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Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

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Understanding And Measuring Net Positive Business Strategies, Luke Ruffner Robinson Jan 2020

Understanding And Measuring Net Positive Business Strategies, Luke Ruffner Robinson

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Despite their attempts to mitigate ecological impacts through sustainability initiatives, businesses are a major cause of the world's ecological problems. Some progressive businesses are attempting to move beyond “net zero” in terms of achieving neutral environmental impacts and instead are now pursuing a goal of net positive. Net positive refers to the idea that business activities could contribute value-added benefits to earth’s ecological systems, for example, by using technologies that sequester and store carbon. However, except for a handful of high-profile corporate case studies, little is known about how companies are developing their strategies to become net positive ...


Local Knowledge And Climate Information: The Role Of Trust And Risk In Agricultural Decisions About Drought, Adam J. Snitker Jan 2019

Local Knowledge And Climate Information: The Role Of Trust And Risk In Agricultural Decisions About Drought, Adam J. Snitker

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Climate change is projected to dramatically impact agricultural production across the world. Agricultural producers must adapt to changing conditions by implementing practices and utilizing knowledge that creates resilient operations. This study explores how Montana farmers and ranchers use of different types of knowledge during periods of drought and how risk perceptions and trust influence the use of knowledge. To understand the role trust and risk in producers’ use of local knowledge and climate information, I conducted five focus groups with 34 Montana agricultural producers. Producers explained that they encounter many agriculture-related risks, including uncertain forecasts, financial losses, and adverse weather ...


Whitewater Ecotourism Development In Bhutan: Opportunities And Challenges For Local Communities, Kira E. Tenney Jan 2019

Whitewater Ecotourism Development In Bhutan: Opportunities And Challenges For Local Communities, Kira E. Tenney

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Whitewater raft and kayak ecotourism can provide environmental, social-cultural, and economic benefits and opportunities to local communities, but can also result in respective challenges. Globally, adventure ecotourism is seen as a potent win-win strategy for conservation and local community development; however, there is a significant proportion of adventure and whitewater tourism that do not meet ecotourism tenets, and there is a call for incorporating greater investment in local community involvement. Whitewater ecotourism is particularly significant because of the unique opportunities and challenges associated with rivers, the resource upon which the industry directly depends. Clean, free-flowing rivers provide a range of ...


Understanding Tourism Within A Social-Ecological System: Ometepe Island, Nicaragua, Chelsea Leigh Leven Jan 2019

Understanding Tourism Within A Social-Ecological System: Ometepe Island, Nicaragua, Chelsea Leigh Leven

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Tourism endures as a major component of development strategies worldwide, despite a dearth of documented successes. Tourism failures arise in part from simplistic and reductionist approaches to sustainability and tourism. Successfully implementing tourism to support sustainable futures requires, at a minimum, a more holistic and complex conceptualization than tourism currently receives, including recognition of how human values shape a system. To achieve a more complex understanding of tourism, I analyzed tourism through a social-ecological system (SES) perspective using the paradigm of resilience thinking. Through a case study in Ometepe, Nicaragua, my research considered opportunities for tourism contributions to sustainable futures ...


Perceptions Of Vulnerability To Flooding, Hurricanes, And Climate Change On Grand Isle, Louisiana’S Only Inhabited Barrier Island, Lauren Miller Jan 2019

Perceptions Of Vulnerability To Flooding, Hurricanes, And Climate Change On Grand Isle, Louisiana’S Only Inhabited Barrier Island, Lauren Miller

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

This study used in-depth interviews of permanent residents on Grand Isle, Louisiana, a remote barrier island, to better understand their perceptions of structural flood measures, non-structural responses to flooding and hurricanes, and perceptions of vulnerability to flooding, hurricanes, and climate change on a remote barrier island-Grand Isle, Louisiana. Residents' perceptions regarding the various structural measures implemented by the federal, state, and local government appeared mixed. Non-structural responses to flooding risks implemented at the household, community, state, and federal level continue to strengthen resiliency on Grand Isle. According to interviewees, aspects of environmental, rural, and economic vulnerability on Grand Isle impact ...


