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2013 Annual Report Published November 2013

Table of Contents Welcome...................................... Why do we do it? ...................... How do we do it? ...................... How is it going? ......................... Thank you, Sponsors ................ Financial Status.......................... Partnerships ............................... Summary of 2013 Activities .... Academy Trip............................. Other Activities.......................... Looking Ahead to 2014.............

4-5 6 7-13 14-15 16-17 18-19 20-21 22-23 24-27 28-29 30-31

GeoFORCE Alaska students meet with GeoFORCE Texas students for an early morning hike into the Grand Canyon, summer 2013. Thank you to Josh Payne (Shell), Dolly Norton (Statoil), Frank Pickett, Matt Brassard, Anne Rittgers, and other GeoFORCE staff for photos throughout this document. Special thanks to Meghan Murphy, CNSM, for her design assistance.

Dear GeoFORCE Alaska Sponsors, Students, Parents, and Friends: I have been involved with GeoFORCE Alaska since its inception, and I have recently completed my first year as Program Director. Although my title has changed, I still serve as an instructor for the Alaska and Southwest academies. Thus it was my privilege to accompany the first cohort to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park during summer 2013. Prior to departure, I was delighted that positive word of mouth allowed us to increase the size of the cohort by 50%. During the excursion, I was impressed by the academic and personal growth of the GeoFORCE Alaska students. Once again, average scores rose by more than 40% from pre-test to post-test. However, the most striking results are not the numbers, they are the students’ courage, enthusiasm and dedication. On our trip to the Southwest, they routinely woke up at 5:00 or 6:00 AM in order to beat the heat. Watching students hike the Grand Canyon or debate the geologic significance of cross-bedded sandstone, study on the bus, and participate fully in evening classroom activities after such an early start filled me with pride. It is too early to demonstrate an impact on high school graduation or college enrollments, but anecdotal evidence indicates that the GeoFORCE experience is having an impact. At least one student elected to stay in school rather than lose the chance to travel with GeoFORCE Alaska. A student who was accepted the first year, but elected not to participate, joined the cohort, left Alaska for the first time, worked with a team of students from other villages, and earned our Most Improved award. Students are beginning to talk about going to college to study geology, engineering, aviation, or science education. With no prompting from us, they have also begun to ask what it takes to be a GeoFORCE Alaska counsellor. Along with this report, I hope you will share the following message with your colleagues: GeoFORCE Alaska is working, and it is all thanks to you! Dr. Sarah Fowell GeoFORCE Alaska Director Co-chair, Department of Geology and Geophysics University of Alaska Fairbanks

Director Sarah Fowell instructing at Chekcerboard Mesa, 2013. 4

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

Dear GeoFORCE Alaska Sponsors, Students, Parents, and Friends: Thank you, quyanaq, taikuu! It is an honor to work with all of you to help provide this experience for our outstanding students. I feel so lucky to be working with this group; I started with GeoFORCE in March of 2013, and look forward to continuing the work that others laid the groundwork for. GeoFORCE Alaska had a great year in 2013; our first cohort grew to 24 students. This cohort traveled south from the North Slope of Alaska to explore the geology of the Southwest US, particularily at Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon. I am proud of what our students accomplished, and look forward to next year when they take on new challenges in the Pacific Northwest. We hope to bring this experience to the next cohort, students currently in 8th or 9th grade, in the summer of 2014 for the Alaska academy. I wish you could all be with us on the academy trips to see how much the students grow and change in just one week. It truly is inspiring. Until that day, hopefully this document can give you a glimpse into the power of the GeoFORCE Alaska experience. We appreciate your continued support. Thank you, Anne Rittgers GeoFORCE Alaska Program Coordinator

Program Coordinator Anne Rittgers hikes with a GeoFORCE Alaska student, 2013. GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report


WHY do we do it?

