Portrait of Oceana Francis

IARC Student Named Young Engineer of the Year

IARC graduate student Oceana Francis was named Young Engineer of the Year by the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers. Oceana also serves as VP for the Fairbanks Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is involved with American Indian Science and Engineering Society, and the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program. She is actively involved in bringing science and engineering together. At IARC, she is working with David Atkinson.

Students leave classroom for Peace Corps

By Jeremia Schrock
Sun Star Contributor

Two UAF graduate students will be swapping coursework for fieldwork this spring when they head to Central America for two years as Peace Corps volunteers.

Benjamin Rance, a first-year Natural Resource Management master’s student, and Julie Emslie, a second-year Rural and Community Development master’s student, joined the Peace Corps through the Master’s International Program (MIP)...

(read the rest of the story in the Sun Star)

Grant Award

Lila Tauzer, UAF graduate student
Lila Tauzer

From the Fairbanks Daily News Miner - Thursday, February 11, 2010 edition:

Grad student's proposal wins big

Lila Tauzer, a graduate student studying ecology and remote sensing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, was awarded $15,000 for winning the 2010 Angus Gavin Memorial Migratory Bird Research Grant.

Tauzer proposed that migratory birds at Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge could be used as environmental change indicators. With the grant, Tauzer plans to study habitat changes in Interior boreal forests and the effects on avian communities.

The grant awards funds for research done on Alaska birds, whether seasonal or permanent. Angus Gavin became and environmental adviser for oil company ARCO in 1969. the grant was established in his memory in 1981.


Lila was raised in northern California and then in British Columbia. She returned to the place of her childhood for university studies.  She received a B.Sc. in Biology from Humboldt State University and concurrently developed a strong passion for ecology, field research, the outdoors, and particularly for birds.

Lila has worked extensively as a field biologist and her experience reflects her diverse interests in all things living.  Although she has a soft spot for songbirds and choses to work with them if at all possible, she has also assisted on research projects investigating frogs and salamanders in the High Sierra Nevada mountains; raptors in Kenya; rattlesnakes and plants in the Great Basin desert; Big Horn Sheep and wolves in the Canadian Rockies; and birds in the Amazon.  Most recently, she spent 3 summer field-seasons in interior Alaska - performing backcountry bird surveys.  As a result of these experiences, she started to think more seriously about landscape connectivity, population declines, ecosystem function, climate change and, perhaps most importantly, what this means for us all.

In the fall of 2009, Lila enrolled in the University of Alaska Fairbanks as an interdisciplinary MS student in Remote Sensing and Ecology with advisors Dr. Abby Powell (IAB) and Anupma Prakash (Geology and Geophysics).  At Creamer’s Field, she will be using mapping techniques to document habitat change in response to recent climate warming; she will also collect and analyze bird data in order to greater understand the effects of this ecosystem shift.  Her project  is a collaboration with Alaska Bird Observatory and US Fish and Wildlife Service, and is currently funded by the Alaska Space Grant Program.   To her great excitement, she was recently awarded the UA Foundation Angus Gavin Migratory Bird Research Fund to help fund her summer 2010 field work.

Logo for the Center for Global Change

Center for Global Change Grant Recipients

Timothy Bartholomaus, Department of Geology and Geophysics, UAF: Physical oceanography and tidewater glacier dynamics at Yahtse Glacier, Alaska

Amber Churchill, Department of Biology and Wildlife, UAF: Nitrogen availability in boreal peatlands responding to climate change and its effect on vegetation community structure and primary productivity
Daniella Della-Giustina, Department of Physics, UAF: Regional modeling of Greenland outlet glaciers with the Parallel Ice Sheet Model
Michael Garvin, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UAF: Whole mitochondrial genome analysis to uncover detailed genetic structure of chum salmon populations and possible historical refugia
Joshua Holbrook, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UAF: Determining anisotropic thermal conductivity of snow with needle probe measurements
Eunkyoung Hong, Institute of Northern Engineering, UAF: Estimating damages costs for Alaska infrastructure at risk from climate change
Santosh Panda, Department of Geology and Geophysics, UAF: Modeling permafrost dynamics along the Alaska Highway corridor, Interior Alaska
Emily Schwing, Department of Natural Resources Management, UAF: How will drought affect carbon storage in deciduous boreal forest soils?
Jill-Marie Seymour, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UAF: Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) feeding ecology and possible links to Trichinellosis
Michaela Swanson, Department of Biology and Wildlife, UAF: Coupling alder strategies for phosphorus assimilation with phosphorus biogeochemistry across a boreal forest successional sequence
James Willacker, Department of Biology and Wildlife, UAF: The role of temperature in tissue specific isotope fractionation and turnover in captive threespine stickleback
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