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A Regional Assessment of Borough Government Finances and Employment

The state government provides considerable money to Alaska’s local governments—but so far there has been little analysis of how the precipitous decline in state revenues might affect local governments. A new report by Mouhcine Guettabi, an assistant professor of economics at ISER, assesses how much Alaska’s borough governments rely on state aid and considers how vulnerable they are to cuts in that aid.

The author found that overall, boroughs depend much more on state dollars now than they did 10 years ago—the average share of borough revenues coming from the state increased from 12% to 28% between 2005 and 2015. But he also shows that some boroughs rely much more than others on state money—and are therefore more vulnerable to inevitable cuts in state aid.

To learn more, download the report, A Regional Assessment of Borough Government Finances and Employment (PDF, 1.8MB). If you have questions, get in touch with Mouhcine Guettabi at mguettabi@alaska.edu or 907-786-5496.

June 19th, 2017|

Lunchtime Talk: Working with Alaska Native Tribes Being Displaced by Climate Change

Many coastal Alaska Native communities are seeing rapid erosion, flooding, and other serious problems related to climate change, and a number plan to move to safer ground. Robin Bronen, a senior research scientist at UAF's Institute of Arctic Biology and the executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice, has been studying the climate-induced need for relocation of these communities since 2007.

At ISER, she talked about her current work with 15 coastal Alaska Native villages, to design and implement a community-led approach to making decisions about relocating their communities in the face of climate change.

When: Friday, May 19, 12 to 1
Where: ISER conference room, Third floor, 1901 Bragaw St., Suite 301

May 15th, 2017|

Talk at ISER: Iceland’s Fisheries: An Overview and Description of Management

Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson and Hordur Saevaldsson are both assistant professors in the School of Business and Science at the University of Akureyri in Iceland. At ISER, they each talk about aspects of Iceland’s fisheries, which have for centuries been the main pillar of the Icelandic economy.

Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson gives an overview of the current status of the stocks around Iceland and speculate on the main drivers of change in those stocks. He also describes the tools used to manage the fisheries, so as to minimize discards and protect juvenile fish. Hörður Sævaldsson describes the history of fisheries management in Iceland, including precursors of the current system and today's ITQ (individual transferable quota) system—as well as the effects of consolidation and changes within the system.

May 11th, 2017|

National Conference of Citizen Review Panels on UAA Campus May 10-12

The 2017 national conference of Citizen Review Panels (CRPs) will be held on the UAA campus May 10-12, hosted by the Alaska Citizen Review Panel and sponsored by a number of organizations. Federal law requires all states to establish CPRs, to help protect children from abuse and neglect.

Diwakar Vadapalli, assistant professor of public policy at ISER, chairs the Alaska panel, and ISER is sponsoring the keynote speaker, Debra Schilling Wolfe, executive director of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Registration for the conference is still open. The conference agenda is available online.

May 3rd, 2017|

Public Lecture: Evidence-Based Policy and Practice: Role of Research in Child Protection

Debra Schilling Wolfe is the executive director of the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice, and Research at the University of Pennsylvania. In a lecture at UAA's Rasmuson Hall, she will talk about the role of research in child protection. ISER is sponsoring the talk, which is free and open to the public.

At the Field Center, Ms. Wolfe directs a team of child welfare experts, and she has more than 30 years of experience in directing child-welfare programs and initiatives around the country. Ms. Wolfe will be in Anchorage to deliver the keynote address at the National Citizen Review Panel Conference, which will be from May 10-12 at UAA. She will make this public talk before the conference. Please join us.

When: Tuesday, May 9, 7 p.m. (Reception 6:30 p.m.)
Where: UAA Rasmuson Hall, Room 101

Note: This will not be live streamed.

May 1st, 2017|

Lunchtime Talk: Do Isolated Areas of Alaska Benefit from Local Resource Developments?

Much of the natural-resource development in Alaska happens in isolated, rural areas. Do local residents get jobs and other benefits from those developments? Mouhcine Guettabi, an assistant professor of economics at ISER, is assessing that question in two papers he is currently working on.

In the first paper, he is using employment by place of work and by place of residence to determine whether local residents of an isolated borough with oil development get a share of the new jobs created when oil prices spike up. In the second, he is looking at the causal effects of the Red Dog mine on employment, wages, and other measures in the Northwest Arctic Borough, where the mine has been operating since the 1980s.

Please join us at ISER to hear what he has found so far.

When: Friday, April 28, 12 to 1

April 26th, 2017|
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