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.

Visualize This!

In cooperation with Alaska INBRE and the Alaska BLaST program, Alaska NSF EPSCoR is sponsoring a visualization competition open to researchers across the UA system. Entries will be accepted in two categories:

  • Print - photos, illustrations, posters and graphics
  • Video - videos and interactive visualizations

First, second and third place in each category will receive $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively, and 10 entrants will receive $50 honorable mentions. Entries will be displayed at UAF Research Day on April 25 and at a First Friday event on May 5.

Visualizations must relate to a current University of Alaska research topic. Entries can come from individuals or teams, and must include participation by a UA scientist.

The deadline is March 31, 2017. Click here for contest rules and here to submit. When filling out the submission form, please be sure to use an alaska.edu email address.

Nuiqsut photo book

A group of researchers traveled to the village of Nuiqsut in August with EPSCoR support to document the community and landscape changes. One of the results is a lovely photo book, "Nuiqsut on the Colville: Land of Sky, Tundra and Water."

Salmon 2050 website

The Southcentral Test Case has launched a web site for their “Salmon 2050” project, which has used a stakeholder-driven process of scenario planning to ask better questions about the future of salmon in the Kenai. The site centers around five “scenario narratives” that imagine different futures for the Kenai River watershed, and includes details on all of the narratives as well as summaries of Salmon 2050 workshops and other resources like maps, data sheets, environmental change “slider” images, and even videos. It’s comprehensive and well worth a look. The videos are also accessible on YouTube.

New EPSCoR videos and PDFs

    Still from Olivia Lee video

Alaska EPSCoR's YouTube site includes links to multiple new videos. First are videos about biology grad student and balloon animal virtuouso Ben Meyer, and one about the 2016 Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference in Dillingham. We also have some entertaining GoPro footage of a kid picking blueberries, part of educational research being done by EPSCoR grantee Carie Green. Next are three videos about the Augmented-Reality Sandbox produced by the National Weather Service. We also have six educational videos made using EPSCoR's SalmonSim visualization program, a video demo of an agent-based model of a salmon fishery produced by EPSCoR's CIS Group, and a beautifully shot vignette about Arctic subsistence by Data-to-Decisions grantee Olivia Lee.

We also have a number of new PDFs up on our Highlights page, including ones on the Arctic Adaptation Exchange Portal; EPSCoR-supported graduate student Tracie Curry; the Model Arctic Council; EPSCoR agent-based modeling; a study of the relationship between perceived and instrumented environmental change (P-delta-I); building visualizations; the 2016 Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference; and the 2016 awards of research seed grants and Alaska Native Engagement Grants.


Program highlights


Alaska Seed Fund Awards

Congratulations to CognitiveDoc, LLC, which was the big winner in a recent "Alaska Seed Fund" competition for Alaskan businesses co-sponsored by Alaska EPSCoR. The firm received a $20,000 award in the competition for its “carebot” virtual caregiver service designed to help patients avoid readmission to the hospital after surgeries like knee and hip replacements. More than 70 firms and individuals applied for the funding and nine other entrants received awards of more than $3,300.

The Alaska Seed Fund competition was a collaboration between several nonprofits that assist innovators in Alaska, including Alaska NSF EPSCoR, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (UAF OIPC), the Alaska Small Business Development Center (AK SBDC) at the University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute, and the Launch:Alaska startup accelerator.

NSF EPSCoR co-funding

NSF EPSCoR provides co-funding to other NSF departments so they can more broadly fund worthy research projects in EPSCoR jurisdictions. As of November 2016, NSF EPSCoR is currently co-funding 10 awards in Alaska for a total of $6.7 million, including:

  • $707,981 for Control of Boreal Forest Soil Decomposition Processes by Plant Secondary Compounds. Principal Investigator Mary Beth Leigh, co-PIs Andres Soria and Fenton Heirtzler, UAF.
  • $532,170 for A Comparative Study of the Medical Ethnobotany of the Chukchi and Naukan Yupik of Siberia and the Central Alaskan Yup'ik. Principal Investigator Kevin Jernigan, UAF-Kuskokwim Campus.
  • $214,786 for Collaborative Research: Using Field Experiments to Understand Household Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Alaska. Principal Investigator Antony Scott, UAF.
  • $502,465 for Unraveling the Controls of Inorganic Carbon Dynamics in the Gulf of Alaska with a Regional Three-Dimensional Biogeochemical Model. Principal Investigator Claudine Hauri, Co-PIs Katherine Hedstrom and Seth Danielson, UAF.
  • $499,848 for Factors Related to Teacher Retention in Arctic Alaska, an Integral Part of the Circumpolar North. Principal Investigator Ute Kaden, Co-PIs Joanne Healy, Barbara Adams, and Beth Leonard, UAF.
  • $323,278 for HF Backscatter from the Polar and Auroral E-Region Ionosphere: Origin, Conjugacy, and Electric Field Control. Principal Investigator Roman Makarevich, UAF.
  • $2,482,859 for NUNAPUT Stewardship through Science: Honoring Place in a Changing World. Principal Investigator Deborah McLean; Co-PIs Tomas Marsik and Todd Radenbaugh, UAF-Bristol Bay Campus.
  • $1,222,382 for Collaborative Research: Project STEAM: Integrating Art with Science to Build Science Identities among Girls. Principal Investigator Laura Conner, Co-PIs Mareca Guthrie and Stephen Pompea, UAF.
  • $75,747 for Collaborative Research: Dynamics of the Southern Rocky Mountains from Cross-Term Estimates of the Seismic Green Tensor. Principal Investigator Joshua Stachnik, UAF.
  • $139,017 for Impacts of Polyandry and Mate Limitation on Female Fecundity and the Population Dynamics of the Aspen Leaf Miner. Principal Investigator Patricia Doak, Co-PI Diane Wagner, UAF.

New Test Case Publications

Researchers with EPSCoR's Southcentral Test Case and CIS Group recently published an overview of their integrative science efforts in the journal Sustainability Science. SCTC Researcher Jess Grunblatt was lead author on another Sustainability Science article, entitled "Role of perception in determining adaptive capacity: communities adapting to environmental change."

A large chunk of the Southcentral Test Case's stakeholder research methodology has been summarized in a new article by researcher Meagan Krupa, entitled "Who's who in the Kenai River Fishery SES: A streamlined method for stakeholder identification and investment analysis." The article is in the September edition of Marine Policy magazine.

Also, Northern Test Case lead Gary Kofinas has published a mammoth report on sharing networks in Alaska Native villages entitled "Subsistence Sharing Networks and Cooperation: Kaktovik, Wainwright, and Venetie, Alaska" that directly ties to EPSCoR research.


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."

EPSCoR logos for use in posters and other presentations are available here as EPS, JPEG and TIFF files.

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