2012 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: Marine Epidemiology: students investigating the marine ecosystem using parasite loads in Alaska groundfish
PI: Bradley Harris, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology, APU
Diseases and parasites are unique indicators of both individual fish and marine ecosystem function and health. This project seeks to fill a crucial knowledge gap by training students in the theory and practice of epidemiology and fish disease ecology through coursework and an applied research project. Students study the fundamentals of Epidemiology, Disease Ecology, and Parasitology while assessing the parasite loads in two commercially important Alaska groundfish species (Pacific Cod, and Pacific Halibut) in Cook Inlet Alaska. Further, students will model the parasite induced mortality on these populations. In addition to the development of an important course the proposed work will result in a database detailing the parasite diversity and load in Pacific cod and halibut sampled from Cook Inlet.
PROJECT: Space Systems Engineering Program
PI: Denise Thorsen, Director, Alaska Space Grant Program
The Space Systems Engineering Program provides interdisciplinary students with hands-on experience in all aspects of space systems engineering through a design, build, launch paradigm applied to balloon and rocket payloads and small satellites. The current project, the Alaska Research CubeSat (ARC), was one of 12 CubeSat payloads selected for launch under the first NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative. ARC will be the first satellite designed, built, tested and operated by engineering and science students from UAF. The satellite is designed as both an educational tool and a platform to facilitate rapid development of scientific and technology demonstration missions at UAF. Successful implementation of this development platform will demonstrate the ability for UAF students to compete for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) research opportunities.
PROJECT: NASA Lunabotics Mining
PI: Robert Parsons, Alaska Space Grant Program
This project is to assist a UAF student team entering in NASA's 2013 Lunabotics Mining Competition. The challenge is for students to design and build an excavator, called a Lunabot that can mine and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 10 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the BP-1, the weight and size limitations of the Lunabot, and the ability to telerobotically and/or autonomously control the Lunabot from a remote mission control center. The teams will be scored on a number of design and operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required, level of autonomy and the amount of material excavated in the allowed time.