Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Up on a ridge in the northwestern part of town is the University. The UAF community is something of a science commune. I work at the International Arctic Research Center, which is half owned by the US NSF/NOAA and half owned by the Japanese national science agency and full of Russian and Chinese researchers. The National Weather Service (NOAA) occupies the second floor of our and connected to the building is the Geophysical Institute and offices of the USGS, the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (which is sponsoring my post-doc), and a Natural Sciences building including a handful of oceanographers with whom I went to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Other parts of campus relevant to me include several buildings dedicated to Arctic biological research, a cold-regions engineering facility, and a Northern water resources group. The Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL) is at nearby Fort Wainwright and like the University, also operates facilities up on the North Slope for research and military operations. Eielson Airforce base is also just outside of town, near Ft. Wainwright, so there are a lot of Alaskans in the war right now. In addition to science, the university has a strong Native culture and languages program. But not much else. So it’s all Arctic all the time up here, which is probably how it should be.

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