Skip to main content

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.


Status
  • Public
Subject
Date Range
2011 2019


Monsoon hazards routinely affect the community, economy, and environment of the American Southwest. A common link for hazard development during the North American Monsoon concerns the interplay between temperature, moisture, and wind in the vertical atmosphere controlled by an unstable monsoon circulation. This dissertation investigates vertical atmospheric patterns using in-situ sounding data, specifically, 1) environments favorable for severe hail on the Colorado Plateau, 2) significant parameters distinguishing unhealthy versus healthy ozone days in Phoenix, Arizona, and 3) vertical profile alignments associated with distinct ranges in ozone concentrations observed in Phoenix having defined health impacts. The first study (published in the …

Contributors
Malloy, Jonny William, Cerveny, Randall S, Selover, Nancy J, et al.
Created Date
2019

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

Atmospheric deposition of iron (Fe) can limit primary productivity and carbon dioxide uptake in some marine ecosystems. Recent modeling studies suggest that biomass burning aerosols may contribute a significant amount of soluble Fe to the surface ocean. Existing studies of burn-induced trace element mobilization have often collected both entrained soil particles along with material from biomass burning, making it difficult to determine the actual source of aerosolized trace metals. In order to better constrain the importance of biomass versus entrained soil as a source of trace metals in burn aerosols, small-scale burn experiments were conducted using soil-free foliage representative of …

Contributors
Sherry, Alyssa Meredith, Anbar, Ariel D, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2019

Biodiversity is required to guarantee proper ecosystem structure and function. However, increasing anthropogenic threats are causing biodiversity loss around the world at an unprecedented rate, in what has been deemed the sixth mass extinction. To counteract this crisis, conservationists seek to improve the methods used in the design and implementation of protected areas, which help mitigate the impacts of human activities on species. Marine mammals are ecosystem engineers and important indicator species of ocean and human wellbeing. They are also disproportionally less known and more threatened than terrestrial mammals. Therefore, surrogates of biodiversity must be used to maximize their representation …

Contributors
Astudillo-Scalia, Yaiyr, Albuquerque, Fábio, Deviche, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2019

Understanding and predicting climate changes at the urban scale have been an important yet challenging problem in environmental engineering. The lack of reliable long-term observations at the urban scale makes it difficult to even assess past climate changes. Numerical modeling plays an important role in filling the gap of observation and predicting future changes. Numerical studies on the climatic effect of desert urbanization have focused on basic meteorological fields such as temperature and wind. For desert cities, urban expansion can lead to substantial changes in the local production of wind-blown dust, which have implications for air quality and public health. …

Contributors
Tahir, Sherzad Tahseen, Huang, Huei-Ping, Phelan, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2019

Organic reactions in natural hydrothermal settings have relevance toward the deep carbon cycle, petroleum formation, the ecology of deep microbial communities, and potentially the origin of life. Many reaction pathways involving organic compounds under geochemically relevant hydrothermal conditions have now been characterized, but their mechanisms, in particular those involving mineral surface catalysis, are largely unknown. The overall goal of this work is to describe these mechanisms so that predictive models of reactivity can be developed and so that applications of these reactions beyond geochemistry can be explored. The focus of this dissertation is the mechanisms of hydrothermal dehydration and catalytic …

Contributors
Bockisch, Christiana, Gould, Ian R, Hartnett, Hilairy E, et al.
Created Date
2018

Safe, readily available, and reliable sources of water are an essential component of any municipality’s infrastructure. Phoenix, Arizona, a southwestern city, has among the highest per capita water use in the United States, making it essential to carefully manage its reservoirs. Generally, municipal water bodies are monitored through field sampling. However, this approach is limited spatially and temporally in addition to being costly. In this study, the application of remotely sensed reflectance data from Landsat 7’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Landsat 8’s Operational Land Imager (OLI) along with data generated through field-sampling is used to gain a better …

Contributors
Russell, Jazmine B, Neuer, Susanne, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2018

Monitoring human exposure to chemicals posing public health threats is critically important for risk management and for informing regulatory actions. Chemical threats result from both environmental pollutants and elected substance use (e.g., consumption of drugs, alcohol and tobacco). Measuring chemical occurrence and concentrations in environmental matrices can help to pinpoint human exposure routes. For instance, indoor dust, a sink of indoor environmental contaminants, can serve to assess indoor air contamination and associated human exposures. Urban wastewater arriving at treatment plants contains urine and stool from the general population, the analysis of which can provide information on chemical threats in the …

Contributors
Chen, Jing, Halden, Rolf U, Borges, Chad R, et al.
Created Date
2018

Peatlands represent 3% of the earth’s surface but have been estimated to contain up to 30% of all terrestrial soil organic carbon and release an estimated 40% of global atmospheric CH4 emissions. Contributors to the production of CH4 are methanogenic Archaea through a coupled metabolic dependency of end products released by heterotrophic bacteria within the soil in the absence of O2. To better understand how neighboring bacterial communities can influence methanogenesis, the isolation and physiological characterization of two novel isolates, one Methanoarchaeal isolate and one Acidobacterium isolate identified as QU12MR and R28S, respectively, were targeted in this present study. Co-culture …

Contributors
Ramirez, Zeni, Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby, Roberson, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2018

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important part of aquatic foodwebs because it contains carbon, nitrogen, and other elements required by heterotrophic organisms. It has many sources that determine its molecular composition, nutrient content, and biological lability and in turn, influence whether it is retained and processed in the stream reach or exported downstream. I examined the composition of DOM from vascular wetland plants, filamentous algae, and riparian tree leaf litter in Sonoran Desert streams and its decomposition by stream microbes. I used a combination of field observations, in-situ experiments, and a manipulative laboratory incubation to test (1) how dominant …

Contributors
Kemmitt, Kathrine, Grimm, Nancy, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2018