Alaska’s USDA Research Station to Close

Alaska’s U.S. Department of Agriculture research station is slated for closure by September 1, because of federal budget cuts. Federal officials want to take $42 million from the USDA Research Service budget.

The Alaska station in Palmer is one of ten nationwide, although research also takes place in Fairbanks and Kodiak.  Dr. Norman Harris, who is the administrator of the Palmer Center for Sustainable Living, says the termination of the research station does not mean that the University of Alaska research program in Palmer is shutting down.

Dr. Harris says two federal scientists, and their staffers, will lose their jobs. That could mean as many as 15 job losses in Palmer. Dr. Harris says the losses will hit the operations of the UAA facility hard.

Another contingent of researchers in Fairbanks will also be terminated due to the budget cuts. Congress could restore the money in the 2012 budget.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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