• Diet, breeding success, detectability, and density of the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) at its northern range limit

      McConnell, Madison H.; Kielland, Knut; Breed, Greg; Shook, John (2019-05)
      I studied the diet, breeding success, detectability, and density of great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) in the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk Valley in Arctic Alaska. The study extended from the southern slopes of the Brooks Range to latitudinal tree line, the northern breeding limit of the species, and included what are likely to be the northernmost great horned owl nests on record (up to 68.0113 degrees north). I completed the study during the 2017 and 2018 breeding seasons, during years of high snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) abundance. The focus of this study was to gain an understanding of how high snowshoe hare abundance influences the recruitment, diet, and distribution of this apex generalist predator, and to determine best methods of detecting great horned owls for similar studies in the future. I used motion sensor cameras on nests as well as pellet analysis for diet and breeding studies, and call surveys for information on detectability and density. Great horned owl diet consisted mostly of snowshoe hares by mass (mean 80%, range 65-99%), with an average prey size of 714 g (95% CI ± 34.26). Nestlings received an average of 459 g (95% CI ± 75) of prey per chick per day, and the proportion of hares in their diet positively correlated with fledging success (P = 0.01). During call surveys, length of playback was the most important factor in detecting great horned owls throughout 12 minute surveys, reaching 23% (95% CI = ± 6.4) at 3 minutes, and up to 80% (95% CI = ± 6.1) at 9 minutes. Inclusion of silent listening periods may lessen the chance of detecting great horned owls during playback surveys, though a larger sample size is needed (P = 0.18). There was no correlation between cloud cover and probability of detection (P = 0.60) or wind speed and probability of detection (P = 0.28). However, there was a positive correlation between temperature and probability of detection (P = 0.02). Call surveys gave an estimate of 4.1 great horned owls per square kilometer (z = 4.302, 95% CI = ± 2.63). This was the northernmost study of North America's most widespread year-round bird of prey, and the first density estimate at their northern breeding limit.
    • Diet-induced thermogenesis in a carnivore, the arctic fox, Alopex lagopus

      Tallas, Peter George; White, Robert G. (1986)
      Carnivores consume diets low in carbohydrate and high in protein and fat. The high dietary levels of protein and fat are thought to contribute greatly to diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT), i.e. the increase in metabolic rate associated with feeding. Low dietary levels of carbohydrate cause the carnivore to stress gluconeogenesis. Consequently, a well developed capacity for gluconeogenesis may be an important adaptation in the carnivorous arctic fox (Alopex lagopus), and may participate in DIT. The objectives of this study of the arctic fox were to (i) determine DIT associated with four diets that varied in the proportion of fat, protein, and carbohydrate, and (ii) assess glucose utilization in the fed and fasted arctic fox. Fox were fed four diets (high protein, high fat, high carbohydrate, and high protein/fat) at three levels of energy intake (sub-maintenance, near/above maintenance, and above maintenance). Pre- and postfeeding metabolic rates were measured by open circuit indirect calorimetry. The results indicate that (i) DIT contributes significantly to total heat production of the fox, but is dependent on diet type and energy intake, (ii) DIT is non-existent at sub-maintenance energy intake, regardless of dietary nutrients, and (iii) the high fat diet is associated with the highest prefeeding and postfeeding metabolic rate at sub-maintenance energy intake, although DIT is non-existent at all levels of energy intake. For the assessment of glucose turnover, four arctic fox were fed, over a long term, a low carbohydrate, high protein/fat diet. Fed and fasted fox were injected intravenously with radiolabeled glucose, and their blood assayed over time for disappearance of the labeled glucose. The results indicate that glucose metabolism, i.e. total entry rate and irreversible loss, is high compared to other animals, and may support the high blood glucose concentrations of the arctic fox, but does not participate in DIT.
    • Dietary effects on protein turnover in three pinniped species, Eumetopias jubatus, Phoca vitulina, and Leptonychotes weddellii

