Matching Items (315)

The History and Practical Applications of Video Games as a Medium for Dispersing Knowledge of and Generating Discussion Around Sustainability

Description

Games are prolific as an educational medium, and are able to tell a much richer story than pictures or words alone. This has led to the widespread phenomenon known as

Games are prolific as an educational medium, and are able to tell a much richer story than pictures or words alone. This has led to the widespread phenomenon known as “gamification” in the educational and business sectors, as well as educational games. While gamification itself is very prolific, its application to sustainability issues has been somewhat limited. With the progression of technology and the high percentage of gamers within the population, the time is ripe for a paradigm shift. Humans have always played games to inform themselves and others, and though this takes many forms, they always will, be their efforts dedicated to education, entertainment, or profit. While teaching and entertainment may sometimes be at odds with one another, they do not have to be. Many audiences respond well to varied forms of entertainment, and when the ability of a thing designed to further educate or gamify is given room to be entertaining as well, all involved benefit. Sustainability as a whole is an incredibly nebulous and broad concept, such that current educational and entertaining games exploring the subject largely addresses it on a smaller scale, or looks at a piece of the picture instead of all of it, as smaller pieces are easier to break down and address. There are ways that games can be and are vehicles for both entertainment and education, and by combining the two end goals in relatively equal measure, a solid platform can be built off of which both learning and personal growth can occur.

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  • 2019-05

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Residential Choice’s Impact on Sustainable Transportation Options: A Study in the Phoenix Metro Area

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This study adds to the literature about residential choice and sustainable transportation. Through the interviews and the personal stories gathered, there was diversity shown in the residential location choice process.

This study adds to the literature about residential choice and sustainable transportation. Through the interviews and the personal stories gathered, there was diversity shown in the residential location choice process. We also noticed that “commute” means different things to different households, and that many people did not consider their commute to work to be a primary factor determining their final home location. Moreover, many people were willing to increase their commute time, or trade access to desirable amenities for a longer commute. Commuting time to work was one example of the tradeoffs that homeowners make when choosing a home, but there were also others such as architectural type and access to neighborhood amenities. Lastly, time constraints proved to be a very significant factor in the home buying process. Several of our households had such strict time constraints that limited their search to a point of excluding whole areas. Overall, our study sheds light on transportation’s role in residential choice and underscores the complexity of the location choice process.

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  • 2019-05

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Knowledge Networks and Innovation for Creating Value in Biochar Production Systems

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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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  • 2019-05

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Determining the effectiveness of the water conservation implementations within the City of Tempe's neighborhood grant program

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Two large sectors of water consumption within cities are: city owned irrigated landscape (such as parks) and household consumption. A related, third sector of consumption that has very little research

Two large sectors of water consumption within cities are: city owned irrigated landscape (such as parks) and household consumption. A related, third sector of consumption that has very little research behind it is shared landscapes in residential communities. Neighborhood communities, including those with formal Homeowner’s Associations and informal Neighborhood Associations, have common landscapes they are responsible for up-keeping and irrigating. 208 neighborhood communities exist within the City of Tempe. Each year the city provides $30,000 in grant funding to these 208 neighborhoods to implement water conservation projects. This thesis focuses on ten neighborhoods who had applied and were granted funding to implement a conservation project between the years 2011 and 2016. My findings showed that this program has not been effective in reducing water consumption, wither due to the lack of implementation or the small-scale of the projects. From my research and synthesis, I suggest a layer of accountability be added to the program to ensure projects are effective and participants are implementing their projects and that the program is effective overall. This study provides the City of Tempe with relevant and viable information to aid management of water consumption and conservation within neighborhoods.

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  • 2019-05

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Sustainability Practices of University Food Pantries in the US

Description

The objective of this study was to evaluate sustainability knowledge and practices in place at university-associated food pantries across the United States. A survey was sent to university- associated food

The objective of this study was to evaluate sustainability knowledge and practices in place at university-associated food pantries across the United States. A survey was sent to university- associated food pantries and responses were collected at a rate of 25% (n=84 of 326) to assess the knowledge and practices of this topic. The pantries surveyed were chosen solely based on ability to contact through email (emails were retrieved from online sources) and about 50% of the 680 university-associated pantries in the United States were sent the survey. The data was analyzed by quantifying the qualitative responses to the 9 sustainability- rated questions addressing zero- waste practice, barriers to offering sustainably sourced foods, types of sustainable donations, desire for sustainable products, and client demand for sustainable products and practices were posed to pantries. Results from this study provided insight into awareness of sustainability in these pantries and also assessed what sustainability practices are already being practiced by these pantries. Among those surveyed, a low percentage of university-associated pantries actually provide sustainably sourced foods (9.5%), but given the choice about a third (38.1%) would choose to offer these foods. It was reported that availability and cost were perceived as main barriers to providing sustainably sourced foods and that a small proportion of pantries teach their clients about zero waste practices, compost, and recycling. There is little client concern about this issue. Most pantries reported recycling more often than composting and also reported participating in some zero-waste practices. These results are unique to this study as not much research has been done in this area to assess environmental sustainability awareness in university-associated food pantries. Further research is required to further evaluate pantries across the nation as this sample size is approximately 12% of all university- associated pantries in the United States.

