Welcome to Alaska 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. 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.

NSF EPSCoR soliciting "Track-2" proposals

The National Science Foundation EPSCoR program has released a solicitation for proposals for “Track-2” collaborative research projects. Proposals must include Co-PIs from at least two of the 27 EPSCoR states and territories, and must be on the topic of “Understanding the relationship between genome and phenome.”

Proposals are for up to four years and up to a total of $1 million a year for awards shared between two EPSCoR jurisdictions, and up to $1.5 million a year for awards shared between three or more jurisdictions. Letters of intent are due November 27 and full proposals will be due January 26, 2018.

Each main UA campus can serve as lead for only one proposal, and an investigator may serve as Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on only one RII Track-2 award at any given time. UAA researchers interested in applying should contact Dr. George Kamberov, UAS researchers should contact Dr. Paula Martin, and UAF researchers should consult Dr. Larry Hinzman. Dr. Peter Westley will lead the UAF EPSCoR Track-2 submission. UA researchers are also encouraged to serve as Co-PI’s on projects at other jurisdictions.

Letter from the Principal Investigator

The October 2017 Letter from the PI is now available.

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 was just 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.

EPSCoR work featured in Fisheries journal

The journal Fisheries has published 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.

Indeed, Alaska EPSCoR has been all over the pages of the Fisheries journal of late. 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.

Stuefer Published in Water Resources Research

Northern Test Case researcher Sveta Stuefer is lead author on an article published in the prestigious journal Water Resources Research. Entitled "Recent Extreme Runoff Observations From Coastal Arctic Watersheds in Alaska," the piece provides a synthesis of streamflow changes in watersheds of the Alaska Arctic Coastal Plain based on available historic discharge data and water balance analysis. The piece is a direct result of EPSCoR support for Stuefer, and two of three co-authors (Chris Arp and Anna Liljedahl) are also EPSCoR affiliates.

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, Decision Theater North and DTN Mapathons, Geographic Information Network of Alaska intern Roberta Glenn, and the Teaching Through Technologies project.

Salmon 2050 website

The Southcentral Test Case has launched a web site for their “Salmon 2050” project, which has used a stakeholder-driven process of scenario planning to ask better questions about the future of salmon in the Kenai. The site centers around five “scenario narratives” that imagine different futures for the Kenai River watershed, and includes details on all of the narratives as well as summaries of Salmon 2050 workshops and other resources like maps, data sheets, environmental change “slider” images, and even videos. It’s comprehensive and well worth a look. The videos are also accessible on YouTube.

For more information

For more information on Alaska NSF EPSCoR, please see the below documents:

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.

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 EPSCoR and advising on the state's research enterprise.


EPSCoR acknowledgement and logos

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

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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