The distributions of children’s genders and ages in this study were similar to the distributions of the sample used to develop the CIRAA. Based on confirmatory factor analysis results of overall goodness-of-fit indices; localized areas of strain; and interpretability, size, and statistical significance (p < .001) of the model's parameter estimate, the four-factor model of the CIRAA was confirmed with both theoretical and empirical support. Internal consistency reliability for the subscales and total score were acceptable, with an overall reliability coefficient of .928. A medium negative correlation (r = -.417, n = 47, p < .01) was found between the CIRAA total scores and Child Behavior Checklist Total Problems scores, a result in the expected direction. All subscales and total scores, except the Internal Locus of Evaluation score, distinguished differences between non-clinical and clinical samples. Altogether, results indicated that the CIRAA is appropriate for making clinical decisions about individuals. Limitations, additional implications, and future research are discussed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Chung, Chiao-Feng
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Value-altering Effect of Motivating Operations

Description: Motivating operations (MOs) may affect behavior in two ways; A) an MO momentarily alters the frequency of behavior for which a particular consequence has served as reinforcement (evocative-effect) and B) an MO momentarily alters the behavioral effects of the relevant consequence (value-altering effect). Many studies have empirically demonstrated the evocative function of MOs, however, few if any studies have attempted to systematically manipulate and measure the value-altering effect. The focus of this study was to investigate the value-altering effect by measuring choice and response allocation across two alternative tasks. Participants were two female girls diagnosed with autism. During conditioning sessions, experimenters created a history for the children in which clicking on a moving square on a computer monitor produced a small piece of edible. Prior to some conditions, the participants were allowed 5 min of free-access to the edibles, and in other sessions, access to edibles prior to session was restricted. During these sessions, the square was either red or blue depending on the condition type (pre-access or restricted-access). During probe sessions, both colored squares were concurrently available and participants were allowed to allocate their responding to whichever square they chose. One participant preferred the square associated with restricted-access, which may support the notion of the value-altering effect. Difficulties during conditioning sessions interfered with the ability to run sufficient probes with the other participant to evaluate a value-altering effect. Results suggest that the use of these procedures may be useful to differentiate evocative and function-altering effects of MOs.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Devine, Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contribution of Hurricane Ike Storm Surge Sedimentation to Long-term Aggradation of Coastal Marshes in Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana

Description: Coastal marshes and wetlands are vital natural resources that offer habitats for plants and animals, serve as ecological filtration for soil and water pollutants, and act as protection for coastlines. Fishing, both commercial and sport, has a large economic impact in the study area – the Gulf Coast between Galveston Bay, TX and Oak Grove, LA. The objective of this research was to determine the contribution of Hurricane Ike storm surge sedimentation to long-term marsh aggradation in Texas and Louisiana coastal marshes. The research hypothesized that Hurricane Ike’s storm surge deposit would be equal to decades and possibly even a century’s worth of the average annual non-storm sedimentation. A quantitative field study was performed. The storm surge deposit was examined in a series of 15 transects covering approximately 180 km east of Hurricane Ike’s landfall. Nine of the 15 transects were re-surveyed a year after the initial measurement to assess preservation of the deposit. The results demonstrate that Hurricane Ike contributed between 10 to 135 years’ worth of sediment to coastal marshes along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, and the sediment deposits have been preserved for over two years.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Denlinger, Emily E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Educational Experiences of Youth with And/or At-risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Residing in Foster Care Settings

Description: Research examining the academic experiences of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) residing in foster care (FC) is scarce. Research is warranted to understand the academic strengths, weaknesses, and school disciplinary experiences of youth with EBD residing in FC. Data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being II (NSCAW II) included data on eight participants classified as EBD. Having a limited number of participants classified as EBD in the data set, I used participants’ scores on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to classify participants who may be at-risk for EBD. Analyses were conducted to determine if significant relationships existed between participants’ internalizing and externalizing scores on the CBCL and their (a) scores on assessments of academic achievement and (b) behavior problems leading to suspension or expulsion. Results indicated that participants’ scores on the CBCL were not predictive of their academic achievement or of their numbers of behavior problems leading to suspension or expulsion.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Lewis, Calli G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling and Analysis of Next Generation 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols

