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The Weight of Trash: Teaching Sustainability and Ecofeminism by Asking Undergraduates to Carry Around Their Own Garbage

Description

This essay outlines a recent assignment I designed for an upper-division cross-listed women and gender studies/social justice and human rights course I teach called, “Trash, Freaks, and SCUM.” In the context of the students reading Edward Humes’ (2012) Garbology, the

This essay outlines a recent assignment I designed for an upper-division cross-listed women and gender studies/social justice and human rights course I teach called, “Trash, Freaks, and SCUM.” In the context of the students reading Edward Humes’ (2012) Garbology, the trash bag assignment asked that students carry around their trash for two 48-hour periods and that they present it to the class. While the first two day period assesses their actual trash output, students are asked to produce as little trash as possible for the second two day period. This assignment aims to make trash visible and to help students learn about climate change, sustainability, conspicuous consumption, and how their individual carbon footprint contributes to the “big picture” of environmental strain. I describe this assignment and its goals in this essay, followed by an assessment of its role in teaching about social justice, in order to underscore the importance of experiential learning with trash and to highlight how this assignment fits the mission of my courses on feminism and social justice.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Sustainability Via Active Garden Education (SAGE): Results From Two Feasibility Pilot Studies

Description

Background: Low physical activity (PA) and fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in early childhood are continued public health challenges. This manuscript describes outcomes from two pilot studies for Sustainability via Active Garden Education (SAGE), a program designed to increase PA and

Background: Low physical activity (PA) and fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption in early childhood are continued public health challenges. This manuscript describes outcomes from two pilot studies for Sustainability via Active Garden Education (SAGE), a program designed to increase PA and F&V consumption among 3 to 5 year old children.

Methods: SAGE was developed using community-based participatory research (CBPR) and delivered to children (N = 89) in early care and education centers (ECEC, N = 6) in two US cities. Children participated in 12 one-hour sessions that included songs, games, and interactive learning activities involving garden maintenance and taste tests. We evaluated reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation, and potential for maintenance of SAGE following the RE-AIM framework. Reach was evaluated by comparing demographic characteristics among SAGE participants and residents of target geographic areas. Efficacy was evaluated with accelerometer-measured PA, F&V consumption, and eating in the absence of hunger among children, parenting practices regarding PA, and home availability of F&V. Adoption was evaluated by the number of ECEC that participated relative to the number of ECEC that were recruited. Implementation was evaluated by completion rates of planned SAGE lessons and activities, and potential for maintenance was evaluated with a parent satisfaction survey.

Results: SAGE reached ECEC in neighborhoods representing a wide range of socioeconomic status, with participants’ sociodemographic characteristics representing those of the intervention areas. Children significantly increased PA during SAGE lessons compared to usual lessons, but they also consumed more calories in the absence of hunger in post- vs. pre-intervention tests (both p < .05). Parent reports did not suggest changes in F&V consumption, parenting PA practices, or home F&V availability, possibly due to low parent engagement. ECEC had moderate-to-high implementation of SAGE lessons and curriculum. Potential for maintenance was strong, with parents rating SAGE favorably and reporting increases in knowledge about PA and nutrition guidelines for young children.

Conclusions: SAGE successfully translated national PA guidelines to practice for young children but was less successful with nutrition guidelines. High adoption and implementation and favorable parent reports suggest high potential for program sustainability. Further work to engage parents and families of young children in ECEC-based PA and nutrition programming is needed.

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Created

Date Created
2017-03-10

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Influence of Parental Perception of School Safety and Gender on Children’s Physical Activity in Mexico: A Cross Sectional Study

Description

Objective: This cross sectional study aims to determine the effects of gender and parental perception of safety at school on children’s physical activity (PA) levels.

Materials and Methods: Parents of school aged Mexican children residing in Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Puerto

Objective: This cross sectional study aims to determine the effects of gender and parental perception of safety at school on children’s physical activity (PA) levels.

Materials and Methods: Parents of school aged Mexican children residing in Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Puerto Vallarta, completed surveys about their children’s PA measures. The physical activity indicators were evaluated using linear and logistical regression models.

