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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.


Resource Type
Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


The Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area has sustained one of the United States' fastest growth rates for nearly a century. Supported by a mild climate and cheap, available land, the magnitude of regional land development contrasts with heady concerns over energy use, environmental sensitivity, and land fragmentation. This dissertation uses four empirical research studies to investigate the historic, geographic microfoundations of the region's oft-maligned urban morphology and the drivers of land development behind it. First, urban land use patterns are linked to historical development processes by adapting a variety of spatial measures commonly used in land cover studies. The timing of …

Contributors
Kane, Kevin, O hUallachain, Breandan, York, Abigail M, et al.
Created Date
2015

In the field of Geographic Information Science (GIScience), we have witnessed the unprecedented data deluge brought about by the rapid advancement of high-resolution data observing technologies. For example, with the advancement of Earth Observation (EO) technologies, a massive amount of EO data including remote sensing data and other sensor observation data about earthquake, climate, ocean, hydrology, volcano, glacier, etc., are being collected on a daily basis by a wide range of organizations. In addition to the observation data, human-generated data including microblogs, photos, consumption records, evaluations, unstructured webpages and other Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI) are incessantly generated and shared on …

Contributors
Shao, Hu, Li, Wenwen, Rey, Sergio, et al.
Created Date
2018

As urban populations become increasingly dense, massive amounts of new 'big' data that characterize human activity are being made available and may be characterized as having a large volume of observations, being produced in real-time or near real-time, and including a diverse variety of information. In particular, spatial interaction (SI) data - a collection of human interactions across a set of origins and destination locations - present unique challenges for distilling big data into insight. Therefore, this dissertation identifies some of the potential and pitfalls associated with new sources of big SI data. It also evaluates methods for modeling SI …

Contributors
Oshan, Taylor, Fotheringham, A. S., Farmer, Carson J.Q., et al.
Created Date
2017

This dissertation explores vulnerability to extreme heat hazards in the Maricopa County, Arizona metropolitan region. By engaging an interdisciplinary approach, I uncover the epidemiological, historical-geographical, and mitigation dimensions of human vulnerability to extreme heat in a rapidly urbanizing region characterized by an intense urban heat island and summertime heat waves. I first frame the overall research within global climate change and hazards vulnerability research literature, and then present three case studies. I conclude with a synthesis of the findings and lessons learned from my interdisciplinary approach using an urban political ecology framework. In the first case study I construct and …

Contributors
Declet-Barreto, Juan, Harlan, Sharon L, Bolin, Bob, et al.
Created Date
2013

While there are many elements to consider when determining one's risk of heat or cold stress, acclimation could prove to be an important factor to consider. Individuals who are participating in more strenuous activities, while being at a lower risk, will still feel the impacts of acclimation to an extreme climate. To evaluate acclimation in strenuous conditions, I collected finishing times from six different marathon races: the New York City Marathon (New York City, New York), Equinox Marathon (Fairbanks, Alaska), California International Marathon (Sacramento, California), LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon (Austin, Texas), Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon (Cincinnati, Ohio), and the Ocala Marathon …

Contributors
Debiasse, Kimberly, Cerveny, Randall S, Brazel, Anthony, et al.
Created Date
2011

Since the late 1990s thousands of new Border Patrol agents, hundreds of miles of fencing, and additional immigration checkpoints have been added to the Mexico-U.S. border region. This unprecedented increase in boundary enforcement has strained existing relationships and created new separations between people and places in the borderlands. Southwestern Arizona has been impacted in especially dramatic ways, as the “hardening” of the international boundary has transformed conservation and indigenous spaces into theaters of drug interdiction and immigration control. This dissertation explores this transformation in southwestern Arizona, a region that was known by Spanish Colonial administrators as the Papaguería. With the …

Contributors
Warren, Scott Daniel, Arreola, Daniel D, Klett, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2015

