Articles tagged with: Julia Baird

  • Research award winners to share findings at upcoming event

    Research on sustainability, decolonization and child safety will be featured the upcoming annual public Faculty of Social Sciences (FOSS) Research Colloquium.

    This year’s virtual event takes place Wednesday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and will include presentations from both recipients of the 2021 FOSS Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, as well as three winners of the FOSS Student Research Award.

    • “Water resilience for a rapidly changing world” — Associate Professor Julia Baird, Geography and Tourism Studies and Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
    • “Empathy and Equity for the World’s Oceans” — Assistant Professor Jessica Blythe, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
    • “A Holistic Approach to Mapping Priority Sites for Low-Impact Development” — Jillian Booth (BSc ’20), Sustainability Science and Society
    • “Tracing the Colonial Dimensions of ‘Special Education’: History, Disability and Settler Colonialism” — Alec Moore (BA ’20), Child and Youth Studies
    • “Evaluating Video Prompting to Teach Prospective Parents and Caregivers Correct Installation of Child Passenger Safety Restraints” — Niruba Rasuratnam, Applied Disability Studies

    Baird, Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water and Water Resilience, says being recognized with the Early Career Researcher Award jointly with her colleague Jessica Blythe was a thrill.

    “It is an honour, and I think it helps raise the profile of the research being done by my lab and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) more broadly, especially with both Jessica and I receiving this award in the same year,” says Baird. “I am so appreciative to the Faculty of Social Sciences for this award.”

    Blythe agrees, saying she felt both incredibly honoured by the recognition and pleased to be named alongside Baird.

    “It is especially exciting to know that the kind of applied, interdisciplinary and solution-oriented research we do as sustainability scientists is being recognized by the Faculty,” says Blythe. “While this award recognizes individuals, the work we do isn’t possible without an incredible team of people, including faculty and staff at ESRC, collaborators, students, and partners to name a few.”

    Baird is also grateful to have worked with several partners as part of her work, which she purposely designs to have real-world impact.

    “I am fortunate to have worked with excellent, sustainability-oriented partners and collaborators in my research as a faculty member, including the Niagara Parks Commission, WWF-Canada, and the Town of Lincoln, along with many amazing academics and students,” says Baird. “Nothing I do happens in isolation and I’m so grateful to those who have mentored me and collaborated with me to reach this point.”

    Both Blythe and Baird say they look forward to sharing their work and engaging in conversation at the upcoming event. Baird is also looking forward to celebrating graduate student research at the Colloquium, including that of Master of Sustainability student Booth, whom Baird supervises.

    “My research is focused on using Nature-Based Solutions such as Low-Impact Development (LID) to build more resilient socio-ecological communities,” says Booth. “Findings will be applied to the Prudhommes Landing development located in the Town of Lincoln, but the lessons learned from this case study can be shared with other leading jurisdictions and governments looking for innovative ways to encourage sustainable development.”

    Booth used her FOSS Student Award funding to commute to the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, where she was able to use the laboratory and equipment to collect and analyze soil samples collected at Prudhommes Landing throughout the summer.

    Moore, an MA student in Child and Youth Studies, will present on his research into the connection between conceptualizations of disability and the forces of settler colonialism in Canada, outlining his project to analyze the Ontario First Nations Special Education Review Report.

    “Being able to contribute to a critical and emerging body of literature that discusses disability and settler colonialism is extremely rewarding, as there is a significant need for more critical work in this area,” says Moore. “It is also very rewarding to play a very small part in continuing the ongoing effort of Decolonization, particularly in regards to Disability Studies.”

    Moore used the funding from his FOSS Student Research Award to scale back on work hours and purchase research materials. He says he is excited to take part in the event next week, and credits his supervisor, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director Hannah Dyer, as well as committee members Assistant Professor Chelsea Jones and Professor Richard Mitchell, with helping him get to the point of being ready to share his research plan.

