Arctic Update Header
 January 14, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 

 

The House and Senate are not in session today.


Media 

 

16 Companies Express Interest in North Slope Natural Gas Project, Including GVEA, Fairbanks Natural Gas and New Borough Gas Utility. As part of Gov. Sean Parnell's Plan to help get a North Slope gas plant built, the state asked for letters of interest a month ago. Sixteen entities responded with a mixture of general statements and detailed plans. GVEA, Fairbanks Natural Gas and a company headed by Ray Latchem, who built Fairbanks Natural Gas, are among the companies that submitted plans. Fairbanks Daily News- Miner

  

Polar bear Federal Judge Vacates Plan Designating Polar Bear Habitat, Says It Went too Far. A federal judge in Alaska has set aside a plan designating more than 187,000 square miles as habitat for threatened polar bears. U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said in a written order that the purpose behind the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designation was admirable, because it is important to protect the polar bear. But he said such protection must be done correctly, and found the current designation went too far and was "too extensive." Washington Post 

 

Prince William Sound Salmon Forecast: Sockeyes Up, Kings Sink. Preliminary forecasts for Copper River salmon fisheries for 2013 predict a slight increase in sockeye harvests by all user groups, but a plunge in the catch of kings. The forecast issued Jan 2 by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game predicts a run of 2,240,000 reds into the Copper River fishery, up from the forecast of 2,150,000 fish in 2012, with a harvest of 1,500,000 reds, up from 1,430,000 fish in 2012. Alaska Dispatch

 

Arctic Port Study. The Alaska DOT&PF and the Army Corps of Engineers are co-sponsoring a three-year Alaska Deep Draft Arctic Ports Study to evaluate potential deepwater port locations.  The Arctic coast is experiencing increased vessel traffic, a reason for concern for the State of Alaska and federal agencies. An Alaskan Arctic port would serve as a major infrastructure asset and the northernmost port for the US Coast Guard (USCG), the US Navy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in protecting and patrolling an important US coastline. Alaska Department of Transportation

 

Climate Change May Benefit Most Mammals That Live in Northern Europe's Arctic and Sub-Arctic Land Areas in Short Run. The climate changes depicted by climatologists up to the year 2080 will benefit most mammals that live in northern Europe's Arctic and sub-Arctic land areas today if they are able to reach their new climatic ranges. This is the conclusion drawn by ecologists at Umeň University in a recently published article in the journal PLoS ONE. Science Daily

 

Kenojuak Ashevak, Artist From the Canadian Arctic, Dies at 85. Kenojuak Ashevak, a once-nomadic artist from Canada's Arctic regions whose prints and drawings helped introduce Inuit art to much of the world, died on Tuesday at her home in Cape Dorset on West Baffin Island in the northern territory of Nunavut. She was 85. The cause was lung cancer, The Canadian Press news agency reported. New York Times

 

ScienceKENAI: Kenai Roadkill a Source of Data for Scientists. It's 1:30 a.m. when Laurie Speakman gets the call. Alaska State Trooper Dispatch tells her another one has been hit and gives her the GPS coordinates. Outside it's probably below zero when she starts the pickup, equip with a flashing siren, a wench and a boom. She dresses in thick clothing while coffee brews and the tuck warms. Then she drives from a warm bed and sleeping husband to pick up another dead moose from another car accident. Anchorage Daily News

 

Arctic Fisheries Alliance Slams Trawlers for Catching Too Many Immature Fish. The Arctic Fishery Alliance, a group made up of hunters and trappers associations and community trusts from the Qikiqtarjuaq, Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay and Resolute Bay, is concerned about the over-harvest of small, immature turbot by deep sea trawlers operating in Nunavut waters. And they say the issue has been long ignored by authorities. Nunatsiaq Online

 

EPAEPA Issues Shell Air Pollution Violation Notices. Two Royal Dutch Shell PLC ships operating in the Arctic emitted excessive amounts of air pollution during drilling operations last summer off Alaska's northern coastline, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal agency announced Thursday that it issued Shell notices of air quality violations coming from its drill rig and drill ship during what was a shortened Arctic drilling season of about two months. Shell's drill rig Kulluk and drill ship Noble Discoverer emitted excessive amounts of nitrogen oxide. There were multiple violations for each ship, the agency said. Juneau Empire

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

 

No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

 

Future Events                      

       

Arctic Frontiers, January 20-25, 2013. (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is organized as an independent network and a leading meeting place for pan-arctic issues. The network was established in 2006 and later extended. Arctic Frontiers will host the conference to consider three main scientific topics. Geopolitics in a Changing Arctic; Marine Harvesting in the Arctic; and Arctic Marine Productivity. 

 

Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013, Anchorage. Since 2002, scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond have come to the Symposium to communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. Researchers and students in marine science re-connect with old colleagues and meet new ones. Plenary and poster sessions feature a broad spectrum of ocean science. Hear the latest in the fields of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. The Symposium also features compelling keynote speakers, workshops and special sessions.

 

Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) Workshop Collaborative Research Approaches: case studies and lessons learned. Anchorage, Hotel Captain Cook, Club Room 1, 10 am to noon, Jan. 25th


The value of collaboration among research organizations is broadly recognized, and there are numerous examples of collaboration occurring at different scales.  Nevertheless, research entities differ in their missions, funding structures, timelines, and processes.  While differences are necessary and frequently beneficial, they sometimes function as barriers to partnerships that might otherwise advance science and inform decisions.  This workshop will feature panelists (see below) representing an array of partnerships in the region who will describe the workings of their collaboration as well as underlying factors, their successes, and challenges that they face.  The audience will then be asked to join the panelists in an exploration of commonalities among the case studies.

 

Panelists: 

Brendan P. Kelly, Office of Sci. and Tech. Policy, Exec. Office of the President
Jim Kendall, AK Regional Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Mike Macrander, Science Team Leader, Shell Alaska
John Payne, North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI)
Taqulik Hepa, Director, North Slope Borough (NSB) (to be confirmed)
Francis Weise, Science Director, North Pacific Research Board (NPRB)  

 

Development of a 5-Year Strategic Plan for Oil Spill Research in Canadian Arctic Waters, January 28-29, 2013, Calgary. This workshop is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF), a research program which sponsors environmental and social studies pertaining petroleum exploration, development, and production activities on frontier lands. The ESRF is directed by a joint government, industry and public management board and is administered by the secretariat, which resides in the Office of Energy Research and Development, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The workshop is held in an effort to produce a 5-year strategic plan for oil spill research in Canadian Arctic marine waters.

  

Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013, Anchorage. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.

 

The Economist's "Arctic Summit: A New Vista for Trade Energy and the Environment," March 12, 2013. (Oslo, Norway) The event is hosted by The Economist. The Arctic Summit will discuss big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance. The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers' meeting in 2013. A high-level group of 150 policy-makers, CEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.

 

Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors. 

 

Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.
One of them is already planned: The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) will offer a one-day career development workshop during the ASSW 2013. Details will be published closer to the event:http://www.apecs.is/apecs-meetings-a-events/assw-2013.

 

American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics."

  

Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.

 

International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.

 

AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association. 

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