• United States Armed Forces' voluntary education program: The effect of enlisted service member retention

      Brauchle, Kenneth Charles; Smith, David M. (1997)
      The United States Armed Forces have sponsored off-duty voluntary higher education programs for fifty years. The investment in these programs by the Armed Services is substantial. In 1996, Department of Defense (DOD) expenditures for Tuition Assistance programs totaled $121 million. The longevity and scope of these military programs make them an ideal special case through which to study the outcomes of employer sponsored off-duty education. This study looked at the relationship between participation in military sponsored off-duty education programs and enlisted retention in the service. The data for the study was from a large (60,000 respondents) survey conducted by the DOD in 1992. Both univariate and multi-variate statistical analysis techniques were used. Additionally, over thirty semi-structured interviews were conducted with service members. The quantitative analysis supports the conclusion that long-term participation in off-duty education is significantly and positively related to intention to reenlist in simple bi-variate models. However, when several other variables thought to be related to retention are controlled the overall education participation effect is very small, accounting for little of the variation in intention to reenlist. A comparison of the education participation pattern in this data with previous studies leads to the conclusion that there has been a fundamental change in the relationship between off-duty education and retention in the last ten to fifteen years. The qualitative data suggest that the military places a high value on educational participation exhibited in formal and informal policies, the organizational reward system, promotions and attitudes. The opportunity to participate varies by location, specific job and military specialty. Servicemembers' attitudes toward education appear to evolve. Early participation seems to be extrinsically motivated with an intrinsic motivation developing as the servicemember continues to participate. The quantitative and qualitative data support the conclusion that the military has changed in its view of educational participation. The data point to the conclusion that the military has adopted educational participation as an integral part of the military culture. This value is so embedded within the environment that the effect of educational participation may be masked by other variables such as satisfaction with the military way of life.
    • Unsupervised multi-scale change detection from SAR imagery for monitoring natural and anthropogenic disasters

      Ajadi, Olaniyi A.; Meyer, Franz; Webley, Peter; Tape, Carl; Cahill, Catherine (2017-08)
      Radar remote sensing can play a critical role in operational monitoring of natural and anthropogenic disasters. Despite its all-weather capabilities, and its high performance in mapping, and monitoring of change, the application of radar remote sensing in operational monitoring activities has been limited. This has largely been due to: (1) the historically high costs associated with obtaining radar data; (2) slow data processing, and delivery procedures; and (3) the limited temporal sampling that was provided by spaceborne radar-based satellites. Recent advances in the capabilities of spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors have developed an environment that now allows for SAR to make significant contributions to disaster monitoring. New SAR processing strategies that can take full advantage of these new sensor capabilities are currently being developed. Hence, with this PhD dissertation, I aim to: (i) investigate unsupervised change detection techniques that can reliably extract signatures from time series of SAR images, and provide the necessary flexibility for application to a variety of natural, and anthropogenic hazard situations; (ii) investigate effective methods to reduce the effects of speckle and other noise on change detection performance; (iii) automate change detection algorithms using probabilistic Bayesian inferencing; and (iv) ensure that the developed technology is applicable to current, and future SAR sensors to maximize temporal sampling of a hazardous event. This is achieved by developing new algorithms that rely on image amplitude information only, the sole image parameter that is available for every single SAR acquisition. The motivation and implementation of the change detection concept are described in detail in Chapter 3. In the same chapter, I demonstrated the technique's performance using synthetic data as well as a real-data application to map wildfire progression. I applied Radiometric Terrain Correction (RTC) to the data to increase the sampling frequency, while the developed multiscaledriven approach reliably identified changes embedded in largely stationary background scenes. With this technique, I was able to identify the extent of burn scars with high accuracy. I further applied the application of the change detection technology to oil spill mapping. The analysis highlights that the approach described in Chapter 3 can be applied to this drastically different change detection problem with only little modification. While the core of the change detection technique remained unchanged, I made modifications to the pre-processing step to enable change detection from scenes of continuously varying background. I introduced the Lipschitz regularity (LR) transformation as a technique to normalize the typically dynamic ocean surface, facilitating high performance oil spill detection independent of environmental conditions during image acquisition. For instance, I showed that LR processing reduces the sensitivity of change detection performance to variations in surface winds, which is a known limitation in oil spill detection from SAR. Finally, I applied the change detection technique to aufeis flood mapping along the Sagavanirktok River. Due to the complex nature of aufeis flooded areas, I substituted the resolution-preserving speckle filter used in Chapter 3 with curvelet filters. In addition to validating the performance of the change detection results, I also provide evidence of the wealth of information that can be extracted about aufeis flooding events once a time series of change detection information was extracted from SAR imagery. A summary of the developed change detection techniques is conducted and suggested future work is presented in Chapter 6.
    • Up in smoke: exploring the relationship between forest firefighting and subsistence harvest

