Recent Submissions

  • "I wonder when we'll be in civilization again": women, Alaska and the 1910 Seattle to Ophir travel letter of Cinthia "Addie" Rieck

    Misel, Lillian Anderson; Ehrlander, Mary F.; Gold, Carol; Mangusso, Mary Childers (2010-12)
    Mainstream Alaskan history has largely ignored women's role in the development of the state during the early 20th century. Although mainly a male endeavor, the multiple Alaskan gold stampedes from 1899 to 1914 brought a migration of women, and they played a role in the development of the territory. The current literature of women in the north focuses primarily on the Canadian Klondike stampede of 1897-98 which saw women traveling to the gold fields for a variety of reasons, such as to support their husbands in their ventures, seek their own business opportunities, or just seek adventure. The same reasons brought women to Alaska. Their experiences are well documented in literature of the period, through magazines, newspapers, published accounts, and autobiographies. These sources provide insight into everyday events of what could be considered the ordinary, but they paint a picture of what life was like for the female population and include details and descriptions not discussed by their male counterparts. The 1910 unpublished travel letter of Cinthia 'Addie' Rieck exemplifies a woman traveling to a remote area of Alaska. Her writings capture and document her experiences in traveling from Seattle, Washington, to a newly founded gold camp in the Innoko district of Alaska. Through Addie's travel letter, her descriptions bring to light previously unexplored topics of social etiquette, travel, and women's roles in early Alaskan mining communities as well as providing information about the Innoko district of which little published information is available
  • Letters as literature: semantic and discursive features of irony in "Letters to Howard"

    Cook, Corinna Jo; Schneider, William; Koester, David; Ruppert, James (2011-12)
    This thesis examines the literary features of the Letters to Howard, a series of letters to the editor of the Alaskan newspaper, the Tundra Times. Published over the course of several months in 1973, the letters were signed by two semi-fictional characters: an old Eskimo man, Naugga Ciunerput, and a lost VISTA volunteer, Wally Morton, the two lone inhabitants of the imagined Land's End Village, Alaska. Naugga and Wally had a pointed agenda: they were addressing editor Howard Rock and his readership with their concerns regarding the newly-passed Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or ANCSA. In truth, Naugga and Wally's letters were written by two graduate students, Fred Bigjim (an Inupiaq from Nome studying education) and James Ito-Adler (a law student who had switched to anthropology). The use of irony in these letters is the subject of my analysis here; I focus first on the semantic layers of irony and second on its discursive dimensions. This thesis' ultimate goal is to illuminate the ways in which these letters contest history, frame the nature and distribution of power, and examine the myriad tensions at play between Native peoples' historic, cultural, and political ties to the land.
  • A comparative analysis of fish and wildlife enforcement in Alaska from the passage of the 1902 Alaska game law to 2011

    Woldstad, Kenneth J.; McBeath, Gerald; Cole, Terrence; Klein, David R. (2011-08)
    This study examines the institutional evolution of wildlife enforcement in the context of Alaskan history and politics from 1902 to the present. Balancing competing demands for expertise in fish and wildlife matters on one hand, with a technical knowledge of law enforcement on the other, has long been the central institutional challenge facing those protecting Alaska's living resources. Following enactment of the first Alaska Game Law in 1902, responsibility for enforcement was initially left to already over-burdened law enforcement officials, with ultimate authority remaining under the U.S. Agriculture Department. Passage of the 1925 "Alaska Game Law" and establishment of the Alaska Game Commission saw the creation of professional wardens. Following statehood the Department of Fish and Game assumed the enforcement responsibility from 1960 to 1972, until Governor William Egan shifted the protection personnel to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), thereby transforming them into state troopers, although in a separate division. As a result of the transfer to DPS, conservation of fish and wildlife was in the hands of professional law enforcement. Many resource users opposed the transfer, certain that the emphasis on general law enforcement came at the expense of wildlife expertise, a tension that continues to persist today.
  • Uninhabited and free from work: an environmental and federal land-use policy history of Glacial Lake Atna wilderness, Alaska

