Tidal flexure of ice shelves measured by tiltmeter

first_imgA new design of tiltmeter has been used to measure the tidal bending of the Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica. By this means the point at which the ice sheet leaves the land and starts floating on the sea has been defined to within 600m. Monitoring this position in future should give an indication of the state of balance of the West Antarctic ice sheet, often considered1 to be unstable even if not actually disintegrating. The hydrostatic level meter is light and simple and can operate unattended while recording continuously for periods of several weeks. Observations at eight different sites on Rutford Ice Stream (Fig. 1) gave tidal records on ice more than 1,700 m thick and at points up to 600 km from the nearest open sea.last_img read more

Exploring former subglacial Hodgson Lake, Antarctica Paper I: site description, geomorphology and limnology

first_imgAt retreating margins of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, there are a number of locations where former subglacial lakes are emerging from under the ice but remain perennially ice-covered. This paper presents a site description of one of these lakes, Hodgson Lake, situated on southern Alexander Island, west of the Antarctic Peninsula (72° 00.549′ S, 68° 27.708′ W). First, we describe the physical setting of the lake using topographic and geomorphological maps. Second, we determine local ice sheet deglaciation history and the emergence of the lake using cosmogenic isotope dating of glacial erratics cross-referenced to optically stimulated luminescence dating of raised lake shoreline deltas formed during ice recession. Third we describe the physical and chemical limnology including the biological and biogeochemical evidence for life. Results show that the ice mass over Hodgson Lake was at least 295 m thick at 13.5 ka and has progressively thinned through the Holocene with the lake ice cover reaching an altitude of c. 6.5 m above the present lake ice sometime after 4.6 ka. Thick perennial ice cover persists over the lake today and the waters have remained isolated from the atmosphere with a chemical composition consistent with subglacial melting of catchment ice. The lake is ultra-oligotrophic with nutrient concentrations within the ranges of those found in the accreted lake ice of subglacial Lake Vostok. Total organic carbon and dissolved organic carbon are present, but at lower concentrations than typically recorded in continental rain. No organisms and no pigments associated with photosynthetic or bacterial activity were detected in the water column using light microscopy and high performance liquid chromatography. Increases in SO4 and cation concentrations at depth and declines in O2 provide some evidence for sulphide oxidation and very minor bacterial demand upon O2 that result in small, perhaps undetectable changes in the carbon biogeochemistry. However, in general the chemical markers of life are inconclusive and abiotic processes such as the diffusion of pore waters into the lake from its benthic sediments are far more likely to be responsible for the increased concentrations of ions at depth. The next phases of this research will be to carry out a palaeolimnological study of the lake sediments to see what they can reveal about the history of the lake in its subglacial state, and a detailed molecular analysis of the lake water and benthos to determine what forms of life are present. Combined, these studies will test some of the methodologies that will be used to explore deep continental subglacial lakeslast_img read more

Utah State Football Adds Graduate Transfer Nick Heninger

first_img Tags: Bingham High School/Gary Andersen/Nick Heninger/University of Utah Football/Utah State Football August 7, 2019 /Sports News – Local Utah State Football Adds Graduate Transfer Nick Heninger FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLOGAN, Utah-Wednesday, Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen announced the addition of University of Utah graduate transfer Nick Heninger into his program.Heninger is a 6-2 245-pound defensive end who starred at Bingham High School and served in the Philippines Baguio Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.The native of South Jordan, Utah appeared in 23 career games for the Utes, netting 13 tackles, one sack and two tackles for a loss.He also broke up a pair of passes and netted two fumble recoveries for Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham’s squad.In 2003, Heninger was a Utah Class 5-A first-team all-state performer for the Miners, helping Bingham win a state championship that year. He was also a star wrestler for the Miners, winning the 5-A state title at 195 pounds. Written by Brad Jameslast_img read more

