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Browsing 1,407 results for facet Genres with value of thesis.
  • Thumbnail for Relict tallgrass prairie of the Upper Black Squirrel Creek drainage, El Paso County, Colorado : change since the 1940's
    Relict tallgrass prairie of the Upper Black Squirrel Creek drainage, El Paso County, Colorado : change since the 1940's by Tsocanos, Sebastian A. E.

    In the mid 1940s remnant tallgrass prairie near Colorado Springs was recognized in vegetation studies on the plains. Tallgrass prairie is unusual in the arid Great Plains, and is of significant conservation value, particularly given the past and present pressures of urban expansion, intense grazing, and water development. Our study examined the question of whether this community type still exists in the region, if the extent of the community type has changed since then, and whether the species composition has changed. We found that while true tallgrass prairie vegetation is no longer dominant at many of the sites used in the original studies, patches of true tallgrass prairie still occur in the area. The extent of tallgrass prairie in the vicinity has clearly declined over the past 70 years. The vegetation of remaining patches is composed of very similar species to those originally documented. We found that the dominant vegetation is still characteristic of true tallgrass prairie. Among the important grasses were prairie dropseed, indian grass, little bluestem), and big bluestem. Important widespread forbs indicative of true tallgrass prairie included american licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota), stiff goldenrod (Oligoneuron rigidum), white heath aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides), and purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) among many others. We determined that overall precipitation and temperature in the locality has not changed dramatically since the 1940’s. The alluvial aquifer across much of the area is evidently little changed, but hydrology on a site-by-site basis is poorly understood. While the continued existence of some true tallgrass prairie communities here is reassuring, their diminished extent is cause for concern, especially given increasing pressure from urban expansion, livestock grazing, invasive species, and water development. The uncertain status of future temperature and precipitation, as well as the maintenance of critical surface and subsurface hydrologic regimes is also of concern.

  • Thumbnail for Assessment of Phytoremediation in the Kerber Creek Watershed, Saguache County, CO
    Assessment of Phytoremediation in the Kerber Creek Watershed, Saguache County, CO by Berglund, Erika

    As a result of abandoned mining operations, the Kerber Creek Watershed in Saguache County, CO became the site of large-scale acid mine drainage and deposition. Consequently, highly acidic soils and subsequently toxic levels of bioavailable metals characterized the floodplain. In response to this environmental degradation, several groups including the USFS, BLM, ASARCO, Bonanza Stakeholders Group, and Trout Unlimited began remediating contaminated sites by adding neutralizing amendments, compost, and a seed mixture to the soils for the purpose of phytoremediation. This study aims to develop an understanding of the metal uptake and storage behaviors of the various plants that have established in the remediated sites. This information is intended to quantify the success of phytoremediation efforts and inform future work. Plant coverage was determined and samples of present species were taken at each site. Samples were then identified, cleaned, separated into different tissues, dried, powdered, digested with a nitric acid, microwave-assisted digestion procedure, and analyzed for metal content using an ICP-OES. All samples were found to have metal levels above that of critical concentrations for plants, suggesting that they are all highly metal tolerant. Translocation factors (metalaboveground:metalbelowground) were determined for each species and it was found that all herbaceous species sampled stored significant levels of metals in aboveground tissue, with TF factors above one and as high as eight, while grass species primarily retained metals in their roots, with TF factors for nearly all samples below one. Noticeable heavy grazing by cattle and the resultant presence of herbaceous weedy species seem to pose a threat to the long-term success of phytoremediation in the area. Future re-seeding efforts and the development of an improved cattle management strategy may be necessary to maintain a healthy, stable watershed.

