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The objective for Under the Camper Shell was to build a prototype of a full living environment within the confines of a pickup truck bed and camper shell. The total volume available to work with is approximately 85ft3. This full living environment entails functioning systems for essential modern living, providing shelter and spaces for cooking, sleeping, eating, and sanitation. The project proved to be very challenging from the start. First, the livable space is extremely small, being only tall enough for one to sit up straight. The truck and camper shell were both borrowed items, so no modifications were allowed for either, e.g. drilling holes for mounting. The idea was to create a system that could be easily removed, transforming it from a camper to a utility truck. The systems developed for the living environment would be modular and transformative so to accommodate for different necessities when packing. The goal was to create a low-water system with sustainability in mind. Insulating the space was the largest challenge and the most rewarding, using body heat to warm the space and insulate from the elements. Comfort systems were made of high density foam cushions in sections to allow folding and stacking for different functions (sleeping, lounging, and sitting). Sanitation is necessary for healthy living and regular human function. A composting toilet was used for the design, lending to low-water usage and is sustainable over time. Saw dust would be necessary for its function, but upon composting, the unit will generate sufficient amounts of heat to act as a space heater. Showering serves the functions of exfoliation and ridding of bacteria, both of which bath wipes can accomplish, limiting massive volumes of water storage and waste. Storage systems were also designed for modularity. Hooks were installed the length of the bed for hanging or securing items as necessary. Some are available for hanging bags. A cabinetry rail also runs the length of the bed to allow movement of hard storage to accommodate different scenarios. The cooking method is called "sous-vide", a method of cooking food in air-tight bags submerged in hot water. The water is reusable for cooking and no dishes are necessary for serving. Overall, the prototype fulfilled its function as a full living environment with few improvements necessary for future use.
As an important part of the movement for local and sustainable food in our cities, urban farming has the potential to actively involve urban dwellers in environmental, social, and economic issues of a global scale. When assessed according to a three-pillar model of sustainability, it can offer solutions to many of the major problems associated with the industrial food model that currently dominates the United States market. If implemented on a larger scale in the Phoenix metropolitan area, urban farming could improve overall environmental conditions, stimulate the local economy, and help solve food access and inequality issues. Through interviews with both amateur and established local urban farmers, this thesis attempts to identify and analyze some of the main barriers to the widespread participation in and incorporation of urban agriculture in the Phoenix Valley. Problems encountered by newcomers to the practice are compared with the experiences of more successful farmers to assess which barriers may be circumvented with proper knowledge and experience and which barriers specific to the Phoenix region may require greater structural changes.
This paper explores women and bicycling, with the focus of looking at how to get more women onto the bicycle in Tempe, Arizona. The main areas of interest for this study are improvements to bicycling infrastructure and an increase in the safety and the perception of safety of women cyclists in the Tempe area. In order to explore this topic, an online survey of 75 Arizona State students was conducted. From the results women were primarily concerned with their safety due to the condition of the overall infrastructure and the lack of bicycle related improvements. Research such as this that examines women and cycling is significant due to the current underrepresentation of women in the cycling community and has the potential to improve safety and increase bicycle ridership.
One of the salient challenges of sustainability is the Tragedy of the Commons, where individuals acting independently and rationally deplete a common resource despite their understanding that it is not in the group's long term best interest to do so. Hardin presents this dilemma as nearly intractable and solvable only by drastic, government-mandated social reforms, while Ostrom's empirical work demonstrates that community-scale collaboration can circumvent tragedy without any elaborate outside intervention. Though more optimistic, Ostrom's work provides scant insight into larger-scale dilemmas such as climate change. Consequently, it remains unclear if the sustainable management of global resources is possible without significant government mediation. To investigate, we conducted two game theoretic experiments that challenged students in different countries to collaborate digitally and manage a hypothetical common resource. One experiment involved students attending Arizona State University and the Rochester Institute of Technology in the US and Mountains of the Moon University in Uganda, while the other included students at Arizona State and the Management Development Institute in India. In both experiments, students were randomly assigned to one of three production roles: Luxury, Intermediate, and Subsistence. Students then made individual decisions about how many units of goods they wished to produce up to a set maximum per production class. Luxury players gain the most profit (i.e. grade points) per unit produced, but they also emit the most externalities, or social costs, which directly subtract from the profit of everybody else in the game; Intermediate players produce a medium amount of profit and externalities per unit, and Subsistence players produce a low amount of profit and externalities per unit. Variables influencing and/or inhibiting collaboration were studied using pre- and post-game surveys. This research sought to answer three questions: 1) Are international groups capable of self-organizing in a way that promotes sustainable resource management?, 2) What are the key factors that inhibit or foster collective action among international groups?, and 3) How well do Hardin's theories and Ostrom's empirical models predict the observed behavior of students in the game? The results of gameplay suggest that international cooperation is possible, though likely sub-optimal. Statistical analysis of survey data revealed that heterogeneity and levels of trust significantly influenced game behavior. Specific traits of heterogeneity among students found to be significant were income, education, assigned production role, number of people in one's household, college class, college major, and military service. Additionally, it was found that Ostrom's collective action framework was a better predictor of game outcome than Hardin's theories. Overall, this research lends credence to the plausibility of international cooperation in tragedy of the commons scenarios such as climate change, though much work remains to be done.
