• Invasive plants and pollination of Alaskan berry species: integrating ecology and education

      Spellman, Katie Villano; Mulder, Christa; Wagner, Diane; McGuire, A. David; Conner, Laura; Carlson, Matthew (2015-05)
      A rapidly changing climate and human disturbance patterns have accelerated the spread of invasive plants species in Alaska. Non-native plant invasions can disrupt pollinator services to native plants and have the potential to impact the pollination and fruit set in berry species important for subsistence harvest. My dissertation aims to address the dual need for greater understanding of the impacts of invasive plants on pollination of berry species in boreal ecosystems and the need for research on education strategies that best prepare Alaskans to respond to the issue. I integrate an ecological field experiment, a citizen science program where data is used to validate phenology models derived from heraium data, and an invasive plants education experiment testing the effects of a metacognitive learning intervention to provide multiple perspectives that inform the management of invasive plants in Alaska. The ecological field experiment found that invasive Melilotus albus acts as a magnet species for pollinators, which increased seed production in Vaccinium vitis-idaea, slightly decreased pollination in Rhododendron groenlandicum, and had no detectable interactions with Vaccinium uliginosum. The impact M. albus had on R. groenlandicum changed with distance from the invasive plant patch, but the impact on V. vitis-idaea did not. Using data from a statewide citizen science program monitoring the phenology of these species, I found that herbarium-based phenology models were valid for assessing relative shifts in phenology of these species across Alaska. Employing the research on M. albus and the berry species as a test case, I found that students who received the metacognitive learning intervention show long-term improvement in metacognitive skills compared to students in the control group, but that the groups did not differ in their ability to apply resilience thinking skills to the environmental problem-solving. I synthesized social-ecological resilience and education research to investigate how citizen science and metacognitive learning could contribute to the capacity of Alaskans to respond to social-ecological change. Together, the ecology and education research presented here provide diverse perspectives on how to best manage and build the human capacity to manage M. albus near subsistence plant species.
    • Inversion of focal mechanism data for the directions of stress near Redoubt Volcano, Alaska

      Sánchez-Aguilar, John Jairo; McNutt, Stephen R.; Christensen, Douglas H.; Gardner, James E.; Moran, Seth C.; Wyss, Max (2000-12)
    • Investigating ancient bison migration in Alaska: a bottom up approach using isotopes

      Funck, Juliette Marie; Wooller, Matthew; Druckenmiller, Patrick; Hundertmark, Kris; Ruether, Joshua (2020-05)
      Once abundant in the Arctic, bison (Bison bison) declined almost to extinction in the North but have subsequently been reintroduced into Alaska. The predecessors of these modern bison were the ancient steppe bison (Bison priscus), which were abundant throughout the Northern Hemisphere before their extinction during the Holocene. This thesis investigates the ecology and landscape-use of both the present-day wood bison (Bison bison athabascae) and the ancient steppe bison in Alaska using stable isotopes, among other methods. The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of animal tissues are traditionally used to investigate diet. However, this thesis uses the isotope composition of tail hairs from present day wood bison as a proxy for their nutritional stress. Nutritional stress of some wood bison appears to be influenced not only by food shortage during hard seasons, but also due to long-distance mobility. This insight provides a key to understanding the challenges of reintroduction of the species into Alaska today, and can also be applied to understand the nutritional stress and cost of dispersal by ancient animals. Whereas the mobility of present-day bison can be tracked using sophisticated satellite tracking technologies, studies of the paleo-mobility of ancient bison rely on isotopic markers such as strontium and oxygen isotope ratios preserved in their teeth. To aid this approach using isotopic geolocation, this thesis creates a map of bioavailable strontium modeled and based on strontium isotope composition of present-day rodent teeth from across Alaska. It then compares this map, together with an existing oxygen isotope map of precipitation in Alaska, with the strontium and oxygen isotopes preserved in a suite of ancient bison from Northern Alaska. This comparison brings to light some of the major habitation regions used by Bison on the North Slope of Alaska over the last ~50,000 years. Finally, these findings subsequently contribute to a detailed paleoecological investigation of a mostly articulated and complete ancient steppe bison found on the North Slope of Alaska. This final study reveals the life-history of an individual bison that dispersed from the coastal plain to the foothills of the Brooks Range early in his life, and shows that the trip was nutritionally costly. This information is combined with a suite of other paleoecological methods to provide a vivid life history of this ancient bison. We introduce new methodologies for studying these ancient animals that seek to bridge the gap between how we study present-day and the past.
    • Investigating The Retention Of Bright And Dark Ejecta From Small Rayed Craters On Mars

