• ROUTE REPAIR: DESIGN CHANGES TO IMPROVE SAFETY AT MOUNTAIN AVENUE AND HELEN STREET

      Fitzpatrick, Quinton; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Adkins, Arlie; Iuliano, Joey; Livingston, Margaret (The University of Arizona., 2018-12)
      The intersection of Mountain Avenue and Helen Street in the city of Tucson, Arizona, lies at the end of a high use pedestrian and cyclist corridor. The intersection is located near the University of Arizona and is vital in facilitating walking and cycling connections to the university as well as the greater surrounding areas, including downtown Tucson. The intersection is currently unsafe and inefficient as a result of both design and location. This Thesis attempts to analyze and provide recommendations for potential design changes that would increase both vehicle levels of service and safety for all road users. A case study of successful cities and nationally recommended best practice design strategies was conducted to determine what features and infrastructure could be implemented to improve the intersection. It was found that safety infrastructure at intersections and connectivity between safe intersections were among the best practices for improved bicyclist and pedestrian safety. An application of these designs to the study intersection was explored with several alternatives offered. The application of left turn and straight through restrictions for automobiles proved the most promising design change. A significant increase in the level of service of the intersection was observed along with a 66% decrease in the number of conflict points at the intersection, a proxy for intersection safety. In conclusion, it is recommended that turning restrictions be implemented at this intersection to improve walking and cycling safety and connectivity in the greater university region of the city of Tucson.
    • Adaptive Reuse as a Sustainable Solution

      Breckenridge, Lauren; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Daughtrey, Cannon (The University of Arizona., 2018-12)
      The scope of the research if focusing on how adaptive reuse of historic buildings satisfies the three pillars of sustainability. The implementation of adaptive reuse will reduce environmental impact, provide a place for communities to learn and interact with, and bring money into the local economy. The methodology for the study included an online survey, case studies, and literature reviews. This allowed the research to be unbiased and to obtain current research on the topic to figure out if there is a lack of knowledge on the topic. Case studies offer real-world examples of adaptive reuse in and their payoffs. The literature reviews provide information on the concepts and strategies that are involved with adaptive reuse. An online survey was conducted to grasp the general public’s knowledge of the topic. The purpose of researching adaptive reuse in historic buildings is to persuade people to restore a property for a new use rather than constructing a new building. This practice will be able to fulfill social, environmental, and economic sustainability in communities. The findings towards the research topic implied that more research and implementation of adaptive reuse in historic buildings need to be utilized to show the benefits as a sustainable solution.
    • Blue Design: Fighting Food Deserts With Rainwater Harvesting

      Kramer, Sean; Graff, Jackson; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Stoker, Phillip; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2018-11-30)
      Food deserts are an increasing issue in the United States. Low-income areas within cities have little economic incentives for grocery stores, leaving the residence with little to no access to healthy foods. Schools within these food deserts have the ability to provide members of the low-income communities with these healthy foods. These foods can be sustainably grown with rainwater harvesting design and implementation. Tucson Arizona and its food desert locations were the focus area of this study. After generating the data on how much rainwater each school was able to collect in a given year, the amount of potential food produced was calculated for each school. The data and report provide the foundation for schools to build their rainwater harvesting and community farming programs upon. The results suggest that every school has the potential to at least supplement their daily diets with healthy foods grown on campus and watered with a sustainable source.
    • Green Infrastructure and ArcGIS on the University of Arizona Campus

      Iuliano, Joey; Rouhani, Maryam; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Shujuan, Li; Livingston, Margaret (The University of Arizona., 2018-12)
      Climate change has led to an increase of destructive weather events around the world. This is a trend that is expected to continue in the coming decades. Because of this, making our cities more resilient and sustainable should be a top priority. However, realistically there are limited funds available to spend on improving our urban centers. We must find ways to be increasingly efficient and effective with the way we use our resources. This paper explores one way Arc GIS could play a role in analyzing data in order to decide where to prioritize spending. Green infrastructure is a cost effective and sustainable way to handle storm events. It allows water to be retained on site, rather than funneled through gutters. For this study, Arc GIS to create a density map of where green infrastructure currently exists on the University of Arizona’s campus, and then combining that with an NDVI analysis that reveals what areas are furthest away from existing green space. The resulting map shows what areas of campus are furthest from existing green infrastructure and greenspace, and are therefore in most need of additional green infrastructure. The area identified by the final map as having the most need is the north-west part of campus, by Park and Speedway. This same process could be applied at the scale of a city in order for city planners to make informed decisions on how to allocate their funds.
    • Streetcar Track Risk to Cyclists: Education as a Solution

