Research

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  • Toronto’s Urban Heat Island - Exploring the Relationship between Land Use and Surface Temperature
    Toronto’s Urban Heat Island - Exploring the Relationship between Land Use and Surface Temperature
    The urban heat island effect is linked to the built environment and threatens human health during extreme heat events. In this study, we analyzed whether characteristic land uses within an urban area are associated with higher or lower surface temperatures, and whether concentrations of "hot" land uses exacerbate this relationship. Zonal statistics on a thermal remote sensing image for the City of Toronto revealed statistically significant differences between high average temperatures for commercial and resource/industrial land use (29.1 °C), and low average temperatures for parks and recreational land (25.1 °C) and water bodies (23.1 °C). Furthermore, higher concentrations of either of these land uses were associated with more extreme surface temperatures. We also present selected neighborhoods to illustrate these results. The paper concludes by recommending that municipal planners and decision-makers formulate policies and regulations that are specific to the problematic land uses, in order to mitigate extreme heat.
    Toward 2020 : new directions in journalism education.
    Toward 2020 : new directions in journalism education.
    With one exception (the keynote address by Robert Picard), all of the essays in this volume are expanded versions of presentations made at the conference “Toward 2020: New Directions in Journalism Education,” held at Ryerson University in Toronto on 31 May 2014. Testifying to the urgent interest in professional renewal among journalism educators, more than one hundred people from Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia attended the conference. The papers published here represent a reasonable cross-section of the issues discussed. The authors advance different ideas about where journalism education should go from here; at times they disagree with one another, but all share the underlying view that if business as usual was ever a viable option, this clearly is no longer the case., Allen, G., Craft, S., Waddell, C., Young, M. L., & Ryerson Journalism Research Centre. (2015). Toward 2020: New directions in journalism education Ryerson Journalism Research Centre.
    Toward Press Council 2.0: An international review of models of, and alternatives to, the traditional press council
    Toward Press Council 2.0: An international review of models of, and alternatives to, the traditional press council
    This paper presents an overview of preliminary results from a comparative study of existing press council models in Canadian provinces and similar democracies abroad. Gathering information by a combination of survey and qualitative-interview methodologies, we are analyzing the relative effectiveness of, and difficulties faced by, varying models of councils. Among the issues to be analyzed are: how existing models of Canadian press councils compare with one another, and with models operating in other democracies; how various stakeholders define the purpose(s) of press councils; the difficulties faced by existing and defunct provincial news councils in achieving their various goals; whether a national press council may be viable and, if so, what the key function(s) of a national press council might be., Shapiro, Ivor and Lisa Taylor. 2012. Toward Press Council 2.0: An international review of models of, and alternatives to, the traditional press council. Proceedings of the 2012 annual conference of the Canadian Communication Association. Availablevia: <http://cca.kingsjournalism.com/?p=175>.
    Towards Understanding the Nature of High Frequency Ultrasound Backscatter from Cells and Tissues: an Investigation of Backscatter Power Spectra from Different Concentrations of Cells of Different Sizes
    Towards Understanding the Nature of High Frequency Ultrasound Backscatter from Cells and Tissues: an Investigation of Backscatter Power Spectra from Different Concentrations of Cells of Different Sizes
    Online version of an conference paper originally published as: Towards understanding the nature of high frequency ultrasound backscatter from cells and tissues: an investigation of backscatter power spectra from different concentrations of cells of different sizes. M.C. Kolios, G.J. Czarnota, A. Worthington, A. Giles, A.S. Tunis and M.D. Sherar, In Proceedings of the 2004 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium Publisher URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?isnumber=30603&arnumber=1417798&count=203&index=156
    Towards an Automatic Ice Navigation Support System in the Arctic Sea
    Towards an Automatic Ice Navigation Support System in the Arctic Sea
    Conventional ice navigation in the sea is manually operated by well-trained navigators, whose experiences are heavily relied upon to guarantee the ship’s safety. Despite the increasingly available ice data and information, little has been done to develop an automatic ice navigation support system to better guide ships in the sea. In this study, using the vector-formatted ice data and navigation codes in northern regions, we calculate ice numeral and divide sea area into two parts: continuous navigable area and the counterpart numerous separate unnavigable area. We generate Voronoi Diagrams for the obstacle areas and build a road network-like graph for connections in the sea. Based on such a network, we design and develop a geographic information system (GIS) package to automatically compute the safest-and-shortest routes for different types of ships between origin and destination (OD) pairs. A visibility tool, Isovist, is also implemented to help automatically identify safe navigable areas in emergency situations. The developed GIS package is shared online as an open source project called NavSpace, available for validation and extension, e.g., indoor navigation service. This work would promote the development of ice navigation support system and potentially enhance the safety of ice navigation in the Arctic sea., Liu, X., Sattar, S., & Li, S. (2016). Towards an automatic ice navigation support system in the Arctic Sea. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 5(3), 36. doi:10.3390/ijgi5030036, (This article belongs to the Special Issue Bridging the Gap between Geospatial Theory and Technology)
    Tracking the cellulolytic activity of Clostridium thermocellum biofilms
    Tracking the cellulolytic activity of Clostridium thermocellum biofilms
