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Recent Submissions

  • How Does Economic Growth Affect Environmental Damages? Evidence From Country-Level Panel Data

    Cheney, Tatem (2023-05-12)
    The environmental effects of economic growth are a new topic of discussion in economics. Social media has been a large part of the rapidly increasing concern for our environment. How do us as consumers play a role in the long-term effect environmental damage could have on our planet? We have seen a large increase in average temperature and carbon dioxide emissions in the past 50 years. This is largely due to the increase in consumption of goods by consumers, increase in population and increase in international trade. Having an economy that is continuously growing, how much are we damaging our environment? Is there a possibility that this increase in our economy could eventually save our environment as technology continues to increase? Continuous economic growth can create long term environmental damage that is irreversible. Using regression analysis the following study will determine the relationship between environmental damage, using CO2 emissions and economic growth, using gross domestic product, GDP. The findings of this study include a negative relationship when the model is linear and an inverted U shape relationship when the model is quadradic. Therefore, dismissing the hypothesized positive linear relationship of the Daly Curve and affirming the inverted U shape of the Kuznets Curve.
  • Time-Series Statistical Analysis of Suicidal Behavior Among Non-Heterosexual Youth

    Chowdhury, Adeeb (2023-03-01)
    The disproportionately higher rates of suicide among LGBTQ+ youth has been so widely documented that within pediatrics, it is known as "the suicide consensus." This disturbing trend has been attributed to the pervasive violence, harassment, abuse, and isolation faced by young queer people. This paper employs SPSS statistical analysis tools to investigate the patterns of suicidal behavior among LGBTQ+ youth in the United States and how it has been affected, if at all, by the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015. Building on the hypothesis that this Supreme Court decision paved the way for greater acceptance and more positive attitudes towards same-sex relationships, the paper tracks victimization rates among queer youth for several years before and after 2015. It finds a statistically significant finding between the legalization of SSM and the decline of suicide rates among LGBTQ+ American youth.
  • Flexible and inclusive ecology projects that harness collaboration and neon-enabled science to enhance student learning

    Stack Whitney, Kaitlin; Heard, Matthew Joshua; Anderson, Laurel J.; Cooke, Sandra; Garneau, Danielle; Kilgore, Jason S.; Kolozsvary, Mary Beth; Kuers, Karen; Lunch, Claire K.; McCay, Timothy S.; et al. (2022-04)
    "The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted undergraduate education and fundamentally altered the structure of course delivery in higher education. In field-based biology and ecology courses, where instructors and students typically work collaboratively and in-person to collect data, this has been particularly challenging. In this context, faculty from the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN) collaborated with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) to design five free flexible learning projects for use by instructors in varied modalities (e.g., socially distanced in-person, remote, or HyFlex). The five flexible learning projects incorporated the Ecological Society of America’s 4DEE framework and included field data collection, data analysis components, and an activity that incorporates existing NEON field protocols or datasets. Each project was designed to provide faculty members with a high degree of flexibility so that they could tailor the implementation of the projects to fit course-specific needs. Collectively, these learning projects were designed to be flexible, inclusive, and facilitate hands-on research while working in alternative classroom settings."
  • Where is garlic mustard? Understanding the context for dense invasions of Alliaria petiolata

    Rodgers, Vikki L.; Scanga, Sara E.; Kolozsvary, Mary Beth; Garneau, Danielle; Kilgore, Jason S.; Anderson, Laurel J.; Hopfensperger, Kristine N.; Aguilera, Anna G.; Urban, Rebecca A.; Juneau, Kevyn (BioScience, 2022-06)
    "The invasive plant Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) has spread throughout forest understory and edge communities in much of North America, but its persistence, density, and impacts have varied across sites and time. Surveying the literature since 2008, we evaluated both previously proposed and new mechanisms for garlic mustard’s invasion success and note how they interact and vary across ecological contexts. We analyzed how and where garlic mustard has been studied and found a lack of multisite and longitudinal studies, as well as regions that may be under- or overstudied, leading to poor representation for understanding and predicting future invasion dynamics. Inconsistencies in how sampling units are scaled and defined can also hamper our understanding of invasive species. We present new conceptual models for garlic mustard invasion from a macrosystems perspective, emphasizing the importance of synergies and feedbacks among mechanisms across spatial and temporal scales to produce variable ecological contexts"
  • Macroeconomic Factors that Affect the Price of Housing in the United States: Evidence from a State-Level Panel Data Analysis