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  • 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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  • 2019-05

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Development of an Educational Video Game

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The objective of this creative project was to gain experience in digital modeling, animation, coding, shader development and implementation, model integration techniques, and application of gaming principles and design through

The objective of this creative project was to gain experience in digital modeling, animation, coding, shader development and implementation, model integration techniques, and application of gaming principles and design through developing a professional educational game. The team collaborated with Glendale Community College (GCC) to produce an interactive product intended to supplement educational instructions regarding nutrition. The educational game developed, "Nutribots" features the player acting as a nutrition based nanobot sent to the small intestine to help the body. Throughout the game the player will be asked nutrition based questions to test their knowledge of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. If the player is unable to answer the question, they must use game mechanics to progress and receive the information as a reward. The level is completed as soon as the question is answered correctly. If the player answers the questions incorrectly twenty times within the entirety of the game, the team loses faith in the player, and the player must reset from title screen. This is to limit guessing and to make sure the player retains the information through repetition once it is demonstrated that they do not know the answers. The team was split into two different groups for the development of this game. The first part of the team developed models, animations, and textures using Autodesk Maya 2016 and Marvelous Designer. The second part of the team developed code and shaders, and implemented products from the first team using Unity and Visual Studio. Once a prototype of the game was developed, it was show-cased amongst peers to gain feedback. Upon receiving feedback, the team implemented the desired changes accordingly. Development for this project began on November 2015 and ended on April 2017. Special thanks to Laura Avila Department Chair and Jennifer Nolz from Glendale Community College Technology and Consumer Sciences, Food and Nutrition Department.

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  • 2017-05

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Trying to Keep Up: Energy Drink and Coffee Consumption, Student Involvement, and Sleep Among Diverse College Freshmen

Description

Background While extensive research has been conducted among college students consuming alcohol with energy drinks, there is limited research exploring how extracurricular activities could have an impact on energy drink

Background While extensive research has been conducted among college students consuming alcohol with energy drinks, there is limited research exploring how extracurricular activities could have an impact on energy drink consumption and sleep. Understanding the association between student involvement and the impact it could have on sleep and energy drink consumption among college freshmen is essential in promoting healthy behaviors while in college. Objectives The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between student involvement, average hours of sleep, and predicted prevalence of energy drink and coffee consumption amongst college freshmen living in residence halls at a large, public university in the Southwest. Student involvement and fewer hours of sleep hypothesized to observe higher energy drink consumption. Methods This study was a secondary data analysis of the second wave of the longitudinal SPARC (Social impact of Physical Activity and nutRition in College) study assessing college freshmen (n=599; 70.6% female; 50.9% non-white) living on campus. Students were enrolled in this study during the 2015\u20142016 school year. Mutually adjusted generalized estimating equation (GEE) binomial models examined the relationship between involvement (academic clubs, sport clubs, honors, taking 16 or more credit hours, and having a job) and sleep with energy drink and coffee consumption, controlling for gender, race/ethnicity, Pell grant status, ever having tried alcohol, and clustering of students in residence halls. Results On average, students were enrolled in 15 credits, slept an average 8 hours per night, those who had a job worked 14 hours for pay per week, 35% reported consuming energy drinks in the past week, and about 29% of students reported coffee consumption. Males showed a higher predicted prevalence of energy drink consumption compared to females (p<0.001), where females showed a higher predicted prevalence of coffee consumption compared to males (<0.001); energy drink consumption was less prevalent amongst Hispanic students compared to white students (p=0.018), but more prevalent amongst black students compared to white students (p=0.002); no associations between race were found in predicted prevalence of coffee consumption. Average hours of sleep per night was inversely associated with energy drink consumption predicted prevalence (p<0.001). There was a lower predicted prevalence of energy drink and coffee consumption in honors student status (p<0.001) compared to non-honors students. Students taking 16 or more class credit hours showed a higher predicted prevalence in both energy drink (p=0.050) and coffee consumption (p=0.023) compared to students taking less than 16 class credit hours. Students involved in physically active clubs showed a greater predicted prevalence of coffee consumption (p<0.001) compared to students not in physically active clubs. There was no difference in the predicted prevalence in energy drink consumption amongst students involved in physically active clubs (p=0.710), non-physically active clubs (p=0.493), and having a job (p=0.146). Coffee consumption predicted prevalence showed no significant prevalence amongst students of different race and ethnicity [Black (p=0.507), Hispanic (p=103), Other (p=116)] as well as students involved in non-physically active (p=0.839) clubs and who had a paid job (p=0.088). Conclusion Associations observed between average hours of sleep, the different types of involvement of student activities, and energy drink and coffee consumption, were interesting in that a few findings were found to be contrary to the hypotheses. Future research should delve deeper into student involvement within honors programs to understand the contextual factors of why these students showed a significant inverse association in energy drink consumption. Contrary to hypothesis, sleep and energy drink consumption prevalence were indirectly related leading future research to examine and understand why students are consuming energy drinks since on average participants were meeting recommended sleep guidelines. Nutrition interventions are needed for the groups at consuming energy drinks and alcohol in combination due to the study finding increased predicted prevalence amongst these groups as well as the increased risky health behavior associated with the combination found in the literature. Support or Funding Information This study was supported by the NIH Common Fund from the Office of the Director and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, grant number 1DP5OD017910-01 (PI: M. Bruening). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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  • 2018-05

