• Moose (Alces alces) browse enhancement and sustainable forestry as a rural development tool in the sub-Arctic boreal forest region of Alaska

      Cain, Bruce David (2014-05)
      This project studies indigenous and western moose browse management issues in the sub-arctic boreal forest and how this topic relates to rural development. Chapter one explains the methodology of the project. Chapter two describes how moose browse and biomass management support rural development and investigates productivity potential of combining moose browse management with sustainable forestry and biomass production. Chapter three investigates landscape and habitat management principles from a customary and traditional practice versus a scientific approach. It looks at management models in the following territories: Alaska, Canada, Continental US, Mongolia/Russia and Scandinavia. Chapter four investigates indigenous wildlife management systems and other indigenous wildlife policy issues. Chapter five is a selected annotated bibliography. The project has a focus on the Ahtna region of central Alaska and recognizes the implications of these issues for this region.
    • Moose abundance estimation using finite population block kriging on Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

      Frye, Graham G. (2016-12)
      Monitoring the size and demographic characteristics of animal populations is fundamental to the fields of wildlife ecology and wildlife management. A diverse suite of population monitoring methods have been developed and employed during the past century, but challenges in obtaining rigorous population estimates remain. I used simulation to address survey design issues for monitoring a moose population at Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Alaska using finite population block kriging. In the first chapter, I compared the bias in the Geospatial Population Estimator (GSPE; which uses finite population block kriging to estimate animal abundance) between two survey unit configurations. After finding that substantial bias was induced through the use of the historic survey unit configuration, I concluded that the ’’standard” unit configuration was preferable because it allowed unbiased estimation. In the second chapter, I examined the effect of sampling intensity on performance of the GSPE. I concluded that bias and confidence interval coverage were unaffected by sampling intensity, whereas the coefficient of variation (CV) and root mean squared error (RMSE) decreased with increasing sampling intensity. In the final chapter, I examined the effect of spatial clustering by moose on model performance. Highly clustered moose distributions induced a small amount of positive bias, confidence interval coverage lower than the nominal rate, higher CV, and higher RMSE. Some of these issues were ameliorated by increasing sampling intensity, but if highly clustered distributions of moose are expected, then substantially greater sampling intensities than those examined here may be required.
    • More than a shelter: a study of indigenous dwellings and contemporary, affordable housing in rural Alaska

      Combs, Esther Marcell (2003-05)
      The purpose of this study was to pursue an innovative idea to address the need for safe, affordable housing in the rural, subarctic area of the State of Alaska. A three pronged approach for data gathering included an extensive historical review of early indigenous cultures and dwelling design; a review of the roles of federal and state governments and their impact on the political economy and lifestyles of rural indigenous people; and interviews of homeowners to obtain their comments, preferences, and suggestions for design features in a home. The conclusions drawn from the findings indicated that the most important feature for a modern house in rural, subarctic Alaska is an enlarged Arctic entry way which was a feature of nearly all of the early indigenous dwellings albeit the simplistic, tunneled entry. Secondly, installation of a standby heat source or a backup, wood stove in homes; and, finally that planning, design and construction of a smaller, simplified house be pursued.
    • More than words: co-constructive dialogue as a strategy for technical, academic language acquisition (TALA) in an indigenous, middle school science classroom

      Ladwig, Joachim H.; Patterson, Leslie; Siekmann, Sabine; Martelle, Wendy (2019-05)
      This teacher action research study investigated how secondary science students respond to small group co-construction activities designed to help them produce collaborative summaries of scientific information. The principle research question guiding this study asks, "How do middle school students engage in content learning and in the use of technical academic language (TAL) during a science writer's workshop?" Building upon the work of previous investigators I studied how emerging bilingual Grade 8 students participated in a science writer's workshop as they co-constructed written summaries in small groups. After initial instruction about the science content, participants worked in table groups to begin their summaries and become comfortable with the process. Participants were regrouped for the final phases of the workshop as they revised their earlier work. Twelve classroom sessions were digitally recorded and from them 25 language-related episodes (LREs) from two small groups were identified for further investigation. LREs were transcribed and analyzed for patterns of student interaction and then correlated with students' written summaries. These deeper interaction patterns became the targeted categories of this investigation: teaming; going beyond the content; and disagreeing. Each of these patterns provide different opportunities for students to learn more about the science content and to use scientific language. The extra time for this collaboration allowed for more TAL usage and seemed to make a meaningful difference in these students' final writings. Further, analysis reveals that TALA is a complex sociocultural process and that the dialogic process inherent in the science writer's workshop is more important than the words alone. In this context, dialogue about science in the context of the science writer's workshop supported both content learning and the acquisition of TAL for these emergent bilingual middle school students.
    • A morphological and genetic investigation of the highest-latitude endemic passerine: McKay's bunting

