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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.


Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona are two naturally water-scarce regions that rely on imported water to meet their local water needs. Both areas have been experiencing an ongoing drought that has negatively affected their local water supply. Populations in both cities continue to grow, increasing overall demand for water as the supply decreases. Water conservation is important for the sustainability of each town. However, the methods utilized to conserve residential water in the two areas differ drastically; Los Angeles has implemented involuntary water rationing and Phoenix has not. The widespread effectiveness of involuntary restrictions makes them a popular management …

Contributors
Turrentine, Heather Catherine, Klinsky, Sonja, Dooley, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2016

Energy poverty is pervasive in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria, located in sub-Saharan West Africa, is the world's seventh largest oil exporting country and is a resource-rich nation. It however experiences the same levels of energy poverty as most of its neighboring countries. Attributing this paradox only to corruption or the "Dutch Disease", where one sector booms at the expense of other sectors of the economy, is simplistic and enervates attempts at reform. In addition, data on energy consumption is aggregated at the national level via estimates, disaggregated data is virtually non-existent. Finally, the wave of decentralization of vertically integrated national utilities …

Contributors
Chidebell-Emordi, Chukwunonso, York, Abigail, Pasqualetti, Martin, et al.
Created Date
2015

Engagement as a concept and emerging theory has been explored, but key elements have not been clearly described, and as such, work has not been comprehensive in nature. Research was needed to explore the concept and theory of engagement in general, as well its application to the study of volunteer tourism. Additional research was also needed to incorporate youth perspectives of a volunteer tourism program, along with exploration of engagement impacts on program youth. The purpose of this case study was to explore participant engagement in a volunteer tourism youth education program and impacts on program youth as perceived by …

Contributors
Olsen, Lana Margaret, Andereck, Kathleen, Buzinde, Christine, et al.
Created Date
2018

Economic development over the last century has driven a tripling of the world's population, a twenty-fold increase in fossil fuel consumption, and a tripling of traditional biomass consumption. The associated broad income and wealth inequities are retaining over 2 billion people in poverty. Adding to this, fossil fuel combustion is impacting the environment across spatial and temporal scales and the cost of energy is outpacing all other variable costs for most industries. With 60% of world energy delivered in 2008 consumed by the commercial and industrial sector, the fragmented and disparate energy-related decision making within organizations are largely responsible for …

Contributors
Buch, Rajesh, Wiek, Arnim, Basile, George, et al.
Created Date
2011

Over the last two decades programs and mandates to encourage and foster sustainable urban development have arisen throughout the world, as cities have emerged as key opportunity sites for sustainable development due to the compactness and localization of services and resources. In order to recognize this potential, scholars and practitioners have turned to the practice of visioning as a way to motivate actions and decision making toward a sustainable future. A "vision" is defined as desirable state in the future and scholars believe that the creation of a shared, motivational vision is the best starting point to catalyze positive and …

Contributors
Minowitz, Amy, Wiek, Arnim, Golub, Aaron, et al.
Created Date
2013

Schools all around the country are improving the performance of their buildings by adopting high performance design principles. Higher levels of energy efficiency can pave the way for K-12 Schools to achieve net zero energy (NZE) conditions, a state where the energy generated by on-site renewable sources are sufficient to meet the cumulative annual energy demands of the facility. A key capability for the proliferation of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) is the need for a design methodology that identifies the optimum mix of energy efficient design features to be incorporated into the building. The design methodology should take into …

Contributors
Islam, Mohammad Moshfiqul, Reddy, T. Agami, Bryan, Harvey J., et al.
Created Date
2016

Contemporary urban food security in the US is influenced by complex, multidimensional, and multi-scale factors. However, most assessment methods and intervention efforts in food security research are: 1) narrowly focused on environmental factors (i.e. the presence or absence of quality food outlets), 2) divorced from the human dimension and, 3) ultimately disempower communities to affect change at the local level. New approaches are needed to capture the lived experiences and unique perspectives of people potentially most vulnerable to food insecurity, while also empowering people to become change agents in their lives and in the wider community. This thesis argues that …

Contributors
Talbot, Kathleen Lynn, Eakin, Hallie, Wiek, Arnim, et al.
Created Date
2012

With increasing interest in sustainability and green building, organizations are implementing programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB) in order to focus corporate sustainability goals on the operations of a facility and the practices of the building occupants. Green building programs help reduce the impact of a facility and bring about several environmental benefits including but not limited to energy conservation, water conservation and material conservation. In addition to various environmental benefits, green building programs can help companies become more efficient. The problem is that organizations are not always successful in …

Contributors
Furphy, Kimberly, Hild, Nicholas, Olson, Larry, et al.
Created Date
2010

The conflict conditions that afflict the livelihoods of Palestinian residents living in the West Bank are embedded within the population's ability to travel more so than any other routine activity. For Palestinian residents, domestic and international travel is a process of following paths riddled with multiple barriers that are both physical and political. Past studies have done well to paint a clear picture of the harsh transportation landscape in the region. However, less attention has focused on how barriers interact to indirectly and directly affect levels of accessibility and well-being. Additionally, suggested development solutions are rarely capable of being successfully …

Contributors
Ahmad, Omaya Heidi, Golub, Aaron, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, et al.
Created Date
2015

ABSTRACT The tourism industry continues to mature as many consumers are demanding more responsible and sustainable development. Mindfulness has been studied in tourism as a cognitive trait recognized by actively processing information through an acute sensitivity to an individual's environment and openness to new information. Mindfulness has been shown to predict behaviors related to tourism and recreation. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has been extensively applied to understand human behavior. Despite TPB's extensive history in the social sciences, researchers continue to incorporate new social factors to explain behavior. This study employs an emerging psychological construct, mindfulness, into the TPB …

Contributors
Azzi, Maya Violette, Vogt, Christine A, Buzinde, Christine, et al.
Created Date
2017

Over the past few decades, businesses globally have advanced in incorporating the principles of sustainability as they strive to align economic outcomes with growing and complex social and environmental demands and opportunities. This transition is conditioned by the maturity, scale, and geographical location of a business (among other factors), with particular challenges placed on small enterprises in middle- to low-income communities. Within this context, the overarching research question of this dissertation is why and how business incubation processes may foster sustainable enterprises at the middle and base of the socioeconomic pyramid (MoP/BoP). To explore this question, in this project I …

Contributors
Wood, Mark Williams, Redman, Charles L, Wiek, Arnim, et al.
Created Date
2014

'Attributional' Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) quantitatively tracks the potential environmental impacts of international value chains, in retrospective, while ensuring that burden shifting is avoided. Despite the growing popularity of LCA as a decision-support tool, there are numerous concerns relating to uncertainty and variability in LCA that affects its reliability and credibility. It is pertinent that some part of future research in LCA be guided towards increasing reliability and credibility for decision-making, while utilizing the LCA framework established by ISO 14040. In this dissertation, I have synthesized the present state of knowledge and application of uncertainty and variability in ‘attributional’ LCA, …

