FAIRBANKS - Gov. Frank Murkowski urged University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers to help Alaska's economy by helping expand production of resources and providing expertise to counter people who would lock Alaska away from responsible development.
"The university can help in this area," he said Wednesday. "We need you to prioritize your research to help us develop our resources."
Murkowski and 10 of his 14 state commissioners met at UAF in a series of meetings aimed at showing off research projects.
"This is going to be a very important day, not just for the university, but for Alaska," said UA President Mark Hamilton. "Every one of you will have thought today, 'I had no idea this went on at the University of Alaska."'
Murkowski said the state needs scientific expertise and the University of Alaska can supply it.
"I am asking you to prioritize your research to meet the needs of our state. Tailor your research to help create jobs for Alaskans," Murkowski said. "The state needs UAF to be a source of expertise to stand up to those who would lock Alaska away from responsible development."
Murkowski said he was especially interested in turning UAF's attention to efforts by the administration to expand production of oil and gas and other resources.
Murkowski showed interest in the university's remote satellite sensing capabilities, which can be used to detect oil deposits and could also assist in gathering information for offshore drilling. Murkowski and commissioners also were interested in other uses of remote sensing, from monitoring forest fires to wildlife counts.