Current opportunities at UAF

DBF group

There are many ways for undergraduate students to get involved in research at UAF! 

In addition to URSA funding, several other organizations at UAF, within the UA System, and outside Alaska offer opportunities for our undergraduate students. Don't be afraid to reach out to researchers, organizations, and institutes in your field to make a connection and inquire about future opportunities! On this page we have provide information about UAF organizations that regularly offer opportunities for funding and/or project support. If you are looking to join an established project with faculty, staff, or graduate students at UAF, see the list of opportunities listed below. 

If you need assistance contacting individuals or organizations, please reach out! We are more than happy to help you connect with potential opportunities.

Projects Seeking Undergraduate Participation

New listings are posted when received. 

Contact: Noah Emerson
Graduate Student, Natural Resources and Environment

Seeking 2 undergraduate students (Sophomore - Senior Standing).

Our Plant Pathology Lab is seeking a motivated and detail-oriented undergraduate research assistant to join our team. As a key member of our research endeavors, you will be responsible for assisting in various aspects of our projects, primarily focusing on soil sampling, pathogen culture maintenance, HPLC experimentation, and routine lab tasks. This role offers an exceptional opportunity to gain hands-on experience in microbiology techniques, specialized equipment operation, and fieldwork.


  • Collect soil samples from agricultural farms across Alaska, following established protocols.
  • Maintain pathogen cultures and assist in their propagation as needed.
  • Participate in running High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) experiments under the guidance of senior lab members.
  • Perform routine laboratory tasks including agar media preparation and sterilization.
  • Assist in the setup, execution, and documentation of experiments.
  • Collaborate closely with graduate students and researchers on various projects.


  • Current enrollment as an undergraduate student majoring in biology, microbiology, natural resource management, or related field.
  • Strong interest in plant pathology, microbiology, chemistry, or agricultural sciences.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Basic understanding of laboratory techniques and procedures; prior lab experience preferred but not required.
  • Willingness to learn and adapt to new methodologies and equipment.
  • Availability to commit to a flexible schedule, including occasional weekends for fieldwork.
  • Good communication skills and willingness to engage in scientific discussions.

This position offers a valuable opportunity for hands-on research experience, skill development, and exposure to various aspects of plant pathology. The successful candidate will work closely with experienced researchers and graduate students, contributing to ongoing projects while gaining insight into the broader field of natural resource management.

Prerequisites: General Biology, Microbiology, and General Chemistry courses are preferred but not required.

Time Comittment: Start date: May 6, 2024; End date: Indefinite; Hourly expectation: 15 - 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters, 20 - 40 hours per week in summer.

Compensation: $16/hour

Deadline to Contact: Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Contact: Mike Hull
Assistant Professor of Physics

Looking for two (2) students (Freshman-Senior Standing). 

I am looking for a student for each of two projects:

1) How do students reason about radioactivity? This would involve analysis of quantitative data (student responses to a survey probing their understanding of radioactivity)

2) What do students find interesting in their physics lessons? This would involve qualitative content analysis (student reports about what they found to be most interesting in their class each week).

Prerequisites: None- an interest in how students learn and an eagerness to grow in data analysis techniques is beneficial. 

Time Commitment: These positions are available to start ASAP with a flexible workload and end date. 

Compensation: This position is currently unfunded. The mentor would be willing to provide technical support to students interested in applying for project funding. 

Contact: Carol Gray
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Looking for up to 4 students of any standing (Freshman-Senior). 

*This is an ongoing project and will accept interest past the Spring 2024 listed date.*

Carol Gray Opp Poster

Time Commitment: Minimum of 10 hours per week though, if funding is provided, I would be open to students working more hours if they chose to.

Compensation: This position is unpaid. But I am happy to have interns as volunteers or if they are able to obtain grants through URSA or otherwise. I would be happy to mentor a student who is funded through URSA or some other mechanism.

Additional Position Information: 

Students would learn about archiving, historical research, and the politics and context of the anti-slavery movement from the 1800s in Canada and the U.S. Through weekly meetings with the professor, students learn about how archival research unfolds and would be part of creating a valuable data base that could be used by historians and other researchers working on civil and human rights for years to come.

When this internship was conducted at a different institution (not in Alaska), interns who worked on this project did independent research that they presented at a professional conference. I am not sure whether such opportunities would be available here in Fairbanks, but there might be some conferences that are virtual that students might apply to. I would be happy to mentor students in crafting an abstract and submitting a conference proposal. 