      Calef, Fred J., Iii; Herrick, Robert R. (2010)
      Impact cratering is one of the principal geologic processes operating throughout the solar system. On Mars, small rayed impact craters (SRC) form continuously and randomly on the surface. Ejecta retention, the timespan and ability of excavated ejecta to remain in place around a crater rim, records a lineage of recent surface processes. However, the timescales under which small rayed craters are produced and their origin, whether terrestrial or cosmic, plays an important role in further investigating surface processes and possible recent climate variations. By examining thousands of randomly chosen panchromatic images from the Mars Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle (MOCNA) camera, a population of 630 SRC was catalogued across three equatorial and two polar regions on Mars. The survey of MOCNA images also revealed intriguing Enigmatic Linear Features (ELFs) in the northern hemisphere of Mars, which a short side study revealed to be a unique form of dust-devil track. From statistically examining several physical parameters, dust deposition and periglacial erosion were found to be the major factors affecting ejecta retention for the SRC. SRC morphology revealed ejecta retention sequences that followed four stages of ejecta retention from the initial impact to eventual erasure from the surface. By reconstructing the current cratering rate from estimates of atmospheric filtering, it was possible to calculate the ejecta retention age across Mars. In general, SRC ejecta are retained on the surface for <100 ka. Based on ejecta morphology and retention age estimates, a possible shift from depositional to erosional processes just south of the Martian equator is suspected to have occurred within this timeframe.
    • An investigation into the effectiveness of simulation-extrapolation for correcting measurement error-induced bias in multilevel models

      Custer, Christopher (2015-04)
      This paper is an investigation into correcting the bias introduced by measurement errors into multilevel models. The proposed method for this correction is simulation-extrapolation (SIMEX). The paper begins with a detailed discussion of measurement error and its effects on parameter estimation. We then describe the simulation-extrapolation method and how it corrects for the bias introduced by the measurement error. Multilevel models and their corresponding parameters are also defined before performing a simulation. The simulation involves estimating the multilevel model parameters using our true explanatory variables, the observed measurement error variables, and two different SIMEX techniques. The estimates obtained from our true explanatory values were used as a baseline for comparing the effectiveness of the SIMEX method for correcting bias. From these results, we were able to determine that the SIMEX was very effective in correcting the bias in estimates of the fixed effects parameters and often provided estimates that were not significantly different than those from the estimates derived using the true explanatory variables. The simulation also suggested that the SIMEX approach was effective in correcting bias for the random slope variance estimates, but not for the random intercept variance estimates. Using the simulation results as a guideline, we then applied the SIMEX approach to an orthodontics dataset to illustrate the application of SIMEX to real data.
    • Investigation of North Pacific sea ice anomalies in the context of atmospheric and oceanic variability

      Tivy, Adrienne (2001-08)
      This study investigates the main mode of variability in North Pacific sea ice and examines the relationship between sea ice concentration and northern hemispheric climate variability for the period 1968-1997. Through empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis, correlations, and composite analysis, it was found that the seesaw pattern (first EOF of wintertime sea ice concentrations) between ice concentrations in the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, generally used to characterize North Pacific sea ice, does not adequately address variability in the Sea of Okhotsk. Relationships between the sea ice dipole and the large-scale circulation were investigated and were found to change with the 1977 and 1989 regime shifts in the North Pacific climate. Before 1977 the sea ice dipole is strongly related to tropical variability while after 1977 the dipole is more strongly related to mid-latitude variability.
    • Investigation of novel secondary metabolites of colophospermum mopane

