Southwest Projects

southwest alaska
Focus: Food Security, Jobs, Tourism  

In 2013, the average age of Alaska fishery permit holders was 49.7 years, up ten years since 1980. As many Alaska fishery permit holders approach retirement age, next generation fishing will greatly impact coastal communities. UA is approaching the problem of the “graying of the fleet,” and developing alternatives to address this growing problem.

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: Food Security, Lands and Waterways  

UA is developing and deploying new tools for monitoring coastal marine ecosystems to ensure that healthy resources remain widely available to Alaskans.

Focus: Food Security, Health and Safety, Quality of Life  

In partnership with the Nome Eskimo Community, UAF researchers are working with the Native Villages of Solomon and Council and the King Island Native Community to identify and discuss recent changes in conditions and ways to adapt, develop detailed plans and share information with other rural Alaska and Native communities.

Focus: Health and Safety, Lands and Waterways, Resource Development  

For the first time, UA is testing and providing specific and short-term forecast products for fire managers in Alaska. Methods used in the western US to evaluate lightning ignition risk are now being tested in Alaska. These products are essential to Alaska fire manager decisions regarding how and where to allocate resources, saving money and keeping Alaskans safe.

Focus: Food Security, Lands and Waterways  

UA scientists are examining how important fisheries resources respond to changes in ocean chemistry such as 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: Food Security, Jobs  

UA researchers are using genetic markers to better identify types of western Alaska chum salmon (Norton Sound, Lower Yukon, Kuskokwim, Bristol Bay) and studying competition between these fish and stocks native to Russia and Japan. UAF research helps determine risks by linking exposure to natural hazards and the vulnerability of communities. 

Focus: 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: 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?