Skip to content
 Scroll To Top

Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity

2018 Award Recipients and Project Abstracts

Luke Holton, Cultural Trauma and Resiliency in Colonial Displacement of Tlingit Place Names Morgan Johnson, UAS Disc Golf Baskets Relocation for New Course Creation
Richard McGrail, Growing Up in Care Trevor McLean, High Frequency pH Oscillations in the Benthic Region of SE Alaska
Vasily Sekerak, The Salinity Threshold of Market Squid Embryos in Southeast Alaska Breanna Walker, Investigation of Water Quality and Heavy Metals Concentrations in Streambed Sediments in the Vicinity of a Proposed Mining Project
Dawn Wehde, Insight into the Increasing Presence of Market Squid, Doryteuthis opalescens, in Southeast Alaska Through Statolith Microstructure and Physiology Analysis

 

Luke Holton

Cultural Trauma and Resiliency in Colonial Displacement of Tlingit Place Names. Mentor: Dan Monteith and Glenn Wright ($2,500)  This film project will document the history of European colonialization of Southeast Alaska by analyzing the system of place names. I intend to research the stories behind ten traditional Tlingit terrain features and compare the subsequent Anglo names assigned by explorers and the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. This is in hopes of increasing the importance of language revitalization programs and understanding the effect of language and place within cultural identity. Additionally, this documentary will outline the political process in which the U.S. government decides place names and the journey of reinstating ancestral names to Tlingit landmarks. Creating a community understanding of this process will enable Alaska’s native communities to reestablish landmarks of cultural significance.  Return to Top

Morgan Johnson

UAS Disc Golf Baskets Relocation for New Course Creation. Mentor: Brian Blitz and Sanjay Pyare ($2,500). My project would be relocating the existing disc golf baskets on the UAS campus to the woods behind John Pugh Hall (JPH) to build a functional 9 hole course, complete with a tee boxes to every relocated baskets, trashcans, benches, signs and trails throughout the course. I would use mobile GIS to plot points of the baskets, tee boxes, trails and trashcans thus creating a map overview of the course that could be displayed at the beginning of the course. The final product would be a functioning disc golf course people could use featuring a map overview at the beginning of the course displaying hole information and layout.  Return to Top

Richard McGrail

Growing Up in Care. Mentor: Forest Wagner ($1,747). TDrug addiction rates have increased in Alaska since 2010, and as a result, more children have been entering foster care. Some will spend their entire childhoods living “in care”—either in group homes, in foster homes, or with relatives. This project aims to document their experiences through film. It will video record the oral histories of young adult residents of S.E. Alaska who grew up in foster care. It will ask them about the challenges they faced and how those challenges continue to affect their daily lives. It will also explore the relationships between drug abuse, domestic violence, and the legacy of colonialism in the region. The film will be shown at UAS and will be freely available online.   Return to Top

Trevor McLean

High Frequency pH Oscillations in the Benthic Region of SE Alaska. Mentor: Mike Stekoll ($2,350).  My project analyzes deployments of a Seabird Sea pHOx CTD (Sea pHOx) in Auke Bay. To acquire data, the instrument needs to be deployed in the field. I’m requesting funds to purchase needed research equipment to deploy the Sea pHOxReturn to Top

Vasily Sekerak

The Salinity Threshold of Market Squid Embryos in Southeast Alaska. Mentor: Mike Navarro ($1,201). My research project is to predict geographical limits of market squid spawning by testing the salinity thresholds of their embryos. Under Dr. Mike Navarro’s mentorship I will simulate sea conditions of the inner passage of southeast Alaska. This is a significant topic because market squid, who normally only range into Alaskan water temporarily under certain warm conditions, have been observed in increasing numbers in recent years. The questions I seek to answer are where can they spawn and what does this mean for ocean and fisheries health? By collecting data on how squid embryos react to changes in their environment I will be able to contribute new information to Alaskan marine biology and fisheries.  Attaining this award would directly help me in my research efforts by providing me funds to purchase necessary materials for lab use. Return to Top

Breanna Walker

Investigation of Water Quality and Heavy Metals Concentrations in Streambed Sediments in the Vicinity of a Proposed Mining Project.. Mentor: Sonia Nagorski ($2,500).  This project will collect samples of streambed sediments in Glacier Creek, which is part of the Chilkat River Watershed, to obtain baseline heavy metal concentrations. A mining exploration project is underway in Glacier Creek Watershed, exploring a sulfide deposit, which if developed, would likely generate acid rock drainage (ARD). The nearby towns, Klukwan, a Tlingit Village, and Haines, Alaska, rely on the Chilkat River for the salmon fishery it supports, both commercial and subsistence. ARD and trace metals pose a high risk to salmon and water quality. It is critical to assess heavy metals before further mining activities occur. The data collected in this project will be used to assess the concentration of heavy metals in streambed sediments in Glacier Creek, it will also serve as a benchmark indicator for future water quality assessments. Return to Top

Dawn Wehde

Insight into the Increasing Presence of Market Squid, Doryteuthis opalescens, in Southeast Alaska through Statolith Microstructure and Physiology Analysis. Mentor: Mike Navarro ($240). Market squid, Doryteuthis opalescens, have been observed continuously in Southeast Alaska since 2015. Prior, only transient populations were documented. To better understand their persistence, in this ongoing pilot study squid were collected from the 2017 Alaska Fisheries Science Center Ecosystem Monitoring and Assessment GOA benthic trawl survey on 5, and 10-11 July 2017 and opportunistically collected from Sitka Sound on 8 May 2017. Analysis of samples will include mantle length, gonadosomatic index, and statolith microstructure to estimate the sexual maturity, hatch time, age, and growth rate of the squid. In California, market squid tend to feed offshore and migrate inshore to reproduce. Because of this, we anticipate that the squid collected offshore will be younger and further from sexual maturity than those caught inshore at Sitka Sound. Our findings will aid in the understanding of the market squid population in Southeast Alaska.   Return to Top