Contributors
Subramanian, Vairavan, Golden, Jay S, Chester, Mikhail V, et al.
Created Date
2016

The uncertainty of change inherent in issues such as climate change and regional growth has created a significant challenge for public decision makers trying to decide what adaptation actions are needed to respond to these possible changes. This challenge threatens the resiliency and thus the long term sustainability of our social-ecological systems. Using an empirical embedded case study approach to explore the application of advanced scenario analysis methods to regional growth visioning projects in two regions, this dissertation provides empirical evidence that for issues with high uncertainty, advanced scenario planning (ASP) methods are effective tools for helping decision makers to …

Contributors
Quay, Ray, Pijawka, David, Shangraw, Ralph, et al.
Created Date
2011

Passive cooling techniques, specifically passive downdraft cooling (PDC), have proven to be a solution that can address issues associated with air conditioning (AC). Globally, over 100 buildings have integrated PDC in its different forms, most of which use direct evaporative cooling. Even though all surveyed buildings were energy efficient and cost-effective and most surveyed buildings were thermally comfortable, application of PDC remains limited. This study aims to advance performance of the single stage passive downdraft evaporative cooling tower (PDECT), and expand its applicability beyond the hot dry conditions where it is typically used, by designing and testing a multi-stage passive …

Contributors
Al-Hassawi, Omar Dhia Sadulah, Bryan, Harvey, Reddy, T Agami, et al.
Created Date
2017

The lack of substantive, multi-dimensional perspectives on civic space planning and design has undermined the potential role of these valuable social and ecological amenities in advancing urban sustainability goals. Responding to these deficiencies, this dissertation utilized mixed quantitative and qualitative methods and synthesized multiple social and natural science perspectives to inform the development of progressive civic space planning and design, theory, and public policy aimed at improving the social, economic, and environmental health of cities. Using Phoenix, Arizona as a case study, the analysis was tailored to arid cities, yet the products and findings are flexible enough to be geographically …

Contributors
Ibes, Dorothy, Talen, Emily, Boone, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2013

Public participation is considered an essential process for achieving sustainable urban development. Often, however, insufficient attention is paid to the design of public participation, and processes are formulaic. Then, participation may not match the local context of the communities within which a project is conducted. As a result, participation may become co-optative or coercive, stakeholders may lose trust, and outcomes may favor special interests or be unsustainable, among other shortcomings. In this research, urban public participation is a collaborative decision-making process between residents, businesses, experts, public officials, and other stakeholders. When processes are not attuned with the local context (participant …

Contributors
Cohen, Matthew, Wiek, Arnim, Manuel-Navarrete, David, et al.
Created Date
2015

Haiti has witnessed high deforestation rates in recent decades, caused largely by the fuel needs of a growing population. The resulting soil loss is estimated to have contributed towards a decline in agricultural productivity of 0.5% -1.2% per year since 1997. Recent studies show the potential of biochar use through pyrolysis technology to increase crop yields and improve soil health. However, the appropriateness of this technology in the context of Haiti remains unexplored. The three objectives of this research were to identify agricultural- and fuel-use-related needs and gaps in rural Haitian communities; determine the appropriateness of biochar pyrolyzer technology, used …

Contributors
Delaney, Michael Ryan, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, Chhetri, Nalini, et al.
Created Date
2011

Photovoltaics (PV) is an environmentally promising technology to meet climate goals and transition away from greenhouse-gas (GHG) intensive sources of electricity. The dominant approach to improve the environmental gains from PV is increasing the module efficiency and, thereby, the renewable electricity generated during use. While increasing the use-phase environmental benefits, this approach doesn’t address environmentally intensive PV manufacturing and recycling processes. Lifecycle assessment (LCA), the preferred framework to identify and address environmental hotspots in PV manufacturing and recycling, doesn’t account for time-sensitive climate impact of PV manufacturing GHG emissions and underestimates the climate benefit of manufacturing improvements. Furthermore, LCA is …

Contributors
Triplican Ravikumar, Dwarakanath, Seager, Thomas P, Fraser, Matthew P, et al.
Created Date
2016

Energy is a central concern of sustainability because how we produce and consume energy affects society, economy, and the environment. Sustainability scientists are interested in energy transitions away from fossil fuels because they are nonrenewable, increasingly expensive, have adverse health effects, and may be the main driver of climate change. They see an opportunity for developing countries to avoid the negative consequences fossil-fuel-based energy systems, and also to increase resilience, by leap-frogging-over the centralized energy grid systems that dominate the developed world. Energy transitions pose both challenges and opportunities. Obstacles to transitions include 1) an existing, centralized, complex energy-grid system, …

Contributors
Koster, Auriane M., Anderies, John M, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, et al.
Created Date
2013

Alfalfa is a major feed crop widely cultivated in the United States. It is the fourth largest crop in acreage in the US after corn, soybean, and all types of wheat. As of 2003, about 48% of alfalfa was produced in the western US states where alfalfa ranks first, second, or third in crop acreage. Considering that the western US is historically water-scarce and alfalfa is a water-intensive crop, it creates a concern about exacerbating the current water crisis in the US west. Furthermore, the recent increased export of alfalfa from the western US states to China and the United …

Contributors
Kim, Booyoung, Muneepeerakul, Rachata, Ruddell, Benjamin, et al.
Created Date
2015

The Urban Heat Island (UHI) has been known to have been around from as long as people have been urbanizing. The growth and conglomeration of cities in the past century has caused an increase in the intensity and impact of Urban Heat Island, causing significant changes to the micro-climate and causing imbalances in the temperature patterns of cities. The urban heat island (UHI) is a well established phenomenon and it has been attributed to the reduced heating loads and increased cooling loads, impacting the total energy consumption of affected buildings in all climatic regions. This thesis endeavors to understand the …

Contributors
Doddaballapur, Sandeep Srinath, Bryan, Harvey, Reddy, Agami T, et al.
Created Date
2011

Effective Altruism (EA), a moral philosophy concerned with accomplishing the greatest possible good in one’s lifetime, sees little utilitarian and/or humanitarian value in the arts. EA suggests that amidst so much global strife, the time, energy, and finances expended to create fleeting art would be put to better, more practical use in the fight against poverty. However, EA has yet to sufficiently account for sustainable art practice — an art form deeply rooted in utilitarianism and humanitarianism — and the possibility of its accompanying aesthetics as a constituent of utilitarian/humanitarian theories. The first chapter of this thesis illustrates an intersection …

Contributors
Nemelka, Kevin Wendell, Hoy, Meredith, Mesch, Claudia, et al.
Created Date
2017

