2018 ConocoPhillips Arctic Science and Engineering Endowment Awardees

The five winning ConocoPhillips Arctic Science and Engineering Award projects for fiscal year 2018, selected by a UAA committee through a rigorous evaluation process, include:

Monitoring ground subsidence due to permafrost thawing by remote sensing
(Caixia Wang and Z. Joey Yang)
Due to thawing permafrost, ground subsidence poses a constant threat to the integrity and safety of Arctic infrastructures such as oil wells, pipelines, buildings, railways, highways, and bridges. This project proposes a remote sensing method using radar to monitor even very small changes in ground subsidence due to permafrost thawing.

Aerial inspection and corrosion detection of oilfield infrastructure
(Martin Cenek, Aaron Dotson, and Benjamin Kellie)
orrosion detection and quantification is important to Alaska's oil and gas infrastructure. This project focuses on designing and testing aerial surveillance and computer processing systems.

Developing a new "pipeline" of oil spill contingency research and education at UAA
(Patrick Tomco, Khrystyne Duddleston, Aaron Dotson, and Srijan Aggarwal)
Building upon a current project that uses hydrocarbon modeling to assess oil spill response strategies, this project evaluates the effects of response strategies on marine microbial populations involving biodegradation. The project will revise a UAA ecotoxicology course to include an emphasis on oil spill prevention and response.

Validating efficacy and economic impact of Arctic energy sources
(Matthew Kupilik, Ahmed AbuHussein, and Jifeng Peng)
Arctic communities face some of the highest energy costs in the United States. This cost has led to demand for renewable energy sources, including wind, tidal, geothermal, hydro, and solar. This project aims to develop an Arctic Grid Modeling tool to provide a common methodology for communities to assess grid performance and cost-effectiveness.

Characterizing tectonic history of the North Slope relative to oilfield development and future exploration
(Simon Kattenhorn and Shuvajit Bhattacharya)
Geologic insights into the history of the North Slope, known to geologists as the Beaufort Margin, are critical to future development of Alaska's Arctic resources. This project will evaluate the tectonic history of the North Slope and provide integrated structural, stratigraphic, and petrophysical analysis of the region. The project will support graduate research and will be integrated into undergraduate teaching.