• What's the Economic Importance of Alaska's Healthy Ecosystems?

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2001)
      About one quarter of Alaska’s jobs depend in one way or another on the state's fish, wildlife, scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, and public lands. That’s a rough estimate of what healthy ecosystems contribute to the economy. Salmon and other natural assets depend on habitat, clean water, and other benefits from Alaska’s ecosystems.2 Those natural assets in turn support jobs—about 84,000, once we adjust for some double-counting across industries. We include only jobs that depend on healthy ecosystems and natural assets and that are sustainable year after year. About half the ecosystem-related jobs rely on commercial, sport, and subsistence harvests of fish and wildlife. Tourism, recreation, and government management of public lands and resources support the other half. Another way of measuring the economic importance of Alaska’s ecosystems is what economists call “net willingness to pay.” That’s an estimate of how much more Americans would be willing to pay—besides what they already spend— to maintain Alaska’s natural assets. That method allows economists to assign a dollar value to things like scenery. Why would we want to put an economic value on such intangibles? It’s a useful way of show- ing that—aside from other kinds of value—Alaska’s healthy ecosystems have enormous economic value. Our ability to estimate net (or additional) willingness to pay for ecosystem benefits does vary, depending on what’s being valued.
    • When Mental Illness Becomes a Police Matter

      UAA Justice Center (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-10-18)
      Mental illness is not a police matter in and of itself and most people with mental illness (MI) are not involved in the criminal justice system. When police do interact with an individual with MI, care needs to be taken not to label the person as the problem but to focus on behavior that causes harm to self and others.
    • When Values Conflict: Political Accommodation of Alaska Native Subsistence

      Holleman, Marybeth; Morehouse, Thomas (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1994)
      Management of subsistence hunting and fishing in Alaska today is caught between federal law and the Alaska constitution. The federal Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA) requires giving Natives and other rural residents subsistence preference-that is, first call on fish and game when they are scarce. But the Alaska Supreme Court~ McDowell decision in 1989 held that a similar state law was unconstitutional, because the state's constitution prohibits granting such preferences based solely on place of residence. As a result, the federal government now manages subsistence on federal lands, the state on state lands, and it appears to some that the two management systems are headed toward an inevitable "horrific collision." This paper argues that although the fundamental value conflict between equal rights and cultural survival cannot be resolved, it can be circumvented and at least partially neutralized. Legislators, judges, and administrators can focus on material or economic problems of resource conservation and allocation, which, unlike value conflicts, are more susceptible to compromise.
    • Whitepaper reports to the Municipality of Anchorage - Education

      Cueva, Katie; DeFeo, Dayna (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-05-05)
    • Who Benefits from an Oil Boom? Evidence from a Unique Alaskan Data Set

      James, Alexander; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Elsevier, 2020-08-26)
      Oil booms have been shown to increase local employment and wages. But these effects reflect the aggregated experience of residents, commuters, and recent migrants alike. This paper takes advantage of a unique data set that identifies a rich set of labor market outcomes by place of residence, rather than by place of work. Exploiting this feature of the data, we examine the effect of a major oil boom on employment and wage outcomes in the North Slope Borough of Alaska. This analysis is juxtaposed with a more conventional one that uses place-of-work data collected from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Using the Synthetic Control Method, we find that the oil boom of the late 2000s significantly increased non-residential employment. While the boom caused residential employment to shift from the public to the private sector, total residential employment was unaffected. There is weak evidence that residential wages increased in response to the boom. These results are important as drilling decisions are often negotiated locally by interest groups that might be less concerned with general equilibrium effects.
    • Who Pays for Alaska's Schools?

      Larson, Eric; Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1995)
      Alaska's public schools cost $1.2 billion in the 1992-93 school year. That included both operating and capital spending and amounted to about $10,000 for each of the state's 119,000 elementary and secondary students. This research summary looks at where Alaska's public schools got their money and how they spent it in 1992-93. We don't yet have complete figures for the 1993--94 year. The information is based on work by Matthew Berman, and Teresa Hull.
    • Who Will Pay for Balancing the Budget?

