SNRAS educates students for a wide range of career opportunities in agribusiness, government, public service agencies, retail and service industries, human health institutions, the food service and processing industry, financial institutions, youth development agencies, conservation and environmental organizations, farming and, ranching, research, extension, communication, and education. The school covers a broad education in professional knowledge areas combined with foundation courses to develop a well-rounded academic experience. As the primary land-grant component of the university, SNRAS administers a variety of programs and engages in cooperative efforts with federal, state, and borough governments and agencies.

Sub-communities within this community

Recent Submissions

  • Preliminary Fairbanks Bee Pollinator Protection Plan

    Adams, Samuel E.; Todd, Susan K.; Karlsson, Meriam; Spellman, Katie (2020-05)
    Global declines in pollinator species have been documented in several studies across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Honeybees, bumble bees and Monarch butterflies have been hit particularly hard in the US. This Preliminary Fairbanks Bee Pollinator Protection Plan recommends ways to increase public awareness of the problems facing bees and other pollinators, methods to increase and protect pollinator habitat and steps to take to reduce the use of pesticides. The plan also includes a list of native and nonnative plants that grow well in the Fairbanks area and that are attractive to insect pollinators. Planting these species can greatly increase the local habitat for pollinators. In developing the plan, I evaluated 12 pollinator plans from other areas, learned about local pollinators and their habitat requirements, and surveyed local beekeepers. To create the goals, objectives and actions included in this plan, I combined ideas from each of these three sources plus ideas of my own. The plan is not intended to be implemented by any one individual or agency. Instead, the plan can be used by anyone interested in improving pollinator habitat. If you have a backyard, access to a community garden, or just a few pots or a windowsill, you can create pollinator habitat. In addition to individuals, there are many businesses, government agencies, non-profits and other organizations that may be interested in taking steps listed in the plan to benefit bees and other pollinators.
  • Human well-being in recreation: an investigation of the expectancy-valence theory

    Harrington, Andrew M. (2011-05)
    Over the past 50 years, numerous approaches exploring the recreation experience have offered a multitude of concepts and terminology, resulting in a debate over which best represent recreation behavior. This study adopts one of these approaches, the motivational approach, and explores its underpinning theory, expectancy-valence; addresses its limitations presented in the literature; and investigates the potential for the integration with other approaches. A modified analytic induction methodology was applied to address five hypotheses developed to address study questions. Longitudinal, qualitative data were collected through two separate interviews one week apart with 16 individuals that captured their thoughts regarding their recreation activities. A codebook was developed and a kappa statistic revealed an acceptable (K = 0.61 to 0.80) level of inter-coder reliability. Codes were developed based on constructs from the expectancy-valence framework prior to examining the transcripts. Evidence of these codes in the transcripts provided support for the theory. Consistent with modified analytic induction, some hypotheses were confirmed, while one was modified when evidence to the contrary was found. Further examination of the data revealed the potential for integration of other approaches.
  • Arctic sea ice: satellite observations, global climate model performance, and future scenarios

    Rogers, Tracy S.; Rupp, Scott (2011-08)
    This thesis examined Arctic sea ice trends through observational records and model-derived scenarios. A regional analysis of Arctic sea ice observations 1980-2008 identified regional trends similar to the pan-Arctic. However, winter maximum (March) extent in the Atlantic quadrant declined faster. Through an analysis of Atlantic Ocean temperatures and Arctic winds, we concluded that melting sea ice extent may result in increased Atlantic Ocean temperatures, which feeds back to further reductions in Atlantic quadrant extent. Further, Arctic winds do not appear to drive Atlantic ice extent. We evaluated performance of 13 Global Climate Models, reviewing retrospective (1980-2008) sea ice simulations and used three metrics to compare with the observational record. We examined and ranked models at the pan-Arctic domain and regional quadrants, synthesizing model performance across several Arctic studies. The top performing models were able to better capture pan-Arctic trends and regional variability. Using the best performing models, we analyzed future sea ice projections across key access routes in the Arctic and found likely reduced ice coverage through 2100, allowing increasingly longer marine operations. This unique assessment found the Northwest and Northeast Passages to hold potential for future marine access to the Arctic, including shipping and resource development opportunities.
  • The Importance of communication in land use planning for interior Alaska: a participant observation study

