Awards and Honors

Brina Kessel Medal for Excellence in Science

Seeking Nominations
for the
Brina Kessel Medal for Excellence in Science

Due March 20, 2020

The MEDAL for EXCELLENCE in SCIENCE was named for Dr. Brina Kessel “to recognize her many contributions to her discipline, to Alaska, and to the University of Alaska,” and “because of her love for her students and commitment to high standards.” She was a professor at the University for more than 40 years and devoted a lifetime to the study of ornithology, emphasizing the birds of arctic and subarctic Alaska.

Except in the absence of an outstanding eligible student, the medal and $500 will be awarded annually, usually at an annual awards ceremony held in the spring.


  1. Seniors in the natural sciences, either basic or applied and regardless of UAF administrative unit or department, are eligible for consideration. If in an applied field, the student must be well-grounded in the basic sciences and using these sciences and their methods toward solutions of applied problems.
  2. To be eligible, a student must have at least a 3.5 GPA in combined course work in the basic sciences, mathematics, and statistics.
  3. Eligible students must have an inquiring mind, evidenced at least in part by interest and participation in research. Participation in true research activities of some kind is essential; self-initiated research is a preferred criterion.
  4. Essential characteristics for eligibility must include a) highest levels of integrity in all matters, b) evidence of a creative mind, and c) evidence of analytical thinking abilities.
  5. Recipient shall have demonstrated a commitment to their chosen scientific field and have exhibited a potential to succeed professionally in science.

Nominations for the Brina Kessel award are due electronically to the CNSM dean’s office no later than March 21, 2019 to the attention of Hild Peters at Your letter of nomination must include your assessment of how the nominee meets the criteria as well as the names of two secondary references.

Contact: Hild Peters, Executive Officer, College of Natural Science and Mathematics, 474-7941

The David and Rachel Hopkins Fellowship

The David and Rachel Hopkins

The David and Rachel Hopkins Fellowship is designed to support University of Alaska graduate students conducting interdisciplinary research focusing on the Quaternary of Beringia or North Pacific Rim.

Fellowships of up to $1500 each will be awarded for use up to 12 months after the award date. Funds may be used to cover tuition, supplies, equipment, or other research-related fees, excluding salary.

The fellowship is open to graduate students only. Preference will be given to students who have not received the Hopkins Fellowship before.  Students may receive the award a maximum of twice during their graduate career at the University of Alaska.

To be eligible for the fellowship, the student must:

  • Graduate student and in good academic standing at the University of Alaska.
  • Conduct interdisciplinary Quaternary research over historic or geologic time scales.
  • Work on a project located within or relevant to Beringia or the North Pacific Rim.
  • Modern process studies are permitted, so long as the relevance to paleo research questions is clear and explicit.  Contact the AQC director or board members for more information.
  • Deliver a completed application packet as a pdf file (see email address below) to the AQC by 5 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

To apply, submit the following to the AQC:

  • Completed application form (download application from here or contact Nancy Bigelow <> for a copy).
  • A description of the research project (maximum of 2 pages).
  • A statement of permitting status.
  • An itemized budget and a budget justification.
  • Current C.V. (1 page limit) including name, contact information, education, teaching and other relevant experience, awards and honors, relevant presentations and publications.
  • An e-mail recommendation letter from a faculty supervisor or committee member (also due by the deadline – send to

Submit a pdf of the completed application packet to the AQC (the e-mail letter of recommendation can be sent separately). The file can be e-mailed to Nancy Bigelow (

We strongly recommend that you contact either the AQC director or other board members (Contact Info) if you are unsure whether your application is appropriate for the Hopkins Fellowship.


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