/Research Areas
Research Areas2018-04-20T12:01:22+00:00

ISER faculty and other researchers study many topics that we’ve grouped under several broad research areas: Economy and Fiscal Policy, Education, Health, Natural Resources, and Arctic Communities. Pages for each of these research areas describe the work in those areas, list recent publications, and provide names and contact information for researchers working in that area.

Arctic view of earth
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Arctic Communities

Communities in Alaska and around the Arctic—especially those where Alaska Natives and other indigenous peoples make up most of the population—face many forces of change, including the effects of climate change, pressures on subsistence resources and on mixed cash-subsistence economies, rising costs of living, and lack of jobs for young people—including in coastal communities, where opportunities in commercial fisheries have diminished. ISER researchers study issues affecting Arctic communities, often with national or international partners. Examples of that work include assessments of the resilience and adaptability of communities in the face of change.

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Economy / Fiscal Policy

ISER researchers study the state economy and the economies of urban and rural regions around the state; the contributions of various industries and activities; and the likely effects of existing or proposed policies or projects. They also assess the state government’s fiscal policies—how the government raises and spends money. These economic and fiscal analyses are closely related, with the state government playing a big role in Alaska’s economy.

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alaska oil pipeline
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Education

ISER researchers have a long history of studying education issues in Alaska, and in 2009, to emphasize ISER’s commitment to education research, the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR) was established as part of ISER. Examples of education research at ISER include assessing turnover rates among teachers and readiness of high-school students to go on to college. Another focus at CAEPR is looking at education issues that Indigenous peoples face in Alaska and the broader Arctic. ISER researchers also evaluate Alaska education programs.

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Health

ISER researchers study a range of health-related issues, from costs of healthcare to ways of reducing suicide rates and measures of children’s well-being. They also evaluate health programs. Our capacity to study issues related to Alaskans’ health was expanded in 2015, when the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services became a part of ISER.

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Natural Resources

Alaska has natural resources of many kinds—fish and wildlife; oil and gas and metal deposits; thousands of lakes and rivers; and scenic beauty and wilderness areas, to name some. ISER researchers study many facets of the state’s natural resources—and forces that affect those resources—including commercial, subsistence, and sport fisheries; land and wildlife management issues; health of ecosystems; threats from invasive species; and people’s response to environmental change and risk.

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