The State of Alaska possesses many natural characteristics that make it an ideal setting for environmental and water-related research. Unique hydrological and geological phenomenon such as permafrost and glaciers, an environment dominated by snow and ice, over one million lakes greater than five square miles, 38% of America's coastline, 45.5% of its wetlands....the list of reasons to conduct research in Alaska goes on and on.
Because of the many opportunities in the State, WERC's annual research budget currently runs around $1.2 million dollars, most of which is directed towards funding graduate research projects Funding is provided by state, federal agencies, and private grants.
WERC's mission is to provide basic and applied information about water and environmental resources, to train students in aspects of these resources, and to disseminate information and the results of research to the public and surrounding community.
As pressures to increase resource development in areas of mineral and oil extraction, forestry and fisheries in Alaska grow steadily, it is becoming imperative to find meaningful answers to questions about the arctic and subarctic ecosystems. WERC scientists are providing cutting edge research results which will aid in the pursuit of careful and sustainable development of Alaska's bountiful natural resources, protection of fragile ecosystems, and better understanding of the role of arctic and subarctic regions in the global ecosystem.