Gunnar Knapp and Michelle Bartlett Awarded 2017 Bullock Prize for Excellence

Gunnar Knapp speakingGunnar Knapp, professor emeritus of economics at ISER, and Michelle Bartlett, director of UAF’s Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning program, have been awarded the 2017 Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence. The UA Foundation awards the prize annually to recognize excellence in support of the University of Alaska. Gunnar Knapp was a faculty economist at ISER from 1981 to June 2016, and also directed ISER from 2013 until he retired in June 2016. He is internationally recognized for his research on fisheries markets and management, but in recent years he focused on helping Alaskans understand the gravity of the fiscal crisis the state government faces.

Describing the prize as “a most pleasant surprise,” Gunnar Knapp said, “I’m deeply gratified, and humbled, to be recognized in this way. I was privileged, throughout my career, to work with outstanding colleagues at ISER on ever-fascinating and important Alaska policy issues. I thank them for everything they taught me and all the ways they helped me—and for their continuing service to Alaska. It has been wonderful to be a part of UAA’s growth into a thriving and vibrant university serving Alaskans in so many ways.”

Posted in News

Lunchtime Talk: The Alaska Energy Data Gateway: Bringing You More Information, More Easily

The Alaska Energy Data Gateway is an online database that ISER, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at UAF, and other partner organizations established in 2011, to provide communities across Alaska with data they can use as they develop and improve their energy systems. Information in the database comes from many sources, can be downloaded in various file formats, and is mostly at the community level.

This summer Rachael Teter, an intern sponsored by First Alaskans Institute, has been working at ISER, updating and expanding the information available in the database. Kyle Borash, ISER’s computer programmer, is developing an interactive map that will allow users to see at a glance what kinds of information are available for individual communities. That map will be launched on the data gateway in September. Join us at ISER to hear Rachael Teter and Kyle Borash discuss their work on the data gateway.


Download the presentation (PDF, 1.3MB)

Posted in News

A Regional Assessment of Borough Government Finances and Employment

The state government provides considerable money to Alaska’s local governments—but so far there has been little analysis of how the precipitous decline in state revenues might affect local governments. A new report by Mouhcine Guettabi, an assistant professor of economics at ISER, assesses how much Alaska’s borough governments rely on state aid and considers how vulnerable they are to cuts in that aid.

The author found that overall, boroughs depend much more on state dollars now than they did 10 years ago—the average share of borough revenues coming from the state increased from 12% to 28% between 2005 and 2015. But he also shows that some boroughs rely much more than others on state money—and are therefore more vulnerable to inevitable cuts in state aid.

To learn more, download the report, A Regional Assessment of Borough Government Finances and Employment (PDF, 1.8MB). If you have questions, get in touch with Mouhcine Guettabi at mguettabi@alaska.edu or 907-786-5496.

Posted in News

Lunchtime Talk: Working with Alaska Native Tribes Being Displaced by Climate Change

Many coastal Alaska Native communities are seeing rapid erosion, flooding, and other serious problems related to climate change, and a number plan to move to safer ground. Robin Bronen, a senior research scientist at UAF’s Institute of Arctic Biology and the executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice, has been studying the climate-induced need for relocation of these communities since 2007.

At ISER, she talked about her current work with 15 coastal Alaska Native villages, to design and implement a community-led approach to making decisions about relocating their communities in the face of climate change.

When: Friday, May 19, 12 to 1
Where: ISER conference room, Third floor, 1901 Bragaw St., Suite 301

Posted in News

Talk at ISER: Iceland’s Fisheries: An Overview and Description of Management

Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson and Hordur Saevaldsson are both assistant professors in the School of Business and Science at the University of Akureyri in Iceland. At ISER, they each talk about aspects of Iceland’s fisheries, which have for centuries been the main pillar of the Icelandic economy.

Hreiðar Þór Valtýsson gives an overview of the current status of the stocks around Iceland and speculate on the main drivers of change in those stocks. He also describes the tools used to manage the fisheries, so as to minimize discards and protect juvenile fish. Hörður Sævaldsson describes the history of fisheries management in Iceland, including precursors of the current system and today’s ITQ (individual transferable quota) system—as well as the effects of consolidation and changes within the system.

Posted in News