• A morphological and genetic investigation of the highest-latitude endemic passerine: McKay's bunting

      Maley, James Michael; Winker, Kevin; McCracken, Kevin; Powell, Abby; Olson, Link (2006-05)
      I used two different approaches to investigate different aspects of the highest latitude endemic passerine, McKay's Bunting (Plectrophenax hyperboreus). I tested whether or not the juvenal plumage of McKay' s Bunting is different from its closest relative, Snow Bunting (P. nivalis). Using light reflectance spectrophotometry to quantify visual differences, I found that McKay's and Snow buntings have significantly different juvenal plumages. This analysis supports their separation into two distinct species. Second, I investigated the genetic consequences of refugial isolation and the model of speciation that the genetic data fit. This species pair provides an excellent opportunity to investigate the genetic effects of speciation at high latitudes in a region known to be significantly impacted by Pleistocene climatic oscillations. Using a mitochondrial marker and anonymous nuclear markers, I found evidence for recent divergence and a very small founding population size of McKay's. After the founder event, there is evidence of a population expansion and a subsequent reduction of the McKay's population, probably as a result of rising sea levels and asymmetric hybridization into Snow Buntings postglacially colonizing Beringia. This recent, high latitude speciation event fits a model of founder effect peripatric speciation driven by a small founding population size and genetic drift.
    • A morphological and genetic review of the Pardosa groenlandica species complex (Araneae: Lycosidae)

      Slowik, Jozef; Sikes, Derek; Winker, Kevin; Cushing, Paula (2011-08)
      The Pardosa groenlandica species complex comprises seven recognized species, P. groenlandica (Thorell 1872), P. dromaea (Thorell 1877), P. tristis (Thorell 1877), P. prosaica Chamberlin and Ivie 1947, P. bucklei Kronestedt 1975, P. albomaculata Emerton 1885, and P. lowriei Kronestedt 1975. These species have overlapping distributions, creating sympatric occurrences with at least one other member of the complex. They can be found in Greenland, throughout Canada, and occur in the United States from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast, through Alaska, and as far as eastern Siberia. These species' genitalia, which bear the primary diagnostic characters, are very similar and show large amounts of within-species and within-population variation. Because of this, they have seen various levels of taxonomic splitting and lumping from one species to the presently recognized seven. I evaluated the utility of the existing morphological diagnostic characters which, if geography is ignored, successfully diagnose only four species (P. albomaculata, P. lowriei, and P. bucklei, with the remaining species synonymized under P. groenlandica). Additionally, I sequenced five genes, two mitochondria) (COI & NDI), and three nuclear genes (ITS 1, 5.8S, and ITS2) of 144 specimens, to help clarify the taxonomy of the species complex. All seven species showed some level of polyphyly or paraphyly in their gene trees. A population genetics analysis of P. groenlandica and P. tristis from Colorado populations failed to find molecular divergence between the populations, raising questions about P. groenlandica occurring in Colorado, and/or the validity of P. tristis. These results question the value of using this genetic dataset to test species delineated using traditional taxonomic methods in the groenlandica species complex of the genus Pardosa. Reconciliation is likely only when genetic markers are studied that match the timing and rate of the observed phenotypic changes.
    • Morphological and phenological responses of butterflies to seasonal temperature increase in Alaska

