Recent Submissions

  • Indigenous self-determination in co-production of knowledge

    Rudolf, Margaret Hope Cysewski; Trainor, Sarah; Hirsch, Alexander; Hum, Richard; Topkok, Sean Asikłuk (2023-12)
    Analyzing and comprehending co-production of knowledge (CPK) in the context of working with Arctic Indigenous communities on climate change research is the main goal for this interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation. CPK is shared decision-making on every step of the research process with research partners from communities, agencies, or organizations. CPK with Arctic Indigenous communities requires dedicated consideration of equity, ethics, cultural worldviews, and colonization. Key concepts from Indigenous critical methodologies are used to analyze both the CPK theory and implementation. CPK has the potential to be an ethical space to question the status quo of research processes and support Indigenous self-determination. Critiquing NSF's Navigating the New Arctic as a case study, there were many missteps in not following CPK in the development of the program and projects, along with not following United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples' Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (Ch. 2). There are significant lessons to be learned from the literature on collaborative methodology, including Indigenous methodologies. Through synthesis work, a model was developed compiling factors of success to achieving CPK along with a discussion of perspectives on those factors and success metrics. The objective of the synthesis work is the development of tools to support transparent communication and co-design of research projects (Ch. 3). CPK happens in-between the boundaries of disciplines, cultures, and science-policy-community. Thirteen experts in boundary spanning co-produced lessons-learned and recommendations based on their expertise and experiences. The project co-produced strategies to overcome funding barriers and the cultural divide to Alaska Native communities utilizing a boundary analysis framework (Ch. 4). Applying the CPK and boundary spanning concepts, themes of success in improving Arctic observing were developed from homogenous focus groups. With thirty-four participants representing scientists, science coordination experts, policy experts, and Indigenous community leaders and scholars, co-analysis was impractical. Following the Rapid Assessment Process utilizing focus groups, themes of success and corresponding science and Indigenous perspectives were developed (Ch. 5).
  • Marine methane: sources and potential adverse effects

    Mahmuda, Sadia; Aggarwal, Srijan; Rea, Lorrie; Dev, Subhabrata (2023-12)
    Recently, there has been an increase in the occurrence of incidents involving spills of oil and natural gas, such as methane. The world experiences at least one major spill in each decade. An illustrative case is the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. This catastrophe resulted in the discharge of about 205.8 million gallons of oil and 225,000 metric tons of methane gas into the Gulf of Mexico. More recently, in 2022, the Nord Stream pipeline leak occurred, which was the largest single methane release ever recorded. It released up to 500K tons of methane underwater, a greenhouse gas with a significantly higher potency than carbon dioxide. Due to the Deepwater Horizon incident, mammals, sea turtles, birds, fish, and invertebrates were adversely affected and caused damage to the corals. More than 90 bird species died, and 1300 miles of shoreline became polluted. The fishing industry suffered a significant reduction. This study systematically reviewed the source and impact of methane in the marine environment, utilizing 271 peer-reviewed academic publications, eight non-peer-reviewed sources, and 44 online resources. In the marine environment, methane can come from various sources such as methane hydrate, methane seeps, pockmarks, mud volcanoes, microbial activities, and anthropogenic sources or human-induced activities. Sediment typically contains methane from methane seeps, methane hydrates, mud volcanoes, and microbial activity. In the water column, methane is produced from diffusion from hydrates, seeps, hydrothermal vents, and thermogenic and anthropogenic sources. On the other hand, air-water interface methane comes from the atmospheric exchange or diffusion from the water column or sediment. In marine water, methane undergoes various reactions. Methane reacts with oxygen, producing carbon dioxide in aerobic conditions. Conversely, in anaerobic conditions, methane is anaerobically oxidized, coupling with sulfate reduction mediating by sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanotrophic archaea. These microorganisms, bacteria, and archaea derive the majority of their carbon and energy from methane, and they can proliferate their number where they find excess methane. However, excess methane can create anoxic conditions by reducing oxygen concentration. Invertebrates utilize methane through a symbiotic relationship with methane-consuming microorganisms. Moreover, the marine ecosystem exhibits complex interdependencies among the organisms and methane.
  • Preserving reflections of ourselves: the past, present, and future of Alaska's museums