      Rodrigues, Alyssa V. S.; Little, Joseph; Greenberg, Joshua; Trainor, Sarah; Brinkman, Todd J. (2018-05)
      Wildland firefighting in Alaska is changing due to the impact of climate change on the boreal forest. Changes to the wildland firefighting regime could have significant impacts on community participation during fall subsistence hunting and, consequentially, food security levels. Many rural Alaska communities have mixed cash-subsistence economies in which people have to balance their time between earning an income and harvesting subsistence foods. Cash income is necessary to pay for things such as housing, electricity, gasoline, gun, ammunition, and other capital necessary to engage in subsistence. This dissertation aims to better understand the current relationship between Type 2, or hand crew, wildland firefighting and subsistence, primarily fall subsistence hunting, through several methods. Surveys and interviews were conducted with Type 2 wildland firefighters followed by policy recommendations. Econometric modeling of the wildfire attributes, community attributes, and firefighting wages and dispatches was conducted. Lastly, a food production simulation was conducted. Utilizing these various methods gives a well-rounded understanding of the relationship between firefighting and subsistence. Firefighting wages currently contribute to subsistence harvest productivity. As climate change lengthens the fire season, rural Type 2 fire crews will continue to participate in firefighting and fall subsistence hunting. Only under the most extreme estimates of future wildland fires does time spent fighting fire reduce time spent on subsistence fall hunting by much so that rural communities are unable to meet their subsistence needs.
    • Updating the art history curriculum: incorporating virtual and augmented reality technologies to improve interactivity and engagement

      Bender, Brook; Healy, Joanne; Via, Skip; Lott, Chris (2017-05)
      This project investigates how the art history curricula in higher education can borrow from and incorporate emerging technologies currently being used in art museums. Many art museums are using augmented reality and virtual reality technologies to transform their visitors' experiences into experiences that are interactive and engaging. Art museums have historically offered static visitor experiences, which have been mirrored in the study of art. This project explores the current state of the art history classroom in higher education, which is historically a teacher-centered learning environment and the learning effects of that environment. The project then looks at how art museums are creating visitor-centered learning environments; specifically looking at how they are using reality technologies (virtual and augmented) to transition into digitally interactive learning environments that support various learning theories. Lastly, the project examines the learning benefits of such tools to see what could (and should) be implemented into the art history curricula at the higher education level and provides a sample section of a curriculum demonstrating what that implementation could look like. Art and art history are a crucial part of our culture and being able to successfully engage with it and learn from it enables the spread of our culture through digital means and of digital culture.
    • Upper crustal structure of southern Alaska: An interpretation of seismic refraction data from the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect

