Institute of Arctic Biology

The Institute of Arctic Biology is Alaska's principal research and educational unit for investigating high-latitude biological systems and providing policy makers necessary knowledge to interpret, predict and manage biological systems through integration of research, student education and service to Alaska and the nation.

Scientific research by IAB faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students focuses on wildlife, including caribou, moose, waterfowl, game birds and polar bears; conservation biology addressing shorebirds; ecology, biogeochemistry, ecosystems and modeling of boreal, stream and arctic landscapes; climate change; physiology including hibernation and thermogenesis; evolutionary biology; human, plant and animal genetics; toxicology and infectious diseases; plant-animal interactions; biomedicine and human health disparities in a community-based and participatory paradigm, nutrition and physical activity.

IAB, established by the Alaska Legislature and the UA Board of Regents in 1962, is a world leader in arctic research and is an academic gateway to study of the circumpolar Arctic. IAB administers several specialized research programs and facilities. The Toolik Field Station is an internationally recognized arctic research station hosting hundreds of scientists from around the world each year. The Resilience and Adaptation Program prepares graduate students, scholars, policy-makers and managers to address issues of regional sustainability. The Center for Alaska Native Health Research investigates weight, nutrition and health in Alaska Natives. The Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit promotes research and graduate student training in the ecology and management of fish and wildlife. The Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research program focuses on the long-term consequences of climate change and disturbance in Alaska boreal forests. The Alaska Geobotany Center is dedicated to understanding northern ecosystems through the use of GIS, remote sensing and field experiments.

The Large Animal Research Station maintains colonies of muskoxen, caribou and reindeer for research and public education. The Alaska Basic Neuroscience Program studies mechanisms of neuroprotective adaptations. The Spatial Ecology Lab provides state-of-the-art spatial analysis of ecological data and development, testing and application of spatially explicit ecological models. IAB's research greenhouse provides a year-round environment for research and education. The Core DNA Lab keeps UAF at the cutting edge of molecular analysis. IAB animal quarters provide holding and experiment facilities for small animals. For more information, call 907-474-7412 or visit

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