    Linn, Angela J.; Ehrlander, Mary; Koskey, Michael; Jonaitis, Aldona (2023-12)
    While museums are very good at collecting, preserving, documenting, and interpreting the histories of our communities, we have not done a very good job with our own histories. No comprehensive publication holistically examines the development of museums in Alaska, let alone looks critically at the "big three" (Alaska State Museums, University of Alaska Museum of the North, and the Anchorage Museum) with a goal of establishing a connection between the historical context, the individuals who shaped those museums, and the institutions' current states of being. This dissertation uses the academic fields of history, museology, and ethnography to discover and analyze how we find ourselves in the current state, while offering suggestions for moving ahead in a positive way. In this dissertation I examine the past, present, and future of Alaska's museums. I do this by first assembling a more complete history of the "big three" using archival primary sources, published literature, and interviews. Second, I examine the current state of museums with their strengths and challenges through a combination of literature review, interviews, surveys, and participant observation. Finally, I consider the way Alaska's museums might respond to the changes facing museums around the world by reflecting on current museological literature, current events, and examining two case studies based on my work at the University of Alaska Museum of the North located on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • Elitnaurilleq piciryaramtenek qanemcitgun: a participatory teacher action research study to improve language and literacy instruction in a Yup'ik immersion school

    Samson, Angass'aq Sally; Siekmann, Sabine; Parker-Webster, Joan; Marlow, Patrick; John, Theresa Arevgaq (2023-05)
    Elitnaurilleq Piciryaramtenek Qanemcitgun: A participatory teacher action research study (Teaching our way of life through stories) is participatory action research involving four Yugtun immersion teachers investigating first and second grade Yugtun reading and language instruction through lesson study. Lesson study involves a group of educators collaboratively implementing teacher action research to investigate a problem area in their teaching. The research questions that guided our investigation include: How can teachers' involvement in a Participatory Action Research (a) contribute to their own professional development; (b) improve their language teaching; and (c) generate new strategies for teaching reading based on Yugtun language principles? Data collections included video recordings of our sessions, the journal entries of the participants, and audio recording of the interviews. Data were analyzed using Constructivist Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2014). Primary categories that emerged were: Selecting vocabulary words; organizing lesson that help students make meaning from text; How and when to teach vocabulary words; Recognizing differences between Yugtun and English morphology in relation to language and literacy instruction. Each of these categories are addressed in terms of a professional development inservice and a workshop series designed to involve teachers in continued lesson study.
  • Collaborative dialogue for Ellangellerkaq and crosslinguistic awareness in third grade Yugtun English bilingual research centers: a teacher action research study

    Moses, Catherine; Siekmann, Sabine; Webster, Joan Parker; Martelle, Wendy; John, Theresa Arevgaq (2023-05)
    Most bilingual programs are built around a clear separation between the two languages used throughout the school day. However, in bilingual research centers (BRCs), a key component of the Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Enrichment model, students can choose which language to use. This is what sparked my interest, because I wanted to understand more clearly how bilingual students use language to problem-solve language issues. My research question is "How do third-grade students use collaborative dialogue in Yugtun and English in bilingual research centers?" This qualitative teacher action research study took place in a Nelson Island, Toksook Bay third-grade dual language classroom. Out of the twelve students, there were nine Yup'ik-first language speakers and three were English-first. I focused on a bilingual group of two Yup'ik-first language speakers and two English-first speakers. The students ranged from low to high proficiency levels in language. Data collection spanned nine months and included video recordings, audio recordings, student artifacts, and field notes. I used video recordings to transcribe students' use of the Yup'ik and English language. First, I identified language-related episodes (Swain, 2000). Then I employed constructive grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014). I found that students more frequently engaged in collaborative dialogue when producing language, for example when writing about what they know or what they have learned. The students' collaborative dialogue while writing often focused on letter-sound correspondences, especially when those differ between the two languages used in the classroom. In talking about language issues, the students are actively engaged in their own learning. All involved students learn something about the language they or others are using. Crosslinguistic awareness, which examines the similarities and differences between two or more languages, emerged as a significant area of focus both for students and also for their teachers. One key recommendation is that bilingual teachers should collaborate with other teachers to create opportunities for students to engage in collaborative dialogue, which has the potential to build students' crosslinguistic awareness. Monolingual and bilingual teachers alike also need to develop crosslinguistic awareness to better understand their students' language production and support language development in both languages. Teacher action research calls one to further action, and that is the action plan. My action plan is to use data and finding from this study during a 3-day teacher inservice for teachers of bilingual students. During the inservice teachers will be invited into an inquiry process by examining selected language-related episodes from this research in order for them to develop crosslinguistic awareness through carefully listening to and observing the learning process of bilingual students.
  • Communicating remote sensing surveys of aufeis in northeast Alaska with land managers

