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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
2010 2019


Environmental change and natural hazards represent a challenge for sustainable development. By disrupting livelihoods and causing billions of dollars in damages, disasters can undo many decades of development. Development, on the other hand, can actually increase vulnerability to disasters by depleting environmental resources and marginalizing the poorest. Big disasters and big cities get the most attention from the media and academia. The vulnerabilities and capabilities of small cities have not been explored adequately in academic research, and while some cities in developed countries have begun to initiate mitigation and adaptation responses to environmental change, most cities in developing countries have …

Contributors
Marquez Reyes, Bernardo Jose, Eakin, Hallie, Lara-Valencia, Francisco, et al.
Created Date
2010

In recent years, the world has debated the idea of biofuels as a solution to energy security, energy independence, and global climate change. However, as the biofuels movement has unfolded, crucial issues emerged regarding biofuels efficacy and efficiency. The deployment of biofuels of marginal benefit has raised questions about how countries like the USA may have found themselves so invested in a potentially failing technology. In order to better understand and evaluate these issues, this study utilizes the Ostrom Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to better evaluate these issues and analyze interacting institutions that shape US biofuel policy. The …

Contributors
Dirks, Lisa Carrol, Wu, Jingle, Anderies, John Marty, et al.
Created Date
2010

With increasing interest in sustainability and green building, organizations are implementing programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB) in order to focus corporate sustainability goals on the operations of a facility and the practices of the building occupants. Green building programs help reduce the impact of a facility and bring about several environmental benefits including but not limited to energy conservation, water conservation and material conservation. In addition to various environmental benefits, green building programs can help companies become more efficient. The problem is that organizations are not always successful in …

Contributors
Furphy, Kimberly, Hild, Nicholas, Olson, Larry, et al.
Created Date
2010

The trend towards using recycled materials on new construction projects is growing as the cost for construction materials are ever increasing and the awareness of the responsibility we have to be good stewards of our environment is heightened. While recycled asphalt is sometimes used in pavements, its use as structural fill has been hindered by concern that it is susceptible to large long-term deformations (creep), preventing its use for a great many geotechnical applications. While asphalt/soil blends are often proposed as an alternative to 100% recycled asphalt fill, little data is available characterizing the geotechnical properties of recycled asphalt soil …

Contributors
Schaper, Jeffery Michael, Kavazanjian, Edward, Houston, Sandra L, et al.
Created Date
2011

Many studies have shown that access to healthy food in the US is unevenly distributed and that supermarkets and other fresh food retailers are less likely to be located in low-income minority communities, where convenience and dollar stores are more prevalent grocery options. I formed a partnership with Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, a local community development organization engaged in Central City South, Phoenix, to enhance the community's capacity to meet its community health goals by improving access to healthy food. I used a community-based participatory approach that blended qualitative and quantitative elements to accommodate collaboration between both academic and non-academic partners. …

Contributors
Crouch, Carolyn, Harlan, Sharon, Eakin, Hallie, et al.
Created Date
2011

ABSTRACT Water resources in many parts of the world are subject to increasing stress because of (a) the growth in demand caused by population increase and economic development, (b) threats to supply caused by climate and land cover change, and (c) a heightened awareness of the importance of maintaining water supplies to other parts of the ecosystem. An additional factor is the quality of water management. The United States-Mexican border provides an example of poor water management combined with increasing demand for water resources that are both scarce and uncertain. This dissertation focuses on the problem of water management in …

Contributors
Garduno, Gustavo Leopoldo, Perrings, Charles, Holway, Jim, et al.
Created Date
2011

Restaurants have a cumulative impact on the environment, economy, and society. The majority of restaurants are small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Review of sustainability and industry literature revealed that considering restaurants as businesses with sustainable development options is the most appropriate way to evaluate their sustainable practices or lack thereof. Sustainable development is the means by which a company progresses towards achieving an identified set of sustainability goals and harnesses competitive advantage. The purpose of this thesis is to identify barriers to implementing sustainable practices in restaurants, and explore ways that restaurateurs can incorporate sustainable business practices. Energy consumption, water use, waste …