Contact: Amanda Young
Staff- Spatial and Environmental Data Center Manager

Toolik Field Station (TFS) is a research station operated and managed by the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Toolik Field Station and the surrounding areas are located on the ancestral hunting grounds of the Nunamiut, and occasional hunting grounds and routes of the Gwichin, Koyukuk, and Iupiaq peoples. TFS provides logistical, operational, and scientific support to visiting scientists conducting Arctic research. TFS is a remote facility located 360 road miles north of Fairbanks on the rural Dalton Highway. There are no local services. The population of the station can vary from 3 to 150 residents (over 400 different individuals annually) coming from all over the world. While remote, TFS is like a small village during the summer months.

Position Summary:
The Spatial and Environmental Data Center (SEDC) at TFS is seeking a seasonal
Environmental Data Center Technician to join our team. The Environmental Data Center (EDC) offers support to the science community in four ways; 1) collection of long-term baseline environmental and biological data, 2) management of common-use field and laboratory equipment, 3) assistance with field work, and 4) remote access (collecting data for scientific projects when their personnel cannot be on-site). The EDC Technician will work under the supervision of the SEDC Manager and alongside the full-time EDC technicians and a seasonal technician to fulfill these four objectives.

This position will focus on collection of long-term baseline environmental and biological data as well as providing field support to projects working out of the station. Field work assistance can vary between disciplines such as hydrology, ecology, animal occupancy monitoring, meteorology, permafrost research, limnology, and so much more. Basically, if you can think of it someone up at Toolik Field Station is doing it and you could help them conduct their research.

Additional Details:

During the employment period the student will be provided room and board during on-shifts at Toolik Field Station. Transportation to and from the station is provided. Assistance in finding housing during off-shifts may be available.

In addition to all the previously mentioned benefits of this position, you will also gain experience working in a remote field station in northern Alaska while working with students and faculty from all over the world studying anything from hydrology, ecology, animal physiology, meteorology, space physics and so much more.

Each seasonal staff member takes on an independent project while at the field station using data from the Environmental Data Center or adding to our our outreach materials. One seasonal staff member who was a rising senior expanded their independent project into their senior thesis!

In addition to the technical duties, engaging and interacting with the TFS community of students and researchers is an expected part of the job of everyone who works at TFS. It is expected that all Toolik Field Station staff act as a team. In a remote location with a small staff and an important mission, everyone at TFS is expected to assist all others when safe and appropriate to do so.

Toolik Field Station is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment to everyone at the station. Each member of our staff is committed to working to build and sustain an equitable and inclusive work environment where cultural diversity is celebrated and valued. We believe diversity benefits and enriches the TFS community. Read more about our commitment to supporting diversity at

Prerequisites: Biology, Ecology, Geography, Environmental Science Major, or the equivalent. Position is for either a rising senior or recently graduate. Drivers license.

Time Commitment: Position runs from June 1- August 15th, though the start and end date are negotiable. Typical work weeks will be 40-54 hours a week (6 days x 9 hours a day). Regular pay will be given for the first 40 hours a week and overtime for the additional hours. Schedule will be approximately 3 weeks working (on-shift) and then a week off-shift.

Compensation: Salary between $16-18 an hour.  

  •  I am willing to mentor a student if they apply for funding. If a student is interested in pursuing a Summer Student Project with URSA or one of the other funding groups please reach out ASAP so we can discuss project details ahead of your submission.

If interested in this position please contact Dr. Amanda Young the SEDC Manager by email ( You can call my office number 907-474-6826 however, I may be in the field and unable to answer.

Deadline to contact is Monday, March 18, 2024. 

Contact: Jessie Young-Robertson
 Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Research Associate Professor

We are seeking one hire to assist with lab work in the spring 2024 semester, and two seasonal field technicians from mid-May to late-August or late-September 2024 to assist in boreal forest research as part of the Forest Soils Lab in the Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The successful applicants will assist on interdisciplinary research projects assessing the ecophysiological responses of boreal forest trees and shrubs to environmental change and pathogens (spruce bark beetle infestation and aspen leaf miner) near Fairbanks, Alaska, and Denali National Park. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to learn about the ecology of the boreal forest, permafrost dynamics, and a large array of field and lab measurements. Field work includes assisting with weekly measurements of plant physiology, stress, and water use. Lab work includes preparing samples for stable isotope analysis and soil properties. Additional activities include data entry and other related tasks as assigned. Field and lab training will be provided.

The Forest Soils Lab provides an amazing training opportunity to really learn what research is about. Whether the student is interested in forestry or not, they will learn how to collect high quality data, conduct data entry with a high level of quality control, use critical thinking skills in the field and lab, and work in a collegial environment. They will also learn about the boreal forest, climate change issues, permafrost, plant identification, and plant physiology.

