Editorial Style Guide

This style guide is based primarily on the Associated Press Stylebook. First reference for spelling and usage is Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Secondary usage is The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. Another useful resource for Alaska-specific questions is the AP Stylebook for Alaska.

Some MC publications have their own styles, which are distinct from that reflected here. See "Other Pubs Style Guide," available upon request, for AuroraCornerstone, formal style and news releases.


Sign up for the UAF editorial style guide group

This group alerts users to changes to the UAF editorial style guide; members can also discuss and clarify editorial questions. Sign-up is available to all UA users through Google groups.


academic honors

Cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude should be italicized. See the academic catalog for the GPA requirements to earn these honor designations at graduation.


Use apostrophe only to show possession:

The PM's calendar was full.

Do not use apostrophe to show plural:

PSAs are great publicity tools.


Not adviser (contrary to AP style).


Always use figures for people, animals and inanimates.

The girl is 15 years old; the law is 8 years old; the 101-year-old house. When the context does not require years or years old, the figure is presumed to be years.

Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun.

A 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old. The boy, 7, has a sister, 10. The woman, 26, has a daughter 2 months old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s (no apostrophe). 

See also boy; girl; infant; youth and numerals in AP Stylebook . 
See comma in punctuation guidelines in AP Stylebook.


Do not abbreviate in text.

Alaska Nanooks

See Nanook.

Alaska Sea Grant Program

Capitalize initial letters of each word.


Use as a noun describing a person, not a place — never "Alaskan city," for example.

The professor is a longtime Alaskan.


Do not use. Referred to the disbanded statewide public television stations. See KUAC.


Alphabetizing letter by letter, not word by word, is preferred. In the letter-by-letter method, spaces and hyphens are ignored.

Letter by letter: newborn, newcomer, New Deal, new economics
(Word by word: New Deal, new economics, newborn, newcomer)


Alumna is a female who has attended a school; alumnae is plural for female attendees; alumnus is a male who has attended a school; alumni is plural for male graduates and the term used when referring to a group of men and women. Use alumnus when referring to a non-gender specific individual.

Note: The term does not necessarily denote a graduate but may refer to anyone who has attended UAF as a student. Use the plural alumni whenever possible. Avoid abbreviating as alum.

For treatment of obsolete forms of UAF's name, see UAF.

a.m., p.m.

Lowercase with a space between the time and a.m./p.m., and periods between the letters:

The conference will start at 9 a.m.

See also time of day.

Arctic, arctic

Capitalize when using as a noun:

The Arctic is a dangerous and hostile place.

Lowercase when using as an adjective:

If you survive an arctic winter, you deserve to go to the tropics.

See also subarctic.

Associated Students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks (ASUAF)

Do not use periods. Use abbreviation only after full name has been used at least once.


Not Athabaskan.

athletic conferences

The Nanook sports teams belong to the following conferences. While the conference names should be spelled out on first reference, with the abbreviated initial form used in subsequent references, the overall governing body, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, can be referred to as NCAA in all references.

Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) -- basketball, cross country and skiing, volleyball

Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC)

Patriot Rifle Conference (PRC) -- (The rifle team joined the newly formed conference beginning with the 2013 - 2014 season.)

Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) (UAF joined the WCHA when the Central Collegiate Hockey Association disbanded after the 2012 - 2013 season.)

athletic director, director of athletics

The person who oversees the Department of Athletics [plural] is the athletic [singular] director. No part of the title is capitalized, even when it precedes a name.

The new coach was welcomed by athletic director S.C. Orr.

The director of athletics announced that UAF would host the first game of the Governor's Cup.


aurora borealis

Do not capitalize. Aurora is acceptable on second reference.

Plural form auroras or aurorae; borealis does not change.


ballroom (Wood Center Carol Brown)


(adjective) – Relating to bioinformatics.


(noun) – Science of information and information flow in biological systems, especially the use of computational methods to process information in genetics and genomics.

Blue and Gold

May be used sparingly to refer to a UAF athletic team. Do not use an ampersand. Capitalize "Blue" and "Gold."

board of regents

Capitalize when using full name:

The University of Alaska Board of Regents met on Wednesday.

Lowercase when not using full name:

The board of regents met Wednesday.

Takes a singular verb:

The board of regents is meeting on the UAA campus.


Capitalize when referring specifically to the bookstore in Constitution Hall. Do not capitalize a preceding "the."

The student bought art supplies at the Bookstore.

building — names

Capitalize building if part of the formal name.

Many students have classes in the Gruening Building. 
The Girl Scouts sold cookies outside the Fred Meyer building.

Complete formal names may be abbreviated to their common usage.

Ernest Gruening Building or Gruening Building 
Brooks Memorial Mines Building or Brooks Building

Lowercase in other instances:

The building was constructed …

Apply the same rules to other building designators, such as complex, facility, hall and theater. A more complete treatment of Fairbanks campus buildings and facilities names and histories is available from Marketing and Communications.

building — rooms

The use of the word building is optional with room numbers.
Capitalize if using with a room number:

The conference will be held in 208 Gruening Building. (or Gruening 208)

Use numerals for numbers:

The conference will be held in 208 Gruening.

Although there is no preferred UAF style, maintain consistent use within a document.

Bursar, Office of the

The Business Office formally changed its name to the Office of the Bursar July 1, 2013. "Office of the Bursar" is the preferred usage, but "Bursar's Office" may also be used. Do not use "Business Office" unless needed to explain the name change.

Business Office

Do not use. See "Bursar, Office of the."



