The climate change crisis is slowly destroying the forest ecosystem due to the effects of extreme weather, fires, and insect infestations. In Canada, trees play an essential role in our economy by supplying lumber to the global market and as an integral part of construction. This is increasingly so as architects continue to focus their attention on the use of mass timber. In order to address these demands, it is essential to provide a solution that maintains a healthy and diverse tree culture for a thriving forest ecosystem. This thesis will address the long-term goals of forest management in maintaining a sustainable forest ecosystem in Chibougamau, Quebec. The design proposal offers a tree nursery and forestry research center, focusing on the health of trees and biodiversity by growing saplings, collecting seeds, and research towards paving the way for revitalizing the forest ecosystem as an ongoing goal for the future.
Collaborative Writing (CW) is practiced widely across academic disciplines and in the business world (Lowry et al, 2004). Business schools are known for frequently using CW assignments as an instructional method (Gammie & Matteson, 2008), with the goal of improving students' writing skills and preparing them for professional responsibilities post graduation (Pettigrew et al., 2014). While business education has been widely researched (Pettigrew et al, 2014), little or no research has considered how the local influences of a business school's social context are reflected in the design of CW assignments. The present study addresses this gap, investigating how different aspects of the social context in a Canadian business school exert an influence on the design of CW assignments.
Evaluative attitudes toward violence are related to violent behaviour and are important predictors of violence. The temporal stability of evaluative attitudes toward violence has not yet been examined. Attitudes have been shown to have a high degree of stability, but with the potential to change through manipulation or intervention. I assessed for the degree of stability of evaluative attitudes toward violence using the Evaluation of Violence Questionnaire (EVQ) across four days, four weeks, and three months. I found participants' EVQ scores to be highly stable across all assessments; however, the results from the weekly and monthly assessments lacked power due to small sample sizes. The results from this study do, however, give preliminary evidence that evaluative attitudes toward violence are highly stable in the short-term, and potentially also in the long-term. Future research is needed to better understand the degree of stability of evaluative attitudes toward violence in the long-term.
Previous work regarding the upper Maastrichtian Hell Creek Formation of Montana has hypothesized that two temporally separated species of Triceratops were anagenetically related, with the older T. horridus having directly given rise to the younger T. prorsus. I tested this hypothesis against two alternatives using Triceratops from the Frenchman Formation, which had not been systematically studied prior to my investigation. Using qualitative comparisons, linear discriminant analyses, and hierarchal cluster analyses I classified all specimens as T. prorsus, validating the previous hypothesis. Additionally, I relocated and provided stratigraphic data for six Triceratops specimens from the Frenchman Formation. I found no preference in depositional environment, with specimens equally distributed in both sand and mudstone facies. When relatively dated against each other, I found no trends in morphology had occurred across the latest Maastrichtian, suggesting the species may have been in evolutionary stasis prior to its extinction at the end of the Cretaceous.
This study described methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in a wide array of benthic invertebrates sampled from two locations in the Canadian Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean). I examined relationships between dietary indicators, specifically carbon, nitrogen and sulfur stable isotope ratios, fatty acid and fatty acid biomarker signatures, all in relation to MeHg concentrations of taxa identified using traditional taxonomy and genetic barcoding approaches. Methylmercury concentrations increased with trophic position (inferred from nitrogen stable isotope ratios), varied by feeding guild and were influenced by the type of energy sources supporting the food web. Higher MeHg concentrations were observed at a site closer to the outflow of the Mackenzie River. When accounting for the effect of feeding guild and dietary indicators, the results clearly indicated that location influenced MeHg accumulation in the benthic invertebrates. These results contribute valuable information for tracking MeHg dynamics in this region.
AI agents can benefit from understanding their environment and how it works, as being able to predict the state of the environment after one makes an action is useful for doing tasks. My work explores using a custom reward system to guide an AI agent in learning the transition dynamics of its environment via exploration. Due to the popularity of game engines, I focus on building a transition dynamics model using the game engine, Unity, which provides a package for making AI agents. I test the agent's behaviour across 8 studies, with different hyperparameters for its neural network and with and without access to memory via Long Short-Term Memory. I also conducted two tests with a different reward system to help judge the effectiveness of my approach. The results of my experiments show that the agent performs well and is capable of predicting a variable in the environment.