The Quest Of Vision: Visual Culture, Sacred Space, Ritual, And The Documentation Of Lived Experience Through Rock Imagery, Aaron Robert Atencio Jan 2019

The Quest Of Vision: Visual Culture, Sacred Space, Ritual, And The Documentation Of Lived Experience Through Rock Imagery, Aaron Robert Atencio

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

This document will approach the multifaceted concepts that arise through the study of rock art and the cultivation of culture and belief through vision. Through this document the audience will encounter conceptual ideas regarding belief systems, ritual, experience, cognition, sacredness, and space/landscape — and how these are all essential dynamics that take place in the processes that cultivate the Shoshone visual culture. This document will employ an anthropological lens on the mentioned subject matters, while also approaching these concepts with an interdisciplinary curiosity of how they intermingle; creating a cohesive experience that focuses on these processes which empowered these people ...


Adaptation Under The Canopy: Coffee Cooperative And Certification Contributions To Smallholder Livelihood Sustainability In Santa Lucía Teotepec, Oaxaca, Meghan C. Montgomery Jan 2019

Adaptation Under The Canopy: Coffee Cooperative And Certification Contributions To Smallholder Livelihood Sustainability In Santa Lucía Teotepec, Oaxaca, Meghan C. Montgomery

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

The collapse and reorganization of global coffee markets associated with the “coffee crisis” have had profound, negative impacts on smallholder producer livelihoods throughout the world. In Mexico, the collapse of the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) coincided with withdrawal of government support for agriculture, which devastated producers dependent on coffee for their livelihoods. Smallholders responded by shifting livelihood strategies to diversify income, migrating, and converting primary forest cover to subsistence crops and pasture to support household livelihood security. In some instances, producers also joined or formed cooperative organizations to access specialty certifications that offer higher priced markets, extension information, and other ...


Transitioning Montana To A Renewable Energy Future: The Social And Economic Impacts, Jacqueline O. Sussman Jan 2018

Transitioning Montana To A Renewable Energy Future: The Social And Economic Impacts, Jacqueline O. Sussman

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Montana is home to the second-largest coal-fired power plant in the West, the Colstrip Generating Station. The value and demand for coal both domestically and globally is quickly diminishing, while the renewable energy industries of wind and solar are booming. As utilities in the Northwest transition their investments from coal to renewable energy, Montana faces a critical decision on the future of its energy system that will impact the lives of generations of Montanans to come.

This five-part report aims to aid in the discussion and decision-making process by reviewing the most up-to-date economic data on renewable energy; discussing the ...


Managing Mining Pollution: The Case Of Water Quality Governance In The Transboundary Kootenai/Y, Ashley Juric Jan 2018

Managing Mining Pollution: The Case Of Water Quality Governance In The Transboundary Kootenai/Y, Ashley Juric

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

This thesis addresses current water quality management challenges in the transboundary Kootenai/y River Basin, and how these challenges are shaped by historical, economic, political, and social factors. The water quality of this basin, both in the United State and Canada, has been severely affected by coal mining that has occurred in British Columbia over the last hundred years and continues to be threatened by several proposed mining expansion projects. The goals of this research are to uncover the forces shaping water management and to determine the potential for interested and affected parties to participate in crafting water quality protection ...


The Sylvan Blindspot: The Archaeological Value Of Surface Vegetation And A Critique Of Its Documentation, John S. Harris Jan 2018

The Sylvan Blindspot: The Archaeological Value Of Surface Vegetation And A Critique Of Its Documentation, John S. Harris

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Surface vegetation at archaeological sites is a resource overlooked in cultural resource management. Drawing upon comparative documentary surveys of site forms and human surveys of 161 archaeologists in 12 U.S. states, this thesis explores why surface vegetation offers archaeological data potential; how archaeological documentation is an artifact of archaeologists, shaped by various subjectivities; and how improvements can be made for vegetal description in cultural inventory site forms. The surveys offer a critique on how the site form records are a product of disciplinary training oversights, differing work background experience, cultural bias, limitations in botanical knowledge, regional differences in U ...