Capitalize when using full name:

The Chukchi Campus is in Kotzebue, and the Bristol Bay Campus is in Dillingham. 
Fairbanks campus does not take a capital c, and is used to refer specifically to 
the administrative headquarters of the UAF system.

Lowercase when not using full or formal name:

The campus was teeming with students on the first day of class.

See also community campuses.


One word, no hyphen:

That email was sent campuswide. 
The campuswide distribution was a success.


Use one l, not two:

The meeting is canceled due to aliens landing on Gruening.

capital, Capitol

Use capital (lowercase) when referring to the city where a seat of government is located, the case of a letter, or a budget or monetary reference. Use Capitol (capitalized) when referring to the building in which a state or federal legislative body meets.

Juneau is the capital of Alaska. Many consider the Capitol too small and 
want to build a new one.


See individual entries. In general, capitalize formal titles or names but lowercase general uses of a noun:

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is the flagship of the statewide system. 
The university's main campus is in Fairbanks. 
Many classes are held in Schaible Auditorium. 
The lecture was held in the auditorium.

See also centerdepartmentseasonstitles and job titles.


Not catalogue.


Capitalize when using the full name; lowercase in other instances.

The Alaska Quaternary Center deals with certain geological time periods. 
The center deals with certain geological time periods.


Not chairman, chairwoman or chairperson. Contrary to AP style. Capitalize when preceding a name (but not department); lowercase in all other instances.

The students met with department Chair Rachel Smith to discuss their concerns. 
Rachel Smith, chair of the department, issued a statement on the dean's behalf. 
The committee chair was appointed last year.


Capitalize when part of the complete title:

UAF won the NCAA Rifle Championship again this year. 
UAF has won the national rifle championship three years in a row. 
The Nanooks' best skier won the national championship at the NCAA National Skiing Championship.


Capitalize as part of a title:

At the meeting, Chancellor Brian Rogers …

Lowercase in other instances:

Brian Rogers is chancellor of UAF. 
Please welcome UAF's chancellor, Brian Rogers.

chancellor's list

Place the apostrophe before the s as there is only one chancellor for whom the list is named. Do not capitalize the c or the l.

Charles W. Davis Concert Hall

Can be shortened to Davis Concert Hall (initial caps).

circumpolar, circumpolar North

Capitalize only "North."

city of Fairbanks

Don't capitalize city unless referring to the full name as a legal or political entity:

The city of Fairbanks is located in Interior Alaska. 
The City of Fairbanks sued the state for interfering in municipal matters.

class of year

Lowercase class.

The reunion celebrated the class of 1960.

class, academic

When referring to an academic class in general, do not capitalize it unless the subject studied is a proper noun. Never capitalize the word "class."

Lucy's math class started at 8 a.m. Her English class started at 9:45.

Capitalize the titles of classes.

Lucy liked both Principles of Geometry and Poetry in Translation.

When the course number must be used, capitalize all letters of the abbreviated department name and include the prefatory "F" (denotes Fairbanks campus) and any letters that follow the three-number designator.

The Justice Department added two new sections of JUST F110.
Students can take BIOL F103L in the spring only.

class names, class standing

Lowercase class standings: freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate student, undergraduate student.


Use coed when referring to a coeducational college or university. No hyphen.

Residence Life offers living environments to meet every need including coed buildings by floor.

NOTE: Use of coed when referring to a female student at a coeducational university could be considered sexist language.

cold-climate (modifying adjective)

Hyphenate cold climate when used as a modifying adjective.

The findings will help improve cold-climate building practices in Alaska.

Note: Do not hyphenate Cold Climate Housing Research Center.
Do not hyphenate when climate is the noun:

Researchers took special care of their instruments in the cold climate.

college, colleges

Capitalize as part of official name:

The College of Liberal Arts offers …

Lowercase in other instances:

The college offers …

UAF colleges and their abbreviations:

College of Engineering and Mines (CEM) 
College of Liberal Arts (CLA) 
College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM) 
College of Rural and Community Development (CRCD

See also school, schools.


Use a comma before the "and" when combining two independent clauses (where there are two subject doing two things).

I was laughing, and he was crying.

In a series, do not use a comma before the "and" unless one of the items in the series has an "and" in it. Complicated sentences may, however, benefit from a final comma, regardless of the preceding "and" rule.

I bought oranges, apples and butter. 
They looked into funding, research and development, and history.
My mother booked a tour that would take her trekking in Nepal, where she used to live, scuba diving in the Mediterranean to search for sunken treasure, beer tasting in Germany with my brother, who lives there, and finally to Egypt.

commencement, convocation

Lowercase when used to refer to commencement or convocation generally:

More than 2,000 people attended the UAF commencement ceremony.
Ice cream was served after convocation.

Capitalize when followed by the specific year:

UAF celebrated Commencement 2012 in grand style.
A reporter interviewed the chancellor after the Convocation 2012 presentation.

community campuses

Capitalize when using full name:

Bristol Bay Campus is in Dillingham. 
Chukchi Campus is in Kotzebue. 
Interior-Aleutians Campus is based in Fairbanks. 
Kuskokwim Campus is in Bethel. 
Northwest Campus is in Nome.

Lowercase when not using full or formal name:

The campus is located on the other side of town.


Cooperative Extension Service

Singular "Service." May use "Extension" (capitalized) on second reference, or abbreviate to CES (no periods).


Abbreviate when used in a company's name. Lowercase when used as a common noun.

