2,688 results for VUW ResearchArchive, Masters

  • The Impact of Dynamic Convergence on the Human Visual System in Head Mounted Displays

    Sumner, Ryan (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Accommodation-Vergence Conflict (AVC) is a phenomenon in the area of Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) and one of the key issues hindering the popularity of HMDs largely due to it causing a large number of users to suffer from simulator sickness. There have been several proposed solutions developed by previous researchers, including the introduction of 'Dynamic Convergence' (DC) which, addresses the AVC problem in terms of the vergence depth cue. DC also helps in the performance of binocular fusion when viewing at a close vergence depth. As of yet however, DC has not undergone detailed testing for a number of important cases, which limits the amount of data that has been collected on DC's interaction with the human visual system. In addition, no DC research as of yet has dealt with the effect of a change in vergence depth, and how that change in the vergence angle of the focal plane would effect a user. Thus, this thesis adds to the growing body of research and knowledge in this field by implementing DC with the addition of some transitions between a change in vergence depth. This is done within the Unity3D game engine in order to further investigate the impact of DC with regard to viewing close virtual objects on HMDs through a number of cases. The added transitions are also tested to see if they have any beneficial effects for users when the vergence angle changes. The investigation is centered around a perception based performance/appreciation-oriented visual study whereby participants were asked about their ability to perform binocular fusion on close virtual objects that were either stationary or moving and varying distances and speeds. Participants were also asked to report any symptoms of discomfort. The research has adopted a mixed methodology experimental approach by conducting user experiments and surveys, before analysing the results through both in-depth quantitative statistical analysis and a variety of qualitative statistical techniques in order to measure and investigate the scale of the problem associated with the impact of DC on the human visual system in HMDs when viewing close virtual objects. From the investigation it was confirmed that the approximate effective vergence depth range for DC was 0.3m or less, with statistical significance confirmed at the 0.15m distance. Participants reported having an easier time performing binocular fusion at these closer distances while DC was enabled. As a result of this, the majority of cases and scenarios did not report any significant negative responses in terms of discomfort symptoms. However attempts at improving DC with a transition between vergence depths were met with a mixed response from participants. While the need of a transition way be dependent on the user, there still exists some demand for one, thus it should still be available as an option.

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  • Pigs in Cyberspace: A Design and Culture Exploration of NZ Farming

    Mañetto Quick, Madelena (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Public concern surrounding agriculture has been growing in the past decade with the rise of factory farming and the decline of independent family farms. Producers have reacted to this concern and desire to learn more about farming practices in various ways. This thesis focuses on understanding how one New Zealand pig farm has taken to social media to present stories of sustainable and ethical farming and uses design research to explore and present alternative narratives. Using Wairarapa-based Longbush Pork as a case study, the first part of this project includes a narrative and visual analysis of popular social media posts, an online survey of social media followers, and an in-depth interview with the farm owners and operators to understand the stories being presented and how they engage with specific publics. Concentrating on the kind of human-animal relationships that emerge in these narratives and online discussions, the second part of this project uses co-design methods to create new narratives that can be exhibited and shared online for public feedback. Ultimately, this thesis aims to critically reflect on the way stories of farming are told and understood, and how they can serve to creatively explore public concerns surrounding livestock farming practices.

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  • What educational and other experiences assist recently qualified nurses to understand and deal with clinical risk and patient safety?

    Hawes, Philip Charles (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research was undertaken to investigate how newly graduated nurses recognise and develop skills relating to clinical risk and patient safety. I set out to understand how and where new graduates learn those skills and what would help future undergraduate nurses better prepare for the complexities of the clinical setting. A qualitative research study using Appreciative Inquiry (AI) was the chosen methodology. This was selected for its aspirational outlook, which allows positive conclusions to be drawn from the study’s findings. Nine nurses in their first year of clinical practice participated in the study and they were interviewed on a one-to-one basis. The key findings demonstrated that the approaches to teaching clinical risk and safe patient care and experiences of these in the undergraduate setting were variable, with many participants describing that they were ill prepared for the rigours of the clinical environment. They identified workplace culture, clinical role models, exposure to the clinical environment; experiential learning, narrative story sharing, debriefing and simulation as contributing factors to their ability to learn and understand clinical risk and safe patient care. Despite their initial uncertainty, the participants were able to describe safe patient care and clinical risk. They identified cultures of safe patient care, safe teaching and safe learning. The participants further identified their preferred learning styles and recommended strategies that educationalists and clinical stakeholders employ to facilitate their professional development and understanding of clinical risk and patient safety. The participants identified a more thoughtful, structured and overt approach to teaching the subject of clinical risk and patient safety to prepare for the clinical environment. They desired more experiential exposure, either clinical or simulated. They highlighted the need for effective preceptors and role models, alongside opportunities for sharing their clinical experiences and debriefing critical incidents. Furthermore, they recognised aspects of workplace cultures that facilitated or hindered effective clinical practice and safe patient care.

