• Cancer Control Continuum Gap Analysis: Inventory of Current Policy and Environmental Strategies

      Frazier, Rosyland; Guettabi, Mouhcine; Cueva, Katie (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013)
      "Comprehensive cancer control (CCC) is a process through which communities and partner organizations pool resources to reduce the burden of cancer. These combined efforts help to reduce cancer risk, find cancers earlier, improve treatments, and increase the number of people who survive cancer. ”This analysis has explored both current policies that have been enacted in Alaska at the state and federal level, and those that are acknowledged at a national level. The gap analysis is designed to inform the State DHSS as it takes steps to develop a policy agenda for comprehensive cancer control that aims to; reduce the risk of developing cancer, identify cancer earlier, improve cancer treatment, and increase the number of cancer survivors."
    • Capping Property Taxes: What's Likely to Happen?

      Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      On November 7, Alaskans will vote on whether to cap property taxes at 1 percent of assessed value—which would cost local governments 20 percent of property tax collections in the first year and 40 percent as time passed. Supporters of the tax cap say property taxes are too high, property owners pay an unfair share of local government costs, and government is inefficient. Yet local spending in Anchorage and elsewhere hasn’t changed much in recent years, if you take inflation and population growth into account. And Anchorage’s local government employs fewer workers per resident than almost any U.S. metropolitan area. So what’s going on? Like most fiscal matters in Alaska, it relates to the rise and fall of oil wealth.
    • Capstone Phase I Interim Safety Study, 2000/2001

      Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2002
      The FAA Alaska Region’s Capstone program is a joint initiative with industry to improve aviation safety and efficiency in Alaska, by using new tools and technology to provide infrastructure and services. The first phase of Capstone is in southwest Alaska, primarily in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Y-K Delta). This technology is most likely to help prevent mid-air collisions and controlled-flight-into- terrain (CFIT) accidents, which make up only a small part of the small-plane accidents in southwest Alaska but are the most likely to cause deaths. Aside from helping prevent accidents, the technology is designed to make it easier for pilots to fly—by making it easier to navigate, by providing more current weather information, and by making instrument landings possible when weather deteriorates. To learn the benefits and limitations of these new tools and technologies, the Capstone program contracted with the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research and the Aviation Technology Division to evaluate aviation safety changes in the Capstone area. This Capstone Interim Safety Report describes those changes through the end of 2001.
    • The Case for Strengthening Education in Alaska

      Hill, Alexandra; Gorsuch, Lee; Cravez, Pamela (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Alaska’s public education system has been transformed since Alaska became a state. Opportunities for education have been expanded in many ways and many places. But at every level, from pre-school on up, the education systems in Alaska and the U.S. have serious troubles. Many American children don’t have access to early education; can’t do math and science as well as those in other countries; can’t pass basic reading, writing, and math tests; and don’t finish high school. Boys are less likely than girls to go on to college. And in Alaska, there are fewer early-education programs than nationwide. Elementary and high-school students— especially Alaska Natives and those from low-income families—are falling below U.S. averages. Since statehood, Alaska’s education system has grown and improved enormously. But the remaining challenges are also very big. Alaska has the resources to deal with those challenges, and some efforts are in fact already underway. The question now for all Alaskans—not only educators and parents—is this: how do we come together to create what our state and our children need?
    • Challenges and Strategies for the Alaska Salmon Industry

      Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2001)
      Alaska salmon industry is facing many different challenges. The problem is not just competition from farmed salmon. Other challenges include variable and uncertain salmon runs, overproduction for traditional canned salmon markets, changes in consumer demand, and the current world economic slowdown - to name just a few.... Experience - from Alaska and elsewhere - shows that it is important to be very careful in establishing rights-based management systems....The issues are complex.
    • Challenges in Restructuring Alaska's Salmon Fisheries