      Englund, Brian Michael (2005-05)
      Labdanes are a large and important class of diterpenes. Colophospermum mopane seems to be a source of 'primitive' 9, 13-epoxylabdanes. The structures of these compounds are 'missing links' in the biogenesis of 9, 13-epoxylabdanes. This research reports a new compound extracted from the seeds of C. mopane. The structures of this compound has been completely elucidated by NMR spectroscopy, and the stereochemistry of the compound supports predictions based on biosynthetic arguments. Furthermore, this thesis also corrects NMR assignments previously reported by another group.
    • Investigation of strongly ducted infrasonic dispersion using a vertical eigenfunction expansion of the Helmholtz equation in a modal broad band acoustic propagation code

      Edon, Robert Alexander; Olson, John V.; Fee, David E.; Szuberla, Curt A. (2015-12)
      This study investigates an infrasound propagation model created by the National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA) which is applied to atmospheric data with a strong temperature inversion in the lower atmosphere. This temperature inversion is believed to be the primary cause of a dispersed infrasonic signal recorded by an infrasound sensor array located on the Southern California coast in August, 2012. The received signal is characterized by initial low frequency content followed by a high frequency content tail. It is shown the NCPA model is hindered by limited atmospheric data and no ground truth for the source function which generated the received signal. The results of the NCPA model are shown to not reproduce the recorded signal and provide inconclusive evidence for infrasonic dispersion.
    • Investigation Of The Allosteric Modulators Desformylflustrabromine And 4-(2-Hydroxyethyl)-1-Piperazineethanesulfonic Acid (Hepes) Interactions On Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors

      Daniello-Weltzen, Maegan M.; Schulte, Marvin K. (2011)
      Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are members of the Cys-loop super family of ligand gated ion channels. Dysregulation of nAChRs can lead to pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Autism and nicotine addiction. Possible new therapeutic avenues are positive allosteric modulators (PAMs). The natural product desformylflustrabromine (dFBr), a tryptophan metabolite of the marine bryozoan Flustra foliacea, was found to be PAM of alpha4beta2 nAChR. Evaluation of our synthetic water soluble dFBr salt by two-electrode voltage clamp of Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing human nAChR confirmed that synthetic dFBr displayed similar properties as the natural product. Low concentrations of the synthetic dFBr enhanced ACh's efficacy on alpha4beta2 receptors. At higher dFBr concentrations, dFBr inhibited ACh potentiated responses. On alpha7 receptors, dFBr inhibited ACh induced currents. Further pharmacological characterization of dFBr revealed that dFBr was able to enhance partial agonist potencies and efficacies. Evaluation of dFBr on antagonists showed no effect on antagonist inhibition. The mechanisms of biphasic modulation (potentiation and inhibition) of dFBr on alpha4beta2 nAChR were also investigated. Enhanced efficacy of ACh induced currents by dFBr appeared to be accomplished by dFBr stabilization of the open receptor conformation by destabilization of the desensitized state. The inhibition of ACh potentiated currents by dFBr appeared to involve open-channel block. To better understand dFBr mechanisms, its putative binding site was examined. Alanine mutations were made in non-orthosteric clefts on the beta2+ and alpha4- faces. Results revealed residues located on these faces are involved in ACh induced conformational change of the receptor. In addition our data supports our hypothesis that allosteric modulation by dFBr interacts with residues located on the beta2+ and alpha4- faces. The new novel actions of (4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid) (HEPES) as a alpha4beta2 stoichiometric PAM was discovered and characterized. We showed that HEPES, a common buffering agent, potentiated the high ACh sensitivity alpha4beta2 receptor while only inhibiting the low ACh sensitivity alpha4beta2 receptor. Mutagenesis results suggested that residue beta2D217 is a critical residue in the HEPES binding site. Results from these studies will aid in the development of therapeutic ligands that will assist in the treatment of diseases where nAChRs are dysregulated.
    • Investigation of thin midlevel ice clouds in the Arctic using calipso data and radiative transfer modeling