    Ronan, Sean (2023-05-31)
    Due to all the changes in the economy recently the goal of the study is to see how specific macroeconomic factors have affected the housing market in the past to gain some insight into where the overall housing market may trend in the future. This paper offers evidence from a state- level panel data analysis from 1975-2021 on the effects that macroeconomic factors have on home prices in the United States. This analysis focuses on state and country level variables to determine their effect on the housing price index. The results produced by this model indicate that increases in the unemployment rates, the annual supply of new homes, and the federal funds effective rate are connected to decreases in the housing price index. While increases in state minimum wages and inflation can be attributed to increases in home prices. All the variables in the model are statistically significant at the 1% level and the model has an R-squared of .89.
  • Determinant Factors of German Bilateral Export Volume: Evidence From Panel Data Analysis

    Savage, Spencer (2023-05-30)
    "This study applies the gravity model of international trade to analyze determinant factors of bilateral export volume by specifically looking at German exports. Germany currently stands as one of the largest exporters in the world. By examining the export flow patterns of Germany, we can get a better understanding of what factors facilitate trade and which ones discourage. Research is based on panel data of 163 countries taken from the years 2009-2018. Analysis was conducted based on the specifications of the gravity model of international trade. Fixed effects and random effects models were estimated. The conclusions from the estimated model are that the gravity model is significant and an accurate model for determining bilateral trade flows in the case of Germany. The model also shows that membership in the European Union has a significant and positive impact on exports. Inflation has an insignificant impact on export volume, while population has a significant and non-linear relationship with exports."
  • Foreign Aid -- Economic Growth Nexus

    Barber, Veronica (2023-05-28)
    The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the United States’ current government spending on foreign assistance is efficient for the economic development of the recipient countries. The relationship between foreign aid and economic growth is a highly debated topic, as evidenced by its literature. Some believe that qualitative factors such as institutional quality may be the driving force behind economic growth in developing countries. Others have proved that factors such as institutional quality have no effect on the economic development of a nation at all. In my study, I analyze the relationship between disbursed U.S. economic aid and GDP per capita growth in developed countries from 2002 to 2021. I take into account the potential impact of institutional quality on the economic growth of developing nations. My results showed a positive relationship between GDP per capita growth and foreign aid. Additionally, institutional quality may have a positive influence on the economic growth of receiving countries. I used a primary regression to create three sub-regressions that show how institutional quality affects each income level: low income, lower-middle income, and upper-middle income. What I found is that voice and accountability affect low-income countries, rule of law affects lower-middle-income countries, and political stability and control of corruption affect upper-middle-income countries. This breakdown may be used to inform policymakers in the United States to reconsider their approach to foreign aid disbursement.
  • CO2 Emissions and Economic Growth: Empirical Analysis of the Environmental Kuznets Curve

    Nishizawa, Hana (2023-05)
    This research paper investigates the applicability of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis using panel data from 183 countries between 1990 and 2019. The analysis employs a model incorporating a quadratic equation for per capita income. Methodological concerns, including simultaneous bias is addressed. Results support the existence of an EKC for both the full-sample panel and the high-income panel. The estimated tipping points, representing income levels where environmental improvement begins, for the full sample panel aligns with or below previous studies, and those for the high-income panel are higher than earlier estimates. Low- and middle-income countries, EKCs are not established in at least one of the models in each income panel, i.e. CO2 emissions are expected to continue increasing. These results implies that comprehensive strategies are needed that address both economic growth and environmental improvements, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategies of American and Canadian Restaurants in a Pandemic