Results: Analysis did not indicate that gender moderated the relationship between parental perception of safety and PA measures, but significant gender issues exist with girls participating less than boys in the three measures of PA in this study (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Results suggest the need for additional interventions promoting physical activity in girls in Mexico.

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Created

Date Created
2016-01

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Differential Increase in Prevalence Estimates of Inadequate Sleep Among Black and White Americans

Description

Background: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) was used to ascertain whether increases in inadequate sleep differentially affected black and white Americans. We tested the hypothesis that prevalence estimates of inadequate sleep were consistently greater among blacks, and that temporal changes

Background: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) was used to ascertain whether increases in inadequate sleep differentially affected black and white Americans. We tested the hypothesis that prevalence estimates of inadequate sleep were consistently greater among blacks, and that temporal changes have affected these two strata differentially.

Methods: NHIS is an ongoing cross-sectional study of non-institutionalized US adults (≥18 years) providing socio-demographic, health risk, and medical factors. Sleep duration was coded as very short sleep [VSS] (<5 h), short sleep [SS] (5–6 h), or long sleep [LS] (>8 h), referenced to 7–8 h sleepers. Analyses adjusted for NHIS’ complex sampling design using SAS-callable SUDAAN.

Results: Among whites, the prevalence of VSS increased by 53 % (1.5 % to 2.3 %) from 1977 to 2009 and the prevalence of SS increased by 32 % (19.3 % to 25.4 %); prevalence of LS decreased by 30 % (11.2 % to 7.8 %). Among blacks, the prevalence of VSS increased by 21 % (3.3 % to 4.0 %) and the prevalence of SS increased by 37 % (24.6 % to 33.7 %); prevalence of LS decreased by 42 % (16.1 % to 9.4 %). Adjusted multinomial regression analysis showed that odds of reporting inadequate sleep for whites were: VSS (OR = 1.40, 95 % CI = 1.13-1.74, p < 0.001), SS (OR = 1.34, 95 % CI = 1.25-1.44, p < 0.001), and LS (OR = 0.94, 95 % CI = 0.85-1.05, NS). For blacks, estimates were: VSS (OR = 0.83, 95 % CI = 0.60-1.40, NS), SS (OR = 1.21, 95 % CI = 1.05-1.50, p < 0.001), and LS (OR = 0.84, 95 % CI = 0.64-1.08, NS).

Conclusions: Blacks and whites are characteristically different regarding the prevalence of inadequate sleep over the years. Temporal changes in estimates of inadequate sleep seem dependent upon individuals’ race/ethnicity.

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Created

Date Created
2015-11-26

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Comparison of Mechanisms Involved in Impaired Vascular Reactivity Between High Sucrose and High Fat Diets in Rats

Description

Background: To determine the effects of high sucrose diets on vascular reactivity. We hypothesized that similar to high fat diets (HFD), HSD feeding would lead to increased adiposity resulting in inflammation and oxidative stress-mediated impairment of vasodilation.

Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed

Background: To determine the effects of high sucrose diets on vascular reactivity. We hypothesized that similar to high fat diets (HFD), HSD feeding would lead to increased adiposity resulting in inflammation and oxidative stress-mediated impairment of vasodilation.

Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed control chow (Chow), HSD or HFD diets for 6 weeks. The role of inflammation and oxidative stress on impaired vasodilation were assessed in isolated mesenteric arterioles.

Results: HSD and HFD induced increased adiposity, oxidative stress and inflammation. HFD rats developed fasting hyperglycemia. Both HSD and HFD rats developed impaired glucose tolerance and hyperleptinemia. Nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vasodilation was significantly attenuated in both HSD and HFD rats but was normalized by treatment with antioxidants or anti-inflammatory drugs. Endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) protein expression was not affected by diet. Sensitivity to NO was reduced since NOS inhibition attenuated vasodilation in Chow rats but did not further impair vasodilation in HSD or HFD rats. Likewise, responsiveness to a NO donor was attenuated in both experimental groups.

