• Studies on thermophysical properties of nanofluids and their application in ground source heat pump

      Satti, Jagannadha Reddy; Das, Debendra K.; Kim, Sun Woo; Peng, Jifeng; Lin, Chuen-Sen (2015-12)
      The goals of this dissertation were to measure the thermal conductivity, specific heat, and density of different propylene glycol nanofluids; compare the results with existing correlations; and develop new correlations with the obtained data. A numerical study has been performed to study the benefits of nanofluids in cold climate ground source heat pumps. Nanofluids are dispersions of nanoparticles with average sizes of less than 100 nm in heat transfer fluids such as water, oil, ethylene glycol, and propylene glycol. In cold regions, the common heat transfer fluids used are ethylene glycol (EG) and propylene glycol (PG). In the present research, a propylene glycol (PG) and 40% water (W) by mass fluid mixture was used as a base fluid, which has a freezing point of -51.1 ⁰C. Experiments were conducted to measure the density of several nanofluids containing nanoscale particles of aluminum oxide (Al₂O₃), zinc oxide (ZnO), copper oxide (CuO), titanium oxide (TiO₂), and silicon dioxide (SiO₂). These particles were individually dispersed in a base fluid of 60:40 propylene glycol and water (PG/W) by mass. Additionally, Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) dispersed in deionized water (DI) were also tested. Initially, a benchmark test was performed on the density of the base fluid in the temperature range of 0°C to 90°C. The measurements were performed with different particle volumetric concentrations from 0 to 6% and nanoparticle sizes ranging from 10 to 76 nm. The temperature range of the measurements was from 0° to 90°C. These results were compared with the values predicted by a currently acceptable theoretical equation for nanofluids. The experimental results showed good agreement with the theoretical equation, with a maximum deviation of -3.8% for copper oxide nanofluid and an average deviation of -0.1% for all the nanofluids tested. An experimental study has been carried out to determine the thermal conductivity of five different nanofluids, containing aluminum oxide, copper oxide, zinc oxide, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide nanoparticles, dispersed in a base fluid of 60:40 (by mass) propylene glycol and water. The effect of particle volumetric concentrations up to 6% was studied with temperatures ranging from 243K to 363K. The thermal conductivity of nanofluids showed a direct relationship with particle volumetric concentration, particle size, properties, and temperature. Several existing theoretical models for thermal conductivity of nanofluids were compared with the experimental data, but they all showed some disagreement. Therefore, the most agreeable model was selected and refined for propylene glycol nanofluids. This model considered the thermal conductivity of nanofluids as a function of Brownian motion, Biot number, fluid temperature, particle volumetric concentration, and the properties of the nanoparticles and base fluid. This model provided good agreement with 600 experimental data points of five nanofluids, with an average absolute deviation of 1.79 percent. Specific heat was measured for five different nanofluids containing aluminum oxide (Al₂O₃), zinc oxide (ZnO), copper oxide (CuO), titanium oxide (TiO₂), and silicon dioxide (SiO₂) nanoparticles dispersed in a base fluid of 60% propylene glycol and 40% water by mass (60:40 PG/W). The measurements were carried out over a temperature range of -30°C to 90°C, for nanoparticle volumetric concentrations of 0.5% to 6%, and for average particle sizes ranging from 10 nm to 45 nm to evaluate their effects on the specific heat. From comparison, it was found that the existing specific heat correlations were not able to predict the measured experimental values, therefore, a new correlation was developed to predict the specific heat of various 60:40 PG/W based nanofluids. This new correlation is in good agreement with 610 experimental data points of the five nanofluids, with a maximum deviation of -5% exhibited by the Al₂O₃ nanofluid and an average deviation of -0.094% for all five nanofluids. The COP of a GSHP in cold climates is limited by the circulation of heat transfer fluid in a ground heat exchanger loop at very low temperatures. This requires a greater tube length in the ground heat exchanger to absorb an adequate amount of heat. One way to increase the COP of a GSHP is by replacing the heat transfer fluid with more efficient fluid, such as a nanofluid. In this paper, a GSHP operating in central Alaska is analyzed. Analytical and numerical studies were performed on the ground heat exchanger of the GSHP. Results calculated from modeling showed good agreement with experimental data for a conventional heat transfer fluid, a methanol and water mixture, validating the models. Next, the analysis were performed using Al₂O₃ and CuO nanofluids with three different particle volumetric concentrations, 0.5, 1, and 2%. The results showed nanofluids absorbed more heat than the basefluid. The ground temperature was varied from 273 to 288K and the fluid velocity from 1 m/s to 5 m/s. The best heat absorption rate of 12% over the basefluid was observed for an Al₂O₃ nanofluid of 2% concentration at a ground temperature of 273K.
    • A study of Arkansas' implementation of an elementary art program

