Did you know that UA researchers are creating a series of reports specifically to help inform Alaska policy makers on Arctic issues?
March 21, 2023
Did you know that UA researchers are creating a series of reports specifically to help inform Alaska policy makers on Arctic issues? The Alaska’s Changing Arctic reports provide Alaskans with accessible, concise and comprehensive information about relevant Arctic issues.
The inaugural report, “Alaska’s Changing Arctic: Energy Issues and Trends,” released in January 2023, explores economic and resource development through the topic of energy.
It highlights key trends in Alaska and across the Arctic that are most likely to require legislative decision-making in the near future. Those key topics are:
- Alaska’s Arctic Oil Economy A history of Alaska’s reliance on oil and its boom bust impact on the state’s economy, as well as outlooks for future oil investment.
- Alaska’s Arctic Energy System How Alaska currently produces and consumes energy, and UA expertise in cold climate renewables and microgrids.
- Climate Smart Infrastructure An overview of high-impact climate changes in Alaska and how planning for future
energy infrastructure must consider these changes.
- Alaska in International Affairs How the U.S.’s collaborative and competitive global relationships impact Alaska’s position in the Arctic energy regime.
The authors are University of Alaska experts with local, national and international partnerships in both public and private sectors. They collaboratively developed the report utilizing scientific studies, historical and current policy analysis in combination with a close understanding of state, regional, federal and international governance.
In addition to the report, they are creating a series of short supporting videos on
each topic, including key points that state leaders should consider when navigating
decisions in context of a changing Arctic. As of March 20, four videos have been made
- Oil Economy video In this video, Diane Hirshberg and Brett Watson (both of the Institute of Social
and Economic Research at the UAA) discuss the role oil has played in Alaska's economy.
- Arctic Energy Systems video In this video, Jeremy Kasper and Kate Robb of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power
at UAF discuss Alaska’s energy systems.
- Climate Smart Infrastructure video In this video, John Walsh and Rick Thoman of the International Arctic Research Center at UAF discuss the impacts of increasing extreme weather and environmental events on Alaska’s energy infrastructure.
- International Affairs video In this video, Amy Lauren Lovecraft of the Center for Arctic Policy Studies and Brandon Boylan of Arctic and Northern Studies, both at UAF, discuss how the U.S.’s collaborative and competitive global relationships impact Alaska’s position in the Arctic energy regime.
The University of Alaska serves as an information resource to the state government. These reports are one way to provide critical information. The reports seek to inform, not advocate for any particular outcome or for the university itself. The reports facilitate state capacity to address the Arctic Policy Act, including concerns related to climate change and geopolitics.
The reports, videos and the researchers themselves will be made available in the capitol throughout the legislative session, including lunch and learn presentations, informal meetings, legislative hearings, airing the videos on Gavel to Gavel and making the reports available at appropriate conferences and meetings.
The university plans to produce a new report annually, each focusing on a key Arctic issue and tailored to the most pressing needs of the state at the time.
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