• Production modeling and economic evaluation of a potential gas hydrate pilot production program on the North Slope of Alaska

      Howe, Stephen John; Patil, Shirish L.; Reynolds, Douglas B.; Ogbe, David O.; Chukwu, Godwin A. (2004-05)
      Methane hydrates consist of a water ice lattice with methane gas molecules contained in the lattice cavities. When dissociated into its constituent water and methane, one volume of hydrate contains approximately 138 volumes of methane gas. On the North Slope area of Alaska, it is estimated that accumulations containing between 300 and 5000 trillion cubic feet of gas. The feasibility of a pilot production project was computed to determine the production potential of the hydrate accumulation and its economic return. The production of gas from a 1 mile by 4 mile reservoir block containing hydrate underlain by an accumulation of free gas was simulated and the resulting production profile inputted into an economic model. As the mechanism for the production of hydrates differs from conventional hydrocarbons, an existing thermal hydrocarbon computer simulation program was adapted. Results of the simulations indicate that depressurization of the free gas zone reduces the pressure at the gas-hydrate interface below that necessary for hydrate stability and causes the hydrate to dissociate into methane gas and water. Analysis found that, in most situations, a development project would be profitable, though the results are highly leveraged to the transportation cost and gas sales price.
    • Production of vascular aquatic plants in wetlands of Alaska: A comparative study

      Larsen, Amy Sophia (1997)
      I examined the effects of climate and hydrology on aboveground biomass of macrophytes in wetlands across Alaska by investigating the effects of latitude, July mean air temperature, lake type (open, periodically inundated, and closed), hydrology, and water and sediment chemistry on emergent and submersed vascular plant biomass to determine environmental variables that influenced wetland plant growth. I sampled aboveground biomass of macrophytes in four wetland complexes within Alaska: Kenai and Tetlin National Wildlife Refuges, Minto Flats State Game Refuge, and the Arctic Coastal Plain near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. In addition to peak aboveground biomass, I also collected water and sediment samples from each lake that were analyzed for water temperature, color, alkalinity, turbidity, pH, orthophosphate, $\rm NO\sb3/NO\sb2$-N, NH$\sb4\sp+$, and total sediment C, N, and P. I found a quadratic relationship between emergent plant biomass and latitude. Minto, the second most northern site, had the greatest plant biomass, Prudhoe Bay, the most northern site had the least, and Kenai and Tetlin had moderate levels of biomass. I found a positive linear relationship between emergent plant biomass and July mean temperature, suggesting that on-site summer condition is important in predicting biomass. Submersed plant biomass was better related to alkalinity, turbidity and sediment P than to latitude, which suggests that climate is not as important in predicting submersed plant biomass as it is in predicting emergent plant biomass. Emergent plant biomass differed spatially and temporally, while submersed plant biomass showed no distinct patterns in variation across the landscape and with changes in hydrologic input. Many water and sediment chemistry variables differed among lake types and between flood regimes. Emergent plant biomass was associated with changes in water level as well as changes in water. Plant species composition differed among lake types and tended to change with flood regime as well. A separate suite of species occupied closed lakes, while open and periodically inundated lakes tended to contain more similar plant species. Both climate and hydrology appear to have a significant impact on emergent and submersed plant biomass and species composition in wetlands of Alaska. These spatial and temporal differences have direct influences on secondary producers living in wetlands of Alaska.
    • Production optimization and forecasting of shale gas wells using simulation models and decline curve analysis

