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.

Move to Improve: A Second Language Acquisition Method to Support the Teacher and the Learner of Upriver Halq’eméylem

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-05
Abstract: 

The Upriver Halq’emeylem that is offered to adults in an accredited course appears to be thematic based; with emphasis on nouns and the grammar component follows a verb-based curriculum. And to complement the second language acquisition of the Upriver Halq’emeylem learner, it is vital that the instructional methods supports the student’s learning. As an Upriver Halq’emeylem instructor, I am always looking for second language acquisition strategies to support my existing curriculum and/or to guide me in expanding or developing new curriculum. On July 5th, 2018, I registered for the 834-Effective Pedagogies and Materials Development for First Nations Languages and instructed by, Dr. Marianne Ignace. It was there that I discovered the Accelerated Integrated Methodology created by Wendy Maxwell. It is a comprehensive teaching methodology for second language acquisition and that has research and testimonials to support that students attain greater comprehension and quicker fluency, within the target language.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Marianne Ignace
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Linguistics
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.

DamX̱an gud.ad t’alang hllG̱ang.gulX̱ads Gina Tllgaay (Working Together to Make It a Better World)

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-05
Abstract: 

The 1876 Indian Act and other federal laws have deliberately prevented us from exercising stewardship in all aspects of our life and severely compromised our ability to respond to Climate Change. Financing and caring for our homes and our families can take up an inordinate amount of time, especially when attempting to secure financial loans through the everyday financial institutions while jumping through the legal hoops put in front of us as legal “Wards” of the government. In this research I did interviews with the village residents of Skidegate, Haida Gwaii and asked; 1. What can we do to lower our carbon footprint? 2. How can we build and finance homes that are healthy and safe in light of climate change? 3. How can we use our ancient laws to empower our people and nation to uphold our values of respect, reciprocity, consensus and stewardship to create a safe planet for present and future generations? Workshop participants identified the need for more education on climate change impacts, financial planning, budgeting and alternative financing options. They also reported diverse ways of reducing fossil fuels such as using alternative energy sources and greener transportation, and accessing local value-added building materials. Respondents identified the need for improved access to financing for climate ready homes, qualified local building inspectors, and the reinvigoration of ancestral laws. Colonization is discussed throughout this research due to the impacts it has had and continues to have on our life ways. Collective financing using a “Common Bowl ” concept could be used through innovative clan reciprocity. Sharing, a local cooperative lending or a Grameen Bank concept along with the removal of the Indian Act and revitalization of ancient laws to live respectfully on the earth would offer independence and control for our nation and other nations individually. Currently, Indigenous communities are facing ongoing colonization while attempting to address the impacts of climate change. Re-infusing our kil yahdas[2] and kuuya[3] is important to rebuild and maintain healthy and resilient communities and strong governance in hopes of reducing the impacts of climate change.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David Bryan Zandvliet
Department: 
David Bryan Zandvliet
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The Transition from Post-Secondary Education to Work: Power, Performativity, and Entanglement in Becoming Social Service Workers

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-08
Abstract: 

This dissertation examines the conditions of front-line social service workers, in not-for-profit organizations serving marginalized groups, as they navigate their transition from post-secondary education into their professional role. Social service work involves relational engagement with clients shaped by and situated in significant social conditions, yet this work is constrained by neoliberal, managerialist expectations. I critically deconstructed these neoliberal, managerialist assumptions underlying much of the scholarship on the transition from post-secondary education to work, in order to create space for social service workers’ more nuanced perspectives on the purposes of education and of work. I explored the experiences of individuals who identified themselves as newly transitioned into social service work in Vancouver, British Columbia. Through a series of in-depth interviews, guided by principles of critical narrative inquiry, the participants and I co-created narratives of their transition experiences. Drawing on these participant narratives, I found that these social service workers experienced tensions between technocratic skills and relational practice; internal conflicts in being in relationship while maintaining appropriate boundaries; and tensions between self and others in terms of values and societal measures of financial ‘success’ and comparisons and competition with others. By examining the narratives through Foucault’s conceptualizations of power and Butler’s theory of performativity, I found that while the social service workers were constrained by neoliberal definitions of ‘success’ and performed toward the ‘ideal social service worker,’ they also demonstrated resistance and an ability to redefine success and social service work. Their experiences, reflected in their narratives, led me to analyze their transitions as an ongoing process of ‘becoming,’ within material and discursive arrangements, or ‘entanglements.’ Recognizing the complexity of social service work as entanglement promotes intra-active relational practice; this has meaningful implications for social service work and education. Being entangled promotes increased responsibility to one another and the need, in working relationally, to be critically aware of, and awake to, emergent possibilities to remake the world.

