faculty listing

A Photo of  Douglas Dasher

Contact Information

Institute of Marine Science
135 Irving II
P.O. Box 757220
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220
Phone: (907) 347-7779
Fax: (907) 474-7204

Douglas Dasher Affiliate Faculty

Environmental Studies


  •  Affiliate Professor University of Fairbanks College of Natural Science and Mathematics—Engineering, Science and Technical Experimental Station.


  •  Radioecology studies.
  •  Marine and freshwater aquatic resource surveys.
  •  Contaminant fate and transport.
  •  Sediment trace metals and anthropogenic source contribution.
  •  Development of UAF ESTES-SFOS gamma spectroscopy laboratory for environmental radioactivity studies

Research Overview

My research interests are inspired by the need to understand the effects of our modern society on arctic ecosystems and to apply that understanding to the sustainable use of these ecosystems. One current focus involves multi-disciplinary environmental studies linking marine and freshwater environments to understand how they interact and the effect of anthropogenic stressors on these systems. This work links traditional oceanographic studies with critical environmental concerns represented by a developing field termed environmental oceanography. Critical environmental challenges face arctic aquatic ecosystems from long-range transport of contaminants, resource development pressures, population growth, and climate change. Good science can inform and assess environmental and resource management protection strategies.
Radioecology is another interest. I have done surveys at the Project Chariot and Amchitka underground nuclear test site in Alaska. Dr. John Kelley and I have established a UAF ESTES and SFOS gamma spectroscopy laboratory for environmental radioactivity studies. In 2012 this laboratory will complete quality assurance quality control development to support gamma counting of Cesium-137 and Lead-210 for sediment core dating application.

Current Research Projects

  •  NOAA 2011 Northern Alaska Pinniped Unusual Mortality Event
  •  National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska 5 Year Wetlands to Estuary Aquatic Resource Survey
  •  AKMAP Chukchi Sea Coastal Impact Assistance Program Survey


  • AKMAP Site
    Alaska Monitoring and Assessment Program
  • Aquatic Resource Monitoirng
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Aquatic Resource Monitoring web site providing techniques and supporting software for developing probabilistic spatially based surveys.


Selected Publications
Hamilton, T., Dasher, D., Brown, T., Martinelli, R., Marchetti, A. and Kehl, S. 2009. Determination of plutonium activity concentrations and 240Pu/239Pu atom ratios in Brow Algae (Fucus distichus) collected from Amchitka Island, Alaska. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 282(2), 477-482.
Dasher, D. W. Hanson, S. Read, S. Faller, D. Farmer, W. Efurd, J. Kelley, and R. Patrick. 2002. An assessment of the reported leakage of anthropogenic radionuclides from the underground nuclear test sites at Amchitka Island, Alaska, USA, to the surface environment. J. Environmental Radioactivity 60: 165-187.

Jewett, S. C., Zhang, X., Naidu, A. S., Kelley, J. J., Dasher, D. and Duffy, L. K. 2002. Comparison of mercury and methylmercury in Northern Pike and Arctic grayling from western Alaska rivers. Chemosphere 50:383-392.

Zhang, X., A. S. Naidu, J. J. Kelley, S. C. Jewett, D. Dasher and L. K. Duffy. 2001. Baseline concentrations of total mercury and methylmercury in salmon returning via the Bering Sea (1999-2000). Mar. Poll. Bull. 42:993-997.

O’Hara, Todd M., Dasher, Doug, George, John C., Woshner, Victoria. 1999. Radionuclide Levels in Caribou of Northern Alaska in 1995-96. Arctic, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 279 – 288