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News Article | April 27, 2017

Joe Bay is one of Florida Bay's main sources of freshwater. Closing it was key in helping the American crocodile recover from extinction. But the long-untouched Joe Bay, along with nearby Snag Bay, is now open to visitors on kayaks, canoes or paddle boards. The park's first designated catch-and-release area, it also welcomes fishermen in search of snook, tarpon and more. Scientists in FIU's Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) are studying the effects of the decades-long closure and recreational fishing on Joe Bay's fish and recreational fisheries. "We haven't had anything in South Florida closed off to human contact for this long," said David Stormer, a post-doctoral research associate in SERC. "It's rare outside of an experimental setting to have the elements we have here at our disposal. Being able to evaluate Joe Bay in itself, and how does a fish community respond to being separated from humanity, is a really unique opportunity." Led by Jennifer Rehage, an environmental studies professor in FIU's Department of Earth and Environment, the research team is using a combination of techniques, including net hauls, snorkeling and baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys, to examine the size, species and number of fish in Joe Bay and nearby Little Madeira Bay and Long Sound. The three areas have different access regulations, allowing the scientists to evaluate water conditions and the effects of the closure. With eight BRUVs outfitted with GoPro HD cameras already deployed, the scientists have generated more than 320 hours of film, catching common jack, snook, sharks, tarpon, trout and the non-native cichlid on camera. Delving deeper into Joe Bay, the scientists are also surveying local anglers, fishing guides and visitors on their fishing catches and experiences. Miami native Bobby Gibson is one of them. He has been fishing in the Everglades for nearly 25 years. For Gibson, filling out the survey was a way for him to express his love for the Everglades and the need for science to inform management of an invaluable natural resource. "It's exciting to be at the forefront of a management strategy that hasn't been tried before in the Everglades. We want to contribute information as to whether it's working well or not," Rehage said. "I hope this project gets the word out on the value of citizen science. If everyone who visits the area reports information on their catches and experiences, we'll have invaluable data to help us accomplish that." Visitors to Joe Bay can fill out paper surveys at Trout Creek or Mooring Pilings, take the survey online, or download the Joe Bay Angler Survey app on their Android or iPhone. The study is funded by the Everglades National Park and is expected to take three years to complete. It is being conducted with researchers from the Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Audubon Florida. The research project was recently profiled by Florida Sportsman and Hatch.

Nathan M.,SERC | Nathan M.,University of Birmingham
Research Policy | Year: 2016

This paper examines the characteristics of the collaborations between inventors in the United Kingdom (UK) by looking at what types of proximities - geographic, organisational, cognitive, social, and cultural-ethnic - between inventors are prevalent in partnerships that ultimately lead to technological progress. Using a new panel of UK inventors this paper provides an analysis of associations between these 'proximities' and co-patenting. The results show that while collaboration within firms, research centres and universities remains crucial, external networks of inventors are key feature of innovation teams. The analysis shows that external networks are highly dependent on previous social connections, but are generally unconstrained by cultural or cognitive factors. Geographical proximity is also weakly linked with external networks. Our results suggest that innovation policies should, rather than focus on spatial clustering, facilitate the formation of open and diverse networks of inventors. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Rajamane N.P.,SRM University | Lakshmanan N.,SERC | Jeyalakshmi R.,SRM University
Indian Concrete Journal | Year: 2012

Geopolymeric Cement Concretes (GPCCs) are a new class of construction materials where the binder is geopolymer based. These concretes do not have Portland cement and the geopolymeric binding action comes from activation of silica and alumina available in minerals such as fly ash, metakaolin, and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS), etc. The activating medium is a liquid which is highly alkaline and made from various chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, sodium silicate, sodium carbonate, etc. The most commonly used activator solution consists of sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate. Though the concentration of ions such as Na+, SiO3 -2, OH- etc are important for characterisation of activation solutions, physical properties such as viscosity and densities, are easily measurable, more particularly the density testing is simple and straight forward. Therefore, density can be taken as a parameter to characterise the sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate solutions of different concentrations and their combinations. New empirical relationships between density and concentration of the activator solutions are proposed in this paper.

