• 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.
    • Investigations of the role of lipids in marine mammal diets, health and ecology

      Mau, Tamara Lynn (2004-05)
      Lipids are essential to many aspects of marine mammal biology. I investigated the amount, type and flux of lipids under a variety of natural and controlled nutritional and dietary conditions, in order to increase our knowledge of marine mammal diets, health and ecology. First, I examined the influence of biological and environmental variables on the quantity and quality of blubber, and their importance in establishing condition indices in the bowhead whale. Blubber was heterogeneous in composition, varying by both site and depth. Sex, age-class, season and body length were all significant factors in determining lipid content (quality) of blubber. Blubber thickness (quantity) was highly correlated with body length after?9 m. Blubber lipid content at umbilicus sites and inner depths was most variable and presumably most responsive to nutritional changes. Blubber properties appeared to exceed what was necessary for insulation, further supporting the concept for the need to store energy as a consequence of the large seasonal and annual variability of food availability in the arctic environment. These data establish a baseline for long-term monitoring of bowhead whale health and population condition. Second, I addressed post-mortem changes in blubber composition of a stranded humpback whale. Lipid content decreased due to tissue decomposition by as much as 24%, limiting the ability to accurately assess nutritional status and health. Finally, in response to a growing need for validation of the use of fatty acid profiles as dietary tracers in top marine predators, I investigated the effects of prey switching on fatty acid profiles in plasma and red blood cell membranes (RBCs) of captive harbor seals. In plasma, nine of fifteen fatty acids responded significantly with prey switching, compared to only three plus one ratio in RBCs. Season and total daily lipid intake also affected the level of some plasma fatty acids. Diet was reliably predicted from fatty acid profiles in plasma after two weeks and in RBCs at four months using discriminant function analysis. Plasma and RBC fatty acid profiles provided an integration of dietary history, representing short-term and long-term 'dietary windows, ' respectively.
    • Investigations On The Impacts Of Land-Cover Changes And/Or Increased Carbon Dioxide Concentrations On Four Regional Water Cycles And Their Interactions With The Global Water Cycle

      Li, Zhao; Molders, Nicole (2007)
      A suite of simulations that combine reference (355ppmv), doubled and tripled CO2 concentrations alternatively without and with land-cover changes in four similar-sized study regions, the Yukon, Ob, St. Lawrence and Colorado basin and adjacent land, are performed with the fully coupled Community Climate System Model to investigate the impact on global and regional water cycles and the interaction of these regional water cycles with the global water cycle. The relative changes in water-cycle quantities caused by increased CO 2 enhance with latitude and CO2 concentrations. Regional and global water cycles interactions are more pronounced in a warmer climate, but regional precipitation and evapotranspiration is affected differently in high-latitudes (Yukon, Ob) than mid-latitudes (Colorado, St. Lawrence). Land-cover changes can have comparable impacts on regional water cycles than increased CO2 concentrations do. Land-cover changes substantially alter the high-latitude water cycles through enhanced snow-albedo feedback and mid-latitude water cycles through vegetation activity in the warm season. The land-cover changes in different regions interact with each other through heat and moisture advections and secondary effects. This interaction enhances with increasing CO2 concentrations. Interactions between land-cover changes and increasing CO2 concentrations enhance with increasing CO2 due to the high sensitivity of regional water cycles to temperature changes.
    • Iñupiat Ilitqusiat: inner views of our Iñupiaq values

      Topkok, Charles Sean Asiqłuq; Leonard, Beth; John, Theresa; Lewis, Jordan; Counceller, April (2015-12)
      Iñupiat Ilitqusiat: Inner Views of Our Iñupiaq Values examines how Iñupiat pass down elements of our cultural heritage to future generations. The research is community-driven by the Pavva Iñupiaq Dancers of Fairbanks, families with Iñupiaq children in their household, and other Iñupiat worldwide. My doctoral research addresses how we view each Iñupiat Ilitqusiat (Iñupiaq Values), how our Iñupiat Ilitqusiat have been passed down, and how we pass down our Iñupiaq cultural heritage to our future cultural-bearers. Participants talk about our Iñupiat Ilitqusiat to acknowledge that we are Iñupiat wherever we live. I assert that in order to conduct culturally appropriate research with Iñupiaq people, it is imperative to observe cultural protocols and values, to equally include Indigenous narrative history and Western literature in the review process, and to observe Iñupiaq methods and methodology when gathering data. I examined and applied the ways my ancestors have gathered and presented data, formalizing for academia an Iñupiaq way of conducting research. I have conducted 17 group interviews corresponding to the 17 Iñupiat Ilitqusiat. In my findings, I acknowledge that our Iñupiaq values help define our heritage. They are embedded in our lives and in our stories. They are in our spirit, passed down to us through our ancestors. Each Iñupiat Ilitqusiat converges with each other when we examine how each cultural value applies to our lives. We need to continue talking about our cultural values in every village to ensure our descendants live their cultural heritage.
    • Ion dynamics in auroral potential structures and formation of ion conic distribution

