Now showing items 1-20 of 9789

    • Predicting multi-species Bark Beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) occurrence in Alaska: open-access big GIS-data mining to provide robust inference

      University of Kansas, 2021-07-03
      Native bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) are a multi-species complex that rank among the key disturbances of coniferous forests of western North America. Many landscape-level variables are known to influence beetle outbreaks, such as suitable climatic conditions, spatial arrangement of incipient populations, topography, abundance of mature host trees, and disturbance history that include former outbreaks and fire. We assembled the first open access data, which can be used in open source GIS platforms, for understanding the ecology of the bark beetle organism in Alaska. We used boosted classification and regression tree as a machine learning data mining algorithm to model-predict the relationship between 14 environmental variables, as model predictors, and 838 occurrence records of 68 bark beetle species compared to pseudo-absence locations across the state of Alaska. The model predictors include topography- and climate-related predictors as well as feature proximities and anthropogenic factors. We were able to model, predict, and map the multi-species bark beetle occurrences across the state of Alaska on a 1-km spatial resolution in addition to providing a good quality environmental dataset freely accessible for the public. About 16% of the mixed forest and 59% of evergreen forest are expected to be occupied by the bark beetles based on current climatic conditions and biophysical attributes of the landscape. The open access dataset that we prepared, and the machine learning modeling approach that we used, can provide a foundation for future research not only on scolytines but for other multi-species questions of concern, such as forest defoliators, and small and big game wildlife species worldwide.
    • Mathematical Modeling and Simulation with MATLAB

      Buzby, Megan; Lee, Sheldon (2021)
      This textbook attempts to provide you with an overview of the commonly used basic mathematical models, as well as a wide range of applications. It offers a perspective that brings you back to the modeling process and the assumptions that go into it.
    • BUILDING CAPACITY FOR CLIMATE ADAPTATION Assessing the Vulnerability of Transportation Infrastructure to Sea Level Rise for Safety Enhancement in RITI Communities

      Shen, Suwan; Shim, Dayea (2021-09-01)
      Sea level rise (SLR) and more frequent extreme weather events are an emerging concern for transportation infrastructures in coastal areas. In particular, the livelihoods and transportation safety of vulnerable populations such as indigenous rural communities may be at higher risk to sea-level rise and exacerbated coastal flooding due to their heavy dependence on natural resources, settlements in relatively isolated fringe land, limited accessibility to services, and alternative economic activities, as well as lack of resources and tools for adaptation. Despite existing studies on sea-level rise’s impacts, there is a lack of understanding of how the impacts of tidal flooding and sea-level rise may be unevenly distributed both spatially and socially, and how vulnerable (e.g. rural, relatively isolated) communities have experienced such impacts and perceive future risks. Using survey data, this project helps to better understand the current experience and risk perception of different communities when facing sea-level rise and more frequent coastal flooding. It helps to understand different communities’ perceived travel challenges with coastal flooding, the social sensitivity to different types of challenges, and the priorities and concerns to access various types of resources with the projected sea-level rise. The findings could be used to develop adaptation strategies that improve communities’ safe access to highly valued resources and activities.
    • Alaska Earthquake Center Quarterly Technical Report April-June 2021

      Ruppert, Natalia (2021-08)
      This series of technical quarterly reports from the Alaska Earthquake Center (AEC) includes detailed summaries and updates on Alaska seismicity, the AEC seismic network and stations, field work, our social media presence, and lists publications and presentations by AEC staff. Multiple AEC staff members contributed to this report. It is issued in the following month after the completion of each quarter Q1: January-March, Q2: April-June, Q3: July-September, and Q4: October-December.
    • Conditions for staggering and delaying outplantings of the kelps Saccharina latissima and Alaria marginata for mariculture

