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  • Measuring Progress toward Urban Sustainability: Do Global Measures Work for Arctic Cities?

    Berman, Matthew; Orttung, Robert W. (MDPI AG, 2020-05-03)
    The International Organization for Standardization recently responded to a growing global interest in cities by developing an index for measuring urban sustainability (ISO 37120). We address how well this standard applies to Arctic cities, and potential modifications that might improve its performance. After briefly discussing the goals of sustainability indicators, we examine the extent to which Arctic cities’ remote location, cold and changing climate, and thin, largely resource-based economies may create different sustainability challenges. We then critically examine the content of ISO 37120 and the context in which it was created. We place the index within a broader discussion of urban sustainability indicators and examine the extent to which it really addresses sustainability. We then analyze how well the ISO 37120 accounts for the characteristic features of Arctic cities that produce unique sustainability challenges. Our findings show that only half of ISO 37120′s 128 indicators actually measure future-oriented concerns. We suggest that, while the ISO 37120 may be a useful starting point in quantifying Arctic urban sustainability, the index should only be used as a foundation for a more in-depth analysis. To better represent Arctic cities, the ISO 37120 would need to include indicators that situate cities within their regional contexts, addressing both remoteness and the underlying basis of the Arctic city economy. The index should also measure the role of Indigenous populations, and chart the extent to which cities are working to increase levels of sustainability.
  • Mediating Students’ Fixation with Grades in an Inquiry-Based Undergraduate Biology Course

    DeFeo, Dayna Jean; Tran, Trang C.; Gerken, Sarah (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-09-29)
    The paper analyzes focus group data to explore student perceptions of an inquiry-based undergraduate biology course. Though the course was designed to mimic the scientific process by incorporating uncertainty, peer review, and self-reflection, students came to class focused on getting As and with a developed schema for didactic instruction and passive learning. They perceived the autonomy and self-directedness of the learning experience as a threat to their grades, and responded with strategies that protected their grades and ego, but were deleterious to learning. Students could identify merits of the inquiry-based approach; however, they made clear: they prioritized grades, and were unwilling to trust an unfamiliar pedagogy if they perceived it jeopardized their grades. In the framework of self-regulated learning, the discussion considers how to scaffold students to foreground learning over achievement.
  • The Effect of a Paired Lab on Course Completion and Grades in Nonmajors Introductory Biology

    DeFeo, Dayna Jean; Bibler, Andrew; Gerken, Sarah (American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), 2020-08-21)
    This paper explores the effect of a paired lab course on students’ course outcomes in nonmajors introductory biology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. We compare course completion and final grades for 10,793 students (3736 who simultaneously enrolled in the lab and 7057 who did not). Unconditionally, students who self-select into the lab are more likely to complete the course and to earn a higher grade than students who do not. However, when we condition on observable course, academic, and demographic characteristics, we find much of this difference in student performance outcomes is attributable to selection bias, rather than an effect of the lab itself. The data and discussion challenge the misconception that labs serve as recitations for lecture content, noting that the learning objectives of science labs should be more clearly articulated and assessed independent of lecture course outcomes. This paper explores the effect of a paired lab course on students’ course outcomes in introductory biology for nonmajors at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), a large, open-enrollment, 4-year university. We compare outcomes for 10,793 students, 3736 who simultaneously enrolled in the lab and 7057 who did not, and analyze the degree to which they select into the lab on observable characteristics to explore the following research questions: 1. Are students who take a paired lab more likely to complete the lecture component (i.e., receive a final grade as opposed to withdrawing or receiving an Incomplete)? 2. Are students who take a paired lab more likely to receive a higher grade in the lecture component? 3. Does the laboratory experience differently affect course outcomes for students in specific demographic subgroups (e.g., gender, race, high school urbanicity, age, prior academic performance, and socioeconomic status)?
  • 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.
  • Exploring the Term “Resilience” in Arctic Health and Well-Being Using a Sharing Circle as a Community-Centered Approach: Insights from a Conference Workshop