  • Thumbnail for Micrometeorology of a Diffuse Tree Line: How do airflow structures affect sensible heat flux divergence and temperature-controlled tree growth?
    Micrometeorology of a Diffuse Tree Line: How do airflow structures affect sensible heat flux divergence and temperature-controlled tree growth? by Sondermann, Dylan P

    Harsch (2009, 2011) determined that diffuse tree lines are advancing globally as a response to warmer growing season temperatures. However, few have studied the local micrometeorological processes that change local climatic conditions for trees. This thesis aims to understand local airflow patterns and heat distribution within a diffuse tree line on Pikes Peak (Teller County, CO). Previous research identified that the study site represents an advancing tree line that has transitioned from an abrupt to a diffuse structure within the last century (Kummel et al. 2009-present). The mountain location of the study site governs large-scale wind patterns as an anabatic-katabatic wind system. On a more local scale, surface interactions at the diffuse tree line alter daytime flows, resulting in the formation of a low level jet. This jet alters climatic conditions by creating three vertical sub-layers with different atmospheric properties. A preliminary heat budget analysis of the diffuse tree line confirms the findings of jet characteristics while also determining that the low level jet is capable of altering vertical heat distribution and depositing heat as flows move uphill. This heat deposition is likely connected to growth patterns studied by Marks (2014) and overall tree line dynamics (Elwood et al. 2012).

  • Thumbnail for The Vulnerability of California Amphibian Species to Climate Change
    The Vulnerability of California Amphibian Species to Climate Change by Ben-Zeev, Rayna

    Amphibians are declining on a global scale, faster than any other taxonomic group. Although I am still unsure of the causes of many local declines, I have evidence that on a larger scale temperature and precipitation changes caused by climate change directly relate to broader amphibian disappearances. I aim to use past temperature and precipitation trends and amphibian distributions in California to predict future amphibian distributions. I use the Biomod2 package in R, along with CMIP5 climate layers and emissions scenarios to correlate amphibian distributions to climate, and predict a range of future possibilities for amphibians under different carbon emission scenarios. I hope to identify which species are most in danger of extirpation to hopefully direct future management initiatives to these species.

  • Thumbnail for The Law of the Colorado River: A Rigid Relic or a Flexible Foundation for the Future
    The Law of the Colorado River: A Rigid Relic or a Flexible Foundation for the Future by King, Warren Scott

    The Colorado River Compact was signed in 1922 in an attempt to regulate and manage the Colorado River and its tributaries. Since its implementation a series of laws and court opinions have come together to make up a comprehensive set of guidelines that now govern the river system. Despite the litany of legislation surrounding the Colorado River, 21st century issues such as regional climate change, population growth, increasing salinity and sediment levels, and minority interest water rights issues continue to plague those reliant on Colorado River water. The fundamental question now facing those charged with the responsibility of governing the River is, “Is the Law of the River adequate for dealing with these 21st century issues?”. I contend that the Law of the River, including its keystone piece of legislation, the 1922 Colorado River Compact, is neither inherently rigid or flexible. Instead the Law of the River is as flexible or as rigid as the contracting parties allow it to be.

  • Thumbnail for Spatial distribution of alpine avens (Geum rossii) and northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides) disturbance on the Pikes Peak tundra
    Spatial distribution of alpine avens (Geum rossii) and northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides) disturbance on the Pikes Peak tundra by Hebert, Lauren

    Pattern formation in ecosystems via self-organization is an important area of investigation in the field of ecology. Self-organization is the process whereby short-range facilitation and long-range inhibition lead to patterns in ecosystems at varying scales. Can biotic agents, such as key ecosystem engineers, be responsible for patterns of self-organization? We sought to investigate this question on the tundra of Pikes Peak outside Colorado Springs, CO. Aerial images of Pikes Peak reveal distinct patches of alpine avens (Geum rossii) dotting the tundra. Are there any patterns in the distribution and characteristics of these alpine avens patches? Closer examination reveals that evidence of northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides) soil disturbance also speckles the tundra. Are there any links between gopher disturbance and alpine avens patches? We sought to answer these broad questions through a series of three investigations. We examined the large-scale spatial distribution of the avens patches relative to each other, surface gopher disturbance in relation to individual avens patches, and the underground characteristics of the tundra below the patches. Our findings indicate that while a link can be established between gopher disturbance and avens patches, it is not the complete picture. We found that contrary to the expectation that avens patches would follow a regular distribution at smaller distances, they were in fact randomly distributed at small distances and clumped at greater distances as shown by Ripley’s K tests. In line with our hypotheses, we found that gopher disturbance was clumped, and occurred more often within avens patches than would be expected given disturbance frequency across the tundra, p=0.001 (chi-squared=10.88, DF=1) for quadrant one, and p=0.0001 (chi-squared=306.96, DF=1) for quadrant two. Finally, we discovered an interesting pattern of what appears to be disintegrated bedrock beneath the avens patches, which may have implications for avens patch resilience on the tundra. In t-tests comparing mean resistivity of soil underground inside and outside the patch, p<0.05 for all depths except the lowest depth in one patch. In sum, it appears from our findings that while gopher disturbance may be necessary for avens patches on the Pikes Peak tundra, it is not sufficient. This is given the fact that gopher disturbance occurs in areas where avens patches do not, and avens patch boundaries are crisply defined while gopher disturbance is diffuse. Evidence does seem to point to self-organization on the tundra, with gopher disturbance creating short-range facilitation for alpine avens, and some mechanism of long-range inhibition preventing avens patches from occurring everywhere on the tundra.

