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Connecting Alaska's press to UA News

July 12, 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

Summer academies add up to an informative experience for youth participants

More than 50 students from area middle and high schools attended academies at the College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP) in June. The day-long sessions focused on accounting and leadership, offering speed mentoring and interactive sessions on budgeting, leadership and teamwork. 

Contact Mariah Oxford for more information. 

Middle school students learn personal finance from Credit Union 1 employees during CBPP's Get Real Financial Reality Fair.

Employees from Credit Union 1 helped students understand the challenges of personal finance during the "Get Real Financial Reality Fair" as part of CBPP's Accounting Summer Academy, June 22. (Photo courtesy of College of Business and Public Policy)

Semester by the Bay student Adina Allen recognized with National Student Exchange achievement award

University of Minnesota Twin Cities fisheries and aquatic sciences major Adina Allen received the Wendel Wickland Student Achievement Award from the National Student Exchange (NSE) for her accomplishments while on exchange to UAA's Kachemak Bay Campus.

Adina Allen participated in the Semester by the Bay program while on exchange during the fall 2021 semester. She delivered two professional presentations, submitted a research proposal, presented a field report in poster form, and wrote and recorded an educational segment for a local radio station.

Contact Catalina Myers for more information.

Campus Services supports the naturalization of 124 new US citizens!

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the UAA Wendy Williamson Auditorium sponsored and hosted the first large Naturalization Ceremony for Alaska since the onset of the pandemic. There were 124 citizens who were naturalized from 47 different countries. U.S. District Court Judge Joshua Kindred, UAA graduate, presided over the ceremony. The Williamson Auditorium will host an even larger Naturalization Ceremony on Aug. 12, 2022. The US District Court in Alaska only has small court rooms, so hosting the event at the Williamson allows for larger ceremonies and for the new citizens to bring friends and family to celebrate with them. The June 24 event was the 7th Naturalization Ceremony, since August of 2017, hosted at the Williamson Auditorium.

Contact Catalina Myers for more information.

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Birdwatching brings millions of dollars to Alaska

Thousands of birdwatchers flock to Alaska each year, drawn by the chance to check rare and hard-to-find species off a Big Year list. In doing so, they provide an often overlooked boost to the economy and incentive for conserving habitat. 

New research by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Audubon Alaska found that nearly 300,000 birders traveled to the state and spent about $378 million in 2016. Birdwatching supported roughly 4,300 jobs in Alaska that year. 

Contact Heather McFarland for more information.

A bluethroat singing on a shrub.
A bluethroat sings near UAF’s Toolik Field Station north of the Brooks Range. The mostly Eurasian bird’s range extends just over the Bering Sea into northern Alaska. If birders want to see a bluethroat in the Americas, they have to travel to Alaska.  (Photo by Seth Beaudreault/Toolik Field Station.)

Mining's effect on fish warrants better science-based policies

A new paper published in Science Advances synthesizes the impact of metal and coal mines on salmon and trout in northwestern North America, and highlights the need for more complete and transparent science to inform mining policy.  

It is the first comprehensive effort by an interdisciplinary group of experts that explicitly links mining policy to current understanding of watershed ecology and salmonid biology. 

Contact Alice Bailey for more information.

Matanuska Experiment Farm honored for century of tracking weather

Over the past century, the average annual temperature at the Matanuska Experiment Farm in Palmer increased from 35.2 degrees Fahrenheit to 37 degrees F. Only 38 days annually now drop below 0 degrees, down from 45 days in the early 1900s. In October 1945, it was too damp to harvest crops. In June 1936,  temperatures topped 90 degrees for three days.

These are only a few of the tens of thousands of observations since staff at the Matanuska Experiment Station began tracking the weather on July 1, 1917. A century later, those daily temperature, precipitation, snowfall, snow depth and evaporation data points have proven to be an invaluable record for climate scientists, researchers and the agricultural community.

On July 6, the National Weather Service honored the Matanuska Experiment Station and Extension Center for its century of participation in the Cooperative Observer Program.

Contact Julie Stricker for more information.

University of Alaska Southeast 

ACRC Launches Report on Juneau’s Changing Climate and Community Response

The Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) recently released a comprehensive report on the impacts and response to climate change in Juneau titled, Juneau’s Changing Climate and Community Response. From more frequent intense rainfall events to the response of local wildlife, the report features accessible information from twenty-three local experts, scientists, and managers on the historic impacts, expected trends, and community response to climate change in the City and Borough of Juneau.

Contact Molly Tankersley for more information.

Mendenhall Glacier is a major tourist destination and a focal point of the Juneau community. (Photo courtesy Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center)

UAS and National Student Exchange Recognize the Accomplishments of Ricardo Medina-Soler

Ricardo Medina-Soler has been awarded the Dr. Richard R. Bond Community Engagement Award from the National Student Exchange (NSE). The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) recently hosted Biology major Medina-Soler during his exchange in Spring 2022 from the University of Puerto Rico Bayamon. Named after former NSE consortium leaders, the Student Achievement Award comes with a stipend of $500 and is awarded to students who demonstrated the best use of their time on exchange. Recipients are recognized for academic accomplishments, social welfare service, contribution to the campus or community, and creative use of time while studying at a host university.

Contact Keni Campbell for more information.

UAS to offer free Alaska Native Language classes this fall

This fall the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) will be offering free Alaska Native Language classes with no tuition or fees. Classes are offered in Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian languages at all levels — beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The free classes are for our non-credit courses, but credit can be received if a student chooses to pay tuition and fees.

Contact Keni Campbell for more information.

UA System Office - Did You Know

Did You Know UA system collaborates with top-tier universities to offer specialized degrees?

The University of Alaska system collaborates with top-tier universities to offer academic programs that grow Alaska’s workforce in specialized fields. These collaborations help Alaska students to complete advanced degrees in healthcare, law, and veterinary medicine while minimizing the need for out-of-state residency and cost.  

Contact Cassandra Stalzer for more information.

pharmacy student

Alaska was once the only state that did not offer a doctor of pharmacy program, now a partnership with ISU allows students to complete all four years of instruction without leaving Alaska. (Photo courtesy UAA)

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