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Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Description: This report looks at the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), Yucca Mountain, and the Obama Administration's de-funding of Yucca Mountain. Federal policy is based on the premise that nuclear waste can be disposed of safely, but proposed storage and disposal facilities have frequently been challenged on safety, health, and environmental grounds. Most of the current debate surrounding civilian radioactive waste focuses on highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants.
Date: December 2, 2013
Creator: Holt, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Novel Semi-Conductor Material Systems: Molecular Beam Epitaxial Growth and Characterization

Description: Semi-conductor industry relies heavily on silicon (Si). However, Si is not a direct-band gap semi-conductor. Consequently, Si does not possess great versatility for multi-functional applications in comparison with the direct band-gap III-V semi-conductors such as GaAs. To bridge this gap, what is ideally required is a semi-conductor material system that is based on silicon, but has significantly greater versatility. While sparsely studied, the semi-conducting silicides material systems offer great potential. Thus, I focused on the growth and structural characterization of ruthenium silicide and osmium silicide material systems. I also characterized iron silicon germanide films using extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) to reveal phase, semi-conducting behavior, and to calculate nearest neighbor distances. The choice of these silicides material systems was due to their theoretically predicted and/or experimentally reported direct band gaps. However, the challenge was the existence of more than one stable phase/stoichiometric ratio of these materials. In order to possess the greatest control over the growth process, molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) has been employed. Structural and film quality comparisons of as-grown versus annealed films of ruthenium silicide are presented. Structural characterization and film quality of MBE grown ruthenium silicide and osmium silicide films via in situ and ex situ techniques have been done using reflection high energy electron diffraction, scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and micro Raman spectroscopy. This is the first attempt, to the best of our knowledge, to grow osmium silicide thin films on Si(100) via the template method and compare it with the regular MBE growth method. The pros and cons of using the MBE template method for osmium silicide growth are discussed, as well as the structural differences of the as-grown versus annealed films. Future perspectives include further studies on other semi-conducting silicides material systems in terms ...
Date: December 2013
Creator: Elmarhoumi, Nader M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966-2011: Summary Analysis and Species Accounts

Description: Summary of 45-year program on bird population change and distribution, integrating habitat and migration status information, distribution maps depicting relative abundance, and current estimates and graphical illustrations of population change into accounts for 426 species of North American birds.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Sauer, John R.; Link, William A.; Fallon, Jane E.; Pardieck, Keith L. & Ziolkowski, David J., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The First Days of Spring: An Analysis of the International Treatment of Homosexuality

Description: In recent history, the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) persons have been in constant fluctuation. Many states criminalize homosexual behavior while other states legally recognize same-sex marriages and same-sex adoptions. There are also irregular patterns where LGBT interest groups form across the globe. With this research project, I begin to explain why these discrepancies in the treatment of homosexuality and the formation of LGBT interest groups occur. I develop a theory that the most obvious contrast across the globe occurs when analyzing the treatment of homosexuals in OECD member states versus non-OECD countries. OECD nations tend to see the gay community struggle for more advanced civil rights and government protections, while non-OECD states have to worry about fundamental human rights to life and liberty. I find that this specific dichotomization is what causes the irregular LGBT interest group formation pattern across the globe; non-OECD nations tend to have fewer LGBT interest groups than their OECD counterparts. When looking at why non-OECD nations and OECD nations suppress the rights of their gay citizens, I find that religion plays a critical role in the suppression of the gay community. In this analysis, I measure religion several different ways, including the institution of an official state religion as well as the levels of religiosity within a nation. Regardless of how this variable is manipulated and measured, statistical analysis continuously shows that religion’s influence is the single most significant factor in leading to a decrease in both human and civil rights for gays and lesbians across the globe. Further analysis indicates that Judaism plays the most significant role out the three major world religions in the suppression of civil rights for homosexuals in OECD nations.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Galvan, Michael R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Descriptive Analysis of the Critical Thinking Model in Texas Elementary Education

Description: Contributions from elementary education to the practice and reality of critical thinking are rare, largely because attempts in basic education to elucidate a concept of critical thinking have a hard time breaking through the elusiveness and indeterminacy that characterize the history and reality of the concept. This situation is due to, and a consequence of, the difficulty of delimiting critical thinking from related fields, such as metacognition, higher-order-thinking, problem solving, informal logic, reasoning skills, and decision making, to name a few. Texas school authorities designed and put into practice a battery of tools to evaluate critical thinking through the assessment programs TAKS and STAAR, without taking a position regarding the indeterminacy problems of the content of critical thinking. The purpose of this study was to reconstruct the pieces of the critical thinking model imparted to Texas elementary school children since 1999 and continues today. The findings indicate that the critical thinking model implemented in Texas elementary schools is a particular version of a skills-only approach of critical thinking that follows the classical logical paradigm, consisting of two sets of complementary skills. This model acquaints students with the components and structure of five types of arguments while it fails to substantiate the logic of argument support that demonstrates how reasons support claims and the strength of support. The application of an adequacy conditions rubric showed the strengths of the model at the argumentation analysis level, yet it showed clear signs of incompleteness and inconsistencies at the argument structure level that distort its purpose and function.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Quijano, Oswaldo Jorge
Partner: UNT Libraries

