• Automatic detection of changes in volcanic activity using ground based near-infrared cameras to monitor thermal incandescence

      Harrild, Martin C.; Webley, Peter; Dehn, Jonathan; Meyer, Franz (2017-05)
      An increase in thermal activity is a common precursor of volcanic eruptions and, if identified, can be used to advise local observatories to disseminate the appropriate advanced warnings. As continuously operating near-infrared (NIR) cameras are becoming more readily available at active volcanoes around the world, this investigation explores the use of identifying changes in pixel brightness in webcam imagery resulting from increased thermal incandescence. A fast, efficient, and fully automated Python algorithm has been developed with a primary focus on effective volcano monitoring and reducing overall financial costs. The algorithm includes three important tests (statistical analysis, edge detection, and Gaussian mixture model) to identify changes in activity in near-real time. The developed algorithm can be installed locally with a webcam or at a central location, with no need for additional costs. This algorithm approach was preliminarily tested on data from a permanently installed thermal infrared camera at Stromboli volcano, with a successful detection rate of 75.34%. The algorithm based methodology was further developed and applied to freely available online webcam imagery from Shiveluch volcano, with an overall accuracy of 96.0%, and a critical success index (CSI) of 76.7%. Further refinements to the algorithm were made to reduce the false alarm rate (FAR) and number of missed events, and applied to four additional image datasets at Shiveluch, Fuego, Popocatepetl, and Stromboli. The algorithm successfully identified two large eruptions at Shiveluch, between 40 minutes and 2.5 hours prior to other satellite remote sensing methods, correctly identified the beginning of a large eruption at Fuego, which corresponded with local seismic data, and successfully identified a 90-minutes window of increased activity leading to a large paroxysm event at Popocatepetl, which was describe by the local observatory as having 'little to no warning'. The algorithm underperformed at Stromboli as the images here were capture in the thermal infrared (TIR) instead of the NIR, identifying the need for further improvements to ensure the algorithm performs correctly across multiple datasets. Overall, the algorithm developed here identifies thermally incandescent activity from increases in image pixel brightness remarkably well, and would complement existing volcano observatory monitoring tools, especially in remote or financially restricted locations as the equipment and coding language used here are extremely cheap compared to many other monitoring methods.
    • Automatic detection of sensor calibration errors in mining industry

      Pothina, Rambabu; Ganguli, Rajive; Ghosh, Tathagata; Lawlor, Orion; Barry, Ronald (2017-12)
      Sensor errors cost the mining industry millions of dollars in losses each year. Unlike gross errors, "calibration errors" are subtle, develop over time, and are difficult to identify. Economic losses start accumulating even when errors are small. Therefore, the aim of this research was to develop methods to identify calibration errors well before they become obvious. The goal in this research was to detect errors at a bias as low as 2% in magnitude. The innovative strategy developed relied on relationships between a variety of sensors to detect when a given sensor started to stray. Sensors in a carbon stripping circuit at a gold processing facility (Pogo Mine) in Alaska were chosen for the study. The results from the initial application of classical statistical methods like correlation, aggregation and principal component analysis (PCA), and the signal processing methods (FFT), to find bias (±10%) in "feed" sensor data from a semi-autogenous (SAG) grinding mill operation (Fort Knox mine, Alaska) were not promising due to the non-linear and non-stationary nature of the process characteristics. Therefore, those techniques were replaced with some innovative data mining techniques when the focus shifted to Pogo Mine, where the task was to detect calibration errors in strip vessel temperature sensors in the carbon stripping circuit. The new techniques used data from two strip vessel temperature sensors (S1 and S2), four heat exchanger related temperature sensors (H1 through H4), barren flow sensor (BARNFL) and a glycol flow sensor (GLYFL). These eight sensors were deemed to be part of the same process. To detect when the calibration of one of the strip vessel temperature sensors, S1, started to stray, tests were designed to detect changes in relationship between the eight temperature sensors. Data was filtered ("threshold") based on process characteristics prior to being used in tests. The tests combined basic concepts such as moving windows of time, ratios (ratio of one sensor data to data from a set of sensors), tracking of maximum values, etc. Error was triggered when certain rules were violated. A 2% error was randomly introduced into one of the two strip vessel temperature data streams to simulate calibration errors. Some tests were less effective than others at detecting the simulated errors. The tests that used GLYFL and BARNFL were not very effective. On the other hand, the tests that used total "Heat" of all the heat exchanger sensors were very effective. When the tests were administered together ("Combined test"), they have a high success rate (95%) in terms of True alarms, i.e., tests detecting bias after it is introduced. In those True alarms, for 75% of the cases, the introduction of the error was detected within 39.5 days. A -2% random error was detected with a similar success rate.
    • Autonomous Full-Time Lidar Measurements Of Polar Stratospheric Clouds At The South Pole