    McLaughlin, Marley M.; Coen, Ross; Meek, Chanda; Ehrlander, Mary F. (2020-05)
    The Glacial Lake Atna area, a valley between the southern Alaska and Wrangell mountain ranges in Southcentral Alaska, despite its appearance today as remote, thickly forested, and seemingly "wild" in character, has a 10,000-year history of human habitation. The first peoples in Alaska made encampments and harvested subsistence resources on the shores of the glacial lake and its margins, while today residents and visitors to the region continue to inhabit, hunt, fish, gather berries, cut firewood, and generally subsist from the land in ways remarkably similar to their prehistoric forebears. Humans and nature have a long, shared history in the thirteen million-acre Glacial Lake Atna region, and yet, since the mid-1980s, amid the modern-day conservation movement to protect so-called wild places, the region has been bordered and patrolled in ways that separate humans from nature. Wilderness policies under the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management suggest that wilderness areas are inherently pristine, devoid of human inhabitation, and without the imprint of human work. Alaska lands acts, most specifically the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, while allowing for subsistence, did not adequately address work and inhabitation. This thesis questions such policies and, through archaeological, historical, and policy analyses of humans and nature in the region, argues wilderness has never been truly uninhabited and free from work. The idea of "wilderness" lacks introspection as these areas contain quite a lot of human history, and indeed wilderness is a construct of romanticism and post-frontier ideologies.
  • Indigenous-crown relations in Canada and the Yukon: the Peel Watershed case, 2017

    Baranik, Lauren Alexandra; Ehrlander, Mary F.; McCartney, Leslie; Castillo, Victoria; Hirsch, Alexander (2019-08)
    The history of Indigenous-Crown relations in Canada has varied regionally and temporally. With the Constitution Act of 1982, however, Canada entered a new era. Section 35 of the Constitution recognized Indigenous treaty and land rights, and the Supreme Court of Canada has consistently interpreted this section liberally in favor of Canada's Indigenous Peoples. The Court has upheld the honour of the Crown in emphasizing the national and subnational governments' duty to consult diligently when engaging in development on the traditional territories of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit. The "citizens-plus" model of asserting and protecting Indigenous rights, first coined in the Hawthorn Report of 1966, has proved effective in these court cases, most recently in the Yukon's Peel Watershed case from 2014 to 2017. Yet, engaging with the state to pursue and to invoke treaty rights has forced socioeconomic and political changes among Yukon First Nations that some scholars have argued are harmful to the spiritual and physical wellbeing of Indigenous communities, mainly through alienation from their homelands. The Peel Watershed case demonstrates the unique historical development of Yukon First Nations rights and the costs and benefits of treaty negotiations and asserting Indigenous rights.
  • "The most multi-ethnic country in the world": indigenous peoples in Russia's Eurasianist political narrative

    Trienen, Lex; Boylan, Brandon; Ehrlander, Mary; Hirsch, Alex (2019-05)
    Since 2012, scholars have taken a renewed look at the philosophical and political ideas of Eurasianism within Russia to explain President Vladimir Putin's conduct and the Russian public's response to it. Eurasianism in its current form posits that the Russian state plays a unique role in the history of the world in opposing the avaricious, agnostic, and culturally oppressive "West," while uniting and elevating the peoples of the Eurasian continent in a peaceful, organic and spiritual "Eurasia." Indigenous peoples play a distinctive role in this narrative. Both the United States and Russia have Indigenous populations that have been subjected to both passive neglect and active violence over the past several centuries and currently suffer from poor social conditions compared to the dominant ethnic groups of their respective countries. This thesis addresses the question of how the Russian media's portrayal of Native Americans diverges from that of its own Indigenous peoples in order to perpetuate this Eurasian narrative. Articles were collected from various news outlets in Russia, coded for Eurasianist themes using the Atlas.ti program, and analyzed by news outlet, date published, and topic. The analysis finds that the Russian media portrays Indigenous peoples in Russia as largely having constructive working relationships with the Kremlin, while they depict Native Americans as striving towards secession and mired in constant conflict with the U.S. government, but having surreptitious affinities towards the Eurasian civilizational model.
  • Germany's interests in the Arctic, as exemplifeid by its Arctic Council engagement

