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November 12, 2013


Maritime & Arctic Security Conference (MAS13), November 12-13, 2013 (St. John's, NL, Canada). "For decades the Arctic has received increasing attention from the international community related to factors/considerations such as environmental, geopolitical, strategic, and security. More recently with shrinking Arctic ice leading to the pursuance of off-shore resources and the opening of northern shipping routes, over a relatively short period of time we are seeing maritime security considerations start to blend with arctic security." 


"With a focus on Economic Development, Security and Public Safety, MAS13 will bring together organizations that play a key role in the execution of Maritime & Arctic Security: whether that role be Cultural, Research, Government Policy/Regulation, Education, Surveillance, Enforcement, and Technology Development/Application." 


Full Conference Agenda


capital Today's Congressional Action: 

The House and Senate are in session and will consider non-Arctic legislation.





Bowhead Whale Hunting Barrow Whalers Find Good Fortune This Fall and Land Dozens of Arctic Bowhead 'Butterballs.' The nation's northernmost community will chomp down on a massive butterball this Thanksgiving, a 27-foot-long specimen that will feed thousands. But this is no massive tofu turkey or genetically modified poultry. The Iņupiat Eskimos of Barrow, Alaska, will instead smack their lips on the bowhead whale that's been landed by Capt. George Ahmaogak, a whaler with experience and international blessing to hunt whales in harmony with Alaska Native traditions. Alaska Dispatch


Ships on Collision Course With Arctic Whales [WWF Study]. As more ships from oil and gas companies make their way into Arctic waters, they are increasingly crossing paths with Arctic whales. An article published last week in the journal 'Marine Policy' shows where oil, gas and shipping interests overlap important habitat for Arctic whales. The research was sponsored by WWF and includes several WWF authors, along with many of the world's experts on Arctic whale research and conservation. Arctic Journal


Environment Groups Support Greenland Seal Hunt. The people of Greenland should be allowed to continue hunting seals, according to environmental protection organisations WWF and Greenpeace. A WWF biologist interviewed over the weekend said the hunt was part of the Greenlandic culture. "Even though Greenlandic culture is becoming more urbanised, it is still very much based in nature," biologist Eva Garde told Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper. "It is a lifestyle still based on finding food just outside one's door and the WWF prefers that Greenlanders trap seals than import chicken and increase the world's carbon dioxide footprint." Arctic Journal


permafrost As Permafrost Melts Along Siberian Coast, Erosion Takes Toll. Rising summer temperatures and dwindling Arctic sea ice are eroding the cliffs of Eastern Siberia at an increasing pace. Scientists from AWI, the German Alfred Wegener Institute and the Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research have been evaluating data and aerial photographs of the coastal regions from the last 40 years. As the sea ice recedes more and more from year to year, the cliffs are being undermined by waves. At the same time, the land surface is beginning to sink. Alaska Dispatch


Sheefish Study Finds Healthy Spawners on Selawik River. Scientists congregated at the Selawik River sheefish spawning grounds this fall to continue a three-year study of the Arctic fish. One of the reasons for the ongoing study is to establish whether or not the "permafrost thaw slump" in 2004, which happened 40 miles upriver from the spawning grounds and turned the usually-clear river water turbid and silty, has affected the population. The Arctic Sounder


Nichols Brothers to Build Arctic Landing Craft. Bowhead Transport, LLC has recently awarded Nichols Brothers Boat Builders a contract to construct a new 150 by 50' Landing Craft. The landing craft will operate in Arctic coastal villages of the North Slope Borough of Alaska and between the Pacific and Arctic oceans. MarineLink


russian flag Russia Building Largest Nuclear Icebreaker. Russia has started building the world's largest nuclear-powered icebreaker capable of navigating in the Arctic. The ship, one of three due to come into service by 2020, is seen as part of a Russian display of its dominance in the region. The 173m ship is being built by the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in St Petersburg, and should be completed by 2017. The ship will be 14 metres longer and 4 meters wider than the current record-holder. Arctic Journal


Biologists Wrap Up Baffin Bay Polar Bear Survey. The Nunavut government has wrapped up three years of fieldwork on Baffin Bay polar bears, and is preparing to release a new population estimate sometime next year. Baffin Bay's polar bears have drawn international attention. Past research suggested that the population may be in trouble, but many Inuit, like Jaypeetee Killiktee of Clyde River, disagree. CBC News


Research Shows Mercury May Biomagnify More Effectively in Northern Regions. Mercury biomagnification rates in aquatic Arctic ecosystems are higher than in lower latitudes, says a new study from Queen's researcher Raphael Lavoie. Mercury is passed along through food webs in all ecosystems through a process called biomagnification. This process results in increasing concentration of substances like mercury in an organism at successively higher levels in a food chain. Phy.Org

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was considered yesterday.