      Kayetha, Vinay Kumar; Collins, Richard; Meyer, Franz; Prakash, Anupma; Bhatt, Uma (2015-08)
      In this research we investigate the global occurrence and properties of optically thin midlevel ice clouds. These clouds are difficult to detect with passive radiometric techniques and are under-represented in current studies. We use the Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) data set to identify thin midlevel ice clouds and determine their global occurrence and distribution. For the first time, we find that the global mean occurrence of these clouds is at least 4.5%, being at least 7.3% of all the tropospheric clouds detected at a horizontal scale of 10 km. Seasonally, these clouds are found most commonly in the polar regions. These clouds occur most commonly in the Arctic in winter and least commonly in the summer. In winter these clouds can occur up to 19% of the time. The occurrence of these clouds decreases with increasing spatial scale and are most commonly found at spatial scales of 25 km or less. We found five large distinct clouds over the Arctic and investigated them for their meteorological conditions and radiative effects. These thin midlevel ice clouds are formed along the frontal zones in weakly ascending air masses. Our model simulations show that thin midlevel ice clouds have a net warming effect on the surface of 23-48 W/m². We conclude that these clouds have a significant impact on the radiation budget in Arctic winters. Our study highlights the importance of active satellite-based remote sensing in globally detecting and characterizing optically thin clouds. Our estimates of occurrence and fraction of clouds represents a lower bound, as these clouds can be obscured by optically thicker clouds. The volume of measurements provided by the satellite allowed us to identify a small but consistent set of large clouds with which we could conduct a contemporary radiative analysis. These findings can be used to improve the representation of clouds and their impacts in regional and global climate models.
    • Investigation On Cirrus Clouds By The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar And Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation Data

      Zhu, Jiang; Sassen, Kenneth (2011)
      Understanding and describing the role of clouds in the climate system need intensive and extensive research on cloud properties. The albedo and greenhouse effects of clouds and their relations with the physical properties of clouds are analyzed. Cloud-top height and ice water content are key factors in impacting the longwave and shortwave radiation, respectively. Lidar and infrared radiometer measurement technologies are introduced. Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) level 1 Lidar profile, level 2 cloud layer, and level 2 Lidar/IIR track products are briefly reviewed. The algorithms for identification of cirrus clouds, Linear Depolarization Ratio (LDR), and effective diameter are presented. An average LDR profile is calculated by using the sum of total attenuated backscattering profiles and the sum of perpendicular attenuated backscattering profiles. A weight-average method is applied to calculate the average LDR. A split-window method is applied to estimate the effective diameters of clouds. A set of bulk ice crystal models and a radiative transfer model are applied to produce a look-up table that includes the radiative transfer simulation results. The macro-physical properties of cirrus clouds are analyzed. The frequency of occurrence of cirrus clouds varies with latitude, and strongly relates to the atmospheric circulation. Cirrus clouds are few in high-pressure zones and abundant where seasonal monsoonal circulation occurs. Cloud-top height decreases with increasing latitude. Cloud-top temperature is lower in the tropical regions than in the midlatutude and the polar regions. The measured cloud thickness shows a great diurnal variation.
    • Investigation on the impacts of low-sulfur fuel used in residential heating and oil-fired power plants on PM₂.₅₋ concentrations and its composition in Fairbanks, Alaska