      Daly, Kathryn Margaret; Breed, Greg A.; Sikes, Derek S.; Mann, Daniel H. (2018-12)
      Climate is changing rapidly at high latitudes, and the responses of insects provide early indications of the impacts these changes have on biota. Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) are among the best-known Subarctic and Arctic insects, and research in Greenland has revealed significant declines in butterfly body sizes along with advances in the timing of their first flights in spring. These changes are ecologically significant because smaller body sizes can lead to reduced fecundity in butterflies, and earlier adult emergence can have detrimental effects across trophic levels because Lepidoptera are an important food resource for birds and mammals. The primary goal of this thesis is to expand the geographical scope of previous studies of butterfly responses to high-latitude warming by testing whether Alaskan butterflies have exhibited morphological (Chapter 1) and/or phenological (Chapter 2) changes in response to rising temperatures. The morphological parameter studied here is forewing length, and the phenological parameter the timing of the first-observed flight of the year. Results show that the wings of two out of three butterfly species studied from Alaska's North Slope and Seward Peninsula decreased as seasonal (spring and summer) temperatures rose between 1971 and 1995. For every 1° C increase in average seasonal temperatures, wingspans decreased by up to 1.4 millimeters in Alaska. This compares to decreases of up to 0.65 millimeters observed in Greenland. One Alaskan species, Colias hecla Lefebvre 1836, did not show significant change in its wing lengths, although it did exhibit significant decreases in Greenland. Differences in life-history traits among species appear to result in divergent responses in Alaskan butterflies, with Boloria freija (Thunberg, 1791), which overwinters as late-instar larvae, showing the greatest decrease in wing length compared to Boloria chariclea (Edwards, 1883) which overwinters as early-instar larvae. From the start of the collection record in 1966 onward, collection and observational records from Interior Alaska reveal an average phenological advancement of 1 to 5 days/decade in 13 spring-emerging butterfly species. The morphological and phenological changes found in some species of Alaskan butterflies correlate with recent climate change, though the effects differed among species. The eco-physiological responses to climate change observed here for butterflies are likely to be shared by other insect species living at high latitudes.
    • Morphological, Physiological, and Winterhardiness Comparisons Among Latitudinal Ecotypes of Biennial Sweetclover (Melilotus species) in Subarctic Alaska

      Klebesadel, Leslie J. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1992-11)
      Objectives of this study were to compare, within two species of biennial sweetclover, several morphological and physiological characteristics of strains adapted to a wide range of latitudes and to relate those characteristics to winter survival and forage production in subarctic Alaska. All experiments were conducted at the University of Alaska’s Matanuska Research Farm (61.6°N) near Palmer in southcentral Alaska.
    • A mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) model for the transmission of tularemia

      Triebenbach, Alison N. (2009-08)
      Tularemia is a plague-like disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. In Scandinavian countries tularemia transmission is clinically attributed to mosquitoes. To examine the transmission of tularemia by mosquitoes I exposed Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae larvae to F. tularensis and tested all life stages for bacterial DNA using real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR). I fed adult A. aegypti and An. gambiae a blood meal containing F. novicida and tested for DNA 24, 48 and 72 hours after feeding. Seventy-two hours after the F. novicida blood meal I allowed A. aegypti and An. gambiae to feed on a mouse. My results indicate that 1. Aedes aegypti and An. gambiae larvae ingest F. tularensis but eliminate it from their system before maturing to adults and, 2. F. novicida DNA is present in adults 72 hours after feeding, and 3. mice remained healthy after multiple mosquitoes feeding on them. Although this implies F. tularensis is not spread by A. aegypti and An. gambiae, it exemplifies the need to investigate other subspecies of F. tularensis and other species of mosquito to eliminate species dependence.
    • "The most multi-ethnic country in the world": indigenous peoples in Russia's Eurasianist political narrative

      Trienen, Lex; Boylan, Brandon; Ehrlander, Mary; Hirsch, Alex (2019-05)
      Since 2012, scholars have taken a renewed look at the philosophical and political ideas of Eurasianism within Russia to explain President Vladimir Putin's conduct and the Russian public's response to it. Eurasianism in its current form posits that the Russian state plays a unique role in the history of the world in opposing the avaricious, agnostic, and culturally oppressive "West," while uniting and elevating the peoples of the Eurasian continent in a peaceful, organic and spiritual "Eurasia." Indigenous peoples play a distinctive role in this narrative. Both the United States and Russia have Indigenous populations that have been subjected to both passive neglect and active violence over the past several centuries and currently suffer from poor social conditions compared to the dominant ethnic groups of their respective countries. This thesis addresses the question of how the Russian media's portrayal of Native Americans diverges from that of its own Indigenous peoples in order to perpetuate this Eurasian narrative. Articles were collected from various news outlets in Russia, coded for Eurasianist themes using the Atlas.ti program, and analyzed by news outlet, date published, and topic. The analysis finds that the Russian media portrays Indigenous peoples in Russia as largely having constructive working relationships with the Kremlin, while they depict Native Americans as striving towards secession and mired in constant conflict with the U.S. government, but having surreptitious affinities towards the Eurasian civilizational model.
    • Motion and calving at LeConte Glacier, Alaska

