Arctic Update Header
 February 11, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate resumes consideration of a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act for five years. The House is not in session.



Senator Begich Re-introduces Arctic Legislation. Today, Senator Begich is expected to announce re-introduction of several Arctic bills. These include an Arctic health, Arctic science, and Arctic ambassador bills. Senator Begich presents information about these bills today, at a the Carnegie Endowment Arctic Security event in Washington, DC.


MurkowskiQ&A: Lisa Murkowski's 20/20 Vision For Energy Policy. Months ago, when the Republicans still believed they had a chance of retaking the Senate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, started to think about what she would do if she became chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. No need to worry about that. But Murkowski went ahead anyway and drew up a blueprint about how Congress might address energy issues. She unveiled the plan last week: "Energy 20/20: A Vision for America's Energy Future." The cover shows the nighttime satellite view of the United States, brightly lit almost everywhere except Alaska. Anchorage Daily News


WWH Gives Nunavut Money for Polar Bear Research: "Respecting the Traditional Cultural Rights of the Inuit Hunt." Saying they want to support polar bear research and the cultural rights of Inuit hunting, the World Wildlife Fund has contributed $111,000 to the Government of Nunavut and $82,000 to the Government of the Northwest Territories to help pay the cost of carrying out polar bear population surveys. That money was raised from individual Canadians through the "Arctic Home" campaign and matched by the Coca-Cola Company. Nunatsiaq Online  

Blubbery Shorebirds Tough Out Winter in Upper Cook Inlet. Leggy, spindle-beaked and fond of wading in the ripples along ocean beaches, sandpipers don't look like a cold weather bird.But one subspecies -- and only one -- spends winters on the frozen mudflats and ice floes of upper Cook Inlet, where low temperatures from December to February can average 10 degrees or less."It's far and away the coldest non-breeding site in the world regularly used by shorebirds in the winter," said Dan Ruthrauff, a biologist with U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center. Anchorage Daily News


Alaska FlagOfficials Looking at New Ways to Add to VPSOs. The state is looking at new ways to recruit and retain village public safety officers as it continues to struggle to fill the program's ranks.Since the start of his term, Gov. Sean Parnell has made strengthening the program a priority. But the job is tough, and the turnover rate is high.Village public safety officers, or VPSOs, serve as first responders in their communities. They don't carry guns but do have other equipment used by law enforcement officers. They can effectively be on call 24-7, and needed to respond to emergencies ranging from a crime to fire to search and rescue operation. Anchorage Daily News


Russia Does Not Produce Fuel Needed for Mistral Class Assault Ships to Operate in Arctic. RIA Novosti is reporting that the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has clarified earlier complaints regarding the ability of the French Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to operate in cold temperatures. Here is part of their report: Russia does not produce the type of fuel necessary for the French-made Mistral-class amphibious assault vessels it has ordered, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. The Mistral class are powered by electric motors supplied by diesel-powered turbogenerators, according to Ottawa Citizen 


Science Panel Report Used to Push Cruise Ship Bill After DEC Said It Wouldn't. In September, as the science panel on cruise-ship wastewater was meeting to prepare the first of its two reports, it was told by the Parnell administration's second-ranking environmental official that its work would not be used as the basis for legislation. Minutes of that Juneau meeting also show that at least one other official from the Department of Environmental Conservation assured panel members that the preliminary report then being hashed out would not be their last chance to present findings on whether cruise ships could do a better job cleaning wastewater. The official said that panel members would have ample opportunity to address additional concerns in their final report in 2015, as state law then provided. Anchorage Daily News


Army Corps, Alaska DOT Select Nome and Port Clarence for Feasibility Analysis. A new report recommends development of a deep-draft seaport to support resource development, Coast Guard operations and other activity in the increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean. And the report picks two sites for port feasibility analysis: Nome and nearby Port Clarence. Both these locations are south of the Bering Strait, gateway to the polar ocean. The draft report, titled "Alaska Deep-Draft Arctic Port System Study," is a product of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Petroleum News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.


Future Events                      


Alaska Native Language Archive, February 22, 2013, Fairbanks. Please join ANLA and the Rasmuson Library for a Grand Opening Celebration to dedicate the new ANLA public service point on the second floor of the Rasmuson Library. The event will begin with an open house featuring collections in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections, the Oral History Collection, and of course ANLA. This will be followed by a special panel session entitled Honoring Alaska's Native Languages: Past, Present, Future, reflecting on 50 years of Native language archiving at UAF.


Environmental Protection in the Arctic, March 1, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska. The Canadian Consul in Anchorage will host a discussion of environmental protection issues with David Hik, President, International Arctic Science Committee, University of Alberta; Fran Ulmer, Chair, United States Arctic Research Commission; and

Lilian Alessa, Director, NSF Alaska EPSCoR Program, University of Alaska Anchorage

Speaker TBC, Environment Canada. Email to RSVP.


Tufts Energy Conference, March 2-3, 2013, Medford, MA.Availability, accessibility, affordability, and acceptability: these "Four As" are at the core of global energy security. As energy demands increase around the world, the global community must balance the "Four As" while keeping up with need. Thanks to major innovations in extraction technologies, fossil fuels remain an available and affordable global asset. Yet climate change, geopolitical risk, and environmental impacts are changing the energy debate and challenging the acceptability of fossil fuels. In the short term, emerging green technologies often lack accessibility, availability, and affordability. TEC 2013 will explore how both developing and developed countries are working to meet their energy needs, manage geopolitical risk, and ensure energy security. Through six diverse but interconnected panels, TEC 2013 will address a number of pressing questions.


The 43rd Annual Arctic Workshop 2013, March 11-13, 2013: Amherst, Massachusetts. The workshop is an annual gathering for international researchers to present work on any aspect of high-latitude environments (past, present, and future). Organizers strive for a relaxed, friendly, and interactive experience, fostered in part by the workshop's relatively small size. Researchers are invited to present their very latest research; the abstract deadline is just a few weeks before the workshop. Student participation is strongly encouraged, with partial support available to those making presentations (limited number of slots). 


The Economist's "Arctic Summit: A New Vista for Trade Energy and the Environment," March 12, 2013. (Oslo, Norway) The event is hosted by The Economist. The Arctic Summit will discuss big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance. The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers' meeting in 2013. A high-level group of 150 policy-makers, CEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. 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. 


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.
One of them is already planned: The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) will offer a one-day career development workshop during the ASSW 2013. Details will be published closer to the event:


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics."


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. 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.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association. 

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