Global Environments + Sustainability

Preparing students to understand, innovate and lead efforts to sustainably transform the physical environment.

GSVS Capstone Theses

Expand the accordions below for Capstone titles of GSVS Alumni.

Class of 2020

Student Name Title of Capstone Thesis
Allie Tattersall Glacier Retreat and Water Insecurity: Building Resilient Mountain Communities
Amber Arnold The Avenues to Renewable Energy in Charlottesville: A Proposal for Local Initiative in the Face of Global Climate Disaster
Amelia Wilt Justice for Stolen Lands: A Case Study of the Mapuche People and Their Land in Patagonia
Annie Manville Reaching Inner Worlds through Outdoor Space: How Universities Can Inculcate Sustainable Values with Landscape Architecture
Anthony Malabad Analysis and Recommendations for Phosphorus Management in P-Limited & P-Abundant Watersheds
Ariana Piacquadio Straddling the Species Divide: Intersectionality in Animal Rights Advocacy 
Ava Reynolds Toxic Beauty: Examining Environmental Inequity Through an Artistic Lens
Brian Hnat A Comparative Analysis of RTOs’ Integration of Wind Energy + Transmission: ERCOT and MISO
Cas Crim The Future of Bioplastics: How Small Restaurants Can Teach The World
Cece Hopkinson Living Shorelines and the Efficacy of Oyster Reefs in Mitigating Wave Action and Erosive Processes
Daniel Brooks The Toxic Sublime in Italian Cinema
Eliza Fisher From Coalfields to Prisonfields: Envisioning coalition-building between environmental and criminal justice movements in Appalachia
Elizabeth Stais In the Fast Lane: Strategies to Decarbonizing Personal Transport- San Francisco and California State Focus
Ginny Brooks Reimagining the Galapagos Islands Through a Socio-Ecological Lens: A Historical Analysis and Modern Contextualization of the “Pristine Nature” Myth
Grace Cogguillo Controlling Consumer Deception in Green Advertising: An Intersection of Sustainability, Marketing, and Policy
Hannah Bates The Value of Green Building Technologies in Hotels: A Case Study on Denmark’s Green Solution House
Jackson Brandberg Silvopasture as a Response and Mitigation Technique for Climate Change in the Caatinga Biome
Jake DiMeglio Capturing Social Value: A Forecast Analysis of Cashew Nut Processing in Ratanakiri, Cambodia
Jamie Wertz Fossil Fuel Divestment in U.S. Higher Education: Advocacy at the University of Virginia
Jenna Wilkey Suicide Bombing, Civilian Oppression...and a Green New Deal? New Environmental Focus from Islamic Militant Groups in Afghanistan 
Jessica Anderson Scaling Back: Evaluating the Suitability of Anthroposophy as a Means to Reorganize Environmental Relationships Through a Lens of Justice
Katherine McPherson Making it Personal: The Ways in Which We Communicate Sustainability, and How to Target the Individual Using Language
Katie Mulder A History of Shenandoah National Park: The Failure of the National Park Service to Properly Acknowledge Displaced Peoples
Lauren Hotung Coral Bleaching and Death: Causes, Consequences, and Strategies for Resilience
Leah Silverman Participating in Charlottesville's Local Food System
Maitlyn Murphy How the Obesity and Environmental Crises in America Are Related and Perpetuated by the Food Industry’s Influence over the U.S. Government
McKenna Savoca The Impact of Land Tenure in the Northern Highlands of Vietnam and Opportunities for Agroforestry Development
Meriwether Bryant Sustainable Community-Based Ecotourism: Skill Development, Socio-Cultural, Environmental, and Economic Dynamics in Costa Rica and Kenya
Natalia Zhiltsova Reforming the Introductory Microeconomics Curriculum: The Importance of Sustainability and Equity
Nick Gomer An Investigation of a Tax on Second Homes and Its Ability to Foster Affordable Housing
Samuel Mogen Health and Socio-Economic Costs of Air Pollution Derived from Fossil Fuels: A Case Study at UVA
Sarah Bryan Justice for Stolen Lands: A Case Study of the Mapuche People and Their Land in Patagonia
Sofya Olenicheva Neighborliness: How Informal Networks of Social Support Inform Coastal Resilience
Tyler Lohmeyer Rethinking Justice and Equity Considerations in Virginia’s Transition to Carbon-Free Electricity
Virginia Harris The Forecasted Social Impact of the Maasai Health & Academic Resource Center in Laikipia, Kenya