    Rasuratnam of the MA in Applied Disability Studies also emphasizes the role her supervisor, Associate Professor Kimberly Zonneveld, has played not only in this research but in her academic path overall. After graduating with a degree in Life Science from McMaster, Rasuratnam completed a post-graduate certificate in Autism and Behavioural Sciences at Seneca College, which then led her to the graduate programs in Brock’s Department of Applied Disability Studies. She started out in a coursework stream but was inspired to undertake research by Zonneveld.

    At the upcoming event, Rasuratnam will present some of this work for the first time to an audience outside of the Zonneveld lab.

    “My research entails creating a video-prompting model to help prospective and current caregivers correctly install a car seat and harness an infant,” she says. “There’s still such a high prevalence of death and injuries that occur from motor vehicle collisions that, if caregivers learn how to correctly install car seats, this risk could be reduced by 70 to 80 per cent.”

    Rasuratnam used the funding from her FOSS Student Award to complete the Child Passenger Safety Technician certification to develop her video prompting procedure. She says there are currently only six applied studies on the topic of training, so the research could have far-reaching impacts if the techniques of applied behaviour analysis are shown to improve outcomes in the area of car-seat installation.

    Dawn Zinga, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences, says the event is an opportunity to showcase top faculty researchers while also highlighting the exciting research of graduate students.

    “The Faculty has wonderful diversity in the research that is undertaken across the various departments and programs,” says Zinga. “This event illustrates that breadth and depth.”

    The FOSS Research Colloquium is open to the public and intended for a general audience. Please register to receive a link to the Lifesize livestream.

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  • New paper by Julia Baird “Ecosystem services decision support tools: exploring the implementation gap in Canada”

    A new paper titled, “Ecosystem services decision support tools: exploring the implementation gap in Canada” by Dr. Julia Baird was recently published in FACETS.

    Abstract:
    This paper explores the degree to which the ecosystem services (ES) concept and related tools have been integrated and implemented within the Canadian government context at both the provincial/territorial and federal levels. The research goals of the study were to qualitatively assess the extent to which ES assessment is being integrated at different levels of government, consider the barriers to implementation, and draw lessons from the development and use of Canada’s Ecosystem Services Toolkit: Completing and Using Ecosystem Service Assessment for Decision-Making—An Interdisciplinary Toolkit for Managers and Analysts (2017), jointly developed by a federal, provincial, and territorial government task force. Primary data were collected through targeted semi-structured interviews with key informants combined with a content analysis of ES-related documentation from government websites. Results indicate that while the term ES is found in documentation across different levels of government, there appears to be an ES implementation gap. Issues of conceptual understanding, path dependency, a lack of regulatory mandate, lost staff expertise, and competition with overlapping conceptual approaches were identified as barriers to ES uptake. Areas requiring further policy and research attention are identified.

    Citation:
    Kerr, G.L., Holzer, J.M., Baird, J., and Hickey, G.M. (2021). Ecosystem services decision support tools: exploring the implementation gap in Canada. FACETS, 18: online.

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  • New paper co-authored by Julia Baird: “Fostering ocean empathy through future scenarios”

    A new access paper co-authored by Geography and Tourism Studies Assistant Professor, Dr. Julia Baird, titled “Fostering ocean empathy through future scenarios” was published in People and Nature. This paper is open-access and is available to download here.

    Abstract:

    1. Empathy for nature is considered a prerequisite for sustainable interactions with the biosphere. Yet to date, empirical research on how to stimulate empathy remains scarce.
    2. Here, we investigate whether future scenarios can promote greater empathy for the oceans. Using a pre-post empathy questionnaire, participants (N = 269) were presented with an optimistic or a pessimistic future scenario for the high seas in a virtual reality (VR) or written format.
    3. Results showed that post-test empathy levels were significantly higher than pre-test levels, indicating that future scenarios fostered ocean empathy. We also find that the pessimistic scenario resulted in greater empathy levels compared to the optimistic scenario. Finally, we found no significant difference between the VR and written conditions and found that empathy scores significantly decreased 3 months after the initial intervention.
    4. As one of the first studies to empirically demonstrate the influence of a purposeful intervention to build ocean empathy, this article makes critical contributions to advancing research on future scenarios and offers a novel approach for supporting ocean sustainability.

