Now showing items 1-20 of 93

    • What Have We Lost? Modeling Dam Impacts on American Shad Populations Through Their Native Range

      Zydlewski, Joseph; Stich, Daniel S.; Roy, Samuel; Bailey, Michael; Sheehan, Timothy; Sprankle, Kenneth (Frontiers, 2021-10)
      American shad (Alosa sapidissima) are native to the east coast of North America from the St. Johns River, Florida, to the St. Lawrence River region in Canada. Since the 1800s, dams have reduced access to spawning habitat. To assess the impact of dams, we estimated the historically accessed spawning habitat in coastal rivers (485,618 river segments with 21,113 current dams) based on (i) width, (ii) distance from seawater, and (iii) slope (to exclude natural barriers to migration) combined with local knowledge. Estimated habitat available prior to dam construction (2,752 km2) was 41% greater than current fully accessible habitat (1,639 km2). River-specific population models were developed using habitat estimates and latitudinally appropriate life history parameters (e.g., size at age, maturity, iteroparity). Estimated coast-wide annual production potential was 69.1 million spawners compared with a dammed scenario (41.8 million spawners). Even with optimistic fish passage performance assumed for all dams (even if passage is completely absent), the dam-imposed deficit was alleviated by fewer than 3 million spawners. We estimate that in rivers modeled without dams, 98,000 metric tons of marine sourced biomass and nutrients were annually delivered, 60% of which was retained through carcasses, gametes and metabolic waste. Damming is estimated to have reduced this by more than one third. Based on our results, dams represent a significant and acute constraint to the population and, with other human impacts, reduce the fishery potential and ecological services attributed to the species.
    • Considerations of variability and power for long-term monitoring of stream fish assemblages

      George, Scott D.; Stich, Daniel S.; Baldigo, Barry P. (Canadian Science Publishing, 2021-02)
      Little attention has been given to optimizing statistical power for monitoring stream fish assemblages. We explored the relationship between temporal variability and statistical power using 34 metrics from fish community data collected annually at six sites over 10 years via electrofishing. Metric variability differed by the life stage and group of species considered, use of abundance or mass data, and data standardization technique. Lower variability was associated with community data, abundance data, and time-based standardizations, while greater variability was associated with young-of- the-year data, mass data, and area-based standardizations. Simulation-based power analysis indicated metric choice, and to a lesser degree, monitoring design (annual, biennial, endpoints, or haphazard sampling) influenced power to detect change. Across a fixed number of surveys (N = 60), endpoints sampling performed best. The N needed to detect change was heavily dependent upon metric choice for all monitoring designs, with the most biologically specific metrics requiring greater N. Large savings in effort and resource expenditure can be obtained utilizing biologically relevant metrics that are robust to temporal noise within an appropriate sampling design.
    • fishStan: Hierarchical Bayesian models for fisheries

      Stich, Daniel S.; Erickson, Richard A.; Hebert, Jillian L. (Journal of Open Source Software, 2022-03)
      Fisheries managers and ecologists use statistical models to estimate population-level relations and demographic rates (e.g., length-maturity curves, growth curves, and mortality rates). These relations and rates provide insight into populations and inputs for other models. For example, growth curves may vary across lakes showing fish populations differ due to management actions or underlying environmental conditions. A fisheries manager could use this information to set lake-specific harvest limits or an ecologist could use this information to test scientific hypotheses about fish populations. The above example also demonstrates how populations exist within hierarchical structures where sub-populations may be nested within a meta-population. More generally, these hierarchical structures may be both biological (e.g., different lakes or river pools) and statistical (e.g., correlated error structures). Currently, limited options exist for fitting these hierarchical models and people seeking to use them often must program their own implementations. Furthermore, many fisheries managers and researchers may not have Bayesian programming skills, but many can use interactive languages such as R. Additionally, programs such as JAGS often require long run times (e.g., hours if not days) to fit hierarchical models and programs such as Stan can be more difficult to program because it is a compiled language. We created fishStan to share hierarchical models for fisheries and ecology in an easy-to-use R package.
    • Money Gone Up in Smoke: The Tobacco Use and Malnutrition Nexus in Bangladesh

