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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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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