Coral reefs provide humans with important ecosystem services including food, pharmaceuticals, and water filtration (Moberg and Folke 1999). These ecosystem services, however, are at risk from ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and other destructive anthropogenic activities. Since these ecosystem services are costly to replace and their natural ability to restore themselves has been compromised, active restoration is necessary. A promising tool for active restoration is the Biorock® method. The Biorock® method consists of running an electrode through a large metal cathode and smaller anode. The electrical current causes the precipitation of calcium carbonate onto the cathode. The cathode works as an artificial reef framework by providing a natural substrate onto which corals can grow. Claims about the effectiveness of this technology in terms of increased coral growth, reproduction, health, and diversity are spectacular (Goreau and Hilbertz 2005), but independent research is divided on the question of its effectiveness. In an attempt to help clarify the technology’s effectiveness, we conducted laboratory experiments to test the claims of growth enhancement for the electrolytic technology by exposing the temperate solitary coral Balanophyllia elegans to powered and unpowered treatments. The study focused on coral growth, but careful observations were made on other aspects of the community including presence and thickness of algal cover. Our results are not consistent with claims made about the benefits of electrolysis on coral growth. Growth between treatments was significantly different but, while claims suggest a 3 to 5-fold increase in growth (Goreau 2014), corals exposed to an electrical current grew less than control corals. The results suggest that the electric current may actually depress growth. A species-specific tolerance to electrical currents may help explain our results as well as the variation seen in other studies. In addition to variation caused by species tolerance and current level, there also seem to be overall trends of the technology being effective for warm-water corals, but ineffective or even detrimental to cold-water corals. The variation in effectiveness between warm and cold-water species is surprising given the proposed physiological mechanisms behind the benefit and suggests that photosynthesis may play an important role in determining whether or not the technology is effective. Our results suggest an ability of the electrical current to depress the growth of algae, which can positively impact photosynthesis and the corals’ ability to calcify. Algae inhibition can therefore play an important role in determining whether or not the technology is effective, but is still part of a complex interplay between current density, ion availability, algae and photosynthesis. Further study is needed to clarify these interactions and their role in determining the effectiveness of the Biorock® method.
Large wood (LW) provides habitat to aquatic organisms and can significantly alter stream geomorphology. Sources of LW to stream ecosystem originate in riparian forests and are influenced by wildfire regimes. To quantify the relationship between burn severities and in-stream LW, we surveyed 15 low order streams effected by varying wildfire burn severities in a near-pristine watershed of the Frank Church River of No-Return Wilderness in Central Idaho. In the field and using remotely sensed imagery, burn severity was divided into four categories: “unburned,” “low,” “moderate,” and “high”. We hypothesized that burn severity would be positively correlated with in-stream LW. Alternatively, in areas with the highest burn severities, LW might be limited due to combustion. To test this hypothesis we used principal components analysis that indicated fire severity, recruitable LW, and pre-fire vegetation are the most important predictors of in-stream LW in landscapes with a natural wildfire regime. In particular, high category severity burns had significantly more LW than the other categories. An increase in burn severity is also correlated with increased average piece size. The comparison of fire severity maps to field data found a significant correlation locally but no correlation with fire severity of upstream reaches. Few studies have compared the interaction of in-stream LW and fire severity in a near-pristine stream ecosystem. The results of this study improve our understanding of LW dynamics in Intermountain West watersheds with a natural wildfire regime, and could inform post-fire salvage logging management practices.
Mining activity in the central Andes poses a serious threat to human health due to the release of heavy metals in surface water. Long-term exposure to elevated levels of heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, copper, and arsenic, are known to have severe detrimental effects on human health. Mining exposes large quantities of metal bearing rock, which oxidize in the presence of oxygen and water, releasing heavy metal ions into surface water. Surface water contamination in Perú as a result of mining operations is of particular concern due to a lack of regulation of large-scale mines. In order to determine the impact of mining on surface water heavy metal concentrations, water samples were collected in nine streams throughout our three watersheds in the central Peruvian Andes. Results showed [Mn] and [As] exceeded the EPA maximum allowable limits at 55% and 14% of sites, respectively. The [Mn] was significantly higher in impacted streams than non-impacted streams. The [As] was elevated in some non-impacted streams and below the EPA maximum allowable drinking water levels in some mine-impacted streams. While Mn appeared to be impacted by mining effluent, As seemed to have a natural groundwater source. This study suggests Mn and As pose a serious threat to human health in the regions of study. The [Zn], [Cu], and [Pb] seldom exceeded the EPA maximum allowable drinking water limit (5%, 3% and 5% of sites, respectively). Dry season [Zn], [Cu], and [Pb] do not appear to pose a serious threat to human health in these regions. Further research is needed to understand seasonal variations in both dissolved and particulate trace metal concentrations. Implementing a community-based water quality monitoring program in study regions may also afford local residents more autonomy and local knowledge regarding the impact of mining on heavy metal concentrations in their surface water.
