Schedule

Subscribe to RSS Feed

2017
Thursday, April 27th
11:00 AM

A Clino-Cladistic Look at Pull & Push Tabs ca. 1950-1980

William D. Schroeder MS, RPA, University of Montana

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Pull tabs revolutionized the way beverage cans and food containers were opened and their contents removed. Ermal Fraze is credited with this, yet he was not alone in the invention nor was he technically the first. Until recently, pull tabs were not considered diagnostic in Historical Archaeology because they had not yet met the 50-year-old threshold. As of 2015, ring pull tabs entered the historic era, yet relatively little is known about these artifacts. In order to place these artifacts in terminus ante and post quem timeframes for historical archaeologists who have located and will more frequently encounter these items of disposable material culture, a database with hyperlinks has been built to provide an archival reference. There are hundreds of patented variations and manufacturing methods in the United States Patent and Trademark Office filed and accepted between ca.1950 and 1980 yet really only two geni—pull and push, and four species—"snap top," ring pull, stay-tab, and push button. Taking a cue from biology, the inventions were arranged by family based on the first instance of a morphological characteristic (clade) and by progenitors (inventors) then put in numerical/chronological order based on their patent or design filing and/or acceptance dates (cline) thereby generating a genealogy or family tree thereby charting their evolution. Not all patents or designs saw nationwide production or distribution; some never saw production. Not all patents, designs, or innovations are represented here. And, one should keep in mind the “time lag” between a patent’s filing, patent pending production, and its official acceptance. Products also had a use life and disposal period that often extended past its manufactured date range. Functional ease, compatibility with can manufacturing machinery, reduction of harm, and externalities also influenced the food and beverage container industry to “build a better mousetrap.” Then there’s “Sister Frange”….

Analysis of Sideline Concussion Screening Tools in an Athletic Setting

Steven Young, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In the past decade, significant research into sports-related concussions has expanded understanding of what is as a very complex injury. As the definition of concussion has evolved, the impact they have is put into perspective. As more research into the short- and long-term effects of concussions brings to light the effects of continuing to participate after suffering a concussion, the importance of keeping concussed athletes off the field is now understood as a potential life or death situation. With the dangers of continuing to play after concussion becoming apparent there has been a renewed emphasis on tools and/or techniques that screen for symptoms of concussion. Some of the most widespread include, but are not limited to, the Standardized Assessment for Concussion, the Balance Error Scoring System, the Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool 3rd Edition and King-Devick. This project explores the benefits, limitations, and implementation of each of these assessment tools.

A crucial part of improving rates of concussion recognition is to look at what has been developed based on the most current understanding of concussions. As more attention has been drawn to the potential dangers of concussions and repeated sub-concussive blows there has been a surge in funding and studies regarding current and developing technique’s and tools. This project examines tools recently implemented or under development and explore their potential benefits, limitations and availability for sideline testing. These include Vestibular-Ocular Motor Screening, force plate balance testing and blood tests for proteins associated with injury to the brain. The project concludes with a discussion of the benefits, limitations and reliability of each test. It serves as a primer for healthcare professionals in determining the best available sideline screenings for concussion.

Assessment of Concussion Knowledge in Youth Sports Participants and their Parents

Samantha Riordan, University of Montana - Missoula

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Context: The Dylan Steigers Protection of Youth Athletes Act (DSPYAA) was passed by Montana legislature in 2013 as the state’s first concussion law. Calling for mandatory concussion education of coaches, parents, and athletes, this law only applies to school sponsored sports, excluding those involved in youth sports organizations (YSO), such as youth soccer, youth hockey and youth football. Currently, it is up to the YSO to provide concussion education, if any, to its participants.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess concussion knowledge in youth athletes and their parents participating in YSO specifically focusing on sports that are at higher risk for concussions.

Design: Cross sectional survey.

Setting: A descriptive questionnaire was distributed to youth sports participants and their parents at football, soccer and ice hockey practices.

Participants: Convenience sampling resulted in 101 athletes, with an average age of 11 + 1.3 years, and 209 parents with an average age of 41.9 + 7.1 years. Due to the convenience sample technique, a response rate could not be obtained.