“We have discovered so little of what the earth holds, and geoscience is important because it helps us understand the earth more.” - GeoFORCE student


Alaska is in need of a more diverse and prepared Alaskan workforce. North Slope residents with degrees in STEM fields bring a valuable perspective to management of Alaska’s natural resources. However, schools in the North Slope Borough report a dropout rate of ~10% in grades 7-12 for an overall high school graduation rate of ~60%. At the college level, Alaska Native students are underrepresented at UAF STEM departments, particularly chemistry, physics, and geology. GeoFORCE Alaska is designed to engage students early, demonstrate the relevance of science in their everyday lives, foster an interest in high school science and math courses, and promote graduation and pursuit of higher education. GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

GeoFORCE Alaska is open to students from Alaska’s North Slope Borough. Students apply to the program in eighth or ninth grade. Science teachers, principals, and counselors in our targeted schools aid us in selecting talented, qualified students interested in math and science. Students are selected on the basis of grades, an essay, and a teacher recommendation, not on gender or ethnicity. The high population of Alaska Natives in the program reflects the demographics of the target communities. Students must earn at least a “B” average in all high school science and mathematics courses, to be accepted into and remain in the program. Our goal is to encourage academic success throughout all four years of students’ high school career. Students record observations at Checkerboard Mesa.

HOW do we do it?

The Method

Where are our students from? 13

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Map credit: Arctic Slope Regional Corporation

GeoFORCE Alaska is recruting students from all villages in Alaska’s North Slope Borough. Numbers in red represent the number of students from each community in the first cohort. GeoFORCE Alaska is also recruiting in Anaktuvuk Pass and Point Lay, but currently no students are enrolled.


GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

HOW do we do it?

Keep them engaged The four-year GeoFORCE Alaska program is designed to expose students to a wide variety of geological concepts and skills. By the time students finish the program, they will have a strong background in basic geology. This approach creates a very solid cohort of students who form lasting friendships, challenge and suport each other throughout the academic year. GeoFORCE Alaska offers opportunities for friendship with like-minded peers, something that is critically important in adolesence. 92% of students reported they made new friends during our 2013 academy trip.

Take them to new places

The geology of Alaska and the Lower 48 is spectacular. While the students are awestruck by the

Grand Canyon, mesmerized by the power of a volcano, or amazed by the fossils of long-extinct creatures, there is a lot of science behind their understanding. It takes a grasp of chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics to unravel geological puzzles. GeoFORCE Alaska uses all of these disciplines to get students excited about learning science and mathematics and helps them envision a place for themselves in a future STEM field.


Where in the U.S. is GeoFORCE? Each summer, students visit a different part of the United States to explore its unique geology.


Home - Alaska




Pacific Northwest


Glaciers, mountains, Denali National Park, permafrost tunnel

Grand Canyon, balancing rocks, checkerboard mesas, petroglyphs, craters

Volcanoes, waterfalls, dunes, gorges, calderas, Mt. St. Helens

Appalachia Caves, mountains, valleys, ridges, deltas, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington D.C.

I can learn different things everwhere. Geology brings you to all different places of the world, and no where is the same. - Cynthia from Barrow, Ak


Instructor Pete Flaig (UT Austin) and GeoFORCE students identifying and drawing each layer of rock at the Grand Canyon.

Academy trips The heart of the GeoFORCE Alaska program is the summer academy field trip. Over the

course of their high school career, students participate in four week-long excursions to spectacular geologic sites around the country. Each trip includes the students, an instructor from the UAF Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, an education coach (usually a secondary educator), two mentors from industry sponsors, a coordinator, a trail driver, and graduate or undergraduate student counsellors (one for every five students). Days start early and end late. There might be a short introductory lecture about what the group will see that day, but most of the teaching takes place in the field. A field guide, developed and written by GeoFORCE staff, provides the background for the daily exercises; students are expected to read it before each stop. The material covered in the field guides is on par with introductory college courses in geology. Every evening there is a review and a quiz about the day’s concepts, followed by classroom activities designed to prepare students for what they will do the next day. Each trip, mentors and other professional geologists are given the opportunity to talk with the students about their career paths and work experiences. A final exam is given at the end of the trip; students must score at least 80% on this exam to avoid being placed on probation.


GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

HOW is it going?

The Results

In coming years, we will be tracking our GeoFORCE Alaska students’ high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates, major selections, career choices, and more. We view these to be important metrics in evaluating the success of our program. As our first cohort is currently in 10th grade, we don’t have these data yet. Other indicators of success are shown here.

% 0 10

On a post trip evaluation, 100% of students responded that they agree or strongly agree that they:

• like science

• want to go to college • learned a lot during the trip


GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

GROWTH: All of the original sixteen students returned to GeoFORCE Alaska for year two. Enrollment was opened to all interested students in the Class of 2016, and eight new students were accepted into the program.

