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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.


Date Range
2010 2019


Public awareness of nature and environmental issues has grown in the last decades and zoos have successfully followed suit by re-branding themselves as key representatives for conservation. However, considering the fast rate of environmental degradation, in the near future, zoos may become the only place left for wildlife. Some scholars argue that we have entered a new epoch titled the “Anthropocene” that postulates the idea that untouched pristine nature is almost nowhere to be found. Many scientists and scholars argue that it is time that we embraced this environmental situation and anticipated the change. Clearly, the impact of urbanization is …

Contributors
AlShaheen, Rua, Hejduk, Renata, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2019

Infrastructure are increasingly being recognized as too rigid to quickly adapt to a changing climate and a non-stationary future. This rigidness poses risks to and impacts on infrastructure service delivery and public welfare. Adaptivity in infrastructure is critical for managing uncertainties to continue providing services, yet little is known about how infrastructure can be made more agile and flexible towards improved adaptive capacity. A literature review identified approximately fifty examples of novel infrastructure and technologies which support adaptivity through one or more of ten theoretical competencies of adaptive infrastructure. From these examples emerged several infrastructure forms and possible strategies for …

Contributors
Gilrein, Erica, Chester, Mikhail, Garcia, Margaret, et al.
Created Date
2018

The Internet and climate change are two forces that are poised to both cause and enable changes in how we provide our energy infrastructure. The Internet has catalyzed enormous changes across many sectors by shifting the feedback and organizational structure of systems towards more decentralized users. Today’s energy systems require colossal shifts toward a more sustainable future. However, energy systems face enormous socio-technical lock-in and, thus far, have been largely unaffected by these destabilizing forces. More distributed information offers not only the ability to craft new markets, but to accelerate learning processes that respond to emerging user or prosumer centered …

Contributors
Tyson, Madeline, Janssen, Marco, Tuttle, John, et al.
Created Date
2018

The 21st-century professional or knowledge worker spends much of the working day engaging others through electronic communication. The modes of communication available to knowledge workers have rapidly increased due to computerized technology advances: conference and video calls, instant messaging, e-mail, social media, podcasts, audio books, webinars, and much more. Professionals who think for a living express feelings of stress about their ability to respond and fear missing critical tasks or information as they attempt to wade through all the electronic communication that floods their inboxes. Although many electronic communication tools compete for the attention of the contemporary knowledge worker, most …

Contributors
Counts, Virginia, Parrish, Kristen, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2018

High performing and sustainable building certification bodies continue to update their requirements, leading to scope modification of certifications, and an increasing number of viable sources of environmental information for building materials. In conjunction, the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is seeing increasing demand for such environmental product information. The industry and certifications are moving from using single attribute environmental information about building materials to lifecycle based information to inform their design decisions. This dissertation seeks to understand the current practices, and then focus on strategies to effectively utilize newer sources of environmental product information in high performance building design. …

Contributors
Burke, Rebekah, Parrish, Kristen, Gibson, G. Edward, et al.
Created Date
2018

The 21st century will be the site of numerous changes in education systems in response to a rapidly evolving technological environment where existing skill sets and career structures may cease to exist or, at the very least, change dramatically. Likewise, the nature of work will also change to become more automated and more technologically intensive across all sectors, from food service to scientific research. Simply having technical expertise or the ability to process and retain facts will in no way guarantee success in higher education or a satisfying career. Instead, the future will value those educated in a way that …

Contributors
Wigner, Aubrey Anton, Lande, Micah, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2017

Cities are, at once, a habitat for humans, a center of economic production, a direct consumer of natural resources in the local environment, and an indirect consumer of natural resources at regional, national, and global scales. These processes do not take place in isolation: rather they are nested within complex coupled natural-human (CNH) systems that have nearby and distant teleconnections. Infrastructure systems—roads, electrical grids, pipelines, damns, and aqueducts, to name a few—have been built to convey and store these resources from their point of origin to their point of consumption. Traditional hard infrastructure systems are complemented by soft infrastructure, such …

Contributors
Rushforth, Richard Ray, Ruddell, Benajmin L, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2016

Quantum resilience is a pragmatic theory that allows systems engineers to formally characterize the resilience of systems. As a generalized theory, it not only clarifies resilience in the literature, but also can be applied to all disciplines and domains of discourse. Operationalizing resilience in this manner permits decision-makers to compare and contrast system deployment options for suitability in a variety of environments and allows for consistent treatment of resilience across domains. Systems engineers, whether planning future infrastructures or managing ecosystems, are increasingly asked to deliver resilient systems. Quantum resilience provides a way forward that allows specific resilience requirements to be …

Contributors
Roberts, Thomas, Allenby, Braden, Chester, Mikhail, et al.
Created Date
2015

