Arctic Update Header
September 5, 2013


The House of Representatives and the Senate continue their last week of recess before returning September 9. 




Tribes to Gov. Murkowski: EPA did not "self-initiate" Pebble mine Bristol Bay survey. "As the elected Tribal leaders from the villages of Ekwok, Koliganek, Dillingham, New Stuyahok, and Levelock who petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to exercise their authority under the Clean Water Act, we are thankful that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy took the time to listen to the people of Bristol Bay. We take exception to former Gov. Frank Murkowski's statement that EPA 'self-initiated' the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. That is an insult to the hard work of the Tribes to research and understand the issues and submit our request to EPA." Alaska Dispatch 


EPA, Energy Dept. chiefs to appear at House climate hearing. "House Republicans have snagged high-profile witnesses for a Sept. 18 hearing on the White House's new climate plan: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. The Energy and Commerce Committee last month asked 13 federal agencies to send their top official or a designee to testify. The EPA and the Energy Department both went with their leaders, a committee aide said Wednesday." The Hill 


The questionable Arctic bonanza - Exaggerated hopes and false images of the Arctic as "prime real estate." "Analyses, political statements and media stories about the Arctic are full of the high hopes of politicians and industry representatives concerning the economic potential of an increasingly ice-free Arctic. The common story about the changing Arctic is one of the expectation or even assuredness that the region will turn into an 'economic bonanza,' with 'hungry eyes of economic powerhouses migrat[ing] north towards the lush prospects as the polar ice caps thaw...'Interestingly, these many analyses are somehow at odds with Arctic reality given that we still have not seen the tremendous economic Arctic coming-of-age that so many have been forecasting over the last few years." Arctic Institute 


(Aurora Flight Sciences)
Aurora Flight Sciences

Aurora's Centaur completes first Arctic science campaign. "Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that its Centaur aircraft has completed a month-long science campaign led by Harvard University and the NOAA Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion Division... Between August 5, 2013 and August 30, 2013 Aurora conducted 16 flights, flying more than 60 hours for scientific data collection. Most of the flying time was at altitudes of just above 10 meters over the permafrost and coastal areas of Alaska's North Slope." MarketWired  


NOAA NOAA announces $967,000 in awards for marine debris removal projects nation-wide. "The NOAA Marine Debris Program announced on Wednesday that they have provided $967,000 through the NOAA Restoration Center to support locally driven community-based marine debris prevention and clean-up. $330,000 of those monies are slated for Alaska. The Alaska Marine Stewardship Foundation will use its allocation of $210,000 to conduct clean-ups around five communities in the Bering Sea. Those villages include Port Heiden, Nelson Lagoon, Nikolski, Saint George, and Savoonga." Alaska Native News 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events

**New This Week**

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Hosts "Comeback Chronicles" a Photography Exhibit by Wesley Schaefer, September 7, 2013 (Washington, DC).  The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop hosts "Comeback Chronicles," a photography exhibition by Wesley Schaefer opening on Saturday, September 7, 2013, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at 545 7th St, SE. The exhibit features a series of photographs taken by Wesley while following dog musher Lance Mackey as he prepared for, and raced the 2013 Iditarod, The Last Great Race on Earth. The show encapsulates the classic mode of transportation with modern enhancements, as well as the strong bond between human and canine.

Admission to the opening and exhibit is free. The exhibit runs until October 12, 2013. Gallery hours are: 9:30 am-9:00 pm (M-Th), 9:30 am-6:00 pm (F), and 9:00 am-2:00 pm (Sat). 


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."


Alaska World Affairs Council: "U.S. Leadership in an Emerging Arctic," 12 p.m. September 10, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). The Alaska World Affairs Council will hold a Tuesday Lunch Program lecture featuring Chair of the US Arctic Research 

FranUlmerCommission Fran Ulmer and Ambassador David Balton, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.


RSVP to or 276-8038 by Sunday, September 8th.  


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 Arctic Circle, an open assembly for international cooperation on Arctic issues, will hold its first gathering October 12-14, 2013, at the Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. This event will facilitate working meetings across issues and organizations and provide a forum for discussions hosted by different international and Arctic institutions. Agenda topics will include emerging topics of interest, such as sea ice melt and extreme weather, security, fisheries and ecosystem management, shipping and transportation infrastructure, Arctic resources and tourism."


**New This Week**
International Forum on Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems, October 15-16, 2013 (Tokyo, Japan). "The Forum will cover topics on effective polar data management, including submission of metadata and data, sharing of data to facilitate new interdisciplinary science, and long-term preservation and stewardship of data from a global viewpoint. Presentations on the successes and challenges encountered during IPY will highlight not only the best practices learned but also what must yet be done to ensure the data legacy of IPY. 

Presenters from all scientific disciplines are welcome, and interdisciplinary data management topics are 
especially encouraged. A significant outcome of the Forum will be the development of a new strategy and structure for the Arctic Data Coordination Network under the auspices of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON), IASC, and the Arctic Council. Fruitful discussions between the polar data community (SC-ADM, NADC, and SAON) and WDS-oriented contributors on data management issues are expected to give new horizons on data management and to forge interdisciplinary relationships. In particular, a new plan for polar data archives, such as PIC cloud, is expected to be sufficiently promoted."


Draft Agenda 


Registration closes September 30.


The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) "School for Young Arctic Researchers," and "Arctic Scientists Workshop," 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: 


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."


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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