      Ulmer, Fran; Knapp, Gunnar (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      Over the past fifteen years, Alaska’s salmon industry has experienced dramatic losses in income, market share, permit and boat values, and tax revenues to communities and the state. The economic crisis in the salmon industry—driven by competition from farmed salmon and other factors—has prompted numerous task forces and summits to call for improved quality, new products, better marketing, and other measures to enable Alaska’s salmon industry to compete more effectively in world salmon markets. However, there has been relatively little discussion of restructuring Alaska’s salmon fisheries....In this paper, we argue that public debate and action on restructuring have been limited by several factors: the complexity and controversial nature of restructuring, the absence of leadership on this issue from either the industry or government, and the ambiguity of responsibility and authority within state government for the economic success of Alaska’s fisheries. The Board of Fisheries and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have a clear mandate to conserve Alaska’s salmon and authority to enact regulations necessary to achieve that objective. But that mandate and authority do not extend to the more complex and difficult objective of managing Alaska’s salmon resources for the “maximum benefit” of Alaskans, as the Alaska Constitution requires. Editor’s Note (September 2005): Fran Ulmer and Gunnar Knapp wrote this paper in November 2004. Near the end of the paper, they discuss the Chignik salmon cooperative and the then-pending Alaska Supreme Court decision about whether the Board of Fisheries had the authority to issue an allocation to the co-op. Page 34 says, “if the Supreme Court upholds the decision of the Superior Court [that the Board did have this authority], it will have the effect of extending the extent to which the board has clear authority to restructure fisheries for economic purposes.” Since the paper was written, there have been several court decisions affecting the status of the Chignik fishing cooperative. The fundamental legal issues at stake relate to the board’s authority and the legislature’s intent in the Limited Entry Act. As of fall 2005, the future of the co-op was uncertain, pending a final ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court. This continuing legal battle reinforces a central point of the paper: that absence of clear authority to make changes in fishery management represents an important obstacle to restructuring. The authors have also written a more recent short paper on restructuring, “Changing Alaska’s Salmon Harvesting System: What Are the Challenges?” in Understanding Alaska, Research Summary No. 5, September 2005.
    • Changes in Alaska Pollock Management

      Smith, Terrence; Knapp, Gunnar; Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1993)
      Pollock are the most common groundfish off Alaska, with the 1991 harvest exceeding 2.2 billion pounds - or about 70 percent of the entire groundfish harvest. The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council recently recommended changing the start of the second half of the season from June 1 to August 15, when the fish are heavier and better quality. Before making its recommendations, the council asked iSER to examine potential economic effects of delaying the second half of the pollock season and of establishing exclusive registration in the offshore fisheries of the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska. This summary provides a brief overview of the findings from interviews with fishermen and processors that were used to support an Alaskan economic model aimed at projecting effects of potential changes.
    • Changing Alaska's Oil and Gas Production Taxes: Issues and Consequences

      Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      The Alaska legislature is currently considering a major change to the state system of taxation for oil and gas. The proposed new tax system would replace a tax on gross wellhead production value of oil and a tax on gross wellhead value of gas with a single tax on net income earned at the wellhead. This article attempts to put the decision in context. It discusses some of the major issues related to oil taxes, summarizes the historical pattern of state petroleum revenues, and considers the consequences of the major features of the current tax proposals.
    • The Changing Economic Status of Alaska Natives, 1970-2007

      Martin, Stephanie; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-07)
      Forty years ago—when the discovery of North Slope oil was about to transform Alaska’s economy— Alaska Natives had among the lowest income, employment, and education levels in the U.S. Today their economic conditions are better, but they still fall considerably below averages among other Alaskans and other Americans. This note first reports how current economic conditions among Alaska Natives compare with U.S. averages, and then looks at changes since 1970 in poverty, employment, income, and education levels among Alaska Natives. We relied mainly on data from federal censuses in 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000 and from the annual American Community Survey for 2005 to 2007. We also used the most recent population estimates from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.1
    • Changing Markets for Alaska Roe Herring

      Johnson, Terry; Knapp, Gunnar (University of Alaska Sea Grant College Program (grant no. NA86RG-0050, project A/151-01), 2000)
      The Pacific herring fishery is one of Alaska’s most important commercial fisheries, with average annual landings during the 1990s of 47,100 tons, an average ex-vessel value of $28.9 million, and an average first wholesale value of $80.1 million. Although total landings have been relatively stable, ex-vessel prices and ex-vessel value are highly variable, and declined during the 1990s. This paper examines factors affecting the prices paid for Alaska herring.
    • Changing Oil Industry: Will It Affect Oil Prices?

      Tussing, Arlon R.; Leask, Linda (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1999)
      The petroleum industry is far different today from what it was two decades ago, when oil started flowing from Alaska’s North Slope. An important question in Alaska, where oil has driven economic growth and supported government since the 1970s, is what industry changes might mean for future oil prices. As ISER noted in 1998, Alaska is less vulnerable to low oil prices than it used to be, because the state government has invested much of its oil income to build huge financial reserves and has sharply cut spending. This paper explores a range of questions relating to consolidation of the companies developing Alaskan oil, and other changes to the terms under which this resource is developed.
    • Chapter 6: Vegetation