      Yang, Wei-hong (1981-12)
      This thesis is concerned with the problem of how the positive ions are energized by the two-dimensional potential structures along auroral field lines; these auroral potential structures are known to be responsible for accelerating electrons into the ionosphere to produce discrete auroras. A systematic numerical study of the test ion dynamics in auroral potential structures, either V-shaped or S-shaped, has been carried out. Transverse ion accelerations occur if the width of the auroral potential structure (Lx ≤ ρi). This result shows that the conic distribution of upstreaming ions observed on auroral field lines can be generated by the same potential structures which produce the thin auroral arcs (Lx ≤ ρi). This transverse acceleration mechanism operates more effectively on heavier ions, resulting in O+ ions more energetic than H+ ions as indicated by observations.
    • Ionospheric correction of interferometric SAR data with application to the cryospheric sciences

      Liao, Heming; Meyer, Franz J.; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.; Tape, Carl; Watkins, Brenton (2018-08)
      The ionosphere has been identified as an important error source for spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and SAR Interferometry (InSAR), especially for low frequency SAR missions, operating, e.g., at L-band or P-band. Developing effective algorithms for the correction of ionospheric effects is still a developing and active topic of remote sensing research. The focus of this thesis is to develop robust and accurate techniques for ionospheric correction of SAR and InSAR data and evaluate the benefit of these techniques for cryospheric research fields such as glacier ice velocity tracking and permafrost deformation monitoring. As both topics are mostly concerned with high latitude areas where the ionosphere is often active and characterized by turbulence, ionospheric correction is particularly relevant for these applications. After an introduction to the research topic in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 will discuss open issues in ionospheric correction including processing issues related to baseline-induced spectrum shifts. The effect of large baseline on split spectrum InSAR technique has been thoroughly evaluated and effective solutions for compensating this effect are proposed. In addition, a multiple sub-band approach is proposed for increasing the algorithm robustness and accuracy. Selected case studies are shown with the purpose of demonstrating the performance of the developed algorithm. In Chapter 3, the developed ionospheric correction technology is applied to optimize InSAR-based ice velocity measurements over the big ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic. Selected case studies are presented to demonstrate and validate the effectiveness of the proposed correction algorithms for ice velocity applications. It is shown that the ionosphere signal can be larger than the actual glacier motion signal in the interior of Greenland and Antarctic, emphasizing the necessity for operational ionospheric correction. The case studies also show that the accuracy of ice velocity estimates was significantly improved once the developed ionospheric correction techniques were integrated into the data processing flow. We demonstrate that the proposed ionosphere correction outperforms the traditionally-used approaches such as the averaging of multi-temporal data and the removal of obviously affected data sets. For instance, it is shown that about one hundred multi-temporal ice velocity estimates would need to be averaged to achieve the estimation accuracy of a single ionosphere-corrected measurement. In Chapter 4, we evaluate the necessity and benefit of ionospheric-correction for L-band InSAR-based permafrost research. In permafrost zones, InSAR-based surface deformation measurements are used together with geophysical models to estimate permafrost parameters such as active layer thickness, soil ice content, and permafrost degradation. Accurate error correction is needed to avoid biases in the estimated parameters and their co-variance properties. Through statistical analyses of a large number of L-band InSAR data sets over Alaska, we show that ionospheric signal distortions, at different levels of magnitude, are present in almost every InSAR dataset acquired in permafrost-affected regions. We analyze the ionospheric correction performance that can be achieved in permafrost zones by statistically analyzing correction results for large number of InSAR data. We also investigate the impact of ionospheric correction on the performance of the two main InSAR approaches that are used in permafrost zones: (1) we show the importance of ionospheric correction for permafrost deformation estimation from discrete InSAR observations; (2) we demonstrate that ionospheric correction leads to significant improvements in the accuracy of time-series InSAR-based permafrost products. Chapter 5 summarizes the work conducted in this dissertation and proposes next steps in this field of research.
    • Isolation and characterization of Photobacterium phosphoreum from migrating Alaskan salmon