      Maley, James Michael; Winker, Kevin; McCracken, Kevin; Powell, Abby; Olson, Link (2006-05)
      I used two different approaches to investigate different aspects of the highest latitude endemic passerine, McKay's Bunting (Plectrophenax hyperboreus). I tested whether or not the juvenal plumage of McKay' s Bunting is different from its closest relative, Snow Bunting (P. nivalis). Using light reflectance spectrophotometry to quantify visual differences, I found that McKay's and Snow buntings have significantly different juvenal plumages. This analysis supports their separation into two distinct species. Second, I investigated the genetic consequences of refugial isolation and the model of speciation that the genetic data fit. This species pair provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the genetic effects of speciation at high latitudes in a region known to be significantly impacted by Pleistocene climatic oscillations. Using a mitochondrial marker and anonymous nuclear markers, I found evidence for recent divergence and a very small founding population size of McKay's. After the founder event, there is evidence of a population expansion and a subsequent reduction of the McKay's population, probably as a result of rising sea levels and asymmetric hybridization into Snow Buntings postglacially colonizing Beringia. This recent, high latitude speciation event fits a model of founder effect peripatric speciation driven by a small founding population size and genetic drift.
    • A morphological and genetic review of the Pardosa groenlandica species complex (Araneae: Lycosidae)

      Slowik, Jozef; Sikes, Derek; Winker, Kevin; Cushing, Paula (2011-08)
      The Pardosa groenlandica species complex comprises seven recognized species, P. groenlandica (Thorell 1872), P. dromaea (Thorell 1877), P. tristis (Thorell 1877), P. prosaica Chamberlin and Ivie 1947, P. bucklei Kronestedt 1975, P. albomaculata Emerton 1885, and P. lowriei Kronestedt 1975. These species have overlapping distributions, creating sympatric occurrences with at least one other member of the complex. They can be found in Greenland, throughout Canada, and occur in the United States from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast, through Alaska, and as far as eastern Siberia. These species' genitalia, which bear the primary diagnostic characters, are very similar and show large amounts of within-species and within-population variation. Because of this, they have seen various levels of taxonomic splitting and lumping from one species to the presently recognized seven. I evaluated the utility of the existing morphological diagnostic characters which, if geography is ignored, successfully diagnose only four species (P. albomaculata, P. lowriei, and P. bucklei, with the remaining species synonymized under P. groenlandica). Additionally, I sequenced five genes, two mitochondria) (COI & NDI), and three nuclear genes (ITS 1, 5.8S, and ITS2) of 144 specimens, to help clarify the taxonomy of the species complex. All seven species showed some level of polyphyly or paraphyly in their gene trees. A population genetics analysis of P. groenlandica and P. tristis from Colorado populations failed to find molecular divergence between the populations, raising questions about P. groenlandica occurring in Colorado, and/or the validity of P. tristis. These results question the value of using this genetic dataset to test species delineated using traditional taxonomic methods in the groenlandica species complex of the genus Pardosa. Reconciliation is likely only when genetic markers are studied that match the timing and rate of the observed phenotypic changes.
    • Morphological and phenological responses of butterflies to seasonal temperature increase in Alaska