      Husain, Muhammad Jami; Virk-Baker, Mandeep; Parascandola, Mark; Khondker, Bazlul Haque; Ahluwalia, Indu (Ubiquity Press, 2017)
      Background: The tobacco epidemic in Bangladesh is pervasive. Expenditures on tobacco may reduce money available for food in a country with a high malnutrition rate. Objectives: The aims of the study are to quantify the opportunity costs of tobacco expenditure in terms of nutrition (i.e., food energy) forgone and the potential improvements in the household level food-energy status if the money spent on tobacco were diverted for food consumption. Method: We analyzed data from the 2010 Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted among 12,240 households. We present 2 analytical scenarios: (1) the lower-bound gain scenario entailing money spent on tobacco partially diverted to acquiring food according to households' food consumption share in total expenditures; and (2) the upper-bound gain scenario entailing money spent on tobacco diverted to acquiring food only. Age- and gender-based energy norms were used to identify food-energy deficient households. Data were analyzed by mutually exclusive smoking-only, smokeless-only, and dual-tobacco user households. Findings: On average, a smoking-only household could gain 269-497 kilocalories (kcal) daily under the lower-bound and upper-bound scenarios, respectively. The potential energy gains for smokeless-only and dual-tobacco user households ranged from 148-268 kcal and 508-924 kcal, respectively. Under these lower- and upper-bound estimates, the percentage of smoking-only user households that are malnourished declined significantly from the baseline rate of 38% to 33% and 29%, respectively. For the smokeless-only and dual-tobacco user households, there were 2-3 and 6-9 percentage point drops in the malnutrition prevalence rates. The tobacco expenditure shift could translate to an additional 4.6-7.7 million food-energy malnourished persons meeting their caloric requirements. Conclusions: The findings suggest that tobacco use reduction could facilitate concomitant improvements in population-level nutrition status and may inform the development and refinement of tobacco prevention and control efforts in Bangladesh.
    • Development and calibration of a dietary nitrate and nitrite database in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study

      Inoue-Cho, Maki; Virk-Baker, Mandeep; Aschebrook-Kilfoy, Briseis; Cross, Amanda J.; Subar, Amy F.; Thompson, Frances E.; Sinha, Rashmi; Ward, Mary H. (Cambridge University Press, 2015-12)
      Objective: Nitrate and nitrite are probable human carcinogens when ingested under conditions that increase the formation of N-nitroso compounds. There have been limited efforts to develop US databases of dietary nitrate and nitrite for standard FFQ. Here we describe the development of a dietary nitrate and nitrite database and its calibration. Design: We analysed data from a calibration study of 1942 members of the NIH-AARP (NIH-AARP, National Institutes of Health-AARP) Diet and Health Study who reported all foods and beverages consumed on the preceding day in two non-consecutive 24 h dietary recalls (24HR) and completed an FFQ. Based on a literature review, we developed a database of nitrate and nitrite contents for foods reported on these 24HR and for food category line items on the FFQ. We calculated daily nitrate and nitrite intakes for both instruments, and used a measurement error model to compute correlation coefficients and attenuation factors for the FFQ-based intake estimates using 24HR-based values as reference data. Results: FFQ-based median nitrate intake was 68·9 and 74·1 mg/d, and nitrite intake was 1·3 and 1·0 mg/d, in men and women, respectively. These values were similar to 24HR-based intake estimates. Energy-adjusted correlation coefficients between FFQ- and 24HR-based values for men and women respectively were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·59 and 0·58 for nitrite; energy-adjusted attenuation factors were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·47 and 0·38 for nitrite. Conclusions: The performance of the FFQ in assessing dietary nitrate and nitrite intakes is comparable to that for many other macro- and micronutrients.
    • Healthcare and Wellness Practitioner Confidence in Provision of Nutrition Education and Use of Evidence-Based Nutrition Resources

      Riddle, Emily; Kennedy, Caroline; Snow, Cassandra; Barre, Laura (Oxford AcademicAmerican Society for Nutrition, 2022-06)
      Objectives: Differences in messaging from healthcare and wellness practitioners can lead to consumer confusion and mistrust in nutrition. The regular use of evidence-based nutrition resources by practitioners could improve consistency in patient education. The confidence registered dietitians (RDNs) and non-RDN practitioners have in providing nutrition education and the use of evidence-based nutrition resources in patient education is not known. Objectives: 1) To evaluate how confident RDN and non-RDN practitioners are in providing nutrition education, and 2) to evaluate RDN and non-RDN use of evidence-based nutrition resources.
    • The U.S. Housing Bubble: Implications for Monetary Policy and the Global Supply of Saving

