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Category: Technology
  • Growth Assessments of Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) in Various Substrate Types for Large-scale Cultivation Studies

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare multiple substrate types to optimize cultivation conditions for the invasive macroalga Nitellopsis obtusa (Desv. in Loisel.) J. Groves, commonly known as starry stonewort. Large-scale cultivation will allow for tiered approaches to management evaluation research while minimizing the influence of confounding variables.
  • Spatial and Temporal Variability of the Alligatorweed Pathogen, Alternaria alternantherae, in Louisiana

    Abstract: Alligatorweed leaf spot is a disease of invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides(Alligatorweed) in the southern US, caused by Alternaria alternantherae. However, little is known about when or where this pathogen naturally occurs. To better understand this species’life history, we examined temporal (every 2–3 weeks) and spatial (latitudinal) patterns of A. alternantherae occurrence at sites in Louisiana for 2 y. Pathogen presence reflectedclear within-year temporal and spatial patterns. Overall, the percentage of leaves infectedwith A. alternantherae was low during spring each year (0–20% infected) but increasedthroughout summer (maximum of 50% infected), and plants in northern sites had lowerfrequency of infection relative to southern sites until later in the year (late summer/early fall) but only in 1 of the 2 years of our study. The mean proportion of leaves infected with A. alternantherae declined with latitude both years (P = 0.01) and variability increasedwith latitude (P = 0.04), a pattern suggestive of range limitation in northern areas. We estimate a northern distributional limit of 34°N for A. alternantherae in Louisiana, but Alligatorweed occurs farther north. Although we did not directly examine disease impacts to Alligatorweed during the study, they may be greatest in southern areas, where the pathogenis more common early and throughout the growing season, and thus may be less likely to provide control in northern infestations of the invasive Alligatorweed.
  • Improving Container Shipment Analysis

    Abstract: US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) deep-draft navigation economic analyses use assumptions about the sensitivity of vessel operations to channel modification to estimate national economic development benefits. The complexity and proprietary nature of carrier deployment decisions and loading practices adds uncertainty to USACE navigation studies. This report attempts to provide an overview of containership deployment and loading practices as it relates to USACE navigation studies to improve the quality of deep-draft economics. The report relies on trade data, vessel order books, and carrier interviews to study the impact of channel modification on vessel loading and deployment. The report makes recommendations for developing deployment and loading inputs for future economic evaluations.
  • Ballistic Protection Using Snow

    Abstract: Small (5.56 mm, 7.62 mm and 9 mm) and medium (12.7 mm) arms rounds were fired at snow-filled 1.5m cubic gabions in a mid-winter condition in Fairbanks, Alaska. The rounds were excavated and penetration by each ammunition type was measured. A distribution and average of penetration depth was determined. All 320 rounds fired were captured within 1.5m after entering the snow barrier. Comparison with published models of ballistics penetration of snow showed mixed results with several matching our data within 10% and all but one within 32%. However, most of these models are simplistic in that they accommodate limited variables and therefore may not be expected to perform well in all settings. We conclude that snow-based ballistics protection structures can be quickly and efficiently erected in suitable environments and with minimal size, can provide reliable protection against small and medium arms fire.
  • Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans) as Major Predators of Avian Nest Boxes

    Abstract: Bird population dynamics are strongly affected by the ability to successfully reproduce, and nest predation is the primary cause of reproductive failure for most birds. Efforts to understand nest predation and manage its effects on species of conservation concern require knowledge of the ecology of associated predator assemblages. Recently, studies using cameras to record events at nests have illuminated this previously under-studied avian life stage, but such studies have been largely limited to open-cup nests. Cavity nests may be depredated by a different suite of predators and incubating or brooding females occupying such nests may be more vulnerable to predation relative to open-cup nests. Here, we used motion-activated, infrared trail cameras to record predators of artificial nest boxes in a Pinus palustris Mill. (Longleaf Pine) forest in southern Alabama. Although Glaucomys Volans L. (Southern Flying Squirrel) have only rarely been captured on film preying on nests, we found them to be responsible for the vast majority (84%) of bird-nest depredations at nest boxes, and these depredations contributed to a surprisingly low overall rate of nest success (~20%). These results may have implications for the conservation of birds that nest in artificial cavities in Longleaf Pine forests and highlight the importance of further studies on predator assemblages and their effects on nesting birds.
  • Low-Sill Control Structure Gate Load Study

    Abstract: The effort performed here describes the process to determine the gate lifting loads at the Low-Sill Control Structure. To measure the gate loads, a 1:55 Froude-scaled model of the Low-Sill Control Structure was tested. Load cells were placed on 3 of the 11 gates. Tests evaluated the gate loads for various hydraulic heads across the structure. A total of 109 tests were conducted for 14 flows with each flow having two gate settings provided by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District. The load data illustrated the potential for higher gate lifting loads (GLL) to occur at the mid-range gate opening (Go) for Gates 3 and 6. While for Gate 10, the highest GLL (452 kips, maximum load in testing) was at a Go = 4.2 ft. Conversely, for the low-flow bays, the highest load occurred at Go = 24.86 ft.
  • Sustainable Harmful Algal Bloom Mitigation by 3D Printed Photocatalytic Oxidation Devices (3D-PODs)

