• 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.
    • 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.
    • Becoming adults in a rural Yup'ik community: a longitudinal qualitative study exploring resilience

      Ford, Tara J.; Allen, James; Whipple, Jason; David, Eric John; Henry, David; Rasmus, Stacy M. (2013-08)
      The aim of this study is to explore strategies for navigating challenges in a rural Alaskan Yup'ik community among youth and young adults. This qualitative study captures a longitudinal perspective as youth (N=25; 11 -18 years old) were originally interviewed in January 2010. For the current study, participants were re-interviewed in December 2012. Follow-up interviews addressed life challenges over the past three years and resources that helped them with their hard times. To reinforce the multifaceted nature of growing-up in a rural Yup'ik community, scholarly literature along with observations, conversations with local residents, and local wisdom captured in anthropological work are featured throughout this paper. Fifteen youth (14 years old - 20 years old) agreed to be re-interviewed. Developmental changes were noted regarding challenges and protective resources. Youth emphasized challenges as sources of vulnerabilities around lack of employment and interpersonal relationship strain. Similar to findings from the original study, interpersonal relationship distress was discussed in three distinct contexts including antagonist "girl drama," family discord, and partner relations conflicts. Youth identified personal strengths such as re-framing challenges, seeking personal space, and family support to overcome challenges. Contemporary understanding of emergent young adults' role and responsibilities in a rural Yup'ik setting warrants further study as it was found to be a source of vulnerability. Findings can inform clinical and prevention work in the community. For example, targeted community activities can address reported challenges including job fairs and workshops on healthy relationships with specificity to the experience of becoming an adult in rural Alaska.
    • Becoming Aware As A Parent, Schoolteacher And Community Member

      Angaiak-Bond, Anna (2010)
      The researcher uses autoethnography to understand whether a parent can act to maintain and reinvigorate Yup'ik at home after the child has already become English dominant. The research takes place in the village of Tununak, where the mother/researcher, a fluent Yup'ik speaker, lives with her son. The Tununak school has a Yup'ik First Language Program (YFL). Under this program, the first three years of school are taught in Yup'ik, their children's first language. The fourth year is a transition period in which English is introduced. After exiting the YFL program, English becomes the primary language of instruction. Eventually, the majority of the students become English dominant. The researcher's child attended the YFL program and is now 15 years old. At the beginning of this research he spoke Yup'ik minimally. English was his dominant language He was considered Limited English Proficient when he entered school. He has been designated as fully English proficient since 6 th grade. His Yup'ik proficiency improved during the course of the research as he began to speak more phrases/sentences than he did at the beginning. The researcher seeks to learn if her role as a parent can reinvigorate her child's first language, Yup'ik, after he has already become English dominant. The research provided insights into one parent's attempts to strengthen the usage of Yup'ik at home. Data analysis focused on identifying factors that facilitated and/or hindered the process of speaking Yup'ik dominantly at home.
    • Beneath the terrible surface

      Lagergren, Jenny Kristine (2002-05)
      'Beneath the terrible surface' is concerned with connections among people, animals, objects, and land that are important, but subtle and often overlooked. The poems are concrete and find meaning through a moment slowed downed and viewed from a new angle, which ultimately conveys emotion. While moments are described, the goal is not description, but exploration. A point in time becomes important by what happens or does not happen and by what is noticed and felt by the speakers and characters. Though not always positive, they detail an awareness of the intricate, important and sometimes invisible connections between many forms of life. The collection contemplates what it takes to love a landscape, appreciate animals, and notice, react, and care for life that does not lend itself to immediate liking.
    • Between us

      Mulcrone, Katherine Jean (2005-05)
      Between Us is the first-person account of Louise Halsey's return to her childhood home after her brothers' tragic motorcycle accident. Her brother Danny lies unconscious, but the strength of their bond grants Louie unexpected encounters with him inside the family home. Her conversations with Danny force Louie to reconsider the issues that have driven her family apart and her role in them. The novel begins with a series of vivid dreams which disconcert Louie and lay the groundwork for her to begin piecing together the unraveling of her family. Current sentiments as expressed and relationships as presented in Louie's conversations with family members are echoed by her memories of past events. Danny's death leads Louie to acknowledge that although rebuilding her family requires difficult work, it is work worth doing.
    • Birdcatchers

