The University of Alaska Fairbanks will merge its agriculture and natural resources school with the Cooperative Extension Service in a move to strengthen the research, education and outreach work of both units.
Over the course of the next year, representatives from the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and Extension will work with UAF administrators to gather input and design the merged unit. Extension and SNRAS, which includes Alaska’s Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, serve the entire state and carry out the university’s land-grant mission.
“This collaborative structure is the norm at land-grant universities across the country,” said UAF Provost Susan Henrichs. “Our ultimate goal is to create a structure that enables both units to better coordinate their efforts and continue their strong history of statewide service.”
Agriculture was one of five subjects taught when UAF opened its doors as the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines in 1922. The Cooperative Extension Service in Alaska became part of the college in 1930. A year later, the U.S. Department of Agriculture transferred ownership of its experiment stations to the college.
Today, Extension, the school and the experiment station provide education, research and outreach in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, forestry, economic and community development, food safety and food preservation, and youth and family development.