Silva B.F.D.,Federal University of São Carlos | Perez S.,IDAEA | Gardinalli P.,SERC | Singhal R.K.,Bhabha Atomic Research Center | And 4 more authors.
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

The use of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) has exponentially increased in the past decade due to their unique physical and chemical properties at nano-scales [1]. They are added to a myriad of materials and compositions. The key question is not if NPs will enter environmental compartments but rather when. The fate and the stability of NPs in the environment play important roles in determining their environmental distributions and probably control the risk to human health through exposure. Emissions of nanomaterials (NMs) could be intentional or unintentional but occur in particulate, aggregate or embedded states.Despite environmental transformations and changes in their surrounding environment, metallic NPs (M-NPs) tend to exist as stable colloidal aggregates or dispersions. Characterizing NPs and NMs in environmental samples implies determination of their size, their chemical composition and their bulk concentrations in the matrix. Differential size filtration is the most commonly used method to isolate NPs from aqueous matrices. Micro-filtration, nano-filtration, cross-flow filtration, and ultracentrifugation are usually employed to achieve the highest degree of segregation.Chemical characterization of NPs and NMs has traditionally been done using transmission/scanning electron microscopy (TEM/SEM) followed by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). However, because of their intrinsic limitations, methods have also been combined and validated [e.g., size exclusion and ion chromatography (SEC and IC) with multi-element detection {inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry and optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-MS and ICP-OES)].This review describes the current state and the challenges of isolating, segregating and detecting M-NPs in environmental samples. A simple case study shows a common procedure for the analysis of NPs in complex aqueous matrices. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Troxler T.G.,Florida International University | Gaiser E.,FIU | Barr J.,South Florida Natural Resources Center | Fuentes J.D.,Pennsylvania State University | And 29 more authors.
Oceanography | Year: 2013

Recent studies suggest that coastal ecosystems can bury significantly more C than tropical forests, indicating that continued coastal development and exposure to sea level rise and storms will have global biogeochemical consequences. The Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research (FCE LTER) site provides an excellent subtropical system for examining carbon (C) balance because of its exposure to historical changes in freshwater distribution and sea level rise and its history of significant long-term carbon-cycling studies. FCE LTER scientists used net ecosystem C balance and net ecosystem exchange data to estimate C budgets for riverine mangrove, freshwater marsh, and seagrass meadows, providing insights into the magnitude of C accumulation and lateral aquatic C transport. Rates of net C production in the riverine mangrove forest exceeded those reported for many tropical systems, including terrestrial forests, but there are considerable uncertainties around those estimates due to the high potential for gain and loss of C through aquatic fluxes. C production was approximately balanced between gain and loss in Everglades marshes; however, the contribution of periphyton increases uncertainty in these estimates. Moreover, while the approaches used for these initial estimates were informative, a resolved approach for addressing areas of uncertainty is critically needed for coastal wetland ecosystems. Once resolved, these C balance estimates, in conjunction with an understanding of drivers and key ecosystem feedbacks, can inform cross-system studies of ecosystem response to long-term changes in climate, hydrologic management, and other land use along coastlines. © 2013 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved.

