• Breaking ground

      Peters, Kevin C. (2005-12)
      'Breaking Ground' is a collection of poems that follows a narrative arc as the speaker transitions from youth to adulthood. Set in the farmlands of Wisconsin, the manuscript examines numerous relationships: between men and women, children and parents, people and the land, and native and non-native inhabitants of the land. The manuscript addresses the idea of displacement: what it means to belong somewhere, to call someplace home, and what results when that home must be left behind or returned to. This idea is examined through poems about native culture, poems about divorce and the dissolution of a family, as well as poems about how a father dealt with the trauma of returning from Vietnam. Overall, the manuscript is a story of both a family and a region, and how those apparently separate entities-people and place-are intrinsically linked.
    • A breccia-centered ore and alteration model for the Copper Canyon alkalic Cu-Au porphyry deposit, British Columbia

      Twelker, Evan (2007-08)
      Similar to the nearby Galore Creek deposit, the Copper Canyon prospect of northwestern British Columbia is a porphyry-type copper-gold-silver occurrence associated with alkalic intrusive rocks of the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic Copper Mountain Suite. A reevaluation of the prospect geology shows that, of the previously recognized orthoclase and/or pseudoleucite porphyry syenite intrusions, mineralization is spatially and temporally associated with a single intrusive phase (unit i5) and biotite-garnet stockworks. Further, a newly defined unit of pre-mineralization magmatic-hydrothermal intrusive breccia occupies the core of the prospect and is a favorable host for much of the prospect mineralization. Prospect alteration can be divided into two distinct styles. Calc-potassic alteration consists of K-feldspar, Mg and Fe³-rich (An₂₀) biotite, andradite-rich garnet, hematite, magnetite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, and sphalerite (Zn₉₄₋₉₉, Fe₀.₅₋₂, Cd₀.₄₋₁)S and is associated with copper-gold-silver mineralization. Ankerite-sericite-pyrite (± fluorite, albite, anhydrite, pyrite, and trace covellite and bornite) alteration adjoins this core, hosting gold mineralization and insignificant copper. Sulfide-electrum and biotite geothermometry suggest fluid temperatures decreasing from the core (<̲S 550°C) to distal gold mineralization (<̲361°C). Distal gold mineralization is most likely the result of higher than typical sulfur activity and bisulfide transport of gold.
    • Breeding ecology and fasting tolerance of scaup and other ducks in the boreal forest of Alaska

      Martin, Kate H. (2007-08)
      Information on the breeding ecology of boreal forest ducks is lacking, despite management concern for species such as the lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), whose population has declined markedly since the 1980s. The mechanisms impacting population growth of scaup, and which component of their population dynamics is most affected, are unknown. Previous investigators hypothesized that food deprivation in the spring may reduce breeding success. My objectives were to: 1) examine reproductive parameters of lesser scaup and other ducks on the Yukon Flats in interior Alaska, and 2) measure the tolerance of captive scaup to fasting, in comparison to sympatric Northern shovelers (Anas clypeata) and American wigeon (Anas americana). Although breeding probability of paired females was assumed to be 1.0, the breeding probability of paired female scaup was between 0.12 (SE = 0.05, n=67) to 0.68 (SE = 0.08, n=37), and was positively related to body mass. These results suggest that managers may overestimate the productivity of boreal ducks using traditional survey methods. In addition, captive female scaup completely recovered from a loss of 11% body mass in only four days, suggesting that mass loss can be rapidly reversed, and may be able to obtain the body condition required for reproduction, if food supplies are adequate.
    • Breeding ecology of Smith's longspurs (Calcarius pictus) in the Brooks Range, Alaska

