Matching Items (24)

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Analyzing the Spread of Chikungunya in the Caribbean 2013-2015

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This work examines one dimension of the effect that complex human transport systems have on the spread of Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) in the Caribbean from 2013 to 2015. CHIKV is

This work examines one dimension of the effect that complex human transport systems have on the spread of Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) in the Caribbean from 2013 to 2015. CHIKV is transmitted by mosquitos and its novel spread through the Caribbean islands provided a chance to examine disease transmission through complex human transportation systems. Previous work by Cauchemez et al. had shown a simple distance-based model successfully predict CHIKV spread in the Caribbean using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) statistical methods. A MCMC simulation is used to evaluate different transportation methods (air travel, cruise ships, and local maritime traffic) for the primary transmission patterns through linear regression. Other metrics including population density to account for island size variation and dengue fever incidence rates as a proxy for vector control and health spending were included. Air travel and cruise travel were gathered from monthly passenger arrivals by island. Local maritime traffic is approximated with a gravity model proxy incorporating GDP-per-capita and distance and historic dengue rates were used for determine existing vector control measures for the islands. The Caribbean represents the largest cruise passenger market in the world, cruise ship arrivals were expected to show the strongest signal; however, the gravity model representing local traffic was the best predictor of infection routes. The early infected islands (<30 days) showed a heavy trend towards an alternate primary transmission but our consensus model able to predict the time until initial infection reporting with 94.5% accuracy for islands 30 days post initial reporting. This result can assist public health entities in enacting measures to mitigate future epidemics and provide a modelling basis for determining transmission modes in future CHIKV outbreaks.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12

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Merging Economics and Epidemiology to Improve the Prediction and Management of Infectious Disease

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Mathematical epidemiology, one of the oldest and richest areas in mathematical biology, has significantly enhanced our understanding of how pathogens emerge, evolve, and spread. Classical epidemiological models, the standard for

Mathematical epidemiology, one of the oldest and richest areas in mathematical biology, has significantly enhanced our understanding of how pathogens emerge, evolve, and spread. Classical epidemiological models, the standard for predicting and managing the spread of infectious disease, assume that contacts between susceptible and infectious individuals depend on their relative frequency in the population. The behavioral factors that underpin contact rates are not generally addressed. There is, however, an emerging a class of models that addresses the feedbacks between infectious disease dynamics and the behavioral decisions driving host contact. Referred to as “economic epidemiology” or “epidemiological economics,” the approach explores the determinants of decisions about the number and type of contacts made by individuals, using insights and methods from economics. We show how the approach has the potential both to improve predictions of the course of infectious disease, and to support development of novel approaches to infectious disease management.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12-01

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Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: A Comparative Study

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This project examines a complex issue in urban ecology: the impact of biodiversity on ecosystem services, and considers how this varies across cities. Data were gathered on multiple economic and

This project examines a complex issue in urban ecology: the impact of biodiversity on ecosystem services, and considers how this varies across cities. Data were gathered on multiple economic and ecological parameters for a selection of seven cities around the world and analyzed via multiple linear regression in order to assess any relationships that may be at play. Significance values were then calculated to further define the relationships between the data. Analysis found that both biophysical and socioeconomic factors affected ecosystem services, although not all hypotheses regarding these relationships were met. Conclusions indicate that this model was fairly effective in describing physical drivers of ecosystem services, but were not as clear regarding social drivers. Further study regarding social parameters' effect on ecosystem services is recommended.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Impact of Forest Thinning on the Reliability of Water Supply in Central Arizona

Description

Economic growth in Central Arizona, as in other semiarid systems characterized by low and variable rainfall, has historically depended on the effectiveness of strategies to manage water supply risks. Traditionally,

Economic growth in Central Arizona, as in other semiarid systems characterized by low and variable rainfall, has historically depended on the effectiveness of strategies to manage water supply risks. Traditionally, the management of supply risks includes three elements: hard infrastructures, landscape management within the watershed, and a supporting set of institutions of which water markets are frequently the most important. In this paper we model the interactions between these elements. A forest restoration initiative in Central Arizona (the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI) will result in thinning of ponderosa pine forests in the upper watershed, with potential implications for both sedimentation rates and water delivery to reservoirs. Specifically, we model the net effect of ponderosa pine forest thinning across the Salt and Verde River watersheds on the reliability and cost of water supply to the Phoenix metropolitan area. We conclude that the sediment impacts of forest thinning (up to 50% of canopy cover) are unlikely to compromise the reliability of the reservoir system while thinning has the potential to increase annual water supply by 8%. This represents an estimated net present value of surface water storage of $104 million, considering both water consumption and hydropower generation.

