Welcome to Alaska NSF 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 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. We've also created a small poster that tracks the timeline and structure of NSF EPSCoR in Alaska. If you're looking for project data or related data please visit our data portal. Alaska EPSCoR also helps to administer "Teaching Through Technologies," a three-year educational project to excite high school students about science through experiments with unmanned aerial vehicles, 3-D printers and codeable digital devices. EPSCoR has also submitted a proposal to the NSF for "Fire and Ice," a five-year project to study changes to Alaskan wildfire regimes and coastal ecosystems.

Mindful Leadership Workshop

EPSCoR is sponsoring a retreat-style workshop entitled "Mindful Leadership: Creating a Diverse and Inclusive UA." The free workshop is aimed at UA participants at all career levels and seeks to help build participants' leadership skills, to bolster inclusivity and diversity in UA leadership, and to build a network of mindful leaders in the UA community. The event will take place at UAF on June 14-15 and applications are due April 13. Visit the workshop's web page for more information and an application.

PI letter and poster available

EPSCoR PI Anupma Prakash has sent out a Letter from the Principal Investigator for March. In addition, we've cooked up a small poster about the history of NSF EPSCoR in Alaska.

Alaska Upward Bound receives $2.1 million EPSCoR award

A group led by the UAF Upward Bound program has been awarded a $2.1 million NSF EPSCoR grant to use emerging technologies as a way to increase the interest of low-income and first-generation-to-college high school students in science fields. The effort will include Upward Bound programs in 18 states and territories. The Teaching through Technologies (T3) Alliance will use instruction in three novel technologies — unmanned aerial systems (UAS), 3-D printers and codeable mini-computers — to attract Upward Bound students to science, technology, engineering and math fields.

The T3 Alliance will institute curricula based on the three technologies at Upward Bound programs, engaging more than 360 students nationwide. Instructors and students for the program will be recruited from Upward Bound sites. They’ll receive materials and online and in-person support to use a hands-on curriculum based on these three technologies. In addition to learning about the technologies, students will receive instruction in STEM communication and leadership. They will participate in community service projects using the technologies. The ultimate goal of the program is to develop a curriculum and support structure that can be widely adopted to increase students’ interest in STEM.

The award is a direct outgrowth of the EPSCoR Track-3 "Modern Blanket Toss" program (photo), which used UAS to excite students in five rural Alaska high schools about STEM fields. The three-year award period began Oct. 1.

Gibson receives "Track-4" award

Congratulations to International Arctic Research Center (IARC) researcher Georgina Gibson, who has been awarded an NSF EPSCoR Track-4 fellowship. The 2-year award will fund Gibson and a graduate student to collaborate with Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to improve modelling of dissolved organic matter from Arctic rivers in mathematical models of the Arctic Ocean ecosystem.

Buma making news for adventurous Glacier Bay research

Southeast Test Case faculty (and Alaska NSF EPSCoR faculty hire) Brian Buma has garnered a lot of attention for his work in summer 2016 and '17 rediscovering the long-lost research plots of William Cooper, one of the founding fathers of ecology in the United States, to help track glacial succession and landscape change in the temperate rainforest. With funding from the National Geographic Society, Buma combed through archival data, old field notebooks, hand-drawn sketch maps from 1916, photographs from the 20’s and 30’s, and modern satellite imagery to identify rough plot locations, then led a team of four researchers into Glacier Bay armed with kayaks and a metal detector to locate the plots and reignite what is now believed to be the longest primary succession plot network in the world. Buma's work made the cover of Ecology and has been featured in National Geographic online, Atlas Obscura, a number of newspapers, KTOO, and NPR's Here and Now. More information and succession photos are also available on Buma's website.

EPSCoR work featured in Fisheries journal

Alaska NSF EPSCoR work continues to grace the pages of Fisheries. EPSCoR researcher Jim Powell has an article in the January 2018 issue about fishery management in the Kenai River as a model for adaptive governance. It comes on the heels of a sweeping article that summarizes Southcentral Test Case research into the impacts of climate and landscape change on Southcentral salmon populations and in turn on fishing communities. The piece was written by EPSCoR postdoc Erik Schoen with input from 15 researchers from across the test case. A centerpiece of the article is a new poster-sized graphic entitled "Changes Facing Salmon Ecosystems." The research earned a writeup in the Peninsula Clarion newspaper.

In addition, UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences PhD student Jason Leppi made the cover of the June issue for his article about Broad Whitefish. And former EPSCoR grad student Jason McFarland was the subject of the magazine's April Photo Diary for his photogenic research into Arctic Grayling on the North Slope.

EPSCoR videos and PDFs

Still from Stakeholder Engagement video

Alaska EPSCoR's YouTube site includes links to multiple new videos. First is a video about stakeholder engagement activities in all three test cases. Next is a virtual flyover of the Kenai Peninsula, including imagery from the 1950's, 1980's and the present, put together by EPSCoR faculty Frank Witmer and UAA Planetarium head Omega Smith.

We have also published a number of new PDF highlights about EPSCoR research and outreach on this site. Subjects include research by Todd Brinkman and Ben Meyer, stakeholder engagement efforts by the Southeast, Southcentral and Northern test cases, DTN and DTN Mapathons, Geographic Information Network of Alaska intern Roberta Glenn, and the Teaching Through Technologies project.

For more information

For more information on Alaska NSF EPSCoR, please visit the below links:

The Strategic Plan outlines Alaska EPSCoR's goals and methods for its current research project, which runs from 2012-18.

The Midcourse Report highlights the accomplishments and impacts of the first three years of the current research project.

This poster gives an overview of the history of NSF EPSCoR in Alaska.

The Alaska EPSCoR data portal gives access to datasets generated by or related to EPSCoR research.

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 Alaska EPSCoR and advising on the state's research enterprise.


EPSCoR acknowledgement and logos

By our grant terms, any person receiving benefit from Alaska NSF EPSCoR must acknowledge it in any publications, presentations, websites, newsletters, dissertations, theses, etc. that result from Alaska NSF EPSCoR support.

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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