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Articles 1 - 14 of 14

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Energy Production, Distribution, And Pollution Controls: Combining Engineering And Economic Analysis To Enhance Efficiency And Policy Design, David F. Perkis Oct 2014

Energy Production, Distribution, And Pollution Controls: Combining Engineering And Economic Analysis To Enhance Efficiency And Policy Design, David F. Perkis

Open Access Dissertations

Three published articles are presented which focus on enhancing various aspects of the energy supply chain. While each paper adopts a different methodology, all three combine engineering data and/or techniques with economic analysis to improve efficiency or policy design within energy markets. ^ The first paper combines a chemical engineering plant design model with an economic assessment of product enhancements within an ethanol production facility. While a new chemical process is shown to achieve greater ethanol yields, the animal feed by-products are denatured and decrease in value due to the degradation of a key nutritional amino acid. Overall, yield increases ...


Irrigation With Treated Wastewater: Potential And Limitations, Anne Dare Oct 2014

Irrigation With Treated Wastewater: Potential And Limitations, Anne Dare

Open Access Dissertations

As the world population increases and resources become more coveted, water emerges as a key component to global food security. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is among the driest regions in the world: containing just one percent of the world's freshwater resources. An increasing population creates greater quantities of wastewater and demands greater quantities of food, so an obvious connection arises. However logical wastewater reuse may be for bridging the irrigation supply-demand gap in this arid region, significant limitations prevent widespread adoption. The overall goal of this research is to take a holistic view of the limitations ...


Migratory Ecology Of Sea Turtles, Nathan Jack Robinson Oct 2014

Migratory Ecology Of Sea Turtles, Nathan Jack Robinson

Open Access Dissertations

Establishing the movement patterns of free-ranging animals is imperative to understanding their behavior and ecology, and is often necessary for designing effective conservation-strategies. This is especially true for migratory species, such as sea turtles, whose long-distance movements form a major component of their life history. In this thesis, I investigated which factors are driving the migratory behavior of the leatherback turtleDermochelys coriacea. Firstly, I examined whether the timing of the nesting season (nesting phenology) is influenced by oceanographic conditions along the pre-nesting migratory route or by variation in population structure. The discovery that nesting phenology appears more influenced by ...


Profit-Maximizing Responses To Climate Change In Commodity Agriculture: Does Adaptation Matter?, Sajeev Erangu Purath Mohankumar Oct 2014

Profit-Maximizing Responses To Climate Change In Commodity Agriculture: Does Adaptation Matter?, Sajeev Erangu Purath Mohankumar

Open Access Theses

Accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to rising temperatures, and is expected to lead to a change in climate. Crop yields are vulnerable to these changes. Adaptation is expected to be key to combating climate change impacts, but the effectiveness of adaptation strategies is not well understood. Hence, there is a need to assess the impacts of climate change on agriculture and devise profitable adaptation strategies to combat its effects. This study uses historical and three projected climate data sets to simulate yields using the crop model Daycent, empirical relationships between weather and agronomic variables that influence ...


Uncertainty, Irreversibility, And Investment In Secondgeneration Biofuels, Tanner Joseph Mccarty Oct 2014

Uncertainty, Irreversibility, And Investment In Secondgeneration Biofuels, Tanner Joseph Mccarty

Open Access Theses

The present study formalizes and quantifies the importance of uncertainty for investment in a corn-stover based cellulosic biofuel plant. Using a real options model we recover prices of gasoline that would trigger entry into the market and calculate the portion of that entry trigger price required to cover cost and the portion that corresponds to risk premium. We then discuss the effect of managerial flexibility on the entry risk premium and the prices of gasoline that would trigger mothballing, reactivation, and exit. Results show that the risk premium required by plants to enter the second-generation biofuel market is likely to ...


Nitrate Removal From Subsurface Drainage By Denitrifying Bioreactor, Erin Chichlowski Oct 2014

Nitrate Removal From Subsurface Drainage By Denitrifying Bioreactor, Erin Chichlowski

Open Access Theses

Denitrifying bioreactors are an edge-of-field best management practice that reduce nitrate in runoff and subsurface drainage waters with minimum surface foot print and management requirements. The objectives of this study included evaluating a 173 m3 wood chip bioreactor for nitrate reduction and removal rates, the effects on phosphorus, and the impacts of the bioreactor's physical characteristics on effective nitrate reduction During periods of flow, weekly water samples were collected for lab analysis of nitrate+nitrite (nitrate-N), total nitrogen (TN), soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and total phosphorus (TP) and measurements were made of water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, oxidation reduction ...


Evaluating Contaminants Of Emerging Concern In Commercial Biosolid-Based Fertilizers, John Hemmerling, Michael L. Mashtare, Linda S. Lee Aug 2014

Evaluating Contaminants Of Emerging Concern In Commercial Biosolid-Based Fertilizers, John Hemmerling, Michael L. Mashtare, Linda S. Lee

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

The production and popularity of commercially available biosolid-based fertilizers are increasing because of their economic, environmental, and plant nutrition benefits, particularly in urban and suburban areas. Because biosolid-based fertilizers are derived from waste water treatment plant residuals, we hypothesized that there is the potential for micropollutants to persist in these products. Their presence would be of particular concern due to their potential impact on human and ecological health and risk of bioaccumulation. This study involves quantifying contaminants of emerging concern in three biosolid-based fertilizers, and 2 non-biosolid-based fertilizers, a composted animal manure and an organic compost. Our extraction method employed ...