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  • Whanganui River and Te Urewera Treaty Settlements: Innovative developments for the practice of rangatiratanga in resource management

    Warren, Stephanie (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis concerns the recent innovative developments in the Whanganui River and Te Urewera Treaty settlements of 2014. The Whanganui River has become the first specific environmental resource to receive the rights and status of a legal person. Te Urewera has been removed from the 1980 National Parks Act to also become its own legal person. Both legal personalities will be co-managed by boards of equal Crown and iwi members. The Te Urewera Board will, however, be rearranged in 2018 to have a Tūhoe majority, another first for Treaty of Waitangi settlements. These new features are considered particularly innovative in this thesis because of the context of Crown indivisible sovereignty and its unequal share of power in negotiating settlements. This thesis considers the ability of these settlements to provide space for iwi to practice rangatiratanga in relation to the resource that is central to their history and identity. If rangatiratanga is considered in this context to be the ability of iwi to practice self-determination and autonomy, then these settlements go further than previously seen because the application of the legal personality and the way it is co-managed is based for the most part on the worldview of the iwi. However, this worldview will continue to be practiced within the wider context of the English political and legal system. Because the improvement of the health and wellbeing of the Whanganui River and Te Urewera will be based on tikanga and mātauranga, Whanganui iwi and Tūhoe have been provided with more space than the Crown has previously conceded to practice rangatiratanga over these resources.

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  • Ice dynamics of the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier measured at high spatial and temporal resolution, Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand

    Lui, Edmond (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Glaciers are among the clearest of signals for anthropogenic climate change and their retreat is considered symptomatic of the observed warming since the start of the 20th century from anthropogenic sources (Mann et al., 2004). New Zealand has 3,100 mountain glaciers, with those in the Southern Alps experiencing losses of 34% since 1977 and a decline in volume of 51 km3 in 1994 to 41 km3 in 2010 (NIWA, 2011). The direct impact of increasing atmospheric temperatures on glaciers is well understood (Chinn, 2012) through its effects on the melt and accumulation rates (Kirkbride, 2010; Purdie, 2011; Chinn, 1997; Oerlemans, 2001). However lake calving glaciers such as the Tasman Glacier exhibit different behaviour and are suggested to be at least partially decoupled from climate forcing (Benn et al., 2007). Here, I present a temporally and spatially complete study of Haupapa/Tasman Glacier, Aoraki/Mt. Cook over three years to investigate the ice dynamics at the terminus. I used oblique photogrammetry at high resolution for data acquisition and adapted computer vision algorithms for correcting this oblique view to a real-world geometry. This technique has been rarely used (Murray et al., 2015; Messerli and Grinsted, 2015; Ahn and Box, 2010; Harrison et al., 1986 and Flotron, 1973) but owing to its cost-effectiveness and high data yields, it is becoming an increasingly powerful methodology favoured by glaciologists. During the 3 year study period, Tasman Glacier terminus retreat rate Ur was 116 ± 19 m a⁻¹ (2013-2014), 83 ± 18 m a⁻¹ (2014-2015) and 204 ± 20 (2015-2016). A strong seasonal pattern was evident in the calving events. Three major calving events occurred over the study, one occurring in the summer of 2013 and two in the summer of 2016. The latter two events are responsible for the elevated Ur in 2015-2016. These events were characterised as distinct large-magnitude calving (usually as a large tabular iceberg) which continued to drift and break up in the lake for weeks to months. Three large calving events accounted for 47% of the total surface area loss for the 38 month study period with the remaining surface area loss from 2nd order calving including notching at the waterline and the spalling of lamallae of ice from surface fractures, and ice-cliff melt. During the spring/summer months of 2014 and 2015 there was no large buoyancy driven calving event such as those seen in 2013 and 2016, but there were many smaller-magnitude calving events. Smaller-magnitude events were less frequent in winter months as compared to summer months. Ice flow in winter has been shown to be less than in summer (Horgan et al, 2015). While seasonal temperatures and changes to the basal water pressure are linked to these observations, it is also likely that the relatively faster ice flow in summer/autumn could be influencing the rate of 1st and 2nd order calving mechanisms. Overall, the calving rates were calculated as 171 ± 18 m a⁻¹ (2013-2014), 136 ± 17 m a⁻¹ (2014-2015) and accelerated to 256 ± 20 m a⁻¹ in the last year (2015-2016). My results show that almost half of the ice loss at the terminus comes from large, infrequent calving events and that retreat rates for 2015-2016 were high compared to the historic record but the area loss is lower than it has been because of the relatively narrow terminus.

