Research Centers

An aerial view of the Toolik Field Station, about 330 miles north of Fairbanks on Alaska's North Slope . The camp is operated by UAF's Institute of Arctic Biology and hosts scientists from around the world for a variety of arctic-based research efforts. (UAF photo by Todd Paris)

Located just 200 miles (320 km) south of the Arctic Circle, the Fairbanks campus' unique location is situated favorably for arctic and northern research. UAF research is renowned worldwide, notably arctic biology, arctic engineering, geophysics, supercomputing and Alaska Native studies. 

Spotlight: Toolik Field Station

(November 2016) One of UAF's many research centers is Toolik Field Station (right), which was featured recently in an in-depth story focusing on the work of Fairbanks researcher Brie Van Dam. The story was produced by the University of MIchigan and includes videos and images of what it's like to do science in the Arctic wilderness. 

“It’s easy sometimes as a scientist to look at things through the science lens of: ‘Oh, wow, what a cool time to be studying the Arctic because the Arctic is changing so fast right now,’” says Van Dam, who manages the station’s Environmental Data Center. “But when you look at that through more of a human lens, it becomes honestly really terrifying.”

See the full story

Last updated: Nov 3, 2016

Research Centers

Alaska Center for Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration
ACUASI website    |   

Focuses on small, unmanned aircraft systems. Assists with integration of unique payloads and supporting pathfinder missions within government and scientific communities, with emphasis on the Arctic.

Advanced Instrument Laboratory
AIL website    |   

A multi-instrument resource for Alaska specializing in surface and elemental analysis as well as electron microscopy. Supports and trains undergraduate and graduate students and provides technical support and facilities to researchers as well as local, state, federal, and private agencies.

Advanced System Security Education, Research, and Training Center
ASSERT website    |   

Provides curriculum development, program development, workshops, research opportunities, K-12 outreach, and access to information assurance research resources. Provides an isolated networked computer environment suitable for information assurance and computer security education, research, and training.

Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station
AFES website    |   

Includes the Fairbanks Experiment Farm, the Matanuska Experiment Farm and the Delta Junction field research site. Georgeson Botanical Garden and the Reindeer Research Program herd are at the Fairbanks farm.

Alaska Basic Neuroscience Program
UAF Graduate Programs    |   

Seeks to expand, facilitate, and stimulate neuroscience research as part of the human health research initiative at the University of Alaska. Present research concentrates on circadian rhythms and thermoregulation, hibernation as a model of neuroprotection, and neuronal regeneration and survival with an emphasis on the role of reactive oxygen species.

Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy
ACCAP website    |   

Works to improve the ability of Alaskans to plan for and respond to a changing climate through innovative research methods, stakeholder engagement, and development and evaluation of decision support tools.

Alaska Center for Energy and Power
ACEP website    |   

Focuses on research related to community and industry-scale power generation, transmission, heating, and transportation fuels. Tests small-grid and distributed generation scenarios and the performance of individual components of a power generating and transmission system. Lab is available to the industry and academia on a fee for use basis.

Alaska Climate Research Center
ACRC website    |   

Responds to inquiries concerning the meteorology and climatology of Alaska from public, private, and government agencies, and from researchers around the world. Archives digital climate records, develops climate statistics, and writes monthly weather summaries, which are published in newspapers around the state and in Weatherwise magazine.

Alaska Climate Science Center
AK CSC website    |   

Provides scientific information, tools, and techniques that managers and other parties interested in land, water, wildlife and cultural resources can use to anticipate, monitor and adapt to climate variability and climatic change.

Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
ACFWRU website    |   

Promotes research and graduate student training in the ecology and management of fish, wildlife and their habitats. Works to improve understanding the ecology of Alaska's fish and wildlife; evaluates impacts of land use and development on these resources. Relates effects of social and economic needs to production and harvest of natural populations.

Alaska Earthquake Information Center
AEIC website    |   

Four out of five earthquakes, and nearly all of the nation’s tsunamis, originate in Alaska. AEIC tracks earthquakes in the state and provides 24/7 information to officials, the public, and emergency managers. Each year AEIC locates approximately 30,000 earthquakes statewide, and processes real time data from more than 600 sites.

Alaska Fire Science Consortium
AFSC website    |   

Works to strengthen the link between fire science research and on-the-ground application by promoting communication between managers and scientists, providing an organized fire science delivery platform, and facilitating collaborative scientist-manager research development.

