Research Institutes and Outreach Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences is proud of its partnerships with agencies and institutions throughout the state, including the Anchorage School District, National Park Service, USGS, U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Native corporations, Providence Hospital, Centers for Disease Control, National Writing Project, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and many others.

 CAS Research Institutes/Centers and Programs

Alaska Center for Conservation Science (ACCS) is a center for research, education, and scholarship at the University of Alaska Anchorage that is committed to providing the public, industry, and agency partners with information to facilitate effective biological conservation and management of the state’s natural resources. Our faculty and staff conduct basic and applied research, serve a wide range of data to the public, offer professional services, and provide educational opportunities. Data and expertise provided by ACCS are also used by state and federal agencies and NGOs for environmental and conservation planning. Research at ACCS focuses on aquatic ecology, botany and vegetation ecology, wildlife ecology, landscape ecology, and invasive species.

Photo in the Herbarium
ACCS also includes state representatives of nationwide programs: Alaska Natural Heritage Program (AKNHP) and Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBNERR). Finally, ACCS provides educational opportunities for K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students.
Conservation Data Portals
The conservation data portals maintained by Alaska Center for Conservation Science (ACCS) include the long-term datasets that are core to our ability to provide the scientific basis for effective biological conservation in Alaska. For additional spatial and non-spatial datasets produced by ACCS, see the ACCS Data Catalog. ACCS also maintains a code repository of analytical scripts and tools through Github.
Ecologists working on Arctic Coastal Plain

The Environment and Natural Resources Institute (ENRI) is an interdisciplinary group of core staff and faculty affiliates with the shared goal of improving understanding of environmental and natural resource issues in cold regions. ENRI relies heavily upon external funding through competitive grants and cooperative agreements. Important funding agencies include the National Science Foundation, the USDA Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Stable Isotope Lab

The Stable Isotope Lab (ENRI SIL) is a state-of-the-art analytical facility that quantifies stable isotope ratios to assist researchers studying processes on short and long time scales. The lab utilizes two ThermoFinnigan Continuous Flow Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometers (Delta Plus XP and Delta Advantage V) with four gas preparation systems for the measurement of the stable isotopes of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur (δD, δ13C, δ15N, δ18O and δ34S) on a diversity of natural samples (plant, animal, soil, sediment, water, and atmospheric gas). The lab also employs three Picarro Wavelength Scanned Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometers for the measurement of the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in liquid water samples.  The lab is currently capable of accommodating natural abundance samples for all the species mentioned above. ENRI SIL is also able to analyze liquid water samples enriched in δD, δ18O or both.

The Montgomery Dickson Center expands the instruction, appreciation, and enjoyment of Japanese language and culture, engage in public outreach, enhance existing and future international exchange activities with Japan, and serve the University of Alaska and the State of Alaska as a resource with respect to Japanese bilateral relations and understanding.

Tea room in Monty Dickson Center
The Monty Dickeson Center's three main objectives are: 

  1. to encourage, complement, and expand Japanese Language instruction within UAA and throughout the State of Alaska,
  2. to provide opportunities for Alaskans to experience, appreciate, understand, and enjoy high-quality, significant, and culturally meaningful Japanese programs and events, and
  3. to serve as a locus within the university for facilitating student and faculty exchanges, programmatic collaborations, and enhanced cooperation between Alaska and Japan.

The Japan Center is housed within the College of Arts and Sciences at UAA and includes a traditional demonstration Tea Room, located in the Social Sciences Building. Management of the Center is run by a director and is advised and assisted by a community advisory board comprised of UAA and public members.

Model United Nations (Model UN) is a simulation of one or more of the bodies of the United Nations. The Model UN of Alaska is an important international educational experience, which has been organized and offered through voluntary cooperative efforts.

Ever since 1982, Alaska high school and university students have had the opportunity to participate in a simulation of the United Nations here in Alaska. Originally offered by Alaska Pacific University, the University of Alaska Anchorage has hosted the Model UN of Alaska since 1993.

The Department of Political Science, within the UAA College of Arts and Sciences, is the university body responsible for coordinating all aspects of the MUN. In fact, UAA students (The Secretariat) both organize and participate in the simulation.

Virtual model un
Model UN Participants

UAA Planetarium and Visualization Theater offers a cutting-edge, full-dome experience with an all-digital definiti projector system made by Sky-Skan, Inc. Two Sony SXRD projectors illuminate the dome with over 12 million pixels, creating a razor-sharp image. The dome is 10-meters (33 feet) in diameter and the theater has 62 seats (with tablet arms for notetaking) and three ADA spots.  The projector system can be operated in a "live" mode, enabling the operator to fly you through the Universe in real time.  We also offer full-dome movies on a variety of subjects.  (Please check our show listing to see which shows are currently being offered).  The planetarium also has a Dolby 5.1 surround sound system with a subwoofer, for a seat-shaking experience.

Planetarium entrance
The UAA Planetarium is available for private bookings when there are no classes or public shows scheduled. Bookings are based on an hourly rate and are independent on how many seats are filled. Our theater can hold up to 64 attendees. Discounts are given to school and youth groups. All bookings have an astronomer who is available to do live shows and answer questions. 

Visit the Current Shows website to find out what shows are available.  


UAA STEM Day is an interactive event hosted at UAA to promote the exciting careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM Day is hosted by CAS, CoE, and CoH, and happens every Fall semester. 

At the event, a variety of activities are hosted, including:

  • Interactive Activities & Presentations
  • Science Demonstration Shows
  • Free Planetarium Shows
  • Tours