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.

British Columbia's carbon tax: Addressing gender, age, and locational impacts

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-05
Abstract: 

This paper explores ways to design equitable carbon taxes across genders, ages, and locations in BC. This research begins to fill in the gaps in empirical knowledge about the impacts of a carbon tax on community groups beyond income-only based assessments. I begin this paper by outlining BC’s GHG emissions history, the structure of BC’s carbon tax, and a feminist approach to analyzing environmental and fiscal policies. I then outline my research, which uses multiple methods, and the results of the quantitative data analysis and expert interviews. My data analysis concludes that the carbon tax at its current rate does not disproportionately impact women or youth across urban and rural locations in BC to a significant extent. My research analyzes three policy options to recycle revenue back to households to off-set inequities. I make recommendations to improve the equity effects of BC’s carbon tax as the carbon tax rate increases.

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

No Place Like Home: Comprehensive Approach to Improve Aging-in-Place for Ethnocultural Minority Older Adults in British Columbia

Date created: 
2017-04-12
Abstract: 

This capstone explores how British Columbia’s (BC) policies can be more inclusive to the values and needs of ethnocultural minority older adults (EMOAs), such as aging-in-place, home and community services, and informal caregiver support. I first illustrate the BC context by explaining the service delivery model and the changes that occurred over time. Then, my literature review synthesizes the needs and service gaps ethnocultural groups experience. Finally, my research explores innovative policy options using insights generated from international and provincial jurisdictional analysis, expert interviews, and Canadian Institution of Health Information data. Through the interviews with service providers, I unpack how implementation affects EMOAs engagement. For example, I assess how specific targeting and tailoring styles meet the preference of local ethnocultural demographic and improve service utilization. My analysis recommends provincial policies that reflect the diverse values of ethnocultural groups and create flexibility for service providers to innovate according to local demographic demands.

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

Soundscapes as therapy: An innovative approach to chronic pain and anxiety management

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-11
Abstract: 

Chronic pain, which can last months to years, is considered to be a progressive and multifactorial disease that has been the subject of study for centuries. Chronic pain emerges long after the process of tissue healing might have occurred, and results from complex interplay amongst several antecedents. Because the disease is incurable, the primary approach is that of “managing” chronic pain, which includes both short-term and long-term forms of neuroplasticity enabled by non-invasive therapeutic practices. It is not a surprise that the strong mind-body connection has inspired researchers and practitioners to use music and environmental sounds as a tool for healing. The approach for using music and environmental sounds in clinical settings has begun to grow, yet the focus of its use is limited when it comes to chronic pain management. Emphasis on the act of listening rather than simply hearing has been shown to have therapeutic effects in a number of contexts, such as traumatic brain injuries, and dementia. As part of this research, we are examining the potential effects act of listening has on patients suffering from chronic pain. This research explores an approach of using soundscapes as therapy to help chronic pain patients manage their pain and anxiety. A review of literature in pain studies, auditory perception, music therapy, acoustic ecology, and immersion was conducted in developing a systematic approach for using soundscapes as a form of therapeutic intervention. In addition, three separate experiments were conducted with chronic pain patients to support the findings of this form of therapy, including future directions for improvement.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
Diane Gromala
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Interactive Arts and Technology
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Electrifying demand: Increasing zero emission vehicle adoption in Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-11
Abstract: 

Light duty vehicles account for approximately one-third of Vancouver’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce these emissions, Vancouver has committed to transition to 100 percent renewable energy for all light duty transportation in the city by 2050. However, the cost difference between zero emission vehicles and the dominant internal combustion engine is identified as a barrier to adoption for many consumers. This study examines how municipal policy can minimize this difference. Key considerations are identified through interviews with experts and a jurisdiction scan of three cities. Four policy options are assessed against criteria of effectiveness, public acceptability, government cost, and administrative complexity. An education campaign and discounted parking are recommended for immediate implementation, and further analysis should be done on the development of a toll zone. At the same time, mode-shifting away from private vehicles to active transportation and public transit should remain a top policy priority.

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

Spaces of convergence in a cancer clinical genomics trial: a survey examining genomic literacy among medical oncologists in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-10
Abstract: 

The emergence of big data in the network age has led to many innovative breakthroughs in all sectors of life. One significant breakthrough are the prominent applications of clinical genomics in developing personalized medicine. In this thesis I explore the technological diffusion of clinical genomics within the spaces of convergence of multidisciplinary medical stakeholders in the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) cancer clinical trial, I co-developed the concept of “Genomic literacy” by drawing upon three areas of scholarship: health communication, information communication technologies (ICTs), and science and technology. I gathered data using a survey and semi-structured interviews with medical oncologists and other scientists at. Using this data I examine how genomic literacy, attitudes, and experiences of the domain experts working with clinical genomics can determine the adoption of genomic technologies into clinical care. These spaces of convergence of multidisciplinary medical stakeholders also create a pedagogical space where the stakeholders come together. This bioclinical collective of stakeholders learn more about genomics through their communicative and discursive processes, as they co-construct knowledge and meaning with genomic information.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Chow-White
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The Balancing Act: A Study of Journalism, Marketing & Publishing in Digital Content Marketing

Date created: 
2017-04-24
Abstract: 

This study explores how the skillsets of journalists, marketers, and publishers are balanced in digital content marketing, an approach to online advertising that promotes sustained consumption of ads by presenting them as desired media experiences. This exploration is accomplished in two parts. First, by providing a detailed investigation of digital content marketing as a practice, including its history, approaches, growth, and challenges. Second, through analysis of ECHO Storytelling Agency, a Vancouver BC-based custom publisher that expanded to begin offering digital content marketing services in 2014.

