Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer 2014 Inside Out!

Sometimes the process of getting to know colleges and figuring out which school is "the one" can feel like an impossible task. Especially on top of a high school student's already busy schedule! However, UAF provides a fun-filled day of tours and activities, aimed at helping to answer to your toughest college questions. Discover UAF: Inside Out is a great way to get to know the UAF campus and our admissions process. By attending Inside Out, students get to meet staff and faculty from all over campus, and will be guided through the necessary steps to apply and enroll as a UAF student. This is also a family event, so bring your parents because we will have information and activities just for them!

This free event is happening Friday, June 27th, 2014 from 8:00 am to 3:15 pm! Be sure to register in advance! Registration closes Monday, June 23rd at 1:00pm.

Register Here!

Already admitted to UAF? We will be having on the spot registration to finish up any last minute to-dos before courses begin this fall. We are so excited to have you as apart of Nanook Nation!

The schedule for the day will include:

8:00 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. - Check-in and registration (Murie Lobby)
Come in and enjoy a light breakfast while checking in. Meet UAF’s schools and colleges to find out about some of our exciting degree programs.

8:40 a.m. - Welcome (Murie Auditorium)
Inspiration starts here. Find out the details of your day and what it’s like to be a part of Nanook Nation.

9:15 a.m. - STUDENTS: Mock Classes (Various Locations)
Catch a glimpse of what the classroom experience is like at UAF in a class taught by one of our distinguished faculty.

9:15 a.m. - PARENTS: Transitioning to College (Murie Building)
Every year millions of parents send their children off to college. This panel answers your questions about how we can work together to best support your child.

10:15 a.m. - Walking tours (Murie lobby)
Pack your comfortable shoes. This walking tour will take you through residence life, academic buildings and recreational facilities.
Accommodations are available for individuals with mobility challenges.

11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. - Choose Your Own Schedule
There are many options in college. Use this time to create your own schedule and check out a few of our inspiring opportunities, services and places:
On Your Own:
  • Lunch (Lola Tilly Commons) - Enjoy a buffet lunch at our campus dining hall.
  • Study away session 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (Wood Center C, D, E, F) - Learn more about the many ways UAF students can study away – either internationally or within the U.S.
  • Honors House (520 Copper Lane) - Drop by the Honors House to learn about both the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activities (URSA) programs.
  • URSA (Bunnell Building) - Visit URSA, our Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activities. Learn about research opportunities you can become involved with as an student.
  • Bookstore (Constitution Hall) - Take a break to check out the apparel in the bookstore. While there, learn about the different options for renting or buying textbooks.
  • Safety first! (Whitaker Building) - Visit the Whitaker Building - home of the UAF Police Station, the University Fire Department, University Health and Counseling and Disability Services.
  • Rural Student Services (Brooks Building) - Stop by to find out more on how RSS supports Alaska Native and rural students.
  • Student Support Services (514 Gruening Building) - Learn about scholarships, advising and resources available for first generation college students, limited-income college students and/or students with disabilities.

1:15 p.m. -1:45 p.m. - Shuttles will be running from lower campus Wood Center bus stop to Murie Building

2:00 p.m. - STUDENTS: UAF student panel (Murie Building) 
Student Ambassadors will answer your questions about why they chose UAF and what it’s really like to be a college student.

2:00 p.m. - PARENTS: Taking care of business panel (Murie Building)
Representatives from the offices of Admissions and the Registrar, Financial Aid, Residence Life, Student Support Services and the Office of the Bursar will de-mystify the details of successfully navigating the first year of college.

2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Reception (Murie lobby)
Enjoy some refreshments while you take a picture with the Nook!

For more details click here!

Whether you are already admitted or just beginning to think about college, UAF's Inside Out has something for everyone. We can't wait to have you on campus and introduce you to our world and show you that when you are apart of Nanook Nation, you are apart of something bigger!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Collegiate Wind Turbine Competition in Las Vegas

Hey guys!
I haven't posted a blog post in a while, but I hope you enjoy this read.

Over the year, UAF's engineering students have been involved in a collegiate wind turbine competition that had been started for the first time this year by the Department of Energy (DOE). The team consisted of 8 Mechanical, 2 Electrical, and 1 Business student. This whole project started first by the Mechanical Engineering Professor Rorik Peterson. He had heard about this project and applied to participate. DOE had only 10 Universities participate in this event in which we were fortunate to be one of them. One of the reasons we were chosen is because of our climate and characteristics of our State.

