• Willingness to pay for reindeer meat attributes: a niche market study in Interior Alaska

      Burke, Nathaniel C.; Little, Joseph; Greenberg, Joshua; Wright, Christopher (2017-05)
      The Alaskan market for reindeer meat is unique. This study's aim is to estimate the average consumer willingness to pay for a range of reindeer meat attributes. These attributes include those that have a direct impact on meat quality such as cut and fat percentage, as well as intangible qualities, such as where the meat is grown and by whom it was raised. The study focuses on the preferences of people in Interior Alaska, specifically the Fairbanks Northstar Borough. The Reindeer Act of 1937 and supply infrastructure limitations have both contributed to a low level of reindeer meat production in Alaska. This study uses an adaptive choice-based conjoint to measure what attributes participants find most important and estimate how much they are willing to pay for those reindeer meat attributes.
    • Wind energy: is there an economy of scale in Alaska?

      Ellanna, Dayne; Lewellyn, Levi; Hulsey, J. Leroy; Perkins, Robert; Whitaker, Keith (2015)
      The purpose of this project is to show the cost relationship per kilowatt hour (kWh) between small scale (< 25kWh), medium scale (> 25 kWh and < 100 kWh), and large scale (> 100kWh) wind turbines. Our analysis will compare the cost per kWh and identify the economy of scale between our custom small scale models to commercial models. The commercial models used for this project were installed by Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) at their Healy, Alaska wind farm. We requested their wind data, capital investment breakdown, and their operations and maintenance costs. This data will be compared to the costs and wind data associated with our custom built wind turbine. Wind energy is dependent on one major variable, the wind. Regardless of the wind turbine size, wind speed, frequency, and duration will affect the efficiency of every wind turbine. Commercial wind farms are new to Alaska. The first major wind power project in Alaska was in 1997 in Kotzebue. This wind farm, of 17 wind turbines, represents the first megawatt of wind power in Alaska. Installation and maintenance of these systems is more expensive in Alaska due to the states' remoteness. Small scale systems used in this study are custom built because small scale commercial systems are not "hardy" enough to withstand Alaska's harsh weather systems. Both medium and large scale systems, for this study, are commercially constructed systems that have been designed to withstand these harsh conditions.
    • A window to the past: macrofossil remains from an 18,000 year-old buried surface, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

      Wolf, Victoria Goetcheus (2001-12)
      Macrofossil remains and pollen from an 18,000 year old buried surface from the northern Seward Peninsula enable a reconstruction of the full-glacial environment of an upland portion of the Bering Land Bridge. The buried surface represents a dry meadow and herb-rich tundra. Prostrate shrubs were rare on the landscape, but abundant locally. A large and diverse insect fauna populated the surface, preying on the plants and each other. Small mammals and their predators lived on the surface. Large mammals, such as caribou and bison, were present as well. The productivity of the surface was maintained by a continual influx of loess, which replenished the nutrients of the soil. Study of the buried surface provides an important addition to knowledge about the vegetation mosaic of full-glacial Beringia.
    • Winter and spring soil CO2 efflux along trans-Alaska pipeline, Alaska

      Kim, Yongwon (2014-02)
      3-year winter and spring soil CO2 efflux was conducted in several sites along the trans-Alaska pipeline, Alaska during winter and spring seasons of 2010 to 2012. During the spring, the snow was disappeared mostly fast in the surrounding of tree such as white spruce (Picea glauca) and black spruce (Picea mariana) in boreal forest of Alaska. On the other hand, in tundra, the snow-covered tussock tundra was firstly exposed due to the topography. In white spruce forest, 4-directional soil CO2 efflux is higher east, south, west, and north in turn. Soil temperature is a crucial role in determining soil CO2 efflux, indicating a exponential curve. The CO2 efflux is related to with and without snow cluster that formed by sublimation. However, the efflux has much lower relation to snow depth. In exposed soil in spring of 2011, the CO2 efflux is similar to the growing season CO2 efflux. 3-yr spring CO2 efflux corresponds to 22-46% of annual CO2 efflux along the trans-Alaska pipeline, Alaska during the spring seasons.
    • Winter feeding ecology and biomagnification of organochlorine contaminants in Alaska polar bears

