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2014 Annual Report Published October 2014

welcome 4-5 why 6 how 7-13 results 14 why give? 15 thank you, sponsors 16-17 finances 18-19 partnerships 20-21 2014 summary 22-23 third-year academy 24-27 2014 timeline 28-29 looking to 2015 30-31 GeoFORCE Alaska students and staff at Multnomah Falls, during the GeoFORCE Alaska Third-Year Pacific Northwest Academy in July 2014. Thank you to Colby Wright for most of the photos in this report. Thank you to Josh Payne (Shell), Frank Pickett, Anne Rittgers, and Meghan Murphy for photos.

Dear friends of GeoFORCE Alaska from the director


ummer 2014 was the beginning of my third year with GeoFORCE Alaska. Although I served as an instructor for the first-and second-year trips, volcanoes are not my field of study. Consequently I was happy to wear my Director’s hat and welcome Instructor Jim Beget, a volcanologist and Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Geosciences. Working with Jim was a treat due to his innovative instruction and first-hand experiences with Pacific Northwest volcanoes. During Jim’s initial lecture, students compared and contrasted ‘eruptions’ of toothpaste and honey to model differences in volcanic edifices as a result of the viscosity of the lava flows. Although the cleanup was rather sticky, it was worth it to see students enthusiastically simulating volcanic explosions with Crest. The next day at Mount St. Helens, Jim described the scene he witnessed as one of the first volcanologists to visit the volcano after the violent 1980 eruption. It was compelling to learn about the aftermath from someone who was there. Interacting with students on their Third-Year Academy trip increased my appreciation for two aspects that distinguish GeoFORCE from many other summer programs: the multi-year approach and the cohort model. Because students participate in four trips over four consecutive summers, I had the opportunity to witness happy reunions and reflect upon individual’s academic progress since 2011. The curriculum builds across the program and the projects become more challenging. Therefore I was extremely proud to watch students experience a breakthrough after wrestling with a foreign concept or work as a team to compose lyrics featuring their new geologic vocabulary. The cohort earned a record average of 90% on the final exam, and I am gratified to report that their self-esteem is climbing along with their scores. In a couple of months, GeoFORCE with unveil the final cut of a 10-minute GeoFORCE documentary shot and edited by Leo Pfeifer and Raven Two Feathers, students from the award-winning filmmaking program at Seattle’s Ballard High School. We selected high school students because they could deliver a professional product at a fraction of the cost, and because we felt that GeoFORCE students would be more likely speak on camera if interviewed by peers. Whereas many students still felt too shy to volunteer for an interview, they quickly got used to Leo’s ever-present camera, and all of them appear in the film. I hope that their engagement and smiles will convey their enthusiasm for GeoFORCE and gratitude towards those who make their participation possible.

Sarah Fowell


GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

GeoFORCE Alaska Director, UAF Department of Geosciences Co-chair


hank you, quyanaq, taikuu! The third-year academy marks my second summer in the field with GeoFORCE Alaska. It is an honor to work with all of you to help provide this experience for our outstanding students. GeoFORCE Alaska had a great year in 2014; our first cohort of students scrambled up and around mountains, gorges, coastlines and volcanoes to study geology at a college level in the Pacific Northwest. I am proud of what our students have accomplished since starting with us in 2012, and look forward to next year when they complete their capstone academy trip to the Rocky Mountains. As this group nears graduation, we look to the future to the next group of students we hope to work with - students currently in 8th or 9th grade. We need your help to make this academy trip a success. Please consider joining other industry sponsors in support of GeoFORCE Alaska; contact me for more information, or follow the link on the back cover. 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 Anne Rittgers, GeoFORCE Alaska Program Coordinator

from the program coord in

ator GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report



“Our economic future depends on our resources, our strategic location, but most of all, that resource between our ears – Alaskan ingenuity. We are a knowledgebased economy, and from aerospace to engineering to IT, Alaska has so many opportunities for STEM-educated students.” Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell 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 in UAF science degree programs, 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, promote graduation and pursuit of higher education, and increase the number and diversity of Alaska residents entering Alaska’s technical workforce.


GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

Where the students call home 4 1

11 3


Map credit: Arctic Slope Regional Corporation In 2012 and 2013, GeoFORCE Alaska recruited 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 who participated in 2014. Students who live in any village in the North Slope Borough are eligible to apply for future GeoFORCE Alaska academy trips.

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report


how we do it

The Method 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.


GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

The high population of Alaska Natives students 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.

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 support each other throughout the academic year. GeoFORCE Alaska offers opportunities for friendship with like-minded peers, something that is critically important in adolescence. 92% of students reported they made new friends during our 2013 academy trip.

s d n e i r f new travel

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report


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.


GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report


Academy trips

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 Geosciences, an education coach (usually a secondary educator), two mentors from industry sponsors, a coordinator, a trail driver, and graduate or undergraduate student counselors (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. 12

Instructor Jim Beget (UAF) delivers a lecture to GeoFORCE students at Johnston Ridge Observatory, Mount St. Helens.

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report



of GeoFORCE Alaska is the summer academy field trip

HOW is it going?