      Craig, Heather Rebekah; Powell, Abby; Kendall, Steve; O'Brien, Diane (2015-08)
      Alaska's Arctic ecosystem provides critical habitat for nesting songbirds. However, within this region climate change projections indicate a shrubbier future, as well as major shifts in summer weather patterns. The polygynandrous Smith's Longspur (Calcarius pictus) is a little known species that is closely tied to treeless tundra habitat in northern Alaska. I evaluated Smith's Longspur dispersal ability and annual survival rates using seven years of banding data, as well as breeding habitat requirements and reproductive success in two populations in the Brooks Range. Most adults (88%; n = 34) returned to nest in the same breeding neighborhood as previous years, and dispersal distance (x ± SE = 301 ± 70 m) did not differ between sexes. Only 4% of juvenile birds were resighted as adults and dispersal distance (x = 1674 ± 500 m; n = 6) was significantly greater for juveniles than for adults. From 674 capture-recapture histories, I evaluated annual survival and found that adult female survival (50-58%) was only slightly lower than for males (60-63%); juvenile survival was 41%, but was also paired with a low (13%) encounter probability. I examined nest-site selection patterns by comparing habitat measurements from 86 nests to paired random points within the nest area. Nests were typically found in open low shrub tundra and never among tall shrubs (height of tallest shrub x = 26.8 ± 6.7 cm). However, the only predictor of nest location I found was variation in willow height, which was slightly lower at nests than at random points. Daily nest survival rates were estimated from 257 nests and found to be relatively high (0.97-0.99) and consistent across years, and the best approximating model indicated that nest survival was negatively related to the numbers of days below freezing and season date. Despite dispersal ability and resilience to harsh conditions, Smith's Longspurs' response to climate change is unknown. The lack of sex-bias in dispersal and the low sex bias in survival, as well as the weak nest-site selection, may be attributed to the species' social mating system. Unlike most songbirds, multiple inter-mated individuals exist within each breeding neighborhood, altering social dynamics and likely demographic patterns. This is the first study to investigate the breeding biology of Smith's Longspurs at the western extent of their range and provides important conservation information as Arctic regions change.
    • Breeding ecology of whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) in Interior Alaska

      Harwood, Christopher M.; Powell, Abby N.; Verbyla, David; Gill, Robert E. Jr. (2016-12)
      Whimbrels Numenius phaeopus breed in tundra-like habitats, both beyond treeline and within the boreal forest of interior Alaska. Despite their widespread distribution and designation as a species of conservation concern, their ecology has been particularly understudied in Alaska. During 2008--2012, I initiated the first dedicated study of Whimbrel breeding ecology in Alaska, and the first such study of any boreal-breeding shorebird in the state. Within a habitat mosaic of forest, woodlands, muskeg, scrub, and ponds within the floodplain of the Kanuti River in north-central Alaska, Whimbrels bred in the three largest (of nine) patches of discontinuous tussock tundra. These Whimbrels exhibited a compressed annual breeding schedule with the first birds arriving about 6 May and nests hatching about 17 June. Evidence for clustered and synchronous nesting, which may aid in predator defense, was equivocal. Most (69%) Whimbrels nested in mixed shrub-sedge tussock bog. I modeled nest-site selection at multiple spatial scales for 39 nests; however, the only variables important in the models were at the finest scale around the nest, namely that nests tended to be located on hummocks and exhibited lateral cover. Model results for nest survival of 67 nests over 4 years revealed a considerable difference in nest success (92% vs. 41%) at the two largest patches studied; this site effect was largely unexplained. To investigate Whimbrel ecology more broadly in the boreal biome, in 2013 I designed and conducted a Whimbrel-specific survey comprising 279 point counts within 28 transects along the road system of interior Alaska. I detected Whimbrels on just 32% of transects and 11% of count points. Although I detected Whimbrels at 3 sites where they had not been reported previously, I failed to detect them at several historically occupied sites. Dwarf shrub meadow was the most commonly observed habitat for all points visited. I modeled Whimbrel presence based on coarse habitat and avifaunal community features; no models were well supported. Between the local and regional surveys, my results tended to reinforce several widespread, but not necessarily investigated, descriptions about the breeding ecology of Whimbrels. My studies supported the premises that Whimbrels are patchily distributed on the landscape and often breed in clusters. Breeding of individuals and occupancy of some patches may be annually variable. Despite analyses of multiple habitat features at multiple spatial scales, I mostly observed a lack of specificity in where they bred among tundra-like patches, and where they nested specifically within such patches. This suggests that Whimbrels are tundra habitat generalists on their breeding grounds. Such phenotypic plasticity may be particularly adaptive in the dynamic, wildfire-prone landscape of interior Alaska.
    • Breeding ecology of white-winged scoters on the Yukon Flats, Alaska

