• Agricultural possibilities of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      McCurdy, Richard E.; Johnson, Hugh A. (Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, 1951-03)
      During the summer of 1950, an intensive study was made on the Kenai Peninsula to determine the extent of its agricultural development and the plans and problems of current settlers. All available settlers residing in accessible areas were interviewed. Notes were also collected concerning non-resident or absentee landholders. The resulting information consequently covers the agricultural community that has developed under existing conditions of help, hindrance and laissez faire. The study furnishes guides useful in formulating public settlement policies for the Kenai-Kasilof area and to individuals who might wish to locate in this or other sections of the Peninsula.
    • The effect of wildfires, spruce bark beetles, and prescribed burns on residential property values in Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Reinker, Paul C.; Little, Joseph; Baek, Jungho; Greenberg, Joshua (2019-08)
      This study estimates the effect that forest fires, spruce bark beetle outbreaks, and controlled burns performed by fire management agencies have on nearby residential property values. Using the hedonic pricing framework, and ten years of house sales from south-central Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, this study found little evidence that wildfires and spruce beetle outbreaks have a significant effect on the final sale price of surrounding homes, but found that the controlled burns contribute to a decrease in surrounding home values. As Alaska's climate becomes warmer and drier, these disturbances threaten to increase in frequency and severity. Understanding how homeowners perceive fire risk and forest damage is increasingly important to fire management policy, as the behavior of residents can help limit both the cost from and incidence of wildfires. The study's findings suggest that homeowners are either insulated from, or indifferent to fire risk, but targeted burns of high-risk areas by fire managers could increase awareness and sensitivity to fire risk.
    • The effects transportation planning, infrastructure, and outcomes on the Kenai Peninsula

      Williams, Darrel; Stern, Charlene; Bluehorse, Byron; Brooks, Catherine (2020-05)
      In this research, I explored qualitative and quantitative authentic data that documented evidence of transportation and community expressions to explain the relationships identified and to help understand common traits that present a connection with the human aspects of transportation. The primary intent of the research was to determine if comments provided by rural and urban communities about transportation conditions shared common traits such as safety, property value, and personal interests. This study explored the long-term value of transportation infrastructure, where the value was determined by the people who used the infrastructure from their expressions presented in public meetings. Rural and urban communities have different preferences, yet the findings of this study suggested that identifiable attributes are shared. The data identified a set of common attributes that are associated with measurable qualitative data, including safety, development, personal interests, basic needs, property issues, economic changes, and requests for information as coded values. These values come from the roads driven on, vehicles driving on them, and the people who use them. The study focused on one development entity, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, which did document public input and decisions made as an advisory opinion about transportation recommendations in meeting minutes. A review of 15 years of records from the Kenai Peninsula Borough demonstrated that the relationship between transportation infrastructure and community 1) has common identifiable attributes, 2) is measurable, and 3) provides information about transportation value as well as the rates of change that a community experiences. The data analysis demonstrated that the comments were 45% were urban, and 55% rural, suggesting that the relationship is balanced between the populations on the Kenai Peninsula. The analysis utilized an emergent method that found common traits as well as temporal and spatial variations iv between common themes expressed by community members, the amounts of transportation work performed, and measurable comparisons of the data. The results demonstrated that there are common measurable traits that exist in transportation information that can be evaluated using mixed methods. There are also limiting factors associated with the research.
    • Energetics and space use of female moose during winter

      Kraft, Benjamin Robert; Hundertmark, Kris J.; Harris, Grant M.; Hunter, Christine M. (2011-05)
      Space use and resource selection are processes linked by habitat availability that have direct consequences to fitness. Knowledge of such processes allows comprehension of wildlife-habitat relationships, which can improve the efficacy of wildlife management programs. I investigated energetic and space use parameters of a population of female moose wintering in two adjacent, but distinct, landscape types (lowlands and mountains) on the Kenai Peninsula, AK, USA. I also evaluated differences between four home range models. I found that mountain females started winter in better condition, but used fat reserves at a higher rate than lowland females resulting in similar body condition estimates of moose in both landscape types in spring. I also found evidence of the functional response of habitat selection at the home range scale within landscape types. I observed a strong positive correlation between daily movement rate and home range size indicating that when females move during winter, they do so to access new areas expanding their home range. Brownian bridge, minimum convex polygon, fixed kernel, and local convex hull home range models produced different area and overlap estimates. Minimum convex polygons are least similar of model types and are not recommended to estimate areas actually used by animals.
    • Marine-derived nutrients in riverine ecosystems: developing tools for tracking movement and assessing effects in food webs on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

