Skip to content
 Scroll To Top

Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity

2015 Award Recipients and Project Abstracts

Esther Bower, Southeast Alaska Spot Prawn Sex Ratio Distribution and Habitat Preferences Joe Lewis, Workshop on Professional Artistry and Style at NCECA
Henry Masters, Stream and Lake Environmental Effects on Morphology in an Introduced Population of Brook Trout (Salvelinas fontinalis) Anneliese Moll, Do sculpin (Cottus sp.) exhibit torpor to offset low food periods?
Christy Perrrin, The Role of Backlash in Selecting Non-normative Birth Methods Jamie Pierce, Integrating alpine meteorological data to run physically based computer model SNOWPACK for operational snow and avalanche forecasting
Melissa Rhodes-Reese, Glacier Fed: Investigating marine iron within Berners Bay Adam Wood, My Tribe from North Dakota: Stories of Chippewa


Esther Bower

Southeast Alaska Spot Prawn Sex Ratio Distribution and Habitat Preferences. Mentor: Sherry Tamone ($1,552)   Spot prawns (Pandalus platyceros) are a commercial commodity in Southeast Alaska. They are an important industry and essential to marine ecosystems. There has been a significant decline in the numbers of wild shrimp found around the Juneau area, leading to concerns from fisherman and scientists. This project will determine a frequency distribution for spot shrimp size in different depth and substrate conditions in Chatham straight and Lynn Canal. This project aims to gain information about the benthic preferences between the different sexes of spot shrimp. This study will use technology and netted pots to observe and sample bottom fauna and gain a better understanding of the role spot shrimp have in the marine environment. Information gained from this study may help explain the patterns of decline we are noticing in the Southeast Alaska spot prawn populations. Return to Top

Joe Lewis

Workshop on Professional Artistry and Style at NCECA. Mentor: Jeremy Kane ($2,500)  Attending the University of Alaska Southeast has expanded my view on the ceramic arts. The project will be to travel to the 2015 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) conference to bring back workshop materials for the UAS ceramics students, as well as select local artists. Being secluded in Southeast Alaska, not many art students get the opportunity to travel clear across the country to expand their knowledge of all that goes on with NCECA. The objective of this project will be to travel to Providence, RI to be involved in workshops and lectures that allow me to gain knowledge that will be transferable to the students at UAS and the Juneau community. Upon returning, I will present this material to my fellow students in the form of a workshop, tailored around information gained at NCECA. Return to Top

Henry Masters

Stream and Lake Environmental Effects on Morphology in an Introduced Population of Brook Trout (Salvelinas fontinalis); Mentor: Carolyn Bergstrom ($1,870)   Biodiversity of wild populations contributes to the stable functioning of an ecosystem, yet we still do not fully understand how environmental variation affects the origins of biodiversity via natural selection. Recently introduced populations into novel but pristine environments provide an ideal case study to investigate how rapid evolution in variable habitats occurs. This project will study the brook trout (Salvelinas fontinalis) population that was planted within the Salmon Creek Reservoir in Juneau, Alaska in the early 19th century. The purpose of this project is to achieve an understanding of how environment and morphology of brook trout interact, and whether this new habitat is leading to new phenotypes within this previously unstudied population of brook trout. Studies of other native fish species show that divergence in body shape between stream and lake populations can occur over long periods of time, typically resulting in more streamlined body shapes in stream populations. Return to Top

Anneliese Moll

Do sculpin (Cottus sp.) exhibit torpor to offset low food periods? Mentor:Keith Cox ($1,962)   Many organisms struggle during periods of low food availability. In order to survive they down regulate their metabolic rate and go into a hibernation state. However, for non-mammals this state is referred to as torpor. The objective of this project is to conduct record of the metabolic rate of sculpin (Cottus sp.) experiencing torpor within a lab setting. This project is important as little work has been done in this field and may provide clues into over winter survival, compensatory growth, and pulsed feeding regimes. Return to Top

Christy Perrin

Laxsgiik; The Role of Backlash in Selecting Non-normative Birth Methods. Mentor: Amanda Sesko ($375)  This research explores the role of backlash, the phenomenon of experiencing negative social and economic consequences by deviating from normative prescriptive and proscriptive rules, when selecting non-normative birth methods. 500 participants from Amazon’s Mturk will read a scenario in which a woman has chosen to give birth in either a birth center, at home, or in the hospital. We predict a main effect for birthing method, such that women choosing to participate in non-normative births (home birth or birth center) will receive more backlash and be rated with less competence, but more warmth, than a woman who participates in normative births (hospital birth). In addition, there will be a main effect for relationship status, such that women who are single will receive more backlash, and be rated as more warm but less competent, than a woman who is married or when no information is given. Return to Top

Jamie Pierce

Integrating alpine meteorological data to run physically based computer model SNOWPACK for operational snow and avalanche forecasting. Mentor: Eran Hood ($2,500)  The goal of my research is to develop a framework for monitoring snowpack stability around Juneau in real-time. To do this, I will integrate and correlate three sources of data. The physically based open source model developed through the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF SNOWPACK will be used for the purpose of tracking weak layer development in the snowpack around Juneau. The model will run using high alpine meteorological data (real-time) from stations that I have installed. The data from the SNOWPACK model will be correlated with both manual snowpack observations and a data set from the newly developed automated pressure-sensing electronic probe (AVATECH snow pen), for evaluating how well the model is predicting the development of weak layers in the snowpack. Return to Top

Melissa Rhodes-Reese

Glacier Fed: Investigating marine iron within Berners Bay. Mentor: Lisa Hoferkamp ($2,500)  Marine iron is generally considered a limiting nutrient, especially within the Gulf of Alaska. While it is known that glaciers in Southeast Alaska contribute essential nutrients to the marine environment, there is little information regarding fluxes and bioavailability of iron transported from glacial rivers to coastal waters in the region. Berners Bay, north of Juneau, is a tidal estuary that is substantially influenced by three converging glacial rivers. The goal of this research is to gain an understanding of total dissolved iron within Berners Bay and ascertain a potential gradient in iron concentrations from the estuary into Lynn Canal while evaluating other oceanographic parameters such as chlorophyll-α. Water samples will be collected during the summer of 2015 at eight stations along two separate transects throughout Berners Bay. Iron concentrations will be determined at the University of Alaska Southeast using Chelex-100 resin and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. This study has the potential to determine baseline marine nutrient values and support future nutrient work within these dynamic glacial systems. Return to Top

Adam Wood

My Tribe from North Dakota: Stories of Chippewa. Mentor: Benjamin Huff ($2,285)  My name is Adam Wood. I am a full time student at University of Alaska Southeast Juneau campus. I am in the BLA degree program studying communication, journalism and art. My proposed project will be researched through academic on campus research as well as in the field research and time spent with my subjects, highlighting studies of communication, and photojournalism. I will be traveling to North Dakota to explore the culture of my ancestors, the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribe. This study will explore my curiosity toward the identity of the American Indian through photojournalism. I will provide a photography documentary and an essay on my finding. My findings will be presented at the University of Alaska Southeast Sound and Motion lecture series. Photography instructor, Ben Huff will be participating in this project and final presentation as my mentor. Return to Top