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  • Brain Gain in Fiji? How do past emigrants’ experiences shape the education decisions and emigration plans of tertiary students in Fiji?

    Mudaliar, Lakshmin Aashnum (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis examines the case of Fijian youths’ increasing demand for higher education in order to explore the brain gain theorem. Its primary aim is to understand how past emigrants’ experiences shape the education decisions and emigration intentions of tertiary students in Fiji. This is achieved through semi-structured interviews with Fijian youths as well as an examination of policy and media reports. The research questions through which these aims are achieved are: Why do Fijian students enter higher education? Do Fijian students intend to migrate, and if so, why or why not? And what are the constraints and obstacles to Fijian students’ emigration intentions? The central conclusion of this thesis is that the brain gain effect is present in Fiji because half of the student-participants responded to the incentive effect, defined as the prospect of migration raising the expected returns to higher education, which is created by two distinct cultures of migration and three of the Fijian governments’ initiatives. The strength of their social ties determined whether they had perfect or imperfect information about the constraints and obstacles to their emigration intentions which in turn, determined the type of brain gain effect Fijian communities may be experiencing. In this thesis, the relationship between emigration and human capital formation is understood through the notion of the brain gain effect, defined as prospect of migration leads to a higher average level of education per individual in origin countries. Existing empirical studies have employed quantitative methods to establish the correlation between past emigration rates and current enrolment rates. The significance and novelty of this thesis lies in its adoption of qualitative case study methods in which real people were asked what they are doing and why, thus bringing us closer to a causal understanding of the relationship between higher education and emigration. In addition, by including ethnic and skill-level variables in the research design, this thesis shows that those remaining behind after upskilling may be some of Fiji’s ‘best and brightest.’

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  • The Female Künstlerroman in the Writing of Virginia Woolf

    Galbraith, Rebekah (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The defining features of the female Künstlerroman in Virginia Woolf’s writing suggest a revision of the narrative form to accommodate, navigate, and interrogate the artist’s gender and origins of her creativity. This thesis plots the birth of the female artist and the conditions of her artistic development within Woolf’s writing by first examining the construction of Rachel Vinrace, the rudimentary artist of the equally embryonic text, Melymbrosia (1912-1982). Rachel’s failure to privately self-identify as an artist is contrasted with her reluctance to accept her future potential as a wife and mother, suggesting that “woman” and “artist” are two mutually exclusive identities. For this reason, Woolf’s use of the female Künstlerroman examines the complexities of the female artist’s ability and, indeed, inability to acknowledge and inhabit her creative identity. But how, exactly, the narrative form develops in Woolf’s writing relies upon a reading of the relationship between the figure of the artist and the novel she occupies: Rachel Vinrace in Melymbrosia; Lily Briscoe and Mrs. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse (1927); Orlando in Orlando: A Biography (1928); Miss La Trobe and Isa Oliver in Between the Acts (1941). Each of these works present a modification of the female Künstlerroman, and, in doing so, a markedly different artist-as-heroine. Moreover, in Woolf’s later writing, the narrative development of the female artist incorporates aspects of historical non-fiction, the biographical and autobiographical, and epistolary and essayistic fictions. An analysis of the intertextual relationship between A Room of One’s Own (1929) and Orlando: A Biography, and Three Guineas (1938) and Between the Acts, is therefore critical to the argument of this thesis. The following is an exploration of how a variety of female artist-figures are constructed within Woolf’s writing: a musician, a painter, a social artist, a poet, and a pageant-writer-director. Through Woolf’s diverse expositions on the creative process, her heroines embody the personal difficulties women encounter as they attempt to realise their artistic potential. In this way, the female Künstlerroman is used by Woolf to examine, often simultaneously, the aesthetics of failure, as well as the conditions of success. But that a multitude of creative mediums appear in Woolf’s writing suggests there are universal obstacles when the artist in question is a woman, an implication in the narrative of the female Künstlerroman that the gender of a protagonist is the primary source of complication. Therefore, the degree to which each heroine achieves a sense of creative fulfilment is dependent on her ability to recalibrate her identity as a woman with her self-authorisation as an artist.