The Bristol Bay Native Corp. is one of Alaska's Native corporations.


Refers to the concentration of classes taken by all baccalaureate students. Do not capitalize.

course, academic

course work

Two words, not one

credit hours, numbers of

In regular copy (e.g., recruitment brochure, media release), spell out numbers of credit hours when less than 10.

Meg took nine credits in the fall. She took 15 credits in the spring.

In academic publications like the academic catalog, use numerals in all cases.

cross country

Refers to UAF's cross country running teams; however, do not use "running" in the team description. "Cross country" is not hyphenated.

The men's and women's cross country teams will compete in the conference championship next week.




Data can be either a singular or plural noun and requires a singular or plural verb accordingly. See the AP Stylebook for further explanation.

The data is inaccurate. 
The data have been carefully collected.


One word, not two


When a phrase refers to a day and date or a month, day and year, separate each unit with a comma.

The fundraiser will be on Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Wood Center multilevel lounge.
Children born on or after Jan. 1, 2010, are eligible for the program.

Do not use a comma to separate a month and year when no specific date is included.

She ran her first marathon in September 2003.

Abbreviate months with more than five letters. Use cardinal numbers (1, 2, 3), not ordinals (1st, 2nd, 3rd).

The program will begin Jan. 1, 2015. 
The program will begin March 1, 2015. 
The program will take place on April 1, 2015.

Use an en dash when dates are inclusive.
(On Mac keyboards, type option and dash to create an en dash. On Microsoft keyboards, type control and dash. On the web, use one dash for an en dash, two dashes for an em dash.)

The conference will take place June 1–10, 2017.

Davis Concert Hall

Acceptable use of Charles W. Davis Concert Hall. Use initial caps in both versions.

day care

Two words, no hyphen, in all uses. (An exception to Webster's use as an adjective.)

The Bunnell House day care center gives hands-on training to early childhood education students.

days of the week

Never abbreviate in text:

The program will begin Wednesday, Jan. 1, 1991.


Capitalize as part of a title:

UAF School of Hard Knocks Dean John Smith … 
At the meeting, Dean John Smith …

Lowercase in other instances:

John Smith, dean of UAF's School of Hard Knocks …

dean's list and deans' lists

When someone is named to a dean's list, the apostrophe should be placed before the s. Place the apostrophe after the s when referring to the many lists from the many deans.

degree students

Not "degree-seeking."

All degree students eventually must declare a major.

(See also non-degree students)


Lowercase in text when spelled out:

UAF offers bachelor of arts degrees in …

Capitalize when abbreviating. Do not use periods (contrary to AP style).

UAF offers BA degrees in … 
Preferred: John Smith received a bachelor's degree in computer science.

UAF offers:

occupational endorsements
associate degrees 
bachelor's degrees 
master's degrees 
graduate and postbaccalaureate certificates
doctoral degrees – PhD (doctor of philosophy)


Although most departments' formal names are Department of X, they are also commonly referred to as X Department. Retain capitalization in either case.

The Department of History is sponsoring a contest. 
The History Department is sponsoring a contest.

Lowercase when not using the full title in either form:

The department is sponsoring …

There are departments that are not preceded by Department of or whose official name at UAF is contrary to convention. Such names should be capitalized. These include but are not limited to: Admissions and the Registrar's Office, University Fire Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks Police Department, and Marketing and Communications.


Capitalize as part of a title:

When Employee Relations Director Bill Smythe arrived …

Lowercase in other instances:

When Bill Smythe, director of Employee Relations, arrived …


Use dollar sign, not the word dollars, no decimal:

The cost is $12 per person.

Do not hyphenate costs that modify a noun:

The $1.2 million budget increase was blamed on skyrocketing insurance costs.


Reserve Dr. for those with medical degrees unless it's specifically necessary to use Dr. to indicate expertise in a subject as opposed to a lay understanding. Do not use Dr. as a title when someone has earned a PhD or honorary degree, and don't use PhD after the name.

Willa Wims is the new director.

May be made for formal university documents or on mailings pulled from Raiser's Edge.


Earth, earth

Capitalize when referring to the planet:

The Earth is bigger than the moon.

Lowercase when using as a general reference:

It felt good to dig in the moist spring earth.


Abbreviation for UA's electronic directory. All uppercase, no space in between.

Wendy updated her contact information on EDIR when she changed departments.

Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence

Initial capitalization. Adding in service is not part of the title; neither is award.


Do not capitalize, even when followed by a name.

Several elders were interviewed by the reporter.
UAF gave Native elder Katherine Peter an honorary degree in 1999.

eLearning, e-learning

eLearning & Distance Education is the name of the unit that oversees electronic learning and distance education activities at UAF. The proper noun uses a lowercase "e" followed by an uppercase "L," with no intervening space or hyphen. Use an ampersand instead of "and." The "e" is lowercased even when starting a sentence. "eLearning" is the preferred short form.

eLearning & Distance Education offers a variety of learning opportunities anywhere there is an Internet connection. 
        CLA and eLearning students helped organize the conference.

e-learning (with hyphen) refers generally to learning through electronic methods. The "e" is capitalized when starting a sentence.

E-learning can take place anywhere a student has an Internet connection. Many students take a mix of in-person and e-learning classes.


Indicates the omission of words from a quoted sentence. In the middle of a sentence: space, three periods, space.
(On Mac keyboards, type option+semicolon to create an ellipsis. On Microsoft keyboards, it's alt, control and period.)

I always try to do my best … however, nobody's perfect.