    Video Abstract: “Fostering ocean empathy through future scenarios”

    Citation:

    Jessica Blythe, Julia Baird, Nathan Bennett, Gillian Dale, Kirsty L. Nash, Gary Pickering, Colette C. C. Wabnitz. (2021). Fostering ocean empathy through future scenarios. People and Nature. Online: https://doi.org/10.1002/pan3.10253

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  • Students help WWF-Canada with fresh approaches to sharing water research

    FROM THE BROCK NEWS | by 

    When students in Julia Baird’s Research Themes in Water Resources class recently undertook a project to collect and share current research about freshwater, they had three very different audiences to impress: Baird, a curious public and the World Wildlife Fund of Canada (WWF-Canada).

    It wasn’t the first time students in the fourth-year Geography and Tourism Studies course worked with WWF-Canada on such a project, thanks in part to the WWF-Canada—Brock Partnership for Freshwater Resilience led by Baird, which officially launched last June.

    But this time around, students had access to funding to support their work-integrated learning (WIL) through Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada’s Innovation Hub (iHub), funded in part through the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative (IWIL).

    Students used a stipend to finance innovative projects that could help a target audience understand different issues related to freshwater resilience. The top projects also received a cash prize.

    “Students were given a list of potential questions they could answer, which WWF-Canada and I developed together,” explains Baird, an Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) who also holds Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience. “They were then asked to choose one question and take on three tasks that, together, provided a range of knowledge mobilization products, from scholarly products such as an annotated bibliography of relevant literature to creative products intended for an audience of their choosing.”

    Baird co-developed the project with WWF-Canada to ensure that both the organization and the students reaped the maximum benefits from their work-integrated learning.

    During a Research Themes in Water Resources class, Lyndsay Bott created an infographic on salt marshes and mitigation measures that can be taken to protect them.

     

    “WWF-Canada accesses foundational and current research on specific issues of interest and students gain knowledge about water issues and skills in identifying relevant research and translating it for a partner and also for another audience of their choosing,” says Baird. “It’s a project that, for me, ticked a lot of boxes in terms of learning outcomes.”

    To keep everyone on the right track, students were encouraged to communicate with a key contact at WWF-Canada throughout the semester to ask questions and touch base.

    Emily Bowyer (BSc ’21), who majored in Biology and Geography before graduating from Brock last month, says that working directly with WWF-Canada had a strong impact on her project, a series of TikTok videos about Riparian zones and restorations.

    “My biggest takeaway from the experience was working with an organization like WWF-Canada and learning from their expertise,” says Bowyer. “It was a great opportunity to build lasting connections with professionals in my field as a student.”

    Lyndsay Bott (BSc ’21), who will start a Master of Sustainability degree at Brock in the fall, agrees.

    “It was great to see how far an organization such as WWF-Canada stretches and how passionate the staff we had as contacts were,” says Bott. “It was overall just great to be involved in the community and gain experience this way.”

    Bott’s project focused on the interactions between freshwater and coastal ecosystems and resulted in an infographic about strategies for dealing with freshwater pollutants and how they can affect coastal salt marshes.

    Baird says students exceeded her expectations with their work on the projects, whether they were building on existing strengths or taking the opportunity to try out something new, as well as the final results, which included social media pieces, high school lesson plans, short videos and ArcGIS StoryMaps.

    Carol Ng (BA ’21), who also graduated last month, decided to appeal to kids with a cartoon-based Instagram post on beavers and freshwater quality, featuring an original character, Billy the Beaver.

