News and Announcements
This summer, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game closed two lakes in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to control the spread of the freshwater invasive plant Elodea by floatplanes and boats. Clean-up efforts for the two lakes are predicted to cost $1 million. While the price for clean up is high, the potential damages caused by a failure to eradicate Elodea in Alaska could be even higher, according to a new article co-authored by ISER’s Tobias Schwoerer and published in the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics. […]
ISER’s Diane Hirshberg, Professor of Education Policy, contributed to the development of “Alaska, A Brief History of the State and Its Schools” in the latest edition of Education Week. The historical overview anchors a series of articles on schooling in Alaska, including cultural and geographic challenges that have helped shaped schools in Alaska.
ISER’s Jennifer Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management and Policy, is working with researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Center for Energy and Power and College of Engineering and Mines to examine food, energy and water (FEW) security issues in rural Alaska and determine how small-scale renewable energy might ease the issues. Called MicroFEWS, the project is funded through a 3.5-year, $2.4M National Science Foundation grant. A new website and blog have been developed to engage rural communities including Kongiganak, Tanana, Cordova and Igiugig to evaluate local priorities, collect data, and develop appropriate energy distribution models. [...]
ISER’s Mouhcine Guettabi gave a presentation on the economic impacts of Governor Dunleavy’s veto of $409M from the state budget at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s “Make it Monday,” telling the audience that employment losses from cuts will exceed any gains that have been realized during Alaska’s fragile economic recovery of the last few months. The vetoes come as Alaska is turning the corner on a 3-year recession from 2015 to 2018 that cost the state more than 12,400 jobs. Since October 2018, employment has been positive, averaging about 1,325 jobs a month more than the previous year. Still, the level [...]
ISER’s Mouhcine Guettabi provides context on the Governor Dunleavy’s vetoes and their potential impact on the Alaska economy in a series of tweets, showing that just the University of Alaska direct cuts, without accounting for all other line item vetoes (Medicaid, K-12, seniors, debt reimbursement, etc) essentially pushes the Alaska economy back into a recession. Guettabi also spoke with KTUU this week regarding the Governor’s veto of $130 million for the University of Alaska and he is scheduled to talk next week about what the vetoes mean for the Alaska Economy at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s Make it Monday luncheon [...]
School superintendents are all too familiar with the costs of teacher turnover that deplete educational resources and challenge student achievement. A new paper, by Dayna DeFeo, director of ISER’s Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) and Trang Tran, ISER research professional, looks at how superintendents in Alaska’s rural districts – where teacher turnover is particularly pronounced – are working to address turnover by integrating a place-conscious approach in their hiring practices. […]