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The impact of timing and magnitude of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation on local precipitation levels and temperatures in the Bay Area

Li et al. | May 09, 2021

The impact of timing and magnitude of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation on local precipitation levels and temperatures in the Bay Area

Understanding the relationships between temperature, MEI, SPI, and CO2 concentration is important as they measure the major influencers of California’s regional climate: temperature, ENSO, precipitation, and atmospheric CO2. In this article, the authors analyzed temperature, Multivariate El Niño-Southern Oscillation Index (MEI), and Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) data from the San Francisco Bay Area from 1971 to 2016. They also analyzed CO2 records from Mauna Loa, HI for the same time period, along with the annual temperature anomalies for the Bay Area.

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Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Zaroff et al. | Jul 15, 2021

Access to public parks, drinking fountains, and clean public drinking water in the Bay Area is not driven by income

Access to green space—an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an urban environment—and clean drinking water can be unequally distributed in urban spaces, which are often associated with income inequality. Little is known about public drinking water and green space inequities in the Bay Area. For our study, we sought to understand how public park access, drinking fountain access, and the quality of public drinking water differ across income brackets in the Bay Area. Though we observed smaller-scale instances of inequalities, in the park distribution in the Bay Area as a whole, and in the Southern Bay’s water quality and park distribution, our results indicate that other factors could be influencing water quality, and park and fountain access in the Bay Area.

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Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Photosynthetic Ability of Chaetoceros gracilis in the Monterey Bay

Harvell et al. | Jan 16, 2020

Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Photosynthetic Ability of <i>Chaetoceros gracilis</i> in the Monterey Bay

In this article, Harvell and Nicholson hypothesized that increased ocean acidity would decrease the photosynthetic ability of Chaetoceros gracilis, a diatom prolific in Monterey Bay, because of the usually corrosive effects of carbonic acid on both seashells and cells’ internal structures. They altered pH of algae environments and measured the photosynthetic ability of diatoms over four days by spectrophotometer. Overall, their findings indicate that C. gracilis may become more abundant in Monterey Bay as the pH of the ocean continues to drop, potentially contributing to harmful algal blooms.

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Ladder Fuel Treatments Effect Burn Area of Forest Fires in Semi-Arid High Elevation Climates

Schwartz et al. | Oct 05, 2020

Ladder Fuel Treatments Effect Burn Area of Forest Fires in Semi-Arid High Elevation Climates

In this study, the authors investigate a timely and important topic: forest fires. More specifically, they use a wildfire simulator to test how ladder fuels effect the burn area of a forest fire. Ladder fuels are fuels that cause a forest fire to rise up from the forest floor to the canopy, which may affect the overall spread. They simulated fire spread with different levels of ladder fuel treatment and found that the spread of a burn area would indeed decrease with increased ladder fuel treatment. These findings have important implications for forest and forest fire management.

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A comparative analysis of machine learning approaches for prediction of breast cancer

Nag et al. | May 11, 2021

A comparative analysis of machine learning approaches for prediction of breast cancer

Machine learning and deep learning techniques can be used to predict the early onset of breast cancer. The main objective of this analysis was to determine whether machine learning algorithms can be used to predict the onset of breast cancer with more than 90% accuracy. Based on research with supervised machine learning algorithms, Gaussian Naïve Bayes, K Nearest Algorithm, Random Forest, and Logistic Regression were considered because they offer a wide variety of classification methods and also provide high accuracy and performance. We hypothesized that all these algorithms would provide accurate results, and Random Forest and Logistic Regression would provide better accuracy and performance than Naïve Bayes and K Nearest Neighbor.

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Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Horton et al. | Sep 27, 2018

Using DNA Barcodes to Evaluate Ecosystem Health in the SWRCMS Reserve

Although the United States maintains millions of square kilometers of nature reserves to protect the biodiversity of the specimens living there, little is known about how confining these species within designated protected lands influences the genetic variation required for a healthy population. In this study, the authors sequenced genetic barcodes of insects from a recently established nature reserve, the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (SWRCMSR), and a non-protected area, the Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) Menifee campus, to compare the genetic variation between the two populations. Their results demonstrated that the midge fly population from the SWRCMSR had fewer unique DNA barcode sequence changes than the MSJC population, indicating that the comparatively younger nature reserve's population had likely not yet established its own unique genetic drift changes.

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Idotea balthica comparison: Anatomy, locomotion, and seaweed preference of Massachusetts isopods

Yee et al. | Feb 17, 2022

<em>Idotea balthica</em> comparison: Anatomy, locomotion, and seaweed preference of Massachusetts isopods

Here the authors examined a population of Massachusetts marine isopods, seeking to classify them based on comparison of their morphology, movement, and seaweed preference compared to those of known species. In this process they found that they were most similar to Idotea balthica. The authors suggest that this knowledge combined with monitoring populations of marine biology such as these isopods in different physical and ecological areas can provide useful insight into the effects of climate change.

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