Chancellor's Report

April 2016

Size:á4.5Mábytes Modified: 5 April 2016, 11:13

Student volunteers with the UAF Leadership, Involvement & Volunteer Experience (LIVE) program pose by Constitution Hall to raise money for a trip to New Jersey, where they helped repair damage remaining from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.


UAF hosted the International Arctic Assembly as part of the 2016 Arctic Science Summit Week. The event provided an unprecedented chance for campus and community participants to explore a broad range of perspectives and objectives related to Arctic research. At the International Arctic Assembly, scientists, policymakers, technical experts and other stakeholders convened on March 15 to share ideas and information to advance human well-being, security and technology in the Arctic. This event was one of many high-profile events associated with ASSW 2016 aimed to translate scientific research into actions to respond to a rapidly changing Arctic.

The International Arctic Science Committee awarded UAF Professor John Walsh the 2016 IASC Medal. The committee unanimously decided to honor Walsh, chief scientist at the International Arctic Research Center, for his exceptional contributions to modeling and evaluating climate change impacts in the Arctic and his outstanding record of service and leadership to the wider Arctic science, education and policy community.

The EarthScope Transportable Array deployment in Alaska is one-third complete. Using the array, the Alaska Earthquake Center at the UAF Geophysical Institute and the National Tsunami Warning Center gather information faster than ever in Southern and Interior Alaska, increasing their ability to rapidly assess vital details on earthquake magnitude and location. The array is a network of high-quality broadband seismographs and atmospheric sensors.

The Alaska Film Archives at Rasmuson Library released the full-length silent film “We Live in the Arctic” on the archive’s YouTube channel. The silent film was made by Harmon “Bud” and Constance Helmericks around 1947 and chronicles their life as homesteaders in the Brooks Range and the rapidly changing Iñupiat communities before statehood. The original 16mm film was preserved with funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation. See this film and others from the archive at

The Alaska Nanooks men’s basketball team defeated the No. 1-ranked Western Oregon University on Feb. 18 with an 87-78 win. The victory was the first time the team has defeated a No.1-ranked team from the Top 25 polls of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the NCAA Division II Sports Information Directors Association.

In Progress

A team of UAF researchers studies how oil percolates into ice. This has implications for the methods used to clean up oil spills in the Arctic. Researchers artificially grew sea ice in experimental chambers and created their own oil spill in the chambers. The team learned that ice is not a barrier to oil movement, complicating cleanup efforts. The research team includes graduate student Kyle Dilliplaine; Professor Eric Collins and affiliate faculty members Rolf Gradinger and Bodil Bluhm, all of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences; and International Arctic Research Center Professor Hajo Eicken.

The College of Liberal Arts is creating a new linguistics program to support bilingual educators. The program, working with the School of Education, will include a post-certificate endorsement to teach English as second language, as well as a master’s degree related to literacy for emergent bilinguals — people who speak two languages but may lack proficiency in one or both.

What's Next

UAF’s 94th graduation ceremony takes place Sunday, May 8, at 1:20 p.m. at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks. Aaron Schutt, president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, and a co-chair of the Troth Yeddha’ Legacy Initiative, is the 2016 commencement speaker.

Preparations are underway for the Alaska Summer Research Academy. The annual UAF program runs from July 18-29, 2016, and welcomes middle and high school students to campus. ASRA students will participate in modules that explore topics in science, engineering, math or technology. The program is offered through the College of Natural Science and Mathematics.

through the lens: recent images

Pips Veazey, associate project director with the Alaska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, leads a meeting with colleagues in the new Decision Theater North in the West Ridge Research Building.

Decision Theater North is a visualization facility designed to promote discussion and decision-making by agencies, industry, communities and academia. The bank of high-definition monitors provides more than 60 million pixels of resolution and utilizes UAF’s high-performance computing and storage capabilities. Decision Theater North was created in fall 2015 with support from Alaska EPSCoR.

Photos, clockwise from top left 

UAF student athletes visit classrooms at Weller Elementary School Feb. 19. They answered questions, read to students, participated in the school’s Love of Reading parade and played an exhibition volleyball match against school faculty members.

Sarah Rice, a graduate student with the Institute of Arctic Biology, handles a hibernating ground squirrel housed in the animal quarters in the Biological Research and Diagnostics Facility on UAF’s West Ridge.

Stacks of plasterboard stand piled up on the third floor of the unfinished engineering facility on the Fairbanks campus. The construction is on hold pending funding from the Alaska Legislature and other sources.

Angela Linn, senior manager of the Ethnology and History Collection at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, cleans and documents specimens in the museum’s gold collection.

UAF photos by Todd Paris unless otherwise indicated.

Back to Top