Sub-communities within this community

Recent Submissions

  • Predicting multi-species Bark Beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) occurrence in Alaska: open-access big GIS-data mining to provide robust inference

    University of Kansas, 2021-07-03
    Native bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) are a multi-species complex that rank among the key disturbances of coniferous forests of western North America. Many landscape-level variables are known to influence beetle outbreaks, such as suitable climatic conditions, spatial arrangement of incipient populations, topography, abundance of mature host trees, and disturbance history that include former outbreaks and fire. We assembled the first open access data, which can be used in open source GIS platforms, for understanding the ecology of the bark beetle organism in Alaska. We used boosted classification and regression tree as a machine learning data mining algorithm to model-predict the relationship between 14 environmental variables, as model predictors, and 838 occurrence records of 68 bark beetle species compared to pseudo-absence locations across the state of Alaska. The model predictors include topography- and climate-related predictors as well as feature proximities and anthropogenic factors. We were able to model, predict, and map the multi-species bark beetle occurrences across the state of Alaska on a 1-km spatial resolution in addition to providing a good quality environmental dataset freely accessible for the public. About 16% of the mixed forest and 59% of evergreen forest are expected to be occupied by the bark beetles based on current climatic conditions and biophysical attributes of the landscape. The open access dataset that we prepared, and the machine learning modeling approach that we used, can provide a foundation for future research not only on scolytines but for other multi-species questions of concern, such as forest defoliators, and small and big game wildlife species worldwide.
  • BUILDING CAPACITY FOR CLIMATE ADAPTATION Assessing the Vulnerability of Transportation Infrastructure to Sea Level Rise for Safety Enhancement in RITI Communities

    Shen, Suwan; Shim, Dayea (2021-09-01)
    Sea level rise (SLR) and more frequent extreme weather events are an emerging concern for transportation infrastructures in coastal areas. In particular, the livelihoods and transportation safety of vulnerable populations such as indigenous rural communities may be at higher risk to sea-level rise and exacerbated coastal flooding due to their heavy dependence on natural resources, settlements in relatively isolated fringe land, limited accessibility to services, and alternative economic activities, as well as lack of resources and tools for adaptation. Despite existing studies on sea-level rise’s impacts, there is a lack of understanding of how the impacts of tidal flooding and sea-level rise may be unevenly distributed both spatially and socially, and how vulnerable (e.g. rural, relatively isolated) communities have experienced such impacts and perceive future risks. Using survey data, this project helps to better understand the current experience and risk perception of different communities when facing sea-level rise and more frequent coastal flooding. It helps to understand different communities’ perceived travel challenges with coastal flooding, the social sensitivity to different types of challenges, and the priorities and concerns to access various types of resources with the projected sea-level rise. The findings could be used to develop adaptation strategies that improve communities’ safe access to highly valued resources and activities.
  • Alaska Earthquake Center Quarterly Technical Report April-June 2021

    Ruppert, Natalia (2021-08)
    This series of technical quarterly reports from the Alaska Earthquake Center (AEC) includes detailed summaries and updates on Alaska seismicity, the AEC seismic network and stations, field work, our social media presence, and lists publications and presentations by AEC staff. Multiple AEC staff members contributed to this report. It is issued in the following month after the completion of each quarter Q1: January-March, Q2: April-June, Q3: July-September, and Q4: October-December.
  • DEVELOPMENT OF GRASS-ROOTS DATA COLLECTION METHODS IN RURAL, ISOLATED, AND TRIBAL COMMUNITIES

    Chang, Kevin; Hodgson, Cody (2021-07-05)
    While extensive procedures have been developed for the collection and dissemination of motor vehicle volumes and speeds, these same procedures cannot always be used to collect pedestrian data, given the comparably unpredictable behavior of pedestrians and their smaller physical size. There is significant value to developing lower cost, lower intrusion methods of collecting pedestrian travel data, and these collection efforts are needed at the local or “grass-roots” level. While previous studies have documented many different data collection methods, one newer option considers the use of drones. This study examined its feasibility to collect pedestrian data and used this technology as part of a school travel mode case study. Specific information with regard to the study methodology, permissions required, and final results are described in detail as part of this report. This study concluded that while purchasing and owning a drone requires relatively minimal investment, the initial steps required to operate a drone, along with processing time required to analyze the data collected, represent up-front barriers that may prevent widespread usage at this time. However, the use of drones and the opportunities that it presents in the long-term offer promising outcomes.
  • Investigation of Drone Applications to Improve Traffic Safety in RITI Communities