40 Years On The International Flathead: An Assessment Of Transboundary River Governance, Jedd Sankar-Gorton Jan 2018

40 Years On The International Flathead: An Assessment Of Transboundary River Governance, Jedd Sankar-Gorton

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Global population growth, climate change, and industrialization, are putting extreme pressures on worldwide freshwater supplies (Cosens 2010). Of the global freshwater supplies, transboundary water sources play a crucial role in sustaining populations. Over 40% of humans on Earth rely on a transboundary river or lake for access to water, and 90% of the world’s population lives in countries that share bodies of water with at least one other country (UN 2008). Taken together, the motivations for improving governance of transboundary water systems have never been stronger. To meet the challenges associated with transboundary water governance, researchers working at multiple ...


Knowledge Processes And The Potential For Adaptive Governance Of Inshore Fisheries In The Solomon Islands, Amber W. Datta Jan 2018

Knowledge Processes And The Potential For Adaptive Governance Of Inshore Fisheries In The Solomon Islands, Amber W. Datta

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Rapid environmental change, ranging from the collapse of fisheries to the rise of sea levels, poses significant challenges for the governance of marine resources. In Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), these changes result in the loss of marine resources, threatening both the biodiversity of coastal ecosystems and the communities that rely on them. Existing top-down, centralized forms of environmental governance lack the flexibility needed to address these issues especially at local scales, while bottom-up approaches often lack the coordination and authority needed to respond quickly to change. More adaptive forms of marine governance are needed to ensure that PICTs ...


Participatory Web Gis Design – A Sustainable Recreation Decision Support System For Missoula County, Nathanael R. Wold Jan 2017

Participatory Web Gis Design – A Sustainable Recreation Decision Support System For Missoula County, Nathanael R. Wold

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Sustainable recreation ensures that local communities benefit from the effects of recreation. A recreation decision support system (RDSS) is a common way for people to gather information about an area they are about to visit. This research explores: 1) how well can local representatives’ knowledge concerning appropriate recreation behaviors be incorporated into a WebGIS that will serve as a RDSS, 2) what layers, activities, and information do participants want to include in a RDSS, and 3) how well does the ArcGIS Online perform in incorporating representatives’ knowledge of areas of significance for a RDSS?

Recreationalists in Missoula County, Montana, have ...


What The Gringos Brought: A Critical Examination Of A Privately Protected Area In Chilean Patagonia, Elena Louder Jan 2017

What The Gringos Brought: A Critical Examination Of A Privately Protected Area In Chilean Patagonia, Elena Louder

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Neoliberal ideology increasingly underscores many mainstream efforts to conserve biodiversity. This research explores this convergence through an in-depth case study of a privately owned park located in Chilean Patagonia. In two complementary chapters, I assess the social and cultural impacts of the project, and examine the role of discourse in the process of communicating and constructing the park. In the first chapter I draw from interview data collected from September through December of 2016 and explore the perspectives of local people with a variety of relationships to the project. In the second I employ a critical discourse analysis of park ...


Hazardready – A Geographically Based Natural Hazard Education And Preparedness Web Application, Carson C. Macpherson-Krutsky Ms. Jan 2016

Hazardready – A Geographically Based Natural Hazard Education And Preparedness Web Application, Carson C. Macpherson-Krutsky Ms.

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters are inevitable and costly both in terms of lives lost and money spent on recovery. Scientific research on natural hazards is widely shared within the scientific community, but is less often made more widely accessible, as methods or pathways for providing scientific natural hazard information and data in non-technical language are limited. Priorities for imparting hazard information include: 1) scientific accuracy, 2) spatial granularity, 3) integration of information about all relevant hazards, 4) nontechnical content, 5) appropriate preparedness activities, and 6) engagement with existing disaster response and mitigation capabilities. In response to these ...


40 Trees: The Quest To Save Whitebark Pine On The Flathead Indian Reservation, Andrew S. Graham Jan 2016

40 Trees: The Quest To Save Whitebark Pine On The Flathead Indian Reservation, Andrew S. Graham

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

When it comes to managing natural resources in the face of global climate change, sometimes localized action is best. Rick Everett spent a lot of time in western forests - first as a ski patroller and logger and then as an ecologist - before landing as a professor at a tribal community college on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Now he faces a challenging new question: How do you save a tree species that is ecologically valuable to the forest and culturally valuable to Native American tribes, but is being pushed toward extinction by forces varied, deadly and driven by climate change? Everett ...


