Alaska Energy Statistics, 2011 Final Report

The Alaska Energy Statistics final report for 2011, by ISER researchers Ginny Fay and Alejandra Villalobos-Meléndez, is now available. It is the most recent update of annual reports funded by the Alaska Energy Authority. It examines how much electricity individual utilities generated in 2011 (the most recent year for which complete data are available), with what types of fuel, at what electric rates, and with what level of CO2 emissions. It also summarizes changes in electric utility statistics in Alaska over time, and looks broadly at total energy production and consumption in Alaska.

Several related products are available: the full report, Alaska Energy Statistics 1960-2011, Final Report; an accompanying Excel workbook; and a 4-page stand-alone summary, Electricity in Alaska: A Growing and Changing Picture.

For more information, get in touch with Alejandra Villalobos-Meléndez at avillalobos@alaska.edu.…

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Lunchtime Talk: Youth Perspectives on Rural Life and Leaving: Accounts and Out-Migration from an Irish Fishing Community

Gender disparities in the out-migration of young people from rural fishing regions across the North Atlantic and North Pacific suggest important differences in the ways rural young men and women identify with and experience rural life. Rachel Donkersloot, director of the Working Waterfronts Program for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, has studied those disparities in the rapidly shifting landscape of a rural Irish fishing community.
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The Mat-Su in 2040—What Would Residents Like to See?

Residents of the Mat-Su Borough north of Anchorage say they would be willing to pay substantial amounts for actions that help protect things that drew them to the area in the first place—including salmon streams, local farmland, and opportunities for recreation and hunting. That's the main finding of a recent survey ISER economist Tobias Schwörer conducted of borough residents. The survey asked respondents to choose among different hypothetical future land-use and development alternatives, with different costs assigned to each alternative. By their choices, the respondents put dollar values on actions that would help protect non-market resources, like healthy salmon runs and public easements for hiking or snowmachine trails. These dollar amounts are hypothetical—no one was actually asked to pay anything—but they are still important measures of what borough residents value and consider worth paying for. The survey was done for The Nature Conservancy, with funding from the Bullitt Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To read the 4-page summary of survey results, click here, and to see technical documentation of the survey and analysis of data, click here. For more information, get in touch with Tobias Schwörer at tschwoerer@alaska.edu.
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Lunchtime Talk: Globalization Impacts in Northern Finland

Ms. Rönkä will present research on the impacts of globalization on the lives of pulp mill workers in Northern Finland, city of Kemijärvi. Due to global increases in efficiency of production, pulp mills and factories in Finland were offshored to the global south. Her qualitative study examined how the workers experienced the mill closures and how the closures affected their lives and livelihoods. The research demonstrates that when globalization research is confined to large macro level economic, political and cultural processes, it excludes examination of how the impact of global flows is influenced by the history, culture, and social structure of local contexts. One way to understand complex globalization processes better is to examine them through place-based, lived experiences. Anna Reetta Rönkä graduated in 2010 with an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities. The UAA Department of Public Health is currently sponsoring Ms. Rönkä as a visiting scholar while she is working on her doctoral research about the experience of loneliness from childhood to adulthood in Northern Finland. Her current research interests include: socio-emotional wellbeing and health in circumpolar societies, gendered experiences of loneliness, and social isolation. Her affiliations are Women´s and Gender Studies, Faculty of Education and Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu Finland.
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Lunchtime Talk: Navigating at a double crossroads: The role of subsistence in the wellbeing of Dena’ina Athabascan youth

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.
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