• Paleoethnobotany in Interior Alaska

      Holloway, Caitlin R.; Potter, Ben A.; Bigelow, Nancy H.; Reuther, Joshua D.; Clark, Jamie L. (2016-05)
      Vegetation and plant resources can impact forager mobility and subsistence strategies. However, misconceptions about the preservation of organics in subarctic archaeological contexts and underestimations of the importance of plant resources to foraging societies limit paleoethnobotanical research in high-latitude environments. This research draws upon concepts from human behavioral ecology to address questions relating to site seasonality, plant resource use, land use, and deposition and taphonomy. The model developed in this thesis outlines expectations of seasonal archaeobotanical assemblages for Late Pleistocene and Holocene sites in interior Alaska. I consider these expectations in light of plant macroremains found in anthropogenic features from Components 1 and 3 (approximately 13,300 and 11,500 cal yr BP, respectively) at the Upward Sun River site, located in central Alaska. Site-specific methods include bulk sampling of feature matrix in the field and wet-sieving matrix in the laboratory to collect organic remains. Analytical measures of density, diversity, and ubiquity tie together the model expectations and the results from Upward Sun River. The dominance of common bearberry in the Component 1 archaeobotanical assemblage meets the expectations of a late summer or fall occupation. This suggests that site occupants may have focused on mitigating the risk of starvation in winter months by foraging for seasonally predictable and storable resources. The variability in results from the Component 3 features could relate to longer-term occupations that extended from mid-summer to early fall, in which site occupants foraged for locally available and predictable plant resources such as blueberry or low-bush cranberry species. In this thesis, I argue that large mammal resources were a key component in Late Pleistocene and Holocene subsistence strategies. However, foragers were flexible in their behavior and also targeted small mammals, fish, waterfowl, and plant resources in response to environmental conditions and cultural preferences. The results illustrate the long-standing use of culturally and economically important plant resources in interior Alaska and draw attention to aspects of human behavior that are under-conceptualized in northern archaeology, such as the gender division of labor, domestic behavior, and potential impacts of plant resource exploitation on mobility and land use.
    • Pandering to glory: Sheldon Jackson's path to Alaska

      Craddick, Jordan Lee; Heaton, John; James, Elizabeth; Mangusso, Mary (2013-08)
      Presbyterian missionary Sheldon Jackson is a celebrated figure in Alaska history. He is known predominantly for his efforts facilitating the establishment of public schools for Alaska Native people during the late nineteenth century. Jackson's methods have been historically overlooked as being reform-minded initiatives characteristic of Indian assimilation. As a result, historians have concluded that Jackson was a humanitarian with benevolent intentions. Unfortunately, such assessments ignore Jackson's educational platform, which was built upon fictitious slander against indigenous people and the manipulation of Christian women. In addition to speaking tours, Jackson published many editorials, articles, and books alleging that Alaska Native people were barbarous monsters. The propaganda Jackson employed in Alaska was no different from the propaganda he used against Mormons and Native Americans. However, Jackson was maligned for his strategy in the continental United States, whereas in Alaska he was celebrated as a reformer and an authority figure due to ignorance about the northern territory. Alaska captured the public imagination, and Jackson lied about Alaska Native culture for the remainder of his career in order to maintain his Christian enterprise.
    • Parasites and skeletal indicators of anemia in the eastern United States