This paper will address two closely linked lines of inquiry, the first of which is how the living practice of Zen Buddhism might work to deepen an ecological understanding of the world by fostering a deeper understanding of the self and the place of the self in the wider sphere of the inherent interconnectedness of the natural world. The second question is: How might the path of Gary Snyder be an example to which American environmentalists might look in order to bring greater meaning and understanding to the practice of what is conventionally termed “environmentalism.” These questions will bring about discussion of the potential problems with Western dualism that might be countered by the nondualist tradition of Zen Buddhism. With this context established, we will examine the trajectory of the work of Gary Snyder and how the practice of Zen Buddhism broadened his understanding of themes already present in his American naturalist roots. In this paper I focus on two important gleanings from Zen Buddhist practice and teaching, the first of which is the idea of a dependent self that is inherently part of the interconnected sphere of living and nonliving things here on this earth and extending outward into the entire universe. This Buddhist view of self allows for a wider scope that works against the restrictions placed on the self by the dominant Western notion of an independent and autonomous self. Snyder’s sense of interconnectivity can be seen to develop throughout the trajectory of his poetry and prose, coevolving with his understanding of self as it is informed by his Zen practice. The second takeaway I hope will be the grounding effects of Zen practice, allowing the practitioner to focus on the task at hand, effectively eliminating mind-body dualism that can be shown to extend to a problematic and hierarchical human-nature dualism. I will examine this idea of undivided attention to the task at hand as Gary Snyder has emphasized this aspect of his Buddhist and naturalist practice throughout the course of his life and works. An American naturalist, poet, activist, and Zen practitioner, Gary Snyder supplements Western ecological thought with indigenous and Eastern wisdom. He effectively draws from each tradition to add to his practice of living lightly on this earth. Snyder has cultivated a worldview in which interconnectivity is inherent and every action is done in mind of a larger whole, no doubt owing to his involvement with Zen practice. It is my goal in writing this paper to examine, by the example of the life and writing of Gary Snyder, how certain aspects of environmentalism, speaking both philosophically and practically, might be given greater meaning and depth through the nondualist practice of Zen Buddhism.
Vertical growth is an important element to consider when evaluating the movement of an alpine treeline. The vertical growth of trees is decisive in the establishment of trees upslope of the existing treeline, as trees must be able to grow up, mature, and reproduce in order for the treeline to advance. The purpose of this study was to explore the possible causes of, and factors influencing, the vertical growth of trees in a treeline environment, specifically at the alpine treeline of Pike’s Peak, CO. Vertical growth was first studied on an individual scale, specifically investigating the thermal regime of trees and its impact on growth. The air temperature profile showed a nighttime inversion of daytime conditions. During the night there was a lapse rate of approximately 1°C, with the coldest conditions closest to the ground. Thus, the smallest trees were in significantly colder environments during the night than the largest trees. During the day, there was a lapse rate of approximately 3°C per meter, a very high lapse rate, with the warmest conditions occurring closest to the ground. Thus, the smallest trees were in the warmest conditions throughout the day. Additionally, it was found that small trees were coupled to ground conditions during the day as well as the night, and that the taller trees were coupled to atmospheric conditions. Yet, the coupling relationships were not exact, as the tree temperatures never exactly matched the ground or atmospheric temperatures. Finally, I investigated whether daytime or nighttime temperatures impacted growth more closely. It was found that daytime conditions were more important for the growth of trees at the study site on Pike’s Peak. The second part of the study investigated tree growth on a stand-wide scale, considering whether or not there were larger spatial patterns affecting the vertical growth of trees. I found that a shelterbelt-like system was in place at the treeline, the presence of which seemed to be affecting the growth of the trees within its bounds. Specifically, there was depression of growth directly upslope of the trees creating the upper bounds of the treeline, then an area of facilitated growth, ending with a return to normal conditions. Yet, these shelterbelt conditions were only detected for trees one meter or taller. The growth patterns for trees under 1 meter did not correlate to the growth patterns of taller trees. Additionally, the shelterbelt conditions would only be present during the day, which further confirms the importance of daytime conditions found in the first study. This exploratory study was a first look into the drivers of vertical growth of trees at an alpine treeline.