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  • Breeding biology and post-fledging dispersal of red-crowned parakeets (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) translocated to a fenced mainland sanctuary

    Irwin, Ellen (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    With human impacts like habitat destruction and climate change contributing to range contractions in species, translocations stand out as an important tool for conserving species suffering from these effects. However, an understanding of the life history of many threatened species prior to translocation is often lacking, but critical for translocation success. For example, dispersal away from the release site—particularly when a protected release site is surrounded by unmanaged habitat—can result in translocation failure, and therefore successful translocation practice must include an understanding of a species’ dispersal patterns. I conducted a study examining the breeding biology and post-fledging dispersal of a population of red-crowned parakeets Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae), or kakariki, recently translocated to a mainland sanctuary in Wellington, New Zealand. The sanctuary, ZEALANDIA, is fenced to exclude invasive mammalian predators; however, birds can and do leave. Approximately one-third of juveniles that dispersed outside the sanctuary were killed by predators. Kakariki post-fledging dispersal was male-biased, possibly driven by inbreeding avoidance, and distance dispersed decreased with increasing body condition. Parental age may have also influenced offspring dispersal. In addition, I found that kakariki reproductive success may be affected by age, and estimated lifetime reproductive success was >30 fledglings by age five. Conservation initiatives could work on controlling predators in currently unprotected reserves and around food sources that kakariki targeted, particularly in summer and autumn when many plants are fruiting and recently fledged juveniles are more active. Future translocations should consider selecting younger birds to translocate to take advantage of their high lifetime reproductive success and therefore improve viability of populations.

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  • Brood Division and the Ontogeny of Caching Behaviour in the North Island robin (Petroica longipes)

    Clark, Lisabertha (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The post-fledging period is an important, but understudied, stage of avian development. This is despite the fact that the parental care and behavioural development of young observed during this period contribute significantly toward offspring survival. A key factor that has contributed to the lack of research in this area has been the difficulty with which parents and offspring can be observed during this period. The North Island robin (Petroica longipes) is a small insectivorous passerine native to New Zealand forests. As a result of the historic absence of mammalian predators, North Island robins lack pronounced anti-predator behaviours and are fearless towards humans. This makes them ideal subjects for behavioural studies in the wild because human presence does not alter their daily activities. Using field observations, the present study examined parental care and the development of caching during the post-fledging period in wild North Island robins. Brood division is a form of preferential post-fledging care that is well documented among avian species in the northern hemisphere. In contrast, little is known about the incidence and function of brood division in avian species outside this region. Across two breeding seasons (2014-2015 and 2015-2016), feeding interactions between parents and offspring were observed during nestling and fledgling development to determine the timing of and factors influencing brood division in robins. Brood division occurred around the time young left the nest and was common amongst broods which fledged two or more young. The male parent typically cared for male and larger fledglings and the female parent for female and smaller fledglings. The results of this study match patterns observed in northern hemisphere species suggesting that brood division provides the same adaptive advantages to species regardless of geographical context. Caching, the handling of food to preserve it for future consumption, is an important strategy which allows numerous avian species to deal with natural fluctuations in food supply. In recent decades, caching has become a widely-used paradigm for examining a range of cognitive processes in birds, such as social cognition and spatial memory. However, much is still unknown about how caching develops in young birds, especially in the wild. Over a 12-week period following fledging, the ontogeny of caching and cache retrieval was observed for 34 juvenile robins. Juveniles began caching shortly after achieving foraging independency (approximately 5 weeks after fledging) and their caching rates increased gradually with age. Retrieval of caches began spontaneously as soon as they had begun to cache and retrieval rates remained constant throughout development. Results suggest that caching behaviour in North Island robins is likely to be innate, but that age and experience have an important role in the development of adult caching behaviours. The two studies described in this dissertation examine behaviours that have either been previously difficult to document in the wild or have not been documented in this species. Overall, the results highlight the behavioural similarities between the North Island robin and other avian species exhibiting brood division and caching. Additionally, they also demonstrate the suitability of the North Island robin for future behavioural research given the ease with which these birds can be observed in the wild.

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  • Exploring Resettlement Impacts of Hydroelectric Projects