      Ikewun, Peter O.; Kamel, Ahmed; Hanks, Catherine; Ahmadi, Mohabbat (2012-08)
      Production data from the Eagle Ford shale (an analogue to the Shublik shale of Alaska) was compiled from three neighboring counties and analyzed using decline curve analysis (DCA) to correlate production performance with completion method (horizontal leg/stages of fracture) and length of horizontal leg. Generic simulation models were built and run using a realistic range of properties. Simulation results provided a better understanding of interplay between static properties and dynamic behavior. Results from the DCA of 24 producing wells with production histories of 9-57 months showed, for most cases, an increase in reserves with more fracture stages. However, the DCA generated different forecasts depending on which part of the data were used. This clearly indicated the need for running simulations. Simulation runs can generate more reliable production forecast of which the decline part can be used to evaluate the capability of DCA to reproduce the production profiles. A combination of simulation models and DCA was used to optimize production and forecasting. Simulation models were used to optimize production for a range of different reservoir and completion parameters. The ability for DCA to reproduce simulated results (built with similar data from the Eagle Ford) for wells with different production periods was also analyzed. This results in better and more reliable production forecasts for the Eagle Ford and other young producing shale reservoirs possessing short production history. Modeling of the complex reservoir geometry and fracture networks of these types of reservoirs would give an extensive understanding of the flow mechanics.
    • Program notes of graduate recital

      Maniatopoulou, Evanthia; Ziberkant, Eduard; Celaire, Jaunelle; Post, William (2017-05)
      This paper discusses the four pieces of the graduate recital of student Evanthia Maniatopoulou; Johann Sebastian Bach's Prelude and Fugue in F minor, Well-Tempered Clavier Book II, BWV 881; Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30, Op. 109; Frederic Chopin's Scherzo No. 3, Op. 39; and Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 83. It is divided into four chapters, with one chapter dedicated to each piece. In each chapter there is a discussion about the composer's background, then some comments about his compositional style in general, then some information about the genre in which every piece falls into, and finally a brief analysis and discussion about the specific piece that was in the graduate recital.
    • Proinflammatory cytokines induce a Rac1-mediated superoxide-dependent reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal cells

      Smeets, Shelli Stewart (2002-12)
      A dynamic actin cytoskeleton in central nervous system (CNS) neurons is pivotal for regeneration. Following acute CNS trauma, the proinflammatory cytokines TNF[alpha] and IL-1[beta] become expressed in cells and induce Rac 1-mediated actin filament reorganization. Also, Rac 1 regulates a NAD(P)H oxidase activity that generates superoxide (·O₂). This study's objective was to determine whether TNF[alpha] and/or IL-1[beta] induce a Rac 1-dependent actin filament reorganization in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and in chick spinal cord neurons via the signaling intermediate, superoxide. SH-SY5Y cells respond to soluble TNF[alpha] or IL-1[beta] with transient, biphasic actin filament reorganization. Over a time period of 30 min, increased membrane ruffling precedes formation of stress fibers and arrest of cell motility, compared to controls. Similarly, in chick growth cones soluble TNF[alpha] or IL-1[beta] for 15 and 30 minute time periods caused increased lamellipodia formation. The actin filament reorganization in both SH-SY5Y cells and chick spinal cord neurons was inhibited by DPI, an irreversible inhibitor of NAD(P)H oxidase, and MnTBAP, a superoxide dismutase mimetic. Conclusively, TNF[alpha] and IL-1[beta] a transient Rac 1-mediated actin filament reorganization, which could block regeneration of injured axons. Our findings that DPI and MnTBAP prevent this reorganization reveals a potential therapy to mitigate the inflammatory response.
    • Project to demonstrate feasibility of gas production with sensitivities on production schemes on Sterling B4 sands formation

