Fairbanks, AlaskaA three-year $9 million grant from the National Science Foundation is slated to help the University of Alaska build its ability to study the changing Arctic in a holistic way.
The grant will fund phase three of Alaskas Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, known as EPSCoR, which is housed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. EPSCoR will use the money to build research capacity in Alaska by hiring scientists, supporting graduate and undergraduate research, funding business research development, and developing K-12 education and public outreach programs throughout Alaska. The program also aims to increase the participation of Alaska Natives and other underrepresented groups in scientific fields.
The whole notion behind EPSCoR is capacity building, said UAF Chancellor Steve Jones. This recent renewal is the third and what it does is it allows us to attract and retain faculty, recruit outstanding graduate students and really enhance the education experience for undergraduates who are involved.
The project, Resilience and Vulnerability in a Rapidly Changing North: The Integration of Physical, Biological and Social Processes, will bring diverse disciplines together to offer a more complete picture of northern ecological and social systems.
We will be addressing one of the most critical issues in the Northsocio-economic sustainabilityand we will be doing so by inviting researchers from all different fields to the table, said Peter Schweitzer, Alaska EPSCoR director and UAF anthropology professor.
The projects primary emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration is what makes it different from previous phases of the EPSCoR program.
In order to understand the problems of a changing North, you need that integrated perspective, Schweitzer said. Thats where the research trend is going and we want to be at the forefront of this trend.