Ronald Senungetuk, 1975
The Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Alaska Anchorage has been at the forefront of public policy research in Alaska for half a century. ISER's multidisciplinary staff studies virtually all the major public policy issues Alaska faces. That work helps Alaskans better understand the state's changing economy and population—and the challenges and opportunities that come with change.
All ISER's research is available to the public, and ISER makes sure Alaskans benefit from that research by disseminating publications, presentations, and other products online and in hard copy to government agencies, private businesses, libraries, the press, and individual Alaskans. ISER faculty and staff routinely do presentations to public and private groups around the state, and sometimes in other states or countries. All recent and many older publications are available online. ISER researchers also routinely respond to inquiries from the press and the public.
Besides doing research, ISER faculty teach graduate and undergraduate classes at UAA. Classes taught vary by semester, but include economic research, history of the Alaska economy, environmental economics and policy, public land management, research methods, and communication policies and strategies.
ISER enhances the well-being of Alaskans and others, through non-partisan research that helps people understand social and economic systems and supports informed public and private decision-making.
ISER carries out its mission by:
- Focusing attention on critical economic and social issues in Alaska, the Arctic, and similar regions
- Engaging in basic and applied research leading to better understanding of those issues
- Disseminating knowledge through publications and other media, community involvement, public service, and teaching
ISER Structure and Funding
ISER is an institute within the College of Business and Public Policy at UAA and has a staff of about 35—including faculty, research associates, and support staff. To learn more about ISER faculty and staff, see the People section. ISER also frequently hosts visiting researchers and employs student interns. It has an average annual budget of about $3 million, about one third of which comes out of the legislature's appropriation for the University of Alaska. ISER faculty and staff raise two-thirds of the budget through grants from and contracts with public and private organizations at the local, state, and national levels.
About the ISER Logo
ISER adopted its logo from a woodcut Ronald Senungetuk created for ISER in 1975. Senungetuk is an internationally known Alaska Native artist originally from the community of Wales in northwest Alaska. For many years, he was on the faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he headed the art department and founded the Native Art Center. He retired from UAF in 1986 and since has worked as an artist full time. He and his wife Turid, also an artist, live in Homer. The logo woodcut and several other woodcuts he created for ISER are on display at ISER's offices in Anchorage.