Future Events

The World Wildlife Foundation hosts the Fuller Symposium on the Forces of Nature.
Speakers from around the world will engage in active discussion around topics including local responses to forces like land grabbing and climate change, evaluation of community conservation impacts, new technologies for catalyzing social movements, private-sector initiatives, and global policy opportunities. Edward Itta is one of the scheduled speakers. The annual Fuller Symposium convenes thought leaders in science, policy, conservation, and development to discuss innovative approaches to complex issues facing our planet. USARC Commissioner Edward Itta will present. 

RFP Closing Soon. November 13, 2013. As a result of the recent discussions regarding Social Science during the Board, Advisory Panel, and Science Panel meetings, the North Pacific Research Board would like to issue a request for quotes to organize a Social Science workshop and produce a final report as a follow-up to the commissioned white paper, "Global Review of Social Science Integration with Natural Resource Management." 

Please note that the deadline is Wednesday, November 13 at 5pm AKST. 

Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge Request for Proposals Due November 15.  The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Village Safe Water announces a research and development effort to seek better and more affordable methods to deliver drinking water and sewage disposal services to communities in rural Alaska. The three-month long, international solicitation calls for individuals from a variety of diverse fields - engineering, science and research, behavioral science, and innovative design - to organize as teams and submit Statements of Qualifications. Up to six of the top ranked teams will be funded to develop proposals over a six month period next year. Future phases of the project include building prototypes and testing them in lab and field settings. 


For more information about the project please: 



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."

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, December 9-13. (San  Francisco, CA)

The AGU Fall Meeting is the largest worldwide conference in the AGU logo geophysical sciences, attracting more than 24,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. For 46 years, scientists from around the world gather at the AGU Fall Meeting to exchange information and broaden their knowledge base. In addition to the scientific programming, the meeting offers over 50 Town Halls and Workshops, including one on Monday, Dec. 9, titled, "Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) and Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH), organized by Helen Wiggins, Brendan Kelly, and Hajo Eicken, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in 2018 Moscone West. 


Search the AGU meeting for Arctic-related research sessions here


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 20-24, 2014. (Anchorage, Alaska) The mission of the Alaska Marine Science Symposium is to bring together scientists, policymakers, students, educators, media and the public to share research findings focused on Alaska's marine fisheries and ecosystems. The Symposium is built around regional themes-Bering Sea, Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Alaska. Within each theme, there will be discussions on climate, oceanography, lower tropic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.


The agenda is available here.



The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado will host the workshop. This year's theme is "Arctic's New Normal." The workshop will consider shifting environmental baselines over decades to millennia and comparisons with the Antarctic. Previous Workshops have included presentations on Arctic and Antarctic climate, atmospheric chemistry, environmental geochemistry, paleoenvironment, archeology, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history and more.



Association of American Geographers Polar Geography Sessions, April 8-12, 2014. Tampa, Florida. Polar Geography Sessions are being planned in areas such as Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic, etc. Contact Scott Stephenson ( for more information, and see attached flyer. 


Arctic Science Summit Week April 5-8, 2014 and Arctic Observing Summit, April 9-11, Helsinki, Finland. ASSW is a gathering for Arctic research organizations. Any organization engaged in supporting and facilitating arctic research is welcome to participate. The ASSW meeting in 2014 will be arranged during April 5-8 in Helsinki Kumpula Campus, in the facilities of FMI and Physics Department of the University of Helsinki. Second circular here


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."
IceTech14: International Conference and Exhibition on Performance of Ships and Structures in Ice, July 28-31, 2014 (Banff, Alberta, Canada). "The focus will be on the general theme of performance of ships and structures in ice - but with emphasis and special sessions on looking to the future in a warming world. Coverage will include technical aspects of offshore operations in Arctic and ice populated waters, as well related ice mechanics, icebreaking and ice resistance, global warming and geopolitical effects, safety and EER, subsea facilities and operations, and other relevant subjects in a polar context particularly in view of current global concerns. Both technical papers and selected panel sessions will be included. We will also continue to host a small commercial exhibition for organizations wishing to set up stand."
Abstract Submission Deadline: November 17,  2013

Arctic Science Summit Week, April 23-30, 2015. (Toyama, Japan) ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. The purpose of the summit is to provide opportunities for coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. IASC's (International Arctic Science Committee) 25th anniversary will be celebrated during ASSW2015. The summit presents an opportunity to review IASC contributions and recognize those who have been instrumental in its founding, development and growth. ASSW2015 will also include the 3rd International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP III) and the 4th International Symposium on the Arctic Research (ISAR-4). These four-day symposia create a platform for exchanging knowledge, inspiring cross fertilization, and promoting collaboration. The summit attracts scientists, students, policy makers and other professionals from all over the world.

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