Interventions: The researchers combined and modified two existing validated surveys containing closed ended questions about concussion knowledge and consequences of concussions, as well as if they had received formal or informal concussion education. The survey distributed was titled Concussion Knowledge in Youth Sports Participants and Their Parents in Western Montana.

Main Outcome Measures: Quantitative data from the questionnaire was analyzed using Microsoft Excel. Composite scores were calculated for concussion knowledge and consequences questions by adding the total possible correct signs/symptoms and consequences and awarding 1 point for each correctly identified minus 1 point for each distractor selected. Total possible points on the survey were 22.

Results: The average composite scores on the concussion knowledge survey for athletes were: youth soccer 8.07 + 3.44, football 8.26 + 3.64, and hockey 10.50 + 3.48. The average composite scores for the parents were: youth soccer 12.38 + 2.80, football 12.69 + 2.92 and hockey 13.32 + 2.59. More than 50% of parents and athletes surveyed reported they had discussed the consequences of concussion with each other. Less than 50% of parents and athletes surveyed reported they had formal education about concussions.

Conclusions: Athletes scored well below previously reported composite scores of 16 on this survey, indicating a poor ability to recognize concussion symptoms and long-term consequences. Of note, both parents and athletes were not able to correctly identify the distractors related to concussion signs and symptoms and half of both groups were unable to tease out the distractors related to long term consequences. Future implementation of concussion education programs for these organizations is highly suggested.

Cancer Patients' Perceptions Of Their Cognitive Functioning After Treatment Are Impacted By Comments From Others

Brook Clark

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Objective: Cancer patients often cite negative cognitive symptoms during and after receiving chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. This study examined the influence of negative expectations on self-reports of cognitive functioning in patients who had completed chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Understanding the multifaceted etiology of chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) is critical in order to facilitate the highest levels of patient quality of life.

Methods: Adult participants (n = 56) who had completed chemotherapy treatment were recruited from an outpatient cancer center in the Northwest. Participants in the experimental group read a prompt stating that many cancer patients report difficulties with thinking during and after chemotherapy. Participants in the control group received a neutral prompt. Both groups completed a self-report measure of cognitive functioning (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy- Cognitive Function-Version 3).

Results: While a t-test revealed that the two groups did not differ significantly in the extent to which they reported cognitive symptoms, a significant correlation of
r = .56 (p < 0.01) was found between the ‘Perceived Cognitive Impairments’ and ‘Comments from Others’ subscales for both groups. Both subscales are scored such that higher scores represent better functioning or higher quality of life.

Conclusions: This finding indicates a moderate relationship between the content of what others say to cancer patients about their cognitive functioning and how cancer patients perceive their own cognitive functioning. Cancer patients likely benefit from comments they interpret as “positive” regarding their cognitive functioning during recovery. Although this appears to be a straightforward conclusion, it is important to note that very well-intended remarks from others that liken normal forgetting to ‘chemo-brain’ (a term with negative emotional valence) may, in fact, be interpreted by cancer survivors as “negative”. Thus, well-intended remarks could contribute to patients’ negative beliefs about their cognitive functioning. Negative self-perceptions may adversely affect important aspects of cancer recovery. Understanding the mechanisms of CRCI may help health care professionals and close others interact with cancer patients in ways that support the best recovery possible.

Concussion Knowledge and Reporting Behavior among Junior Ice Hockey Players

Stephanie Swindell

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Introduction: Although it is estimated that 1.6-3.8 sport-related traumatic brain injuries occur each year, it is also believed that at least 50% of concussions sustained go unreported. Much attention has been given to football in the media and current research; however, ice hockey proves to be a high risk, high incident of concussion sport due to body and/or head collisions at high speeds. Recognizing and reporting concussions continues to be a primary concern for health care providers to ensure a safe return to sport for these athletes and to preserve the long term health of athletes.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to examine what knowledge junior ice hockey players possess regarding concussions, and 2) to determine what, if any, perceived barriers exist in reporting concussions once sustained.

