Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6665

Search results for: Environment

6665 Influence of Instructors in Engaging Online Graduate Students in Active Learning in the United States

Authors: Ehi E. Aimiuwu

Abstract:

As of 2017, many online learning professionals, institutions, and journals are still wondering how instructors can keep student engaged in the online learning environment to facilitate active learning effectively. The purpose of this qualitative single-case and narrative research is to explore whether online professors understand their role as mentors and facilitators of students’ academic success by keeping students engaged in active learning based on personalized experience in the field. Data collection tools that were used in the study included an NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software, an interview protocol, a digital audiotape, an observation sheet, and a transcription. Seven online professors in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online teaching techniques from previous research were used as the study framework. Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to achieve saturation. About 85.7% of professors agreed on rubric as the preferred online grading technique. About 57.1% agreed on professors logging in daily, students logging in about 2-5 times weekly, knowing students to increase accountability, email as preferred communication tool, and computer access for adequate online learning. About 42.9% agreed on syllabus for clear class expectations, participation to show what has been learned, and energizing students for creativity.

Keywords: Class facilitation, class management, online teaching, online education, pedagogy.

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6664 The Application of International Law in Terms of Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and Another v Minister of Energy and Others 65662/16 (2017) Case

Authors: M. van der Bank

Abstract:

This study involves a legal analysis of the case Earthlife Africa Johannesburg v Minister of Environmental Affairs and Others. The case considered the impact of the Thabametsi Power Project if it operated to the expected year 2060 on the global climate and ever-changing climate, in South Africa. This judgment highlights the significance, place and principles of climate change and where climate change impacts the South African environmental law which has its founding principles in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. This paper seeks to examine the advances for climate change regulation and application in terms of international law, in South Africa, through a qualitative study involving comparative national and international case law. A literature review study was conducted to compare and contrast the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands with reference to international law and interpretation. The relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act will be discussed. It then proceeds to outline the potential liability of the Minister in the interpretation and application of international law.

Keywords: Climate change, environment, environmental review, international law, principles.

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6663 Non-parametric Linear Technique for Measuring the Efficiency of Winter Road Maintenance in the Arctic Area

Authors: Mahshid Hatamzad, Geanette Polanco

Abstract:

Improving the performance of Winter Road Maintenance (WRM) can increase the traffic safety and reduce the cost as well as environmental impacts. This study evaluates the efficiency of WRM technique, named salting, in the Arctic area by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a non-parametric linear method to measure the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMUs) based on handling multiple inputs and multiple outputs at the same time that their associated weights are not known. Here, roads are considered as DMUs for which the efficiency must be determined. The three input variables considered are traffic flow, road area and WRM cost. In addition, the two output variables included are level of safety in the roads and environment impacts resulted from WRM, which is also considered as an uncontrollable factor in the second scenario. The results show the performance of DMUs from the most efficient WRM to the inefficient/least efficient one and this information provides decision makers with technical support and the required suggested improvements for inefficient WRM, in order to achieve a cost-effective WRM and a safe road transportation during wintertime in the Arctic areas.

Keywords: DEA, environmental impacts, risk and safety, WRM.

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6662 The Gravitational Impact of the Sun and the Moon on Heavy Mineral Deposits and Dust Particles in Low Gravity Regions of the Earth

Authors: T. B. Karu Jayasundara

Abstract:

