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Time in Fairbanks


Welcome to the Department of Biology and Wildlife at UAF!

Our location in the middle of a vast expanse of boreal forest, with easy access to alpine and arctic tundra environments, shapes our teaching, research, and daily lives. Members of the Biology and Wildlife Department have a long history of working in the Arctic and Subarctic. Traditional areas of strength include ecology, animal physiology, and wildlife management, but we also have rapidly growing programs in biomedical sciences with an emphasis on human-environment interactions and challenges facing Alaska's rural populations.

While the environments and biological communities in Alaska are more intact than those in many other places, the state is undergoing a period of flux: rapid climate change, expansion of human populations, and expansion of introduced species are affecting plant and animal populations, the landscape, and people. The Department of Biology and Wildlife is on the forefront of studying these changes and their consequences. Our expertise extends beyond the northern environments as well, with faculty and students working in exotic places like Vietnam, New Zealand, Antarctica, and Peru. We foster strong international ties with students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and other researchers from around the world.

Why study here?

Undergraduates in Biology and Wildlife experience small classes, low student-faculty ratios, world-class faculty, and great opportunities to participate in research. You can gain valuable hands-on experience by conducting an independent study with a faculty member or by taking advantage of one of the many employment opportunities in the lab and the field. Examples of research recently completed by undergraduates include an examination of mercury distribution in an Alaskan fish species, an evaluation of how well different moss species insulate the soil, and a comparison of methods for identifying and diagnosing new pathogens in wildlife blood and tissue. We foster a friendly, small-school atmosphere that allows undergraduates to build strong connections with faculty and graduate students. Studying in Biology and Wildlife gives you many of the advantages of a small liberal arts collegeā€¦ without the costs!

We offer BS and BA degrees in Biological Sciences and a BS degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. You'll find more about our undergraduate programs here.

Why do your graduate studies with us?

Graduate students in our department have access to more than 40 faculty members with a wide range of expertise. The diversity within the department promotes connections between disciplines and allows for unexpected collaborations and discoveries. The atmosphere is friendly and personal, with many opportunities for informal and social interactions, while maintaining high standards of academic and scientific rigor.

Many graduate students focus their research on questions related to arctic or subarctic environments. Major areas of research include Bioinformatics, Biomedicine, Ecology and Ecosystems, Evolutionary Biology and Genetics, Physiology, and Wildlife Ecology, addressing questions such as:

When people first came to Alaska via the Bering Land Bridge, were there any trees? How diverse was the bird population at that time? Will climate warming reduce forage availability and body condition of caribou? Will rare Alaskan plants survive the next century of climate change? Do ectomycorrhizal fungi control the location of treeline in Alaska, and is this affected by climate change? Does thinning forest stands in the Tongass National Forest affect spider and beetle diversity? Why do moose use urban areas? How do animal diseases affect human health in Alaska?

The Department offers MS degrees in Biology and in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, and a PhD degree in Biological Sciences (with a concentration in Wildlife and Conservation). You can find out more about our graduate programs here.



Biology & Wildlife Department
101 Murie
2090 Koyukuk Drive
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
Mailing address:
Department of Biology and Wildlife
PO Box 756100
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6100
(907)474-6716 fax

A group of graduate students and researchers from UAF's Toolik Field Station pause to rest before descending to collect fish samples from a nearby lake on Alaska's north slope. Photo credit: Todd Paris

Many Biology & Wildlife students do their field work in Denali National Park and Preserve, located only a couple hours from Fairbanks. Photo credit: Todd Paris

Undergraduate Catherine Glover is studying diesel-degrading bacteria in the laboratory of Dr. Mary Beth Leigh. Photo credit: Todd Paris

University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Biology and Wildlife ©2010-20

101 Murie      907.474.7671

All images courtesy of UAF Biology & Wildlife unless otherwise noted.
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