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School of Sustainability Graduate Culminating Experiences


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


Mime Type
  • application/pdf
Date Range
2016 2018


In Senegal, West Africa, soils are a vital resource for livelihoods and food security in smallholder farming communities. Low nitrogen (N) soils pose obvious challenges for crop production but may also, counterintuitively, promote the abundance of agricultural pests like the Senegalese locust, Oedaleus senegalensis. In this study I investigated how the abundance of locusts and grasshoppers are impacted by soil fertility through plant nutrients and how these variables change across land use types. We worked in two rural farming villages in the Kaffrine region of Senegal. Overall, there was little variation in soil properties and an agricultural landscape low in ...

Contributors
Word, Mira, Hall, Sharon, Robinson, Brian, et al.
Created Date
2018-04-10

This report describes the process by which I created a concise but comprehensive online source of information about best practices in sustainability for urban planners. The goal of the project was to provide accessible information that would help planners in ways that help them comprehend and implement sustainable solutions to common planning problems that are found throughout the United States. To create the website, I researched methods for communicating clearly to planners, took a graduate course in communicating about sustainability, and drew on information that I had compiled on sustainable solutions for transportation, economy, water, green space, and governance.

Contributors
Nassar, Cara, Pijawka, David, Kyle, Kathryn
Created Date
2017-12-01

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a non-profit organization that prides itself in “responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises”. Through its New Roots program, IRC is using an aquaponics urban garden incubator site “to train refugee farmers in aquaponics agriculture and good business practices in the United States.” The site is an example of the conversion of brownfield into “healthfields” and sustainability and resilience initiatives including the Year of Healthy Communities Program-2017, the Maricopa County Food Systems Coalition, and other community health initiatives that involve major partners including the City of Phoenix. Entering into the next development phase, IRC ...

Contributors
Jordan, Amanda (Toohey), Dunton, Tristan
Created Date
2017-04-28

Infrastructure degradation is a chronic problem for fats, oils, and grease (FOG) pretreatment programs at wastewater utilities, which can lead to harmful bypass and high loss of a renewable energy feedstock. Not only does this exacerbate the potential for environmental harm, but not taking advantage of this resource leaves most FOG anaerobic digestion programs non-resilient and non-scalable. It is vital that there are strategies utilizing a sustainability perspective and integration of hard and soft infrastructure management principles to address this infrastructure degradation issue before there can be fully implemented zero-waste, FOG resource recovery initiatives. This applied project sought to answer ...

Contributors
Phillips, Katie, Mac, Cassandra, McNeil, David, et al.
Created Date
2018-04-27

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

The City of Apache Junction is located in an environmentally and culturally rich location on the eastern edge of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. This suburb is expected to grow in the future with undeveloped land zoned for development. Despite its uniqueness, the city is challenged by a negative reputation in the region. To help improve the city's image and promote development, the City of Apache Junction has partnered with Arizona State University's Project Cities program. Through this partnership both parties work to work toward sustainable development of Apache Junction. This Culminating Experience project is one of several initiatives working for ...

Contributors
Gonzalez, Andres, Prosser, Paul
Created Date
2018-04-27

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cause climate change, and if the world does not lower its GHG emissions soon, it will cause irreversible damage that will have overwhelmingly negative cascading effects on the entire planet (Mann & Kump, 2008). Up to 47% of the United States GHG emissions are the result of energy used to produce, process, transport, and dispose of the food we eat and the goods that we consume (US EPA, 2009). The linear-economy status quo does nothing to slow down climate change because it puts resources into landfills. This project promotes a circular economy which combats climate change ...

Contributors
Velez, Daniel
Created Date
2017-04-10

Humans, throughout the world, build houses to live in and raise their families. The construction of houses and other buildings produces a large quantity of waste during this process. This waste is not necessarily biodegradable or derived from environmentally friendly materials. They often damage the environment causing pollution and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions (Tam, V. W., & Tam, C. M, 2012). This type of waste is categorized as Construction and Demolition(C&D) waste. My culminating experience focuses on C&D waste and this summary is divided into three parts. In the first part, the report covers the impact of the C&D ...

Contributors
Parthasarathy, Soumya, Breetz, Hanna
Created Date
2017-04-28