Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)

Graduate Program Annual Symposium (2010)

The Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) program held its fourth annual ES&P Graduate Program Annual Symposium on Wednesday, February 17, 2010.

This event included poster presentations on the Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) Masters student’s final M.A. projects within the Department of International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE). 


Determining Real Land-cover Changes Using Unvalidated Maps
Jenner Alpern
This project uses methods set forth in Pontius and Petrova 2009 to develop a method of assessing the likelihood that observed land-cover transitions between two points in time are in fact real changes on the landscape which cannot be explained by map error. The main difficulty arises from the fact that neither map has ever been validated for accuracy and therefore no metric for error is present for either time. 

Dependent on the Sea: a Survey on the Challenges to Fishing Communities in Rhode Island
Kara Baylog
Since the mid 1990s there has been a significant decrease in the number of commercial fishing vessels registering in the ports of Newport and Narragansett. This project uncovers some of the reasons for the decline in fishing effort from an economic, political and biological standpoint.

The Role of Economic Incentives in Environmental Regulation: An Analysis of Market Tools Essential for Electric Vehicle Dissemination
Kristin Brubaker
A mix of technological and behavioral changes is necessary for adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The transportation sector, especially, has potential for significant decreases in greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of electric vehicles. Economic tools are essential in incentivizing production and use of electric vehicles for both companies and individuals.

Community Forest Management in Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam: A Critical Review on Policies of Community Forest Allocation Based on Sustainable Forest Management Process
Chuong Bui
Since the late 1980s community forest management (CFM) has become a potential approach for sustainable forestry and process of decentralization on forest resources management, which has been broadly embraced by national leaders and policy-makers in Vietnam due to positive impacts of CFM on livelihood improvement and forest conservation. The paper assesses policies of community forest allocation based on process of sustainable forest management through reviewing pilots of community forest management in Thua Thien Hue province of Vietnam.

The Role that Sense of Pride Plays in Social Marketing Campaigns for Conservation
Yanfang Cun
The objective of this research is to explore how and what specific roles of people's sense of pride plays in the social marketing conservation campaign towards conservation impact/achievement. The research focuses on cases studies of the rare conservation pride program and uses second data and literature review.

Burning Sea: Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Ecology
Dana Goodman
In this documentary I will be using the medium of film to describe ocean acidification in a creative way in order to reach audiences outside the scientific community and create more social awareness about this crucial environmental issue. My research focuses on the chemical interaction between atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean water which lowers ocean pH affecting organisms throughout the marine food web, including humans.

Impact Assessment of Resettlement Programs in Kenya and its Sustainable Development Implications: The Case of Land Settlement Schemes in Lamu District
Farida Abdullahi Hassan
The study seeks to evaluate the most significant impacts of Land Settlement Schemes in Lamu District and to recommend mitigation measures that can promote sustainable utilization of natural resources and viable livelihood strategies.

Return to top >>

Facilitating Alternative Livestock Production in Massachusetts
Kelsey Herrington
This project explores ways to facilitate “alternative” livestock production that benefits animals, farmers, workers, consumers, and the natural environment.

Stepping on Another Man’s Turf: The Debate Over the Regulation of Synthetic Grass
Tara Kurland
This project developed from a summer study with the UConn Health Center, the Connecticut DPH & DEP, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experimentation Station on the toxicity of artificial turf. The presentation describes the nature of the regulatory debate, provides specifics on the Connecticut study, and then concludes with some policy suggestions.

A Discussion of the Voluntary Carbon Market as a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy
Danielle Lauber
A summer internship project is incorporated into a discussion of the voluntary carbon market. The ‘over-the-counter’ (OTC) market is examined as a climate change mitigation strategy through market trends. The project is used as a case study to specifically investigate the feasibility of a forest sector carbon sequestration project for the OTC market.

Interactive Relationships between Technology Deployment and Regulation for Carbon Capture and Storage in China and United States
Yue Liu
This paper will first review the carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technology developing and regulating in both China and United States. The two varied modes of moving fast forward on CCS commercial scale projects constructions before addressing CCS regulation issues in China and more prudent way of initiating large scale of CCS demonstration projects only under more certain regulations in U.S. will be identified. The comparative analysis then will be made to find out factors that contribute to these two CCS technology development modes. With the aim of examining the merits and disadvantages of these two modes, this paper will provide a good learning channel for learning and understanding the interactive relationships of CCS technology development and regulation, and conclusions as useful references for similar urgently needed technology and regulation issues.