      Bentzen, Torsten W. (2006-12)
      Dietary pathways expose polar bears to a variety of contaminant profiles and concentrations, ranging from bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) as one of the least contaminated marine mammals to the more highly contaminated upper trophic level ringed seal (Phoca hispida) which represent the majority of their annual diet. We used stable isotopes [delta]¹⁵N and [delta]¹³C to estimate trophic status of 139 free-ranging polar bears sampled along Alaska's Beaufort Sea coast in spring 2003 and 2004. The [delta]¹⁵N values of polar bear packed blood cells ranged from 18.2% to 21.4% with a mean of 19.5% (SD=0.7) in 2003 and 19.9% (SD=0.7) in 2004. Two-element three-source mixing models indicated that lower trophic level prey, such as scavenged bowhead whale carcasses, may have composed 11-26% (95% CI) of the diet in 2003, and -2-14% (95% CI) of the diet in 2004. Organochlorine (OC) concentrations in subcutaneous adipose tissue were determined for 47 of the polar bears sampled in 2003 and compared to trophic position ([delta]¹⁵N). Although many OCs appear not to biomagnify in polar bears, we found positive relationships with [delta]¹⁵N in both sexes between concentrations of several highly recalcitrant OCs in models incorporating age, lipid content, and [delta]¹³C. [Delta]¹⁵N was important in explaining variation in OC concentrations, indicating structural differences in food webs and biomagnification of OCs among polar bears related to their sex, age, and the apparent use of lower trophic level prey.
    • Winter forage selection by barren-ground caribou: effects of fire and snow

      Saperstein, Lisa Beth (1993-05)
      Snow depth and hardness were the most influential factors in selection of feeding areas by caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in late winter in northwestern Alaska. Following a 1988 fire, plots were established in late March through April in burned and unbumed tussock tundra in 1990 and 1991. Snow in both burned and unbumed plots was shallower and softer at edges of caribou feeding craters than at adjacent undisturbed points in both years. There was little difference in snow depth or hardness between burned and unbumed plots, although caribou cratered in shallower snow in burned plots than in unbumed plots in 1990. Crater area was greater in unbumed plots in 1990, but there was no difference in crater area between burned and unbumed plots in 1991. Frequencies of particular plant taxa were only significant in determining selection of crater sites in unbumed plots in 1990, when caribou craters had higher relative frequencies of lichens and lower frequencies of bryophytes than unused areas. Fire reduced relative frequency and biomass of most plant taxa, with the exception of post-disturbance species, which occurred primarily in burned plots. Lichens were reduced in burned plots, and lichens composed 59-74% of the late-winter diet of caribou, as determined by microhistological analysis of fecal pellets. Biomass and relative frequency of Eriophorum vaginatum was greater in burned plots than in unbumed plots in 1991, and protein and in vitro digestibility levels were enhanced in samples of this species collected from burned plots in late winter.
    • Winter foraging ecology of moose in the Tanana Flats and Alaska Range foothills

      Seaton, C. Tom (2002-12)
      I studied woody browse distribution, production, removal, species composition, twig size, moose diets, and predicted daily intake of resident and migratory moose in the Tanana Flats and adjacent Alaska Range Foothills, Alaska, 1999-2000. Density of moose in these areas was high (1.1 moose/km²). Moose were experiencing density-dependent effects on reproduction and growth, exhibited by low adult twinning rate (6%) and absence of pregnant yearlings, yet 17.5 kg higher 10-month-old calf body weights in the migratory segment. Of all willow, poplar, and paper birch plants sampled, 74% had a broomed architecture, which I attributed to heavy use by moose. Using a model of daily moose intake based on bite mass and bite density, I estimated that 1) migratory moose met expected intake during winter while intake of resident moose was marginal, 2) moose could not meet their expected daily intake with the mean twig dry mass (0.26 g) remaining unbrowsed at end of winter, and 3) higher predicted intake by migratory moose than resident moose was consistent with their higher 10-month-old calf weights.
    • Winter habitat of arctic grayling in an interior Alaska stream

