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2016 Projects

Faculty Projects

The Formation of Social Rental Housing: Comparative Housing Policies in Europe, USA, and East Asia

Yi-Ling Chen

Why did some East Asian cities increase their supply of social rental housing in the 1990s, while many western cities meanwhile reduced theirs?

Australia from Camelback

Leah Hardy

How metalsmiths/artists respond to natural habitat, land use issues, and Aboriginal history through a body of individual and/or collaborative art works following a week-long camel trek in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.

Economic Shocks and Political Transitions

Thorsten Janus

Economic downturns have often been linked to political transitions. For example, the 1980s debt crisis and the Southeast Asian financial crisis of 1997-98 appeared to discredit the incumbent autocracies, galvanize the citizens, and promote democratization in Latin America and Indonesia. If this is a general pattern, then the continuing low oil prices and the slowing Chinese economy may lead to democratic reforms in the Middle East and East Asia in the near future. Nonetheless, autocracies under threat may resort to repression, as in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Syria during the Arab Spring. Economic downturns have further been linked to coups, as in Africa in the 1970s, and the rise of extremist governments, as in Nazi Germany. In this study, we estimate the effects of economic downturns - measured via declines in international commodity export relative to import prices and the economy’s growth rate - on the likelihood of transitioning into and out of democracy.

The Dynamics of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Distress

Krista Lewellyn

How do entrepreneurial ecosystems with different underlying local elements (e.g., culture, government policies, and social networks) respond to global economic shocks (e.g., decreasing commodity prices). Entrepreneurial ecosystems are configurations of interconnected cultural, social, political, and financial elements within a specified geographical region that create a context supportive of entrepreneurial ventures.

Racing to the Bottom at the Top of the World? Strategic Artic Oil and Gas

Charles F. Mason

What are the tradeoffs associated with exploiting oil and gas resources in the Arctic?

Museums, Memory, Human Rights, and Democracy in Contemporary Spain

David A. Messenger

Museums, Memory, Human Rights, and Democracy in Contemporary Spain The beginning of the twenty-first century in Spain has seen renewed interest in the Civil War and especially on the excavation of mass graves related to Franco’s repression; there are popular books that now reference the “Spanish Holocaust” and the “genocide” carried out by the Franco regime during the civil war and after its victory. How does this new interpretation of the Civil War, focused on rights and their deprivation, connect to contemporary ideas about human rights, democracy and the lens through which to view the historical conflict?

Amphibian Connectivity in a Semi-Arid Environment

Melanie Murphy

How does wetland ephemerality impact amphibian connectivity in a semi-arid system?

Sustainability of Small-Scale Farming and Local Food Systems in Poland as Viable Alternatives for Wyoming

Urszula Norton

How do small-scale organic and conventional (non-GMO) farms in Poland function within European Union (EU) food system networks?

Spacialities of (In)Justice: Exploring Alternative Sites of Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Transition

Suzan Pritchett

Whether the prioritization and recreation of juridical space in the form of the women’s hearing is a move toward contextualized accountability for crimes against women or yet another site for the reproduction of entrenched legal hierarchies in the international sphere.

Horse Art and Culture Exploration (Hungary, China, Mongolia, and Wyoming)

Mark Ritchie

The larger arc of the research will place my own equine imagery within a larger historic and contemporary context. In New Zealand, Leah Hardy and I will collaborate and produce an image or printed work using the serigraph studio at Blue Bathtub Press.

Travel Exchange to Link Ecology and Production of Analogous Rangelands of the North and South Hemispheres

John Derek Scasta

Do analogous rangelands exist between Wyoming, USA and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil? Do ecological and production similarities have potential for hemispherically paired research experiments? Can such experiments contribute to global understanding of appropriate management and conservation strategies of rangelands.

Utilizing Archaeological Data as a Proxy for Environmental Change and ENSO Activity on the Peruvian North Coast

Jason L. Toohey

Climate change, sea surface temperature change, El Niño periodicity, and biological baselines for maritime resources are critical issues in the modern world. These have been characterized and studied using a number of proxies, but rarely have archaeological data been used to address them. Archaeological data in the form of preserved fish, sea mammal, and sea bird remains are abundant and often well preserved in coastal shell midden sites around the world. Can the analysis of these remains provide an independent and unbiased measure of shifting biomass, climate change, and El Niño frequency though the Holocene period?

Student Projects

Marine Tourism in the Caribbean

Morgan Armstrong

Do marine tourism companies in countries with a higher percentage of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) practice more environmentally conscientious behavior than in ones with less?

Internship at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, China

Hongxia Boulden

Spring 2017 internship - U.S consulate/office in Singapore or Taiwan

Nest Predation and its Impact on Recreation in Ecuador

Ashkia Campbell

Will nest predation change in the presence of human recreation?

Summer Internship at the International Criminal Court at The Hague

David Demic

In October 2015, South Africa blatantly disregarded the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir. This open challenge to the ICC’s authority caused widespread debate over the effectiveness of the ICC and its continued place in public international law.

