An Inconclusive Summary

As I mentioned in my last post, I am far from finished with my research, the end goal being an article sent in to be published by the end of December. However, I accomplished much over the summer. I mapped 31 sites (10x10m sections of coral reef) for two species of coral and one type of disease. I found that the disease was more prevalent on one of the coral species. But I have not finished the spatial analyses because in the last few weeks, we changed the statistics we were using and I had to learn new methods of comparing the spatial data. I am still in the process of completing these analysis. I have managed to get my old disease transmission model code to work, but am now developing a new model involving use of a continuous function. My research is a work in progress, but my time spent at Mote brought me closer to my adviser, broadened my view of ocean acidification and coral disease research, and gave me valuable time to work on my project. I look forward to completing my research during this semester, even though right now it seems like having to take classes and graduate is taking away too much time from my research which is really all that I want to do.

Summing Up

Back from Tanzania and back on campus, I’ve had the chance to analyze my findings from the summer and reflect on my project as a whole. Overall in the span of about 5 week, I conducted 12 interviews with members of 11 organizations. All of my respondents were all professionals dealing with the implementation of Tanzania’s National Nutrition Strategy (NNS). Their organizations ranged from Tanzanian governmental agencies to UN bodies to private businesses. Their insights taught me about how nutritional policy is implemented, but more broadly about how international development is done.

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Summary of Efforts toward a Loline Synthesis

This summer I have been attempting a total synthesis of the natural compound loline. The summer commenced with running familiar reactions at larger scales to move more material forward in the route. We were able to improve the yield of the RCM (ring closing metathesis) to an impressive 89%, but this was coupled with continually inconsistent results with the preceding acylation. I then ran three new reactions to make the methyl ester carbamate that was critical to our 2011 synthesis. After some initial troubleshooting, I was able to produce the desired product in good yield. Unfortunately, the following reduction with Dibal-H had a negligible yield despite several revisions to the reaction and work up conditions. There are about four remaining steps to loline past this point, so it would be a futile pursuit to continue running this reaction.

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Brief Summary of Summer Work

This summer my partner and I looked closely at one model of zooplankton population.  Using this model we found that the mortality was one of the most sensitive parameters which implied that it is one of the most sensitive parameters in other zooplankton population models.  This supported the claim that the mortality term need more research and refinement.  Some of the work we did was included in a proposal for a NSF grant to continue research on zooplankton modeling.  We also looked at different types of mortality terms that include predation and competition to limit the growth the population, but more work is need to find which is best, if any.

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These are findings

Leitner et al. (2008) describe five main aspects of spatiality that should be accounted for in any analysis of a social movement or instance contentious politics (e.g. resistance): place, scale, networks, positionality and mobility. In keeping with their wishes to avoid anointing a master frame, I shall take this opportunity to describe how each of these concepts have appeared in relation to the case and in particular, my guiding research question: how does the materiality of of coal fired power plants affect the spatial distribution of resistance?

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