    Lunsford, Olivia K.; Trainor, Sarah; Veazey, Pips; Dawe, Janice (2019-04)
    Three case studies (i.e., (1) FNSB Marijuana Zoning, (2) The Joint Land Use Study, and (3) Rethinking Smith Ranch) were examined in the context of land use planning to assist the reader in understanding some of the challenges a second-class borough in Alaska faces. The researcher utilized an opportunity with the Fairbanks North Star Borough to perform a participant observation study which demonstrated the complexity in engaging and communicating with citizens of the area. The researcher identified the three following critical themes and referenced planning literature to analyze them: (1) challenges to accomplishing goals, (2) the importance of communication, and (3) potential solutions to overcoming challenges. Upon identifying the challenges experienced both during the case studies, as well as outside of the case studies, the researcher determined possible solutions to help the borough’s Department of Community Planning overcome the difficulties associated with communication and engagement of citizens.
  • Pairwise comparisons of shrub change across alpine climates show heterogeneous response to temperature in Dall's Sheep range

    Melham, Mark; Valentine, Dave; Panda, Santosh; Brinkman, Todd (2019-12)
    Encroachment of woody vegetation into alpine and high latitude systems complicates resource use for specialist wildlife species. We converted Landsat imagery to maps of percent shrub cover in alpine areas of Dall's sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) range. We then compared percent cover to interpolated climate data to infer drivers of shrub change between the 1980s and 2010s and determine if that change is occurring at different rates in climatically distinct alpine areas. We identified areas spatially interconnected by their mean July temperature intervals and compared their rates of shrub change, finding net rates of shrub growth were higher at temperatures notably above shrub growing season minimums. Along a climatic gradient, high precipitation areas had highest net shrub change, Arctic areas followed, while alpine areas of interior Alaska and the cold Arctic showed the least amount of net shrub change at these higher temperatures. Despite the requirement of higher temperatures for shrub growth, temperature and net shrub change displayed different relationships across the range wide climatic gradient. In areas of rapid climate warming, such as the Arctic and cold Arctic, the linear correlation between shrub change and temperature was highest. In the high precipitation areas where temperatures have been largely above growing season minimums during the study period, precipitation had the strongest linear correlation with shrub change. High latitude studies on shrub change focus primarily on expansion in the Arctic, where increased greening trends are linked to higher rates of warming. We provide the broadest climatic examination of shrub change and its drivers in Alaska and suggest shrub expansion 1) occurs more broadly than just in areas of notable climate warming and 2) is dependent on different environmental factors based on regional climate. The implications for Dall's sheep are complicated and further research is necessary to understand their adaptive capacity in response to this widespread vegetative shift.
  • Planning for positive outcomes: testing methods for measuring outdoor recreation preferences on public lands

    Wright, Roger Bryant; Fix, Peter J.; Little, Joseph M.; Dodge, Kathryn (2019-08)
    Outcomes-Focused Management is based on the idea of four levels of demand for recreation: demand for recreation activities, recreation settings, recreation experiences, and lasting benefits of recreation. Public lands can provide the setting, and thus the opportunity for people to engage in meaningful outdoor recreation activities to realize desired experiences and lasting benefits. Implementation of this management framework requires identifying desired outcomes and understanding how management of public lands recreation settings affects visitors' ability to realize them. This thesis addresses the two tasks. The Fairbanks Community Recreation Study investigated current methods of identifying demands for different types of recreation trips, revealing two key shortcomings. First, demand studies often rely solely on activity participation data and thus fail to account for latent demand and desires for meaningful experiences and benefits. Second, data from demand studies are either too general to be useful in site management, or too specific to one site to account for the range of needs within a community. An online survey was developed to characterize salient and latent demands for outdoor recreation in the context of the greater Fairbanks, Alaska community. A unique survey format allowed respondents to describe their hypothetical "ideal" outdoor recreation trips, the required setting characteristics, and what actual places in the region might realistically provide such a trip. Trip profiles yielded a typology of desired recreation for the region. By connecting these types of trips to real places, local land managers can identify which demands they are uniquely equipped to provide for and how to better cater to latent demands. To address the task of measuring the effectiveness of outcomes-focused management practices, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted on data from 13 recreation benefits surveys collected at recreation areas in three western states. Factor structures among individual studies converged on two primary domains of Personal Benefits of recreation and Community Benefits from recreation, each containing a number of potential subdimensions. By identifying latent factors of the recreation benefits construct the study brings research closer to developing and validating a survey instrument to measure lasting beneficial recreation outcomes to individuals and their communities.
  • Crop modeling to assess the impact of climate change on spring wheat growth in sub-Arctic Alaska

