• Investigation Of Auroral Hiss Observations On The Ground: Application To Remote Sensing Of Auroral Magnetosphere

      Harikumar, Jayashree; Sonwalkar, Vikas; Hawkins, Joseph; Sentman, Davis; Olson, John (2001)
      Observed both on the ground at high latitudes and on spacecraft in the auroral zone, auroral hiss (AH) emissions (~1 kHz to ~1 MHz) are intense electromagnetic emissions emitted from the auroral region. Standard whistler mode propagation theory in a smooth magnetosphere predicts that AH generated at large wave-normal angles along the auroral field lines by Cerenkov resonance cannot penetrate to the ground. This thesis presents a new mechanism of AH propagation to the ground in which presence of density depletions along the field lines in the auroral zone and meter-scale density irregularities at altitudes <5000 km at high latitude permits the AH propagation to the ground. In the proposed mechanism AH generated at high altitudes (>5000--20,000 km) propagates to lower altitudes (<3000--5000 km) in two modes, the ducted mode and the non-ducted mode, with large wave-normal angles. At altitudes <5000 km meter-scale irregularities scatter the hiss into electrostatic waves with large wave-normal angles that are reflected into the magnetosphere and electromagnetic waves with small wave-normal angles that can penetrate to the ground. The AH propagation model proposed in this thesis also explains the spectral characteristics of AH including the upper and lower frequency cutoffs, the dispersion of AH, the location of ionospheric exit points of AH with respect to visible aurora, and the 2--5 orders of magnitude difference in the power spectral density ratio measured on satellites versus ground. The new understanding of AH permits the determination of AH source region, energetic electron parallel resonance energy, and cold plasma electron concentrations along field lines. Analysis of AH spectra, recorded at South Pole (July 09, 1996 0005 UT), using the model developed in this thesis shows that: (a) AH source region altitude for frequencies 7--9 kHz should be >16,000 km while for frequencies 12--20 kHz it should be <8000 km, (b) parallel resonance energy of the energetic electrons generating the frequencies should be <1 keV, and (c) cold plasma electron concentration along the field line Lambda = 79� should be ~100 el cm-3 at 12,740 km altitude.
    • Investigation of CO₂ sequestration options for Alaskan North Slope with emphasis on enhanced oil recovery

      Patil, Santosh Bramhadev (2006-08)
      Carbon dioxide (CO₂), the main component of greenhouse gases, is released into the atmosphere primarily by combustion of fossil fuels like coal and oil. Due to a conspicuous lack of any CO₂ sequestration studies for Alaskan North Slope (ANS), the study of CO₂ sequestration options will open new avenues for CO₂ disposal options, such as viscous oil reservoirs and coal seams, on the ANS. This study focuses on the investigation of CO₂ storage options by screening ANS oil pools amenable to enhanced oil recovery, evaluating phase behavior of viscous oil and CO₂ mixture, and simulating enhanced oil recovery by CO₂ flooding, and migration of CO₂ in saline aquifer. Phase behavior studies revealed that CO₂ gas was partially miscible with West Sak, at the pressure closer to the reservoir pressure. Compositional simulation of CO₂ flooding for a five-spot West Sak reservoir pattern showed an increase in percent recovery with an increase in pore volume injected, but at the expense of an early breakthrough. Sensitivity analysis of CO₂ flooding project was found to be strongly dependent on the variables such as oil price and discount rate. Investigation of supercritical CO₂ injection in saline formation didn't increase temperature in the permafrost region.
    • An investigation of environmental variables affecting concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in eastern Alaska

      Howe, Timothy S. (2000-05)
      Analytical methods for determining polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in spruce needles were developed and evaluated. Concentrations of four PAHs (phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene and pyrene) were determined in spruce needles collected near Eastern Alaska roadways. These needle concentrations were used to develop multivariate models that described the influence of climate and geographical variables on concentrations. These variables included latitude, longitude, radial distance from urban site, elevation, temperature, precipitation, ecosystem type, tree species, non-volatile extractable content of needles, and forest fire impact. The models show that three possible sources of PAHs exist in eastern Alaska, urban sites (Fairbanks, Anchorage and Valdez), ocean air, and forest fires. Distribution of PAHs away from these sources is strongly correlated with elevation. The general trend shows that PAH concentrations increase as elevation and proximity to sources decrease.
    • Investigation of North Pacific sea ice anomalies in the context of atmospheric and oceanic variability

