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ASU students to present sustainability solutions

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February 12, 2013

The Feb. 17 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston will serve as a backdrop for research poster presentations by representatives of ASU’s Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC).

Dave White, director of DCDC and principal investigator, and anthropologist Margaret Nelson, vice dean of Barrett, The Honors College, will accompany a contingent of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

“The students in DCDC’s Community of Graduate Scholars (CGS) represent multiple disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, public policy, sustainability, computer science and geography," said Nelson, who is also co-principal investigator and education program coordinator. "Through the seminar, students become familiar with the issues as well as perspectives of DCDC researchers, not to mention challenges that emerge from interdisciplinary collaborations.”

The ASU contingency will present research that employs interdisciplinary social science methods to develop knowledge and tools for water sustainability and climate change adaptation in urban areas.

“The CGS students have helped develop a network of research efforts focused on improving environmental decision-making,” added White, a senior sustainability scientist at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability.

The ASU students coordinated with students and faculty from universities like ASU that host National Science Foundation-funded projects under the NSF’s Decision Making Under Uncertainty program. University hosts also include Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Chicago.

Research posters will be presented by the following students:

Rebecca Neel, CGS, "Upward Trends: A Lever for Increasing Rare Behaviors"

Nicholas Murtha, REU, (Rebecca Neel 1st author), "When Scientists Disagree: How We Frame Uncertainty Influences Public Trust of Science"

Lauren Withycombe Keeler, CGS, "Quenching Our Thirst: Constructing Future Scenarios of Water in Phoenix, Arizona with Stakeholder Values and Sustainability Principles"

V. Kelly Turner, CGS (Dave White 1st author), "Framing Uncertainty: The Use and Policy Implications of Uncertainty Frames in the Project ADD Water Dialogues"

Rashmi Krishnamurthy, CGS, "Using Interactive Computer Simulation to Foster Perspective-taking in Collaborative Decision-making"

Jose Rosales Chavez, CGS, "The Global Ethnohydrology Project"

Julia C. Bausch, CGS, "Irrigated Agriculture at the Urban Fringe: Farmers’ resilience to socio-ecological change in Central Arizona"

Manikandan Vijayakumar, CGS, Sustainability, "Collaboration and Uncertainty: A Scenario-based Evaluation of Water Issues for Desert Cities"

Jacelyn Rice, CGS, "Quantifying Actual and Perceived Values of Unintentional Indirect Reuse in the United States"

John Quinn, REU, "Convergence and Divergence in Water-related Values Between Decision Makers their Constituents"

The Decision Center for a Desert City is administered by ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, established in 2004 by the National Science Foundation to advance scientific understanding of environmental decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.

The AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association.