International Investment Summer Internship in Madrid, Spain

Madeleine Fitzchowan

As a rapidly growing regional financial hub, Madrid is an ideal location for networking with other key players in southern Europe’s financial sector. This program offers the opportunity to gain not only practical international work experience, but also a new perspective on business practices and regulations.

Factors Impacting the Migratory Decision-making of Wolofs in The Gambia

Jeremy Goldsmith

Why are Gambians leaving their country in droves? Annually, 1.5% of the Gambian population migrates out of the country. Having lived with a Wolof family while in the Peace Corps and having mastered the language, Goldsmith investigates the factors that impact decision-making among Wolofs migrating abroad.

Science Education and Teaching Water Resources: Learning from the India Example

Sarah "Katie" Guffey

Is there a correlation between water pollution and urban sprawl in Coimbatore, India? Does the water quality in Coimbatore, India meet the standards set by World Health Organization? As urban areas expand, especially in developing countries, is water quality compromised?

British National Identity and Understanding of Democracy

Jude Hair

Did James Gillray, a prominent English caricaturist in the 19th century, receive government funding to promote an anti-¬Napoleonic narrative in the public sphere, thereby contributing to the formation of a British identity as a democratic nation?

Chinese Study and Internship at National Dong Hua University in Hualien County, Taiwan

Siri Horton

In Taiwan, fourteen indigenous tribes experience similar problems to indigenous people all over the world including poor economic prospects and little to no agency for self-determination. As the international community takes on many indigenous issues, how do indigenous issues in Taiwan fit into the international indigenous civil rights landscape?

Understanding Volcanoes: A Look at the Ecuadorian Context

Lisa B. Kant

What are the sources of magma in the Ecuadorian Andes? How do the magmas evolve as they ascend through the continental crust?

Comparative European Sustainability

Matthew Lunde

From a cross-cultural standpoint (United States vs. the top five European sustainable countries), how does the sustainably built environment impact the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of consumers? Does the built environment precede the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of sustainable consumers, or do the sustainable beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors create the environment?

Where Art Meets Science: Investigating Social, conservation and Ecological Relationships

Bethann Merkle

I will conduct research and interviews in/about three places where tortoises and hares actually co-exist (Arizona, France, Kenya), in order to develop "An Ecological Storybook: Writing/Illustrating the Ecologically True Story of the Tortoise and the Hare." This work is supervised by Dr. Jeffrey Lockwood (Entomologist, UW MFA director) in consultation with Dr. Jake Goheen (UW Dept. of Zoology & Physiology). More information is available online at:

Portrayals of Displaced Syrian and Iraqi Women in Germany

Denise Muro

Female refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and asylum seekers are especially vulnerable populations because of the specific challenges they face, primarily in the form of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).Nevertheless, in the current Syrian refugee crisis, the portrayal of Syrian women and girls as a whole as being victims of SGBV is problematic. The dominating narrative in the popular Western media depicts them as powerless victims of SGBV. Recognizing that this narrative tends to involve discourses of power and inequality, this research investigates the consequences of aid-providing agencies’ portrayals of displaced Syrian women to potential donors and examines what role, if any, Syrian women play in the construction of these representations, as well as to what extent the portrayal of displaced women impacts the perceptions of aid-workers about displaced women.

Summer Internship in Immigration and Refugee Law in India

Simrik Neupane

How to ensure that restorative justice method is used to correct juvenile offender’s conduct in a developing country with new government.

Environmental Public Policy on Indonesian Coastlines

Thao Nguyen

Why does dynamite fishing still occur in marine protected areas? How does type of governance influence outcomes in public participation, policy, and biodiversity? Do small business owners, who indirectly benefit from coal reefs, correlate a healthy reef with their level of income?

Evaluation of U.S. and International Community Approaches on Developing and Intervening in Iraq Affairs

Eric Nigh

Decades of US military and political intervention have wrought momentous changes to Iraq’s socioeconomic systems and institutional structures. The proposed research seeks to address two interrelated questions: [1] what strategies do Iraqi citizens who work in government, civil society, and other prominent positions use to justify, resist, or otherwise negotiate these US interventions? [2] How do Iraq-based US agents tasked with the everyday work of carrying out these interventions justify, resist, or otherwise negotiate their activities?

Shell Shock in Canada During the First World War

Cheyenne Pettit

Did an official diagnosis of shell shock affect a soldier’s ability to thrive in Canadian society during and after the First World War? How did the Canadian experience with shell shock differ from the British experience? How did social class and status affect how Canadian soldiers with shell shock were treated?

Development Through Economic Empowerment in Rural Indonesia

Christopher Rumple

For efficiency purposes, micro-hydro power requires a complicated turbine design. The fabrications of these designs typically have an increased cost, which makes it less feasible in resource-constrained environments such as rural Indonesia. Less efficient designs are often used instead. An applicable fabrication process and optimized design of a low-head microhydro power turbine will be developed over the grant period.

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