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Dear Sponsors, Students, Parents, and Friends, In June 2017, students from the North Slope and Northwest Arctic Boroughs successfully completed the second of four GeoFORCE Summer Academies. Together we travelled to the southwestern United States to explore ancient rocks exposed in a series of water-carved canyons. Participants hiked up into Mesozoic sandstone in Zion National Park and down through fossiliferous, Paleozoic limestone in the walls of the Grand Canyon. Led by guides from the Navajo Nation, they descended steep stairs to stand at the bottom of the Lower Antelope Canyon. Despite the hot weather and unfamiliar terrain, the group was exuberant. As we walked slowly upwards through the graceful curves of a narrow slot canyon, they laughed, pointed, took selfies, and sang songs. In fact, they sang so much and so well that a man in the group behind us asked me if we were a travelling choir. As I sat down to review participant responses to the annual exit survey, I hoped that their memories of the Academy were as rosy as mine. GeoFORCE is an academically intense program, and I worried that daily lectures, quizzes, and the final exam might overshadow the sense of excitement and camaraderie I witnessed when they were engaged in outdoor projects. I found their open and honest responses so moving that I would like to share a few quotes with all of you. What was your favorite part of this year’s GeoFORCE Academy? ‘Lectures and hiking and exploring old and young rocks.’ ‘Seeing all my GeoFORCE friends from last year, learning new things, and then seeing them.’ ‘My group and how we bonded and learned a lot throughout the 10 days.’ ‘I enjoyed the hands-on experience because I know that enhanced my learning.’ ‘Geosciences stuff like rocks and everything! Getting to know people and travelling out of Alaska.’ What was your favorite field stop? ‘The river, because it feels like home.’ ‘The Grand Canyon, because it was my first time seeing it and I maybe only get to see it once.’
FROM THE DIRECTOR
The GeoFORCE staff envisions a future in which rural students across Alaska will have the opportunity to meet peers with similar interests, learn geoscience in the field, develop teambuilding skills, and travel to spectacular geological sites within and beyond Alaska. With your continued participation and support, we can expand the GeoFORCE Alaska program and make this vision a reality.
Dr. Sarah Fowell Director GeoFORCE Alaska
MISSION GeoFORCE Alaska is a four-year, field-based, summer geoscience program for high school students from Alaskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rural communities. The curriculum is developed and delivered by the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM). Our mission is to raise high school graduation rates; encourage students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors in college; and increase the number and diversity of Alaska residents entering Alaskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technical workforce.
Alaska Native Caucasian African American Hispanic Asian
87% 19% 6% 6% 3%
Percentages reflect all ethnicities as reported by student participants. Students may choose more than one ethnicity.
COMMUNITIES Ambler Atqasuk Anaktuvuk Pass Barrow Kivalina Kobuk Kotzebue Noatak Nuiqsut Point Hope Point Lay Selawik Wainwright 7
GeoFORCE Alaska is designed to increase the number and diversity of Alaska residents entering Alaskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technical workforce.
GeoFORCE Alaska emphasizes hands-on field projects that allow students to practice the scientific method while visiting spectacular geoloical locations around the US.
Rural Alaskan residents with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields bring a valuable perspective to managment of Alaskaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural resources.
GeoFORCE helps students graduate. During the 20142015 school year, 37.6% of Alaska Native/American Indian students in grades 7-12 dropped out of Alaskan public schools. 8
Geologic Field Work
Travel & Outdoors
Keep Them Engaged
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I met new people that had a lot of respect and interest in geology.â&#x20AC;? -Kastin, GFA Student
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thank you so much for helping the North Slope and the Northwest Arctic young adults learn more about geology!â&#x20AC;? -Edith, GFA Student
Second Year Academy:
2017 Objective: Identify sedimentary rocks and structures and use them to reoconstruct ancient environments
2018 Objective: Identify features of volcanic activity and explain how they formed
Third Year Academy:
Generous contributions from these sponsors make the GeoFORCE experience possible for our students.
Industry mentors are instrumental in providing real-world examples of geoscientists. They serve as facilitators and instructors while interacting with students at field stops and during lecture throughout the week-long academy.
College of Natural Science & Mathematics
Contact Us: (907) 474-5313 email@example.com PO Box 755940 Fairbanks, AK 99775
UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www. alaska.edu/nondiscrimination.