      Raymond, Amy E. T.; Stekoll, Michael S. (Wiley, 2021-08-02)
      We describe a method for production of kelp using meiospore seeding creating flexibility for extended storage time prior to outplanting. One bottleneck to expansion of the kelp farming industry is the lack of flexibility in timing of seeded twine production, which is dependent on the fertility of wild sporophytes. We tested methods to slow gametophyte growth and reproduction of early life stages by manipulating temperature of the kelp Saccharina latissima. Reducing temperature from 12 C to 4 C reduced gametophyte size, sporophyte size, egg production, and sporophyte production and subsequently was the best candidate condition for storage experiments of seeded twine. Next, we examined how storage of Alaria marginata and S. latissima seeded twine at 4 C under differing nutrient concentrations affected the viability of sporelings after being moved into optimal growth conditions. Seeded twine storage at 4 C with no alteration to culturing media showed no negative effects in sporophyte density and sporophyte length for both species. This method for seeded twine storage, “cold banking,” allowed seeded twine storage for at least an additional 36 days compared to standard methods, with a total of 56 days spent in the hatchery providing opportunity for outplanting timing and staggering to enhance aquaculture efficiency.
    • Alaska Partnership for Teacher Enhancement Survey Summary

      Institute for Social and Economic Research, UAA (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2005)
      Provides high level results for open-ended questions from the Alaska Partnership for Teacher Enhancement District Questionnaire Fall 2004. No interpretation is provided.
    • National Guard Subsistence Survey Reports (2006 and 2007)

      DeRoche, Patricia; Goldsmith, Scott; Killorin, Mary; Schultz, Caroline; Ulran, Uyuriukaraq Lily Anne Andrews; Wilson, Meghan (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      These reports provides data collected regarding subsistence activities in communities of Alaska's north and south west regions (2006) and in the southeast region including Kenai and Kodiak (2007) . Data is tabulated by community and then by species. No interpretation is provided. Information intended to determine the best times for the National Guard to conduct training exercises in these areas.
    • BBNA Pebble Mine Technical Assistance Project - FInal Report (Volumes I-III)

      Sharp, Suzanne; Colt, Steve; Langdon, Steve; King, Meg (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      This report summarizes and incorporates various materials prepared for the Bristol Bay Native Association (BBNA) under contractual agreement with the Institute o f Social and Economic Research (ISER) o f the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). The project is known as the BBNA-UAA/ISER Pebble Mine Technical Assistance Project. The project period was September l, 2005 through November 30, 2006. The Pebble Mine Technical Assistance Project was funded by U.S. Department of Environmental Protection through the Indian General Assistance Program (!GAP) for Alaska Native tribes. The funding was provided to the Bristol Bay Native Association through an "unmet needs" grant designed to provide technical assistance to the Bristol Bay tribes and tribal members in addressing environmental quality and subsistence issues associated with the proposed Pebble Mine project. The proposed Pebble Mine would be located in the Kvichak River drainage, home of the world's most productive sockeye salmon fishery and possibly draw water from the Nushagak-Mulchatna River watershed as well. This proposed development raises major issues related to environmental quality o f the lands and waters customarily utilized by Bristol Bay tribes situated in the Kvichak and Nushagak-Mulchatna River drainages. Bristol Bay tribal members from local communities in the vicinity of the proposed Pebble Mine project make substantial subsistence use of natural resources in the area which sustain the nutritional, economic, social and cultural health of tribal members. The purpose of the project was to provide technical assistance to the tribes to allow them to fully comprehend the nature of the Pebble Mine project and its potential impacts on the environment and their subsistence uses, and to enhance their capacity to fully participate in the review and permitting process should permits to develop the Pebble Mine be sought. The purpose of participation is to insure that protection for the environment and subsistence uses that depend on a healthy and productive ecosystem are fully addressed in the project review process.
    • Telehealth Business Models: An Assessment Tool for Telehealth Business Opportunities in Remote Rural Communities