      O'Neel, Shad (2000-12)
      An analysis of motion and calving in the terminus region of LeConte Glacier delineates controls which are important to tidewater glacier stability. Ice velocities in this region are quite high; at the terminus they exceed 27 m d⁻¹. Our analysis reveals fluctuations in velocity that are forced by ocean tides, surface melt and precipitation. However, the overall velocity is steady over seasonal time intervals. LeConte's terminus position varied substantially, even given this steady ice influx, establishing a correlation between the calving flux and the terminus position (flux out). Although this correlation is largely numerical, the occurrence of calving events is not purely stochastic. Calving occurs as floatation is approached, and multiple short-lived triggers may force calving events by promoting a buoyancy instability. These triggers may include the tide, water input, and water depth. Flexure of the nearly floating portion of the glacier promotes crevasse growth, and helps to initiate calving.
    • Motivations and drivers of trapper catch per unit effort in Alaska

      Dorendorf, Ross R.; Prugh, Laura; Kielland, Knut; Brainerd, Scott; Fix, Peter (2015-08)
      Indices of abundance based on harvest alone have long been used to track furbearer populations. However, abundance indices based on harvest alone do not account for variation in trapping effort. To my knowledge, adjusting harvest-based furbearer abundance indices to account for effort has not been previously examined in Alaska. Understanding how effort varies among trappers, and how social issues and external factors such as human conflict and fur prices affect effort, can give a clearer understanding of why trapping effort changes. A trapper's motivations may determine how strongly various external factors and social issues influence trapping effort. I sent a questionnaire to trappers of interior Alaska and used nine years of statewide data from the Alaska Trapper Questionnaire (distributed annually by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game) to address these issues. Across five regions from 2004-2013, I found that total fur harvest increased with per-capita trapper effort (R² = 0.125, p = 0.02). Variation in average winter temperature across game management regions explained 42% of variation in trapping effort, but annual variation in temperature, snow depth, fur prices, and fuel prices did not affect effort. Corresponding to these statewide findings, surveys of trappers in interior Alaska indicated that economic gain was not a strong motivation to trap, a finding that differs from previous studies. The most important social issues and external factors affecting trapping effort were access to land and the perceived abundance of furbearer populations respectively. To determine the motivations of interior Alaskan trappers, I used a k-means cluster analysis that identified four groups of trappers: management (17% of trappers), recreational (39%), subsistence (18%), and solitary (26%). Each group is represented by its strongest motivation for trapping. To improve the use of harvest as an index of furbearer abundance, I recommend accounting for trapping effort by calculating catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE), a metric commonly used in fisheries. I further recommend that resource managers should focus their efforts on reducing human conflicts while maximizing the non-monetary benefits of trapping. Resource managers should take advantage of questionnaires to help understand the fluctuations in furbearer populations and understand the motivations of trappers.
    • Mouse circadian plasma leptin and active ghrelin rhythms under ad libitum and scheduled feeding

