• Spending Patterns of Selected Alaska Bear Viewers: Preliminary Results from a Survey

      Colt, Steve; Dugan, Darcy (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage developed and conducted a Web-based survey of 219 traveling parties who went on a bear viewing excursion from the Homer area during the summer of 2004. All of the bear viewing excursions were taken with one business. The survey was developed in February 2005 and administered over the Web during the period 11 February through 2 March 2005. Respondents were contacted by individual email messages using email addresses that they had voluntarily provided at the time of their excursion. Most bear viewers (69%) in the sample come from lower-48 U.S. states. About 20% come from foreign countries. Only about 10% come from Alaska. About one-third of the respondents stated that bear viewing was the primary purpose of their trip to Alaska. People in the sample spent an average of about 17 days on their trips – far longer than the overall Alaska summer tourism average of about 10 days.
    • Stalking the Schoolwork Module: Teaching Prospective Teachers to Write Historical Narratives

      McDiarmid, G. Williamson; Vinten-Johansen, P. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1996)
      Few educational slogans have had more play over the last decade than “writing to learn”. The idea is intuitively appealing: that in striving to summarize, organize, synthesize, develop, and communicate ideas and information, we must, in the process, clarify and extend our own understandings. Many have championed the “writing to learn” cause. In the study described below, the first author, Vinten-Johansen, engaged his undergraduates, all of whom planned to teach, in a structured process of writing historical narratives. His purpose was to help them learn not only to make historical arguments in writing—a capacity that has applications far beyond academic history—but also to analyze the narratives of others as contestable products. In what follows, we examine the opportunities that Vinten-Johansen created to help students learn to write, the successive drafts of original narratives they produced, and their discussions of historical methods and reasoning. Our purpose is to explore whether a highly structured experience in writing historical narratives does help students learn this form of writing and the character of historical knowledge.
    • State of Alaska Election Security Project Phase 2 Report

      Martin, Stephanie; Picard, LuAnn; Ayers, Mark; Hoffman, David B.; Mock, Kenrick (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-05)
      A laska’s election system is among the most secure in the country, and it has a number of safeguards other states are now adopting. But the technology Alaska uses to record and count votes could be improved— and the state’s huge size, limited road system, and scattered communities also create special challenges for insuring the integrity of the vote. In this second phase of an ongoing study of Alaska’s election security, we recommend ways of strengthening the system—not only the technology but also the election procedures. The lieutenant governor and the Division of Elections asked the University of Alaska Anchorage to do this evaluation, which began in September 2007.
    • The Status of Alaska Natives Report 2004 Volumes I - III

      Leask, Linda; Marshall, David; Goldsmith, Scott; Hill, Alexandra; Angvik, Jane; Howe, Lance; Saylor, Brian L. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      The Alaska Federation of Natives asked ISER to report on social and economic conditions among Alaska Natives. We found that Natives have more jobs, higher incomes, and better living conditions, health care, and education than ever. But they remain several times more likely than other Alaskans to be poor and out of work. Alcohol continues to fuel widespread social problems. Native students continue to do poorly on standard tests, and they’re dropping out in growing numbers. Rates of heart disease and diabetes are rising. In the face of all these challenges, subsistence remains critical for cultural and economic reasons. And there are more challenges to come. In the coming decade, when economic growth is likely to be slower than in the past, thousands more young Alaska Natives will be moving into the job market. Volume II and Volume III of the Status of Alaska Natives Report contain data tables generated from the 2000 U.S. census describing the Alaska Native American population by the 12 Alaska Native Regional Corporation boundaries. Volume II shows data for the population in Alaska reporting Native American as their only race (Alaska Native or American Indian Alone) and Volume III shows data for the population reporting Native American in combination with some other race (Alaska Native or American Indian Alone or in Combination). At the time of the 2000 Census, there were 98,043 single-race Native Americans in Alaska and 119,241 people who identified themselves as Native American in combination with some other race. The tables in these volumes have been generated from a special file prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau that contains detailed information on the Native American population for the entire United States. The AIANSF (American Indian and Alaska Native Summary File) is accessible on the internet at http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DatasetMainPageServlet"
    • Structural Analysis of the Alaska Economy: A Perspective from 1997