      Lubinski, Brian R. (1995-05)
      Placer mining and the lack of information on winter ecology of Arctic grayling Thymallus arcticus. has raised concern for this popular sportfish. A study was designed to validate aerial radio telemetry data and to locate and describe overwinter areas (OWA) of Arctic grayling in Beaver Creek, Alaska. Reliance on aerial data alone resulted in overestimation of survival and misidentification of 14 of 26 designated OWAs. Twenty-one Arctic grayling were tracked downstream 12-58 km to 12 OWAs spanning a 31-km section of Beaver Creek. Radio-tagged and untagged Arctic grayling occupied areas with ice thickness of 0.4-1.4 m overlying 0.06-0.52 m of water, flowing at 0.03-0.56 m/s. During winter, discharge, cross-sectional area, velocities, and water width in four OWAs decreased until late March; then, cross-sectional area increased due to an increase in discharge that pushed the ice upward. Adult Arctic grayling overwintered downstream of habitat disturbances, and occupied much shallower winter habitats than expected.
    • Winter Highway Construction

      Bennet, F. Lawrence (1986-10)
      This report focuses on the feasibility of extending the highway construction season further into the winter season than is currently practiced in Alaska. It reviews the literature of research and project experience in accomplishing several elements of succssful highway construction in the winter. It summarizes the cold weather sections of highway construction specification s from 18 states, provinces, and foreign countries. It reports on personal interviews and survey questionnaires with 24 Alaskan contractors who have been engaged in building highway elements in the winter. The report concludes that additional inter highway construction should be permitted in Alaska and urges the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) to revise its specifications, on a trial basis, for selected projects in order to permit construction of embankments and asphaltic concrete pavements at below-freezing temperatures. Further research on "cold" concrete, additive materials in embansments and construction productivity is suggested
    • Winter movements of Arctic foxes in Northern Alaska measured by satellite telemetry

      Pamperin, Nathan J.; Follman, Erich H.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Huettmann, Falk; Person, Brian (2008-12)
      We studied winter movements of 37 arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) collared within a petroleum development area at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (n = 20), and an undeveloped area in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A, n = 17) during the winters of 2004, 2005, and 2006 using satellite telemetry. Comparing Prudhoe Bay and NPR-A, differences in mean movement rates of juveniles was 23.9 ± 2.7 km per duty cycle and 10.6 ± 2.8 km per duty cycle for adults, and mean difference in maximum distance from capture site for juveniles was 265.2 ± 63.2 km and 205.5 ± 128.9 km for adults. Juveniles and adults collared in NPR-A were highly mobile and made long distance movements (up to 782 km) while foxes from Prudhoe Bay remained in or near the oil field throughout winter. Extensive use of sea-ice by three juvenile foxes from NPR-A was documented during the winter of 2005-2006. Three juvenile foxes traveled long distances (904, 1096, and 2757 km) during the winter and remained on the sea-ice for extended periods of time (76, 120, and 156 days). These findings verify the use of sea-ice by arctic foxes and raise concerns that the diminishing ice cover may negatively impact populations by limiting access to marine food sources. We conclude that the oilfields are having a strong effect on the winter movements of arctic fox and suggest differences in movements are likely attributable to the availability of anthropogenic foods at Prudhoe Bay.
    • Winter Precipitation Depths Across The North Slope Of Alaska Simulated From The Weather Research And Forcasting Model And Snowtran-3D

      Byam, Sarah Jean; Cherry, Jessica E.; Toniolo, Horacio; Kane, Douglas (2012)
      Accurately predicting snow distribution and blowing snow conditions in the Arctic is critical to the design of ice road construction and maintenance as well as for predicting water supplies and runoff during snowmelt, estimating the cost of snow removal, and forecasting tundra travel conditions. A current atmospheric model used by both the operational weather prediction and research communities is the Weather Research and Forecasting model. However, the built-in snow schemes in the model neglect redistribution of snow via wind, one of the key processes in snow pack evolution. This study will involve three parts: (1) diagnostic of the differences in the current snow schemes of the model, (2) evaluation of the model's snow schemes as compared to observational data, and (3) asynchronous coupling of the SnowTran-3D to model predictions using a simple algorithm. The approach provides a simple method for the prediction of snow distribution, improving the realism of current snow distribution models, and will be easily employable for both operational and research applications.
    • Winter Range Studies Of The Western Arctic Caribou Herd, Northwest Alaska