At the end of a sentence: space, one period, space, three periods. The first period indicates the end of the sentence:

Spring activities included mud volleyball and a bonfire. …The chancellor began the festivities with a reception.

See the AP Stylebook for further treatment.


All one word, no hyphen. However, retain the hyphen in words like "e-books" and "e-commerce."

emeriti, emeritus

Use emeritus for any one person, regardless of whether that person is a man or a woman. Capitalize emeritus when used as a title preceding a name.

Professor Emeritus Laurel Scribe taught English for many years.
Laurel Scribe, a professor emeritus of English, volunteered as a tutor for many years after her retirement.

Emeriti is the plural for men or both men and women. Plural women is expressed as emeritae.

Emeriti are recognized during commencement each year.
The professors emeritae began a campaign to fund a scholarship for women pursuing engineering degrees.

Note that the formal wording used on emeriti resolutions may be different from the style discussed here.


faculty (applies also to "staff" and "staff member")

Use faculty as a singular noun. Preference is given to using "faculty" as a singular noun when referring to professors et al as a group, while "faculty members" refers to individuals within that group.

The faculty is meeting today. Some faculty members are on vacation and cannot attend.
He is a member of the faculty.

Fairbanks Experiment Farm

Not "Experimental." Name of the farm itself, managed by the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Farmers Loop

No apostrophe.


Short for facsimile machine, use lowercase:

The student wanted to fax her transcript to the graduate school.

fellow, fellowship

Do not capitalize when describing a person who is a member of an academic society or organization or who has a similar standing as a graduate student. Capitalize fellowship when used in the formal title of the award.

August Mensch was named a Brookings fellow for his work in economic theory. 
The Profound Fellowship is offered in alternating years. Graduate students who win the fellowship are expected to publish a peer-reviewed article within three years.


One word, no hyphen.

Fire Department

The full name is the University Fire Department (not UAF Fire Department; compare with Police Department.) Capitalize when referring to the university department, even when not preceded by University. Lowercase when referring to fire departments in general.

The University Fire Department serves the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, as well as a large off-campus fire district. 
UAF fire science graduates find employment in fire departments nationwide.

See also Police Department.

first names

Use full name unless nickname is preferred by the owner:

Charles Ray was named professor emeritus.

Or if he prefers:

Chuck Ray was named professor emeritus.

See AP, names entry for treatment of children and youth.


Flier is the preferred term for an aviator or a handbill. Flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses:The Western Flyer.

fundraiser, fundraising

One word, no hyphens.



General Educational Development. Use initial caps. On first reference, use General Educational Development. For second reference, use GED.

For admission to associate/certificate programs, you must have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development diploma. If you do not have a high school diploma or GED, you may take courses as a non-degree student.

genus, species

In the first reference of scientific or biological names, capitalize the first, or generic, Latin name for the class of plant or animal, lowercase the species that follows, and italicize both: Homo sapiens, Tyrannosaurus rex. (Italics are contrary to AP style.) On second reference, abbreviate the first letter and spell out the second word: H. sapiens, T. rex. Divisions higher than genus — phylum, class, order and family — are capitalized but not italicized.

geographic information system

Lowercase. Abbreviate as GIS (no periods).

geologic ages

Capitalize the name and the eon, era, etc.

Several faculty members in the Anthropology Department specialize in Alaska archaeology from the Holocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period.

Georgeson Botanical Garden

Garden is singular, not plural.

governmental titles

Abbreviate in the following ways in text:

Gov. Jay Hammond … 
Sen. Joe Smith … 
Rep. Ann Jones …

grade point average

On first reference, use grade point average. For second reference, use GPA.

Great Hall

Officially Regents' Great Hall, but Great Hall can be used. Regents' is plural and possessive.


high school

Two words when used as a noun and a compound modifier (contrary to Webster's).

home schooling, home-schooled, home-schooler

honors list

Lowercase, no apostrophe:

John Smith was named to the honors list.

Honors Program

Initial caps on both words when used together. Do not capitalize "honors" on its own.

Because Jason was an honors student in the Honors Program, he was able to take honors classes.

honorary degrees

Do not use Dr. before the name of an individual whose only doctorate is honorary. Exceptions may be made for formal university documents or on mailings pulled from Raiser's Edge.

hyphens and dashes

hyphens: use when separating noninclusive numbers or in compound nouns. Do not use spaces around the hyphen.

My mother-in-law is coming to town. Her phone number is 555-1234.

en dash: use to separate ranges of items, such as dates or quantities. Do not use spaces around the en dash.
(On Mac keyboards, type option+dash to create an en dash. PC keyboard strokes vary, depending on the word processing version being used. On the web use a hyphen to denote an en dash, two hyphens for an em dash.)

There will be 30–50 people there. 
The event runs Oct. 10–15.

em dash: use in place of commas to set off a section of the sentence that requires special emphasis. Place one space before and after the em dash.
(On Mac keyboards, type option+shift+dash to create an em dash. PC keyboard strokes vary, depending on the word processing version being used.)

The em dash — a very important typographical element — should not be overused.

See also time of day.



Preferred house style is to delete even when part of a corporate name, but if it is retained, abbreviate and capitalize as Inc. Do not set off with commas. Apply the same treatment to other designations such as LLC.

Arco Alaska is an oil company. or 
Arco Alaska Inc. is an oil company.

in-state (adj.)


Alaska residents pay in-state tuition.

