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T3 Alaska Program

One Ocean LogoIn 2022, Upward Bound (UB) students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and from the University of Hawaii Maui College (UH-MC) participated in a high school summer program experience like no other – the One Ocean Summer Program. One Ocean was spearheaded by Upward Bound Directors Jana Wilkinson from UH-MC and Adam Low from the UAF. The One Ocean Summer Program utilized T3 Alliance project based learning framework to address mutual energy and climatic problems impacting their communities.

“Maui County and Alaska are especially vulnerable to the impact of environmental changes. These communities need to be resilient in ensuring that they are equipped to address, manage and adapt to environmental events and hazards. How can we build resilience and reduce the current and future negative impacts of environmental changes on our communities?”
– Jana Wilkinson, UB Director UH-MC

The students spent half their time in Hawaii and half their time in Alaska and worked with community partners to understand local, but shared, energy and climate issues within a cultural context. They applied problem-based learning and dove deep into their learning processes, clearly defined problems which they could address, and worked to develop prototypes for their solutions. The outcomes reverberated past the five weeks and was the catalyst for the T3 Energy Club.

Over the course of five weeks (three weeks at UAF and two weeks in Maui), 25 students from each program participated in an experience like no other.  Students experienced college-life firsthand at UAF, lived in the dorms with new roommates, worked on a rigorous schedule, developed relationships with students from beyond their home community, and learned to be grounded as they find healthy ways to deal with being homesick.


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