The complexity and interconnectedness of sustainability issues has led to the joining of disciplines. This effort has been primarily within the sciences with minimal attention given to the relationship between science and art. The exclusion of art is problematic since sustainability challenges are not only scientific and technical; they are also cultural, so the arts, as shapers of culture, are critical components that warrant representation. In addition to contributing to the production of culture, arts have also been credited as catalysts for scientific breakthroughs; thus it stands to reason that understanding art-science integration will benefit sustainability’s focus on use-inspired basic …

Contributors
Cardenas, Edgar, Klett, Mark, Minteer, Ben A, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

Positive Youth Development (PYD) programs include intentional efforts by peers, adults, communities, schools, and organizations to provide opportunities for youth to increase their skills, abilities, and interests in positive activities. The goal of PYD is to provide positive outcomes where youth are viewed as resources to be developed rather than problems to be managed. Future generations rely on youth as active contributing members of society and PYD programs promote sustainable futures for young individuals and the community. PYD programs started in the United States and grew out of interest in prevention programs targeting risky behavior of youth. Interest is growing …

Contributors
Sieng, Michael, Cloutier, Scott, Dooley, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

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

Today, we use resources faster than they can be replaced. Construction consumes more resources than any other industry and has one of the largest waste streams. Resource consumption and waste generation are expected to grow as the global population increases. The circular economy (CE) is based on the concept of a closed-loop cycle (CLC) and proposes a solution that, in theory, can eliminate the environmental impacts caused by construction and demolition (C&D) waste and increase the efficiency of resources’ use. In a CLC, building materials are reused, remanufactured, recycled, and reintegrated into other buildings (or into other sectors) without creating …

Contributors
Campos da Cruz Rios, Fernanda, Grau, David, Chong, Oswald, et al.
Created Date
2018

ABSTRACT Intermediating between farmers and development projects, farmers’ organizations (FOs) have the potential to improve rural market access and promote equitable growth by reducing transaction costs, strengthening producer bargaining power, and enabling collective action. Capacity building of FOs is a cornerstone of rural development policies and programs, such as the United Nations World Food Programme’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) project, which partnered with 830 FOs representing 1.7 million farmers from 2008 through 2014. Despite significant donor investment, a unifying framework defining the concept and measurement of capacity building has eluded development practitioners. The core challenge originates from the paradigm shift …

Contributors
Amani, Sharon Mei, Aggarwal, Rimjhim M., Polidoro, Beth A., et al.
Created Date
2016

Without scientific expertise, society may make catastrophically poor choices when faced with problems such as climate change. However, scientists who engage society with normative questions face tension between advocacy and the social norms of science that call for objectivity and neutrality. Policy established in 2011 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) required their communication to be objective and neutral and this research comprised a qualitative analysis of IPCC reports to consider how much of their communication is strictly factual (Objective), and value-free (Neutral), and to consider how their communication had changed from 1990 to 2013. Further research comprised …

Contributors
McClintock, Scott, van der Leeuw, Sander, Klinsky, Sonja, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

During summer 2014, a study was conducted as part of the Landscape Architecture Foundation Case Study Investigation to analyze features of three sustainably designed landscapes. Each project was located in a southwest desert city: Civic Space Park in Phoenix, AZ, the Pete V. Domenici US Courthouse Sustainable Landscape Retrofit in Albuquerque, NM, and George "Doc" Cavalliere Park in Scottsdale, AZ. The principal components of each case study were performance benefits that quantified ongoing ecosystem services. Performance benefits were developed from data provided by the designers and collected by the research team. The functionality of environmental, social, and economic sustainable features …

Contributors
Colter, Kaylee Renae, Martin, Chris, Coseo, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2016

We solve the problem of activity verification in the context of sustainability. Activity verification is the process of proving the user assertions pertaining to a certain activity performed by the user. Our motivation lies in incentivizing the user for engaging in sustainable activities like taking public transport or recycling. Such incentivization schemes require the system to verify the claim made by the user. The system verifies these claims by analyzing the supporting evidence captured by the user while performing the activity. The proliferation of portable smart-phones in the past few years has provided us with a ubiquitous and relatively cheap …

Contributors
Desai, Vaishnav Jagannath, Sundaram, Hari, Li, Baoxin, et al.
Created Date
2013

Human migration is not a new phenomenon but present and future human-induced environmental changes pose new questions and challenges. In the coming years, both rapid and slow onset environmental changes will drive many people to migrate in search of improved security and livelihoods. Anthropogenic climate change in particular requires international institutions to determine how to best meet the needs of present and future migrants. I analyzed interviews with experts to identify institutional gaps for managing environmental migration and what potential, if any, the Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts (WIM) might contribute to filling …

Contributors
Thompson, Katherine, Klinsky, Sonja, Hirt, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2015

Water resource systems have provided vital support to transformative growth in the Southwest United States; and for more than a century the Salt River Project (SRP) has served as a model of success among multipurpose federal reclamation projects, currently delivering approximately 40% of water demand in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Drought concerns have sensitized water management to risks posed by natural variability and forthcoming climate change. Full simulations originating in climate modeling have been the conventional approach to impacts assessment. But, once debatable climate projections are applied to hydrologic models challenged to accurately represent the region’s arid hydrology, the range …

Contributors
Murphy, Kevin William, Cerveny, Randall S., Balling, Jr., Robert C., et al.
Created Date
2016

Sustainability depends in part on our capacity to resolve dilemmas of the commons in Coupled Infrastructure Systems (CIS). Thus, we need to know more about how to incentivize individuals to take collective action to manage shared resources. Moreover, given that we will experience new and more extreme weather events due to climate change, we need to learn how to increase the robustness of CIS to those shocks. This dissertation studies irrigation systems to contribute to the development of an empirically based theory of commons governance for robust systems. I first studied the eight institutional design principles (DPs) for long enduring …

Contributors
Rubinos, Cathy Alida, Anderies, John M, Abbott, Joshua K, et al.
Created Date
2017

Many studies have shown that access to healthy food in the US is unevenly distributed and that supermarkets and other fresh food retailers are less likely to be located in low-income minority communities, where convenience and dollar stores are more prevalent grocery options. I formed a partnership with Phoenix Revitalization Corporation, a local community development organization engaged in Central City South, Phoenix, to enhance the community's capacity to meet its community health goals by improving access to healthy food. I used a community-based participatory approach that blended qualitative and quantitative elements to accommodate collaboration between both academic and non-academic partners. …

Contributors
Crouch, Carolyn, Harlan, Sharon, Eakin, Hallie, et al.
Created Date
2011

Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of the typical CSA member and motivations and barriers to join a CSA program. The purpose of this study was to examine whether behavior and attitudinal differences existed between current CSA members and a nonmember control group. Specifically, ecological attitudes, eating out behaviors, composting frequency, and family participation in food preparation were assessed. This study utilized an online survey comprising items …