      Berman, Matthew; Foster, Mark; Frazier, Rosyland (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of when the potentially offsetting considerations favor telehealth investments. To that end, we provide users with a financial template to assist them with the business model question of “how is value delivered to my customer and at what cost?” – assuming that the customer(s) may include a primary care provider, a specialist, an insurance company, a health care system, the entity paying for travel, and patients. The financial template allows users to enter their site specific estimates regarding changes in referral patterns with and without telehealth and the revenues and costs that result from the changes in referral patterns. In addition, we provide a spreadsheet to enable the user to estimate the potential value of patients’ time saved by avoiding travel and the value to patients of reduced wait time in the queue for specialty care. In addition, we provide a number of illustrative business cases primarily designed to show the potential complexity of the inter-relationship of parameters and assist users with understanding how they might use the template to build business cases for their particular circumstance. We also provide several examples of sensitivity analysis to assist users with understanding how they might use the template to develop “break-even” analyses and identify when the changes in referral patterns and case mix might trigger a need for increased staff or result in longer queues.
    • The Gas Reserves Tax Ballot Initiative: Risky State Policy

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2006)
      Alaska voters will decide whether the state government should start taxing the natural gas reserves in the two largest North Slope gas fields. The idea behind the proposal is to jump-start construction of a gas pipeline. The North Slope has one of the largest accumulations of natural gas in the U.S., and Alaskans have been waiting a long time for a pipeline to carry that gas to market. Recent higher gas prices have made the project more attractive. Several oil companies hold leases on the gas. They’ve taken steps toward a pipeline—like negotiating fiscal terms with the state—but they haven’t committed to building one. Supporters of the reserves tax think they’re delaying the project (for various possible reasons) and should be pushed. The ballot proposal calls for the oil companies to pay a reserves tax—a tax on gas in the ground—until a pipeline is completed and North Slope gas is up for sale. It offers incentives for them to speed up the project: the sooner the pipeline is finished, the less they pay; and later they would recover some of what they did pay, in credits on gas production taxes. This report is summarized in the fifth Fiscal Policy Note which is included with this document record.
    • Understanding Alaska State Finances: What Citizens Want to Know and How to Convey that Information Effectively

      Haley, Sharman (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2003)
      Fiscal policy is a major dilemma for this state. State oil revenues have been declining since 1982. Despite cuts in the state’s general fund spending--down from a high of $2.9 billion in FY1982 to $2.5 billion in FY2002--the state budget has been in deficit eight of the last ten years. The FY 2002 deficit constituted nearly one third of the state general fund budget. At the current rate, the Constitutional Budget Reserve—the savings account which is being drawn down to cover the deficit—will be exhausted in about two years. Political opinion is so fragmented on the question of what to do that the legislature has been unable to forge a fiscal plan to address the issue. Indeed, the very nature of the problem is contested. Results from a state wide fiscal opinion survey last year (Moore, 2001) suggest that voter attitudes are a major factor in the current policy impasse. While 80 percent feel that some kind of fiscal plan is needed, only one third are very likely to support some kind of plan involving taxes and permanent fund earnings, another one third somewhat likely to support such a plan, and one third not very or not at all likely. Analysis of the data shows that more informed voters, with a more accurate understanding of some basic facts about Alaska’s fiscal structure, are more likely to support a plan involving taxes and permanent fund earnings.
    • 2009 Alaska Health Workforce Vacancy Study - Report and Appendices

