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UAF Prepares for International Polar Year

On Monday, Nov. 29 the University of Alaska Fairbanks held a workshop on the International Polar Year (IPY) at the Geophysical Institute. At the workshop faculty pooled ideas for possible roles UAF would take in IPY, designated from 2007--2008. During this year, scientists from around the world will conduct research to better understand all aspects of the Earth’s polar regions.

Twenty-six speakers presented possible topics for IPY research and collaborations were discussed that involve all facets of UAF. From political science and linguistics to Arctic biology and geophysics, there is an opportunity for many to have research endorsed by IPY.

Conveniently located in the Arctic, UAF and its mass of experts will have a tremendous opportunity to share their knowledge of the region to the world through IPY.

UAF Provost Paul Reichardt said, “We want to take a proactive role in IPY. We want to leave a lasting effect. With this workshop we can get a picture of how UAF can do that.”

“People are looking to Alaska to provide some leadership for the International Polar Year,” said Geophysical Institute Director Roger Smith. “UAF will shape Alaska’s participation in this and help provide a legacy.”

IPY is similar to the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957. IGY helped spur an international reputation for the university through the deep involvement of Associate Director of the Geophysical Institute Sydney Chapman. Roger Smith, the Institute’s current director, hopes the IPY of 2007--2008 will once again turn the international spotlight in UAF’s direction.

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