page last updated: 5 April 2010

WERC Researchers harvest ice cores from Quartz Lake

Credit: WERC photo by Rob Gieck

Upper Kuparuk river meteorological station (center) and Dalton Highway (top)

The mission of the University of Alaska Fairbanks is to serve as the premier university in arctic and subarctic research and teaching. The Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC) fills that role in scientific and engineering studies related to water resources and environmental quality.

WERC's mission is to perform basic and applied research related to water and environmental resources, to train graduate students at master's and PhD levels in this field, and to disseminate pertinent research information to the public. Graduate education is acquired through student participation in various research projects.

Funding is obtained from state and federal agencies as well as from private companies and foundations. Faculty, staff, and students at WERC are working to develop a better understanding of the arctic and subarctic environments. Research disciplines at WERC include

  • environmental, civil, and arctic engineering
  • environmental science
  • oceanography
  • limnology
  • hydrology
  • microbiology
  • geochemistry
  • hydraulics

WERC scientists are conducting cutting-edge research to help improve the quality of life for arctic inhabitants while supporting careful and sustainable development of Alaska's bountiful natural resources, protecting fragile ecosystems, and seeking to better understand the role of the arctic and subarctic in the global system.