This listing is looking for two students (Sophomore - Senior Standing).

Deadline to contact is May 10, 2024. 

Prerequisites: 1. Previous experience conducting field research is preferred but not necessary. 2. Tolerate working in inclement weather. 3. Comfortable working independently and in a team. 4. Ability to follow standardized protocols and carefully record and enter data. 5. Driver's license and clean driving record required to operate University vehicle and ATVs. 6. Professional, clear communication skills to coordinate with supervisor and lab personnel.

Time Commitment: One position is open for the spring term (20 hours/week) assisting with lab work, starting January 16, 2024, and ending May 4, 2024. Two full time positions (40 hours/week) are open for the summer, starting May 4, 2024, and ending August 30, 2024. A successful field season can lead to future employment with the lab.

Compensation: Spring hire: $14.00 to $18.00 per hour depending on experience; Summer hires: $16.50 to $18.00 per hour depending on experience.

Contact: Lynda McGilvary
Geophysical Institute, Communications Director

For this grant-funded position, we would leverage the student’s area of expertise and their future career goals to provide opportunities for the student to gain workforce experience and build their CV. Students with STEM content knowledge could assist in conceptualizing and developing curricula and videos that are used by teachers across Alaska and beyond. In addition to that work, the students may be asked to assist in planning and staffing education and outreach events, performing administrative tasks, and field-testing activities designed for K-12 students. There are opportunities for rural Alaska travel associated with the position (depending on student’s availability around their academic schedule).

Requirements: Strong background/interest in STEM or K-12 education, multicultural background or interest, strong computer skills, strong communications skills including grammar, spelling, punctuation. Preference will be given to anyone with a background living or working in rural Alaska communities or anyone with a career interest in K-12 education.

Compensation: Salary is DOE, from $16.15 to $18.18/hr.

Deadline to Contact: This position will remain open until filled. 

Contact: Sarah Stanley
Faculty, English Department
Phone: (907) 474-7335

The InsideOut StoryLab is starting to receive submissions from prisoners for a Boundaries and Bridges Story Collection. The InsideOut StoryLab: Boundaries and Bridges is a story collection from both incarcerated and unconfined writers to be distributed by portable story dispensers inside and outside of carceral settings in Alaska.

  • Type up handwritten submissions
  • Write response letters submissions
  • Evaluate submissions
  • Work with a submission database

We are always in process with collections. This is a chance to get involved with community publishing from the ground up. Sarah (your mentor) is an excellent letter writer for a recommendation. Reach out and get involved!

This position listing is looking for up to 3 students (Freshman-Senior Standing). 

Prerequisites: None

Compensation: We can work on writing a grant for this--let us know your interest. Open to mentoring students who apply for funding through URSA or other campus entities (especially a student that wants to put together a Community-Engaged Learning award for our next collection).

Contact: Thomas Kelly
Phone: 774-238-0779

Looking for four students (Freshman-Senior standing).

Alaska's marine resources are among our most valuable for in both commercial and cultural value. With AMDOC we seek to better understand the marine environment use state of the art satellite tools. First, we will merge field data with satellites to provide better estimates of biomass and productivity in Alaskan waters. Next, our improved measurements will be integrated into fishery forecasting models to allow for more accurate predictions and new insights into how fisheries (and the ecosystem) are changing. 

Prerequisites: A passion to learn new skills and share the results of the work with peers and the Alaskan public. Familiarity to computers and excel would be helpful, but everything can be learned "on the job."

Time Commitment: Hours, duration, and starting dates are completely flexible. Opportunities for at-sea field work are available as well to committed students.

Funding: Paid fellowship opportunities are available.

Mentorship Opportunities: Yes, mentorship for URSA projects available.

Contact: Richard Collins
Faculty, Geophysical Institute & Atmospheric Sciences
Director, Graduate School

In search of 1 student of any year of study (Freshman through Senior status).

UAF researchers have been studying Earth's highest clouds since the 1990's. These clouds, called noctilucent (night shining, form 50 miles high in the summer over Alaska an the Arctic. They are called night shining as the are visible after dark in the late summer. We are looking for a student to use digitizing equipment at the Rasmuson library to convert video tapes to digital files, and post those files to a public website (e.g. You Tube). Student will work with faculty members and staff. Student will have opportunity to participate in related research if interested.

Additional Position Information: This job involves working with an archive of tapes that is unique. Students can learn more about noctilucent clouds at the following links.