Contributors
Macmillan Uribe, Alexandra Luisa, Wharton, Christopher, Winham, Donna, et al.
Created Date
2011

Among the various end-use sectors, the commercial sector is expected to have the second-largest increase in total primary energy consump¬tion from 2009 to 2035 (5.8 quadrillion Btu) with a growth rate of 1.1% per year, it is the fastest growing end-use sectors. In order to make major gains in reducing U.S. building energy use commercial sector buildings must be improved. Energy benchmarking of buildings gives the facility manager or the building owner a quick evaluation of energy use and the potential for energy savings. It is the process of comparing the energy performance of a building to standards and codes, …

Contributors
Agnihotri, Shreya, Reddy, T Agami, Bryan, Harvey, et al.
Created Date
2011

Natural rubber and rubber products can be produced from the guayule plant (Parthenium argentatum Gray), which is a low input perennial shrub native to Mexico and the American Southwest. Guayule rubber has the potential to replace Hevea (Hevea brasiliensis) rubber, the most common natural rubber, and synthetic rubber, which is derived from petroleum, in a wide variety of products, including automobile tires. Rubbers make up approximately 47% of the analyzed conventional passenger tire's weight, with 31% from synthetic rubber and 16% from natural Hevea rubber. Replacing the current rubber sources used for the tire industry with guayule rubber could help …

Contributors
Rasutis, Daina, Landis, Amy E., Colvin, Howard, et al.
Created Date
2014

The production of nanomaterials has been increasing and so are their applications in various products, while the environmental impacts and human impacts of these nanomaterials are still in the process of being explored. In this thesis, a process for producing nano-titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) is studied and a case-study has been conducted on comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the application of these nano-TiO2 particles in the sunscreen lotion as a UV-blocker with the conventional organic chemical sunscreen lotion using GaBi software. Nano-TiO2 particles were identified in the sunscreen lotion using Transmission Electron Microscope suggesting the use of these particles in …

Contributors
Thakur, Ankita, Dooley, Kevin, Dai, Lenore, et al.
Created Date
2014

To date, the production of algal biofuels is not economically sustainable due to the cost of production and the low cost of conventional fuels. As a result, interest has been shifting to high value products in the algae community to make up for the low economic potential of algal biofuels. The economic potential of high-value products does not however, eliminate the need to consider the environmental impacts. The majority of the environmental impacts associated with algal biofuels overlap with algal bioproducts in general (high-energy dewatering) due to the similarities in their production pathways. Selecting appropriate product sets is a critical …

Contributors
Barr, William James, Landis, Amy E, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2016

Fish farming is a fast growing industry, which, although necessary to feed an ever growing worldwide population, has its share of negative environmental consequences, including the release of drugs and other waste into the ocean, the use of fish caught from the ocean to feed farm raised fish, and the escape of farm raised fish into natural bodies of water. However, the raising of certain types of fish, such as tilapia, seems to be an environmentally better proposition than raising other types of fish, such as salmon. This paper will explore the problems associated with fish farming, as well as …

Contributors
Longoni, Robert A., Parmentier, Mary Jane, Grossman, Gary, et al.
Created Date
2011

The greatest challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century is our ability to reconcile the capacity of natural systems to support continued improvement in human welfare around the globe. Over the last decade, the scientific community has attempted to formulate research agendas in response to what they view as the problems of sustainability. Perhaps the most prominent and wide-ranging of these efforts has been sustainability science, an interdisciplinary, problem-driven field that seeks to address fundamental questions on human-environment interactions. This project examines how sustainability scientists grapple with and bound the deeply social, political and normative dimensions of both characterizing and …

Contributors
Miller, Thaddeus Ryan, Minteer, Ben A, Redman, Charles L, et al.
Created Date
2011

Consumers can purchase local food through intermediated marketing channels, such as grocery stores, or through direct-to-consumer marketing channels, for instance, farmers markets. While the number of farms that utilize direct-to-consumer outlets keeps increasing, the direct-to-consumer sales remain lower than intermediated sales. If consumers prefer to purchase local food through intermediated channels, then policies designed to support direct channels may be misguided. Using a variety of experiments, this dissertation investigates consumer preferences for local food and their demand differentiated by marketing channel. In the first essay, I examine the existing literature on consumer preferences for local food by applying meta-regression analysis …

Contributors
Printezis, Iryna, Richards, Timothy J, Grebitus, Carola, et al.
Created Date
2018

Studies of governance have focused on the interactions among diverse actors while implicitly recognizing the role of power within those relationships. Explicit power analyses of water governance coordination are needed to better understand the conditions for and barriers to sustainability. I therefore utilized a novel conceptual framework to analyze vertical and horizontal governance, along with power, to address how governance interactions affect water sustainability in terms of (1) interactions among governance actors across local to state levels; (2) coordination among actors at the local level; and (3) the exercise of power among assorted actors. I adopted a qualitative case study …

Contributors
Ayodele, Deborah Olufunmilola, Larson, Kelli L, Bolin, Robert, et al.
Created Date
2017

The performance of the Alpha Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) roofing system is perceived as not an economical option when compared to a 20-year modified bitumen roofing system. Today, the majority of roofs are being replaced, rather than newly installed. The coating manufacturer, Neogard, implemented the Alpha roofing program to identify the best contractors in the industry and to measure their roof performance. The Alpha roof system has shown consistent high performance on over 230 million square feet of surveyed roof. The author proposes to identify if the Alpha roof system is renewable, has proven performance that competes with the traditional …

Contributors
Zulanas IV, Charles Joseph, Kashiwagi, Dean T, Kashiwagi, Jacob S, et al.
Created Date
2017

Sustainability visioning (i.e. the construction of sustainable future states) is considered an important component of sustainability research, for instance, in transformational sustainability science or in planning for urban sustainability. Visioning frees sustainability research from the dominant focus on analyzing problem constellations and opens it towards positive contributions to social innovation and transformation. Calls are repeatedly made for visions that can guide us towards sustainable futures. Scattered across a broad range of fields (i.e. business, non-government organization, land-use management, natural resource management, sustainability science, urban and regional planning) are an abundance of visioning studies. However, among the few evaluative studies in …

Contributors
Iwaniec, David Mac, Wiek, Arnim, Childers, Daniel L, et al.
Created Date
2013

The trend towards using recycled materials on new construction projects is growing as the cost for construction materials are ever increasing and the awareness of the responsibility we have to be good stewards of our environment is heightened. While recycled asphalt is sometimes used in pavements, its use as structural fill has been hindered by concern that it is susceptible to large long-term deformations (creep), preventing its use for a great many geotechnical applications. While asphalt/soil blends are often proposed as an alternative to 100% recycled asphalt fill, little data is available characterizing the geotechnical properties of recycled asphalt soil …

