Recent Submissions

  • Public Opinion: How Strong Is the Public Voice in Society Today?

    Krebs, Lorri; Fleury, Lindsey (2015-05-01)
    Many scholars of the present day have various questions about prominent aspects of the "democratic citizen's" role in the democratic process. These questions include: (1) Should ill-informed citizens have the right to voice their opinion in the public sphere? (2) Does the "everyday citizen" really have the capability to place the "good of the many" over their "own individual desires"? (3) Do only those of the "civic mind" who are "well-off" financially have the ability for their voice to be heard over the voice of the many?, and (4) What actually constitutes the "democratic process"? In the present day, all American citizens have the right to vote, if they should so choose. In order for the process of democracy to be fully utilized, though, it is pertinent that these democratic citizens make it a point to educate themselves before voicing their opinions in the public sphere. Without the basis of a proper education, "ill-informed" citizens, given enough resources, have the opportunity to voice their "ill-informed" views to the public. Many historic politicians have suggested that those citizens who are "well-off" financially, often have the proper basis of of an education to be accurately involved in the process of democracy. These democratic individuals will also have the means for their voice to dominate the public sphere; thus overshadowing and influencing the "everyday citizen's" voice in society. This monopoly of public opinion tends to sway the process of democracy in favor of those citizens who are "powerful" enough to make their opinions heard throughout the fabric of society regardless of whether or not these "powerful" opinions fully coincide with the opinions of the general public. This research utilizes a case study on casino location choices to explore the actual strength of the public voice in society, today.
  • Art Driven by Adventure

    Demarjian, Haig; Burke, Erin M. (2014-05-17)
    Diana Vreeland, a famous editor for Vogue Magazine said that "the eye has to travel." I think that this is timelessly true. Travel is an integral part of being a modern creative human. Through travel there comes an opening of the eyes, an expanding of the heart and a refreshing of the soul. Travel exposes our creative minds to new experiences and those experiences are what make each one of us successful and unique as human beings. Each one of us holds infinite creative potential. The ability to create is a very human process that arises out of personal reactions to our life experiences. The art-making process allows our interpretations to take form, captures and moment in time and adds a new piece to the puzzle that is our world. From that piece of art other people will gain a new perspective on our world, and experience their own reaction. Personally, traveling has given rise to a fascination with "place" and what it means to "journey" and how these unique types of experiences have influenced my artwork. In this thesis project, I have examined those journeys that have most heavily influenced my creative process. I explore the idea of travel and examine how a seven week cross country road trip and my study abroad experience helped to broaden my artistic productivity and deepen my connection to my self as a creative being. Also part of my thesis work was the development of an artists website as a non-physical platform, untied to any particular place, where I can organize curate and collect my work. The website can currently be found here: erinburkeart.weebly.com
  • An Analysis of Cycling Infrastructure and Cycling Activity

    Luna, Marcos; Gilroy, Nicholas (2014-05-17)
    Over the last decade, the City of Salem, Massachusetts has made significant investments in infrastructure to support cycling in the City, such as the construction of new bike lanes and cycle paths. To what extent do these investments meet the actual activities and needs of cyclists? What routes do cyclists commonly use? To better understand cyclists' usage of roads in the City of Salem, this research will analyze user-populated information from Strava, a mobile application that records a user's coordinates as they cycle through Salem. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will be used to analyze and create maps that highlight the aggregate habits of cyclists in Salem and compare those to cycling infrastructure, and public safety. This information can be used to help guide cycling growth and investment in the City of Salem. The research and analysis is valuable for demonstrating the true impact and usage of cyclists on roads in Salem.
  • A Whale Of A Good Time: Whale Watches Spreading Conservation Through Education