From Brown to Green: The Feasibility of Using New England Brownfield Sites for Willow Energy Crop Plantations
John McKenzie
This study investigates the feasibility of using Brownfield sites in New England as locations for the establishment of Willow plantations. The goal of the study is to determine whether such sites can produce willow crops suitable for energy production while also effectively cleaning the sites via phytoremediation.

Environmental and Social Due Diligence Report and an Environmental Management System Implementation Assessment. Aries Project, Haiti
Sandra Mueller
The overall purpose of this project was to support a multilateral development institution in the process of completing an Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD) in the Republic of Haiti. Upon completion of the ESDD, an Environmental and Social Due Diligence Report (ESDR) was completed which presented the key findings and recommendations resulting from the ESDD of Project facilities, including a desktop review of Project documentation, meetings held with the Client and Project representatives, and the observations made and interviews conducted during the visit to selected Project area sites. As required for the Practitioner Project, the ESDR was enhanced by adding an academic component that presents an assessment of Aries’ need to implement an Environmental Management System (EMS), the rationale behind an EMS, as well as its main components, so as to create an implementation guideline for the Aries project to consider in the future.

Sustainable Management of Protected Areas in Vietnam: Applications for Conservation Planning in Phong Dien Nature Reserve (PDNR)
Tin Nguyen
Keeping balance between conservation and development is a hard task for everyone working in the field of biodiversity conservation. How to better manage the natural resources and what is lacking to improve the livelihood of local people in buffer zones after the development activities has been of great concern to the implementing agency personnel. In order to probe this issue, this project was conducted with the objective to determining the role of institutional actors as well as local livelihood changes relating to natural resources use and management in PDNR in the Central of Vietnam towards co-management approach.

Return to top >>

The Merits of Participatory Management in Residential Energy Efficiency: The Case of Worcester, MA
Christopher Noonan
Participatory Management is often a difficult, yet rewarding management style for public projects. Can a model of participatory management be used successfully in Worcester, MA, specific to wide-spread residential energy efficiency practices? What are the main challenges and barriers to working in a participatory style and what are the merits of using this system that make it preferable to closed door management methodologies. This research will use the case of the 6 houses weatherized through the Communities Count program, which is a precursor to 360 homes to be weatherized. It will also examine the role of community and academic groups, specifically through the Worcester Housing, Energy and Community working group. Participant interviews, observations, meeting attendance, literature reviews, analysis of comparative models and hands-on participation are the main lens through which conclusions will be drawn regarding the merits of participatory management in residential energy efficiency, specific to Worcester, MA.

The Main South Farmers' Market: Who Has Access and How Can it Improve Our Urban Food Environment?
Kaitlyn Sephton
Urban farmers' markets are an important source of fresh, affordable, local produce, particularly in low-income neighborhoods. This project uses GIS analysis to explore access to Main South's new farmer's market.

Investing in Common Ground: An exploration of alternatives for multi-stakeholder involvement in decisions regarding urban green space
Heather Strom
When it comes to urban green space there are many stakeholders involved, including not only the surrounding community but also local government, businesses and non-profits. Using recent literature as well as case studies, this project explores the strengths and weaknesses of various collaborative approaches in an attempt to uncover a more comprehensive, equal and sustainable multi-stakeholder participatory process.

Sound Environmental Management in Ghana’s Petroleum Industry: Assessment of Existing Capacity and Recommendations for Sustainable Development
Ebenezer Teye
Ghana’s oil discovery has the potential to benefit the country in many ways possible but some oil producing countries have in the past set unenviable precedence as far as their environmental governance and management is concerned–compromising their sustainable development potential. The research uses literature review, interviews, photographic information, and direct observation to assess the existing capacity of the oil refinery; oil exploration and production companies and the regulatory agency (EPA) to practice sound environmental management in the petroleum industry; the basis upon which recommendations could made.

Effecting Global Biodiversity Conservation Post-2010
Ben Wright
The "International Year of Biodiversity," 2010, marks international failure to meet the goal of reducing global biodiversity loss as set by the Convention on Biological Diversity. This critical analysis of international biodiversity policies and paradigms reveals opportunities to enhance effectiveness, policy integration, and salience.

Encouraging Media Coverage of Climate Change: A Proposal for Awards of Newspaper Coverage in Hangzhou, China
Hao Xin
This paper presents a proposal for a new set of media awards in China to encourage a higher frequency and better quality of coverage on climate change. It also puts forward a series of criteria for coverage assessment and reporting skills.

View past ES&P Final M.A. project topics:








Return to top >>