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Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity

2014 Award Recipients and Project Abstracts

Carrie Amott, Taku Glacier Dynamics Honalee Elkan, Transgenerational transfer of PBDEs in Staghorn Sculpin and its effects on bioaccumulation
Kirk Elmore, Effects of isostatic rebound on post glacier landscapes along the Herbert Glacier Trail Heather Evoy, Shore Pine cone and seed dispersal
Meghan Garrison, The science of Auke Bay in clay Clayton Hamilton, Situk River - Chinook Spawn Map
Nicole Jacobs and Kaylie Simpson, Depiction of fractals through art Emily King, Flying University Literary Journal: a creative collaboration between the University of Alaska Southeast and Lemon Creek Correctional Center
Irene Muller, Ethnomusicology of Appalachia Melissa Rhodes-Reese, Investigating the relationship between pH and dissolved iron in Berner's Bay, Alaska
Izzy Rowland, Workplace discrimination against individuals with skin based stigmas: the role of stigma origin Andrew Thomason, Ethnoichthyology of Southeast Alaska
Ashley Troupin, Prototypicality of race and gender: the role of attractiveness on ratings of competence in the workplace


Carrie Amott

Taku Glacier Dynamics. Mentor: Jason Amundson

My goal is to aid Dr. Jason Amundson in combining geomorphic concepts and glaciology through a study of the overdeepened bed features in the Taku Glacier system.  We will obtain data that can be applied toward the purpose of gaining more comprehensive knowledge about glacial advance.  With this new information, we hope to invoke a better understanding of the feedback between erosion, landscape formation, and the fundamentals of ice in motion.

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Honalee Elkan

Transgenerational transfer of PBDEs in Staghorn Sculpin and its effects on bioaccumulation. Mentor: Lisa Hoferkamp

In my project I have postulated that organic halogen contamination, as modeled by polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants, would be distributed differently between the flesh, organs and eggs of a female fish.  It is the partitioning capacity of halogenated organics that makes them of such interest and concern to us as they bioaccumulate unevenly in the body, particularly in the lipids and fats, such as egg yolks.  Because PBDEs are known to persist for a very long time, it has lead me to speculate that levels are higher than current calculations for the body burdens that the following generations of fish start out with, leading to a lower viability/survival rate of those fry. 

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Kirk Elmore

Effects of isostatic rebound on post glacier landscapes along the Herbert Glacier Trail; Mentor: Brian Buma

This study will examine the possible effects on the forest ecology along the Herbert Glacier Trail, caused by glacier retreat as well as Isostatic uplifting. The data will be collected by taking tree core samples along the trail and analyzing the rings to determine their approximate age. The information collected in this study will also be advantageous for ecosystem services by producing imagery to correlate with GPS markings of each sample. 

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Heather Evoy

Shore Pine cone and seed dispersal. Mentor:Brian Buma

With the mentorship of Professor Dr. Brian Buma I have started a research project testing the hypothesis of shore pine cone and seed dispersal via ocean currents to prove areas of coastal refugia are how the species survived periods of glaciation and been migrated northward since.  This is a theory that has not been experimented so there is possibility of publication opportunities for my work. I went out and collected pine cones from areas around Juneau close to shorelines where they could possibly have been transported via the ocean.  I will be running experiments with floating and submerging seeds and cones in salt water bins then placing in petri dishes to germinate in order to test for viability after salt water exposure. I will carefully monitor results and analyze against known ocean currents and distances between islands to theorize the dispersal and migration post glaciations of shore pine in southeast Alaska.

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Meghan Garrison

The science of Auke Bay in clay. Mentor: M. Keith Cox

This project integrates the fields of science and art by translating the research of the University of Alaska Southeast Juneau’s natural sciences department into a tiled ceramic art piece, to be displayed in the Anderson building. Faculty will be interviewed and asked to describe what interesting aspect of their research is connected to the Auke Bay ecosystem, and each interview will be symbolized in a stylized ceramic tile. A line drawing of Auke Lake, Auke Creek, and Auke Bay will be incorporated throughout multiple tiles, therefore allowing the viewer to note the entire Auke Bay ecosystem if observing the whole piece. Short descriptions of each faculty member’s research will be displayed next to the tiles, with a key denoting which tile matches which research theme.

