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Masters Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Microplastic Accumulation In Terrestrial Gastropods And Soils, Gregory B. Bonilla Dec 2022

Microplastic Accumulation In Terrestrial Gastropods And Soils, Gregory B. Bonilla

Masters Theses

Microplastics (MPs) have become an emerging threat to ecosystems across the world. Transport, impacts, and fates are grossly understudied, especially in terrestrial environments. Current research on MP bioaccumulation has focused mainly on aquatic organisms with little study of terrestrial organisms, including snails where data are nearly nonexistent. To address this, we collected and examined land snails and their surrounding soil for MP content in shell and tissue. From September 11, 2020, to October 25, 2021, cover boards were placed (n=30) along relatively undisturbed sites in hardwood, forested areas, and tall grasses in a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Oak Ridge …


Synthesis And Characterization Of 2,6-Diisopropylphenoxy Tetrapyrazinoporphyrazines As Potential Molecular Qubits, Benjamin Marx Dec 2022

Synthesis And Characterization Of 2,6-Diisopropylphenoxy Tetrapyrazinoporphyrazines As Potential Molecular Qubits, Benjamin Marx

Masters Theses

This thesis reports the synthesis of metal-free and metal-containing phthalocyanine derivatives using methods typical for that class of functional dyes. A mixture of the target compounds prepared here, one paramagnetic and one diamagnetic tetrapyrazinoporphyrazine, will be tested for their potential use in spintronics – the application of spin-active species in molecular electronics. Phthalocyanines and their derivatives are well-known for their ease of preparation and tunability; they have been utilized as sensitizers for photodynamic therapy of cancer and solar cells, as well as in catalysis and chemical sensing. Tetrapyrazinoporphyrazine complexes are compared with the parent phthalocyanine as their chemistry is similar …


Manganese Bioavailability Drives Organic Matter Transformations Across Oxic-Anoxic Interfaces Via Biotic And Abiotic Pathways, Nathan A. Chin Oct 2022

Manganese Bioavailability Drives Organic Matter Transformations Across Oxic-Anoxic Interfaces Via Biotic And Abiotic Pathways, Nathan A. Chin

Masters Theses

Soil organic matter decomposition is a critical process that affects nutrient cycling, CO2 emissions, and carbon storage in terrestrial environments. Recent evidence suggests reactive manganese (Mn) phases, potent oxidants that depolymerize compounds like lignocellulose in soil organic matter, act as critical drivers of organic matter decomposition in soil and sediment environments. Furthermore, oxic-anoxic interfaces (OAIs) have been shown to be crucial hotspots for the formation of reactive Mn(III) species and associated organic matter degradation. However, the extent to which microbially mediated Mn(III) formation and subsequently Mn(III)-driven organic matter oxidation depends on Mn availability remains largely unknown. Additionally, the relative …


Identifying New Invasives In The Face Of Climate Change: A Focus On Sleeper Populations, Ayodelé C. O'Uhuru Oct 2022

Identifying New Invasives In The Face Of Climate Change: A Focus On Sleeper Populations, Ayodelé C. O'Uhuru

Masters Theses

Sleeper populations are established populations of a non-native species whose population growth is limited by one or more abiotic or biotic conditions, such as climate change. While the northeastern US is predicted to be a hotspot for future invasions, identifying potential sleeper populations before they become invasive can inform proactive, climate-smart invasive species management. I focused on 169 introduced species that are established in one or more northeastern states. I used the Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT) framework to systematically identify and review the peer-reviewed literature for these candidate species to quantify their negative ecological and socioeconomic impacts. …


Maximising Social Welfare In Selfish Multi-Modal Routing Using Strategic Information Design For Quantal Response Travelers, Sainath Sanga Aug 2022

Maximising Social Welfare In Selfish Multi-Modal Routing Using Strategic Information Design For Quantal Response Travelers, Sainath Sanga

