Recent Submissions

  • Explorations 1985-86

    Davee, Danielle; Parnell, Joe; Silva, Ron; Petersen, Art (University of Alaska, Juneau, 1985)
    Explorations contains writing and art by members of the University of Alaska-Juneau Community and the Community of the State of Alaska.
  • Explorations 1983

    Silva, Ron; Leland, Jo (University of Alaska, Juneau, 1983)
    EXPLORATIONS is an official publication of the University of Alaska, Juneau, containing selected works of art and creative writing by students of UAJ, as well as any other authors and artists who wish to submit work for entry. Selection committee meets in the Spring to solicit and jury work for Fall publication.
  • Assessing the dynamics of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) mother-calf pairs along the south coast of Portugal using unmanned aerial vehicles

    Castro, Joana; Cid, André; Quirin, Alicia; Matos, Fábio L.; Rosa, Rui; Pearson, Heidi (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2024-02-13)
    Maternal grouping dynamics involve trade-offs between: (1) infant protection from predation (predation hypothesis), (2) infant protection from male harassment (infant safety hypothesis), and (3) reducing scramble competition for prey resources (foraging-type scramble competition hypothesis). Using unmanned aerial vehicles, we assessed grouping dynamics in common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) groups containing mother-calf pairs to address these hypotheses. We analyzed social aspects and structural group elements using generalized additive mixed models and modeled group formation using multinomial generalized estimating equations. Calf proportion was higher in very compact groups and in groups of 10–20 individuals but decreased in larger groups. The frequency of socio-sexual behaviors increased in larger groups and decreased in groups with higher calf proportion. Calf distance to its nearest neighbor decreased with increasing group size and cohesion. With a higher proportion of calves, scatter (versus parallel) formation was less frequent. A calf's nearest neighbor was most often (55.4%) a nonmother. Calves showed a preference for being in the front center of the group. These results offer strong support for the predation and infant safety hypotheses and partial support for the foraging-type scramble competition hypothesis. This work provides insight into the adaptive function of maternal strategies in a small delphinid.
  • Explorations 1982

    University of Alaska, Juneau, 1982
    Explorations is an official publication of the University of Alaska, Juneau. This publication contains the work of art and creative writing students at the University of Alaska. All work presented is copyrighted on behalf of the University and the students whose work appears within.
  • Dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) habitat use in a mussel farming region and changes over time

    Piwetz, Sarah; Pearson, Heidi; Honkus, Krysta A.; Würsig, Bernd (Taylor & Francis, 2024-04-01)
    Information on marine mammal habitat use in coastal areas can provide a better understanding of anthropogenic effects on species. Admiralty Bay, New Zealand has extensive near-shore mussel farms and is an important dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) foraging habitat. Prior dusky dolphin research indicated a declining trend in regional abundance from the late 1990s to mid-2000s. We describe dusky dolphin behaviour, habitat patch use and movement patterns in Admiralty Bay in 2011–2012 and compare findings to previous research to capture long-term trends. Sampling methods included small-boat group follows and photo-identification and shore-based theodolite tracking. Dolphin encounter rate, mean group size, and individual resighting rate showed a negative trend from previous years. Coordinated prey ball herding, a foraging technique documented in previous years, was rarely observed during this study. Dolphins were more likely to forage near farms (excluding specialised prey herding), though they seldom entered farms. Near shore, swimming speed was slower, reorientation rate was higher, and linearity was lower in the presence of farms than in their absence. This research builds upon prior studies, suggesting a continued decline in dusky dolphin presence, and highlights differences in habitat patch use in a human-altered ecosystem.
  • Elplorations 1981

    Phelps, J. Randall (The Blue Oak Press, 1981)
    EXPLORATIONS is not an official publication of UAJ nor the University of Alaska, nor are the views or treatments of themes, expressed or implied, necessarily those of the University, the editor, nor The Blue Oak Press, but of the separate writers of this magazine. Editor's Note: After several attempts to reestablish a literary magazine at UAJ but securing no aid despite repeated applications to various agencies and currently lacking budget at the campus itself, the creative writers and director of the workshop approached Blue Oak with a plea for help. We are proud to assist this group of writers in re-establishing their magazine (formerly SOUND AND SILENCE) and in seeing their work into print.
  • Explorations 1995

