Arctic Update Header
July 2, 2013

The House of Representatives and the Senate are on recess this week for the Fourth of July.

If you missed last week's update... 

Arctic experience sought for advisory panel. "Federal land managers are looking for six people with experience in the Arctic to serve on an advisory panel as part of the North Slope Science Initiative. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, in a notice in Wednesday's Federal Register, said nominations to the Science Technical Advisory Panel must be received within 30 days. The initiative is a local, state and federal effort to identify the research needed in conjunction with development work on Alaska's North Slope. The panel has up to 15 scientists and technical experts in a variety of fields - from petroleum engineers to subsistence hunters. Six positions are up for nomination. Terms are three years."

For more information or to nominate someone, contact: 

John F. Payne, executive director, North Slope Science Initiative, AK-910, c/o Bureau of Land Management, 222 W. Seventh Avenue, 13, Anchorage, AK 99513, call 907-271-3431 or email 

Nominations are due July 26th, 2013. Forms are available on the initiative website,


Young Don Young to file for re-election. "Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young will file paperwork to seek his 21st term in Congress on Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage, according to a campaign news release. Young won his 2012 re-election race by a 2-to-1 margin. But given his long tenure in the House, the 80-year-old Young often graces Roll Call's list of potential member retirements. Young has also had a tumultuous few months. In March, he apologized for using a racial slur in a radio interview. Earlier this year, the House Ethics Committee formed a subcommittee to determine whether Young allegedly misused campaign funds and made false statements. Despite all of this, Young has earned a reputation for 'political Teflon' and is favored to win re-election in 2014. He is Alaska's sole representative in the House."



Opinion: Liberals and conservatives support Pebble Mine. "Alaska's Pebble Mine has been heavily criticized by environmentalists who argue that it will damage salmon habitats and wetlands, but a politically diverse coalition is asking the government to follow the normal approval process. The pro-business U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a local chapter of the Laborers' International Union of North America, the Washington Post and the liberal Center for American Progress have all come out against the Environmental Protection Agency's preemptively blocking the mining project." Alaska Dispatch


Oil work to go on in Alaska's Arctic waters, without drilling. "No one will drill in Arctic waters off Alaska this year, but there is still plenty of offshore work for the oil industry to do when conditions finally allow it next month. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which canceled its 2013 Arctic offshore drill season after numerous troubles there last year, plans to send ships to study sites around oil prospects in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, according to permit applications." Reuters


Alaska FlagOpinion: Why Alaskans should not sign petition to repeal tax cut for oil companies. "The anti-development instigators of a petition drive to overturn oil tax reform at the ballot box, via citizens initiative, are gushing epithets: 'paid hacks,' 'oil wealth giveaway,' 'harassment from industry shills,' 'flagrant interference,' 'voter intimidation,' 'grease the wheels,' 'cozy relationships,' 'a Legislature whose inner workings would make Jack Abramoff blush.'  The only thing missing? Facts. Even worse, sitting Alaska state legislators -- Reps. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, and Harriett Drummond, D-Anchorage; and Sens. Hollis French and Bill Wielechowski of Anchorage -- are trying to inflame the public with outright lies about what the tax reform will do." Alaska Dispatch


Inuit: Song from the Arctic arrives in India. "'Bringing in artists from the Arctic region of Canada to India is significant in the wake of India recently assuming the status of Observer nation in the Arctic Council that consolidates Indian-Canadian ties,' said Jim Nickel, Acting High Commissioner for Canada in India." Economic Times


Study links Arctic Sea ice loss with changes in atmospheric circulation. "A study published in the International Journal of Climatology in May adds to the growing research linking melting sea ice in the Arctic to possible changes in atmospheric circulation and extreme weather. Elizabeth Cassano, lead author of the study, and her team conducted climate model simulations to see how an increase in open water may be affecting the Earth's atmosphere." National Geographic