      Alaska Center for Rural Health; ISER, 2009
      Health professional shortages can be decreased through the start of new training programs, the expansion of existing programs, and the improvement of the effectiveness of recruitment and retention efforts. However, strategic planning and the execution of such programs require valid and accurate data. To this end, stakeholders such as the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA) and Alaskan's For Access to Health Care (ACCESS), along with schools and departments within the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), funded the Alaska Center for Rural Health-Alaska’s AHEC (ACRH) and the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) to conduct a comprehensive health workforce study during winter and spring of 2009. This report highlights employers’ needs for employees to fill budgeted positions. This is different from a needs assessment that would take into account population demographics and disease incidence and prevalence. This health workforce study is an assessment of health manpower shortage based on budgeted staff positions and their vacancies in organizations throughout the state. Respondents included part-time positions, which resulted in our counting full-time equivalent (FTE) rather than individuals (“bodies”). In situations where a position was divided among more than one occupation (e.g., Dental Assistant and Billing Clerk), we asked the respondent to count the position under which they considered the position’s “primary occupation.” The study was designed in consultation with an advisory group that included AMHTA, ACCESS, and UAA. The study targeted 93 health occupations. The unit of analysis was the employment site by organization type, which allowed for the allocation of positions and vacancies by geographic region. APPENDICES: Appendix A. List of Health Occupations, Appendix B. Health Workforce Surveys, Appendix C. Cover Letter Accompanying Survey Forms, Appendix D. Confidence Intervals for Positions, Vacancies, Number of Vacancies Filled with New Graduates, and Length of Longest Vacancy in Months, Appendix E. Tables of Samples and Estimates of Positions, Vacancies, Vacancy Rates, Number of Vacancies Filled with New Graduates, Mean and Maximum Length of Longest Vacancy in Months, Appendix F. Tables of Occupations Sorted By Estimates of Positions, Vacancies, Vacancy Rates, Number of Vacancies Filled with New Graduates, Mean and Maximum Length of Longest Vacancy in Months
    • Understanding Alaska's Remote Rural Economy

      Goldsmith, Scott (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2008)
      In the big, remote stretches of northern and western Alaska, many households keep themselves going with a mix of cash, subsistence, sharing, and other non-cash trading. That’s a world away from the state’s urban economy, and under standard measures like income, the remote rural economy lags far behind. Over the years there have been many efforts to improve the remote rural economy—but there’s a lot we don’t know about it. Standard economic measures don’t capture all the activity in an economy where subsistence, sharing, and non-cash trading play important parts. Some kinds of data don’t even exist. But to develop effective strategies, Alaskans need to understand the economic realities of the remote region. This paper is an overview of the remote economy, based on published data. It’s at best an approximation, because the data are so limited. Still, it’s a first step—and it highlights the many gaps in information. Stretching from the North Slope to the Alaska Peninsula, the remote region covers 395,000 square miles and is large enough to hold Japan, Germany, and Great Britain. Alaska Natives, the region’s aboriginal people, still make up most of the population—although thousands have moved to urban areas in recent times. The 60,500 residents live in five regional centers and about 150 small communities.
    • The University of Alaska: How Is It Doing?

      Kassier, Theodore; Hill, Alexandra (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2008)
      Recent reports on higher education in the U.S. say it’s in trouble— that it’s too expensive, doesn’t offer enough need-based aid, isn’t educating people for today’s jobs, doesn’t demand enough of instructors or students, and isn’t sufficiently accountable to policymakers and taxpayers.1 Is the University of Alaska (UA)—the state’s only public university —offering a good, affordable education for Alaskans? This paper looks at that question. It first presents the available data on various measures and then summarizes successes and continuing challenges for UA. It ends with a discussion of how UA and the state are addressing higher-education issues and what other steps they might consider. UA has made substantial progress on a number of goals in the past decade. For example, it’s attracting a growing share of Alaska’s college-bound freshmen, and it’s educating many more students for jobs in high-demand areas like health care and technology. The school’s overall retention and graduation rates are improving. But UA also faces many of the same issues as other public universities— like sharp increases in tuition and significant numbers of students who come out of high school unable to read, write, or do math at college-level.
    • The Regional Economy of Southeast Alaska

