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UAF Bristol Bay Environmental Science Lab

A healthy environment is vital to rural Alaskans and their subsistence way of life. For example, the estuaries of the Bristol Bay region are the nurseries to one of the world’s last great sustainable salmon fishery and are the foundation of Alaska’s subsistence culture. Even though the population of Alaska is small, climate change and globalization are threatening the region’s economic, social, and environmental health including estuaries. To better understand change, rural residents are undertaking environmental monitoring and sampling programs to warn of potential hazards.

There is a need for more rural environmental and sustainable energy specialists to become more involved in studies and policy making. The unspoiled landscape of southwest Alaska provides the backdrop for students entering academic programs that teach technical skills, and gives hands-on experience for careers in environmental studies. This place-based program combines contemporary scientific studies with traditional knowledge to better prepare graduates for rural entry-level jobs while giving the academic base to continue formal education in environmental studies, sustainable energies or natural science. Since the program was piloted in 2006, it has provided educational opportunities for the region’s residents, particularly Alaska Natives. Further, this has empowered many students and their communities to adapt to the overwhelming outside social, ecological, and economic pressures on imported resources.

Want to learn more?

Stop by or call 1-800-478-5109 and talk with an Academic Studies Advisor today to see what courses you would need to acheive your Environmental Studies Certificate.

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