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.

Factors associated with angling license purchase frequency and fishing site choice for BC anglers

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-05-28
Abstract: 

A substantial proportion of anglers in British Columbia (BC) are infrequent, meaning that they do not purchase a license every year. Maintaining fishing license sales is an important objective of fisheries management and leads to stable revenue for conservation and management. To sustain participation, we must better understand the characteristics, license-purchasing habits and fishing site preferences of infrequent anglers, as well as differences between infrequent and frequent anglers. We employed a survey distributed to random BC anglers stratified by participation; a follow-up survey was used to assess non-response bias. The results showed that age, fishing skills and centrality of fishing to lifestyle, number of other anglers in household and usual time of license-purchasing influenced the anglers’ likelihood to be frequent license-purchasers. Choice modeling identified the differences in fishing site preferences (e.g., expected fish size, amenities) between the two angler groups and revealed what management actions would increase overall angler satisfaction.

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

Atoms for Annan: The Chapelcross Works nuclear station, technopolitics, and British nuclear culture in the Dumfriesshire region of Scotland between 1955-1979

Date created: 
2018-05-01
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the history of the Chapelcross Works nuclear station and the local, regional, and national politics around the plant from 1955 to 1979. It looks outward from the plant's history to view the convergence of technopolitics and nuclear culture in Scotland during the Cold War. The thesis argues that the problem of autonomy from versus integration within the British Nuclear State often shaped how Scottish institutions, civil society groups, and individuals dealt with Chapelcross station and crafted strategies around their differing agendas. It also shows how some people in Dumfriesshire challenged official UK nuclear policy and official narratives.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Aaron Windel
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of History
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Enhancing post-secondary student support and retention: Lessons learned from the storied lives of former first year BDSc students

Date created: 
2018-05-23
Abstract: 

Student retention remains one the most widely researched areas in higher education. However, there exists a paucity of research that has examined student retention through the lens of first-year students who have been dismissed from their institution, particularly within Canadian health-related undergraduate programs. Using a qualitative narrative inquiry, this study explored the lived experiences of 10 former first-year students in the University of British Columbia’s Bachelor of Dental Science (BDSc) program. Informed by Braxton and Hirschy’s (2005) model of student departure for commuter students, goals of the study included investigating students’ experiences as they transitioned into their first year in the program, the influencing factors that contributed to students’ academic performance and subsequent dismissal in their first year of study, and the support mechanisms and resources needed for entering students. Individual interviews were conducted at two separate times with each participant to better understand their challenges and needs as they entered and transitioned through their first year of university. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim to facilitate the thematic coding of emergent themes. Narrative analysis involved an examination of participants’ experiences related to temporality, place, and sociality accomplished through coding, member checking, and researcher memos. Academic under-preparedness, large university class sizes, challenges connecting with faculty, and external influences were identified as factors that contributed to participants’ unsuccessful academic outcome. The social environment for participants was strongly tied to classroom life. Academic learning communities successfully facilitated the establishment of close friendships and feelings of social integration. Disconnection with many faculty members resulted in participants feeling academically not integrated and contributed to lower levels of perceived institutional commitment to student welfare which negatively impacted students’ ability to progress. The existing university student services departments and support resources were under-utilized. Lessons learned from this research have resulted in a greater appreciation for the role that an institution has in supporting its students. Participants’ lived experiences and suggestions have informed recommendations for policy and practice that may assist the BDSc program, the university, and other institutions of higher education in developing more robust, accessible, and visible programming to support student success.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michelle Pidgeon
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ed.D.