      Keenan, Brian M. (2007-05)
      The four short stories and novella of Birdcatchers explore the choices that people make or fail to make at moments when different ways of knowing and conducting themselves in their circumstances become possible. The narrator of the title story, for instance, struggles to deal with his isolation and loneliness in the wake of his wife's death; when the protagonist of 'Tunnel of Love' finds the delicate balance of his double life upset, he ultimately manages to reclaim a realistic connection with his lover and broader world. Regardless of the success or failure each character experiences, though, the stories suggest that in our lonely and isolated individual lives, the potential for meaningful connection-and maybe some measure of grace-does exist.
    • Birthing change: an ethnographic study of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center in Fairbanks, Alaska

      Bennett, Danielle M. Redmond (2013-05)
      This study examines the practices of the Alaska Family Health & Birth Center in order to understand how midwives help clients navigate the process of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period with a high rate of success, as defined by a low cesarean rate, low mortality and morbidity, and high maternal satisfaction. How do the midwives prepare mothers to navigate the transformation and how do they address failure to progress during birth? This study analyzes birth as a rite of passage, which incorporates a culture's worldview and its practices. These outcomes are achieved by employing a positive, holistic view of the natural, physiological process, by using practices that support the physiological process and minimize intervention, and by keeping the space in which out-of hospital birth takes place. The fact that parents are choosing an alternative ritual for birth at an increasing rate nationwide reflects a change happening in American culture.
    • Bitter

      Johnson, August; Hill, Sean; Stanley, Sarah; Carr, Rich; Jones, Seth (2017-05)
    • Bone As A Biomarker Of Mercury Exposure In Prehistoric Arctic Human Populations: Initial Method Validation Using Animal Models

      Halffman, Carrin M. (2009)
      Marine mammals are dietary staples among many indigenous peoples of the Arctic, but these foods sometimes contain high levels of mercury, a toxic heavy metal that can cause nerve and brain damage. Because mercury can be released into the environment by both industrial and natural processes, prehistoric marine mammal consumers may have been exposed to this toxicant, but little is known about preindustrial mercury levels. This research examined the potential for using the mercury concentration of archaeological bone as a biomarker of mercury exposure. Two requirements of valid biomarkers of exposure were explored: (1) measurement accuracy (trueness and precision) and (2) correspondence with the extent of exposure. Measurement accuracy was evaluated using repeated determinations of mercury concentration in a sample of modern seal bones. Correspondence with exposure was examined by comparing bone mercury concentration to controlled exposure level in laboratory rats, and to the stable nitrogen isotope ratio (delta15N) (a proxy measure of exposure) in prehistoric ringed seals from Thule-period archaeological sites in Alaska. Results show that mercury measurements have acceptable accuracy and that bone mercury is strongly related to exposure. These promising results suggest that, with further validation on human subjects, bone mercury may provide a reliable archive of mercury exposure in preindustrial archaeological populations.
    • Book clubs in the ESL classroom: a microinteractional analysis of literacy development in adult ESL students

      Johnson, Sharon E.; Carr, Richard; Heyne, Eric; Martelle, Wendy (2016-12)
      This study uses conversation analysis to identify literacy development in adult ESL classroom book club discussions. The investigation focuses on the interactions of three university students participating in a six-week book club about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The longitudinal microethnographic analysis reveals the students' development of interactional routines for enacting topic transitions. Two student strategies are examined: (a) the development of a group routine for reading discussion questions aloud; and (b) the use of the transition markers okay and next. The students' establishment of these strategies during the six meetings provides evidence of literacy development during classroom book club discussions. Additionally, the research adds to the currently small corpus of conversation analysis book club studies. Full transcripts for the six book club meetings are also provided.
    • Border patrol