      Yeager, Ronald J.; Patil, Shirish; Ning, Samson; Khataniar, Santanu (2018-04)
      The Sterling B4 reservoir is a low-relief anticline structure underlain by a weak aquifer located on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. This dry gas-on-water reservoir, holding approximately 13.9 BCF, has experienced challenges since its first development in the 1960s. The gas-water contact is very mobile and easily influenced upward by gas production. All four wells, largely producing in succession of one another, have experienced excessive water production which killed gas production. Faulty drilling and completion work exacerbated the challenges associated with bringing the gas to market. This project covers an effort to develop the Sterling B4 and determine feasible alternatives for commercialization. Those alternatives include infill drilling, variable production, and co-production. Co-production is a method by which gas is produced from a single upper perforation and water is produced from a lower perforation; each of the streams are produced independently by mechanical means which utilize packers and tubing. The only feasible alternative found by this study is co-production. Of the two coproduction methods analyzed, the highest ultimate recovery includes the utilization of an existing vertical well perforating the upper portion of the reservoir for gas production and a new lower horizontal well perforating the water zone to control the gas-water contact. Modeled production schemes proved the gas-water contact was able to be controlled from upward mobility by maintaining a threshold pressure delta between the bottom-hole pressures of the two producing wells. Utilizing co-production in this manner yielded incremental benefit of over 2 BCF until shut-in limits were triggered. Economic analysis of the project has proved bringing the gas to sales presents a significant prize able to support production and able to support facility operational expense despite no other revenue streams. Should other nearby formations demonstrate sufficient targets the economic case would be enhanced and present an even greater prize.
    • Projecting absence: a decade of US Arctic intelligence, policy, and perceptions of Russia

      Raymond, Vanessa Lee; Boylan, Brandon; Hirsch, Alexander; Ehrlander, Mary (2016-05)
      The U.S. government engaged in Arctic security and politics at a low level throughout early 2000s, while the Russian government was quite active in it Arctic region during this timeframe. Using text, data and visual analysis tools, this research conducts content analysis, sentiment analysis and mapping on U.S. Arctic intelligence documents released through Wikileaks. It compares patterns found in the content of intelligence documents with content and sentiment patterns found in U.S. Arctic policy to correlate a shared perception of Russian Arctic engagement. Research findings indicate that the dialogue about Russian engagement in the Arctic in the early 2000s in both the intelligence community (IC) and policy-making communities attribute a low level of threat to U.S. national security with regard to Arctic issues. These findings may contribute to the lack of U.S. engagement in the Arctic leading up to the Crimean/Ukraine conflict.
    • Projecting physical objects into a virtual space using the Kinect and Oculus Rift

      Bond, Shaun P.; Lawlor, Orion; Chappell, Glenn; Genetti, Jon (2015-04)
      Virtualized Reality as a field of research has been increasing over the last couple of decades. Initially, it required large camera arrays, expensive equipment, and custom software to implement a virtualized reality system. With the release of the Kinect and the Oculus Rift development kits, however, the average person now has the potential to acquire the hardware and software needed to implement a virtualized reality system. This project explores the possibility of using the Kinect and Oculus Rift together to display geometry based on real-world objects in a virtual environment.
    • Prolonged fasting in pinnipeds

      Rea, Lorrie Darlene; Castellini, Michael A. (1995)
      Marine mammals are capable of fasting for extremely long periods at different stages of their life cycle. The first objective of this thesis was to determine how plasma chemistry changed during fasting in large free-ranging phocids, northern elephant seal pups. Next, elephant seals of very low (LWM) and very high weaning mass (HWM) were examined to address how weaning mass impacts fasting chemistry. In the third section, blood chemistry was utilized to study the transition from suckling to weaning in Weddell seal pups, because behavioral verification of weaning is difficult in this species. Lastly, blood chemistry and body morphology of Steller sea lion pups were examined for indications of possible nutritional deficiency that could be associated with apparent declines in juvenile survival of sea lions in Alaska. In average mass (AWM) elephant seals, changes in blood urea nitrogen (BUN), non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and beta-hydroxybutyrate ($\beta$-HBA) concentrations provide strong evidence that the pups effectively minimize protein loss through increased reliance on lipid metabolism and ketone body production early in the fast. Elephant seals maintain this phase of protein sparing for up to 11 weeks. Size of elephant seal pups at weaning influenced how stored fuels were utilized during the fast. LWM pups showed higher NEFA and $\beta$-HBA levels than average or HWM pups but showed no indication of increasing protein mobilization before they left the beach. HWM pups showed evidence that they may be able spare more protein than average pups. Plasma metabolite levels and the accompanying rates of mass change suggest that Weddell seal pups typically fast after weaning. High $\beta$-HBA concentrations seen within 1 to 3 weeks of weaning are similar to levels seen during the first 3 weeks of fasting in other phocid species. Blood chemistry and body morphology data collected from 168 Steller sea lion pups showed no indication that young pups from areas of population decline were nutritionally compromised. The clinical plasma chemistry profiles showed no indication of general poor health in any of the areas studied.
    • Promoting a healthy self esteem for preadolescent girls in a rural elementary school setting