      Adkins, Arlie; Friberg-Landon, Alexandria; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2018-12-14)
      The study evaluates bike safety education as a solution to bike crashes involving Tucson’s Sun Link Streetcar Tracks. Bike crashes on streetcar tracks present a problem for public safety that is complex and unique. This study measures the effect of bike safety education on bike crash rates on the streetcar tracks. A survey was used to measure bike crashes on the streetcar tracks before and after the treatment was given. The first survey measured the number of bike crashes on the tracks in the past 8 weeks and randomly divided the treatment and control groups. The control group received no education. The treatment group watched a 3 minute bike safety video. After 6 weeks, a second survey measured the number of crashes on the streetcar tracks in both groups since. The crash rates were compared before and after the treatment and between the groups. The p-value of change in crash rate between the treatment and control groups is .2209. This means that there was not a significant difference between the two groups. The change in crash rates is not likely a result of the educational video. Part of the study is an index to measure the knowledge level of participants about bike safety, specifically as it relates to the streetcar. The index used answers to questions in my survey about experience, risk perception, formal education experience, and how to cross the tracks. This index could be helpful in future studies about bike safety education. While no relationship was found between education and bike crashes on the streetcar tracks in this study, future studies could find something else. If future studies find education effective, then treating the problem might mean a slight shift in bike safety education resources to be more oriented towards the streetcar tracks. If education is not effective, then we need our infrastructure and design standards to change to prioritize safety.
    • Green Infrastructure and its Applications on the University of Arizona Campus

      Bulik, Claire; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; McCormick, Grant; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2018-12)
      Cities all around the world are experiencing new challenges in the wake of climate change. In the United States the effects of climate change, coupled with failing infrastructure, are leading to major problems when it comes to flooding and storm water management. With the predicted increase and severity of storm events due to climate change, storm water mitigation is becoming an important task for planners, engineers, and landscape architects. Green infrastructure is emerging as a solution to these challenges where in place of traditional infrastructure multi-layered systems that mimic natural processes are being used to capture, treat and infiltrate storm water on site. This capstone examines the various components of green infrastructure design and how it can be utilized on the University of Arizona campus. This research, in addition to quantitative storm water calculations, have been used to inform the re-design of a site on campus using green infrastructure practices to mitigate flooding and capture storm water runoff. Through a carefully planned green infrastructure approach, the proposed design captures 90% of the storm water that falls in a 100-year, 60-minute design storm on site.
    • Effective Strategies to Manage Underground Utilities and Urban Trees in Public Rights-of-Way

      Garrick, Sandi; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Alster, Ellen; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2018-12)
      With more than 8.6 million lane miles of roads and adjacent right-of-way in the United States, it is easy to understand why the management of those public assets is of vital importance. Public rights-of-way serve a variety of critical functions including, but not limited to, freight transit, recreational travel, utility infrastructure corridors, alternative modes of transport, drainage elements, vegetation management, and aesthetic enhancement or beautification. This paper will explore the constraints encountered in managing these public spaces for such a variety of stakeholders. Through means of case study analysis, literature review, and interviews with industry experts, recommendations will be made for both technologies and practices being used to effectively manage competing interests in the public rights-of-way. Best Management Practices include preliminary utility identification, accurate mapping utilizing Subsurface Utility Engineering, design considerations including appropriate species, planting, irrigation and maintenance of urban tree forests, public policies that are multi-disciplinary and holistic in their approach, along with funding mechanisms that can be leveraged to support a thriving urban tree forest.
    • Addressing Sustainable Management of Natural Resource Use: Coltan

      Makabu, Moïse; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      The Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.) is home of Tin, Gold and Coltan which is extracted from tantalum (Ta) and is a key mineral in the production of cellular devices, laptops, aviation components and other electronics. With the mining practices having an effect on land, wildlife & biodiversity, government officials and industry leaders worldwide must adopt sustainable approaches and socially responsible policies and report on their implementations to assess impacts. The movement towards sustainable management of natural resources in the D.R.C. would require proposing organisations such as the United Nations Global Compact to take initiatives in aiming to encourage D.R.C.’s mining industries and coltan-using industries worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.
    • A Relative Look at Light Rail Systems and Property Values

