«The Class of 2015 Doctor of Philosophy Degrees College of Engineering and Mines D r. D o u g l a s J. G o e r i n g, D e a n Katrina Eleanor ...»
The Class of 2015
Doctor of Philosophy Degrees
College of Engineering and Mines
D r. D o u g l a s J. G o e r i n g, D e a n
Katrina Eleanor Bennett **
Ph.D. Hydrology: Interdisciplinary Program
M.S., University of Victoria, 2006; B.S., University of Victoria, 2000.
Thesis: Changes in Extreme Hydroclimate Events in Interior Alaska Boreal Forest
Extreme hydroclimate events in the boreal forest of Interior Alaska have changed
in the past and are projected to change in the future. Statistical modeling tools indicate shifting hydrologic regimes from snowmelt toward rainfall-dominated systems. These changes will increase risk to society and the boreal forest environment.
Major Professor: Dr. Larry Hinzman Charles Edward Jones Jr. ** Ph.D. Hydrology: Interdisciplinary Program M.S., Northern Arizona University, 2003; B.S., Northern Arizona University, 1998;
A.S., Sauk Valley Community College, 1993.
Thesis: The Integrated Hydrologic and Societal Impacts of a Warming Climate in Interior Alaska Hydrological changes in Alaska associated with climate were examined using interdisciplinary methods. Local knowledge and field measurements informed modeling and remote sensing studies, which showed that summer flooding and winter ice conditions are becoming less predictable. These environmental changes are likely to further challenge the adaptive capacity of northern peoples.
Major Professors: Dr. Knut Kielland and Dr. Larry Hinzman 8 University of Alaska Fairbanks Lin Li Ph.D. Engineering: Civil Engineering M.S., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2010; B.E., Chang’an University, 2004.
Thesis: Evaluate Unsaturated Soil Behavior Using Constant Water Content Triaxial Tests A new triaxial test system was developed to investigate unsaturated soil behaviors through constant water content triaxial tests. In this system, a new type of highsuction tensiometer and a photogrammetry-based method were developed to monitor unsaturated soil suction and volume changes during undrained testing.
Major Professor: Dr. Xiong Zhang Vaibhav Kumar Raj Ph.D. Engineering: Mining Engineering M.S., Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, 2010; B.S.E., B.I.T. Sindri Dhanbad, 2006.
Thesis: Three Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics Models of Pollutant Transport in a Deep Open Pit Mine under Arctic Air Inversion and Mitigation Measures Management of air pollution in deep open pit mines in the Arctic can be challenging in winters due to air inversions. Three dimensional CFD models were developed to study the stable boundary layers of an Arctic open pit mine. Mitigation models show that the pit can be cleared of the pollutants using cloud cover.
Major Professor: Dr. Sukumar Bandopadhyay Ravikanth Samba Siva Vajjha ** Ph.D. Engineering: Mechanical Engineering M.S., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2008; B.E., Osmania University, 2006.
Thesis: Experimental and Computational Studies of Nanofluids This dissertation covered experimental study on the fluid dynamic and heat transfer performance of nanofluids and theoretical study on the influence of temperature and particle volumetric concentration on thermophysical properties and pumping power. It further explored experimentally the rheological properties of nanofluids and investigated computationally the performance in automotive radiators.
Major Professor: Dr. Debendra Das May 10, 2015 9 * Summer degree recipient ** December degree recipient College of Liberal Arts Mr. To d d S h e r m a n, D e a n Daniel Barton Curns ** Ph.D. Clinical-Community Psychology M.A., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2005; B.A., University of Buffalo, 1997.
Thesis: A Validity Study of the Reasons for Life Scale with Emerging Adult College Students This study examined the validity of the Reasons for Life Scale (RFLS), an assessment of suicide risk that does not mention suicide, with emerging adult college students.
The RFLS showed significant relationships with other suicide assessments. The RFLS may be useful in contexts where directly discussing suicide is not appropriate.
Major Professor: Dr. Vivian Gonzalez David Luke DeHass ** Ph.D. Rural Technology Management: Interdisciplinary Program M.A., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2006; B.A., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2003;
A.A., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2003.
Thesis: Honda Country — Relocalization through Technology in Nanwalek, Alaska The decline of Kodiak Alutiiq oral traditions and a limited awareness or understanding of archived stories has kept them from being used in schools. This study catalogs an anthology of Alutiiq literature and provides a historical and values-based analysis of the educational significance of stories as tools for wellbeing.
