12,887 research outputs found

    Annual report of the officers of the town of Jackson, New Hampshire for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022.

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    This is an annual report containing vital statistics for a town/city in the state of New Hampshire

    Corporate Social Responsibility: the institutionalization of ESG

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    Understanding the impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on firm performance as it relates to industries reliant on technological innovation is a complex and perpetually evolving challenge. To thoroughly investigate this topic, this dissertation will adopt an economics-based structure to address three primary hypotheses. This structure allows for each hypothesis to essentially be a standalone empirical paper, unified by an overall analysis of the nature of impact that ESG has on firm performance. The first hypothesis explores the evolution of CSR to the modern quantified iteration of ESG has led to the institutionalization and standardization of the CSR concept. The second hypothesis fills gaps in existing literature testing the relationship between firm performance and ESG by finding that the relationship is significantly positive in long-term, strategic metrics (ROA and ROIC) and that there is no correlation in short-term metrics (ROE and ROS). Finally, the third hypothesis states that if a firm has a long-term strategic ESG plan, as proxied by the publication of CSR reports, then it is more resilience to damage from controversies. This is supported by the finding that pro-ESG firms consistently fared better than their counterparts in both financial and ESG performance, even in the event of a controversy. However, firms with consistent reporting are also held to a higher standard than their nonreporting peers, suggesting a higher risk and higher reward dynamic. These findings support the theory of good management, in that long-term strategic planning is both immediately economically beneficial and serves as a means of risk management and social impact mitigation. Overall, this contributes to the literature by fillings gaps in the nature of impact that ESG has on firm performance, particularly from a management perspective

    Characterization of Dutch-Cocoa produced using potash extract from cocoa pod husk as an alkalizing bioresource

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    Abstract Alkalizing agents in the processing of Dutch-Cocoa are often imported from developing countries. This occurs amidst humongous quantities of Cocoa Pod Husk (CPH) that are largely rotting away. This study therefore appraises the inherent alkalizing potentials of CPH, including its physicochemical and safety characteristics in the production of Dutch-Cocoa. CPH was calcined, potash extracted, characterized, and applied in formulation (1% to 5% conc.) in Dutch-production of Cocoa. Quality parameters of the resultant product were analyzed following AOAC procedures (p ‚ȧ 0.05). In addition, rats(n=30) were fed it over a 21-day duration while nutritional and safety indicators were monitored. Sensory properties were also evaluated. The results showed some predominant properties of CPH potash extract [Potassium 35.7%, pH 12.3, alkalinity 15.6 g/100 g CO3] and Dutch-cocoa [protein (15.8% to 16.5%), colour (Hunter L,a,b) 36.9, 8.8, 11.7 light - dark red), dispersibility (1.5 to 2.3), wettability (143.7 s), sedimentation (20.7% to 49.3%)] which favourably compared with commercial variants. Apparent digestibility (AD%) was significant (Protein 86%, Fat 88%, Fiber 66% etc) (p ‚ȧ .0.05). Safety indices exhibited no deleterious effect and the product was adjudged acceptable. Dutch-cocoa produced using CPH-derived-potash as an alternate alkalizing bioresource is feasible, while simultaneously providing an environmentally friendly outlet for CP

    Exploring Potential Domains of Agroecological Transformation in the United States