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1997)
      The structure of the Alaska economy is reflected in the share of personal income and employment attributable to each of the BASIC industrial sectors and other external sources of household purchasing power. We identify twelve activities upon which the size and composition of the Alaska economy depends and trace their growth over time. Although an oversimplification of reality, the economic base model is a useful tool for studying the structure of the Alaska economy. In the economic base model, BASIC activities are the source of economic growth for the regional economy. Our analysis offers a consistent methodology but is not a detailed historical investigation of each individual industry. A more comprehensive analysis would further refine the attributions we have made, but we feel that the representation of the structure of the economy presented in this report is valid and useful as a description of the economy.
    • Structural Analysis of the Alaska Economy: What are the Drivers?

      Goldsmith, Oliver Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-03)
      Because of public ownership of much of the natural resource base, state government has a unique role to play in Alaska fostering economic development. A clear understanding of the structure of the economy is a necessary prerequisite for formulating a successful development strategy. This paper describes and quantifies the 14 BASIC sectors (Economic Drivers) upon which all economic activity in the state depends. Without them, the Alaska economy would not exist. Each of these 14 BASIC sectors draws money into the state, which directly generates revenues for businesses, wages and jobs for Alaskans, and other income. As Alaska businesses and households spend this new money within the state, additional revenues, wages, and jobs are created in other businesses (NON-BASIC sectors) through a process known as the economic multiplier. The size and growth of the economy depends largely upon these BASIC sectors because, without the money they bring into the state, the NON-BASIC sectors would not exist.1 We begin this paper with an estimate of the contribution of each of the 14 BASIC sectors to total employment and resident income. We do this using a simple model to calculate how much new money each driver brings into the economy and then estimating how that new money works its way through the economy generating business revenue, wages, jobs, and other sources of income.2 The results of the analysis are summarized in Table I.1. in which total employment (resident and non resident) and personal income of Alaskan households averaged over the period 2004-2007 are parceled out among the 14 BASIC drivers—aggregated into 5 major categories. We find that the various activities of the federal government, both national defense and non-defense spending, account for the largest share of total economic activity. This economic activity is not only the personal income directly flowing to households as payrolls and transfer payments and federal government jobs. It also includes a measure of personal income and jobs generated throughout the economy as the federal dollars circulate through the NON-BASIC sectors in industries like retail trade, business and personal services, transportation, and construction. The total of $9.93 billion in personal income and 131 thousand jobs can be interpreted as the loss to the state if Alaska were to receive no federal dollars over the period 2004- 2007. Petroleum was the largest private economic driver, contributing $7.44 billion to Alaska personal income and 117.6 thousand jobs. The contribution of petroleum comes from production-related activities, current petroleum revenues, and spending from the accumulated savings from revenues collected in prior years and deposited in the Alaska permanent fund and the constitutional budget reserve. The other three driver categories—traditional natural resources, new resources, and personal assets--together accounted for personal income of $7.61 billion and employment of 121.9 thousand. Traditional natural resources are those private sectors that were most important to the economy at the time of statehood. New resources are activities that have developed more recently. The category of personal assets represents the purchasing power of households that is independent of current employment such as retirement income.
    • A Study of Five Southeast Alaska Communities

      Colt, Steve; Gorsuch, Lee; Smythe, Charles; Garber, Bart K. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1994)
      The Forest Service of the US Department of Agriculture and the Bureaus of Land Management and Indian Affairs of the US Department of the Interior contracted with the Institute of Social and Economic Research to prepare a report presenting the available, factual evidence on why the five studey communities of Haines, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Tenakee and Wrangell were omitted from ANCSA - and how the historical circumstances and conditions of the study communities compare with those of the Southeast communities that were recognized under ANCSA. The first two chapters ofthe report examine Congress's broad authority to settle aboriginal land claims and the development and application of Congressioal and adminstrative criteria for villages and urban communities recognized under ANCSA. Chapter 3 examines Tlingit and Haida land claims settlement. Chapter 4 assesses similarities and differences in Native population characteristics of the study communities at the time ANSCSA was passed. Chapter 5 describes historical Native use and occuption of the five study communities and of ANCSA communities in Southeast Alaska. Chapter 6 reports how ANSCA enrollment procedures were carried out in both the study communities and the recognized villages and urban communities. Chapter 7 reports on the financial benefits that shareholders of Southeast village and urban corporations have realized over the years, as compared with the benefits the at-large shareholders received. This report is accompanied by four appendices that provide the basis for summaries included in the main report. Appendix A: A History of Occupation and Use, Appendix B: List of Persons Interviewed for Study Community Histories , Appendix C: Citation Database for Chapters 1 and 2 , Appendix D: Comments of Reviewers and Related Documents
    • Study of the Components of Delivered Fuel Costs in Alaska: January 2009 Update

