• Aquatic Invasive Species Change Ecosystem Services from the World�s Largest Wild Sockeye Salmon Fisheries in Alaska

      Schwoerer, Tobias; Little, Joseph; Adkison, Milo (Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics, 6/3/2019)
      This study combines a multi-method approach to structured expert judgment with market valuation to forecast fisheries damages from introduced invasive species. The method is applied to a case study of Alaska�s first submersed aquatic invasive plant, Elodea spp., threatening Alaska�s salmon fisheries. Assuming that Elodea spp. remains unmanaged, estimated mean damages to commercial sockeye fisheries aggregated across Alaska amount to a potential $159 million annually with a 5% chance of exceeding $577 million annually ($2015 USD). The associated mean loss of natural capital amounts to $5.1 billion cumulatively over the next 100 years reaching $400 million after 10 years. Results from the expert elicitation indicate that there is a 35% chance of positive net benefits associated with the believed positive effects of Elodea spp. on sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). Despite the potential for positive net gains, the magnitude of the most probable damage estimate may justify substantial investment in keeping productive freshwater systems free of aquatic invasive species. The damage estimate for Alaska is significantly larger than similar estimates in the Great Lakes where ecosystems are already impaired by multiple aquatic invasive species, underscoring the value of keeping functioning ecosystems with global market value productive. This study is the first to estimate ecosystem service loss associated with introduction of an aquatic invasive species to freshwater habitat that supports the world�s most valuable wild sockeye salmon fisheries. Important policy implications related to natural resource management and efficient allocation of scarce resources are discussed
    • Invasive Species Management Programs in Alaska: A Survey of Statewide Expenditures, 2007 - 11

      Schwoerer, Tobias; Federer, Rebekka; Ferren, Howard II (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 11/1/2012)
    • Social Indicators for Arctic Mining

      Haley, Sharman; Szymoniak, Nick; Klick, Matthew; Crow, Andrew; Schwoerer, Tobias (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-05)
      This paper reviews and assesses the state of the data to describe and monitor mining trends in the pan-Arctic. It constructs a mining index and discusses its value as a social impact indicator and discusses drivers of change in Arctic mining. The widely available measures of mineral production and value are poor proxies for economic effects on Arctic communities. Trends in mining activity can be characterized as stasis or decline in mature regions of the Arctic, with strong growth in the frontier regions. World prices and the availability of large, undiscovered and untapped resources with favorable access and low political risk are the biggest drivers for Arctic mining, while climate change is a minor and locally variable factor. Historical data on mineral production and value is unavailable in electronic format for much of the Arctic, specifically Scandinavia and Russia; completing the historical record back to 1980 will require work with paper archives. The most critically needed improvement in data collection and reporting is to develop comparable measures of employment: the eight Arctic countries each use different definitions of employment, and different methodologies to collect the data. Furthermore, many countries do not report employment by county and industry, so the Arctic share of mining employment cannot be identified. More work needs to be done to develop indicator measures for ecosystem service flows. More work also needs to be done developing conceptual models of effects of mining activities on fate control, cultural continuity and ties to nature for local Arctic communities.