Description: Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols are guidelines that a 9-1-1 dispatcher uses to evaluate the nature of emergency, resources to send and the nature of help provided to the 9-1-1 caller. The current Dispatch Protocols are based on voice only call. But the Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) architecture will allow multimedia emergency calls. In this thesis I analyze and model the Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols for NG9-1-1 architecture. I have identified various technical aspects to improve the NG9-1-1 Dispatch Protocols. The devices (smartphone) at the caller end have advanced to a point where they can be used to send and receive video, pictures and text. There are sensors embedded in them that can be used for initial diagnosis of the injured person. There is a need to improve the human computer (smartphone) interface to take advantage of technology so that callers can easily make use of various features available to them. The dispatchers at the 9-1-1 call center can make use of these new protocols to improve the quality and the response time. They will have capability of multiple media streams to interact with the caller and the first responders.The specific contributions in this thesis include developing applications that use smartphone sensors. The CPR application uses the smartphone to help administer effective CPR even if the person is not trained. The application makes the CPR process closed loop, i.e., the person who administers the CPR as well as the 9-1-1 operator receive feedback and prompt from the application about the correctness of the CPR. The breathing application analyzes the quality of breathing of the affected person and automatically sends the information to the 9-1-1 operator. In order to improve the Human Computer Interface at the caller and the operator end, I have analyzed Fitts law and extended it so that it ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Gupta, Neeraj Kant
Partner: UNT Libraries

Iron Sharpens Iron: Duets for Two Women in the Teaching/instruction of Undergraduate Women

Description: Duet literature remains largely untapped as a pedagogical tool in the undergraduate voice studio. This dissertation examines the ways in which eight duets for female voices, although not written primarily for pedagogical use, may be used to teach four main areas of voice technique: intonation, vocal agility, legato singing, and dramatic skills. Duets are chosen primarily from the standard repertoire and are in English, German, French, Italian and Latin. The compositional styles range from the Baroque period through the 20th century. Genres include art song, oratorio, and opera. Each chapter focuses on one of the four vocal skills listed above, and includes examinations of two duets whose vocal writing (rhythm, tessitura, intervals, tempi, and text) make them appropriate candidates for pedagogical use in the improvement of that specific skill. Both male and female teachers of singing may utilize this project as a practical resource and model in how to use other duets, including those for other voice types, for similar purposes in their teaching studio. This project also demonstrates how the experience of singing duets helps students develop ensemble singing as they listen and respond to each other. Finally, this project offers voice teachers an additional pedagogical tool to help each student improve select skills, resulting in a more confident performer.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Backlin, Laurissa
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Professional Development on Student Achievement As Measured by Math and Science Curriculum-based Assessments

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of teacher professional development on student achievement measured by scores on curriculum-based assessments, CBAs. The participants in the study included 260 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade math and science teachers. Teacher participation in professional development courses was collected for curriculum, instruction, differentiation, assessment, technology integration, and continuous improvement credit types. Achievement data for 8,454 students was used: 2,883 in 3rd grade, 2,752 in 4th grade, and 2,819 in 5th grade. The dependent variable of student achievement was dichotomized at the median: half of the student participants scored above the median and half of the students scored at and below the median. A series of logistic regression models were fit to the data that included examining all main effects and interaction terms among all variables to determine the best fitting model. The results of this study indicate that for 4th grade science, teacher professional development participation in curriculum, instruction, and differentiation credit strands increased the chances for students to score above the district median on CBAs. The larger number of professional development hours in a variety of credit strands had a negative impact on student achievement in 4th grade science. In 5th grade science, the students whose teacher spent more hours in professional learning for continuous improvement had an increased likelihood of scoring above the district median on CBAs.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Parish, Deidre A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Ocean in Between