Masters Theses

"Traditional selfish routing literature quantifies inefficiency in transportation systems with single-attribute costs using price-of-anarchy (PoA), and provides various technical approaches (e.g. marginal cost pricing) to improve PoA of the overall network. Unfortunately, practical transportation systems have dynamic, multi-attribute costs and the state-of-the-art technical approaches proposed in the literature are infeasible for practical deployment. In this paper, we offer a paradigm shift to selfish routing via characterizing idiosyncratic, multiattribute costs at boundedly-rational travelers, as well as improving network efficiency using strategic information design. Specifically, we model the interaction between the system and travelers as a Stackelberg game, where travelers adopt multi-attribute …


Manganese Geochemistry And Plant Availability In Response To Agricultural Practices, Ashleigh R. Montgomery Aug 2022

Manganese Geochemistry And Plant Availability In Response To Agricultural Practices, Ashleigh R. Montgomery

Masters Theses

Manganese (Mn) is an essential micronutrient for all organisms. In soils, Mn forms determine availability to plants. Most Mn research has been conducted in forest ecosystems and Mn cycling in agricultural systems is understudied. Therefore, the objective of the experiment is to understand the effect of different agricultural management strategies on Mn cycling and plant availability. First, a greenhouse experiment was conducted to determine the effect of different application rates of two Mn fertilizers (MnSO4 and MnEDTA) on soil geochemical properties and growth of corn (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max). The fertilizers were applied to …


The Characterization Of Dynamic Soil Properties And Their Relation To Soil Organic Carbon In East Tennessee Soils, Shannon Marissa Newell Aug 2022

The Characterization Of Dynamic Soil Properties And Their Relation To Soil Organic Carbon In East Tennessee Soils, Shannon Marissa Newell

Masters Theses

Quantifying how dynamic soil properties (DSPs) are affected by different management regimes is essential for understanding how these vital resources can be better managed. The Dewey soil series is a critical soil series in East Tennessee. For this study, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) worked alongside the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) in an effort to better understand the dynamics of the Dewey soil series through a wide range of DSP data. To accomplish this, Dewey soil was collected from five sites which are considered representative of five management regimes: well-managed cropland (WMC), poorly-managed cropland (PMC), well-managed pasture (WMP), …


Kinematic And Vorticity Analysis Of The Slide Lake And Homestake Shear Zones, Central Colorado, Carsen T. Adams Aug 2022

Kinematic And Vorticity Analysis Of The Slide Lake And Homestake Shear Zones, Central Colorado, Carsen T. Adams

Masters Theses

Kinematic and quantitative vorticity analysis of the Homestake shear zone (HSZ) and the Slide Lake shear zone (SLSZ) in central Colorado provide further insight into crustal processes that controlled deformation within the Colorado Mineral Belt (CMB) shear zone system throughout the Proterozoic. Evaluating vorticity, that is, the relative contributions of pure to simple shear in sheared rocks, is crucial to understanding lithospheric tectonic evolution and allows for kinematic modeling of shear zone development at a variety of scales. Moreover, novel vorticity analyses involve determining the orientation of the vorticity vector and vorticity normal surface which can give insight into shear …


Elegance Or Alchemy? An International Cross-Case Analysis Of Faculty And Graduate Student Perceptions Of Mathematical Proofs, Brooke Nicole Denney Aug 2022

Elegance Or Alchemy? An International Cross-Case Analysis Of Faculty And Graduate Student Perceptions Of Mathematical Proofs, Brooke Nicole Denney

Masters Theses

Artist Marcel Duchamp once said, ``The painter is a medium who doesn’t realize what he is doing. No translation can express the mystery of sensibility, a word, still unreliable, which is nonetheless the basis of painting or poetry, like a kind of alchemy" (Moffitt, 2012). Just as there is a puzzling aspect of creating art or writing poetry, the aesthetic quality of mathematical proofs is a mysterious and ill-defined concept. Like many other subjective terms, it can be difficult to reach a consensus on what elegance means in a mathematical context. In this thesis, I try to better understand faculty …


Comparative Geochemical Analysis Of Recent Volcanic Flows On Barva Volcano, Costa Rica, Julie Coulombe Aug 2022

Comparative Geochemical Analysis Of Recent Volcanic Flows On Barva Volcano, Costa Rica, Julie Coulombe

