Saturday, October 26, 2013

SNRAS/AFES Advisory Council forms

The new SNRAS/AFES Advisory Council met Oct. 25 for the first time. "What a diverse group of people," Interim Dean and Director Stephen Sparrow said. "We are hoping you will provide input and be advocates for us."

Professor Glenn Juday, the faculty representative, said, "We are looking for new ideas in natural resources management. It's a two-way flow. We can learn from each other. You're in a great place to help us move forward."

Front row, left to right, Christi Bell, Bryce Wrigley, Maggie Rogers, Stephen Sparrow. Back row, left to right, Robbie Graham, Craig Fleener, Nancy Tarnai, Glenn Juday.
Council members are:

Anna Atchison,  community and government relations manager, Fort Knox Mine

Christi Bell, director UA Center for Economic Development

Craig Fleener, recently resigned deputy commissioner Alaska Department of Fish and Game and now a candidate for political office

Robbie Graham, assistant commissioner Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development

Glenn Juday, professor of forest sciences, SNRAS/AFES

Maggie Rogers, information officer Division of Forestry

Stephen Sparrow, SNRAS/AFES interim dean and director

Nancy Tarnai, SNRAS/AFES public information officer

Bryce Wrigley, owner Alaska Flour Co., president Alaska Farm Bureau, district manager Salcha-Delta Soil and Water Conservation District

Fleener, a SNRAS alumnus, hails from Fort Yukon and has lived in Anchorage the past five years. He has 27 years of military service and served as deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for five years. "This is my alma mater. I have faith in this school and believe in it," he said. "When I see faculty it is like seeing family."

Rogers, a SNRAS alumna, said as a student she learned to think strategically. "I don't want that to go away," she said. She reported that while on the school's NRM 290 field trip she met four people from Norway who became lifelong friends. "I just got back from visiting them in Norway," she said.

Graham is fascinated with the school and station's work on peonies. "If I had a green thumb I'd be a peony grower," she said. On the economic side, she called the peony industry in Alaska "crazy good." She is working on an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in arctic governments and public diplomacy. She is also very interested in the school's Peace Corps programs.

Wrigley's interest in the school is focused on agricultural research and food security for Alaska. "If you want food security you have to have agricultural production," he said. "There is a tremendous need for research in the Arctic. I see nothing new on the horizon. The circumpolar regions could share information to improve and enhance the situation." He decided to serve on the council because "if you're not willing to get involved there is not reason to complain about it."

Bell, also an alumna, said when considering graduate schools SNRAS stood out. "There are incredible opportunities here," she said. As for serving on the council, she said it was the perfect time to do something that will make a difference. "I always had a love for this program. It is preparing thought leadership for tomorrow."

Each member received a fly tied by Dean Sparrow. The fishing flies were made with elk, reindeer and yak hair.

Provost Susan Henrichs and Chancellor Brian Rogers joined the group for lunch. SNRAS faculty gave brief presentations about their teaching, research and outreach and several staff members were introduced.

Rogers thanked the members for volunteering to help the university."It helps the land grant universities to have feedback from the community," he said. The agricultural experiment station pre-dates the university, he said. "There was a presence of agricultural research here before the university. We have a very long tradition here tied to food and agriculture."

From left, Stephen Sparrow, UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers, Craig Fleener, Glenn Juday, Janice Dawe, visit during the break.

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