Science.gov

Sample records for improving public understanding

  1. Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academies Press, 2008

    2008-01-01

    Can the United States continue to lead the world in innovation? The answer may hinge in part on how well the public understands engineering, a key component of the "innovation engine." A related concern is how to encourage young people--particularly girls and under-represented minorities--to consider engineering as a career option.…

  2. Museum Monsters and Victorious Viruses: Improving Public Understanding of Emerging Biomedical Research

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Judy; Jee, Benjamin; Matuk, Camilla; McQuillan, Julia; Spiegel, Amy N.; Uttal, David

    2015-01-01

    Although microbes directly impact everyone's health, most people have limited knowledge about them. In this article, we describe a museum and media public education campaign aimed at helping diverse audiences better understand emerging knowledge about microbes and infectious disease. Funded primarily by the Science Education Partnership (SEPA) program of the National Institutes of Health, this campaign involved crosscutting programs designed to extend impacts throughout a broad public audience. PMID:26392634

  3. Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Physics Education, 1985

    1985-01-01

    Presents comments from the editorial board of Physics Education to the Royal Society's ad-hoc group on science and the public. Areas examined include whether schools provide students with a useful understanding of science and technology (ST), if the public has sufficient understanding of ST to make balanced judgements, and others. (JN)

  4. Your Planetarium: A Friend Indeed; or How to improve the public understanding of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ratcliffe, Martin

    1995-05-01

    Astronomical research requires public funding, and thment on public support. The greatest contact between the public and astronomy occurs through the nationUs planetariums, and the staff of these facilities are frequently asked to com'ent on recent discoveries. It is in our best interest to use and support the work of planetariums as an already existing outlet, not only to build public support for research, but as a nationUs commitment to the greater public understanding o" science. AAS President Frank Shu notes in newsletter 74, "failure to prepare the general citizenry to face an increasingly complex technological future indeed puts the nation at risk". Indeed, the issue is an important one. The efforts of the Henry Buhl Jr. Planetarium in Pittsburgh to provide up-to-date, accurate information about current astronomical research, the collaborative effort between STScI and the Buhl Planetarium to produce a new planetarium show, Through the Eyes of Hubble, and future efforts for collaborative projects to present science in an informed, yet entertaining way will be presented, and reflect similar efforts of the entire planetarium communty. Following the presented papers, a discussion session will offer the opportunity to explore new links between the planetarium ommunity and the astronomical community. The ideas will be presented to the newly constituted Astronomy Education Policy Board of the AAS as part of the national astronomy education initiative.

  5. Evaluating the effects of ideology on public understanding of climate change science: how to improve communication across ideological divides?

    PubMed

    Zia, Asim; Todd, Anne Marie

    2010-11-01

    While ideology can have a strong effect on citizen understanding of science, it is unclear how ideology interacts with other complicating factors, such as college education, which influence citizens' comprehension of information. We focus on public understanding of climate change science and test the hypotheses: [H1] as citizens' ideology shifts from liberal to conservative, concern for global warming decreases; [H2] citizens with college education and higher general science literacy tend to have higher concern for global warming; and [H3] college education does not increase global warming concern for conservative ideologues. We implemented a survey instrument in California's San Francisco Bay Area, and employed regression models to test the effects of ideology and other socio-demographic variables on citizen concern about global warming, terrorism, the economy, health care and poverty. We are able to confirm H1 and H3, but reject H2. Various strategies are discussed to improve the communication of climate change science across ideological divides. PMID:21560547

  6. Ofqual's Reliability Programme: A Case Study Exploring the Potential to Improve Public Understanding and Confidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newton, Paul E.

    2013-01-01

    In May 2008, Ofqual established a two-year programme of research to investigate the nature and extent of (un)reliability within the qualifications, examinations and assessments that it regulated. It was particularly concerned to improve understanding of, and confidence in, this technically complex and politically sensitive phenomenon. The…

  7. Improving understanding, promoting social inclusion, and fostering empowerment related to epilepsy: Epilepsy Foundation public awareness campaigns--2001 through 2013.

    PubMed

    Price, P; Kobau, R; Buelow, J; Austin, J; Lowenberg, K

    2015-03-01

    It is a significant public health concern that epilepsy, the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, is generally poorly understood by both the public and those living with the condition. Lack of understanding may magnify the challenges faced by those with epilepsy, including limiting treatment opportunities, effective management of symptoms, and full participation in daily life activities. Insufficient awareness of epilepsy and appropriate seizure first aid among the public and professionals can result in insufficient treatment, inappropriate seizure response, physical restraint, social exclusion, or other negative consequences. To address the need for increased public education and awareness about epilepsy, the national Epilepsy Foundation, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has conducted yearly multifaceted public education and awareness campaigns designed to reach the broad population and targeted segments of the population including youth, young adults, racial/ethnic groups (i.e., African-, Hispanic-, and Asian-Americans), and people with epilepsy and their caregivers. Campaign channels have included traditional media, social media, and community opinion leaders and celebrity spokespersons. The key activities of these campaigns, conducted from 2001 to 2013, are summarized in this report. PMID:25726152

  8. Using Immersive Visualizations to Improve Decision Making and Enhancing Public Understanding of Earth Resource and Climate Issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, K. C.; Raynolds, R. G.; Dechesne, M.

    2008-12-01

    New visualization technologies, from ArcGIS to Google Earth, have allowed for the integration of complex, disparate data sets to produce visually rich and compelling three-dimensional models of sub-surface and surface resource distribution patterns. The rendering of these models allows the public to quickly understand complicated geospatial relationships that would otherwise take much longer to explain using traditional media. We have impacted the community through topical policy presentations at both state and city levels, adult education classes at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS), and public lectures at DMNS. We have constructed three-dimensional models from well data and surface observations which allow policy makers to better understand the distribution of groundwater in sandstone aquifers of the Denver Basin. Our presentations to local governments in the Denver metro area have allowed resource managers to better project future ground water depletion patterns, and to encourage development of alternative sources. DMNS adult education classes on water resources, geography, and regional geology, as well as public lectures on global issues such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and resource depletion, have utilized the visualizations developed from these research models. In addition to presenting GIS models in traditional lectures, we have also made use of the immersive display capabilities of the digital "fulldome" Gates Planetarium at DMNS. The real-time Uniview visualization application installed at Gates was designed for teaching astronomy, but it can be re-purposed for displaying our model datasets in the context of the Earth's surface. The 17-meter diameter dome of the Gates Planetarium allows an audience to have an immersive experience---similar to virtual reality CAVEs employed by the oil exploration industry---that would otherwise not be available to the general public. Public lectures in the dome allow audiences of over 100 people to comprehend

  9. Increasing Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Isobel

    1998-01-01

    The Science of Genes workshop is a program designed to increase public understanding of science by demystifying the language used to describe it. Methods include analogies, models, simple experiments, and opportunities for discussion of controversial topics such as genetic engineering. (JOW)

  10. Public understanding of geoscientific topics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Münch, Ute; Lauterjung, Jörn

    2014-05-01

    Geoscientific topics and their consequences for the society are becoming more and more important for our daily life. Natural hazards such as flood and storm or the consequences of the climate change are urgent tasks and great challenges we have to tackle. Cascading natural hazards or environmental risks, can't be evaluated as single events by one scientific discipline, they rather need the expertise of different experts. The same applies for slowly progressive processes such as the climate change and its different aftereffects. More than ever politicians, decision makers, but also the public are asking for comprehensive background information and data to discuss activity options and to develop sustainable solutions. The improvement of public knowledge about science, their assets and drawbacks, chances and risks is getting crucial. To paint a comprehensive picture of different factors, correlations and dependencies the pooling of expertise is required. Thus eight research centres of the research field "Earth and Environment" of the Helmholtz-Association, Germany's largest scientific research organisation are currently building up a knowledge platform. Scientists of different disciplines will provide background information and explain their latest findings in an understandable way. Infographics, maps and animations will be applied to simplify and interpret complicated facts and findings. In addition to the web presence target group-specific products and activities will be organized. To meet the expectations of the different stakeholders an intensive dialog is aspired: round table discussions, exhibitions in museums and public places, tweeds are envisaged. In the beginning the partners will concentrate on the topics "consequences of the climate change", "pollutant dispersion" and "natural hazards/meteorological extreme events". The project is called Earth System Knowledge Platform (ESKP) coordinated by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and the Helmholtz

  11. Understanding the nature of health: New perspectives for medicine and public health. Improved wellbeing at lower costs

    PubMed Central

    Bircher, Johannes; Hahn, Eckhart G.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Current dilemmas of health care systems call for a new look at the nature of health. This is offered by the Meikirch model. We explore its hypothetical benefit for the future of medicine and public health. Meikirch model: It states: “Health is a dynamic state of wellbeing emergent from conducive interactions between individuals’ potentials, life’s demands, and social and environmental determinants.” “Throughout the life course health results when an individuals’ biologically given potential (BGP) and his or her personally acquired potential (PAP), interacting with social and environmental determinants, satisfactorily respond to the demands of life.” Methods: We explored the Meikirch model’s possible applications for personal and public health care. Results: The PAP of each individual is the most modifiable component of the model. It responds to constructive social interactions and to personal growth. If an individual’s PAP is nurtured to develop further, it likely will contribute much more to health than without fostering. It may also compensate for losses of the BGP. An ensuing new culture of health may markedly improve health in the society. The rising costs of health care presumably are due in part to the tragedy of the commons and to moral hazard. Health as a complex adaptive system offers new possibilities for patient care, particularly for general practitioners. Discussion: Analysis of health systems by the Meikirch model reveals that in many areas more can be done to improve people’s health and to reduce health care costs than is done today. The Meikirch model appears promising for individual and public health in low and high income countries. Emphasizing health instead of disease the Meikirch model reinforces article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations – that abandons the WHO definition - and thereby may contribute to its reinterpretation. PMID:27134730

  12. Using a Forest Health Index as an Outreach Tool for Improving Public Understanding of Ecosystem Dynamics and Research-Based Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osenga, E. C.; Cundiff, J.; Arnott, J. C.; Katzenberger, J.; Taylor, J. R.; Jack-Scott, E.

    2015-12-01

    An interactive tool called the Forest Health Index (FHI) has been developed for the Roaring Fork watershed of Colorado, with the purpose of improving public understanding of local forest management and ecosystem dynamics. The watershed contains large areas of White River National Forest, which plays a significant role in the local economy, particularly for recreation and tourism. Local interest in healthy forests is therefore strong, but public understanding of forest ecosystems is often simplified. This can pose challenges for land managers and researchers seeking a scientifically informed approach to forest restoration, management, and planning. Now in its second iteration, the FHI is a tool designed to help bridge that gap. The FHI uses a suite of indicators to create a numeric rating of forest functionality and change, based on the desired forest state in relation to four categories: Ecological Integrity, Public Health and Safety, Ecosystem Services, and Sustainable Use and Management. The rating is based on data derived from several sources including local weather stations, stream gauge data, SNOTEL sites, and National Forest Service archives. In addition to offering local outreach and education, this project offers broader insight into effective communication methods, as well as into the challenges of using quantitative analysis to rate ecosystem health. Goals of the FHI include its use in schools as a means of using local data and place-based learning to teach basic math and science concepts, improved public understanding of ecological complexity and need for ongoing forest management, and, in the future, its use as a model for outreach tools in other forested communities in the Intermountain West.

  13. Public understanding of drug therapy.

    PubMed

    Herxheimer, Andrew

    2012-06-01

    Knowing some basic principles about medicines would help patients to understand drug therapy and to help and encourage them to use it well. These principles relate to the categories and names of drugs, their different uses, how they reach the site of action (absorption, distribution, fate), how they produce their effects, both beneficial and harmful, the time courses of drug actions, how the pattern and intensity of the effects of a drug depend on dose and timing, drug interactions, how drug effects are demonstrated and investigated and sources of information and their trustworthiness. These basic principles are an essential part of health literacy and understanding them would enable individuals to comprehend better the information that they are likely to receive about medicines that they will take. Different populations need different types of education. For schoolchildren, the principles could fit into biology and domestic science teaching, starting in the later years of primary school or early in secondary school. A teaching package would also be needed for their teachers. For adults, web-based learning seems the most practical option. Web-based programmes could be supported by the NHS and professional bodies and through public libraries and local community health services. Specific groups for targeting could include young mothers and carers of chronically ill people. For retired people, one could envisage special programmes, perhaps in collaboration with the University of the Third Age. Conversations between patients and professionals would then become more effective and help shared decision making. PMID:22360596

  14. Public understanding of science is not scientific literacy

    SciTech Connect

    McGowan, A.

    1995-12-31

    The author notes that public understanding of science has, in many quarters, been taken over by the wrong notion of scientific literacy. The need for the scientific community to develop the language that speaks to the public in general is explored. Methodologies to improve communication to the general public and increase their understanding with clearly developed metaphors are examined.

  15. Public Understanding of Science: From Contents to Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Robin; Wynne, Brian

    1988-01-01

    Argues that the conventional view of public understanding of science may be an unhelpful guide to improved science education practice. Suggests that the public understanding of the "processes," instead of "contents," of science may be more useful to interpret and cope with science, technology, and society issues. (Author/YP)

  16. Understanding Vaccines: A Public Imperative

    PubMed Central

    Federman, Ross S.

    2014-01-01

    Though once a discovery greatly celebrated by the nation, the vaccine has come under fire in recent decades from skeptics, critics, and a movement set into motion by fraudulent scientists and fueled by frustrated parents looking for answers to the autism conundrum. There is enough denialist resistance to vaccination to bring upon renewed fear of young children and infants becoming infected with diseases, the threats of which had been functionally eradicated from the United States. In more recent years, the surge in independent online journalism and blogging has invited many to rapidly share their opinions with millions of readers and, importantly, has appeared to open the door for opinion to be portrayed as fact. As a result, many parents are inundated with horror stories of vaccine dangers, all designed to eat away at them emotionally while the medical and scientific communities have mounted their characteristic response by sharing the facts, the data, and all of the reliable peer-reviewed and well-cited research to show that vaccines are safe and effective. It has become clear to me that facts are no match for emotion, but perhaps an understanding behind vaccine methodology will help parents overcome these fears of vaccinating. By helping those who doubt vaccines better understand what vaccines really are and how they work in such an incredibly engineered fashion, we may have a stronger weapon than we realize in battling the emotional arsenal that comes from the fear and skepticism of vaccinating. PMID:25506276

  17. Understanding vaccines: a public imperative.

    PubMed

    Federman, Ross S

    2014-12-01

    Though once a discovery greatly celebrated by the nation, the vaccine has come under fire in recent decades from skeptics, critics, and a movement set into motion by fraudulent scientists and fueled by frustrated parents looking for answers to the autism conundrum. There is enough denialist resistance to vaccination to bring upon renewed fear of young children and infants becoming infected with diseases, the threats of which had been functionally eradicated from the United States. In more recent years, the surge in independent online journalism and blogging has invited many to rapidly share their opinions with millions of readers and, importantly, has appeared to open the door for opinion to be portrayed as fact. As a result, many parents are inundated with horror stories of vaccine dangers, all designed to eat away at them emotionally while the medical and scientific communities have mounted their characteristic response by sharing the facts, the data, and all of the reliable peer-reviewed and well-cited research to show that vaccines are safe and effective. It has become clear to me that facts are no match for emotion, but perhaps an understanding behind vaccine methodology will help parents overcome these fears of vaccinating. By helping those who doubt vaccines better understand what vaccines really are and how they work in such an incredibly engineered fashion, we may have a stronger weapon than we realize in battling the emotional arsenal that comes from the fear and skepticism of vaccinating. PMID:25506276

  18. Advocating Science: Literacy and Public Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shortland, Michael

    1988-01-01

    Reviews several arguments deployed in favor of promoting the public understanding of science. Examines assumptions embodied in these arguments. An introductory discussion of scientific literacy is given and suggested as being a more appropriate goal because it provides more criteria for assessing the nature and understanding of science. (RT)

  19. Improving understanding, promoting social inclusion, and fostering empowerment related to epilepsy: Epilepsy Foundation public awareness campaigns — 2001 through 2013☆

    PubMed Central

    Price, P.; Kobau, R.; Buelow, J.; Austin, J.; Lowenberg, K.

    2015-01-01

    It is a significant public health concern that epilepsy, the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, is generally poorly understood by both the public and those living with the condition. Lack of understanding may magnify the challenges faced by those with epilepsy, including limiting treatment opportunities, effective management of symptoms, and full participation in daily life activities. Insufficient awareness of epilepsy and appropriate seizure first aid among the public and professionals can result in insufficient treatment, inappropriate seizure response, physical restraint, social exclusion, or other negative consequences. To address the need for increased public education and awareness about epilepsy, the national Epilepsy Foundation, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has conducted yearly multifaceted public education and awareness campaigns designed to reach the broad population and targeted segments of the population including youth, young adults, racial/ethnic groups (i.e., African-, Hispanic-, and Asian-Americans), and people with epilepsy and their caregivers. Campaign channels have included traditional media, social media, and community opinion leaders and celebrity spokespersons. The key activities of these campaigns, conducted from 2001 to 2013, are summarized in this report. PMID:25726152

  20. Understanding Fire Through Improved Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Aztec(TradeMark) is the commercial name for Southwest Sciences laser. The laser has coarse tuning ranges of 10 nanometers (nm) to 30 nm at wavelengths ranging from 630 nm to 2,300 nm, making it the only commercially available external cavity diode laser with wavelengths beyond 1,650 nm. The laser's high-speed tuning in both coarse and fine wavelength regimes allows for increased trace gas detection. With the automated coarse tuning option, the Aztec sweeps through its wavelength range in less than 1 millisecond. While some diode lasers can only detect one type, or species, of a trace gas, the Aztec's broad wavelength tuning provides access to multiple trace gas species. The Aztec has a wide range of applications for both NASA and commercial users, from protecting astronauts in space to improving combustion processes on Earth. It may serve as a new tool for planetary exploration, as it can detect a wide range of multiple gas species in planetary atmospheres. The laser could optically detect gaseous indicators of incipient fires on the International Space Station and Space Shuttle, as well as detect low concentrations of potentially toxic gases in spacecraft crew habitats. The laser could also provide more accurate fire detection in aircraft cargo compartments. Since the Aztec can detect several gases that only evolve during an actual fire, its implementation could reduce the large number of commercial aircraft landings that currently occur due to false alarms. Other applications include environmental and industrial process monitoring.

  1. A new model for understanding the public

    SciTech Connect

    Bisconti, A.S.

    1995-05-01

    Progress in siting waste facilities has been impeded by a too-limited understanding of what the public wants. National and statewide surveys sponsored by the U.S. Council for Energy Awareness and others on both high-level and low-level radioactive waste reveal a new, more comprehensive model for assessing public opinion. These surveys by independent research firms -- Market Strategies, Gordon S. Black, Tarrance, and Bruskin/Goldring -- have a margin of error of +3% for national polls and +4% for statewide polls. The old model assumes that because people fear radioactive waste, support for building waste facilities is politically risky. The new model shows that fear of radioactive waste is an important dynamic, but reaches a different conclusion about the public`s sense of generational responsibility. Because people see waste as dangerous, most support the principle of transporting the waste to a permanent disposal facility instead of keeping the waste stored at many different sites. Most want to keep the uses of radioactive materials that produce waste -- including nuclear energy. They strongly believe that disposing of radioactive waste now instead of leaving it for future generations is the environmentally responsible thing to do.

  2. Public Understanding of Science through Evaluations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dusenbery, P.; Koke, J.

    Evaluation is an integral part of exhibition development. It is usually a 3-phase process: front end, formative and summative. This report will compare science misconception studies of students with a number of front-end museum studies in order to elucidate the similarities and differences between student and general public understanding of science. The Space Science Institute (SSI) has recently conducted a major front-end evaluation of its Alien Earths exhibition. Alien Earths has four interrelated exhibit areas: Our Place in Space, Star Birth, PlanetQuest, and Search for Life. Exhibit visitors will explore the awesome events surrounding the birth of stars and planets; they will join scientists in the hunt for planets outside our solar system including those that may be in ``habitable zones'' around other stars; and finally they will be able to learn about the wide range of conditions for life on Earth and how scientists are looking for signs of life beyond Earth. The front-end evaluation elicited visitors' beliefs about the origins of life, what life is dominant on Earth, and the role indirect evidence plays in science. The front-end evaluation also examined visitors' understanding of the tools used in origins research from grand telescopes to microscopes, their ability to decipher and interpret images of star forming regions, and their fluency with the specific terminology likely to be used in the Alien Earths scripts. Front-end evaluation worked to support concept design and development by developing the visitors' entrance narrative -- their pre-existing knowledge, commonly held misconceptions, and their attitudes and interests towards the topic. This served to identify potential points of access and barriers to efficient communication.

  3. Understanding the Change Styles of Teachers to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bigby, Arlene May Green

    2009-01-01

    The topic of this dissertation is the understanding of teacher change styles to improve student achievement. Teachers from public schools in a state located in the northern plains were surveyed regarding their Change Styles (preferred approaches to change) and flexibility scores. The results were statistically analyzed to determine if there were…

  4. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2010-10-24

    We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum measurement. To reduce these difficulties, we have developed research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and peer instruction tools. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students' understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

  5. Improving Student Understanding of Spatial Ecology Statistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopkins, Robert, II; Alberts, Halley

    2015-01-01

    This activity is designed as a primer to teaching population dispersion analysis. The aim is to help improve students' spatial thinking and their understanding of how spatial statistic equations work. Students use simulated data to develop their own statistic and apply that equation to experimental behavioral data for Gambusia affinis (western…

  6. School Science and Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fensham, Peter J.; Harlen, Wynne

    1999-01-01

    Traces how the idea of measuring the connection between school science and public awareness of science has emerged. Describes the Program for International Student Achievement (PISA) project's indicators of educational progress in science. Contains 28 references. (Author/WRM)

  7. Understanding the Cost of Public Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McPherson, Peter; Shulenburger, David

    2010-01-01

    This article explains the cost of education in public research universities. "Price," meaning "tuition," is often incorrectly substituted for "cost," meaning expenditures by the university that make the education possible. University cost is disaggregated to enable readers to distinguish between the costs associated with providing education to…

  8. Designing a Curriculum for Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Robin

    1996-01-01

    Addresses the issue of what the curriculum might look like if the promotion of public understanding of science was taken as its primary aim. Discusses understanding science content, methods of science, and science as a social enterprise. (JRH)

  9. Publics and vaccinomics: beyond public understanding of science.

    PubMed

    Einsiedel, Edna F

    2011-09-01

    Vaccines have been among the most effective tools for addressing global public health challenges. With the advent of genomics, novel approaches for vaccine discovery are opening up new opportunities for vaccine development and applications, particularly with the expectation of personalized vaccines and the possibility of addressing a broader range of infectious diseases. In this context, it is useful to reflect on the social contexts of vaccine development as these have been influenced by social, ethical, political challenges. This article discusses the historical context of vaccine controversies and factors that help explain public acceptance and resistance, illustrating that these challenges go well beyond simple public misunderstandings. The broader vaccine challenges evident along the innovation trajectory, from development to commercialization and implementation include problems in research and development, organizational issues, and legal and regulatory challenges that may collectively contribute to public resistance or confidence. The recent history of genomics provides further lessons that the developing field of vaccinomics can learn from. PMID:21732820

  10. Toward Wider Public Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arons, Arnold

    1973-01-01

    Describes college science teaching as overemphasizing jargon and end results and ignoring knowledge of methods, processes, successes, and limitations of science. Stresses students' understanding of science by self-paced synthesis of experience and historical, philosophical, and sociological presentation of science courses. (CC)

  11. Defining quality improvement in public health.

    PubMed

    Riley, William J; Moran, John W; Corso, Liza C; Beitsch, Leslie M; Bialek, Ronald; Cofsky, Abbey

    2010-01-01

    Many industries commonly use quality improvement (QI) techniques to improve service delivery and process performance. Yet, there has been scarce application of these proven methods to public health settings and the public health field has not developed a set of shared principles or a common definition for quality improvement. This article discusses a definition of quality improvement in public health and describes a continuum of quality improvement applications for public health departments. Quality improvement is a distinct management process and set of tools and techniques that are coordinated to ensure that departments consistently meet the health needs of their communities. PMID:20009636

  12. Public understanding of local lead contamination.

    PubMed

    McNew-Birren, Jill

    2014-11-01

    Residents of Herculaneum, Missouri have been influential in shaping the management of contamination challenges resulting from the community's proximity to the last primary lead processing plant in the United States. This paper provides a nuanced examination of two perspectives of resident activist groups involved in lead-related controversy in Herculaneum. Ethnographic data collection and storyline analysis were used to trace the evolution in local views from resembling an industrialist-environmentalist dichotomy to more compromising positions associated with ecological modernization. Implications for characterizing public environmental perspectives in the US as beginning to entertain certain aspects of the ecological modernist paradigm are discussed. PMID:24068182

  13. Comprehension, Apprehension, Prehension: Heterogenity and the Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michael, Mike

    2002-01-01

    Examines the main approaches to public understanding of science (PUS) in light of recent developments in social and cultural theory. While traditional and critical perspectives on PUS differ in terms of their models of the public, science, and understanding, they share a number of commonalities which include humanism, incorporeality, and discrete…

  14. The Public Understanding of Science--A Rhetorical Invention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Locke, Simon

    2002-01-01

    Contributes to the development of a rhetorical approach to the public understanding of science or science literacy. Proposes a resolution that builds on the view that rhetoric is socially constituted and leads to the conception of public understanding as witchcraft. (Contains 69 references.) (DDR)

  15. Public Understanding of Chemistry, ACS National Meeting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gettys, Nancy S.

    2000-06-01

    Three public events for area school-aged children were held on Saturday, March 25, 2000, prior to the opening of the 219th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. All took place at the Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco. The photographs tell the story: the programs were successful and a good time was had by all. Readers may be encouraged to try these ideas in their own area. If so, the local organizers of Carver Kidvention have additional information at www.scvacs.org/Carver/index.html or contact Howard Peters (Santa Clara Valley Section, ACS), peters4pa@aol.com. Additional photos of the Kidvention event may also be seen as supplemental material.

  16. Improving Student Conceptual Understanding of Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, Frank; Townsend, Greg

    1997-05-01

    A widely accepted measure of student understanding of Newton's Laws is the Hestenes Force Concept Inventory. In the past several years we have made several modifications in both lecture methods, labs and requirements on homework in an attempt to get a larger fraction of the students to assimilate a Newtonian model of the universe. Although FCI scores of 70% are achieved in most classes now, for those questions involving the second law, scores are closer to the 50% range, a substantial improvement over traditional instruction for these large lecture groups but still quite disappointing. A description of recent modifications in the lecture and homework will be presented along with plans for future changes.

  17. Improving students' understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Guangtian

    2011-12-01

    Learning physics is challenging at all levels. Students' difficulties in the introductory level physics courses have been widely studied and many instructional strategies have been developed to help students learn introductory physics. However, research shows that there is a large diversity in students' preparation and skills in the upper-level physics courses and it is necessary to provide scaffolding support to help students learn advanced physics. This thesis explores issues related to students' common difficulties in learning upper-level undergraduate quantum mechanics and how these difficulties can be reduced by research-based learning tutorials and peer instruction tools. We investigated students' difficulties in learning quantum mechanics by administering written tests and surveys to many classes and conducting individual interviews with a subset of students. Based on these investigations, we developed Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials (QuILTs) and peer instruction tools to help students build a hierarchical knowledge structure of quantum mechanics through a guided approach. Preliminary assessments indicate that students' understanding of quantum mechanics is improved after using the research-based learning tools in the junior-senior level quantum mechanics courses. We also designed a standardized conceptual survey that can help instructors better probe students' understanding of quantum mechanics concepts in one spatial dimension. The validity and reliability of this quantum mechanics survey is discussed.

  18. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies--1992.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbrook, Steve A., Ed.; Grace, Teddee E., Ed.

    This publication reports the major discussions at a conference that was held to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. It begins with abstracts of the 22 presentations. Four papers deal with public policy education in the 1990s: "To Inform Their Discretion: Policy Education and Democratic…

  19. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies--1990.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farm Foundation, Chicago, IL.

    This collection of papers aims to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. The first section, "An Evolving Public Policy Education" examines the history of public education; address current issues such as leadership models, ethics in policy formation and policy education; and forecasts…

  20. Understanding Evaluation Training in Schools and Programs of Public Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fierro, Leslie A.; Christie, Christina A.

    2011-01-01

    This study provides an understanding of how the coursework required for attaining a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree in epidemiology or health education from accredited schools or programs of public health prepares students to evaluate programs or interventions. Study data were generated using a content analysis of required coursework…

  1. The Public Understanding of Science Effort: A Critique.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trachtman, Leon E.

    1981-01-01

    Questions whether a variety of institutions and organizations should adopt as specific policies the goal of interpreting science and technology to the general public. Suggests that there are occasions in which an increase in public understanding of science may fail to be socially constructive and actually damaging. (CS)

  2. Public Understanding of Climate Change in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Elke U.; Stern, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

    This article considers scientific and public understandings of climate change and addresses the following question: Why is it that while scientific evidence has accumulated to document global climate change and scientific opinion has solidified about its existence and causes, U.S. public opinion has not and has instead become more polarized? Our…

  3. School Science, Citizenship and the Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, E. W.

    1999-01-01

    Quantitative and qualitative studies of public understanding of science conducted in many countries provide important insights into the extent to which lay citizens understand important scientific concepts, and the ways in which they seek and use scientific knowledge. Identifies some dimensions of "citizen science" and examines their implications…

  4. Can citizen science enhance public understanding of science?

    PubMed

    Bonney, Rick; Phillips, Tina B; Ballard, Heidi L; Enck, Jody W

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 20 years, thousands of citizen science projects engaging millions of participants in collecting and/or processing data have sprung up around the world. Here we review documented outcomes from four categories of citizen science projects which are defined by the nature of the activities in which their participants engage - Data Collection, Data Processing, Curriculum-based, and Community Science. We find strong evidence that scientific outcomes of citizen science are well documented, particularly for Data Collection and Data Processing projects. We find limited but growing evidence that citizen science projects achieve participant gains in knowledge about science knowledge and process, increase public awareness of the diversity of scientific research, and provide deeper meaning to participants' hobbies. We also find some evidence that citizen science can contribute positively to social well-being by influencing the questions that are being addressed and by giving people a voice in local environmental decision making. While not all citizen science projects are intended to achieve a greater degree of public understanding of science, social change, or improved science -society relationships, those projects that do require effort and resources in four main categories: (1) project design, (2) outcomes measurement, (3) engagement of new audiences, and (4) new directions for research. PMID:26445860

  5. Toward a manifesto for the 'public understanding of big data'.

    PubMed

    Michael, Mike; Lupton, Deborah

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we sketch a 'manifesto' for the 'public understanding of big data'. On the one hand, this entails such public understanding of science and public engagement with science and technology-tinged questions as follows: How, when and where are people exposed to, or do they engage with, big data? Who are regarded as big data's trustworthy sources, or credible commentators and critics? What are the mechanisms by which big data systems are opened to public scrutiny? On the other hand, big data generate many challenges for public understanding of science and public engagement with science and technology: How do we address publics that are simultaneously the informant, the informed and the information of big data? What counts as understanding of, or engagement with, big data, when big data themselves are multiplying, fluid and recursive? As part of our manifesto, we propose a range of empirical, conceptual and methodological exhortations. We also provide Appendix 1 that outlines three novel methods for addressing some of the issues raised in the article. PMID:26468128

  6. Understanding News Values: Secret to Good Public Relations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oates, Rita Haugh

    1981-01-01

    Explains the news values that journalists use. Shows English teachers and administrators how they can apply this knowledge of news media to improve public relations between the school and the community. (RL)

  7. Continuous Improvement in Schools: Understanding the Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Stephen; Kumari, Roshni

    2009-01-01

    This article investigates conceptually and practically what it means for schools to engage in the practice of continuous improvement. The analysis draws upon prior research and discussion to predict core elements of the practice of continuous improvement in schools. The predictions are then applied to a case study of continuous improvement efforts…

  8. Public understanding of chemistry research in print news

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hands, Michael D., Jr.

    Despite numerous calls for improving scientific literacy, many American adults show a lack of understanding of experiments, scientific study, and scientific inquiry. News media is one important avenue for science learning, but previous research investigating health and/or environmental science news has shown that it is inconsistent in the presentation of scientific research limitations, potentially impacting reader understanding. In the first phase of this dissertation, seventeen news articles reporting on a single chemistry research article, along with associated press releases and research articles, were analyzed using move analysis to determine the structure of each type of text. It was found that the overall structure of each text genre was similar, with the main difference being that research articles start by presenting background information, while the others lead with highlighting overall research outcomes. Analysis of the steps revealed that, as seen for health and environmental science news articles, descriptions of the study limitations and methods were generally omitted in the news articles. Using these findings, a pilot study was conducted where study limitations were added to a chemistry research news article and the effect of its presence on staff members employed at a large Midwestern university (n=12) and science faculty employed at the same institution (n=6) was explored. Interviews with the participants revealed that including limitations enhanced readers' ability to identify conclusions and evaluate claims, but decreased their trust in the information. In the final part of this study, the trends seen in the previous phase were explored to determine their generalizability. Members of the public (n=232) and science faculty (n=191) read a randomly assigned news article either presenting or omitting the study limitations and research methods. Participants reading articles presenting limitations were able to evaluate the reasonableness of claims

  9. Public Understanding of Science. Summary of Grants and Activities 1976-1981.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.

    The Public Understanding of Science Program (PUOS) was formed in 1957 to help improve popular awareness and understanding of the role, activities, methods, and implications of science. The first section of this document highlights the role and purpose of the PUOS program, summarizing the need for informal science education, PUOS strategy, the…

  10. Healthy People 2010: Understanding and Improving Health.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.

    This publication presents 10-year health objectives for the nation, reflecting the scientific advances that have occurred in the past 20 years in preventive medicine, disease surveillance, vaccine and therapeutic development, and information technology. It incorporates information from a broad cross-section of scientific experts. The publication…

  11. Public health understandings of policy and power: lessons from INSITE.

    PubMed

    Fafard, Patrick

    2012-12-01

    Drug addiction is a major public health problem, one that is most acutely felt in major cities around the globe. Harm reduction and safe injection sites are an attempt to address this problem and are at the cutting edge of public health policy and practice. One of the most studied safe injection sites is INSITE located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Using INSITE as a case study, this paper argues that knowledge translation offers a limited framework for understanding the development of public health policy. This paper also argues that the experience of INSITE suggests that science and social justice, the meta-ideas that lie at the core of the public health enterprise, are an inadequate basis for a theory of public health policy making. However, on a more positive note, INSITE also shows the value of concepts drawn from the ways in which political science analyzes the policy process. PMID:22549176

  12. Understanding Public School Residency Requirements: A Guide for Advocates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Education Law Center, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Parents, guardians, caregivers and school administrators will sometimes disagree over whether a student resides in a school district and can be enrolled in a district public school. The information in this manual is designed to help parents, guardians and caregivers understand the legal concepts involved in residency disputes, and to inform…

  13. Public policy and environmental noise: modeling exposure or understanding effects.

    PubMed

    Staples, S L

    1997-12-01

    This paper argues that if the federal government is to successfully protect the public from the adverse effects of environmental noise, its policies will need to be informed by a scientific understanding of the psychological and social factors that determine when noise results in annoyance and when noise may affect health as an environmental stressor. The overreliance of federal agencies on mathematical modeling of average group responses to physical noise levels is discussed as oversimplifying and limiting the understanding of noise effects in crucial ways. The development of a more sophisticated information base is related to policy needs, such as the need to make accurate predictions about the annoyance of particular communities, the need to understand relationships between public participation in noise abatement efforts and annoyance, and the need to identify populations that may be susceptible to stress-related health effects. PMID:9431308

  14. Public policy and environmental noise: modeling exposure or understanding effects.

    PubMed Central

    Staples, S L

    1997-01-01

    This paper argues that if the federal government is to successfully protect the public from the adverse effects of environmental noise, its policies will need to be informed by a scientific understanding of the psychological and social factors that determine when noise results in annoyance and when noise may affect health as an environmental stressor. The overreliance of federal agencies on mathematical modeling of average group responses to physical noise levels is discussed as oversimplifying and limiting the understanding of noise effects in crucial ways. The development of a more sophisticated information base is related to policy needs, such as the need to make accurate predictions about the annoyance of particular communities, the need to understand relationships between public participation in noise abatement efforts and annoyance, and the need to identify populations that may be susceptible to stress-related health effects. PMID:9431308

  15. Public understanding in Great Britain of ocean acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capstick, Stuart B.; Pidgeon, Nick F.; Corner, Adam J.; Spence, Elspeth M.; Pearson, Paul N.

    2016-08-01

    Public engagement with climate change is critical for maintaining the impetus for meaningful emissions cuts. Ocean acidification (OA) is increasingly recognized by marine scientists as an important, but often overlooked, consequence of anthropogenic emissions. Although substantial evidence now exists concerning people’s understanding of climate change more generally, very little is known about public perceptions of OA. Here, for the first time, we characterize in detail people’s understanding of this topic using survey data obtained in Great Britain (n = 2,501) during 2013 and 2014. We draw on theories of risk perception and consider how personal values influence attitudes towards OA. We find that public awareness of OA is very low compared to that of climate change, and was unaffected by the publication of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Using an experimental approach, we show that providing basic information can heighten concern about OA, however, we find that attitude polarization along value-based lines may occur if the topic is explicitly associated with climate change. We discuss the implications of our findings for public engagement with OA, and the importance of learning lessons from communications research relating to climate change.

  16. A Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allison, L.; Hehn, J.; Kass, J.; O'Grady, R.; Scotchmoor, J.; Stucky, R.

    2006-12-01

    For many of the problems facing contemporary societies, such as potential impacts of climate change, coastal degradation, reductions of fisheries stocks, volcanic and earthquake hazards in densely populated areas, quality and availability of water, and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources and development of alternative energy sources, formulation of wise public policy depends on evaluation of the state of geoscientific research in the relevant areas. In a democratic society, public discourse about and input to policy decisions on key issues affecting the public welfare requires a public that understands the scientific research process, values the contribution of science to society, and has a working knowledge of what science can and cannot yet say about specific issues. Arguably, that ideal falls short in contemporary American society. Disturbing trends in science education, low public scientific literacy, and increasing alarms about U.S. competitiveness have all been prominent national news topics in recent years. (1) A recent National Science Board report indicated that two-thirds of Americans do not understand what science is, how it is conducted, and what one can expect from it. (2) A recent Gallup poll reports widespread and increasingly prevalent belief in pseudoscience. (3) There is a growing public complacency about and disengagement from science at the very moment when the impact of science on public life is greater than ever. (4) The Business Roundtable of major U.S. companies notes that the scientific and technical building blocks of our economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength. In response, a Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science COPUS has been initiated. Essential to COPUS is the premise that public understanding of science and the scientific process and an awareness of the impacts of scientific advancements on our quality of life are necessary to increase student interest in science as a

  17. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies, 1995.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbrook, Steve A., Ed.; Merry, Carroll E., Ed.

    This document contains abstracts and the complete texts of 19 papers that were presented at a conference held to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. The following papers are included: "Microwave Society and Crock-Pot Government" (Bill Graves); "Citizen Participation, Social Capital and…

  18. Consequential Validity of Accountability Policy: Public Understanding of Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brewer, Curtis; Knoeppel, Robert C.; Lindle, Jane Clark

    2015-01-01

    Educational accountability policy rests heavily on the assessments used to influence teaching, learning, and school improvement. A long-debated aspect of assessment use, consequential validity, plays an important role in public interpretation of assessment use whether for individual students or for state policy. The purpose of this survey study…

  19. Toward an improved understanding of MCS propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Processes that drive the propagation of elevated mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) have been the topic of a growing body of recent research. Elevated MCSs are responsible for a large percentage of warm season rainfall in the continental United States, and produce flash floods more frequently than other modes of convection. A comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of MCS propagation is important, since propagation sometimes opposes other environmental forces that influence MCS motion. This leads to nearly stationary MCSs that produce prolific local rainfall totals. The ingredients-based Propagation index (IPI) is introduced in this research. IPI is defined as the normalized product of horizontal warm thermal advection (a proxy for lifting), convective available potential energy (CAPE), and relative humidity. Horizontal plots of IPI are useful in identifying regions of probable convective initiation, including the intersections between potentially unstable flow and outflow boundaries, regions of mesoscale lift along the nose of the low-level jet, convectively induced gravity waves, and frontogenesis. Effective inflow-layer shear vectors are also introduced, and found to be useful for scenarios where IPI does yield predictive insight, such as the traditional "RKW" scenario where the forward propagation of an MCS is driven by thunderstorm outflow. It is argued that horizontal maps of IPI and EILS vectors will contribute significantly to short-term (e.g. 1-2 hr) predictions of the movement of MCSs, and to the subsequent assessment of their potential for flash flood production.

  20. Inquiry, instrumentalism, and the public understanding of science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudolph, John L.

    2005-09-01

    Two seemingly complementary trends stand out currently in school science education in the United States: one is the increased emphasis on inquiry activities in classrooms, and the other is the high level of attention given to student understanding of the nature of science. This essay looks at the range of activities that fall within the first trend, noting, in particular, the growing popularity of inquiry activities that engage students in engineering-type tasks. The potential for public disengagement from science and technology issues is described as a result of the continued juxtaposition of these sorts of inquiry activities with our current, idealized portrayals of the nature of science - the emphasis of the second trend. Drawing on Dewey's instrumental theory of knowledge, an alternative way of thinking about science is offered that would not only provide for a more authentic understanding of science, but also invite much needed public participation in the broad governance of science in modern-day democratic societies.

  1. Understanding public confidence in government to prevent terrorist attacks.

    SciTech Connect

    Baldwin, T. E.; Ramaprasad, A,; Samsa, M. E.; Decision and Information Sciences; Univ. of Illinois at Chicago

    2008-04-02

    A primary goal of terrorism is to instill a sense of fear and vulnerability in a population and to erode its confidence in government and law enforcement agencies to protect citizens against future attacks. In recognition of its importance, the Department of Homeland Security includes public confidence as one of the principal metrics used to assess the consequences of terrorist attacks. Hence, a detailed understanding of the variations in public confidence among individuals, terrorist event types, and as a function of time is critical to developing this metric. In this exploratory study, a questionnaire was designed, tested, and administered to small groups of individuals to measure public confidence in the ability of federal, state, and local governments and their public safety agencies to prevent acts of terrorism. Data was collected from three groups before and after they watched mock television news broadcasts portraying a smallpox attack, a series of suicide bomber attacks, a refinery explosion attack, and cyber intrusions on financial institutions, resulting in identity theft. Our findings are: (a) although the aggregate confidence level is low, there are optimists and pessimists; (b) the subjects are discriminating in interpreting the nature of a terrorist attack, the time horizon, and its impact; (c) confidence recovery after a terrorist event has an incubation period; and (d) the patterns of recovery of confidence of the optimists and the pessimists are different. These findings can affect the strategy and policies to manage public confidence after a terrorist event.

  2. Statistics in Public Understanding of Science review: How to achieve high statistical standards?

    PubMed

    Crettaz von Roten, Fabienne

    2016-02-01

    This article proposes a checklist to improve statistical reporting in the manuscripts submitted to Public Understanding of Science. Generally, these guidelines will allow the reviewers (and readers) to judge whether the evidence provided in the manuscript is relevant. The article ends with other suggestions for a better statistical quality of the journal. PMID:26195660

  3. Phytotechnologies--preventing exposures, improving public health.

    PubMed

    Henry, Heather F; Burken, Joel G; Maier, Raina M; Newman, Lee A; Rock, Steven; Schnoor, Jerald L; Suk, William A

    2013-01-01

    Phytotechnologies have potential to reduce the amount or toxicity of deleterious chemicals and agents, and thereby, can reduce human exposures to hazardous substances. As such, phytotechnologies are tools for primary prevention in public health. Recent research demonstrates phytotechnologies can be uniquely tailored for effective exposure prevention in a variety of applications. In addition to exposure prevention, plants can be used as sensors to identify environmental contamination and potential exposures. In this paper, we have presented applications and research developments in a framework to illustrate how phytotechnologies can meet basic public health needs for access to clean water, air, and food. Because communities can often integrate plant-based technologies at minimal cost and with low infrastructure needs, the use of these technologies can be applied broadly to minimize potential contaminant exposure and improve environmental quality. These natural treatment systems also provide valuable ecosystem services to communities and society. In the future, integrating and coordinating phytotechnology activities with public health research will allow technology development focused on prevention of environmental exposures to toxic compounds. Hence, phytotechnologies may provide sustainable solutions to environmental exposure challenges, improving public health and potentially reducing the burden of disease. PMID:23819283

  4. Phytotechnologies – Preventing Exposures, Improving Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Heather F.; Burken, Joel G.; Maier, Raina M.; Newman, Lee A.; Rock, Steven; Schnoor, Jerald L.; Suk, William A.

    2014-01-01

    Phytotechnologies have the potential to reduce the amount and/or toxicity of deleterious chemicals/agents, and thereby, prevent human exposures to hazardous substances. As such, phytotechnologies are a tool for primary prevention within the context of public health. Research advances demonstrate that phytotechnologies can be uniquely tailored for effective exposure prevention for a variety of applications. In addition to exposure prevention, phytotechnologists have advanced the use of plants as sensors to delineate environmental contaminants and potential exposures. The applications presented in this paper are at various stages of development and are presented in a framework to reflect how phytotechnologies can help meet basic public health needs for access to clean water, air, and food resources. As plant-based technologies can often be integrated into communities at minimal cost and with low infrastructure needs, their use in improving environmental quality can be applied broadly to minimize potential contaminant exposure. These natural treatment systems concurrently provide ecosystem services of notable value to communities and society. In the future, integration and coordination of phytotechnology activities with public health research will allow technology development that focuses on prevention of environmental exposures. Such an approach will lead to an important role of phytotechnologies in providing sustainable solutions to environmental exposure challenges that improve public health and potentially reduce the burden of disease. PMID:23819283

  5. AGU Publications: Improvements for Authors and Readers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, Brooks

    2013-12-01

    AGU has introduced several new features aimed at simplifying and improving the submission of papers to AGU journals. Enhanced PDF and HTML formats and new journal home pages developed with our publishing partner, Wiley, will also provide improvements for readers. In previous issues of Eos, we provided broader overviews of AGU publications, including the transition to Wiley and open access (Eos, 94(30), 264-266, doi:10.1002/2013EO300009; Eos, 94(39), 345, doi:10.1002/2013EO390006).

  6. Assessing Models of Public Understanding In ELSI Outreach Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Bruce V. Lewenstein, Ph.D.; Dominique Brossard, Ph.D.

    2006-03-01

    Advances in the science of genetics have implications for individuals and society, and have to be taken into account at the policy level. Studies of ethical, legal and social issues related to genomic research have therefore been integrated in the Human Genome Project (HGP) since the earliest days of the project. Since 1990, three to five percent of the HGP annual budget has been devoted to such studies, under the umbrella of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Programs of the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institute of Health, and of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE-ELSI budget has been used to fund a variety of projects that have aimed at ?promoting education and help guide the conduct of genetic research and the development of related medical and public policies? (HGP, 2003). As part of the educational component, a significant portion of DOE-ELSI funds have been dedicated to public outreach projects, with the underlying goal of promoting public awareness and ultimately public discussion of ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding availability of genetic information (Drell, 2002). The essential assumption behind these projects is that greater access to information will lead to more knowledge about ethical, legal and social issues, which in turn will lead to enhanced ability on the part of individuals and communities to deal with these issues when they encounter them. Over the same period of time, new concepts of ?public understanding of science? have emerged in the theoretical realm, moving from a ?deficit? or linear dissemination of popularization, to models stressing lay-knowledge, public engagement and public participation in science policy-making (Lewenstein, 2003). The present project uses the base of DOE-funded ELSI educational project to explore the ways that information about a new and emerging area of science that is intertwined with public

  7. Improving health outcomes with better patient understanding and education.

    PubMed

    Adams, Robert John

    2010-01-01

    A central plank of health care reform is an expanded role for educated consumers interacting with responsive health care teams. However, for individuals to realize the benefits of health education also requires a high level of engagement. Population studies have documented a gap between expectations and the actual performance of behaviours related to participation in health care and prevention. Interventions to improve self-care have shown improvements in self-efficacy, patient satisfaction, coping skills, and perceptions of social support. Significant clinical benefits have been seen from trials of self-management or lifestyle interventions across conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the focus of many studies has been on short-term outcomes rather that long term effects. There is also some evidence that participation in patient education programs is not spread evenly across socio economic groups. This review considers three other issues that may be important in increasing the public health impact of patient education. The first is health literacy, which is the capacity to seek, understand and act on health information. Although health literacy involves an individual's competencies, the health system has a primary responsibility in setting the parameters of the health interaction and the style, content and mode of information. Secondly, much patient education work has focused on factors such as attitudes and beliefs. That small changes in physical environments can have large effects on behavior and can be utilized in self-management and chronic disease research. Choice architecture involves reconfiguring the context or physical environment in a way that makes it more likely that people will choose certain behaviours. Thirdly, better means of evaluating the impact of programs on public health is needed. The Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework has been

  8. Overcoming barriers to public understanding of climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayhoe, K.

    2012-12-01

    Humans are interfering with global climate, increasing the risk of serious consequences for human society and the natural environment. As the scientific evidence builds, however, so does the public controversy surrounding this issue. Why is climate change so contentious? What makes it so hard to comprehend? I argue that there is no single reason for this, but rather a perfect storm of multiple confounding factors; scientific, historical, ideological, psychological and even physiological in nature. Education—of both the messengers and the audience—can play a critical role in surmounting many of the common barriers to understanding, accepting, and acting this important issue.

  9. Science for Alaska: Public Understanding of University Research Priorities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, D.

    2015-12-01

    Science for Alaska: Public Understanding of Science D. L. Campbell11University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA Around 200 people brave 40-below-zero temperatures to listen to university researchers and scientists give lectures about their work at an event called the Science for Alaska Lecture Series, hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute. It is held once a week, for six weeks during the coldest part of a Fairbanks, Alaska, winter. The topics range from space physics to remote sensing. The lectures last for 45 minutes with 15 minutes for audience questions and answers. It has been popular for about 20 years and is one of many public outreach efforts of the institute. The scientists are careful in their preparations for presentations and GI's Public Relations staff chooses the speakers based on topic, diversity and public interest. The staff also considers the speaker's ability to speak to a general audience, based on style, clarity and experience. I conducted a qualitative research project to find out about the people who attended the event, why they attend and what they do with the information they hear about. The participants were volunteers who attended the event and either stayed after the lectures for an interview or signed up to be contacted later. I used used an interview technique with open-ended questions, recorded and transcribed the interview. I identified themes in the interviews, using narrative analysis. Preliminary data show that the lecture series is a form of entertainment for people who are highly educated and work in demanding and stressful jobs. They come with family and friends. Sometimes it's a date with a significant other. Others want to expose their children to science. The findings are in keeping with the current literature that suggests that public events meant to increase public understanding of science instead draws like-minded people. The findings are different from Campbell's hypothesis that attendance was based

  10. Measuring and Understanding Public Opinion on Human Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwon, Misook

    The theory of evolution has long generated controversy in American society, but Americans' attitudes about human evolution are often neglected in studies of "culture wars" and the nature of mass belief systems more generally (Berkman and Plutzer 2010; Freeland and Houston 2009). Gallup and other survey organizations have polled about evolution, but offered limited response categories that mask complexity in public opinion (Bishop 2006; Moore 2008). The main problems concerning the leading survey questions about evolution are: first, questions measure only a single dimension, thus they ignore the potential for multidimensionality in people's attitudes. Second, depending on question wording and response options, the results of public opinion surveys vary by polling groups. This is an example of measurement error which misleads the interpretation and impression of American public opinion on the origin of humankind. A number of studies have analyzed Americans' beliefs about evolution and hypothesized about the influential effects of several factors (Deckman 2002; Mazur 2005; Mooney 2005; Miller et al. 2006; Newport 2006; Forrest 2007;Nisbet and Goidel 2007;Scott 2009). However, there remains a lack of complete understanding of what Americans know and believe about human evolution. Given the salience of this issue and the significant influence of public opinion on policy-making in America (Page and Shapiro 1992; Stimson 2004; Newport 2004), the measurement error and explanation of polling results on controversial issues related to this topic are in need of clarification. In this study, I address these deficiencies with analyses of data from a 2008 national survey by Harris Interactive (n= 4,626) that included numerous measures of factual knowledge and beliefs about evolution. The items offer more nuanced response options than the standard three-category question asked for decades by the Gallup poll. The Harris survey also had multiple measures of religiosity and the

  11. Improving Students' Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Jing

    2012-01-01

    Electricity and magnetism are important topics in physics. Research shows that students have many common difficulties in understanding concepts related to electricity and magnetism. However, research to improve students' understanding of electricity and magnetism is limited compared to introductory mechanics. This thesis explores issues…

  12. A territorial understanding of sustainability in public development

    SciTech Connect

    Peti, Marton

    2012-01-15

    Sustainability theories in European Union (EU) development policies are facing significant challenges: it is difficult to transmit context-specific, publicly communicable messages; the recent development policies strengthen the concurrent development paradigm of economic growth and competitiveness; 'climate change' became a more popular environmental integration term than sustainability in the last few years. However, due to the recent crises of the economic growth, there is a great chance to reintroduce a sustainability-based development. A territorial/regional understanding of sustainability can also be an answer for the current challenges, a platform for refreshing the concept with relevant, specific messages that are close to the everyday life. This paper summarises the 'territorial system'-based basic principles of territorial sustainability in a model called AUTHARSIIV (AUTonomy, HARmony, Solidarity, Innovation, Identity and Values). This is a supplementary sustainability content specified for the context of spatial/regional development or planning. The paper also examines the presence of 'general and territorial sustainability' in regional development programmes, and case studies on applying the territorial sustainability principles in planning, assessment, and implementation. According to the results, sustainability is rarely adapted to the conditions of a given sector or a region, and the territorial aspect of sustainability is underrepresented even in territorial programmes. Therefore, the paper proposes a new planning and assessment system that is based on a set of regionally legitimate sustainability values.

