Matching Items (24)

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An evaluation of the ecological and human health factors in protein source decisions

Description

Protein is an essential macronutrient in the human diet, but the source of this protein has both human health and environmental impacts. Health complications can result from protein deficiency, but

Protein is an essential macronutrient in the human diet, but the source of this protein has both human health and environmental impacts. Health complications can result from protein deficiency, but the practices by which protein sources are raised, grown, or harvested have environmental consequences, potentially reducing biodiversity, essential habitat, and crucial stocks of natural resources. Terrestrial cultivation encroaches on natural habitats and consumes resources inefficiently, while overfishing has greatly depleted wild fishery stocks. These environmental factors, along with concerns about nutrients, contaminants and the ethics of animal protein has led to confusion about weighing the risks and benefits associated with alternative sources of protein. Providing consumers \u2014 and policy makers \u2014 with a comprehensive account of major protein sources and their impacts in an understandable form is crucial to reducing environmental degradation and improving human health. Here I provide a general framework to compare the health and environmental impacts of livestock, seafood, and plant protein, and illustrate the application of this framework with case studies for each of these categories.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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A HISTORY AND COMPARISON OF WOLF CONSERVATION IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES AND ITALY

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Abstract This thesis is derived from the conservation biology field of study and seeks to chronicle and characterize the history of wolf conservation in the US, with a focus on

Abstract This thesis is derived from the conservation biology field of study and seeks to chronicle and characterize the history of wolf conservation in the US, with a focus on post-ESA listing and present day events. The compelling question this thesis seeks to address is how to make long-term wolf conservation effective and feasible in the United States. An overview of wolf life history is provided, as well as a brief overview of early wolf-human interactions in Europe and the US, before reviewing the following regions in the US: Yellowstone, Idaho/Montana/Wyoming, Alaska, and Arizona. The trend identified in all regions is described as a hostile political atmosphere with particular resentment by some stakeholders towards the federal enforcement of wolf conservation via the ESA. A comparative section on Italy is provided in contrast to this US theme, as Italy tends to have a much more relaxed attitude towards wolf conservation. For success in the future of wolf conservation three suggestions are made. First, efforts to protect wolves through federal regulation are to be dismissed. Second, efforts should instead focus on education of key demographics regarding responsible environmental management and wolf management specifically. Thirdly, conservationists must actively strive to remarket the wolf as a symbol of the freedom of the west as opposed to the symbol of Washington's encroachment on state's rights.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Emotion and learning in children attending summer science camp

Description

With the overall health of the environment rapidly declining \u2014 mostly due to human behaviors, solving the problem of nature deficit disorder and getting more children interested and aware of

With the overall health of the environment rapidly declining \u2014 mostly due to human behaviors, solving the problem of nature deficit disorder and getting more children interested and aware of nature could be paramount to improving the environmental health of our planet. In this study, the relationship between children's learning and emotion is explored. Pre- and post-tests were given to children attending a week-long summer freshwater ecology camp; their knowledge of and emotional connection to different ecological concepts were measured. Two separate ecosystems were tested \u2014 a freshwater ecosystem that was taught over the course of the week, and a marine ecosystem for comparison. Increases in knowledge and emotion were seen in every freshwater ecosystem concept. Additionally, the knowledge and emotion scores were correlated, suggesting a positive relationship between them. The marine ecosystem did not show improvements in concrete knowledge, but showed increases in abstract learning, indicating that the abstract concepts learned about the freshwater ecosystem were able to transfer to the marine. Overall results show the ability of a hands-on learning experience to foster an emotional connection between a child and the subject matter. However, long-term studies are needed to track the relationship between children and their knowledge of and emotional connection to the subject matter.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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The Ethics of Keeping Large Felids in Zoos

Description

This thesis aims to address the ethics of keeping the big cats, such as lions, tigers, and leopards, in zoos. It is a practice that has generated some controversy in

This thesis aims to address the ethics of keeping the big cats, such as lions, tigers, and leopards, in zoos. It is a practice that has generated some controversy in light of scientific studies reporting stress among wide-ranging animals in captive enclosures, as well as in the context of wider discussions in animal welfare and conservation ethics in zoos. A driving question for this project, therefore, was "What are the arguments for and against keeping large felids in zoos/captivity?" This thesis examines the historical and current ethical approaches to evaluating the ethics of maintaining big cats in zoos. Due to many of the big cat species listed as endangered species on the IUCN redlist, the species-centered approach to zoo ethics is becoming the common viewpoint, and, as a result, zoos are deemed ethical because of their contribution to ex situ conservation practices. Further, the ethical arguments against zoos are minimized when the zoos provide suitable and appropriate enclosures for their large felids. Of course, not all zoos are created equal; the ethics of zoos need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but in general, it is ethical to maintain big cats in zoos.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The Impacts of Conservation Practices on Indigenous Populations

