• Population genetic structure and phylogeography of common eiders (Somateria mollissima)

      Sonsthagen, Sarah A. (2006-08)
      Population genetic structure of Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima) was assessed at increasing spatial scales (microgeographic [<1 km] to throughout their circumpolar distribution), using molecular markers with varying modes of inheritance and rates of evolution. Population genetic subdivision was observed at all spatial scales; however, the degree of structure differed among marker types. Relatively lower levels of spatial genetic structuring were observed at bi-parentally inherited markers, and high levels of structuring were observed at a maternally inherited locus. Differences in the degree of subdivision between marker types may be attributable to the breeding biology of eiders. Pair formation occurs on the wintering grounds; where several populations of eiders interact. Female eiders exhibit high natal and breeding philopatry; whereas, males accompany females back to breeding sites and may disperse long distances between breeding seasons. Significant structuring observed at microgeographic scales indicates that eiders may nest in kin groups. Though the underlying mechanism enabling female eiders to discriminate kin is unknown, waterfowl may achieve kin recognition indirectly through association during brood rearing. Genetic signatures of philopatry among Common Eider populations do vary among Alaskan populations. No genetic structuring at mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was observed among islands in the Beaufort Sea in close geographic proximity (1-49 km apart). However, high structuring was observed among island groups, suggesting females are philopatric to island groups rather than individual islands. In contrast, moderate levels of genetic partitioning for mtDNA were observed among Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) colonies (9-63 km apart); therefore, female eiders may be philopatric to individual colonies. MtDNA haplotypes representing Aleutian and YKD populations are more genetically similar to Canadian and Scandinavian populations than northern Alaska populations, indicating that southern Alaskan populations were colonized from central Canadian refugia. Data indicate that the North Slope may have been a refugium for eiders but contributed little to the post-glacial colonization of North America and Scandinavia. Finally, philopatry and winter site fidelity observed in waterfowl have predictable effects on population genetic structure. Researchers characterizing populations using molecular techniques could under- or over-estimate the degree of population genetic differentiation if estimates are based on a single marker type.
    • Population genetic structure of Alaskan Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus)

      Palof, Katie J.; Gharrett, Anthony J.; Heifetz, Jonathan; Hillgruber, Nicola (2008-05)
      Knowledge of the population structure of a species is essential for its effective management and sustained production. Although Pacific ocean perch (Sebastes alutus, POP) is an important species both economically and ecologically, little is known about its population structure and life history in Alaskan waters. The objectives of this study were to describe the population structure of POP in terms of the numbers and geographic scale oflocal populations, their connectivity, and the compatibility of that structure with current management. Fourteen micro satellite loci were used to characterize the population structure genetically in eleven geographically distinct collections from sites along the continental shelf from the Queen Charlotte Islands to the Bering Sea. In spite of the many opportunities for most life stages to disperse, there was strong geographically related genetic structure (Fst =0.0123, p <10⁻⁵). Adults appear to belong to neighborhoods that exchange genetic information at relatively small spatial scales (14 to 90 km). Although this suggests limited movement, connectivity is evidenced by the isolation-by-distance relationship, the apparent northwestward movement of gene flow in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), and the break in geneflow in the central GOA. The observed population structure has a finer geographic scale than management areas, which suggests that current fisheries management should be revisited.
    • Population genetics and mating structure of blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus)

      Stoutamore, Jennifer L.; Tallmon, David; Eckert, Ginny; Gharrett, Anthony (2014-05)
      Blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus Brandt, 1850) has been an economically important species in Alaska since the 1970s, but its abundance has decreased substantially since the mid-1980s. Despite Fishery closures, abundances have not rebounded to previous levels. This failure has highlighted the dearth of information on the species and the need for research into genetic population structure and reproductive biology in order to better inform management efforts. Blue king crab tissue and hemolymph samples were collected from eight geographically distinct locations in Southeast Alaska, the Bering Sea, and Russia (n = 770). Allele frequencies at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci were compared among collection locations. Moderate genetic differences were detected among all locations (overall Fst = 0.027, SE = 0.005). Heterogeneity was detected among temporal samples collected at the Pribilof Islands and St. Matthew Island. Comparisons suggested allele frequencies within each location had changed over time. Mating structure was examined by genotyping 20 progeny from each of 44 blue king crab broods collected from 3 different locations in the Bering Sea. All evidence supported single paternity for this species. This study suggests that Alaskan blue king crab stocks be managed at the population level, monitored for temporal genetic changes, and that potential future enhancement activities incorporate the single paternity mating system into determinations of broodstock composition and number.
    • Population Genetics And Mixed Stock Analysis Of Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus Keta) With Molecular Genetics

