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UA Newswire

Connecting Alaska's press to UA News

June 21, 2022

Research, workforce development and economic growth news stories and other feature articles from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Southeast, University of Alaska System Office and the UA Foundation. Compiled by the University of Alaska System Office of Public Affairs.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

UAF scientists find new indicators of Alaska permafrost thawing

More areas of year-round unfrozen ground have begun dotting Interior and Northwest Alaska and will continue to increase in extent due to climate change, according to new research by University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute scientists.

The scientists said the spread of taliks — volumes of unfrozen ground within areas of permafrost — has major implications for the movement of carbon among organisms, minerals and the atmosphere. Taliks will also affect the transfer in water of material such as nutrients and increase development of thermokarsts, areas of sunken land formed by the thawing of permafrost.

Contact Rod Boyce for more information. 

A data collection station sits at the Kuzitrin River ground temperature monitoring site on the Seward Peninsula, one of several sites in the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Laboratory’s monitoring network. (Photo by Vladimir Romanovsky)

Students gain energy research experience through ACEP Undergraduate Summer Internships

Alaska Center for Energy and Power’s summer interns have arrived, and they are wasting no time getting their hands deep into research. The research-focused ACEP Undergraduate Summer Internship program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to gain hands-on research experience and skill development in the energy industry.

Students are mentored by ACEP faculty members on specific research projects as they participate in hands-on research with fieldwork, field trips, and professional development throughout the summer. Their research topics span the entire spectrum of ACEP’s work. 

Contact Jeff Fisher for more information.

University of Alaska Anchorage

A little bit of everything: New documentary film features ISER’s prominent first director

Recently, Magnetic North, a documentary film series produced by the Alaska Humanities Forum in partnership with Rasmuson Foundation, featured ISER Director Emeritus Vic Fischer. The 25-minute film captures the story of the larger-than-life Alaskan.

The series explores the lives of prominent Alaskans who have shaped the state’s history, values and spirit. While it is hard to distill 96 years of Fischer’s life into 25 minutes, the film offers a glimpse into the Institute of Social and Economic Research’s (ISER) first director, delegate to Alaska’s Constitutional Convention, state legislator and activist, and his enduring legacy of tireless advocacy for the preservation of the public good in Alaska.

Contact Catalina Myers for more information.

Vic Fischer, author and director emeritus of ISER signs copies of his new book "To Russia With Love, An Alaskan's Journey" at a reception at the UAA/APU Consortium Library in 2012.

Vic Fischer, ISER's first director, signs copies of his book "To Russia With Love, An Alaskan's Journey" at a reception in the UAA/APU Consortium Library at the University of Alaska in October 2012. The memoir follows Fischer's life from growing up in Germany and Russia during World War II to his decades in Alaska. (Photo by Erin Hooley / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Computer science and community

International student Borochingua Zorigtbaatar, originally from Mongolia, shares her advice for students and discusses her educational experience and finding a community at UAA.

She found additional opportunities at UAA to support her educational goals. Due to her involvement in student life, Zorigtbaatar landed several prestigious scholarships over the years, awards through the UAA Multicultural Center and other leadership and community service awards. 

Contact Ted Kincaid, College of Engineering, for more information

University of Alaska Southeast 

Dr. David Tallmon of University of Alaska Southeast Receives Fulbright Award for 2022-2023

The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) is pleased to announce that Dr. David Tallmon, Professor of Biology, has received Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award for his work in “Population Genetics: Identifying the Genetic Basis of Pink Salmon Adaptation Using Population Genomics” for the 2022-2023 academic year from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Tallmon joins two other UAS faculty who have been awarded Fulbright awards: Dr. Heidi Pearson and Dr. Sanjay Pyare.

Dr. Tallmon is among over 800 U.S. citizens who will conduct research and/or teach abroad for the 2022-2023 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. 

Contact Keni Campbell for more information

Dr. David Tallmon

Dr. David Tallmon (Courtesy UAS)

Northrim Bank makes a major investment in UA’s three universities

A major, long-time supporter of the University of Alaska system, Northrim Bank, has gifted $259,500 to fund UA initiatives that advance research about Alaska’s economy and fiscal policy, expand business education and build entrepreneurship capacity. Northrim’s donation also includes funding to five community campuses where Northrim employees live and work. 

Northrim Bank’s 30 years of partnership with the University of Alaska system represents a cumulative $4.8 million investment in business education that touches each of our three universities. 

Contact Cassandra Stalzer for more information.

Did you know that students at University of Alaska Anchorage are studying how therapy dogs in dental offices can help reduce patient stress?

Meet Luci the therapy puppy, who helped UAA dental hygiene students Shayna McGinty, Amber Carroll and Tetiana Sazhnieva with their research - studying the positive effects of having therapy dogs work in the dental industry.

McGinty began researching the topic to determine if there were measurable benefits to having a therapy dog in a dental office and decided to start training one of her puppies, Luci, as a dental therapy dog with Alaska Dog Works. After conducting an initial literature review last semester, McGinty found there were positive effects of having a dental therapy dog.

Learn more about this research and our larger 'Did You Know' project here

Luci therapy dog

Shayna McGinty stands with Luci the therapy dog as she presents her study on the benefits of therapy dogs in the dental industry. (Courtesy UAA)

For more information on the UA Newswire, contact UA Manager of Communications & Marketing Monique Musick at mmusick@alaska.edu.