University budget cuts may affect Alaska climate researchers

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A climate researcher at the University of Alaska Southeast says the state's leadership role in climate science could be threatened by budget cuts.

Professor of environmental science Eran Hood says a lot of faculty could leave and take their expertise with them.

Hood says they could also take tens of millions of federal dollars for climate change research with them.

Alaska's Energy Desk reports that Gov. Mike Dunleavy last month vetoed $130 million of state funding to the university.

In all, 41% of the university's state funding is in doubt.

Hood researches avalanches and glacial flooding events. He says he's brought in more funding to the university than the university has paid him in salary.

Dunleavy has said he based budget vetoes on a desire to provide basic services while understanding the state's fiscal constraints.

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