      Garvin, Michael R.; Gharrett, A. J.; Kruse, Gordon; Pella, Jerome; Tallman, David (2012)
      Chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) are important for subsistence and commercial harvest in Alaska. Variability of returns to western Alaskan drainages that caused economic hardship for stakeholders has led to speculation about reasons, which may include both anthropogenic and environmental causes in the marine environment. Mixed stock analysis (MSA) compares genetic information from an individual caught at sea to a reference baseline of genotypes to assign it to its population of origin. Application of genetic baselines requires several complex steps that can introduce bias. The bias may reduce the accuracy of MSA and result in overly-optimistic evaluations of baselines. Moreover, some applications that minimize bias cannot use informative haploid mitochondrial variation. Costs of baseline development are species-specific and difficult to predict. Finally, because populations of western Alaskan chum salmon demonstrate weak genetic divergence, samples from mixtures cannot be accurately assigned to a population of origin. The chapters of this thesis address three challenges. The first chapter describes technical aspects of genetic marker development. The second chapter describes a method to evaluate the precision and accuracy of a genetic baseline that accepts any type of data and reduces bias that may have been introduced during baseline development. This chapter also includes a method that places a cost on baseline development by predicting the number of markers needed to achieve a given accuracy. The final chapter explores the reasons for the weak genetic structure of western Alaskan chum salmon populations. The results of those analyses and both geological and archaeological data suggest that recent environmental and geological processes may be involved. The methods and analyses in this thesis can be applied to any species and may be particularly useful for other western Alaskan species.
    • Population status and patterns of distribution and productivity of kittiwakes on St. George Island, Alaska

      Kildaw, Stewart Dean (1998)
      I studied populations, distributions, and reproductive performance of red-legged and black-legged kittiwakes on St. George Island in the summers of 1993-1995, where populations of both species have experienced generally poor reproductive performance and population declines of ca. 40% over the past 20 years. In 1995, I conducted a whole-island census of kittiwakes on St. George Island and found estimated breeding populations of 193,930 red-legged kittiwakes (81% of their global population), and 62,568 black-legged kittiwakes. In addition, I analyzed census trends on 51 land-based census plots on St. George Island and found that numbers of both species have stabilized in recent years. I experimentally evaluated the hypothesis that nesting red-legged kittiwakes on St. George Island are competitively displaced by larger-bodied black-legged kittiwakes to narrower rock ledges and higher elevations. I determined nest-site preferences of both species by attaching narrow and wide artificial nesting ledges within high-and low-elevation areas of St. George Island and found no evidence of competitive displacement: red-legged kittiwakes preferred narrow ledges, black-legged kittiwakes preferred wide ledges, and both species preferred ledges in areas where conspecifics nested at high density. Multiple regression analyses suggested that kittiwakes breed earlier and more successfully in summers preceded by cold winters and that inter-annual variability in kittiwake breeding success was unrelated to weather conditions during the breeding season itself. These results suggest that winter weather has indirect effects on breeding kittiwakes by influencing prey abundance several months later. Furthermore, strong winds impaired growth rates of kittiwake chicks in exposed nest sites and the growth of black-legged kittiwake chicks relative to red-legged kittiwake chicks. I identified two prominent patterns of within-colony spatial variability in kittiwake productivity and suggest that patchy "bird quality" or localized "information neighborhoods" may be responsible because traditional explanations do not apply. The "information neighborhood" is a new hypothesis which proposes that individuals are influenced by the breeding status of neighbors because their status represents an additional source of information about current breeding conditions that can be used to better tailor parental investment.
    • Population Structure And Behavior Of Pacific Halibut

