• General Communication, Inc. Project Management Office Reporting for Results Project

      Neill, Donna (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-12-01)
      General Communication Incorporated (GCI) is a project-driven company. As the PMO is established there is a need to document current reporting practices and improve the organizations project management maturity level by standardizing the reporting process and methodology, and determining the foundation to practice continuous improvement within the program management group. Research is needed to document an effective reporting system and implement improvements to the current reporting system with input from GCI team members. The goal of this project is to develop an effective reporting guide that documents current reporting templates and practices, and considers best practices and project management maturity for areas of improvements and more effective reporting.
    • Goals into Action: An Evaluation Report on the Third Bush Justice Conference

      Havelock, John E. (Criminal Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1977-04-23)
      This evaluation reports on the Third Bush Justice Conference, held in Kenai, Alaska on November 8–12, 1976. Prior bush justice conferences were held at Alyeska (1970) and Minto (1974). The report outlines themes addressed in all the bush justice conferences, focuses on ways in which bush justice conferences can improve the administration of justice in rural Alaska, and recommends ways in which state justice agencies and Alaska Native representatives can work together proactively to respond to specific problems identified at conferences.
    • Good collaborations: A case study of the Health Information Technology partnership

      DeFeo, Dayna Jean (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-01-01)
      The Health Information Technology grant was a collaborative partnership between the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), the University of Alaska Community & Technical College (UAA CTC) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) to establish the infrastructure for a distance-delivered Occupational Endorsement in Health Information Technology. This document describes a case study research project that explored the activities of the collaboration, specifically as they pertain to student services and outcomes. Student eligibility criteria included: Alaska Native, low-income, GED or high school diploma, and a 10th grade TABE test score; many of the student participants exhibited demographic characteristics that placed them at high risk for noncompletion. Ultimately, 10 of 25 (40%) completed the credential, and of these graduates, five are continuing their postsecondary studies for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. These success rates that exceed national averages for community college students prompted the team to explore the program elements that contributed to student success. A qualitative case study collected interview data from student completers, program staff, and faculty. It also reviewed program documents, and included visits to the physical spaces where the program was delivered. Tangible or material resources that contributed to the program’s success included stipends for student tuition and fees plus hourly compensation for time spent in class; the provision of laptops; adequate technology; staff and services that supported college transitions, social and personal needs, and academic success; a face-to-face kickoff event; and a cohort model. Qualitative aspects of the program that fostered success include staff commitment and positive attitude; clear roles for partners with a distributed workload; alignment of program objectives to each of the partners’ missions; communication; and student perseverance. Program elements that need to be revised, expanded, or improved prior to a second iteration include course sequencing, recruitment, technology, class times, and additional stipends. Opportunities for additional programming include industry involvement, career exploration, options for students who “change majors” or decide that the HIT field is not a good fit for their interests, job seeking and career planning support, additional attention to college readiness and soft skills, and incorporation of Alaska Native culture. A review of program elements that worked and need improvement identified opportunities to better align theory and philosophy, and to strengthen communication between staff and faculty who have complementary responsibilities to one another and to students. These discussions are recommended in order to develop more intentional and focused recruiting, to strengthen communication, and to develop a more culturally responsive curriculum. Though the program does not yet present itself as a best practice model, the program strengths and lessons learned were used to develop considerations for other programs and partnerships wishing to develop similar delivery methods.
    • Good collaborations: A case study of the Health Information Technology partnership

