Kids Count Alaska’s 20th Anniversary

For 20 years, Kids Count Alaska has been an ongoing program at ISER. It's part of the nationwide KIDS COUNT program, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to assess the welfare of children around the country and provide data to support policies for improving children's lives. ISER researchers have taken a preliminary look at trends in Alaska over the past two decades, and found that children here are doing better in several ways: babies are much more likely to survive, high-school droput rates are lower, and the rate of violent deaths (accident, suicides, and homicides) among teenagers has dropped by nearly half.

Researchers with Kids Count Alaska will be taking a more detailed look at 20-year trends in the well-being of Alaska's children and teenagers in the months to come. If there are specific measures of well-being you'd like us to look at, get in touch with Virgene Hanna, director of Kids Count Alaska, at 907-786-5431 or mhanna7@uaa.alaska.edu.

ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

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After Broadband: A Study of Organizational Use of Broadband in Southwest Alaska

A new study by ISER researchers Heather Hudson, Suzanne Sharp, and Alexandra Hill describes how businesses, government agencies, and schools are using broadband that is now available in much of southwest Alaska. The results are based on a telephone survey of private and public organizations in the region.

Download the report (PDF, 643.8KB). If you have questions, get in touch with Dr. Heather Hudson at hehudson@uaa.alaska.edu.

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June 17 Talk from 12 to 1 at ISER: Exploring Diverse Perspectives on Risks and Benefits of Oil and Gas Development in Alaska, Greenland, and Norway

Siri Veland, an assistant professor of environmental studies at Brown University in Rhode Island, will talk about her work on a new project examining diverse cultural perspectives on risks and benefits of offshore oil and gas developments in Alaska, Greenland, and Northern Norway. Dr. Veland previously studied environmental change and risk in Northern Australia, and she'll discuss possible overlaps with key issues in the Arctic.

When: June 17, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: 1901 Bragaw Street, Third Floor, Suite 301

Please join us, but remember that ISER has moved to 1901 Bragaw Street, Third Floor, Suite 301. The new location is between Northern Lights Blvd. and DeBarr Road. Enter through Reka Drive, and drive all the way south to the front parking area. If you need more directions, call 907-786-7710. Parking is still free. Download the full announcement (PDF, 204KB).

Note: Those who can’t attend in person can join us remotely over the web or call (907) 786-6755, Conference ID: 475905.

By request, a recording was not made of this presentation.

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ISER Director Addresses Conference on Alaska’s Fiscal Future

Gunnar Knapp, ISER's director, was the opening speaker at Governor Walker's conference, "Building a Sustainable Future: Conversation with Alaskans," held June 5 to 7 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Two former ISER directors, Vic Fischer and Scott Goldsmith, also took part in the conference, which brought together Alaskans from around the state to discuss Alaska's fiscal future. The conference was held at a time when a sudden drop in oil prices has slashed state oil revenues and left the budget for the coming year several billion dollars in the red.

Oil revenues have largely funded state government for more than 30 years. Dr. Knapp's presentation to the conference, An Introduction to Alaska Fiscal Facts and Choices, summarizes the fundamental fiscal problem the state government faces over time: "Alaska oil production is falling and our population is rising. It is hard for falling oil production to support most of state government for a growing population."

The presentation goes on to describe the fiscal choices for Alaskans, unless oil prices rise dramatically and unexpectedly: adjust our spending or how we pay for it. The state government has several practical options—cut spending more, raise new revenues, or use earnings of the Permanent Fund. As Dr. Knapp points out, "None of these options are easy or popular."

Download the presentation (PDF, 2.1MB) or watch a video recording.  If you have questions, get in touch with Gunnar Knapp at Gunnar.Knapp@uaa.alaska.edu. ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

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