Patients or Participants: A convenience sample of 19 junior ice hockey players with an average age of 18.6 + 0.7 years completed the Concussion Knowledge and Reporting Behaviors Questionnaire (CKRBQ) prior to the start of their season.

Methods: The researchers combined and modified three existing validated surveys containing closed ended questions about concussion knowledge and consequences of concussions, as well as concussion reporting behaviors to develop the CKRBQ.

Dependent Variables: Quantitative data from the questionnaire was analyzed using Microsoft Excel to examine concussion knowledge and reporting behaviors.

Results: 14 athletes reported a history of concussion and reporting most commonly to their coach (n= 10/19) and physician (n= 0/19). 13 athletes reported playing while symptomatic and more than half of the athletes felt pressured at some point to play through a concussion while symptomatic. The most common reasons identified for not reporting concussions were “not serious enough” and “didn’t think I had one.” Most players were unable to correctly identify all symptoms of a concussion among distractors.

Conclusions: The athletes in this study scored below average in this study indicating a poor ability to recognize concussion symptoms and long-term consequences of a poorly managed concussion. One of the primary barriers revealed was a lack of awareness of when a concussion occurred and not understanding the severity of playing through the symptoms of a concussion. Future educational efforts should be made to improve concussion knowledge in this group in an effort to minimize the barriers to reporting concussions when they do occur.

Digital Storytelling as a tool for health messaging on an American Indian reservation: A development process

Maja R. Pedersen, The University of Montana

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Introduction: Digital stories offer a collaborative approach to health messaging, and can raise awareness among viewers on issues presented in stories. This study used an iterative, participatory process to produce and vet digital stories for increasing community awareness about strategies to improve child and family health on an American Indian (AI) reservation.

Methods: We used a collaborative approach to develop digital story topics and content. This included input from the study leadership team, with members representing a tribal college, a tribal health organization, and a university. Story attributes, such as likability and cultural embeddedness of characters, identification with the storyteller, and language were included to increase influence on viewers’ attitudes, beliefs, and behavior change. The advisory board and the tribal health and wellness committee were then engaged in a four-step, iterative process (view, evaluate, prioritize, and revise) to evaluate the story. The survey was adapted from a health promotion digital story evaluation study completed in rural Alaska. The twelve-item, closed ended, Likert-style survey explored community members’ perspective on digital storytelling likability, intent to communicate with family and friends about the topics presented, cultural acceptability, and intent to change family health behavior. Viewers were asked to complete a written evaluation, then to share feedback on how to make it more likeable, informative, and culturally relevant.

Results/Discussion: A total of 22 community members viewed and evaluated the digital story. The viewers were mostly female (63%), mostly AI or Alaska Native (63%), and 50% were between the ages of 30-39. They reported liking the story (86%), feeling that it was a good way to learn about improving the health of their families (90%), and 90% felt digital stories are a culturally respectful way to receive health messages. Changes suggested by viewers included different music, including kids’ voices, and adding text to the screen to emphasize the message. Dissemination plans include social media outlets for the tribal college, tribal health organization, and a local hospital. Study findings suggest the four-step, iterative digital story development process may produce an effective health messaging tool for improving community awareness of child health, and that digital storytelling can be a likeable and culturally acceptable tool for health promotion.

Exclusion Breeds Innovation: Empowering Refugees in Greece through App Technology Training

Laine D. Bonstein, Global Youth Development

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Greece has experienced an influx of nearly 100,000 refugees over the past five years, all during a time when the Greek economy lost tremendous stability and the sanctions on refugees seeking asylum throughout the European Union became more rigid. Overpopulation within the archipelago has strained general resources, created a bureaucratic backlog in asylum application processing and brought a complete arrest to the function, development and livelihood of those inhabiting refugee camps. This project intends to provide an opportunity for the inert population by empowering youth. Developing tools in technology, specifically an app, would be a mobile opportunity to prepare the young population for future job markets as well as myriad methods of personal and community innovation. This app would serve as a forum for learning computer code, providing a cumulative curriculum that is tailored to grow along with its users and challenge their knowledge beyond the boundaries of their circumstance.