    Schley, Kerstin A.; Ehrlander, Mary; Boylan, Brandon; Hirsch, Alexander (2019-05)
    This thesis is a qualitative research exercise, which tests the explanatory value of the international relations theory of neoliberal institutionalism in explaining Germany's engagement in the Arctic and in the Arctic Council. The research question further attempts to clarify Germany's economic and environmental interests pursued through its engagement with the AC. This thesis analyzes Germany's engagement in the Arctic from a historical point of view up to Germany's contemporary interests. Germany's first Arctic engagement started with the period of whaling, continued through the age of polar heroes, up to the weather war of World War II. After the two World Wars, Germany struggled to restart its Arctic engagement, but nowadays enjoys a high reputation as an Arctic player. This is due to the well-known German polar research institute, the Alfred Wegener Institut Helholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, but also due to Germany's engagement in the Arctic Council. As a result of Germany's long history of polar, especially Arctic endeavors, the country became an Observer in the Arctic Council at its founding. As global warming has caused significant melting in the Arctic, Germany's interest has shifted from environmental concerns in the region to a dual emphasis of protecting the environment while pursuing economic opportunities. Today Germany pursues several interests in the Arctic, including economic, political, and environmental interests. Neoliberal institutionalism argues that cooperation can emerge through mutual trust and the building of norms, regimes and institutions. Realism on the other hand emphasizes security competition among great powers within anarchy of the international system, with the main aim to survive. The results of the analysis suggest that the theory of neoliberal institutionalism has better explanatory power for interpreting Germany's motivations for engaging in the Arctic Council than the theory of realism.
  • Quality of life for Alaskan individuals with FASD and their families

    Dow, Brenda S.; Ehrlander, Mary; Boylan, Brandon; Anahita, Sine; Rivkin, Inna (2019-05)
    Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. The effects of FASD include a range of physical, mental, behavioral, and learning disabilities. These disabilities impact quality of life, not only for the affected individual, but for family members. The effects from FASD ripple into schools, the correctional system, and throughout rural and urban communities. Although there are no reliable statistics available on FASD in Alaska, many professionals in the field believe Alaska to have the highest rate of FASD in the United States. This research has explored the ways in which prenatal exposure to alcohol affects quality of life for Alaskan individuals and their families. For this study, I have defined quality of life as the multi-faceted evaluation of the individual's personal experiences and life satisfaction, including health, psychological and social indicators. Since the identification of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and FASD, many studies have analyzed the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure, as well as possible interventions. Few studies have investigated how prenatal alcohol exposure affects the individual's quality of life and even fewer studies have analyzed how raising one or more children with FASD affects the family. To address the gap in the literature, this research applied social constructivist theory and employed a qualitative design, using semi-structured interviews to explore individuals' and parents' life stories and perceptions on how FASD has affected their lives. I interviewed eight individuals with FASD and 14 adoptive or long-term foster parents. Findings indicate that FASD impacts almost every facet of the lives of both the individuals affected and their families. All individuals with FASD interviewed for this project suffered serious adverse childhood experiences in addition to their prenatal exposure to alcohol. All encountered academic and social difficulties at school. Individuals struggled in their transitions to adulthood, with some individuals needing assistance from parents or social services throughout their lifespan. Parents expressed their ongoing need for structure within the home and the continual need to advocate for suitable services for their children. They described how the ongoing stress of raising their child(ren) with FASD affected their social lives, employment and even their marriages. The perspectives and insight of these individuals with FASD and their parents can provide other family members, service providers and legislators a better understanding of how FASD affects quality of life and assist decision makers in making informed choices on how to best provide expanded or improved supportive services to these individuals and families whose everyday struggles go largely unrecognized by the general public.
  • Equitable co-management on the Kuskokwim River