  • Thumbnail for A historical relational analysis of vulnerability to the Waldo Canyon Fire
    A historical relational analysis of vulnerability to the Waldo Canyon Fire by Hayden, Mollie

    During the summer of 2012, images of hillside homes engulfed in flames played on repeat on news stations across the country. In the foothills of Pikes Peak, the Waldo Canyon Fire burned 18,247 acres, destroyed 347 homes, and killed two people between June 23 and July 10, 2012. Catastrophic fires such as the Waldo Canyon Fire are increasingly common throughout the west, especially in the wildland urban interface (WUI). These mega-fires are far from the natural disturbances that occur in many Western ecosystems. Instead, they are the product of a century of federal fire suppression compounded by changing climatic conditions. This scenario is complicated by increasing development in the WUI, where houses literally add fuel to the fire . This research assesses the specific conditions that contributed to the production of vulnerability to the Waldo Canyon Fire.

  • Thumbnail for Microclimatological feedbacks at treeline: Is treeline structure modifying the local microclimate?
    Microclimatological feedbacks at treeline: Is treeline structure modifying the local microclimate? by Dickson, Chris C.

    Recent study of altitudinal treeline advance has revealed that increasing seasonal temperatures only partly explain the processes that influence treeline structure and elevation. Microsite modifications, induced by the structure of the treeline, may in fact play a large role in regulating the microclimate, creating more favorable conditions for further seedling establishment and recruitment near the treeline. To explore these modifications, previous research on Pikes Peak has compared heating dynamics within a treeline microclimate to the microclimate of an adjacent rockslide at an identical elevation. Observations indicated that the treeline heats up faster and to a higher maximum temperature than the rockslide nearly every day of the study period (Johnson, 2011). Potential mechanisms for this differential heating were explored, however only the sheltering potential of the trees to reduce winds proved worthy of further investigation (Anderson, 2012). To expand upon these findings, this study aims to verify the presence of differential heating between treeline and rockslide, investigate the role of sheltering to reduce heat loss within treeline, and explore to what extent this sheltering could extend beyond the treeline’s leading edge. First, this study found that temperatures within the treeline were on average ~7C warmer than the rockslide from 15cm above the ground to 10cm deep within the soil, a critical habitat for seedling establishment (Körner, 1998). Furthermore, this study reveals that the magnitude of differential heating increases throughout the growing season, exhibiting larger differences later in the season. These findings indicate that, despite decreasing solar input late in the season, the treeline has a higher capacity to retain heat than the rockslide and prolongs favorable growing conditions later into the summer months. To investigate how sheltering may play a role in holding heat within the treeline, the zero-plane displacement was calculated for the treeline, rockslide, and upper tundra. Results indicate that treeline form shelters a boundary layer of warm air close to the ground that could enable increased heat storage within the treeline’s soil. Furthermore, this sheltering effect extends beyond the treeline’s leading edge and modifies the tundra microclimate by reducing wind effects in lee of the treeline. This mechanism of sheltering could create a positive feedback loop in which microclimatological modifications, induced by the trees presence, allow for continual growth beyond the forest boundary.