    Harvey, Stephen K.; Zhang, Mingchu; Karlsson, Meriam; Fochesatto, Gilberto (2019-05)
    In the sub-arctic region of Interior Alaska, warmer temperatures and a longer growing season caused by climate change could make spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) a more viable crop. In this study, a crop model was utilized to simulate the growth of spring wheat in future climate change scenarios RCP4.5 (medium-low emission) and RCP8.5 (high emission) of Fairbanks, Alaska. In order to fulfill such simulation, in 2018 high quality crop growth datasets were collected at the Fairbanks and Matanuska Valley Experiment Farms and along with historic variety trial data, the crop model was calibrated and validated for simulating days to maturity (emergence to physiological maturity) and yield of spring wheat in Fairbanks. In the Fairbanks 1989-2018 (baseline) climate, growing season (planting to physiological maturity) average temperature and total precipitation are 15.6° C and 122 mm, respectively. In RCP4.5 2020-2049 (2035s), 2050-2079 (2065s), and 2080-2099 (2090s) projected growing season average temperature and total precipitation are 16.7° C, 17.4° C, 17.8° C and 120 mm, 112 mm, 112 mm, respectively. In RCP8.5 2035s, 2065s, and 2090s projected growing season average temperature and total precipitation are 16.8° C, 18.5° C, 19.5° C and 120 mm, 113 mm, 117 mm, respectively. Using Ingal, an Alaskan spring wheat, the model simulated days to maturity and yield in baseline and projected climate scenarios of Fairbanks, Alaska. Baseline days to maturity were 69 and yield was 1991 kg ha-1. In RCP4.5 2035s, 2065s, and 2090s days to maturity decreased to 64, 62, 60 days, respectively, and yield decreased 2%, 6%, 8%, respectively. In RCP8.5 2035s, 2065s, and 2090s days to maturity decreased to 64, 58, 55 days, respectively, and yield decreased 1%, 3%, then increased 1%, respectively. Adaptation by cultivar modification to have a growing degree day requirement of 68 days to maturity in RCP4.5 2035s and RCP8.5 2035s resulted in increased yields of 4% and 5%, respectively. Climatic parameters of temperature and precipitation per growing season day are projected to become more favorable to the growth of spring wheat. However, precipitation deficit, an indicator of water stress was found to stay similar to the baseline climate. Without adaption, days to maturity and yield are projected to decrease. Selection and/or breeding of spring wheat varieties to maintain baseline days to maturity are a priority to materialize yield increases in the area of Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • Multiresolution digital soil mapping of permafrost soils using a random forest classifier: an investigation along the Dalton Highway corridor, Alaska

    Paul, Joshua D.; Ping, Chien-Lu; Prakash, Anupma; Rossello, Jordi Cristobal; Libohova, Zamir (2018-12)
    In order to complete soil inventories in the remote permafrost zones of Alaska, there is a need to develop efficient digital soil mapping tools that can be applied over large areas using a minimum of ground truth data. This investigation first used a random forest classifier to test combinations of environmental input data at multiple resolutions (10m, 30m, and 100m). Five tiers of soil taxonomic units were predicted: Order, Suborder, Great Group, "Series Concept", and Particle Size Class. Model outputs are compared quantitatively via estimated out-of-bag accuracy, and qualitatively via visual inspection by soil scientists. Estimated out-of-bag accuracy ranged from ~45% to ~75%, with results improving when fewer classes were modeled. Model runs at 10m and 30m resolution performed comparably, with 100m resolution performing ~5-10% worse in most cases. Increasing the number of trees used, including categorical environmental input data (e.g. landforms), and replacement of environmental covariates with principal component analysis (PCA) bands did not significantly improve model performance. The random forest classifier was then used in a digital soil mapping pilot study along the Dalton Highway in northern Alaska. Parameters suggested in the initial study were used to predict multiple soil taxonomic classes from a basic collection of environmental covariates generated using high resolution (10m) satellite images and sparsely sampled pedon data. Covariates included maximum curvature, multiresolution valley bottom flatness, normalized height, potential incoming solar radiation, slope, terrain ruggedness index, and modified soil and vegetation index. Five tiers of soil taxonomic units were predicted: Order, Suborder, Great Group, "Series Concept", and Particle Size Class. Model outputs are compared quantitatively via estimated out-of-bag accuracy. Estimated out-of-bag accuracy ranged from ~45% to ~75%, with results improving when fewer classes were modeled. We suggest future research into optimized sampling to ensure an adequate distribution of samples across the feature space, and the incorporation of expert knowledge into accuracy assessments. Overall, digital soil mapping with random forest classifiers appears to be a promising method for completing the soil survey of Alaska.
  • A farmers guide to evaluate soil health using physical, chemical, and biological indicators on an agricultural field in Alaska