“Out of all the places and activities

we’ve done throughout the GeoForce experience, I really enjoyed spending time with every one... along with the new members of GeoForce.” -GeoFORCE Alaska student

Students taking the final exam, 2013 All of our students showed great improvement and passed the final exam with an 80% or higher. Nine students earned an A with scores of 90% or higher; one student earned a perfect score.

2013 pre-test average:


2013 post-test average:


GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report


Thank you to our GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Sponsors:

Generous contributions from these companies are what makes the GeoFORCE experience possible for our students. We appreciate your generosity. From the entire GeoFORCE Alaska family: thank you, quyanaq, taikuu!

Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC)

ASRC Energy Services

GRANITE Construction 16

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

Great Bear Petroleum

Shell ExxonMobil





GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report


GeoFORCE Alaska Financial Status GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Program Income 2013 Received at UT In-Kind $36,911.12 $5,663.50 $50,000.00 -

Sponsor Name ASRC ASRC Energy ExxonMobil Granite Construction Great Bear Petroleum Olgoonik Schlumberger Shell Alaska and Houston SolstenXP Statoil


$25,000.00 -

Less 1% UA Foundation Fee




$62,780.38 $12,219.62

GeoFORCE Alaska

2013 Total $36,911.12 $5,663.50 $20,000.00 $1,000.00 $50,000.00

$2,000.00 $25,000.00 $25,000.00 $15,000.00 $25,000.00

$2,000.00 $25,000.00 $50,000.00 $15,000.00 $25,000.00


$75,000.00 $42,574.62

Expenses per school Surplus

at UAF $20,000.00 $1,000.00 -



$73,440.82 $75,584.56

$178,795.82 -


Program Expenses

September 1, 2012-August 31, 2013

Operating Expenses


Staff salary + Benefits Director Program Coordinator Instructor + EC 2014 Training Coordinator Training Office Expenses Outreach and Recruiting: Travel

$41,176.74 GFA 10 2013 Academy Expenses* $4,635.83 Total Personnel $31,675.55 Total Materials and Services $4,865.36 Total Meals $3,948.28 Total Transportation $1,505.16 Total Lodging $5,198.50 GFA 9 2012 Academy Expenses

Subtotal Operating Expenses

$51,828.68 Subtotal Academy Expenses

Total GeoFORCE Alaska Expenses * 24 students 18

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

Academy Expenses


Total $123,161.14 $7,416.58 $6,844.61 $6,388.09 $58,384.99 $44,126.87 $3,806.00


GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Budget

September 1 , 2013 - August 31, 2014 Estimated Program Expenses

Operating Expenses Staff salary + Benefits

Total Breakdown $100,000.00 -



Program Coordinator


Instructor + EC Training


Office Expenses Travel

$15,000.00 $15,000.00


Academy Expenses GFA 11 2014 Academy Expenses*


Total Personnel


Total Materials and Services


Total Meals


Total Transportation


Total Lodging




GFA 9 2014 Academy Expenses**


Total Personnel


Total Materials and Services


Total Meals


Total Transportation


Total Lodging




Total Estimated 2014 Expenses


*24 students, **40 students

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report


It Takes a Team: Partnerships College of Natural Science and Mathematics, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Friends of GeoFORCE Alaska pose in their shirts on GeoFORCE Alaska Shirt day. Wear your shirt every Friday the 13th and join the fun!

In 2013, GeoFORCE Alaska found its new home in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM), led by Dean Paul Layer. Support for GeoFORCE Alaska is provided by: (back, L to R): GeoFORCE Alaska Program Coordinator Anne Rittgers, CNSM Fiscal Manager Matt Seymour, Administrative Assistant Tiffany Piser, GeoFORCE Alaska Director and Co-chair of the Dept. of Geology and Geophysics Sarah Fowell, CNSM Executive Officer Hild Peters, and (front) Travel and Purchasing Coordinator Heather Pyland. Also providing support are Proposal and Grant Coordinator Terry Norman, Public Information Officer Meghan Murphy, and Administrative Assistant Pauline Thomas. Thank you to all for your efforts on behalf of GeoFORCE Alaska.

GeoFORCE Texas Jackson School of Economics, University of Texas at Austin GeoFORCE Alaska is modeled after and partnered with GeoFORCE Texas, a program at The University of Texas at Austin. GeoFORCE Texas has seen great success since it began in 2005, with a 100% high school graduation rate and a college matriculation rate of over 95%. Nearly two-thirds of those students are pursuing STEM degrees. Find out more at []. Thank you to all at GeoFORCE Texas for your support! 20

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

“The more I learn about science, the easier whaling gets... I see a future career for me in science.� -Jerry, Nuiqsut

Point Hope, Alaska

Summary of 2013 Activities

“I’ve never really had an interest in geoscience, but now I can’t wait to learn more.”

