May 13, 1998

UAF Researcher, UAA Student Awarded Gavin Grants for Research

May 13, 1998ยป NR 15-1998

The University of Alaska Foundation announced this week that Dr. James S. Sedinger, a professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been selected to receive a $15,000 Angus Gavin Memorial Bird Research grant for the 1998 summer field season. Also selected to receive a grant from the endowment managed by the Foundation was Verena Gill who was awarded a $5,000 grant.
Established by a generous gift from ARCO in 1981 the grant fund is named after Angus Gavin, a world renowned biologist and engineer who spent the last 13 years of his life working for ARCO on Alaskas North Slope studying, measuring, and documenting the wildlife of the area. Each year the earnings on the endowment established in Angus Gavins name are awarded as grants to faculty and students at the University of Alaska whose research centers around developing new knowledge about bird species and their interactions with the environment. A competitive proposal process for the grant is announced throughout the University each winter. In the spring, a five person selection committee made up of ornithologists and biologists from across Alaska is convened by the Foundation to select the grant recipient.

James Sedinger is a professor at the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks whose research seeks to understand how environmental factors affect the survival and breeding probability of the Black Brant populations on the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. One part of his study will examine how the recent El Nino events in Baja California influence the reproduction of the Brants (a species of small dark geese). Two graduate students at UAF as well as three field technicians will assist Dr. Sedinger on the grant.

The second grant was awarded by the Angus Gavin Committee to Verena Gill, a graduate student at the University of Alaska Anchorage's Department of Biology. Ms. Gill is working toward her Masters Degree in Biology at the institution. The $5,000 award will help fund her work investigating factors regulating the reproduction of Black-legged Kittiwakes on Middleton Island in the Gulf of Alaska..

The Angus Gavin endowment is administered and managed by the University of Alaska Foundation as part of its pooled endowment fund. The Angus Gavin endowment is currently more than $400,000 in size.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Scott Taylor, 907-474-7687