Welcome to Alaska EPSCoR
Alaska EPSCoR improves Alaska's scientific capacity by engaging in research projects supported through National Science Foundation and state funds. The organization is engaged in a five-year project entitled "Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments," which examines the mechanisms by which communities adapt to environmental and social change. For more information please visit our Program Structure section or see the project's Strategic Plan, Midcourse Report or newsletters. Alaska EPSCoR also administers "The Modern Blanket Toss," a three-year educational project to excite high school students about science through experiments with unmanned aerial vehicles.
Alaska Native Engagement Grants
Alaska EPSCoR is pleased to announce the recipients of its Alaska Native Engagement Grants. These $20,000 grants are awarded to UA faculty and affiliates with proposals to better engage Alaska Natives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields:
- Olivia Lee, UAF Institute of Social and Economic Research, will work with high school and community collaborators in Barrow to produce outreach materials to encourage discussion and exchange of information on sea ice change.
- Carie Green, UAF Department of Education, will work with 60 children at the Unalakleet Elementary School to study how the children relate to and make meaning of their natural environment.
- Dan Rinella, UAA Department of Biological Sciences, will work with the Kenai’tze Tribe to create a “Decision Library” that will include traditional Dena’ina language, knowledge, and place name maps as well as collected social-ecological EPSCoR research.
- Charlene Stern and Jessica Black, UAF College of Rural and Community Development, will conduct interviews and focus groups with Gwich’in leaders to document adaptive capacity and perceptions of change.
- Matthew Sturm, UAF Geophysical Institute, will create a Story Map, photo book and museum exhibit based on observations of local landscape change by Nuiqsut residents.
- Molly Tedesche, UAF College of Engineering and Mines, will examine receding Arctic snowfields and their effects on caribou, and will also conduct a science camp, public information meeting, and a citizen science workshop, all in the village of Anaktuvuk Pass.
- Shannon Atkinson, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, will continue and expand the DEM BONES project, which uses the articulation of marine mammal skeletons as a teaching tool for high school students.
"From Icefield to Ocean" poster
The Southeast Test Case's award-winning "From Icefield to Ocean" poster is now available on this site. The test case has provided the poster to tour guides throughout Juneau for use as an educational tool. It's also the centerpiece of the "From Icefield to Ocean" pamphlet that is also being provided to tour guides and provides a good overview of the test case's mission. The pamphlet is also available on Issuu.
New EPSCoR videos and PDFs online
EPSCoR partially funded a new video, "Conversations about Environmental Change in Southeast Alaska," documenting local observations of change in six Southeast communities.
In addition, we've put new videos up on our YouTube site:
- "Decision Theater North construction" is a fast time-lapse trip through the conversion of a conference room into our new decision theater.
- "Studying Humpback Whales and Tour Vessels" is an overview of a project by EPSCoR-affiliated faculty Heisi Pearson to monitor interactions between whales and whale-watching boats near Juneau.
- "The Northern Test Case: Impacts of Change on Alaska's North Slope" introduces the work EPSCoR is doing in and around the Arctic village of Nuiqsut.
- "The Suicide Basin Outburst Flood Project" discusses Eran Hood's research into potential flooding from a basin above Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier.
- "The Arctic Adaptation Exchange" is an animation that explains the international data portal EPSCoR is hosting for the Arctic Council.
- "The Effects of Spawning Salmon on Stream Ecosystems" describes Eran Hood and Sonia Nagorski's research into the effects of spawning salmon on streams' levels of dissolved oxygen and contaminants.
- "Tracking Yellow Cedar Decline" details Brian Buma's efforts to document yellow cedar's shrinking extent in Southeast Alaska.
We've also just posted six new PDF's detailing Alaska EPSCoR outreach efforts on our Highlights page, including items on our EOD component, Adventure Learning workshop, Nuiqsut MapTEACH program, Southeast Test Case stakeholder workshop, Kachemak Bay Research Reserve Discovery Days, and Interior Alaska Hackathon.
Research Seed Grants
Congratulations to the following UA faculty teams, which have been awarded 2016 Seed Grants. The $30,000 grants fund innovative projects with the potential to create new lines of research connected to EPSCoR's test cases.
- Sonia Nagorski, UAS Department of Natural Sciences, for “Black carbon deposition onto the Juneau Icefield,” connected to the Southeast Test Case.