      Inglis, Susan D.; Castellini, Michael; Atkinson, Shannon; Barboza, Perry; Carpenter, James; Rea, Lorrie (2019-05)
      The role of dietary protein in pinniped (seal and sea lion) nutrition is poorly understood. Although these marine mammals derive the majority of their daily energetic needs from lipid, lipids cannot supply essential amino acids which have to come from protein fractions of the diet. Protein regulation is vital for cellular maintenance, molt, fasting metabolism, exercise and development. Proteins are composed of linked amino acids (AA), and net protein turnover is the balance between protein synthesis from component AA, and degradation back to AA. Protein regulation is influenced by dietary intake and quality, as well as physiological and metabolic requirements. In this work, pinniped diet quality was assessed through comparisons of amino acid profiles between maternal milk, blood serum, and seasonal prey of wild juvenile Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Southcentral Alaska. Both Pacific herring (Clupei pallasi) and walleye pollock (Gadus chalcogramma) showed similar patterns to milk in essential and branched chain amino acid content. Serum amino acid profiles suggest the juvenile sea lions were not in protein deficit at the time of capture. Protein metabolism in the blood and urine was assessed through turnover studies using amino acid tracers. The turnover kinetics of ¹⁵N-labelled glycine in the blood amino acid and protein pool, red blood cells, and urine urea were measured in wild adult female Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) in the Antarctic. Labelled glycine moved quickly into serum protein and red blood cells (1-2 hours) and urinary urea (2-4 hours). The turnover rates in the blood amino acid and urine urea pools demonstrated a reduced turnover rate associated with molting. Lastly, whole body protein turnover experiments using a single bolus ¹⁵N-labelled glycine tracer method with endproduct collection of blood, feces and urine were conducted on 2 Cohort groups of captive Alaskan harbor seals over 2 years. Season was found to have the greatest effect on whole body protein turnover, which increased during the winter and decreased in the summer molt. Conversely, protein intake decreased during the winter and increased in the summer molt. This pattern corresponded with an increase in mass and protein synthesis in the winter, while mass decreased and protein degradation rates increased in molting seals. Weaning also influenced the patterns with reduced protein turnover in newly weaned animals that had recently transitioned from milk to a fish diet. This project presents results on whole body protein turnover rates in nonfasting pinnipeds and reveals that protein turnover is strongly regulated by developmental and seasonal physiological and metabolic demands.
    • Diets of four eelpout species (genus Lycodes) in the U.S. Beaufort Sea based on analyses of stomach contents and stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon

      Apsens, Sarah J.; Norcross, Brenda; Iken, Katrin; Mueter, Franz; López, Andres (2017-12)
      Eelpouts of the genus Lycodes are an abundant group of demersal fishes in the U.S. Beaufort Sea. Currently eelpout diet and the exact role of eelpouts in the Arctic food web are poorly understood. Additionally, if and how eelpouts avoid intra- and interspecific competition for resources is unknown. In this study, diets of four common Beaufort Sea eelpout species were analyzed with respect to along-shelf (longitude) gradients, across-shelf (depth) gradients, and ontogeny (fish body length) to determine diet composition and patterns of resource partitioning. Diets of the four most numerous eelpout species were analyzed using a combination of stomach contents and nitrogen and carbon stable isotope analyses: Adolf's Eelpout Lycodes adolfi, Canadian Eelpout L. polaris, Archers Eelpout L. sagittarius, and Longear Eelpout L. seminudus. Nitrogen stable isotopes of fish tissue were analyzed to determine trophic level and carbon stable isotopes to determine if origin sources of carbon in food web pathways of eelpout diets differed among species. Fishes were collected in the central (2012) and eastern (2013 and 2014) Beaufort Sea in August and September as part of the U.S.-Canada Transboundary program. Prey groups Polychaeta, Amphipoda, Isopoda, Ophiuroidea, and Copepoda composed a large proportion of the diet by percent weight for all four species of Lycodes, but their relative contributions differed among the species examined. This study indicated that eelpouts feed almost exclusively on benthic prey and avoid interspecific competition by occupying different habitat space and having different diets. Intraspecific similarity in diet composition was low suggesting these fish have diverse diets even among individuals of the same species. Fish length was associated with changes in diet composition for L. adolfi and L. sagittarius, but not L. polaris and L. seminudus. Longitude and depth were correlated with shifts in diet composition for L. sagittarius, but not the other three species. Lycodes polaris occupied a lower trophic level than the other three eelpout species based on nitrogen stable isotope values. Despite differences in the across-shelf distribution between L. polaris and the three deep-water eelpout species, carbon sources of diet were indistinguishable among the four eelpout species. Ecological information on abundant Arctic fish species like eelpouts is needed for long-term ecosystem monitoring, which is especially important in light of pronounced climate changes and increased human activities in the Arctic.
    • Diets of juvenile flatfishes near Kodiak Island, Alaska