Masters Theses

ABSTRACT

Barva Volcano is a dormant stratovolcano in the Cordillera Central region of Costa Rica, rising above the capital city of San Jose with a population of 347,000. Barva’s recent inactivity and extensive forestation have resulted in fewer investigations of its composition, petrogenesis, and eruptive history. The objective of this research is to analyze the geochemical data from several of the most recent lava flows, evaluate variability between eruptive units, and ascertain physical conditions within the Barva magma storage region. The data collected in this study helps constrain the geochemistry of units seen in the quarry and provides information regarding …


Analysis Of Turbulent Flow Behavior In Helicopter Rotor Hub Wakes, Forrest Mobley Aug 2022

Analysis Of Turbulent Flow Behavior In Helicopter Rotor Hub Wakes, Forrest Mobley

Masters Theses

The rotor hub is one of the most important features of all helicopters, as it provides the pilot a means for controlling the vehicle by changing the characteristics of the main and tail rotors. The hub also provides a structural foundation for the rotors and allows for the rotor blades to respond to aerodynamic forces while maintaining controllability and stability. Due to the inherent geometry and high rate of rotation, the rotor hub in its current form acts a large bluff body and is the primary source of parasite drag on the helicopter, despite its relatively small size. The rotor …


Chromatographic Dynamic Chemisorption, Shreya Thakkar Jun 2022

Chromatographic Dynamic Chemisorption, Shreya Thakkar

Masters Theses

Reaction rates of catalytic cycles over supported metal catalysts are normalized by the exposed metal atoms on the catalyst surface, reported as site time yields which provide a rigorous standard to compare distinct metal surfaces. Defined as the fraction of exposed metal surface atoms to the total number of metal atoms, it is important to measure the dispersion of supported metal catalysts to report standardized rates for kinetic investigations. Multiple characterization techniques such as electron microscopy, spectroscopy and chemisorption are exploited for catalyst dispersion measurements. While effective, electron microscopy and spectroscopy are not readily accessible due to cost and maintenance …


Pre-Agricultural Soil Erosion Rates In The Midwestern U.S., Caroline Lauth Quarrier Jun 2022

Pre-Agricultural Soil Erosion Rates In The Midwestern U.S., Caroline Lauth Quarrier

Masters Theses

Soil erosion undermines agricultural productivity, limiting the lifespan of civilizations. For agriculture to be sustainable, soil erosion rates must be low enough to maintain fertile soil, as was present in many agricultural landscapes prior to the initiation of farming. However, there have been few measurements of long-term pre-agricultural erosion rates in major agricultural landscapes. We quantified geological erosion rates in the Midwestern U.S., one of the world’s most productive agricultural areas. We sampled soil profiles from 14 native prairies and measured concentrations of the cosmogenic nuclide 10Be and chemically immobile elements to calculate physical erosion rates. We used the erosion …


Three Dimensional Spatio-Temporal Cluster Analysis Of Sars-Cov-2 Infections, Keith W. Allison Jun 2022

Three Dimensional Spatio-Temporal Cluster Analysis Of Sars-Cov-2 Infections, Keith W. Allison

Masters Theses

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for fine-scale analysis of the clustering of cases of infectious disease in order to better understand and prevent the localized spread of infection. The students living on the University of Massachusetts, Amherst campus provided a unique opportunity to do so, due to frequent mandatory testing during the 2020-2021 academic year, and dense living conditions. The South-West dormitory area is of particular interest due to its extremely high population density, housing around half of students living on campus during normal conditions. Using data gathered by the Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC), we analyzed the …


Fertilizer Waste Mistreatment Facilities: Investigating The Barrier That Keep Waste In And Attention Out At Central Florida's Phosphogypsum Stacks., Harsha Devaraj Jun 2022

Fertilizer Waste Mistreatment Facilities: Investigating The Barrier That Keep Waste In And Attention Out At Central Florida's Phosphogypsum Stacks., Harsha Devaraj

Masters Theses

This project investigates the physical and narrative barriers constructed by the phosphate mining and processing industry to dissuade public engagement with its phosphogypsum sites in Central Florida, USA. The barriers around PG utilize decades of misinformation, racial geographies, and misrepresentations of scale, origin, and risk to create powerful narratives about how we should imagine and relate to these materials. These barriers hinder sustained public attention to their sites, enabling extractive industries to expand while avoiding oversight and responsibility. Attention to how these barriers around phosphogypsum are constructed allows us to recognize these strategies at work in how we see and …


