News Briefs

Professor gets $225,000 to study frog brains

Biology professor Jocelyn Krebs was recently awarded a $225,000 three-year research grant titled, “Role of the Williams Syndrome Transcription Factor in Xenopus neural development.”

Patients with Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, have characteristic “elfin” features, overly social personalities, learning deficits and visual-spatial impairments. The study’s goal is to provide insight in reducing Williams Syndrome.

The award will provide supplies and salaries to support students researching in Krebs’ lab.

Master’s program achieves accreditation

UAA’s Master of Science in Project Management program earned accreditation from the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center.

The institute is a nonprofit association for the project management profession. Twelve universities worldwide have received accreditation for master’s degree programs in project management.

In addition, the master’s program recently expanded its learning space at the University Center. The new space features a classroom that can deliver real-time courses to students in Anchorage and simultaneously around the globe.

The master’s program reused materials, furnishings and technology from elsewhere at UAA to save money and avoid waste.

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The master’s program graduated 10 students in a specialized program in 2006, and started a second special program with 15 students in August. It allows students to complete coursework in 18 months rather than the traditional two- to three-year time period.

Contact the master’s program at

Wayward walrus recovered near Red Dog Mine

An apparently orphaned walrus that had eluded several capture attempts since August was recovered and transported to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward recently.

The young male walrus, an apparent orphan named “Chukchi,” was flown to Kotzebue and Anchorage on chartered cargo planes, and is now residing in the Alaska SeaLife Center’s rehabilitation facility.

Visitors to the center can observe Chukchi on a monitor near the touch pool, via a video camera linked to its quarantined area.

NANA Management, the Native corporation owning the land where the walrus was roaming, supported recovery efforts. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contacted several Alaska Native groups in the area to see if they wanted to harvest the walrus, but was declined so it could be recovered and transported to the SeaLife Center for care.

Several SeaLife Center researchers are UA professors. UA graduate students also work at the center. They have limited work with wildlife rehabilitation, but this type of rehab provides a great opportunity to learn about factors affecting marine mammal populations, which sometimes leads to research projects, according to the center. Contact 224-6304 or

Library offers help in citing sources

The Consortium Library is offering two citation management systems for faculty and students.

One system, RefWorks, is Web based and available with Internet access. Follow the RefWorks link on the Consortium Library Web page to access and register for the system. Refworks accounts are free and can search databases, library catalogs and the Web. The system will launch when the users save their citations. Online tutorials are available.

The second system is EndNote, which requires payment of a user fee and computer installation. UAA Faculty and Students can purchase EndNote from the UAA Campus Bookstore for $40 until the end of the Spring 2008 semester.

Foundation opens scholarship applications

The UA Foundation has made privately funded scholarships available for students attending any campus of the University of Alaska during the 2008-09 academic year. There are 62 scholarships offering awards from $500-$8,000. Requirements vary. Application deadline is Feb. 15, 2008.

For more information, visit or contact Brandi Berg at 450-8030.

UAA represented at honor society convention

Mary T. Weiss was among 323 delegates, observers and guests to attend the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi’s 2007 Triennial Convention in Orlando, Fl., this summer. She is a 10-year member of the UAA chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Attendees of the convention listened to presentations by award winners from the honor society’s grant programs, shared ideas and inspiration at chapter training sessions, and conducted the Society’s business.

Professor named to editorial board in Penn.

G. Andrew Page, assistant professor in the College of Education, was named to the editorial board for the refereed Journal of Lifelong Learning. This yearly journal is published through Indiana University in Pennsylvania. He serves until 2010.