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Speaker Profiles

Speakers will talk broadly about issues and challenges facing fisheries, and will suggest how experimental economics could help in understanding and addressing these issues and challenges. Unlike “typical” academic workshops in which speakers present a recent paper, were are asking speakers to think and speak more broadly about these questions, based on their varied experiences in research, management and industry.


Gunnar Knapp, University of Alaska Anchorage

Gunnar Knapp is internationally recognized for his research on Alaska’s salmon industry and other commercial fisheries. He was also among the first UAA faculty members to build working relationships with scholars and students from the Russian Far East. Dr. Knapp teaches courses on resource economics and Alaska’s economy.


Jim Murphy, University of Alaska Anchorage

Dr. James Murphy succeeds Nobel laureate Vernon Smith as the second Rasmuson Chair of Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is currently on leave from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and will be visiting UAA through December 2007. Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on the use of experimental methods to address environmental policy and natural resource management issues. His recent research includes:

  • a project funded by the USEPA to investigate issues related to enforcement of and compliance with environmental regulations, particularly tradable emissions permits.
  • a multi-year project conducting field experiments in rural Colombia to better understand the role of institutions in managing small-scale natural resources
  • design of water markets in California
  • a series of studies to investigate biases in non-market valuation techniques

He is currently working with UAA faculty members to develop a research program focused on Alaska policy issues , particularly fisheries management and institutions for managing subsistence harvests in Alaska Native communities.


Speakers and moderators


Chris Anderson,Ph.D., (Caltech) University of Rhode Island
Associate Professor, Environmental & Natural Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island

Visiting UAA through Fall 2007

My research uses the tools of experimental economics, game theory and behavioral economics to understand the decisions underlying natural resource use, and to design methods and institutions for managing them. My most mature research program uses laboratory experiments to design rules for exchanging transferable use rights, with a particular application to transferable allowances in fisheries; a period of trading short-term leases, prior to trading permanent allowances, facilitates price discovery and hampers speculation in the market for the newly created asset. I am beginning a second program to develop theoretically, and test experimentally, incentive compatible mechanisms for valuation of environmental amenities. The mechanisms will be used to validate traditional hypothetical valuation surveys, and to identify prospects for establishing functioning markets for environmental amenities. In addition, I have projects exploring how heterogeneity influences economic and policy conclusions using random parameters and latent class models. I teach an introductory undergraduate course in resource economics and graduate courses in experimental economics, microeconomic theory and likelihood-based applied econometrics.



Keith Criddle, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Keith R. Criddle is the Ted Stevens Distinguished Professor of Marine Policy in the University of Alaska, Fairbanks’ Juneau Center for Fisheries and Ocean Science. Dr. Criddle received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis in 1989. Dr. Criddle’s research focuses on the intersection between the natural sciences and economics, especially the management of living resources. Dr. Criddle’s research has explored topics ranging from the economic consequences of alternative management regimes for the governance of commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries to the bioeconomic effects of climate change in north Pacific fisheries to the evolution of the structure of the Chilean salmon aquaculture industry in response to requirements for traceability and assurance. He has served on the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council Scientific and Statistical Committee since 1993 and is a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies. Dr. Criddle is a member of the Board of Directors of the Resource Modeling Association and has served as an associate editor of Marine Resource Economics (1993–2003). Dr. Criddle was a member of the NRC’s Committee on the Introduction of Nonnative Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay, the Committee to Review Individual Fishing Quotas, and the Committee on the Evaluation of the Sea Grant Program Review Process.


Ron Felthoven, Alaska Fishery Science Center

Ron Felthoven is an economist and program manager for the Economics and Social Science Research Program at the Alaska Fisheries Science Centers.

Ron received a Ph.D in Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis in 2001. Ron’s research has focused on measuring the economic performance of fishers and processors, and how it is affected by fishery management. Recently Ron has evaluated the changes in efficiency, productivity and fishing capacity resulting from rationalization programs instituted in Alaska, and developed models that incorporate environmental and climatic variables into traditional applied production models.

