Students

Students at the Geophysical Institute study and conduct research across several departments, colleges and disciplines. Undergraduate and graduate students can probe topics in atmospheric science, remote sensing, seismology, lidar, snow, ice, glaciers, permafrost, planetary science, space physics, geochronology, tectonics and sedimentation, volcanology, satellite data, climate change, high performance computing or use of unmanned aircraft systems. 

Contact individual departments or research units for more information. 

Life at the Geophysical Institute 

The Geophysical Institute is located on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. An extensive trail system next to the GI is maintained for running and cycling in the summer. In the winter the trails are lighted and professionally groomed for cross-country skiing. Our students are active outdoors and take advantage of Alaska's limitless wilderness opportunities, often in conjunction with their research. 

Cost of Living in Alaska

See the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development to learn more about relocating to Alaska. This site covers community information, cost of living differences (weekly food and utility costs, average rentals, fuel prices), relocation analysis, employment information and links to the weather.

UAF offers student housing. Options for living on campus include single student housing, family and employee housing, graduate student and nontraditional housing. More information about the cost and availability of off-campus rentals is available on Craig's List.

Financial Aid

Financial support is available within the university system. Please visit the UAF Financial Aid Office for more information or speak with an admissions counselor for additional help. Information about teaching assistantships, fellowships and other types of financial aid can also be found through the Financial Aid Office.

Geophysical Institute Graduate Student Association/GIGSA

The Geophysical Institute Graduate Student Association is colloquially know as GIGSA. We are the unified voice of the graduate student body at the GI. Our main role as an organization is to advocate for graduate students. GIGSA also organizes a variety of activities and opportunities; these include the monthly Pizza Seminar, the fifth floor Snack Shop, Travel Grants, Wednesday summer cookouts, and a book sale.

Learn More About Fairbanks

Explore Fairbanks provides up-to-date information about visiting and living in Fairbanks. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner provides news about Fairbanks and Alaska.

GIGSA

The Geophysical Institute Graduate Student Association is colloquially know as GIGSA. We are the unified voice of the graduate student body at the GI. Our main role as an organization is to advocate for graduate students.

Get Involved!
Are you interested in participating in GIGSA activities? Join our Google Group to learn about current graduate student issues we’re working to resolve and other exciting activities in the GI graduate student world.

Pizza Seminar Series

The Pizza Seminar Series is organized by GIGSA students during the fall and spring semesters to inform a broad audience about current research, promote interdisciplinary work across research groups and encourage collaboration among scientists within the GI. The seminar is held on the second Monday of the month at noon in the Elvey Globe Room. Pizza is available at $2 per slice to raise money for the GIGSA Student Travel Grant.

If you are interested in giving a talk or have a suggestion for a speaker please contact the seminar coordinator at sli11@alaska.edu or amiezzi@alaska.edu. For more information about giving a presentation check out GIGSA Seminar Series Goals and GIGSA Seminar Speaker Guidelines.

GIGSA Activities

Book Sale
Every year GIGSA hosts a book sale in the Elvey Globe Room. Proceeds benefit the graduate student travel fund. A wide selection of books are available to fit interests both academic and personal of students and employees from every discipline. These books are from the UAF library system and are offered at very reasonable prices.

Volunteers are needed to run the sale, and volunteers get first dibs on the books! Join the GIGSA Google Group to learn more about this volunteer opportunity.

Cookouts
Though the time for cookouts in Fairbanks is short, GIGSA takes full advantage of it! Every Wednesday during the summer and beginning of fall semester while the weather is nice, join us behind Elvey to cook burgers and enjoy the company of others of like mind. A burger with toppings is $5; money not spent on supplies goes to the travel fund.

GIGSA Snack Shop

GIGSA students run and maintain a shop in 501C Elvey offering a variety of drinks and snacks. All items are under $3.00, with many $1.00 or less. Sodas, energy drinks, bottled water, coffee, ice cream, chips, candy, soups, noodles and much more are available. Our shop operates on an honesty policy. All the items are clearly labelled, just total the cost and deposit cash in the designated box.

All of the proceeds from the snack shop provide financial support to the GIGSA Travel Grant.

Contact Us

Join the GIGSA Google Group to learn about current graduate student issues we’re working to resolve and other exciting activities in the GI graduate student world.

General Inquiries
Do you have general questions about GIGSA? Please email your questions to cgcarr@alaska.edu or amiezzi@alaska.edu.

Pizza Seminar
For specific questions and feedback related to the Pizza Seminar series please contact our seminar coordinator at sli11@alaska.edu or amiezzi@alaska.edu.

Travel Grant
Information about the travel grant can be found here. If you have questions please contact our Travel Grant committee chair at mchandnani@alaska.edu or cgcarr@alaska.edu

 

GIGSA Travel Grant

The GIGSA Graduate Student Travel Fund provides financial assistance to graduate students presenting their own research at a national or international conference or workshop. Travel for purposes other than conferences or workshops, such as for collaboration with colleagues at other institutes, may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

To qualify, the student must work for a faculty member belonging to one of the seven research groups: Space Physics & Aeronomy, Tectonics & Sedimentation, Volcanology, Atmospheric Sciences, Remote Sensing, Seismology & Geodesy, Snow, Ice & Permafrost (although they may reside anywhere on campus). Successful applicants will receive assistance in the form of frequent flier mile award tickets or monetary support for national or international meetings. For students who actively participate in GIGSA, a maximum of $800 or the equivalent value in air miles will be awarded. For students NOT actively involved in GIGSA, a maximum of $400 or the equivalent value in air miles will be awarded. The quality of the application may also influence the award tier. The award amounts in each tier may bump up by a few hundred dollars depending upon the status of GIGSA account at that time. The award will be authorized to cover airfare/mileage ticket, registration, lodging and ground transportation, depending upon the capacity of the amount awarded to the student. The award letter will be provided before travel but the amount will be reimbursed (except for the mileage ticket, if any) to the student when he/she submits the necessary documents/receipts after returning from the conference/workshop. Each student is allowed one award during a master’s program and up to two awards during a Ph.D. program.

