Arctic Projects

arctic region alaska
Focus Area(s): Health and Safety, Jobs, Quality of Life  

Getting fiber optic cable onshore in Arctic Alaska requires detailed understanding of the ways sea ice can damage cables in areas of shallow water. Working with industry lead Quintillion Networks, researchers at UAA and UAF have helped evaluate threats from sea ice and identify the safest routes to bring fast access to Arctic Alaska. 

Focus Area(s): Jobs, Lands and Waterways, Resource Development  

Our researchers at UAF are developing and supporting the Advanced Laboratory and Field Arrays for Marine Energy project to address critical needs for lowering the cost of river and ocean energy converters, and to advance hydrokinetic energy’s role in global renewable energy.

Focus Area(s): Health and Safety, Quality of Life  

UA is providing ethnographic pictures of the ways in which Alaska Native communities respond to rapid environmental and socio-economic change, while holding on to core values in the face of uncertainty.

Focus Area(s): Food Security, Lands and Waterways, Quality of Life  

Human access routes to coastal Arctic subsistence resources are changing and disappearing as temperatures warm. Our Fisheries Center is studying subsistence users’ access to marine resources in the coastal Western Arctic National Parklands. The work helps the Parks Service in managing subsistence use during times of rapid change.

Focus Area(s): Food Security, Lands and Waterways  

UA scientists are examining how important fisheries resources respond to changes in ocean chemistry, including ocean acidification. Given the importance of these resources to local and statewide economies, such knowledge of risks from both socioeconomic and biochemical perspectives is essential.

Focus Area(s): Lands and Waterways, Resource Development, Tourism  

UA is partnering with shipping companies to better understand strong wind events and develop forecast tools for industry. Marine transporters in Alaska and the North Pacific need tailored information about sailing conditions. UAF’s new products enable quicker “go/no-go” decisions, as well as monthly to seasonal outlooks for scheduling and routing.

Focus Area(s): Lands and Waterways, Quality of Life, Resource Development  

Our university helps put in place and support many different partnerships to guide research and share research findings. Here, UAF helped support and evaluate a research partnership between North Slope communities and industry. This collaboration helped bring together North Slope experts and scientists to provide information in support of responsible oil and gas development in the Arctic.

Focus Area(s): Quality of Life, Resource Development, Roads, Bridges and the Built Environment  

Faced with energy costs four to 10 times the national average, rural Alaska community power grids are the focus of UAF work to develop kinetic energy storage systems. With high power density and a practically unlimited life cycle, these systems allow grids to meet demand with an ultimate reduction in diesel fuel consumption.

Focus Area(s): Jobs, Quality of Life, Resource Development  

UA is forecasting and assessing the nature and scope of climate change impacts on the Alaska economy into the next 30–50 years. We’re tackling these tough questions: What is known and unknown about the economic effects of Alaska’s changing climate? What additional research, data collection and information gathering are necessary to fill these information gaps?