      Kramer, Sean; John, Graham; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Christopherson, Gary; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2018-12)
      The debate on whether or not Light Rail Systems have a net positive or negative on a surrounding areas property values has been a debate raging since the first implementation of the public transit systems themselves. This paper shall attempt to answer this question and do further research into which areas particularly in western culture, ranging from London to Portland and applying said findings to Phoenix, Arizona. Through this research it has shown that although small there does appear to be a positive correlation between the two separate entities. Building upon this a collection of data from Phoenix residents has been collected and shall be discussed as to gauge overall interest in the light rail system. This data may allow planners to understand the wants and needs for the community and in going forward with plans for the public transit systems may be able to systematically implement new expansion lines for the Phoenix Light Rail System.
    • Wildfire and Land Cover Change in the Archipelago Mountain Ranges

      Kramer, Sean; Maggi, Amber; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Li, Shujuan; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2018-12)
      This study analyzes 10 years (2001-2011) of land cover and wildfire data in the Sky Islands Region. The aim of this study is to produce visual models of land cover change in conjunction with human-caused wildfires. Research was conducted using data gathered from the National Land Cover Database, the USDA Forest Service and from wildfire.cr.usgs.gov. This information was spatially mapped using ArcMap. Land cover from 2001-2011 was evaluated as either a negative change, a positive change or a constant. Wildfire data was classified as either human-caused or naturally occurring. These two maps were used to compare and analyze the relationship between wildfires and land cover change.
    • Development of Bioanalytical Assays Using Scintillant Polymer-Core Silica-Shell Nanoparticles

      Mokhtari, Zeinab (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Ideal nanosensors of biomolecules are sensitive, selective, stable, minimally invasive, amenable to mass production with low-cost, and applicable for reproducible in vitro and in vivo analyses. The nano scintillation proximity assay (nanoSPA) presented here is based on a composite architecture of polystyrene-core and silica-shell nanoparticles, with a high surface area to volume ratio (ca. 2×107 m-1) and density of approximately 1.6 g/cm3. nanoSPA obviates the need for separation of bound from free radiolabeled molecules prior to measurements, with minimized complexity and maximized versatility. Selected β-emitter radioisotopes were utilized for the development of radioassays for analysis of biological processes using nanoSPA. 35S was employed for thiol/disulfide ratio analysis for the first time. Thiolresponsive nanoSPA was used for quantification of 33S-cysteine and 33S-cystine as models of 35S-thiol and 35S-disulfide. Synthetic samples of 33S-cysteine and 33S-cystine and human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cell lysates were analyzed using thiolresponsive nanoSPA for evaluation of thiol/disulfide ratio as a measure of redox status of the sample. Limit of detection for 35S-thiol analysis was <1.1 pM (<1.1 nCi) with a signal to background ratio over 10-fold. 33P-labeled adenosine triphosphate (ATPγ33P) was utilized for the development of kinase activity assays. Three nanoSPA platforms were developed for kinase activity analysis including adsorption, binding, and immuno-nanoSPA that respond based on electrostatic non-specific adsorption, covalent binding, and antibody-antigen binding, respectively. Signal to background ratio up to 24 was observed using separation-free analyses with nanoSPA, compared to approximately 11.5 using liquid scintillation analysis after many washing steps. 3H emits the lowest energy β-particles and it was utilized with nanoSPA for development of saccharide sensors. Dynamic binding of 3H-D-glucose to nanoSPA functionalized with several monoboronic acids (monoBAs) and diboronic acids (diBAs) was evaluated. The signal to background ratio was up to 2.2-fold that must be improved. Further platforms may be developed based on phospholipid-nanoSPA with minimal nonspecific adsorption and more specificity.
    • Aquatic and Riparian Connectivity in Arid Landscapes

      Sharma, Akanksha (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Aquatic and riparian ecosystems are of critical importance in arid environments, supporting a diverse suite of resident and migratory species over different life stages. Ecological connectivity is an important property in the functioning of these ecosystems, and a significant subject of interest for researchers,scientists,resource managers, practitioners and other stakeholders. Furthermore, a variety of perceptions exists on aquatic and riparian connectivity among stakeholders, and connectivity of these ecosystems in arid landscapes is a relatively unexplored subject. I focused on these issues in the US portion of the Madrean Archipelago by combining qualitative methods to capture the diversity of perspectives among experts and quantitative spatial analysis to capture the variety of factors that influence aquatic and riparian connectivity. I synthesized the resultant expert perspectives into a Connectivity Component-Dimension Framework that deconstructs aquatic and riparian connectivity into connectivity components and their dimensions. Using GIS and regression analysis, I applied this framework to a case study of the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana chiricahuensis) in the Cienega Creek basin in Arizona and created connectivity indices for this focal species. Some factors that emerged significant in this case study included elevation, fire hazard potential, and density of leopard frog sightings. This connectivity framework and the related indices provide customizable options for stakeholders to assess aquatic and riparian connectivity multidimensionally using readily available data. These tools can be used by stakeholders for exploratory analysis, assessment and visualization of aquatic and riparian connectivity, in arid landscapes, and beyond.
    • Impact of Geographic Variation, Disability, Socioeconomic Status and Risk Adjustment on High-Risk Medication Use among Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries

      Chinthammit, Chanadda (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      BACKGROUND Inappropriate medication use is common and represents a substantial clinical and economic burden in the United States (US). The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has adopted one of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA)’s quality measures to assess percentages of older adult beneficiaries receiving high-risk medications (HRM) in Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan and stand-alone Prescription Drug plan. Understanding geographic patterns of HRM use may help CMS and their partners develop and tailor prevention strategies (such as prior authorization) to be implemented in the areas of need. Furthermore, The HRM use measure was used to assess Medicare Advantage Prescription drug plan (MA-PD) and stand-alone Prescription Drug plan (PDP) performance and to provide guidance for practitioners to reduce the use of such medications. Limited evidence exists on how HRM use is associated with patient characteristics and whether risk adjustment is necessary to accurately evaluate health plan performance on the HRM measure. OBJECTIVES The overall objectives of this research were to understand regional and patient characteristics associated with HRM use measure to develop a risk adjustment model for the HRM measure to accurately evaluated health plan performance. The first specific aims were to examined HRM use patterns among Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in: (1) Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MA-PDs); and (2) stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) across geographic areas over time in the United States. The second specific aims were to: (a) measure HRM use in MA-PD and PDP beneficiaries with disadvantaged characteristics, including low income and disability; and (b) examine the relationship between disadvantaged characteristics and HRM use given constant effect of health plans. The third specific aims were to examine the relations between patient risk factors and the HRM measure and develop risk adjustment tool for the HRM measure in older adults enrolled in MA-PDs and PDPs. METHODS This cross-sectional study used a 5% national Medicare sample (2011–2013 for the first aims and 2013 for the second and third aims). Among beneficiaries aged ³65 years who were continuously enrolled in MA-PDs or PDPs (~1.3 million each year), we identified those with ≥2 prescriptions for the same HRM (e.g., amitriptyline) during the year based on the HRM list provided by CMS and Pharmacy Quality Alliance. For the first specific aims, multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted annual HRM use rates across 306 Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care hospital referral regions (HRRs), adjusting for sociodemographic, health-status, and access-to-care factors. For the second aims, Multivariable generalized linear mixed models were used to assess the association of HRM use and disadvantage factors such as low-income subsidy (LIS)/dual eligibility status (DE) and disability after adjusting for health plan effect and patient-level confounding characteristics (i.e., sociodemographic, geographic, clinical complexity). For the third aims, multivariable generalized linear mixed models were used to assess the association of HRM use and patient risk factors (e.g., age, gender) and identify risk factors after adjusting for health plan effect. The identified risk factors were used as variables for regression-based risk adjustment for the HRM measure. Unadjusted and adjusted quality rankings among health plans were compared. RESULTS First, a total of 1,161,076, 1,237,653, and 1,402,861 beneficiaries satisfied the study criteria and were included in 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively. Among our study sample, nearly 40% (39%, 39% and 37% in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively) were enrolled in MA-PD plans, whereas remaining 60% (61%, 61%, and 63% in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively) were enrolled in PDP plans. HRM use significantly decreased over time among Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in MA-PD (13.1% to 8.4%, p<0.001) and PDP (16.2% to 12.2%, p<0.001) plans. Among MA-PD beneficiaries, HRM users more frequently: female (70.4% vs. 59.9%, p<0.001); White (84.6% vs. 81.4%, p < 0.001); eligible for the Part D Low Income Subsidy or Medicaid benefits (22.3% vs. 16.6%, p<0.001); and disabled (15.6% vs 8.7%, p<0.001) compared to non-HRM users in 2013. Among PDP beneficiaries, HRM users had higher proportions of: females (72.8% vs. 62.5%, p < 0.001); Whites (86.6% vs. 85.3%, p<0.001); LIS/DEs (29.2% vs. 23.3%, p<0.001); and disabled people (15.4% vs 8.5%, p<0.001) compared to non-HRM users. In 2013, the ratios of 75th-to-25th percentile HRM use rates across HRRs were 1.42 (MAPDs) and 1.31 (PDPs). HRRs with the highest HRM use rates were: Casper, WY (20.4%), Waco, TX (16.7%), Lubbock, TX (15.7%), Santa Barbara, CA (15.2%), and Temple, TX (15.1%) (MA-PDs); and Lawton, OK (18.8%), Alexandria, LA (18.8%), Lake Charles, LA (18.6%), Oklahoma City, OK (18.0%), and Slidell, LA (18.0%) (PDPs). Second, there were a total of 520,019 MA-PD and 881,264 PDP beneficiaries who met the study criteria. Of the MA-PD beneficiaries, 88,693 (17.1%) were LIS/DE and 48,997 (9.4%) were disabled. Of PDP beneficiaries, 213,096 (24.2%) were LIS/DE, and 83,593(9.5%) were disabled. LIS/DE beneficiaries had a higher percent of HRM users compared to non-LIS/DE MA-PD (17.0% vs. 9.6%, p < 0.001) and PDP (17.1% vs. 13.2%, p < 0.001) beneficiaries. Disabled beneficiaries had a higher percent of HRM users compared to non-LIS/DE MA-PD (17.0% vs. 9.6%, p < 0.001)) and PDP (17.0% vs. 9.6%, p < 0.001) beneficiaries. Multivariable analyses showed LIS/DE (OR = 1.07; 95% CI: 1.04, 1.10) and disability (OR =1.38; 95% CI: 1.34, 1.42) were associated with HRM among the MA-PD population as well as in the PDP population (LIS/DE OR = 1.14; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.16 and disability OR = 1.37; 955 CI: 1.34, 1.40). Third, the HRM users were more likely to be younger (OR = 0.981, 95% CI, 0.980-0.983 for MA-PD and OR=0.982, 95% CI, 0.981-0.983 for PDP); women (OR = 1.545; 95% CI,1.514-1.576 for MA-PD and OR=1.606, 95% CI, 1.584-1.628); eligible to receive low-income subsidy (OR = 1.086, 95%CI, 1.057-1.115 for MA-PD and 1.170, 95% CI, 1.150–1.190 for PDP); disabled (OR = 1.380, 95%CI, 1.342 –1.420 for MA-PD and 1.378, 95%CI, 1.352–1.405 for PDP); seeing multiple prescibers (OR =1.076, 95%CI, 1.072, 1.081 for MA-PD and 1.072, 95%CI, 1.069-1.075); filling prescriptions at multiple pharmacies (OR = 1.092, 95%CI, 1.083-1.102 for MA-PD and OR = 1.092, 95%CI, 1.086, 1.099 for PDP); and had higher average modified RxRisk-V (OR = 1.176, 95%CI ,1.171 – 1.181 for MA-PD and OR = 1.173, 95%CI, 1.170-1.176 for PDP). Being older and white were protective against receipt of HRMs. These variables were recommended for the risk adjustment model. Unadjusted scores showed low levels of agreement (Cohen’s kappa < 0.7) with risk-adjusted scores in identifying statistical outliers suggesting risk adjustment is necessary. CONCLUSION Geographic variation in HRM use exists among older adults in Medicare, regardless of prescription drug plans. Areas with high HRM rates may benefit from targeted interventions to prevent potential adverse consequences. LIS/DE; disability; demographic such as age, gender, race; and clinical complexity were associated with higher HRM use in both the MA-PD and PDP populations even when controlling for health plan effects. Failure to adjust for beneficiaries case mix might penalize some truly high-quality MA-PD and PDP providers that serve sick beneficiaries or beneficiaries with poor socioeconomic conditions.
    • Examining Three Levels of Social Integration and Health in Minorities: A Bioecological Perspective

