Friday, August 26, 2016

Celebrate the National Park Service's 100th Birthday

On August 25, 2016 the National Parks Service (NPS) turned 100.  To celebrate the NPS created 99 Ways to Find Your Park, a linked list of 99 activities people can do in urban, nature, and historic parks. They also created the hashtag #FindYourPark for those wanting to post a picture or video of a park experience.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Presidential Candidates and Election Information

Where can you find out more information about Presidential candidates' policies? Check the Elections/Voting LibGuide for links to various free and subscription (library only or remote access with a Rice ID) services.
For example, if you want:

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Monitoring Restoration of Gulf Coast After Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Oil Spill

Concerned that monitoring of the restoration of the Gulf coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill may be inadequate, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have created a publication identifying best practices for restoration monitoring, assessment, and synthesis. The publication also "offers specific guidance for a subset of habitats and taxa to be restored in the Gulf including oyster reefs, tidal wetlands, and seagrass habitats, as well as a variety of birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals." Download Effective Monitoring to Evaluate Ecological Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico for free on the Academies' site or purchase a paper copy for $52.00.

Friday, July 29, 2016

July 29, 2016 - Last Day to Apply for Houston-Area Flooding Assistance for April 2016 Floods

The City of Houston Disaster Recovery homepage lists Friday, July 29, 2016  as the final day for residents of 16 Texas counties to register with FEMA for assistance for damage/losses due to the April 17-30 floods. See for more information.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Understanding Political Party Conventions

With the Republican Party Convention convening next week, some may have questions about how the convention process works. A new guide entitled USAGov's Guide to the Party Conventions is now available to explain the basic structure of political conventions.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Understanding Brexit

UK Data Service Research Associate Dr. Kathryn Simpson, an expert in comparative European politics, political behavior and public opinion, has a new blog post, Making Sense of Brexit - the data you need to analyse. In the post she discusses four key issues: immigration, sovereignty, security, and economy. She then provides links to data that fall under the following broad categories: data to analyse Europe; data to analyse Britain/UK; and data to analyse Northern Ireland.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Most common age in U.S., by race and ethnicity

Using Census data, the Pew Research Center has created a histogram showing the most common age for white (55 years), black (24 years), Hispanic (8 years), and Asian (33 years) people in the United States. The full report explaining the histogram is also available.

Public Trust and Law Enforcement

In the wake of still more shootings of or by police officers, what actions could Congress take to improve public trust in law enforcement?  In March before the latest round of shootings in Baton Rouge and Dallas, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) wrote a report entitled Public Trust and Law Enforcement - A Brief Discussion for Policymakers. The report mentions Gallop poll data showing Americans are generally confident in the police, but that varies by race, place of residence and other factors. The report makes the following suggestions to Congress:

  •  Congress could consider placing conditions on federal funding to encourage law enforcement to adopt policy changes to promote better community relations.  
  • Policymakers could consider expanding efforts to collect more comprehensive data on the use of force by law enforcement officers.  
  • Congress could consider providing grants to law enforcement agencies so they could purchase body - worn cameras for their officers. 
  •  Policymakers could take steps to facilitate investigations and prosecutions of excessive force by amending 18 U.S.C. §242 to reduce the mens rea  (intention of wrongdoing) standard in federal prosecutions, or place conditions on federal funds to promote the use of special prosecutors at the state level . 
  •  Congress could fund Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring grants so law enforcement agencies could hire more officers to engage in community policing activities. 
  •  Policymakers might consider using the influence of congressional authority to affect the direction of national criminal justice policy.