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San Marcos, TX, United States

The Texas State University System was created in 1911 to oversee the state's normal schools. Since its creation it has broadened its focus and comprises institutions of many different scopes. It is the oldest university system in Texas. The system is unique to Texas because it is the only horizontal state university system; the system does not have a flagship institution and considers each university to be unique in its own way. Over the years, several member schools have joined the TSUS or moved to other university systems. The Texas State University System saw its largest growth in 1995 when the Lamar University System was incorporated into the TSUS. The incorporation saw four schools join the system: Lamar University, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College-Orange, and Lamar State College-Port Arthur. Today, the system encompasses eight institutions.The system is headquartered in the Thomas J. Rusk State Office Building at 200 East 10th Street, Suite 600, in Downtown Austin.The Texas State University System is governed by a nine member Board of Regents appointed by the Texas Governor. In addition, a nonvoting student regent is appointed annually to the Board. The administration is headed by a board-appointed Chancellor, who is based in Austin. The Board of Regents has the following members: Charlie Amato , Donna N. Williams , Dr. Jaime Garza, Kevin J. Lilly, Ron Mitchell, David Montagne, Trisha Pollard, Rossanna Salazar, Michael Truncale and Ryan Bridges . Wikipedia.

Brunson E.K.,Texas State University
Vaccine | Year: 2013

Background: Continued parental acceptance of childhood vaccination is essential for the maintenance of herd immunity and disease prevention. As such, understanding parents' decision-making in relation to their children's vaccinations is vitally important. Objective: This qualitative study sought to develop an understanding of the general process parents go through when making decisions about their children's vaccinations. Methods: Interviews were conducted with U.S.-born parents living in King County, Washington who had children ≤18 months of age. These interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Results: Through the application of grounded theory, a general decision-making process was identified. Stages in this process included: awareness, assessing and choosing, followed by either stasis or ongoing assessment. The greatest variation occurred during the assessing stage, which involved parents examining vaccination-related issues to make subsequent decisions. This research suggests that three general assessment groups exist: acceptors, who rely primarily on general social norms to make their vaccination decisions; reliers, who rely primarily on other people for information and advice; and searchers, who seek for information on their own, primarily from published sources. Conclusions: These results imply that one-size-fits-all approaches to vaccination interventions are inappropriate. Instead, this research suggests that interventions must be targeted to parents based on how they assess vaccination. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

The "intermediate disturbance hypothesis" and the "intermediate productivity hypothesis" have been widely recognized concepts for explaining patterns of species diversity for the past 40 years. While these hypotheses have generated numerous reviews and meta-analyses, as well as persistent criticism, two prominent papers have recently concluded that both of these hypotheses should be abandoned because of theoretical weaknesses and failure to predict observed diversity patterns. I review these criticisms in the context of the continuing tension between logic and empiricism in the development of ecological theory, and conclude that most of the criticisms are misguided because they fail to recognize the inherent connections between these two hypotheses, and consequently fail to test them appropriately. The logic of every hypothesis is based on the underlying assumptions. In the case of these two hypotheses, the assumptions on which the criticisms of their logic depend are falsified by the strong empirical support for the linked predictions of the hypotheses. This conclusion calls for a reevaluation of the basic assumptions upon which most of ecological competition and diversity theory is based. © 2014 by the Ecological Society of America. Source

Veech J.A.,Texas State University
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2013

Aim: To develop a new probabilistic model that can be used to test for statistically significant pair-wise patterns of species co-occurrence. The model gives the probability that two species would co-occur at a frequency less than (or greater than) the observed frequency if the two species were distributed independently of one another among a set of sites. The model can be used to classify species associations as negative, positive or random. Innovation: Historically, the analysis of species co-occurrence has involved the use of data randomization. An observed species presence-absence matrix is compared with randomized matrices to determine if the observed matrix has structure, either an excess or deficit of species positively or negatively associated with each other. The computer algorithms used to randomize matrices can sometimes produce Type I and Type II errors (when the randomization algorithm produces a biased set of all possible matrices) due to the randomization process itself. The probabilistic model does not rely on any data randomization, hence it has a very low Type I error rate and is powerful having a low Type II error rate. Main conclusions: When applied to 10 different data sets the probabilistic model revealed significant positive and negative species associations in most of the data sets. Compared with previous analyses the model tended to find fewer significant associations; this may indicate a generally low rate of Type I error in the model. The model is easy to implement and requires no special software. The model could potentially transform the way that ecologists test for species co-occurrence in a wide range of ecological studies. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Huston M.A.,Texas State University | Huston M.A.,University of Western Australia
Ecological Monographs | Year: 2012

Climate and soils are widely recognized as major drivers of virtually all properties of ecosystems and communities. However, despite major advances in the understanding of soil formation and ecosystem dynamics, the effects of climate on soil properties are not widely appreciated. Understanding the effects of water availability on the rates of chemical and biological processes that affect soil formation can help clarify the global patterns of soil fertility, which affect agricultural and forest productivity, as well as biodiversity. Empirical tests of Albrecht's conceptual model of soil development and degradation using global climate and soil data sets and soil chronosequences confirm that soil total exchangeable bases (TEB), phosphorus, nitrogen, and other components of soil fertility, along with plant productivity generally decline on older soils and under wetter conditions as precipitation exceeds potential evapotranspiration. The basic pattern of soil fertility in relation to water availability is a unimodal curve, with a maximum near or below a water balance of zero (annual precipitation minus annual potential evapotranspiration). Analysis of global data by subregions reveals significant differences between temperate and tropical soil fertility distributions, as well as significant differences between continents. The low levels of soil nutrients (e.g., TEB, P, N) and plant productivity found on ancient soils or highly weathered soils in regions with high precipitation suggest that the positive effects of low productivity on plant diversity that have been observed at local and regional scales may also occur at the global scale. © 2012 by the Ecological Society of America. Source

Veech J.A.,Texas State University
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

The analysis of species co-occurrence patterns continues to be a main pursuit of ecologists, primarily because the coexistence of species is fundamentally important in evaluating various theories, principles and concepts. Examples include community assembly, equilibrium versus non-equilibrium organization of communities, resource partitioning and ecological character displacement, the local-regional species diversity relationship, and the metacommunity concept. Traditionally, co-occurrence has been measured and tested at the level of an entire species presence-absence matrix wherein various algorithms are used to randomize matrices and produce statistical null distributions of metrics that quantify structure in the matrix. This approach implicitly recognizes a presence-absence matrix as having some real ecological identity (e.g. a set of species exhibiting nestedness among a set of islands) in addition to being a unit of statistical analysis. An emerging alternative is to test for non-random co-occurrence between paired species. The pairwise approach does not analyse matrix-level structure and thus views a species pair as the fundamental unit of co-occurrence. Inferring process from pattern is very difficult in analyses of co-occurrence; however, the pairwise approach may make this task easier by simplifying the analysis and resulting inferences to associations between paired species. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

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