• First Order Estimation of Calving Losses from Gulf of Alaska Glaciers

      McNabb, Bob (2012)
      Despite its importance in projections of sea level rise, dynamic mass loss from tidewater glaciers remains poorly constrained and understood. Owing to this difficulty, very few long-term or estimates of dynamic losses exist, and regional estimates of dynamic loss are nonexistent. Many studies have highlighted the importance of Alaska glaciers to sea level rise (e.g., Berthier and others, 2010). In this study, we present a detailed record of length fluctuations of Gulf of Alaska (GOA) tidewater glaciers, and propose a method to estimate calving fluxes on a regional level.
    • Characterizing Transitioning in Chaotic Models

      Winkelman, A (2012)
      In order to understand how complicated physical systems behave, we study idealized systems instead and interpret the qualitative behavior. In order to understand how non-linear, chaotic systems transition into new parameter sets, we characterize the distribution of dynamical points over the manifold of trajectories (also known as the “strange attractor”) for the Lorenz model under two regimes. We consider the effects of variation of just one of the three parameters of the Lorenz model. First, we establish measures of shape of the distribution over the manifold for a range of static values of that parameter. Then, the same measures of shape are calculated for the trajectory that results when a parameter is ramped linearly in time. Statistical comparison of these distributions will be used to describe the evolution of the attractor. This simple model can illustrate how such non-linear, chaotic systems behave when the parameters of the system vary.
    • Traditional Skin Preparation Methods

      Isaak, Joel (2012)
      I am an Alaskan Native artist who is trying to learn more about my culture and to pass the information on to others before it is lost. Alaska Native cultures have been working with animal skins for thousands of years. Very few people today possess the knowledge to work these materials. I am interested in the use of the material for home dwellings and clothing. I am researching different ways that animal skins are turned into leather, specifically moose and salmon skins. I conducted interviews with local elders. I investigated the contrasting chemical material process that modern industry uses to produce tanned skins. The research has culminated in an installation made out of moose hide and wood in the Regents Great Hall April 23-27, 2012. The space will provide the viewer with a life sized environment simulating a traditional skin dwelling. I took a traditional preparation method used for salmon skins and transformed them into pieces of contemporary native art.
    • GABAergic neurons in the medullary raphé possess network independent chemosensitivity in situ

      Iceman, Kimberly E. (2012)
      The identity and location of central pH/CO2 sensitive chemoreceptors are not fully understood. Serotonin (5-HT) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) synthesizing neurons in the medullary raphé have demonstrated intrinsic chemosensitivity in vitro. This evidence forms the basis for our "push-pull" model of raphé contributions to chemosensitivity. We have previously shown that CO2-stimulated 5-HT neurons occur in the medullary raphé in situ. Here, we test the hypothesis that the medullary raphé contains GABA synthesizing CO2-inhibited neurons that retain their chemosensitivity after pharmacological blockade of major fast synaptic inputs. To assess chemosensitivity, we record extracellular single neuron discharge during normocapnic and hypercapnic conditions within the medullary raphé of the unanesthetized juvenile rat in situ perfused decerebrate brainstem preparation. Network dependence of chemosensitivity is assessed by application of antagonists for AMPA, NMDA, glycine, and GABAa receptors that disrupt fast-synaptic network properties. Juxtacellular labeling and immunohistochemistry establish neurotransmitter phenotypes of recorded neurons. Results support independence of CO2-inhibited GABA neuron chemosensitivity from fast synaptic inputs.
    • Changes in Respiratory CO2 Chemosensitivity Using Early- and Late-Stage Tadpoles

      Nesteby, Andrea K. (2012)
      Isolated tadpole brainstems provide a robust model for quantifying central respiratory CO2 chemosensitivity. Whole-nerve recordings were used to identify respiratory responses of early and late-stage tadpoles to different CO2 levels in order to characterize the sensitivity of different developmental stages to respiratory stimuli. Some significance has been determined when comparing baseline and individual treatment values; however, further research needs to be done in order to fully characterize the CO2 influence on respiration.
    • Identifying raphé respiratory chemosensory amplifiers in situ.