Protecting The Crown Of The Continent Ecosystem: A History Of Conservation In The Blackfoot And Swan Valleys, Montana, Verena Henners Jan 2016

Protecting The Crown Of The Continent Ecosystem: A History Of Conservation In The Blackfoot And Swan Valleys, Montana, Verena Henners

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Conservation strategies are essential tools for protecting landscapes and ecosystems. The Blackfoot and Swan Valleys in Montana, which are analyzed in this study, are considered to be prime examples of conservation efforts. Key conservation agencies in the study area include the Blackfoot Challenge and Swan Valley Connections. This study analyzes the history of conservation in the Blackfoot and Swan Valleys, current conservation practices, and contributors to successful conservation. The study uses the theoretical background of game theory and contributes to conservation theory and aims to contribute to the field of mountain geography. The methodological approach of the study is qualitative ...


Grassroots Planning: An Actor-Network Study Of Surfing Waves In Missoula, Montana, Alexander S. Pichacz Jr. Jan 2015

Grassroots Planning: An Actor-Network Study Of Surfing Waves In Missoula, Montana, Alexander S. Pichacz Jr.

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Brennan’s Wave, in downtown Missoula, has become an iconic feature of the town. Through the diligent work of a group of community advocates a dangerous and unsightly irrigation diversion structure was repurposed to include a recreation feature in the middle of the river that improved safety while simultaneously maintaining the integrity of the structure. The success of Brennan’s Wave has led to its replication through the planning of another memorial wave, the Max Wave, to be built downstream at the site of a similar irrigation structure. This study investigates how these structures are planned for and built by ...


(Re)Localizing Finland’S Foodshed: Grassroots Movements In Food Distribution And Urban Agriculture, Sophia E. Albov Jan 2015

(Re)Localizing Finland’S Foodshed: Grassroots Movements In Food Distribution And Urban Agriculture, Sophia E. Albov

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Finland’s agricultural landscape and food production systems have deep societal roots and intimate connections to the Finnish cultural identity. The thesis explores this cultural heritage through an examination of grassroots food distribution networks rapidly diffusing across Finland and an examination of urban agricultural practices in the capital city of Helsinki. This thesis aims to address the following questions: (1) What is the role of grassroots food distribution networks in Finland, and to what extent are they creating alternative farmer-consumer linkages that support eating local? (2) How is urban agriculture structured and organized in Helsinki and within the broader context ...


Remaking Nature In Montana: Topophilic Considerations Of Wolves And Wolf Trapping, Andrew Myers Jan 2015

Remaking Nature In Montana: Topophilic Considerations Of Wolves And Wolf Trapping, Andrew Myers

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

In 2011, after nearly forty years of federal protection, the gray wolf was removed from the Endangered Species List in Montana and its management entrusted to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The implementation of public trapping seasons in 2012 as a method to control wolf populations has further inflamed an already embroiled debate. The purpose of this research was to investigate how the presence of wolves and wolf trapping impacts human attachments to landscapes of “nature” in Montana by focusing on the following questions: What are the public’s social constructions of wolves? What are the public’s social constructions ...


Raising Grain In Next Year Country: Dryland Farming, Drought, And Adaptation In The Golden Triangle, Montana, Caroline M. Stephens Jan 2015

Raising Grain In Next Year Country: Dryland Farming, Drought, And Adaptation In The Golden Triangle, Montana, Caroline M. Stephens

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

Climate change has already and will likely continue to impact agriculture in the Western United States, threatening water supplies for both irrigated and rainfed agriculture (Calzadilla et al. 2010; Chambers and Pellant 2008; MacDonald et al. 2010; Pedersen et al. 2009). In the Golden Triangle, a region in north central Montana, known for its dryland grain production, the same is true. There is a need for in-depth, fine-grained, place-based, and qualitative research about the process of climate change adaptation in agriculture (Miller et al. 2013). Drought challenges farmers in the Triangle, which is semiarid and receives 10-15 inches of annual ...