University of Rhode Island

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    Passive Sampler Derived Profiles and Mass Flows of Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFASs) across the Fram Strait in the North Atlantic

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    Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of pollutants of high concern due to their ubiquity and negative human health impacts. The long-range marine transport of PFAS was observed during year-long deployments of passive tube samplers in the Fram Strait across three depth transects. Time weighted average concentrations ranged from 2.4 to 360 pg L–1, and 10 different PFAS were regularly observed. PFAS profiles and concentrations were generally similar to those previously characterized for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at these sites. The detection of several anionic PFAS in “old” water demonstrated that they are not perfect water mass tracers but are also transported to depth via settling particles. Mass flows of PFAS through the Fram Strait in and out of the Arctic Ocean were basically similar (112 ± 82 Mg year–1 northward flow, 100 ± 54 Mg year–1 southward flow). For perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA), export from the Arctic Ocean via the Fram Strait exceeded import by Atlantic Water, likely due to preferential transport and deposition in the Arctic Ocean. These observations suggest that PFAS in the Arctic are governed by the feedback loop previously described for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the region─with additional atmospheric transport delivering volatile PFAS to the Arctic, which then get exported via Arctic water masses

    Evaluating the Appropriateness of Vitamin K (phytonadione) Usage for Reversing an Elevated International Normalized Ratio Secondary to Warfarin Therapy

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    Background: Supratherapeutic warfarin therapy can lead to major bleeding events if left uncorrected. The effects of warfarin can be reversed with exogenous vitamin K. Guidelines recommended use of vitamin K to reverse warfarin therapy based on INR level and presence of patient bleeding. The objective of this study is to examine and evaluate the appropriateness of vitamin K (phytonadione) use at the Providence VA Medical Center (PVAMC) when administered orally or intravenously for the purpose of reversing an elevated international normalized ratio (INR) caused by warfarin therapy. The primary outcome was the rate of adherence to the 2012 CHEST guidelines. Methods: Study design: retrospective electronic chart review. Vit K administration deemed appropriated if INR was between 4.5 and 10 with evidence of bleeding or INR \u3e10 with no evidence of bleeding or any warfarin-associated major bleeding. Inclusion criteria: admitted for any reason from January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2019 and active outpatient warfarin prescription at the time of vitamin K administration, and received vitamin K either orally or intravenously, at any dose or frequency. Patients were excluded if prescribed a DOAC (ie. apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, or rivaroxaban), received vitamin K alone for any reason other than for warfarin reversal such as perioperative use, hepatic disease (i.e. cirrhosis, hepatitis, etc.), or had a contraindication to vitamin K such as allergy or anaphylaxis. Descriptive statistics were employed. Results: 152 individual vitamin k administrations were screened and 70 were included for data analysis. Twenty-seven percent of vitamin k administrations were found to be appropriate (n = 19). Ninety-four percent of patients were male. The most common warfarin indications were atrial fibrillation (78%) and venous thromboembolism (16%). Mean INR at the time of vit K administration was 4.9 overall and was higher in the appropriate vs inappropriate administration group (6 vs 4.4, respectively). Mean INR was higher for oral vs parenteral doses (5.2 vs 3.98, respectively). Major and minor bleeding rates were 58% and 21% in the appropriate administration group and 0% (n=0) and 31% (n=16) in the inappropriate group, respectively. Conclusions: According to the 2012 CHEST guidelines, the majority of vitamin K doses administered and recorded for warfarin reversal at the PVAMC during the study period were found to be inappropriate. Strategies for improving appropriate use at this institution such as implementation of a vitamin K administration protocol and/or provider education should be explored. Further investigation is needed on vitamin K use in patients not prescribed warfarin for anticoagulation

    Phytoplankton thermal trait parameterization alters community structure and biogeochemical processes in a modeled ocean

