Arctic Research Open House to surprise and delight on May 18

Nanook white bear mascot
Photo by JR Ancheta, Geophysical
Nook, the UAF mascot, stands in front of the Akasofu and Elvey buildings, which house some of the more than two dozen research units and facilities participating in the Arctic Research Open House.

Ever tasted the effects of climate change in blueberries? Built and launched a rocket? Watched bacteria grow in real time? Wrestled your way into an Arctic survival suit? 

Experience these unique activities and more at the 2023 Arctic Research Open House from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 18, along the West Ridge of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Troth Yeddha’ Campus.

The family-friendly event will include booths from more than two dozen UAF research units and facilities. They include the International Arctic Research Center, Geophysical Institute, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Alaska Satellite Facility, Institute of Arctic Biology and many more. The Fairbanks office of the National Weather Service, located in UAF’s Akasofu Building, will also participate.

Visitors can walk among numerous facilities to learn about current projects. They can meet researchers in the fields of climate science, geoscience, natural resources, social sciences, engineering and others. This year’s theme is “Around the World in Arctic Ways,” and scientists will share insights about research happening in and around Fairbanks that has global impacts.

Below are some engaging options for visitors:

  • Experience Toolik Field Station’s tundra through virtual reality goggles.
  • Paint an oyster shell and learn about fish specimens.
  • Power a lightbulb with your own energy.
  • Learn about different types of ice and how changing ice can influence our lives.
  • Meet your local NWS meteorologist and learn Fairbanks weather trivia.
  • Track pathogens in real time.
  • Meet Pingo Peat, UAF’s big inflatable mammoth.
  • Learn how researchers are kept safe in icy waters using survival suits.
  • See yourself through a hyperspectral camera.

Children and students are encouraged to come to this interactive event. The office of UAF Vice Chancellor for Research Nettie La Belle-Hamer will hold an ice cream social to celebrate the end of the K-12 school year.

Activities are on the UAF West Ridge, easily accessible at Thompson Drive off Geist Road. Free public parking is available in lots along Koyukuk Drive. Download the event flyer and event map to see all open house participants.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Information is available on the Facebook event and the event website. Email questions or requests for accommodations to