Pilot Study to Incorporate Validation Procedures in the State of Hawaii Commercial Marine License Reporting Program for Charter Fishing Boats (For-Hire Sector)

Description: From executive summary: The following report was meant to document the Hawaii charter fishing (for hire) sector's level of compliance with the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (HDAR) commercial fishing reporting system and to identify possible changes to improve the system.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Ma, Hongguang; Hamm, David & Allen, Stewart
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unanswered Questions from U.S. EPA State and Local Climate & Energy Webcast: The Role of Communication in Ensuring Sustained Behavior Change

Description: A report of questions and their answers posed to Liz Schlegal, Cara Pike, and Kate Lilja. The individuals work at the Institute for Sustainable Communities and the Resource Innovation Group. Lilja is from Salt Lake City. These questions pertain to the environment.
Date: December 11, 2013
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report for DUSEL R&D: BetaCage: A Screener of Ultra-Low-Level Radioactive Surface Contamination

Description: The eventual full-size, radiopure BetaCage will be a low-background, atmospheric-pressure neon drift chamber with unprecedented sensitivity to emitters of low-energy electrons and alpha particles. We expect that the prototype BetaCage already developed will be an excellent screener of alpha particles. Both the prototype and final BetaCage will provide new infrastructure for rare-event science.
Date: December 20, 2013
Creator: Golwala, Sunil R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Targeted abrogation of diverse signal transduction cascades by emodin for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and cancer

Description: Article on the targeted abrogation of diverse signal transduction cascades by emodin for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and cancer.
Date: December 1, 2013
Creator: Shrimali, Deepti; Shanmugam, Muthu K.; Kumar, Alan Prem; Zhang, Jingwen; Tan, Benny K-H; Ahn, Kwang Seok et al.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

VA Health Care: Improvements Needed in Processes Used to Address Providers' Actions That Contribute to Adverse Events

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers GAO visited did not adhere to certain policy elements of the protected peer review process, and monitoring by VA's Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is limited. According to policy issued by VHA, protected peer review may be used by VA medical centers (VAMC) when there is a need to determine whether a provider's actions associated with an adverse event were clinically appropriate--that is, whether another provider with similar expertise would have taken similar action. Despite VAMC officials' general understanding of the protected peer review process, none of the VAMCs GAO visited adhered to all four protected peer review policy elements selected for review, including the timely completion of reviews, and the timely development of peer review triggers that signal the need for further review of a provider's care. Failure of VAMCs to adhere to the protected peer review policy elements may result in missed opportunities to identify providers who pose a risk to patient safety. Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN), responsible for oversight of VAMCs, monitor VAMCs' protected peer review processes through quarterly data submissions and annual site visits. A VHA official said that VHA monitors the process by reviewing and analyzing the aggregated quarterly data submitted by VAMCs through the VISNs. The VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) also conducts oversight of the protected peer review process as part of a larger review of VAMCs' operations. While the VISNs and VA OIG have reviewed VAMCs establishment of peer review triggers to prompt further review of a provider's care, neither they nor VHA has monitored their implementation. As such, VHA cannot provide reasonable assurance that VAMCs are using the peer review triggers as intended, as a risk assessment ...
Date: December 3, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Workforce Investment Act: Local Areas Face Challenges Helping Employers Fill Some Types of Skilled Jobs

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Based on survey results for calendar year 2012, GAO estimates that most local areas used various sources of information to identify occupations that are in demand (i.e., available jobs and occupations that are projected to grow). Local areas found all of the sources of information they used to be at least moderately useful. To identify occupations that are in demand, GAO estimates that nearly 90 percent of local areas used state job banks and occupational projections, both of which are funded by the Department of Labor (DOL). All percentages presented on this highlights page are estimates from the survey and have a sampling error of no larger than plus or minus 7 percentage points. In addition, 93 percent of areas used at least one local initiative, such as a partnership with the local economic development agency, to identify such jobs. As compared to other sources, areas reported using local initiatives because they provided more detailed information and better reflected local employers' needs. To guide participants toward training, most local areas required them to complete certain activities, such as meeting with a case manager to discuss training options (80 percent) or completing a skills assessment (78 percent). Most local areas faced challenges in guiding participants toward training. Specifically, local areas faced challenges related to participants' lack of financial or work supports, such as child care or transportation (67 percent); participants' lack of the basic skills necessary even to participate in training (66 percent); difficulty finding training providers who could quickly adapt curricula to employers' changing needs (62 percent); and high training costs (54 percent). However, in 57 percent of local areas, these challenges did not affect their ability to guide participants toward training."
Date: December 2, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reverse Auctions: Guidance Is Needed to Maximize Competition and Achieve Cost Savings

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO found that government agencies were increasingly using reverse auctions as a means to drive down prices but without adequate guidance to ensure that the potential benefits were maximized. GAO's analysis of the data also identified some common characteristics among contract awards resulting from reverse auctions."
Date: December 11, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department