      Daly, Kathryn Margaret; Breed, Greg A.; Sikes, Derek S.; Mann, Daniel H. (2018-12)
      Climate is changing rapidly at high latitudes, and the responses of insects provide early indications of the impacts these changes have on biota. Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) are among the best-known Subarctic and Arctic insects, and research in Greenland has revealed significant declines in butterfly body sizes along with advances in the timing of their first flights in spring. These changes are ecologically significant because smaller body sizes can lead to reduced fecundity in butterflies, and earlier adult emergence can have detrimental effects across trophic levels because Lepidoptera are an important food resource for birds and mammals. The primary goal of this thesis is to expand the geographical scope of previous studies of butterfly responses to high-latitude warming by testing whether Alaskan butterflies have exhibited morphological (Chapter 1) and/or phenological (Chapter 2) changes in response to rising temperatures. The morphological parameter studied here is forewing length, and the phenological parameter the timing of the first-observed flight of the year. Results show that the wings of two out of three butterfly species studied from Alaska's North Slope and Seward Peninsula decreased as seasonal (spring and summer) temperatures rose between 1971 and 1995. For every 1° C increase in average seasonal temperatures, wingspans decreased by up to 1.4 millimeters in Alaska. This compares to decreases of up to 0.65 millimeters observed in Greenland. One Alaskan species, Colias hecla Lefebvre 1836, did not show significant change in its wing lengths, although it did exhibit significant decreases in Greenland. Differences in life-history traits among species appear to result in divergent responses in Alaskan butterflies, with Boloria freija (Thunberg, 1791), which overwinters as late-instar larvae, showing the greatest decrease in wing length compared to Boloria chariclea (Edwards, 1883) which overwinters as early-instar larvae. From the start of the collection record in 1966 onward, collection and observational records from Interior Alaska reveal an average phenological advancement of 1 to 5 days/decade in 13 spring-emerging butterfly species. The morphological and phenological changes found in some species of Alaskan butterflies correlate with recent climate change, though the effects differed among species. The eco-physiological responses to climate change observed here for butterflies are likely to be shared by other insect species living at high latitudes.
    • A mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) model for the transmission of tularemia

      Triebenbach, Alison N. (2009-08)
      Tularemia is a plague-like disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. In Scandinavian countries tularemia transmission is clinically attributed to mosquitoes. To examine the transmission of tularemia by mosquitoes I exposed Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae larvae to F. tularensis and tested all life stages for bacterial DNA using real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR). I fed adult A. aegypti and An. gambiae a blood meal containing F. novicida and tested for DNA 24, 48 and 72 hours after feeding. Seventy-two hours after the F. novicida blood meal I allowed A. aegypti and An. gambiae to feed on a mouse. My results indicate that 1. Aedes aegypti and An. gambiae larvae ingest F. tularensis but eliminate it from their system before maturing to adults and, 2. F. novicida DNA is present in adults 72 hours after feeding, and 3. mice remained healthy after multiple mosquitoes feeding on them. Although this implies F. tularensis is not spread by A. aegypti and An. gambiae, it exemplifies the need to investigate other subspecies of F. tularensis and other species of mosquito to eliminate species dependence.
    • "The most multi-ethnic country in the world": indigenous peoples in Russia's Eurasianist political narrative

      Trienen, Lex; Boylan, Brandon; Ehrlander, Mary; Hirsch, Alex (2019-05)
      Since 2012, scholars have taken a renewed look at the philosophical and political ideas of Eurasianism within Russia to explain President Vladimir Putin's conduct and the Russian public's response to it. Eurasianism in its current form posits that the Russian state plays a unique role in the history of the world in opposing the avaricious, agnostic, and culturally oppressive "West," while uniting and elevating the peoples of the Eurasian continent in a peaceful, organic and spiritual "Eurasia." Indigenous peoples play a distinctive role in this narrative. Both the United States and Russia have Indigenous populations that have been subjected to both passive neglect and active violence over the past several centuries and currently suffer from poor social conditions compared to the dominant ethnic groups of their respective countries. This thesis addresses the question of how the Russian media's portrayal of Native Americans diverges from that of its own Indigenous peoples in order to perpetuate this Eurasian narrative. Articles were collected from various news outlets in Russia, coded for Eurasianist themes using the Atlas.ti program, and analyzed by news outlet, date published, and topic. The analysis finds that the Russian media portrays Indigenous peoples in Russia as largely having constructive working relationships with the Kremlin, while they depict Native Americans as striving towards secession and mired in constant conflict with the U.S. government, but having surreptitious affinities towards the Eurasian civilizational model.
    • Motion and calving at LeConte Glacier, Alaska