    Background Microbial cellulose conversion by Clostridium thermocellum 27405 occurs predominantly through the activity of substrate-adherent bacteria organized in thin, primarily single cell-layered biofilms. The importance of cellulosic surface exposure to microbial hydrolysis has received little attention despite its implied impact on conversion kinetics. Results We showed the spatial heterogeneity of fiber distribution in pure cellulosic sheets, which made direct measurements of biofilm colonization and surface penetration impossible. Therefore, we utilized on-line measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) production in continuous-flow reactors, in conjunction with confocal imaging, to observe patterns of biofilm invasion and to indirectly estimate microbial accessibility to the substrate’s surface and the resulting limitations on conversion kinetics. A strong positive correlation was found between cellulose consumption and CO2 production (R2 = 0.996) and between surface area and maximum biofilm activity (R2 = 0.981). We observed an initial biofilm development rate (0.46 h-1, 0.34 h-1 and 0.33 h-1) on Whatman sheets (#1, #598 and #3, respectively) that stabilized when the accessible surface was maximally colonized. The results suggest that cellulose conversion kinetics is initially subject to a microbial limitation period where the substrate is in excess, followed by a substrate limitation period where cellular mass, in the form of biofilms, is not limiting. Accessible surface area acts as an important determinant of the respective lengths of these two distinct periods. At end-point fermentation, all sheets were digested predominantly under substrate accessibility limitations (e.g., up to 81% of total CO2 production for Whatman #1). Integration of CO2 production rates over time showed Whatman #3 underwent the fastest conversion efficiency under microbial limitation, suggestive of best biofilm penetration, while Whatman #1 exhibited the least recalcitrance and the faster degradation during the substrate limitation period. Conclusion The results showed that the specific biofilm development rate of cellulolytic bacteria such as C. thermocellum has a notable effect on overall reactor kinetics during the period of microbial limitation, when ca. 20% of cellulose conversion occurs. The study further demonstrated the utility of on-line CO2 measurements as a method to assess biofilm development and substrate digestibility pertaining to microbial solubilization of cellulose, which is relevant when considering feedstock pre-treatment options., Tracking the cellulolytic activity of Clostridium thermocellum biofilms by Alexandru Dumitrache; Gideon M Wolfaardt; David Grant Allen; more... Biotechnology for Biofuels, 01/2013, Volume 6, Issue 1
    Trade, growth, and convergence in a dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin model
    Trade, growth, and convergence in a dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin model
    In models in which convergence in income levels across closed countries is driven by faster accumulation of a productive factor in the poorer countries, opening these countries to trade can stop convergence and even cause divergence. We make this point using a dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin model — a combination of a static two-good, two-factor Heckscher-Ohlin trade model and a two-sector growth model — with infinitely lived consumers where international borrowing and lending are not permitted. We obtain two main results: First, countries that differ only in their initial endowments of capital per worker may converge or diverge in income levels over time, depending on the elasticity of substitution between traded goods. Divergence can occur for parameter values that would imply convergence in a world of closed economies and vice versa. Second, factor price equalization in a given period does not imply factor price equalization in future periods., Also available for download here: http://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedmsr/378.html
    Trainees’ self-reported challenges in knowledge translation practice and research
    Trainees’ self-reported challenges in knowledge translation practice and research
    Knowledge translation (KT) refers to the process of moving knowledge into healthcare practice and policy. The practice of KT is about helping decision-makers become aware of knowledge and facilitating their use of it in their day-to-day work. The science of KT is about studying the determinants of knowledge use and investigating strategies to support the adoption, implementation, and sustained use of knowledge in healthcare practice and policy. An increasing number of trainees are developing careers in KT practice and/or KT research. Given the infancy of this field, there may be unique challenges that trainees face as they develop their careers in KT. This paper is one of two from a study about KT trainees’ perspectives on KT research and practice. The purpose of this paper was to identify challenges that KT trainees face in their KT practice or research, Urquhart, R., Cornelissen, E., Lal, S., Newman, K., Van Eerd, D., Powell, B., & Chan, V. (2014). Trainees’ self-reported challenges in knowledge translation practice and research. BMC Health Services Research, 14(Suppl 2), P129. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-S2-P129
    Transforming faculty development programs from face-to-face to blended/hybrid environments
    Transforming faculty development programs from face-to-face to blended/hybrid environments
    Faculty development programs are critical to the success of the learning and teaching process in higher education. With the rapid development of blended courses there is a need to transform the face-to-face faculty development programs to blended programs. The transformation requires instructors to examine new teaching methods and techniques, and obtain new skill set to ensure the success of the learning process and students’ engagement in the new environment. Blended teaching is not just about transferring part of the training course online, but involves creating online activities that engage learners and complement the face-to-face activities. The role of the instructors changes from lecturer to facilitator of learning, coach and collaborator. Through participation in blended learning environments, instructors could experiment the new teaching strategies in a collaborative and safe environment. This paper presents the process, benefits and challenges of transforming the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) for instructors from a three-day twenty four hours intensive format to four-week blended format. The Instructional Skills Workshop is peer-based training in which participants interact and present lessons in small groups to develop effective instructional skills through the use of constructive feedback strategies. Strategies associated with the re-design process which is based on the instructional design theories and principles will be presented. The paper presents data from formative and summative evaluations on communication, instructional skills and course design. The recommendations will address best practices that could be used to transform many faculty development programs from face-to-face to blended formats. Keywords: Hybrid, Online, Blended Teaching, Blended Learning, Faculty Development Programs, Instructional Skills., Hanna, D. (2014). Transforming Faculty Development Programs From Face-To-Face To Blended/Hybrid Environments. Proceedings from: The 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED2014). Valencia, Spain: IATED.