      McCune, Gianna Giusti; Cook, Christine; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie (2014)
      There is a decrease in girls' self-esteem starting in the pre-teen years because self-esteem often becomes closely tied to physical attributes; many girls believe they cannot measure up to societal standards (Gurian, 2012). This drop in self-esteem affects academic achievement and should be addressed in schools. There are programs that focus on this trend designed for urban populations, yet there is a lack of opportunities for preadolescent girls who live in rural communities. This research project focused on the components needed to promote a healthy self-esteem in the rural setting for preadolescent girls. A goal-directed psychoeducational group has been developed, which is guided by empathy, unconditional regard and being genuine to oneself and others in the hope of developing resources for preadolescent girls.
    • Promoting resiliency: a strength-based approach curriculum for high school students

      Madore, Anne; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; Simpson, Joni (2017-05)
      In this paper, literature was examined in order to identify how to meet the needs of adolescents through the recognition of their emotions and personal strengths, allowing them to build resiliency skills and promote positive mental health. The strength-based curriculum developed as the result of this literature review, includes several mental health approaches supported by counseling theories that can help high school students achieve success academically, psychologically, and socially. The path to success can potentially be accomplished when adolescents have found their identities and have learned ways to respond to challenges. The implementation of the person-centered and solution-focused therapeutic interventions can result in positive ways to deal with difficulties, by developing personal relationships with others and providing encouragement, motivation, and stability in adolescents' lives. Furthermore, with additional skills, such as coping techniques, self-talk, stress management, mindfulness, and additional resources, resiliency and positive mental health can develop when youth have acquired a sense of empowerment and a confident attitude. It is important not to forget the assistance of a team approach, as well as the support and cooperation of young people's environment.
    • Properties and performance evaluation of syntroleum synthetic diesel fuels

      Sastry, Kanthikiran (2005-12)
      Synthetic fuels derived from natural gas or coal have been proposed as a replacement for the diminishing stock of fuels distilled from crude oil, and in addition offer significant environmental benefits. Fuels of this type are currently being produced and tested for their compatibility with existing diesel engines. This study examines the physical properties of the Syntroleum synthetic fuel produced by Syntroleum Corporation of Tulsa, OK, and its performance and energy balance in a Detroit Diesel series 50 engine generator. This is a high cetane fuel that contains predominately paraffins, and is essentially free of sulfur, olefins, metals, aromatics or alcohols. This work includes measuring physical properties: lubricity, density, cloud point, and heating value. Also discussed is the thermodynamic energy flow in a diesel generator system to determine what effect the new fuel has on electrical and heat production. In addition to the investigation of synthetic fuel, a similar kind of study was also performed on bio-diesel produced from fish oil.
    • Properties of sodium sodium chloride brine on laboratory ice