      Leelasakultum, Ketsiri; Mölders, Nicole; Bhatt, Uma; Collins, Richard (2013-08)
      The effects of using low-sulfur fuel for oil-heating and oil-burning facilities on the PM₂.₅-concentrations at breathing level in an Alaska city surrounded by vast forested areas were examined with the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry packages that were modified for the subarctic. Simulations were performed in forecast mode for a cold season using the National Emission Inventory 2008 and alternatively emissions that represent the use of low-sulfur fuel for oil-heating and oil-burning facilities while keeping the emissions of other sources the same as in the reference simulation. The simulations suggest that introducing low-sulfur fuel would decrease the monthly mean 24h-averaged PM₂.₅-concentrations over the city's PM₂.₅-nonattainment area by 4%, 9%, 8%, 6%, 5% and 7% in October, November, December, January, February and March, respectively. The quarterly mean relative response factors for PM₂.₅ of 0.96 indicate that with a design value of 44.7 µg/m³ introducing low-sulfur fuel would lead to a new design value of 42 .9µg/m³ that still exceeds the US National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 35µg/m³ . The magnitude of the relation between the relative response of sulfate and nitrate changes differs with temperature. The simulations suggest that in the city, PM₂.₅-concentrations would decrease more on days with low atmospheric boundary layer heights, low hydrometeor mixing ratio, low downward shortwave radiation and low temperatures. Furthermore, a literature review of other emission control measure studies is given, and recommendations for future studies are made based on the findings.
    • Investigations in phylogenetics: tree inference and model identifiability

      Yourdkhani, Samaneh; Rhodes, John A.; Allman, Elizabeth S.; McIntyre, Julie; Williams, Gordon (2020-05)
      This thesis presents two projects in mathematical phylogenetics. The first presents a new, statistically consistent, fast method for inferring species trees from topological gene trees under the multispecies coalescent model. The algorithm of this method takes a collection of unrooted topological gene trees, computes a novel intertaxon distance from them, and outputs a metric species tree. The second establishes that numerical and non-numerical parameters of a specic Prole Mixture Model of protein sequence evolution are generically identifiable. Algebraic techniques are used, especially a theorem of Kruskal on tensor decomposition.
    • Investigations into model systems of neurodegeneration: Organotypic brain slice culture and in vivo microdialysis

      Clapp, Kimberly Lara; Duffy, Lawrence K. (2000)
      The mechanisms behind neurodegeneration in disease and injury have yet to be fully defined. Many in vitro and in vivo model systems, have been developed to investigate the mechanisms of neurotoxicity and its relation to human disease and injury. There are a few resounding connections between most types of neurological disorder; namely oxidative stress and inflammation. The glutamate receptor agonist, N-methyl-D-aspartate, can be used to imitate excitotoxicity during stroke as it overstimulates the glutamate receptor, leading to rises in intracellular calcium levels, which in turn lead to oxidative stress within the cell. Amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) a useful in many of its isoforms in creating in vitro model systems of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Abeta can directly cause the production of potentially harmful free radicals. This study investigates the formation of model systems of neurodegeneration: in vivo microdialysis and organotypic brain slices culture in order to assess the role of oxidative stress and inflammation morphologically and biochemically. The effect of melatonin, an endogenous antioxident, on oxidative stress associated with NMDA and Abeta neurotoxicity was determined through morphological analysis and biochemical markers of oxidative stress. This study reports that both NMDA and Abeta(25--35) cause oxidative stress in an organotypic brain slice culture model system of stroke and Alzheimer's disease as established by: (1) morphological analysis of tissue and ultrastructure, (2) redox-active assay, (3) heme-oxygenase assay, (4) 8-hydroxyguanosine assay and (5) interleukin IL-1beta and IL-6 assay (Abeta only) These investigations also demonstrate that melatonin can attenuate the oxidative stress associated with NMDA and Abeta exposure. These findings expand upon previous evidence from cell culture analysis of oxidative stress induced by NMDA and Abeta. Therefore, this evidence supports the theory that oxidative stress is involved in neurodegeneration in both excitotoxicity in stroke and in Abeta-mediated damage in Alzheimer's disease, and that endogenous antioxidant treatment may be a useful therapeutic approach in such injury and disease.
    • Investigations of patterns of vegetation, distribution and abundance of small mammals and nesting birds, and behavioral ecology of arctic foxes at Demarcation Bay, Alaska

