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UAS announces 2022 Undergraduate Student Awards for Research and Creative Activity

We are pleased to announce the winners along with brief information from their project summaries.

Juneau, Alaska

Date of Press Release: February 8, 2022

Last semester, the UAS Research and Creative Activity (RCA) Committee announced its eleventh annual competition for Undergraduate Student Awards for Research and Creative Activity (URECA). The committee received 15 proposals from across a wide range of programs with funding requests totaling ~$31,000. The RCA Committee reviewed these based on several criteria including eligibility, purpose, intellectual merit, likelihood of success, funding justification, and proposal quality.

At this time, we are pleased to announce the winners along with brief information from their project summaries. Together with funds donated by private support within the UA Foundation, the URECA Program has awarded 15 projects for a total amount of ~$23,000.

Please join us in offering congratulations to these noteworthy recipients:

  • Feeding rate analysis of Red King Crab larvae over increasing acidity

    Amy Baxter with Julie Schram

    This project's goal is to provide some insight into Alaskan red king crab populations. Larval red king crab collected in Juneau will be placed in tanks of varying acidities, and then fed phytoplankton for feeding rates to be determined. The hypothesis is that the feeding rates of red king crab larvae will decrease as water acidity increases, suggesting less larval success as pH decreases. Award amount: $923

  • Exploration of marketing for literary journals

    Emily Bowman with Emily Wall

    The student would attend the AWP conference in Philadelphia, PA in March of 2022 to learn about marketing strategies and applying to journals. The student would then bring those marketing strategies to the Tidal Echoes editors to apply to the journal in future years. Award amount: $2,030.

  • Are the marine isopods, Pentidotea wosnesenskii, changing color by ingestion or sight?

    Pres Chase with Julie Schram

    The marine isopod, Pentidotea wosnesenskii, has the ability to change color. The reason for the color change is hypothesized to be either due to them reacting to the color of the substrate, or them ingesting the substrate and coloration. In this experiment the hypothesis that the color change is due to ingestion of the substrate will be tested. Award amount: $110.

  • Zooplankton interactions with Ctenophore Pleurobrachia bachei

    Mike Flunker with Mike Navarro

    The goal of this project is to construct an environment that allows the survival of the ctenophore Pleurobrachia bachei. Building a specialized kriesel allows ctenophores and other gelatinous organisms to live in a controlled environment that mimics natural conditions. Further study can be done on interactions between P. bachei and other zooplankton. These will be captured on video at high magnification via a microscope and categorized as predation, evasion, or neutrality. Award amount: $1,491.

  • Behavior impacts on intertidal predator-prey relationships

    Hannah Forshee with Julie Schram

    The student is researching changes in predator-prey behavior and responses of the intertidal species Leptasterias hexactis and a prey species after being exposed to ocean acidification conditions. Their project outcomes will include having solid data that can be analyzed and used to show some possible impacts of ocean acidification on intertidal zones and species. Award amount: $1,068.

  • All Our Children – A Ravenstail Robe of Intergenerational Healing

    Ruth Hallows with Kay Parker

    The project includes researching ancient and modern Ravenstail patterns - emphasizing "All Our Ancestors and All Weavers Intertwined" (Cheryl Samuels) – and traditional methods of mental, emotional, spiritual and community wellness. Project activities include creating All Our Children - a new Ravenstail pattern. Project outcomes include a child sized Ravenstail robe incorporating both ancient and contemporary patterns to represent intergenerational healing. Award amount: $2,450.

  • NCECA Fertile Ground Spring 2022 Conference

    CJ Harrell with Jeremy Kane

    The student will attend the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Art’s 56th annual Fertile Ground conference, virtually or in person, and bring back what they learn to UAS. The conference will help the student elevate my skills, expand their perspective, and understand the logistics of becoming a master ceramicist. Award amount: $2,100.

  • Study of snowline elevation

    Jack Imel with Eran Hood

    Seasonal snowline elevation data is of great importance to avalanche forecasting, infrastructure maintenance, and recreation. Data from a proposed new weather station at the base of the Eaglecrest road (~200 ft elevation) will be used in conjunction with data from an existing site located within the ski area (2198 ft elevation) to study atmospheric controls and create an online model of snowline elevation on Douglas. Award amount: $1,420.

  • Effects of Whale Fecal Matter on Phytoplankton

    Francesca Johnson with Heidi Pearson

    This project will study the whale pump. The nutrient content of seawater and cetacean fecal matter will be analyzed. Incubation experiments will determine differences in growth rates and ability of nutrients derived from whales to stimulate phytoplankton growth. Results will be shared through a presentation at the URECA symposium and a poster. Award amount: $1,740.

  • ”X̱ ada.áak yaa nx̱ashagóok” [I am learning to weave]

    Skaydu.û Jules with Herb Sheakley

    This project is a cedar hat weaving mentorship with Della Cheney, including the history, traditional practices, stories, intent and mindfulness. The activities will include the cedar harvesting, preparation, ready to weave stage, various stages of weaving from start to finish; the student will implement the Tlingit language into all aspects. The resulting outcome will be a finished cedar hat, and the traditional knowledge transfer of the spiritual, mental, physical and emotional aspects of weaving. The student will translate their findings into a comprehensive video of their learning process, speaking only Tlingit to share and inspire potential weavers and language learners. Award amount: $1,500.

  • 2022 NCECA Conference

    Taylor Ranney with Jeremy Kane

    The student will attend the 2022 NCECA conference in Sacramento, CA. At this conference they will build connections with ceramics faculty, artists, and students from around the country, attend lectures, gallery shows and demonstrations. The student will present what was learned to their peers in the UAS Ceramics program. Award amount: $2,100.

  • Art at the intersection of climate change and colonization

    Muriel Reid with Konrad Meister

    The student will photograph and interview Alaskans on the impacts of colonization and climate change on Alaskans and Alaska’s environments with a preference for impacts on Alaska Natives and Indigenous ways of life. The aims of this project are to promote awareness and prompt discussion as well as to support underrepresented perspectives and artists. The show may include other artists. Award amount: $1,700.

  • Tlingit Verb Videos

    Rochelle Smallwood with Roby Littlefield

    The goal is to create a series of five short videos to share with Tlingit language learners. These videos will be of people living our culture, and we will translate what they are doing in past, present, and future verb tenses. The student will travel to Sitka for five days, and on each day will film a different activity. They will work with Kooléik to translate these videos into Tlingit with each verb tense. The final product will be five edited videos with Tlingit audio and subtitles to be shared with language learners. Award amount: $1,200.

  • Southeast Alaska Science Illustration Outreach Project

    Jessica Whitney with Konrad Meister

    A scientist’s goal is to communicate their knowledge to greater audiences. The student’s purpose for this project is to design scientific illustrations of marine organisms, print the designs as posters and stickers, and distribute them to the local community. Their art will serve as a way to educate the public about the valuable abundance of life that lies just beneath the waves. Award amount: $1,650.

  • Impact of ocean acidification on predator-prey dynamics

    Kenedy Williams with Julie Schram

    This project will test the effects of ocean acidification on the behavior and physiology of sea stars and their molluscan prey. It is suspected that ocean acidification (OA) could alter predator-prey dynamics, which could be disastrous to rocky intertidal community health. The changes in physiology and interspecies interactions like those the student proposes to investigate could cascade and influence additional species of ecological and economic interest in Alaska. Award amount: $1,523.

For questions or more information about the program or the awardees, please contact Konrad Meister ( or Kelly Jensen (

Additional Resources

Press Release Contact

Keni Campbell
University of Alaska Southeast
(907) 796-6509