Mark Fina, North Pacific Fisheries Management Council

Mark Fina is a senior economist for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. Mark specializes in the preparation of regulatory analyses of the economic and socioeconomic impacts of proposed fishery management plans. Much of his work at the Council has focused on the development of share-based management for crab and groundfish fisheries in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska. Mark has a J.D. from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from Virginia Tech.

John Gauvin

Masters of Science degree in Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island in 1988.

His thesis developed a model to allocate fishery enforcement inputs based on perceived probabilities of detection, conviction, as well as expected penalties for several types of non-compliance scenarios thought to be prevalent in the offshore lobster fishery in New England. Since completing graduate studies, Mr. Gauvin has worked in fisheries management as a fishery economist for the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council as well as completing various consulting contracts with NMFS, regional fishery management councils, FAO, and the OECD.

In 1993, Mr. Gauvin left government and started working for various components of the demersal trawl sector in Alaska including the factory trawlers and shoreside delivery vessels targeting pollock, Bering Sea freezer trawlers targeting flatfish, and smaller Gulf of Alaska catcher vessels targeting cod and flatfish. This work has included partnerships with various scientists and stakeholders to generate unique solutions to environmental and regulatory matters affecting commercial fishing such as bycatch reduction, reduction in regulatory and economic discards, and gear modifications to reduce effects on benthic habitat. In 2006, Mr. Gauvin took on the additional challenge of developing and running a small cooperative research program in fisheries for the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation.


Gordon Gislason

 MSc. (Statistics) is an economist and statistician with 35 years experience in consulting, research and government service. He is President of GSGislason & Associates Ltd., an economic consulting firm incorporated in 1985. The firm specializes in the resource areas of fisheries (harvesting, processing, recreational, aquaculture), energy, mining and tourism. The firm provides expertise in economic impact analysis, program evaluation, statistical analysis and surveys, financial viability analysis, benefit-cost analysis and public policy.

Gordon has completed over 200 consulting assignments in fisheries. He has conducted discrete choice contingent valuation surveys of US salmon consumers, Canadian recreational anglers and visitors to Canadian national parks. His fisheries work has involved extensive visits to coastal communities and interviewing thousands of fishermen, processors, community leaders, and aboriginal organizations. His analysis and advice has led directly to important policy actions by the federal government of Canada e.g., the $400 million CDN salmon fisheries buyback restructuring program of 1998 and the 1999 commercial-recreational salmon allocation policy. Gordon is an invited speaker to fisheries conferences worldwide.

The title of his presentation is: “Understanding Fishermen Behaviour - Some Potential Opportunities for Experimental Economics”.

Lance Howe, University of Alaska Anchorage

Lance Howe is assistant professor of economics at UAA and director of the UAA experimental economics lab. Lance received his doctorate in economics in 2002 from the University of Southern California where he concentrated in economic development. He has been at the UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research since 2002 and with the department of economics since 2005. Lance's research interests include topics such as risk and resilience, common pool resources, and arctic migration patterns. Currently, he is collaborating with Jim Murphy in designing field and laboratory experiments to better understand how aggregate risk influences the design and adaptation of local institutions governing subsistence salmon fisheries in the Kuskokwim region of Alaska and the Chukotka region of Russia.


Lee Huskey, University of Alaska Anchorage

Lee Huskey is Chair and Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He has been associated with both the University’s Center for Economic Education and its Experimental Economics program. Lee served as President of the Western Regional Science Association in 2005. Prof. Huskey’s research has centered on the economies of the circumpolar north with particular emphasis on the Rural Alaska economy. His recent research efforts have focused specifically on migration in the north. Huskey is principal investigator for two NSF projects examining migration in arctic Alaska and other northern regions. He and Wayne Edwards have recently used an experimental approach to try to uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the rural-urban migration behavior described by the Harris-Todaro model.


Paul Johnson, University of Alaska Anchorage

Paul Johnson is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage. His research is in the areas of experimental macroeconomics and exchange rates. He is also active in experimental economics education, especially at the high school level.