      Iseri, Erica Keiko (2000-12)
      'Border Patrol deals with people across geographical as well as cultural and linguistic lines.' So reads a sentence from the penultimate story of this thesis. While the main characters are all either Japanese or Japanese-American, and they live in Japan or Southern California or Fairbanks, Alaska, the stories explore such universal issues of love, obligation, and freedom. The characters' ethnicity and place serve mainly to inform the larger themes. The point of view from which the stories are told varies from story to story, from a young third person female to a middle-aged first person male. The amount of time in which the stories take place differs as well, from minutes to decades. The stories themselves, though, concern the characters' struggle for independence from constricting relationships and a search for identity through a passion--golf, music, origami. The line between dependence and inner strength is the border that they walk.
    • Bounty in the Bering Strait: a case for proactive regulation in the world's next chokepoint

      Russell, Emily Clarke; Ehrlander, Mary; Cole, Terrence; Meek, Chanda (2015-08)
      This thesis analyzes trends in waterborne trade throughout history to demonstrate that the Bering Strait will soon become a chokepoint of international trade. Scientific studies suggest that the accelerating effects of global warming in the Arctic will result in ice-free routes in the coming decades. Given the likelihood that vessel traffic through the Bering Strait will rise, this thesis assesses the region's ecological vulnerability, along with its significant commercial and cultural values. The history of shipping regulation worldwide and commercial regulation in the Bering Sea reveals a tendency to enact regulation in response to a major oil spill or species depletion. To ensure the food security of Native coastal communities and the productivity of commercial fisheries in the Bering Sea, this thesis argues for a proactive approach to vessel traffic regulation in the Bering Strait. It examines several current regulatory regimes to identify which could be enacted to protect the region's resources. This thesis concludes that, despite barriers to cooperation between Russia and the U.S., a cross-border management regime that promotes safe shipping through the Bering Strait would further both nations' economic interests and safeguard the Bering Sea's valuable yet vulnerable marine resources.
    • Breaking ground

      Peters, Kevin C. (2005-12)
      'Breaking Ground' is a collection of poems that follows a narrative arc as the speaker transitions from youth to adulthood. Set in the farmlands of Wisconsin, the manuscript examines numerous relationships: between men and women, children and parents, people and the land, and native and non-native inhabitants of the land. The manuscript addresses the idea of displacement: what it means to belong somewhere, to call someplace home, and what results when that home must be left behind or returned to. This idea is examined through poems about native culture, poems about divorce and the dissolution of a family, as well as poems about how a father dealt with the trauma of returning from Vietnam. Overall, the manuscript is a story of both a family and a region, and how those apparently separate entities-people and place-are intrinsically linked.
    • Bride-stealing: a myth of misogyny

      Murugesan, Seetha; Duffy, Lawrence; Bartlett, Doris A.; Koskey, Michael; Yesner, David R. (2013-12)
      Bride-stealing, an explicit symbolic misogynistic action in The Iliad and The Kamba Ramayanam, is analyzed as a long-term patterned conduct of human behavior among the peoples who produced these works. The systematic pattern of bride stealing found in the epics discussed suggests that within these groups social constructs had always been in favor of female inferiority and subjugation. This places an emphasis on gender as an issue, manifested in the treatment of women by men as "others." The narrations of marginalization of women in the epics lead to a critique of the hypothesis that they are misogynistic. Here a framework of theoretical formulation is put forward to explore the origin of the practice of bride-stealing as well as the behavioral and psychological factors behind the intentions of both abductor and the abductee. The ancient epics are examined in a comparative literary style, and analyzed from an interdisciplinary stance with the guidance of cultural patterns, historically-created social orders and power-motivated political systems. After examining five thousand years of the history of ancient Greece and India, substantiated by archeological, anthropological, and linguistic evidence, this dissertation argues that the phenomenon of "bride stealing" occurred basically in male-dominant societies and stems from various components of the socio-economic setting of these societies. Studies show that the abducted women in the epics lived in times of social transition. The abuse of women that echoes in the epics is sometimes misconceived as reflecting misogyny. Women were targets in times of upheaval, and suffered due to incursions of pastoral nomads imposing their social order of patriarchy. This paper deduces that women were the victims of war, and that, following successful conquests by these pastoral nomadic societies and subsequent shifts in political power, their status underwent tremendous change. Furthermore, the abductions and overpowering behaviors of men towards women in myths and epics served as encoded messages to women from men to sustain their superiority over the "others," reflecting the ongoing imposition of values from the dominant culture.
    • The "bridge party" of E.M. Forster's 'A passage to India': where Apollo and Kali yearn to embrace from opposite sides of the gulf