      Safine, David Elliot (2005-08)
      Breeding bird surveys indicate a long-term decline in the numbers of scoters (Melanitta sp.) in North America. My objectives were to estimate survival of nests, ducklings, and adult female White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca) breeding on the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2002-2004, within their primary breeding range. I measured habitat variables at nest sites and random sites in the study area to characterize nest habitat selection, and investigated breeding incidence with a laboratory analysis of circulating concentrations of the plasma yolk precursors vitellogenin (VTG) and very-low density lipoprotein (VLDL). The low hen and nest survival rates I observed combined with the substantial proportion of non-breeders on the breeding ground (up to 28%) may be responsible for the observed declines in abundance if annual survival rates are not high enough to maintain stable populations. Scoters avoided nesting in graminoid habitat, but nested in all other scrub or forested plant communities in proportion to their availability, selecting sites with more cover, higher variability of cover, and closer to edge and water than random sites. At the nest habitat scale, scoters are generalists, which may reduce the foraging efficiency of nest predators.
    • Breeding performance of kittiwakes and murres in relation to oceanographic and meteorologic conditions across the shelf of the southeastern Bering Sea

      Lloyd, Denby S. (1985-12)
      Contrary to expected results, black-legged and red-legged kittiwakes on St. George Island exhibited more variability in annual breeding performance than black-legged kittiwakes at Cape Peirce. Thick-billed and common murres at St. George also showed more annual variability than common murres at Cape Peirce. Kittiwakes at St. George exhibited improved breeding performance during years with colder water temperatures and lower summer wind speeds. Correlations between breeding performance in kittiwakes and murres and environmental conditions at Cape Peirce were inconclusive. A general decline in the annual breeding success of kittiwakes and murres at St. George between 1976 and 1984 coincided with reduced abundance of juvenile walleye pollock. Consistently low breeding success of kittiwakes and murres at Cape Peirce varied little among six years observed between 1970 and 1984. These results challenge previous considerations of pelagic food webs on the outer shelf as being more stable than those in the coastal domain.
    • Bride-stealing: a myth of misogyny

      Murugesan, Seetha; Duffy, Lawrence; Bartlett, Doris A.; Koskey, Michael; Yesner, David R. (2013-12)
      Bride-stealing, an explicit symbolic misogynistic action in The Iliad and The Kamba Ramayanam, is analyzed as a long-term patterned conduct of human behavior among the peoples who produced these works. The systematic pattern of bride stealing found in the epics discussed suggests that within these groups social constructs had always been in favor of female inferiority and subjugation. This places an emphasis on gender as an issue, manifested in the treatment of women by men as "others." The narrations of marginalization of women in the epics lead to a critique of the hypothesis that they are misogynistic. Here a framework of theoretical formulation is put forward to explore the origin of the practice of bride-stealing as well as the behavioral and psychological factors behind the intentions of both abductor and the abductee. The ancient epics are examined in a comparative literary style, and analyzed from an interdisciplinary stance with the guidance of cultural patterns, historically-created social orders and power-motivated political systems. After examining five thousand years of the history of ancient Greece and India, substantiated by archeological, anthropological, and linguistic evidence, this dissertation argues that the phenomenon of "bride stealing" occurred basically in male-dominant societies and stems from various components of the socio-economic setting of these societies. Studies show that the abducted women in the epics lived in times of social transition. The abuse of women that echoes in the epics is sometimes misconceived as reflecting misogyny. Women were targets in times of upheaval, and suffered due to incursions of pastoral nomads imposing their social order of patriarchy. This paper deduces that women were the victims of war, and that, following successful conquests by these pastoral nomadic societies and subsequent shifts in political power, their status underwent tremendous change. Furthermore, the abductions and overpowering behaviors of men towards women in myths and epics served as encoded messages to women from men to sustain their superiority over the "others," reflecting the ongoing imposition of values from the dominant culture.
    • The "bridge party" of E.M. Forster's 'A passage to India': where Apollo and Kali yearn to embrace from opposite sides of the gulf