Institute, institute

Capitalize when part of official title:

The Institute of Arctic Biology …

Lowercase in other instances:

The institute …


Capitalize when referring to the geographical region of Alaska. Refers generally to the Tanana, Yukon and Kuskokwim river valleys.

Fairbanks is in the Interior. 
Fairbanks is in Interior Alaska.


Always capitalize. Acceptable to use the Net on second reference.


The language of Alaska Inuit Eskimos, spoken on the North Slope and in Northwest Alaska as far south as Unalakleet. Distinct from Yupik. A north Alaska Eskimo (person). Use Inupiaq to refer to the language (never Inupiat), to one person and as an adjective. Use Inupiak to refer to two people. Use Inupiat to refer to three or more people (never Inupiats), to the people collectively and to the culture.

The Eskimo languages include the four Yupik languages of Alaska and Siberia as well as Inuit, the Alaskan sector of which is called Inupiaq.


job titles

When preceding an individual's name, capitalize formal titles but not occupational descriptions. At UAF, capitalize only the following formal titles and their subsets (e.g., Chancellor Smith and Vice Chancellor Jones): president, chair (but not "department"), chancellor, dean, director, professor and its subsets (contrary to AP), and provost. Chair is contrary to AP's use of chairman and chairwoman.

The audience applauded after Chancellor Smith's speech. 
The committee listened to the advice of attorney Janice Rogers. 
Students met with department Chair Ezra White to discuss the changes. 
The committee granted tenure to Assistant Professor Rodriguez.

Do not capitalize titles in regular text when not followed by a name.

     The dean of the College of Liberal Arts is retiring.

Job titles may be capitalized in memos, lists and other irregular documents and publications, if desired.

To: Kelly Smith, Chancellor   /   From: Flip Jones, Vice Chancellor


K – 12

Stands for kindergarten through 12th grade. Use en dash, offset by space on either side.


Refers to both the radio station transmitter and the PBS television station in Fairbanks. Can be used as KUAC FM and KUAC TV (no hyphen). Do not use "AlaskaOne," which no longer exists.


Lady Nanooks

Do not use. See Nanooks.

Land, Sea and Space Grant institution

Capitalize Land, Sea and Space Grant, but not institution. No hyphens.

Latin names

For scientific names, see genus, species.

Lee H. Salisbury Fine Arts Theatre

Salisbury Theatre is acceptable variant of formal name. Use initial caps.


Capitalize when referring to the Alaska Legislature, but do not capitalize when referring to legislatures in general.

The Legislature held a special session in Anchorage to discuss oil taxes.

Some legislatures meet only every other year.

Lena Point Fisheries Building

Lower 48

Refers to the contiguous 48 states but not Hawaii. Do not set off in quotation marks. Contrary to Stylebook for Alaska, it may be used in regular text and not in direct quotes only; however, consider audience familiarity with the term, and allow for the exclusion of Hawaii in the reference. See also Outside.

Life Sciences Facility

Do not use. See "Murie Building."

-ly words

Do not use a hyphen with -ly adjectives and adverbs.

UAF offers many privately funded scholarships.


master, master's

Do not capitalize unless at the beginning of a sentence. Use an apostrophe when modifying a noun, otherwise use no apostrophe.

She's getting a master of science degree in chemistry. 
His master's degree means great job prospects.


Capitalize MAY but not mester. Denotes the weeks between the end of the spring semester and the start of Summer Sessions when students can take intensive courses for credit.

media and medium

Media is plural and takes a plural verb, whereas medium is singular:

The media work hard for their money. 
This medium is better than the rest.

Moore-Barlett-Skarland Complex

Hyphenate Moore-Bartlett-Skarland. Capitalize all initial letters, including Complex. Abbreviate to MBS Complex (no hyphens) on second reference.

Mount McKinley

Do not abbreviate Mount. The park is Denali National Park and Preserve.

Mount McKinley is located in Denali National Park and Preserve.

multilevel lounge


No hyphens, all one word.

Murie Building

Formerly the Life Sciences Facility, renamed in December 2012 as the Margaret Murie Building. May be referred to as "Murie Building" in all references.

muskox (singular) and muskoxen (plural)

One word, no space (contrary to Webster's).



Nanook is a derivation of the Inupiaq Eskimo word for polar bear, nanuq. All UAF sports teams are called Alaska Nanooks, (avoid UAF Nanooks). Capitalize. Use singular form as an adjective, plural or singular as a noun.

The Nanook hockey team made the playoffs this year. 
The Nanooks won in overtime. 
The former Nanook was a first-round NHL draft.

Alaska Nanooks is the official brand of the UAF Department of Athletics and its 10 varsity athletic teams. When Alaska Nanooks is used on first reference, Alaska or Nanooks is acceptable on second reference.

Do not use lady when referring to a women's team (e.g., the Lady Nanooks).


Capitalize when referring to Alaska's Indians, Eskimos and Aleuts. Do not capitalize when used in the sense "indigenous to."

Alaska Natives have lived in Alaska a long time.

The report included testimony from Native and non-Native observers.

The spruce tree is native to Alaska, but the chokecherry is not.

Naturally Inspiring.

When used as a stand-alone graphic element, capitalize the N and I. Use of a closing period is optional.

When used as part of a sentence in marketing materials, the capital letters are optional but preferred. Follow standard punctuation rules.

We are the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We are Naturally Inspiring.

We are Naturally Inspiring, and we invite you to join us!

noncontiguous state

No hyphen. Refers to Alaska and Hawaii. (Contrary to Stylebook for Alaska.)

non-degree students

Not "non-degree-seeking."
Hyphenate. (Contrary to Webster's pattern of not hyphenating non- words.)