      Harris, Angela; Reyes, Maria; Hornig, Joan; Hogan, Maureen (2007-05)
      The purpose of this case study was to describe how Arkansas was able to mandate and implement their elementary art education program, as well as the possibility of using Arkansas' program as a model for implementing art education at the elementary level in schools in other states. Based on what I discovered through interviews and publicly available documents, Arkansas' program was mandated and designed in such a manner that other states could modify the process used to create an elementary art program to fit their own individual needs. The findings from this study of the elementary art program in Arkansas could have an impact on art education nationwide. The possibility that other states could follow this lead would be a positive step towards improving art education for all students.
    • Study of brain injury and neuroregenerative effects of D-cycloserine using an asphyxial cardiac arrest rat model

      Combs, Vélvá M.; Drew, Kelly L.; Harris, Michael B.; Bult-Ito, Abel (2013-05)
      Cardiac arrest (CA) affects over 300,000 Americans annually and results in severe brain injury (impaired motility, memory loss, or death) due to poor recovery. Over stimulation of glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) channel activation, allows Ca² ions to enter cells, triggers a cascade of excitotoxic events and eventual neuronal death, but down-regulation of NMDAR post arrest may contribute to progressive injury. Previous studies have indicated that NMDARs are down-regulated within hours to days after resuscitation, therefore re-stimulation of NMDARs after CA should improve neurological outcome. The purpose of this thesis was to: 1.) Implement an in vivo asphyxial CA (ACA) rat model at UAF to reproduce CA seen clinically in prenatal/pediatric populations, and 2.) Test the hypothesis that partial NMDAR agonist (D-cycloserine, DCS) would improve recovery from neuronal injury. Male Sprague Dawley rats (250-330g) were administered a low dose of DCS (10mg/kg, IP) 24 and 48hr after resuscitation from either 6 or 8-min ACA. Behavioral Neurological Deficit Scores (NDS) were taken at 2hr and daily for 7 days after ACA to assess injury. Histopathology assessed CA1 hippocampal neuronal injury. DCS had no effect on neurological improvement but the ACA model produced significant brain injury in rats regardless of CA duration.
    • A study of growth, recruitment and distribution of Protothaca staminea in Galena Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska

      Paul, A.J. (1973-05)
      Specimens of Protothaca staninea (Conrad), the littleneck clam, were collected by transecting three beaches in Galena Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska, during the summer months of 1971 for a study of recruitment, growth and distribution. The average size of Protothaca in Galena Bay at the end of the first growing season is approximately 2 mm in length. At any age, Galena Bay littlenecks are smaller than those from British Columbia. In Galena Bay, eight years are needed for P. staminea to reach a length of 30 mm as compared to three years for individuals from British Columbia. In Galena Bay, the intertidal distribution of P. staminea generally follows a bell-shaped curve with upper and lower extremes occurring between the tidal heights of +0.73 and -0.76 meters. Young-of-the-year are essentially epifaunal, and the majority of the specimens of all age classes are found within 4 cm of the sediment surface. The number of individuals surviving annual recruitment into the populations studied was variable.
    • The study of human-caribou systems in the face of change: using multiple disciplinary lenses