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

Pioneering of the Simon Fraser University Daycare: The Early Years 1965-1974

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-06
Abstract: 

Simon Fraser University opened in September 1965 and from the very beginning, a significant number of students arrived with their children in tow. Children present on university campuses was not the norm in the 1960s and this phenomenon presented administrations with unexpected challenges. At Simon Fraser University the arrival of preschool children needing daycare, accompanied by parents, some of whom were political and part of the burgeoning student movement, some of whom were liberationists and part of the campus women’s movement, some of whom were faculty arriving with the promise of childminding, and some of whom were simply student/parents desperately in need of daycare; but not just any daycare. What united students, faculty, and staff, all arriving with children at Simon Fraser University, was the need to have accessible campus daycare with an unprecedented high standard of care and education, overseen by the parents involved, and without external interference. In the 1960s this is not how daycare was perceived, delivered, or administrated and to achieve this innovative horizon, SFU parents had to petition, demonstrate, sit-in, occupy, protest, and defy authority.The Simon Fraser Daycare Movement was as significant and ground-breaking as the campus student movement and the women’s movement but it has remained undocumented in the condensed form that this thesis offers. Through archival material and oral histories, the early SFU Daycare Movement is acknowledged in this dissertation. This thesis contribution to the history of Simon Fraser University is important, offering new material about the SFU student body, the 1960s and early 1970s campus activity, and the emergence of childcare as a matter of excellence rather than maintenance. The Simon Fraser Childcare Society that exists on campus today, has its roots planted in the midst of 1960s radicalism.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Lara Campbell
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Implantable Transducers for Neurokinesiological Research and Neural Prostheses

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1998-02
Abstract: 

The objective of this thesis was to develop a family of advanced electrical and mechanical interfaces to record activity of nerves and muscles during natural movements. These interfaces have applications in basic research and may eventually be refined for used in restoring voluntary control of movement in paralyzed persons.

I) A muscle length gauge was designed that is based on piezoelectric crystals attached at the ends of a fluid filled extensible tubing. The in-vivo performance of these gauges was equal to previous length gauge designs. In addition, the ultrasound based design provided for the first time a direct muscle length calibration method.

2) An innovative nerve cuff closing technique was devised that does not reqmre suture closures. The new design uses interdigitated tubes to lock the opening and fix the lumen of a nerve cuff. The cuffs were tested in long-term mammalian implants and their performance matched or surpassed previous closure designs. The nerve cuff was further redesigned to include a more compliant cuff wall and wire electrodes.

3) Floating microelectrodes previously used for central nervous system recordings were adapted for chronic use in the peripheral nervous system. These electrodes proved disappointing in terms of signal quality and longevity. The reasons for failure are thought to be of both electrical and mechanical origin.

4) An innovative silicon micromachined peripheral single unit electrode was designed and tested. In the in-vivo tests, a limited number of recording sites successfully established short-term neural interfaces. However, the quality of the electrode performance, in terms of signal amplitude and ability to discriminate single unit potentials, was insufficient.

5) Using a finite difference model, a numerical simulation of static and dynamic electrical interactions between peripheral axons and microelectrode interfaces was derived. The model consisted of resistive and capacitive elements arranged in a 3-dimensional conductive universe (two spatial dimensions and time). Models of intrafascicular fine wire or silicon based electrodes were used to record simulated propagating action potentials. It was confirmed that electrode movement affected the recorded signal amplitude and that a dielectric layer on a silicon electrode accentuated the recorded potential field. A conducting back plane facing away from axon sources did not have a significant effect on the electrode recording properties.

In conclusion, several novel implantable transducers were developed for use in neurokinesiological research. A numerical simulation of the axonal potentials recorded by intrafascicular electrodes helped interpret various shortcomings found in the in-vivo electrode performance. Although not attempted in the present thesis some of the developed technologies may have potential of transferring to clinical neural prostheses applications.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Joaquin Andres Hoffer
Department: 
Science: Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Managing the Urban Forest in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1993-12
Abstract: 

Residential growth in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia is being driven by population expansion. This is fuelled by a buoyant economy, and immigration from eastern Canada and the Pacific Rim.