      Tivy, Adrienne (2001-08)
      This study investigates the main mode of variability in North Pacific sea ice and examines the relationship between sea ice concentration and northern hemispheric climate variability for the period 1968-1997. Through empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis, correlations, and composite analysis, it was found that the seesaw pattern (first EOF of wintertime sea ice concentrations) between ice concentrations in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, generally used to characterize North Pacific sea ice, does not adequately address variability in the Sea of Okhotsk. Relationships between the sea ice dipole and the large-scale circulation were investigated and were found to change with the 1977 and 1989 regime shifts in the North Pacific climate. Before 1977 the sea ice dipole is strongly related to tropical variability while after 1977 the dipole is more strongly related to mid-latitude variability.
    • Investigation of novel secondary metabolites of colophospermum mopane

      Englund, Brian Michael (2005-05)
      Labdanes are a large and important class of diterpenes. Colophospermum mopane seems to be a source of 'primitive' 9, 13-epoxylabdanes. The structures of these compounds are 'missing links' in the biogenesis of 9, 13-epoxylabdanes. This research reports a new compound extracted from the seeds of C. mopane. The structures of this compound has been completely elucidated by NMR spectroscopy, and the stereochemistry of the compound supports predictions based on biosynthetic arguments. Furthermore, this thesis also corrects NMR assignments previously reported by another group.
    • Investigation of phase behavior and reservoir fluid properties in support of enhanced oil recovery of Alaska North Slope (ANS) viscous oils

      Alurkar, Kaustubh D. (2007-12)
      Declining light oil production on Alaska North Slope (ANS) has attracted oil producers to develop viscous oil resources of ANS that range between 20 to 25 billion barrels. These oils are viscous, flow sluggishly in the formations, and are difficult to transport through unconsolidated formations and are hard to produce by conventional methods. Viscous oil recovery entails neatly designed enhanced oil recovery processes and the success of these processes is critically dependent on accurate knowledge of phase behavior and fluid properties of these oils under variety of pressure and temperature conditions. An experimental study was conducted to quantify the phase behavior and physical properties of viscous oils from ANS. The oil samples were compositionally characterized by simulated distillation technique, constant composition expansion and differential liberation tests were conducted on these samples. Experimentally studied phase behavior and reservoir fluid properties were modeled by using the Peng-Robinson Equation-of-State (EOS). The Peng-Robinson EOS was tuned with experimental data to predict the phase behavior, accurately. Widely used corresponding state viscosity model predictions deteriorate when applied to heavy oil systems due to use of ultra-light methane as a reference compound. Therefore, a semi empirical approach (Lindeloff model) was adopted for modeling the viscosity behavior. Viscosity behavior of degassed ANS viscous oils was correlated to their temperature and molecular weight. Integration of this correlation into the Lindeloff model resulted in accurate viscosity predictions for viscous oils under reservoir conditions.
    • An investigation of soil-plant and plant-animal mineral nutrition landscapes of agricultural areas in the Fairbanks and Delta Junction regions of Interior Alaska

      Andrews, Robin N. (2004-05)
      I attempted to identify biologically limiting minerals and assess mineral variability by collecting soil and plant samples in June, July, and August from 14 bromegrass fields and adjacent woodlands, in the Fairbanks and Delta Junction regions. Soil extractable P, K, Ca, Mg, Al, B, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, Zn, NO⁻³ and NH⁴ as well as pH and organic matter content were measured at three depths. Bromus inermis, Calamagrostis canadensis, Epilobium angustifolium and Salix alaxensis were analyzed for N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Al, B, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn. Plant sample variability was assessed by species, date, and location. Mineral content of plants and soils among locations was highly variable with proximate sites showing little similarity. Local differences seemed more important than regional variation in determining soil and plant mineral abundances. Plant mineral content was highly affected by species, date, and location. With the exception of magnesium, plant mineral content was generally not correlated with extractable soil minerals. In most cases, organic matter content and pH were generally not correlated with plant mineral content. Plants, in these regions, may be limited by sulfur, magnesium, and boron availability. High levels of manganese and cadmium in some plant species and low levels of copper and possibly zinc in late season forages may negatively affect herbivores.
    • Investigation of strongly ducted infrasonic dispersion using a vertical eigenfunction expansion of the Helmholtz equation in a modal broad band acoustic propagation code

