Thursday, July 22, 2010

2010 Social Activities Calendar for New Faculty:

Welcome to UAF!
Participating in these activities will help you connect with other faculty while enjoying some of what Alaska has to offer.  I'll be posting a more detailed schedule as the New Faculty Orientation draws near (when and where we'll meet, lists of what to bring, etc).

In the meantime, click on the links below to find out more about the planned events (and save the dates in your iPhone, Blackberry, or Filofax...on your wall calendar... desk calendar...sticky notes on your get the these dates!)

Feel free to email me ( with any questions and/or to reserve your spot for the Usibelli Tour, Permafrost Tour or for the day trip to Denali National Park.

Day Trip: Usibelli Coal Mine Tour
September 4, 2010 Saturday, 8:30am-3:30pm
Electricity is powering your computer as you read this...and the coffee pot in the kitchen....and the lamp next to your bed. Per reports from Usibelli, nearly 10% of Alaska's electricity comes from the coal mined at Usibelli Coal Mine.  They are a family owned and operated mine.

"UCM currently has a work force of about 95 employees, and operates year-round. During more than 60 years of operation, mine production has grown from 10,000 tons to an average 1.5 million tons of coal per year. Currently the only operational coal mine in Alaska, UCM is supported by the most modern mining equipment and state-of-the-art engineering. Today, UCM supplies coal to six Interior Alaska power plants and exports coal to South Korea and several other Pacific Rim destinations." -

We will caravan 112 miles (1 hour 50 min) together to Healy, Alaska.  The 1.5 hour tour starts at 11am.

Times: We'll meet at the Taku Lower Campus Parking Lot (you'll see my Red Jeep Liberty) on University Ave/Farmer's Loop across from the Transfer Station at 8:30am and caravan to Healy. Tour starts at 11am (limited attendance/reserve your spot soon). Lunch afterward at 12:30 at Rose's Cafe. Depart for Fairbanks at 1:30pm arriving back by 3:30pm.
Cost: Free Tour, gas for your vehicle, lunch at Rose's Cafe.
Transportation: I do have a couple seats available in my vehicle, otherwise everyone will need to drive their own vehicle.

Pipeline, Permafrost and Prime Rib
September 11, 2010, Saturday
The Alaskan Pipeline can be viewed at a turn out along the Steese Hwy. We'll stop and check it out as we head toward the Permafrost Tunnel (limited attendance/reserve your spot soon) for a 5pm tour with Professor Yuri Shur from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. (Winter wear recommended.)  Afterward, we'll travel on to Fox for a great dinner at the Turtle Club, well known for Prime Rib.

Cost: Pipeline viewing= Free; Permafrost Tunnel Tour= Free; Dinner at Turtle Club= Starts at $23 for Foxy Cut (10-12oz) of Prime Rib and all you can eat salad bar.
Transportation: If you need a ride let me know; otherwise not provided.

Day Trip: Denali National Park
September 18, 2010, Saturday
Every year a few lucky Alaskans win the Lottery! The Denali National Park Lottery that is...we will be able to drive the Denali Park Road (personal vehicles not allowed without the lottery pass). This is the only road in Denali Park. It parallels the Alaska Range, through valleys and mountain passes. If the weather is good we'll see Mt. McKinley (the highest peak in North American with a summit elevation of 20,320.) Transportation is provided (limited seating/reserve your seat soon)....We'll depart from UAF at 6am and spend the day (a long day) sight seeing. Bring a camera  (you'll need evidence) to show everyone back home all the Alaskan critters we'll see....without photos you'll just be telling tall tales.
Cost: Bring your own food and beverages; $5 for pitching in to pay for Denali Park entry fees.
Transportation: Provided -with limited seating.
*Family Friendly* -with conditions- youth 12 yrs old and older in University vans only. There may be opportunities to bring your younger children in your personal vehicle if we have more lottery passes available. Check with Joy Morrison at

Scottish Chess On Ice 
September 24, 2010 Friday
Fairbanks Curling Club hosts their annual Open House. Experienced curlers will teach you how to curl! Learn how to 'throw a Stone.' Try to land it 'in the House.' If you're really good you'll be able to curl your Stone into the 'Button." This open house is also the time to sign up for league curling. League play is M-F evenings -some nights are for fun and others are competitive. Youth play and practice on Saturdays.

Cost: Free; (If you join the Curling Club Membership is $110 and $230 for Fall/Spring Ice Fees.)
Transportation: If you need a ride let me know; otherwise not provided.
*Family Friendly*

Day Trip: Hiking and Hot Springs
September 25, 20010, Saturday
Angel Rocks Trail (located at mile 48.9 Chena Hot Springs Road) is a local favorite (see the Pages section on this website for more info). Experienced and inexperienced hikers can enjoy this trail. Hike as much as you like and at your own pace (...I will...slow hiker that I am...and likely only hike part of it...but I'll wait for you!) and then we'll soak at Chena Hot Springs.

There are a range of activities you can do at Chena Hot Springs.  Free Geothermal Renewable Energy Tour daily at 2pm and 4pm. Drink an Appletini in an ice glass (not free) while you visit the Ice Hotel on site (see prices at the link below). Have dinner or a drink after soaking...stay the night ...I'll be driving back after dinner.  Click here for prices...

Cost: $5 to park at trail head; $10 for admission to Chena Hot Springs and $5 towel rental (bring a towel and save the $5)
Transportation: If you need a ride let me know; otherwise not provided.
*Family Friendly* A family pass is $60 for punch card with 10 admissions.

Koffee Klatch Fridays:
Meet me at the Alaska Coffee Roasting Company at 8:30am, every Friday morning  in September for coffee/tea and conversation.

September 3, 2010
September 10, 2010
September 17, 2010
September 24, 2010

Cost: Depends on how much coffee you need to start the day!


  1. Lara: great website!! You might add my email address where my name is listed to contact for additional Denali Park tickets.

  2. Hi JoyFlo, It's a done deal! I added it to the Denali Trip information...thanks for suggesting it!