Finding Identity in a Skeletal Cold Case

Katherine S. Jackson, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This poster will explore a skeletal cold case presented to University of Montana Forensic Anthropology Laboratory (UMFAL). Forensic anthropology consists of the study and analysis of skeletal remains in a legal context in an attempt to aid in the identification of human remains. This poster will explain the circumstances of the cold case, the analysis and methods conducted, as well as non-identifying results. On the 10th of February, 2017, the UMFAL received the remains of a cold case that had been stored in the Montana Forensic State Crime Lab. Our goal was to conduct a re-analysis of a previously documented case, including the establishment of a biological profile and an assessment of trauma. A biological profile consists of estimating the age, sex, and ancestry of the individual. Forensic anthropologists are able to do this by using methods that analyze elements of the skeleton based on their shape and evidence of degradation due to aging. For example, the most accurate way to estimate age is to analyze the pubic symphysis and auricular surface of a pelvis. The biological profile assessment of this case determined the remains to be of a young adult male, most likely in his late twenties, of Caucasian descent. It is also important to conduct an assessment of trauma present in the remains to determine what trauma occurred ante (before), peri (during), or post (after) mortem (death). This is a vital step in forensic anthropological analyses because investigators need to know which, if any, injuries might indicate violence, or if there are any healed injuries which might offer information about the individual’s past. Postmortem injuries, if not interpreted correctly, can also be incorrectly interpreted as violent perimortem injuries. In this case, there was extensive perimortem cranial trauma which presented as an unusual pattern of projectile trauma. Our biological profile, trauma assessment, and overall assessment of the remains led us to believe that this individual may have been previously identified. Following consultations with the crime lab it was determined that this individual had indeed been previously identified and that the elements presented to the lab had been retained for evidentiary purposes. This is an excellent example of why it is important to revisit and re-analyze cold cases. Due to our analysis and suspicions, these remains have now been re-associated with their identity and will likely be returned to the family. Our ability to re-analyze and identify this case exemplifies how important our skills as forensic anthropologists can be in active and cold cases.

Geomorphic and Ecological Impacts of Avalanche Disturbances in Glacier National Park, Montana

Morgan Voss

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Avalanche events play an important role in mountain ecosystems by shaping the landscape and influencing the alpine environment. From creating grizzly bear habitat to natural fire breaks, avalanche pathways are crucial elements in a mountain landscape. The spatial and temporal frequency of avalanche paths leave a key imprint on mountain environments as well. This study seeks to identify the spatial locations of these avalanche paths and the temporal frequencies of these paths in Glacier National Park, Montana. Using automated classification methods, we preliminarily identified which avalanche pathways to investigate, examining the geomorphic and ecologic attributes associated with the avalanche events. Initial vegetation trends were calculated over time within the identified chutes. Correlating the geomorphic constraints of the avalanche pathways in Glacier National Park with vegetation recovery patterns allows for a greater understanding of the mountain landscape evolution within the area. Further analysis and identification of these geomorphic and ecologic trends will create a proxy for determining the ecological impacts of avalanche events.

Greening of the Arctic: Comparison of trends in measured soil-surface and air temperature data to satellite-based trends of vegetation change on the Alaskan North Slope (1995-2016)

Brianna Rick

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This study compares 20 years’ worth of in-situ soil-surface and air temperature data to trends in vegetation change along the Alaskan North Slope. The National Science Foundation’s Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring (CALM) Project has been monitoring 1-hectare plots along a latitudinal gradient in northern Alaska since 1995, and time series of soil-surface and air temperatures are available from 1995-2016. These time series reveal a small increasing trend in mean summer (July-August) air temperatures, yet a small decreasing trend in mean summer soilsurface temperatures. This study uses the cloud-based Google Earth Engine and its 30 m Landsat imagery archive to remotely investigate changes in vegetation over time by examining the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as well as visual changes in vegetation cover. These differences are then compared to similar trends calculated using the 8 km AVHRRbased GIMMS NDVI 3g dataset which had significant manipulation to account for sensor changes and drift. This study contributes to our understanding of feedback processes between a warming climate and increased vegetation growth.

