• Alaska Native-focused Teacher Preparation Programs: What have we learned?

      Ttepon, Bernice; Hirshberg, Diane; Leary, Audrey; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 8/1/2015)
      There are too few indigenous teachers in Alaska, as fewer than 5% of Alaska�s certified teachers are Alaska Native. However, Alaska�s Indigenous students make up 80% of student enrollment in the state�s rural schools, and over 22% of the school population statewide. Moreover, 74 % of teachers hired by Alaska�s public schools come from outside the state. Teachers new to rural Alaska typically remain on the job just one or two years, and high turnover rates in Alaska are strongly correlated with poorer student learning outcomes (Hill & Hirshberg, 2013). Many community and education leaders believe rural schools could benefit from having more Indigenous teachers, because they would likely stay on the job longer, be more familiar with their students� communities and cultures, and provide more powerful role models for Alaska Native students. This paper discusses why Indigenous teachers are important, and provides an overview of the initiatives from the past four decades aimed at preparing Alaska Native teachers.
    • Alaskan fishing community revenues and the stabilizing role of fishing portfolios

      Knapp, Gunnar; Suresh, Sethi; Reimer, Matthew (Science Direct, 9/1/2014)
    • 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
    • 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.
    • Conducting rigorous research with subgroups of at-risk youth: lessons learned from a teen pregnancy prevention project in Alaska

      Hohman-Billmeier, Kathryn; Nye, Margaret; Martin, Stephanie (Taylor and Francis, 2016-12-01)
      In 2010, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) received federal funding to test an evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program. The grant required a major modification to an existing program and a randomized control trial (RCT) to test its effectiveness. As the major modifications, Alaska used peer educators instead of adults to deliver the program to youth aged 1419 instead of the original curriculum intended age range of 1214. Cultural and approach adaptations were included as well. After 4 years of implementation and data collection, the sample was too small to provide statistically significant results. The lack of findings gave no information about the modification, nor any explanation of how the curriculum was received, or reasons for the small sample. This paper reports on a case study follow-up to the RCT to better understand outcome and implementation results. For this study, researchers reviewed project documents and interviewed peer educators, state and local staff, and evaluators. Three themes emerged from the data: (a) the professional growth of peer educators and development of peer education, (b) difficulties resulting from curriculum content, especially for subpopulations of sexually active youth, youth identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual, pregnant, and parenting youth and (c) the appropriateness of an RCT with subpopulations of at-risk youth. Three recommendations emerged from the case study. First, including as many stakeholders as possible in the program and evaluation design phases is essential, and must be supported by appropriate funding streams and training. Second, there must be recognition of the multiple small subpopulations found in Alaska when adapting programs designed for a larger and more homogeneous population. Third, RCTs may not be appropriate for all population subgroups.
    • Cultural Continuity and Communities and Well-Being

      Martin, Stephanie (Rural Development Institute, Brandon University., 2012)
      This paper describes a household survey of Inuit in northern Alaska and how the survey data were used to better understand the relative importance of jobs, wild food harvesting, and social ties for life satisfaction. It emphasizes the importance of non-material measures for life satisfaction. It builds on other research showing the importance of harvesting wild food and the persistence of a mixed economy—one that combines cash income and wild food harvests. An empirical model estimates the relationship between people's choices to work, and/or hunt and fish, and individual satisfaction with life. The model includes economic and non-economic measures of well-being as well as community characteristics and shows that what matters most for satisfaction are family ties, social support and opportunities to do things with other people. Jobs, income, housing, and modern amenities—are less important among arctic Inuit. This research addresses the purpose for the original survey project—to give a more realistic picture of life in the Arctic by showing why people who live in remote, isolated, communities, with low incomes, and substandard housing are very satisfied with their lives. It also contributes to public policy in remote regions and efforts to understand how people are adapting in a rapidly changing environment.
    • Defining the economic scope for ecosystem-based fishery management

      Reimer, Matthew (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 3/5/2019)
      The emergence of ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM) has broadened the policy scope of fisheries management by accounting for the biological and ecological connectivity of fisheries. Less attention, however, has been given to the economic connectivity of fisheries. If fishers consider multiple fisheries when deciding where, when, and how much to fish, then management changes in one fishery can generate spillover impacts in other fisheries. Catch-share programs are a popular fisheries management framework that may be particularly prone to generating spillovers given that they typically change fishers� incentives and their subsequent actions. We use data from Alaska fisheries to examine spillovers from each of the main catch-share programs in Alaska. We evaluate changes in participation�a traditional indicator in fisheries economics�in both the catch-share and non�catch-share fisheries. Using network analysis, we also investigate whether catch-share programs change the economic connectivity of fisheries, which can have implications for the socioeconomic resilience and robustness of the ecosystem, and empirically identify the set of fisheries impacted by each Alaska catch-share program. We find that cross-fishery participation spillovers and changes in economic connectivity coincide with some, but not all, catch-share programs. Our findings suggest that economic connectivity and the potential for cross-fishery spillovers deserve serious consideration, especially when designing and evaluating EBFM policies.
    • The Determinants of Small Business Success in Alaska: A Focus on the Creative Class