Conclusions: Oxidative stress diminishes vasodilatory responsiveness in HSD and HFD rats through ROS-mediated scavenging of NO and decreased smooth muscle sensitivity to NO. Inflammation also plays a significant role in the impaired vasodilation.

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Created

Date Created
2010-06-04

Caciques as Placeholders in the Guarani Missions of Eighteenth Century Paraguay

Description

This essay uses census data from the eighteenth century to examine the leadership role of caciques in the Guaraní missions. Cacique succession between 1735 and 1759 confirms that the position of cacique transitioned from the Guaraníes’ flexible interpretation of hereditary

This essay uses census data from the eighteenth century to examine the leadership role of caciques in the Guaraní missions. Cacique succession between 1735 and 1759 confirms that the position of cacique transitioned from the Guaraníes’ flexible interpretation of hereditary succession to the Jesuits’ rigid idea of primogenitor (father to eldest son) succession. This essay argues that scholars overstate the caciques’ leadership role in the Guaraní missions. Adherence to primogenitor succession did not take into account a candidate's leadership qualities, and thus, some caciques functioned as placeholders for organizing the mission population and calculating tribute and not as active leaders. An assortment of other Guaraní leadership positions compensated for this weakness by providing both access to leadership roles for non-caciques who possessed leadership qualities but not the proper bloodline and additional leadership opportunities for more capable caciques. By taking into account leadership qualities and not just descent, these positions provided flexibility and reflected continuity with pre-contact Guaraní ideas about leadership.

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Created

Date Created
2013-11-30

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Longitudinal Analysis of Minority Women’s Perceptions of Cohesion: The Role of Cooperation, Communication, and Competition

Description

Background: Interaction in the form of cooperation, communication, and friendly competition theoretically precede the development of group cohesion, which often precedes adherence to health promotion programs. The purpose of this manuscript was to explore longitudinal relationships among dimensions of group cohesion

Background: Interaction in the form of cooperation, communication, and friendly competition theoretically precede the development of group cohesion, which often precedes adherence to health promotion programs. The purpose of this manuscript was to explore longitudinal relationships among dimensions of group cohesion and group-interaction variables to inform and improve group-based strategies within programs aimed at promoting physical activity.

Methods: Ethnic minority women completed a group dynamics-based physical activity promotion intervention (N = 103; 73% African American; 27% Hispanic/Latina; mage = 47.89 + 8.17 years; mBMI = 34.43+ 8.07 kg/m[superscript 2]) and assessments of group cohesion and group-interaction variables at baseline, 6 months (post-program), and 12 months (follow-up).

Results: All four dimensions of group cohesion had significant (ps < 0.01) relationships with the group-interaction variables. Competition was a consistently strong predictor of cohesion, while cooperation did not demonstrate consistent patterns of prediction.

Conclusions: Facilitating a sense of friendly competition may increase engagement in physical activity programs by bolstering group cohesion.

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Created

Date Created
2014-04-09

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Feasibility, Acceptability, and Characteristics Associated With Adherence and Completion of a Culturally Relevant Internet-Enhanced Physical Activity Pilot Intervention for Overweight and Obese Young Adult African American Women Enrolled in College

Description

Background: African American women are one of the least active demographic groups in the US, with only 36% meeting the national physical activity recommendations in comparison to 46% of White women. Physical activity begins to decline in African American women in

Background: African American women are one of the least active demographic groups in the US, with only 36% meeting the national physical activity recommendations in comparison to 46% of White women. Physical activity begins to decline in African American women in adolescence and continues to decline into young adulthood. Yet, few interventions have been developed to promote physical activity in African American women during this critical period of life. The purpose of this article was to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a culturally-relevant Internet-enhanced physical activity pilot intervention for overweight/obese African American college females and to examine psychosocial and behavioral characteristics associated with intervention adherence and completion.

Methods: A 6-month single group pre-posttest design was used. Participants (n = 27) accessed a culturally-relevant Social Cognitive Theory-based physical activity promotion website while engaging in a minimum of four moderate-intensity physical activity sessions each week. Acceptability and feasibility of the intervention was assessed by participant retention and a consumer satisfaction survey completed by participants.