The picture above is a photo of our wind turbine team, "The Blades of Glory". We had first thought of "Breaking Wind" as our team name, but had to change due to some issue.

The picture above is a photo of our electrical components mounted to our generator.

The above picture is our fully built wind turbine getting ready to be test run in Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Conference Room. This room literally reminds me of a huge airplane manufacturing building.

 Here is another picture of our turbine in which this has another electrical component that got attached. If you look closer you can see that electrical tape is all over our turbine, and we had good reasons for this. Trust me... I'm an Engineer.
Here is another photo showing the front of the turbine and the blades with a cone. The blades were 3D printed with AVS 3D printing material. At first we were not building the blades to withstand high wind speeds and it would explode! The operating turbine would spin dangerously in which one can imagine its power being compared to a high powered rifle.

Right now as I am making this blog post, we are attending the turbine competition in Vegas. We are very fortunate to have all of the team members participate and help each other to finish this project. I encourage students to participate in cool projects like these if you ever get to hear about them because you learn a lot through experience.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Renaissance Person

Renaissance Person

How Model UN has helped me to be a more well-rounded person

Last week, I was in New York City at the National Model United Nations conference. I am a civil engineering student, and at a conference full of International Relations and Political Science students, that made me something of an odd duck. I think that one of the purposes of education is to generate well rounded citizens, and that part of that process is trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone. One of the awesome things UAF offers is the opportunity to do just that, and I’d encourage you to give it a try.

There's plenty of opportunities to try something new, but I thought I'd tell you some about my experiences with UAF’s Model United Nations (MUN). MUN is a student organization comprised of students from a range of majors across the University. It is one of the oldest student organizations at UAF and is committed to educating students about policy making, and international affairs and organizations.

My assigned committee was the United Nations Environmental Programme, where I represented the Republic of Chad (also spelled Tchad). The committee addressed topics related to sustainable green transportation, hazardous waste management, and South to South cooperative agreements related to the environment. As a civil engineering student, I was familiar with the technical challenges of those topics, but had never approached the policy questions. I was barely familiar with Chad, and hadn't considered environmental topics from the perspective of a developing nation before. The club challenged me to research and consider those topics in a structured environment.

I joined for the opportunity to explore the policy decisions made on an international level, particularly in relation to rural development, here and abroad. I have an interest in rural development as a future career. My research into environmental topics in Chad gave me a lot of information on resources and areas for further study in my university career I would never have otherwise considered. I also believe a better understanding of the underlying abilities and motivations of political bodies such as the United Nations will help to equip me to advocate for the changes I wish to see in the world in the future. The skill building aspects also appealed to my desire to be an independent, well rounded individual. I think that the skills in research, persuasion and oration developed and honed through activities like Model United Nations help to develop skills I find valuable, regardless of my future career path. The travel possibility was also a strong motivator for me.

I sponsored two working papers, one of which went on to become a passed resolution by the committee. Sponsoring a paper includes brainstorming ideas, negotiating with other sponsors, writing, rewriting, editing, and merging the working papers, and doing extensive outreach and advocacy to garner the necessary votes for the working papers to become resolutions. I worked into the night, during caucuses (informal sessions that allowed me to talk to other delegations), and through meals over two days with my coalition (comprised of African and Middle Eastern nations, led by myself, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, and Uganda) to be able to complete our working papers in time to bring it to a vote. I also was a signatory to three other working papers, meaning I formally lent my support to efforts to bring the proposals to a vote, and all of the proposals I signed became resolutions. I spoke three times in the speaking roster. A picture of one of these times is on the left. I had three motions passed (for adjournment, for a caucus, and for a vote by acclamation), and one fail (to reduce speaking time to 45 seconds). I spoke twice for 15 seconds to defend reducing speaking time to 45 and 50 seconds, respectively. During voting, I also spoke for one resolution (to which I was a signatory), and against another (which advocated biofuel mandates I did not believe Chad would agree with, and additionally had measures that seemed to conflict with the underlying Rio principles of common but differentiated responsibilities). I volunteered as a page on the afternoon session of the second day. I even did a poster for research day about the conference.  Overall, I had an unusual, educational experience that, even though the focus was on a different degree, still taught me things that I think will be useful in my own discipline.  It's a great feeling, to know you stepped outside of your area of expertise and still excelled.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to explore New York, too. My favorite thing was the variety of exotic restaurants and entertainment opportunities that New York has to offer. The day or so at the end for exploration was an awesome experience. Over the course of the conference, I visited the 9/11 memorial, Chinatown, Freedom Tower, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty (pictured below), Central Park, Time Square, Coney Island (pictured above), and saw Cinderella on Broadway.

