Last updated: 6/21/2011
Fairbanks, Alaska
Street Address
907 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Mailing Address
907 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99701
phone: 907-474-7505
fax: 907-474-5469
The museum is open year round on the UAF campus.
Summer Hours
May 15 - September 15, 2011 Daily 9 AM - 9 PM
Winter Hours
September 15, 2010 - May 14, 2011
Monday - Saturday9 AM - 5 PM
Closed Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas
Admission $10 general admission $9 senior (60+) $5 youth (7-17) Free for museum members, UA students with ID and children under 7. Movie Ticket: $5 / Audio Guide: $4 Museum members receive free admission to the exhibit galleries throughout the year, invitations to exclusive member events, and a 10% discount at the Museum Store, which offers a wide variety of Alaska Native artwork, jewelry, books and other merchandise. All material in the store relates to the museums collections, and all proceeds support the museum's operations.
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Carol Diebel, Museum Director
phone: 907-474-6939
Theresa Bakker, Communication Manager
phone: 907-474-6941
Andrew Quainton, Membership Coordinator
phone: 907-474-6939
Dan David, Visitor Services Manager
phone: 907-474-5137
Janet Thompson, Event Coordinator
phone: 907-474-6640

The University of Alaska Museum of the North is a thriving visitor attraction, a vital component of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the only research and teaching museum in Alaska. The museum’s research collections – 1.4 million artifacts and specimens – represent millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions in the North. The collections are organized into 10 disciplines (archaeology, birds, documentary film, earth sciences, ethnology/history, fine arts, fishes/marine invertebrates, insects, mammals, and plants) and serve as a valuable resource for research on climate change, genetics, contaminants and other issues facing Alaska and the circumpolar North. The museum is also the premier repository for artifacts and specimens collected on public lands in Alaska and a leader in northern natural and cultural history research.

These collections form the foundation for the museum's research, education programs and exhibits. Exhibit highlights include a 2,000-year spectrum of Alaska art, from ancient ivory carvings to contemporary paintings and sculpture, in the Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery; the state's largest public display of gold and Blue Babe, a 36,000-year-old mummified steppe bison, in the Gallery of Alaska; and an ever-changing sound and light installation driven by the real-time positions of the sun and moon, seismic activity and the aurora in The Place Where You Go to Listen. The museum offers special exhibits, lectures and family programs on a variety of topics throughout the year.


The University of Alaska Museum of the North is the only museum in the state with a tripartite mission of research, teaching, and collecting. The museum’s botanical, geological, zoological, and cultural collections, primarily from Alaska and the Circumpolar North, form the basis for understanding the local as well as the global past, present, and future. Through collection-based research, teaching, and public programs, the museum shares its knowledge and collections with local, national, and international audiences of all ages and backgrounds.


The University of Alaska Museum of the North has been around since the earliest days of the University of Alaska. In 1926, at University President Charles Bunnell’s request, local naturalist Otto Geist traveled throughout Alaska collecting ethnographic and archeological artifacts. In 1929, the museum invited the public to celebrate its grand opening, displaying Geist's acquisitions and the university’s small painting collection. These items were the museum's first northern treasures.

After statehood, the museum's growth followed waves of rapidly changing times in Alaska. In 1961, the federally created Alaska Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at the University transferred its mammal, bird, and plant collections to the museum. In 1970, the museum acquired existing fish and marine invertebrates collections, as well as the Institute of Northern Forestry’s plant collection from the U.S. Forest Service. After the 1970s pipeline boom, money flowed into the museum to expand and diversify its art and ethnology collections. In the 1980s, federal and state resource management legislation prompted the collection of new natural and cultural history material from across Alaska. In 1991, the museum created the Alaska Frozen Tissue Collection, a regional collection of zoological materials supported by the National Science Foundation, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and others. In 1993, in compliance with the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act, the museum began the process of returning human remains and other sensitive items from the Museum’s archeology collection to Alaska Native villages across the state.

For more than 50 years, the museum made its home on the university’s lower campus, first on the top floor of the Eielson Building and then in Signers' Hall. In 1976, the Friends of the University of Alaska Museum organized and actively petitioned Alaska Governor Jay Hammond and the Legislature to appropriate funds for a new building. With their support, the museum opened in 1980 at its present location. It was a bold architectural statement for its time and was expected to be the first phase of a larger structure.

That larger structure opened in 2005, with a new wing doubling the size of the facilities to 83,000 sq.ft. Designed by architect Joan Soranno and the GDM/HGA team, the signature architecture of the new wing evokes images of glaciers, a diving whale's tail, the prow of a ship, and other Alaska themes. Inside, expanded and renovated research labs, exhibit galleries and educational facilities serve all aspects of the museum's mission. Today, the museum is the premier repository for artifacts and specimens collected on state and federal lands in Alaska and a leader in northern natural and cultural history research and education.

Artifact Collections

The museum's collections include more than 1.4 million artifacts and specimens representing millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions in the North. Many of these are rare and unique, but there are also long series of specimens representing all aspects of regional natural history. Such series, often accumulated over decades, are a crucial resource for research. The collections are organized into 10 research disciplines.

Research Collections

Our curatorial staff and their students, faculty and students throughout the University of Alaska, state and federal agencies, and national and international researchers all use and improve the museum's collections through ongoing research projects ranging from short-term high school Science Symposium investigations to large-scale, multi-national, multi-institutional collaborations.

Educational Programs

Our faculty curators and collections not only provide resources for academic training at undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels, but we are also heavily involved in community outreach, including school visits, public presentations, and workshops. We also mentor researchers at many levels, from high school to undergraduate and graduate students to postdoctoral researchers.




Wheelchair Accessible


Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop


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