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Biomimetic Design Inspired through Macro-Ecological Photography

Description

This creative project explores how macro-ecological photography can serve as a community engagement tool for the field of biomimicry, meant to provoke interest in the subject. My photos, and the organisms pictured in them, were hand selected for this project

This creative project explores how macro-ecological photography can serve as a community engagement tool for the field of biomimicry, meant to provoke interest in the subject. My photos, and the organisms pictured in them, were hand selected for this project to form one cohesive, aesthetic set. The appeal of the colorful pictures captured the attention of audience members so they felt more inclined to learn about the informational content accompanying the art. Each picture is coupled with a scientific explanation as to how the pictured organism relates to the field of biomimicry, including concrete examples of its application. To maximize exposure of the project, I published my photos through a website and an e-book, and also presented them as a live photography exhibit on campus at Arizona State University.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Seed Beetle Abundance and Diversity in Urban and Rural Sites

Description

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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Date Created
2018-05

Evaluating Whole-School Sustainability

Description

Circles of Sustainability is a self-evaluation tool designed to build educator capacity in K-12 schools seeking sustainability solutions. Based on the Sustainable Schools Challenge Handbook from Memphis, Tennessee, Circles of Sustainability considers environmental impact and efficiency, a healthy and safe

Circles of Sustainability is a self-evaluation tool designed to build educator capacity in K-12 schools seeking sustainability solutions. Based on the Sustainable Schools Challenge Handbook from Memphis, Tennessee, Circles of Sustainability considers environmental impact and efficiency, a healthy and safe school environment, sustainability and environmental education, and engagement and empowerment as four key pillars of whole-school sustainability. Each pillar is composed of elements and rubric items, which are reviewed, totaled, and colored in on the front page of the tool to help educators visualize and evaluate the current state of sustainability at their school. Since its first iteration completed in May 2017, the tool has been used by 300 educators throughout the United States during ASU's Sustainability Teachers' Academy (STA) workshops. Circles of Sustainability is completed as part of an activity called "Evaluating Your Community," where educators complete the tool and then brainstorm sustainability projects and solutions for their school and community. This paper is a review and discussion of the research, informal feedback and formal feedback used to create the second iteration of the tool. A second iteration of the tool was created to make the tool more user-friendly and ensure each pillar, element, and rubric item are based in research. The informal feedback was conducted during STA workshops in Tempe, Arizona; Abingdon, Virginia; Princeton, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; Tucson, Arizona; and Charlotte, North Carolina. The formal feedback was conducted using a survey distributed to teachers who participated in the Tucson and Charlotte workshops. Overall, educators have responded positively to the tool, and the second iteration will continue to be used in future STA workshops throughout the United States.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Effects of Environmental Education on Students During a Pandemic

Description

This project consisted of creating at-home lesson plan activities for middle school sixth-grade students centered around environmental education topics. The lesson plan activities were informal for students to do at home by themselves or alongside their parents. I focused

This project consisted of creating at-home lesson plan activities for middle school sixth-grade students centered around environmental education topics. The lesson plan activities were informal for students to do at home by themselves or alongside their parents. I focused on Environmental Education topics such as awareness, animal and plant life so that students can learn more about the environments that surround them. Environmental Education invites students to look closer at the environment surrounding them while also helping them develop a sense of place and respect for their environment. My lesson plan activities encouraged students to go outside and learn more about their surroundings, developing an awareness and an appreciation for their natural setting. After implementing the lessons, I surveyed the students on the following 1) engagement: was the activity enjoyable 2) knowledge: what did you learn? and 3) the ease of the activity directions: what challenges did they face. After collecting the surveys, I analyzed them to see what went well, and changes I would make to future activities.

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Date Created
2021-05