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Sue-and-settle is the name applied to a federal agency’s use of litigation to create policy outside of the normal regulatory process. This paper discusses the impact that the sue-and-settle policy has had on Congress, the judiciary, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Specifically, this paper will discuss the issues caused by the perception of collusion within the sue-and-settle policy. First, this paper examines whether a relationship occurs between the litigants. The paper then discusses whether the relationship between the litigants in sue-and-settle cases tends to be collusive or not. The second part of the paper examines how Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the judiciary are viewed because of the continued perception of collusion in the agency’s settlements. Overall, this paper finds that, the impacts of the sue-and-settle policy, and the perception of collusion, has affected Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the judiciary by increasing regulation, distorting the purpose of the courts, and resulting in a lost value for the regulatory process.
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Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been a major threat to bee colonies around the world which affects vital human food crop pollination. The decline in bee population can have tragic consequences, for humans as well as the bees and the ecosystem. Bee health has been a cause of urgent concern for farmers and scientists around the world for at least a decade but a specific cause for the phenomenon has yet to be conclusively identified. A normal hive inspection can be very disruptive for the bee colony, as the hive needs to be disassembled to visually assess hive health from the inside by collecting larvae and egg data. This work uses Machine Learning and Computer Vision methodologies to develop techniques to monitor hive health without disrupting the bee colony residing in the hive. Bee traffic refers to the number of bees moving in a given area in front of the hive over a given period of time. Bee traffic is related to forager traffic. Forager traffic is the number of bees moving out of the beehive. Forager traffic is a crucial factor in determining and monitoring food availability, food demand, colony age structure, the impact of pesticides, etc. on beehives. This work focuses on estimating bee traffic levels in a given hive and associate this information with data collected through manual beehive inspections.
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Francesco M. Angelici, Ph.D., currently works in the areas of behavioral ecology, wildlife management, zoogeography, and mammal systematic and conservation studies, particularly concerning carnivores, lagomorphs, and ungulates. His other fields of research are ornithology (Falconiformes, Passeriformes, and Strigiformes) and herpetology (ecology of snakes). He studies Mediterranean and tropical fauna, with particular reference to the conservation of vertebrates. He also works in the areas of planning and environmental conservation. He has planned 3 international congresses on “Problematic Wildlife,” and he is editor of 2 books published by Springer (one in press) on the same topic. He currently works also as a zoologist conservationist with hunting management agencies. He is also a specialist in African savannah environments as well as desert and tropical rain forests. He was a lecturer in courses in zoology (Vertebrate Zoology, Wildlife Management, Animal Ecology, and Zoogeography) from 1990 to 2009 in Italian universities. He is an associate professor in the Italian (and European) academic system.
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The Opioid Prevention for Rural Utah Youth through PROSPER program will serve 6th grade students and their families in Wayne, Emery, and San Juan counties. Participants will benefit from the research-based PROSPER program that delivers both community and school-based programming to strengthen youth and their families and increase their strengths to prevent opioid use.
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The purpose of this research was to understand the contexts that support the barriers to women’s advancement and to identify the conditions under which women leaders overcome the barriers to attain top corporate leadership positions. I have identified and discussed three distinct approaches for understanding how we can increase women’s representation and influence in the executive and director ranks within top U.S. corporations. The first approach investigates the complexities of leveraging the social and cultural capital attained through post-secondary education in order gain entry into the corporate elite. The second approach examines gendered stereotypes of risk-taking versus the organizational risk-taking realities that are inherent in women corporate leaders’ climb to the top. The final approach considers the impact of external pressures in increasing the prevalence, power and influence of women corporate directors. Findings reveal some of the complexity in both the antecedents and consequences of gender diversity within top leadership of large U.S. firms. Taken together, the results convey the organizational and societal contexts that lead to more diverse corporate leadership.
