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Growing up in Panama, at the bottom tip of Central America, Pat Rivera was regularly exposed to nature and different environments. Rivera, who has worked on and off at the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences since the late 1980s in various research and technical roles, attributes much of her adventurous and animal-loving personality to the positive experiences she had in her outdoorsy, close-knit community as a kid.

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Last month, villagers in Savoonga landed a bowhead whale. Before 2017, in every January people can remember, sea ice surrounded St. Lawrence Island, locking it in for the winter. Boat-launching and whale-taking were not possible.

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A University of Alaska Fairbanks assistant professor will study tiny animals and particles across the world’s oceans after receiving an award from the National Science Foundation. Andrew McDonnell, with the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, will also educate Alaskans about ocean sciences and what it means to be an oceanographer.

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The University of Alaska Fairbanks Society of Physics Students has made a habit of exceeding expectations. So when club leaders asked famed physicist Lawrence Krauss to make a low-budget trip to speak in Fairbanks, perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise that he quickly snatched up the offer.

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