Understanding Hydrogen Variations In Silicate Glasses As A Result Of Degassing: Fire-Fountaining On The Moon And Earth, Erin M. Recchuiti May 2022

Understanding Hydrogen Variations In Silicate Glasses As A Result Of Degassing: Fire-Fountaining On The Moon And Earth, Erin M. Recchuiti

Masters Theses

Volatiles, particularly hydrogen, play a key role in volcanic eruptions, especially explosive eruptions like fire-fountaining [e.g., Saal et al. 2002; Dixon 1997; Arndt & von Engelhardt 1987; Yoder 1976]. Discerning volatile abundance and behavior during ascent and eruption can aid in understanding the source melt and primary volatile content of planetary interiors. Volcanic glasses are samples closest to the primary melt, as they quench quickly enough to limit fractionation or crystallization. This is paramount for volatile studies, especially pertaining to water as its constituents are oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most volatile element and one of the first to …


Assessment Of Soil Health Under Native Warm-Season Grasses And Different Grazing Management, Kara Leigh Grosso May 2022

Assessment Of Soil Health Under Native Warm-Season Grasses And Different Grazing Management, Kara Leigh Grosso

Masters Theses

This research uses analysis of soil quality indicators (SQIs) to compare vegetation species and grazing management over the 2021 grazing season. The soil health effect of the native warm-season grasses (NWSG) big bluestem (BB) (Andropogon gerardii) mixed with indian grass (IG) (Sorghastrum nutans) (BBIG), and switchgrass (SG) (Panicum virgatum), inter-seeded with a 12 species biodiversity mix was investigated in a 5 pressure grazing system (no graze (NG), no rest (NR), early, middle, and late rest (ER, MR, LR)). Additionally, there is a need for inexpensive tools for land owners to assess soil quality, and a validation study …


Evaluation Of Microbiometer As A Tool To Estimate Soil Health In A West Tennessee Cotton Crop, Daniel T. Sain May 2022

Evaluation Of Microbiometer As A Tool To Estimate Soil Health In A West Tennessee Cotton Crop, Daniel T. Sain

Masters Theses

Healthy soils are critical for optimized yields and sustainability in agriculture. Soil health testing can provide valuable information on how management practices are affecting soil health. In west Tennessee, existing soil health tests were unable to discern between significant differences in management practices. A new soil health test called microBIOMETER® has been developed by Prolific Earth Sciences® (Montgomery, NY). MicroBIOMETER® utilizes a new methodology for estimating microbial biomass and uses that estimate as a soil health score. This test has not been validated for use in west Tennessee. This research was focused on the validation of microBIOMETER® in a continuous …


Texture And Composition Of An Arid-Climate Weathering Profile And The Link Between Bedrock And Derived Sediment Composition, Kristan Leigh Watkins May 2022

Texture And Composition Of An Arid-Climate Weathering Profile And The Link Between Bedrock And Derived Sediment Composition, Kristan Leigh Watkins

Masters Theses

Multiple compositional aspects of Holocene, terrigenous-clastic sediment differ from its source, the underlying Cretaceous Stepladder granodiorite (Mojave Desert, California). Different processes can cause sediments to change in composition from source, including chemical weathering, hydrodynamic sorting during transport, and diagenesis. Sorting and physical processes have previously suggested. To assess the relative contributions of these processes to understand provenance reconstruction, the textures and compositions of an exposed Holocene saprolite weathering profile, grus, and granodiorite bedrock were studied. Fracture density in the weathering profile decreased from ~10% at the top to ~2% at the bottom of the profile in contact with the bedrock. …


Transverse Energy Analysis In Small Collision Systems, Alexander L. Aukerman May 2022

Transverse Energy Analysis In Small Collision Systems, Alexander L. Aukerman

Masters Theses

Heavy Ion Collisions performed in the LHC at Cern are capable of generating a new phase of nuclear matter known as the Quark Gluon Plasma. In addition to running heavy ion collisions, the detectors dedicated to studying the QGP perform collisions utilizing smaller collision systems for the sake of comparing key measurements associated with the creation of a QGP. The transverse energy of the particles generated from the collision is one such key measurement. For the sake of comparison an analysis is performed on the transverse energy measurements taken from proton-proton collisions.


