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The Changing Meaning of Terrorism

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

While terrorism is both a prevalent issue in the United States and worldwide, the United Nations, an organization binding countries around the world, has still not defined the term. There has been a mild attempt to define boundaries in which certain violent acts fall under this term, yet the understanding of the term is still very broad. The goal of this project is to better define what this phenomenon is and how we can use historical examples to help refine a definition and its implications. The project will foremost establish a basic understanding of the way terrorism is interpreted through orthodox, critical, and radical theories. The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Violence compiles a wide array of works from scholars around the world providing insight into these theories. This piece of work, among others, will be complemented with statistical evidence researched through The Global Terrorism database at the University of Maryland, The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, along with the United Nations Action to Counter Terrorism. The theories and evidence will be applied to historical events of the past decade in nations around the world, and a definition, or rather a lack there of, is established.

Vaccines: What You Really Need to Know

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

The first vaccine created was for smallpox in the late 1700s. In the two centuries following many vaccines have been developed to prevent life-threatening diseases, and decrease human suffering. However, there are still many misconceptions about them. These misconceptions have led to a decrease in the use of vaccines, leading to the reemergence of diseases that were once nearly eradicated from first world countries. In this paper we will address ten common misconceptions held by the public in the United States, and present a review of the literature to either support or reject these beliefs.

ELLs in and Outside of the Classroom

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Some people are able to look at language in its entirety, seeing all of its facets—the multiple versions of ourselves expressed in different discourses. Some see it as a tool in communication while, unfortunately, others experience it as a barrier. Wenying Jiang (2000) declares, “Language and culture makes a living organism: language is flesh, and culture is blood. Without culture, language would be dead; without language, culture would have no shape” (328). Here, Jiang (2000) explains that without language, a culture ceases to exist. Language pumps the blood throughout bodies of culture, but interestingly, their interdependency often goes unnoticed. This issue is prevalent for children and adolescents who do not speak English in the United States. Many students with diverse backgrounds and who are English language learners (ELLs) face insurmountable challenges through their schooling and are often mislabeled as unintelligent or disabled. As a future educator with an English-as-a-Second Language endorsement, I aim to advocate for these students and integrate more effective and inclusive teaching strategies for the ELL population. In this portfolio, I will present and reflect my observations from my 45-hour practicum in Natrona County School District, current research on ELLs and examples of effective teaching methods. Overall my portfolio contains 1) reflective journal entries regarding my observations and correlating research topics, 2) lesson plans I have created or adapted and their evaluations, 3) a reflection on professional development and strategies to support colleagues and improve ELL learning, 4) a report on teacher-family relationships and suggested improvements.

Honors Program Web and Mobile Application

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

The University of Wyoming Honors Program provides its students with access to special coursework, scholarships, and priority class registration. Administrative overhead is generated as a result of providing these services. Currently, students are advised of scholarship opportunities and Honors Program events via email. Priority registration occurs through the use of paper sign-up sheets to collect student information. Students currently do not have a method of saving general information for use with Honors Program-specific scholarship applications. The goal of this project was to provide a comprehensive platform that addressed the administrative needs of Honors Program staff. We chose to use a LAMP stack due to its flexibility. A web interface was created in a self-hosted CentOS 7 virtual environment using the PHP MVC framework Laravel, powered by a MySQL database. The interface allows for administrators of the site to add/edit/delete items such as News Articles, Web Pages, Program Events, and Scholarship Opportunities. The interface allows administrators to send alerts and notifications to the student base. Registration events can be created and posted so that priority registration and event attendance can be tracked and associated with either a student’s login information or a one-time code. The application utilizes QR codes as a method of quickly registering a student as having attended an event. We also created a side-by-side Android mobile application to allow students to quickly and easily access the data from the web interface via our web API and allow for the administrators to update students via push notifications.

