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Regents Wrap up Two-day Meeting

FAIRBANKS -- The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a request to name the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Life Sciences Building for noted conservationist Margaret “Mardy” Murie at the Dec. 6-7 meeting.

 In 1924, Murie was the first woman graduate of the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines, which eventually became the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her career as a naturalist and author spanned decades and earned her numerous awards and recognition as one of the founders of the conservation movement in the United States.

Most of the public testimony heard was from UAF students and professors supporting research and related fields. A highlight was a presentation by a group of seniors majoring in business of their plan for an online bachelor of arts degree in business administration through UAF. Stephanie Acevedo, Raphaela Sieber, Crystal Pitney and Kara LaRue completed the business plan for a small business course taught by Jim McDermott.

“They represented everything that is great about the university,” said Regent Mary Hughes. “Their presentation was the frosting on the cake today. We love what we do, but we do it for the students.”

The board also approved a resolution of appreciation for Carl Marrs, who has served on the board with distinction since 2005 and will be concluding his term in February 2013; a resolution to officially recognize the UAA alumni association; honorary degrees and meritorious service award nominees for spring 2013; and also approved a slate of names for the board of directors for the newly formed Nanook Innovation Corporation at UAF.

The board took action on several academic and student affairs items including approval of an associate of applied science in law enforcement at the University of Alaska Southeast and a bachelor of science in health sciences at University of Alaska Anchorage, as well as deletion of the master of arts in teaching in biology at University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The board also approved the establishment of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration – Research, Development, Test and Evaluation within UAF’s Geophysical Institute (UAF-GI). The university is poised to lead the nation in safely developing unmanned aircraft systems for a variety of commercial and research applications and to integrate them into the national airspace to meet growing economic demand. The Geophysical Institute began aggressively experimenting with these technologies several years ago and is rapidly becoming a world leader in unmanned aircraft systems technology.

UAF-GI has flown a variety of remote sensing instruments on several types and sizes of unmanned aircraft at multiple locations in Alaska for applications, some of which include: resource mapping; monitoring marine animals; fighting forest fires; mapping glaciers and sea ice.

Facilities and Land Management issues included formal project approvals for UAA library old core mechanical upgrades; UAF antenna installation Alaska Satellite Facility AS311; UAF West Ridge deferred maintenance phase 2 and UAA energy modules 1 & 2 mechanical renewal; schematic design approval for UAA Allied Health Sciences Building renovation phase 2 and UAA engineering and industry project; project change request for UAA Health Sciences Building; and the UAA campus master plan amendment for the engineering parking garage.

The board re-elected Regent Pat Jacobson of Kodiak to serve as chair for the next year; elected Regent Kirk Wickersham of Anchorage as vice-chair and Regent Mike Powers of Fairbanks as secretary; and re-elected Regent Jo Heckman of Fairbanks as treasurer.

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