      Undeberg, Mark (2001-05)
      In 1978, Edward Said published 'Orientalism, ' a revolutionary study that invited new interpretations of literature and particularly of works written by Western authors about the East. Postcolonialist and feminist critics embraced many of Said's theories, including one that implies that the West equates the East with femininity and that such a view necessarily reveals the West's prejudice against both the East and with femininity in general. This thesis does not argue the overall validity of Said's theories. Rather, it explores the treatment of 'femininity' in E.M. Forster's 'A passage to India' with the aim of determining the validity of postcolonialist and feminist critiques of that novel. This study found that the femininity does not play a subservient role in the novel but that it is an essential half of an androgynous whole that Forster constructs as an ideal to promise hope in a troubled universe.
    • Bridging Arctic pathways: integrating hydrology, geomorphology and remote sensing in the North

      Trochim, Erin Dawn; Prakash, Anupma; Kane, Douglas; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Jorgenson, M. Torre (2015-12)
      This work presents improved approaches for integrating patterns and processes within hydrology, geomorphology, ecology and permafrost on Arctic landscapes. Emphasis was placed on addressing fundamental interdisciplinary questions using robust, repeatable methods. Water tracks were examined in the foothills of the Brooks Range to ascertain their role within the range of features that transport water in Arctic regions. Classes of water tracks were developed using multiple factor analysis based on their geomorphic, soil and vegetation characteristics. These classes were validated to verify that they were repeatable. Water tracks represented a broad spectrum of patterns and processes primarily driven by surficial geology. This research demonstrated a new approach to better understanding regional hydrological patterns. The locations of the water track classes were mapped using a combination method where intermediate processing of spectral classifications, texture and topography were fed into random forests to identify the water track classes. Overall, the water track classes were best visualized where they were the most discrete from the background landscape in terms of both shape and content. Issues with overlapping and imbalances between water track classes were the biggest challenges. Resolving the spatial locations of different water tracks represents a significant step forward for understanding periglacial landscape dynamics. Leaf area index (LAI) calculations using the gap-method were optimized using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) as input for both WorldView-2 and Landsat-7 imagery. The study design used groups to separate the effects of surficial drainage networks and the relative magnitude of change in NDVI over time. LAI values were higher for the WorldView-2 data and for each sensor and group combination the distribution of LAI values was unique. This study indicated that there are tradeoffs between increased spatial resolution and the ability to differentiate landscape features versus the increase in variability when using NDVI for LAI calculations. The application of geophysical methods for permafrost characterization in Arctic road design and engineering was explored for a range of conditions including gravel river bars, burned tussock tundra and ice-wedge polygons. Interpretations were based on a combination of Directcurrent resistivity - electrical resistivity tomography (DCR-ERT), cryostratigraphic information via boreholes and geospatial (aerial photographs & digital elevation models) data. The resistivity data indicated the presence/absence of permafrost; location and depth of massive ground ice; and in some conditions changes in ice content. The placement of the boreholes strongly influenced how geophysical data can be interpreted for permafrost conditions and should be carefully considered during data collection strategies.
    • Bridging Home And School: Factors That Contribute To Multiliteracies Development In A Yup'ik Kindergarten Classroom

