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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2011 2019


Marine pico-cyanobacteria of the genera Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus carry out nearly two thirds of the primary production in oligotrophic oceans. These cyanobacteria are also considered an important constituent of the biological carbon pump, the photosynthetic fixation of CO2 to dissolved and particulate organic carbon and subsequent export to the ocean’s interior. But single cells of these cyanobacteria are too small to sink, so their carbon export has to be mediated by aggregate formation and/or consumption by zooplankton that produce sinking fecal pellets. In this dissertation, I investigated for the first time the aggregation of these cyanobacteria by studying the marine …

Contributors
Deng, Wei, Neuer, Susanne, Anbar, Ariel, et al.
Created Date
2016

The presence of compounds such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is a cause for concern as they exhibit secondary effects on non-target organisms and are also indicative of incomplete removal by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) during water reclamation. Analytical methods and predictive models can help inform on the rates at which these contaminants enter the environment via biosolids use or wastewater effluent release to estimate the risk of adverse effects. The goals of this research project were to integrate the results obtained from the two different methods of risk assessment, (a) in silico modeling and …

Contributors
Prakash Chari, Bipin, Halden, Rolf U, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2012

Building Envelope includes walls, roofs and openings, which react to the outdoor environmental condition. Today, with the increasing use of glass in building envelope, the energy usage of the buildings is increasing, especially in the offices and commercial buildings. Use of right glass type and control triggers helps to optimize the energy use, by tradeoff between optical and thermal properties. The part of the research looks at the different control triggers and its range that governs the use of electrochromic glass to regulate the energy usage in building. All different control trigger that can be possibly used for regulating the …

Contributors
Munshi, Kavish Prakash, Bryan, Harvey, Reddy, Agami, et al.
Created Date
2012

Human endeavors move 7x more volume of earth than the world’s rivers accelerating the removal of Earth’s soil surface. Measuring anthropogenic acceleration of soil erosion requires knowledge of natural rates through the study of 10Be, but same-watershed comparisons between anthropogenically-accelerated and natural erosion rates do not exist for urbanizing watersheds. Here I show that urban sprawl from 1989 to 2013 accelerated soil erosion between 1.3x and 15x above natural rates for different urbanizing watersheds in the metropolitan Phoenix region, Sonoran Desert, USA, and that statistical modeling a century of urban sprawl indicates an acceleration of only 2.7x for the Phoenix …

Contributors
Jeong, Ara, Dorn, Ronald I., Schmeeckle, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2019

In geographical locations with hot-arid climates, sun control in buildings is one primary problem to solve for the building envelope design. Today's technological advances in building science bring with them the opportunity to design dynamic façade systems for sun radiation control and daylighting. Although dynamic systems can become an attractive visual element, they can be costly and challenging to maintain for building owners. Alternatively, fixed solar-shading systems can be designed to create dynamism in the façade of the building, while providing similar functionalities for sun control. The work presented in this project focuses on the use of a visual scripting …

Contributors
Grijalva, Karla, Bryan, Harvey J, Griffiths, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2012

Monsoon hazards routinely affect the community, economy, and environment of the American Southwest. A common link for hazard development during the North American Monsoon concerns the interplay between temperature, moisture, and wind in the vertical atmosphere controlled by an unstable monsoon circulation. This dissertation investigates vertical atmospheric patterns using in-situ sounding data, specifically, 1) environments favorable for severe hail on the Colorado Plateau, 2) significant parameters distinguishing unhealthy versus healthy ozone days in Phoenix, Arizona, and 3) vertical profile alignments associated with distinct ranges in ozone concentrations observed in Phoenix having defined health impacts. The first study (published in the …

Contributors
Malloy, Jonny William, Cerveny, Randall S, Selover, Nancy J, et al.
Created Date
2019

The overall goal of this dissertation is to advance understanding of biofilm reduction of oxidized contaminants in water and wastewater. Chapter 1 introduces the fundamentals of biological reduction of three oxidized contaminants (nitrate, perchlorate, and trichloriethene (TCE)) using two biofilm processes (hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactors (MBfR) and packed-bed heterotrophic reactors (PBHR)), and it identifies the research objectives. Chapters 2 through 6 focus on nitrate removal using the MBfR and PBHR, while chapters 7 through 10 investigate simultaneous reduction of nitrate and another oxidized compound (perchlorate, sulfate, or TCE) in the MBfR. Chapter 11 summarizes the major findings of this research. …

