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November 21, 2013


Canadian Science Policy Conference: Ocean Research and Policy Panel, November 21, 2013. (Toronto, Ontario) Ocean Networks of Canada will host a panel to bring together research and policy leaders to address how ocean science can inform, promote, and implement Canadian policy in key areas such as: hazard mitigation, climate change mitigation and adaptation (particularly because of the amplified changes in the Arctic Ocean), ocean health, renewable and non-renewable resource assessment, sovereignty and security, and socio-economic development. Central to achieving this goal is establishing and strengthening strong partnerships between research organizations and federal and provincial science-based departments and agencies. Executive Director of the US Arctic Research Commission John Farrell is a member of the panel.


capital Today's Congressional Action: 

The Senate will continue consideration of the National Defense Authorization bill. The House will consider legislation regarding natural gas permitting.




Chuck Grassley Puts Hold on DHS Nominee. Another Senate Republican is blocking President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that he has placed a hold on Jeh Johnson's nomination. He said he has no plans to relent until Johnson provides him with key information about his views on immigration that several Republican senators have requested. Politico


Defense Bill Stalled as Senators Feud Over Amendments. The Senate is stumbling into a two-week Thanksgiving recess with hope fading for completing action on a defense authorization bill, which some senators said needed to be done this week in order to become law by year's end. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed cloture to limit debate on the bill just before the Senate adjourned Wednesday evening, a rather ominous sign. Roll Call


Release of Interior's Arctic Standards for Offshore Oil Development Delayed. Arctic-specific standards to guide offshore oil operations -- rules crafted in response to Shell's trouble-plagued 2012 drilling season -- will be issued later than expected, the head of a key federal agency said on Wednesday. A draft version of the new standards, initially expected by the end of the year, is now expected in early 2014, said Tommy Beaudreau, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and acting assistant Interior secretary for lands and minerals. Alaska Dispatch


Arctic Council Pledges International Cooperation to Tackle Climate Change. With an international climate change conference underway in Warsaw, Poland, the eight member states of the Arctic Council say they remain committed to work with other countries under the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. In a Nov. 20 statement addressed to the conference, the Arctic Council, chaired by Canada, said global cooperation is key to meeting its long-term goal: to hold the increase in global average temperatures below two degrees above pre-industrial levels. Nunatsiaq Online


nuunavut Auditor General: Nunavut Won't Meet Its Bilingual Education Goal. Just days after Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna declared that fixing the education system will rank as his government's top priority, the Auditor General of Canada, Michael Ferguson, has given MLAs a highly unflattering portrait of the territory's school system. "We concluded that the Government of Nunavut's Department of Education has not adequately managed most aspects of implementation of the Education Act," the report said. Nunatsiaq Online


State Department Urged by Murkowski for Detailed Arctic Agenda. During the meeting, Senator Murkowski raised the issue of defining the United States' action plan in anticipation of the United States assuming the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in May 2015, with Murkowski expressing a desire for increased activity by the State Department to be actively engaged in creating a detailed action plan.  Secretary Kerry agreed with her that a clear agenda laying out concrete goals with input from all stakeholders would be developed. Alaska Native News  

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events

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."
The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will convene to continue working on their draft of Alaska's Arctic Policy. This Preliminary Report will be submitted to the State Legislature on January 30, 2014 and will help guide the Commission's work in 2014 as they prepare to submit a final Report in January 2015. At the Anchorage meeting Commissioners will review and discuss draft Arctic policy statements, specific preliminary recommendations, and the supporting background document. See for a draft agenda and additional information as it becomes available.


Public testimony will be accepted Monday, Dec 9 from 11:15a-12:30p, limited to 3min. Supplementary written testimony can be emailed to

Meeting will be audio streamed live on


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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