The Earth’s gravity is not uniform. The satellite imageries of the Earth’s surface from NASA reveal a number of different gravity anomaly regions all over the globe. When the moon rotates around the earth, its gravity has a major physical influence on a number of regions on the earth. This physical change can be seen by the tides. The tides make sea levels high and low in coastal regions. During high tide, the gravitational force of the Moon pulls the Earth’s gravity so that the total gravitational intensity of Earth is reduced; it is further reduced in the low gravity regions of Earth. This reduction in gravity helps keep the suspended particles such as dust in the atmosphere, sand grains in the sea water for longer. Dramatic differences can be seen from the floating dust in the low gravity regions when compared with other regions. The above phenomena can be demonstrated from experiments. The experiments have to be done in high and low gravity regions of the earth during high and low tide, which will assist in comparing the final results. One of the experiments that can be done is by using a water filled cylinder about 80 cm tall, a few particles, which have the same density and same diameter (about 1 mm) and a stop watch. The selected particles were dropped from the surface of the water in the cylinder and the time taken for the particles to reach the bottom of the cylinder was measured using the stop watch. The times of high and low tide charts can be obtained from the regional government authorities. This concept is demonstrated by the particle drop times taken at high and low tides. The result of the experiment shows that the particle settlement time is less in low tide and high in high tide. The experiment for dust particles in air can be collected on filters, which are cellulose ester membranes and using a vacuum pump. The dust on filters can be used to make slides according to the NOHSC method. Counting the dust particles on the slides can be done using a phase contrast microscope. The results show that the concentration of dust is high at high tide and low in low tide. As a result of the high tides, a high concentration of heavy minerals deposit on placer deposits and dust particles retain in the atmosphere for longer in low gravity regions. These conditions are remarkably exhibited in the lowest low gravity region of the earth, mainly in the regions of India, Sri Lanka and in the middle part of the Indian Ocean. The biggest heavy mineral placer deposits are found in coastal regions of India and Sri Lanka and heavy dust particles are found in the atmosphere of India, particularly in the Delhi region.

Keywords: Dust particles, high and low tides, heavy minerals. low gravity.

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6661 Effect of Runup over a Vertical Pile Supported Caisson Breakwater and Quarter Circle Pile Supported Caisson Breakwater

Authors: T. J. Jemi Jeya, V. Sriram

Abstract:

Pile Supported Caisson breakwater is an ecofriendly breakwater very useful in coastal zone protection. The model is developed by considering the advantages of both caisson breakwater and pile supported breakwater, where the top portion is a vertical or quarter circle caisson and the bottom portion consists of a pile supported breakwater defined as Vertical Pile Supported Breakwater (VPSCB) and Quarter-circle Pile Supported Breakwater (QPSCB). The study mainly focuses on comparison of run up over VPSCB and QPSCB under oblique waves. The experiments are carried out in a shallow wave basin under different water depths (d = 0.5 m & 0.55 m) and under different oblique regular waves (00, 150, 300). The run up over the surface is measured by placing two run up probes over the surface at 0.3 m on both sides from the centre of the model. The results show that the non-dimensional shoreward run up shows slight decrease with respect to increase in angle of wave attack.

Keywords: Caisson breakwater, pile supported breakwater, quarter circle breakwater, vertical breakwater.

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6660 The Role of Food System in Promoting Environmental Planning

Authors: Rayeheh Khatami, Toktam Hanaei, Mohammad Reza Mansouri Daneshvar

Abstract:

Today, many local and national governments are developing urban agriculture as an effective tool in responding to challenges such as food security, poverty and environmental problems. In fact, urban agriculture plays an important role in food system, which can provide citizens' income and become one of the components of economic, social and environmental systems. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the urban agriculture and urban food systems in order to understand the impact of urban foods production on environmental planning in non-western city region context. To achieve such objective, we carry out a case study in Mashhad city of Iran by using qualitative approaches. A survey on documentary studies and planning tools integrate with face to face interview with experts which explain the role of food system in environmental planning process. The paper extends the use of food in the environmental planning, specifically to examine this role to create agricultural garden as a mean to improve agricultural system in non-western country. The paper is concluded with a set of recommendations for researchers and policymakers who seek to create spaces in order to implement urban agriculture in cities for food justice.

Keywords: Urban agriculture, food system, environmental planning, agricultural garden, Mashhad.

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6659 Social Interaction Dynamics Exploration: The Case Study of El Sherouk City

Authors: Nardine El Bardisy, Wolf Reuter, Ayat Ismail

Abstract:

In Egypt, there is continuous housing demand as a result of rapid population growth. In 1979, this forced the government to establish new urban communities in order to decrease stress around delta. New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) was formulated to take the responsibly of this new policy. These communities suffer from social life deficiency due to their typology, which is separated island with barriers. New urban communities’ typology results from the influence of neoliberalism movement and modern city planning forms. The lack of social interaction in these communities at present should be enhanced in the future. On a global perspective, sustainable development calls for creating more sustainable communities which include social, economic and environmental aspects. From 1960, planners were highly focusing on the promotion of the social dimension in urban development plans. The research hypothesis states: “It is possible to promote social interaction in new urban communities through a set of socio-spatial recommended strategies that are tailored for Greater Cairo Region context”. In order to test this hypothesis, the case of El-Sherouk city is selected, which represents the typical NUCA development plans. Social interaction indicators were derived from literature and used to explore different social dynamics in the selected case. The tools used for exploring case study are online questionnaires, face to face questionnaires, interviews, and observations. These investigations were analyzed, conclusions and recommendations were set to improve social interaction.