USS Hurricane, USS Monsoon to Kick-Off War of 1812 Commemoration

first_imgUSS Hurricane (PC 3) and USS Monsoon (PC 4) arrived in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Nov. 16 for the launch of Maryland’s Star-Spangled Bicentennial, a War of 1812 commemoration event that will be held here in June 2012.With Sailors manning the rails, the ships will join Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Department of the Navy General Counsel Paul L. Oostburg Sanz, Rear. Adm. William Moran, and chairman of Operation Sail (OpSail), Inc., Jose Fuentes for a ceremony Nov. 17 to kick-off the multiyear commemoration of the War of 1812.“This area is the perfect place to launch a commemoration as there is so much history here,” said Hurricane Commanding Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Eddie Bertucci. “Coming into port, we passed Fort McHenry, a national monument and historic shrine, famous as the birthplace of the star-spangled banner.”“It is a great privilege to sail into Baltimore Harbor, which is an epicenter of our Naval heritage, and to follow in the footsteps of the heroes who fought in defense of America two-hundred years ago,” Bertucci said.Hurricane, moored on the Inner Harbor West Wall, will also host visitors during the two-day visit. The Norfolk, Va-based crew opened the brow from noon to 3:00 p.m. and will do so again tomorrow immediately following the 11:30 a.m. ceremony. The ceremony is expected to last 30-minutes and will be take place in the city’s Bicentennial Plaza.The War of 1812 marked a critical period in U.S. history when the nation was forced to fight for its independence – a second time. The bicentennial events will commemorate this milestone in American history, and serve to provide the public a greater understanding of the pivotal role the sea services played in securing a final victory.Beginning next year and continuing through 2015, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard, along with Operation Sail and a host of partners, will commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Week-long events, will include parades of sail, public visitation, spectacular air shows, international athletic competitions, and community relations activities. Signature events will mark the occasions in New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Baltimore/Annapolis,Md., and Boston/New London, Conn.Similar events will also take place in the Great Lakes ports of Milwaukee; Chicago; Toledo, Ohio; Cleveland; Detroit and Buffalo, N.Y.“While a lot has changed in these locations over the past 200 years, one thing that will never change is that more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered with water,” said Monsoon Commanding Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Ventresca. “With 90 percent of world trade traveling on those oceans and seas, it’s still critical after all those years to keep the world’s sea lanes open and free, which is why it is so important for us to have a strong Navy.”Many of the qualities that helped the Navy carry the day 200 years ago during the War of 1812 still hold true today: our fighting spirit; our ingenuity and technological supremacy; the direct tie between a strong Navy and a prosperous America; and the Navy’s key role in preserving American sovereignty.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, November 18, 2011; Image: navy View post tag: Monsoon View post tag: War View post tag: Kick-Off View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Commemoration View post tag: Navy View post tag: USS USS Hurricane, USS Monsoon to Kick-Off War of 1812 Commemorationcenter_img Share this article View post tag: 1812 Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Hurricane, USS Monsoon to Kick-Off War of 1812 Commemoration November 18, 2011 View post tag: Hurricane Training & Education View post tag: Navallast_img read more

New avionics for Leonardo’s USN helicopter trainer contender

first_img Photo: Photo: Leonardo Share this article Leonardo’s TH-119 single-engine helicopter, which is being pitched for the US Navy’s new helicopter trainer program, now benefits from the new Genesys Aerosystems avionics, the company has announced.The new avionics and cockpit allowing IFR operations is being integrated at Leonardo’s Philadelphia facility, home to the AW119 single engine final assembly line for the US and global market.The TH-119 is expected to perform its maiden flight in autumn and to achieve FAA certification in the 1Q2019.The TH-119 is a dedicated variant of the AW119 specifically designed for military training customers, primarily to meet the US Navy requirements.The US Navy is looking to acquire commercial aircraft to replace its TH-57 helicopter trainer currently in service. The service expects to procure 105 aircraft with acquisition starting in fiscal year 2020.The new TH-119 features distinctive capabilities and unique features differentiating it from the AW119 commercial helicopter while keeping certification advantages, the company says.“This event marks a major step forward in the integration of the all new avionics into the only IFR operations-capable single engine helicopter, as we get close to more extensive ground and flight testing activities towards FAA certification early next year,” William Hunt, CEO, AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation said. “I congratulate the whole team and partners for this achievement aimed at offering US naval aviators the best, most cost-effective US-made solution for their future basic and operational training.”The TH-119 maintains redundancies on several key systems for maximum safety, high power margin thanks to its popular and highly reliable Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-B engine while featuring a Genesys Aerosystems cockpit that gives flexibility to instruct from either seat.Other contenders in the competition are Bell Helicopter with its 407GX single-engine helicopter and Airbus with a helicopter based on the commercial H135. View post tag: Leonardocenter_img View post tag: US Navy View post tag: helicopter traininglast_img read more