      Campbell, James R.; Sassen, Kenneth (2006)
      Polar stratospheric clouds (PSC) are an artifact of extremely low temperatures in the lower-stratosphere caused by a lack of sunlight during winter. Their presence induces increased concentrations of chlorine and bromine radicals that drive catalytic ozone destruction upon the return of sunlight in spring. An eye-safe micropulse lidar (MPL; 0.23 mum) was installed at the Scott-Amundsen South Pole Station, Antarctica in December 1999 to collect continuous long-term measurements of polar clouds. A four-year data subset for analyzing PSC is derived from measurements for austral winters 2000 and 2003--2005. A statistical algorithm based on MPL signal uncertainties is designed to retrieve PSC boundary heights, attenuated scattering ratios and demonstrate instrument performance for low signal-to-noise measurements. The MPL measurements consist mostly of Type II PSC (i.e., ice). The likelihood for Type I measurements are described for specific conditions. Seasonal PSC macrophysical properties are examined relative to thermodynamic and chemical characteristics. The potential for dehumidification and denitrification of the lower Antarctic stratosphere is examined by comparing PSC observations to theoretical predictions for cloud based on common scenarios for water vapor and nitric acid concentrations. Conceptual models for seasonal PSC occurrence, denitrification and dehumidification and ozone loss are described. A linear relationship is established between total integrated PSC scattering and ozone loss, with high correlation. Polar vortex dynamics are investigated in relation to PSC occurrence, including synoptic-scale geopotential height anomalies, isentropic airmass trajectories and local-scale gravity waves. Moisture overrunning, from quasi-adiabatic cooling and transport along isentropic boundaries, is considered a primary mechanism for PSC occurrence. Middle and late-season PSC are found to be the result of mixing of moist air from the outer edges of the vortex that coots upon reaching South Pole. Gravity waves are considered to be only a secondary influence on PSC nucleation and growth.
    • The average American

      Stolz, A. Digger (2004-08)
      'The Average American' is a screenplay crafted in the modern, mixed-genre tradition. Both comedic and dramatic elements are woven into a road movie structure. At its core, 'The Average American' questions the purpose and power of literature and explores how our society values the written word. This exploration is important because advances in technology and media increasingly threaten literature's place as a tool of communication. The protagonist, Art Spender, a disillusioned literary agent, journeys across the American Midwest in search of a mysterious writer whose brilliant new novel has piqued the interests of a New York publishing house. Ultimately, through interactions with various Americans during his journey into the heartland, Art discovers reasons to continue wading through the countless manuscripts that inundate his day to day existence.
    • Axisymmetric numerical heat transfer analysis of natural gas hydrates reservoir

      Subbaihaannadurai, Vijayagandeeban; Das, Debendra K.; Patil, Shirish L.; Goering, Douglas J. (2004-12)
      Gas hydrates are crystalline substances, occurring in nature under high pressure and low temperature. Numerical studies were conducted on dissociation of gas hydrate to recover natural gas. The model is a cylindrical geometry with a wellbore at the center through which hot water is injected. Through this thermal stimulation technique frozen hydrate reservoir is melted and natural gas is released. The computational fluid dynamics software FLUENT was adopted to generate the model. The initial model was solely comprised of a hydrate layer. This model was refined by adding the overburden and the underburden to the hydrate and exploring the thermal regime of the entire composite medium. Unsteady state results showing the dissociation front propagation with respect to time were calculated. In the first part, the hydrate medium is dissociated by the conduction phenomenon only. In the second part, due to the porous nature of the hydrate medium, both conduction and convection phenomena are considered. This thesis presents the following results obtained from simulations using Fluent. They are: temperature rise within the reservoir with time, temperature profiles in the radial direction, and steady and transient state solutions of the dissociation of gas hydrate with the liquid fraction in the reservoir. Comparison of our results with a finite difference model and a finite element model is also included. Volumes of gas released with respect to time and thermal efficiency ratios are also determined.
    • Back to the future: Pacific walrus stress response and reproductive status in a changing Arctic

