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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
Date Range
2010 2019


The gender gap of women in science is an important and unresolved issue in higher education and occupational opportunities. The present study was motivated by the fact that there are typically fewer females than males advancing in science, and therefore fewer female science instructor role models. This observation inspired the questions: Are female college students influenced in a positive way by female science teaching assistants (TAs), and if so how can their influence be measured? The study tested the hypothesis that female TAs act as role models for female students and thereby encourage interest and increase overall performance. To test …

Contributors
Ebert, Darilyn, Lawson, Anton, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2010

Biology textbooks are everybody's business. In accepting the view that texts are created with specific social goals in mind, I examined 127 twentieth-century high school biology textbooks for representations of animal development. Paragraphs and visual representations were coded and placed in one of four scientific literacy categories: descriptive, investigative, nature of science, and human embryos, technology, and society (HETS). I then interpreted how embryos and fetuses have been socially constructed for students. I also examined the use of Haeckel's embryo drawings to support recapitulation and evolutionary theory. Textbooks revealed that publication of Haeckel's drawings was influenced by evolutionists and anti-evolutionists …

Contributors
Wellner, Karen Linette, Maienschein, Jane, Ellison, Karin D., et al.
Created Date
2010

Despite the minor differences in the inclusiveness of the word, there is a general assumption among the scientific community that the 'pursuit of knowledge' is the most fundamental element in defining the word 'science'. However, a closer examination of how science is being conducted in modern-day South Korea reveals a value system starkly different from the value of knowledge. By analyzing the political discourse of the South Korean policymakers, mass media, and government documents, this study examines the definition of science in South Korea. The analysis revealed that the Korean science, informed by the cultural, historical, and societal contexts, is …

Contributors
Hyun, Byunghun, Hurlbut, Ben, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2011

The goal of science education in the United States is promoting scientific literacy for all students. The goal necessitates understanding the nature of science-what science is as a body of knowledge, explanatory tool, and human enterprise. The history of science is one of the most long-standing pedagogical methods of getting at the nature of science. But scientific literacy also encompasses education in scientific inquiry, and in the relationships among science, technology, and society (STS), as well as fact and theory-based subject-matter content. Since the beginning of the standards-based reform movement (circa 1983) many attempts have been made to codify the …

Contributors
Lawrence, Cera, Maienschein, Jane, Luft, Julie, et al.
Created Date
2011

This thesis explores concept of "global bioethics" in both its development as well as its current state in an effort to understand exactly where it fits into the larger field of bioethics. Further, the analysis poses specific questions regarding what it may contribute to this field and related fields, and the possibility and scope associated with the continued development of global bioethics as its own discipline. To achieve this, the piece addresses questions regarding current opinions on the subject, the authorities and their associated publications related to global bioethics, and what the aims of the subject should be given its …

Contributors
Ruffenach, Stephen Charles, Robert, Jason S, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2011

The Committee on Rare and Endangered Wildlife Species (CREWS) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) made important and lasting contributions to one of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation in U.S. history: the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). CREWS was a prominent science-advisory body within the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in the 1960s and 1970s, responsible for advising on the development of federal endangered-wildlife policy. The Committee took full advantage of its scientific and political authority by identifying a particular object of conservation--used in the development of the first U.S. list of endangered species--and …

Contributors
Winston, Johnny Michael, Hamilton, Andrew, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2011

Corporations in biomedicine hold significant power and influence, in both political and personal spheres. The decisions these companies make about ethics are critically important, as they help determine what products are developed, how they are developed, how they are promoted, and potentially even how they are regulated. In the last fifteen years, for-profit private companies have been assembling bioethics committees to help resolve dilemmas that require informed deliberation about ethical, legal, scientific, and economic considerations. Private sector bioethics committees represent an important innovation in the governance of emerging technologies, with corporations taking a lead role in deciding what is ethically …

Contributors
Brian, Jennifer Elizabeth Dyck, Robert, Jason S, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2012

