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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


Urban riparian corridors have the capacity to maintain high levels of abundance and biodiversity. Additionally, urban rivers also offer environmental amenities and can be catalysts for social and economic revitalization in human communities. Despite its importance for both humans and wildlife, blue space in cities used by waterbirds has received relatively little focus in urban bird studies. My principal objective was to determine how urbanization and water availability affect waterbird biodiversity in an arid city. I surveyed 36 transects stratified across a gradient of urbanization and water availability along the Salt River, a LTER long-term study system located in Phoenix, …

Contributors
Burnette, Riley, Bateman, Heather, Franklin, Janet, et al.
Created Date
2016

Drawing from the fields of coastal geography, political ecology, and institutions, this dissertation uses Cape Cod, MA, as a case study, to investigate how chronic and acute climate-related coastal hazards, socio-economic characteristics, and governance and decision-making interact to produce more resilient or at-risk coastal communities. GIS was used to model the impacts of sea level rise (SLR) and hurricane storm surge scenarios on natural and built infrastructure. Social, gentrification, and tourism indices were used to identify communities differentially vulnerable to coastal hazards. Semi-structured interviews with planners and decision-makers were analyzed to examine hazard mitigation planning. The results of these assessments …

Contributors
Gentile, Lauren Elyse, Bolin, Bob, Wentz, Elizabeth, et al.
Created Date
2016

There is much at stake with the smart city. This urban governance movement is predicated on infusing information-and-communication technology into nearly all aspects of the built environment, while at the same time transforming how cities are planned and managed. The smart city movement is global in scale with initiatives being rolled out all over the planet, driven by proponents with deep pockets of wealth and influence, and a lucrative opportunity with market projections in the billions or trillions of dollars (over the next five to ten years). However, the smart city label can be nebulous and amorphous, seemingly subsuming unrelated …

Contributors
Sadowski, Jathan, Guston, David H., Finn, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2016

Urbanization, a direct consequence of land use and land cover change, is responsible for significant modification of local to regional scale climates. It is projected that the greatest urban growth of this century will occur in urban areas in the developing world. In addition, there is a significant research gap in emerging nations concerning this topic. Thus, this research focuses on the assessment of climate impacts related to urbanization on the largest metropolitan area in Latin America: Mexico City. Numerical simulations using a state-of-the-science regional climate model are utilized to address a trio of scientifically relevant questions with wide global …

Contributors
Benson-Lira, Valeria, Georgescu, Matei, Brazel, Anthony, et al.
Created Date
2015

Adaptation and transformation have emerged as a key themes for human-environment research, especially in the context of rapid social-ecological changes. The 2008 global financial crisis constitutes a major driver of change with social-ecological ramifications that have yet to be fully explored. Using Greece, the poster child of the euro-crisis as a case-study, this dissertation examines how adaptive capacity is mobilized and even enhanced in times of crisis, paying particular attention to the role played by natural capital. To do so, I focus on the back-to-land trend whereby urbanites seek to engage in food production post-crisis (2008-onwards). In-depth qualitative analysis of …

Contributors
Benessaiah, Karina, Turner II, Billie L., Eakin, Hallie, et al.
Created Date
2018

Facility location models are usually employed to assist decision processes in urban and regional planning. The focus of this research is extensions of a classic location problem, the Weber problem, to address continuously distributed demand as well as multiple facilities. Addressing continuous demand and multi-facilities represents major challenges. Given advances in geographic information systems (GIS), computational science and associated technologies, spatial optimization provides a possibility for improved problem solution. Essential here is how to represent facilities and demand in geographic space. In one respect, spatial abstraction as discrete points is generally assumed as it simplifies model formulation and reduces computational …

Contributors
Yao, Jing, Murray, Alan T, Mirchandani, Pitu B, et al.
Created Date
2012

Gerrymandering is a central problem for many representative democracies. Formally, gerrymandering is the manipulation of spatial boundaries to provide political advantage to a particular group (Warf, 2006). The term often refers to political district design, where the boundaries of political districts are “unnaturally” manipulated by redistricting officials to generate durable advantages for one group or party. Since free and fair elections are possibly the critical part of representative democracy, it is important for this cresting tide to have scientifically validated tools. This dissertation supports a current wave of reform by developing a general inferential technique to “localize” inferential bias measures, …