Mysterious Symbols in the North: An Analysis of Scotland’s Pictish Symbol Stones

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

During the Roman occupation and conquest of regions that today form England and Scotland, Roman generals and historians wrote of the people they found living in these frozen regions of the world. The Romans referred to these populations as Pictii or the ‘painted people’, but provided little information about them. Nearly two thousand years after the disappearance of Pictish culture from historic records their symbol inscribed stones endure in the archaeological record, inspiring scholars to investigate and seek meaning in these symbols. The distribution of some common Pictish symbols throughout Scotland may help provide insight into their culture. In this study I investigate several characteristics of Pictish symbols, their distribution, and relationships.

How Telling is Author Voice? Further Associations Between Personality and Writing

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Just as everyone has a unique personality, so too does everyone have a unique style of writing. The differences in writing styles are so pervasive that individuals’ writing styles persist across writings on different topics, and writing styles are distinguishable in samples from several different domains (e.g. academic publications, diary entries, and school assignments; Pennebaker & King, 1999). Indeed, the consistency of writing styles is on par with individuals’ responses to questionnaires (Pennebaker & King, 1999). Existing research into differences in style focuses largely on formal writing samples, such as letters (Broehl & McGee, 1981), published books (Foster, 1996), and the aforementioned academic publications, diary entries, and school assignments (Pennebaker & King, 1999). Yet these analyses do not capture the breadth of people’s writing. Individuals often write informally, as when they make personal notes. The present study aims to address this issue through a novel application of linguistic analysis, thereby supporting the ecological validity of studies examining associations between writing styles and personality characteristics. In this study, 86 cohabiting couples completed self-report questionnaires that assessed multiple personality characteristics. Each couple-member then wrote for 10 minutes about a time when they felt emotionally vulnerable, with many writing in list formats. Afterward, couples had conversations about their vulnerabilities and completed further questionnaires. Writing samples were later digitized and analyzed using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC; Pennebaker, Francis, & Booth, 2001) software. Finally, correlational analyses were used to examine the associations between writing tendencies and their personality characteristics.

Even birds speak different dialects: How different are they?

Wed, 2017-06-28 05:25

Birdsong is known to be variable geographically in many species, and we have anecdotally observed this effect in Wyoming populations of the House Wren (Troglodytes aedon). This variation may be due to gradual divergence in song dialects between geographically distinct breeding populations, genetic variation among populations, or habitat-driven differentiation based on sound transmission properties of the environment. In this project, we collected 944 wren calls from three different locations around Wyoming, tested the similarity of various acoustic environments and modeled call similarity against distance and acoustic environment type. These comparisons were made using time-frequency analysis, clustering, and summary statistics. The geographic distribution of these song dialects is shown to be quite diverse, with some locations showing great consistency and others showing as much internal dialect variability as exists between locations. We found that between locations dialects can be distinguished by differences in rate of singing, minimum pitch attained, and the proportion of the song spent in pauses between phrases. These findings may help answer important questions about population diversity, boundaries for mating, and migration patterns.

The Invisible Shackles: How incarceration affects changes in mental health and substance abuse

Tue, 2017-06-27 05:24

Mental illness is stigmatized and often difficult to treat in the United States, and even more so within the criminal justice system. A disproportionate number of inmates in America struggle with some form of mental illness due to a dysfunctional health care system (Chandler 2009). There are also an overwhelming number of people who are incarcerated due to drug charges. After America declared the war on drugs, prison populations skyrocketed, filling with a broad range of drug offenders (Lamb 2004). Those with substance abuse problems commonly struggle with co-occurring disorders, often some form of mental health issue (Swartz 2007). While there is extensive literature on rates of mental illness within the criminal justice system as well as on substance use patterns of those incarcerated, little has been done to determine how incarceration affects mental health and how that relates to substance abuse. This research aims to fill the gap in literature by utilizing the SVORI dataset, which includes survey data from over 7,000 prisoners spanning across 14 states. This research seeks to determine how incarceration affects changes in mental health and how those changes in turn can affect substance abuse.

