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Current UAS News Releases

UAS listed in top 10 marine science programs

College Magazine has ranked the University of Alaska Southeast as one of ten best schools in the U.S. offering marine science degrees. UAS offers undergraduate degrees in both marine biology and fisheries. The ranking takes into account the access that UAS undergraduate students have to hands-on education, internships, and research opportunities.

“The UAS Marine Biology program is located directly on Alaska’s Inside Passage and students explore and study the marine intertidal routinely during their classes. What makes this experience unique for students is that they are also within walking distance of the main UAS campus, dorms, and campus life. Our students work with marine biology faculty who all provide rich research opportunities that include field and laboratory experiences,” noted Dr. Sherry Tamone, Professor of Biology and Chair of Natural Sciences at UAS.

UAS employs top-notch faculty in its science programs. Biology and Marine Biology students benefit from faculty actively involved in many disciplines, including marine ecology, marine mammalogy, phycology, comparative physiology, neurobiology, population genetics and conservation biology.

The national recognition specifically references the UAS Undergraduate Research, Experiential & Creative Activities (URECA) program. This enables students in sciences as well as creative areas to design and implement their own extra-curricular plan, mentored by UAS faculty, and includes up to $2,500 in funding.

Marine Biology student Madison Bargas notes, ““The small community at UAS makes it really nice for students to get to know their professors and allows great opportunities to get experience in their field. Many biology professors have opportunities for students to work in their labs and/or create independent study projects to broaden their education outside of the classroom."

To learn more about UAS Biology and Marine Biology degree programs, and to explore other natural sciences, visit the UAS Natural Sciences website. Academic advising for science programs is available by calling (907) 796-6200.

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


UAS Alaska College of Education Awarded Grant for Indigenous Alaska Scholars

The Alaska College of Education at the University of Alaska Southeast is the recipient of a five-year $1.26M Indian Education Professional Development grant through the U.S. Department of Education. The grant entitled Indigenous Alaska Scholars will provide graduate-level training to qualified Alaska Natives to become certificated teachers and administrators, with a focus on preparing them to work in predominantly-Native Alaska schools. The initiative was one of twenty projects selected nationwide; Year One funding will total $363,240. The project is designed to provide financial support to three cohorts of students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) or the Education Leadership graduate program for future school principals. Mentor support for graduates during an induction into the field of education will continue for an additional two years.

Dr. Steve Atwater, Executive Dean of the College notes, “We are thrilled to be able to offer support for future Alaska Native teachers and principals. Our state desperately needs more Alaska Native educators, and this grant will help meet this need.”

Consortium partners supporting the Alaska College of Education grant include Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), which will provide culturally responsive training. The Alaska Statewide Teacher Mentor Project will provide individualized teacher induction supports, and the Alaska Council of School Administrators and the Alaska Staff Development Network will assist with recruitment and provide Education Leadership students with the opportunity to attend the ASDN Alaska School Leadership Institute. Moreover, two Alaska school districts—Ketchikan Gateway Borough and Lower Kuskokwim School District—have lent their support to the project.

A meeting of grantees is scheduled for November 18. For more information contact Ronalda Cadiente Brown (907) 796-6058 or email rcadientebrown@alaska.edu.

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

Contact: Ronalda Cadiente Brown
University of Alaska Southeast
Phone: (907) 796-6058
Email: rcadientebrown@alaska.edu


UAS Announces Keynote Speakers for Power and Privilege Symposium — November 6

The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) is excited to announce keynote speakers for the 3rd Annual Power and Privilege Symposium on the Juneau Campus, Tuesday, November 6. The symposium is free and open to all, including students, faculty, staff, and community members. It is designed as an engaging and thought-provoking gathering that advances learning and disseminates knowledge about pressing societal issues in a setting supportive of free inquiry and discussion. In addition to keynote speakers, members of the university community propose sessions that are held throughout the day. The event is scheduled as a regular part of the university’s fall calendar. Most classes do not meet on the scheduled day to allow broad participation by members of the university community.

Two keynote speakers will present at the 2018 Symposium. The first is Oscar Vazquez, author of the widely-acclaimed book, Spare Parts, which has also been made into a major motion picture. The book was selected this year for UAS’ One Campus/One Book program; a title read and discussed widely by students, faculty, and staff.

The second keynote speakers are the nationally-known founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Judy and Dennis Shepard. The Matthew Shepard Foundation was created to honor the memory of Judy and Dennis’ son, Matthew, who was murdered in 1998 because of his sexual orientation. The mission of the foundation is to erase hate by replacing it with understanding, compassion, and acceptance.

