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1.  Image Texture Predicts Avian Density and Species Richness 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63211.
For decades, ecologists have measured habitat attributes in the field to understand and predict patterns of animal distribution and abundance. However, the scale of inference possible from field measured data is typically limited because large-scale data collection is rarely feasible. This is problematic given that conservation and management typical require data that are fine grained yet broad in extent. Recent advances in remote sensing methodology offer alternative tools for efficiently characterizing wildlife habitat across broad areas. We explored the use of remotely sensed image texture, which is a surrogate for vegetation structure, calculated from both an air photo and from a Landsat TM satellite image, compared with field-measured vegetation structure, characterized by foliage-height diversity and horizontal vegetation structure, to predict avian density and species richness within grassland, savanna, and woodland habitats at Fort McCoy Military Installation, Wisconsin, USA. Image texture calculated from the air photo best predicted density of a grassland associated species, grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), within grassland habitat (R2 = 0.52, p-value <0.001), and avian species richness among habitats (R2 = 0.54, p-value <0.001). Density of field sparrow (Spizella pusilla), a savanna associated species, was not particularly well captured by either field-measured or remotely sensed vegetation structure variables, but was best predicted by air photo image texture (R2 = 0.13, p-value = 0.002). Density of ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus), a woodland associated species, was best predicted by pixel-level satellite data (mean NDVI, R2 = 0.54, p-value <0.001). Surprisingly and interestingly, remotely sensed vegetation structure measures (i.e., image texture) were often better predictors of avian density and species richness than field-measured vegetation structure, and thus show promise as a valuable tool for mapping habitat quality and characterizing biodiversity across broad areas.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063211
PMCID: PMC3651168  PMID: 23675463
2.  Study protocol title: a prospective cohort study of low back pain 
Background
Few prospective cohort studies of workplace low back pain (LBP) with quantified job physical exposure have been performed. There are few prospective epidemiological studies for LBP occupational risk factors and reported data generally have few adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
Methods/design
A multi-center prospective cohort study has been incepted to quantify risk factors for LBP and potentially develop improved methods for designing and analyzing jobs. Due to the subjectivity of LBP, six measures of LBP are captured: 1) any LBP, 2) LBP ≥ 5/10 pain rating, 3) LBP with medication use, 4) LBP with healthcare provider visits, 5) LBP necessitating modified work duties and 6) LBP with lost work time. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 30 different employment settings in 4 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop-administered questionnaires, structured interviews, and two standardized physical examinations to ascertain demographics, medical history, psychosocial factors, hobbies and physical activities, and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of low back pain. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. The lifetime cumulative incidence of low back pain will also include those with a past history of low back pain. Incident cases will exclude prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Discussion
Data analysis of a prospective cohort study of low back pain is underway and has successfully enrolled over 800 workers to date.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-84
PMCID: PMC3599364  PMID: 23497211
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Low back pain; NIOSH lifting equation
3.  Multiple Effects of Changes in Arctic Snow Cover 
Ambio  2012;40(Suppl 1):32-45.
Snow cover plays a major role in the climate, hydrological and ecological systems of the Arctic and other regions through its influence on the surface energy balance (e.g. reflectivity), water balance (e.g. water storage and release), thermal regimes (e.g. insulation), vegetation and trace gas fluxes. Feedbacks to the climate system have global consequences. The livelihoods and well-being of Arctic residents and many services for the wider population depend on snow conditions so changes have important consequences. Already, changing snow conditions, particularly reduced summer soil moisture, winter thaw events and rain-on-snow conditions have negatively affected commercial forestry, reindeer herding, some wild animal populations and vegetation. Reductions in snow cover are also adversely impacting indigenous peoples’ access to traditional foods with negative impacts on human health and well-being. However, there are likely to be some benefits from a changing Arctic snow regime such as more even run-off from melting snow that favours hydropower operations.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13280-011-0213-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s13280-011-0213-x
PMCID: PMC3357776
Snow; Arctic; Climate; Albedo; Hydrology; Ecology; Biogeochemical cycling; Geochemical processes; Forestry; Infrastructure; Tourism; Indigenous cultures; Human health
4.  Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Patterns Among American Indian Women at IHS Clinics in Montana and Wyoming 
Public Health Reports  2011;126(6):806-815.
SYNOPSIS
Objectives
We investigated factors associated with primary and secondary breast and cervical cancer screening among American Indian (AI) women receiving care from the Indian Health Service (IHS) in Montana and Wyoming.
Methods
Rates of primary screening (i.e., screening without evidence of a prior abnormal) and secondary screening during a three-year period (2004–2006) were determined in an age- and clinic-stratified random sample of 1,094 women at six IHS units through medical record review.
Results
Three-year mammography prevalence rates among AI women aged ≥45 years were 37.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 34.1, 41.3) for primary and 58.7% (95% CI 43.9, 73.5) for secondary screening. Among women aged ≥18 years, three-year Pap test prevalence rates were 37.8% (95% CI 34.9, 40.6) for primary and 53.2% (95% CI 46.0, 60.4) for secondary screening. Primary mammography screening was positively associated with number of visits and receiving care at an IHS hospital (both p<0.001). Primary Pap test screening was inversely associated with age and positively associated with the number of patient visits (both p<0.001). Secondary mammography screening was inversely associated with driving distance to an IHS facility (p=0.035).
Conclusion
Our results are consistent with other surveys among AI women, which report that Healthy People 2010 goals for breast (90%) and cervical (70%) cancer screening have not been met. Improvements in breast and cervical cancer screening among AI women attending IHS facilities are needed.
PMCID: PMC3185316  PMID: 22043096
5.  The WISTAH hand study: A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders 
Background
Few prospective cohort studies of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders have been performed. Past studies have provided somewhat conflicting evidence for occupational risk factors and have largely reported data without adjustments for many personal and psychosocial factors.
Methods/design
A multi-center prospective cohort study was incepted to quantify risk factors for distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders and potentially develop improved methods for analyzing jobs. Disorders to analyze included carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylalgia, medial epicondylalgia, trigger digit, deQuervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis and other tendinoses. Workers have thus far been enrolled from 17 different employment settings in 3 diverse US states and performed widely varying work. At baseline, workers undergo laptop administered questionnaires, structured interviews, two standardized physical examinations and nerve conduction studies to ascertain demographic, medical history, psychosocial factors and current musculoskeletal disorders. All workers’ jobs are individually measured for physical factors and are videotaped. Workers are followed monthly for the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Repeat nerve conduction studies are performed for those with symptoms of tingling and numbness in the prior six months. Changes in jobs necessitate re-measure and re-videotaping of job physical factors. Case definitions have been established. Point prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome is a combination of paraesthesias in at least two median nerve-served digits plus an abnormal nerve conduction study at baseline. The lifetime cumulative incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome will also include those with a past history of carpal tunnel syndrome. Incident cases will exclude those with either a past history or prevalent cases at baseline. Statistical methods planned include survival analyses and logistic regression.
Discussion
A prospective cohort study of distal upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders is underway and has successfully enrolled over 1,000 workers to date.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-90
PMCID: PMC3476983  PMID: 22672216
Epidemiology; Ergonomics; Cohort; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Strain index; TLV for HAL

Results 1-5 (5)