Matching Items (32)

Evaluating the Potential of Greenhouse Agriculture in Phoenix

Description

This thesis conducted an evaluation of the performance and return on investment of a 2 x 6m, simple design greenhouse, as a climate control technology. Specifically, differences in internal microclimate conditions between a greenhouse treatment plot, and sun and shaded

This thesis conducted an evaluation of the performance and return on investment of a 2 x 6m, simple design greenhouse, as a climate control technology. Specifically, differences in internal microclimate conditions between a greenhouse treatment plot, and sun and shaded control plots were assessed and related to observed differences in crop yields across these plots. Growing conditions and productivity of two crops, tomato and swiss chard, which were grown over summer and winter growing seasons, respectively, were compared. It was found that the greenhouse was associated with improved growth conditions (as measured by the R-Index) for both crops but resulted in higher productivity only for tomatoes. Return on investment and food security impacts from the scaling of greenhouse agriculture were also explored.

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2020-05

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Visual Analytics and the Impact of Inter-Country Trade on Violence

Description

Global violent conflict has become an increasing problem in recent decades, especially in the African continent. Civil wars, terrorism, riots, and political violence has wrought havoc not only on civilian lives, but also on economic foundations. Trade networks are a

Global violent conflict has become an increasing problem in recent decades, especially in the African continent. Civil wars, terrorism, riots, and political violence has wrought havoc not only on civilian lives, but also on economic foundations. Trade networks are a way to measure these economic foundations. To summarize trade networks clustering coefficient as well as trade quantity/value summation measures are used. To understand effects of global trade on violent conflict, Pearson product-moment correlations are utilized. This work details a comparison of African national economies and violent conflict events using clustering coefficient, trade summation measures and Pearson correlation coefficient.

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2017-05

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Let Them Eat Cake: Marginal Effects of the El Niño Southern Oscillation on Intra-State Conflict

Description

There is growing public concern about the implications of climate change for natural processes, such as the melting of ice at the poles, but less clear are the implications for food production. Famine and conflict have a long and complicated

There is growing public concern about the implications of climate change for natural processes, such as the melting of ice at the poles, but less clear are the implications for food production. Famine and conflict have a long and complicated history, made increasingly complicated by the intricate global food system. In this paper, I explore the effect of increasingly severe El Niño Southern Oscillation cycles on conflict in an effort to determine how abnormal climate patterns affect food security and, indirectly, conflict. I use a non-linear probit model to analyze the relationship between several binary conflict variables and food supply.

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2016-12

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Food security and financial success in Central Arizona farmers' markets: presences, absences, lived experience, and governance

Description

Farmers' markets are a growing trend both in Arizona and the broader U.S., as many recognize them as desirable alternatives to the conventional food system. As icons of sustainability, farmers' markets are touted as providing many environmental, social, and economic

Farmers' markets are a growing trend both in Arizona and the broader U.S., as many recognize them as desirable alternatives to the conventional food system. As icons of sustainability, farmers' markets are touted as providing many environmental, social, and economic benefits, but evidence is mounting that local food systems primarily serve the urban elite, with relatively few low-income or minority customers. However, the economic needs of the market and its vendors often conflict with those of consumers. While consumers require affordable food, farmers need to make a profit. How farmers' markets are designed and governed can significantly influence the extent to which they can meet these needs. However, very little research explores farmers' market design and governance, much less its capacity to influence financial success and participation for underprivileged consumers. The present study examined this research gap by addressing the following research question: How can farmers' markets be institutionally designed to increase the participation of underprivileged consumers while maintaining a financially viable market for local farmers? Through a comparative case study of six markets, this research explored the extent to which farmers' markets in Central Arizona currently serve the needs of farmer-vendors and underprivileged consumers. The findings suggest that while the markets serve as a substantial source of income for some vendors, participation by low-income and minority consumers remains low, and that much of this appears to be due to cultural barriers to access. Management structures, site characteristics, market layout, community programs, and staffing policies are key institutional design features, and the study explores how these can be leveraged to better meet the needs of the diverse participants while improving the markets' financial success.

