Matching Items (10)

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Engineering, Border Walls & Wildlife: The Case of the US-Mexico Border

Description

The purpose of this study is to spark a discussion for engineers and their firms to consider the impact of border barriers on wildlife. The focus of this study is

The purpose of this study is to spark a discussion for engineers and their firms to consider the impact of border barriers on wildlife. The focus of this study is to consider if or how engineers make those considerations, such as through design modifications. Barriers block wildlife migration patterns, disabling them from life-sustaining resources. This is particularly important due to an increasing trend in habitat loss, urban development, and climate change. During literature analysis of border barrier impacts, and outreaching to relevant organizations and individuals, there was little to no public documentation or discussion from the engineering community found. Discussion that was found is included in this study, but the lack of connection between conservation and engineering professionals is eminently profound. Therefore, the analysis of studying engineering design considerations additionally studied the relationship between environmental and engineering professionals. Types of research included involves literature analysis of journal articles, reports, project plans for construction, and environmental laws pertinent to wildlife impact.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

Animation: Appeal and Empathy

Description

The purpose of this project was prove that animated characters have a unique appeal to the empathy of viewers, and to then create assets that could be used in an

The purpose of this project was prove that animated characters have a unique appeal to the empathy of viewers, and to then create assets that could be used in an effective way to spread awareness about endangered species. I sought to explore in what ways animation connects to individuals, and how those connections can be used to create empathy towards endangered animal species. I created two surveys as a way of measuring the connections between participants and the elements of two videos about wildlife conservation; one animated and one live-action. After surveying over 130 people, I found that the video with animated animal characters evoked strong emotions from 82.5% of participants. This, combined with participant interest in other elements such as color and animated style, prompted me to create two animal characters that could be used for educational animated short films. I created character designs for a Galapagos penguin and a black-horned rhinoceros, 3D modeled environments, a storyboard and script for a short video featuring the rhinoceros, and a 3D model and animated walk-cycle for the penguin. These elements were created with the idea that they could be used in order to create educational animated videos about endangered species. The biggest takeaway from this project is that while the aesthetics and characters of animation are important to viewers, it is also important that they are able to learn not only about the endangered species, but how they can contribute to wildlife conservation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Conservation of Avian Species: Examining the Prevalence of Urban and Non-Urban Bird Species Admitted to Wildlife Centers in the Greater Phoenix Area

Description

Due to the widely accepted trend of urbanization displacing wildlife from their natural habitats and niches, many wildlife conservation organizations have sprouted up, even in Phoenix. Liberty Wildlife Foundation is

Due to the widely accepted trend of urbanization displacing wildlife from their natural habitats and niches, many wildlife conservation organizations have sprouted up, even in Phoenix. Liberty Wildlife Foundation is one that rehabilitates avian wildlife. Several studies have mentioned an opposing theory: that urbanization helps conserve those species that have turned urban environments into a niche of their own. Since these wildlife conservation centers are localized in cities themselves, this brings into question these organizations' definitions of the term "wildlife." This study examined injury and recovery statistics to determine just how many of the patients admitted were conventional wildlife versus urban-dwelling city birds, and whether this classification had any effect on their likeliness of recovery and release. The data showed that out of over 130 species, a few key urban species contributed to an overwhelmingly large majority of injured birds admitted to the center in 2017; urban and non-urban birds, however, had relatively equal average release frequencies, demonstrating then that their likelihood of recovery was predominantly dependent on the injury borne by them.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Using twitter to examine animal sightings in urban areas during COVID-19 shut-downs during 2020

Description

In this project, I examined the relationship between lockdowns implemented by COVID-19 and the activity of animals in urban areas. I hypothesized that animals became more active in urban areas

In this project, I examined the relationship between lockdowns implemented by COVID-19 and the activity of animals in urban areas. I hypothesized that animals became more active in urban areas during COVID-19 quarantine than they were before and I wanted to see if my hypothesis could be researched through Twitter crowdsourcing. I began by collecting tweets using python code, but upon examining all data output from code-based searches, I concluded that it is quicker and more efficient to use the advanced search on Twitter website. Based on my research, I can neither confirm nor deny if the appearance of wild animals is due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. However, I was able to discover a correlational relationship between these two factors in some research cases. Although my findings are mixed with regard to my original hypothesis, the impact that this phenomenon had on society cannot be denied.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Conservation in Zoos

Description

Zoos are doing amazing projects to help wildlife globally and locally. A lot of people aren't aware of what goes on with these conservation projects because much of it happens

Zoos are doing amazing projects to help wildlife globally and locally. A lot of people aren't aware of what goes on with these conservation projects because much of it happens behind the scenes. So I decided to make a film to explain how zoos facilitate our world's wildlife. My film can be viewed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JmLGf138zY

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Wildlife Strikes at Airports: What are the Contributing Factors?

