• Review and experimental studies to evaluate the impact of salinity and wettability on oil recovery efficiency

      Agbalaka, Chinedu C. (2006-05)
      Oil recovery efficiency is influenced by a myriad of interacting variables such as pore geometry, wettability, rock mineralogy, brine salinity, oil composition, etc. Reservoir wettability is known to have very significant influence on pore scale displacement and hence is a strong determinant of the final residual oil saturation. Recent studies have indicated the improved oil recovery potential of low salinity brine injection. Though the reason for this reported increase is still unclear, it is speculated that it may be due to wettability changes. In this work, coreflood studies were carried out to determine the recovery benefits of low salinity waterflood over high salinity waterflood and the role of wettability in any observed recovery benefit. Two sets of coreflood experiments were conducted; the first set examined the EOR potential of low salinity floods in tertiary oil recovery processes while the second set examined the secondary oil recovery potential of low salinity floods. Changes in residual oil saturation with variation in wettability and brine salinity were monitored. All the coreflood tests consistently showed an increase in produced oil and water-wetness with decrease in brine salinity and increase in brine temperature.
    • A review of oil spill history and management on the North Slope of Alaska

      Davila, Amanda (2013-12)
      Alaska has an abundance of natural resources including oil, natural gas and coal. It is critical to minimize the occurrence of oil spills to ensure protection of Alaska's people and the environment. The objective of this project is twofold. One is to provide a quantification of the number of spills on the North Slope (NS) as well as the number of contaminated sites that are generated, describe the regulatory requirements for the Arctic zone, and discuss cleanup methods. Second is to describe the ADEC regulations as they pertain to terrestrial oil spills. The region of study begins north of Alyeska's Pump Station 4 at the Dalton Highway milepost 270, TAPS 144, north to the Beaufort Sea, encompassing all oil related operations. This review excludes spills at villages (not related to oil field operations), and releases to the atmosphere (e.g., halon, propane). Additionally, spills at formally used defense sites (FUDS) and long range radar sites are also excluded from this study. Spills that result in long term monitoring and cleanup are managed as contaminated sites. The data reveals that the majority of contaminated sites have been cleaned up with no institutional controls in place. The number of spills on the North Slope is consistent with activity. The time during the peak oil is when there are a higher number of spills. Over time, as the oil production and activity decline, so do the number of spills with a few exceptions. The decline in oil production has limited activity and growth on the NS.
    • A review of selected works by J.S. Bach, Franz Schubert, and Alberto E. Ginastera

      Gyulamiryan, Ani; Zilberkant, Eduard; Cee, Vincent; Post, William (2014-12)
    • A review of waterfowl investigations and a comparison of aerial and ground censusing of waterfowl at Minto Flats, Alaska

      Rowinski, Ludwig J. (1958)
      The Minto Flats is one of the important waterfowl concentration areas of interior Alaska. Aerial surveys and ground studies were initiated in this area in 1950 and have continued in succeeding years. This study began in September, 1955, as a research project of the Alaska Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. The study was financed largely by Pitman-Robertson Project Alaska W-3-R. The Minto Flats is an area of about 450 square miles, located about 35 miles west of Fairbanks. The important nesting species are scaup, pintail and widgeon. The Minto Lakes area serves as an important molting and flocking area for these and other species. Climatically the Minto Flats resemble the rest of interior Alaska. Water levels in the area are highly variable and influence the vegetation and breeding. Minto Lakes, Big Lake, and the Tolovana Flats were selected for concentrated study in 1956. During the 1956 field studies, data were collected for comparison with data available from previous years. Waterfowl production in the Minto Flats area is affected principally by weather, changes in water level, and predation. Among the factors influencing censusing are the census methods, stratification, and sample size. Enumeration of waterfowl is affected by differences in the visibility of birds, population composition, environmental conditions, and the accuracy of observers in relation to the other variables and in regard to individual partiality and talent. The difference between observers, when analyzed statistically points out the need for continuity of observers with known levels of ability. Breeding bird census figures from aerial surveys from 1950 t o 1956 are not comparable due to differences in census methods. Aerial brood surveys are valuable for determining year to year production trends while ground surveys provide data on brood species composition. Together they are the best guide to waterfowl production. Nesting studies have provided some data on nesting terrain, clutch size, and nesting success. The effect of nest hunting on the breeding population and the time necessary for obtaining an adequate sample indicates that nest hunting is not an economical or accurate means of measuring yearly productive success. Aerial surveys are recognized as the most feasible way of measuring production if the accuracy of the information gathered from the air can be increased.
    • Rhinoceros auklet developmental responses to moderate food restriction