Class of 2019

Student Name Title of Capstone Thesis
Abby Peizer Green Buildings and Financial Performance in the U.S. Real Estate Sector
Ana Rabogliatti The Psychology of Business Sustainability: Why the Corporate World is Unequipped for Sustainable Change
Anna Wright Unsustainable Cattle Agriculture and the Little River: A Water Quality, Stakeholder, and Policy Analysis
Ava Scott Environmental Degradation or Energy Poverty in the Andean Amazon Basin: What’s at stake?
Benjamin Whisnant How “Green” is Your Fridge: Are the Advancements in Refrigerator Technology Creating More Sustainable Kitchens?
Candace Craig Creating Coastal Resilience through Community Engagement: A Plan for Lake Taylor (group project)*
Caroline Alberti Return to Tradition: An Examination of Native American Food Sovereignty Movements and a Case Study of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Emily Saul Waste Diversion and the Politics of Consumption: The Delicate Balance of Diversion Programs
Emma Blake Tillitski The Aesthetics of Waste: Aesthetic Values and Public Perceptions of Waste to Energy Facilities in America and Denmark
Hannah Kirk Nass Redemption in Conflict: The Environmental Origins and Effects of the Occupation of Palestine 
Hannah Noah Do CSR Communication Strategies Matter? A Case Study of how Reporting CSR Initiatives Impacts the Reputations of Pharmaceutical Companies
India Brahm Sacrifice Populations: Extractivism and Conservation in Correa’s Ecuador
Isabel Getz Sustainable Agriculture in an Era of Increasing Food Safety Standards: A Case Study of Rainwater Harvesting at Morven Kitchen Garden
Isabelle Hermsmeier The Psychological and Physical Effects of Outdoors Classrooms on Young People: How the Incorporation of Outdoor Classrooms into School Counseling Programs Stand to Improve Students’ Mental Outlook
Jessica Shalvey A Certified System: The Mixed Role of Organic Certification in the Future of American Food Security
Johanna Vosler Bioenergy: A Sustainable Choice to Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence in China?
Justin Pender The Financial Implications of Corporate Sustainability Strategy: When Does Environmental Performance Predict Increased Company Valuation?
Kasey Whitfield Campaign for Cosmetics: The Impact of Cosmetics on Humans and the Environment
Kate Green Creating Coastal Resilience through Community Engagement: A Plan for Lake Taylor (group project)*
Lauren Foley Water Policy in Tanzania: What an Analysis of the Nation’s Past Policies can Teach us about a More Promising Future
Nicholas Molodow Disaster, Toxicity, Crisis and Emergency: Words That Call Attention to Environmental Injustice in Italy
Riley Chitwood Establishing a Community Food System in Charlottesville 
Samantha Brainard Connecting the Dots: Understanding & Solving Sustainability’s Knowledge-Behavior Gap
Samantha Hunt Creating Coastal Resilience through Community Engagement: A Plan for Lake Taylor (group project)*
Sarah Overton Smart Technology for Home Energy Reduction: Bridging the Gap between Education and Automation
Sarah Singer Weighing Two Sides of the (Bit) coin: Exploring Blockchain Applications and Implications for Global Sustainability
Susannah Gilmore The Rise and Sprawl of the American Dream: The Social Causes and Environmental Effects of Urban Development in the Florida Everglades
Yizong Hu The Future of the Tonle Sap: What is the Role of International Collaboration?