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    Phytoplankton exhibit diverse physiological responses to temperature which influence their fitness in the environment and consequently alter their community structure. Here, we explored the sensitivity of phytoplankton community structure to thermal response parameterization in a modelled marine phytoplankton community. Using published empirical data, we evaluated the maximum thermal growth rates (μmax) and temperature coefficients (Q10; the rate at which growth scales with temperature) of six key Phytoplankton Functional Types (PFTs): coccolithophores, cyanobacteria, diatoms, diazotrophs, dinoflagellates, and green algae. Following three well-documented methods, PFTs were either assumed to have (1) the same μmax and the same Q10 (as in to Eppley, 1972), (2) a unique μmax but the same Q10 (similar to Kremer et al., 2017), or (3) a unique μmax and a unique Q10 (following Anderson et al., 2021). These trait values were then implemented within the Massachusetts Institute of Technology biogeochemistry and ecosystem model (called Darwin) for each PFT under a control and climate change scenario. Our results suggest that applying a μmax and Q10 universally across PFTs (as in Eppley, 1972) leads to unrealistic phytoplankton communities, which lack diatoms globally. Additionally, we find that accounting for differences in the Q10 between PFTs can significantly impact each PFT\u27s competitive ability, especially at high latitudes, leading to altered modeled phytoplankton community structures in our control and climate change simulations. This then impacts estimates of biogeochemical processes, with, for example, estimates of export production varying by ~10% in the Southern Ocean depending on the parameterization. Our results indicate that the diversity of thermal response traits in phytoplankton not only shape community composition in the historical and future, warmer ocean, but that these traits have significant feedbacks on global biogeochemical cycles

    Uncertainty of extreme wind and wave loads for marine renewable energy farms in hurricane-prone regions

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    The offshore wind industry is rapidly developing in a hurricane prone area off the US East Coast. For assessment of extreme environmental conditions, or hazard intensity measures, such as wind and wave loads (e.g., 50-year or 500-year wind speed) various methodologies including univariate (e.g., Generalized Extreme Value distribution; GEV) and multivariate (e.g., Inverse First Order Reliability Method, IFORM) analysis have been recommended. Further, due to lack of long-term observed data at a site, available observed/hindcast at nearby stations are commonly used which can lead to errors. The objective of this study is to better understand and quantify the level of uncertainty in extreme value analysis of wind/wave data for marine renewable energy sites in hurricane-prone regions. An area off the northeast of the US where several large projects have been planned was selected as a case study. Univariate and bivariate analyses of wind/wave data at several stations were carried out and results were compared. For this study, Bivariate (IFORM) and univariate (GPD) methods resulted in an average difference of 4% and 6% for extreme wind and wave data, respectively. It has been demonstrated that these discrepancies still fall within the 95% confidence intervals of the standard GEV method

    Assessment of oceanographic conditions during the North Atlantic EXport processes in the ocean from RemoTe sensing (EXPORTS) field campaign

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    This manuscript presents an overview of NASA\u27s EXport Processes in the Ocean from Remote Sensing 2021 Field Campaign in the North Atlantic (EXPORTS NA) and provides quantitative and dynamical descriptions of the physical processes modulating water transformations during the study. A major programmatic goal was to conduct the sampling in a Lagrangian mode so that ocean ecological and biogeochemical changes can be observed independent from physical advective processes. To accomplish this goal, EXPORTS NA conducted a multi-ship, multi-asset field sampling program within a retentive, anticyclonic mode water eddy. Beneath depths of ∼ 100 m, Lagrangian sampling assets remained within the eddy core waters (ECWs) throughout the experiment, demonstrating that the ECWs within the mode water eddy were retentive. However, strong westerly winds from four storm events deepened the mixed layer (ML) of the surface core waters (SCWs) above the eddy\u27s mode water core by 25–40 m and exchanged some of the SCWs with surface waters outside of the eddy via Ekman transport. Estimates of flushing times ranged from 5 to 8 days, with surface exchange fractions ranging from 20 to 75 % and were consistent with particle tracking advected by combined geostrophic and Ekman velocities. The relative contributions of horizontal and vertical advection on changes in ECW tracers depended on the horizontal and vertical gradients of that tracer. For example, horizontal advection played a large role in ECW salinity fluxes, while vertical entrainment played a larger role in the fluxes of nutrients into SCW ML. Each storm injected nutrients and low oxygen waters into the ML, after which the surface ocean ecosystem responded by reducing nutrient concentrations and increasing %O2 saturation levels. Overall, ECW values of chlorophyll and POC were the largest at the onset of the field program and decreased throughout the campaign. The analysis presented provides a physical oceanographic context for the many measurements made during the EXPORTS NA field campaign while illustrating the many challenges of conducting a production-flux experiment, even in a Lagrangian frame, and the inherent uncertainties of interpreting biological carbon pump observations that were collected in a Eulerian frame of reference

