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 five-year project entitled "Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments," which examines the mechanisms by which communities adapt to environmental and social change. For more information please see the project's Strategic Plan or our 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.
Liljedahl receives $2 million NSF award
Congratulations to Alaska EPSCoR faculty Anna Liljedahl, who has been awarded a $2 million, three-year National Science Foundation grant for a project to study methane release from thermokarst lakes.
Along with co-principal investigators Vladimir Romanovsky, David Barnes, and Katey Walter Anthony, Liljedahl will examine the thresholds and feedbacks that govern the release of methane from arctic lakes. While much of this methane originates from frozen sediments at the bottoms of lakes, some also comes from beneath the permafrost deep under the lake. Methane release from this sub-permafrost environment is a new and poorly understood feedback to the climate system, and a better understanding of the process will lead to improved estimates of methane release - which will in turn contribute to more accurate projections of climate change.
Liljedahl, a Research Assistant Professor with the UAF Institute of Northern Engineering Water and Environmental Research Center, is a key researcher in EPSCoR’s Northern Test Case, where she is studying the degradation of permafrost polygons and its potential effect on habitats and wildlife.
EPSCoR sandbox gets national exposure
The Alaska EPSCoR/Geographic Information Network of Alaska Augmented-Reality Sandbox was recently featured as an outreach highlight by the National Science Foundation on their nationwide "SEE Innovation" webpage.
EPSCoR students in the news
EPSCoR students have been making headlines.
First, EPSCoR grad student Joanna Young recently appeared on Canadian national TV. Young was interviewed as part of a CBC feature on Camille Seaman, a photographer documenting climate change in the world's polar regions. Young appears at about 7:50 of the clip discussing glaciers and climate change. Young was also interviewed by an Australian women's surfing and outdoors website for her work with the Girls on Ice program.
Meanwhile, Kristin Timm, who worked with the Southeast Test Case before graduating from UAF with her M.S., received a National Science Foundation "Vizzie" award for her poster detailing how glaciers affect Alaska's coastal ecosystems. The poster was one of ten overall winners of the nationwide contest, taking home the People's Choice Award in the Posters and Graphics category. The poster will now be published in Popular Science.
And finally, UAA graduate student Molly McCarthy was featured in a recent issue of the UAA Green & Gold News. McCarthy was featured for her work with the Southcentral Test Case, for which she is using sediment cores from Kenai Peninsula lakes to estimate past levels of salmon abundance.
New EPSCoR highlights online
We've put five new PDF highlights up on the website:
- "This Place Knows Us," about an outreach program with the Kenaitze Tribe
- "North to the Future," which summarizes the work of the Northern Test Case;
- "Research by Raft," about investigations of herbivory on the North Slope by Northern Test Case graduate student Jiake Zhou (and also check out our video about Zhou);
- "EPSCoR SES Cohort Takes Flight," about EPSCoR's UAF grauate student peer group; and
- "A Carbon Calculation," about Southeast Test Case researcher Eran Hood's study of organic carbon released by glacial melt.
Drew is final EPSCoR hire
Alaska EPSCoR is pleased to welcome its newest faculty hire, Elaine Drew. Drew, an applied medical anthropologist, has accepted a position with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Anthropology and will do computational social science work for EPSCoR.
Drew was previously an Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Family and Community Medicine, where she worked with indigenous, ethnic minority, and underserved communities utilizing a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. She has authored numerous articles on CBPR and ethics review, as well as cross-cultural research on diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension. She most recently worked on funded cancer and diabetes prevention projects with different cultural communities across Wisconsin. For more information visit her UAF faculty page.
Drew is the sixth and final UA faculty hire made through the current Alaska EPSCoR research program.
Arctic Adaptation Exchange Portal up and running
The Arctic Adaptation Exchange Portal website is now open to the public. Alaska EPSCoR has helped to develop and to host the portal, a project by the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group to make adaptation information available to researchers and northern communities across the globe.
Aquatic Chemistry course
Alaska EPSCoR faculty Srijan Aggarwal is offering a graduate-level Aquatic Chemistry course this fall at UAF and wants to get the word out. Details here.
EPSCoR funds RAP students
Congratulations to UAF Resilience and Adaptation Program students Jenell Larsen (top) and Tracie Curry (bottom), who are receiving Alaska EPSCoR support for their summer research internships. Larsen will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Eskimo Walrus Commission to assess reproductive changes to Pacific female walruses in the Bering Sea over a 40-year span. Curry will intern with the Wainwright Traditional Council and the Aklak School, collecting, collating and posting past research related to local coastal social-ecological change.
For more information
For more information on Alaska EPSCoR, please see the below documents:
The Strategic Plan outlines Alaska EPSCoR's goals and methods for its current research project, which runs from 2012-17.
The Alaska Science and Technology Plan, which prioritizes the state's S&T activities, was crafted with extensive EPSCoR input.
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."