      Flores, Melissa Ann (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Background. Understanding and dismantling health disparities remain one of the most essential imperatives for our nation. The complexity of interacting sociodemographic and structural factors affecting health is difficult to quantify. Thus, sophisticated approaches which take into account not only an individual but their dynamic, social environments are necessary for understanding resiliency and strengths in these populations (Thornton et al., 2016). In this dissertation, I adopted a developmental perspective (e.g. Bioecological Theory) that may guide scientists when considering several interacting, sociocultural environmental factors at once. Social integration is a powerful force in an individual's life. Although 'social integration' may have many names (perceived social support, closeness of social ties, diverse social networks, etc.), broadly, it is accepted that one's social life has a profound impact on their corresponding health and mortality through various behavioral and physiological pathways (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010; Robles & Kiecolt-Glaser, 2003; Symister & Friend, 2003). Thus, any comprehensive study on health should include a broader investigation of socio-environmental variables including measures of social integration and broader community culture and resources. Historically, however, investigations focused on social integration, physical health, and the association between the two have traditionally underrepresented minority individuals (Heiat, Gross, & Krumholz, 2002; Hussain-Gambles, Atkin, & Leese, 2004; Murthy, Krumholz, & Gross, 2004). Research Aim and Questions. Adopting a social-ecological systems approach, the focus of my dissertation is to examine social integration at three levels (the spousal/partner relationship, immediate family-level dynamics, and neighborhood and community level factors) and the association of these levels of social integration with the health of minority individuals (Bronfenbrenner & Evans, 2000; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998, 2007). I addressed this aim through three, separate research questions (RQ)/Chapters: RQ1/Chapter II) The individual and spousal/partner relationship, What are the associations between marital status and social support with health quality of life (HQoL), and mortality in post-menopausal, Hispanic women? RQ2/ Chapter III) Immediate family-level dynamics, Does synchrony of emotional arousal in diverse families facing breast cancer predict depressive mood and coping style in breast cancer patients? RQ3/ Chapter IV) Neighborhood and community level factors, Do social ties or social support mediate the ethnic density effect for Hispanics and other racial-ethnic groups? Methods and Data Sources. Three distinct data sources were examined within this body of work. In Chapter II, I utilized data from the Women's Health Initiative, Observational Study (Anderson, et al., 1998). In this analysis, I examined the relation between marital status and two outcomes: mortality and health quality of life. I also assessed whether the relations between marital status and these outcomes were attenuated or moderated by social support and language acculturation. In Chapter III, I utilized data collected for The Family Coping and Breast Cancer Project which recruited patients during the years of 1991 – 1993 (Weihs et al., 2005). In this analysis, I examined emotion arousal synchrony among family members (patient and spouse, and patient and child) using cross recurrence quantification analysis. I then examined whether the relations between emotion arousal synchrony and two breast cancer patient outcomes (coping style and depressive mood) are moderated by patient perceived family environment ratings or race. Lastly, in Chapter IV, I analyzed data from Wave 2 of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (O’Muircheartaigh, English, Pedlow, & Kwok, 2014). In this analysis, I examined whether the Hispanic ethnic density effect was mediated by either social network variables (size, closeness of ties, and diversity) or social support and whether these associations were moderated by Hispanic ethnicity. Results. In the first study (Chapter II) I found that marital status was a significant predictor of mortality for older Hispanic women. Specifically, widowed women had significantly higher mortality risk when compared to their married counterparts. This relation, however, was not present after controlling for social support and language acculturation. In regard to health quality of life, marital status was associated with physical functioning, with widowed women reporting significantly worse physical functioning three years after baseline when compared with their married counterparts. This study suggests that widowed, Hispanic women may be at risk for poor health and this may be facilitated through social support and language acculturation. In the second study (Chapter III) I found that the relation between emotional arousal synchrony and patients' depressive mood in families facing breast cancer was moderated by family environment, specifically conflictual environments. I also found that the relation between emotional arousal synchrony and coping style was moderated by family environment, specifically for cohesiveness ratings. Moderation by race was not found. These results suggest that emotion arousal synchrony are family dynamics that may have differing implications depending on the family environment. In the third study (Chapter IV) I found two Hispanic ethnic density effects, but they were not mediated by social network variables. However, they were mediated by social support, but not in the direction I hypothesized. Social support was an inconsistent mediator of the relation between ethnic density and depressive symptoms and a suppressor of the relation between ethnic density and morbidity. These results suggest that for all racial/ethnic groups, ethnically dense neighborhoods do not beget higher social ties and social support. Conclusions. Overall, findings in this dissertation suggest that varying levels of the social-ecological environment are associated with health in minorities in various ways. A common phenomenon that arose in all three analyses were questions about how covariates or mediators influenced the association of the main variable of interest and its relation to different health outcomes. Broadly, this may be a common issue for social scientists interested in utilizing social variables from different social-ecological levels (micro-system, exosystem, etc.), which corroborates my previous statement regarding the complexity of social environments.
    • Effects of Stress, Sleep Hygiene, and Exercise on Academic Engagement in Undergraduate Students

