Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

Receive updates for this collection

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.

Did FSC certification add value in BC’s Central Coast?

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-01-20
Abstract: 

The Central Coast of BC, part of the larger Great Bear Rainforest (GBR), has seen decades of conflict as Environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), First Nations, community members and industry actors have collided over forest practices. This thesis evaluates whether Forest Stewardship Council Certification, a voluntary governance scheme enacted in 2009, has added value for these actors. Added value is conceptualized as a contribution to the goals or objectives of the organizations involved in FSC Certification and forest management. Added value is then situated in the context of a cross fertilization that occurred between government regulated Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) and FSC Certification. Empirically, information was obtained primarily from interviews with key stakeholders to understand organizational goals and how they relate to Central Coast governance and their interpretations of the role of certification. This thesis concludes that FSC Certification added non-economic value for Central Coast communities, First Nations and ENGOs through landscape level planning, performance based indicators and more comprehensive monitoring. Industry experienced subtracted economic value due to increased costs that did not result in any form of economic benefit.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Alex Clapp
Department: 
Environment: Department of Geography
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

HPV Social Marketing Campaigns: Novel Applications for Social Media Use

Abstract: 

Social media is contributing to the decline of traditional media such as newspapers, television, and radio. Public health organizations often conduct awareness campaigns through the media to reach the public with health messages. While many campaigns use social media, few have been formally evaluated and many established best practices are out of date due to the rapidly evolving nature of social media. Despite presenting public health organizations with an opportunity to reach and engage a large population, social media also poses a significant risk of loss of message control. Using a recent, innovative social marketing campaign, this capstone will employ a mixed methods approach to weigh the potential risks and benefits, evaluate three policy options, and recommend promising practices for using social media in HPV-related social marketing campaigns.

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.

Sexual Communication in Yellowjackets (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

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

To determine if and how pheromones mediate sexual communication of yellowjackets [Dolichovespula arenaria, D. maculata, Vespula alascensis, V. pensylvanica, V. squamosa], I took three approaches: (1) In field trapping experiments, I baited traps with a virgin queen (gyne) or a male and tested for their ability to attract prospective mates. I found that only gynes of D. arenaria attracted males. (2) In laboratory Y-tube olfactometer experiments with D. arenaria, D. maculata and V. pensylvanica, I used sibling or non-sibling gynes as a test stimulus, and found that only D. maculata gynes attracted conspecific males, provided they were non-siblings. These results imply an olfactory-based mechanism of nestmate recognition and inbreeding avoidance. (3) I tested the hypothesis that cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) differentiate sex, caste, and nest membership. I found that each caste had specific CHC profiles. My data demonstrate the diversity and complexity of sexual communication in yellowjacket wasps, and inspire follow-up studies to identify the sex pheromones.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gerhard Gries
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

A social ecological model of adherence to hip protectors in long-term care

Date created: 
2017-01-30
Abstract: 

Hip fractures among older adults living in long-term care (LTC) are debilitating and costly, and are nearly always caused by falls. If worn at the time of falling, specific types of hip protectors reduce fracture risk by 80%. However, the clinical value of hip protectors is compromised by poor user adherence in the wearing of these devices. My thesis provides insight into the factors governing adherence with hip protectors in LTC. In my first study, I conducted a systematic review of extant literature. A total of 1086 articles were identified, and of these, 28 met our inclusion criteria. Barriers and facilitators were grouped into four taxonomies: (i) system-related; (ii) caregiver-related; (iii) resident-related; (iv) hip protector-related. My second study involved the development and validation of the C-HiP index to measure commitment to hip protectors amongst paid care providers in LTC. Exploratory factor analysis yielded a factor structure consisting of two lower-order factors and a single higher-order factor. Expert evaluation by LTC clinicians provided evidence of content validity. Internal consistency was high (Cronbach’s alpha=0.96). My third study identified social ecological determinants of commitment to hip protectors by means of a cross-sectional survey (n=529). Mean (SD) commitment was 4.15 (0.71) out of 5.00. Commitment was associated with race/ethnicity, occupation, organizational tenure, awareness of a padded hip fracture, familiarity of hip protectors, perceptions of transformational leadership, communication, resident-provider relationship quality, and the existence of a champion of hip protectors within the home. Finally, I conducted a 12-month retrospective cohort study in fourteen publically subsidized LTC homes to identify factors governing adherence with hip protectors, and to examine the clinical value of hip protectors to prevent hip fractures. The percentage of residents who wore hip protectors during at least one fall was negatively correlated with regional socioeconomic deprivation (ρ=-0.630) and the percentage of residents with depression (ρ=-0.538), and was positively correlated with the percentage of residents paying for care privately (ρ=0.539) and who fractured their hip in the past 180 days (ρ=0.677). The relative risk of hip fracture was 0.36 (95% CI 0.14–0.90) in falls with hip protectors compared to falls without hip protectors.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephen Robinovitch
Department: 
Science: Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Experiments on the morphological controls of velocity inversions in bedrock canyons

