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Seed Beetle Abundance and Diversity in Urban and Rural Sites

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The spread of urbanization leads to habitat fragmentation and deterioration and changes the composition of ecosystems for species all over the world. Different groups of organisms are impacted differently, and insects have experienced loss in diversity and abundance due to

The spread of urbanization leads to habitat fragmentation and deterioration and changes the composition of ecosystems for species all over the world. Different groups of organisms are impacted differently, and insects have experienced loss in diversity and abundance due to changing environmental factors. Here, I collected seed beetles across 12 urban and rural sites in Phoenix, Arizona, to analyze the effects of urbanization and habitat variation on beetle diversity and abundance. I found that urbanization, host tree origin, and environmental factors such as tree diversity and density had no impact on overall beetle diversity and abundance. Beetles were found to have higher density on hosts with a higher density of pods. In assessing individual beetle species, some beetles exhibited higher density in rural sites with native trees, and some were found more commonly on nonnative tree species. The observed differences in beetle density demonstrate the range of effects urbanization and environmental features can have on insect species. By studying ecosystem interactions alongside changing environments, we can better predict the role urbanization and human development can have on different organisms.

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2018-05

Grow: A Garden Sustainability Club for Students in Grades Fourth through Sixth

Description

As an aspiring educator pursuing a degree in education, hours have been spent observing, visiting, and working in classrooms of elementary schools. In this time, it has become apparent that social studies and science are not a priority within classrooms

As an aspiring educator pursuing a degree in education, hours have been spent observing, visiting, and working in classrooms of elementary schools. In this time, it has become apparent that social studies and science are not a priority within classrooms or even schools as a whole. This dilemma caused extreme disconnect, amongst students, throughout the common and crucial science and social studies standards that should be taught and implemented daily by law. These content experiences, especially in science, expose students to skill sets and themes that are highly desired throughout higher education, the career world, and for the well-being and longevity of planet Earth.
As a solution to this problem, I created an after school program to provide staff and myself additional time to implement such curriculum and expand the depth of knowledge that students are exposed to. This positive additional time to the educational day, was able to come to life through a grant that I wrote and received to transport students from their elementary school to a local greenhouse. At the greenhouse, I was able to create a series of lessons focused on the resources needed for gardens and plant production. Through these lessons, I utilized inquiry based lesson plans to provide me with a template that was unique from typical lessons taught at school. Through these hands on experiences in our club, students were able to work at their own pace and learn about resources, soil, water, pollinators, and parts of a flower.

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2019-05

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Exploring the Spatial Networks of Sustainable Agritourism in the Municipalities of Utuado, Ciales, Florida, and Jayuya, Puerto Rico

Description

As climate change continues to escalate natural hazards around the globe, certain communities feel the impacts of these disasters more so than others. After Hurricane Maria devastated communities in 2017, Puerto Rico struggled to respond to the needs of its

As climate change continues to escalate natural hazards around the globe, certain communities feel the impacts of these disasters more so than others. After Hurricane Maria devastated communities in 2017, Puerto Rico struggled to respond to the needs of its citizens, particularly those in rural areas. Many of the regions affected did not have resilient community structures in place to be able to withstand the systemic ripple effects of the hurricane. However, various community endeavors have developed post-Hurricane Maria to foster community collaboration and resiliency, including the development of agricultural tourism, otherwise known as agritourism. <br/>Although agritourism has begun to develop in rural regions of Puerto Rico, including the municipalities of Utuado, Ciales, Florida, and Jayuya, a systems-understanding is lacking of the current agritourism situation in the region and its related capacities, limitations, and opportunities of agritourism. To address this gap, a spatially explicit understanding and map of the underlying tourism infrastructure is needed to support the development of sustainable agritourism in Utuado, Jayuya, Ciales, and Florida municipalities in Puerto Rico. <br/>This report spatially represents the current state of tourism opportunities in the region as a result of asking “What are the spatial networks of gastronomy, accommodations, farms, and attractions that support the development of agritourism in Utuado, Jayuya, Ciales and Florida municipalities in Puerto Rico?” Three steps lead to the spatial representation starting with developing a comprehensive inventory. Second, we visualize the spatial map through Google Maps. Lastly, we explore the larger context of the report through an ArcGIS Storymap. The inventory will help with better understanding the number and variety of tourism resources available. The spatial visualization will help with understanding the distribution of resources and explore potential connections between resources and what relationships could be fostered in the future. Lastly, the ArcGIS Storymap will serve as a framework for outlining the future development of the SARE project. Overall, this report outlines the spatial maps of tourism resources and provides a tool to be used by community partners, tourists, and project partners.

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2021-05

Integrating Systems Thinking Concepts into an Elementary School Gardening Program: Analyzing Sustainability Education

Description

This research paper assesses the effectiveness of a remote garden-based learning curriculum in teaching elementary students’ basic systems thinking concepts. Five remote lessons were designed, covering different garden topics, and in order to integrate systems thinking concepts, the Systems Thinking

This research paper assesses the effectiveness of a remote garden-based learning curriculum in teaching elementary students’ basic systems thinking concepts. Five remote lessons were designed, covering different garden topics, and in order to integrate systems thinking concepts, the Systems Thinking Hierarchical Model was used. This model includes eight emergent characteristics of systems thinking necessary for developing systems thinking competency. Five students were given the remote garden-based learning lessons. Student work was evaluated for systems thinking understanding and student outcomes were compared to anticipated learning outcomes. Results suggest that elementary students are able to understand basic systems thinking concepts because student work met anticipated outcomes for four systems thinking characteristics and exceeded anticipated outcomes for one characteristic. These results are significant because they further confirm that elementary-aged students do have the ability to understand systems thinking and they contribute to a growing movement to integrate sustainability education into elementary curriculum.

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2021-05

Fair Trade: History, Ethics & Impact 1-Credit Course

Description

This course will cover the history, ethics and impact of the fair trade movement for a variety of stakeholders in the Global South and Global North. We will be participating in various activities that will acquaint us with different topics,

This course will cover the history, ethics and impact of the fair trade movement for a variety of stakeholders in the Global South and Global North. We will be participating in various activities that will acquaint us with different topics, including globalization, the gender wage gap, environmental degradation and supply chain management. Guest speakers from the fair trade community will contribute their perspectives regarding the movement. Students will gain an understanding of the tradeoffs of the fair trade movement for the different actors throughout the length of the supply chain. Students will describe the purpose of the fair trade movement and who it seeks to serve. Students will explain what the Fair Trade certification entails for the actors who engage in the system. Students will debate the tradeoffs of the fair trade movement, incorporating the perspectives of multiple stakeholders from both the Global South and Global North. Finally, students will evaluate Fair Trade as a tool for sustainability both socially and economically.

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2019-05