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2013 Higher Education Projects
PROJECT: Undergraduate Geoscience Field Studies Support
PI: Cathy Connor, Professor of Geology, UA Southeast
This project will provide support for the University of Alaska Southeast undergraduate science students to participate in meaningful Alaskan geoscience field experiences. These funds will be used to support UAS students in the Juneau Icefield Research Programs and UAS students participating in the Alaska Cell of the Friends of the Pleistocene field workshops. Both of these experiences explore, conduct, and showcase research in active surface processes, glaciation, and climate science in Alaska, the Yukon, and northern British Columbia. Student participants will observe directly and participate in feild data collection, analysis, and reduction. They will be able to make connections between their classroom understanding of climate science, the cryosphere, active tectonics, and ongoing habitat change with the physical realities and challenges of building and maintaining infrastructure and water supplies for communities located on or near dynamic Alaskan landscapes. This is hands-on field science training for future field scientists.
PROJECT: Discovering the role of cryobiota iin glacial melt on an Alaskan icefield--Developing a course in experimental data collection and analysis
PI: Roman Dial, Assistant Professor of Biology and Mathematics, APU
This project establishes a new field course at Alaska Pacific University (APU) on
glacial ecology for 2014 with a curriculum based on student-driven, manipulative
experiments. The primary goal of the course is to experimentally test hypotheses concerning
several fundamental aspects of glacial ecology in south central Alaska, including (1) the role
of snow algae (primarily Chlorophyta), and other glacial biota in glacier melt, (2) the
identity and abundance of glacial biota (primarily eubacteria) that recruit locally and those
that recruit allochthonously, and (3) the role of overwintering temperatures on ice worm
(Annelida: Mesenchytraeus solifugus) survival. The data will be collected and analyzed by a
September Block university course at Alaska Pacific University. This proposal seeks funding
to set up the experiments during 2013 and 2014 in advance of the September 2014 course.
Because the hypotheses address between-season processes, the experiments must be begun a
year prior to the class.