• Fa'ñague: a Chamorro epistemology of post-life communication

      Ho, Dan; Koskey, Michael S.; Leonard, Beth R.; Barnhardt, Raymond J.; Topkok, Sean Asiqluq (2018-05)
      The primary aim of this dissertation is to analyze a spiritual aspect of Chamorro cosmology known as fa'ñague, or visitations from the deceased, to shed light on how and why it exists in Guam, and how it differs among Chamorro Natives who experience it in the island and abroad. A secondary aim of the dissertation is to expand upon the scholarly documentation of Native Chamorro epistemologies concerning life and death, and the role of the spiritual realm in daily life of the people of the Marianas. The dissertation is structured as follows: Part I offers an in-depth exploration and personification of Guam, the place, the culture, and the people in order to balance longstanding and erroneous conceptions about the Island. Part II includes the rationale for the research, a methodological framework, and a literature review. In addition, a full chapter on Chamorro epistemology is included to reinforce the elements of the Native worldview and way of knowing to provide context for the research findings. In Part III -- the fruits of data gathering and analysis -- are offered using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Finally, this dissertation hopes to argue and position a new model of Indigenous research methodology, which I am calling Neo-Indigenous Methodology. Essentially, it is an evolution from the de-colonizing approach borne by founding Indigenous scholars who sought to break from Western scholarly dialect to express and inform Native wisdom. Instead, Neo-Indigenous Methodology proposes that Indigenous scholars embrace the dialect of all Western humanistic discourse to further clarify and magnify pure Indigenous knowledge.
    • The face of the waters: a season in Alaska's fisheries

      McGuire, Rosemary Desideria (2004-05)
      The Face of the Waters is the memoir of a spring and summer in Alaska's fishing industry. In March 2000, I found work as a deckhand in Cook Inlet. For the next five months I traveled from fishery to fishery, working on boats throughout coastal Alaska. Alaska's fisheries are deeply bound up with its identity as a state, supporting an independent, romantic way of life rare in the world today. Yet the existence of these fisheries is threatened by problems ranging from global warming to currency exchange rates. I have drawn on the record in my journal, interviews with fishermen, essays and archival material to chronicle an industry and a way of life beset by change. On a deeper level, The Face of the Waters uses the context of my adventures to explore the nature of personal fate, love, and the importance of place.
    • Factors affecting body mass of prefledging emperor geese

      Lake, Bryce Cameron (2005-08)
      Body mass of pre fledging geese has important implications for fitness and population dynamics. To address whether interspecific competition for forage was broadly relevant to prefledging emperor geese, I investigated the factors affecting body mass at three locations across the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. From 1990 - 2004, densities of cackling geese more than doubled and were 2-5x higher than densities of emperor geese, which were relatively constant over time. During 2003 - 2004, body mass of emperor geese increased with net above-ground primary productivity (NAPP) and grazing lawn extent and declined with interspecific densities of geese (combined density of emperor and cackling geese). Grazing by geese resulted in consumption of 90% of the NAPP that occurred during the brood rearing period, suggesting that interspecific competition was due to exploitation of common food resources. At six sampled locations, grazing lawn extent varied among- and within-locations, and was stable or declined slightly during 1999-2004, indicating reduced per capita availability. I conclude that negative effects of interspecific goose densities on body mass of pre fledging geese are partially responsible for recent declines in the fall age ratio of emperor geese because of a positive correlation between body mass and survival to fall staging areas. Management to increase the population size of emperor geese should consider interspecific densities of geese and interactions between interspecific densities and forage.
    • Factors affecting costs of mining in Alaska

      Lambert, C.; Taylor, D. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1982)
      The basic factors which affect the cost of mining in Alaska are discussed herein. Contrary to popular opinion, cold weather is not the major factor. This problem has, for the most part, been solved through experience in Eastern Canada and later efforts in British Columbia and the Yukon. Remoteness and isolation and its effect upon personnel, inventory and services of all kinds are among the more difficult with which to anticipate and cope. Considerable creativity is required to solve these problems, which differ somewhat with the type and location of mineral deposit, and will quite likely require solutions at variance with the current attitudes and practices of the company involved. In Alaska, electric power, transportation and land tenure pose difficulties of a type not experienced when existing mines in Canada were developed.
    • Factors affecting estuarine populations of Nereocystis luetkeana in Kachemak Bay, Alaska