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    There is now substantial evidence that agroecology constitutes a necessary pathway towards socially just and ecologically resilient agrifood systems. In the United States, however, agroecology remains relegated to the margins of research and policy spaces. This dissertation explores three potential domains of agroecological transformation in the US. Domains of transformation are sites of contestation in which agroecology interfaces with the industrial agrifood system; these material and conceptual spaces may point to important pathways for scaling agroecology. To explore this concept, I examine formal agroecology education (Chapter 1), extension services and statewide discourses around soil health (Chapter 2), and models of farmland access not based on private property (Chapter 3). While these constitute three distinct topics, I seek to demonstrate that they are linked by similar forces that enable and constrain the extent to which these domains can be sites of agroecological transformation. First, I use case study methodology to explore the evolution of an advanced undergraduate agroecology course at the University of Vermont. I examine how course content and pedagogy align with a transformative framing of agroecology as inherently transdisciplinary, participatory, action-oriented, and political. I find that student-centered pedagogies and experiential education on farms successfully promote transformative learning whereby students shift their understanding of agrifood systems and their role(s) within them. In my second chapter, I zoom out to consider soil health discourses amongst farmers and extension professionals in Vermont. Using co-created mental models and participatory analysis, I find that a singular notion of soil health based on biological, chemical, and physical properties fails to capture the diverse ways in which farmers and extension professionals understand soil health. I advocate for a principles-based approach to soil health that includes social factors and may provide a valuable heuristic for mobilizing knowledge towards agroecology transition pathways. My third chapter, conducted in collaboration with the national non-profit organization Agrarian Trust, considers equitable farmland access. Through semi-structured interviews with 13 farmers and growers across the US, I explore both farmer motivations for engaging with alternative land access models (ALAMs) and the potential role(s) these models may play within broader transformation processes. I argue that ALAMs constitute material and conceptual ‚Äėthird spaces‚Äô within which the private property regime is challenged and new identities and language around land ownership can emerge; as such, ALAMs may facilitate a (re)imagining of land-based social-ecological relationships. I conclude the dissertation by identifying conceptual and practical linkages across the domains explored in Chapters 1-3. I pay particular attention to processes that challenge neoliberal logics, enact plural ways of knowing, and prefigure just futures. In considering these concepts, I apply an expansive notion of pedagogy to explore how processes of teaching and (un)learning can contribute to cultivating foundational capacities for transition processes

    The development of the Kent coalfield 1896-1946

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    One of the unique features of the Kent Coalfield is that it is entirely concealed by newer rocks. The existence of a coalfield under southern England, being a direct link between those of South Wales, Somerset and Bristol in the west and the Ruhr, Belgium. and northern France in the east, was predicted by the geologist R. A. C. Godwin-Austen as early as 1856. It was, however, only the rapid increase in demand for Britain's coal in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that made it worth considering testing this hypothesis. The first boring was made in the years 1886-90, and although it discovered coal, this did not in itself prove the existence of a viable coalfield. This could be done only by incurring the heavy cost of boring systematically over a wide area. As the financial returns from such an undertaking were uncertain, it was not surprising that in the early years, around the turn of the century, a dominant role was played by speculators, who were able to induce numerous small investors to risk some of their savings in the expectation of high profits. As minerals in Britain were privately owned, the early pioneer companies not only had to meet the cost of the exploratory borines, but also, if they were not to see the benefit of their work accrue to others, lease beforehand the right to mine coal from local landowners in as much of the surrounding area as possible. This policy was pursued most vigorously by Arthur Burr, a Surrey land specula tor, who raised capital by creating the Kent Coal Conoessions Ltd. and then floating a series of companies allied to it. Burr's enterprise would probably have been. successful had it not been for the water problems encountered at depth in -v- the coalfield. As a result, the Concessions group found itself in control of most of the coalfield, but without the necessary capital to sink and adequately equip its 01ffi collieries. By 1910, however, the discovery of iron ore deposits in east Kent, coupled with the fact that Kent coal was excellent for coking purposes, began to attract the large steel firms of Bolckow, Vaughan Ltd. and Dorman, Long & Co. Ltd. in to the area. The First World War intervened, however, to delay their plans, and to provide an extended lease of life to the Concessions group, which, by the summer of 1914, was facing financial collapse. By the time Dorman, Lone & Co, in alliance with Weetman Pearson (Lord Cowdray), had acquired control over the greater part of the coalfield from the Concessions group, not only was the country's coal industry declining, but so was its steel industry, which suffered an even more severe rate of contraction during the inter-war years. As a result, Pearson and Dorman Long Ltd. was forced to concentrate just on coal production, and this in turn was hampered not only by the water problems, but also by labour shortages and the schemes introduced by the government in 1930 to restrict the country's coal output, in an attempt to maintain prices and revenue in the industry. Nevertheless, production did show a substantial increase between 1927 and 1935, after which it declined as miners left the coalfield to return to their former districts, where employment opportunities were improving in the late thirties. Supporting roles were played in the inter-war years by Richard Tilden Smith, a share underwriter turned industrialist with long standing interests in the coalfield, who acquired one of the Concessions group's two collieries, and by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co. Ltd., which through subsidiary companies, took over the only colliery to be developed by a pioneer company outside the Concessions group. The impossibility of Kent coal, because of its nature, ever gaining more than token access to the more lucrative household market, and then the failure of the local steel industry to materialise meant that the -vi- companies had to develop alternative outlets for their growing outputs. Although nearness to industrial markets in the south-east of England did confer certain advantages were poor consolation for the hoped for developments of either the early pioneers or the later industrialists. Instead of the expected profits, the companies mostly incurred losses, and only the company acquired by Powell Duffryn ever paid a dividend to its shareholders in the years before nationalisation. From the point of view of the Kent miners, the shortage of labour in the coalfield, particularly in the years 1914-20 and 1927-35, was to an important extent responsible for their being amongst the highest paid in the industry. At the same time the more favourable employment opportunities prevailing in Kent compared with other mining districts enabled the Kent Nine Workers Association to develop into a well organised union, which on the whole was able to look after the interests of its members fairly successfully. Throughout the period 1896 to 1946 the Kent Coalfield existed very much at the margin of the British coal industry. Its failure to develop substantially along the lines envisaged by either the early pioneers or by the later industrialists meant that its importance in national terms always remained small