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Clayton Hamilton

Situk River, Chinook Spawn Map. Mentor: Reed Brewer

I will be surveying the Situk River to map the range and distribution of Chinook redds. This information will provide a basis for potential in-river management practices and will serve as a spring board for future work with the interactions of salmon species in the freshwater environment. these survey efforts will result in a publicly available map of the drainage.

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Nicole Jacobs and Kaylie Simpson

Depiction of fractals through art. Mentor: Andrzej Piotrowski

The intention of this project is to generate an appreciation for mathematics, and its applications in disciplines outside of science, at UAS. The project will develop and demonstrate cross-disciplinary applications of mathematics in graphic design and printmaking. Through a presentation of the beauty of fractals and the process behind their generation, the value and results of collaboration between art and mathematics will be exhibited. In addition, the project is expected to enrich the academic experience of both participants and fellow students by gaining and sharing a better understanding of fractal composition, fractal generating software, and the process of silk screening.

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Emily King

Flying University Literary Journal: a creative collaboration between the University of Alaska Southeast and Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Mentor: Sol Neely

Our objective is to create a literary journal composed of poetry, short stories, drawings, and photography from Lemon Creek Correctional Facility inmates involved in the Flying University or UAS/Lemon Creek educational collaboration program. We will create and produce a professionally made journal that we can distribute to UAS students, staff, inmates and staff at Lemon Creek Correctional Facility, as well as other community members.

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Irene Muller

Ethnomusicology of Appalachia. Mentor: Dan Monteith

My current research is centered on a collection of reel-to-reel recordings made in Virginia between 1962 and 1965. I'm requesting University support to travel to North Carolina and Virginia, where the tapes were made and many of their makers and participants still reside, to do in situ research and conduct ethnographic interviews.  At the end of my research, I will have produced a collection of digital recordings, a collection of re-conditioned reel-to-reel tapes containing the original audio, a published paper and a catalogue of contextual information for the performances and musicians on each recording.  The information and anecdotes to be published in the catalogue and research paper are what I hope to obtain by conducting interviews and research in Appalachia, where the tapes originated and the musical legacy of the people involved in their making continues today.

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Melissa Rhodes-Reese

Investigating the relationship between pH and dissolved iron in Berner's Bay, Alaska. Mentor: Lisa Hoeferkamp

The continuing acidification of the world’s oceans has many implications, including altering phytoplankton’s ability to uptake iron, which in turn could have a detrimental effect on the organisms dependent on phytoplankton as a food source. From sampling events planned during the summer of 2014, I will establish baseline pH and dissolved iron levels for Berners Bay, and determine if a relationship exists between the two.  

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Izzy Rowland

Workplace discrimination against individuals with skin based stigmas: the role of stigma origin. Mentor: Amanda Sesko

This study explores how the origin of a stigma influences hiring decisions and ratings of competence and warmth. To do so participants will rate an applicant who either has a self-inflicted stigma (a visible neck tattoo), biologically inflicted stigma (a facial birthmark), an ambiguous stigma (a facial burn scar), or no stigma (control).  In general, we predict while there will be a pro-hiring bias toward the non-stigmatized control, the applicant with the ambiguously inflicted facial scar will be more likely to be hired and rated as higher in competence than applicants with either a biologically inflicted stigma or self-inflicted stigma.

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Andrew Thomason

Ethnoichthyology of Southeast Alaska. Mentor: Erica Hill

During 2014, Andrew Thomason will conduct ethnographic work in Southeast Alaska with regards to local ethnoichthyology, a relatively unexplored sub-discipline of ethnobiology. Andrew will explore cultural phenomenon regarding fish by means of conducting ethnographic interviews to illicit knowledge, perspectives, utility, values, and superstitions held by fisherpersons of their fish. As part of this process, Andrew will conduct ethnographies in Sitka, Kodiak and Juneau, Alaska- three locations of major state economic contributions via fishing. Andrew will be photographing his experiences during his ethnographic work and travels, the photographic work of which is intended to be displayed at the UAS Juneau campus.

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Ashley Troupin

Prototypicality of race and gender: the role of attractiveness on ratings of competence in the workplace. Mentor: Amanda Sesko

The goal of this research is to investigate how attractiveness and perceived gender prototypicality differentially affect ratings of competence and hiring decisions in the workplace for Black and White women compared to their Black male and White male counterparts. To do this, I will be running two studies online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. 

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