Arctic Update Header
June 27, 2013


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 

Nomination forms are available on the initiative website,


Arctic analysis: Taxes and Arctic resource development. "Two recent developments have called attention to the role that taxation plays in oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic. First came announcements by BP and ConocoPhillips of significant new investments in Alaska's North Slope in response to the state's recent reduction in oil taxes. [1] Second came the decision by Statoil to delay its planned investment in the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea after the Norwegian government announced an increase in the tax rate on oil and gas producers. [2] The prevailing interpretation of these events, plain to see in the headlines, is that tax increases stifle investment while tax decreases encourage development and exploration. While these maxims are partly true, a closer look at the similarities and differences between these two examples reveals that taxation is only one of many important factors that shape investment decisions such as these in the Arctic. While taxation will continue to play an important role in shaping Arctic energy development, this role should not be exaggerated." Arctic Institute


Romance wearing thin but not over for Arctic resource exploitation. "The high Arctic, once the irresistible frontier for oil and gas exploration, is quickly losing its appeal as energy firms grow fearful of the financial and public relations risk of working in the pristine icy wilderness. The Arctic holds 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its gas, and Russia's continuing passion for the precarious zone has been demonstrated by recent deals like the Total and Novatek LNG facility on Yamal, and the Exxon-Rosneft plan to expand their zone of exploration of the country's north coast." Moscow Times


Arctic nations set cooperation guidelines. "Defense chiefs representing the world's eight main Arctic nations will strengthen cooperation in marine surveillance and expand joint military exercises. Moreover, defense commanders agreed to identify and appraise the military and civilian capabilities in each country that can be used to support civilian missions in the Arctic over the next 12 months. The new strategy, following a two-day meeting of defense commanders in the coastal Greenland town of Ilulissat that ended June 12, will focus on how the eight Arctic nations can bolster defense and security cooperation in the Arctic and how military resources can be better deployed to support civilian needs across borders." Defense News


Seal Brendan Kelly Should Sweden authorize a licensed seal hunt? "The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has asked the government to authorize a seal hunt to limit a growing seal population along the Swedish coasts that they say is damaging the fishing industry, reports Swedish Radio news. But Mikael Karlsson, from the Society for Nature Conservation, is against the proposal. 'We've waited until the population is big and strong before trying to authorize a hunt that lacks motives,' Karlsson says. He says the fishing industry does more damage to the fish population than seals do." Eye on the Arctic


Canada's Northwest Territories signs historic devolution deal. "Leaders in Canada's Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) have signed a final devolution deal with the federal government on Tuesday to transfer authority over land, water and resources to the territory. The ceremony began around 6 p.m. MT Tuesday at the Midnight Sun complex in the Arctic Canadian community of Inuvik, (N.W.T.) The ceremony started with drumming and a prayer in the aboriginal languages of Gwich'in and Inuvialuktun and it ended with a feast." Eye on the Arctic


United Nations Russia-wide citizens' campaign calls on Moscow to join the UN's Aarhus Convention this year. "The Aarhus Convention - officially, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters - was signed fifteen years ago, on June 25, 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus. That year, the document was signed by 38 countries (as of April 2013, 46 nations are parties to the convention). Russia took active part in discussing the text of the document, but did not sign it. Of the former Soviet Union republics now forming the Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia and Uzbekistan remain the only two nations that are not Aarhus signatories." Bellona Foundation


Fisheries scientists to government: No drilling in Lofoten. "In its advisory role to the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, the Institute of Marine Research does not tend to oppose the development of Norway's coastal and offshore oil industry. But IMR senior scientist and former executive director Ole Arve Misund said that when it comes to the Lofoten-Vesteralen site, the stakes are different. 'Our advice is not to open that area for oil exploration,' Misund said. 'This has continued to be IMR's advice for a long time. That is the most important spawning ground for cod.'" Barents Observer


Sami fishing rights fight inches forward. "A new amendment allows long established fisheries to apply for priority water rights-a rule that might ease the power of coastal Sami from their land dwelling peers. But first someone has to apply." Barents Observer


CAP stops short of calling for mine veto. "The left-leaning Center for American Progress is expressing support for U.S. EPA's review of potential large-scale mining in Alaska's Bristol Bay region but not calling on the agency to pre-emptively veto the controversial Pebble LP mine, according to a position paper released this morning. CAP is weighing in on the watershed assessment as EPA prepares to close the extended comment period on its revised draft of the work. The agency is accepting comments through the end of the month. 'Alaska's Bristol Bay region is an outstanding example of America's conservation economy, with a thriving salmon fishery that supports the equivalent of nearly 10,000 full-time jobs, $1.5 billion in economic output, and the well-being and culture of the region's Alaska Native communities,' said CAP's paper. 

'All of this could be put at risk by proposals to mine in the Bristol Bay watershed, with the most significant threat posed by the Pebble Project.'" E&E News


Economics of Pebble Mine could aid U.S., Whatcom economies. "In considering Alaska's proposed Pebble Mine - the people of Whatcom County should consider the following: Pebble is one of the largest undeveloped deposits of copper and gold on the planet. The deposit is located 200 miles southwest of Anchorage on state land designated for mineral exploration and development." Bellingham Herald

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


Today, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act (Hastings, WA). This bill would develop a new 5-year oil and gas leasing program that focuses on areas with the greatest potential resources and seeks to meet production goals that align with U.S. needs. The bill creates a new revenue sharing formula to be phased in for coastal states, but allows the current revenue sharing plan to continue for four Gulf states (Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi) under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. Furthermore, H.R. 2231 would eliminate the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and create three separate agencies to handle various aspects of offshore energy operations.


Yesterday, the Science Space and Technology, Subcommittee on the Environment, held a hearing entitled "Restoring U.S. Leadership in Weather Forecasting, Part 2"


"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [weighed] 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


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."


**New this Week**

The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) school and workshop for young Arctic researches, 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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