499 research outputs found

    Building and Sustaining University-Medicaid Partnerships When State Governments Change

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    Growing a successful and sustainable partnership between a public university and a state’s Medicaid-financed health and human service agency is an enviable goal. These types of partnerships were envisioned by the original drafters of the Medicaid law and supported by the regulations that have framed the program. However, any partnership that joins two complex and bureaucratic organizations relies upon the infrastructure created to support it and the resiliency of the people who make it work. This issue brief from Public University Medicaid Partnerships describes the challenges public universities and state Medicaid agencies face in creating partnerships, and discusses methods and recommendations to make it happen. The brief is authored by Marc A. Thibodeau, J.D., M.S., Executive Director, Center for Health Care Financing at UMass Medical School, and Jerry Friedman, J.D., Advisor for Health Policy and Associate Vice President for External Relations & Advocacy, The Ohio State University Medical Center

    Évaluation de la qualitĂ© de la connaissance dans une perspective dĂ©libĂ©rative

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    Cet article propose une vision des dĂ©marches d’évaluation de l’adĂ©quation de la connaissance scientifique dans des situations d’incertitude forte et irrĂ©ductible en recourant Ă  des processus dĂ©libĂ©ratifs Ă©largis. Dans l’optique de la Science Post-Normale, la dĂ©marche s’appuie, d’un point de vue Ă©pistĂ©mologique, sur l’articulation des approches scientifiques et de sciences sociales pour dĂ©finir la qualitĂ© intrinsĂšque de la connaissance et sa pertinence dans des contextes sociaux, culturels et politiques diffĂ©rents.Cet article prĂ©sente un outil de contrĂŽle de la qualitĂ© de la connaissance et de « bonnes pratiques » scientifiques (NUSAP). La question de la pertinence de la connaissance, qu’elle soit scientifique ou vernaculaire, s’intĂšgre dans un processus multidimensionnel dĂ©libĂ©ratif, associant divers acteurs, critĂšres, Ă©chelles, sites
 et portant sur les indicateurs et sur les orientations politiques Ă  travers la Foire Kerbabelℱ aux Indicateurs et la Matrice Kerbabelℱ de DĂ©libĂ©ration.Knowledge Quality Assessment is an essential activity in the science-policy and science-society interfaces regarding complex (environmental) problems where decisions will need to be made before conclusive scientific evidence is available while high decision stakes, high systems uncertainties and values in dispute characterize these problems. In the past decennia analytical diagnostic tools have been developed and used such as the NUSAP system, to assess and make explicit internal strength of knowledge claims. In such an enlarged deliberative process, analytic diagnostic tools can facilitate a reflective deliberative discourse (KerbabelTM Deliberation Support Tools). It can improve the knowledge base for decision making by promoting the exchange of information, and in particular by making available key insights from local and ‘lay’ knowledge of relevant topics

    Going beyond the green : senesced vegetation material predicts basal area and biomass in remote sensing of tree cover conditions in an African tropical dry forest (miombo woodland) landscape

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    © The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Environmental Research Letters 12 (2017): 085004, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa7242.In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), tropical dry forests and savannas cover over 2.5 million km2 and support livelihoods for millions in fast-growing nations. Intensifying land use pressures have driven rapid changes in tree cover structure (basal area, biomass) that remain poorly characterized at regional scales. Here, we posed the hypothesis that tree cover structure related strongly to senesced and non-photosynthetic (NPV) vegetation features in a SSA tropical dry forest landscape, offering improved means for satellite remote sensing of tree cover structure compared to vegetation greenness-based methods. Across regrowth miombo woodland sites in Tanzania, we analyzed relationships among field data on tree structure, land cover, and satellite indices of green and NPV features based on spectral mixture analyses and normalized difference vegetation index calculated from Landsat 8 data. From satellite-field data relationships, we mapped regional basal area and biomass using NPV and greenness-based metrics, and compared map performances at landscape scales. Total canopy cover related significantly to stem basal area (r 2 = 0.815, p  60%) at all sites. From these two conditions emerged a key inverse relationship: skyward exposure of NPV ground cover was high at sites with low tree basal area and biomass, and decreased with increasing stem basal area and biomass. This pattern scaled to Landsat NPV metrics, which showed strong inverse correlations to basal area (Pearson r = −0.85, p < 0.01) and biomass (r = −0.86, p < 0.01). Biomass estimates from Landsat NPV-based maps matched field data, and significantly differentiated landscape gradients in woody biomass that greenness metrics failed to track. The results suggest senesced vegetation metrics at Landsat scales are a promising means for improved monitoring of tree structure across disturbance and ecological gradients in African and other tropical dry forests.The project was funded by the US National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) program, project title 'Ecosystems and Human Well-Being' (Award # 0968211) PI Chris Neill. Additional research and dissertation support was provided to Marc Mayes from Brown University

