• Developing a decision support system for emergency management services in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska

      Schaefer, Katherine E. (2012-12)
      Every year the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB), in interior Alaska, responds to common emergencies, as well as disasters of varying types. This research first tested several geographic information systems (GIS) based network analysis models to demonstrate how these models could serve as 'decision support' tools for emergency planning and response. Six network analysis models based on FNSB data were evaluated to determine the response times of local fire stations. Each model was tested against real call times and simulated summertime fire emergency response call times to verify model accuracy. The simulated times matched the modeled predictions with remarkably high R2 values of 0.946, 0.941, and 0.940 for conditions that represented no adjustment to road data, a time penalty for slopes, and a small time penalty for all turns, respectively. The corresponding results with culled real-time call data had a much lower accuracy of 0.403, 0.429, and 0.415, respectively. The lower accuracy for real-time data was primarily due to discrepancies in response time recording protocols. This study also divided FNSB into evacuation zones and created a map book with critical infrastructure and key resources necessary for improved emergency management.
    • Dramatics in the classroom: activating and enhancing the elementary intermediate level reading curriculum

      Finnell, Sarah K.; Vinlove, Amy; Hornig, Joan; Brink-Hart, Paula (2014-07)
      Elementary classroom teachers have been using drama to teach a variety of subjects since the 1960s. There are a myriad of books on the subject to which educators can turn for ideas to use in their classrooms. Theorists and practitioners have recognized that it is not enough for teachers to simply read about and practice drama in their classrooms; they should be trained in using drama effectively. In the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District teachers are well-equipped and exposed to visual arts lessons. Nearly every school has a music program, but there remains limited training or resources teachers might use to incorporate drama into their curriculum. This project would begin to fill that gap. In this report, I outline the research that justifies the use of drama as a tool to support the reading curriculum in intermediate elementary classrooms. My final project is a set of nine lessons that can be used by any teacher to support reading comprehension skills in intermediate elementary classrooms.
    • An exploration of own and cross-price elasticity of demand for residential heating in the Fairbanks North Star Borough

      Graham, Noelle J.; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Kennedy, Camilla (2019-05)
      The purpose of this study is to utilize community level household energy consumption data to determine the short-run own- and cross-price elasticity of heating oil and wood using the proportionally calibrated almost idea demand system model. Elasticity values can identify how residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough will potentially alter home heating practices in response to a change in home heating oil price. Results indicate that values for own-price elasticity for oil is -0.259, with a 95% confidence interval of [-0.272, -0.246]. Based on predicted values a 1% increase in the price of heating oil is estimated to result in a reduction of 0.259% in the quantity of residential heating oil consumed by the average household. Cross-price elasticity estimates of wood with respect to a change in the price of oil is 0.198 with a 95% confidence interval of [0.171, 0.234]. Based on predicted values, a 1% increase in the price of oil is predicted to increase wood consumption by 0.198%. In addition, this study utilized a Monte Carlo Simulation with estimated elasticity parameters to predict the change in household level energy consumption of wood and heating oil given an increase in heating oil prices. Approximately 71% of households are predicted to decrease overall energy consumption. 83.5% of households are predicted to decrease oil consumption, and 57.3% of houses are predicted to increase wood consumption. Through evaluating household's energy consumption decisions in the face of changing prices, these results can inform effective air quality policies.
    • Natural resource base of the Fairbanks North Star Borough

      Wolff, E.N.; Haring, R.C. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1967)
      This report on the natural resource base of the Fairbanks North Star Borough is one of several continuing research projects related to community planning in Alaska. It represents an interdisciplinary effort of the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory and the Institute of Social, Economic and Government Research at the University of Alaska. The result is a synthesis of the economic development potential of natural resources in the greater Fairbanks region.
    • Near-roadway air pollution: evaluation of fine particulate matter (PM₂.₅) and ultrafine particulate matter (PM ₀.₁) in Interior Alaska