    “It was targeted to children, and it was just such an engaging series. Billy looks for a new home and finds one that is not quite right but by building a dam it benefits not only him but also some fish friends he meets,” says Baird. “It’s cute but also takes rather complex research results and shares them at an entirely appropriate level for children.”

    Anugraha Udas (BA ’21), who created an educational video on Riparian restoration project monitoring, says the assignment provided a unique way of showcasing skills outside of the typical academic environment.

    “Through my experience in drone videography and contemporary videography, I was able to create an educational video that everyone could understand and enjoy,” says Udas, who will start a master’s degree in spatial analysis at Ryerson University in the fall to pursue research interests that were crystallized in the recent Brock course. “This is something that a typical essay would not be able to recreate.”

    Cara Krezek, Brock’s Director of Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, as well as President of CEWIL Canada, says Brock has become known for these types of course experiences.

    “These innovative, engaging experiences allow students to bridge their learning to meaningful work that is useable by industry,” says Krezek. “CEWIL Canada has invested in innovative WIL projects across the country and this project met the criteria for a grant as it used technology, was innovative and funded quality student experiences.”

    In the end, the projects had a strong impact on both the partners at WWF-Canada and the students, who learned about issues and gained crucial experience in the field.

    “Based on the feedback from WWF-Canada, they identified some new, innovative ways to communicate their messaging around freshwater issues from the student projects,” says Baird. “I’m grateful that WWF-Canada has been interested in and sees the value of maintaining this course-based project as part of our partnership.”

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  • Social Sciences faculty members recognized for outstanding contributions

    FROM THE BROCK NEWS | by 

    Associate Professor Hannah Dyer in the Department of Child and Youth Studies (CHYS) is the recipient of this year’s Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching.

    Dyer, who also serves as the Graduate Program Director for CHYS, says that she felt “honoured and overwhelmed” not only to receive the award, but also to be nominated by her colleagues. She was recognized as part of Brock’s Virtual Spring Convocation on Friday, June 18.

    “I was also immensely grateful when I read the supporting letters that students wrote,” she says. “It reminded of the important ways they contribute to intellectual communities at Brock and truly, make it a wonderful place to teach.”

    Dyer is a critical theorist of childhood with a concentration in art/aesthetics, social conflict, queer theory and psychoanalysis. In 2020, she published The Queer Aesthetics of Childhood: Asymmetries of Innocence and the Cultural Politics of Child Development.

    She first came to Brock in 2017, having previously worked as an Assistant Professor at Carleton University. She says that she polished her classroom skills while teaching at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College as a PhD student.

    “The pairing of these two teaching positions — being an instructor at a college and at a research-intensive university — offered me the opportunity to create curricular offerings that welcome many students into conversations that may otherwise be alienating,” says Dyer.

    She was attracted to Brock because of the CHYS Department’s large size and transdisciplinary approach, as well as the then-newly created PhD program.

    To enhance transdisciplinary thinking for her students, Dyer works hard to include media and cultural production in her courses, using critical analysis of everything from political campaigns to art exhibits to explore social commentary and symbolism.

    “In showing students how to treat film, digital media, music and novels with as much value as other scholarly texts and textbooks, I aim to assist them in making meaning and theory from their everyday experiences and relationships,” says Dyer. “The residue of these lessons is felt months after the course has ended, as is evidenced by emails from students who have read a book or watched a show that has then reminded them of our course and its theoretical foundations.”

    Dyer believes that teaching is an “ethical and urgent task that can usher in new and more just worlds,” and says the experience of transitioning courses to online delivery at the onset of the global pandemic showed just how fluid both teachers and learners need to be.

    “It reminded me that I am a continuous learner myself in a world that is being reshaped by crisis, and in the altered terrains of education that come in its wake,” says Dyer. “My syllabi are often framed by questions I’d like the class to consider while we move through the semester, and they are meant to provoke thought rather than resolution — to remind both teacher and student of the social and political urgencies that drive our critique.”

    As such, Dyer treats her classroom as a “site of reciprocal care” and is diligent about meeting the needs of her students.