      Tallan, Hannah (2012)
      Activity of CO2–stimulated rat medullary raphé RCA interneurons is mediated by intra-network inputs from serotonergic and GABAergic neurons.
    • Chukchi Edges Project - Geophysical constraints on the history of the Amerasia Basin

      Ilhan, Ibrahim (2012)
      The geological history of the Amerasia Basin is poorly understood, in part due to the lack of identified plate boundaries within it. These boundaries must exist to explain the basin history. Identification of these structures will make it possible to reconstruct the development of the basin, which will substantially improve our understanding of the surrounding continents. The Chukchi Borderland, a block of extended continental crust embedded in the Canada Basin, figures prominently in all tectonic models proposed for the opening of the Amerasia Basin. The Chukchi cannot be simply reconstructed back to any of the nearby continental shelves. It complicates any model for the Mesozoic opening of the Amerasia Basin. According to the commonly accepted model, the Canada Basin opened like a pair of scissors. This was accomplished by a counter-clockwise rotation of the North Alaskan-Chukchi micro-plate (Arctic Alaska Plate) by 66 degrees. The micro-plate collided with the Siberian margin. Most of the existing models for the development of the Amerasia Basin accept the basic pattern of scissors-like or, classically, the “windshield wiper” opening for the basin. This theory finds some support in the identification of a possible relict mid-ocean ridge axis in the central Canada Basin. Since the continental Chukchi Borderland creates a space problem for any simple opening model, the greatest differences between models revolve around how to accommodate that block. Fundamental differences among the proposed models include the paleo-location of the Chukchi Borderland as well as whether the Borderland is a single entity or is instead comprised of small terranes which behaved as independent microplates. A consequence of these models is the prediction that the Chukchi Borderland is distinct from the Chukchi Shelf. During the Chukchi Edges cruise on board the RV Marcus G. Langseth, we collected multi-channel seismic reflection, swath bathymetry, gravity, magnetics and sonobuoy refraction data across the transition from the Chukchi Shelf to the Borderland. These data will establish new constraints on the timing and distribution of deformation in the development of the Amerasia Basin and provide a test of the windshield wiper model of basin opening.
    • Lost Wax Method Bronze Casting

      Isaak, Joel (2012)
      Large scale bronze casting is a work intensive process that requires adequately equipped studio space, time, and a set of highly refined skills to complete the eight stages of the process. My goal was to construct a life sized bronze statue of a traditional Athabascan fisherman. I chose to sculpt a classically proportioned Greek style statue, using similar processes and ratios. I looked over photographs that I took in the Vatican museum and several anatomy books. Wendy Croskrey supported my research in large scale bronze casting a project this size. Through experimentation I discovered the importance of using the correct plaster and reinforcing molds properly. The process provided me with many firsts, such as a mold cracking open, plaster not setting, and having to recast a piece. Through hard work and careful consideration I was successful in completing the project.
    • Rock debris on glaciers: a mechanism for reducing glacier sensitivity to climate change

      Herreid, Samuel (2012)
      Rock debris covering a glacier surface affects the local melt rate by regulating the amount of solar energy available for melting. Supraglacial debris with a thickness of about 2 cm or more insulates the ice, thereby reducing the heat flux. This reduction of melt rate allows heavily debris-covered glaciers to extend further down-valley than meteorological variables alone would suggest. Here we present a regional study of supraglacial debris cover in the Delta Mountains, a sub-range of the Alaska Range. Using remote sensing and in situ measurements we consider the following questions: -How does glacier and debris-covered area change from 1986 to 2010? -Can we estimate debris thickness remotely? -How does debris affect melt? -Will ice melt cease below two meters of debris? -Is there a correlation between geologic setting and debris cover?
    • Is there enough information on SIDS in Alaska?

      McAfee, Keegan (2012)
      The rate of SIDS in Alaska is about two times the national average, and even more prevalent among Alaska natives. In this research project I wanted to ask what kind, and how much information is provided to new parents on SIDS in interior Alaska? The purpose of my study was to see if healthcare providers from a wide range of specialties, but all dealing with birth, had provided their patients with the same or differing information on SIDS in Alaska. I went to multiple healthcare providers and interviewed them, asking what kind of information they provided to the new parents. I obtained varying answers from a standardized packet on SIDS, to no information provided for new parents at all. I believe that this huge discrepancy in information, can and does play a role in the incident of SIDS in Alaska. Ultimately I would like to further research the cases of SIDS and see what types of healthcare providers were used for pre/neo-natal care and see if in fact there is a correlation among the types of information provided.
    • Cobalt Signatures of Gold-Bearing Pyrite Kensington Gold Mine, SE Alaska

      Heinchon, Sarah (2012)
      The Kensington mine is located about 45 miles northwest of Juneau and is expected to produce 125,000 ounces of gold annually. The Kensington ore body is an early Tertiary vein system hosted in a weakly metamorphosed mid-Cretaceous pluton. The traditionally known veins (quartz-Au veins) are structurally controlled by prominent shear zones in the Jualin Pluton and are primarily quartz >> calcite, with 10-20% pyrite. The pyrite contains metallic gold, chalcopyrite, and telluride minerals, either as inclusions, along grain boundaries, or fracture fill (fig. 3a – 3c). The quartz-Au veins have varying concentrations of chalcopyrite.
    • Post Natal Impact of Maternal Tryptophan Deficiency on Central CO2/PH Chemosensitivity