      Nelson, Audrey (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Academic engagement is important for the scholastic outcomes of college students, including degree completion. The current study examined the relations between stress and the intrinsic aspects of academic engagement (e.g. effort, attention, note-taking, attendance, asking for help, etc.), including the four factors of undergraduate engagement as outlined by Handelsman, Briggs, Sullivan, & Towler (2005): Factor 1 – “skills engagement,” Factor 2 – “emotional engagement,” Factor 3 – “participation/interaction engagement,” and Factor 4 – “performance engagement,” in addition to the mediating/moderating properties of the self-care practices of sleep hygiene and physical activity. Intrinsic versus extrinsic engagement was evaluated in this study as it is believed this approach affords more opportunities for subsequent interventions since they can be implemented in an individual or small group setting, and not be constrained by the challenges of making large institutional changes. The sample consisted of 203 undergraduate students from a large southeastern university. Results indicated that stress was negatively correlated with the factor of academic engagement most related to executive functioning (i.e. skills engagement). Of the independent variables evaluated, sleep hygiene showed the strongest correlations with academic engagement, most specifically for the skills engagement and performance engagement factors. Sleep hygiene also functioned as a mediator in the relationship between stress and the skills factor of engagement, resulting in a 47% reduction in the effect of stress. Exercise did not show correlations with any areas of engagement, but did show a small interaction effect on the relationship between stress and the academic engagement factor of participation/interaction. Stress was seen to have a positive impact on participation/interaction engagement. A moderating effect of physical activity was identified, leading to lower participation/interaction engagement when both stress and exercise were high. Exercise, ethnicity, age, class rank, and gender did not add predictive ability to any of the models for academic engagement/factors of engagement. These results highlight the potential benefits of improving sleep habits and promoting programs aimed at minimizing and addressing stress (e.g. meditation, mental health supports) in order to promote success and positive academic outcomes in undergraduate students. Directions for future research were also discussed.
    • Machine Reading for Scientific Discovery