Many non-degree students like to take classes for fun and aren’t interested in earning a degree.

(See also degree students)


No hyphen


Hyphenate. (Contrary to Webster's pattern of not hyphenating non- words.)

north, North, northern, Northern

Do not capitalize when using as a general term.

The snow on the north side of the building was the last to melt. 
The house's northern exposure made it harder to sell.

Capitalize when referring to the specific geographic area.

His research was on the mushrooms of the North. 
Scientists studying the Northern Hemisphere were at the conference.

north, North, northern, Northern

Do not capitalize when using as a general term.

The snow on the north side of the building was the last to melt. 
The house's northern exposure made it harder to sell.

Capitalize when referring to the specific geographic area.

His research was on the mushrooms of the North. 
Scientists studying the Northern Hemisphere were at the conference.

northern lights

Do not capitalize.

See also aurora borealis.

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

The agency that grants UAF's institutional accreditation. May be referred to as NWCCU on second reference.

numbers, cardinal

For print copy in most instances, spell out one through nine, and use figures (10, 27, 134) thereafter. SeeAP Stylebook for treatment in other situations. See also ages.

The lab has 12 workstations but only nine microscopes.

When writing for the web, using figures in conjunction with facts is often preferred, even when the number is less than 10, but spell out numbers when not used with specific facts.

UAF's AISES chapter has won the chapter of the year award 5 times. 
Students may bring one or two study aids into the testing room.

numbers, ordinal

Do not superscript the st or th designations:

They celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.


oil pipeline

Don't capitalize:

The trans-Alaska oil pipeline flows south from …

on campus, on-campus

Hyphenate when serving as an adjective describing a noun:

I want to live in on-campus housing.

Do not hyphenate when on serves as a preposition:

I want to live on campus.

NOTE: Same rules apply with off campus and/or off-campus


No hyphen.


Capitalize "Orientation" when referring to any of the programs designed specifically for students and their families. Programs include: New Student Orientation (no hyphen), Family Orientation, Graduate School Orientation (no hyphen) and International Orientation.

Wood Center staff members were busy preparing for the many activities associated with Orientation.

Do not capitalize when using the word in a general sense.

Marcy's supervisor gave her a quick orientation around the office and introduced her to her new co-workers.


Always capitalized. Refers to anyplace not in Alaska. May be used in regular text and is not restricted to direct quotes only. Consider audience familiarity with the term before using it.

It happens all the time: people from Outside plan to visit Alaska for a few weeks, and they end up staying the rest of their lives.


Patty Center

Do not capitalize gym or pool. The rifle range is the E.F. Horton Rifle Range.


Use numerals and spell out percent:

More than 5 percent of the fish were dead. 
Less than 20 percent of the people voted.



Cellphone, iPhone, smartphone. All one word, no hyphenation. (Note capital "p" in "iPhone.")

photo credits

End all photo credits with a period, regardless of whether the credit is a phrase or a complete sentence.

UAF photo by Todd Paris.

Photos by Marketing and Communications staff and student employees:

UAF photo by Todd Paris.
UAF photo by LJ Evans.

Photos by UAF employees outside MC:

UAF photos by Ned Rozell, Geophysical Institute.

Photos by non-UAF employees, follow the photographer’s name with a comma and affiliation, if any:

Photo by Andy Canton, United Way.

Photos provided by (but not necessarily taken by): Use "courtesy of."

Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Photos courtesy of Andy Canton, United Way.

Note: Style may be modified to accommodate photographer's wishes or acknowledgement needs.



Capitalize nouns and adjectives derived from the proper names of planets and other heavenly bodies.

Spirit and Opportunity are two rovers NASA landed on Mars in January 2004 that continue to gather data as they roam the Martian landscape.

Poker Flat Research Range

There is no s on the end of Flat.


One word. Capitalize E and italicize Express. (Express can not be presented in italics in the online heading immediately above.)


Police Department

The full name is the University of Alaska Fairbanks Police Department or UAF Police Department (not the University Police Department. Compare with Fire Department.). Capitalize when referring to the UAF department, even when not preceded by UAF. Lowercase when referring to police departments in general.

The UAF Police Department is staffed 24 hours per day, every day. 
You may call the Police Department to request an escort to your car. 
CTC Law Enforcement Academy graduates are employed by police departments throughout the country.

See also Fire Department.


One word, no hyphen.


One word, no hyphen.



president's professor

Capitalize when used as part of a formal title before the name, otherwise lowercase.

President's Professor Beetle Bailey studies spruce beetles, and Hazy Skye, president's professor of atmospheric sciences, conducts research in the Geophysical Institute.


Capitalize when used as part of a formal title but not in its general sense.

The Marine Advisory Program offers dozens of publications about Alaska’s marine and coastal environments.

Note: Not all programs use the word program in their title, as in the following:

UAF participates in GVEA's Sustainable Natural Alternative Power program.

Academic programs (majors) are not capitalized.

She studied philosophy before switching her major to wildlife biology.


Capitalize when referring to the bar in Wood Center. Do not capitalize "the" unless at the beginning of a sentence.

The older students went to the Pub, leaving the younger ones to sip their lattes in silence.



Not Quarternary.

See also geologic ages.


Rasmuson Library

Capitalize when using the full name or shortened version:

The Rasmuson Library is part of the Fine Arts Complex.
The Elmer E. Rasmuson Library is in the Fine Arts Complex.