    Ban, Xuegang (Jeff); Abramson, Daniel; Zhang, Yiran; Cano-Calhoun, Cristina (2021-06-30)
    Transportation and traffic safety is a primary concern among the Rural, Isolated, Tribal, or Indigenous (RITI) communities in the U.S. Although emerging technologies (e.g., connected and autonomous vehicles, drones) have been developed and tested in addressing traffic safety issues, they are often not widely shared in RITI communities for various reasons. This research aims to explore, understand, and synthesize the opportunities and challenges of applying drone technologies to alleviate or resolve traffic safety and emergency related issues within RITI communities. The project team first sent out online surveys to communities on the outer Pacific coast of Washington State and selected the City of Westport as the study area based on the feedback. A pilot study using drones for mapping and sensing in Westport was then conducted, followed by two community meetings to explore potential drone applications. With the three outreach activities, it was found that the current need in the communities was education on drones, including training for remote pilot certification (drone license) and drone operations. Findings of this research will help guide the project team to set up specific drone-related programs in the Westport area in future research.
  • Rabies Alaska and Canada

    Huettmann, Falk; Huettmann, Falk (2021)
  • ROADS AND AIRFIELDS CONSTRUCTED ON PERMAFROST: A Synthesis of Practice

    Connor, Billy; Goering, Douglas J.; Kanevskiy, Mikhail; Trochim, Erin; Bjella, Kevin L.; McHattie, Robert L. (2020-12)
    This synthesis provides the practicing engineer with the basic knowledge required to build roadway and airports over permafrost terrain. Topic covered include an overview of permafrost, geotechnical investigations, slope stability, impacts of climate, and adaptation strategies during the design, construction and maintenance phases. The purpose of the synthesis is not to provide a comprehensive body of knowledge or to provide a complete how‐to manual. Rather the synthesis provides a working knowledge for those working in permafrost regions such that the practicing engineer will be able to work with subject matter experts to obtain the desired project outcomes.
  • AACSE earthquake catalog: January-August, 2019

    Ruppert, Natalia; Barcheck, Grace; Abers, Geoffrey (2021-05)
    The Alaska Amphibious Community Seismic Experiment (AACSE) comprised 75 ocean bottom seismometers and 30 land stations and covered about 650 km along the segment of the subduction zone that includes Kodiak Island, the Alaska Peninsula and the Shumagin Islands between May 2018 and September 2019. This unprecedented offshore dataset has the potential to support a greatly enhanced earthquake catalog by both increasing the number of detected earthquakes and improving the accuracy of their source parameters. We use all available regional and AACSE campaign seismic data to compile an enhanced earthquake catalog for the region between Kodiak and Shumagin Islands including Alaska Peninsula (51-59N, 148-163W). We apply the same processing and reporting standards to additional picks and events as the Alaska Earthquake Center currently use for compilation of the authoritative regional earthquake catalog. This release includes earthquake catalogs for the time period between January 01 and July 31, 2019. We include monthly CSS database tables (aecevent, arrival, assoc, event, netmag, origerr, origin) and quakeml files.
  • Alaska Earthquake Center Quarterly Technical Report January-March 2021

    Ruppert, Natalia (2021-05)
    This is the first in a series of technical quarterly reports from the Alaska Earthquake Center (AEC). It includes detailed summaries and updates on Alaska seismicity, the AEC seismic network and stations, field work, our social media presence, and lists publications and presentations by AEC staff. Multiple AEC staff members contributed to this report. It is issued in the following month after the completion of each quarter Q1: January-March, Q2: April-June, Q3: July-September, and Q4: October-December.
  • Porphyry copper, copper skarn, and volcanogenic massive sulfide occurrences in the Chandalar copper district, Alaska

