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 administers "The Modern Blanket Toss," a three-year educational project to excite high school students about science through experiments with unmanned aerial vehicles.

First Friday at Decision Theater North

Come to Decision Theater North on May 5 for an exciting First Friday event! The theater will display the winners of “Visualize This,” a data visualization and design competition developed by the Alaska NSF EPSCoR, NIH INBRE and NIH BLaST programs. The winning entries include a variety of videos, still photos, infographics and more. Light snacks will be provided.

First Friday visitors will also be able to explore the Decision Theater development space, where UAF students are working with virtual reality and other cutting-edge technology to develop 360 videos and imagery and 3-D graphics and models. Activities will include 3-D painting in virtual reality using HTC Vive VR headsets and the Google Tilt Brush program. Also open for the event will be the computer lab of V-ADAPT (Volcanic Ash Detection, Avoidance and Preparedness for Transportation), a UAF-based start-up that tracks volcanic activity. Visitors can also peruse new satellite images from the Alaska Satellite Facility, on display on the floor above the Decision Theater.

The event will take place from 4-7 PM, and the theater is located at 010 West Ridge Research Building.

Nuiqsut photo book

A group of researchers traveled to the village of Nuiqsut in August with EPSCoR support to document the community and landscape changes. One of the results is a lovely photo book, "Nuiqsut on the Colville: Land of Sky, Tundra and Water."

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.

New EPSCoR videos and PDFs

    Still from Kenai Peninsula flyover video

Alaska EPSCoR's YouTube site includes links to multiple new videos. First 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. Next are videos about biology grad student and balloon animal virtuouso Ben Meyer, and one about the 2016 Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference in Dillingham. We also have some entertaining GoPro footage of a kid picking blueberries, part of educational research being done by EPSCoR grantee Carie Green. Next are three videos about the Augmented-Reality Sandbox produced by the National Weather Service. We also have six educational videos made using EPSCoR's SalmonSim visualization program, a video demo of an agent-based model of a salmon fishery produced by EPSCoR's CIS Group, and a beautifully shot vignette about Arctic subsistence by Data-to-Decisions grantee Olivia Lee.

We also have a number of new PDFs up on our Highlights page, including ones on the Arctic Adaptation Exchange Portal; EPSCoR-supported graduate student Tracie Curry; the Model Arctic Council; EPSCoR agent-based modeling; a study of the relationship between perceived and instrumented environmental change (P-delta-I); building visualizations; the 2016 Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference; and the 2016 awards of research seed grants and Alaska Native Engagement Grants.


Program highlights


EPSCoR Facilitation Workshop

Alaska EPSCoR will be holding a facilitation workshop in Decision Theater North on May 22-23. The event is an opportunity for UA faculty and staff to build their facilitation skills, including working with diverse stakeholders, using consultative, facilitative and delegative decision-making techniques, and managing difficult dynamics.

The workshop is free, and limited travel funding from Anchorage and Juneau is available. Applications are due April 26 and spots will be awarded via a competitive process. Click here for more information and to apply.

Alaska Seed Fund Awards

Congratulations to CognitiveDoc, LLC, which was the big winner in a recent "Alaska Seed Fund" competition for Alaskan businesses co-sponsored by Alaska EPSCoR. The firm received a $20,000 award in the competition for its “carebot” virtual caregiver service designed to help patients avoid readmission to the hospital after surgeries like knee and hip replacements. More than 70 firms and individuals applied for the funding and nine other entrants received awards of more than $3,300.

The Alaska Seed Fund competition was a collaboration between several nonprofits that assist innovators in Alaska, including Alaska NSF EPSCoR, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization (UAF OIPC), the Alaska Small Business Development Center (AK SBDC) at the University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute, and the Launch:Alaska startup accelerator.

McFarland featured in Photo Diary

Former EPSCoR grad student Jason McFarland is the subject of this month's Fisheries Magazine Photo Diary for his extremely photogenic research on the North Slope.

NSF EPSCoR co-funding

NSF EPSCoR provides co-funding to other NSF departments so they can more broadly fund worthy research projects in EPSCoR jurisdictions. As of November 2016, NSF EPSCoR is currently co-funding 10 awards in Alaska for a total of $6.7 million, including:

  • $707,981 for Control of Boreal Forest Soil Decomposition Processes by Plant Secondary Compounds. Principal Investigator Mary Beth Leigh, co-PIs Andres Soria and Fenton Heirtzler, UAF.
  • $532,170 for A Comparative Study of the Medical Ethnobotany of the Chukchi and Naukan Yupik of Siberia and the Central Alaskan Yup'ik. Principal Investigator Kevin Jernigan, UAF-Kuskokwim Campus.
  • $214,786 for Collaborative Research: Using Field Experiments to Understand Household Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Alaska. Principal Investigator Antony Scott, UAF.
  • $502,465 for Unraveling the Controls of Inorganic Carbon Dynamics in the Gulf of Alaska with a Regional Three-Dimensional Biogeochemical Model. Principal Investigator Claudine Hauri, Co-PIs Katherine Hedstrom and Seth Danielson, UAF.
  • $499,848 for Factors Related to Teacher Retention in Arctic Alaska, an Integral Part of the Circumpolar North. Principal Investigator Ute Kaden, Co-PIs Joanne Healy, Barbara Adams, and Beth Leonard, UAF.
  • $323,278 for HF Backscatter from the Polar and Auroral E-Region Ionosphere: Origin, Conjugacy, and Electric Field Control. Principal Investigator Roman Makarevich, UAF.
  • $2,482,859 for NUNAPUT Stewardship through Science: Honoring Place in a Changing World. Principal Investigator Deborah McLean; Co-PIs Tomas Marsik and Todd Radenbaugh, UAF-Bristol Bay Campus.
  • $1,222,382 for Collaborative Research: Project STEAM: Integrating Art with Science to Build Science Identities among Girls. Principal Investigator Laura Conner, Co-PIs Mareca Guthrie and Stephen Pompea, UAF.
  • $75,747 for Collaborative Research: Dynamics of the Southern Rocky Mountains from Cross-Term Estimates of the Seismic Green Tensor. Principal Investigator Joshua Stachnik, UAF.
  • $139,017 for Impacts of Polyandry and Mate Limitation on Female Fecundity and the Population Dynamics of the Aspen Leaf Miner. Principal Investigator Patricia Doak, Co-PI Diane Wagner, UAF.


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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