      Edon, Robert Alexander; Olson, John V.; Fee, David E.; Szuberla, Curt A. (2015-12)
      This study investigates an infrasound propagation model created by the National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA) which is applied to atmospheric data with a strong temperature inversion in the lower atmosphere. This temperature inversion is believed to be the primary cause of a dispersed infrasonic signal recorded by an infrasound sensor array located on the Southern California coast in August, 2012. The received signal is characterized by initial low frequency content followed by a high frequency content tail. It is shown the NCPA model is hindered by limited atmospheric data and no ground truth for the source function which generated the received signal. The results of the NCPA model are shown to not reproduce the recorded signal and provide inconclusive evidence for infrasonic dispersion.
    • Investigation Of The Allosteric Modulators Desformylflustrabromine And 4-(2-Hydroxyethyl)-1-Piperazineethanesulfonic Acid (Hepes) Interactions On Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

      Daniello-Weltzen, Maegan M.; Schulte, Marvin K. (2011)
      Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are members of the Cys-loop super family of ligand gated ion channels. Dysregulation of nAChRs can lead to pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Autism and nicotine addiction. Possible new therapeutic avenues are positive allosteric modulators (PAMs). The natural product desformylflustrabromine (dFBr), a tryptophan metabolite of the marine bryozoan Flustra foliacea, was found to be PAM of alpha4beta2 nAChR. Evaluation of our synthetic water soluble dFBr salt by two-electrode voltage clamp of Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing human nAChR confirmed that synthetic dFBr displayed similar properties as the natural product. Low concentrations of the synthetic dFBr enhanced ACh's efficacy on alpha4beta2 receptors. At higher dFBr concentrations, dFBr inhibited ACh potentiated responses. On alpha7 receptors, dFBr inhibited ACh induced currents. Further pharmacological characterization of dFBr revealed that dFBr was able to enhance partial agonist potencies and efficacies. Evaluation of dFBr on antagonists showed no effect on antagonist inhibition. The mechanisms of biphasic modulation (potentiation and inhibition) of dFBr on alpha4beta2 nAChR were also investigated. Enhanced efficacy of ACh induced currents by dFBr appeared to be accomplished by dFBr stabilization of the open receptor conformation by destabilization of the desensitized state. The inhibition of ACh potentiated currents by dFBr appeared to involve open-channel block. To better understand dFBr mechanisms, its putative binding site was examined. Alanine mutations were made in non-orthosteric clefts on the beta2+ and alpha4- faces. Results revealed residues located on these faces are involved in ACh induced conformational change of the receptor. In addition our data supports our hypothesis that allosteric modulation by dFBr interacts with residues located on the beta2+ and alpha4- faces. The new novel actions of (4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid) (HEPES) as a alpha4beta2 stoichiometric PAM was discovered and characterized. We showed that HEPES, a common buffering agent, potentiated the high ACh sensitivity alpha4beta2 receptor while only inhibiting the low ACh sensitivity alpha4beta2 receptor. Mutagenesis results suggested that residue beta2D217 is a critical residue in the HEPES binding site. Results from these studies will aid in the development of therapeutic ligands that will assist in the treatment of diseases where nAChRs are dysregulated.
    • Investigation of the friction and noise of automotive rubber belt