Contributors
Tang, Youneng, Rittmann, Bruce E, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation is presented in two sections. First, I explore two methods of using stable isotope analysis to trace environmental and biogeochemical processes. Second, I present two related studies investigating student understanding of the biogeochemical concepts that underlie part one. Fe and Hg are each biogeochemically important elements in their own way. Fe is a critical nutrient for phytoplankton, while Hg is detrimental to nearly all forms of life. Fe is often a limiting factor in marine phytoplankton growth. The largest source, by mass, of Fe to the open ocean is windblown mineral dust, but other more soluble sources are …

Contributors
Mead, Chris, Anbar, Ariel, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2014

The atmosphere contains a substantial amount of water soluble organic material, yet despite years of efforts, little is known on the structure, composition and properties of this organic matter. Aqueous phase processing by fogs and clouds of the gas and particulate organic material is poorly understood despite the importance for air pollution and climate. On one hand, gas phase species can be processed by fog/cloud droplets to form lower volatility species, which upon droplet evaporation lead to new aerosol mass, while on the other hand larger nonvolatile material can be degraded by in cloud oxidation to smaller molecular weight compounds …

Contributors
Wang, Youliang, Herckes, Pierre, Fraser, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2014

Hydrology and biogeochemistry are coupled in all systems. However, human decision-making regarding hydrology and biogeochemistry are often separate, even though decisions about hydrologic systems may have substantial impacts on biogeochemical patterns and processes. The overarching question of this dissertation was: How does hydrologic engineering interact with the effects of nutrient loading and climate to drive watershed nutrient yields? I conducted research in two study systems with contrasting spatial and temporal scales. Using a combination of data-mining and modeling approaches, I reconstructed nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for the northeastern US over the 20th century, including anthropogenic nutrient inputs and riverine fluxes, …

Contributors
Hale, Rebecca, Grimm, Nancy B, Childers, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2013

The worldwide supply of potable fresh water is ever decreasing. While 2.5% of Earth's water is fresh, only 1% is accessible. Of this water, the World Health Organization estimates that only one-third can be used to meet our daily needs while the other two-thirds are unusable due to contamination. As the world population continues to grow and climate change reduces water security, we must consider not only solutions, but evaluate the perceptions and reactions of individuals in order to successfully implement such solutions. To that end, the goal of this dissertation is to explore human attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors around …

Contributors
Stotts, Rhian Alissa, Wutich, Amber, BurnSilver, Shauna, et al.
Created Date
2016

Though cities occupy only a small percentage of Earth's terrestrial surface, humans concentrated in urban areas impact ecosystems at local, regional and global scales. I examined the direct and indirect ecological outcomes of human activities on both managed landscapes and protected native ecosystems in and around cities. First, I used highly managed residential yards, which compose nearly half of the heterogeneous urban land area, as a model system to examine the ecological effects of people's management choices and the social drivers of those decisions. I found that a complex set of individual and institutional social characteristics drives people's decisions, which …

Contributors
Cook, Elizabeth, Hall, Sharon J, Boone, Christopher G, et al.
Created Date
2014

An understanding of the formation of spatial heterogeneity is important because spatial heterogeneity leads to functional consequences at the ecosystem scale; however, such an understanding is still limited. Particularly, research simultaneously considering both external variables and internal feedbacks (self-organization) is rare, partly because these two drivers are addressed under different methodological frameworks. In this dissertation, I show the prevalence of internal feedbacks and their interaction with heterogeneity in the preexisting template to form spatial pattern. I use a variety of techniques to account for both the top-down template effect and bottom-up self-organization. Spatial patterns of nutrients in stream surface water …

Contributors
Dong, Xiaoli, Grimm, Nancy B, Muneepeerakul, Rachata, et al.
Created Date
2015

Monitoring human exposure to chemicals posing public health threats is critically important for risk management and for informing regulatory actions. Chemical threats result from both environmental pollutants and elected substance use (e.g., consumption of drugs, alcohol and tobacco). Measuring chemical occurrence and concentrations in environmental matrices can help to pinpoint human exposure routes. For instance, indoor dust, a sink of indoor environmental contaminants, can serve to assess indoor air contamination and associated human exposures. Urban wastewater arriving at treatment plants contains urine and stool from the general population, the analysis of which can provide information on chemical threats in the …