Multivariate CACE analysis with an application to Arthritis Health Journal Study

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-05-07
Abstract: 

Treatment noncompliance is a common issue in randomized controlled trials that may plague the randomization settings and bias the treatment effect estimation. The complier-average causal effect (CACE) model has become popular in estimating the method effectiveness under noncompliance. Performing multiple univariate CACE analysis separately fails to capture the potential correlations among multivariate outcomes, which will lead to biased estimates and significant loss of power in detecting actual treatment effect. Motivated by the Arthritis Health Journal Study, we propose a multivariate CACE model to better account for the correlations among outcomes. In our simulation study, the global likelihood ratio test is conducted to evaluate the treatment effect which fails to control the type I error for moderate sample sizes. So, we further perform a parametric bootstrap test to address this issue. Our simulation results suggest that the Multivariate CACE model outperforms multiple Univariate CACE models in the precision of estimation and statistical power in the case of correlated multivariate outcomes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Hui Xie
Department: 
Science: Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

A hierarchical credibility approach to modelling mortality rates for multiple populations

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-05-08
Abstract: 

A hierarchical credibility model is a generalization of the Bühlmann credibility model and the Bühlmann-Straub credibility model with a tree structure of four or more levels. This project aims to incorporate the hierarchical credibility theory, which is used in property and casualty insurance, to model the dependency of multi-population mortality rates. The forecasting performances of the three/four/five-level hierarchical credibility models are compared with those of the classical Lee-Carter model and its three extensions for multiple populations (joint-k, cointegrated and augmented common factor Lee-Carter models). Numerical illustrations based on mortality data for both genders of the US, the UK and Japan with a series of fitting year spans and three forecasting periods show that the hierarchical credibility approach contributes to more accurate forecasts measured by the AMAPE (average of mean absolute percentage errors). The proposed model is convenient to implement and can be further applied to projecting a mortality index for pricing mortality-indexed securities.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Cary Chi-Liang Tsai
Department: 
Science: Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

Stories of resident-to-resident aggression: Fears and experiences in long-term residential care

Date created: 
2018-02-26
Abstract: 

This thesis explores family caregiver concerns and experiences around resident-to-resident aggression (RRA) in long-term residential care (LTRC). Canadian media reports spanning a ten-year period (2007-2017) about RRA (n= 64) were analyzed with a critical discourse lens to examine the representation of family members. Also, family caregivers of residents in LTRC from two British Columbia health regions (n= 8) were interviewed about the influence of RRA media reports on perception of safety for themselves and their relatives in LTRC, and their broader caregiving experiences. Family caregivers viewed media reports on RRA as sensational, contributing to the stigma of dementia, and lacking context, but they did not impact the family caregivers’ sense of safety. Instead, the lack of access to empowerment structures (i.e. informal power, formal power, information, support, and education) and the ambiguous position of family within the hierarchical power structure of LTRC negatively influenced their caregiving experiences. Findings suggest a need for systemic change to increase family empowerment and role clarity with respect to prevention and management of RRA.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Andrew Sixsmith
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Room to grow: Building better rental stock for Vancouver families

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-20
Abstract: 

Finding suitable and affordable housing is increasingly a challenge for families in the City of Vancouver. The City has a limited supply of primary rental units large enough for families. Most family-sized units in Vancouver are in the secondary market, which lacks the security and stability of the primary market. This study starts with a calculation of need for family-sized rental units. It finds that the Housing Vancouver Strategy will not meet anticipated need. It then reviews several of the City's current housing policies. Three policy options are presented to address the limited supply of family-sized rental units. The policies are analysed based on how well they fulfill various criteria. The paper recommends expanding the maximum size of laneway houses to enable more 3-bedroom units and using a density bonus to ensure that secure rental projects include at least 12% 3-bedroom units and at least 30% 2-bedroom units.

