Welcome to our new Web Coordinator: Colin Osterhout!

Colin Osterhout via. webcamLike many Juneauites, Colin Osterhout came to Juneau from the Lower 48 almost 12 years ago for a summer and fell in love with the people and the area they call home.  He promptly traded his loud but underpowered Kawasaki for a louder, rusty Subaru and some Xtratuffs, excited for the opportunity to live, work, and play in Southeast Alaska.

Colin is excited to be the incoming new Web Coordinator. Throughout his career as engineer, programmer, network administrator, and more recently as K-12 technology specialist, he has found that the ominously omnipresent "other duties as assigned" can be the most challenging and rewarding.  Colin looks forward to working with a great team to highlight the work of students, faculty, and staff to facilitate digital engagement with UAS.


Ketchikan Campus Farewells & Welcomes

After 20+ years of procuring materials, making travel arrangement and paying all the campus bills, Judi Parrott has decided to retire. Her last official day is March 19.  We are going to miss her!
We are also saying goodbye to Lily Albecker on March 19. Lily has taken a job at the Ketchikan Gateway Borough. We wish her well in her new endeavor as Deputy Borough Clerk.
We will be having a potluck to say goodbye to Judi and Lily on Thursday, March 19 in Paul 305 from 11:30 – 1:00.  Bring a dish and stop by to wish Judi and Lily well.
Please welcome Ken Horn, our new assistant professor of power technology / welding. Ken starts on March 2 and will be teaching and developing courses and programs to train local and regional residents for the growing marine industrial sector in SE Alaska.


Alumni and Friends News

Spring Auction & Dinner: Saturday, April 4

The UAS Alumni & Friends Association will hold its annual Auction & Dinner to benefit the Alumni Scholarship Endowment and other UAS funds.  A variety of live, silent, and dessert auction items mean there something for everyone!  Tickets available now from the Alumni Relations Office or from a UASAA Board Member! The Alumni Office is also gratefully accepting donations from Alumni, Friends, and businesses. Call 796-6569 or email to donate an item, buy tickets, or volunteer to help.

New Friends of the Egan Library Alumni Chapter Forming! 

A new affinity group chapter of the UAS Alumni & Friends Association is forming this spring in Juneau. All those Alumni & Friends who love books and are passionate about the library and its mission are invited to join the new Friends of the Egan Library Chapter! Stay tuned for more information about the benefits of being a "Friend" at the Egan Library, AND join us for a very special reception at the library on Friday, March 27th at 5:00 PM to celebrate 25 years in the new Egan Library building!


School of Management assists with Governor’s Budget eBook and Budget Survey Results to Public

In an effort to increase dialogue around the state’s current budget situation, Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott released two valuable resources to the public and lawmakers. The Governor’s Budget eBook and results from the Voices for Vision Budget Survey were posted online today in hopes of spurring fruitful conversations about Alaska’s current fiscal challenges.

Governor Walker also released results of the Voices for Vision Budget Survey, which invited state employees and members of the public to weigh in on ways to manage Alaska’s finances. Eighteen students and three faculty members from across the University of Alaska system, including the UAS School of Management summarized and categorized more than 4,000 comments to provide an overview of the ideas submitted.

“I want to thank the students and faculty members who worked so hard to put this report together,” Governor Walker said. “I encourage all public servants to look at these documents and consider the ideas submitted as you’re making important budget decisions. Lieutenant Governor Mallott and I are doing the same, and plan to announce our five favorite ideas next week.”

The Governor’s Budget eBook explains how Alaska’s current budget gap developed, offers possible future scenarios and provides a financial overview for each state department. It is available online and can be downloaded as a PDF or an electronic book.

For more information, check out this recent article in the Juneau Empire.


Prakash named Alaska NSF EPSCoR Principal Investigator

FAIRBANKS, AK – UAF Geophysical Institute professor Anupma Prakash has been named the new Principal Investigator of Alaska NSF EPSCoR (National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research). Prakash replaces Mark Myers, who resigned from his position as University of Alaska Fairbanks Vice-Chancellor of Research (and as Alaska NSF EPSCoR PI) to take a new position as Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

Prakash was selected for the position by consent of University of Alaska lead­ership, with final approval coming from UA President Pat Gamble. “Anupma Pakash is to assume one of the most important leadership positions within the UA system, and is a perfect fit for assuming that responsibility,” Gamble said.

