Anderson named director of UAF Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension

    Jodie Anderson has been named director of the UAF Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension. (Courtesy of Jodie Anderson)

    Fairbanks, Alaska (KINY) - Soil scientist Jodie Anderson has been named director of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Extension.

    Anderson will begin her new position on Jan. 29, taking over from interim director Pete Pinney.

    Anderson has served as director of the 920-acre Matanuska Experiment Farm and Extension Center in Palmer since 2018.

    Her personal life has shaped her passion for the mission of a land grant university.

    She is the great-niece and granddaughter of two Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service professionals.

    “I love what I do and give 100 percent to my job,” Anderson said. “I plan to follow the ‘engaged university’ model where IANRE will be a unit that is responsive, accessible, integrated, academically neutral, respects our partners and promotes resource partnerships.”

    UAF Provost Anupma Prakash said Anderson has demonstrated strong leadership as interim associate director of IANRE.

    “I look forward to working with her as she takes on the reins as the new IANRE director,” Prakash said. “She brings with her great passion, and creative ideas for growth that align with the values and mission of UAF and IANRE.”

    In addition to promoting research and Cooperative Extension Service activities, Anderson said, she also wishes to continue growing personal connections through service and her famous barbecues, which are known for bringing her team and stakeholders together.

    Anderson came to Alaska in 2003 after 11 years of teaching chemistry and life sciences to high school and college students in North Carolina. In Alaska, she began and managed the Alaska Community Horticulture Program for UAF.

    A self-described “nerd to the core,” Anderson’s research focuses on soil building, organic nitrogen soil supplements, compost development and community gardening.

    In her spare time, she likes to barbecue and grill, fish, hike and do other outdoor activities. Anderson said she has made it her personal mission to improve Alaska barbecue standards “one pork shoulder at a time.”

    A strong communicator, Anderson has traveled throughout Alaska, developing collaborations and relationships with teachers, growers and communities.

    “I am strongly aware of the opportunities and challenges of Alaska’s agricultural and natural resource industries, and the essential role IANRE plays in both areas, as well as the invaluable research and educational opportunities this unit provides to all Alaskans,” she said. “I am committed to helping these industries succeed, as well as ensuring all Alaskans gain and maintain access to valuable knowledge and research that will help them sustain and grow their communities for generations to come.”

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