AG releases report, recommendations on human trafficking in Indiana

first_img Olivia Covington for www.theindianalawyer.comIn 2016, there were at least 178 known cases of human trafficking in Indiana, with some of the victims as young as only 7 years old.That’s according to the 2016 Indiana State Report on Human Trafficking, released Wednesday by Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office. In the report, Zoeller’s office calls on the state to increase the amount of resources dedicated to human trafficking prosecution, protection and prevention to strengthen the state’s ability to identify and treat young trafficking victims.“Today we know far more than we did (in 2009), or even as far back as 2005 when the (Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force) was first created,” Zoeller wrote in the report. “While we have made tremendous progress in policy, legislation, and research, we still have a long way to go.”Human trafficking, which includes both sex and labor trafficking, is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating $150.2 billion annually, the report says. Roughly 27 million people are exploited through trafficking each year and, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, 83 percent of all trafficking victims in the United States are American citizens, debunking the myth that trafficking exists largely outside of the U.S.In Indiana, a statewide IPATH partner reported that its service providers served 178 trafficked youth in 2016. Of those served under the age of 21, 94 percent were girls and 60 percent were white. Further, the report shows that about 30 percent of Indiana victims served are younger than age 15 and more than 10 percent are between the ages of 12 and 14. The majority of Indiana victims are white, following by black, Hispanic, biracial and Asian.The attorney general’s report also shows that at least 36 trafficked immigrants have been served in Indiana. Often, pro bono legal service providers help those immigrants obtain a T Visa, which provides humanitarian immigration relief to trafficking victims.Awareness of signs of human trafficking also appears to be on the rise, as the report shows a sharp increase in the number of human trafficking tips that are received in the state. In 2014, IPATH received 130 tips about possible human trafficking cases. In 2015, that number rose to 275 and by 2016, the taskforce received 520 tips.  Further, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, a 24-hour anti-trafficking hotline, received 243 calls from Indiana, with 53 of the calls thought to be likely human trafficking cases.Although not all tips are confirmed, and some may be duplicates, the report notes that the increase “indicates recognition of potential trafficking scenarios.” However, the sharp increase could also indicate an increase in human trafficking incidents in Indiana.Despite the notable uptick in tips related to possible trafficking, a 2014 survey conducted by IPATH and the University of Indianapolis showed that only 25 percent of Indiana service providers who work with high-risk youth had previously been trained on human trafficking. Further, 44.2 percent said they did not think they would usually be able to recognize that their clients had been trafficking victims.After reading definitions of human trafficking, the report shows that 32.9 percent of providers said they believed at least one of their clients had been victimized as a minor through sex trafficking.To that end, the attorney general’s report calls for additional resources to increase the state’s capacity to recognize and treat trafficking victims. The report lists seven recommendations specific to IPATH, including additional funding to train youth, law enforcement and service providers about human trafficking.Additionally, the report calls for Indiana to adopt a policy that requires a picture to be gathered when posting about a missing youth on Indiana’s missing persons website. Similarly, the Department of Child Services could require a photo of each child in care to be taken at least annually so that it may be posted on the missing persons site if the child runs away. Runaways are at a higher risk for trafficking and sexual exploitation, the report says.The full 131-page report can be read here.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