Contributors
Wolf, Levi John, Rey, Sergio J, Anselin, Luc, et al.
Created Date
2017

Sustainable development in an American context implies an ongoing shift from quantitative growth in energy, resource, and land use to the qualitative development of social-ecological systems, human capital, and dense, vibrant built environments. Sustainable urban development theory emphasizes locally and bioregionally emplaced economic development where the relationships between people, localities, products, and capital are tangible to and controllable by local stakeholders. Critical theory provides a mature understanding of the political economy of land development in capitalist economies, representing a crucial bridge between urban sustainability's infill development goals and the contemporary realities of the development industry. Since its inception, Phoenix, Arizona …

Contributors
Stanley, Benjamin Woodruff, Boone, Christopher G., Redman, Charles, et al.
Created Date
2013

Sustainable urbanism offers a set of best practice planning and design prescriptions intended to reverse the negative environmental consequences of urban sprawl, which dominates new urban development in the United States. Master planned developments implementing sustainable urbanism are proliferating globally, garnering accolades within the planning community and skepticism among social scientists. Despite attention from supporters and critics alike, little is known about the actual environmental performance of sustainable urbanism. This dissertation addresses the reasons for this paucity of evidence and the capacity of sustainable urbanism to deliver the espoused environmental outcomes through alternative urban design and the conventional master planning …

Contributors
Turner, Victoria Kelly, Gober, Patricia, Eakin, Hallie, et al.
Created Date
2013

Decades ago in the U.S., clear lines delineated which neighborhoods were acceptable for certain people and which were not. Techniques such as steering and biased mortgage practices continue to perpetuate a segregated outcome for many residents. In contrast, ethnic enclaves and age restricted communities are viewed as voluntary segregation based on cultural and social amenities. This diversity surrounding the causes of segregation are not just region-wide characteristics, but can vary within a region. Local segregation analysis aims to uncover this local variation, and hence open the door to policy solutions not visible at the global scale. The centralization index, originally …

Contributors
Folch, David Charles, Rey, Sergio J, Anselin, Luc, et al.
Created Date
2012

Bicycle sharing systems (BSS) operate on five continents, and they change quickly with technological innovations. The newest “dockless” systems eliminate both docks and stations, and have become popular in China since their launch in 2016. The rapid increase in dockless system use has exposed its drawbacks. Without the order imposed by docks and stations, bike parking has become problematic. In the areas of densest use, the central business districts of large cities, dockless systems have resulted in chaotic piling of bikes and need for frequent rebalancing of bikes to other locations. In low-density zones, on the other hand, it may …

Contributors
Cui, Wencong, Kuby, Michael, Salon, Deborah, et al.
Created Date
2018

The purpose of this research is to connect community development and local economic development to determine the impacts of the local economy on economic wealth and quality of life. This will be explored through a community development lens examining how the community, and its location and capitals (specifically economic, social and human capitals), impact the dependent capital variables. Laughlin’s (2012) research design of social capital and its impact on economic wealth used United States county samples, which reflect many local economies. This dissertation builds on Laughlin’s model and explores local economies at a Zip Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) level. It …

Contributors
Trevan, Eric Scott, Phillips, Rhonda, Knopf, Richard, et al.
Created Date
2016

This dissertation research studies long-term spatio-temporal patterns of surface urban heat island (SUHI) intensity, urban evapotranspiration (ET), and urban outdoor water use (OWU) using Phoenix metropolitan area (PMA), Arizona as the case study. This dissertation is composed of three chapters. The first chapter evaluates the SUHI intensity for PMA using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature (LST) product and a time-series trend analysis to discover areas that experienced significant changes of SUHI intensity between 2000 and 2017. The heating and cooling effects of different urban land use land cover (LULC) types was also examined using classified Landsat satellite …

Contributors
Wang, Chuyuan, Myint, Soe W., Brazel, Anthony J., et al.
Created Date
2018