Overall, biofuels play a significant role in future energy sourcing and deserve thorough researching and examining for their best use in achieving sustainable goals. National and state policies are supporting biofuel production as a sustainable option without a holistic view of total impacts. The analysis from this research connects to policies based on life cycle sustainability to identify other environmental impacts beyond those specified in the policy as well as ethical issues that are a concern. A Life cycle assessment (LCA) of switchgrass agriculture indicates it will be challenging to meet U.S. Renewable Fuel Standards with only switchgrass cellulosic ethanol, …

Contributors
Harden, Cheyenne Lillian, Landis, Amy E, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2014

A methodology is developed that integrates institutional analysis with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to identify and overcome barriers to sustainability transitions and to bridge the gap between environmental practitioners and decisionmakers. LCA results are rarely joined with analyses of the social systems that control or influence decisionmaking and policies. As a result, LCA conclusions generally lack information about who or what controls different parts of the system, where and when the processes' environmental decisionmaking happens, and what aspects of the system (i.e. a policy or regulatory requirement) would have to change to enable lower environmental impact futures. The value of …

Contributors
Kimball, Mindy Anne, Chester, Mikhail, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2014

There is growing concern over the future availability of water for electricity generation. Because of a rapidly growing population coupled with an arid climate, the Western United States faces a particularly acute water/energy challenge, as installation of new electricity capacity is expected to be required in the areas with the most limited water availability. Electricity trading is anticipated to be an important strategy for avoiding further local water stress, especially during drought and in the areas with the most rapidly growing populations. Transfers of electricity imply transfers of "virtual water" - water required for the production of a product. Yet, …

Contributors
Herron, Seth, Ruddell, Benjamin L, Ariaratnam, Samuel, et al.
Created Date
2013

This document builds a model, the Resilience Engine, of how a given sociotechnical innovation contributes to the resilience of its society, where the failure points of that process might be, and what outcomes, resilient or entropic, can be generated by the uptake of a particular innovation. Closed systems, which tend towards stagnation and collapse, are distinguished from open systems, which through ongoing encounters with external novelty, tend towards enduring resilience. Heterotopia, a space bounded from the dominant order in which novelty is generated and defended, is put forth as the locus of innovation for systemic resilience, defined as the capacity …

Contributors
Mcknight, John Carter, Miller, Clark, Hayes, Elisabeth, et al.
Created Date
2013

The United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes development as a priority for carbon dioxide (CO2) allocation, under its principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". This was codified in the Kyoto Protocol, which exempt developing nations from binding emission reduction targets. Additionally, they could be the recipients of financed sustainable development projects in exchange for emission reduction credits that the developed nations could use to comply with emission targets. Due to ineffective results, post-Kyoto policy discussions indicate a transition towards mitigation commitments from major developed and developing emitters, likely supplemented by market-based mechanisms to reduce mitigation costs. Although …

Contributors
Clark, Susan Spierre, Seager, Thomas P., Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2013

Urban water systems face sustainability challenges ranging from water quality, leaks, over-use, energy consumption, and long-term supply concerns. Resiliency challenges include the capacity to respond to drought, managing pipe deterioration, responding to natural disasters, and preventing terrorism. One strategy to enhance sustainability and resiliency is the development and adoption of smart water grids. A smart water grid incorporates networked monitoring and control devices into its structure, which provides diverse, real-time information about the system, as well as enhanced control. Data provide input for modeling and analysis, which informs control decisions, allowing for improvement in sustainability and resiliency. While smart water …

Contributors
Mutchek, Michele Ann, Allenby, Braden, Williams, Eric, et al.
Created Date
2012

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is one of the important mitigation options for climate change. Numerous technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) are in development but currently, capture using amines is the predominant technology. When the flue gas reacts with amines (Monoethanaloamine) the CO2 is absorbed into the solution and forms an intermediate product which then releases CO2 at higher temperature. The high temperature necessary to strip CO2 is provided by steam extracted from the powerplant thus reducing the net output of the powerplant by 25% to 35%. The reduction in electricity output for the same input of coal increases …

Contributors
Sekar, Ashok, Williams, Eric, Chester, Mikhail, et al.
Created Date
2012

Many expect renewable energy technologies to play a leading role in a sustainable energy supply system and to aid the shift away from an over-reliance on traditional hydrocarbon resources in the next few decades. This dissertation develops environmental, policy and social models to help understand various aspects of photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The first part of this dissertation advances the life cycle assessment (LCA) of PV systems by expanding the boundary of included processes using hybrid LCA and accounting for the technology-driven dynamics of environmental impacts. Hybrid LCA extends the traditional method combining bottom-up process-sum and top-down economic input-output (EIO) approaches. …

Contributors
Zhai, Pei, Williams, Eric D, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2010