      Seitz, Andrew C.; Norcross, Brenda (2006)
      Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) is not managed on regional scales with separate population dynamics, but rather as a single, fully mixed population extending from California through the Bering Sea. However, some of the evidence from which this paradigm was established is questionable and I hypothesize that there are separate spawning populations of Pacific halibut in three regions, the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, because these regions are geographically separated by land masses and/or deep water passes that may prevent movement by adults. Pop-up Archival Transmitting (PAT) tags were attached to Pacific halibut in each region to examine their movement and behavior. First, geolocation by ambient light was able to discern basin-scale movements of demersal fishes in high latitudes and therefore this technique provided a feasible method for providing scientific inference on large-scale population structure in Pacific halibut. Second, because seasonally low ambient light levels and inhabitation of deep water (>200 m) restricted geolocation by light during winter, an alternative method, a minimum distance dispersal model, was developed for identifying migration pathways of demersal fish in the Gulf of Alaska based on daily maximum depth. Third, the PAT tags provided no evidence that Pacific halibut in the southeastern Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands moved among regions during the mid-winter spawning season, supporting my hypothesis of separate populations. Fourth, geographic landforms and discontinuities in the continental shelf appeared to limit the interchange of Pacific halibut among areas and possibly delineate the boundaries of potential populations in the Gulf of Alaska and eastern Bering Sea, with apparent smaller, localized populations along the Aleutian Islands. This possible population structure may be reinforced by regional behavioral variation in response to the environment. Future research should be directed at quantifying the exchange of individual fish among regions for possible local area management plans that more accurately reflect population structure.
    • Population Structure And Hybridization Of Alaskan Caribou And Reindeer: Integrating Genetics And Local Knowledge

      Mager, Karen H.; Hundertmark, Kris J.; Chapin, F. Stuart III; Kielland, Knut; Schneider, William S. (2012)
      Alaskan caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) are a valued game species and a key grazer in Alaska's terrestrial ecosystem. Caribou herds, defined by female fidelity to calving grounds, are management units. However, the extent to which herds constitute genetic populations is unknown. Historical fluctuations in herd size, range, and distribution suggest periods of contact and isolation between herds. Likewise, historical contact between caribou and introduced domestic reindeer (R.t. tarandus) created opportunities for hybridization, but its extent is not known. I conducted an interdisciplinary study to understand how historical processes influence genetic identity and population structure of caribou and reindeer. Interviews with herders and hunters in Barrow, Alaska, revealed that many reindeer migrated away with caribou in the 1940s despite herder efforts to prevent mixing. Local observations of reindeer-like animals in caribou herds today suggest feral reindeer may survive and interbreed. Using genetic analysis of North Slope caribou and Seward Peninsula reindeer (n = 312) at 19 microsatellite loci, I detected individuals with hybrid ancestry in all four caribou herds and in reindeer. Selective hunting of reindeer-like animals, along with herd size and natural selection, may remove reindeer from caribou herds over time. I used genetics as well to describe caribou population structure and determine how it is influenced by geography, historical demography, and ecotypes. I found that Alaskan caribou from 20 herds (n = 655) are subdivided into two genetic clusters: the Alaska Peninsula and the mainland. Alaska Peninsula herds are genetically distinct, while many mainland herds are not. I hypothesize that Alaska Peninsula herds have diverged due to post-glacial founder effects and recent bottlenecks driven by constraints to population size from marginal habitat and reduced gene flow across a habitat barrier at the nexus of the peninsula. I hypothesize that mainland herds have maintained genetic connectivity and large effective population size via range expansions and shifts over time. However, I find evidence that herds of different ecotypes (migratory, sedentary) can remain differentiated despite range overlap. Genetic evidence provides information for herd-based management, while also demonstrating the importance of spatial connectivity of herds and their habitats over the long-term.
    • Porcelain curtains

      Bush, Megan Rahija; Farmer, Daryl; Kamerling, Len; Stanley, Sarah (2015-05)
      My grandmother was a paranoid schizophrenic who lived without medication for over fifty years. Her first mental breakdown happened at age 36. My grandmother was an immigrant's daughter and WWII Japanese code breaker turned 1950s housewife. She received her bachelor's and master's degree before settling down to raise five kids. One day she woke up hearing voices. She lived with these voices for the rest of her life, building physical and mental boundaries between herself and the world. In some ways, her life unraveled little by little. In other ways, she lived happily to 89-years-old. I'm 28. As I trudge towards the age when my grandmother first heard voices, I grapple with the elaborate façade of normalcy she constructed to protect herself and her family. In doing so, my grandmother shut out even those she was closest to. This memoir is my journey to understand this woman, first through my own experience with her, then through my mother's and aunts' experience, and finally through my grandmother's own experience. I wrestle with themes of isolation, mental illness, intimacy, protection, inheritance, family, success, and acceptance. Ultimately, I search for what it is about her life that terrifies me.
    • Portable odor detection device for quality inspection of Alaska pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