      Kadir, Abdul; Aggarwal, Srijan; Belz, Nathan; Barnes, David; Mao, Jingqiu (2019-05)
      Particulate air pollution in the form of fine (PM₂.₅) and ultrafine (PM₀.₁) particles has become a global concern, especially in urban areas with high population and vehicular traffic. Considerable research has been carried out to understand the underlying processes that impact particulate pollution, but most studies have been conducted in warmer and urban regions such as in California. The Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB), in Interior Alaska, provides an interesting example of a relatively small- to mid-sized northern locality (population ~100,000) with persistent air quality issues and extremely cold climatic conditions for a major part of the year. Since December 2009, the FNSB has been designated a nonattainment region by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the federal PM₂.₅ standard. As part of their remediation efforts, the borough and state have undertaken increased monitoring by using an on-roadway monitoring vehicle (sniffer vehicle) and stationary near-roadway sites for air quality measurements, beyond what is required for regulatory compliance. One of the goals of this project was to develop a novel data investigation and analyses methodology for the geospatial air quality data collected by the borough's mobile monitoring vehicle (years 2012-15), to shed light on the PM₂.₅ issues faced by the FNSB. In addition, this research also undertook measurements of ultrafine particle (UFP) concentration levels at four road weather information system (RWIS) sites in the FNSB region. UFPs, though unregulated, are considered to have significant human health impacts and no known studies have investigated UFPs in FNSB. In addition to UFPs, other parameters such as PM₂.₅, traffic, and weather data were measured at the same locations to investigate any underlying trends/correlations with UFPs. In the first part of the research with mobile monitoring, data were categorized in nine different groups based on their mean and standard deviation values to determine the spatiotemporal distribution of PM₂.₅. This novel way of grouping data allows identification of locations with consistently poor and consistently better air quality, by going beyond the simple analyses of means and accounting for variability and standard deviation in the data. In addition to hotspot identification, analyses found that average on-roadway PM₂.₅ concentrations were higher in North Pole (27.2 μg/m³) than in Fairbanks (12.9 μg/m³), and that average concentrations were higher in the background stationary monitoring data (29.4 μg/m³) than in the mobile monitoring data (20.0 μg/m³) for the study period. Not surprisingly, significant negative correlations (R² = 0.49 for Fairbanks, and R² = 0.31 for North Pole) were found between temperature and PM₂.₅. Temporal distribution of the data suggests that PM₂.₅ levels increase gradually in the months of October and November, peak during the months of December, January, and February, and quickly plummet beginning March. In the latter part of the study, data on UFP measurements were collected at four RWIS sites in the FNSB for four days between March 1 and 18, 2017, for five continuous hours each day. Among other parameters, PM₂.₅ concentrations, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and traffic volume data were collected. Data were analyzed to develop correlations between UFPs and other parameters, to compare data from this study with other studies, and to determine current roadside UFP concentration levels in interior Alaska. Fairbanks roadside locations showed higher mean UFP counts (41,700 particles/cm³) than the North Pole (22,100 particles/cm³) locations. Similarly, for the period of study, Fairbanks roadside locations showed higher PM₂.₅ concentrations and traffic counts (6.3 μg/m³; 15 vehicles/min) than the North Pole (4.6 μg/m³; 10 vehicles/min) locations, both being well below the on-roadway and background PM₂.₅ concentrations estimated in the first part of this report. Multilinear predictive models were developed for estimation of UFPs and PM₂.₅ based on weather and traffic parameters. This first study of UFPs in Alaska improves our understanding of near-roadway UFPs in cold regions.
    • On the willingness-to-pay for Elodea removal in the Fairbanks North Star Borough