Prerequisites: Student should have basic tech skills be able to manage data files, maintain spreadsheets of information, and have ability and interest to learn media skills.

Time Commitment: Start as soon as possible, running through Fall and Spring. Up to 20 hours a week, with total hours ~200-300 hours. The schedule would depend on access to library tape digitizing equipment, but is otherwise flexible.

Compensation: Student Assistant Grade 2, Step 14: $14.67 an hour

Contact: Simon Zwieback
Faculty, Geosciences

Contact: Tristan Goers
GIS Technician | Digital Services | Fairbanks North Star Borough
Phone:  (907) 459-1477

The Fairbanks North Star Borough is offering an internship opportunity georeferencing imagery for course credit to an undergraduate student. This opportunity involves mosaicking and georeferencing scanned historical imagery of the FNSB and may also involve scripting. This work will be completed over the 2022 spring semester with the final deliverables being (1) georeferenced image tiles, (2) a georeferenced, mosaicked, image, and (3) an image tile index. The final product will be an invaluable resource not only for the Fairbanks North Star Borough but also the public at-large. You will be expected to give, at a minimum, weekly progress reports detailing the work completed, any challenges encountered, and any questions you may have.

Prerequisite: Prior exposure to remote sensing or GIS

Pay: This could be a paid internship, an unpaid project for credit, or both.
Please reach out to us to discuss further details.

Benefits: Valuable real-world experience and skills that are in great demand on the job market.

Rolling Deadline- please contact the opportunity provider listed above for more information.

Contact: Michael Roddewig
Assistant Professor, Geophysical Institute

My research is focused on the development and deployment of optical instruments (lidars, cameras, etc.) for remote sensing of the atmosphere and optical oceanography. See for details on the type of work we do. The ideal candidate would enjoy building neat scientific instruments and also working outdoors. Undergraduates in my lab do not do busy work; they build and deploy real hardware and participate in the deciding the direction of the research.

Position Details:

  • Prerequisites: I am not seeking any specific majors. My main prerequisite is a willingness to learn. I also expect a commitment to spend time in the lab and work independently, with supervision as required.
  • Time Commitment: 10 hours per week during the semester, full time (40 hours per week) during the summer. These projects are on-going multi-year efforts and I would prefer students who plan to work for multiple years, especially during the summer.
  • Pay?: All students in my lab are paid. Some projects have funding available and for others we would seek funding through Alaska Space Grant or students may apply for URSA.
  • Deadline to Contact: No deadline. Projects are ongoing and I am happy to accept students at any time.

Contact: Simon Zwieback
Professor Geosciences
Phone: (907) 474-5549

The project seeks to characterize permafrost landscape dynamics following temperature extremes and a bark beetle outbreak. It combines fieldwork in Alaska, soil analysis in the lab, and remote sensing data analyses.

You will collect field measurements under supervision of experienced researchers. Laboratory work will include sample preparation and analysis, and data compilation. Remote sensing analyses may comprise processing and classification of multispectral and radar remote sensing imagery, and predictive modeling using machine learning.

How long: 10 to 20 h / week during the semester, up to 40 h / week in summer.

Pay: Yes. Salary is negotiable.

Other benefits: Gain field experience in Northern Alaska, potential for research-based credits.

Contact: Dr. Javier Fochesatto
Phone: 907-474-7602
317 Akasofu Building

Upper level (juniors/seniors) undergraduates can apply to work with one of the following research lines:

1) Lidar remote sensing studies of microphysical properties of aerosols and clouds
In this research line we are working on applications of a newly developed Full Stokes Lidar. Applications to Clouds and Aerosols.
This research will be partially in the laboratory to set up the lidar receiver and perform lidar observations and, partially dedicated to run scattering codes to analyze field observations. 
Students from Engineering, Physics or Applied Mathematics are encouraged to apply.
2) Lidar Remote Sensing - Polarimetry and Raman Spectroscopy 
This project is in the construction and calibration phase. The instrument is intended to demonstrate the feasibility to simultaneously determine the fractions of ice, liquid and water vapor in tropospheric aerosols and cloud layers by means of laser spectroscopy.
The research will be in laboratory helping on instrument construction and calibration as well as in running the first set of observations. 
Students from Engineering or Physics are encouraged to apply. 
3) Chemical speciation and microphysical characteristics of volcanic ashes and Alaskan pollen by means of Laser Raman Spectroscopy and FT-IR microspectroscopy
This research is to help in the determination of chemical species of volcanic ashes and Alaskan pollen through spectroscopic techniques. 
The student will run samples in the lab and then determine the chemical composition based on multiparametric non-linear fitting code developed in  Matlab. 
Students from Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Engineering, Physics and Applied Mathematics are encouraged to apply. 
4) Changes in biogeochemical functions in boreal forest associated to extreme summer environmental conditions in high latitude
This research requires an analysis of large scale reanalysis data and in parallel determination of heat, moisture and carbon fluxes. 
Students from Biology, Ecology, Natural Resources and Physics are encouraged to apply.
5) Exploring new satellite remote sensing platforms for surface fluxes retrievals
This research entails processing new NASA and NOAA satellite remote sensing platforms and to explore the calculation of surface fluxes of heat and moisture. This effort has connections to Agricultural and hydrology research and to atmospheric sciences remote sensing and modeling cal/val. 
Students from Natural Resources, Engineering, Physics, etc. are encouraged to apply.

