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2017 Projects

Faculty Projects

Addressing the Injustices of the Past: Socioeconomic Deprivation and Intercommunal Reconciliation in Northern Ireland, Belfast, and Northern Ireland

Nevin Aiken

This project will seek to investigate the role that continued legacies of socioeconomic deprivation in many of the most affected areas of the conflict in the cities of Londonderry/Derry and Belfast have had on ongoing attempts to address the past and advance intercommunal reconciliation between local Catholic/nationalists and Protestant/unionists populations.

Older Ghanaian Adults’ Perceptions of Physical Activity: An Exploratory Qualitative Study, Accra, Ghana

Laura Balis

What are Ghanaian older adults’ perceptions of physical activity? What are the characteristics of a physical activity program that would be attractive to them?

Tracing Social Disappearance and Mapping Social Mobilization in Authoritarian North America, Mexico City, Mexico

Nicholas Crane

Through what governmental techniques is punitive neoliberalism maintained in central Mexico, and what is the resulting shape of social disappearance? How and to what effect for community organization do participants in contemporary justice movements construct solidarity against these governmental techniques?

Citizenship at the Intersections of State Intervention and Criminal Justice Oversight: Toward an Action Agenda on Socio-legal Approaches to Regulating Street Prostitution in the EU and North America, Essex University, United Kingdom

Susan Dewey

The project goal is to formulate a legal and policy action agenda derived from examining the expanded criminal justice oversight and state intervention justified by dominant socio-institutional forces’ mandate to maintain order among groups deemed disorderly. This investigation will achieve its goal by uniting North American and European Union research on street-involved women, who struggle with addiction, homelessness, poverty, criminal justice oversight, and, in EU contexts, often lack the right to legal residence and employment.

Environmental Justice in Collaborative Research and Adaptive Policymaking, Sydney, Australia

Teena Gabrielson

What are the best practices for integrating questions of justice and equity into interdisciplinary collaborative grant-writing across the social sciences, particularly for environmental and energy policy-making?

Honduran Brigade Community Health Partnership in Agua Salada, Honduras

Linda Johnson

Can medical, community health, and social interventions impact the health of a poor, isolated village in rural Honduras?

Sharpened Perception: Sensory Diversity of Neotropical Birds (Brazil, Peru, Panama)

David McDonald

  1. How and why do manakins (small tropical birds) perform courtship displays that are too rapid for the human eye (but not the birds) to detect?
  2. Can educational outreach programs help endangered Andean Black-and-chestnut Eagles?

Political and Socioecological Challenges to Bolivia’s “Social Control” Policy, La Paz, Bolivia

Zoe Pearson

  1. Does the Bolivian government’s controversial new coca law exacerbate or ameliorate the uneven effects of “social control” on coca union politics and livelihood security between and within the coca growing regions? If so, how?
  2. How are Chapare region coca growers perceiving and adapting to the socioecological crisis presented by the coca-killing fungus?

From Abbotsford to Aberdeen: Scotland’s Energyscape in Transition, Edinburgh, Scotland

Sarah Strauss and Carrick Eggleston

By modeling the fundamental transformations of the Scottish energyscape since the 18thcentury, we will connect the geographic, resource, and technology transformations that have taken place with cultural narratives and visual representations demonstrating the importance of interactions between aesthetics, environment, and economy.


Student Projects

Energy from Waste - Pyrolysis: Process, Applications and Potential

Paul Bonifas

What if we could turn the trash in our landfills into energy?

Internship at the Mpala Research Centre near NanYuki, Kenya

Marissa Dyck

To distinguish between two hypotheses regarding the underlying mechanism for species abundance-occupancy relationship by answering the following questions

  1. Do abundant, widespread species maintain their “core” status through higher rates of immigration into localities or greater rates of in situ recruitment?
  2. Does the mechanism by which abundant, widespread species maintain their “core” status depend on the environmental productivity?

Sara Ellingrod

Sara Ellingrod

The sociopolitical impacts of resource extraction on the environment and people of Yasuní National Park, Ecuador

Research at the Callacpuma Prehistory Project in Peru

Alexander Garcia-Putnam

The Callacpuma Archaeological Project focuses the long-term origins and development of Cajamarca Tradition through the investigation of diachronic change in social, political, and economic organization at the site of Callacpuma, located in the Cajamarca Basin, Peru.

How the Chinese Government’s Internationalization Agenda Affects Faculty and Students in Chinese Universities

Cecile Gleizes

Ever since it reopened its doors, China has been using educational transformation as the primary mechanism to develop its soft power. China has harnessed the forces of globalization to help transform major Chinese universities into serious contenders for the global pool of students, faculty, and resources. In a bid to prepare its population for an increasingly interconnected world and to make their schools more competitive, China has added campus internationalization to its list of goals to be met by 2020. My research seeks to explain the mechanisms and actors driving internationalization education reforms in Chinese higher education as well as how institutional and governmental internationalization agendas affect faculty and students.

Economics of Early Literacy and Music in New Zealand Households

Haylee Gobert

How does exposure to early literacy and music affect lifetime human capital development?