      Holladay, Brenda A. (2001-12)
      Flathead sole, Pacific halibut, rock sole, and yellowfin sole were found co-existing near Kodiak Island as juveniles (<200 mm) during late summer. Dietary differences were attributed to fish species, size, and depth-sediment characteristics of their habitat. Two to three size classes were assigned within each species. Across all habitats, significant differences in dietary composition, stomach fullness, and diet diversity were found between size classes of different flatfish species. Within a single depth-sediment habitat, flatfishes of different species and size classes ate similar prey. Seven of nine species size classes had similar prey composition across multiple habitats. Significant differences in dietary composition across habitats were detected only for small Pacific halibut and small rock sole. The juvenile flatfishes near Kodiak were opportunistic feeders, and appeared to select habitat based on parameters other than the presence of specific prey taxa.
    • Diets, distribution and population dynamics of Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) in Arctic shelf ecosystems

      Marsh, Jennifer M.; Mueter, Franz; Danielson, Seth; Iken, Katrin; Quinn, Terrance J. II (2019-05)
      With climate warming and longer open-water seasons in the Arctic, there is an increased interest in shipping, oil exploration and the expansion or development of commercial fisheries. Anticipated natural and anthropogenic changes are expected to alter the Arctic shelf ecosystems, including their fish communities. As a component of the Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic Eis), this project presented a unique opportunity to assess the ontogenetic, spatial and temporal variability in the distribution, abundance and trophic roles (trophic level and diet sources) of key fish species in the Chukchi Sea. For my dissertation, I addressed three objectives to advance our understanding of Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) as a key component of Arctic ecosystems. First, I characterized the current range of variability in trophic roles within the system and explored the role of advection in shaping the fish communities' diet (isotopic signatures) with a focus on Arctic cod. Second, I examined environmental and biological influences on the distribution and abundance of Arctic cod and provided an updated stock assessment for the Chukchi Sea. Finally, I broadened the geographic scope and used available time series of survey data at the southern margin of their range in the Pacific (eastern Bering Sea) and Atlantic (Newfoundland/Labrador shelves) sectors to assess the influence of temperature, predators and competitors on their distribution. Compared to age-1+ Arctic cod, age-0 Arctic cod had a less diverse diet regardless of water mass and were limited to colder temperatures. Together, this suggests that younger Arctic cod are more vulnerable to climate change. Estimates of egg production and early survival suggest that the numbers of mature Arctic cod present in the survey area during summer are unlikely to produce the observed high abundances of age-0 Arctic cod in the Chukchi Sea. Moreover, Arctic cod distributions in their southern ranges were highly influenced by temperature and to a lesser extent by competitors and predators. When temperatures were warmer, Arctic cod occupied a smaller area. These results inform the management of Arctic cod in a rapidly changing environment and provide benchmarks against which to assess future changes.
    • Differences Between Frequency Of Diagnosis, Diagnosis Extremity, And Global Assessment Of Functioning Score In A Euro-American And Alaskan Native Client

      Niles, Britton Ann; Morotti, Allan; Lewis, Jordan; Strange, Anthony; Sheppard, Dani (2011)
      This research answers the question, given identical client information, history, and presenting issues, but variation in ethnicity, does diagnosis frequency, diagnosis extremity, or Global Assessment of Functioning score differ for an Euro-American male versus an Alaska Native male mental health client. Graduate counseling students, six males and six females, ranging in age from 22--59, currently enrolled at either the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or Alaska Pacific University, volunteered to participate in the present study. Participants were randomly assigned to view either a Euro-American or Alaska Native client's mock intake session. The mock videos were identical in script and environment; the only difference in the videos is that one male actor is Euro-American and the other actor is Alaska Native. Completed mental health intake forms were compared and evaluated through both quantitative and qualitative methods. Qualitatively, Strauss and Corbin's (1990) three step analytic process, grounded theory, was used to analyze the descriptive part of the intake form. Axis I, II, III, IV and V, of the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000), multi-axial system, were quantitatively, assessed to determine diagnosis differences between the Euro-American and Alaska Native client. Results identify that counseling students in training view the Alaska Native client as overall more maladaptive versus the Euro-American client. Counselors-in-training expressed this tendency through more frequent diagnosis and lower Global Assessment of Functioning scores for the Alaska Native client. These results support the need for future research and counselor training programs to be aware of these tendencies of counselors-in-training.
    • Differences between gender traits that could impact happiness in marriage

