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Fall Opportunities 2017

 If you are a faculty member or graduate student with a project and seeking undergraduates, please click here so we can share your opportunity.

Summer Opportunities 2017

Gene Specific DNA Repair

Arthur Serkov

Seeking 1 student, freshman, sophomore or junior in the fall of 2017.

Project description:
I am looking for students who would like to pursue careers in the biomedical field. This research focuses on DNA repair rates in cancerous and normal human cells. A broad spectrum of biomedical techniques will be used.

Preference for students with Biol 100 & Biol 115 as well as Chem 103 or demonstrate a strong grasp of biological and chemical concepts.

None - student may apply for URSA project award.

Minimum of one year


Soil and Ecology of the Arctic foothills and North Slope at Toolik Field Station

Josh Paul

Seeking 1 student, junior or senior in the fall of 2017 for 12 days of field work at Toolik Field Station in July (exact dates TBD).

Project description:
As part of a digital soil mapping project along the Dalton Highway corridor, we are conducting field sampling of soils and vegetation in summer 2017.  Applicants should have an interest in soil science, permafrost, and arctic ecology.

Applicants should be in excellent physical condition and fit for difficult manual labor. Expect work to be very strenuous and include hiking across tundra with up to 50lb packs, digging pits in permafrost soils with hand tools, and working up to 12 hours per day.

The stipend is $1200 for the 12 day trip.  All meals, lodging, and transportation to Toolik from Fairbanks will be provided.


Arctic climate change research opportunities for 8 students

Tohru Saito

Eight positions are available to work with UAF faculty on a number of research projects related to Arctic climate change.
Topics include:
Arctic Amplification, Arctic Lakes, Arctic Ocean, Future Arctic - Wet or Dry? Glaciers in Alaska, Invasive Species, Permafrost, Science Communication and Terrestrial Ecosystems.

Stipend, room and board provided.

Click here for information


Remote wildlife research in Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve

Mark Melham

Seeking 2 highly-motivated applicants with a positive attitude for intensive remote research examining wildlife-habitat dynamics

 Project Overview:

  • Two float trips to examine variable factors in shrub dynamics and encroachment on Dall Sheep habitat within its Arctic range conducted during Arctic growing season (~June 5 – Aug 15). 10-week summer commitment including all field research and data entry.

 Position Duties:

  • Work well with variable personalities in remote mountainous setting
  • Validate remote sensing findings from current UAF research
  • Perform field techniques in support of baseline vegetative composition determination
  • Collection and catalog of Dall Sheep fecal pellets for variable lab analyses with aerial support
  • Project prep 2x monthly to engage concepts and theory behind research


  • Must be a UAF undergraduate, preference given to rising juniors and seniors (current seniors welcome)
  • Positive attitude and strong work ethic
  • Capable of floating remote rivers to access study sites, fly in small aircraft for ingress/egress, and hiking for long periods of time in inclement weather
  • Ability to commit summer to field work
  • Flexibility with schedule (flight support will happen when conditions permit, that means being prepared to fly one day with the possibility of no flight)
  • Ability to adhere to directions completely
  • Ability to present findings at UAF Research Day (2017 or 2018, dependent on project and student status)


  • 10-week summer commitment centered around June 5 – Aug 15 + 1 week in May = $3000.00
  • Paid monthly during semester for biweekly meetings
  • Receive all the training seasonal employees for Gates of the Arctic receive (CPR & First Aid, Firearms, TBD)
  • Food stipend provided by National Park Service
  • Network opportunity with multiple agencies, including: National Park Service, NASA-AboVE, and UAF
  • Potential for lab work Fall 2017 semester, (dependent on funding)
  • Extreme, remote research experience in Arctic mountainous environment with a focus on one of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife species
  • Experience presenting research to experts, contemporaries, and the general public

 How to Apply:

Submit 1 PDF with a 1-page cover letter, resume/CV, and 1-2 references titled “LastName_GatesApplicant2017” to
Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Deadline: February 10th, 2017

Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis of forest cover and climate data in Interior Alaska

Falk Huettmann

Seeking 2 students, any year of study, willing to learn and work on GIS, climate and wildlife data.
This project provides opportunities for students to explore and work-up specific forestry and climate GIS data for birds and habitats in Interior Alaska.

Students will gain experience in learning geographic information systems (GIS, ArcGIS or QGIS), insights into landscape ecology, bird, habitat and climate management issues, and digital data skills for Alaska. Office space, hardware and software provided.

Experience required:
R skills would ideal, or at least a willingness to learn

None provided. Students would need to seek funding from URSA Summer Research and Creative Project application or find another source if they require funding. Project coordinator would help with the process.





