Arctic Update Header
January 10, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate will not hold formal sessions, subject to the call of the chairs.

Media Reviewtodaysevents 


Request for Funding Proposal Available. The North Pacific Marine Research Institute, administered by the North Pacific Research Board (NPRB), is working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further our understanding of the marine ecosystem in the Bering Strait and Arctic Ocean (Chukchi and Beaufort seas).  With financial support from Shell and ConocoPhillips, the Institute announces the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) with a total anticipated budget of $1.45 million. The focus of this RFP is a synthesis of existing scientific and traditional knowledge related to marine ecosystem structure and function, including humans (i.e. biological, physical, sociological, traditional, etc.) from the Chukchi and Beaufort seas and the Bering Strait north of St. Lawrence Island, as well as an identification of research needs to help plan potential, upcoming research programs by the Institute, NPRB, NSF, and other organizations.  All required proposal components must be submitted by 4 p.m. Alaska Standard Time on Friday, March 9, 2012.  For more information please see 


White HouseJack Lew to Become Obama's Chief of Staff. President Obama promised on Monday that the White House will "not miss a beat" even though he was taken by surprise by the resignation of Chief of Staff William Daley and has had to turn to his third person in the post at the beginning of a critical election year. To replace Daley, the president turned to another Washington veteran, Jack Lew. Lew is the current director of the White House Office of Management and Budget and previously served as a top deputy to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He also served as an adviser to President Bill Clinton. Government Executive 


Remote Wilderness Polluted by Humans. Nitrogen from human activity has been polluting lakes in the northern hemisphere since the late 19th century. The clear signs of industrialisation can be found even in very remote lakes, thousands of kilometres from the nearest city. Science Daily 


Healy, Renda Continue Transit to Nome. The Healy and Renda are approximately 110 miles south of Nome as of Jan. 9, 2012. The Nome Energy Support mission will bring about 1.3 million gallons of petroleum products to the residents of Nome. U.S. Coast Guard 


Polar bearSome Hudson Bay Polar Bears Nearing Starvation Due to Climate Change: Experts. Experts say the slow formation of winter ice on Hudson Bay this year has pushed some polar bears to the brink of starvation. The bears weren't able to get onto the ice to hunt until late November this year and some had to resort to eating from old garbage dumps around Churchill, Man. David Barber, one of the world's top Arctic researchers, says polar bears have lost six weeks of hunting time on the ice due to climate change. Winnipeg Free Press 


Sad Song for Harp Seals As Pups Drown in Record Numbers. Harp seal pups are dying in record numbers as they are being crushed to death by melting ice chunks or drowned as rising temperatures take their toll in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. In fact, ice cover in the regions has been dropping as much as 6% a decade since the 1970's according to a study on harp seals published January 4 in the journal PLoS One "Some years, when there's poor ice in a given pupping ground, essentially all of the pups don't make it," said marine biologist David Johnston, of Duke University who lead the study. "For example more than 75% of pups in Canada perished because of poor ice conditions in 2007, and almost none survived in 2010." The Examiner


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 16-20, 2012. The symposium was first held in 2002 to connect scientists in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond in an effort to collaborate and communicate on research


activities in the marine regions off Alaska. There will be plenary and poster sessions featuring a broad spectrum of ocean science on issues of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. There will also be speakers, workshops and special sessions. Click here


Workshop: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating Our Growing Understanding into a Research Agenda for Action Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2012.   Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Co-sponsored by International Study of ArcISAC logotic Change (ISAC) and the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. Endorsed by the International Arctic Science Committee, this workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders who are affected by change or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 Conference event. It is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012 Conference "From Knowledge to Action". For more information and to register for the workshop go here. 


Juneau Arctic Policy Forum, February 2, 2012. The Juneau Arctic Policy Forum will be hosted by the Institute of the North and will highlight the work done to develop and promote Alaska's role in Arctic decision-making. There will be presentations and discussion about the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Arctic Caucus and results from the Northern Waters Task Force. We also hope to include updates from the U.S. Coast Guard and the University of Alaska.  


Arctic Workshop, March 7-9, 2012. The Workshop is hosted by the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. The meeting is open to all interested in the Arctic, and will consist of a series of talks and poster sessions covering all aspects of high-latitude environments. Previous Arctic Workshops have included presentations on arctic and antarctic climate, archeology, environmental geochemistry, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history, and more. A traditional strength of the Workshop has been Arctic paleoenvironments. 


Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all areas of arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in arctic science and policy are also expected. More information here


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring together over 2,000 arctic and antarctic researchers, policy and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non-government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The conference is hosted by the Canadian IPY Program Office, in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada, among other groups. Each day of the conference will feature a program of keynote speakers, plenary panel discussions, parallel science sessions, as well as dedicated poster sessions. The conference-wide plenaries will explore themes related to topics of polar change, global linkages, communities and health, ecosystem services, infrastructure, resources and security. Other sessions will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the application of research findings, policy implications and how to take polar knowledge to action. Click here


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", May 2-4, 2012, The Explorers Club, NYC. For 75 years, the American Polar Society has both documented and communicated polar activities to the interested world. This meeting will bring together the current leaders in science, government, commerce, and diplomacy for a state-of-the-art forecast of the next seventy-five years in a world influenced more than ever before by the destiny of the Arctic and Antarctic. Click here.  


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference will be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008. Click here.  


The Arctic Imperative Summit, July 29-August 1, 2012. The summit will be hosted by Alaska Dispatch and will bring together leading voices in this conversation, including residents from the small villages that comprise Alaska's coastal communities, state, national and international leaders, the heads of shipping and industry, as well as international policymakers and the news media. The goal of the summit is to sharpen the focus on the policy and investment needs of Alaska's Arctic through a series of high level meetings, presentations, investor roundtables and original research. Click here


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This kivalina girlevent is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and indigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and behavioral health. Click here


Arctic/Inuit/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World , October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature. For more information, click here. 

USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter 

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)