University of Alaska Fairbanks

Keith Dunkle

Executive Director
Geophysical Detection of Nuclear Proliferation
University Affiliated Research Center

The GDNP UARC continues to establish solid foundations and collaborative relationships within the University of Alaska education system, the state of Alaska, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the proliferation research community. UARC staff, in coordination with the Geophysical Institute, continue to adjust research and operating framework focused on executing five lines of effort. The use of this framework assists UARC staff and researchers with focusing on high-priority and potentially high-payoff research efforts.

In another year of sustained growth, the UARC added three new task orders and completed two task orders since the last annual Program Management Review (PMR). 12 GDNP task orders carried into the calendar year 2022 and the UARC remains prepared to include an Arctic research core competency to the portfolio moving forward.

-Joined the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics (UCAH). Since joining the consortium in April 2022, the GDNP UARC has become an active member of the UCAH Federal and National Laboratory Advisory Board.

-Completed Enhancing U.S. Global Nuclear Detection Capabilities Report. This three-person, co-authored, peer-reviewed Enhancing U.S. Global Nuclear Detection Capabilities Report was written in response to Senate and House Armed Services Committees FY21 National Defense Authorization Act questions.

-Completed self-assessment for a comprehensive review. After four successful years under the existing indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, the UARC staff initiated an Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering [OUSD(R&E)] directed comprehensive review by submitting a self-assessment. The self-assessment evaluated technical needs, mission requirements, unique capabilities, and performance as they relate to the UARC’s core competencies.

-Nominated to participate in DIANA. In an 8 April 2022 public release, the Department of Defense, OUSD(R&E), announced that they are taking the lead in coordinating U.S. participation in the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) initiative. DIANA is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) effort to accelerate dual-use and Emerging and Disruptive Technology solutions through innovation.1

NATO announced DIANA at the North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels on June 14, 2021. “The Accelerator’s goal is to enhance and accelerate trans-Atlantic cooperation on critical technologies and help NATO work more closely with private-sector entities, academia, and other non-governmental entities. DIANA will have main offices in both Europe and North America and coordinate with existing test and innovation centers throughout the alliance. The Accelerator will also build and manage a network to help start-ups and non-traditional companies better support alliance technology requirements. DIANA will focus on seven key emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, big-data processing, quantum-enabled technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, hypersonics, and space. DIANA will also include a venture capital fund, called the NATO Innovation Fund, which will invest €1 billion over fifteen years into deep-tech startups.”2

-Improved program management, budget processes, and security. At the GDNP UARC’s request, the University of Alaska joined the FFRDC/UARC Security Council3. The UARC is actively participating in the Department of Commerce’s Export Enforcement Academic Outreach Initiative4 and the UARC has invested in Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) training for members of the University of Alaska’s information technology staff to better achieve DoD security requirements.

The UARC maintained neutral personnel growth in 2022. Potential projected personnel growth in 2023 includes a chief data scientist, an Arctic research specialist, and possibly a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) manager and additional program manager(s) as required. Again, a very successful and productive year for the UARC staff; however, much work remains.

The GDNP UARC funding for CY2022 was roughly $22M, a slight increase from CY2021’s $18.8M. Numerous option years are expected to be funded, which if fully funded, will bring the 5-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) total award to $104M in CY2023. The GDNP UARC continues toward our goal of providing relevant and responsive support to the Department of Defense (DoD) science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) education efforts and research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E), for critical technology areas, to the DoD, and other national and international non-proliferation efforts. The GDNP UARC remains focused on supporting DoD STEM education efforts and providing solutions for nuclear proliferation concerns and challenges that our nation faces.

1 NATO. (2022, April 7). NATO sharpens technological edge with innovation initiatives. North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Retrieved December 15, 2022, from

2 U.S. Department of Defense. (2022, October 27). DoD Announces U.S. Representative to NATO DIANA Board of
Directors. Retrieved December 15, 2022, from

3 About FFRDC/UARC Security Council. (n.d.).

4 U.S. Department of Commerce. (2022, June 28). U.S. Department of Commerce Memorandum for All Export
Enforcement Employees. Bureau of Industry and Security. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from

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