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This dissertation is focused on exploring the potential of bacteria for the biosynthesis of natural products with the purposes of generating novel natural product derivatives and of improving the titer of pharmaceutically important natural products. A wide variety of compounds from various sources have been historically used in the treatment and prevention of diseases. Natural products as a major source of new drugs are extensively explored due to their huge structural diversity and promising biological activities such as antimicrobial, anticancer, antifungal, antiviral and antioxidant properties. For instance, penicillin as an early-discovered antimicrobial agent has saved millions of lives, indicating the historical importance of natural products. However, the alarming rise in the prevalence of drug resistance is a serious threat to public health and it has coincided with the decreasing supply of new antibiotics. Bacteria with a tremendous undiscovered potential have still been one of the richest sources of bioactive compounds to tackle the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Nevertheless, the production level of those important compounds is often quite low, and often undetectable using current analytical techniques. To expand the chemical repertoire of nature and to increase the titer of the natural products, researchers have developed various strategies, such as heterologous expression, co-cultivation of different bacteria, optimization of fermentation conditions, discovery of new species, engineering of biosynthetic enzymes, and manipulating regulatory elements. Thus, in my dissertation research, I have exploited a few of these strategies. First, I heterologously expressed some of the biosynthetic genes from the sch biosynthetic gene cluster, resulted in the production of a novel glycosylated angucycline. I was also able to generate another new glycosylated derivative of angucycline through gene disruption of tailoring enzymes. In this research, I isolated two novel angucycline derivatives and gained new insights into the glycosylation steps in the biosynthesis of Sch47554 and Sch47555. Next, I engineered the regulatory elements in Streptomyces sp. SCC-2136 through the overexpression and targeted gene disruption approaches for enhanced production of pharmaceutically important angucyclines. The highest titer of Sch47554 was achieved in Streptomyces sp. SCC-2136/ΔschA4 (27.94 mg/L), which is significantly higher than the wild type. This work thus provides an initial understanding of functional roles of regulatory elements in the biosynthesis of Sch47554 and Sch47555 and several engineered strains with enhanced production of Sch47554. Last, I isolated a carotenoid-producing endophytic bacterium from the leaves of the yew tree and optimized the fermentation conditions for an improved yield of zeaxanthin diglucoside up to 206 ± 6 mg/L. With the introduction of an additional copy of the Pscrt gene cluster through an expression plasmid, the engineered strain Pseudomonas sp. 102515/pOKF192 produced zeaxanthin diglucoside at 380 ± 12 mg/L, which is 85% higher than the parent strain. This strain holds a great potential for the production of pharmaceutically important antioxidant agent, zeaxanthin diglucoside.
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The ubiquitous roadblocks to university graduation have been investigated, identified, and interrogated for 7 decades, yet the mystery of retaining students to graduation continues to elude even the most prestigious universities. This researcher’s approach to increasing graduation began with the concession that increasingly, students may leave school at some point due to one or more of the retention issues that we recognize all too well—finances, illness, family problems, pregnancies, and other educational obstacles. However, leaving school does not mean that there is no going back. Student’s dropout status changes when they re-enroll in school; they take on new identities as stop-out students who forge their own nontraditional path to graduation. This work explored the lived experiences of this often-overlooked subset of university students—students who begin courses in higher education but then forgo their studies for a time before returning. These students are known in the literature as stop-out students, a cohort seldom acknowledged, studied, or desegregated from dropout statistics. An online survey was used to determine the demographics of the stop-out participants, and face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were then conducted to allow students to relate their experiences, in and out of school, in their own voices. Of particular interest was the effect of students’ perceived connections to faculty, staff, and/or administration as an influence in their decisions to return to school. The study was analyzed through the lens of care theory as a way to investigate how students’ persistence was affected by feelings of connection or caring. Only one of twelve interviewees had formed a relationship with a professor before he left school, and this relationship was maintained during his absence and renewed when he returned. The other interviewees acknowledged that they felt no specific connections to any person, office, or administration when they left. The stop-out population is one that higher education needs to acknowledge and support with targeted services. In many cases, they are only a few semesters from graduation. Rather than blocking their way when they run for the hills, we should be lighting their path back to success.
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The Utah State University Propulsion Research Laboratory (USUPRL) has recently made significant developments in the area of hybrid rocket systems. This type of propulsion system incorporates a solid fuel and a gas or liquid oxidizer. Hybrid rocket systems are known for their inherent safety, reliability, and restart capability. Over the last several years, the USUPRL has successfully built and tested a hybrid rocket system comprising acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic and gaseous oxygen (GOX). The system was demonstrated to be fully functional during ground, vacuum, and sub-orbital flight testing. Continuing forward, the USUPRL endeavors to extend the capabilities of this hybrid rocket system to in-space propulsion applications, such as an attitude control systems (ACS). This thesis investigates the feasibility of using the USU Green Hybrid Rocket as an ACS for an intermediate-sized launch vehicle. A computer simulation was developed to demonstrate the control and stability of the spacecraft under the influence of the ACS.
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