• Benefit-Cost Assesment of the Port Mackenzie Rail Extension

      Colt, Steve; Szymoniak, Nick (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-06-20)
      Costs We assume that the Port MacKenzie rail extension would cost $275 million to construct.1 This is a conservative estimate based on a range of between $200 million and $300 million for different route options. The time horizon runs 50 years from 2012 to 2061. O&M costs are assumed to be $1.5 million per year, with a net present value of $26.1 million. The net present value of all costs using a 5% real discount rate2 and a base year of 2010 is $301.1 million. Benefits The rail extension would provide two distinct types of benefits: 1) It reduces the cost of rail transportation; and 2) It is likely to stimulate significant new mines and other major development. These benefits come from a diverse mix of potential projects – thus a strength of the rail extension is that its economic viability does not depend on any one project. Reduced transportation costs Relative to Seward, using the extension would save 140.7 miles per one-way trip.3 Assuming an average cost savings of 6 cents per ton-mile and a 5.0% real discount rate, we estimate that using the extension would save $572 million in avoided rail costs, avoided port costs, and avoided railroad and road upgrades. These savings are shown in the table and figure on the following page. In addition to the above, we estimate that about 22,000 train crossings of Pittman Road and other roads would be avoided by the extension, saving motorists up to 64,000 vehicle-hours of travel time delay between now and 2061.
    • Benefits and Costs to Rural Alaska Households from a Carbon Fee and Dividend Program

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-06-22)
      This paper analyzes the benefits and costs of a carbon fee‐and‐dividend (CFD) policy to individual rural Alaska households. The three study area regions are the Bethel Census Area, the Wade Hampton Census Area, and the Northwest Arctic Borough. These three regions have the state’s highest fuel prices and very cold climates. The CFD policy consists of two elements.  The first is a fee of $15 per metric ton of CO2 beginning in 2016 and increasing by $10 per ton in each subsequent year. The second is the complete return of all fees to households in the form of dividends, which are estimated to equal $300 for each adult plus $150 for each child (up to two). The annual dividends would increase in future years commensurate with the total amount of fees.
    • Benefits and Costs to Rural Alaska Households from a Carbon Fee and Dividend Program - Final Report

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-08-01)
      This paper analyzes the benefits and costs of a carbon fee‐and‐dividend (CFD) policy to individual rural Alaska households. The three study area regions are the Bethel Census Area, the Kusilvak Census Area, and the Northwest Arctic Borough. These three regions have the state’s highest fuel prices and very cold climates. The CFD policy consists of two elements.  The first is a fee of $15 per metric ton of CO2 beginning in 2016 and increasing by $10 per ton in each subsequent year. The second is the complete return of all fees to households in the form of dividends, which are estimated to equal $300 for each adult plus $150 for each child (up to two). The annual dividends would increase in future years commensurate with the nationwide total amount of fees. Baseline conditions.  The study area has a total population of about 32,000 people, many of whom live in large households with low cash income. Fuel prices averaged $6.62 per gallon in January 2015.
    • Benefits of Alaska Native Corporations and the SBA 8(a) Program to Alaska Natives and Alaska

      Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage; Haley, Sharman; Fay, Ginny; Ainsworth, Joel; Angvik, Jane; Hill, Alexandra; Martin, Stephanie (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-07-07)
      Senator Begich’s office asked ISER for assistance assembling information to document the social and economic status of Alaska Natives and the benefits of the 8(a) program. His purpose is to brief Missouri Senator McCaskill and her committee which is reviewing the status of ANC contracts awarded under SBA’s 8(a) program. This review was triggered by a 2006 GAO report recommending increased SBA oversight to 8(a) contracting activity. Highlights of the GAO report are provided in Tab A.1; a letter dated May 15, 2009, from Senators Begich and Murkowski to Sentaor McCaskill, outlining their concerns is provided in Tab A.2. As the Congressional Research Service report (Tab A.3) explains, the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program targeting socially and economically disadvantaged individuals was operating under executive authority from about 1970, and under statutory authority starting in 1978. A series of amendments from 1986 to 1992 recognized Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) as socially and economically disadvantaged for purposes of program eligibility, exempted them from limitations on the number of qualifying subsidiaries, from some restrictions on size and minimum time in business, and from the ceiling on amounts for sole-source contracts. Between 1988 and 2005, the number of 8(a) qualified ANC subsidiaries grew from one to 154 subsidiaries owned by 49 ANCs. The dollar amount of 8(a) contracts to ANCs grew from $265 million in FY 2000 to $1.1 billion in 2004, approximately 80 percent of which was in sole-source contracts. (GAO Highlights, Tab A.1) The remainder of this briefing book is divided in three sections. Section 2 addresses changes in the social and economic status of Alaska Natives from 1970--the year before the enactment of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the subsequent creation of the ANCs--to the present. ISER’s report on the “Status of Alaska Natives 2004” (Tab B.1) finds that despite really significant improvements in social and economic conditions among Alaska Natives, they still lag well behind other Alaskans in employment, income, education, health status and living conditions. A collection of more recent analyses updates the social and economic indicators to 2008. There were many concurrent changes throughout this dynamic period of Alaska’s history and we cannot attribute all the improvements to the ANCs, though it is clear that they play an important catalyst role. In the final part of section 2 we attempt to provide some historical context for understanding the role ANCs have played in improving the well-being of Alaska Natives. Section C. documents the growth in ANCs and their contributions to Alaska Native employment, income, social and cultural programs and wellbeing, and their major contributions to the Alaska economy and society overall. Section D. Looks specifically at the 8(a) program. Although there are a handful of 8(a) firms with large federal contracts, the majority are small, village-based corporations engaged in enterprise development in very challenging conditions. A collection of six case studies illustrate the barriers to business development these small firms face and the critical leverage that 8(a) contracting offers them.
    • Benefits of the Cook Inlet Ferry to the Municipality of Anchorage

      Szymoniak, Nick; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-06-30)
      The purpose of this study is to examine the economic benefits of the Cook Inlet Ferry to the Municipality of Anchorage. The Cook Inlet Ferry is currently being built at the Ketchikan, Alaska shipyard. The U.S. Navy has financed construction of the ferry as a prototype military landing craft for northern, ice-filled waters. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough paid for Ferry engineering, design, and outfitting with federal transit monies. Following short-term Navy testing of the craft, it will be transferred to the Borough to provide ferry service in Cook Inlet. The Borough will provide operating and maintenance information to the Navy on an ongoing basis. The Borough will operate the ferry, which will provide regular service between Anchorage and Port MacKenzie as well as service to other points on Cook Inlet. The Ferry is expected to be operational by 2010.
    • Benefits of the Southcentral Rail Extension to the Municipality of Anchorage

