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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


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

Institutions of higher learning can be centers of meaning-making and learning and are expected to play a pivotal role in a global shift toward sustainability. Despite recent innovations, much sustainability education today is still delivered using traditional pedagogies common across higher education. Therefore, students and facilitators should continue innovating along pedagogical themes consistent with the goals of sustainability: transformation and emancipation. Yet, more clarity is needed about pedagogical approaches that will transform and emancipate students, allowing them to become innovators that change existing structures and systems. My dissertation attempts to address this need using three approaches. First, I present a …

Contributors
Papenfuss, Jason, Merritt, Eileen, Manuel-Navarrete, David, et al.
Created Date
2019

Demand for green energy alternatives to provide stable and reliable energy solutions has increased over the years which has led to the rapid expansion of global markets in renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. Newest amongst these technologies is the Bifacial PV modules, which harvests incident radiation from both sides of the module. The overall power generation can be significantly increased by using these bifacial modules. The purpose of this research is to investigate and maximize the effect of back reflectors, designed to increase the efficiency of the module by utilizing the intercell light passing through the …

Contributors
MARTIN, PEDRO JESSE, Tamizhmani, Govindasamy, Phelan, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2019

As urban populations rapidly increase in an era of climate change and multiple social and environmental uncertainties, scientists and governments are cultivating knowledge and solutions for the sustainable growth and maintenance of cities. Although substantial literature focuses on urban water resource management related to both human and ecological sustainability, few studies assess the unique role of waterway restorations to bridge anthropocentric and ecological concerns in urban environments. To address this gap, my study addressed if well-established sustainability principles are evoked during the nascent discourse of recently proposed urban waterway developments along over fifty miles of Arizona’s Salt River. In this …

Contributors
Horvath, Veronica Nicole, White, Dave D, Mirumachi, Naho, et al.
Created Date
2019

Many global development initiatives focus on improving access to safe and affordable water. Governments and infrastructure in rapidly urbanizing cities struggle to meet the increased demand for water, especially in peri-urban and informal settlements of sub-Saharan Africa. The private sector, in the form of small water enterprises (SWEs), plays an increasing role in satisfying demand for water, but their greater effects have seldom been investigated. This research explores how SWEs affect access to household water in a peri-urban settlement of Accra, Ghana and investigates their social, economic, and environmental impacts in the community. This research also examines how SWEs influence …

Contributors
Mallue, Natalie, White, Dave D., Allenby, Brad, et al.
Created Date
2019

Sustainability and environmental justice, two fields that developed parallel to each other, are both insufficient to deal with the challenges posed by institutional environmental violence (IEV). This thesis examines the discursive history of sustainability and critiques its focus on science-based technical solutions to large-scale global problems. It further analyzes the gaps in sustainability discourse that can be filled by environmental justice, such as the challenges posed by environmental racism. Despite this, neither field is able to contend with IEV in a meaningful way, which this thesis argues using the case study of the Flint Water Crisis (FWC). The FWC has …

Contributors
West, Madison, Graffy, Elisabeth, Klinsky, Sonja, et al.
Created Date
2019

The built environment is responsible for a significant portion of global waste generation. Construction and demolition (C&D) waste requires significant landfill areas and costs billions of dollars. New business models that reduce this waste may prove to be financially beneficial and generally more sustainable. One such model is referred to as the “Circular Economy” (CE), which promotes the efficient use of materials to minimize waste generation and raw material consumption. CE is achieved by maximizing the life of materials and components and by reclaiming the typically wasted value at the end of their life. This thesis identifies the potential opportunities …

Contributors
Aldaaja, Mohammad, El Asmar, Mounir, Buch, Rajesh, et al.
Created Date
2019

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

Development throughout the course of history has traditionally resulted in the demise of biodiversity. As humans strive to develop their daily livelihoods, it is often at the expense of nearby wildlife and the environment. Conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs), among other actors in the global agenda, have blossomed in the past century with the realization that there is an immediate need for conservation action. Unlike government agencies, conservation NGOs have an independent, potentially more objective outlook on procedures and policies that would benefit certain regions or certain species the most. They often have national and international government support, in addition to …

Contributors
Prickett, Laura Elizabeth, Parmentier, Mary Jane, Zachary, Gregg, et al.
Created Date
2019

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