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2020
Friday, April 24th

Animal Agriculture and Sustainability

Ashlyn Allen, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

The topic for this paper is animal agriculture’s impact on sustainability. The rise in animal agriculture leads to a rise in climate change, deforestation, and more environmental issues that affect the human race on an everyday basis, whether we realize it or not. For example, a major issue surrounding animal agriculture is the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into our atmosphere. As these gases are emitted, we notice a rise in global temperature, leading to global warming. This in turn can lead to species dying, water temperatures rising, icebergs melting, etc. Due to a large number of animal farms, we notice a decline in sustainability, and it is about time we act on finding more sustainable and ethical ways to produce the food we need without further damaging our world. Therefore, the question is: How can we prevent animal agriculture from causing any further decline in sustainability? In order to answer this question, it is crucial to use an interdisciplinary method. The first discipline is environmental science. With a vast knowledge of the environment, sustainability, and the world as a whole, environmentalists have been able to show the direct effects of animal agriculture. Environmental scientists are the experts who study the rise in global warming and patterns of GHG emissions and study the food patterns throughout the world. The second discipline is agriculture science. This discipline gives insight on the specifics of animal agriculture. From the farming methods practiced to the harmful effects on the environment, this discipline specifies just what about animal agriculture is so harmful toward the environment. After researching, I propose that we can lower the harmful effects of animal agriculture on the environment by reducing meat consumption, practicing productivity-based farming, and utilizing appropriate minerals.

Assistance Animals: The Legitimate and Fraudulent Working Animals of America

Mariah Houser, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Assistance animal fraud has become a major issue in the United States within the last decade. People passing off their untrained pets as service dogs, who then go on to attack real service dogs, and illegitimate emotional support animals wreaking havoc on airplanes are all too common in modern society. Legitimate assistance animal teams, whether service or emotional support, should not be punished for the crimes of the fraudulent, however. Creating inaccessibility for the disabled is not the solution to the problem at hand. So, how can we best solve the problem of people misrepresenting their pets and abusing the system for assistance animals without harming the disabled people who rely on their legitimate assistance animals? Finding the best way to resolve the issue of people abusing the system for assistance animals is incredibly complex and will require connecting multiple disciplines in order to uncover the solution that will be the most effective and accessible. Political science is important to consider for the policy-making aspect, to consider how laws should be reimagined, erased, or created. Mass communication is crucial to spread information, so that the average citizen can be better informed on what assistance animals are, their differences, and the actual applicable laws (not the fictional ones people like to spread around). Existing state and federal laws need clarification and centralization, and emotional support animals need new regulations and requirements. The general public can be better educated on the topic using television shows and streaming services that are well versed in the different types of assistance animals; hosting fun, educational events at schools; and providing mandatory ADA training for employees.

Environmental Burdens within the Fashion Industry

Ebony Anderson, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Ginger Williams, Ph.D.

Most people do not know what fashion waste is, nor do they know the current effect that it has on the environment. The fashion industry is one of the leading pollutants in the world. Increased production of clothing made from synthetic fibers, declining longevity, and levels of waste and greenhouse gas emissions greater than the combined effects of flights and international shipping all contribute to fashion-industry pollution. Consumers are shopping 20 times more than before, and as a result of consumer decisions, the fashion industry is forced to discard clothing much faster than before. Chemical based clothing is being discarded into landfills in less fortunate countries, where the waste is being burned by the ton. Due to the burning of clothes, chemicals from textile dyeing and synthetic fibers are released into the atmosphere, shrinking the ozone layer. The purpose of an ozone layer is to be open so that heat can be released, and cool air can enter into the atmosphere. Not only is it affecting the environment, but it is affecting the human population because we are inhaling these toxic chemicals and they are making us sick. The issue must be dealt with immediately for the sake of the entire human population and our existence here on Earth. This has led to the question: What are the best ways to reduce fashion consumption, improve sustainability, and spread awareness on fashion pollution? Although raw materials are limited resources and more costly, they are prized possessions that add tremendous value to the fashion industry. Through consumer consciousness, environmental activism, and ethical business practices the industry could lower the rate of fashion consumption and improve sustainability.

Examining the Evolution of Interaction between Researchers and Indigenous Populations: An Investigation of Archaeologists and the Maya

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Kaitlyn Clingenpeel, Winthrop University

Interactions with Indigenous populations around the world have been, and continue to be, riddled with the remnants of colonialist and imperialist ideals. This can be especially true when considering archaeologists and the modern ancestors of the groups of people they study. There has more recently been a push for more ethical fieldwork methodologies, though they are still not the common practice for archaeological fieldwork. By using more collaborative research methodologies, it is possible to push for change and create a more mutually beneficial research environment. Through the examination of the evolution of interactions with the Maya population living in Guatemala and an investigation into more collaborative methods of archaeological research, this study will determine how to construct a more ethical fieldwork environment for all parties involved. This will provide insight into the next steps that should be taken and possible methods of implementation to remove the stigmas surrounding research and fieldwork for Indigenous communities.

Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice: Connecting Students to Global Issues

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Sierra T. Davis, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Wendy Sellers, Ph.D.

This pilot study will contribute to the literature surrounding study abroad using a new framework to gauge the effect travel has on knowledge of global issues. The United Nations created a list of sustainable development goals meant to rectify pressing issues in the United States and abroad. The goals have been separated into the categories of ending poverty, ensuring prosperity for all, and protection of the planet. Using them as the framework for a quantitative study, data were collected from college-level students around South Carolina on perceptions of global issues through a sustainable lens. The project has had two phases; results and implications of the recent phase will be discussed.