Public Perceptions Of Salamanders In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Savannah Blackman May 2022

Public Perceptions Of Salamanders In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Savannah Blackman

Masters Theses

Amphibians receive little attention when it comes to public appreciation or support for their conservation. Despite their ecological importance, salamanders are often little known and overlooked by the general public. To better conserve their rapidly declining populations, it is important to understand and consider public knowledge and attitudes toward salamanders and certain behaviors that negatively affect them—like rock stacking in streams and rivers. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is referred to as the “Salamander Capital of the World!” as it is home to more than 30 different species of salamander. One issue facing salamander populations within the park is …


Path Planning And Flight Control Of Drones For Autonomous Pollination, Chapel R. Rice May 2022

Path Planning And Flight Control Of Drones For Autonomous Pollination, Chapel R. Rice

Masters Theses

The decline of natural pollinators necessitates the development of novel pollination technologies. In this thesis, a drone-enabled autonomous pollination system (APS) that consists of five primary modules: environment sensing, flower perception, path planning, flight control, and pollination mechanisms is proposed. These modules are highly dependent upon each other, with each module relying on inputs from the other modules. This thesis focuses on approaches to the path planning and flight control modules. Flower perception is briefly demonstrated developing a map of flowers using results from previous work. With that map of flowers, APS path planning is defined as a variant of …


Enigma - Ongoing Development Towards Novel Beta-Decay Spectroscopy Station At Isolde, Philipp Wagenknecht May 2022

Enigma - Ongoing Development Towards Novel Beta-Decay Spectroscopy Station At Isolde, Philipp Wagenknecht

Masters Theses

Beta decay and collinear laser spectroscopy are proven efficient tools to study nuclear structure far from stability. Two areas of significance are investigations into nuclear deformation and shape coexistence, as well as delayed neutron emissions used in nuclear energy applications. This contribution presents the ongoing development towards a novel beta-decay spectroscopy station for the VITO experiment at CERN’s radioactive ion beam facility ISOLDE. The setup will utilize both collinear laser spectroscopy and beta-decay spectroscopy to measure the energy and spin-parities of the ground and excited states of radioactive beams. Initial designs of the support structure, magnetic field, and detector array …


Challenges In Approaching The Detection Limits For Hillslope Erosion Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning, Gene Nathan Bailey Iii May 2022

Challenges In Approaching The Detection Limits For Hillslope Erosion Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning, Gene Nathan Bailey Iii

Masters Theses

Accurately quantifying soil loss due to water erosion is a critical step in managing soils. Terrestrial LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) presents a potential alternative to traditional soil loss measurement by estimating soil erosion and deposition through detecting surface changes. Terrestrial LiDAR can also provide spatial distribution information without disturbing the observed surface. While erosion estimation through terrestrial LiDAR detects large magnitude erosion well, the finer temporal/spatial scale erosion experienced on the hillslope in sheet and rill erosion has remained a challenge to detect. This research addresses two of the challenges in using terrestrial LiDAR on fine scales in two …


Meta-Heuristic Optimization Techniques For The Production Of Medical Isotopes Through Special Target Design, Cameron Ian Salyer May 2022

Meta-Heuristic Optimization Techniques For The Production Of Medical Isotopes Through Special Target Design, Cameron Ian Salyer

Masters Theses

Medical isotopes are used for a variety of different diagnostic and therapeutic purposes Ruth (2008). Due to recent newly discovered applications, their production has become rapidly more scarce than ever before Charlton (2019). Therefore, more efficient and less time consuming methods are of interest for not only the industry’s demand, but for the individuals who require radio-isotope procedures. Currently, the primary source of most medical isotopes used today are provided by reactor and cyclotron irradiation techniques, followed by supplemental radio-chemical separations Ruth (2008). Up until this point, target designs have been optimized by experience, back of the envelope calculations, and …