      Joly, Kyle; Chapin, F.S.; Rupp, T.S.; Klein, David R.; Verbyla, David L. (2011)
      Climate change is likely to bring a myriad of interrelated changes to the Arctic. One change is warmer and drier conditions that could increase the prevalence of wildfire in northwest Alaska. Wildfires destroy terricolous lichens that Western Arctic Herd caribou (Rangifer tarandus ) rely on during winter; taking decades to recover. My goals were to assess the recent (1950--2007) fire regime within the herd's range, identify characteristics of habitat selected by overwintering caribou, and determine the potential impacts of climate change on the fire regime and caribou winter range. I used a combination of existing data and information collected at vegetation plots to conduct these analyses. I found that wildfires in the tundra were relatively common from 1950--2007, covering approximately 10% of northwest Alaska. Tundra was > 4.5 times more likely to re-burn than boreal forest. This novel, yet intuitive finding could have serious implications if fire starts to become more common in the Arctic. I found that the average annual area burned more than doubled in years where mean August temperatures exceeded 11.7�C (53�F). Caribou use tundra and forested during winter but avoided recently (< 58 years) burned areas in both habitat types likely because they contained < 1/4 of the abundance of forage lichen species than unburned habitats. I found that lichen abundance was 3 times greater in the herd's current winter range versus its historic range -- supporting the theory that caribou shift ranges to compensate for deteriorating grazing conditions. Stand age was the most consistent correlate with lichen abundance. Dwarf birch (Betula spp.) was more abundant in recent burns which may facilitate the intensification of the future fire regime in the region. My modeling efforts revealed that wildfire is likely to become more prevalent, especially on the herd's core winter range, which could have deleterious impacts on caribou winter range and provide quality habitat for moose ( Alces alces). My results should provide a solid foundation to develop a science-based fire management plan for the Western Arctic Herd.
    • Winter soil water dynamics: Completion report

      Kane, D. L. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1975-12)
      The movement of soil moisture through cold regions soils is an active process that continues throughout the year. It represents one mechanism of heat transport in subsurface soil, conduction being the main mode of heat flow. In frozen soils, this moisture may undergo phase change resulting in two significant events: 1. deformation of the near-surface layer, and 2. liberation or uptake of heat at the point of phase change. Where deformation (induced by either frost heaving or thaw consolidation) occurs in man-made embankments, it is readily apparent at the surface. Restoration of the deformed surface requires large sums of money.
    • Winter studies of under-ice benthos on the continental shelf of the northeastern Bering Sea

      Stoker, Sam W. (1973-05)
      A total of 76 samples from 16 benthic stations over the eastern Bering Sea shelf were taken between 31 January and 17 February, 1970 for purposes of assessing the quantity and distribution of benthic macrofauna. A total of 129 species or taxa were found, with an average density of 1,133 indiv/m^2 and average biomass of 127 g wet/m^2. Species were subjected to elemental analysis for determination of organic carbon and nitrogen content, yielding average values of 5.1% carbon and 1.1% nitrogen expressed as percentage wet weight, which translated into biomass values of 6.5 g C/m^2 and 1.4 g N/m^2 averaged over all stations. Correlation studies yielded 9 species affinity groups, and regression analysis indicated that about 40% of the variability of distribution and density of the major species could be accounted for by salinity, sediment mode particle size, depth, temperature, or dissolved oxygen, with no one factor assuming dominance. Of the 129 species or taxa, 35 account for about 80% of total numbers, wet weight biomass, or carbon biomass, with 8 species making up over 50% of the totals in all categories. Of these 35 major species, 8 are known to be food species of the Pacific walrus. These 8 comprise only 10% of the total number of individual organisms encountered, but make up 60% of the wet weight biomass and 49% of the carbon biomass over the region, sampled.
    • Winter Survival of Grasses and Legumes in Subarctic Alaska as Related to Latitudinal Adaptation, Pre-Winter Storage of Food Reserves, and Dry-Matter Concentration in Overwintering Tissues

      Klebesadel, Leslie J. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1993-09)
      similar experiments, were to (a) compare winter hardiness in subarctic Alaska of numerous plant species and ecotypes from various latitudinal sources within most species, and (b) seek a better understanding of certain aspects of pre-winter physiologic changes in plants that are associated with successful or with unsuccessful winter survival in this northern area. Both experiments were conducted at the University of Alaska’s Matanuska Research Farm (61.6°N) near Palmer in southcentral Alaska.
    • Winter vertebrate browsing of birch: effects on the use of leaf litter leachates by stream microorganisms

