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January 23, 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.




Levin Again Resists Call to Open Up Senate Defense Markup Process. Retiring House Armed Services Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., has made transparency a hallmark of the National Defense Authorization Act process during his brief tenure at the helm of the committee. Shortly after taking the gavel in 2011, McKeon announced that full text of the legislation would be available online in advance of subcommittee and full committee meetings. The House NDAA markup has been largely open to press, public and lobbyists. Debate and votes can be watched online, with rare exceptions for classified matters. Roll Call


Admiral Ostebo Outlines USCG's Plan for Western Alaska. Coast Guard Admiral Thomas Ostebo visited Nome last week to outline summer plans for Western Alaska. The plans are part of the Coast Guard's Alaska operation for the year, officially titled Arctic Shield 2014. Nome should expect a regular stream of Coast Guard ships pulling in for supplies, fuel, and crew changes. Alaska Public Radio


DEC: Fukushima Radiation Not 'Concern' for Alaska. Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has not been "anything of concern" in Alaska since the 2011 tsunami, the state commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation told lawmakers on Wednesday. Commissioner Larry Hartig said the state has not seen concerning radiation levels from tsunami debris or in the water since the event and has no plans to launch its own radiation monitoring team. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Court Rules Offshore Oil Leases in Alaska Arctic are too Flawed. In another blow to offshore oil drilling in the Alaska Arctic, a federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled in favor of environmental and Alaska Native groups and concluded the federal government failed to properly evaluate the scale of oil production that could result from a 2008 lease sale, throwing those leases into question. Royal Dutch Shell, the biggest leaseholder offshore in Alaska and the only one that's drilled in the Arctic in recent years, said only, "We are reviewing the opinion." The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Department of Interior agency that manages oil lease sales, declined to comment on "pending litigation." Anchorage Daily News


Health, Wealth and Independence. Greenland's march to economic modernisation will improve the lives of that country's people, but progress will not come without a cost, Aleqa Hammond, the country's premier, said yesterday. Speaking to the audience of the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsų, Norway, Hammond said she expected industrialisation to improve the health of Greenlanders, but she made it clear that Greenland was also preparing for the darker side of development. "Social disruption, loss of traditional values, declining mental well-being and increased suicide rates are well known to us from our recent past, and from that of our Arctic neighbours," Hammond said. Arctic Journal


[Canadian] PM Risks Isolation with Imaginary Arctic Threats. [Opinion] Since last May, Canada has chaired the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum established in 1996 by the Ottawa Declaration. It acts as the core framework for circumpolar co-operation and collaboration between the eight Arctic states and six indigenous permanent participants as they work to promote environmental protection and sustainable development across the Arctic. The Globe and Mail

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. 

Warming Arctic Development, Stewardship and Science, March 3-4, 2014 (Medford, MA, USA) The Fletch School of Tufts University will sponsor this event on the implications of the warming Arctic. The event will focus on the economic development of the High North lands in the years ahead. Topics will include: when and where will warming most likely happen; how will commercial interests approach the fragile Arctic lands and peoples; and, how will government regulations affect Arctic warming.


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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