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Connecting Alaska's press to UA News

July 26, 2022

Research, workforce development and economic growth news stories and other feature articles from the University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 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 Anchorage

Exploring Alaska's microbe frontiers

UAA Biological Sciences Professor Brandon Briggs and students took a road trip across southern Alaska to sample microorganisms in the meltwater and soils of glaciers and mine tailings. By looking at how these “extreme microbes” respond to and manipulate their environments, the researchers hope to better understand how glaciers change over time.

Contact Brandon Briggs for more information.

Glacier Microbe tripKodi Haughn takes the lead as students in UAA Biological Sciences Professor Brandon Briggs' lab depart after sampling microbes at the foot of Worthington Glacier. [Photo by James Evans, UAA Chief of Photography]

Prince William Sound College Director Dr. Dan O'Connor retires

After serving as the president of Prince William Sound College since 2014, Dr. Dan O’Connor retired on July 8. Under his leadership, PWSC joined with the University of Alaska, Anchorage system, and his steadfast efforts during his time here helped to grow and enrich the college in many ways.

Dennis Humphrey, Ph.D., has been selected to serve as the interim director of Prince William Sound College (PWSC), beginning July 17, 2022.

Contact Austin Osborn for more information.

Nine Seawolves recognized for academic excellence

A record nine Alaska Anchorage players were honored this week as the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced its 2021-22 NABC Honors Court list for outstanding academic performance. The Seawolves’ nine selections were the most of any team in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Contact UAA Athletics for more information.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

UAF crew, unmanned aircraft help protect endangered right whales

The Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration is back in Canada to help prevent endangered North Atlantic right whales from colliding with vessels in the busy Gulf of St. Lawrence. This marks the third year of ACUASI as an official part of the Canadian government's North Atlantic right whale monitoring program and its fifth year in the whale effort overall. 

Contact Rod Boyce for more information.

Crew works on Seahunter UAVACUASI team members Joncy Walden and Justin Humphrey tune the fuel injection on a SeaHunter’s left engine in Canada in 2020. [Photo by Andrew Wentworth, ACUASI]
UAF scientist proud of his work on Webb telescope

Gunther Kletetschka of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute worked on developing the telescope's magnetically controlled microshutters, which helped make those images possible.

The telescope, launched in December 2021 on a European Space Agency rocket, is expected to be the world’s premier observatory for at least the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers and other scientists across the globe.

Contact Rod Boyce for more information.

New method can improve explosion detection

Computers can be trained to better detect distant nuclear detonations, chemical blasts and volcano eruptions by learning from artificial explosion signals, according to a new method devised by a University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist. Witsil’s method improves detection by making use of hundreds of single-element infrasound microphones already in place around the world. 

Contact Rod Boyce for more information.

University of Alaska Southeast

Dashiell Hillgartner Appointed Director of Admissions for the University of Alaska Southeast

The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dashiell Hillgartner as Director of Admissions. This key position works to increase access to academic programs and contributes to strategic enrollment goals. The Director of Admissions provides leadership for all areas of undergraduate admissions across three campuses: Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka.

Contact Keni Campbell for more information.

Dashiell Hillgartner portraitDash Hillgartner, UAS Director of Admissions

UA System Office - Did You Know

University of Alaska locations across the state provide world-class experiences for tourists, visitors and locals alike

Tourists come to see Alaska’s mountains, bears, glaciers, and northern lights, as well as to enjoy fishing, gold panning, and learning about Alaska’s Native cultures and communities. These opportunities also inspire students, researchers, faculty and staff throughout the university system. 

In addition, there are many exciting attractions at each university that draw visitors. From the top-rated Museum of the North on the Fairbanks campus to the Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum in Valdez, here’s a look at some of the most visitor-friendly locations in the UA system.

Contact Monique Musick for more information.

UAMN Alaska Room

Rainbird Trail


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