Description

Conservation is a complicated entity consisting of a multitude of professional fields including social issues, cultural issues, and physical science. This thesis evaluates the positive and negative aspects of two

Conservation is a complicated entity consisting of a multitude of professional fields including social issues, cultural issues, and physical science. This thesis evaluates the positive and negative aspects of two broad types of conservation: top down fortress conservation and bottom up community-based conservation. Fortress conservation has many negative aspects, such as displacing human communities and preventing utilization of resources. However, it also has positive aspects, such as preventing the destruction of delicate ecosystems and slowing down extinctions. Community-based conservation is more inclusive and focuses on including the indigenous populations located within the proposed conservation site in the decision-making process. Its negatives include having an anthropocentric goal instead of valuing nature's intrinsic values. Understanding the differences inherent in these two methods is necessary in order to implement a conservation network with the highest chance for success.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Struggle for Existence: Mexican Gray Wolves in the American Southwest

Description

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is a genetically distinct subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) that was driven to the brink of extinction as a result of

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is a genetically distinct subspecies of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) that was driven to the brink of extinction as a result of human persecution. The wolf is listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and a recovery program is underway in Arizona and New Mexico to restore its population. However, the wolf is struggling to recover due to high mortality, which is a result of continued human hostility toward it. This thesis examines historical and current human attitudes toward the wolf and the implications that they have had on the extermination and recovery of the subspecies. An overview is given of wolf biology, the history of wolf extermination and recovery, and recent events relating to the recovery of the wolf. Negative impacts on ranching, hunting, and human safety are the main reasons for opposition toward wolves and wolf recovery; these concerns are analyzed, and solutions to them are proposed, with the goal of addressing them while fostering non-lethal coexistence with the wolf. In addition, opposition to wolves and wolf recovery is tied in with larger socio-political issues and is influenced by the representation of the wolf in culture; these issues in the context of wolves are also analyzed.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Psychological, Ecological, and Ethical Dimensions of Bottlenose Dolphin Captivity

Description

Bottlenose dolphins, or Tursiops truncates, have captured the attention of humans for centuries leading people to keep them in captivity. However, people's love and an increase in knowledge for these

Bottlenose dolphins, or Tursiops truncates, have captured the attention of humans for centuries leading people to keep them in captivity. However, people's love and an increase in knowledge for these creatures have sparked many ethical debates on whether dolphins should be kept in captivity. In this paper, I discuss the different dimensions of bottlenose dolphin captivity focusing on the physiological, psychological, ecological and ethical concerns raised when comparing captive to wild bottlenose dolphins. In an analysis of the scientific literature, I found that captive bottlenose dolphins experience negative physical and psychological effects, including a shorter life span and a decrease in brain size. They also engage in more risky and harmful behaviors. Preexisting brain structures in bottlenose dolphins indicate enhanced emotional processing possibly leading to a more difficult life in captivity. Furthermore, modeling of bottlenose dolphin social networks have found that removal of dolphins from existing populations have negative repercussions for ecological communities, particularly effecting present and future pods due to their complex social systems called fission fusion societies. Furthermore, removal can have a deleterious effect on the environment due to their role as top predators. Available data suggest that bottlenose dolphins should be classified as non-human persons due to their cognitive abilities such as self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, and symbolic communication. This moral classification demands significant human duties and responsibilities to protect these cetaceans. Due to their similarities to humans, these results suggest that keeping bottlenose dolphins in captivity is ethically questionable and perhaps unjustifiable as captivity violates their basic rights.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

Educational Workshops to Bring Awareness of Animal Related Careers in the Framework of Animal Welfare and Conservation

Description

American youth are not well exposed to animal- and nature-related careers. This is especially important to consider due to the recent push to be more environmentally conscious. In addition, youth

