Faculty profiles

Lawson Brigham


Distinguished Professor of Geography & Arctic Policy
Email:  lwb48@aol.com

Research Interests:
polar environmental change, marine policy & ocean security issues, satellite remote sensing of sea ice and permafrost, marine navigation systems, coastal oceanography, polar environmental management & sustainable use.

More information about Lawson Brigham...

Matthew Cronin


Research Associate Professor of Animal Genetics
Email: macronin@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • population genetics and phylogenetics
  • genetics of wild populations (caribou, deer, bison, grizzly bears, polar bears, wolves) and domestic livestock (cattle, reindeer)
  • phylogeny of the artiodactyls and carnivores

Current Research Programs:

  • Population genetics of wildlife species including polar bears, brown bears, wolves, bison, and marine mammals
  • Phylogenetics of mammals
  • Application of science and management to endangered species, resource development and agriculture

More information about Matthew Cronin...

Greg Finstad


Research Associate Professor of Range Ecology,
Program Manager, Reindeer Research Program
Email:  glfinstad@alaska.edu

Research Interests:

  • range ecology
  • range management
  • plant-animal interactions
  • climate-vegetation dynamics
  • reindeer husbandry and management

Current Research Programs:

  • range management & nutrition
  • forage selection
  • ration development
  • educational outreach & service
  • reindeer production
  • pasture evaluation

More information about Greg Finstad...

Peter Fix


Associate Professor of Outdoor Recreation Management
Natural Resources Management Department Chair

Email:  pjfix@alaska.edu

Research interests

  • human dimensions of natural resource management
  • motivations for recreation participation
  • recreation planning frameworks
  • recreation research methods
  • natural resource based tourism
  • recreation economics
  • nonmarket valuation

Current research programs

  • Alaska resident statistics program
  • visitor preferences for interpretation at Wrangell - St. Elias National park
  • wildlife viewing management in Alaska

More information about Peter Fix...

Joshua Greenberg


Associate Professor of Resource Economics
Email:  jagreenberg@alaska.edu

Research interests

  • bioeconomic modeling
  • economic issues pertaining to the allocation of Alaska renewable natural resources
  • economics of Alaska's reindeer industry

More information about Joshua Greenberg...

Norman Harris


Associate Professor of Range Management
Email:  nrharris@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • animal distribution patterns
  • ecosystem monitoring
  • stream morphology
  • time change analysis
  • vegetation growth and phenology
  • geographic information systems
  • remote sensing
  • global positioning systems

Current research programs:

  • livestock distribution in grazed watershed
  • air temperature patterns on the landscape
  • near-earth remote sensing of vegetation patterns

More information about Norman Harris...

Patricia Holloway


Professor of Horticulture, 
Director, Georgeson Botanical Garden
Email:  psholloway@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • production methods for horticultural crops
  • subarctic horticulture

Current research programs:

  • cultivation and improvement of horticultural crops for Alaska
  • peonies as field grown cut flowers
  • antioxidant levels in Alaska wild berries
  • pollination biology of lingonberry
  • tissue culture propagation of lingonberry

More information about Patricia Holloway...

Julie Lurman Joly


Associate Professor of Resources Law and Policy
Email:  julie.joly@alaska.edu

Research interests

  • wildlife and public lands law
  • comparative natural resources law
  • federal-state resource management conflicts
  • climate change law

Current research programs

  • public lands and resource management conflicts
  • climate change related repercussions for public lands and wildlife law

More information about Julie Lurman Joly...

Glenn Juday


Professor of Forest Ecology
Email: gpjuday@alaska.edu

Research Interests
relationship of tree growth to long-term eclimate change, community ecology, and the natural and management controls of biodiversity

Current Research Programs
Long-term environmental monitoring, Climate change and forest growth and health, Tree-ring studies, Climate change assessment, Wilderness and natural area management, Forest development following fire, Biodiversity under forest management systems, Old-growth forest ecology, Natural controls of biodiversity, Forest development and ecosystem life history, Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Site

More information about Glenn Juday...

Meriam Karlsson


Professor of Horticulture
Email:  mgkarlsson@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • Greenhouse-, high tunnel- and controlled environment crop production
  • Plant growth in response to light intensity, quality, day length and the use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
  • Energy efficient production techniques in greenhouse- and season extension environments
  • Crop growth, development and productivity under large high latitude seasonal variations in temperatures, light levels and day lengths
  • Development of guidelines to optimize vegetable, small fruit and floral crop production
  •  Environmental plant physiology as it applies to commercial horticulture at high latitudes

Current research programs:

  • Alaska high tunnel, greenhouse and controlled environment production  (USDA-Hatch, 2013-2017) 
  • Controlled environment horticulture for Alaska  (USDA-Hatch, 2007-2013)
  • Develop and integrate components for commercial greenhouses (NE-1035 multi-state project, 08-13)
  • Controlled environment use and technology  (NCERA-101 multi-state project, 2011-2016)
  • Resource management in commercial greenhouses  (NE-1335 multi-state project, 2013-2018)

More information about Meriam Karlsson...

Gary Kofinas


Professor of Resource Policy and Management
Email:  gary.kofinas@alaska.edu

Research interests

  • indigenous communities of the North and their social-ecological resilience in conditions of rapid change, adaptive co-management, local knowledge in monitoring, and integrated assessment, subsistence, and human-caribou systems

More information about Gary Kofinas...

