Did you know UAF and the U.S. Army are Spearheading a 10-Year Environmental Partnership?

November 14, 2023

The University of èƵ Fairbanks will provide environmental services to Fort Wainwright under a new 10-year partnership agreement. Services may range from surveys of threatened and endangered species, wetlands, and archaeological sites, to natural resource management and water and air quality compliance. 

Why This Matters:

The UAF and U.S. Army partnership sets a crucial example by facing environmental challenges head-on. It's a move towards community solutions, emphasizing local expertise, innovation, and shared responsibility in shaping the future of environmental care.

By The Numbers:

UAF and the U.S. Army kick-off the 10-year agreement with a $3 million contract, with UAF receiving 17.5% of the total value.

Research Opportunities:

Research initiatives include anthropology staff conducting digs on archaeological sites and hydrology students tracking PFAS movement in underground water across the 1.6 million acres of Army lands.

The team will consist of 12 full-time UAF employees and 6 full-time student employees throughout the year, supported by an additional 18 student employees during the summer field season.

Cost-Efficiency and Workforce Development:

Beyond Ft. Wainwright's immediate needs, this partnership signifies a shift towards intergovernmental agreements, known for their cost-effectiveness. 

The broader implications extend to job opportunities for researchers who wish to stay in Fairbanks and a model for future environmental stewardship collaborations.

Future Expansion:

This collaboration with the U.S. Army extends beyond revenue, opening doors for potential partnerships with the Air Force and laying the groundwork for broader community engagement.

Zoom In:

Credit goes to key figures like Nettie La Belle-Hamer, UAF's Vice Chancellor for Research, whose vision propelled UAF's action, and UAF’s Director of Military & Veteran Services Tom Hough. Matthew Sprau, Chief of Planning, and Robert Larimore, Chief of Fort Wainwright Environmental Division also played pivotal roles in establishing the agreement.

Zoom out:

This collaboration is just the beginning. Beyond the financial gains, this agreement positions UAF as a hub for environmental research and mitigation planning, creating job opportunities and contributing to talent acquisition for the military. 

As the partnership evolves, it promises a sustainable and mutually beneficial alliance, embodying the spirit of community, innovation, and shared responsibility in the University of èƵ System.

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