The worst part of the trip was the lines. Lines everywhere! Lines in the elevator, lines for the elevator, lines at the airport, lines for the restaurants, lines for information, lines to go into the UN building…lines. You can see a picture of one of the longer lines (for Closing Ceremonies at the actual United Nations complex) below. Lines were a huge time waste, and very annoying. Pretty much unavoidable though, in a city of that size.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Majestic Ice Arch

by Valerie

Charles Bunnell enjoys winter with a snowy friend. Photo by Valerie Schleich

One thing everyone talks about when referencing UAF is the weather. We live in Fairbanks, Alaska, so it makes sense that such an extreme part of our lives are always also on the tip of our tongue. Whether a seasoned Alaskan or a recent transplant experiencing 40 below for the first time, the extreme weather provides a ton of fun and unique opportunities at UAF.

Sorry about the finger in the picture, but this is the 2014 Ice Arch in all its glory. Photo by Valerie Schleich
 One of the coolest winter things that happen on campus is the annual construction of the UAF Ice Arch. Every year, UAF engineering students enter their design to the Ice Arch competition. Each contestant needs to submit calculations on the proposal to show that the ice arch will be stable and buildable. The winning design is chosen and a team works on constructing the design from the ground up! The Ice Arch sits in the circle of flags, in front of the engineering buildings on campus. They're beautiful!
2014 Ice Arch designed by Andy Chamberlain. Photo by Denali Critchett
Because each year is a new competition, with fresh engineers, the ice arches change dramatically from year to year. Engineering students experiment with architecture, building materials, and construction techniques. Here's a photo of the 2012 Ice Arch:

Denali heads to class with the 2012 ice arch in the background. Photo by Marina Critchett
The 2013 Ice Arch was made of Pykrete, a mixture of sawdust and water. The result is a more structurally sound building material. It looks a little different than pure ice!
2013 Ice Arch designed by Ryan Cudo. Photo by Todd Paris
To see more pictures of Ice Arches through the years, you can look at ASCE's website. ASCE sponsors the construction of the Ice Arch each year.

The Ice Arch adds a lot of beauty to the campus, especially in the frigid months. The competition is such a cool, student-run project!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Undergraduate Research: Much More Than A Lab

by Nicole

I'm taking this post to deviate a bit from my usual theme of dorm life. Dorm life provides a good base for exploration for students on campus; having their living quarters so close to their academics allows for residents to branch easily in campus activities while minimizing the horrors of transportation costs (or the frigid weather, in most cases). These activities include athletics, clubs and student organizations, and (the one I am going to develop here today), undergraduate research.

UAF prides itself on a strong hands-on approach to learning both in and out of the classroom. The tough environment and consistent challenges mean that students often have to get creative in order to succeed; a good example of this is a sight we often highlight on our campus tours: the steel drivers displayed in the Duckering building, home to the College of Engineering and Mines. These drivers represent the struggle to reconcile the will of man and the tenacity of the Alaskan landscape, especially the tundra. In attempt to drill into permafrost, these once gargantuan towers of steel became malleable as paper cups. The drivers crushed into themselves, unable to pierce the permafrost surface. It would have appeared that the tundra had won; far from the libraries and laboratories that had once served as resources, these researchers had to find a solution on their own. Eventually they did, by changing their methods to allow the tips of the drivers to freeze into the permafrost before proceeding. This mindset characterizes what UAF hopes to inspire in its students: the idea that the unconventional and the creative solutions can often be what jettisons progress. Innovation is both a tradition and a necessity to this campus.

This is the section where I hoped to convey all the different projects being developed on campus, but even as I write this I know, were I to list every single one, the compiled list would be an absolute tome. Projects are in constant development, being mulled, being planned, or are currently in progress. The extensive facilities and limitless projects allow for innumerable research topics to be explored. These locations include:

  • the agricultural farm just off campus, testing various crops and methods for Alaskan conditions
  • the viral laboratory examining pathogens
  • the bottom floor of the campus museum—this floor is lined with laboratories continually in action, including archeology, ornithology, entomology, and paleontology (just to name a few)
  • Reichardt chemistry, geology, and physics laboratories
  • pathology, wildlife, botany, and fisheries labs in O'Neill and Arctic Health Research Center
  • and more!

