University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
Recent publications
For more than 50 years, government programmes in the USA have been in place to help those in need have consistent access to food and education. However, questions have surfaced regarding whether or not these support impact traditional ways, such as cultural activities, food preferences, and overall health, particularly for Indigenous populations. In this paper, we share insights voiced by Alaska Native Elders in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region of Alaska and their perceptions of regulations, assistance, and the impact government assistance programmes have had on their culture. Elders raised concerns so that those administering these programmes will consider how best to meet food security and education needs without interfering with Indigenous cultural practices and traditional lifestyle.
Power ultrasonic assisted reservoir modification is a promising technique for enhanced coalbed methane recovery. The current studies confirm the coal structural alteration and the improvement of gas deliverability in coal pores with ultrasound stimulation. However, the in-site performance of ultrasound-assisted CBM production has not yet been revealed. In the current study, the in-situ antireflection test was conducted with high power ultrasound ∼18 kW in underground coal seam, and the antireflection performance was evaluated by measuring the borehole drainage gas data in the field test zone. The result shows, within 40 days’ drainage after ultrasonic antireflection in coal seam, the average gas concentration of single borehole in the experimental group increased by 81.4% ∼ 227.3% than that in control group, the average borehole gas flowrate has a 20% ∼106% improvement over the control group, and the pure methane production in single borehole increased by about 3.83 times. The ultrasonic anti-reflection influence radius exceeds 8 m in the coalseam with water injection in this study, and the increment of methane production in single borehole decreases with the distance increase from the ultrasound source, which is due to the energy attenuation of ultrasound propagation in the porous coalseam. This study preliminarily demonstrates the on-site implementability and effectiveness of power ultrasound in enhancing coalbed methane recovery.
Examining relationships between formal and informal institutions for governing small-scale fisheries may reveal pathways for effectively engaging resource users in management. This study explored formal and informal institutions for management of rockfish (Sebastes spp.) fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska. Forty-three experts (fishers and agency staff) were interviewed about their engagement with rockfish management. We analyzed interactions and gaps between formal and informal management institutions using the Inter-Institutional Gap (IIG) framework. Participation in the State of Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) process, a formal management institution, was viewed by some experts as more effective for enacting regulatory change, compared to informal institutions. However, fishers who were deterred from engaging with the BOF by complex bureaucratic processes tended to favor informal interactions with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) through visits to local offices and communication with port samplers. Formal institutional gaps identified by experts included transparency issues regarding regulatory decisions and/or interpretation, underrepresentation of recreational and subsistence harvesters in the BOF process, complexity of regulations, and bureaucratic barriers to coordination between the Sport and Commercial divisions of ADF&G. Informal institutions of self-governance, such as stewardship actions taken by fishers to reduce bycatch and minimize harm to incidentally caught fish, were identified by fishers and agency staff as important to rockfish fishery sustainability. Communication gaps in rockfish management may also be addressed by strengthening informal institutions that build trust and relationships between fishers and agency staff, such as collaborative research to coproduce knowledge about rockfish ecology.
The transition from fossil-fuel based power generation to renewable energy is well underway; however, this transition is highly uneven and not all regions and communities are engaging equally. The circumpolar north is one region where disparities in the uptake of community renewable energy (CRE) projects is evident. Many Northern, remote communities are not connected to national electricity grids and as a result, rely heavily on imported and expensive fuels for power generation. However, within this context, there are places in the US state of Alaska that have forged a leading path toward CRE. This paper investigates why some remote communities develop renewable energy projects while others do not. Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), we compare 24 remote communities in Alaska to identify the combination of explanatory factors that can lead to CRE. We first identified 37 potential conditions, from which we drew three primary explanatory factors: community capacity, electricity subsidies, and pooled resources. Results show the absence of large electricity subsidies is a necessary condition to the development of CRE. It also shows that the presence of subsidies (above a state-wide program) stymies transitions. We also found that particular combinations of the absence of large subsidies, community capacity, and working collaboratively to pool resources across communities, were found to be key explanatory variables in the establishment of CRE. These findings may have implications for other communities both in the Circumpolar North and elsewhere, clarifying the conditions that support CRE development.
