UA strengthens commitment to Arctic research

Thirteen post-doctoral fellows will spend the next three years at University of Alaska campuses intensely researching everything from arctic tree line seedlings and permafrost to lake sediments and sea ice.

UA President Mark Hamilton announced the hiring of the researchers at a press conference today. The fellows were selected from a pool of 180 international applicants.

The announcement of the new hires kicks off the upcoming International Polar Year, an international period of intensified research focusing on Earth's polar regions. The research period actually runs over two years, from March 2007 through April 2009.

"Hiring these researchers demonstrates a tremendous investment on the part of UA," Hamilton said. "These people represent the best of the best in young scientists from across the world. It's very appropriate that they have chosen to conduct their research here, since we are a significant player in this arena."

Alaska is uniquely positioned for polar and arctic research, and the university has gained an international reputation in the areas of global climate change, arctic biology, volcanoes, marine biology, and numerous other areas.

The International Polar Year was first held in 1882-83. The last one, in 1957-58, was known as the International Geophysical Year. It is widely credited as elevating UAF's Geophysical Institute, which among other things focuses on atmospheric sciences, seismology, permafrost, space physics, earthquakes and volcanoes, to international prominence.

This fourth IPY will encourage scientists from across the globe to collaboratively find new ways to address the impacts of climate change and development in the polar regions. Their work, like that of those involved in earlier IPYs, will leave a legacy of new knowledge and infrastructure. Over 300 institutions from 38 different countries are part

Contact: Kate Ripley
University of Alaska Fairbanks

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