Special Feature

Down Memory Lane


Every summer for the past several years I’ve had the pleasure of hosting a live event Monday evenings at the University of Alaska Fairbanks called “Down Memory Lane.” The series is hosted by UAF Summer Sessions and it features retired UAF professors and leaders discussing their experiences and time at the school. 

It won’t surprise you to learn the pandemic has shaken up this summer’s schedule a wee bit. The conversations won’t be live. The campus is closed for the season. Instead, I’m exercising some creativity, along with social distancing, to record my discussions with this year’s guests. I will be posting them here this summer.

This week I speak with former Engineering professor, Dean, Vice-Chancellor for Administrative Services and Director of the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, Frank Williams. Frank enjoyed a long career at the University of New Mexico Albuquerque before coming to Fairbanks. And, following retirement, he has played an active role in the community including serving and leading the board of directors at the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. 


The Big Five-Oh


Breaking ground on the Rasmuson Library

Earlier this month was supposed to see a big party at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Rasmuson Library. The building turned 50 years old. But the pandemic squashed that bash. This edition of Northern Soundings we hear from former director Paul McCarthy who discusses his long career at the Rasmuson. First, we begin with a conversation via Skype with current director Karen Jensen.

And bibliophiles won’t want to miss Chris Lott’s exploration of the many ways the love of books can veer off in unexpected directions on Katexic Clippings.


Music by Jukedeck

Pandemic Politics 2


My conversation with Alexander Hirsch, political scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Nate Bauer, Director of the University of Alaska Press continues. Coming off of South Korea’s elections last month many pundits saw the landslide results for the ruling government as an endorsement of its policies towards the pandemic. What, I wondered, would the United State’s response to COVID-19 bode for Republicans in November?