UA Statewide Briefs

UAS professor earns book award

JUNEAU – University of Alaska Southeast assistant professor of English Ernestine Hayes is a winner of the 28th annual American Book Awards for 2007 for “Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir.” Past winners include such well-known writers as Russell Banks, Gerald Vizenor and José Antonio Burciaga.

Since its publication in 2006, Hayes’s memoir has earned regional, national, and international acclaim. It was a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize and a creative nonfiction finalist in the PEN Center USA Literary Awards.

Hayes is a member of the Wolf House of the Kaagwaantaan clan of the Lingit. Born in Juneau, Hayes has won recognition in Native oratory and storytelling. Her first book, Blonde Indian, was published by the University of Arizona Press in September 2006. She attended University of Alaska Southeast Juneau campus as a nontraditional student, completing her undergraduate studies in 2001. She then received a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing and literary arts from UAA and returned to Juneau to teach at UAS. Her current projects include a collection of linked short stories, a study of Raven tales and a fictional treatment of Lingit history. Among the classes she teaches are Introduction to Creative Writing, Humanities freshman seminar, Memoir Writing, and Native American Literature.

Lakes major source of prehistoric gas

FAIRBANKS – A team of scientists led by a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has identified a new likely source of a spike in atmospheric methane coming out of the North during the end of the last ice age.

Methane bubbling from arctic lakes could have been responsible for up to 87 percent of that methane spike, said UAF researcher Katey Walter, lead author of a report printed in the Oct. 26 issue of Science magazine. The findings could help scientists understand how current warming might affect atmospheric levels of methane, a gas that is thought to contribute to climate change.