      Bali, Archana; Kofinas, Gary; White, Robert G.; Russell, Donald E.; McGuire, A. David (2016-05)
      Barren-ground caribou herds are part of social-ecological systems that are of critical importance to northern Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic, contributing to nutritional, cultural, and spiritual well being that are today undergoing significant changes. This dissertation uses multiple disciplinary lenses to understand the dynamics of these systems and to clarify methods for studying them. Chapter 1 focuses on a prediction of summer (June 1- August 31) mosquito activity and potential insect harassment of caribou in response to a changing climate. The Mosquito Activity Index (MAI) was based on daily ambient temperature and wind velocity obtained from the North American Regional Reanalysis dataset (NARR) from 1979 to 2009 for summer ranges of Alaska’s four Arctic herds: Western Arctic Herd (WAH), Teshekpuk Caribou Herd (TCH), Central Arctic Herd (CAH), and Porcupine Caribou Herd (PCH). Mean MAI was lowest for TCH, followed by WAH and PCH and highest for CAH. Over 31 years there was an increasing trend in MAI that affected the summer habitat of TCH and PCH, but a decreasing trend for WAH. Intra-annual patterns in MAI among herds differed in peak MAI. Chapter 2 presents a novel method of participatory videography to document the knowledge and experiences of Caribou People. Ninety-nine interviews were videoed in six Arctic communities of North America in the summer of 2008 as part of the International Polar Year. Chapter 3 presents “Voices of Caribou People,” a composite film of those interviewed, portraying the range of topics reported. Chapter 4 presents the results of an open-coding content analysis of a sample of 34 of the Voices Project interviews. Interviews described people’s rich memories of the past, aspects of their traditional knowledge and practices, the changes they have observed, the challenges they face, and what they perceive as their needs to meet present and future challenges. A key finding of the analysis is that while the research community and funding agencies are highly focused on climate change, Caribou People expressed greater concern about their social, economic, and political challenges. Caribou people noted that more studies undertaken in full partnership with caribou user communities along with community authority in decision-making are needed to sustain their human-caribou systems.
    • A study of increased instructional time and the relationship with the mathematical achievement of intermediate elementary students

      Lower, Elizabeth Anne (2005-08)
      The purpose of this study was to determine whether two different approaches to increased instructional time led to a statistically significant increase in math achievement of fifth grade students. The null hypothesis stated that there would not be a statistically significant difference at the .05 level of significance between the math scores of the fifth grade students at schools A and B, as measured by standardized test scores. Data consisted of standardized test scores of annual statewide assessments. The test results were collected and analyzed using SPSS software. The null hypothesis could not be rejected. The results indicated that the largest gains were made by the lowest achieving students. Additionally, in both schools, the students who had scored in the highest quartile on the pre-test were not able to maintain their quartile ranking, and slipped into lower quartile rankings after the different time treatments were applied.
    • A study of near-surface currents in Endicott Arm

      Gleason, Robert R. (1972-05)
      Currents in Endicott Arm were measured by parachute drogues and ice drift photogrammetry. The parachute drogues showed mean outflow speeds between 2 and 20 cm/sec. The mean outflow extended at reduce speeds to below ten meters and may have extended to Bill depth at twenty meters. From equations of drag and inertia, a differential equation was formed to describe tidal ice drift speeds. The equation was solved on an Analog computer and the solution shown as plotted. Coupling curves were used to measure the net tidal speed. Ice drift mean out flow speeds based upon these computations agreed with parachute drogue mean outflow speeds.
    • A Study of overpressure in the Navarin Basin, Alaska

