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.

Integration of a mobile thermal storage (M-TES) system in the district energy network of City of Surrey - opportunities, requirements and techno-economic analysis

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-06-14
Abstract: 

The City of Surrey in British Columbia, Canada operates a district energy network (DEN) that supplies thermal energy for space and water heating to multiple buildings in the Surrey Centre area. The City envisions the DEN as a key development in reaching its greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions reduction targets by integrating low-carbon energy sources. One of the low-carbon energy sources that Surrey can use is harvesting and utilizing waste heat from industrial sites using a mobile thermal energy storage (M-TES) system. In this thesis, a systematic approach has been followed to determine the requirements of M-TES, including a techno-economic analysis (TEA) to determine energy storage density (ESD), costs, and the emissions reduction when integrating waste heat into Surrey’s DEN.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Majid Bahrami
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Sustainable Energy Engineering
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

Understanding avalanche problem assessments: A concept mapping study with public avalanche forecasters

Author: 
Date created: 
2022-04-20
Abstract: 

Avalanche problems have become a fundamental component of avalanche hazard assessment and communication since the introduction of the Conceptual Model of Avalanche Hazard. However, the observations used to assess them are not explicitly defined and rely largely on avalanche forecasters’ subjective judgements that are prone to noise and bias. This study uses concept mapping to develop a comprehensive understanding of factors influencing operational applications of avalanche problems in public avalanche bulletins in Canada. Interviews with 22 experienced forecasters revealed a diverse range of physical observations and additional considerations. While some of the observed inconsistencies can be attributed to physical differences among forecast regions, others originate from personal perspectives on risk communication considerations, approaches to dealing with uncertainty, and attributes of operational forecast systems. This research offers a starting point for the development of more objective criteria for adding and removing avalanche problems in public bulletins.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Pascal Haegeli
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.R.M.

Contexts to exploit conflicts - Political opportunity structures for radical right parties in Western Europe

Author: 
Date created: 
2022-04-05
Abstract: 

Radical-Right Parties (RRPs) have seen an unprecedented growth in support across the globe, especially in Western Europe, with a great deal of variation in degrees of success. The variety in levels of support and timing are striking. And yet, similar patterns of political behaviour underlie RRP support. This puzzle is the focus of this study. What explains RRP success across countries and over time? One possible explanation for these differences is the context the parties operate in. Electioneering does not happen in a political vacuum. Every election differs in terms of the core issues that dominate the campaign, how parties navigate these issues, and how firm individuals are in their vote choice. The potential for political parties to establish themselves as electorally viable alternatives is at the very least influenced, if not determined, by these factors. This is especially true for challenger parties like RRPs. With an interest in the ascent of the RRP family in Europe, the focus of this dissertation is the political opportunity structure for RRPs. More than that, this work goes further by not just describing or measuring the political opportunity structure. Rather, I connect macro-level and micro-level determinants of party support. Overall, the central claim of this work is simple: context matters for the individual processes leading to RRP support. The ideological core of RRPs necessitates a specific political setting for them to gain electoral support in an election. The three substantive chapters investigate this with different levels in focus. First is emergence: My dissertation shows that over time, political contexts in Western Europe have become more advantageous for RRP success. This RRP-beneficial political opportunity structure can also result from sudden exogenous shocks, such as the sudden increase in salience of an issue due to external events. This establishing phase is the second aspect I study. As third perspective I take is on the maintenance of RRP support, securing the parties’ existence. When an RRP has solidified its voter base, individual patterns of support for these challenger parties becomes similar to the voting behaviour for other parties, thus “normalising” the mechanisms underlying RRP support.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Steven Weldon
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Political Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Scrutinizing blurbs: How book cover endorsements highlight the centrality of marketing in publishing

Author: 
Date created: 
2022-04-13
Abstract: 

Marketing is a key way publishers ascribe value to books in the literary marketplace. Book blurbs – quoted endorsements printed on book covers – act as promotional copy, influencing pre-publication decision-makers, such as booksellers and publicists. This report argues that blurbs attract scrutiny because they are a visible reminder of the dominance of marketing in contemporary publishing. Firstly, blurb histories illustrate that skepticism around promotion in publishing is not new. Secondly, marketing history looks at the consolidation of power in publishing and longstanding discomfort with the commodification of the book. Thirdly, case studies of blurbs of The Joy Luck Club (1989) and Little Fires Everywhere (2017) offer insight into the publishing histories and promotional strategies of each book. Lastly, the final section explores opportunities to form community through blurbs, but points to structural limitations that inhibit the sustainability of blurb practices, such as investment in narratives of exceptionalism with marginalized authors.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Amanda Lastoria
Hannah McGregor
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Pub.