There exist many facets of error and uncertainty in digital spatial information. As error or uncertainty will not likely ever be completely eliminated, a better understanding of its impacts is necessary. Spatial analytical approaches, in particular, must somehow address data quality issues. This can range from evaluating impacts of potential data uncertainty in planning processes that make use of methods to devising methods that explicitly account for error/uncertainty. To date, little has been done to structure methods accounting for error. This research focuses on developing methods to address geographic data uncertainty in spatial optimization. An integrated approach that characterizes uncertainty …

Contributors
Wei, Ran, Murray, Alan T, Anselin, Luc, et al.
Created Date
2013

The lack of substantive, multi-dimensional perspectives on civic space planning and design has undermined the potential role of these valuable social and ecological amenities in advancing urban sustainability goals. Responding to these deficiencies, this dissertation utilized mixed quantitative and qualitative methods and synthesized multiple social and natural science perspectives to inform the development of progressive civic space planning and design, theory, and public policy aimed at improving the social, economic, and environmental health of cities. Using Phoenix, Arizona as a case study, the analysis was tailored to arid cities, yet the products and findings are flexible enough to be geographically …

Contributors
Ibes, Dorothy, Talen, Emily, Boone, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2013

The Kilombero Valley lies at the intersection of a network of protected areas that cross Tanzania. The wetlands and woodlands of the Valley, as well as the forest of surrounding mountains are abundant in biodiversity and are considered to be critical areas for conservation. This area, however, is also the home to more than a half million people, primarily poor smallholder farmers. In an effort to support the livelihoods and food security of these farmers and the larger Tanzanian population, the country has recently targeted a series of programs to increase agricultural production in the Kilombero Valley and elsewhere in …

Contributors
Connors, John Patrick, Turner, Billie Lee, Eakin, Hallie, et al.
Created Date
2015

The objective of this dissertation is to empirically analyze the results of the retail location decision making process and how chain networks evolve given their value platform. It employs one of the largest cross-sectional databases of retailers ever assembled, including 50 US retail chains and over 70,000 store locations. Three closely related articles, which develop new theory explaining location deployment and behaviors of retailers, are presented. The first article, "Regionalism in US Retailing," presents a comprehensive spatial analysis of the domestic patterns of retailers. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistics examine the degree to which the chains are deployed regionally …

Contributors
Joseph, Lawrence, Kuby, Michael, Matthews, Richard, et al.
Created Date
2013

Change of residence is a commonly occurring event in urban areas. It reflects how people interact with the social or physical environment. Thus, by exploring the movement patterns of residential changes, geographers and other scholars hope to learn more about the reasons and impacts associated with residential mobility, and to better understand how humans and the environment mutually interact. This is especially meaningful if exploration is based on micro scale movements, since residential changes within a city or a county reflect how the urban structure and community composition interact. Local differentiation, as an inevitable feature among movements at different places, …

Contributors
Liu, Yin, Murray, Alan, Rey, Sergio, et al.
Created Date
2012

Recent advances in geo-visualization technologies, such as Google Earth, have the potential to enhance spatial thinking. Google Earth is especially suited to teaching landforms and geomorphological processes in traditional, online, or hybrid college classroom settings. The excitement for the technology as a learning tool, however, must be tempered by the need to develop sound and supportive pedagogies. A fundamental gap in the geoscience education literature exists because learning experiences with Google Earth, from the perspective of the student, are not completely understood. This dissertation analyzes three case studies in college introductory physical geography (Chapters 2 and 4) and teacher education …

Contributors
Palmer, Ronald Evan, Dorn, Ronald I, Harris, Lauren M, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

This dissertation research investigates both spatial and temporal aspects of Bronze Age land use and land cover in the Eastern Mediterranean using botanical macrofossils of charcoal and charred seeds as sources of proxy data. Comparisons through time and over space using seed and charcoal densities, seed to charcoal ratios, and seed and charcoal identifications provide a comprehensive view of island vs. mainland vegetative trajectories through the critical 1000 year time period from 2500 BC to 1500 BC of both climatic fluctuation and significant anthropogenic forces. This research focuses particularly on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus during this crucial interface of …

