Sen. Murkowski and the University of Alaska Prepare for Alaska National Lab Day

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced that she will participate in the first-ever Alaska National Lab Day being hosted by the University of Alaska from Tuesday, May 29 through Thursday, May 31. During the forum, internationally renowned scientists from the Department of Energy (DOE) and its national laboratories will gather with Alaska’s elected, academic, and industry leaders to discuss their work and learn about opportunities for partnerships throughout the state.

Murkowski, who helped organize the event, will kick off National Lab Day by providing keynote remarks to attendees on Wednesday, May 30, at 9:15 a.m. AKDT. 

“We are so excited to host National Lab Day in Alaska, and welcome the chance to showcase the good work that our communities and universities are doing to pioneer solutions for a wide range of energy and environmental challenges,” said Murkowski. “We look forward to forging new partnerships that will help us meet state goals such as reducing rural energy costs, safeguarding against natural hazards, and boosting the deployment of clean energy technologies.”

The U.S. Department of Energy has 17 national labs located around the country that have served as leading institutions for scientific research and innovation for more than 70 years. Breakthroughs in renewable energy, the worldwide web, satellite technologies, and safe drinking water are among the many innovations to emerge from them over the years.

This unique event, which will be held on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, will allow representatives from the labs to come together with Alaskans to discuss cutting-edge work being undertaken to develop the next generation of energy, defense, and other technologies.

“We are grateful for Sen. Murkowski’s efforts to bring representatives of these premiere scientific centers to the University of Alaska to explore how we might work together on research so critical to our state’s and our nation’s future,” said UA President Jim Johnsen. “This forum will provide a rare opportunity to showcase the university’s expertise in how we employ research to solve every day problems facing Alaskans.”

“Alaska National Lab Day is an opportunity for UAF and the national labs to build on our existing partnerships and develop new ones that will lead to energy and security solutions for the Arctic and rural areas of the nation,” said UAF Chancellor Daniel White. “UAF is uniquely positioned to be a strategic partner for the national labs in these efforts.”

“The Department of Energy’s National Laboratories are home to individuals who turn thought into action into achievement and impact,” said Paul Dabbar, DOE’s Under Secretary for Science. “Alaska is also home to great innovators and achievers, and that’s why we’re so pleased to join Chairman Murkowski at National Lab Day at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Together, we’re opening frontiers … and we’re creating the future.”

“All of us in the community of National Labs applaud Sen. Murkowski for her leadership in federally sponsored research. And we look forward as she brings us together again, this time on her own home turf, for a timely and opportune discussion about how we can use science to help solve many of the challenges confronting the state,” said Martin Keller, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “While Alaskans face many energy challenges, we also know the state also has abundant energy resources. The work done by NREL and other National Labs, along with our many Alaskan partners, clearly demonstrates that advanced energy technologies can provide practical, affordable and resilient energy solutions for the Alaskan towns and villages which need them most. National Lab Day in Alaska will focus on ways we can continue, and expand, this important work.”

“Alaska has long played a special role in addressing challenges with major implications for our nation's well-being, such as defense, climate, and energy production and use,” said Mike Witherell, Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “These challenges are central to the mission of the Department of Energy, and they will continue to anchor existing and future collaborations between Alaskans and the U.S. national laboratories.”

“Sandia National Laboratories has been working in Alaska for more than 20 years because the rapidly changing Arctic is at the forefront of a number of national security issues. Alaska offers a unique environment for researching basic science and energy challenges,” said Dori Ellis, associate laboratories director at Sandia California. “We are proud to partner with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and others on this important work.”

National Lab Day kicks off with an open house at 11 research facilities on UAF’s campus on Tuesday, May 29. Over the next two days, the main conference will feature a number of plenary sessions and panel discussions highlighting opportunities for collaboration that will help Alaskans develop their vast resources, improve defense and aerospace technologies, empower local entrepreneurs, and navigate changes in the Arctic—among many other topics.

Click here for more information about National Lab Day and to view the full agenda. Click here for a list of speakers. Members of the media can register here to attend.

Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.