    Healey Akearok, Gwen; Cueva, Katie; Stoor, Jon; Larsen, Christina; Rink, Elizabeth; Kanayurak, Nicole; Emelyanova, Anastasia; Hiratsuka, Vanessa (MDPI AG, 2019-02-02)
    In the field of Arctic health, “resilience” is a term and concept used to describe capacity to recover from difficulties. While the term is widely used in Arctic policy contexts, there is debate at the community level on whether “resilience” is an appropriate term to describe the human dimensions of health and wellness in the Arctic. Further, research methods used to investigate resilience have largely been limited to Western science research methodologies, which emphasize empirical quantitative studies and may not mirror the perspective of the Arctic communities under study. To explore conceptions of resilience in Arctic communities, a Sharing Circle was facilitated at the International Congress on Circumpolar Health in 2018. With participants engaging from seven of the eight Arctic countries, participants shared critiques of the term “resilience,” and their perspectives on key components of thriving communities. Upon reflection, this use of a Sharing Circle suggests that it may be a useful tool for deeper investigations into health-related issues affecting Arctic Peoples. The Sharing Circle may serve as a meaningful methodology for engaging communities using resonant research strategies to decolonize concepts of resilience and highlight new dimensions for promoting thriving communities in Arctic populations.
  • A Framework for Culturally Relevant Online Learning: Lessons from Alaska's Tribal Health Workers.

    Cueva, Katie; Cueva, Melany; Revels, Laura; Lanier, Anne P; Dignan, Mark; Viswanath, K; Fung, Teresa T; Geller, Alan C (2019-08)
    Culturally relevant health promotion is an opportunity to reduce health inequities in diseases with modifiable risks, such as cancer. Alaska Native people bear a disproportionate cancer burden, and Alaska's rural tribal health workers consequently requested cancer education accessible online. In response, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium cancer education team sought to create a framework for culturally relevant online learning to inform the creation of distance-delivered cancer education. Guided by the principles of community-based participatory action research and grounded in empowerment theory, the project team conducted a focus group with 10 Alaska Native education experts, 12 culturally diverse key informant interviews, a key stakeholder survey of 62 Alaska Native tribal health workers and their instructors/supervisors, and a literature review on distance-delivered education with Alaska Native or American Indian people. Qualitative findings were analyzed in Atlas.ti, with common themes presented in this article as a framework for culturally relevant online education. This proposed framework includes four principles: collaborative development, interactive content delivery, contextualizing learning, and creating connection. As an Alaskan tribal health worker shared "we're all in this together. All about conversations, relationships. Always learn from you/with you, together what we know and understand from the center of our experience, our ways of knowing, being, caring." The proposed framework has been applied to support cancer education and promote cancer control with Alaska Native people and has motivated health behavior change to reduce cancer risk. This framework may be adaptable to other populations to guide effective and culturally relevant online interventions.
  • An Evaluation of Cancer Education Webinars in Alaska.

    Cueva, Katie; Cueva, Melany; Revels, Laura; Hensel, Michelle; Dignan, Mark (2019-11-27)
  • Needs Assessment Related to COVID-19 with Special Populations: Brief Report

    Garcia, Gabriel; Mapaye, Joy; Wyck, Rebecca; Cueva, Katie; Snyder, Elizabeth; Meyer, Jennifer; Miller, Jenny; Hennessy, Thomas (2020-07-28)
  • K-12 Education Recommendations for Municipality of Anchorage

    Snyder, Elizabeth; Hahn, Micah; Lessard, Lauren; Cueva, Katie; Schwarzburg, Lisa Llewellyn; Grage, Laura; Wyck, Rebecca; Hennessy, Thomas (2020-07-21)
  • COVID-19 Survey in the Municipality of Anchorage, June 16-18: Highlights

    Garcia, Gabriel; Mapaye, Joy; Wyck, Rebecca; Cueva, Katie; Snyder, Elizabeth; Meyer, Jennifer; Miller, Jenny; Hennessy, Thomas (2020-07-09)
  • Second COVID-19 Panel Survey in the Municipality of Anchorage: Highlights

    Garcia, Gabriel; Mapaye, Joy; Wyck, Rebecca; Cueva, Katie; Snyder, Elizabeth; Meyer, Jennifer; Miller, Jenny; Hennessy, Thomas (2020-06-19)
  • COVID-19 Panel Survey in the Municipality of Anchorage: Highlights