      Berman, Matthew; DeVelice, Robert; Hollingsworth, Teresa Nettleton; Bella, Elizabeth; Carlson, Matthew L.; Clark, Paul; Barrett, Tara; Hayward, Gregory D.; Lundquist, John; Magness, Dawn Robin; et al. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 2016)
      This assessment evaluates the effects of future climate change on a select set of ecological systems and ecosystem services in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula and Chugach National Forest regions. The focus of the assessment was established during a multi-agency/organization workshop that established the goal to conduct a rigorous evaluation of a limited range of topics rather than produce a broad overview. The report explores the potential consequences of climate change for: (a) snowpack, glaciers, and winter recreation; (b) coastal landscapes and associated environments, (c) vegetation, (d) salmon, and (e) a select set of wildlife species. During the next half century, directional change associated with warming temperatures and increased precipitation will result in dramatic reductions in snow cover at low elevations, continued retreat of glaciers, substantial changes in the hydrologic regime for an estimated 8.5 percent of watersheds, and potentially an increase in the abundance of pink salmon. In contrast to some portions of the Earth, apparent sealevel rise is likely to be low for much of the assessment region owing to interactions between tectonic processes and sea conditions. Shrubs and forests are projected to continue moving to higher elevations, reducing the extent of alpine tundra and potentially further affecting snow levels. Opportunities for alternative forms of outdoor recreation and subsistence activities that include sled-dog mushing, hiking, hunting, and travel using across-snow vehicles will change as snowpack levels, frozen soils, and vegetation change over time. There was a projected 66-percent increase in the estimated value of human structures (e.g. homes, businesses) that are at risk to fire in the next half century on the Kenai Peninsula, and a potential expansion of invasive plants, particularly along roads, trails, and waterways.
    • Charting New Courses for Alaska Salmon Fisheries: the Legal Waters

      Cullenberg, Paula; Killorin, Mary (Marine Advisory Program, University of Alaska, 2003)
      Alaska’s commercial salmon industry is in an economic crisis. Competition from farmed salmon, changes in consumer demand, and a worldwide economic slowdown—together with smaller sockeye salmon runs—are reducing the value of Alaska’s salmon harvest. This crisis has prompted discussions among fishermen, processors, fishery managers, and government officials about how to help the salmon industry. Part of the discussion has focused on options for “restructuring” the management of salmon fisheries to reduce costs, increase value, or steer more of the benefits to Alaskans and their communities. To help Alaskans better understand the legal and constitutional issues associated with restructuring the salmon fisheries, the University of Alaska’s Marine Advisory Program and Institute for Social and Economic Research, along with the Washington Sea Grant Program, sponsored a workshop in October 2002. Lawyers with expertise in Alaska natural resources and fisheries law answered questions about different options for restructuring.
    • Childcare Assistance Programs: Caseload Analysis

      Colt, Steve; Talbot, Liz (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1994)
      The Department of Community and Regional Affairs provides child care assistance programs which served almost 4,000 children in FY93. The total demand for these programs has proven to be quite volatile during the past three years. This volatility causes problems for funding agencies and legislators because funds must be committed more than one year before managers learn what the actual demand will be. As a result, waiting lists have increased rapidly at times during FY91, FY93, and FY94 as demand outstripped available funding. During at least one period, however, funding was more than sufficient to meet short-term demand and monies were lapsed, making it difficult to serve all clients when demand picked up again. In this research memorandum we examine the data on monthly and annual demand for the four major child care programs administered by the department. We look at overall growth trends, sources of volatility, and we develop a simple statistical model that explains much of the observed changes in demand.
    • Class Size Reduction Project - First Year and Final Report

      Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1994
      These reports present the first year evaluation and final assessment of the Elementary School Class Size Reduction Pilot Project at four participating elementary schools: one in the Juneau School District and three in the Kenai Peninsula School District. The project was designed to assess the effectiveness of reduced class size combined with other teaching interventions on student achievement and attitude, school discipline, and parental involvement in education. Participating schools explored strategies to reduce class size and improve education without significantly adding to the cost of education. They include descriptions of participating schools' progress toward achieving their goals and comparative data on students' academic achievement from Fall 1993 to Spring 1996. The final report also answers a series of research questions pertaining to the effectiveness of the Elementary School Class Size Reduction Pilot Project and includes a summary of the cost per classroom for reducing the pupil teacher ratio and implementing the instructional changes.
    • Climate Change and Alaska's Forests: People, Problems, and Policies