34th Street Bridge to Close Overnight Tuesday and Wednesday

first_imgAll lanes of the 34th Street Bridge will be closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, through 5 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 and again from 10 p.m. Nov. 15 through 5 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16. The closing has been approved to allow work crews to pour concrete as part of Cape May County’s two-year project to redeck the bridge.Please seek alternative routes during the bridge closings on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The single-lane alternating traffic pattern will remain in effect during the day on Nov. 14 and 15 and resume after the concrete work is complete. 34th Street Bridge Constructionlast_img read more

Press release: Northern Ireland Housing Executive Chair and Vice Chair Appointment

first_img The Northern Ireland Housing Executive Board plays an important role in the management and operation of the NIHE. I am pleased to make these appointments so that the Board can continue to take decisions essential to the proper functioning of the organisation and the key housing services across Northern Ireland. My absolute priority is to see the restoration of the Executive. The people of Northern Ireland deserve nothing less. Until that is achieved I have been doing what is necessary to ensure good governance and allow critical bodies to operate effectively in Northern Ireland. NOTES FOR EDITORSThe Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE)The NIHE is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the NI Department for Communities and was established by the Housing Executive Act (Northern Ireland) 1971. Under this Act, the NIHE took over the housing responsibilities of 65 separate authorities and became Northern Ireland’s overall housing authority. It is currently landlord to approximately 86,500 dwellings and is one of Northern Ireland’s largest public sector organisations with a budget of over £740m and a staff of approximately 2,700. It also makes a substantial contribution to better health, education and wellbeing through housing.Provision for the NIHE Board is set out in the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1981. The principal role of the Board is to set the strategic direction for the Housing Executive and to provide stewardship of all public resources entrusted to it to implement the policies and priorities of the Minister and the Executive. The Board oversees the performance and outputs of the executive team, which is responsible for the day-to-day conduct of the business within the Housing Executive. The Board also sets the attitude and disposition of the organisation towards compliance with applicable laws and best practice.Terms of appointmentThe position of Chair attracts remuneration of £32,827 per year, plus travel and subsistence allowances for a minimum commitment of two days per week. Professor Roberts has been appointed to this role for a two year termThe position of Vice-Chair attracts remuneration of £16,311, plus travel and subsistence allowances, for a minimum commitment of one day per week. Mr McMullan has been appointed to this role for a five year term.Biography of AppointeesProfessor Peter RobertsProfessor Roberts has served on the NIHE Board since 2013. Most of his work over the past four decades has been in the field of strategic planning having worked with local and central government, councils and international bodies. He was responsible for establishing the Academy for Sustainable Communities, through which he was able to create an England-wide organisation across over 100 professional areas. He has served on a number of Boards including the First Ark Group, Audit and Risk Committee for a hospital trust and Home and Communities Agency. Professor Robert’s Board experience along with his extensive knowledge and experience in various social housing roles will bring professional finance, governance and specialist experience to the NIHE Chair position. He holds no other public appointments.Mr John McMullanMr McMullan is the former Chief Executive Officer of Bryson Charitable Group, a business he developed from a traditional charity into a modernised fit for purpose Social Enterprise, employing over 900 staff and delivering a range of social purposed services in NI, GB and RoI. He has served on a number of boards including as Chair of Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre. Mr McMullan’s experience in governance, policy and strategy development along with other areas relevant to social housing will bring significant knowledge and specialist experience to the NIHE Vice-Chair position. He holds no other public appointments.CPANI Code of PracticeThe appointment process for the appointment of Chair and Vice Chair has been regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment NI (CPANI) and the appointments have been made in accordance with the CPANI Code of Practice.Political ActivityAll independent appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, CPANI requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Professor Roberts and Mr McMullan have had no political activity in the last 5 years.Statutory RequirementsProvision for the NIHE Board is set out in the Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1981. In October 2018, the Secretary of State for NI introduced legislation in Parliament; the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 1 November. This legislation provides for the appointment to a number of public offices by the Secretary of State. The NI (Ministerial Appointment Functions) Regulations 2019 came into force on 18 February 2019. This Instrument provides for further critical appointments, including that of the NIHE Board.center_img The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt. Hon Karen Bradley MP, today announced that she has appointed Professor Peter Roberts as Chair and Mr John McMullan as Vice Chair of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) Board. In the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers, these appointments were made possible by the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018.These appointments will take effect from 1 April and will ensure that the NIHE Board can continue to deliver the vital public services within its remit for the benefit of the Northern Ireland community. The Secretary of State also announced short extensions to the terms of appointment of three NIHE Board members who represent the NI Housing Council. The terms of appointment of Councillor Philip Brett, Councillor Catherine Elattar and Alderman Bill Keery have been extended until 1 May 2019 to cover the period leading up to the local elections.Mrs Bradley said:last_img read more

