Gunnar Knapp has been appointed director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER), after acting as interim director since January. He is a long-time professor of economics at ISER, widely respected for his studies of Alaska’s commercial fisheries and other aspects of the state’s economy.
ISER is part of UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy, and Rashmi Prasad, dean of the college, praised the appointment: “Dr. Knapp is uniquely qualified to lead ISER at this point in its history. In addition to his outstanding academic credentials, he has proven himself to be a leader among the CBPP faculty and in his role as interim director of ISER.”
Gunnar Knapp says he is honored to be named director, and sees his job as “an opportunity to work with wonderful colleagues on complex and fascinating social and economic issues—and to make a real difference in helping Alaskans understand and address those issues.”
ISER was established in 1961, and the new director will focus on “maintaining ISER’s 50-year standard of excellence in non-partisan research.” Working with colleagues and advisors, he plans to identify future research priorities, develop more research partnerships within and beyond the university, and broaden ISER’s efforts to let people know about research findings.
But Dr. Knapp also emphasizes the importance of maintaining ISER’s teaching and public service. Through their teaching at UAA, “ISER faculty bring wide-ranging expertise on Alaska issues into the classroom.” They also play an important role in UAA’s service to the broader community, he says, routinely talking to both public and private groups and serving on many advisory groups and committees.
Gunnar Knapp has been on the ISER faculty since earning his PhD from Yale University in 1981. To learn more about his research on the Alaska economy and population over the past 30 years, go to http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/people/knapp/.