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1999-2000 Catalog

Research Institutes and Centers


Global Change and Arctic System Research, Center for

The Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research was created in 1990 as the focal point at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for developing, coordinating and implementing interdisciplinary research and education related to the role of the Arctic in global environmental change.

Considerable attention is being focused by the center on global climate concerns and large-scale pollution in the Arctic. Polar regions play a key role in processes responsible for global climatic fluctuations and are widely recognized as important repositories of information on past climates and causes of past climatic fluctuations.

The Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research facilitates collaborative research by faculty and students in environmental science and earth system studies. Members of this informal research consortium belong to various academic departments, research institutes and centers, including biology and wildlife, chemistry, forestry, geology and geophysics and physics departments; Geophysical Institute and institutes of Marine Science, Arctic Biology and Northern Engineering; and Alaska Quaternary Center. Student and faculty research activities focus on the function of the earth system at all scales and interactions of humans and other biota with the physical and biotic environments.

Research addressing earth system processes encompasses a wide variety of studies, including the physical, biological and social sciences and their interactions. Topics include ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns; terrestrial ecosystems, including tundra and boreal forest; natural resources such as forests and fisheries; sea ice; glaciers; permafrost; freshwater resources; paleoenvironments; and socioeconomic aspects of global change. Regional impact assessments through field studies, mesoscale climate modeling, satellite remote sensing and analysis and synthesis of all available data are some of the techniques employed in integrating these interdisciplinary system studies.

Contact the Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research at (907) 474-5698. For information on education opportunities in earth system and environmental sciences, see Interdisciplinary Studies in the Degrees and Programs section.