  13. What is preventing relevant understanding of climate science in the public, media, and policy arenas?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reisman, J. P.

    2012-12-01

    We need to do a critical self examination of why the communication has thus far failed to sufficiently convey relevance in order to provide a basis for public and policy-maker understanding of the science. This session will focus on major impediments to communicating relevance and the foundations of climate science in two target audiences, those that are unsure, and those that have been misled. The question of 'why' is key. Considerations focus on social psychology and confluence effects that improve, or impede, climate communications and achievement of relevant understanding. Key components of human understanding require context in order to be addressed. Understanding these components form the basis for more effective climate communications.

  14. An Improved Publication Process for the UMVF.

    PubMed

    Renard, Jean-Marie; Brunetaud, Jean-Marc; Cuggia, Marc; Darmoni, Stephan; Lebeux, Pierre; Beuscart, Régis

    2005-01-01

    The "Université Médicale Virtuelle Francophone" (UMVF) is a federation of French medical schools. Its main goal is to share the production and use of pedagogic medical resources generated by academic medical teachers. We developed an Open-Source application based upon a workflow system which provides an improved publication process for the UMVF. For teachers, the tool permits easy and efficient upload of new educational resources. For web masters it provides a mechanism to easily locate and validate the resources. For both the teachers and the web masters, the utility provides the control and communication functions that define a workflow system.For all users, students in particular, the application improves the value of the UMVF repository by providing an easy way to find a detailed description of a resource and to check any resource from the UMVF to ascertain its quality and integrity, even if the resource is an old deprecated version. The server tier of the application is used to implement the main workflow functionalities and is deployed on certified UMVF servers using the PHP language, an LDAP directory and an SQL database. The client tier of the application provides both the workflow and the search and check functionalities and is implemented using a Java applet through a W3C compliant web browser. A unique signature for each resource, was needed to provide security functionality and is implemented using the MD5 Digest algorithm. The testing performed by Rennes and Lille verified the functionality and conformity with our specifications. PMID:16160272

  15. Using Science Notebooks to Improve Writing Skills and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Malcolm B.; Nesbit, Catherine

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide teachers with strategies for improving students' writing and deepening their conceptual understanding through the use of science notebooks. The strategies include using various resources and providing a variety of feedback opportunities for students. A sample science investigation and an accompanying…

  16. Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Schumacher, Robin F.; Long, Jessica; Namkung, Jessica; Hamlett, Carol L.; Cirino, Paul T.; Siegler, Robert; Changas, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of an intervention designed to improve at-risk 4th graders' understanding of fractions and to examine the processes by which effects occurred. The intervention focused more on the measurement interpretation of fractions; the control condition focused more on the part-whole…

  17. Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuchs, Lynn S.; Schumacher, Robin F.; Long, Jessica; Namkung, Jessica; Hamlett, Carol L.; Cirino, Paul T.; Jordan, Nancy C.; Siegler, Robert; Gersten, Russell; Changas, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of an intervention designed to improve at-risk 4th graders' understanding of fractions and to examine the processes by which effects occurred. The intervention focused more on the measurement interpretation of fractions; the control condition focused more on the part-whole interpretation…

  18. Understanding An Informed Public's Views On The Role Of Evidence In Making Health Care Decisions.

    PubMed

    Carman, Kristin L; Maurer, Maureen; Mangrum, Rikki; Yang, Manshu; Ginsburg, Marjorie; Sofaer, Shoshanna; Gold, Marthe R; Pathak-Sen, Ela; Gilmore, Dierdre; Richmond, Jennifer; Siegel, Joanna

    2016-04-01

    Policy makers and practitioners increasingly believe that medical evidence plays a critical role in improving care and health outcomes and lowering costs. However, public understanding of the role of evidence-based care may be different. Public deliberation is a process that convenes diverse citizens and has them learn about and consider ethical or values-based dilemmas and weigh alternative views. The Community Forum Deliberative Methods Demonstration project, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, obtained informed public views on the role of evidence in health care decisions through seventy-six deliberative groups involving 907 people overall, in the period August-November 2012. Although participants perceived evidence as being essential to high-quality care, they also believed that personal choice or clinical judgment could trump evidence. They viewed doctors as central figures in discussing evidence with patients and key arbiters of whether to follow evidence in individual cases. They found evidence of harm to individuals or the community to be more compelling than evidence of effectiveness. These findings indicate that increased public understanding of evidence can play an important role in advancing evidence-based care by helping create policies that better reflect the needs and values of the public. PMID:27044953

  19. Understanding public health informatics competencies for mid-tier public health practitioners: a web-based survey.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chiehwen Ed; Dunn, Kim; Juo, Hsin-Hsuan; Danko, Rick; Johnson, Drew; Mas, Francisco Soto; Sheu, Jiunn-Jye

    2012-03-01

    The literature suggests that there is a need for measuring public health informatics (PHI) competency to further understand whether current educational modules and modalities meet the needs of PHI practitioners and researchers to perform their jobs more effectively, particularly for mid-tier practitioners that constitute the majority of public health workers in the USA. The present study seeks to update current knowledge of the perceptions and experiences of PHI competencies proposed by the U.S. Council on Linkage in Public Health specifically for mid-tier PH practitioners and researchers. The results were collected and analyzed by using a Web-based survey (WBS) method administered among both practitioners and researchers. Researchers first compiled a draft list of candidate competency set by incorporating existing competency areas provided by: 1) the Council on Linkage; and by 2) those proposed by the USA's Centers for Disease Control CDC Public Health Informatics Work Group. Nine sets of competency statements with 120 competency items and demographic information of respondents were included in the WBS. The online survey instruments were pilot-tested accordingly to incorporate feedback from respondents of the pilot. Fifty-six subjects were recruited from PH experts who were: 1) members of the Health Informatics Information Technology (HIIT) group of American Public Health Association; and, 2) members from the Community of Science (COS) Website who were the first authors published in the PHI field from PubMed. The sample included diverse backgrounds of PHI workers. They expressed an increased need for training to improve their PHI competencies. Respondents agreed that four competency sets should be adequately represented, including Leadership and System Thinking Skills (82%), followed by Financial Planning and Management Skills (79%), Community Dimensions of Practice Skills (77%), and Policy Development/Program Planning Skills (63%). The findings parallel current

  20. Bring Hidden Hazards to the Publics Attention, Understanding, and Informed Decision by Coordinating Federal Education Initiatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niepold, F.; Karsten, J. L.; Wei, M.; Jadin, J.

    2010-12-01

    In the 2010 National Research Council’s America’s Climate Choices’ report on Informing Effective Decisions and Actions Related to Climate Change concluded; “Education and communication are among the most powerful tools the nation has to bring hidden hazards to public attention, understanding, and action.” They conclude that the “current and future students, the broader public, and policymakers need to understand the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to climate change, develop scientific thinking and problem-solving skills, and improve their ability to make informed decisions.” The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) works to integrate the climate related activities of these different agencies, with oversight from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and other White House offices. USGCRP’s focus is now on evaluating optimal strategies for addressing climate change risks, improving coordination among the Federal agencies, engaging stakeholders (including national policy leaders and local resource managers) on the research results to all and improving public understanding and decision-making related to global change. Implicit to these activities is the need to educate the public about the science of climate change and its consequences, as well as coordinate Federal investments related to climate change education. In a broader sense, the implementation of the proposed Interagency Taskforce on Climate Change Communication and Education will serve the evolving USGCRP mandates around cross-cutting, thematic elements, as recommended by the National Research Council (NRC, 2009) and the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Revised Research Plan: An update to the 2003 Strategic Plan (USGCRP, 2008), to help the Federal government “capitalize on its investments and aid in the development of increased climate literacy for the Nation.” This session will update the participants on the work to date and the near term coordinated plans

  1. Improving student understanding of lock-in amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Gauthier, Alexandre; Levy, Jeremy; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

    The lock-in amplifier is a versatile instrument frequently used in physics research. We find that students tend to struggle with its basic operating principles, leading to a variety of difficulties. To improve their understanding, we have developed a research-based tutorial that makes use of a computer simulated lock-in amplifier. The tutorial allows students to realize their conceptual difficulties by comparing their predictions with the outcome of the simulations, hopefully leading them to a better understanding of the process of lock-in amplification.

  2. Public Understanding of Sustainable Development: Some Implications for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, William

    2015-01-01

    A number of recent surveys of public opinion claim that there is now widespread acceptance of the need for sustainable development, and that the general public, through its social and consumer activity is already successfully engaged. However, in all this, the focus has primarily been on individual and family behaviours such as recycling and…

  3. Mathematical Model of the Public Understanding of Space Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prisniakov, V.; Prisniakova, L.

    The success in deployment of the space programs now in many respects depends on comprehension by the citizens of necessity of programs, from "space" erudition of country. Purposefulness and efficiency of the "space" teaching and educational activity depend on knowledge of relationships between separate variables of such process. The empirical methods of ``space'' well-information of the taxpayers should be supplemented by theoretical models permitting to demonstrate a ways of control by these processes. Authors on the basis of their experience of educational activity during 50- years of among the students of space-rocket profession obtain an equation of ``space" state of the society determining a degree of its knowledge about Space, about achievements in its development, about indispensable lines of investigations, rates of informatization of the population. It is supposed, that the change of the space information consists of two parts: (1) - from going of the information about practical achievements, about development special knowledge requiring of independent financing, and (2) from intensity of dissemination of the ``free" information of a general educational line going to the population through mass-media, book, in family, in educational institutions, as a part of obligatory knowledge of any man, etc. In proposed model the level space well-information of the population depends on intensity of dissemination in the society of the space information, and also from a volume of financing of space-rocket technology, from a part of population of the employment in the space-rocket programs, from a factor of education of the population in adherence to space problems, from welfare and mentality of the people, from a rate of unemployment and material inequality. Obtained in the report on these principles the equation of a space state of the society corresponds to catastrophe such as cusp, the analysis has shown which one ways of control of the public understanding of space

  4. Using quality improvement methods to improve public health emergency preparedness: PREPARE for Pandemic Influenza.

    PubMed

    Lotstein, Debra; Seid, Michael; Ricci, Karen; Leuschner, Kristin; Margolis, Peter; Lurie, Nicole

    2008-01-01

    Many public health departments seek to improve their capability to respond to large-scale events such as an influenza pandemic. Quality improvement (QI), a structured approach to improving performance, has not been widely applied in public health. We developed and tested a pilot QI collaborative to explore whether QI could help public health departments improve their pandemic preparedness. We demonstrated that this is a promising model for improving public health preparedness and may be useful for improving public health performance overall. Further efforts are needed, however, to encourage the robust implementation of QI in public health. PMID:18628274

  5. Teaching science for public understanding: Developing decision-making abilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegel, Marcelle A.

    One of the most important challenges educators have is teaching students how to make decisions about complex issues. In this study, methods designed to enhance students' decision-making skills and attitudes were investigated. An issue-oriented science curriculum was partly replaced with activities designed by the experimenter. The first objective of the study was to examine the effects of an instructional method to increase students' use of relevant scientific evidence in their decisions. The second goal of the research was to test whether the instructional activities could promote students' beliefs that science is relevant to them, because attitudes have been shown to affect students' performance and persistence (Schommer, 1994). Third, the study was designed to determine whether the instructional activities would affect students' beliefs that their intelligence is not fixed but can grow; this question is based on Dweck and Leggett's (1988) definition of two orientations toward intelligence---entity theorists and incremental theorists (Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Dweck & Henderson, 1989). Two urban high-school classrooms participated in this study. Tenth graders examined scientific materials about current issues involving technology and society. Instructional materials on decision making were prepared for one class of students to enhance their regular issue-oriented course, Science and Sustainability. A computer program, called Convince Me (Schank, Ranney & Hoadley, 1996), provided scaffolding for making an evidence-based decision. The experimental group's activities also included pen-and-paper lessons on decision making and the effect of experience on the structure of the brain. The control class continued to engage in Science and Sustainability decision-making activities during the time the experimental class completed the treatment. The control group did not show significant improvement on decision-making tasks, and the experimental group showed marginally

  6. Defining and Assessing Quality Improvement Outcomes: A Framework for Public Health

    PubMed Central

    McLees, Anita W.; Nawaz, Saira; Thomas, Craig; Young, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    We describe an evidence-based framework to define and assess the impact of quality improvement (QI) in public health. Developed to address programmatic and research-identified needs for articulating the value of public health QI in aggregate, this framework proposes a standardized set of measures to monitor and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public health programs and operations. We reviewed the scientific literature and analyzed QI initiatives implemented through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Public Health Improvement Initiative to inform the selection of 5 efficiency and 8 effectiveness measures. This framework provides a model for identifying the types of improvement outcomes targeted by public health QI efforts and a means to understand QI’s impact on the practice of public health. PMID:25689185

  7. Understanding Pretrial Publicity: Predecisional Distortion of Evidence by Mock Jurors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hope, Lorraine; Memon, Amina; McGeorge, Peter

    2004-01-01

    Prejudicial pretrial publicity (PTP) constitutes a serious source of juror bias. The current study examined differences in predecisional distortion for mock jurors exposed to negative PTP (N-PTP) versus nonexposed control participants. According to work by K. A. Carlson and J. E. Russo (2001), predecisional distortion occurs when jurors bias new…

  8. Teaching Chinese Students: Understanding Their Public Sector Paradigm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conrad, Cynthia; Coleman, Charles

    2011-01-01

    Teaching Chinese students in an American university can be both challenging and rewarding. Cultural and language differences can lead to some superficial confusion and interpretational problems. However, the vast differences in the ways Chinese students view the role of the public sector, as compared to the US, can mean that the instructors and…

  9. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies, 1997.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ernstes, David P., Ed.; Hicks, Dawne M., Ed.

    This document contains 21 papers: "Land Grant University and Extension in the 21st Century" (Jon Wefald); "A Reality Check" (Bud Webb); "Land Grant Colleges and Universities of the Future" (Michael J. Phillips); "Vulnerability of the Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture: A Public Affairs Perspective" (Allen Rosenfeld); "The Future of Land Grant…

  10. Information Equity, Public Understanding of Science, and the Biotechnology Debate.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Priest, Susanna Hornig

    1995-01-01

    States that media effects are largely long-term and indirect, and that lay publics associate more risk with science and technology in their social context than with the underlying science itself. Uses biotechnology to explore media effects issues. Concludes that the scientific community's interests would be better served by news addressing…

  11. Understanding Public Land Management through Role-Playing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberle, Alex P.

    2004-01-01

    Role-playing activities are an example of active learning that introduces students to "real-world" situations. This paper discusses the development and assessment of a role-play that involves an undergraduate geography class in a local public land management process. This particular case study is useful because it reflects broader themes and…

  12. The Public Understanding of Error in Educational Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gardner, John

    2013-01-01

    Evidence from recent research suggests that in the UK the public perception of errors in national examinations is that they are simply mistakes; events that are preventable. This perception predominates over the more sophisticated technical view that errors arise from many sources and create an inevitable variability in assessment outcomes. The…

  13. Public Understanding of Climate Change: Certainty and Willingness To Act.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fortner, Rosanne W.; Lee, Jae-Young; Corney, Jeffrey R.; Romanello, Samantha; Bonnell, Joseph; Luthy, Brian; Figuerido, Claudia; Ntsiko, Nyathi

    2000-01-01

    Describes two parallel studies conducted shortly before the Kyoto conference on climate change: (1) an examination of media portrayals of global warming and the certainty with which information was reported; and (2) a telephone survey to assess public knowledge and attitudes about global climate change. Findings do not support a hypothesis that…

  14. Improving the Scientific Integrity of Nontechnical Publications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent articles in Rangelands reveal two points about nontechnical publications of the Society for Rangeland Management: 1) the need for a rigorous peer-review process in publishing issue papers, and 2) the need to clearly separate peer-reviewed literature from editorial articles in Rangelands. The...

  15. Investigators Share Improved Understanding of the North American Carbon Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birdsey, Richard A.; Cook, Robert; Denning, Scott; Griffith, Peter; Law, Beverly; Masek, Jeffrey; Michalak, Anna; Ogle, Stephen; Ojima, Dennis; Pan, Yude; Sabine, Christopher; Sheffner, Edwin; Sundquist, Eric

    2007-06-01

    The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an "all-scientist" meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North America and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientific disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for better decision support tools for managing the carbon cycle of North America, so that strong science can inform policy as interest in taking action increases across the nation. Herein we report on themes to integrate the diversity of NACP science and fill significant gaps for understanding and managing the North American carbon cycle: integration among disciplines involving land, atmosphere, and ocean research; strengthening data management infrastructure to support modeling and analysis; identification of study regions that are critical for reducing uncertainties in the North American carbon balance; and integrating biophysical science with the human dimensions of carbon management and decision support.

  16. Improving Lecture Quality through Training in Public Speaking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mowbray, Robert; Perry, Laura B.

    2015-01-01

    Lecturing is a common instructional format but poor lecturing skills can detract from students' learning experiences and outcomes. As lecturing is essentially a form of public communication, training in public speaking may improve lecture quality. Twelve university lecturers in Malaysia participated in a six-week public speaking skills…

  17. Understanding attitudes towards the use of animals in research using an online public engagement tool.

    PubMed

    Schuppli, Catherine A; Molento, Carla F M; Weary, Daniel M

    2015-04-01

    Using an online public engagement experiment, we probed the views of 617 participants on the use of pigs as research animals (to reduce agricultural pollution or to improve organ transplant success in humans) with and without genetic modification and using different numbers of pigs. In both scenarios and across demographics, level of opposition increased when the research required the use of GM corn or GM pigs. Animal numbers had little effect. A total of 1037 comments were analyzed to understand decisions. Participants were most concerned about the impact of the research on animal welfare. Genetic modification was viewed as an intervention in nature and there was worry about unpredictable consequences. Both opponents and supporters sought assurances that concerns were addressed. Governing bodies for animal research should make efforts to document and mitigate consequences of GM and other procedures, and increase efforts to maintain a dialogue with the public around acceptability of these procedures. PMID:23825296

  18. Critical Interactives: Improving Public Understanding of Institutional Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buell, Duncan A.; Cooley, Heidi Rae

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 3 years, the authors have pursued unique cross-college collaboration. They have hosted a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)-funded Humanities Gaming Institute and team-taught a cross-listed course that brought together students from the humanities and computer science. Currently, they are overseeing the development of an…

  19. Investigators Share Improved Understanding of the North American Carbon Cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Birdsey, Richard A.; Cook, Robert B; Denning, Scott; Griffith, Peter; Law, Beverly E.; Masek, Jeffrey; Michalak, Anna; Ogle, Stephen; Ojima, Dennis; Pan, Yude; Sabine, Christopher; Sheffner, Edwin; Sundquist, Eric

    2007-06-01

    U.S. North American Carbon Program Investigators Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 22-25 January 2007. The U.S. North American Carbon Program (NACP) sponsored an "all-scientist" meeting to review progress in understanding the dynamics of the carbon cycle of North America and adjacent oceans, and to chart a course for improved integration across scientific disciplines, scales, and Earth system boundaries. The meeting participants also addressed the need for better decision support tools for managing the carbon cycle of North America, so that strong science can inform policy as interest in taking action increases across the nation.

  20. A public health approach to understanding and preventing violent radicalization

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Very recent acts of terrorism in the UK were perpetrated by 'homegrown', well educated young people, rather than by foreign Islamist groups; consequently, a process of violent radicalization was proposed to explain how ordinary people were recruited and persuaded to sacrifice their lives. Discussion Counterterrorism approaches grounded in the criminal justice system have not prevented violent radicalization. Indeed there is some evidence that these approaches may have encouraged membership of radical groups by not recognizing Muslim communities as allies, citizens, victims of terrorism, and victims of discrimination, but only as suspect communities who were then further alienated. Informed by public health research and practice, a new approach is proposed to target populations vulnerable to recruitment, rather than rely only on research of well known terrorist groups and individual perpetrators of terrorist acts. Conclusions This paper proposes public health research and practice to guard against violent radicalization. PMID:22332998

  1. Improving Public Perception of Behavior Analysis.

    PubMed

    Freedman, David H

    2016-05-01

    The potential impact of behavior analysis is limited by the public's dim awareness of the field. The mass media rarely cover behavior analysis, other than to echo inaccurate negative stereotypes about control and punishment. The media instead play up appealing but less-evidence-based approaches to problems, a key example being the touting of dubious diets over behavioral approaches to losing excess weight. These sorts of claims distort or skirt scientific evidence, undercutting the fidelity of behavior analysis to scientific rigor. Strategies for better connecting behavior analysis with the public might include reframing the field's techniques and principles in friendlier, more resonant form; pushing direct outcome comparisons between behavior analysis and its rivals in simple terms; and playing up the "warm and fuzzy" side of behavior analysis. PMID:27606184

  2. Inquiry, Instrumentalism, and the Public Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rudolph, John L.

    2005-01-01

    Two seemingly complementary trends stand out currently in school science education in the United States: one is the increased emphasis on inquiry activities in classrooms, and the other is the high level of attention given to student understanding of the nature of science. This essay looks at the range of activities that fall within the first…

  3. Scholarly and Public Views: Understanding Narratives around Nanotechnology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teggatz, Jennifer L.

    2012-01-01

    How people come to conceptualize and understand science topics has implications for how they learn, communicate about, and relate to science. This dissertation conceptualizes and examines "cultural narratives" as cognitive tools used by individuals and shared through culture. Using nanotechnology as a case study I argue that people may…

  4. Improving Patient Understanding of Prescription Drug Label Instructions

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Terry C.; Federman, Alex D.; Bass, Pat F.; Jackson, Robert H.; Middlebrooks, Mark; Parker, Ruth M.

    2008-01-01

    Background Patient misunderstanding of instructions on prescription drug labels is common and a likely cause of medication error and less effective treatment. Objective To test whether the use of more explicit language to describe dose and frequency of use for prescribed drugs could improve comprehension, especially among patients with limited literacy. Design Cross-sectional study using in-person, structured interviews. Patients Three hundred and fifty-nine adults waiting for an appointment in two hospital-based primary care clinics and one federally qualified health center in Shreveport, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; and New York, New York, respectively. Measurement Correct understanding of each of ten label instructions as determined by a blinded panel review of patients’ verbatim responses. Results Patient understanding of prescription label instructions ranged from 53% for the least understood to 89% for the most commonly understood label. Patients were significantly more likely to understand instructions with explicit times periods (i.e., morning) or precise times of day compared to instructions stating times per day (i.e., twice) or hourly intervals (89%, 77%, 61%, and 53%, respectively,  < 0.001). In multivariate analyses, dosage instructions with specific times or time periods were significantly more likely to be understood compared to instructions stating times per day (time periods — adjusted relative risk ratio (ARR) 0.42, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.34–0.52; specific times — ARR 0.60, 95% CI 0.49–0.74). Low and marginal literacy remained statistically significant independent predictors of misinterpreting instructions (low - ARR 2.70, 95% CI 1.81–4.03; marginal -ARR 1.66, 95% CI 1.18–2.32). Conclusions Use of precise wording on prescription drug label instructions can improve patient comprehension. However, patients with limited literacy were more likely to misinterpret instructions despite use of more explicit language. PMID

  5. Understanding public (mis)understanding of tDCS for enhancement

    PubMed Central

    Cabrera, Laura Y.; Reiner, Peter B.

    2015-01-01

    In order to gain insight into the public’s perspective on using the minimally invasive technique transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as an enhancement tool, we analyzed and compared online comments in key popular press articles from two different periods (pre-commercialization and post-commercialization). The main conclusion drawn from this exploratory investigation is that public perception regarding tDCS has shifted from misunderstanding to cautionary realism. This change in attitude can be explained as moving from a focus on an emergent technology to a focus on its applications, benefits, and risks as the technology becomes more grounded within the public domain. Future governance of tDCS should include the concerns and enthusiasms of the public. PMID:25964748

  6. Applying Constructivism to Improve Public Relations for Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marek, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Educators are often hesitant to use techniques of public relations and marketing communication to attempt to alter undesirable understandings of the rationale and processes of education held by external constituencies. This paper shows that contemporary practice in public relations and marketing communication can be conceptualized as an…

  7. Improving Public Schools within Existing Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nathan, Joseph

    This paper demonstrates how educators can improve student learning, increase resources available to schools, and make the teaching profession more attractive without spending additional tax funds. Section 1, "The School as Community Center," analyzes sharing school facilities with community organizations and easing fiscal constraints through…

  8. Public Understanding of Science: Using Technology To Enhance School Science in Everyday Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cajas, Fernando

    1999-01-01

    Discusses the use of school science in students' everyday lives. Argues that the goal of connecting school science to students' everyday lives moves the discussion of public understanding of science to public understanding of technology. Examines the implications and limitations of this movement. Contains 40 references. (Author/WRM)

  9. Understanding catchment behavior through stepwise model concept improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenicia, Fabrizio; Savenije, Hubert H. G.; Matgen, Patrick; Pfister, Laurent

    2008-01-01

    Lack of data is one of the main limitations for hydrological modeling. However, it is often used as a justification for over simplifying, poorly performing models. If we want to enhance our understanding of hydrological systems, it is important to fully exploit the information contained in the available data, and to learn from model deficiencies. In this paper, we propose a methodology where we systematically update the model structure, progressively incorporating new hypotheses of catchment behavior. We apply this methodology to the Alzette river basin in Luxembourg, showing how stepwise model improvement helps to identify the behavior of this catchment. We show that the most significant improvement of the evolving model structure is associated to the characterization of antecedent wetness. This is improved accounting for interception, which affects vertical storage distribution, and accounting for rainfall spatial heterogeneity, which influences storage variations in the horizontal dimension. Overall, our results suggested that, due to the damping effect of the basin, the description of fast catchment response benefits more from spatially distributed information than that of slow catchment response.

  10. Understanding public reactions to commercialization of biobanks and use of biobank resources.

    PubMed

    Nicol, Dianne; Critchley, Christine; McWhirter, Rebekah; Whitton, Tess

    2016-08-01

    Biobanks will be essential to facilitate the translation of genomic research into real improvements to healthcare. Biobanking is a long-term commitment, requiring public support as well as appropriate regulatory, social and ethical guidelines to realize this promise. There is a growing body of research that explores the necessary conditions to ensure public trust in biomedical research, particularly in the context of biobanking. Trust is, however, a complex relationship. More analysis of public perceptions, attitudes and reactions is required to understand the primary triggers that influence gain and loss of trust. Further, the outcomes of these analyses require detailed consideration to determine how to promote trustworthy institutions and practices. This article uses national survey data, combined with the results of a community consultation that took place in Tasmania, Australia in 2013, to analyze the specific issue of public reactions to commercialization of biobanks and their outputs. This research will enhance the ability of biobanks to respond preemptively to public concerns about commercialization by establishing and maintaining governance frameworks that are responsive to those concerns. The results reveal that it is possible to counter the 'natural prejudice' that many people have against commercialization through independent governance of biobank resources and transparency with regard to commercial involvement. Indeed, most participants agreed that they would rather have a biobank with commercial involvement than none at all. This analysis provides nuanced conclusions about public reactions towards commercialization and equips researchers and biobank operators with data on which to base policies and make governance decisions in order to tackle participant concerns respectfully and responsively. PMID:27343817

  11. Challenging Ideology: Could a Better Understanding of Academic Enquiry Lead to Better Public Policy Making?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Roger

    2010-01-01

    Does the present level of public unhappiness with the conduct of governance offer an opportunity to revisit the quality of public policy making and the pernicious role of ideology? In this article I argue that there are some strong parallels between academic enquiry and public policy making, and that a better understanding of the former could lead…

  12. Improving public health by tackling climate change

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Across the world, climate change is now responsible for substantial mortality and morbidity, through direct effects on health and also by threatening the determinants of health. This commentary argues that adaptation policies to enhance resilience to adverse climate events are important, but must be coupled with determined action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The prize is synergy: many such policies, for example concerning food, travel and community engagement, can simultaneously improve physical and mental health. This is a commentary on http://www.ijhpr.org/content/2/1/23. PMID:23773290

  13. Improving Students' Understanding of Lock-In Amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Gauthier, Alexandre; Levy, Jeremy; Chandralekha, Singh

    2014-03-01

    A lock-in amplifier is a versatile instrument frequently used in physics research. However, many students struggle with the basic operating principles of a lock-in amplifier which can lead to a variety of difficulties. To improve students' understanding, we have been developing and evaluating a research-based tutorial which makes use of a computer simulation of a lock-in amplifier. The tutorial is based on a field-tested approach in which students realize their difficulties after predicting the outcome of simulated experiments involving a lock-in amplifier and check their predictions using the simulated lock-in amplifier. Then, the tutorial guides and helps students develop a coherent understanding of the basics of a lock-in amplifier. The tutorial development involved interviews with physics faculty members and graduate students and iteration of many versions of the tutorial with professors and graduate students. The student difficulties and the development and assessment of the research-based tutorial are discussed. We thank National Science Foundation for award NSF-1124131.

  14. Assessing and improving student understanding of quantum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2006-02-01

    We developed a survey to probe student understanding of quantum mechanics concepts at the beginning of graduate instruction. The survey was administered to 202 graduate students in physics enrolled in first-year quantum mechanics courses from seven different universities at the beginning of the first semester. We also conducted one-on-one interviews with fifteen graduate students or advanced undergraduate students who had just finished a course in which all the content on the survey was covered. We find that students share universal difficulties about fundamental quantum mechanics concepts. The difficulties are often due to over-generalization of concepts learned in one context to other contexts where they are not directly applicable and difficulty in making sense of the abstract quantitative formalism of quantum mechanics. Instructional strategies that focus on improving student understanding of these concepts should take into account these difficulties. The results from this study can sensitize instructors of first-year graduate quantum physics to the conceptual difficulties students are likely to face.

  15. Understanding and improving longevity in RF MEMS capacitive switches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldsmith, Chuck; Forehand, David; Scarbrough, Derek; Peng, Zheng; Palego, Cris; Hwang, James; Clevenger, Jason

    2008-02-01

    This paper discusses issues relating to the reliability and methods for employing high-cycle life testing in capacitive RF MEMS switches. In order to investigate dielectric charging, transient current spectroscopy is used to characterize and model the ingress and egress of charges within the switch insulating layer providing an efficient, powerful tool to investigate various insulating materials without constructing actual MEMS switches. Additionally, an in-situ monitoring scheme has been developed to observe the dynamic evolution of switch characteristics during life testing. As an alternative to high-cycle life testing, which may require days or weeks of testing, a method for performing accelerated life tests is presented. Various methods for mitigating dielectric charging are presented including: reduced operating voltage, reduced dielectric area, and improved control waveforms. Charging models, accelerated life test results, and high-cycle life test results for state-of-the-art capacitive RF MEMS switches aid in the better understanding of MEMS switch reliability providing direction for improving materials and mechanical designs to increase the operation lifetime of MEMS capacitive switches.

  16. Beyond Theory: Improving Public Relations Writing through Computer Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neff, Bonita Dostal

    Computer technology (primarily word processing) enables the student of public relations writing to improve the writing process through increased flexibility in writing, enhanced creativity, increased support of management skills and team work. A new instructional model for computer use in public relations courses at Purdue University Calumet…

  17. A systems approach to understanding and improving health systems.

    PubMed

    Erazo, Álvaro

    2015-09-01

    Health systems face the challenge of helping to improve health conditions. They occupy a priority place in middle- and lower-income countries, since the absence or fragility of health systems adversely impacts expected health outcomes. Thus, due to the direct relationship between programs and systems, the absence or weakness of either will result in a consequent deficiency in public health and the very execution of the programs. In the same vein, weakened health systems are one of the main bottlenecks to attaining the Millennium Development Goals. Systems thinking is one of the "four revolutions in progress" that are helping to transform health and health care systems. Within that framework, this article identifies conceptual and operational elements of systems applicable to health systems that contribute to overcoming the obstacles and inertia that hinder health activities and outcomes. It discusses relevant concepts characteristic of systems thinking, such as structural variables and dynamic complexity, the relationship between programs and health systems, and the monitoring and evaluation function, together with the role of innovation and systems integration as high-priority elements. This will aid in the development of designs that also stress the context of the components that guide management, identifying processes and outcomes in a health management continuum. PMID:26758004

  18. Improving illiterate patients understanding and adherence to discharge medications

    PubMed Central

    Clayton, Matthew; Syed, Faizan; Rashid, Amjid; Fayyaz, Umer

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Adherence to a hospital discharge medication regime is crucial for successful treatment and to avoid increasing rates of drug resistance. A patient's success in adhering to their medication regime is dependent on many social, cultural, economic, illness and therapy-related factors, and these are often more pronounced in the developing world. Anecdotal evidence in Services Hospital, Lahore (Pakistan) suggested that the relatively high levels of illiteracy in the patient population was a major factor in poor adherence. Baseline measurement revealed that 48% of all the hospital's patients were illiterate with just 5%–12% of illiterate patients being able to interpret their handwritten discharge prescription after leaving hospital. Unsurprisingly follow-up clinics reported very poor adherence. This quality improvement project intervened by designing a new discharge prescription proforma which used pictures and symbols rather than words to convey the necessary information. Repeated surveys demonstrated large relative increases in comprehension of the new proformas amongst illiterate patients with between 23%–35% of illiterate patients understanding the new proformas. PMID:26734151

  19. Improved Understanding of ice and dust processes using Data Assimilation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Richardson, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    We use the DART Data Assimilation (DA) framework to ingest radiance observations from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) into the PlanetWRF Mars General Circulation Model (GCM) and measure the skill of the model in reproducing the observations, and hence to test and improve understanding of the aerosol processes at the heart of Martian climate. The DA framework is used to constrain the surface ice properties in the model using the TES radiance observations and lander pressure measurements as independent constraints on the ice properties. We compare the skill of two ice models in reproducing the TES radiance observations while simultaneously matching lander pressure observations. In one model the effect of subsurface ice is contained within the surface albedo and emissivity parameterization, in the second model subsurface ice is parameterized based on Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) data. Both models reproduce the pressure cycle observed by the Viking Lander instruments, but the model with subsurface ice performs significantly better at reproducing the TES radiance observations over the ice-covered poles. We also use the DA framework to investigate the model skill using the Conrath vertical dust profile (with a near surface maximum dust abundance) and a modified dust profile with high altitude maximum that has been inferred from limb observations by the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). The GCM using the modified dust profile produces an atmosphere with thermal lapse rate closer to that measured using nadir observations from TES.

  20. Toward an Improved Understanding of the Global Fresh Water Budget

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hildebrand, Peter H.

    2005-01-01

    priorities for future improvements in global fresh water budget monitoring. The priorities are based on the potential of new approaches to provide improved measurement and modeling systems, and on the need to measure and understand the potential for a speed-up of the global water cycle under the effects of climate change.

  1. Understanding and Improving High Voltage Vacuum Insulators for Microsecond Pulses

    SciTech Connect

    Javedani, J B; Goerz, D A; Houck, T L; Lauer, E J; Speer, R D; Tully, L K; Vogtlin, G E; White, A D

    2007-03-05

    High voltage insulation is one of the main areas of pulsed power research and development, and dielectric breakdown is usually the limiting factor in attaining the highest possible performance in pulsed power devices. For many applications the delivery of pulsed power into a vacuum region is the most critical aspect of operation. The surface of an insulator exposed to vacuum can fail electrically at an applied field more than an order or magnitude below the bulk dielectric strength of the insulator. This mode of breakdown, called surface flashover, imposes serious limitations on the power flow into a vacuum region. This is especially troublesome for applications where high voltage conditioning of the insulator and electrodes is not practical and for applications where relatively long pulses, on the order of several microseconds, are required. The goal of this project is to establish a sound fundamental understanding of the mechanisms that lead to surface flashover, and then evaluate the most promising techniques to improve vacuum insulators and enable high voltage operation at stress levels near the intrinsic bulk breakdown limits of the material. The approach we proposed and followed was to develop this understanding through a combination of theoretical and computation methods coupled with experiments to validate and quantify expected behaviors. In this report we summarize our modeling and simulation efforts, theoretical studies, and experimental investigations. The computational work began by exploring the limits of commercially available codes and demonstrating methods to examine field enhancements and defect mechanisms at microscopic levels. Plasma simulations with particle codes used in conjunction with circuit models of the experimental apparatus enabled comparisons with experimental measurements. The large scale plasma (LSP) particle-in-cell (PIC) code was run on multiprocessor platforms and used to simulate expanding plasma conditions in vacuum gap regions

  2. Lost in translation: Discourses, boundaries and legitimacy in the public understanding of science in the UK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lock, Simon Jay

    2008-07-01

    This thesis documents the historical development of debates around the public understanding of science in the UK from 1985 until 2005. Testimonies from key actors involved in the evolution of the recent public understanding of science arena, and an examination of documentary evidence, have been used to map out how this issue was problematised by scientists in the mid-1980s, and how it has developed into a contested field of activity, political interest and academic research. I propose that this historical period can be broadly understood in four phases each characterised by a dominant discourse of the public understanding of science. I examine how, within each phase, the various groups involved have engaged in boundary work: rhetorically constructing, and mobilising, ideas of 'science', 'the public', and the perceived 'problem' in the relationship between the two, in the pursuit of defining and legitimating themselves and these definitions of the relationship between science and public. Phase I is characterised as a rhetorical re-framing of earlier 'problems' of the public understanding of science by scientists and scientific institutions in the context of the 1980s. Phase II is dominated by the boundary work between scientists and social scientists as they contended for legitimacy and authority over competing discourses of public understanding of science and the institutionalisation of PUS activity and research. Phase III is characterised by a variety of discursive formulations of the 'problem' of PUS following the House of Lords report (2000) and a subsequent change in the rhetoric of public understanding of science to one of public engagement. Phase IV is dominated by the language of 'upstream engagement' and identifies the political interest in managing science's relationship with the public and the social scientific responses to this.

  3. From Headline to Hard Grind: The Importance of Understanding Public Administration in Achieving Health Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    O’Flynn, Janine

    2016-01-01

    Many public policy programs fail to translate ambitious headlines to on-the-ground action. The reasons for this are many and varied, but for public administration and management scholars a large part of the gap between ambition and achievement is the challenge associated with the operation of the machinery of government itself, and how it relates to the other parties that it relies on to fulfill these outcomes. In their article, Carey and Friel set out key reasons why public health scholars should seek to better understand important ideas in public administration. In commenting on their contribution, I draw out two critical questions that are raised by this discussion: (i) what are boundaries and what forms do they take? and (ii) why work across boundaries? Expanding on these key questions extends the points made by Carey and Friel on the importance of understanding public administration and will better place public health scholars and practitioners to realise health outcomes.

  4. [Notes for understanding the problem of "public" health in the health sector].

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Cristian Fabiano; da Silva, Rosane Azevedo Neves

    2015-03-01

    This paper presents a theoretical review of how the public health concept has been perceived in health practices, based on the problematic field introduced in Italian and Brazilian health reforms, in order to understand the construction of public health and the meanings that this term acquires in the health arena. The main goal is to understand how public health appears in the context of health movements in Italy and Brazil, as well as its movement of variation. In this sense, an attempt is made to identify elements that contribute to the composition of a genealogy of public health. From the investigation of public health practices, the tensions produced by this concept are analyzed, giving visibility to those practices that demonstrate the public health experience as a force in the world of health. PMID:25760131

  5. Improving Education and Public Outreach Through Astronomy Education Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.

    2005-04-01

    Following in the footsteps of physics education research, the relatively new field of astronomy education research is already making dramatic improvements to the teaching and learning of astronomy. Whereas physics education research has focused predominantly on the introductory physics course, astronomy education is working on developing instruments and models to understand widely ranging domains that span K-12, undergraduate majors and non-majors, and even into the realms of public outreach. As one example, the repeated call for a more student-centered approach to teaching due to the ineffectiveness of lecture has been gaining prominence in the astronomy teaching community. At the beginning of a large-enrollment introductory astronomy survey course, we administered 68-multiple choice items as a pretest to 81 students. At the end of each lecture we administered the specific items related to that particular day's lecture a second time as a posttest. The pretest was 30% correct and the test, when given after lecture alone showed 52% correct. These results illustrate that instructor-centered strategies are largely ineffective at promoting meaningful conceptual gains. Alternatively, when using curriculum materials created from a basis of astronomy education research, we find that the posttest average score grows beyond 70%. Each 15-minute Lecture-Tutorial poses a carefully crafted sequence of conceptually challenging, Socratic-dialogue driven questions, along with graphs and data tables, all designed to encourage students to reason critically about difficult concepts in astronomy. A significant effort was focused on carefully evaluating changes in students' conceptual understanding and attitudes toward learning astronomy. The quantitative and qualitative results strongly suggest that the Lecture-Tutorials help students make significant conceptual gains.

  6. Creating Quality Improvement Culture in Public Health Agencies

    PubMed Central

    Mahanna, Elizabeth; Joly, Brenda; Zelek, Michael; Riley, William; Verma, Pooja; Fisher, Jessica Solomon

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. We conducted case studies of 10 agencies that participated in early quality improvement efforts. Methods. The agencies participated in a project conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (2007–2008). Case study participants included health directors and quality improvement team leaders and members. We implemented multiple qualitative analysis processes, including cross-case analysis and logic modeling. We categorized agencies according to the extent to which they had developed a quality improvement culture. Results. Agencies were conducting informal quality improvement projects (n = 4), conducting formal quality improvement projects (n = 3), or creating a quality improvement culture (n = 4). Agencies conducting formal quality improvement and creating a quality improvement culture had leadership support for quality improvement, participated in national quality improvement initiatives, had a greater number of staff trained in quality improvement and quality improvement teams that met regularly with decision-making authority. Agencies conducting informal quality improvement were likely to report that accreditation is the major driver for quality improvement work. Agencies creating a quality improvement culture were more likely to have a history of evidence-based decision-making and use quality improvement to address emerging issues. Conclusions. Our findings support previous research and add the roles of national public health accreditation and emerging issues as factors in agencies’ ability to create and sustain a quality improvement culture. PMID:24228680

  7. Prenatal Training Improves New Mothers’ Understanding of Jaundice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ling; Hu, Peng; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Qing Ling; Hu, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Background Mothers’ knowledge of neonatal jaundice (NNJ) is grossly deficient or inaccurate, which may adversely affect the actions of mothers in the recognition of NNJ and cause a delay in seeking medical attention. Material/Methods A total of 1036 primiparas were separated randomly into the intervention group and the control group, with 518 primiparas in each group. Results All (100%) mothers in the intervention group understood that NNJ is a yellow discoloration of the skin and sclera; 94.19% of them considered that NNJ is a common problem in newborns; 82.80% and 95.27% replied that jaundice appearing within the first 36 hours and lasting more than 2 weeks usually indicates pathological NNJ; 96.34%, 80.86%, and 90.32% realized that premature newborns, low birth weight, and perinatal asphyxia, respectively, are more likely to be accompanied by NNJ; 97.41%, 78.71%, and 64.95% knew that maternal-fetal blood group incompatibility, infection, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, respectively, are the common inducements to NNJ; 94.84% could associate NNJ with brain damage; 92.26%, 93.12%, and 74.62% agreed that phototherapy, strengthen feeding, and exchange blood transfusion, respectively, can greatly relieve NNJ. However, some respondents in the control group responded in other ways, such as stopping breastfeeding (9.19%), placing newborns in sunlight (10.24%) and traditional Chinese medicine (10.24%), which was significantly higher than that of the intervention group. There was also a significant delay for respondents in the control group in consulting a pediatrician, and 6.30% of them did not seek medical help until after the interview. Conclusions Prenatal training could significantly improve new mothers’ understanding of NNJ. PMID:26056164

  8. The Public Understanding of Science: `The Wolfendale Report' and Other Matters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfendale, A. W.

    2008-01-01

    `The public understanding of Science' is a matter of interest and concern and one that we neglect at our peril. This paper deals with two aspects : the `Wolfendale Report' of 1995, commissioned by the British Government, and some personal reflections on how to make our presentations to `the public' more interesting.

  9. English Activities in International Understanding Lessons in a Japanese Public Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monoi-Yamaga, Naoko

    2010-01-01

    This study was an investigation of public elementary school students' affective changes through English Activities of international understanding lessons at Japanese public elementary school. The learners' expected affective changes were regarded as "International Posture", "Self-esteem", "Collective Self-esteem", and "Interest in Foreign Affairs"…

  10. Mathematical Understanding and Representation Ability of Public Junior High School in North Sumatra

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minarni, Ani; Napitupulu, E. Elvis; Husein, Rahmad

    2016-01-01

    This paper is the result of first phase of the research about the development of students' mathematical understanding and representation ability through Joyful Problem-Based Learning (JPBL) at Public Junior High School in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The population is all of the students of public junior high school (PJHS) in North Sumatra. Samples…

  11. 75 FR 61706 - Request for Public Comments Regarding Small and Medium Enterprises' Understanding of and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-06

    ...The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is publishing a notice of inquiry to solicit comments from the public regarding small and medium enterprises' (SMEs) understanding of and compliance with export controls maintained pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). BIS anticipates that input from the public will help it administer and enforce export controls in a manner......

  12. Science for Public Understanding: A Different Way To Teach and Learn Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Millar, Robin; Hunt, Andrew

    2002-01-01

    Describes the AQA AS-level course 'Science for Public Understanding' and explains its underlying rationale. Shows how a topic-based course can be used to consolidate students' understanding of some scientific explanations and ideas-about-science in a systematic manner. (Author/MM)

  13. The Public Understanding of Science: 30 Years of the Bodmer Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Short, Daniel B.

    2013-01-01

    As research probes deeper into all aspects of science, greater specialisation is required. This natural progression takes knowledge and understanding further away from the general public. Hence part of the responsibility of scientists is to communicate that knowledge at an appropriate level of understanding. As most people do not actively follow…

  14. The Significance of Blackstone's Understanding of Sovereign Immunity for America's Public Institutions of Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snow, Brian A.; Thro, William E.

    2001-01-01

    Asserts that from the perspective of America's public institutions of higher education, Blackstone's greatest legacy is his understanding of sovereign immunity. Explores the similarities between Blackstone's understanding of sovereign immunity and the current jurisprudence of the U.S. Supreme Court. (EV)

  15. Communicating with Parents: Understanding the Process, Improving Your Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Federation of Teachers (NJ), 2007

    2007-01-01

    Communication is the exchange of information, ideas and/or feelings from one person to another. The goal of communication is understanding. Without understanding, there is no communication. The communication process consists of verbal and nonverbal communication and listening. The spoken word is self-explanatory. Communication problems between…

  16. "It just goes against the grain." Public understandings of genetically modified (GM) food in the UK.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Alison

    2002-07-01

    This paper reports on one aspect of qualitative research on public understandings of food risks, focusing on lay understandings of genetically modified (GM) food in the UK context. A range of theoretical, conceptual, and empirical literature on food, risk, and the public understanding of science are reviewed. The fieldwork methods are outlined and empirical data from a range of lay groups are presented. Major themes include: varying "technical" knowledge of science, the relationship between knowledge and acceptance of genetic modification, the uncertainty of scientific knowledge, genetic modification as inappropriate scientific intervention in "nature", the acceptability of animal and human applications of genetic modification, the appropriate boundaries of scientific innovation, the necessity for GM foods, the uncertainty of risks in GM food, fatalism about avoiding risks, and trust in "experts" to manage potential risks in GM food. Key discussion points relating to a sociological understanding of public attitudes to GM food are raised and some policy implications are highlighted. PMID:12430532

  17. The Reproduction of Scientific Understanding about Pendulum Motion in the Public

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manabu, Sumida

    This paper describes life-span development of understanding about pendulum motion and effects of school science. The subjects were 2,766 people ranging from kindergartners up to 88 years senior citizens. The conflict and consensus between children and their parent's understanding of pendulum motion were also analyzed. The kindergartner's understanding, mostly non-scientific, made a marked developmental change to another type of non-scientific understanding by the time they reach G 4. Parents with scientific understanding do not presumably nurture scientifically minded children,even though about half of them can apply scientific conceptions that shorter pendulums swing faster, and the amplitude and speed of pendulum motion do not depend on its weight. There seems to be another type of developmental change from scientific understanding to non-scientific understanding around their fifties. Itis suggested that the scientific understanding in the public about pendulum motion become predominant due to the educational intervention through school science.

  18. Efficiency improvements of public hospitals under a capitation payment scheme.

    PubMed

    García-Lacalle, Javier; Martín, Emilio

    2013-07-01

    In a context of cost containment and demands for better quality in public health care, payment systems are used as an instrument to promote efficiency improvements in service providers. Andalusia has adopted an original type of risk-adjusted capitation payment mechanism to reimburse public hospitals. This paper presents the main characteristics of the reimbursement mechanism of the Andalusian Health Service highlighting some differences with the mechanisms adopted in other parts of Europe. The paper also explores the evolution of the efficiency and quality of the hospitals after its implementation using the Malmquist index. Results indicate that hospitals have slightly improved their efficiency, particularly urban hospitals, and these improvements are not significantly related to a negative evolution of quality. However, it is not possible to assert to what extent, improvements are the consequence of the new payment system. The organisation of the Servicio Andaluz de Salud and the limited competition between hospitals reduce the effectiveness of the reform. PMID:23343663

  19. An ecological public health approach to understanding the relationships between sustainable urban environments, public health and social equity.

