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Coeur Alaska Inc. $20,000 Donation Creates More Opportunities for Hands-on Undergraduate Work

Coeur Alaska Inc. $20,000 Donation Creates More Opportunities for Hands-on Undergraduate Work

UAS senior Mollie Dwyer spent her summer hiking up mountains with a backpack of test tubes to collect water samples from different stream sources. Last year she had her hands full of kelp assisting with research on their reproductive process.

Thanks in big part to her scholarship from Coeur Alaska Inc. Dwyer, a senior pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Science, Dwyer was able to dig into her studies quite literally during a paid internship through a collaboration of the US Forest Service, the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Laboratory and the University of Alaska Southeast. She is the latest recipient of the $2,000 UAS Coeur Alaska – Kensington Gold Mine Environmental Science Award which has just received another $20,000 donation from Coeur Alaska Inc.

Pursuing a B.A. in Environmental Science, Dwyer is doing what many UAS students pursue - hands-on internships that take advantage of community partnerships. Currently Dwyer is assisting Drs. Eran Hood and Jason Fellman along with U.S. Forest Service Soil Scientist David D’Amore in research that may provide clues to how changes in our environment impact Southeast Alaska both environmentally and economically.

For Dwyer the scholarship allowed her take part in a summer internship collecting water samples from stream sites that run off glaciers, snowmelt and wetlands. “We are looking at what isotopes are carried over as it travels over landscapes and soil,” Dwyer said. “At UAS we get a lot of work in the field and in the lab. We have gotten to be a part of every aspect of the process.”

The Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, hosted by the US Forest Service and housed in the Juneau Forestry Science Laboratory, was established in 2009 with a goal of expanding and enhancing education and research opportunities for university students with a focus on the environmental and economic climate of the Pacific coastal temperate rainforest.

"Mollie's participation in our research project has provided her with valuable hands-on experience in aquatic ecology and helped to foster collaboration between UAS faculty and researchers at the Juneau Forestry Science Lab" says Dr. Eran Hood, professor of Environmental Science.

Research soil scientist Dave D’Amore of the U.S. Forest Service agrees. “We can do thousands and thousands more samples locally with student helpers.”

D’Amore says the collaboration between the US Forest Service and the university was no accident, the Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory was carefully planned and built on property adjacent to the UAS Juneau campus with a walking path that connects the two.

Two house poles honoring the heritage of the Auke Kwan land and carved by now UAS faculty member Wayne Price grace the entryway.

Together with the private support of Coeur Alaska Inc. these separate entities are combining resources and creating what Jan Trigg of Coeur Alaska describes as a synergy that is precisely what her company hopes to contribute to. “The whole idea behind creating the scholarship endowment is that we can contribute something that is sustainable and can help students long after the mine is gone.” Trigg said.

In total Coeur Alaska has donated $124,000 to UAS and a total of $156,700 to the UA system since 2011. They have given $4,000 in a joint scholarship with HECLA and Southeast Conference and $32,700 to UAA for visiting professors of public policy.

To find out more about the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center and sign up for their newsletter visit their website.

Find out more about the Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory, visit their website.

To add your support for student scholarships and other program support, visit the UAS Development Office's website or contact them at (907) 796-6320.

Links: Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center

Contact: Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509

UAS Celebrates 2018 Faculty Promotions and Tenure

It is with great pride that the University of Alaska Southeast announces the recent promotion and/or tenure of our esteemed faculty. Please join UAS as we congratulate them.

Dr. Andrea Dewees has been promoted to Associate Professor of Spanish with tenure in the Department of Humanities in the School of Arts and Sciences on the UAS Juneau Campus. Dr. Dewees holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures, Spanish, from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She also holds a State of Alaska Professional Teacher Certificate in World Language and was recently elected President of the Board of Directors for the Alaska Institute for Justice, a statewide human rights organization.

Dr. David Noon has been promoted to Professor of History in the Department of Humanities, School of Arts & Sciences on the UAS Juneau Campus. Dr. Noon holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in History/English from James Madison University.

X’unei Lance Twitchell has been promoted to Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages with tenure in the Department of Humanities, School of Arts & Sciences at the UAS Juneau Campus. Professor Twitchell is a Ph.D. Candidate in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization from the Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai’i, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a B.A. in English with a minor in American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Dr. Math Trafton has been promoted to Associate Professor of English with tenure in the School of Arts & Sciences at the Sitka Campus. Dr. Trafton holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, an M.A. in Comparative Literature, an M.A. in English-Creative Writing, a B.S. in Computer Science, and B.A. in English-Creative Writing, all from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Ernestine Hayes has been promoted to Professor of English with tenure in the Department of Humanities in the School of Arts & Sciences on the UAS Juneau campus. Professor Hayes holds a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a B.L.A. in Communication from the University of Alaska Southeast. She was also awarded the 2017 Alaska Writer Laureate.

