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Creating Sustainability at ASU: Closing the Gap Between Concept and Application

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This thesis is exploring the potential disconnect between the operational and cultural parts in the making of sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU) to find the disconnect in operational goals, student engagement, and thus student behavior in building sustainability at

This thesis is exploring the potential disconnect between the operational and cultural parts in the making of sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU) to find the disconnect in operational goals, student engagement, and thus student behavior in building sustainability at the university. To do so, I compare and contrast how ASU, Northern Arizona University (NAU), and the University of Arizona (UA) define, create, and demonstrate sustainability in their university’s culture and campus engagement programs. I first define what “culture” is in this study to provide context on how the word is being applied. Next, I assess how culture is reflected in the mission, vision, and/or goals of each university to set the tone for how the university intends to shape the culture of student experience through its services, as well as provide context where sustainability concepts may fit within. Then I assess what sustainability is demonstrated and defined as at each university. To thread each of these components together, I compare and contrast campus sustainability engagement programs at ASU, NAU, and UA based on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) reports produced by The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE), as engagement programs are a reflection of the university’s vision, goals, and values brought from theory to practice. My findings are demonstrated in the form of a policy analysis, followed by recommendations on closing the gap where engagement programs and opportunities are potentially missing. These recommendations are intended to advance a stronger culture of sustainability on campus at ASU.

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2020-05

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Affordable and Environmentally Conscious Living: Residential Rooftop Solar Solutions for Low-Income and Middle-Income Families

Description

As climate change and air pollution continue to plague the world today, committed citizens are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact. However, financial limitations have hindered a majority of individuals from adopting clean, renewable energy such as roofto

As climate change and air pollution continue to plague the world today, committed citizens are doing their part to minimize their environmental impact. However, financial limitations have hindered a majority of individuals from adopting clean, renewable energy such as rooftop photovoltaic solar systems. England Sustainability Consulting plans to reverse this limitation and increase affordability for residents across Northern California to install solar panel systems for their energy needs. The purpose of this proposal is to showcase a new approach to procuring solar panel system components while offering the same products needed by each customer. We will examine market data to further prove the feasibility of this business approach while remaining profitable and spread our company's vision across all of Northern California.

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2018-05

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Theorizing the 21st Century City: Urban Design through the SETS Framework

Description

As the move towards sustainable urbanism grows, understanding how the city has previously been envisioned and designed will be useful to moving forward. This work examines the legacy of urban design theories, what these theories have implied about what the

As the move towards sustainable urbanism grows, understanding how the city has previously been envisioned and designed will be useful to moving forward. This work examines the legacy of urban design theories, what these theories have implied about what the city should be, and their sustainability consequences. Noticing three prominent urban design visions of the city, the technological city (as proposed in 1922 by Le Corbusier's Ville contemporaine and later in 1933 by his Ville Radieuse (The Radiant City), and in 1935 by Frank Lloyd Wright's' Broadacre City), the social city (as explored in 1961 by Jane Jacobs and in 1976 by Edward Relph of the University of Chicago), and the ecological city (as expounded upon in 1924 by both Lewis Mumford and in 1969 by Ian McHarg), I have newly applied the social-ecological-technical systems framework (SETS) to help classify and analyze these urban design theories and how they have mixed to create hybrid perspectives in more recent urban design theory. Lastly, I have proposed an urban design theory that envisions the sustainable city as an ongoing process. Hopefully, this vision that will hopefully be useful to the future of sustainable development in cities, as will a more organized understanding of urban design theories and their sustainability outcomes.