Small Mammal Movements In Previously Burned Habitats

Tue, 2017-06-27 05:24

Fires have the ability to reshape entire landscapes, changing the composition of plants species as well as the structure of the terrain. Forest fires also leave behind a large amount of coarse woody debris, i.e., downed logs, which can provide small mammals with habitat, cover from predators, and have the potential to alter movement patterns. Movement patterns are also influenced by other habitat features, such as the separation of habitat by a road. For this study I utilized capture-recapture data from burned and unburned study sites in the Yellowstone National Forest as well as genetic analyses to determine both short and long-term movement patterns relative to species, habitat (burned or unburned), and the presence/absence of a road. I focused specifically on the two most abundant species in the intermountain west: red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus). Capture data indicated that on average deer mice travel greater distances, and both species have greater average movements in burned areas compared to unburned areas. These results are an important complement to the results from genetic analyses, which suggest a decrease in gene flow across the road. Further analysis is needed to determine the causes of the differences between burned and unburned areas, such as diet requirements and vegetative layout. Understanding the impact fires and roadways have on small mammals will not only expand our knowledge on their ecological role but may also implicate the use of controlled burns as tools for population management.

The Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition (ICCE): An Analysis of Ice Depth on the Dinwoody Glacier Using Ground Penetrating Radar

Tue, 2017-06-27 05:24

The Wind River Range, located in west-central Wyoming, is home to over 80 mountain glaciers. The meltwater from Wyoming’s alpine glaciers is critical during the dry summer months when the snows have melted and precipitation is rare. Previous assessments of glaciers in the Wind River Range indicate an overall trend of recession since 1850, with only localized periods of growth. Due to the relationship between alpine glaciers and water availability, it is critical to monitor the health of these glaciers and analyze their rate of recession. This study seeks to determine changes in ice depth of the Dinwoody glacier (at the base of Gannet Peak) in the Wind River Range. Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) (S&S Noggin 100MHz), the team collected subsurface data along a 1500m transect of the glacier. Results from this transect, collected in August of 2015, were compared to two previous studies conducted in 1991, and 2006. Data correlation with previous studies suggested a continuing trend of recession over the past three decades. Further analysis revealed a miscalculation in the transect route due to datum shift, rendering comparisons invalid. Repeat experiments, conducted in August of 2016, accounted for datum shift and resulted in suitable data for comparison with 2006 studies, as well as the previous year’s data. Analysis of data from 2016 suggests an overestimation of ice depth from previous studies, along with an overall trend of recession. These findings may affect current understanding of glacial recession rates in the Wind River Range, and expand knowledge of the applications of portable GPR antennae for remote alpine glacier studies.

Dry Reforming of Methane to Syngas other Subsequent Products

Tue, 2017-06-27 05:24

Synthesis Gas, or syngas (Hydrogen and Carbon Monoxide) can be used in multiple chemical processes. Utilizing Steam reforming (SRM) of methane (CH4) has been the accepted method to create syngas and utilized industrially. SRM results in the formation of Carbon Dioxide, CO2 (a greenhouse gas) has to be dealt with to minimize the environmental impact. Dry-reforming of methane (DRM) uses CO2 as a feed, instead of a by-product with a better stoichiometric conversion to syngas. Acetic acid, CH3OOH, (the desired product) is very common in chemical processes, with a variety of uses. The accepted method for CH3OOH synthesis uses a Methanol (CH3OH) intermediate. This requires multiple reactors and a gas-liquid shift reaction. Directly converting from syngas to CH3OOH (and other products) allowing the favorable stoichiometric amounts of syngas from DRM to be utilized without involving an additional reactor for the process. The goal of the process was to determine if it was possible to directly convert CH4 and CO2 into syngas through the DRM process and then directly convert it to CH3OOH and other subsequent products for sale. The project focused on what were the necessary items to create this process and would it be economically feasible. Due to the limited amount of literature information on these processes the project’s end state was to determine what necessary steps in the research and development phases were needed to create a catalyst with certain properties to make the process technically possible, and economically viable.