      O'Neel, Shad (2000-12)
      An analysis of motion and calving in the terminus region of LeConte Glacier delineates controls which are important to tidewater glacier stability. Ice velocities in this region are quite high; at the terminus they exceed 27 m d⁻¹. Our analysis reveals fluctuations in velocity that are forced by ocean tides, surface melt and precipitation. However, the overall velocity is steady over seasonal time intervals. LeConte's terminus position varied substantially, even given this steady ice influx, establishing a correlation between the calving flux and the terminus position (flux out). Although this correlation is largely numerical, the occurrence of calving events is not purely stochastic. Calving occurs as floatation is approached, and multiple short-lived triggers may force calving events by promoting a buoyancy instability. These triggers may include the tide, water input, and water depth. Flexure of the nearly floating portion of the glacier promotes crevasse growth, and helps to initiate calving.
    • Motivations and drivers of trapper catch per unit effort in Alaska

      Dorendorf, Ross R.; Prugh, Laura; Kielland, Knut; Brainerd, Scott; Fix, Peter (2015-08)
      Indices of abundance based on harvest alone have long been used to track furbearer populations. However, abundance indices based on harvest alone do not account for variation in trapping effort. To my knowledge, adjusting harvest-based furbearer abundance indices to account for effort has not been previously examined in Alaska. Understanding how effort varies among trappers, and how social issues and external factors such as human conflict and fur prices affect effort, can give a clearer understanding of why trapping effort changes. A trapper's motivations may determine how strongly various external factors and social issues influence trapping effort. I sent a questionnaire to trappers of interior Alaska and used nine years of statewide data from the Alaska Trapper Questionnaire (distributed annually by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game) to address these issues. Across five regions from 2004-2013, I found that total fur harvest increased with per-capita trapper effort (R² = 0.125, p = 0.02). Variation in average winter temperature across game management regions explained 42% of variation in trapping effort, but annual variation in temperature, snow depth, fur prices, and fuel prices did not affect effort. Corresponding to these statewide findings, surveys of trappers in interior Alaska indicated that economic gain was not a strong motivation to trap, a finding that differs from previous studies. The most important social issues and external factors affecting trapping effort were access to land and the perceived abundance of furbearer populations respectively. To determine the motivations of interior Alaskan trappers, I used a k-means cluster analysis that identified four groups of trappers: management (17% of trappers), recreational (39%), subsistence (18%), and solitary (26%). Each group is represented by its strongest motivation for trapping. To improve the use of harvest as an index of furbearer abundance, I recommend accounting for trapping effort by calculating catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE), a metric commonly used in fisheries. I further recommend that resource managers should focus their efforts on reducing human conflicts while maximizing the non-monetary benefits of trapping. Resource managers should take advantage of questionnaires to help understand the fluctuations in furbearer populations and understand the motivations of trappers.
    • Mouse circadian plasma leptin and active ghrelin rhythms under ad libitum and scheduled feeding

      Wan, Haiting (2007-08)
      Light is the strongest timing cue for the circadian system, but non-photic cues can also entrain the master circadian clock, i.e., suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). In one of our mouse line (ENTR), all mice entrain to scheduled feeding, while in another (NON-ENTR) only 4 % entrain. In order to explore key physiological pathways involved in that process, I quantified the circadian rhythms of plasma leptin and active ghrelin of these two lines of mice under a 12:12 hour light-dark cycle with ad libitum feeding and six hours of food availability during the light period. Plasma active ghrelin induced opposite circadian rhythms compared to leptin, which were most pronounced under scheduled feeding when leptin was highest during and right after the food availability period; active ghrelin was highest at night when food was not available. Compared to ad libitum feeding, the overall concentration of leptin decreased and active ghrelin concentration increased significantly under scheduled feeding. The plasma active ghrelin circadian rhythms of ENTR mice were more robust with higher amplitude rhythms than the NON-ENTR mice under ad libitum feeding and scheduled feeding. I hypothesize that the high amplitude plasma active ghrelin circadian rhythm provides a signal for the ENTR mice to entrain to scheduled feeding
    • Movement activities for kindergarten through second grade teachers in an Alaska classroom