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2013

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The relationship between food insecurity and weight status, eating behaviors, the home food environment, meal planning and preparation, and perceived stress in parents living in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Description

Objectives Through a cross-sectional observational study, this thesis evaluates the relationship between food insecurity and weight status, eating behaviors, the home food environment, meal planning and preparation, and perceived stress as it relates to predominantly Hispanic/Latino parents in Phoenix, Arizona.

Objectives Through a cross-sectional observational study, this thesis evaluates the relationship between food insecurity and weight status, eating behaviors, the home food environment, meal planning and preparation, and perceived stress as it relates to predominantly Hispanic/Latino parents in Phoenix, Arizona. The purpose of this study was to address gaps in the literature by examining differences in "healthy" and "unhealthy" eating behaviors, foods available in the home, how time and low energy impact meal preparation, and the level of stress between food security groups. Methods Parents, 18 years or older, were recruited during two pre-scheduled health fairs, from English as a second language classes, or from the Women, Infants, and Children's clinic at a local community center, Golden Gate Community Center, in Phoenix, Arizona. An interview, electronic, or paper survey were offered in either Spanish or English to collect data on the variables described above. In addition to the survey, height and weight were collected for all participants to determine BMI and weight status. One hundred and sixty participants were recruited. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models, adjusting for weight status, education, race/ethnicity, income level, and years residing in the U.S., were used to assess the relationship between food security status and weight status, eating behaviors, the home food environment, meal planning and preparation, and perceived stress. Results Results concluded that food insecurity was more prevalent among parents reporting lower income levels compared to higher income levels (p=0.017). In adjusted models, higher perceived cost of fruits (p=0.004) and higher perceived level of stress (p=0.001) were associated with food insecurity. Given that the sample population was predominately women, a post-hoc analysis was completed on women only. In addition to the two significant results noted in the adjusted analyses, the women-only analysis revealed that food insecure mothers reported lower amounts of vegetables served with meals (p=0.019) and higher use of fast-food when tired or running late (p=0.043), compared to food secure mothers. Conclusion Additional studies are needed to further assess differences in stress levels between food insecure parents and food insecure parents, with special consideration for directionality and its relationship to weight status.

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2014

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Sociocultural Sensitivity: Risk Assessment and Health Outcomes

Description

Human health risk assessment is the process by which regulatory agencies estimate the potential for adverse health outcomes as a result of exposure to contaminated food, water, or environmental conditions (US EPA, 2014). However, the risk assessment process typically does

Human health risk assessment is the process by which regulatory agencies estimate the potential for adverse health outcomes as a result of exposure to contaminated food, water, or environmental conditions (US EPA, 2014). However, the risk assessment process typically does not require inputs to be culturally sensitive to the groups facing the potential health outcomes, and the guidelines suggest little emphasis on food security or food sovereignty, concepts which highlight the importance of access to healthy and culturally appropriate foods. This thesis outlines the theoretical concepts of food and environmental justice, framing them in the context of application to land based, rural communities such as Native American groups. This is significant due to the historically disproportionate contamination of Native lands by hazardous waste or other toxins. Three noteworthy case study examples featuring elements of oral exposure pathways to environmental contamination will be outlined and analyzed to articulate how, by incorporating locally-grounded knowledge, a risk assessment could uncover more accurate information, leading to more appropriate and effective mitigation techniques that uphold food and environmental justice principles. Finally, the trade offs between the expansion of local knowledge and the limitations on cultural consumption are discussed, with the conclusion that supports balancing these trade offs through locally grounded, community-driven assessment and mitigation of contamination.

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2019-12

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Food deserts, food hubs, and farmers markets in Arizona: an analysis of proximity and potential for increasing food access

Description

Food deserts are defined as regions with low average income, low accessibility to grocery stores, and high adverse health outcomes. Food deserts have thus become an important area of public health research, and many actions are being taken across the

Food deserts are defined as regions with low average income, low accessibility to grocery stores, and high adverse health outcomes. Food deserts have thus become an important area of public health research, and many actions are being taken across the country to "solve" the variety of problems food deserts represent. Despite the many solutions promoted to improve food security, healthy food access, and health outcomes among individuals living in food desert areas, not all activities have been critically assessed for their potential for sustained impact. Further, little research has been conducted in the state of Arizona regarding food-related ‘assets’ available to employ in solutions to food desert problems. This analysis gives a glimpse into the complex nature of food deserts, which are impacted by a variety of factors, from economics to public policy to culture. It further provides a current assessment of available assets for potential use in ameliorating the negative impacts of food deserts on Arizona citizens. A graphical asset mapping analysis offers specific consideration of farmers markets and food hubs to possibly aid food deserts in the state.

