Arctic Update Header
October 19, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session. 



SARIn a warming Arctic, U.S. Faces New Security and Safety Concerns. In past years, these remote gray waters of the Alaskan Arctic saw little more than the occasional cargo barge and Eskimo whaling boat. No more. This summer, when the US Coast Guard cutter Bertholf was monitoring shipping traffic along the desolate tundra coast, its radar displays were often brightly lighted with mysterious targets. There were oil drilling rigs, research vessels, fuel barges, small cruise ships. A few were sailboats that had ventured through the Northwest Passage above Canada. On a single day in August, 95 ships were detected between Prudhoe Bay and Wainwright off America's least defended coastline, and for some of them, Coast Guard officials had no idea what the vessels were carrying or who was on them. LA Times


hillary clintonClinton: Rules of road needed to prevent Arctic 'catastrophe.' Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that international collaboration will be vital as melting sea ice opens up new shipping and oil-and-gas drilling opportunities in the Arctic. "Some of our energy diplomacy is focused on remote areas like the Arctic, a frontier of unexplored oil-and-gas deposits and a potential environmental catastrophe," Clinton said during a wide-ranging speech on energy diplomacy at Georgetown University. The Hill


Should Alaska Native Elders be Exempt from Fishing Bans? The state's largest Alaska Native organization will consider a slew of proposals on hunting and fishing rights this week in Anchorage, including a plan that would allow Native elders to fish for food when and wherever they want. That proposal, authored by the Bethel-based Association of Village Council Presidents, is among 43 resolutions to be considered as the Alaska Federation of Natives convention resumes Friday. Anchorage Daily News


AK Native family drawingAFN Convention Focuses on Fallout of Week King Salmon Runs. Gov. Sean Parnell told a convention room full of Alaska Natives on Thursday about something they're already keenly aware of: It's been a tough year for king salmon runs. Parnell was among speakers opening the annual convention of Alaska Federation of Natives in Anchorage. "I've been very concerned about how some of you, some of our neighbors, how many Alaskans are going to struggle through this winter," Parnell told the crowd. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Alaska's Congressional Delegation to Address the Alaska Federation of Natives. A dialogue with members of the state's congressional delegation will be held on Friday as the annual Alaska Federation of Natives convention continues in Anchorage. The largest gathering of Alaska Natives in the states continues through Saturday at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage. The meeting with members of the state's congressional delegation is set for 2 p.m. Friday. Separately, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will address the convention Friday morning. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is scheduled to speak Saturday afternoon. U.S. Rep. Don Young spoke Thursday. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Shell in ChukchiShell in US Talks to Extend Arctic Leases. Royal Dutch Shell, the European oil company, has been in talks with the US government over extending its leases for oil development in the Arctic seas north of Alaska, after its drilling program was held up by legal actions and objections from regulators. The first of Shell's Arctic leases to expire will run out in 2015 and the company has begun talking to the US interior department in the hopes of agreeing early extensions to its drilling rights. Pete Slaiby, Shell's vice-president for Alaska, said: "I strongly suggest that the Department of the Interior needs to be more sensitive to the fact that we have struggled with a number of legal and regulatory challenges." Financial Times

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


inuitconferencelogoArctic/Inuit/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World; October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature.  


Climate Change: The Arctic as an Emerging Market, October 29, 2012. As part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science and Society: Global Challenges series, Jed Hamilton, senior Arctic consultant with Exxon Mobil; Dr. Julieanne Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Date Center; and Dr. John Farrell of the US Arctic Research Commission will discuss the Arctic as an emerging market.


Foreign Policy Panel Debate: "Is the Law of the Sea Treaty in the United States' Best Interests?" October 30, 2012. The American Academy of Diplomacy and the World Affairs Council cosponsor a panel discussion on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.  


U.S.-Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum (2012) Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum 2012, November 13-15, 2012. The Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum is a biannual event with representation from government, industry, academia, Aboriginal groups, and northerners from both Canada and the United States. The forum provides an opportunity for United States and Canadian decision makers, regulators, Aboriginals, industry members, non-governmental organizations and scientists to discuss current scientific research and future directions for northern oil and gas activities. The focus is on technical, scientific, and engineering research that can be applied to support management and regulatory processes related to oil and gas exploration and development in the North. The North Slope Science Initiative and the U.S. Department of the Interior is hosting, in partnership with our counterparts in Canada and the United States, the third United States - Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum from November 13 to 15, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska. The Forum will showcase the value of Northern scientific research in support of sound decision-making for oil and gas management. 


Arctic Transportation Infrastructure: Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, December 3-6, 2012. The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group approved a project during the Swedish Chairmanship (co-led by the United States and Iceland) to assess transportation infrastructure. The Arctic Marine and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII) seeks to evaluate Northern infrastructure -ports, airports, and response capability - by inventorying maritime and aviation assets in the Arctic. As part of this project, the Institute of the North is hosting an Arctic transportation infrastructure conference 3-6 December at the Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference theme is "Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic." Participants will include policy makers and government officials; aviation and marine subject matter experts from the private, public, independent and academic sectors; as well as community leaders and Permanent Participants.


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.

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