    Dann, Julian; Bolton, W. Robert; Zwieback, Simon; Leonard, Paul; Timm, Kristin (2023-05)
    With an area of over 19 million acres, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is situated in the northeastern region of Alaska and stands as the largest federally protected refuge in the United States. The region supports a variety of wildlife and plants and is culturally significant to the indigenous populations of nearby Iñupiat and Gwich'in villages who rely on the land and wildlife for their way of life. The discovery of oil near this region in 1968, prompted local, state, and federal interest in understanding the oil and gas potential of the region. Oil and gas surveys in the 1980s estimated that a portion of the Arctic Coastal Plain, known as the "1002 Area", could contain more than seven trillion barrels of recoverable oil, making it one of the largest deposits in the world. In 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which mandated lease sales and the development of an environmental impact statement (EIS) to understand the potential impacts of an oil and gas program within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The purpose of this research is to effectively communicate to resource managers about spatial and temporal changes in aufeis distribution in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Aufeis fields are important features of rivers and streams in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that often form downstream from perennial groundwater springs. Over the course of a winter, these fields of ice can grow to be tens of kilometers long, kilometers wide, and up to ten meters thick. Perennial springs and aufeis play a crucial role in maintaining the hydrologic system during winter by contributing liquid water, which not only supports fish habitat but also ensures a consistent water supply during summer, thus enhancing connectivity along aquatic migratory corridors. At locations identified by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as perennial groundwater springs or known fish habitat, a remote sensing analysis of Landsat data was performed. Landsat imagery was analyzed during the melt season (May 14th - August 15th) between 1985 and 2021 to determine seasonal and interannual changes to the overall aufeis extent and the melt rate of aufeis. Based on the available imagery, aufeis between 2010 and 2021 appears to be melting at a significantly faster rate than between 1985 and 2009. An ArcGIS StoryMap was developed to effectively communicate this analysis by allowing users to interact directly with geospatial data. In presenting information in this format, scientific information is effectively communicated to resource managers to help inform their decision making process in a way that is relevant to known problems, is credible by conforming to scientific standards of rigor, and is legitimate by presenting information in an unbiased manner.
  • Comparison of Arctic Alaska historical snow data with satellite-derived benchmarks and model results using ILAMB software

    Szatkowski, Mary; Bolton, W. Robert; Stuefer, Svetlana; Bennett, Katrina (2022-12)
    Understanding and modeling the permafrost system, hydrologic cycle, energy balance, and biologic systems in the Arctic are dependent, in part, on snow depth and snow distribution. Point-source snow measurements provide ground-truth observations of snow depth and snow water equivalent, although these measurements may be limited in their spatial and temporal distributions. Satellite-derived remote sensing products and gridded model output provide spatial coverage of snow properties, but their applicability is affected by their balance of resolution, computational speed, and accuracy confidence. The goal of this research is to assess the performance of three snow data products derived from remote sensing techniques as well as model output across the North Slope of Alaska with the International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) Project software. Historic ground-based snow data, collected by agencies, academia, and industry, and dating from 1902 to 2021, was curated to create an ILAMB-compatible benchmark dataset for end-of-winter (EOW) snow depth and snow water equivalent (SWE) for the evaluation of the three snow data products: Canadian Sea Ice and Snow Evolution (CanSISE) network SWE; Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) snow depth; and Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) Earth Land Model (ELM) snow depth. The ILAMB evaluation results showed that the ABoVE data product is effective in providing the average EOW snow depth for regions of the North Slope but lacks representation of interannual and spatial variability of snow depth. Comparatively, the CanSISE data product and ELM results are inaccurate in magnitude for applicability across the North Slope of Alaska in addition to lacking representation of snow condition spatial variability. In interpreting ILAMB results, factors to consider were representation bias from inconsistent benchmark site distribution throughout the evaluated time period, the range of dates considered to represent the spring snow data, and uncertainty within the individual benchmark values. Future analysis of the same datasets with ILAMB could include diagnostic tests to understand the sources of error better. Thorough spring snow data collection should continue on the North Slope of Alaska to inform and improve Earth System Models.
  • Among the Dene: Allen's 1885 trans-Alaska expedition

    Vander Lugt, Russell W.; Ehrlander, Mary; Boylan, Brandon; Heaton, John; Koester, David; Cole, Terrence (2022-08)
    In 1885, U.S. Army Lieutenant Henry T. Allen crossed Alaska for the purpose of obtaining all information "valuable and important," especially to the military branch of government. The following year, the Secretary of War submitted Allen's much-anticipated report of a reconnaissance in Alaska to the U.S. Senate. Although the Senate ratified a treaty transferring Russian America to the United States nearly two decades earlier, and Alaska had been a Russian colony for over a century, the interior of Alaska - the homeland of Alaska's Dene people - remained largely unknown to the outside world. With constant assistance while traveling among the Dene, Allen surveyed twenty-five hundred miles of Dene territory including the Copper, Tanana, and Koyukuk Rivers. From the North Pacific, the Dene guided Allen across the Alaska Range and north to the Arctic Circle, then west to the Bering Sea. Though scholars then and now have recognized Allen's expedition as the most comprehensive exploration of Alaska and the earliest documentation of Dene lifeways in much of Alaska's Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, this dissertation presents the first scholarly work entirely focused on the expedition. An interdisciplinary approach and narrative history provide the framework for evaluating the expedition's place in U.S. and Alaska history, particularly regarding Allen's noteworthy interactions with Indigenous peoples and his ethnographic and cartographic contributions. With Dene support, Allen recorded the social and physical environment throughout much of Alaska's interior prior to direct colonial influences and resultant rapid and irrevocable change. The expedition's primary sources, combined with documented Dene perspectives, illustrate positive Indigenous-military relations. Mutually respectful interactions between Allen and Alaska's Dene who played an integral role in the expedition's success remain a legacy of the expedition. The character traits that contributed to Allen's success in 1885 eventually led to his selection by General Pershing and President Wilson to lead America's occupation in Germany following World War I. Whether mediating conflict in Europe or managing complex cross-cultural encounters along North America's borderlands during his trans-Alaska expedition, Allen's respectfulness and humanitarianism serve as a benchmark for positive civil-military relations.
  • Cartography, territory and empire mapping the Alaska boundary dispute, 1821-1903