      Robison, Matthew; Atashbari, Vahid; Ahmadi, Mohabbat; Awoleke, Obadare (2019-12)
      The Navarin basin is a region to the west of Alaska between the Aleutian Islands and Russia. It has been identified as a potential Petroleum prospect, and exploration wells have been drilled under the ocean up to depths of 17,000 feet. The exploration of the basin was started by Russia and the United States with several exploratory wells drilled in the 1980’s. The geology of the region consists of tertiary sedimentary rock deposited during the Eocene age with mudstone and siltstone from Paleogenic deposition. When dealing with such depths, it is expected that the pressure will increase beyond the hydrostatic gradient. Overpressure, when unexpected, can cause blowouts or oil spills as well as danger to the oil production workforce. Herein, the origin of overpressure in this basin is examined using the well log and geological information, and potential mechanisms responsible for generating abnormal pressure are further discussed. In this study, extensive existing well log data are thoroughly examined and organized to facilitate the characterization of overpressure zones in the basin. As a preliminary step, well logs from eight exploratory wells in the Navarin Basin were digitized and organized as the basis of the analysis. Next, overburden pressure is determined for each applicable well in the target area by examining well log and other geological information. Then, a shale discrimination scheme is applied on the log data to differentiate clay-rich formations (that undergo mechanical compaction) from other rock types. Overpressure horizons are identified and examined through velocity, resistivity and other well logging measurements of clay-rich deposits. As such, sonic velocity vs. density and resistivity vs. density cross plots are constructed to identify signatures of different mechanisms of overpressure. Further characterization of the origin of overpressure involves examination of the tectonics, stratigraphy and source rock in order to characterize the pore pressure regime. Finally, pore pressure is calculated using Eaton (1974) and Bowers (1995) method are utilized to calculate pore pressure within the studied wells and degree of confidence in such calculations are examined.
    • Study of rheology of gas-to-liquid products, Alaska North Slope crude oil and their blends for transportation through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System

      Inamdar, Abhijeet Ashok (2004-08)
      In order to bring remote natural gas to market, conversion of natural gas to a liquid form (Gas-to-liquids (GTL)) may be an alternative to utilize this gas. Alaskan North Slope might prove as one of the first sites in the USA to commercialize this technology because of the huge natural gas resources it holds. The Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) will be the means of transportation of this GTL to the market. Thus it becomes major task to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of transporting GTL products through the TAPS. One of the modes of transporting GTL products from ANS to Valdez is commingling them with Crude oil as a single phase before pumping through TAPS. This changes the properties of GTL as well as the Crude oil. Thus it becomes important to study the physical and chemical properties of not only the GTL but also its blends with the crude oil. Four blends of GTL/crude in the ratios of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 and 1:4 were prepared for their rheological evaluation at different temperature conditions. Results show that flow behavior of the pure and GTL blends are temperature sensitive. Viscosity and density of the blends decrease with increasing amount of GTL and increasing temperature. Optimum blend ratio is between 1:2 and 1:3 GTL/Crude oil blends.
    • A study of saturation number

      Burr, Erika; Faudree, Jill; Williams, Gordon; Berman-Williams, Leah (2017-08)
      This paper seeks to provide complete proofs in modern notation of (early) key saturation number results and give some new results concerning the semi-saturation number. We highlight relevant results from extremal theory and present the saturation number for the complete graph Kk; and the star K₁,t, elaborating on the proofs provided in the 1964 paper A Problem in Graph Theory by Erdos, Hajnal and Moon and the 1986 paper Saturated Graphs with Minimal Number of Edges by Kászonyi and Tuza. We discuss the proof of a general bound on the saturation number for a family of target graphs provided by Kászonyi and Tuza. A discussion of related results showing that the complete graph has the maximum saturation number among target graphs of the same order and that the star has the maximum saturation number among target trees of the same order is included. Before presenting our result concerning the semi-saturation number for the path Pk; we discuss the structure of some Pk-saturated trees of large order as well as the saturation number of Pk with respect to host graphs of large order.
    • A study of soil topo-sequences in the Steese and White Mountains of Alaska

      Geisler, Eric S.; Ping, Chien-Lu; Juday, Glen; Swanson, David (2018-08)
      The Steese Mountains of Alaska present a complex landscape on which to study soil formation and characteristics in relation to topographic position. The White and Steese Mountains of Alaska are located approximately 70 to 220 km northeast of Fairbanks. Ten toposequences with 3 or 4 sites each were described in the field, sampled, and analyzed in the laboratory in order to determine the relationship between soil morphology and soil-forming factors. Permafrost is discontinuous within the study area and vegetation ranges from tundra on summits to boreal stands of resin birch, quaking aspen, black spruce and white spruce along the lower elevations. There have been many wildfires over time that may have altered the soils and affected the vegetation successional patterns. The processes through which various soil patterns have formed and the unique characteristics of the soils are described here based on field data obtained from both burned and unburned sites. The analysis includes biophysical settings, parent material, texture and nutrient concentrations. Organic horizons were common on most of the transects and play a key role in the depth of the active layer where they exist. Nutrient concentrations are also closely tied to the presence and depth of the organic horizons. Some patterns described in other areas of the boreal region were not observed in this study. There were some soil properties that are not readily described under the current taxonomy protocols which are suggested to be added in a future revision of Soil Taxonomy.
    • Study of solid deposition phenomena and fluid properties of Alaska North Slope crude oil, gas-to-liquid products and their blends for transportation through the trans-Alaska pipeline system