Contributors
Schaper, Jeffery Michael, Kavazanjian, Edward, Houston, Sandra L, et al.
Created Date
2011

In response to the rapid rise of emerging markets, shorter product lifecycles, increasing global exchange and worldwide competition, companies are implementing `sustainable development' as a mechanism by which to maintain competitive global advantage. Sustainable product development approaches used in industry focus mainly on environmental issues, and to a certain extent on social and economic aspects. Unfortunately, companies have often ignored or are unsure of how to deal with the cultural dimensions of sustainable product development. Multi-nationals expanding their business across international boundaries are agents of cultural change and should be cognizant of the impact their products have on local markets. …

Contributors
Dhadphale, Tejas Ravindra, Giard, Jacques, Boradkar, Prasad, et al.
Created Date
2013

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is an academic goal for many courses in higher learning. ESD encompasses a specific range of learning outcomes, competencies, skills and literacies that include and exceed the acquisition of content knowledge. Methods and case studies for measuring learning outcomes in ESD is absent from the literature. This case study of an undergraduate course in urban sustainability examines the processes, curriculum, pedagogies, and methods to explore whether or not learning outcomes in education for sustainable development are being reached. Observations of the course, and the statistical analysis of student surveys from course evaluations, are explored to …

Contributors
Frederick, Chad Paul, Pijawka, David, Boone, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2012

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

The solar energy sector has been growing rapidly over the past decade. Growth in renewable electricity generation using photovoltaic (PV) systems is accompanied by an increased awareness of the fault conditions developing during the operational lifetime of these systems. While the annual energy losses caused by faults in PV systems could reach up to 18.9% of their total capacity, emerging technologies and models are driving for greater efficiency to assure the reliability of a product under its actual application. The objectives of this dissertation consist of (1) reviewing the state of the art and practice of prognostics and health management …

Contributors
Chokor, Abbas, El Asmar, Mounir, Chong, Oswald, et al.
Created Date
2017

Beneficiary participation has become popular in international development generally, and it is an essential feature of sustainable development. But there are diverse definitions of and motivations for using beneficiary participation, and empirical literature on its effects is underdeveloped. This dissertation aims to clarify what beneficiary participation is and whether there is empirical support for claims about its benefits. I review historical trends in international development that led to the popularity of both sustainable development and beneficiary participation. This review identifies central themes in defining beneficiary participation and motivations for using it. I also developed a new typology of beneficiary participation …

Contributors
Kutter, Robert W, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, Golub, Aaron, et al.
Created Date
2014

The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2020. If the recycling processes are not in place, there would be 60 million tons of end-of-life PV modules lying in the landfills by 2050, that may not become a not-so-sustainable way of sourcing energy since all PV modules could contain certain amount of toxic substances. Currently in the United States, PV modules are categorized as general waste and can be disposed in landfills. However, potential leaching of …

Contributors
Leslie, Joswin, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Srinivasan, Devarajan, et al.
Created Date
2018

Cities are increasingly using nature-based approaches to address urban sustainability challenges. These solutions leverage the ecological processes associated with existing or newly constructed Urban Ecological Infrastructure (UEI) to address issues through ecosystem services (e.g. stormwater retention or treatment). The growing use of UEI to address urban sustainability challenges can bring together teams of urban researchers and practitioners to co-produce UEI design, monitoring and maintenance. However, this co-production process received little attention in the literature, and has not been studied in the Phoenix Metro Area. I examined several components of a co-produced design process and related project outcomes associated with a …

Contributors
Sanchez, Christopher Allen, Childers, Daniel L, Cheng, Chingwen, et al.
Created Date
2019

Diarrheal diseases caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene continue to kill more children in Sub-Saharan Africa's burgeoning informal urban settlements than in any other part of the world. In recent years, Delegated Management Model (DMM), a partnership in which a utility delegates service management to slum residents have been promoted as new models to improve services. This dissertation examines the benefits of DMM by comparing water services in three informal settlements in Kisumu city, Kenya: two slums where DMM has been implemented, and one, a control, where it has not. In addition, the research examined how school-based hygiene interventions …

Contributors
Nzengya, Daniel, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, Hartwell, Leland, et al.
Created Date
2014

Bicyclist and pedestrian safety is a growing concern in San Francisco, CA, especially given the increasing numbers of residents choosing to bike and walk. Sharing the roads with automobiles, these alternative road users are particularly vulnerable to sustain serious injuries. With this in mind, it is important to identify the factors that influence the severity of bicyclist and pedestrian injuries in automobile collisions. This study uses traffic collision data gathered from California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) to predict the most important determinants of injury severity, given that a collision has occurred. Multivariate binomial logistic regression models …

Contributors
McIntyre, Andrew, Salon, Deborah, Kuby, Mike, et al.
Created Date
2016

Sustainability challenges with severe local to global impacts require fundamental shifts in what industrial societies aspire to, generate, consume, and represent, as well as how they function. Transition governance is a promising framework to support these transformational efforts. A key component of transition governance is the construction of transition strategies, i.e., action schemes for how to transition from the current state to a sustainable one. Despite accomplishments in building theory and methodology for transition governance, the concepts of what transition strategies entail and how they relate to specific interventions are still underdeveloped. This dissertation further develops the concept of transition …

Contributors
Kay, Braden Ryan, Wiek, Arnim, Loorbach, Derk, et al.
Created Date
2012

Energy use within urban building stocks is continuing to increase globally as populations expand and access to electricity improves. This projected increase in demand could require deployment of new generation capacity, but there is potential to offset some of this demand through modification of the buildings themselves. Building stocks are quasi-permanent infrastructures which have enduring influence on urban energy consumption, and research is needed to understand: 1) how development patterns constrain energy use decisions and 2) how cities can achieve energy and environmental goals given the constraints of the stock. This requires a thorough evaluation of both the growth of …

Contributors
Reyna, Janet Lorel, Chester, Mikhail V, Gurney, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2016

For some time it has been recognized amongst researchers that individual and collective change should be the goal in educating for sustainability, unfortunately education has generally been ineffective in developing pro-environmental behaviors among students. Still, many scholars and practitioners are counting on education to lead us towards sustainability but suggest that in order to do so we must transition away from current information-intensive education methods. In order to develop and test novel sustainability education techniques, this research integrates pedagogical methods with psychological knowledge to target well-established sustainable behaviors. Through integrating education, behavior change, and sustainability research, I aim to answer: …

Contributors
Redman, Erin, Larson, Kelli, Eakin, Hallie, et al.
Created Date
2013

