MA students address climate challenges, spirituality of sports

Announcement Date: August 10, 2021

Students completing their master's degree programs at SIT Graduate Institute will present their final capstone projects Aug. 16-19, 2021. Members of the public are invited to attend these virtual presentations. Please email joseph.lanning@ihp.edu to RSVP and receive a link.

Tuesday, August 17, 12-12:45 PM EDT

Danielle Purvis, MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability

CURRENT STATE OF SEAGRASSES IN ZANZIBAR:
IMPACTS OF COASTAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES AND MARINE PROTECTED AREAS ON SEAGRASS COVER

Seagrass meadows are located abundantly in Zanzibar, Tanzania and provide essential ecosystem services to humans, flora, and fauna inhabiting the coasts. However, seagrasses have been less researched or protected than other marine ecosystems. Using geographic information systems (GIS) to estimate the change in percent of seagrass cover from 2006 to 2019, we conducted Spearman’s rank correlation analyses to identify whether MPA management plans were protective or whether seagrass degradation was correlated with seaweed farming, fishing, or tourism. To improve the management of seagrass meadows, plans must identify seagrasses as critical ecosystems, expand seagrass restoration projects, and address harmful practices in the tourism industry and other human impacts.

Tuesday, August 17, 1:30-2:30 PM EDT 

Richard Widmer, MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management

SPORT AS SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE

I come to this project as a coach seeking to better understand the role of sport in contemporary culture and its influence upon the individual and society at large. I would like to understand the origin and practice of spiritual principles and how to help athletes practice sport as a means of spiritual growth. Essentially, this thesis provides an opportunity for me to explore and articulate a foundation of spirituality that is personal, born through my experience in sport and life. What is this passion to compete that burns so deeply inside of me? Is there a way to rethink my relationship to sport, to the team, to the field, and to the ball?

Wednesday, August 18, 1:30-2:15 PM EDT

Katherine Lloyd, MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability

APICULTURE ADAPTATIONS IN A SHIFTING WORLD:
THE BEEKEEPER'S EXPERIENCE ACROSS THE GLOBE

Existing research suggests that changes in climate, such as rainfall and temperature shifts, will threaten bees’ main food sources and cause detrimental impacts on apiculture globally. Despite this, to the best of the author’s knowledge, there is little available by way of research relating to how beekeepers themselves experience these increased pressures to their practices. This research project investigated the experiences of beekeepers in the United States, Malawi, and Cameroon. As pollinators such as honeybees are essential to food systems and biodiversity across the globe, all practices to promote the health of managed bee populations are to be encouraged. Beekeeping adaptation may be vital to ensuring continued pollination services, for which demands are expected to increase in the future landscape of agriculture. For these reasons the global community would benefit from more cross-cultural exchange of methods to practice beekeeping sustainably, and in-depth research into the adaptation themes uncovered in this study.

Wednesday, August 18, 3-3:45 PM EDT

Amanda Burman, MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability

CULTURAL VALUATION OF US CORAL REEFS

Aligning social and cultural values into economic valuations of coral reefs has incurred challenges since the concepts are abstract and lack quantitative metrics. In this review, an assessment of publications on cultural ecosystem services of coral reefs in the U.S. Western Pacific region was conducted. The objectives were: (1) to assess the literature identifying the cultural values in the specific jurisdictions, (2) to identify beneficiaries and stakeholders defined by the literature, and (3) to explore cultural ecosystems services in terms of diversity, equity, inclusion, and adaptation to climate change. Based on the findings, (1) SDGs are important indicators and metrics utilized as a platform to justify cultural ecosystem services addressing poverty and understanding people’s way of life, (2) social, economic, and environmental dimensions are interconnected and demand an integrated approach, and (3) local cultural value contexts need to be understood through inclusion of voice, accessibility, and trust to implement adaptation climate policies that balance equitable use and conservation.

Thursday, August 19, 11-11:45 AM EDT 

Blake Dixon, MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability

PREDICTING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE TADWEER PROJECT 

Globally, the mismanagement of municipal solid waste continues to be an environmental, human health, and economic hazard, especially in developing countries. In Jordan, solid waste production is rapidly increasing as their population continue to grow. Unfortunately, only 6 to 10% of this waste is recycled with most of it landing in landfills or open dumpsites. Because of this, project TADWEER (“recycle” in Arabic) was launched by the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan’s (JREDS’) Eco-School program and will attempt to achieve zero waste in 10 selected schools in Al-Zarqaa and Irbid for the 2021-2022 school year. The project also plans to influence recycling behavior in surrounding communities and ultimately the nation. An aggressive plan was put together to achieve this, but only time will tell to see how successful the program will be. Predicting the success of an environmental program is key to improve the planning of future projects used for forecasting. If the prediction is right, the same technique could be used to predict others.

Thursday, August 19, 12:30-1:15 PM EDT

Christy Bray, MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability

NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE, OAHU, HAWAII

Hawaiʻi, the most isolated island chain in the world, has an abundance of flora and fauna in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Because of its uniqueness, the ecosystems are sensitive and contain many endemic and native species which can be overtaken by introduced species. In Kaneʻohe Bay, located on the east coast of Oʻahu, botanists introduced Kappaphycus alvarezii and K. striatum to farm them back in the 1970’s, and since then more invasive seaweeds have been introduced and spread throughout the bay. These introduced seaweeds smother corals and out-compete native seaweed (locally called limu), dominating the ecosystem. During the study, water quality data was collected, and a literature analysis was performed in order to suggest potential best practices to restore native limu to Kaneʻohe Bay. Informal interviews with native community members were also conducted to gather cultural knowledge and methods.