Spring Semester Opportunities 2017

Plant Genetics and Hybridization

Steffi Ickert-Bond
Associate Professor of Botany and Curator of the Herbarium (ALA), UA Museum
907-474-6277 (office)

This study will expand our understanding of the role of glacial cycles in producing genetic and taxonomic diversity by untangling the complex network of divergences and hybridization events that have generated diversity in a Beringian polyploid complex.  Learn state-of-the art
molecular sequencing techniques to better understand plant biodiversity in Alaska and visit some amazing field sites in the Aleutians.

Ickert-Bond lab website

Herbarium website and Facebook

Atmospheric Science


Dr. Javier Fochessato
317 Akasofu Building
Upper level (juniors/seniors) undergraduates can apply to work with one of the following research lines:

1) Lidar remote sensing studies of microphysical properties of aerosols and clouds. 
In this research line we are working on applications of a newly developed Full Stokes Lidar. Applications to Clouds and Aerosols.
This research will be partially in the laboratory to set up the lidar receiver and perform lidar observations and, partially dedicated to run scattering codes to analyze field observations. 
Students from Engineering, Physics or Applied Mathematics are encouraged to apply.
2) Lidar Remote Sensing - Polarimetry and Raman Spectroscopy - . 
This project is in the construction and calibration phase. The instrument is intended to demonstrate the feasibility to simultaneously determine the fractions of ice, liquid and water vapor in tropospheric aerosols and cloud layers by means of laser spectroscopy.
The research will be in laboratory helping on instrument construction and calibration as well as in running the first set of observations. 
Students from Engineering or Physics are encouraged to apply. 
3) Chemical speciation and microphysical characteristics of volcanic ashes and Alaskan pollen by means of Laser Raman Spectroscopy and FT-IR microspectroscopy.
This research is to help in the determination of chemical species of volcanic ashes and Alaskan pollen through spectroscopic techniques. 
The student will run samples in the lab and then determine the chemical composition based on multiparametric non-linear fitting code developed in  Matlab. 
Students from Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Engineering,  Physics and Applied Mathematics are encouraged to apply. 
4) Changes in biogeochemical functions in boreal forest associated to extreme summer environmental conditions in high latitude. 
This research requires an analysis of large scale reanalysis data and in parallel determination of heat, moisture and carbon fluxes. 
Students from Biology, Ecology, Natural Resources and Physics are encouraged to apply.
5) Exploring new satellite remote sensing platforms for surface fluxes retrievals. 
This research entails processing new NASA and NOAA satellite remote sensing platforms and to explore the calculation of surface fluxes of heat and moisture. This effort has connections to Agricultural and hydrology research and to atmospheric sciences remote sensing and modeling cal/val. 
Students from Natural Resources, Engineering, Physics, etc. are encouraged to apply.

6) Use of CFD codes to compute aerodynamic performance in UAS systems
Implementation of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solver oriented to unmanned aircraft systems development. CFD codes are used to numerically solve the fluid the around wings and aircraft body to compute lifting, drag and momentum in dynamic flying conditions and control. Familiarity with C language and Python is preferred. Students from Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mathematics and Physics are encourage to apply.


Entrepreneurialism - Science and Engineering Technology Development

Mark Billingsley or Melissa McCumby
Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization

OIPC is looking for assistance in creating a marketability report for a technology owned by UAF. The report will help figure out where it fits in the commercial market, if it's ready for commercialization, who wants to buy it, and what needs to occur before delivering the project to market. This is open to students in business, science and engineering students. You'll be expected to put in 70 hours of work and compensation of $1,000 is available.
UAF’s office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (OIPC)
  • Encourage invention and innovation at UAF. Protect the Intellectual Property (IP) rights of UAF by patent, copyright, or other means. Transfer the results of UAF research to the public by bringing researchers and the business community together in a relationship of mutual advantage.
  • Generate income for future research and education.
  • Contribute to local, state, regional and national business competitiveness and economic development.
OIPC facilitates, advocates and collaborates with Faculty, Students and Staff to support an environment for invention and innovation by transferring and commercializing University intellectual assets into benefits for our region and the public good. OIPC conducts Inventors' Forums quarterly to educate the faculty, staff and students about various topics of interest like SBIR grants, areas of research development, small business development and software as a service, to name a few. OIPC encourages innovation through the annual Invent Alaska competition which offers a cash awards to the best disclosed technologies during the academic year. OIPC strongly believes that education of intellectual property and the technology transfer process is capable of creating a better employee when students enter the work force and can boost revenues for the university and speed the introduction of the results of UAF research into the market.



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