      Storrie, Christine L. (North American Business Press, 2019)
      A VAR framework is used to determine impacts of key variables thought to have impacted house prices around the time of the housing boom. Separate models are used to capture traditional and nontraditional policies monetary policies during that time. Results show house prices respond to shocks in the federal funds rate and increases in the Fed’s balance sheet as well as shocks in net capital inflows but do not move in response to changes in mortgage or delinquency rates. The inclusion of higher lag orders is necessary to capture the delayed response of important variables affecting the housing market.
    • Demystifying Bubbles in Asset Prices

      Storrie, Christine L. (Pennsylvania Economic Review, 2018)
      This paper provides a survey of asset price bubbles. I focus on the theoretical model for pricing assets from both a classical rational expectations model as well as some of the theories from newer behavioral models. A review of empirical methods used to estimate bubbles is presented along with an examination of the difficulties of empirically identifying bubbles in asset prices. I provide a discussion of the role of central banks and whether a response to asset-price bubbles is appropriate on their part and conclude with a summary of some of the more famous bubbles throughout history.
    • Examining the Relationship Between Capacity Utilization and Inflation

      Storrie, Christine L.; Voyer, Melissa (New York State Economics Association, 2019)
      This paper provides insight into the complex relationship between capacity utilization and inflation in the U.S. economy. We test various current and expected inflation rates in separate models to examine the strength of relationship between capacity utilization and inflation from 1984-2018. We find the relationship between current inflation and capacity utilization has continued to weaken over time. Long run expected inflation and capacity utilization, however, have the strongest relationship, with changes in expected inflation having larger impact on utilization rates since 2000. These results suggest more emphasis should be placed on the relationship between capacity utilization and expected future inflation.
    • Experiments in Voice and Visibility: Creating Space for Graduate Student (Single) Mothers in the Mother-Free Space of the Academy

      Cunningham, Summer (Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI), 2015)
      In my doctoral department, the invisibility of my situation as a single mother and the way it was so often at odds with academic culture left me feeling alienated from my peers and my community. In an effort to balance school and single motherhood, to make visible the reality of my situation, and to connect more deeply with my academic community, I begin a series of research experiments in voice and visibility. These projects often involved my son, as he was an inextricable part of my situation as a mother. Moreover, his life and our relationship were undoubtedly impacted by “my situation” as a graduate student. In this essay, I discuss a few experiments invoice and visibility that were instrumental to getting through my doctoral program. These projects involved risk, creative strategies, and lots and lots of support from other members of my community. I hope sharing these stories might inspire other graduate student mothers to push through even when it feels impossible. Likewise, I hope faculty members and graduate students will be inspired to support and empower the mothers in their respective departments.
    • A Lonely Discourse

      Cunningham, Summer (University of California Press, 2016-03)
      This performative text is a study of relationships at multiple levels. I ask readers to (re)consider the desire and possibility for connection in various types of relationships—romantic and intertextual as well as relationships between mothers and children, mothers and others, readers and writers, presence and absence. In relating my experiences of single motherhood, I raise questions about the possibility for creative communication scholarship—performative writing in particular—to perform the relational work of connecting us to others with whom we do not share similar life experiences or situations.
    • Re-Writing Interpersonal Communication: A Portfolio-Based Curriculum for Process Pedagogy and Moving Theory Into Practice

      Cunningham, Summer; Bartesaghi, Mariaelena; Bowman, Jim; Bender, Jennifer (International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning (ISETL), 2017)
      How does one create a class where the theoretical concepts emerge through classroom practice and engagement? This is the question that Mariaelena posed to herself when taking over the position of Director of the Interpersonal Communication course at the University of South Florida. In this essay we describe how we worked through a new way of teaching—and doing—interpersonal communication that captures Carey’s (1989) focus on the centrality of process over product. We did so by way of some important tools of what is alternatively known as critical or process pedagogy (e.g., Elbow, 1986; 2013): an interpersonal dynamic that includes ongoing grading, writing to learn, and the portfolio method. This semester-long, process-oriented portfolio assignment is effective and beneficial because it facilitates an important shift in the power dynamic of the classroom by disrupting students’ expectations for evaluation and shifting the learner’s orientation from product to process. We share our portfolio method because we believe it can be adapted to fit the unique cultures and needs of other humanities and social sciences courses, instructors, and institutions.
    • Open House: A Performance Art Project by Single-Mother and Son Or If You Haven’t an Academic Home, Invite the Academy into Your Home