Flyer For LOCKN’ Festival Confirm Grateful Dead Member On 2016 Lineup

first_imgUpdate: Tales From The Golden Road, the esteemed program on the Grateful Dead channel on SiriusXM, confirmed this news as well. See their post below.With Dead & Company hitting the Citi Field stadium in New York, NY, organizers of the LOCKN’ Festival naturally are taking the opportunity to promote their festivals to the New York heads. The festival flyer features all of the Grateful Dead-inspired bands, including previously announced artists like Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel, Circles Around The Sun, and Garcia’s Forest.The big surprise, however, is at the top of the flyer: Phil Lesh & Friends. See the flyer below.Of course, this doesn’t say anything about which of his “Friends” will be included in the lineup. With so many great artists on the Lockn’ lineup, the possibilities are practically endless! We can’t wait.last_img read more

Seeking answers on campus sexual assault

first_imgOver the past year, the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Assault has been gathering information to lay the groundwork for interventions to lower the incidence of sexual assault, harassment, and other misconduct at Harvard, as well as for improvements in supporting students who have experienced such misconduct.This week, the task force is launching its most far-reaching effort yet, sending out a Web-based survey to 20,000 members of the student body, targeting all degree candidates as part of a national effort involving 28 universities to understand the extent and nature of the problem, both on their home campuses and across the country.The task force’s work is just the latest effort to get a handle on the problem at Harvard. Last year, the University adopted policies and procedures to address sexual assault and harassment and opened a new Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution. In addition, the issue has been discussed by different Schools. Last week, for example, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study sponsored a panel discussion on how government policies affect the incidence and tolerance of gender-based violence.The Gazette sat down with the task force’s chairman, Steven Hyman, a professor of stem cell and regenerative biology and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, and David Laibson, the Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics, who participated in the survey design. The two discussed the survey, what students can expect to be asked, and the potential benefit of taking a hard look at a difficult issue.GAZETTE: The Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Assault is sending out a survey to students. What is the task force hoping to learn and why is the survey needed?HYMAN: First, the mission of this task force is twofold: one is prevention of sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct, and the other is making sure we do our best to support people who have experienced sexual assault and misconduct.In order to prevent these unwanted behaviors, we have to know what the risk factors are that contribute to their occurrence. We also have to know how many episodes there are each semester in order to have a chance of knowing whether our interventions are succeeding.To design effective preventive interventions for the Harvard context, the task force has undertaken three complementary efforts. One endeavor was a very intensive effort to listen within small and large meetings involving many different groups across Harvard’s schools. Stephanie Khurana took the lead for the College and provided important intellectual leadership.A second effort was to review the academic literature to determine what was really known about assault and harassment. Lisa Berkman of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health took the lead. This effort was complemented by hearing reports from other universities, including Brown and MIT, and interviewing experts at other Universities.The third effort was to design and implement the survey that is about to be released at Harvard. Not only is this a way to learn about our own institution, but also to benchmark ourselves against similar institutions. Among many advantages of surveying multiple institutions with the same instrument is the possibility of learning from differences and understanding best practices for intervention.“First, the mission of this task force is twofold: one is prevention of sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct, and the other is making sure we do our best to support people who have experienced sexual assault and misconduct,” said Steven Hyman, the task force’s chairman. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerGAZETTE: How many institutions are involved with the survey and what kinds of things will you be asking?LAIBSON: The survey is a collaboration, primarily with the AAU, the Association of American Universities, which is a consortium of 62 research universities in the U.S. Twenty-eight will be participating in the survey.We participated in every stage of the process of creating the survey. We had a set of local conversations and convened an Ivy Plus consortium group, which is a conversation among the Ivies and a few additional schools.There were three bids from external survey research firms, and Westat emerged with the strongest bid. Then a survey design committee organized by the AAU took over. That committee, which we participated on, met once to twice a week working with Westat to design the survey. The design process started in October and continued until just a few weeks ago.We were the first school to pretest the survey, and we did that in January. The word “pretest” is a little bit odd because on the one hand it sounds like people actually took the survey, but we didn’t want that. We really wanted students to react to the questions and tell us whether they were clear, comprehensible, personally relevant; appropriate in every conceivable way.GAZETTE: Can you describe the content of the survey? How long is it, how many questions, and what kind of topics do the questions cover?LAIBSON: Length is better summarized with time than by a number of questions, because it’s conditional. If people are reporting incidents of an assault, we’re going to follow up on that. So if you say yes, that opens up more questions.We’ve thought a lot about good survey methods and the burden on our respondents. Since we would like a high response rate, we wanted to create a survey that wouldn’t drive people away because 45 minutes into it they’ve got to go to dinner. We worked very hard to keep the survey down to 20 to 30 minutes for a typical respondent.We also want to emphasize that confidentiality — really anonymity — is important. We’re sending people a link. When they click on that link, any identifiers — to email or to name — is severed.HYMAN: At no time in the process does Harvard University possess any identifying data, like IP addresses. The survey is performed on the Westat site and we get data back stripped of all identifiers. Even the emails to students are sent from Westat and not from Harvard.GAZETTE: What should students expect? And if it’s not from Harvard, how does it get through spam filters?LAIBSON: We have been “white-listed” in the Harvard email system, but of course it cannot be white-listed in every email system. So that means if someone is forwarding all their emails to Hotmail, it could get spammed in Hotmail. So if students didn’t see it in their inbox at the end of the day on the 12th, they should check their spam filters, particularly if they’re forwarding their mail to another service.It’ll come from Westat, they won’t see Harvard.edu. It’ll contain an invitation from Drew Faust to participate, but it won’t be from her address. There will be a link, they’ll click on the link, and at that point their identity is severed from the survey. All we will know is what we collect on the survey.We’re going to ask them about demographics, about their living situation, many things about the climate at Harvard. We’re trying to cover a lot of territory. First we’re going to be asking about sexual harassment and, of course, about sexual assault. We’re going to be asking about intimate partner violence, and about stalking.Sexual assault is very complex and problematic, so we’re not going to ask generic questions like, “Have you been the victim of a sexual assault?” We’re instead going to be very explicit and talk about very particular situations with very precise wording and ask, “Did this happen to you?”“The survey is a collaboration, primarily with the AAU, the Association of American Universities, which is a consortium of 62 research universities in the U.S.,” said Professor David Laibson, who participated in the survey design. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerHYMAN: We want to know about specific experiences and behaviors, not how people have labeled them, because labels can be understood very differently among the members of our community.LAIBSON: Sexual assault can take many forms: through force, through attempted force, through incapacitation, so all of these different channels will be measured.Then we’ll follow up and ask detailed questions about the characteristics of the event, the reporting, follow-up, etc. We want to get a relatively full picture of the circumstances and context of the incident, and then how the incident was or was not followed up and whether those follow-ups were satisfactory.So we’ll have a pretty complete picture of the characteristics of each incident plus an overall measure of prevalence by category.GAZETTE: Are there any questions aimed at perpetrators?LAIBSON: We decided not to ask those particular questions because we were concerned about length of the survey and we didn’t think we’d get honest answers. There may be ways to ask those kinds of questions, but not on this type of a survey.HYMAN: We think it’s very important. It’s been alleged based on some research that a small number of repeat offenders are responsible for a substantial fraction of assaults. It would be very important to know if that is true, but that would require a very different survey.GAZETTE: Is there a concern that the survey might be painful for someone who has had a bad experience and been