    Chidmany, Somsanid (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Over the past five decades, there has been growing awareness of the potential negative effects of development-induced displacement and resettlement. For example, resettlement can threaten people’s livelihoods and well-being and sustainable development. In response to this phenomenon, many international financial organisations led by the World Bank have adopted safeguard policies, standards, and guidelines, especially around forced resettlement. These safeguard documents maintain that organisational and financial arrangements – through livelihood restoration programmes – can possibly alleviate displaced people’s impoverishment risks if those risks are correctly identified early. This thesis explores claims that such risks in development-caused involuntary population resettlement can be addressed by effective planning processes. Specifically, this thesis examines how resettlement and livelihood restoration programmes related to the Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric project (NT2) in Lao PDR were able (or not) to address the livelihood sustainability of resettled communities. In conducting fieldwork in Lao PDR, this thesis employed a mixed methods approach using both qualitative and quantitative methods including semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and analysis of quantitative and qualitative secondary data. The key findings found in this study reflect NT2’s mixed performance of resettlement. On the one hand, the project provided enormous advantages to Lao PDR: a) the cooperation between Lao government and international stakeholders including resettled people in the preparation of resettlement strategies; b) introducing the Lao government and resettled people to a new global standard of resettlement practice. On the other hand, this project also caused a number of challenges: a) incomplete preparation of the resettlement strategies; b) unsuccessful implementation of livelihood restoration programmes; and c) the lack of precision in terminology – stipulated in the CA – to enable the effective establishment of measures, indicators and criteria which could be used to inform objective and fair decision making. These findings seem to hold NT2 back from successfully achieving the sustainable development for resettled people’s livelihoods and well-being. The findings of this study should be of interest to development academics and practitioners working in the fields of energy development and development-induced displacement and resettlement. Specifically, the lessons learned from resettlement and livelihood restoration programmes implemented by Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric project are crucial, because it is considered a role model for other hydropower projects in Lao PDR. It is hoped that the results of this study can make a contribution to the on-going improvement of the Lao government’s existing policies on resettlement and livelihood restoration strategies in order to fulfil sustainable development goals.

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  • A fish for all seasons: Spatial and temporal variation in patterns of demographic heterogeneity for Retropinna retropinna

    McDowall, Christopher (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Demographic heterogeneity can have big effects on population dynamics, but for most species we have limited understanding of how and why individuals vary. Variation among individuals is of particular importance for stage-structured populations, and/or where species have ‘complex life-cycles’. This is especially relevant in the case of amphidromous fishes that typically spawn in river mouths and estuaries, develop at sea and return to freshwater to finish development. These fish face strong selection pressures as they negotiate challenges around dispersal and development in order to reproduce successfully. Quantifying variation amongst individual fish can improve understanding of their population dynamics and suggest possible drivers of variation. I evaluate patterns and sources of variation in demographic attributes of the New Zealand smelt (Retropinna retropinna). R. retropinna is an amphidromous fish that is endemic to New Zealand. While most populations have a sea-going larval stage, a number of landlocked freshwater populations occur, with the largest landlocked population residing in Lake Taupo. Here R. retropinna are presented with a variety of littoral feeding/spawning habitats and environmental conditions that may vary across distinct regions of the lake. In addition, the protracted spawning period for this species in Lake Taupo (occurring over eight months of the year) provides additional scope for seasonal variation to influence demographic attributes of individuals. I sampled R. retropinna from discrete coastal habitats (beach or river) that were located in the eastern, southern and western regions of the lake. I evaluated patterns of variation in the size-structure, age-structure and morphology of R. retropinna among habitats and/or regions across Lake Taupo. I used otoliths to reconstruct demographic histories (ages, growth rates, hatch dates) of individuals, and used a set of statistical models to infer spatial variation in demographic histories. I found differences in size and age structure between regions, and a temporal effect of hatch date on larval/juvenile growth rates. In addition, I obtained samples of R. retropinna from a sea-going population at the Hutt river mouth (sampled fish were presumed to be migrating upstream after their development period in Wellington Harbour and/or adjacent coastal environments). While Lake Taupo is large, deep, fresh, oligotrophic and strongly stratified for 8-9 months outside of winter, Wellington Harbour is less than a sixth of the area, shallow, saline, eutrophic and never stratified. These greatly differing environmental conditions led me to expect that these systems’ R. retropinna populations would carry significantly different demographic attributes. I compared the hatching phenology, recruitment age, body morphology, and individual growth histories (reconstructed from otoliths) of R. retropinna sampled from Lake Taupo and Wellington Harbour. I explored the relationships between demographic variation and environmental variation (water temperature, chlorophyll a) for the two systems and found that this additional environmental information could account for much of the seasonal variation in daily otolith increment widths of R. retropinna. My results also suggest that while the two sampled populations likely share similar hatching and spawning phenologies, individuals from Lake Taupo tend to grow more slowly, particularly during winter, and end up smaller than sea-going fish sampled near Wellington. I speculate that these differences reflect variation in food supply (zooplankton may be limited in Lake Taupo over winter). Overall, my results demonstrate a high degree of variation in morphological and life-history traits within a single species, potentially driven by an interaction between environmental variation and timing of development. My work contributes to a growing body of literature on demographic heterogeneity, and may help to inform the management of landlocked populations of R. retropinna in Lake Taupo.

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  • Strategic interaction: Distrust and cooperation in US-China relations

    Wilcox, Shane (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    International cooperation is generally thought to be made possible, or at least enhanced, by a relationship of trust between nations. This proposition is examined with a particular focus on US-China relations, and proceeds through a critique of various models of cooperation that works to expose the limits imposed by the assumption of a causal relationship between trust and cooperation. A concept of strategic interaction is developed on the basis of analysis of values and interests, asymmetric exchange and distrust, and is offered as an alternative to grand strategic narratives for understanding the strategic behaviour of states.

