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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
  • Masters Thesis
Status
  • Public
Subject
Date Range
2012 2018


Many wildlife species that are essential to human livelihoods are targeted with the aim of extracting short-term benefits. Overexploitation, resulting from failed common-pool resource governance, has endangered the sustainability of large animal species, in particular. Rights-based approaches to wildlife conservation offer a possible path forward. In a wildlife market, property rights, or shares of an animal population, are allocated to resource users with interests in either harvest or preservation. Here, I apply the Social-Ecological Systems (SES) framework (Ostrom, 2009) to identify the conditions under which the ecological, social, and economic outcomes of a conservation market are improved compared to the …

Contributors
Sturm, Melanie Christine, Minteer, Ben A, Gerber, Leah R, et al.
Created Date
2014

Amsonia kearneyana is an endangered herbaceous plant endemic to a small area of the Baboquivari Mountains in southern Arizona. It exists in two distinct habitat types: 1) along the banks of a lower elevation ephemeral stream in a xeroriparian community, and 2) a higher elevation Madrean oak woodland on steep mountain slopes. Half of the largest known montane population (Upper Brown Canyon) was burned in a large fire in 2009 raising questions of the species capacity to recover after fire. This research sought to understand how the effects of fire will impact A. kearneyana's ability to recruit and survive in …

Contributors
Yost, Tyna M., Stromberg, Juliet, McCue, Kimberlie, et al.
Created Date
2015

Despite years of effort, the field of conservation biology still struggles to incorporate theories of animal behavior. I introduce in Chapter I the issues surrounding the disconnect between behavioral ecology and conservation biology, and propose the use of behavioral knowledge in population viability analysis. In Chapter II, I develop a framework that uses three strategies for incorporating behavior into demographic models, outline the costs of each strategy through decision analysis, and build on previous work in behavioral ecology and demography. First, relevant behavioral mechanisms should be included in demographic models used for conservation decision-making. Second, I propose rapid behavioral assessment …

Contributors
Wildermuth, Robert Paul, Gerber, Leah R, Collins, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

For the last 10 years, the American Southwest has been experiencing the most persistent drought conditions on record. Based on future climactic predictions, there is a dire need to reduce water usage within Phoenix. An environmentally responsible behavior such as low water use landscaping (xeriscaping), has been shown to reduce household water consumption by 40%-70%. While much is known regarding the relationship between socio-demographics and xeriscaping choices, the influence of other variables remains to be explored. Using data from the 2017 Phoenix Area Social Survey, this study investigates the influence of two additional variables - ecological worldview and place identity …

Contributors
Sampson, Marena, Budruk, Megha, Larson, Kelli, et al.
Created Date
2018

Consumption of seafood poses a substantial threat to global biodiversity. Chemical contamination found in both wild-caught and farmed seafood also presents significant health risks to consumers. Flame retardants, used in textiles, upholstery, plastics, and other products to reduce risk of fire-related injury, are of particular concern as they are commonly found in the marine environment and permeate the tissues of fish that are sold for consumption via multiple pathways. The widespread issue of fishery collapse could be alleviated by demonstrating to stakeholders that many unsustainable fish stocks are also unhealthy and mutually disadvantageous for both human consumers and the environment. …

Contributors
Noziglia, Andrea Joyce, Gerber, Leah, Abbott, Joshua, et al.
Created Date
2015

In riparian ecosystems, reptiles and amphibians are good indicators of environmental conditions. Herpetofauna have been linked to specific microhabitat characteristics, microclimates, and water resources in riparian forests. My objective was to relate herpetofauna abundance to changes in riparian habitat along the Virgin River caused by the Tamarix biological control agent, Diorhabda carinulata, and riparian restoration. During 2013 and 2014, vegetation and herpetofauna were monitored at 21 riparian locations along the Virgin River via trapping and visual encounter surveys. Study sites were divided into four stand types based on density and percent cover of dominant trees (Tamarix, Prosopis, Populus, and Salix) …

Contributors
Mosher, Kent Russell, Bateman, Heather L, Stromberg, Juliet C, et al.
Created Date
2014

Species conservation requires an understanding of the habitats on which that species depends as well as how it moves within and among those habitats. Knowledge of these spatial and temporal patterns is vital for effective management and research study design. Bubbling Ponds Hatchery in Cornville, Arizona, supports a robust population of the northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops), which was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2014. Natural resource managers are interested in understanding the ecology of gartersnakes at this site to guide hatchery operations and to serve as a model for habitat creation and restoration. My …

Contributors
Sprague, Tiffany Ann, Bateman, Heather L, Cunningham, Stan C, et al.
Created Date
2017

Species distribution modeling is used to study changes in biodiversity and species range shifts, two currently well-known manifestations of climate change. The focus of this study is to explore how distributions of suitable habitat might shift under climate change for shrub communities within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA), through a comparison of community level to individual species level distribution modeling. Species level modeling is more commonly utilized, in part because community level modeling requires detailed community composition data that are not always available. However, community level modeling may better detect patterns in biodiversity. To examine the projected …

Contributors
James, Jennifer, Franklin, Janet, Rey, Sergio, et al.
Created Date
2014

Biological soil crusts (biocrust) are photosynthetic communities of organisms forming in the top millimeters of unvegetated soil. Because soil crusts contribute several ecosystem services to the areas they inhabit, their loss under anthropogenic pressure has negative ecological consequences. There is a considerable interest in developing technologies for biocrust restoration such as biocrust nurseries to grow viable inoculum and the optimization of techniques for field deployment of this inoculum. For the latter, knowledge of the natural rates of biocrust dispersal is needed. Lateral dispersal can be based on self-propelled motility by component microbes, or on passive transport through propagule entrainment in …

Contributors
Sorochkina, Kira, Garcia-Pichel, Ferran, Rowe, Helen, et al.
Created Date
2017

Recent research within the field of natural resource management has been devoted to studying the cognitive structures, called mental models, that guide people’s thoughts, actions, and decision-making. Artificial lighting threatens the sustainability of pristine night skies around the world and is growing worldwide at an average rate of six-percent per year. Despite these trends, stakeholders’ mental models of night skies have been unexplored. This study will address this gap by eliciting stakeholders’ mental models of dark skies. Scenario planning has become a pervasive tool across diverse sectors to analyze complex systems for making decisions under uncertainty. The theory of scenario …

Contributors
Hobbins, Robert Jonathan, Nyaupane, Gyan P, Budruk, Megha, et al.
Created Date
2016