Welcome to Alaska NSF EPSCoR

Alaska NSF EPSCoR improves Alaska's scientific capacity by engaging in research projects supported through National Science Foundation and state funds. EPSCoR recently commenced "Fire and Ice," a five-year project to study climate-driven changes to Alaskan wildfire regimes and coastal ecosystems. For more information check out one-page summaries of each component of the program: Boreal Fires, Coastal Margins, and Diversity, Education and Workforce Development.

Alaska NSF 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 also supports Alaska researchers through other funding streams. In addition, the organization just concluded a six-year project entitled "Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments (ACE)," which examined the mechanisms by which communities adapt to environmental and social change. For more information about our history, take a look at this small poster that tracks the timeline and structure of NSF EPSCoR in Alaska.

For information on how to acknowledge EPSCoR support of your work, see the lower right corner of this page.

Stereotype Threat lecture available online

Amanda Sesko's September 10 lecture, "Stereotyping and stereotype threat effects on STEM performance and evaluation," is now available for viewing online. Sesko's talk presents research on the effects of stereotypes in STEM for women and racial minorities in the classroom and the workplace, with a focus on methods for reducing preformance impairments through processes such as self-affirmation.


UAF researcher receives EPSCoR "Track-2" award

Hyunju Connor, an Assistant Professor with the UAF College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the Geophysical Institute, has received a $1.94 million "Track-2" award from the national NSF EPSCoR program.

The four-year award will fund Connor to collaborate with researchers at the University of New Hampshire to study geomagnetically induced currents, which are caused by geomagnetic disturbances during space weather events and which can produce power outages, train system failures, and pipeline corrosion. The research team will apply machine learning techniques to over two decades of space- and ground-based observations and develop two prediction models for geomagnetic disturbances and risk of geomagnetically induced currents, which will be provided to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center. The project will also incorporate data from the Space Weather Underground (SWUG) program, in which high school and undergraduate students build and deploy magnetometers, measure geomagnetic disturbances, and analyze the data.

Check out our new logo!

Thanks to our Data Visualization Specialist Cassidy Phillips, Fire and Ice now has a great new logo! Please use this in addition to, or as an alternative to, the EPSCoR logo on posters, presentations, etc. We have the logo with border lettering (as seen to the left) in PNG and TIFF formats, and also have the logo without the border lettering as a PNG or TIFF.

Fire and Ice makes first faculty hire

The Fire and Ice project has hired its first tenure-track faculty member. Dr. Gwenn Hennon will start in fall 2019 as an Assistant Professor of Oceanography at UAF, and will assist the Coastal Margins team in phytoplankton research. She holds a bachelor's in Chemistry from MIT and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington, and has spent the last three years as a postdoctoral scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.

Hennon is the first of five faculty hires planned over the course of Fire and Ice.

EPSCoR highlights

F&I faculty LeeAnn Munk, Jason Fellman and Eric Klein

We've produced our first PDF highlight from the Fire and ice project, about some first collaborative steps toward stream monitoring. Many thanks to Molly Tankersley of the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center for the text and photos.

We also have available a number of PDF highlights about research and outreach from the recently concluded Alaska ACE project. Alaska EPSCoR's YouTube site also includes links to multiple recent videos from the ACE project. We also now host sound signatures of planes flying over the North Slope, courtesy of an ACE Northern Test Case research project by UAF MS student Taylor Stinchcomb.

Looking for ACE content?

The Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments project concluded on December 31, 2018. Information about the project has been moved to the EPSCoR archive. At present, the archive contains all pages that were originally hosted here on the main site, as well as a new page containing all information and links from the Southcentral Test Case's Salmon 2050 project and another containing a bathymetry map of the Colville River produced for the Northern Test Case.

Research, Education and Outreach seed grants available

The Alaska NSF EPSCoR Fire and Ice project will competitively award a series of seed grants to University of Alaska faculty, staff, and students. More information and application links can be found on our Awards page.

Grants will be awarded in three categories:

  1. Faculty Research Seed Grants of up to $20,000 each will be awarded to early- and mid-career, full-time faculty members of the University of Alaska to carry out proposals for new and innovative research projects that support the go0als of the Alaska NSF EPSCoR “Fire and Ice” research project. The application deadline is October 14, 2019.
  2. Student Research Seed Grants of up to $4,000 each will be awarded for similar proposals from graduate or undergraduate students at the University of Alaska. The application deadline is October 14, 2019.
  3. Education and Outreach Seed Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to UA faculty or staff to carry out innovative proposals to build key competencies among stakeholders to address ecological change; to build a diverse pool of STEM learners and workers in Alaska; and/or to increase capacity for Fire and Ice science and teaching among UA faculty and students. The application deadline is October 14, 2019.

Strategic Plan now available

The Strategic Plan for the Fire and Ice project is now available for download. The 39-page document introduces the project, spells out research and outreach goals, and lays out a specific year-by-year timeline for reaching targets. 

DEPSCoR seeks proposals

The Department of Defense has relaunched its EPSCoR program (“DEPSCoR”) and announced a total of $3.6 million in funding for projects related to DoD technical research areas. PI and Co-PI teams from EPSCoR states (including Alaska) are invited to register by October 18 and submit white papers by October 25. Individual awards are for up to $200,000 a year for up to three years. See the Funding Opportunity Announcement for more details.

Research posters and presentations

Whenever possible, we will make research posters and presentations by our Fire and Ice researchers available on this site, in addition to lists of publications. Here are our first offerings:

For more information

The Fire and Ice Strategic Plan describes the goals of the project and year-by-year plans to reach them.

For more information on Alaska NSF EPSCoR in general, this poster gives an overview of the history of the organization in Alaska.

The EPSCoR data portal gives access to datasets generated by or related to Alaska NSF EPSCoR research.

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 Alaska EPSCoR and advising on the state's research enterprise.


EPSCoR acknowledgment and logos

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

For work supported by the Fire and Ice award (2018-2023), please use the following language: "This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under award #OIA-1753748 and by the State of Alaska."

For work supported by the Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments (ACE) award (2012-2018), please use the following language: "This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under award #OIA-1208927 and by the State of Alaska."

Alaska NSF EPSCoR logos for use in posters and other presentations are available here as EPS, JPEG and TIFF files. We also have a Fire and Ice logo; Please use this in addition to, or as an alternative to, the EPSCoR logo on posters, presentations, etc. The logo is available with border lettering in PNG and TIFF formats, and also without the border lettering as a PNG or TIFF.

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