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UAS Professor Forest Wagner Active and Continuing to Improve After Bear Mauling

Attached photo (taken by a passing hiker, name unknown): Taken 6/25/16 during climb of the backside of Flat Top near Anchorage. Pictured L to R: Forest Wagner, Andy Sterns, Forest’s father Joe Wagner.

On April 18, University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Assistant Professor Forest Wagner, 35, was mauled by a brown bear while leading a six-day mountaineering course. The incident occurred on the northeast aspect of Mt. Emmerich near Haines, Alaska. Wagner was on skis and apparently surprised the bear, which charged and attacked him. In retrospect, Wagner suspects the bear was not hibernating due to an unusually warm spring, and that his ski track likely landed too close to the bear’s den. A bear cub was seen nearby. The sow was undoubtedly being protective of her cub. Bear biologists have found that many bears across coastal Alaska did not fully hibernate during the past winter. Typically they hibernate into May.

Wagner stated, “I am thankful that the bear did not hurt any of the people I led onto Mt. Emmerich, and for the overwhelming support I’ve felt since the incident from family, friends, and colleagues. It is my privilege and obligation to share and participate in adventure settings in the natural world. I harbor no ill feelings toward the bear.”

After ten surgeries and ongoing physical rehabilitation, Wagner is now walking around and has even climbed peaks on the weekends in Anchorage where he is residing as an outpatient. A major injury on his left side will require a skin graft. Medical professionals have indicated that he is healing well and expect him to have a full recovery. Wagner expects to return to Juneau in August in time for the start of the new academic year at UAS.

Contact: Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509
Email: klcampbell4@alaska.edu


UAS Welcomes New Provost

Dr. Karen Carey joined the University of Alaska Southeast this week as Provost. Dr. Carey earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from University of Cincinnati. She comes to UAS from the California State University Channel Islands, in Ventura, California, where she served as the Dean of Arts & Sciences. In that role she was responsible for strategic planning and student learning as well as managing academic programs with more than 200 faculty.

As UAS Provost, Dr. Carey collaborates with faculty to support the teaching, research, and service missions of UAS. She maintains strong working relationships with deans, campus directors in Sitka and Ketchikan, department chairs, and other faculty and staff to ensure high-quality academic performance and institutional effectiveness of the university. Dr. Carey also serves as the academic liaison with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University to maintain UAS’ accreditation, and is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable standards and reporting expectations. Dr. Carey is based at the UAS Juneau Campus.

Chancellor Rick Caulfield selected Dr. Carey after a year-long national search process. During her time at CSU-CI, Dr. Carey and her colleagues faced severe budget cuts in the face of the 2008 recession. She has experience with measures used to weather these cuts, and has seen the long-term impacts of these actions on campuses. Chancellor Caulfield notes, “Provost Karen Carey brings experience and insights that are particularly valuable for UAS in this time of change.” Dr. Karen Carey can be reached at provost@uas.alaska.edu or 907-796-6147.

Contact: Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6509
Email: klcampbell4@alaska.edu



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