IN-SIMS (in-situ secondary ionization mass spectrometry) micro-zircon geochronology resolves the age of the Chipman and Kazan mafic dike swarms exposed along the central segment of the Snowbird Tectonic Zone (STZ), the geophysically defined feature separating the Rae and Hearne subprovinces of the western Churchill Province. Long-considered syn-kinematic with respect to Paleoproterozoic transpressional deformation, the primitive composition of the STZ Large Igneous Province (LIP) and granulite grade metamorphic overprint has made establishing crystallization ages difficult. In-situ U-Pb isotopic analysis of micro-zircon yielded scattered and discordant results, except for four zircon crystals, which yielded a weighted mean of 2113 Ma +/- 22 (n = 8 analyses; MSWD: 0.46). This age is similar to other mafic complexes in the western Churchill Province including the Griffin Gabbro sills interpreted to have formed during opening of the Manikewan Ocean. Nd isotopic analyses of Kazan dikes paired with geochemical data suggest that the Chipman and Kazan dikes were asthenospherically-derived but contaminated by a metasomatized lithospheric root. At ca. 2.1 Ga, the STZ was the site of intracratonic extension within a coherent Rae-Hearne crustal block (Snowbird LIP Phase I). Existing data suggests that subsequent tectonism led to focused dextral transpression along the trace of the dike swarm and attests to a long-lived interplay of preexisting weaknesses and deformation.
The regulation of seasonality has been an area of interest for decades, yet global climate change has created extra urgency in the quest to understand how sensory circuits and neuroendocrine control systems interact to generate flexibility in biological timekeeping. The capacity of temperature to alter endogenous or photoperiod-regulated neuroendocrine mechanisms driving seasonality, either as a direct cue or through temperature-dependent effects on energy and metabolism, is at the heart of this phenological flexibility. However, until relatively recently, little research had been done on the integration of temperature information in canonical seasonal neuroendocrine pathways, particularly in vertebrates. We review recent advances from research in vertebrates that deepens our understanding of how temperature cues are perceived and integrated into seasonal hypothalamic thyroid hormone (TH) signaling, which is a critical regulator of downstream seasonal phenotypic changes such as those regulated by the BPG (brain-pituitary-gonadal) axis. Temperature perception occurs through cutaneous transient receptor potential (TRP) neurons, though sensitivity of these neurons varies markedly across taxa. Although photoperiod is the dominant cue used to trigger seasonal physiology or entrain circannual clocks, across birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians, seasonality appears to be temperature sensitive and in at least some cases this appears to be related to phylogenetically conserved TH signaling in the hypothalamus. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms through which temperature modulates seasonal neuroendocrine pathways remains poorly understood.
Dayside transients, such as hot flow anomalies, foreshock bubbles, magnetosheath jets, flux transfer events, and surface waves, are frequently observed upstream from the bow shock, in the magnetosheath, and at the magnetopause. They play a significant role in the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. Foreshock transient phenomena, associated with variations in the solar wind dynamic pressure, deform the magnetopause, and in turn generates field-aligned currents (FACs) connected to the auroral ionosphere. Solar wind dynamic pressure variations and transient phenomena at the dayside magnetopause drive magnetospheric ultra low frequency (ULF) waves, which can play an important role in the dynamics of Earth’s radiation belts. These transient phenomena and their geoeffects have been investigated using coordinated in-situ spacecraft observations, spacecraft-borne imagers, ground-based observations, and numerical simulations. Cluster, THEMIS, Geotail, and MMS multi-mission observations allow us to track the motion and time evolution of transient phenomena at different spatial and temporal scales in detail, whereas ground-based experiments can observe the ionospheric projections of transient magnetopause phenomena such as waves on the magnetopause driven by hot flow anomalies or flux transfer events produced by bursty reconnection across their full longitudinal and latitudinal extent. Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), hybrid, and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations are powerful tools to simulate the dayside transient phenomena. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the present understanding of dayside transient phenomena at Earth and other planets, their geoeffects, and outstanding questions.
Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are well-documented for their influence on health and weight loss. Recent studies indicate omega 3 PUFAs may exert a negative impact on cellular stress and physiology in some hibernators. We asked if physiological stress indicators, lipid peroxidation and mass gain in Arctic Ground Squirrels (AGS) were negatively influenced by naturally occurring dietary omega 3 PUFA levels compared to omega 3 PUFA levels found in common laboratory diets. We found plasma fatty acid profiles of free-ranging AGS to be high in omega 3 PUFAs with balanced omega 6:3 ratios, while standard laboratory diets and plasma of captive AGS are high in omega 6 and low in omega 3 PUFAs with higher omega 6:3 ratios. Subsequently, we designed a diet to mimick free-range AGS omega 6:3 ratios in captive AGS. Groups of wild-caught juvenile AGS were either fed: (1) Mazuri Rodent Chow (Standard Rodent chow, 4.95 omega 6:3 ratio), or (2) balanced omega 6:3 chow (Balanced Diet, 1.38 omega 6:3). AGS fed the Balanced Diet had plasma omega 6:3 ratios that mimicked plasma profiles of wild AGS. Balanced Diet increased female body mass before hibernation, but did not influence levels of cortisol in plasma or levels of the lipid peroxidation product 4-HNE in brown adipose tissue. Overall, as the mass gain is critical during pre-hibernation for obligate hibernators, the results show that mimicking a fatty acid profile of wild AGS facilitates sex-dependent mass accumulation without increasing stress indicators.
Indigenous communities at the front lines of climate change and biodiversity loss are increasingly shaping the conservation of lands, waters, and species. The Arctic is a hotbed for emerging local, national, and international conservation efforts, and researchers, managers, and communities alike will benefit from a framework that improves approaches to Indigenous partnerships. Co‐productive conservation is a framework that encompasses both a co‐production of knowledge and a co‐production of public services to pursue ethically‐conscious, culturally‐relevant, and fully knowledge‐based approaches to biodiversity concerns. Co‐productive conservation recognizes that conservation can be practiced in a way that embodies Indigenous perspectives, knowledge, rights, priorities, and livelihoods. Six iterative and reflexive co‐production processes, including co‐planning, co‐prioritizing, co‐learning, co‐managing, co‐delivering, and co‐assessing, focus on the human dimensions that allow research, management, and conservation to affect change. By opening discussions on how to structure conservation efforts in partnership with Indigenous communities, we can move away from narratives that perceive Indigenous participation as an obligation or part of an ethical narrative, and instead embrace a process that broadens the evidence base and situates conservation efforts within Indigenous contexts. The Arctic is the most rapidly warming environment in the world (Post et al. 2019), and its Indigenous peoples are on the front lines in a time of unprecedented change. Many Indigenous communities are apt to address issues of climate change such as coastal erosion, ocean acidification, pollution, fluctuating and unpredictable wildlife populations, and biodiversity loss. The conservation of lands, waters, and species is quickly gaining traction in the Arctic as a tool for addressing these issues, but current efforts require a new framework as we advance more intentional Indigenous partnerships for the benefit of achieving both local and global conservation targets and goals. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Resilience of plant communities to disturbance is supported by multiple mechanisms, including ecological legacies affecting propagule availability, species’ environmental tolerances, and biotic interactions. Understanding the relative importance of these mechanisms for plant community resilience supports predictions of where and how resilience will be altered with disturbance. We tested mechanisms underlying resilience of forests dominated by black spruce (Picea mariana) to fire disturbance across a heterogeneous forest landscape in the Northwest Territories, Canada. We combined surveys of naturally regenerating seedlings at 219 burned plots with experimental manipulations of ecological legacies via seed addition of four tree species and vertebrate exclosures to limit granivory and herbivory at 30 plots varying in moisture and fire severity. Black spruce recovery was greatest where it dominated pre-fire, at wet sites with deep residual soil organic layers, and fire conditions of low soil or canopy combustion and longer return intervals. Experimental addition of seed indicated all species were seed-limited, emphasizing the importance of propagule legacies. Black spruce and birch (Betula papyrifera) recruitment were enhanced with vertebrate exclusion. Our combination of observational and experimental studies demonstrates black spruce is vulnerable to effects of increased fire activity that erode ecological legacies. Moreover, black spruce relies on wet areas with deep soil organic layers where other species are less competitive. However, other species can colonize these areas if enough seed is available or soil moisture is altered by climate change. Testing mechanisms underlying species’ resilience to disturbance aids predictions of where vegetation will transform with effects of climate change.