Keywords: New urban communities, modern planning, social Interaction, Social life.

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6658 Large Amplitude Free Vibration of a Very Sag Marine Cable

Authors: O. Punjarat, S. Chucheepsakul, T. Phanyasahachart

Abstract:

This paper focuses on a variational formulation of large amplitude free vibration behavior of a very sag marine cable. In the static equilibrium state, the marine cable has a very large sag configuration. In the motion state, the marine cable is assumed to vibrate in in-plane motion with large amplitude from the static equilibrium position. The total virtual work-energy of the marine cable at the dynamic state is formulated which involves the virtual strain energy due to axial deformation, the virtual work done by effective weight, and the inertia forces. The equations of motion for the large amplitude free vibration of marine cable are obtained by taking into account the difference between the Euler’s equation in the static state and the displaced state. Based on the Galerkin finite element procedure, the linear and nonlinear stiffness matrices, and mass matrices of the marine cable are obtained and the eigenvalue problem is solved. The natural frequency spectrum and the large amplitude free vibration behavior of marine cable are presented.

Keywords: Axial deformation, free vibration, Galerkin Finite Element Method, large amplitude, variational method.

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6657 Two Lessons Learnt in Defining Intersections and Interfaces in Numerical Modeling with Plaxis

Authors: Mahdi Sadeghian, Somaye Sadeghian, Reza Dinarvand

Abstract:

This paper is going to discuss two issues encountered in using PLAXIS. Both issues were monitored during application of PLAXIS to estimate the excavation-induced displacement. Column Soil Mixing (CSM) was applied to stabilise the excavation. It was understood that the estimated excavation induced deformation at the top of the CSM blocks highly depends on the material type defining pavement material adjacent to the CSM blocks. Cohesive material for pavement will result in the unrealistic connection between pavement and CSM even by defining an interface element. To find the most realistic approach, the interface defined in three different manners (1) no interface elements were applied (2) a non-cohesive soil layer was defined between pavement and CSM block to represent the friction between these materials (3) built-in interface elements in PLAXIS was used to define the boundary between the pavement and the CSM block. The result showed that the option 2 would result in more realistic results. The second issue was in the modelling of the contact line between the CSM block and an inclined layer underneath. The analysis result showed that the excavation-induced deformation highly depends on how the PLAXIS user defines the contact area. It was understood that if the contact area had defined as a point in which CSM block had intersected the layer underneath the estimated lateral displacement of CSM block would be unrealistically lower than the model in which the contact area was defined as a line.

Keywords: PLAXIS, FEM, CSM, excavation-induced deformation.

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6656 Mechanical Contribution of Silica Fume and Hydrated Lime Addition in Mortars Assessed by Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Tests

Authors: Nacim Khelil, Amar Kahil, Said Boukais

Abstract:

The aim of the present study is to investigate the changes in the mechanical properties of mortars including additions of Condensed Silica Fume (CSF), Hydrated Lime (CH) or both at various amounts (5% to 15% of cement replacement) and high water ratios (w/b) (0.4 to 0.7). The physical and mechanical changes in the mixes were evaluated using non-destructive tests (Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity (UPV)) and destructive tests (crushing tests) on 28 day-long specimens consecutively, in order to assess CSF and CH replacement rate influence on the mechanical and physical properties of the mortars, as well as CSF-CH pre-mixing on the improvement of these properties. A significant improvement of the mechanical properties of the CSF, CSF-CH mortars, has been noted. CSF-CH mixes showed the best improvements exceeding 50% improvement, showing the sizable pozzolanic reaction contribution to the specimen strength development. UPV tests have shown increased velocities for CSF and CSH mixes, however no proportional evolution with compressive strengths could be noted. The results of the study show that CSF-CH addition could represent a suitable solution to significantly increase the mechanical properties of mortars.