By providing four years of hands-on field Academies that require students to work in teams, employ the scientific method, become active participants in the classroom, and reach beyond their personal and academic comfort zones, GeoFORCE aims to encourage students from Alaska’s rural North Slope Borough to pursue scientific interests through high school and college curricula. Our first cohort completed the third-year Pacific Northwest Academy during the summer of 2014. In two more years, we will have statistics regarding high school graduation and college matriculation rates for this cohort. In the meantime, anecdotal evidence, including annual student essays and exit surveys, indicate the GeoFORCE Alaska is having an impact on students’ lives and career paths. All of the students in the inaugural cohort remain in high school, and the majority indicate that they are planning to attend college. Future career interests include geoscientist, astronomer, mechanic, pilot, and science educator.

All of our students showed great improvement and passed the final exam with an 80% or higher. One student had a perfect score on the final exam for the second time.


I am really glad to have this opportunity to be a part of the GeoForce program and the people here practically became my family. They motivated me to keep trying to learn, even when there were times I just wanted to give up. – Alfred, Point Hope

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

2014 pre-test average:


2014 post-test average:


Why do you sponsor GeoFORCE Alaska?

“Grow the future Alaska workforce through early technical programs that apply directly to jobs in AK industries.” Corri Feige, Linc Energy

“It works.”

Karen Bryant Duncan, Great Bear Petroleum

“ASRC has become a champion of GeoFORCE after our first-hand observations of how the program has changed


lives of the participating students... The same group of students progress together throughout the program.

GeoFORCE is different from other programs- it stretches the

capability of our students and gives them first-hand experience in STEM-related fields and problem solving capabilities.” -Teresa Imm, ASRC GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report



Thank you,

P l at i n u m L e v e l

Gold Level

S i lv e r L e v e l

Copper Level

Generous contributions from these companies are what make the GeoFORCE experience possible for our students. We appreciate your generosity. 16

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

quyanaqpaq, taikuu!

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report


GeoFORCE Alaska Financial Status GeoFORCE Alaska Expenses, FY14 (Sept. 1, 2013 to Aug. 31, 2014) Operating Expenses

at UAF

In Kind

At UT Austin


Salary and Benefits Director



Program Coordinator



Office Support^



Office Expenses










Academy Expenses Second-Year 2013 Academy Expenses



Third-Year 2014 Academy Expenses** Personnel Materials and Services Meals Transportation Lodging Total GeoFORCE Alaska Expenses

$108,417.85 $14,136.25 $7,315.88 $5,636.85 $3,041.28 $13,297.00 $136,090.41

$1,500.00 $4,575.87 $2,337.00 $35,496.11

$830.17 $1,086.00 $7,949.54

$15,636.25 $12,721.92 $9,059.85 $46,486.93


$11,215.90 $21,081.61

$24,512.90 $222,713.00

End of FY14 Carry Forward *Travel includes travel for outreach at conferences, village visits, sponsors meetings, and program coordinator training **19 students ^In-kind office support: est. time invested by CNSM staff Note: Most Second-year 2013 academy expenses occured in FY13; the total in FY14 is not a reflection of the cost of the academy.


GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report


GeoFORCE Alaska Program Income Sponsor Name ASRC ASRC Energy Services ConocoPhillips ExxonMobil Granite Construction Great Bear Petroleum Halliburton Energy Services Lynden Inc. Linc Energy Olgoonik Schlumberger Shell SolstenXP Statoil Anonymous Donor Annual Totals

2012 $16,626 $10,000 $55,393 $5,000 $500 $25,000 $50,000 $50,000 $10,000 $222,519

2013 $36,911 $5,664 $20,000 $1,000 $50,000 $2,000 $25,000 $50,000 $15,000 $25,000 $230,575

2014 $52,000 $1,500 $5,000 $25,000 $500 $50,000

Total $105,537 $7,164 $5,000 $55,000 $1,500 $155,393 $5,000 $500

$2,500 $1,000 $10,000 $75,000

$2,500 $3,000 $60,000 $175,000 $65,000 $26,500 $10,000 $677,094

$1,500 $224,000

GeoFORCE Alaska FY15 Budget (est. Sept 1, 2014 - Aug. 31, 2015) Operating Expenses Staff salary + Benefits

Breakdown -



Program Coordinator


Outreach Office Expenses




Academy Expenses Total Personnel Total Materials and Services Total Meals Total Transportation Total Lodging Contingency Total per academy

Total Estimated 2015 Expenses

Total $93,500.00

$8,000.00 $15,000.00 $15,000.00

Fourth-year 2015 First-year 2015 $17,950 $20,100 $10,840 $13,178 $14,645 $17,648 $47,350 $49,840 $29,512 $35,989 $5,000





What would you say

to a younger student who is curious about joining GeoFORCE

By the end of the week,

you’ll want to study geology for the rest of your life.


GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

-Angel, Barrow

It Takes a Team


College of Natural Science and Mathematics, University of Alaska Fairbanks In 2013, GeoFORCE Alaska found its new home in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM), led by Dean Paul Layer. CNSM support for GeoFORCE Alaska is provided by Travel and Purchasing Coordinator Deanna Fitzgerald, Public Information Officer Meghan Murphy, Executive Officer Hild Peters, Administrative Assistant Tiffany Piser, Fiscal Manager Matt Seymour, and Administrative Assistant Pauline Thomas.