      Cunningham, Summer (Museum of Motherhood, 2018)
      Open House, a performance art project originally titled “Give and Take,” took place in September 2010. My son and I created this project as an invitational gesture: we hoped to make a home for ourselves within the academy by inviting the academy into our home. Members of our academic community were split into small groups, given a key to our home, and, for one week, invited to show up at our home anytime—day or night, announced or not—to see what our life was like. Not everyone showed up, but, nevertheless, there was a shift in our community that was palpable as a result of this project.
    • Prepare, partner, protest, propose, and persevere: Advocating for a dedicated information literacy classroom

      Hendley, Michelle (2020-10-02)
      In 2011, SUNY Oneonta began planning for the partial renovation of the James M. Milne Library to accommodate three offices and their staff: the tutoring center, accessibility resources office, and the faculty center. In the initial planning stages, there was no discussion of the inclusion of dedicated information literacy classrooms.
    • The crowding-out effect of tobacco expenditure on household spending patterns in Bangladesh

      Husain, Muhammad Jami; Datta, Biplab Kumar; Virk-Baker, Mandeep; Parascandola, Mark; Khondker, Bazlul Haque (PLOS, 2018-10)
      Background: Tobacco consumption constitutes a sizable portion of household consumption expenditure, which can lead to reduced expenditures on other basic commodities. This is known as the crowding-out effect. This study analyzes the crowding-out effect of tobacco consumption in Bangladesh, and the research findings have relevance for strengthening the tobacco control for improving health and well-being. Methods: We analyzed data from the Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2010 to examine the differences in consumption expenditure pattern between tobacco user and non-user households. We further categorize tobacco user households in three mutually exclusive groups of smoking-only, smokeless-only, and dual (both smoking and smokeless); and investigated the crowding-out effects for these subgroups. We compared the mean expenditure shares of different types of households, and then estimated the conditional Engel curves for various expenditure categories using Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) method. Crowding-out was considered to have occurred if estimated coefficient of the tobacco use indicator was negative and statistically significant. Results: We find that tobacco user households on average allocated less in clothing, housing, education, energy, and transportation and communication compared to tobacco non-user households. The SUR estimates also confirmed crowding-out in these consumption categories. Mean expenditure share of food and medical expenditure of tobacco user households, however, are greater than those of tobacco non-user households. Albeit similar patterns observed for different tobacco user households, there were differences in magnitudes depending on the type of tobacco-use, rural-urban locations and economic status. Conclusion: Policy measures that reduce tobacco use could reduce displacement of commodities by households with tobacco users, including those commodities that can contribute to human capital investments.
    • Role of Phytoestrogens in Cancer Therapy

      Virk-Baker, Mandeep; Nagy, Tim R.; Barnes, Stephen (Theime Medical Publishers, 2010)
      Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the numbers of new cancer cases are expected to continue to rise. The main goals of cancer therapy include removing the primary tumor, preventing the spread of distant metastases, and improving survival and quality of life for the patients. To attain these goals of cancer therapy, the combination of different chemotherapeutics, as opposed to the conventional single-agent treatment, is an emerging area of research. Given the potential risks of drug toxicity in such treatment, the focus is to have a second compound that increases the anticancer potential of the primary agent but which reduces toxicity. There is an ever growing interest in treatment with natural compounds, such as plant phytoestrogens, as an adjuvant cancer therapy along with conventional cancer therapy. The question remains whether or not adding these compounds to the cancer therapy regimen as a second agent would be beneficial, and if they are safe to be used among cancer patients. The current literature suggests that phytoestrogen treatment is capable of inducing G2/M cell cycle arrest in a number of cancer cell lines, as well as upregulating cell cycle inhibitory molecules. Phytoestrogen therapy has been shown to inhibit inflammation, angiogenesis and metastases in various in vivo tumor models, and pronounced benefits have been observed when combined with radiation therapy. The lack of side effects from phase I and II clinical trials of phytoestrogens in cancer therapy points towards their safety, but to further understand their added benefit clinical studies with large sample sizes are required. We have reviewed the recent research studies in these areas in an attempt to find evidence for their role in cancer therapy as well as safety.
    • Comparative analysis of diet and tobacco use among households in Bangladesh