    PubMed

    Bentley, Michael

    2014-09-01

    The environmental determinants of public health and social equity present many challenges to a sustainable urbanism-climate change, water shortages and oil dependency to name a few. There are many pathways from urban environments to human health. Numerous links have been described but some underlying mechanisms behind these relationships are less understood. Combining theory and methods is a way of understanding and explaining how the underlying structures of urban environments relate to public health and social equity. This paper proposes a model for an ecological public health, which can be used to explore these relationships. Four principles of an ecological public health-conviviality, equity, sustainability and global responsibility-are used to derive theoretical concepts that can inform ecological public health thinking, which, among other things, provides a way of exploring the underlying mechanisms that link urban environments to public health and social equity. Theories of more-than-human agency inform ways of living together (conviviality) in urban areas. Political ecology links the equity concerns about environmental and social justice. Resilience thinking offers a better way of coming to grips with sustainability. Integrating ecological ethics into public health considers the global consequences of local urban living and thus attends to global responsibility. This way of looking at the relationships between urban environments, public health and social equity answers the call to craft an ecological public health for the twenty-first century by re-imagining public health in a way that acknowledges humans as part of the ecosystem, not separate from it, though not central to it. PMID:23661624

  20. Improving Science Education and Understanding through Editing Wikipedia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moy, Cheryl L.; Locke, Jonas R.; Coppola, Brian P.; McNeil, Anne J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a graduate-level class project centered on editing chemistry-related entries in Wikipedia. This project enables students to work collaboratively, explore advanced concepts in chemistry, and learn how to communicate science to a diverse audience, including the general public. The format and structure of the project is outlined…

  1. Modelling associations between public understanding, engagement and forest conditions in the Inland Northwest, USA.

    PubMed

    Hartter, Joel; Stevens, Forrest R; Hamilton, Lawrence C; Congalton, Russell G; Ducey, Mark J; Oester, Paul T

    2015-01-01

    Opinions about public lands and the actions of private non-industrial forest owners in the western United States play important roles in forested landscape management as both public and private forests face increasing risks from large wildfires, pests and disease. This work presents the responses from two surveys, a random-sample telephone survey of more than 1500 residents and a mail survey targeting owners of parcels with 10 or more acres of forest. These surveys were conducted in three counties (Wallowa, Union, and Baker) in northeast Oregon, USA. We analyze these survey data using structural equation models in order to assess how individual characteristics and understanding of forest management issues affect perceptions about forest conditions and risks associated with declining forest health on public lands. We test whether forest understanding is informed by background, beliefs, and experiences, and whether as an intervening variable it is associated with views about forest conditions on publicly managed forests. Individual background characteristics such as age, gender and county of residence have significant direct or indirect effects on our measurement of understanding. Controlling for background factors, we found that forest owners with higher self-assessed understanding, and more education about forest management, tend to hold more pessimistic views about forest conditions. Based on our results we argue that self-assessed understanding, interest in learning, and willingness to engage in extension activities together have leverage to affect perceptions about the risks posed by declining forest conditions on public lands, influence land owner actions, and affect support for public policies. These results also have broader implications for management of forested landscapes on public and private lands amidst changing demographics in rural communities across the Inland Northwest where migration may significantly alter the composition of forest owner goals

  2. Modelling Associations between Public Understanding, Engagement and Forest Conditions in the Inland Northwest, USA

    PubMed Central

    Hartter, Joel; Stevens, Forrest R.; Hamilton, Lawrence C.; Congalton, Russell G.; Ducey, Mark J.; Oester, Paul T.

    2015-01-01

    Opinions about public lands and the actions of private non-industrial forest owners in the western United States play important roles in forested landscape management as both public and private forests face increasing risks from large wildfires, pests and disease. This work presents the responses from two surveys, a random-sample telephone survey of more than 1500 residents and a mail survey targeting owners of parcels with 10 or more acres of forest. These surveys were conducted in three counties (Wallowa, Union, and Baker) in northeast Oregon, USA. We analyze these survey data using structural equation models in order to assess how individual characteristics and understanding of forest management issues affect perceptions about forest conditions and risks associated with declining forest health on public lands. We test whether forest understanding is informed by background, beliefs, and experiences, and whether as an intervening variable it is associated with views about forest conditions on publicly managed forests. Individual background characteristics such as age, gender and county of residence have significant direct or indirect effects on our measurement of understanding. Controlling for background factors, we found that forest owners with higher self-assessed understanding, and more education about forest management, tend to hold more pessimistic views about forest conditions. Based on our results we argue that self-assessed understanding, interest in learning, and willingness to engage in extension activities together have leverage to affect perceptions about the risks posed by declining forest conditions on public lands, influence land owner actions, and affect support for public policies. These results also have broader implications for management of forested landscapes on public and private lands amidst changing demographics in rural communities across the Inland Northwest where migration may significantly alter the composition of forest owner goals

  3. Understanding Synthesis Across Disciplines to Improve Nursing Education.

    PubMed

    Blondy, Laurie C; Blakeslee, Ann M; Scheffer, Barbara K; Rubenfeld, M Gaie; Cronin, Brenda M; Luster-Turner, Rose

    2016-06-01

    Nursing students must learn higher-order thinking skills of analysis and synthesis to manage complex data for decision making in healthcare. Teaching synthesis, however, is challenging and elusive due to lack of understanding of the concept and an explicit pedagogy for teaching it. A qualitative, multi-phased research project was designed to gain understanding of what synthesis is, how professionals acquire synthesis skills, and how to best teach synthesis. The first phase explored interdisciplinary descriptions of synthesis. Three focus groups were conducted, and interdisciplinary participants responded to several questions. Several themes emerged suggesting that synthesis depends on cognitive skills and competencies, situational and contextual factors, preparation and knowledge acquisition skills, interpersonal and interaction skills, and personal qualities. Participants also supported use of multi-modal teaching strategies to reinforce students' use of synthesis in learning. This project provided a beginning understanding of the synthesis process, revealing striking similarities in synthesis across professional disciplines. PMID:26689219

  4. Successful Management of Public School Capital Improvement Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filardo, Mary

    2000-01-01

    In 1999, the 21st Century School Fund interviewed seven large school districts regarding management of capital-improvement programs. Researchers found three basic models: in-house management, other-public-agency management, and private-sector management. Systematic oversight and quality-control approaches will protect school systems from…

  5. Does Competition Improve Public School Efficiency? A Spatial Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Misra, Kaustav

    2010-01-01

    Proponents of educational reform often call for policies to increase competition between schools. It is argued that market forces naturally lead to greater efficiencies, including improved student learning, when schools face competition. In many parts of the country, public schools experience significant competition from private schools; however,…

  6. Lectures and Simulation Laboratories to Improve Learners' Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brophy, Sean P.; Magana, Alejandra J.; Strachan, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    We studied the use of online molecular dynamics simulations (MD) to enhance student abilities to understand the atomic processes governing plastic deformation in materials. The target population included a second-year undergraduate engineering course in the School of Materials Engineering at Purdue University. The objectives of the study were to…

  7. Improving Reading Strategies through an Understanding of Culture and Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wen, Xiaohong

    This paper contends that many of the difficulties students of Chinese have in reading comprehension are directly related to their level of understanding of Chinese language and culture, and that these difficulties could be alleviated by providing students with knowledge about the value system, social customs, formation of Chinese characters and…

  8. Understanding and Reducing Faculty Reluctance to Improve Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCrickerd, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Many believe college instructors resist new teaching practices. In this article, the author develops a hypothesis to understand resistant faculty members, focusing on their likely educational experiences and on insights from psychology. Using Dweck's conception of self-theories and Fischer's conception of dynamic skill-theory, she defends the…

  9. Standing in the Hallway Improves Students' Understanding of Conformity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Timothy J.; Haubner, Richard R.; Bodle, James H.

    2013-01-01

    To help beginning psychology students understand how they are influenced by social pressures to conform, we developed a demonstration designed to elicit their conformity to a small group of students standing in the hallway before class. Results showed the demonstration increased students' recognition of their own tendency to conform, knowledge of…

  10. Productivity improvement and job satisfaction among public health nutritionists.

    PubMed

    Vermeersch, J A; Feeney, M J; Wesner, K M; Dahl, T

    1979-12-01

    A workshop for public health nutritionists which scrutinized ways to improve productivity and job satisfaction is reported. Participants believed that productivity could be improved most by improving the execution of tasks, followed by better planning of programs, office management, and skills in group education, and by delegation of non-professional activities to lesser-trained personnel. Job satisfaction of public health nutritionists could be increased by reducing stress and discomfort and promoting feelings of personal effectiveness and efficiency through role clarification and by management training. There is a large potential for greater productivity in the profession. Realization of this potential will contribute measurably to the cost-effectiveness of nutritional services. PMID:117042

  11. Information technologies to improve public health: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Manhas, Melissa; Kuo, Mu-Hsing

    2015-01-01

    This systematic review examines a total of eighteen studies on the use of health information technologies to improve public health. Health information technologies are tools that allow for the management of health information in computerized systems. Health information technology, including electronic health records, computers/emails, social media, and cellphones/text messaging are becoming widespread and readily accessible to populations around the globe. In this review, the use of these technologies and interventions are discussed and evaluated for their potential to improve public health. This review found some good-quality evidence on the use of electronic health records and little good-quality evidence on the use of email, social media, cell phones and text messaging to improve healthcare, illustrating the need for further study in these areas. PMID:25676984

  12. Understanding and improving the Fermilab booster high field orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Chao, Y.; Ketcham, L.; Moore, C.D.

    1989-03-01

    This note is an account of the authors' effort in both understanding the Booster high field orbit and controlling it through displacements of the main combined function magnets. We were able to achieve the second goal with considerable accuracy while having limited success with the first, due to insufficient knowledge of the Booster dynamics. This work was initiated in Spring 1987 with the orbit control via magnet moves the chief purpose. A series of magnet moves in 1987 and 1988 resulting from this study testified to its reliability. The understanding of the Booster orbit in general remains an ongoing process in which we keep modifying our model with the hope of eventually having a quantitative grasp of the closed orbit and being able to manipulate it with more flexibility and accuracy. In this paper we give a brief description of the Booster environment in which the magnet moves are carried out, together with background information concerning the magnet moves. The method we use is discussed. The result of the moves is documented, and our effort to understand the Booster high field orbit is given a detailed account. 12 figs., 5 tabs.

  13. The Component Model of Infrastructure: A Practical Approach to Understanding Public Health Program Infrastructure

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, Kimberly; Rieker, Patricia P.

    2014-01-01

    Functioning program infrastructure is necessary for achieving public health outcomes. It is what supports program capacity, implementation, and sustainability. The public health program infrastructure model presented in this article is grounded in data from a broader evaluation of 18 state tobacco control programs and previous work. The newly developed Component Model of Infrastructure (CMI) addresses the limitations of a previous model and contains 5 core components (multilevel leadership, managed resources, engaged data, responsive plans and planning, networked partnerships) and 3 supporting components (strategic understanding, operations, contextual influences). The CMI is a practical, implementation-focused model applicable across public health programs, enabling linkages to capacity, sustainability, and outcome measurement. PMID:24922125

  14. Improving Access to and Understanding of Regulations through Taxonomies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheng, Chin Pang; Lau. Gloria T.; Law, Kincho H.; Pan, Jiayi; Jones, Albert

    2009-01-01

    Industrial taxonomies have the potential to automate information retrieval, facilitate interoperability and, most importantly, improve decision making - decisions that must comply with existing government regulations and codes of practice. However, it is difficult to find those regulations and codes most relevant to a particular decision, even…

  15. Social Judgment Analysis: Methodology for Improving Interpersonal Communication and Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rohrbaugh, John; Harmon, Joel

    Research has found the Social Judgment Analysis (SJA) approach, with its focus on judgment policy and cognitive feedback, to be a significant factor in developing group member agreement and improving member performance. A controlled experiment was designed to assess the relative quality of the judgment making process provided by SJA.…

  16. Understanding Leadership Paradigms for Improvement in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flumerfelt, Shannon; Banachowski, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: This research article is based on the Baldrige National Quality Program Education Criteria for Performance Excellence's conceptualization of improvement as a dual cycle/three element initiative of examining and bettering inputs, processes, and outputs as driven by measurement, analysis and knowledge management work. This study isolates a…

  17. NOAA Plans for Improving Public Access to Science Research (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de la Beaujardiere, J.

    2013-12-01

    The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum on 2013 February 22 calling for federal agencies to enhance public access to research results (PARR), and required agencies to submit, within 6 months of the memo, draft plans explaining how they would implement the requirements. For the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), research results include digital data about the Earth's environment and publications based on those data. Regarding environmental data, NOAA is already very active in ensuring and improving public access. Indeed, National Weather Service (NWS) data was highlighted as one of the good examples in the OSTP memo. More generally, the NOAA National Data Centers, the Environmental Data Management Committee (EDMC), and scientific and technical personnel across the agency are striving to ensure NOAA data are discoverable and accessible on-line, well-documented and formatted for usability, and preserved for future generations as a national asset. This presentation will describe current and potential activities in support of public access to NOAA and NOAA-funded environmental data. Regarding publications, there is greater uncertainty. The fundamental issue is how to ensure no-cost access (after an embargo period) to publications that typically require subscriptions. That issue must be addressed at the interagency level with the journal publishers. The plan indicates that NOAA will adopt shared mechanisms and agreements to the extent possible rather than building new systems. Some elements remain under discussion; this presentation will be limited to those aspects on which there is general agreement.

  18. Understanding and improving inpatient mortality in academic medical centers.

    PubMed

    Behal, Raj; Finn, Jeannine

    2009-12-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe factors contributing to potentially preventable mortality in academic medical centers and the organizational characteristics associated with success in reducing mortality. Sixteen U.S. academic medical centers that wished to improve risk-adjusted inpatient mortality rates requested a consultation that included interviews with physicians, nurses, and hospital leaders; review of medical records; and evaluation of systems and processes of care. The assessments took place on-site; they identified key factors contributing to preventable mortality, and each hospital received specific recommendations. Changes in observed mortality and in the ratio of observed to expected mortality were measured from 2002 to final follow-up in 2007. Evaluations determined each hospital's success factors and key barriers to improvement. The key factors contributing to preventable mortality were delays in responding to deteriorating patients, suboptimal critical care, hospital-acquired infections, postoperative complications, medical errors, and community issues such as the availability of hospice care. Of the 16 hospitals, 12 were able to reduce their mortality index. The five hospitals that had the greatest improvement in mortality were the only hospitals with a broad level of engagement among hospital and physician leaders, including the department chairs. In the hospitals whose performance did not improve, the department chairs were not engaged in the process. The academic medical centers that focused on mortality reduction and had engagement of physicians, especially department chairs, were able to achieve meaningful reductions in hospital mortality. The necessary ingredients for achieving meaningful improvement in clinical outcomes included good data, a sound method for change, and physician leadership. PMID:19940569

  19. The Decline and Rise of Coronary Heart Disease: Understanding Public Health Catastrophism

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Jeremy A.

    2013-01-01

    The decline of coronary heart disease mortality in the United States and Western Europe is one of the great accomplishments of modern public health and medicine. Cardiologists and cardiovascular epidemiologists have devoted significant effort to disease surveillance and epidemiological modeling to understand its causes. One unanticipated outcome of these efforts has been the detection of early warnings that the decline had slowed, plateaued, or even reversed. These subtle signs have been interpreted as evidence of an impending public health catastrophe. This article traces the history of research on coronary heart disease decline and resurgence and situates it in broader narratives of public health catastrophism. Juxtaposing the coronary heart disease literature alongside the narratives of emerging and reemerging infectious disease helps to identify patterns in how public health researchers create data and craft them into powerful narratives of progress or pessimism. These narratives, in turn, shape public health policy. PMID:23678895

  20. The decline and rise of coronary heart disease: understanding public health catastrophism.

    PubMed

    Jones, David S; Greene, Jeremy A

    2013-07-01

    The decline of coronary heart disease mortality in the United States and Western Europe is one of the great accomplishments of modern public health and medicine. Cardiologists and cardiovascular epidemiologists have devoted significant effort to disease surveillance and epidemiological modeling to understand its causes. One unanticipated outcome of these efforts has been the detection of early warnings that the decline had slowed, plateaued, or even reversed. These subtle signs have been interpreted as evidence of an impending public health catastrophe. This article traces the history of research on coronary heart disease decline and resurgence and situates it in broader narratives of public health catastrophism. Juxtaposing the coronary heart disease literature alongside the narratives of emerging and reemerging infectious disease helps to identify patterns in how public health researchers create data and craft them into powerful narratives of progress or pessimism. These narratives, in turn, shape public health policy. PMID:23678895

  1. Engaging Students Through Classroom Connection Webinars to Improve Their Understanding of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graff, Paige V.; Achilles, Cherie

    2013-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions to other worlds, like Mars, can generate a lot of excitement and wonder for the public. The Mars Science Laboratory Mission is one of the latest planetary missions that has intrigued the public perhaps more than most. How can scientists and educational specialists capitalize on the allure of this mission and involve students and teachers in a way that not only shares the story of the mission, but actively engages classrooms with scientists and improves their understanding of the science? The Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) Program [1], facilitated by the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate Education Program at the NASA Johnson Space Center achieves this by facilitating MSL mission focused classroom connection webinars. Five MSL-focused webinars facilitated through EEAB during the 2012 fall semester engaged almost 3000 students and teachers. Involved STEM experts/role models helped translate the science behind the Mars Science Laboratory mission in a comprehensive, exciting, and engaging manner. These virtual events captured participants attention while increasing their science awareness and understanding of the MSL mission.

  2. Mixed method approaches to understanding cancer-related dietary risk reduction among public housing residents.

    PubMed

    Klassen, Ann C; Smith, Katherine Clegg; Black, Maureen M; Caulfield, Laura E

    2009-07-01

    Improving diet is one important pathway for addressing cancer disparities. We conducted mixed-method analyses of 468 24-h dietary recalls from 156 African-American women residents of Washington DC public housing to better understand dietary patterns. Recalls were rated for five cancer-related preventive characteristics (adequate fruits/vegetables, moderate fat, moderate calories, no alcohol, and adequate Healthy Eating Index score), combined as a scale. Bivariate and multivariate analyses identified psychosocial and dietary characteristics associated with scale scores. Qualitative analyses of dietary records identified contextual aspects of food patterns within and across score groups. Sixty-one percent of respondents met zero or one dietary goal; alcohol abstention was most common (64%). Only 12% achieve either three (6%), four (4%), or all five (<1%) goals; five fruit and vegetable servings were least common (15%). The underlying scalar structure of responses suggests that fruit and vegetable consumption is seldom achieved in this population without other scale components. Poorer scores were associated with younger age, depressive symptoms, stressful life events, smoking, and food-purchasing practices. Qualitative analyses identified eight themes related to differences between dietary patterns. Findings reinforce the value of nonreductionist approaches to cancer-related nutrition intervention. PMID:19444616

  3. Using biological networks to improve our understanding of infectious diseases

    PubMed Central

    Mulder, Nicola J.; Akinola, Richard O.; Mazandu, Gaston K.; Rapanoel, Holifidy

    2014-01-01

    Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death, particularly in developing countries. Although many drugs are available for treating the most common infectious diseases, in many cases the mechanism of action of these drugs or even their targets in the pathogen remain unknown. In addition, the key factors or processes in pathogens that facilitate infection and disease progression are often not well understood. Since proteins do not work in isolation, understanding biological systems requires a better understanding of the interconnectivity between proteins in different pathways and processes, which includes both physical and other functional interactions. Such biological networks can be generated within organisms or between organisms sharing a common environment using experimental data and computational predictions. Though different data sources provide different levels of accuracy, confidence in interactions can be measured using interaction scores. Connections between interacting proteins in biological networks can be represented as graphs and edges, and thus studied using existing algorithms and tools from graph theory. There are many different applications of biological networks, and here we discuss three such applications, specifically applied to the infectious disease tuberculosis, with its causative agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host, Homo sapiens. The applications include the use of the networks for function prediction, comparison of networks for evolutionary studies, and the generation and use of host–pathogen interaction networks. PMID:25379138

  4. Public Understanding of Science as a Separate Subject in Secondary Schools in The Netherlands.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiding, Jurrie; De Vos, Wobbe

    1999-01-01

    Describes and analyzes five years of an attempt to introduce the public understanding of science as a subject in its own right to be taught in The Netherlands. Concludes that in spite of its status as a separate subject, the current vision of the course does not yet have a clear identity that distinguishes it from traditional school science…

  5. Addressing Challenges to Public Understanding of Science: Epistemic Cognition, Motivated Reasoning, and Conceptual Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinatra, Gale M.; Kienhues, Dorothe; Hofer, Barbara K.

    2014-01-01

    Science is of critical importance to daily life in a knowledge society and has a significant influence on many everyday decisions. As scientific problems increase in their number and complexity, so do the challenges facing the public in understanding these issues. Our objective is to focus on 3 of those challenges: the challenge of reasoning about…

  6. Information Transfer and Cognitive Mismatch: A Popperian Model for Studies of Public Understanding.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbott, R.

    1997-01-01

    The deficiencies and distortions revealed in studies of public understanding of science, intuitive physics, nutritional myths and misunderstandings, and mental mapping of geographical space are defects in information transfer from the physical and intellectual realms to the subjective realms of individuals (Popper's three "Worlds"). Argues that…

  7. The Public Understanding of Assessment in Educational Reform in the United States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brookhart, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    The United States education system depends on legislation and funding at the federal, state and local levels. Public understanding of assessment therefore is important to educational reform in the USA. Educational reformers often invoke assessment information as a reason for reform, typically by citing unacceptable achievement on some measure or…

  8. Problems of Understanding between Immigrants and Officials at Public Authorities in Argentina and Germany

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, Katharina

    2012-01-01

    In conversations between immigrants and officials, problems of understanding are often noticeable. About 280 recordings realised at the Argentine Aliens' Department and at several public authorities in Germany show that knowledge divergences regarding linguistic, cultural and institutional knowledge result in (sometimes grave) difficulties of…

  9. Is Sustainability a Breakfast Cereal? Public Program Based Research into Community Understandings of Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLoughlin, Lynette C.

    2004-01-01

    What meanings and values does the community (the general public) attach to the term "sustainability"? As this complex concept is widely used in academic, political and policy arenas and gradually becomes embedded at institutional level, it is possible that the community does not share the understandings of sustainability that are guiding…

  10. Public Understanding of Cognitive Neuroscience Research Findings: Trying to Peer beyond Enchanted Glass

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grotzer, Tina A.

    2011-01-01

    This article considers the appeal of cognitive neuroscience research to the general public within the context of the deep puzzles involved in using our minds to understand how our minds work. It offers a few promising examples of findings that illuminate the ways of the mind and reveal these workings to be counter-intuitive with our subjective…

  11. Models of Understanding: Historical Constructions of Breast Cancer in Medicine and Public Health

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Jennifer

    2004-01-01

    The era of technical and scientific progress ushered in with the twentieth century brought new medical knowledge such as the Halstead 'radical' mastectomy, which promised a cure for breast cancer. These advances in medical knowledge were premised on an epidemiological model of disease, which shaped the treatment and public understanding of breast…

  12. The Role of Science and Discovery Centres in the Public Understanding of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Short, Daniel B.; Weis, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    The number of science and discovery centres has grown exponentially over the last two centuries. Science and discovery centres are one of the top five stimuli that influence a career choice in science. Their history, growth, impact and role in the public understanding of science are discussed. (Contains 2 tables, 7 figures, and 21 online…

  13. Public Understanding of Science in turbulent times III: Deficit to dialogue, champions to critics.

    PubMed

    Smallman, Melanie

    2016-02-01

    As part of the 20th Anniversary of the Public Understanding of Science journal, the journal has been reflecting on how the field and journal have developed. This research note takes a closer look at some of the trends, considering the journal's 50 most cited papers and using IRaMuTeQ, an open-source computer text analysis technique. The research note presents data that show that the move within public engagement from deficit to dialogue has been followed by a further shift from championing dialogue to criticising its practice. This shift has taken place alongside a continued, but changing, interest in media coverage, surveys and models of public understanding. PMID:25234052

  14. Experimental public speaking: contributions to the understanding of the serotonergic modulation of fear.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Leal, Cybele; Graeff, Frederico Guilherme; Del-Ben, Cristina Marta

    2014-10-01

    Public speaking is widely used as a model of experimental fear and anxiety. This review aimed to evaluate the effects of pharmacological challenges on public speaking responses and their implications for the understanding of the neurobiology of normal and pathological anxiety, specifically panic disorder. We also describe methodological features of experimental paradigms using public speaking as an inducer of fear and stress. Public speaking is a potent stressor that can provoke significant subjective and physiological responses. However, variations in the manners in which public speaking is modelled can lead to different responses that need to be considered when interpreting the results. Results from pharmacological studies with healthy volunteers submitted to simulated public speaking tests have similarities with the pharmacological responses of panic patients observed in clinical practice and panic patients differ from controls in the response to the public speaking test. These data are compatible with the Deakin and Graeff hypothesis that serotonin inhibits fear, as accessed by public speaking tasks, and that this inhibition is likely related to the actions of serotonin in the dorsal periaqueductal grey matter. PMID:25277282

  15. Reducing Food Loss And Waste While Improving The Public's Health.

    PubMed

    Neff, Roni A; Kanter, Rebecca; Vandevijvere, Stefanie

    2015-11-01

    An estimated 30 percent of the global food supply is lost or wasted, as is about 40 percent of the US food supply. There are valuable synergies between efforts to reduce food loss and waste and those promoting public health. To demonstrate the potential impact of building upon these synergies, we present an analysis of policies and interventions addressing food loss and waste, food security, food safety, and nutrition. We characterize as opportunities the policies and interventions that promote synergistic relationships between goals in the fields of food loss and waste and of public health. We characterize as challenges the policies and interventions that may reduce food loss and waste but compromise public health, or improve public health but increase food loss and waste. Some interventions are both opportunities and challenges. With deliberate planning and action, challenges can often be addressed and turned into opportunities. In other cases, it may be necessary to strike a balance between potential benefit in one area and risk of harm in the other. To help policy makers make the best use of the opportunities while tackling the challenges, it is essential to consider public health in efforts to reduce food loss and waste. PMID:26526239

  16. Understanding and Improving High-Performance I/O Subsystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Ghazawi, Tarek A.; Frieder, Gideon; Clark, A. James

    1996-01-01

    This research program has been conducted in the framework of the NASA Earth and Space Science (ESS) evaluations led by Dr. Thomas Sterling. In addition to the many important research findings for NASA and the prestigious publications, the program has helped orienting the doctoral research program of two students towards parallel input/output in high-performance computing. Further, the experimental results in the case of the MasPar were very useful and helpful to MasPar with which the P.I. has had many interactions with the technical management. The contributions of this program are drawn from three experimental studies conducted on different high-performance computing testbeds/platforms, and therefore presented in 3 different segments as follows: 1. Evaluating the parallel input/output subsystem of a NASA high-performance computing testbeds, namely the MasPar MP- 1 and MP-2; 2. Characterizing the physical input/output request patterns for NASA ESS applications, which used the Beowulf platform; and 3. Dynamic scheduling techniques for hiding I/O latency in parallel applications such as sparse matrix computations. This study also has been conducted on the Intel Paragon and has also provided an experimental evaluation for the Parallel File System (PFS) and parallel input/output on the Paragon. This report is organized as follows. The summary of findings discusses the results of each of the aforementioned 3 studies. Three appendices, each containing a key scholarly research paper that details the work in one of the studies are included.

  17. Concepts first, jargon second improves student articulation of understanding.

    PubMed

    McDonnell, Lisa; Barker, Megan K; Wieman, Carl

    2016-01-01

    In this experiment, students in a large undergraduate biology course were first exposed to the concepts without new technical vocabulary ("jargon") in a pre-class reading assignment. Their learning of the concepts and jargon was compared with that of an equivalent group of students in another section of the same course, whose pre-class reading presented both the jargon and concepts together in the traditional manner. Both groups had the same active-learning classes with the same instructor, and then completed the same post-test. Although the two groups performed the same on the multiple choice questions of the post-test, the group exposed to concepts first and jargon second included 1.5 times and 2.5 times more correct arguments on two free-response questions about the concepts. The correct use of jargon between the two groups was similar, with the exception of one jargon term that the control group used more often. These results suggest that modest instructional changes whereby new concepts are introduced in a concepts-first, jargon-second manner can increase student learning, as demonstrated by their ability to articulate their understanding of new concepts. PMID:26537537

  18. Bootstrapping Q Methodology to Improve the Understanding of Human Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Zabala, Aiora; Pascual, Unai

    2016-01-01

    Q is a semi-qualitative methodology to identify typologies of perspectives. It is appropriate to address questions concerning diverse viewpoints, plurality of discourses, or participation processes across disciplines. Perspectives are interpreted based on rankings of a set of statements. These rankings are analysed using multivariate data reduction techniques in order to find similarities between respondents. Discussing the analytical process and looking for progress in Q methodology is becoming increasingly relevant. While its use is growing in social, health and environmental studies, the analytical process has received little attention in the last decades and it has not benefited from recent statistical and computational advances. Specifically, the standard procedure provides overall and arguably simplistic variability measures for perspectives and none of these measures are associated to individual statements, on which the interpretation is based. This paper presents an innovative approach of bootstrapping Q to obtain additional and more detailed measures of variability, which helps researchers understand better their data and the perspectives therein. This approach provides measures of variability that are specific to each statement and perspective, and additional measures that indicate the degree of certainty with which each respondent relates to each perspective. This supplementary information may add or subtract strength to particular arguments used to describe the perspectives. We illustrate and show the usefulness of this approach with an empirical example. The paper provides full details for other researchers to implement the bootstrap in Q studies with any data collection design. PMID:26845694

  19. UNDERSTANDING OR NURSES' REACTIONS TO ERRORS AND USING THIS UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE PATIENT SAFETY.

    PubMed

    Taifoori, Ladan; Valiee, Sina

    2015-09-01

    The operating room can be home to many different types of nursing errors due to the invasiveness of OR procedures. The nurses' reactions towards errors can be a key factor in patient safety. This article is based on a study, with the aim of investigating nurses' reactions toward nursing errors and the various contributing and resulting factors, conducted at Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences in Sanandaj, Iran in 2014. The goal of the study was to determine how OR nurses' reacted to nursing errors with the goal of having this information used to improve patient safety. Research was conducted as a cross-sectional descriptive study. The participants were all nurses employed in the operating rooms of the teaching hospitals of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, which was selected by a consensus method (170 persons). The information was gathered through questionnaires that focused on demographic information, error definition, reasons for error occurrence, and emotional reactions for error occurrence, and emotional reactions toward the errors. 153 questionnaires were completed and analyzed by SPSS software version 16.0. "Not following sterile technique" (82.4 percent) was the most reported nursing error, "tiredness" (92.8 percent) was the most reported reason for the error occurrence, "being upset at having harmed the patient" (85.6 percent) was the most reported emotional reaction after error occurrence", with "decision making for a better approach to tasks the next time" (97.7 percent) as the most common goal and "paying more attention to details" (98 percent) was the most reported planned strategy for future improved outcomes. While healthcare facilities are focused on planning for the prevention and elimination of errors it was shown that nurses can also benefit from support after error occurrence. Their reactions, and coping strategies, need guidance and, with both individual and organizational support, can be a factor in improving patient safety. PMID

  20. New Views of the Moon: Improved Understanding Through Data Integration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jolliff, B. L.; Gaddis, L. R.; Ryder, G.; Neal, C. R.; Shearer, C. K.; Elphic, R. C.; Johnson, J. R.; Keller, L. P.; Korotev, R. L.; Lawrence, D. J.

    2000-01-01

    Understanding the Moon is crucial to future exploration of the solar system.The Moon preserves a record of the first billion years of the Earth-Moon system's history, including evidence of the Moon's origin as accumulated debris from a giant impact into early Earth. Lunar rocks provide evidence of early differentiation and extraction of a crust. Lacking an atmospheric shield, the Moon's regolith retains a record of the activity of solar wind over the past 4 billion years. It also holds a complete record of impact cratering, and analysis of samples has allowed calibration of ages, and thus dating of other planetary surfaces. And because of its proximity to Earth, it's low gravity well, and stable surface, the Moon's resources will be useful both in establishing lunar habitations and as fuel for exploration beyond the Moon. Lunar science has advanced tremendously in the 30 years since the Apollo and Luna missions. We know that the Moon is strongly differentiated, and recent tungsten isotope studies indicate that this differentiation occurred soon after solar system formation. The Moon probably accreted rapidly from debris that formed as a large planetesimal struck the early Earth. Ancient highland rocks provide evidence of early lunar differentiation, and basalts formed by later melting within the mantle reveal it cumulus nature. However, the timing, extent, and depth of differentiation, variations within the mantle, and lateral and vertical variations within the crust can only be surmised from the limited sample suites,gravity studies,and surface geophysics of the Apollo era. Data from the recent Lunar Prospector and Clementine missions permit reassessment of the global characteristics of the Moon and a reexamination of the distribution of elemental components, rock and soil types, and resources, as well as remanent magnetism, gravity field, and global topography New research provides some answers, but also leads to new questions.

  1. Characterizing emergency departments to improve understanding of emergency care systems

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    International emergency medicine aims to understand different systems of emergency care across the globe. To date, however, international emergency medicine lacks common descriptors that can encompass the wide variety of emergency care systems in different countries. The frequent use of general, system-wide indicators (e.g. the status of emergency medicine as a medical specialty or the presence of emergency medicine training programs) does not account for the diverse methods that contribute to the delivery of emergency care both within and between countries. Such indicators suggest that a uniform approach to the development and structure of emergency care is both feasible and desirable. One solution to this complex problem is to shift the focus of international studies away from system-wide characteristics of emergency care. We propose such an alternative methodology, in which studies would examine emergency department-specific characteristics to inventory the various methods by which emergency care is delivered. Such characteristics include: emergency department location, layout, time period open to patients, and patient type served. There are many more ways to describe emergency departments, but these characteristics are particularly suited to describe with common terms a wide range of sites. When combined, these four characteristics give a concise but detailed picture of how emergency care is delivered at a specific emergency department. This approach embraces the diversity of emergency care as well as the variety of individual emergency departments that deliver it, while still allowing for the aggregation of broad similarities that might help characterize a system of emergency care. PMID:21756328

  2. Mechanistic Understanding of Microbial Plugging for Improved Sweep Efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Steven Bryant; Larry Britton

    2008-09-30

    Microbial plugging has been proposed as an effective low cost method of permeability reduction. Yet there is a dearth of information on the fundamental processes of microbial growth in porous media, and there are no suitable data to model the process of microbial plugging as it relates to sweep efficiency. To optimize the field implementation, better mechanistic and volumetric understanding of biofilm growth within a porous medium is needed. In particular, the engineering design hinges upon a quantitative relationship between amount of nutrient consumption, amount of growth, and degree of permeability reduction. In this project experiments were conducted to obtain new data to elucidate this relationship. Experiments in heterogeneous (layered) beadpacks showed that microbes could grow preferentially in the high permeability layer. Ultimately this caused flow to be equally divided between high and low permeability layers, precisely the behavior needed for MEOR. Remarkably, classical models of microbial nutrient uptake in batch experiments do not explain the nutrient consumption by the same microbes in flow experiments. We propose a simple extension of classical kinetics to account for the self-limiting consumption of nutrient observed in our experiments, and we outline a modeling approach based on architecture and behavior of biofilms. Such a model would account for the changing trend of nutrient consumption by bacteria with the increasing biomass and the onset of biofilm formation. However no existing model can explain the microbial preference for growth in high permeability regions, nor is there any obvious extension of the model for this observation. An attractive conjecture is that quorum sensing is involved in the heterogeneous bead packs.

  3. Vaccine adjuvants--understanding molecular mechanisms to improve vaccines.

    PubMed

    Egli, Adrian; Santer, Deanna; Barakat, Khaled; Zand, Martin; Levin, Aviad; Vollmer, Madeleine; Weisser, Maja; Khanna, Nina; Kumar, Deepali; Tyrrell, Lorne; Houghton, Michael; Battegay, Manuel; O'Shea, Daire

    2014-01-01

    Infectious pathogens are responsible for high utilisation of healthcare resources globally. Attributable morbidity and mortality remains exceptionally high. Vaccines offer the potential to prime a pathogen-specific immune response and subsequently reduce disease burden. Routine vaccination has fundamentally altered the natural history of many frequently observed and serious infections. Vaccination is also recommended for persons at increased risk of severe vaccine-preventable disease. Many current nonadjuvanted vaccines are poorly effective in the elderly and immunocompromised populations, resulting in nonprotective postvaccine antibody titres, which serve as surrogate markers for protection. The vaccine-induced immune response is influenced by: (i.) vaccine factors i.e., type and composition of the antigen(s), (ii.) host factors i.e., genetic differences in immune-signalling or senescence, and (iii.) external factors such as immunosuppressive drugs or diseases. Adjuvanted vaccines offer the potential to compensate for a lack of stimulation and improve pathogen-specific protection. In this review we use influenza vaccine as a model in a discussion of the different mechanisms of action of the available adjuvants. In addition, we will appraise new approaches using "vaccine-omics" to discover novel types of adjuvants. PMID:24844935

  4. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina.

    PubMed

    Ni, Siyu; Li, Changyan; Ni, Shirong; Chen, Ting; Webster, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA) and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1) attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm) were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (P<0.05). Thus, this study showed that one can alter surface energy of aluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry) through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be further studied as a bioactive interface for orthopedic applications. PMID:25045263

  5. Understanding improved osteoblast behavior on select nanoporous anodic alumina

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Siyu; Li, Changyan; Ni, Shirong; Chen, Ting; Webster, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to prepare different sized porous anodic alumina (PAA) and examine preosteoblast (MC3T3-E1) attachment and proliferation on such nanoporous surfaces. In this study, PAA with tunable pore sizes (25 nm, 50 nm, and 75 nm) were fabricated by a two-step anodizing procedure in oxalic acid. The surface morphology and elemental composition of PAA were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The nanopore arrays on all of the PAA samples were highly regular. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis suggested that the chemistry of PAA and flat aluminum surfaces were similar. However, contact angles were significantly greater on all of the PAA compared to flat aluminum substrates, which consequently altered protein adsorption profiles. The attachment and proliferation of preosteoblasts were determined for up to 7 days in culture using field emission scanning electron microscopy and a Cell Counting Kit-8. Results showed that nanoporous surfaces did not enhance initial preosteoblast attachment, whereas preosteoblast proliferation dramatically increased when the PAA pore size was either 50 nm or 75 nm compared to all other samples (P<0.05). Thus, this study showed that one can alter surface energy of aluminum by modifying surface nano-roughness alone (and not changing chemistry) through an anodization process to improve osteoblast density, and, thus, should be further studied as a bioactive interface for orthopedic applications. PMID:25045263

  6. Using reality mining to improve public health and medicine.

    PubMed

    Pentland, Alex; Lazer, David; Brewer, Devon; Heibeck, Tracy

    2009-01-01

    We live our lives in digital networks. We wake up in the morning, check our e-mail, make a quick phone call, commute to work, buy lunch. Many of these transactions leave digital breadcrumbs--tiny records of our daily experiences. Reality mining, which pulls together these crumbs using statistical analysis and machine learning methods, offers an increasingly comprehensive picture of our lives, both individually and collectively, with the potential of transforming our understanding of ourselves, our organizations, and our society in a fashion that was barely conceivable just a few years ago. It is for this reason that reality mining was recently identified by Technology Review as one of "10 emerging technologies that could change the world". Many everyday devices provide the raw database upon which reality mining builds; sensors in mobile phones, cars, security cameras, RFID ('smart card') readers, and others, all allow for the measurement of human physical and social activity. Computational models based on such data have the potential to dramatically transform the arenas of both individual and community health. Reality mining can provide new opportunities with respect to diagnosis, patient and treatment monitoring, health services planning, surveillance of disease and risk factors, and public health investigation and disease control. Currently, the single most important source of reality mining data is the ubiquitous mobile phone. Every time a person uses a mobile phone, a few bits of information are left behind. The phone pings the nearest mobile-phone towers, revealing its location. The mobile phone service provider records the duration of the call and the number dialed. In the near future, mobile phones and other technologies will collect even more information about their users, recording everything from their physical activity to their conversational cadences. While such data pose a potential threat to individual privacy, they also offer great potential value

  7. Understanding multinational companies in public health systems, using a competitive advantage framework

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background This paper discusses the findings of a study which developed five case studies of five multinational health care companies involved in public health care systems. Strategies were analysed in terms of attitude to marketing, pricing and regulation. The company strategies have been subjected to an analysis using Porter's Five Forces, a business strategy framework, which is unusual in health policy studies. Methods This paper shows how analysing company strategy using a business tool can contribute to understanding the strategies of global capital in national health systems. It shows how social science methodologies can draw from business methods to explain company strategies. Results The five companies considered in this paper demonstrate that their strategies have many dimensions, which fit into Porter's Five Forces of comparative advantage. More importantly the Five Forces can be used to identify factors that influence company entry into public health care systems. Conclusions The process of examining the strategic objectives of five health care companies shows that a business tool can help to explain the actions and motives of health care companies towards public health care systems, and so contribute to a better understanding of the strategies of global capital in national health systems. Health service commissioners need to understand this dynamic process, which will evolve as the nature of public health care systems change. PMID:21722372

  8. Understanding the Role of Public Administration in Implementing Action on the Social Determinants of Health and Health Inequities

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Gemma; Friel, Sharon

    2015-01-01

    Many of the societal level factors that affect health – the ‘social determinants of health (SDH)’ – exist outside the health sector, across diverse portfolios of government, and other major institutions including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector. This has created growing interest in how to create and implement public policies which will drive better and fairer health outcomes. While designing policies that can improve the SDH is critical, so too is ensuring they are appropriately administered and implemented. In this paper, we draw attention to an important area for future public health consideration – how policies are managed and implemented through complex administrative layers of ‘the state.’ Implementation gaps have long been a concern of public administration scholarship. To precipitate further work in this area, in this paper, we provide an overview of the scholarly field of public administration and highlight its role in helping to understand better the challenges and opportunities for implementing policies and programs to improve health equity. PMID:26673462

  9. Semantic interoperability between clinical and public health information systems for improving public health services.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Diego M; Blobel, Bernd G M E

    2007-01-01

    Improving public health services requires comprehensively integrating all services including medical, social, community, and public health ones. Therefore, developing integrated health information services has to start considering business process, rules and information semantics of involved domains. The paper proposes a business and information architecture for the specification of a future-proof national integrated system, concretely the requirements for semantic integration between public health surveillance and clinical information systems. The architecture is a semantically interoperable approach because it describes business process, rules and information semantics based on national policy documents and expressed in a standard language such us the Unified Modeling Language UML. Having the enterprise and information models formalized, semantically interoperable Health IT components/services development is supported. PMID:17901617

  10. Understanding Price Elasticities to Inform Public Health Research and Intervention Studies: Key Issues

    PubMed Central

    Nghiem, Nhung; Genç, Murat; Blakely, Tony

    2013-01-01

    Pricing policies such as taxes and subsidies are important tools in preventing and controlling a range of threats to public health. This is particularly so in tobacco and alcohol control efforts and efforts to change dietary patterns and physical activity levels as a means of addressing increases in noncommunicable diseases. To understand the potential impact of pricing policies, it is critical to understand the nature of price elasticities for consumer products. For example, price elasticities are key parameters in models of any food tax or subsidy that aims to quantify health impacts and cost-effectiveness. We detail relevant terms and discuss key issues surrounding price elasticities to inform public health research and intervention studies. PMID:24028228

  11. Beyond attributions: Understanding public stigma of mental illness with the common sense model.

    PubMed

    Mak, Winnie W S; Chong, Eddie S K; Wong, Celia C Y

    2014-03-01

    The present study applied the common sense model (i.e., cause, controllability, timeline, consequences, and illness coherence) to understand public attitudes toward mental illness and help-seeking intention and to examine the mediating role of perceived controllability between causal attributions with public attitudes and help seeking. Based on a randomized household sample of 941 Chinese community adults in Hong Kong, results of the structural equation modeling demonstrated that people who endorsed cultural lay beliefs tended to perceive the course of mental illness as less controllable, whereas those with psychosocial attributions see its course as more controllable. The more people perceived the course of mental illness as less controllable, more chronic, and incomprehensible, the lower was their acceptance and the greater was mental illness stigma. Furthermore, those who perceived mental illness with dire consequences were more likely to feel greater stigma and social distance. Conversely, when people were more accepting, they were more likely to seek help for psychological services and felt a shorter social distance. The common sense model provides a multidimensional framework in understanding public's mental illness perceptions and stigma. Not only should biopsychosocial determinants of mental illness be advocated to the public, cultural myths toward mental illness must be debunked. PMID:24826933

  12. Peer review for biomedical publications: we can improve the system.

    PubMed

    Stahel, Philip F; Moore, Ernest E

    2014-01-01

    The lack of formal training programs for peer reviewers places the scientific quality of biomedical publications at risk, as the introduction of 'hidden' bias may not be easily recognized by the reader. The exponential increase in the number of manuscripts submitted for publication worldwide, estimated in the millions annually, overburdens the capability of available qualified referees. Indeed, the workload imposed on individual reviewers appears to be reaching a 'breaking point' that may no longer be sustainable. Some journals have made efforts to improve peer review via structured guidelines, courses for referees, and employing biostatisticians to ensure appropriate study design and analyses. Further strategies designed to incentivize and reward peer review work include journals providing continuing medical education (CME) credits to individual referees by defined criteria for timely and high-quality evaluations. Alternative options to supplement the current peer review process consist of 'post-publication peer review,' 'decoupled peer review,' 'collaborative peer review,' and 'portable peer review'. This article outlines the shortcomings and flaws in the current peer review system and discusses new innovative options on the horizon. PMID:25270270

  13. Safe and Sound? Scientists’ Understandings of Public Engagement in Emerging Biotechnologies

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Matthias; Starkbaum, Johannes; Dabrock, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Science communication is a widely debated issue, particularly in the field of biotechnology. However, the views on the interface between science and society held by scientists who work in the field of emerging biotechnologies are currently insufficiently explored. Therefore filling this gap is one of the urgent desiderata in the further development of a dialogue-oriented model of science-public interaction. Against this background, this article addresses two main questions: (1) How do the persons who work in the field of science perceive the public and its involvement in science? (2) What preferred modes of communication are stressed by those scientists? This research is based on a set of interviews with full professors from the field of biotechnology with a special focus on synthetic biology. The results show that scientists perceive the public as holding a primarily risk-focused view of science. On the one hand, different forms of science communication are thereby either seen as a chance to improve the public acceptance of science in general and one field of research in particular. On the other hand, the exchange with the public is seen as a duty because the whole of society is affected by scientific innovation. Yet, some of the stakeholders’ views discussed here conflict with debates on public engagement in technological innovation. PMID:26660160

  14. Sagan Medal Paper: Improving Impact in Public Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, D.

    2004-11-01

    Carl Sagan was masterful at reaching a wide public. He had great native talent as an educator, and he worked hard to hone his ability to promote his image as a television personality. Through TV as well as writing, he reached a far wider audience than would have been possible by classroom teaching or other direct personal contact. While none of us is "another Sagan", we can draw lessons from his use of media to leverage his message. One way to multiply our impact is through contributing to textbooks. I jumped at the opportunity to take on the popular George Abell college astronomy texts when the author unexpectedly died. I hoped that as a planetary scientist involved in NASA missions, I could do a better job than most astronomers to convey the excitement of planetary exploration. One edition of a text can reach tens of thousands of students and may represent the only college science course they will take. In the 1980s it was difficult for educators and writers to obtain high quality NASA images. Voyager and other missions issued press releases of first products, but the later, more carefully processed images were unavailable. By selecting the best planetary images and making them available with captions as slide sets, I could reach another large audience. Later I helped establish the NASA-USGS Planetary Photojournal for web-based images and captions. Developing websites for the public is today one of the best ways to broaden the impact of our work. My impact hazard website is now a decade old and exceeds a million hits a month. I also distribute "NEO News" via e-mail to more than 800 readers. I believe that the public is hungry for reliable, understandable information. We can all look at ways to use modern technology to help provide it.

  15. Using exercises to improve public health preparedness in Asia, the Middle East and Africa

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Exercises are increasingly common tools used by the health sector and other sectors to evaluate their preparedness to respond to public health threats. Exercises provide an opportunity for multiple sectors to practice, test and evaluate their response to all types of public health emergencies. The information from these exercises can be used to refine and improve preparedness plans. There is a growing body of literature about the use of exercises among local, state and federal public health agencies in the United States. There is much less information about the use of exercises among public health agencies in other countries and the use of exercises that involve multiple countries. Results We developed and conducted 12 exercises (four sub-national, five national, three sub-regional) from August 2006 through December 2008. These 12 exercises included 558 participants (average 47) and 137 observers (average 11) from 14 countries. Participants consistently rated the overall quality of the exercises as very good or excellent. They rated the exercises lowest on their ability to identifying key gaps in performance. The vast majority of participants noted that they would use the information they gained at the exercise to improve their organization’s preparedness to respond to an influenza pandemic. Participants felt the exercises were particularly good at raising awareness and understanding about public health threats, assisting in evaluating plans and identifying priorities for improvement, and building relationships that strengthen preparedness and response across sectors and across countries. Participants left the exercises with specific ideas about the most important actions that they should engage in after the exercise such as improved planning coordination across sectors and countries and better training of health workers and response personnel. Conclusions These experiences suggest that exercises can be a valuable, low-burden tool to improve emergency

  16. The Public Understanding of Science. Report of a Royal Society ad hoc Group Endorsed by the Council of the Royal Society.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Royal Society, London (England).

    Based on the premise that science and technology directly affect a wide range of personal activities and impact policy issues of national and international importance, this report aims to show why it matters that all sections of the public should have some understanding of science and to stimulate action by scientists and others to improve this…

  17. Using Interactive Family Science Shows to Improve Public Knowledge on Antibiotic Resistance: Does It Work?

    PubMed Central

    Lecky, Donna M.; Hawking, Meredith K. D.; Verlander, Neville Q.; McNulty, Cliodna A. M.

    2014-01-01

    The public plays an important role in controlling the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. A large British survey showed that there is still public misunderstanding about microbes and antibiotics. e-Bug, a European DG Sanco sponsored project, aims to disseminate a school antibiotic and hygiene educational pack and website across Europe. Interactive science shows based on the e-Bug educational packs were developed to take the key health and hygiene messages from the e-Bug school resources to families. The science show was evaluated to assess public knowledge and understanding of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance pre and post intervention. An interactive stall comprised of a 3×2 m backing stand with background information, an interactive activity and discussions with a trained demonstrator was on display at a family holiday resort. Pre-piloted knowledge questionnaires were completed by parents and children pre and post intervention. Adult (≥19 years) baseline knowledge regarding antibiotics and antibiotic resistance was high although significant knowledge improvement was observed where baseline knowledge was low. Children's (5–11 years) knowledge around antibiotics and antibiotic resistance was significantly improved for all questions. The science show can be viewed as a success in improving parents' and children's knowledge of antibiotic use thereby highlighting the importance of educating the public through interaction. PMID:25162505

  18. Workshop on Goals and Methods of Assessing the Public's Understanding of Science, November 29 and 30, 1972, Palo Alto, California.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Funkhouser, G. Ray

    Descriptions are included to illustrate the workshop objectives, participants, agenda, and sessions. The five sessions were concerned with the following aspects: (1) "Why Public Understanding of Science at All?" (2) "What Publics Should Understand What Science, for What Reasons?" (3) "The Experiences (including problems) of Science Communicators;"…

  19. Understanding the conditions for improvement: research to discover which context influences affect improvement success.

    PubMed

    Øvretveit, John

    2011-04-01

    Context can be defined as all factors that are not part of a quality improvement intervention itself. More research indicates which aspects are 'conditions for improvement', which influence improvement success. However, little is known about which conditions are most important, whether these are different for different quality interventions or whether some become less or more important at different times in carrying out an improvement. Knowing more about these conditions could help speed up and spread improvements and develop the science. This paper proposes ways to build knowledge about the conditions needed for different changes, and to create conditional-attribution explanations to provide qualified generalisations. It describes theory-based, non-experimental research designs. It also suggests that 'practical improvers' can make their changes more effective by reflecting on and revising their own 'assumption-theories' about the conditions which will help and hinder the improvements they aim to implement. PMID:21450764

  20. Public Health Accreditation: Rubber Stamp or Roadmap for Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Timsina, Lava

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. We identified the characteristics of local health departments (LHDs) that intended to seek accreditation, and also examined the association between that intent and a complete community health assessment (CHA), community health improvement plan, agency strategic plan, or other specific accreditation requirements. Methods. We analyzed data from the 2010 profile survey of LHDs conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (n = 267). Results. Those LHDs that conducted a CHA (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.38, 1.00; P = .05) and developed a strategic plan (AOR = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.12, 0.74; P = .01) were less likely to have an intent to pursue accreditation in the first 2 years of the program. By contrast, those LHDs that were engaged in quality improvement (QI) activities were approximately 2.6 times more likely to pursue accreditation compared with those LHDs that did not have any QI activities (P < .001). Conclusions. Based on our findings, national public health accreditation might be the vehicle LHDs could use to improve their operating environments, better manage their resources, and reap the rewards associated with meeting national industry standards. PMID:25689214

  1. Understanding and Supporting a Culture of Public Outreach in Amateur Organizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berendsen, M.; Ames, Z.; Figueiredo, C.; Storksdieck, M.; Stein, J.

    2010-08-01

    What types of resources can best support amateur science-based organizations who share their enthusiasm with the public? For several years the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) and Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), have partnered to conduct research aimed at understanding the culture of public outreach conducted by astronomy clubs and their members. Through this research ILI has conducted studies that yielded three main conclusions: amateurs want educational tools, pedagogical skills, and club organizational support. With these ideas in mind the ASP began working on solutions to the amateurs needs in 2004. Since then the ASP has developed a number of solution approaches with extensive help from amateur astronomers around the country.