      Borba, Krista K.; Green, Carie; Vinlove, Amy; Kardash, Diane (2018-12)
      Physical activities in the classroom are very important for student growth and learning. Classroom teachers often teach physical activities in between core subjects in order to meet the Alaska Physical Activity in Schools Law which states that children should be getting 54 minutes of movement a day. However, many schools throughout Alaska do not have a designated PE teacher. Subsequently, this puts the responsibility of these standards on the general education teacher. However, few elementary teachers have a background in physical education, making it more challenging to know how to integrate meaningful physical activities in the classroom. The purpose of this project is to provide general education teachers, kindergarten through second grade, with multiple physical activity lessons that can be incorporated into their own classrooms throughout the day that include some of the Alaska PE Standards.
    • Movement and habitat utilization by golden king crab Lithodes aequispinus benedict 1895 in southeastern Alaska

      Hoyt, Zachary N. (2003-12)
      Movements and habitat use of golden king crabs (GKC), Lithodes aequispinus, were investigated with a manned submersible and ultrasonic telemetry in Frederick Sound, Alaska. Crabs were collected with commercial crab pots and ultrasonic transmitters were attached to the carapaces of 26 crabs; movements and depth distribution of male and female crabs were monitored bi- monthly from May 11, 2000 to April 12, 2001. Crabs preferred steep, complex habitat with hard substrate; few were on flat, soft substrate. Male and female GKC were not segregated by depth in mid-May. Seventeen pairs of courting crabs were observed during dives; 14 of these pairs were associated with either intermittent or continuous boulder fields and 3 with wall substrates. Crabs did not have seasonal site fidelity. Crabs had seasonal changes in depth distribution, moving to deeper water during late fall and winter and returning to shallower depths during spring. Crabs moved as far as 39 km over one year. No evidence of spatial fidelity was observed; golden king crabs may be moving greater distances or site fidelity maybe on a longer temporal scale than our study, or golden king crabs may be nomadic in nature.
    • Movement and migration ecology of Alaskan golden eagles

      Eisaguirre, Joseph Michael; Breed, Greg; Booms, Travis; Doak, Pat; Kielland, Knut; McIntyre, Carol (2020-05)
      Golden eagles Aquila chrysaetos are distributed across the Holarctic; however, in Alaska and other northern areas, many are long-distance migrants. Being soaring birds, golden eagles can use weather and features of the energy landscape to offset the energetic costs of movement and migration. In this dissertation, I investigate how dynamic energy landscapes, in addition to other habitat and anthropogenic features, affect the movement and migration ecology of Alaskan golden eagles; in most cases I did such by developing and applying new, biologically-appropriate statistical methods. First, I identified a single, discrete navigation decision that each eagle made during migration and determined which weather variables are primary factors in driving that decision. I found that wind was the primary correlate to the decision, consistent with eagles likely avoiding poor migration conditions and choosing routes based on favorable wind conditions. Second, I investigated how different forms of flight subsidies, which were orographic uplift, thermal uplift, and wind support, drove behavioral budgets and migratory pacing of eagles. I found a consistent daily rhythm in eagle behavior and migratory pace, seemingly driven by daily development of thermal uplift, with extended periods of slower-paced movements, consistent with periods of opportunistic foraging. Third, I investigated the effects of anthropogenic linear features, such as roads and railroads, on eagle movement during migration. I found that eagles selected for roads during spring migration and were more likely to be near roads when making slower-paced movements, which would be most frequent during times when limited thermal uplift is available. Lastly, I compared how floaters (breeding-age, non-territorial individuals) and territorial eagles used space and selected for resources, specifically interested in how their movements and space use might overlap. I found that floater space use was much more expansive, yet they only selected for habitats and resources slightly differently than territorial eagles. I also found their home ranges overlap substantially, suggesting that floaters play a key role in the population ecology of migratory golden eagles in Alaska.
    • Movement of the giant red sea cucumber Parastichopus californicus in Southeastern Alaska