The traditional source of agricultural land to accommodate municipal expansion on the outskirts of Vancouver became unavailable following a 1972 moratorium on the development of farmland in British Columbia. The effect of this land freeze was to drive new housing onto the largely forested slopes surrounding the Fraser River floodplain. This factor, coupled in the last two decades, with an increasing demand for urban greenspace and housing areas with forest character has prompted many communities and some developers to adopt forest retention programs within, or contiguous to, housing enclaves.

This study examined the context of urban forestry as it applies to housing development tree retention. It examines the legal and design processes that encourage tree retention using a large development 'in the City of Port Moody as an example. The study found that the desire for tree retention has not been matched with informed sub-division or housing design, construction implementation, or subsequent forest stand management. The result has been damaged structures and declining urban forest assets.

Planned reconciliation of the environmental needs of trees versus the site engineering needs of cost-effective development can improve the implementation success of sustainable treeretention programs. In the long term, neglecting the risk of interface fire, or the need for silvicultural strategies and tree safety programs, will precipitate extensive loss of urban forest resources from natural or manmade causes. This is equally as true of trees on public lands as it is on collectively owned or private and commercial property.

Lower Mainland communities must develop comprehensive urban forest programmes. These should emphasize legal, planning, and informational tools, resource potential assessment methods, professional expertise, and public interest in urban forestry. A simple twelve-part model is developed to provide a context in which viable, adequately funded municipal urban forest programmes can be initiated and sustained.

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

Factors Affecting the Use of Midwifery Services in Remote Nepal

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-10-08
Abstract: 

Tens of thousands of mothers and hundreds of thousands of newborns die each year or have birth injuries. Families living in remote mountainous areas of Nepal are geographically marginalized, and women often deliver without skilled assistance. Human resources are few and often not trained to the level that international professional organizations recommend. Although the government has established birthing centers in communities in eastern Nepal’s remote, mountainous region of lower Solukhumbu, they are not fully utilized. This study of birthing in a remote area of Nepal examined factors associated with access to skilled birth attendants from both a health systems perspective and from the perspectives of mothers and community members. A concurrent, embedded, mixed methods study investigated mothers’, maternity staff and community members’ experiences with birth through semi-structured interviews. The skills of attending nurses, and the enabling factors such as infrastructure, equipment, and supplies in three levels of maternity facilities were examined through two surveys. Participant observation and field notes were additional methods used. Distance and cost were barriers for many women and lack of birth preparedness contributed to delays in reaching a facility if problems occurred. Although communities believed that health facilities save lives, some women preferred home births, citing institutional barriers arising from outdated and unnecessary obstetrical practices, and lack of choices for women. A shortage of skilled human resources and lack of adequate life-saving supplies and medications were found. Lack of infrastructure resulted in difficulty providing care and referrals. Skilled birth attendants were found to have gaps in life-saving skills. Infrastructure and supplies were inadequate in birthing centers. Improvements in quality of care to maintain cultural safety within birthing institutions require respect for women’s preferences, including birth companions and spiritual healers when requested. Frequent focussed midwifery skills refreshers are needed to improve ability to provide skilled and respectful care. Implementing a fully trained midwifery cohort in rural areas would be a longer term goal.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Craig Janes
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Micro Electro Mechanical Gyroscope Based on Thermal Principles

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-10-08
Abstract: 

Four variants of a novel single-axis thermal gyroscope were designed, microfabricated, and characterized in this thesis. Unlike conventional gyroscopes that use a solid seismic mass, the thermal gyroscope utilizes a particulate proof mass. The operating principle of the device is differential temperature detection due to the Coriolis effect on an oscillatory gas stream, in response to rotation. The stream is created by alternate expansion and contraction of the gas particles through activation of two or multiple microheaters in a confined volume. The miniature device structure includes multiple temperature detectors symmetrically arranged with respect to the microheaters. Thermocouples and resistive temperature detectors are exclusively used in the designs. Three versions of the device possess planar structures, whereas the other version forms an out-of-plane structure relying on a compliant platform and a locking mechanism. The fabrication process of the device is based on a variety of bulk or surface micromachining technologies on silicon substrates using polyimide and/or silicon dioxide structural layers. As the designs progress, the microstructures are freely suspended over a cavity etched into the substrate or within the volume above the substrate, with minimal structural support.