      Wolf, Lorraine W.; Stone, David B.; Davies, John N.; Harrison, William D.; Pulpan, Hans; Shapiro, Lewis H.; Wallace, Wesley K. (1989)
      Seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection data from the U.S. Geological Survey's Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect is used to investigate the upper crustal structure of southcentral Alaska. The data consist of two intersecting refraction lines: the 135-km Chugach profile which follows the E-W strike of the Chugach Mountains and the 126-km Cordova Peak profile which follows the N-S regional dip. The four shots of the Chugach profile and the five shots of the Cordova Peak profile were recorded on 120 portable seismic instruments spaced at 1-km intervals. Interpretation of data from the Chugach terrane indicates that near-surface unconsolidated sediment and glacial ice overlie rocks of unusually high average compressional velocities (5.4-6.9 km/s) in the upper 10 km of crust. A thick unit correlated with a metasedimentary and metavolcanic flysch sequence has velocities of 5.4-5.9 km/s. It is underlain by mafic to ultramafic metavolcanic rocks (6.0-6.4 km/s) correlated with the terrane basement. Mid-crustal layers beneath the Chugach terrane contain two velocity reversals (6.5 and 6.7 km/s) attributed to off-scraped oceanic sedimentary rocks which are underlain by mafic to ultramafic oceanic volcanic crust (7.0-7.2 km/s). Interpretation of data from the Prince William terrane indicates systematically lower velocities in Prince William terrane rocks as compared to Chugach terrane rocks at comparable depths. The upper 10 km of crust, having average compressional velocities of 3.0-6.2 km/s, is correlated with clastic sedimentary and volcanic rocks which are overlain by younger terrigenous sedimentary rocks. A 2-km thick layer at 10-12 km depth is correlated with mafic to ultramafic Prince William terrane basement rocks. The difference in velocity structure between the Chugach and Prince William terranes suggests that the Contact fault zone is a terrane boundary which extends to a depth of at least 10-12 km. Deep structure beneath the two terranes is not well constrained by the seismic refraction data. Potential field data support the interpretation that a thick low-velocity zone occurs at a 12-15 km depth and may contain subducted continental rocks of the Yakutat terrane, which is currently accreting to and being thrust beneath the North American continent along the Gulf of Alaska margin.
    • Uqalugaatka

      Zibell, Chelsey; Burleson, Derick; Reilly, Terence; Ruppert, James; Hill, Sean (2016-05)
      When I began graduate school as an M.A. student, my first idea for a thesis was to prove that stories from the Iñupiaq oral tradition could be considered poetry. In my mind, that would bring these stories to a level I thought they deserved. In my ignorance, I thought that the tradition needed me to validate it. However, I came to the realization that my thoughts indicated a prejudice on my part: these stories didn’t need my validation. I needed to accept them as they are, and also to accept that I was an authoritative reader of these stories. Much of my poetry seeks to retell and interpret these traditional unipchaat. I address questions that have crossed my mind, and questions that I imagine would cross my readers’ minds. My questions arise from my own context as an Iñupiaq, as a Naluaġmiu, and as a Christian. Therefore, the unipchaat need quliaqtuat and uqaluktuat to lean on. But sometimes the condensed form of a poem is not enough context for a non-Iñupiaq reader, or even an Iñupiaq reader. Out of this came several essays for the poetry and the reader to lean on. The late Jimmie Killigivuk of Point Hope said this of traditional stories: “You must always tell two: stories lean against each other. Otherwise the first one is alone and will fall over.” So it is with creative writing. One text may very well be made to stand on its own, but it is never alone in context.
    • Urban stream management: interdisciplinary assessment of the Ship Creek fishery

