Matching Items (22)

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Rapid Urban Growth in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: Monitoring Land Use Land Cover Dynamics of a Himalayan City with Landsat Imageries

Description

The Kathmandu Valley of Nepal epitomizes the growing urbanization trend spreading across the Himalayan foothills. This metropolitan valley has experienced a significant transformation of its landscapes in the last four

The Kathmandu Valley of Nepal epitomizes the growing urbanization trend spreading across the Himalayan foothills. This metropolitan valley has experienced a significant transformation of its landscapes in the last four decades resulting in substantial land use and land cover (LULC) change; however, no major systematic analysis of the urbanization trend and LULC has been conducted on this valley since 2000. When considering the importance of using LULC change as a window to study the broader changes in socio-ecological systems of this valley, our study first detected LULC change trajectories of this valley using four Landsat images of the year 1989, 1999, 2009, and 2016, and then analyzed the detected change in the light of a set of proximate causes and factors driving those changes. A pixel-based hybrid classification (unsupervised followed by supervised) approach was employed to classify these images into five LULC categories and analyze the LULC trajectories detected from them. Our results show that urban area expanded up to 412% in last three decades and the most of this expansion occurred with the conversions of 31% agricultural land. The majority of the urban expansion happened during 1989–2009, and it is still growing along the major roads in a concentric pattern, significantly altering the cityscape of the valley. The centrality feature of Kathmandu valley and the massive surge in rural-to-urban migration are identified as the primary proximate causes of the fast expansion of built-up areas and rapid conversions of agricultural areas.

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  • 2017-10-08

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Turning conflict into collaboration in managing commons: A case of Rupa Lake Watershed, Nepal

Description

A growing body of literature on the commons has provided fascinating and intricate insights on how some local institutions have successfully managed to avoid a seemingly inevitable “tragedy of the

A growing body of literature on the commons has provided fascinating and intricate insights on how some local institutions have successfully managed to avoid a seemingly inevitable “tragedy of the commons” once popularized by Garrett Hardin. Primarily benefitting from the recent studies on the commonpool resources conducted by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues, polycentric selforganization and autonomy, rather than the direct state or market control over the commons, are often recognized as key features of the long enduring commons. However, these commons are quite diverse and the outcomes are often multiple and complex, accentuating the needs to differentiate among multiple commons outcomes. Furthermore, relatively under-reported are the cases where the degradation of common-pool resources are actually halted, and even restored. This study examines both the turbulent history of fishery mismanagement in Rupa Lake, Nepal and its reversal built around the participation, engagement and inclusiveness in the governance of its watershed. We find that Rupa Lake’s experience tells two stories. Reflecting Hardin’s dire forecast, the Rupa Lake watershed verged on collapse as population grew and seemingly selfish behavior intensified under an open-access regime. But the users also found a way to rebound and reverse their course as they adopted a bottom-up approach to fishery management and established an innovative community institution, the ‘Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative’, dedicated to the sustainable governance of the commons. This case highlights how one community at the threshold of ‘tragedy’ transformed itself by turning conflict into collaboration, which we hope contributes to the effort of better understanding multiple commons.

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Date Created
  • 2015-09-18

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Knowledge Networks and Innovation for Creating Value in Biochar Production Systems

Description

Extensive literature exists examining the maximum mitigation potential of
biochar. This research has found biochar to hold massive potential as a means of stabilizing current levels of atmospheric carbon.

Extensive literature exists examining the maximum mitigation potential of
biochar. This research has found biochar to hold massive potential as a means of stabilizing current levels of atmospheric carbon. Furthermore, the research and resources to massively expand biochar production exist, yet one could easily argue the industry is not expanding quickly enough given its known potential benefits. This paper serves to address this lack of growth, and identified a lack of formalized networks for knowledge and innovation exchanges amongst biochar production firms as a leading obstacle to quick expansion. I focus on two particular biochar production firms operating in vastly different contexts and analyze both through a conceptual framework known as “knowledge networks”. In depth literature on the topic of knowledge networks highlight the dynamics of exchange, including the obstacles in establishing such a network. I applied the findings from a multitude of case studies centered around knowledge networks to biochar production, asserting that exchange networks centered around reciprocity would serve as a catalyst to the growth of the biochar industry. I also assert that public research institutions such as Arizona State University would play a critical role in such a network, as they would serve as a mutual party connecting two private entities. Private biochar production firms around the world would be exposed to new knowledge and information that would serve to maximize the energy value of their product while reducing the environmental externalities associated with their process.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Green Charcoal: Case of Innovation Ecosystem in Nepal’s Renewable Energy System