    Letzring, Michael; Ehrlander, Mary; Boylan, Brandon; Falk, Marvin; Maio, Christopher (2022-08)
    In the wake of the Klondike gold rush of 1898 a long-simmering dispute over the boundary between Alaska territory and British-America (Canada) rose to a boil. The disagreement between the United States and England was a combination of imperial arrogance, geographic ignorance, administrative neglect, and diplomatic brinksmanship. At every step the dispute was fueled by colonial cartography and served an eventual European/Euro-American hegemony over the indigenous Tlingit people. In this dissertation, a series of three papers will describe and analyze the precursors and resolution of the Alaska Boundary Dispute in part by employing novel methods of analysis of historical maps that the respective colonial powers used to establish their sovereign claims and then re-introduced as evidence in the 1903 tribunal. The research in this project examines the transformation and reordering of geographic knowledge through the employment of cartography of the Northwest Coast, but also reveals by deductive analysis of the same maps the underlying power struggle between colonial Europeans and Indigenous Americans. Colonial cartography contributed to a competition for imperial space on the Northwest Coast and the analysis of colonial mapping reveals a legacy of geography mediating history, maps creating territory, and the power of geographic knowledge.
  • Understanding permafrost dynamics and geohazards with a terrain-cryofacies approach

    Stephani, Eva; Shur, Yuri; Doré, Guy; Darrow, Margaret; Kanevskiy, Mikhail (2021-12)
    The Arctic and its permafrost terrain are inherently dynamic, complex, and sensitive environments. Understanding the past and current changes occurring in these systems is key in predicting future variations, including the response of permafrost to climate change, and to terrain modifications resulting from natural processes or anthropogenic activities. This study contributes to advance our understanding of permafrost dynamics in varying permafrost environments of northern Alaska and northwestern Canada using a terrain-cryofacies approach. This unique approach helps to increase our understanding of permafrost dynamics from the site-specific scale to over extended areas by recognizing linkages between terrain and subsurface properties, and by identifying similar terrain units in remote sensing analysis. In the Colville River Delta (Alaska), our terrain-cryofacies study integrated data from 79 boreholes with a remote sensing analysis to evaluate the temporal changes in the Nigliq channel positions from 1948 to 2013 and the related permafrost dynamics. Most land cover changes occurred as land exposition (64%), whereas about 36% of the total changes were classified as eroded. The erosion of the older terrain units from the floodplain toposequence, such as the inactive-floodplain cover deposits, implied ground loss volumes of about one-fifth of soil solids and four-fifths of ground ice. Along this channel, we also identified the typical configuration and properties of taliks and cryopegs, as well as subsequent epigenetic permafrost growth. We found that the active channel was underlain by closed taliks, rather than through taliks and thus did not penetrate the entire layer of permafrost connecting supra- and sub-permafrost groundwater. A cryopeg connected to the active channel talik was identified from borehole data in the adjacent terrain units that developed following channel migration. We estimated the likelihood of encountering such taliks and cryopegs over extended areas. The terrain-cryofacies approach was also applied to understand permafrost dynamics of hillslope thermokarst located in multiple ecoregions of northern Alaska and northwestern Canada, including areas affected by interactions with infrastructure. Six features were studied through the combination of field-based and remote sensing methods, whereas 150 others were assessed solely by remote sensing. Studies along a pipeline indicated that embankment construction led to an increase in the active layer thickness, reaching the underlying ice-rich intermediate layer, and causing thaw settlement. This formed a thermokarst-ditch that facilitated channelization of cross-drainage water, and thermal erosion of the ice-rich permafrost that became affected by thermal denudation and caused a retrogressive thaw slump (RTS). The RTS later selfstabilized mainly due to the lateral discontinuity of massive ice (i.e., ice wedge) and the low-relief terrain. We suggested approaches to develop adaptation strategies for infrastructure at risk of RTS based on: these findings and conditions that favor or limit RTS growth by local feedbacks; considering the interaction patterns that we identified between RTS and infrastructure; and the main destabilization processes that we highlighted by terrain units. Further research is necessary, however, and must include testing potential mitigation techniques at multiple sites with monitoring programs to assess the variability in performance with respect to site-specific conditions.
  • Rooted in environmental justice: phytogeography and ethnoecology of Serianthes

