Chancellor's Report

September 2013

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Bente Heller claimed UAF’s first NCAA championship in swimming, winning the title in the women’s 100-meter backstroke.

The Margaret Murie Building was dedicated Aug. 22 after more than a decade of planning and two years of construction. Named for the first female graduate of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, the new life sciences facility is designed to inspire scientific discovery and collaboration between students, faculty and researchers. The building dedication coincided with a celebration of the Institute of Arctic Biology’s 50th anniversary. 



Sumitomo Pogo Mine donated $1 million to the Mining Engineering Research Endowment, renewing its support of mining engineering graduate students. The gift will augment the company’s three-year,  $1 million pledge in 2011 and will provide a steady source of research funding for mining engineers seeking advanced training through graduate degrees.

UAF has signed an academic exchange with Jilin Agricultural University of Changchun, China, which could provide opportunities for staff and faculty. Jilin and Fairbanks are at about the same latitude, far apart in distance but similar in climate and agricultural challenges. Jilin offers 52 undergraduate programs, 47 master’s programs and 17 doctoral programs. It encompasses Chinese languages, management, economics, law, education, literature and medicine.  

Technicians with L3 Datron attached the Alaska Satellite Facility’s new 11-meter antenna to its base on West Ridge in August. The antenna will gather data from spacecraft about land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, oceans and outer space. It’s one of several strategically placed antennas that can capture data from polar-orbiting satellites several times per day. 

Douglas Island Pink and Chum Inc., the company that operates the Macaulay Hatchery, donated $175,000 to the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences to create an endowment to support graduate students’ research at the  Lena Point facility in Juneau. The endowment is in memory of hatchery founder Ladd Macaulay.

The UAF Alumni Association honored the 2013 alumni award winners at the reunion. Gail Phillips, ’67, is this year’s Distinguished Alumna. The Business and Professional Excellence awards were given to Peter Probasco, ’79; Doug Schrage, ’85; and Lorna Shaw, ’96, ’05. George Plumley, ’90, ’98, received the award for university support; Richard “Dick” McCormick, ’50, for community support; and Tammy Tragis-McCook , ’99, ’00, received the William Cashen Service Award. Glen Franklin, ’36, received the Lenhart J.H. Grothe Resources Award, posthumously awarded for contributions in agriculture or mining.


In Progress

More than 200 tons of steel were delivered for the six-story engineering building. The building adds 119,000 square feet and renovates 23,000 square feet of space for UAF’s engineering and mining programs, and features open lab concepts and a high bay area for practical application of engineering know-how. 

The Wood Center dining facility expansion project continues. Contractors erected steel and made good progress toward closing off the new addition so work can continue through the winter months. Students got a bit of a preview of the expanded facility when they returned to campus to see a new entry on the south end. 

The Fittest Winner competition is underway and was expanded to include students. Participants aiming for weight loss and increased exercise have lost nearly 2.5 tons of weight and averaged about 6.5 hours a week of exercise per person. Between 300 and 500 employees have participated in the competitive and moderate divisions over the last three seasons. 


What's Next

UAF will merge the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences with the Cooperative Extension Service over the next year to strengthen the research, education and outreach work of both units. Extension and SNRAS, which includes Alaska’s Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, serve the entire state and carry out the university’s land-grant mission.

KUAC’s FM fall fundraiser will take place Oct. 12 – 20. Nearly 400 volunteers participate in all aspects of the nine-day drive.


through the lens: recent images

Anna Liljedahl, research assistant professor with UAF’s International Arctic Research Center and Institute of Northern Engineering, works with Will Wright, of the Delta Soil and Water Conservation District, to collect snow samples from the surface of Jarvis Glacier.

Research Assistant Professor Jeff Benowitz, left, and Paul Layer, dean of the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, relax near the fossilized footprint of a hadrosaur, which roamed the area near the headwaters of Tattler Creek about 70 million years ago. In recent years, the area of present-day Denali National Park and Preserve has drawn intense interest after several discoveries of dinosaur remains.


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Youngsters, above left, paint works of art at the 2013 Summer Visual Arts Academy.

The Nanook mascot, above right, welcomes the Era Alaska newly painted Bombardier Dash-8, which features the Alaska Nanooks’ colors and logo on one side, and a UAA Seawolves treatment on the other.

Sporting a pirate cap and a smile, Ashton Martin, below right, helps at the School of Management’s table, passing out fliers and stickers during the 2013 UAF Day at the Tanana Valley State Fair. 

A record turnout of students, staff, faculty and alumni, below left, helped UAF garner first place in this year’s Golden Days parade July 20.

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UAF photos by Todd Paris and JR Ancheta.

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