Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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This collection contains digitized SFU theses except for those theses submitted within the last 12 months. If you cannot find the thesis you are looking for please search Recently Submitted Theses as it may be a recently submitted thesis and thus not yet available in Summit.

In-season forecasting of Fraser Chinook Salmon using genetic stock identification of test fishery data

Date created: 
2016-08-23
Abstract: 

In-season methods that produce accurate and timely forecasts of returning salmon abundances allow fisheries managers to alter fishing plans in order to meet conservation and harvest objectives. In-season methods are challenged by variability in catch statistics due to factors external to abundance, specifically, fluctuations in the migration timing of target and co-migrating stocks. I apply genetic stock identification (GSI) data to develop catch indices for the five Fraser Chinook management units, and use these indices to forecast returns for each management unit according to four in-season model forms. I evaluate models using three performance measures to determine forecasting errors. Results show that forecasts for Spring 52 and Summer 52 Chinook can be produced with reasonable accuracy early in the fishing season. Forecasts of Spring 42, Summer 41, and Fall Chinook are less accurate. Results indicate that this technique shows promise for providing accurate and timely forecasts for the five Fraser Chinook management units, particularly as additional years of data are GSI-analyzed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sean Cox
Charles Parken
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.R.M.

Iranian Community Media in Stockholm: Locality, Transnationality, and Multicultural Adaptation

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-06-27
Abstract: 

This study of Iranian diasporic media is located in Stockholm which became an important intellectual centre for Iranian exilic political activities in the 1980s. Employing interviews, textual analysis and policy research methods, this dissertation finds that Iranian ethnic media (and particularly radio) in Stockholm have demonstrated resilience and managed to stay relevant despite threats from commercialization and multiplication of competition from new international satellite and internet information providers. Such outlets are stronger than ever, and in a population well into its second and third generations, on the precipice of generational change. Very little about the Persian-language media in Stockholm studied suggests they channel a cosmopolitan or intercultural discourse, refuting Hamid Dabashi’s simple account of “cosmopolitan dispositionality” of Iranians (2007). Instead, they foster an ethno-centric, nostalgic “Persianist” subjectivity because the language is exclusively Persian, with no minority languages represented; they exhibit intracultural marginalization, while largely excluding women, youth and religious minority voices; show little content or organizational outreach; do not tend to collaborate and rarely translate into Swedish to raise intercultural awareness. Nonetheless, while many have failed and others arisen, they continue to give voice and represent community and locality in ways that no Internet platform and satellite television can because they offer an important sounding board for orientations to identity as “Iranian” or “Persian” within the local socio-cultural context, proving crucial in the process of “onboarding” into the Swedish society. The main argument is that the field of diasporic and ethnic media studies has to disrupt both celebratory and cosmopolitan tendencies, and victimization and minority discourses. Sweden proves a useful ground to explore the neoliberal turn and its disruptive impacts on universalist and social democratic civic ideals, to disclose the parlous circumstance of community media even amongst an allegedly advanced social welfare state under recent Conservative attack and the institutional failures of assimilative strategies in humanitarian and refugee immigration, and multicultural media infrastructure among diasporic peoples. Only through careful, non-media centric study of the multicultural communication infrastructure can researchers begin to grasp the symbolic and connective needs of different diasporic communities. This study concludes with suggestions for the concrete affirmative steps that can be taken to both strengthen the institutional capacity of immigrants in their chosen communities, and their ethnic media and expand its intercultural appeal in Stockholm.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Catherine Murray
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Development of an Adaptive Fuzzy Logic System for Energy Management in Residential Buildings

Date created: 
2015-08-26
Abstract: 