      Budsberg, Kevin Jon (2004-05)
      We isolated luminous bacteria from drying chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, reported by Alaska native fishermen to be 'glowing in the dark.' The salmon were harvested for subsistence use from the Yukon River, Alaska. We identified our luminous bacterial isolates as Photobacterium phosphoreum based on nutritional versatility, and 16S rDNA and luxA gene sequences. P. phosphoreum has previously only been isolated from the marine environment. We tested whether our strains, isolated from fish harvested in freshwater, represent cold-adapted, freshwater-tolerant strains of P. phosphoreum. We also analyzed lux operon composition and organization, and examined the 5' promoter region of the lux operon for shared genes and regulatory elements from strains of P. phosphoreum from Alaska, the Black Sea, Oregon, and from near the Canary Islands. Our results indicate our P. phosphoreum strains have a lower optimal growth temperature than other strains but rapidly lose viability after inoculation into river water. Analyses of the P. phosphoreum lux operon reveal a striking pattern of conservation of composition and organization, and suggest there is conservation in the location of the transcriptional start among geographically separated strains of the same species.
    • Isostasy and origin of the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, Arctic Ocean

      Williams, Christina C. (2006-12)
      The Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge is an aseismic ridge bisecting the Amerasian Basin, Arctic Ocean. There is no widely accepted theory of formation. Gravity and bathymetry data from the poorly understood ridge are used to constrain the isostatic compensation of the feature in the frequency domain. Spectral analysis of the cross correlation between gravity and bathymetry along nine data transects collected from submarines and ice breakers over the ridge yield an average crustal thickness estimate of 30 km and density estimate of 2.75 g-cm⁻³. It also suggests compensation by local isostasy, as a near-ridge oceanic plateau or an extended fragment of continental shelf. These parameters are used to constrain gravity models of crustal structure. The analysis suggests no difference between the compensation of the Alpha and Mendeleev Ridges. These results are discussed in the broader tectonic context of the Amerasian Basin, in light of the current controversy over the formation of the ridge.
    • 'It's a magnifying glass': the communication of power in a remote field station

      McDermott, Victoria; May, Amy; Taylor, Karen; Richey, Jean (2019-05)
      Remote field stations play a critical role in advancing our understanding of the world and how humans cause environmental change. Remote field stations are sentinels of Earth's climate, environment, and biodiversity that provide scientists with the infrastructure to collect data in inaccessible areas of the globe. These research stations are considered isolated, confined and extreme (ICE) environments which provide people with unique opportunities and intensely stressful potentially life-threatening situations to overcome. Traditionally, remote field stations have been considered harassment hell for men and women, alike. There is little research on the impact of remote field stations on communication and factors that influence power communication within remote field stations. In the present study, the researcher traveled 10 hours north of Fairbanks, Alaska to Toolik Field Station in the Brooks Range of the Alaskan Mountains. The researcher interviewed 20 participants, 15 males and 5 females, willing to talk about their experiences in remote field stations and especially their experiences at Toolik. Using theories of power construction, standpoint theory, and contrapower harassment this study sought to understand how remote field stations impact communication dynamics and the influence of gender on communication within a remote field station. Findings in the present study suggest that gender is a crucial factor that impacts power dynamics in remote field station. Through the data collected in this study, three areas of opportunity were identified for overall camp improvement, including group cohesion, reintegration coping strategies and overcoming gender barriers.
    • It's all in the past

      Phillips, Jill; Marlow, Patrick; Martelle, Wendy; John, Theresa; Siekmann, Sabine (2015-12)
      This project is a response to what I noticed to be a challenge for both my ELL students and myself in multiple school settings--teaching and learning specific English grammar skills. Prior to beginning this program, over the past ten years I had the privilege of working in a number of schools--both internationally and stateside--teaching various ages/levels of ELL learners. It was, however, my time in rural Alaska that prompted me to seek out additional schooling for help in overcoming the challenges of teaching grammar skills.
    • It's so good to be back: explorations of subsistence in Alaska