      Sears, Justine (2007-12)
      Seabird nestlings are vulnerable to food restriction because their parents may not buffer them from prey shortages. I conducted a captive study to explore how rhinoceros auklet chicks (Cerorhinca monocerata) may cope with food restriction and avoid long-term fitness consequences. I predicted auklet nestlings would be adapted to moderate levels of food-stress, and investigated how morphological allocation, glucocorticoid stress response, and fledging behavior change under conditions of a 50% calorie restriction. I also investigated effects of growth and food restriction on carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios ([delta]¹³C and [delta]¹⁵N) in auklet tissues. I found that food-restricted auklets allocated resources heavily toward skeletal growth, most notably toward wingchord growth. Restricted auklets exhibited a muted adrenocortical response, increasing glucocorticoid levels only slightly in response to food restriction. Fledging decision was not affected by restriction, with restricted and well-fed chicks fledging at approximately the same age. Both growth and food restriction caused decreases in [delta]¹⁵N of auklet red blood cells (RBCs), but caused no change in [delta]¹³C. Sampling of free-living auklets revealed that natural levels of variability were low for RBC isotope ratios, indicating that the effects of growth and restriction detected in the captive study are of biological significance.
    • Ricochet: poems

      Baram-Blackwell, Inessa (2004-05)
      Before words take on meaning for us, whether we encounter them as youngsters or adults, they are collections of sounds and shapes, more or less mellifluous depending on our personal aesthetics, and what we mean them to describe merely nameless objects, ideas, or actions. The intersection of words and what, or how, they describe is sizable, although in everyday exchanges we tend towards the objects of description rather than the descriptions themselves. The poems comprising Ricochet, and perhaps much of poetry in general, attempt to serve as a corrective to this predisposition. Veering in multifarious directions, the poems in turn encounter nature, science, politics, religion, language, and life cycles. The pith of the collection is the quirky third section, which explores movement as much as it does the stated subjects of the poems. The compilation plays with language, presenting ideas that ricochet, but not necessarily back to their Origins.
    • Rising land falling fishery: the effects of isostatic rebound and rapid succession on east Alsek River sockeye salmon

      Faber, Derrek M.; Adkison, Milo; Soiseth, Chad; Smoker, William (2008-05)
      This thesis includes research conducted in the Dry Bay Preserve of Glacier Bay National Park in 2005 and 2006 for the U.S. National Park Service. The research mission was to determine the cause of collapse in the East Alsek commercial sockeye fishery. The focus of the study was to determine if the collapse was due to human caused events or if there was a broader ecological basis for the recent downturn in returning sockeye. The East Alsek had undergone a dramatic decline in returning sockeye in recent years and the changing quality and quantity of habitat was thought to be the culprit for this downturn. However, fishery records and other environmental variables were also examined in order to establish a retrospective association between reduced production, ambient environmental conditions, and commercial fishing. The research for this thesis was funded by the U.S. National Park Service under the request of the City and Borough of Yakutat.
    • Risk analysis of Cordova's microgrid from a complex systems viewpoint

      Bowker, Anna Lipetzky; Newman, David; Huang, Daisy; Wackerbauer, Renate (2019-08)
      Cordova is a town of approximately 2,000 people located on the southern coast of Alaska. A power grid for a town this size, with a large seasonal fishing economy, is considered a moderate to large sized microgrid in terms of power produced. Understanding the vulnerabilities and risks of failures in such a grid is important for planning and operations and investigating these characteristics in the context of complex system dynamics is novel. The analysis of Cordova's microgrid is a case study relevant to a large class of microgrid communities that could benefit from this work. Our analysis of this grid began by looking at the distribution of all outages from 2003 - 2017 by size, followed by splitting up outages based on certain characteristics and again looking at outage size distribution based on different characteristics. Following this we correlated the outages with different weather patterns and then with the hourly load demand on the system. After doing these analyses we developed a risk metric to give a single numerical value to the risk of an outage occurring during certain time periods and under certain conditions. We looked at risk in the summer versus the winter due to the summer having a much larger load demand, and we also looked at the risk before and after all cables in the grid were buried underground. This gives us an idea of when/under what circumstances the most outages are likely to occur and allows us to run our model of the system, make changes, and determine if those changes were beneficial to the system or not.
    • Risk and crisis communication: coordinating for a northern environment