Terry Leitzel, Icicle Seafoods

Terry Leitzell is the General Counsel of Icicle Seafoods, Inc., and a past president of the Marine Conservation Alliance (based in Juneau) and of Facing the Future, a Seattle-based sustainability education non-profit.  He has been active for the last ten years in fisheries management issues in Alaska, was on several committees that developed the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands crab rationalization program, and was a key negotiator in preparation of the American Fisheries Act, which governs Bering Sea pollock.  From 1981 to 1997, Mr. Leitzell was an attorney with Bogle & Gates in Washington D.C. and in Seattle, focusing on fisheries lobbying and international trade.

     Mr. Leitzell was a senior U.S. negotiator of the Law of the Sea treaty from 1971 to 1977 and was the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA, from 1978 to 1981.   Mr. Leitzell and his wife, Lucy, live in Seattle and have three grown children and two grandchildren.  He is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


Charlie R. Plott, California Institute of Technology, Edward S. Harkness, Professor of Economics and Political Science , Director, Laboratory for Experimental Economics and Political Science

Dr. Plott’s research is focused on the basic principles of process performance and the use of those principles in the design of new, decentralized processes to solve complex problems. The contributions include over 180 scientific papers containing many discoveries of the properties of market adjustments, the influence or institutional detail on performance, information in markets, behavior in the presence of externalities and public goods, together with additional seminal papers in political science. His contributions include the development of widely applied laboratory tools, programs and techniques and participation in the design and implementation of computerized market mechanisms for allocating complex items (such as the markets for pollution permits in Southern California, the FCC auction of licenses for Personal Communication Systems, the auctions for electric power in California, the allocation of landing rights at the major U.S. airports, access of private trains to public railway tracks, access to natural gas pipelines, the allocation of licenses for offshore aquaculture sites, the combinatorial sale of fleets of vehcicles and the application of complex procurements). Dr. Plott has worked extensively in the areas of axiomatic social choice and voting theory, industrial organization (including the economics of networks), finance, information economics (including the design and application of information aggregation mechanisms) and the design of economic processes. He was the founder of the Caltech Laboratory for Experimental Economics and Political Science and is its Director. He has contributed extensively to the development and application of a laboratory experimental methodology in the fields of economics and political science.


Lew Queirolo, NOAA Fisheries Service – Alaska Region

In 1980, Lewis joined the National Marine Fisheries Service-Alaska Region, and has served as Senior Economist until the present. In 1986, he completed his doctoral research and received a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Economics from Oregon State University. As NMFS Alaska Region’s chief social scientist, Lewis has oversight responsibility for the design, performance, and approval all aspects of the Region’s economic and socioeconomic work, and serves as principal advisor to the Regional Administrator (RA) and Assistant RAs on matters pertaining to social science. He also represents the Alaska Region on economic and social science consideration, Agency-wide; for example, playing a primary role in the final design of the NMFS Guidelines for preparation of economic impact analyses.

Lewis actively participated in the earliest stages of “Americanization” of U.S. EEZ fisheries, assisting with the original Preliminary Management Plans, the precursors to Fishery Management Plans (FMP), as well as designing, conducting, and presenting many of the earliest of now hundreds of FMP amendments undertaken by the North Pacific Fishery Council (NPFMC) and NMFS Alaska Region. Lewis chaired the initial Federal-State damage assessment social science team, responding to the EXXON Valdez oil spill disaster, and continued as a senior team member after the State and Federal efforts separated. Subsequently, he providing technical support for NOAA’s implementation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Lewis has also played key roles in the Steller Sea Lion ESA action, the North Pacific Right Whale CHD, the Cook Inlet Beluga Whale proposed ESA listing, and literally every Regulatory and FMP action taken by the NPFMC and NMFS Alaska Region, during his 27 year tenure with NMFS. Lewis currently serves on the NPFMC’s Scientific and Statistical Committee.

Steven Rassenti, George Mason University

Steve was born to family of home builders in Montreal, Canada. His classical high school and undergraduate training in math and philosophy at Loyola was complemented with a PhD in Systems Engineering from Arizona. Out of graduate school he was hired by Bell Laboratories to model and troubleshoot prototype communications systems. Two years later Vernon Smith invited Steve to return to Arizona to become a research scientist and Associate Director of the Economic Science Lab: they have been collaborating ever since.