    Nicholson, Lisa; Keskinen, Mary (1990-05)
    Metamorphosed porphyry copper, copper skarn, and volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) occurrences have been found in 5 key prospects within Devonian rocks of the Chandalar copper district, Alaska. The Venus, Victor, Eva, and Evelyn Lee prospects contain "proximal" porphyry copper/copper skarn mineralization, whereas the Luna prospect contains "distal" Cu-Zn skarn and Cu-Zn VMS mineralization. Porphyry copper mineralization is recognized by granodiorite composition meta-intrusives; zoned potassic, sericitic and propylitic alteration; and del34S values of -1.5 to -0.6 per mil. Skarns consist of andraditic garnet (Ad30-100) and diopsidic pyroxene (Hd9-46), and have del34S values of -4.7 to -1.1 per mil. Alteration types in intrusive rocks and adjacent skarn are generally compatible. VMS occurrences contain chloritic and silicic alteration, and massive sulfides have del34S values of -0.8 to 6.9 per mil, consistent with values from known Devonian VMS deposits.
  • Mesoscale modeling study of a polar low in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

    Moreira, Paula Doubrawa; Zhang, Xiangdong (2011-12)
    Polar lows are intense mesoscale maritime cyclones, often associated with strong winds that can damage high-latitude coastal environments and infrastructure. These systems have been historically infrequent in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, but this behavior is expected to change along with the amplified changes in Arctic climate. This study investigates the unusual occurrence of a polar low in this region on October 9-10, 2009. Sensitivity experiments with the Weather Research and Forecasting model indicate that using ERA-Interim as large-scale forcing and performing spectral nudging at all simulation hours yield the most realistic simulation. The simulations are highly sensitive to physical parameterizations, where Morrison rnicrophysics and Yonsei University boundary layer produce the smallest errors. Surface forcings were not important for the polar low development and their influence could not extend above 850 hPa due to a stable lower atmosphere. A convergence zone between the Aleutian Low and the Beaufort High established a southerly flow that created favorable conditions by continuously adverting heat and moisture from lower latitudes. The polar low had a hybrid development and was likely triggered by the interaction between a deep-penetrating upper-level potential vorticity anomaly and a low-level baroclinic zone, which were driven northward by the jet stream.
  • Alaska Earthquake Center: A 2020 Perspective

    Grassi, Beth; West, Michael; Gardine, Lea (2021-03)
    The Alaska Earthquake Center is not historically in the habit of producing annual reports. We are in a dynamic time, however. Societally-significant earthquakes and multiple tsunami concerns over the past few years have brought more attention to what we do. At the same time, we are experiencing significant growth in several areas. Our goal in distributing this summary is to communicate the breadth of our activities and the diversity of our stakeholders, helping us become even more effective at meeting the earthquake and tsunami science needs of Alaska and the nation.
  • Legacy junk: MFA Other exhibition

    Juneau, Allison; Mollett, David; Jones, Zoe; Mehner, Da-ka-xeen (2020-12)
    I recently purchased a tract of raw land with the intention of building a cabin, and wasn't terribly surprised to find the land came with some impressive piles of junk. I was frankly enamored of these objects, abandoned but not destroyed by the previous owner. They had a potentially useful quality that resonated with other aspects of the Fairbanks community; transfer sites, the airplane graveyard behind the airport, old couches and tables and wooden spools that littered the yards of countless homes. This rural detritus represents a confluence of natural and cultural forces that Alaskans experience every day. I wish to investigate this transitional territory by abstracting and amplifying the fine line between usefulness and decay. I believe that in this modern life, it is all too easy to assume that the world of nature and the world of human culture are totally separate. For me, this assumption was repeatedly challenged after experiencing the destructive power of nature during my childhood in Tornado Alley, and more recently, the subzero temperatures of Interior Alaska. I typically draw inspiration from daily observations of my environment, and as a result my imagery changed dramatically after I moved to the far North. Despite the change of landscape, the core concept of investigating intersections of nature and culture remains the same. This is a fascinating task in the Alaskan Interior, as these intersections are clearly exposed. This community has a unique relationship to nature, as modern homes and businesses coexist with virtually untouched wilderness. These experiences have instilled in me a deep respect for the vast web of life that both supports and threatens my community, and motivates me to seek out and emphasize places where natural and artificial worlds collide using the malleable language of art and oil painting.
  • VITAS: A Visual Exhibit