Description

There is an increasing need to understand and develop clean cooking technologies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The provision of clean energy where modern energy is not available is

There is an increasing need to understand and develop clean cooking technologies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The provision of clean energy where modern energy is not available is important in advancing the 17 sustainable development goals as set by the United Nations. Green charcoal is a cooking fuel technology made from ground and compressed biochar, an organic material made from heating a feedstock (biomass, forest residues, agriculture waste, invasive species, etc.) in an oxygen deprived environment to high temperatures. Green charcoal behaves similarly to wood charcoal or coal but is different from these energy products in that it is produced from biomass, not from wood or fossil fuels. Green charcoal has gained prominence as a cooking fuel technology in South-East Asia recently. Within the context of Nepal, green charcoal is currently being produced using lantana camara, an invasive species in Nepal, as a feedstock in order to commoditize the otherwise destructive plant. The purpose of this study was to understand the innovation ecosystem of green charcoal within the context of Nepal’s renewable energy sector. An innovation ecosystem is all of the actors, users and conditions that contribute to the success of a particular method of value creation. Through a series of field interviews, it was determined that the main actors of the green charcoal innovation ecosystem are forest resources governance agencies, biochar producers, boundary organizations, briquette producers, distributors/vendors, the political economy of energy, and the food culture of individuals. The end user (user segment) of this innovation ecosystem is restaurants. Each actor was further analyzed based on the Ecosystem Pie Model methodology as created by Talmar, et al. using the actor’s individual resources, activities, value addition, value capture, dependence on green charcoal and the associated risk as the building blocks for analysis. Based on ecosystem analysis, suggestions were made on how to strengthen the green charcoal innovation ecosystem in Nepal’s renewable energy sector based on actor-actor and actor-green charcoal interactions, associated risks and dependence, and existing knowledge and technology gaps. It was determined that simply deploying a clean cooking technology does not guarantee success of the technology. Rather, there are a multitude of factors that contribute to the success of the clean cooking technology that deserve equal amounts of attention in order to successfully implement the technology.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Impacts of new crop portfolios on water consumption in Maricopa County

Description

Agriculture is the second largest water consumer in the Phoenix Metropolitan region, after the municipal sector. A significant portion of the cultivated land and agricultural water demand is from the

Agriculture is the second largest water consumer in the Phoenix Metropolitan region, after the municipal sector. A significant portion of the cultivated land and agricultural water demand is from the production of animal feed, including alfalfa (~69% of total cropland area), corn (~8), and sorghum (-3%), which are both exported and needed to support local dairy industry. The goal of this thesis is to evaluate the impacts on water demand and crop production of four different crop portfolios using alfalfa, corn, sorghum, and feed barley. For this aim, the Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) platform and the embedded MABIA agronomic module are applied to the Phoenix Active Management Area (AMA), a political/hydrological region including most of Phoenix Metro. The simulations indicate that the most efficient solution is a portfolio where all study crop production is made up by sorghum, with an increase of 153% in crop yield and a reduction of 60% of water consumption compared to current conditions. In contrast, a portfolio where all study crop production is made up by alfalfa, which is primary crop grown in current conditions, decreased crop yield by 77% and increases water demand by 105%. Solutions where all study crop production is achieved with corn or feed barley lead to a reduction of 77% and 65% of each respective water demand, with a portfolio of all corn for study crop production increasing crop yield by 245% and a portfolio of all feed barley for study crop production reducing crop yield by 29%.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Governing the Commons: A Case Study of Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative

Description

This case study explores the institutions and governing strategies involved in the management of Rupa Lake in Kaski district in Western Nepal, particularly Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative. Methods

This case study explores the institutions and governing strategies involved in the management of Rupa Lake in Kaski district in Western Nepal, particularly Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative. Methods used for data collection include key informant interviews, household interviews, a focus group discussion and archival records. Institutions were examined for their effectiveness in sustaining natural and socioeconomic systems as perceived by community members. Based on a literature review and the results of the data collected, this thesis builds a case study highlighting Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative's strategies for governing its local watershed and formulates a framework for commons institutions that aim to achieve sustainable outcomes. Based on findings, I argue that no single form of governance is a panacea for solving commons problems, governing strategies should be implemented on a case-by-case basis, and institutions should be involved at multiple levels and always include local input. Additionally, a sustainable institution should provide benefits to society that it can see, function democratically and with transparency, promote a biodiverse ecosystem, elevate marginalized groups, and collaborate with other institutions. These "clumsy" institutions create a series of complex interactions that are robust and adaptive to reflect the ever-changing systems they aim to govern.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Biochar production methods and its use for water filtration in less developed settings