      Leask, Linda; Goldsmith, Scott; Berman, Matthew; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      Alaskans will pay more and get less from state government in the 1990s. But how will the burden of spending cuts and tax increases fall on richer and poorer and urban and rural households? That depends on which policies state officials choose. Alaska faces big and growing budget deficits because the petroleum revenues that mostly paid for state government in the 1980s are steadily shrinking. When those deficits will start is uncertain, but low world oil prices are erasing the budget surplus state officials had expected as a result of the Middle East war. This paper assesses how different taxing and spending policies could affect different kinds of households. As a measure of those effects we examine relative losses in disposable household income. Budget deficits will of course have other effects on households. Some households will be hurt a lot more than others by broad economic losses and reduced government services. Alaskans who lose their jobs will obviously suffer bigger losses than we describe. But relative household income loss is a good measure of the equity of various fiscal policies. We estimate losses in disposable household income by comparing how various fiscal policies reduce state transfer pay-ments and increase state and local taxes.
    • Why Aren't They Teaching? A study of why some University of Alaska teacher education graduates aren't in classrooms

      Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane; Shaw, Donna Gail (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-01-01)
      Alaska Statute 14.40.190(b), passed as Senate Bill 241 in 2008, requires the University of Alaska (UA) Board of Regents to submit a report each regular session titled Alaska’s University for Alaska’s Schools that “describes the efforts of the university to attract, train, and retain qualified public school teachers.” In 2012 this report documented that approximately 50% of UA initial teacher preparation graduates did not teach in Alaska public schools after completing their programs. Unfortunately, the data available could not tell us the reasons why so many graduates were not employed as teachers. In response to legislators’ questions about this, the three UA Education deans (with support from the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research) made a commitment to conduct a 2012 research project to understand why graduates of UA initial teacher preparation programs did or did not teach in Alaska public schools after completing their programs. This project was conducted in response to that commitment.
    • Why Canadian Indian Law Is Important to Alaskans, Why Indian Law in Alaska Is Important to Canada

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1990-04)
      Federal policy governing indigenous peoples in Canada has been marked by repeated glances south and west (at Alaska) as it has been formed through parliamentary edict, case law and Constitutional entrenchment. Although rooted in a common Crown policy, the discrete history of Canadian policy has diverged from American practice even as the country's historical and its political development have diverged. Unlike United States policy, the underpinnings of Canadian Indian law as it related to aboriginal title land rights and the limits and potential of tribal sovereignty are only now coming into focus. This belated articulation of Indian rights parallels similar developments in Alaska where land rights and tribal rights are only now being defined. In both Alaska and Canada, hunting and fishing rights and tribal governance are political and legal matters whose impact on resource development and control by provinces and states make neat application of older Indian law concepts less predictable. Cases in either place offer guidance to federal courts in either country within a modern debate over public land rights. The author suggests that attorneys in each place monitor case law and legislation only now emerging.
    • Why Did They Do That? An exploration of explanations as to why Europeans behave as they have towards Native People

      Kaliss, Tony (2015-03-06)
      The purpose of this paper is to encourage deeper understanding of the Native- European interaction by focusing on the question of Why Europeans acted as they did towards Native peoples. I encourage this because I'm not satisfied with the answers I have seen to this question, because answering it is central to understanding the Native- European interaction, and, lastly, because exploring and answering this Why has become timely and essential. Being dissatisfied, it follows I provide my own Why answer--and I do so below. However, it became clear in developing this paper that just as important, perhaps even more so for encouraging a deeper understanding, is an exploration of the process of how this basic question has been approached. This led me to several other Why questions: Why hasn't the basic issue of European motivations been more fully explored, considering the enormous amount that has been said and written about the Native- European interaction? Why have so few writers, Native or non-Native, even asked Why? Why do people begin to ask Why at a certain point in time and not another? And why are the Why's offered inadequate--in my opinion? All this led me to structure the paper as follows. First are some comments about levels of knowledge. Second, I report on a survey of the works of 14 writers in which it might be expected that the Why question would be taken up, which means discussing both the absence and the presence of Why answers. Third, I critique the several Whys I did find. Fourth, I give my own Why answer. And Fifth, I suggest some reasons why the Why question has not been more asked or explored.
    • Why do Women Choose to Bed-Share With Their Infants?