Thank you to all for your efforts on behalf of GeoFORCE Alaska!

GeoFORCE Texas, Jackson School of Geosciences, 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. GeoFORCE Texas is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year! Find out more about this decade of success at []. Thanks to everybody at GeoFORCE Texas for your support of the GeoFORCE Alaska program. GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report


“Being around people that want to learn more

greatest feelings in the world.� - Jerry, Nuiqsut and to expand your surroundings is one of the

Volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest Knowledge Gained

Identify volcanic structures and explain how they formed Compare volcanoes in Washington and Oregon to those in Alaska Understand coastal features and processes

The Place

2014 Academy Trip

Field stop locations:


Washington: Mount St. Helens Oregon: Mt. Hood; Smith Rocks State Park; Newberry National Volcanic Monument; Multnomah Falls; Crater Lake; Oregon Dunes State Park; Sea Lion Caves; Cape Perpetua; Heceta Head; Seal Rock.

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

The People Director: Sarah Fowell Coordinator: Anne Rittgers Instructor: Jim Beget Educational Coach: Frank Pickett Trail Driver: Matt Seymour Counselors: Rachel Conley, Kailyn Davis, Patrick Graham, Stefan Krogseng, and Colby Wright Sponsor Representative: Josh Payne, Shell GeoFORCE Texas Representative: Ann Merriman

“I personally enjoyed learning about how the cliffs or nuna get eroded by the waves because back at home, we could find new ways to prevent our nuna and cliffs from being eroded so that land loss wouldn’t be a problem.” -GeoFORCE student GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report


“GeoFORCE Alaska has definitely gotten me enthusiastic about geology. It has also helped me think about my future plans, such as college.� - Alynne, Barrow


GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 2014 Annual Report

GeoFORCE Alaska 2013 Annual Report


A Good Year:

2014 Program Highlights Student Village Visits: Spring 2014

Barrow, Nuiqsut, Wainwright April 29- May 1, 2014 Thank you to Teresa Imm at Arctic Slope Regional Corporation for sponsoring spring village visits. Program Coordinator Anne Rittgers visited three communities-in each, she met with personnel and worked with students on academic plans.

Resource Development Council Conference,

November 2013 Thank you to Ella Ede, making GeoFORCE Alaska participation possible by sponsoring Anne Rittgers and Hild Peters.

Coordinator Training with GeoFORCE Texas, February 10-14, 2014. Anne Rittgers traveled to Austin, Texas to learn from Lindsay Stephens, GeoFORCE Texas Program Coordinator, about academy logistics planning.

Department of Geology and Geosciences, Weekly Department Seminar Presentation: April 4, 2014. “I Didn’t Know Geology Could Be This Fun,” Dr. Sarah Fowell and Anne Rittgers.

Follow this QR code to see more photos from the Third Year academy trip! 28

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

GeoFORCE Alaska student Justin (Barrow) poses with Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell after the closing ceremony.

Third-Year 2014 Academy Closing Ceremony First ever GeoFORCE Alaska student-sponsor workshop. Before the closing ceremony, students and sponsors shared ideas about scientific interests, academy details, what GeoFORCE means to them, why students participate, why sponsors are invested, and advice on education and career plans. This workshop marks the first time the students and sponsors have come together to have this kind of direct dialogue. Jeff Kinneeveauk (ASRC Energy) talks with students Cynthia and Weston (left) and counselor Colby (right) at the student-sponsor workshop.

Later, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell addressed students and families during the closing ceremony. The closing ceremony was broadcast live online and is available for viewing at [ geoforce/]. Thank you, Lt. Governor, for a great keynote address! GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report


Looking ahead: Summer 2015

Fourth-Year Academy 2015

Structural Geology of the Rocky Mountains

Our first cohort of students will travel on their fourth, capstone academy trip to The Western United States, featuring field stops at Yellowstone National Park.




• • • • •

Utah: Lake Bonneville, Gilbert Geologic Park, Dinosaur National Monument

Identify metamorphic rocks Examine folds, faults Understand plate tectonics Focus on structural geology Reconstruct the geologic history of deformed rocks

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 Annual Report

Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Flaming Gorge

First-Year Academy 2015

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 2015. Locations in Alaska: University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fox Permafrost Tunnel, University of Alaska Museum of the North, Healy coal deposits, Denali National Park, Kincaid Park, Matanuska Glacier, Portage Glacier, and more

Objectives: • Identify sedimentary rocks • Examine environments of deposition • Reconstruct sequences of events 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. Contact Program Coordinator Anne Rittgers for more information, or give now at [].

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 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

First-year Academy: Alaska

Second-year Academy: Southwest

Fourth-year Academy: Rockies Coming in 2015!

Third-year Academy: Pacific Northwest

Help inspire students to discover their passion and become the next generation of Alaskan geoscientists.

Follow this QR code to give now to GeoFORCE Alaska.

GeoFORCE Alaska 2014 annual report  

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

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