Congress mandates that researchers receiving federal funds must publish research results and distribute them to as wide an audience as possible. As one of the two founding research schools at UAF, the School of Natural Resources and Extension has generated plenty of research to report on over the last century. Topics cover a broad spectrum, from peony marketing to reindeer husbandry to the projected effects of climate change in the Arctic to the dynamics of forest soils in the taiga.
The AFES/SNRE Information Services Office provides the editing, publishing, and distribution activities to support the dissemination of faculty and student research. Publications are written for a general or scientific audience, ranging from the research magazine, Agroborealis; to annual variety trial circulars detailing the results of tests on herbs, vegetables, and flowers at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm; to the Senior Thesis Series, highlighting the research of undergraduate students.
AGROBOREALIS vol. 44 no. 1
In this issue:
Science, technology, engineering, art, and math education with OneTree Alaska; forest growth and yield; how painters and photographers helped inspire the creation of the national park system; the 8th Circumpolar Agriculture Conference; connecting Alaska's natural fiber community; biomass crops; DNA studies in bears and bison, and more!
On the cover: Professor of Horticulture Meriam Karlsson in the controlled environment facility with “Sunny Smile” dwarf sunflowers, grown as part of a series of experiments to test crop response to light emitting diodes, or LEDs. Other crops tested with LEDs in 2012 included petunias and strawberries. AFES photo by Nancy Tarnai.
The 2012 annual report highlights research by AFES and SNRE scientists, including research into biomass production potential of poplar as a short-rotation bio-energy crop, timber evaluation for birch, aspen, and white spruce, environmental controls over peat accumulation, biochar application in subarctic soils, gray molds on peonies, sustainable livestock production, estimating visits to Denali National Park, and wildlife genetics.
Growing Our Energy at Home: Biomass Crops in Alaska
A laska is home to vast energy resources and is a net exporter of energy in the form of crude oil. Yet Alaskans, especially those residing in remote communities, pay some of the highest energy prices in the country. Energy experts are working to identify opportunities for developing cheaper, renewable energy sources for Alaskans. Alaska has vast quantities of biomass, mostly in the form of trees, which provide an excellent and often cheap fuel source for many communities in the forested regions of the state. However, there are concerns over the long-term sustainability of repeated harvests of forests, especially if the harvest repeat rate is short. Also, many communities in Alaska do not have ready access to forest biomass. Growing biomass crops for energy may be a feasible way to sustainably produce renewable energy in some parts of Alaska.
volume 44 number 1
Senior Thesis 2011-01
Assessing Food Security in Fairbanks, Alaska
Since the arrival of non-Native peoples to Alaska, the state has heavily relied on importing most food. Food security concerns have been raised related to supply disruptions, cost, and health. This thesis was designed as a pilot study and intended to provide information on local vegetable and fruit production in the Tanana Valley through a survey of commercial vegetable and fruit producers.
The survey provided insight into characteristics of producers, production, and marketing practices. Increasing crop production in the Tanana Valley is possible, but measuring current production may require a more complex measuring system that is more consistent with producer practices. Alaska faces many challenges if it is to transition from an un-integrated food system to a more comprehensive food system that generates value to local communities.
Annual Flowering Plant Evaluations
Trials at the botanical garden consist of new and standard cultivars suitable for small market gardens and home gardens in the Tanana Valley, Alaska. Each year more than 300 annual flowering plants are grown in field trials.
MP2010-02 Peony Research 2009
on the cover: experimental peony plot at the Georgeson Botanical Garden
Research has been conducted at the Georgeson Botanical Garden since 2001 on peony field cut flower production and distribution, from field selection and planting to post harvet handling and packaging for export. This publication is the latest in a series, and addresses three components of the production cycle: field planting dates, root quality and plant productivity, and post harvest handling of cut stems.
Growing Small Grains in Your Garden
With the recent release of 'Sunshine' hulless barley there has been an increase in interest about growing grains in a small-scale garden setting. Even though the scale is greatly reduced, a few square feet versus many acres, the same principles apply to growing a high yielding crop successfully. This publication reviews crop selection of species and varieties suitable to the north, seedbed preparation, soil fertility, tilling, pest control, harvesting, processing, and flour storage.