Keywords: Compressive strength, condensed silica fume, hydrated lime, pozzolanic reaction, UPV testing.

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6655 Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety

Authors: Klementina Puto, Ermelinda Nexhipi, Evi Llaka

Abstract:

Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.

Keywords: Consumer, health, dairy, by-products, microbial.

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6654 Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment

Authors: Tatsuya Kasuga, Hidehisa Shimada, Kimio Oguchi

Abstract:

Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.

Keywords: Electric power consumption, LED color, LED lighting, plant factory.

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6653 Adsorption and Electrochemical Regeneration for Industrial Wastewater Treatment

Authors: H. M. Mohammad, A. Martin, N. Brown, N. Hodson, P. Hill, E. Roberts

Abstract:

Graphite intercalation compound (GIC) has been demonstrated to be a useful, low capacity and rapid adsorbent for the removal of organic micropollutants from water. The high electrical conductivity and low capacity of the material lends itself to electrochemical regeneration. Following electrochemical regeneration, equilibrium loading under similar conditions is reported to exceed that achieved by the fresh adsorbent. This behavior is reported in terms of the regeneration efficiency being greater than 100%. In this work, surface analysis techniques are employed to investigate the material in three states: ‘Fresh’, ‘Loaded’ and ‘Regenerated’. ‘Fresh’ GIC is shown to exhibit a hydrogen and oxygen rich surface layer approximately 150 nm thick. ‘Loaded’ GIC shows a similar but slightly thicker surface layer (approximately 370 nm thick) and significant enhancement in the hydrogen and oxygen abundance extending beyond 600 nm from the surface. 'Regenerated’ GIC shows an oxygen rich layer, slightly thicker than the fresh case at approximately 220 nm while showing a very much lower hydrogen enrichment at the surface. Results demonstrate that while the electrochemical regeneration effectively removes the phenol model pollutant, it also oxidizes the exposed carbon surface. These results may have a significant impact on the estimation of adsorbent life.

Keywords: Graphite, adsorbent, electrochemical, regeneration, phenol.

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6652 Online Graduate Students’ Perspective on Engagement in Active Learning in the United States

Authors: Ehi E. Aimiuwu

Abstract:

As of 2017, many researchers in educational journals are still wondering if students are effectively and efficiently engaged in active learning in the online learning environment. The goal of this qualitative single case study and narrative research is to explore if students are actively engaged in their online learning. Seven online students in the United States from LinkedIn and residencies were interviewed for this study. Eleven online learning techniques from research were used as a framework.  Data collection tools were used for the study that included a digital audiotape, observation sheet, interview protocol, transcription, and NVivo 12 Plus qualitative software.  Data analysis process, member checking, and key themes were used to reach saturation. About 85.7% of students preferred individual grading. About 71.4% of students valued professor’s interacting 2-3 times weekly, participating through posts and responses, having good internet access, and using email.  Also, about 57.1% said students log in 2-3 times weekly to daily, professor’s social presence helps, regular punctuality in work submission, and prefer assessments style of research, essay, and case study.  About 42.9% appreciated syllabus usefulness and professor’s expertise.

Keywords: Class facilitation, course management, online teaching, online education, student engagement.

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6651 Assessment of Soil Contamination on the Content of Macro and Microelements and the Quality of Grass Pea Seeds (Lathyrus sativus L.)

Authors: Violina R. Angelova

Abstract:

Comparative research has been conducted to allow us to determine the content of macro and microelements in the vegetative and reproductive organs of grass pea and the quality of grass pea seeds, as well as to identify the possibility of grass pea growth on soils contaminated by heavy metals. The experiment was conducted on an agricultural field subjected to contamination from the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (MFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The experimental plots were situated at different distances of 0.5 km and 8 km, respectively, from the source of pollution. On reaching commercial ripeness the grass pea plants were gathered. The composition of the macro and microelements in plant materials (roots, stems, leaves, seeds), and the dry matter content, sugars, proteins, fats and ash contained in the grass pea seeds were determined. Translocation factors (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BCF) were also determined. The quantitative measurements were carried out through inductively-coupled plasma (ICP). The grass pea plant can successfully be grown on soils contaminated by heavy metals. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the grass pea seeds. The seeds of the grass pea contain significant amounts of nutrients (K, P, Cu, Fe Mn, Zn) and protein (23.18-29.54%). The distribution of heavy metals in the organs of the grass pea has a selective character, which reduces in the following order: leaves > roots > stems > seeds. BCF and TF values were greater than one suggesting efficient accumulation in the above ground parts of grass pea plant. Grass pea is a plant that is tolerant to heavy metals and can be referred to the accumulator plants. The results provide valuable information about the chemical and nutritional composition of the seeds of the grass pea grown on contaminated soils in Bulgaria. The high content of macro and microelements and the low concentrations of toxic elements in the grass pea grown in contaminated soil make it possible to use the seeds of the grass pea as animal feed.