    Gasificação direta de biomassa para produção de gás combustível

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    The excessive consumption of fossil fuels to satisfy the world necessities of energy and commodities led to the emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases in the last decades, contributing significantly to the greatest environmental threat of the 21st century: Climate Change. The answer to this man-made disaster is not simple and can only be made if distinct stakeholders and governments are brought to cooperate and work together. This is mandatory if we want to change our economy to one more sustainable and based in renewable materials, and whose energy is provided by the eternal nature energies (e.g., wind, solar). In this regard, biomass can have a main role as an adjustable and renewable feedstock that allows the replacement of fossil fuels in various applications, and the conversion by gasification allows the necessary flexibility for that purpose. In fact, fossil fuels are just biomass that underwent extreme pressures and heat for millions of years. Furthermore, biomass is a resource that, if not used or managed, increases wildfire risks. Consequently, we also have the obligation of valorizing and using this resource. In this work, it was obtained new scientific knowledge to support the development of direct (air) gasification of biomass in bubbling fluidized bed reactors to obtain a fuel gas with suitable properties to replace natural gas in industrial gas burners. This is the first step for the integration and development of gasification-based biorefineries, which will produce a diverse number of value-added products from biomass and compete with current petrochemical refineries in the future. In this regard, solutions for the improvement of the raw producer gas quality and process efficiency parameters were defined and analyzed. First, addition of superheated steam as primary measure allowed the increase of H2 concentration and H2/CO molar ratio in the producer gas without compromising the stability of the process. However, the measure mainly showed potential for the direct (air) gasification of high-density biomass (e.g., pellets), due to the necessity of having char accumulation in the reactor bottom bed for char-steam reforming reactions. Secondly, addition of refused derived fuel to the biomass feedstock led to enhanced gasification products, revealing itself as a highly promising strategy in terms of economic viability and environmental benefits of future gasification-based biorefineries, due to the high availability and low costs of wastes. Nevertheless, integrated techno economic and life cycle analyses must be performed to fully characterize the process. Thirdly, application of low-cost catalyst as primary measure revealed potential by allowing the improvement of the producer gas quality (e.g., H2 and CO concentration, lower heating value) and process efficiency parameters with distinct solid materials; particularly, the application of concrete, synthetic fayalite and wood pellets chars, showed promising results. Finally, the economic viability of the integration of direct (air) biomass gasification processes in the pulp and paper industry was also shown, despite still lacking interest to potential investors. In this context, the role of government policies and appropriate economic instruments are of major relevance to increase the implementation of these projects.O consumo excessivo de combust√≠veis f√≥sseis para garantir as necessidades e interesses da sociedade conduziu √† emiss√£o de elevadas quantidades de gases com efeito de estufa nas √ļltimas