    McDevitt, Chris; Anahita, Sine; Ehrlander, Mary; Racina, Kris (2018-08)
    A legally empowered equitable co-management system of the Kuskokwim River salmon fishery between subsistence users and state and federal managers does not exist. Despite federal legislation Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) (Section 8) calling for a "meaningful role" for subsistence users in managing fish and game on federal lands, some rural subsistence users believe that they have yet to assume a "meaningful role" in the policy-making process. The absolute maximum capacity that subsistence users can fulfill in terms of participating in the management of the resources they depend on comes in the form of one of many advisory boards. Ultimately, management regimes and policymakers do not have to consider advisory council member recommendations, suggestions and/or group proposals. On the Kuskokwim River, the decline of king salmon, perceived mismanagement, general mistrust of management agencies, inter-river conflict, and lack of authority and accountability felt by local users, has prompted some subsistence salmon fishermen to press for a stronger role in salmon management. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fish Commission (KRITFC) have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pertaining to the management of the fishery. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) has not entered into negotiations with the KRITFC and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regarding management. This thesis explores the history of the Kuskokwim salmon fishery and options available to Alaska Native subsistence salmon users who seek an equitable role in managing the fishery.
  • Arctic paradox: polar bears, climate change and American environmentalism

    Loeffler, Carolyn Kozak; Ehrlander, Mary; Cole, Terrence; Boylan, Brandon; Woodward, Kesler; Hirsch, Alexander (2018-08)
    By virtually any standard of measurement, the Arctic is hotter than ever before, physically, politically and emotionally. Rising ocean temperatures, opening sea lanes, disappearing pack ice and global fear of environmental devastation have combined to make the Arctic Ocean the great question mark about the future of the human species with ursus maritimus, the "sea bear," standing as perhaps the most evocative symbol of our global responsibility and fate. In human eyes the polar bear has long been a paradoxical creature, mirroring a dilemma at the center of America's relationship to the Arctic today. The region's stretches of uninterrupted ecosystems and wilderness areas inspire strikingly disparate visions: a resource warehouse to some, and a sacred environmental preserve to others, pitting historical frontier identities against moral obligations to future generations. These conflicting visions of the Arctic ice pack and the bears who live there also symbolize the tension between the realities of consumerism and the ideals of global citizenship. In the last 150 years, our understanding of the polar bear has transitioned from ferocious to vulnerable, from a symbol of cold to a symbol of melt. An analysis of this change illuminates shifting historical perspectives and the roots of this ideological divide. This thesis demonstrates how polar bears first entered the American public consciousness as ferocious and sublime Arctic predators, before being commercialized, commodified, and eventually codified into the symbols they are today. Applied discourse analysis deconstructs how industrialization mediated the cultural shift of the polar bear from feared predator to vulnerable and politically contentious climate victim. Images and image analysis support the historical narrative, and act as entry points to our historic and contemporary understandings of American environmentalism.
  • Communities' reflections on oil companies' corporate social responsibility activities in Utqiagvik, Alaska