      Burgess, Robert M. (1984-05)
      Analyses of habitat use, activity budget and activity patterns of arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) at known distribution and abundance of prey are presented. Behavioral data on foxes were collected by direct observation of 2 radio-collared females and their mates in summer 1979. Prey availability was determined through monitoring bird nest success and phenology, mark-recapture studies of small mammals, and analysis of vegetation patterns and distribution of prey in 1978 and 1979. Prey availability fluctuated dramatically within each season and between years. Foxes relied almost exclusively on avian prey in 1979. Small mammal densities were extremely low in 1979 and foxes failed to rear pups in that year. Fluctuating prey availability did not affect fox activity patterns, activity budget or habitat use. The significance of caching in regulating food availability and the relationship between scent-marking and foraging efficiency are discussed.
    • Investigations On The Impacts Of Land-Cover Changes And/Or Increased Carbon Dioxide Concentrations On Four Regional Water Cycles And Their Interactions With The Global Water Cycle

      Li, Zhao; Molders, Nicole (2007)
      A suite of simulations that combine reference (355ppmv), doubled and tripled CO2 concentrations alternatively without and with land-cover changes in four similar-sized study regions, the Yukon, Ob, St. Lawrence and Colorado basin and adjacent land, are performed with the fully coupled Community Climate System Model to investigate the impact on global and regional water cycles and the interaction of these regional water cycles with the global water cycle. The relative changes in water-cycle quantities caused by increased CO 2 enhance with latitude and CO2 concentrations. Regional and global water cycles interactions are more pronounced in a warmer climate, but regional precipitation and evapotranspiration is affected differently in high-latitudes (Yukon, Ob) than mid-latitudes (Colorado, St. Lawrence). Land-cover changes can have comparable impacts on regional water cycles than increased CO2 concentrations do. Land-cover changes substantially alter the high-latitude water cycles through enhanced snow-albedo feedback and mid-latitude water cycles through vegetation activity in the warm season. The land-cover changes in different regions interact with each other through heat and moisture advections and secondary effects. This interaction enhances with increasing CO2 concentrations. Interactions between land-cover changes and increasing CO2 concentrations enhance with increasing CO2 due to the high sensitivity of regional water cycles to temperature changes.
    • Ion dynamics in auroral potential structures and formation of ion conic distribution

      Yang, Wei-hong (1981-12)
      This thesis is concerned with the problem of how the positive ions are energized by the two-dimensional potential structures along auroral field lines; these auroral potential structures are known to be responsible for accelerating electrons into the ionosphere to produce discrete auroras. A systematic numerical study of the test ion dynamics in auroral potential structures, either V-shaped or S-shaped, has been carried out. Transverse ion accelerations occur if the width of the auroral potential structure (Lx ≤ ρi). This result shows that the conic distribution of upstreaming ions observed on auroral field lines can be generated by the same potential structures which produce the thin auroral arcs (Lx ≤ ρi). This transverse acceleration mechanism operates more effectively on heavier ions, resulting in O+ ions more energetic than H+ ions as indicated by observations.
    • Ionospheric correction of interferometric SAR data with application to the cryospheric sciences

