Chancellor's Report

February 2016

Size:á2.6Mábytes Modified: 27 January 2016, 12:11

A select group of skiers and snowboarders shredded the Hulbert Nanook Terrain Park during the Fairbanks Curling Lions’ 26th annual Sparktacular Celebration on New Year’s Eve at UAF. More than 2,000 people visited campus to enjoy the Sparktacular in 2015.


ConocoPhillips Alaska’s $500,000 donation will help complete the new engineering building. The donation funds work on the building’s fourth floor, slated to house the UAF Alaska Center for Energy and Power, where innovative energy solutions are created. This gift brings ConocoPhillips’ total donations to UAF to more than $2.2 million.

A UAF scientist is monitoring upper atmospheric weather using devices based in Antarctica. In December 2015, Mark Conde, a space physicist at the Geophysical Institute, sent two specially built instruments to Antarctica. Conde is using the devices to measure winds and temperatures in space more than 100 miles above Earth — a feat that will provide critical information to those operating spacecraft and satellites that travel through this region. The Instrument Development Services shop within the GI created one of the devices used in the research. The National Science Foundation provided a five-year, $980,000 grant for Conde’s unique project.

The first high-resolution, statewide satellite image map of Alaska was created through the Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative. The five-year, $3.5 million project was led by UAF and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Providing the most accurate portrait of Alaska’s features, the map is available at

Professor Lawson Brigham received the Honorary Member Polar Medal from the American Polar Society. Brigham was recognized for his voyages as captain of the Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Sea, his work as chair of the Arctic Council’s Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and his efforts to develop the Polar Code adopted by the International Maritime Organization in 2014.

Larry Hinzman was named UAF vice chancellor for research. Hinzman, a permafrost hydrologist and longtime professor, has served as interim vice chancellor since March 2015.

UAF is now tobacco-free to promote a healthier community. The policy went into effect Dec. 31, 2015. The use of tobacco products is now prohibited in all buildings, grounds, trails, parking garages, parking lots, university-owned streets and sidewalks, and spaces leased or owned by the university. The policy applies to all employees, students, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors on UAF campuses.

In Progress

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave UAF $657,000. The gift supports dissertation-year fellowships and professional development for students of the history and culture of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. This is the foundation’s second gift to UAF; seven years ago it provided $700,000 for the same purpose. Twelve UAF students have completed doctoral degrees with support from the earlier Mellon gift, and six fellowship recipients are nearing completion.

The selection process is underway for five Arctic Journalism Fellows to cover Arctic Science Summit Week, the Arctic Observing Summit and related events March 12-18, 2016, in Fairbanks. A variety of media with distinctive voices will comprise the group of fellows. They will have access to unique field trips in the region, scientific meetings and more. UAF is the local organizer of the summit, which will bring nearly 1,000 participants from about 30 countries.

What's Next

The 43rd annual Festival of Native Arts will take place at UAF March 3-5. The festival provides cultural education and sharing through traditional Native dance, music and arts. Find out how you can get involved by emailing

Three honorary doctoral degrees and two Meritorious Service Awards will be presented at UAF’s 94th commencement ceremony. Inupiaq educator Elizabeth Fleagle, polar researcher Jacqueline Richter-Menge and Athabascan leader Trimble Gilbert will receive honorary doctorates. Longtime UAF supporter Carolyne Wallace and Fairbanks businessman Gary Wilken each will receive a Meritorious Service Award. Commencement takes place May 8.

through the lens: recent images

Students in UAF’s veterinary medicine program inspect X-rays in their Irving Building lab. The second group of 10 students admitted in the joint program with Colorado State University will be selected later this spring.

Temple Grandin will visit UAF and provide a free public lecture Feb. 28 at Davis Concert Hall. A book signing will follow. Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, will tour the UAF Department of Veterinary Medicine’s facilities and meet with the program’s faculty and students. Grandin is a noted author and speaker about autism and animal behavior. She is the subject of the HBO movie, “Temple Grandin.”


Photos, clockwise from top left 

UAF friends and longtime supporters gather Nov. 19 in the Regents’ Great Hall for the annual donor event, during which special thanks are given to major donors to UAF.

Chartwells staff pose with a Yule-log cake prepared for the annual Chancellor’s Holiday Gathering. The catering team at UAF prepared food for the event, demonstrating their flair for fare. The menu also included charcuterie trays, pot roasts and peach minipies.

Children from the Bunnell House Early Childhood Lab School perform at the annual Chancellor’s Holiday Gathering for UAF faculty, staff and students Dec. 17 in Wood Center.

Police Chief Keith Mallard and Assistant Professor of Social Work Kim Swisher lead a session in UAF’s Green Dot training program. The effort is part of a nationwide program to reduce violence and sexual abuse on college campuses. The program empowers bystanders to recognize potentially harmful situations and to use words or actions to prevent someone from being harmed.

UAF photos by Todd Paris unless otherwise indicated.

Back to Top