  2. Theory-based approaches to understanding public emergency preparedness: implications for effective health and risk communication.

    PubMed

    Paek, Hye-Jin; Hilyard, Karen; Freimuth, Vicki; Barge, J Kevin; Mindlin, Michele

    2010-06-01

    Recent natural and human-caused disasters have awakened public health officials to the importance of emergency preparedness. Guided by health behavior and media effects theories, the analysis of a statewide survey in Georgia reveals that self-efficacy, subjective norm, and emergency news exposure are positively associated with the respondents' possession of emergency items and their stages of emergency preparedness. Practical implications suggest less focus on demographics as the sole predictor of emergency preparedness and more comprehensive measures of preparedness, including both a person's cognitive stage of preparedness and checklists of emergency items on hand. We highlight the utility of theory-based approaches for understanding and predicting public emergency preparedness as a way to enable more effective health and risk communication. PMID:20574880

  3. Publication Ethics and the Emerging Scientific Workforce: Understanding ‘Plagiarism’ in a Global Context

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Carrie; Zhao, Hui; McHugh, Michelle K.

    2013-01-01

    Scientific publication has long been dominated by the English language and is rapidly moving towards near complete hegemony of English, while the majority of the world’s publishing scientists are not native English speakers. This imbalance has important implications for training in and enforcement of publication ethics, particularly with respect to plagiarism. A lack of understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and the use of a linguistic support strategy known as patchwriting can lead to inadvertent misuse of source material by non-native speakers writing in English as well as to unfounded accusations of intentional scientific misconduct on the part of these authors. A rational and well-informed dialogue about this issue is needed among both native English speaking and non-native English speaking writers, editors, educators, and administrators. Recommendations for educating and training are provided. PMID:22104051

  4. Public goods and private interests: Understanding non-residential demand for green power

    SciTech Connect

    Wiser, Ryan H.; Fowlie, Meredith; Holt, Edward A.

    2001-01-01

    This article presents the results of the first large-scale mail survey of non-residential green power customers in the United States. The survey explored the motivations, attitudes, and experiences of 464 business, non-profit, and public-sector customers that have voluntarily opted to purchase - and frequently pay a premium for - renewable electricity. Results of this study should be of value to marketers interested in targeting these customer segments, to policy makers interested in fostering and understanding non-residential demand for green power, and to academics pondering the motivations for firms to engage in such voluntary environmental initiatives.

  5. Understanding the conditions for improvement: research to discover which context influences affect improvement success

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Context can be defined as all factors that are not part of a quality improvement intervention itself. More research indicates which aspects are ‘conditions for improvement’, which influence improvement success. However, little is known about which conditions are most important, whether these are different for different quality interventions or whether some become less or more important at different times in carrying out an improvement. Knowing more about these conditions could help speed up and spread improvements and develop the science. This paper proposes ways to build knowledge about the conditions needed for different changes, and to create conditional-attribution explanations to provide qualified generalisations. It describes theory-based, non-experimental research designs. It also suggests that ‘practical improvers’ can make their changes more effective by reflecting on and revising their own ‘assumption-theories’ about the conditions which will help and hinder the improvements they aim to implement. PMID:21450764

  6. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies, 1994. [National Public Policy Education Conference (44th, Boise, Idaho, September 18-21, 1994).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbrook, Steve A., Ed.; Grace, Teddee E., Ed.

    The National Public Policy Education Conference is held annually to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. The 1994 conference addressed the following topics: (1) ethical perspectives in public policy education; (2) transition of food and agricultural policy; (3) building human…

  7. Improving Graphing Interpretation Skills and Understanding of Motion Using Microcomputer Based Laboratories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Svec, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Examines the relative effectiveness of the traditional lab method and the microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) for improving student understanding. Examines three areas of achievement: graphing interpretation skills, and interpreting motion graphs and understanding of motion. Results indicate that MBL laboratories are more effective than…

  8. Understanding Student and Faculty Life. Using Campus Surveys to Improve Academic Decision Making.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baird, Leonard L.; And Others

    A comprehensive guide to the use of environmental assessments for understanding and improving student and faculty life is presented. Environmental assessments are examined as tools for academic decision-makers in understanding the extent and quality of the communication among its members, their sense of community, their emphasis on academic rigor,…

  9. Advanced MRI techniques to improve our understanding of experience-induced neuroplasticity.

    PubMed

    Tardif, Christine Lucas; Gauthier, Claudine Joëlle; Steele, Christopher John; Bazin, Pierre-Louis; Schäfer, Andreas; Schaefer, Alexander; Turner, Robert; Villringer, Arno

    2016-05-01

    Over the last two decades, numerous human MRI studies of neuroplasticity have shown compelling evidence for extensive and rapid experience-induced brain plasticity in vivo. To date, most of these studies have consisted of simply detecting a difference in structural or functional images with little concern for their lack of biological specificity. Recent reviews and public debates have stressed the need for advanced imaging techniques to gain a better understanding of the nature of these differences - characterizing their extent in time and space, their underlying biological and network dynamics. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of advanced imaging techniques for an audience of cognitive neuroscientists that can assist them in the design and interpretation of future MRI studies of neuroplasticity. The review encompasses MRI methods that probe the morphology, microstructure, function, and connectivity of the brain with improved specificity. We underline the possible physiological underpinnings of these techniques and their recent applications within the framework of learning- and experience-induced plasticity in healthy adults. Finally, we discuss the advantages of a multi-modal approach to gain a more nuanced and comprehensive description of the process of learning. PMID:26318050

  10. Improving our understanding of flood forecasting using earlier hydro-meteorological intelligence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shih, Dong-Sin; Chen, Cheng-Hsin; Yeh, Gour-Tsyh

    2014-05-01

    In recent decades, Taiwan has suffered from severe bouts of torrential rain, and typhoon induced floods have become the major natural threat to Taiwan. In order to warn the public of potential risks, authorities are considering establishing an early warning system derived from an integrated hydro-meteorological estimation process. This study aims at the development and accuracy of such a warning system. So it is first necessary to understand the distinctive features of flood forecasting in integrated rainfall-runoff simulations. Additionally the adequacies of a warning system that is based on extracting useful intelligence from earlier, possibly faulty numerical simulation results are discussed. In order to precisely model flooding, hydrological simulations based upon spot measured rainfall data have been utilized in prior studies to calibrate model parameters. Here, precipitation inputs from an ensemble of almost 20 different realizations of rainfall fields have been used to derive flood forecasts. The flood warning system therefore integrates rainfall-runoff calculations, field observations and data assimilations. Simulation results indicate that the ensemble precipitation estimates generated by a Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model produce divergent estimates. Considerable flooding is often shown in the simulated hydrographs, but the results as to the peak time and peak stage are not always in agreement with the observations. In brief, such forecasts can be good for warning against potential damaging floods in the near future, but the meteorological inputs are not good enough to forecast the time and magnitude of the peaks. The key for such warning system is not to expect highly accurate rainfall predictions, but to improve our understanding from individual ensemble flood forecasts.

  11. Understanding Climate Adaptation on Public Lands in the Upper Midwest: Implications for Monitoring and Tracking Progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anhalt-Depies, Christine M.; Knoot, Tricia Gorby; Rissman, Adena R.; Sharp, Anthony K.; Martin, Karl J.

    2016-05-01

    There are limited examples of efforts to systematically monitor and track climate change adaptation progress in the context of natural resource management, despite substantial investments in adaptation initiatives. To better understand the status of adaptation within state natural resource agencies, we utilized and problematized a rational decision-making framework to characterize adaptation at the level of public land managers in the Upper Midwest. We conducted in-depth interviews with 29 biologists and foresters to provide an understanding of managers' experiences with, and perceptions of, climate change impacts, efforts towards planning for climate change, and a full range of actions implemented to address climate change. While the majority of managers identified climate change impacts affecting their region, they expressed significant uncertainty in interpreting those signals. Just under half of managers indicated planning efforts are underway, although most planning is remote from local management. Actions already implemented include both forward-looking measures and those aimed at coping with current impacts. In addition, cross-scale dynamics emerged as an important theme related to the overall adaptation process. The results hold implications for tracking future progress on climate change adaptation. Common definitions or measures of adaptation (e.g., presence of planning documents) may need to be reassessed for applicability at the level of public land managers.

  12. Understanding Climate Adaptation on Public Lands in the Upper Midwest: Implications for Monitoring and Tracking Progress.

    PubMed

    Anhalt-Depies, Christine M; Knoot, Tricia Gorby; Rissman, Adena R; Sharp, Anthony K; Martin, Karl J

    2016-05-01

    There are limited examples of efforts to systematically monitor and track climate change adaptation progress in the context of natural resource management, despite substantial investments in adaptation initiatives. To better understand the status of adaptation within state natural resource agencies, we utilized and problematized a rational decision-making framework to characterize adaptation at the level of public land managers in the Upper Midwest. We conducted in-depth interviews with 29 biologists and foresters to provide an understanding of managers' experiences with, and perceptions of, climate change impacts, efforts towards planning for climate change, and a full range of actions implemented to address climate change. While the majority of managers identified climate change impacts affecting their region, they expressed significant uncertainty in interpreting those signals. Just under half of managers indicated planning efforts are underway, although most planning is remote from local management. Actions already implemented include both forward-looking measures and those aimed at coping with current impacts. In addition, cross-scale dynamics emerged as an important theme related to the overall adaptation process. The results hold implications for tracking future progress on climate change adaptation. Common definitions or measures of adaptation (e.g., presence of planning documents) may need to be reassessed for applicability at the level of public land managers. PMID:26888074

  13. Travel Behavior Change in Older Travelers: Understanding Critical Reactions to Incidents Encountered in Public Transport.

    PubMed

    Sundling, Catherine

    2015-11-01

    Accessibility of travel may be better understood if psychological factors underlying change in travel behavior are known. This paper examines older (65+) travelers' motives for changing their travel behavior. These changes are grounded in critical incidents earlier encountered in public-transport travel. A scientific framework is developed based on cognitive and behavioral theory. In 29 individual interviews, travelers' critical reactions (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral) to 77 critical incidents were examined. By applying critical incident technique (CIT), five reaction themes were identified that had generated travel-behavior change: firm restrictions, unpredictability, unfair treatment, complicated trips, and earlier adverse experiences. To improve older travelers' access to public transport, key findings were: (a) service must be designed so as to strengthen the feeling of being in control throughout the journey; (b) extended personal service would increase predictability in the travel chain and decrease travel complexity; consequently, PMID:26593935

  14. Public understanding of participation in regulatory decision-making: The case of bottled water quality standards in India.

    PubMed

    Bhaduri, Saradindu; Sharma, Aviram

    2014-05-01

    "Science-based" standards are an integral part of modern regulatory systems. Studies on "public understanding of science" mostly focus on high technology areas in advanced economies. In contrast, the present study analyses the public understanding of regulation in the context of standard-setting for bottled water quality in India. Using primary data, the econometric models of this paper show that public understanding of participation in regulation depends on awareness of, and trust in, existing regulatory practices in a complex, non-linear manner. In this light, the paper argues that "deficit model" and "dialogue model" frameworks cannot be seen as two mutually exclusive frameworks of analyses. PMID:23825253

  15. Improving Marking Reliability of Scientific Writing with the Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Fiona L.; Yucel, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    The Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning (DUAL) programme was developed with the dual aims of improving both the quality and consistency of feedback students receive and the students' ability to use that feedback to improve. DUAL comprises a range of processes (including marking rubrics, sample reports, moderation discussions and…

  16. Methodology to improve process understanding of surface runoff causing damages to buildings by analyzing insurance data records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernet, Daniel; Prasuhn, Volker; Weingartner, Rolf

    2015-04-01

    Several case studies in Switzerland highlight that many buildings which are damaged by floods are not located within the inundation zones of rivers, but outside the river network. In urban areas, such flooding can be caused by drainage system surcharge, low infiltration capacity of the urbanized landscape etc. However, in rural and peri-urban areas inundations are more likely caused by surface runoff formed on natural and arable land. Such flash floods have very short response time, occur rather diffusely and, thus, are very difficult to observe directly. In our approach, we use data records from private, but mostly from public insurance companies. The latter, present in 19 out of the total 26 Cantons of Switzerland, insure (almost) every building within the respective administrative zones and, in addition, hold a monopoly position. Damage claims, including flood damages, are usually recorded and, thus, data records from such public insurance companies are a very profitable data source to better understand surface runoff leading to damages. Although practitioners agree that this process is relevant, there seems to be a knowledge gap concerning spatial and temporal distributions as well as triggers and influencing factors of such damage events. Within the framework of a research project, we want to address this research gap and improve the understanding of the process chain from surface runoff formation up to possible damages to buildings. This poster introduces the methodology, which will be applied to a dataset including data from the majority of all 19 public insurance companies for buildings in Switzerland, counting over 50'000 damage claims, in order to better understand surface runoff. The goal is to infer spatial and temporal patterns as well as drivers and influencing factors of surface runoff possibly causing damages. In particular, the workflow of data acquisition, harmonization and treatment is outlined. Furthermore associated problems and challenges are

  17. Education to Action: Improving Public Perception of Bats.

    PubMed

    Hoffmaster, Eric; Vonk, Jennifer; Mies, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Public perception of bats has historically been largely negative with bats often portrayed as carriers of disease. Bats are commonly associated with vampire lore and thus elicit largely fearful reactions despite the fact that they are a vital and valuable part of the ecosystem. Bats provide a variety of essential services from pest control to plant pollination. Despite the benefits of bats to the environment and the economy, bats are suffering at the hands of humans. They are victims of turbines, human encroachment, pesticides, and, most recently, white nose syndrome. Because of their critical importance to the environment, humans should do what they can to help protect bats. We propose that humans will be more likely to do so if their perceptions and attitudes toward bats can be significantly improved. In a preliminary study we found some support for the idea that people can be educated about bats through bat oriented events and exhibits, and that this greater knowledge can inspire humans to act to save bats. PMID:26784239

  18. Education to Action: Improving Public Perception of Bats

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmaster, Eric; Vonk, Jennifer; Mies, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Public perception of bats has historically been largely negative with bats often portrayed as carriers of disease. Bats are commonly associated with vampire lore and thus elicit largely fearful reactions despite the fact that they are a vital and valuable part of the ecosystem. Bats provide a variety of essential services from pest control to plant pollination. Despite the benefits of bats to the environment and the economy, bats are suffering at the hands of humans. They are victims of turbines, human encroachment, pesticides, and, most recently, white nose syndrome. Because of their critical importance to the environment, humans should do what they can to help protect bats. We propose that humans will be more likely to do so if their perceptions and attitudes toward bats can be significantly improved. In a preliminary study we found some support for the idea that people can be educated about bats through bat oriented events and exhibits, and that this greater knowledge can inspire humans to act to save bats. PMID:26784239

  19. Communicating environmental health issues using GIS or improving response to citizens with understandable maps and data

    SciTech Connect

    Mann, J.H.

    1998-07-01

    People living near a Superfund site are understandably concerned about the effects of hazardous waste releases on the health of their families and themselves. These concerns often turn to anger if the residents believe investigators and public health officials are withholding critical details. In many communities with Superfund sites, residents are demanding detailed information on site investigations and public health assessments, even before such activities are completed. Investigators and public health officials can provide on-going public briefings using a geographic information system (GIS) as part of an interactive public presentation. A GIS is an excellent tool to answer questions about locations of multi-media site investigations and the analytical results because it combines computer mapping and graphics with a database. Rather than incorporate a multitude of slides and overheads into a detailed public presentation that too often never addresses the citizen concerns, a GIS can be used as a query system to answer citizen's questions. The GIS can be incorporated into a laptop or desktop computer for a one-on-one session with a resident or can be plugged into a computer projector to answer questions at public meetings.

  20. Celebrity Climate Contrarians: Understanding a keystone species in contemporary climate science-policy-public interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boykoff, M. T.

    2012-12-01

    Since the 1980s, a keystone species called 'climate contrarians' has emerged and thrived. Through resistance to dominant interpretations of scientific evidence, and often outlier views on optimal responses to climate threats, contrarians have raised many meta-level questions: for instance, questions involve to what extent have their varied interventions been effective in terms of sparking a new and wise Copernican revolution; or do their amplified voices instead service entrenched carbon-based industry interests while they blend debates over 'climate change' with other culture wars? While the value of their influence has generated numerous debates, there is no doubt that climate contrarians have had significant influence on climate science, policy and public communities in ways that are larger than would be expected from their relative abundance in society. As such, a number of these actors have achieved 'celebrity status' in science-policy circles, and, at times, larger public spaces. This presentation focuses on how - particularly through amplified mass media attention to their movements - various outlier interventions have demonstrated themselves to be (often deliberately) detrimental to efforts that seek to enlarge rather than constrict the spectrum of possibility for mobilizing appropriate responses to ongoing climate challenges. Also, this work analyses the growth pathways of these charismatic megafauna through interview data and participant observations completed by the author at the 2011 Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change. This provides detail on how outlier perspectives characterized as climate contrarians do work in these spaces under the guise of public intellectualism to achieve intended goals and objectives. The research undertaken and related in the presentation here seeks to better understand motivations that prop up these contrarian stances, such as possible ideological or evidentiary disagreement to the orthodox

  1. Using Public Participation to Improve MELs Energy Data Collection

    SciTech Connect

    Kloss, Margarita; Cheung, Iris; Brown, Richard; Meier, Alan

    2014-08-11

    Miscellaneous and electronic loads (MELs) comprise an increasing share of building energy consumption. Large-scale data collection is needed to inform meaningful energy reduction strategies because of the diversity of MELs and our lack of understanding about how people use them. Traditional methods of data collection, however, usually incur high labor and metering equipment expenses. As an alternative, this paper investigates the feasibility of crowdsourcing data collection to satisfy at least part of the data collection needs with acceptable accuracy. We assessed the reliability and accuracy of crowd-sourced data by recruiting 18 volunteers and testing our crowdsourcing protocol. The protocol asked volunteers to perform measurement tasks for three MELs devices of increasing complexity 1) record power meter and MELs product characteristics, 2) identify and measure all power modes available, and 3) report the measured power. Volunteers performed reasonably well for devices with functionalities with which they were familiar, but many could not correctly identify all available power modes in complex devices. Accuracy may improve when participants measure the power used by familiar devices in their home, or by providing more specific instructions, e.g. videos. Furthermore, crowdsourcing data collection from individual homeowners has the potential to generate valuable information about MELs energy use in homes when integrated with existing programs such as Home Energy Saver and Building America.

  2. Using Public Participation to Improve MELs Energy Data Collection

    SciTech Connect

    Cheung, Iris; Kloss, Margarita; Brown, Rich; Meier, Alan

    2014-03-11

    Miscellaneous Electric Loads (MELs) have proliferated in the last decade, and comprise an increasing share of building energy consumption. Because of the diversity of MELs and our lack of understanding about how people use them, large-scale data collection is needed to inform meaningful energy reduction strategies. Traditional methods of data collection, however, usually incur high labor and metering equipment expenses. As an alternative, this paper investigates the feasibility of crowdsourcing data collection to satisfy at least part of the data collection needs with acceptable accuracy. This study assessed the reliability and accuracy of crowdsourced data, by recruiting over 20 volunteers (from the 2012 Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Open House event) to test our crowdsourcing protocol. The protocol asked volunteers to perform the following tasks for three test products with increasing complexity - record power meter and product characteristics, identify all power settings available, and report the measured power. Based on our collected data and analysis, we concluded that volunteers performed reasonably well for devices with functionalities with which they are familiar, and might not produce highly accurate field measurements for complex devices. Accuracy will likely improve when participants are measuring the power used by devices in their home which they know how to operate, by providing more specific instructions including instructional videos. When integrated with existing programs such as the Home Energy Saver tool, crowdsourcing data collection from individual homeowners has the potential to generate a substantial amount of information about MELs energy use in homes.

  3. Emotion in obesity discourse: understanding public attitudes towards regulations for obesity prevention.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Lucy C; Warin, Megan J; Moore, Vivienne M; Street, Jackie M

    2016-05-01

    Intense concern about obesity in the public imagination and in political, academic and media discourses has catalysed advocacy efforts to implement regulatory measures to reduce the occurrence of obesity in Australia and elsewhere. This article explores public attitudes towards the possible implementation of regulations to address obesity by analysing emotions within popular discourses. Drawing on reader comments attached to obesity-relevant news articles published on Australian news and current affairs websites, we examine how popular anxieties about the 'obesity crisis' and vitriol directed at obese individuals circulate alongside understandings of the appropriate role of government to legitimise regulatory reform to address obesity. Employing Ahmed's theorisation of 'affective economies' and broader literature on emotional cultures, we argue that obesity regulations achieve popular support within affective economies oriented to neoliberal and individualist constructions of obesity. These economies preclude constructions of obesity as a structural problem in popular discourse; instead positioning anti-obesity regulations as a government-endorsed vehicle for discrimination directed at obese people. Findings implicate a new set of ethical challenges for those championing regulatory reform for obesity prevention. PMID:26564262

  4. LEGAL BASES FOR DISCLOSING CONFIDENTIAL PATIENT INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN HEALTH PROTECTION AND HEALTH IMPROVEMENT

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Mark J.

    2015-01-01

    The disclosure of confidential patient data without an individual's explicit consent should be for purposes that persons have reason to both expect and accept. We do not currently have the required level of clarity or consistency in understanding regarding the disclosure of confidential patient information for public health purposes to support effective public dialogue. The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 establish a legal basis in England and Wales for data to be disclosed for public health purposes without patient consent. Under the Regulations, there is more than one potential route towards lawful processing: Data may be processed for public health purposes under both Regulations 3 and 5. The alternatives have different safeguards and conditions attached, and their respective applicability to processing for purposes of public health improvement is currently unclear and subject to review. Beyond the need for clarity regarding the safeguards applicable to processing for particular public health purposes, there are reasons to prefer recognition that Regulation 5 is the most appropriate legal basis for disclosure when the purpose is public health improvement rather than public health protection. Where health improvement, rather than protection, is the aim, there is no justification for discarding the additional safeguards associated with processing under Regulation 5. PMID:25995294

  5. LEGAL BASES FOR DISCLOSING CONFIDENTIAL PATIENT INFORMATION FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN HEALTH PROTECTION AND HEALTH IMPROVEMENT.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Mark J

    2015-01-01

    The disclosure of confidential patient data without an individual's explicit consent should be for purposes that persons have reason to both expect and accept. We do not currently have the required level of clarity or consistency in understanding regarding the disclosure of confidential patient information for public health purposes to support effective public dialogue. The Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002 establish a legal basis in England and Wales for data to be disclosed for public health purposes without patient consent. Under the Regulations, there is more than one potential route towards lawful processing: Data may be processed for public health purposes under both Regulations 3 and 5. The alternatives have different safeguards and conditions attached, and their respective applicability to processing for purposes of public health improvement is currently unclear and subject to review. Beyond the need for clarity regarding the safeguards applicable to processing for particular public health purposes, there are reasons to prefer recognition that Regulation 5 is the most appropriate legal basis for disclosure when the purpose is public health improvement rather than public health protection. Where health improvement, rather than protection, is the aim, there is no justification for discarding the additional safeguards associated with processing under Regulation 5. PMID:25995294

  6. Are Public Health Organizations Tweeting to the Choir? Understanding Local Health Department Twitter Followership

    PubMed Central

    Choucair, Bechara; Maier, Ryan C; Jolani, Nina; Bernhardt, Jay M

    2014-01-01

    potential to reach a wide and diverse audience. Understanding audience characteristics can help public health organizations use this new tool more effectively by tailoring tweet content and dissemination strategies for their audience. PMID:24571914

  7. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies. A Group Study of Four Topics in the Field of Extension Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farm Foundation, Chicago, IL.

    The publication contains thirteen reports from the Twentieth National Agricultural Policy Conference held September 22-25, 1970, at Pokagon State Park, Angola, Indiana. The conference was designed to assist extension workers by broadening their perspective, understanding, and handling of the methodology of public affairs education. Four topics in…

  8. Improving Public School Teachers in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hussain, Rana; Ali, Sajid

    2010-01-01

    This article tries to respond to a basic question: "can in-service teachers of public sectors in Pakistan be reformed?" The authors' response to this question is: "yes, public teachers can be reformed, if contextual possibilities are exploited efficiently". Although a straightforward and simplistic response to the question, this was felt necessary…

  9. Influencing Public Policy to Improve the Lives of Older Americans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinrichsen, Gregory A.; Kietzman, Kathryn G.; Alkema, Gretchen E.; Bragg, Elizabeth J.; Hensel, Brian K.; Miles, Toni P.; Segev, Dorry L.; Zerzan, Judy

    2010-01-01

    Aging of the U.S. population raises numerous public policy issues about which gerontological researchers, policy experts, and practitioners have much to contribute. However, the means by which aging-related public policy is influenced are not always apparent. Drawing on experience working in the U.S. Senate and other settings as Health and Aging…

  10. Improving the Odds: Increasing the Effectiveness of Publicly Funded Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnow, Burt S., Ed.; King, Christopher T., Ed.

    This book, which is intended for policymakers, administrators, and researchers, contains 13 research papers and reviews of the literature on increasing the effectiveness of publicly funded training. The following papers are included: "Publicly Funded Training in a Changing Labor Market" (Burt S. Barnow, Christopher T. King); "The Economic,…

  11. Improving Publication: Advice for Busy Higher Education Academics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibbs, Anita

    2016-01-01

    A major challenge for higher education academics is to research and publish when faced with substantial teaching responsibilities, higher student numbers, and higher output expectations. The focus of this piece is to encourage publication more generally by educators, and to build publication capacity, which academic developers can facilitate. The…

  12. From dose rate to websites: making measurements accessible, understandable and helpful to the lay public.

    PubMed

    Zähringer, M; Luff, R; Schiesewitz, M; Burbeck, S; Högg, R

    2014-08-01

    The key role of public information in emergency preparedness has more recently been corroborated by the experience of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident at the Fukushima NPP. Information should meet quality criteria such as openness, accessibility and authenticity. Existing information portals of radiation monitoring networks were frequently used even in Europe, although there was no imminent radiation risk. BfS responded by increasing the polling frequency, publishing current data not validated, refurbishing the website of the BfS 'odlinfo.bfs.de' and adding explanatory text. Public feedback served as a valuable input for improving the site's design. Additional services were implemented for developers of smart phone apps. Websites similar to 'ODLInfo' are available both on European and international levels. NGOs and grass root projects established platforms for uploading and visualising private dose rate measurements in Japan after 11 March 2011. The BfS site is compared with other platforms. Government information has to compete with non-official sources. Options on information strategies are discussed. PMID:24993007

  13. Travel Behavior Change in Older Travelers: Understanding Critical Reactions to Incidents Encountered in Public Transport

    PubMed Central

    Sundling, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Accessibility of travel may be better understood if psychological factors underlying change in travel behavior are known. This paper examines older (65+) travelers’ motives for changing their travel behavior. These changes are grounded in critical incidents earlier encountered in public-transport travel. A scientific framework is developed based on cognitive and behavioral theory. In 29 individual interviews, travelers’ critical reactions (i.e., cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioral) to 77 critical incidents were examined. By applying critical incident technique (CIT), five reaction themes were identified that had generated travel-behavior change: firm restrictions, unpredictability, unfair treatment, complicated trips, and earlier adverse experiences. To improve older travelers’ access to public transport, key findings were: (a) service must be designed so as to strengthen the feeling of being in control throughout the journey; (b) extended personal service would increase predictability in the travel chain and decrease travel complexity; consequently, (c) when designing new services and making effective accessibility interventions, policy makers should consider and utilize underlying psychological factors that could direct traveler behavior. PMID:26593935

  14. Playing with Science: Using Interactive Games to Improve Public Engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unger, M.; Besser, N.

    2015-12-01

    The challenge of communicating science in an accurate, concise, and engaging way has never been more important. While much focus has been put on how scientific information gets delivered, perhaps less value has been put on what the public can communicate back to science. Imparting scientific knowledge to the public in one direction, however successfully done, could be called "transmission." It's not until the public responds that you have "communication," or maybe a better word would be "conversation." The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has been working on a project for use in its educational visitor center that not only attempts to engage the public with concise, accurate scientific information, but also to help the public respond, in order to create a communicative circuit. Using an interactive game platform, visitors can immerse themselves in a voyage of scientific discovery by choosing a character and building a story line based on multiple selections, a version of a "build your own adventure" experience. We are exploring ways to capture data from these interactions in order to inform additional program development based on areas of greatest interest to the public. The game could thus be used to update existing exhibits so they better reflect those areas of interest, making them more relevant and engaging to visitors, and expanding opportunities for dialogue between science centers and members of the public.

  15. Improving the use of competencies in public health education.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Christina Juris; Walston, Stephen L

    2015-03-01

    Competency-based education is the present and future of public health education. As programs have adopted competencies, many have struggled and continue to struggle with actual implementation and curricular redesign. We experienced these problems at The University of Oklahoma College of Public Health; thus, we propose an adaptable and replicable process to better implement competencies and evaluate student mastery of them throughout any public health program. We specifically recommend adopting mission-based competencies followed by a longitudinal evaluation plan like the model provided. PMID:25706022

  16. Using Digital Multimedia to Improve Parents’ and Children’s Understanding of Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Tait, Alan R.; Voepel-Lewis, Terri; Levine, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Objective Data show that many research subjects have difficulty understanding study information using traditional paper consent documents. This study, therefore, was designed to evaluate the effect of an interactive multimedia program on improving parents’ and children’s understanding of clinical trial concepts and participation. Methods Parents (n = 148) and children (n = 135) were each randomized to receive information regarding clinical trials using either a traditional paper format (TF) or an interactive iPad program (IP) with in-line exercises. Participants’ understanding of the information was assessed using semi-structured interviews prior to (pre-test) and after (post-test) receiving the information. Participants also completed a short survey to assess their perceptions of the information delivery and satisfaction with the process. Results Regardless of the mode of information delivery, all participants demonstrated improved pre- to post-test understanding. While there were no statistical differences in parents’ post-test understanding between the TF and IP groups, children in the IP group had significantly greater post-test understanding compared with children in the TF group (11.65(4.1) vs 8.85(4.1) [2.8, 1.4,4.2] 0–18 scale where 18 = complete understanding). Furthermore, the IP was found to be significantly “easier to follow” and “more effective” in presenting information compared with the TF. Conclusions Results demonstrated the importance of providing information regarding clinical trial concepts to parents and children. Importantly, the ability of interactive multimedia to improve understanding of clinical trial concepts and satisfaction with information delivery, particularly among children, supports this approach as a novel and effective vehicle for enhancing the informed consent process. PMID:25829422

  17. Understanding Public Perceptions of the HPV Vaccination Based on Online Comments to Canadian News Articles

    PubMed Central

    Feinberg, Yael; Pereira, Jennifer A.; Quach, Susan; Kwong, Jeffrey C.; Crowcroft, Natasha S.; Wilson, Sarah E.; Guay, Maryse; Lei, Yang; Deeks, Shelley L.

    2015-01-01

    Background Given the variation in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage across Canada, and debate regarding delivery of HPV vaccines in Catholic schools, we studied online comments on Canadian news websites to understand public perceptions of HPV and HPV vaccine. Methods We searched English- and French-language Canadian news websites for 2012 articles that contained the terms “HPV” or “human papillomavirus.” Articles about HPV vaccinations that contained at least one comment were included. Two researchers independently coded comments, analyzing them for emerging themes. Results We identified 3073 comments from 1198 individuals in response to 71 news articles; 630 (52.6%) individuals expressed positive sentiments about HPV vaccination (2.5 comments/individual), 404 (33.7%) were negative (3.0 comments/individual), 34 (2.8%) were mixed (1.5 comments/individual) and 130 (10.8%) were neutral (1.6 comments/individual). Vaccine-supportive commenters believed the vaccine is safe and effective. Common themes in negative comments included concerns regarding HPV vaccine safety and efficacy, distrust of pharmaceutical companies and government, and belief that school-age children are too young for HPV vaccine. Many comments focused on whether the Catholic Church has the right to inform health policy for students, and discussion often evolved into debates regarding HPV and sexual behaviour. We noted that many individuals doubted the credibility of vaccine safety information. Conclusion The majority of commenters do not appear to be against HPV vaccination, but public health messaging that focuses on both the vaccine’s safety profile, and its use as a means to prevent cancer rather than sexually transmitted HPV infection may facilitate its acceptance. PMID:26053866

  18. Improving the Conceptual Understanding in Kinematics Subject Matter with Hypertext Media Learning and Formal Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manurung, Sondang R.; Mihardi, Satria

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of hypertext media based kinematic learning and formal thinking ability to improve the conceptual understanding of physic prospective students. The research design used is the one-group pretest-posttest experimental design is carried out in the research by taking 36 students on from…

  19. A Hands-On Exercise Improves Understanding of the Standard Error of the Mean

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, Robert S.

    2006-01-01

    One of the most difficult concepts for statistics students is the standard error of the mean. To improve understanding of this concept, 1 group of students used a hands-on procedure to sample from small populations representing either a true or false null hypothesis. The distribution of 120 sample means (n = 3) from each population had standard…

  20. Improving the Quality and Scientific Understanding of Trophic Magnification Factors (TMFs)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This short 1000 word report presents a series of research needs for improving the measurement and understanding of trophic magnification factors (TMFs). TMFs are useful measures of trophic magnification and represent the diet-weighted average biomagnification factor (BMF) of che...

  1. A Review of Some Promising Approaches To Understanding and Improving Thinking Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newsome, George L., III

    2000-01-01

    Examines the thinking and reasoning skills today's students need, reviewing promising approaches to understanding and improving these skills offered by cognitive psychologists and philosophers, evaluating the contributions of each approach, and suggesting how explanations offered by cognitive psychologists and criteria for evaluating students'…

  2. Scaffolded Instruction Improves Student Understanding of the Scientific Method & Experimental Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Costa, Allison R.; Schlueter, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Implementation of a guided-inquiry lab in introductory biology classes, along with scaffolded instruction, improved students' understanding of the scientific method, their ability to design an experiment, and their identification of experimental variables. Pre- and postassessments from experimental versus control sections over three semesters…

  3. Improving Food Safety by Understanding the Evolution of Egg-contaminating Salmonella Enteritidis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improving Food Safety by Understanding the Evolution of Egg-contaminating Salmonella Enteritidis Jean Guard, Veterinary Medical Officer U. S. Department of Agriculture, Athens, GA USA (jean.guard@ars.usda.gov) The curious case of egg contamination by Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis S. ...

  4. Inventory of Federal Programs Involving Educational Activities Concerned with Improving International Understanding and Cooperation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Janice M.; Hohman, David E.

    This inventory contains the results of a survey of all Federal programs for fiscal years 1966, 1967, and 1968 that included educational activities aimed at improving international understanding and cooperation. A total of 159 such programs were reported by 31 responding Federal agencies. This inventory contains the following information for each…

  5. Social and Economic Benefits of Improved Adult Literacy: Towards a Better Understanding: Support Document

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Robyn; Horne, Jackie

    2005-01-01

    This document was produced by the authors based on their research for the report, "Social and Economic Benefits of Improved Adult Literacy: Towards a Better Understanding," and is an added resource for further information. The original document is a feasibility study which explores the frameworks and methodologies available for determining and…

  6. Book review: Darwinian agriculture: How understanding evolution can improve agriculture by R. Ford Dennison

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural research continually seeks to increase productivity while protecting soil, water and genetic resources. The book Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture, by R. Ford Dennison, delivers a thought-provoking view of how principles of ecology and evolution ...

  7. Understanding the Evolving Roles of Improvement-Oriented High School Teachers in Gilgit-Baltistan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Takbir

    2011-01-01

    In this paper the author presents a framework for understanding how improvement-oriented high school teachers' accounts of change experiences portray their evolving roles as change agents in school reform. The data on which this paper is based come from a one-year long in-depth study (doctoral thesis research project) in which the author set out…

  8. Water Literacy in College Freshmen: Could a Cognitive Imagery Strategy Improve Understanding?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ewing, Margaret S.; Mills, Terence J.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a study designed to determine whether levels of water literacy differed between (n=83) college freshman nonscience majors having one versus two years of high school science coursework, visual imagery exercises could improve understanding of the water cycle, and patterns exist in the concept of the water cycle. (Contains 23 references.)…

  9. 'It'll never happen to me': understanding public awareness of local flood risk.

    PubMed

    Burningham, Kate; Fielding, Jane; Thrush, Diana

    2008-06-01

    Following the severe flood events of 1998 and 2000, the United Kingdom's Environment Agency prioritised the need to increase public flood risk awareness. Drawing on data collected during research undertaken for the Environment Agency, this paper contributes to understanding of one aspect of flood awareness: people's recognition that their property is in an area that is potentially at risk of flooding. Quantitative analyses indicate that class is the most influential factor in predicting flood risk awareness, followed by flood experience and length of time in residence. There are also significant area differences. Our qualitative work explores how those defined as 'at risk' account for their lack of awareness or concern about their risk status. We conclude that the problem is often not simply a lack of awareness, but rather, assessments of local risk based on experience that underestimate the impact of rare or extreme events. We underline the importance of engaging with local perspectives on risk and making local people part of 'awareness-raising' processes. PMID:18380852

  10. Trusted Sources: The Role Scientific Societies Can Play in Improving Public Opinions on Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McEntee, C.; Cairns, A.; Buhrman, J.

    2012-12-01

    Public acceptance of the scientific consensus regarding climate change has eroded and misinformation designed to confuse the public is rapidly proliferating. Those issues, combined with an increase of politically motivated attacks on climate scientists and their research, have led to a place where ideology can trump scientific consensus as the foundation for developing policy solutions. The scientific community has been, thus far, unprepared to respond effectively to these developments. However, as a scientific society whose members engage in climate science research, and one whose organizational mission and vision are centered on the concepts of science for the benefit of humanity and ensuring a sustainable future, the American Geophysical Union can, and should, play an important role in reversing this trend. To that end, in 2011, AGU convened a Leadership Summit on Climate Science Communication, in which presidents, executive directors, and senior public policy staff from 17 scientific organizations engaged with experts in the social sciences regarding effective communication of climate science and with practitioners from agriculture, energy, and the military. The discussions focused on three key issues: the environment of climate science communication; public understanding of climate change; and the perspectives of consumers of climate science-based information who work with specific audiences. Participants diagnosed previous challenges and failings, enumerated the key constituencies that need to be effectively engaged, and identified the critical role played by cultural cognition—the influence of group values, particularly around equality and authority, individualism, and community; and the perceptions of risk. Since that meeting, AGU has consistently worked to identify and explore ways that it, and its members, and improve the effectiveness of their communication with the public about climate change. This presentation will focus on the insights AGU has

  11. Bridging Science and Public Understanding of Water-Energy Nexus: Opportunities for broader impact connections with InTeGrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orr, C. H.; Manduca, C. A.; Bruckner, M.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding trade-offs and interactions between water and energy is crucial in understanding many issues of sustainability faced by society in our changing environment. Increasing capcity through public literacy and preparing the future workforce to address these challenges are key goals of the NSF STEP Center InTeGrate. We connect teaching about the Earth to societal issues for undergraduates across the curriculum. Understanding the interaction between engineering, sustainability and the geosciences and the role engineering plays in building a sustainable future, in areas such resource and energy use is a major foci of our work. Connecting this knowledge to societal issues that undergraduates can relate to, and improving interdisciplinary problem-solving are needed in addressing the Grand Challenges facing society. The project features interdisciplinary materials that engage students in learning about the Earth by focusing on pressing topics and using evidence-based teaching practice. These materials are designed for both science and non-science majors at the undergraduate level and have been rigorously reviewed and tested in the classroom. Topics include Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources, Interactions between Water, Earth's Surface and Human Activity, and Human's Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources. Upcoming, new topics include modules on Energy Environment and Our Future, Global Energy and Atmosphere, Ecosystem Services Approach to Water Resources and course-length material on Grand Challenges of Interdisciplinary Water Sustainability and Gateway to Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability. We invite you to partner with the InTeGrate project as you think about broader impacts related to your work. Examples include creating a case study detailing your project and how faculty can use it in their classroom, contributing example activities that utilize your datasets, and more. Check out the site at: serc.carleton.edu/integrate/

  12. Education Improves Public Health and Promotes Health Equity

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Robert A.; Truman, Benedict I.

    2015-01-01

    This article describes a framework and empirical evidence to support the argument that educational programs and policies are crucial public health interventions. Concepts of education and health are developed and linked, and we review a wide range of empirical studies to clarify pathways of linkage and explore implications. Basic educational expertise and skills, including fundamental knowledge, reasoning ability, emotional self-regulation, and interactional abilities, are critical components of health. Moreover, education is a fundamental social determinant of health – an upstream cause of health. Programs that close gaps in educational outcomes between low-income or racial and ethnic minority populations and higher-income or majority populations are needed to promote health equity. Public health policy makers, health practitioners and educators, and departments of health and education can collaborate to implement educational programs and policies for which systematic evidence indicates clear public health benefits. PMID:25995305

  13. Engaging the Public to Identify Opportunities to Improve Critical Care: A Qualitative Analysis of an Open Community Forum

    PubMed Central

    Potestio, Melissa L.; Boyd, Jamie M.; Bagshaw, Sean M.; Heyland, Daren; Oxland, Peter; Doig, Christopher J.; Zygun, Dave; Stelfox, Henry T.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To engage the public to understand how to improve the care of critically ill patients. Design A qualitative content analysis of an open community forum (Café Scientifique). Setting Public venue in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Participants Members of the general public including patients, families of patients, health care providers, and members of the community at large. Methods A panel of researchers, decision-makers, and a family member led a Café Scientifique, an informal dialogue between the populace and experts, over three-hours to engage the public to understand how to improve the care of critically ill patients. Conventional qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data. The inductive analysis occurred in three phases: coding, categorizing, and developing themes. Results Thirty-eight members of the public (former ICU patients, family members of patients, providers, community members) attended. Participants focused the discussion and provided concrete suggestions for improvement around communication (family as surrogate voice, timing of conversations, decision tools) and provider well-being and engagement, as opposed to medical interventions in critical care. Conclusions Café participants believe patient and family centered care is important to ensure high-quality care in the ICU. A Café Scientifique is a valuable forum to engage the public to contribute to priority setting areas for research in critical care, as well as a platform to share lived experience. Research stakeholders including health care organizations, governments, and funding organizations should provide more opportunities for the public to engage in meaningful conversations about how to best improve healthcare. PMID:26580406

  14. Does Charter School Competition Improve Traditional Public Schools? Civic Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teske, Paul; Schneider, Mark; Buckley, Jack; Clark, Sara

    This report presents the findings of a study on how, by competing for students, charter schools affect the traditional public-school system. The study focused on Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts; Jersey City and Trenton, New Jersey; and the District of Columbia. Data for the study were collected from various newspapers and databases;…

  15. Public Safety Officers' Benefits Improvements Act of 2012

    THOMAS, 112th Congress

    Rep. Fitzpatrick, Michael G. [R-PA-8

    2012-02-14

    07/09/2012 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 441. (All Actions) Notes: For further action, see H.R.4310, which became Public Law 112-239 on 1/2/2013. Tracker: This bill has the status Passed HouseHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  16. Improving the Image of Local Studies Collections in Public Libraries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Leith

    2006-01-01

    Public and employer perceptions of staff abilities and qualifications deployed in local studies collections may affect their status and influence and not least the funding the local studies facility may receive. The need to promote the service is also prompted by the growing use of local studies collections and the increasing importance of such…

  17. Improving Human Capital Practices in Indianapolis Public Schools. Executive Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New Teacher Project, 2009

    2009-01-01

    In the winter and spring of 2008-2009, The New Teacher Project (TNTP) partnered with the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and the Indianapolis Education Association (IEA), at the request of The Mind Trust to analyze district human capital policies and practices and make recommendations to increase the concentration of high-quality teachers in IPS…

  18. Understanding what the public know and value about geoheritage sites in order to advance Earth science literacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vye, E. C.; Rose, W. I.

    2013-12-01

    With its impressive geology and rich cultural history, Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is ideally suited for Earth science education and geotourism initiatives, such as a Geopark. Geologic events that have shaped this region can be interpreted in such a way as to engage learners, not only through an intellectual connection to Earth science subject matter, but also through an emotional connection via culture, history, and sense of place. The notion that landscape is special because it is the sum total of all the interacting earth systems, including people as part of the biosphere, can be used to drive these initiatives as they affect one personally. It is speculated that most people in the Keweenaw have a basic understanding of the local cultural history and some understanding of geology. Advanced awareness and understanding of the geological significance of the Keweenaw stands to greatly enrich our community's sense of place and desire to advance further education and geotourism initiatives. It is anticipated that these initiatives will ultimately lead to increased Earth science literacy and understanding and recognition of one's own environs. This will aid in the further development of publications, teaching media, trails info, on-site museums, etc. Although the community has embraced geo-outreach thus far, it is germane to know what people value, what they know of the geology and how they connect to place. Results from semi-structured interviews administered with the aim and focus of determining what places are special to people, why they are special and how they formed will be presented in this paper. The results from this research will be used to direct the creation and continued development of geologic interpretation of our region. It is hoped that this understanding will reveal common misconceptions that can be used to improve interpretive material that not only addresses misconceptions but also connects the immediate past with the deep geologic past of the

  19. Implementing Continuous Improvement Management (CIM) in the Public Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borgers, William E.; Thompson, Tommy A.

    This book traces the restructuring of a Texas school district that moved from management by coercion to continuous improvement for quality. In 1990, the Dickinson Independent School District (Texas) began implementation of Continuous Improvement Management (CIM), based on the teachings of W. Edwards Deming, William Glasser, and J. M. Juran.…

  20. Understanding public responses to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents--driving factors, emerging themes and research gaps.

    PubMed

    Krieger, Kristian; Amlôt, Richard; Rogers, M Brooke

    2014-11-01

    This paper discusses the management of public responses to incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials (CBRN). Given the extraordinary technical and operational challenges of a response to a CBRN release including, but not limited to, hazard detection and identification, casualty decontamination and multi-agency co-ordination, it is not surprising that public psychological and behavioural responses to such incidents have received limited attention by scholars and practitioners alike. As a result, a lack of understanding about the role of the public in effective emergency response constitutes a major gap in research and practice. This limitation must be addressed as a CBRN release has the potential to have wide-reaching psychological and behavioural impacts which, in turn, impact upon public morbidity and mortality rates. This paper addresses a number of key issues: why public responses matter; how responses have been conceptualised by practitioners; what factors have been identified as influencing public responses to a CBRN release and similar extreme events, and what further analysis is needed in order to generate a better understanding of public responses to inform the management of public responses to a CBRN release. PMID:24856235

  1. Tablets in trauma: using mobile computing platforms to improve patient understanding and experience.

    PubMed

    Furness, Nicholas D; Bradford, Oliver J; Paterson, Maurice P

    2013-03-01

    Tablets are becoming commonplace in the health care setting. Patients often request to view their radiographs after sustaining trauma. This can be challenging, especially if patients are immobile. The authors performed a prospective, questionnaire-based study to assess inpatient desire to view radiographs on tablets and whether viewing images affected patient-rated outcomes of understanding and satisfaction. Enabling trauma patients to view their images on a tablet is a worthwhile practice because it improves patient involvement in decision making, satisfaction, perceived understanding, and overall experience. PMID:23464939

  2. What maintains the waters flowing in our rivers? - Rethinking hydrogeology to improve public policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasconcelos, Vitor Vieira

    2016-01-01

    This article discusses how new contributions from hydrogeological science in the 20th and 21st centuries have allowed for a better understanding of the processes that affect the maintenance of river flows. Moreover, the way in which this knowledge has been conveyed beyond academia and has been gradually incorporated into public policy for natural resource management is also discussed. This article explains the development of several approaches used to understand the relationships among the management of aquifers, vegetation and river flows, including water balance, aquifer recharge, the piston effect, seasonal effects, and safe and sustainable yields. Additionally, the current challenges regarding the modeling of hydrological processes that integrate groundwater and surface waters are discussed. Examples of studies applied in Brazil that demonstrate these processes and stimulate thought regarding water management strategies are presented. In light of the case studies, it is possible to propose different strategies, each adapted for specific hydrogeological context to maximize aquifer recharge or base flow maintenance. Based on these strategies, the role of infiltration ponds and other artificial recharge techniques is re-evaluated in the context of the mitigation of environmental impacts on the maintenance of river flows. Proposals for the improvement of public policies regarding the payment of related environmental services to stimulate investment in aquifer recharge and the maintenance of base flow, for which the goal is to attain win-win-win situations for the environment, farmers and water users, while preventing land speculation, are discussed. Lastly, a conceptual model for the dissemination of hydrogeological knowledge in public policies is provided, and its challenges and possibilities are discussed.

  3. The Effectiveness of Mexico's Faculty Improvement Program (Promep) in Public State Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guzmán-Acuña, Teresa de Jesús; Martínez-Arcos, Cruz Alberto

    2015-01-01

    This article evaluates the effectiveness of Promep, a faculty improvement program implemented by Mexico's Federal Department of Public Education (SEP) since 1996 to improve the academic qualifications, performance, and organization of faculty at the public higher education institutions. This evaluation examines the degree to which Promep has…

  4. Public Relations in Catholic Secondary Schools: Nearly 40 Years of Continuous Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, John T.

    2004-01-01

    This article traces the phenomenal improvement in public relations efforts over the past 40 years made by Catholic secondary schools. The improvements were brought about by crises, a theological paradigm shift, professional lay involvement, a growing awareness and appreciation of public relations, competition, and increasing financial need. The…

  5. Sharing Research Data to Improve Public Health: A Funder Perspective.

    PubMed

    Carr, David; Littler, Katherine

    2015-07-01

    Through the Public Health Research Data Forum, global health research funders are working together to increase the availability of public health and epidemiology research data in ways that are equitable, ethical, and efficient. The Wellcome Trust funded the research reported in this special edition as a first step toward building an evidence base on the perspectives of research stakeholders in low- and middle-income countries on the benefits and challenges of sharing health research data. We hope this work will make a key contribution to discussions aimed at creating policy frameworks for data access at local, national, and regional levels that are sensitive to different contexts and ensure the benefits to research and health are realized in an equitable manner. PMID:26297752

  6. Disasters, the environment, and public health: improving our response.

    PubMed Central

    Logue, J N

    1996-01-01

    Natural and human-made disasters continue to adversely affect all areas of the world in both predictable and unpredictable ways. To highlight the importance of natural disasters, the United Nations declared the 1990s the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. This paper considers the public health response to disasters. It highlights environmental health issues and approaches since disasters are extreme environmental events, and it reviews developments relating to capacity building, training, and collaboration. Although progress is noted, a comprehensive federal or academic approach is not evident in the United States and the proper linkage to environmental health is lacking. With the International Decade now half over, public health professionals and others involved with disaster management should reflect on progress made to date and goals for the future. PMID:8806369

  7. Health education needed to improve public STD awareness in Somalia.

    PubMed

    Fox, E; Burans, J P; Omar, M A; Farah, A H; Guled, A; Yusef, S; Woody, J N

    1988-01-01

    To study public sexually transmitted disease (STD) awareness among sexually active individuals in Mogadishu, Somalia the authors interviewed 183 patients who presented at an STD clinic and 29 controls. Only 2 of 3 patients with proven STD knew that diseases can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, and only 1 of 3 non-STD controls had this knowledge. Schools were listed as the source for their STD information by only 15%, and health providers by only 5% of the STD-aware individuals. Moreover, STD awareness did not seem to impact on people's life style, since more STD-aware persons were sexually promiscuous than their unaware counterparts. The authors conclude that STD awareness is very low among the general public in Somalia. Urgent health education campaigns are necessary to slow the spread of STDs. The epidemic of HIV, the latest addendum on the list on modern STDs, could then perhaps be halted, since educating the public on how to avoid exposure to the AIDS virus presently remains the only successful strategy against this killer disease. PMID:2979944

  8. "What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health".