NUTRITIONAL NEEDS IN COLLEGIATE FEMALE SOCCER ATHLETES

Alysa M. Brown
Valerie J. Moody

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Objective determination of backward masking.

Silas Smith
Al Yonovitz, University of Montana

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Auditory processing disorders (APDs) affect a diverse range of people. These types of disorders impair auditory function, despite the outer, middle and inner ear maintaining proper function and health. APD is not necessarily related to auditory thresholds. When people with APD have difficulty discriminating sounds in connected speech, it may be due in part to an effect called Backward Masking (BM). Masking occurs when one stimulus inhibits another, which can lead to a variety of impairments. The neural locus of APDs is for the most part unknown, including the specific conditions which cause BM. A better understanding of these processes would lead to a greater ability to provide an intervention and therapy for APD. Electrophysiological responses have been well documented in a forward-masking paradigm, but not so in a backward masking paradigm. The significance of these responses is yielded through electrode signal input, a large degree of amplification and summation analyses of brain wave data. In this research a latency and amplitude deviance was detected in the early and middle stages of the auditory evoked response. Our data has revealed that the backward masking effect is observable at approximately the 90-250 msec range given the appropriate stimulus parameters. The temporal conditions of this effect lead to the conclusion that the BM effect occurs in the midbrain to the auditory cortex.

Overlooking the Vulnerable: Limited Resources for Unaccompanied Migrants

Natalie Hymes, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Phylogenetic and NeighborNet Analysis of Harpoon Heads from Archaeological Arctic North America

Kathryn Bobolinski, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This study explores the use of phylogenetic and neighbornet analysis, which are traditionally used in biology, in the study of archaeological materials, namely harpoon heads from the North American arctic. Such an approach tests how cultural transmission occurs with a branching signal indicating vertical transmission of cultural information from parent to child - the biological form of transmission - and a non-branching signal indicating horizontal transmission between peers of the same generation and/or oblique transmission from members of an older generation to unrelated members of a younger generation. Also examined in this study is the possibility of mosaic evolution being present within the arctic harpoon head assemblage. In general, mosaic evolution argues that different characteristics of an organism (in this case, an artifact) will evolve separately from one another. Additionally, this study also examines the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria and its relevance to the subject matter of arctic harpoon heads. The Theory of Punctuated Equilibria, which argues that evolution is rarely disrupted by rapid and episodic events of speciation, opposes the phyletic gradualistic view of speciation, which argues that new species arise from the slow and steady transformation of entire populations over time. The overarching hypotheses tested in this study include the 'branching' (phylogenesis) hypothesis, in which cultural information is obtained through vertical transmission, and the 'blending' (ethnogenesis) hypothesis, in which cultural information is obtained through horizontal and/or oblique transmission. Three other hypotheses are used to determine possible factors that could have affected the evolution of the harpoon heads under study, specifically the factors of cultural affiliation/isolation, time and distance. The archaeological cultural groups from which the harpoon heads under study originated from include the Okvik, Old Bering Sea, Ipiutak, Punuk, Birnirk and Thule. These cultures existed on the arctic landscape between 600BC and 1800 AD. The harpoon head characteristics analyzed in this study included socket type, lashing carving type, lithic blade slit type, barb presence, spur presence, angle of blade (lithic or organic) in relation to line hole axis, and plughole presence. These traits were imputed into the phylogenetic and neighbornet analysis to study the branching and blending signals present within the dataset. Overall, this study supports the branching hypothesis of cultural evolution with a greater degree of branching being present within one socket type (closed socket) lineage. Additionally, the results of this study also indicated that there was a greater degree of blending, borrowing and/or innovation present early on in the evolution of these arctic harpoon head types, which may represent a case of punctuated equilibria. Mosaic evolution may also be represented in the late evolution of the harpoon heads. Lastly, the data from this study indicates that these arctic harpoon head types did not evolve in cultural isolation and that time and distance may possibly be factors that effected the evolution of this material culture, but they were not the only contributing factors.