      Colt, Steve; Szymoniak, Nick (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-01)
      The proposed Southcentral rail extension to Port MacKenzie is likely to generate significant economic benefits for the residents of Anchorage. These benefits are due to a combination of reduced transport costs, the ability to ship bulk commodities over shorter distances, and economical access to industrial land. We considered and analyzed these benefits under a set of assumptions about job creation, transportation costs, land use considerations and future mineral development. Our major findings include the following: Jobs • Port MacKenzie. The rail extension will generate new jobs for Anchorage workers by stimulating industrial development and jobs at Port MacKenzie. Under a base case scenario with a rail extension and ferry service, Anchorage residents would gain 730 average annual jobs and $50 million of annual income during the period of 2013 -2017 from industrial development at Port MacKenzie. Hundreds more jobs would be gained after 2017. The rail extension will play an important role in this process. For example, it will allow coal exports through the port as early as 2013, generating more than 100 jobs. • New Mines. Major new mines shipping concentrate via the rail extension would generate thousands of new jobs, and a significant fraction of these jobs would be held by Anchorage residents. Our detailed analysis of the potential employment from five specific mining projects indicates that more than 2,000 average annual jobs would be created in Anchorage or held by Anchorage residents once the mines are fully developed. Most of these jobs would be in mining and in professional sectors that pay good wages. Also, during initial mine development, many of the jobs would be in construction and fabrication. • Rail Construction. The construction of the rail extension would generate up to 3,000 total jobs, and ongoing operations would generate up to 150 total jobs. It is likely that many of these jobs would be held by Anchorage residents. • State Revenues. State mining taxes generated from new mines will boost the Anchorage economy. Estimated tax revenues and royalties would grow steadily, reaching $267 million per year by 2040. A large share of these potential tax revenues, roughly proportional to Anchorage’s share of state population, would likely flow into the Anchorage economy, sustaining hundreds of direct jobs and reducing property tax burdens that would otherwise stifle private sector job creation. Regional Competitiveness • New Economic Opportunities. Port MacKenzie and the rail extension, operating together, are a significant new strategic asset for the entire regional economy. This infrastructure will create expanded opportunities for mineral, timber, and energy resource development, and the export of bulk commodities by rail through Port MacKenzie constitutes a new economic sector for the Southcentral regional economy. As the region’s commercial and financial hub, Anchorage will gain jobs and income from all of this activity. • More Efficient Land Use. The rail extension allows for higher-valued use of land in Anchorage. The rail extension will allow for railroad-dependent industrial development to take place at Port MacKenzie. This development would allow limited existing industrialzoned land throughout Anchorage to be used for other, higher-value uses such as commercial development, while still meeting the regional economy’s need for industrial land. Fiscal Benefits • New State Revenues. As noted above, revenues to the State of Alaska from new resource development would grow steadily, reaching $267 million per year by 2040. These revenues will reduce the need for other taxes, stimulating capital formation and job creation by the private sector. • Higher Local Tax Base. Local governments will also see higher tax revenues from a higher-valued property tax base. The stimulated new development will increase the tax base and reduce the need to raise taxes on homeowners or existing businesses. Other Benefits • Port of Anchorage. The industrial and mineral development stimulated by the rail extension to Port MacKenzie will likely increase both the volume and the value of cargo going through the Port of Anchorage. For example, if large mines are developed, the goods and equipment used by the mines for development and operations will flow through Anchorage. • Rail Shipping Costs. The unit cost of shipping on the Alaska Railroad is likely to fall as fixed costs of roadbed maintenance and administration are spread over a higher volume of shipments.
    • Best Practices and Guidelines for Scheduling Oil Drill Rig Resources for Projects on Alaska's North Slope

      Mici, Alket (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-12-01)
      The recent increase in the number of the projects and activities on the North Slope of Alaska has become challenging, leading to numerous scheduling conflicts for equipment and resources. This project explains steps that can be taken to improve resource allocation and guidelines for scheduling oil drill rig work activities for oil and gas projects on Alaska’s North Slope. The project includes insights from two years of research to improve the oil drill rig scheduling process, a survey of subject matter experts involved in the oil drill rig scheduling process, research of similar Arctic environment projects, and the researchers professional experience identifying and mitigating risks and schedule conflicts in the mid-term planning phase of oil and gas projects. Implementing the proposed guidelines has improved the oil drill rig scheduling process, roles and responsibilities are more clearly defined, communication among groups has been improved and support groups have adequate time to complete their work. Results include reduction of oil drill rig move downtime and a reduction in the time to produce oil after the oil drill rig leaves the well site.
    • Better Understanding the Modifiers of Domestic Water Consumption: An Investigation Project

      Lespin, Eric J. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-04)
      Around the world different living circumstances have an enormous yet poorly quantified impact on human water consumption. Water consumption levels are in turn closely linked to health and quality of life, particularly where access to water is limited. These facts place significant water and health impacts in the hands of those who make design and implementation decisions about living circumstances – professionals who are not necessarily experts in matters of water. This investigation was an examination of the abundant yet discordant and atomized data on human water consumption, providing a summary of water consumption modifiers and water consumption numbers over a wide range of circumstances, in table form, to those involved with dwelling infrastructure, water/sanitation, hygiene, or other water-impacted fields. Disambiguation of the water consumption concept was necessary, which encompasses three categories of consumption: footprint, domestic, and ingestion. Footprint water consumption was documented to be greater than domestic consumption by an order of magnitude. Domestic consumption was found to be ~99% defined by our surroundings and to vary between 7 and 600 lpcd. Principal modifiers of domestic consumption are service level, sanitation decision (dry vs. flush), presence of metering, use of low flow fixtures, residential lot or compound size, and climate. Sanitation decision is linked to substantial health externalities. Price appeared to have a less-than-anticipated impact, due likely to social/health restraints in applying strict economic principles. Dwelling size was found not to be a modifier. Relative impact of modifiers discussed.
    • Beyond Infrastructure: Broadband for Development in Remote and Indigenous Regions