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-03
Abstract: 

A recent investigation of flow through bedrock canyons of the Fraser River revealed that plunging flows occur where the canyons are laterally constrained and have low width-to-depth ratios. An experimental investigation was undertaken to reproduce the plunging flow fields observed in the Fraser canyons and to explore the influence of morphological controls on the occurrence and relative strength of plunging flow in bedrock canyons. Observations show that the plunging flow structure can be produced by accelerating the flow at the canyon entrance either over submerged sills or through lateral constrictions at the top of a scour pool entrance slope. The occurrence and strength of plunging flow into a scour pool can be enhanced by sill height, amount of lateral constriction, pool entrance slope, discharge, and reduced width-to-depth ratio. Plunging flow greatly enhances the potential for incision to occur along the channel bed and is an extreme departure from the assumptions of steady, uniform flow in bedrock incision models, highlighting the need for improved formulations that account for fluid flow.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jeremy Venditti
Department: 
Environment: Department of Geography
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Collaboration and awareness amongst flight attendants

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-24
Abstract: 

Collaboration is a core component of work activities amongst flight attendants as they work to promote onboard safety and deliver a high level of customer service. Yet we know little of how flight attendants collaborate and how we can best design technology to support this collaboration. Through an interview study with flight attendants, we explored their collaborative practices and processes and how technology aided such practices. While technologies like interphones and flight attendant call buttons acted as collaboration tools, we identified instances where the usability and functionality of these devices were the main barriers for maintaining efficient communication, situation awareness, and information exchange. Our findings inform the design of future technologies for enhancing communication and collaboration in an aircraft setting. As a proof of concept, we developed “SmartCrew”, a smartwatch application allows flight attendants to maintain an awareness of each other and communicate through messaging with haptic feedback. It is designed with an emphasis on real time information access and direct communication between flight attendants regardless of their location.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Carman Neustadter
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Interactive Arts and Technology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Evidence for the Production of the Standard Model Higgs Boson Produced via Vector Boson Fusion in the WW* Channel at the ATLAS Detector

Date created: 
2017-04-18
Abstract: 

In 2012, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider announced they had each observed a new particle with a mass of about 125 GeV/c^2. Given the available data, the properties of this particle are consistent with the Higgs boson predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics (SM). The Higgs boson, as proposed within the SM, is the simplest manifestation of the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism. This discovery was driven by the gluon fusion (ggF) production mode, the dominant Higgs boson production mechanism at the LHC. The SM also predicts that the Higgs boson can be produced by the fusion of two weak vector bosons (VBF). Measuring VBF Higgs boson production is an important test of the SM but it is challenging to measure given its cross section is an order of magnitude smaller than that of ggF. After H->bb, H->WW* is the dominant decay channel for the SM Higgs boson at 125 GeV/c^2 and is therefore a promising channel to measure its properties. In addition, the VBF H->WW* search channel makes it possible to probe the exclusive coupling of the Higgs boson to the weak vector bosons. Precise measurements of these coupling strengths make it possible to constrain new models of physics beyond the SM. Despite its relatively large branching ratio, H->WW*->lnln is a challenging channel to search for the Higgs boson because of the neutrinos in the final state which are not directly detectable by the ATLAS detector. Consequently, it is not possible to fully reconstruct the mass of the WW system. Furthermore, there are several backgrounds that have the same signature in the detector as the signal. Top quark pair production is the largest background in this analysis. A multivariate analysis technique, based on an eight-variable boosted decision tree (BDT), is used to search for VBF H->WW*->lnln in the Run-I data and a subset of the Run-II data. This analysis provides the first evidence for VBF H->WW*->lnln with a significance of 3.2 standard deviations in Run-I and 1.9 standard deviations in Run-II. The measured signal strength relative to the rate predicted by the SM for VBF H->WW*->lnln is 1.3 +/- 0.5 using the Run-I data, and 1.7 +1.1/-0.9 using a fraction of the Run-II data.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Bernd Stelzer
Department: 
Science: Department of Physics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Flat pyramid