Once perceived as an unimportant occurrence in living organisms, cell degeneration was reconfigured as an important biological phenomenon in development, aging, health, and diseases in the twentieth century. This dissertation tells a twentieth-century history of scientific investigations on cell degeneration, including cell death and aging. By describing four central developments in cell degeneration research with the four major chapters, I trace the emergence of the degenerating cell as a scientific object, describe the generations of a variety of concepts, interpretations and usages associated with cell death and aging, and analyze the transforming influences of the rising cell degeneration research. Particularly, …

Contributors
Jiang, Lijing, Maienschein, Jane, Laubichler, Manfred, et al.
Created Date
2013

Lung Cancer Alliance, a nonprofit organization, released the "No One Deserves to Die" advertising campaign in June 2012. The campaign visuals presented a clean, simple message to the public: the stigma associated with lung cancer drives marginalization of lung cancer patients. Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) asserts that negative public attitude toward lung cancer stems from unacknowledged moral judgments that generate 'stigma.' The campaign materials are meant to expose and challenge these common public category-making processes that occur when subconsciously evaluating lung cancer patients. These processes involve comparison, perception of difference, and exclusion. The campaign implies that society sees suffering of …

Contributors
Calvelage, Victoria Lynn, Hurlbut, J. Benjamin, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2013

ABSTRACT Whole genome sequencing (WGS) and whole exome sequencing (WES) are two comprehensive genomic tests which use next-generation sequencing technology to sequence most of the 3.2 billion base pairs in a human genome (WGS) or many of the estimated 22,000 protein-coding genes in the genome (WES). The promises offered from WGS/WES are: to identify suspected yet unidentified genetic diseases, to characterize the genomic mutations in a tumor to identify targeted therapeutic agents and, to predict future diseases with the hope of promoting disease prevention strategies and/or offering early treatment. Promises notwithstanding, sequencing a human genome presents several interrelated challenges: how …

Contributors
Hunt, Katherine Susan, Hurlbut, J. Benjamin, Robert, Jason S., et al.
Created Date
2013

A dental exam in twenty-first century America generally includes the taking of radiographs, which are x-ray images of the mouth. These images allow dentists to see structures below the gum line and within the teeth. Having a patient's radiographs on file has become a dental standard of care in many states, but x-rays were only discovered a little over 100 years ago. This research analyzes how and why the x-ray image has become a ubiquitous tool in the dental field. Primary literature written by dentists and scientists of the time shows that the x-ray was established in dentistry by the …

Contributors
Martinez, Britta Marina, Ellison, Karin, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2013

Computational tools in the digital humanities often either work on the macro-scale, enabling researchers to analyze huge amounts of data, or on the micro-scale, supporting scholars in the interpretation and analysis of individual documents. The proposed research system that was developed in the context of this dissertation ("Quadriga System") works to bridge these two extremes by offering tools to support close reading and interpretation of texts, while at the same time providing a means for collaboration and data collection that could lead to analyses based on big datasets. In the field of history of science, researchers usually use unstructured data …

Contributors
Damerow, Julia, Laubichler, Manfred, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2014

Leo Kanner first described autism in his 1943 article in Nervous Child titled "Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact". Throughout, he describes the eleven children with autism in exacting detail. In the closing paragraphs, the parents of autistic children are described as emotionally cold. Yet, he concludes that the condition as he described it was innate. Since its publication, his observations about parents have been a source of controversy surrounding the original definition of autism. Thus far, histories about autism have pointed to descriptions of parents of autistic children with the claim that Kanner abstained from assigning them causal significance. Understanding …

Contributors
Cohmer, Sean, Hurlbut, James B, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2014

In 1997, developmental biologist Michael Richardson compared his research team's embryo photographs to Ernst Haeckel's 1874 embryo drawings and called Haeckel's work noncredible.Science soon published <&ldquo;>Haeckel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered,<&rdquo;> and Richardson's comments further reinvigorated criticism of Haeckel by others with articles in The American Biology Teacher, <&ldquo;>Haeckel's Embryos and Evolution: Setting the Record Straight <&rdquo;> and the New York Times, <&ldquo;>Biology Text Illustrations more Fiction than Fact.<&rdquo;> Meanwhile, others emphatically stated that the goal of comparative embryology was not to resurrect Haeckel's work. At the center of the controversy was Haeckel's no-longer-accepted idea of recapitulation. Haeckel believed that the development …