      Hudson, Heather E. (Rural Development Institute, Brandon University., 2013)
      Recent telecommunications stimulus projects in the U.S. and Canada were intended to increase availability of broadband through funding infrastructure investments, largely in rural and remote regions. However, true access involves more than availability; it also includes affordability and adoption. This paper presents a framework for analyzing broadband adoption that takes into consideration geographical, economic and cultural environments in indigenous communities. It includes an overview of potential social and economic impacts of broadband in remote areas, using examples from the Alaska study and the Canadian North. It then reports on results of an evaluation of Internet use and potential adoption of broadband in remote indigenous communities of southwest Alaska. Finally, the paper provides a comparative analysis of U.S. and Canadian policies intended to achieve affordable access to broadband for rural users and sustainable business models for rural broadband providers.
    • Blackfish Lessons on Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Indigenous Culture

      Swensen, Thomas (2017-09-11)
      This essay, “Blackfish Lessons on Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Indigenous Culture,” examines Yup’ik interventions into understanding the place of human-nonhuman animal relations in regard to ecological sustainability. In lending consideration to Indigenous culture, the first part of the essay explicates the Yup’ik way of living, the Yuuyaraq, and its relationship to the environment. Then the essay turns toward two Yup’ik stories about blackfish, John Active’s “Why Subsistence is a Matter of Cultural Survival: A Yup’ik Point of View” (2001) and Emily Johnson’s “Blackfish,” taken from The Thank-You Bar recorded performance (Johnson, 2009), that speak to the imbrications of Indigenous culture and the environment.
    • Blended Learning in Culinary Arts: A Case Study in Learning and Perception

      Everett, Naomi S. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      There is great need for skillful culinary employees for a wide variety of positions in the hospitality, hotel, and restaurant industry. Culinary school provides a baseline educational experience for students looking to pursue this career field. Culinary instructors find themselves obligated to discover ways to promote student learning in classic culinary competencies while evolving with a population that is tech-savvy and requires more than the standard lecture and rote memorization of materials. This paper describes an exploratory study that incorporated videos as part of a blended learning model in a traditional face-to-face culinary arts class at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The curriculum was on poultry fabrication, and data collection focused on students’ skills and their perceptions of the blended learning activities. Initial feedback suggest that including videos in the culinary arts classroom facilitates learning, and though they cannot replace in-class live demonstrations, are beneficial educational accompaniments. Recommendations for practice and implications are discussed.
    • Book Review of Village Journey by Thomas R. Berger

      Conn, Stephen (1985-09)
      This article reviews Village Journey: The Report of the Alaska Native Review Commission by Thomas R. Berger (New York: Hill and Wang, 1985). The Alaska Native Review Commission, headed by former Canadian parliamentarian and justice Thomas Berger, initiated an inquiry into the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) in 1984, visiting 62 villages and hearing 1600 residents to determine ANCSA's impact on Alaska Native lands and communities. Berger found that ANCSA had placed Native land at risk, endangering not only its title but the rights of Alaska Natives to subsist upon it.
    • Brady Statute Data: Adjudicated Mental Defectives and Involuntary Mental Commitments

      Atwell, Cassie; Trostle, Lawrence C.; Barnes, Allan R. (Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit, Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1997-09-08)
      Currently, Alaska law enforcement agencies do not obtain data on four noncriminal categories prohibited by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 from obtaining firearms. This, the first of four reports on these categories, describes how adjudicated mental defectives and involuntary mental commitments can be identified within an Alaska context and discusses possible procedures, problems, and solutions associated with data collection. The report discussed federal statutory definitions of the terms adjudicated as a mental defective, committed to a mental institution, and legal authority; compares these terms with those current in Alaska Statues and used by social service and mental health agencies in the state; and describes, in general, data held by federal, state, local, and private agencies in Alaska. At present, there is no clear or cost-effective way to create and maintain a database for either of the two categories with any accuracy: besides technical difficulties in getting different databases to "talk" to each other, records are not kept on mentally ill individuals, and even if they were, access would be prohibited in the face of federal and state laws regarding privacy.
    • Brady Statute Data: Establishing Noncriminal Classifications for the Alaska Department of Public Safety

