A. Nakazawa1, F. Sorensen1, H. Matsuura2, D. DeHass1

1University of Alaska Fairbanks (UNITED STATES)
2Taisei Gakuin University - Osaka (JAPAN)
For many people in the United States, as well as the world, the State of Alaska is a symbol of nature – clean air, clean water, and a clean environment. Their image has the Aurora Borealis dancing in the winter sky; the wonderful Denali National Park surrounding the tallest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley (20,320 feet); and, abundant wildlife in all parts of the state. All of these images symbolize “the beauty of nature where man's power doesn't reach.”

Alaska is the largest state in the U.S. at 591,000 square miles and is larger than Texas, California and Montana combined. Alaska’s environment zones include the Arctic, sub-Arctic and rainforest. Each area presents many challenges for its communities such as solid waste disposal, recycling and wastewater treatment. The greatest challenge for these three issues is in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions for Alaska’s 200+ remote villages. Even transportation in remote areas comes with unique complications and considerations that are not apparent at first - such as the wide utilization of 4-wheelers and snow machines in the Arctic and sub-Arctic as well as boats in the Southeast rainforest. Seagoing barges from Seattle bring fuel oil, gasoline, food supplies, building supplies, vehicles and other necessities to coastal and Yukon River villages. Circumstances unique to Alaska with its huge landmass and different environmental zones are not experienced in the “Lower 48” states or in countries such as in Japan where space is limited and recycling is critical.

Part of the answer to assist remote rural communities to address all these issues involves the transfer and utilization of NEW Technology as well as the application of other Educational Technologies and Processes to assist the “transfer” process. Distance, costs, culture, population size, etc. are all factors that become very relevant to the success of the endeavor.

Prior to 1959 – “The early years” – to augment face-2-face and class room/workshop sessions, there was radio, telephone, and mail as the means of communication. The dog sled in winter and “bush” planes were the common mode of transportation between villages. These were the limitations when we discuss information/technology dissemination methodologies. The University of Alaska with its Land Grant Status and the Cooperative Extension Service circa 1935 Matanuska-Susitna (Matsu) Colony, was one model with the intended purpose of information/technology transfer to remote rural Alaska. There were others.

This presentation analyzes Alaska educational, information, communication, and demonstration technologies along with their relative “successes” and “limitations” in the educational process, both formal and informal. The focus initially will be through the experiences of the US Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension system in Alaska as it relates to technology transfer and to educational delivery. The experiences presented will include the University of Alaska which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1917 and its statewide network of local community campuses; and, various governmental, NGO, and private sector experiences in utilizing various educational technologies (to include organizational management approaches) to connect and move forward Alaska’s communities, both large and small.