Keywords: Grass pea, heavy metals, micro and macroelements, polluted soils, quality.

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6650 Postbuckling Analysis of End Supported Rods under Self-Weight Using Intrinsic Coordinate Finite Elements

Authors: C. Juntarasaid, T. Pulngern, S. Chucheepsakul

Abstract:

A formulation of postbuckling analysis of end supported rods under self-weight has been presented by the variational method. The variational formulation involving the strain energy due to bending and the potential energy of the self-weight, are expressed in terms of the intrinsic coordinates. The variational formulation is accomplished by introducing the Lagrange multiplier technique to impose the boundary conditions. The finite element method is used to derive a system of nonlinear equations resulting from the stationary of the total potential energy and then Newton-Raphson iterative procedure is applied to solve this system of equations. The numerical results demonstrate the postbluckled configurations of end supported rods under self-weight. This finite element method based on variational formulation expressed in term of intrinsic coordinate is highly recommended for postbuckling analysis of end-supported rods under self-weight.

Keywords: Variational method, postbuckling, finite element method, intrinsic coordinate.

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6649 Assessment of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Street Vendors in Mangaung Metro South Africa

Authors: Gaofetoge Lenetha, Malerato Moloi, Ntsoaki Malebo

Abstract:

Microbial contamination of ready-to-eat foods and beverages sold by street vendors has become an important public health issue. In developing countries including South Africa, health risks related to such kinds of foods are thought to be common. Thus, this study assessed knowledge, attitude and practices of street food vendors. Street vendors in the city of Mangaung Metro were investigated in order to assess their knowledge, attitudes and handling practices. A semi-structured questionnaire and checklist were used in interviews to determine the status of the vending sites and associa. ted food-handling practices. Data was collected by means of a face-to-face interview. The majority of respondents were black females. Hundred percent (100%) of the participants did not have any food safety training. However, street vendors showed a positive attitude towards food safety. Despite the positive attitude, vendors showed some non-compliance when it comes to handling food. During the survey, it was also observed that the vending stalls lack basic infrastructures like toilets and potable water that is currently a major problem. This study indicates a need for improvements in the environmental conditions at these sites to prevent foodborne diseases. Moreover, based on the results observed food safety and food hygiene training or workshops for street vendors are highly recommended.

Keywords: Food hygiene, foodborne illnesses, food safety, street foods.

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6648 Electrochemical Response Transductions of Graphenated-Polyaniline Nanosensor for Environmental Anthracene

Authors: O. Tovide, N. Jahed, N. Mohammed, C. E. Sunday, H. R. Makelane, R. F. Ajayi, K. M. Molapo, A. Tsegaye, M. Masikini, S. Mailu, A. Baleg, T. Waryo, P. G. Baker, E. I. Iwuoha

Abstract:

A graphenated–polyaniline (GR-PANI) nanocomposite sensor was constructed and used for the determination of anthracene. The direct electro-oxidation behavior of anthracene on the GR-PANI modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was used as the sensing principle. The results indicate thatthe response profile of the oxidation of anthracene on GR-PANI-modified GCE provides for the construction of sensor systems based onamperometric and potentiometric signal transductions. A dynamic linear range of 0.12- 100 µM anthracene and a detection limit of 0.044 µM anthracene were established for the sensor system.

Keywords: Electrochemical sensors, environmental pollutants, graphenated-polymers, polyaromatic hydrocarbon.