d√©cadas, contribuindo significativamente para a maior amea√ßa ambiental do s√©culo XXI: Altera√ß√Ķes Clim√°ticas. A solu√ß√£o para este desastre de origem humana √© de car√°ter complexo e s√≥ pode ser atingida atrav√©s da coopera√ß√£o de todos os governos e partes interessadas. Para isto, √© obrigat√≥ria a cria√ß√£o de uma bioeconomia como base de um futuro mais sustent√°vel, cujas necessidades energ√©ticas e materiais sejam garantidas pelas eternas energias da natureza (e.g., vento, sol). Neste sentido, a biomassa pode ter um papel principal como uma mat√©ria prima ajust√°vel e renov√°vel que permite a substitui√ß√£o de combust√≠veis f√≥sseis num variado n√ļmero de aplica√ß√Ķes, e a sua convers√£o atrav√©s da gasifica√ß√£o pode ser a chave para este prop√≥sito. Afinal, na pr√°tica, os combust√≠veis f√≥sseis s√£o apenas biomassa sujeita a elevada temperatura e press√£o durante milh√Ķes de anos. Al√©m do mais, a gest√£o eficaz da biomassa √© fundamental para a redu√ß√£o dos riscos de inc√™ndio florestal e, como tal, temos o dever de utilizar e valorizar este recurso. Neste trabalho, foi obtido novo conhecimento cient√≠fico para suporte do desenvolvimento das tecnologias de gasifica√ß√£o direta (ar) de biomassa em leitos fluidizados borbulhantes para produ√ß√£o de g√°s combust√≠vel, com o objetivo da substitui√ß√£o de g√°s natural em queimadores industriais. Este √© o primeiro passo para o desenvolvimento de biorrefinarias de gasifica√ß√£o, uma potencial futura ind√ļstria que ir√° providenciar um variado n√ļmero de produtos de valor acrescentado atrav√©s da biomassa e competir com a atual ind√ļstria petroqu√≠mica. Neste sentido, foram analisadas v√°rias medidas para a melhoria da qualidade do g√°s produto bruto e dos par√Ęmetros de efici√™ncia do processo. Em primeiro, a adi√ß√£o de vapor sobreaquecido como medida prim√°ria permitiu o aumento da concentra√ß√£o de H2 e da raz√£o molar H2/CO no g√°s produto sem comprometer a estabilidade do processo. No entanto, esta medida somente revelou potencial para a gasifica√ß√£o direta (ar) de biomassa de alta densidade (e.g., pellets) devido √† necessidade da acumula√ß√£o de carbonizados no leito do reator para a ocorr√™ncia de rea√ß√Ķes de reforma com vapor. Em segundo, a mistura de combust√≠veis derivados de res√≠duos e biomassa residual florestal permitiu a melhoria dos produtos de gasifica√ß√£o, constituindo desta forma uma estrat√©gia bastante promissora a n√≠vel econ√≥mico e ambiental, devido √† elevada abund√Ęncia e baixo custo dos res√≠duos urbanos. Contudo, devem ser efetuadas an√°lises t√©cnico-econ√≥micas e de ciclo de vida para a completa carateriza√ß√£o do processo. Em terceiro, a aplica√ß√£o de catalisadores de baixo custo como medida prim√°ria demonstrou elevado potencial para a melhoria do g√°s produto (e.g., concentra√ß√£o de H2 e CO, poder calor√≠fico inferior) e para o incremento dos par√Ęmetros de efici√™ncia do processo; em particular, a aplica√ß√£o de bet√£o, faialite sint√©tica e carbonizados de pellets de madeira, demonstrou resultados promissores. Finalmente, foi demonstrada a viabilidade econ√≥mica da integra√ß√£o do processo de gasifica√ß√£o direta (ar) de biomassa na ind√ļstria da pasta e papel, apesar dos par√Ęmetros determinados n√£o serem atrativos para potenciais investidores. Neste contexto, a interven√ß√£o dos governos e o desenvolvimento de instrumentos de apoio econ√≥mico √© de grande relev√Ęncia para a implementa√ß√£o destes projetos.Este trabalho foi financiado pela The Navigator Company e por Fundos Nacionais atrav√©s da Funda√ß√£o para a Ci√™ncia e a Tecnologia (FCT).Programa Doutoral em Engenharia da Refina√ß√£o, Petroqu√≠mica e Qu√≠mic

