Matching Items (9)

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Does Inclusivity Really Matter? The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Farm-Based Internship Programs

Description

Current farming demographics in the United States indicate an aging and overwhelmingly white group of farmers, stimulating the need for engaging a younger and more diverse population. There is an

Current farming demographics in the United States indicate an aging and overwhelmingly white group of farmers, stimulating the need for engaging a younger and more diverse population. There is an opportunity to engage these populations through farm-based internship and apprenticeship programs, which are immersive programs on small-scale, sustainable farms. These programs are unique in providing hands-on training, housing, meals, and a stipend in return for labor, presenting a pathway to social empowerment. The potential outcomes of increasing diversity and inclusion in farm programs are absent from the research on the benefits of diversity and inclusion in other work environments, such as the corporate setting. This paper presents the results of a study aimed at determining levels of diversity and inclusion in United States farm-based internship programs, and the viability of these programs as an effective opportunity to engage marginalized young people in farming. The study of 13 farm owners and managers across the U.S. found that the participants are focused on fostering education and training, environmental benefits, and a sense of community in their respective programs. All participants either want to establish, or believe they currently have, an inclusive workplace on their farm, but also indicated a barrier to inclusivity in the lack of a diverse applicant pool. Future recommendations for removing that barrier and involving more young, diverse interns include increased outreach and access to these programs, the use of inclusive language, and further research.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

The Impact of Non-GMO Labeling on Willingness to Pay

Description

What effect do the Non-Message Labeling Factors (Color, Font, Prominence, and Placement) and Customer Belief Frameworks (Institutional Trust, Eco-Label Framework, and Information Source) have on customers' Willingness to Pay (WTP)

What effect do the Non-Message Labeling Factors (Color, Font, Prominence, and Placement) and Customer Belief Frameworks (Institutional Trust, Eco-Label Framework, and Information Source) have on customers' Willingness to Pay (WTP) for non-GMO Products? The topic of this study is consumer behavior, placed in the context of food history and trends in the United States. This paper also offers a set of best practices for people pursuing a non-GMO product labeling strategy. The method involved an online survey of 217 Arizona State University students who were offered extra credit in their classes in exchange for participation (Appendix 1). The qualitative survey asked participants to measure and explain their preferences for certain non-message labeling factors (color, font, size). Participants also gave information about the Customer Belief Frameworks they use when making purchasing decisions, which consist of ideas and beliefs that are independent of the packaging. The results of the survey led me to create a set of recommended guidelines when designing packaging for a non-GMO product. The survey also gathered qualitative data about Information Source, Biospheric Values, and Institutional Trust. The Review of Literature explains how these Customer Belief Frameworks were previously used in packaging studies to explore external factors that also influence the purchase decision. Given the results of the exploratory survey, I recommend employing the following attributes in non-GMO labeling to maximize profits: utilize labels with green color, wide and light san-serif fonts and in a circular shape. Managers pursuing this strategy should use the verbiage "Non-GMO Verified" rather than simply "Non-GMO", or including the words "Process" and "Project" which can add to consumers' confusion. For added fluency, use medium size and centralized size of the label on the packaging, close in proximity to the brand name. In addition, the Eco-Label Framework findings suggest including messages which appeal to altruistic values can also be beneficial, as participants were mostly concerned with altruistic values (children, family) when talking about genetic modification, climate change and natural disasters.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Rise in Prevalence of Food Allergies

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States announced that there has been roughly a 50% increase in the prevalence of food allergies among people between the

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States announced that there has been roughly a 50% increase in the prevalence of food allergies among people between the years of 1997 - 2011. A food allergy can be described as a medical condition where being exposed to a certain food triggers a harmful immune response in the body, known as an allergic reaction. These reactions can range from mild to fatal, and they are caused mainly by the top 8 major food allergens: dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. Food allergies mainly plague children under the age of 3, as some of them will grow out of their allergy sensitivity over time, and most people develop their allergies at a young age, and not when they are older. The rise in prevalence is becoming a frightening problem around the world, and there are emerging theories that are attempting to ascribe a cause. There are three well-known hypotheses that will be discussed: the Hygiene Hypothesis, the Dual-Allergen Exposure Hypothesis, and the Vitamin-D Deficiency Hypothesis. Beyond that, this report proposes that a new hypothesis be studied, the Food Systems Hypothesis. This hypothesis theorizes that the cause of the rise of food allergies is actually caused by changes in the food itself and particularly the pesticides that are used to cultivate it.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-12

Feed Your Senses

Description

Feed Your Senses is an illustrated book made to holistically communicate links between local food systems and cultural wellbeing. Food was the center of my household growing up; my mom’s

Feed Your Senses is an illustrated book made to holistically communicate links between local food systems and cultural wellbeing. Food was the center of my household growing up; my mom’s love of food, cooking, and experimenting with flavors molded my palette from a young age. As I got older, I realized that everyone has a deeply personal relationship with their food - no matter what their upbringing. My developing interests in food took off when I started traveling and experiencing the uniqueness and vibrancy of food culture. Food became the object of every trip I took.