      Kezer, Patrick S. (2006-05)
      With the destruction of 9-11, and more recently the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, came an urgency for communities across the US to be better prepared for such events. Human-caused and natural disasters are the principal force that crisis managers must face when planning, coordinating, and preparing for a crisis. This research examines the lived experience of crisis managers in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) as they engage in the process of planning coordinated responses to such crises. The study employs conversational interviewing as method and follows a narrative methodology. The results of the study suggest that crisis managers in the FNSB are a cohesive group who depend on mutual aid in the event of crises, and understand that there are boundaries to their response, yet are confident in their abilities. They respond to such events following a hierarchical command structure similar to that of the military. Their coordinated efforts are regulated by outside agencies and include interacting with the media on a routine basis.
    • Risk Society On The Last Frontier: Indigenous Knowledge And The Politics Of Risk In Oil Resource Management At Alaska's North Slope

      Blair, Berill; Lovecraft, Amy L. (2010)
      This thesis assesses the role of modern environmental risks and their institutionalized management in the subpolitics of North Slope stakeholder groups. It draws primarily on the concepts developed by Ulrich Beck and the literature that has grown out of his Risk Society thesis. The purpose of this research is to determine whether the current designs for knowledge production and management inside Alaska's oil management regime are inclusive of the indigenous knowledge (IK) of North Slope residents during the mediation of environmental risks, and whether the extent of inclusion is in proportion with the risk exposures of these communities. The premise of the thesis is that Alaska's oil politics is influenced by risk society conditions, and inclusion of North Slope residents' IK in environmental risk mediation has failed to match the scope of risks imposed upon local communities by negative externalities of oil development policies. Consequently, this trend has resulted in a technocratic hegemony of administrative agencies over risk definitions and disputes over the legitimacy of expert risk-decisions. The thesis is supported by an extensive literature on the politics of science and risk, an examination of the public process at state agencies, and a qualitative analysis of knowledge management initiatives both at the state and at the subpolitical level. The findings of this study support the idea that a new knowledge management model for risk mediation is needed to effectively include stakeholders' cultural rationalities on the acceptability of risks.
    • River features associated with chinook salmon spawning habitat in Southwest Alaska

      Jallen, Deena M.; Margraf, F. Joseph; Adkison, Milo (2009-08)
      Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) is a highly valued traditional, subsistence, and commercial resource in Southwest Alaska. Stream habitat availability is a major component influencing salmon productivity. The objective of this study is to identify river features associated with spawning habitat, and describe upper and lower boundaries of chinook salmon spawning on the Tuluksak River. River distances, elevation, salmon locations, spawning sites, and habitat observations were collected along 75 river kilometers of the Tuluksak River primarily within the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. Habitat and salmon observations were grouped into strata along the length of the river for comparison and analysis. Chinook salmon were observed spawning in the upper 45 river kilometers of the study area. Map-based observations of elevation and channel sinuosity correlate better with chinook salmon spawning than in stream habitat measurements along the Tuluksak River. The upper boundary of chinook salmon spawning in the Tuluksak River was outside of our study area. The lower boundary for chinook salmon spawning habitat on similar rivers might be determined by examining elevation, sinuosity, and channel features from remote images or maps prior to conducting field studies.
    • River features associated with chum salmon spawning areas: a method to estimate habitat capacity

      O'Brien, John P. (2006-05)
      Diminishing returns of salmon and years of poor commercial and subsistence fishing in western Alaska are a cause for concern. Management tools which recognize the intricate life histories of salmon and incorporate environmental conditions at each particular life stage are needed. Toward that goal a study of spawning habitat for chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta was conducted from 2002 to 2005 on the Tuluksak River in western Alaska. Small-scale river features were measured during two summers of field work. Large-scale river features were identified using remote sensing. Principal components analysis (PCA) denoted an association between spawning sites and channel intersections, gravel bars, islands, and areas of accelerated channel change, forming the basis for a predictive habitat model. Two models were developed that combined them habitat assessment with chum salmon redd size and spatial requirements at three spawning densities. The first model, based on field observations in 2002 and 2003, estimated a greater spawning capacity than the second model, based on large-scale river features. Spawning capacity estimates from both models were consistent with historic escapement data and should be used as a starting point for further research. This study represents progress toward a management strategy that is sensitive to habitat-dependent production potential.
    • River of fear