The keynote speakers will present during afternoon and evening sessions of the Symposium. Details about the speakers and their topics are as follows:

Keynote Speaker: Oscar Vazquez, Veteran, DREAMer, STEM Leader

Like many DREAMers, Oscar Vazquez came to the United States from Mexico as a child in search of a better life. He excelled as a STEM student at Carl Hayden High School in Arizona and led an unlikely and inspiring group of under-resourced Hispanic high school students who successfully took on a MIT team in an underwater robotics competition. He went on to complete college, but without legal status he couldn’t secure a job to provide for his new wife and newborn child.

Oscar returned to Mexico to apply for a visa and, with help from Senator Dick Durbin (who spoke from the Senate floor about Oscar’s case), he was granted a Green Card in August 2010. Six months later, Oscar enlisted in the Army to serve the country he loves and calls home. Oscar served one tour in Afghanistan and is now a proud U.S. citizen. He is a passionate advocate on behalf on expanding STEM opportunities for Latino and other underrepresented youth. His book, Spare Parts, tells the story of four undocumented teenagers, their robot, and their battle to live the American dream.

Keynote Speakers: Judy and Dennis Shepard, Matthew Shepard Foundation

Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents of Matthew Shepard and founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, are presenting for the first time in Alaska. Their evening keynote comes 20 years after a hate crime that led to the death of their son, Matthew, in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998.

Following Matthew’s death, the Shepards began sharing their son’s story and their experience as family of a hate crime victim. The Shepards work to create more compassion within our society and a stronger appreciation of diversity, with an emphasis on the LGBTQ+ community.

Through their work with the Foundation, the Shepards have helped provide a voice and support for LGBTQ+ youth across the country. Their efforts supported enactment in Congress of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which seeks to create dialogue within communities about hate and acceptance.

The Symposium will begin with a panel featuring a cross-section of UAS employees discussing the ways that the concepts of Power and Privilege have affected their lives, exploring how identity, privilege, and power interact. Speakers will share experiences with attendees that highlight the ways that Power and Privilege can be used to empower communities, make change, and overcome obstacles. The day-long program will feature more than 20 breakout sessions facilitated by students, staff, faculty, and community members.

Not only does this event provide excellent professional development experience, it helps all attendees explore dynamic and pressing societal changes through difficult, thoughtful, and honest conversations about the complex and increasingly diverse society in which we live.

While the Symposium will be held on the UAS Juneau campus, keynote speeches and a selection of breakout sessions will be available live via distance. The Power and Privilege Symposium is free and open to the community. View the full schedule and more information online at the Power and Privilege Symposium website.

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


Native History Month at the University of Alaska Southeast, November 2018

The UAS Native and Rural Student Center, Egan Library, Wooch.Een, faculty, staff, students, community leaders and organizations are working together to host and participate in culturally relevant events on campus for Native History Month in November. The following are planned events during this special month. All events are free and take place on the UAS Juneau Auke Lake Campus.

November 1 – Food Sovereignty Featuring Deer: From 2-3 pm the Native and Rural Student Center (NRSC), will host this tasting event from 2-3 pm, in the NRSC, located in the lower level of the Mourant Building.

November 1 – Intermediate Tlingit, with Lance Twitchell, 5:30pm-7:30pm, EG109

November 2 – “Dugout” Documentary Screening: Tlingit Northwest Coast Artist Wayne Price's canoe "Dugout" documentary will be screened from 5:30-7pm in the Soboleff building, room 102, This is an opportunity to visit with Mr. Price, see his students in action, and sample some Native snacks.

November 2 – Evening at Egan presentation on Tribal Governance: At 7pm in the Egan Library, Richard Peterson, President of Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Tribes of Alaska, will give a presentation on Tribes and Tribal Governance and the primary issues surrounding Tribes and Tribal leadership in Southeast Alaska today.

November 2, 9, 16, and 30 – Formline Fridays: The NRSC will host weekly events from 1-2 pm. Participants can bring in an item, like a t-shirt, hoodie, jeans, or jacket, to decorate with formline stencils and paint.

November 6 – 3rd Annual Power and Privilege Symposium: This event is free and open to all, including students, faculty, staff, and community members. It is designed as an engaging and thought-provoking gathering that advances learning and disseminates knowledge about pressing societal issues in a setting supportive of free inquiry and discussion. In addition to keynote speakers, members of the university community propose sessions that are held throughout the day. The event is scheduled as a regular part of the university’s fall calendar. Most classes do not meet on the scheduled day to allow broad participation by members of the university community. Full schedule and other information can be found at the Power and Privilege Symposium website.

November 6 – Voting Celebration: UAS is hosting an election-night celebration from 8-10pm to encourage students to take part in the process, with a location announced soon.