Jenifer McBeath


Professor of Plant Pathology/Biotechnology
Email:  jhmcbeath@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • plant pathogen-mycoparasite interactions and biological disease controls using Trichoderma astroviride on disease-causing fungi
  • enhancing plant disease resistance
  • work on potato diseases

More information about Jenifer McBeath...

Chien-Lu Ping

Chien-Lu Ping

Professor of Soil Sciences
Email:  cping@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • permafrost-affected soils and carbon cycling in the Arctic and Subarctic
  • characterization of volcanic ash-derived soils in southern an dwestern Alaska
  • relationships between soil development and forest communities in the boreal regions, and wetland soils

Current research programs:

  • biocomplexity associated with biogeochemical cycles in arctic frost-boil ecosystems
  • soil environment monitoring in Alaska

More information about Chien-Lu Ping...

Jan Rowell


Research Assistant Professor
Email:  jerowell@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • muskox and reindeer husbandry, including bull behavior, breeding seasons, female estrus synchronization, gestation length, and ultrasonography, and qiviut characteristics

More information about Jan Rowell...

Scott Rupp


Scott Rupp
Professor of Forestry,
Director, Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning (SNAP)
Email: tsrupp@alaska.edu

Research Interests
ecosystem and landscape ecology emphasizing secondary succession, regeneration, and disturbance dynamics in subarctic and boreal forests

Current Research Programs
modeling boreal forest dynamics, fuel loading, developing custom fuel models, fire risk analysis, fire-dlimate interactions, long-term ecological research (LTER)

More information about Scott Rupp...

Milan Shipka


Professor of Animal Science, Extension Livestock Specialist,
Associate Director of the Agricultural & Forestry Experiment Station

Agriculture and Horticulture Department Chair
Email:  mpshipka@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • reproductive physiology and behavior of traditional and alternative ruminant species in the Alaska livestock industry, such as reindeer, muskoxen, and cattle

Current research programs:

  • reproductive biology of reindeer and musk ox and management of reproduction in theses species in farmed settings

More information about Milan Shipka...

Elena B. Sparrow

E. Sparrow

Research Professor/Education Outreach Director
Email:  ebsparrow@alaska.edu

Research interests

  • nutrient cycling
  • microbial ecology
  • climate change effects
  • science education

More information about Elena B. Sparrow...

Stephen Sparrow


Interim Dean, SNRE,
Professor of Agronomy
Email:  sdsparrow@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • long-term effects of tillage, forage crop management, and bio-energy crops
  • soil management

Current research programs:

  • long-term tillage
  • crop data for revised universal soil loss equation for Alaska
  • forage crop harvest management, forage variety trials
  • new legumes crops for Alaska

More information about Stephen Sparrow...

Sarah Trainor

Sarah Trainor

Assistant Professor of Social-Ecological Systems Sustainability

O'Neill 370


Email: sarah.trainor@alaska.edu

Research Interests:

  • climate change adaptations
  • climate change vulnerability assessments
  • communicating science for decision makers

More information about Sarah Trainor...

Susan Todd


Associate Professor of Resource Planning
Email:  sktodd@alaska.edu

Research interests

  • conflict resolution
  • environmental mediation
  • resource management planning and public involvement

Current research programs

  • innovative methods of involving the public in environmental decisions
  • the alagnak wild river management study

More information about Susan Todd...

David Valentine


Professor of Forest Soils
Email: dvalentine@alaska.edu

Research Interests
ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and element cycling in northern ecosystems, role of soils in forests, grasslands, and wetlands in generating or consuming trace gasses, especially methance, that control Earth's climate, effects of wildfire on soil respiration and carbon blanace

Current Research Programs
bonanaza creek LTER: wildfire effects on soil respiration, influence of disturbance on soil carbon balance, long-term carbon balance assessment from resampling old research site

More information about David Valentine...

David Verbyla


Professor of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Natural Resources
Email: dlverbyla@alaska.edu

Research Interests
GIS technology for resource inventory and climate change studies, integrating remote sensing and GIS for regional analysis, support for spatial analysis using GIS

Current Research Programs
Alaska land cover change, MODIS products evaluation, bonanaza creek long term ecological research (LTER)

More information about David Verbyla

John Yarie


Professor of Silviculture, 
Email:  jayarie@alaska.edu

Research Interests
Structure and function of boreal forests, successional processes following catastrophic disturbances, effects of changing environment conditions (including global warming)on forest ecosystem processess

Current Research Programs
BNZ-LTER, continued monitoring of a 35-year forest growth study, reprogramming of the SAFED model to visual basic in the Arc Map framework, setup and monitoring of long term log decomposition

More information about John Yarie...

Mingchu Zhang


Associate Professor of Agronomy/Soil Sciences
Email:  mzhang3@alaska.edu

Research interests:

  • nutrient management
  • soil carbon dynamics
  • forage and field crop production in subarctic area
  • waste management and composting

Current research programs:

  • soil carbon
  • forage quality and production with different management practices
  • selection of cereals cultivars suitable for sub arctic cultivation
  • compost and use of fish waste product for organic farming

More information about Mingchu Zhang...

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