      Guettabi, Mouhcine (International Economic Development Council, 2014-12-01)
      Although the contribution of small businesses and entrepreneurship to regional communities and the economy at large is widely supported in the literature, there does not seem to be a universally accepted definition for small businesses and entrepreneurship. Without an agreed upon definition, it is challenging for governments and policy makers to address the needs, concerns, and issues of these firms. It also makes it difficult to understand the link between small businesses and economic growth.
    • The Economic Case for a Pandemic Fund

      Berry, Kevin (Springer, 5/21/2018)
      The rapid urban spread of Ebola virus in West Africa in 2014 and consequent breakdown of control measures led to a significant economic impact as well as the burden on public health and wellbeing. The US government appropriated $5.4 Billion for FY2015 and WHO proposed a $100 Million emergency fund largely to curtail the threat of future outbreaks. Using epidemiological analyses and economic modeling, we propose that the best use of these and similar funds would be to serve as global insurance against the continued threat of emerging infectious diseases. An effective strategy would involve the initial investment in strengthening mobile and adaptable capacity to deal with the threat and reality of disease emergence, coupled with repeated investment to maintain what is effectively a �national guard� for pandemic prevention and response. This investment would create a capital stock that could also provide access to safe treatment during and between crises in developing countries, lowering risk to developed countries.
    • An Evaluation of Cancer Education Webinars in Alaska.

      Cueva, Katie; Cueva, Melany; Revels, Laura; Hensel, Michelle; Dignan, Mark (2019-11-27)
    • 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.
    • Fate Control and Human Rights: The Policies and Practices of Local Governance in America's Arctic

      Kimmel, Mara (Duke University School of Law, 2014-12-01)
      The loss of territoriality over lands conveyed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act had adverse impacts for Alaskan tribal governance. Despite policy frameworks that emphasize the value of local governance at an international, regional, and statewide level, Alaskan tribes face unique obstacles to exercising their authority, with consequences for both human development and human rights. This Article examines how territoriality was lost and analyzes the four major effects of this loss on tribal governance. It then describes two distinct but complimentary strategies to rebuilding tribal governance authority that rely on both territorial and non-territorial authority.
    • Fisheries Production: Management Institutions, Spatial Choice, and the Quest for Policy Invariance

      Reimer, Matthew; Abbott, Joshua; Wilen, James (University of Chicago Press Journals, 2017-04-01)
      The fishery-dependent data used to estimate fishing production technologies are shaped by the incentive structures that influence fishermen’s purposeful choices across their multiple margins of production. Using a combination of analytical and simulation methods, we demonstrate how market prices and regulatory institutions influence a dominant short-run margin of production—the deployment of fishing time over space. We show that institutionally driven spatial selection leads to only a partial exploration of the full production set, yielding poorly identified estimates of production possibilities outside of the institutionally dependent status quo. The implication is that many estimated fisheries production functions suffer from a lack of policy invariance and may yield misleading predictions for even the most short-run of policy evaluation tasks. Our findings suggest that accurate assessment of the impacts of a policy intervention requires a description of the fishing production process that is sufficiently structural so as to be invariant to institutional changes.
    • 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.
    • In-State Gas Demand Study

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-01-01)
    • Indigenous Regulatory Advocacy in Canada’s Far North: Mobilizing the First Mile Connectivity Consortium

      Hudson, Heather E.; McMahon, Robert; Fabian, Lyle (Journal of Information Policy, 2014-05)
      Marginalized groups such as Indigenous communities and residents of remote and rural areas face daunting challenges as they attempt to influence regulatory decision-making. Can these under-resourced groups hope to have their voices heard in regulatory proceedings, in the face of well-funded corporate interests? Applying a participatory research method to regulatory hearings regarding telecommunications services in Canada’s far north, the authors argue that they can, and identify specific strategies and tactics that they can employ when doing so.
    • Indigenous social and economic adaptations in northern Alaska as measures of resilience

      Martin, Stephanie (Resilience Alliance, 2014-12-01)
      I explored one aspect of social-ecological change in the context of an Alaskan human-Rangifer system, with the goal of understanding household adaptive responses to perturbations when there are multiple forces of change at play. I focused on households as one element of social resilience. Resilience is in the context of transition theory, in which communities are continually in a process of change, and perturbations are key points in the transition process. This case study of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska, USA, contributes to the understanding of cultural continuity and household resilience in times of rapid change by using household survey data from 1978 to 2003 to understand how households adapted to changes in the cash economy that came with oil development at the same time as a crash in the caribou population and state-imposed limits on caribou harvests. The research illustrates that households are resilient in the way they capture opportunities and create a new system so that elements of the old remain while parts change.
    • 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)
    • 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.