Cultural History of Cambodian Identity as Represented Through Film from the Early Twentieth Century

Cameron Green

How did French fantasies of Indochina inform French representations of Cambodia in film? How did Cambodians experience the French imagined Khmer identity? How did French representations of Cambodia shape Cambodian identity?

Evaluating the Impact of Roma Inclusion Policies on the Educational Experiences of Roma Girls in Moldova

Lindsay Hein

In the Republic of Moldova, 1 in 5 members of the Roma community are illiterate. Within the population of illiterate Roma, females are significantly overrepresented. It is only within the last decade that this issue has been addressed by the Moldovan government and so far, policies to reduce this inequality have been ineffective. In this research, I will analyze the impact of Moldova’s most recent Roma inclusion policy and identify the social forces which keep Roma girls from attending schools. My research will be guided by the following questions: How have Moldova’s Roma inclusion plans impacted the physical and social barriers to the education of Roma girls according to the policy’s makers, Roma leadership, Roma activists, Roma families and Roma girls themselves? What is the relationship between social reproductions for Roma girls at home and social reproduction at school and do these similarities and/or differences impact Roma girls’ access to education?

Cultural Responsiveness: Reflections on Adaptations United States Trained Counseling Faculty Make While Preparing Counselors in Uganda

Mary Jacinta Nekesa

Cultural Responsiveness: Reflections on Adaptations United States Trained Counseling Faculty make while Preparing Counselors in Uganda.

Studying the Evolutionary History of Nile Perch Fishes in Lake Tanganyika, East Africa

Brittany Nordberg

The Evolutionary History Lake Tanganyika’s Nile Perch Species, Identify morphometric differences between Nile Perch species in Lake Tanganyika.

Studying Golden-Winged Manakins in Ecuador

Nicholas Oakley

How much detail can golden-winged manakins resolved in time and space, and does this ability exist in ancestral manakins?

Analysis of Unmonitored Landfills in Communities in the Former East Germany

Danielle Peck

East Germans made a profit by disposing of West German trash in
unmonitored landfills. By reunification, East Germany had more than 10,000 potentially polluted, unmonitored landfills. Because of this, many say that East Germans did not care for the environment like West Germans. After reunification, policy was implemented to clean up these landfill sites. This leads me to ask, how was this process carried out from a policy perspective, and what were the implications of these changes for attitudes towards environmentalism by those directly involved? Were West Germans truly more environmental than East Germans? This is what I am striving to figure out through a case study of landfills and their transformation in the state of Brandenburg Germany following reunification in 1990.

Understanding the Oil and Gas and Renewable Marriage: The Case of Royal Dutch Shell and its Renewable Energy Strategy

Marco Polo

Opportunities within Multinational Oil and Gas Corporations: The Case of Royal Dutch Shell and its Environmental Positionality

Discourses in Au Pair Programs in Europe and the United States

Nina Radovanovic

Why do women from the developing Balkan region choose to migrate to the US through the Au Pair program? Also, why isn’t the program considered domestic labor instead of cultural exchange?

The Effects of Environmental Factors on Evolution and the Conservation of Biodiversity in Lake Tanganyika

Jessica Rick

How does the evolutionary history of Lates fishes in Lake Tanganyika correspond to environmental change throughout the history of the lake?

Effectiveness of Women’s NGOs and Their Influence on Policy in the Republic of Georgia

Misty Springer

  1. How do the perceptions of policy makers differ from those of women working in NGOs regarding the effectiveness of human trafficking legislation in the Republic of Georgia?
  2. Are there cultural realities which enable political apathy toward the problem of human trafficking and the plight of its victims?

Environmental Policy and Building Partnerships with the Georgian Institute for Public Affairs

Jerry Stott

What bureaucratic comparisons can be made between the American and Georgian environmental administrations?

Studying Water Quality in Coimbatore District, India

Mackensie Swift

What is the water quality of Sulur Lake at various locations during different months of the year? Is the lake contaminated or does it meet the government regulations? Are the policies monitoring water quality effective based on the results of the samples?

How Toyota Can Influence the Profitability of Clean Energy in Oil and Gas Companies

Mikita Torapa

I am going to be involved into an international internship in Toyota and conduct my master's thesis research concerning energy, finance and sustainable development issues at the same time. The internship will be hold in Belgium. Specifically, I have received an internship offer from Toyota, which is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers and a leading global corporation, founded in 1937. The internship will occur in Sales and Planning Division of Toyota Motor Europe in Brussels where I will engage into data-analytical activity of international automotive industry and sustainability of natural resources. Concerning natural resources’ issues, I am going to deepen into my international research with emphasis on determinants of oil and gas companies’ profitability using the following explanatory factors: recent oil prices’ movements, such industry- and firm-specific factors as market concentration, market share and financial risk, and some others. Furthermore, I am also going to include into my model Toyota’s activity in sustainability of natural resources and other companies’ activity with similar approaches to energy efficiency and reduction of emissions. For example, such multinational corporations as Toyota influence the profitability of oil and gas companies both in the USA and Europe by producing emissions-free, hydrogen-powered vehicles, which consume much less petroleum and more electricity.

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