News and Announcements
A team of Alaska researchers led by ISER’s Tobias Schwoerer has proposed a new methodology to elicit and quantify expert scientific opinion in uncertain environmental applications. The work, which was co-authored with Joseph Little (UAF) and Gregory Hayward (Alaska Region, US Forest Service), appeared in an article in the Journal of Environmental Management under the title “Quantifying expert opinion with discrete choice models: Invasive elodea’s influence on Alaska salmonids.” The new methodology can be used to combine the expert perspectives of many scientists in a way that provides a quantitative measure of which aspects of the problem scientists agree upon and which aspects have less consensus. Read more about > Is there a better way to combine expert scientific opinions?
Hirshberg featured as “expert” in WalletHub.com story on the most and least educated cities in America
Dr. Diane Hirshberg, professor of education policy, was one of the experts tapped to provide some perspective on how cities can attract and retain a highly educated workforce as well as thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on the education system. Read more about > Hirshberg featured as “expert” in WalletHub.com story on the most and least educated cities in America
CBHRS associate professor Dr. Diane King (co-investigator) and research professional Alex Edwards (project manager) are collaborating with psychology professor Dr. Patrick Dulin (principal investigator) on a clinical trial to reduce drinking. Funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, study participants will test either a smart-phone app or a chatbot version of an evidence-based program called Step Away. Read more about > Using mobile technology to reduce unhealthy alcohol use
ISER Professor Mouhcine Guettabi forecasts modest economic growth for the Alaska economy for 2021 and 2022. However, he expects that this modest growth will not be enough for Alaska to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic shock. Professor Guettabi projects that the economy in 2022 will still be 5% below the pre-pandemic level. The forecast appears in a report entitled Alaska’s Economy and the pandemic, which was prepared for the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED.) The projection that Alaska’s economy will not fully recover by 2022 is consistent with similar Federal Reserve forecasts for the US economy. Read more about > Pandemic impact forecast to last through at least 2022
Diane Hirshberg, Professor of Education Policy, wrote a thought piece on challenges in distance learning in Arctic postsecondary education along with Paul Wasko of UAA’s Academic Innovations & eLearning. Titled “Learning from the Crisis: Issues in Strengthening Online Learning for the Future,” the article highlights both the possibilities for transforming online learning, and the challenges facing faculty, students, institutions, and communities. Read more about > Diane Hirshberg published in the 2020 issue of the UArctic Magazine Shared Voices
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Dunleavy mandated that Alaska’s K12 schools closed to in-person instruction; later, these school closures were extended until the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Across the state, educators worked not only to ensure they met their responsibilities for instruction, but also other key school functions including parent resources, meal services, and social-emotional learning. Concurrently, senior college students in teacher licensure programs at the University of Alaska (UA) were in classrooms fulfilling their clinical experience (student teaching) requirements. During the school closures, students were still “placed” in schools, but the nature of their internship experience changed fundamentally as classes were moved to distance delivery. Read more about > ISER releases new report on how COVID-19 school closures affect teacher preparation