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  • 2015-04-02

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Sustainable Development in an N-Rich/N-Poor World

Description

Sustainable development requires that per capita inclusive wealth—produced, human, and natural capital—does not decline over time. We investigate the impact of changes in nitrogen on inclusive wealth. There are two

Sustainable development requires that per capita inclusive wealth—produced, human, and natural capital—does not decline over time. We investigate the impact of changes in nitrogen on inclusive wealth. There are two sides to the nitrogen problem. Excess use of nitrogen in some places gives rise to N-pollution, which can cause environmental damage. Insufficient replacement of nitrogen in other places gives rise to N-depletion, or loss of nutrient stocks. Neither is explicitly accounted for in current wealth measures, but both affect wealth. We calculate an index of net N-replacement, and investigate its relationship to wealth. In countries with low levels of relative N-loss, we find that the uncompensated loss of soil nitrogen in poorer countries is associated with declining rates of growth of inclusive per capita wealth. What is less intuitive is that increasing fertilizer application in both rich and poor countries can increase per capita inclusive wealth.

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Date Created
  • 2014-11-01

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Biodiversity-based development in Small Island Developing States

Description

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are quite diverse in terms of various development metrics, but are uniformly vulnerable both to macroeconomic shocks and to changes in the biodiversity that supports

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are quite diverse in terms of various development metrics, but are uniformly vulnerable both to macroeconomic shocks and to changes in the biodiversity that supports fisheries and tourism. This special section assembles a set of papers that analyze international demand for the natural resources associated with the two sectors, and the factors that lie behind changes in their supply. Since each stresses the resource base, albeit in different ways, we argue that limits on tourist pressure will be as important as limits on allowable fish catches in the future. We identify the challenge for SIDS as the need to implement an integrated, sustainable resource management strategy that allows biological resources to be allocated to their highest valued uses, while respecting the interests of those with prior rights to those resources.

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Date Created
  • 2013-10-28

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Bundling ecosystem services in the Panama Canal watershed

Description

Land cover change in watersheds affects the supply of a number of ecosystem services, including water supply, the production of timber and nontimber forest products, the provision of habitat for

Land cover change in watersheds affects the supply of a number of ecosystem services, including water supply, the production of timber and nontimber forest products, the provision of habitat for forest species, and climate regulation through carbon sequestration. The Panama Canal watershed is currently being reforested to protect the dry-season flows needed for Canal operations. Whether reforestation of the watershed is desirable depends on its impacts on all services. We develop a spatially explicit model to evaluate the implications of reforestation both for water flows and for other services. We find that reforestation does not necessarily increase water supply, but does increase carbon sequestration and timber production.

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Date Created
  • 2013-09-05

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The Influence of Class Nonlinear Dynamics and Education on Socio-Economic Mobility

Description

The dissertation addresses questions tied in to the challenges posed by the impact of environmental factors on the nonlinear dynamics of social upward mobility. The proportion of educated individuals

The dissertation addresses questions tied in to the challenges posed by the impact of environmental factors on the nonlinear dynamics of social upward mobility. The proportion of educated individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds is used as a proxy for the environmental impact on the status quo state.