Description

After visiting Nepal and seeing the problem of potable drinking water, there needed to be a solution to purify it. Simultaneously, local national forests have been overrun with two invasive

After visiting Nepal and seeing the problem of potable drinking water, there needed to be a solution to purify it. Simultaneously, local national forests have been overrun with two invasive plant species: Mikania micrantha and Lantana camara. Both a very fast-growing species and can be turned into biochar. If the resulting is made through an effective process, then the community would be able to work less making each batch of biochar and make more money per batch, whereby the market already exists. The community could grow their profits even further by activating the created charcoal, which fetches an even better price. Most Importantly, among other important uses, the activated charcoal could also be used in clean drinking water systems. The prospect of using activated charcoal as water purifying agents can be tested in a future design of experiments. This design of experiments would assess the effectiveness of the activated charcoal, to determine which pore size is the most cost effective at filtering out pollutants. This thesis focuses on researching different types of biochar kilns, clean drinking water systems, and the use of charcoal in clean drinking water systems.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Can Biochar Be Converted into Activated Carbon?

Description

In Nepal, a viable solution for environmental management, food and water security is the production of biochar, a carbon material made of plants burned in low oxygen conditions. Currently, the

In Nepal, a viable solution for environmental management, food and water security is the production of biochar, a carbon material made of plants burned in low oxygen conditions. Currently, the biochar is manufactured into charcoal briquettes and sold on the market for energy usage, however this may not provide the best value for community members who make less than a dollar a day and sell the biochar for as little as 16 cents per kilogram. This thesis seeks to improve the price of biochar and help their livelihoods as well as explore innovative solutions. One way to improve biochar while addressing water security problems is to create activated carbon, which uses its heightened porosity to adsorb contaminants from water or air. Activated carbon is also worth 100x the price of biochar. This thesis evaluates the mass content of biochar produced in Nepal, comparing it to literature values, and performed gravimetric and thermogravimetric analysis, comparing it to Activated Charcoal. Analysis of the biochar system used in Nepal reveals that the byproduct of biochar, biofuels, is highly underutilized. The higher heating value of biochar is 17.95 MJ/kg, which is much lower than other charcoals which burn around 30 MJ/kg. Low volatile content, less than 5% in biochar, provides a smokeless briquette, which is favorable on the market, however low heating value and misutilizations of biofuels in the solution indicate that creating a briquette is not the best use for biochar. Ash content is really high in this biochar, averaging around 12% and it may be due to the feedstock, a composite between Mikania and Lantana, which have 5.23% and 10.77% ash content respectively. This does not necessarily indicate a poor quality biochar, since ash values can vary widely between charcoals. Producing activated charcoal from this biochar is a favored solution; it will increase the price of the biochar, provide water security solutions, and be an appropriate process for this biochar, where heating value and underutilization of biofuel byproducts pose a problem.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria: Public, Economic, and Medical Perspectives

Description

Antibiotics, bacteria, and the continuing trend of antibiotic resistance increasing in various bacteria strains is a complex and multifaceted set of relationships explored in this thesis. Examining a variety of

Antibiotics, bacteria, and the continuing trend of antibiotic resistance increasing in various bacteria strains is a complex and multifaceted set of relationships explored in this thesis. Examining a variety of published literature in various sectors of influence, including the social, medical, and economic divisions, this thesis examined the core factors and combined them into a set of recommendations for future progress. In this way, the subject of antibiotic resistance in bacteria begins with an evaluation of the history then continued into an analysis of the economic factors, a social understanding of the subject, a medical evaluation of current procedure, and a concluding framework and general set of recommendations for future use. Ultimately, these factors require a multifaceted approach in order to combat the numerous factors and contributions to emerging antibiotic resistance in bacteria both in the United States of America and around the world.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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THE CENTRE CANNOT HOLD: TOWARDS A NETWORK THEORY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

Description

In this comprehensive critique of the ontological primacy of individualism and the modern state, Brian Dorman seeks to reframe contemporary political theory, reorienting it towards critical reflection on the complex

In this comprehensive critique of the ontological primacy of individualism and the modern state, Brian Dorman seeks to reframe contemporary political theory, reorienting it towards critical reflection on the complex dynamics of interactivity and away from the traditional, state-centric, rational-actor model that dominates international relations scholarship. Because we live in an interestingly interconnected world, Dorman argues that a social network theory and an inclusive and robust cosmopolitanism potentially offer viable alternative theoretical frameworks which may further inform how the future of global governance might unfold.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05