      Miller, Victoria (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-09-02)
      In the early 1990s, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) initiated Back to Sleep to decrease infant mortality from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). A decline in SIDS followed; however, accidental deaths from asphyxiation, overlaying, falls, and suffocation increased. Classified as Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUID), these deaths occurred more frequently in infants who bed-shared. To minimize the risk of SUID, the AAP released guidelines in 2011 advising against bed-sharing. However, despite the new guidelines, bedsharing rates remain near 50%. The purpose of this systematic literature review is to examine why women bed-share. The author found better sleep, breastfeeding, closeness, convenience, and safety as frequent reasons for bed-sharing. Less commonly found were culture and financial limitations. A greater understanding of the reasons women bed-share can help providers discuss this issue with parents, guide interventions to reduce bed-sharing, and improve compliance with AAP guidelines.
    • Will they stay, or will they go? Teacher perceptions of working conditions in rural Alaska

      Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane; Kasemodel, Craig (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-06-01)
      Teacher turnover in rural Alaska schools has been a significant problem for decades. Why do we care? National research indicates a strong correlation between high turnover and poor student outcomes (Ronfeldt, Loeb and Wyckoff, 2012), and we see this in Alaska. Out of the 25 rural districts with high teacher turnover rates, ten graduated fewer than 60% of their students between 2008 and 2012, and 5 graduated fewer than half their students.
    • Will they stay, or will they go? Teacher perceptions of working conditions in rural Alaska

      Hill, Alexandra; Hirshberg, Diane; Kasemodel, Craig (Center for Alaska Education Policy Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 6/1/2014)
    • Win or Lose: Residential Sorting After a School Choice Lottery

      Bibler, Andrew; Billings, Stephen (SSRN, 2018)
      We examine residential relocation and opting out of the public school system in response to school choice lottery outcomes. We show that rising kindergarten and sixth graders who lose a school choice lottery are 6 percentage points more likely to exit the district or change neighborhood schools (20-30% increase) and make up 0.14-0.35 standard deviations in average school test scores between lottery assignment and attendance the following year. Using hedonic-based estimates of land prices, we estimate that lottery losers pay a 9-11% housing price premium for access to a school with a one standard deviation higher mean test score.
    • Wind Farm Feasibility and Cost Analysis Kobuk River Valley, Noorvik and Kiana

      Smith, Cory (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      Western Alaska villages have incredibly high energy costs due to being off the road system. They rely upon the delivery of fuel by air cargo or barge cargo services for their diesel power plants. This is a particularly costly operation, and fuel prices delivered by this method are typically double, or even triple, the national average. In turn, this results in monthly electricity bills of $500/month or more for a typical household in the winter, which most families in this impoverished region can’t afford. The Northwest Arctic Borough (NWAB) has some of the highest cost averages of Western Alaska, due to its extreme remoteness and very limited barging capabilities. This Capstone project will involve researching the high energy costs in Western Alaska, with special attention to the NWAB, compared to both Alaskan and national averages; and, will research the costs of planning, construction, and operations of wind farms in Western Alaska. The project will enlist various research methods, including literary research, interviews, estimating, and cost analysis tools. It will present a cost analysis of designing, constructing, and maintaining a wind farms vs. traditional diesel generated costs. Lastly, it will provide a recommendation to whether a wind farm in the Kobuk River Valley is a worthwhile endeavor. The final project deliverable will be a research paper and recommendation intended to be used by stakeholders in the energy industry. It will take into consideration initial investment costs, operations and maintenance costs, current subsidies, and any potential long term cost savings.
    • Wind-Diesel Systems in Alaska: A Preliminary Analysis