      Hahn-Powell, Gus (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      The aim of this work is to accelerate scientific discovery by advancing machine reading approaches designed to extract claims and assertions made in the literature, assemble these statements into cohesive models, and generate novel hypotheses that synthesize findings from isolated research communities. Over 1 million new publications are added to the biomedical literature each year. This poses a serious challenge to researchers needing to understand the state of the field. It is effectively impossible for an individual to summarize the larger body of work or even remain abreast of research findings directly relevant to a subtopic. As the boundaries between disciplines continue to blur, the question of what to read grows more complicated. Researchers must inevitably turn to machine reading techniques to summarize findings, detect contradictions, and illuminate the inner workings of complex systems. Machine reading is a research program in artificial intelligence centered on teaching computers to read and comprehend natural language text. Through large-scale machine reading of the scientific literature, we can greatly advance our understanding of the natural world. Despite remarkable progress (Gunning et al., 2010; Berant et al., 2014; Cohen, 2015a), current machine reading systems face two major obstacles which impede wider adoption: <i>Assembly</i> The majority of machine reading systems extract disconnected findings from the literature (Berant et al., 2014). In areas of study such as biology, which involve large mechanistic systems with many interdependent components, it is essential that the insights scattered across the literature be contextualized and carefully integrated. The single greatest challenge facing machine reading is in learning to piece together this intricate puzzle to form coherent models and mitigate information overload. In this work, I will demonstrate how disparate biomolecular statements mined from text can be causally ordered into chains of reactions (Hahn-Powell et al., 2016b) that extend our understanding of mechanistic biology. Then, moving beyond a single domain, we will see how machine-read fragments (influence relations) drawn from a multitude of disciplines can be assembled into models of children’s heath. <i>Hypothesis generation and “undiscovered public knowledge”</i> (Swanson, 1986a) Without a notion of research communities and their interaction, machine reading systems struggle to identify knowledge gaps and key ideas capable of bridging disciplines and fostering the kind of collaboration that accelerates scientific progress. With this aim in mind, I introduce a procedure for detecting research communities using a large citation network and derive semantic representations that encode a measure of the flow of information between these groups. Finally, I leverage these representations to uncover influence relation pathways which connect otherwise isolated communities.
    • Supporting Parents as College Advisors: A Qualitative Study of First Generation College Students' Parents

