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August 21, 2013


The House of Representatives and the Senate remain on recess through September 9th.  



USCG Proceedings: Summer 2013. "The United States Coast Guard released the online version of the Summer 2013 issue of its magazine 'Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council, the Coast Guard Journal of Safety at Sea.' This edition focuses on the issues and opportunities presented by an opening Arctic, including an article 'Arctic Workshop' detailing the 'Operating in the Arctic: Supporting U.S. Coast Guard Challenges Through Research' Department of Homeland Security and US Arctic Research Commission collaborative workshop." USCG Proceedings 



Oil and Gas Producers issue "Good Practices Guide for the Arctic." "This new good practice guide, prepared by experts from some of the leading companies with Arctic interests, consolidates and updates two previous documents covering onshore activities (1993) and offshore (2002). The good practices featured in the report run the gamut from the earliest pre-bid risk assessments studies to 

decommissioning and restoration; taking in the essential phases of exploration and appraisal, and development and operations. It complements the Arctic offshore oil and gas guidelines of the Arctic Council (2009)." OGP  


The full guide is available here.


Swedish police clear Saami blockade at huge Arctic iron project. "Saami in Arctic Sweden clashed again with police Aug. 21 when police attempted to break the Saami blockade of an access road to the site of a huge iron mine project... Since July, Saami have been at a blockade set up to prevent workers from Beowulf Mining PLC and its Swedish subsidiary, Jokkmokk Iron Mines AB, from continuing their drilling and exploration project in Gállok, not far from Jokkmokk, a town of 3,000 located just above the Arctic Circle." Nunatsiaq Online 


Oil majors eye oil, gas off Arctic Jan Mayen island. "An additional eight oil firms, including majors BP and ConocoPhillips, are interested in the potential oil resources off Jan Mayen island in the Arctic, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Wednesday. The agency announced more buyers of seismic surveys for the island's offshore areas. The eight companies are: BP, ConocoPhillips, Statoil, DONG Energy, ENI , OMV, GdF Suez and BG." Reuters 


Russia denies Greenpeace icebreaker entry to Arctic waters for oil drilling protest. "Russia has blocked a Greenpeace ship from entering Arctic waters where the environmentalist group was planning to protest against oil exploration activities by Russian oil company Rosneft and ExxonMobil, the group said Wednesday. Russian authorities had denied the icebreaker Arctic Sunrise entry to the Northern Sea Route, citing questions over the vessel's ice strengthening, Greenpeace said in a statement." Washington Post 


Report warns of "glaring weaknesses" in Arctic rescue system. "Prime Minister Stephen Harper is touting the Canadian Rangers as a pillar of search and rescue in the North - even as a newly released defence report warns of 'glaring weaknesses' in Canada's ability to respond to Arctic emergencies." City News 


Editorial: Stephen Harper's talk of 'Arctic power' needs matching investment. "To his credit Harper is personally invested in the Far North. During his seven years in office he has promoted Canada an 'Arctic power' that aims to play a 'robust leadership role' in the region. He has rolled out one major promise after another to assert our claims. Skilfully playing the sovereignty card, he promised early on to spend $3.5 billion on three heavy troop-carrying icebreakers capable of operating in Arctic waters, plus a deepwater military port at Nanisivik on Baffin Island, a dedicated military training centre and a remote-sensing system to track foreign vessels." The Star 


Study finds loss of sea ice causes ecological changes. "A new paper co-written by UM associate professor Mark Hebblewhite details ecological changes caused by a loss of Arctic sea ice. The paper concludes that the loss of sea ice obviously will impact the marine food web and the marine mammals that depend on sea ice habitat. Other major ecological changes in adjacent land-based habitats and species also will occur because of warming oceans." 


The Arctic in World Affairs: A North Pacific Dialogue on Arctic Marine Issues. This East-West Center publication "addresses five major themes relating to the maritime Arctic: potential Arctic shipping, Arctic marine environmental protection, Arctic marine living resources, potential Arctic oil and gas development, and informal Arctic governance mechanisms. Bringing together prominent Arctic experts from the three North Pacific Arctic coastal states (Canada, Russia, and the US) and three leading North Pacific non-Arctic states (China, Japan, and Korea), the book goes beyond generalities: it addresses the details of major concerns in an effort to identify practical solutions to Arctic marine issues and move them from paper to practice." East-West Center 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events

logo with background(Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Alaska).  The 101st meeting of the US Arctic Research  Commission will be held in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. The meeting's draft agenda is now available here.


You can also view the 101st Commission Meeting announcement in this entry at the Federal Register.



Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, August 28-29, 2013 (Unalaska, Alaska). The 3rd meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will, among other things, continue its mission to positively influence federal Arctic policy. "Toward that end, the Commission will compile a list of all the current federal programs that directly affect Arctic Alaska and Arctic policy, and track and thoroughly investigate each program. These findings will inform the Commission's Final Report."


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."


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 inaugural Arctic Circle will be held October 12-14, 2013. Subsequent Arctic Circle gatherings will be held in a different Arctic location each year, so that participants can become familiar with the challenges, needs and opportunities presented by these unique environments. The agenda for the first Arctic Circle gathering will include plenary sessions with international leaders on emerging topics of interest, such as: Sea ice melt and extreme weather; Security in the Arctic; Fisheries and ecosystem management; Shipping and transportation infrastructure; Arctic Resources; and Tourism."


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: 


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." 


**New This Week**

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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