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  • Diffuse Extragalactic Emission at Low Frequencies within the Epoch of Reionization 0-hour Field

    Duchesne, Stefan (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Low-frequency radio imaging of the southern sky has become available with the advent of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). The topic of this thesis is the study of extended, low-frequency radio emission, with a primary focus on the non-thermal synchrotron emission associated with the intra-cluster medium (ICM) of galaxy clusters. We do not limit the study to such emission, however, and investigate a small sample of other interesting and extended radio emission from objects in the southern sky. A significant portion of this work is invested in detecting, and characterising, extended, diffuse radio emission from galaxy clusters within a 45 degree by 45 degree region of the southern sky centred on R.A. = 0 hours, decl. = -27 degrees. This field is chosen as a deep MWA image has been made available which is sensitive to extended structures. Within the field we search for low-frequency, diffuse cluster emission, previously detected or otherwise. In doing so we find 34 diffuse radio sources, 3 of which are newly detected haloes, 1 newly detected relic with many new candidates of each. Further, we detect a new phoenix candidate as well as 2 candidate dead radio galaxies at the centre of clusters. We confirm previous observations of such emission as well, and measure properties such as their integrated flux densities, spectral indices, and sizes where possible. We compare our sample of haloes with previously detected haloes and revisit established scaling relations of the radio halo power with the cluster X-ray luminosity and mass. We find that both scaling relations are consistent with previous findings despite the increase in sample size, though note that the raw scatter in the data for best-fitting parameters increases with increase in sample size. In this, we demonstrate the utility of low-frequency radio telescopes like the MWA in detecting such emission, showing that the MWA is pushing into higher-redshift, lower-mass systems, though we caution that the low resolution of the MWA can work against us. We follow-up on two galaxy clusters found to host extended emission - Abell S1136 and Abell S1063. In the case of Abell S1136 we observe the emission at its centre with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and determine the presence of a core, suggesting the emission to be that of an ancient episode of an active galactic nucleus in the central elliptical of the cluster, ESO 470-G020. After reducing archival ATCA data for Abell S1063 we find no evidence of a halo and consider the source to be constructed of blended point sources. We close with a description of a strong double-lobed radio source associated with a non-elliptical host ESO 472-G013, likely a spiral or irregular galaxy, that was found serendipitously whilst searching for diffuse cluster emission. We explore the host within the context of star-formation, and consider the possible origins of the AGN and lobes due to interaction with either the nearby spiral, ESO 472-G012, or a past or ongoing merger event.

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  • The performative Katherine Mansfield

    Saker, Nicola (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis looks at the role of performance in Katherine Mansfield’s life and its influence on her writing technique. It argues that there is a consistent thread of active engagement with performance throughout Mansfield’s life which profoundly influenced the content, construction and technique of her writing. It is divided into three chapters. The first examines Mansfield’s early years and the cultural context of colonial, Victorian Wellington and its performance culture as well as the familial and educational influences that surrounded her. The second chapter explores her later cultural context in London in the first decade after the turn of the century. The importance of popular culture such as music hall is examined, and Mansfield’s professional and personal performance experience is defined. The third chapter involves a close reading and analysis of Mansfield’s dramatic techniques through the examination of the stories as well as her use of theatrical imagery, motifs, allusions and plot details.

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  • A Novel System for Monitoring in vivo Cell Signaling Pathways Involved in Early Embryonic Patterning

    Rooney, Louise (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Early developmental events, such as the arrangement of the head-tail axis, are fundamentally driven by cell signalling cascades. Such incidents are regulated in a highly complex manner by promoters and inhibitors at many levels of the cascade. This complexity makes it difficult to understand where and when certain signalling occurs, and what effects additional factors have on the signalling system. Nodal signalling, executed by intracellular Smad2/3 signal propagation, is thought to induce the anterior-posterior and head-tail patterning of the early mouse embryo. Target gene outputs of this signalling are fine-tuned by a vast array of modulators; TGBβ co-receptors, extracellular ligand and receptor inhibitors, DNA binding cofactors, and intracellular enhancers and inhibitors. The endogenous target genes of this system cannot be used as a measure of signalling as they themselves feedback on the original system and others, creating diverse signals. In this body of work, we have distilled the Nodal signalling cascade to a single variable by creating a fluorescent genetic reporter to semi-quantitatively measure Smad signalling during early embryonic development. Reporter constructs contain Smad binding elements, a minimal promoter and fluorescent protein elements. Various sensitivity Smad binding elements were created to respond to different thresholds of signalling. Fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry were used to verify responsiveness of reporter constructs, tested first in a mouse embryonic fibroblast line and subsequently in transgenic embryos. This study will provide an understanding of how extracellular cues dictate gene expression during early embryonic formation. The knowledge acquired from this work may have implications in dairy cattle and human fertility.