Results: Fifty-six percent of participants (n = 15) completed the intervention. Study completers were more physically active at baseline (P = 0.05) and had greater social support for exercise from family members (P = 0.04). Sixty percent of study completers (n = 9) reported the website as “enjoyable” or “very enjoyable” to use and 60% (n = 9) reported increased motivation from participation in the physical activity program. Moreover, 87% (n = 13) reported they would recommend the website to a friend.

Conclusions: Results provide some preliminary support for the acceptability and feasibility of an Internet-enhanced physical activity program for overweight/obese African American women, while highlighting important limitations of the approach. Successful promotion of physical activity in college aged African American women as they emerge into adulthood may result in the development of life-long healthy physical activity patterns which may ultimately reduce physical activity-related health disparities in this high risk underserved population. Future studies with larger samples are needed to further explore the use of Internet-based programs to promote physical activity in this population.

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Created

Date Created
2015-06-02

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Conversing With a Devil’s Advocate: Interpersonal Coordination in Deception and Disagreement

Description

This study investigates the presence of dynamical patterns of interpersonal coordination in extended deceptive conversations across multimodal channels of behavior. Using a novel "devil’s advocate" paradigm, we experimentally elicited deception and truth across topics in which conversational partners either agreed

This study investigates the presence of dynamical patterns of interpersonal coordination in extended deceptive conversations across multimodal channels of behavior. Using a novel "devil’s advocate" paradigm, we experimentally elicited deception and truth across topics in which conversational partners either agreed or disagreed, and where one partner was surreptitiously asked to argue an opinion opposite of what he or she really believed. We focus on interpersonal coordination as an emergent behavioral signal that captures interdependencies between conversational partners, both as the coupling of head movements over the span of milliseconds, measured via a windowed lagged cross correlation (WLCC) technique, and more global temporal dependencies across speech rate, using cross recurrence quantification analysis (CRQA). Moreover, we considered how interpersonal coordination might be shaped by strategic, adaptive conversational goals associated with deception. We found that deceptive conversations displayed more structured speech rate and higher head movement coordination, the latter with a peak in deceptive disagreement conversations. Together the results allow us to posit an adaptive account, whereby interpersonal coordination is not beholden to any single functional explanation, but can strategically adapt to diverse conversational demands.

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Created

Date Created
2017-06-02

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Predicted Rarity-Weighted Richness, a New Tool to Prioritize Sites for Species Representation

Description

Lack of biodiversity data is a major impediment to prioritizing sites for species representation. Because comprehensive species data are not available in any planning area, planners often use surrogates (such as vegetation communities, or mapped occurrences of a well-inventoried taxon)

Lack of biodiversity data is a major impediment to prioritizing sites for species representation. Because comprehensive species data are not available in any planning area, planners often use surrogates (such as vegetation communities, or mapped occurrences of a well-inventoried taxon) to prioritize sites. We propose and demonstrate the effectiveness of predicted rarity-weighted richness (PRWR) as a surrogate in situations where species inventories may be available for a portion of the planning area. Use of PRWR as a surrogate involves several steps. First, rarity-weighted richness (RWR) is calculated from species inventories for a q% subset of sites. Then random forest models are used to model RWR as a function of freely available environmental variables for that q% subset. This function is then used to calculate PRWR for all sites (including those for which no species inventories are available), and PRWR is used to prioritize all sites. We tested PRWR on plant and bird datasets, using the species accumulation index to measure efficiency of PRWR. Sites with the highest PRWR represented species with median efficiency of 56% (range 32%–77% across six datasets) when q = 20%, and with median efficiency of 39% (range 20%–63%) when q = 10%. An efficiency of 56% means that selecting sites in order of PRWR rank was 56% as effective as having full knowledge of species distributions in PRWR's ability to improve on the number of species represented in the same number of randomly selected sites. Our results suggest that PRWR may be able to help prioritize sites to represent species if a planner has species inventories for 10%–20% of the sites in the planning area.

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Created

Date Created
2016-10-27