    Cao, Yu; Hirsch, Alexander; Ehrlander, Mary F.; Jeremy, Speight (2018-08)
    This thesis explores the reflections of Utqiaġvik community members on British Petroleum's Corporate social responsibility activities within the region of North Slope, Alaska. The term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to actions taken by corporations to improve the quality of life for its employees, local community members, and the environment, while also contributing to its own economic development. The thesis is driven by a guiding research question: how have the people of Utqiaġvik responded to the CSR activities of oil companies whose oil extractive industry operations impact the region's social, economic, and environmental welfare? In particular, this thesis seeks to understand why CSR activities sometimes fail to achieve their purported goals. By interviewing residents from the community of Utqiaġvik, I obtained perspectives on the impacts of oil development on the local environment and community, bringing to light the limits of current CSR activities, such that I might provide recommendations for rectifying CSR shortfalls. I argue that while oil companies' profit motives tend to restrict the potential of CSR activities, local people should be able to influence the types of CSR activities corporations pursue, given that they experience the local impacts of the industry. Based on my respondents' perspectives, I suggest that oil companies improve their risk-management approaches and communicate and discuss more effectively with local communities their current and planned developments and their intentions to minimize impacts, respect local culture and hire more local employees. The thesis concludes by offering recommendations to the oil companies regarding the nature and desired impacts of their CSR activities.
  • Demographic and social consequences of oil and gas development in Siberia, 1960s-early 1990s

    Logunov, Eugene V.; Black, Lydia (1999)
    The main goal of this thesis is to study the demographic and social consequences of rapid oil and gas development in Siberia, to show the experience of solving or failing to solve of wide range of social and cultural issues, and to sum up the results of both the economic impact on the social-cultural processes and the social impact on industrial production. In three decades, the number of new settlers in the Tyumen province was no less than 2,000,000 people. Such a pace of settling previously uninhabited territories with extreme environmental conditions had never occurred before in world practice. This explosive growth of population, dominated by young single males, has resulted in a distorted demographic structure which is hardly capable of reproduction. The birth rate declined sharply, whereas the death rate grew because of accidents, diseases, alcoholism, narcotics addiction, etc. The situation has been aggravated by complete neglect of the development of a social infrastructure. Nearly half of population live in conditions conducive to the degradation of family, morals, health and cultural values. Oil and gas development had numerous negative effects on indigenous peoples of the North. Destruction of the environment has undermined the natural base and functioning of their traditional occupations. They were unable to adapt to the new kinds of economic activity, and social and physical problems have become aggravated. There has been growth of the disease rate and of alcoholism. The descent into poverty has been rapid, and they find themselves under threat of ethnic degeneration and extinction. It was the initial orientation toward creation of a new but permanent population, the politics of "development through settlement," that proved to be one of the main causes of the deep crisis which has affected the region. The formation of a large, heterogeneous, unstable population, taken together with all its problems, accompanied by the inability to create a favorable social environment, mismanagement of manpower resources and an inadequate social infrastructure, have become the leading causes of production failures in the oil and gas industry.
  • The Scandinavian Immigrant Experience In Utah, 1850--1920: Using Material Culture To Interpret Cultural Adaptation

    Abbott, Rachel Gianni; Ehrlander, Mary; Gold, Carol; Henrichsen, Lynn; Koester, David (2013)
    From 1850 to 1920, over 25,000 Scandinavians who had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints emigrated to Utah to unite themselves with fellow Church members (Mormons) and build their Zion. These Scandinavian immigrants brought distinctive cultural heritages and traditions that contributed to the collective identity in Utah. The majority of literature on Scandinavian immigration to America and Scandinavian immigrants in America, however, neglects to consider the Mormon Scandinavian immigrants in the larger discourse. In addition, many historians of Utah history have concluded that Scandinavian immigrants assimilated culturally and left no trace of their Danish, Norwegian and Swedish traditions. To understand the Scandinavian immigrant experience in Utah, this study examines the material culture emigrants took and produced in their new home. These objects reveal that rather than totally jettisoning homeland heritage, Scandinavian immigrants and their descendants maintained and modified their traditional folkways, skills, and crafts while comingling them with new cultural traditions. The work presented here is the product of four years of fieldwork throughout areas in Utah that were predominantly settled by Scandinavians in the nineteenth century. The study concentrates on furniture, pottery, folk painting, textiles, embroidery, tools and implements. Each object was compared to similar objects in Scandinavia to verify their validity as Scandinavian, then the history of each object was investigated though archival research. Objects and contextual material were examined to elicit their reflection of the immigrant experience and cultural adaptation, especially to understand the evolving identities of Scandinavian Mormons in their new land. This dissertation analyzes material culture to explore the concepts of acculturation and identity. The artifacts suggest that while immigrants adapted to Utah's desert landscape and adjusted to gendered Church expectations, they retained core aspects of their homeland identities. The findings thus illustrate complexity of identity; that it evolves and that certain threads are perhaps more resilient than others. The findings of this study contribute to the broader discourse on Scandinavians in America and assert that Scandinavians in Utah maintained and perpetuated skills and traditions acquired in their homelands as they adjusted to the culture and environment of their new home.
  • M.D. Snodgrass: The Founder Of The Alaska State Fair