    Demeulenaere, Else; Ickert-Bond, Stefanie M.; Lovecraft, Amy Lauren; Yamin-Pasternak, Sveta; Jernigan, Kevin; Rubinstein, Donald H. (2021-12)
    Serianthes Benth. (Fabaceae) is one of the most endangered plant genera in the world, with 12 of the 18 species listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Serianthes trees are culturally important to island communities of the Indo-Pacific region for canoes, boats, traditional houses, and medicine. Habitat loss and ecosystem degradation increased pressure on these trees, also threatening its Indigenous cosmology and traditional practices. This interdisciplinary study integrated genomic, biogeographic and ethnoecological approaches to develop appropriate policies that protect the Indigenous biocultural diversity of Serianthes. Phylogenomics of 401 nuclear exons and non-coding flanking regions using both a multi-species coalescent model and a partition gene tree analysis confirmed the monophyly of the genus and inferred the biogeography and phylogenetic relationships within Serianthes. The Guåhan (Guam) and Luta (Rota) endemic Serianthes nelsonii (known locally as Håyun lågu and Tronkon guåfi respectively) are closely related to South Pacific species. Serianthes kanehirae from Belau (Palau) and Wa'ab (Yap) are closely related to Malesian and Papuasian species. Phylogeographical patterns of Serianthes in Micronesia are discussed to inform conservation management. The ethnoecological study revealed interspecies relationships between people, animals, and plants remain strong. The traditional use of Ukall and Gumor (Serianthes kanehirae) on Belau and Wa'ab respectively remain part of Belau and Wa'ab's culture and are intertwined with rituals respecting the spiritual world. On Luta, Tronkon guåfi is an established flagship for endangered species conservation, while the last adult Håyun lågu tree on Guåhan became a rallying point for spiritual resistance when its habitat became threatened by military plans to construct a firing range. Despite its listing as critically endangered by the Endangered Species Act, its habitat is still at risk of being lost. The social movement guided by Prutehi Litekyan brought the community together to protect the Håyun lågu tree based on Indigenous belief systems. The social movement and policy research used a qualitative mixed-method approach to evaluate the dimensions of the Endangered Species Act in relation to environmental justice and biocultural rights. I concluded that a bottom-up co-management approach with polycentric networks best fits the social-cultural system of Guåhan. I propose Indigenous participation and the creation of an advisory council, comprising traditional and scientific knowledge holders, to advise on biocultural diversity preservation in the Mariana Islands.
  • Brooks Range perennial snowfields : mapping and modeling change in Alaska's cryosphere

    Tedesche, Molly E.; Barnes, David L.; Fassnacht, Steven R.; Trochim, Erin D.; Wolken, Gabriel J. (2021-08)
    Perennial snowfields, such as those found in the Brooks Range of Alaska, are a critical component of the cryosphere. They serve as habitat for an array of wildlife, some of which are crucial for rural subsistence hunters. Snowfields also influence hydrology, vegetation, permafrost, and have the potential to preserve valuable archaeological artifacts. In this study, perennial snowfield extents in the Brooks Range are derived from satellite remote sensing, field acquired data, and snowmelt modeling. The remote sensing data are used to map and quantify snow cover area changes across multiple temporal scales, spatial resolutions, and geographic sub-domains. Perennial snowfield classification techniques were developed using optical multi-spectral imagery from NASA Landsat and European Space Agency Sentinel-2 satellites. A Synthetic Aperture Radar change detection algorithm was also developed to quantify snow cover area using Sentinel-1 data. Results of the remote sensing analyses were compared to helicopter and manually collected field data. Also, a snowfield melt model was developed using an adaptation of the temperature index method to determine probability of melt via binary logistic regression in two dimensions. The logistic temperature melt model considers summer season snow cover area changes per pixel in remotely sensed products and relationships to several independent variables, including elevation-lapse-adjusted air temperature and terrain-adjusted solar radiation. Evaluations of the Synthetic Aperture Radar change detection algorithm via comparison with results from optical imagery analysis, as well as via comparison with field acquired data, indicate that the radar algorithm performs best in small, focused geographic sub-domains. The multi-spectral approach appears to perform similarly well within multiple geographic domain sizes. This may be the result of synthetic aperture radar algorithm dependency on backscatter thresholding techniques and slope corrections in mountainous complex topography. Results indicate that perennial snowfield extents in the Brooks Range are decreasing over decadal time scales, with short-lived, interannual and seasonal increases. Results also show that perennial snowfields are more persistent at higher elevations over time with notable consistency in at least one of the Brooks Range sub-domains of this study, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. Climate change may be altering the distribution, elevation, melt behavior, and overall extents of the Brooks Range perennial snowfields. Such changes could have significant implications for hydrology, wildlife, vegetation, and subsistence hunting in rural Alaska.
  • The catalyst for contemporary jihad: the religious leaders and their strategies