      Krupa, Meagan B. (2009-05)
      The Lower Ship Creek Fishery in the city of Anchorage, Alaska is one of the state's most popular sport fisheries. After years of channelization and development, this social-ecological system (SES) continues to experience the effects of urbanization and is struggling to achieve robustness. I applied a robustness framework to the management of management this fishery because of its semi-engineered nature. This framework uses interdisciplinary methods to study the interrelationships between the fishery's socio-economic and ecological components. Robustness is more appropriate than resilience as an analytical framework because of the relative insensitivity of the engineered components to ecological feedbacks. On Lower Ship Creek, the engineered hatchery fish continue to thrive despite declining stream conditions. The robustness of this fishery contributes to the resilience of the city by increasing local food and recreation options and supporting a diverse set of businesses. To study the robustness of this SES in the context of the resilience of Anchorage, I first combined historical photos and existing Ship Creek data with research conducted on other streams to create an environmental history of the creek. This history then was used to describe how eras of urban development have altered the creek's ecosystem processes and created new ecological constraints related to 1) loss of wetlands and riparian vegetation; 2) erosion, pollution, and channelization; 3) loss of fish species; and 4) flow alteration and habitat loss. Using Lovecraft's (2008) typology, I proposed four plausible management scenarios that highlight the trade-offs associated with management of this fishery: 1) Ship Creek Redesign, 2) Mitigation, Construction, and Maintenance, 3) KAPP Dam Removal, and 4) Business as Usual. The second of these scenarios is most consistent with the current ecological constraints, the characteristics preferred by most stakeholders, and current socio-economic trends. Since Scenario 2 will require a large monetary investment, I examined this SES's cost structure and compared it with previously published analyses of the economic benefits of the fishery. By quantifying the costs borne by each agency, I showed how externalities produce intra- and inter-agency tension. These data were used to construct a new cost-sharing framework that provides decision makers with an economic incentive to work more cooperatively in the future. I then explored the interrelationship of the SES's socioeconomic and ecological subsystems, using Anderies et al.'s (2004) framework. I applied Ostrom's design principles (1990) to sport fisheries to explore the reasons why agencies have not cooperated to produce a more robust fishery. This SES fails to meet three of the design principles: it lacks 1) an equal proportion of benefits and costs, 2) collective-choice arrangements, and 3) user and biophysical monitoring. I then suggest how to improve the design and increase the robustness of this SES. This study proposes that the maintenance of semi-engineered systems is important both for local users and for the resilience of states and countries. In the context of global trends toward increasing urbanization, this study provides an interdisciplinary approach to increasing the robustness of urban streams and building resilience within states and countries.
    • Urge surfing for acute and post-acute recovery populations

      Todhunter, Max David; Gifford, Valerie; Sandberg, Patricia; Dahl, Heather (2017-05)
      Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention urge surfing is an intervention that promotes distress tolerance through acceptance of and non-reactivity to urges and cravings. While the urge surfing intervention is effective with participants in out-patient and early recovery settings, for which it was designed, there is no research literature related to its efficacy for clients receiving higher level of care services during early abstinence and recovery. Clients undergoing residential treatment for substance use concerns are likely to experience difficulty with a cognition based approach such as urge surfing, due to cognitive dysfunction related to post-acute withdrawal in early recovery. A modification of the urge surfing intervention that replaces an abstract cognition dependent visualization with a focus on immediate and concrete somatic distress creates the potential of making it useful for populations in early recovery.
    • Use of adaptive filtering techniques for estimating low-frequency electromechanical modes in power systems

      Balasubramanian, Ashok (2006-08)
      Information about the location and strength of low frequency electromechanical modes in power systems reflects the stability of the system. Highly recommended and used techniques like Prony analysis and eigenanalysis require ring down from a disturbance and tedious matrix calculations, respectively, for mode estimation. This work proposes the use of the Least Mean Squares (LMS) adaptive filtering algorithms and its combination with other algorithms for estimating and tracking the modes with respect to time. The mode of interest in this work was the 0.26 Hz mode. An Adaptive Step Size Least Mean Squares (ASLMS) algorithm was introduced in this work to reduce variability in mode estimation for non-stationary environments. The ASLMS algorithms achieved quicker convergence than LMS algorithms. A combination of the ASLMS and the LMS algorithm called the Error Tracking (ET) algorithm was tested, based on the running error in the estimate, to reduce variability while also maintaining reasonable convergence time. The ET algorithm achieved high accuracy, less variable performance and quicker convergence of estimates compared to all the other algorithms. The ET algorithm tracked the 0.26 Hz mode in both the simulated data and the real time data with the least amount of error.
    • The use of aerial imagery to map in-stream physical habitat related to summer distribution of juvenile salmonids in a Southcentral Alaskan stream