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

Publishing Diversity with The Boy & The Bindi: A Case Study of the First Children’s Picture Book From Arsenal Pulp Press

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-19
Abstract: 

This report is a study of the creation process and marketing campaign of The Boy & The Bindi by Vivek Shraya: the first-ever children’s picture book produced by Arsenal Pulp Press, an independent publisher based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The opening chapter will provide information concerning the lack of diversity in children’s books as of 2016. Chapter Two will walk readers through the editorial and design processes of the picture book and its lasting effects on the press. The third chapter discusses the media coverage the book received and how authors who are willing to promote themselves benefit a publisher. In the fourth and final chapter, the future of publishing children’s books at Arsenal will be explored, with a brief look at how a second title was acquired. Recommendations will follow pertaining to how Arsenal can move forward with publishing future children’s picture books.

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.

Short-term loans with long-term consequences: An analysis of payday loan policy for British Columbia

Date created: 
2017-03-22
Abstract: 

Payday lending has grown in popularity among British Columbians. It remains an expensive form of consumer credit, which can lead borrowers into a cycle of debt. Alarmingly, the majority of people who access payday loans are borrowing repeatedly to meet financial shortfalls and not enough has been done to ensure these consumers are protected. This capstone seeks to explore various ways of reducing repeat payday loan use and improve borrower outcomes. The topic is explored by compiling relevant literature, speaking with experts, and examining the policy actions of three distinct jurisdictions. The advantages and disadvantages of four policy options are assessed relative to a set of criteria. The proposed solution is for the government to promote more affordable credit alternatives and stringently regulate licensed payday lenders.

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

Health in distant fields: An ethnographic study of Latin American migrant farmworkers’ access to health services in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-07
Abstract: 

Canada prides itself on its universal healthcare system. Nonetheless, migrant farm workers, who have temporary resident status, face difficulties accessing provincial healthcare while in Canada. Interviews and institutional ethnographic analysis were conducted in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. This paper examines the barriers that temporary farm workers from Mexico and Guatemala face when attempting to access healthcare services in Canada. Ontario and British Columbia, provinces with differing healthcare coverage, were found to have the same barriers but at different magnitudes. The reinforcement of bureaucratic barriers in British Columbia restricts temporary farm workers from accessing medical services more so than in Ontario. As the numbers of temporary farm workers rise in Canada, provincial healthcare providers can improve access to medical care by taking into account the difficulties temporary farm workers are currently facing.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gerardo Otero
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: International Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Oxygen mass transport parameters in ionomer films under controlled relative humidity

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-20
Abstract: 

Mass transport parameters are determined for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the electrochemical interface of a platinum microdisk electrode and five different series of polymer electrolyte membranes. The series included proton exchange polyfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) based membranes (Nafion 117, Nafion 211), films cast from PFSA dispersions (DE2020), anion exchange quaternary ammonium based membranes (FAA-3), and films cast from hexamethyl-p-terphenyl polymethylbenzimidazole (HMT-PMBI) dispersions. The membranes differ in chemical structure, morphology, and water content controlled by relative humidity. The series of materials were investigated over a range of temperatures (50-70 °C) and relative humidities (30-98% RH) using a solid state electrochemical cell. Cyclic voltammetry yielded the potentials where ORR is mass transport limited, as well as the electrochemically active surface area of the platinum microdisk electrode. Chronoamperometry was performed at mass transport limiting potentials, where fitting the current transients to analytical models (Cottrell/Shoup-Szabo) allowed for the calculation of oxygen diffusion coefficient (Db), solubility (cb), and permeability (Db*cb) for the applied environmental conditions. A numerical model is also presented which highlights constraints in using the analytical models to determine mass transport parameters when the inherently-assumed infinite electrolyte thickness is not present. During chronoamperometric measurements, where the potential applied results in the generation of liquid water at the membrane/electrode interface (ORR), a reversible time-dependent behaviour was observed where Db and Db*cb increased over time to plateau values. The time-dependency responds to changes in relative humidity and is reversible, where mass transport parameters shift to a vapour equilibrated state over long periods of time. It is suggested that the electrochemically generated liquid water at the membrane/platinum interface during oxygen reduction results in a morphological change over repeated perturbations in the form of chronoamperometric analysis. The presence of interfacial liquid water causes hydrophilic channels, which are not present in substantial amounts at the interface in the vapour equilibrated-state, to reorient toward the surface. The increase in water-filled channels at the interface can explain the increase in Db and Db*cb, which are dependent on water content. Oxygen mass transport parameters for both proton and anion exchange membranes are reported as a function of relative humidity. In order to perform electrochemical measurements at < 70% RH (at 50 °C) for perfluorosulfonic acid membranes and for all conditions for anion exchange membranes, a modified twoelectrode setup was employed and compared to a three-electrode configuration. The oxygen diffusion coefficient is observed to depend on the water content. A lower relative humidity resulted in lower values of Db; significantly so for alkaline anion exchange samples compared to their acidic counterparts. cb was observed to exhibit an inverse relationship, which increases with decreasing relative humidity. The decrease in Db as the relative humidity was lowered was larger than the increase in cb, which lead to a decrease in Db*cb as the relative humidity was lowered for all membranes.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Steven Holdcroft
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.