      Bass, A. Sarah; Parker-Webster, Joan; Siekmann, Sabine (2010)
      Since the establishment of a Yup'ik immersion school in Bethel in the mid-1990s, immersion programming has spread to many schools in Southwestern Alaska, including the school in this study. This school maintains a K-3 Yup'ik strand and a K-3 English strand. Both strands merge in the 4 th grade. Concern that the immersion program may hinder student achievement on state mandated benchmark testing in the 3rd grade and beyond has resulted in some opposition to the immersion program. However, in 2007/2008, those and former immersion students scored higher on the English reading and writing benchmark tests than students in the English strand and 3rd and 4th grade students district wide. This ethnographic teacher action research documented the process of multiliteracies development of four kindergarten students. Home literacy practice of students was documented from parent conversations. Classroom literacy development was documented through the collection of student work samples, still photographs, and teacher comments from anecdotal notes. Findings revealed these four students showed progress in their multiliteracies development as illustrated in their drawings, writing, and singing and chanting. Some of the contributing factors that emerged were: Yup'ik/English heard at home, Yup'ik at school, and literacy materials available both at home and school.
    • Bridging the gap between police and citizens: what we know, what we've done, and what can be done

      Colley, Melvin; Daku, Michael J.; May, Jeffrey D.; Duke, J. Rob; Boldt, Frank D. (2017-08)
      There is a long history of distrust between police and citizens and there have been no meaningful and sustained steps to correct this situation. Death and injuries are sustained by citizens and police, but still there has not been a real attempt to prevent this occurring because there is no trust between police and citizens and this lack of trust has created a rift or gap between police and citizens and this projects aim is to address the gap. Research into what causing damage and finding a way to repair the damaged relationship between police and citizens by way of finding approaches that tend to lead to trust between groups of people. Communication, a better ethics base for police, training and education, restorative justice, media, and the studying of social theories will help find a way to repair the damage. A collaboration of all of the aforementioned categories will tend to help bridge the gap between police and citizens. It is believed that by addressing the issues and the roots of the problems between police and citizens, a new relationship built on trust will emerge. By having a more trusting relationship there will be less harm caused to police and citizens.
    • Bridging the gap between pupping and molting phenology: behavioral and ecological drivers in Weddell seals

      Beltran, Roxanne Santina; Burns, Jennifer; Breed, Greg; Testa, J. Ward; O'Brien, Diane; Barnes, Brian (2018-08)
      In Antarctica, the narrow window of favorable conditions constrains the life history phenology of female Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) such that pupping, breeding, foraging, and molting occur in quick succession during summer; however, the carry-over effects from one life history event to another are unclear. In this dissertation, I characterize the phenological links between molting and pupping, and evaluate feeding behavior and ice dynamics as mechanistic drivers. First, I review the contributions of natural and sexual selection to the evolution of molting strategies in the contexts of energetics, habitat, function, and physiology. Many polar birds and mammals adhere to an analogous biannual molting strategy wherein the thin, brown summer feathers/fur are replaced with thick, white winter feathers/fur. Polar pinnipeds are an exception to the biannual molting paradigm; most rely on blubber for insulation and exhibit a single molt per year. Second, I describe the duration and timing of the Weddell seal molt based on data from 4,000 unique individuals. In adult females, I found that successful reproduction delays the molt by approximately two weeks relative to non-reproductive individuals. Using time-depth recorder data from 59 Weddell seals at the crucial time between pupping and molting, I report a striking mid-summer shallowing of seal dive depths that appears to follow a vertical migration of fishes during the summer phytoplankton bloom. The seals experience higher foraging success during this vertical shift in the prey distribution, which allows them to re-gain mass quickly before the molt. Across four years of study, later ice break-out resulted in later seal dive shallowing and later molt. In combination, the data presented in this dissertation suggest that molting, foraging, and pupping phenology are linked in Weddell seals and are affected by ice break-out timing.
    • Brine Percolation, Flooding And Snow Ice Formation On Antarctic Sea Ice