Thermal conditions control the elevation to which trees persist in alpine settings. Long-term historical data suggests a correlation between periods of anomalously warm regional temperatures and treeline advance on Pike’s Peak (Southern Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA) (Kummel et al., W.I.P). Still, treelines do not uniformly respond to warming and treeline form is shown to be an indicator of sensitivity to warming (Harsch & Bader, 2011). This dependence suggests that further investigation of the relationship between climate and treeline movement is warranted. While alpine vegetation are controlled by the climate at treeline, they also interact with the air around them and in this way influence local climate. This report focuses on the microclimatology of air parcels surrounding individual trees and the relationship between microclimatology and tree growth. We found important results that indicate the formation of distinct microclimatological regions around individual trees. Specifically, it seems that trees act as a barrier to upslope airflow and in so doing cause the formation of eddies on the leeward side of trees. The longer residence times of entrained air tends to correspond with elevated temperature and moisture conditions. This microclimate formation suggests that trees process and shape their local climate in interesting ways. Understanding the sensitivity of treeline to climate change will be a question of understanding the interaction of local tree climate with that of the overall treeline.
The tree line is a climatic boundary, however its ability to respond to changing climate seems to be constrained by the spatial distribution of trees at the leading edge; compared to abrupt or krummholz tree lines, diffuse tree lines are moving upslope much more readily in response to recent anthropogenic warming. Here we report on the micrometeorological processes that result from the diffuse leading edge of a moving tree line on Pikes Peak, Colorado, USA, and on the impacts these processes have on tree temperatures. We focus on the layering and movement of air in the lower 10m of the atmosphere including the height of the displacement of the zero velocity plane. Our experimental design consisted of 300m upslope transects through the tree line into the alpine tundra where we measured: (1) height of the zero plane displacement using handheld anemometers, (2) temperature of 10cm tall seedlings, 3-5m tall trees, and tundra grasses using an IR camera, (3) temperature and relative humidity at 2.5cm an 2m using Kestrel hand held weather stations, (4) the vertical atmospheric profiles using 10m towers equipped with 8 anemometers at 5 different elevations, (5) vertical movement of air using a bubble-blowing machine. Our results show that (1) the zero plane height decreased exponentially with increasing elevation (R2=0.432, N=57, p<0.0005) from approximately 25cm within the tree line to 2.5cm in the tundra above. The spatial variability of the zero plane height also decreased with elevation. (2) The temperature of small seedlings was (3) closely coupled to the ground vegetation (paired t-test t= 2.213, df=10, p=0.051),but seedlings were on average 3.88°C warmer than trees (paired t-test t= 5.808, df=10, p<0.0005), and trees were 6.1°C colder that the tundra (paired t-test t= 6.617, df=10, p<0.0005). (3) Compared to the air at 2m, the air layer at 2cm had higher temperature (+2.5°C, paired t-test t= 7.205, df=19, p<0.0005), and higher relative humidity higher (+29%, paired t-test t= 9.657, df=19, p<0.0005). (4) The vertical wind profile had a simple and smooth slow down to the zero plane at 2.5cm in the alpine tundra. However the profile was complex in all locations where trees were present: It showed an initial slow down to a very low speed at 3-4m, increase in velocity at 2m, and final slow down to the zero plane at 25cm. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of bubble movement (5) showed that the upper boundary layer was turbulent.
Recent study of altitudinal treeline advance has revealed that increasing seasonal temperatures only partly explain the processes that influence treeline structure and elevation. Microsite modifications, induced by the structure of the treeline, may in fact play a large role in regulating the microclimate, creating more favorable conditions for further seedling establishment and recruitment near the treeline. To explore these modifications, previous research on Pikes Peak has compared heating dynamics within a treeline microclimate to the microclimate of an adjacent rockslide at an identical elevation. Observations indicated that the treeline heats up faster and to a higher maximum temperature than the rockslide nearly every day of the study period (Johnson, 2011). Potential mechanisms for this differential heating were explored, however only the sheltering potential of the trees to reduce winds proved worthy of further investigation (Anderson, 2012). To expand upon these findings, this study aims to verify the presence of differential heating between treeline and rockslide, investigate the role of sheltering to reduce heat loss within treeline, and explore to what extent this sheltering could extend beyond the treeline’s leading edge. First, this study found that temperatures within the treeline were on average ~7C warmer than the rockslide from 15cm above the ground to 10cm deep within the soil, a critical habitat for seedling establishment (Körner, 1998). Furthermore, this study reveals that the magnitude of differential heating increases throughout the growing season, exhibiting larger differences later in the season. These findings indicate that, despite decreasing solar input late in the season, the treeline has a higher capacity to retain heat than the rockslide and prolongs favorable growing conditions later into the summer months. To investigate how sheltering may play a role in holding heat within the treeline, the zero-plane displacement was calculated for the treeline, rockslide, and upper tundra. Results indicate that treeline form shelters a boundary layer of warm air close to the ground that could enable increased heat storage within the treeline’s soil. Furthermore, this sheltering effect extends beyond the treeline’s leading edge and modifies the tundra microclimate by reducing wind effects in lee of the treeline. This mechanism of sheltering could create a positive feedback loop in which microclimatological modifications, induced by the trees presence, allow for continual growth beyond the forest boundary.
