Welcome to Alaska NSF EPSCoR


Alaska NSF EPSCoR improves Alaska's scientific capacity by engaging in research projects supported through National Science Foundation and state funds. EPSCoR is in the second year of "Fire and Ice," a five-year project to study climate-driven changes to Alaskan wildfire regimes and coastal ecosystems. For more information check out our brochure and one-page summaries of each component of the program: Boreal Fires; Coastal Margins; and Diversity, Education and Workforce Development. You can also view posters, presentations and publications from Fire and ice researchers.


The national NSF EPSCoR organization also supports Alaska through other funding streams. Check out this poster for more information on the timeline and structure of NSF EPSCoR in Alaska.


EPSCoR news

All Hands Meeting

An agenda is now available for the 2020 Alaska NSF EPSCoR All Hands Meeting, which will take place via Zoom on Nov. 4-5. The meeting will be preceded by a pair of workshops on phuilanthropic giving (see right column.)

STEM success stories

DennettThe DEW component is sharing a series of interviews with Alaskans who have overcome challenges to succeed in STEM fields. The first interview is with UAA graduate Liz Dennett, who now works for Amazon Web Services.

AFSC Fire Workshop

A number of EPSCoR researchers will speak on the morning of Wednesday, October 21 as part of the Alaska Fire Science Consortium Workshop. The event is part of the Interagency Fall Fire Review, an annual event in which fire professionals discuss the concluded fire season.

A number of Fire & Ice researchers will speak between 8:30 and noon, covering a variety of subjects including overwintering fires, lightning, fire predictive services, fire behavior, and an evaluation of the 2020 seasonal fire outlook. Faculty Jen Schmidt will also speak at 1:30 pm about a fuels planning project. The full agenda and login information are available at the above link.

New videos and highlights

fireOur video production team has been busy! We have three new videos up on our YouTube page:

"The McKinley Fire: Rebuilding and Lessons Learned" is an overview of the 2019 McKinley Fire, which burned a 10-mile long swath alongside the Parks Highway.

"Fire & Ice Coastal Margins Research" is a thorough overview of our research on the Gulf of Alaska.

"Dev Space Development Tools" puts a hammer through the wringer to demonstrate some of the capabilities of the Dev Space facility.

We also have a pair of new PDF highlights: "Eyes in the Sky" details Boreal Fires researchers' collaborations with Alaska fire services, and "COVID Challenges" describes efforts by the Coastal Margins team to complete fieldwork despite coronavirus restrictions.

Program brochure

We've printed out a brochure for the Fire & Ice project. Hard copies are available on campus; email Tom Moran to arrange a pickup or dropoff.

Logo GIFs

logo gifgif

Our Data Visualization Specialist Cassidy Phillips turned the Fire and Ice and Alaska EPSCoR logos into a pair of great GIFs. Feel free to download. He also made a GIF of the logos for Vis and Dev Space.


Solstice Game Jam winners

Our panel of judges have chosen winners for our Solstice Game Jam. Congratulations to the makers of first-place winner "Extended Care Unit Room 19B," second-place winner "Climatic," and third-place winner "Alaska DataQuest," which also took home the Fire & Ice theme award. Thanks to everyone who participated or volunteered. The games are all playable or downloadable from this link.

Philanthropy workshops

We're partnering with the University of Alaska Foundation and Alaska INBRE to offer a pair of virtual sessions at this year’s All-Hands Meeting on the subject of private philanthropic support for research.

First, the UA Foundation will present on “Navigating Private Philanthropy at UA.” The one-hour session will focus on the process of seeking and accepting private gifts at UA, including the basics of how UA Foundation funds work and who to contact for more information.

Then, Advancement Resources will offer a two-hour presentation entitled “Insight into Private Philanthropy.” The session will explore the variety of ways that non-governmental support can enhance and extend the impact of research, and ways to create opportunities for interested individuals to connect and engage with researchers’ science.

The sessions will take place via Zoom from 8:30 AM- 9:30 AM and from 10:00 AM – noon, respectively, on Wednesday, November 4. Participation in both sessions is free and open to all UA faculty, staff, students and affiliates, including individuals not associated with Alaska NSF EPSCoR.

Attendees must register in advance.

Postdoc and faculty openings

The Coastal Margins team is hiring a tenure-track faculty memember, and both the Coastal Margins and Boreal Fires teams are current accepting applications for postdoc positions.

Coastal Margins is hiring an Assistant Professor at UAA in the broad area of Earth Surface Processes; although all areas of earth surface processes will be considered, they’ve specifically seeking expertise in modeling of geomorphological, coastal, cryospheric, and/or marine intertidal processes.

Coastal Margins is also hiring a postdoc in Nearshore Marine Ecology. Responsibilities of the Juneau-based position include developing original research related to Coastal Margins objectives; integrating datasets across study sites of Lynn Canal and Kachemak Bay; and helping coordinate a field team to conduct ecological sampling at estuary sites along the Juneau road system.

Boreal Fires is hiring a postdoc in Climate Variability/Dynamics in collaboration with the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center. The position entails investigating the predictability of summer fire weather conditions using observational data.

New faculty hire

GlassWe're pleased to announce that Dr. Jessica Glass has accepted a position as an assistant professor in the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Jessica completed her B.S. and Ph.D at Yale University and her M.S. at UAF. Her research interests are biological and physical drivers of evolution and sustainable management practices of commercially and recreationally important marine fishes. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity; she'll be based at the Fairbanks campus and her start date is May 2021. Glass is the second faculty hire in the Fire & Ice project, following Gwenn Hennon, also with CFOS.

Research Workspace videos

We've posted 17 videos on our YouTube channel that explain how to use various facets of the Research Workspace, the depository for Fire and Ice data.

"Phase 0" awardee receives further funding

Stephen Grabacki, who earlier this year received $5,000 in “Phase 0” grant funding from the Alaska Technology Research and Development Center (Alaska TREND), has now received $100,000 in "Phase 1" funding from the USDA. 

The initial TREND award enabled Grabacki to apply for the USDA funding, which will enable Grabacki and his company, GRAYSTAR Pacific Seafood, Ltd., to develop a business to produce and sell Deep Ocean Water (DOW) as a nutraceutical beverage in one or more coastal Alaska communities. DOW is seawater obtained at ocean depths of 250-1,500 meters; it has a low temperature, high purity, and high concentrations of beneficial mineral nutrients.