Quantification of Liposomally Incorporated Imidazoquinolines or Oxoadenines using Size Exclusion Chromatography

Kristopher Short

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Imidazoquinolines (IQ) and oxoadenines (OA) are two classes of chemical compounds that are candidates for use as adjuvants in vaccine formulations since they drive specific immune responses through toll-like receptors 7 and 8 (TLR7/8). In order to increase desirable pharmacokinetic properties, IQs and OAs can be chemically modified through the addition of lipid tails and then be stably incorporated into liposomal formulations. Liposomal incorporation could allow more control of delivery of IQs/OAs, including potentially better stability, bioavailability, and efficacy at lower dosage. IQ or OA incorporated liposomes formulations may contain compound incorporated into the liposomal bilayer or existing free in solution as micelles. It is necessary to determine the amount of incorporated and free compound in liposomal formulations to better determine dosage. Traditional reverse phase high pressure liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) can be used to determine a total amount of IQ/OA in a formulation but gives no information about the fraction of compound incorporated in liposomes compared to free compound existing as micelles. We hypothesize that size exclusion chromatography (SEC) can be used as a novel application to determine IQ/OA dosage within the liposomal or micellular fractions of a formulation.

Reviewing the Use of Injury Screening Assessments and Identifying Risk of Injury

Riley A. Kenney, University of Montana, Missoula

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Lower extremity injures account for over half of reported sports related injuries with the ankle and knee being the most commonly injured joints. The majority of non-contact injuries related to these two joints can potentially be prevented through individualized prevention programs. Biomechanical injury screening has the potential to identify the risk factors associated with injury and allows the implementation of targeted rehabilitation strategies to combat the identified deficits. There is substantial need for screening assessments that are practical and accurate for the clinical athletic trainer. This literature reviewed examined the dorsiflexion lunge test, Functional Movement Screen (FMS), Y-Balance, Star Excursion Balance Test and the single leg hop test as preseason screening tools and their ability to predict future injury of primarily the knee and ankle. Sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios will be compared across screening tools to make recommendations for the practicing clinician that can be used to identify high risk athletes and ultimately diminish the frequency of lower extremity injures.

Synaptic Plasticity in Excitatory and Inhibitory Hippocampal Neuron Circuit Dynamics

Claire Seibold

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Microcircuits of inhibitory and excitatory neurons in the hippocampus have been studied over the past 30 years because of their importance in creating neural spike rhythms that have been implicated in processes such as the consolidation of episodic memories. Models for these circuits range from extremely simple (coupled phase oscillators) to extremely complex (complete, spatially extended, biophysically correct representations of the cells in Neuron). Various complex phenomena have been observed and explained through these models, such as synchronization, phase precession and bursting. Here we consider how time dependent connectivity of these cells effects these phenomena by incorporating a model for short-term synaptic plasticity that we developed and parameterized (from whole cell experiments) for two specific interneuron-pyramidal cell connections. To make analysis possible, we use the maps to describe both the plasticity and spike timing in the circuit (inspired by the work of Ermentrout and Kopell, 1998).

Taking a Bite out of Unwanted Data in the Animal Bite Syndrome

Erika Baldry, University of Montana, Missoula
Tracy Miller, North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Disease Control
Jill Baber, North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Disease Control

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Introduction. North Dakota collects syndromic surveillance data, de-identified reason-for-visit data, for all visits to participating emergency departments (EDs), walk in clinics, and ambulatory clinics throughout the state. Syndromic data is submitted daily and automatically through an electronic connection between health care providers and the state. Animal bites are not required to be specifically reported to the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) by providers; however, NDDoH has utilized North Dakota’s syndromic surveillance program, BioSense 2.0, for routine surveillance by using an existing animal bites syndrome. We sought to evaluate the existing BioSense 2.0 animal bites syndrome and explore how the syndrome definition could be refined to enhance surveillance capabilities.

Methods. A table summarizing the findings from “animal bite” visits from July 2014 through June 2015 was created from BioSense 2.0 data using specific clinic assigned diagnosis codes to pull the data. Health Department staff reviewed each entry and coded it as animal bite, not animal bite, or unknown. Visits that were identified as animal bite related were further categorized into bite type. Animal bite types consisted of: dog, cat, and other. Words that contributed to correct data related to animal bites or incorrect data not related to animal bites were noted and applied in a new syndrome definition. The new syndrome was applied, and changes between the original and resulting data sets were noted.