    DeWitt, Ronnie; Duke, Rob; Skya, Walter; Sine, Don; Botros, Maged; Boylan, Brandon (2021-08)
    This dissertation provides insight in the methodologies utilized by leaders of jihadist terrorist organizations who create a dedicated following in their pursuit of establishing a global caliphate. The research in this project illustrates a linkage from these charismatic leaders to the sacred edicts of the Koran, the Hadith, the Sunna, Sharia (Islamic jurisprudence), and the prophet Muhammad. Moreover, it bears out a unique perspective in academic national security studies which delves deeper than similar published works regarding subject matter focused on both violent and stealth jihad (also known as the non-violent usurpation of non-Islamic cultures). These subjects are discussed in detail with real-world examples that focus on the surreptitious use of political propaganda and sustaining influence, which are key ingredients necessary to recruit empathetic followers into doing the bidding of Islamic-based terrorist organizations. Without studying the psychological aspect that motivates potential terrorists it would be a daunting task to develop countermeasures in defeating this global threat. This dissertation also reviews key literature related to this concept. This investigative study bears out a perspective that uniquely differs from any previously published work in this discipline due to the author's professional experience outside of academic research. This will become clear in chapter seven which focuses upon the infamous Day of Terror trial in the Southern District of New York Federal Court in 1995. This episode, coupled with other evidence, will prove that jihadists have been striving to establish a global Islamist caliphate by utilizing terrorism and cultural usurpation.
  • Iliamna Lake ethnogeography: Yup'ik place names and sense of place

    Kugo, Yoko; Charles, Walkie; Ehrlander, Mary; Holton, Gary; Koskey, Michael; McCartney, Leslie (2021-05)
    This dissertation explores Iliamna Lake ethnogeography, the physical and mental understanding of the landscape, by researching Yup'ik place names and stories about these places from Iliamna Lake Yup'ik perspectives (Yupiit iingitgun). Many Yup'ik place names were forgotten after Euro-Americans arrived and introduced modern education in the early twentieth century. Some Iliamna Lake Yup'ik Elders remember Indigenous place names even though the subsistence resources in the places have declined or they no longer travel there due to environmental and cultural changes. Prompted by the declining population of Iliamna Lake Yup'ik speakers, along with their knowledge, the Iliamna Lake communities requested this study of Iliamna Lake Yup'ik place names and narratives about the places. Using two methods, oral history and a community-based participatory approach, the community participants and the author recorded 219 Yup'ik and over 100 contemporary place names during eight ethnographic field trips conducted from 2016 to 2019. This dissertation used two analytical methods--grounded theory and mindful inquiry--to categorize place names in themes that are relevant to Iliamna Lake community perspectives. This research revealed that place names and stories about these places illustrate community histories, lifeways, and cultural ethics and practices that are grounded in the people's intimate relationships with their homeland. Telling and retelling these stories enables the people to visualize their landscape, while affirming and reinforcing the knowledge and practices that have enabled the Yup'ik people to survive and thrive in the region for many generations. Ethnogeography addresses how these cultural landscapes intertwine with local histories and changes in land use from insider perspectives. Yup'ik names and stories related to these places act as mnemonic pegs or mental landmarks that assist the people in commemorating and continuing to navigate within their homelands. Maintaining their place names with accounts about these places supports Iliamna Lake residents in continuing to share their geographic knowledge, cultural practices, Yugcetun (Central Yup'ik language), and community histories, thereby enhancing community cohesiveness, which in turn promotes community and ecological well-being.
  • Atmospheric modeling of natural hazards

