Energy Costs and Rural Alaska Out-Migration

Does expensive home-heating fuel cause people to move out of rural Alaska communities and into urban areas? Yes, but not as many as anecdotal reports might lead you to expect. Matthew Berman, professor of economics at ISER, found that for each $1 increase in fuel prices, fewer than 40 adults a year moved from rural to urban places. He also found that people’s employment status and earnings, and local labor market conditions in general, had much more influence than high fuel prices on their decisions to leave rural places.

This is the first study to use statistical testing to assess whether high fuel prices prompt people to leave rural Alaska communities. The analysis was based on adult Permanent Fund Dividend applications for 2003 through 2015, and was funded by the Alaska Energy Authority.

Download the study, Energy Costs and Rural Alaska Out-Migration (PDF, 137.3KB), by Matthew Berman. If you have questions, get in touch with the author at matthew.berman@uaa.alaska.edu or call 907-786-5426.

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ISER and First Alaskans Institute Sign MOU

Pictured signing the MOU are Liz Medicine Crow, president of FAI and Ralph Townsend, director of ISER. Behind them (left to right) are Diane Hirshberg, director of the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research; Andrea Sanders, director of FAI's Alaska Native Policy Center; Tom Case, UAA chancellor; Sam Gingrich, UAA provost; and Jeane T'áaw xíwaa Breinig, UAA interim associate vice chancellor for Alaska Natives and Diversity.

Pictured signing the MOU are Liz Medicine Crow, president of FAI and Ralph Townsend, director of ISER. Behind them (left to right) are Diane Hirshberg, director of the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research; Andrea Sanders, director of FAI’s Alaska Native Policy Center; Tom Case, UAA chancellor; Sam Gingrich, UAA provost; and Jeane T’áaw xíwaa Breinig, UAA interim associate vice chancellor for Alaska Natives and Diversity.

ISER and First Alaskans Institute (FAI) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to promote a “mutually beneficial” relationship between them, by meeting annually, developing new research collaborations, and taking other steps to help advance the goals of both organizations. FAI is a nonprofit organization that works to help Alaska Native people meet educational, economic, and social challenges they will face in the future. ISER does non-partisan public policy research, to help Alaskans and others understand the issues of the day and make informed decisions.

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Anchorage Arctic Research Day on March 24

The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) and UAA are hosting the first Anchorage Arctic Research Day on Friday, March 24, in UAA’s Rasmuson Hall. The event is to provide information about the diversity of research and creative activity among Arctic researchers, and to foster new collaborations. There will be participants from government, industry, and academia, as well as not-for-profit and indigenous groups. Researchers from across the natural and social sciences, health, engineering, humanities, and arts will make presentations.

Diane Hirshberg of ISER co-organized the event with ARCUS, and she and Marie Lowe and Matthew Berman of ISER will also make presentations. Registration is free. Go to:
https://www.arcus.org/meetings/2017/arctic-research-day

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Lunchtime Talk: Investigating Climatic Conditions in Ice Caves and Glacial Caves

andreas_pflitsch

Andreas Pflitsch is a professor of physical geography at Ruhr University in the German city of Bochum. He has studied climatic conditions in ice caves in a number of U.S. states since 1996.

At ISER, he’ll talk about his research in ice caves in Alaska and in glacial caves on volcanoes in Oregon and Washington. Many glaciers have far-reaching cave systems in the ice, and Dr. Pflitsch’s work is some of the first to assess climatic conditions in those caves. Join us at ISER to hear what he’s learned.

When: Thursday, March 23, 12 to 1
Where: ISER conference room,
Third floor, 1901 Bragaw Street, Suite 301

Parking is free. Call 907-786-7710 if you need directions.
Those who can’t attend in person can stream the talk live at: http://stream.iseralaska.org

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Coming to UAA in May: 2017 National Conference of Citizen Review Panels

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 inside and outside UAA. Diwakar Vadapalli, assistant professor of public policy at ISER, chairs the Alaska panel, and ISER is sponsoring the keynote speaker, Debra Schilling Wolfe, a nationally recognized expert on child welfare and executive director of the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

Federal law requires all states to establish CPRs, to help protect children from abuse and neglect. The panels give the public opportunities to comment on policies of the agencies responsible for protecting children, and they also review child-protection policies and make recommendations for change.

To learn more about the conference and how to register, download the flier (PDF, 377KB).

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