Institute of Social and Economic Research Assistant in Public Policy

Apply now Job no: 514037
Classification:Graduate Assistant - Research (taxable)
Grade:Grad Research Student
Work type:Student Employee, Graduate Student Worker
Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Anchorage
School/Business unit:UAA Office of the Provost
Location: Anchorage
Categories: Research/Science/Grants

Position Summary:

The Institute of Social and Economic Research is seeking a graduate research student to work with an interdisciplinary team of researchers to understand how Alaskans living in the urban parts of the state and residents of Whitehorse, Canada, respond to multiple hazards related to a changing climate. The major goal of this project is to assist communities in assessing and managing multiple urban environmental hazards related to climate change. The research student will be responsible for developing advanced surveys for eliciting preferences and trade-offs from households in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Whitehorse, YT, Canada, manage data collection, analyze survey data, and conduct data management and archiving. The student will also be part of an interdisciplinary research team through an NSF funded project entitled: NNA Track 1: Collaborative Research: Arctic Urban Risks and Adaptations (AURA): a co-production framework for addressing multiple changing environmental hazards.

Duties:

Graduate Research Assistantship in Public Policy
University of Alaska Anchorage

MA/MS in Interdisciplinary Studies; Master of Public Administration (MPA), public policy emphasis

Location: Preferably, this position will be located in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Description and responsibilities: The successful candidate will be responsible for conducting research to understand how Alaskans living in the urban parts of the state and residents of Whitehorse, Canada, respond to multiple hazards related to a changing climate. Climate change is causing multiple changes in the arctic natural environment that residents must navigate, including permafrost thaw, melting sea ice, and increased storminess. Three climate-related natural hazards with substantial risks for Arctic urban and rural residents include unstable permafrost, wildfire, and rain-in-winter events.

The major goal of this project is to assist communities in assessing and managing multiple urban environmental hazards related to climate change. The project will 1) produce hazard maps and assess risks and costs associated with thawing permafrost for private as well as public infrastructure, 2) advance knowledge on community resilience to wildfire by better assessing wildfire hazard, surveying property owners, and analyzing a wide variety of economic data to assess mitigation tradeoffs, 3) advance knowledge on the frequency and changes in rain-in-winter events at a scale appropriate for
communities, and assess the associated risks, costs, and the environmental consequences, and 4) improve understanding of how these hazards interact with each other, how residents and communities respond to
multiple hazards, and the potential trade-offs and feedbacks associated with the responses.

The student will work closely with collaborators in local communities and be advised by Dr. Tobias Schwoerer and Dr. Jennifer Schmidt. They will be responsible for developing advanced surveys for eliciting preferences and trade-offs from households in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Whitehorse, YT, Canada, manage data collection, analyze survey data, and conduct data management and archiving. The student will also be part of an interdisciplinary research team through an NSF funded project entitled: NNA Track 1: Collaborative Research: Arctic Urban Risks and Adaptations (AURA): a co-production framework for addressing multiple changing environmental hazards;” more information can be found here.

Qualifications: A Bachelor’s degree in economics, statistics, geography, resource management, environmental studies, computer science, or a related field by June 2020 is required. The successful applicant will be highly motivated and creative; possess excellent quantitative skills; good writing and communication skills; have interdisciplinary training in social and natural sciences; demonstrate leadership or public engagement experience; and show an interest in using qualitative and quantitative approaches to address policy-relevant questions related to climate change. Experience working with local governments, GIS analysis, R and JavaScript programming, and fieldwork conducting interviews is preferred but not required.

As part of this position, the individual will need to apply and be accepted in a master’s degree program with the University of Alaska starting by the fall of 2020.

Funding: We offer three full years of funding (tuition, hourly wage, and benefits). This position will be supported by the National Science Foundation’s Navigating the New Arctic initiative.

Review Date: Applicant review will begin January 10, 2020 and continue until this recruitment is closed. 

Start Date: August 2020

To Apply: E-mail the following to Dr. Tobias Schwörer (tschwoerer@alaska.edu) and Dr. Jennifer Schmidt (jischmidt@alaska.edu): (1) cover letter describing why you wish to pursue a MS degree, your interest in the project, and qualifications; (2) CV or resume; (3) unofficial transcripts; (4) technical writing sample; and (5) contact information for two references. Please contact Dr. Schwörer with any questions. In your cover letter, please also report your GRE scores from the General Exam or planned date of exam.

Dr. Tobias Schwörer, Research Economist
Dr. Jennifer Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management and Policy
University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Dr., AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7710
Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) https://iseralaska.org/

__________________________

Affirmative Action Statement:

UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination

At-Will:

Pursuant to Board of Regents’ Policy 04.01.055.B, temporary, extended temporary, adjunct, student, casual labor, regular new hire probationary employees and those positions designated by the president as officers and senior administrators of the university are employed at-will.

Background Check:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Public Disclosure Statement:

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

University of Alaska is a Drug Free Workplace. 

Training Policy:

It is the policy of the University of Alaska (UA) that all employees are required to complete training to meet the requirements of the positions they hold, and to complete the required training within a specified period to remain employed at the UA.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions regarding the application processes for this position, please contact University of Alaska HR at 907-450-8200.

Advertised: Alaskan Standard Time
Applications close: Alaskan Daylight Time

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