FY23 Annual Report

Reporting Period: July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023

Director’s Report

UAMN Director Pat Druceknmiller

Autumn is a fitting time to reflect back on another year’s activities and achievements at the

University of Alaska Museum of the North (UAMN). As the last fiscal year recedes into the

rearview mirror, I am grateful that a relative sense of normality has returned to our daily lives.

Tourism numbers have significantly rebounded, and it is energizing to see visitors from across

the globe enjoying our galleries. Our collections labs and facilities are busy with volunteers,

students, collection managers and curators working to preserve and study over 2.5 million

objects in our care. Our education team is busy with a full year of school and family

programming, and our exhibition team has several exciting projects in development.


Among the most exciting exhibit projects underway is Bus 142, also known as the “Into the

Wild” bus. Bus 142 evokes a multitude of different emotional responses, but it is undeniably an

internationally recognized icon for Alaska and promises to be a great draw for museum visitors.

The conservation work of the bus was completed this year while on display in the high bay at

the Joseph E. Usibelli Engineering Learning and Innovation Building. We are now preparing the

outdoor exhibition site in the forest north of the museum building. Our intent is to use Bus 142

as a touchstone to share many stories of Alaska Interior history, Indigenous peoples, and

natural sciences.


The close of this fiscal year coincided with another major accomplishment. UAMN again

achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. Accreditation, last awarded in

2008, is the gold standard of excellence among US museums. It recognizes our commitment to,

and demonstration of, the highest professional standards for education, public service, and

collections stewardship. While we are delighted to have reached this milestone for the fifth

time, it is not an excuse to rest on our laurels; rather, we have much work ahead to continually

improve the museum for the benefit of its collections, staff and people we serve. 


UAMN is rapidly approaching a century of service. It is exciting to think what the coming years will bring!


Patrick Druckenmiller, UAMN Director


UAMN Mission

UAMN illuminates the natural history and cultural heritage of Alaska and the North through collections, research, education, and partnerships, and by creating a singular museum experience that honors diverse knowledge and respect for the land and its peoples.

UAMN Vision

UAMN is an essential contributor to the well-being of the local and global community, an engaging gathering space, and a recognized resource and leader among circumpolar museums.

UAMN Core Values

  1. Preserving our shared cultural and natural history: We are committed to preserving collections in perpetuity to address present and future needs.
  1. Partnership: Collaboration with Indigenous, academic, agency, and other communities is central to our efforts.
  1. Integrity: We foster public trust through openness and ethical approaches to our research, education, and partnerships.
  1. Respect and inclusivity: We are stronger when we honor diversity and are committed to making the museum economically, physically, culturally, and intellectually accessible to everyone.
  1. Engagement: We encourage curiosity, creativity, and lifelong learning through teaching, exhibitions, and programming.


The collections are organized into 10 disciplines (archaeology, birds, documentary film, earth sciences, ethnology/history, fine arts, fishes/marine invertebrates, insects, mammals, and plants) and serve as a valuable resource for research on climate change, genetics, contaminants and other issues facing Alaska and the circumpolar North. The museum is also the premier repository for artifacts and specimens collected on public lands in Alaska and a leader in northern natural and cultural history research.


Total objects in collection: 2.5 million*

Total Cataloged/databased entries: 1.67 million

*estimated; backlog cataloging of older holdings is ongoing


New catalog/database entries: 33,996

Collections Use

Visitors to collections (professional and student): 449

Public contacts: ~1,000

Publications and technical reports: 38

Loans: 102

Digital Data Use

We served hundreds of millions of data records (downloads and queries) through our online database Arctos.

Field Trips

2,853 students

Programs & Events

4,800+ attendees

  • 5 Family Days sponsored by TOTE
  • 18 Family Programs (Early Explorers & Junior Curators)
  • 3 Teen Workshops
  • 2 Space Camp sessions sponsored by Dr. Walt & Marita Babula
  • 17 Offsite events
  • Virtual events & other outreach included Alaska Federation of Natives convention, Interior Alaska Science Fair, KUAC fall fundraiser, and more.
  • 5 Annual Events:
    • Educators' Night sponsored by Alcan & FUAMN
    • Museum Halloween sponsored by Wentz Orthodontics
    • Military and Veterans' Appreciation Day sponsored by Kendall Subaru of Fairbanks
    • Homeschool Day
    • Museum Open House sponsored by Alaska 529

Education Kits

3,673 students served

  • Classroom Kits: ~3,600 students served in 13 Alaskan communities (90 loans).
  • Homeschool Kits: 73 students served in 7 Alaskan communities (37 loans).
  • 10 Sun Discovery Kits + 17 Sun Kit USB flash drives and learning materials created and distributed to communities throughout Alaska, funded by NASA HEAT.*
*UAMN is a partner in the NASA Heliophysics Education Activation Team. 