      Maksym, Ted; Jeffries, Martin O. (2001)
      Modelling studies of brine percolation, flooding, and snow ice formation on Antarctic sea ice were undertaken to (1) determine the influence of brine transport processes on the salinity, porosity, and stable isotopic composition of snow ice and the underlying ice, (2) explain the range of salinities and isotopic composition observed in ice cores, and to provide a better estimate of the contribution of snow ice to the thickness of the winter pack ice, (3) better understand the microstructural controls on brine percolation and its effects on the properties of sea ice, and (4) understand the effects of meteorological forcing on snow ice formation and development of the ice cover. Snow ice thickness is most dependent on snow accumulation rates. Once snow ice begins to form on a floe, most of the subsequent thickening is due to snow ice formation. Results show that percolation in winter sea ice is most likely an inhomogeneous process. Flooding most likely occurs rapidly through localized regions of high permeability, such as in large, open brine drainage channels or cracks. Simulations of the freezing of a flooded slush layer show that focussing of thermohaline convection may form porous drainage channels in the ice and snow. These channels allow rapid desalination of the slush and exchange of H218O depleted brine with sea water. Significant positive shifts in delta18O are possible in the slush layer. This process can explain the range of delta18O observed in ice cores. Based on these results, a cutoff of delta18O < -2� is recommended for snow ice identification in the Ross, Amundsen, and Bellingshausen seas. Such a cutoff puts the amount of snow ice observed at 6--18% of the ice thickness. Although flooding appears to occur through spatially restricted regions of the ice, the precise nature of the flow and factors controlling onset of percolation are unclear.
    • Bringing Twygs to life: PACE based lessons in an adult ESL classroom

      Harris, Erica; Martelle, Wendy; Siekmann, Sabine; Stewart, Kimberly Aragon (2017-12)
      English grammar is a daunting subject for language learners and teachers alike. Traditionally, grammar is taught in an explicit manner in a teacher-fronted classroom. Rules are given and explained to students, who then practice with drills and example problems. As an alternative approach to teaching grammar, this project incorporates the PACE model (Presentation, Attention, Co-Construction, Extension) and task-based language teaching (TBLT). This method of teaching is a departure from traditional explicit-style teaching, and focuses more on the learner's role in the classroom than on the teacher's role. The PACE model uses stories to teach grammar, in this case English prepositions. Over the course of three weeks, a series of story-based lessons along with mini tasks were administered to a small academic writing class of adult ESL students. In addition to focusing on prepositions, the lessons were designed to allow practice for several other grammatical features appropriate to an academic writing class. The incorporation of PACE and task based activities showed that learners were able to understand the prepositions and use them appropriately in an original writing task.
    • Brucella suis type 4 in foxes and their role as reservoirs/vectors among reindeer