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  • The development of science epistemology in senior science courses: A quantitative study

    McIntosh, Edit (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Epistemological development is a pivotal aspect of liberal education because the ability to distinguish between knowledge and pseudo-knowledge and the ability to use the particular methods of reasoning associated with various disciplinary fields equips people to make judgements in complex issues. The present study examines the extent to which studying each of the different science disciplines in secondary years 12 and 13 supports the development of science epistemology. A further aim was to determine the relationship between epistemological development in science and the completion of inquiry-type coursework. Data were collected from 735 year 12 and 13 students from 11 schools, mainly from the Wellington region. A survey, designed for this study, comprised statements about the nature of science and scientific argumentation conceptions, two pivotal aspects of science epistemology. Using a quasi-experimental design, this quantitative study explores the extent of the development of science epistemology over a year of studying science, by comparing students’ scores in Term 1 with scores in Term 3 on the instrument. The findings showed a more advanced epistemic view among science students; however, a positive effect of science studies on epistemic development was not evident. It was concluded that a greater emphasis on authentic inquiry is essential for epistemic development and, while understanding of the philosophical assumptions underpinning scientific knowledge is important, this should arise from authentic science inquiries – or the processes of science – rather than being taught in isolation from the practice of the discipline of science. This leads to a question the extent to which an emphasis should be placed on the ontological aspects of the philosophy and the sociology of science, potentially at the expense of developing sound understanding of science epistemology.

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  • A Paleoclimate Reconstruction of the Little Ice Age to Modern Era Climate Conditions in the Eastern Ross Sea, Antarctica as Captured in the RICE Ice Core

    Brightley, Hannah (2017)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The Little Ice Age (LIA) (1400-1850 AD) represents one of the most significant climatic shifts over the past 5000 years. Previous studies from Antarctica indicate generally cooler and stormier conditions during this period, but this pattern shows distinct spatial and temporal variability. The Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) ice core provides a new opportunity to study the drivers behind this variability at annual/seasonal resolution, in a relatively under-sampled and climatically sensitive region in the eastern Ross Sea. Contrary to previous studies, isotope measurements suggest warm conditions during the LIA at Roosevelt Island. This study presents analysis of eight major ions (Na⁺, Mg²⁺, Ca²⁺, K⁺, MS⁻, Cl⁻, NO₃⁻, SO₄²⁻) using both Ion Chromatograph and ICP-MS data, in order to reconstruct the atmospheric circulation pattern, sea ice extent and marine primary productivity across this LIA to Modern Era (ME) at Roosevelt Island. The dataset is tied to a robust age model allowing annual dating and the opportunity to accurately reconstruct rates of change during this ME-LIA. Challenges revolving around the calibration of the Ion Chromatograph are also discussed. The major ion record determines whether the lack of cooling in the Roosevelt Island core implied by the stable isotopes represents a true temperature anomaly or whether the atmospheric circulation pattern caused an isotopic enrichment that masks an underlying cooling. It was determined that Roosevelt Island experienced during the LIA (i) an increase in marine air mass intrusions along with weaker katabatic winds compared to the 200 years prior, (ii) decreased biological productivity and (iii) increased sea ice. From the 1850-1880s to 1992 AD, there is a shift to reduced marine winds, increased katabatics, increased biological productivity and decreased sea ice until 1992. In the wider Ross Sea context, this suggests an east-west divide in terms of the dominance of katabatics versus marine wind influence. This divide is attributed with the warming signal seen in the RICE record in the Eastern Ross Sea and the cooling in the Western Ross Sea records. It is also likely linked to the influence of climate indices on the depth/position of the Amundsen Sea Low.

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  • 0 to 90: Designing private and public space for growing old and growing up

    Contessa, Julia (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In New Zealand the mortality age is rising and the fertility rate is dropping. This is creating a generational disconnect, resulting in a lack of social connection between the young and old, leaving the elderly with little physical support. Inevitably many seniors are left with little option but to leave their homes and enter a retirement village or care facility. Through this body of research and creative work I question how residential and public architecture can prompt cross generational exchange to allow people to age in place contentedly. In order to understand how architecture may achieve this, the research is divided into three sections. The first establishes accurate conditions of context and program through a process of preparatory analysis, resulting in several design objectives. The analysis defines a site in Picton, a town that presently connects land transport between the north and south islands of New Zealand. Its location and function provide the research with a unique opportunity to create a cross program consisting of a residential space within a public place. The second defines an engaging atmospheric response through physical drawing and making explorations. Through this process, architectural preconception of what is inside and outside is reversed in order to fragment the existing notion of aging. The third section reconfigures all previous findings into a developed design on site. Residential, communal and public spaces begin to blur and overlap, challenging existing stereotypes of generation segregation.

