Southcentral Projects

southcentral alaska
Focus: 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: Health and Safety, Resource Development, Roads, Bridges and the Built Environment  

UA is providing definitive earthquake information to the public, emergency managers, scientists and engineers. This information is derived from a network of seismic monitoring stations that we operate across the state. Based on a mandate from the Alaska Legislature and the many stakeholders we support with data, products and outreach, UAF’s Alaska Earthquake Center ensures safe and economically sound construction, maintenance and long-term operation of Alaska infrastructure; on-site monitoring for major facilities (pipelines, mines, and military installations); and tsunami mapping, thus enabling evacuation planning in nearly every major Alaska coastal community.

Focus: Food Security, Tourism  

Southeast Alaska has some of the world’s highest rates of glacial volume loss. This collaboration between UA and the US Geological Survey has improved our understanding of the roles glaciers play in Gulf of Alaska coastal systems, and their impacts on the tourism and salmon fishery industries — each of which provide $1 billion in annual economic activity to Alaska.

Focus: Food Security, Jobs  

Based on analysis by oceanographers, fisheries biologists and modelers, a multi-year study of young groundfishes (walleye pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific ocean perch, sablefish, and arrowtooth flounder) is now helping enhance Gulf fisheries stock assessments by including broader and more complex ecosystem information.

Focus: Food Security, Jobs, Tourism  

Pacific halibut supports valuable commercial, sport and subsistence fisheries throughout the Gulf of Alaska. Declining halibut stocks over the past 20 years has led to increased restrictions for commercial and sport fisheries. Are halibut competing for shared resources with a burgeoning population of arrowtooth flounder? UAF is examining resource partitioning between arrowtooth flounder and Pacific halibut to better understand their potential competition for shared prey, including walleye pollock.

Focus: Food Security, Health and Safety, Roads, Bridges and the Built Environment  

UA is developing a statistical understanding of how storms and other extreme events (wildfire, coastal erosion, flooding) are projected to change for Alaska in our current century. This is enabling us to better understand the connections between exposure to natural hazards and human vulnerability.

Focus: Health and Safety, Tourism  

The Alaska Volcano Observatory at UAF analyzes satellite data twice daily for thermal anomalies and ash plumes for about 80 volcanoes in the North Pacific. Thermal anomalies at volcanic vents have been detected up to several weeks before large eruptions. Volcanic ash in the atmosphere is a serious hazard to jet aircraft; working with the National Weather Service to predict where winds will carry the ash, UA assists the Federal Aviation Administration in warning pilots of potential risks.

Focus: 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?