      Ijeomah, Cajetan Eneberi (2005-05)
      Earlier studies on the options for utilization of Alaska North Slope (ANS) gas had indicated that it is economical to convert the gas to Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) products, blend it with the ANS crude oil and transport the resulting liquid through the existing Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) to monetize the stranded gas. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of blending ANS crude oil with a GTL sample acquired from BP Alaska Inc. (BPGTL). Solid deposition phenomena and fluid properties of ANS crude oil, BPGTL and their blends were studied. The blends of BPGTL and ANS crude oil would require less pumping pressure. It is concluded from this study that the possibility of vapor and wax formation is precluded during transportation of the blends, and that asphaltene deposition is a potential major problem in blending ANS crude oil with BPGTL.
    • A study of the influence of media-based books on independent reading choices

      Fisk, Heidi Marie; Burmeister, Richard; Caldwell, Patricia; Kardash, Diane (2011-05)
      The purpose of the study was to discover if children's media programming influences the independent reading choices of students. With this purpose in mind, my research was designed to answer the following question: Did children's viewing exposure to the characters, setting, and story format in media-based books provide them with the essential scaffolding necessary to motivate them to read more independently? This project involved approximately 13 fourth grade students, male and female. All of the students have been asked to choose a book to read, fill out a summary sheet for the book, and participate in a reading conference. The researcher has observed the students during the independent reading times, recorded oral retells of the books and conducted interviews with the participants. The results of the study confirmed that students are indeed motivated to read media-based books more independently. It is recommended by the results of this research to offer media-based books for students' independent reading book selection.
    • Study of the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

      Morgan, Christopher Lee (2000-08)
      As fossil fuels become scarce, finding new sources of efficient, reliable, and renewable power generation is critical. One device being given lots of attention for this purpose is a fuel cell. Fuel cells not only produce electricity, but also heat which can be recovered for residential use and increase the overall system efficiency. Test benches were constructed to measure and record data from fuel cells under a range of electrical loads. Energy balance was constructed to characterize the fuel cell system using experimental data. The energy balance resulted in a first law gross electrical efficiency of over 44 percent and a second law efficiency greater than 52 percent for the opening range of the fuel cell system.
    • A study of variation among side-notched bifaces from northern archaic sites in Alaska

      Fuqua, Kaitlyn N.; Clark, Jamie; Reuther, Josh; Esdale, Julie (2020-05)
      An Alaskan archaeological tradition, the Northern Archaic, (~6,000-1,000 cal years BP) is often identified based on the presence of side-notched bifaces. Variation among these bifaces, commonly referred to as projectile points, is not well understood. This study examines morphological and functional variability among a sample of 209 notched bifaces from 63 Northern Archaic sites located in central and northern Alaska. The nature and extent of variability were examined on several scales, including: 1) across ecological regions of Alaska, 2) throughout the mid-Holocene (6,000-1,000 cal years BP), and 3) within a single site (the Ratekin site, HEA-187). Morphological variation was examined using metric and nonmetric variables, including length, width, thickness, and raw material type. This study also employs a 2-D geometric morphometric landmark based analysis, which is intended to provide a less subjective view of variation in tool morphology. Side-notched bifaces in the sample show a large degree of variation, both across sites and within the Ratekin site. There are some differences in shape among bifaces from Polar and Boreal regions of Alaska, which may indicate regional varieties. There appears to be some variation in the degree of standardization in side-notched biface production over time; between 3000-2,000 cal years BP, there is a decline in variability across the majority of the metric shape variables, suggesting a greater degree of standardization. Functional variability was assessed using three lines of evidence: breakage patterns, macroscopic wear patterns on the distal end, and a Dart-Arrow Index. Sixty percent of the side-notched bifaces in the sample exhibit some breakage, most of which were lateral/transverse breaks located on the shoulders and neck of the tool. Biface tips show evidence of use and frequent rejuvenation. Similar breakage and use patterns, and dart-arrow values were found across the ecological regions, throughout the mid-Holocene, and within the Ratekin site sample. Despite the shifts in morphology identified at regional and temporal scales, this indicates that side-notched bifaces served a similar function at all scales examined. Variation in side-notched bifaces was also considered from the perspective of human behavioral ecology, focusing specifically on risk management and how strategies for mitigating risk may be reflected in lithic assemblages (through invention, innovation, and standardization). Other risk management strategies employed during the Northern Archaic may include communal hunting, subsistence diversification, and high residential mobility. Within this framework, the increased standardization among side-notched bifaces during 3,000-2,000 cal years BP may be a reflection of a risk-averse behavior, supported by evidence of subsistence diversification at Northern Archaic sites after 4,000 cal years BP.
    • A study of waterflood sweep efficiency in a complex viscous oil reservoir

