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 January 18, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House meets today for a pro forma session. The Senate is in recess until a joint session for the inauguration on Jan. 21. Legislative business resumes at 10 a.m. Jan. 22.



Will Obama Punt Again on Climate Change? Lofty words alone won't heal the Earth, but climate activists are still looking to President Barack Obama's inaugural speech on Monday for any sign that their cause has a place in an increasingly cluttered second-term agenda. But here's the reality check for the green movement: Obama has proposed no new strategy on climate, it's unclear if one is in the works, and there's no guarantee the issue will occupy a major place in the inaugural address or next month's State of the Union. On alternative energy, his administration has committed billions of dollars, but made headlines so far mostly for the bankruptcy of Solyndra. And the administration soon could turn its back on its allies in the environmental community and approve the Keystone pipeline. Politico


capitalYoung Californian to be 'Vehement Defender of Science' on House Committee. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who unseated 20-term Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) in California's 15th District in November, is taking on another daunting challenge. As the congressman in a district with two national laboratories located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia, Swalwell, 32, has been assigned to the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, where he plans to advocate for acknowledgment of human-caused climate change. E&E News


Nunavut MP Sets Off on Four-Nation Scandinavian Tour: Leona Aglukkaq to Meet Leaders of four Arctic Council States. Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, the federal minister responsible for the Arctic Council, is visiting Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway Jan. 14 to Jan. 22 to meet with government representatives, indigenous groups, and members of the business sector in each country, a news release said. The trip is to help prepare for Canada's two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council, which begins May 2013. Nunatsiaq Online


Arctic MapGlobal Interests Focused on the Arctic. Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry will set up ten firefighting and rescue centres in the Arctic to ensure safety of the Northern Shipping Route and of the employees of the companies working on the Arctic shelf. Experts say that owing to Russia's efforts, the shipping route will soon become the key transport waterway between Europe and Asia. These centers will be equipped with advanced equipment and should cover the entire Arctic in case of emergency situations. According to Minister Vladimir Puchkov, the new infrastructure will ensure safety of the local residents as well as the employees of Russian companies working there. Notably, several major companies are implementing large-scale energy projects on Russia's northern territories. Voice of Russia


Arctic Fibre Strikes Broadband Deal With Alaskan Firm: "A goal of delivering 100 megabits per second to every Alaskan by 2020." Arctic Fibre Inc., the company proposing to lay an undersea fibre optic cable from Tokyo to London through the Northwest Passage, announced Jan. 17 that they've reached a deal with an Alaskan firm that would provide at least five Alaskan communities with high speed broadband telecommunications. Quintillion Networks LLC, based in Anchorage, would own undersea spurs connecting the Arctic Fibre backbone to Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Wainwright, Nome and Kotzebue, extending its reach to about 26,500 people, Arctic Fibre said. Nunatsiaq Online


As Shell's Arctic Drilling Hopes Hit Snags, Its Rivals Watch.

Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic drilling program is now officially in jeopardy and its prospects will depend on the findings of two continuing federal inquiries. One review is on the grounding of the Kulluk drill ship on New Year's Eve after it was set adrift for five days in stormy weather, and the other is on the safety management of the entire Shell program. Rival oil companies, as they form their strategic choices, are keenly watching to see how Shell's $4.5 billion exploratory operation off the North Slope of Alaska is faring and how the effort is working with wary United States regulators. New York Times 


FranUlmerFran Ulmer, Chair, United States Arctic Research Commission. Interview- Extensive research is being conducted in the Arctic, but there is still a lack of public understanding about its ecosystems and their rapidly changing conditions. Fran Ulmer sheds light on the Commission's key priorities for the development of more comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the Arctic's environment, human population, biodiversity and industries. Research Media Ltd.  

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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