Gunnar Knapp and Michelle Bartlett Awarded 2017 Bullock Prize for Excellence
Gunnar 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, and this year marks the first time the foundation split the honor between two candidates it found equally deserving. Both will receive $10,000.
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."
Ralph Townsend, ISER's current director, said, "Gunnar Knapp spent his career helping the people of Alaska understand how economic forces were affecting their lives and how Alaska could most effectively respond to those forces. His work on fisheries gained him international recognition. And his work on the state's most recent fiscal challenges made him a household name in Alaska. The UA Foundation made an outstanding choice in selecting him for the 2017 Bullock prize."
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 known for his research on fisheries markets and management, particularly the forces affecting markets for Alaska salmon. As ISER's director, he spent much of his time helping Alaskans understand the gravity of the fiscal crisis the state is facing. In the 1980s, he co-chaired (with 2006 Bullock award recipient Gretchen Bersch) the committee that developed common academic policies for UAA, following the merger with Anchorage Community College. A Russian speaker, he was active in early efforts to "melt the ice curtain" between Alaska and the Russian Far East. He was also an innovator in online teaching at UAA, and for many years taught a popular online course on the Alaska economy.
ISER's faculty and staff all supported his nomination for the Bullock prize. The nomination cited "the unfailing high quality of his research and teaching; his unstinting and continuous service to UA and to public and private groups throughout the state; and his apparent inability to turn down requests for help or information—from students, colleagues, reporters, legislators, or average Alaskans who look up his phone number and call him."