UAF's high latitude location creates an ideal environment for cryospheric research. Department faculty are engaged in research focused on the role of snow, ice, and permafrost in the shaping of the landscape, and their influence on climate and impact on the biosphere.
Paleontological research at UAF spans the globe, but focuses on Alaskan fossils. Department faculty and students specialize in the reconstruction of ancient ecosystems and climates through identification of pollen and spores and in vertebrate paleontology, particularly of Alaskan dinosaurs and Mesozoic marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs.
Tectonics & Sedimentation research at UAF conducts research in an exciting corner of the globe - where the Pacific, North American and Eurasian plates meet in Alaska and the adjacent regions of the circumpolar North. Alaska provides an exciting natural laboratory for research reconstructing the processes of Earth's history over a variety of time scales.
Seismology and Geodesy faculty and students at UAF pursue research on earthquakes in the solid Earth and glaciers, crustal and mantle structure, active tectonics and deformation of the Earth. Research targets span the globe, and yet are directly linked with the extremely dynamic Alaskan tectonic landscape.