    Cole, Cory J.; Zhang, Mingchu; Matney, Casey; Karlsson, Meriam (2018-12)
    Farmers across Alaska face many challenges. These challenges include climate extremes, wind and water erosion, weed pressure, crop pests, and nutrient-poor soils. Cover crops, crop rotation, crop residue, and tillage management are common conservation practices used to address soil related resource concerns. Research in the continental United States has shown that these soil conservation practices improve soil health. Resource managers are trying to determine the usefulness of soil health indicators to assess conservation practices in Alaska. The objective of this project was to provide Alaskan farmers, conservation planners, and land managers with a background on soil health, soil health indicators, soil health assessments, and the use of conservation practices to improve soil health. Establishing linkages between soil conservation practices and soil health indicators will allow individuals to focus conservation efforts on improving soil conditions, evaluate soil management practices and techniques over time to determine trends, make qualitative comparisons of soil health among management systems, and provide tested measures of soil health (indicators) that will allow farmers and land managers to make more informed resource decisions. Numerous studies were conducted across Alaska to gauge the success of cover cropping, crop rotation, and reduced tillage (no-till). Improvements in physical, chemical, and biological indicators were documented. After one year of study, most cover crops resulted in lower bulk density at the soil surface compared to conventional tillage. Among the cover crop treatments, the perennial forage grass Timothy (Phleum pratense var. Engmo) ranked highest in soil organic matter, soil water content, and improvement to the soil structure. Preliminary data from this project has been gathered to develop an Alaska specific Soil Health Assessment Card and supplementary User Guide.
  • Use of native Alaskan materials for farm and home construction

    Branton, C. I.; Fahnestock, C. R. (University of Alaska, Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1953-11)
  • Urban use of Alaskan farm products

    Johnson, Hugh A. (University of Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1953-09)
  • Present and potential agricultural areas in Alaska

    Johnson, Hugh A. (University of Alaska, Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1953-02)
  • Farming in the Matanuska and Tanana Valleys of Alaska

    Moore, Clarence A. (University of Alaska, Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1952-01)
  • Agricultural possibilities of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

    McCurdy, Richard E.; Johnson, Hugh A. (Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1951-03)
    During the summer of 1950, an intensive study was made on the Kenai Peninsula to determine the extent of its agricultural development and the plans and problems of current settlers. All available settlers residing in accessible areas were interviewed. Notes were also collected concerning non-resident or absentee landholders. The resulting information consequently covers the agricultural community that has developed under existing conditions of help, hindrance and laissez faire. The study furnishes guides useful in formulating public settlement policies for the Kenai-Kasilof area and to individuals who might wish to locate in this or other sections of the Peninsula.
  • Ryegrasses in Alaska: grazing preference, forage yields, digestibility, and other comparisons among four types of ryegrass, and responses of different types and cultivars to various management options

    Klebesadel, Leslie J. (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, 2000-02)
  • Bromegrass in Alaska. VII. : Heading, seed yield, and components of yield as influenced by seeding-year management and by time and rate of nitrogen application in subsequent years

    Klebesadel, Leslie J. (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, 1998-10)
  • Getting a start in dairying in Alaska

    Sweetman, W. J.; Branton, C. I. (Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1962-03)
  • Matanuska Valley Memoir

