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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.


Contributor
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