      Jensen, Marc Daniel; Khataniar, Santanu; Dandekar, Abhijit; Patil, Shirish (2014-12)
      West Sak is a multi-billion barrel viscous oil accumulation on the North Slope of Alaska. The unique geologic complexities and fluid properties of the West Sak reservoir make understanding ultimate sweep efficiency under waterflood a challenge. This project uses uncertainty modeling to evaluate the ultimate sweep efficiency in the West Sak reservoir and honors a rich dataset gathered from 30 years of development history. A sector model encompassing the area of the West Sak commercial pilot was developed and a sensitivity analysis conducted to determine the most important parameters affecting sweep efficiency. As part of this process unique constraints were incorporated into the model including measured saturations at the end of history, and observed completion performance. The workflow for this project was documented and can be adapted for use in larger scale models. The workflow includes the development of static cell properties which accurately represent field behavior, a preliminary history match using conventional methods and a sensitivity analysis employing a multi-run visualization tool to effectively navigate and process large amounts of data. The main contributions of this work include the identification of key parameters affecting sweep efficiency in the West Sak oil field, a documented workflow, and increased insight into observed production behavior.
    • Studying auroral microphysics using multiple optically tracked rocket sub-payloads

      Vann, Joshua M.; Conde, Mark; Delamere, Peter; Hampton, Donald (2018-12)
      There is insufficient knowledge of scale length parameters associated with ionospheric plasma structures. Using a novel technique combining rocket-based instrument data with ground-based optical and instrumental data measurements, ISINGLASS attempts to determine the spatial scale lengths over which parameter differences in auroral arcs present in the upper ionosphere. Determination of such scale lengths has the propensity to strengthen preexisting models of magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions. While analysis is not complete and the extent of such scale lengths is still unknown, after completion of the experiment phase of the mission, differences in measurements have been found that cannot be accounted for through experimental error. This shows the existence of a critical scale length within the distances measured, and the techniques used present a reliable method with which to launch a future campaign.
    • The subglacial hydraulics of the surge-type Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska: a schematic model

      Cochran, Oakley D.; Harrison, William; Weeks, Wilford; Kane, Douglas; Echelmeyer, Keith; Benson, Carl (1995-12)
      The subglacial hydraulic system of the surge-type Black Rapids Glacier was studied in 1993 by comparing glacier velocity and seismicity with the stage, electrical conductivity, and turbidity of its proglacial streams. Brief events of increased velocity and seismicity occurred at the beginning and end of the measurement season. Five events coincided with drainages of supraglacial lakes and potholes. During events, water was stored englacially or subglacially and released subsequently, as indicated by a dye tracing experiment. Conductivity-stage-seismicity relationships suggest a model wherein daily storage and release of water depended on variations in subglacial pressure, which were reflected by daily variations in seismicity. Heavy precipitation and increases in stage preceded late-season pothole drainages. We hypothesize that precipitation triggered pothole drainages by enlarging drainage conduits, thus lowering subglacial pressure. Differences between the drainage systems in 1993 and 1986-89 may reflect mechanisms of surge evolution.
    • Subsistence and commercial fisheries through the lenses of culture and economy in three coastal Alaskan communities