      Narravula, Vikram R. (2011-05)
      The objective of this research was to study the frictional properties of an automotive v-ribbed belt-pulley system. In order to evaluate the friction and noise, a new test setup was constructed. The assembly was run under various environmental and operational conditions and the results were quantified, studied, and compared among themselves. The environmental conditions included dry interface and wet interface, conducted at both room temperature (23°C) and cold temperature ( -20°C). Operational parameters varied during the experiment were wrap angle, load attached, and acceleration. Frictional forces and associated noises generated were recorded. Some of the results generated were compared with previous research work, and the setup was also used to generate new data for conditions not previously studied. Dry room temperature results show close correlation with previous research. The presence of water in liquid state in the interface induces larger adhesion as water film in the interface changes friction mechanisms in the rubber belt-pulley interface. The high stiction of wet friction can lead to stick-slip vibrations and squeal noise. The theoretical stiction model for wet belt-pulley interface is presented. The stiction-related noise test is conducted, and the result is used to identify the spectrum pattern. The belt friction under cold conditions is found to have a higher value than that in room temperature conditions. The belt noise under cold conditions is found to have much higher squeal frequency than that in room temperature conditions.
    • Investigation of thermal regimes of lakes used for water supply and examination of drinking water system in Kotzebue, Alaska

      Bendlova, Tereza; Arp, Christopher D.; Duffy, Lawrence K.; Schnabel, William E.; Barnes, David L. (2012-08)
      Many villages in Arctic Alaska rely on lakes for water supply, such as the Alaskan City of Kotzebue, and these lakes may be sensitive to climate variability and change, particularly thermal regimes and corresponding effects on water quality. Thus, I initiated a study of water supply lakes in Kotzebue to collect data for developing a model to hindcast summer thermal regimes. Surface (Tws) and bed (Twb) temperature data collected from two water supply lakes and two control lakes from June 22nd-August 28th 2011 showed a similar pattern in relation to air temperature (Ta) and solar radiation with more frequent stratification in the deeper lakes. The average Tws for all lakes during this period was 14.5°C, which was 3.4°C higher than Ta for the same period. I modeled Tws from 1985 to 2010 using Ta, and theoretical clear-sky solar radiation (TCSR) to analyze interannual variability, trends, and provide a baseline dataset. Similar to patterns in Ta for this period, I found no trend in mean Tws for the main lake used for water supply (Devil's Lake), but considerable variation ranging from 12.2°C in 2000 to 19.2°C in 2004. My analysis suggests that 44% of years during this 25 year period maximum daily Tws surpassed 20°C for at least one day. This hindcasted dataset can provide water supply managers in Kotzebue and other Arctic villages with a record of past conditions and a model for how lakes may respond to future climate change and variability that could impact water quality.
    • Investigation of thin midlevel ice clouds in the Arctic using calipso data and radiative transfer modeling

      Kayetha, Vinay Kumar; Collins, Richard; Meyer, Franz; Prakash, Anupma; Bhatt, Uma (2015-08)
      In this research we investigate the global occurrence and properties of optically thin midlevel ice clouds. These clouds are difficult to detect with passive radiometric techniques and are under-represented in current studies. We use the Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) data set to identify thin midlevel ice clouds and determine their global occurrence and distribution. For the first time, we find that the global mean occurrence of these clouds is at least 4.5%, being at least 7.3% of all the tropospheric clouds detected at a horizontal scale of 10 km. Seasonally, these clouds are found most commonly in the polar regions. These clouds occur most commonly in the Arctic in winter and least commonly in the summer. In winter these clouds can occur up to 19% of the time. The occurrence of these clouds decreases with increasing spatial scale and are most commonly found at spatial scales of 25 km or less. We found five large distinct clouds over the Arctic and investigated them for their meteorological conditions and radiative effects. These thin midlevel ice clouds are formed along the frontal zones in weakly ascending air masses. Our model simulations show that thin midlevel ice clouds have a net warming effect on the surface of 23-48 W/m². We conclude that these clouds have a significant impact on the radiation budget in Arctic winters. Our study highlights the importance of active satellite-based remote sensing in globally detecting and characterizing optically thin clouds. Our estimates of occurrence and fraction of clouds represents a lower bound, as these clouds can be obscured by optically thicker clouds. The volume of measurements provided by the satellite allowed us to identify a small but consistent set of large clouds with which we could conduct a contemporary radiative analysis. These findings can be used to improve the representation of clouds and their impacts in regional and global climate models.
    • Investigation On Cirrus Clouds By The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar And Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation Data