    Colberg, Talis James (2008)
    This dissertation presents the life of M.D. Snodgrass as an example of how the Alaskan frontier transformed an unremarkable middle aged migrant into a socially prominent civic leader. The life of M.D. Snodgrass exemplifies how American frontier society provides ordinary people with exceptional opportunities to flourish and prosper. One of the end results of Snodgrass's taking advantage of Alaskan frontier opportunity was the Alaska State Fair. The dissertation divides the life of Snodgrass into four phases with the following findings: (1) The first thirty-one years of Snodgrass's life was spent outside of Alaska. His early life in Kansas demonstrates: the forces which formed Snodgrass, the absence of noteworthy activities and the habits he embraced that would remain constant in his long life. (2) The second thesis section documents: how upon arrival in Alaska he was immediately confronted with challenges and opportunities in the wilderness that built his self-confidence, and how he devoted most of the last six decades of his life to advancement of agriculture in Alaska. (3) The third part addresses his political career, with the following observations: the unsettled frontier society had no established upper class and he became socially mobile; being present at the creation of a political system allowed him to attain extraordinary prominence rapidly; and he learned to take risks, to lose and yet keep trying. (4) The final phase demonstrates that by definition a frontier society lacks institutions, and Snodgrass seized the opportunity to be a participant in the creation of two colleges and became the founding figure of the Alaska State Fair. The author concludes that had M.D. Snodgrass never left Kansas he probably would never have been a representative, senator, college trustee, founder of experiment stations, state presidential elector, or the founder of a state fair. A normal individual can accomplish exceptional feats in a frontier setting where the open environment encourages the development of human potential.
  • Constitutional Change In The Circumpolar Periphery: A Comparative Case Study

    Smyth, Steven Eric Ronald; McBeath, Gerald (2005)
    This dissertation probes the origins of intercultural conflict and regional disparity in the circumpolar North. The dissertation asserts that the national governments of Denmark, the United States and Canada have utilized policies of internal colonialism in Alaska, Greenland and the Yukon Territory, and that those policies have shaped inter-cultural relations and contributed to regional disparities in their northern jurisdictions. Michael Hecther's and Dale Johnson's definitions of internal colonialism are utilized for the purposes of this study. The dissertation uses a comparative case study approach, reviewing how national government policies evolved and were applied in Alaska, Yukon and Greenland. It treats Alaska and the Yukon as similar cases, while Greenland is examined in a separate chapter as a dissimilar case. The dissertation provides an historical analysis and comparison of national policies towards aboriginal peoples, and shows how those policies were applied differently in Alaska and the Yukon than they were in the southern United States and Canada. These policies exacerbated conflict between the aboriginal and non-aboriginal populations due to the cultural division of labor that was created. The dissertation then examines the impact of federal policies on the economic development of Alaska and the Yukon. Thirdly, the dissertation examines the history of constitutional change, and compares the struggle for Alaska statehood with efforts to achieve provincial status for the Yukon. The dissertation concludes that policies of internal colonialism have been detrimental to the social and economic well-being northern peoples, but that responses to these policies have generated creative new approaches and agreements.
  • 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.
  • International and domestic drivers of military shifts in Alaska

