- ItemOpen AccessInternational trade of electric vehicle batteries and lithium: a network approach to trade structure and structural inequality(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) DeBruin, Jacob, author; Roberts, Tony, advisor; Luna, Jessie, committee member; Stevis, Dimitris, committee memberAs international efforts toward clean energy transition and climate mitigation have been made, the international trade of emission-reducing technologies and their necessary materials has grown. Few technologies have seen as much growth as electric vehicles and their lithium-ion batteries; and few materials have seen as much growth as lithium. Research on international battery and lithium trade is extensive but has yet to examine the formation of the trade structure and its structural inequality. This study uses bilateral trade data from the UN COMTRADE database and country attribute data from the World Bank database to (1) measure the overall structure of and structural inequality in international electric vehicle battery and lithium trade networks; and (2) analyze determinants of the trade networks' formation. Results indicate that the international trade of electric vehicle batteries and of lithium are characterized by a core-periphery pattern—by which certain countries occupy the center of trade, and by which certain countries occupy the margins—and therefore, that there is an inequality in the distribution of trade relationships among countries participating in battery and lithium trade. The results also indicate that differences in countries' GDP and country's structural position in the networks largely determine the likelihood of trade-relationship formation. Inferentially, the results provide some evidence for (ecologically) unequal exchange in the trade of commodities that ostensibly support clean energy transition and sustainable economic development, like electric vehicle batteries and lithium.
- ItemEmbargoManure management decision-making of cattle-feed growers in northeastern Colorado(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Stroheim, Erich, author; Carolan, Michael S., advisor; Lacy, Michael G., advisor; Hogan, Michael J., committee member; Hoag, Dana L. K., committee memberRural water supplies, including household wells and small-town water systems, located near livestock production and irrigated agriculture operations are often at risk for high nitrate-levels resulting from concentrated feedlot manure disposal as administered by livestock-feed farmers. Efficient manure management is one approach to minimizing nutrient pollution of rural groundwater and surface waters, and crop-farmers near the feedlots are de facto manure managers. This study observes how farmers value manure and whether they frame manure as a waste disposal issue, as an important fertilizer resource, or both. This distinction places manure management in the overlap between environmental sociology and natural resource sociology. The study identifies factors related to how farmers choose fields on which to apply manure, the monetary value of cattle manure as perceived from a farmer's perspective, and how densely farmers choose to apply manure. Using response data from a mail-survey of farmers operating near feedlots, I found that a farmer's manure source, perceptions about manure application, and practical knowledge, along with some personal and farm-operation characteristics, are related to how farmers perceive manure's value, and to how efficiently they apply it. Having one's own livestock and viewing manure as an inexpensive fertilizer are factors that appear to increase manure's perceived value. Factors that reduce manure's perceived value include years of experience in farming, cover-crop nutrient crediting, size of an operation, and concern for the hazard of water pollution. Recognizing the nutrient value of applied manure to reduce the quantity of commercial fertilizer being applied could substantially increase a farm's profitability while protecting water resources from over-application of nutrients. Yet while farmers typically reduced the nitrogen application on a manured field, that reduction was usually small relative to the nutrients added. This concurs with the results of numerous other studies concluding that many farmers are deliberately over-fertilizing to seek the best possible yield and applying extra nitrogen to plan for the most favorable climatic conditions possible. While farmers might be expected to distribute manure more sparingly over a larger field, the opposite turned out to be true. This finding is consistent with the plausible hypothesis that larger fields are especially appealing as places to dispose of large amounts of manure. In addition to exploring some of the practical aspects of a farmer's role as a manure manager, I have found it relevant to consider some of the structural background elements that make it inevitable for most farmers to over-apply nitrogen as a means of maximizing yield when growing cattle-feed crops. Farmers' economic success depends in large part on complying with the recommendations of agricultural conglomerate companies that supply their inputs. Note that nitrogen is typically over-applied to corn crops even in areas where no manure is used or available. Being expected to over-apply nitrogen, farmers are unlikely to hold back on applying manure, and are likely to see only benefits in adding organic matter to the land they are cropping. The primary research presented here provides some dimensions in which to work with farmers, aiming toward curbing the over-application of crop nutrients.
