Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa DeChano-Cook

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Third Advisor

Dr. Lucius Hallett IV

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Sports have a large impact on the environment. While leagues and teams are looking at improving their sustainability at stadiums, they also have increased their travel distances. NCAA Division I athletic conferences have recently endured conference realignments. This expanding geographic footprint of these conferences has led to teams having an increased travel distances for all sports. This research investigates the environmental impact of travel distances that conference realignment has had in NCAA Division I athletics, particularly regarding the Power 5 conferences carbon footprint. The research question examined is, based on travel distances, has the carbon footprint of the conferences changed dramatically, from pre-realignment to post-realignment? In order to answer this question, I examined the changes in mean center and average travel distances for each conference pre- and post-alignment. The carbon footprints were then calculated for 2010 and 2014 and the total emission and average emission changes were investigated.

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