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2015

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Youth perspectives and future visions for community food security: an applied approach to participatory research in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

Food security literature has a heavy emphasis on physical barriers, often employing spatial analysis or market-based approaches, but the human dimensions of food security remain unexplored. This has resulted in a disconnect between the understanding of the problem and proposed

Food security literature has a heavy emphasis on physical barriers, often employing spatial analysis or market-based approaches, but the human dimensions of food security remain unexplored. This has resulted in a disconnect between the understanding of the problem and proposed interventions, as the contextual factors and lived experiences of residents are not considered. There are many barriers and opportunities for food security that are not spatially fixed (e.g. family relations, social capital) that may be important but are unrepresented in these types of studies. In order to capture these barriers and opportunities, community stakeholders need to play a fundamental role in the problem analysis and visioning stages. This study utilized community-based participatory research methods to engage an important stakeholder in the future food environment, youth, to 1) understand how the youth of Canyon Corridor describe their food environment, and thus capture contextual aspects of food security 2) adapt CBPR methods to engage youth in a visioning session to elicit their ideal community food environment and 3) determine if these applications of CBPR can empower youth of Canyon Corridor to mobilize towards a more secure food environment. I found that while the youth did identify many barriers to food security (i.e. transportation, cost, availability), this community also had significant strengths, particularly social capital, that allowed them to overcome what would be food insecurity. Despite their conclusions on food security, youth did desire many changes for the future food environment and felt increased empowerment after the workshops. Thus this shows the need for incorporating methods that also acknowledge the role of social and individual factors and how they interrelate with the physical environment in relation to food security.

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2012

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A participatory, transformational approach to urban food security research

Description

Contemporary urban food security in the US is influenced by complex, multidimensional, and multi-scale factors. However, most assessment methods and intervention efforts in food security research are: 1) narrowly focused on environmental factors (i.e. the presence or absence of quality

Contemporary urban food security in the US is influenced by complex, multidimensional, and multi-scale factors. However, most assessment methods and intervention efforts in food security research are: 1) narrowly focused on environmental factors (i.e. the presence or absence of quality food outlets), 2) divorced from the human dimension and, 3) ultimately disempower communities to affect change at the local level. New approaches are needed to capture the lived experiences and unique perspectives of people potentially most vulnerable to food insecurity, while also empowering people to become change agents in their lives and in the wider community. This thesis argues that sustainability problem solving frameworks such as transformational sustainability research (TSR), and community-based participatory research (CBPR) provide promising bases from which to address these deficiencies. Through interactive workshops with youth in Canyon Corridor, a neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona, I demonstrate the potential of concept mapping, sketch mapping, and intervention mapping methods that prioritize participation and co-production of knowledge to: 1) better understand the contextual, community-identified factors that contribute to food security or food insecurity, 2) identify and adapt interventions for the local context and, 3) promote community agency and action. Workshop outcomes suggest the relevance of these frameworks and methods, and the potential for more people- and place-based approaches to food security research.

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2012

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Mapping for healthier communities: using GIS technology as a tool for addressing food security

Description

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

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 response to the need to increase healthy food access, many farmers markets in the US have received funding from the USDA to accept vouchers from federal food security programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, one organization accepting vouchers from several programs is the Phoenix Public Market. However, the mere existence of these programs is not enough to establish food security within a community: characteristics of the population and food environments must also be considered. To examine issues of food security and public health, this thesis utilizes geographical information systems (GIS) technology as a tool to analyze specific environments in order to inform program effectiveness and future funding opportunities. Utilizing methods from community-based participatory research (CBPR) and GIS, a mapping project was conducted in partnership with the Market to answer three questions: (1) what is the demographic makeup of the surrounding community? (2) What retailers around the Market also accept food security vouchers? And (3) where are food security offices (SNAP and WIC) located within the area? Both in terms of demographic characteristics and the surrounding food environment, the project results illustrate that the Market is embedded within a population of need, and an area where it could greatly influence community food security.

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Date Created
2011