      Wan, Haiting (2007-08)
      Light is the strongest timing cue for the circadian system, but non-photic cues can also entrain the master circadian clock, i.e., suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). In one of our mouse line (ENTR), all mice entrain to scheduled feeding, while in another (NON-ENTR) only 4 % entrain. In order to explore key physiological pathways involved in that process, I quantified the circadian rhythms of plasma leptin and active ghrelin of these two lines of mice under a 12:12 hour light-dark cycle with ad libitum feeding and six hours of food availability during the light period. Plasma active ghrelin induced opposite circadian rhythms compared to leptin, which were most pronounced under scheduled feeding when leptin was highest during and right after the food availability period; active ghrelin was highest at night when food was not available. Compared to ad libitum feeding, the overall concentration of leptin decreased and active ghrelin concentration increased significantly under scheduled feeding. The plasma active ghrelin circadian rhythms of ENTR mice were more robust with higher amplitude rhythms than the NON-ENTR mice under ad libitum feeding and scheduled feeding. I hypothesize that the high amplitude plasma active ghrelin circadian rhythm provides a signal for the ENTR mice to entrain to scheduled feeding
    • Movement activities for kindergarten through second grade teachers in an Alaska classroom

      Borba, Krista K.; Green, Carie; Vinlove, Amy; Kardash, Diane (2018-12)
      Physical activities in the classroom are very important for student growth and learning. Classroom teachers often teach physical activities in between core subjects in order to meet the Alaska Physical Activity in Schools Law which states that children should be getting 54 minutes of movement a day. However, many schools throughout Alaska do not have a designated PE teacher. Subsequently, this puts the responsibility of these standards on the general education teacher. However, few elementary teachers have a background in physical education, making it more challenging to know how to integrate meaningful physical activities in the classroom. The purpose of this project is to provide general education teachers, kindergarten through second grade, with multiple physical activity lessons that can be incorporated into their own classrooms throughout the day that include some of the Alaska PE Standards.
    • Movement and habitat utilization by golden king crab Lithodes aequispinus benedict 1895 in southeastern Alaska

      Hoyt, Zachary N. (2003-12)
      Movements and habitat use of golden king crabs (GKC), Lithodes aequispinus, were investigated with a manned submersible and ultrasonic telemetry in Frederick Sound, Alaska. Crabs were collected with commercial crab pots and ultrasonic transmitters were attached to the carapaces of 26 crabs; movements and depth distribution of male and female crabs were monitored bi- monthly from May 11, 2000 to April 12, 2001. Crabs preferred steep, complex habitat with hard substrate; few were on flat, soft substrate. Male and female GKC were not segregated by depth in mid-May. Seventeen pairs of courting crabs were observed during dives; 14 of these pairs were associated with either intermittent or continuous boulder fields and 3 with wall substrates. Crabs did not have seasonal site fidelity. Crabs had seasonal changes in depth distribution, moving to deeper water during late fall and winter and returning to shallower depths during spring. Crabs moved as far as 39 km over one year. No evidence of spatial fidelity was observed; golden king crabs may be moving greater distances or site fidelity maybe on a longer temporal scale than our study, or golden king crabs may be nomadic in nature.
    • Movement and migration ecology of Alaskan golden eagles

      Eisaguirre, Joseph Michael; Breed, Greg; Booms, Travis; Doak, Pat; Kielland, Knut; McIntyre, Carol (2020-05)
      Golden eagles Aquila chrysaetos are distributed across the Holarctic; however, in Alaska and other northern areas, many are long-distance migrants. Being soaring birds, golden eagles can use weather and features of the energy landscape to offset the energetic costs of movement and migration. In this dissertation, I investigate how dynamic energy landscapes, in addition to other habitat and anthropogenic features, affect the movement and migration ecology of Alaskan golden eagles; in most cases I did such by developing and applying new, biologically-appropriate statistical methods. First, I identified a single, discrete navigation decision that each eagle made during migration and determined which weather variables are primary factors in driving that decision. I found that wind was the primary correlate to the decision, consistent with eagles likely avoiding poor migration conditions and choosing routes based on favorable wind conditions. Second, I investigated how different forms of flight subsidies, which were orographic uplift, thermal uplift, and wind support, drove behavioral budgets and migratory pacing of eagles. I found a consistent daily rhythm in eagle behavior and migratory pace, seemingly driven by daily development of thermal uplift, with extended periods of slower-paced movements, consistent with periods of opportunistic foraging. Third, I investigated the effects of anthropogenic linear features, such as roads and railroads, on eagle movement during migration. I found that eagles selected for roads during spring migration and were more likely to be near roads when making slower-paced movements, which would be most frequent during times when limited thermal uplift is available. Lastly, I compared how floaters (breeding-age, non-territorial individuals) and territorial eagles used space and selected for resources, specifically interested in how their movements and space use might overlap. I found that floater space use was much more expansive, yet they only selected for habitats and resources slightly differently than territorial eagles. I also found their home ranges overlap substantially, suggesting that floaters play a key role in the population ecology of migratory golden eagles in Alaska.
    • Movement of the giant red sea cucumber Parastichopus californicus in Southeastern Alaska