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2018-05

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Residential Choice’s Impact on Sustainable Transportation Options: A Study in the Phoenix Metro Area

Description

This study adds to the literature about residential choice and sustainable transportation. Through the interviews and the personal stories gathered, there was diversity shown in the residential location choice process. We also noticed that “commute” means different things to different

This study adds to the literature about residential choice and sustainable transportation. Through the interviews and the personal stories gathered, there was diversity shown in the residential location choice process. We also noticed that “commute” means different things to different households, and that many people did not consider their commute to work to be a primary factor determining their final home location. Moreover, many people were willing to increase their commute time, or trade access to desirable amenities for a longer commute. Commuting time to work was one example of the tradeoffs that homeowners make when choosing a home, but there were also others such as architectural type and access to neighborhood amenities. Lastly, time constraints proved to be a very significant factor in the home buying process. Several of our households had such strict time constraints that limited their search to a point of excluding whole areas. Overall, our study sheds light on transportation’s role in residential choice and underscores the complexity of the location choice process.

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2019-05

Algal Fuels: A Future Less Green than the Plant

Description

The algal fuel industry has existed since the 1980s without fully commercializing a product. Algal fuels are potentially viable replacements for fossil fuels due to their fast cultivation, high oil content, carbon dioxide sequestration during growth, and ability to

The algal fuel industry has existed since the 1980s without fully commercializing a product. Algal fuels are potentially viable replacements for fossil fuels due to their fast cultivation, high oil content, carbon dioxide sequestration during growth, and ability to be grown on non-arable land. For this thesis, six companies from 61 investigated were interviewed about their history with biofuels, technological changes they have gone through, and views for the future of the industry. All companies interviewed have moved away from fuel production largely due to high production costs and have moved primarily toward pharmaceuticals and animal feed production as well as wastewater treatment. While most do not plan to return to the biofuel industry in the near future, a return would likely require additional legislation, increased technological innovation, and coproduction of multiple products.

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2019-05

Peertkat: A personalized note taking buddy.

Description

“STEAM = Science & Technology interpreted through
Engineering & the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements” (STEAM edu, 2015).
“The latest round of international standardized test results showed American students are lagging behind the rest of the developed world not

“STEAM = Science & Technology interpreted through
Engineering & the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements” (STEAM edu, 2015).
“The latest round of international standardized test results showed American students are lagging behind the rest of the developed world not just in math, science and reading, but in problem solving as well. The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test examined 44 countries’ students’ problem-solving abilities — American students landed just above the average, but they still scored below many other developed countries, including Britain, Singapore, Korea, Japan, China and Canada” (Bertram, 2015).
Lack of quality education, busy households, and limited time and money can all be factors of why children are not academically supported. What would it look like if children had access to a tool that helped them catch up if they fall behind? A tool that empowers children to solve academic and real-world world problems will help strengthen different cognitive and behavioral skills as well as create a more personalized educational experience, inside the classroom and out. This tool can be applied to the way we look at our formal academic education to help build new, creative problem solving strategies that are tailored to each student’s preferred ways of learning.

Proposed Research

My research is driven by the following question:

How do we create a tool for students that will help them maneuver busy and over-populated classrooms to help them learn better?

I am interested in studying the ways in which children in the age range of 11-14 play, specifically through video gaming, and using this influence to promote learning. By using children’s gaming interests to inspire education, they will be more inclined to participate in learning activities in the classroom. By exploring and observing how children problem solve in gaming, I will be able to pull techniques and methods from play in order to enhance critical learning. This project will begin in mid-May, and will continue after my thesis defense when I take this project into the workforce and am applying for jobs.
Methods
I will be taking a mixed methods approach to my research by using a combination of:
Qualitative methods: Observational data will be collected in many ways including but not limited to sketches, photography, writing, and film. After gathering base-level observational data I plan to use this, as well as my prototypes from the early phases of my product’s life to create a study to better understand users’ preferences with my product. This will include different colors, ergonomic shapes, part lines, and more to allow for a large range of feedback.
Surveys and interviews: I wish to interview and survey policymakers, educators, students, and other stakeholders invested in education to better understand their needs, in order to ensure that my product is feasible in the eyes of policymakers. It is important that my specific product not only serve as a tool for students, but also for teachers to learn as well. Making this product as something practical and scalable is important in terms of feasibility.
Thematic groups: Observing user groups interacting with my product/project will help me adjust to my general end goals.