Volunteer Hours

1,857 volunteer hours



Charley Basham, Lynn Basham, Sadie Blancafor, Janet Brower, Bekah Chatterley, Cheryl, Clarke-Hopcroft, Tim Doran, Mary Ann Fathauer, Judy Ferri, Carolyn Foelsch, Sandy Lachman, Helyn Lefgren, Dori Olsen, Tish Perkins, Gabrielle Sevillano, Richard Stolzberg, Betsy Sturm, Leslie Swenson, Janet Taylor, Avalon Wappett, Nicole Webster, David Weissman

Docent Longevity Awards from 2023:

  • Charley Basham, Spruce Award, 10 years (20 semesters)
  • Judy Ferri, Birch Award, 8 years (16 semesters)
  • Helyn Lefgren, Birch Award, 8 years (16 semesters)
  • Betsy Sturm, Willow Award, 5 years (10 semesters)
  • David Weissman, Willow Award, 5 years (10 semesters)
  • Richard Stolzberg, Fireweed Award, 3 years (6 semesters)

Event Volunteers:

Kelsey Aho, Marcus Alphin, Charley Basham, Lisa Guffey, Justin Guffey, Judy Ferri, Vicki Koehler, Helyn Lefgren, Lyric St. John, Betsy Sturm, David Weissman

July 2022

The Collect Alaska tabletop game was completed, printed, and made available for sale in the museum store. The card game is a tour of all UAMN departments and features all 10 research collections and 50 museum objects selected by the curators.

September 2022 

The Collect One Square Meter (COSM) touch table was developed and installed in the Collections Gallery. The installation invites visitors to look at a collection of meter-square plots of boreal forest ground and find the animals and plants in the images.

October 2022

UAMN Digital Media migrated its digital media archives to a networked (local) attached storage (NAS) device enabling a new level of safety in file redundancy, and ease of access media retrieval.

February 2023

The UAMN-produced exhibit Expedition Alaska: Crossroads of Beringia was installed in the Collections Gallery accompanied by a 77-stop audio tour and extended array of locally collected and prepared plant specimens for use under the gallery microscope.

February – April 2023

The Bus 142 Conservation project was documented through interviews, photographs, and video, later presented in the museum’s lobby.

March 2023 

The Perspective, Ways to See a Whale special exhibit was digitized (3D scans and 360-degree photographs) for later development into one of the museum’s virtual exhibition galleries.

Exhibits staff installed new components in the museum’s case at the Fairbanks International Airport.

UAMN began development and production of a new podcast (The More You Look) seeking to tell the stories of all museum departments from paleontology to botany, to development, to visitor services and H.R.

April 2023

A new edition of the Bus 142 Virtual Exhibit (available for public download) was released, now featuring a tour of the future forest exhibit site behind the museum.

May 2023

The UAMN Media Lab was established at the museum, the facility serving to store and make accessible museum documentary equipment, and to provide recording facilities for museum public address, exhibit narrative, audio guide, and podcast production.

June 2023

The first of the new Gallery of Alaska introductory panels were installed, welcoming visitors to Alaska, to Fairbanks, to Troth Yeddha’ (UAF campus).

The new Gallery of Alaska Western and Arctic Coasts casework and whale wall was completed, showcasing arctic whale species through their mounted skulls.

Digital Media documented the archaeology collections efforts at the Hollembaek site near Delta, Alaska, producing audio for a podcast episode and photographs and video for the collection.

The UA Museum of the North recognizes its most generous donors in the 2023 Fiscal Year.

Our community of supporters is essential for advancing the museum’s mission. Thank you!


Anonymous (3)

Airport Equipment Rental

Alaska 529

Alaska Airlines

Avis Alaska

Stephanie Baker

Kristopher D. Brown

Candlewood Suites

City of Fairbanks Hotel Motel Discretionary Fund


Jeffry and Susan Cook

Jean K. Druckenmiller

Nancy L. Eliason

First National Bank Alaska

Friends of the UA Museum

Frontier Glass

GVEA Goodcents

Dolores Hammond

Edward L. Hutton Foundation

Institute of Northern Engineering High Bay

JL Properties

Harold F. John Revocable Living Trust

Kendall Subaru of Fairbanks

Lindsey Lien and Mary Lynch

David and Barbara Murray

Jay Pritzker Foundation

David and Alexandra Sonneborn

TOTE Maritime

UAF Facilities Services

Usibelli Foundation

$1000 – $2499

Anonymous (2)