Currently, approximately 40% of the world’s electricity is generated from coal and coal power plants are one of the major sources of greenhouse gases accounting for a third of all CO2 emissions. The Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) has been shown to provide an increase in plant efficiency compared to traditional coal-based power generation processes resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of this project was to analyze the performance of a new SNDC ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane for CO2 separation. The chemical formula for the SNDC-carbonate membrane was Sm0.075Nd0.075Ce0.85O1.925. This project also focused on the use of this membrane for pre-combustion CO2 capture coupled with a water gas shift (WGS) reaction for a 1000 MW power plant. The addition of this membrane to the traditional IGCC process provides a purer H2 stream for combustion in the gas turbine and results in lower operating costs and increased efficiencies for the plant. At 900 °C the CO2 flux and permeance of the SNDC-carbonate membrane were 0.65 mL/cm2•min and 1.0×10-7 mol/m2•s•Pa, respectively. Detailed in this report are the following: background regarding CO2 separation membranes and IGCC power plants, SNDC tubular membrane preparation and characterization, IGCC with membrane reactor plant design, process heat and mass balance, and plant cost estimations.
This thesis was conducted in order to determine the role played by food miles metrics in making the agricultural industry more sustainable. In an effort to analyze the importance of eat locally this study utilizes a partial life cycle assessment. This study looks at oranges grown in Arizona and California and inputs such as water, energy, fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, frost mitigation, and distance in order to conduct the partial life cycle assessment. Results of this study indicate that food miles are not as significant, in relation to overall energy input, as the locavore movement claims. This is because production processes account for a larger portion of the total energy used in the food chain than what these claims suggest. While eating locally is still a significant way of reducing energy use, this thesis shows that decisions about eating sustainably should not only focus on the distance that the products travel, but place equal, if not more, importance on energy use differences due to geographic location and in-farm operations. Future research should be completed with more comprehensive impact categories and conducted for different crops, farming, and locations. Further research is needed in order to confirm or challenge the results of this thesis. With more research conducted regarding this topic, ecological labeling of agricultural products could be improved to help consumers make the most informed choices possible.
This honors thesis examines community gardens from throughout Phoenix, Arizona. It shows that community gardens have the potential to both support and hinder sustainability efforts, encourage community development, and increase food access. By measuring the temperature at various community gardens throughout Phoenix, AZ, community gardens were shown to minimize local effects of the urban heat island. Because they use water to survive and Phoenix, AZ is in a desert, this contributes to a depleting water supply. Interviews of gardeners from community gardens throughout Phoenix depicted that community gardens can provide sites for community development as well as promoting food access.
Derived from the idea that the utilization of sustainable practices could improve small business practice, this honors thesis offers a full business assessment and recommendations for improvements of a local, family-owned coffee shop, Gold Bar. A thorough analysis of the shop's current business practices and research on unnecessary expenses and waste guides this assessment.
This case study explores the institutions and governing strategies involved in the management of Rupa Lake in Kaski district in Western Nepal, particularly Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative. Methods used for data collection include key informant interviews, household interviews, a focus group discussion and archival records. Institutions were examined for their effectiveness in sustaining natural and socioeconomic systems as perceived by community members. Based on a literature review and the results of the data collected, this thesis builds a case study highlighting Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative's strategies for governing its local watershed and formulates a framework for commons institutions that aim to achieve sustainable outcomes. Based on findings, I argue that no single form of governance is a panacea for solving commons problems, governing strategies should be implemented on a case-by-case basis, and institutions should be involved at multiple levels and always include local input. Additionally, a sustainable institution should provide benefits to society that it can see, function democratically and with transparency, promote a biodiverse ecosystem, elevate marginalized groups, and collaborate with other institutions. These "clumsy" institutions create a series of complex interactions that are robust and adaptive to reflect the ever-changing systems they aim to govern.
The globalized food system has caused detriments to the environment, to economic justice, and to social and health rights within the food system. Due to an increasing concern over these problems, there has been a popular turn back to a localized food system. Localization's main principle is reconnecting the producer and consumer while advocating for healthy, local, environmentally friendly, and socially just food. I give utilitarian reasons within a Kantian ethical framework to argue that while partaking in a local food system may be morally good, we cannot advocate for localization as a moral obligation. It is true from empirical research that localizing food could solve many of the environmental, economic, social, and health problems that exist today due to the food system. However, many other countries depend upon the import/export system to keep their own poverty rates low and economies thriving. Utilitarian Peter Singer argues that it would be irresponsible to stop our business with those other countries because we would be causing more harm than good. There are reasons to support food localization, and reasons to reject food localization. Food localization is a moral good in respect to the many benefits that it has, yet it is not a moral obligation due to some of the detriments it may itself cause.