With the need to address the world's growing energy demand, many new alternative and renewable energy sources are being researched and developed. Many of these technologies are in their infancy, still being too inefficient or too costly to implement on a large scale. This list of alternative energies include biofuels, geothermal power, solar energy, wind energy and hydroelectric power. This thesis focuses on developing a concentrating solar thermal energy unit for the application of an on-demand hot water system with phase change material. This system already has a prototype constructed and needs refinement in several areas in order to increase …

Contributors
Donovan, Benjamin James, Rajadas, John, Kannan, Arunachala, et al.
Created Date
2016

This research investigates the biophysical and institutional mechanisms affecting the distribution of metals in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. To date, a long-term, interdisciplinary perspective on metal pollution in the region has been lacking. To address this gap, I integrated approaches from environmental chemistry, historical geography, and institutional economics to study the history of metal pollution in the desert. First, by analyzing the chemistry embodied in the sequentially-grown spines of long-lived cacti, I created a record of metal pollution that details biogeochemical trends in the desert since the 1980s. These data suggest that metal pollution is not simply a legacy …

Contributors
Hester, Cyrus Matthew, Larson, Kelli L, Laubichler, Manfred D, et al.
Created Date
2019

Scholars have highlighted the role of disturbance and crisis, including disasters, in enabling systemic change towards sustainability. However, there are relatively few empirical studies on how individuals and organizations are able to utilize disasters as opportunities for change towards sustainability. This dissertation addresses three questions applied to two case studies: First, what changes were pursued in the aftermath of disasters, and to what extent did these changes contribute to sustainability? Second, how were people (and their organizations) able to pursue change towards sustainability? Third, what can be learned about seeing and seizing opportunities for change towards sustainability in disaster contexts …

Contributors
Brundiers, Katja, Eakin, Hallie C, Sarewitz, Daniel, et al.
Created Date
2016

Driven by concern over environmental, economic and social problems, small, place based communities are engaging in processes of transition to become more sustainable. These communities may be viewed as innovative front runners of a transition to a more sustainable society in general, each one, an experiment in social transformation. These experiments present learning opportunities to build robust theories of community transition and to create specific, actionable knowledge to improve, replicate, and accelerate transitions in real communities. Yet to date, there is very little empirical research into the community transition phenomenon. This thesis empirically develops an analytical framework and method for …

Contributors
Forrest, Nigel, Wiek, Arnim, Golub, Aaron, et al.
Created Date
2011

Concrete is the most widely used infrastructure material worldwide. Production of portland cement, the main binding component in concrete, has been shown to require significant energy and account for approximately 5-7% of global carbon dioxide production. The expected continued increased use of concrete over the coming decades indicates this is an ideal time to implement sustainable binder technologies. The current work aims to explore enhanced sustainability concretes, primarily in the context of limestone and flow. Aspects such as hydration kinetics, hydration product formation and pore structure add to the understanding of the strength development and potential durability characteristics of these …

Contributors
Vance, Kirk Erik, Neithalath, Narayanan, Rajan, Subramaniam, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

This dissertation presents a new methodology for the sustainable and optimal allocation of water for a river basin management area that maximizes sustainable net economic benefit over the long-term planning horizon. The model distinguishes between short and long-term planning horizons and goals using a short-term modeling component (STM) and a long term modeling component (LTM) respectively. An STM optimizes a monthly allocation schedule on an annual basis in terms of maximum net economic benefit. A cost of depletion based upon Hotelling’s exhaustible resource theory is included in the STM net benefit calculation to address the non-use value of groundwater. An …

Contributors
Oxley, Robert Louis, Mays, Larry, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2015

Residential energy consumption accounts for 22% of the total energy use in the United States. The consumer's perception of energy usage and conservation are very inaccurate which is leading to growing number of individuals who try to seek out ways to use energy more wisely. Hence behavioral change in consumers with respect to energy use, by providing energy use feedback may be important in reducing home energy consumption. Real-time energy information feedback delivered via technology along with feedback interventions has been reported to produce up to 20 percent declines in residential energy consumption through past research and pilot studies. There …

Contributors
Rungta, Shaily, Bryan, Harvey, Reddy, Agami, et al.
Created Date
2013

Aboveground net primary production (ANPP) is an important ecosystem process that, in drylands, is most frequently limited by water availability. Water availability for plants is in part controlled by the water holding capacity of soils. Available water holding capacity (AWHC) of soils is strongly influenced by soil texture and depth. This study drew upon localized rain gauge data and four data-sets of cover-line and biomass data to estimate ANPP and to determine annual precipitation (PPT). I measured soil depth to caliche and texture by layer of 112 plots across the four landscape units for which estimation of ANPP were available. …

Contributors
Wagner, Svenja K, Sala, Osvaldo E, Cease, Arianne, et al.
Created Date
2019

Over the past century in the southwestern United States human actions have altered hydrological processes that shape riparian ecosystems. One change, release of treated wastewater into waterways, has created perennial base flows and increased nutrient availability in ephemeral or intermittent channels. While there are benefits to utilizing treated wastewater for environmental flows, there are numerous unresolved ecohydrological issues regarding the efficacy of effluent to sustain groundwater-dependent riparian ecosystems. This research examined how nutrient-rich effluent, released into waterways with varying depths to groundwater, influences riparian plant community development. Statewide analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of effluent generation and release revealed …

Contributors
White, Meg, Stromberg, Juliet C, Fisher, Stuart G, et al.
Created Date
2011

Electricity infrastructure vulnerabilities were assessed for future heat waves due to climate change. Critical processes and component relationships were identified and characterized with consideration for the terminal event of service outages, including cascading failures in transmission-level components that can result in blackouts. The most critical dependency identified was the increase in peak electricity demand with higher air temperatures. Historical and future air temperatures were characterized within and across Los Angeles County, California (LAC) and Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona. LAC was identified as more vulnerable to heat waves than Phoenix due to a wider distribution of historical temperatures. Two approaches were …

Contributors
Burillo, Daniel, Chester, Mikhail V, Ruddell, Benjamin, et al.
Created Date
2018

Commercial buildings in the United States account for 19% of the total energy consumption annually. Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), which serves as the benchmark for all the commercial buildings provides critical input for EnergyStar models. Smart energy management technologies, sensors, innovative demand response programs, and updated versions of certification programs elevate the opportunity to mitigate energy-related problems (blackouts and overproduction) and guides energy managers to optimize the consumption characteristics. With increasing advancements in technologies relying on the ‘Big Data,' codes and certification programs such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Leadership …

Contributors
Naganathan, Hariharan, Chong, Oswald W, Ariaratnam, Samuel T, et al.
Created Date
2017

Consumer goods supply chains have gradually incorporated lean manufacturing principles to identify and reduce non-value-added activities. Companies implementing lean practices have experienced improvements in cost, quality, and demand responsiveness. However certain elements of these practices, especially those related to transportation and distribution may have detrimental impact on the environment. This study asks: What impact do current best practices in lean logistics and retailing have on environmental performance? The research hypothesis of this dissertation establishes that lean distribution of durable and consumable goods can result in an increased amount of carbon dioxide emissions, leading to climate change and natural resource depletion …