Do not capitalize library when not preceded by Rasmuson.

Mike's favorite place on campus was the library.

Regents' Great Hall

Official name. Regents' is possessive and plural. Great Hall (initial caps) is also acceptable.


Hyphenate in all uses.

The ribbon-cutting was well-attended.
A video of the ribbon-cutting ceremony was posted online.


Capitalize when part of a formal name of a room:

The meeting will be in the Wood Center Memorial Conference Room. 
The lecture will be in the Globe Room.

Delete when using a numeral and building name.

The group meets in 208 Gruening. (Alt: Gruening 208, or 208 Gruening Building)


Salisbury Theatre

Acceptable variant of Lee H. Salisbury Fine Arts Theatre. Use initial caps in both cases.

Schaible Auditorium

School, schools

Capitalize when part of official title:

The School of Management is in the Bunnell Building.

Preferred house style is not to flip-flop school names (see department), but capitalize if doing so. Lowercase in other instances:

The management school is in the Bunnell Building. 
The school renewed its accreditation in 2007.

UAF schools and their abbreviations:

Graduate School (usually not abbreviated) 
School of Education (SOE) 
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (SFOS) 
School of Management (SOM) 
School of Natural Resources and Extension (SNRE) (formerly School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences)

scientific names


One word.


Do not capitalize:

She caught a cold every winter. 
Enrollment was high at the start of the fall 2005 semester. 
I hope to graduate in spring 2006.


Italicize the name of the ship, but not the preceding designator (contrary to AP style). Use the pronoun it rather than she.

The Research Vessel Sikuliaq replaces the 40-year-old R/V Alpha Helix.

Signers' Hall

Not Signer's Hall. Signers' Hall is plural since there were many signers of the Alaska constitution in this building.


Hyphenate when used as an adjective modifying a noun.

The 14,000-square-foot building was funded in part by private donations. 
The building featured 14,000 square feet of labs and classrooms.


Use the following upper- and lowercase:

Naturally Inspiring. (When used as a graphic element, preference is capitalize N and I, with a closing period. When used in ad copy, capped N and I is preferred, and follow normal punctuation rules.)
Alaska's Land, Sea and Space Grant institution 
UAF is a Land, Sea and Space Grant institution.



One word. Capitalize F.

square foot, square mile, square inch

See size.


See faculty.

state of Alaska

In general, don't capitalize state when used in its geographical sense, but capitalize when referring to it as a political entity.

The state of Alaska is the 49th state in the union.

The State of Alaska issues hunting licenses for hunts conducted in the state of Alaska, but not for hunts conducted in other states or countries.


See AP Stylebook.


Do not use a hyphen and don't capitalize:

The statewide offices are in the Butrovich Building.

Steller's jay, Steller's eider, Steller's sea eagle

Capitalize Steller and spell with an -er, not an -ar.

Steller sea lions

Capitalize Steller and spell with an -er, not an -ar.




One word, no hyphen. Do not capitalize.

Sun Star

UAF's student newspaper. Sun Star is two words, initial caps.

The Sun Star goes on hiatus in the summer.


One word, no hyphen.


telephone numbers

Correct form for on-campus telephones:

Call 7581 for more information.

Correct form for off-campus calling:

Call 474-7581 for more information.

Correct form for off-campus out-of-state calling, as well as all web references:

Call 907-474-7581 for more information. 
Call 800-474-1111 for more information.

See also toll free.


Use figures. Use below, not a minus sign, for temperatures below zero:

It was 80 degrees in July and 30 below in October.

Fahrenheit temperatures are assumed and need not be designated as such. See the AP Stylebook for further treatment of Fahrenheit and Celsius.


Use theatre when referring to UAF's department or theater company:

Theatre UAF is the university's student production company. 
UAF's theatre department is popular among students. 
UAF's Salisbury Theatre is located off the Great Hall.

Use theater when referring to theater in general:

Theaters across the country are …

time of day

For whole number times, use numerals, no :00. If minutes are indicated, include the colon. Separate the time from the a.m./p.m. designation with a space:

The program will start at 9 a.m. 
The program will start at noon. (Note "noon" is lowercased.)
The doors will open promptly at 6:45 p.m.

Use a.m. and p.m., always lowercase:

The program will start at 9 a.m.

Use an en dash with no spaces if times are inclusive. Do not repeat a.m. or p.m. if they are the same. The same rule applies to other day/date ranges.

The conference will be held from 9–11 a.m.
The office is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.



Capitalize and use quotation marks.
Academic posters, articles, columns in periodicals, exhibits, lectures, songs, unpublished papers

The choir sang "Alaska’s Flag" after the ceremony.
He introduced Bill Robinson’s lecture, "Leading from the Middle."
The museum hosted "The Nature and Art of Collections" exhibit.

Capitalize. Do not italicize or use quotation marks.
Awards, certificates, classes, committees, conferences, conventions, course names, lecture series, prizes, programs (see program), projects, recognitions, scholarships, seminars, websites, workshops

She received the Alaskan of the Year Award.
The student won the John Doe Scholarship.
The department is hosting the Festival of Native Arts.
He was appointed to the 2003 International Resources Committee.
A fourth section of Technical Writing was added after dozens of students expressed an interest in developing their technical writing skills. [Note the difference between capitalizing the formal title of the class and lowercasing its subject.]