- Shannon Atkinson, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, for “Changing glacial ice habitats and their impact on harbor seals in Southeast Alaska,” connected to the Southeast Test Case.
- Jennifer Schmidt, UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research, for “Informed decision-making: Effects of management scenarios on sportfishing in the Kenai River,” connected to the Southcentral Test Case.
- Peter Westley, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, for “Rapid adaptation and the biological invasion of Northern pike (Esox Lucius) in Southcentral Alaska,” connected to the Southcentral Test Case.
- Santosh Panda, UAF Geophysical Institute, for “Sixty-five years of Colville River dynamics and its impact on present river navigability near Nuiqsut, North Slope of Alaska,” connected to the Northern Test Case.
- Nathan Kettle, Alaska Center for Climate Adaptation and Policy, for “Evaluating the North Slope Borough-Shell Baseline Studies Program,” connected to the Northern Test Case.
- Nicole Misarti, UAF Water and Engineering Research Center, for “Investigating the resilience of an important subsistence resource, the Pacific walrus, to changing climates,” connected to the Northern Test Case.
- Vladimir Alexeev, UAF International Arctic Research Center, for “Large-scale controls of hydrometeorologic conditions on the North Slope,” connected to the Northern Test Case.
- Peter Bieniek, UAF International Arctic Research Center, for "Climate drivers of Alaska summer stream temperatures," connected to the Coordination, Integration and Synthesis (CIS) Group.
- Peter Webley, UAF Geophysical Institute, for “Building tabletop exercises for airborne hazards: Volcanic eruptions and wildfires,” connected to the CIS Group.
- Jordi Cristobal Rossello, UAF Geophysical Institute, for “Surface temperature retrieval for the Kenai Peninsula from 1984 to 2011 in support of salmon habitat modeling and integrated SES studies in the ACE test case areas,” connected to the CIS Group.
RAP Internship Recipients
Congratulations to the recipients of EPSCoR's 2016 UAF Resilience and Adaptation Program internships. These five PhD students get $4,000 each to support their summer research efforts:
- Biosciences student Casey Brown will continue study into the effects of fire on moose harvests near Delta Junction.
- Anthropology student Odin Miller will work with the Midnite Sun Reindeer Ranch and members of the Nome Eskimo Community with the goal of understanding how redeveloping reindeer herding around Nome could impact local food systems.
- Anthropology student Emilie Springer will undertake a variety of writing and outreach projects in conjunction with her thesis, a nonfiction exploration of the Cordova fishery based on oral histories.
- Natural Resources Management student Stefan Tangen will partner with the village of Shaktoolik's planning committee on a project related to its climate adaptation plan.
- Engineering student Molly Tedesche will continue research on how receding snowfields are impacting caribou in Gates of the Arctic National Park.
Major publications from Northern Test Case
A pair of publications by Northern Test Case researchers have been making headlines over the last month.
In April, Ken Tape, an Assistant Professor with the UAF Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC), was lead author on "Range Expansion of Moose in Arctic Alaska Linked to Warming and Increased Shrub Habitat" in the journal PloS One. The article was covered by BBC News, among others.
In March, Anna Liljedahl, a Research Assistant Professor with WERC, was lead author on "Pan-Arctic ice-wedge degradation in warming permafrost and its influence on tundra hydrology" in the journal Nature Geoscience. Read coverage in the Washington Post.
"Letters from the PI" now available online
For the past year, Alaska EPSCoR Principal Investigator Anupma Prakash has been sending out regular updates on EPSCOR progress via our listserv. Those letters are now archived online as PDFs.
For more information
For more information on Alaska NSF EPSCoR, please see the below documents:
The Strategic Plan outlines Alaska EPSCoR's goals and methods for its current research project, which runs from 2012-17.
The Midcourse Report highlights the accomplishments and impacts of the first three years of the current research project.
The Alaska Science and Technology Plan, which prioritizes the state's S&T activities, was crafted with extensive EPSCoR input. The plan was written by the Alaska State Committee for Research, a panel of academic, political and business leaders charged with overseeing EPSCoR and advising on the state's research enterprise.
EPSCoR acknowledgement and logos
By our grant terms, any person receiving benefit from Alaska EPSCoR must acknowledge it in any publications, presentations, websites, newsletters, dissertations, theses, etc.
Please use the following language: "Acknowledgement to (or "Support from") Alaska EPSCoR NSF award #OIA-1208927 and the state of Alaska."