Salmon Harvests in Arctic Communities: Local Institutions, Risk, and Resilience

This website provides information about a University of Alaska Anchorage cross-disciplinary research project (economics and anthropology) that looks at the harvest and sharing of subsistence resources in two salmon-dependent regions on opposite sides of the Bering Sea -- southwestern Alaska and the Russian Far East.

In the first phase of research, ethnographic methods were used to document local institutions about the harvest and sharing of subsistence resources in these regions.

In the second phase, we designed decision making exercises, or economic experiments, in light of the ethnography. Exercises focused on the effects of risk on the harvesting and sharing of resources. Exercises were conducted in Kamchatka, Western Alaska, and with University of Alaska Anchorage students. Please click the products tab above to learn more about the outcomes of our research.

University of Alaska Anchorage undergraduate students from participating Alaska communities also participated in related project research. Their student essays, photos, and other related material are posted under the Western Alaska tab.


Project Researchers:


Lance Howe (PI)

James Murphy (co-PI)

Colin Thor West (co-PI)

Andrew Gerkey

Olga Bogach



Victoria Petrasheva

Tatiana Degai

Russian Partners:

- Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North

- Pacific Institute of Geography, Kamchatka


Quyana! We are grateful to the people of  Alaska and Kamchatka who participated in our research. Thank you for the warm hospitality  and for sharing your knowledge and  experiences with us. We also thank the Alaska traditional council representatives for their feedback on project planning and for assistance in coordinating related logistics. We thank Martha Madsen at Explore Kamchatka for doing a fantastic job coordinating all of our complicated logistics in Kamchatka.

This project was funded by the National Science Foundation, Human and Social Dynamics program, award #0729063. For more information about the project email Lance Howe at