      Taylor, Natalie Elise; Farmer, Daryl; Kamerling, Leonard; Carr, Richard (2015-05)
      River of Fear is a literary nonfiction memoir in which the author, Natalie Taylor, leaves the only home she's ever known in small town east Texas to move to Sabie, South Africa with her parents for her father's new position as COO of a wood products company. Taylor and her parents find home in a house with a tin roof, looking out on hazy green mountains and a carefully groomed garden. In Sabie, Taylor discovers a world that challenges her ideas about safety, control, and fear. The Sabie River overflows with crocodiles, while at school, as the only American, Taylor quietly struggles to find her place in her classmates' insulated world. At home on the banks of the "river of fear," she strives to find herself in a place where AIDS, racism, poverty, and forest fires encroach on paradise, and where her parents each cope with fear in their own way. River of Fear is Taylor's coming-of-age memoir in post-apartheid South Africa in which Taylor attempts to make sense of her relationship to the world, her parents, and herself.
    • Rivers From The Air

      Odden, Mary Elaine; Soos, Frank; Bartlett, D. A.; Morgan, John (1995)
      This is a collection of creative non-fiction essays. They are triggered by events and persons from my life's experiences, but I hope they shed light on experiences I share with others: coming of age, mothering, probing relationships with nature, understanding and misunderstanding strangers and friends. The Anglo-Saxons believed that to see something was to cast a shaping light upon it, rather than passively accepting what "is." I like that, and it follows, for me, that writing is an active kind of seeing that casts itself in stone here and there like children playing "statues." The whole thing is moving and changing, of course, and can't really be seen. But trying to see it is my idea of what we are here for. <p>
    • Robust control of geared and direct-drive robotic manipulators under parameter and model uncertainties

      Suravaram, Praveen Reddy; Bogosyan, Seta; Sonwalkar, Vikas; Aspnes, John (2005-05)
      The major contribution of this thesis is the design and evaluation of a chattering-free sliding mode controller (SMC), which is a novel application for 2 degree-of-freedom (DOF) planar robot arms exposed to load variations. The performance of the SMC is evaluated in comparison to a proportional-derivative-plus (PD+) controller, as an example of nonlinear model-based controllers, as well as classical linear controllers, such as proportional-derivative (PD) and proportional-integral-derivative (PID). The performance of all four methods has been tested via realistic and detailed simulation models developed for both geared and direct-drive type 2-DOF planar robot arms. The model used in simulations reflects the dynamics of the arm, as well as the actuator dynamics and pulse width modulation (PWM) switching of the power converters. Simulations are performed under unknown load variations for both step and sinusoidal type reference joint trajectories. The results demonstrate that the chattering-free SMC provides increased accuracy and robustness than that of the other controllers and requires no prior knowledge of the system dynamic model and the load variation that the end-effector is subjected to. The results obtained could be extended to the control of a variety of geared and direct-drive type robotic configurations.
    • Rock and age relationships within the Talkeetna forearc subduction complex in the Nelchina area, Southern Alaska

      Barefoot, John D.; Nadin, Elisabeth; Newberry, Rainer; Keskinen, Mary; McCarthy, Paul (2018-12)
      Subduction-zone processes are challenging to study because of the rarity of good exposures and the complexity of rock relationships within accretionary prisms. In south-central Alaska, a remarkably well-preserved exposure of subduction-related outcrops is located at the foot of Nelchina Glacier. Here, the crystalline basement of the Talkeetna volcanic arc is in contact with the mélange of its associated accretionary complex along the Border Ranges fault. A new zircon U-Pb age of an amphibolite from the Talkeetna arc mid-crustal basement just north of the fault is 188.9 ± 2.2 Ma, coincident with previously published dates from the mafic section of the arc. A new amphibole ⁴⁰Ar/³⁹Ar age from the same outcrop yields a plateau age of 182.6 ± 1.3 Ma, reflecting cooling/exhumation of this part of the arc. The mélange south of the arc and the Border Ranges fault, known as the McHugh Complex, comprises sheared metasedimentary rocks, metavolcanic rocks, and chert, and in the Nelchina area it includes a roughly 100-m-diameter block of pillow lavas that are undeformed but altered. Detailed compositional data show that the pillow lava block formed in an intraplate setting. New whole-rock ⁴⁰Ar/³⁹Ar analyses of two pillow-lava samples yielded irregular plateaus with an approximate age of 60 Ma, which we interpret to be largely reset due to reheating. Hypabyssal dikes crosscut the mélange, as well as younger accretionary prism deposits in the area, and provide a new zircon U-Pb age of 53.0 ± 0.9 Ma, which coincides with ages of near-trench plutonism across southern Alaska. This plutonism has been ascribed to subduction of a spreading ridge that migrated eastward along the southern Alaska margin. These new ages constrain the McHugh Complex formation and subsequent hydrothermal alteration to pre-55 Ma. We suggest that the pillow lava was originally part of a Triassic (or earlier) seamount that was decapitated and incorporated into the mélange as the oceanic plate entered the subduction zone. The pillow lava subsequently underwent extensive hydrothermal alteration that almost completely reset its age during the ridge subduction event. We further posit that the Talkeetna volcanic arc and its associated accretionary prism sediments were in their current configuration during the ca. 55 Ma plutonism that was common throughout southern Alaska.
    • Rocket and lidar studies of waves and turbulence in the Arctic middle atmosphere