Contributors
Wellner, Karen Linette, Maienschein, Jane, Ellison, Karin D., et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation shows that the central conceptual feature and explanatory motivation of theories of evolutionary directionality between 1890 and 1926 was as follows: morphological variation in the developing organism limits the possible outcomes of evolution in definite directions. Put broadly, these theories maintained a conceptual connection between development and evolution as inextricably associated phenomena. This project develops three case studies. The first addresses the Swiss-German zoologist Theodor Eimer's book Organic Evolution (1890), which sought to undermine the work of noted evolutionist August Weismann. Second, the American paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope's Primary Factors (1896) developed a sophisticated system of inheritance that …

Contributors
Ulett, Mark Andrew, Laubichler, Manfred D, Hall, Brian K, et al.
Created Date
2014

Today in the U.S. the narrative of the “bad drug” has become quite a familiar account. There is an ever-growing collection of pharmaceutical products whose safety and efficacy has been debunked through the scandalous exposure of violations of integrity on the part of researchers, lapses in procedure and judgment on the part of the FDA, and reckless profiteering on the part of big pharma. However, a closer look reveals that the oversights and loopholes depicted in the bad drug narrative are not incidental failures of an otherwise intact, effective system. Rather, bad drugs, like good drugs, are a product of …

Contributors
Stevenson, Christine, Brian, Jennifer, Hurlbut, Benjamin, et al.
Created Date
2015

Researchers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries identify the study of the intrinsic and external factors that influence human aging as senescence. A commonly held belief in the year 2015 is that at least some kinds of cells can replicate over long periods or even indefinitely, thereby meaning the cell does not undergo senescence (also known as replicative senescence) and is considered immortal. This study aims to provide information to answer the following question: While some scientists claim they can indefinitely culture a stem cell line in vitro, what are the consequences of those culturing practices? An analysis of a …

Contributors
Bartlett, Zane N., Maienschein, Jane, Ellison, Karin, et al.
Created Date
2015

How fast is evolution? In this dissertation I document a profound change that occurred around the middle of the 20th century in the way that ecologists conceptualized the temporal and spatial scales of adaptive evolution, through the lens of British plant ecologist Anthony David Bradshaw (1926–2008). In the early 1960s, one prominent ecologist distinguished what he called “ecological time”—around ten generations—from “evolutionary time”— around half of a million years. For most ecologists working in the first half of the 20th century, evolution by natural selection was indeed a slow and plodding process, tangible in its products but not in its …

Contributors
Peirson, Bruce Richard Erick, Laubichler, Manfred D, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2015

Intake of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substances such as marijuana and methamphetamine during pregnancy can have significant deleterious effects on a developing fetus and the resulting infant. The existence of substance-exposed newborns also has negative impacts on society as a whole; these include financial burdens placed on taxpayers and the additional time and resources required by health care professionals, social workers, and law enforcement authorities to properly care for such infants. Existing literature show a strong correlation between prenatal care and improved birth outcomes, including abstinence from or reduction of prenatal substance abuse. The Health Start Program in the state …

Contributors
Tantibanchachai, Chanapa, Maienschein, Jane, Ellison, Karin, et al.
Created Date
2015

Blind and visually impaired individuals have historically demonstrated a low participation in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics, and technology (STEM). This low participation is reflected in both their education and career choices. Despite the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), blind and visually impaired (BVI) students continue to academically fall below the level of their sighted peers in the areas of science and math. Although this deficit is created by many factors, this study focuses on the lack of adequate accessible image based materials. Traditional methods for creating accessible …

Contributors
Gonzales, Ashleigh Nicole, Baluch, Debra P, Maienschein, Jane, et al.
Created Date
2015