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6647 Dynamic Study on the Evaluation of the Settlement of Soil under Sea Dam

Authors: Faroudja Meziani, Amar Kahil

Abstract:

In order to study the variation in settlement of soil under a dyke dam, the modelisation in our study consists of applying an imposed displacement at the base of the mass of soil (consisting of a saturated sand). The imposed displacement follows the evolution of acceleration of the earthquake of Boumerdes 2003 in Algeria. Moreover, the gravity load is taken into consideration by taking account the specific weight of the materials constituting the dyke. The results obtained show that the gravity loads have a direct influence on the evolution of settlement, especially at the center of the dyke where these loads are higher.

Keywords: Settlement, dynamic analysis, rockfill dam, effect of earthquake, soil dynamics.

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6646 Leveraging xAPI in a Corporate e-Learning Environment to Facilitate the Tracking, Modelling, and Predictive Analysis of Learner Behaviour

Authors: Libor Zachoval, Daire O Broin, Oisin Cawley

Abstract:

E-learning platforms, such as Blackboard have two major shortcomings: limited data capture as a result of the limitations of SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and lack of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms which could lead to better course adaptations. With the recent development of Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI), a large amount of additional types of data can be captured and that opens a window of possibilities from which online education can benefit. In a corporate setting, where companies invest billions on the learning and development of their employees, some learner behaviours can be troublesome for they can hinder the knowledge development of a learner. Behaviours that hinder the knowledge development also raise ambiguity about learner’s knowledge mastery, specifically those related to gaming the system. Furthermore, a company receives little benefit from their investment if employees are passing courses without possessing the required knowledge and potential compliance risks may arise. Using xAPI and rules derived from a state-of-the-art review, we identified three learner behaviours, primarily related to guessing, in a corporate compliance course. The identified behaviours are: trying each option for a question, specifically for multiple-choice questions; selecting a single option for all the questions on the test; and continuously repeating tests upon failing as opposed to going over the learning material. These behaviours were detected on learners who repeated the test at least 4 times before passing the course. These findings suggest that gauging the mastery of a learner from multiple-choice questions test scores alone is a naive approach. Thus, next steps will consider the incorporation of additional data points, knowledge estimation models to model knowledge mastery of a learner more accurately, and analysis of the data for correlations between knowledge development and identified learner behaviours. Additional work could explore how learner behaviours could be utilised to make changes to a course. For example, course content may require modifications (certain sections of learning material may be shown to not be helpful to many learners to master the learning outcomes aimed at) or course design (such as the type and duration of feedback).

Keywords: Compliance Course, Corporate Training, Learner Behaviours, xAPI.

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6645 Reliability Based Investigation on the Choice of Characteristic Soil Properties

Authors: Jann-Eike Saathoff, Kirill Alexander Schmoor, Martin Achmus, Mauricio Terceros

Abstract:

By using partial factors of safety, uncertainties due to the inherent variability of the soil properties and loads are taken into account in the geotechnical design process. According to the reliability index concept in Eurocode-0 in conjunction with Eurocode-7 a minimum safety level of β = 3.8 for reliability class RC2 shall be established. The reliability of the system depends heavily on the choice of the prespecified safety factor and the choice of the characteristic soil properties. The safety factors stated in the standards are mainly based on experience. However, no general accepted method for the calculation of a characteristic value within the current design practice exists. In this study, a laterally loaded monopile is investigated and the influence of the chosen quantile values of the deterministic system, calculated with p-y springs, will be presented. Monopiles are the most common foundation concepts for offshore wind energy converters. Based on the calculations for non-cohesive soils, a recommendation for an appropriate quantile value for the necessary safety level according to the standards for a deterministic design is given.

Keywords: Asymptotic sampling, characteristic value, monopile foundation, probabilistic design, quantile values.

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6644 A Bacterial Foraging Optimization Algorithm Applied to the Synthesis of Polyacrylamide Hydrogels

Authors: Florin Leon, Silvia Curteanu

Abstract:

The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.

Keywords: Bacterial foraging optimization, hydrogels, neural networks, modeling.

