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UAS Site for Forest Service Lab Underway

A groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the beginning of construction for the Pacific Northwest Research Station’s Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory on Thursday, August 25.

Groundbreaking took place 8/25/11

UAS alumni and Tlingit elder Marie Olsen (middle), Chancellor John Pugh (right) and Paul Brewster of the US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station,  (left)  help break ground August 25, 2011  for a new Forestry Sciences Laboratory. Photo by Ryan Cortes.

The building will also host the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, of which UAS is a collaborative partner. The facility and parking lot are being constructed on  the Auke Lake campus adjacent to the walking path to the Back Loop Road. The two-story, 11,000-square-foot building is projected to cost $8.3 million. It was designed by MRV Architects of Juneau and will be constructed by Dawson Construction Inc.

Planning for a new Forest Service research laboratory in Juneau began in the early 1980s. It is scheduled for completion in 12-18 months.

"After a thorough evaluation," says Paul Brewster, Assistant Director for the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, "a recommendation to build on Forest Service land adjacent to the University of Alaska Southeast campus was selected as the best long-term alternative. While there has been a long history of strong relationships between UAS and the Forest Service, construction of a new lab adjacent to campus can only increase the potential for a highly collaborative environment among Forest Service research scientists and UAS university faculty and students."

The Juneau Lab was previously housed in leased office space for about 15 years. A safety audit of the space identified several health and safety issues as well as poorly functioning laboratory space. The new building will house scientists from the station; State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service; and staff from the Alaska Coastal Rain Forest Center.

The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11 laboratories and research centers in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and about 425 employees.


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