Alaska’s Emerging Sector Series: Aviation & Aerospace

Both the aviation and aerospace industries have strong roots in Alaska. With a major air cargo hub, rocket launch sites, abundant airfields and airspace, and a robust aviation culture, Alaska has competitive advantages that create opportunities for both aviation and aerospace to become even more significant drivers of Alaska’s economy.

“Alaska has more airspace without entry or clearance requirements than any other state,” said Britteny Cioni-Haywood, director of the Division of Economic Development. “We also have more pilots and registered aircraft per capita than any other state and over 750 airports. Combined with our strong history of innovation related to air transportation, Alaska provides an attractive environment for entrepreneurs to test new aviation technologies.”

The report, available on the Division of Economic Development website, explores the market and economic trends associated with the aviation and aerospace sectors in Alaska, highlights individual entrepreneurs and businesses, and identifies potential strategies to support growth in the sector.

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaska’s Emerging Sector: Aviation and Aerospace – Alaska Business Monthly and Alaska Division of Economic Development

ANSEP Leads Summertime Career Development for Middle School Students

Each summer the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program hosts four STEM Career Explorations sessions that expose students to a particular facet of science, technology, engineering or math. Throughout the five-day component, students live on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus and participate in hands-on, team-based learning activities.

This year’s sessions highlight health, coding, marine science, and fisheries and wildlife biology through career exploration activities, experiments, projects and field experiences.

This component is an opportunity for students who previously attended ANSEP’s Middle School Academy to gain first-hand insight into the daily life of a STEM professional.

Source: ANSEP leads summertime career development for middle school students – The Alaska 100

UAF Research Vessel Sikuliaq Visits Nome

Photo by James Mason
R./V Sikuliaq arrived in Nome on June 24, after its first cruise.

The research vessel Sikuliaq made port in Nome in late June after a cruise, which began in Seward on May 31. The scientists on board have been doing research in the Bering Strait area and the southern Chukchi Sea. As part of the Strait Science lecture series at UAF’s Northwest Campus, senior scientist Seth Danielson gave a talk on the vessel’s voyage and the nature of its mission.

“This project is part of a multi-year program that’s funded primarily by the North Pacific Research Board,” said Danielson, the chief scientist aboard the vessel. “It’s called the Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Research Program. Our particular project within this program is called the Arctic Shelf Growth, Advection, Respiration and Deposition, Rate Measurement Project. ASGARD for short. In Norse mythology ASGARD is the homeland of the gods and it’s the most productive of all those homelands.”

The continental shelf in the Bering Strait region is remarkable in that it gets the biggest flux of nutrients of any inner continental shelf anywhere. “There’s a massive stream of nutrients that’s coming up from the Gulf of Anadyr, we call it Anadyr water, and it flows north into the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait closing the global freshwater balance,” said Danielson. Excess fresh water from the North Pacific goes through the Bering Strait and makes its way to the North Atlantic, where the ocean is saltier.

Read the full article here.

Source: UAF Research Vessel Sikuliaq Visits Nome – The Nome Nugget


FAA and UAF Spark Interest in Drones at Camp

Matthew Westhoff, a pilot with UAF’s ACUASI, teaches students about drones at a camp in June. Photo by Patty Eagan.

Twenty-one middle school students built, learned how to operate and took home their own small unmanned aircraft at a camp taught by pilots and engineers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute the week of June 11-15.

The camp, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, uses unmanned aircraft to encourage kids to pursue science, technology, engineering and math-related education and careers.

Pilots and engineers from UAF’s Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration instructed the students through a combination of engineering, flying and interacting with simulators. The students spent the week building their own unmanned aircraft, piece by piece, and flying them. They listened to presentations from industry guest speakers and learned about topics like no-fly zones and the importance of registration.

The goal was for kids to leave with technical skills and a well-rounded knowledge of not only the UAS industry but also FAA safety rules and other requirements.

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaska Native News

Management Impact on Fishing Families Studied

Fishing FamiliesIn a series of workshops in five Alaska communities, National Marine Fisheries Service hopes to learn more about the impact of fisheries management on Alaska’s fishing families.

Perspectives on fishing family dynamics that emerge from the workshops will inform the next phase of this research, according to Marysia Szymkowiak, a social scientist with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Juneau, and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Workshops have already been held in Juneau, Homer, Sitka, Anchorage, and Kodiak.

During the Anchorage workshop on May 7, several participants spoke about the value of family fisheries as a source of nutritional food, income and family dynamics, particularly in a multi-generational setting, for teaching the next generation a strong work ethic.

At fish camps, everyone has a job to do, and learns to take it seriously, they said. When there is work to be done related to the harvesting of fish and getting those fish then to processing facilities, everyone pitches in until those tasks are completed, and from such practices children learn the importance of hard work, making them more likely to be successful in their adult lives, they said.

“The inter-community themes that are emerging from these workshops are in and of themselves incredibly valuable for people and fisheries managers to understand,” Szymkowiak said.

The second component of this effort is for us to understand what kinds of research may need to follow these workshops, to dig more into specific items or questions that emerge from the discussions.

Szymkowiak noted that over recent decades Alaska’s fisheries have seen many regulatory, environmental, social and economic changes which could differentially affect the dynamics in fishing families.

One participating setnetter spoke of several generations of her large family engaged in commercial fisheries in rural Alaska, and the profound impact fishing as a family has had on their lives.

Principal investigators in the study include Szymkowiak, Sarah Marrinan of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and Stephen Kasperski and Alan Haynie, both of Alaska Fisheries Science Center. NMFS plans to finalize the workshops by fall and summarize findings for distribution.

For more information about the study, contact Szymkowiak at

Source: Management impact on fishing families studied -The Cordova Times