      Estensen, Jeffrey L. (2001-05)
      Winter browsing of birch leads to chemical changes in leaves of the following growing season, potentially generating differences in the quality of leachates derived from leaf litter and in leachate use by stream microorganisms. The effects of moose browsing were tested on leachates from leaves collected from browsed and unbrowsed trees and inoculated with microbial communities. Respiration and bacterial abundance were used to assess qualitative differences in leachates. Microbes cultured in leachates derived from leaves of browsed trees had significantly higher rates of oxygen uptake. There were no significant differences in bacterial abundance between treatments. The basis for the qualitative difference in leachates is likely due to an 89% greater concentration of amino acides in leachates derived from leaves of previously browsed trees. This study provides evidence that winter herbivory of birch can influence the use of leaf leachates by stream microbes, demonstrating coupling between riparian zones and stream ecosystems.
    • "The winter's tale": Leontes' derangement and the chronotope of melancholy

      Wood, David Houston (2000-05)
      To recent critical formulations regarding melancholy and its role in the Renaissance humoral body, this project contributes the argument that melancholy's trajectory from its natural to its unnatural state carries with it a fundamental shift in temporal-senses. I illustrate this shift through close analysis of Leontes' derangement in Shakespeare's 'The winter's tale.' Based on Renaissance physiological texts, as well as modern psychoanalytic, anthropological, and gender studies, I explore how melancholy's inherent volatility signifies the masculine anxieties of early modern English patriarchy. I argue that melancholy's bifurcated temporal-senses serve to clarify the subjectivity of Renaissancee passions.
    • Winterhardiness and Agronomic Performance of Wildryes (Elymus species) Compared With Other Grasses in Alaska, and Responses of Siberian Wildrye to Management Practices

      Klebesadel, Leslie J. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1993-12)
      This report summarizes eight field experiments involving both native and introduced wildrye grasses (Elymus species) conducted over a span of several years at the University of Alaska’s Matanuska Research Farm (61.6oN) near Palmer in southcentral Alaska. Objectives were to (a) evaluate winterhardiness, persistence, forage yield, and other aspects of agronomic performance of numerous strains within several species of wildrye, (b) assess their potential for forage use or conservation plantings in Alaska, and (c) determine the effects on Siberian wildrye (E. sibiricus) of seeding-year management options (time of planting and time of harvest) on seeding-year forage production, subsequent winter survival, and on second-year forage production.
    • Winterhardiness, Forage Production, and Persistence of Introduced and Native Grasses and Legumes in Southcentral Alaska

      Klebesadel, Leslie J. (School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, 1994-08)
      This study consisted of four separate field experiments, each of six years duration, conducted at the University of Alaska’s Matanuska Research Farm (61.6oN) near Palmer in southcentral Alaska. Objectives were to compare winterhardiness, forage productivity, and general persistence of introduced grass and legume species, strains, and cultivars from various world sources with Alaska-developed cultivars and native Alaskan species. Twenty-one species of grasses compared (Tables 1 through 4) included eight native to Alaska, four Alaska cultivars, and numerous introduced cultivars and regional strains (one to seven per species) from North America and northern Europe. Legumes included two species of biennial sweetclover and nine species of perennials, six introduced and three native. Each experiment was harvested once near the end of the seeding year and twice annually for five years thereafter.

      Ebert, W.J. (University of Alaska Alaska Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1945-11)
      Forage production for wintering livestock in Alaska has long been a problem where cleared land is limited. In the vicinity of the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet there are tide flats where native grasses grow in such abundance that they are utilized for hay. To determine the relative feeding value of this tide flat hay as compared with other locally-grown roughages for wintering pregnant ewes, the Matanuska Experiment Station carried out a series of five one-year feeding trials. The tests were conducted for an xverage of 151 days’ feeding period each year, using the bred ewes of the Station flock of pure-bred Hampshires. Results were based on the condition of the ewes at the contusion of each year’s trial, on the size and vigor of the lambs, on ihe weight and quality of the fleece and on the cost of the respective rations over the five-year period.