Contributors
Chen, Jing, Halden, Rolf U, Borges, Chad R, et al.
Created Date
2018

Professional environmental scientists are increasingly under pressure to inform and even shape policy. Scientists engage policy effectively when they act within the bounds of objectivity, credibility, and authority, yet significant portions of the scientific community condemn such acts as advocacy. They argue that it is nonobjective, that it risks damaging the credibility of science, and that it is an abuse of authority. This means objectivity, credibility, and authority deserve direct attention before the policy advocacy quagmire can be reasonably understood. I investigate the meaning of objectivity in science and that necessarily brings the roles of values in science into question. …

Contributors
Appleton, Caroline, Minteer, Ben, Chew, Matt, et al.
Created Date
2012

Biodiversity is required to guarantee proper ecosystem structure and function. However, increasing anthropogenic threats are causing biodiversity loss around the world at an unprecedented rate, in what has been deemed the sixth mass extinction. To counteract this crisis, conservationists seek to improve the methods used in the design and implementation of protected areas, which help mitigate the impacts of human activities on species. Marine mammals are ecosystem engineers and important indicator species of ocean and human wellbeing. They are also disproportionally less known and more threatened than terrestrial mammals. Therefore, surrogates of biodiversity must be used to maximize their representation …

Contributors
Astudillo-Scalia, Yaiyr, Albuquerque, Fábio, Deviche, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2019

Atmospheric deposition of iron (Fe) can limit primary productivity and carbon dioxide uptake in some marine ecosystems. Recent modeling studies suggest that biomass burning aerosols may contribute a significant amount of soluble Fe to the surface ocean. Existing studies of burn-induced trace element mobilization have often collected both entrained soil particles along with material from biomass burning, making it difficult to determine the actual source of aerosolized trace metals. In order to better constrain the importance of biomass versus entrained soil as a source of trace metals in burn aerosols, small-scale burn experiments were conducted using soil-free foliage representative of …

Contributors
Sherry, Alyssa Meredith, Anbar, Ariel D, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2019

DehaloR^2 is a previously characterized, trichloroethene (TCE)-dechlorinating culture and contains bacteria from the known dechlorinating genus, Dehalococcoides. DehaloR^2 was exposed to three anthropogenic contaminants, Triclocarban (TCC), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and two biogenic-like halogenated compounds, 2,6-dibromophenol (2,6-DBP) and 2,6-dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP). The effects on TCE dechlorination ability due to 2,6-DBP and 2,6-DCP exposures were also investigated. DehaloR^2 did not dechlorinate TCC or TCEP. After initial exposure to TCA, half of the initial TCA was dechlorinated to 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA), however half of the TCA remained by day 100. Subsequent TCA and TCE re-exposure showed no reductive dechlorination activity for both …

Contributors
Kegerreis, Kylie Lynn, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, Halden, Rolf U, et al.
Created Date
2012

Woody plant encroachment is a worldwide phenomenon linked to water availability in semiarid systems. Nevertheless, the implications of woody plant encroachment on the hydrologic cycle are poorly understood, especially at the catchment scale. This study takes place in a pair of small semiarid rangeland undergoing the encroachment of Prosopis velutina Woot., or velvet mesquite tree. The similarly-sized basins are in close proximity, leading to equivalent meteorological and soil conditions. One basin was treated for mesquite in 1974, while the other represents the encroachment process. A sensor network was installed to measure ecohydrological states and fluxes, including precipitation, runoff, soil moisture …

Contributors
Pierini, Nicole, Vivoni, Enrique R, Wang, Zhi-Hua, et al.
Created Date
2013

As the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products becomes more common, the amount of ENMs entering wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) increases. Investigating the fate of ENMs in WWTPs is critical for risk assessment and pollution control. The objectives of this dissertation were to (1) quantify and characterize titanium (Ti) in full-scale wastewater treatment plants, (2) quantify sorption of different ENMs to wastewater biomass in laboratory-scale batch reactors, (3) evaluate the use of a standard, soluble-pollutant sorption test method for quantifying ENM interaction with wastewater biomass, and (4) develop a mechanistic model of a biological wastewater treatment reactor to …

