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We hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and their time with family and friends. This week we are covering eye-tracking research, shifts in global energy supply chains, Chinook salmon predictions, and more.
For our data visualization we have some New Year's resolutions that are most common for 2023.
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Have a great weekend!
Eye-Tracking Research Helps to Boost Public Transportation Ridership
Researchers at USF combined eye-tracking technology and social marketing to improve the impact of transit’s marketing campaigns. They monitored eye movements of 60 participants as they studied various ads and videos to generate heat maps and areas of interest. When tested for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority’s campaign that offers free Uber ride vouchers to and from its rail stations, the initial flyer resulted in only a third of people who downloaded a voucher using it. After making the adjustments, a majority of vouchers were redeemed. USF
Shift in Global Energy Supply Chains
Global energy supply chains continue to shift as western sanctions of Russian fossil fuels and other products impact market conditions. Current trends indicate a swap in customers for the biggest oil producers in the world, with Saudi Arabia increasingly serving European markets and Russia expanding oil exports to China and India. It appears that Europe will be more than able to offset lost access to Russian oil by contracting with major Middle Eastern energy producers like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Russia, however, is unlikely to replace all lost European buyers. Russian oil exports are down 22% through December 2022. Read more from Wall Street Journal.
Chinook Salmon Predictions Offer Anglers Optimism
Forecasts in Oregon and Washington were recently released for the Spring 2023 Columbia River Chinook runs, projecting the best numbers in years in the Columbia River and its tributaries. The total return for the Columbia Spring measures around 315,000 fish, an increase in 284,000 adult fish last year. Adult Chinook salmon can range from 14 to 25 pounds and stocks are improving due to a general improvement in indicators such as Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), upwelling, sea-surface temperature, and plankton abundance. Oregon’s Willamette River also is forecasted to increase by about 15,000 Chinook compared to last year. Chinook salmon are important keystone species of the Pacific Northwest and are a vital food source for wildlife, as well as a prized sport and commercial fish. Read More.
EPA Issues New Rule to Strengthen Water Protections in the U.S.
Last Friday the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers announced a new definition of “waters of the United States”. Back in 2015 the EPA established a broad definition of waters in the U.S. that included many rivers such as the Mississippi, the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and other lakes, wetlands, that crossed state borders. In 2020 this definition was limited and fewer federal protections were given out as a result. This new definition would revert many protections back to 2015 with the goal of protecting people’s health, and support economic opportunity in existing waterways. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision next year in a case challenging the EPA’s new rules, specifically that wetlands on private land are still protected under the Clean Water Act. Read More.
Cottonseed Improvements for Feed.
Texas A&M plant improvement scientists have been making major strides in developing a market-ready cotton variety with low levels of gossypol in the seed of the cotton. Cottonseed can be an affordable protein source for animal feed, but it contains a naturally occurring chemical (gossypol) that makes it toxic for human consumption and for some animals. The new cotton variety from TAMU has cottonseed gossypol levels reduced by around 97%, making it safe for feed for aquaculture and even human consumption. Importantly, the cotton still has high levels of gossypol in other parts of the plant, which makes it retain its natural pest resistance. Some experts see it as an important solution for aquaculture feed, where the industry is dealing with major feed cost escalation. Read more at SoutheastFarmPress.com.
Visualization of the Week
New Year's Resolutions for 2023
New Year’s resolutions continue to be dominated by health orientated goals, such as exercising more, eating healthier, and losing weight. Financials also trend high on the American mindset, as saving more money is a leading resolution after a year marked by high inflation. Other significant areas include quality time with friends and family, and reducing stress on the job. Read More