      Charapata, Patrick Maron; Horstmann, Larissa; Misarti, Nicole; Wooller, Matthew (2016-08)
      The Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) is an iconic Arctic marine mammal that Alaska Natives rely on as a subsistence, economic, and cultural resource. A decrease in critical sea ice habitat and uncertain population numbers have led to walruses being listed as a candidate for the Endangered Species Act. However, there is no clear understanding of how walruses might be affected by climate change. The first objective of this study was to describe how bone steroid hormone concentrations relate to commonly used blubber and serum steroid hormone concentrations (i.e., cortisol, estradiol, progesterone and testosterone), because steroid hormones have not been extracted from marine mammal bone until now. Bone, blubber, and serum were collected from individual adult walruses (n = 34) harvested by Native Alaskan subsistence hunters during 2014 and 2015. Complete turnover of cortical bone in a walrus skeleton was estimated as ~33 years, approximately the lifetime of a walrus. Results showed bone and blubber steroid hormone concentrations were similar (P = 0.96, 0.51, 0.27 for cortisol, estradiol, and progesterone (males only), respectively), but not testosterone (males and females, P = 0.003) nor progesterone in blubber of female walruses (P = 0.007). Progesterone concentrations in males were significantly correlated between bone and blubber (R² = 0.51, P < 0.001). Estradiol measured in bone had high interannual variability (P < 0.001), indicating a shorter reservoir time in cortical bone compared with other hormones in this study, possibly due to local production of estradiol in walrus bone. Overall, bone serves as a long-term reservoir of steroid hormone concentrations compared with circulating serum concentrations. Progesterone measured in blubber can be compared with bone progesterone, but local production of estradiol in bone should be taken into account when interpreting these concentrations in cortical bone. The second objective of this study was to understand the physiological resiliency of walruses to the current warming in the Arctic. Steroid hormone concentrations were measured in walrus bone collected from archaeological (n = 38, > 200 calendar years before present (BP)), historical (n =135, 200 – 20 BP), and modern (n = 47, 2014 – 2015) time periods, but were also analyzed at a finer decadal (1830s – 2010s) scale. Walrus bone cortisol concentrations measured in modern-day walruses were similar to other time periods (P = 0.38, 0.07, for archaeological and historical time periods, respectively) indicating no increase in the stress response of walruses as a result of current sea ice conditions in the Arctic. Estradiol (females only), progesterone, and testosterone were significantly negatively correlated with walrus population estimates (P = 0.008, 0.003, <0.001, respectively). A negative correlation indicates that walrus population numbers are low when reproductive hormone concentrations are high, and population numbers are high, possibly at carrying capacity, when hormone concentrations are low. Data from the current decade (2014–2015) show that the current walrus population has lower reproductive hormone concentrations compared to times of rapid population increase. These data indicate the present-day walrus population may not be increasing, but is either experiencing low calf production and / or is near its carrying capacity. Overall, these data provide walrus management with insights into the physiological resiliency of walruses in response to arctic warming, and validate bone as a valuable tissue for monitoring long-term physiological changes in the walrus population.
    • Bacteria associated with paralytic shellfish toxin-producing strains of Anabaena circinalis

      Raudonis, Renee Alaine (2007-12)
      Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are produced by dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria. There is growing evidence that bacteria associated with dinoflagellates play a role in the production of PSTs, however, no studies have examined the type of bacteria associated with toxic cyanobacteria or the role these bacteria could play in PST-production or metabolism. Further, there are no known axenic cultures of PST-producing cyanobacteria, suggesting that cyanobacteria are dependent on one or more bacteria for growth/survival. The research reported here examined the bacterial community associated with six Australian freshwater cyanobacterial strains of Anabaena circinalis obtained from the CSIRO, three toxic and three non-toxic. The goal was to identify bacteria that could be essential for cyanobacterial growth/survival and/or PST production/metabolism. Confirmation of cyanobacterial species identification was confirmed by molecular techniques; one species was found to be more closely related to Anabaena flos-aquae. PST-production by the three toxic strains was confirmed using HPLC. Bacterial communities associated with the cyanobacteria were dominated by the [alpha]-Proteobacteria, of which the Rhizobiales group was dominant. Two bacterial ribotypes were associated with only the toxic cyanobacteria, and could be important in PST-remineralization.
    • Balancing biological sustainability with the economic needs of Alaska's sockeye salmon fisheries