Vicarious stress occurs when traumatic events are observed rather than being directly experienced. The outcomes of vicarious stress can result in a higher incidence of negative mental health outcomes that include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Vicarious stress requires empathy to facilitate the understanding of other individuals' trauma and suffering, and this is influenced by factors such as familiarity and similar past experiences. To study vicarious stress in rats and mice, a rudimentary form of empathy called emotional contagion, enables these animals to mirror the emotional states of each other, particularly during distress. This requires one animal, the witness, to observe a conspecific endure stressors, from a place of safety. The study of vicarious stress in rats and mice during the juvenile period is sparce, though this critical period of development is vulnerable to stressors that can lead to long-term effects like increased anxiety- and depressive-like behaviours. This thesis furthers the preliminary investigation on how vicarious stress can be studied in juvenile animals and the long-term behavioural changes following these stressors. Considering this it is hypothesized that vicarious stress experienced during the juvenile period will elicit emotional contagion, leading to a sensitized HPA-axis and long-term deficits on exploratory and anxiety-like behaviours in adulthood. Two models of vicarious stress during the juvenile period were implemented, a novel model modified from an existing juvenile stressor model (Chapter 2), and observational fear-learning, an established model implemented in adult rodents (Chapter 3). In adulthood (Chapter 2) and in early adolescence (Chapter 3), the long-term behavioural impacts on exploration, social interactions and fear expression and the HPA-axis reactivity were determined. In Chapter 3, age differences between the juveniles and adults in male and female rats and the impact of past stressor experience in witnesses were explored. The findings revealed that vicarious stress does occur in juvenile rats, and it is not dependent on familiarity, yet it does require past stressor experiences for full behavioral display. Importantly, the extent of emotional contagion, confirmed by fear expression, is lower in male juveniles than it is in male adult rats.
Space was a central concern in 1970s Barcelona, both for the Francoist dictatorship trying to maintain control of the city as well as for the gay, lesbian, and trans activists defying the repression of the regime. How to occupy space was a source of heated debate among these activists as a political transition to democracy was sought with uneven success in the Spanish State. This thesis analyzes photographs of marches and oral history interviews to argue that space was crucial in creating solidarities and delineations within and among identity categories. This analysis looks beyond commercial sites to investigate the relationships between spaces to demonstrate that it was through an engagement with the spatial politics of Barcelona and its geography in the Transition* period that lesbian, gay, and trans individuals articulated their political and personal identities.
Several different distributed computational universes have been considered and studied within the interdisciplinary field called Programmable Matter. In this field, the matter is envisioned as a very large number of micro and nano-sized computational entities with limited capabilities programmed to collectively perform a task without the need for any central or external intervention. Within distributed computing, several theoretical active and hybrid models for programmable matter have been proposed. Within these models, a central concern has been the formation of geometric shapes; among them, the line is especially important. An important requirement, common to most research, is the connectivity of the operating elements at all times. In the extensive literature on the problem of shape formation in programmable matter systems, it is almost generally assumed that the system elements never fail. Hence the problem of reconfiguring the shape following the failure of some elements has been neglected. In this thesis we studied the problem of handling failures when the shape is the line. We considered first of all the Connected Line Recovery problem requiring the non-faulty elements to restore the line shape following the failures of some of the elements. We examined the instance of this problem in the programmable matter systems defined by the Metamorphic Robots and Amoebot models. We then studied the more complex Dynamic Line Maintenance problem when the faults are fully dynamic (i.e., can occur at any time). We examined the instance of this problem in the systems defined by the Amoebot and the Hybrid Programmable Matter models. For both problems and the systems considered, we provided a near complete feasibility characterization of problems, identifying the conditions necessary for their solvability, and constructively proving the sufficiency of those conditions. In particular, we presented solution protocols that operate correctly, maintain connectivity of the non-faulty entities, without constraints on the number of entities that will become faulty, nor on the location, nor (in the dynamic case) on the time of the occurrence of each fault. Our impossibility results hold even under the weak fully-synchronous scheduler, while the possibility results hold under the more difficult semi-synchronous one
As the world continues to move online in the 21st century, in-person communities of practice continue to thrive in game stores, libraries, campuses, and in personal homes. In these spaces, and many others that are too varied to name, people engage with tabletop roleplaying games as members of groups of adventurers. Individuals come together to create identities, craft narratives, and build connections with one another that continue even after the game ends. This paper examines the ways that these communities of practice are constructed and maintained by the diverse group of individuals who inhabit them, and how they come to construct identities and meaning through their engagement. Over the period of 18 months between 2017 and 2019, participant observation fieldwork was conducted with various tabletop roleplaying game groups across the Ottawa, Ontario area. This took place at game stores, campuses, libraries, people's homes, and restaurants to understand the ways in which people come together in-person to play games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder. Interviews were simultaneously conducted with individuals from these groups to develop life-histories of some of those involved in these communities. What was found throughout this research was that individuals were coming together to play games, but more importantly to develop a sense of belonging and to build communities of practice with other like-minded game players. This has informed a dissertation which may more accurately be labeled an 'ethnography of friendship', and which analyses (1) the role of play in the lives of members of communities of practice, (2) identity as it is constructed through performances as people engage in roleplaying activities, and (3) the role of in-person communities and friendships in an increasingly digital world. As we increasingly rely on digital technologies and online worlds to foster our relationships, many people still seek in-person communities. This has been made clearer with the easing of social distancing restrictions and lockdown orders following the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals have quickly moved to rebuild the in-person communities of practice that were put on-hold for the past 2 years.