For funding to attend the AGU Fall Meeting, applications are due September 15 of year attending. For other conferences, applications are due minimum two months prior to travel.

To apply, click on the link below and submit a completed application form. You will be directed to the orgsync portal that requires you to sign in with your UA ID and then click on Begin Form after you are signed in.

GIGSA Travel Grant Application Form

If you have any questions please contact the Travel Grant Coordinator at uaf-gigsa-travel@alaska.edu.

 

Research Opportunities

The following pages contain information on research opportunities within the Geophysical Institute's Research Programs and Facilities for undergraduate and graduate students within the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Not all areas or units have opportunities open.

Atmospheric Sciences

Main page
List of research areas: Atmospheric Chemistry, Cloud & Aerosol Physics, Arctic Facility for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Lidar Research Laboratory.

Remote Sensing

Main page & List of Courses by Department
This group has Postdoctoral researchers and a robust group of students within both the Masters and PhD programs. The Earth and Planetary Remote Sensing group researches: Geologic Remote Sensing, Lake and Sea Ice, Planetary Science, Terrestrial Ecology, and Volcanology.
Denali colors student entry IPY photo contest F Mercer

Seismology

Prospective Graduate Students and Postdocs

Student assistantships are available each year in seismology and geodesy. We seek students interested in applying the computational tools of geophysics to issues in tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes in Alaska and abroad. These research assistantships provide tuition and a competitive stipend, as well as travel to conferences and field work. Because of the unique experiences available in earthquake and volcano studies in Alaska, our program is quite competitive. We support both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs available through the Department of Geology and Geophysics. [ read more ]

Summer Programs

PARS Summer ProgramThe Geophysical Institute and the University of Alaska Fairbanks have a rich history of Summer Programs.

Alaska is beautiful year-round. The summer is the best time to explore specific research areas. The Polar Aeronmy and Radio Science Summer School is one such example of a program developed to bring exceptional experts together to educate our next generation of scientists.

 

Polar Aeronomy and Radio Science Summer School

Polar Aeronomy and Radio Science Summer School Students 2008

Each summer the UAF Geophysical Institute hosts a Polar Aeronomy and Radio Science (PARS) Summer School, to provides instruction and hands-on experimental experience for students and their graduate advisors. The PARS Summer School provides an opportunity for students to study the upper atmosphere and ionosphere at polar latitudes with practical experience built into the learning process. The theme of the school is Incoherent-Scatter RADAR and AMISR. Instruction covers radar basics, incoherent-scatter theory, radar experiment techniques, the characteristics of the ionosphere and atmosphere which is the target observed by ISR, and finally ISR observations of ionospheric modification experiments.

[ Learn more about PARS ]

Bill Bristow
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Geophysical Institute
email: ffwab@uaf.edu

Polar Aeronomy and Radio Science Summer School

Polar Aeronomy and Radio Science Summer School Students 2008

This school is supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Upper Atmosphere Program of the National Science Foundation. Instructional activities over a two week period with opportunities for hands-on observational experiments at Poker Flat research range and the HAARP Gakona Observatory.

School Information

The Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks held a Polar Aeronomy and Radio Science (PARS) Summer School in late July 2010, which to provide instruction and hands-on experimental experience for students and their graduate supervisors. Air Force Research Laboratory (logo)Supported by the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Upper Atmosphere Program of the National Science Foundation. It was held in  Fairbanks and Gakona districts of Alaska from July 13 to July 23.

Motivation

Each time we run the summer program, we change the focus. This summer's motivation was to provide an opportunity for students to study the upper atmosphere and ionosphere at polar latitudes with practical experience built into the learning process. There is a need for more trained scientists and engineers with a knowledge of the special effects that occur in the ionosphere at high latitudes. This summer school was established to attract students with exceptional talent to become more familiar with this exciting area of study.

National Science  Foundation logoTheme

The theme of the school in 2010 was Ionospheric Plasma Physics. Instruction covered the basics of the ionosphere, the magnetosphere, and the atmosphere, and the plasma phenomena in this interesting regeim. Special attention was given to radio wave interaction with the plasma.

Various facilities within Alaska volunteered for student experiments. In Fairbanks, the Poker Flat Incoherent-Scatter RADAR, the Kodiak SuperDARN RADAR, and the Poker Flat LIDAR participated. The HAARP Observatory, home to a 3600 kW High-Frequency radio transmitter and a suite of optical and radio diagnostic

instruments, was the base of operations in Gakona. We used this facility to interact with the local ionosphere to produce small-scale plasma cavities and coherent modulation of the natural electrojet current. Students at Gakona, were able to interact with ionosond, riometer, VLF and ELF receivers, UHF radar (MUIR), VHF radar, optical imagers and photometers.

Office of Naval Research Science &  Technology

Student Selection

Students in 2010 submitted proposals for a project that could be undertaken either at Poker Flat Research Range or Gakona Observatory in order to be considered for enrollment. At a cap of 20 students maximum, seats for this Summer School were vied for actively.

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