Dean and Graduate School Staff
Dean of the Graduate School
Dr. John C. Eichelberger
Message from the Dean of the Graduate School
Welcome! We hope you will join us for graduate studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. You’ll find a sense of adventure and exploration here that is hard to match at any other university in the United States, or even the world. Alaska and UAF are indeed “naturally inspiring”, whether your interest is art, history, languages, biology, geology, space, engineering or many other fields. You might be thinking that Fairbanks is remote, but if you look at an Alaska-centric projection of Earth you will see what a wonderful location this is. More than that, there is a sense of a shared journey here. That sense of community, that “we’re all in this together”, is a rare and magical attribute that provides important support for the graduate studies experience.
What attracts our graduate students, who come from all over the world, is often a combination of a fascination with Alaska and a desire to work with a particular member or members of our outstanding faculty. As you can see from this website, we at the Graduate School are here to help you in your academic journey. We track your progress, help you to avoid getting lost, and provide consultation and connection to resources outside your immediate academic home of department and advisor when needed. Please feel free to contact us about your questions and concerns. That’s why we’re here.
About the Dean
John Eichelberger first saw Alaska on a northward detour as he drove from MIT, where he received BS and MS degrees in geology, to Stanford, where he received a PhD in geology. Alaska remained a far-off goal while he spent 17 years as a volcanology researcher and science manager at Los Alamos and then Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. He made discoveries concerning the mixing and degassing of magmas, and was designated “Distinguished Member of Technical Staff” by Sandia for pioneering work in drilling into volcanoes.
In 1991, twenty years after his first visit to Alaska, Dr. Eichelberger became Professor of Volcanology at UAF, a joint appointment in the Department of Geology and Geophysics and the Geophysical Institute. There he led the growth of the Alaska Volcano Observatory and mentored 10 PhD students and 7 MS students, receiving the Usibelli Award for Research and serving for a time as department chair. His students have attained responsible and challenging positions in federal, state, and foreign governmental agencies, U.S and foreign universities, and the mineral and geothermal industries.
Rather than continue exploring northward while at UAF, Dr. Eichelberger traveled westward down the Aleutian chain of volcanoes, eventually spending several months as Visiting Scientist at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, Russia. In the process, he helped to found the International Volcanological Field School, which continues to bring students to both Kamchatka and Alaska from all over the world every summer, and a five-year program that joined Russian and American graduate students in comparative volcanology.
With a mixture of regret and anticipation, Dr. Eichelberger left Alaska for Virginia in 2007 to coordinate the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Volcano Hazards Program, which operates the Nation’s volcano observatories including at Mount St Helens, Hawaii, and Alaska. In the U.S. Government he continued an international theme, initiating new scientific partnerships with Russia, Italy, and France, while encouraging USGS scientists to involve graduate students in their research.
Mentorship can begin at home. Both of Dr. Eichelberger’s children have navigated the PhD path, which reinforced his desire to be an advocate for graduate students. In fall of 2012, he returned to his love of education and Alaska as Dean of the Graduate School, where he will work to ensure the success of all graduate students at UAF.
The Dean of the Graduate School is responsible for graduate studies in 49 Master's and 17 Doctoral programs at UAF. The Dean also works with faculty to enhance the quality and productivity of the UAF interdisciplinary graduate program.
Director of the Graduate School and Interdisciplinary Programs
202B Eielson Building
202 Eielson Building
202 Eielson Building
Juan Antonio Goula
Juan Antonio Goula
202A Eielson Building