• Renegotiating the Interface Between the Built and Natural Environments

      Johnson, Nicholas (2011-11-04)
      As human consumption and energy production continue to negatively a ect our environment, a re-conceptualization of our relationship to the wider world becomes a necessary step in the coexistence of humankind and nature. Modern methods of building have sought to establish a universal conception of human comfort that is disconnected from the realities of the speci c and varied climates in which we live. The building envelope is seen as a barrier to nature, a fortress where we have complete control over the parameters of our environment. This degree of control ultimately requires an unlimited source of energy. Through development of emerging material systems and technological integration, this project seeks to create a dialog between interior and exterior environments, recognizing that the two should be connected. This re-envisioned interface responds directly to changing environmental conditions through formal and material adaptations which create a symbiotic relationship between the built and natural worlds
    • Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust: Decomposition in the Desert

      Aguillon, Stepfanie; School of Natural Resources and the Environment (2011-11-04)
      Decomposition, the process of breaking down organic material into its increasingly finer physical and chemical constituents, is an important component in the cycling of carbon and nutrients through an ecosystem. While ultraviolet (UV) radiation is known to be detrimental to human health, might it also play an important role in decomposition, and consequently soil fertility and land cover, in the arid southwestern US? To address this question, a 4-week field experiment was designed to quantify decomposition under contrasting radiant energy regimes at the Santa Rita Experimental Range near Tucson from July-August 2011. Velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) leaves were placed in litterbags constructed with fiberglass mesh and plastic that was either UV transparent or UV-B absorbing. The litterbags were deployed in open areas receiving full sun or in the shaded area beneath a shrub canopy. Leaf mass loss (an indicator of decomposition rates), soil-surface temperature, levels of photosynthetically active radiation, soil moisture, and precipitation were quantified over the 4-week period. UV (present vs. absent) and radiant energy environments (open areas vs. shaded) were compared using a mixed-effect model controlling for temporal autocorrelation. Soil-surface temperatures and decomposition rates in open areas were significantly higher (F1, 64 = 89.4, p < 0.0001; F1, 97 = 4.83, p = 0.0303, respectively) than those in shaded areas, but did not differ between UV treatments (F1, 97 = 0.064, p = 0.8012). These results suggest that over a short time period, radiant energy levels influence decomposition, but via temperature effects rather than via levels of UV.
    • Database Forensics in the Service of Information Accountability

      Snodgrass, Richard; Pavlou, Kyriacos; Department of Computer Science (2011-11-04)
      Regulations and societal expectations have recently expressed the need to mediate access to valuable databases, even by insiders. At one end of the spectrum is the approach of restricting access to information and on the other that of information accountability. The focus of the proposed work is effecting information accountability of data stored in databases. One way to ensure appropriate use and thus end-to-end accountability of such information is tamper detection in databases via a continuous assurance technology based on cryptographic hashing. In our current research we are working to show how to develop the necessary approaches and ideas to support accountability in high performance databases. This will include the design of a reference architecture for information accountability and several of its variants, the development of forensic analysis algorithms and their cost model, and a systematic formulation of forensic analysis for determining when the tampering occurred and what data were tampered with. Finally, for privacy, we would like to create mechanisms for allowing as well as (temporarily) preventing the physical deletion of records in a monitored database. In order to evaluate our ideas we will design and implement an integrated tamper detection and forensic analysis system. This work will show that information accountability is a viable alternative to information restriction for ensuring the correct storage, use, and maintenance of databases.
    • Evaluating Educational Programs for the Children of Seasonal Labor Migrants in India

      Reed, Megan; International Studies (2011-11-04)
      The research examines a government educational outreach initiative for the children of migrant brick kiln workers in Western India. Through interviews with government officials, parent and para-teacher surveys, and participant observation, the researcher was able to compare the pilot initiative in Bhilwara district, Rajasthan with one in Gandhinagar district, Gujarat. The research highlights some of the impediments faced with planning education for migrant children and provides recommendations for the future of the program in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
    • Exploring Holistic Approaches to the Characterization of Particles in the Environment

      Anhalt, Ashley; Peterson, Tawnya; Tratnyek, Paul; Needoba, Joseph; Mather, Amanda (2011-11-04)
      Most of the main determinants of water quality either consist of, or are controlled by, particles. Previous water quality research has focused on particular particles in isolation or in binary combinations. In this project, we are taking a holistic approach to the characterization of the particle load in water, focusing on the collective properties of the particles rather than individual components. Because the characterization of particles is often time-consuming, applying an informatics-based approach could speed up the evaluation of water quality and the assessment of treatment effectiveness. Further, the breadth of potential changes that could be detected using this multiplex approach may far surpass the abilities of current approaches to monitor threats to water quality. Among the instruments capable of rapidly detecting and manipulating cells is imaging flow cytometry, which distinguishes cell shape and unique fluorescence properties associated with cell types. Sets of images and corresponding data from a 1.5-year time series of samples from the Columbia River were studied and the different particle properties analyzed. Principal Component Analysis (Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis) was applied in order to reduce the number of variables and identify patterns in particle characteristics when compared to environmental data collected from the observation station. The first three principal components were extracted and the dominant characteristics identified: the most prominent variables are particle size, particle color, and fluorescent qualities (transparency and phytoplankton pigments). Further work will relate these top principal components to specific environmental factors that determine water quality.
    • Characterization of a Gene that Responds to Mitochondrial Retrograde Regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana

      Sepulveda, Jennifer; Rhoads, David M.; School of Plant Sciences (2011-11-04)
      The Rhoads Lab found an Arabidopsis gene (At5g40690) that encodes for a protein similar to yeast ATPase Assembly Proteins (AAPs), which is strongly increased in expression by MRR and during plant stresses such as pathogen attack. Characterization of At5g40690 will be performed by the analysis of knock out (KO) lines, constitutive expressor (CE) lines in comparison to wild-type using northern blots. If this gene is an AAP, then this will be the first AAP in plants to be extensively studied in relation to MRR and stress responses, and will provide researchers with a better understanding of MRR and define a new category of proteins involved in stress response. Findings will give a better understanding of heat stress in crops such as Zea mays.
    • Finding Family Health Solutions within the Bhutanese Refugee Community

      Demers, Deirdre; Heckert, Karen A.; Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (2011-11-04)
    • 19th Annual Student Showcase Program (2011)

      Graduate & Professional Student Council (GPSC); University of Arizona (The University of Arizona, 2011-11)