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 info sheet and Strategic Plan. 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.

EPSCoR students in the news

Kristin Timm

A pair of Alaska EPSCoR students have been making headlines.

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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Travel funding available for WAISC

Alaska EPSCoR is providing travel grants of up to $1,500 for the 2015 Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference, which will be held at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel on April 15-17. UAF undergraduate students are also invited to apply for an award through URSA.

Information on the EPSCoR and URSA funding can be found here.

Witmer is newest EPSCoR faculty hire

Alaska EPSCoR is pleased to announce its newest faculty hire. Frank Witmer has recently begun a position as an assistant professor in UAA’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, where he will specialize in computational social science and assist the efforts of the EPSCoR CIS Group.

Witmer received his B.S. from Tufts University and his M.A. and Ph.D in Geography from the University  of Colorado, where his dissertation addressed “The Effects of War on Land-Use/Land-Cover Change: An Analysis of Landsat Imagery for Northeast Bosnia.” Prior to coming to UAA he worked as research associate  or assistant on a number of projects at the University of Colorado, many of which involved his chief research interest of human-environment geography, with an emphasis on quantifying how human activity affects environmental conditions at local and regional scales.

Witmer is the fifth faculty hire in Alaska EPSCoR’s current research project. He joins UAS Assistant Professor of Forest Ecosystem Ecology Brian Buma, UAF Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Srijan Aggarwal, UAF Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology Todd Brinkman, and UAF Assistant Professor of Social-Ecological Systems Sustainability Sarah Trainor.

Program highlights



Prakash named Alaska EPSCoR Principal Investigator

Change is afoot atop Alaska EPSCoR.

UAF Geophysical Institute professor Anupma Prakash has been named the organization's new Principal Investigator and Co-Project Director. She replaces Mark Myers, who resigned from UAF to become Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

“I'm thrilled to join the Alaska EPSCoR team,” Prakash said. “The central idea of EPSCoR resonates with me at a personal level. EPSCoR is about people, and about communities that we are a part of. It's about collaborative efforts in interdisciplinary research to prepare our communities to understand and to adapt to inevitable change.”

Prakash is Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Geosciences, Associate Dean of UAF’s College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM), and Director of CNSM’s Division of Research. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Lucknow University in India, and her Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology - Roorkee. Her research focuses on the use of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques to map earth surface composition and changes.

Hood research featured in Nature Geoscience

Eran Hood

Eran Hood, a researcher in Alaska EPSCoR's Southeast Test Case, is lead author of a new study that estimates the amount of carbon to be dumped into the world's oceans by glacial melt, which could have major effects on marine ecosystems.

Hood and his colleagues determined that by 2050, 48 million metric tons of organic carbon - 1.5 times the amount of annual carbon runoff from the Amazon River - will be dumped into the ocean through glacial melt. About a third of this will be attributable to a warming climate accelerating melting. This increase in carbon runoff has many potential impacts, from the accelerated acidification of nearshore waters to changes to marine food webs.

The research by Hood, a Associate Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Alaska Southeast, was published in the journal Nature Geoscience and also featured in the Alaska Dispatch.

New EPSCoR videos online

Jiake Zhou

We've put five new videos up on our YouTube site. The newest one highlights Jiake Zhou, a graduate student in the Northern Test Case who took a 3-week raft trip through the North Slope to gather data on shrubs and herbivores. Another video deals with the challenge of integrating data across EPSCoR's test cases, and a third details EPSCoR's project to build visualizations of salmon populations on the Kenai Peninsula.

Two more are about the Southcentral Test Case, which examines the adaptive capacity of communities on the Kenai Peninsula. One is a short introduction to the Test Case, the other an overview of the test case's annual meeting.

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.

Members of the Alaska State Committee on Research provide oversight and direction to Alaska EPSCoR efforts. The committee oversaw the creation of the Alaska Science and Technology Plan, which prioritizes the state's S&T activities.

The 2014 External Evaluators' Report contains analysis and recommendations by EPSCoR external evaluators Julia Melkers and Eric Welch.

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.

Back to Top