Matching Items (44)

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Psychological, Ecological, and Ethical Dimensions of Bottlenose Dolphin Captivity

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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

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Occurrence of a Pathogenic Fungus in Captive Arizona Amphibians

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Amphibians have been experiencing a worldwide decline that is in part caused by an infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, specific to frogs and salamanders. Globally many species have declined or gone extinct

Amphibians have been experiencing a worldwide decline that is in part caused by an infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, specific to frogs and salamanders. Globally many species have declined or gone extinct because of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, also known as the amphibian chytrid or Bd. By the time Bd was discovered it was too late to stop the spread and it has now been found on almost every continent. The trade of captive amphibians, used as pets, bait, and educational animals provides an opportunity to spread Bd. Because some amphibians can carry Bd without experiencing symptoms, it is possible for even healthy looking amphibians to spread the amphibian chytrid if they are moved from one location to another. Recently, a new species Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) was found on salamanders. Bsal was identified before it reached the United States, prompting concern regarding its spread and a call for regulation regarding the trade of captive amphibians. There are some regulations in place controlling the trade of amphibians, but they are insufficient to stop the spread of amphibian chytrid in captive populations. A 2016 law prohibits the importation of 201 salamander species. However, there is no central organization to sample or certify if amphibians are free from Bd or Bsal. Although some stores say they test for these pathogens the tests are unregulated and not reported to any central body. If the captive amphibian trade is to go disease free, there would need to be a significant push to coordinate testing efforts. To estimate Bd's prevalence in Arizona captive amphibian populations, I contacted pet stores, bait stores, and sanctuary or educational organizations to ask if I could sample their amphibian collections. My research built on the 2008 work of Angela Picco, who sampled for the amphibian chytrid in Arizona bait shops. I found that amphibian owners were often hesitant and unwilling to participate in this research opportunity. There are multiple reasons for this hesitancy including a fear of increased regulation, the potential for reporting to a government agency (USDA), or the eventual cessation of amphibian trade. The lack of willing participants suggests there may be difficulties in coordinating future sampling efforts for Bd and Bsal.

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  • 2018-05

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Instagram and Adoption Rates: The Impact of Proactive Social Media on Adoption Rates at the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA

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This thesis explores how we can harness new technology to improve our relationship with companion animals and promote shelter animal welfare. The study looked into using the photo-sharing application Instagram

This thesis explores how we can harness new technology to improve our relationship with companion animals and promote shelter animal welfare. The study looked into using the photo-sharing application Instagram to increase adoption rates at the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA. An Instagram page was created and managed for the shelter, and data was collected regarding the impact the page had on adoption rates. The results were mixed, but overall it was determined that the Instagram page has unique value for the shelter.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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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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  • 2017-05

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An Evaluation of the Inclusivity of the Conservation Biology and Ecology Concentration at Arizona State University

Description

The mainstream American environmental movement has a reputation for being ethnically homogenous (i.e., white), especially within the field of conservation. Low minority involvement has been noted and discussed in the

The mainstream American environmental movement has a reputation for being ethnically homogenous (i.e., white), especially within the field of conservation. Low minority involvement has been noted and discussed in the conservation literature and within environmental organizations, but these discussions aren't always informed by the explicit social justice concerns critical to understanding the complex intersection of environmental and social issues. Communities of color have expressed concern for environmental and conservation issues, but often frame those issues in a different way than is common in mainstream conservation science, a framing that we can appreciate through a deeper analysis of the values and goals of the environmental justice (EJ) movement. A more thorough inclusion of EJ principles could be an effective method to increase ethnic diversity in the field of conservation, particularly within higher education conservation programs like the Conservation Biology and Ecology (CBE) concentration at Arizona State University. This thesis frames the broader challenge of diversity in conservation, the history and current state of the conservation movement, and the history of the environmental justice movement via a literature review. I then evaluate the university's CBE program on the basis of its diversity through an analysis of demographic data on undergraduate ethnicity from the School of Life Sciences. I conclude with a series of recommendations for enhancing the diversity of ASU's CBE program moving forward.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Graffiti as an Art Form