      Dinneen, Erin; Clark, Jamie; Hemphill, Brian; Halffman, Carrin (2014-12)
      The goal of this research is to examine the influence of parasitic infection and diet in the etiology of anemia in prehistoric human populations of the eastern United States. Prehistorically, anemia is often attributed to a nutrient-deficient diet, while parasite infection is discussed as a secondary cause if at all. However, parasite infection is a leading cause of anemia in the developing world today. Modern epidemiological studies have demonstrated that parasites thrive or perish under particular environmental conditions, and risk for parasite infection can be predicted based on environment using GIS. Here I apply this method to see whether environmental conditions, acting as a proxy for parasite infection risk, can predict prehistoric skeletal lesion rates for porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia, lesions thought to reflect acquired anemia. Rates of porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia in the skeletal remains of children and adults were collected from published data for 22 sites in the eastern United States. GIS was used to gather comparable environmental data. Soil drainage, elevation, precipitation, temperature and the surface area of bodies of water were recorded within a 15 km radius of each site. Carbon isotope data deriving from bone collagen and historic hookworm infection rates were also collected when available. Multiple linear regression was used to test how well environmental variables could predict lesion rates. Statistically significant correlations were found for both adults and children, but the strength and direction of relationships with environmental variables were inconsistent. It is possible that the correlations were related to parasite infection, but it is also possible that the skeletal 'lesions' may result from post-mortem bone degeneration rather than anemia. The correlations for porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia were stronger when examined separately than when examined together, suggesting that the two conditions may have separate etiologies; however, the sample sizes were too small to provide the statistical power required for drawing strong conclusions. Comparison of children and adults showed stronger correlation for children, though when observing the lesions separately this pattern was not consistent. Collagen carbon values and historic hookworm infection rates correlated with lesion rates in children but not adults, perhaps because of differential healing in adults. These results demonstrate that environmental conditions and skeletal lesions are correlated, but the underlying mechanism for this remains unclear. Larger sample sizes would allow for more robust statistical analyses of the trends observed here. Nevertheless, these results do confirm that porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia cannot be assumed to be the result of nutrient-deficient diets. Interpretation of skeletal data for assessing health in the past must also consider the natural and social context in which individuals lived.
    • Parental perceptions of play: the influences of parent gender, gender role attitudes, and parenting styles on parent attitudes toward child play

      Horwath-Oliver, Courtney; Campbell, Kendra; Rivkin, Inna; Webster, David; McGee, Jocelyn (2015-08)
      The literature overwhelmingly demonstrates that play supports healthy social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Efforts to understand parents' support of child play seek to identify parent attitudes toward play, ways in which parents facilitate play for their children, and how they participate in play. Previous findings indicate parent valuation of play is an important factor for childhood play time and finds differences between mothers and fathers in parent-child play. While much research has been done to understand how mothers and fathers play with their sons and daughters, few studies have investigated what factors influence parent valuation of play or facilitate certain types of play. This study used a moderated mediation model to explore how parental attitudes about gender roles influence perceptions of play through parenting style and how this effect may be different for fathers and mothers. Analyses were also performed to understand the relationships between parent attitudes and parent play behaviors. The findings suggested egalitarian gender role attitudes predicted a higher valuation of play and more permissive mindsets toward cross-gender play for both mothers and fathers. Conversely, traditional gender role attitudes were predictive of less permissive mindsets toward cross-gender play for both mothers and fathers. A moderated mediation was found for fathers with traditional gender role attitudes and a permissive or authoritarian parenting style. Fathers with traditional gender role attitudes and a permissive parenting style were less likely to value play for child development. Fathers with traditional attitudes and an authoritarian parenting style had less permissive mindsets toward cross-gender play. Additionally for both mothers and fathers, authoritative parenting was correlated with increased parent play behaviors, while authoritarian parenting was correlated with decreased parent play behaviors. These findings support previous literature in that parent gender and gender role attitudes do appear to influence parent attitudes toward play. They also contribute to our understanding of parent gender differences and the way that parenting style influence this relationship. In addition, parenting style was found to be a facilitator of parent-child play. These findings contribute to an understanding of what kind of parents value play and can be used to inform family psychotherapy and parent education about play.
    • Pathway to Alaskan statehood: the historical narratives of Jack Coghill, Vic Fischer, Katie Hurley, and D.A. Bartlett, and their presence at the Alaska Constitutional Convention