Contributors
Kiser, Mehlika Ayla, Westerhoff, Paul K, Rittmann, Bruce E, et al.
Created Date
2011

Six high-production-volume neonicotinoids were traced through a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and engineered wetland located downstream, in a study motivated by reports on these insecticides posing threats to non-target invertebrate species and potentially playing a role in the global honeybee colony collapse disorder. An array of automated samplers was deployed in a five-day monitoring campaign and resultant flow-weighted samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) using the isotope dilution method. Concentrations in WWTP influent and effluent were 54.7 ± 2.9 and 48.6 ± 2.7 ng/L for imidacloprid, respectively, and 3.7 ± 0.3 and 1.8 ± 0.1 …

Contributors
Sadaria, akash mahendra, HALDEN, ROLF, FOX, PETER, et al.
Created Date
2015

The coastal fishing community of Barrington, Southwest Nova Scotia (SWNS), has depended on the resilience of ocean ecosystems and resource-based economic activities for centuries. But while many coastal fisheries have developed unique ways to govern their resources, global environmental and economic change presents new challenges. In this study, I examine the multi-species fishery of Barrington. My objective was to understand what makes the fishery and its governance system robust to economic and ecological change, what makes fishing households vulnerable, and how household vulnerability and system level robustness interact. I addressed these these questions by focusing on action arenas, their contexts, …

Contributors
Barnett, Allain Jd, Anderies, John M, Abbott, Joshua K, et al.
Created Date
2014

Residents of the United States increasingly support organic and local food systems. New Social Movement theorists have described alternative agriculture as a social movement that transcends social class. Other scholars have critiqued alternative agriculture for catering to a middle-class, white public. Simultaneously, geographers have identified communities across the United States that struggle with reduced access to healthy fruits and vegetables. In some of these neighborhoods, known as “food deserts,” local groups are redefining an inequitable distribution of healthy food as a social injustice, and they have begun initiatives to practice “food justice.” The overarching research questions of this study are: …

Contributors
Bleasdale, Thomas Henry, Harlan, Sharon L, McHugh, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2015

The handling of waste encompasses the following processes: recycling, collection, treatment, and disposal. It is crucial to provide a cost-effective waste management system that improves public health and reduces environmental risks. In developing countries, proper handling of solid and hazardous wastes remain severely limited in urban cities if the industries and hospitals producing it do not take responsibility. Recycling and reusing of 12% of total waste in Phnom Penh is an active industry in Cambodia, driven by an informal network of waste pickers, collectors, and buyers. This thesis examines the environmental situation of solid and hazardous wastes in Phnom Penh. …

Contributors
Chhun, Gina, Parmentier, Mary, Grossman, Gary, et al.
Created Date
2012

Ponderosa pine forests are a dominant land cover type in semiarid montane areas. Water supplies in major rivers of the southwestern United States depend on ponderosa pine forests since these ecosystems: (1) receive a significant amount of rainfall and snowfall, (2) intercept precipitation and transpire water, and (3) indirectly influence runoff by impacting the infiltration rate. However, the hydrologic patterns in these ecosystems with strong seasonality are poorly understood. In this study, we used a distributed hydrologic model evaluated against field observations to improve our understandings on spatial controls of hydrologic patterns, appropriate model resolution to simulate ponderosa pine ecosystems …

Contributors
Mahmood, Taufique H., Vivoni, Enrique R., Whipple, Kelin X., et al.
Created Date
2012

Organic reactions in natural hydrothermal settings have relevance toward the deep carbon cycle, petroleum formation, the ecology of deep microbial communities, and potentially the origin of life. Many reaction pathways involving organic compounds under geochemically relevant hydrothermal conditions have now been characterized, but their mechanisms, in particular those involving mineral surface catalysis, are largely unknown. The overall goal of this work is to describe these mechanisms so that predictive models of reactivity can be developed and so that applications of these reactions beyond geochemistry can be explored. The focus of this dissertation is the mechanisms of hydrothermal dehydration and catalytic …

Contributors
Bockisch, Christiana, Gould, Ian R, Hartnett, Hilairy E, et al.
Created Date
2018

Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) are a large, diverse group of emerging contaminants comprised of pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, detergents, and insecticides. Studies have shown that PPCPs are entering aquatic environments, wastewaters, and water supplies. The occurrence of these PPCPs has generated concern resulting in proposed federal legislation that could require control, monitoring, and treatment of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products by Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). This study evaluated the potential financial impact this proposed legislation could have on U.S. POTWs using City of Mesa, Arizona as a model POTW. The current laws concerning PPCPs as well as the proposed …

Contributors
Steffen-Deaton, Mary, Olson, Larry, Brown, Albert F., et al.
Created Date
2012

Energy consumption in buildings, accounting for 41% of 2010 primary energy consumption in the United States (US), is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to the direct relationship between space heating/cooling and temperature. Past studies have assessed the impact of climate change on long-term mean and/or peak energy demands. However, these studies usually neglected spatial variations in the “balance point” temperature, population distribution effects, air-conditioner (AC) saturation, and the extremes at smaller spatiotemporal scales, making the implications of local-scale vulnerability incomplete. Here I develop empirical relationships between building energy consumption and temperature to explore the impact of climate change on …

Contributors
Huang, Jianhua, Gurney, Kevin Robert, Miller, Clark Anson, et al.
Created Date
2016

Americans spend upwards of 90% of their time indoors, hence indoor air quality (IAQ) and the impact of IAQ on human health is a major public health concern. IAQ can be negatively impacted by outdoor pollution infiltrating indoors, the emission of indoor pollutants, indoor atmospheric chemistry and poor ventilation. Energy saving measures like retrofits to seal the building envelope to prevent the leakage of heated or cooled air will impact IAQ. However, existing studies have been inconclusive as to whether increased energy efficiency is leading to detrimental IAQ. In this work, field campaigns were conducted in apartment homes in Phoenix, …

Contributors
Frey, Sarah Elizabeth, Herckes, Pierre, Fraser, Matthew P, et al.
Created Date
2014

The North American Monsoon System (NAMS) contributes ~55% of the annual rainfall in the Chihuahuan Desert during the summer months. Relatively frequent, intense storms during the NAMS increase soil moisture, reduce surface temperature and lead to runoff in ephemeral channels. Quantifying these processes, however, is difficult due to the sparse nature of coordinated observations. In this study, I present results from a field network of rain gauges (n = 5), soil probes (n = 48), channel flumes (n = 4), and meteorological equipment in a small desert shrubland watershed (~0.05 km2) in the Jornada Experimental. Using this high-resolution network, I …

Contributors
Templeton, Ryan, Vivoni, Enrique R, Mays, Larry, et al.
Created Date
2011

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, has been found in clouds and fogs at concentration up to 500 ng/L and in drinking water as disinfection by-product. NDMA exposure to the general public is not well understood because of knowledge gaps in terms of occurrence, formation and fate both in air and water. The goal of this dissertation was to contribute to closing these knowledge gaps on potential human NDMA exposure through contributions to atmospheric measurements and fate as well as aqueous formation processes. Novel, sensitive methods of measuring NDMA in air were developed based on Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and …

Contributors
Zhang, Jinwei, Herckes, Pierre, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2016

Whale watching has been hailed by environmental non-governmental organizations like Greenpeace and the International Fund for Animal Welfare as a responsible form of tourism that has the potential to enhance conservation outcomes for cetaceans, while also supporting the economic development of coastal communities. Tourism research suggests that while it is possible for whale watching to provide these benefits, it may also have considerable costs to members of host communities and cetaceans. My dissertation sought to gather data on the economic, ecological, and social impacts of whale watching in the Caribbean in order to evaluate the industry's performance in the region. …

Contributors
Raschke, Bonnie Jean, Kinzig, Ann, Andereck, Kathleen, et al.
Created Date
2017

Peatlands represent 3% of the earth’s surface but have been estimated to contain up to 30% of all terrestrial soil organic carbon and release an estimated 40% of global atmospheric CH4 emissions. Contributors to the production of CH4 are methanogenic Archaea through a coupled metabolic dependency of end products released by heterotrophic bacteria within the soil in the absence of O2. To better understand how neighboring bacterial communities can influence methanogenesis, the isolation and physiological characterization of two novel isolates, one Methanoarchaeal isolate and one Acidobacterium isolate identified as QU12MR and R28S, respectively, were targeted in this present study. Co-culture …

