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Two Ketchikan students earn research awards

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Two University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan campus students earned UAS Undergraduate Research, Experiential and Creative Activities program awards in January.

Student Ghert Abbott will use the $2,500 award to research "The Very Interesting Case of Jennie Lynch."

His faculty mentor, John Radzilowski, is UAS Ketchikan assistant professor of history.

Radzilowski said Lynch was an Alaska Native living in Ketchikan in the 1920s who was tangled in a years-long court case over land in the Ketchikan Creek area that had been taken from her.

Abbott is examining the intersection of Alaska territorial politics, Native land rights and social reform integral to the court case. The grant award will help him with travel expenses when he needs to examine historical records stored in Juneau, Radzilowski said.

Melissa Williams is the other Ketchikan recipient. She will use the grant money to research "Microalgae in Aquatic Ecosystems of Southeast Alaska." Her faculty mentor is Christopher Donar, an assistant professor of biology at UAS Ketchikan.

She is working to create a digital image database and a taxonomic reference collection of diatoms and other microalgae collected from marine and freshwater ecosystems in the vicinity of Ketchikan, according to University information.

Seven awards went to UAS Juneau campus students.

"We’re really happy," Radzilowski said. "We were the only one of the branch campuses that got these."

He said that the research projects are expected to be finished by fall.