Contributors
Ugarte, Gustavo Marco, Golden, Jay S., Dooley, Kevin J., et al.
Created Date
2011

Many different levels of government, organizations, and programs actively shape the future of energy in Arizona, a state that lacks a comprehensive energy plan. Disparate actions by multiple actors may slow the energy policy process rather than expedite it. The absence of a state energy policy or plan raises questions about how multiple actors and ideas engage with state energy policy development and whether the absence of a comprehensive state plan can be understood. Improving how policy development is conceptualized and giving more focused attention to the mechanisms by which interested parties become involved in shaping Arizona energy policy. To …

Contributors
Bryck, Drew Michael Gary, Graffy, Elisabeth A, Dalrymple, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2013

Through manipulation of adaptable opportunities available within a given environment, individuals become active participants in managing personal comfort requirements, by exercising control over their comfort without the assistance of mechanical heating and cooling systems. Similarly, continuous manipulation of a building skin's form, insulation, porosity, and transmissivity qualities exerts control over the energy exchanged between indoor and outdoor environments. This research uses four adaptive response variables in a modified software algorithm to explore an adaptive building skin's potential in reacting to environmental stimuli with the purpose of minimizing energy use without sacrificing occupant comfort. Results illustrate that significant energy savings can …

Contributors
Erickson, James, Bryan, Harvey, Addison, Marlin, et al.
Created Date
2013

It is widely recognized that, compared to others, minority and low-income populations are more exposed to environmental burdens and unwanted land uses like waste facilities. To prevent these injustices, cities and industry need to recognize these potential problems in the siting process and work to address them. I studied Phoenix, AZ, which has historically suffered from environmental justice issues. I examined whether Phoenix considered environmental justice concerns when siting their newest landfill (SR-85) and transfer station (North Gateway Transfer Station). Additionally, I assessed current views on sustainability from members of the Phoenix Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee and of decision-makers in …

Contributors
Garland, Patricia, Golub, Aaron, Boone, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2015

Sinaloa, a coastal state in the northwest of Mexico, is known for irrigated conventional agriculture, and is considered one of the greatest successes of the Green Revolution. With the neoliberal reforms of the 1990s, Sinaloa farmers shifted out of conventional wheat, soy, cotton, and other commodities and into white maize, a major food staple in Mexico that is traditionally produced by millions of small-scale farmers. Sinaloa is now a major contributor to the national food supply, producing 26% of total domestic white maize production. Research on Sinaloa's maize has focused on economic and agronomic components. Little attention, however, has been …

Contributors
Bausch, Julia Christine, Eakin, Hallie, Bojórquez-Tapia, Luis, et al.
Created Date
2011

The phenomenon of global warming and climate change has increasingly attracted attention by researchers in the field of supply chain and operations management. Firms have developed efficient plans and intervention measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While a majority of research in supply chain management has adopted a firm-centric view to study environmental management, this dissertation focuses on the context of GHG emissions reduction by considering a firm’s vertical and horizontal relationships with other parties, and the associated spillover effects. A theoretical framework is first proposed to facilitate the field's understanding of the possible spillover effects in GHG emissions …

Contributors
Song, Sining, Kull, Thomas, Carter, Craig, et al.
Created Date
2018

Trees serve as a natural umbrella to mitigate insolation absorbed by features of the urban environment, especially building structures and pavements. For a desert community, trees are a particularly valuable asset because they contribute to energy conservation efforts, improve home values, allow for cost savings, and promote enhanced health and well-being. The main obstacle in creating a sustainable urban community in a desert city with trees is the scarceness and cost of irrigation water. Thus, strategically located and arranged desert trees with the fewest tree numbers possible potentially translate into significant energy, water and long-term cost savings as well as …

Contributors
Zhao, Qunshan, Wentz, Elizabeth A., Sailor, David J., et al.
Created Date
2017

Given the importance of buildings as major consumers of resources worldwide, several organizations are working avidly to ensure the negative impacts of buildings are minimized. The U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system is one such effort to recognize buildings that are designed to achieve a superior performance in several areas including energy consumption and indoor environmental quality (IEQ). The primary objectives of this study are to investigate the performance of LEED certified facilities in terms of energy consumption and occupant satisfaction with IEQ, and introduce a framework to assess the performance of …

Contributors
Chokor, Abbas, El Asmar, Mounir, Chong, Oswald, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

The problem concerning the access to energy has become an increasingly acute matter of concern in low-income areas. Currently an estimated 1.2 billion people don't have access to energy (IEA, 2014). Following the declaration of 2012 as "The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All" by the United Nations General Assembly (UNDP, 2014), this alarming situation of energy poverty has resulted in the creation of new partnerships between governments, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization), and large multi-national corporations. This study is focused on the evaluation of sustainability of a development project in Gutu, Zimbabwe that is initiated by Schneider Electric Corporation's BipBop …

Contributors
Demirciler, Barlas, Parmentier, Mary Jane, Grossman, Gary, et al.
Created Date
2014

Being a remarkably versatile and inexpensive building material, concrete has found tremendous use in development of modern infrastructure and is the most widely used material in the world. Extensive research in the field of concrete has led to the development of a wide array of concretes with applications ranging from building of skyscrapers to paving of highways. These varied applications require special cementitious composites which can satisfy the demand for enhanced functionalities such as high strength, high durability and improved thermal characteristics among others. The current study focuses on the fundamental understanding of such functional composites, from their microstructural design …

Contributors
Arora, Aashay, Neithalath, Narayanan, Rajan, Subramaniam, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

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

Phosphorus (P) is an essential resource for global food security, but global supplies are limited and demand is growing. Demand reductions are critical for achieving P sustainability, but recovery and re-use is also required. Wastewater treatment plants and livestock manures receive considerable attention for their P content, but municipal organic waste is another important source of P to address. Previous research identified the importance of diverting this waste stream from landfills for recovering P, but little has been done to identify the collection and processing mechanisms required, or address the existing economic barriers. In my research, I conducted a current …

Contributors
Stoltzfus, Jared Stoltzfus, Childers, Daniel, Basile, George, et al.
Created Date
2016

City governments are increasingly incorporating urban and peri-urban agriculture into their policies and programs, a trend seen as advancing sustainability, development, and food security. Urban governance can provide new opportunities for farmers, but it also creates structures to control their activities, lands, and purposes. This study focused on Mexico City, which is celebrated for its agricultural traditions and policies. The study examined: 1) the functions of urban and peri-urban agriculture that the Government of Mexico City (GMC) manages and prioritizes; 2) how the GMC’s policies have framed farmers, and how that framing affects farmers’ identity and purpose; and 3) how …