    PubMed

    West, J Jason; Cohen, Aaron; Dentener, Frank; Brunekreef, Bert; Zhu, Tong; Armstrong, Ben; Bell, Michelle L; Brauer, Michael; Carmichael, Gregory; Costa, Dan L; Dockery, Douglas W; Kleeman, Michael; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Künzli, Nino; Liousse, Catherine; Lung, Shih-Chun Candice; Martin, Randall V; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pope, C Arden; Roberts, James M; Russell, Armistead G; Wiedinmyer, Christine

    2016-05-17

    Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year around the world, and air quality problems are growing in many developing nations. While past policy efforts have succeeded in reducing particulate matter and trace gases in North America and Europe, adverse health effects are found at even these lower levels of air pollution. Future policy actions will benefit from improved understanding of the interactions and health effects of different chemical species and source categories. Achieving this new understanding requires air pollution scientists and engineers to work increasingly closely with health scientists. In particular, research is needed to better understand the chemical and physical properties of complex air pollutant mixtures, and to use new observations provided by satellites, advanced in situ measurement techniques, and distributed micro monitoring networks, coupled with models, to better characterize air pollution exposure for epidemiological and toxicological research, and to better quantify the effects of specific source sectors and mitigation strategies. PMID:27010639

  9. Evaluating the effectiveness of public meetings and workshops: A new approach for improving DOE public involvement

    SciTech Connect

    Young, C.; Williams, G.; Goldberg, M.

    1993-07-01

    Although public participation in the environmental cleanup process has been ongoing in the US Department of Energy (DOE) for some time, little if any evaluation of these efforts to include the public has taken place. This report contains the results of an evaluation of six regional workshops and meetings. These meetings and workshops focused on the implementation plan for the programmatic environmental impact statement on DOE`s environmental cleanup efforts. The formats of the workshops and meetings differed from typical public meetings by offering more opportunity for interaction between agency personnel and the public, using impartial facilitators, and including more elaborate promotional strategies than notification in the Federal Register. Questionnaires and focus groups were used to solicit participants` perspectives on the meetings.

  10. Big Data and the Atmospheric Science Data Center: Improving Access and Understanding of Data Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathews, T. J.; Little, M. M.; Huffer, E.

    2013-12-01

    Working from an Enterprise Architecture, the ASDC has implemented a suite of new tools to provide improved access and understanding of data products related to the Earth's radiation budget, clouds, aerosols and tropospheric chemistry. This poster describes the overall architecture and the capabilities that have been implemented within the past twelve months. Further insight is offered into the issues and constraints of those tools, as well as lessons learned in their implementation.

  11. Public Trauma after the Sewol Ferry Disaster: The Role of Social Media in Understanding the Public Mood.

    PubMed

    Woo, Hyekyung; Cho, Youngtae; Shim, Eunyoung; Lee, Kihwang; Song, Gilyoung

    2015-09-01

    The Sewol ferry disaster severely shocked Korean society. The objective of this study was to explore how the public mood in Korea changed following the Sewol disaster using Twitter data. Data were collected from daily Twitter posts from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2013 and from 1 March 2014 to 30 June 2014 using natural language-processing and text-mining technologies. We investigated the emotional utterances in reaction to the disaster by analyzing the appearance of keywords, the human-made disaster-related keywords and suicide-related keywords. This disaster elicited immediate emotional reactions from the public, including anger directed at various social and political events occurring in the aftermath of the disaster. We also found that although the frequency of Twitter keywords fluctuated greatly during the month after the Sewol disaster, keywords associated with suicide were common in the general population. Policy makers should recognize that both those directly affected and the general public still suffers from the effects of this traumatic event and its aftermath. The mood changes experienced by the general population should be monitored after a disaster, and social media data can be useful for this purpose. PMID:26404349

  12. Public Trauma after the Sewol Ferry Disaster: The Role of Social Media in Understanding the Public Mood

    PubMed Central

    Woo, Hyekyung; Cho, Youngtae; Shim, Eunyoung; Lee, Kihwang; Song, Gilyoung

    2015-01-01

    The Sewol ferry disaster severely shocked Korean society. The objective of this study was to explore how the public mood in Korea changed following the Sewol disaster using Twitter data. Data were collected from daily Twitter posts from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2013 and from 1 March 2014 to 30 June 2014 using natural language-processing and text-mining technologies. We investigated the emotional utterances in reaction to the disaster by analyzing the appearance of keywords, the human-made disaster-related keywords and suicide-related keywords. This disaster elicited immediate emotional reactions from the public, including anger directed at various social and political events occurring in the aftermath of the disaster. We also found that although the frequency of Twitter keywords fluctuated greatly during the month after the Sewol disaster, keywords associated with suicide were common in the general population. Policy makers should recognize that both those directly affected and the general public still suffers from the effects of this traumatic event and its aftermath. The mood changes experienced by the general population should be monitored after a disaster, and social media data can be useful for this purpose. PMID:26404349

  13. What Do We Need To Do To Improve Our Understanding of How Volcanoes Affect Stratospheric Ozone?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, S.

    2015-12-01

    This talk will briefly survey what is known and what is not known about stratospheric ozone depletion and volcanic events, and will describe some ways to improve our understanding. Observations of total ozone following the eruption of El Chichon in the 1980s provided some of the earliest and clearest indications of the importance of volcanic aerosol on ozone depletion. In subsequent decades, improved laboratory information, modeling studies, and observations showed how heterogeneous chemical processing on and in volcanic aerosols could enhance chlorine-catalyzed ozone loss in the lower stratosphere, while decreasing nitrogen-catalyzed ozone loss in the upper stratosphere. Recent satellite observations shed important light on this chemistry but major gaps in understanding remain, including for example a lack of knowledge of whether hydrochloric acid can be efficiently taken up in stratospheric particles under cold conditions, interactions and competition between volcanic aerosols and ice clouds, and the effects of volcanic aerosols on chemistry in the tropopause region. Effects of volcanic aerosols on Arctic and Antarctic ozone depletion are also subject to many certainties, owing in large part to observational deficiencies. Implications for gaining an improved understanding through both laboratory studies and new observations will be briefly described.

  14. Understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in rural Tanzania: the ACCESS Programme

    PubMed Central

    Hetzel, Manuel W; Iteba, Nelly; Makemba, Ahmed; Mshana, Christopher; Lengeler, Christian; Obrist, Brigit; Schulze, Alexander; Nathan, Rose; Dillip, Angel; Alba, Sandra; Mayumana, Iddy; Khatib, Rashid A; Njau, Joseph D; Mshinda, Hassan

    2007-01-01

    Background Prompt access to effective treatment is central in the fight against malaria. However, a variety of interlinked factors at household and health system level influence access to timely and appropriate treatment and care. Furthermore, access may be influenced by global and national health policies. As a consequence, many malaria episodes in highly endemic countries are not treated appropriately. Project The ACCESS Programme aims at understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in a rural Tanzanian setting. The programme's strategy is based on a set of integrated interventions, including social marketing for improved care seeking at community level as well as strengthening of quality of care at health facilities. This is complemented by a project that aims to improve the performance of drug stores. The interventions are accompanied by a comprehensive set of monitoring and evaluation activities measuring the programme's performance and (health) impact. Baseline data demonstrated heterogeneity in the availability of malaria treatment, unavailability of medicines and treatment providers in certain areas as well as quality problems with regard to drugs and services. Conclusion The ACCESS Programme is a combination of multiple complementary interventions with a strong evaluation component. With this approach, ACCESS aims to contribute to the development of a more comprehensive access framework and to inform and support public health professionals and policy-makers in the delivery of improved health services. PMID:17603898

  15. Improving Students' English Speaking Proficiency in Saudi Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alharbi, Heba Awadh

    2015-01-01

    In English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts, the absence of authentic language learning situations outside the classroom presents a significant challenge to improving students' English communication skills. Specific obstacles in the learning environment can also result in students' limited use of English inside the classroom. These issues…

  16. Research Publication as a Strategy to Improve International Academic Ranking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tie, Fatt Hee

    2012-01-01

    Many universities in Asia are now focused on enhancing their global academic competitiveness. Various strategies are implemented to restructure, reform and transform universities aimed at improving ranking in the global university league. One significant strategy is to encourage academicians to place priority on publishing in high-impact…

  17. How Public School Districts Can Improve Their Bond Ratings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casillas, Robert A.; Hamill, Grant M.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the bond-rating process; suggests several management practices school districts can adopt to improve their bond ratings: Adopt a fund balance, initiate debt-affordability and debt-amortization policies, institute pay-as-you-go funding to reduce dependency on debt, develop a multiyear plan, and communicate periodically with credit-rating…

  18. Does Competition Improve Public School Efficiency? A Spatial Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Misra, Kaustav; Grimes, Paul W.; Rogers, Kevin E.

    2012-01-01

    Advocates for educational reform frequently call for policies to increase competition between schools because it is argued that market forces naturally lead to greater efficiencies, including improved student learning, when schools face competition. Researchers examining this issue are confronted with difficulties in defining reasonable measures…

  19. Understanding Aging and Disability Perspectives on Home Care: Uncovering Facts and Values in Public-Policy Narratives and Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Phillip G.

    2007-01-01

    Every public-policy problem can be defined in terms of its empirical ("facts") and normative ("values") dimensions and the interrelationship between them. An understanding of the connection between facts and values at the foundation of the home care policy debate in the Canadian health-care system is developed through the application of an…

  20. A 24/7 Public Possession: Understanding the Dissonance and Grace of Being a Post-Secondary Leader

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davison, Phil L.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores the perspectives and understandings of post-secondary leaders and their contexts as described through the qualitative experiences of 12 Maritime Canadian leaders (presidents and vice-presidents) who work in contemporary, publicly funded, post-secondary institutions. Four themes emerge: balancing daily dissonance, learning…

  1. Engineers and Their Role in Public Policy: An Active Learning Experience for Enhancing the Understanding of the State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acevedo, Jorge; Barros, Ricardo; Ramirez, Catalina; Realpe, Natalia

    2009-01-01

    To achieve effective intervention of engineers in the public sector, engineers should develop skills to comprehend their ethical and professional responsibility, and they should gain the necessary education to understand the possible impact of engineering solutions in a global and social context. An active learning process has been conceived,…

  2. Understanding and Using the Relationships between Business and Professional Communication and Public Relations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penrose, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Aspects of research and pedagogy from the public relations discipline can benefit the business and professional communication instructor seeking new dimensions for the business and professional communication classroom. Elements of public relations (PR) found in Association for Business Communication articles and journals may be incorporated in the…

  3. The Social Responsibility of Science and the Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cross, Roger T.; Price, Ronald F.

    1999-01-01

    Argues that citizens need to recognize that science is a human social activity like any other. Calls for socially responsible science and a public mindful of its strengths and weaknesses. Explores two case studies of public construction of knowledge about controversial health-related issues to illustrate the problematic nature of public…

  4. Understanding New Hybrid Professions: Bourdieu, "Illusio" and the Case of Public Service Interpreters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colley, Helen; Guéry, Frédérique

    2015-01-01

    Public spending reductions across the advanced capitalist world are creating new professions that have a "hybrid" status and/or role. However, research on professional learning has paid little attention to them. This qualitative study of one such profession, public service interpreting (PSI), addresses that lacuna. The paper focuses on…

  5. Misleading the Public Understanding of Assessment: Wilful or Wrongful Interpretation by Government and Media

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mansell, Warwick

    2013-01-01

    This paper considers the public debate surrounding assessment in English education and presents evidence of the misuse of public data from national tests. Statistics generated by pupil assessments in schools and colleges in England are argued to be subject to misinterpretation by the media and policy makers. The discourse tends either to be…

  6. Realizing the promise of social psychology in improving public health.

    PubMed

    Klein, William M P; Shepperd, James A; Suls, Jerry; Rothman, Alexander J; Croyle, Robert T

    2015-02-01

    The theories, phenomena, empirical findings, and methodological approaches that characterize contemporary social psychology hold much promise for addressing enduring problems in public health. Indeed, social psychologists played a major role in the development of the discipline of health psychology during the 1970s and 1980s. The health domain allows for the testing, refinement, and application of many interesting and important research questions in social psychology, and offers the discipline a chance to enhance its reach and visibility. Nevertheless, in a review of recent articles in two major social-psychological journals (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), we found that only 3.2% of 467 studies explored health-related topics. In this article, we identify opportunities for research at the interface of social psychology and health, delineate barriers, and offer strategies that can address these barriers as the discipline continues to evolve. PMID:24981514

  7. Assessing public understanding of the policy of separating dispensing and prescribing in Korea: a survey of college students.

    PubMed

    Kang, H Y; Park, C Y; Kim, H J

    2001-01-01

    We investigated the level of public understanding of the 'separation of dispensing and prescribing' health policy in Korea and its associated factors. A questionnaire survey was conducted upon 700 college students at four months after the introduction of the policy. The understanding level was measured using four question items describing the goal and motivation of the policy, and ten items describing its operational rules. For each item, respondents were asked to mark whether the description was true or false. While the goal and motivation of the policy was relatively well informed (mean understanding score: 69.58 out of 100), people did not have a good understanding of the operational details of the policy (mean score: 32.52). The results of regression analyses showed that personal interest and agreement with the need of the policy were the most significant factors affecting the understanding level (p < 0.01). It is concluded that, for other public policies in the future, policy makers in Korea need to develop more effective media communication strategies to effectively inform the public of the practical details of the policy. PMID:12109243

  8. Building outside the Box. Public-Private Partnership: A Strategy for Improved Public School Buildings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Twenty-First Century School Fund, Washington, DC.

    This publication describes the creation of a new school building for James F. Oyster Bilingual Elementary School in Washington, DC. Despite the success of its academic program, the school's 70-year-old building had become unsafe and unsuitable for teaching and learning and was threatened with closure in 1993 because of the district's fiscal…

  9. Ranking Multiple Dialogue States by Corpus Statistics to Improve Discourse Understanding in Spoken Dialogue Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higashinaka, Ryuichiro; Nakano, Mikio

    This paper discusses the discourse understanding process in spoken dialogue systems. This process enables a system to understand user utterances from the context of a dialogue. Ambiguity in user utterances caused by multiple speech recognition hypotheses and parsing results sometimes makes it difficult for a system to decide on a single interpretation of a user intention. As a solution, the idea of retaining possible interpretations as multiple dialogue states and resolving the ambiguity using succeeding user utterances has been proposed. Although this approach has proven to improve discourse understanding accuracy, carefully created hand-crafted rules are necessary in order to accurately rank the dialogue states. This paper proposes automatically ranking multiple dialogue states using statistical information obtained from dialogue corpora. The experimental results in the train ticket reservation and weather information service domains show that the statistical information can significantly improve the ranking accuracy of dialogue states as well as the slot accuracy and the concept error rate of the top-ranked dialogue states.

  10. Understanding and Improving Cardiovascular Health: An Update on the American Heart Association's Concept of Cardiovascular Health.

    PubMed

    Shay, Christina M; Gooding, Holly S; Murillo, Rosenda; Foraker, Randi

    2015-01-01

    The American Heart Association's 2020 Strategic Impact Goal is "By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20%." To monitor progress towards this goal, a new construct "ideal cardiovascular health" (iCVH) was defined that includes the simultaneous presence of optimal levels of seven health behaviors (physical activity, smoking, dietary intake, and body mass index) and factors (total cholesterol, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose). In this review, we present a summary of major concepts related to the concept of iCVH and an update of the literature in this area since publication of the 2020 Strategic Impact Goal, including trends in iCVH prevalence, new determinants and outcomes related to iCVH, strategies for maintaining or improving iCVH, policy implications of the iCVH model, and the remaining challenges to reaching the 2020 Strategic Impact Goal. PMID:25958016

  11. Understanding How the "Open" of Open Source Software (OSS) Will Improve Global Health Security.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Erin; Blazes, David; Lewis, Sheri

    2016-01-01

    Improving global health security will require bold action in all corners of the world, particularly in developing settings, where poverty often contributes to an increase in emerging infectious diseases. In order to mitigate the impact of emerging pandemic threats, enhanced disease surveillance is needed to improve early detection and rapid response to outbreaks. However, the technology to facilitate this surveillance is often unattainable because of high costs, software and hardware maintenance needs, limited technical competence among public health officials, and internet connectivity challenges experienced in the field. One potential solution is to leverage open source software, a concept that is unfortunately often misunderstood. This article describes the principles and characteristics of open source software and how it may be applied to solve global health security challenges. PMID:26889576

  12. Evaluation and improvement of air quality in school public elevator.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Ching-Shan; Huang, Da-Ji

    2014-05-01

    Public elevators are an essential requirement in modern high-rise buildings. However, the confined, crowded interior of an elevator provides an ideal breeding ground for all manners of biological aerosols. Consequently, when using an elevator at a university in Taiwan as the research target, this study performs an experimental investigation into the effectiveness of hand-sprayed gaseous chlorine dioxide as a disinfection agent. The air quality before and after disinfection is evaluated by measuring the bioaerosol concentrations of bacteria and fungi, respectively. The average background levels of bacteria and fungi before disinfection are found to be 635.7 ± 469.6 and 1296.8 ± 966.6 colony-forming unit (CFU)/m(3), respectively. Following disinfection, the bacteria and fungi concentrations reduced by an average of 35 and 25 %, respectively. The multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) results showed that the residual bacteria and fungi concentration levels were determined primarily by the number of individuals within the elevator and the elapsed time following disinfection. In general, the present results show that given a maximum of five individuals within the elevator, a disinfection schedule of once every 40 min is sufficient to reduce the bioaerosol concentrations of bacteria and fungi to the levels specified by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). PMID:24374804

  13. Machine learning-based augmented reality for improved surgical scene understanding.

    PubMed

    Pauly, Olivier; Diotte, Benoit; Fallavollita, Pascal; Weidert, Simon; Euler, Ekkehard; Navab, Nassir

    2015-04-01

    In orthopedic and trauma surgery, AR technology can support surgeons in the challenging task of understanding the spatial relationships between the anatomy, the implants and their tools. In this context, we propose a novel augmented visualization of the surgical scene that mixes intelligently the different sources of information provided by a mobile C-arm combined with a Kinect RGB-Depth sensor. Therefore, we introduce a learning-based paradigm that aims at (1) identifying the relevant objects or anatomy in both Kinect and X-ray data, and (2) creating an object-specific pixel-wise alpha map that permits relevance-based fusion of the video and the X-ray images within one single view. In 12 simulated surgeries, we show very promising results aiming at providing for surgeons a better surgical scene understanding as well as an improved depth perception. PMID:24998759

  14. Understanding latent tuberculosis: the key to improved diagnostic and novel treatment strategies

    PubMed Central

    Esmail, Hanif; Barry, Clifton E; Wilkinson, Robert J

    2012-01-01

    Treatment of latent tuberculosis (LTBI) is a vital component of tuberculosis elimination but is not efficiently implemented with available diagnostics and therapeutics. The tuberculin skin test and interferon gamma release assays can inform that infection has occurred but do not prove that it persists. Treatment of LTBI with isoniazid targets actively replicating bacilli but not non-replicating populations, prolonging treatment duration. Developing more predictive diagnostic tests and treatments of shorter duration requires a greater understanding of the biology of latent tuberculosis, from both host and bacillary perspectives. In this article we discuss the basis of current diagnosis and treatment of LTBI and review recent developments in understanding the biology of latency that may enable future improved diagnostic and treatment strategies. PMID:22198298

  15. Investigating and Improving Student Understanding of Key Ideas in Quantum Mechanics throughout Instruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emigh, Paul Jeffrey

    This dissertation describes research on student understanding of quantum mechanics across multiple levels of instruction. The primary focus has been to identify patterns in student reasoning related to key concepts in quantum mechanics. The specific topics include quantum measurements, time dependence, vector spaces, and angular momentum. The research has spanned a variety of different quantum courses intended for introductory physics students, upper-division physics majors, and graduate students in physics. The results of this research have been used to develop a set of curriculum, Tutorials in Physics: Quantum Mechanics, for addressing the most persistent student difficulties. We document both the development of this curriculum and how it has impacted and improved student understanding of quantum mechanics.

  16. The Reproduction of Scientific Understanding about Pendulum Motion in the Public

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manabu, Sumida

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes life-span development of understanding about pendulum motion and effects of school science. The subjects were 2,766 people ranging from kindergartners up to 88 years senior citizens. The conflict and consensus between children and their parent's understanding of pendulum motion were also analyzed. The kindergartner's…

  17. Understanding the Threats Posed by Non-Native Species: Public vs. Conservation Managers

    PubMed Central

    Gozlan, Rodolphe E.; Burnard, Dean; Andreou, Demetra; Britton, J. Robert

    2013-01-01

    Public perception is a key factor influencing current conservation policy. Therefore, it is important to determine the influence of the public, end-users and scientists on the prioritisation of conservation issues and the direct implications for policy makers. Here, we assessed public attitudes and the perception of conservation managers to five non-native species in the UK, with these supplemented by those of an ecosystem user, freshwater anglers. We found that threat perception was not influenced by the volume of scientific research or by the actual threats posed by the specific non-native species. Media interest also reflected public perception and vice versa. Anglers were most concerned with perceived threats to their recreational activities but their concerns did not correspond to the greatest demonstrated ecological threat. The perception of conservation managers was an amalgamation of public and angler opinions but was mismatched to quantified ecological risks of the species. As this suggests that invasive species management in the UK is vulnerable to a knowledge gap, researchers must consider the intrinsic characteristics of their study species to determine whether raising public perception will be effective. The case study of the topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva reveals that media pressure and political debate has greater capacity to ignite policy changes and impact studies on non-native species than scientific evidence alone. PMID:23341931

  18. Medical genetics, public understanding and patient experiences: An exploratory qualitative study of recently pregnant women

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garman, Jamie L.

    The purpose of the study was to document how individuals' experiences and understanding of genetics concepts affects their medical experiences. Recently pregnant women were interviewed because they represent a population that needs to comprehend biological and genetic information to understand their health. Three women were designated as science experts (SE) defined as having extensive university level science education and three women were designated as science non-experts (SNE). In general, SEs described a more positive pregnancy experience. Both SEs and SNEs demonstrated a basic understanding of genetic concepts but varied in the application of concepts to personal medical issues. Participants' views and experiences of pre and postnatal tests were linked to their understanding of nature of science components such as recognition that tests have limitations. Results from this study indicate an incomplete understanding of the nature of science among participants may have led to unsatisfactory medical experiences.

  19. A Cognitive Framework for Understanding and Improving Interference Resolution in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Jyoti; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Ziegler, David A.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2014-01-01

    All of us are familiar with the negative impact of interference on achieving our task goals. We are referring to interference by information, which either impinges on our senses from an external environmental source or is internally generated by our thoughts. Informed by more than a decade of research on the cognitive and neural processing of interference, we have developed a framework for understanding how interference impacts our neural systems and especially how it is regulated and suppressed during efficient on-task performance. Importantly, externally and internally generated interferences have distinct neural signatures, and further, distinct neural processing emerges depending on whether individuals must ignore and suppress the interference, as for distractions, or engage with them in a secondary task, as during multitasking. Here, we elaborate on this cognitive framework and how it changes throughout the human lifespan, focusing mostly on research evidence from younger adults and comparing these findings to data from older adults, children, and cognitively impaired populations. With insights gleaned from our growing understanding, we then describe three novel translational efforts in our lab directed at improving distinct aspects of interference resolution using cognitive training. Critically, these training approaches were specifically developed to target improved interference resolution based on neuroplasticity principles and have shown much success in randomized controlled first version evaluations in healthy aging. Our results show not only on-task training improvements but also robust generalization of benefit to other cognitive control abilities. This research showcases how an in-depth understanding of neural mechanisms can then inform the development of effective deficit-targeted interventions, which can in turn benefit both healthy and cognitively impaired populations. PMID:24309262

  20. Improving public addiction treatment through performance contracting: the Delaware experiment.

    PubMed

    McLellan, A Thomas; Kemp, Jack; Brooks, Adam; Carise, Deni

    2008-09-01

    In fiscal 2002, Delaware replaced traditional cost-reimbursement contracts with performance-based contracts for all outpatient addiction treatment programs. Incentives included 90% capacity utilization and active patient participation in treatment. One of the programs failed to meet requirements. Strategies adopted by successful programs included extended hours of operation, facility enhancements, salary incentives for counselors, and two evidence-based therapies (MI and CBT). Average capacity utilization from 2001 to 2006 went from 54% to 95%; and the average proportion of patients' meeting participation requirements went from 53% to 70%--with no notable changes in the patient population. We conclude that properly designed, program-based contract incentives are feasible to apply, welcomed by programs and may help set the financial conditions necessary to implement other evidence-based clinical efforts; toward the overall goal of improving addiction treatment. PMID:18325621

  1. Understanding the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition to improve ultrasound training for obstetrics and gynaecology trainees

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    There have been significant problems in ultrasound training since the introduction of the new postgraduate curriculum for obstetrics and gynaecology. It is therefore important to understand how the skill of ultrasound is acquired in order to be able to improve the training program. Here, the potential application of the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition has been analysed to map the progression from novice to master and the progressions between each stage analysed. Although the Dreyfus model is not a perfect match for ultrasound scanning, it provides us with a theoretical framework on which to underpin educational practice in this field.

  2. The CONVEX project - Using Observational Evidence and Process Understanding to Improve Predictions of Extreme Rainfall Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, Hayley; Kendon, Elizabeth; Blenkinsop, Stephen; Chan, Steven; Ferro, Christopher; Roberts, Nigel; Stephenson, David; Jones, Richard; Sessford, Pat

    2013-04-01

    During the last decade, widespread major flood events in the UK and across the rest of Europe have focussed attention on perceived increases in rainfall intensities. Whilst Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are able to simulate the magnitude and spatial pattern of observed daily extreme rainfall events more reliably than Global Circulation Models (GCMs), they still underestimate extreme rainfall in relation to observations. Particularly during the summer a large proportion of the precipitation comes from convective storms that are typically too small to be explicitly represented by climate models. Instead, convection parameterisation schemes are necessary to represent the larger-scale effect of unresolved convective cells. Given the deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall by climate models, even in the current generation of high-resolution RCMs, the CONVEX project (CONVective EXtremes) argues that an integrated approach is needed that brings together observations, basic understanding and models. This should go hand in hand with a change from a focus on traditional validation exercises (comparing modelled and observed extremes) to an understanding and quantification of the causes of model deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall processes on different spatial and temporal scales. It is particularly true for localised intense summer convection. CONVEX therefore aims to contribute to the goals of enabling society to respond to global climate change and predicting the regional and local impacts of environmental change. In addition to an improved understanding of the spatial-temporal characteristics of extreme rainfall processes (principally in the UK) the project is also assessing the influence of model parameterisations and resolution on the simulation of extreme rainfall events and processes. This includes the running of new RCM simulations undertaken by the UK Meteorological Office at 50km and 12km resolutions (parameterised convection) and

  3. Learning from Consistently High Performing and Improving Schools for English Language Learners in Boston Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tung, Rosann; Diez, Virginia; Gagnon, Laurie; Uriarte, Miren; Stazesky, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    This study is part of a collaborative project entitled "Identifying Success in Schools and Programs for English Language Learners in Boston Public Schools". The companion to this report, entitled "Improving Educational Outcomes of English Language Learners in Schools and Programs in Boston Public Schools", provides a comprehensive analysis of…

  4. Health professionals' knowledge and understanding about Listeria monocytogenes indicates a need for improved professional training.

    PubMed

    Buffer, Janet L; Medeiros, Lydia C; Kendall, Patricia; Schroeder, Mary; Sofos, John

    2012-07-01

    Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease in immunocompromised persons, with a public health burden of approximately $2 billion annually. Those consumers most at risk are the highly susceptible populations otherwise known as the immunocompromised. Health professionals have a considerable amount of interaction with the immunocompromised and are therefore a valuable resource for providing appropriate safe food handling information. To determine how knowledgeable health professionals are about Listeria monocytogenes, a nationwide Web-based survey was distributed targeting registered nurses (RNs) and registered dietitians (RDs) who work with highly susceptible populations. Responses were received from 499 health professionals. Knowledge and understanding of Listeria monocytogenes was assessed descriptively. Parametric and nonparametric analyses were used to detect differences between RNs and RDs. The major finding is that there are gaps in knowledge and a self-declared lack of understanding by both groups, but especially RNs, about Listeria monocytogenes. RDs were more likely than RNs to provide information about specific foods and food storage behaviors to prevent a Listeria infection. Notably, neither group of health professionals consistently provided Listeria prevention messages to their immunocompromised patients. Pathogens will continue to emerge as food production, climate, water, and waste management systems change. Health professionals, represented by RNs and RDs, need resources and training to ensure that they are providing the most progressive information about various harmful pathogens; in this instance, Listeria monocytogenes. PMID:22980015

  5. Improving risk understanding across ability levels: Encouraging active processing with dynamic icon arrays.

    PubMed

    Okan, Yasmina; Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Cokely, Edward T; Maldonado, Antonio

    2015-06-01

    Icon arrays have been found to improve risk understanding and reduce judgment biases across a wide range of studies. Unfortunately, individuals with low graph literacy experience only limited benefits from such displays. To enhance the efficacy and reach of these decision aids, the authors developed and tested 3 types of dynamic design features--that is, computerized display features that unfold over time. Specifically, the authors manipulated the sequential presentation of the different elements of icon arrays, the presence of explanatory labels indicating what was depicted in the different regions of the arrays, and the use of a reflective question followed by accuracy feedback. The first 2 features were designed to promote specific cognitive processes involved in graph comprehension, whereas the 3rd feature was designed to promote a more active, elaborative processing of risk information. Explanatory labels were effective in improving risk understanding among less graph-literate participants, whereas reflective questions resulted in large and robust performance benefits among participants with both low and high graph literacy. Theoretical and prescriptive implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:25938975

  6. Learning from Our Evolving Understanding of Biophysical Interactions to Improve River Restoration Practice.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sear, D. A.

    2014-12-01

    Restoration of riverine habitats has largely proceeded on the assumption that by improving physical habitat, and more latterly processes, biophysical interactions will reassemble to a state similar to that prior to the disturbance event. Whilst there had been little monitoring to support this view, there is increasing evidence that the complexity of ecological systems demands a greater understanding of these biophysical interactions before we can state that a restoration has succeeded. In this paper I will draw on two examples to demonstrate the importance of understanding the spatial as well as the temporal scale of biophysical interactions. In the first example, field and modelling was used to demonstrate how different location of large wood and forest restoration can result in different hydrological outcomes. Similarly, as the forest matures it is possible to see change in restoration outcomes, extending beyond the lifetime of the project. In the second example I demonstrate how climate and land use drive the biophysical interactions within spawning salmonid habitats, research that questions accepted models used in the restoration of salmonid spawning habitat. Finally the paper reflects on the problems of restoring complex ecosystems; and points towards the need for improvements in how we research and communicate with stakeholders who ultimately live by the streams we restore.

  7. Understanding the Availability and Characteristics of University-Based Precollege Programs for District of Columbia Public School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bullock, Thomas Hudson

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the availability and characteristics of university-based precollege programs designed to improve college access and success for students attending District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Employing a mixed-method approach, this study used quantitative data collected through a survey instrument to measure the degree to which…

  8. Dimensions of Evidence, the Public Understanding of Science and Science Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tytler, Russell; Duggan, Sandra; Gott, Richard

    2001-01-01

    Explores the nature and type of evidence employed by participants in an issue of public concern. Examines how the different types of evidence were brought to bear on a socio-scientific issue involving environmental regulatory policy and the implications of this for school science curricula. (Contains 33 references.) (Author/YDS)

  9. Understanding the Intentions of Accounting Students in China to Pursue Certified Public Accountant Designation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wen, Lei; Hao, Qian; Bu, Danlu

    2015-01-01

    Based on the theory of planned behavior [Ajzen, I. (1991). "The theory of planned behavior." "Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes," 50(2), 179-211], we examine the factors influencing the decisions of accounting students in China concerning the certified public accountant (CPA) designation. Surveying 288…

  10. Understanding the Transition of Public Universities to Institutional Autonomy in Kazakhstan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sagintayeva, Aida; Kurakbayev, Kairat

    2015-01-01

    Although institutional autonomy has recently received significant attention from scholars and policy-makers in much of the world, few studies have been made of the universities in transition towards institutional autonomy in post-Soviet countries. Autonomy and its related concept of public accountability are relatively new phenomena in…

  11. Understanding Public Engagement in Water Conservation Behaviors and Knowledge of Water Policy: Promising Hints for Extension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Pei-wen; Lamm, Alexa J.

    2015-01-01

    Sustaining water resources is a primary issue facing Florida Extension. The study reported here identified how experience with water issues and familiarity with water policies affected individuals' engagement in water conservation behaviors. A public opinion survey was conducted online to capture Florida residents' responses. The findings…

  12. Teacher Evaluation in Practice: Understanding Evaluator Reliability and Teacher Engagement in Chicago Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sporte, Susan E.; Jiang, Jennie Y.; Luppescu, Stuart

    2014-01-01

    Starting in 2012-13, researchers have worked in partnership with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) to study implementation of Chicago's new teacher evaluation system: Recognizing Educators Advancing Chicago's Students (REACH). This paper presents findings as well as experiences from the collaboration with CPS and…

  13. School Leadership for Public Value: Understanding Valuable Outcomes for Children, Families and Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mongon, Denis; Leadbeater, Charles

    2012-01-01

    "School Leadership for Public Value" is a timely contribution to the debate about the purpose and structure of schooling in England and internationally. It draws deeply upon the work of ten schools and describes how they created strong alliances with local communities. These alliances helped to raise the academic attainment of pupils and improve…

  14. Better Understanding Learning Disabilities: New Views from Research and Their Implications for Education and Public Policies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyon, G. Reid, Ed.; And Others

    This book examines critical issues in classification and definition of learning disabilities; the development of theory in learning disabilities; the development of cognitive, developmental, and educational models of learning disabilities; and social and public policy in learning disabilities. After an introductory chapter by G. Reid Lyon and…

  15. Developing Students' Awareness of Public Understanding of Science: A Matter of Survival?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castanho, Miguel A. R. B.

    2005-01-01

    Biochemists and life scientists in general are now encountering a paradox regarding the public image of their work; society demands and encourages pursuit of more knowledge but at the same time is suspicious and fears the novelties it brings. At this historical moment, we are experiencing a delicate balance between the birth of a new era and a…

  16. Public Law 94-142 and Section 504--Understanding What They Are and Are Not.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ballard, Joseph

    Presented in question and answer format is information on Public Law 94-142 (Education for All Handicapped Children Act) and Section 504 (the basic civil rights provision with respect to terminating discrimination against handicapped citizens). Questions are divided into sections which cover general information, rights and protections, fiscal…

  17. The State of Public Opinion Research on Attitudes and Understanding of Science and Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besley, John C.

    2013-01-01

    This article provides a critical and global overview of current research into public opinion about science and technology (S&T). Although several sets of high-quality data exist, there remains a lack of international coordination and irregular release of new data in forms that can be widely used. The article highlights a range of key…

  18. Understanding an Emerging Field of Scholarship: Toward a Research Agenda for Engaged, Public Scholarship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giles, Dwight E., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The theme of both "Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement" volume 12 issues 1 and 2 collectively, is "Faculty Motivation for Engagement in Public Scholarship." Herein Dwight Giles, Jr. touches upon each article in issue 2, specifically, noting the variability of the central terminology that is used across authors…

  19. Ecosystem function in waste stabilisation ponds: Improving water quality through a better understanding of biophysical coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghadouani, Anas; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Coggins, Liah X.; Ivey, Gregory N.; Ghisalberti, Marco; Zhou, Wenxu; Laurion, Isabelle; Chua, Andrew

    2014-05-01

    Wastewater stabilisation ponds (WSPs) are highly productive systems designed to treat wastewater using only natural biological and chemical processes. Phytoplankton, microbial communities and hydraulics play important roles for ecosystem functionality of these pond systems. Although WSPs have been used for many decades, they are still considered as 'black box' systems as very little is known about the fundamental ecological processes which occur within them. However, a better understanding of how these highly productive ecosystems function is particularly important for hydrological processes, as treated wastewater is commonly discharged into streams, rivers, and oceans, and subject to strict water quality guidelines. WSPs are known to operate at different levels of efficiency, and treatment efficiency of WSPs is dependent on physical (flow characteristics and sludge accumulation and distribution) and biological (microbial and phytoplankton communities) characteristics. Thus, it is important to gain a better understanding of the role and influence of pond hydraulics and vital microbial communities on pond performance and WSP functional stability. The main aim of this study is to investigate the processes leading to differences in treatment performance of WSPs. This study uses a novel and innovative approach to understand these factors by combining flow cytometry and metabolomics to investigate various biochemical characteristics, including the metabolite composition and microbial community within WSPs. The results of these analyses will then be combined with results from the characterisation of pond hydrodynamics and hydraulic performance, which will be performed using advanced hydrodynamic modelling and advanced sludge profiling technology. By understanding how hydrodynamic and biological processes influence each other and ecosystem function and stability in WSPs, we will be able to propose ways to improve the quality of the treatment using natural processes, with

  20. Understanding and Improving CRM and GCM Simulations of Cloud Systems with ARM Observations

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Xiaoqing

    2014-02-25

    The works supported by this ASR project lay the solid foundation for improving the parameterization of convection and clouds in the NCAR CCSM and the climate simulations. We have made a significant use of CRM simulations and ARM observations to produce thermodynamically and dynamically consistent multi-year cloud and radiative properties; improve the GCM simulations of convection, clouds and radiative heating rate and fluxes using the ARM observations and CRM simulations; and understand the seasonal and annual variation of cloud systems and their impacts on climate mean state and variability. We conducted multi-year simulations over the ARM SGP site using the CRM with multi-year ARM forcing data. The statistics of cloud and radiative properties from the long-term CRM simulations were compared and validated with the ARM measurements and value added products (VAP). We evaluated the multi-year climate simulations produced by the GCM with the modified convection scheme. We used multi-year ARM observations and CRM simulations to validate and further improve the trigger condition and revised closure assumption in NCAR GCM simulations that demonstrate the improvement of climate mean state and variability. We combined the improved convection scheme with the mosaic treatment of subgrid cloud distributions in the radiation scheme of the GCM. The mosaic treatment of cloud distributions has been implemented in the GCM with the original convection scheme and enables the use of more realistic cloud amounts as well as cloud water contents in producing net radiative fluxes closer to observations. A physics-based latent heat (LH) retrieval algorithm was developed by parameterizing the physical linkages of observed hydrometeor profiles of cloud and precipitation to the major processes related to the phase change of atmospheric water.

  1. Improving the public house in Britain, 1920-40: Sir Sydney Nevile and "social work".

    PubMed

    Mutch, Alistair

    2010-01-01

    The "improved public house" movement in the inter-war years was a central part of the shift towards retailing by the brewing industry. An important part of the reform movement was the alliance between certain brewers, notably Whitbread, and "social workers", particularly those associated with the University Settlement movement in London. Using the papers of Sydney Nevile, the importance of a particular social milieu is outlined, calling into question attempts to align the movement to improve public houses with transatlantic Progressivism. Rather, this alliance drew upon longstanding English traditions of public service and religious affiliation amongst a fraction of the gentry. PMID:20658777

  2. Deciphering the imperative: translating public health quality improvement into organizational performance management gains.

    PubMed

    Beitsch, Leslie M; Yeager, Valerie A; Moran, John

    2015-03-18

    With the launching of the national public health accreditation program under the auspices of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), health department momentum around quality improvement adoption has accelerated. Domain 9 of the PHAB standards (one of 12 domains) focuses on evaluation and improvement of performance and is acting as a strong driver for quality improvement and performance management implementation within health departments. Widespread adoption of quality improvement activities in public health trails that in other US sectors. Several performance management models have received broad acceptance, including models among government and nonprofits. A model specifically for public health has been developed and is presented herein. All models in current use reinforce customer focus; streamlined, value-added processes; and strategic alignment. All are structured to steer quality improvement efforts toward organizational priorities, ensuring that quality improvement complements performance management. High-performing health departments harness the synergy of quality improvement and performance management, providing powerful tools to achieve public health strategic imperatives. PMID:25494050

  3. NASA's Plan for Improving Public Access to Federally Funded Scientific Research (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, G.

    2013-12-01

    In February, 2013, OSTP issued a policy to all Federal agencies directing those that engage in $100 million or greater of federally funded research and development expenditures to develop an agency public access plan. The plan must consider both digital scientific data and scientific publications. This talk will review how NASA is currently complying with this OSTP directive, and NASA's plan for improving the public's ability to locate and access digital data and scientific publications resulting from NASA funded research. Updating NASA's policy will occur during FY 2014 and implementation of new policies and guidance will be in place by FY 2015.

  4. Understanding and Improving the Quality of Inter-Layer Interfaces in FDM 3-D Printing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duranty, Edward; Spradlin, Brandon; Stark, Madeline; Dadmun, Mark

    We have studied the effect of thermal history and material diffusion on inter-filament bonding in FDM 3D printed parts and developed methods to improve interlayer adhesion in 3D printed samples. The available thermal energy during the FDM print environment was determined quantitatively by tracking the temperature of the bottom most printed layer using a thermocouple attached to the print bed. The role of the thermal history of the filaments during the deposition process on the quality of inter-layer bonding in an FDM ABS part was monitored using a T-peel test and an innovative sample design. Additionally, the interfacial adhesion between 3D printed layers was improved by the addition of a chemical cross-linking agent 4,4 '-diaminodiphenylmethane (DADPM). These studies have increased our understanding of the importance of the complex thermal history of a filament in the 3D printing process and its impact on the interfaces that form during the fused deposition modeling print process. Furthermore, the chemical crosslinking process demonstrates a potential method to covalently link layers in FDM printed parts, improving the bulk strength of the part. The insight provided in this work may aid in the development of techniques that can produce FDM parts that could be used as replacement parts in structural applications, or as completely standalone products.

  5. Understanding side reactions in K-O2 batteries for improved cycle life.

    PubMed

    Ren, Xiaodi; Lau, Kah Chun; Yu, Mingzhe; Bi, Xuanxuan; Kreidler, Eric; Curtiss, Larry A; Wu, Yiying

    2014-11-12

    Superoxide based metal-air (or metal-oxygen) batteries, including potassium and sodium-oxygen batteries, have emerged as promising alternative chemistries in the metal-air battery family because of much improved round-trip efficiencies (>90%). In order to improve the cycle life of these batteries, it is crucial to understand and control the side reactions between the electrodes and the electrolyte. For potassium-oxygen batteries using ether-based electrolytes, the side reactions on the potassium anode have been identified as the main cause of battery failure. The composition of the side products formed on the anode, including some reaction intermediates, have been identified and quantified. Combined experimental studies and density functional theory (DFT) calculations show the side reactions are likely driven by the interaction of potassium with ether molecules and the crossover of oxygen from the cathode. To inhibit these side reactions, the incorporation of a polymeric potassium ion selective membrane (Nafion-K(+)) as a battery separator is demonstrated that significantly improves the battery cycle life. The K-O2 battery with the Nafion-K(+) separator can be discharged and charged for more than 40 cycles without increases in charging overpotential. PMID:25295518

  6. Understanding public trust in services provided by community pharmacists relative to those provided by general practitioners: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Paul; McGregor, Lesley

    2012-01-01

    Objectives To apply sociological theories to understand public trust in extended services provided by community pharmacists relative to those provided by general practitioners (GPs). Design Qualitative study involving focus groups with members of the public. Setting The West of Scotland. Participants 26 purposively sampled members of the public were involved in one of five focus groups. The groups were composed to represent known groups of users and non-users of community pharmacy, namely mothers with young children, seniors and men. Results Trust was seen as being crucial in healthcare settings. Focus group discussions revealed that participants were inclined to draw unfavourable comparisons between pharmacists and GPs. Importantly, participants' trust in GPs was greater than that in pharmacists. Participants considered pharmacists to be primarily involved in medicine supply, and awareness of the pharmacist's extended role was low. Participants were often reluctant to trust pharmacists to deliver unfamiliar services, particularly those perceived to be ‘high risk’. Numerous system-based factors were identified, which reinforce patient trust and confidence in GPs, including GP registration and appointment systems, GPs' expert/gatekeeper role and practice environments. Our data indicate that the nature and context of public interactions with GPs fostered familiarity with a specific GP or practice, which allowed interpersonal trust to develop. By contrast, participants' exposure to community pharmacists was limited. Additionally, a good understanding of the GPs' level of training and role promoted confidence. Conclusion Current UK initiatives, which aim to implement a range of pharmacist-led services, are undermined by lack of public trust. It seems improbable that the public will trust pharmacists to deliver unfamiliar services, which are perceived to be ‘high risk’, unless health systems change in a way that promotes trust in pharmacists. This may be

  7. Public understanding of cyclone warning in India: Can wind be predicted?

    PubMed

    Dash, Biswanath

    2015-11-01

    In spite of meteorological warning, many human lives are lost every year to cyclone mainly because vulnerable populations were not evacuated on time to a safe shelter as per recommendation. It raises several questions, most prominently what explains people's behaviour in the face of such danger from a cyclonic storm? How do people view meteorological advisories issued for cyclone and what role they play in defining the threat? What shapes public response during such situation? This article based on an ethnographic study carried out in coastal state of Odisha, India, argues that local public recognising inherent limitations of meteorological warning, fall back on their own system of observation and forecasting. Not only are the contents of cyclone warning understood, its limitations are accommodated and explained. PMID:25313142

  8. Illustrative Memorandum of Understanding: Between a Public Institution or System and an Affiliated Foundation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, 2014

    2014-01-01

    A decade ago, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), working with a national task force, developed an illustrative memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was widely promulgated and served as a model for agreements at many institutions and systems. This…

  9. Public reporting helped drive quality improvement in outpatient diabetes care among Wisconsin physician groups.

    PubMed

    Smith, Maureen A; Wright, Alexandra; Queram, Christopher; Lamb, Geoffrey C

    2012-03-01

    Public reporting on the quality of ambulatory health care is growing, but knowledge of how physician groups respond to such reporting has not kept pace. We examined responses to public reporting on the quality of diabetes care in 409 primary care clinics within seventeen large, multispecialty physician groups. We determined that a focus on publicly reported metrics, along with participation in large or externally sponsored projects, increased a clinic's implementation of diabetes improvement interventions. Clinics were also more likely to implement interventions in more recent years. Public reporting helped drive both early implementation of a single intervention and ongoing implementation of multiple simultaneous interventions. To fully engage physician groups, accountability metrics should be structured to capture incremental improvements in quality, thereby rewarding both early and ongoing improvement activities. PMID:22392668

  10. Navigating a sea of values: Understanding public attitudes toward the ocean and ocean energy resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilley, Jonathan Charles

    In examining ocean values and beliefs, this study investigates the moral and ethical aspects of the relationships that exist between humans and the marine environment. In short, this dissertation explores what the American public thinks of the ocean. The study places a specific focus upon attitudes to ocean energy development. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, this research: elicits mental models that exist in society regarding the ocean; unearths what philosophies underpin people's attitudes toward the ocean and offshore energy development; assesses whether these views have any bearing on pro-environmental behavior; and gauges support for offshore drilling and offshore wind development. Despite the fact that the ocean is frequently ranked as a second-tier environmental issue, Americans are concerned about the state of the marine environment. Additionally, the data show that lack of knowledge, rather than apathy, prevents people from undertaking pro-environmental action. With regard to philosophical beliefs, Americans hold slightly more nonanthropocentric than anthropocentric views toward the environment. Neither anthropocentrism nor nonanthropocentrism has any real impact on pro-environmental behavior, although nonanthropocentric attitudes reduce support for offshore wind. This research also uncovers two gaps between scientific and public perceptions of offshore wind power with respect to: 1) overall environmental effects; and 2) the size of the resource. Providing better information to the public in the first area may lead to a shift toward offshore wind support among opponents with nonanthropocentric attitudes, and in both areas, is likely to increase offshore wind support.

  11. Understanding public elderly care policy in Norway: A narrative analysis of governmental White papers.

    PubMed

    Jacobsen, Frode F

    2015-08-01

    How the general public in Norway conceives being an older adult and the meaning of chronological age has changed over the last few decades. As narratives of aging may be identified in the Norwegian mass media and in the population at large, dominant narratives may also be identified in policy documents, such as government health policy papers. This article explores a narrative analytical framework based on stories, subtexts, and counterstories; it argues that such narratives are characterized as much by what is unsaid as by what is said, and as much by choice of words and word combinations as by explicit messages. Culture strongly influences the conception of a likely future (what will be) and an envisioned future (what ought to be) regarding aging and geriatric care in Norway, as expressed in the public policy papers. The public policy story is discussed as both a story continuously developing, where later health policy papers relate to and comment on earlier documents, and as a story characterized by a measure of cultural incoherence. Some recent government documents dealing with professional geriatric care will serve as material for a narrative analysis. PMID:26162742

  12. The CONVEX project - Using Observational Evidence and Process Understanding to Improve Projections of Extreme Rainfall Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blenkinsop, Stephen; Fowler, Hayley; Kendon, Elizabeth; Chan, Steven; Ferro, Chris; Roberts, Nigel; Sessford, Pat

    2014-05-01

    During the last decade, widespread major flood events in the UK and across Europe have focussed attention on perceived increases in rainfall intensities. Whilst Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are able to simulate the magnitude and spatial pattern of observed daily extreme rainfall events more reliably than Global Circulation Models (GCMs), they still underestimate extreme rainfall in relation to observations and do not capture the properties of sub-daily events that may lead to flooding in urban areas. In the UK and Europe, particularly during the summer, a large proportion of precipitation comes from convective storms that are typically too small to be explicitly represented by climate models. Instead, convection parameterisation schemes are necessary to represent the larger-scale effect of unresolved convective cells. The CONVEX project (CONVective EXtremes) argues that an integrated approach is needed to provide improvements in estimates of change in extreme rainfall, particularly for summer convective events. As usable predictions require the synthesis of observations, understanding of atmospheric processes and models, a change in focus from traditional validation exercises (comparing modelled and observed extremes) to an understanding and quantification of the causes for model deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall processes on different spatial and temporal scales is needed. By adopting this new focus CONVEX aims to contribute to the goals of enabling society to respond to global climate change and predicting the regional and local impacts of environmental change on timescales from days to decades. In addition to an improved understanding of the spatial-temporal characteristics of extreme rainfall processes (principally in the UK) the project is also assessing the influence of model parameterisations and resolution on the simulation of extreme rainfall events and processes. Under the project the UK Meteorological Office has run new RCM simulations

  13. Understanding and Improving High-Temperature Structural Properties of Metal-Silicide Intermetallics

    SciTech Connect

    Bruce S. Kang

    2005-10-10

    The objective of this project was to understand and improve high-temperature structural properties of metal-silicide intermetallic alloys. Through research collaboration between the research team at West Virginia University (WVU) and Dr. J.H. Schneibel at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), molybdenum silicide alloys were developed at ORNL and evaluated at WVU through atomistic modeling analyses, thermo-mechanical tests, and metallurgical studies. In this study, molybdenum-based alloys were ductilized by dispersing MgAl2O4 or MgO spinel particles. The addition of spinel particles is hypothesized to getter impurities such as oxygen and nitrogen from the alloy matrix with the result of ductility improvement. The introduction of fine dispersions has also been postulated to improve ductility by acting as a dislocation source or reducing dislocation pile-ups at grain boundaries. The spinel particles, on the other hand, can also act as local notches or crack initiation sites, which is detrimental to the alloy mechanical properties. Optimization of material processing condition is important to develop the desirable molybdenum alloys with sufficient room-temperature ductility. Atomistic analyses were conducted to further understand the mechanism of ductility improvement of the molybdenum alloys and the results showed that trace amount of residual oxygen may be responsible for the brittle behavior of the as-cast Mo alloys. For the alloys studied, uniaxial tensile tests were conducted at different loading rates, and at room and elevated temperatures. Thermal cycling effect on the mechanical properties was also studied. Tensile tests for specimens subjected to either ten or twenty thermal cycles were conducted. For each test, a follow-up detailed fractography and microstructural analysis were carried out. The test results were correlated to the size, density, distribution of the spinel particles and processing time. Thermal expansion tests were carried out using thermo

  14. Animal virus discovery: improving animal health, understanding zoonoses, and opportunities for vaccine development

    PubMed Central

    Delwart, Eric

    2012-01-01

    The characterization of viral genomes has accelerated due to improvement in DNA sequencing technology. Sources of animal samples and molecular methods for the identification of novel viral pathogens and steps to determine their pathogenicity are listed. The difficulties for predicting future cross-species transmissions are highlighted by the wide diversity of known viral zoonoses. Recent surveys of viruses in wild and domesticated animals have characterized numerous viruses including some closely related to those infecting humans. The detection of multiple genetic lineages within viral families infecting a single host species, phylogenetically interspersed with viruses found in other host species, reflects frequent past cross-species transmissions. Numerous opportunities for the generation of novel vaccines will arise from a better understanding of animal viromes. PMID:22463981

  15. Improved understanding of geologic CO{sub 2} storage processes requires risk-driven field experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Oldenburg, C.M.