    Petersen, Art; Watson, Cecilia (University of Alaska Southeast, 1995)
    Explorations ’95 is published with support from the University of Alaska Southeast School of Education, Liberal Arts, and Science, the Chancellor’s Office, and contributor reader/entry fees. Works do not necessarily reflect the views of the University. Editor: Art Petersen; Asst. Student Editor: Cecilia Watson. Submissions (910) were “blind juried” by Nancy Lord, Art Petersen, Ron Silva, Leslie Williams, and Bob Mayberry—poets, writers, and faculty in literature. Nancy Lord awarded first place prizes of $500 each (and 2nd and 3rd places) for poetry and short fiction. Art Editor Alice Tersteeg and students awarded $175 in prizes for art.
  • Use of hormones in assessing reproductive physiology of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from Juneau, Alaska

    Atkinson, S.; Melica, V.; Teerlink, S.; Mashburn, K.; Moran, J.; Pearson, Heidi (Elsevier, 2023)
    Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Southeast Alaska have been studied for over 50 years, and are largely considered a recovery success since the cessation of commercial whaling. Reproductive physiology is an important factor to consider in studying population health and can provide important insights into the drivers contributing to population abundance fluctuations. Validated assays for progesterone and testosterone were used on blubber biopsies from humpback whales (N = 33 whales, 71 samples) near Juneau, Alaska, in 2020 and 2021. Long-term sighting histories were used to confirm detected pregnancies with calf sightings the following year. Blubber samples were divided into two seasonal bins (early and late summer). Pregnant females sampled in both early and late summer of both 2020 and 2021 showed elevated progesterone concentrations compared to other reproductive states (p < 0.05). Progesterone concentrations in adult male whales (0.3 ± 0.2 ng/g) were not significantly different from lactating or resting female whales. Blubber testosterone concentrations in adult male humpback whales ranged from 0.05 to 1.1 ng/g, and mean concentrations were approximately double those of female whales in any reproductive state. Pregnancy was detected in 5 of 11 and 4 of 9 adult females in 2020 and 2021 respectively, yielding summer season pregnancy rates for sexually mature females at 0.45, and 0.44, respectively. Calving rates were 0.36 and 0.22 in 2020 and 2021, respectively, and the annual growth rate for this subpopulation was calculated at 2.6 % per annum. One female had successful pregnancies for four consecutive years. These results demonstrate the synergistic value of combining immunoreactive assays and long-term sighting histories to further knowledge of reproductive physiology in individual humpback whales, which can be expanded to assessing the health of a population or ecosystem.
  • Macronutrient composition of sea otter diet with respect to recolonization, life history, and season in southern Southeast Alaska

    LaRoche, Nicole; King, Sydney; Fergusson, Emily; Eckert, Ginny; Pearson, Heidi (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2023-05-02)
    The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) population of Southeast Alaska has been growing at a higher rate than other regions along the Pacific coast. While good for the recovery of this endangered species, rapid population growth of this apex predator can create a human-wildlife conflict, negatively impacting commercial and subsistence fishing. Previous foraging studies throughout the sea otter range have shown they will reduce invertebrate prey biomass when recolonizing an area. The goal of this study was to examine and quantify the energy content of sea otter diets through direct foraging observations and prey collection. Our study area, Prince of Wales Island in southern Southeast Alaska, exhibits a gradient of sea otter recolonization, thus providing a natural experiment to test diet change in regions with different recolonization histories. Sea otter prey items were collected in three seasons (spring, summer, and winter) to measure caloric value and lipid and protein content. We observed 3523 sea otter dives during the spring and summer. A majority of the sea otter diet consisted of clams. Sea otters in newly recolonized areas had lower diet diversity, higher energetic intake rates (EIR, kcal/min), and prey had higher energy content (kcal/g). Females with pups had the highest diet diversity and the lowest EIR. Sea otter EIR were higher in the fall and winter vs. spring and summer. Sea cucumber energy and lipid content appeared to correspond with times when sea otters consumed the highest proportion of sea cucumbers. These caloric variations are an important component of understanding ecosystem-level effects sea otters have in the nearshore environment.

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