Instructor Selection And Use Of Virtual Field Experiences In College Geoscience Course, Kristen Foley Apr 2022

Instructor Selection And Use Of Virtual Field Experiences In College Geoscience Course, Kristen Foley

Masters Theses

Virtual Field Experiences (VFEs) are a growing supplement and gateway to traditional fieldwork in the geosciences. With VFEs becoming more accepted for use in college geoscience courses, how instructors find and choose VFEs for their students is critical to creating greater accessibility and future resources. VFEs that are not easily accessed by instructors may go unused, and the effort put into making them would have been wasted. This phenomenological descriptive study utilized five focus groups of college geoscience instructors in the United States. Each 1-to-1.5-hour focus group session of 3-7 participants took place on video conferencing software, which was recorded …


Parallel Resource Defined Fitness Sharing: A Study On Parallel Optimizations For Niching Algorithms, Blayne A. Rogers Apr 2022

Parallel Resource Defined Fitness Sharing: A Study On Parallel Optimizations For Niching Algorithms, Blayne A. Rogers

Masters Theses

The exploitation of niches by genetic algorithms (GAs) is a computationally expensive, but effective, methodology for solving complex open problems and real-world applications. Niching, differentiated on the modality of sharing, casts problems in terms of the specific resources available. These concepts arise from the broader natural algorithms that encapsulate the ideas and theories used in artificial intelligence. In remediating the computational costs, a study on exploiting niche-defined parallel structures is performed in the contest of the resourcedefined fitness sharing (RFS) algorithm.

Sharing is a natural algorithm paradigm that emulates the use of resources within an environment or population. Defining these …


Autonomous Eco-Driving With Traffic Light And Lead Vehicle Constraints: An Application Of Best Constrained Interpolation, Yara Hazem Mohamed Mahmoud Apr 2022

Autonomous Eco-Driving With Traffic Light And Lead Vehicle Constraints: An Application Of Best Constrained Interpolation, Yara Hazem Mohamed Mahmoud

Masters Theses

Eco-Driving is a critical technology for improving automotive transportation efficiency. It is achieved by modifying the driving trajectory over a particular route to minimize required propulsion energy. Eco-Driving can be approached as an optimal control problem subject to driving constraints such as traffic lights and positions of other vehicles. Best interpolation in a strip is a problem in approximation theory and optimal control. The solution to this problem is a cubic spline. In this research we demonstrate the connection between Eco-Driving and best interpolation in the strip. By exploiting this connection, we are able to generate optimal Eco-Driving trajectories that …


Utilizing Climate Change Refugia For Climate Change Adaptation And Management In The Northeast, Sara A. Wisner Mar 2022

Utilizing Climate Change Refugia For Climate Change Adaptation And Management In The Northeast, Sara A. Wisner

Masters Theses

To account for the effects of climate change, management plans in the northeast need to incorporate climate adaptation. Conserving climate change refugia is one adaptation strategy. Climate change refugia are areas buffered by climate change that enable the persistence of valued physical, ecological, and cultural resources; preserving these areas could be a potential adaptation strategy. Using a translational ecology approach where researchers and managers from the National Park Service, US Geological Survey, the University of Massachusetts, and elsewhere worked together, we focused on identifying refugia for tree, herbaceous plant, mammal, and bird species in order to prioritize them for conservation …


Assessment Of The Economic And Ecosystem Service Contributions Of Usda Forest Service Landowner Assistance Programs In The Conterminous United States, Jacqueline S. Dias Mar 2022

Assessment Of The Economic And Ecosystem Service Contributions Of Usda Forest Service Landowner Assistance Programs In The Conterminous United States, Jacqueline S. Dias

Masters Theses

Forests provide immense goods and services to both local and regional communities. The USDA Forest Service’s, State and Private Forestry program administer multiple landowner assistance programs aimed at helping private forest owners while supporting the continued supply of ecosystem services (e.g., timber harvesting, recreation, carbon sequestration and storage). The two landowner assistance programs assessed in this study are the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) and the Forest Stewardship Program (FSP). A majority of the nation’s forests are privately owned, many of which are facing deleterious impacts like wildfires, invasive species, development pressures, and other adverse effects from climate change. The goal …