      DeFeo, Dayna Jean (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-01-01)
      The Health Information Technology grant was a collaborative partnership between the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), the University of Alaska Community & Technical College (UAA CTC) and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) to establish the infrastructure for a distance-delivered Occupational Endorsement in Health Information Technology. This document describes a case study research project that explored the activities of the collaboration, specifically as they pertain to student services and outcomes. Student eligibility criteria included: Alaska Native, low-income, GED or high school diploma, and a 10th grade TABE test score; many of the student participants exhibited demographic characteristics that placed them at high risk for noncompletion. Ultimately, 10 of 25 (40%) completed the credential, and of these graduates, five are continuing their postsecondary studies for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. These success rates that exceed national averages for community college students prompted the team to explore the program elements that contributed to student success. A qualitative case study collected interview data from student completers, program staff, and faculty. It also reviewed program documents, and included visits to the physical spaces where the program was delivered. Tangible or material resources that contributed to the program’s success included stipends for student tuition and fees plus hourly compensation for time spent in class; the provision of laptops; adequate technology; staff and services that supported college transitions, social and personal needs, and academic success; a face-to-face kickoff event; and a cohort model. Qualitative aspects of the program that fostered success include staff commitment and positive attitude; clear roles for partners with a distributed workload; alignment of program objectives to each of the partners’ missions; communication; and student perseverance. Program elements that need to be revised, expanded, or improved prior to a second iteration include course sequencing, recruitment, technology, class times, and additional stipends. Opportunities for additional programming include industry involvement, career exploration, options for students who “change majors” or decide that the HIT field is not a good fit for their interests, job seeking and career planning support, additional attention to college readiness and soft skills, and incorporation of Alaska Native culture. A review of program elements that worked and need improvement identified opportunities to better align theory and philosophy, and to strengthen communication between staff and faculty who have complementary responsibilities to one another and to students. These discussions are recommended in order to develop more intentional and focused recruiting, to strengthen communication, and to develop a more culturally responsive curriculum. Though the program does not yet present itself as a best practice model, the program strengths and lessons learned were used to develop considerations for other programs and partnerships wishing to develop similar delivery methods.
    • Green Bay Chronic Nuisance Notification Evaluation, 2006–2010

      Payne, Troy C.; Arneson, Michelle (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2012-09-04)
      Green Bay City Ordinance Chapter 28 allows the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin to recover the cost of providing police services for chronic nuisances. Enforcement of Chapter 28 began in October 2006 and continues as of this writing. This report examined calls for service at properties with chronic nuisance enforcement to determine if enforcement was associated with a reduction in calls for service. Enforcing the chronic nuisance ordinance is associated with reduced calls for service but is costly in terms of officer and analyst hours. The best use of the chronic nuisance ordinance may be as a credible threat to entice property owners to partner with the Green Bay Police Department on crime prevention and nuisance abatement efforts.
    • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Inventory From Transportation UAA

      Meléndez, Alejandra Villalobos; Gerd, Sarah Christine; Fay, Ginny (2011-01)
    • The Growing Number of Alaska Children in Foster Care, 2011-2015

      Vadapalli, Diwakar; Passini, Jessica (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-03-01)
      The number of Alaska children in foster care was up sharply in 2015, with the average monthly number jumping more than 20%. We don’t have the data to document why the number went up, but state officials have said it might be partly because the Office of Children’s Services (OCS) is investigating more cases and taking more aggressive measures to protect children and avoid another spate of child deaths, as happened in 2014. Recent news reports also point to increased abuse of heroin among parents as potentially contributing to more child abuse and neglect.
    • Growing up Anchorage 2015: Anchorage Youth and Young Adult Behavioral Health and Wellness Assessment

      Heath, Karen; Garcia, Gabriel M.; Hanson, Bridget; Rivera, Marny; Hedwig, Travis; Moras, Rebekah; Reed, Danielle; Smith, Curtis; Craig, Sylvia (University of Alaska Anchorage Center For Human Development, 2015-01-01)
      This report presents results of a community assessment to evaluate behavioral health indicators and related demographic, social, economic, and environmental factors pertaining to youth and young adults aged 9–24 in Anchorage, Alaska, focusing on three major areas: substance use, mental health, and suicide. The Anchorage Collaborative Coalitions (ACC), made up of four organizations (Healthy Voices, Healthy Choices; Anchorage Youth Development Coalition; Spirit of Youth; and Alaska Injury Prevention Center), contracted with the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development (CHD) to do a community assessment on substance use, mental health and suicide. The population for this assessment was youth and young adults in the Municipality of Anchorage. The assessment was completed in two phases. Phase I was a review of existing data from national, state, and local sources (referred to as “secondary data” in the complete report). Phase II focused on the collection and analysis of new data from surveys and focus groups (referred to as “primary data” in the complete report). One goal of the assessment was to engage coalition and community members in the process. Coalition and community partners assisted throughout the process by helping define the gaps in existing data, helping define the areas of interest, and helping identify the focus of new data collection. They attended trainings on data collection and analysis, participated in community discussions about the findings, and participated in focus group data collection and analysis. Alaska’s youth and young adults are impacted by substance use, mental health, and suicide in significant ways. These behavioral health concerns are often interconnected and can have severe consequences. Substance use can lead to problems with school, the law and to youth taking risks that can lead to serious injury or death. Substance use in adolescence can put youth at higher risk for major life impairments and chronic conditions, including severe mental illness. Poor mental health in youth and young adults can lead to poorer physical health in adulthood, higher rates of chronic illnesses, and earlier death. Mental health and substance use disorders are likely the third leading cause of suicide deaths. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control ranked Alaska as the second highest state in the nation for per capita suicide deaths. Family members and friends of people who die by suicide experience feelings of guilt, anger, abandonment, and shock. Also, these friends and family members are often at a higher risk for committing suicide in the future.
    • Guidelines and consideration for construction contractors using commodity futures as hedging tools for mitigating construction material pricing risk

