Fairbanks Wellness Coalition Suicide Prevention Needs Assessment Published

fwc-weblogo1Fairbanks Wellness Coalition completed its Suicide Prevention Needs Assessment December 7, 2015. The needs assessment process included review and analysis of secondary data sources related to suicide, substance abuse, and mental health issues in Fairbanks North Star Borough, prioritization of these three issues for the development of prevention programming, collection of additional secondary data related to consequences and risk and protective factors for the prioritized issue, and collection of primary data through surveys and key informant interviews to better understand community perceptions of the issue and readiness levels to address the prioritized issue. Read the full report.

Doyon Foundation Selected to Receive a Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance Grant

The Doyon Foundation received an Administration for Native American Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance grant in August 2016. The three year grant will help fund the Doyon Languages Online project, a partnership with 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning partially through software donated by Transparent Language. During the three-year grant project, a total of 280 introductory online lessons will be created for five of the Doyon languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa. Ultimately, the Foundation aims to create online courses for all of the Doyon region languages. The lessons will be made widely available to language teachers and learners in Alaska and throughout the United States. Language teachers will also receive training in using the lessons in local educational settings, from schools to homes to community events.

For more information visit the Doyon Foundation website: https://doyonfoundation.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/doyon-foundation-receives-900000-grant-for-language-revitalization/

Colors of Nature Highlighted by Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education

Broadening participation in science by integrating art with STEM

Posted by

Laura Conner November 10, 2016

Visual-spatial ability underlies success in both art and science, yet few girls with this talent go on to enter STEM careers. At the root of the problem is the story we often hear about girls and science: many don’t see science as relevant to their interests, and they often see science as rote, uncreative, and passionless. We launched “Project STEAM: Integrating art with science to build science identities among girls” (NSF DRL-1224020) to counteract these views and connect to the existing interests of artistic girls.

Continue reading the article: http://www.informalscience.org/news-views/broadening-participation-science-integrating-art-stem

Permafrost Tunnel Outreach Funded

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute received a four year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support an Innovations in Development project for Advancing Informal STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Learning (AISL).

The project, Hot Times in Cold Places: The Hidden World of Permafrost (PF-World), builds and expands on a half-century of climate-related education and outreach activities at the nation’s only research permafrost tunnel, located near Fox, Alaska. Using permafrost as a focus, the investigators will explore the power of immersive experiences and real objects to improve learning about climate change. At the same time, the project will broaden the reach of the tunnel, with its demonstrated ability to get people excited about permafrost, by developing programs and exhibits that will travel throughout Alaska and the rest of the U.S.

The project has four components: 1) development of a 2000 square-foot traveling exhibit that will tour the nation, starting with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland; 2) exhibit and program enhancements to the learning opportunities at the tunnel itself; 3) programs, table-top exhibits and oral history collection that will take place (over 4 years) in about 27 predominantly Native Alaskan villages; and 4) an education research study.

Professor Matthew Sturm is the principal investigator for the project. Research Assistant Professor Laura Conner is co-investigator, while Angela Larson, owner of the Goldstream Group, will serve as the external evaluator. Postdoctoral Fellow Santosh Panda and Senior Science Consultant Jessica Garron will take the Traveling Program ‘tunnel on the road’ to 27 small, remote and mostly native communities in Alaska on a rolling schedule.

Two key partners in the project are the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, who operates the tunnel, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), who will build the first-ever national travelling exhibit on permafrost. Vicki Coats of OMSI serves as a co-investigator on the project. The 2000 square-foot traveling exhibit is expected to be at three museums per year for eight years.

The overarching goal of the project is to engage the public in the topic of the nature and prevalence of permafrost, its scale on the earth and the important role it plays in the global climate.