FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A long-time scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has been named the new director of the school's Geophysical Institute.
Roger Smith, 58, has been the institute's interim director since last July.
He succeeds Syun Akasofu, who held the UAF position for about a year before becoming director of the International Arctic Research Center.
Smith is a physicist who has been a member of the UAF scientific community since 1984.
He bested three other finalists for the director's job: one from Hawaii, one from Canada and the third from Germany.
The Geophysical Institute director oversees the largest research institution on campus, with an annual budget of about $25 million.
Smith is a specialist in upper-atmosphere research who has made 11 visits to the South Pole.
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