    2011-06-01

    The need for risk-driven field experiments for CO{sub 2} geologic storage processes to complement ongoing pilot-scale demonstrations is discussed. These risk-driven field experiments would be aimed at understanding the circumstances under which things can go wrong with a CO{sub 2} capture and storage (CCS) project and cause it to fail, as distinguished from accomplishing this end using demonstration and industrial scale sites. Such risk-driven tests would complement risk-assessment efforts that have already been carried out by providing opportunities to validate risk models. In addition to experimenting with high-risk scenarios, these controlled field experiments could help validate monitoring approaches to improve performance assessment and guide development of mitigation strategies.

  16. Exciton Diffusion in Conjugated Polymers: From Fundamental Understanding to Improvement in Photovoltaic Conversion Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Tamai, Yasunari; Ohkita, Hideo; Benten, Hiroaki; Ito, Shinzaburo

    2015-09-01

    Singlet exciton diffusion plays a central role in the photovoltaic conversion in organic photovoltaics (OPVs). Upon light absorption, singlet excitons are promptly generated in organic materials instead of charge carriers because the dielectric constant (εr) is small (∼3-4), which is in sharp contrast to inorganic and perovskite solar cells. In order to convert to charge carriers, excitons need to diffuse into an interface between electron donor and acceptor materials before deactivating to the ground state. Therefore, fundamental understanding of exciton diffusion dynamics is one of the most important issues to further improve OPVs. We highlight recent leading studies in this field and describe several approaches for efficient exciton harvesting at the interface in OPVs. PMID:26269208

  17. Understanding the influence of educational attainment on kidney health and opportunities for improved care.

    PubMed

    Green, Jamie A; Cavanaugh, Kerri L

    2015-01-01

    Educational attainment is an important but often overlooked contributor to health outcomes in patients with kidney disease. Those with lower levels of education have an increased risk of ESRD, complications of peritoneal dialysis, worse transplant outcomes, and mortality. Mediators of these associations are poorly understood but involve a complex interplay between health knowledge, behaviors, and socioeconomic and psychosocial factors. Interventions targeting these aspects of care have the potential to reduce disparities related to educational attainment; however, few programs have been described that specifically address this issue. Future research efforts should not only systematically assess level of educational attainment but also report the differential impact of interventions across educational strata. In addition, routine measurement of health literacy may be useful to identify high-risk patients independent of years of schooling. A better understanding of the influence of educational attainment on kidney health provides an opportunity to improve the care and outcomes of vulnerable patients with kidney disease. PMID:25573509

  18. Improving understanding of chromatin regulatory proteins and potential implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Rafehi, Haloom; Khan, Abdul Waheed; El-Osta, Assam

    2016-04-01

    Many epigenetic-based therapeutics, including drugs such as histone deacetylase inhibitors, are now used in the clinic or are undergoing advanced clinical trials. The study of chromatin-modifying proteins has benefited from the rapid advances in high-throughput sequencing methods, the organized efforts of major consortiums and by individual groups to profile human epigenomes in diverse tissues and cell types. However, while such initiatives have carefully characterized healthy human tissue, disease epigenomes and drug-epigenome interactions remain very poorly understood. Reviewed here is how high-throughput sequencing improves our understanding of chromatin regulator proteins and the potential implications for the study of human disease and drug development and discovery. PMID:26923902

  19. An improved conceptual understanding of snowmelt and groundwater dynamics in the semi-arid Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sproles, Eric; Hevia, Andres; Soulsby, Chris; Tetzlaff, Doerthe

    2016-04-01

    The contribution of snowmelt to groundwater has long been recognized as an important component of the hydrological cycle in semi-arid northern central Chile (29°-32°S). Despite its importance as a water resource, this transition to groundwater remains poorly understood. Climatically, the High Cordillera in northern central Chile receives approximately 10 times as much annual precipitation as the valley bottoms, falling almost exclusively as snow above 3500 m during the winter months. Geologically, the High Cordillera is characterized by steep topography and a highly dissected landscape underlain by bedrock. Groundwater stores in the mountain headwaters are assumed to be constrained to the valley bottoms. The current working hypothesis of watershed processes in the High Cordillera describes fluxes of spring melt moving through the hillslope via local flowpaths to valley aquifers that recharge streams throughout the headwater reaches. Previous studies in the region indicate Pre-Cordilleran aquifers, located in lower elevation dry ephemeral valleys, are hydrologically disconnected from the High Cordillera. These watersheds have no seasonal snowpack, and recharge occurs primarily during infrequent rain events. These isolated Pre-Cordilleran aquifers serve as an important water resource for rural residents and infrastructure. We present stable isotope, geochemical, and groundwater level data from the wet El Niño winter of 2015 that suggests a topographically disconnected aquifer in the Pre-Cordillera received considerable recharge from High Cordillera snowmelt. These novel findings are indicative of deep groundwater flow paths between the Pre- and High Cordillera during the wet winter and spring of 2015, and improve the conceptual understanding of hydrological processes in the region. Additionally, these results will directly benefit groundwater management in the Pre-Cordillera and better inform modeling efforts in the High Cordillera. While this study is limited to

  20. Designing Cancer-Killing Artificial Viruses to Improve Student Understanding of Microbiology

    PubMed Central

    Kuniyuki, Andy; Sharp, Gwen

    2011-01-01

    Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of a “learning by designing” group project used in a lower-division Microbiology course. Students used knowledge gained from the course to design an artificial virus that would kill cancer cells. The assignment required groups to integrate the individual course topics into a unified, complex understanding of the field of microbiology. Throughout the course, students and the instructor collaborated in creating a rubric to evaluate the groups’ final presentations. This paper reports the results of an assessment of the project by comparing the instructor’s and the students’ scores for the presentations. Students’ and the instructor’s scores were correlated; the Pearson coefficient of 0.52 was statistically significant. The results indicate that students gained sufficient knowledge to accurately evaluate proposed designs. Additionally, the overall course grade distribution improved compared to the semester before the project was introduced. Finally, in order to engage students in thinking about their own learning process, they completed a reflection assignment that required them to discuss the changes in their understanding of microbiology over the course of the semester. Our assessment indicates that a design project can serve as an effective and useful learning technique in undergraduate Microbiology courses, though modifications are suggested. PMID:23653757

  1. How does sport psychology actually improve athletic performance? A framework to facilitate athletes' and coaches' understanding.

    PubMed

    Gee, Chris J

    2010-09-01

    The popularity of sport psychology, both as an academic discipline and an applied practice, has grown substantially over the past two decades. Few within the realm of competitive athletics would argue with the importance of being mentally prepared prior to an athletic competition as well as the need to maintain that particular mindset during a competitive contest. Nevertheless, recent research has shown that many athletes, coaches, and sporting administrators are still quite reluctant to seek out the services of a qualified sport psychologist, even if they believe it could help. One of the primary reasons for this hesitation appears to be a lack of understanding about the process and the mechanisms by which these mental skills affect performance. Unlike the "harder sciences" of sport physiology and biochemistry where athletes can see the tangible results in themselves or other athletes (e.g., he or she lifted weights, developed larger muscles, and is now stronger/faster as a result), the unfamiliar and often esoteric nature of sport psychology appears to be impeding a large number of athletes from soliciting these important services. As such, the purpose of this article is to provide the reader with a simple framework depicting how mental skills training translates into improved within-competition performance. This framework is intended to help bridge the general "understanding gap" that is currently being reported by a large number of athletes and coaches, while also helping sport psychology practitioners sell their valuable services to individual athletes and teams. PMID:20935240

  2. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of belowground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes

    SciTech Connect

    McCormack, M. Luke; Dickie, Ian A.; Eissenstat, David M.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Christopher W.; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Helja -Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jackson, Robert B.; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J.; Phillips, Richard P.; Pregitzer, Kurt S.; Pritchard, Seth G.; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-03-10

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. We define fine roots as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. We demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Furthermore, using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. In the future we hope to develop tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.

  3. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of belowground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    McCormack, M. Luke; Dickie, Ian A.; Eissenstat, David M.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Christopher W.; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Helja -Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jackson, Robert B.; et al

    2015-03-10

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. We define fine roots as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. We demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, finemore » roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Furthermore, using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. In the future we hope to develop tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.« less

  4. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    McCormack, M. Luke; Dickie, Ian A.; Eissenstat, David M.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fernandez, Christopher W.; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jackson, Robert B.; et al

    2015-03-10

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain due to challenges in consistent measurement and interpretation of fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots less than or equal to 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. Here, we demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. Inmore » these frameworks, fine roots are separated into either individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine root pool. Using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally a ca. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. Future work developing tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi in fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand belowground processes in the terrestrial biosphere.« less

  5. Towards an Improved Understanding of Shock Effects in Recovered Samples: Application to Shocked Clay Minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spaulding, Dylan; Stewart, Sarah; Hankin, Markos; Wizda, Lee

    2015-06-01

    Samples recovered from shock-compression experiments offer a unique opportunity to understand the response of materials to extreme conditions. Correct interpretation of such experiments requires understanding the independent roles of pressure and temperature upon both compression and release. Previous shock-recovery experiments have largely ignored the thermal history of the sample or have underestimated peak pressures due to strong impedance mismatch between the sample and its surroundings. Here, we present current efforts towards increasingly controlled shock recovery schemes for the study of devolatilization in phyllosilicate clays. Shock effects may influence how volatiles within such clays are preferentially incorporated or lost during planetary accretion as well as spectral observations and interpretations of the aqueous history of planetary surfaces. We present both equation-of-state, post-shock temperature and devolatilization data for Kaolinite and Montmorillonite (up to 21 and 23 GPa, respectively) as well as post-mortem sample analysis using a variety of methods. Performance of sample recovery designs are simulated using a 3D Eulerian hydrodynamic code (CTH) and compared to experiments in order to optimize and improve sample geometries.

  6. On-Ramp: Improving students' understanding of lock-in amplifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, Seth; Singh, Chandralekha; Levy, Jeremy

    2013-03-01

    A lock-in amplifier is a powerful and versatile instrument which is used frequently in condensed matter physics research. However, many students struggle with the basics of a lock-in amplifier and they have difficulty in interpreting the data obtained with this device in diverse applications. To improve students' understanding, we are developing an ``On-Ramp'' tutorial based on physics education research which makes use of a computer simulation of a lock-in amplifier. During the development of the tutorial we interviewed several faculty members and graduate students. The tutorial is based on a field-tested approach in which students realize their difficulties after predicting the outcome of experiments that use a lock-in amplifier; students can check their predictions using simulations. The tutorial then guides students toward a coherent understanding of the basics of a lock-in amplifier. This poster will discuss the development and assessment process. This work is supported by NSF NEB (DMR-1124131) and NSF (PHY-1202909).

  7. Active learning to understand infectious disease models and improve policy making.

    PubMed

    Willem, Lander; Stijven, Sean; Vladislavleva, Ekaterina; Broeckhove, Jan; Beutels, Philippe; Hens, Niel

    2014-04-01

    Modeling plays a major role in policy making, especially for infectious disease interventions but such models can be complex and computationally intensive. A more systematic exploration is needed to gain a thorough systems understanding. We present an active learning approach based on machine learning techniques as iterative surrogate modeling and model-guided experimentation to systematically analyze both common and edge manifestations of complex model runs. Symbolic regression is used for nonlinear response surface modeling with automatic feature selection. First, we illustrate our approach using an individual-based model for influenza vaccination. After optimizing the parameter space, we observe an inverse relationship between vaccination coverage and cumulative attack rate reinforced by herd immunity. Second, we demonstrate the use of surrogate modeling techniques on input-response data from a deterministic dynamic model, which was designed to explore the cost-effectiveness of varicella-zoster virus vaccination. We use symbolic regression to handle high dimensionality and correlated inputs and to identify the most influential variables. Provided insight is used to focus research, reduce dimensionality and decrease decision uncertainty. We conclude that active learning is needed to fully understand complex systems behavior. Surrogate models can be readily explored at no computational expense, and can also be used as emulator to improve rapid policy making in various settings. PMID:24743387

  8. Redefining fine roots improves understanding of below-ground contributions to terrestrial biosphere processes.

    PubMed

    McCormack, M Luke; Dickie, Ian A; Eissenstat, David M; Fahey, Timothy J; Fernandez, Christopher W; Guo, Dali; Helmisaari, Heljä-Sisko; Hobbie, Erik A; Iversen, Colleen M; Jackson, Robert B; Leppälammi-Kujansuu, Jaana; Norby, Richard J; Phillips, Richard P; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Pritchard, Seth G; Rewald, Boris; Zadworny, Marcin

    2015-08-01

    Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain because of the challenges of consistently measuring and interpreting fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots ≤ 2 mm in diameter, yet it is now recognized that this approach fails to capture the diversity of form and function observed among fine-root orders. Here, we demonstrate how order-based and functional classification frameworks improve our understanding of dynamic root processes in ecosystems dominated by perennial plants. In these frameworks, fine roots are either separated into individual root orders or functionally defined into a shorter-lived absorptive pool and a longer-lived transport fine-root pool. Using these frameworks, we estimate that fine-root production and turnover represent 22% of terrestrial net primary production globally - a c. 30% reduction from previous estimates assuming a single fine-root pool. Future work developing tools to rapidly differentiate functional fine-root classes, explicit incorporation of mycorrhizal fungi into fine-root studies, and wider adoption of a two-pool approach to model fine roots provide opportunities to better understand below-ground processes in the terrestrial biosphere. PMID:25756288

  9. Improving conservation outcomes with a new paradigm for understanding species’ fundamental and realized adaptive capacity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik; O’Leary, John; Mengelt, Claudia; West, Jordan M.; Julius, Susan; Green, Nancy; Magness, Dawn; Petes, Laura E.; Stein, Bruce A.; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Hellmann, Jessica J; Robertson, Amanda L; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Rosenberg, Andrew A.; Babij, Eleanora; Brennan, Jean; Schuurman, Gregor W; Hofmann, Gretchen E

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, many species are responding to ongoing climate change with shifts in distribution, abundance, phenology, or behavior. Consequently, natural-resource managers face increasingly urgent conservation questions related to biodiversity loss, expansion of invasive species, and deteriorating ecosystem services. We argue that our ability to address these questions is hampered by the lack of explicit consideration of species’ adaptive capacity (AC). AC is the ability of a species or population to cope with climatic changes and is characterized by three fundamental components: phenotypic plasticity, dispersal ability, and genetic diversity. However, few studies simultaneously address all elements; often, AC is confused with sensitivity or omitted altogether from climate-change vulnerability assessments. Improved understanding, consistent definition, and comprehensive evaluations of AC are needed. Using classic ecological-niche theory as an analogy, we propose a new paradigm that considers fundamental and realized AC: the former reflects aspects inherent to species, whereas the latter denotes how extrinsic factors constrain AC to what is actually expressed or observed. Through this conceptualization, we identify ecological attributes contributing to AC, outline areas of research necessary to advance understanding of AC, and provide examples demonstrating how the inclusion of AC can better inform conservation and natural-resource management.

  10. Research on hotspot discovery in internet public opinions based on improved K-means.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gensheng

    2013-01-01

    How to discover hotspot in the Internet public opinions effectively is a hot research field for the researchers related which plays a key role for governments and corporations to find useful information from mass data in the Internet. An improved K-means algorithm for hotspot discovery in internet public opinions is presented based on the analysis of existing defects and calculation principle of original K-means algorithm. First, some new methods are designed to preprocess website texts, select and express the characteristics of website texts, and define the similarity between two website texts, respectively. Second, clustering principle and the method of initial classification centers selection are analyzed and improved in order to overcome the limitations of original K-means algorithm. Finally, the experimental results verify that the improved algorithm can improve the clustering stability and classification accuracy of hotspot discovery in internet public opinions when used in practice. PMID:24106496

  11. Towards Improving Public Understanding of Judgement Practice in Standards-Referenced Assessment: An Australian Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klenowski, Val

    2013-01-01

    Curriculum and standards-referenced assessment reform in accountability contexts are increasingly dominated by the use of testing, evidence, comparative analyses of achievement data and policy as numbers all of which have given rise to a set of related developments. Internationally these developments towards the use of standards for assessment and…

  12. Leveraging Conceptual Frameworks to Improve Students' Mental Organization of Astronomy Understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Lee, K. M.

    2006-06-01

    Many different types of schematic diagrams are useful in helping students organize and internalize their developing understanding in introductory astronomy courses. These include Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts, Concept Maps, among others, which illustrate the relationships between astronomical objects and dynamic concepts. These conceptual framework diagrams have been incorporated into the NSF-funded ClassAction project. ClassAction is a collection of electronic materials designed to enhance the metacognitive skills of college and university introductory astronomy survey students by promoting interactive engagement and providing rapid feedback in a highly visual setting. The main effort is targeted at creating dynamic think-pair-share questions supported by simulations, animations, and visualizations to be projected in the lecture classroom. The infrastructure allows instructors to recast these questions into alternative forms based on their own pedagogical preferences and feedback from the class. The recourses can be easily selected from a FLASH computer database and are accompanied by outlines, graphics, and numerous simulations which the instructor can use to provide student feedback and, when necessary, remediation. ClassAction materials are publicly available online at URL: http://astro.unl.edu and is funded by NSF Grant #0404988.

  13. Understanding public perceptions of risk regarding outdoor pet cats to inform conservation action.

    PubMed

    Gramza, Ashley; Teel, Tara; VandeWoude, Susan; Crooks, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    Free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) incur and impose risks on ecosystems and represent a complex issue of critical importance to biodiversity conservation and cat and human health globally. Prior social science research on this topic is limited and has emphasized feral cats even though owned cats often comprise a large proportion of the outdoor cat population, particularly in urban areas. To address this gap, we examined public risk perceptions and attitudes toward outdoor pet cats across varying levels of urbanization, including along the wildland-urban interface, in Colorado (U.S.A.), through a mail survey of 1397 residents. Residents did not view all types of risks uniformly. They viewed risks of cat predation on wildlife and carnivore predation on cats as more likely than disease-related risks. Additionally, risk perceptions were related to attitudes, prior experiences with cats and cat-wildlife interactions, and cat-owner behavior. Our findings suggest that changes in risk perceptions may result in behavior change. Therefore, knowledge of cat-related risk perceptions and attitudes could be used to develop communication programs aimed at promoting risk-aversive behaviors among cat owners and cat-management strategies that are acceptable to the public and that directly advance the conservation of native species. PMID:26379227

  14. Understanding public perceptions of benefits and risks of childhood vaccinations in the United States.

    PubMed

    Song, Geoboo

    2014-03-01

    In the face of a growing public health concern accompanying the reemerging threat of preventable diseases, this research seeks mainly to explain variations in the perceived benefits and risks of vaccinations among the general public in the United States. As Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky's grid-group cultural theory of risk perception claims, the analytical results based upon original data from a nationwide Internet survey of 1,213 American adults conducted in 2010 suggest that individuals' cultural predispositions contribute to the formation of their perceptions pertaining to vaccine benefits and risks at both societal and individual levels, in conjunction with other factors suggested by previous risk perception literature, such as perceived prevalence of diseases, trust, knowledge level, and demographic characteristics. Those with a strong hierarch orientation tend to envision greater benefits and lesser risks and conceive of a relatively high ratio of benefit to risk when compared to other cultural types. By contrast, those with a strong fatalist tendency are inclined to emphasize risks and downplay benefits while conceiving of a low vaccination benefit-risk ratio. Situated between hierarchs and fatalists, strong egalitarians are prone to perceive greater benefits, smaller risks, and a more positive benefit-risk ratio than strong individualists. PMID:24033739

  15. 'Fracking' Controversy and Communication: Using National Survey Data to Understand Public Perceptions of Hydraulic Fracturing (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boudet, H. S.

    2013-12-01

    The recent push to develop unconventional sources of oil and gas both in the U.S. and abroad via hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') has generated a great deal of controversy. Effectively engaging stakeholders and setting appropriate policies requires insights into current public perceptions of this issue. Using a nationally representative U.S. sample (N=1,061), we examine public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing including: 'top of mind' associations; familiarity with the issue; levels of support/opposition; and predictors of such judgments. Similar to findings on other emerging technologies, our results suggest limited familiarity with the process and its potential impacts and considerable uncertainty about whether to support it. Multiple regression analysis (r2 = 0.49) finds that women, those holding egalitarian worldviews, those who read newspapers more than once a week, those more familiar with hydraulic fracturing, and those who associate the process with environmental impacts are more likely to oppose fracking. In contrast, people more likely to support fracking tend to be older, hold a bachelor's degree or higher, politically conservative, watch TV news more than once a week, and associate the process with positive economic or energy supply outcomes. Based on these findings, we discuss recommendations for future research, risk communication, and energy policy.

  16. Bovine brucellosis in wildlife: using adaptive management to improve understanding, technology and suppression.

    PubMed

    White, P J; Treanor, J J; Geremia, C; Wallen, R L; Blanton, D W; Hallac, D E

    2013-04-01

    Eradication of brucellosis from bison (Bison bison) and elk (Cervus elaphus) populations in the Greater Yellowstone Area is not possible with current technology. There are considerable uncertainties regarding the effectiveness of management techniques and unintended effects on wildlife behaviour and demography. However, adaptive management provides a framework for learning about the disease, improving suppression techniques, and lowering brucellosis transmission among wildlife and to cattle. Since it takes approximately three years after birth for female bison to become reproductively active and contribute to brucellosis transmission, there is an opportunity to implement actions such as vaccination and the selective removal of infectious bison based on age and assay results to reduce the potential for transmission. Older adult bison that have been exposed to the bacteria, but recovered from acute infection, could be retained in the population to provide some immunity (resistance) against future transmission. Through careful predictions, research, and monitoring, our understanding and technology will be improved and management actions can be adjusted to better achieve desired outcomes. PMID:23837383

  17. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: Functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement

    PubMed Central

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-01-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. PMID:24092674

  18. Jatropha curcas, a biofuel crop: functional genomics for understanding metabolic pathways and genetic improvement.

    PubMed

    Maghuly, Fatemeh; Laimer, Margit

    2013-10-01

    Jatropha curcas is currently attracting much attention as an oilseed crop for biofuel, as Jatropha can grow under climate and soil conditions that are unsuitable for food production. However, little is known about Jatropha, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome. In fact, Jatropha has not really been domesticated; most of the Jatropha accessions are toxic, which renders the seedcake unsuitable for use as animal feed. The seeds of Jatropha contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which negatively impact the biofuel quality. Fruiting of Jatropha is fairly continuous, thus increasing costs of harvesting. Therefore, before starting any improvement program using conventional or molecular breeding techniques, understanding gene function and the genome scale of Jatropha are prerequisites. This review presents currently available and relevant information on the latest technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) to decipher important metabolic pathways within Jatropha, such as oil and toxin synthesis. Further, it discusses future directions for biotechnological approaches in Jatropha breeding and improvement. PMID:24092674

  19. Understanding consumer preference and willingness to pay for improved cookstoves in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Julia; Derby, Elisa; Dutta, Karabi

    2015-01-01

    The USAID/WASHplus project conducted a comprehensive assessment to understand consumer needs and preferences as they relate to increasing the uptake and consistent, exclusive, and correct use of improved cookstoves (ICSs) in Bangladesh. The assessment included household ICS trials, fuel and stove use monitoring, and consumers' perceived value of and willingness to pay for ICSs. Results showed that cooks appreciated and liked the ICS, but that no models met consumer needs sufficiently to replace traditional stoves. Initially, many preferred ICSs over traditional stoves, but this preference decreased over the 3-week trial period. Complaints and suggestions for improvement fell into two general categories: those that can be addressed through fairly simple modifications to the stove design, and those more appropriately addressed through point-of-purchase consumer education and follow-up from service agents or health outreach workers. Most households using the ICS realized fuel use reductions, although these were lower than expected, partly because of continued parallel traditional stove use. When given the option to purchase the stoves at market value, only one of 105 households did so; however, a separate assessment showed that 80% of participants (12 of 15 households) preferred to keep the stove rather than receive a cash buyout at market value. This indicates that users value the ICS when acquisition barriers are removed and highlights the need for better financing options. PMID:25839200

  20. Understanding the origin of the solar cyclic activity for an improved earth climate prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turck-Chièze, Sylvaine; Lambert, Pascal

    This review is dedicated to the processes which could explain the origin of the great extrema of the solar activity. We would like to reach a more suitable estimate and prediction of the temporal solar variability and its real impact on the Earth climatic models. The development of this new field is stimulated by the SoHO helioseismic measurements and by some recent solar modelling improvement which aims to describe the dynamical processes from the core to the surface. We first recall assumptions on the potential different solar variabilities. Then, we introduce stellar seismology and summarize the main SOHO results which are relevant for this field. Finally we mention the dynamical processes which are presently introduced in new solar models. We believe that the knowledge of two important elements: (1) the magnetic field interplay between the radiative zone and the convective zone and (2) the role of the gravity waves, would allow to understand the origin of the grand minima and maxima observed during the last millennium. Complementary observables like acoustic and gravity modes, radius and spectral irradiance from far UV to visible in parallel to the development of 1D-2D-3D simulations will improve this field. PICARD, SDO, DynaMICCS are key projects for a prediction of the next century variability. Some helioseismic indicators constitute the first necessary information to properly describe the Sun-Earth climatic connection.

  1. Improving the Quality of Early Childhood Education in Chile: Tensions between Public Policy and Teacher Discourses over the Schoolarisation of Early Childhood Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pardo, Marcela; Woodrow, Christine

    2014-01-01

    This article problematises emerging tensions in Chile, in relation to the discourses of early childhood teachers and public policies aimed at improving the quality of early childhood education. The aim of the analysis is to contribute to developing more nuanced understandings of these tensions, through the analytical lenses provided by the…

  2. Public Understanding of Science as Seen by the Scientific Community: Do We Need To Re-Conceptualize the Challenge and To Re-Examine Our Own Assumptions?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cobern, William W.

    This paper addresses the question of how the scientific community views the public understanding of science and whether there needs to be a re-conceptualization of the challenge to foster the public understanding of science, as well as whether there is a need to re-examine assumptions. It is argued that the science community's historic perspective…

  3. Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health: A Framework for Public Health Law Research

    PubMed Central

    Burris, Scott; Wagenaar, Alexander C; Swanson, Jeffrey; Ibrahim, Jennifer K; Wood, Jennifer; Mello, Michelle M

    2010-01-01

    Context: Public health law has received considerable attention in recent years and has become an essential field in public health. Public health law research, however, has received less attention. Methods: Expert commentary. Findings: This article explores public health law research, defined as the scientific study of the relation of law and legal practices to population health. The article offers a logic model of public health law research and a typology of approaches to studying the effects of law on public health. Research on the content and prevalence of public health laws, processes of adopting and implementing laws, and the extent to which and mechanisms through which law affects health outcomes can use methods drawn from epidemiology, economics, sociology, and other disciplines. The maturation of public health law research as a field depends on methodological rigor, adequate research funding, access to appropriate data sources, and policymakers’ use of research findings. Conclusions: Public health law research is a young field but holds great promise for supporting evidence-based policymaking that will improve population health. PMID:20579282

  4. Understanding Sarason's concepts of school cultures and change: joining a community in school improvement efforts.

    PubMed

    Lorion, Raymond P

    2011-12-01

    This paper describes an evolving transformative partnership between a large comprehensive university, an urban school system and a predominantly African-American, low-income neighborhood. The partnership's originating intent was to apply an array of university, civic and local resources to improve the academic performance of a neighborhood's schools and the health, welfare and economic well-being of its residents. The extent to which that partnership would precipitate transactional (Sameroff and Fiese, Handbook of early childhood intervention, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 119-149 in 1990) synergies among the partners was unanticipated; the long-term implications for each of the partners of such unfamiliar interactional processes remain unclear but are being systematically monitored over time. Evident at this point, however, it that a process has been initiated that has impacted how the university community, the local public school system, city government and the target neighborhood relate to each other, collaborate with each other and are changing each other. The pace of that process has varied over the years and challenged each partners' expectations and assumptions about the nature and consequences of their involvement. With time and perseverance, however, it appears that all are moving toward a sense of mutual learning and trust and toward extending to each other the benefit of the doubt. This paper discusses the evolution of that process and its implications for university-school-community collaborations. PMID:20857327

  5. A surfeit of science: The "CSI effect" and the media appropriation of the public understanding of science.

    PubMed

    Cole, Simon A

    2015-02-01

    Over the past decade, popular media has promulgated claims that the television program CSI and its spinoffs and imitators have had a pernicious effect on the public understanding of forensic science, the so-called "CSI effect." This paper analyzes those media claims by documenting the ways in which the media claims that CSI "distorts" an imagined "reality." It shows that the media appropriated the analytic stance usually adopted by science advocates, portraying the CSI effect as a social problem in science communication. This appropriation was idiosyncratic in that it posited, as a social problem, a "surfeit" of knowledge and positive imagery about science, rather than the more familiar "deficits." In addition, the media simultaneously appropriated both "traditional" and "critical" PUS discourses. Despite this apparent contradiction, the paper concludes that, in both discourses, the media and its expert informants insist upon their hegemony over "the public" to articulate the "reality" of forensic science. PMID:23825289

  6. Achieving Healthy School Siting and Planning Policies: Understanding Shared Concerns of Environmental Planners, Public Health Professionals, and Educators

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Alison

    2013-01-01

    Policy decisions regarding the quality of the physical school environment—both, school siting and school facility planning policies—are often considered through the lens of environmental planning, public health, or education policy, but rarely through all three. Environmental planners consider environmental justice issues on a local level and/or consider the regional impact of a school. Public health professionals focus on toxic exposures and populations particularly vulnerable to negative health outcomes. Educators and education policymakers emphasize investing in human capital of both students and staff. By understanding these respective angles and combining these efforts around the common goals of achieving adequacy and excellence, we can work towards a regulatory system for school facilities that recognizes children as a uniquely vulnerable population and seeks to create healthier school environments in which children can learn and adults can work. PMID:20359991

  7. Can spectroscopic analysis improve our understanding of biogeochemical processes in agricultural streams?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bieroza, Magdalena; Heathwaite, Ann Louise

    2015-04-01

    In agricultural catchments diffuse fluxes of nutrients, mainly nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from arable land and livestock are responsible for pollution of receiving waters and their eutrophication. Organic matter (OM) can play an important role in mediating a range of biogeochemical processes controlling diffuse pollution in streams and at their interface with surrounding land in the riparian and hyporheic zones. Thus, a holistic and simultaneous monitoring of N, P and OM fractions can help to improve our understanding of biogeochemical functioning of agricultural streams. In this study we build on intensive in situ monitoring of diffuse pollution in a small agricultural groundwater-fed stream in NW England carried out since 2009. The in situ monitoring unit captures high-frequency (15 minutes to hourly) responses of water quality parameters including total phosphorus, total reactive phosphorus and nitrate-nitrogen to changing flow conditions. For two consecutive hydrological years we have carried out additional spectroscopic water analyses to characterise organic matter components and their interactions with nutrient fractions. Automated and grab water samples have been analysed using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorbance and excitation-emission (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, a tryptophan sensor was trialled to capture in situ fluorescence dynamics. Our paper evaluates patterns in nutrient and OM responses to baseflow and storm flow conditions and provides an assessment of storage-related changes of automated samples and temperature and turbidity effects on in situ tryptophan measurements. The paper shows the value of spectroscopic measurements to understand biogeochemical and hydrological nutrient dynamics and quantifies analytical uncertainty associated with both laboratory-based and in situ spectroscopic measurements.

  8. Evaluating, understanding and improving the quality of clinical placements for undergraduate nurses: A practice development approach.

    PubMed

    Courtney-Pratt, Helen; Ford, Karen; Marlow, Annette

    2015-11-01

    Supervision and support is central to sustainability of clinical placement experiences of undergraduate nurses, but open to influences that impact nurses' capacity to undertake the role. Whilst supervision of learners is integral to the role of health care professionals, the primary responsibility is to deliver safe and effective care. Supervision of learners in practice is impacted by low levels of organisational support, variable individual preparedness, and lack of feedback and recognition for the role from education and industry partners. Over a period of five years the Quality Clinical Placement Evaluation research team, consisting of a partnership between health care and tertiary sectors have developed, and utilised a practice development approach to understand and support the quality of clinical placement for undergraduates and supervising ward nurses involved in Tasmanian clinical placement programs. Importantly, the approach evolved over time to be a flexible three step program supporting the translation of findings to practice, comprised of an education session related to supervision support; survey distribution to undergraduates and supervising ward nurses following clinical placement; and workshops where stakeholders come together to consider findings of the survey, their experience and the local context, with resultant actions for change. This paper reports on findings from the program after successful implementation in urban tertiary hospitals as it was implemented in non-traditional clinical placement settings, including community, aged care and rural settings. Feedback from clinicians identifies the utility of the three step program across these settings. The unique partnerships and approach to evaluating, understanding and improving quality of clinical placements has potential for transferability to other areas, with the value of findings established for all stakeholders. PMID:26256817

  9. Understanding public drug procurement in India: a comparative qualitative study of five Indian states

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Prabal Vikram; Tatambhotla, Anand; Kalvakuntla, Rohini; Chokshi, Maulik

    2013-01-01

    Objective To perform an initial qualitative comparison of the different procurement models in India to frame questions for future research in this area; to capture the finer differences between the state models through 53 process and price parameters to determine their functional efficiencies. Design Qualitative analysis is performed for the study. Five states: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab and Maharashtra were chosen to ensure heterogeneity in a number of factors such as procurement type (centralised, decentralised or mixed); autonomy of the procurement organisation; state of public health infrastructure; geography and availability of data through Right to Information Act (RTI). Data on procurement processes were collected through key informant analysis by way of semistructured interviews with leadership teams of procuring organisations. These process data were validated through interviews with field staff (stakeholders of district hospitals, taluk hospitals, community health centres and primary health centres) in each state. A total of 30 actors were interviewed in all five states. The data collected are analysed against 52 process and price parameters to determine the functional efficiency of the model. Results The analysis indicated that autonomous procurement organisations were more efficient in relation to payments to suppliers, had relatively lower drug procurement prices and managed their inventory more scientifically. Conclusions The authors highlight critical success factors that significantly influence the outcome of any procurement model. In a way, this study raises more questions and seeks the need for further research in this arena to aid policy makers. PMID:23388196

  10. Physicians in the substance abuse treatment workforce: understanding their employment within publicly funded treatment organizations.

    PubMed

    Knudsen, Hannah K; Oser, Carrie B; Abraham, Amanda J; Roman, Paul M

    2012-09-01

    The employment of physicians by substance abuse treatment organizations is understudied, despite physicians' importance in implementing pharmacotherapy and integrating treatment into the broader system of medical care. Drawing on data collected from 249 publicly funded treatment organizations, this study examined organizational and environmental factors associated with the employment of physicians in these settings. A negative binomial regression model indicated that greater numbers of physicians were employed when organizations offered detoxification services, were embedded in health care settings, and were larger in size. Funding barriers, including the costs of physicians and inadequate reimbursement by funders, were negatively associated with physician employment. Programs unaware that they could use state contract funding to pay for medical staff employed fewer numbers of physicians than programs aware of this type of state policy. Attempts to increase physician employment in substance abuse treatment may require attention to both organizational and environmental factors rather than simply trying to attract individuals to the field. Increasing physician employment may be challenging in the current economic climate. PMID:22301083

  11. Toward an improved understanding of the role of transpiration in critical zone dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitra, B.; Papuga, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important component of the total water balance across any ecosystem. In subalpine mixed-conifer ecosystems, transpiration (T) often dominates the total water flux and therefore improved understanding of T is critical for accurate assessment of catchment water balance and for understanding of the processes that governs the complex dynamics across critical zone (CZ). The interaction between T and plant vegetation not only modulates soil water balance but also influences water transit time and hydrochemical flux - key factors in our understanding of how the CZ evolves and responds. Unlike an eddy covariance system which provides only an integrated ET flux from an ecosystem, a sap flow system can provide an estimate of the T flux from the ecosystem. By isolating T, the ecohydrological drivers of this major water loss from the CZ can be identified. Still, the species composition of mixed-conifer ecosystems vary and the drivers of T associated with each species are expected to be different. Therefore, accurate quantification of T from a mixed-conifer requires knowledge of the unique transpiration dynamics of each of the tree species. Here, we installed a sap flow system within two mixed-conifer study sites of the Jemez River Basin - Santa Catalina Mountains Critical Zone Observatory (JRB - SCM CZO). At both sites, we identified the dominant tree species and installed sap flow sensors on healthy representatives for each of those species. At the JRB CZO site, sap sensors were installed in fir (4) and spruce (4) trees; at the SCM CZO site, sap sensors were installed at white fir (4) and maple (4) and one dead tree. Meteorological data as well as soil temperature (Ts) and soil moisture (θ) at multiple depths were also collected from each of the two sites. Preliminary analysis of two years of sap flux rate at JRB - SCM CZO shows that the environmental drivers of fir, spruce, and maple are different and also vary throughout the year. For JRB fir

  12. Surveillance should be strengthened to improve epidemiological understandings of mosquito-borne Barmah Forest virus infection

    PubMed Central

    Eastwood, Keith; Webb, Cameron; Durrheim, David

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Barmah Forest virus (BFV) is a mosquito-borne virus causing epidemic polyarthritis in Australia. This study used case follow-up of cases from the surveillance system to demonstrate that routinely collected BFV notification data were an unreliable indicator of the true location of exposure. Methods BFV notifications from June 2001 to May 2011 were extracted from the New South Wales (NSW) Notifiable Conditions Information Management System to study case distribution. Disease cluster analysis was performed using spatial scan statistics. Exposure history data were collected from cases notified in 2010 and 2011 to accurately determine travel to high-risk areas. Results Cluster analysis using address data identified an area of increased BFV disease incidence in the mid-north coast of NSW contiguous with estuarine wetlands. When travel to this area was investigated, 96.7% (29/30) cases reported having visited coastal regions within four weeks of developing symptoms. Discussion Along the central NSW coastline, extensive wetlands occur in close proximity to populated areas. These wetlands provide ideal breeding habitats for a range of mosquito species implicated in the transmission of BFV. This is the first study to fully assess case exposure with findings suggesting that sporadic cases of BFV in people living further away from the coast do not reflect alternative exposure sites but are likely to result from travel to coastal regions. Spatial analysis by case address alone may lead to inaccurate understandings of the true distribution of arboviral diseases. Subsequently, this information has important implications for the collection of mosquito-borne disease surveillance information and public health response strategies. PMID:23908926

  13. Identifying continuous quality improvement publications: what makes an improvement intervention ‘CQI’?

    PubMed Central

    Hempel, Susanne; Lim, Yee-Wei; Danz, Marjorie S; Foy, Robbie; Suttorp, Marika J; Shekelle, Paul G; Rubenstein, Lisa V

    2011-01-01

    Background The term continuous quality improvement (CQI) is often used to refer to a method for improving care, but no consensus statement exists on the definition of CQI. Evidence reviews are critical for advancing science, and depend on reliable definitions for article selection. Methods As a preliminary step towards improving CQI evidence reviews, this study aimed to use expert panel methods to identify key CQI definitional features and develop and test a screening instrument for reliably identifying articles with the key features. We used a previously published method to identify 106 articles meeting the general definition of a quality improvement intervention (QII) from 9427 electronically identified articles from PubMed. Two raters then applied a six-item CQI screen to the 106 articles. Results Per cent agreement ranged from 55.7% to 75.5% for the six items, and reviewer-adjusted intra-class correlation ranged from 0.43 to 0.62. ‘Feedback of systematically collected data’ was the most common feature (64%), followed by being at least ‘somewhat’ adapted to local conditions (61%), feedback at meetings involving participant leaders (46%), using an iterative development process (40%), being at least ‘somewhat’ data driven (34%), and using a recognised change method (28%). All six features were present in 14.2% of QII articles. Conclusions We conclude that CQI features can be extracted from QII articles with reasonable reliability, but only a small proportion of QII articles include all features. Further consensus development is needed to support meaningful use of the term CQI for scientific communication. PMID:21727199

  14. Understanding Variability in Beach Slope to Improve Forecasts of Storm-induced Water Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doran, K. S.; Stockdon, H. F.; Long, J.

    2014-12-01

    The National Assessment of Hurricane-Induced Coastal Erosion Hazards combines measurements of beach morphology with storm hydrodynamics to produce forecasts of coastal change during storms for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines of the United States. Wave-induced water levels are estimated using modeled offshore wave height and period and measured beach slope (from dune toe to shoreline) through the empirical parameterization of Stockdon et al. (2006). Spatial and temporal variability in beach slope leads to corresponding variability in predicted wave setup and swash. Seasonal and storm-induced changes in beach slope can lead to differences on the order of a meter in wave runup elevation, making accurate specification of this parameter essential to skillful forecasts of coastal change. Spatial variation in beach slope is accounted for through alongshore averaging, but temporal variability in beach slope is not included in the final computation of the likelihood of coastal change. Additionally, input morphology may be years old and potentially very different than the conditions present during forecast storm. In order to improve our forecasts of hurricane-induced coastal erosion hazards, the temporal variability of beach slope must be included in the final uncertainty of modeled wave-induced water levels. Frequently collected field measurements of lidar-based beach morphology are examined for study sites in Duck, North Carolina, Treasure Island, Florida, Assateague Island, Virginia, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with some records extending over a period of 15 years. Understanding the variability of slopes at these sites will help provide estimates of associated water level uncertainty which can then be applied to other areas where lidar observations are infrequent, and improve the overall skill of future forecasts of storm-induced coastal change. Stockdon, H. F., Holman, R. A., Howd, P. A., and Sallenger Jr, A. H. (2006). Empirical parameterization of setup

  15. Does using active learning in thermodynamics lectures improve students’ conceptual understanding and learning experiences?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Georgiou, H.; Sharma, M. D.

    2015-01-01

    Encouraging ‘active learning’ in the large lecture theatre emerges as a credible recommendation for improving university courses, with reports often showing significant improvements in learning outcomes. However, the recommendations are based predominantly on studies undertaken in mechanics. We set out to examine those claims in the thermodynamics module of a large first year physics course with an established technique, called interactive lecture demonstrations (ILDs). The study took place at The University of Sydney, where four parallel streams of the thermodynamics module were divided into two streams that experienced the ILDs and two streams that did not. The programme was first implemented in 2011 to gain experience and refine logistical matters and repeated in 2012 with approximately 500 students. A validated survey, the thermal concepts survey, was used as pre-test and post-test to measure learning gains while surveys and interviews provided insights into what the ‘active learning’ meant from student experiences. We analysed lecture recordings to capture the time devoted to different activities in a lecture, including interactivity. The learning gains were in the ‘high gain’ range for the ILD streams and ‘medium gain’ for the other streams. The analysis of the lecture recordings showed that the ILD streams devoted significantly more time to interactivity while surveys and interviews showed that students in the ILD streams were thinking in deep ways. Our study shows that ILDs can make a difference in students’ conceptual understanding as well as their experiences, demonstrating the potential value-add that can be provided by investing in active learning to enhance lectures.

  16. Biologising parenting: neuroscience discourse, English social and public health policy and understandings of the child

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, Pam; Lee, Ellie; Macvarish, Jan

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, claims about children's developing brains have become central to the formation of child health and welfare policies in England. While these policies assert that they are based on neuro-scientific discoveries, their relationship to neuroscience itself has been debated. However, what is clear is that they portray a particular understanding of children and childhood, one that is marked by a lack of acknowledgment of child personhood. Using an analysis of key government-commissioned reports and additional advocacy documents, this article illustrates the ways that the mind of the child is reduced to the brain, and this brain comes to represent the child. It is argued that a highly reductionist and limiting construction of the child is produced, alongside the idea that parenting is the main factor in child development. It is concluded that this focus on children's brains, with its accompanying deterministic perspective on parenting, overlooks children's embodied lives and this has implications for the design of children's health and welfare services. PMID:25683275

  17. Long-range correlations improve understanding of the influence of network structure on contact dynamics.

    PubMed

    Peyrard, N; Dieckmann, U; Franc, A

    2008-05-01

    Models of infectious diseases are characterized by a phase transition between extinction and persistence. A challenge in contemporary epidemiology is to understand how the geometry of a host's interaction network influences disease dynamics close to the critical point of such a transition. Here we address this challenge with the help of moment closures. Traditional moment closures, however, do not provide satisfactory predictions close to such critical points. We therefore introduce a new method for incorporating longer-range correlations into existing closures. Our method is technically simple, remains computationally tractable and significantly improves the approximation's performance. Our extended closures thus provide an innovative tool for quantifying the influence of interaction networks on spatially or socially structured disease dynamics. In particular, we examine the effects of a network's clustering coefficient, as well as of new geometrical measures, such as a network's square clustering coefficients. We compare the relative performance of different closures from the literature, with or without our long-range extension. In this way, we demonstrate that the normalized version of the Bethe approximation-extended to incorporate long-range correlations according to our method-is an especially good candidate for studying influences of network structure. Our numerical results highlight the importance of the clustering coefficient and the square clustering coefficient for predicting disease dynamics at low and intermediate values of transmission rate, and demonstrate the significance of path redundancy for disease persistence. PMID:18262579

  18. Knowledge of the crime context: improving the understanding of why the cognitive interview works.

    PubMed

    Campos, L; Alonso-Quecuty, M L

    1998-01-01

    Since the Cognitive Interview (CI) was devised under laboratory conditions (Geiselman, Fisher, MacKinnon, & Holland, 1985), researchers have performed many experiments where a variety of variables and conditions have been reported. Nevertheless, few studies have attempted to delve into the theoretical aspects on which the CI is based. A variable that might help us to improve our understanding of why the CI works is prior knowledge of the crime context. Some studies have included familiar contexts and others unfamiliar ones, but no study has been performed to test the effect of the familiarity of the crime context as an independent variable. The aim of this research is to study the effect of prior knowledge on subjects' memory when they are interviewed by means of the CI in contrast to a Spanish Standard Interview (SSI). A significant effect of prior knowledge that subjects had of the context where the crime took place was expected, especially for those subjects who were interviewed by means of the CI. Results confirmed this hypothesis. PMID:9640435

  19. Improving our understanding of clouds in the Earth's climate using polarimetry (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knobelspiesse, K. D.; Dunagan, S.; van Diedenhoven, B.; Marshak, A.; Holben, B. N.

    2013-12-01

    Water and ice clouds play a fundamental role in the radiative balance (and therefore climate) of the Earth, so understanding their distribution and optical properties is crucial. Recently, new data products from the ground-based NASA Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) have been created. These products expand the scope of AERONET to provide data about clouds in addition to atmospheric aerosols for which the network was originally designed. The main AERONET cloud data product is the Cloud Optical Depth (COD), which describes the amount of light extinction due to clouds in a vertical atmospheric column. AERONET measurements of COD must rely, however, on assumptions about the cloud thermodynamic phase. If the thermodynamic phase can be identified, AERONET COD errors can be significantly reduced. AERONET sun photometers determine aerosol and cloud optical properties by observing both the direct solar beam and sky scattered radiation at a variety of wavelengths. Newer instruments are also sensitive to light polarization, which we show can be used to determine cloud thermodynamic phase and therefore improve AERONET cloud data products. This work has two components. First, we performed atmospheric radiative transfer simulations to verify that polarization does contain information about cloud phase, and how to best exploit this in an algorithm. Observations were then compared to theoretical simulations. The second component of this research is to build our own polarization sensitive radiometer that is optimized for cloud observations. Initial results from both of these efforts will be presented.

  20. Towards medicines regulatory authorities' quality performance improvement: value for public health.

    PubMed

    Pejović, Gordana; Filipović, Jovan; Tasić, Ljiljana; Marinković, Valentina

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to explore the possibility of implementing total quality management (TQM) principles in national medicines regulatory authorities in Europe to achieve all public health objectives. Bearing in mind that medicines regulation is a governmental function that serves societal objectives to protect and promote public health, measuring the effective achievement of quality objectives related to public health is of utmost importance. A generic TQM model for meeting public health objectives was developed and was tested on 10 European national medicines regulatory authorities with different regulatory performances. Participating national medicines regulatory authorities recognised all TQM factors of the proposed model in implemented systems with different degrees of understanding. An analysis of responses was performed within the framework of two established criteria-the regulatory authority's category and size. The value of the paper is twofold. First, the new generic TQM model proposes to integrate four public health objectives with six TQM factors. Second, national medicines regulatory authorities were analysed as public organisations and health authorities to develop a proper tool for assessing their regulatory performance. The paper emphasises the importance of designing an adequate approach to performance measurement of quality management systems in medicines regulatory authorities that will support their public service missions. PMID:24986713

  1. Polymer Solar Cells: Understanding Solvent Interactions and Morphology, and Strategies for Efficiency Improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Lilian

    Organic solar cells have the potential to be unrivaled in terms of processing cost, speed, and simplicity. The simplest of such devices consists of a single bulk-heterojunction (BHJ) active layer, in which the electron donor (conjugated polymer) and electron acceptor (fullerene) are deposited from a common solvent. The performance of BHJ solar cells is strongly correlated with the nanoscale structure of the active layer. Various processing techniques have been explored to improve the nanoscale morphology of the BHJ layer, e.g. by varying the casting solvent, thermal annealing, solvent annealing, and solvent additives. An understanding of the role of residual solvent in the BHJ layer is imperative in order to develop strategies for morphology stabilization and preserve the longevity of the device. This work highlights the effect of residual solvents on acceptor, (6,6)-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) diffusion and ultimately the stability of the morphology. We first show that solvent is retained within the BHJ film despite prolonged heat treatment, leading to extensive phase separation between poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and PCBM. We then show that the addition of a small volume fraction of nitrobenzene to the casting solution inhibits the diffusion of PCBM in the film and improves the fill factor of the BHJ device without further tempering. Other commonly used additives for morphology improvement were also investigated, i.e. 1,8-diiodooctane and 1-chloronaphthalene. We show that the choice of solvent additives has direct implications on morphological evolution, i.e. P3HT:PCBM BHJ films processed with a small amount of 1,8-diiodooctane or 1-chloronaphthalene have more crystalline PCBM domains compared to crystalline P3HT domains, while the opposite is true for films cast with nitrobenzene additive and films cast purely from chlorobenzene. The BHJ film cross-links when annealed at 300°C in the presence of 1,8-diiodooctane. Cross-linking is found to

  2. Public health training center evaluation: a framework for using logic models to improve practice and educate the public health workforce.

