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December 19, 2013


capital Today's Congressional Action: 

The House is not in session.  The Senate will consider the National Defense Authorization. 




For Norwegians, Black Smokers May Be the New Oil. Norway's territorial waters may be rich in more than just oil, scientists with that country's University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU) say. A study, published in the university's journal Gemini, concludes that there are deposits of copper, gold, silver, zinc and other metals worth upwards of $71 billion - or one tenth of Norway's vaunted oil fund - on the ocean floor. The scientists, however, said that the value of the minerals could be as much as $229 billion. Arctic Journal


Northrop Grumman, NASA Fly Global Hawk in Canadian Airspace for First Time to Study Canadian Arctic. The Global Hawk was equipped with an Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) as well as a high resolution camera to conduct ground mapping and visual observation of Arctic ice caps during the approximately 21-hour flight. Information collected during this flight will be used by American and Canadian scientists to study changes in topography and Arctic ice caps. "Flying high and long missions with advanced scientific equipment over the Arctic provides scientists with real data to better understand the changes that are affecting our world," said Janis Pamiljans, Northrop Grumman's sector vice president and general manager of unmanned systems.  "The high-altitude, long-endurance NASA Global Hawk is one of the best tools researchers have to study weather phenomena." Digital Journal 


UNI [University of Northern Iowa] Will Host Arctic Research Center. A group of researchers have established a center for Arctic studies at the University of Northern Iowa. The National Science Foundation awarded a $749,000 grant to Andrew Petrov, a UNI assistant professor of geography, to run the program over the next five years. Arctic researchers came to Cedar Falls on Tuesday to celebrate the new center, called Arctic-FROST. Global Gazette


caribou Reindeer Roundup: Researchers Prove Rudolph's Nose is Red; Finnish Reindeer Becomes Celebrity. Researchers at Lund University in southern Sweden have proved that Rudolf's nose actually IS red. They have filmed the nose with a infrared camera that indicates heat. Apparently the warm blood that is pumped to the reindeer's muzzle, to help it look for food in the frozen ground, can give it a kind of red glow. Alaska Dispatch


Arctic Ownership Race About More Than Santa and Science for Canadians, Russians. Canadian politicians can claim Santa Claus as a Canadian citizen if they want, but they'd be best to make him wait in line like all the other law-abiding immigrants. On the other side of the Arctic Ocean, there is a dour, steely-eyed Russian by the name of Vladimir Putin who doesn't care whether Paul Calandra, the prime minister's parliamentary secretary, and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau want to claim old St. Nick as our own or not. Alaska Dispatch


Is Your Commute Long? Imagine If You Were a Senator From Alaska. When then-Rep. Darlene Hooley announced her retirement in 2008, the decision came as a surprise. The Oregon Democrat had been expected to seek reelection and win, and House leaders implored her to stay. But Hooley was adamant she'd had enough -- especially of the travel. The average American spends about 50 minutes commuting to and from work each day, amounting to about four hours a week. In more extreme cases, commuters spend 90 minutes on the road each way. But ask a member of Congress about his or her commute, and the number could jump as high as 20 hours a week. Huffington Post

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered 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."

** NEW** Arctic Circle, September 5-7, 2014 (Reykjavik, Iceland). The inaugural gathering drew more than 1200 participants from 40 nations, bringing together a diverse group of individuals and organizations for a series of meetings and presentations addressing the challenges and opportunities of the changing Arctic. The Assembly established itself as a platform for high-level engagement on issues, such as the meeting between Russia and Greenpeace regarding the "Arctic 30" detention, and it also provided new observer states the opportunity to communicate their Arctic strategies. Details about the 2014 Assembly will be announced in the coming months.


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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