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July 26, 2013

Both the Senate and House are on recess until next week. 

U.S., Canada conduct Bering Strait spill drill. "In a signal of increasing concerns over Arctic shipping, U.S. and Canadian coast guard vessels have 

conducted their first joint Arctic offshore oil spill drill near the Bering Strait. Two days of test of vessels and equipment were scheduled at Port Clarence, a 

protected bay near the strait, although poor weather limited actual deployment of spill gear to one day, said Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow. Port Clarence has been designated by the Coast Guard as a port of refuge for vessels in distress. A Coast Guard skimming system was successfully deployed from a Canadian vessel participating in the drill, but bad weather also prevented deployment of a large ship emergency towing system provided by the state of Alaska, Wadlow said." Alaska Journal of Commerce 


The North Pole has "melted." Again. "In what has now become an annual occurrence, the North Pole's ice has melted, turning the Earth's most northern point into a lake. Call it Lake North Pole. To be clear, the water surrounding the pole is not seawater seeping up from the ocean but melted icewater resting on top of a thinning layer of ice below the surface. 'It's a shallow lake. It's a cold lake. But it is, actually, a lake,' writes William Wolfe-Wylie of" The Atlantic Wire 

North Pole Lake
Click to view a time-lapse

Finishing plan "top priority" for Pebble. "Developers of a potential large copper and gold mine at the Pebble prospect say they are focused on completing their plan for the project and applying for permits by the end of the year. 'It's our top priority,' said Mike Heatwole, spokesman for the Pebble Limited Partnership, a joint-venture of Anglo American PLC and Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd." Alaska Journal of Commerce 


Arctic Shipping On the Rise. "It's shaping up to be a busy year for Arctic shipping. The Russian government has already granted 218 vessels permission to transit the Northern Sea Route this summer - four times as many as made 

Russian Tanker - Arctic - Sovcomflot

the trip last year. While some of the vessels are resupplying the Russian far north, others are doing the full passage from Europe to Asia, or vice versa. None of them is expected to stop in the Aleutians, but the potential for ships to do so in the future is on people's minds." Alaska Public Media 


Alaska and Arctic Shipping: Boon or Boondoggle? "At the July 16-18 Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic held in Washington, D.C., Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski asserted, 'When it comes to circumpolar navigation in the Arctic, regardless of which route is taken - the Northern Sea Route, the Northwest Passage, or perhaps across the pole if we see an ice-free summer, they all converge on one end at the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska.'" Eye on the Arctic 


Navy Commander discusses Arctic operations. "Canada's army, navy, air 

force, and others are getting ready for Operation Nanook 2013, coming up at the beginning of August. At today's Rotary Club luncheon, Commander Douglas Campbell of HMCS St. John's spoke about his experiences in the 2012 operations. VOCM's Lacy O'Connell reports live from the Sheraton." 


Scientists watch Arctic cyclone chew up sea ice. "Arctic scientists are watching in awe this week as a raging summer cyclone tears up what could become a record amount of rotting northern sea ice. 'We're really watching this year with a lot of fascination,' said Matthew Asplin, an Arctic climatologist at the University of Manitoba. Arctic cyclones are driven by low-pressure systems in which winds of up to 100 km/h blow counter-clockwise in spiral more than 1,000 kilometres across. They occur in both winter and summer, but are usually stronger in winter." Vancouver Sun 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation Thursday.  


Future Events


**Revised day and time**


Center for Strategic and International Studies discussion on "The Benefits and 'Costs of Cold:' Arctic Economics in the 21st Century" featuring Alaskan Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell, Tuesday July 30, 2013, 9-10:30 a.m. (CSIS, Washington, D.C.). Alaska's Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell will discuss the future of economic 


development in the American Arctic at this upcoming event.


"A new CSIS Europe Program report, which will be released on July 31, examines the economic benefits of Arctic development and the financial and environmental costs of Arctic infrastructure development. It determines that for now, the U.S. gives greater weight to the costs of Arctic development than to its benefits. Lieutenant Governor Treadwell will offer his reflections on this new report."


Please RSVP to Matthew Melino at

"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. An meeting agenda is now posted on the USARC website,
You can also view the 101st Commission Meeting announcement in this entry at the Federal Register.


Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, August 28-29, 2013 (Unalaska, Alaska). The 3rd meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will, among other things, continue its mission to positively influence federal Arctic policy. "Toward that end, the Commission will compile a list of all the current federal programs that directly affect Arctic Alaska and Arctic policy, and track and thoroughly investigate each program. These findings will inform the Commission's Final Report."


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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