Chancellor's Report

February 2014

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Professor Cathy Cahill ended her class with a bang last fall.

Professor Cathy Cahill ended her class with a bang last fall. Cahill will spend up to a year in Washington, D.C., learning about public policy while contributing her scientific expertise as a fellow on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The committee has jurisdiction over energy production and related policies, mining, and management of federal lands, including national parks and refuges. Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski is the committee's ranking Republican member.

Achievements

The collaborative doctorate of veterinary medicine degree program between UAF and the veterinary teaching hospital at Colorado State University was signed in December. Students can take their first and second years of the professional veterinary medical program at UAF and their third and fourth years at the veterinary teaching hospital at CSU. The program has similarities to the WWAMI medical program with UAA and the University of Washington. 

Kinross Fort Knox has renewed its support of an endowment that supports graduate student research in mining engineering at UAF. The company's $1 million gift is its second to the UAF engineering research endowment, which provides a steady source of research funding for tomorrow's mining engineers. 

A free math bridging program was offered to students enrolled in specific math classes for spring 2014. Students received intensive, individualized review of prerequisite material for the upcoming course and guidance on all aspects of getting through a math course at the college level, including how to study for tests, strategies for getting homework done, and how to get the most out of lectures. 

UAF was well represented at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. Faculty, staff and students delivered 52 talks and presented 116 posters for the largest showing of scientists from UAF at the Dec. 9-13 conference. Scientists from GI and IARC accounted for 90 percent of the UAF research presentations. 

Caribou in southern and eastern Canada may disappear from most of their current range in 60 years if climate change takes the toll on their habitat that scientists are predicting. UAF scientists, part of a team headed by researchers at Laval University in Quebec, looked at genetic diversity in caribou and whether that diversity was linked to stable habitats. They found caribou populations in the most climatically stable areas had the greatest genetic diversity, which is important because genetically diverse populations are more able to adapt to change. The scientists note that future climate forecasts bode ill for both caribou habitat and their genes. The results of their research were published in December in the journal Nature Climate Change online.  

In Progress

UAF eLearning and Distance Education is staying ahead of the curve when it comes to wearable technology and how these new tools will affect higher education. Jennifer Moss, an instructional designer on the team, is one of Alaska's first Glass Explorers, invited by Google to test their new device -- called Google Glass -- which looks like a pair of glasses but is equipped with smartphone-like capabilities and can be used hands-free. The team is partnering with staff and faculty to test this emergent technology in a variety of educational scenarios.

The Arctic Winter Games, UArctic and UAF are partnering for the first Arctic Winter Games College Fair to connect athletes participating in the games to higher education opportunities in the circumpolar North. The college fair will take place from 9 a.m.-noon and 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, in the Great Hall on the Fairbanks campus.

What's Next

The Alaska Nanooks will host the 2015 NCAA National Rifle Championship, March 13-14, 2015, at the Patty Center. The Nanooks hosted the event in 2007, a championship they won in front of hundreds of spectators from the Fairbanks and surrounding communities. UAF's rifle team has won 10 national championships, the second-most in the NCAA history.

The 41st annual UAF Festival of Native Arts is scheduled for Feb. 27-March 1. Alaska Native students at UAF established the festival in the mid-1970s as an attempt to preserve Native cultural expression. 

The second annual Discover Alaska lecture series will take place summer 2014. The lectures will feature presentations by Alaska artists, authors, historians and scientists.

through the lens: recent images

UAF will manage one of six official Federal Aviation Administration unmanned aircraft system test sites.

UAF will manage one of six official Federal Aviation Administration unmanned aircraft system test sites. The Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex, with its geographic diversity spanning seven climatic zones, will give manufacturers the ability to test their equipment in the Arctic, the tropics and arid environments. The test site will build on the work of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration. Congressionally mandated, the sites are intended for research into the requirements to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into national airspace over the next several years. 


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Swimmers, top left, at the start of the 200-yard freestyle relay during the Nanooks' meet against Loyola Marymount in the Patty Pool.

Emily Smola, top right, at the weeklong homeless vigil maintained 24 hours a day by students in the UAF Honors Program. The temperature on the Fairbanks campus at the time was a brisk 30 below zero.

Lindsey Dreese, below right, practices a move during an Aurora Aerial Arts Club meeting in the Student Recreation Center. Dreese, a junior biology major, helped start the club, which now boasts about 25 members who meet twice a week.

An Army ROTC cadet, below left, reads the names of service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, while his colleagues stand at parade rest during the Veterans Day Roll Call. More than 6,700 names were read.

[See captions above]

UAF photos by Todd Paris and JR Ancheta.

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