Family Characteristics Associated with Parents’ Knowledge and Beliefs Regarding Preschoolers’ Physical Activity

Tue, 2017-06-27 05:24

The obesity epidemic has been rising in magnitude for several decades and has spread its influence to include children of all ages. Much research has been done to examine the effect that physical activity (PA) has on an individual’s weight. The amount of PA that children participate in is mediated by various factors: high socioeconomic status, more green space, having a sibling, and parental support for PA are all associated with greater child PA. While all of these factors influence PA participation, their concurrent effect is unknown. A holistic perspective is imperative to the understanding of childhood PA, as children are not experiencing just one of these influences at a given time. The purpose of this project was to determine how family characteristics, including number of siblings and socioeconomic status, are associated with parental behaviors, knowledge, and beliefs regarding child’s PA. A secondary goal was to determine how child PA varies according to family characteristics. Of special interest is the role of siblings and birth order in determining preschooler PA (min/day) and whether or not children participate in rough & tumble play. Parent and family characteristics, child PA, and parental knowledge and beliefs regarding child PA were assessed via a web-based survey (modified Preschool Physical Activity Questionnaire, Pre-PAQ). Linear regression and logistic regression analyses were used to determine variation in child PA and parenting behaviors according to family characteristics.

The algebraic connectivity of graphs with given stability number

Mon, 2017-06-26 07:53

In this paper, we investigate the algebraic connectivity of connected graphs, and determine the graph which has the minimum algebraic connectivity among all connected graphs of order $n$ with given stability number $\alpha\geq\lceil\frac{n}{2}\rceil$, or covering number, respectively.

The algebraic connectivity of graphs with given stability number

Mon, 2017-06-26 07:53

In this paper, we investigate the algebraic connectivity of connected graphs, and determine the graph which has the minimum algebraic connectivity among all connected graphs of order $n$ with given stability number $\alpha\geq\lceil\frac{n}{2}\rceil$, or covering number, respectively.

Solutions of the system of operator equations $BXA=B=AXB$ via the *-order

Sat, 2017-06-24 09:14

In this paper, some necessary and sufficient conditions are established for the existence of solutions to the system of operator equations $BXA=B=AXB$ in the setting of bounded linear operators on a Hilbert space, where the unknown operator $X$ is called the inverse of $A$ along $B$. After that, under some mild conditions, it is proved that an operator $X$ is a solution of $BXA=B=AXB$ if and only if $B \stackrel{*}{ \leq} AXA$, where the $*$-order $C\stackrel{*}{ \leq} D$ means $CC^*=DC^*, C^*C=C^*D$. Moreover, the general solution of the equation above is obtained. Finally, some characterizations of $C \stackrel{*}{ \leq} D$ via other operator equations, are presented.

Addressing Water Pollution: A review of Zero Liquid Discharge Policy in Tirupur, India

Tue, 2017-06-20 20:15

Effluents from Indian textile industries, such as bleaching and dyeing units, are discharged directly into the rivers and other surface water bodies. This adversely impacts the water quality, aquatic species, agriculture, and human health. In Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India, farmers in Tirupur District, a textile manufacturing hub, protested the deteriorating water quality and its impact on their livelihood. In 2011, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board implemented a Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) regulation, which required the textile industries in this state to remove almost all pollutants from the effluent stream. However, there was no commercially viable technology to achieve the stringent standards. This forced many units to either close their operations or move to other states where ZLD was not implemented. Our research focuses on how the lack of a uniform national policy affects this major water pollution problem, and the alternate solutions such as Minimal Liquid Discharge that are developed to minimize pollution levels in the effluent stream.

Interactions of the invasive New Zealand Mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) and native macroinvertebrates in Polecat Creek, WY

Tue, 2017-06-20 20:15

In Polecat Creek, WY, located within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the invasive New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) was once recorded at densities of over 500,000 individuals/m². In recent years, the biomass of P. antipodarum in Polecat Creek has decreased, suggesting a “boom and bust” pattern in population density. The population reached its highest density in 2000-2001, but by 2011, it had decreased by 93%. Native net spinning caddisflies (Hydropsyche spp.) have increased significantly in biomass from 2001-2011, suggesting that the native macroinvertebrates may have increased due to release from suppression by P. antipodarum. I collected macroinvertebrate core samples in Polecat Creek to measure the density of P. antipodarum and native macroinvertebrates. I also conducted a field experiment to assess the possible mechanisms by which P. antipodarum may have suppressed Hydropsyche caddisfly larvae. I placed Hydropsyche larvae on wooden tiles within experimental chambers in Polecat Creek to colonize and build nets, then added boom and bust densities of P. antipodarum to the experimental chambers. Preliminary results show no significant difference between the number of Hydropsyche nets before the addition of P. antipodarum to chambers and after the addition of P. antipodarum at boom or bust densities in chambers. These results suggest the invasive P. antipodarum do not actively destroy caddisfly nets, but may interfere with feeding by gathering on nets, therefore reducing the amount of food Hydropsyche larvae can catch.