News Article | December 22, 2016

New transmission projects like Southern Cross save money and help create a more reliable power system. Study finds billions of dollars of economic benefits from just one transmission project A recently released study finds that Pattern Energy Group LP’s proposed Southern Cross transmission line will spur $3.9 billion in economic benefits. Mississippi, Louisiana and the greater southwest stand to gain over both the short and long term, according to researchers. The study, conducted by Moss Adams LLP, found wide-ranging positives for Mississippi and Louisiana. In the short-term, there will be nearly $1.5 billion of direct economic impact from expenditures incurred during development and construction. These include things like land acquisition payments and clearing and construction costs.  The direct investments will also create more than 650 jobs throughout the projects development and continued operation. In fact, Southern Cross has already been engaged with communities along the project route, seeking local suppliers and contractors. The direct impacts will lead to further indirect and induced impacts to the tune of an another $1.4 billion over the project’s life. This includes things like lodging and meals paid for by workers, and more money spent in the local economy. Southern Cross will also have direct fiscal impacts on the states where it’s built. It is estimated that over the 30-year life of the project over $441 million will be paid in property taxes. Benefits to Texas and the Southeast The Southern Cross transmission line will span about 400 miles between Louisiana and Mississippi. It will have a baseload capacity over 2,000 megawatts. The direct-current transmission line will connect two non-synchronous electrical systems, in Texas (ERCOT) and the Southeast (SERC). It will also provide bi-directional flow. So while the line will mostly be used to deliver low-cost wind energy from Texas to the Southeast, should conditions warrant, Southern Cross could carry electricity to Texas as well. Enabling market competition via Southern Cross will lead to more efficient dispatch of generation in both ERCOT and SERC. It’s another example of how long-distance, high-voltage transmission lines like Southern Cross provide benefits to consumers on both ends of a project. ERCOT will benefit from the ability to export excess wind generation and will allow for better use of the CREZ transmission lines, saving money for Texas consumers. Southern Cross will also deliver economic benefits to the southeast through lower expected wholesale energy costs from cheaper, cleaner Texas wind. From a reliability perspective, the line offers flexibility to bring energy in both directions if either system need it. Southern Cross is the first of its kind in many ways. It will be one of the first overhead DC transmission lines built in the United States in almost two decades. It’s a great example of how private capital can be leveraged to provide clean, reliable power while saving consumers money. Check out this video to learn more about how wind power helps keep the lights on.

Prasad Rao N.,Anna University | Knight G.M.S.,Anna University | Lakshmanan N.,SERC | Iyer N.R.,SERC
Engineering Failure Analysis | Year: 2010

This paper presents different types of premature failures observed during full-scale testing of Transmission line towers at Tower Testing and Research Station, Structural Engineering Research Centre, Chennai. Failures that have been observed during testing are studied and the reasons are discussed in detail. The effect of non-triangulated hip bracing pattern and isolated hip bracings connected to elevation redundants in 'K' and 'X' braced panels, on tower behaviour are studied. The tower members are modeled using beam-column and plate elements. Different types of failures are modeled using finite element software and the analytical results and the test results are compared with various codal provisions. The non-linear finite element analysis program NE-NASTRAN has been used to model the elasto-plastic behaviour of towers. Importance of secondary member design and connection detail in overall performance of the tower was studied. Non-linear finite element analysis is useful in understanding the system behaviour and for prediction of failure pattern and ultimate load. Based on the test results the importance of studying the failures is highlighted. The need for testing of transmission line towers is emphasized. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Mannarswamy S.,Hewlett - Packard | Govindarajan R.,SERC
Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques - Conference Proceedings, PACT | Year: 2011

Software transactional memory (STM) is a promising programming paradigm for shared memory multithreaded programs. In order for STMs to be adopted widely for performance critical software, understanding and improving the cache performance of applications running on STM becomes increasingly crucial, as the performance gap between processor and memory continues to grow. In this paper, we present the most detailed experimental evaluation to date, of the cache behavior of STM applications and quantify the impact of the different STM factors on the cache misses experienced by the applications. We find that STMs are not cache friendly, with the data cache stall cycles contributing to more than 50% of the execution cycles in a majority of the benchmarks. We find that on an average, misses occurring inside the STM account for 62% of total data cache miss latency cycles experienced by the applications and the cache performance is impacted adversely due to certain inherent characteristics of the STM itself. The above observations motivate us to propose a set of specific compiler transformations targeted at making the STMs cache friendly. We find that STM's fine grained and application unaware locking is a major contributor to its poor cache behavior. Hence we propose selective Lock Data co-location (LDC) and Redundant Lock Access Removal (RLAR) to address the lock access misses. We find that even transactions that are completely disjoint access parallel, suffer from costly coherence misses caused by the centralized global time stamp updates and hence we propose the Selective Per-Partition Time Stamp (SPTS) transformation to address this. We show that our transformations are effective in improving the cache behavior of STM applications by reducing the data cache miss latency by 20.15% to 37.14% and improving execution time by 18.32% to 33.12% in five of the 8 STAMP applications. © 2011 IEEE.

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