268 research outputs found

    Flooding and subsidence in the Thames Gateway : impact on insurance loss potential

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    In the UK, household buildings insurance generally covers loss and damage to the insured property from a range of natural and human perils, including windstorm, flood, subsidence, theft, accidental fire and winter freeze. Consequently, insurers require a reasoned view on the likely scale of losses that they may face to assist in strategic planning, reinsurance structuring, regulatory returns and general risk management. The UK summer 2007 flood events not only provided a clear indication of the scale of potential losses that the industry could face from an individual event, with £3 billion in claims, but also identified a need for insurers and reinsurers to better understand how events may correlate in time and space, and how to most effectively use the computational models of extreme events that are commonly applied to reflect these correlations. In addition to the potential for temporal clustering of events such as windstorms and floods, there is a possibility that seemingly uncorrelated natural perils, such as floods and subsidence, may impact an insurer’s portfolio. Where aggregations of large numbers of new properties are planned, such as in the Thames Gateway, consideration of the potential future risk of aggregate losses due to the combination of perils such as subsidence and flood is increasingly important within the insurance company’s strategic risk management process. Whilst perils such as subsidence and flooding are generally considered independent within risk modelling, the potential for one event to influence the magnitude and likelihood of the other should be taken into account when determining risk level. In addition, the impact of correlated, but distinctive, loss causing events on particular property types may be significant, particularly if a specific property is designed to protect against one peril but is potentially susceptible to another. We suggest that flood events can lead to increased subsidence risk due to the weight of additional water and sediment, or rehydration of sediment under flood water. The latter mechanism may be particularly critical on sites where Holocene sediments are currently protected from flooding and are no longer subsiding. Holocene deposits tend to compress, either under their own weight or under a superimposed load such as made ground, built structures or flood water. If protected dry sediments become flooded in the future, subsidence would be expected to resume. This research project aims to investigate the correlation between flood hazards and subsidence hazards and the effect that these two sources of risk will have on insurance losses in the Thames Gateway. In particular, the research will explore the potential hydrological and geophysical drivers and links between flood and subsidence events within the Thames Gateway, assessing the potential for significant event occurrence within the timescales relevant to insurers. In the first part of the project we have identified flood risk areas within the Thames Gateway development zone which have a high risk of flooding and may be affected by renewed or increased subsidence. This has been achieved through the use of national and local-scale 2D and 3D geo-environmental information such as the Geosure dataset (e.g. swell-shrink, collapsible and compressible deposits data layers), PSI data, thickness of superficial and artificial land deposits, and flood potential data etc. In the second stage of the project we will investigate the hydrological and geophysical links between flooding and subsidence events on developed sites; quantify the insurance loss potential in the Thames Gateway from correlated flooding and subsidence events; consider how climate change will affect risk to developments in the Thames Gateway in the context of subsidence and flooding; and develop new ways of communicating and visualise correlated flood and subsidence risk to a range of stakeholders, including the insurance industry, planners, policy makers and the general public

    Examining competitive interaction between Rasberry crazy ants (Paratrechina sp.nr. pubens) and red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) using laboratory and field studies

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    Studying nonnative species soon after their introduction is critical to understanding their risk of becoming widely invasive and determining effective methods of control. I conducted laboratory and field experiments on the Rasberry crazy ant (Paratrechina sp. nr. pubens), which was introduced to Pasadena, TX in 2002 and has since been spreading rapidly. These experiments focused on intraspecific aggression, as well as individual and colony-level interactions between crazy ants and red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta), which are dominant in the crazy ant's introduced range. Crazy ants displayed no intraspecific aggression. In individual aggressive encounters with fire ants, crazy ants had higher mortality than fire ants, but in colony-level clashes, crazy ants had less mortality and better control of food resources. These findings suggest that crazy ant abundance is key to their competitive success, and fire ants may provide biotic resistance to crazy ants in some areas

    Charles W. Bolen Faculty Recital Series: Faculty Brass Quintet, October 14, 2021

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    Center for the Performing Arts October 14, 2021 Thursday Evening 8:00 p.m

    Charles W. Bolen Faculty Recital Series: Faculty Brass Quintet, October 14, 2021

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    Center for the Performing Arts October 14, 2021 Thursday Evening 8:00 p.m

    Guest Artist: Timm Wind Quintet

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    Kemp Recital Hall Wednesday Evening February 12, 1992 8:00p.m

    Evaluating differential effects using regression interactions and regression mixture models

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    Research increasingly emphasizes understanding differential effects. This article focuses on understanding regression mixture models, which are relatively new statistical methods for assessing differential effects by comparing results to using an interactive term in linear regression. The research questions which each model answers, their formulation, and their assumptions are compared using Monte Carlo simulations and real data analysis. The capabilities of regression mixture models are described and specific issues to be addressed when conducting regression mixtures are proposed. The article aims to clarify the role that regression mixtures can take in the estimation of differential effects and increase awareness of the benefits and potential pitfalls of this approach. Regression mixture models are shown to be a potentially effective exploratory method for finding differential effects when these effects can be defined by a small number of classes of respondents who share a typical relationship between a predictor and an outcome. It is also shown that the comparison between regression mixture models and interactions becomes substantially more complex as the number of classes increases. It is argued that regression interactions are well suited for direct tests of specific hypotheses about differential effects and regression mixtures provide a useful approach for exploring effect heterogeneity given adequate samples and study design

    Walking For Health: A Community Education and Physical Activity Initiative

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    Background/Introduction: Vermont was ranked the nation’s healthiest state, according to 2007 America’s Health Rankings. However obesity, currently the second most common cause of death among VT adults, is becoming so common it may replace cigarette smoking as the number one risk factor for death. In fact obesity affects 21% of adults in VT, most commonly low income adults. Obesity is a risk factor for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes. Diet quality and physical activity are important factors in preventing obesity. 42% of Vermont adults are below the recommended level of physical activity. Greater knowledge about nutrition correlates with improved diet quality and greater physical activity. A successful educational strategy on physical activity and nutrition promotes group activities and adapts for cultural relevance.https://scholarworks.uvm.edu/comphp_gallery/1013/thumbnail.jp

    Oil fate and mass balance for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

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    Based on oil fate modeling of the Deepwater Horizon spill through August 2010, during June and July 2010, ~89% of the oil surfaced, ~5% entered (by dissolving or as microdroplets) the deep plume (\u3e900 m), and ~6% dissolved and biodegraded between 900 m and 40 m. Subsea dispersant application reduced surfacing oil by ~7% and evaporation of volatiles by ~26%. By July 2011, of the total oil, ~41% evaporated, ~15% was ashore and in nearshore (\u3c10 m) sediments, ~3% was removed by responders, ~38.4% was in the water column (partially degraded; 29% shallower and 9.4% deeper than 40 m), and ~2.6% sedimented in waters \u3e10 m (including 1.5% after August 2010). Volatile and soluble fractions that did not evaporate biodegraded by the end of August 2010, leaving residual oil to disperse and potentially settle. Model estimates were validated by comparison to field observations of floating oil and atmospheric emissions
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