Actionable Insights

After gathering data from interviews, surveys, observations, and product feedback, I plan to analyze this data and make sufficient changes to my project in order to better serve the community in which I am trying to benefit. Doing this will help my project be more effective and impactful.

Limitations will depend on rules on photography and interviewing. The timeline of the analysis of the data collected will be similar to the timeline provided for the senior studio class for traditional industrial design students.
Expected Outcomes
The proposed research will strengthen my design skills and expand my knowledge as a design student interested in the user experience, wellbeing, access to arts education, and much more. I will have a final outcome of a physical product that will be used as an initiative to help children studying STEM subjects to find new, creative, and different ways of solving problems.
Timeline
As I will be doing this project in congruency with my senior industrial design studio, my schedule has been roughly predetermined.
April-August
Literature review and preliminary research will be taken care of during this part of my thesis project. I will also be contacting people I would like to see be involved in this project during this time.
August-December
Research
1. Exploration
a. Assign01: Mind map + Visit the world
b. Assign02: Observations + Interviews
2. Making sense of the data + Concepts
a. Assign03: POG + Ideation
b. Assign04: Concept Evaluation + Selection
c. Partner School Determined
3. Concept Direction + Customer Validation + Research Summary
a. Assign05: Hard device and Screen Mock-ups + Customer Feedback
b. Assign06: Mid-term presentation of research + Life-Cycle
Design
1. Form Development + Drivers
a. Assign07: Design Language + Out into the World
b. Assign08: Product Details + Function
c. Wire frames Due
2. Study Models + CAD Model
a. Assign09: Refined 3D Study Model
b. Assign10: CAD Model + Tech Drawings
c. Running Step-Through
3. Design Validation + Refinement
a. Assign11: Persona Check +CMF + Features & Benefits
4. Storyboard Development + Visual Poster
a. Assign12: Storyboard + Life of Product
b. Assign13: Poster + Presentation Outline
c. Assign14: Product Animation
5. Final Presentation
a. Assign15: Process Book
b. Assign16: Public presentation
December-January
This is the time I will use to have my code built out a bit more. I will come back into the next semester with a code that functions in my form that I have decided on.
January-May
This time will be used to run user tests on my product, and make desired changes to it in order to fully iterate and design my concept well and with data-driven desires.
Meetings
I plan to meet with my studio professor, Dosun Shin, once every two weeks to discuss how my project is progressing. My second committee member will be Dean Bacalzo. My committee will be contacted on a monthly basis by way of email with updates on my project’s process. From there I will be able to ask for suggestions and schedule meeting times to further discuss my project.

References
Educational Ecosystems for Societal Transformation

Why STEM? Success Starts With Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving Skills
https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/06/stem-success-starts-critical-thi…
Unlocking Creativity: Teaching across the Curriculum

How the Founder of All Girls Code Is Shaking Up STEM in the Middle East
https://www.jnj.com/personal-stories/the-road-to-devex-aya-mouallem-dis…

Case Study: A game for conflict-affected youth to learn and grow
https://blogs.unity3d.com/2018/06/13/case-study-a-game-for-conflict-aff…

Vice Charter School vs Public School
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/10/the-weak-evidence-b…

Think brain games make you smarter? Think again, FSU researchers sayhttp:/
ews.fsu.edu
ews/health-medicine/2017/04/17/think-brain-games-make-smarter-think-fsu-researchers-say/
About STEAM Edu
https://steamedu.com/about-us/
Brain Games Don’t Work
http://fortune.com/2017/07/10/brain-games-research-lumosity/

Pip is a portable gaming device that teaches children to codehttps://www.dezeen.com/2017/12/05/pip-portable-gaming-device-teaches-ch…
Latest STEM learning kits for kids combine technology and play doughhttps://www.dezeen.com/2017/06/06/stem-learning-kits-kids-combine-techn…
3 Ways To Design Toys That Boost Kids’ Creativityhttps://www.fastcodesign.com/1669691/3-ways-to-design-toys-that-boost-k…
Plobot for STEAM
https://www.behance.net/gallery/45476023/Plobot