    Hirtl, Marcus; Stuefer, Martin; Webley, Peter; Simpson, William; Grell, Georg (2021-05)
    Airborne hazards either in gaseous form or particulate matter can originate from a variety of sources. The most common natural airborne hazards are ash and SO₂ released during volcanic eruptions, smoke emitted caused by wildfires and dust storms. Once released into the atmosphere they can have a significant impact on different parts of the environment e.g. air quality, soil and water, as well as air traffic and ground transportation networks. This latter field is an important aspect of everyday life that is affected during hazardous events. Aviation is one of the most critical ways of transport in this century. Even short interruptions in flight schedules can lead to major economic damages. Volcanic eruptions comprise one of the most important airborne hazards to aviation. These are considered rare as compared to severe weather, but with an extremely high impact. This dissertation focusses on dispersion modeling tools and how they can support emergency response during different phases of volcanic eruption events. The impact of the volcanic ash cloud on the prediction of meteorological parameters and furthermore the dispersion of the ash is demonstrated by applying the Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) model with on-line integrated chemical transport (WRF-Chem) to simulate the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland. Comprehensive observational data sets have been collected to evaluate the model and to show the added value of integrating direct-feedback processes into the simulations. The case of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption showed the necessity to further develop the volcanic emission preprocessor of WRF-Chem which has been extended for flexible and complex ash and SO₂ source terms. Furthermore, the thesis describes how scientists could support operational centers to mitigate hazards during a large volcanic eruption event. The author of the dissertation coordinated a large exercise including experts across all Europe within a project funded by the European Union. The exercise aimed to develop and test new tools, models, and data to support real-time decision making in aviation flight planning during a volcanic crisis event. New state-of-the-art modeling applications were integrated into a flight planning software during a fictitious eruption of the Etna volcano in Italy with contributions from scientists, the military and the aviation community.
  • Integration of remote sensing technologies into Arctic oil spill response

    Garron, Jessica I.; Meyer, Franz; Trainor, Sarah; La Belle-Hamer, Nettie; Lee, Olivia; Mahoney, Andrew (2020-12)
    Identifying the tools and pathways to successful integration of landscape level science into decision-making processes is vital for quality environmental stewardship. Remote sensing information can provide critical facts to decision makers that historically were only available via manned airplane flights and ground truthing expeditions. Remote locations like the Arctic are well suited for monitoring with remote sensing tools due to the lack of transportation infrastructure and communications bandwidth. Remote sensing tools can be valuable when monitoring specific Arctic targets like ocean going vessels, sea ice, coastal erosion, off-shore resource development infrastructure, and oil spills. This dissertation addresses how to mount a more efficient and informed response to Arctic oil spills by capitalizing on available RS tools. I posed three research questions to frame this work, 1) What remote sensing tools are currently available, as compared to those currently used in the Incident Command Structure of an oil spill response? 2) Are there barriers to additional remote sensing tool use for oil spill response support? 3) What process changes can improve or increase remote sensing data use in oil spill detection and response? I conducted a four-phased, exploratory sequential mixed methodological study to examine current remote sensing capacity and solutions to expand remote sensing use in support of oil spill response. Phase One defined the remote sensing tools available to support oil spill response, identified how those tools are being used in support of oil spill response actions, and was used as the foundational research to inform the following phases of the study. Phase Two used cloud-processing resources to establish an automated oil detection pipeline. Phase Three addressed human-driven barriers to remote sensing tool use identified in phase one through remote sensing tool training, knowledge coproduction, and remote sensing data integration into oil spill response exercises. Synthesizing all components of Phases One, Two and Three, a remote sensing protocol for the use of unmanned aircraft systems in support of oil spill response was developed and integrated into U.S. Coast Guard operational policy in Alaska to complete Phase Four of this research. This research identifies opportunities and solutions that support improved Arctic oil spill response decision-making through the application of remote sensing data and information.
  • Assessing adverse effects of mercury in two pinniped species