Contributors
Ramirez, Zeni, Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby, Roberson, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2018

Sustainability requires developing the capacity to manage difficult tradeoffs to advance human livelihoods now and in the future. Decision-makers are recognizing the ecosystem services approach as a useful framework for evaluating tradeoffs associated with environmental change to advance decision-making towards holistic solutions. In this dissertation I conduct an ecosystem services assessment on the Yongding River Ecological Corridor in Beijing, China. I developed a `10-step approach' to evaluate multiple ecosystem services for public policy. I use the 10-step approach to evaluate five ecosystem services for management from the Yongding Corridor. The Beijing government created lakes and wetlands for five services (human …

Contributors
Wong, Christina P., Kinzig, Ann P, Lee, Kai N, et al.
Created Date
2014

Consideration of both biological and human-use dynamics in coupled social-ecological systems is essential for the success of interventions such as marine reserves. As purely human institutions, marine reserves have no direct effects on ecological systems. Consequently, the success of a marine reserve depends on managers` ability to alter human behavior in the direction and magnitude that supports reserve objectives. Further, a marine reserve is just one component in a larger coupled social-ecological system. The social, economic, political, and biological landscape all determine the social acceptability of a reserve, conflicts that arise, how the reserve interacts with existing fisheries management, accuracy …

Contributors
Fujitani, Marie, Abbott, Joshua, Fenichel, Eli, et al.
Created Date
2014

The occurrence of micro-and nanoplastic (MNP) debris in the environment is a research area of considerable public health concern. Various combinations of methods for extraction, isolation, and quantification of MNP have been applied but literature studies evaluating the appropriateness and efficacy of these protocols are lacking. A meta-analysis of the literature (n=134; years 2010-2017) was conducted to inventory and assess the appropriateness of methodologies employed. Some 30.6% of studies employed visual identification only, which carried a calculated misidentification error of 25.8-74.2%. An additional 6.7% of studies reported counts for particles smaller than the cutoff value of the selected collection pore …

Contributors
Cook, Cayla R, Halden, Rolf U., Hamilton, Kerry, et al.
Created Date
2018

Constructed treatment wetlands (CTW) have been a cost-efficient technological solution to treat different types of wastewater but may also be sources of emitters of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Thus, my objective for this dissertation was to investigate CH4 and N2O fluxes via multiple pathways from the Tres Rios CTW located in Phoenix, AZ, USA. I measured gas fluxes from the CTW along a whole-system gradient (from inflow to outflow) and a within-marsh gradient (shoreline, middle, and open water sites). I found higher diffusive CH4 release in the summer compared to spring and winter seasons. Along the whole-system gradient, …

Contributors
Ramos, Jorge, Childers, Daniel L, Grimm, Nancy B, et al.
Created Date
2017

This dissertation focused on the development and application of state-of-the-art monitoring tools and analysis methods for tracking the fate of trace level contaminants in the natural and built water environments, using fipronil as a model; fipronil and its primary degradates (known collectively as fiproles) are among a group of trace level emerging environmental contaminants that are extremely potent arthropodic neurotoxins. The work further aimed to fill in data gaps regarding the presence and fate of fipronil in engineered water systems, specifically in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), and in an engineered wetland. A review of manual and automated “active” water …

Contributors
Supowit, Samuel David, Halden, Rolf U, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2015

This dissertation critically evaluated methodologies and devices for assessing and protecting the health of human populations, with particular emphasis on groundwater remediation and the use of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to inform population health. A meta-analysis and assessment of laboratory-scale treatability studies for removing chlorinated solvents from groundwater found that sediment microcosms operated as continuous-flow columns are preferable to batch bottles when seeking to emulate with high fidelity the complex conditions prevailing in the subsurface in contaminated aquifers (Chapter 2). Compared to monitoring at the field-scale, use of column microcosms also showed (i) improved chemical speciation, and (ii) qualitative predictability of …

Contributors
Driver, Erin, Halden, Rolf, Conroy-Ben, Otakuye, et al.
Created Date
2018