Date created: 
2017-03-03
Abstract: 

'Flat pyramid' is a multi-channel video installation. The project employs appropriated promotional and instructional video from a defunct pyramid scheme as the source material for fictionalized reenactment. The footage primarily consists of presentation documentation, testimonial interviews, and product photography—throughout all of which cutting rarely occurs between takes. Perpetrators and victims are seen moving in and out of their promotional personas, inadvertently making their disquieting intentions apparent. Through performative errors or deliberate rejection, people and things often struggle, fail or resist adhering to the scheme’s ideology. ‘Flat pyramid’ isolates these moments and, consequentially, mimics the trajectory of the scheme itself: inevitable failure and collapse. It asks us to consider why we permit unsustainable inequalities and the fantasies that uphold them.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Video documentation of the installation and opening
Senior supervisor: 
Christopher Pavsek
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Wearable sensor system for human localization and motion capture

Date created: 
2017-04-27
Abstract: 

Recent advances in MEMS wearable inertial/magnetic sensors and mobile computing have fostered a dramatic growth of interest for ambulatory human motion capture (MoCap). Compared to traditional optical MoCap systems such as the optical systems, inertial (i.e. accelerometer and gyroscope) and magnetic sensors do not require external fixtures such as cameras. Hence, they do not have in-the-lab measurement limitations and thus are ideal for ambulatory applications. However, due to the manufacturing process of MEMS sensors, existing wearable MoCap systems suffer from drift error and accuracy degradation over time caused by time-varying bias. The goal of this research is to develop algorithms based on multi-sensor fusion and machine learning techniques for precise tracking of human motion and location using wearable inertial sensors integrated with absolute localization technologies. The main focus of this research is on true ambulatory applications in active sports (e.g., skiing) and entertainment (e.g., gaming and filmmaking), and health-status monitoring. For active sports and entertainment applications, a novel sensor fusion algorithm is developed to fuse inertial data with magnetic field information and provide drift-free estimation of human body segment orientation. This concept is further extended to provide ubiquitous indoor/outdoor localization by fusing wearable inertial/magnetic sensors with global navigation satellite system (GNSS), barometric pressure sensor and ultra-wideband (UWB) localization technology. For health applications, this research is focused on longitudinal tracking of walking speed as a fundamental indicator of human well-being. A regression model is developed to map inertial information from a single waist or ankle-worn sensor to walking speed. This approach is further developed to estimate walking speed using a wrist-worn device (e.g., a smartwatch) by extracting the arm swing motion intensity and frequency by combining sensor fusion and principal component analysis.

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

Older Adult Gamers: Digital Game Genres and the Perceived Benefits of Gameplay

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-13
Abstract: 

In this rapidly aging society, successful aging is drawing the attention of not only older adults but also of researchers who want to help the older population to improve or maintain their well-being. The digital game is a promising technology that could assist in successful aging. This survey study profiled older adults on background characteristics, various aspects of the digital games that they played as well as on the amount of time spent playing games and on the perceived benefits of digital game playing. 875 older adults, over the age of 55, were recruited from shopping malls, community centers, and seniors’ centers in the Greater Vancouver area. However, only the data of the 463 older adults who played digital games were analyzed. Certain types of digital games were found to have significant associations with some of the background characteristics of older adults. Significant associations were found among the different types of digital games that older adults played, the amount of time they spent playing games, and the perceived benefits of playing digital games. These results revealed a number of new findings regarding the types of digital games that older adults play and the identification of new areas of future research.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David Kaufman
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.