    Don’t Look Up: Hyperobjects and Bland Branding

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    Popular reviews of Don’t Look Up have been polarised, ranged from admiring to dismissive. This Netflix comedy satirises the difficulty of compelling the uninterested to care and the failure of government to tackle our imminent extinction. As such, we are left with the question as to whether it is still possible, in 2022, to find humour in a film about the end of the world? Ultimately, the film is the product of the discourse it satirises; the star-studded cast and their activist message is lost in a failure to hold to account those most responsible for global warming by focusing not on the systemic but the individual. In looking towards object-oriented ontology, this review attempts to unpack the politics of care-lessness which envelops the hyperobject of global warming and the political systems of profitisation and branding which surround it

    FSEC Minutes January 30, 2023

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    Contaminant Back Diffusion from Low-Conductivity Matrices: Case Studies of Remedial Strategies

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    Recalcitrant groundwater contamination is a common problem at hazardous waste sites worldwide. Groundwater contamination persists despite decades of remediation efforts at many sites because contaminants sorbed or dissolved within low-conductivity zones can back diffuse into high-conductivity zones, and therefore act as a continuing source of contamination to flowing groundwater. A review of the available literature on remediation of plume persistence due to back diffusion was conducted, and four sites were selected as case studies. Remediation at the sites included pump and treat, enhanced bioremediation, and thermal treatment. Our review highlights that a relatively small number of sites have been studied in sufficient detail to fully evaluate remediation of back diffusion; however, three general conclusions can be made based on the review. First, it is difficult to assess the significance of back diffusion without sufficient data to distinguish between multiple factors contributing to contaminant rebound and plume persistence. Second, high-resolution vertical samples are decidedly valuable for back diffusion assessment but are generally lacking in post-treatment assessments. Third, complete contaminant mass removal from back diffusion sources may not always be possible. Partial contaminant mass removal may nonetheless have potential benefits, similar to partial mass removal from primary DNAPL source zones

    Roles and activities of nurses in cancer prevention and early detection in low- and middle-income countries: A scoping review

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    Objective: Nurses play a crucial role in cancer control. Prior reviews presented the effectiveness of nursing interventions such as tobacco cessation counseling and cervical cancer screening but did not focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This scoping review addresses a gap in the literature by describing the roles and activities of nurses in cancer prevention and early detection in LMICs. Methods: Following Arksey and O\u27Malley\u27s scoping review framework, we searched seven databases using subject headings and keywords from 1990 to January 2021 and updated in April 2022. The reference lists of relevant studies were also searched. Two reviewers independently screened the relevance of studies through Rayyan, assessed full text articles, and extracted data using a Google Form. Conflicts were resolved by a third reviewer. Results: A total of 180 studies were included, representing all six World Health Organization regions and 48 LMICs. The largest number of studies were from the African region (n = 72), the Americas (n = 49), and South-East Asia region (n = 29). The main nursing roles featured were patient/community education (n = 113), history taking and cancer risk assessment (n = 63), performing screening exams (n = 136), care coordination (n = 57), and training other healthcare professionals (n = 9). Conclusions: This scoping review provides a comprehensive picture of nurses’ role in cancer prevention and early detection in LMICs, across all six World Health Organization regions. Additional cancer workforce data sources at the country level are needed to fully understand the activities of nurses in cancer prevention. Future research is also needed to measure the impact of nursing educational and other interventions in both primary and secondary cancer prevention

    Parental education in media literacy, social media and Internet safety for children in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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    Parents have a great responsibility to protect their children while online, and to make sure that they are using digital technologies in a safe manner; at the same time, parents are not sufficiently educated and are unfamiliar with all regulatory mechanisms and possibilities of controlling and protecting their children online. Children need some help to take advantage of all positive aspects of digital trends and to protect themselves from those which are potentially negative. The international framework in the legal sense, which is in charge of standardizing the protection of the interests and rights of children on the Internet, is put in the focus of the work. It is important to note that the international legal framework is generally valid and binding for the national framework that regulates the same issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The aim of this research is to establish how well parents from BiH are acquainted with the Internet-related regulations and the mechanisms for ensuring Internet safety for their children and to what extent these mechanisms are being applied. The results of this research demonstrate that the majority of parents are not sufficiently familiar with the regulatory mechanisms and that they are not using all available tools to protect their children online


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