Arctic Update Header
 January 22, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate convenes only for morning business and then recesses for the weekly caucus lunches. The House considers a bill to reauthorize programs related to medical disaster and emergency response programs.


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.



How High Could the Tide Go? A scruffy crew of scientists barreled down a dirt road, their two-car caravan kicking up dust. After searching all day for ancient beaches miles inland from the modern shoreline, they were about to give up. Suddenly, the lead car screeched to a halt. Paul J. Hearty, a geologist from North Carolina, leapt out and seized a white object on the side of the road: a fossilized seashell. He beamed. In minutes, the team had collected dozens more. Using satellite gear, they determined they were seven miles inland and 64 feet above South Africa's modern coastline. New York Times


arcticcouncil China, Korea, EU Woo Arctic Council at Norway Conference: Ministerial Gathering in May to ponder permanent observer applications. Officials from China, South Korea and the European Union, all of whom seek a higher level of participation in circumpolar affairs, wooed the Arctic Council Jan. 22 at an Arctic conference in Tromsø, Norway. All three entities seek permanent observer status on the Arctic Council, an upgrade in status that could give them more influence over circumpolar issues. The Arctic Council will decide on new permanent observer applications at a ministerial meeting to be held this May in Stockholm, just before Sweden relinquishes the chairmanship to Canada. Nunatsiaq Online


Marine Science Conference Zeroes in on the Arctic. This week, according to Unalaska Community Broadcasting's Lauren Rosenthal, field researchers are gathered in downtown Anchorage to talk about the changes they've seen in Alaskan coastal waters, with a particular focus on the Arctic - including the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea. The 900 scientists gathered at the Alaska Marine Science symposium aren't just here to present research. Together, they're trying to establish a baseline picture of the ecosystems and weather conditions that make up the Arctic. Biz Community


Iceguide.DK. Bjarne Rasmussen maintains a website with information about maritime transportation with a significant focus on the Arctic. The site includes Rasmussen's experience as a mariner on icebreakers and maritime transportation around Canada, Denmark and Greenland. Website available here.


canadian flagMinister Stresses Northern Development for Canada's Upcoming Arctic Council Chair. The overarching theme of Canada's upcoming chairmanship of the Arctic Council will be the promotion of economic development of northern regions, says the Canadian minister responsible for the Council. Speaking on Monday at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Trømso, in northern Norway, Leona Aglukkaq said Canada will be focusing on sustainable economic development of the Arctic. "With the help of our Arctic Council partners, we will focus on creating economic growth, strong and sustainable northern communities and healthy ecosystems," said Aglukkaq, addressing the conference entitled 'Arctic Frontiers: Geopolitics & Marine Production in a Changing Arctic.' Alaska Dispatch


Safety Official Calls Caution in Arctic Crucial. Arctic drilling can be done safely, as long as the oil industry takes a careful, go-slow approach and works with local stakeholders and federal regulators, the head of a federal panel investigating the issue said. "I'm not uncomfortable if it proceeds in a very balanced way and with a significant amount of oversight ... and a lot of engagement with the local stakeholders," said Tom Hunter, chairman of the federal Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee that was established after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The panel has submitted its final recommendations for boosting offshore drilling safety to the Interior Department, including a proposal for a permanent ocean energy safety institute and Arctic-specific standards governing oil development in the frontier area. Houston Chronicle 


North Slope Educators Train for Action Against Suicide. In Alaska, it is nearly impossible to escape the devastating impacts that the state's high suicide rate has on families and communities. Last spring, Alaska's Legislature responded to that troubling pattern by passing Senate Bill 137 - a decree that North Slope educators are working to not only meet, but surpass. SB137 requires all Alaska certified teaching and administrative staff serving seventh to 12th graders to train in suicide awareness and prevention for at least two hours every year. "We are not going to simply meet the minimum requirements," said Peggy Cowan, North Slope Borough School District Superintendent, in a release. "The training should be meaningful and effective." Alaska Dispatch 


Obama Pushes Sweeping Agenda. With his far-reaching inaugural address Monday, an emboldened President Barack Obama made the case for an activist federal government and a decidedly liberal agenda while challenging the gridlocked Congress to act. In a surprisingly aggressive address that called for action on climate change, gay rights, immigration and the nation's partisan divide, Obama urged the country to come together to reaffirm - and extend - its founding principles. Roll Call


The Text of President Obama's Inaugural Address. As Prepared for Delivery - Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:  Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution.  We affirm the promise of our democracy.  We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.  What makes us exceptional - what makes us American - is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. Government Executive 


3 Things to Watch for in the Alaska Legislature. The Alaska Legislature begins its first full week on Monday. Here is at look at three things to watch for this week: oil taxes, budget, federal overreach. Anchorage Daily News  


Dispatches from the Arctic: The Science and Geopolitics of a Warming Arctic.
In this coastal Arctic city of Tromso, Norway, where sunrise and sunset merge into a multi-hour winter glow, and where twenty-something women proudly roam the ice-coated streets under the sub-freezing black sky wearing stiletto heels and little else, nothing seems too bizarre. But I was still struck to see uniformed Navy generals, politicians and bureaucrats (from Russia, China, Norway, the United States, and many other countries), scientists, energy and fisheries industry executives, and environmentalists all converging at a university here to attend a conference called the Arctic Frontiers. Perhaps no other topic is more politicized than climate change, so it makes sense that this "gateway to the Arctic" would host a conference on "Geopolitics and Marine Production in a Changing Arctic." The gathering spans five days and covers issues ranging from the state of climate science in the Arctic Ocean, shifting fisheries politics as mackerel and cod swim northward to colder waters, and how indigenous coastal communities could reap the benefits--or suffer the failures--of mineral and oil and gas extraction. Popular Science 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Events                      


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.


Alaska Native Language Archive, February 22, 2013, Fairbanks. Please join ANLA and the Rasmuson Library for a Grand Opening Celebration to dedicate the new ANLA public service point on the second floor of the Rasmuson Library. The event will begin with an open house featuring collections in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections, the Oral History Collection, and of course ANLA. This will be followed by a special panel session entitled Honoring Alaska's Native Languages: Past, Present, Future, reflecting on 50 years of Native language archiving at UAF.


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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