      Atwell, Cassie; Trostle, Lawrence C.; Barnes, Allan R. (Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit, Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1998-09-14)
      The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 prohibits the purchase of firearms by persons in certain noncriminal categories. These reports describe potential data sources for the identification of mental committments, addicted substance abusers, illegal aliens, and persons who have been the subject of a domestic violence restraining order and discusses possible procedures, problems, and solutions associated with data collection for the purpose of Brady background checks. Lack of infrastructure for collecting certain types of data, incompleteness of information, and state constitutional protections, including the guarantee of privacy, are the chief obstacles to completely meeting the provisions of the Brady Act in Alaska.
    • Brady Statute Data: Establishing Noncriminal Classifications for the Alaska Department of Public Safety—Executive Summary

      Barnes, Allan R.; Trostle, Lawrence C.; Atwell, Cassie (Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit, Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1998-09-14)
      The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 prohibited the purchase of firearms by persons in certain noncriminal categories. This executive report summarizes study findings on potential data sources for the identification of mental committments, addicted substance abusers, noncitizens in the U.S. illegally or unlawfully, and persons who have been the subject of a domestic violence restraining order and briefly discusses possible procedures, problems, and solutions associated with data collection for the purpose of Brady background checks. Lack of infrastructure for collecting certain types of data, incompleteness of information, and state constitutional protections, including the guarantee of privacy, were the chief obstacles to completely meeting the provisions of the Brady Act in Alaska.
    • Brady Statute Data: Persons Who Are Illegally or Unlawfully in the United States

      Atwell, Cassie; Trostle, Lawrence C.; Barnes, Allan R. (Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit, Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1998-09)
      Currently, Alaska law enforcement agencies do not obtain data on four noncriminal categories prohibited by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 from obtaining firearms. This, the fourth of four reports on these categories, describes how undocumented immigrants who are unlawfully in the United States can be identified within an Alaska context and discusses possible procedures, problems, and solutions associated with data collection. It was found that the most feasibile means for obtaining information for the purposes of Brady background checks would be the Verification Information System (VIS) of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). However, project researchers received no response from INS to inquiries about requirements of access to VIS.
    • Brady Statute Data: Persons Who are Subject to a Court Order Restraining Them from Threatening or Committing Acts of Domestic Violence or Abuse

      Atwell, Cassie; Barnes, Allan R.; Trostle, Lawrence C. (Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit, Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1998-03-06)
      Currently, Alaska law enforcement agencies do not obtain data on four noncriminal categories prohibited by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 from obtaining firearms. This, the second of four reports on these categories, describes how persons subject to a domestic violence restraining order can be identified within an Alaska context and discusses possible procedures, problems, and solutions associated with data collection. The state is rapidly moving to the point where all individuals who meet the Brady definition for this category will be identified, the information housed in a separate database, and reported to federal agencies. AS 18.65.540 provides for a central registry of Domestic Violence Protective Orders, a product of the (state) Domestic Violence Prevention and Victim Protection Act of 1996.
    • Brady Statute Data: Persons Who Are Unlawful Users of or Addicted to Any Controlled Substances

      Trostle, Lawrence C. (Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Unit, Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1998-09)
      Currently, Alaska law enforcement agencies do not obtain data on four noncriminal categories prohibited by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 from obtaining firearms. This, the third of four reports on these categories, describes how persons who are unlawful users or addicted to any controlled substance can be identified within an Alaska context and discusses possible procedures, problems, and solutions associated with data collection. At this time there is no clear or cost-effective way to create and maintain a database for either addicts or controlled substance abusers with any accuracy. Records are not kept on addicts or controlled substance abusers, and even if they were, because of the right to privacy, access would be denied. However the Criminal Case Intake and Disposition form is currently used statewide by law enforcement personnel. It could be modified with little effort to capture information on some addiction/controlled substance abuse events for the purpose of Brady background checks.
    • Bridging Justice Communities: A Professional Workshop Curriculum for Alaska Natives

      University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 1998-12)
      Despite the complicated legal and justice questions which present themselves regularly in the life of the Alaska Native community, Native employment in justice system positions — in the bureaucracies and agencies which administer the state and federal justice systems — is low. The program outlined in this document presents a twelve-day to two-week educational workshop for Alaska Native participants focusing on opportunities for careers in the justice system.
    • A Brief Look at Gangs and the Fairbanks Gang Assessment

      Parker, Khristy (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-07-01)
      This research overview presents selected information from the 2010 Fairbanks Gang Assessment, along with national data about gang member demographics, gang membership motivation, and problems caused by gangs.