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

The pink tide: A survey of research on the rise of the left in Latin America

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-05-25
Abstract: 

The reframing of international relations over the past three decades, from the nation-state to regional blocs, such as NAFTA or the European Union, was an attempt by analysts to better understand the interconnected globalized world. However, more recently, there has been a notable upsurge in nativist feeling in many parts of the world, accompanied by a renewed sense of nationalism in many nation-states. Still, regional blocs continue to be important players on the world stage in respect to trade, defence alliances, and patterns of international investment. In this regard, the importance of the supranational region is far from eclipsed and becomes an ever more present feature in international configurations. The rise of Leftist governments in Latin America over the past 19 years has led to a wave of research, not only into the reasons why so many leftist parties have been successful in the region, but also how much such successes at the state level have translated into a relatively coherent bloc of leftist policies. Some have argued that a greater cohesiveness within Latin America has resulted in a comparatively new spatial layer where the whole is more significant than the sum of its parts. Notably, a leftist turn across much of Latin America since the late 1990s has been interpreted as the attempt to deviate from (neo)liberal tendencies of the late 20th century ‘Washington Consensus’ toward more socialist policies. This thesis examines 20 of the key studies on the rise of the Left in Latin America since 1998 and analyzes the reasons they posit as being the key causes of the shift to the Left across the region. This analytical breakdown then allows for an overview of the factors that social scientists have used to examine regional political shifts, and highlights what is missing.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rick Gruneau
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Coping with injury and daily stressors in university student athletes

Date created: 
2018-05-10
Abstract: 

While recent research has generated a great deal of useful information about the nature of the stressors facing injured athletes and the coping strategies used during injury rehabilitation, few studies have examined the actual experiences of injured student athletes. This study sought to begin to address this gap in the literature by exploring the stress and coping experiences of injured student athletes over the course of their rehabilitation. Nine university student athletes with athletic injuries were recruited to complete fourteen consecutive weekly journal entries describing their stressors and coping strategies related to the injury rehabilitation process and other areas of life. Five participants (three female and two male) provided full journal datasets and then completed semi-structured interviews after returning to sport. Grounded theory methodology was utilized to analyze the journal and interview data. Themes arose related to the student athlete lifestyle, stressors, psychological responses to injury, coping strategies and coping effects, coping processes and perceived benefits. The results are discussed within the context of models of sport injury rehabilitation and previous research on stress and coping with athletic injury. The study identified several stressors and coping strategies specific to injured student athletes. These include balancing intensive time demands, which became further strained with the addition of rehabilitation, the effect of the injury on employment, and related coping strategies. Strengths and limitations of the study are addressed, and recommendations for future research are made with respect to this specific population and, more generally, research on stress and coping with athletic injury. Recommendations regarding strategies to support injured student athletes are also offered.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David Cox
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

The effect of vegetation structure and abiotic variables on oviposition-site selection by amphibians

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-20
Abstract: 

Assessing restoration success for pond-breeding amphibians frequently focuses on hydrology, water quality and vegetation, while neglecting the requirements of amphibians that use the restored areas for breeding. Both biotic and abiotic conditions can influence oviposition-site selection of amphibians that do not provide parental care. This study examines how vegetation structure and abiotic variables affect oviposition-site selection by amphibians. The goal of my study was to better understand the requirements of pond-breeding amphibians. In 2017, I surveyed egg masses in four ponds at the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden in Sechelt, B.C. I identified 667 egg masses of four native amphibian species that varied in abundance and species richness among ponds. I recorded five biotic variables (i.e., vegetation cover, vegetation type, stem density, stem diameter, and canopy closure) and two abiotic variables (i.e., water depth and solar radiation) at egg-mass sites and random sites where no egg masses were detected. Logistic regression analysis with backward elimination revealed that stem count (p = 0.008) and water depth (p = 0.0001) significantly influenced oviposition-site selection. The results also showed that higher stem density and shallower water depth increased the likelihood of egg masses being present. My study indicated that quantifying stems in the water column characterized vegetation density better than estimating percent cover of vegetation. Shallow areas that have structurally complex vegetation might provide an advantage for the offspring by increasing refuge, food resources, and favourable thermal conditions for egg development. Hence, restoration projects could incorporate vegetation structure and shallow areas in their pond designs to potentially increase the abundance and diversity of amphibian communities, thereby contributing to successful restoration projects.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Scott Harrison
Department: 
Environment: Ecological Restoration
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.