International Arctic Research Center

The International Arctic Research Center helps northern communities understand, prepare for and adapt to the pan-Arctic impacts of climate change. Through its research, the center works toward an understanding of the Arctic as an integrated whole. In addition to its core research scientists, IARC has six research centers.

Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy 

This center partners with stakeholders to inform realistic community plans and climate adaptation strategies using the most scientifically accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information.

Alaska Climate Science Center 

The Alaska Climate Science Center 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 change. It opened as the first of eight regional Climate Science Centers.
Alaska Fire Science Consortium.

Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research 

The center develops, coordinates and implements interdisciplinary research and education related to the role of the Arctic and sub-Arctic in the Earth system.

Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research

The Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research is one of 16 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Cooperative Institutes.

Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning 

The Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning develops and communicates scenarios of potential conditions in an evolving climate.

Geophysical Institute

Geophysical Institute

Scientists at the Geophysical Institute study the geophysical processes from the center of the Earth to the surface of the sun and beyond. Research and education go hand-in-hand and opportunities abound for undergraduate and graduate research with GI”s renowned scientists, many of whom are CNSM faculty.
The GI has earned an international reputation for studying Earth and its physical environments at high latitudes. It has seven major research units: atmospheric science; remote sensing; seismology; snow, ice and permafrost; space physics and aeronomy; tectonics and sedimentation and volcanology.
Specialized facilities address research, hazard monitoring and data needs of government agencies and research organizations. The GI jointly operates many of these with the government agencies they serve:

Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration

The center is a leader in unmanned aircraft programs and integrating the unmanned aircraft into research projects.

Alaska Climate Research Center

The Alaska Climate Research Center provides information about Alaska’s climate and meteorology to researchers and agencies in the public, private and government sectors. The center develops weather statistics and has extensive digital archives of climate records.

Alaska Earthquake Center

The Alaska Earthquake Center collects, analyzes and archives data on seismic events for the sate of Alaska. Scientists collect data from an integrated network of more than 400 seismic sites across the state and report about 20,000 earthquakes per year.

Alaska Satellite Facility

The Alaska Satellite Facility makes remote-sensing data accessible through its satellite tracking ground station and archives of geophysical data.

Alaska Volcano Observatory

AVO scientists conduct daily checks of earthquake activity at all seismically-monitored volcanoes. They also examine web camera and satellite images for evidence of airborne ash and elevated surface temperatures.

Geographic Information Network of Alaska

The Geographic Information Network of Alaska promotes collaboration at the local, state, and federal levels in the discovery and use of geospatial data.

Poker Flat Research Range

Poker Flat Research Range is the largest land-based rocket research range in the world and the only high-latitude rocket range in the United States. Poker Flat launches scientific sounding rockets, performs satellite tracking and is home to a growing fleet of unmanned aircraft.

Wilson Infrasound Observatory

Beginning in 1965 the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has installed and operated seven different infrasonic arrays in Alaska, Canada, Sweden and Antarctica. Scientists have conducted extensive researches on the infrasonic signals observed at these arrays from both natural and man-made sources.

Alaska Museum of the North

The University of Alaska Museum of the North

The University of Alaska Museum of the North is a thriving visitor attraction, a vital component of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the only research and teaching museum in Alaska.

The museum’s research collections – 1.4 million artifacts and specimens – represent millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions in the North. The collections are organized into 10 disciplines and serve as a valuable resource for research on climate change, genetics, contaminants and other issues facing Alaska and the circumpolar North.

Here are some of the Museum disciplines where CNSM faculty and students research:

Earth Sciences 

The University of Alaska Museum Earth Sciences collection focuses on Alaskan fossils. It is the world’s largest collection of arctic dinosaurs and one of the largest collections of Alaskan Quaternary Mammals (last 2 million years).


The museum’s Insect Collection is the northern-most facility of its kind in the United States. Although a young collection, the museum recently surpassed 200,000 online records representing over 1 million specimens.