Chapter 1 carries out a review of the mobility models found in the literature and sets the economic context of this dissertation. Chapter 2 explores a simple model that considers poor and rich classes and the impact that educational success may have on altering mobility patterns. The role of the environment is modeled through the use of a modified version of the invasion/extinction model of Richard Levins. Chapter 3 expands the socio-economic classes to include a large middle class to study the role of social mobility in the presence of higher heterogeneity. Chapter 4 includes demographic growth and explores what would be the time scales needed to accelerate mobility. The dissertation asked how long it will take to increase by 22% the proportion of educated from the poor classes under demographic versus non-demographic growth conditions. Chapter 5 summarizes results and includes a discussion of results. It also explores ways of modeling the influence of nonlinear dynamics of mobility, via exogenous factors. Finally, Chapter 6 presents economic perspectives about the role of environmental influence on college success. The framework can be used to incorporate the impact of economic factors and social changes, such as unemployment, or gap between the haves and have nots. The dissertation shows that peer influence (poor influencing the poor) has a larger effect than class influence (rich influencing the poor). Additionally, more heterogeneity may ease mobility of groups but results depend on initial conditions. Finally, average well-being of the community and income disparities may improve over time. Finally, population growth may extend time scales needed to achieve a specific goal of educated poor.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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A social-ecological evaluation of conservation markets for wildlife

Description

Many wildlife species that are essential to human livelihoods are targeted with the aim of extracting short-term benefits. Overexploitation, resulting from failed common-pool resource governance, has endangered the sustainability of

Many wildlife species that are essential to human livelihoods are targeted with the aim of extracting short-term benefits. Overexploitation, resulting from failed common-pool resource governance, has endangered the sustainability of large animal species, in particular. Rights-based approaches to wildlife conservation offer a possible path forward. In a wildlife market, property rights, or shares of an animal population, are allocated to resource users with interests in either harvest or preservation. Here, I apply the Social-Ecological Systems (SES) framework (Ostrom, 2009) to identify the conditions under which the ecological, social, and economic outcomes of a conservation market are improved compared to the status quo. I first consider three case studies (Bighorn sheep, white rhino, and Atlantic Bluefin tuna) all of which employ different market mechanisms. Based on the SES framework and these case studies, I then evaluate whether markets are a feasible management option for other socially and ecologically significant species, such as whales (and similar highly migratory species), and whether market instruments are capable of accommodating non-consumptive environmental values in natural resource decision making. My results suggest that spatial and temporal distribution, ethical and cultural relevance, and institutional histories compatible with commodification of wildlife are key SES subsystem variables. Successful conservation markets for cross-boundary marine species, such as whales, sea turtles, and sharks, will require intergovernmental agreements.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Potential games and competition in the supply of natural resources

Description

This dissertation discusses the Cournot competition and competitions in the exploitation of common pool resources and its extension to the tragedy of the commons. I address these models by using

This dissertation discusses the Cournot competition and competitions in the exploitation of common pool resources and its extension to the tragedy of the commons. I address these models by using potential games and inquire how these models reflect the real competitions for provisions of environmental resources. The Cournot models are dependent upon how many firms there are so that the resultant Cournot-Nash equilibrium is dependent upon the number of firms in oligopoly. But many studies do not take into account how the resultant Cournot-Nash equilibrium is sensitive to the change of the number of firms. Potential games can find out the outcome when the number of firms changes in addition to providing the "traditional" Cournot-Nash equilibrium when the number of firms is fixed. Hence, I use potential games to fill the gaps that exist in the studies of competitions in oligopoly and common pool resources and extend our knowledge in these topics. In specific, one of the rational conclusions from the Cournot model is that a firm's best policy is to split into separate firms. In real life, we usually witness the other way around; i.e., several firms attempt to merge and enjoy the monopoly profit by restricting the amount of output and raising the price. I aim to solve this conundrum by using potential games. I also clarify, within the Cournot competition model, how regulatory intervention in the management of environmental pollution externalities affects the equilibrium number of polluters. In addition, the tragedy of the commons is the term widely used to describe the overexploitation of open-access common-pool resources. Open-access encourages potential resource users to continue to enter the resource up to the point where rents are exhausted. The resulting level of resource use is higher than is socially optimal, and in extreme cases can lead to the collapse of the resource and the communities that may depend on it. In this paper I use the concept of potential games to evaluate the relation between the cost of resource use and the equilibrium number of resource users in open access regimes. I find that costs of access and costs of production are sufficient to determine the equilibrium number of resource users, and that there is in fact a continuum between Cournot competition and the tragedy of the commons. I note that the various common pool resource management regimes identified in the empirical literature are associated with particular cost structures, and hence that this may be the mechanism that determines the number of resource users accessing the resource.

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Date Created
  • 2017