      Undeberg, Mark (2001-05)
      In 1978, Edward Said published 'Orientalism, ' a revolutionary study that invited new interpretations of literature and particularly of works written by Western authors about the East. Postcolonialist and feminist critics embraced many of Said's theories, including one that implies that the West equates the East with femininity and that such a view necessarily reveals the West's prejudice against both the East and with femininity in general. This thesis does not argue the overall validity of Said's theories. Rather, it explores the treatment of 'femininity' in E.M. Forster's 'A passage to India' with the aim of determining the validity of postcolonialist and feminist critiques of that novel. This study found that the femininity does not play a subservient role in the novel but that it is an essential half of an androgynous whole that Forster constructs as an ideal to promise hope in a troubled universe.
    • Bridging Home And School: Factors That Contribute To Multiliteracies Development In A Yup'ik Kindergarten Classroom

      Bass, A. Sarah; Parker-Webster, Joan; Siekmann, Sabine (2010)
      Since the establishment of a Yup'ik immersion school in Bethel in the mid-1990s, immersion programming has spread to many schools in Southwestern Alaska, including the school in this study. This school maintains a K-3 Yup'ik strand and a K-3 English strand. Both strands merge in the 4 th grade. Concern that the immersion program may hinder student achievement on state mandated benchmark testing in the 3rd grade and beyond has resulted in some opposition to the immersion program. However, in 2007/2008, those and former immersion students scored higher on the English reading and writing benchmark tests than students in the English strand and 3rd and 4th grade students district wide. This ethnographic teacher action research documented the process of multiliteracies development of four kindergarten students. Home literacy practice of students was documented from parent conversations. Classroom literacy development was documented through the collection of student work samples, still photographs, and teacher comments from anecdotal notes. Findings revealed these four students showed progress in their multiliteracies development as illustrated in their drawings, writing, and singing and chanting. Some of the contributing factors that emerged were: Yup'ik/English heard at home, Yup'ik at school, and literacy materials available both at home and school.
    • Can I tell you what really happened?: learning to make decisions in response to indigenous student voice in a high school language arts classroom

      Rushman, Alyssa M.; Patterson, Leslie; Siekmann, Sabine; Martelle, Wendy (2019-05)
      This study focuses on engaging high school students in reading and the decisions I make to sustain that engagement. I learned that one way to enhance the engagement in my classroom is to listen to my students' stories and to incorporate culturally relevant texts. All of the students in this study were previously in our school's language intervention program: Read 180. While teaching this intervention-based class, I noticed this class was a behavior management nightmare. The students' challenging behavior led me to question the intervention program's ability to sustain my students' engagement through the prescribed texts. This study aims to describe my observations in a 10th grade Language Arts II class in Chefornak, Alaska. Specifically, this thesis describes my findings and analysis as it relates to how students show engagement and how I make (and revise) decisions in response to my students' voices. I used teacher action research (TAR) to research the events in my classroom. During an 11-week period, I collected audio recordings, student work samples, and teacher action research journal entries. At the end of the research, I also wrote memos about the data. I used constructive grounded theory (CGT) to make sense of the story the data tells and to see what kind of patterns were present. This research is important to me because it helps me to understand the weaknesses and the strengths in my own instructional planning as well as how I interpret students' participation in class. After this research, I am convinced that learning outcomes are preceded by learner engagement, and that learner engagement is complex.
    • Can We Remain Yup'ik In These Contemporary Times? A Conversation Of Three Yugtun-Speaking Mothers

      Michael, Veronica E.; Marlow, P. (2010)
      The Yup'ik people of southwestern Alaska are experiencing language shift from Yugtun to English. This study is a conversation between three Yugtun speaking mothers who are trying to understand this shift and wondering if they can maintain their identity, and that of their children, in this changing world. The study takes place in the village of Kuiggluk. Data collection included a research journal and focus group discussions. In this study, I have tried to paint a picture of who we are as Yup'ik mothers in our contemporary lives. Qayaruaq, Mikngayaq and I carry with us our own mothers' teachings, while at the same time we face different situations in school and schooling. Through our discussions we sought to understand the reasons for language loss/shift -- a shift that seems to be driving us away from our culture.