News and Announcements
The Barents region is a sprawling area of international cooperation that includes the northernmost parts of Sweden, Norway, and Finland, as well as Northwest Russia. It was created under an agreement among those countries in the early 1990s. Thomas Nilsen is the editor of BarentsObserver.com, an online public affairs and news site operated by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, which promotes cooperation among Barents member countries, particularly cooperation between Norway and Russia. At ISER, Mr. Nilsen talked about a range of topics, including Arctic oil and gas drilling in Norwegian waters, transportation of oil in Norwegian and Russian Arctic waters, potential routes across the Arctic as sea ice melts, and the Norwegian government’s High North policies and strategies for promoting economic and social development in the Arctic. Mr. Nilsen's visit to the United States was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.
Jose Polanco, a professor of marketing and economics at the University of Cantabria, in Santander, Spain, is an expert on European seafood retailers and consumers and the Spanish seafood market. He talked about how the Spanish seafood market combines both old traditions—such as consumer fish markets—with new trends, such as growing supermarket sales of frozen fish and rapidly growing imports of farmed pangasius and other whitefish. Download the presentation (PDF, 1.57MB).
Spending for construction in Alaska—including both public and private spending—will be about $9.2 billion in 2014, up 18% from spending in 2013. Increased spending by the oil and gas industry will account for most of the growth in private spending, and a larger Department of Defense budget will lead growth in public spending. State-funded projects will also be a major part of construction spending, with a number of projects that were funded in recent large state capital budgets starting or continuing in 2014. These are among the findings of a new forecast by Scott Goldsmith, professor emeritus of economics at ISER, [...]
Scott Goldsmith, professor emeritus of economics at ISER, has updated his estimate of how much Alaska's state government can afford to spend each year, without risking sudden big budget deficits and economic hardships for Alaskans, as it deals with declining oil revenues. Download the paper .
Lunch Talk: How Do Society and Governance Influence Subsistence and Land Use in the Circumpolar North?
The TUNDRA project is an international study, with researchers from Norway, Russia, Canada, and Alaska examining the influence of society and governance on subsistence and land use among the people who live on the tundra in the Circumpolar North. Jennifer Schmidt, a researcher at the University of Tromsø, Norway, is part of the project team. She also describes other socio-ecological projects underway in Norway and Europe—and opportunities for researchers from different disciplines to collaborate on such research. To learn more about the TUNDRA project, visit: http://site.uit.no/tundra/researchers/
In the 1970s, the state and federal governments began "privatizing" access to Alaska's commercial fisheries—that is, they either issued permits or assigned shares of the catch to a limited number of fishermen. Those permits and quota shares are commodities that can be bought and sold on the market. Scholars and fishermen alike view this privatization as a fundamental driver of change in fishing livelihoods and communities. Courtney Carothers, an associate professor in the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at UAF, has studied some of the social and cultural effects of the shift to privatization in Kodiak, one of Alaska's major fishing communities. Hear Dr. Carothers talk about the results of her research.