UA system granted 20 million for research

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The National Science Foundation has granted the University of Alaska system 20 million dollars to research boreal forests and subarctic coastal ecosystems. The research project, 'Fire and Ice', is a collaboration of all three University of Alaska campuses, as well as federal and state agencies, industry partners and community members coming together to study two Alaska regions undergoing climate driven changes.

The five year research project will focus on two regions, one of them being studies regarding wildfires in Alaska's Boreal Forest. The second will be conducted in the Gulf of Alaska, where research will focus on the physical and chemical conditions of near-shore marine eco-systems.

Project Manager, Anupma Prakash explained the purpose of this major research endeavor.

"It's called 'Fire and Ice' because one of the research areas is looking at fires in the boreal forest. With the changing climate, and the changing seasonal weather, what's influencing and driving these big fire seasons in basically the boreal Alaska. We have a second theme called the coastal margin. We just want to get a better grasp on how our coastal areas are changing, how it's changing the vulnerability of the bio-tide in that area and marine life in that area and how that influences people in the coastal margins," she said.

If you would like to know more about the Fire and Ice Project you can visit www.alaska.edu/epscor.com.