      Crane, Charlie; Morotti, Allan; Cook, Christine R.; Harrison, Lynn (2014)
      Many people quickly find that being married and keeping love going is hard work (Johnson, 2010). The rise in divorce rates over the last four decades, gender equality, and the changing expectations of the 21st century, are influencing the roles in marriage. The intent of this paper is to increase knowledge regarding the changes in marriage, emotional support, and gender trait differences. An application and lesson plan are provided for a psycho-educational group to practice emotional support and learn about gender traits and the expectations of marriage.
    • Differences in reasons for living between Alaska Native and Euro-American college students

      Simmons, Teisha Marie (2003-05)
      The purpose of this study was to explore the differences in reasons for living between Alaska Native and Euro-American college students, to determine which are important as protective factors against suicide for these two groups. A sample of 106 students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, matched on age, sex, race, marital status, and recent suicide or suicide attempt by a family member or friend, were surveyed using a demographic instrument, the College Students Reasons for Living Inventory, and the Orthogonal Cultural Identification Scale. Results appear to indicate that Alaska Native college students report more reasons for living than Euro-American students.
    • Differential regulation of the uncoupling protein 1 gene

      LePage, Stephen R. (1999-12)
      The mouse uncoupling protein 1 gene (Ucpl) is expressed specifically in brown adipose tissue and its transcription is increased by cold exposure. We have analyzed the transcriptional control of this gene through deletion analysis of the upstream untranslated regions of Ucpl. Mutated minigene constructs were microinjected into mouse pronuclei to generate transgenic mice. Positive transgenic founders were crossed with Balb/cByJ +/+ mice to generate F₁ offspring heterozygous for the transgene, which were then examined for tissue-specific and cold inducible expression of the minigenes by northern analysis. Protein-DNA interactions at putative regulatory sites were also explored through in vitro gel shift assays of the promoter and enhancer regions. We found that the sequence between -2,581 and -2,335 bp of the enhancer region is critical for the expression of Ucpl. We also discovered that the region located between -991 and -230 bp does not play a major role in Ucpl expression. We found that nuclear factor-1 does not play a regulatory role at -166 bp in the promoter region. It was observed that CCAAT enhancer binding protein does not interact with the 5' flanking region at -2,450 to -2,411 bp.
    • A digital data collection system for geomagnetic pulsation studies

      Messick, Steven L. (1983-09)
      Geomagnetic pulsations are minute variations in the ultra-low frequency spectrum of the earth's magnetic field. In order to develop models to explain these phenomena we have first to record data of pulsation events. A flexible, microprocessor controlled data acquisition device suitable for operation at remote sites has been developed. This instrument demonstrates the feasibility of integrating a microprocessor controller with traditional geophysical sensors to create a conceptually simple, yet powerful, data recording device. Much information can be extracted from the data thus recorded. Geomagnetic pulsations are subdivided into several frequency bands; a digital computer routine has been developed which determines the signal power present in each band as a function of time. Pulsations signals tend to be elliptically polarized; another routine has been developed to calculate several polarization parameters, such as ellipticity and handedness, from these data.
    • Digital Dead Ends Along Alaska's Information Highway: Broadband Access For Students And Teachers In Alaska's High School One-To-One Laptop Programs