      Kaczmarski, Jesse I.; Little, Joseph; Greenberg, Joshua; Fix, Peter (2018-05)
      The empirical research conducted herein addresses a public need for the funding of a project that would eradicate Elodea in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB). The eradication project has been outlined and approved by State and Federal agencies and has gathered funding to begin the eradication process. The study aims to develop a mean willingness-to-pay value for survey participants by shifting the funding burden to property tax payers. This body of work includes a primer on Elodea in the borough, an overview of contingent valuation, a parametric approach to willingness-to-pay, and results of the study conducted on Fairbanks property owners. The average willingness-to-pay per survey respondent is $50.32. In addition, 72% of survey respondents voted for the enactment of the program at their proposed cost level. These financial burdens took values of $10, $30, $60, or $120 per year for 4 years to fund the proposed program. A penalized maximum log-likelihood estimation found that the most significant predictors for the likelihood of a yes vote are the respondent's perceived risk to the ecosystem and recreational opportunities. Additionally, the respondents concern for the use of herbicides in the borough to treat the Elodea infestation is highly significant. The high level of prior knowledge throughout the survey indicates that respondents had established view on Elodea prior to the survey.
    • Planning for positive outcomes: testing methods for measuring outdoor recreation preferences on public lands

      Wright, Roger Bryant; Fix, Peter J.; Little, Joseph M.; Dodge, Kathryn (2019-08)
      Outcomes-Focused Management is based on the idea of four levels of demand for recreation: demand for recreation activities, recreation settings, recreation experiences, and lasting benefits of recreation. Public lands can provide the setting, and thus the opportunity for people to engage in meaningful outdoor recreation activities to realize desired experiences and lasting benefits. Implementation of this management framework requires identifying desired outcomes and understanding how management of public lands recreation settings affects visitors' ability to realize them. This thesis addresses the two tasks. The Fairbanks Community Recreation Study investigated current methods of identifying demands for different types of recreation trips, revealing two key shortcomings. First, demand studies often rely solely on activity participation data and thus fail to account for latent demand and desires for meaningful experiences and benefits. Second, data from demand studies are either too general to be useful in site management, or too specific to one site to account for the range of needs within a community. An online survey was developed to characterize salient and latent demands for outdoor recreation in the context of the greater Fairbanks, Alaska community. A unique survey format allowed respondents to describe their hypothetical "ideal" outdoor recreation trips, the required setting characteristics, and what actual places in the region might realistically provide such a trip. Trip profiles yielded a typology of desired recreation for the region. By connecting these types of trips to real places, local land managers can identify which demands they are uniquely equipped to provide for and how to better cater to latent demands. To address the task of measuring the effectiveness of outcomes-focused management practices, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted on data from 13 recreation benefits surveys collected at recreation areas in three western states. Factor structures among individual studies converged on two primary domains of Personal Benefits of recreation and Community Benefits from recreation, each containing a number of potential subdimensions. By identifying latent factors of the recreation benefits construct the study brings research closer to developing and validating a survey instrument to measure lasting beneficial recreation outcomes to individuals and their communities.
    • Restorative practices as tools for reducing the outcome data gaps in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District

      Kettle, Anne; Gifford, Valerie; McMorrow, Samantha; Repetto, Elizabeth (2018)
      Childhood adversity, toxic stress and trauma have physical and mental health impacts on individuals and affect academic and career success. The result of which may present as challenging or off-task behavior in the classroom. Trauma-informed techniques are being implemented to address these challenges in schools and classrooms across the United States. Restorative practices are proving to serve as successful tools for mitigating the impact of adversity on students and build a more cohesive and successful school atmosphere. There is potential for restorative practices to be used by school counselors as part of a comprehensive school counseling program to work to close gaps in the rates of graduation, suspension/expulsion and attendance between students from the majority population and those from traditionally marginalized populations. Based on a review of the literatures of trauma-informed schools, restorative practices and school counselor roles, a presentation and tool-kit has been developed for the Fairbanks North Star Borough school counselors. This tool-kit builds awareness around the impact of trauma, restorative practices and provides resources to support their implementation in this district via school counselors.