Contributors
Bausch, Julia Christine, Eakin, Hallie C, Lerner, Amy M, et al.
Created Date
2017

The need for alternative energy efficient building heating and cooling technologies has given rise to the development and widespread use of Ground Coupled Heat Pump (GCHP) systems. This dissertation looks at the feasibility of using GCHP systems as a viable economic alternative to traditional air source cooling systems (ASHP) for conditioning buildings in the hot, semi-arid climate of Phoenix, Arizona. Despite high initial costs, GCHPs are gaining a foothold in northern climates where heating dominates, in large part due to government incentives. However, due to issues associated with low ground heat exchanger (GHE) efficiency and thermally-induced soil deformations, GCHPs are …

Contributors
Tambe, Vaibhavi, Reddy, T Agami, Kavanzanjian, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2014

An eco-industrial park (EIP) is an industrial ecosystem in which a group of co-located firms are involved in collective resource optimization with each other and with the local community through physical exchanges of energy, water, materials, byproducts and services - referenced in the industrial ecology literature as "industrial symbiosis". EIPs, when compared with standard industrial resource sharing networks, prove to be of greater public advantage as they offer improved environmental and economic benefits, and higher operational efficiencies both upstream and downstream in their supply chain. Although there have been many attempts to adapt EIP methodology to existing industrial sharing networks, …

Contributors
Gupta, Vaibhav, Calhoun, Ronald J, Dooley, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2014

Advancing sustainable food systems requires holistic understanding and solutions-oriented approaches that transcend disciplines, so expertise in a variety of subjects is necessary. Proposed solutions are usually technically or socially oriented, but disagreement over the best approach to the future of food dominates the dialogue. Technological optimists argue that scientific advances are necessary to feed the world, but environmental purists believe that reductions in consumption and waste are sufficient and less risky. Life cycle assessment (LCA) helps resolve debates through quantitative analysis of environmental impacts from products which serve the same function. LCA used to compare dietary choices reveals that simple …

Contributors
Berardy, Andrew James, Seager, Thomas P, Hannah, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2015

With high potential for automobiles to cause air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, there is concern that automobiles accessing or egressing public transportation may cause emissions similar to regular automobile use. Due to limited literature and research that evaluates and discusses environmental impacts from first and last mile portions of transit trips, there is a lack of understanding on this topic. This research aims to comprehensively evaluate the life cycle impacts of first and last mile trips on multimodal transit. A case study of transit and automobile travel in the greater Los Angeles region is evaluated by using a comprehensive …

Contributors
Hoehne, Christopher Glenn, Chester, Mikhail V, Salon, Deborah, et al.
Created Date
2016

The media is a powerful force in shaping public discussions about marine issues. Many people lack first-hand experiences and direct sources of information about fisheries topics, so they rely heavily on the information presented to them in the news. Thus, the media has the potential to influence public agendas based on their selective coverage of topics, which primes people to take certain information into account when making decisions. This study examines the contents of 412 newspaper articles from five national newspapers to determine which topics are receiving the most coverage and how they are being communicated to the public. The …

Contributors
Chipman, Danielle, Larson, Kelli L, White, Dave, et al.
Created Date
2016

Environmental change and natural hazards represent a challenge for sustainable development. By disrupting livelihoods and causing billions of dollars in damages, disasters can undo many decades of development. Development, on the other hand, can actually increase vulnerability to disasters by depleting environmental resources and marginalizing the poorest. Big disasters and big cities get the most attention from the media and academia. The vulnerabilities and capabilities of small cities have not been explored adequately in academic research, and while some cities in developed countries have begun to initiate mitigation and adaptation responses to environmental change, most cities in developing countries have …

Contributors
Marquez Reyes, Bernardo Jose, Eakin, Hallie, Lara-Valencia, Francisco, et al.
Created Date
2010

Landscape restoration is a global priority as evidenced by the United Nations’ 2020 goal to restore 150 million hectares of land worldwide. Restoration is particularly needed in estuaries and their watersheds as society depends on these environments for numerous benefits. Estuary restoration is often undermined by social-ecological scale mismatch, the incongruence between governing units and the bio-physical resources they seek to govern. Despite growing recognition of this fact, few empirical studies focus on scale mismatches in environmental restoration work. Using a sub-basin of Puget Sound, Washington, U.S.A., I analyze scale mismatches in estuary restoration. I take a network science approach …

Contributors
Sayles, Jesse Saemann, Turner II, B L, Childers, Daniel L, et al.
Created Date
2015

Childhood obesity has been on the rise for the past decade, and it has been hypothesized that students' food choices may be influenced by easy access to food outlets near their schools that provide unhealthful options. But the results of recent studies on the relationship between the food environment around schools and student weight status are mixed and often contradictory. Most studies have used measures of weight and height that were self-reported by students, or have relied on data from a relatively small sample of students. I examine the association between weight status among school students and the food environment …

Contributors
Tang, Xuyang, Abbott, Joshua K, Ohri-Vachaspati, Punam, et al.
Created Date
2013

Farmers' markets are a growing trend both in Arizona and the broader U.S., as many recognize them as desirable alternatives to the conventional food system. As icons of sustainability, farmers' markets are touted as providing many environmental, social, and economic benefits, but evidence is mounting that local food systems primarily serve the urban elite, with relatively few low-income or minority customers. However, the economic needs of the market and its vendors often conflict with those of consumers. While consumers require affordable food, farmers need to make a profit. How farmers' markets are designed and governed can significantly influence the extent …

Contributors
Taylor, Carissa Anna, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, York, Abigail, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

The Energiewende aims to drastically reduce Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions, without relying on nuclear power, while maintaining a secure and affordable energy supply. Since 2000 the country’s renewable-energy share has increased exponentially, accounting in 2017 for over a third of Germany's gross electricity consumption. This unprecedented achievement is the result of policies, tools, and institutional arrangements intended to steer society to a low-carbon economy. Despite its resounding success in renewable-energy deployment, the Energiewende is not on track to meet its decarbonization goals. Energiewende rules and regulations have generated numerous undesired consequences, and have cost much more than anticipated, a burden …

Contributors
Sturm, Christine, Sarewitz, Daniel, Miller, Clark, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation explores the intersection of two major developments in global environmental governance: the vision for a Green Economy and the growing influence of non-state actors. The work draws on multi-sited thick description to analyze how relationships between the state, market, and civil society are being reoriented towards global problems. Its focus is a non-binding agreement between California and Chiapas to create a market in carbon offsets credits for Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). The study draws on three bodies of scholarship. From the institutionalist study of global environmental politics, it uses the ideas of orchestration, civil …

Contributors
Monfreda, Chad, Miller, Clark, Hurlbut, James, et al.
Created Date
2015