Understanding and predicting climate changes at the urban scale have been an important yet challenging problem in environmental engineering. The lack of reliable long-term observations at the urban scale makes it difficult to even assess past climate changes. Numerical modeling plays an important role in filling the gap of observation and predicting future changes. Numerical studies on the climatic effect of desert urbanization have focused on basic meteorological fields such as temperature and wind. For desert cities, urban expansion can lead to substantial changes in the local production of wind-blown dust, which have implications for air quality and public health. …

Contributors
Tahir, Sherzad Tahseen, Huang, Huei-Ping, Phelan, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2019

Safe, readily available, and reliable sources of water are an essential component of any municipality’s infrastructure. Phoenix, Arizona, a southwestern city, has among the highest per capita water use in the United States, making it essential to carefully manage its reservoirs. Generally, municipal water bodies are monitored through field sampling. However, this approach is limited spatially and temporally in addition to being costly. In this study, the application of remotely sensed reflectance data from Landsat 7’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Landsat 8’s Operational Land Imager (OLI) along with data generated through field-sampling is used to gain a better …

Contributors
Russell, Jazmine B, Neuer, Susanne, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2018

Human activity has increased loading of reactive nitrogen (N) in the environment, with important and often deleterious impacts on biodiversity, climate, and human health. Since the fate of N in the ecosystem is mainly controlled by microorganisms, understanding the factors that shape microbial communities becomes relevant and urgent. In arid land soils, these microbial communities and factors are not well understood. I aimed to study the role of N cycling microbes, such as the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), the recently discovered ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), and various fungal groups, in soils of arid lands. I also tested if niche differentiation among microbial …

Contributors
Marusenko, Yevgeniy, Hall, Sharon J, Garcia-Pichel, Ferran, et al.
Created Date
2013

This study uses the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to simulate and predict the changes in local climate attributed to the urbanization for five desert cities. The simulations are performed in the fashion of climate downscaling, constrained by the surface boundary conditions generated from high resolution land-use maps. For each city, the land-use maps of 1985 and 2010 from Landsat satellite observation, and a projected land-use map for 2030, are used to represent the past, present, and future. An additional set of simulations for Las Vegas, the largest of the five cities, uses the NLCD 1992 and 2006 land-use …

Contributors
Kamal, Samy M., Huang, Huei-Ping, Anderson, James, et al.
Created Date
2015

The focus of this thesis is to study dissolved organic carbon composition and reactivity along the Colorado and Green Rivers. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in large-scale, managed rivers is relatively poorly studied as most literature has focused on pristine unmanaged rivers. The Colorado River System is the 7th largest in the North America; there are seventeen large dams along the Colorado and Green River. DOC in rivers and in the lakes formed by dams (reservoirs) undergo photo-chemical and bio-degradation. DOC concentration and composition in these systems were investigated using bulk concentration, optical properties, and fluorescence spectroscopy. The riverine DOC concentration …

Contributors
Bowman, Margaret Mae, Hartnett, Hilairy E, Hayes, Mark A, et al.
Created Date
2015

This study evaluates the potential profitability and environmental benefit available by providing renewable energy from solar- or wind-generated sources to electric vehicle drivers at public charging stations, also known as electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE), in the U.S. Past studies have shown above-average interest in renewable energy by drivers of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), though no study has evaluated the profitability and environmental benefit of selling renewable energy to PEV drivers at public EVSE. Through an online survey of 203 U.S.-wide PEV owners and lessees, information was collected on (1) current PEV and EVSE usage, (2) potential willingness to pay …

Contributors
Nienhueser, Ian Andrew, Qiu, Yueming, Rogers, Bradley, et al.
Created Date
2014

Fossil fuel CO2 (FFCO2) emissions are recognized as the dominant greenhouse gas driving climate change (Enting et. al., 1995; Conway et al., 1994; Francey et al., 1995; Bousquet et. al., 1999). Transportation is a major component of FFCO2 emissions, especially in urban areas. An improved understanding of on-road FFCO2 emission at high spatial resolution is essential to both carbon science and mitigation policy. Though considerable research has been accomplished within a few high-income portions of the planet such as the United States and Western Europe, little work has attempted to comprehensively quantify high-resolution on-road FFCO2 emissions globally. Key questions for …

Contributors
Song, Yang, Gurney, Kevin, Kuby, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2018