      Chantarachoti, Jiraporn (2006-08)
      This study investigated the ability of a portable hand-held electronic nose (EN) to detect spoilage of whole and canned Alaska pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) using ethanol as a spoilage indicator for canned salmon. Fish held in seawater (14°C) and in slush ice (1°C) were sampled and canned at various intervals of time up to 3 and 16 days of storage, respectively. The EN measured volatile compounds emanating from the gill and belly cavity of whole fish, in conjunction with sensory and microbial analyses. The EN and sensory evaluations were conducted on the canned products. In addition, static headspace gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry was used to quantify ethanol concentrations in canned products. The EN sniffed the belly cavity and distinguished the degrees of spoilage of whole pink salmon with 85-92% correct classification for both storage temperatures. However, the EN was unable to distinguish the spoilage in canned salmon, regardless of original storage temperature. Ethanol concentrations in salmon cans produced from fish stored at 14°C correlated well with results from sensory evaluations, but this correlation was not observed for fish stored at 1°C. Ethanol was a suitable quality indicator for canned salmon when raw material had been stored at 14°C.
    • Portrayal vs. reality: images of African Americans in magazine advertisements

      Davis, Catherine Elizabeth (2001-08)
      The images of African Americans in magazine advertisements are changing. As these images change, researchers question whether or not African American socioeconomic and familial status are being accurately represented. George Gerbner's cultivation theory suggests that media play a role in shaping people's perceptions of minority groups. Using content analysis, this study compares the portrayal of African American socioeconomic and familial status in magazine advertisements with 1999 United States Census Bureau socioeconomic statistics of African Americans in the United States. This study found that a discrepancy exists between the portrayal and the reality of African American socioeconomic and familial status than United States Census Bureau statistics show. These results provide a basis for further research into the social ramifications of African American misrepresentation in media.
    • Positive behavior supports and interventions: is it the best approach for Juneau elementary schools?

      Anderson, Bobbie; Renes, Susan L.; Morton, James Jr.; Bratton, Imelda (2018-12)
      The US public educational system strives to assist students to develop the academic and social skills they will need to be competitive in the world market. A considerable obstacle to this goal is behavioral problems in schools, which disrupt important learning time for both the student who is demonstrating the behavior and for his or her peers. Additionally, current literature asserts that behavioral problems interfere in social and academic relationships, create stress for school faculty, and are linked to school failure and increased high-school dropout rates, which have a negative economic impact on both the student and community. Given the correlation of problematic behavior (which appears to be trending upward) with negative outcomes, it seems clear that identifying the best approach to preventing and correcting problematic behavior is imperative. The purpose of this project is to critically examine some commonly used approaches to determine the most effective and efficient method used in elementary schools to prevent and correct problematic behavior. In addition, implementation and continuance of the chosen approach is discussed with the Juneau School District in mind.
    • Post eruptive source modeling for Okmok Volcano, Alaska using GPS and InSAR

      Miller, Summer A.; Freymueller, Jeffrey; Meyer, Franz; Atwood, Don (2014-12)
      Okmok volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian Island chain, showing significant non-linear deformation as it progresses through eruption cycles. Okmok most recently erupted in July 2008, creating a new cone (~250m in height) and greatly changing the topography inside the caldera. Due to these changes within the caldera and magma system, new modeling of the volcanic source was completed. This study compiles both GPS and SAR measurements to constrain the post eruptive behavior, examines the possible changes below the surface, and explores modeling and optimization techniques. With continuous and campaign GPS stations and L-band radar imagery from the JAXA ALOS PALSAR satellite spanning August 2008 to October 2010, a variety of source models were tested and a best fit source model for the post eruptive behavior was found. Previously, a simple Mogi model was used in describing the behavior seen at Okmok, but post eruptive analysis showed a Double Mogi source for the initial first year of refilling. A 2 Mogi model did provide a better fit for the second year of deformation, but residual features due to compaction and erosion may have affected the modeling. These multiple Mogi models should be tested in future studies at Okmok and other shallow magma systems.
    • Post stroke interpersonal communication: an intimate exploration of stroke survivors' lived experiences