      Perschbacher, Jeff; Margraf, F. Joseph; Hasbrouck, James; Wipfli, Mark; Prakash, Anupma (2011-12)
      Airborne remote sensing (3-band multispectral imagery) was used to assess in-stream physical habitat related to summer distributions of juvenile salmonids in a Southcentral Alaskan stream. The objectives of this study were to test the accuracy of using remote sensing spectral and spatial classification techniques to map in-stream physical habitat, and test hypotheses of spatial segregation of ranked densities of juvenile chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tschwytscha, coho salmon O. kisutch, and rainbow trout O. mykiss, related to stream order and drainage. To relate habitat measured with remote sensing to fish densities, a supervised classification technique based on spectral signature was used to classify riffles, non-riffles, vegetation, shade, gravel, and eddy drop zones, with a spatial technique used to classify large woody debris. Combining the two classification techniques resulted in an overall user's accuracy of 85%, compared to results from similar studies (11-80%). Densities of juvenile salmonids was found to be significantly different between stream orders, but not between the two major drainages. Habitat data collected along a 500-meter stream reach were used successfully to map in-stream physical habitat for six river-kilometers of a fourth-order streams. The use of relatively inexpensive aerial imagery to classify in-stream physical habitats is cost effective and repeatable for mapping over large areas, and should be considered an effective tool for fisheries and land-use managers.
    • The use of aspect in a Gwich'in narrative

      Richards, Qwynten Daelgar (2004-05)
      This work is an investigation of the role of viewpoint aspect in highlighting and fore grounding information in discourse, and in structuring narrative discourse within a Gwich'in narrative. The purpose is to contribute to a clearer understanding of how aspect functions cross-linguistically. The focus of the analysis is on the perfective/imperfective contrast which involves speaker choice. The findings are that there is an interesting correlation between shift in narrative episode and shift in viewpoint aspect, and additionally, that the use of the perfective does highlight and mark significant information in the narrative. The study also examines the narrative in terms of proposed universals in narrative structure, as outlined by Labov, but does not find enough evidence to support his claims in Gwich'in.
    • Use of Beaufort Sea as feeding habitat by bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) as indicated by stable isotope ratios

      Lee, Sang Heon; Schell, Donald; Finney, Bruce; Weingartner, Thomas (2000-12)
      The feeding habitats of the Western Arctic bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) during summer are generally known, but the precise amounts of food consumed from the eastern Beaufort Sea (EBS) are not known. [Alpha]13C and [alpha]15N ratios in whale tissues were used to estimate the amounts of food required from EBS. The feeding strategies of adults and subadults were also compared. For all whales, the [alpha]13C values in muscle sampled in fall were not significantly different from those in the muscle sampled in spring, indicating most food of adults and subadults comes from the Bering/Chukchi seas. The ¹³C data from baleen showed, however, that EBS may be a significant feeding area for subadults. [alpha]15N values are significantly different between fall and spring muscle in subadults, suggesting a shift to different prey and/or nutritional stress during winter followed by feeding in EBS in summer.
    • Use of family history to improve colorectal cancer screening outreach among Alaska Native people

      Redwood, Diana; Lopez, Ellen; Johnson, Rhonda; Skewes, Monica; Garcia, Gabriel (2013-12)
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality among Alaska Native people are the highest of any ethnic or racial group in the United States. First-degree relatives (FDRs), which include parents, siblings, and children of CRC patients, are at increased risk. There is a paucity of data on predictors of screening adherence among Alaska Native FDRs, and the extent to which screening outreach is occurring within the Alaska Tribal Health System (ATHS) for FDRs. There is also a lack of data available on barriers and facilitators to increasing screening outreach efforts in this population. This study assessed the prevalence of CRC screening outreach to FDRs at Alaska tribal health organizations (THOS), use of family history information, barriers to CRC screening, and potential tools to improve CRC screening throughout the Alaska Tribal Health System (ATHS). The study also included a process evaluation of the Alaska Native CRC Family Outreach Program (2000-2012) based in Anchorage, Alaska. The process evaluation investigated the program's formation, evolution, and successes and challenges through a series of key informant interviews with program stakeholders. Lastly, an outcome evaluation was conducted of the Alaska Native CRC Family Outreach Program to assess predictors of screening adherence and results of screening among Alaska Native FDR program participants. The study found that CRC screening outreach was common in the ATHS, but significant barriers still exist. These barriers were especially notable for outreach to FDRs, including a lack of dedicated staff and resources. Key results of the process evaluation of the Alaska Native CRC Family Outreach Program included an incremental approach that led to a unique outreach program and revealed the need for dedicated staff to provide culturally competent patient navigation. Challenges identified included differing FDR outreach responses, health system data access and coordination, and relying on unstable grant funding for program sustainability. The outcome evaluation of the Alaska Native CRC Family Outreach Program found despite increasing programmatic outreach and FDR screening rates, a large proportion of Alaska Native FDRs were still due for screening. This was especially true among rural-dwelling and older FDRs. This study found that overall, CRC screening and awareness are increasing among the Alaska Native population, including among FDRs. However, many Alaska Native FDRs remain unscreened. There is a critical need for more research into FDR barriers and facilitators to CRC screening, as well as how the ATHS can more systematically promote screening among this increased-risk population and reduce morbidity and mortality due to this preventable disease.
    • The use of social network analysis by school librarians to evaluate and improve collaborative networks in their secondary schools: a pilot study

