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UAS Celebrates Opening of New Science Building

In late March, the University of Alaska Southeast celebrated the near-completion of its state-of-the-art science building, Áakʼw Tá Hít.

Juneau, Alaska

Date of Press Release: April 12, 2024

Students walk in new coastal facility.
Students walk in new coastal facility.

In late March, the University of Alaska Southeast celebrated the near-completion of its state-of-the-art science building, Áakʼw Tá Hít. The modern academic building on the shore of Auke Bay will become the new hub for environmental science research and teaching in the fall of 2024, replacing the 60-year-old NOAA lab. Science faculty welcomed donors, community partners, and students to tour the site of future and ongoing student and faculty research.

“This building stands as a commitment to the vital research conducted by our faculty and its importance in advancing the mission of student learning and success,” said UAS Chancellor Dr. Aparna Palmer.

Áakʼw Tá Hít, which translates to House at the Head of Áak’w (Bay) in Lingít, will become an additional home to the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center, water and soil ecology lab and a forest ecology, glaciology, geophysics lab, and geographic information systems (GIS) faculty. The building was designed to integrate research facilities with faculty offices, classrooms, collaborative spaces and other amenities designed to support and enrich the student experience. It is intended to provide an immersive environment for students to live, learn, and be inspired.

“We’re not just expanding our campus, we’re broadening the horizons of environmental science education,” said UAS Dean of Arts and Sciences Carin Silkaitis. “Áakʼw Tá Hít is a testament to our commitment to providing an unparalleled learning environment where our students can flourish. It’s here, amidst the majesty of Alaska's coastal rainforest and the expanse of the ocean, that the next generation of environmental scientists will find their calling. Our students are the stars; this building is their stage.”

The community celebration is being planned for the fall. All of Juneau will be welcomed to tour the new facility–in the meantime, we invite you to join us in celebrating this significant milestone in UAS’s commitment to excellence in environmental science education.

The University of Alaska Southeast is a premier institution of learning, located in the beautiful settings of Juneau, Ketchikan, and Sitka, Alaska. Offering a wide range of academic programs, UAS is dedicated to providing innovative, hands-on educational opportunities, fostering research, and engaging with the community to address the challenges of the Southeast Alaska region and beyond.

Additional Resources

Press Release Contact

Dallas Cosculluela
University of Alaska Southeast
(907) 796-6410