Chancellor's Report

April 2014

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Professor Cathy Cahill ended her class with a bang last fall.

A team of Geophysical Institute researchers launched a 10-foot carbon-fiber rocket on a seven-minute flight from Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks in February. They fired the rocket to test its capabilities as a low-cost vehicle for space physicists and other scientists who send missions through the aurora. (Photo courtesy Mark Conde.)



UAF has partnered with UAS Iceland to expand unmanned aircraft operations in Iceland in early 2014. The collaboration with UAS Iceland, via UAF’s Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, will support arctic science, including glacier studies, volcano monitoring, marine mammal research and environmental observations. The agreement also has the potential to support mapping efforts and search and rescue missions. UAF’s program dedicated to unmanned aircraft systems has grown to a team of 18 people and more than 160 aircraft since it was established in the early 2000s.

A newly appointed UAF Disability Committee is expected to make recommendations for actions UAF can take to improve accessibility, increase enrollment, expand employment and enhance retention for people with disabilities. In the past few years, UAF has focused on making campuses more accessible. An accessibility study of buildings was completed; all outside sidewalks were surveyed for compliance with standards; workers were hired to clear ramps; and the chancellor’s residence was upgraded to improve access.

The UAF Alternative Spring Break team scheduled a trip to Talamanca, Costa Rica, in March to work on education, conservation and public health issues. The trip, organized by the UAF Leadership, Involvement and Volunteer Experience program, gives students a chance to do hands-on service projects in other communities.

The UAF Cooperative Extension Service and the Marine Advisory Program hosted a four-part workshop on starting and operating a specialty food business. The series was offered in Fairbanks and Kodiak and by videoconference in Palmer, Anchorage, Soldotna, Juneau and Petersburg. The workshop was geared to people interested in selling specialty foods at farmers markets and other events, wholesale or through food trucks.

UAF recently recognized more than 100 low-income, first-generation and disabled students who are succeeding in college during an awards presentation and reception. The event is one of many held nationwide to recognize the accomplishments of students via their participation in TRiO programs, which are designed to help students from poor and working families successfully enter and complete college.


In Progress

UAF is developing its first Sustainability Master Plan. UAF already performs well on measures of sustainability and has had several successful initiatives, including more than 40 student proposals covering everything from solar panel installations to the community garden and Sustainable Village student housing complex. UAF has a gold rating in the nationally recognized Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System created by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

UAF Athletics is accepting nominations for the Nanook Hall of Fame Class of 2014. Up to four inductees will be declared and honored as the seventh class of the Nanook Hall of Fame at the induction event on Saturday, Sept. 27.


What's Next

UAF will conduct its 92nd graduation with ceremonies in Fairbanks and community campuses. The Fairbanks ceremony will take place at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks on Sunday, May 11.

Two wilderness science education expeditions will be offered this summer as part of the Girls on Ice program. Girls on Ice Alaska is designed specifically for girls ages 15 to 18 from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. It runs from June 20 to July 1. The Girls on Ice North Cascades expedition is geared toward girls ages 15 to 18 from all over the world. This expedition runs from July 28 to Aug. 8. The tuition-free program is supported through small grants, gifts from individuals, the National Science Foundation and the Alaska Climate Science Center.

Summer construction is ramping up with most of the work in the Fairbanks campus core. Projects include the Wood Center Dining Expansion, continued work on the Engineering Building and work in and around the Gruening Building, including a roof replacement.


through the lens: recent images

UAF will manage one of six official Federal Aviation Administration unmanned aircraft system test sites.

The Chancellor’s Gala raised more than $90,000 to benefit the UAF Music Department, which will host the 2014 Alaska International Piano-e-Competition, and the With All Your Heart campaign for Fairbanks Memorial Hospital’s Harry and Sally Porter Heart Center.

Attendees were treated to a performance by Eduard Zilberkant, president’s professor of music and chair of the UAF Music Department.

(UAF photo by JR Ancheta)


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Photos, clockwise from left

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell meets with students from UAF Associate Professor Mike Davis’ rural development leadership seminar during their week-long workshop in Juneau.

Tripp Collier, one of the project managers for this year’s student ice arch, works with other students and a volunteer from GHEMM Co. to raise the first of four buttresses used in the creative design.

Fisheries major Christy Howard inspects one of the immature king crabs being kept for study at UAF’s Lena Point facility near Juneau.

Tamara Swenson peers inside a Tarbosaurus skull replica during a Life in the Age of Dinosaurs class tour of the UA Museum of the North’s normally unseen lower level.

(UAF photo by JR Ancheta)

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