Description

The first chapter of this essay will focus primarily on the history of graffiti from what is generally understood as its origin with the first writers who used spray paint

The first chapter of this essay will focus primarily on the history of graffiti from what is generally understood as its origin with the first writers who used spray paint as their tools of creation up until modern times. This chapter will look at how the history has formed the general perception of this art form and how it has changed over the years. The second chapter will discuss three archetypes of graffiti seen today. These archetypes are: city funded art murals, city or privately funded freewalls, and artistic mitigations of vandalism. Each of these archetypes will be explored via multiple real world examples and we will consider how each of these examples do or do not succeed in displaying graffiti as a well regarded public art form. The third chapter will propose another archetype for creating graffiti that has not been widely realized or put into practice. The third chapter will then speculate using the knowledge from the previous existing archetypes to discuss whether or not it could be utilized in the real world effectively and a conclusion will be drawn about the methods of graffiti that are practical and effective means to create well regarded art.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Effect of Park Educational Programs on Public Values, Knowledge of, and Attitudes toward Noncharismatic Species

Description

Current conservation practices are substantially biased towards large, charismatic animals and are influenced by public perceptions of different animals. Therefore, it is important to understand how these perceptions are formed

Current conservation practices are substantially biased towards large, charismatic animals and are influenced by public perceptions of different animals. Therefore, it is important to understand how these perceptions are formed and what factors influence them in order to promote equitable conservation for all species. This study examines the effect of attending a park education program on public values, knowledge of, and attitudes towards a noncharismatic species. Data was collected from May through October 2016 at the Usery Mountain Regional Park "All About Scorpions" program. A four page, onsite, self-administered pre- and post-program survey was given to program attendees. An identical survey was given to hiking park visitors who had never attended the program as the control sample. Survey statements addressed participant's demographics, value of bugs, knowledge about scorpions, and attitudes toward scorpions. Data analysis was completed using paired t-tests to analyze any statistically significant changes in values, knowledge, and attitudes between pre- and post-participants. Independent sample t-tests were used to analyze the same between the control and pre-participants. The results showed no difference in the value of bugs for any of the survey participants. However, the program attendees had more positive attitudes and greater knowledge of scorpions than general park visitors, and attending the program further increased positive attitudes and knowledge. Contributions of the study are twofold: First, the results provide Usery with information regarding the influence of their public programs, along with how these programs can be improved to make a greater impact. Second, findings serve to extend the literature on what alters public perceptions and how educational programs can be used to change the current conservation mindset.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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A Historical Examination of US Fire Policy to Explain Aircraft's Political and Policy-based Relationships Regarding Wildland Firefighting

Description

This thesis was written in order to understand the history of US fire policy and how aircraft's involvement in the fire scene has evolved since its first usage as a

This thesis was written in order to understand the history of US fire policy and how aircraft's involvement in the fire scene has evolved since its first usage as a surveillance tool. I formed an interest in aerial firefighting as soon as I started to learn how to fly when I was 16 because my instructors owned and operated Billings Flying Service, which provides helicopter-based aerial firefighting services. Last year I was able to be a part of an aerial crew and acted as a third crew member aboard a CH-47D, or Chinook. During this experience, I came to realize that firefighting was not as black and white as it seems it should be and observed a lot of inefficiency with aircraft usage. It was from the experience and resulting observations that I found the idea behind my thesis. However, I learned that in order to understand the contemporary fire policies and aircraft's role in them, the history of the fire policy had to be examined and understood. Therefore, I began this thesis with the first paid firefighters in US History and then worked toward the modern era. This historical examination of fire policies and aerial firefighting illustrates the transformations that these subjects had undergone and helped to reveal how the fire scene of today has come to be, especially regarding the fire industrial complex that has formed. In the end, I realized that fires were no longer being fought because they should be fought, but because people and politicians expected them to be fought and expected to see aircraft in the fight, no matter the cost or effectiveness. I conclude this thesis with my own thoughts on how fire policy should be changed in order to protect the environment and return the exorbitant cost of firefighting, especially regarding aerial firefighting resources, back to a reasonable size.