Description

In the U.S., less than 20 percent of wildlife strikes are reported, which leaves a large portion of incidents unaccounted for. Although wildlife strikes at airports often go unreported, since

In the U.S., less than 20 percent of wildlife strikes are reported, which leaves a large portion of incidents unaccounted for. Although wildlife strikes at airports often go unreported, since the early 1990's the number of wildlife strikes has increased five-fold and the number of damaging strikes has increased 1.5-fold. Goals for this project include determining if biological and landscape variables are good predictors of wildlife strikes. We define response variables as the number of reported wildlife strikes per 10,000 airport operations. We studied seven major airports around Phoenix, Arizona and 30 large airports in the western U.S. In the Phoenix metro valley, airports varied from having 0.3 strikes per year per 10,000 operations to having 14.5 strikes from 2009 to 2013. We determined bird richness by using the citizen-science database "eBird,"and measured species richness within a 15 kilometer area of each airport. Species richness between hotspots ranged from 131 to 320. Seasonal differences were determined using an analysis of variance (ANOVA) analysis for the seven Phoenix metro airports as well as the 30 western U.S. airports. Our results showed that there was a seasonal difference in wildlife strikes in the majority of our airports. We also used land use data from CAP LTER to determine any environmental factors such as vicinity to water or fence line located within five kilometers from airports using ArcGIS. These results are important because they are helpful in determining the factors influencing wildlife strikes based on the number of strikes reported.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Blank National Park

Description

Our thesis project, blanknationalpark.com, asked one question : how is climate change impacting National Parks in America? We decided to travel to three different areas: Joshua Tree, Glacier and Everglades

Our thesis project, blanknationalpark.com, asked one question : how is climate change impacting National Parks in America? We decided to travel to three different areas: Joshua Tree, Glacier and Everglades National Park. It didn’t take long to discover that there was never a definitive answer. The effects of climate change looked different in every park we visited. Joshua Tree was struggling with changes in temperature, climate regime and an increase in fires. The U.S Geological Survey predicted that all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park could be gone by 2030. Everglades National Park was facing the constant threat of sea-level rise, invasive species and stronger hurricanes. However, in every park, one thing was certain - they all would not have their iconic features in the future due to climate change. For our thesis, we created blanknationalpark.com to emphasize the fact that Joshua Tree National Park won’t have Joshua Trees in the coming centuries, glaciers would cease to exist in Glacier National Park and the entire Everglades ecosystem itself will be underwater in the next century and a half. Thus, our project name, “Blank National Park”, pays tribute to the uncertainty of what these famous landscapes could look like in the future. Our main goal was to provide the public with a visual experience that is not only informative but engaging so that we could provide an educational experience about a critical situation without appearing too dismal. We chose to include our last page, ‘Solutions’, to establish hope for the future, and encourage people to take action to help preserve National Parks and the world we live in.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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It All Comes Out in the Wash: Mammal Use of Riparian Corridors in Semi-Arid Sonora, Mexico

Description

Land use change driven by human population expansion continues to influence

the integrity and configuration of riparian corridors worldwide. Wildlife viability in semi-arid regions depend heavily on the connectivity of riparian

Land use change driven by human population expansion continues to influence

the integrity and configuration of riparian corridors worldwide. Wildlife viability in semi-arid regions depend heavily on the connectivity of riparian corridors, since water is the primary limiting resource. The Madrean Archipelago in northern Mexico and southwestern United States (US) is a biodiversity hotspot that supports imperiled wildlife like jaguar (Panthera onca) and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). Recent and ongoing infrastructure developments in the historically understudied US-México borderlands region, such as the border wall and expansion of Federal Highway 2, are altering wildlife movement and disconnecting essential habitat.

I used wildlife cameras to assess species occupancy, abundance, and related habitat variables affecting the use of washes as corridors for mammals in semi-arid Los Ojos (LO), a private ranch within a 530 km2 priority conservation area in Sonora, México located south of the border and Federal Highway 2. From October 2018 to April 2019, I deployed 21 wildlife cameras in five different riparian corridors within LO. I used single- season occupancy models and Royal Nichols abundance models to explore the relationship between habitat variables and use of riparian corridors by mammal communities of conservation concern within this region.