      Drumhiller, Leslie; Barnhardt, Ray; Parson, Sean; Hardy, Cindy (2016-05)
      The aim of this thesis is to compare the commonalities and differences in the oral narratives of four participants of the Alaska Constitutional Convention, John B. “Jack” Coghill, Victor “Vic” Fischer, Katherine “Katie” Hurley, and Doris Ann “D.A.” Bartlett. Applying thematic analysis to the interviews, themes, or codes were extracted from the interviews and unified into code families: “family,” “work,” “Alaska Constitutional Convention,” and “Alaska Constitution,” with other code families supporting these four. The “Alaska Constitutional Convention” becomes the super code, or main theme of this thesis. The research explores three themes: non-partisan politics at the Alaska Constitutional Convention, the camaraderie among the delegates and staff at the Alaska Constitutional Convention, and gender differences among Coghill, Fischer, Hurley, and Bartlett.
    • Pedagogy for reading in rural Alaska: the effect of culturally relevant reading materials on student reading achievement in Chevak, Alaska

      Geiges, Beth J.; Leonard, Beth; Topkok, Sean; John, Theresa; Adams, Barbara (2017-12)
      This study used Culturally Relevant Reading materials (CRRM) with a proprietary, culturally relevant pedagogy for Reading. It was focused on results in Reading Achievement, both reading fluency and comprehension, involving 7th and 8th grade students in a twelve (12)-week program of Reading Language Arts. It was an exploratory sequential mixed methods study using a quasi-experimental design, with two student groups, A and B, experimental and control respectively. The results are situated within cultural expert views of Native perspectives on reading from the community as well as student surveys on motivation. Results from the study indicate that student achievement in Reading using the CRRM program, as measured by standardized tests, namely Edformation's AIMSweb® (2002) tests of both R-CBM and MAZE, met with similar results in student Reading achievement using a Western curricular program. Both control and experimental groups in the quasi-experimental, exploratory sequential mixed methods study showed significant growth in Reading achievement in both fluency and comprehension, on standardized tests over a 12-week interval. Results from the study showed students in the CRRM program showed no significantly greater growth in reading comprehension or fluency during the study, as measured by AIMSweb® tests of MAZE and R-CBM. Student survey results showed increases in student motivation to read, enjoyment of reading class, and desire to read CRRM. Written questionnaires from community members outlined criteria for student success in reading. The results indicate that Alaska Native culturally relevant materials and teaching techniques can be used interchangeably with Western curricular materials in Alaska Native village schools with expectation of similar success in student Reading achievement. Students are eager to have CRRM in Language Arts classes, and the community is encouraged by the promising results.
    • People in Alaska's sex trade: their lived experiences and policy recommendations

      Burns, Tara; DeCaro, Peter; Richey, Jean; Sunwood, Kayt; Jarrett, Brian (2015-05)
      Much policy has been created in the last several years regarding people in Alaska's sex trade. Although researchers and government agencies have called attention to the need for evidence based policy about prostitution and sex trafficking, there had been no research about the characteristics of people in Alaska's sex trade or the effects of policy on those people. This research filled that hole. As action research, this study provided a means for the voices of a hidden, criminalized population to reach policy-makers. This research was grounded in a participatory worldview and triangulated data from surveys, interviews, and public records. Emergent themes and participant recommendations were organized to inform public policy.
    • People's experiences of gossiping: a narrative analysis

      Nekrassova, Dina V. (2002-12)
      This study employs narrative methodology to develop an understanding of meanings people make of their gossiping experiences. Four theoretical approaches are identified in the review of literature: functionalistic approach, gossip as information management, and gossip as a social form of discreet indiscretion which extended as a basis for examining gossiping as a communication experience. Four themes emerged from six narrative interviews, regarding the co-researchers' interpretations of their gossiping experiences: secrecy as a gossiping experience, gossiping as a negative experience, gossiping as a positive experience, and gossiping as being connected. The equivocal nature of gossiping stems from the participants' engagement in two distinct sets of practices out of single set of resources.
    • Perceived parental drinking patterns among adult alcoholics in residential treatment

      Behling, Victor John (2000-05)
      Drinking in Alaska has almost reached epidemic proportions in some subcultures. Alaska Natives have the highest number of FAS cases as compared to non-Natives. Nationally, youth drinking has been correlated to parental drinking. This study addressed the issue of whether there is a difference between the perceived drinking of people in treatment by gender, age, and ethnicity. The parental drinking of one hundred and thirty-four people diagnosed as alcohol dependent or alcohol abusers and in treatment was examined. Significant differences were found between the perceived parental drinking by age, gender, and ethnicity. In addition, many of the subjects did not have a parental drinking model, which could indicate that parental problematic drinking is not a significant causation factor in adult alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse.
    • Perceptions and barriers to welfare reform