Steve’s work focuses in building new economic systems, both public and private, to efficiently allocate scarce resources. His seminal dissertation in 1981 probed the problem of creating a competitive combinatorial mechanism for assigning airport takeoff and landing slots. Since then he has led numerous laboratory investigations dealing with issues in natural resources (gas, electric power, water and air), auctions (spectrum, advertising, and scheduling) and antitrust (market power and consumer welfare).


Bill Schulze, Cornell University

William Schulze is the Kenneth L, Robinson Chair of Applied Economics and Public Policy at Cornell University where he directs the Laboratory for Experimental Economics and Decision Research in the Department of Applied Economics and Management and is also co-director of the Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research in the Johnson Graduate School of Management. His areas of research include behavioral, experimental, and environmental economics. Recent research has focused on testing electric power markets, environmental mechanism design, as well as the voluntary provision of public goods and is supported by the NSF, USEPA, DOE, and private industry.


Vernon Smith, George Mason University

 Vernon L. Smith, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002 , "for having established laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of alternative market mechanisms,"  is currently Professor of Economics and Law at George Mason University, a research scholar in the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science in Arlington, VA. He served as the Distinguished Visiting Rasmuson Chair in Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage from 2003--2006. Dr. Smith is the President of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics (IFREE), founded in 1997 to support education and research in experimental economics.

Professor Smith   received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from California Institute of Technology (1949), his masters in Economics from the University of Kansas (1951), and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard (1955). He has authored or co-authored over  250 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics. The Cambridge University Press published his Papers in Experimental Economics in 1991, and they published a second collection of more recent papers, Bargaining and Market Behavior, in 2000. Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press: Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms. Vernon Smith is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1995 Dr. Smith was elected a member of the National Academy of Science. He received an honorary Doctor of Management degree from Purdue University , an honorary Doctorate from George Mason University as well as from universities in other countries. In 1996 he received Cal Tech's Distinguished Alumni Award. Vernon has served on numerous boards of editors, editorial advisory boards, and has been the president of several national economic associations.He has served as a consultant on the privatization of electric power in Australia and New Zealand, and has participated in numerous private and public discussions of energy deregulation in the United States and around the world.

Currently, Professor Smith’s experimental research involves: property right rules for using auction markets for regulating joint ventures, such as pipelines;

  • anti-trust implications of package (bundle) pricing of commodities;
  • compensation elections for protecting minorities in majority rule democracies;
  • experiments in the discovery of specialization through exchange in the absence of external enforcement of transactions;
  • demand response and active retail choice in electricity pricing.


Joe Sullivan

Joe Sullivan is a partner in the law firm Mundt MacGregor LLP. Since joining the firm in 1990, fishery rationalization has been his primary practice area, with a specific concentration on forming and representing both traditional and non-traditional harvesting cooperatives. Joe represented harvesters as a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Binding Arbitration Work Group, and represents individual Bering Sea crab harvesting cooperatives and Inter-Cooperative Exchange, an “umbrella” cooperative composed of Bering Sea crab harvesting cooperatives, in collective ex-vessel price negotiations and price arbitrations.


Jim Wilen, University of California Davis

Director of the Center for Natural Resource Policy Analysis, and a Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis. Before coming to UC Davis he was at the Universities of British Columbia and Washington. He received his B.A. degree from California State University in 1970 and his Ph.D. from U.C. Riverside in 1973. Wilen has served on the Editorial Council of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management (JEEM) (1986-89, 1998-2005), as Associate Editor of JEEM (1999-2001), and on the Program Committee of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. His research focuses broadly on natural resource economics. His specific interests include bioeconomic modeling, dynamics of open access exploitation, factor distortion under regulated open access, natural resource damage analysis, and spatial models of resource use. He has published in journals including JEEM, International Economic Review, Natural Resource Modeling, J. of Economic Dynamics and Control, J. of Marine Resource Economics, Ecological Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, and the American J. of Agricultural Economics. He has received numerous research and graduate teaching awards, including: the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) Quality of Research Award (1998, 2000, 2004), the Western Agricultural Economics Association Outstanding Published Research Award (1998), AAEA Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award (1998), the University of California Davis Graduate Mentor Award (2004), and Supervisor-AAEA Outstanding Dissertation Award (6 times). He was elected Distinguished Fellow of the AAEA in 2001.