Other EPSCoR Awards
Hyunju Connor, an Assistant Professor with the UAF College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Geophysical Institute, has received a $1.94 million "Track-2" award from the national NSF EPSCoR program.
The four-year award (2019-23) will fund Connor to collaborate with researchers at the University of New Hampshire to study geomagnetically induced currents, which are caused by geomagnetic disturbances during space weather events and which can produce power outages, train system failures, and pipeline corrosion. The research team will apply machine learning techniques to over two decades of space- and ground-based observations and develop two prediction models for geomagnetic disturbances and risk of geomagnetically induced currents, which will be provided to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center. The project will also incorporate data from the Space Weather Underground (SWUG) program, in which high school and undergraduate students build and deploy magnetometers, measure geomagnetic disturbances, and analyze the data.
Four UAF researchers are currently implementing NSF EPSCoR "Track-4" awards, which enable scientists to collaborate with major research centers to continue their work.
Jeff Benowitz, a Research Assistant Professor with the Geophysical Institute, received $220,043 for his proposal “Why are Young Volcanic Rocks Undateable: Chemistry, Environment, or Instrumentation?” The funding enables Benowitz and a graduate student to work with researchers at Oregon State University to determine the age of young volcanic rocks from Alaska’s Aleutian and Wrangell arcs. They will investigate how the chemistry and environments of samples and the sensitivity and precision of instruments contribute to uncertainties in determining the age of young volcanic rocks, and enable the development of new methods to more accurately date the rocks. Funding for the project runs through 2020.
Eric Collins, an Assistant Professor with the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, received $187,301 for his proposal “Advancing Machine Learning in Biological Oceanography through Interdisciplinary Collaborations.” Collins and a graduate student will travel to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts to use machine learning to predict distributions of Arctic marine microbes and their use and transformations of metals. They’ll then use this knowledge to design methods for adaptive biological sampling using flow-through systems and ocean profilers. Funding for the project runs through 2020.
Georgina Gibson, a Research Assistant Professor with the International Arctic Research Center, received $222,000 for her proposal, "Modeling Dissolved Organic Matter at the Arctic Land/ocean Interface." The award funds Gibson and a graduate student to collaborate with Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to improve modeling of dissolved organic matter from Arctic rivers in mathematical models of the Arctic Ocean ecosystem. Funding for the project runs through 2019.
Ken Tape, an Associate Professor with the Geophysical Institute, received $200,382 for his proposal, “Predicting Beaver Colonization of the Arctic and Creation of Tundra Stream Oases.” Tape and a postdoctoral researcher will spend six months at Northern Arizona University working with experts in satellite image analysis to further his research into the expansion of beaver habitat into arctic tundra. Funding for the project runs through 2020.