Arctic Update Header
 January 15, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session today.



StorisCoast Guard Cutter Storis Added to National Register of Historic Places. The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Storis has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. For more than 50 years, the Storis was involved in ice-breaking, search and rescue, law enforcement, and medical and disaster relief service in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. The ship was built in Ohio and commissioned in 1942. It was transferred to Juneau in 1948 and provided medical and judicial services to western Alaska villages. KTUU


Scientists Find "Bipolar" Marine Bacteria, Refuting 'Everything is Everywhere' Idea. In another blow to the "Everything is Everywhere" tenet of bacterial distribution in the ocean, scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have found "bipolar" species of bacteria that occur in the Arctic and Antarctic, but nowhere else. Science Daily


coldwindsblowing UAF Talk to Focus on Interior Alaska Air Quality. A weekend lecture at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will focus on the chronic problems with air quality that winter brings to interior Alaska.UAF officials say professor Nicole Molders will speak at the free lecture that's scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Schaible Auditorium. She will discuss factors involved in unhealthy winter air quality in the region. Anchorage Daily News


Vilsack to Stay on as Agriculture Secretary. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will stay on in his current role, providing the White House with an experienced ally as Congress attempts to make another run at crafting a long-term farm bill this year. Vilsack, the country's 30th Agriculture secretary, has frequently mentioned how much he enjoys the job but until Monday has been reluctant to speculate on his future. During his first four years at the helm of USDA, the former Iowa governor has focused on promoting renewable fuels, pressing the need for more agriculture production on a local level, and more recently warning rural America that it is becoming less relevant in the country's increasingly urban landscape and needs to do something to counter the development. Federal Times


Salmon Alaska Uses New Sonar to Rethink Kenai River King Salmon Management. New numbers are out, setting the goalposts to which the late run of Kenai River king salmon will be managed. Scientists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have released a draft interim escapement goal recommendation calling for 15,000 to 30,000 late-run kings to escape fishing nets and hooks to spawn in the Kenai. The goal is a decrease from the previous range of 17,800 to 37,500 kings. The decrease doesn't represent a change in philosophy or priority in what the goal is meant to achieve, said fishery scientist Steve Fleischman, who, along with Tim McKinley, authored the draft report. As with all salmon stocks in Alaska, late-run Kenai kings are managed to provide sustained yield, balancing conservation of the stock - getting enough fish upstream to spawn - and fishermen using the resource. The lower goal range represents a change in data, Fleischman said. Alaska Dispatch


PenAir's Withdrawal From Rural Alaska Air Taxi Service Further Isolates Remote Villages. With just one small airplane left, Peninsula Airways is almost completely out of the village air taxi business. But the King Cove wrestling team was in for a big surprise last month when that plane left for five days of maintenance. When they arrived in Cold Bay from the state championships in Anchorage, the last leg of the air journey was missing, according to Aleutians East Borough School Superintendent Tim Stathis. Alaska Dispatch


Alaska Legislature5 Things to Know About the Alaska Legislature. The Alaska Legislature is opening a new session, with leadership changes in the Senate and a slate of weighty issues to consider. Here are five things to know about the session that opens Tuesday:-MORE OIL: Oil taxes or ways to get more oil flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline figure to be the dominant issue as lawmakers also tackle energy concerns, education spending and how much to spend or save. Gov. Sean Parnell plans to introduce legislation aimed at changing Alaska's oil tax system. The Republican governor, who failed in his prior attempts to roll-back taxes, will have Republicans in charge of the House and Senate this time, though the new Senate leaders have promised they won't merely rubber-stamp anything he sends their way. Anchorage Daily News

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.



Brendan P. Kelly, Office of Sci. & Tech. Policy, Exec. Office of the President (phone)
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:


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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