    Gultek, Mark (Journal of Marketing Management, 2021)
    This paper examines the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on restaurant marketing practices and outlines a two-pronged approach of analyzing digital marketing and social media platforms that restaurants use to market their product. The presence of COVID-19 information and practices in these marketing platforms is explored in a comparison model of restaurants between the United States and Canada. Understanding the marketing impact of these practices during a global pandemic can provide actionable insights to promote development and sustainability in the restaurant industry. Since very little research has examined the marketing strategies of restaurants during a pandemic as well as exploring a country comparison model to shed light on the global aspects of it, this paper is one of the frontier studies looking critically at the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry.
  • Manipulating Chladni Patterns of Ferromagnetic Materials by an External Magnetic Field

    Podolak, Kenneth R.; Wickramasinghe, Vihan A.W.; Mansfield, Gareth A.; Tuller, Alex M. (Sound & Vibration, 2021)
    Ernst Chladni is called the father of acoustics for his work, which includes investigating patterns formed by vibrating plates. Understanding these patterns helps research involving standing waves and other harmonic behaviors, including studies of single electron orbits in atoms. Our experiment vibrates circular plates which result in well-known patterns. Alternatively to traditional experiments that used sand or salt, we use magnetic materials, namely iron filings and nickel powder. We then manipulate the patterns by applying a localized external magnetic field to one of the rings that moves a segment of the magnetic material in that ring to the next inner ring. The results show a significant decrease in magnetic field necessary to move the magnetic material at higher frequencies as well as a significant decrease in the magnetic field required to move the magnetic material as nickel powder is substituted for iron filings while keeping the mass constant.
  • "Equitable Environmental Literacy: Investigating Interventions to Increase Environmental Literacy among BIPOC Students "

    Kara, Jillian; Coleman, Kimberly; Walls, Leon; Alldred, Mary (2022-05-05)
    The theme of my poster is Equitable Environmental Literacy among BIPOC students. Environmental literacy has four main components, knowledge, affective attitudes, cognitive skills, and behavior. There is currently inequitable education occurring within natural resources. There is an increasing need to create an environmentally literate society that is prepared to address demanding and emerging environmental issues worldwide. Educational programming is not equipping BIPOC communities with the knowledge to participate in planning, management, and decision making processes. At its core, this is environmental injustice. To further investigate gaps in natural resources, we created a survey to measure student interest in the environment. A pilot survey was conducted during the summer of 2021 and UB students from both PSU and UVM were surveyed on pre-watershed science initiatives. We hypothesized that BIPOC students were less likely to select “agree” and “strongly agree” when answering questions related to having an environmental job and pursuing environmental education in college. The surveys were conducted via google forms and the students identity was kept anonymous. We then combined all answers into a large data set and the analysis was conducted in R. We created bar graphs which show each question asked and the breakdown of the student demographics. The pilot survey indicated that BIPOC students did not rate “agree” or “strongly agree” when answering the questions “I plan to study the environment in college” and “I plan to work in an environmental field”. This further validates current research that indicates BIPOC students are less likely to pursue environmental interests. The next steps in this research are to conduct the same survey during the summer of 2022. During the summer, students will participate in a wide variety of watershed science initiatives. It is our hope that this will stimulate natural resource interest among students in the program.
  • Creating, Implementing, and Assessing Equitable Environmental Education Among Students who Identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)

    Kara, Jillian (2022-12-12)
    This thesis investigates interventions to increase environmental literacy among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students and examines the systemic racism that has been embedded throughout the field of natural resources and environmental education (EE). I took a case study approach to research environmental literacy among northern New York and Vermont high school students who qualify as coming from “modest income households” and whose parents did not obtain a four-year degree. I conducted qualitative analysis on student observations and pre- and post-survey data to understand student’s levels of environmental stewardship, connectedness to nature, and environmental career aspirations. The results are organized into four chapters: an introduction chapter, two manuscripts intended for stand-alone publication (Chapters 2-3), and a conclusion chapter. Chapter 2 reports on the current state of the field of natural resources and the development of an equitable survey tool which indicated that students across similar socio-economic backgrounds have similar levels of environmental interest yet career paths shift in BIPOC youth. Chapter 3 discusses strategies for increasing stewardship, connectedness to nature, and environmental career aspirations among students. Finally, Chapter 4 synthesizes the findings from Chapters 2-3. These results provide useful information about the current state of environmental education and provides recommendations on how environmental education can be more inclusive.
  • A Data Minimization Algorithm for Fast and Secure Transfer of Big Datasets Using Fourier Analysis

