FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Fairbanks has landed a $20 million research grant from the National Science Foundation, the university announced Tuesday.
The funds will support a five-year project dubbed Alaska Adapting to Changing Environments, or Alaska ACE. It will conduct interdisciplinary research into Alaska communities’ capacity to respond to environmental and social changes.
The project will include 19 core university researchers and will hire eight more. They will work with more than 20 additional researchers, with those involved coming from a variety of physical, biological and social science disciplines, according to UAF.
Alaska ACE research will focus on three regions. Research in Southcentral Alaska will examine the effects of land cover and precipitation changes on fisheries and tourism in the Kenai River watershed. Northern Alaska research will study how permafrost thaw and land cover change affect subsistence resources. In Southeast Alaska, the focus will be on glacial recession near Juneau.
A statewide working group will use results from the test cases to answer larger scientific questions about adaptation and to create tools for land and resource managers, according to UAF.
UAF Vice Chancellor for Research Mark Myers and University of Alaska Anchorage biology professor Lilian Alessa will serve as co-directors of the project.
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