ISER History

The second Alaska Legislature established the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), as part of the University of Alaska, on April 13, 1961. It became the first—and for a number of years, the only—public policy research organization in Alaska. This year, ISER is celebrating 50 years of studying the population and economy of Alaska and helping government, the private sector, and the people of Alaska better understand and deal with change. The twenty-seventh Alaska Legislature recently recognized ISER's contributions to Alaska over the past half century.

ISER's faculty and staff have studied every major public policy issue in Alaska since statehood, from the economic effects of the devastating 1964 earthquake in southcentral Alaska to the huge role oil plays in Alaska's economy today. A critical part of ISER's mission is making sure Alaskans benefits from ISER research—which is all available to the public. ISER research findings are widely disseminated to government agencies, private businesses, libraries, the press, and individual Alaskans. ISER faculty and staff also routinely do presentations to public and private groups around the state—and sometimes in other states and other countries. They also respond to inquiries from the press and the public, as well as teach classes.

ISER was originally part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and in the first years it operated with a full-time staff of two. Now, ISER has a staff of about 35 and for more than 30 years has been at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It is an institute within UAA's College of Business and Public Policy.

The 1961 legislative appropriation for ISER was $5,415. Today ISER has an average annual budget of about $3 million, but only about a third of that 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 a wide range of public and private organizations— at the local, state, and national levels.

A comprehensive list of ISER publications, from the 1960s through today—and information about events and other activities at ISER—are available here.

Gateways Globe


Current Students
Future Students
Graduate School

Emergency Information
Faculty/Staff Email
Financial Aid
Student Email
UA Online
About UAA question mark

About UAA

Chancellor's Office
Community Campuses
Diversity Resources
News and Publications
Strategic Plan
Academics books


Academic Calendar
Advising and Testing
Class Schedule
Colleges and Schools
Computer Labs
Distance Education
Financial Aid
One Stop
Undergraduate Research
Research flask


Undergraduate Research
Office of Research
Centers and Institutes
Colleges and Schools
Campus Life cup

Campus Life

Commuter Student Services
Intramural Sports
Native Student Services
Parking Services
Residence Life
Student Life
Student Media
USUAA Student Government
Wells Fargo Sports Complex
Public Square balloon quotes

Public Square

Community Partnerships
Giving to UAA
News and Publications
Visiting the Campus
Wells Fargo Sports Complex
Wendy Williamson Auditorium
© Copyright 2017, University of Alaska Anchorage
UAA is an EEO/AA employer and educational institution
Page Updated: 7/17/13