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Lunchtime Talk: What Happens if Sugary Drinks are Taxed in Alaska?

Staff from the State of Alaska Section of Chronic Disease Prevention will present the results of a simulation model of a $0.03-per-ounce- state excise tax on sugary drinks in Alaska. The simulation was conducted by the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) research team from the Harvard School of Public Health using Alaska BRFSS data and sugary drink prices.

When: Wednesday, September 26, 12 to 1
Where: ISER Conference Room, Third Floor, 1901 Bragaw Street, Suite 301

Note: This talk will not be live streamed or recorded.

September 20th, 2018|

ISER and University of Alaska faculty and administrators leading international Arctic research and education efforts

University of Alaska faculty and administrators have leadership roles in several national and international Arctic research organizations, including ISER’s own Diane Hirshberg. In December 2017, Dr. Hirshberg was elected to a three-year term on the Board of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. Dr. Hirshberg also was re-elected to a second three-year term on in the International Arctic Social Sciences Association Council in June 2017. In addition, she continues to serve as Advisor to the UAA Chancellor on Arctic Research & Education, facilitating UAA’s engagement in the University of the Arctic (UArctic), building the Arctic research community at UAA, and co-organizing the Anchorage Arctic Research Days along with ARCUS, the Institute of the North and the Anchorage Museum.

The ARCUS Board is led by another UAA faculty member, Board President Dr. Audrey Taylor, an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at UAA. Dr. Taylor is in her second three-year term on the board, and was elected President in December. Another UAA professor, Dr. Jeffrey Welker, Professor of Biological Sciences, is serving in a new leadership capacity in Arctic research. In 2017, he was appointed the first UArctic Research Chair (a collaborative appointment between UArctic, the University of Oulu and the University of Alaska Anchorage). His role is to implement and drive collaborative actions among UArctic members; develop research cooperation that includes undergraduate, graduate, PhD and postdoctoral scientist training; and build partnerships with the broader Arctic community. Finally, in June 2018 University of Alaska Fairbanks Vice Chancellor for Research Larry Hinzman was elected president of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) Council.

There are many other University of Alaska faculty and administrators taking leadership in national and international Arctic research and education efforts and organizations, and ISER is pleased to be a part of this important work.

July 23rd, 2018|

What Do Rural Alaska Voters Prefer?

The Alaska Division of Elections asked ISER to survey voters in three southwest Alaska census areas, to ask what methods they'd like to use for voting in the future. More than 400 registered voters took the survey: 49% wanted to keep voting as they do now, at polling places; 36% preferred to get ballots in the mail and have options for returning them; and 14% wanted to get ballots in the mail and mail them back.

The division is interested in what voters prefer for the future, because it will soon need to replace state voting equipment that's outdated and expensive to repair. Interviewers called voters in the Bethel, Dillingham, and Kusilvak census areas and got a 70% response rate.

Download the report, Perceptions of Universal Ballot Delivery Systems, by Virgene Hanna and Jessica Passini.  If you have questions about the survey, get in touch with Virgene Hanna, ISER's survey director, at mhanna7@alaska.edu.

June 22nd, 2018|

How Data on Cross-fishery Networks of Permit Holders Could Help Managers

Alaska has hundreds of commercial fisheries, and fishery managers issue unique permits for each fishery. But in a new blog post, Matt Reimer, an ISER economist, and his co-authors report that many of those who fish in Alaska waters have multiple permits, allowing them to take catches in different fisheries. That means if managers change a policy for one fishery—for instance, reducing the catch limit—permit holders could react by changing where they fish, going after different species, or using different gear.

So how can managers assess whether a policy change in one commercial fishery might have such unintended consequences in others? Matt Reimer and his co-authors argue that having statistical data on cross-fishery networks among permit holders—and analyzing those data—could help managers better understand the potential spillover effects of changing policies for a given fishery. The authors also created an interactive map, showing existing cross-fishery networks. Check out the blog.

If you have questions, get in touch with Matt Reimer at: mreimer2@alaska.edu or 907-786-5430.

May 30th, 2018|

Free Public Lecture: The 1988 Flight that Helped End the Cold War

On June 13, 1988, after decades of Cold War tensions in the Bering Strait, Alaska Airlines’ “Friendship Flight” flew from Nome to Provideniya, in what was then the USSR. That historic flight reunited long-separated Native peoples of Alaska and Russia and helped end the Cold War. David Ramseur, a former visiting scholar of public policy at ISER and author of the book, Melting the Ice Curtain, was on that flight. At a free lecture at the Anchorage Museum, he will talk about the flight and lead a panel discussion among others who were also aboard, including Gunnar Knapp, a former ISER director. The panelists will recall that day, and discuss how it prescribes a course for U.S.-Russia relations today.

Where: Anchorage Museum, 625 C St
When: Thursday, May 31, 6:30 p.m.
Note: Use the museum’s 7th Avenue entrance.

May 24th, 2018|
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