    Burkhart, Peter K.; Boylan, Brandon M.; Ehrlander, Mary F.; Speight, Jeremy S. (2018-05)
    Since WWII, Alaska has witnessed dramatic influxes and reductions in military personnel and funding. This thesis explores the drivers of these events. It applies two theories to analyze the trends: realist theory from international relations and the advocacy coalition framework from public policy. The thesis uses a case study framework and process-tracing to analyze three different time periods in Alaska's history: 1) World War II (1940-1945), 2) the early Cold War era (1950-1958), and 3) the immediate post-Cold War era (1993-1999). This thesis argues that the level of international threat accounts for the United States' decisions to increase or decrease its military forces, while the strength of advocacy coalitions comprised of a diverse array of actors determines the amount of military personnel and funding transferred to Alaska.
  • Adolph Murie: Denali's Wilderness Conscience

    Franklin, Linda S.; Gladden, James (2004)
    Denali National Park, Alaska substantially owes its stature as Alaska's premier wilderness park to Adolph Murie. Forty years after he retired as park biologist, Murie still influences the perception and management of Denali National Park. Murie's development from childhood to esteemed scientist and wilderness advocate followed a linear progression. His rural upbringing under the tutelage of his older brother, Olaus Murie, cultivated his desire to be a biologist and his appreciation for wild places. His academic training in animal ecology solidified his belief that the management of natural areas must consider all species as essential and equally valuable. His pioneering wildlife studies as one of the National Park Service's first biologists changed national opinion. He led the opposition against plans for extensive construction and development in Denali National Park during the Mission 66 era. In doing so he left the imprint of his wilderness ethic on the park.
  • Leaving King Island: The Closure Of A Bureau Of Indian Affairs School And Its Consequences

    Braem, Nicole M.; Schneider, William (2004)
    By 1966, the King Island Inupiat had moved from their island village and lived at Nome. Little has been written about the de facto relocation of the King Islanders---and how and why it happened. What follows is an ethnohistory of the relocation based on the anthropology and history of the Bering Strait region, archival records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and interviews with King Islanders in Nome. The heart of the matter was the village's school. Based on the evidence, the BIA closed the school because of the expense and inconvenience of operating at King Island. This accomplished what the BIA had been unable for decades to do by persuasion---to move the village to the mainland. The immediate result of the closure, the resettlement of the villagers in Nome, fits within the established pattern of BIA policy over time, one that had assimilation as its ultimate goal.
  • Risk Society On The Last Frontier: Indigenous Knowledge And The Politics Of Risk In Oil Resource Management At Alaska's North Slope

    Blair, Berill; Lovecraft, Amy L. (2010)
    This thesis assesses the role of modern environmental risks and their institutionalized management in the subpolitics of North Slope stakeholder groups. It draws primarily on the concepts developed by Ulrich Beck and the literature that has grown out of his Risk Society thesis. The purpose of this research is to determine whether the current designs for knowledge production and management inside Alaska's oil management regime are inclusive of the indigenous knowledge (IK) of North Slope residents during the mediation of environmental risks, and whether the extent of inclusion is in proportion with the risk exposures of these communities. The premise of the thesis is that Alaska's oil politics is influenced by risk society conditions, and inclusion of North Slope residents' IK in environmental risk mediation has failed to match the scope of risks imposed upon local communities by negative externalities of oil development policies. Consequently, this trend has resulted in a technocratic hegemony of administrative agencies over risk definitions and disputes over the legitimacy of expert risk-decisions. The thesis is supported by an extensive literature on the politics of science and risk, an examination of the public process at state agencies, and a qualitative analysis of knowledge management initiatives both at the state and at the subpolitical level. The findings of this study support the idea that a new knowledge management model for risk mediation is needed to effectively include stakeholders' cultural rationalities on the acceptability of risks.

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