I've dipped my own toe into these waters, and now have the quirkiest, dirtiest, and helpful memories that I've gathered from my college career. I've spliced hundreds upon hundreds of seedlings to incur their growth; I've mixed chemicals like ingredients in a recipe; I've measured and identified fish samples taken straight from the mouths of puffins (for the record—they don't smell any better fourteen years later); I've scrubbed an ancient skull (from a dinosaur whose name I still can't seem to pronounce) with a toothbrush until it gleamed. Most of the time I've stumbled into these opportunities, and they've given me valuable experience that have prepared me for my career after graduation.
A frilled-dinosaur nose bone, scrubbed clean with a toothbrush and Vinac-ed until it shines!

This is what a squid looks like after being frozen for 14 years. He's still lookin' beautiful!

 I would recommend anyone with the drive or purely the curiosity to investigate this opportunity to themselves. There's a niche for anyone willing to try and eager to learn, no matter the level of experience or class ranking. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Arctic Winter Games College Fair

The Arctic Winter Games are in full swing in Fairbanks this week, and as a community sponsor, UAF is rolling out the red carpet to athletes and spectators. During the games, UAF and UArctic, along with the Arctic Winter Games, will host the first ever Arctic Winter Games College Fair in Fairbanks.

Athletes, their parents, and community members can learn about higher education opportunities in the circumpolar North. The college fair will take place from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19th, in the Great Hall on the Fairbanks campus. Door prizes and refreshments will be provided during the fair including an iPad giveaway.

Schools from all around the circumpolar North will be attending, including the Arctic University of Norway, University of Saskatchewan, Ilisimatusarfik - University of Greenland, Ilisagnk College, Alaska Pacific University, The Northern Arctic Federal University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Anchorage and University of Alaska Southeast.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Inside Out is coming SOON!!!

by Valerie

The decision of where to go to college is a tough one, and the road leading to that decision is full of questions. Luckily, UAF gives prospective students the opportunity to see college from the INSIDE OUT, ask questions about everything from research to roommates, and get a first-hand view of what going to college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is really like. 

Inside Out is happening on March 14th! It's free, but you need to register in advance. Registration closes March 10 (that's next week!) so click on this link to register!

If you already know you want to apply to UAF, take advantage of the Inside Out On-The-Spot Admissions! UAF will waive the application fee if you apply and get your transcripts in more than 2 days before the date! (click here for more details) 

If you aren't sure you want to apply, Inside Out is still a great way to experience a college campus--you can see how it measures up to your other options!

Students from Inside Out last year on their way to mock classes. Photo by JR Ancheta

The schedule for the day is going to be filled with fun! Here's what the schedule looks like! (for more details, you can look here)

7:45 a.m.Check-In and Registration 
  • A casual social atmosphere to start your morning right with coffee or tea.
8:40 a.m. Welcome 
  • Learn what it means to be a Nanook!
For these students, being a Nanook means being involved in the Aerial Silks Club! Photo by Todd Paris

9:15 a.m. Mock Classes
  • Find out more about the schools and colleges within UAF which interests you most.
10:15 a.m. Walking Tours
  •  Get acquainted with the layout of UAF.
11:45 a.m. -1:45 p.m. Choose your own Schedule
  •  Individually choose sessions on what you want to learn more about!
 2:00 p.m. UAF Student Panel
  • Ask current students your burning questions and get their honest answers.  Send parents to the the "Taking Care of Business Panel" to let them ask the serious questions.
Mathew peeks into a tent during hunger and homelessness awareness week. Photo by Todd Paris.

 3:00 p.m. Grand Finale! (a bundle of surprises we can't tell you about yet. Hint: it involves cookies!)

This is really a great chance to see what it's like to be in college. Whether you are have your heart set on coming to UAF or you've barely started to think about going to college at all, Inside Out gives you a chance to experience college, for real. It's also fun! We can't wait to meet you, and hope to see you there! 
Nanook wants YOU to come to Inside Out! Photo by Todd Paris