      Steiner, Erin M.; Criddle, Keith R.; Adkison, Milo D.; Kruse, Gordon H. (2009-05)
      "The total revenue of the Bristol Bay, Alaska sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka, fishery has continued to decline despite strong run sizes. This decline is primarily attributed to increases in production of farmed Chilean rainbow trout O. mykiss and coho salmon, O. kisutch. Although wild salmon managers have less control over production than salmon farmers, there may be some opportunity to regain value to the fishery by altering management strategies. To explore this potential, we first simulated three management strategies for sockeye salmon: a fixed escapement range strategy, a fixed harvest strategy and a fixed harvest rate strategy. Yields from these simulations were then combined with a forecast of farmed Chilean trout and salmon production and a model of international trade flows for Alaskan sockeye and Chilean coho salmon and rainbow trout to generate forecasts of exvessel price and total revenue for 2010. All three management strategies were able to achieve a run size equilibrium indicating biological sustainability. The highest median yield resulted from the fixed escapement strategy and the lowest median yield was generated by the fixed harvest strategy. Exvessel prices and total revenue were highest under the fixed harvest strategy. These results demonstrate a switch to an inelastic market environment and reveal the need to modify current management strategies to improve the economic health of the fishery"--Leaf iii
    • Balancing life: perceptions and practices of health among young adult Yup'ik women

      Ebsen, Cecilie R.; Plattet, Patrick; Schweitzer, Peter; Rasmus, Stacey (2014-08)
      Ten years ago CANHR (Center for Alaska Native Health Research) asked Yup'ik men and women of all ages how they would define health and wellness; that is, what it means to be well and happy. The answers were largely centered on living a subsistence lifestyle, eating subsistence foods and respecting natural spirits and lands. Today a new generation of young Yup'ik women has emerged. A generation that has grown up in villages and cities with storebought food available next to subsistence food, TV, and Internet. In this study young adult Yup'ik women's perceptions of health and their use of dancing as a practice of health are investigated. This study looks at how this new generation of young adult Yup'ik women understand health. Young adult Yup'ik women's perceptions and practices of health, such as dancing, are examined to determine what these women consider important to stay healthy and how the notion of health itself can be understood. Ideas of what it means to the subjects comprising the study population to be healthy are crucial to understand before conducting any kind of health research. How people interpret, navigate and understand the very notion of health must be uncovered in order to work with them on any and all health issues. As such the notion of health cannot and should not be conceptionalized as the mere presence or absence of disease but includes instead a wide network of social, spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional factors. Consequently, this study approaches health from a holistic perspective implementing a wide network of factors in the investigation of young, adult, Yup'ik women's perceptions and practices of health.
    • Balancing the conservation of wildlife habitat with road access for subsistence hunting in Yakutat, Alaska

      Shanley, Colin S.; Pyare, Sanjay; Kofinas, Gary; Hundertmark, Kris (2008-12)
      "This thesis was an interdisciplinary investigation with the goal of balancing the conservation of wildlife habitat with road access for subsistence hunting in Yakutat, Alaska. The problem posed by land managers and subsistence moose hunters revolved around the use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs; e.g. 'four-wheelers') for subsistence moose hunting and the potential disturbance OHVs have on moose. This complex social-ecological problem is becoming an increasingly common management dilemma faced by rural mixed cash-subsistence communities across the Circumpolar North. I addressed this problem in two chapters with a combination of methods from wildlife ecology, landscape modeling, subsistence land-use, and scenario planning. The data used for analysis in Chapter 1 was derived from a three-year moose GPS-collar dataset, remote sensing imagery, and mapped routes. I modeled moose distribution with multi-scale, seasonal and sex-specific resource selection functions in a GIS. The best-fit models suggested female moose were displaced by OHV routes. Male moose were displaced by routes or areas where routes were in close proximity to primary forage. A combined pattern of route avoidance was quantified beyond approximately 1 km of total vehicle travel/km²/day. Chapter 2 describes the application of distribution models from Chapter 1 to a social-ecological assessment of route closures. Meetings with land managers and moose hunters were conducted to identify their respective values and management goals. Then I evaluated the effect of four road closure scenarios on moose habitat and hunting access. A measure of hunting access was evaluated with interviews about hunter land-use patterns, as well as the mapping of harvest areas in a GIS. The results of the scenario evaluation showed the spatial arrangement of routes influenced the total amount of high probability moose habitat and access to preferred harvest areas. A balance in the conservation of wildlife habitat and the maintenance of hunting access may be found in the closure of routes through valuable moose habitat and the spatial arrangement of future routes around valuable moose habitat, within reach of important harvest areas. The results of the analysis and interdisciplinary approach may prove useful to land managers who must evaluate the trade-offs between wildlife habitat conservation and the increasing use of motorized access for contemporary subsistence hunting practices"--Leaf iii
    • Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus alaskanus) nesting related to forestry in southeastern Alaska