The Herbarium (contains more than 220,000 specimens of non-vascular and vascular plants and is the only major research herbarium in Alaska. The collection also includes plants form other states, Canada, Greenland, Fennoscandia, Japan and Russia and provides a basis for teaching and research. The collection can be viewed through the database ARCTOS.


The mammal collection includes over 125,000 specimens, mostly from Alaska and adjacent regions of Canada and Russia. There are world-class holdings of northern carnivores, including pinnipeds, and extensive chronological series of carnivores, shrews, and rodents. Tissues for more than 70,000 specimens are archived in Genomic Resources.


With emphasis on the birds of northernmost North America, including taxa endemic to Beringia and the circumpolar North, the Bird Collection is the best in existence of avian material from Alaska. Almost all bird species and subspecies known in Alaska are represented and are preserved primarily as skins, skeletons and tissues. The collection consists of over 27,000 birds.


Institute of Arctic Biology

Scientists, students and staff at the Institute of Arctic Biology conduct research in wildlife, climate change, ecology and ecosystems, physiology, genetics, biomedicine, human health and evolutionary biology. IAB supports research facilities, centers and stations that allows scientists to investigate a range of biological and social issues related to the changing Arctic:

Toolik Field Station

Much of what is known about Arctic ecosystems has emerged from long-term research by scientists working from IAB’s Toolik Field Station on Alaska’s North Slope since 1983. The NSF-supported (~$3.3M annually) and IAB-operated facility provides lodging and research support to a global clientele.

Center for Alaska Native Health Research

The center seeks to understand, prevent and reduce health disparities such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in indigenous communities. Researchers seek to understand how culture influences the understanding and response to disease so findings and interventions are culturally appropriate. CANHR is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Alaska Geobotany Center

The center explores Arctic geobotanical relationships, investigates Arctic land-use and conservation issues and educates and trains students in arctic vegetation field skills and analysis.

Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research Program

This program focuses on understanding long-term consequences of changing climate and other disturbance such as wildfire, insect outbreaks and permafrost thaw. A statewide network of research sites and long-term environmental monitoring datasets supports collaborative opportunities for national and international scientists.

The Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Scientists in this unit conduct research and educate students on the ecology and management of fish and wildlife and provide the state with technical expertise through data analysis support, mapping, workshops and consultations. Many unit-supported graduates are employed in resource agencies in Alaska. The unit is part of a nationwide federal cooperative program and exists by cooperative agreement among the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Wildlife Management Institute (WMI), and UAF-IAB.

Research Greenhouse

The Research Greenhouse facility includes four separate, climate-controlled zones and three growth chambers and provides reliable year-round environments for growing plants for research and education projects.

Molecular Imaging Facility

The Molecular Imaging Facility includes a magnetic resonance imager and two nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers able to perform the entire range of NMR techniques. Imaging support is provided to researchers at UAF and across the state.

DNA Core Lab

The DNA Core Lab provides nucleic acid sample analysis, and training with a diverse suite of analytical chemistry instrumentation used by multiple UAF units and outside agencies. The facility keeps UAF at the cutting edge of molecular analysis in the life sciences by providing rapid and high-volume DNA sequencing and analyses.

Research Programs

Research Programs

Biomedical Learning and Training Program 

If you are interested in the biosciences, you can propose a mentored research project to the BLaST Undergraduate Research Experience. They will award funding to the projects they approve. They encourage students of diverse backgrounds, especially from rural Alaska, to apply.


The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR, is a grant program through the National Science Foundation that establishes partnerships with government, higher education and industry to effect lasting improvements in a state’s or region’s research infrastructure, research & development and its national competitiveness. In addition to the research and technology development, the awards enable faculty development and higher education student support. UAF is the lead campus for the the Alaska EPSCoR.


The Alaska INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) is a grant program through the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences that promotes biomedical and behavior research in rural an medically underserved communities. The IDeA stand for the Institutional Development Award, which is part of the NIGMS.

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