6) Use of CFD codes to compute aerodynamic performance in UAS systems 
Implementation of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solver oriented to unmanned aircraft systems development. CFD codes are used to numerically solve the fluid the around wings and aircraft body to compute lifting, drag and momentum in dynamic flying conditions and control. Familiarity with C language and Python is preferred.
Students from Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mathematics and Physics are encourage to apply.

Contact: Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization
Phone: 907-474-2605

OIPC welcomes applications from students interested in assisting with creating marketability reports for technologies owned by UAF.  Each report will analyze where a technology may fit in the market, assess the technology's stage of development, identify potential customers, and describe any work that must occur before delivering the technology to the market. This opportunity is open to students in the business, science, and engineering disciplines. Students will be expected to put in up to 60 hours of work; compensation of up to $750 is available.

UAF’s office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC) works to identify university innovations, analyze such technologies for marketability and patentability, protect the technologies as intellectual property, and market and license the technologies for the benefit of the public, the university, and our community."
Contact: Falk Huettmann

Seeking 2 students, any year of study, willing to learn and work on GIS, climate and wildlife data.
This project provides opportunities for students to explore and work-up specific forestry and climate GIS data for birds and habitats in Interior Alaska.

Students will gain experience in learning geographic information systems (GIS, ArcGIS or QGIS), insights into landscape ecology, bird, habitat and climate management issues, and digital data skills for Alaska. Office space, hardware and software provided.

Experience required R skills would ideal, or at least a willingness to learn

Funding:  None provided. Students would need to seek funding from URSA Project application or find another source if they require funding. Project coordinator would help with the process. 

Deadline: Ongoing

Opportunities for Students at UAF

UAF organizations that regularly offer opportunities
for funding and/or project support.

Alaska NSF EPSCoR improves Alaska's scientific capacity by engaging in research projects supported through National Science Foundation and state funds. The organization is engaged in a five-year project entitled "Fire & Ice," which examines climate-driven changes to Alaskan wildfire regimes and coastal ecosystems.

Visit the website.

Undergraduate Scholarships of up to $1,000 will be awarded through a competitive process. Scholarships are open to new and continuing undergraduate students majoring in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM). Students receiving awards in past competitions may apply and receive awards for subsequent competitions.

Visit the website.

The Biomedical Learning and Student Training program invites undergraduates at UAS, UAF, and Ilisagvik College to submit proposals for summer undergraduate research.  Up to $6,000 will be awarded to students who have identified a project and mentor in biomedical or health research. 

The overarching goal of BLaST is to enhance undergraduate training and mentoring in biomedical research through increased diversity of students, increased integration of research and teaching, and enhanced integration of rural campuses into a cohesive biomedical community in Alaska. BLaST is one of ten Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) initiatives funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

For more information or if you need help identifying a project and/or finding a mentor visit the BLaST Website. 

The Alaska Center for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship (Center ICE) is the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Innovation Hub. Through our Innovation Accelerator, we draw from the University of Alaska’s best research to support its development, launch it as a real world solution, and help it scale up.  Center ICE also offers the Students2Startups program to place the next generation of leaders at the center of innovation now.

Visit the website.

One of the main goals of the Alaska INBRE Network continues to be to increase education and research opportunities for University of Alaska undergraduate and graduate students to guide them into programs and advanced training in the biomedical sciences and to enhance the biomedical infrastructure in Alaska.

Visit the website.

Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (URISE) program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is a scholarship program funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The goal of the URISE program is to increase the number of well-prepared underrepresented (UR) students who matriculate into high caliber Ph.D. or combined M.D.-Ph.D. programs in the biomedical sciences and eventually go on to research careers.

Visit the website.