      Weaver, Patricia Joan (2003-12)
      The current study examined the barriers and perceptions of Welfare Reform of welfare recipients answering questions through a survey in Alaska's Northern Regional area (Appendix A). The areas covered in the survey concerned family health and well-being, barriers to getting a job, and how they are managing on and off welfare. An area of central concern was to understand how families reported that they were managing after closure. The major problem identified was the ability to pay monthly bills and purchase food. Families were also concerned with finding an appropriate childcare provider and their inability to obtain health care coverage. Most individuals worked part-time jobs with little or no benefits and had problems obtaining health care for their families. Areas for further research were identified. Doubts are raised about how states are administering their welfare programs and how much information clients now about their entitlements. The current study is consistent with other studies that show families lack many of the important resources that are essential for self-sufficiency; i.e., well-paying jobs for low skilled workers, transportation, childcare, health services, support networks, and the financial means to meet basic needs.
    • Perceptual mismatches in a university English as a second language classroom

      Adams, Kristine A. L. (2012-08)
      This study investigates perceptual mismatches in a university English as a second language classroom. Perceptual Mismatches in the classroom are a failure on the part of teachers and students to understand or interpret something the same way. These mismatches can lead to missed learning opportunities that impede teaching and learning. The purpose of this teacher research was to identify mismatches in a university ESL classroom in the U.S. This course was designed for Chinese degree completion students. Data was collected via questionnaires, interviews, dialogue journals, and observations. The results of this study show a tendency in mismatches between teachers and students dealing with perceptions of teacher centered classrooms and learner centered classrooms, and communicative interactions. These mismatches may occur due to previous learning experiences and expectations. This study also shows there is a tendency towards mismatches between teachers, and there is much room in this field for further studies.
    • The perimeters of familial affection: examples with the metamorphosis, the Sooterkin, and "A very old man with enormous wings"

      Dorr, Summer; Carr, Richard; Schell, Jennifer; Kamerling, Leonard (2017-12)
      This literary analysis--of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Tom Gilling's The Sooterkin, and Gabriel García Márquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"-- asserts that unconditional love is not possible without a supernatural impartation, because all humans have their limitations. To further this claim, I dissect the most sacred of interpersonal dynamics, society's subgroups--the family. The four guiding perimeters of affection are societal influence--its opinion of a person; money, financial prospect; communication aptitude, whether verbal and physical speech that is understood or enjoyed; and, lastly, aesthetics: are they nondescript or pleasant to the eye? These variables determine how long a person will stay in a family's domestic space or their proverbial rolodex. These three texts have numerous similarities, most apparent is their each having a weird character interrupt a family's domestic life: hyperbolic contingencies that highlight the causes of limited or temporal affection.
    • Perspectives on sexual assault and domestic violence in rural Alaskan communities

      Hayden, Katheryn S.; Ehrlander, Mary F.; McCartney, Leslie; Charles, Walkie (2018-05)
      Alaska's rate of reported sexual assault is nearly three times the national average, and underreporting may be as high as 70 percent. In rural communities, the rates of both sexual and domestic violence are higher still. Through oral history methodology my research explores how survivors, elders, and professionals view the issues surrounding this violence in remote communities. My findings highlight the interconnectedness of social problems, and the conditions within rural Alaskan communities that hinder reducing these problems. The variables associated with sexual and domestic violence that my respondents highlighted include: alcohol abuse, multigenerational trauma, lack of funding for services, isolation, and normalization of sexual assault and domestic violence. Based on my analysis of the interviews, I have suggested recommendations that I believe are attainable for professional offices in rural Alaska, and that may help them provide better quality services to their communities. These recommendations include: 1) social abuse and crisis training for rural paraprofessionals; 2) socio-cultural training for frontline professional workers, to educate them not only on the history of the region in which they work, but also on the interconnected and long-lasting effects of sexual and domestic violence; and 3) improved communication between rural Alaskan communities and the state agencies that serve them, possibly via a cultural liaison. I also urge public and rural education initiatives, both in schools and to the public at large, regarding the long term, complex, and multigenerational effects of sexual and domestic violence and alcohol abuse.
    • A phenomenology of women and aging: a communication perspective