      Triplett, Colin Charles; Collins, Richard L.; Weingartner, Thomas; Newman, David; Lehmacher, Gerald; Bhatt, Uma S. (2016-08)
      This dissertation presents new studies of waves and turbulence in the Arctic middle atmosphere. The study has a primary focus on wintertime conditions when the largescale circulation of the middle atmosphere is disrupted by the breaking of planetary waves associated with sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events. We used ongoing Rayleigh lidar measurements of density and temperature to conduct a multi-year study of gravity waves in the upper stratosphere-lower mesosphere (USLM) over Poker Flat Research Range (PFRR) at Chatanika, Alaska. We analyzed the night-to-night gravity wave activity in terms of the wind structure and the ageostrophy. We find that the weak winds during disturbed conditions block the vertical propagation of gravity waves into the mesosphere. The gravity wave activity is correlated with the altitudes where the winds are weakest. During periods of weak winds we find little correlation with ageostrophy. However, during periods of stronger winds we find the USLM gravity wave activity is correlated with the ageostrophy in the upper troposphere indicating that ageostrophy in this region is a source of the gravity waves. Inter-annually we find the wintertime gravity wave activity is correlated with the level of disturbance of the middle atmosphere, being reduced in those winters with a higher level of disturbance and weaker winds. We used rocket-borne ion gauges to measure turbulence in the wintertime middle atmosphere while documenting the larger meteorological context from Rayleigh lidar and satellites. This investigation of turbulence was called the Mesosphere-Lower Thermosphere Turbulence Experiment (MTeX). During MTeX we found a highly disturbed atmosphere associated with an SSW where winds were weak and gravity wave activity was low. We found low levels of turbulence in the upper mesosphere. The turbulence was primarily found in regions of convective instability in the topside of mesospheric inversion layers (MILs). The strongest and most persist turbulence was found in a MIL that is associated with the breaking of a monochromatic gravity wave. These MTeX observations indicate that turbulence is generated by gravity wave breaking as opposed to gravity wave saturation. These MTeX findings of low levels of turbulence are consistent with recent model studies of vertical transport during SSWs and support the view that eddy transport is not a dominant transport mechanism during SSWs.
    • Rogue bulldozers and other essays

      Marsh, Amy; Brightwell, Gerri; Stanley, Sarah; Farmer, Daryl (2016-05)
    • The role and spirituality in Athabascan recovery and sobriety

      Scoville, Dolores Gregory (2003-05)
      It is well documented that Alaska leads the nation in alcohol dependence and abuse. There are studies that document the high abuse levels among Alaska Natives along with corresponding economic costs and lost productivity. The purpose of this study was: (a) to determine the definition of spirituality of a purposive sample of Athabascan Indians of Interior Alaska and (b) to discover what role spirituality plays in Athabascan recovery and sobriety. Nine life history interviews were examined from the People Awakening Project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. A Grounded Theory Analysis was used to yield culturally relevant results. A definition of spirituality was determined and the role that spirituality plays in Athabascan recovery and sobriety was discovered. Athabascan recovery does not correspond entirely with traditional western treatment methods but there are some similarities in the recovery process common to both. Four of the nine interviews discussed attendance of AA groups or counseling as a help in their recovery. It is recommended that further study with other Alaska Native groups would be beneficial to identify protective and resiliency factors of spirituality and determine how to incorporate these factors for prevention of alcohol dependence.