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Muskoxen, Dancers Hit the Stage at Large Animal Research Station

Submitted by Marie Gilbert
Phone: 474-7412

07/10/03

Though not noted for being light of hoof, the muskoxen might be encouraged to sway with the beat when the Institute of Arctic Biology's Large Animal Research Station hosts the Fairbanks Native Association's Johnson O'Malley Native dance group and participants from a science and Native communities workshop July 15.

The workshop, Turning Science to the Service of Native Communities, hosted by UAF and funded by the National Science Foundation, will focus on integrating behavioral and environmental science with the goals, needs, cultures, and perspectives of Native communities. Emphasis will be placed on projects that are Native driven and include both behavioral-cultural and hard-science or technological components.

"The goal of the conference is to get science and technology to be more effective for Native communities," Keith James, Colorado State University professor and conference chairman, said. Muskoxen, caribou and reindeer research at LARS emphasizes studies on comparative nutritional and reproductive physiology, endocrine and physiological controls, behavior and energetics, genetics. These projects involve UAF graduate and undergraduate students, UAF faculty and research associates, visiting scientists and interns. The station also serves in an educational and outreach capacity, providing the opportunity to introduce students from primary grades to adult continuing education to wildlife and wildlife research. High school and undergraduate students have the opportunity to conduct research projects under the guidance of university faculty and graduate students. Many UAF biology and wildlife instructors incorporate a visit to LARS as part of their courses.