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December 10, 2013


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.


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 have gathered 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.


Search the AGU meeting for Arctic-related research sessions here.


capital Today's Congressional Action: 

The House and Senate are in session. The House will consider non-Arctic legislation. The Senate consider several nominations including Jeh Charles Johnson, of New Jersey, to be Secretary of Homeland Security.




russian flag Russia to Boost Arctic Military Presence Following Canada's North Pole Seabed Claim. President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia's armed forces to expand their presence in the Arctic region, one day after Canada confirmed its intent to lay claim to the sea bed under the North Pole. Putin, speaking Tuesday at a meeting with the top military brass, said beefing up the Arctic forces is among the top priorities for the military. He emphasized the importance of the Soviet-era base at the New Siberian Islands, which the military started to overhaul this year. Putin also said that Russia will restore a number of Arctic military air bases that fell into neglect after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. The Globe and Mail


Alaska's Western Arctic Caribou Herd Numbers Continue to Slide. North America's largest caribou herd is continuing a decade-long population slide, a drop for which there is no easy explanation or solution, a veteran state biologist told a wildlife working group last week. The Western Arctic Caribou Herd has been declining at a rate of 4 to 6 percent a year since the population peaked in 2003 at 490,000 animals, said Jim Dau, a Kotzebue-based biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "I don't see any indication that that's about to turn around," Dau told the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group at its annual meeting in Anchorage. Alaska Dispatch


Seismic Survey Tendering in Once-Disputed Arctic Zone to Start Now. The tendering process for a seismic survey in a once-disputed offshore zone between Norway and Russia will begin immediately, with surveying starting in April next year and concluding in the autumn, oil firm Statoil said on Tuesday. Some 17 oil firms are cooperating in commissioning the surveys of the seabed in the area. They include BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eni, Lukoil and Royal Dutch Shell. Reuters


Shipping Challenges Formidable in Northwestern Canada. Canada's western Arctic is rich in resources and communities keen to participate in responsible development. But tapping into the economic potential of the region, which includes the Yukon and Northwest Territories, remains a challenge. Particularly when it comes to transportation and infrastructure. The independent Canadian think-tank The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), recently held a workshop in Canada's Northwest Territories to explore some of these questions. Alaska Dispatch


Canada flag Arctic Claim Process Melds Science, Diplomacy. It will be a long, involved process to establish Canada's claim to the Arctic seabed outside our 200-mile nautical limit and there is a risk of politics interfering, according to an expert on strategic studies. Canada filed its claim for a portion of the continental shelf under the Arctic Ocean with the UN Conventional on the Law of the Sea on Friday.  The problem is that other countries, including Russia, Denmark and Norway, are making the same claims to parts of the seabed that could be a rich source of resources. Canada has not revealed exactly how much of the seabed it has claimed - but it has invested in extensive scientific research to determine how far the continental shelf extends toward the North Pole and beyond. CBC News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered on yesterday.

Future Events


Arctic Frontiers, January 19-24, 2014 (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is an international arena addressing development in the Arctic. The conference discusses how upcoming opportunities and challenges may be handled to ensure viable economic growth and societal and environmental sustainability. Annually, the conference attracts more than 1000 participants from 25 Arctic and non-arctic countries, representing science, business, politics, and civil society. The theme of the conference is 'Humans in the Arctic'. As with previous years the policy section will run for the first two days, followed by three days of science. The science section will have four parts under 2 main headings: Health, Society and Environment; and, Maritime Operational Challenges. 


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.


Arctic 2050, March 12, 2014 (Brussels, Belgium). 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.


44th Annual International Arctic Workshop, March 14-16, 2014 (Boulder, CO). 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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