Description: Centered on the universal search for home, The Ocean in Between is an autobiographical documentary about my bicultural identity and sense of guilt as a first generation Italian emigrant daughter. As I embark on a journey between Italy and the United States, I attempt to reconcile my American aspirations with my Italian roots. Using observational footage, direct interviews, and narration, this film provides a poetic and intimate look at family relations, love and death, bicultural identity, and sexuality.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Masetti, Sara
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accurate and Reliable Prediction of Energetic and Spectroscopic Properties Via Electronic Structure Methods

Description: Computational chemistry has led to the greater understanding of the molecular world, from the interaction of molecules, to the composition of molecular species and materials. Of the families of computational chemistry approaches available, the main families of electronic structure methods that are capable of accurate and/or reliable predictions of energetic, structural, and spectroscopic properties are ab initio methods and density functional theory (DFT). The focus of this dissertation is to improve the accuracy of predictions and computational efficiency (with respect to memory, disk space, and computer processing time) of some computational chemistry methods, which, in turn, can extend the size of molecule that can be addressed, and, for other methods, DFT, in particular, gain greater insight into which DFT methods are more reliable than others. Much, though not all, of the focus of this dissertation is upon transition metal species – species for which much less method development has been targeted or insight about method performance has been well established. The ab initio approach that has been targeted in this work is the correlation consistent composite approach (ccCA), which has proven to be a robust, ab initio computational method for main group and first row transition metal-containing molecules yielding, on average, accurate thermodynamic properties, i.e., within 1 kcal/mol of experiment for main group species and within 3 kcal/mol of experiment for first row transition metal molecules. In order to make ccCA applicable to systems containing any element from the periodic table, development of the method for second row transition metals and heavier elements, including lower p-block (5p and 6p) elements was pursued. The resulting method, the relativistic pseudopotential variant of ccCA (rp-ccCA), and its application are detailed for second row transition metals and lower p-block elements. Because of the computational cost of ab initio methods, DFT is a popular choice ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Laury, Marie L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Motivating Pre-service Teachers to Incorporate Technology Into the Classroom

Description: Technology integration into the classroom is a multi-faceted and complex topic. One factor that can have an effect on a teacher's incorporation of technology into their classroom is pre-service teacher technology training. In this research study the ARCS instructional design model was applied to a pre-service teacher technology course in the hopes of motivating course attendees to both learn about technology incorporation and to incorporate technology into their future classrooms. The ARCS instructional design model that relies on the motivational sub-components of attention, relevance, confidences, and satisfaction to develop instruction that motivates to students to learn course content and goals. This study analyzed a group of pre-service teachers enrolled in a university technology training course to determine if the redesign resulted in the desired outcomes. Pre-test and post-test data was collected using both quantitative and qualitative instruments to analyze the potential effect of the redesigned course.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Gardner, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of Enabling Technologies to Visualize the Plant Lipidome

Description: Improvements in mass spectrometry (MS)-based strategies for characterizing the plant lipidome through quantitative and qualitative approaches such as shotgun lipidomics have substantially enhanced our understanding of the structural diversity and functional complexity of plant lipids. However, most of these approaches require chemical extractions that result in the loss of the original spatial context and cellular compartmentation for these compounds. To address this current limitation, several technologies were developed to visualize lipids in situ with detailed chemical information. A subcellular visualization approach, direct organelle MS, was developed for directly sampling and analyzing the triacylglycerol contents within purified lipid droplets (LDs) at the level of a single LD. Sampling of single LDs demonstrated seed lipid droplet-to-droplet variability in triacylglycerol (TAG) composition suggesting that there may be substantial variation in the intracellular packaging process for neutral lipids in plant tissues. A cellular and tissue visualization approach, MS imaging, was implemented and enhanced for visualizing the lipid distributions in oilseeds. In mature cotton seed embryos distributions of storage lipids (TAGs) and their phosphatidylcholine (PCs) precursors were distribution heterogeneous between the cotyledons and embryonic axis raising new questions about extent and regulation of oilseed heterogeneity. Extension of this methodology provides an avenue for understanding metabolism in cellular (perhaps even subcellular) context with substantial metabolic engineering implications. To visualize metabolite distributions, a free and customizable application, Metabolite Imager, was developed providing several tools for spatially-based chemical data analysis. These tools collectively enable new forms of visualizing the plant lipidome and should prove valuable toward addressing additional unanswered biological questions.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Horn, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sensitivity and Uncertainty Analysis of Occupancy-related Parameters in Energy Modeling of Unt Zero Energy Lab