  • Thumbnail for Size-Resolved Aerosol Composition near Rocky Mountain National Park
    Size-Resolved Aerosol Composition near Rocky Mountain National Park by Sussman, Rachel

    Increasing our understanding of aerosol properties is important because of their potential impacts on visibility, human health, and sensitive ecosystems. The Rocky Mountain Airborne Nitrogen and Sulfur (RoMANS) study was conducted in 2006 to identify the sources, transport, and speciation of atmospheric gases and aerosols throughout Colorado that influence Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). As one component of this study, Micro-Orifice Uniform Deposition Impactor (MOUDI) samples were collected at two sites in the vicinity of RMNP. Samples were taken over a time span of 48 hours each during a period of 36 days in the spring (March-April) and summer (July-August). The samples were analyzed by ion chromatography to determine the concentrations of NH4+, Na+, Ca2+, K+, Mg2+, Cl-, NO2-, NO3-, SO42-, and C2O42- in either ten or twelve different size bins from >18 μm to <0.18 μm. The diameter of nitrate has important implications for nitrogen deposition in RMNP as larger particles have a higher deposition velocity. In the spring, nitrate was observed to be mainly in the accumulation mode while in the summer it was primarily in the coarse mode. Ammonium and sulfate were the dominant species in the accumulation mode and on several days the sulfate was sufficient to completely neutralize ammonium. However, there were a substantial number of days where the addition of nitrate and oxalate to the ammonium neutralization was not enough to account for complete neutralization. The excess ammonium suggests that other organic acids may be an important component of the aerosol in the region. There is a dearth of research on the size distribution and secondary formation pathways of organic acids, such as aerosol oxalate, which might be contributing to haze and acting as cloud condensation nuclei. The size distribution of oxalate was found to peak in the accumulation mode, specifically between 0.32 and 0.56 μm. We examined three potential contributors to oxalate concentrations: biomass burning, in-cloud processes, and gas-phase photo-oxidation. All three were found to be likely emission and formation mechanisms, but it is unclear which pathway is dominant.

  • Thumbnail for Water quality in Bali : a multiperspectival approach
    Water quality in Bali : a multiperspectival approach by Bellows, Zachary David

    Water pollution in Bali due to human waste and agricultural runoff is a serious concern. Social and cultural influences such as rigid social structures, tourism, and weak infrastructure contribute to water pollution on the island. In an attempt to quantify the extent of the pollution, nutrient concentrations and other relevant variables were measured at seven points along the Yeh Ho River seven times in June, 2013. Interviews were also conducted to provide social and cultural context. The results of the study indicate that nutrient concentrations increase significantly as the water travels downstream from 15 (± 1.9) to 40 (± 3.2) ppm nitrate-NO3 and from 0.16 (± 0.06) to 0.61 (± 0.06) ppm phosphorous-PO4. In addition, nutrient concentrations on June 18th were higher across all sampling sites than the measurements on other days by 9.0 (± 2.4) ppm nitrate-NO3 and by 0.53 (± 0.06) ppm phosphorous-PO4. Generally, the levels of N and P in the Yeh Ho River are significantly higher than the expected natural background levels of nutrients in rivers. These trends are likely attributable to significant, uncontrolled, anthropogenic inputs into the Yeh Ho River. The qualitative data corroborates this interpretation. Other explanations for this nutrient increase include changing uptake rate due to geomorphological changes of the river, or systemic error introduced by sampling downstream sites later. However, these factors are likely negligible relative to anthropogenic inputs.

  • Thumbnail for The Cow in the Room: Regulating the Environmental Harms of Industrial Animal Agriculture
    The Cow in the Room: Regulating the Environmental Harms of Industrial Animal Agriculture by Palko, Gabriella

    Despite being the largest US methane emitter, the main source of water pollution, the driving force behind species extinction and habitat loss, and an intensive natural resource user, animal agriculture is scantily regulated and almost never considered as an option for combating climate change. This thesis seeks to provide a comprehensive analysis of the widespread environmental harms of the meat industry to demonstrate why it must be controlled. The historic 2015 Paris Agreement provides a framework for policy makers to address several ecological and climate threats, and regulating animal agriculture falls directly in line with the provisions put forth in the agreement. In order for the US to uphold their emissions reductions commitment and duties under the Paris agreement, industrial animal agriculture must be addressed. Current policies are examined as either hindrances or tools for controlling the detrimental impacts of the industry, followed by recommendations for policy vehicles and outlets to regulate the widespread degradation from industrial animal agriculture. If the earth is to avoid catastrophic climate change and ecological collapse, the cow in the room must be addressed.