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the aural, though in no way leaving behind the visual, opens the discipline to new areas of human and cultural geography invisible in ocular-centric approaches. At its broadest level, my argument in this dissertation is that music can no longer be simply an object of geographical research. Re-conceptualized and re-theorized in a geographical context to take into account its very real, active, and more-than-representational presence in social life, music provides actual …

Contributors
Finn, John, Mchugh, Kevin, Lukinbeal, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2011

Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) have seen increased attention as a way to reduce reliance on petroleum for transportation, but adoption rates lag behind conventional vehicles. One crucial barrier to their proliferation is the lack of a convenient refueling infrastructure, and there is not a consensus on how to locate initial stations. Some approaches recommend placing stations near where early adopters live. An alternate group of methods places stations along busy travel routes that drivers from across the metropolitan area traverse each day. To assess which theoretical approach is most appropriate, drivers of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in Southern California …

Contributors
Kelley, Scott, Kuby, Michael, Wentz, Elizabeth, et al.
Created Date
2015

This research examines lateral separation zones and sand bar slope stability using two methods: a parallelized turbulence resolving model and full-scale laboratory experiments. Lateral flow separation occurs in rivers where banks exhibit strong curvature, for instance canyon rivers, sharp meanders and river confluences. In the Colorado River, downstream Glen Canyon Dam, lateral separation zones are the principal storage of sandbars. Maximum ramp rates have been imposed to Glen Canyon Dam operation to minimize mass loss of sandbars. Assessment of the effect of restricting maximum ramp rates in bar stability is conducted using multiple laboratory experiments. Results reveal that steep sandbar …

Contributors
ALVAREZ, LAURA V., Schmeeckle, Mark W., Dorn, Ronald I., et al.
Created Date
2015

The Dhofar Cloud Forest is one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Arabian Peninsula. As part of the South Arabian Cloud Forest that extends from southern Oman to Yemen, the cloud forest is an important center of endemism and provides valuable ecosystem services to those living in the region. There have been various claims made about the health of the cloud forest and its surrounding region, the most prominent of which are: 1) variability of the Indian Summer Monsoon threatens long-term vegetation health, and 2) human encroachment is causing deforestation and land degradation. This dissertation uses three independent studies …

Contributors
Galletti, Christopher Stephen, Turner, Billie L, Fall, Patricia L, et al.
Created Date
2015

This doctoral dissertation research aims to develop a comprehensive definition of urban open spaces and to determine the extent of environmental, social and economic impacts of open spaces on cities and the people living there. The approach I take to define urban open space is to apply fuzzy set theory to conceptualize the physical characteristics of open spaces. In addition, a 'W-green index' is developed to quantify the scope of greenness in urban open spaces. Finally, I characterize the environmental impact of open spaces' greenness on the surface temperature, explore the social benefits through observing recreation and relaxation, and identify …

Contributors
Kim, Won Kyung, Wentz, Elizabeth A, Myint, Soe W, et al.
Created Date
2011

Decades of research confirms that urban green spaces in the form of parks, gardens, and urban forests provide numerous environmental and social services including microclimate regulation, noise reduction, rainwater drainage, stress amelioration, etc. In post-industrial megacities of the twenty-first century, densely populated, violent and heavily polluted such as Mexico City, having access to safe and well-maintained green public space is in all respects necessary for people to maintain or improve their quality of life. However, according to recent reports by the Mexican Ministry of Environment, green public spaces in Mexico City are insufficient and unevenly distributed across the sixteen boroughs …

Contributors
Fernandez Alvarez, Rafael, Bolin, Bob, Boone, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2015

This dissertation creates models of past potential vegetation in the Southern Levant during most of the Holocene, from the beginnings of farming through the rise of urbanized civilization (12 to 2.5 ka BP). The time scale encompasses the rise and collapse of the earliest agrarian civilizations in this region. The archaeological record suggests that increases in social complexity were linked to climatic episodes (e.g., favorable climatic conditions coincide with intervals of prosperity or marked social development such as the Neolithic Revolution ca. 11.5 ka BP, the Secondary Products Revolution ca. 6 ka BP, and the Middle Bronze Age ca. 4 …

Contributors
Soto-Berelov, Mariela, Fall, Patricia L, Myint, Soe, et al.
Created Date
2011