Higher-education consultant Terry MacTaggart has completed an external review(PDF) of UAF. The report affirms many existing priorities and provides suggestions for how to better position UAF as one of the nation’s best student-focused research universities.
Four students -- Molly Dischner, Amy Snider, Gretchen Garcia and Eli Sonafrank -- are the first recipients of the chancellor’s award to recognize students who work to encourage sustainability on campus. Each will receive $500 or a 6- or 12-credit tuition waiver.
Staff from the Geophysical Institute’s Unmanned Aircraft Program at Poker Flat Research Range used remotely controlled aircraft to survey Bering Sea ice floes for seals in May and June. The project, a collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, proved that the aircraft can operate in snow and icing conditions.
The Tanana Valley Campus automotive technology program earned general service technician certification from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. The certification is awarded by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
The Alaska Summer Research Academy and Rural Alaska Honors Institute programs for high school students had record enrollments this summer. ASRA’s 146 students came from 13 states and 58 communities to take part in a two-week, hands-on research program. RAHI’s 65 students from 43 communities across Alaska spent six weeks living in UAF residence halls, learning firsthand about college life and earning up to 10 college credits.
The American Society of Mammalogists’ annual meeting was co-hosted in June by the University of Alaska Museum of the North and the Institute of Arctic Biology. The conference brought more than 400 biologists from around the world to campus.
Money was no good at UAF’s first Really Free Market, organized by Summer Sessions in June as one of UAF’s sustainability initiatives. The event resembled a garage sale except that everything was free. Thousands of articles changed hands as people brought serviceable, clean, nonperishable items to share with anyone who could use them.
The Palmer Center for Sustainable Living was launched in August at the Matanuska Experiment Farm. The center will focus on research, education and outreach to serve modern Alaskans, both rural and urban. The farm is part of the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and has been the center for agricultural research in the Matanuska Valley since 1915.
The Alaska Region Research Vessel is the first project funded from the National Science Foundation’s economic stimulus funds. The 242-foot, ice-capable vessel will support scientific research in high-latitude waters. The as-yet unnamed ship will be owned by NSF and operated by the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences on behalf of the entire ocean sciences community. When completed in 2014, it will be one of the most technologically advanced oceanographic vessels in the world.
The UAF Alaska Center for Energy and Power and Tanana Chiefs Conference have formed a new partnership to find clean, affordable and sustainable energy solutions for the 42 rural communities in the TCC region. The communities are located primarily off the road system and the electric grid, and residents’ energy costs are among the highest in the nation.
UAF Provost Susan Henrichs selected Carol Diebel as the new director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Diebel currently serves as the director of natural environment at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She will begin her new duties at UAF in October. Diebel will serve a joint appointment as professor of marine biology with the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.
The chancellor’s convocation address Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. in Davis Concert Hall will focus on sustainability.