      Fay, Ginny; Saylor, Ben; Szymoniak, Nick; Wilson, Meghan; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-01)
      This is an update of our previous report titled “Components of Delivered Fuel Prices in Alaska.”1 We provide more recent data on actual fuel prices in ten rural communities that we first examined in fall 2007. Rural communities across Alaska face extremely high fuel prices. People in these remote, cold places need large quantities of fuel for heat, electricity, and transportation. The estimated household cost for energy use in remote rural Alaska has increased significantly since 2000—increasing from approximately 16% of total household income to 47% in 2008 for the lowest income households. It is a higher portion of income for all income levels in remote rural Alaska as compared to Anchorage.2 In addition to the high price of fuel in rural Alaska, villages and communities have high unemployment rates, limited local economic bases, and local governments that are struggling to provide basic services to residents and businesses.3 A 2008 report done by the Alaska Division of Community Advocacy stated that the price of gasoline in 100 Alaska communities ranged from $2.75 (Fairbanks) to $9.00 (Arctic Village) per gallon with a mean of $5.80.4 In many areas of Alaska, transporting bulk fuel by air, barge, truck or a combination of these methods increases the price of fuel, most of which must be purchased prior to “freeze up” in cold winter months in order to allow time for delivery to remote villages. High remote rural fuel prices appear to be the result of a number of factors. These include high transportation costs to remote locations, limited and costly storage, small market size, and the financing costs associated with holding large inventories. The main purpose of this research is to identify the components of the cost of delivered fuel across rural Alaska. By understanding these cost components, it may be possible to identify opportunities to address them and reduce the overall cost of fuel.
    • Subsistence Use of Renewable Resources by Rural Residents of Southeast Alaska

      Kruse, Jack; Muth, Robert (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1990)
      The Tongass Resource Use Cooperative Survey consists of 1,465 interviews conducted in 30 southeast Alaska communities between October 1, 1987, andMarch 13, 1988. The study was directed by the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the University of Alaska Anchorage. All permanent communities, with the exception of Juneau and Ketchikan, were included in the study. The purpose of this report is to describe the extent of harvest and distribution of renewable natural resources by rural southeast Alaska residents. Eighty-five percent of all households surveyed harvest one or more species of fish, wildlife, or plants. Such resources include deer, salmon, halibut, and other(non-salmon) fin fish, crab, shrimp, clams, other invertebrates, ducks, bear, harbor seal, berries, firewood, and other resources. Forty-one percent of all households report that at least 25 percent of the meat and fish they eat comes from resources harvested by members of their own households or is given to them by family or friends.
    • Summary of 2006 Southcentral Energy Forum

      Cravez, Pamela; Goldsmith, Scott; Larsen, Peter (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Nearly 70% of Alaskans rely on relatively inexpensive natural gas from Cook Inlet. That gas heats homes and businesses, generates electricity, and fuels industrial processes. But growing demand has depleted 80% of the known Cook Inlet gas reserves. Many Alaskans are concerned about where Southcentral Alaska will get affordable energy in the future. The information presented here is not a product of ISER research. It is a summary of statements, opinions, and projections of those attending the forum.
    • A Summary of Alaskool Web Site Survey Results: What's Useful and What Can Be Improved?