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  • 2017-05

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Ghost Lands

Description

Southern Arizona was once described as a "sea of grass" extending across the four major valleys, the Sulphur Spring Valley, the San Pedro Valley, the San Simon Valley and the

Southern Arizona was once described as a "sea of grass" extending across the four major valleys, the Sulphur Spring Valley, the San Pedro Valley, the San Simon Valley and the San Bernardino Valley. But today the majority of that land is covered with desert shrubs like mesquite, leaving little to none of the natural grasses that once dominated these valleys. By the late 1800s Americans were flocking to southern Arizona to take advantage of some of the lushest grasslands the United States had to offer. Yet today we can find very little of these grasslands remaining, and so the image of this once productive land has been long forgotten. This thesis/creative project takes an in-depth look at what the land in Cochise County, Arizona once was, what it has become, and what happened to cause these drastic changes. It looks at the four major theories as to what caused these changes. The first of which is the overgrazing of cattle through the cattle boom of the late 1800s. The second is the effect of climactic events like drought and an increase in aridity over time. The third is the encroachment of what was thought to be non-native mesquite, which choked out the natural grasses. And the fourth and final theory is that the overarching suppression of fire by settlers allowed desert shrubs to expand their ranges into the grasslands. Through historical records like newspaper articles, photo archives, land surveys, military travel journals, census data, weather records as well as prior research works and interviews with researchers, conservationists and ranchers, a history of these lands is presented to show the major turning points in the lands' use and determine what led to their deterioration.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12

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National Parks: Preserving the American Concept of Wilderness

Description

In “The Trouble of Wilderness,” William Cronon (1995) states the concept of wilderness, historically, is based on the romanticized ideal of the “untamed” frontier that influenced the American expansion ideals

In “The Trouble of Wilderness,” William Cronon (1995) states the concept of wilderness, historically, is based on the romanticized ideal of the “untamed” frontier that influenced the American expansion ideals in the late 1800s and early 1900s, including the initial conservation movement. This idea of wilderness is defined by “empty” lands that needed to be utilized by the civilized Anglo-Americans, or lands that needed to be preserved from human alterations. Wilderness was separate from humans and, therefore, was also thought to be land that had been unaltered by human touch. The disappearing frontier was being turned into farmlands and civilization, so the Anglo-Americans, the ones who culturally viewed undeveloped land as a place for recreation, wished to save the ‘wilderness’ that was not yet being used. But as will be discussed it was in fact being used just not by the Anglo-Americans. This wilderness that they were trying to preserve became the national parks, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite. Under this rationale, Indigenous peoples were forced off the land to create the illusion of these places fitting this romanticized idea of wilderness. This essay examines the national parks in context of this concept of wilderness being free from humans and how national parks rationalized the removal of Indigenous people from these “wild” lands by using this concept of wilderness. Specifically, it uses the history of Yellowstone and Yosemite parks, which are some of the first parks to enter the National Park System, as sites of understanding how the idea wilderness was conceptualized by the American government during the late 1800s as places that are separate from humans. This essay argues that these ideals are based on racist and xenophobic approaches that the early United States government used in regards to relationships with Indigenous people. To discuss these ideas, this paper will examine the language used in early government documents regarding the policies of the national parks along with art and writings from this time period to show how the public and government viewed these national parks and the Indigenous people in the surrounding areas. Particularly, this paper will consider the original documents that established the national parks and the language that was used in these documents. It will then compare these policies from the origins of the national parks to the policies in place now regarding Indigenous people, such as the reparations that are trying to be made in these areas.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05