The first woman to win a Nobel Prize in economics also has bolstered the credibility of Alaskans who worked for decades to instill the concept of public ownership of the state's natural resources.
Elinor Ostrom, 76, and Oliver E. Williamson of the University of California Berkeley shared this year's economics prize, announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday.
A political scientist at Indiana University, Ostrom studies the management of common resources, like fish, grazing lands and forests. She shed light on examples around the world -- including Alaska's fisheries -- in which people have worked cooperatively to sustain their resources rather than destroying them.
Her husband and academic collaborator, Vincent Ostrom, is also well-regarded in Alaska. As a hired consultant in the mid-1950s, he was a key figure in the drafting of the Alaska Constitution's natural resource article, which enshrined the idea that the residents of Alaska -- rather than the state as a political entity -- own the state's mineral wealth.
That idea has carried forward into the distribution of state oil income as Permanent Fund dividend checks, the management of its fisheries and even the settlement of Native land claims, said Mead Treadwell of Anchorage, who chairs the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.
To read the complete article, visit www.adn.com.