Tundra shrubs reflect climate sensitivities in their growth-ring widths, yet tissue-specific shrub chronologies are poorly studied. Further, the relative importance of regional climate patterns that exert mesoscale precipitation and temperature influences on tundra shrub growth has been explored in only a few Arctic locations. Here, we investigate Betula nana growth-ring chronologies from adjacent dry heath and moist tussock tundra habitats in arctic Alaska in relation to local and regional climate. Mean shrub and five tissue-specific ring width chronologies were analyzed using serial sectioning of above- and below-ground shrub organs, resulting in 30 shrubs per site with 161 and 104 cross sections from dry and moist tundra, respectively. Betula nana growth-ring widths in both habitats were primarily related to June air temperature (1989–2014). The strongest relationships with air temperature were found for ‘Branch2’ chronologies (dry site: r = 0.78, June 16, DOY = 167; moist site: r = 0.75, June 9, DOY = 160). Additionally, below-ground chronologies (‘Root’ and ‘Root2’) from the moist site were positively correlated with daily mean air temperatures in the previous late-June (‘Root2’ chronology: r = 0.57, pDOY = 173). Most tissue-specific chronologies exhibited the strongest correlations with daily mean air temperature during the period between 8 and 20 June. Structural equation modeling indicated that shrub growth is indirectly linked to regional Arctic and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (AO and PDO) climate indices through their relation to summer sea ice extent and air temperature. Strong dependence of Betula nana growth on early growing season temperature indicates a highly coordinated allocation of resources to tissue growth, which might increase its competitive advantage over other shrub species under a rapidly changing Arctic climate.
The well-being of Indigenous communities in Alaska is inextricably linked to traditional harvest practices (THPs) such as hunting, fishing, and gathering local wild foods. Regional trends in the health of THPs have not been quantitatively evaluated in Alaska. Therefore, we surveyed Indigenous residents in the Western Coastal (n = 623) and Interior (n = 437) Regions of Alaska to estimate perceptions of the extent and cause of change in the health of THPs over the last ten years. We found that THPs improved in Western Coastal and declined in Interior Alaska. The best predictors of improvement or decline in the health of THPs were 1) change in the ability to share the harvest, 2) change in participation in hunting and fishing activities, and 3) extent of challenges caused by climate change. The odds of a decline in the health of THPs were 8 to 13 times higher for households that reported a decrease in sharing of traditional foods.
Rabies is a vaccine-preventable fatal viral disease that is zoonotic in nature. In this article, we provide a justification why the agreement of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) on The Global Strategic Plan to End Human Deaths from Dog-mediated Rabies by 2030 should also include a more holistic approach and ecologic views.
With the rapid development of urbanization, the habitat quality (HQ) in urban areas has been eroded. This phenomenon is destroying the balance of ecosystems, triggering the reduction of biodiversity and the decay of ecosystem service functions. The study of the relationship between urbanization and HQ in Zhengzhou City is beneficial for the reference of sustainable urban ecological planning and management. Based on landscape classification data and socioeconomic data for three years, this study analyzes the spatial correlations between socioeconomic and landscape pattern factors and HQ, compares the dynamic changes in the explanatory power of different factors, and explores the joint effects between multiple factors. The results show that: (1) The overall value of HQ index in Zhengzhou City decreased by .10 during 2000–2020, mainly occurring in suburban areas, with a small amount of HQ improvement occurring in the core areas of ecological protection, such as mountains and river channels. (2) The spatial autocorrelation of all influencing factors with HQ increased during this period, while the negative impact from socio-economic sources was stronger than the positive impact from landscape patterns. (3) Intensive human activities lead to a single habitat type, which reduces HQ; rich landscape types and complex landscape composition can enhance HQ. Improving the connectivity of blue-green landscapes helps to attenuate the negative effects of urbanization on HQ. (4) Changes of HQ in the study area and the development of multi-factor effects on HQ are driven by the Zhengzhou Metropolitan Area Plan. Urban development policies and management can build idyllic complexes at the edge of urban development, preserving pristine blue-green patches to avoid their homogenized distribution and thus slowing the decline of HQ. The above results provide new ideas for the development of sustainable urban ecology.