      Corr, Patrick O. (1974-05)
      There were 136 nests located by aerial survey along 225 miles of beach in six logged plots and six virgin plots. Nest densities during the three years were 0.20, 0.23, and 0.20 active nests per beach mile. Islets present within 2 miles of a logged main shore provided nesting territories for eagles not able to find suitable nest sites along the logged shore. Spatial distribution of active nests indicated a 1.25 mile territory radius per nesting pair. Statistical comparison (Mann and Whitney U test) of mean territory size found in logged versus virgin plots showed no significant difference in territory size between the two plot types. Nests located in beach fringe timber remaining after harvesting were utilized frequently because of the lack of alternate nest sites in the immediate vicinity; these nest sites were highly susceptible to wind throw. Storm damage resulted in the loss of 20 per cent of the known nests during winter 1968-1969. It is recommended that buffer zones (10 chain radius - 660 feet) around eagle nests be maintained during harvesting, and that logging activity in the vicinity of nesting eagles be curtailed during April and May. Also, smaller, scattered timber sales should be promoted to ensure that extensive beach strip logging does not remove potential nest sites along miles of shoreline.
    • Barents Sea hydrographic variability (1975-1991)

      Zimmermann, Sarah Lukens (2003-12)
      Barents Sea temperature and salinity anomalies and their connection to the Arctic Oscillation (AO) are analyzed using a 16-year time-series of hydrographic data (1975-1991). Seasonal and inter-annual variations are investigated along two sections spanning the meridional and zonal length of the Barents Sea over two depth layers, 0 to 50m and 50 to 200m. Depending on location, mean seasonal differences in the deeper layer are as large as 3°C in temperature and 0.2 in salinity, whereas the upper layer differences are 6°C and 1.4. Inter-annual anomalies are 0.6°C and 0.07 in the deeper layer and 0.8⁰C and 1.2 in the upper layer. Temperature and salinity anomalies' leading EOFs explain 49% and 34% of the total variance, and are in-phase from 1975-1985 but out-of-phase for 1985-1991. Examination of the surface heat-flux suggests the temperature anomaly is advective before 1985 and locally formed after 1985. This is supported by the temperature anomaly's changing propagation pattern through the Barents Sea after 1985. The salinity anomaly's source appears to be advective throughout the period. The AO correlates with the temperature EOF suggesting the AO's influence on the temperature anomaly is stronger over the Norwegian Sea before 1985 and stronger over the Barents Sea after 1985.
    • Barriers To Ahtna Athabascans Becoming Public School Educators

      Johnson, Michael A.; Jacobsen, Gary; Barnhardt, Ray; Elliott, James W.; Richey, Jean A. (2012)
      Using a mixed-method phenomenological approach, this cross-cultural study utilizes a non-formalized survey and interviews. Data was gathered and presented in a manner consistent with Ahtna cultural norms and values. Survey data set was analyzed by statistical description. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically through axial coding. The review of literature and data gathered from Ahtna Athabascan participants identified barriers common to other minorities groups evidenced in Ahtna-specific ways. Through a thematic analysis, the data showed barriers, consequences, benefits, and solutions to Ahtna Athabascans becoming public school educators. Through this study, Ahtna Athabascans expressed an overwhelming desire to see more Ahtna Athabascans teachers in public schools. Among the policy and practical implications identified in the study are the need to improve the quality of K-12 educational experiences for Ahtna youth and improved guidance counseling services. The analysis of the data set provides pathways for future Ahtna-specific research and Ahtna-specific solutions for increasing the number of Ahtna Athabascan teachers in local public schools.
    • Barriers to completing degrees for UAF Ph.D. students