      Gleason, Erin P.; Simpson, William; Trainor, Thomas; Larsen, Jessica (2014-12)
      Snow and ice surfaces are ubiquitous in the environment. Heterogeneous reactions on those surfaces are responsible for a wide range of phenomena such as the Antarctic stratospheric ozone hole, depletion of boundary-layer ozone, and deposition of mercury. Little is known about the location of impurities on ice surfaces or how that structure depends upon temperature and time after contamination. Therefore, we investigated microscopic structures created by depositing sodium chloride particles onto laboratory-grown ice below the hydrohalite-water eutectic temperature. As the temperature was increased above the eutectic, sodium chloride solution (brine) formed around the particle and spread across the air-ice interface. Literature indicated that ice crystal grain boundaries are the most thermodynamically stable site for brine; yet, on our time scale (minutes), the brine does not drain down the grain boundary and is instead present on the ice surface. Either the surface energetics of the system differ from expectations or a barrier inhibits the brine from moving down the grain boundary on the observational timescale. The area of the brine was used to relate surface coverage by our contamination mechanism to bulk composition. We find that brine does not fully coat the surface for typical snow properties.
    • Protecting a Situk River fish camp way of life through visitor education: a community-based approach

      Bowen, Nevette; Koskey, Michael; Carroll, Jennifer; Jones, Jenny Bell; Ramos, Judith; Davis, Michael E. (2016-05)
      Many sport fishermen who visit Yakutat understand little about the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet set net fisheries. In Yakutat, these fisheries integrate commercial fishing with a subsistence fish camp way of life. This community participatory evaluation seeks to determine the usefulness of an interpretive sign and handout project aimed at alleviating a persistent visitor misconception that set net fishing is harming their ability to catch Situk River fish. It also explores what additional effort people in Yakutat think is needed to educate visitors about the set net fisheries. A combination of methods was used, including resident interviews, a community records search and a review of published research on the efficacy of visitor education tools. Interviews found widespread support for continuing visitor education efforts, including leaving the existing signs in place and reproducing additional copies of the handout. It was generally agreed that future materials should integrate information about the subsistence fishery. The importance of set netting for food, culture and income was emphasized. More interaction is needed to shift visitor outlooks closer to the community's shared connection to the river according to the participants. Interviews began the process of re-engaging people in a community effort to dispel visitor misconceptions. A multimedia approach, based on agreed messages using local strengths and assets, was preferred. It is hoped that this volunteer, community-based process will serve as another reason for reconvening Situk River partner agencies. A revived cooperative management framework is needed to implement a more sustained education effort, minimize user conflicts, ensure stewardship and rebuild trust between community members and government agencies.
    • Protecting family drinking water in rural Alaska: improved water management in homes without running water

      Laderach, Shawna R. (2006-12)
      The objective of this study was to investigate and make recommendations for improved in-home water management in an underserved rural Alaskan community without piped water. The main focus of the study is point-of-use disinfection. A model was developed based on experiments to predict the chlorine decay over time and the necessary chlorine dosage for waters used in the pilot community so that sufficient chlorine residual would remain during storage. TOC concentration, initial chlorination level, reduced iron and temperature were major factors impacting the chlorine consumption. Safe free chlorine levels of between 0.2 mg/L and 4.0 mg/L could be achieved in a reasonable time and maintained for typical storage times, while avoiding unpleasant taste. A taste test in the community showed that levels of 1 mg/L or less could not be distinguished by most people and were acceptable for drinking. Storage and hand washing are likely major components of preventing microbial contamination. It was determined that closed containers do not slow the loss of disinfectant from evaporation. Thorough hand washing for at least one minute using soap and running water is recommended, since this was the most effective method to remove coliform bacteria from hands.
    • Protective Factors Promoting Psychosocial Resilience In Biracial Youths

