Rural Alaska Students in One-Health Research

Launching researchers on home shores through mentorship and college prep in rural Southeast Alaska.

Program Overview

We want to be a student's first positive experience with college science.

The program connects students with each other, teaches them about the connections between environmental and human health, and mentors them in conducting their own research projects with community mentors. Students may choose to participate in the RASOR program because they are interested or curious about the following activities:

  • Doing collaborative research in their environment
  • Participating in hands-on science
  • Learning about college or getting a head start
  • Connecting with students from other rural towns with similar interests
  • Science as a career

The RASOR Program operates on the traditional lands and waters of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples in partnership with local tribal organizations.

Who can be a RASOR student?

We welcome high school students from rural Southeast Alaska communities. We particularly encourage students from Metlakatla, Kake, Yakutat, Hoonah, Klawock, Hydaburg, Sitka, Craig or Kasaan to join the RASOR Program. There are course options for 9th-12th grade students.

What is the cost?

$25 per credit with options to take 1–4 credits per student per year.  Some students may qualify for external assistance. 

Learn with a cohort of other students with a flexible schedule

The RASOR program has worked with students from Yakutat, Gustavus, Sitka, Wrangell, Craig, Petersburg, Hoonah, Kake, and Metlakatla as well as Mt. Edgecumbe students. Students and mentors coordinate meetings according to their schedules.  

Participate in the Sitka Whalefest

Whalefest consists of dynamic science presentations, student discussion sessions, educational workshops and an ocean science quiz competition.

Earn college credits

Students will learn skills for college success and receive personalized advising to develop their interests and achieve their goals. 

In addition, students will earn college credits through the University of Alaska Southeast. During the fall, students travel to Sitka to take BIOL 175 Current Topics in Marine Research (1 credit) while attending the Whalefest Symposium. During the spring they will take BIOL 101 Introduction to Biological Research Techniques (1-3 credits) online in their home communities while doing research with local tribal mentors.

Engage in community-based research and present your results

Tribal environmental staff in each community will mentor students through authentic research projects related to the safety of subsistence foods in their community. Students will learn to present scientific findings in an effective and professional way to both members of their community and other researchers.

You Could Be Part of Our Next Group of RASOR Students!

High School Students, be a yearlong (2023 - 2024) RASOR student (10th - 12th grade) OR attend our fall Sitka Whalefest course (9th - 12th grade).

High school students dig for shellfish on a beach accompanied by a research mentor

Help us get to know you

Fill out our interest form or email UAS.RASOR@alaska.edu for more information

Funding Support

RASOR is supported by the National Institutes of Health, through a 5-year Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under award number R25GM129838-01A1. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH (National Institutes of Health).  

Position Posting: Rural Community Advisors

The UAS Sitka campus is looking to recruit four people from rural communities in Southeast Alaska to be a team of advisors for the RASOR program. For more details see our position description. No formal science or education training is needed.


Interested in learning more about participating RASOR in 2023-2024? Fill out this form to let us know a little about you and start planning ahead!  

RASOR Student Interest Form

Download brochure

Program Contact

Dr. Ellen Chenoweth — RASOR Program Director

Dr. Ellen Chenoweth — RASOR Program Director