    Photography and Aesthetics: a critical study on visual and textual narratives in the lifework of Sergio Larraín and its impact in 20th century Europe and Latin America

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    The main focus of this study is a theoretical exploration of critical approaches applicable to the work of the Chilean photographer Sergio Larraín (1931-2012). It presents analytical tools to contextualise and understand the importance and impact of his work in photographic studies and his portrayal of twentieth-century Latin American and European culture. It inspects in depth a large portion of his photo work, which is still only partially published and mostly reduced to his "active" period as a photojournalist, aside from the personal photographic exploration of his early and late career (C. Mena). This extended material creates a broader scope for understanding his photographs and him as a canonical photographer. This study analyses the photographer's trajectory as discourses of recollection of historical memory in time (Mauad) to trace Larraín's collective memory associated with his visual production. Such analysis helps decode his visual imagery and his projection and impact on the European and Latin American culture. This strategy helps solve a two fold problem: firstly, it generates an interpretive consistency to understand the Chilean's photographic practice; secondly, it explores the power of images as an aesthetic experience in the installation of nationalist ideologies and the creation of imaginaries (B. Anderson 163)

    Engagement as Theory: Architecture, Planning, and Placemaking in the Twenty-First Century City

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    This paper was presented at the 2020 Schools of Thought Conference hosted by the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma.Our recent book, "The City Creative: The Rise of Urban Placemaking in Contemporary America" (University of Chicago Press, 2021), details how participatory design and community engagement can lead to democratically planned, inclusive urban communities. After visiting more than two hundred projects in more than forty cities, we have come to understand that planning, policy, and architectural design should be oriented by local communities and deep engagement with intervention sites. Of course, we are not the first to reach such a conclusion. In many ways, our work builds off contributions made by individuals, including Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, and Christopher Alexander, and such movements as Team 10 and the advocacy architecture movement of the 1960s. Nevertheless, we need to broaden this significant conversation. Importantly, our classroom work has allowed us to better understand how histories often left out of such discussions can inform this new approach. To that end, we have developed community-student partnerships in underserved neighborhoods in cities like Milwaukee and Detroit. Through these connections and their related design-build projects, we have seen how the civil rights movement, immigration narratives, hip-hop culture, and alternative redevelopment histories, such as in urban agriculture, can inform the theory and practice of design. We want to bring these perspectives into dialogue with the mainstream approach to development and design. How does this look and work? Using a case study from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) University Scholars Honors Program curriculum, we highlight the redevelopment of Milwaukee’s Fondy Park, an effort to create community-centered spaces and programming in an underserved African American community. Lessons include those essential for pedagogy and education, as well as for how these issues are theorized and professionally practiced, with implications for institutions, programs, and individuals.Ye

    Walking with the Earth: Intercultural Perspectives on Ethics of Ecological Caring

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    It is commonly believed that considering nature different from us, human beings (qua rational, cultural, religious and social actors), is detrimental to our engagement for the preservation of nature. An obvious example is animal rights, a deep concern for all living beings, including non-human living creatures, which is understandable only if we approach nature, without fearing it, as something which should remain outside of our true home. ‚ÄúWalking with the earth‚ÄĚ aims at questioning any similar preconceptions in the wide sense, including allegoric-poetic contributions. We invited 14 authors from 4 continents to express all sorts of ways of saying why caring is so important, why togetherness, being-with each others, as a spiritual but also embodied ethics is important in a divided world
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