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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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Applying the Hedonic Estimation Method to South Mountain Municipal Park

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South Mountain is the largest municipal park in the nation. It is a bundled amenity, providing a series of linked services to the surrounding communities. A dataset of 19,209 homes in 155 neighborhoods within three miles of the park was

South Mountain is the largest municipal park in the nation. It is a bundled amenity, providing a series of linked services to the surrounding communities. A dataset of 19,209 homes in 155 neighborhoods within three miles of the park was utilized in order to complete a hedonic estimation for two nearby urban villages, Ahwatukee Foothills and South Mountain Village. Measures of access include proximity to the park, trailhead access, and adjacency to the park. Two regressions were estimated, the first including lot characteristics and subdivision fixed effects and the second using the coefficients for each subdivision as the dependent variable. These estimates describe how the location of a house in a subdivision contributes to its conditional mean price. As a result they offer a direct basis for capturing amenities measured at the neighborhood scale on home values. Park proximity, trailhead access and adjacency were found to significantly influence the price of homes at the 5% confidence level in Ahwatukee, but not in South Mountain Village. The results of this study can be applied to issues of environmental justice and park access in determining which areas and attributes of the park are associated with a high premium. Though South Mountain was preserved some time ago, development and future preservation in the City of Phoenix can be informed by such studies.

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2015-05

Sense of Place, Place Attachment, and Student Perceptions of Sustainability in the Salt River Valley

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The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate sustainability students' engagement with sustainability in relation to their sense of place in the broader Salt River Valley community. The study was guided by two research questions 1) How do undergraduate

The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate sustainability students' engagement with sustainability in relation to their sense of place in the broader Salt River Valley community. The study was guided by two research questions 1) How do undergraduate Sustainability students explain their sense of place in the Valley with relation to their perceptions of sustainability? 2) Does residency in a different city, town, or state prior to entering the Sustainability program influence students' sense of place in the Valley? The study consisted of two distinct parts. In the first part, twenty students were interviewed using a narrative inquiry process to understand their perceptions of sustainability, their sense of place in the Valley, and how those two components influenced their engagement with sustainability in their communities. In the second part, these narratives were analyzed, synthesized, and samples of the stories were placed into a creative nonfiction collection to express an overall picture of sustainability in the Valley. Results showed that students generally relied on academic, professional, and social factors to identify places in which they could practice or engage with sustainability. Regardless of previous residencies, students expressed similar frustrations or limitations in expressing their sense of place, as related to sustainability, in the Valley.

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2014-05

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The Nature of Cinema: Feminism, Film, and the Nature/Culture Dualism

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In this paper, I analyze representations of nature in popular film, using the feminist / deconstructionist concept of a dualism to structure my critique. Using Val Plumwood’s analysis of the logical structure of dualism and the 5 ‘features of a

In this paper, I analyze representations of nature in popular film, using the feminist / deconstructionist concept of a dualism to structure my critique. Using Val Plumwood’s analysis of the logical structure of dualism and the 5 ‘features of a dualism’ that she identifies, I critique 5 popular movies – Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Brave, Grizzly Man, and Planet Earth – by locating within each of them one of the 5 features and explaining how the movie functions to reinforce the Nature/Culture dualism . By showing how the Nature/Culture dualism shapes and is shaped by popular cinema, I show how “Nature” is a social construct, created as part of this very dualism, and reified through popular culture. I conclude with the introduction of a number of ‘subversive’ pieces of visual art that undermine and actively deconstruct the Nature/Culture dualism and show to the viewer a more honest presentation of the non-human world.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Ray Fashion Inc.: An Opportunity for Circularity in Shoe Construction and Business

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With the rise of fast fashion and its now apparent effects on climate change, there is an evident need for change in terms of how we as individuals use our clothing and footwear. Our team has created Ray Fashion Inc.,

With the rise of fast fashion and its now apparent effects on climate change, there is an evident need for change in terms of how we as individuals use our clothing and footwear. Our team has created Ray Fashion Inc., a sustainable footwear company that focuses on implementing the circular economy to reduce the amount of waste generated in shoe creation. We have designed a sandal that accommodates the rapid consumption element of fast fashion with a business model that promotes sustainability through a buy-back method to upcycle and retain our materials.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Sustaining Change: An Introduction to Understanding and Rebranding Environmental Social Activism

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Modern American environmental social movements have strived for a better world for nearly fifty years, pushing a philosophy of careful resource use and limited consumption as an alternative to the pollution and degradation that has so far accompanied global industrialization.

Modern American environmental social movements have strived for a better world for nearly fifty years, pushing a philosophy of careful resource use and limited consumption as an alternative to the pollution and degradation that has so far accompanied global industrialization. The reach of these movements is broad and the topic they cover is one that aligns with the values and beliefs of many; it is thus quite confusing that they've been so unsuccessful. This thesis was a response to that apparent contradiction, exploring why movements have not been as successful as both they and the public initially desired. It began by defining what social movements are and how they emerge or find success, then provided a brief history of environmentalism in America, and the different successes and failures that occurred before and after the first Earth day in 1970. Finally, it explored some of the reasons environmentalism was unsuccessful, and found that while structural barriers like politics and business interests played a role in movement outcomes, the tactics of different groups were at least partially to blame. Once this was concluded, the author used the perspectives of different activists to propose ways to enhance the quality of current movements and allow them to continue to make progress well into the future. In order to expand the audience of this thesis, the author is also working on a children;s book that illustrates many of the important themes that he hopes to convey to the public. Though drafted, the book is incomplete as of the date that documents are due for Barrett review.

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Date Created
2016-12