      Valencia, Marylyn (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      This study identified first-generation college student’s parents’ needs and support systems during their child’s college admissions process. Literature supports the benefits of improving college knowledge among high school parents of first-generation college students. Parent college knowledge includes information about the college admissions requirements, college admissions processes, parental involvement, and access to social support. Research on these populations is more commonly done through quantitative studies that do not always include parents’ voice or qualitative research that tends to highlight students’ experiences. Regardless of the type of research, parents’ ability to provide guidance has a significant impact on first-generation college students’ enrollment and retention rates (Auerbach, 2007; Duggan, 2001). Social capital informed the design of this study to examine the access of college knowledge resources used by first-generation college students’ parents. The qualitative study was supported in a constructivist epistemology. Data were collected through semi-structured focus groups and individual interviews, which included 28 high school parents and/or guardians. Results categorized into three factors: college admissions requirements, the navigation of the college admissions process, and access to social support for guidance. The study concludes with findings that allow educators to better understand the needs of first-generation college students’ parents as well as steps that can be taken to provide parents with the tools needed to better guide their children through the college admissions process. Keywords: parent college knowledge, educational equity, college admission, high school
    • The Nature of the Vertical Distribution of Seismic Responses in Multi-Story Structures

      Kuzucu, Ismail Bahadir (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      This Ph.D. research investigates the vertical distribution of seismic responses and controlling seismic response patterns in multi-story reinforced concrete and steel structures. Seismic responses of buildings designed by conventional force-based or displacement-based approaches result in significant force demands compared to nominal design as observed in both experimental studies and earthquake simulations. Furthermore, force patterns suggest that the floor forces are predominantly controlled by higher modes especially when modal properties of buildings alter due to inelastic deformations. Therefore, actual force patterns experienced by buildings may not comply with the design code assumptions such as equivalent lateral force or response spectrum analysis. The main assumption in those methods, that the response of a building is dominated by the first mode excitation, may not be valid under strong earthquakes when inelastic deformations contribute significantly to the total response. Design code assumptions imply inelasticity to have same effects in all modes of response, though it may have significant effects on the demands associated with the first mode, higher modes may not be affected the same way. Further the distribution of seismic responses may differ for different types of lateral force resisting systems since each system possesses different response mechanisms such as formation of inelastic deformations. To better understand the distribution of seismic demands, response intensity measures obtained through nonlinear time history analysis are examined closely in terms of magnitude and shape along the height of buildings for different types of lateral force resisting systems in this study. This dissertation examines various types of buildings to address and shade light on those issues and observations mentioned above.
    • Passive Strategies to Improve Energy Efficiency in Existing and Pursuing Leed® Certified Buildings in Arid Regions

      Simmerman, Cecilia (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      Energy efficiency in buildings is vital for the environment and sustainability. Edifices are responsible for significant energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. “LEED® provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings” (10). This framework that LEED® developed and the variety of paths to achieve points for certification make it very easy to bypass the energy category and produce underachieving buildings regarding energy efficiency. I think to create sustainable structures it is essential to employ passive strategies, and this study will illustrate that some LEED® Certify Building rely more on active systems rather than passive systems. This research will also demonstrate through energy simulation that passive strategies minimized external loads due to climate and are very effective in a hot arid climate. These strategies are sustainable reduce energy consumption are cost effective and without risk of mechanical or user failure. Because of investigation, a check list was developed to aid designers create more efficient structure using passive strategies.
    • Planetary Granular Topography: Slope Angles & Crater Concentric Ridges

      Atwood-Stone, Corwin (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      In the first portion of this dissertation I examine the effect of gravitational acceleration on the angle of repose of granular features. To do this I have used HiRISE DTMs to compare the slipface angles of Martian sand dunes with those measured on Earth. In doing this I have found that the slopes of active dunes on Mars do not differ from their terrestrial counterparts, and as such I have concluded that gravitational acceleration does not effect the angle of repose. In the second, larger portion of this dissertation I examine the morphology and formation of Crater Concentric Ridges (CCRs). These features, formerly known as 'Lunar Concentric Dunes', are ridges oriented concentrically to fresh craters a few kilometers in diameter. Using LROC NAC data I have created a catalog of 77 craters that have these features in their ejecta blankets. Further, I have used this data to map and measure the CCRs around eight craters of varying diameters in order to analyze their distributions. I have also been able to characterize the morphology of these ridges and how that morphology changes with distance from the host crater. Using DTMs made from NAC images I have studied the three-dimensional topography of CCRs in order to fully describe the morphology of these features. This morphological analysis has allowed me to refute several hypotheses for the formation of these features, including the previously accepted ballistic impact sedimentation and erosion hypothesis. In order to formulate a new theory for the formation of these features I have created simulations of crater ejecta flowing over regolith using discrete element modeling. In these simulations I found that Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities form at the interface between the ejecta and regolith. I posit that these instabilities are responsible for the formation of Crater Concentric Ridges. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that the topography produced in my simulations strongly resembles that which I have measured and described around real lunar craters.