Mining the Mouse Microbiome

Tue, 2017-06-20 20:15

Recent research has revealed the significant impacts the human microbiome exerts over our health. The majority of human associated microbiota reside within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and provide a wide variety of benefits to the human body [1]. However, disruptions within the gut microbiome, termed dysbiosis, can lead to disastrous conditions. The Ward lab has been investigating the relationship between dysbiosis in the gut and the development of Hirschsprung’s-associated enterocolitis (HAEC), for which the cause is unknown. We primarily use a mouse model of HAEC, the Endothelin Receptor B-null (or Ednrb-/-) mouse. Using this mouse model, we have previously shown that compared with wild-type (WT) littermates of the same age, Ednrb-/- (mutant) mice exhibit statistically supported differences in both the content and diversity of their GI microbes [2]. At the genus level, young Ednrb-/- mice showed a striking dominance of Staphylococcus corresponding with low abundance of Lactobacillus. The reverse was observed in WT-mice. Preliminary analysis has also revealed the genus Akkermansia to be found only in WT-mice [unpublished data]. The Ward lab also studies the effects of frequent antibiotic use on GI microbes in mice. This research revealed that Lactobacillus was predominantly associated with mice resistant to chemically induced colitis and species of Akkermansia were depleted in mice displaying severe symptoms of colitis. Staphylococcus was found in both instances [3]. Given the potential importance of these genera in the gut microbiome, future in vitro experiments will require isolated strains of Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus, and Akkermansia. The research presented here describes the isolation and identification of Staphylococcus and Lactobacillus species collected from the feces of WT and Ednrb-/- mice. 1(Bäckhed et. al 2005), 2(Ward et. al 2012), 3(Ward et. al 2016)

Annual Metabolism of Spring, Creek Wyoming

Tue, 2017-06-20 20:15

Freshwater ecosystems vary in their photosynthesis and respiration rates resulting in variable metabolism by season. To measure the stream metabolism (gross primary production and ecosystem respiration) we collected dissolved oxygen concentration every ten minutes using a minidot logger. We used diel variation in oxygen concentration to calculate gross primary production and ecosystem respiration. Using statistical modeling, we calculated the metabolism for each day to derive a time series of each. We also calculated average metabolism each month to look at the seasonality of metabolisms. December of 2016 we had a GPP of 0.85 gO2m-2d-1 July of 2017 we calculated a GPP of 7.89 gO2m-2d-1. After deciphering the data we were able to see that the creek has higher GPP in the summer months than during winter.

The influence of changing rainfall, parental traits, and nest traits on parental care in a tropical bird

Tue, 2017-06-20 20:15

The extent of parental care may be highly variable within individuals and across years. In the tropics, parents provide extensive care and this strongly impacts juvenile survival, a period that strongly impacts population growth. We asked the following research question: How do traits of the parents (age, sex), traits of the nest (age of young, time of year), and climate (rainfall, temperature) affect parental care? We examined parental care in a well-studied tropical bird species, Thamnophilus atrinucha, in Panama during two extreme years (El Niño/La Niña years). Nests were videotaped during incubation and nestling stages to determine nest attentiveness, provisioning rates, and food load. Nest attentiveness, total food brought to the nest, and prey loads were lower in the wetter La Niña year compared to the drier El Niño year, while provisioning rates and on- and off-bouts did not change. Females reduced nest attentiveness with older eggs and altered incubation on- and off-bouts in response to time of year and monthly rainfall, while male behaviors did not change. Older nestlings received more food than younger nestlings. Although rainfall over the breeding season decreased parental care, in months with higher rainfall, females had higher prey loads. Our results suggest that changing rainfall (predicted with climate change), traits of parents, and age of young may alter parental care, and subsequently may alter juvenile survival and recruitment.

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