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School of Sustainability Graduate Culminating Experiences


Student capstone and applied projects from ASU's School of Sustainability.




Since the the Long Walks of the 1860’s Navajo people have wrestled with the problems of acculturation and assimilation, while trying to preserve their spiritual and cultural foundations. Though history has negatively affected Navajo wellbeing (happiness), sustainable Navajo principles and practices act as a positive counterweight. Aspiring to build the most socially and environmentally sustainable chapter house possible, the Navajo Nation’s Tonalea Chapter collaborated with our ASU research team. Two roundtable discussion with Chapter elders and members, led to a vision foundation that embodies physical, functional and environmental conditions, as well as cultural and spiritual beliefs and values. Initially, Houde’s ...

Contributors
Prosser, Paul, Cloutier, Scott
Created Date
2016-11-24

Strategies and interventions have promoted the sustainability of urban communities, but effective communication of these solutions is lacking. Documentation of current solutions tends to be dense and difficult for non-academics to understand. Sustainability scientists and practitioners need ways to meaningfully and intelligibly communicate their experiences to the lay public. This project sought to visually present sustainable community development solutions to address this communication barrier. Members of urban/community gardens in Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, and Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, were photographed, interviewed. Their feedback was then examined to assess the degree to which photographs can tell a holistic sustainability story. The ...

Contributors
Rosenstein, Rachael, Cloutier, Scott, Prosser, Paul
Created Date
2017-11-15

"Community and Composting in Victory Acres” implemented a pilot composting program for a local neighborhood in an effort to increase community cohesion. Victory Acres is a low-income, culturally diverse neighborhood located in Tempe that used to have easier access to the Escalante Community Center before the 101 freeway divided the community. Residents of the neighborhoods surrounding ECC do not have access to the Escalante Community Garden except on Community Harvest Days twice a month. The goal of the project was to reconnect broken ties to the ECG through a neighborhood composting service. Through composting, residents could directly benefit from the ...

Contributors
Kiefer, Alyssa, Cloutier, Scott, Prosser, Paul
Created Date
2017-04-28

Cities are restoring rivers to recapture the social, ecological, and economic benefits of rehabilitated rivers. But, traditional urban planning and flood management tools may not address the complex relationships between humans, the built environment, and natural elements in the social-ecological systems of which rivers are an important part. They also may not acknowledge and address the factors that led to channelization. The field of regenerative design and development—an eco-centric approach that aims to dismantle the underlying processes and viewpoints behind the most pressing environmental problems—offers tools to plan more effective and inclusive river restoration projects. To explore these issues and ...

Contributors
Pearthree, Genevieve, Cloutier, Scott, Ehlenz, Meagan, et al.
Created Date
2018-06-08

Greater cross-disciplinary collaboration between the fields of sustainability and clinical psychology could lead to improved outcomes for both. Moreover, some forms of mental disorder, such as PTSD and Moral Injury, constitute serious challenges that require the attention of sustainability’s interdisciplinary, systems-focused, solutionsoriented approach. My research frames the impacts of combat-related psychological trauma on military veterans as a sustainability problem according to criteria put forward by Arnim Wiek’s Transformational Problem Solving framework. I also provide a review of studies demonstrating the treatment benefits of agricultural therapy for veterans diagnosed with PTSD or symptoms associated with Moral Injury. I then describe my ...

Contributors
Gabriele, Adam, Hirt, Paul, Cloutier, Scott, et al.
Created Date
2018-03-27

As urbanization continues, critical wildlife may be lost. Residential landscapes, that are friendly to wildlife, can help protect biodiversity and advance sustainability. Urbanites who landscapes their yards to attract wildlife, can also gain greater knowledge and appreciation of nature. This project proposed an educational approach to encourage four households in the Victory Acres neighborhood in Tempe, Arizona to landscape their gardens with more than just aesthetics and food production as their goals. I developed a booklet on backyard biodiversity to provide the residents with information about the kinds of plants they could incorporate in their yards to attract pollinating species ...

Contributors
Ampuero, Kenia, Cloutier, Scott
Created Date
2018-04-27

While we often see community gardens as material spaces managed by organizations, resources and institutional arrangements do not fully define a community garden or ensure its success. Understanding the “human factor” is key to implementing interventions at the subjective level that allow gardens to thrive. The Escalante Community Garden in Tempe, Arizona is a transforming social-ecological system wherein volunteers exhibiting collective efficacy are a crucial component. To keep this undergoing transformation on a positive pathway, I leveraged a sustainability intervention, a Transformation Lab, using a set of replicable participatory tools to support personal and interpersonal dynamics beyond an organizational perspective.

Contributors
Halter, Marley, Manuel-Navarrete, David, Cloutier, Scott, et al.
Created Date
2018-04-19

The composition of this project can be described as half responsive digital media composition and half social experiment. It is built for the seven screen display of the Decision Theater and utilizes a combination of digital media and creative software tools along with sensor technology to create a media environment that responds to real time physical feedback from participants. The experience uses different desired interactions or “levels” to examine the tension between Shalom Schwartz’ three sets of bipolar cultural values represented in his theory on cultural value orientation. Cultural values are significant drivers of human behavior that change throughout time, ...

Contributors
Nixon, Brittany, Cloutier, Scott, Branch, Boyd
Created Date
2017-03-23