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are the main target for energy and load management in residential buildings due to their high energy consumption. The role of Thermostats is to automatically control the HVAC systems while users accommodate their everyday schedules and preferences. The initiatives such as demand response (DR) programs, Time of Use (TOU) rates, and real-time pricing (RTP) are often applied by smart grids to encourage customers in order to reduce consumption during peak demand periods. However, it is often a hassle for residential users to manually reprogram their thermostats in response to smart grid initiatives and/or environmental conditions that vary over time. In this thesis, the research endeavors are dedicated to bring forward a novel autonomous and adaptable system for control of residential HVAC systems which results in an “Adaptive Smart Thermostat”. To do so, a “House Simulator” is developed in MATLAB-GUI with thoughtful consideration as a tool to facilitate the study of energy management for residential HVAC systems in smart grids. The simulator also assists in the implementation and verification of our proposed techniques under different scenarios such as RTP, various user schedules, and different environmental conditions. Furthermore, a new algorithm using rule-based fuzzy logic and wireless sensors capabilities for residential demand-side management is developed. The algorithm is augmented into existing programmable communicating thermostats (PCT) in order to enhance the learning capability of PCTs during participation in DR programs. The conducted results show that the PCT equipped with our approach, versus existing PCTs, performs better with respect to energy and cost saving, while maintaining user thermal comfort. The achieved results led us to develop a novel “Autonomous Smart Thermostat” that is the result of a synergy of supervised fuzzy logic learning, wireless sensor capabilities, and smart grid incentives. The results demonstrate that the developed thermostat autonomously adjusts the set point temperatures in ASHRAE thermal comfort-zone, while not ignoring the energy conservation aspects. However, in cases that the user overrides the decision(s) made by autonomous system, a novel “Adaptive Fuzzy Learning Model” utilizing wireless sensor capabilities is developed in order to learn and adapt to user new preference and schedule changes based on rulebased fuzzy logic learning. The results show that the developed system is adaptable, smart, and capable of intelligent zoning control while it improves energy management in residential buildings without jeopardizing thermal comfort.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Siamak Arzanpour
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The New Star Podcast: A Publicity Project

Date created: 
2016-08-25
Abstract: 

In 2015 New Star Books—a small, Canadian press—created a podcast for the promotion of its authors. The Happy Hour Symposia aimed to promote authors and create intimacy, or a marketing connection with listeners. This report evaluates the progress of New Star’s strategy from initial goal setting to podcast production and distribution. The press and its authors may have enjoyed a short-lived success through the podcast, however future episodes will be sporadic and depend on the press’s decision to promote authors through the podcast. The report makes several suggestions pertaining to the improvement of the project and concludes that the podcast was a good publicity tool for its authors despite the press’s uncertainty of producing future episodes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Designing artificial electron transfer pathways in dioxygen-activating metalloenzymes

Date created: 
2016-07-26
Abstract: 

This thesis describes efforts to introduce new redox reactivity into two classes of dioxygen-activating enzymes. First, I investigated modified cytochrome c peroxidase (CcP). Here, a series of Trp residues were introduced between the heme active site and the surface of the enzyme to serve as a hole transfer wire. The addition of two mutations (A193W and Y229W) introduced new oxidation chemistry to CcP, as evaluated using aromatic substrate oxidation assays. This enzyme is a functional model for lignin peroxidase enzymes and provides a strong foundation for the development of new protein-based oxidation catalysts. Second, we investigated cyanobacterial aldehyde deformylating oxygenase (cAdo) enzymes. Here, we characterized and investigated three Ru-cAdo models. To provide the four electrons required for catalysis, we introduced a Ru-tris(diimine) photosensitizer to solvent exposed cysteine residues. Through NMR and GC-MS, we gained an insight into the catalytic activity of Ru-cAdo. This work highlights the nature of protein based electron transfer and points toward other underlying factors that dictate catalytic efficiency.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Jeffrey J. Warren
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Heads Up: Improving Youth Athlete Concussion Protocol in British Columbia

Date created: 
2016-06-10
Abstract: 

Concussions in youth sports have gained increasing attention over the past decade, as connections between head impacts and long-term damage have become more apparent, and as high profile cases of concussions have garnered more consideration in the public discourse. Despite this growing awareness, there is little in the way of basic legislation or policy to protect at-risk youth athletes in British Columbia. The highest incidence of concussion in the general population is among eleven to fourteen year olds in the province. This study investigates policies that other jurisdictions have implemented in efforts to increase awareness among athletes, parents and coaches, and reduce the number of youth concussions.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nancy Olewiler
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