Precipitation Variability And Nitrogen Deposition Alter Root Distribution In A Tallgrass Prairie, Emmalyn P. Terracciano, Michael Schuster, Jeffrey Dukes Aug 2014

Precipitation Variability And Nitrogen Deposition Alter Root Distribution In A Tallgrass Prairie, Emmalyn P. Terracciano, Michael Schuster, Jeffrey Dukes

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

Climate change and increases in nitrogen deposition impact ecosystems globally. Projected atmospheric warming allows rain to fall in larger events with longer dry periods in between, increasing rainfall variability in many regions. Concurrently, the combustion of fossil fuels and the heavy use of nitrogen fertilizers continue to increase the availability of nitrogen globally. However, not much is known about how these global change factors, increased rainfall variability and nitrogen deposition, interact with each other to affect ecosystem functions, particularly belowground where root production contributes to soil carbon pools- an important component in regulating climate. In order to study these factors ...


Field To Flight: A Techno-Economic Analysis Of Stover To Aviation Biofuels Supply Chain, Amanda C. Bittner Jul 2014

Field To Flight: A Techno-Economic Analysis Of Stover To Aviation Biofuels Supply Chain, Amanda C. Bittner

Open Access Theses

Greenhouse gas emissions have been a growing concern. The transportation sector contributes to one-third of GHG emissions in the United States from fossil fuel burning. The Renewable Fuel Standard set a requirement for 16 billion gallons (ethanol equivalent) of cellulosic biofuels to be used in the market. Aviation biofuels can help to meet both of these problems as well as improve U.S. energy security.

Investment in the biofuel industry carries a lot of risk. The biofuel industry is run by the private sector, but can be incentivized by government. Cellulosic biofuels carry even more risk than first generation biofuels ...


The Effects Of Radar On Avian Behavior: Implications For Wildlife Management At Airports, Eleanor R. Sheridan Jul 2014

The Effects Of Radar On Avian Behavior: Implications For Wildlife Management At Airports, Eleanor R. Sheridan

Open Access Theses

Airports are areas with a high availability of resources for wildlife to forage, breed, and roost. Airports also have different types of radars to assist with air traffic control as well as tracking of wildlife that could become a risk for aircraft. The effect of radar electromagnetic radiation on wildlife behavior is not well understood. The goal of this study was to determine if bird behavior is affected by radar in two contexts: static radar (e.g., surveillance radar) and approaching radar (e.g., aircraft weather radar). We used brown-headed cowbirds as a model species. In the static radar context ...


Study Of The Sustainbility Issues Of Food Production Using Vertical Farm Methods In An Urban Environment Within The State Of Indiana, Victor Mendez Perez Apr 2014

Study Of The Sustainbility Issues Of Food Production Using Vertical Farm Methods In An Urban Environment Within The State Of Indiana, Victor Mendez Perez

Open Access Theses

There are several problems around the globe related to water scarcity, energy shortages, deforestation and loss of fertile land, and food security. Climate change is making environmental and social issues arise. Issues such as, changes in the agricultural landscape, increasing population (9 billion is the expected population for 2040), rising food borne illnesses, scarcity of drinking water, and more crop failure due to plant pathogens and insect pests, among other factors make this study specially significant. Vertical farming could be a potencial solution to some of these problems.

Due to these problems the present thesis analyzed vertical farming as a ...


Deforestation Of Cloud Forest In The Central Highlands Of Guatemala: Soil Erosion And Sustainability Implications For Q'Eqchi' Maya Communities, Ian Christopher Pope Apr 2014

Deforestation Of Cloud Forest In The Central Highlands Of Guatemala: Soil Erosion And Sustainability Implications For Q'Eqchi' Maya Communities, Ian Christopher Pope

Open Access Theses

Understanding the nexus between deforestation, food production, land degradation, and culture contributes knowledge that is useful for development practitioners working to enhance conservation and food security. Documenting deforestation and soil erosion in the Sierra Yalijux and Sierra Sacranix in the Central Highlands of Guatemala adds new knowledge about the rates and dynamics of deforestation and land degradation in areas with unique and sensitive cloud forest ecosystems. It also suggests possible areas of emphasis for efforts targeted at combining cloud forest conservation with sustainability for indigenous Q'eqchi' communities. In addition, this work contributes to a small but growing body of ...


Determinants Of Energy Efficiency Across Countries, Guolin Yao Apr 2014

Determinants Of Energy Efficiency Across Countries, Guolin Yao

Open Access Theses

With economic development, environmental concerns become more important. Economies cannot be developed without energy consumption, which is the major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Higher energy efficiency is one means of reducing emissions, but what determines energy efficiency?

In this research we attempt to find answers to this question by using cross-sectional country data; that is, we examine a wide range of possible determinants of energy efficiency at the country level in an attempt to find the most important causal factors. All countries are divided into three income groups: high-income countries, middle-income countries, and low-income countries. Energy intensity is used ...


Pharmaceuticals And Personal Care Products: Emerging Contaminants In Aquatic Ecosystems, Jenny E. Zenobio Apr 2014

Pharmaceuticals And Personal Care Products: Emerging Contaminants In Aquatic Ecosystems, Jenny E. Zenobio

Open Access Theses

In recent years, the presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in aquatic systems has led to research on their fate and effects. PPCPs have been found in mixture in wastewater effluents, surface, ground, and drinking water at low concentrations from areas of intense urbanization. Although adverse effects to human health from the current environmental concentrations are unlikely, the impacts to ecological receptors are not clear. We performed field and laboratory studies to quantify and evaluate effects of PPCPs on fish. First, a field study was conducted at the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado (2010-2012) because a portion of ...