Contributors
Klinge, Joanna Marie, Fall, Patricia L, Falconer, Steven E, et al.
Created Date
2013

In 2001, a refugee group of unaccompanied minors known as the Lost Boys of Sudan began arriving in the United States. Their early years were met with extensive media coverage and scores of well-meaning volunteers in scattered resettlement locations across the country. Their story was told in television news reports, documentary films, and published memoirs. Updates regularly appeared in newsprint media. Scholars have criticized public depictions of refugees as frequently de-politicized, devoid of historical context, and often depicting voiceless masses of humanity rather than individuals with skills and histories (Malkki 1996, Harrell-Bond and Voutira 2007). These representations matter because they …

Contributors
Alexander, Melinda, McHugh, Kevin, Catlaw, Thomas, et al.
Created Date
2014

Canal oriented development (COD) is a placemaking concept that aims to create mixed use developments along canal banks using the image and utility of the waterfront as a natural attraction for social and economic activity. COD has the potential to for landlocked cities, which are lacking a traditional harbor, to pursue waterfront development which has become an important economic development source in the post-industrial city. This dissertation examines how COD as a placemaking technique can and has been used in creating urban development. This topic is analyzed via three separate yet interconnecting papers. The first paper explores the historical notion …

Contributors
Buckman, Stephen Thomas, Talen, Emily, Ellin, Nan, et al.
Created Date
2013

Since the 1990s, the United States has been increasingly hosting large numbers of foreign students in its higher education sector and continues to accommodate these skilled college graduates in its job market. When international students graduate, they can transition from an international student to a skilled migrant. Yet their decision-making process to stay in the receiving country (the United States), to return to sending countries, or to move on to another country, at different stages of such transition period, is not presently understood. This dissertation examines the experiences of these “migrants in transition period” when they face the “to return …

Contributors
Yu, Wan, Li, Wei, Arreola, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2016

Studies of governance have focused on the interactions among diverse actors while implicitly recognizing the role of power within those relationships. Explicit power analyses of water governance coordination are needed to better understand the conditions for and barriers to sustainability. I therefore utilized a novel conceptual framework to analyze vertical and horizontal governance, along with power, to address how governance interactions affect water sustainability in terms of (1) interactions among governance actors across local to state levels; (2) coordination among actors at the local level; and (3) the exercise of power among assorted actors. I adopted a qualitative case study …

Contributors
Ayodele, Deborah Olufunmilola, Larson, Kelli L, Bolin, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2017

Ephemeral streams in Arizona that are perpendicularly intersected by the Central Arizona Project (CAP) canal have been altered due to partial or complete damming of the stream channel. The dammed upstream channels have experienced decades long cycles of sediment deposition and waterlogging during storm events causing the development of "green-up" zones. This dissertation examines the biogeomorphological effects of damming ephemeral streams caused by the CAP canal by investigating: (1) changes in the preexisting spatial cover of riparian vegetation and how these changes are affected by stream geometry; (2) green-up initiation and evolution; and (3) changes in plant species and community …

Contributors
Hamdan, Abeer, Schmeeckle, Mark, Myint, Soe, et al.
Created Date
2014

The shortest path between two locations is important for spatial analysis, location modeling, and wayfinding tasks. Depending on permissible movement and availability of data, the shortest path is either derived from a pre-defined transportation network or constructed in continuous space. However, continuous space movement adds substantial complexity to identifying the shortest path as the influence of obstacles has to be considered to avoid errors and biases in a derived path. This obstacle-avoiding shortest path in continuous space has been referred to as Euclidean shortest path (ESP), and attracted the attention of many researchers. It has been proven that constructing a …

Contributors
Hong, Insu, Murray, Alan T, Kuby, Micheal, et al.
Created Date
2015