    Sharafatmandjoor, Shervin; Balan, Cristian (2022-10-21)
    Today’s increased demand for fast and secure transfer of big data applications and files has motivated researchers to develop novel algorithms within the framework of existing protocol limitations. Transferring big data datasets (e.g. Big Genomic Datasets) over the network has always been an interesting and challenging research area. This is because all data transfer protocols, such as HTTP and FTP, use the standard content-encoding schemes, namely ASCII, which offer little or no compression or data minimization. The purpose of this work is to design and implement a novel Fourier-based data minimization algorithm to decrease the required time to transfer multi-dimensional big datasets over conventional networks. In addition, we increased security in the event of a data breach. Moreover, it will introduce a generic concept that can be used by cloud-based applications to secure data that is being exchanged remotely. One and two-dimensional results show how the method could effectively be used in different data minimization scenarios.
  • A Data Minimization Algorithm for Fast and Secure Transfer of Big Datasets Using Fourier Analysis

    Sharafatmandjoor, Shervin; Balan, Cristian (2022-10-14)
    Transferring big data datasets over the network has always been an interesting topic. This is because all data transfer protocols, such as Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP), use the standard content-encoding schemes, such as the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). On the other hand, today’s increased demand for fast and secure transfer of big data applications and files, has motivated researchers to develop novel algorithms within the framework of existing protocol limitations. The purpose of this presentation is to design and implement a novel Fourier-based data minimization algorithm to decrease the required time to transfer multi-dimensional big datasets over conventional networks. In addition, we increased security in the event of a data breach. Moreover, it will introduce a generic concept that can be used by cloud-based applications to secure data that exchange remotely.
  • Effects of Landscape Context on Painted Turtle Population Structure in Northern New York

    Garneau, Danielle; Mahoney, Ian; Morgenroth, Rhiannon; Gennosa, Katherine "Ky"; Garneau, Danielle (2022-12-11)
    Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) are a widely distributed freshwater turtle common in northern New York wetlands. Turtles provide ecosystem services that include redistributing nutrients, dispersing seeds, serving as prey to predators, and modifying wetland habitat. With ongoing threats due to climate change, disease, and losses in wetland habitat, painted turtle population health can reflect ecosystem health. We aimed to evaluate demographic and microbiome trends among painted turtle populations along an urbanization gradient in northern New York. In fall 2022, we set 10 hoop traps for 3 consecutive days at both an urban (Barracks golf course), Plattsburgh, NY and rural (Lake Alice Wildlife Management Area, Chazy, NY site. Following established Ecological Research as Education (TurtlePop 2.0) protocols. Gender and age structure of each individual was determined and each was uniquely marked using carapace scute notching techniques. We also evaluated Salmonella sp. presence on turtle’s at each pond by collecting both carapace and cloacal swabs. Site-specific characteristics were also noted at each pond including abundance of basking sites, pond area, water and air temperatures, pH, and conductivity. The greater abundance of turtles at the urban site could be explained by the presence of plentiful basking logs. Contrary to our hypotheses both urban and rural sites are female and adult skewed, which could be explained by site-specific mesopredator guild differences. Morphologically there were no major size differences noted between the urban and rural populations. Additionally, there were no significant differences in water quality between the pond complexes. Painted turtle carapace and cloacal microbiomes were dominated by Pseudomonas sp. and no salmonella bacteria were detected via Sanger sequencing. More long-term research needs to be done in order to determine the effects of urbanization on painted turtle populations as our findings appear in line with findings of the EREN network, but contrary to those of the larger body of turtle conservation research.
  • Comparing Herpetofauna Microbiome Diversity Across Northern New York