    “I am concerned with the care needed to foster a supportive environment for students who are otherwise marginalized, so my assignments and modes of assessment take seriously the needs of students whose communities and subjectivities have historically been mistreated by institutions of higher education,” says Dyer. “My courses are imagined as both events and processes, whereby learning happens for both student and teacher. The teacher is tasked with an ethical duty to demonstrate why learning new things matters for both the student and the teacher.”

    Earlier this year, the Faculty of Social Sciences also awarded its top honours for research, the Distinguished Researcher and Early Career Researcher of the Year.

    Professor Andrea Doucet of the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies was named the Faculty of Social Sciences Distinguished Researcher for 2020. Doucet holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Gender, Work and Care and recently began work on a SSHRC Partnership Grant entitled Reimagining Care/Work Policies (2020-2027).

    The Faculty chose to name two Early Career Researchers of the Year for 2020: Assistant Professor Jessica Blythe of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC), the faculty lead on the Niagara Adapts Innovative Partnership, and Assistant Professor Julia Baird of the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies and the ESRC, who holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience.

    Ingrid Makus, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, says the Faculty’s award winners have all continued to do extraordinary work in spite of the circumstances of this extraordinary year.

    “At a time when we are collectively being moved to reimagine the society around us, these exceptional faculty members have redoubled their efforts to expand and share knowledge around urgent issues,” says Makus. “Hannah Dyer’s creative and conscientious approach to teaching and the significant research contributions of Andrea Doucet, Julia Baird and Jessica Blythe have a clear, positive impact on the world around us. Their ongoing work is a source of great pride for the Faculty, and it is our pleasure to recognize them for their achievements.”

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  • New research looks at how a new water paradigm is defined and used in literature

    In a new paper titled “The emerging scientific water paradigm: Precursors, hallmarks, and trajectories“, ESRC/GeoTour prof Dr. Julia Baird and co-authors explore how two interpretations of a new water paradigm are defined and used, and overlap in the literature.

    Abstract

    Increasing scholarship has focused on a shift in scientific water paradigm in the 21st century from an understanding of water systems as stationary, predictable and command‐and‐control as appropriate governance to an understanding of them as complex, dynamic, and uncertain. This shift has been characterized in several ways. We focused on two prominent characterizations: as a “new water paradigm” and as “water resilience.” We identified the defining hallmarks of each, the “precursor” scholarship upon which these Defining Works build, and how the Defining Works have been advanced with “Subsequent Works” that cite them. We used bibliometric data to analyze the three bodies of literature and inductive coding to identify the hallmarks of the new water paradigm and water resilience from Defining Works. Four categories of hallmarks were identified that describe the emerging scientific water paradigm: complex adaptive systems orientation; governance and management configurations, which are inclusive, integrative, adaptive; governance and management actions that emphasize linkages between social and ecological systems and imperative of sustainability; and, attributes of diversity, redundancy and openness. There was insufficient evidence in fields of research, author country, and publishing journals to confirm that the emerging scientific water paradigm has been conceptualized in two distinct ways. Despite the degree of similarity between the two conceptualizations, the literature is strongly oriented toward one or the other. We suggest consilience between these two conceptualizations and scholars working with them to advance collective understanding of governance and management in light of our current understanding of water systems.

    Reference

    Baird, J., Plummer, R., Dale, G., Kapeller, B., Mallette, A., Feist, A., and Kataoka A. (2020). The emerging scientific water paradigm: Precursors, hallmarks, and trajectories. WIREs Water. Online: https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1489

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  • Brock researcher receives national award for work on water governance

    Julia Baird is the recipient of the 2020 Water’s Next Award in the category of “People: Academic Leader.” The award was announced in June at the annual Canadian Water Summit, which was held virtually earlier this month.

    Baird, Assistant Professor in the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) and the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, is a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience. She was also nominated for the award in 2019.