      Colt, Steve; Fay, Ginny; Dugan, Darcy (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      Southeast Alaska consists of all boroughs and census areas including and east of the Yakutat Borough. (An Alaska borough or census area is the geographic equivalent of a county in the lower 48 states.) The eight boroughs and census areas are listed in Table 1. The “Southeast Region” is one of six longstanding labor market regions defined by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Following numerous other authors, we will refer to the Juneau City and Borough as “Juneau” and to the remaining seven census areas as “rural Southeast” or “rural Southeast Alaska.” This report provides a broad overview of the regional economy of Southeast Alaska, including trends over time for individual communities and boroughs. It also addresses several specific topics identified by the study team and the project sponsors. The main purpose is to add to the information and knowledge base available to help people make informed decisions. This knowledge base now includes several excellent and recent reports. These will be mentioned, cited, and briefly summarized, but not recapitulated at any length. Readers of this report are strongly encouraged to consult these other reports.
    • The Great Salmon Run: Competition Between Wild and Farmed Salmon

      Knapp, Gunnar; Roheim, Cathy; Anderson, James (TRAFFIC North America, 2007)
      This report examines economic and policy issues related to wild and farmed salmon in North America. These issues have received a great deal of attention in recent years, reflecting the environmental, economic and cultural importance of salmon to Americans—and the fact that salmon issues span many important policy debates ranging from environmental protection to trade policy. The salmon industry has experienced dramatic change over the past two decades. Two major trends gave rise to many of the issues discussed in this report. The first trend is the rapid and sustained growth in world farmed salmon and salmon trout production, from two percent of world supply in 1980 to 65 percent of world supply in 2004. The growth of farmed salmon and the decline in the value of wild salmon has given rise to two broad sets of questions: • How has salmon farming affected wild salmon resources and the wild salmon industry? • What should be done to protect wild salmon resources and strengthen the wild salmon industry?"
    • 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?
    • Testing a Methodology for Estimating the Economic Significance of Saltwater Charter Fishing in Southeast Alaska

      Wilson, Meghan; Fay, Ginny; Dugan, Darcy; Fay-Hiltner, Ian; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      In May 2004, the Alaska legislature established new licensing requirement for sport fishing guide business owners and sport fishing guides on a statewide basis. As part of this new registration process, a registered guide vessel must display an ADF&G guide decal on both sides of the vessel along with a current year tag provided when the logbook is issued. The vessel registration portion of the logbook distribution does not collect all the information that CFEC previously collect; the primary mission at Sport Fish Division is monitor fishing pressure on fish stocks by tracking the number of vessels used in the guide industry including the number of vessels used by an individual business. Since a logbook is issued to a unique business, it is possible to determine how many vessels are being used by that given business. The new licensing requirements initiated in 2005, require that a business maintain current Occupational License and Liability Insurance. A guide is also required to have a current sport fish license, first aid certificate and a Coast Guard license if they plan to operate a motorized vessel with clients on board.The purposes of this study are 1) to estimate the economic significance of saltwater charter sport fishing in Southeast Alaska and 2) to test a new methodology for developing these estimates. In addition, this study lays the groundwork for additional spatial analysis relating fishing activity to spawning habitat and to local economies. By making these spatial associations we hope to generate a clearer picture of the economic values generated by riparian ecosystems and captured by anglers and captains from specific communities. "
    • 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.
    • Southwest Alaska Network Long-Term Visitor Use Monitoring Protocol Development (Final Report)

      Colt, Steve; Fay, Ginny (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 2007)
      The purpose of this research is to assist the National Park Service (NPS), Southwest Alaska Network gain a better understanding of current visitor use volumes and patterns, develop a system to monitor visitor use over time, and use this information to evaluate the impact of visitors on the SW Network Park systems (Kenai Fjords National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, and Katmai/Aniakchak/Alagnak National Park and Preserve) as part of the NPS Vital Signs Monitoring program. Data about visitor use are important because of the driving force humans have on ecosystems. Not only are total numbers of visitors important in understanding overall usage of park resources, but understanding the trends in visitor use can aid managers in minimizing the impacts of humans on sensitive animals and ecosystems. This report provides information on the project protocols, databases, and visitation trends.