      Chenelot, Héloïse Anne Claude (2003-12)
      Nereocystis luetkeana forms extensive kelp beds in Kachemak Bay, Alaska. Salinity and turbidity gradients apparently regulate kelp bed distribution throughout this estuary. The beds are large at the entrance of the bay, only solitary stands occur in the inner bay, and no kelp is found at the head of the bay. The role of salinity and turbidity on Nereocystis sporophyte growth was investigated by performing reciprocal transplants among three beds along the bay axis and regularly measuring stipe growth. The effects of salinity and light on spores were studied in the laboratory by recording sinking tendency, settlement success, germination success, and germ tube length under different salinity and light levels. Grazing effects of Lacuna vincta impacted the survival of Nereocystis transplants in-situ and on plants of different age classes in the laboratory. Overall, this study suggests a possible negative estuarine effect on sporophytes transplanted from the outer to the inner bay and on certain aspects of spore development. Herbivory pressure had significant localized effects on Nereocystis survival and was most pronounced on juvenile plants. The dynamics of Nereocystis kelp beds in Kachemak Bay results from large-scale environmental factors and local-scale biological processes.
    • Factors affecting marine growth and survival of Auke Creek, Alaska coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

      Briscoe, Ryan Jordan (2004-05)
      Correlation analyses and stepwise regression models were run to examine relationships between Auke Creek coho salmon marine survival, scale growth, and a number of physical and biological covariates: local sea surface and air temperatures, local precipitation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, local hatchery release numbers, size at return, and regional and state salmon catch numbers. Jack survival and adult survival covaried strongly, suggesting the primary cause of mortality is encountered in the first four or five months of marine life. The number of hatchery fish had the strongest correlation with marine survival (r = 0.71), which could indicate that hatchery releases are prey for Auke Creek coho smolts or buffering these smolts from predators. Sea surface temperature was not significantly associated with adult survival, but was with jack survival. Surprisingly, scale growth was not correlated with marine survival. Adult size appears to be determined in the last year of marine life when the fish are in the Gulf of Alaska. Regional survival trends followed closely with Auke Creek marine survival, indicating factors affecting survival are regional in scope. Specific mechanisms were not defined, but the results indicate biological covariates were more associated with Auke Creek coho survival than were physical covariates.
    • Factors affecting survival of Arctic-breeding dunlin (Calidris alpina arcticola) adults and chicks

      Hill, Brooke Lynne; Hunter, Christine M.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Lanctot, Richard B. (2012-05)
      Accurate estimates of, and identifying factors affecting, survival and productivity can provide insight into population trends and help determine what management actions would most benefit a population. Only limited demographic data are available for many Arctic-breeding shorebird species. I estimated survival probabilities for Arctic-breeding Dunlin (Calidris alpina arcticola); for adults between 2003 and 2010, and for chicks in 2008 and 2009. Adult apparent survival probabilities were higher for males (0.60 ± 0.04) than females (0.41 ± 0.05), were higher for individuals initiating nests earlier in the season, and yearly variation was high. These apparent survival rates appear insufficient to maintain a stable population. Daily survival rates of chicks increased as insect biomass increased across all ages and hatch dates, but the relationship with age and hatch date depended on the values of the other variables. The probability of a chick surviving to 15 days of age showed a strong relationship with hatch date, peaking in early July then declining rapidly. Chick survival was much higher for young from first nests (0.71 0.07) than early (0.23 ± 0.19) or late (0.03 ± 0.61) replacement nests. This suggests replacement nests make a much smaller contribution to annual recruitment than first nests.
    • Factors affecting the growth of a black guillemot colony in northern Alaska