      Hendley, Lora L.; Richey, Jean; Taylor, Karen; Jarrett, Brian (2015-12)
      This qualitative study explores the personal and intimate lived experiences of stroke survivors who suffer the comorbid emotional sequelae of Post Stroke Depression (PSD) and how it affects their rehabilitation and interpersonal relationships post stroke. By using Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT), the idea of Social Construction of Identity, the epistemology of Narrative Inquiry (NI), and conversational interviews (CI), with stroke survivors, their spouses/significant others, friends, and other family members, the aim of this body of research has been to take on the difficult task of observing how stroke survivors navigate the difficult and sometimes daunting path that all stroke survivors must travel as they attempt the reconstruction of their self post stroke. They face every new day with the knowledge of who they once were and who they are now. The person that they are now has become their reality. Many stroke survivors regardless of the hemisphere in which the brain lesion occurs, suffer from some degree of the post stroke emotional sequelae, or a condition following and resulting from a disease, of post stroke depression (PSD). With the comorbid occurrence of PSD comes yet another challenge to their reconstruction process. The findings of this research study have remained consistent with the current research data and literature on stroke, stroke recovery, PSD, and aphasia.
    • Post-caldera eruptions at Okmok Volcano, Umnak Island, Alaska, with emphasis on recent eruptions from cone A

      Grey, Delenora M. (2003-12)
      Okmok volcano has undergone two caldera-forming eruptions, 12,000 and 2050 BP, and has been quite active in historic time. The historic eruptive record has been compiled and augmented with descriptions and photographs of recent eruptions. Eruptions in 1958 and 1997 produced the first post-caldera lava flows to traverse most of the caldera floor. The source of these flows, Cone A, has been constructed largely during the 20th century. Major element analysis of lavas from eight major intracaldera cones reveals two chemically and spatially separate trends, which suggest two separate magma sources beneath the caldera, one feeding an arc of cones extending from the west to north margin of the caldera, the other feeding an arc running from southwest to east. Recent geodetic results by other workers show a single active inflation source related to Cone A but located beneath the center of the caldera. A rheologic study of the 1997 lava flow was undertaken to determine how viscosities calculated from flow morphology compare with viscosities and eruption temperatures obtained from petrology. This may be a useful tool for constraining composition of new flows observed by satellite imagery, and for constraining eruptive conditions for older flows when chemistry is known.
    • Post-fire variability in Siberian alder in Interior Alaska: distribution patterns, nitrogen fixation rates, and ecosystem consequences

      Houseman, Brian Richard; Ruess, Roger; Hollingsworth, Teresa; Verbyla, Dave (2017-12)
      The circumpolar boreal forest is responsible for a considerable proportion of global carbon sequestration and is an ecosystem with limited nitrogen (N) pools. Boreal forest fires are predicted to increase in severity, size, and frequency resulting in increased losses of N from this system due to volatilization. Siberian alder (Alnus viridis ssp. fruticosa) N-fixation is a significant source of N-input within the interior Alaskan boreal forest and likely plays a pivotal, though poorly understood, role in offsetting losses of N due to fire. This study disentangles the effects of fire severity, post-fire age, and environmental variables on Siberian alder N-input across the upland boreal forest and quantifies the landscape-level implications of Siberian alder N-input on N pool balance. Stand types of an early- and intermediate-age burn scar were determined by relevé plot sampling, hierarchical clustering, and indicator species analysis. Alder growth traits (density, nodule biomass, nodule N-fixation, and other traits) were sampled across all stand types, burn scars, and a fire severity gradient. Pre- and post-fire landscape-level N-fixation inputs were quantified within the early-age burn scar by scaling-up Siberian alder growth traits to the stand-level and then mapping the total area of pre- and post-fire stand types. Results show that fire severity shares a complex relationship with Siberian alder N-input in black spruce stands, wherein moderate fire severity has a negligible effect on Siberian alder N-input, moderate to high fire severity increases Siberian alder N-input, and high fire severity reduces Siberian alder N-input. Fire likely limited alder vegetative propagation in post-fire black spruce trajectory stands but enhanced propagation in post-fire deciduous trajectory stands that experienced moderate severity. Following the 2004 Boundary Fire, Siberian alder N-input showed an overall increase across the landscape, mostly within post-fire deciduous stand types. Future increases of fire severity and subsequent conversions of stand type from black spruce to deciduous dominance have the potential to increase total short-term N-input on the landscape, but a majority of those gains will be concentrated within a small proportion of the post-fire landscape (i.e. deciduous trajectory stand types). In the boreal forest, the temporal and spatial pattern of ecosystem processes that rely on N fixation inputs is dependent on the recruitment and growth of Siberian alder, which is in turn dependent on a complex relationship between fire severity, stand type, and post-fire age.
    • Post-Upgrade Thesis Test 10/21/17