      Lloyd, Pamela Jo; Monahan, John; Richey, Jean; Roehl, Roy; Eck, Norman; Crumley, Robert; Knight, Phil (2012)
      This dissertation analyzes the potential impact community broadband availability has on personal and classroom levels of technology adoption for high school students and teachers in Alaska. Community broadband availability was defined as, (a) terrestrial broadband availability; (b) satellite broadband availability; and (c) no broadband available. The theoretical framework for this study used a concurrent mixed methods design, beginning with quantitative surveys with open-ended questions administered to teachers and students. Open coding analysis produced themes from student focus groups and open-ended questions used to complement the quantitative analysis. The sample population included high school teachers and students in one-to-one laptop programs from 13 school districts in 39 communities in Alaska spread across three categories of community broadband availability. All participating schools met the criteria for a complete one-to-one laptop solution. Key findings using an analysis of variance resulted in a statistically significant difference in personal use levels of adoption among students compared across three categories of community broadband available. Students living in communities with no broadband access had lower personal use levels of adoption compared to students living in communities with terrestrial or satellite broadband availability. There was no significant difference in student classroom levels technology adoption compared across three categories of community broadband availability. There was no statistical difference among teachers in personal or classroom levels of adoption. There continues to be a need to study these digital learning environments to determine conditions under which positive learning outcomes may be achieved. A study based in Alaska, focusing on student and teacher levels of adoption in personal and classroom, given broadband availability will provide data for policymakers, administrators, and stakeholders to make decisions regarding the impacts of the digital divide. The investment in rural areas of Alaska is significant for not only jobs and long-term economic benefits, but also to the citizenry of Alaska in expanding the opportunities for all of our students to be globally competitive, no matter their zip code.
    • Diideets'ii in our pathway (in our future): Gwich'in educational philosophy and transformative praxis in K-12 education

      Fisher, Charleen; Leonard, Beth; Schneider, William; Aruskevich, Kas; Koskey, Michael (2018-05)
      Gwich'in pedagogy is largely undocumented in Western academia. Gwich'in epistemology includes holistic perspectives on all Western content areas, and crosses the usual segmented knowledge genres. Inter-generational transmission of Gwich'in knowledge occurs in many places including the natural environment, with long-standing cultural ties to place. Gwich'in pedagogy is relational, place-based, holistic, cooperative, purposeful and subjective. Gwich'in gaagwidandaii, or communal knowledge, predates the inception of many world societies. Gwich'in concepts presented in this paper will include the introduction of a framework called Kheegwadadhaak'a', translated to mean, "We just keep the fire going." This framework is a visualization. Important concepts of Gwich'in pedagogy include traditional ideas of assessments or standards using the phrases nil'ee t'ah'in and ch'aadaii, both meaning that someone has a natural talent or is adept at something, for girls and boys, respectively. Learning, or gik'yanjii in Gwich'in, also means "to find out, notice or sense." This comprehension includes a deep, contextual understanding of traditional Gwich'in knowledge. The three types of Gwich'in knowledge are gaagwidandaii, gihk'agwagwaanjik, and gaatr'oahtan. These translate as"collectively known, individually learned, and taught knowledge," respectively. Gwich'in have a complex and relational pedagogy. This pedagogy attempts to achieve contextuality, or duulee ginlii, which translates as "proficiency, agility, ability to do almost anything, being extremely good at anything they do, or overall 'sharpness' in life." This process is importantly both a communal and personal journey.
    • Diigwandak: stories from a Gwich'in language classroom

      Hayton, Allan; Siekmann, Sabine; Hishinlai', "Kathy R. Sikorski"; Marlow, Patrick (2013-05)
      This study describes a semester in an Indigenous language high school classroom during the spring of 2011. The goal of this research is to capture the experiences of a novice Indigenous language teacher, and his students. High and low points are shared as the researcher seeks to find his place in the work of Indigenous language revitalization, and students strive to learn a second language. Data for this qualitative research was collected through teacher auto-ethnographic journal entries, lesson plans, student journals and projects, exit interviews with students, and two recorded classroom observations. Emergent themes of Time, Responsibility, Community, Fluency, Emotions, and Self-Doubt capture significant moments in the classroom, and reveal close connections between teacher and student experiences. The purpose of conducting this research is to provide insights for novice Indigenous language teachers into their classroom dynamics. The researcher also discovered areas of possible future research for Indigenous language teaching and learning.
    • Direct and indirect effects of wolves on interior Alaska's mesopredator community