      Divoky, George Joseph (1998)
      Annual variation in breeding populations at seabird colonies has been well documented, but there have been few long-term attempts to examine the environmental and demographic forces responsible. I studied breeding chronology and demography Black Guillemot in northern Alaska from 1975-1997 to identify the factors responsible for colony establishment and growth. The Black Guillemot is a cavity-nesting seabird whose populations are frequently limited by nest-site availability. Snowmelt in spring and snow accumulation in autumn had major effects on annual nesting initiation and success, respectively. Annual arrival at the colony and median date of egg laying was well correlated with the date of snow disappearance, with annual clutch initiation advancing 4.5 days per decade in response to regional climate amelioration. Successful breeding requires a snowfree cavity for ${>}80$ days. Decreased breeding success and post-fledging survival occurred in a year with a snow-free period ${<}80$ days. Historic weather records indicate annual snowfree periods ${>}80$ days were uncommon until the 1960's, when the species was first recorded breeding in northern Alaska. When additional nest sites were provided, growth of the colony was rapid, increasing from 18 pairs in 1975 to 225 pairs in 1989. Breeding numbers then decreased to 150 in 1996 as factors other than nest-site availability controlled population size.
    • Factors affecting the growth of a Black Guillemot colony in northern Alaska

      Divoky, George J. (1998-05)
      Annual variation in breeding populations at seabird colonies has been well documented, but there have been few long-term attempts to examine the environmental and demographic forces responsible. I studied breeding chronology and demography Black Guillemot in northern Alaska from 1975-1997 to identify the factors responsible for colony establishment and growth. The Black Guillemot is a cavity-nesting seabird whose populations are frequently limited by nest-site availability. Snowmelt in spring and snow accumulation in autumn had major effects on annual nesting initiation and success, respectively. Annual arrival at the colony and median date of egg laying was well correlated with the date of snow disappearance, with annual clutch initiation advancing 4.5 days per decade in response to regional climate amelioration. Successful breeding requires a snowfree cavity for >80 days. Decreased breeding success and post-fledging survival occurred in a year with a snow-free period <80 days. Historic weather records indicate annual snowfree periods >80 days were uncommon until the 1960's, when the species was first recorded breeding in northern Alaska. When additional nest sites were provided, growth of the colony was rapid, increasing from 18 pairs in 1975 to 225 pairs in 1989. Breeding numbers then decreased to 150 in 1996 as factors other than nest-site availability controlled population size. Annual population growth averaged 37% from 1976-1982 when nest site occupancy was low, 3% from 1983-1989 when all or most nesting cavities were occupied, and -6% from 1990-1996 as breeding productivity decreased and mortality of adults increased. Without immigration and with the average annual vital rates the colony would have had an annual rate of growth of 4% during this study. Contrary to published models of seabird colony growth, I found immigration important (>60% of annual recruitment) in all phases of growth. Philopatry showed previously unreported large variation among cohorts related to variation in nest-site vacancies at the natal colony and estimated recruitment opportunities at regional colonies. Philopatry was highest (>80%) for cohorts maturing when most regional recruitment opportunities were at the study colony but low (15%) when nest-site availability was likely similar at the natal colony and other colonies in the region.
    • Factors Affecting Water Management on the North Slope of Alaska

      Greenwood, Julian K.; Murphy, R. Sage (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-02)
      The North Slope of Alaska is undergoing sudden development following the recent discovery of large oil and gas reserves in the area. The water resources of the region should be carefully managed both to ensure adequate supplies of usable water at reasonable cost, and to guard against excessive deterioration of water quality. The likely effects on the environment of man's activities are investigated and found to be poorly understood at the present time. Research priorities are suggested to supply rapid answers to questions of immediate importance. The applicability of a regional management concept to the North Slope waters is considered and the concept is recommended as part of a broad land and water planning philosophy which would emphasize regional control over state and federal control. The use of economic incentives rather than standards for the control of water quality is not recommended at the present time.
    • Factors contributing to the participation of organizations in a voluntary environmental program: the case of Green Star, Anchorage, Alaska