The summer after my Junior year, I studied abroad in Denmark and was given the opportunity to create my own research topic. My interest in Sustainability has always revolved around food, so I started thinking about ways that I could incorporate this interest with the geographical backdrop of Århus, Denmark. Food is a medium for so many uniquely human creations: celebrations, art, connection, and taste. Food is also a big driver of climate change, as the meat and agriculture industries account for more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions. However, I wanted to research more than food. I wanted to incorporate balance; a balance of local and global food systems, a balance of individual and community relationships, and a balance of science and art. I wanted to show how food is a driving force in achieving global sustainability and resilience.

After much contemplation, I began researching the connections between local food and community wellbeing in the city. I interviewed farm-to-table chefs, local farmers, farmer’s market vendors, street food vendors, and consumers on their relationships with food. The topic itself was flexible and open-ended enough so that each interviewee could relate it to their lives in a unique way. I loved the research so much that I decided to continue interviewing stakeholders in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Through the continuation of my research in Arizona, I was able to include a comparative element that offered a better perspective on the matter. I found that the history of the country itself has a significant influence on people’s mindsets and actions surrounding food and the environment. The common theme I heard from all interviewees, however, was their confidence in the power of food to unite people to one another and to the natural world.

I chose to create this illustrated book because my research experience was a whole and inseparable experience; it could never be fully expressed in words. I wanted my project to be an intellectual and visual map of my journey, inspiring the reader to go on a journey of their own. Therefore, I partnered with an undergraduate art student at Arizona State University, Sofia Reyes, to help create my vision. I shared my experiences, photos, and stories with her so that she could create the beautiful watercolor paintings that make the book so visually appealing and accessible to all demographics. The images act as a way of engaging all of our human senses, initiating a stronger connection to the material presented.

Creating this project was my favorite experience as an undergraduate, and I feel fortunate to be able to tell the stories of those intimately tied to the local food system. I am in the process of entering my book in various competitions including Writer’s Digest, Reader’s Favorites, The Food Sustainability Media Award, and The Indie Book Awards. I am also going on to publish the book through a small publishing company.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

Farm households in transition: A case study of agricultural industrialization and agroecological impacts on Prince Edward Island, Canada

Description

The history of agricultural industrialization, a complex transition with global and local drivers and effects, is enhanced when local participants in the transition--farm households--contribute to the narrative. This thesis presents

The history of agricultural industrialization, a complex transition with global and local drivers and effects, is enhanced when local participants in the transition--farm households--contribute to the narrative. This thesis presents an in-depth case study of the household-level motivations and ecological impacts of agriculture during industrialization in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, c. 1960s-present. After a review of the theoretical frameworks for agricultural change studies, the historical context of PEI’s agricultural industrialization and the province-wide ecological effects are analyzed by interpreting historical, scientific, and grey literature. Then, a discussion of farm households’ role in connecting large-scale (often exogenous) factors with small-scale factors provides the background to the novel study, “The Back 50 Project”. Using a public participatory historical GIS (PPHGIS) online survey, this study invited PEI’s agricultural community to use historical maps to describe the agricultural land use change (ALUC) they have engaged in and observed since the start of industrialization. This study found that the strongest motivations for ALUC were proximate causes—namely, households’ resources and goals—rather than high-level historical drivers. The reported agroecological effects tended to concern on-farm ecosystems more than off-farm ecosystems, and they ranged in their harm or benefit, with harmful impacts following the historical contexts. Finally, the synthesis of these historical and ecological contexts with this household-level study aims to create a holistic narrative of PEI’s agricultural change over the past fifty years and provide recommendations for PEI’s future sustainable agricultural development.

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Date Created
  • 2020-12

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From “Open Country” to “Open Space”: Park Planning, Rapid Growth and Community Identity in Tempe, Arizona, 1949-1975

Description

Tempe experienced rapid growth in population and area from 1949 to 1975, stretching its resources thin and changing the character of the city. City boosters encouraged growth through the 1950s