    Garneau, Danielle; Lorenzetti, Owen; Monroe, Gabrielle; Stone, Riley; Garneau, Danielle; Lester, Sara (2022-12-11)
    Several threats to herpetofaunal species such as habitat loss and the increase of diseases have decreased their global populations. Climate change is projected to shift many species of plants and animals into cooler regions. Within the last century there has been an ~80% decline in species due to habitat loss, climate change, and disease. Most notably is chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which keratinized the skin of herpetofauna. Microhabitat complexity is linked to their microbiome diversity and fitness. Our study was designed to evaluate the influence of both macro- and microhabitat on herpetofaunal epidermal microbiome. At three sites (Rugar Woods, Paul Smiths Visitor’s Interpretive Center, and Lewis Preserve Wildlife Management Area), we surveyed herpetofauna using hand capture techniques and collected microbial samples by swabbing the skin of individuals. Bacteria were plated to determine morphotype richness and serial dilutions were made in order to isolate the most prominent colonies. Microbial DNA was extracted, followed by a 16s rRNA polymerization chain reaction (PCR), and Sanger sequencing to confirm microbial species. Herpetofauna epithelial microbiome included Serratia sp., Pantoea sp., Pseudomonas sp., and Sphingobacteria. Herpetofaunal richness was the same across all macro-sites (S=3), with red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) being ubiquitous and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum), leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens), spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), American toads (Anaxyrus americanus), and garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) being rare. The most common microhabitat under which herpetofauna were found was coarse woody debris (CWD) and in terms of silviculture, single tree cuts and control sites had more animals than did other treatments such as clearcuts. Bacterial morphotype richness was greatest at Lewis Preserve and among red-backed salamanders and leopard frogs. Our bacterial species were common to herpetofaunal microbiomes and many support antifungal activity. Our findings suggested that a minimally managed wildlife management area with mature mixed forest, extensive floodplain, and riparian edge will support a diverse herpetofaunal community with high bacterial morphotype richness, affording greater defense against disease.
  • Assessing Small Mammal Richness and Abundance Following Wildfires

    Garneau, Danielle; Bargabos, Meghan; Cooper, Shannon; Hart, Zach; Garneau, Danielle (2022-12-01)
    As with all disturbance, wildfire transforms the abiotic and biotic features of the landscape. The Altona Flat Rock is a globally rare sandstone pavement pine barrens ecosystem dominated by an overstory of Pinus banksiana (jack pine) and understory of ericaceous shrubs including Vaccinium augustifolium (blueberry). In summer 2018, a wildfire burned approximately 225 hectares of the jack pine barrens, a fire-dependent ecosystem. The small mammal community provides essential ecosystem services as seed predators, dispersers, and as prey for higher trophic levels. We aimed to determine the abundance and diversity of the small mammal community at two sites, specifically 1) the recent 2018 wildfire versus 2) a regenerated forest that burned in 1957. As part of an on-going mark-recapture study at the Flat Rock, small mammal live trapping was conducted over a six-week period in fall 2022. Each individual was uniquely marked with an ear tag and body metrics (length, weight) and gender were collected. Data from the 2022 field season was combined with previous years which showed that the small mammal abundance has declined over time and the reference (1957) site had higher community diversity including insectivores, while the recent burn (2018) had a higher overall abundance of the dominant generalist Peromyscus sp.. Results from this on-going study, can inform more effective management strategies in fire-dependent ecosystems by optimizing small mammal habitat and benefiting the ecosystem as a whole to better support the larger wildlife community and regenerating forest.
  • Microplastics in Lake Champlain Fishes: Characterization and New Techniques