Class of 2018

Student Name Title of Capstone Thesis
Adam Bernstein Island Communities as Models of Sustainability
Athena Ka Weng Loi Evaluating the Protective Services of Urban Wetland in Mitigating Intensifying Storm Surges: An Application to ShenZhen, China
Austin Parks Building Beyond the Footprint: Impact Development in Richmond, Virginia
Brittany McDonough What’s in your (School’s) Lunchbox?
Brooke Kinsey Determining the Impact of a Community Cannery on the Ability of the University of Virginia Dining to Increase its Local Food Purchasing
Caroline Denney Trailing Behind: A Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Policy in Denmark and the United States
Dominique Ong Who is Protected by the Clean Air Act? A Case Study in Southern California
Elise Watt Realizing a Vision for the First Lady's Food Lab at UVA's Morven Farm (group project)*
Emma Kulow Best Implementation Practices When Charging for One-Time Use Bags
Gabby Levet Realizing a Vision for the First Lady's Food Lab at UVA's Morven Farm (group project)*
Georgianna Reid Beyond the Obvious... Digging Deeper into the Issue of Pipelines
Gordon Knapp Business Models for Model Businesses: Apple, Google, and the Corporate Procurement of Renewable Energy
Haley Lieberman Creating Coastal Resilience Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change Impacts in Norfolk's Poplar Hall Community (group project)*
Holland Cathey Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: Finding Solutions for Waste through Business
Kate Moody The Effects of Railway-to-Park Conversions in Urban Spaces: Capitalizing on Value
Mary Elizabeth Blount Assessing the Effectiveness of Coral Reef Rehabilitation Systems
Matthew Mongan Residential Energy Efficiency
Megan Dister Concepts of Conservation by Traditional Healers around Medicinal Plants in Sagara Village, Tanzania
Megan Routbort The Next Century in the Sierras: The Business of Conservation in American Public Lands
Michael Bateman Because They're There: Identifying and Addressing the Environmental Impacts of Mountaineering
Mohammad Malik An Inquiry into the Role of Fuel Retailing Sites in Sustainable Transport
Pooja Seth On Reserve: A Study of Sustainable Community Development Addressing Hunger Needs in Charlottesville
Rachel Vadham Creating Coastal Resilience Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change Impacts in Norfolk's Poplar Hall Community (group project)*
Rhaude Dahlinghaus Creating Coastal Resilience Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change Impacts in Norfolk's Poplar Hall Community (group project)*
Rita Cliffton Defining Environmental Migrants
Ryan Gillies Environmental Migration and Climate Adaptation Policy in Bangladesh
Scott Gilb Creating Coastal Resilience Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change Impacts in Norfolk's Poplar Hall Community (group project)*
Sophia Woods Emancipation Park Anew from a Planner’s Perspective
William Saul Pasco Regenerative Agriculture: Transforming our Farms
William Southard Creating Coastal Resilience Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change Impacts in Norfolk's Poplar Hall Community (group project)*

Class of 2017

Student Name Title of Capstone Thesis
Alec Paget In Ecuador's Search for "El Buen Vivir," Is Extractivism Really the Only Way?
Allison Owens Greening Ingleside Front-to-Back: Seeking Sustainable Solutions for Sea-Level Rise, Flood Management, and Water Quality Challenges (group project)*
Allison Turner Imagining a Place for Local Food Education at UVA's Morven Garden Garage*
Amalia Harte Rites Of Passage Programs for Emerging Adults: Forming Sustainable Lifestyles through Contemplation and Nature Connection
Ashley Cappo Greening Ingleside Front-to-Back: Seeking Sustainable Solutions for Sea-Level Rise, Flood Management, and Water Quality Challenges (group project)*
Brittany Kwolek Imagining a Place for Local Food Education at UVA's Morven Garden Garage*
Broghan Kelly Insuring a Better Food Future
Charlotte Bemiss Waste Beyond the Bin: An Investigative Photoessay
Chelsea Granados Exploring the Link between Mindfulness and Social Justice: A Case Study of the Nonprofit Organization Global Grassroots
Cody Simms Greening the Reel: Film Production, Content, and Behavioral Change (group project)*
Elise Dixon Forum Models, Strategies, and Tips: the Development of a Rural Farmer's Forum in Tanzania
Erica Fink Greening the Reel: Film Production, Content, and Behavioral Change (group project)*
Garland Mooney Analyzing Local Food Systems: How can Charlottesville's Be Improved?
Jessica Flester Measurement of Vertical and Horizontal Change in Salt Marshes Experiencing Rapid Sea-Level Rise and Impacts on Local Farmers
Katherine Phillips Greening Ingleside Front-to-Back: Seeking Sustainable Solutions for Sea-Level Rise, Flood Management, and Water Quality Challenges (group project)*
Katherine Wilkin Greening Ingleside Front-to-Back: Seeking Sustainable Solutions for Sea-Level Rise, Flood Management, and Water Quality Challenges (group project)*
Katy Miller The Use of Internet and Media in Environmental Movements: A Critique of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to Address Waste Management Problems in India
Kristen Lepe International Environmental Economics: The Widening Economic Development Gap Between Rich And Poor Countries due to Climate Change
Laura Rozner Imagining a Place for Local Food Education at UVA's Morven Garden Garage*
Lizzie Main From Hummus to Humus: A Comparative Analysis of Food Waste in the United States and Nicaragua
Mary Moore Unilever Case Study: Reducing the Environmental Impact of the Consumer Use Phase for Dove Products
Molly Golski Imagining a Place for Local Food Education at UVA's Morven Garden Garage (group project)*
Monika Gehl Reclaiming Parking for Sustainability: A Case Study in Downtown Denver
Nicole Duimstra Imagining a Place for Local Food Education at UVA's Morven Garden Garage (group project)*
Nodjimadji Stringfellow The Global E-waste Trade from the West to West Africa: An Unfair Response
Sam Friday Greening Ingleside Front-to-Back: Seeking Sustainable Solutions for Sea-Level Rise, Flood Management, and Water Quality Challenges (group project)*
Sarah Littlefield When You Give a Billionaire a City: Exploring the Impact of Private Influence on Sustainable Initiatives in Detroit
Suchita Chharia The Rise of Smart Cities: From Charlottesville to Copenhagen
Taylor Gestwick De-motorizing the Corner: A Sustainable Transportation Model for Charlottesville, Virginia
Tyler Berkeley Imagining a Place for Local Food Education at UVA's Morven Garden Garage (group project)*