A precision rotary stage was constructed to accurately measure the device performance. Two variants of the device showed extremely low sensitivities. However, two other versions exhibited excellent linearity within the tested ±1260 °/s, and they demonstrated sensitivities of 0.947 and 1.287 mV/°/s where 20 mW of power was supplied to the heaters. The bandwidths of the devices were measured to be 20 and 40 Hz. The robustness of the devices was validated by the drop shocks of 2722 to 16 398 g (9.81 m/s^2). Despite the ability of rejecting linear accelerations, the devices showed comparable sensitivities to the linear accelerations. A systematic study of the device acceleration sensitivity, with a variety of low- to high-density gases at high pressures, confirmed that the acceleration signal was induced due to low degrees of rotational symmetry in the device topology. An analytical correction factor was developed capable of 5.8-fold nonlinearity compensation. A novel device configuration was also constructed proving 16 times more effective in rejecting the linear acceleration signal.

 

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Carlo Menon
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Household Income Composition Changes with Rapid Transit Implementation: A Natural Experiment Study of SkyTrain, Metro Vancouver, 1981-2016

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-10-08
Abstract: 

Background—Rapid transit such as SkyTrain is beneficial to move people efficiently, reduce carbon emissions, and increase physical activity. However, these benefits attract new development resulting in rising housing prices that may consequently change the household income composition. Metro Vancouver has not skirted this phenomenon, with rapid population growth and signs of neighbourhood change near SkyTrain.

 

Research Question—Does the household income composition change in areas nearby new SkyTrain stations?

 

Hypothesis—After a new SkyTrain station opens, lower income households may initially have better access to rapid transit, but over time nearby areas shift towards higher income households. Methods and Procedures—This natural experiment study uses census data for Metro Vancouver census tracts (CTs) 1981–2016. Household income composition is measured using relative share of households (location quotient (LQ)) in three income categories. Exposed areas are within 1.6 km (20-min walk) of SkyTrain stations compared to the rest of the region. Spatial analysis visualizes geographic distributions using ArcGIS, and statistical analysis tests concepts with linear mixed effects models using R software.

 

Results—The study assesses 374 CTs in 17 municipalities and finds areas nearby new SkyTrain stations start with a larger relative share of lower income households at baseline (1981) but shift towards more affluence over time. The areas exposed to SkyTrain changed in relative share of households faster than unexposed areas by LQ= -0.024, -0.012, and 0.026 more for very low, lower, and high income households, respectively, per census year (every five years). This means the relative share of each income group changed by 1–3% more in exposed areas than unexposed areas over every five-year period or a total change of 8–18% more over the entire study period.

 

Conclusions—Future planning must consider SkyTrain does impact who lives in areas nearby and options to protect lower income housing with access to transit are needed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Meghan L Winters
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Urb.

Variables Relevant to Citizen Participatory Engagement in Technology-Mediated Democratic Systems

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-10-15
Abstract: 

Without citizen participation, democracy is empty of meaning. The purpose of this mixed-mode study is to identify variables relevant to citizen participation in advanced technology-mediated democratic systems such as Canada. A particular interest is to understand the comparative relevance of technological channels of communication, used by media, citizens and other social actors, to citizen participation. The results are based on primary data from 304 responses to a comprehensive survey and 20 in-depth interviews conducted by the author. Associations between 1048 questions about seven classes of participation and five groups of predictors are analyzed. In analysis, only non-parametric ordinal methods are used. First, outstanding predictors for particular forms and classes of participation are identified. Then, theoretical implications regarding predictors relevant to most classes of participation are formulated. Big data false discovery rate criterion is used to deal with the issues of high dimensionality and to identify outstanding relevances. A strong sense of social responsibility for fairness (nationally, internationally, and in international relations), national altruism, the feeling of being oppressed, attention to rights and freedoms, and political, economic, social, and cultural issues are associated with all types of citizen participation. Independent sources, empowered by the Internet and the World Wide Web, have outstanding relevance to citizen participation. Web 2.0 and other Internet based channels, such as telecommunications applications and mobile apps, have provided additional spheres of dialogue and expression for participating citizens. In this study, hundreds of other significant associations regarding particular forms of participation are identified and reported. They have implications for many social actors including the government, educational and media organizations, producers, policy makers, political parties, unions, activists, and parents.

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