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  • Finding meaning in behavioural predictors of child sexual reoffending: The Offence Characteristic Meaning Framework (OCMF)

    Kitto, Oliver (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In the field of static actuarial risk assessment for sexual offending, the role of theory has historically been undervalued. This is problematic, for only through gaining a better understanding of why risk factors are predictive can we enhance the criminal justice system’s ability to reduce reoffending and protect our communities. To contextualise the importance of theory in risk assessment, we investigated offence characteristics (i.e., crime-scene behaviours); a theme of static risk factors that has shown promising statistical ability to predict risk of recidivism of child sex offenders, but suffers from a lack of theoretical elaboration. To understand why particular offence characteristics are statistically predictive of child sexual recidivism, we knitted together various pre-existing theories and findings in the literature; arguing that offence characteristics are static referents of psychological vulnerabilities and competencies. By abductively inferring what vulnerabilities and competencies underpin an offence characteristic, we can then use offender exemplars to hypothesise how these interact with each other, the potential goals and values of the offender, and contextual triggers to create and maintain risk of reoffending. Via this process, we argue we are able to better understand why the behaviour of interest is statistically predictive of child sexual reoffending. We then gathered the various threads of our theoretical arguments and wove them together into a robust, unifying model called the Offence Characteristic Meaning Framework OCMF). The OCMF is a structured reasoning process the reader can use to aid in understanding why particular crime scene behaviours predictive of risk of child sexual reoffending. The OCMF is a novel, if somewhat indirect, contribution to the burgeoning literature on offence characteristics. An initial evaluation indicates that the OCMF’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses, and is potentially the first theory to incorporate both competency-based and deficit-based models of risk.

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  • Re.Structure: Finding the synergetic relationships between functioning urban ports, trapped landscapes, and public life

    Ferrari, David (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In many countries around the world, contemporary urban ports have a major economical, infrastructural, and dominant presence along strategic waterfront edges. In terms of public life, these industrial private entities disconnect themselves from their parent city due to the interaction between a number of factors, namely; topography, orientation, positioning, port typology, the safety and functionality of ports, urban planning, and the effects on the natural ecology. The changing nature of how a city utilizes their waterfront questions whether urban ports have a role within the heart of the city. The potential to restructure port areas and their surrounding spaces that have been effected by development leads to the creation of dynamic public life entities. With these large infrastructural entities, the areas surrounding the boundaries are compromised and are trapped in a confusion of development and derelict design. Trapped landscapes often have detrimental effects on natural environments. This negative impact can be seen in the urban fabric of the city, and in the public well-being and life of the occupants of those spaces. This thesis investigates urban areas trapped by functioning port infrastructure, specifically the area known as the Quay Park Quarter, situated in Auckland, New Zealand. The Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL), directly north of the area, imposes a dominating, privatised and industrial statement to contribute to the nature of this trapped landscape. The Quay Park Quarter includes heritage sites, railway infrastructure, and ad-hoc developments, some of which were initially intended to rejuvenate the area. This thesis aims to address the privatised issues surrounding the contemporary urban port by challenging the role and incorporation of public life as a means to restructure such areas. This thesis argues that active port areas can be reconfigured, restructured and reimagined in ways in which to utilize public life along active waterfront networks. This thesis will also argue that this utilization of public life can actively change the way in which trapped landscapes can be restructured for the future. By considering the ecological impact, the city’s growth and surrounding developed areas, positive changes can be made at multiple scales within the city context. This thesis proposes that this can be investigated through observing three interrelated scales to discover city systems and functions, the intimate, neighbourhood and metropolitan. The intimate scale involves the interactions with one’s self in the environment that surrounds them, as well as the composition of all things to create public life. This creates a sense of locality for being in the environment. Because of the port’s impact on this urban area as well as its external and internal functions, the neighbourhood scale addresses the reconfiguration and restructuring of the port infrastructure that has impacted this trapped urban area. The metropolitan scale involves how the public life network fits within the context of the city, through the means of landscape infrastructural components. The collaboration of these three scales allows for an interchange between what the human can experience in addition to the systematic functionality of the city. This offers unique insight beyond the master planning of such urban areas to actively engage with life on the ground. The reconfiguration and restructuring aspects of these areas allow for a variety of resolutions to both actively engage with public life within industrial areas and facilitate the release of trapped landscapes back into the surrounding context of these areas.

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