Lighting systems and air-conditioning systems are two of the largest energy consuming end-uses in buildings. Lighting control in smart buildings and homes can be automated by having computer controlled lights and window blinds along with illumination sensors that are distributed in the building, while temperature control can be automated by having computer controlled air-conditioning systems. However, programming actuators in a large-scale environment for buildings and homes can be time consuming and expensive. This dissertation presents an approach that algorithmically sets up the control system that can automate any building without requiring custom programming. This is achieved by imbibing the system …

Contributors
Wang, Yuan, Dasgupta, Partha, Davulcu, Hasan, et al.
Created Date
2015

This project analyzes the efforts of Seoul Grand Park Zoo (the largest and most important zoo on the Korean peninsula) to develop and achieve the highest standards in conservation, education, animal welfare, and research over the last three decades. Founded primarily as an entertainment venue in 1984, the zoo has struggled to become a scientific center that adequately provides for the animals under its care and promotes the advancement and dissemination of knowledge. Drawing on interviews from zoo officials, academics, conservationists, and animal-rights activists, I explore the animal welfare management and conservation priorities of a prominent Asian institution. Although the …

Contributors
Clay, Anne Safiya, Minteer, Ben, Collins, James, et al.
Created Date
2015

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important part of aquatic foodwebs because it contains carbon, nitrogen, and other elements required by heterotrophic organisms. It has many sources that determine its molecular composition, nutrient content, and biological lability and in turn, influence whether it is retained and processed in the stream reach or exported downstream. I examined the composition of DOM from vascular wetland plants, filamentous algae, and riparian tree leaf litter in Sonoran Desert streams and its decomposition by stream microbes. I used a combination of field observations, in-situ experiments, and a manipulative laboratory incubation to test (1) how dominant …

Contributors
Kemmitt, Kathrine, Grimm, Nancy, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2018

Air pollution is a serious problem in most urban areas around the world, which has a number of negative ecological and human health impacts. As a result, it's vitally important to detect and characterize air pollutants to protect the health of the urban environment and our citizens. An important early step in this process is ensuring that the air pollution monitoring network is properly designed to capture the patterns of pollution and that all social demographics in the urban population are represented. An important aspect in characterizing air pollution patterns is scale in space and time which, along with pattern …

Contributors
Pope, Ronald Lee, Wu, Jianguo, Boone, Christopher G., et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation explores the use of bench-scale batch microcosms in remedial design of contaminated aquifers, presents an alternative methodology for conducting such treatability studies, and - from technical, economical, and social perspectives - examines real-world application of this new technology. In situ bioremediation (ISB) is an effective remedial approach for many contaminated groundwater sites. However, site-specific variability necessitates the performance of small-scale treatability studies prior to full-scale implementation. The most common methodology is the batch microcosm, whose potential limitations and suitable technical alternatives are explored in this thesis. In a critical literature review, I discuss how continuous-flow conditions stimulate microbial …

Contributors
Kalinowski, Tomasz, Halden, Rolf U, Johnson, Paul C, et al.
Created Date
2013

Balancing conservation goals and needs of local residents is always challenging. While some believe protected areas are a safe paradise for wildlife, others suggest that it is shortsighted to ignore the social and economic challenges faced by people who live adjacent to protected areas when addressing conservation objectives. This dissertation explores the link between biodiversity conservation and environmental education programs (EEPs) administered to residents of buffer zones adjacent to three protected areas in the Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal. Using surveys and interviews, this study examined 1) the influence of EEPs on attitudes of local people toward biodiversity conservation; 2) the …

Contributors
Shrestha, Samridhi, Smith, Andrew T, Minteer, Ben, et al.
Created Date
2015

The combination of rapid urban growth and climate change places stringent constraints on multisector sustainability of cities. Green infrastructure provides a great potential for mitigating anthropogenic-induced urban environmental problems; nevertheless, studies at city and regional scales are inhibited by the deficiency in modelling the complex transport coupled water and energy inside urban canopies. This dissertation is devoted to incorporating hydrological processes and urban green infrastructure into an integrated atmosphere-urban modelling system, with the goal to improve the reliability and predictability of existing numerical tools. Based on the enhanced numerical tool, the effects of urban green infrastructure on environmental sustainability of …

Contributors
Yang, Jiachuan, Wang, Zhihua, Kaloush, Kamil, et al.
Created Date
2016