Frank von Hippel (Dept. Biological Sciences, UAA)
This ongoing project initially received funding from the UA Natural Resources fund to examine the water quality of Chester Creek using a community-based service-learning approach that incorporates undergraduate students in a variety of classes doing environmental sampling and analysis as part of their course work. Nine "priority" sample sites along Chester Creekwere chosen by the working group of faculty members (in biology, chemistry, geology, geomatics and engineering) in conjunction with community partners from various municipal, state and federal agencies. As part of this collaborative effort, students in Biol. 340: General Microbiology (Spring 2003, 2004, 2005) and Biol. 450: Microbial Ecology (Fall 2003) conducted a variety of microbiological analyses on water and sediments from Chester Creek.
The Chester Creek projects continues a long-term partnership with the Russian Jack Community Council to meet the need for water quality information. Students provide a community service while learning hands-on applications for monitoring, watershed health, and human health impacts. This year focuses on the re-assessment of water and habitat quality in light of the restoration of the lagoon and uses GIS to analyze and map data.
A CCEL Minigrant of $6,000 funded the project in addition to several Community Engaged Student Assistants (CESAs) and paid student research assistants. The goal of the Food Security Project is to create a public GIS document that demonstrates the availability of locally grown food to portions of Anchorage.
"Growing" out of the values and interests of the students of the Sustainability and Heifer International Clubs, the work began to develop a plan to build a community garden on the UAA campus. The project was organized by the members of both clubs and will serve as a venue for all members of the UAA community to practice local food gardening and reap the many benefits a community garden offer. Starting as a pilot project, we intend that it be a small, raised-bed garden covering an area of roughly 500 square feet (20'x25'). Though the garden will be the responsibility of the club members, participation in gardening would be open to all members of the UAA community – students, faculty, and staff alike. In the first season of operation, the harvests will be shared with the volunteers and the broader UAA community through picnics and banquets organized by the clubs throughout the season. Any food surpluses will be donated to local soup kitchens such as Bean's Café. Furthermore, the club members intend to share the experience and educational benefits of this demonstration to as broad and audience as possible through educational signs in the garden as well as an internet blog. Office of Sustainability Financial support ($300) guarantees to maintain or dismantle the garden if clubs fail to maintain it or dissolve before dismantling it. Dept. of Geography & Environmental Studies Currently investigating internship or service-learning opportunities with garden through Center for Community Engagement and Learning. Guarantees to assist Office of Sustainability by soliciting interns or volunteers in the case that the clubs would fail to maintain or dismantle garden. Green Earth Land Works Offered to donate $800 worth of plants and seeds as well as a microbial soil supplement (EM1) for the garden.
Black Bear Management in Alaska: The Role of Perceptions, Policies and Decision-Making
In the state of Alaska, black bears (Ursus americanus) provide a host of ecosystem services that include serving as a food source, predator, hunted trophy species, wildlife viewing opportunity and tourist attraction. In its role as predator, black bears also affect more highly desired food sources, such as moose. Bear predation on young calves is thought to have significant effects on moose populations and some people in Alaska are concerned about increasing predation rates by bears on moose calves. In order to better understand public perceptions regarding black bear management as well as the policy context within which decisions are made, this project seeks to conduct a social assessment and policy review of black bear management.
Chester Creek : Analysis of water quality in the Chester Creek watershed, Anchorage, Alaska
Acetate Biogeochemistry in Northern Wetlands: Implications for Methane Formation During Climate Change
UAA's Recycling Program is a student run program started in 2000 that currently collects mixed paper and cardboard at several locations across campus. The team collects over 30,000 pounds or 15 tons of paper and cardboard each semester. According to the EPA, recycling one ton of mixed paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity. In FY 2014, UAA's Recycling Program diverted 309,157 pounds of recyclables from the landfill. To contribute, check the list of pick-up sites and start recycling today.
UAA's Energy Policy strategizes the responsibility to minimize and energy use and cost. UAA has made positive moves that affect lighting, green landscaping, vending, transportation, green buildings, parking, sustainability in the classroom, dining services as well many other services throughout the campus. Check out UAA's webpage on "What's UAA Doing?"