    Garneau, Danielle; Sinisgalli, Angelo; Garneau, Danielle (2022-12-01)
    Microplastics, defined as being <5mm in size, have been recently identified as marine pollutants of significant concern. Concerns have arisen due to their persistence, ubiquity and potential to alter physiology and behavior that reduces reproduction and survival. As this is an emerging threat, the potential damage posed by microplastics to freshwater ecosystems has not yet been fully investigated and best practices for characterization are being developed. The purpose of this study was to learn the process of microplastics characterization in Lake Champlain and pilot the use of Nile red stain for quantification. In fall 2022, I dissected three fish (2 tench (Tinca tinca), 1 rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)), isolated microplastics using wet peroxide oxidation, and characterizing them under the microscope. All particulate in fish were characterized as microfibers of small size (125-355um). Fiber load in tench, a larger fish, was 26% greater than that of rudd. Moving forward we plan to record this process for educational purposes and further develop a Nile Red staining procedure to expedite microplastic quantification.
  • Biota of Chazy Lake: The Legacy of Invasive Species and other Abiotic Stressors

    Garneau, Danielle; Mordecki, Kolby; Kotezle, Andrea Grace; Garneau, Danielle (2022-12-01)
    Freshwater systems are threatened with poor water quality and invasive species, affecting their overall health. Chazy Lake is an oligotrophic impounded freshwater lake in Clinton County, New York approximately 1,800 acres in size and surrounded by mountains. Invasive species have become an increasing threat to the lake and include Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), Chinese mystery snail (Cipangopaludina chinensis), and northern pike (Esox lucius). Abiotic stressors, such as road salt, are also major concerns. Over the course of four weeks in fall 2022, we surveyed the lake for fish and turtle community composition. At each site, hoop traps (n=2 minnow, n=1 turtle) were set at two reference (South Inlet, Pump station) and two disturbed (Dam, Seine Bay) sites. We created a Survey123 project to remotely georeference sites, curate images, and answer form questions. Water samples were collected to evaluate abiotic factors such as conductivity and pH. The species richness of the fish community was 5 and included 17 individuals including creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus), pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris), brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans), and yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Our hypothesis was not entirely supported as the majority of our fish were caught at the pump station (n=10) and disturbed Seine Bay (n=7) sites. None of the fish surveyed displayed disease phenotypes and no turtles were observed. Abiotic factors were surprising, as high conductivity (512 uS/cm) levels aligned with the Seine Bay, a site adjacent to a major roadway, while other sites averaged (94 uS/cm). Water chemistry revealed similar pH levels across sites 7.28-7.75. Non-profit organizations are addressing these threats with management efforts including lake drawdowns and seasonal watermilfoil removal. Long-term water quality monitoring has afforded residents opportunities to discuss alternatives and ways to minimize use of road salt. The lack of fish and turtles found in Chazy Lake may be just one sign of on-going threats associated with invasive species and pollution.
  • Wingin’ It: A Survey of Bat Populations in Varying Habitats in Northern New York

    Garneau, Danielle; Bushey, Devan; Doell, Caley; Steckler, Eric; Garneau, Danielle (2022-12-01)
    Bats are taxonomically and ecologically diverse species who provide many ecosystem services. They are also sensitive to many anthropogenic stressors (e.g., urbanization, water quality, changes in climate), so changes in bat populations have historically been early sentinels of disturbance, facilitating focused conservation efforts. Unfortunately, following the introduction of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in 2006 in New York, the nation has seen variable but drastic declines in bat populations. The relationship between bats and their habitats is not well understood because they are wide-ranging and require multiple critical habitat types, but research is needed in order to meet conservation targets. In fall 2022, we assessed the abundance and diversity of bat species between forested, rural, and urban habitat types in northern New York. Each site was surveyed once using an ultrasonic bat detector thirty minutes after sunset, the most active feeding time for bat species. We hypothesized that bat abundance would be highest in the urban setting, with infrastructure providing increased roosting opportunity. However, highest species abundance and richness were both found at the forested site, likely because it was surveyed the earliest in the season. It was also the route with the most suitable habitat based on prior research suggesting bats need water for feeding and forests for roosting. The forested and rural sites showed 28.6% similarity, the rural and urban sites showed no similarity, and the forested and urban sites had 50% similarity. Understanding the disproportionate value that forest habitats provide for bat populations, we suggest considering conservation efforts which prioritize these ecosystems and link them to important riparian corridors.

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