      Kawakami-Schwarber, Gail K.; Morotti, Alan (2010)
      Resilience in adolescents is the achievement of positive outcomes and the attainment of developmental tasks in the face of significant risk. This study identified protective factors promoting resilience in the development of positive self-identity in biracial youths. The rapidly rising biracial youth population is a vulnerable group facing potentially higher risks for mental health and behavioral issues compared to their monoracial counterparts. Identity development, a central psychosocial task of adolescence, is a complex task for biracial youths since they must integrate two ethnic identities. For biracial youths, mastery of the psychosocial identity developmental task can be daunting as they face stressors such as racial stigmas and negative stereotypes, which may lead to identity problems manifesting during adolescence. Sixteen biracial individuals ranging from age 18 to 29 years participated in this qualitative research project. Comparisons were made to identify patterns and themes for factors affecting self-esteem and ethnic identity level among the participants. Brought to light were culturally-based protective factors stemming from individual, family, and social domains promoting psychosocial resilience in fostering healthy biracial identity resolution. Risk factors unique for the biracial population were also identified. The findings underscore the importance in understanding how the environment shapes and influences the ways biracial youth negotiate their dual identity. The research results can be integrated into appropriate prevention and intervention techniques for application by professionals and families to further healthy identity resolution in biracial youths.
    • Protein Status Of Muskoxen And Caribou In Late Winter

      Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S. (2010)
      The conservation and management of northern ungulates depends upon our understanding of the influence of habitat associations on the nutritional condition of individuals and population productivity. Adverse foraging conditions in late winter may reduce the availability of body proteins for reproduction. Therefore, assessing nitrogen (N) or protein status in late winter could be a valuable tool to monitor populations of northern ungulates. I collected >1,800 excreta samples to evaluate isotopic metrics of protein status [proportion of serum amino acid N derived from body N (p-AN), proportion of urea N derived from body N (p-UN), and the difference between the isotopic ratios of N (delta15N) in body tissues and urinary urea (DeltaBody-urea)] in captive and wild populations of muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) and caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in late winter. I evaluated the dynamics of body protein and delta15N in a captive population of female muskoxen (2007). Diets and protein status were assessed in populations of wild muskoxen in northern Alaska (2005--2008); a semi-captive (penned) population of wild, pregnant caribou (2006); and wild populations of migratory and sedentary ecotypes of caribou (2006--2008). Captive female muskoxen lost body protein (~6%) in late gestation and these losses corresponded with the protein deposited in reproductive tissues. The concentration of plasma urea, the p-AN, and p-UN tended to increase throughout winter. During late gestation, most penned pregnant caribou on an ad libitum feeding schedule lost core body mass (55%) and were in negative protein status (54%). For groups of wild muskoxen (n = 30), abundance of preferred forages improved protein status (p-UN; R2 = 0.45). At the foraging sites of wild caribou (n = 32), the amount of shrubs in a lichen-rich diet had a positive effect on protein status (DeltaBody-urea, r2 = 0.26). Foraging constraints in late winter will decrease the amount of body proteins available for reproduction. However, considerable challenges remain to applying the p-UN as a monitoring tool at broad scales for caribou, but with appropriate consideration, isotopic proxies may be used to evaluate environmental constraints for northern ungulates at small scales.
    • A protocol for assessing the impacts of urbanization on coho salmon with application to Chester Creek, Anchorage, Alaska

      Whitman, Matthew S. (2002-08)
      Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) abundance has declined in many urban streams. The causes of these declines can be hard to identify because urban impacts on stream ecology are complex and can vary between watersheds. This makes it difficult to develop appropriate and effective strategies for stream rehabilitation or mitigation aimed at increasing coho productivity. To improve this situation I developed a habitat quality assessment protocol for urban coho salmon to help identify significant habitat degradation as a prelude to restoration planning. To evaluate the protocol I used it to assess coho habitat quality in Chester Creek, Anchorage, Alaska, an urban stream that once supported a large population of coho salmon but now only supports a remnant population. I compared habitat characteristics from one non-urban and two urban study reaches to 'healthy' standard guidelines. This application of the protocol showed that the most significant adverse effects of urbanization on coho salmon habitat in urbanized reaches were increased flood intensity, barriers to adult and juvenile migration, reduced physical habitat complexity, siltation of spawning gravels, stressful water quality conditions, and stocking of potential predators and competitors. These results provide useful information for prioritizing rehabilitation and mitigation efforts in Chester Creek.