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December 2, 2013


The Arctic: Region of Cooperation and Development, December 2-3, 2013. (Moscow, Russia). The Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) together with the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) RAS and in partnership with the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Center for Strategic and International Studies will host an international conference on "The Arctic: Region of Development and Cooperation". The event is endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The conference is held in line with RIAC long-term project Roadmap for International Cooperation in the Arctic, aimed at promoting the development strategy of the Russian Arctic and preserving its unique environment on the basis of international cooperation. The main objective of the conference is to establish a permanent forum for representatives of the expert community, ministries and departments for systematizing the experience of international cooperation in the Arctic in order to develop proposals for effective development of the region and responsible use of its resources.  USARC commissioner David Benton is one of the speakers.


capital Today's Congressional Action: 

The House will consider several non-Arctic issues.  The Senate is in recess until December 9th.



Denmark's Voice in the Arctic. Since taking over as Denmark's Arctic ambassador in August, Erik Vilstrup Lorenzen has been making plans for improving ties with other countries in the region. Lorenzen, who previously served as Denmark's ambassador to Canada, is responsible for Arctic matters concerning the Kingdom of Denmark, which includes Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and his primary role is to implement Arctic strategy and ensure the country has a visible position in international discussions about its future. Arctic Journal


Council Examines Domestic Violence Programs. The council charged with making sure Alaska's crisis intervention services met as many needs as possible gathered last week, discussing a myriad of challenges, but celebrating in the successes seen through community and agency collaboration. Among the council's top priorities was deciding how to move forward with the apparently struggling Maniilaq Family Crisis Center, where the number of people using the facility has been steadily dropping. The Arctic Sounder


Report: Aging Aboriginal Canadians Have Harder Time Staying Healthy. First Nations, Metis and Inuit of advancing years often have poorer health than their non-aboriginal counterparts but don't receive the same level of health-care services as other Canadian seniors, a report says. The Health Council of Canada report, released Thursday, says the health of aboriginal seniors can be compromised by poverty, inadequate housing and poor diet, especially for those living in remote areas where nutritious foods may be prohibitively expensive. Alaska Dispatch


capital House Lines Up Year-End Blitz. The House could act on a flurry of bipartisan deals when it returns in December for the final two legislative weeks of 2013. Or, it could head home for the holidays empty handed. Negotiators are trying to finish House-Senate conference reports on the budget, a farm bill and a water projects bill before the end of the year. Aides say there is a slim chance that all three could be done in time for the House to vote in 2013, but a likelier scenario is one or two of them will be punted into next year. The Hill


canadian flag Will Canada Claim The North Pole? Arctic Seafloor Claim to be Filed this Week. Some time this week, Canada is expected to make its case to the world to dramatically expand its boundaries by an area equivalent to the size of all three Prairie provinces. Canada's deadline is Friday to apply to a United Nations commission for exclusive rights to what is likely to be another 1.7 million square kilometres of Arctic seafloor. The application under the Convention on the Law of the Sea will be the culmination of a decade of work and more than $200 million in public money. Globe and News


russian flag Russian Navy Prioritizes Arctic Region. The Arctic will be a priority region for Russia's naval forces, the Northern Fleet said Monday, with boosted combat training and the scouting of lesser-known areas in the icy territory in 2014. The Northern Fleet will conduct sailing and diving expeditions in the Arctic and develop a series of ice-class patrol ships to protect the country's interests in the region, spokesman Vadim Serga told reporters. Global Times


Washington, Alaska Senators Pave Way for 4 New Icebreakers. The four U.S. senators from Washington and Alaska are seeking to authorize construction of as many as four new heavy-duty icebreakers, vastly expanding the Coast Guard's beleaguered Seattle-based icebreaker fleet. But with a price tag of $850 million or more per vessel, the odds of Congress going along seem about as good as a snowball's chance in the warming polar climate. Seattle Times


NOAA to Have Home with Coast Guard in New London. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is moving in with the U.S. Coast Guard at Fort Trumbull so the two agencies can share resources and work more closely together on the Arctic and other issues. "They have a large maritime role just like we do, and to not leverage each other in these days, with the budget realities we face, would be crazy," said Capt. Alan Arsenault, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Research and Development Center. "They have capabilities we need and vice versa. The bottom line is, it's the right thing to do because we're both federal organizations and there are some synergies with the existing work we're doing." A team from the RDC and from NOAA tested their technologies for the Arctic region north of Alaska in September, during Arctic Shield 2013. The Day


The Battle for the Arctic. Global warming is melting the ice sheet covering the top of the world. The amount of ice during the summer months has declined more than 40 percent since the 1970s, a trend that most climate scientists say is a consequence of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. By as early as 2030, some researchers believe, the Arctic could have ice-free summers. "Climate change is actually doing what our worst fears dictated," said Jennifer Francis, a sea-ice expert at Rutgers University. But for countries that border the Arctic, the melt offers big benefits. New shipping lanes between Europe and the Pacific are opening up. Vast amounts of oil and natural gas that were once locked beneath the ice can now be exploited. The Week

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered on Friday.

Future Events


Report Release: Abrupt Climate Impacts: Anticipating Surprises, December 3, 2013. (Washington, DC). The National Research Council's Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate will release a report entitled "Abrupt Climate Impacts: Anticipating Surprises." The public release event will be at the Koshland Science Museum with a briefing from James White (committee chair, University of Colorado), Anthony Barnosky (University of California - Berkeley), and Richard Alley (Penn State University).

Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Rovaniemi, Finland). "The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest scientific research and knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross-cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic."
Alaska Policy Commission Meeting, December 9-10, 2013. (Anchorage, Alaska). The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will convene to continue working on their draft of Alaska's Arctic Policy. This Preliminary Report will be submitted to the State Legislature on January 30, 2014 and will help guide the Commission's work in 2014 as they prepare to submit a final Report in January 2015. At the Anchorage meeting Commissioners will review and discuss draft Arctic policy statements, specific preliminary recommendations, and the supporting background document. See for a draft agenda and additional information as it becomes available.


Public testimony will be accepted Monday, Dec 9 from 11:15a-12:30p, limited to 3min. Supplementary written testimony can be emailed to

Meeting will be audio streamed live on


American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, December 9-13. (San  Francisco, CA). The AGU Fall Meeting is the largest worldwide conference in the AGU logo geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. For 46 years, scientists from around the world gather at the AGU Fall Meeting to exchange information and broaden their knowledge base. In addition to the scientific programming, the meeting offers over 50 Town Halls and Workshops, including one on Monday, Dec. 9, titled, "Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) and Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), organized by Helen Wiggins, Brendan Kelly, and Hajo Eicken, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in 2018 Moscone West. 


Search the AGU meeting for Arctic-related research sessions here


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 20-24, 2014. (Anchorage, Alaska). The mission of the Alaska Marine Science Symposium is to bring together scientists, policymakers, students, educators, media and the public to share research findings focused on Alaska's marine fisheries and ecosystems. The Symposium is built around regional themes-Bering Sea, Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Alaska. Within each theme, there will be discussions on climate, oceanography, lower tropic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.


The agenda is available here.


The goal of the Arctic Encounter Symposium is to engage participants in a focused discussion, through a balanced forum, highlighting shared interests and concerns of the United States and the global community as we look north to the last emerging frontier - the Arctic. The Symposium will incorporate a diverse group of leaders and experts to debate how a rapidly changing Arctic will impact international law, domestic policy, business and commerce, the environment, and the people of the Far North. Speakers include policy makers, industry leaders, scientists, and academic experts. The two-day Symposium will take place at Seattle University School of Law with a dinner reception at the Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59. US Arctic Research commissioner Edward Itta is one of the speakers.


The 4th European Marine Board Forum will bring together Arctic stakeholders from multiple sectors (science, industry, policy & governance, NGOs, etc.) to: discuss current trends and patterns of change in Arctic Ocean ecosystems, including human activity; identify possible "2050" scenarios for Arctic Change and the corresponding implications for human health and well-being; highlight key research gaps, needs and challenges in support of understanding, mitigating against, or adapting to Arctic change; stimulate dialogue across sectors to aid common understanding, collaborative actions and sustainability targets; promote a vision for a sustainable ecosystem-based management of the Arctic Ocean by 2050.


The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado will host the workshop. This year's theme is "Arctic's New Normal." The workshop will consider shifting environmental baselines over decades to millennia and comparisons with the Antarctic. Previous Workshops have included presentations on Arctic and Antarctic climate, atmospheric chemistry, environmental geochemistry, paleoenvironment, archeology, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history and more.


Association of American Geographers Polar Geography Sessions, April 8-12, 2014. Tampa, Florida. Polar Geography Sessions are being planned in areas such as Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic, etc. Contact Scott Stephenson ( for more information, and see attached flyer. 


Arctic Science Summit Week April 5-8, 2014 and Arctic Observing Summit, April 9-11, Helsinki, Finland. ASSW is a gathering for Arctic research organizations. Any organization engaged in supporting and facilitating arctic research is welcome to participate. The ASSW meeting in 2014 will be arranged during April 5-8 in Helsinki Kumpula Campus, in the facilities of FMI and Physics Department of the University of Helsinki. Second circular here


International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences, May 22-26, 2014 (Prince George, British Columbia). "The International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) announces the 8th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VIII).ICASS is held every three years, bringing together people from all over the world to share ideas about social science research in the Arctic. ICASS VII, held in Akureyri in June 2011, attracted 450 participants from 30 different countries.  ICASS VIII's theme is Northern Sustainabilities. By using the plural, we underscore both that "sustainability" has social, cultural, economic, political and environmental dimensions, and that definitions of the concept vary."
IceTech14: International Conference and Exhibition on Performance of Ships and Structures in Ice, July 28-31, 2014 (Banff, Alberta, Canada). "The focus will be on the general theme of performance of ships and structures in ice - but with emphasis and special sessions on looking to the future in a warming world. Coverage will include technical aspects of offshore operations in Arctic and ice populated waters, as well related ice mechanics, icebreaking and ice resistance, global warming and geopolitical effects, safety and EER, subsea facilities and operations, and other relevant subjects in a polar context particularly in view of current global concerns. Both technical papers and selected panel sessions will be included. We will also continue to host a small commercial exhibition for organizations wishing to set up stand."
Abstract Submission Deadline: November 17,  2013

Arctic Science Summit Week, April 23-30, 2015. (Toyama, Japan). ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. The purpose of the summit is to provide opportunities for coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. IASC's (International Arctic Science Committee) 25th anniversary will be celebrated during ASSW2015. The summit presents an opportunity to review IASC contributions and recognize those who have been instrumental in its founding, development and growth. ASSW2015 will also include the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III) and the 4th International Symposium on the Arctic Research (ISAR-4). These four-day symposia create a platform for exchanging knowledge, inspiring cross fertilization, and promoting collaboration. The summit attracts scientists, students, policy makers and other professionals from all over the world.

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