Contact: Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509

Tlingit Master Carver Wayne Price Joins University of Alaska Southeast Northwest Coast Arts Faculty

Wayne Price with totem

Wayne Price, Tlingit Master Carver from Haines, Alaska, has joined the University of Alaska Southeast as Associate Professor of Northwest Coast Arts. An accomplished Alaska Native artist, Price is a member of the Wooshkeetaan clan. He has carved over 30 traditional and non-traditional totems. He owns the Silver Cloud Art Center in Haines, and is a featured artist in the Egan Library Northwest Coast Art Collection. In addition to totems, Price uses his Master Carver skills to create canoes and paddles, masks, boxes, drums, and regalia for dance and ceremonies.  He has been carving since 1971, and has been an apprentice under other master carvers and artists, including Ed Kasko, Leo Jacobs, and John Hagen. His art is featured throughout the world.

UAS’ expansion of its Northwest Coast Arts program builds on a vision articulated by Dr. Rosita Worl at Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) in which Juneau and Southeast Alaska becoming world-renowned centers for Northwest Coast Arts and indigenous artistic development. UAS and SHI are collaborating with the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe to help realize this vision. Of UAS’ new faculty hire, Dr. Worl stated:  “Wayne Price is a great artist who represents the best of Northwest Coast art traditions and I am certain that students will benefit from his teachings.”

UAS currently offers a Northwest Coast Arts occupational endorsement and, this fall, UAS will offer several arts courses, including Intermediate Design and Beginning Carving. Also available is a survey course in Northwest Coast Native Art History & Culture which explores the visual arts of the Northwest Coast Native peoples. It will feature traditional methods, materials, and images discussed within a cultural and historical context.

In addition to Alaska Native arts and language classes offered for academic credit, those same classes can be taken by community members at a reduced rate in a non-credit format. This intended for community members not otherwise enrolled in a degree or certificate program at the university.  

Classes at UAS begin August 27.  For more information about Northwest Coast Arts educational offerings, visit, or contact program coordinator Davina Cole at 796-6340.

Links: UAS Facebook page

Contact: Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509

Tribe Signs Memorandum of Agreement with University of Alaska Southeast

UAS Chancellor Caulfield and President Peterson following MOA signing ceremony

Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Juneau Campus formalized their commitment to expand communication, collaboration, and mutually beneficial partnerships through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The MOA was signed on August 6, 2018 by Tlingit & Haida President Richard (Chalyee Éesh) Peterson and UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield during a regularly scheduled UAS Juneau Campus Advisory Council meeting in Juneau, Alaska.

The MOA broadly identifies areas for collaboration such as educational opportunities and equity for students and tribal citizens, increase educational attainment, promote awareness and appreciation of the region’s rich indigenous cultures and languages, build a quality workforce and promote self-determination and community self-reliance.

“Partnerships and building areas for collaboration have been a key area of focus for me,” said President Peterson. “There are a lot of areas of overlap between Tlingit & Haida and UAS, for example our Vocational Training & Resource Center and UAS’ Technical Education Center, so it was very natural to develop this agreement. We must continue to broaden our ability to work together to strengthen our effectiveness to serve our tribal citizens and for the wellbeing of our community and our region.”

"UAS and Tlingit & Haida have common interests in areas such as employment training, student scholarships and support, indigenous languages and arts, teacher education, tribal management, and tourism,” said Chancellor Caulfield. “Working together, we can only improve the services for Tlingit & Haida’s tribal citizens and for UAS students. I'm grateful to President Richard Peterson for his commitment to collaboration and to UAS Vice Chancellor Joe Nelson who will provide UAS leadership in this effort."

As part of the first steps under the MOA, Tlingit & Haida and UAS will designate representatives to serve on a MOA Steering Committee that will meet at least twice annually (fall, spring) to identify shared goals and objectives, develop timelines, implement action steps for goals and objectives, maintain regular contact, and communication at leadership and program levels in delivering higher education and community outreach services. The committee will establish ad hoc working groups as necessary to advance the MOA’s scope, goals, objectives, and implementation steps under each program area exploring potential areas of collaboration.

Contact: Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509

Contact: Raeanne Holmes
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
Phone: (907) 463-7368

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