    Johnson, Hugh A.; Stanton, Keith L. (University of Alaska, Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1980-05)
    The Matanuska Valley was created through action of ice, water and wind. When the last glaciers retreated up the Susitna. the Knik and the Matanuska valleys, vegetation began covering the scars. Over several centuries a dense growth of trees and brush screened the land from Knik Arm to the mountain slopes of the Talkeetna range. Here and there a lake broke the uniform forest mantle. A salt marsh at the mouth of the Matanuska River kept the rank undergrowth from reaching tidewater. A few low spots near the Little Susitna and other swampy areas supported a thick cover of moss or grass. The Valley, which really isn't a valley at all but a reworked foreland, rises from the Matanuska River in a series of benches ranging in width from a few hundred feet to more than a mile. Some areas are flat, others are rolling. Soil depth varies from eight feet in thickness for the region bordering the Matanuska River to a few inches in sections west of Wasilla. The soil mantle, of windblown loessial materials, is of relatively new geologic development. The Valley is bounded by the Chugach Mountains on the east, the Talkeetnas on the north, the Susitna Valley on the west and Knik Arm on the south. Winters are long but usually not unduly severe; summers cool and relatively moist. To this country came trappers, prospectors, and traders in closing years of the nineteenth century. Hordes of insects, difficult trails, sparse population and great distances from supply points discouraged many potential residents. Those who stayed were interested primarily in the Willow Creek gold field or the Matanuska coal deposits. Another generation, an uneasy international situation and social crises within the United States were required before the Matanuska Valley and the rest of Upper Cook Inlet were ripe for use. This history of the Valley is designed to trace the many human elements affecting the ebb and flow of agricultural development here. It brings into focus many problems that must be solved before new areas in Alaska can be settled satisfactorily.
  • Are sustainable livelihoods critical to the success of community-based marine protected areas?

    Olivier, Nina A. (2018-05)
    Three community-based marine protected areas (CBMPAs) in the Visayas, Philippines were analyzed based on how well they incorporated sustainable livelihood programs into their overall management and planning for those displaced by the CBMPA. Through reviewing management plans and reports, the CBMPAs were then assessed to see whether including alternative livelihoods in these three cases was correlated with greater overall success. Each CBMPA was scored based on their alternative livelihoods and overall success. Management stakeholder perception surveys were also conducted for two of the CBMPA sites studied. Apo Island Marine Reserve scored the highest for its criteria for sustainable livelihood development and criteria for success of a CBMPA. Alternatively, Lawi Marine Reserve scored equivalent to that of Balcon Marine Protected Area for its criteria for sustainable livelihood development, yet the lowest for its criteria for success of a CBMPA. The most successful CBMPA was Apo Island Marine Reserve due to the incorporation of human dimensions into their management planning that helped them create sustainable livelihood programs that increased the community's compliance with the rules and regulations of the CBMPA. In contrast, Balcon Marine Protected Area and Lawi Marine Reserve did not have sustainable livelihood programs in place and their success was far below that of Apo Island. Thus, the overall success of these CBMPAs appears to be strongly correlated with alternative livelihood programs, however further study is needed to determine if this correlation between alternative livelihoods and success is true for the majority of CBMPAs in the Philippines.
  • Marine associated bird and mammal habitat use at the Five Finger Lighthouse Island

    Beraha, Lori (2018-07)
    In summer 2017 I studied the abundance and distribution of marine associated birds and mammals from four observational points on the southernmost of the Five Finger Islands (FFI). My objectives were (1) to identify the areas of highest habitat use by species of conservation concern, and (2) to use this information to make recommendations for an ecosystem-based management plan at the Five Finger Lighthouse Island (FFLI). I found higher relative abundance and higher biodiversity of both birds and marine mammals on the South and West facing sectors compared to the North and East facing sectors. I attribute this to the greater habitat complexity that comprises a near-shore reef, a mixed kelp forest, and a channel between the reef and the side of the island with the highest cliff, areas used extensively for foraging, nesting, traveling, socializing, and resting by many of the documented species. I therefore recommend avoiding development and minimizing anthropogenic disturbance on the southern and western portions of the island including the adjacent reef and channel between the reef and island. As both the FFI ecosystem and the Five Finger Lighthouse (FFL) management continue to evolve in response to changing environmental conditions and human needs, this study provides a useful baseline for future comparison. Continued study and monitoring is also recommended at this site to inform future adaptive management, document changes over time, and engage community stakeholders in science and conservation.

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