      Doherty-Guzzetti, Jean M. (2007-05)
      Green certification programs are intended to encourage sustainability by assisting organizations with environmental efforts and publicly recognizing those efforts. This study examined the characteristics and goals of organizations participating in Anchorage, Alaska's green certification program, Green Star. Green Star has approximately 250 members, including privately owned businesses, schools, non-profits, and government agencies. To earn the Green Star Award, organizations were required to meet twelve of eighteen environmental standards. Using a mail-out questionnaire, this research explored whether member characteristics, such as number of employees or ownership structure, were related to the number of environmental standards a participating organization completed. Using four indicators, a goal profile determined if organizations seek environmental improvements, economic improvements, or image improvements. Interviews provided insight into the motivations for participation. Overall, members appeared to participate in Green Star to improve their environmental performance more than economic performance. The Anchorage Green Star program functioned as a guide for organizations to initiate changes in environmental behavior that otherwise would not occur. Conclusions from results are presented in six recommendations to improve the efficacy of green certification programs.
    • Factors Contributing To Weight Gain Among College Freshman And Beyond

      Chipp, Cody L.; Brems, Christiane; Johnson, Mark; Metzger, Jesse; Rivkin, Inna (2012)
      Background: Linked with a higher risk of life threatening illnesses, obesity in the United States has become an epidemic, with a prevalence rate of overweight and obese adults of nearly 68%. Obesity rates have accelerated over the past two decades and one crucial developmental period for weight gain is among emerging adults attending college. Using an explanatory mixed-method design, this study examined contributing factors to weight gain among college students, including eliciting university stakeholders' perceptions of supports and barriers to exercising and healthy eating among students. Method: Data collection for the quantitative phase of the study consisted of two waves, baseline and 2-year follow-up. Students completed psychosocial and anthropometric measures (height, weight, and body fat percentage). Data collected for the qualitative phase of the study consisted of key informant interviews with university administrators (n=15) and seven student focus groups (n=34 students). Qualitative analyses were conducted with NVivo software and multiple coders, using a grounded theory approach to elicit major themes. Results: Students gained 1.5lbs (p>.05), with 34% of participants gaining over 5 lbs and 17% over 10 lbs. Participants who gained weight were men, ate more calories from sweets or desserts, and consumed fewer calories from fats. Increase in calories from desserts or sweets increased odds of weight gain (OR=1.075, CI=1.01-1.14) and body fat (OR=1.106, CI=1.036-1.181). Contextualizing the quantitative findings, students and administrators identified several themes that support healthy living, including access to nutritious food and physical amenities. Both groups also identified barriers, including easy access to high-calorie foods, limited recreation facilities, and policy challenges. Administrators spoke of extant health promotion efforts; however, students did not perceive active health promotion initiatives on campus. Conclusions: Dietary habits were identified drivers of weight gain among students. Extant campus supports and barriers to exercise and healthy eating among students were equally identified by students and administrators with great reliability. Implications for future health promotion efforts, food availability, recreation, and physical amenities are discussed in the context of clears sets of recommendations for stakeholder groups. Future research should explore specific dietary foods that are increasing weight and develop targeted preventions/interventions for individuals at risk.
    • Factors controlling the phenology and limits of hibernation in a sciurid