      Liao, Heming; Meyer, Franz J.; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.; Tape, Carl; Watkins, Brenton (2018-08)
      The ionosphere has been identified as an important error source for spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and SAR Interferometry (InSAR), especially for low frequency SAR missions, operating, e.g., at L-band or P-band. Developing effective algorithms for the correction of ionospheric effects is still a developing and active topic of remote sensing research. The focus of this thesis is to develop robust and accurate techniques for ionospheric correction of SAR and InSAR data and evaluate the benefit of these techniques for cryospheric research fields such as glacier ice velocity tracking and permafrost deformation monitoring. As both topics are mostly concerned with high latitude areas where the ionosphere is often active and characterized by turbulence, ionospheric correction is particularly relevant for these applications. After an introduction to the research topic in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 will discuss open issues in ionospheric correction including processing issues related to baseline-induced spectrum shifts. The effect of large baseline on split spectrum InSAR technique has been thoroughly evaluated and effective solutions for compensating this effect are proposed. In addition, a multiple sub-band approach is proposed for increasing the algorithm robustness and accuracy. Selected case studies are shown with the purpose of demonstrating the performance of the developed algorithm. In Chapter 3, the developed ionospheric correction technology is applied to optimize InSAR-based ice velocity measurements over the big ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic. Selected case studies are presented to demonstrate and validate the effectiveness of the proposed correction algorithms for ice velocity applications. It is shown that the ionosphere signal can be larger than the actual glacier motion signal in the interior of Greenland and Antarctic, emphasizing the necessity for operational ionospheric correction. The case studies also show that the accuracy of ice velocity estimates was significantly improved once the developed ionospheric correction techniques were integrated into the data processing flow. We demonstrate that the proposed ionosphere correction outperforms the traditionally-used approaches such as the averaging of multi-temporal data and the removal of obviously affected data sets. For instance, it is shown that about one hundred multi-temporal ice velocity estimates would need to be averaged to achieve the estimation accuracy of a single ionosphere-corrected measurement. In Chapter 4, we evaluate the necessity and benefit of ionospheric-correction for L-band InSAR-based permafrost research. In permafrost zones, InSAR-based surface deformation measurements are used together with geophysical models to estimate permafrost parameters such as active layer thickness, soil ice content, and permafrost degradation. Accurate error correction is needed to avoid biases in the estimated parameters and their co-variance properties. Through statistical analyses of a large number of L-band InSAR data sets over Alaska, we show that ionospheric signal distortions, at different levels of magnitude, are present in almost every InSAR dataset acquired in permafrost-affected regions. We analyze the ionospheric correction performance that can be achieved in permafrost zones by statistically analyzing correction results for large number of InSAR data. We also investigate the impact of ionospheric correction on the performance of the two main InSAR approaches that are used in permafrost zones: (1) we show the importance of ionospheric correction for permafrost deformation estimation from discrete InSAR observations; (2) we demonstrate that ionospheric correction leads to significant improvements in the accuracy of time-series InSAR-based permafrost products. Chapter 5 summarizes the work conducted in this dissertation and proposes next steps in this field of research.
    • Isolation and characterization of Photobacterium phosphoreum from migrating Alaskan salmon

      Budsberg, Kevin Jon (2004-05)
      We isolated luminous bacteria from drying chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, reported by Alaska native fishermen to be 'glowing in the dark.' The salmon were harvested for subsistence use from the Yukon River, Alaska. We identified our luminous bacterial isolates as Photobacterium phosphoreum based on nutritional versatility, and 16S rDNA and luxA gene sequences. P. phosphoreum has previously only been isolated from the marine environment. We tested whether our strains, isolated from fish harvested in freshwater, represent cold-adapted, freshwater-tolerant strains of P. phosphoreum. We also analyzed lux operon composition and organization, and examined the 5' promoter region of the lux operon for shared genes and regulatory elements from strains of P. phosphoreum from Alaska, the Black Sea, Oregon, and from near the Canary Islands. Our results indicate our P. phosphoreum strains have a lower optimal growth temperature than other strains but rapidly lose viability after inoculation into river water. Analyses of the P. phosphoreum lux operon reveal a striking pattern of conservation of composition and organization, and suggest there is conservation in the location of the transcriptional start among geographically separated strains of the same species.
    • Isostasy and origin of the Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge, Arctic Ocean

      Williams, Christina C. (2006-12)
      The Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge is an aseismic ridge bisecting the Amerasian Basin, Arctic Ocean. There is no widely accepted theory of formation. Gravity and bathymetry data from the poorly understood ridge are used to constrain the isostatic compensation of the feature in the frequency domain. Spectral analysis of the cross correlation between gravity and bathymetry along nine data transects collected from submarines and ice breakers over the ridge yield an average crustal thickness estimate of 30 km and density estimate of 2.75 g-cm⁻³. It also suggests compensation by local isostasy, as a near-ridge oceanic plateau or an extended fragment of continental shelf. These parameters are used to constrain gravity models of crustal structure. The analysis suggests no difference between the compensation of the Alpha and Mendeleev Ridges. These results are discussed in the broader tectonic context of the Amerasian Basin, in light of the current controversy over the formation of the ridge.