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Arctic Communities

Economy / Fiscal Policy

Economy and Fiscal Policy





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News and Announcements

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is interested in what voters prefer for the future, because it will soon need to replace state voting equipment that's outdated and expensive to repair.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|

CAEPR Researchers Publish Two Articles on Policies Affecting Teachers

Researchers at ISER's Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) have recently published two articles examining issues important to Alaska's teachers.

  • Statute and implementation: How phantom policies affect tenure value and support, by Dayna DeFeo, Matt Berman, and Diane Hirshberg.  This article, published in Educational Policy, discusses how teachers and principals understand, inflate, or underestimate tenure protections, and how those interpretations affect the perceived value and effectiveness of the tenure policy itself. Abstract available for download, full text available for purchase.

May 17th, 2018|

Lunchtime Talk. Making Big Comparisons: Urban Energy Transitions in Saskatoon, Lulea, and Anchorage

Around the world, there is growing interest in decentralized sources of energy production and distribution. Costs of solar, wind, and energy-efficiency technologies have also been dropping, making them attractive alternatives to fossil fuels. But those changes disrupt the business model of utilities and present unique challenges and opportunities.

Martin Boucher, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan, will talk about his research on socio-technical energy transitions and discuss his preliminary thoughts about his work-in-progress, comparing transitions in three Northern cities: Saskatoon in Canada, Lulea in Sweden, and Anchorage.

When: Tuesday, May 22, 12 to 1

May 16th, 2018|
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