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Meet Dr. Hannah Hennighausen

August 31, 2022
Dr. Hannah Hennighausen Dr. Hannah Hennighausen

This fall Dr. Hannah Hennighausen joins the Department of Economics at the College of Business and Public Policy as Assistant Professor of Economics. Hennighausen came to Alaska in 2020 as a post-doctoral researcher in the same department. She was drawn to UAA by the excellent reputation of the economics department, as well as the rich outdoor opportunities in the surrounding area.

The central theme of Hennighausen’s research is investigating how individuals perceive and respond to low-probability, high-consequence environmental risk, such as the risk of wildfires or flooding. “I am particularly interested in investigating what drives heterogeneous responses - or, in other words, what drives people to respond differently to the same stimulus. Practically speaking, this means I look at data on flood insurance demand, real estate markets and recreation demand.”

For students considering economics, Hennighausen said it’s ”a great way to learn analytical thinking and complex problem-solving. In today’s rapidly changing world, that type of skillset is in high demand by employers.”

As a teacher, Hennighausen takes inspiration from her time teaching English as a second language to high school students in Austria.

“That experience informs how I approach the classroom today, and in particular, the importance of maintaining a classroom environment in which every student feels their voice is heard and respected,” Hennighausen said. “With respect to research, I feel my experience abroad has helped me build a diverse network of collaborators from different countries and disciplines. Hopefully many of them will have a chance to visit UAA and share their work with faculty and students!”

Hennighausen is originally from Maryland, just outside Washington D.C. She earned her doctorate in Austria, and now wants to further integrate herself in the UAA and Anchorage communities. “I am particularly excited about creating research-oriented partnerships with local organizations,” she said.

In her time outside of the classroom and research projects, Hennighausen loves to ski, mountain bike and play hockey.