    Mechanical characterization of 2D, 2D stitched, and 3D braided/RTM materials

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    Braided composite materials have potential for application in aircraft structures. Fuselage frames, floor beams, wing spars, and stiffeners are examples where braided composites could find application if cost effective processing and damage tolerance requirements are met. Another important consideration for braided composites relates to their mechanical properties and how they compare to the properties of composites produced by other textile composite processes being proposed for these applications. Unfortunately, mechanical property data for braided composites do not appear extensively in the literature. Data are presented in this paper on the mechanical characterization of 2D triaxial braid, 2D triaxial braid plus stitching, and 3D (through-the-thickness) braid composite materials. The braided preforms all had the same graphite tow size and the same nominal braid architectures, (+/- 30 deg/0 deg), and were resin transfer molded (RTM) using the same mold for each of two different resin systems. Static data are presented for notched and unnotched tension, notched and unnotched compression, and compression after impact strengths at room temperature. In addition, some static results, after environmental conditioning, are included. Baseline tension and compression fatigue results are also presented, but only for the 3D braided composite material with one of the resin systems

    Decreasing initial telomere length in humans intergenerationally understates age-associated telomere shortening

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    Telomere length shortens with aging, and short telomeres have been linked to a wide variety of pathologies. Previous studies suggested a discrepancy in age-associated telomere shortening rate estimated by cross-sectional studies versus the rate measured in longitudinal studies, indicating a potential bias in cross-sectional estimates. Intergenerational changes in initial telomere length, such as that predicted by the previously described effect of a father's age at birth of his offspring (FAB), could explain the discrepancy in shortening rate measurements. We evaluated whether changes occur in initial telomere length over multiple generations in three large datasets and identified paternal birth year (PBY) as a variable that reconciles the difference between longitudinal and cross-sectional measurements. We also clarify the association between FAB and offspring telomere length, demonstrating that this effect is substantially larger than reported in the past. These results indicate the presence of a downward secular trend in telomere length at birth over generational time with potential public health implications

    Nitrogen cycle patterns during forest regrowth in an African Miombo woodland landscape

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    Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 124(6), (2019): 1591-1603, doi:10.1029/2018JG004803.Tropical dry forests in eastern and southern Africa cover 2.5 × 106 km2, support wildlife habitat and livelihoods of more than 150 million people, and face threats from land use and climate change. To inform conservation, we need better understanding of ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling that regulate forest productivity and biomass accumulation. Here we report on patterns in nitrogen (N) cycling across a 100‐year forest regrowth chronosequence in the Tanzanian Miombo woodlands. Soil and vegetation indicators showed that low ecosystem N availability for trees persisted across young to mature forests. Ammonium dominated soil mineral N pools from 0‐ to 15‐cm depth. Laboratory‐measured soil N mineralization rates across 3‐ to 40‐year regrowth sites showed no significant trends and were lower than mature forest rates. Aboveground tree N pools increased at 6 to 7 kg N·ha−1·yr−1, accounting for the majority of ecosystem N accumulation. Foliar ÎŽ15N <0‰ in an N‐fixing canopy tree across all sites suggested that N fixation may contribute to ecosystem N cycle recovery. These results contrast N cycling in wetter tropical and Neotropical dry forests, where indicators of N scarcity diminish after several decades of regrowth. Our findings suggest that minimizing woody biomass removal, litter layer, and topsoil disturbance may be important to promote N cycle recovery and natural regeneration in Miombo woodlands. Higher rates of N mineralization in the wet season indicated a potential that climate change‐altered rainfall leading to extended dry periods may lower N availability through soil moisture‐dependent N mineralization pathways, particularly for mature forests.This study depended on the knowledge, insights, and cooperation of many people and institutions. We thank the Millennium Villages Project‐Mbola site for providing introductions to the landscape and village headmen in many regions. We thank the ARI‐Tumbi staff (now TARI‐Tumbi) in Tabora, Tanzania for providing invaluable logistical support in identifying forest regrowth sites and help with labwork in Tabora, Tanzania. We thank other key local organizations, including Tabora Development Foundation Trust (Dick Mlimuka, Oscar Kisanji) and Tanzania Forest Service (Bw. Relingo), for logistical support and transportation. We thank many village headmen and farmers for access to forest sites within their lands for sampling. Finally, we would like to thank the MBL Stable Isotope laboratory and Dr. Marshall Otter for his expertise with producing and interpreting soil and leaf C, N and stable isotope data. This study was funded in part by NSF PIRE Grant OISE 0968211, a Dissertation Support Grant to Marc Mayes from Brown University (2015–2016), and completed with permission and cooperation from the Tanzania Commission on Science and Technology (COSTECH permits 2013‐261‐NA‐2014‐199 and 2015‐183‐ER‐2014‐199). Data and code for analyses can be accessed at a Github repository: https://github.com/mtm17/MiomboN.git.2019-11-0