Alcan Builders

Charles and Janet Brower

The Tim and Barb Cerny Foundation

Jason Dantico

Timothy and Kathleen Doran

Cathy and Mark Gunderson

Judy A. Hundrup

Dr. Aldona C. Jonaitis

Mark Withrow and Carol Juergens

Quentin and Margaret Kessel

Paul and Karen Layer

Steven and Patricia Linn

Kevin Winker and Rose Meier

Mary Ann Nickles

Matthew Wooller and Diane O’Brien

Susan Hills and William Rimer

Richard and Patricia Seifert

Spine Care Specialists of Alaska

UAF Dining Services/Chartwells

Wentz Orthodontics

$500 - $999

Alaska Railroad

David Doorenbos and Daniel Bates

Susan L. Boersma

Steven Bouta

Timothy Rawson and H. Alison Cajocar

Martha Raynolds and Samuel Dashevsky

Andrew Heffel

Linda L. Kumin

Betsy R. Robertson

Derek and Melissa Sikes

Nigel and Avalon Wappett

Vicki J. Wyan

Museum Visitation

81,117 total visitors

Tour Groups

59 tour operators, 16,130 visitors


197 at the close of FY23

Website Visits

120,710 total visits


14,189 followers at the close of FY23

583,183 total reach for FY23*

*This metric counts reach from the organic or paid distribution of our Facebook content, including posts, stories and ads. It also includes reach from other sources, such as tags, check-ins and Page or profile visits. This number also includes reach from posts and stories that were boosted. Reach is only counted once if it occurs from both organic and paid distribution. This metric is estimated.


3,184 followers at the close of FY23

15,733 total reach for FY23*

*This metric counts reach from the organic or paid distribution of our Instagram content, including posts and stories that were boosted. Reach is only counted once if it occurs from both organic and paid distribution. This metric is estimated.

Advertising Partners & Platforms

Explore Fairbanks

Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA)

Fairbanks Daily Newsminer

UAF Visitors’ Guide/Summer Campus Shuttle

The Milepost

Bearfoot Guide


Google Business


Earned Income



Museum Admissions

$ 930,923


Museum Store Sales

$ 527,124


Other Sales/Services

$ -


Miscellaneous revenue

$ 27,677


Special Event Revenue

$ 12,138



$ 10,054


Interdepartmental Revenue

$ 5,103


Unreserved Fund Balance

$ 398,930


Indirect Cost Recovery

$ 113,545


$ -


Total Earned Income

$ 2,025,493


Contributed Income


State Support

$ 739,300


Federal Grants

$ -

$ 1,069,097


Foundation Grants

$ -

$ 610,918


Non-Profit & Other University Grants

$ -

$ 138,758


State Grants/City Borough Grants

$ -

$ 36,188


Other Private Grants & Contracts


Total Contributed Income

$ 739,300

$ 1,854,961



$ 2,764,793

$ 1,854,961

$ 4,619,755




Salaries and wages

$ 1,679,250

$ 676,039


Staff Benefits

$ 559,472

$ 142,094



$ 10,068

$ 109,853


Services and contracts

$ 157,652

$ 595,407


Commodities and supplies

$ 79,620

$ 101,379


Resale merchandise

$ 349,408

$ -


Equipment and collections

$ -

$ -


Student Aid

$ 20,404

$ 40,194


Indirect costs


$ 193,857



$ 59,507

$ (3,861)



$ 2,915,380

$ 1,854,962

$ 4,770,342


Net Change in Funds

$ (150,587)

$ (0)

$ (150,587)


Pat Druckenmiller, Museum Director

Emilie Nelson, Executive Assistant

Barbara Ellanna, Fiscal Professional

Kevin May, Head of Operations


Aelin Allegood, Development Officer

Visitor Services, Marketing, & Membership

Megan Koch, Director of Visitor Services & Marketing

Marcus Avugiak, Visitor Services Manager

Carson Frank, Sales Lead

Sophie Zhang, Visitor Services & Marketing Lead

Maxine Laberge, Communications Fellow

Education and Public Programs

Jennifer Arseneau, Director of Education & Public Programs

Elisabeth Padilla, Outreach Specialist & Field Trip Coordinator

Emily Koehler-Platten, Outreach Specialist

Nan Werdin-Pfisterer, Outreach Specialist

Exhibits & Digital Media  

Roger Topp, Director of Exhibits

Tamara Martz, Lead Designer

Jonah Wright, Chief Preparator

Alaska Center for Documentary Film  

Leonard Kamerling, Curator Emeritus


Josh Reuther, Curator

Scott Shirar, Collection Manager

Sam Coffman, Research Archaeologist  

Earth Science   

Patrick Druckenmiller, Curator


Derek Sikes, Curator   

Ethnology & History   

Angela Linn, Senior Collections Manager

Fine Arts   

Della Hall, Collection Manager  

Genomic Resources   

Mallory Gulbranson, Collection Manager    


Stefanie Ickert-Bond, Curator

Carolyn Parker, Research Professional   

Ichthyology and Aquatics  

J. Andrés López, Curator   


Link Olson, Curator

Aren Gunderson, Collection Manager   


Kevin Winker, Curator

Jack Withrow, Collection Manager