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ASRA welcomes record class to campus

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902


The University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Summer Research Academy kicked off its ninth year Monday with its largest class ever.

A record 146 students are enrolled for the 2009 summer program, which is offered through the College of Natural Science and Mathematics. While most students live in Alaska, students in the two-week-long program come from 13 states and 58 communities.

ASRA is offering some new modules this year. Nine students and three professional biologists will travel to the bouldered beaches of Round Island, a remote island in the Bering Sea, to observe Pacific walrus, seabirds, and endangered Steller sea lions. Others will go to Coal Creek on the Yukon River, working on a research project with professional archaeologists from the University of Alaska Museum of the North and the National Park Service.

Groups will study earthquakes in Denali National Park and the marine biology of the intertidal zone at Kasitsna Bay in two popular returning modules. On campus, students will explore multidisciplinary topics that include engineering, science, technology, engineering, arts and math. ASRA offers a wide range of project-based experiential learning that includes robotics, biomedicine, sound, fisheries, extreme photography, earth and space science, radical math, creative writing, sustainable energy and climate change.

ASRA began in 2001 as a research experience for students entering grades 8-12. Students work in small groups with instructors and most live in the UAF dorms.

Many UAF departments, partners, businesses and the community support the academy. Major supporters include New York Life, Flint Hills, the Alaska Department of Labor, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Springboard, the National Park Service and GVEA

CONTACT: Jeff Drake, ASRA director, at 907-474-7077 or jdrake@gi.alaska.edu. Marmian Grimes, UAF public information officer, at 907-474-7902 or via e-mail at marmian.grimes@alaska.edu.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Drake will be away from his office most days but can be reached via cell phone by contacting Grimes. A full schedule of activities is available at www.uaf.edu/asra/news.