      Morton, Jamie Kay; Williamson, Francis S. L. (1989)
      Field and laboratory studies were conducted to test the hypotheses that (1) the reindeer/caribou organism, Brucella suis type 4, is incidentally transmitted to reindeer predators such as foxes but does not cause reproductive disease in them, and (2) infected predators such as foxes are terminal hosts and do not serve as reservoirs of infection for reindeer. In field collections, serologic prevalence of brucellosis was similar for male and female foxes (Vulpes vulpes and Alopex lagopus). B. suis type 4 was isolated from female Vulpes and Alopex. No association between reproductive status of foxes and brucellosis infections was observed. Serologic titers in Vulpes experimentally infected by oral exposure to Brucella suis type 4 were detected first by the standard tube and plate agglutination tests which were followed by the buffered Brucella antigen, rivanol, and complement fixation tests. Brucella suis type 4 was isolated from the feces 4 to 6 days post-exposure (PE) and from the oral cavity for as long as 3 weeks PE in Vulpes challenged with 10$\sp9$ or 10$\sp{11}$ colony forming units. Brucella suis type 4 was isolated frequently from regional lymph nodes in the head up to 18 weeks PE, and from only more distant nodes at 22 and 66 weeks PE. Organisms did not localize in the reproductive tract. Clinical effects of brucellosis in Vulpes experimentally-infected were not observed. Pathologic lesions were not detected in the male and non-gravid female reproductive tract. Due to breeding failure, effects of Brucella suis type 4 on the pregnant fox reproductive tract were not determined in experimental infections. Gross and microscopic pathology was limited to lymph nodes. Fox to fox transmission attributed to aerosols from products shed by infected foxes occurred readily. Transmission from Vulpes to lemmings (Dicrostonyx rubricatus) that were exposed to urine from infected fox occurred frequently. Transmission from infected Vulpes to two reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) occurred under conditions of close confinement. Ingestion of organisms passed mechanically in the fox feces was considered the probable source of infection. Fox saliva containing Brucella was also implicated in transmitting the organism through bites or aerosols.
    • Building a toolset for fuel cell turbine hybrid modeling

      Burbank, Winston S. (2006-12)
      Fuel cell/gas turbine hybrids show promise of high efficiency power generation, with electrical efficiencies of 70% or better shown by modeling, although these efficiency levels have not yet been demonstrated in hardware. Modeling of such systems is important to optimize and control these complex systems. This work describes a modeling tool developed to examine steady-state operation of different hybrid configurations. This model focuses on the area of compressor-turbine modeling, which is a key component of properly controlling fuel cell/gas turbine hybrids. Through side-by-side comparisons, this model has been tested and verified by Dr. Wolf of Brayton Energy [1]. This modeling tool will be used in further work to evaluate various configurations of turbines and fuel cells in hybrid configurations, focusing on both the performance and cost of such systems.
    • Building Blocks Of Self -Organized Criticality

      Woodard, Ryan; Newman, David (2004)
      Why are we having difficulty developing economical nuclear fusion? How can a squirrel cause a statewide power blackout? How do correlations arise in a random complex system? How are these questions related? This thesis addresses these questions through a study of self-organized criticality (SOC). Among the systems that have been proposed as SOC are confined fusion plasmas, the Earth's magnetosphere and earthquake faults. SOC describes how large-scale complex behavior can emerge from small-scale simple interactions. The essence of SOC is that many dynamical systems, regardless of underlying physics, share a common nonlinear mechanism: local gradients grow until exceeding some critical gradient and then relax in events called avalanches. Avalanches range in size from very small to system-wide. Interactions of many avalanches over long times result in robust statistical and dynamical signatures that are surprisingly similar in many different physical systems. Two of the more well-known signatures are power law scaling of probability distribution functions (PDFs) and power spectra. Of particular interest in the literature for approximately a century are 1/f spectra. I studied the SOC running sandpile model and applied the results to confined and space plasmas. My tools were power spectra, PDFs and rescaled range ( R/S) analysis. I found that SOC systems with random external forcing store memory of previous states in their local gradients and can have dynamical correlations over very long time scales regardless of how weak the external forcing is. At time scales much longer than previously thought, the values of the slope of the power spectra, beta and the Hurst exponent, H, are different from the values found for white noise. As forcing changes, beta changes in the range 0.4 <math> <f> &lap;</f> </math> beta &le; 1 but the Hurst exponent remains relatively constant, H &ap; 0.8. The same physics that produces a 1/f spectrum at strong forcing produces a f -0.4 spectrum at weaker forcing. Small amounts of diffusive spreading added to the two dimensional SOC sandpile greatly decreases the frequency and maximum size of large transport events. More diffusion increases the frequency of large events to values much greater than for systems without diffusion.