    PubMed

    Freedman, Ariela M; Simmons, Sheena; Lloyd, Laura M; Redd, Tara R; Alperin, Melissa Moose; Salek, Sahar S; Swier, Lori; Miner, Kathleen R

    2014-03-01

    The nation's 37 public health training centers (PHTCs) provide competency-based trainings and practice-based opportunities to advance the current and future public health workforces. The Emory PHTC, based in Atlanta, Georgia, has developed a comprehensive evaluation plan to address the many evaluation-related questions that must be answered to inform decisions that improve practice. This plan, based on the center's logic model, includes formative assessment, outcome evaluation, process evaluation, and programmatic evaluation. Rigorous evaluation has been used to (a) assess what is working, what is not working, and why; (b) guide decision making about program improvement; and (c) ensure efficient use of resources, such as time and money. This article describes how the Emory PHTC uses its logic model to guide development of a comprehensive evaluation plan and to create specific data collection tools. It also explains the process used to analyze data and make decisions to maximize effectiveness and ensure the best use of resources. Simply conducting trainings and providing opportunities for real-world application are not enough; it is critical to assess whether or not these educational opportunities are, in fact, educating. PMID:24578370

  3. What Do Children Learn about Biology from Factual Information? A Comparison of Interventions to Improve Understanding of Contagious Illnesses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myant, Katherine A.; Williams, Joanne M.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Children have been shown to hold misconceptions about illness, and previous work has indicated that their knowledge can be improved through the use of interventions. Aims: This study aims to evaluate interventions based on the provision of factual information for improving understanding of contagious illness. Sample: The participants…

  4. Understanding Teacher Effectiveness: Significant State Data Capacity Is Required to Measure and Improve Teacher Effectiveness. Data for Action 2012

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2012

    2012-01-01

    States are increasingly focused on understanding and improving teacher effectiveness. There are several funding opportunities that incentivize states to use data to inform measurements of teacher effectiveness. Local, state, and federal efforts support using data to improve teacher preparation programs. Preparation programs seek "access to data…

  5. What does "a gene for heart disease" mean? A focus group study of public understandings of genetic risk factors.

    PubMed

    Bates, Benjamin R; Templeton, Alan; Achter, Paul J; Harris, Tina M; Condit, Celeste M

    2003-06-01

    There is growing concern in the medical community about potential genetic determinism in the patient population. Limited information about the public understanding of genetic factors in disease formation is available. To access public perceptions of potentially deterministic phrasing of genetic risk factors, we sought to establish interpretations of the phrase, "a gene for heart disease." Focus groups in urban, suburban, and rural communities were conducted from July through October, 2001 in Georgia. A total of 108 participants were recruited. Participants were recruited to balance sex and racial representation. We used three outcome measures for participants understandings of the phrase: (1) participants' statements of the meaning of the phrase; (2) the level of determinism assigned to genetic factors by participants; and (3) participant reports of the health consequences of having "a gene for heart disease." Participants did not report a single interpretation of the phrase. There were dominant participant interpretations under each outcome measure: (1) "a gene for heart disease" was interpreted as meaning genetic and environmental factors both played roles in disease formation; (2) genetic predisposition was perceived as heightened, not absolute, risk; (3) the perceived health impact was a greater risk of becoming sick. Minority interpretations were found under each measure. Overall, naming "a gene for heart disease" does not appear to have a deterministic impact on a plurality of participants' perceptions of risks associated with genetic factors. Genetic fatalism in patient populations may be confined to a sizable minority. Important considerations for provider intervention and patient education are indicated. PMID:12749055

  6. Heliophysics 2009 Roadmap and Global Change: Possibilities for Improved Understanding of the Connection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spann, Jim

    2010-01-01

    Heliophysics is the science that includes all aspects of the research needed to understand the Sun and its effects on the Earth and the solar system. Six science targets: 1. Origins of Near-Earth Plasma - to understand the origin and transport of terrestrial plasma from its source to the magnetosphere and solar wind. 2. Solar Energetic Particle Acceleration and Transport - to understand how and where solar eruptions accelerate energetic particles that reach Earth. 3. Ion-Neutral Coupling in the Atmosphere - to understand how neutral winds control ionospheric variability. 4. Climate Impacts of Space Radiation - to understand our atmosphere s response to auroral, radiation belt, and solar energetic particles, and the associated effects on nitric oxide (NO) and ozone. 5. Dynamic Geospace Coupling - to understand how magnetospheric dynamics provides energy into the coupled ionosphere-magnetosphere system. 6. Heliospheric Magnetics - to understand the flow and dynamics of transient magnetic structures form the solar interior to Earth.

  7. Understanding and improving the mechanical stability of semiconducting polymers for flexible and stretchable electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Printz, Adam David

    Polymeric semiconductors offer the promise of low-cost, printable, and mechanically robust electronic devices for use in outdoor, portable, and wearable applications such as organic photovoltaics, biosensors, and electronic skins. However, many organic semiconductors are unable to accommodate the mechanical stresses these applications require, and it is therefore important to understand the factors and parameters that govern the mechanical stability of these materials. Chapter 1 provides a gentle introduction to the electronic and mechanical properties relevant to flexible and stretchable organic semiconductor devices. The idea of inherent competition between electronic performance and mechanical robustness is explored. Chapter 2 investigates the inherent competition between good electronic performance and mechanical robustness in poly(3-alkylthiophene)s. A key finding is a critical alkyl side-chain length that allows for good electronic performance and mechanical compliance. Chapter 3 and Appendix A are further studies on the properties of poly(3-alkylthiophene)s with side-chains close to the critical length to gain better understanding of the transition from good electronic properties and poor mechanical properties to poor electronic properties and good mechanical properties. Chapter 4 and Appendix B detail the effects on mechanical and electronic properties of statistical incorporation of unlike monomer into a low-bandgap polymer backbone in an effort to disrupt aggregation and improve mechanical compliance. Chapter 5 explores how the extent of molecular mixing of polythiophenes and fullerenes---materials common in organic photovoltaics---affects their mechanical properties. Chapter 6 describes the invention of a new technique to determine the yield point of thin films. A dependence on the alkyl-side chain length is observed, as well as a critical film thickness below which the yield point increases substantially. In Chapter 7, the weakly interacting H

  8. Periglacial process research for improved understanding of climate change in periglacial environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hvidtfeldt Christiansen, Hanne

    2010-05-01

    Periglacial landscapes extend widely outside the glaciated areas and the areas underlain by permafrost and with seasonal frost. Yet recently significant attention has in cryosphere research, related to periglacial geomorphology, been given to a direct climate permafrost relationship. The focus is on the permafrost thermal state including the thickness of the active layer, and often simplifying how these two key conditions are directly climatically controlled. There has been less focus on the understanding and quantification of the different periglacial processes, which largely control the consequences of changing climatic conditions on the permafrost and on seasonal frost all over the periglacial environments. It is the complex relationship between climate, micro-climate and local geomorphological, geological and ecological conditions, which controls periglacial processes. In several cases local erosion or deposition will affect the rates of landform change significantly more than any climate change. Thus detailed periglacial process studies will sophisticate the predictions of how periglacial landscapes can be expected to respond to climatic changes, and be built into Earth System Modelling. Particularly combining direct field observations and measurements with remote sensing and geochronological studies of periglacial landforms, enables a significantly improved understanding of periglacial process rates. An overview of the state of research in key periglacial processes are given focusing on ice-wedges and solifluction landforms, and seasonal ground thermal dynamics, all with examples from the high Arctic in Svalbard. Thermal contraction cracking and its seasonal meteorological control is presented, and potential thermal erosion of ice-wedges leading to development of thermokarst is discussed. Local and meteorological controls on solifluction rates are presented and their climatic control indicated. Seasonal ground thermal processes and their dependence on local

  9. Identifying quality improvement intervention publications - A comparison of electronic search strategies

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The evidence base for quality improvement (QI) interventions is expanding rapidly. The diversity of the initiatives and the inconsistency in labeling these as QI interventions makes it challenging for researchers, policymakers, and QI practitioners to access the literature systematically and to identify relevant publications. Methods We evaluated search strategies developed for MEDLINE (Ovid) and PubMed based on free text words, Medical subject headings (MeSH), QI intervention components, continuous quality improvement (CQI) methods, and combinations of the strategies. Three sets of pertinent QI intervention publications were used for validation. Two independent expert reviewers screened publications for relevance. We compared the yield, recall rate, and precision of the search strategies for the identification of QI publications and for a subset of empirical studies on effects of QI interventions. Results The search yields ranged from 2,221 to 216,167 publications. Mean recall rates for reference publications ranged from 5% to 53% for strategies with yields of 50,000 publications or fewer. The 'best case' strategy, a simple text word search with high face validity ('quality' AND 'improv*' AND 'intervention*') identified 44%, 24%, and 62% of influential intervention articles selected by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) experts, a set of exemplar articles provided by members of the Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) group, and a sample from the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Group (EPOC) register of studies, respectively. We applied the search strategy to a PubMed search for articles published in 10 pertinent journals in a three-year period which retrieved 183 publications. Among these, 67% were deemed relevant to QI by at least one of two independent raters. Forty percent were classified as empirical studies reporting on a QI intervention. Conclusions The presented search terms and

  10. "Know What to Do If You Encounter a Flash Flood": Mental Models Analysis for Improving Flash Flood Risk Communication and Public Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Lazrus, Heather; Morss, Rebecca E; Demuth, Julie L; Lazo, Jeffrey K; Bostrom, Ann

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how people view flash flood risks can help improve risk communication, ultimately improving outcomes. This article analyzes data from 26 mental models interviews about flash floods with members of the public in Boulder, Colorado, to understand their perspectives on flash flood risks and mitigation. The analysis includes a comparison between public and professional perspectives by referencing a companion mental models study of Boulder-area professionals. A mental models approach can help to diagnose what people already know about flash flood risks and responses, as well as any critical gaps in their knowledge that might be addressed through improved risk communication. A few public interviewees mentioned most of the key concepts discussed by professionals as important for flash flood warning decision making. However, most interviewees exhibited some incomplete understandings and misconceptions about aspects of flash flood development and exposure, effects, or mitigation that may lead to ineffective warning decisions when a flash flood threatens. These include important misunderstandings about the rapid evolution of flash floods, the speed of water in flash floods, the locations and times that pose the greatest flash flood risk in Boulder, the value of situational awareness and environmental cues, and the most appropriate responses when a flash flood threatens. The findings point to recommendations for ways to improve risk communication, over the long term and when an event threatens, to help people quickly recognize and understand threats, obtain needed information, and make informed decisions in complex, rapidly evolving extreme weather events such as flash floods. PMID:26369521

  11. Human exposure monitoring and evaluation in the Arctic: the importance of understanding exposures to the development of public health policy.

    PubMed Central

    Suk, William A; Avakian, Maureen D; Carpenter, David; Groopman, John D; Scammell, Madeleine; Wild, Christopher P

    2004-01-01

    Arctic indigenous peoples face significant challenges resulting from the contamination of Arctic air, water, and soil by persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and radionuclides. International cooperative efforts among governments and research institutions are under way to collect the information needed by environmental health scientists and public health officials to address environmental contamination in the Arctic. However, the climatic, political, and cultural conditions of the land and its native populations combine to present a unique set of scientific and logistic challenges to addressing this important public health issue. Public health officials have the responsibility to respect the cultural traditions of indigenous communities, while simultaneously designing strategies that will reduce their exposure to environmental contaminants and rates of disease and dysfunction. Researchers can better understand the link between environmental exposures and disease through monitoring programs for both the subsistence diets and health status of the indigenous populations. We suggest that the incorporation of community-based participatory research methods into programs designed to assess biomarkers of contaminant exposure in children and adults may be a valuable addition to ongoing and newly developed research programs. This approach could serve as a model for international environmental health initiatives, because it involves the participation of the local communities and seeks to builds trust between all stakeholders. PMID:14757538

  12. Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Council on Teacher Quality, 2012

    2012-01-01

    In partnership with the Urban League of Greater Miami, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released "Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in Miami," an in-depth study of the work rules Miami-Dade teachers. This look at the state of teacher policies in Miami-Dade County Public Schools explores the district's contract…

  13. 38 CFR 3.714 - Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries. 3.714 Section 3.714 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity...

  14. 38 CFR 3.714 - Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 38 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Improved pension elections-public assistance beneficiaries. 3.714 Section 3.714 Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS ADJUDICATION Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity...

  15. DSSTOX WEBSITE LAUNCH: IMPROVING PUBLIC ACCESS TO DATABASES FOR BUILDING STRUCTURE-TOXICITY PREDICTION MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    DSSTox Website Launch: Improving Public Access to Databases for Building Structure-Toxicity Prediction Models
    Ann M. Richard
    US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

    Distributed: Decentralized set of standardized, field-delimited databases,...

  16. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant–Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism

    PubMed Central

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant–microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant–microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  17. Learning from model improvement: On the contribution of complementary data to process understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenicia, Fabrizio; McDonnell, Jeffrey J.; Savenije, Hubert H. G.

    2008-06-01

    A priori determined model structures are common in catchment rainfall-runoff modeling. While this has resulted in many ready-to-use modeling tools, there are several shortcomings of a one-size-fits-all model structure. The uniqueness of catchments with respect to their hydrological behavior and the need to adapt model complexity to data availability challenge this status quo. We present a flexible approach to model development where the model structure is adapted progressively based on catchment characteristics and the data described by the experimentalist. We demonstrate this approach with the Maimai catchment in New Zealand, a location with a large availability of data, including stream discharge, groundwater levels, and stream isotope measurements. Different types of data are introduced progressively, and the architecture of the model is adjusted in a stepwise fashion to better describe the processes suggested by the new data sources. The revised models are developed in a way to strike a balance between model complexity and data availability, by keeping models as simple as possible, but complex enough to explain the dynamics of the data. Our work suggests that (1) discharge data provides information on the dynamics of storage (represented by the "free" water in the reservoirs) subject to pressure wave propagation generated by rainfall into the catchment, (2) groundwater data provides information on thresholds and on the contribution of different portions of the catchment to stream discharge, and (3) isotope data provides information on particle transport and mixing of the rainfall with the storage present in the catchment. Moreover, while groundwater data appear to be correlated with discharge data, and only a marginal improvement could be obtained adding this information to the model development process, isotope data appear to provide an orthogonal view on catchment behavior. This result contributes to understanding the value of data for modeling, which may

  18. Towards an Enhanced Understanding of Plant-Microbiome Interactions to Improve Phytoremediation: Engineering the Metaorganism.

    PubMed

    Thijs, Sofie; Sillen, Wouter; Rineau, Francois; Weyens, Nele; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2016-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a promising technology to clean-up contaminated soils based on the synergistic actions of plants and microorganisms. However, to become a widely accepted, and predictable remediation alternative, a deeper understanding of the plant-microbe interactions is needed. A number of studies link the success of phytoremediation to the plant-associated microbiome functioning, though whether the microbiome can exist in alternative, functional states for soil remediation, is incompletely understood. Moreover, current approaches that target the plant host, and environment separately to improve phytoremediation, potentially overlook microbial functions and properties that are part of the multiscale complexity of the plant-environment wherein biodegradation takes place. In contrast, in situ studies of phytoremediation research at the metaorganism level (host and microbiome together) are lacking. Here, we discuss a competition-driven model, based on recent evidence from the metagenomics level, and hypotheses generated by microbial community ecology, to explain the establishment of a catabolic rhizosphere microbiome in a contaminated soil. There is evidence to ground that if the host provides the right level and mix of resources (exudates) over which the microbes can compete, then a competitive catabolic and plant-growth promoting (PGP) microbiome can be selected for as long as it provides a competitive superiority in the niche. The competition-driven model indicates four strategies to interfere with the microbiome. Specifically, the rhizosphere microbiome community can be shifted using treatments that alter the host, resources, environment, and that take advantage of prioritization in inoculation. Our model and suggestions, considering the metaorganism in its natural context, would allow to gain further knowledge on the plant-microbial functions, and facilitate translation to more effective, and predictable phytotechnologies. PMID:27014254

  19. Use of NOMADSS Observations to Improve Our Understanding of the Land and Ocean Fluxes of Mercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, S.; Selin, N. E.; Jaffe, D. A.; Jaegle, L.; Gratz, L.; Ambrose, J. L., II; Shah, V.; Giang, A.

    2014-12-01

    We use measurements during the 2013 Nitrogen Oxidants Mercury and Aerosol Distributions Sources and Sinks (NOMADSS) campaign to constrain the land and ocean emissions of mercury, using a combination of forward and inverse modeling. Mercury emissions from land and ocean drive the global cycling of mercury. A recent bottom-up assessment of global mercury emissions estimated that the land and ocean sources release about 1500 and 2700 Mg yr-1 of mercury into the atmosphere, respectively. Thus, the average emission per unit area from the land is thought to exceed the ocean (Pirrone et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 5951-5964, 2010). Considering that there are additional mercury sources from the land (e.g., anthropogenic emission and biomass burning), this emission difference should lead to higher observed mercury levels over the land compared to over the ocean. However, several very recent measurement and modeling studies challenge such understanding. The NOMADSS campaign provided a first opportunity to measure speciated mercury concentrations over both land and ocean surfaces. As shown in Table 1, the median Total Mercury (TM) concentration in 0-1 km (within the planetary boundary layer) for over-ocean flights is 0.11 ng m-3 higher (p < 0.05) than for over-land flights, whereas the over-ocean flights have lower TM concentrations in > 1 km than the over-land flights. We combine analysis of NOMADDS mercury measurements with the GEOS-Chem model, to better constrain land and ocean mercury sources. The standard GEOS-Chem model cannot reproduce the mercury concentration differences between over the land and the ocean. We improve the GEOS-Chem model's ability to reproduce these observations by implementing updated air-sea and air-land exchange mechanisms. We find that increased ocean emissions are necessary to explain this discrepancy. These results are consistent with the inverse analysis of global GEM concentrations.

  20. Publications

    Cancer.gov

    Information about NCI publications including PDQ cancer information for patients and health professionals, patient-education publications, fact sheets, dictionaries, NCI blogs and newsletters and major reports.

  1. A Versatile Module to Improve Understanding of Scientific Literature through Peer Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacques-Fricke, Bridget T.; Hubert, Amy; Miller, Sarah

    2009-01-01

    Using primary literature in undergraduate science classes helps teach students both scientific information and process. However, students' lack of understanding of scientific techniques can hinder their understanding of the papers. This article describes a "technique module" that uses peer teaching and active learning to facilitate integration of…

  2. Improving Students' Understanding of, and Ability to Identify Independent and Dependent Variables

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aldrich, Rosalie S.

    2015-01-01

    Students need to have a basic understanding of research methods before obtaining a communication degree in order to become an intelligent consumer of research--someone who is able to read, understand, explain, and critically evaluate communication and other research reported in scholarly journals as well as in the popular press. These skills are…

  3. Improving Students' Understanding of Waves by Plotting a Displacement-Time Graph in Class

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wei, Yajun

    2012-01-01

    The topic of waves is one that many high school physics students find difficult to understand. This is especially true when using some A-level textbooks used in the U.K., where the concept of waves is introduced prior to the concept of simple harmonic oscillations. One of the challenges my students encounter is understanding the difference between…

  4. Toward a Research Agenda for Understanding and Improving the Use of Research Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Steven R.; Leffler, James C.; Hansen, Barbara A.

    2009-01-01

    Many researchers and research funders want their work to be influential in educational policy and practice, but there is little systematic understanding of how policymakers and practitioners use research evidence, much less how they acquire or interpret it. By understanding what does shape policymakers' and practitioners' decision making and the…

  5. Improving Social Understanding of Preschool Children: Evaluation of a Training Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Esteban, Moises; Sidera, Francesc; Serrano, Jessica; Amado, Anna; Rostan, Carles

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: This study tested the effects of a training program intending to foster social understanding or the capacity which enables them to understand themselves and others in terms of intentions, beliefs, desires, and emotions in children at preschool age. A number of studies have shown that in the context of shared narratives, children are…

  6. Location-allocation and accessibility models for improving the spatial planning of public health services.

    PubMed

    Polo, Gina; Acosta, C Mera; Ferreira, Fernando; Dias, Ricardo Augusto

    2015-01-01

    This study integrated accessibility and location-allocation models in geographic information systems as a proposed strategy to improve the spatial planning of public health services. To estimate the spatial accessibility, we modified the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) model with a different impedance function, a Gaussian weight for competition among service sites, a friction coefficient, distances along a street network based on the Dijkstra's algorithm and by performing a vectorial analysis. To check the accuracy of the strategy, we used the data from the public sterilization program for the dogs and cats of Bogot´a, Colombia. Since the proposed strategy is independent of the service, it could also be applied to any other public intervention when the capacity of the service is known. The results of the accessibility model were consistent with the sterilization program data, revealing that the western, central and northern zones are the most isolated areas under the sterilization program. Spatial accessibility improvement was sought by relocating the sterilization sites using the maximum coverage with finite demand and the p-median models. The relocation proposed by the maximum coverage model more effectively maximized the spatial accessibility to the sterilization service given the non-uniform distribution of the populations of dogs and cats throughout the city. The implementation of the proposed strategy would provide direct benefits by improving the effectiveness of different public health interventions and the use of financial and human resources. PMID:25775411

  7. Location-Allocation and Accessibility Models for Improving the Spatial Planning of Public Health Services

    PubMed Central

    Polo, Gina; Acosta, C. Mera; Ferreira, Fernando; Dias, Ricardo Augusto

    2015-01-01

    This study integrated accessibility and location-allocation models in geographic information systems as a proposed strategy to improve the spatial planning of public health services. To estimate the spatial accessibility, we modified the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) model with a different impedance function, a Gaussian weight for competition among service sites, a friction coefficient, distances along a street network based on the Dijkstra’s algorithm and by performing a vectorial analysis. To check the accuracy of the strategy, we used the data from the public sterilization program for the dogs and cats of Bogot´a, Colombia. Since the proposed strategy is independent of the service, it could also be applied to any other public intervention when the capacity of the service is known. The results of the accessibility model were consistent with the sterilization program data, revealing that the western, central and northern zones are the most isolated areas under the sterilization program. Spatial accessibility improvement was sought by relocating the sterilization sites using the maximum coverage with finite demand and the p-median models. The relocation proposed by the maximum coverage model more effectively maximized the spatial accessibility to the sterilization service given the non-uniform distribution of the populations of dogs and cats throughout the city. The implementation of the proposed strategy would provide direct benefits by improving the effectiveness of different public health interventions and the use of financial and human resources. PMID:25775411

  8. Use of the Vocera Communications Badge Improves Public Safety Response Times

    PubMed Central

    Joslin, Jeremy D.; Goldberger, David; Johnson, Loretta; Waltz, D. Paul

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. Violence in the Emergency Department (ED) has been a long-standing issue complicated by deficiencies in staff training, ease of weapons access, and response availability of public safety officers. The Vocera Badge is being used by our staff to request public safety assistance in lieu of a formal phone call to the University Police Communications Center. We sought to learn if use of this technology improved officer response times to the ED. Methods. Mean response times were reviewed and descriptive statistics analyzed to determine if the use of the Vocera Badge improved public safety officer response times to the ED. Results. Average response times improved from an average of 3.2 minutes (SD = 0.456) in the 6 months before the use of the communication badges to an average of 1.02 minutes (SD = 0.319) in the 6 months after use began. Conclusions. The use of the Vocera Badge seemed to decrease response times of public safety officers to our ED compared with the traditional method of calling a dispatch center to request assistance. PMID:27127654

  9. Transforming Public Health Systems: Using Data to Drive Organizational Capacity for Quality Improvement and Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Steinwachs, Donald M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: This paper examines the organization, services, and priorities of public health agencies and their capacity to be learning public health systems (LPHS). An LPHS uses data to measure population health and health risks and to evaluate its services and programs, and then integrates its own research with advances in scientific knowledge to innovate and improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Public Health Agencies and Impact for LPHS: Public health agencies’ (PHA) organizational characteristics vary across states, as does their funding per capita. Variations in organization, services provided, and expenditures per capita may reflect variations in community needs or may be associated with unmet needs. The status of legal statutes defining responsibilities and authorities and their relationships to other public and private agencies also vary. Little information is available on the efficiency and effectiveness of state and local PHAs, in part due to a lack of information infrastructure to capture uniform data on services provided. There are almost no data on the relationship of quality of services, staff performance, and resources to population health outcomes. By building a capacity to collect and analyze data on population health within and across communities, and by becoming a continuous learning PHA, the allocation of resources can more closely match population health needs and improve health outcomes. Accreditation of every PHA is an important first step toward becoming a learning PHA. Conclusions: Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) is beginning to shed light on some of these issues, particularly by investigating variation across PHAs. As this emerging discipline grows, there is a need to enhance the collection and use of data in support of building organized, effective, and efficient LPHSs with the PHA capacity to continually improve the public’s health. PMID:25995990

  10. Nacherzeugung, Nachverstehen: A phenomenological perspective on how public understanding of science changes by engaging with online media.

    PubMed

    Roth, Wolff-Michael; Friesen, Norm

    2014-10-01

    It is widely acknowledged in science education that everyday understandings and evidence are generally inconsistent with the scientific view of the matter: "heartache" has little to do with matters cardiopulmonary, and a rising or setting sun actually reflects the movements of the earth. How then does a member of the general public, which in many areas of science is characterized as "illiterate" and "non-scientific," come to regard something scientifically? Moreover, how do traditional unscientific (e.g., Ptolemaic) views continue their lives, even many centuries after scientists have overthrown them in what are termed scientific (e.g., Copernican) revolutions? In this study, we develop a phenomenological perspective, using Edmund Husserl's categories of Nacherzeugung and Nachverstehen, which provide descriptive explanations for our observations. These observations are contextualized in a case study using online video and historical materials concerning the motions of the heart and blood to exemplify our explanations. PMID:24292231

  11. Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies: 1993. [Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the National Public Policy Education Committee (43rd, Clearwater Beach, Florida, September 12-15, 1993).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halbrook, Steve A., Ed.; Grace, Teddee E., Ed.

    The annual conference of the National Public Policy Education Committee (NPPEC) is held to improve the policy education efforts of extension workers responsible for public affairs programs. This publication contains 26 conference papers: "Rural America and the Information Revolution: An Exploration of Possibilities and Potentialities" (David…

  12. Public Understanding of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ziman, John

    1991-01-01

    The principles that seem to govern the way people receive and use scientific knowledge are considered. The results of three surveys, conducted in England and the United States, are compared in terms of adult and student scientific literacy, gender differences, social context, and attitudes of people to scientific change. (KR)

  13. Using public policy to improve outcomes for asthmatic children in schools.

    PubMed

    Lynn, Jewlya; Oppenheimer, Sophie; Zimmer, Lorena

    2014-12-01

    School-based services to improve asthma management need to be accompanied by public policies that can help sustain services, scale effective interventions, create greater equity across schools, and improve outcomes for children. Several national organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have recommended specific public policies the adoption of which in school settings can improve asthma outcomes for children. Although many states and school districts have adopted some of these policies, adoption is not universal, and implementation is not always successful, leaving inequities in children's access to asthma services and supports. These issues can be addressed by changing public policy. Policy change is a complex process, but it is one that will benefit from greater involvement by asthma experts, including the researchers who generate the knowledge base on what services, supports, and policies have the best outcomes for children. Asthma experts can participate in the policy process by helping to build awareness of the need for school-based asthma policy, estimating the costs associated with policy options and with inaction, advocating for the selection of specific policies, assisting in implementation (including providing feedback), conducting the research that can evaluate the effectiveness of implementation, and ultimately providing information back into the policy process to allow for improvements to the policies. PMID:25482868

  14. Blogging the Stories of Citizen Science to Inspire Participation, Build Community, and Increase Public Understanding of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gardiner, L. S.; Cavalier, D.; Ohab, J.; Taylor, L.

    2011-12-01

    Sharing citizen science projects and the experiences that people have with science through blogs provides avenues to foster public understanding of science and showcase ways that people can get involved. Blogs, combined with other social media such as Twitter and Facebook, make science social - adding a human element to the process of scientific discovery. We have been sharing stories of citizen science through two blogs. Intended for a general public audience. The Science for Citizens blog (http://scienceforcitizens.net/blog/) was started in 2010 and links blog posts to a growing network of citizen science projects. Citizen Science Buzz (http://www.talkingscience.org/category/citizen-science-buzz/) was started in 2011 on the TalkingScience blog network, a project of the Science Friday Initiative. Both blogs aim to increase the exposure of citizen science projects, inspire people to do citizen science, and connect people with projects that interest them. The timeliness of blogs also provides a good platform for sharing information about one-time citizen science events and short-lived projects. Utilizing Facebook and Twitter increases traffic to blog posts about citizen science events in a timely manner and can help build community around events. Additionally, the timeliness of blogs provides the opportunity to connect citizen science and current events, helping to form geoscience teachable moments out of recent news. For example, highlighting citizen scientists near Birmingham, Alabama who collect weather data after the April 2011 tornado outbreak ravaged that area offers a positive note on how people are volunteering their time to help us all better understand the planet despite a catastrophic event.

  15. Accountable Care Organizations and Clinical Commissioning Groups Face an Uncertain Challenge for Improving Public Health

    PubMed Central

    Noble, Douglas J.

    2012-01-01

    Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in the United States of America (USA) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the United Kingdom (UK) are newly proposed cross-organisational structures in health services both tasked with a role which includes improving public health. Although there are very significant differences between the UK and USA health systems, there appears to be some similar confusion as to how ACOs and CCGs will regard and address public or population health. This short perspective article gives an overview of ACOs in the USA and CCGs in the UK, with the underlying context of possible public health functions. It concludes by considering the challenges facing both countries and highlighting the opportunity for shared learning. Acknowledgments this article was based on a research proposal prepared for the Commonwealth Fund’s Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice 2012/2013. PMID:25170452

  16. Better Understanding Public Perceptions of Risk: Possible Implications for Long-term Environmental Stewardship and Hazardous Waste Management

    SciTech Connect

    Joe, Jeffrey Clark; Harbour, Gerald Lee

    2002-10-01

    In the treatment, disposition, and long-term stewardship (e.g., storage) of hazardous waste forms, questions that are of particular concern are: • What is technically feasible and safe, • What is economically affordable, • What is legally mandated and allowable, and • What is publicly acceptable? Although DOE is exerting considerable effort in making sound science-based decisions that are economical and meet legal requirements, it may be lapse in not gaining a better understanding of how public perceptions are formed. This observation appears especially true in regards to the perceived long-term integrity and safety of various proposed hazardous waste storage options. The purpose of this research was to investigate how differences in how hazardous materials are configured and how those configurations are presented affect peoples’ perceptions of how safe they are. Specifically, we designed a preliminary experiment that assessed the public’s perception of risk for various storage configurations of hazardous materials. We included into the design factors to measure participants’ deliberative and spontaneous response to the perceived safety (or danger) posed by different hazardous materials storage configurations. The critical objectives of the proposed effort were to identify specific characteristics of hazardous materials storage configuration and to identify possible differences in deliberative and spontaneous processing of those specific characteristics. Identification of these objectives is critical in understanding what does and does not constitute an acceptable approach to hazardous waste treatment, disposition, and long-term storage. FY01 TECHNICAL OBJECTIVES • Develop an experimental process for collecting perceptions regarding the perceived safety and long-term integrity of hazardous waste storage systems. • Develop a computer-based, reusable collection instrument “system” with associated graphical images. • Validate the applicability

  17. Measuring quality improvement in public health: the development and psychometric testing of a QI Maturity Tool.

    PubMed

    Joly, Brenda M; Booth, Maureen; Mittal, Prashant; Shaler, George

    2012-06-01

    There is growing interest and investment in improving the quality of public health services and outcomes. Following the lead of other sectors, efforts are underway to introduce systematic quality improvement (QI) tools and approaches to state and local public health agencies. Little is known, however, about how to describe and reliably measure the level of QI maturity within a public health agency. The authors describe the development of a QI Maturity Tool using research from the fields of organizational design, psychology, health care, and complexity theory. The 37-item assessment tool is based on four quality domains derived from the literature: (a) organizational culture, (b) capacity and competency, (c) practice, and (d) alignment and spread. The tool was designed to identify features of an organization that may be enhancing or impeding QI; monitor the impact of efforts to create a more favorable environment for QI; and define potential cohorts of public health agencies for evaluation purposes. The article presents initial steps in testing and validating the QI Maturity Tool including: (a) developing a theoretical framework, (b) assuring face and content validity, (c) determining the tool's reliability based on estimates of internal consistency, (d) assessing the dimensionality, and (f) determining the construct validity of the instrument. The authors conclude that there is preliminary evidence that the QI Maturity Tool is a promising instrument. Further work is underway to explore whether self-reported survey results align with an agency's actions and the products of their QI efforts. PMID:22315505

  18. Improved Climate Prediction through a System Level Understanding of Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.; Hinzman, L. D.; Hubbard, S. S.; Liang, L.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Norby, R. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Riley, W. J.; Wilson, C. J.

    2012-12-01

    Characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and a rapidly evolving landscape, the Arctic has emerged as an important focal point for the study of climate change. These are sensitive systems, yet the mechanisms responsible for those sensitivities are not well understood and many remain uncertain in terms of their representation in Earth System models. Increasing our confidence in climate projections for high-latitude regions of the world will require a coordinated set of investigations that target improved process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) seeks to address this challenge by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska. Initial research focuses on the highly dynamic landscapes of the North Slope where thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground offer distinct land units for investigation and modeling. Activities in the early stage of the project are focused on the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), where a multi-disciplinary team of scientists will study interactions that drive critical climate feedbacks within these environments through greenhouse gas fluxes and changes in surface energy balance associated with permafrost degradation, and the many processes that arise as a result of these landscape dynamics. Our scaling approach builds on the hypothesis that the transfer of information across spatial scales can be organized around these discrete geomorphological units for which processes are represented explicitly at finer scales, with information passed to coarser scales through sub-grid parameterization of Earth System models. By extending an already well-established framework for fractional sub-grid area representations to allow dynamic sub-grid areas and hydrological and geophysical connections among sub-grid units, we expect to be able to characterize

  19. Harnessing quantitative genetics and genomics for understanding and improving complex traits in crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Classical quantitative genetics aids crop improvement by providing the means to estimate heritability, genetic correlations, and predicted responses to various selection schemes. Genomics has the potential to aid quantitative genetics and applied crop improvement programs via large-scale, high-thro...

  20. Understanding Evidence-Based Improvement in Higher Education: The Case of Student Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCormick, Alexander C.; Kinzie, Jillian; Korkmaz, Ali

    2011-01-01

    This paper uses time series data from a widely used assessment to identify colleges and universities that demonstrate positive trends on a range of educational effectiveness measures, describe observed patterns of improvement, and examine informants' accounts of factors that contributed to the improvements. This study informs broad questions about…

  1. Preparing medical students for the continual improvement of health and health care: Abraham Flexner and the new "public interest".

    PubMed

    Berwick, Donald M; Finkelstein, Jonathan A

    2010-09-01

    In 1910, in his recommendations for reforming medical education, Abraham Flexner responded to what he deemed to be the "public interest." Now, 100 years later, to respond to the current needs of society, the education of physicians must once again change. In addition to understanding the biological basis of health and disease, and mastering technical skills for treating individual patients, physicians will need to learn to navigate in and continually improve complex systems in order to improve the health of the patients and communities they serve. Physicians should not be mere participants in, much less victims of, such systems. Instead, they ought to be prepared to help lead those systems toward ever-higher-quality care for all. A number of innovative programs already exist for students and residents to help integrate improvement skills into professional preparation, and that goal is enjoying increasing support from major professional organizations and accrediting bodies. These experiences have shown that medical schools and residency programs will need to both teach the scientific foundations of system performance and provide opportunities for trainees to participate in team-based improvement of the real-world health systems in which they work. This significant curricular change, to meet the social need of the 21st century, will require educators and learners to embrace new core values, in addition to those held by the profession for generations. These include patient-centeredness, transparency, and stewardship of limited societal resources for health care. PMID:20736631

  2. Color-coding Improves Parental Understanding of Body Mass Index Charting

    PubMed Central

    Oettinger, Matthew D.; Finkle, Joanne P.; Esserman, Denise; Whitehead, Lisa; Spain, Thomas K.; Pattishall, Steven R.; Rothman, Russell; Perrin, Eliana M.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives To assess parental understanding of body mass index (BMI) and BMI percentiles using standard versus color-coded charts and investigate how parental literacy and/or numeracy (quantitative skills) impacts that understanding. Methods A convenience sample of 163 parents of children aged 2–8 years at two academic pediatric centers completed a demographics questionnaire, the mathematics portion of the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT-3R), the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA), and an “Understanding BMI” questionnaire, which included parallel BMI charting questions to compare understanding of standard versus color-coded BMI charting. Outcomes included parental-reported versus actual understanding of BMI, the odds (obtained by generalized estimating equations) of answering parallel questions correctly using standard versus color-coded charting, and odds of answering questions correctly based on numeracy and literacy. Results Many parents (60%) reported knowing what BMI was, but only 30% could define it even roughly correctly. Parents using color-coded charts had greater odds of answering parallel BMI charting questions correctly than parents using standard charts (mean 88% vs. 65% correct; pooled AOR=4.32, 95% CI: 3.14–5.95; p<.01). Additionally, parents with lower numeracy (K-5 level) benefited more from color-coded charts (increased from 51% to 81% correct) than did higher numeracy parents (≥ high school level), who performed well using both charts (89% vs. 99% correct). Conclusions Parents consistently performed better using color-coded than standard BMI charts. Color-coding was particularly helpful for lower numeracy parents. Future studies should investigate whether these results translate into offices and whether understanding motivates parents toward important lifestyle change. PMID:19679524

  3. Research Plans for Improving Understanding of Effects of Very Low-Frequency Noise of Heavy Lift Rotorcraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fidell, Sanford; Horonieff, Richard D.; Schmitz, Fredric H.

    2010-01-01

    This report reviews the English-language technical literature on infrasonic and low-frequency noise effects; identifies the most salient effects of noise produced by a future large civil tiltrotor aircraft on crew, passengers, and communities near landing areas; and recommends research needed to improve understanding of the effects of such noise on passengers, crew, and residents of areas near landing pads.

  4. Improving Individualized Educational Program (IEP) Mathematics Learning Goals for Conceptual Understanding of Order and Equivalence of Fractions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scanlon, Regina M.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this Executive Position Paper project was to develop resources for improving Individual Educational Program (IEP) mathematics learning goals for conceptual understanding of fractions for middle school special education students. The investigation surveyed how IEP mathematics learning goals are currently determined and proposed a new…

  5. WWC Review of the Report "Improving At-Risk Learners' Understanding of Fractions." What Works Clearinghouse Single Study Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2013

    2013-01-01

    The study examined the effects of "Fraction Challenge," a supplemental small-group tutoring math program that focuses on improving student understanding of fractions. Study authors randomly assigned fourth grade "at-risk" students in 53 classrooms in 13 schools to either an intervention group that received "Fraction Challenge" or to a comparison…

  6. Improving New Family Child Care Providers' Understanding of Standard Business Practices through the Development of a Resource Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Joanne Labish

    New family child care (FCC) providers often have little understanding of standard business practices, including zoning, contracts and policies, insurance, and record keeping for tax purposes. This lack of knowledge contributes to low income, high turnover, and other problems. A practicum project set out to improve entry-level FCC providers'…

  7. An information theory application to improve understanding of subsurface flow and transport conditions at the BARC OPE3 site

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improving understanding of subsurface conditions includes comparison and discrimination of concurrent models. Additional observations can be useful for that purpose. The objective of this work was to implement and test a novel method for optimization of selecting locations for additional observation...

  8. Using Targeted Active-Learning Exercises and Diagnostic Question Clusters to Improve Students' Understanding of Carbon Cycling in Ecosystems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maskiewicz, April Cordero; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Welch, Nicole Turrill

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we used targeted active-learning activities to help students improve their ways of reasoning about carbon flow in ecosystems. The results of a validated ecology conceptual inventory (diagnostic question clusters [DQCs]) provided us with information about students' understanding of and reasoning about transformation of inorganic and…

  9. Improving Students' Understanding of Waves by Plotting a Displacement-Time Graph in Class

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Yajun

    2012-04-01

    The topic of waves is one that many high school physics students find difficult to understand. This is especially true when using some A-level textbooks1,2used in the U.K., where the concept of waves is introduced prior to the concept of simple harmonic oscillations. One of the challenges my students encounter is understanding the difference between displacement-time graphs and displacement-position graphs. Many students wonder why these two graphs have the same sinusoidal shape. Having the students use multimedia simulations allows them to see, in a hands-on fashion, the relationship between the two graphs.

  10. Medical marijuana programs — Why might they matter for public health and why should we better understand their impacts?

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Benedikt; Murphy, Yoko; Kurdyak, Paul; Goldner, Elliot; Rehm, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Objective Although cannabis is an illegal drug, ‘medical marijuana programs’ (MMPs) have proliferated (e.g., in Canada and several US states), allowing for legal cannabis use for therapeutic purposes. While both health risks and potential therapeutic benefits for cannabis use have been documented, potential public health impacts of MMPs — also vis-à-vis other psychoactive substance use — remain under-explored. Methods We briefly reviewed the emerging evidence on MMP participants' health status, and specifically other psychoactive substance use behaviors and outcomes. Results While data are limited in amount and quality, MMP participants report improvements in overall health status, and specifically reductions in levels of risky alcohol, prescription drug and — to some extent — tobacco or other illicit drug use; at the same time, increases in cannabis use and risk/problem patterns may occur. Conclusion MMP participation may positively impact — for example, by way of possible ‘substitution effects’ from cannabis use — other psychoactive substance use and risk patterns at a scale relevant for public health, also influenced by the increasing population coverage of MMPs. Yet, net overall MMP-related population health effects need to be more rigorously and comprehensively assessed, including potential increases in cannabis use related risks and harms. PMID:26844050

  11. Publications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aviation/Space, 1980

    1980-01-01

    Presents a variety of publications available from government and nongovernment sources. The government publications are from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and are designed for educators, students, and the public. (Author/SA)

  12. A Positive Deviance Approach to Understanding Key Features to Improving Diabetes Care in the Medical Home

    PubMed Central

    Gabbay, Robert A.; Friedberg, Mark W.; Miller-Day, Michelle; Cronholm, Peter F.; Adelman, Alan; Schneider, Eric C.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE The medical home has gained national attention as a model to reorganize primary care to improve health outcomes. Pennsylvania has undertaken one of the largest state-based, multipayer medical home pilot projects. We used a positive deviance approach to identify and compare factors driving the care models of practices showing the greatest and least improvement in diabetes care in a sample of 25 primary care practices in southeast Pennsylvania. METHODS We ranked practices into improvement quintiles on the basis of the average absolute percentage point improvement from baseline to 18 months in 3 registry-based measures of performance related to diabetes care: glycated hemoglobin concentration, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level. We then conducted surveys and key informant interviews with leaders and staff in the 5 most and least improved practices, and compared their responses. RESULTS The most improved/higher-performing practices tended to have greater structural capabilities (eg, electronic health records) than the least improved/lower-performing practices at baseline. Interviews revealed striking differences between the groups in terms of leadership styles and shared vision; sense, use, and development of teams; processes for monitoring progress and obtaining feedback; and presence of technologic and financial distractions. CONCLUSIONS Positive deviance analysis suggests that primary care practices’ baseline structural capabilities and abilities to buffer the stresses of change may be key facilitators of performance improvement in medical home transformations. Attention to the practices’ structural capabilities and factors shaping successful change, especially early in the process, will be necessary to improve the likelihood of successful medical home transformation and better care. PMID:23690393

  13. Interferometric Measurement for Improved Understanding of Boundary Effects in Micromachined Beams

    SciTech Connect

    Bitsie, Fernando; Jensen, Brian D.; de Boer, Maarten

    1999-07-15

    Micromachined beams are commonly used to measure material properties in MEMS. Such measurements are complicated by the fact that boundary effects at the ends of the beams have a significant effect on the properties being measured. In an effort to improve the accuracy and resolution of such measurements, we are conducting a study of support post compliance in cantilever and fixed-fixed beams. Three different support post designs have been analyzed by finite element modeling. The results are then compared to measurements made on actual devices using interferometry. Using this technique, the accuracy of measurements of Young's modulus has been improved. Continuing work will also improve the measurement of residual stress.

  14. Drafting Exercises to Improve Understanding. Industrial Arts Series No. 10,007.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinrichs, Roy S., Comp.

    These materials, which can be used to supplement a drafting program, are designed to assist the instructor in helping students develop a better understanding of certain areas of drafting. The materials are divided into exercises that allow the student to devote full attention to one aspect of drafting at a time, and tests, which can be used either…

  15. Teachers and Game-Based Learning: Improving Understanding of How to Increase Efficacy of Adoption

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ketelhut, Diane Jass; Schifter, Catherine C.

    2011-01-01

    Interest in game-based learning for K-12 is growing. Thus, helping teachers understand how to use these new pedagogies is important. This paper presents a cross-case study of the development of teacher professional development for the River City project, a games-based multi-user virtual environment science curriculum project for middle school…

  16. Improving Students' Understanding and Explanation Skills through the Use of a Knowledge Building Forum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamel, Christine; Turcotte, Sandrine; Laferriere, Therese; Bisson, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Education research has shown the importance of helping students develop comprehension skills. Explanation-seeking rather than fact-seeking pedagogies have been shown to warrant deeper student understanding. This study investigates the use of Knowledge Forum (KF) in K-6 classrooms (n = 251) to develop students' explanation skills. To this end, we…

  17. Using Art-Based Chemistry Activities to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danipog, Dennis L.; Ferido, Marlene B.

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to determine the effects of art-based chemistry activities (ABCA) on high school students' conceptual understanding in chemistry. The study used the pretest-posttest control group design. A total of 64 third-year high school students from two different chemistry classes participated in the study. One class was exposed to art-based…

  18. Understanding Change for Effective School Improvement Initiatives: Critical Elements of School Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnautz, Dee Ann Piercy

    2012-01-01

    With the historical political and social changes, which ultimately affect education, it is easy to see why teachers sometimes balk at new initiatives and perceived new best practices. For change to occur it is important to understand how perception of critical elements of change impact student academic growth. It is also important to have a…

  19. Blending Physical and Virtual Manipulatives: An Effort to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding through Science Laboratory Experimentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olympiou, Georgios; Zacharia, Zacharias C.

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of experimenting with physical manipulatives (PM), virtual manipulatives (VM), and a blended combination of PM and VM on undergraduate students' understanding of concepts in the domain of "Light and Color." A pre-post comparison study design was used for the purposes of this study that involved 70…

  20. Using biotechnology to improve resistance to environmental stress in fruit crops: The importance of understanding physiology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Environmental stress can significantly impact the yield, fruit quality, and longevity of fruit trees. In particular, freeze injury can result in the loss of an entire crop or even an entire orchard. Over the past two decades, significant advances have been made in understanding the genetic regulat...

  1. Improved understanding and testing for salinity tolerance in cool-season turfgrasses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Utah State University and the USDA-ARS in Logan, Utah, were funded to conduct research towards understanding how cool season turf specied tolerate salt stress. Salt tolerant and salt susceptible varieties of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and the check alkaligrass were planted in a replica...

  2. An Integrated Academic Literacy Approach to Improving Students' Understanding of Plagiarism in an Accounting Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Lisa; Singh, Nishani

    2016-01-01

    Plagiarism in higher education is a widespread and complex issue. Students' understanding of plagiarism differs as a result of combining their prior learning about referencing with their current experience of institutional policies and generic resources. Plagiarism was identified as a major learning issue in a core second-year undergraduate…

  3. Effective Use of Discovery Learning to Improve Understanding of Factors That Affect Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mukherjee, Arup

    2015-01-01

    Undergraduate business majors are required to take a course in operations management. In this course, a great deal of emphasis is put on developing a good understanding of quality because this is likely to be the only required course that covers this important topic. Quality of output exhibits a great deal of variation. To produce high quality on…

  4. Improving Children's Well-Being: Understanding, Nurturing Fatherhood. Research on Today's Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Population Reference Bureau, Inc., Washington, DC.

    This brief focuses on the role of fathers in contributing to children's well-being. The brief notes that collecting better data on fathers is vital to federal and state efforts to reform the welfare and child support systems and that understanding fathers' roles in their children's lives could help parents and social service providers better…

  5. Can Dynamic Visualizations Improve Middle School Students' Understanding of Energy in Photosynthesis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryoo, Kihyun; Linn, Marcia C.

    2012-01-01

    Dynamic visualizations have the potential to make abstract scientific phenomena more accessible and visible to students, but they can also be confusing and difficult to comprehend. This research investigates how dynamic visualizations, compared to static illustrations, can support middle school students in developing an integrated understanding of…

  6. Improving High School Students' Understanding of Potential Difference in Simple Electric Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liegeois, Laurent; Chasseigne, G'erard; Papin, Sophie; Mullet, Etienne

    2003-01-01

    This paper reports two studies into the understanding of the concept of potential difference in the current-potential difference-resistance context among 8th-12th graders (Study 1), and the efficiency of a learning device derived from Social Judgment Theory (Study 2). These two studies showed that: (a) when asked to infer potential difference from…

  7. Enhancing Public Participation to Improve Natural Resources Science and its Use in Decision Making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glynn, P. D.; Shapiro, C. D.; Liu, S. B.

    2015-12-01

    The need for broader understanding and involvement in science coupled with social technology advances enabling crowdsourcing and citizen science have created greater opportunities for public participation in the gathering, interpretation, and use of geospatial information. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is developing guidance for USGS scientists, partners, and interested members of the public on when and how public participation can most effectively be used in the conduct of scientific activities. Public participation can provide important perspectives and knowledge that cannot be obtained through traditional scientific methods alone. Citizen engagement can also provide increased efficiencies to USGS science and additional benefits to society including enhanced understanding, appreciation, and interest in geospatial information and its use in decision making.The USGS guidance addresses several fundamental issues by:1. Developing an operational definition of citizen or participatory science.2. Identifying the circumstances under which citizen science is appropriate for use and when its use is not recommended. 3. Describing structured processes for effective use of citizen science. 4. Defining the successful application of citizen science and identifying useful success metrics.The guidance is coordinated by the USGS Science and Decisions Center and developed by a multidisciplinary team of USGS scientists and managers. External perspectives will also be incorporated, as appropriate to align with other efforts such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing Toolkit for the Federal government. The guidance will include the development of an economic framework to assess the benefits and costs of geospatial information developed through participatory processes. This economic framework considers tradeoffs between obtaining additional perspectives through enhanced participation with costs associated from obtaining

  8. Improving efficacy of landscape interventions in the (sub) humid Ethiopian highlands by improved understanding of runoff processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tebebu, Tigist; Steenhuis, Tammo; Dagnew, Dessalegn; Guzman, Christian; Bayabil, Haimanote; Zegeye, Assefa; Collick, Amy; Langan, Simon; MacAlister, Charlotte; Langendoen, Eddy; Yitaferu, Birru; Tilahun, Seifu

    2015-09-01

    Despite millions of dollars invested in soil and water conservation practices in the (sub) humid Ethiopian highlands and billions of hours of food-for-work farm labor, sediment concentration in rivers is increasing. This paper reports on the research to reverse the current trend. Based on the understanding of the hydrology of highlands, we provide evidence on sources of surface runoff and sediment and on mechanisms that govern the erosion processes and approaches and how they affect soil and water conservation practices. We suggest that priority in landscape interventions should be given to re-vegetation of the degraded areas so as to reduce the sediment concentration contributions originating from these areas. Additionally, efforts should be directed to gully rehabilitation in the saturated bottom landscape that may consist of vegetating shallow gullies and stabilizing head cuts of deeper gullies Finally, rehabilitation efforts should be directed to increase the rain water infiltration in the upland areas through the hard pan layer by connecting the land surface to the original deep flow paths that exist below about 60 cm. It will reduce the direct runoff during the rainy season and increase baseflow during the dry season.

  9. How can we improve our understanding of cardiovascular safety liabilities to develop safer medicines?

    PubMed Central

    Laverty, HG; Benson, C; Cartwright, EJ; Cross, MJ; Garland, C; Hammond, T; Holloway, C; McMahon, N; Milligan, J; Park, BK; Pirmohamed, M; Pollard, C; Radford, J; Roome, N; Sager, P; Singh, S; Suter, T; Suter, W; Trafford, A; Volders, PGA; Wallis, R; Weaver, R; York, M; Valentin, JP

    2011-01-01

    Given that cardiovascular safety liabilities remain a major cause of drug attrition during preclinical and clinical development, adverse drug reactions, and post-approval withdrawal of medicines, the Medical Research Council Centre for Drug Safety Science hosted a workshop to discuss current challenges in determining, understanding and addressing ‘Cardiovascular Toxicity of Medicines’. This article summarizes the key discussions from the workshop that aimed to address three major questions: (i) what are the key cardiovascular safety liabilities in drug discovery, drug development and clinical practice? (ii) how good are preclinical and clinical strategies for detecting cardiovascular liabilities? and (iii) do we have a mechanistic understanding of these liabilities? It was concluded that in order to understand, address and ultimately reduce cardiovascular safety liabilities of new therapeutic agents there is an urgent need to: Fully characterize the incidence, prevalence and impact of drug-induced cardiovascular issues at all stages of the drug development process. Ascertain the predictive value of existing non-clinical models and assays towards the clinical outcome. Understand the mechanistic basis of cardiovascular liabilities; by addressing areas where it is currently not possible to predict clinical outcome based on preclinical safety data. Provide scientists in all disciplines with additional skills to enable them to better integrate preclinical and clinical data and to better understand the biological and clinical significance of observed changes. Develop more appropriate, highly relevant and predictive tools and assays to identify and wherever feasible to eliminate cardiovascular safety liabilities from molecules and wherever appropriate to develop clinically relevant and reliable safety biomarkers. PMID:21306581

  10. Improved Time to Publication in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    de Gouw, Joost A.; Ghan, Steven J.; Pryor, Sara; Rudich, Yinon; Zhang, Renyi

    2012-07-03

    Timely publication of manuscripts is important to authors and readers. AGU has significantly accelerated both the review and production processes for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres (JGR-Atmospheres). Via a number of mechanisms (e.g., shortening the time allotted for reviewer selection, manuscript reviews, and revisions), the mean time to first decision has been decreased from 98 days in 2007 to 50 days in 2011, and the mean time to final decision has been decreased from 132 days in 2007 to 71 days in 2011. By implementing a new content management system, adjusting the workflow for improved efficiency, requesting authors to proofread their manuscripts quicker, and improving monitoring and follow-up to author and vendor queries, the mean production time from manuscript acceptance to publication has been decreased from 128 days in 2010 to only 56 days in 2012. Thus, in the past few years the mean time to publication of JGRAtmospheres has been cut in half. These milestones have been achieved with no loss of quality of presentation or content. In addition, online posting of "papers in press" on JGR-Atmosphere’s home page typically occurs within a few days after acceptance. JGR-Atmospheres editors thank manuscript reviewers, authors, and AGU staff who have greatly contributed to the more timely review and publication processes. This information will be updated periodically on the JGR-Atmospheres home page. A chart showing the average time from acceptance to publication for all of AGU’s journals is available at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/31May2012_Timeliness_Chart.pdf.