    Ratner, Keith; Cooney, Shannon (2020-05-01)
    Ecotourists are more concerned with their impact on the environment compared to mainstream tourists. They have a strong commitment to preserving nature and look for educational experiences. These values and motives translate into the activities ecotourists choose to participate in while vacationing. Understanding ecotourist behavior is important, so that destination managers can better market their sites or activity. For example, whale watching is increasing in popularity. Whale watches are a good way to incorporate ecotourist values and help further the conservation of whales. Studies have shown whale watches have an educational component that satisfies visitor expectations. If people are satisfied with the experience, they are more likely to pass on the conservation related information they learned and get their peers to undergo a similar trip. This research project is a literature review of the history of whale watching, motivations of ecotourists, and case studies of whale watches in different areas. In addition to the literature review, I went on a whale watch tour in Cape Ann, Gloucester to see how tours on the North Shore of Boston compare to the case studies. The conclusions in this research project are important as they can be applied to any whale watch to improve visitor satisfaction and better incorporate ecotourist values.
  • Prospects For Massachusetts Community Supported Fisheries

    Silvern, Steven; Sulick, Caroline (2019-05-01)
    Marine fisheries across the globe are challenged by unsustainable industrial fishing practices resulting in the depletion of fish populations. Fish become global commodities, traded and shipped all over the world, accumulating thousands of food miles and benefiting companies and food processor many miles from the fishery itself. Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) were created in the last ten years as a solution to unsustainable, industrial fisheries practices that undermine marine environmental health and local fishing jobs, communities and cultures. Closely related to the land-based Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, CSF seek to minimize the distance between producers and consumers, offering fresh and local fish to consumers and allowing for greater profits remain in local fishing communities. CSF are smaller in scale and support more environmentally sustainable fishing practices. This model has spread throughout the United States over the last decade with no two CSF being identical. Through personal interviews with two local Massachusetts CSF, I document the evolution of these CSF. I assess the implementation of sustainable fishing practices and consider whether the CSF model promotes the sustainability of people and planet. I examine barriers and threats to CSF success; information that will be relevant to those interested in starting their own CSF. Finally, I examine CSF marketing strategies and consider how they employ localisms (local identities, branding) to market themselves to the nearby communities based on their local surroundings and demographics.
  • Public Transportation: Resources Demand And Mobility - Impact On Companies In Boston, USA And Munich, Germany

    Ratner, Keith; Adam, Emily (2019-05-01)
    This project researches the impact of access to public transportation on companies and their employees through a comparison between Boston, Massachusetts and Munich, Germany. Long commutes to work together with the traffic problems in the inner cities and the huge environmental impact of single occupancy vehicles, show the increasing importance of public transportation. After analyzing online sources through a literature review, interviews with representatives of different companies in both cities were conducted along with an online survey among the employees about their usage and opinion of the importance of public transportation system to their employer. In addition, to further the research, politicians’ perspectives on public transportation were included. The results revealed that companies and employees in Munich significantly rely on public transportation. Furthermore, accessibility to public transit influences the location decision of companies and employers. In Boston, on the other hand, public transit is not as widely used as many of the employees stated, that it is not suitable to their work schedule or they do not have access to it. Analyzing both public transportation networks for differences, the research unveiled that the city of Munich has a more advanced and modern public transportation system than the city of Boston. To convince companies and employees in Boston to increase their usage of the public transportation system, improvements to the schedule, accessibility, affordability and reliability should be made. A good public transportation system provides immense benefits to the community by improving the environment and quality of life, as well as attracting companies, creating jobs and increasing tax incomes.
  • Mindfulness in Elementary Schools

    Carroll, Greg; Polino, Amber Lee (2016-05-01)
    Breathing is vital to our well-being. Being attentive to our breathing and taking deep breaths can actually help our bodies relax and focus. Teaching students to pause and focus on their breath can help them handle difficult situations that arise during the school day. This technique is something students can carry with them and use as they grow up. Breathing also helps develop mindfulness, which helps improve attention skills and memory. Mindfulness also encourages compassion, kindness, and understanding. In this children's book, Bah Bah faces many difficulties on his first day at a new school. He handles his emotions discreetly by pausing and having breathing breaks throughout the day that help him relax and move on. Read along and learn to breathe like Bah Bah!