STEM Advocates Build Network for Classrooms to Connect with Local Experts

Brenda Taylor addresses teachers and would-be collaborators at a SouthEast Exchange STEM networking event.
(Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

Holding the attention of tomorrow’s scientists and engineers can be tricky. Fortunately, Juneau is rife with professionals who work in those fields every day.

A group of local STEM — or science, technology, engineering and math — advocates is working on a database to make it easy for teachers to connect bookwork with real world work and find those professionals.

“From mining expertise and engineering, kind of geology, we have the glacial, we have University of Alaska Southeast, University of Alaska Fairbanks has fisheries here, we have NOAA fisheries, we have all the state organizations,” said Jordan Watson, a fisheries scientist at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. “We have so many different expertise here and in such a small town, it would seem a shame to not be using it in the classrooms.”

He and other members of SouthEast Exchange, or SEE, wanted to find a way to bring all of those resources to teachers. They hosted a networking event recently to help bridge that gap.

About 150 educators and STEM professionals came to network and register in SEE’s directory.

Read the full article here.

Source: STEM advocates build network for classrooms to connect with local experts – KTOO Public Media

Workforce Wednesday: Ahtna, Incorporated

This week on Workforce Wednesday, we sit down with Joe Bovee and Katie Finnesand of Ahtna, Inc., to find out about jobs in their region.

“The Ahtna region extends from the Canadian border, all the way to the Denali National Park, the Alaska Range, to the Chugach Mountains,” said Bovee.

When asked what sort of jobs in the region were available, Bovee mentioned work in natural resources, tribal agencies, state agencies, school districts and utilities. Bovee Estimated there were about 100 different jobs available. These jobs range from full time to seasonal.

When asked about educational requirements, Finnesand states that a preferred candidate would have: “An associates or bachelors degree in natural resources, or a related field such as biology, wildlife management, or environmental sciences.”

As far as pay, generally, expect a range of about $18 to $20 an hour for entry-level and up to $30 an hour for experienced candidates. These scales range over the numerous jobs available, though.

If you are interested in applying, contact Ahtna, Inc.

If you are interested in a career, or any we have featured on Workforce Wednesday, please contact Martha Peck at Alaska Process Industries Career Consortium.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Ahtna, Incorporated

Alaska Airlines Pledges Additional $1 Million to Support STEM Education in Rural Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Oct. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Alaska Airlines has renewed its partnership with the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) to provide a brighter future for middle school students from rural communities across the state of Alaska.

The second, three-year $1 million grant brings Alaska Airlines’ total investment in ANSEP to $2 million. Over the next three years, funds will help transport nearly 2,000 Alaska students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades to Anchorage to attend ANSEP’s award-winning Middle School Academy education program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

“We’re proud to see the continued success of ANSEP in fostering an interest in STEM education in the state of Alaska,” said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines’ regional vice president for the state of Alaska. “Our goal is to make sure that as many students as possible have the opportunity to attend this program. We know the skills these students gain by attending ANSEP will benefit their communities and the state of Alaska, while preparing them for future success.”

The ANSEP grants are among the largest financial donations Alaska Airlines has made in the state in its 85 years of operating in Alaska. In 2016, Alaska Airlines donated $3.6 million in cash and in-kind contributions to support more than 300 different nonprofit groups and organizations throughout the state.

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaska Airlines pledges additional $1 million to support STEM education in rural Alaska – PR Newswire

UAF Launches New Master’s Degree in Marine Studies

Weathered rocks adorn the shore of Kachemak Bay on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, with Augustine Volcano on the horizon. Photo by Brenda Konar

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has launched a new Master of Arts degree in marine studies to prepare graduates for science-based management jobs.

The program, created by the UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), gives students a background in scientific processes without requiring them to complete a research-based thesis. Students can select courses from the college’s oceanography and marine biology programs, and focus in marine ecology, organismal biology, ecosystem processes or oceanography.

The degree program provides students with the scientific background and training to be competitive in securing positions within state, federal and tribal organizations in Alaska and elsewhere.

The marine studies degree is primarily project-oriented, but students will still have access to excellent opportunities to conduct laboratory research and fieldwork within CFOS.

CFOS is now accepting applications for this program. Visit the CFOS website for more information on the program’s requirements.

CONTACTS: Lauren Frisch, 907-474-5350, and Brenda Konar, 907-474-5028,

Source: UAF launches new master’s degree in marine studies – Alaska Business Magazine

Workforce Wednesday: Seafood Processing

On this week’s Workforce Wednesday, a look at careers in seafood processing in Alaska, as well as who’s hiring and what you could make.

Dave Hatton, a rural Alaska recruiter, joined Daybreak to discuss the field and the opportunities for people looking for work.

“They can find themselves in a number of different positions,” Said Hatton of the job. “The slime line, sorting out the fish that come in, placing them on conveyor belts. They could be working case-up, where they take the processed fish and put them in boxes and ready them for shipment.”

The seafood that would be getting processed typically in the winter are pollock, crab, cod and halibut.

For some companies, according to Hatton, there is not an educational requirement to work in seafood processing, but stated that if you had previous experience, you were likely to be in a better position.

Companies looking to hire:

  • Unisea
  • Westwood Seafoods
  • American Seafoods
  • Arctic Storm
  • Aleutians Spray
  • Trident Seafoods
  • Glacier Seafoods
  • Coastal Village

Most of the available positions will have people beginning their work in January for the season.

As far as pay, an entry-level position could net you near $10 an hour, with a lot of built-in overtime due to long hours. Also, there are a lot of positions outside of the processing line that could be open to people who perform well.

If you need help starting a career, or are interested in any industry featured on Workforce Wednesday, you can always contact Martha Peck at Alaska Process Industries Career Consortium.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Seafood Processing – KTVA 11 – The Voice of Alaska