      Cieciel, Kristin (2004-08)
      This thesis provides information on sea cucumber movement that could inform management of the growing fishery for the sea cucumber, Parastichopus californicus, in Southeast Alaska. Daily movement of individual P. californicus was quantified at six sites to assess spatial variation in movement, at three-month intervals over one year at one site to assess seasonal changes in movement, and densities were measured monthly at three depths over one year. Movements varied among seasons and sites ranging from 0 to 34.5 m·24 h⁻¹, and were highest in summer (mean ± SE = 4.6 ± 0.5 m) and lowest in fall (mean ± SE = 1.9 ± 0.3 m). Densities were highest in spring and summer and lowest in fall and winter. Recently tagged animals move, on average, 2 m more than animals tagged 72 h earlier, indicating that movement is best assessed 48 h after tagging. Stock assessments should be conducted in spring and summer to coincide with increased animal densities, with the fishery occurring in fall and winter to provide a possible refuge for a portion of the population. Overall, P. californicus demonstrate limited adult movement, indicating that populations are geographically limited with little possibility of animal migration or repopulation of adults in harvested areas.
    • Movements, distribution, and population dynamics of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea

      Amstrup, Steven C. (1995)
      I used mark and recapture, and radio telemetry to describe movements and population dynamics of polar bears of the Beaufort Sea. Rates of movement were lowest for females with cubs in spring, highest for females with yearlings in winter, and varied from 0.30-0.96 km/h. Total distances moved each month and year were 186-492 km and 1,454-6,203 km respectively. Highest and lowest levels of activity were in June and September. Activity levels were highest from mid-day to late evening. Females with cubs were more active than other bears. Annual home ranges varied from 12,730 km$\sp2$ to 596,800 km$\sp2$. The Beaufort Sea population occupied a 939,153 km$\sp2$ area extending 300 km offshore from Cape Bathurst, Canada, to Pt. Hope, Alaska. Maternal denning in the Beaufort Sea region was common, but 52% of discovered dens were on the drifting pack ice. Bears denning on pack ice drifted as far as 997 km (x = 385 km). Bears followed to >1 den did not reuse sites. Consecutive dens were 20-1,304 km apart, but radio-collared bears were faithful to substrate and locale of previous dens. Of 44 polar bears that denned along the Beaufort Sea coast, 80% were located between 137$\sp\circ$00'W and 146$\sp\circ$59'W. Of those 44, 20 (45%) were on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including 15 (34%) in the 1002 coastal plain area, which may contain >9 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Data indicated, however, that spatial and temporal restrictions on developments could prevent most disruptions of denned bears. Survival of adult female polar bears was higher than previously thought ($\ S=0.96).$ Survival of cubs ($\ S=0.65)$ and yearlings ($\ S=0.86)$ was lower than for adults, but increased rapidly with age. Shooting accounted for 85% of the documented deaths of adult females. The population grew to ~1500 animals ($\ge$2% per year) from 1967-1992. Condition of adult females, survival of young, and litter sizes declined, while age of maturity and reproductive interval appeared to increase. The population may have approached carrying capacity by the end of the study.
    • The moving writing workshop

