This Scientific Program Order (SPO) supports the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Educational Outreach Program and related activities. Specifically, this SPO will support visiting scientists at (UCAR), postdoctoral research in ocean modeling, summer employment programs, and workshops involving the atmospheric community.
The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) proposes a three-year project to develop and implement the Rural Alaskan Sanitation Education Program. The project establishes a centralized educational center at the UAS Sitka Campus, as well as a system for dissemination of curriculum to teachers and students in remote villages throughout the state. The program is modeled on the recommendations of the federal Field Working Group on Rural Alaska Sanitation Problems and represents a cooperative effort of secondary/postsecondary educators, Native leaders and those state and federal agencies responsible for environmental sanitation programs in the State of Alaska. The program addresses a critical public health need, throughout Alaska and other rural settings, for sanitation technicians and environmental scientists. It is designed to establish cultural awareness of the linkage between the environment and public health, engaging village youth as agents of change. The program will provide a cross-disciplinary curriculum in an articulated 2+2 tech-prep format for grades 1114. Curriculum components encompass an academic core (math, written and oral communications, social science); laboratory science (chemistry, microbiology, geology, climate) and systems technology (hydraulics, mechanics, electronics). Students will complete a systematic program leading from secondary diploma to postsecondary associate degree, along with field experience necessary to achieve technician certification under Alaska regulations for operation of water and wastewater treatment, distribution and collection systems. An academic and career counseling program, based on professional mentoring and service learning, will assure that students completing the program are prepared both for transfer to baccalaureate degree programs and for transition into the work force in rural Alaska.
(POLARIS), the Project On Leading Alaska Reform In Science, is a four-year program to effect comprehensive science education reform in schools along the length of the Alaska Highway, from Kenai to Fairbanks. Sixty leader teachers, from grades seven through nine, will participate in a series of two six-day academies each summer, a three-day winter short course and ten follow-up meetings during the academic year. Workshop content and pedagogy will be merged so that teachers will learn in a format that their students are expected to use. The science content will be guided by local needs, national science education reform efforts and the emerging National Research Council (NRC) standards. Reflecting its comprehensive nature these teachers also will learn assessment techniques, applications of technology and leadership skills and strategies. Other middle and high school science teachers in the participating districts will be included in the project through intensive workshop experiences lasting 105 hours. These second tier workshops will be conducted by the leader teachers. The Anchorage School District will be the lead district. The extraordinary contrast between urban centers and road-accessible, remote rural communities will be alleviated by partnering the resources of each by using electronic networks.
The Earth Systems Implementation Project is the culmination of an elementary science reform effort which was first initiated by an Anchorage School District's (ASD) elementary teacher in 1992, and which builds on the system's award winning elementary science program. The effort has involved administrators, parents and community members from the major Alaskan science professions working with teachers to develop an advanced K6 inquiry-based hands-on science curriculum. This new curriculum, made up of modules from nationally validated elementary science materials development projects, will be implemented in each of the district's 58 elementary schools. To accomplish this, the project will provide approximately 1,000 elementary school teachers with the content and teaching strategies needed to implement the program. The project also will involve over 2,000 parents working directly with teachers in support of the project. Cost sharing will be 69% of the NSF funds.
This three-year project is designed for seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade Alaskan Eskimo and Indian children. It is strengthened by links with Native American cultures and traditions. Each year's camp is a five-week hands-on exploration of science and math applications to the Alaskan environment and major related careers. Professional role models and mentors are important components. School year follow-up and mentoring is provided for each student. The program's purpose is to provide students with basic tools to choose science and math courses, stay with their studies, achieve in their studies, and graduate to further science studies or careers. A summary of objectives and significances is: (1) allowing 50 middle school age Alaska Native students each year to remain in school and pursue appropriate science and math studies, including a five-week hands-on camp with highly motivating interactive science and math experiences and extended on-site field trips to prepare them for academic school year curriculum; (2) providing students with experiential knowledge of Alaskan environment, geology, climate, ecology, habitats and technologies coincident to Alaskan science careers; (3) developing student skills and application of knowledge embedded in the natural and cultural world which surrounds them; and (4) providing ongoing guidance and career exposure for academic and career preparation in Alaska-based scie nce and engineering professions.
This is a cooperative agreement to fund a multidisciplinary effort linking research in computer science, behavioral science, and upper atmospheric and space science to build a prototype system for a distributed but shared working environment; the vision of a collaboratory. This effort conceives, develops, deploys, tests, evaluates, and integrates a high-performance, group-centered computing environment into the collaborative experimental and modeling activities ongoing in the upper atmospheric research community. The upper atmospheric researchers here are a collaborating group engaged in observational activities using a variety of instruments located at the Sondre Stromfjord, Greenland, upper atmospheric research facility. Many of these activities are directed at rare, or intermittent, phenomena requiring real time control of instruments by the scientists observing the changing conditions. This is presently accomplished by visits to the remote facility. To prototype test and evaluate the distributed tools for collaboration, research under this agreement will develop a user-oriented, rapid prototyping testbed built around the Sondre Stromfjord facility and its user community. Testing and evaluation of the prototype tools will involve measurements of human behavior.
This program would provide an organized opportunity for undergraduates in a relatively isolated geographical area to gain research experience in environmental chemistry and biochemistry. A diversified approach centering around environmental and biotechnical applications of chemistry and biology is proposed in which students work with committed faculty. This research focus, spotlighting chemical and biochemical components of environmental and ecological studies specific to high-latitudes, is appropriate for undergraduates. Core disciplines in chemistry and biochemistry are well represented with projects. Research projects include environmental chemistry, molecular evolution, bioinorganic chemistry, molecular biology of marine organisms and atmospheric chemistry. The program will recruit undergraduate students who are majoring in chemical or biological science, and encourages women and minorities, such as Native Alaskans, who are attending the University of Alaska to apply. We wish to continue our cross-cultural approach in which Alaskan students exchange scientific and social perspectives with students from the lower 48. A summer seminar series by both local faculty and visitors is included in our program to increase the exposure of the students to a wide range of chemistry and biochemistry. Ethics and honor in science discussions also are held weekly, and outside speakers will be invited. Evening workshops on graduate school admission and selection, as well as discussions of career opportunities will be held. We also will develop an improved follow-through and tracking of students to monitor what careers the students pursued.