      Holen, Davin L.; Schweitzer, Peter; Carothers, Courtney; Koester, David; Morrow, Phyllis; Shannon, Kerrie-Ann (2017-05)
      Commercial and subsistence fisheries in Alaska are complex social-ecological systems constituting interdependent components which include economics and culture at the local and regional levels. Each fishery has unique challenges and benefits; however, a commonality that can be found in coastal communities in Alaska is that salmon fisheries are for many a way of life that serve to link commercial and subsistence practices to family and traditions. This research investigated whether and how culture is a key component of subsistence and commercial fisheries in three core study communities in different parts of coastal Alaska; Chenega Bay in Prince William Sound, Kokhanok in Bristol Bay, and Tyonek in Cook Inlet, and includes summary research findings from 12 comparative communities on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, and Southeast Alaska. The research sought to understand 1) how people in different areas of Alaska articulate the role of subsistence fisheries in their communities, 2) what factors are impacting participation in commercial fisheries, and 3) what methods could be used to assess the resilience and vulnerability of such diverse coastal communities in Alaska. Among the factors investigated in each community were the role of local level politics and how local knowledge is passed down through participation in subsistence salmon fishing activities. To examine methodologies for assessing community vulnerability and resilience within a larger system, quantitative data gathered through household surveys was used to provide a basic statistical assessment of the economic and subsistence landscape of coastal communities in Alaska. But it was through in-depth semistructured interviews, during which residents shared their own personal stories, that a broader, more accurate assessment of resilience and the complexity of community-based fisheries was achieved. During household harvest surveys administered in the core study and comparative communities, as well as through in-depth interviews conducted in the three core communities, residents articulated how participating in salmon fishing is an expression of a subsistence way of life and of cultural traditions. Commercial fishing as a way of life is also something they seek to pass on to their children. In all of the study communities, residents noted that the reasons they continue to live in their rural coastal communities include family, culture, home, a subsistence lifestyle, and a sense of freedom. Challenges to maintaining continuity in the commercial fishery, and to passing on this lifestyle to their children, include the price effects of the globalization of salmon markets, market access to sell one's fish, and financial difficulties of entering a capital-intensive fishery. However, there are and have been efforts in each of the three communities to revitalize participation in commercial fishing. Residents of these fishery dependent communities have a strong connection to salmon as an economically valuable resource through commercial fishing, and to salmon as a cultural and place-based resource by participating in subsistence salmon fishing.
    • Subsistence salmon fishing in Beaufort Sea communities

      Cotton, Shelley S.D.; Carothers, Courtney; Craighead George, John (2012-12)
      Environmental change, combined with observations of increasing numbers of salmon in subsistence fisheries, has generated a need for more information about salmon use, abundance, and distribution in the Arctic. Ethnographic research was conducted in Barrow and Nuiqsut, Alaska, in 2010 and 2011 with 41 active fishermen and elders. Salmon catches were perceived to be increasing; however, perceptions about changing salmon abundance were mixed. While pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum salmon (O. keta) have been observed in subsistence fisheries in the central North Slope region for over 50 years, only within the last 10 to 20 years has local use of these resources begun to increase. In this region, salmon are less important as a subsistence resource compared to whitefish species (Coregonus spp.). However, many fishermen participating in the Elson Lagoon gill net fishery near Barrow have begun to target salmon. Harvest estimates for this fishery in 2011 indicated that chum salmon and pink salmon catches comprise the majority of all fish caught (42% and 23%, respectively). Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) have been increasingly targeted, but catches are generally low. While sockeye salmon (O. nerka) numbers were perceived to have increased on the North Slope, catches of this species are rare. Only a few stray coho salmon (O. kisutch) have been captured in this region. Informants identified new stream systems where salmon are present and spawning, suggesting possible distribution shifts. Fishermen in both communities reported developing knowledge of salmon and are increasing their use of salmon as a subsistence resource.