American youth are not well exposed to animal- and nature-related careers. This is especially important to consider due to the recent push to be more environmentally conscious. In addition, youth are spending less time outside and more time in front of screens. This is driving down biophilia strength. The combination of a weaker connection with nature and more screen time has been connected to a new condition named Nature-Deficit Disorder. In order to expose youth to animal- and nature-related careers while attempting to combat the growing presence of Nature-Deficit Disorder, a three day teaching program named Wild Careers was created. This program was presented to teens in December 2015 through a partnership with the education department of Arizona Animal Welfare League. The curriculum was centered on highlighting relevant careers and background information. Topics such as animal welfare and conservation were taught as cornerstones during the program due to their encompassing importance to the career fields in question. It was felt to be important to inform participants about the context of these fields through specially planned activities and guest speakers. Participants were challenged to conduct online research, think critically, and get hands-on during this program. Wild Careers also exposed the participants to animals and the relevant species management stories. The surveys given before and after the presentation of the created curriculum provided evidence that supported an increased understanding of careers and enjoyment of participants. I propose that other non-formal teaching environments should be created that target exposing youth to animals, nature, and related careers.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

Does Nature Nurture?: The Positive Impact of Outdoor Immersion on Physical and Mental Health, and the Creation of an Arizona Outdoor Adventure Guide

Description

Spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on the physical and mental health of individuals. These physiological and psychological benefits were comprehensively reviewed, accompanied by a brief history of

Spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on the physical and mental health of individuals. These physiological and psychological benefits were comprehensively reviewed, accompanied by a brief history of these views in American society and how modern programs are promoting outdoor activity. Some of the populations targeted in this research include children, veterans, the elderly, and the clinically ill. A guidebook for Arizona outdoor adventures \u2014 containing original landscape photography \u2014 was created to encourage ASU students to explore local hikes, campsites, and other outdoor opportunities near the city of Phoenix. Each entry contained a brief description of the area or trail, along with the distance from the ASU Tempe campus and information on the length and difficulty of the hike, if applicable. A section at the end of the book was aimed at education readers on basic outdoor survival protocol, as many people venture into the wild with very little understanding of the dangers associated with their activities. A website was made that mirrors the guidebook, but was intended to be a more accessible method of sharing our information. The final component of the project involved maintaining a social media account over the course of the year, allowing us to expand our reach to people beyond ASU and this community. Over the course of the project, the account gained a large following, and several posted photos went on to be featured on prominent regional accounts. By combining the four components described previously, several resources were created for people, particularly students attending ASU, to gain a better understanding of the outdoor adventures available to them, and the benefits that spending time surrounded by nature can have.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Compensatory Effects Drive Human Harvest-Natural Predation Dynamics of Sea Turtle Nests in Costa Rica

Description

Human consumption of sea turtle eggs, meat, and other products is considered to be a major threat to sea turtle populations worldwide. Declining populations are often attributed to anthropogenic pressures

Human consumption of sea turtle eggs, meat, and other products is considered to be a major threat to sea turtle populations worldwide. Declining populations are often attributed to anthropogenic pressures despite evident additional pressure from natural processes; however, depredation by natural or feral species such as raccoons, crabs, and dogs are often unknown. A popular tool for the conservation of marine turtle eggs is hatcheries, but their protection is limited by factors such as carrying capacity and timing or location of nests. The Rescue Center for Endangered Marine Species (CREMA) runs four sea turtle conservation projects on the nesting beaches of the Southern Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, where the predominant nesting activity is from Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), followed by sporadic Green (Chelonia mydas), Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). Two of these nesting projects are based in Costa de Oro and San Miguel, which are adjacent beaches divided by an estuary. Both projects use a hatchery where nests are usually relocated; however, when the hatchery is not available, nests are either relocated or left in situ at the beach. The aim of this study is to: 1) compare human harvest and depredation rates of nests relocated and left in situ. We reviewed data collected from 2012 to 2018 of nests relocated to a hatchery and left in situ at both nesting sites, and these data represent nesting conditions prior to relocation to a hatchery. We found that the nesting beach at Costa de Oro exhibits high rates of human harvest, which has decreased since the conservation project was established, while San Miguel exhibits comparatively low egg harvest but much higher depredation. Egg harvest in Costa de Oro decreases from approximately 50% of all nests in 2013 to 15% in 2018 while depredation on both beaches fluctuates year to year. Our results demonstrate that different pressures impact nesting beach success in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula along with natural threats, possibly due to contrasting community values and human populations. San Miguel has been protecting nests for over 20 years, whereas the Costa de Oro project only began in 2012. It also important to consider that depredation on the San Miguel nesting beach may be increased by human pressure such as in the case of domesticated animals, especially when the human population in San Miguel is consistently higher than in Costa de Oro. Persistence of depredation and human egg harvest alongside conservation efforts exhibit the prevalence of these pressures and suggest increased pressure if measures such as nightly patrols and hatchery protection were not utilized. We suggest a continuation of hatchery and patrol based conservation efforts as well as community outreach to attempt to merge cultural values with sea turtle conservation.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05