November 9 – Evening at Egan presentation on Juneau’s Ethnographic History: At 7pm in the Egan Library, author, cartographer, and naturalist Richard Carstensen will join Aak'w and Taku Kwaan historians and culture bearers, in a discussion about Juneau and its rich cultural and ethnographic history, and resilience in an environment of change.

November 16 – Evening at Egan presentation by Tlingit Storyteller Bob Sam “Respecting Our Elders”: At 7pm in the Egan Library, visiting scholar Bob Sam will speak about his research and work with the Native American Boarding Schools (NABS) in supporting Tribal Nations seeking the repatriation of their children buried at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and other parts of the country.

November 17– Traditional Games: The annual Traditional Games will take place at the UAS Recreation Center from 12-3 pm. This demonstration and participation event is open to the community, and hosted by Wooch.Een.

November 29 - Intermediate Tlingit with Lance Twitchell, EG109, 5:30pm-7:30pm

November 30 – Evening at Egan presentation on “Molly of Denali”: At 7pm in the Egan Library, Princess Daazhraii Johnson, Creative Producer of the PBS animated series “Molly of Denali” will speak about the project and how the creators engaged the Alaska Native community at the start of development and how this varies from the Hollywood model that has dominated engagement of Native American/Alaska Native peoples. She will also speak to the damage that film/media has done in perpetuating stereotypes and how crucial narrative sovereignty is for Indigenous peoples worldwide.

To learn more about the UAS Native & Rural Student Center, resources and opportunities in Alaska Native activities and education, visit the Native & Rural Student Center website.

Links: Native and Rural Student Center

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


UAS and UAA EPSCoR Fire and Ice Researchers Take First Steps Toward Stream Monitoring

UAS and UAA EPSCoR Fire and Ice Researchers Take First Steps Toward Stream Monitoring

Above the milky waters of Cowee Creek near Juneau, three researchers recently gathered to discuss the ins and outs of installing stream sensors: the best PVC pipe configurations, the likelihood of tampering by bears, how to anchor in different stream bed types. These details are emblematic of a much greater effort—one bringing together minds from across the University of Alaska system to study Alaskan regions undergoing climate-driven changes.

UAA scientists LeeAnn Munk and Eric Klein traveled from Anchorage to meet with UAS researchers who have been sampling stream characteristics around Juneau to understand the flow of materials from glacial and non-glacial watersheds to coastal oceans. This meeting is one of the first following the launch of a 5-year, $20 million effort funded by the National Science Foundation titled “Fire and Ice: Navigating Variability in Boreal Wildfire Regimes and Subarctic Coastal Ecosystems.” The receiving organization, Alaska NSF EPSCoR, will look at changing wildfire regimes in the boreal forest and climate-driven impacts to the nearshore Gulf of Alaska. The project will involve more than 30 faculty members across the UA system, as well as new faculty and postdoctoral hires and dozens of graduate and undergraduate researchers.

Next May Munk and Klein will initiate a complementary stream monitoring program around Kachemak Bay in Southcentral Alaska. Knowing what sampling techniques work and don’t work in unpredictable river systems is indispensable when setting up stream sampling sites in remote locations; mistakes are not easily fixed with a quick return trip.

That’s where the expertise of UAS researchers Jason Fellman and Eran Hood comes in.

“I think the coolest thing about Alaska EPSCoR is the chance to connect with colleagues like Jason and Eran and bring together some of the best minds around the UA system on this,” said Munk.

Since 2011, Fellman and Hood have worked with students and research assistants to collect monthly stream characteristic data and garnered knowledge along the way. Temperature, dissolved sediment, and streamflow are just a few of the parameters they measure regularly. In some instances, they use carbon isotopes to trace water—be it glacial, snowmelt, or rain—back to its source, and to look at the extent of glacial influence in watersheds.

As part of the Fire and Ice Coastal Margins team, UAS and UAA researchers will coordinate to collect stream data across 12 sites in Kachemak Bay and Lynn Canal. Their work will build a regional understanding of freshwater influence on marine environments across the Gulf of Alaska, and of how climate change is altering these processes. Dynamic stream information from the Fire and Ice project will also help to improve freshwater runoff models of the Gulf of Alaska and to map the flow of freshwater into coastal estuaries.

For more information about EPSCoR and the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center visit the ACRC website. Alaska EPSCoR is funded through NSF award #OIA-1757348 and the State of Alaska.

Links: Alaska Coastal Rainforest Website

Contact: Molly Tankersley
Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center
Phone: (907) 796-6146
Email: mdtankersley@alaska.edu

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



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