Arctic Update Header
June 14, 2013


White House Roundtable Discussion with Federal Government Officials, National Strategy for the Arctic Region, June 14 (Gorsuch Commons #107, Univ. of Alaska Anchorage, 2:00-5:00 p.m.).
  FranUlmer"On May 10, 2013, the President signed the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. At that time - recognizing that successful implementation of the National Strategy will depend upon productive collegial engagement with Alaska Natives, the State of Alaska, Members of Alaska's congressional delegation, and other key stakeholders - the White House announced that it would host initial meetings in Alaska in June to discuss how best to move forward. 
Please join us for a roundtable moderated by Fran Ulmer, Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission."

*NEW: free call in number (limited to first 100 people) 
passcode: 5167091 

Participants include:
  • Nancy Sutley (Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality)
  • Kathy Sullivan (Acting Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
  • David Hayes (Deputy Secretary of the Interior)
  • Tommy P. Beaudreau (Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)
  • Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo (U.S. Coast Guard)
  • Ambassador David Balton (Department of State)
  • Tony Ceraolo (Director, Maritime Security & Director, Arctic Region Policy, National Security Staff)
  • Brendan P. Kelly (Assist. Director, Polar Science, Office of Science & Technology Policy, EOP)

For further information, please contact:

Brendan P. Kelly                                           Fran Ulmer               or        



Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Workshops, June 10-14, 2013 (Reykjavik, Iceland). PAME hosts 3 workshops: a scoping workshop for the revision of the 2004 Arctic Marine Strategic Plan; an AMSA II(C)/AMSA II(D)-PSSA bridging workshop; and an ecosystem Approach to Management workshop.


Due date approaches for agreement on Alaska LNG project. "The clock is ticking for Alaska's major oil companies and a Canadian pipeline builder who committed to produce an agreement to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for a summer of field work to advance a blockbuster project to ship natural gas from the North Slope to hungry world markets. At least, that's how things are supposed to work under the benchmarks laid out by Gov. Sean Parnell in January. The schedule gave BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and TransCanada until 'late spring' to finalize an agreement before moving into the pre-FEED stage of a project to export liquefied natural gas." Alaska Dispatch


Report: Obama readies July climate plan. "President Obama intends to unveil a package of second-term climate change policies in July, according to a news account. Bloomberg reports that Obama, at closed-door fundraisers in recent weeks, 'has been telling Democratic party donors that he will unveil new climate proposals in July.'" The Hill


Energy diversity is key to combating power poverty in Alaska. "With the nation's second-highest statewide average cost of gasoline and electricity, Alaska is facing a debilitating problem emanating from what can best be described as energy-induced poverty. An increasing number of Alaskans, urban and rural alike, must allocate more of the resources they have to rising energy costs versus other critical needs. This economic hardship does not just impact one family, one community or one region; these impacts are felt by the entire state and our businesses." Alaska Dispatch


Is UN negotiating an unattainable climate goal? "As UN negotiators roll up their sleeves for the last push towards a universal climate deal, many fear their end-goal of halting global warming at two degrees Celsius is moving out of reach."


Architects unveil model of Nunavut-based Arctic research station. "People in the western Nunavut community of Cambridge Bay got a sneak peek this week at what the Canadian High Arctic Research Station will look like: a complex of buildings designed to make the most of its location and traditional knowledge and science. The good news: CHARS is still on target to open in July 2017, just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Canadian federation." Nunatsiaq Online


Third volcano acting up in Southwest Alaska. "According the Alaska Volcano Observatory, another volcano is rumbling to life on the Alaska Peninsula. Mount Veniaminof, an 8,225-foot peak 25 miles southwest of Chignik Lake and 485 miles from Anchorage, has rumbled to life since about June 8, when researchers saw a spike in seismic activity at the peak. On Thursday morning, satellite imagery revealed heightened surface temperature indicating a likely "eruption at the intracaldera cone" of the volcano, the AVO reported." Alaska Dispatch


For energy chief Moniz, the honeymoon is not over. "Moniz did butt heads a bit - albeit rather gently - with Republicans during his maiden appearance Thursday. He wouldn't offer a firm timeline for decisions on natural-gas export applications, despite prodding from several GOP lawmakers (more on that here). He declined to weigh in on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline when asked by pro-Keystone lawmakers, noting it's in the State Department's hands. He took some heat for decisions by a sister agency - the Interior Department - that many Republicans say have kept too many federal lands off limits to drilling." The Hill

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


Yesterday, the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs held a hearing to discuss, among other bills, H.R. 1491 (Bonamici of OR), which would aid in the cleanup resulting from the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami. To see the full agenda or watch the archived webcast, visit the Committee Site.

Future Events


**New This Week** 
NOAA Arctic Science Days, June 19-20, 2013, 1-5 p.m. (Silver Spring, MD). "The NOAA Arctic Task Force will be hosting Arctic Science days for two afternoons to learn about the range of activities NOAA has going on in the Arctic region. These two afternoon sessions will be framed around the six goals laid out in NOAA's Arctic Vision and Strategy. On Wednesday, we will cover sea ice and weather prediction, as well as basic scientific research. Thursday will focus on partnerships, stewardship, as well as navigation and emergency response." Location: Silver Spring Metro Center, Building 3, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, Room 12836. Remote webinar access will be made available for this event.

AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013 (Washington, DC).   AGU logo

"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. See the 6/25 forum titled 'US Government Investment in Arctic Change Research.' The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D.C.-based international nonprofit scientific association." The USARC is a co-sponsor of the Arctic forum, through ARCUS.


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) will co-host this follow-on 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. Invited speakers include nationally and internationally recognized experts on Arctic observations, climate change, and maritime operations."

**New This Week**
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."

101st Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 26-27, 2013 (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 workship 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."


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."


USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter 

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)