      Ivanoff, Ian (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-05-01)
      Many would argue that risk management is the single most important element of a construction contractor's business enterprise. A significant risk to a contractor’s profitability is increased costs of construction materials. In many cases construction materials are the largest single component of a construction project budget. Contractors generally utilize contingency funds or contractual price adjustments clauses to address the risk associated with changes in construction material pricing. However, the use of contingency and contractual mechanisms comes at a cost. The additional costs are especially detrimental in construction markets that are competitively bid, because higher bid prices result in winning fewer jobs. An alternative risk mitigation is the use of commodity futures to hedge the risk of increasing construction material prices. A hedge is strategy for limiting losses by holding a portfolio of noncorrelated assets. The research of this study evaluates the application of commodity futures for hedging material pricing risk in the construction industry. Through statistical analysis and simulation studies this research concludes that utilizing commodity futures as a hedging strategy is effective risk mitigation against increased construction material costs. In addition, through a literature review this study explains the fundamentals of the commodity future market, and presents the mechanics of trading commodity futures. A guideline for using commodity futures as a hedging tool is included in this study.
    • Health Effects of Indoor-Air Benzene in Anchorage Residences: A Study of Indoor-Air Quality in Houses with Attached Garages

      Gordian, Mary Ellen; Frazier, Rosyland; Hill, Alexandra; Schreiner, Irma; Siver, Darla; Stewart, Alistair; Morris, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-06)
      Benzene is a known carcinogen. It affects white blood cells; it causes leukemia and aplastic anemia. It may also affect the immune system which is dependent on white blood cells.1 It has been removed from all household products, but it is still present in gasoline. Alaskan gasoline is particularly high in benzene (>5%). Gasoline refined in Alaska has high concentrations of benzene and other the aromatic compounds as much as 50% aromatics by volume. Leaving the aromatics in the gasoline helps cars start in the cold, but it also puts high concentrations of benzene in both the ambient and indoor air. We already knew from previous work done in Alaska by Bernard Goldstein in Valdez2 and the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services in Anchorage3 that people were exposed to high ambient levels of benzene in the winter, and that there were high indoor benzene concentrations in homes with attached garages if the garage was used to store gasoline or gasoline powered engines. Benzene does not bioaccumulate in the body as dioxin or some pesticides do. But are its effects cumulative? Does a little dose of benzene everyday have the same effect as a large dose over less time? Benzene reduces CD4 cells in a dose-response manner at workplace concentrations less than 1 ppm (OSHA 8-hour exposure limit) in workers.4 People who live in homes with high benzene concentrations may be exposed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There have been no studies of health effects of such environmental exposure to benzene. This study was done to determine three things: 1. What percentage of Anchorage homes with attached garages had high levels of indoor benzene? 2. Were the high levels of indoor benzene affecting the health of the residents? 3. Were residents more likely to develop asthma in homes with high levels of indoor benzene?
    • Healthcare Utilization Analysis for Housing First Program in Anchorage Alaska

      Becker, Gandy (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-05-01)
      Homelessness, especially for the chronically homeless individual with substance abuse issues, often results in high use of emergency services, depression, loss of hope, increased victimization, poor medical care of chronic conditions, and intense suffering for the individual affected. Proponents of the Housing First model believe that housing is a human right, a need, and should be made available to all for basic human dignity. The primary purpose of this study was to answer the question of whether a Housing First model example in Alaska has impacted healthcare utilization for this specific population. Data on hospital visit numbers and hospital costs were collected from both a tenant and a control sample, for the 2011-2013 period, from three area hospitals. Initial findings indicated there was higher outpatient healthcare service use for the tenant sample after obtaining supportive housing. The control sample also showed statistical significance for an increase in emergency services costs, which was not evident for the tenant sample. Future Housing First programs in Alaska may provide improved healthcare for individual tenants by increasing utilization of outpatient services.
    • Healthy Alaskans 2020 Implementation Pilot