      Pedersen, Grace F. (2006-12)
      This qualitative study examines the female experience of aging in late-midlife. It involves women between 49 and 70 years of age, who characterize late-midlife years through narratives of lived experience. Their stories provide description of events that introduced or reinforced their sense of self-as-aging, and relate insights gained socially and relationally in the aging process. Conversational interviews, with participant observation of nonverbal communication, were conducted and recorded as my method of data collection, and phenomenological methodology was used in description, analysis, and interpretation of the resulting capta.
    • Pit-fired in St. Michael

      Lease, Tracy René (2003-12)
      'Pit-Fired in St. Michael' is a collection of essays exploring human landscapes inside the geography of place. Reflecting on the influences family, instinct, language, memory, community and nature have on the narrator, the essays move from the west coast of Alaska to the interior White Mountains, from hospital nurseries and grocery store lines to remote dog-sled trails and cabins. Essays about raising a child sit beside pieces that journey back through the narrator's early experiences in Alaska, college years in Oregon and childhood in the deserts and suburbs of Utah. These essays range in style from tight-knit anecdote to memoir to idea-based explorations. Utilizing story-telling techniques, dialogue, section breaks, and over-arching metaphor, these pieces borrow strategies from both fiction and poetry. Though the essays are diverse in both content and technique, they all center on the narrator's attempts to better understand self inside human and natural worlds.
    • Pitch and voice quality: acoustic evidence for tone in lower Koyukon

      Alden, McKinley R.; Tuttle, Siri; Cooper, Burns; Shoaps, Robin (2019-05)
      This thesis addresses the acoustic realization of tone in the Lower dialect of the Koyukon language. The Lower dialect is the only one of the three Koyukon dialects attested to have tone. Its exact nature, however, remains unclear. This study seeks to corroborate previous attestations of low tone in Lower Koyukon by providing acoustic evidence of its realization. Therefore, there are three primary objectives: a) to determine how tone is produced in Lower Koyukon with respect to pitch; b) to examine any interactions between tone and potential pitch-altering phenomena; and c) to determine the realization of creaky phonation during tone production, if such exists. All of the data for this study was gathered from a single consultant, a fluent Lower Koyukon speaker. Three elicitation strategies were employed. First, a game of bingo was developed from a list of words predicted to carry a tonal syllable. Second, the consultant was asked to teach the researcher how to pronounce a series of short phrases and sentences that contained a word with a tonal syllable. Finally, the researcher selected a story written in Koyukon for the consultant to read aloud. During the analytical process, each word predicted to carry tone was compared to both a control set of non-tonal words and a set of words that may or may not carry tone. The only statistically significant difference was that the set of tokens predicted to carry tone had higher measures of creak than the control set. As creaky voice is inherently linked to tone production, this finding supports previous attestations of tone. However, both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed for this study, and several examples are cited which show both that there is a significant pitch change on syllables predicted to carry tone. Moreover, it appears that that this pitch rises. The implications of this study are therefore that tone is present in modern Lower Koyukon, and that this tone may by high, rather than low, as has been previously claimed.
    • A place for the birds: the legacy of Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge

      Ryan, Jessica A. (2003-12)
      This thesis details the farming history and current importance of the Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks, Alaska. More significantly, it is the story of a grassroots effort by the community of Fairbanks, working with a kindly old farmer, to preserve open land in the heart of a rapidly expanding city for the benefit of the thousands of migrating cranes, geese and ducks that rely upon the grain fields each spring and fall. Because of their vision, Creamer's Field has become a center for environmental education, outdoor recreation, and biological research while actively providing for the needs of wildlife.
    • Plastic Alaska