What's more important to Ottawa: resupplying Canada's navy or Arctic sovereignty? "The federal government will decide in the fall whether resupplying Canada's navy or Arctic sovereignty is more important. The Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard each has major shipbuilding projects scheduled to be ready for construction at the same time around 2015. But the Vancouver shipyard slated to build them can only handle one project at a time, meaning work on either the Navy's new resupply ships or the Coast Guard's new polar icebreaker will have to be delayed." National Post


Tackling the Northwest Passage - in a rowboat. "Centuries ago, explorers searched for a trade route from Europe to Asia, navigating a treacherous maze across the Arctic to find an elusive Northwest Passage. Since then, few adventurous souls have braved the passage under their own power, and none has been able to do it in a single season. But that could change as four men are set to embark Canada Day on an 80-day rowboat journey through the most cantankerous climate zone on the planet in the spirit of adventure and in an effort to reveal the shocking effects of climate change on the Arctic." Ottawa Citizen

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday. 

Future Events


First Annual Women's Aquatic Network and Marine Transportation BBQ, July 10, 2013, 6-9 p.m., (Washington, D.C.). "Enjoy the NOAA fish fry? Or did you miss it? Either way, come out to the inaugural BBQ put on by the Marine Transportation community, in conjunction with the Women's Aquatic Network (WAN). 


The event will be held at the Capital Yacht Club, 1000 Water St. SW, Washington, DC 20024, on July 10th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It's accessible from the L'Enfant or Waterfront metro stops. Tickets are $20, and include hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie options, side 

dishes and two drink tickets. Register here"


"Why is this in the Arctic Daily Update?"
Because the "Marine Transportation" community includes the Committee on Marine Transportation System that is working on a report on the Arctic Marine Transportation System, here.


3rd Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop, July 10-12, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "The 3rd Airship Workshop will follow up the achievements of last year's workshop by focusing on potential approaches and actions that would facilitate establishing strong cargo airship business commitments to serving customers in Alaska and other Northern areas. Workshops will consider specific actions that may be initiated."

The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) are co-hosting this symposium to address the changing state of Arctic sea ice  and associated environmental conditions vis-a-vis emerging or expected naval, maritime, and associated activities and operations in the region.


Meeting is open to all. Registration is $175. DOD participants can register and pay for this without special approval. The meeting is co-sponsored by the DOD, and in your internal request document, we've been advised that you should indicate that this activity is a "Review of Arctic Change Impacts." For Navy personnel, this means that approval by the DoN/AA is NOT needed. 


Among the many confirmed speakers are:

Alaskan Senators (Lisa Murkowski
and Mark Begich)
Murkowski Begich
USCG Commandant ADM Robert Papp & Navy Oceanographer RADM Jon White
Papp White 
NOAA's Acting Director, Kathy Sullivan, AK LT. Gov., Mead Treadwell, USARC Chair, Fran Ulmer, and Canada's Minister for Political Affairs, Sheila Riordon
SullivanTreadwell FranUlmerRiordon


Alaska State Society Brunch and Qugruk Forum with Fran Ulmer, Saturday July 20, 2013, 11 a.m. (Mr. Henry's, Washington, D.C.).  "This month's guest will be Fran Ulmer, the Presidentially-appointed Chair of the United States Arctic Research Commission. As Alaskans know, Fran Ulmer has also been, at various times, the chancellor of UAA; the Lt. Governor of Alaska; an Alaska state legislator; and the mayor of Juneau. We'll brunch for 30 minutes, then give the floor to our speaker. Under the banner, 'What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic,' Commissioner Ulmer will address Arctic shipping, research, climate change, and oil-spill prevention and response--all followed by questions and answers from the audience."

Presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops are held as part of the Week of the Arctic, varied in form to reach different audiences and achieve multiple goals. The Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award dinner is the signature event for the Week of the Arctic. In recent years, the Award has been given to Red Dog Mine (2012) and Jacob Adams (2011). The award was created in 2000 to recognize individuals and organizations that make outstanding contributions toward sustainable development in the Arctic. Join us as we present CH2M Hill this year's Award. The Week of the Arctic culminates on Sunday, August 18 with a champagne toast in celebration of the Governor Walter J. Hickel Day of the Arctic.

