Kodiak Embraces Commercial Harvest of Kelp – KMXT 100.1 FM

Commercial seaweed farming could be the hot new industry in Alaska, and Kodiak is getting in on it.

Blue Evolution, a company from the Lower 48 that turns seaweed into pasta products, has partnered up with both Alaska and out-of-state groups to harvest and process the super food in Kodiak.

According to Blue Evolution, the first harvest of the year in Ketchikan yielded less than expected because of high winds and otherwise bumpy weather. They’re holding out hope for Kodiak.

KMXT went with commercial fisherman Nick Mangini out into the waters of Trident Basin in the City of Kodiak.

Somewhere just beneath the surface of the ocean, his seaweed is ready for harvest.

Read the full article here.

Source: Kodiak Embraces Commercial Harvest of Kelp – KMXT 100.1 FM

Workforce Wednesday: Careers in Fabrication

Careers in fabrication involve taking raw materials and making something useful out of them. One example is making control systems for the oil and gas industry. Alaskans who are interested can also expect a decent salary.

Lynn Johnson, a director with Dowland Bach, says entry level welders start out at around $44,000 a year and can make up to $101,000. General fabricators make about the same, and engineers start at $70,000 and can make up to $162,000 a year.

Johnson said the type of person he looks for has to have a general aptitude for mechanical work and an excellent work ethic. He added that kind of person should also expect to go home at the end of the day proud that they built something with their hands. Johnson mentioned in the past 40 years he’s been proud to see the various things his company has built around Anchorage.

Martha Peck, with Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium, says Alaskans can get training in-state. The Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center (NACTEC) in Nome is a good place to start. Another is getting an apprenticeship with the Sheet Metal Workers Local 23 Union.

For a list of companies hiring or more information, you can head to APICC.org.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday video segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Careers in fabrication » KTVA 11

NSF Grant Aims to Support STEM Teacher Preparation in Alaska

A University of Alaska faculty team will develop a new scholarship program to support Alaskans who want to become secondary science, technology, engineering and math teachers.

A $74,000 National Science Foundation grant will allow the team to build the plan for a Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at the University of Alaska. The program will provide full scholarships to support Alaska STEM majors as they earn their teaching certificates.

“Students tell us over and over again that they need financial support for enrolling in a full-time teacher education program,” said Ute Kaden, one of the project leads and chair of the University of Alaska Fairbanks secondary education program. “Currently there are little to no funds available to support students who want to become teachers in Alaska.”

The state has a large number of small rural schools that grapple with high teacher turnover and an increasing demand for STEM instructors. Rural schools often have only one teacher responsible for teaching all the STEM subjects across multiple grade levels.

“This collaborative approach built on the expertise and resources of all three UA campuses will be sustainable and attractive,” Kaden said. “It has the potential to increase the number of Alaska-educated STEM teachers in a fiscally responsible, non-disruptive way.”

Other project leads include Steffi Ickert-Bond from the University of Alaska Museum of the North and Deborah Lo and Virgil Fredenberg from the University of Alaska Southeast.

The team will study successful programs at other universities, such as the UTeach program at the University of Texas at Austin. The model started in 1997 as a student-focused way to recruit STEM majors and prepare them to become teachers. Now in its 20th year, Ickert-Bond said, UTeach has been implemented at 44 universities in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Source: NSF grant aims to support STEM teacher preparation in Alaska – Alaska Business Monthly

KPC Teams Garner Silver and Bronze Medals at National Process Troubleshooting Competition

Kenai Peninsula College teams finished second and third in the 2017 National Troubleshooting Competition, April 21-22 at Lone Star College in Atascocita, Tex. The team from the Kenai River Campus (KRC) earned second place, while the Anchorage Extension Site (AES) team finished third. Last year, AES took second place and KRC placed third.

In March, 29 teams from across the country competed for the right to go to nationals. Those teams were narrowed down to eight, and two 3-person teams from AES and KRC advanced from that qualifying round.

Read the full article here.

Source: KPC teams garner silver and bronze medals at National Process Troubleshooting Competition – Green & Gold News

Seven Alaskans Awarded First-ever Teach for Alaska Presidential Scholarship

FAIRBANKS – University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen awarded seven young Alaskans with the first-ever Teach for Alaska Presidential Scholarship during a video conference with them today. The competitive scholarship, part of the university’s Drive the Change public awareness initiative, was open to all Alaska high school students planning to pursue a degree in education. Scholarship recipients hail from Angoon to Nome.

‘These very talented and dedicated young people are the kind of students we want at our university,’ Johnsen said, ‘and each demonstrates a strong desire to seek a career as a teacher and to nurture the next generation of young minds. Providing support and an educational path for Alaska’s future teachers is just one of the ways the university can continue to drive change in our state. We are honored to be able to support the higher education of not only one, but seven aspiring teachers as they pursue their career goals.’

The group of seven learned this week that they had been chosen as a finalist from a pool of 21 scholarship applicants, although it wasn’t until they convened for a video conference (video available here: http://www.alaska.edu/pres/teach-for-alaska-scholars/) from their hometowns with Johnsen that they learned each had been selected for the coveted four-year academic scholarship to study teaching at one of UA’s campuses.

‘You will be the educators of the future and you will be the ones who help drive change for your generation in Alaska,’ Johnsen said in awarding the scholarships.

Read the full article and see the list of winners here.

Source: University of Alaska System (via Public) / Seven Alaskans awarded first-ever Teach for Alaska Presidential Scholarship