      Sharp, Suzanne; Eberhart, Katie (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2004)
      "This report summarizes the results of a survey the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) and First Alaskans Institute (FAI) developed to determine how useful the Alaskool Web site- www.alaskool.org-is and how it might be improved. To understand the survey results, it's helpful to know the background of the Alaskool Web site. The Alaskool Web site is the product of the Alaska Native Curriculum and Teacher Development Project, designed in the late 1990s by Paul Ongtooguk and John Pingayak-two Native educators - and Bill McDiarmid, who at that time was the director of ISER. They saw that resources teachers and others needed for Alaska Native education were very scarce, and they proposed to fill the need by creating an online collection of materials on Alaska Native history, culture, and languages, as well as curricula and other products teachers and students could use. Such a collection, on a Web site, would not only bring together in one place a wide array of materials, but would also make them instantly accessible to residents of remote rural communities.
    • Summary of Greenstar Programs In Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Central Kenai Peninsula

      Larson, Eric (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1997)
      The Green Star® Program is a voluntary program created in 1990 to encourage businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to educate employees, reduce waste, conserve energy, and recycle materials. The program began as a cooperative agreement among the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, the Alaska Center for the Environment, and the Pollution Prevention Office of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Since its inception, the program has expanded to include over 400 Alaskan business firms, government agencies, schools, and non-profit organizations employing over 60,000 people in Alaska. The program has also expanded to include chapters in several others states. This report is a summary of some of these cost-savings and benefits as reported by participants in the Green Star® programs in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Central Kenai Peninsula. This summary is based on interviews with selected, knowledgeable participants in the programs -- including awardees, enrollees, and board members. This report also describes the current status of these three programs -- including the characteristics of the current membership, available financial resources, and long-term goals of the programs.
    • Summary of Selected Commercial Pollution-Prevention Efforts in Alaska

      Larson, Eric (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1997)
      Businesses and government agencies in Alaska recycle and reduce a wide variety of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes each year. A substantial component of their efforts are documented in "Waste Minimization/ Pollution Prevention Supplemental Reports" submitted by businesses and agencies to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. These reports describe how facilities are meeting federal guidelines to reduce hazardous wastes. The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of information and feedback to facilities that handle these different types of wastes. Our analysis is based on the information businesses and government agencies have submitted to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation on the "Waste Minimization / Pollution Prevention Supplements to Annual Hazardous Waste Reports." For this study we analyzed a total of 121 supplemental reports submitted to the department in 1995 and 1996. The supplemental reports contain four sections: Section A: Steps taken to reduce and recycle hazardous wastes, Section B: Identifying and assessing opportunities for source reduction and recycling, Section C: Planning for pollution prevention, and Section D: Pollution prevention programs that include other waste streams. For each section of these supplemental reports, we have analyzed, described, and statistically summarized selected information submitted by facilities.
    • Supplemental To Analysis of Socio-Economic Aspects of Specified Year 2000 Redistricting Questions

      Tuck, Bradford (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2000)
      This material supplements a document prepared for the Alaska Redistricting Board in May 2001. This supplement discusses certain socio-economic linkages relative to the Final Plan and Proclamation of Redistricting, prepared by the Alaska Redistricting Board in June 2001. It relies on the same exonomic concepts and methodology used in the initial analysis, including central place theory and interindustry economics. It addresses four issues(1) the integration of the Delta area with the rest of House District 12; (2) the socio-economic integration of Valdez with the rest of the House District 32 and the Anchorage ares; 93) the socio-economic integration of House District 37; and (4) linkages between Cordova and the rest of House District 5.
    • Survey of Living Conditions In The Arctic: What Did We Learn?

      Duhaime, Gerard; Jack, Kruse; Poppel, Birger; Abryutina, Larissa; Hanna, Virgene; Martin, Stephanie; Poppel, Marie Katherine; Ward, Ed; Kruse, Marg; Cochran, Patricia; et al. (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      In countries around the Arctic, tens of thousands of Iñupiat, Inuit, and other indigenous peoples live in small, isolated communities where jobs are scarce, incomes are low, and life is not easy. Yet many—including large majorities in Canada, Northern Alaska, and Greenland—are satisfied with life in their communities. That was the puzzle researchers from Statistics Greenland faced in 1994, when they studied living conditions and found that common measures of well-being—like levels of employment—didn’t explain why so many of Greenland’s Inuit chose to stay in their communities. About 7,250 Inuit, Iñupiat, and other indigenous peoples were interviewed in Greenland, Northern Alaska, the Chukotka region of Russia, and the Inuit settlement areas of Canada. The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) conducted the survey in Alaska. This publication describes the survey and introduces the wealth of new information now available on the lives of the Arctic’s first people, measured in ways they themselves chose. Also printed in Valerie Moller, Denis Huschka and Alex Michalos (eds). Barometers of Quality of Life Around the Globe: How Are We Doing? New York: Springer Verlag, 107-134.
    • Susitna-Watana Cost of Power Analysis