Major Professors: Dr. Michael Koskey and Dr. Anthony Nakazawa Michael Wayne Kenyhercz ** Ph.D. Anthropology M.S., Mercyhurst College, 2010; B.A., Ohio State University, 2008.
Thesis: Molar Size and Shape in the Estimation of Biological Affinity: A Comparison of Relative Cusp Locations Using Geometric Morphometrics and Interlandmark Distances Biological affinity of the four major ancestries in the U.S. was compared to one another and to parental populations using geometric morphometrics and interlandmark distances. Each of the modern groups was significantly different from their respective parental groups and also from one another, which can be used in forensic applications.
Major Professor: Dr. Joel Irish 10 University of Alaska Fairbanks Jacqueline Marie Rahm ** Ph.D. Indigenous Studies M.A., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1995; B.A., Allegheny College, 1987.
Thesis: Deconstructing the Western Worldview: Toward the Repatriation and Indigenization of Wellness Through indigenous frameworks and methodologies, this research explores fundamental similarities between pre-Socratic and indigenous epistemologies. It examines historical forces that since shaped Western thought as it diverged and has impacted American indigenous peoples. It suggests the critical need for shifting the dominant paradigm toward an original congruity with indigenous worldviews.
Major Professor: Dr. Michael Koskey College of Natural Science and Mathematics D r. Pa u l W. L a y e r, D e a n Benjamin Walter Abbott ** Ph.D. Biological Sciences B.S., Utah State University, 2009.
Thesis: Permafrost in a Warmer World: Net Ecosystem Carbon Imbalance This study investigated the effects of climate change on ecosystem carbon balance in the permafrost region. Permafrost thaw caused substantial hydrologic and gaseous carbon loss. However, results suggest that three-quarters of permafrost carbon release could be avoided if human greenhouse gas emissions are actively reduced before the end of the century.
Major Professor: Dr. Jeremy Jones Jr.
Andrew Wentworth Balser Ph.D. Biological Sciences M.S., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1996; B.A., Middlebury College, 1993.
Thesis: Retrogressive Thaw Slumps and Active Layer Detachment Slides in the Brooks Range and Foothills of Northern Alaska: Terrain and Timing Active layer detachment slides and retrogressive thaw slumps are important modes of permafrost degradation, affecting ecosystem structure and permafrost carbon release. In the Brooks Range and foothills of northern Alaska, up to 57 percent of terrain may be suitable for these features, and timing of weather influences their occurrence.
Major Professor: Dr. Jeremy Jones Jr.
Tapas Bhattacharya * Ph.D. Physics M.S., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2008; M.S., University of Burdwan, 1982;
B. Ed. University of Calcutta, 1988; B.S., University of Calcutta, 1979.
Thesis: Role of Ionospheric Conductance in Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling This research presents numerical simulations of the magnetospheric and the ionospheric influences on the evolution and modification of field-aligned currents (FACs) and parallel electric fields in an attempt to better understand the information of discrete auroral arcs in response to the evolution of FACs for predetermined ionospheric conductance patterns.
Major Professor: Dr. Antonius Otto Matthew A. Campbell * Ph.D. Biological Sciences M.S., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2011; B.A., Willamette University, 2006.
Thesis: Polyploidy, Base Composition Bias, and Incomplete Lineage Sorting in Fish Phylogenetics Understanding evolutionary relationships between organisms is of fundamental importance in biology. Evolutionary relationships are often depicted by constructing trees based on molecular data — molecular phylogenetics. The complexity of biological data challenges phylogeneticists. This study examined three empirical datasets of fishes while addressing three possible issues in phylogenetic inference.
Major Professors: Dr. J. Andres Lopez and Dr. Naoki Takebayashi Katie Sarah Christie ** Ph.D. Biological Sciences M.S., University of Victoria, 2005; B.S., University of Victoria, 2000.
Thesis: Trophic Dynamics in a Changing Arctic: Interactions between Ptarmigan and Willows in Northern Alaska This study quantified the distribution and migration of ptarmigan in northern Alaska, and documented how they regulate their food source to their own benefit.
In addition, a synthesis of new and existing information from Arctic ecosystems explored the degree to which herbivores inhibit the expansion of different woody shrub species.
Major Professors: Dr. Roger Ruess and Dr. Mark Lindberg 12 University of Alaska Fairbanks Christoff Gregory Furin * Ph.D. Biological Sciences M.S., University of Alaska Anchorage, 2006; B.S., Western Washington University, 2000.
