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Rural Alaska Honors Institute

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is home to the Rural Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI).  The program helps Alaskan high school students get ready for college through an immersive summer experience that includes college classes, research opportunities as well as some of the cultural and social experiences unique to living on a college campus.
Our lab has hosted participant in RAHI since the summer of 2009. This page collects images and bits of information related to our participation in RAHI.

In the 2012 iteration of RAHI, we hosted three students. Robert Marcotte mentored Jacinta Matthias. Thaddaeus Buser mentored Reanna Moses and Kyran Ruerup. The photos posted below were taken by Todd Paris for UAF.

Jacinta Matthias
 - Molecular variation and adaptation in Alaskan ciscos
This study explores the biology of speciation in three Alaskan species of whitefish: Coregonus autumnalis (Artic cisco), C. laurettae (Bering cisco) and C. sardinella (least cisco).  A single DNA region thought to influence speciation, the regulatory region of the cytosolic malate dehydrogenase (MDH1) gene, will be sequenced to analyze variation.  By comparing the variation found in the regulatory region of the MDH1 gene between and among the target species, we hope to be able to observe patterns indicating the gene’s role in generating diversity in species of Coregonus.


Kyran Ruerup - Evolution of color change in marine sculpins

My RAHI project is a study of the evolution of the ability to change color in marine sculpins (family Cottidae). The study consists of two related analyses. First, a tree of evolutionary relationships (or phylogenetic hypothesis) is inferred using information from species differences in DNA sequence at several target genes. The phylogenetic tree inferred in the first step is used as a map on which to plot the color changing ability of different species of sculpins. Examining the placement of color change ability on the phylogeny will help us understand the origin and subsequent evolution of the trait in this group of species.


Reanna Moses - Phylogeography of

The tidepool sculpin (Oligocottus maculosus) is a small, benthic, intertidal fish that lives in tidepools and rocky habitats from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska to Los Angeles County, California. This range spans a broad range of latitudes. Recent morphological analyses have shown phenotypic variation within the tidepool sculpin across its range.
The main goals of this project are to map the genetic diversity of tidepool sculpin across its range and investigate the ways in which geography has influenced the distribution of genetic variability.

 Poster session - July 2012