    Baird, who runs the Water Resilience Lab out of ESRC, was grateful for the honour.

    “I especially appreciate this award because the Canadian Water Summit is a gathering place for Canadians working on water issues — a diverse group including government, academics, non-government organizations and industry,” Baird says. “It signals to me that my work is relevant beyond academia, and that is really important to me as a sustainability scientist.”

    Baird’s extensive research on the governance of water resources was recently in the spotlight during the virtual launch of a new partnership between World Wildlife Fund-Canada and the ESRC that will examine the ways in which flood planning is taking place around the St. John River Basin, located in New Brunswick, Québec and the American state of Maine.

    “The research is exciting because it will make important contributions to scholarship on watershed-based governance and climate change adaptation planning, and it also has immediate relevance for those in the basin,” says Baird.

    But, as Baird points out, the launch webinar also highlighted the pressing issue of a lack of co-ordination amongst stakeholders — an issue she believes requires urgent attention.

    “Water governance and specific issues like flood planning are not usually highly co-ordinated across administrative boundaries, but water doesn’t respect our administrative boundaries,” Baird says. “There are benefits, including efficiency, innovation and greater effectiveness, if decision-making and direction-setting occur in co-ordination or collaboration with others in the watershed.”

    Alongside her work on the St. John River Basin, Baird is engaged in another endeavour with colleagues from Brock to examine how and why people think about resilience when it comes to water resources.

    Early findings have shown that it is possible to “predict the extent to which individuals align with a resilience perspective based on some key differences, including age, empathy, openness and optimism about the future.”

    “This builds our understanding of how close — or far — those in society are to agreeing with and believing in the importance of governing using resilience principles, such as emphasizing broad participation in governance, supporting learning and experimentation, and recognizing the importance of connectivity,” says Baird, noting that although this work began as a single project, it is expanding into its own program of research.

    “The argument is that we need a resilience perspective because it acknowledges how the world works — its complexity, its dynamic nature, and its uncertainty,” Baird explains. “When we view the world with this lens, new possibilities for how we govern it open up.”

    Baird says that the work will soon move toward using the initial findings of the project to influence mindsets more broadly to encourage a resilience perspective.

    “Shifting mindsets is one of the most powerful levers we have for change,” says Baird. “I think there’s a lot of potential for positive action as a result of this research.”

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  • Julia Baird selected as finalist for Water’s Next award

    Julia Baird profile photoThe Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate Dr. Julia Baird for being selected as a finalist for a 2019 Water’s Next award. This “awards program honours the incredible achievements and ideas of individuals and companies that successfully work to make a positive change to water in our country and abroad”. Dr. Baird was selected as a finalist in the People – Academic category.

    More information is available here.

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  • Marilyne Jollineau and Julia Baird participate in International Women’s Day panel discussion

    On March 8, 2019, GeoTour Faculty members, Drs. Marilyne Jollineau and Julia Baird, participated in the “Women in Sustainability: A Panel Discussion in Celebration of International Women’s Day” event on campus.

    The discussion was moderated by Marilyne Jollineau. Discussions were framed around a number of questions focused on women in the field of sustainability.

    Panelists included:

    • Julia Baird, Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair
    • Carrie Beatty, Chief Strategic Communications & Public Affairs Officer for the Town of Lincoln
    • Jessica Blythe, Assistant Professor
    • Ellen Savoia, Senior Manager, Environmental Planning, Niagara Parks
    • Natalie Green, Project Manager, Niagara River Remedial Action Plan
    • Mary Quintana, Director, Asset Management & Utilities, Brock University

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  • Julia Baird and Marilyne Jollineau awarded SSHRC Insight Development Grant

    On January 30, 2019, Drs. Julia Baird (GeoTour), Marilyne Jollineau (GeoTour), and Ryan Plummer were awarded an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their project “A comparative analysis of approaches to evaluating ecological outcomes from environmental stewardship”. Read more about this project on Dr. Baird’s Water Resilience Lab website.

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