      Namey, Jason; Brightwell, Gerri; Mellen, Kyle; Carr, Rich (2018-05)
      The stories in Plastic Alaska depict characters losing--often literally--their own identities. Whether it be a young boy who believes that an Alaskan theme park ride transformed him into a different person, or a woman who finds herself compulsively imagining murdering her husband after watching a Terrence Malick film, or a desperate man who assumes the identity of his former best friend so he can get a job on a reality TV show, these characters find themselves thrown--sometimes reluctantly, sometimes willingly--into situations where they must leave their former selves behind just to survive the unwelcome intrusions of an absurd, demanding reality. Plastic Alaska shows--in worlds that range from the real to the fantastical--the dread, uneasiness, and occasional joy that accompanies metamorphosis.
    • Playacting happiness: tragicomedy in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford

      Udden, Meryem A.; Carr, Rich; Heyne, Eric; Reilly, Terence (2020-05)
      This thesis examines tragicomedy in two 19th Century British novels, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford. Both narratives have perceived happy endings; however, tragedy lies underneath the surface. With Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream as a starting point, playacting becomes the vehicle through which tragedy can be discovered by the reader. Throughout, I find examples in which playacting begins as a comedic act, but acquires tragic potential when parents enter the scene. Here, I define tragedy not as a dramatic experience, but rather seemingly small injustices that, over time, cause more harm than good. In Mansfield Park, the tragedy is parental neglect and control. In Cranford, the tragedy is parental abuse. For both narratives, characters are unable to experience life fully, and past parental injuries cannot be redeemed. While all the children in the narratives experience some form of parental neglect, the marginalized children are harmed more than the others. In addition, I find that lifelong loneliness is a common theme in both narratives, showing that tragedy can lead to grief experienced in isolation.
    • Polishing The Mirror: A Multiple Methods Study Of The Relationship Between Teaching Style And The Application Of Technology In Alaska's Rural One To One Digital Classrooms

      Ledoux, Larry S.; Monahan, John; Covey, Jerry; Richey, Jean; Smiley, Scott (2012)
      This mixed method survey study examined the inter-relationships between teaching styles and the depth of classroom-based technology applications used by teachers participating in 1:1 digitally enhanced classrooms in thirteen of Alaska's rural school districts. The promise of technology to catalyze the transformation of schools into learner centric environments preparing students to be 21st century learners has not been realized. Significant first order barriers have limited the digital learning resources necessary to systemically affect pedagogical change. During the last six years, various entities have sponsored digitally enhanced learning environments to stimulate the process of education reform. These initiatives, labeled as one-to-one (1:1), brought teachers face-to-face with the challenges related to second order education reform while creating an opportunity to study changes in instructional philosophy and practice as a result of teaching in an environment rich in technology. This study explored three questions formulated to probe the relationship between pedagogical philosophy and the application of 1:1 technology to support learning: • "What is the relationship between instructional philosophy and the way teachers use technology to support learning in Alaskan high school 1:1 laptop programs?" • "How does access to a 1:1 classroom affect a teacher's instructional philosophy or practice?" • "Does access to a 1:1 digitally enhanced teaching environment facilitate the use of instructional practices consistent with Alaska Native and 21st century learner outcomes?" Ninety-four rural high school teachers responded to a survey that assessed teaching styles on a continuum from transmission to constructivist. The level of technology adoption was examined using three indices that respectively measure the professional, personal and classroom use of technology by teachers. Information derived from open ended questions was triangulated with quantitative data to develop a meaningful understanding of the study questions. Quantitative and qualitative data suggested that the majority of responding teachers identified with constructivist beliefs over traditional transmission. Teachers noted a strong positive relationship between teaching and the application of technology, yet analysis showed that constructivist beliefs were attenuated by several challenges related to management of technology. While teachers were generally aware of the potential for digital learning technologies to support Alaska Native and 21st century methods, they were outweighed by operational concerns related to the integration of technology. These study questions are significant. Digitally enhanced instructional practices help to equip students with the skills expected of 21st century learners. Perhaps even more significant is the congruence between the teaching styles traditionally used by Alaska Natives and the digitally enhanced constructivist practices made possible when using technology to augment processes for acquiring knowledge.