  11. Improved time to publication in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Gouw, Joost; Ghan, Steven; Pryor, Sara; Rudich, Yinon; Zhang, Renyi

    2012-07-01

    Timely publication of manuscripts is important to authors and readers. AGU has significantly accelerated both the review and production processes for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres (JGR-Atmospheres). Via a number of mechanisms (e.g., shortening the time allotted for reviewer selection, manuscript reviews, and revisions), the mean time to first decision has been decreased from 98 days in 2007 to 50 days in 2011, and the mean time to final decision has been decreased from 132 days in 2007 to 71 days in 2011. By implementing a new content management system, adjusting the workflow for improved efficiency, requesting authors to proofread their manuscripts quicker, and improving monitoring and follow-up to author and vendor queries, the mean production time from manuscript acceptance to publication has been decreased from 128 days in 2010 to only 56 days in 2012. Thus, in the past few years the mean time to publication of JGR-Atmospheres has been cut in half. These milestones have been achieved with no loss of quality of presentation or content. In addition, online posting of “papers in press” on JGR-Atmosphere's home page typically occurs within a few days after acceptance. JGR-Atmospheres editors thank manuscript reviewers, authors, and AGU staff who have greatly contributed to the more timely review and publication processes. This information will be updated periodically on the JGR-Atmospheres home page. A chart showing the average time from acceptance to publication for all of AGU's journals is available at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/31May2012_Timeliness_Chart.pdf.

  12. Improved time to publication in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouw, Joost; Ghan, Steven; Pryor, Sara; Rudich, Yinon; Zhang, Renyi

    2012-07-01

    Timely publication of manuscripts is important to authors and readers. AGU has significantly accelerated both the review and production processes for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres (JGR-Atmospheres). Via a number of mechanisms (e.g., shortening the time allotted for reviewer selection, manuscript reviews, and revisions), the mean time to first decision has been decreased from 98 days in 2007 to 50 days in 2011, and the mean time to final decision has been decreased from 132 days in 2007 to 71 days in 2011. By implementing a new content management system, adjusting the workflow for improved efficiency, requesting authors to proofread their manuscripts quicker, and improving monitoring and follow-up to author and vendor queries, the mean production time from manuscript acceptance to publication has been decreased from 128 days in 2010 to only 56 days in 2012. Thus, in the past few years the mean time to publication of JGR-Atmospheres has been cut in half. These milestones have been achieved with no loss of quality of presentation or content. In addition, online posting of "papers in press" on JGR-Atmosphere's home page typically occurs within a few days after acceptance. JGR-Atmospheres editors thank manuscript reviewers, authors, and AGU staff who have greatly contributed to the more timely review and publication processes. This information will be updated periodically on the JGR-Atmospheres home page. A chart showing the average time from acceptance to publication for all of AGU's journals is available at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/31May2012_Timeliness_Chart.pdf.

  13. NOAA's Science On a Sphere Education Program: Application of a Scientific Visualization System to Teach Earth System Science and Improve our Understanding About Creating Effective Visualizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McDougall, C.; McLaughlin, J.

    2008-12-01

    NOAA has developed several programs aimed at facilitating the use of earth system science data and data visualizations by formal and informal educators. One of them, Science On a Sphere, a visualization display tool and system that uses networked LCD projectors to display animated global datasets onto the outside of a suspended, 1.7-meter diameter opaque sphere, enables science centers, museums, and universities to display real-time and current earth system science data. NOAA's Office of Education has provided grants to such education institutions to develop exhibits featuring Science On a Sphere (SOS) and create content for and evaluate audience impact. Currently, 20 public education institutions have permanent Science On a Sphere exhibits and 6 more will be installed soon. These institutions and others that are working to create and evaluate content for this system work collaboratively as a network to improve our collective knowledge about how to create educationally effective visualizations. Network members include other federal agencies, such as, NASA and the Dept. of Energy, and major museums such as Smithsonian and American Museum of Natural History, as well as a variety of mid-sized and small museums and universities. Although the audiences in these institutions vary widely in their scientific awareness and understanding, we find there are misconceptions and lack of familiarity with viewing visualizations that are common among the audiences. Through evaluations performed in these institutions we continue to evolve our understanding of how to create content that is understandable by those with minimal scientific literacy. The findings from our network will be presented including the importance of providing context, real-world connections and imagery to accompany the visualizations and the need for audience orientation before the visualizations are viewed. Additionally, we will review the publicly accessible virtual library housing over 200 datasets for SOS

  14. Evaluating and improving multiple choice papers: true-false questions in public health medicine.

    PubMed

    Dixon, R A

    1994-09-01

    The quality of a multiple true-false (MTF) examination paper in public health medicine for 149 clinical medical students was evaluated using predefined performance criteria to offer guidelines for improvement of such a paper. There were 35 questions, each with five true-false branches, and the performance of the overall best 25% of candidates was compared for individual items with that of the overall worst 25%. To improve discrimination between best and worst candidates, 60% of items needed changes, and several indicators were used to identify how, usually because the branch was too easy (26%), unpopular (16%) or too hard (10%). A number of guidelines for writing good MTF questions and for improving them are suggested. The inequity is illustrated of marking systems which do not allocate a negative mark for incorrect answers equal in size to the positive mark for correct ones, with zero for unanswered questions or 'don't know' answers. PMID:7845259

  15. Understanding and improving the high field orbit in the Fermilab Booster

    SciTech Connect

    Chao, Y.; Ketcham, L.; Moore, C.D.

    1989-03-01

    With the implementation of the BPM system in the Fermilab Booster, complete survey data of the main magnets have been employed to determine magnet moving schemes to correct the high field orbit at 8 GeV kinetic energy and to understand the global pattern of the high field orbit in both planes. Considerable success has been achieved in the former task. We also obtained reasonable understanding in the later effort, given the multitude of factors that have to be dealt with. In this paper an account is given of the survey record, the orbit correction exercise, and the effort to reconstruct the high field orbit based on the survey records. 2 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  16. Improving post-intensive care unit neuropsychiatric outcomes: understanding cognitive effects of physical activity.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Ramona O; Suchyta, Mary R; Farrer, Thomas J; Needham, Dale

    2012-12-15

    Critical illness and its treatment often result in long-term neuropsychiatric morbidities. Consequently, there is a need to focus on means to prevent or ameliorate these morbidities. Animal models provide important data regarding the neurobiological effects of physical activity, including angiogenesis, neurogenesis, and release of neurotrophic factors that enhance plasticity. Studies in noncritically ill patients demonstrate that exercise is associated with increased cerebral blood flow, neurogenesis, and brain volume, which are associated with improved cognition. Clinically, research in both healthy and diseased human subjects suggests that exercise improves neuropsychiatric outcomes. In the critical care setting, early physical rehabilitation and mobilization are safe and feasible, with demonstrated improvements in physical functional outcomes. Such activity may also reduce the duration of delirium in the intensive care unit (ICU) and improve neuropsychiatric outcomes, although data are limited. Barriers exist regarding implementing ICU rehabilitation in routine care, including use of sedatives and lack of awareness of post-ICU cognitive impairments. Further research is necessary to determine whether prior animal and human research, in conjunction with preliminary results from existing ICU studies, can translate into improvements for neuropsychiatric outcomes in critically ill patients. Studies are needed to evaluate biological mechanisms, risk factors, the role of pre-ICU functional level, and the timing, duration, and type of physical activity for optimal patient outcomes. PMID:23065013

  17. The solar activity measurements experiments (SAMEX) for improved scientific understanding of solar activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The Solar Activity Measurements Experiments (SAMEX) mission is described. It is designed to provide a look at the interactions of magnetic fields and plasmas that create flares and other explosive events on the sun in an effort to understand solar activity and the nature of the solar magnetic field. The need for this mission, the instruments to be used, and the expected benefits of SAMEX are discussed.

  18. Data-model fusion to better understand emerging pathogens and improve infectious disease forecasting.

    PubMed

    LaDeau, Shannon L; Glass, Gregory E; Hobbs, N Thompson; Latimer, Andrew; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2011-07-01

    Ecologists worldwide are challenged to contribute solutions to urgent and pressing environmental problems by forecasting how populations, communities, and ecosystems will respond to global change. Rising to this challenge requires organizing ecological information derived from diverse sources and formally assimilating data with models of ecological processes. The study of infectious disease has depended on strategies for integrating patterns of observed disease incidence with mechanistic process models since John Snow first mapped cholera cases around a London water pump in 1854. Still, zoonotic and vector-borne diseases increasingly affect human populations, and methods used to successfully characterize directly transmitted diseases are often insufficient. We use four case studies to demonstrate that advances in disease forecasting require better understanding of zoonotic host and vector populations, as well of the dynamics that facilitate pathogen amplification and disease spillover into humans. In each case study, this goal is complicated by limited data, spatiotemporal variability in pathogen transmission and impact, and often, insufficient biological understanding. We present a conceptual framework for data-model fusion in infectious disease research that addresses these fundamental challenges using a hierarchical state-space structure to (1) integrate multiple data sources and spatial scales to inform latent parameters, (2) partition uncertainty in process and observation models, and (3) explicitly build upon existing ecological and epidemiological understanding. Given the constraints inherent in the study of infectious disease and the urgent need for progress, fusion of data and expertise via this type of conceptual framework should prove an indispensable tool. PMID:21830694

  19. Socioscientific Issues: A Path Towards Advanced Scientific Literacy and Improved Conceptual Understanding of Socially Controversial Scientific Theories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinzino, Dean William

    This thesis investigates the use of socioscientific issues (SSI) in the high school science classroom as an introduction to argumentation and socioscientific reasoning, with the goal of improving students' scientific literacy (SL). Current research is reviewed that supports the likelihood of students developing a greater conceptual understanding of scientific theories as well as a deeper understanding of the nature of science (NOS), through participation in informal and formal forms of argumentation in the context of SSI. Significant gains in such understanding may improve a student's ability to recognize the rigor, legitimacy, and veracity of scientific claims and better discern science from pseudoscience. Furthermore, students that participate in significant SSI instruction by negotiating a range of science-related social issues can make significant gains in content knowledge and develop the life-long skills of argumentation and evidence-based reasoning, goals not possible in traditional lecture-based science instruction. SSI-based instruction may therefore help students become responsible citizens. This synthesis also suggests that that the improvements in science literacy and NOS understanding that develop from sustained engagement in SSI-based instruction will better prepare students to examine and scrutinize socially controversial scientific theories (i.e., evolution, global warming, and the Big Bang).

  20. An Intelligent System Proposal for Improving the Safety and Accessibility of Public Transit by Highway

    PubMed Central

    García, Carmelo R.; Quesada-Arencibia, Alexis; Cristóbal, Teresa; Padrón, Gabino; Pérez, Ricardo; Alayón, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    The development of public transit systems that are accessible and safe for everyone, including people with special needs, is an objective that is justified from the civic and economic points of view. Unfortunately, public transit services are conceived for people who do not have reduced physical or cognitive abilities. In this paper, we present an intelligent public transit system by highway with the goal of facilitating access and improving the safety of public transit for persons with special needs. The system is deployed using components that are commonly available in transport infrastructure, e.g., sensors, mobile communications systems, and positioning systems. In addition, the system can operate in non-urban transport contexts, e.g., isolated rural areas, where the availability of basic infrastructure, such as electricity and communications infrastructures, is not always guaranteed. To construct the system, the principles and techniques of Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence have been employed. To illustrate the utility of the system, two cases of services rendered by the system are described: the first case involves a surveillance system to guarantee accessibility at bus stops; the second case involves a route assistant for blind people. PMID:26295234

  1. Improving Coordination of Addiction Health Services Organizations with Mental Health and Public Health Services.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Erick G; Andrews, Christina; Harris, Lesley; Padwa, Howard; Kong, Yinfei; M S W, Karissa Fenwick

    2016-01-01

    In this mixed-method study, we examined coordination of mental health and public health services in addiction health services (AHS) in low-income racial and ethnic minority communities in 2011 and 2013. Data from surveys and semistructured interviews were used to evaluate the extent to which environmental and organizational characteristics influenced the likelihood of high coordination with mental health and public health providers among outpatient AHS programs. Coordination was defined and measured as the frequency of interorganizational contact among AHS programs and mental health and public health providers. The analytic sample consisted of 112 programs at time 1 (T1) and 122 programs at time 2 (T2), with 61 programs included in both periods of data collection. Forty-three percent of AHS programs reported high frequency of coordination with mental health providers at T1 compared to 66% at T2. Thirty-one percent of programs reported high frequency of coordination with public health services at T1 compared with 54% at T2. Programs with culturally responsive resources and community linkages were more likely to report high coordination with both services. Qualitative analysis highlighted the role of leadership in leveraging funding and developing creative solutions to deliver coordinated care. Overall, our findings suggest that AHS program funding, leadership, and cultural competence may be important drivers of program capacity to improve coordination with health service providers to serve minorities in an era of health care reform. PMID:26350114

  2. An Intelligent System Proposal for Improving the Safety and Accessibility of Public Transit by Highway.

    PubMed

    García, Carmelo R; Quesada-Arencibia, Alexis; Cristóbal, Teresa; Padrón, Gabino; Pérez, Ricardo; Alayón, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    The development of public transit systems that are accessible and safe for everyone, including people with special needs, is an objective that is justified from the civic and economic points of view. Unfortunately, public transit services are conceived for people who do not have reduced physical or cognitive abilities. In this paper, we present an intelligent public transit system by highway with the goal of facilitating access and improving the safety of public transit for persons with special needs. The system is deployed using components that are commonly available in transport infrastructure, e.g., sensors, mobile communications systems, and positioning systems. In addition, the system can operate in non-urban transport contexts, e.g., isolated rural areas, where the availability of basic infrastructure, such as electricity and communications infrastructures, is not always guaranteed. To construct the system, the principles and techniques of Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence have been employed. To illustrate the utility of the system, two cases of services rendered by the system are described: the first case involves a surveillance system to guarantee accessibility at bus stops; the second case involves a route assistant for blind people. PMID:26295234

  3. Differential Improvement in Student Understanding of Mathematical Principles following Formative Assessment Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phelan, Julia; Choi, Kilchan; Vendlinski, Terry; Baker, Eva; Herman, Joan

    2011-01-01

    The authors describe results from a study of a middle school mathematics formative assessment strategy. They employed a randomized, controlled design to address the following question: Does using our strategy improve student performance on assessments of key mathematical ideas relative to a comparison group? Eighty-five teachers and 4,091 students…

  4. Understanding Effective Program Improvement Schools through a Distributed Leadership Task Context Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gipson, Frances Marie

    2012-01-01

    Federal, state, and local agencies face challenges organizing resources that create the conditions necessary to create, sustain, and replicate effective high performing schools. Knowing that leadership does impact achievement outcomes and that school districts tackle growing numbers of sanctioned Program Improvement schools, a distributed…

  5. Understanding and Improving the Use of Writing Portfolios in One French Immersion Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armstrong, Christine L.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the use of writing portfolios in improving the accuracy of French immersion students' written French. It emerged from regularly observed notable and repeated errors in many of the author's students' writing (entitled fossilized errors due their resistance to correction). This study reaffirms that students of French…

  6. Using Sap Flow Monitoring for Improved Process-based Ecohydrologic Understanding 2022

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sap flow measurements can be an important tool for unraveling the complex web of ecosystem fluxes, especially when it is combined with other measurements like eddy covariance, isotopes, remote sensing, etc. In this talk, we will demonstrate how sap flow measurements have improved our process-level u...

  7. Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement. II. Development of Research-Based Learning Tools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhu, Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

    2012-01-01

    We describe the development and implementation of research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorials and peer-instruction tools to reduce students' common difficulties with issues related to measurement in quantum mechanics. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students'…

  8. Using Technology and Inquiry to Improve Student Understanding of Watershed Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Julie M.; Edwards, Patrick M.; Raschke, Jason

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents the design, implementation and assessment of the Columbia River Basin Environmental Research Project (CERP) curriculum. CERP is an online inquiry-based, regional geographic curriculum designed to improve technology skills and content knowledge about water quality and watershed-level processes. Student attitudes and knowledge…

  9. Improving Textbooks as a Way to Foster Civic Understanding and Engagement. CIRCLE Working Paper 54

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chambliss, Marilyn; Richardson, Wendy; Torney-Purta, Judith; Wilkenfeld, Britt

    2007-01-01

    Efforts to improve civic education face a conundrum. On the one hand, students report that they are more likely to learn about democracy and citizenship through reading textbooks than through any other activity and according to the National Education Association, reading is the gateway to learning in all content areas. However, reviews of textbook…

  10. Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katehi, Linda, Ed.; Pearson, Greg, Ed.; Feder, Michael, Ed.

    2009-01-01

    Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other STEM subjects--science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness of engineering and the work…

  11. Understanding the "How" of Quality Improvement: Lessons from the Rhode Island Program Quality Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Devaney, Elizabeth; Smith, Charles; Wong, Kenneth

    2012-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, afterschool and youth development programming has moved from providing childcare for working parents to being an integral component of the learning day, supporting the academic, social, and emotional development of young people. An important part of that transition has been a growing emphasis on improving program quality.…

  12. Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of a Specific Content Learning: A Designed Teaching Sequence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ahmad, N. J.; Lah, Y. Che

    2012-01-01

    The efficacy of a teaching sequence designed for a specific content of learning of electrochemistry is described in this paper. The design of the teaching draws upon theoretical insights into perspectives on learning and empirical studies to improve the teaching of this topic. A case study involving two classes, the experimental and baseline…

  13. Understanding the Components of Quality Improvement Collaboratives: A Systematic Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Nadeem, Erum; Olin, S Serene; Hill, Laura Campbell; Hoagwood, Kimberly Eaton; Horwitz, Sarah McCue

    2013-01-01

    Context In response to national efforts to improve quality of care, policymakers and health care leaders have increasingly turned to quality improvement collaboratives (QICs) as an efficient approach to improving provider practices and patient outcomes through the dissemination of evidence-based practices. This article presents findings from a systematic review of the literature on QICs, focusing on the identification of common components of QICs in health care and exploring, when possible, relations between QIC components and outcomes at the patient or provider level. Methods A systematic search of five major health care databases generated 294 unique articles, twenty-four of which met our criteria for inclusion in our final analysis. These articles pertained to either randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental studies with comparison groups, and they reported the findings from twenty different studies of QICs in health care. We coded the articles to identify the components reported for each collaborative. Findings We found fourteen crosscutting components as common ingredients in health care QICs (e.g., in-person learning sessions, phone meetings, data reporting, leadership involvement, and training in QI methods). The collaboratives reported included, on average, six to seven of these components. The most common were in-person learning sessions, plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles, multidisciplinary QI teams, and data collection for QI. The outcomes data from these studies indicate the greatest impact of QICs at the provider level; patient-level findings were less robust. Conclusions Reporting on specific components of the collaborative was imprecise across articles, rendering it impossible to identify active QIC ingredients linked to improved care. Although QICs appear to have some promise in improving the process of care, there is great need for further controlled research examining the core components of these collaboratives related to patient- and

  14. Joint editorial: Fostering innovation and improving impact assessment for journal publications in hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koutsoyiannis, Demetris; Blöschl, Günter; Bárdossy, András.; Cudennec, Christophe; Hughes, Denis; Montanari, Alberto; Neuweiler, Insa; Savenije, Hubert

    2016-04-01

    Editors of several journals in the field of hydrology met during the Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences—IAHS (within the Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics—IUGG) in Prague in June 2015. This event was a follow-up of a similar meeting held in July 2013 in Gothenburg (as reported by Blöschl et al. [2014]). These meetings enable the group of editors to review the current status of the journals and the publication process, and share thoughts on future strategies. Journals were represented in the 2015 meeting through their editors, as shown in the list of authors. The main points on fostering innovation and improving impact assessment in journal publications in hydrology are communicated in this joint editorial published in the above journals.

  15. Joint editorial - Fostering innovation and improving impact assessment for journal publications in hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koutsoyiannis, Demetris; Blöschl, Günter; Bárdossy, András; Cudennec, Christophe; Hughes, Denis; Montanari, Alberto; Neuweiler, Insa; Savenije, Hubert

    2016-06-01

    Editors from several journals in the field of hydrology met during the Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences-IAHS (within the Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics-IUGG) in Prague in June 2015. This event was a follow-up of a similar meeting in July 2013 in Gothenburg (as reported by Blöschl et al. (2014)). In these meetings the group of editors reviewed the current status of the journals and the publication process, and shared thoughts on future strategies. Journals were represented in the meeting through their editors, as shown in the list of authors. The main points on fostering innovation and improving impact assessment in journal publications in hydrology are communicated in this joint editorial published in journals that participated in the meeting.

  16. Use of Lean Response to Improve Pandemic Influenza Surge in Public Health Laboratories

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yin; Prystajecky, Natalie; Petric, Martin; Mak, Annie; Abbott, Brendan; Paris, Benjamin; Decker, K.C.; Pittenger, Lauren; Guercio, Steven; Stott, Jeff; Miller, Joseph D.

    2012-01-01

    A novel influenza A (H1N1) virus detected in April 2009 rapidly spread around the world. North American provincial and state laboratories have well-defined roles and responsibilities, including providing accurate, timely test results for patients and information for regional public health and other decision makers. We used the multidisciplinary response and rapid implementation of process changes based on Lean methods at the provincial public health laboratory in British Columbia, Canada, to improve laboratory surge capacity in the 2009 influenza pandemic. Observed and computer simulating evaluation results from rapid processes changes showed that use of Lean tools successfully expanded surge capacity, which enabled response to the 10-fold increase in testing demands. PMID:22257385

  17. Improving Student Understanding of Magmatic Differentiation Using an M&M Magma Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wirth, K. R.

    2003-12-01

    Many students, especially those in introductory geology courses, have difficulty developing a deep understanding of the processes of magmatic differentiation. In particular, students often struggle to understand Bowen's reaction series and fractional crystallization. The process of fractional crystallization by gravity settling can be illustrated using a model magma chamber consisting of M&M's. In this model, each major cation (e.g., Si, Ti, Al, Fe, Mg, Ca, Na, K) is represented by a different color M&M; other kinds of differently colored or shaped pieces could also be used. Appropriate numbers of each color M&M are combined to approximate the cation proportions of a basaltic magma. Students then fractionate the magma by moving M&M's to the bottom of the magma chamber forming a series of cumulus layers; the M&M's are removed in the stoichiometric proportions of cations in the crystallizing minerals (e.g., olivine, pyroxene, feldspars, quartz, magnetite, ilmenite). Students observe the changing cation composition (proportions of colors of M&M's) in the cumulus layers and in the magma chamber and graph the results using spreadsheet software. More advanced students (e.g., petrology course) can classify the cumulates and resulting liquid after each crystallization step, and they can compare the model system with natural magmatic systems (e.g., absence of important fractionating phases, volatiles). Students who have completed this exercise generally indicate a positive experience and demonstrate increased understanding of Bowen's reaction series and fractionation processes. They also exhibit greater familiarity with mineral stoichiometry, classification, solid-solution in minerals, element behavior (e.g., incompatibility), and chemical variation diagrams. Other models (e.g., paths of equilibrium and fractional crystallization on phase diagrams) can also be used to illustrate differentiation processes in upper level courses (e.g., mineralogy and petrology).

  18. Using Scientific Argumentation in a Science Methods Course to Improve Preservice Teachers' Understanding of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, J. L.; Bleicher, R. E.; Soden, B. J.

    2014-12-01

    Given that K-12 students have numerous alternative conceptions, it is critical that teachers have an understanding of the fundamental science underlying climate change (Feldman et al., 2010). Many teachers, however, do not demonstrate adequate understanding of these concepts (Daskolia et al., 2006). Argumentation has been identified as a mechanism for conceptual change (Mercer et al., 2004). Even with several educational initiatives promoting and supporting the use of argumentation as an instructional practice, teachers often struggle to implement argumentation in the classroom (Sampson & Blanchard, 2012). To remedy both issues above, we have designed an innovative methods course to provide background in climate change knowledge and argumentation instruction. In our methods course, we utilize Climate Science Investigations (CSI), an online, interactive series of modules and teaching resources funded by a NASA grant to support teachers learning about the basic science concepts underlying climate change. A key assignment is to develop and present an evidence-based scientific argument. The teachers were assigned a typical question and claim of climate skeptics and asked to conduct research on the scientific findings to prepare a counter-argument (rebuttal). This study examined changes in 60 preservice teachers' knowledge and perceptions about climate change after participation in the course. The teachers' understanding of fundamental concepts increased significantly. Their perceptions about climate change became more aligned to those of climate scientists. Findings suggest that scientific argumentation can play an effective role in the preparation of science educators. In addition to reporting findings in more detail, methods course activities, particularly in argumentation, will be shared in our presentation.

  19. Contributions to Public Understanding of Science by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (I): Programs and Workshops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passow, M. J.; Turrin, M.; Kenna, T. C.; Newton, R.; Buckley, B.

    2009-12-01

    The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO) continues its long history of contributions to public understanding of Science through “live” and web-based programs that provide teachers, students, and the other access to new discoveries and updates on key issues. We highlight current activities in paired posters. Part 1 focuses on events held at the Palisades, NY, campus. "Earth2Class (E2C)" is a unique program integrating science content with increased understanding about classroom learning and technology. Monthly workshops allow K-14 participants to combine talks by researchers about cutting-edge investigations with acquisition of background knowledge and classroom-ready applications. E2C has sponsored 100 workshops by more than 60 LDEO scientists for hundreds of teachers. A vast array of resources on includes archived versions of workshops, comprehensive sets of curriculum units, and professional development opportunities. It has been well received by both workshop participants and others who have only accessed the web site. "Hudson River Snapshot Day" celebrates the Hudson River Estuary and educates participants on the uniqueness of our nearby estuary as part of the annual National Estuaries Week. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program and Hudson Basin River Watch coordinate the event. LDEO scientists help coordinate annual data collection by school classes to create a day-in-the-life picture all along the river. LDEO researchers also participate in "River Summer," bringing together participants from a variety of perspectives to look at the Hudson River and foster better understanding of how the same features can appear very differently to artists, writers, political scientists, economists, or scientists. These perspectives aid in recognizing the Hudson’s unique characteristics and history by identifying cross-disciplinary relationships and fostering new

  20. Accelerating the development of improved analgesic treatments: the ACTION public-private partnership.

    PubMed

    Dworkin, Robert H; Turk, Dennis C

    2011-07-01

    There has been considerable progress identifying pathophysiologic mechanisms of neuropathic pain, but analgesic medications with improved efficacy, safety, and tolerability still represent an unmet public health need. Numerous treatments examined in recent randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have failed to show efficacy for neuropathic pain, including treatments that had previously demonstrated efficacy. This suggests that at least some negative results reflect limited assay sensitivity of RCTs to distinguish efficacious treatments from placebo. Patient characteristics, clinical trial research designs and methods, outcome measures, approaches to data analysis, and statistical power may all play a role in accounting for difficulties in demonstrating the benefits of efficacious analgesic treatments vs placebo. The identification of specific clinical trial characteristics associated with assay sensitivity in existing data has the potential to provide an evidence-based approach to the design of analgesic clinical trials. The US Food and Drug Administration recently launched the Analgesic Clinical Trial Innovations, Opportunities, and Networks (ACTION) public-private partnership, which is designed to facilitate the discovery and development of analgesics with improved efficacy, safety, and tolerability for acute and chronic pain conditions. ACTION will establish a collaborative effort to prioritize research objectives, develop a standardized analgesic database platform, and conduct methodologically focused studies to increase the assay sensitivity and efficiency of analgesic clinical trials. The results of these activities have the potential to inform and accelerate the development of improved pain management interventions of all types, not just pharmacologic treatments. PMID:21752182

  1. Private medical services in the Italian public hospitals: the case for improving HRM.

    PubMed

    De Pietro, Carlo

    2006-08-22

    This study explores how Italian public hospitals can use private medical activities run by their employed physicians as a human resources management (HRM) tool. It is based on field research in two acute-care hospitals and a review of Italian literature and laws. The Italian National Health Service (NHS) allows employed physicians to run private, patient-funded activities ("private beds", surgical operations, hospital outpatient clinics, etc.). Basic regulation is set at the national level, but it can be greatly improved at the hospital level. Private activities, if poorly managed, can damage efficiency, equity, quality of care, and public trust in the NHS. On the other hand, hospitals can also use them as leverage to improve HRM, with special attention to three issues: (1) professional evaluation, development, and training; (2) compensation policies; (3) competition for, and retention of, professionals in short supply. The two case studies presented here show great differences between the two hospitals in terms of regulation and organizational solutions that have been adopted to deal with such activities. However, in both hospitals, private activities do not seem to benefit HRM. Private activities are not systematically considered in compensation policies. Moreover, private revenues are strongly concentrated in a few physicians. Hospitals use very little of the information provided by the private activities to improve knowledge management, career development, or training planning. Finally, hospitals do not use private activities management as a tool for competing in the labor market for health professionals who are in short supply. PMID:16253384

  2. Anatomy of Teaching Anatomy: Do Prosected Cross Sections Improve Students Understanding of Spatial and Radiological Anatomy?

    PubMed Central

    Vithoosan, S.; Kokulan, S.; Dissanayake, M. M.; Dissanayake, Vajira; Jayasekara, Rohan

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. Cadaveric dissections and prosections have traditionally been part of undergraduate medical teaching. Materials and Methods. Hundred and fifty-nine first-year students in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, were invited to participate in the above study. Students were randomly allocated to two age and gender matched groups. Both groups were exposed to identical series of lectures regarding anatomy of the abdomen and conventional cadaveric prosections of the abdomen. The test group (n = 77, 48.4%) was also exposed to cadaveric cross-sectional slices of the abdomen to which the control group (n = 82, 51.6%) was blinded. At the end of the teaching session both groups were assessed by using their performance in a timed multiple choice question paper as well as ability to identify structures in abdominal CT films. Results. Scores for spatial and radiological anatomy were significantly higher among the test group when compared with the control group (P < 0.05, CI 95%). Majority of the students in both control and test groups agreed that cadaveric cross section may be useful for them to understand spatial and radiological anatomy. Conclusion. Introduction of cadaveric cross-sectional prosections may help students to understand spatial and radiological anatomy better. PMID:27579181

  3. Using Authentic Oceanographic, Climatic, and Polar Data with Students: Improving Student Understanding of Environmental Phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mckay, M.; Albrecht, M.

    2011-12-01

    Background: Information on climatic change, ocean acidification, and the melting of polar ice sheets fill today's headlines. Students typically lack experience in finding, collecting, or interpreting real oceanographic or climatic data. They are usually provided with data-sets that are not current or representative of actual environmental conditions, or of interest to current scientific investigations. As a result, most students do not have an appreciation of the scope or impact of environmental changes occurring both in the past and in the present day. The focus of this study included climate change, ocean drilling core data from the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), phytoplankton/zooplankton studies, and satellite studies of the Monterey Bay, the Arctic, and areas of Paleoclimate interest. Methods: Researchers compared student understanding of paleoclimatic concepts, along with present day oceanographic, climatic, and polar phenomena, when taught using authentic data and data analysis with non-inquiry based instruction. Techniques used in the study by students included the visualization of ocean cores and analysis of cataloged ocean core data. Techniques also included the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing techniques to analyze present day oceanographic, climatic, and polar phenomena. Results: Study results indicate that students gained a greater understanding of paleoclimate and contemporary environmental phenomena when using authentic data-sets when compared with non-current data-sets. Students also performed better in designing investigations and interpreting results.

  4. POST-TRAUMATIC OSTEOARTHRITIS: IMPROVED UNDERSTANDING AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR EARLY INTERVENTION†

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Donald D.; Chubinskaya, Susan; Guilak, Farshid; Martin, James A.; Oegema, Theodore R.; Olson, Steven A.; Buckwalter, Joseph A.

    2011-01-01

    Even with current treatments of acute joint injuries, more than 40% of people who suffer significant ligament or meniscus tears, or articular surface injuries, will develop osteoarthritis. Correspondingly, 12% or more of all patients with lower extremity osteoarthritis have a history of joint injury. Recent research suggests that acute joint damage that occurs at the time of an injury initiates a sequence of events that can lead to progressive articular surface damage. New molecular interventions, combined with evolving surgical methods, aim to minimize or prevent progressive tissue damage triggered by joint injury. Seizing the potential for progress in the treatment of joint injuries to forestall OA will depend on advances in: (1) quantitative methods of assessing the injury severity, including both structural damage and biologic responses, (2) understanding of the pathogenesis of post-traumatic OA, taking into account potential interactions among the different tissues and the role of post-traumatic incongruity and instability, and (3) application of engineering and molecular research to develop new methods of treating injured joints. This paper highlights recent advances in understanding of the structural damage and the acute biological response following joint injury, and it identifies important directions for future research. PMID:21520254

  5. How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Gluckman, Peter D; Low, Felicia M; Buklijas, Tatjana; Hanson, Mark A; Beedle, Alan S

    2011-01-01

    An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis for disease, excluding consideration of evolutionary (ultimate) reasons. The key principles of evolutionary medicine are that selection acts on fitness, not health or longevity; that our evolutionary history does not cause disease, but rather impacts on our risk of disease in particular environments; and that we are now living in novel environments compared to those in which we evolved. We consider these evolutionary principles in conjunction with population genetics and describe several pathways by which evolutionary processes can affect disease risk. These perspectives provide a more cohesive framework for gaining insights into the determinants of health and disease. Coupled with complementary insights offered by advances in genomic, epigenetic, and developmental biology research, evolutionary perspectives offer an important addition to understanding disease. Further, there are a number of aspects of evolutionary medicine that can add considerably to studies in other domains of contemporary evolutionary studies. PMID:25567971

  6. The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP). A Public-Private Partnership Addressing Wind Energy Forecast Needs

    SciTech Connect

    Wilczak, James M.; Finley, Cathy; Freedman, Jeff; Cline, Joel; Bianco, L.; Olson, J.; Djalaova, I.; Sheridan, L.; Ahlstrom, M.; Manobianco, J.; Zack, J.; Carley, J.; Benjamin, S.; Coulter, R. L.; Berg, Larry K.; Mirocha, Jeff D.; Clawson, K.; Natenberg, E.; Marquis, M.

    2015-10-30

    The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP) is a public-private research program, the goals of which are to improve the accuracy of short-term (0-6 hr) wind power forecasts for the wind energy industry and then to quantify the economic savings that accrue from more efficient integration of wind energy into the electrical grid. WFIP was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with partners that include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), private forecasting companies (WindLogics and AWS Truepower), DOE national laboratories, grid operators, and universities. WFIP employed two avenues for improving wind power forecasts: first, through the collection of special observations to be assimilated into forecast models to improve model initial conditions; and second, by upgrading NWP forecast models and ensembles. The new observations were collected during concurrent year-long field campaigns in two high wind energy resource areas of the U.S. (the upper Great Plains, and Texas), and included 12 wind profiling radars, 12 sodars, 184 instrumented tall towers and over 400 nacelle anemometers (provided by private industry), lidar, and several surface flux stations. Results demonstrate that a substantial improvement of up to 14% relative reduction in power root mean square error (RMSE) was achieved from the combination of improved NOAA numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and assimilation of the new observations. Data denial experiments run over select periods of time demonstrate that up to a 6% relative improvement came from the new observations. The use of ensemble forecasts produced even larger forecast improvements. Based on the success of WFIP, DOE is planning follow-on field programs.

  7. Understanding, promoting and protecting geodiversity and geoheritage of the Piemonte region (Italy) through innovative techniques and public engagement in Earth Science studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giardino, Marco; Lozar, Francesca; Perotti, Luigi; Palomba, Mauro; Groppo, Chiara; Natalicchio, Marcello; Ghiraldi, Luca; Beltramo, Riccardo; Lombardo, Vincenzo

    2016-04-01

    The onset of Antropocene demonstrates the importance of considering both 1) geodiversity and 2) geoheritage as parts of the landscape "interfaces" where relationships between natural and socio-economic systems can be studied and interpreted. By definition: 1) is the variety, recognizable in nature ("diversity"), of geological features (rocks, minerals, fossils…), of geomorphological environments (and related forms and processes) and of soil characteristics; 2) is an integral part of the global natural heritage focusing on unique, special and representative sites of geological interests (geosites l.s.). In the Antropocene, both 1) and 2) hold a dynamic character, as the result of actions and interactions of natural and/or human factors. Therefore, geodiversity and geoheritage studies are essential for breaking down geological environments and human territories into their main parts and to understand the variables and mechanisms that control their changes. In this perspective, results of the multidisciplinary project PROGEO-Piemonte ("PROactive management of GEOlogical heritage in the Piemonte Region") are presented here: an innovative approach for assessing geodiversity in order to select areas of high potential value of geoheritage to be enhanced by targeted management actions. Since the geodiversity of Piemonte is materialized by elements of high scientific, educational, tourism, etc. value, the geosites where this geoheritage is preserved have been comprehensively analysed and characterized for encompassing both public and private interests. 9 strategic geothematic areas have been selected in the Piemonte Region to test this approach, and to improve social engagement aimed at protecting and promoting geodiversity ad geoheritage. The investigated areas represent the multifaceted geodiversity of Piemonte; each area is characterized by high potential for scientific studies, enhancement of public understanding of science, recreation activities and for economic

  8. The annotation and the usage of scientific databases could be improved with public issue tracker software

    PubMed Central

    Dall'Olio, Giovanni Marco; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Laayouni, Hafid

    2010-01-01

    Since the publication of their longtime predecessor The Atlas of Protein Sequences and Structures in 1965 by Margaret Dayhoff, scientific databases have become a key factor in the organization of modern science. All the information and knowledge described in the novel scientific literature is translated into entries in many different scientific databases, making it possible to obtain very accurate information on a biological entity like genes or proteins without having to manually review the literature on it. However, even for the databases with the finest annotation procedures, errors or unclear parts sometimes appear in the publicly released version and influence the research of unaware scientists using them. The researcher that finds an error in a database is often left in a uncertain state, and often abandons the effort of reporting it because of a lack of a standard procedure to do so. In the present work, we propose that the simple adoption of a public error tracker application, as in many open software projects, could improve the quality of the annotations in many databases and encourage feedback from the scientific community on the data annotated publicly. In order to illustrate the situation, we describe a series of errors that we found and helped solve on the genes of a very well-known pathway in various biomedically relevant databases. We would like to show that, even if a majority of the most important scientific databases have procedures for reporting errors, these are usually not publicly visible, making the process of reporting errors time consuming and not useful. Also, the effort made by the user that reports the error often goes unacknowledged, putting him in a discouraging position. PMID:21186182

  9. Efficacy of monitoring and empirical predictive modeling at improving public health protection at Chicago beaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nevers, Meredith B.; Whitman, Richard L.

    2011-01-01

    Efforts to improve public health protection in recreational swimming waters have focused on obtaining real-time estimates of water quality. Current monitoring techniques rely on the time-intensive culturing of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) from water samples, but rapidly changing FIB concentrations result in management errors that lead to the public being exposed to high FIB concentrations (type II error) or beaches being closed despite acceptable water quality (type I error). Empirical predictive models may provide a rapid solution, but their effectiveness at improving health protection has not been adequately assessed. We sought to determine if emerging monitoring approaches could effectively reduce risk of illness exposure by minimizing management errors. We examined four monitoring approaches (inactive, current protocol, a single predictive model for all beaches, and individual models for each beach) with increasing refinement at 14 Chicago beaches using historical monitoring and hydrometeorological data and compared management outcomes using different standards for decision-making. Predictability (R2) of FIB concentration improved with model refinement at all beaches but one. Predictive models did not always reduce the number of management errors and therefore the overall illness burden. Use of a Chicago-specific single-sample standard-rather than the default 235 E. coli CFU/100 ml widely used-together with predictive modeling resulted in the greatest number of open beach days without any increase in public health risk. These results emphasize that emerging monitoring approaches such as empirical models are not equally applicable at all beaches, and combining monitoring approaches may expand beach access.

  10. Anticipated Improvements in Precipitation Physics and Understanding of Water Cycle from GPM Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Eric A.

    2003-01-01

    The GPM mission is currently planned for start in the late-2007 to early-2008 time frame. Its main scientific goal is to help answer pressing scientific problems arising within the context of global and regional water cycles. These problems cut across a hierarchy of scales and include climate-water cycle interactions, techniques for improving weather and climate predictions, and better methods for combining observed precipitation with hydrometeorological prediction models for applications to hazardous flood-producing storms, seasonal flood/draught conditions, and fresh water resource assessments. The GPM mission will expand the scope of precipitation measurement through the use of a constellation of some 9 satellites, one of which will be an advanced TRMM-like core satellite carrying a dual-frequency Ku-Ka band precipitation radar and an advanced, multifrequency passive microwave radiometer with vertical-horizontal polarization discrimination. The other constellation members will include new dedicated satellites and co-existing operational/research satellites carrying similar (but not identical) passive microwave radiometers. The goal of the constellation is to achieve approximately 3-hour sampling at any spot on the globe -- continuously. The constellation s orbit architecture will consist of a mix of sun-synchronous and non-sun-synchronous satellites with the core satellite providing measurements of cloud-precipitation microphysical processes plus calibration-quality rainrate retrievals to be used with the other retrieval information to ensure bias-free constellation coverage. GPM is organized internationally, involving existing, pending, projected, and under-study partnerships which will link NASA and NOAA in the US, NASDA in Japan, ESA in Europe, ISRO in India, CNES in France, and possibly AS1 in Italy, KARI in South Korea, CSA in Canada, and AEB in Brazil. Additionally, the program is actively pursuing agreements with other international collaborators and

  11. a Radiocarbon Database for Improved Understanding of Global Soil Carbon Dynamics: Part II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trumbore, S.; Torn, M. S.; Sierra, C. A.; Smith, L. J.; Nave, L. E.; Workshop Paritipants, R.

    2011-12-01

    We report results of a workshop to initiate a global database of radiocarbon measurements in soil and other ecosystem compartments. Radiocarbon provides critical information for understanding the rate of exchange of soil carbon with the atmosphere and hydrosphere. For example, radiocarbon has been used to demonstrate the importance of short range order minerals in stabilizing organic carbon on millennial timescales in some soils. On decadal to centennial timescales, the infiltration of 'bomb' radiocarbon provides a measure of the amount and nature of soil carbon that responds on the timescale of most human impacts. The radiocarbon sigature of chemically or physically fractionated soil, or even in specific organic compounds, can yield clues as to controls on organic matter cycling on a range of timescales. Radiocarbon in microbial biomass or respiration can be a sensitive indicator of shifts in substrate use with vegetation, nutrient availability or temperature change. Taken toghether, such measurements can provide critical tests for models of soil carbon dynamics, while patterns in soil C dynamics with edaphic factors can be used to help parameterize models at spatial scales ranging from profile to landscape to global. The advent and proliferation of accelerator mass spectrometry since the early 1990s has vastly increased the number of radiocarbon analyses carried out in soils. However, these studies have usually been carried out by individual investigators within specific sites or regions, and to date the results have not been assembled, interpreted or compared at larger spatial scales. Given the expense of radiocarbon measurements, and the need for global synthesis products to evaluate and/or develop models of soil carbon response to climate and land use changes across a range of spatial scales, our goals are to: (1) bring together in one place existing radiocarbon measurements and provide a continuing common repository for new analyses; (2) supply ancillary

  12. Improved understanding of factors driving methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus epidemic waves

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Som S; Otto, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) remains one of the most important causes of nosocomial infections worldwide. Since the global spread of MRSA in the 1960s, MRSA strains have evolved with increased pathogenic potential. Notably, some strains are now capable of causing persistent infections not only in hospitalized patients but also in healthy individuals in the community. Furthermore, MRSA is increasingly associated with infections among livestock-associated workers, primarily because of transmission from animals to humans. Moreover, many MRSA strains have gained resistance to most available antibiotics. In this review, we will present current knowledge on MRSA epidemiology and discuss new endeavors being undertaken to understand better the molecular and epidemiological underpinnings of MRSA outbreaks. PMID:23861600

  13. Exploiting new electrochemical understanding of niobium electropolishing for improved performance of SRF cavities for CEBAF

    SciTech Connect

    Reece, Charles E.; Tian, Hui

    2010-09-01

    Recent incorporation of analytic electrochemistry into the development of protocols for electropolishing niobium SRF cavities has yielded new insights for optimizing this process for consistent, high-performance results. Use of reference electrodes in the electrolyte, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), rotating disk electrodes (RDE), and controlled sample temperatures has greatly clarified the process dynamics over the empirical understanding developed via years of practice. Minimizing RF losses at high operational gradients is very valuable for CW linacs. Jefferson Lab is applying these new insights to the low-loss 7-cell cavity design developed for the CEBAF 12 GeV Upgrade. Together with controlled cleaning and assembly techniques to guard against field-emission-causing particulates, the resulting process is yielding consistent cavity performance that exceeds project requirements. Cavity tests show BCS-limited Q well above 30 MV/m. Detailed process data, interpretation, and resulting rf performance data will be presented.

  14. MoFlow: visualizing conformational changes in molecules as molecular flow improves understanding

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Current visualizations of molecular motion use a Timeline-analogous representation that conveys "first the molecule was shaped like this, then like this...". This scheme is orthogonal to the Pathline-like human understanding of motion "this part of the molecule moved from here to here along this path". We present MoFlow, a system for visualizing molecular motion using a Pathline-analogous representation. Results The MoFlow system produces high-quality renderings of molecular motion as atom pathlines, as well as interactive WebGL visualizations, and 3D printable models. In a preliminary user study, MoFlow representations are shown to be superior to canonical representations for conveying molecular motion. Conclusions Pathline-based representations of molecular motion are more easily understood than timeline representations. Pathline representations provide other advantages because they represent motion directly, rather than representing structure with inferred motion. PMID:26361501

  15. RNA-Seq: Improving Our Understanding of Retinal Biology and Disease.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Michael H; Au, Elizabeth D; Sousa, Maria E; Pierce, Eric A

    2015-01-01

    Over the past several years, rapid technological advances have allowed for a dramatic increase in our knowledge and understanding of the transcriptional landscape, because of the ability to study gene expression in greater depth and with more detail than previously possible. To this end, RNA-Seq has quickly become one of the most widely used methods for studying transcriptomes of tissues and individual cells. Unlike previously favored analysis methods, RNA-Seq is extremely high-throughput, and is not dependent on an annotated transcriptome, laying the foundation for novel genetic discovery. Additionally, RNA-Seq derived transcriptomes provide a basis for widening the scope of research to identify potential targets in the treatment of retinal disease. PMID:25722474

  16. On the Concept of Force: How Understanding its History can Improve Physics Teaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coelho, Ricardo Lopes

    2010-01-01

    Some physicists have pointed out that we do not know what force is. The most common definition of force in textbooks has been criticized for more than two centuries. Many studies have shown that the concept of force is a problem for teaching. How to conceive force on the basis of the concepts and criticism of force in the works of Newton, Euler, d’Alembert, Lagrange, Lazare Carnot, Saint-Venant, Reech, Kirchhoff, Mach, Hertz and Poincaré is the question of the present article. This part of the article is followed by an overview of definitions of force in contemporary textbooks. In the next part, an answer to the question is given: how to understand force within the framework of the laws of motion and in applications. Finally, some educational implications are considered.

  17. Integrating flux, satellite, and proximal optical data for an improved understanding of ecosystem carbon uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamon, J. A.; Huemmrich, K. F.; Garrity, S. R.

    2015-12-01

    The different scales and methods of satellite observations and flux measurements present challenges for data integration that can be partly addressed by the addition of scale-appropriate optical sampling. Proximal optical measurement facilitates experimental approaches that can inform upscaling, satellite validation, and lead to better understanding of controls on carbon fluxes and other ecosystem processes. Using the framework of the light-use efficiency model, this presentation will review efforts to explore the controls on ecosystem-atmosphere carbon fluxes using a variety of novel optical sensors and platforms. Topics of appropriate sampling methodology, scaling and data aggregation will also be considered, with examples of how information content and interpretation of optical data can be scale-dependent. Key challenges include informatics solutions that handle large, multi-dimensional data volumes and contextual information, including information about sampling protocols and scale. Key opportunities include the assessment of vegetation functional diversity with optical sensors.

  18. Interactive tutorial to improve student understanding of single photon experiments involving a Mach-Zehnder interferometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-03-01

    We have developed and evaluated a quantum interactive learning tutorial (QuILT) on a Mach-Zehnder interferometer with single photons to expose upper-level students in quantum mechanics courses to contemporary quantum optics applications. The QuILT strives to help students develop the ability to apply fundamental quantum principles to physical situations in quantum optics and explore the differences between classical and quantum ideas. The QuILT adapts visualization tools to help students build physical intuition about counter-intuitive quantum optics phenomena with single photons including a quantum eraser setup and focuses on helping them integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding. We discuss findings from in-class evaluations.

  19. How online learning modules can improve the representational fluency and conceptual understanding of university physics students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, M.; Sharma, M. D.; Johnston, H.

    2015-07-01

    The use of online learning resources as core components of university science courses is increasing. Learning resources range from summaries, videos, and simulations, to question banks. Our study set out to develop, implement, and evaluate research-based online learning resources in the form of pre-lecture online learning modules (OLMs). The aim of this paper is to share our experiences with those using, or considering implementing, online learning resources. Our first task was to identify student learning issues in physics to base the learning resources on. One issue with substantial research is conceptual understanding, the other with comparatively less research is scientific representations (graphs, words, equations, and diagrams). We developed learning resources on both these issues and measured their impact. We created weekly OLMs which were delivered to first year physics students at The University of Sydney prior to their first lecture of the week. Students were randomly allocated to either a concepts stream or a representations stream of online modules. The programme was first implemented in 2013 to trial module content, gain experience and process logistical matters and repeated in 2014 with approximately 400 students. Two validated surveys, the Force and Motion Concept Evaluation (FMCE) and the Representational Fluency Survey (RFS) were used as pre-tests and post-tests to measure learning gains while surveys and interviews provided further insights. While both streams of OLMs produced similar positive learning gains on the FMCE, the representations-focussed OLMs produced higher gains on the RFS. Conclusions were triangulated with student responses which indicated that they have recognized the benefit of the OLMs for their learning of physics. Our study shows that carefully designed online resources used as pre-instruction can make a difference in students’ conceptual understanding and representational fluency in physics, as well as make them more aware

  20. Understanding the systemic nature of cities to improve health and climate change mitigation.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Ralph; Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Capon, Anthony

    2016-09-01

    Understanding cities comprehensively as systems is a costly challenge and is typically not feasible for policy makers. Nevertheless, focusing on some key systemic characteristics of cities can give useful insights for policy to advance health and well-being outcomes. Moreover, if we take a coevolutionary systems view of cities, some conventional assumptions about the nature of urban development (e.g. the growth in private vehicle use with income) may not stand up. We illustrate this by examining the coevolution of urban transport and land use systems, and institutional change, giving examples of policy implications. At a high level, our concern derives from the need to better understand the dynamics of urban change, and its implications for health and well-being. At a practical level, we see opportunities to use stylised findings about urban systems to underpin policy experiments. While it is now not uncommon to view cities as systems, policy makers appear to have made little use so far of a systems approach to inform choice of policies with consequences for health and well-being. System insights can be applied to intelligently anticipate change - for example, as cities are subjected to increasing natural system reactions to climate change, they must find ways to mitigate and adapt to it. Secondly, systems insights around policy cobenefits are vital for better informing horizontal policy integration. Lastly, an implication of system complexity is that rather than seeking detailed, 'full' knowledge about urban issues and policies, cities would be well advised to engage in policy experimentation to address increasingly urgent health and climate change issues. PMID:27126780