      Zhu, Jiang; Sassen, Kenneth (2011)
      Understanding and describing the role of clouds in the climate system need intensive and extensive research on cloud properties. The albedo and greenhouse effects of clouds and their relations with the physical properties of clouds are analyzed. Cloud-top height and ice water content are key factors in impacting the longwave and shortwave radiation, respectively. Lidar and infrared radiometer measurement technologies are introduced. Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) level 1 Lidar profile, level 2 cloud layer, and level 2 Lidar/IIR track products are briefly reviewed. The algorithms for identification of cirrus clouds, Linear Depolarization Ratio (LDR), and effective diameter are presented. An average LDR profile is calculated by using the sum of total attenuated backscattering profiles and the sum of perpendicular attenuated backscattering profiles. A weight-average method is applied to calculate the average LDR. A split-window method is applied to estimate the effective diameters of clouds. A set of bulk ice crystal models and a radiative transfer model are applied to produce a look-up table that includes the radiative transfer simulation results. The macro-physical properties of cirrus clouds are analyzed. The frequency of occurrence of cirrus clouds varies with latitude, and strongly relates to the atmospheric circulation. Cirrus clouds are few in high-pressure zones and abundant where seasonal monsoonal circulation occurs. Cloud-top height decreases with increasing latitude. Cloud-top temperature is lower in the tropical regions than in the midlatutude and the polar regions. The measured cloud thickness shows a great diurnal variation.
    • Investigation on the impacts of low-sulfur fuel used in residential heating and oil-fired power plants on PM₂.₅₋ concentrations and its composition in Fairbanks, Alaska

      Leelasakultum, Ketsiri; Mölders, Nicole; Bhatt, Uma; Collins, Richard (2013-08)
      The effects of using low-sulfur fuel for oil-heating and oil-burning facilities on the PM₂.₅-concentrations at breathing level in an Alaska city surrounded by vast forested areas were examined with the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry packages that were modified for the subarctic. Simulations were performed in forecast mode for a cold season using the National Emission Inventory 2008 and alternatively emissions that represent the use of low-sulfur fuel for oil-heating and oil-burning facilities while keeping the emissions of other sources the same as in the reference simulation. The simulations suggest that introducing low-sulfur fuel would decrease the monthly mean 24h-averaged PM₂.₅-concentrations over the city's PM₂.₅-nonattainment area by 4%, 9%, 8%, 6%, 5% and 7% in October, November, December, January, February and March, respectively. The quarterly mean relative response factors for PM₂.₅ of 0.96 indicate that with a design value of 44.7 µg/m³ introducing low-sulfur fuel would lead to a new design value of 42 .9µg/m³ that still exceeds the US National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 35µg/m³ . The magnitude of the relation between the relative response of sulfate and nitrate changes differs with temperature. The simulations suggest that in the city, PM₂.₅-concentrations would decrease more on days with low atmospheric boundary layer heights, low hydrometeor mixing ratio, low downward shortwave radiation and low temperatures. Furthermore, a literature review of other emission control measure studies is given, and recommendations for future studies are made based on the findings.
    • Investigations in phylogenetics: tree inference and model identifiability

      Yourdkhani, Samaneh; Rhodes, John A.; Allman, Elizabeth S.; McIntyre, Julie; Williams, Gordon (2020-05)
      This thesis presents two projects in mathematical phylogenetics. The first presents a new, statistically consistent, fast method for inferring species trees from topological gene trees under the multispecies coalescent model. The algorithm of this method takes a collection of unrooted topological gene trees, computes a novel intertaxon distance from them, and outputs a metric species tree. The second establishes that numerical and non-numerical parameters of a specic Prole Mixture Model of protein sequence evolution are generically identifiable. Algebraic techniques are used, especially a theorem of Kruskal on tensor decomposition.
    • Investigations in the funhouse