- ItemEmbargoDemand management' and injustice in rural agricultural irrigation in western Colorado: an anatomy of ambivalence(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) MacIlroy, Kelsea E., author; Hempel, Lynn, advisor; Carolan, Michael, committee member; Malin, Stephanie, committee member; Kampf, Stephanie, committee memberThe Colorado River is overdrawn. Decisions made a century ago created an institutional framework allowing overuse while climate change has exacerbated it with increasing temperatures and reduced natural flows. 'Demand management', a key component of the 2019 Upper Basin Drought Contingency Plans, would utilize water conserved from consumptive use to create a 500,000 acre-foot storage pool, only used to protect the Upper Basin of the Colorado River in the event they were unable to meet water delivery obligation to the Lower Basin. Rural irrigators on Colorado's West Slope would be the prime contributors to such a program, but largely responded with ambivalence. Increasingly, collaborative water governance is cited as the best way to create change in water distribution. However, if rural irrigators respond with ambivalence, why would they participate voluntarily in such a program? Using a grounded theory approach, interviews and focus groups with 45 participants, and participant observation, I explore why rural irrigators were ambivalent towards a program that would, ostensibly, protect them in times of water shortage. Drawing from the concept of sociological ambivalence and the literatures of water justice, hydrosocial analysis, and rurality, I describe the symbolic and material landscape that shapes perceptions of 'demand management'. I argue irrigators were ambivalent because they understood the need for water conservation, but they also perceived injustice in terms of distribution, recognition, and representation. Since rural irrigators are the linchpin in any water conservation program that would address overuse in the Colorado River Basin, their perceptions of injustice must be addressed. Findings provide key insight into water governance as it relates to crafting effective water policy.
- ItemOpen AccessAn assessment of previously unresolved homicide cases in Colorado to investigate patterned outcomes leading to resolution(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Reese, Amber, author; Unnithan, Prabha, advisor; Nowacki, Jeffrey, committee member; Hughes, Shannon, committee memberThe purpose of this research is to consider whether specific characteristics of an unresolved homicide impact whether it is likely to be solved and what the implications of the findings mean for the future. First, a review of the literature proposes that urbanization and other factors have resulted in the dramatic decline of homicide cold case clearance rates and examines the factors associated with case clearance, including case-specific as well as departmental responses. To assess relationships across previously unresolved homicide cases, data were collected and coded from a list of solved Colorado cold case homicides from 1970 to 2017. An initial qualitative analysis of the data (N=111) was completed, and exploratory correlative tests were implemented to investigate patterned outcomes moving from the cause of death towards factors that assist in cold case homicide resolution. The analysis suggests, among others, that access to resources, specifically a Cold Case Unit, leads to greater likelihood of case resolution in certain causes of death, not including death by firearm. There is support for findings from prior literature on the topic which argue that level of funding is crucial to cold case investigation. Given the implications of this important topic, more research is needed to better understand the relationship between cold case homicides, factors involved in the solvability of various cause of death, and for the use of specialized Cold Case Units.
- ItemEmbargoResilience for all/resiliencia para todos: achieving justice for Latinx communities following the 2013 Colorado floods(Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Truslove, Micaela, author; Malin, Stephanie A., advisor; Luna, Jessie K., committee member; Browne, Katherine E., committee memberEnvironmental justice arose out of people's and communities' needs to address concrete problems of inequitable environmental exposures and contamination. However, resilience scholarship has largely failed to engage with the environmental justice (EJ) literature, and resilience remains a highly contested term that fails to adequately address issues of vulnerability and power. A holistic view of EJ—community-based and focused on distributive, procedural, and recognition elements of outcomes and practices—helps assess justice aspects of resilience-building, especially when used in conjunction with a community capabilities focus. I build on these points by arguing that an EJ framework provides an ideal lens through which to explore social justice in community engagement around resilience-building to climate-related events. This study uses data from a critical discourse analysis, semi-structured interviews, and a multi-dimensional environmental justice (EJ) framework coupled with Matin et al.'s (2018) concept of "equitable resilience" to explore how Latinx cultural brokers and resilience practitioners in Boulder County, Colorado are making disaster preparedness and community resilience-building efforts more just and equitable following a devastating flood event. Most importantly, I find that cultural brokers' participatory and inclusive form of community-building work—and the community that emerges from such work—is resilience. I also find that, although Boulder County resilience-building efforts are moving toward more just and equitable practices, cultural brokers and resilience practitioners face systemic and institutionalized barriers to fully realizing distributive, procedural, and recognition justice and increasing community capabilities. Lastly, I show that cultural brokers use small but powerful acts of counterstorytelling, or testimonios, in predominantly white spaces to expose and unsettle entrenched power structures. An EJ framework used in conjunction with the concept of equitable resilience can help resilience and disaster practitioners assess and improve their resilience and disaster preparedness programming and efforts. This study also contributes to the disaster and community resilience scholarship by providing a new way to evaluate community resilience-building efforts using a critical EJ-capabilities lens. This approach addresses issues of distributive, recognition, and procedural (in)justice as well as attending to underlying power imbalances and inequality that can limit community capabilities.