Week of the Arctic Showcases UAF Energy Research

Hundreds of delegates from around the world were in Fairbanks for the Arctic Interchange.

For researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), the global spotlight is a chance to showcase their work on sustainable energy.

UAF research professor George Roe said right now the diesel generator is the backbone of villages around Alaska. He and his colleagues at the Alaska Center for Power and Energy (ACEP) want to change that.

“We’ve got wind, we’ve got solar,” Roe explained to a group of international journalists, as he showed them around the facility.

Engineers at ACEP can replicate wind streams, river currents and solar energy in the lab and test systems before they’re sent to rural Alaska.

Roe said renewable energy work being done in the Last Frontier can be applied all over the world.

“Alaska’s motto is: North to the future,” Roe said. “We’re required, almost mandated to share what we’re learning and to find opportunities to work with other people and learn from them as well.”

Roe points to Kodiak as a city leading the way in sustainability. Nearly 100 percent of the community’s energy needs are supplied by a combination of wind and water.

“It’s a huge knowledge export opportunity for the state. And in this time of economic diversification, taking this Alaskan know-how and sharing it with other remote communities,” Roe said.

Watch the news segment and read the full article here.

Source: Week of the Arctic showcases UAF Energy Research » KTVA 11

Q&A with Jim Johnsen, President, University of Alaska – Alaska Business Monthly – May 2017

Alaska Business Monthly: One goal of the University of Alaska’s Strategic Pathways is to develop a highly skilled workforce for Alaska jobs. How many students will graduate from the University of Alaska this May?

Jim Johnsen: While we won’t have exact numbers until late May, we anticipate approximately 4,700 students to graduate from the University of Alaska (UA) in 2017. We’re very proud of our graduates and we look forward to watching them grow into Alaska’s next generation of leaders. That said, there’s more we need to do. Our state is currently facing a variety of challenges, and we believe that education and innovation will drive the change that we need to build the Alaska of tomorrow. The single most important factor in building a competitive and sustainable economy in Alaska is developing our talent. UA does that by providing high quality, affordable, and accessible academic and vocational programs.

By 2025, 65 percent of the jobs in our economy are projected to require workers to have some post-secondary training. The last time this was measured, Alaska met 37 percent of this need. If K-12, vocational programs, other Alaska institutions, and UA education can prepare Alaskans for these jobs, Alaskans will fill them. Otherwise, Alaska will continue to face a shortage of skilled employees and will need to import labor from outside or do without even as unemployment in Alaska continues to rise. We’re working to inspire Alaskans to join us in meeting this 65 percent by 2025 goal with a new, privately-funded campaign. Alaskans can find out more and sign up to be part of the change that Alaska needs at www.drivechangeak.org.

Read the full interview here.

Source: Q&A with Jim Johnsen, President, University of Alaska – Alaska Business Monthly – May 2017 – Anchorage, AK

UAF Announces Recipients of Microgrid Competition Awards

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has announced the winners of its first Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization industry competition.

UniEnergy Technologies, a flow battery company based in Mukilteo, Washington, will receive the Microgrid Project laboratory testing award. The award includes 25 dedicated lab days, consultation with staff and testing in the Power Systems Integration Lab at the UAF Alaska Center for Energy and Power. The lab can evaluate equipment under a range of real-world scenarios and emulates the microgrids and operating conditions found in rural Alaska.

“With the accelerating deployment of microgrids globally, including in cold-weather climates, the need for long-duration and long-life energy storage solutions such as UET’s advanced vanadium flow batteries is now widely-recognized,” said Russ Weed, UET’s vice president for business development and marketing. “We very much appreciate the Microgrid Competition award and anticipate working closely with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power.”

The university is also awarding two Technology Seed awards: one to Ocean Renewable Power Company, a marine renewable technology and project developer with headquarters in Portland, Maine, and one to DONμT Energy Technologies from Palo Alto, California, a software developer focusing on robust microgrid design tools. These awards include 125 hours of technical consultation with the PSI team.

The companies were selected from a competitive pool of applicants and based on the review and recommendations of an independent panel of technical and commercialization experts.

The Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization, led by ACEP, was launched in August 2015 with funding through the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the University of Alaska. It focuses on providing the technical and business assistance required to accelerate commercialization of technology to improve the affordability and reliability of microgrid energy systems. The University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute partners with ACEP on the center.

Navigant Research and GTM Research have estimated that microgrids could be a multi-billion-dollar global market over the next decade. In 2016, the Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization launched the industry competition to help entrepreneurs in the western United States move their concepts toward commercialization so U.S.-based companies could capture those local and global microgrid markets.

Another round of the competition ​is planned for summer 2017.  Additional information will be posted on the ACEP website.

Source: UAF News


CAEPR Releases Report on the Cost of Teacher Turnover in Alaska

Alaska faces challenges recruiting and retaining educators, especially in its rural and remote communities. A new report, “The cost of teacher turnover in Alaska” by Dayna Jean DeFeo, Trang Tran, Diane Hirshberg, Dale Cope and Pam Cravez, details the costs associated with teacher turnover and calculates an average per-teacher cost in four categories: separation, recruitment, hiring and induction. It details actual dollars allocated to these activities and makes recommendations for policy and practice. Download the report at the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research website.

Source: CAEPR releases report on the cost of teacher turnover in Alaska – Green & Gold News

Alaska Sea Grant Hosts Free Science Symposium in Kodiak

Alaska Sea Grant will host the Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium from April 18-21 at the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center. The event connects the Kodiak community to regional marine science research.

The symposium provides a forum for researchers to share their findings with other scientists and the public. It also offers an opportunity for fishermen and other residents to understand how Kodiak’s marine environment and resources function, change and affect them. In addition, the symposium can help researchers plan integrated, cooperative and community-inspired marine research.

Topics will include climate change and its effects on Alaska fisheries and seabirds, underwater archaeology, marine debris removal, socioeconomic risks of military training in the Gulf of Alaska, ocean acidification and paralytic shellfish poisoning. The subject matter will be organized thematically, with a cross-disciplinary approach to encourage dialogue among disciplines.

This is the third Kodiak symposium; it was most recently held in 2014. New this year, each session will be followed by a facilitated discussion to engage participants.

The symposium is free and open to the public. An agenda and more information are available online.

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education and outreach program operated as a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agents provide assistance that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve and enjoy marine and coastal resources.

Source: Alaska Sea Grant hosts free science symposium in Kodiak – Alaska Business Monthly