Italicize, contrary to AP style.
Books, concerts, magazines, movies, newsletters, newspapers, operas, plays, radio shows, reports, television shows

Newsweek quoted the president as saying …
The Alumni Association publishes The Alumnus four times a year.
The Music Department's concert, A Night in Berlin, featured music by German composers.

(Chicago may offer solutions not found here for further treatment of titles.)
(See Chicago, section 8, for more extension treatment of specific situations.)

See also centerdepartmentseasons and job titles.

toll free

Two words unless modifying a noun.

Students can call toll free anytime. 
The toll-free number was inadvertently disconnected.

trademark symbol - (TM) or ™

Do not use in regular copy.

Kirk liked his new UAF sweatshirt, which he often wore with his Levi jeans. 
Not: Kirk liked his new UAF™ sweatshirt, which he often wore with his Levi™ jeans.

The trademark symbol is used only on items to be sold or given away as promotional collateral, and applies to the full or abbreviated name of the university and its logos. On commercial or promotional items, use a superscript if possible, otherwise, use parentheses (TM).

Tradition Stone

Troth Yeddha'


The land now occupied by the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus was called Troth Yeddha' (wild potato hill) by the Tanana Athabascans. The west end of the Fairbanks campus ridge is officially Troth Yeddha'.




Do not use periods between letters. Use only after full name has been used at least once. If possessive, use an apostrophe.

UAF's enrollment is up.

In stories about UAF when it had a different name, it is acceptable to use the then-current name as long as it is clear that the name is obsolete.

Jane Doe has seen many changes at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since she first attended the school, then known as the University of Alaska, in 1940.


One word, UAO all capitalized.

University, university

Capitalize as part of a title:

The Ohio State University campus is …

Lowercase in other instances:

The university campus is …



A Uniform Resource Locator is a web address. In print publications, delete the http:// when there is a www; keep http:// when there is no www. In online or electronic publications, include any networking protocols (e.g., https, ftp) that are necessary to make a URL work. In email communication, retain http:// to allow readers to link to the referenced web page. It is recommended that URLs have a different font treatment to differentiate them from regular copy.

Visit www.uaf.edu for more information.

Check your financial aid status online at http://uaonline.alaska.edu.

If a URL must break across two lines, choose to break at a punctuation point, such as a period or a slash.

For more information about the counseling program visit www.uaf.edu/educ/

URLs that end with a directory (e.g., www.uaf.edu/chancellor/) should have a slash at the end. Do not use a slash at the end if the URL ends with a filename (e.g., www.uaf.edu/chancellor/bio.html) or if the URL is only the domain name (e.g., www.uaf.edu). URLs that end in /index.html, /index.htm or /index.xml should be shortened to the directory name (e.g., www.uaf.edu/chancellor/index.html can be changed to www.uaf.edu/chancellor/).


Use periods for abbreviating United States but not USA:

The U.S. is facing a coffee shortage. 
Several former Nanook athletes will represent the USA.

Usibelli Awards

The official titles of the awards are: Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching Award, Emil Usibelli Distinguished Research Award and Emil Usibelli Distinguished Service Award. May retain initial caps of Usibelli Award on second reference, or when combining the three separate titles for the sake of brevity. Do not capitalize award when used alone.

The university announced the Emil Usibelli Distinguished Teaching, Research and Service Awards today. Yelena Matusevich won the teaching award. The Usibelli Awards are handed out annually in the spring.



vice chancellor

Do not hyphenate.
Capitalize as part of a title:

Vice Chancellor Joe Smith voted to second the motion.

Lowercase in other instances:

Joe Smith, vice chancellor, voted to second the motion.


vita, vitae

Vita is singular and vitae is plural. Use when referring to a biographical sketch, generally in conjunction with curriculum, especially when the information refers to academic history. Curriculum vita is the formal name for an academic's resume, curricula vitae is the plural designation.

Her curriculum vita was outstanding.


Do not capitalize or precede with "the."

Hundreds of passengers were stranded when Redoubt volcano sent out plumes of ash.


waitlist (n.), wait-list (compound modifier and v.)

When used as a noun, one word, no hyphen.

If you are on a waitlist for a class and have kept up with class activity, you may be allowed to register for the class as vacancies occur.

When used as a verb and compound modifier, hyphenate.

Ten students hoped to get into the wait-listed class.
The registrar promised to wait-list all students who wanted to take the class.


When web stands alone, use a lowercased w (contrary to AP style). This is short for the formal name World Wide Web or WWW. Avoid use of the formal name, whenever possible, but if it must be used, the Ws should be upper case.

The student found her grades on the web.



One word, lowercase. (Contrary to AP.)

West Ridge

Two words, initial caps. Refers to western portion of the Fairbanks campus. The official name of this area is Troth Yeddha'.


Capitalize WINTER but not mester. Denotes the weeks between the end of the fall semester and the beginning of the spring semester when students can take intensive courses for credit.

Wood Center

Officially William R. Wood Center, but Wood Center can be used. Does not need to be preceded by the.

Wood Center Carol Brown Ballroom

"Wood Center Carol Brown Ballroom" is the formal name, but "Wood Center ballroom" may also be used. Note the lowercase "b" when not prefaced by Carol Brown."

Wood Center multilevel lounge

Lowercase multilevel and lounge. Do not hyphenate multilevel.

work force

Two words, not one.



No apostrophe:

In the 1960s UAF continued to grow. 
Deferred maintenance was an issue during the 1980s – 1990s.


Yupik, Yup'ik

In most cases, use Yupik with no apostrophe. Use Yup'ik when referring to those from Central or YK Delta regions.

Back to Top