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Webber A.F.,Boise State University | Heath J.A.,Boise State University | Fischer R.A.,Engineer Research and Development Center
Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2013

Habitat use has important consequences for avian reproductive success and survival. In coastal areas with recreational activity, human disturbance may limit use of otherwise suitable habitat. Snowy plovers Charadrius nivosus have a patchy breeding distribution along the coastal areas on the Florida Panhandle, USA. Our goal was to determine the relative effects of seasonal human disturbance and habitat requirements on snowy plover habitat use. We surveyed 303 sites for snowy plovers, human disturbance, and habitat features between January and July 2009 and 2010. We made multiple visits during three different sampling periods that corresponded to snowy plover breeding: pre-breeding, incubation, and brood-rearing and used multi-season occupancy models to examine whether human disturbance, habitat features, or both influenced site occupancy, colonization (probability of transition from an unoccupied site to an occupied site), and extinction (probability of transition from an occupied site to an unoccupied site). Snowy plover site occupancy and colonization was negatively associated with human disturbance and site extinction was positively associated with human disturbance. Interdune vegetation had a negative effect on occupancy and colonization, indicating that plovers were less likely to use areas with uniform, dense vegetation among dunes. Also, dune shape, beach debris, and access to low-energy foraging areas influenced site occupancy, colonization, and extinction. Plovers used habitat based on beach characteristics that provided stage-specific resource needs; however, human disturbance was the strongest predictor of site occupancy. In addition, vegetation plantings used to enhance dune rehabilitation may negatively impact plover site occupancy. Management actions that decrease human disturbance, such as symbolic fencing and signage, may increase the amount of breeding habitat available to snowy plovers on the Florida Panhandle and in other areas with high human activity. The specific areas that require this protection may vary across snowy plover life history stages. © 2013 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution.

Sharp M.K.,Engineer Research and Development Center
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Geotechnical Engineering | Year: 2011

As part of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET) investigation into levee breaches in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, centrifuge modelling was undertaken of representative levee cross-sections on the 17th Street, Orleans and London Avenue Canals. Two mechanisms were observed leading to breaching of the levee in the models, both of which stemmed from a water-filled crack that formed in front of the flood wall. Depending on the foundation conditions and geometry of the levee and flood wall, the crack led either to a rotation of the flood wall landwards, with uplift and sliding on the top of the sand towards the landward toe of the levee, or to a translational (sliding) failure in the clay layer commencing from the bottom or toe of the flood wall. In the Orleans models no breach ensued, although it was clear these sections were close to failure. The centrifuge model tests identified, at an early stage in the IPET investigation, the importance of the 'gap' mechanism affecting the stability of the flood walls, and confirmed that levee geometry and flood wall depth of penetration, together with the underlying soil profile, were critical to the performance of the system under flood loading.

Houston J.R.,Engineer Research and Development Center | Dean R.G.,University of Florida
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2013

Previous research has shown that sea-level acceleration determined from individual tide gauge records has remarkably large scatter as record lengths decrease due to decadal variations in sea level. We extend previous data sets to the present time and find even greater acceleration scatter. Using analytic solutions, sinusoidal oscillations with amplitudes and periods of typical decadal variations are shown to basically account for the relationship between record length and both acceleration and trend difference. Data show that decadal variations will obscure estimates of underlying accelerations if record lengths of individual gauges are not greater than at least 75 years. Although worldwide data are less affected by decadal variations than individual gauge data, decadal variations still significantly affect estimates of underlying accelerations, in particular for record lengths less than about 60 years. We give two examples of recent studies that use record lengths of about 30 to 60 years to determine acceleration or related trend difference. Previous authors dismissed the importance of decadal variations on their results and, as a result, reached invalid conclusions. © 2012, the Coastal Education & Research Foundation (CERF).

East E.W.,Engineer Research and Development Center | Nisbet N.,AEC3 Ltd. | Liebich T.,AEC3 Deutschland GmbH
Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering | Year: 2013

Current specifications for facility handover information require contractors to produce and deliver a set of documents that provide little practical value to the facility manager. Facility managers begin their duties by rekeying the information found in these handover documents. This paper describes the facility management handover (FM) model view definition (MVD), an open-standard information exchange format that may replace current construction handover document requirements. The work was accomplished in conjunction with three buildingSMART chapters to ensure the widest possible international acceptance. The specification of the underlying industry foundation class (IFC) model with required business rules for use in the United States is called the construction-operations building information exchange (COBie) format. Procedures used to test software production and consumption of COBie were developed. Use of COBie has now been documented in several case studies. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Reschke B.R.,West Virginia University | Timperman A.T.,Engineer Research and Development Center
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry | Year: 2011

The performance of several electrospray ionization emitters with different orifice inside diameters (i.d.s), geometries, and materials are compared. The sample solution is delivered by pressure driven flow, and the electrospray ionization voltage and flow rate are varied systematically for each emitter investigated, while the signal intensity of a standard is measured. The emitters investigated include a series of emitters with a tapered outside diameters (o.d.) and unaltered i.d.s, a series of emitters with tapered o.d.s and i.d.s, an emitter with a monolithic frit and a tapered o.d., and an emitter fabricated from polypropylene. The results show that for the externally etched emitters, signal was nearly independent of i.d. and better ion utilization was achieved at lower flow rates. Furthermore, emitters with a 50 μm i.d. and an etched o.d. produced about 1.5 times more signal than etched emitters with smaller i.d.s and about 3.5 times more signal than emitters with tapered inner and outer dimensions. Additionally, the work presented here has important implications for applications in which maximizing signal intensity and reducing frictional resistance to flow are necessary. Overall, the work provides an initial assessment of the critical parameters that contribute to maximizing the signal for electrospray ionization sources interfaced with pressure driven flows. © American Society for Mass Spectrometry (oustide the USA), 2011.

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