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 January 16, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session today.



Salazar, KenSalazar is Latest Departure from Obama's Energy-Environment Team. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is planning to step down from his position in March, a department official confirmed Wednesday. The 57-year-old Salazar, who resigned his Senate seat in 2009 to take the helm of the federal agency that oversees millions of acres of public lands, will return to Colorado to spend time with his family, according to the Denver Post, which first reported his departure. Roll Call



EPAEPA Issues Revised Rule on Pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday issued final revisions to a 2010 air-quality rule, saying the changes would reduce costs associated with the regulations while protecting public health.  The revisions stem from settlement agreements reached between the agency and industry groups that mounted a legal challenge following release of the original rule.  The Hill



Fish and Game Edges Closer to Releasing Bison in Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is one step closer to releasing wood bison back into Alaska. After nearly three years of negotiations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Fish and Game have come up with a draft of a special rule that would designate wood bison as a "non-essential, experimental" population in Alaska and therefore not threaten future resource development. At the same time, the draft rule allows the state to manage any future hunting or harvest of the animals. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


AK Native family drawingNative Population at Higher Risk of Illness or Death from Flu Sweeping the Nation. Influenza is now widespread in 47 states. Vaccination rates are lower among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) than in the general population, yet AI/ANs are more likely to get seriously ill from the flu, and die at a rate 1.5 to four times that of other races and ethnicities, Amy Groom of the Indian Health Service (IHS) said. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Native people died at a rate four times greater than other races and ethnic groups. According to a 2009 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and IHS study, the factors that produce a higher influenza mortality rate among AI/ANs are unknown but might include higher prevalence of underlying chronic health conditions, and delayed access to health care. Indian Country Today


DFO Insists Nunavut Turbot Stocks are Still Healthy: Area manager won't comment on small fish protocol violations. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans doesn't have much to say about allegations made recently by the Arctic Fisheries Alliance that bottom trawling vessels are violating the department's 15-per-cent small fish protocol for the Nunavut turbot fishery. But Larry Dow, DFO's area director for the Eastern Arctic, said Jan. 16 that his department believes the stock is healthy. Nunatsiaq Online 


Polar bearBear Statue Gives Trade Ban Teeth. A life-size sculpture of a huge polar bear has been unveiled near the centre of London as part of a bid to rally politicians in Britain and Europe to back a global trade ban on rugs and other products derived from the iconic Arctic animal - a plan strongly opposed by the Canadian government and Inuit communities that rely on income derived from what they consider a sustainable harvest. The issue is coming to a head in advance of a major international meeting that begins March 3 in Thailand, where delegates from Canada and other signatories of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna - CITES - are expected to debate the risks of a continued trade in polar bear parts at a time when climate change is seen by some experts as a serious threat to the creature's existence. The Province


Russia Roars Ahead in Race to Development Arctic Shipping Route. The new headquarters for the Northern Sea Route (NSR) will open in Moscow on January 28. The new, state-owned enterprise will have a budget of 35 million rubles (about $1.1 million) and will set forth tariffs and regulations regarding "navigation safety and the prevention, reduction, and control of pollution in the marine environment," according to a July 2012 law passed by the State Duma on the regulation of commercial navigation in the NSR. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Events                      


Arctic Frontiers, January 20-25, 2013. (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is organized as an independent network and a leading meeting place for pan-arctic issues. The network was established in 2006 and later extended. Arctic Frontiers will host the conference to consider three main scientific topics. Geopolitics in a Changing Arctic; Marine Harvesting in the Arctic; and Arctic Marine Productivity. 


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013, Anchorage. Since 2002, scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond have come to the Symposium to communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. Researchers and students in marine science re-connect with old colleagues and meet new ones. Plenary and poster sessions feature a broad spectrum of ocean science. Hear the latest in the fields of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. The Symposium also features compelling keynote speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) Workshop Collaborative Research Approaches: case studies and lessons learned. Anchorage, Hotel Captain Cook, Club Room 1, 10 am to noon, Jan. 25th

The value of collaboration among research organizations is broadly recognized, and there are numerous examples of collaboration occurring at different scales.  Nevertheless, research entities differ in their missions, funding structures, timelines, and processes.  While differences are necessary and frequently beneficial, they sometimes function as barriers to partnerships that might otherwise advance science and inform decisions.  This workshop will feature panelists (see below) representing an array of partnerships in the region who will describe the workings of their collaboration as well as underlying factors, their successes, and challenges that they face.  The audience will then be asked to join the panelists in an exploration of commonalities among the case studies.



Brendan P. Kelly, Office of Sci. & Tech. Policy, Exec. Office of the President (phone)
Jim Kendall, AK Regional Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Mike Macrander, Science Team Leader, Shell Alaska
John Payne, North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI)
Taqulik Hepa, Director, North Slope Borough (NSB) (to be confirmed)
Francis Weise, Science Director, North Pacific Research Board (NPRB)  


Development of a 5-Year Strategic Plan for Oil Spill Research in Canadian Arctic Waters, January 28-29, 2013, Calgary. This workshop is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF), a research program which sponsors environmental and social studies pertaining petroleum exploration, development, and production activities on frontier lands. The ESRF is directed by a joint government, industry and public management board and is administered by the secretariat, which resides in the Office of Energy Research and Development, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The workshop is held in an effort to produce a 5-year strategic plan for oil spill research in Canadian Arctic marine waters.


Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013, Anchorage. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.


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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