Always engaging, naturally inspiring, the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus is home to remarkable public spaces. Places of interest include the University of Alaska Museum of the North, the Large Animal Research Station, the Georgeson Botanical Garden and the Geophysical Institute which offers weekly tours in the summer. The Geophysical Institute is one of the world’s foremost aurora research facilities.
University of Alaska Fairbanks students now number over 10,000 strong and enjoy a wide spectrum of classes, majors and research opportunities at America’s Arctic University. Poised on a ridge on the edge of town, the campus affords exceptional views of the Alaska Range, including Denali.
“Naturally inspiring” and always engaging, the University of Alaska Fairbanks has planned a variety of events both remembering the past and ushering in a new century. The cornerstone, wrought in 1917 to symbolize the establishment of the institution, has been replicated by the University of Alaska Museum of the North and placed in its original location.
The iconic University of Alaska Museum of the North is an outstanding facility for many reasons. The contemporary architecture was inspired by glacial crevasses, alpine ridges, the aurora borealis and break-up on the Yukon River.
The various galleries offer comprehensive displays on Alaska’s diverse cultures, natural wonders and flora and fauna, as well as exhibits showcasing over 2,000 years of Alaskan art. Exquisite Athabascan beaded moose hide clothing, quintessentially Alaskan paintings by old masters with wanderlust, ancient ivory and bone carvings that tell secrets of times past and contemporary photographs and found art that help define modern Alaska are on display year-round.
The meditative yet invigorating “Place Where You Go To Listen” is an original, real time, ever-changing sound and light environment developed by local composer John Luther Adams. The space interprets natural phenomena with sound including sunrises and sunsets, the phases of the moon, seismic action and the aurora borealis.
The museum is the farthest north repository, housing over 1.4 million artifacts in a labyrinth of laboratories and specialized storage beneath the building. These artifacts are the wellspring of all of the current exhibits and they dictate future exhibits as well, as was the case in the current Expedition Alaska: Dinosaurs exhibit. All of these reasons combine to make the UA Museum of the North one of Fairbanks most precious treasures.