Bristol Bay Students Explore Marine Biology Careers at ANSEP Camp

At the end of June, Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program hosted a camp in Anchorage for students from around the state to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Tyson Olsen from Koliganek is one of three students from Bristol Bay who was selected to participate in ANSEP’s marine biology career exploration camp. He and 51 middle school students from around the state stayed five days at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus learning first-hand about marine biology research. For Olsen, the highlight was a field trip to Jakolof Bay in Homer.

“The tide was low so we saw all the stuff that was living in between the low and high tide. There were fish that were able to stay out of water for a while. Also at that bay there were people digging for clams,” says Olsen.

Another activity that Olsen enjoyed was performing a necropsy on an otter.

“The people there with the otters studied how they died,” says Olsen. “They did that with us, so they studied the outside. Then we dissected them. The liver was a little blackish inside.”

ANSEP exists to provide education opportunities and financial support for Alaska Native students in science and engineering. The aim of this camp was to give their youngest set of students a vision for careers in marine biology.

“The whole idea behind it was to just expose them to the different things that someone could do in marine biology,” says Yosty Storms, a regional director for ANSEP. “We want to serve those that have been historically underserved or underrepresented and get them involved.”

Olsen is not sure he’ll set his sights on a marine biology career just yet, but he does have an interest in STEM.

“I just try to make this as good as possible so when I choose what I want to do I’ll have a high chance of getting it. It will probably be something in science, technology, math or engineering. It’s just my best subjects,” says Olsen.

Two other students from the Bristol Bay area also attended ANSEP’s career exploration camp. Newhalen’s Aileen Lester and Gabriel Olympic from Iliamna also participated.

Source: Bristol Bay Students Explore Marine Biology Careers at ANSEP Camp – The Bristol Bay Times

Cordova Hosts U.S. Senate Field Hearing on Microgrids | Alaska Public Media

When it comes to emerging energy technologies, many remote Alaska communities are on the cutting edge. That was the message from Cordova this spring, where U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski held a field hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she chairs.

The focus of the hearing was microgridsself-contained electrical grids, which can operate unconnected to any larger transmission system. They’re a necessity for just about every Alaska community off the road system. Most of the grids are powered by diesel, but more and more communities are trying to cut costs by adding renewables like wind or expanding hydropower.

In the process, the state has become a testing ground for technologies that are increasingly interesting to the rest of the world.

Read the full article here.


Source: Cordova Hosts U.S. Senate Field Hearing on Microgrids | Alaska Public Media

Workforce Wednesday: Marine Coating

Marine coating is a profession that protects Alaska’s ships from corrosion, marine growth and more.

Mike Ritz, a co-owner of Alaska Marine Coatings, says there is a lot of surface preparation which means it’s a very physical occupation. He added that includes sandblasting, spraying, brushing, painting numbers and other job duties.

Because of Alaska’s vast amounts of coastline, Ritz said job seekers can find a lot of opportunities in marine coating within the state. He says jobs can found from the North Slope to the Kenai Peninsula.

People can expect to make anywhere from $25 to $35 an hour, depending on experience. The other co-owner of Alaska Marine Coatings, Tiffany Ritz, added there is a lot of opportunity for growth, depending on the certifications people acquire.

To find out how to get started, or just more information, visit the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium website. For more on Alaska Marine Coatings, head to their Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

To watch the full Workforce Wednesday segment, click here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Marine Coating » KTVA 11

Valley Couple Establishes New Mat-Su College Scholarship

Future students of the Matanuska-Susitna College recently became the beneficiaries of a new scholarship established by Valley residents Bob and Charilyn Cardwell, according to campus director Dr. Talis Colberg.

While the Cardwells wanted to keep the exact amount of their donation discreet, Colberg said, “it is substantial enough that it will mean thousands of dollars in annual scholarships to provide financial assistance for tuition and other related expenses to vocational education students at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Matanuska-Susitna College.” He added that in addition, the already large scholarship endowment is likely to grow significantly because it also involves a charitable rollover from the Cardwells IRA and another gift planned in their will.

Bob Cardwell is a retired local school principal, and according to Colberg, the genesis of the scholarship idea came in part from Bob’s experiences as a student.

According to Colberg, Cardwell had been a student at Shoreline Community College in Washington state many decades ago. One day he and five other students were called into the office of the college director, who announced to them that an anonymous donor had asked the director to select six students in order to pay their tuition as an “achievement scholarship” — with no strings attached.   

“Mr. Cardwell never forgot that gesture,” Colberg said. “Both he and his wife have grown to appreciate this college and this community and decided to set up their own ‘achievement scholarship’ to benefit students at Matanuska-Susitna College.”

“This is the seventh major new scholarship established at Matanuska-Susitna College in seven years,” Colberg added. “The new scholarship funds have been endowed by local people for the benefit of local students.  Even as the college has reduced staff in a period of new fiscal realities it is re-assuring and uplifting to see thoughtful individuals, like Mr. and Mrs. Cardwell, step forward and offer their hard earned personal savings to support educational opportunities at the Matanuska-Susitna College. It is exciting news and we are happy to be the beneficiaries of their generosity.”

Source: Valley Couple Establishes New Mat-Su College Scholarship | Valley Life |

Alaska July Economic Trends

July2017TrendsJuly is the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development annual cost-of-living issue, detailing cost comparisons among Alaska communities and elsewhere as well as how much Alaska’s prices have gone up in the past year. Also in this issue is a look at Alaska’s gross domestic product (the value of all goods and services), which fell in 2016 for the fourth year in a row.

Read the July Alaska Economic Trends

Source: Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development