      Cieciel, Kristin (2004-08)
      This thesis provides information on sea cucumber movement that could inform management of the growing fishery for the sea cucumber, Parastichopus californicus, in Southeast Alaska. Daily movement of individual P. californicus was quantified at six sites to assess spatial variation in movement, at three-month intervals over one year at one site to assess seasonal changes in movement, and densities were measured monthly at three depths over one year. Movements varied among seasons and sites ranging from 0 to 34.5 m·24 h⁻¹, and were highest in summer (mean ± SE = 4.6 ± 0.5 m) and lowest in fall (mean ± SE = 1.9 ± 0.3 m). Densities were highest in spring and summer and lowest in fall and winter. Recently tagged animals move, on average, 2 m more than animals tagged 72 h earlier, indicating that movement is best assessed 48 h after tagging. Stock assessments should be conducted in spring and summer to coincide with increased animal densities, with the fishery occurring in fall and winter to provide a possible refuge for a portion of the population. Overall, P. californicus demonstrate limited adult movement, indicating that populations are geographically limited with little possibility of animal migration or repopulation of adults in harvested areas.
    • Movements, distribution, and population dynamics of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea

      Amstrup, Steven C. (1995)
      I used mark and recapture, and radio telemetry to describe movements and population dynamics of polar bears of the Beaufort Sea. Rates of movement were lowest for females with cubs in spring, highest for females with yearlings in winter, and varied from 0.30-0.96 km/h. Total distances moved each month and year were 186-492 km and 1,454-6,203 km respectively. Highest and lowest levels of activity were in June and September. Activity levels were highest from mid-day to late evening. Females with cubs were more active than other bears. Annual home ranges varied from 12,730 km$\sp2$ to 596,800 km$\sp2$. The Beaufort Sea population occupied a 939,153 km$\sp2$ area extending 300 km offshore from Cape Bathurst, Canada, to Pt. Hope, Alaska. Maternal denning in the Beaufort Sea region was common, but 52% of discovered dens were on the drifting pack ice. Bears denning on pack ice drifted as far as 997 km (x = 385 km). Bears followed to >1 den did not reuse sites. Consecutive dens were 20-1,304 km apart, but radio-collared bears were faithful to substrate and locale of previous dens. Of 44 polar bears that denned along the Beaufort Sea coast, 80% were located between 137$\sp\circ$00'W and 146$\sp\circ$59'W. Of those 44, 20 (45%) were on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including 15 (34%) in the 1002 coastal plain area, which may contain >9 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Data indicated, however, that spatial and temporal restrictions on developments could prevent most disruptions of denned bears. Survival of adult female polar bears was higher than previously thought ($\ S=0.96).$ Survival of cubs ($\ S=0.65)$ and yearlings ($\ S=0.86)$ was lower than for adults, but increased rapidly with age. Shooting accounted for 85% of the documented deaths of adult females. The population grew to ~1500 animals ($\ge$2% per year) from 1967-1992. Condition of adult females, survival of young, and litter sizes declined, while age of maturity and reproductive interval appeared to increase. The population may have approached carrying capacity by the end of the study.
    • The moving writing workshop

      Ward, Robyn Francine Rutherford; Hogan, Maureen; Austin, Terri; Kenaston, Amy; Kardash, Diane (2006-12)
      This yearlong ethnographic case study documented the implementation of a 'moving' writing workshop at the first year of the Barnette Magnet School. This study focused on selected students in the 5/6 grades at the magnet school. In the moving writing workshop, the students changed rooms and worked in a variety of writing rooms that coincided with the writing process. The traditional writing process steps are prewriting/brainstorming, drafting, revise and response, editing, and publishing. The classroom teachers and staff at the school assisted students in the various writing rooms. This study looked at the benefits students gained by participating in the moving writing workshop. It addressed whether or not participation in the moving writing workshop improved the students' quality of writing and attitude toward writing. The writing quality and attitude of the students in the study did improve. However, after analyzing the data, with the research that was conducted, it was impossible to determine whether moving during the writing process was the factor that caused the improvements. The data did however show that the physical act of moving mostly had a positive impact on the students' writing.