Global Education Futures Report
http://futuref.org/educationfutures
Xbox Adaptive Controllerhttps://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one/accessories/controllers/xbox-adapti…
2018 US Video Game Market Predictionshttps://www.npd.com/wps/portal
pd/us/blog/2018/2018-us-video-game-market-predictions/
Kids and Violence in the Media
https://www.parenting.com/article/media-violence-children
YouTubers Talk About Their Favorite Games
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3wFuqzzwdk

https://www.ideo.com/case-study/giving-ed-tech-entrepreneurs-a-window-i…
https://www.ideo.com/case-study/for-kids-a-new-tactile-way-to-learn-cod…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwskPyYEH2I&feature=youtu.be
https://www.kerbalspaceprogram.com/en/?page_id=11

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2019-05

The History and Practical Applications of Video Games as a Medium for Dispersing Knowledge of and Generating Discussion Around Sustainability

Description

Games are prolific as an educational medium, and are able to tell a much richer story than pictures or words alone. This has led to the widespread phenomenon known as “gamification” in the educational and business sectors, as well as

Games are prolific as an educational medium, and are able to tell a much richer story than pictures or words alone. This has led to the widespread phenomenon known as “gamification” in the educational and business sectors, as well as educational games. While gamification itself is very prolific, its application to sustainability issues has been somewhat limited. With the progression of technology and the high percentage of gamers within the population, the time is ripe for a paradigm shift. Humans have always played games to inform themselves and others, and though this takes many forms, they always will, be their efforts dedicated to education, entertainment, or profit. While teaching and entertainment may sometimes be at odds with one another, they do not have to be. Many audiences respond well to varied forms of entertainment, and when the ability of a thing designed to further educate or gamify is given room to be entertaining as well, all involved benefit. Sustainability as a whole is an incredibly nebulous and broad concept, such that current educational and entertaining games exploring the subject largely addresses it on a smaller scale, or looks at a piece of the picture instead of all of it, as smaller pieces are easier to break down and address. There are ways that games can be and are vehicles for both entertainment and education, and by combining the two end goals in relatively equal measure, a solid platform can be built off of which both learning and personal growth can occur.

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2019-05

Sustainable Table

Description

"If we really believe in food, we must do something about it, for our voices should be raised above the rest," James Beard said. Today, the word "sustainable" is being linked to almost every facet of our lives. Everything from

"If we really believe in food, we must do something about it, for our voices should be raised above the rest," James Beard said. Today, the word "sustainable" is being linked to almost every facet of our lives. Everything from restaurants to cars to school supplies are marketed as green or sustainable. Businesses have a lot to gain if they are environmentally conscious (Friedman, 2017). Companies that genuinely care about the planet cultivate positive reputations. Needless to say a company's brand and reputation are arguably the most important differentials amongst its competition. Additionally, a company's social responsibility goes hand in hand with talent retention. Companies that care about their staff and the community are more likely to recruit employees that will be advocates of the product and business (Friedman, 2017). A healthy work culture encourages productivity, recruitment and retention. Unfortunately some businesses stretch the truth and make bold sustainability claims in order to reap the above benefits. When it comes to the food service industry, which restaurants are actually living up to the claim of being sustainable? I embarked upon a journey to find the restaurants and chefs that are creating exquisite dishes while protecting the environment and preserving the food chain system. Initially I developed a list of 30 prospective restaurants based upon published material bringing awareness to their environmentally conscious initiatives. Ultimately I selected three diverse restaurants from the list that successfully met the sustainability requirements. I utilized criteria established by The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) as my guideline to evaluate the establishments (Our Sustainability Framework). I immersed myself in the restaurants, camera in hand, to discover more about the ecofriendly food movement in Arizona. I created a YouTube channel where I posted all of my edited film in order to heighten awareness of these socially and environmentally responsible establishments. The vlog series features a different restaurant in each episode highlighting the sustainable culinary and business concepts as well as the savory items on the menu. During this quest I discovered how these restaurants have remained successful while minimizing their ecological footprint. These establishments can serve as a guide to other chefs and business owners who are looking to accomplish the same feats.