Community interactions form the foundation of ecosystems, but their complexity makes predicting species responses to new pressures a difficult challenge. For example, if climate change forces the upward range shift of one species in a system, closely interacting species will either suffer or excel under the new community compositions. This study explores the interactions between two closely related monkeyflowers (Mimulus tilingii var. caespitosus and Mimulus guttatus) and their shared pollinators in order to understand potential responses to future climate changes or species loss. We arranged plants in three community composition treatments (heterospecific, conspecific, and no neighbors) to understand how plant fitness and pollinator visitation are affected by neighboring plants. Specifically, does plant fitness decrease due to pollen limitation or heterospecific pollen deposition under any community treatment? Furthermore, how does environmental data illustrate the system’s response to climate variation at different temporal scales? In our experiment, M. tilingii produced fewer seeds under the conspecific community composition and pollinator exclusion treatments (both p<.001), likely due to intraspecific resource competition and pollen-limitation. Rather than impeding plant fitness, it appears heterospecific interactions may actually stabilize M. tilingii populations. Plants and pollinators also responded positively to higher temperatures and lower cloud cover, indicating sensitivity to climate. Thus, changes in plant or pollinator species abundances, or climate could severely impact the dynamics or viability of the system.
Invasive species are becoming increasingly problematic as human activities and climate change accelerate their spread to new areas. The invasive grass Bothriochloa ischaemum (King ranch bluestem) has taken over large portions of the savanna on the Edwards Plateau in central Texas. Given its pervasiveness, it greatly reduces the populations of native grasses and forbs, and land managers are looking for effective ways to control this species. Recurring fire is necessary to maintain savanna ecosystems; this study aims to determine the most effective timing of fire for controlling B. ischaemum and maintaining a diverse savanna ecosystem. An unreplicated randomized block design was used, in which plots were burned at different times of year during 2016, or left unburned as a control. Pre-fire moisture data, soil temperature data from the duration of the burn, and post-fire plant species data were taken from each plot. These data show that there is a non-significant correlation between August burns and higher fire intensity, and a slight negative correlation between fuel moisture content and higher fire intensity. There was a nonsignificant trend towards lower species richness in unburned plots. On average, a plot burned in August or October was less likely to have B. ishcaemum than a plot burned in February or April, or left unburned. Prescribed burns successfully increased the abundance of native perennials, especially when done in the late summer. These results are probably due to differences in plant phenology at the time of each fire. Native plants are adapted to summer fires, while B. ischaemum could be at a vulnerable phenological stage during the summer. These findings have important implications for the management and restoration of central Texas grasslands. We recommend that land managers use prescribed burns during late summer in order to control B. ischaemum and boost ecosystem health.
The 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan shocked countries into reconsidering the safety of nuclear power. Although, the majority of the world continued business as usual after, Germany decided to eliminate nuclear as a power source altogether. The policy to phase-out nuclear power was the result of four decades of struggle between the pro-nuclear coalition, made up primarily of the CDU and the nuclear power industry, and the anti-nuclear coalition, made up of the anti-nuclear movement and the green party. I used the MACF to explain, why after so many years of struggle, the nuclear phase-out policy was finally put in place. The MACF combines two policy development frameworks: the advocacy coalition framework (Sabatier 1988) and the Environmental Movement Impact Model (Rucht 1999). The framework explains that Germany’s nuclear phase-out was not an impulsive decision, but a drawn out battle between the pro- and anti-nuclear coalitions, which was affected by a variety of external shocks including three nuclear disasters as well as the development of as strong anti-nuclear movement.