    Lian, Marianne; O'Hara, Todd M.; Rea, Lorrie D.; Kuhn, Thomas B.; Van Wijngaarden, Edwin (2020-08)
    This dissertation studies measures of adverse effects in free-ranging pinnipeds associated with relatively high total mercury ([THg]) or monomethylmercury ([MeHg+]) concentrations, relatively low total selenium ([TSe]) concentrations and/or low TSe:THg molar ratios. Both the Steller sea lion (SSL, Eumetopias jubatus) and Pacific harbor seal (HS, Phoca vitulina richardii) inhabit coasts of the North Pacific, and are considered important sentinel species for One Health (environmental, animal and human health). Relatively high [THg] is reported for some animals in both species, causing concern for adverse effects especially in the developing fetus. Maternal piscivorous diet can expose the fetus to MeHg⁺ at a vulnerable developmental stage, with potential for adverse effects on several organ systems. This dissertation focused on two of these: nervous system development and function and oxidant/antioxidant homeostasis. In Chapter 2 I outlined capture and field anesthesia of free-ranging SSL. I found faster induction times for sevoflurane over isoflurane, with a significant interaction for anesthetist. Difference among the two agents is most likely attributed to the different chemical properties for these gases (blood solubility), whereas personal experience/comfort level most likely explains the differences between the human operators. Severe hypothermia was also documented, associated with the time of year, sex and duration of anesthetic event. There was an overall low mortality rate, and the protocols were effective for relatively safe field anesthesia of a large mammal. Chapter 3 assessed oxidant/antioxidant status and associations with [THg], [MeHg⁺], [TSe] and TSe:THg molar ratio in anesthetized free-ranging SSL pups. The anesthesia protocols described in Chapter 2 were used as a physiological stressor for measuring oxidative stress in SSL. Pinnipeds as diving mammals are naturally adapted with high antioxidant activity to survive long breath-holds during foraging. However, the relatively high [THg] found in some SSL cause concern for sequestration of Se due to its high binding affinity to Hg, and subsequently decreased antioxidant capacity (Se-dependent glutathione peroxidase (GPx)). I found a significant negative relationship between lipid peroxidation and [TSe], suggesting the potential for decreased antioxidant protection from Se. There were also significant associations between increased GPx activity and lipid peroxidation, possibly protecting pups with relatively high [THg] and low TSe:THg molar ratios. In Chapter 4 I repeatedly evaluated live-stranded HS pups admitted to The Marine Mammal Center, using weekly clinical and behavior assessments, which were analyzed for associations with [THg]. There was a significant association between [THg] in hair and/or blood and decreased response to tactile stimulation, less movement and longer stays in rehabilitation. These findings will help us better assess similar [THg] in hair and blood of SSL in Alaska that we currently study as well as other pinnipeds. In summary, this dissertation confirms the potential for adverse effects in two free-ranging species of pinnipeds exposed to MeHg⁺ in utero.
  • Cultural adaptations of evidence based practices in supporting children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

    James, Krista P.; Barnhardt, Raymond; Leonard, Beth; Wells, Cassie; Healy, Joanne (2020-08)
    Research shows that early identification and intervention result in a higher quality of life and contribution to society for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As society sees an ever-increasing percentage of individuals diagnosed with ASD, identification of culturally responsive, evidence-based practices is of critical importance. While the National Autism Center has provided a guide to evidence-based practices, minimal research has been done to determine if these practices are culturally relevant. This is a community-based formative research project. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the cultural appropriateness of the practices identified as "evidence-based practices" by the National Autism Center in the 2015 standards report, specifically a token economy system which is a positive behavioral support that utilizes the principles of applied behavior analysis to decrease challenging behaviors and increase positive behaviors. The study utilized qualitative research strategies, including surveys and interviews within the American Samoan community, to accomplish this evaluation. The surveys and interviews were analyzed using coding principles to generate themes. The researcher was contacted by the American Samoan Department of Education to provide training for educators and parents on utilizing evidence-based practices to support children with autism. The results of this study inform the content of the ongoing training efforts.
  • Beyond trending: using risking connection as a framework for moving agency culture toward trauma-informed care

    Healey, Michael J.; Renes, Susan L.; Strange, Anthony; Baker, Courtney; Anahita, Sine (2020-08)
    The prevalence and pervasive impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and more broadly, trauma, are well supported in the extant literature. Despite this evidence, there remains a significant dearth of formal training and educational programs that prepare staff who work with trauma survivors within complex behavioral health systems. Trauma-informed care (TIC) has moved beyond a trend in the mental health field and is gaining momentum as a leading philosophical paradigm that is being infused as an operational framework for agencies that work with survivors. Risking Connection (RC) is a curriculum-based training program that works with agencies interested in becoming trauma-informed. The current study examined the impact of RC on trainee outcomes for knowledge gain, attitude change, and vicarious trauma (VT) on 119 participants who all work for a therapeutic group home system being operated by a provincial government in Atlantic Canada. The findings in this study suggest that RC is effective in improving knowledge gain and attitude change in a favorable direction toward TIC. The study also supported previous findings associated with the improvement of VT.
  • Paving the road to college: impacts of Washington State policy on improving equitable participation in dual credit courses

    Hanson, Havala; Vinlove, Amy; McIntyre, Julie; Adams, Barbara; Mazzeo, Christopher; Wong, Kenneth (2019-12)
    This dissertation evaluates early impacts of a state policy to increase participation in dual credit courses in Washington state through subsidizing the cost of college credits for underrepresented rural and low-income students, and through extending eligibility to earn dual credit to students in grade 10. This study evaluates both aspects of the policy, with emphasis on the impacts for underrepresented rural and low-income students, students of color, and English learners. It employs quasi-experimental designs to estimate the impact of the policy on intended outcomes. The study finds mixed early impacts of the policy. While no effects were found for students attending schools near the cutoffs for eligibility for tuition subsidies, promising evidence emerged on the policy's impact on participation in dual credit among students in grade 10. The findings can provide policymakers with early evidence of the policy's effects, identify places where implementation may be strengthened, and serve as a blueprint for ongoing monitoring of the policy's impact and similar evaluations of dual credit policies nationwide.

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