      Magdanz, James; Greenberg, Joshua; Carothers, Courtney; Chapin, F. Stuart III; Goodreau, Steven (2020-05)
      This dissertation explores some aspects of contemporary hunter-gatherer economies in Alaska, with an emphasis on quantitative approaches. Written in manuscript-style, the focus is on four decades beginning about 1980, which coincided with legal recognition of hunter-gatherer activities as "subsistence," and with expanded subsistence data collection efforts. Subsistence is viewed through four theoretical frames: socio-ecological resilience, political ecology, social networks, and food security. Principles of common-pool resource management are reviewed, as are legal frames unique to Alaska that limited possible approaches to management and resulted in a fragmented management systems. In the body of the dissertation, the first article explores trends in rural community populations, wild food harvests, and personal incomes over time, identifies factors associated with subsistence harvests, models subsistence productivity, and estimates road effects on harvests and income. The second article uses household-level social network and economic data from two Iñupiat communities to explore hypotheses designed to test an assumed transition from wild food dependence to market dependence. The third article combines concepts of sensitivity and adaptive capacity drawn from vulnerability literature to explore differences in household characteristics within and between three Alaska communities. The discussion adopts a political ecology approach, introducing narrative discourses of subsistence in Alaska, comparing subsistence narrative discourses with the results the larger body of resilience, network analysis, and food security literature. It demonstrates how the same objective facts could drive competing narratives, and how resource management itself was subject to narrative construction.
    • Jackie Gleeson's neighborhood

      Garoupa, Justin Craig (2005-05)
      Jackie Gleeson's Neighborhood is a collection of short stories that deal in narratives of possession and the struggle of an individual toward what some readers might consider a 'lesser epiphany.' The characters of the stories attempt to own and separate themselves from the world at large through the act of storytelling and the examination of their landscape through metaphor. This collection moves through experience and draws the common thread of connection between what we feel and what our minds allow us to see. The result of this re-visioning is not always change or knowledge but feelings of hope, terror, and possibility.
    • Jakobshavn Isbr�_: velocity variations from hourly to decadal time scales at Greenland's fastest tidewater glacier

      Podrasky, David Bryan; Truffer, Martin; Bueler, Edward; Hock, Regine; Larsen, Christopher; Motyka, Roman (2013-12)
      Outlet glaciers in Greenland, and elsewhere, have recently shown large variations in terminus position and ice flux. One example is the tidewater retreat of Jakobshavn Isbr�_, which began in the late 1990s with high thinning rates, acceleration and collapse of the floating glacier tongue. The retreat has continued to the present, with glacier speeds more than doubling in two decades' time. A campaign of in-situ measurements was initiated in 2006 with the aim of determining the importance of short-term forcing as a control on the continuing evolution of the glacier. Three years of continuous GPS measurements along the centerline of Jakobshavn Isbr�_ reveal seasonal velocity variations due to seasonally varying terminus position. The relationship between glacier speed and surface melt is complex, with both speed-up and slowdown events in response to variations in the rate of surface melt. During a particularly long and intense melt season in 2007, a series of melt-driven slowdowns effectively reduced the mean ice flow over the whole year. On shorter timescales, the response to surface meltwater input is more predictable with diurnal velocity variations of 1-2 % that closely match changes in meltwater input. The influence of iceberg calving and tidal forcing is restricted to the lower 10 km of the glacier, imposing an upper limit on longitudinal stress coupling length of a few ice thicknesses. The response to these forcings does not exceed 5 % of mean flow. This is consistent with a glacier operating under high driving stresses. Ice sheet velocities as far as 120 km inland of the margin have responded to the continuing retreat with increases in speed. The flow has also rotated toward the centerline of the main channel. This speedup and channelization of flow are the result of evolving ice surface gradients as the glacier continues to respond to changes initiated at the periphery. This shows that ocean driven changes have led to increased ice flux far inland on the Greenland Ice Sheet, implying a continuing large-scale evolution of the Jakobshavn Isbr�_ drainage basin.
    • James Church McCook and American consular diplomacy in the Klondike, 1898-1901