In North American bird species, breeding distributions are shifting north toward the poles with climate change (Hitch and Leberg 2007). Habitat type could act as a better predictor of shifts in the breeding distributions of territorial birds than elevation or temperature gradients alone, as both an individual’s breeding performance and adult survival depend on habitat suitability (Reif et al. 2010). Using models that predict how the vegetative structure will change in a tundra landscape, we can predict how territorial bird distributions might change alongside a warming climate as a factor of habitat type. This study makes population and bird species richness projections for tundra-breeding birds based on their habitat preference at the Primus Creek study site in the Noatak National Preserve, Alaska.
This thesis will provide background information on the region, explore the cultural and scientific significance of the area, the series of executive actions that have left the monument in limbo, the unique management structure put in place by the Obama administration, the stakeholders who advocated for and against the monument, the law and policy by which BENM was created, the legality of the executive power to modify or revoke a monument, and provide policy and management recommendations that could ensure the protection of the monument moving forward. Through this exploration, it will become apparent that for a number of environmental, cultural, political, and legal reasons BENM should be upheld as it was originally designed by monument proponents and established by the Obama administration.
Current research on Mexican immigrant women’s health reports a myriad of preventable health problems that could be prevented with physical activity. Research also indicates that these women experience a multitude of barriers to participating in physical activity including cultural beliefs. It is significant to investigate the foundations of cultural beliefs because they are the ideologies that inform health behaviors like physical activity. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of cultural beliefs on physical activity behaviors of Mexican immigrant women. Using surveys and individual interviews, the researcher investigated the cultural beliefs surrounding marianismo or the roles and responsibilities of motherhood, wifehood, and womanhood for Mexican women. The significant finding was that marianismo beliefs negatively affected their physical activity level especially within their roles as mothers and wives. Spousal support for these women was crucial in overcoming the marianismo barrier to physical activity.
This presentation presents a case study of four SNL sketches parodying the 2008 Presidential election, with particular focus on Tina Fey's impression of Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler's impression of Hilary Clinton, paying special attention to Identity Theft, Same-Gender Drag and Conceptual Differences between political and comedic spaces.
In modern literary theory and philosophy, the concept of place, despite its permeating influence in many if not all aspects of existence, has been far too overlooked. In my thesis, I set out to redefine place in a way that encompasses this importance. I chose to ground my exploration in literature—specifically “Eveline” in James Joyce’s Dubliners, The Castle by Franz Kafka, and “Las ruinas circulares” in Jorge Luis Borges’ Ficciones—in order to then move outside of the texts to situate these works in their respective authorial realities and consider the influence of external, real place on intratextual place. To examine the extent of the relevance of each author’s own presence of place, I consider theories regarding the origin of art with the help of Aristotle’s Poetics, literary scholars who have focused on these authors, and theorists who have focused on the role of reality in fiction. Finally, with the help of Martin Heidegger’s Poetry, Language, Thought and my own analysis, I argue that there is not such a stark distinction between literature and reality, that art is neither merely imitation nor creation, author neither imitator nor creator, and in the end, I expand upon the important relationship between place, art, and being in order to formulate a new definition of place in a literary and aesthetic context.
Le Cœur de Pic, a collection of thirty-two French Surrealist children's poems accompanied by twenty illustrations by Claude Cahun, is an irreplaceable artifact of Surrealist object experimentation in the late 1930's. Together, its phonetic- and optical-objects form the unique and specific "cross-border" function of the surreal book-object, which creates a hybrid and open-ended narrative. My goal in translating this text is to make a new textual object that is functionally equivalent to the surreal book-object of the 1930's, so that contemporary readers may access the mischievious and melancholic narrative contained therein. I have employed intermedial translation to create The Heart of Pic because Le Cœur de Pic is a multimodal text, having as much to do with verbal as it does visual elements. Intermedial translation is a new conversation in the field of translation studies in contemporary comparative literature. My hope is that this project will spark contribute to that conversation as well as the revolution of translation as we now know it.
In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded his tiny southern neighbor, Kuwait, and sparked the First Gulf War. The US responded with swift and decisive force—throwing Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in a matter of days. The episode is often remembered merely as a shining example of American military might, but the diplomatic history behind the First Gulf War reveals a much more nuanced story. This essay delves into first the American, then the Iraqi diplomatic perspective in the decade leading up to the First Gulf War, and explores the causes at the root of the conflict. These include failure of American diplomats to give Saddam Hussein agency, and Saddam’s unique political education, which led him to harbor a deep and unshakable mistrust the US. In the run up to the First Gulf War, both sides inadvertently exacerbated the tension between them, building on existing mistrust, and eventually resulting in outright war.