A ravine of in-betweens: The body, dance, and writing into the excess

Date created: 
2022-04-07
Abstract: 

A ravine of in-betweens: The body, dance, and writing into the excess is an invitation for the reader to follow their body compass and undertake a personal journey. Through the exploration of seven guideposts (body, bodies, dance, somatics, improvisation, audiencing, pedagogies), I point towards an investigation of what it means to truly bring the body into pedagogical practices, particularly inclusive dance pedagogies. I build on somatics, arts-based research, and phenomenology to offer an understanding of the body that supports the possibility of audiencing one’s own dance. I propose that dance is research and, as such, the research starts with and from the body, and I question how to talk, think, and write of dance without objectifying it or using it as a metaphor for the research. By writing in dance, rather than about dance, I ask: How can I be true to the fact that dance is a form of non-linguistic knowledge, when writing about it? In doing so, I problematize the distinction between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ and, in particular, I discuss how the ‘practices’ of choreographing, teaching and dancing become ‘theory’. My dissertation explores my relationship with dance, but it moves from the personal to the social. I discuss the relationship my body holds with the endless possibilities of feeling, sensing, and dancing simultaneously and explore the use of a written language that comes from the experience of these possibilities. To honour the idea that my body, my research, and this dissertation keep changing through the process, I am also reflecting on the experience of living through a global pandemic and on the discovery of a ‘pandemic body’ and of emergent practices. I describe in detail the idea of an ‘excessive body’ to expand on the notion of body data as both an excess and a lack of evidence. Integral to this dissertation are three dance videos that I developed during my doctoral journey. These videos are not an ‘excess’ or a supplement to accompany my work. They are an essential part of this dissertation, since the act of dancing is the research: it is in the dancing that I find the flow of writing.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Celeste Snowber
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Evaluations that ‘leave no one behind’: Decolonizing Canada’s international assistance evaluations in Africa

Author: 
Date created: 
2022-03-08
Abstract: 

The role of evaluation in reaching development outcomes, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, is key. However, there are growing calls from African evaluators for the transformation and decolonization of evaluation to ensure that development ‘Leaves no one behind.’ Despite Canada’s focus on equitable development and partnerships through practices such as the Feminist International Assistance Policy, significant challenges remain. Through an examination of Africa, which is a primary focus of international assistance in Canada, this study investigates how decolonization in evaluation can be operationalized. Through a literature review, expert and informant interviews, and jurisdictional scan, four policy options are analyzed and recommended through an implementation framework. The short-term recommendations call for more meaningful engagement of African evaluation approaches through evaluation terms of references and evaluation steering committees, and the creation of knowledge sharing plans. The long-term recommendations call for the implementation of evaluation-capacity-building projects and a pre-qualified pool of evaluators and firms from Africa.

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

Latent oppositional defiant disorder symptom classes: Longitudinal evidence for severity-based distinctions in a high-risk sample

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-12-06
Abstract: 

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is characterized by disobedience, irritability, and hostility directed toward authority figures. Evidence suggests that there is an important distinction between the behavioural and affective symptoms of the disorder; however, it is currently unclear whether there are distinct subtypes of ODD. Using data from a high-risk, longitudinal sample from the Fast Track Project (n = 446), latent class analysis was used to examine latent classes of youth based on parent-reported ODD symptom criteria, separately at four different time points (grades 3, 6, 9, and 12). Three-class solutions were supported in all grades, with latent classes representing youth with Low (69.55-78.17% across grades), Moderate (14.52-23.24%), and High (3.53-9.03%) probabilities of parent-reported ODD symptoms. Tests of measurement invariance revealed some differences in the structure of latent classes across certain time points. Demographic variables, including race and initial levels of risk for conduct problems, significantly predicted latent class membership. The findings do not support the existence of ODD subtypes and suggest that symptom severity may be more important for distinguishing youth with ODD symptoms. More person-centered research is required to understand how the disorder presents across development.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Robert McMahon
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

How to teach bad boys a lesson: Student experiences of behaviour support in mainstream schools and secondary alternate education programs

Author: 
Date created: 
2022-04-05
Abstract: 