    Abstract: The impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), often caused by cyanobacteria (Figure 1), on water resources are increasing. Innovative solutions for treatment of HABs and their associated toxins are needed to mitigate these impacts and decrease risks without introducing persistent legacy contaminants that cause collateral ecosystem impacts. This technical note (TN) identifies novel opportunities enabled by Additive Manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, to produce high surface area advanced material composites to rapidly prototype sustainable environmental solutions for aquatic nuisance species control. This innovative research explores deployment of 3D-printable polymer composite structures containing nano-scale photocatalysts for targeted open water treatment of HABs that are customizable to the site-of-concern and also retrievable, reusable, and sustainable. The approach developed to control cyanobacteria HAB events has the potential to augment or replace broadcast, non-specific chemical controls that otherwise put non-target species and ecological resources at long-term risk. It can also augment existing UV-treatment HAB treatment control measures. The expected research outcome is a novel, effective, and sustainable HAB management tool for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and resource managers to deploy in their HAB rapid response programs. The research will provide a framework for scale-up into other manufacturing methods (e.g., injection molding) to produce the devices in bulk (quickly and efficiently). Research for this project title “Mitigation of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins using 3D Printed Photocatalytic Materials (FY21-23)” was sponsored by the US Army Engineer Research Development Center’s (ERDC) Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Program (ANSRP).
  • Determination of Nanomaterial Viscosity and Rheology Properties Using a Rotational Rheometer

    Abstract: Rheology studies the flow of matter and is one of the most important methods for materials characterization because flow behavior is responsive to properties such as molecular weight and molecular weight distribution. Rheological properties help practitioners understand fluid flow and how to improve manufacturing processes. Rheometers have been extensively used to determine the viscosity and rheological properties of different materials because the measurements are quick, accurate, and reliable. In this standard operating procedure, a general protocol using a rotational rheometer is developed for characterizing rheological properties of nanomaterials. Procedures and recommendations for sample preparation, instrument preparation, sample measurements, and results analysis are included. The procedure was tested on a variety of carbon-based nanomaterials.
  • South Shore of Long Island, New York Regional Sediment Management Investigation: An Overview of Challenges and Opportunities

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is conducting the “South Shore of Long Island, New York Regional Sediment Management Investigation” to further understand sediment dynamics and to develop a comprehensive regional sediment management plan for the south shore of Long Island, New York. Regional sediment management is a systems approach using best management practices for more efficient and effective use of sediments in coastal, estuarine, and inland environments. This investigation seeks to characterize sediment movement on the south shore of Long Island as a holistic system across the entire study area. It focuses on the regional system post-Hurricane Sandy (October 2012) as the storm significantly altered the physical landscape with severe shoreline erosion, which resulted in the construction of projects to reduce the risk of future storms and stakeholder priorities with a new emphasis on bay-side sediment dynamics, such as channel shoaling and disappearing wetlands. Despite the fact the storm caused severe erosion, the equilibrium beach profile, depth of closure, and general shoreline orientation seem to be unaffected. Previous studies have characterized sediment movement at specific sections of the south shore, but these data have not been incorporated to create a system-wide perspective. Coordinating sediment management across the six Atlantic Ocean inlets, Great South Bay Channel, Intracoastal Waterway, and coastal storm risk management (CSRM) projects could save the federal government millions of dollars in dredging and sand placement actions. This technical note presents the progress the investigation has made to date and will be followed with a more in-depth technical report titled South Shore of Long Island, New York Regional Sediment Management Investigation: A Post-Hurricane Sandy Shoreline Evaluation, currently in preparation.
  • Tombigbee River: River Miles 81.0–76.0 Sediment Management Study

    Abstract: The US Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, Applied River Engineering Center (AREC), in cooperation with the Operations Branch of the Mobile District, conducted a sediment management study of the Sunflower Bend reach of the Tombigbee River, between River Miles 81.0 and 76.0, near Jackson, AL. The objective of the study was to look at sediment management alternatives to alleviate or eliminate repetitive maintenance dredging. These alternatives involved various river engineering measures including dikes, weirs, channel armoring, disposal armoring, and combinations thereof. A physical Hydraulic Sediment Response model was used to examine the sediment response resulting from these alternatives. During model testing, and after discussions with AREC and Mobile Operations Division staff, a second objective was established to define existing non-erodible bed materials that were located throughout the reach. This was conducted to examine the merits of strategically removing these erosion resistant materials in the river as an additional dredging/excavation alternative. The most favorable alternatives involved removing bedload sand and consolidated clay material from between River Miles 79.1 and 78.0 to improve navigation.