      Whitaker, Hannah L.; Gifford, Valerie; Renes, Susan; Carr, Kiana (2021-12)
      A student faces several challenges when working towards a doctoral degree. Previous research has demonstrated that discrimination, lack of support, poor mentorship, funding issues, mental health concerns, and minority stress are barriers to degree completion. The available research also suggests that these difficulties are especially challenging for underrepresented students. Although universities are currently attempting to mitigate certain of these barriers, more can be done to understand the doctoral experience as a way of supporting students. Focus groups were conducted for this thesis to explore the barriers, strengths, and advice for others that doctoral students have at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Key findings of this study included racism, discrimination, and funding as the primary barriers to degree engagement and completion. The results also suggested the importance of effective mentorship and community support for doctoral students. Implications for students, staff and faculty, and universities are discussed. This information is important in creating a more productive and inclusive environment for doctoral students at UAF.
    • Barriers to graduation: an examination of first-generation college students

      Smith, Sarah M. (2012-08)
      The college experience of first- generation college students is unique in comparison to their peers. Many students do not have the support from their family and require help in the navigation of college life. Student Support Services, a federally funded TRIO program helps students successfully graduate with a bachelor's degree. Qualitative interviews were conducted on ten undergraduate students at UAF who were labeled as first-generation college students. All ten students were active participants in Student Support Services at the University of Alaska Fairbanks during the time of the interview. A thematic analysis produced six emergent themes. It was found that students utilized communicative strategies based on Orbe's co-cultural communication theory. First-generation college students, a non-dominant part of society, tried to negotiate through the University system, the dominant section of society. Through this negotiation, a co-cultural group was formed.
    • Basal shear strength inversions for ice sheets with an application to Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland

      Habermann, Marijke; Truffer, Martin; Maxwell, David; Freymueller, Jeff; Pettit, Erin; Tape, Carl (2013-12)
      Satellite and in situ observations of ice sheet outlet glaciers around the turn of the 21st century showed that rapid changes in ice dynamics are possible and important for the evolution of ice sheets. When attempting to model these dynamic changes the conditions at the ice-bed interface are crucial. Inverse methods can be used to infer basal properties, such as the basal yield stress, from abundant surface velocity observations by using a physical model of ice flow. Inverse methods are very powerful, but they need to be applied with care, otherwise errors can dominate the solution. In this study we investigate the potentials and caveats of inverse methods. Synthetic experiments can be designed where basal conditions are assumed and an ice flow model is used to produce a set of 'synthetic' surface velocities. These can then be used to examine and evaluate inverse methods. We find that in iterative inverse methods it is essential to use a stopping criterion that will prevent overfitting the data. We introduce a new and rapidly-converging iterative inverse method called Incomplete Gauss Newton method, where the linearized problem is partly minimized in each step.In a practical application of inverse methods to the terminus region of Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland we investigate changes in basal conditions over time by performing inversions for different years of available surface velocity data. We find a decrease in basal yield stress in the lower areas of the glacier that agrees with effective pressure changes due to the changes in ice geometry. This supports an ocean and terminus driven system. The difference between the modeled and observed velocity fields, called residual, contains information about the ability to reproduce the velocities when only adjustment of the basal condition is allowed. With a properly regularized inversion the residual patterns can be used to investigate sources of error in the system. We find that the ice geometry and the model simplifications influence the ability to reproduce observed velocity fields more than the error in observed velocity does. This indicates that further progress must come from model improvements and improved capabilities to measure bedrock geometry.
    • Baseline data of bird populations in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Mexico: a citizen science approach

