Arctic Update Header
June 25, 2013


"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.
The live webcast is available for remote viewing.


Obama unveils climate change plan that goes around Congress.

"President Obama is launching fresh battles over climate change with plans to curb emissions using White Houseexecutive powers that sidestep Congress - including controversial rules to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. The wide-ranging plan, which Obama will tout in a speech later Tuesday, also beefs up federal efforts to help deploy low-carbon and renewable energy, and has programs to help harden communities against climate-fueled extreme weather." The Hill


The President's Climate Action Plan 


China seeks greater influence in Arctic region. "China will set up a joint Arctic research center in Shanghai with Danish, Icelandic and Norwegian institutions, building on improving diplomatic ties with Nordic countries, as it bids to raise its stake in the faraway but resource-rich region. The China-Nordic Arctic Research Center, whose launch plan was announced in Shanghai in early June, may signal new intentions in Beijing's foreign policy, analysts say. Beijing has yet to articulate an official Arctic strategy, but it has become firmer in its polar ambitions." South China Morning Post 


Arctic farmer ponders Nunavut's growth potential: Researchers to size up Arctic agriculture at Greenland conference. "Outdoor gardening and agriculture are rare in Nunavut's environment, but not so in Greenland, even though the huge island has much in common with its Arctic neighbor. How is it that food is grown there, yet virtually none on the land in Nunavut? Northern gardener Lone Sorensen will take part in a two-day conference on Arctic agriculture in Qaqortoq, Greenland this month to find out, and share her 25 years of expertise as a gardener and farmer in Yellowknife." Nunatsiaq Online 


Oil Drilling in Alaska Special Report: Arctic Drilling. "Over the last few years, RepRisk has detected an ever-increasing amount of news related to companies engaged in or planning drilling operations in the Arctic region. This report analyzes documented controversies, both fact and allegation, related to the five firms that received the most negative news or stakeholder sentiment due to related or proposed controversial practices within the past four years. The information has been taken from a wide range of sources used by RepRisk including newspapers, news sites, NGO and governmental sites, blogs and social media." RepRisk 


A rowboat expedition to the Arctic made possible by climate change. "The Irish-Canadian team setting out next week to cross the Northwest Passage by row boat knows full well the hazards of the fabled journey through the Arctic: the unpredictable storms, the ice jams, the prospect of becoming prey for a polar bear. 'They are the only animal out there that will actively hunt down a human being,' said Kevin Vallely, a veteran adventurer who is part of the expedition. The four-man crew are due to set off in their 8-meter rowboat from Inuvik on 1 July, on a journey meant to showcase the extreme effects of climate change on the Arctic." The Guardian 


Melting ice pulls Norway closer to Asia. "The town of Kirkenes in northernmost Norway used to be further away from Asia than virtually any other European port, but it suddenly seems a lot closer. The reason: Global warming. Melting ice has opened up the Northern Sea Route along Russia's Arctic coastline, changing international trade patterns in profound ways -- even if so far it looks more like a sleepy county road than a busy, four-lane highway." AFP 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


At 10 a.m., tomorrow, June 26, the Science Space and Technology, Subcommittee on the Environment, will hold a hearing entitled "Restoring U.S. Leadership in Weather Forecasting, Part 2"


"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will weigh in on a Republican proposal to prioritize weather forecasting over ocean and climate research Wednesday when acting Administrator Kathryn Sullivan testifies before the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment."



Panel 1

  • The Honorable Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel 2

  • Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Vice President for Research, Regents' Professor for Meteorology, Weathernews Chair Emeritus, University of Oklahoma
  • Dr. William Gail, Chief Technology Officer, Global Weather Corporation, President-Elect, American Meteorological Society
  • Dr. Shuyi Chen, Professor, Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami

You can view this hearing on the committee website.

Future Events


**New This Week** 

Perspectives on Public Policies in the Arctic Region, International Conference on Public Policy, June 26, 2013, 8-10 a.m. (Grenoble, France). "Developments in the Arctic have mostly been studied through defense studies, international relations, geopolitics, and to a lesser extent, economics. Public policies of Arctic states in the High North have attracted far less attention, with the exception of indigenous people's rights.


The purpose of this panel is to analyze and discuss:
  • To what extent the climate change and economic prospects in the Arctic have changed public policies
  • To what extent public policies are limiting or motivating economic development, through legislation, infrastructure development, direct or indirect subsidization, particularly in the mining and hydrocarbon sector and in transport (shipping) 
  • The capacity to act by the elected representatives at the local level, and to analyze to what extent citizens and communities are engaged in the development of public policies
  • How conflicting interests between economic sectors are considered (e.g. tourism versus mining, petroleum activities versus fisheries and traditional subsistence)
  • If public policies are shaped by regional frameworks of cooperation and international agreements and norms"
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."


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)