      Sivy, Kelly J.; Prugh, Laura; Lindberg, Mark; Kielland, Knut; Arthur, Steven (2015-12)
      Large carnivores may indirectly benefit small predators by suppressing competitively dominant mesopredators. However, our current understanding of interactions within the carnivore guild does not account for carrion subsidies provided by large carnivores, which could facilitate mesopredators during times of prey scarcity. This could be particularly relevant in northern ecosystems characterized by long harsh winters and decadal prey cycling. In Alaska, state-sponsored wolf (Canis lupus) control programs reduce wolf populations by as much as 50-80% across 8 game management units that collectively total over 165,000 km2, yet the impact of this practice on the Alaska's diverse mesopredator community remains unknown. We used a quasi-experiment resulting from a wolf control program in the upper Susitna River Basin that was adjacent to Denali National Park and Preserve lands, where wolves occur at naturally regulated densities. From January-March 2013 and 2014, we collected coyote (Canis latrans) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scats and conducted snow track surveys for wolves, mesocarnivores, and their prey. I quantified the relative strengths of direct and indirect effects of wolves on 5 mesopredator species while accounting for snowpack characteristics and small mammal abundance, and assessed winter diet overlap and composition by coyotes and red foxes in response to wolves and small prey availability. My findings indicated that wolves could strongly influence mesocarnivore communities in the Denali and Susitna systems, however despite a strong effect of wolves on coyotes, there was no evidence to support a mesopredator release cascade mediated by coyotes. Rather, I observed a near guild-wide response to wolf presence, whereby mesopredators were positively associated with wolves within each study area. The relative strength of top down versus bottom up effects in this study system further indicated that during a period characterized by low small mammal abundance, wolves were the strongest predictor of canid and wolverine occurrence. Coyote and red fox diet further revealed that carrion was a heavily used resource during this time of low prey abundance, yet red foxes may minimize competition with coyotes for carrion by increasing their use of voles. Finally, I present a hypothesis that local scale facilitation by large carnivores could lead to landscape patterns of suppression by large carnivores, suggesting a key link between abundance patterns and the structure of carnivore communities at different spatial scales relevant to conservation and management.
    • Discoverers & possessors: symbolic acts of possession and Spain's struggle for sovereignty on the North Pacific coast

      Allan, Timo C. (2002-05)
      Until the 18th century, the North Pacific coast of North America remained one of the last territories in the world unexplored by Europeans. As terra nullius, or land unclaimed by any Christian prince, this coastline became a coveted prize as Spanish, Russian, French, and British explorers raced to establish sovereignty on behalf of their respective monarchs. The use of symbolic acts of possession in the North Pacific and the indigenous reaction to those ceremonies has never been properly examined. Often dismissed as meaningless pageantry, symbolic acts were for centuries the principl means by which European powers established claims to territories too vast to be settled or defended militarily. By reexamining the accounts of Spanish explorers and their imperial rivals, this study reveals both the power of symbolic acts in the struggle for sovereignty and their weaknesses as ritual claiming yielded to the practical realities of effective occupation and military prowess.
    • Discovery Peak Charter School Initiative unit development

      Rosevear, Kristine; Green, Carie; Armstrong, Anne; Boyle, Sandra (2017-05)
      I have created two units of study that focus around place-based education, project based learning and emphasize physical activity. These units were created with the purpose of being used at Discovery Peak Charter School. Guided by underlying principles of Understanding by Design (2011) and Place-based Curriculum Design (2015), each unit aligns with the mission of the school and have been balanced to create a holistic quarter long unit of study. The units are built around three main principles; place-based education, project based learning, and physical activity. Each of these principles will be woven into the unit, but may not be present in each lesson section.
    • Discussion and analysis of a graduate recital: an examination of Gary Burton's "Chega De Saudade," Steve Reich's "Marimba Phase," Michael Gordon's "XY," John Cage's "In a Landscape," Minoru Miki's "Time for Marimba," and Milton Babbitt's "Homily"

      Hull, Christopher James Edgar; Retterer, Eric; Post, William; Zilberkant, Eduard (2017-05)
      This paper discusses some of the many facets of percussion music through the examination and analysis of the following works: Gary Burton's Chega De Saudade for solo vibraphone; Steve Reich's Marimba Phase for two marimbas; Michael Gordon's XY for five drums; the author's own arrangement for multiple-percussion setup of John Cage's In a Landscape; Minoru Miki's Time for Marimba for solo marimba; and Milton Babbitt's Homily for solo snare drum. As the repertoire and performance practices of percussion continue to develop, there are many issues of note to the studying percussionist. These range from technical concerns, to issues of interpretation. Each work exemplifies certain of these issues, and this paper seeks to glean better understanding of those through analysis and study of the works.