Contributors
Freeman, Emily Mcconnell, Eakin, Hallie, Basile, George, et al.
Created Date
2011

The greatest challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century is our ability to reconcile the capacity of natural systems to support continued improvement in human welfare around the globe. Over the last decade, the scientific community has attempted to formulate research agendas in response to what they view as the problems of sustainability. Perhaps the most prominent and wide-ranging of these efforts has been sustainability science, an interdisciplinary, problem-driven field that seeks to address fundamental questions on human-environment interactions. This project examines how sustainability scientists grapple with and bound the deeply social, political and normative dimensions of both characterizing and …

Contributors
Miller, Thaddeus Ryan, Minteer, Ben A, Redman, Charles L, et al.
Created Date
2011

Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of the typical CSA member and motivations and barriers to join a CSA program. The purpose of this study was to examine whether behavior and attitudinal differences existed between current CSA members and a nonmember control group. Specifically, ecological attitudes, eating out behaviors, composting frequency, and family participation in food preparation were assessed. This study utilized an online survey comprising items …

Contributors
Macmillan Uribe, Alexandra Luisa, Wharton, Christopher, Winham, Donna, et al.
Created Date
2011

Fish farming is a fast growing industry, which, although necessary to feed an ever growing worldwide population, has its share of negative environmental consequences, including the release of drugs and other waste into the ocean, the use of fish caught from the ocean to feed farm raised fish, and the escape of farm raised fish into natural bodies of water. However, the raising of certain types of fish, such as tilapia, seems to be an environmentally better proposition than raising other types of fish, such as salmon. This paper will explore the problems associated with fish farming, as well as …

Contributors
Longoni, Robert A., Parmentier, Mary Jane, Grossman, Gary, et al.
Created Date
2011

At first glance, trends in increased hunger and obesity in the United States (US) would seem to represent the result of different causal mechanisms. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that nearly 50 million Americans had experienced hunger in 2009. A year later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing that 68% of the US population was either overweight or obese. Researchers have found that these contrasting trends are actually interrelated. Being so, it is imperative that communities and individuals experiencing problems with food security are provided better access to healthy food options. In …

Contributors
Rawson, Brooke Elise, Vargas, Perla A, Booze, Randy, et al.
Created Date
2011

Arizona has an abundant solar resource and technologically mature systems are available to capture it, but solar energy systems are still considered to be an innovative technology. Adoption rates for solar and wind energy systems rise and fall with the political tides, and are relatively low in most rural areas in Arizona. This thesis tests the hypothesis that a consumer profile developed to characterize the adopters of renewable energy technology (RET) systems in rural Arizona is the same as the profile of other area residents who performed renovations, upgrades or additions to their homes. Residents of Santa Cruz and Cochise …

Contributors
Porter, Wayne E., Reddy, T. Agami, Pasqualetti, Martin, et al.
Created Date
2011

Phosphorus (P), an essential element for life, is becoming increasingly scarce, and its global management presents a serious challenge. As urban environments dominate the landscape, we need to elucidate how P cycles in urban ecosystems to better understand how cities contribute to — and provide opportunities to solve — problems of P management. The goal of my research was to increase our understanding of urban P cycling in the context of urban resource management through analysis of existing ecological and socio-economic data supplemented with expert interviews in order to facilitate a transition to sustainable P management. Study objectives were to: …

Contributors
Metson, Genevieve Suzanne, Childers, Daniel, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, et al.
Created Date
2011

Sinaloa, a coastal state in the northwest of Mexico, is known for irrigated conventional agriculture, and is considered one of the greatest successes of the Green Revolution. With the neoliberal reforms of the 1990s, Sinaloa farmers shifted out of conventional wheat, soy, cotton, and other commodities and into white maize, a major food staple in Mexico that is traditionally produced by millions of small-scale farmers. Sinaloa is now a major contributor to the national food supply, producing 26% of total domestic white maize production. Research on Sinaloa's maize has focused on economic and agronomic components. Little attention, however, has been …