      Anderson, Teresa S.; Fix, Peter J.; Carsten-Conner, Laura D.; Dalle-Molle, Lois K. (2017-12)
      This project tested the viability of converting a local environmental education group, "Eco Chavos" into a team of citizen scientists. In rural biosphere reserves in Mexico, with few resources and large resident populations, community-based biological inventory and monitoring has the potential to increase the impact of Mexican biosphere reserves by generating scientific information and engaging local residents in hands-on environmental education. To test this, I formed a citizen science birding group and trained them in bird identification, survey techniques, data collection, and data management. The project began in January 2016 and in December 2016 I stopped mentoring the program and let it continue under its own leadership. Our team was composed of an Eco Chavos group and a resident ornithologist who conducted land and water-based surveys multiple times a month. As of August 2017, 160 bird species have been registered, including three species endemic to Mexico; the Crimson-collared Grosbeak (Rhodothraupis celaeno), Blue Mockingbird (Melanotis caerulescens), and Spotted Wren (Campylorhynchus gularis). The survey provided an inventory of bird diversity in the reservoir, and could serve as a starting point to measure occurrence and abundance over time. The data were published in the updated management plan of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve as well as in a new bird book, Guía de Aves de la Presa Jalpan. A new community group, "Aves de la Presa Jalpan" was formed and contributed information via an online public database. The database may be used by the international network of bird monitors to analyze population trends in both local Mexican bird populations and in international bird migrations. In addition, participants showed increased bird identification skills, leadership, increased interest in birds, and engagement in project tasks and planning. Infrastructure was built to encourage birdwatching tourism in the Biosphere Reserve and the foundation was set to continue this research in the future.
    • Bathymetric and spatial distribution of echinoderms on seamounts in the Gulf of Alaska

      Underwood, Danielle Parker (2006-12)
      The bathymetric and spatial distribution of echinoderms was examined on five seamounts in the Kodiak-Bowie seamount chain in the northern Gulf of Alaska from video transects of 200 or 500 m length, conducted at approximately 700, 1700 and 2700 m depths with the DSV Alvin in August, 2004. Temperature and salinity varied significantly with depth, but not between seamounts; an oxygen minimum zone encompassed the shallowest depth sampled. Holothuroid (Pannychia and Psolus) and asteroid density for the shallower depth category was 19.94·100 m⁻² and 2.07·100 m⁻², significantly higher than at the deeper depths. Asteroid density generally decreased northwesterly along the seamount chain. Density of three ophiuroid genera (Asteronyx, Amphigyptis, and Ophiomoeris) was 139.6·100 m⁻² on Dickens Seamount, and was significantly less on the other three seamounts to a low of 31.19·100 m⁻² on Pratt Seamount. Ophiuroid density was significantly higher at the intermediate depth (141.07·100 m⁻²), and lower at the other two depths. Density of Pentametrocrinus and Guillecrinus crinoids was not significantly affected by seamount or depth, but was highest (3.15·100 mm⁻²) at the deepest depths. No echinoids were found on transects, but were observed on three of the seamounts. Many brittle stars and asteroids were found associated with paragorgid and primnoid corals.
    • Bathymetry of Alaskan arctic lakes: a key to resource inventory with remote-sensing methods

      Mellor, Jack C. (1982-05)
      Water depth is a major factor in predicting resources associated with tens-of-thousands of uninventoried Alaskan arctic lakes. Lakes were studied for physical, chemical, and biological resources related to water depth in 3 specific areas along a north/south transect extending from Pt. Barrow on the Arctic Ocean to the foothills of the Brooks Range. Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) imagery was acquired over the same study transect to investigate its application for determining lake depth. Ice thicknesses, necessary for the interpretation of depth contours from SLAR imagery, were measured along with other parameters in the study lakes throughout the winter 1978-79. This ice-thickness data and sequential SLAR images are used to illustrate a method of contouring water depths in arctic lakes. This is based on changes in intensity of SLAR signal return which define the zone at which ice cover contacts the bottom. This intensity is a function of physical and dielectric properties of the snow, ice, water, bottom substrates, and ice inclusions within these lakes. A computer program was developed to manipulate Landsat satellite digital data and compile a master file of lakes and their computer-calculated surface features (i.e. area, perimeter, crenulation, and centroid). The master file uniquely identifies each computer catalogued lake by latitude and longitude and stores the calculated features in a data base that can be retrieved for a specified geographic ABSTRACT area. Each lake record also provides storage space for resource data collected outside the computer generated data. The application of these remote-sensing tools and the knowledge of aquatic resources associated with bathymetry add to our ability for regional inventory, classification, and management of arctic lake resources.