Alaska, which became eligible to apply for NSF EPSCoR support in 2000, received its first Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) award in 2001.

The first phase, from 2001 to 2004, included four research focus areas:

  1. Infrastructure and Systems for Cold Regions;
  2. The High-Latitude Environments Contaminants Consortium;
  3. Integrative Approaches to Environmental Physiology; and
  4. The Alaska Genome Diversity Initiative.

The phase also included a one-year supplement in Regional Resilience and Adaptation and core support for Bioinformatics.

The 69 faculty members in this phase (not including the Regional Resilience and Adaptation supplement) received over 86 federal, state and private awards for a total of more than $26 million and published over 116 refereed articles.