Contributors
Bausch, Julia Christine, Eakin, Hallie, Bojórquez-Tapia, Luis, et al.
Created Date
2011

Driven by concern over environmental, economic and social problems, small, place based communities are engaging in processes of transition to become more sustainable. These communities may be viewed as innovative front runners of a transition to a more sustainable society in general, each one, an experiment in social transformation. These experiments present learning opportunities to build robust theories of community transition and to create specific, actionable knowledge to improve, replicate, and accelerate transitions in real communities. Yet to date, there is very little empirical research into the community transition phenomenon. This thesis empirically develops an analytical framework and method for …

Contributors
Forrest, Nigel, Wiek, Arnim, Golub, Aaron, et al.
Created Date
2011

The sacred San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona have been at the center of a series of land development controversies since the 1800s. Most recently, a controversy arose over a proposal by the ski area on the Peaks to use 100% reclaimed water to make artificial snow. The current state of the San Francisco Peaks controversy would benefit from a decision-making process that holds sustainability policy at its core. The first step towards a new sustainability-focused deliberative process regarding a complex issue like the San Francisco Peaks controversy requires understanding the issue's origins and the perspectives of the people involved …

Contributors
Mahoney, Maren Michelle, Hirt, Paul W., Tsosie, Rebecca, et al.
Created Date
2011

Haiti has witnessed high deforestation rates in recent decades, caused largely by the fuel needs of a growing population. The resulting soil loss is estimated to have contributed towards a decline in agricultural productivity of 0.5% -1.2% per year since 1997. Recent studies show the potential of biochar use through pyrolysis technology to increase crop yields and improve soil health. However, the appropriateness of this technology in the context of Haiti remains unexplored. The three objectives of this research were to identify agricultural- and fuel-use-related needs and gaps in rural Haitian communities; determine the appropriateness of biochar pyrolyzer technology, used …

Contributors
Delaney, Michael Ryan, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, Chhetri, Nalini, et al.
Created Date
2011

Second-generation biofuel feedstocks are currently grown in land-based systems that use valuable resources like water, electricity and fertilizer. This study investigates the potential of near-shore marine (ocean) seawater filtration as a source of planktonic biomass for biofuel production. Mixed marine organisms in the size range of 20µm to 500µm were isolated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) seawater filtration system during weekly backwash events between the months of April and August, 2011. The quantity of organic material produced was determined by sample combustion and calculation of ash-free dry weights. Qualitative investigation required density gradient separation with the heavy …

Contributors
Pierre, Christoph Roger, Olson, Larry, Sommerfeld, Milton, et al.
Created Date
2011

Consumer goods supply chains have gradually incorporated lean manufacturing principles to identify and reduce non-value-added activities. Companies implementing lean practices have experienced improvements in cost, quality, and demand responsiveness. However certain elements of these practices, especially those related to transportation and distribution may have detrimental impact on the environment. This study asks: What impact do current best practices in lean logistics and retailing have on environmental performance? The research hypothesis of this dissertation establishes that lean distribution of durable and consumable goods can result in an increased amount of carbon dioxide emissions, leading to climate change and natural resource depletion …

Contributors
Ugarte, Gustavo Marco, Golden, Jay S., Dooley, Kevin J., et al.
Created Date
2011

Over the past century in the southwestern United States human actions have altered hydrological processes that shape riparian ecosystems. One change, release of treated wastewater into waterways, has created perennial base flows and increased nutrient availability in ephemeral or intermittent channels. While there are benefits to utilizing treated wastewater for environmental flows, there are numerous unresolved ecohydrological issues regarding the efficacy of effluent to sustain groundwater-dependent riparian ecosystems. This research examined how nutrient-rich effluent, released into waterways with varying depths to groundwater, influences riparian plant community development. Statewide analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of effluent generation and release revealed …

Contributors
White, Meg, Stromberg, Juliet C, Fisher, Stuart G, et al.
Created Date
2011