    Walter, Ilisa A.; Croskrey, Wendy E.; Jones, Zoë M. (2020-12)
    VITAS is a visual exhibition that addresses the idea of a posthumous legacy. The substance of a person’s life is composed of what they’ve done, and what they become after death is determined by that substance. This exhibition is composed of 25 carved animal skulls and sculptures inspired by the concept of vitas, treating life as an opportunity to advance the next generation through life’s work. VITAS studies the idea of what happens after the passing of a being by applying embellishment, adornment, pigments, and carvings onto the skeletal remains of animals. By applying human influence to natural material, the animal’s experience becomes a vital part of the artwork. Bone density, size, condition, and abnormalities are all determined by how the animal lived. These factors are a major consideration in design and aesthetic choices in each unique piece.
  • Nome Eskimo Community Tribal Council Resource Guide

    Nichols-Takak, Kendra Kookruk; Brooks, Cathy; Stern, Charlene; Topkok, Megan (2020-12)
    The Nome Eskimo Community Tribal Council Resource is a digital manual composed of information for newly elected tribal leaders so they can provide the best guidance to the Tribe, develop leadership skills, and serve the community. The purpose of this project is to ensure that current and future tribal council members and presidents have access to information necessary to make decisions on important issues using best practices for governance and leadership. The resource guide includes roles and responsibilities as well as local and statewide resources in various areas of governance including child welfare, land, natural resources, and education. It is intended to provide a starting point for newly elected tribal members. Additionally, Nome Eskimo Community (NEC) bylaws, program information, photos and recorded interviews of current and former tribal leaders will provide newly elected officials with important NEC history. The different subjects contained within the guide are specific to the programs the Council is governing. Leaders have access to the digital resource guide via downloadable files which can be viewed on a tablet. The resource guide will include the roles and responsibilities of the tribal council and the president and will cover governance, leadership practices, and program resources. The resource guide can be further developed to include advanced information for experienced leaders in the following areas: child welfare, land, natural resources, and education.
  • Creating safety policy and procedures in an active shooter event

    Nash, Mechelle L.; Taylor, Karen; DeCaro, Peter; Hum, Richard; Heckman, Daniel (2020-12)
    School and workplace active shootings are on the rise and seem to be the norm today and there is not a working policy in place to train for an active shooter event in our organization, Golden Valley Electric Association. The purpose of this project was to develop a workable policy and procedure for the employees and to enhance the safety culture within our organization. To achieve this goal, a training presentation was created using the ALICE Training Institute’s protocol to train the workforce. The ALICE acronym stands for A=Alert, L=Lockdown, I=Inform, C=Counter, E=Evacuate. Over the course of research for this project, research indicated that a crisis management plan (CMP) and crisis management team (CMT) would be a better option for training the organization, not policies and procedures. A sample crisis management plan and outline for the crisis management team were created. The crisis management team would deal with the policies and procedures and ensure the success of training the workforce and enhancing the safety culture of the organization. The recommendations are for the organization to select the CMT, review the CMP created, and implement and maintain the plan. Following and implementing these recommendations into practice would ensure the workforce was trained and would strengthen the safety culture of the organization.
  • A Place-based study of Alaskan animals

    Heslop, Emma; Hogan, Maureen; Hornig, Joan; Kardash, Diane (2020-12)
    In the spring of 2020, my second-grade class, located in Fairbanks, AK, dived into a place-based exploration of Alaskan animals. The aim of the project was to increase students’ connections and understanding of the state where they live (Alaska) and the animals that they share it with. Through a backwards design, inquiry-based instructional model, my students met state standards with an integrated-subject approach. With art, guest speakers, research, and field trips my students learned about the Animals that share Alaska with us, their environments, and their adaptations. Students used informational writing published on digital mediums to share their knowledge with others. I propose to share this unit with other educators in the form of a website with links and lesson plans so that more teachers and children have access to quality place-based materials that align to state standards.
  • Measuring the impact of cooperative rewards on AI

    Harmon, Dain; Lawlor, Orion S.; Chappell, Glenn G.; Metzgar, Jonathan B. (2020-12)
    We consider the effects of varying individualistic and team rewards on learning for a Deep Q-Network AI in a multi-agent system, using a synthetic team game ‘Futlol’ designed for this purpose. Experimental results with this game using the OpenSpiel framework indicate that mixed reward structures result in lower win rates. It is unclear if this is due to faster learning on simpler reward structures or a flaw in the nature of the reward system.

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