      CHISUM (2017-10)
      Post-Upgrade Thesis Test 10/21/17
    • Postbreeding Ecology Of Shorebirds On The Arctic Coastal Plain Of Alaska

      Taylor, Audrey R.; Powell, Abby N.; Lanctot, R. B.; Huettmann, F.; Kitaysky, A. S.; Williams, T. D. (2011)
      Previous research on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska has shown that postbreeding shorebirds congregate at coastal sites prior to fall migration. Relatively little has been done to compare distribution, community characteristics, or behavior broadly across the ACP landscape, but this information is necessary to set the context for interpreting population demographics and setting conservation priorities. I collected data on distribution, species composition, phenology, and habitat use of postbreeding shorebirds in 2005--2007. I found that distribution of shorebirds across the ACP was not uniform: I identified persistent "hotspots" at Peard Bay, Pt. Barrow/Elson Lagoon, Cape Simpson, Smith Bay to Cape Halkett, and at the Sagavanirktok and Kongakut Deltas. Staging phenology varied by species and location, and differed than that reported in previous studies for several species. Three foraging habitat guilds existed with birds favoring gravel beach, mudflat, or salt marsh/pond edge habitats. Using VHF telemetry. I examined how shorebirds moved from tundra breeding sites to and between coastal postbreeding sites. I found that most species exhibited a variable direction of movement compared to their ultimate migration direction; this may be related to each species' overall length of stay on the ACP. I also found species-specific patterns of movements and residence time that were indicative of differing life history strategies. Lastly, I examined the use of physiological tools (triglyceride and corticosterone levels) to assess function and quality of foraging sites for postbreeding shorebirds, taking into account varying molt strategies. I determined that molt strategies affected physiological profiles and physiologic metrics varied through space and time. However, my hypotheses for variation in physiological patterns for shorebirds employing different molt strategies and using sites of varying quality were not completely upheld. I suggest that assessments of site quality for postbreeding shorebirds should consider species-specific life history strategies, and use multiple species and physiological metrics as indicators. Given suspected declines in North American shorebird populations, and accelerated rates of environmental change in northern Alaska, this contextual information regarding postbreeding distribution, population characteristics, behavior, and physiology may help interpret changes in shorebird populations or behavior and establish strategies to protect important habitat.
    • Postwar reconciliation: parental attitudes towards Sri Lanka's trilingual education policy

      Malalasekera, Nimasha S.; Marlow, Patrick; Siekmann, Sabine; Martelle, Wendy (2019-08)
      After 26 years, the ethnic-based civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009. The Trilingual Education Policy seeks to reconcile the estranged Sinhalese and Tamil communities by teaching each community the other's language in this postwar context. Scholars argue that national reconciliation through Trilingual Education is unlikely to succeed because of the continued mistrust and prejudice between the two communities and the demand for English as key to social mobility and economic prosperity. Since these claims are not supported by empirical evidence, this study seeks to find empirical data to support or counter these claims. The study investigates parental attitudes to their second languages, Sinhala, Tamil, and English, the three languages of the Trilingual Education Policy to understand its likely success. Twenty-one parents whose children receive Sinhala, Tamil, and English L2 tuition in Colombo 5 were selected through convenience sampling. The study uses the constructivist grounded theory, mentalist approach to language attitudes, and concepts of capital and linguicism for data analysis. The study found that Sinhala has capital for the Tamils and is valued and glorified by them, whereas Tamil has no capital for the Sinhalese and is devalued and stigmatized by them. Both groups valorize and glorify English, for it has more capital than Sinhala/Tamil both locally and translocally. Concluding that the Trilingual Education Policy is unlikely to succeed because of linguicism, the study recommends providing incentives for learning Sinhala and Tamil and advocating dual language education for reconciling the two communities.