• Balancing the conservation of wildlife habitat with road access for subsistence hunting in Yakutat, Alaska

      Shanley, Colin S.; Pyare, Sanjay; Kofinas, Gary; Hundertmark, Kris (2008-12)
      "This thesis was an interdisciplinary investigation with the goal of balancing the conservation of wildlife habitat with road access for subsistence hunting in Yakutat, Alaska. The problem posed by land managers and subsistence moose hunters revolved around the use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs; e.g. 'four-wheelers') for subsistence moose hunting and the potential disturbance OHVs have on moose. This complex social-ecological problem is becoming an increasingly common management dilemma faced by rural mixed cash-subsistence communities across the Circumpolar North. I addressed this problem in two chapters with a combination of methods from wildlife ecology, landscape modeling, subsistence land-use, and scenario planning. The data used for analysis in Chapter 1 was derived from a three-year moose GPS-collar dataset, remote sensing imagery, and mapped routes. I modeled moose distribution with multi-scale, seasonal and sex-specific resource selection functions in a GIS. The best-fit models suggested female moose were displaced by OHV routes. Male moose were displaced by routes or areas where routes were in close proximity to primary forage. A combined pattern of route avoidance was quantified beyond approximately 1 km of total vehicle travel/km²/day. Chapter 2 describes the application of distribution models from Chapter 1 to a social-ecological assessment of route closures. Meetings with land managers and moose hunters were conducted to identify their respective values and management goals. Then I evaluated the effect of four road closure scenarios on moose habitat and hunting access. A measure of hunting access was evaluated with interviews about hunter land-use patterns, as well as the mapping of harvest areas in a GIS. The results of the scenario evaluation showed the spatial arrangement of routes influenced the total amount of high probability moose habitat and access to preferred harvest areas. A balance in the conservation of wildlife habitat and the maintenance of hunting access may be found in the closure of routes through valuable moose habitat and the spatial arrangement of future routes around valuable moose habitat, within reach of important harvest areas. The results of the analysis and interdisciplinary approach may prove useful to land managers who must evaluate the trade-offs between wildlife habitat conservation and the increasing use of motorized access for contemporary subsistence hunting practices"--Leaf iii
    • Development and implementation of an elementary place-based science curriculum for the Yakutat School District

      Liben, Sarah; Todd, Susan; Conner, Laura; Ramos, Judith; Taras, Mike; Fabbri, Cindy (2017-05)
      The need for citizens with a fundamental knowledge of science who understand the interconnections between living things as well as the impact of science on society is more important than ever. To achieve this goal, studies show that major changes to the structure of science curriculum must be made in order to incorporate all aspects of: 1) inquiry-based instruction; 2) strategies that elicit students' prior knowledge; 3) building conceptual understandings; and 4) integrating an ongoing assessment process that provides feedback to students and informs instruction. These suggested changes are articulated in the recent Next Generation Science Standards. In order to construct an elementary science curriculum for the Yakutat School District, I utilized the Understanding by Design (UBD) framework to develop individual "investigations" that were formulated around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A place-based framework was constructed for each investigation using the GRASPS Performance Assessment model and Learning A-Z place-based instructional process. Existing lessons and activities that aligned with the NGSS and place-based framework were included in each investigation, and where there were gaps in addressing the standards, I utilized the BSCS (Biological Science Curriculum Studies) 5Es Learning Model to write a series of lessons for each investigation. Ultimately, I developed two curricula for the following grade levels: K-2 and 5-6. Curricula were divided into overarching units that contained between 1-5 investigations, or subunits, each of which were framed around 1-3 NGSS. This project's practical importance was to provide a curriculum for a school district that had no preexisting science curriculum. This curriculum is important to the field of science education, as it serves as a model that integrates western science and traditional knowledge in the context of the Next Generation Science Standards.
    • Protecting a Situk River fish camp way of life through visitor education: a community-based approach

      Bowen, Nevette; Koskey, Michael; Carroll, Jennifer; Jones, Jenny Bell; Ramos, Judith; Davis, Michael E. (2016-05)
      Many sport fishermen who visit Yakutat understand little about the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet set net fisheries. In Yakutat, these fisheries integrate commercial fishing with a subsistence fish camp way of life. This community participatory evaluation seeks to determine the usefulness of an interpretive sign and handout project aimed at alleviating a persistent visitor misconception that set net fishing is harming their ability to catch Situk River fish. It also explores what additional effort people in Yakutat think is needed to educate visitors about the set net fisheries. A combination of methods was used, including resident interviews, a community records search and a review of published research on the efficacy of visitor education tools. Interviews found widespread support for continuing visitor education efforts, including leaving the existing signs in place and reproducing additional copies of the handout. It was generally agreed that future materials should integrate information about the subsistence fishery. The importance of set netting for food, culture and income was emphasized. More interaction is needed to shift visitor outlooks closer to the community's shared connection to the river according to the participants. Interviews began the process of re-engaging people in a community effort to dispel visitor misconceptions. A multimedia approach, based on agreed messages using local strengths and assets, was preferred. It is hoped that this volunteer, community-based process will serve as another reason for reconvening Situk River partner agencies. A revived cooperative management framework is needed to implement a more sustained education effort, minimize user conflicts, ensure stewardship and rebuild trust between community members and government agencies.