This qualitative study examines the experiences of Canadian secondary school students who are enrolled in Behaviour Support-focused alternate school programs. Through semi structured interviews, I investigate students’ understandings of their experiences as alternate school students and students who transitioned from mainstream to alternate schools. Three themes emerged in the data including ordinary violence in lives of the students, consistently disrupted education, tenuous feelings of belonging at school, and desire for connection. My findings suggest that traditional approaches of behaviour support do not address systemic inequalities and individualize ‘problem’ students to the point of harm. The findings suggest that behaviour-support programs have the potential to improve students’ education by abandoning exclusionary disciplinary practices and working to integrate equity-focused approaches such as Restorative Justice in Education, Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy, and Anti-racist education. Finally, implications for schools, pedagogical approaches, and behaviour support policies are discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Kumari Beck
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

An exploratory study on how structural racism influences chronic disease and health and wellness of First Nations in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2022-03-10
Abstract: 

Background: Indigenous peoples in Canada experience disproportionately higher rates of chronic disease than their non-Indigenous counterparts. Previous research has identified structural racism as a powerful determinant of health and well-being. Mounting evidence demonstrates First Nations are disproportionately overrepresented, compared to other Canadians, in several domains that have been used to measure structural racism in other countries. Despite growing concern of the impact of structural racism on health, there remains little empirical evidence on the impact structural racism has on chronic disease health outcomes of First Nations. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the complex and intersecting ways in which structural racism can influence chronic disease health outcomes and overall health and wellness of First Nations in Canada. Methods: In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-five participants including subject matter experts in health, justice, education, child welfare, politics, and researchers in racism scholarship and First Nations who have lived experience with a chronic condition(s). Thematic analysis was used to analyze data collected. Results: The findings highlight the ways in which structural racism is pervasive across all domains within Canadian society. Six themes emerged on how structural racism influences chronic disease and the health of First Nations: (1) multiple and intersecting pathways; (2) systems of failure, harm, and indifference; (3) impacts access to healthcare; (4) colonial policies of structural deprivation; (5) increases risk factors for chronic disease and poor health; and (6) structural burden leading to individual level outcomes. To address structural racism, five themes emerged: (1) accountability and consequences; (2) Indigenous authority and representation; (3) anti-racism praxis; (4) education and training; and (5) legislative and policy reform. Approaches to measure progress towards addressing structural racism and types of measures were identified. Potential indicators that could be used to measure experiences of structural racism affecting First Nations are presented. Conclusions: Structural racism creates an ecosystem that negatively impacts chronic disease and health of First Nations. This study identifies Indigenous-specific approaches to addressing and measuring structural racism in Canada. Future research into the development of evidence-based interventions and testing the reliability and validity of structural racism indicators is required.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Jeff Reading
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Drivers and consequences of life-history variation in steelhead trout

Author: 
Date created: 
2022-03-29
Abstract: 

Species with complex life histories – where individuals undergo a rapid ontogenetic shift followed by a change in habitat – may respond to environmental and ecological drivers in unanticipated ways. For example, traits shaped by conditions in one habitat could carry over to the next habitat leading to unpredicted consequences. Steelhead trout are anadromous with plastic, complex life-histories that display broad variation in both freshwater and marine phases of their life cycle. Here, I linked environmental variation (e.g., nutrient subsidies, marine climate) to life-history traits (e.g., smolt size, size at maturity) and carry-over effects to understand how these factors may affect population production in the depressed Keogh River, BC population. Beginning with a 40-year timeseries of steelhead abundance and juvenile life-history data, I examined how smolt production and traits (length and age) vary with freshwater rearing conditions. Steelhead smolt production, length-at-age, and age covary with temperature, artificial nutrient addition, and pink salmon spawning abundance (spawners generate a nutrient subsidy via eggs and carcass tissues that young steelhead eat). Next, I investigated how pink salmon egg abundance (and thus pink salmon spawning abundance) translated to egg consumption by young steelhead across varying fish communities. Using experimental egg additions, I discovered that increasing egg availability disrupted size- and species-based dominance hierarchies, allowing small juvenile steelhead and less competitive fishes to access eggs. In Chapter 4, I developed and validated improvements to scale-based fish length back-calculation to estimate smolt length from adult scales for use in Chapter 5. Finally, using three decades of archived adult steelhead scales, I examined how smolt traits (i.e., sex and back-calculated length) combine with marine environmental conditions to affect adult life-history traits and female steelhead egg production across three decades. I discovered carry-over effects of the freshwater environment on adult traits via relationships between smolt length and age- and length-at-maturity. However, the opposing effects of smolt length on age-at-maturity (which affects length-at-maturity) and length-at-maturity dampened the positive effect of smolt length on egg production. Collectively, this thesis informs steelhead management and demonstrates the complicated inter-relationships between environment and traits across complex and plastic life-histories.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Jonathan Moore
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.