      Jessup, David Eric; Cole, Terrence; Naske, Claus-M.; Irwin, Robert (2001-08)
      The Klondike Gold Rush saw tens of thousands of Americans pour into the Canadian Yukon. Although the unprecedented event was of marginal diplomatic significance to Washington, the United States government responded by establishing an official American presence in the Klondike boomtown of Dawson City. Congress provided for a United States consulate in Dawson in January of 1898, and the following summer, James Church McCook arrived to serve as the first consul. McCook served for three and a half years as the only U.S. government official in what was essentially an American town on Canadian soil. A retired confectionary manufacturer from Philadelphia, McCook was representative of the amateur tradition of American consular diplomacy. His State Department correspondence revealed both the hardships of consular work and the notion of devoted service, while shedding light on Washington's relationship with Canada at the time of the United State' emergence as a world power.
    • James Hogg, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and romantic anachronism

      Stewart, Heather Ann; Edson, Michael; Burleson, Derick; Carr, Richard (2013-08)
      This thesis explores the problematic nature of the term "Romanticism" as traditionally dictated by national and temporal constraints. Most scholars and literary institutions (i.e., anthologies) define Romanticism as a solely European phenomenon of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This definition, intentionally or not, serves an elitist function in assuming that only Europeans of a specific era were capable of producing texts with Romantic qualities. Further, even authors who fall into this temporal and nationalistic category are often excluded due to their social class. This thesis seeks to extend the boundaries of Romanticism through examining two authors who, despite some recent efforts at re-appropriation, had previously been excluded by Romanticism: Scotland's James Hogg (1770-1835) and Russia's Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881). Specifically, this thesis explores a defining Romantic aesthetic trait -- the Romantic Anachronism -- as it operates in both authors' uncannily similar masterworks, Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), and Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (1880). By placing emphasis on aesthetic rather than temporal and national constraints, Romanticism may be redefined towards an inclusivity that bolsters the relevance of Romanticism for current and future scholars operating in an increasingly globalized and rapidly diversifying world.
    • Japanese winter tourism in rural Alaska: Bettles Lodge

      Kojima, Mie (2000-12)
      Japanese tourists increasingly visit the Arctic in wintertime because of their interest in northern lights. Some rural communities in Alaska see this as an opportunity to enter winter tourism by targeting the Japanese market. The purpose of this study is to gain better understanding of the interests of these Japanese visitors and to explore potentials for tourism development in rural Alaska. A Japanese visitor survey was conducted in the spring of 2000 at Bettles Lodge in Interior Alaska. The data reveal that the average visitor to Bettles Lodge was female, over 61 years of age, an urban dweller, employed full-time, and college educated. Results show that Bettles Lodge receives a mixture of younger individual travelers and older group travelers, who have very different needs and expectations. The study suggests that sustainable tourism development may be best achieved through cooperation involving all local interests and stakeholders.
    • Joint stewardship of the Barents Sea: Russian and Norwegian policy expectations for preventing offshore oil spills

      Bouffard, Troy J.; Boylan, Brandon M.; Ehrlander, Mary F.; Kassof, Brian (2016-08)
      As Arctic environmental conditions fluctuate, ongoing economic-related agreements established for the Barents Region continue to support and attract Norwegian and Russian oil-producing expeditions within the shared maritime zone. Increased industrial activity throughout the Circumpolar North heightens the need to understand the factors that influence policies responsible for protecting the environment – in particular, preventive measures. Agency theory provides the framework for an analysis of various dynamics that influence the Norwegian and Russian governments (principals) as they develop and enforce rules that regulate petroleum industries (agents). The research question asks about differences between the prevention policies of the two nations even though both acknowledge a very similar need to protect the Barents. Since the regulatory and governance structures cannot fully explain the differences between the two countries’ prevention policies, the hypothesis presents an argument that the strategic goals of Norway and Russia in the global political economy provide sufficient conditions for policy divergence. This research presents case studies of economic and environmental factors that influence how Russia and Norway develop energy-related prevention policies in the Barents Sea. The findings suggest that differing strategic goals between the two countries influence their oil spill prevention policies. Russia’s oil spill prevention policy enables it to maintain high production levels that it can leverage to further its geopolitical aims. Norway’s more cautious prevention policies promote domestic economic stability. In a progressively interdependent world, this study contributes insight into contemporary international relations regarding aspects of partnerships, energy economics, and geostrategic policy.