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2018-12

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Achieving Zero: Building a Zero Waste Program for the Sprouts Farmers Market Headquarters

Description

As the sustainability issue of solid waste management magnifies worldwide, organizations are considering making their offices or operations Zero Waste, but many do not understand how or where to start. With the goal of contributing insights and advice to future

As the sustainability issue of solid waste management magnifies worldwide, organizations are considering making their offices or operations Zero Waste, but many do not understand how or where to start. With the goal of contributing insights and advice to future designers and managers of Zero Waste programs, this thesis explores notable attributes of existing Zero Waste programs through case interviews and documents the researcher’s own journey in designing and executing a Zero Waste program at the Sprouts Farmers Market headquarters. The result is a detailed account that reveals how the Sprouts program was executed, how it could be improved, and which practices future Zero Waste program managers should use to maximize the success of their program. These practices include building personal and trusting relationships with the network of people involved; remaining flexible, patient and passionate; conducting thorough quantitative research on the proposed changes; and tailoring communication to effectively motivate behavior change.

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2019-05

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Social-Life Cycle Assessment: Oil Extraction in Section 1002 of the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Description

Drilling in Section 1002 has been an ongoing debate since the region was designated as a potential area for drilling projects, pending congressional approval in 1980. In 2017, the area was officially opened up for oil and gas development through

Drilling in Section 1002 has been an ongoing debate since the region was designated as a potential area for drilling projects, pending congressional approval in 1980. In 2017, the area was officially opened up for oil and gas development through its passage in the GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This act requires 2 lease sales of 400,000 acres, with an allowed 2,000 acre physical footprint (not including pipelines, ice roads, or gravel mines). Using Social-Life Cycle Assessment methodology to assess the process of oil extraction in Section 1002, significant benefits and drawbacks of drilling in this region, with economic, cultural, and social impacts ranging from the local level to the state level to the national level were identified.

Stakeholders impacted by oil development in the Section 1002 region include the Kaktovik community who lives within the Program Area, the Gwich’in people who live south of ANWR, the corporations who will be leasing the land, as well as the employees who will be working on the projects. These stakeholders share similar values and interests, however, when it comes down to the attainment of these values, there are significant differences in opinion. This debate comes down specifically to the desire to ensure stability for one’s family and community, as this means 2 different things to the majority stakeholders on this issue: The Inupiaq and the Gwich’in. The Inupiaq ,who live in Kaktovik specifically ,are particularly keen on the idea of drilling in the Section 1002 region, because the revenues and opportunities that come with the oil and gas development provide access to better standards of living and a more westernized way of life. The Gwich’in, however, value their relationship to the land and the caribou that are at risk of significant change. These 2 groups are critical to the debate, but the state and federal governments have the final say, and a financial incentive to move forward with the lease sales.

Utilizing the S-LCA framework, life cycle impacts of drilling on society are found using indicators that are identified and assessed using both qualitative and quantitative means. Although some conclusions are uncertain due to the forward-looking nature of this S-LCA, the Increasing/Decreasing trends can be identified and confidently attributed to the specific indicators.

Significant Results:
Significant issues this study has highlighted include the resulting impacts, both positive and negative, on the communities affected by oil and gas development in Section 1002. Significant stakeholders include the Kaktovik community, the Gwich’in people, the oil and gas workers in the state of Alaska, and the oil and gas companies themselves. The local residents are the most affected by the impacts of development, with significant issues pertaining to potential for significant lifestyle change, the increased risk of impact on subsistence species, the risks associated with pollution, and the effect on the economy through revenues and job availability.

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2019-05