      Rinio, Deborah; Jacobsen, Gary; Adams, Barbara; Stanley, Sarah; Richey, Jean; Gerlich, Bella (2018-05)
      Social capital, in the form of relationships among teachers, results in sharing information and resources, which leads to improved student academic achievement. As schools continue to seek out ways to improve performance, social capital is often overlooked in favor of development of human capital in the form of professional development and training. Schools that have implemented collaborative groups have the potential to increase social capital, but often fail to structure the groups intentionally or evaluate their outcomes. School librarians in secondary schools often face challenges when it comes to collaboration. The job of a school librarian is inherently collaborative. To effectively serve the school's population, school librarians must understand the needs of their community. To teach information literacy skills, they must have access to students, typically via classroom teachers. Not surprisingly, collaboration between teachers and librarians is a major focus of both professional and research literature, yet librarians report it is one of their biggest challenges. Librarians are urged to start small, work with the teachers who are willing, and hope that others in the school will see the value of collaboration; in other words, build it and they will come. This research sought to determine if school librarians could use social network analysis as an evaluative and strategic planning tool. This study used a mixed-methods approach in a three-phase process to collect social network survey data in two secondary schools, develop the Social Network Analysis for School Librarians (SNASL) Process, and pilot test the process with the school librarians in the pilot schools using participatory analysis. Analysis revealed that the SNASL Process has the potential to enable school librarians to evaluate and improve upon the collaborative network of their school by identifying individuals in specific role positions and producing generative insight regarding the structure of the school network.
    • Use of synthetic aperture radar in estimation of wave climate for coastal engineering design

      Blackstone, Jill Ellen (1995)
      Development of Alaska's maritime resources requires design of efficient, reliable, safe facilities by coastal engineers who have a thorough knowledge of site specific wave climate: wave height, length, period, direction, and storm duration. Unfortunately, lack of wave information and validated hindcast models along the Alaskan coast often results in costly overdesigned facilities or underdesigned coastal structures which have a high risk of performance failure. To expand the nearshore wave climate availability, use of spaceborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data to estimate wave parameters was evaluated. SAR data were examined in raw and filtered forms, and the extracted wave climate compared to field measured data at three sites. Based on this comparison, the applications and limitations of SAR estimated parameters were established and incorporation of the information into current design practice was addressed. SAR based spectra were dominated by low frequency spectral peaks, likely due to random noise associated with SAR images, as these peaks were not present in the field measured spectra. Due to discrepancies between SAR and measured spectra, wave height, and storm duration could not be determined. Although error ranged from 12.5% to over 100% for SAR estimated wave lengths, the fact that wave lengths, although inaccurate, could be determined from SAR is promising. SAR based wave direction compared favorably to theoretical propagation directions which affirms the potential of wave parameter extraction from SAR data. However, directional field data were not available for comparison. Due to the current errors associated with SAR based wave estimations, SAR estimated wave climate cannot be incorporated into coastal design practice at this time. Research results suggest SAR data still hold great potential for estimating wave parameters. Examination of SAR based wave climate in an extensively monitored, open ocean setting would be beneficial, and the influence of environmental factors on SAR imaging of waves warrants additional investigation. Furthermore, development of a tandem SAR platform with temporal resolution on the order of seconds would be useful for wave period estimation and interferometric wave height determination. After this background research has been accomplished, another evaluation of SAR based nearshore wave climate would be worthwhile.