Welcome from the Director

Diane O'Brien, Director
Diane O'Brien, Director

Welcome to the Institute of Arctic Biology and our website. Please look around our site and get to know us, learn what we do, how we got here and what we are up to.

The Institute of Arctic Biology was founded in 1963 by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska with Laurence Irving, a pioneer in the field of comparative physiology, as the founding director.

The Institute continues Irving's pioneering spirit through our mission to advance basic and applied knowledge of high-latitude biological systems through the integration of research, student education and service to the nation and state of Alaska. The Institute supports faculty and post-doctoral research and graduate education in the life sciences of wildlife, physiology, genetics and evolutionary biology, ecology and ecosystems, biomedicine, and bioinformatics and computational biology. Faculty member's scholarly publications, graduate theses and IAB's Biological Papers of the University of Alaska are available in the research-publications section of our website.

IAB provides and supports platforms for research in programs from ecology and ecosystems to molecular biology and genetics, including field stations, and core laboratories for geographic information systems and DNA sequencing. The Institute's Toolik Field Station is a world-renowned Arctic climate change research station located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range.

Major research programs at IAB include the Center for Alaska Native Health Research, the Alaska Geobotany Center, and the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research program.

The Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, administered by IAB, began in 1950 and is part of a nationwide cooperative program to promote research and graduate student training in the ecology and management of fish, wildlife and their habitats.

IAB faculty deliver the entire curriculum for undergraduate majors in biology and wildlife biology, a component of chemistry and biochemistry majors, and provide UAF undergraduates with opportunities for hands-on research experiences in the field and laboratory. IAB faculty members hold joint appointments with the Department of Biology and Wildlife, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Department of Psychology and the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. Our faculty mentor more than 150 graduate students including 75 doctoral candidates.

I also invite you to join us at our weekly Life Science Seminar Series to hear about current research and our annual Irving-Scholander Memorial Lecture and Jay Hammond Lecture in Wildlife Biology series where we invite outstanding life scientists to campus to give public lectures and meet with students, faculty and staff. Read breaking news about IAB scientists and students and their research at our news pages.

The Institute of Arctic Biology has a proud and distinguished research history. I encourage you to look around our website and discover for yourself the tremendous contributions to science and Alaska made by our faculty members, students and staff.

Diane M. O'Brien, Director
Institute of Arctic Biology

Main Office

311 Irving 1 Building
P.O. Box 757000
2140 Koyukuk Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
907.474.7666 (fax)


View of West Ridge
The Institute of Arctic Biology is located in the West Ridge complex, the center of scientific research at UAF. Photo credit: Todd Paris.