Since the last Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) effort to review biological effects of mercury (Hg) on Arctic biota in 2011 and 2018, there has been a considerable number of new Arctic bird studies. This review article provides contemporary Hg exposure and potential health risk for 36 Arctic seabird and shorebird species, representing a larger portion of the Arctic than during previous AMAP assessments now also including parts of the Russian Arctic. To assess risk to birds, we used Hg toxicity benchmarks established for blood and converted to egg, liver, and feather tissues. Several Arctic seabird populations showed Hg concentrations that exceeded toxicity benchmarks, with 50 % of individual birds exceeding the "no adverse health effect" level. In particular, 5 % of all studied birds were considered to be at moderate or higher risk to Hg toxicity. However, most seabirds (95 %) were generally at lower risk to Hg toxicity. The highest Hg contamination was observed in seabirds breeding in the western Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Most Arctic shorebirds exhibited low Hg concentrations, with approximately 45 % of individuals categorized at no risk, 2.5 % at high risk category, and no individual at severe risk. Although the majority Arctic-breeding seabirds and shorebirds appeared at lower risk to Hg toxicity, recent studies have reported deleterious effects of Hg on some pituitary hormones, genotoxicity, and reproductive performance. Adult survival appeared unaffected by Hg exposure, although long-term banding studies incorporating Hg are still limited. Although Hg contamination across the Arctic is considered low for most bird species, Hg in combination with other stressors, including other contaminants, diseases, parasites, and climate change, may still cause adverse effects. Future investigations on the global impact of Hg on Arctic birds should be conducted within a multi-stressor framework. This information helps to address Article 22 (Effectiveness Evaluation) of the Minamata Convention on Mercury as a global pollutant.
The Minimet is a Lagrangian surface drifter measuring near-surface winds in situ. Ten Minimets were deployed in the Iceland Basin over the course of two field seasons in 2018 and 2019. We compared Minimet wind measurements to coincident ship winds from the R/V Armstrong meteorology package and to hourly ERA5 reanalysis winds, and found that the Minimets accurately captured wind variability across a variety of timescales. Comparisons between the ship, Minimets and ERA5 winds point to significant discrepancies between the in situ wind measurements and ERA5, with the most reasonable explanation being related to spatial offsets of small-scale storm structures in the reanalysis model. After a general assessment of the Minimet performance we compare estimates of wind power input in the near-inertial band using the Minimet winds and their measured drift to that using ERA5 winds and the Minimet drift. Minimet-derived near-inertial wind power estimates exceed those from Minimet drift combined with ERA5 winds by about 42%. The results highlight the importance of accurately capturing small scale, high frequency wind events and suggest that in situ Minimet measurements are beneficial for accurately quantifying near-inertial wind work on the ocean.
The lack of literature on Indigenous conceptions of health and the social determinants of health (SDH) for US Indigenous communities limits available information for Indigenous nations as they set policy and allocate resources to improve the health of their citizens. In 2015, eight scholars from tribal communities and mainstream educational institutions convened to examine: the limitations of applying the World Health Organization’s (WHO) SDH framework in Indigenous communities; Indigenizing the WHO SDH framework; and Indigenous conceptions of a healthy community. Participants critiqued the assumptions within the WHO SDH framework that did not cohere with Indigenous knowledges and epistemologies and created a schematic for conceptualizing health and categorizing its determinants. As Indigenous nations pursue a policy role in health and seek to improve the health and wellness of their nations’ citizens, definitions of Indigenous health and well-being should be community-driven and Indigenous-nation based. Policies and practices for Indigenous nations and Indigenous communities should reflect and arise from sovereignty and a comprehensive understanding of the nations and communities’ conceptions of health and its determinants beyond the SDH.
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2,286 members
Randi Jandt
  • International Arctic Research Center
Wilford Frank Weeks
  • Geophysical Institute
Anne M. Jensen
  • Department of Anthropology
Dirk Lummerzheim
  • Geophysical Institute
Lawrence Duffy
  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Information
Address
1731 South Chandalar Drive, 99775, Fairbanks, Alaska, United States
Head of institution
Chancellor Dan White; Vice Chancellor for Research Larry Hinzman
Website
http://www.uaf.edu/