Thesis: Perchlorate Toxicity in Fish: Trophic Transfer, Developmental Windows, and Histological Biomarkers Chemical, histological, morphological, and reproductive endpoints were used to study the bioaccumulation of and toxicodynamics and morphological changes caused by perchlorate exposure to threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and northern pike (Esox lucius), particularly during early development, in order to understand when this endocrine disruptor has its greatest effects on fish.
Major Professors: Dr. Todd O’Hara and Dr. Frank von Hippel Cristina M. Hansen Ph.D. Biological Sciences B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana, 2003.
Thesis: Novel Methods of Disease Surveillance in Wildlife Disease agents in wildlife impact human health, and accurate research, monitoring, and diagnostic methods are necessary. Methods for bacterial disease agent and mercury surveillance were developed using wildlife tissue samples, and an investigation of avian embryo mortality was conducted using one of these methods.
Major Professor: Dr. Karsten Hueffer Susmita Hazra Ph.D. Space Physics and Remote Sensing: Interdisciplinary Program M.S., Gauhati University, 2005; B.S., Gauhati University, 2002.
Thesis: Variation of Electron and Ion Density Distribution Along Earth’s Magnetic Field Line Deduced from Whistler Mode (Wm) Sounding of Image/RPI Satellite Below Altitude 5000 Km This research effort provides a methodology to dynamically generate contextappropriate honeynets. The honeynet conforms to the target environment using passive or increasing degrees of active scanning. The gathered information aids the administrator in creating a network topology and understanding the flux of devices in the network.
Major Professor: Dr. Martin Truffer Rebecca Eliza Hewitt * Ph.D. Biological Sciences B.A., Middlebury College, 2005.
Thesis: Fire-Severity Effects on Plant-Fungal Interactions: Implications for Alaskan Treeline Dynamics in a Warming Climate Major sources of uncertainty in predicting treeline advance are the controls over treeline seedling establishment with climate warming and associated wildfire activity. This study found that, at treeline and in tundra, wildfire severity influenced symbiotic fungal communities, and persistence of critical mycobionts after wildfire facilitated treeline seedling establishment.
Major Professors: Dr. Teresa Hollingsworth and Dr. F. Stuart “Terry” Chapin III
Kim Anke Jochum * Ph.D. Biological Sciences B.S., University of Hannover, 2008.
Thesis: Applying a Social-Ecological Systems Approach to Human-Bear Encounters Across the Pacific Rim: Advancing Resilient Human-Wildlife Management Strategies This study explores resilience in coupled human-wildlife systems of south Sakhalin Island, Russia, and Southcentral Alaska. Findings reveal spatially explicit social and ecological factors contributing to perceptions of positive and negative humanbear encounters, while impacts vary within urban and nonurban areas. Findings promote the integration of human dimensions in wildlife management.
Major Professors: Dr. Lilian Alessa and Dr. Kris Hundertmark Takeshi Kammae ** Ph.D. Physics B.S., Tokyo University of Science, 2004.
Thesis: Spectroscopic Study of Sprites Sprites are large electric discharges in the mesosphere. Their possible consequences to the environment have been proposed, but the characteristics of sprites have to be better understood. A series of spectroscopic observations confirmed that they are similar to a type of electric discharges, called streamer discharges, observed in laboratory experiments.
Major Professor: Dr. Hans Nielsen James Long Ph.D. Computational Genomics: Interdisciplinary Program M.S., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2000; B.S., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1997.
Thesis: A Sensitivity Analysis of a Biological Module Discovery Pipeline An open-source CODENSE implementation enumerates groups of genes having high expression correlation over collections of data representing different cellular states. Synthetic expression data used as input to the algorithm are generated from a known transcription network described in a language that compiles to a Systems Biology Markup Language model.
Major Professor: Dr. Mitchell Roth 14 University of Alaska Fairbanks Kumar Mayank Ph.D. Space Physics and Remote Sensing: Interdisciplinary Program M.S., University of Lucknow, 2004; B.S., University of Lucknow, 2002.
Thesis: Measurement of Field Aligned Electron Density Distribution, Ducts, and Z Mode Cavities from Ducted and Nonducted Fast Z Mode Echoes Observed on the Image Satellite A new Z mode (ZM) sounding method has been developed to measure the electron density (Ne), ducts, and ZM cavities in the magnetosphere from ZM echoes observed on the IMAGE satellite. These measurements are important for building empirical models of Ne and ducts, and play an important role in satellite communications and forecasting of space weather.