Tempe experienced rapid growth in population and area from 1949 to 1975, stretching its resources thin and changing the character of the city. City boosters encouraged growth through the 1950s to safeguard Tempe’s borders against its larger neighbor, Phoenix. New residents moved to Tempe as it grew, expecting suburban amenities that the former agricultural supply town struggled to pay for and provide. After initially balking at taking responsibility for development of a park system, Tempe established a Parks and Recreation Department in 1958 and used parks as a main component in an evolving strategy for responding to rapid suburban growth. Through the 1960s and 1970s, Tempe pursued an ambitious goal of siting one park in each square mile of the city, planning for neighborhood parks to be paired with elementary schools and placed at the center of each Tempe neighborhood. The highly-publicized plan created a framework, based on the familiarity of public park spaces, that helped both long-time residents and recent transplants understand the new city form and participate in a changing community identity. As growth accelerated and subdivisions surged southward into the productive agricultural area that had driven Tempe’s economy for decades, the School-Park Policy faltered as a planning and community-building tool. Residents and city leaders struggled to reconcile the loss of agricultural land with the carefully maintained cultural narrative that connected Tempe to its frontier past, ultimately broadening the role of parks to address the needs of a changing city.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Diagnosing a silent epidemic: the historical ecology of metal pollution in the Sonoran Desert

Description

This research investigates the biophysical and institutional mechanisms affecting the distribution of metals in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. To date, a long-term, interdisciplinary perspective on metal pollution in the

This research investigates the biophysical and institutional mechanisms affecting the distribution of metals in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. To date, a long-term, interdisciplinary perspective on metal pollution in the region has been lacking. To address this gap, I integrated approaches from environmental chemistry, historical geography, and institutional economics to study the history of metal pollution in the desert. First, by analyzing the chemistry embodied in the sequentially-grown spines of long-lived cacti, I created a record of metal pollution that details biogeochemical trends in the desert since the 1980s. These data suggest that metal pollution is not simply a legacy of early industrialization. Instead, I found evidence of recent metal pollution in both the heart of the city and a remote, rural location. To understand how changing land uses may have contributed to this, I next explored the historical geography of industrialization in the desert. After identifying cities and mining districts as hot spots for airborne metals, I used a mixture of historical reports, maps, and memoirs to reconstruct the industrial history of these polluted landscapes. In the process, I identified three key transitions in the energy-metal nexus that drove the redistribution of metals from mineral deposits to urban communities. These transitions coincided with the Columbian exchange, the arrival of the railroads, and the economic restructuring that accompanied World War II. Finally, to determine how legal and political forces may be influencing the fate of metals, I studied the evolution of the rights and duties affecting metals in their various forms. This allowed me to track changes in the institutions regulating metals from the mining laws of the 19th century through their treatment as occupational and public health hazards in the 20th century. In the process, I show how Arizona’s environmental and resource institutions were often transformed by extra-territorial concerns. Ultimately, this created an institutional system that compartmentalizes metals and fails to appreciate their capacity to mobilize across legal and biophysical boundaries to accumulate in the environment. Long-term, interdisciplinary perspectives such as this are critical for untangling the complex web of elements and social relations transforming the modern world.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Children of the Mother Road: Route 66, Regional Transformation, and Community Identity in Northwestern Arizona, 1882-1989

Description

This dissertation explores the role transportation infrastructure played in regional and community development in northwestern Arizona from 1882 to 1989. Transportation infrastructure undergirds the economic viability and development of most

This dissertation explores the role transportation infrastructure played in regional and community development in northwestern Arizona from 1882 to 1989. Transportation infrastructure undergirds the economic viability and development of most American regions and communities. In northwestern Arizona, following a process familiar throughout the American West, the initial construction of railroad transportation infrastructure fundamentally transformed the area from sparsely populated space to an industrialized region centered on railroad created townsites. Although critical to regional development and growth, U.S. Route 66 was added well after the initial railroad period. In total, regional transformation occurred in four phases: Railroad, Route 66, I-40, and post-bypass. For regional residents, Route 66 was the most important phase transforming railroad created spaces into functional communities. Yet, despite maturing as communities, each of these towns also struggled with the same racial and class divides as the larger nation. From the early railroad period, through WW2, tourism was present in the region, but an ancillary part of the economy focused on visiting environmental attractions like the Grand Canyon. After WW2, it became more important as regional industrialism faded and traffic levels rose on Route 66. However, as long as Route 66 remained a primary highway, tourism retained its focus on the environment. As much as the construction of transportation infrastructure provided initial access to the region and founded towns, the later regional highway and railroad bypasses cut-off many of these communities from the source of their economic livelihood. Regional towns lucky enough to be integrated into the new interstate highway system like Kingman profited and grew; towns bypassed by the interstate and railroad withered and were forced to reinvent themselves to survive. This post-bypass reinvention took the form of a non-environmental focused mythic tourism connected to an emerging national Route 66 nostalgia movement that envisioned the lost Route 66 as representative of a better, more authentic America. The association with the national Route 66 nostalgia myth successfully attracted tourists but came at the cost of regional communities losing a more realistic understanding of their past and becoming disassociated from their previous community identity.

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Date Created
  • 2021