Prakash is Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Geosciences, Associate Dean of UAF’s College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM), and Director of CNSM’s Division of Research. Her research focuses on the use of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques to map earth surface composition and changes, and her current research sites are spread across Alaska.

“I'm thrilled to join the Alaska EPSCoR team,” Prakash said. “The central idea of EPSCoR resonates with me at a personal level. EPSCoR is about people, and about communities that we are a part of. It's about collaborative efforts in interdisciplinary research to prepare our communities to understand and to adapt to inevitable change.”

Alaska NSF EPSCoR is an interdisciplinary research program in the midst of a 5-year, $20 million project to examine the mechanisms by which Alaskan communities adapt to environmental and social change. EPSCoR researchers and students operate at all three major UA campuses as well as rural campuses, and are organized into three Test Cases located in Juneau, on the Kenai Peninsula, and in the Arctic village of Nuiqsut. Prakash is already involved in the project, which heavily incorporates mapping and remote sensing techniques to identify and analyze environmental and land-use changes.

"Alaska is in the midst of witnessing major climate-related changes,” Prakash said. “I can't think of anything more exciting and rewarding at this time than leading the EPSCoR effort that addresses these issues and seeks to promote adaptive capacity of Alaska's communities.”

Prakash received a bachelor’s degree in Geology, Zoology and Botany and a master’s degree in Geology from Lucknow University in India, and her Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology - Roorkee, also in India. She then worked for six years at the International Institute of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observations (ITC) in the Netherlands. She has been a UAF faculty member since 2002.

Prakash will also serve as Co-Project Director of Alaska NSF EPSCoR, a position she also inherits from Myers. She joins an EPSCoR leadership group that includes Co-Project Director Lilian Alessa of the University of Idaho and Associate Project Director Pips Veazey of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

For more information, contact Prakash at or (907) 474-1897, or Veazey at or (907) 474-5989. More information about the Alaska NSF EPSCoR program is available at


Ketchikan Campus Events in March

March is Women’s History Month and ASK UAS will again host a panel discussion centered on women in Ketchikan. This year the focus is on Ketchikan during the 1940s, particularly WWII. The Campus Library will be teaming up with the Ketchikan Historical Museum, the Pioneer Home, the Ketchikan Medical Center Long Term Care unit and Historic Ketchikan. The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 12  at 12 p.m. in the UAS Ketchikan Campus Library.

Assistant Professor of Economics Ann Spehar is presenting a “Money View” lecture series. In the first presentation, “What is Money?” she discussed the origins of money and what constitutes money in today’s society. The series is intended to shed light on today’s global financial issues and the financial crisis that is currently raging within the international monetary system. The next session What is Shadow Money and the Shadow Banking System? takes place Wednesday, March 11  6:00-7:00pm in Paul 519.


Derr and Hayes 2015 Women of Distinction Honorees

Ernestine Hayes is an Assistant Professor of English and Larraine Derr receieved an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2012.
Below are their bios, published in the Juneau Empire. The full article is available at the Juneau Empire website.

Ernestine Hayes

Ernestine Hayes wants you to know that you have a story, and it’s a story worth hearing and that only you can tell.

As a professor of English at the University of Alaska Southeast and a mentor to women at Lemon Creek Correctional Center, Hayes tries to reach out to the people who may not have a strong voice. She works closely with students of color, first-generation students, those who have grown up in poverty and those who have overcome great obstacles.

“I am aware that I’m telling a story that belongs to many other people,” Hayes said. “A lot of these circumstances are the consequences of colonialism. And we fight those effects. We do what we can to strengthen and encourage the walking wounded.”

Hayes has told her own story through a memoir, “Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir,” and through other writings and poetry. She was born in Juneau and lived with her grandmother in the Juneau Indian Village while her mother was in the hospital with tuberculosis.

At 15, she moved with her mother to California and bounced back and forth between San Francisco and the Sierra Nevada foothills until she was 40, “trying to put the mountains and the ocean together where they belong,” she said.

At 40, it was time to go home.

“Let me go home or let me die with my thoughts facing North,” Hayes declared.

Broke and homeless, with her sons either grown or living with their father, it took her eight months to get to Ketchikan. It took another two years to get to Juneau. She lived in a car, slept in shelters, lined up for food and camped out.

At 50, she decided to go to college. She earned a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s.

Speaking at her UAS graduation, Hayes acknowledged the Tlingit practice of standing in for others.