Results. The table created from BioSense 2.0 data included 1,516 unique visits, representing 953 ED visits and 563 outpatient visits. More than half (66%) of all syndrome visits were not related to animal bites; partially due to the associated diagnose code, which also covers other animal related injuries and insect bites. Although the BioSense 2.0 syndrome definition for animal bites excludes the term “insect” from chief complaint, 40% of our animal bite syndrome data related to insect bites. For 95% of insect bites, a diagnosis code or diagnosis terms for insect bites was triggering the inclusion. The remaining 5% of visits came from the chief complaint. While the word insect was not used, the name of the insect (spider, mosquito, tick, etc.) or the term arthropod was used instead. Based on these results, we changed the diagnosis codes used in the new definition to be specific to animal bites only. Other common errors identified in our analysis: “bite” pulling human bites, dental disorders, bites of food, and tongue bites; “pica” pulled pic line related visits; and “cat” brought in visits referencing cat scans. We also identified many visits referencing people falling while walking their dog, service dogs, and allergic reactions to dogs and cats. We added many insect names as well as words pertaining to falls, food, allergies and scans to the chief complaint exclusion list. Applying these changes identified in our analysis reduced the total number of visits in our animal bites syndrome to 691. The number of animal bites remained the same as the original number of animal bites identified by the BioSense data (n=513, 74%), with 28 undetermined and 150 unrelated visits remaining, an 81% reduction in misclassification. The remaining visits unrelated to actual animal bites referenced dogs and cats. However, we found these terms could not be removed from the search list because these visits often lacked diagnosis codes. Non-bite animal injury codes used were not consistent enough to exclude from the syndrome.

Discussion. Thirty percent of the animal bites identified came from outpatient visit data, demonstrating use for outpatient syndromic surveillance data in tracking animal bite trends. We found many unrelated visits for human and insect bites and animal injuries in our data. We were able to remove all insect and human bites, and some non-bite injuries using our own syndrome. Better diagnosis code data may allow “dog” and “cat” to be removed from chief complaint searches, reducing the number of instances that were misclassified due to non-bite injuries that included reports of these animals. The new syndrome definition will enhance animal bite surveillance at the NDDoH.

Using Google Earth Engine to Assess Impacts of Oil and Gas Extraction on the Siberian Tundra

Nicholas Kline

UC Ballroom (Center)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Climatic warming of the Arctic is leading to changes in the tundra landscape. Thawing permafrost begins a chain of biophysical feedbacks, which are accelerated by development, such as oil and gas exploration and extraction. Due to restricted access to oil and natural gas fields, in situ environmental impact studies are seldom allowed. Satellite imagery analysis provides a mean for assessing impacts in areas with limited access. Sitting atop one of the world’s largest and most productive natural gas basins, the Yamburg Oil and Gas Field serves as a useful case study to assess the effects of infrastructure on a permafrost landscape.

This project quantifies land-cover disturbance seen during the development and expansion of the gas field. Google’s recently developed, free cloud-based image processing platform, Google Earth Engine, was used to detect, map and quantify the impacts of infrastructure on the Tazovsky Peninsula. This study utilized Landsat 4, 5, and 8 satellite imagery in approximately 10-year intervals from 1985 to 2016, spanning the initial development through full production. Analytic metrics included the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI, which assesses vegetation greenness, landscape fragmentation statistics, and “density slicing” of the NDVI. After assessing vegetation health and land-cover changes by these methods, results quantified the impacts of extraction infrastructure on the neighboring landscape. As distance from the infrastructure increased, the associated impacts decreased linearly.

Conclusions made from this case study not only further our understanding on the impacts of climatic warming and infrastructure development in the Arctic, but also explore a new method for future remote sensing studies of land-cover change. Google Earth Engine allows streamlined access to large archives of satellite imagery coupled with powerful processing capabilities to harness the methods necessary to help address diverse global and societal challenges.