      Colt, Steve (2013)
      This paper provides a simple analysis of the cost of the proposed Susitna-Watana hydroelectric project from a ratepayer perspective, using data current as of June 2013. The Susitna Case 1 assumptions include a capital cost of 5.19 billion 2012 dollars, 100% debt financing at 5.0%, and an on-line date of 2024. Under these assumptions plus others described below, the production cost of Susitna power in 2024 would be 13 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and the cost at a Railbelt customer’s meter would be about 18 cents per kWh.1 By comparison, if natural gas is available to electric utilities in year 2024 at a price of about $9.50 per million btu, and ignoring potential carbon taxes, then the production cost and retail cost of power from a new combined cycle gas turbine going online in 2024 would be about 11 cents and 16 cents per kWh, respectively.
    • Sustainability and Subsistence in Arctic Communities

      Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1998)
      Thirty years ago, Chance (1966) wondered if hunting and fishing traditions of the people of the Arctic Slope of Alaska would survive the transition from nomadic to village life. The oil boom of the 1980s brought change to the region to an extent neither Chance nor Arctic dwellers themselves might have predicted (Knapp and Morehouse, 1991). Yet despite a vigorous wage economy fueled by two decades of oil revenues that yields a per-capita income exceeding the national average, subsistence traditions remain strong. Average per-capita harvest of subsistence foods in Alaska's North Slope Borough still exceeds a pound per day (Fuller and George, 1997). This document was prepared for presentation to the Western Regional Science Association annual meeting in Monterey, California
    • Sustainable Development and Sustainable Income from Alaska's Resources

      Berman, Matthew (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      I consider the definition and measurement of sustainable development for a resource rich region such as Alaska, reviewing the evolution of so-called green accounting and discussing appropriate applications to small open regional economies. I then investigate how much of the rapid economic growth Alaska experienced in the three decades following passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) constituted sustainable development. Estimates of sustainable income suggest that even after adjusting for depletion of nonrenewable resources, the state’s economy was nearly three times larger at the end of the 1990s than it had been in 1971. Although oil assets declined, tourism, air cargo, and other sustainable industries grew, as did income from state savings accounts set aside from petroleum revenues. Despite the growth of Native corporations created under ANCSA, the locally controlled portion of Alaska's economy continues to decline.
    • Sustainable Economic Development for the Prince William Sound Region

      Fay, Ginny; Colt, Steve; Schwoerer, Tobias (National Wildlife Federation (Alaska Office), 2005)
      The Prince William Sound area possesses an array of the attractions that draw people to visit and live in Alaska: dramatic peaks and glaciers, an intricate coastline, old growth rainforest, alpine meadows, abundant wildlife, and distinct small towns and villages. It offers a valuable combination of accessibility and wilderness solitude. The area has many of the resources and products needed to position itself as a premier destination for the adventure, cultural, educational and ecotourism market segments. A key challenge for the region is to capture these economic opportunities while maintaining control over residents’ economic future and quality of life. The goals of this project are to: • Identify opportunities and challenges to diversify and grow the Prince William Sound economy while improving the quality of life for Prince William Sound residents and maintaining the exceptional natural environment. • Help foster and strengthen partnerships for economic development. • Consider new pathways to a prosperous economic future.
    • Sustainable Utilities in Rural Alaska Effective Management, Maintenance, and Operation of Electric, Water, Sewer, Bulk Fuel, Solid Waste Final Report Part A: Overview

      Goldsmith, Scott; Wiita, Amy; Colt, Steve; Foster, Mark (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      Two reports are provided Part A is an overview - reliable and affordable utility services remain out of reach for thousands of Alaskans and between $1.5 and $2 billion of public investment is potentially at risk due to the inadequate operations, maintenance, and management of electric, water, sewer, bulk fuel, and solid waste utilities in many small rural Alaska communities. This report provides a foundation of facts and ideas that can be used to move toward sustainable utilities in these places. Part B contains supporting material and examines the maintenance, management, and operation of rural Alaska utilities.