“I was standing in for the many, many people who, had it not been for those circumstances and challenges, would be standing here with me,” she said. “Everyone, no matter what they do, is carrying the accomplishments of so many others. ... All the people who fought those battles are there with them. That has to be true for everyone.”

A lifelong reader, Hayes also wrote, but it wasn’t until she learned discipline in college that she really produced work. It was also then that she realized she had a story worth telling.

“Helping people find their voice is an important goal for me,” she said. “And in the meantime, maybe speaking for people who haven’t yet found their voice.”

Laraine Derr

Laraine Derr was raised on Nebraska farms to be a hard worker and to give back.

She took these lessons to heart. Years later, she has a resume full of both professional and volunteer work that would break any rule about keeping such documents short.

“I need something to do and I’m not a TV watcher, not one to sit around and dawdle,” Derr said. “Can’t sit around, can’t work all day. Find something else to do.”

Derr left home to go to college, although it wasn’t something her father supported. She got married and moved around, sating her sense of wanderlust. She lived in Colorado and Fairbanks, then in Oregon when her first husband got cancer. He died young.

She remarried and moved to Sitka, then eventually to Juneau. She has two children, Evonne and Calvin. Calvin ceremonially placed her graduation gown’s hood over her shoulders when she received an honorary doctorate. Evonne will introduce her at Saturday’s event.

Derr divorced and spent some time as a single mother. She fell in love again and married Romer Derr, who recently passed away.

She had a diverse career, one that included running laboratories and civil service. She joked about not being able to keep a job but she was deliberate in the many changes she made.

Volunteering was always a part of her life, and today Derr is channeling her energy and applying all she’s learned into just shy of a dozen different roles with nonprofit organizations and pet projects.

Whether sewing theater costumes or heading a board, Derr has made a name for herself as a volunteer. She said “people grab their wallet when they see me coming” because she’s so often working on some fundraising event or another.

The desire to help others was instilled in her through her upbringing and it has stuck with her.

“People inspire me,” she said. “Doing good things for people, I think that’s it. The good feeling you get when you do something for somebody.”

Over the years, her involvement has evolved. In her mid-70s, she’s busy most nights of the week attending board meetings. She also enjoys cooking and fundraising.

“As you get old, you have to start using your brain rather than your back,” she said.

After a lifetime of service, including as a mentor, Derr is enthusiastic about seeing younger people step into volunteer roles.

“We need people a generation or two down from me to start getting involved, taking our places on boards so I can get off of those boards,” she said, although noting it’s tough to imagine what she would do with all her free time if she were to step down.

She’s not too worried about stepping back a little, since she considers Juneau to be “so giving and caring.”


Alaska Climate Science Center Designer to Receive International Vizzie Award

Kristin Timm, a designer with the Interior Department's Alaska Climate Science Center and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning, is among 10 designers who were recently recognized internationally for excellence in science communication.

Timm worked with glaciologists Shad O' Neel, from the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center, and Eran Hood, from the University of Alaska Southeast. She also worked with ecologist Allison Bidlack, from the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center.

Cosponsored by Popular Science magazine and the National Science Foundation, the Visualization Challenge competition — the Vizzies — recognizes some of the best scientific photos, videos, posters and illustrations produced each year.

Timm and her collaborators received the People’s Choice award in the poster division for their illustration entitled "From Icefield to Ocean."
The illustration was one of over 300 entries into the annual competition, which has been held for more than a decade. During two rounds of judging, science and visualization experts narrowed the entries to 50 finalists. Readers voted online for the People’s Choice award, and independent experts vetted the winners for accuracy.

The figure they developed depicts the important linkages between glaciers and the ocean. The team felt that it was particularly important to find a compelling way to communicate these research findings to Alaskans because Alaska's coastal glaciers are among the most rapidly changing areas on the planet and glacier runoff can influence marine habitats, ocean currents and economic activities.
The work was supported by the Interior Department's Alaska Climate Science Center. Established in 2011, the regional center is one of eight across the United States that bring together university, federal and other researchers to meet climate change research needs.

The figure will be published in the March 2015 issue of Popular Science. "From Icefield to Ocean" and the other contest winners can also be viewed on the Popular Science website.