Description: The study focuses on the sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of occupancy-related parameters using Energyplus modeling method. The model is based on a real building Zero Energy Lab in Discovery Park, at University of North Texas. Four categories of parameters are analyzed: heating/cooling setpoint, lighting, equipment and occupancy. Influence coefficient (IC) is applied in the sensitivity study, in order to compare the impact of individual parameter on the overall building energy consumption. The study is conducted under Texas weather file as well as North Dakota weather file in order to find weather’s influence of sensitivity. Probabilistic collocation method (PCM) is utilized for uncertainty analysis, with an aim of predicting future energy consumption based on history or reference data set. From the study, it is found that cooling setpoint has the largest influence on overall energy consumption in both Texas and North Dakota, and occupancy number has the least influence. The analysis also indicates schedule’s influence on energy consumption. PCM is able to accurately predict future energy consumption with limited calculation, and has great advantage over Monte Carlo Method. The polynomial equations are generated in both 3-order and 6-order, and the 6-order equation is proved to have a better result, which is around 0.1% compared with real value.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Xiong, Guangyuan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mental Toughness Training for Police Officers: the Impact of a Stress Inoculation Program on Police Stress

Description: This study examined the impact that a stress inoculation training (SIT) program had on a small-sized city police department in the southwestern U.S. Specifically, the aim of this study was to investigate how a SIT program impacted police officer self-reported levels of organizational stress, operational stress, perceived life stress, and mood states. All 24 participants were recruited from a population of 132 sworn, active duty police officers and were pre-tested through administration of a questionnaire packet containing a host of measures related to demographics, organizational stressors, operational stressors, general life stressors, and mood states. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of the following treatment conditions: (1) delayed training; (2) SIT program; and (3) SIT plus booster program. On completion of the SIT program, members of each of the treatment conditions were re-assessed through the administration of the aforementioned questionnaire packet. Subsequent to conducting the booster sessions, participants from each treatment condition took part in a second, and final, follow-up assessment. Results suggested that organizational stress was decreased for participants in the SIT program, particularly at follow-up. Results also suggested that energy (i.e., vigor) was increased for participants in the SIT plus booster program at both post-test and follow-up. Furthermore, results suggested that there was a statistically significant decrease in perceived life stress at both post-test and follow-up, yet statistically analysis was unable to tease out which group contributed to this significance. These findings support the efficacy of an SIT program in assisting police officers combat organizational stressors.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Rosmith, Eric S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Power of One Reinforcer

Description: Animal trainers use shaping to teach many behaviors. However, during shaping, the organism may engage in behaviors other than the target behavior or approximations to the target behavior. If the animal is engaged in other behaviors, the rate of reinforcement may decrease and the trainer may resort to what is sometimes referred to as a “desperation click.” That is, the trainer delivers one reinforcer for a behavior that is not a successive approximation to the target response. Anecdotal reports from trainers suggest that sometimes the animal continues to repeat this other behavior that received only one reinforcer, even in the absence of further reinforcement for that behavior. This study compared whether, during a one minute extinction period, participants spent more time engaged in a behavior that had been reinforced only once after a brief period of no reinforcement or in a behavior that had been reinforced multiple times. Participants, who were university students, played a tabletop game that involved touching and manipulating small objects. Five conditions were repeated twice for each participant: reinforcement for interacting with a training object alone, reinforcement for interacting with a training object with other objects present, reinforcement for interacting with a target object, one reinforcer for interacting with a third object immediately following a brief period of no reinforcement, and reinforcement for interacting with any object. Results from this study show that a desperation click situation can be reliably produced in a controlled setting. When participants received one reinforcer for interacting with a new object following a period of no reinforcement, they interacted with the new object for a longer or equal amount of time as compared to an object that had a history of reinforcement.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Hunter, Mary E.
Partner: UNT Libraries