Chancellor's Report

February 2012

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Stefan Weingarth opens a valve on the oil field wellhead at the Community and Technical College’s process technology facility. The wellhead is part of a BP donation worth almost $4 million, and is the only working model in an Alaska classroom.
Stefan Weingarth opens a valve on the oil field wellhead at the Community and Technical College’s process technology facility. The wellhead is part of a BP donation worth almost $4 million, and is the only working model in an Alaska classroom.

Scientists from the Geophysical Institute helped the U.S. Coast Guard guide a Russian fuel tanker through the frozen Bering Sea toward Nome. Specialists analyzed the thickness of pressure ridges in the ice outside the harbor and deployed an unmanned drone flying overhead to send images of the sea ice to researchers onshore.

KUAC TV celebrated four decades of broadcasting public television. UA President William R. Wood provided an introduction to the inaugural program Dec. 22, 1971. Forty years later, KUAC TV continues to serve Alaskans, now with four channels of programming, including the Create and World networks, and UATV, which features educational content.

The National Science Foundation awarded $16.3 million to the Institute of Arctic Biology's Toolik Field Station, a major site for national and international research in the North American Arctic since 1975. The five-year agreement will enable the station to improve support to the hundreds of scientists and students who work and conduct research at the station each year.

The UA Museum of the North accepted a collection of almost 26,000 archaeological items dating back to 500 A.D. The items were excavated near Point Barrow nearly 60 years ago. The Birnirk collection is owned by the U.S. Navy and was housed for decades at Harvard’s Peabody Museum. Besides adding to the Museum of the North's collection, the donation represents a research bonanza for future graduate students.

The Center for Alaska Native Health Research received $1.4 million to support rural Southwestern Alaska Yup'ik communities in suicide and substance abuse prevention efforts. The award will supplement a CANHR research program exploring how Alaska Native people use ancestral knowledge and cultural traditions to promote well-being in their families.

The School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and the Cooperative Extension Service sponsored a sustainable livestock conference in Anchorage last fall. Producers, retailers, scientists, policymakers and students considered ways Alaskans can produce a greater share of the red meat consumed in the state, and how the university can support sustainable agriculture through research and education.


In Progress

The University of Alaska Museum of the North's new special exhibit, "Leggy! Live Spiders and Their Relatives," features diverse members of the phylum Arthropoda, creatures known for their many legs and many relatives. These creatures are the most numerous and adaptable on the planet, says museum entomology curator Derek Sikes. "Leggy!" will be on display in the special exhibits gallery at the museum until May 5.

For two decades, the Science For Alaska lecture series, coordinated by the Geophysical Institute outreach office, has brought the latest in scientific research to Alaskans via public lectures in Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau. The 2012 lecture topics include unmanned aircraft, reindeer, earthquakes and more. The series continues through March 6.

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agent Gay Sheffield, based in Nome, is among the scientists in the field trying to understand the unusual deaths of ringed seals and other marine mammals in Alaska's arctic and Bering Straits regions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared the recent deaths an unusual mortality event, triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause.


What's Next

The Famous for Fifteen Minutes Playwright Festival takes place Feb.18. Original works by beginning playwrights from the UAF community will be presented by the Student Drama Association and Theatre UAF.

The 39th Annual Festival of Native Arts happens March 1 - 3. Walking with Our Ancestors is the theme for this year's festival, which is entirely organized by UAF students. Festival of Native Arts student coordinator Sarah Walker received a fall 2011 Exceptional Student Employee Award from UAF Career Services.


Through the Lens: Recent Images

See caption to the right.

As part of ongoing maintenance projects, Facilities Services replaced the old floor in the Wood Center Carol Brown Ballroom with red oak, which will last much longer than the previous flooring.

In other maintenance work this winter, Facilities Services updated the heating system in
the Irving II building to more reliable electronic controls, making it easier to keep the building at appropriate temperatures year-round.


See caption to the right.
See caption to the right.

Photos, clockwise from left

Alaska Center for Energy and Power Director Gwen Holdmann stands next to one of the doors into ACEP's new research facility on the Fairbanks campus.

Fireworks light up the sky above West Ridge during the annual New Year's Eve Sparktacular.

Chancellor Rogers and Carol Lewis, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, open the school's new $5.325 million teaching and research greenhouse in November.

Fairbanksans Jeffrey and Jo Zuckerman and their family donated to UAF a 50-acre parcel of land near Fairbanks in honor of their daughter Bianca, a 2010 UAF alumna.

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