      Burnside, Roger; Juday, Glenn; Berman, Matthew (Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1999)
      Forests cover over one-third of the total land area of Alaska, and forests border the communities in which about 90 percent of Alaska’s residents make their homes. Climate change has begun to affect the growth and condition of these forests (Juday et al. 1998). Plausible amounts of additional climate change would likely change both the extent and the character of Alaska’s forests (Juday et al. 1998). Alaska residents and public officials would face significant challenges in coping with hypothesized global change effects in its forests. Forest managers face the dilemma of being required to implement often irreversible plans that influence or even produce future forests and yet they must do so amid many uncertainties (Pollard 1991a). Many Alaska forests regenerated today will be experiencing the climate of the year 2100 and well beyond. This paper discusses potential human effects of climate change on Alaska’s forests. It begins with a summary of the role of forests in Alaska’s economy, including both commercial and ecosystem values contributed by forests. Next, the paper discusses human dimensions of potential climate effects on forests, focusing on what one needs to know to be able to turn projections of changes in forest ecosys- tems into flows of impacts to the human environment. Then, it analyzes climate-driven change specifically hypothesized for Alaska forest ecosystems, emphasizing those effects that are likely to have a significant effect on the regional economy and society. The final section summarizes the most important short-term and long-term regional impacts that emerge from the review of climate effects, and discusses the role of institutions and public policy in reducing costs or increasing benefits of the changes. The paper concludes that hypothesized climate changes on Alaska forests are likely to impose significant short-term costs to the economy and population, and that strategies for mitigating these harmful effects should be considered.
    • Comments on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act and Lieberman-Warner proposed legislation

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-04-11)
      The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (hereafter LW or “the Act”) aims to cover 87% of total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.2 It aims to reduce the emissions of those gases by 4% below year 2005 levels in 2012 and by 17% below 2005 levels in 2020. The Act would impose a cap-and-trade mechanism on most energy-using activities. The number of emissions allowances would be limited in order to keep total emissions in each year below the predetermined cap. The interaction of buyers and sellers of emissions allowances would determine a market price per ton of CO2 equivalent. The Act allows emitters to trade, save, and borrow allowances, so that the most cost-effective GHG emissions reductions can be made where and when they are available. The American Council for Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers (ACCF/NAM) recently issued a report3 that projects some of the economic effects of implementing LW. Both effects on the U.S. economy and effects on individual states are projected. The analysis was conducted by Science Applications International Corporation using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). NEMS is a set of interlinked computer models that project energy supply and demand and key macroeconomic outcomes such as gross domestic product and employment. Many assumptions are required as inputs into NEMS. The assumptions driving the ACCF/NAM results were provided by ACCF and NAM. They were not chosen by the consultants who ran the model. Two sets of assumptions were used to generate two set of projections: a “Low Cost” scenario and a “High Cost” scenario.
    • Community Control of Alcohol in Alaska

      Hull, Teresa; Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1997)
      Many of Alaska’s Native communities want alcohol out of their towns. Alcohol plays a part in everything from domestic violence to high rates of accidental death in rural areas. About 100 communities—mostly small villages off the highway system—have restrictions on selling, importing, or possessing alcohol. A few larger rural regional centers—including Barrow, Bethel, and Kotzebue—also have controls on alcohol. Gulkana on the Richardson Highway recently became the first community on a major highway to ban alcohol under state law. Both municipalities and unincorporated places can control the availability of alcohol under Alaska’s local option law. This paper looks at the status of communities under that law and briefly reviews the history of community alcohol control under state and federal law.
    • Comparing Alaska's Oil Production Taxes: Incentives and Assumptions

      Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-08)
      In a recent analysis comparing the current oil production tax, More Alaska Production Act (MAPA, also known as SB 21) to the tax it replaced, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES), Scott Goldsmith, professor emeritus of economics at ISER, found that MAPA would produce higher revenues in the future, if changing to MAPA causes producers to make investments that lead to more production than would have occurred under ACES.2 Professor Goldsmith did not advocate for either tax, but projected effects of each under a range of different future oil prices, production rates, and costs. He noted that comparative revenues are highly sensitive to future costs and oil prices. Oil prices are notoriously difficult to forecast. Future North Slope oil production, as well as lease costs that can be deducted from producers’ tax liabilities under both ACES and MAPA, are also highly uncertain. Proponents of either MAPA or ACES appear to make assumptions about prices, production, and costs that support their arguments. Given the inherent uncertainty about oil prices, new production, and expenditures for capital and operating costs, what assumptions would be most reasonable to make for assessing outcomes of the tax regimes? This note critically examines the relevant assumptions for projecting tax outcomes, and explores how the different taxes compare under a set of assumptions that seem most reasonable, given our best current information. The comparisons address not only the amount of revenue the state would collect, but also how the taxes differently share risk between the industry and the state, and administrative issues affecting the nature of the relationship between the oil industry and state government. The analysis also places the debate about MAPA vs. ACES in the longer term context of Alaska oil production taxes, comparing MAPA and ACES to the original petroleum profits tax (PPT) that preceded ACES, and to the old severance tax PPT replaced.
    • Comparing Fiscal Policy Proposals

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      This paper is a summary of a larger report which compares 8 fiscal policy proposals to assess what effects each would have over the next 20 years on state spending, the Permanent Fund Dividend, and state savings. The alternatives we assess range from continuing current policies to freezing the budget, to changing the allocation of Permanent Fund earnings.