Naturally inspiring and always engaging, the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus is home to remarkable public spaces. Poised on a ridge on the western edge of town, the campus affords exceptional views of the Alaska Range, including Denali.
UAF's more than 8,000 students enjoy a wide spectrum of academic and research enterprises at America’s Arctic university. The 1917 Alaska Territorial Legislature established the university, and the first classes began in 1922. Additional branches of the University of Alaska system have since opened in other cities.
The University of Alaska Museum of the North, Geophysical Institute, Large Animal Research Station and Georgeson Botanical Garden are visitor favorites. Click here for more about visiting UAF.
The University of Alaska Museum of the North's iconic, contemporary architecture was inspired by glacial crevasses, alpine ridges, the aurora borealis and breakup on the Yukon River.
The museum's galleries offer a comprehensive exploration of Alaska’s diverse cultures, natural wonders, flora and fauna, as well as more than 2,000 years of Alaska art. Year-round displays feature exquisite Athabascan beaded moosehide clothing, Alaska paintings by old masters with wanderlust, ancient ivory and bone carvings that tell secrets of times past, and contemporary photographs and art that help define modern Alaska.
The meditative yet invigorating “Place Where You Go To Listen” was developed by local composer John Luther Adams. The space uses sound and light to interpret real-time data from natural phenomena, including sunrises and sunsets, the phases of the moon, seismic action and the aurora borealis.
The museum is the farthest-north repository of its kind. It houses over 1.4 million artifacts in a labyrinth of laboratories and specialized storage areas beneath the building. These artifacts provide a wellspring for fascinating exhibits that share Alaska's past and present.
The Geophysical Institute is one of the world’s foremost aurora research centers. Scientists here also study volcanos, earthquakes, permafrost, glaciers and more. The big blue dish on the building receives satellite imagery data. Thirty miles north of Fairbanks, the institute operates a rocket-launching range. Summer guided tours are offered at both the on-campus building and the rocket range.
Large Animal Research Station
Reindeer and muskoxen, as well as domestic cattle, roam a field on the northern edge of campus. University researchers and students study the animals' nutrition, physiology and behavior. The fields were donated to the university by an early Fairbanks farming family. A gift shop on site offers items by Alaska artists.
Georgeson Botanical Garden
This garden discovers and shares knowledge about high-latitude horticulture. Its roots lie in the Fairbanks agricultural experiment station, one of several established in Alaska by Charles Georgeson beginning in 1898. The garden is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.