      Allen, Laila (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      Healthy Alaskans (HA), now in its third iteration (HA2020), is Alaska’s Statewide Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). HA2020 consists of an overarching framework of 25 health goals or Leading Health Indicators (LHIs), for the state to track and achieve by the year 2020. These goals have a broad span and were informed by input from over 3,000 Alaska residents. Building upon the 25 LHIs as well as identifying evidence-based strategies to help achieve these goals brought the initiative to its implementation phase. In order to advance the initiative, four individuals (known as Coordinating Partners or CPs) were chosen to coordinate and pilot action strategies for four of the LHIs: socioeconomic status, suicide, tobacco, and domestic violence. Assessing the CP experience will provide the HA2020 Core Team with feedback from its core partners as it moves forward with implementing strategies to improve all 25 Leading Health Indicators. This practicum consisted of interviews with the CPs about their initial experience, from which themes and recommendations were extracted to assist future outreach and implementation efforts. Consistently occurring themes include the need to explicitly explain the role of the Coordinating Partners and the expectations and timeline for success. CPs expressed lack of clarity and divergent understandings about their role and expectations. Another key component of this practicum project was an extensive environmental scan and an online survey to help identify and document community agencies and individuals actively working to achieve the 25 LHIs. The results were compiled in a searchable spreadsheet with individual tabs for each pilot indicator, and shared with the CPs to facilitate outreach.
    • Healthy Minds Conversation with the Chancellor and Provost

      Rivera, Marny; Garcia, Gabriel M.; Hogan, Bill; Schultz, Bruce; Stalvey, John (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-04-22)
      As the University of Alaska’s health campus, we are uniquely situated to take a leadership role in supporting a healthy minds ethos on our campus. The conversation’s intent was help staff and faculty learn more about mental health services and education being offered at UAA and to share with us your ideas about how collaborations could better support your current and future work, as well as a healthy minds ethos at UAA. College of Health Dean Bill Hogan, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bruce Schultz and College of Arts and Sciences Dean John Stalvey will provide an overview of programs in their areas and lead the dialogue.
    • The Hidden Impact of a Criminal Conviction: A Brief Overview of Collateral Consequences in Alaska

      Periman, Deborah (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2007-12)
      Collateral consequences, a term used in this paper to refer generally to the effect of any measure that might increase the negative consequences of a criminal conviction, fall roughly into three categories: impaired access to, or enjoyment of, the ordinary rights and benefits associated with citizenship or residency, such as voting or driving; impaired economic opportunity, primarily through reduction of the range of available employment; and increased severity of sanctions in any subsequent criminal proceeding brought against the offender. These indirect but significant consequences of a felony or misdemeanor conviction are receiving increasing attention from policy makers, ethicists, and the bar. Setting aside issues of constitutional or statutory rights, the growing web of civil disabilities triggered by a criminal conviction raises fundamental questions about what makes sense as a matter of public policy. This paper examines policy considerations of collateral consequences and provides a preliminary effort to list all of the provisions of Alaska state law that may diminish in some respect the opportunities available to an individual with a criminal conviction in his or her background.
    • High Oil Prices Give Alaskans a Second Chance: How Will We Use this Opportunity?

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-09)
      Think about this: 10 years ago, it looked as if Alaska was on the brink of a tough transition to a post-Prudhoe Bay economy. Oil production was half of what it had once been, the state’s oil revenues were about $2 billion, financial reserves were falling, and employment in the oil industry was down. The price of Alaska oil, adjusted to today’s buying power, was $27 a barrel—and that was high by historical standards. Things have changed dramatically since then: a combination of much higher oil prices—about $115 a barrel as this paper is being written—and revisions in the way the state calculates production taxes have caused state oil revenues to skyrocket, even though oil production is down 40% since 2002. We now find ourselves in a second huge oil-revenue boom, comparable to the one in the early 1980s (Figure 1 ).
    • High Referral Rate for VPSO-Assisted Sex Assault Cases