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6643 A Legal Opinion on Mitigation and Adaptation on Air Pollution Strategies for Local Governments in South Africa

Authors: Marjone Van Der Bank, C. M. Van Der Bank

Abstract:

This paper presents an overview of the foundation and evolution of environmental related problems in local governments with specific reference on air pollution in South Africa. Local government has a direct mandate in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (hereafter, the Constitution). This mandate to protect, fulfil, respect and promote the Bill of Rights by local governments in respect of the powers and functions creates confusion around the role of where a local government fits in, in addressing the problem of climate change in South Africa. A reflection of the evolving legislations, developments, and processes regarding climate change that shaped local government dispensation in South Africa is addressed by the notion of developmental local governments. This paper seeks to examine the advances for mitigation and adaptation regulation of air pollution and application in South Africa. This study involves a qualitative approach that will involve South African national legislation as well as an interpretation of international strategies. A literature review study was conducted to undertake the various aspects of law in order to support the argument undertaken of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The paper presents a detailed discussion of the current legislation and the position as it currently stands, as well as the relevant protections as outlined in the National Environmental Management Act and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act. It then proceeds to outline the responsibilities of local governments in South Africa to mitigate and adapt to air pollution strategies.

Keywords: Adaptation, climate change, disaster, local governments, mitigation.

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6642 Studying the Moisture Sources and the Stable Isotope Characteristic of Moisture in Northern Khorasan Province, North-Eastern Iran

Authors: Mojtaba Heydarizad, Hamid Ghalibaf Mohammadabadi

Abstract:

Iran is a semi-arid and arid country in south-western Asia in the Middle East facing intense climatological drought from the early times. Therefore, studying the precipitation events and the moisture sources and air masses causing precipitation has great importance in this region. In this study, the moisture sources and stable isotope content of precipitation moisture in three main events in 2015 have been studied in North-Eastern Iran. HYSPLIT model backward trajectories showed that the Caspian Sea and the mixture of the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas are dominant moisture sources for the studied events. This showed the role of cP (Siberian) and Mediterranean (MedT) air masses. Stable isotope studies showed that precipitation events originated from the Caspian Sea with lower Sea Surface Temperature (SST) have more depleted isotope values. However, precipitation events sourced from the mixture of the Caspian and the Mediterranean Seas (with higher SST) showed more enriched isotope values.

Keywords: HYSPLIT, Iran, Northern Khorasan, stable isotopes.

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6641 Communication in a Heterogeneous Ad Hoc Network

Authors: C. Benjbara, A. Habbani

Abstract:

Wireless networks are getting more and more used in every new technology or feature, especially those without infrastructure (Ad hoc mode) which provide a low cost alternative to the infrastructure mode wireless networks and a great flexibility for application domains such as environmental monitoring, smart cities, precision agriculture, and so on. These application domains present a common characteristic which is the need of coexistence and intercommunication between modules belonging to different types of ad hoc networks like wireless sensor networks, mesh networks, mobile ad hoc networks, vehicular ad hoc networks, etc. This vision to bring to life such heterogeneous networks will make humanity duties easier but its development path is full of challenges. One of these challenges is the communication complexity between its components due to the lack of common or compatible protocols standard. This article proposes a new patented routing protocol based on the OLSR standard in order to resolve the heterogeneous ad hoc networks communication issue. This new protocol is applied on a specific network architecture composed of MANET, VANET, and FANET.

Keywords: Ad hoc, heterogeneous, ID-Node, OLSR.

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6640 Total Organic Carbon, Porosity and Permeability Correlation: A Tool for Carbon Dioxide Storage Potential Evaluation in Irati Formation of the Parana Basin, Brazil

Authors: Richardson M. Abraham-A., Colombo Celso Gaeta Tassinari

Abstract:

The correlation between Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and flow units have been carried out to predict and compare the carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential of the shale and carbonate rocks in Irati Formation of the Parana Basin. The equations for permeability (K), reservoir quality index (RQI) and flow zone indicator (FZI) are redefined and engaged to evaluate the flow units in both potential reservoir rocks. Shales show higher values of TOC compared to carbonates, as such,  porosity (Ф) is most likely to be higher in shales compared to carbonates. The increase in Ф corresponds to the increase in K (in both rocks). Nonetheless, at lower values of Ф, K is higher in carbonates compared to shales. This shows that at lower values of TOC in carbonates, Ф is low, yet, K is likely to be high compared to shale. In the same vein, at higher values of TOC in shales, Ф is high, yet, K is expected to be low compared to carbonates.  Overall, the flow unit factors (RQI and FZI) are better in the carbonates compared to the shales. Moreso, within the study location,  there are some portions where the thicknesses of the carbonate units are higher compared to the shale units. Most parts of the carbonate strata in the study location are fractured in situ, hence,  this could provide easy access for the storage of CO2. Therefore, based on these points and the disparities between the flow units in the evaluated rock types, the carbonate units are expected to show better potentials for the storage of CO2. The shale units may be considered as potential cap rocks or seals.

