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January 22, 2014


Arctic Frontiers, January 19-24, 2014 (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is an international arena addressing development in the Arctic. The conference discusses how upcoming opportunities and challenges may be handled to ensure viable economic growth and societal and environmental sustainability. Annually, the conference attracts more than 1000 participants from 25 Arctic and non-arctic countries, representing science, business, politics, and civil society. The theme of the conference is 'Humans in the Arctic'. As with previous years the policy section will run for the first two days, followed by three days of science. The science section will have four parts under 2 main headings: Health, Society and Environment; and, Maritime Operational


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


capital Today's Congressional Action:   

The House and Senate are not in session.




Polar bear Lured by Bowhead Whale Scraps, Polar Bears Increasingly Coming Ashore in Arctic Alaska. Piles of bowhead whale bones and blubber left on an Arctic beach by North Slope hunters may be emerging as an important winter food source for the region's beleaguered polar bears, according to a new study. In the winter of 2010-11, more than 200 polar bears gathered at the pile of bowhead whale bones left on the beach of Point Barrow -- in Alaska's far, far north -- following the local fall subsistence hunt, said the study, published online in the current issue of the scientific journal Ursus and authored by North Slope Borough and U.S. Geological Survey biologists. Alaska Dispatch


[Alaska] Kerttula Resigning from Legislature for Stanford Fellowship. Rep. Beth Kerttula announced Tuesday that she is resigning from the Alaska Legislature for a fellowship with her alma mater, Stanford University. Her resignation will take effect Friday. She said she stepped down as minority leader Tuesday, which was also the opening day of the new legislative session. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Nunavut to Lead by Example. A Canadian architecture group has designed a 15-year development plan for Nunavut in hopes to inspire new direction for architecture in the Arctic. The collaborative project, Arctic Adaptations, addresses a range of environmental, economic and social pressures facing Nunavut and presents strategies regarding health, housing, education, and employment. Arctic Journal


Polar Bear Diet Changes as Sea Ice Melts. A series of papers recently published by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History suggests that polar bears in the warming Arctic are turning to alternate food sources. As Arctic sea ice melts earlier and freezes later each year, polar bears have a limited amount of time to hunt their historically preferred prey-ringed seal pups-and must spend more time on land. The new research indicates that at least some polar bears in the western Hudson Bay population are using flexible foraging strategies while on land, such as prey-switching and eating a mixed diet of plants and animals, as they survive in their rapidly changing environment. Science Codex


[Canadian] Coast Guard to Scope Out Shipping Lanes in Far North. The Canadian Coast Guard is set to launch a major exercise that will lay the foundation for future commercial and social activity in the Far North. Working with industry, territorial governments, northern communities and other federal departments, the coast guard plans to identify a number of Arctic sea lanes that will bear the brunt of shipping and other marine transit as the region becomes more accessible. Vancouver Sun


A Pan-Arctic Consortium. The Arctic as a region has a rising geopolitical profile. This is where the effects of climate change are at their most acute. As the sea ice melts, the rush to extract the region's vast oil and gas reserves is accelerating, bringing attendant disputes over national border lines and new concerns about impacts to the environment and the health and economies of indigenous peoples. The fishing, tourism and shipping industries are all expanding in the Arctic. In November, the Pentagon released its first-ever Arctic strategy, which described the region as "at a crucial point in its transformation from a relatively isolated region to one where receding ice is enabling increased human access." The University of the Arctic sees its mission as fostering research collaboration, joint educational programs and student and faculty mobility across the universities of the changing north. Inside Higher Ed


arctic shipping Environmental Group Calls for Arctic HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil) Ban. As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) prepares to finalize negotiations on the Polar Code for Arctic shipping, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says the absence of a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) is a flaw in the proposed code, the Barents Observer reports. "Heavy fuel oil has huge implications for environment," said Nina Jensen, WWF Norway chief executive. Ship and Bunker 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No legislative action was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events


Building Climate Solutions, January 28-30, 2014. (Washington, DC) The conference is organized by the National Council and Environment with the assistance of a variety of partnering organizations. The conference is expected to engage over 1,200 key individuals from many fields of sciences and engineering, government and policy, business and civil society to advance solutions to climate change.The conference will be organized around two areas: [1] The Built Environment; and, [2] Agriculture and Natural Resources. Under these two themes, 24 tracks connect the conference to specific initiatives led by partnering organizations that advance solutions. In this manner, participants will engage with and have lasting impact on real world responses to climate change. 


The Arctic Encounter Symposium, February 7-8, 2014 (Seattle, Washington). The goal of the Arctic Encounter Symposium is to engage participants in a focused discussion, through a balanced forum, highlighting shared interests and concerns of the United States and the global community as we look north to the last emerging frontier - the Arctic. The Symposium will incorporate a diverse group of leaders and experts to debate how a rapidly changing Arctic will impact international law, domestic policy, business and commerce, the environment, and the people of the Far North. Speakers include policy makers, industry leaders, scientists, and academic experts. The two-day Symposium will take place at Seattle University School of Law with a dinner reception at the Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59. US Arctic Research commissioners Fran Ulmer and Edward Itta will be speaking.

Arctic Technology Conference, February 10-12, 2014. (Houston, TX) Founded in 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) provides offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. The Arctic Technology Conference (ATC) is built upon OTC's successful multidisciplinary approach, with 14 technical societies and organizations. The conference is an international event focused on continuing innovative technologies and solutions needed for exploration and production of energy within the circum-Arctic.


Arctic Ambitions, February 27-28, 2014 (Girdwood, Alaska). World Trade Center Alaska will host Arctic Ambitions III: Commercial Development of the Arctic. This conference focuses solely on Arctic international trade and business opportunities. It is anticipated that about 200 business and government leaders attending next year's conference.

Arctic Ambitions III will concentrate on the theme of international trade and business opportunities that flow from resource development in the Arctic. While policy and research inform the discussion, the conference focuses on global markets, international trade and logistics. The previous two conferences brought together presenters from Canada, Finland, Norway, Russia, Korea and Alaska. USARC Chair Fran Ulmer will be a speaker. 


Arctic 2050, March 12, 2014 (Brussels, Belgium). The 4th European Marine Board Forum will bring together Arctic stakeholders from multiple sectors (science, industry, policy & governance, NGOs, etc.) to: discuss current trends and patterns of change in Arctic Ocean ecosystems, including human activity; identify possible "2050" scenarios for Arctic Change and the corresponding implications for human health and well-being; highlight key research gaps, needs and challenges in support of understanding, mitigating against, or adapting to Arctic change; stimulate dialogue across sectors to aid common understanding, collaborative actions and sustainability targets; promote a vision for a sustainable ecosystem-based management of the Arctic Ocean by 2050.


44th Annual International Arctic Workshop, March 14-16, 2014 (Boulder, CO). 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


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