    Hennessy, Thomas; Garcia, Gabriel; Mapaye, Joy; Wyck, Rebecca; Snyder, Elizabeth; Meyer, Jennifer; Miller, Jenny; Cueva, Katie (2020-06-04)
  • Alaska's economy and the pandemic

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (2020-06-30)
    The Alaska economy has emerged from its longest recession in 2019. The decline in economic activity and government revenues was due to the severe decline in oil prices which resulted in deep spending cuts and significant private sector job losses. The current pandemic has resulted in a significant shock to all facets of the Alaska economy. In this paper, we provide a little bit of background on the Alaska economy, present new high frequency data to asses the extent of the current damage, and then present a forecast for the next 6, 12, and 18 months. In 2020, we anticipate the economy to end the year with almost 25,000 fewer jobs than in 2019. The decrease would represent a 7.4% relative to the previous year. In 2021, we expect the economy to slowly start regaining the jobs lost the previous year and grow at a rate of 2.2%. In 2022, we anticipate a continuing climb for the economy as it is expected to grow at 1.1% percent. By the end of 2022, the Alaska economy should be at about 95% of the pre-pandemic levels. It is important to note there are significant downside risks which could negatively influence the employment outlook.
  • Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: Selected Bibliography

    Sharp, Suzanne; Rowan, Irene; Antonson, Jo; Ongtooguk, Paul; Puller, Gordon; Templeton, Willie (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-04-01)
    ISER prepared this list of books, reports, and other resources on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for the ANCSA @ 40 Committee. It is the most comprehensive such list we are aware of, but there are likely additional resources yet to be identified. Some of these resources are now out of print and may be available at used bookstores or at libraries. More recent publications can be obtained from the publishers or at bookstores. You can also find resources on websites, as noted in the citations.
  • Quantifying expert opinion with discrete choice models: Invasive elodea's influence on Alaska salmonids

    Little, Joseph; Hayward, Gregory D. (Elsevier, 2020-10-01)
    Scientific evidence should inform environmental policy, but rapid environmental change brings high ecological uncertainty and associated barriers to the science-management dialogue. Biological invasions of aquatic plants are a worldwide problem with uncertain ecological and economic consequences. We demonstrate that the discrete choice method (DCM) can serve as a structured expert elicitation alternative to quantify expert opinion across a range of possible but uncertain environmental outcomes. DCM is widely applied in the social sciences to better understand and predict human preferences and trade-offs. Here we apply it to Alaska's first submersed invasive aquatic freshwater plant, Elodea spp. (elodea), and its unknown effects on salmonids. While little is known about interactions between elodea and salmonids, ecological research suggests that aquatic plant invasions can have positive and negative, as well as direct and indirect, effects on fish. We use DCM to design hypothetical salmonid habitat scenarios describing elodea's possible effect on critical environmental conditions for salmonids: prey abundance, dissolved oxygen, and vegetation cover. We then observe how experts choose between scenarios that they believe could support persistent salmonid populations in elodea-invaded salmonid habitat. We quantify the relative importance of habitat characteristics that influence expert choice and investigate how experts trade off between habitat characteristics. We take advantage of Bayesian techniques to estimate discrete choice models for individual experts and to simulate expert opinion for specific environmental management situations. We discuss possible applications and advantages of the DCM approach for expert elicitation in the ecological context. We end with methodological questions for future research.
  • What does the future hold for Alaska: Fiscal Planning in the face of uncertainty

    Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-02-01)
  • Bycatch Avoidance Under Amendment 80 in the BSAI Non-Pollock Groundfish Trawl Fishery

    Haynie, Alan; Abbott, Joshua; Reimer, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-05-01)
  • ACES High or Low? The Impact of a Severance Tax Change on Alaskan Oil Activity

    Tanaka, Audrey; Reimer, Matthew; Guettabi, Mouhcine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-02-01)
  • Technology or Incentives? Bycatch Avoidance in the BSAI Groundfish Fishery

    Abbott, Joshua; Wilen, Jim; Reimer, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-05-01)

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