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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2010 2018


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

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

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

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

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

At first glance, trends in increased hunger and obesity in the United States (US) would seem to represent the result of different causal mechanisms. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that nearly 50 million Americans had experienced hunger in 2009. A year later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing that 68% of the US population was either overweight or obese. Researchers have found that these contrasting trends are actually interrelated. Being so, it is imperative that communities and individuals experiencing problems with food security are provided better access to healthy food options. In …

Contributors
Rawson, Brooke Elise, Vargas, Perla A, Booze, Randy, et al.
Created Date
2011

Our dependence on fossil fuels is driving anthropogenic climate change. Solar energy is the most abundant and cleanest alternative to fossil fuels, but its practicability is influenced by a complex interplay of factors (policy, geospatial, and market) and scales (global, national, urban). This thesis provides a holistic evaluation of these factors and scales with the goal of improving our understanding of the mechanisms and challenges of transitioning to solar energy. This analysis used geospatial, demographic, policy, legislative record, environmental, and industry data, plus a series of semi-structured, in-person interviews. Methods included geostatistical calculation, statistical linear regression and multivariate modeling, and …

Contributors
Herche, Wesley, Melnick, Rob, Boone, Christopher, et al.
Created Date
2017

The dynamics of urban water use are characterized by spatial and temporal variability that is influenced by associated factors at different scales. Thus it is important to capture the relationship between urban water use and its determinants in a spatio-temporal framework in order to enhance understanding and management of urban water demand. This dissertation aims to contribute to understanding the spatio-temporal relationships between single-family residential (SFR) water use and its determinants in a desert city. The dissertation has three distinct papers to support this goal. In the first paper, I demonstrate that aggregated scale data can be reliably used to …

Contributors
Ouyang, Yun, Wentz, Elizabeth, Ruddell, Benjamin, et al.
Created Date
2013

Adaptation and transformation have emerged as a key themes for human-environment research, especially in the context of rapid social-ecological changes. The 2008 global financial crisis constitutes a major driver of change with social-ecological ramifications that have yet to be fully explored. Using Greece, the poster child of the euro-crisis as a case-study, this dissertation examines how adaptive capacity is mobilized and even enhanced in times of crisis, paying particular attention to the role played by natural capital. To do so, I focus on the back-to-land trend whereby urbanites seek to engage in food production post-crisis (2008-onwards). In-depth qualitative analysis of …

Contributors
Benessaiah, Karina, Turner II, Billie L., Eakin, Hallie, et al.
Created Date
2018