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ASU Eats: Utilizing Meal Plans to Feed Arizona State's Food Insecure

Description

The broke, hungry college student living off packaged noodles and cans of beans—it is the stereotype known across the country, and unfortunately for students it is all too accurate. According

The broke, hungry college student living off packaged noodles and cans of beans—it is the stereotype known across the country, and unfortunately for students it is all too accurate. According to current research, nearly half of all college students across America are considered food insecure, meaning they have trouble acquiring healthy and filling food at some point during the year. Furthermore, problems with food access are often connected to other common issues students face including accessing affordable housing and employment opportunities. Food insecure students face educational consequences as well, including the inability to supply required course materials and even leaving their studies. Simultaneously, at Arizona State students lose thousands of dollars per year in unused meal plan funds, either in the form of meal swipes or Maroon & Gold dollars, and there is interest among students to utilize the funds to support their peers. This thesis explores existing organizations attempting to address student food insecurity both on campus and across the country, analyzing their limitations and benefits. It then proposes a new program, ASU Eats, which would allow students with excess meal plan funds to donate them to their food insecure peers through the creation of a central fund bank. It also discusses potential concerns from the University’s administration and the student body along with the structure this program would need to serve ASU’s continually growing campuses. This thesis concludes by stressing the importance of long-term food security, which ASU Eats would strive to achieve for all students who use the program.

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  • 2018-05

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Quantifying Biological Hydrogen Demand of Sediments

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Hydrogen is a key indicator of microbial activity in soils/sediments and groundwater because of its role as an electron donor for reducing sulfate and nitrate and carrying out other metabolic

Hydrogen is a key indicator of microbial activity in soils/sediments and groundwater because of its role as an electron donor for reducing sulfate and nitrate and carrying out other metabolic processes. The goal of this study was to quantitatively measure the total biological hydrogen demand (TBHD) of soils and sediments in anaerobic environments. We define the total biological hydrogen demand as the sum of all electron acceptors that can be used by hydrogen-oxidizing microorganisms. Three sets of anaerobic microcosms were set up with different soils/sediments, named Carolina, Garden, and ASM. The microcosms included 25g of soil/sediment and 75 mL of anaerobic medium. 10 mL of hydrogen were pulse-fed for 100 days. Hydrogen consumption and methane production were tracked using gas chromatography. Chemical analysis of each soil was performed at the beginning of the experiment to determine the concentration of electron acceptors in the soils/sediments, including nitrate, sulfate, iron and bicarbonate. An analysis of the microbial community was done at t = 0 and at the end of the 100 days to examine changes in the microbial community due to the metabolic processes occurring as hydrogen was consumed. Carolina consumed 9810 43 mol of hydrogen and produced 19,572 2075 mol of methane. Garden consumed 4006 33 mol of hydrogen and produced 7,239 543 mol of methane. Lastly, ASM consumed 1557 84 mol of hydrogen and produced 1,325 715 mol of methane. I conclude that the concentration of bicarbonate initially present in the soil had the most influence over the hydrogen demand and microbial community enrichment. To improve this research, I recommend that future studies include a chemical analysis of final soil geochemistry conditions, as this will provide with a better idea of what pathway the hydrogen is taking in each soil.

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  • 2017-05