      Virk-Baker, Mandeep; Husain, Muhammad Jami; Parascandola, Mark (European Publishing, 2019-03)
      Introduction: While studies from developed countries have reported dietary differences between tobacco users and non-users, less is known about the influence of tobacco on diet in developing countries where malnutrition is a major public health challenge. Methods: In this study we used the nationally representative Household Income Expenditure Survey 2010 from Bangladesh. Detailed household-level food consumption data including both ethnic and region-specific foods were collected over 14 days, consisting of 7 visits each collecting two days of dietary recall information. Results: Out of 12240 households, 2061 consumed smoking tobacco only (16.8%), 3284 consumed smokeless tobacco only (26.8%), and 3348 consumed both (27.4%). Overall, 71% of the households reported expenditure on tobacco (smoking and/or smokeless) and were considered any-tobacco use households. Our results indicate that after controlling for household expenditure, household size, household child to adult ratio, place of residence (urban/rural), and region fixed effects, any-tobacco households consumed significantly lower amounts (g/ day) of milk and dairy products (β = -17.11, p<0.01) and oil/fat (β = -10.30, p<0.01) compared to tobacco non-use households (β: adjusted mean difference in food amount g/day/household). Conversely, consumption of cereal grains (β = 152.46, p<0.0001) and sugar (β = 8.16, p<0.0001) were significantly higher among any-tobacco households compared to non-tobacco households. We observed similar patterns for smoking-only, smokeless-only, and dual tobacco product households. Conclusions: Evidence of dietary differences between tobacco-use and non-use households may play an important role in developing strategies to address poor diet and malnutrition among tobacco-use households in a developing country like Bangladesh. This study provides one of the first reports addressing diet in relation to tobacco use from a developing country, particularly using nationally representative data. The finding that tobacco-use households have poorer dietary consumption than non-use households suggests that it is important to address tobacco use in the context of nutrition and development programs in low-income environments.
    • The Economics of Cupcakes: A Class Activity on the Law of Diminishing Marginal Product

      Storrie, Christine L. (Department of Economics and Finance, Middle Tennessee State University, 2020)
      Economics courses are typically lecture-based. This paper provides an alternative to the traditional chalk and talk method of classroom instruction by outlining a class activity that illustrates the concept of diminishing marginal productivity. The activity incorporates an experiment-based learning approach with minimal direction from the instructor and offers an alternative or complement to traditional lecture-based instruction methods. Although the main lesson is the law of diminishing marginal productivity, other economic concepts can also be incorporated and learned from this experiment. Variations of the experiment and possible outcomes are also discussed.
    • Facial asymmetry tracks genetic diversity among Gorilla subspecies

      McGrath, Kate; Eriksen, Amandine B.; García-Martínez, Daniel; Galbany, Jordi; Gómez-Robles, Aida; Massey, Jason S.; Fatica, Lawrence M.; Glowacka, Halszka; Arbenz-Smith, Keely; Muvunyi, Richard; et al. (The Royal Society, 2022-02)
      Mountain gorillas are particularly inbred compared to other gorillas and even the most inbred human populations. As mountain gorilla skeletal material accumulated during the 1970s, researchers noted their pronounced facial asymmetry and hypothesized that it reflects a population-wide chewing side preference. However, asymmetry has also been linked to environmental and genetic stress in experimental models. Here, we examine facial asymmetry in 114 crania from three Gorilla subspecies using 3D geometric morphometrics. We measure fluctuating asymmetry (FA), defined as random deviations from perfect symmetry, and population-specific patterns of directional asymmetry (DA). Mountain gorillas, with a current population size of about 1000 individuals, have the highest degree of facial FA (explaining 17% of total facial shape variation), followed by Grauer gorillas (9%) and western lowland gorillas (6%), despite the latter experiencing the greatest ecological and dietary variability. DA, while significant in all three taxa, explains relatively less shape variation than FA does. Facial asymmetry correlates neither with tooth wear asymmetry nor increases with age in a mountain gorilla subsample, undermining the hypothesis that facial asymmetry is driven by chewing side preference. An examination of temporal trends shows that stress-induced developmental instability has increased over the last 100 years in these endangered apes.
    • The Impact of Stock Liquidity on Audit Pricing

      Qin, Juan (North American Business Press, 2020)
      This paper investigates whether firms’ stock liquidity is associated with audit fees. Stock liquidity can increase institutional monitoring by either helping investors overcome free-rider problems to intervene in management decisions, or disciplining management through the threat of exit. Given that stock liquidity can enhance institutional monitoring, firms with higher stock liquidity may have incentives to utilize high quality audits which always result in higher audit fees to satisfy the demand of institutional investors. Consistent with these arguments, I find that firms with liquid stocks are more likely to pay significantly higher audit fees.