      Overton, Quentin T.; Hill, Sean; Harney, Eileen; Stanley, Sarah; Hirsch, Alexander (2017-05)
      The poems of Investigations in the Funhouse represent a kind of movement through outrage. The poems sit at the convergence of the personal and the national interest story, at the rise of anti-intellectual fervor and ultra-conservative populism. They move between ravings and reverie through which we come to know the various politics of our speaker. The resulting structure is designed to create the sense of a descent into madness. Counterpoised against the irreverent, if callous, lyrics of the rest of the book, the "investigation with letter x" and "the funhouse" are a kind of sterile, formulaic act. They are positioned throughout the collection in order to engage with the themes of the surrounding lyrics in their own way. They are not designed to be directly conversant with the content of these lyrics, but instead function as a renegotiation of their themes. There is a latent sense of confusion in the investigations' hyper-focus on meaning. Though meaning-making is the premise, the resulting effect is miscommunication or unmeaning. Think of this in terms of cryptography and each investigation functions as a kind of cypher, a node that analyzes, and in some ways corrupts, the meaning of its attached lyrics. This lends a tangible interiority and complexity to the speaker of the poems: the disparity between the investigations and the lyrics is not a fracturing of the continuity of the speaker's thoughts or experiences but are inexact replications of the same convictions. Contradiction in voice is then a more accurate portrayal of the evolution of opinion into meaning, the personal into the national. In Investigations in the Funhouse the attempts of the speaker to make meaning, or at the very least arrive at an understanding of the personal/national interest story, are a response to the descent, from exuberance to outrage and further down, into the political, and deeper still, into the heaven of the hell of self.
    • Investigations into model systems of neurodegeneration: Organotypic brain slice culture and in vivo microdialysis

      Clapp, Kimberly Lara; Duffy, Lawrence K. (2000)
      The mechanisms behind neurodegeneration in disease and injury have yet to be fully defined. Many in vitro and in vivo model systems, have been developed to investigate the mechanisms of neurotoxicity and its relation to human disease and injury. There are a few resounding connections between most types of neurological disorder; namely oxidative stress and inflammation. The glutamate receptor agonist, N-methyl-D-aspartate, can be used to imitate excitotoxicity during stroke as it overstimulates the glutamate receptor, leading to rises in intracellular calcium levels, which in turn lead to oxidative stress within the cell. Amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) a useful in many of its isoforms in creating in vitro model systems of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Abeta can directly cause the production of potentially harmful free radicals. This study investigates the formation of model systems of neurodegeneration: in vivo microdialysis and organotypic brain slices culture in order to assess the role of oxidative stress and inflammation morphologically and biochemically. The effect of melatonin, an endogenous antioxident, on oxidative stress associated with NMDA and Abeta neurotoxicity was determined through morphological analysis and biochemical markers of oxidative stress. This study reports that both NMDA and Abeta(25--35) cause oxidative stress in an organotypic brain slice culture model system of stroke and Alzheimer's disease as established by: (1) morphological analysis of tissue and ultrastructure, (2) redox-active assay, (3) heme-oxygenase assay, (4) 8-hydroxyguanosine assay and (5) interleukin IL-1beta and IL-6 assay (Abeta only) These investigations also demonstrate that melatonin can attenuate the oxidative stress associated with NMDA and Abeta exposure. These findings expand upon previous evidence from cell culture analysis of oxidative stress induced by NMDA and Abeta. Therefore, this evidence supports the theory that oxidative stress is involved in neurodegeneration in both excitotoxicity in stroke and in Abeta-mediated damage in Alzheimer's disease, and that endogenous antioxidant treatment may be a useful therapeutic approach in such injury and disease.
    • Investigations Into Some Of The Major Controls On The Productivity Of A Black Spruce (Picea Mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) Forest Ecosystem In The Interior Of Alaska (Photosynthesis, Nutrient Use, Soil Temperatures, Moss Microclimate)