assaulted?HYMAN: I would describe the survey’s language as direct and precise. If we were to focus overmuch on the risks of upsetting people, we would not be able to obtain the information we need. We would then be sacrificing the ability to make the situation better for others. So we hope that students will be poised enough to understand that even if it’s unpleasant, it’s important.LAIBSON: I want to reiterate that point. In getting student feedback during the pretest, one of the concerns was how they reacted to the language. And across the wide swath of the student community, including activist groups, there was uniform support for the approach that we took.There is also a link to reporting and support services directly from the survey. Anyone who’s feeling traumatized in taking the survey is encouraged to stop if they want to. Our goal is not to make people take it who don’t want to take it.GAZETTE: But at the same time, it’s important to get an accurate view of what’s going on?HYMAN: If we don’t get a large and representative sample, it will be very hard to know how to design preventive interventions and very hard to know whether they have been successful. It’s just of critical importance that our students participate and take this seriously.After we design and the University implements specific, preventive interventions, we cannot assume that they will improve the situation significantly. We must be able to measure whether we have made a difference in the incidence of assault and harassment. To do that we need good baseline information and then follow-up data over time.GAZETTE: So, in addition to talking in fairly blunt language about what happened, there are questions also about where, when, who?LAIBSON: Yes, we address that, including alcohol.There are also Harvard-specific categories of responses, reflecting, for example, the organization that provides support and reporting services. At Harvard it would be OSAPR [the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response], which obviously wouldn’t exist at another school. We ask about OSAPR here.There are idiosyncratic organizations or living arrangements here and maybe not at other schools, like Houses, so these response categories will vary across all 28 schools in this initial wave of the survey.GAZETTE: How many surveys are going to go out to the Harvard community?LAIBSON: The decision AAU and Westat made is to survey degree candidates. There are 20,000 degree candidates at Harvard. And all of them are going to be surveyed and all will be offered a $5 Amazon card if they participate in the survey.GAZETTE: What do we know already about sexual assault here at Harvard?HYMAN: We simply do not know the true prevalence. Our goal is to gain a good estimate of the behaviors that constitute assault and harassment and to learn how best to increase honest reporting when such events occur.GAZETTE: What are the factors that make the issue such a black box right now? Why don’t we know?HYMAN: Across cultures and populations, sexual assault is underreported. Very often, those who have experienced assault or harassment don’t feel safe reporting for fear of stigmatization, retaliation, or of being retraumatized by an investigation. We have students coming from cultures where women who report having been assaulted may be harmed or marginalized for life.We understand the disincentives to reporting are deeply ingrained in many cultures, including ours. Having a technology that allows people to take a survey and have their identities truly and credibly protected is an important recent development.LAIBSON: This is the first time that an effort like this, with national scale, has ever been conducted. The survey will also give us the ability to compare across schools and identify successes. One thing that might emerge is that we find some schools or subpopulations within schools that have much lower rates of sexual assault. And, if that’s the case, I’d like to learn more about those environments and the mechanisms, the correlates, of that success.If we discover, just as an example, that 24 of the 28 schools have a very high rate of sexual assault but four of the 28 have a very low rate of sexual assault, the first thing I’m going to want to do is call up that community and find out what’s different. It may take a few years to get to the bottom of that, but I think this could be a very important channel for learning about the mechanisms that reduce the problem.HYMAN: We also hope to be resurveying at intervals to learn what has happened and to know whether we are on the right track.GAZETTE: When will results be announced?LAIBSON: Harvard will be releasing its results during the fall semester and I believe that the national results will be released around that time.It’s important for us to be transparent about the results. We’ll be discussing with the community both the national Westat results and the Harvard-specific results. We’ll be transparent about what’s happening here and in comparing our outcomes with the outcomes in the national sample, the 28 schools.For more information about the survey, visit the Sexual Conduct Survey website.last_img read more