  • Thumbnail for Establishing community gardens for long-term success
    Establishing community gardens for long-term success by Yemma, Melanie

    Urban agriculture has had a strong presence in American cities throughout history, whether from concerns of food security or desires for green spaces. In the past two decades, gardens have made a large comeback due to grassroots and community desire to build community and partake in the local food movement. Common literature has agreed on the benefits that gardens can provide for cities, but no study has found what it specifically takes to establish gardens successfully, in order for their benefits to consistently show for the long-term. This study determines what factors are necessary to establish community gardens with longevity in mind. Through extensive analysis of existing literature, this study finds that the three largest factors for establishing and maintaining community gardens are community interest, support for resources, and organized structure. This study then examines how these factors are specifically at play in Colorado Springs, as the city’s budding interest in gardening makes for an exemplary case study. For Colorado Springs, this study finds that while community interest and mechanisms for resource support are present when it comes to establishing gardens, in terms of longevity, a lack of consistent structure for supporting and maintaining community gardens could hinder the longevity of community gardens. It is proposed that more organization and structure for the gardens, especially in regards to leadership development, can promote the success of these gardens, as well as other gardens nation-wide, for the future by making gardens more self-sustaining.

  • Thumbnail for Projected distributional changes in Arctic-breeding passerines as a factor of land cover change in Northern Alaska
    Projected distributional changes in Arctic-breeding passerines as a factor of land cover change in Northern Alaska by Burk, Erin

    In North American bird species, breeding distributions are shifting north toward the poles with climate change (Hitch and Leberg 2007). Habitat type could act as a better predictor of shifts in the breeding distributions of territorial birds than elevation or temperature gradients alone, as both an individual’s breeding performance and adult survival depend on habitat suitability (Reif et al. 2010). Using models that predict how the vegetative structure will change in a tundra landscape, we can predict how territorial bird distributions might change alongside a warming climate as a factor of habitat type. This study makes population and bird species richness projections for tundra-breeding birds based on their habitat preference at the Primus Creek study site in the Noatak National Preserve, Alaska.

  • Thumbnail for THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A METHODOLOGY TO MEASURE AND ANALYZE THE EFFECTS OF INQUIRY TEACHING ON STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OF INQUIRY SKILLS
    THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A METHODOLOGY TO MEASURE AND ANALYZE THE EFFECTS OF INQUIRY TEACHING ON STUDENT DEVELOPMENT OF INQUIRY SKILLS by Cadow, Charlotte

    Current science education standards mandate the inclusion of inquiry within curricula. However, existing research fails to address the correlation between the teaching of inquiry and the learning of inquiry skills. A unique opportunity presents itself at the Catamount Center where undergraduate students work with small groups of 5th grade students to facilitate a 4-week “Inquiry Unit.” This paper adapts and applies an existing theory by Ruiz-Primo (2010) to introduce a methodology that assesses the presence and quality of conclusion components in 5th grade inquiry papers. As a result of this research, several hypotheses have been generated regarding the successful implementation of the Inquiry Unit at the Catamount Center.

  • Thumbnail for The Environmental and Spiritual Significance of Chi’chil Bildagoteel, an Apache Sacred Site
    The Environmental and Spiritual Significance of Chi’chil Bildagoteel, an Apache Sacred Site by Lucas, Emily

    The combination of environmental and spiritual threats posed by mining on sacred geographies is exemplified in the struggle for Chi’chil Bildagoteel , or Oak Flat, a site in southeastern Arizona sacred to the San Carlos Apache Tribe that is currently threatened by an impending copper min.

  • Thumbnail for SOURCES OF NITROGEN IN A WARMING WATERSHED: AN ANALYSIS OF THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF NITROGEN CYCLING, SOURCES AND ATMOSPHERIC DEPOSITION AT NIWOT RIDGE, COLORADO
  • Thumbnail for MICROMETEOROLOGY OF AN APPLE ORCHARD: UNDERSTANDING LOCAL FROST CONDITIONS AND MITIGATING THEIR DAMAGE
  • Thumbnail for Birthing the Border: U.S-Mexico Border, Whiteness, and Midwifery
    Birthing the Border: U.S-Mexico Border, Whiteness, and Midwifery by Murray, Nina Kilvert

    In this thesis, I conduct a transnational analysis of the racialized hierarchies I observed during my research at La Clínica, a midwifery school and birth center on the U.S.-Mexico border. The discourse surrounding La Clínica couches the border space and the clinic in benevolent terms, but interviews with students of color reveal complicated racial and class politics that mediate the clinic and their experiences learning and working there. Students of color are thus motivated to form and create varying modalities of agency in order to define their experiences on their own terms, to express gratitude, and as a vehicle for survival in a predominantly white institution.