The Promotion of Overconsumption and Food Waste: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Supermarket Flyers

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-08-18
Abstract: 

In the late 1800s, major shifts in manufacturing, media, and marketing began to take place. During this time, advertisements in the food industry boomed as mass-produced goods were readily available to the public. With the technology that we have today, mass-produced food items are even more abundant, and so are the advertisements for them. Many popular food advertisements that we see today revolve around concepts such as abundance, convenience and affordability, concepts that we value in Western society. This article attempts to uncover the reasons why food waste is so abundant in Canada by using content analysis and critical discourse analysis on nine different Canadian supermarkets’ flyers. This research led to two conclusions: 1) that different supermarkets use different marketing strategies to encourage people to consume in specific ways and 2) the supermarkets that advertise themselves as being the most cost-effective use more marketing strategies, most which include bundle purchasing.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Yuezhi Zhao
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Community Gardens in Vancouver: An exploration of communication, food sovereignty, and activism

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-08-04
Abstract: 

This research project used Claire Nettle’s analysis of community gardening, using social movement theory to assess whether Vancouver community gardens may be places of activism, in particular in raising understanding of and sympathy with the food sovereignty movement. Organizers of five community gardens were interviewed about their garden’s communication practices. The findings were to be similar to some of what Nettle found in her research. Community gardens are mixed spaces where some practices can be called activist, and others not. All of the gardens struggle with the issues that many volunteer-based organizations face. All of the gardens were seen by participants as public spaces which can not be isolated from the larger community, whether it is the neighbours or various visitors. This suggests that community gardens in Vancouver can be places where people practice acts that would support the food sovereignty movement in Canada.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Alison Beale
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

The Formation of Global Sports Fandom in China: Capitalism, Masculinities and World Order

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-08-23
Abstract: 

In the wake of the globalization of capitalism, cultural domination of the West has been legitimated on a global scale through transnational corporation (Schiller,1991). This essay argues that global sports fandom in China, which was facilitated by the global expansion of the Western sports industry, works as a mechanism of ideology, as it helps to reproduce Western masculinity in China through Chinese fans’ transnational identity towards Western sports brands. Following this, this essay uses global sports fandom in China as a microcosm to examine the myth of economic superpower and cultural vulnerability in post-reform China, which reflects on China’s complex role in shaping the contemporary world order.By using three-dimensional discourse analysis(Fairclough,1992), this essay locates the formation of global sports fandom in China in the context of the globalization of capitalism, in which the interweaving of the global expansion of Western sports industry and market economy reform in China collectively facilitated this cultural phenomenon. Following this, this essay uses the English Premier League fandom on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo as a case study to explore how global sports fandom formed in the Chinese indigenous context through the strategy of cosmopolitanism and the deployment of fans’ emerging class consciousness in post-reform China. In addition, discourse analysis also examines how Western masculinity becomes hegemonic on a global scale through creating a sense of fraternity in global sports fandom.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Adel Iskandar
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Constructed Hegemonic Femininity in the Realm of China’s E-commerce: A Case Study of Singles’ Day Sale

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-08-18
Abstract: 

This extended essay explores the construction of hegemonic femininity in the realm of Chinese e-commerce through a case study of the biggest online shopping festival in the world, the Singles’ Day Sale. It first outlines the post-2008 global political economic contexts that have given rise to the explosion of e-commerce as a platform for the promotion of domestic consumption in China. Then, it uses the methodology of multimodal discourse analysis to reveal how the images used to promote the Singles Day Sale construct consumption as a defining feature of hegemonic femininity in contemporary China. Finally, it examines the possible implications of this process for the status of Chinese women. The conclusion critiques how the collusion between patriarchy and capitalism has provided Chinese women with the sugar-coasted bullet of consumerism and unveils how this privileging of the consumption role of Chinese women conceals their productive role in society.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Yuezhi Li
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.