Class of 2016

Student Name Title of Capstone Thesis
Annie Weidhaas Disability and Equitable Accessibility in the US Built Environment
Artem Demchenko Community Empowerment through Co-Design of Urban Gardens: Restoring Food Justice in the Westhaven public housing community through the Growing for Change project
Brianna Mackay The Implications of Corn Subsidies on Consumers Connectivity to their Food System
Brun Sonnett SWOT Analysis of Urban Rooftop Agriculture: The Untapped Potential of Urban Sustainability
Camille Adkins Urban Refuge: Implementing Participatory Architecture to Address Informal Refugee Housing Settlements and the Political, Social, and Physical Status of Displaced Persons
Camille Knable Social Sustainability in Charlottesville: Success Perspectives and the Culture of Counter-Cultures
Caroline Macdonald Does Detroit Deserve the Label of "Food Desert"?
Carolyn Albright Assessing Perception as a Barrier to Conservation Agriculture Adoption: A Comparison of Parana, Brazil and the Laikipia District, Kenya
Cassidy McGrain Low-Income and Malnutrition: A Study of the Role of Income in Obtaining Local, Sustainable Foods in Charlottesville, Virginia
Elizabeth Duffield Sustainable Tourism Development in Northeastern Brazil: Stakeholder Collaboration in Fortaleza
Emily Keenan Water Savings to Restore Ecosystems: Comparing Governmental Initiatives in the U.S. and Australia
Ezti Fricano Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and the Costs to Society: A Comprehensive Review of Environmental Threats and Their Implications in the US
Hailley Thompson Eco-labeling: The Effectiveness and Reliability of Voluntary Product Labeling to Promote and Foster Sustainable Fisheries Management
Jamie Stafford London 2012: Sustainability Implications to East London and the Surrounding Area
Katie Groody The Effects of International Climate Policy on Lesser Developed Countries
Kelly McNally Potential Economic Benefits of Promoting Small-Scale Farming in Panama
Kelsey Galantich Biofuels: Keeping It Local
Mary Shifflett Implications of Consumer Decisions on Environmental Health: The Rise of Efficient Products and their Role in Fostering Consumer Complicity in Environmental Degradation
Megan McDaniels Wetland Restoration and Community-Integrated Design in Norfolk, Virginia
Michelle Crowley Response to Public Health Emergencies and Sustainable Rebuilding Post Disaster: A Case Study of the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
Natasha Butler From Seed to Sale: A Look into Sustainable Food Systems
Tessa Crews Cultivated Awareness: Vedic Wisdom and Contemporary Stewardship
Vanessa Owens The Overregulation of Environmentally Beneficial Activities: A Sociopolitical History of Hemp Prohibition in the United States since the 1930s