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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.

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Lunchtime Talk: Navigating at a double crossroads: The role of subsistence in the wellbeing of Dena’ina Athabascan youth

Posted on April 11th, 2014

Jennifer Shaw, PhD (Case Western Reserve, 2013) is a Senior Researcher at Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, where she conducts research on youth suicide prevention, healthcare decision-making, and the development of culturally grounded health services. Her research interests are in medical anthropology, social determinants of health, and cross-cultural childhood and adolescence.

She will talk about the role of subsistence in the well-being of Dena’ina Athabascan youths growing up in Southwestern Alaska. How do subsistence and other cultural activities fit into the lives and aspirations of contemporary Dena’ina youths living in rural Alaska? What factors impede or facilitate their ability to achieve these aspirations in the transition to adulthood? Dr. Shaw conducted an ethnographic case study with 19 youths in one Dena’ina village, which showed that despite concerns about Alaska Native youths’ commitment to culture, this group deeply identifies with their tradition and aspires to continue these activities into adulthood, despite significant obstacles in their paths.

When: Friday, April 18, 12 to 1 p.m.
Where: ISER conference room, fifth floor, Diplomacy Building

Participate remotely over web or call (907) 786-6755, Conference ID: 475905.

Lunchtime Talk: Post-growth societies, education systems, and differentiation

Posted on April 4th, 2014

Reinhold Sackmann, Dr. rer.pol. habil., is Full Professor for Sociology, Dynamic Analysis of Social Structure, at the University of Halle-Wittenberg. His fields of research are life course analysis, sociology of education and coping with demographic change.

He’ll talk about how after accelerated population growth in the last two centuries, in a number of European and East Asian countries there are signs of a stagnant, sometimes shrinking population that is getting older and more heterogeneous. What are the effects of this new situation? Is there scope to modify effects of these new trends? Dr. Sackmann conducted a longitudinal data analysis of German school systems from 1995-2010, which shows that demographic change has had a profound effect on the institutional system of the education system, which for a long time was seen as a path dependent system that could not be transformed by political reforms.

When: Friday, April 11, 12 to 1 p.m.
Where: ISER conference room, fifth floor, Diplomacy Building

Participate remotely over web or call (907) 786-6755, Conference ID: 475905.

Lunchtime Talk: Climate, Water, and Energy: Observation and Valuation

Posted on April 3rd, 2014

Jessica Cherry, a research associate professor at UAF’s International Arctic Research Center, will discuss the physics and economics of climate impacts on hydropower, as well as valuation of observational systems relating to climate and water, using examples from Scandinavia, Alaska, and California.

Norway has significant observational infrastructure, allowing researchers to see strong connections between precipitation and supply, air temperature and demand, and electricity price and trade volumes. In Southeast Alaska, which has few such observational systems, there are technological challenges in providing geophysical data to hydropower operators, and additional challenges in measuring the value of improved forecasting.

Jessica Cherry holds a PhD in climate physics from Columbia University in New York. This presentation is open to the public, but Dr. Cherry hopes that it will also lead to discussions and potential research relationships with researchers from ISER and other organizations.

Lunchtime Talk: Tskah, xs’waanx–Herring, Herring Roe: Colonialism and the Narrowing of Indigenous Resource Utilization

Posted on April 2nd, 2014

Historically and into the present day, herring and herring roe (tskah and xs’waanx) have provided the Tsimshian people of British Columbia with a range of food resources, both the fish itself—fresh, dried, or smoked—and the roe in several forms. But indigenous use has narrowed since the arrival of non-indigenous peoples. In this talk, Charles Menzies, a professor of social anthropology at the University of British Columbia, will describe the causes and implications of this narrowing of herring use among the Tsimshian, discussing the topic through archaeological, ethnographic, and indigenous-knowledge approaches.

Dr. Menzies was formerly a commercial fisherman, and his research is predominantly fisheries-related, involving both indigenous and non-indigenous communities on the north coast of British Columbia. He also produces and directs documentary films, primarily about fishing communities.

Seminar on Broadband Issues and Policies for Alaska

Posted on March 7th, 2014

Many recent developments in telecommunications provide opportunities for Alaska, particularly for Alaska Native and tribal organizations, business and institutional users, public sector agencies, and consumers.

This seminar, held on March 28, provided a concise overview of these developments, with links to additional information.

The seminar was conducted by Dr. Heather E. Hudson, professor of communications policy at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at UAA. She has conducted many studies on telecommunications in the North, and is completing a book entitled Connecting Alaskans: From Telegraph to Broadband, to be published by the University of Alaska Press.

Download the presentation (PDF, 3.5MB)

If you were not able to attend, but are interested in future ISER broadband activities and research, please send a message with “Broadband” in the subject line to UAA_ISER@uaa.alaska.edu.

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To Russia with Love: An Alaskan's Journey

To Russia with Love: An Alaskan's Journey


Available for ordering now, with October 2012 publication date. To Russia with Love: An Alaskan's Journey, by Victor Fischer, with Charles Wohlforth.

The George Rogers Emerging Scholars Fund

The George Rogers Emerging Scholars Fund was established at ISER in 2011 to encourage young scholars and promote research opportunities in Alaska. It honors the memory of George Rogers, an economist and guiding light of ISER for half a century.

Donate to the fund.
George Rogers

Alaska Native Language Map A digital edition of the map, Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska, is now available. It is a joint project of the Alaska Native Language Center and ISER, based on ground-breaking Alaska Native language maps created by Michael E. Krauss in 1974 and 1982. Printed copies are available from ANLC.

An interactive version is also available on ISER's Alaskool website.

Download an informational flyer about the Indigenous People and Languages of Alaska map.
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