  • Thumbnail for Punk Pushes Back: How Bikini Kill and Pussy Riot Reinvented Punk Radicalism
    Punk Pushes Back: How Bikini Kill and Pussy Riot Reinvented Punk Radicalism by LoyaconoBustos, Joseph

    This presentation argues that Bikini Kill and Pussy Riot re-imagined the boundaries of performer/audience interaction and the relationship between live performance and activism by employing shock and chaos in order to establish a rift between themselves and the expected. More specifically, causing immense and total discomfort becomes a way for both bands to undermine macho aggression both within and outside of punk communities.

  • Thumbnail for Being a woman is murder : the Scream series, why women are being killed, and why women are watching enthusiastically
    Being a woman is murder : the Scream series, why women are being killed, and why women are watching enthusiastically by Magninie, Mandolay Marie

    My thesis aims to look at gender roles in the Scream series and how they add or subtract from the misogyny that is usually associated with the horror genre. I mostly focus on women, but the roles of men are explored too.

  • Thumbnail for Sirena Selena, Queen of Dreams: A Responsible Translation of Difference and Unspoken Rhetorics
    Sirena Selena, Queen of Dreams: A Responsible Translation of Difference and Unspoken Rhetorics by Conant, Elizabeth

    This project is a translation of selected chapters from Sirena Selena, vestida de pena, by Mayra Santos-Febres. The accompanying Translator's Note and Afterward describe translation strategy employed as a practice rooted in the importance of preserving difference and unspoken rhetorics.

  • Thumbnail for A Lever for the Image/Text
  • Thumbnail for The werewolf is afraid : translations of La sueñera by Ana María Shúa
  • Thumbnail for The Byzantine Empire and Medieval Russia : the political, religious, and cultural influence of the Byzantine Empire on Medieval Russia and the rise of Moscow as the “Third Rome”
    The Byzantine Empire and Medieval Russia : the political, religious, and cultural influence of the Byzantine Empire on Medieval Russia and the rise of Moscow as the “Third Rome” by Bochkarev, Alexandra R.

    To this very day, debate among historians continues concerning the critical points in the relations between Russia and the Byzantine Empire and the truth of four important points in Russian history: (1) Russia’s political origins, (2) the extent of Byzantine influence on Russian society, (3) the impact of the Golden Horde on Russo-Byzantine relations, and (4) the prevalence of the “Third Rome” theory in the rise of Muscovite Russia--how this led to the Western interpretation of Russian expansionism during eighteenth- and nineteenth-century imperialism and twentieth-century communism. Understanding Russia’s Byzantine-derived cultural and religious heritage yields a clearer understanding of Russia’s place in the world today. The focus of this thesis is on the extent of the political, religious, and cultural impact of the Byzantine Empire on Medieval Russia and the rise of Moscow as the “Third Rome.” The advancement of Russian self-identification as the center of Orthodoxy after the Turkish invasion of Constantinople will also be investigated. Different historiographical perspectives ranging from the opinions of Western, Soviet, and Russian historians take into account the original documents of the Byzantine and Russian medieval Orthodox Church, the Russian Chronicles, and the testaments of Russian princes and tsars.

  • Thumbnail for A Match Made in Heaven; Psychological Advertising in the Age of Mass Consumption
    A Match Made in Heaven; Psychological Advertising in the Age of Mass Consumption by Ramirez, Andres Enrique

    The rise of the consumer economy in the United States during the 20th century brought about the rise of advertising. Advertising became such an integral part of our luxury economy that different methods and techniques had to be developed in order to attract a consumer base on a psychological level. Due to a multitude of factors, however, the popularity of psychological advertising did not increase as quickly as other scholars in the field might believe.