      Fay, Ginny; Keith, Katherine; Schwörer, Tobias (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-06)
      Most remote rural communities in Alaska use diesel to generate electricity. But the recent rapid development of a worldwide commercial wind industry, along with the rise in diesel fuel prices, has increased interest in wind power in rural Alaska—both to reduce energy costs and to provide local, renewable, sustainable energy. Wind is abundant in Alaska, and a growing number of rural communities are building winddiesel systems, integrating wind into isolated diesel power plants. These systems have moved from the initial demonstration phase a decade ago toward a technology available for many communities. Even in places that have not yet added wind, some rural utilities are planning for the possibility. For example, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) has committed to making new diesel power plants “wind ready” by designing its electrical systems so that wind turbines can be incorporated in the future without major reconfiguration. But it is not clear under what rural Alaska conditions wind-diesel systems are more economical than conventional diesel plant operations. The Alaska Energy Authority asked the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) to assess the performance of existing rural wind-diesel systems. We analyzed data available for existing wind-diesel systems as of spring 2010. Keep in mind that our analysis is preliminary; most rural wind-diesel systems are very new, and more time is needed to evaluate them fairly. Only three wind systems (Kotzebue, Wales, and Saint Paul Island) have been operating for more than a few years. Initial funding for the Kotzebue and Wales projects came from the U.S. Department of Energy, which funds research but does not subsidize utility operations. These early projects, built in the late 1990s, faced problems but demonstrated there is hardware that can operate in arctic environments. The Saint Paul village corporation funded the system on the island; it provides power for an industrial complex and airport the corporation owns. It is a high-performing system, and the most successful of the early demonstration systems, as measured by its capacity factor. However, it should be noted that both the Kotzebue and Wales systems have provided valuable experiences and lessons learned while integrating wind on a community-scale grid. Beginning in 2004, the Denali Commission funded projects in five communities (Selawik, Hooper Bay, Kasigluk, Savoonga, and Toksook Bay). In 2008, the Alaska Legislature created the Renewable Energy Fund, a competitive program intended to invest in renewable energy. That fund, which is administered by the Alaska Energy Authority, paid for construction of six projects listed as completed in spring 2010.
    • Women in China, Then and Now

      Wang, Robin (University of Alaska Anchorage. Bookstore, 2015-04-10)
      Dr. Robin Wang presents on the subject of feminism in China.
    • Women's Health Nurses and Midwives Collaborative for Alcohol-Free Pregnancy Infographics

      King, Diane; Edwards, Alexandra; Smith, Oliver (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-01-09)
      Infographics to increase knowledge and awareness among nurses and midwives about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and the risks of excessive alcohol use.
    • Words for Future Generations: Celebrating Alaska History and Study with Terrence and Dermot Cole

      Cole, Terrence; Cole, Dermot (University of Alaska Anchorage. Bookstore, 2019-04-29)
      Please join us to celebrate The Big Wild Soul of Terrence Cole, an eclectic collection of work created to honor Alaska's beloved public historian. Edited by Frank Soos and Mary Ehrlander and published by University of Alaska Press, the inspired collection of essays, authored by Terrence's students, colleagues and friends, highlight research spanning the humanities and social sciences. Included are essays by University of Alaska professors Stephen Haycox, Ross Coen, Sherry Simpson, Katherine Ringsmuth, Frank Soos and Lee Huskey. Terrence Cole is Emeritus Professor of History and Northern Studies, UAF, and the director of the UAF Office of Public History. He is author of numerous books and essays, including Banking on Alaska: A History of the National Bank of Alaska; The Cornerstone on College Hill: An Illustrated History of the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Crooked Past: The History of a Frontier Mining Camp; Nome: City of the Golden Beaches; and Fighting for the 49th Star: C.W. Snedden and the Crusade for Alaska Statehood. Dermot Cole is a journalist and former columnist for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. He is author of several books, including North to the Future: The Alaska Story 1959-2009; Fairbanks: A Gold Rush Town That Beat the Odds; Frank Barr: Alaskan Pioneer Bush Pilot and One-Man Airline. This event sponsored by UAA Campus Bookstore and Tundra Vision.