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October 23, 2013

The Senate is in recess.  The House will consider the Water Resources Reform and Development Act.

Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, October 22-23, 2013. (Fairbanks, Alaska) The next AAPC meeting will include discussion of Arctic policy recommendations and focus on science and research. Public testimony is invited from 11:15am-12:30pm Tuesday, October 22, at the UAF Butrovich Building. Please see for a draft agenda and more information. Meetings are also broadcast on



Canada flag Canada's Role in Arctic Science Slipping, US Official Says. An American official says she senses "a diminishment of the priority" of science and research under Canada's chairmanship at the Arctic Council, and pledged that the United States will ensure science is a key focus when it takes over the chair position from Canada in two years. U.S. senior Arctic official Julia Gourley also cautioned that Canada's renewed focus on Arctic shipping should not include the main route itself, the Northwest Passage, while Canada and the U.S. are at odds over its legal status. The Globe and Mail


Heavy Air Pollution in Canadian Area With Cancer Spikes. Levels of contaminants higher than in some of the world's most polluted cities have been found downwind of Canada's largest oil, gas and tar sands processing zone, in a rural area where men suffer elevated rates of cancers linked to such chemicals. Science Daily  


Earth is Still Getting Hotter, and So Are the Financial Risks. What is it about the hottest decade in recorded history that's so hard to understand? The first decade of this millennium -- 2001 to 2010 -- was the warmest since measurements began 160 years ago. The earlier hottest decade was during the 1990s. And the record-breaker before that? The 1980s. These are undisputed facts. Nothing about this steady rise suggests that our planet is doing anything but warming. Yet  some people who have long resisted the consistency of this trend are now saying that climate change has "paused." In doing so, they ignore the longer trend, miss the big picture and distort the public conversation about the strength of the evidence for climate change. Alaska Dispatch 


Chinaflag Interview: China Backs Arctic Council Agenda of Environment Over Development. China agreed with the Arctic Council that development in the Arctic region should abide by local regulations and environmental requirements, according to a senior official. China pledged to make a greater contribution through its new official observer role in the council, Jia Guide, deputy director-general with the Department of Treaty and Law under China's Foreign Ministry, said Tuesday in an interview with Xinhua. Xinhua


Russia to Ignore Greenpeace Court Hearings in Hamburg. The Russian government has said it will not attend international court hearings in Hamburg over the detention of a Greenpeace ship by its border guards. Russia opted out of UN Law of the Sea dispute procedures that infringe upon sovereignty in 1997, the foreign ministry pointed out in a statement. BBC News


Norway Returns Inuit Artifacts to Arctic Canadian Community. People in Gjoa Haven, a community in Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, are celebrating the official opening of the Nattilik Heritage Center today, the new home for a number of Inuit artifacts taken from the area by a Norwegian explorer in the last century. Along with displays showing traditional Inuit living, as well as soapstone and ivory carvings, the center houses items such as traditional oil lamps, harpoons and snow knives collected by Roald Amundsen in the early 1900s. Alaska Dispatch


arctic shipping Climate Change Opens up New Era of Commerce in Alaska. Looking to train for the job of the future? Get a box of those heat packs you stick in your boots and head north of the 60 degree parallel. You may prefer your Arctic pristine, but melting ice from climate change coupled with ships equipped with new ice-breaking technology could spark a new era of commerce in the far north. But shipping in Arctic waters takes special skills. That's why Scott Hamilton, department head for the Alaska Maritime Training Center at Alaska's Institute of Technology, says it's time for more people to consider careers navigating the Arctic waters. Marketplace 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was consider yesterday.

Future Events

 17th Sitka WhaleFest: "Arctic Sea Change: What's Ahead?" October 31 - November 3, 2013, (Sitka, Alaska). "Sitka WhaleFest presents a unique science symposium blending local knowledge and scientific inquiry concerning the rich marine environment of our northern oceans. Surrounded by community and cultural activities, the weekend events include symposium lectures, interactive student sessions, marine wildlife cruises with scientists, a marine-themed artisan market, music, local foods, student art show, and a fun run/walk."


"The Arctic is changing. This is an indisputable fact. How the people and animals who depend upon the Arctic will adapt to change is an open question. How will narwhals and polar bears cope with less summer ice? Bowhead whales may have their world rocked when humpbacks, fins and other baleen whales begin - they already are - feeding in their backyard. The resource users of the Arctic will need to make adjustments and changes to live in this new world. Who will be the sea winners and sea losers? These are questions we will discuss with the experts who are passionate about the Arctic."

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." 


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 

Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge Request for Proposals Released August 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."

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

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