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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
2011 2016


A sustainability strategy is a distinctive pattern in an organization’s sustainability programs that are designed to encourage individuals and organizations to behave in more sustainable ways. Local governments worldwide have increasingly pursued sustainability strategies to improve their community health and environment by adopting sustainability programs that span a variety of environmental issues and use a diverse set of policy instruments. Despite increasing prevalence of sustainability efforts at the local level, as yet, there has been little understanding of variation in their sustainability strategies and its relationship with environmental performance outcomes. Prior research has mainly focused on the number of programs …

Contributors
Ji, Hyunjung, Darnall, Nicole, Corley, Elizabeth, et al.
Created Date
2016

Sustainability requires developing the capacity to manage difficult tradeoffs to advance human livelihoods now and in the future. Decision-makers are recognizing the ecosystem services approach as a useful framework for evaluating tradeoffs associated with environmental change to advance decision-making towards holistic solutions. In this dissertation I conduct an ecosystem services assessment on the Yongding River Ecological Corridor in Beijing, China. I developed a `10-step approach' to evaluate multiple ecosystem services for public policy. I use the 10-step approach to evaluate five ecosystem services for management from the Yongding Corridor. The Beijing government created lakes and wetlands for five services (human …

Contributors
Wong, Christina P., Kinzig, Ann P, Lee, Kai N, et al.
Created Date
2014

Water is the defining issue in determining the development and growth of human populations of the Southwest. The cities of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso have experienced rapid and exponential growth over the past 50 years. The outlook for having access to sustainable sources of water to support this growth is not promising due to water demand and supply deficits. Regional water projects have harnessed the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers to maximize the utility of the water for human consumption and environmental laws have been adopted to regulate the beneficial use of this water, but it …

Contributors
Malloy, Richard Alan, Brock, John, Martin, Chris, et al.
Created Date
2013

The consumption of feedstocks from agriculture and forestry by current biofuel production has raised concerns about food security and land availability. In the meantime, intensive human activities have created a large amount of marginal lands that require management. This study investigated the viability of aligning land management with biofuel production on marginal lands. Biofuel crop production on two types of marginal lands, namely urban vacant lots and abandoned mine lands (AMLs), were assessed. The investigation of biofuel production on urban marginal land was carried out in Pittsburgh between 2008 and 2011, using the sunflower gardens developed by a Pittsburgh non-profit …

Contributors
Zhao, Xi, Landis, Amy, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2013

Land transformation under conditions of rapid urbanization has significantly altered the structure and functioning of Earth's systems. Land fragmentation, a characteristic of land transformation, is recognized as a primary driving force in the loss of biological diversity worldwide. However, little is known about its implications in complex urban settings where interaction with social dynamics is intense. This research asks: How do patterns of land cover and land fragmentation vary over time and space, and what are the socio-ecological drivers and consequences of land transformation in a rapidly growing city? Using Metropolitan Phoenix as a case study, the research links pattern …

Contributors
Zhang, Sainan, Boone, Christopher G., York, Abigail M., et al.
Created Date
2013

Since its launch by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has been postured as the "gold standard" for environmentally conscious, sustainable building design, construction and operations. However, as a "living measurement", one which requires ongoing evaluation and reporting of attainment and compliance with LEED certification requirements, there is none. Once awarded, LEED certification does not have a required reporting component to effectively track continued adherence to LEED standards. In addition, there is no expiry tied to the certification; once obtained, a LEED certification rating is presumed to be a valid representation of …

Contributors
Carpenter, Anne Therese, Olson, Larry, Hild, Nicholas, et al.
Created Date
2013

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) quantifies environmental impacts of products in raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, distribution, use and final disposal. The findings of an LCA can be used to improve industry practices, to aid in product development, and guide public policy. Unfortunately, existing approaches to LCA are unreliable in the cases of emerging technologies, where data is unavailable and rapid technological advances outstrip environmental knowledge. Previous studies have demonstrated several shortcomings to existing practices, including the masking of environmental impacts, the difficulty of selecting appropriate weight sets for multi-stakeholder problems, and difficulties in exploration of variability and uncertainty. In particular, …

Contributors
Prado-Lopez, Valentina, Seager, Thomas P, Landis, Amy E, et al.
Created Date
2013

Urban sustainability is a critical component of sustainable human societies. Urban riparian parks are used here as a case study seeking to understand the social-ecological relationships between the subjective evaluation of ecosystem services and the vision and management of one kind of green infrastructure. This study explored attitudes towards ecosystem services, asking whether 1) the tripartite model is an effective framing to measure attitudes towards ecosystem services; 2) what the attitudes towards ecosystem services are and whether they differ between two types of park space; and 3) what the relationship is between management and the attitudinal assessment of ecosystem services …

Contributors
Wilson, Lea Ione, Childers, Daniel L, Larson, Kelli L., et al.
Created Date
2012

Ecolabels are the main driving force of consumer knowledge in the realm of sustainable product purchasing. While ecolabels strive to improve consumer's purchasing decisions, they have overwhelmed the market, leaving consumers confused and distrustful of what each label means. This study attempts to validate and understand environmental concerns commonly found in ecolabel criteria and the implications they have within the life cycle of a product. A life cycle assessment (LCA) case study of cosmetic products is used in comparison with current ecolabel program criteria to assess whether or not ecolabels are effectively driving environmental improvements in high impact areas throughout …

Contributors
Bernardo, Melissa Anna, Dooley, Kevin, Chester, Mikhail, et al.
Created Date
2012

Growing concerns over climate change and the lack of a federal climate policy have prompted many sub-national organizations to undertake greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation actions on their own. However, the interventions associated with these efforts are typically selected in a top-down and ad hoc manner, and have not created the desired GHG emissions reductions. Accordingly, new approaches are needed to identify, select, develop, and coordinate effective climate change mitigation interventions in local and regional contexts. This thesis develops a process to create a governance system for negotiating local and regional climate interventions. The process consists of four phases: 1) mapping …

Contributors
Culotta, Daniel Scott, Wiek, Arnim, Basile, George, et al.
Created Date
2012