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  1. Tropical cyclones and other extreme coastal storms cause widespread interruption and damage to meteorological and hydrological measurement stations exactly when researchers need them most. There is a longstanding need to collect collocated and synchronized measurements in areas where storms severely damage civil/coastal infrastructure. To fill this observational gap, researchers led by author Masters developed a state-of-the-art monitoring station called a “Sentinel.” Sentinels are intended for temporary installation on the beach between the mean tidal datum and the sand dunes and are engineered to operate in and measure extreme wind, storm surge, wave, and hazardous water quality conditions. They are envisioned as a shared-use resource—a hardened IoT (Internet of Things) platform set up in the right place at the right time to study wind and wave loads, coastal erosion and morphology changes, water quality, and other processes during extreme coastal storms. 
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  2. There are ongoing research efforts directed at addressing strength limitations of compressed earth blocks (CEB) that inhibit their deployment for structural applications, particularly in areas where masonry systems are regularly subjected to lateral loads from high winds. In this paper, the authors focus specifically on the extent to which polypropylene (PP) fibers can be used to enhance the flexural performance of CEB. Cementitious matrices used for CEB production exhibit low tensile and flexural strength (brittle) properties. This work investigates plain (unreinforced) and fiber-reinforced specimens (short flexural beams) with fiber mass content of 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0% and ordinary Portland cement (OPC) content of 8%. The influence of the inclusion of fiber was based on tests conducted using the Standard Test Method for Flexural Performance of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (ASTM C1609). Material properties that were quantified included first-peak strength, peak strength, equivalent flexural strength, residual strength, and flexural toughness. There was an observed improvement in the performance of the soil-fiber matrixes based on these results of these tests. It was also observed that when the fiber content exceeded 0.6% and above, specimens exhibited a deflection- hardening behavior; an indication of improvement in ductility. An equivalent flexural strength predictive model is proposed. 
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