- Cynthia, Barrow

Where did we go? Field stop locations: Utah: Zion National Park Arizona: Glen Canyon, Balancing Rock, Lees Ferry, Navajo Bridge, Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument, Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater

Counselor Patrick Graham reviews with students on the bus.

“My favorite field activity was hiking the Grand Canyon because the scenery was amazing and it was a nice work out. Every stop was a great sight to see and I enjoyed every bit of it!” -GeoFORCE student What did we learn? Objectives: • Think like a geologist • Apply geologic concepts to real-life examples • Identify sedimentary structures and use them to reconstruct ancient environments.


GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

Students observing at Zion National Park. Scott Leahy, industry mentor from Schlumberger, joins the students.

Coordinators: Lindsay Stephens, Anne Rittgers Instructors: Sarah Fowell Educational Coach: Frank Pickett, Michael Arratia Sponsor Representatives: Josh Payne, Shell; Scott Leahy, Schlumberger Trail Driver: Ivan Ponce Counselors: UAF: Patrick Graham, Kristen Rahilly, Rachel Westbrook; GeoFORCE Texas: Alejandra Eljuri, Inmer Cardona

Students investigate Balancing Rock.

2013 Academy Trip Southwest US: Grand Canyon

Who was with us?

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report



GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

“I never knew geology could be this fun!” - Satchel, Barrow

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report


We’ve had a busy 2013...

Student Recruiting: Spring 2013

Atqasuk, Barrow, Point Hope, Point Lay, Wainwright April 28- May 2, 2013 Thank you to Teresa Imm at Arctic Slope Regional Corporation for sponsoring spring recruiting, accompanying the program coordinator to the villages, and making introductions.

GeoFORCE Alaska students from Barrow meet with program coordinator Anne Rittgers in Barrow, May 2013 28

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

Statoil Community Meetings

Barrow, Point Lay, Point Hope, Wainwright, October 2013 Reconnected with GeoFORCE students, principals, teachers, and younger students; attended community meetings and briefly addressed the audience about GeoFORCE Alaska. Alaska Chamber of Commerce Conference, October 2013 Thank you to Ella Ede, Dolly Norton, and Jim Winegarner at Statoil for sponsoring GeoFORCE Alaska participation at these events. Photo credit: Dolly Norton

Pacific Northwest Training trip with GeoFORCE Texas, July 2013: Alaska Coordinator, instructor, educational coach.

AOGC Conference, Anchorage September 2013

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report


Looking ahead: Summer 2014 Volcanoes of Washington and Oregon

Our first cohort of students will travel on their third academy trip to the Pacific Northwest. Objectives:


• Identify volcanic structures and explain how they formed

Washington: Mount St. Helens

• Compare volcanoes on the west coast to those in Alaska • Understand coastal features and processes


GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report

Oregon: Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, Newberry Caldera, Crater Lake, Salt Creek Falls, Multnomah Falls, Cape Perpetua, Heceta Head, Oregon Dunes

Alaska’s Mountains, Glaciers, and Rivers


We hope to offer the next cohort of students, currently in 8th or 9th grade, their first academy experience in Alaska in 2014.

• Identify sedimentary rocks

Locations in Alaska: Fox Permafrost Tunnel, University of Alaska Museum of the North, Healy coal deposits, Denali National Park, Kincaid Park, Matanuska Glacier, Portage Glacier, and more

• Examine environments of deposition • Reconstruct sequences based on the rock record • Understand how rivers and glaciers are agents of both erosion and deposition • Experience life on a major university campus

Please contact GeoFORCE Alaska for more information on how you can help fund the student experience. As a sponsor, your tax-deductible donation helps us offer GeoFORCE Alaska experience to all interested students from the North Slope Borough. Benefits to sponsors include community outreach, mentorship, and the opportunity to help build a prepared and qualified Alaskan labor force.

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report


GeoFORCE Alaska College of Natural Science and Mathematics University of Alaska Fairbanks PO Box 755940 Fairbanks, AK 99775 907-474-5313 907-474-5101 fax

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 annual report  

GeoFORCE Alaska is designed to increase the number and diversity of students pursuing STEM degree programs and entering the future high-tech...

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