Keywords: Total organic carbon, flow units, carbon dioxide storage.

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6639 Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation

Authors: Kalsoom Sumra

Abstract:

The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

Keywords: Public service ethics, accountability and transparency, public service reforms, public administration, organizational ethical climate.

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6638 Comparison between Open and Closed System for Dewatering with Geotextile: Field and Comparative Study

Authors: Matheus Müller, Delma Vidal

Abstract:

The present paper aims to expose two techniques of dewatering for sludge, analyzing its operations and dewatering processes, aiming at improving the conditions of disposal of residues with high liquid content. It describes the field tests performed on two geotextile systems, a closed geotextile tube and an open geotextile drying bed, both of which are submitted to two filling cycles. The sludge used in the filling cycles for the field trials is from the water treatment plant of the Technological Center of Aeronautics – CTA, in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Data about volume and height abatement due to the dewatering and consolidation were collected per time, until it was observed constancy. With the laboratory analysis of the sludge allied to the data collected in the field, it was possible to perform a critical comparative study between the observed and the scientific literature, in this way, this paper expresses the data obtained and compares them with the bibliography. The tests were carried out on three fronts: field tests, including the filling cycles of the systems with the sludge from CTA, taking measurements of filling time per cycle and maximum filling height per cycle, heights against the abatement by dewatering of the systems over time; tests carried out in the laboratory, including the characterization of the sludge and removal of material samples from the systems to ascertain the solids content within the systems per time and; comparing the data obtained in the field and laboratory tests with the scientific literature. Through the study, it was possible to perceive that the process of densification of the material inside a closed system, such as the geotextile tube, occurs faster than the observed in the drying bed system. This process of accelerated densification can be brought about by the pumping pressure of the sludge in its filling and by the confinement of the residue through the permeable geotextile membrane (allowing water to pass through), accelerating the process of densification and dewatering by its own weight after the filling with sludge.

Keywords: Consolidation, dewatering, geotextile drying bed, geotextile tube.

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6637 Performance Comparison of Cooperative Banks in the EU, USA and Canada

Authors: Matěj Kuc

Abstract:

This paper compares different types of profitability measures of cooperative banks from two developed regions: the European Union and the United States of America together with Canada. We created balanced dataset of more than 200 cooperative banks covering 2011-2016 period. We made series of tests and run Random Effects estimation on panel data. We found that American and Canadian cooperatives are more profitable in terms of return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). There is no significant difference in net interest margin (NIM). Our results show that the North American cooperative banks accommodated better to the current market environment.

Keywords: Cooperative banking, panel data, profitability measures, random effects.

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6636 Detergent Removal from Rinsing Water by Peroxi Electrocoagulation Process

Authors: A. Benhadji, M. Taleb Ahmed

Abstract:

Among the various methods of treatment, advanced oxidation processes (AOP) are the most promising ones. In this study, Peroxi Electrocoagulation Process (PEP) was investigated for the treatment of detergent wastewater. The process was compared with electrooxidation treatment. The results showed that chemical oxygen demand (COD) was high 7584 mgO2.L-1, while the biochemical oxygen demand was low (250 mgO2.L-1). This wastewater was hardly biodegradable. Electrochemical process was carried out for the removal of detergent using a glass reactor with a volume of 1 L and fitted with three electrodes. A direct current (DC) supply was used. Samples were taken at various current density (0.0227 A/cm2 to 0.0378 A/cm2) and reaction time (1-2-3-4 and 5 hour). Finally, the COD was determined. The results indicated that COD removal efficiency of PEP was observed to increase with current intensity and reached to 77% after 5 h. The highest removal efficiency was observed after 5 h of treatment.

Keywords: Advanced oxidation processes, chemical oxygen demand, COD, detergent, peroxi electrocoagulation process, PEP, wastewater

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