      Myrstol, Brad A. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-04-02)
      This article reports findings from a recent study examining the impact of Alaska’s Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program on the criminal justice response to sexual abuse of a minor (SAM) and sexual assault (SA) cases closed by the Alaska State Troopers (AST) between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011 in western Alaska. The study found that the likelihood that a sexual assault or sexual assault of a minor case will be accepted for prosecution in western Alaska is enhanced when VPSOs are first responders. [This article also appeared on p. 1–4 of the Spring 2018 print edition.]
    • High Resolution Modeling of Arctic Sea Ice and Currents

      Zhang, Jinlun; Ravens, Tom (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-06-29)
    • History and Options Regarding the Unfunded Liabilities of Alaska’s Public Employees’ and Teachers’ Retirement Systems

      Groh, Cliff (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2018-04-08)
      In early 2003, financial analysts working for the State of Alaska announced that the two largest public employee retirement systems in Alaska had become significantly underfunded.3 From fiscal year 2006 (July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006) to date, the state has paid $6.951 billion— (an average of $534.7 million annually)—to pay down these obligations, which will be called “unfunded liabilities” in this paper.4 The State of Alaska has substantial unfunded liabilities remaining to pay off for these two systems, the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). There is uncertainty about the size of these unfunded liabilities, and there are also different ways of calculating them. For example, the State of Alaska’s snapshot balance-sheet approach, subtracting the accrued liabilities from the assets, based on their actuarial value, produces an estimate of $6.609 billion for the combined unfunded liabilities of PERS and TRS.5 That figure is an estimate of the unfunded liabilities discounted to the present day. Estimates of the size of the unfunded liabilities particularly vary based on the use of different critical assumptions, such as the rate of future returns on investment. As an example, using an estimated rate of return of 2.142 percent instead of the State of Alaska’s assumption of 8 percent produces an estimate of $33.9 billion for the state’s unfunded liabilities. 6 The State of Alaska has committed to paying off the unfunded liabilities under a 25-year amortization schedule that started in 2014, so another highly relevant measurement of those liabilities appears to be the amount actuaries for the state currently project will be needed under that pay-off plan, which runs through fiscal year 2039. The state’s actuaries project that from fiscal year 2019 through fiscal year 2039 the state will pay a total of $10.815 billion in extra contributions—called “state assistance” or “additional state contributions” in this paper—to pay off the unfunded liabilities. 7 In contrast to the state’s snapshot estimate of $6.609 billion, this estimate of $10.815 billion in state assistance represents a flow of annual cash payments. That is, the $10.815 billion is an estimate of the total amount needed to eliminate the unfunded liabilities of PERS and TRS under the 25-year amortization schedule the state adopted in 2014. 4 Note that this state assistance is above and beyond the amount the state is projected to owe in its role as employer in the normal course of funding the two systems.8 Employers other than the state—primarily local governments and school districts—also participate in PERS and TRS, and the figure for state assistance covers not only unfunded liabilities attributed to the state but also a portion of the unfunded liabilities attributed to non-state employers. As explained more later, the state has assumed, by statute, the responsibility to pay for a share of the unfunded liability of these other employers. 9 This paper: • Describes the structure of the Alaska public employee retirement systems in the context of some unusual features of public employment on the Last Frontier • Reviews how the problem of unfunded liabilities came about • Examines how concerns over unfunded liabilities produced both changes and proposed changes in the retirement systems over the past dozen years, including proposals for changes in the allocation of burdens between the state and local governments in paying for retirement benefits • Describes current projections of future amounts needed to pay off the unfunded liabilities • Discusses how future estimates of the unfunded liabilities might change in response to economic and demographic factors • Discusses legal provisions protecting the rights of beneficiaries of the retirement systems • Lays out options for policymakers—other than the current policy of paying down the unfunded liabilities over time—including buyout, bailout, and bankruptcy
    • The Homeless: Who and How Many?

      Armstrong, Barbara; Chamard, Sharon (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-09-22)
      Across the nation in both rural and urban areas, public and private agencies work to provide services for homeless people. One of the biggest challenges is collecting data about homeless individuals: how many people are homeless, who they are, what services they need most, and how long they have been homeless. This article looks at reports from 2012, 2013, and 2014 on estimates of homelessness in the U.S. and Alaska, the subpopulations of homeless individuals, and the various definitions of homelessness.
    • Homelessness Among Drug-Using Adult Male Arrestees in Anchorage, 2000-2003

      Myrstol, Brad A. (University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, 2009-07-01)
      Presents information on the prevalence of homelessness among Anchorage adult male arrestees based on data from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program compiled from 2000 to 2003.