New Nurse Balanced School with Pregnancy and a Newborn

Two days after finding out she was pregnant, newlywed Deanna Pavil got another big surprise — an acceptance letter to the nursing program hosted at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel.

At first, the thought of juggling pregnancy and a newborn baby with a challenging academic program seemed overwhelming. That’s when Pavil called her dad. Charles and Sharon Rodgers had always encouraged their daughter to follow her dreams.

“My dad gave me the push that I needed,” said Pavil, who grew up in Bethel. “He knew this was something I wanted to do, so he wouldn’t let me get off the phone until I said, ‘OK, I can do this.’ I couldn’t have gotten through the nursing program without the help and support of my mom and dad.”

Pavil’s family traveled to Anchorage when she was a high school junior when her grandmother needed open-heart surgery. The hospital staff’s caring actions inspired Pavil to dream of a career in health care. After graduating from Bethel Regional High School, she worked for four years in medical records at Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital. It wasn’t until Pavil started taking classes to become a certified nurse aide that she discovered her calling to be a nurse.

“I enjoyed working in medical records, but knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Pavil, who graduated with an associate of applied science degree in nursing in December 2016. “I wanted to do more to help people and make a difference in their lives. The same week I quit my job, I got a phone call about the CNA class.”

Bethel’s certified nursing assistant program is made possible by a community partnership between UAF’s Kuskokwim Campus, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. and Yuut Elitnaurviat, a regional vocational training center. Since 2013, the organizations have worked together to train local residents to fill needed certified nurse aide positions at the YKHC Elder Home. For many students like Pavil, Bethel’s CNA program is a stepping stone to earning an associate of applied science degree in nursing. It’s also a way for them to pursue a degree in health care without having to move away from home.

Read the full article here.

Source: New nurse balanced school with pregnancy and a newborn – UAF News and Information

Alaska Teachers Strengthen Science Education with Help from Alaska Sea Grant


Alaska Sea Grant helped sponsor a workshop for teachers in the Alaska capital in June as part of its mission to promote marine literacy.

Ten teachers from Juneau and Cordova gathered at Lena Point where the University of Alaska Fairbanks fisheries facility is located. They were there for a curriculum-writing workshop led by Marilyn Sigman and Peggy Cowan. An associate professor at UAF’s College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Sigman also serves as Alaska Sea Grant’s marine education specialist. Cowan is a former director of Alaska Sea Grant’s “Sea Week” program and former superintendent of the Juneau School District.

The workshop goal was to write lesson plans for Alaska Sea Grant’s Alaska Seas and Watersheds curriculum. The K–8 curriculum was developed by Alaska teachers to provide teaching resources with high-quality content focused on marine science topics.

“This curriculum was last revised by teachers in 2009 to be aligned with Alaska’s state science standards and to be available online. The task this time was to align with new national standards for science that include technology and engineering, and new state standards for math, English and language arts. In addition, we asked teachers to emphasize place-based content, including connections to local Alaska Native cultures,” Sigman said.

The lesson plans developed at the workshop are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, a national effort to improve content and the way science is taught in K–12 classrooms. In addition to learning about current marine research and writing lesson plans, the teachers piloted field-trip teaching activities at low tide on a Juneau beach on the last day of the workshop.

The field trip lessons will be used in Juneau and Cordova during Sea Week, the popular marine literacy program for K-8 students that originated in Juneau more than 40 years ago and evolved into the statewide Alaska Seas and Watersheds program. Beginning in the 1980s, Alaska Sea Grant expanded Juneau’s tradition statewide, continuing to emphasize field trips along with the use and celebration of the local environment and community partnerships to teach science and other subjects.

Four of seven Juneau School District teachers who participated in the June workshop were “second-generation” Sea Week-ers, having grown up doing Sea Week field trips every year during elementary school in Juneau, Hoonah, or Angoon. Three of the four teachers were Alaska Natives, members of the Tlingit tribe.

Hans Chester, who works as an Indian studies specialist, was among them. Chester emphasized the importance of integrating culture into education.

“Designing lesson plans that incorporate the cultural backgrounds of Alaska students is a powerful way to engage and teach them. Culture is everything we have, think and do as members of a society,” Chester said.

Other workshop participants included educators from community partners—a Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery in Juneau and the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova—who sponsor and provide Sea Week field trips.

The final lesson plans will be integrated into curricula in Juneau and Cordova school districts. The lessons will also be made available to teachers statewide through the Alaska Seas and Watersheds website and through professional development workshops that Alaska Sea Grant holds throughout the state.

Source: Alaska Sea Grant July Fishlines Newsletter

Alaska Sea Grant Fellows Earn Job Placement

FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Sea Grant Fellows program placed five people with one-year jobs in state and federal agencies, according to a University of Alaska Fairbanks news release.

Chelsea Clawson, who is working toward a master’s in fisheries at UAF, will work at the U.S. Geological Survey.

Genevieve Johnson, in the same master’s program, has a job lined up at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center.

Liza Mack, an indigenous studies Ph.D. candidate at UAF, will have a position that was created jointly by the North Pacific Research Board and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Landscape.

Danielle Meeker, a graduate student studying climate science and policy at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, will take a job in the office of the Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.

Kim Ovitz, a master’s student from the University of Maine, will work at the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service.

The Alaska Sea Grant Fellows program matches qualified graduate students with jobs in federal and state agencies in Alaska for one-year positions.

Source: Alaska Sea Grant Fellows Earn Job Placement | Local Business |

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

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