      Hom, John Lun (1986)
      The purpose of this study was to determine the major factors which affect tree and moss productivity in a black spruce (Picea mariana Mill. B.S.P.) forest ecosystem, occurring on permafrost dominated soil. The cold, shallow rooting zone was heated 8(DEGREES) - 10(DEGREES)C above ambient which resulted in increased forest floor nutrient cycling and increased productivity in black spruce. The soil heat sum increased from 563 to 1133 soil degree days and the depth of thaw increased from 57 to 115 cm. Heating increased tree ring radius by 33% relative to the control. Foliar analysis showed significant increases in nitrogen (25%), phosphorus (73%) and potassium (14%), indicating that heating increased nutrient availability to the spruce trees. This resulted in a 22% increase in the maximum photosynthetic rates over the control. The 1 year old tissue had the highest photosynthetic rates, whereas the oldest needles maintained 40% of the maximum photosynthetic rates after 13 seasons. The highest levels of nitrogen and phosphorus were measured in the current tissue and declined with age. Nutrient use efficiency was highest in the 1 year old tissue and declined with needle age. Studies on microclimatic limitations to moss production on the forest floor indicated that water content was the most variable and potentially the most limiting factor. Light was also very limiting, but the range of limitation was small between different day types, demonstrating the moderating influence of the spruce canopy. Temperature was not as limiting a factor during the summer growing season. Limitation by microclimate allowed only 1% of maximum photosynthesis by mosses on dry, clear days and 9% on wet overcast days, with a potential of 20% under sunny and wet conditions. When data was combined for all days, moss photosynthesis ranged from 8 - 14% of maximum, similar to the low 13% efficiency of production calculated from biomass studies.
    • Investigations of health status and body condition of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the Gulf of Alaska

      Fadely, Brian Scott; Castellini, Michael A. (1997)
      Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) declines during the past 20 years in the Kodiak Island and Prince William Sound regions contrast with stable or slightly increasing populations in southeastern areas of Alaska. Aspects of health status and body condition were investigated to test the hypothesis that these declines were driven by nutritional limitation, and to determine whether recent differential population trajectories among Kodiak Island, Prince William Sound, and southeast Alaska could have health-related components. For comparisons between 1992-96, three aspects of health status were examined; blood chemistry, blubber distribution and quantity; and blubber quality. Clinical ranges of plasma chemistries and hematologies were established for free-ranging seals in the Gulf of Alaska. Significant handling, individual, and seasonal effects were found on many blood parameters that could bias interannual and interregional comparisons if not incorporated in models. Based on statistical modeling, some seals showed more clinically aberrant values than expected by chance, but these were not clumped among regions or years. Differences existed in interannual blood chemistry and hematology patterns between juveniles and adults. Likewise, there were regional differences in blood chemistries of unknown significance. Morphometric indices were poor indicators of condition defined as size-at-age or blubber content. This was related to patterns of blubber distribution and variability, which differed between males and females. Blubber quality, measured as lipid content, did not substantially vary seasonally or between geographic regions, but blubber from Prince William Sound was less hydrated than blubber from non-declining areas. There were no detectable differences in body condition of seals from the Gulf of Alaska sampled during 1963/64 (pre-decline), 1976-78 (during decline) and 1995-96. However, sample sizes were small and patchily distributed throughout locations and years. Thus, the likelihood of detecting body condition changes in response to environmental conditions was poor. Body condition was not substantially different among seals from Prince William Sound, Kodiak Island and southeast Alaska measured during 1993-96. However, interannual blood chemistry and body condition patterns were evident among Prince William Sound seals that may have been associated with environmental conditions.
    • Investigations of patterns of vegetation, distribution and abundance of small mammals and nesting birds, and behavioral ecology of arctic foxes at Demarcation Bay, Alaska

      Burgess, Robert M. (1984-05)
      Analyses of habitat use, activity budget and activity patterns of arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) at known distribution and abundance of prey are presented. Behavioral data on foxes were collected by direct observation of 2 radio-collared females and their mates in summer 1979. Prey availability was determined through monitoring bird nest success and phenology, mark-recapture studies of small mammals, and analysis of vegetation patterns and distribution of prey in 1978 and 1979. Prey availability fluctuated dramatically within each season and between years. Foxes relied almost exclusively on avian prey in 1979. Small mammal densities were extremely low in 1979 and foxes failed to rear pups in that year. Fluctuating prey availability did not affect fox activity patterns, activity budget or habitat use. The significance of caching in regulating food availability and the relationship between scent-marking and foraging efficiency are discussed.