101st Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 26-27, 2013 logo with background (Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Alaska). The 101st meeting of the US Arctic Research  Commission will be held in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. The meeting agenda will be posted on the USARC website,, closer to the meeting date. 



7th International Workshop on Ice-Drilling Technology, September 9-13, 2013 (Madison, WI). "The event is sponsored by the Ice Drilling Program Office- Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDPO-IDDO), International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), International Glaciological Society (IGS). Following in the footsteps of the six previous ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International workshop on Ice Drilling Technology will take a comprehensive look a the latest innovations in ice drilling technology, including ice coring, borehole logging, subglacial sampling, core logging and handling, and field logistics."


Arctic Exchange, September 16-17, 2013 (Stockholm). "The Exchange brings an evolutionary concept in networking and business information delivery. The concept is designed to meet specific business objectives during two days for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic communities addressing key issues such as sustainable business development and regional protection. As more and more data has confirmed that the Arctic is extremely rich in oil and gas reserves, locations such as Greenland and the Barents Sea have seen a huge growth in interest from the hydrocarbon industry. Despite the opportunities offered, there are many challenges that may hinder operations. The presence of cold temperatures, ice and a lack of infrastructure pose logistical problems that make exploration expensive and risky."


The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit, October 8-10, 2013 (Akureyri, Iceland). "The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit is a multidisciplinary event expected to draw together several hundred industry officials, scientists, academics, policymakers, energy professionals and community leaders to collaborate and share leading approaches on Arctic energy issues. Building on the work done at the highly successful 2007 Arctic Energy Summit and Technology Conference, the 2013 Summit will address energy extraction, production and transmission in the Arctic as it relates to three thematic areas: richness, resilience and responsibility.  The 2013 Summit will be hosted by the Institute of the North in cooperation with local host Arctic Portal."


The Inaugural Meeting of The Arctic Circle, October 12-14, 2013 (Reykjavik, Iceland). "The inaugural Arctic Circle will be held October 12-14, 2013. Subsequent Arctic Circle gatherings will be held in a different Arctic location each year, so that participants can become familiar with the challenges, needs and opportunities presented by these unique environments. The agenda for the first Arctic Circle gathering will include plenary sessions with international leaders on emerging topics of interest, such as: Sea ice melt and extreme weather; Security in the Arctic; Fisheries and ecosystem management; Shipping and transportation infrastructure; Arctic Resources; and Tourism."


The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) "School for Young Arctic Researchers," and "Arctic Scientists Workshop," October 21-25 2013 (Woods Hole, MA). "The Forum for Arctic Ocean Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) is an international effort to focus on enhancing collaboration and coordination among arctic marine and sea ice modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists. This collaboration is based on a set of activities starting from generating hypotheses, to planning research including both observations and modeling, and to finalizing analyses synthesizing major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments. 


The major themes of this year's workshop include, but are not limited by studies focused on:

  • Sea ice conditions (drift, thickness and concentration)
  • Atmospheric conditions and circulation regimes
  • Circulation of surface, Pacific and Atlantic water layers
  • State and future of freshwater and heat content
  • Horizontal and vertical mixing
  • Process studies and parameterizations
  • Model validation and calibration
  • Numerical improvements and algorithms
  • Ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry"

More info is available at the project's website:


Workshop: Community Oil Spill Response in Bering and Anadyr Straits, November 7-8, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "This workshop will bring together diverse stakeholders to learn more about and respond to community desires to be part of oil spill first-response efforts that help protect food security and other local resources; come to agreement on the multiple roles local community members can play in responding to oil spills; and create an action plan for moving forward on this topic. The workshop is sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society." 


Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Rovaniemi, Finland). "The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest scientific research and knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross-cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic."


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."


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