      Richter, Melanie M.; Buck, C. Loren; Barnes, Brian M.; Harris, Michael; Drew, Kelly; Kitaysky, Alexander (2015-08)
      Animals that live in seasonal environments have a variety of adaptations to survive periods of low to no food availability. One such adaptation is hibernation, which is characterized by profound decreases in activity, metabolic rate, and in most cases, body temperature. Among animals that hibernate, only two species are known to maintain low tissue temperature while defending significant temperature gradients, and the best studied of these is the Arctic ground squirrel (Urocitellus parryii). In the first chapter, we determine the lower ambient temperature limit of hibernation for an arctic ground squirrel (-26°C), and that a maximum torpid metabolic rate exists (0.37 mL O₂/g*h). This maximum torpid metabolic rate allows animals to defend a ~26°C temperature gradient between their core and their environment. In this chapter we also demonstrate that another, temperate, hibernating species, the golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis), is capable of continuing hibernation at sub-freezing temperatures and can defend a temperature gradient of at least 9°C. Due to the extreme environment that Arctic ground squirrels inhabit, they have a very short growing season (~3-7 months) during which they must reproduce, grow, and accumulate energy stores prior to hibernation onset. In the second chapter we investigate the roles androgens play in hibernation phenology and male aggressive behavior. We use plasma samples collected from free-living animals and radioimmunoassays to determine circulating androgen levels. We then match the peaks in androgens to the timing of the two periods of male-male aggression (testosterone in the spring and dehydroepiandrosterone in the late summer/fall). We also present evidence to support testosterone as the main factor determining the timing of spring euthermy and emergence among reproductively mature males. In the third chapter we utilize captive animals to determine the importance of a cache to male reproductive development. Using three separate experiments, we show that while the accumulation of a cache in the late summer/fall may increase the likelihood of a male undergoing reproductive development, it alone may not be enough to ensure reproductive development. Additionally, we demonstrate that simply having access to ad libitum food in the spring is not enough to ensure reproductive development, nor is a restricted spring ration enough to prevent it.
    • Factors influencing chinook salmon spawning distribution in the Togiak River, Alaska

      Meggers, Stephanie L.; Seitz, Andrew; Prakash, Anupma; Lopez, Andres; Tanner, Theresa (2018-12)
      Salmonids are heavily dependent on specific habitat characteristics for survival, yet few studies in Alaska have examined the relationship between habitat and spawning distribution, using remote sensing approaches. To better understand the relationship between Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha spawning distribution and environmental variables like habitat type (e.g., run, riffle, pool), temperature, and proximity to channel islands, optical and thermal imagery were collected on the Togiak and Ongivinuk rivers in southwest Alaska. Object-based image analysis was used to classify and quantify habitat types, while thermal characteristics and the proximity of spawning locations to channel islands were determined in a GIS framework. Object-based image analysis was useful for classifying habitat and may provide a better alternative to pixel-based image analysis. However, rule sets were nontransferable and inconsistent among river reaches, and caution should be taken when these methods are used on large river sections. Chinook Salmon showed a preference for spawning in river runs, 80% of fish spawned in water temperatures between 8.6° and 9.4°C, and nearly 61% of Chinook Salmon spawned within 100 m of a channel island. This study provided a baseline understanding of environmental correlates of spawning for Chinook Salmon at the northern extent of their range.
    • Factors influencing the productivity of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus anatum) in the Fortymile wild and scenic river corridor, Alaska

      Jacobs, Jefferson M. (2003-05)
      I conducted the first comprehensive occupancy and productivity surveys of Falcon peregrinus on the Fortymile River during 2000 and 2001. I tested feather samples of nine nestlings for mercury contamination, examined effects of human disturbance, and assessed correlations of nest productivity to aspect and distance from ponds. Twenty and 22 nests were occupied in 2000 and 2001 and productivity averaged 0.88 and 1.33 nestlings per nest respectively. Mean feather mercury concentration was 3.85 ppm, and ranged from 1.88 ppm to 7.13 ppm. High variability in timing and intensity of disturbances and limited sample sizes precluded a study of disturbance effects. Peregrines selected nest-cliffs with southern aspects in 2001. North aspect nests were most vulnerable to failure in 2000. Nests within 6 km of a pond had higher productivity than those farther from ponds. The Bureau of Land Management is encouraged to continue annual occupancy and productivity surveys of the population.
    • Factors influencing the timing and frequency of moose-vehicle collisions at urban-wildland interfaces in subarctic Alaska