Twenty-one mammal species were recorded in the study area, including American black bear (Ursus americanus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and the first sighting of jaguar (Panthera onca) in this region in 25 years. For the 11 medium- and large-bodied mammals recorded, habitat variables related to perennial river characteristics (distance to river, weekly water, and site width) and remoteness (distance from highway, elevation, and NDVI) were important for occupancy, but the direction of the relationship varied by species. For commonly observed species such as mountain lion (Puma concolor) and white-nosed coati (Nasua narica), topographic variety was highly informative for species abundance. These results highlight the importance of habitat diversity when identifying corridors for future protection to conserve wildlife communities in semi-arid regions. Additionally, this study provides robust evidence in support of mitigation measures (e.g. funnel fencing, over- or under- passes) along Federal Highway 2, and other barriers such as the border wall, to facilitate wildlife connectivity.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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The role of environmental education for biodiversity conservation: a case study in the protected areas of Nepal

Description

Balancing conservation goals and needs of local residents is always challenging. While some believe protected areas are a safe paradise for wildlife, others suggest that it is shortsighted to ignore

Balancing conservation goals and needs of local residents is always challenging. While some believe protected areas are a safe paradise for wildlife, others suggest that it is shortsighted to ignore the social and economic challenges faced by people who live adjacent to protected areas when addressing conservation objectives. This dissertation explores the link between biodiversity conservation and environmental education programs (EEPs) administered to residents of buffer zones adjacent to three protected areas in the Terai Arc Landscape, Nepal. Using surveys and interviews, this study examined 1) the influence of EEPs on attitudes of local people toward biodiversity conservation; 2) the influence of EEPs on conservation behavior; 3) the responses toward biodiversity conservation of local people residing in buffer zones who have received different levels of EEPs; and 4) the effect of EEPs on wildlife populations within adjacent protected areas. Local people who had participated in EEPs and attended school were more likely to express a positive attitude toward conservation goals than participants who had not participated in EEPs or had the opportunity to attend school. Participation in EEPs and level of education favored expressed behavior toward conservation goals, such as making contributions for conservation or supporting anti-poaching patrols. However, EEP participants and non-participants were equally likely to engage in activities that were at odds with positive conservation behavior, such as collecting fuel wood or killing wildlife to protect their farm or feed their families. A direct comparison of EEPs given by schools versus non-government organizations showed that EEPs were largely ineffective in promoting positive conservation attitudes and behaviors. Despite heavy poaching of charismatic species such as the greater one-horned rhinoceros or tiger over past decades, Nepal recently celebrated ‘zero poaching years’ in 2011 and 2013, largely due to increased anti-poaching enforcement. The relationship between EEPs and the decline in poaching is unclear, although local officials all claimed that EEPs played an important role. These results indicate that current administration of EEPs in Terai buffer zone communities is inadequate, while also providing evidence that properly administrated EEPs may become a valuable investment for these protected areas to achieve long-term success.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

The Backyard Biodiversity Project: What is in Your Backyard?

Description

As urbanization continues, critical wildlife may be lost. Residential landscapes, that are friendly to wildlife, can help protect biodiversity and advance sustainability. Urbanites who landscapes their yards to attract wildlife,

As urbanization continues, critical wildlife may be lost. Residential landscapes, that are friendly to wildlife, can help protect biodiversity and advance sustainability. Urbanites who landscapes their yards to attract wildlife, can also gain greater knowledge and appreciation of nature. This project proposed an educational approach to encourage four households in the Victory Acres neighborhood in Tempe, Arizona to landscape their gardens with more than just aesthetics and food production as their goals. I developed a booklet on backyard biodiversity to provide the residents with information about the kinds of plants they could incorporate in their yards to attract pollinating species such as butterflies, bees, and birds. It was found that the process of using the guideline to change the landscaping of their yards, changed how the residents thought about gardening and biodiversity. All residents acquired a basic understanding of how important biodiversity is and the mutual dependence between humans and their ecosystem. The booklet also included information that enabled residents to use companion planting to increase yields, attract beneficial insects, control pests, and provide access to healthy, affordable, fresh, and chemical-free produce. These efforts contributed to the project’s goals of maximizing nature conservation efforts and reducing the disconnect between people and nature.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-04-27