Lee Graham is ASTE Teacher of the Year 2015

Assistant Professor of Education Lee Graham is the recipient of Alaska Society for Technology in Educations (ASTE) Technology Teacher of the Year Award 2015. Graham received the award at the annual conference in Anchorage in late February. Here is the letter of recommendation for the award from School of Education Dean Deborah Lo in part:

Lee Graham is an innovative and energetic teacher in the field of educational technology.  She has been a major force in the evolution of online course offerings at University of Alaska Southeast.  Due much to her influence and creative design, online courses at UAS now utilize pedagogy that is innovative, engaging, challenging, and appropriate for the levels at which they are offered. Lee has also guided many of the online offerings toward more current trends in learning by promoting the MOOC.  This has been especially important in that it has allowed UAS students to participate in a wider, even global cohort in their studies. These innovations on her part have kept UAS online courses on the cutting edge of the global dialogue in education. Lee collaborates with k-12 educators across the state, and when she needs to, around the world, to bring new and exciting opportunities to Alaska classrooms, and to connect teachers in the UAS Ed programs directly with k-12 classrooms.

Her most recent labor of love is called Givercraft, a project which promotes collaborative learning through Minecraft and literature. Through her own work, Lee exemplifies the risk-taking that all teachers would do well to emulate – at the end of the Givercraft project, Lee decided that an ideal wrap-up would be for student participants in Givercraft to talk with the author of The Giver, Lois Lowry, so she decided to email this world famous author and tell her about the project – and she convinced Lois Lowry to agree to do a Google hangout with Givercraft project participants.  This exemplifies the kind of lengths Lee will go to for her students, and it’s certainly not the first time she’s done it!


Buma: Southeast Alaskan forests are growing!

The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, looks at forest change across southeast Alaska to determine if the forest is growing or shrinking.  Unmanaged locations were isolated to ensure that all change was naturally occurring (e.g., no harvesting or regrowth from historical harvesting).  It turns out the forest is both expanding and getting slightly denser, especially in the north, where researchers saw substantial expansion of forest cover at tree line and near recently glaciated areas.  Overall the forest is also putting on about 1 teragram of biomass per year above and beyond what is lost to natural tree death.  The forest appears to be expanding and becoming denser.  The work was conducted with the United States Forest Service, utilizing long-term monitoring plots and high-resolution satellite imagery to track forest mortality and recovery. Buma B, Barrett T.  2015.  Signs of disturbance disequilibrium and directional change in the world’s largest temperate rainforest. Global Change Biology.

UAS Chancellor Search Info and Updates

There is a web page where you can check in on the latest progress with the hiring process for our new Chancellor.

Progress so far:

  • An updated position description has been drafted and approved by the president.
  • The job has been opened in the UA online recruitment system (
  • An eight-member committee has been formed. Vice Chancellor Michael Ciri will serve as the non-voting chair.

Members include

  • Three faculty representatives (one from each campus)
  • A student services Director
  • An academic Dean
  • An extended campus Director
  • An academic program Director
  • A Staff Council representative


  • January-February: Advertise and accept applications
  • Early March: Screen applications
  • Late March: Phone interviews
  • Early April: On-site visits
  • Late April: Final review and presentation of list to President

More info can be found on the Chancellor Search website.


UAS PR and Marketing Corner

Since its inception last year, the University of Alaska Southeast Facebook page has garnered an attentive following with new page Likes on a daily basis. Posted photos and videos are a huge hit. A recent  i-photo of a shining Spike sculpture in the Mourant courtyard with snow covered mountains on the horizon received more than 220 likes and the share comment: "Great school and probably the most beautiful campus this side o' the muddy Mississippi!" In this time budget stress, our Facebook page is free positive publicity for our corner of academic paradise!
The next time you snap a great photo on campus or around Juneau, please email to for possible posting on our Facebook page and accolades from around the world!  Take a look at:

Recent FB post that had traction

This recent post on the University of Alaska Southeast  Facebook page received more than 220 likes, several shares and many positive comments from around Alaska the lower forty-eight, and abroad.


SOM Faculty Presents: Beyond the Job Description

Dr. Charla Brown presented a live webinar on Friday February 20 to eighty-five human resources professionals across the state at the invitation of the Alaska Society for Human Resources Management State Council.  The topic was what it means to be a good performer beyond the job description in the context of overall job satisfaction and organizational commitment.   Dr. Brown is the College Relations Director for the Alaska SHRM State Council and sits on the Southeast Alaska Chapter of SHRM as a board member. She is also the Chair of the Business Administration program within the School of Management at UAS where she is an Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management.