      Noordeloos, Jacobus Cornelis; Mann, Daniel H.; Verbyla, David L.; Kielland, Knut; de Wit, Cary W. (2016-12)
      Wildlife-vehicle collisions concern road engineers, wildlife biologists, and the motoring public. In Alaska, moose-vehicle collisions (MVCs) are the most commonly reported type of wildlife-vehicle collisions. Each year an average of 101 MVCs were reported in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB), resulting in damages amounting to $3,000,000/yr. This thesis describes the spatial and temporal patterns of MVCs in the FNSB and uses these patterns to infer the interactions between human and moose behavior that cause them. The analytical approach used combined spatial and temporal records of MVCs collected by the Alaska Department of Transportation with spatially explicit data describing topography, land cover, traffic volume, and traffic speed. Multiple hypotheses about cause and effect were tested using computer-intensive, randomization procedures. MVCs occur most frequently during the first hours after sunset, particularly in autumn and winter. Roads in the vicinity of areas of recent wildland fires have a heightened risk of MVCs, particularly if there are moderate traffic volumes and speed limits of 90 km/h (55 mph). MVCs are also frequent on roads traversing land cover types where human population densities are low. Risk of MVCs in the FNSB is highest between 150 m and 200 m elevation. Based on these results, several mitigation measures to reduce MVCs in the FNSB are recommended, including seasonal warning signage and speed reductions in the hours after sunset. Roadside fencing designed to divert moose to designated road crossings in conjunction with infrared-triggered warning lights at these crossing points may be warranted in areas identified as hotspot locations for MVCs.
    • Factors influencing zooplankton populations in Alaskan sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) nursery lakes: insights from limnological and paleolimnological analyses

      Sweetman, Jon N.; Finney, Bruce; Barry, Ronald; Hughes, Nicholas (2001-08)
      The relative importance of sockeye salmon, invertebrate predators, and other environmental factors in structuring the size and abundance of zooplankton populations was examined in a series of 23 lakes from southern Alaska. Zooplankton abundance was strongly related to sockeye density, along with nutrient availability and alkalinity. The mean size of Bosmina longirostris, the dominant herbivorous cladoceran, was positively correlated with the abundance of the predatory copepod, Cyclops columbianus. Changes in the size and abundance of Bosmina remains over the past 300-500 years were then determined for sediments from two lakes on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The zooplankton communities showed varying responses to past changes in salmon populations, resulting from relative changes in the magnitude of adult salmon-derived nutrient loading and in predation pressure from juvenile sockeye and cyclopoid copepods. Knowledge of how various factors impact zooplankton can have important implications for the effective management of sockeye within these lake systems.
    • Factors that contribute to rural provider retention, service utilization, and engagement in mentorship by cultural experts

      Gifford, Valerie M.; Rivkin, Inna; Lower, Timothy; Koverola, Catherine; Brems, Christiane (2012-05)
      A substantial amount of time, money, and other resources are expended on recruiting behavioral health providers to fill vacant positions in rural Alaska. This exhaustive drain on resources is perpetual due to the high turnover rates of providers. This exploratory qualitative study utilized grounded theory methodology to investigate personal qualities of providers and other factors contributing to long-term retention of providers relocating to Alaska's Bering Strait Region from elsewhere, community members utilizing the provider's services, and the provider's engagement in cultural mentorship to facilitate the integration of culture into their practice. Furthermore, factors contributing to local provider retention were examined. Key informant interviews were conducted with 21 healthcare providers living and working in the region long-term. A theory emerged that connected provider retention to community member service utilization and cultural mentorship. Results indicated that providers who are open, willing to learn, good listeners, calm, friendly, respectful, flexible, compassionate, genuine and possess a sense of humor, humility, and ability to refrain from imposing personal values, beliefs and worldviews upon others are a good fit for living and work in rural Alaska. Such qualities facilitate a provider achieving professional and personal satisfaction through building relationships and creating opportunities for cultural mentorship, professional support, and social support. These opportunities enhance the delivery of quality services that are culturally appropriate and well-utilized by community members, which, in turn, increase provider satisfaction and retention. Recommendations are made to healthcare organizations regarding recruitment and retention strategies. Recruitment strategies include careful screening of potential applications for specific qualities and enlisting local community members and students into the healthcare field. Retention strategies include professional support by way of a comprehensive orientation program, clinical supervision, cultural mentorship, and continuing education training opportunities that focus on cultural competency. Recommendations for retention of local providers include professional development incentives and opportunities that qualify local providers for positions typically held by outside providers.