Alaska Geobotany Center
AGC website    |   

Works to understand northern ecosystems through the use of geographic information systems, remote sensing, field experiments, and other research. Vegetation classification, analysis of vegetation and landscape patterns, geobotanical mapping, snow ecology, appropriate land-use planning, and analysis of disturbance and recovery in northern regions.

Alaska Native Language Archive
ANLC website    |   

Internationally known and recognized as the major center in the United States for the study of Eskimo and Northern Athabascan languages. Publishes its research in story collections, dictionaries, grammars, and research papers.

Alaska NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research
Alaska EPSCoR website    |   

Improves Alaska's scientific capacity by engaging in research projects supported through National Science Foundation and state funds. Currently engaged in a five-year project entitled "Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments," which examines how communities adapt to environmental and social change.

Alaska Quaternary Center
AQC website    |   

Promotes interdisciplinary research and instruction in Quaternary science, the multi-disciplinary study of geological, biological, climatological and human systems of the past two million years (the Quaternary Period), and the evolution of these systems into present conditions on Earth.

Alaska Satellite Facility
ASF website    |   

Downloads, processes, archives, and distributes remote-sensing data to scientific users around the world.

Alaska Sea Grant
ASG website    |   

Enhances wise use and conservation of Alaska’s marine, coastal, and watershed resources through research, education, and extension.

Alaska University Transportation Center
AUTC website    |   

Improves cold region transportation through research, education, and technology transfer.

Alaska Volcano Observatory
AVO website    |   

Assesses hazards, nature, timing, and likelihood of volcanic activity, including kinds of events, their effects, and areas at risk. Provides timely and accurate information on volcanic hazards, and warnings of impending dangerous activity to local, state, and federal officials and to the public Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Animal Resources Center
ARC website    |   

The Animal Resources Center promotes excellence in biomedical, biological, and agricultural sciences by ensuring the highest standard of animal care following sound scientific and ethical principles.

Arctic Region Super Computing Center
ARSC website    |   

A high-performance computing (HPC) research unit designed to meet the academic and research needs of university staff, faculty and students. Provides service in all aspects of high-performance computing, massive data storage and HPC network support.

Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research
BNZ LTER website    |   

Performs boreal forest research and monitoring at two sites near Fairbanks: the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest and the Caribou Poker Creeks Research Watershed, with additional research infrastructure in boreal tundra near Healy, just north of Denali National Park and Preserve.

Center for Alaska Native Health Research
CANHR website    |   

Embraces a collaborative research model while working with Alaska Native communities, organizations and individuals. Faculty and staff work with tribal groups and health care agencies to frame research questions, develop methodologies and procedures, and to interpret and apply data to prevention and treatment.

Center for Global Change
CGC website    |   

Works to understand the physical, biological, chemical and social processes of the Arctic that interact with the total Earth system, and the relationship of those interactions to global change.

Center for the Study of Security, Hazards, Response and Preparedness
CCSHRP website    |   

Works to create new knowledge that reduces uncertainty in decision making; provide world leading education and research opportunities; train the next generation of emergency managers, responders and policy makers; and improve resilience should a disaster occur.

Coastal Marine Institute
CMI website    |   

Studies coastal topics associated with the development of natural gas, oil, and minerals on Alaska's outer continental shelf.

College of Natural Science & Mathematics Division of Research
CDR website    |   

Promotes disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, and scholarly activities by providing the infrastructure facilities, resources, and administrative support required to be competitive, and to build strong and sustainable programs in established and emerging areas of research.

Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research
CIFAR website    |   

Conducts ecosystem and environmental research related to Alaska and its associated Arctic regions, including the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, Chukchi/Beaufort Seas, and Arctic Ocean. Prioritizes education and two-way outreach between scientists, managers, communities, and local stakeholders.

Core Facility for Nucleic Acid Analysis
CORE LAB website    |   

Provides nucleic acid sample analysis services as well as maintenance, support, and training for molecular biology and analytical chemistry instrumentation. Facilitates learning through training workshops and seminars, so students, faculty, and staff can learn to use available equipment.

Geographic Information Network of Alaska
GINA website    |   

Research center for sharing data and technical capacity among Alaska, Arctic, and world communities. Works to increase community-wide participation in the discovery and use of geospatial data by providing products and services that expand the range of available analysis capabilities.

Geophysical Institute
GI website    |   

Studies geophysical processes in action from the center of the Earth to the surface of the sun and beyond. Turns data and observations into information useful for state and national needs.

Georgeson Botanical Garden
GBG website    |   

A nationally recognized botanical garden and a member of a network of educational and research institutions dedicated to plant culture and conservation.

IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence
INBRE website    |   

Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences, whose Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program is intended to broaden the geographic distribution of NIH funding for biomedical and behavioral research by serving rural and medically underserved communities.

Institute of Arctic Biology
IAB website    |   

Advances knowledge of high-latitude biological systems through integration of research, student education and service to the nation and state of Alaska. Supports faculty and post-doctoral research and graduate education in the life sciences of wildlife, physiology, genetics and evolutionary biology, ecology and ecosystems, biomedicine, and bioinformatics and computational biology.

Institute of Arctic Biology Research Greenhouse
IAB Greenhouse website    |   

Provides a reliable, computer-controlled environment ideal for performing research and educational projects in plant genetics, physiology, ecology, evolution and systematics. Facilities include four separate computer controlled (QCom) zones housing research projects and plant collections, and three climate-controlled (Conviron) growth chambers.

Institute of Marine Science
IMS website    |   

Researches regional oceanography of the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea. Maintains long-term climate and ecosystem monitoring stations in the North Pacific and the western Arctic.

Institute of Northern Engineering
INE website    |   

Provides research and engineering solutions for the world’s cold regions and beyond. INE conducts research in civil and environmental, petroleum, mining, geological, electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering. Fosters opportunities for faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and students to tackle these engineering challenges.

International Arctic Research Center
IARC website    |   

Fosters Arctic research in an international setting, in order to help the nation and the international community understand, prepare for, and adapt to the pan-Arctic impacts of climate change.

Kasitsna Bay Laboratory
KBL website    |   

Located near Seldovia, this marine research and teaching facility focuses on marine and coastal ecosystems, with potential for year-round development and testing of new instrumentation for harsh conditions. Home to UAF’s cold-water scientific diving program.

Large Animal Research Station
LARS website    |   

Excellence in research and education in high-latitude biology. Provides facilities for and expertise in maintaining colonies of large animals, coordinating educational opportunities, and conducting community outreach in support of the UAF mission.

Mineral Industries Research Laboratory
MIRL website    |   

Supports development, production, processing, refining and transportation related to mineral and energy resources of Alaska and elsewhere. Beneficiation and hydrometallurgy of ores, geotechnical engineering (including frozen ground), impact of cold climate on mine ventilation, systems engineering, mineral economics, and computational intelligence for mine operations.

Northern Leadership Center
NLC website    |   

Seeks to establish nationally recognized leadership training and development program and research through partnering with business, academic, and political leaders in a diverse environment.

Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization
OIPC website    |   

UAF conducts approximately $120 million per year in research. Much of this research can lead to commercial products, licenses, technologies, software codes, new plant varieties, and other intellectual property that, if licensed or sold to business, could provide competitive business advantage and create jobs. Come see us if you are interested in commercializing your technology.

Petroleum Development Laboratory
PDL website    |   

Conducts research in reservoir characterization, modeling, and simulation; enhanced oil recovery; and fluid characterization, drilling, and production. Assists Alaska petroleum industry and state & federal agencies in efforts to use these resources under stable and healthy environmental conditions. Explores ways to keep fuel production and transport economical and safe.

Poker Flat Research Range
PFRR website    |   

Provides facilities for rocket launching and testing, and aurora research, over sparsely populated tundra hundreds of miles north of the Alaska range, with special permission from federal, state and tribal landowners.

Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center
PCCRC website    |   

Works to improve knowledge about the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea through research and education, focusing on the commercial fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

Scenarios Network for Alaska + Arctic Planning
SNAP website    |   

Bridges information gaps in our understanding of long-term trends in a changing climate. Produces local and statewide projections of future conditions that are linked to present and past conditions, objective interpretations of these scenarios, and explanations of underlying methods and assumptions. Data are available to all.

Toolik Lake Field Station
TFS website    |   

Supports year round research and education that creates greater scientific understanding of the Arctic in relationship to the global environment. Located in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range in Alaska on the southeast shore of Toolik Lake, 254 km north of the Arctic Circle. The location allows scientists access to the Brooks Range, the arctic foothills and the arctic coastal plain.

University of Alaska Museum of the North
UAMN website    |   

The only research and teaching museum in Alaska. Has 1.4 million artifacts and specimens that represent millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions in the North. Premier repository for artifacts and specimens collected on public lands in Alaska, and a leader in northern natural and cultural history research.

Water and Environmental Research Center
WERC website    |   

Works to improve understanding of arctic and subarctic environments by researching water and environmental resources, training graduate students at master's and PhD levels in this field, and disseminating pertinent research information to the public.