      Ward, Robyn Francine Rutherford; Hogan, Maureen; Austin, Terri; Kenaston, Amy; Kardash, Diane (2006-12)
      This yearlong ethnographic case study documented the implementation of a 'moving' writing workshop at the first year of the Barnette Magnet School. This study focused on selected students in the 5/6 grades at the magnet school. In the moving writing workshop, the students changed rooms and worked in a variety of writing rooms that coincided with the writing process. The traditional writing process steps are prewriting/brainstorming, drafting, revise and response, editing, and publishing. The classroom teachers and staff at the school assisted students in the various writing rooms. This study looked at the benefits students gained by participating in the moving writing workshop. It addressed whether or not participation in the moving writing workshop improved the students' quality of writing and attitude toward writing. The writing quality and attitude of the students in the study did improve. However, after analyzing the data, with the research that was conducted, it was impossible to determine whether moving during the writing process was the factor that caused the improvements. The data did however show that the physical act of moving mostly had a positive impact on the students' writing.
    • Multi-decadal variability of Atlantic water heat transports as seen in the community climate systems model version 3.0

      Sterling, Kara (2006-05)
      Changes in oceanic heat transports from the North Atlantic to the Arctic, via Atlantic Water (AW), can have widespread impacts upon Arctic climate. Using a multi-century control simulation from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate Systems Model version 3.0 (CCSM3), the natural multi-decadal variability (MDV) of AW is characterized. Calculations of AW volume fluxes and heat transports into the Arctic are analyzed for the Svinøy transect, Fram Strait, and Barents Sea Opening (BSO), and compared with observations. Warm and cold phases of AW are examined through composite analysis, and quantified with respect to their effects on Arctic climate. The model captures several key features of AW, such as the overall circulation and depth of the AW core, but over-estimates AW temperatures by about 1 ⁰C. AW heat anomalies can be tracked from the Svinøy transect to the Arctic interior with a timescale of 13 years, which is comparable to observations. Composites reveal a deepening (shoaling) of the AW core during warm (cold) periods. Warm (cold) periods are also characterized by greater AW transports through the BSO (Fram Strait), implying the existence of an internal ocean feedback mechanism that helps to regulate oscillations of AW between warm/cold periods.
    • Multi-Dimensional Frost Heave Modeling With Sp Porosity Growth Function

      Kim, Koui; Huang, Scott L. (2011)
      This dissertation presents a multi-dimensional frost-heave modeling with coupled heat transfer, moisture transfer, and mechanical analysis. A series of laboratory frost-heave tests was conducted to determine segregation potential (SP) values using the effect of cooling rate and overburden pressure in two different freezing modes. Regardless of the freezing mode, consistent SP values were obtained at the formation of the final ice lens. Continuous heave and water-intake measurements made it possible to determine the time at the formation of the final ice lens. The SP porosity growth function was developed using simulations of the growing ice lens and frozen fringe. The developed frost-heave model was verified by laboratory frost-heave tests in one dimension. The simulated temperature distribution and amount of heave were in good agreement with experimental values. The SP porosity growth function was then expanded to two dimensions to simulate the soil-pipeline interaction of an experimental buried chilled pipeline constructed in Fairbanks, Alaska in the early 2000s. A two-dimensional frost-heave simulation was conducted at the free-field area, where the influence of pipeline resistance in frozen ground was negligible. This model, which considers the effect of frozen soil creep on stress distribution due to temperature variation, analyzed the influence of stress fields on soil frost-heave susceptibility and deformation. Simulations of pipe displacement were conducted for two cases, with and without the use of the long-term creep characteristics of frozen soils. Using the long-term creep characteristics, the simulated result agreed well with the observed value, differing by only a few percentage points. However, without using long-term creep characteristics, the simulated pipe heave was approximately 75% of the observed heave because of an unrealistic stress buildup. Finally, the SP porosity growth function was expanded to predict soil-pipeline interaction around a frozen-unfrozen boundary. Temperature distribution was successfully predicted in both the pre-frozen soil and the unfrozen zones, as well as at the time when differential pipeline movement started. The developed three-dimensional frost-heave model could predict pipe movement and induced bending due to differential frost heave for a 20-year period.