      Mosher, Bryan P. (2012)
      Cells and mechanisms underlying central chemosensitivity, are poorly understood and can be controversial. Our overarching hypothesis is that brainstem 5-HT and/or GABA neurons contribute to detection and response to changes in pH/CO2. Our experiments are designed to provide insight into respiratory physiology, and pathologies thought to result from chemosensory dysfunction such as the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). A deficiency of 5-HT resulting from maternal dietary restriction could enhance vulnerability to SIDS. It was recently shown that rat pups born to dams fed a tryptophan deficient diet have a reduced number of central 5-HT neurons and reduced ventilatory sensitivity to CO2 (Nattie et al. 2011). Unknown are the relative contributions of central vs peripheral chemoreceptors to this observation, or the residual contributions of 5-HT in the face of this deficiency. In the present study we are extending this initial description using a perfused in situ brainstem model to determine the degree of central chemosensory deficit imparted by maternal tryptophan restriction. We also repeat these studies with pharmacological blockade of a population of 5-HT receptors to illustrate remaining 5-HT and non-5-HT contributions to chemosensitivity. This work reveals important interactions between nutrition and ventilatory control that may aid in the understanding of SIDS.
    • Kern Canyon Fault Quartz Piezometry and Thermometry: How Weak are Rocks in a Deep Fault?

      Tsigonis, Rebekah (2012)
      This project is an investigation of the strength of rocks from 10-25 kilometers depth in the Kern Canyon Fault in the Sierra Nevada. When this fault was active, it behaved similarly to the San Andreas Fault in California and the Denali Fault here in Alaska. Deep sections of this ancient fault were brought to the surface of the Earth through erosion. Using a method known as piezometry, I was able to measure the sizes of deformed quartz grains in rock samples, which inversely relates to the amount of stress that the rocks experienced during faulting. I also used a technique known as titanium-in-quartz thermometry (TitaniQ) to determine the temperature of the rocks during faulting deformation episodes. Via the Electron Microprobe in the Analytical Facility at UAF, I was able to measure the amount of titanium present in the deformed quartz grains which directly correlates to the temperature at which these crystals formed. In combining the calculations for stress and temperature of deformation, the strain rate exhibited on these rocks was determined which is used to better understand how weak or strong rocks are at different depths within fault zones.
    • Pilot Study expert, guest artist education experiences for music students at the university level.

      Graf, Lydia (2012)
      Many Universities have opportunities to work with guest and visiting artists of every musical genre and instrumentation. The University of Alaska Fairbanks, mainly because of the extreme distance between peer and aspirational universities, does not often host a visiting artist. We wanted to gather data on how UAF music majors, students, and community members and Fairbanks high school students would respond to a visiting artist. Vijay Singh, currently on faculty at Central Washington University, has visited Fairbanks in the past. He has presented at UAF Jazz Fest and the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. Mr. Singh is also versed in several genres of music from jazz to choral and composition. After a performance by Vijay Singh on Saturday, April 28, we will survey attendees to garner data on how the performance was received. Our hope is that Fairbanks will grow and flourish from visiting artists and such visits will become common at UAF.
    • Phylogenetic Identification of Petroleum-Degrading Bacteria in Alaska Willow Soils

      Glover, Catherine (2012)
      • Certain plant species may promote growth and activity of pollutant- degrading microbes in the rhizosphere. • Naphthalene is an aromatic component of petroleum fuels, which are common soil contaminants in Alaska. • Willows are known to produce and release salicylate, an intermediate in the naphthalene degradation pathway that induces the expression of microbial naphthalene degradation genes. • A previous pot study (McFarlin et al. in prep) tested the ability of Salix alaxensis (Alaskan willow) to rhizo-remediate diesel-contaminated soil. • Willow growth treatments significantly decreased the concentration of diesel range organics in soil and increased the number of cultured diesel-degrading bacteria in comparison to unplanted controls. • The effects of willow on the identity and diversity of diesel-degrading bacteria in this pot study are unknown.
    • Using Multiple Regression Models to Understand the Influence of Geologic History, Topography, Island Size, Isolation and Dispersability on Plant Community Assemblage in the Western Aleutian Islands

      Garroutte, Monte Daniel (2012)
      Island groups are often subject to habitat filters and dissimilar dispersal sources, and as a result may reflect dissimilar plant assemblages between islands. Though the Aleutian Islands have likely acted as a route for plant dispersal across the North Pacific, many continental endemics have colonized the islands but have not dispersed over the chain as a whole (Talbot, 1994). Typically, North American endemic plant species represent an increasing proportion of the flora with closer proximity to the Alaskan mainland, while Asian endemics increase in proportion towards Kamchatka (Lindroth, 1961). Using plant species occurrence data across the Western Aleutian Islands, we may examine the impact of several barriers to dispersal and flora assemblage.