Arctic Update Header
 February 8, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.



House Chairman Seeks Review of Environmental Compliance Costs. The House Natural Resources chairman is asking the Government Accountability Office to analyze the costs that government agencies incur in complying with a landmark 1970 environmental law. Washington Republican Doc Hastings, along with Public Lands and Environmental Regulations Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, asked the congressional watchdog to tabulate how much such agencies as the Energy, Defense and Interior departments have spent over the past five years to meet their obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (PL 91-190). Congressional Quarterly


Jewell, Sally Murkowski May Hold Interior Nominee Over Alaska Road Dispute. The top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Thursday she may put a hold on President Barack Obama's Interior secretary nominee if the department blocks a proposed road through a remote Alaskan wildlife refuge. Alaska's Lisa Murkowski said she raised the issue of the long-sought road - which would cross the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge on Alaska's Aleutian Peninsula - in a phone conversation on Thursday with Sally Jewell, whom Obama nominated this week to replace Ken Salazar. Congressional Quarterly


Pebble Science Panel Asks for the Public's help with a short survey. Several people who attended the Keystone Center's independent science panels last October in Anchorage suggested that the Keystone Center holds future science panels somewhere in the Bristol Bay region. Keystone is now planning a 2-day science panel that is focused on wildlife, endangered species, vegetation and wetlands chapters of the Pebble Limited Partnership's Environmental Baseline Document. Keystone is considering holding the panel in April in Dillingham and has several questions that will help them accommodate participants who may attend the panel event or participate via online webstreaming. The brief survey at the link below will help them determine the best way to accommodate those who wish to participate. Anchorage Daily News


parnell Parnell Expresses Concern About Arctic Review. Gov. Sean Parnell says that if Arctic offshore exploration off Alaska is shut down this summer, the action "condemns" the region for decades. The Interior Department has announced a review of the 2012 Arctic offshore drilling season. A Shell vessel that drilled last year in the Beaufort Sea ran aground on a remote island on its way to Seattle for upgrades. Some officials, including Alaska's Natural Resources commissioner and U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, say this was a transportation issue, not a drilling issue. Anchorage Daily News


Scientists Present Lectures at UAF on the Arctic Ocean. Four renowned geoscientists will be visiting the University of Alaska Fairbanks to present their research on how the Arctic Ocean formed 140 million to 80 million years ago. The presentations will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. each Wednesday and Friday from February 6 through March 1. Wednesday seminars will take place in the Geophysical Institute's Elvey Auditorium, and Friday seminars will take place in the Pearl Berry Boyd Hall located in room 201 of the Reichardt Building. The presenters include: Carmen Gaina of the University of Olso; Debbie Hutchinson of the U.S. Geological Survey; Elizabeth Miller of Stanford University; and Ruth Jackson of the Geological Survey of Canada. Juneau Empire


Draft Results Available For First Year of Alaska Deep-Draft Arctic Port System Study. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District and Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities partnered to study locations for an enhanced Alaska Deep-Draft Arctic Port System. Draft results of the first year of the study are now available.The Corps and the state established the foundation for this study in 2008 and 2010, and built on the good work of others, such as the Northern Waters Task Force, the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment and workshops with the Institute of the North. This study could help guide deep-draft marine infrastructure development in the Arctic. Anchorage Daily News


arcticcouncil Arctic Council to Finalize Oil Spill Preparedness Agreement. This coming May, the Arctic Council will meet in Sweden to finalize an international agreement on oil spill preparedness. In the meantime, questions are multiplying about the adequacy of existing oil spill response technology to deal with arctic conditions. And one of the primary tools, dispersants, are coming under attack from the marine conservation organization, Oceana, in a scientific report that was released this week in Anchorage at the Alaska Forum on the Environment. Alaska Public Radio


Nunavut Community Marks One Year Without Killing Polar Bears Thanks to Coke-Funded Program. A small Canadian Arctic community is celebrating an unusual anniversary: One whole year without having to kill a polar bear. Arviat, a hamlet of about 2,300 on the western shore of Hudson Bay, has seen an increasing number of polar bears around the community in recent years and they've been seen stalking children and threatening sled dogs. Residents shot eight bears in 2010 and three in 2011, the National Post reported. Yahoo News


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


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.


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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