      Rinella, Daniel J. (2010-05)
      Marine-derived nutrients (MDN) delivered by spawning Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) contribute to the productivity of riverine ecosystems. Optimizing methods for measuring MDN assimilation in food webs will foster the development of ecologically based resource management approaches. This dissertation aims to better understand relationships among spawning salmon abundance, biochemical measures of MDN assimilation, and the fitness of stream-dwelling fishes. The goals of my first research chapter were (1) to understand the factors that influence stable isotope ([delta]¹³C, [delta]¹⁵N, and [delta]³⁴S) and fatty acid measures of MDN assimilation in stream and riparian biota, and (2) to examine the ability of these measures to differentiate among sites that vary in spawning salmon biomass. For all biota studied, stable isotopes and fatty acids indicated that MDN assimilation increased with spawner abundance. Among Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma), larger individuals assimilated proportionately more MDN. Seasonal effects were detected for aquatic macroinvertebrates and riparian horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile), but not for Dolly Varden. Of all dependent variables, Dolly Varden [delta]¹⁵N had the clearest relationship with spawner abundance, making this a good measure for monitoring MDN assimilation. Expanding on these results, two chapters examined potential fisheries management applications. The first sought to identify spawner levels above which stream-dwelling Dolly Varden and coho salmon (O. kisutch) parr cease to gain physiological benefits associated with MDN. RNA-DNA ratios (an index of recent growth rate) and energy density indicated saturation responses where values increased rapidly with spawner abundance up to approximately 1 kg/m² and then leveled off. In coho salmon parr, energy density and RNA-DNA ratios correlated significantly with [delta]¹⁵N. These results show strong linkages between MDN and fish fitness responses, while the saturation points may indicate spawner densities that balance salmon harvest with the ecological benefits of MDN. The second application tested a quick and inexpensive method for estimating, spawning salmon abundance based on [delta]¹⁵N in stream-dwelling fishes. Estimates made with coho salmon pair were unbiased, tightly correlated with observed values, and had a mean absolute deviation of 1.4 MT spawner biomass/km. Application of this method would allow estimates of annual escapement to be made on a potentially large number of streams.
    • Project to demonstrate feasibility of gas production with sensitivities on production schemes on Sterling B4 sands formation

      Yeager, Ronald J.; Patil, Shirish; Ning, Samson; Khataniar, Santanu (2018-04)
      The Sterling B4 reservoir is a low-relief anticline structure underlain by a weak aquifer located on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. This dry gas-on-water reservoir, holding approximately 13.9 BCF, has experienced challenges since its first development in the 1960s. The gas-water contact is very mobile and easily influenced upward by gas production. All four wells, largely producing in succession of one another, have experienced excessive water production which killed gas production. Faulty drilling and completion work exacerbated the challenges associated with bringing the gas to market. This project covers an effort to develop the Sterling B4 and determine feasible alternatives for commercialization. Those alternatives include infill drilling, variable production, and co-production. Co-production is a method by which gas is produced from a single upper perforation and water is produced from a lower perforation; each of the streams are produced independently by mechanical means which utilize packers and tubing. The only feasible alternative found by this study is co-production. Of the two coproduction methods analyzed, the highest ultimate recovery includes the utilization of an existing vertical well perforating the upper portion of the reservoir for gas production and a new lower horizontal well perforating the water zone to control the gas-water contact. Modeled production schemes proved the gas-water contact was able to be controlled from upward mobility by maintaining a threshold pressure delta between the bottom-hole pressures of the two producing wells. Utilizing co-production in this manner yielded incremental benefit of over 2 BCF until shut-in limits were triggered. Economic analysis of the project has proved bringing the gas to sales presents a significant prize able to support production and able to support facility operational expense despite no other revenue streams. Should other nearby formations demonstrate sufficient targets the economic case would be enhanced and present an even greater prize.