UAS News

UAS Marine Biology Faculty Earns Fulbright Award for Research

Juneau, Alaska
Date of Press Release: March 6, 2018

Heidi Pearson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Alaska Southeast, has been granted a prestigious Fulbright Scholar award, which provides funds for research and study abroad.

The Fulbright Program—which is overseen by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs—serves to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchange.

Pearson will travel to Norway to find innovative strategies for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Her research strategy is to protect marine resources that serve as carbon sinks using “Blue carbon” science. Blue carbon describes the processes whereby marine organisms naturally store and sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide.

“As a Fulbright Scholar, I aim to bridge this gap between marine science and policy to advance strategies for climate change mitigation and marine conservation,” said Pearson. “The goal of this project is to translate the latest research on blue carbon into communicable and actionable forms for policy makers, conservation managers, and the public.”

While working on her project, “Connecting Two Arctic Regions through Blue Carbon Science, Communication, and Policy,” Pearson will live along the south coast of Norway in the city of Arendal and collaborate with blue carbon experts at GRID-Arendal—a Norwegian non-governmental organization, and the United Nations Environmental Program.

“Dr. Pearson brings her research into the classroom and students benefit from her work,” said UAS Provost, Karen Carey. “She also shares her project findings within the community, including a recent presentation to over 250 local high school students.”

According to Pearson, despite mounting evidence on the potential for marine life to ease climate change, the role of the oceans in carbon sequestration has been largely ignored in climate policy.

Upon her return to Juneau, Pearson plans to work with colleagues, community members, and policy makers to find solutions and increase awareness.

For more information about programs please visit the UAS Natural Sciences page.


Keni Campbell

University of Alaska Southeast

(907) 796-6509