Arctic Update Header
 January 24, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider Senate rules changes. If senators reach a deal on rules, they could take up the Sandy disaster aid bill. The House is expected to reconvene Feb. 4.


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.


UPCOMING MEETING: The Submarine Arctic Science Program, SCICEX, Science Advisory Committee is meeting in Washington, DC, February 13th-14th. The 2012 meeting considered the state of SCICEX, the value of SCICEX to federal agencies and departments as well is policy makers, strategy and future planning. The event is not open to the public. More information on SCICEX is available here.



parnellGovernor Parnell Welcomes Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod to Juneau. Governor Sean Parnell welcomed Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod to Juneau on Tuesday. The two leaders met to discuss the commonalities between Alaska and the Northwest Territories. "Exchanges with leaders of Canada's provinces are important and welcome," Governor Parnell said. "Our state and the territory both have vast natural resources; significant infrastructure needs to develop those resources to the benefit of our residents, and, most importantly, the strong spirit of the people of our respective homes." Alaska Native News 


New Film Highlights Alaska Native Suicide Prevention. In We Breathe Again, a movie in production about Alaska Native suicide-prevention work, a man talks about his suicide attempt. "I wanted to hunt. I wanted to put food aside, but I couldn't do it without a vehicle and gas money." He began drinking and finally turned a gun on himself. The last thing he remembers saying to his family before the gun went off was, "By god, I love you all." The people in the film were courageous, willing to talk about moments of anguish as well as triumph, so that others can learn from their experiences, says director and cinematographer Marsh Chamberlain. "Listening to them has been such a privilege. We Breathe Again is about serious issues, but it's also uplifting-a healing journey. Whatever our characters have been through, they're all living healthy lives now, so that hasn't been hard to do." Indian Country Today


Murkowski 2Murkowski Leads Bipartisan Senate Effort to Fight Youth Suicide. Senator Lisa Murkowski and her colleague Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today introduced the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Re-authorization with nine other Senate co-sponsors in an attempt to improve mental health services for young people and prevent youth suicides. The re-authorization will improve access to counseling for at-risk teens and promote the development of statewide suicide early intervention and prevention strategies.   It will also increase federal funding for competitive grants to help states, colleges, universities, and tribes improve mental and behavioral health counseling services. Alaska Native News 


Treadwell Speaks of Obstacles to Burgeoning Arctic at Norway Conference. With vessel traffic in the Bering Strait increasing exponentially, development across the Arctic improving, and the future of oil and gas exploration, fisheries, trade and tourism opportunities abounding, political leaders and scientists gathered this week in Norway for one of the more significant annual meetings on Arctic issues. Alaska's Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell traveled to the Norway conference, delivering a strong message: Alaska needs a way to manage and communicate with itinerant vessels traveling through the Bering Straits. "This is the age of Arctic Shipping the great explorers dreamed of," Treadwell said in a speech in Norway on Monday. "We've been given a 'new ocean' of possibilities - and dangers - and we need to do everything we can to prepare for both." Alaska Dispatch


russian flagRussia Explores Old Nuclear Waste Dumps in Arctic. The toxic legacy of the Cold War lives on in Russia's Arctic, where the Soviet military dumped many tonnes of radioactive hardware at sea. For more than a decade, Western governments have been helping Russia to remove nuclear fuel from decommissioned submarines docked in the Kola Peninsula - the region closest to Scandinavia. But further east lies an intact nuclear submarine at the bottom of the Kara Sea, and its highly enriched uranium fuel is a potential time bomb. BBC News


Science: Fresh Faces Fill House Panel's Leadership Posts. Leadership of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee is full of fresh faces. A host of junior lawmakers will be taking the helms and ranking seats on the subcommittees that oversee a variety of issues and agencies -- from NASA and U.S. EPA to weather satellites that are vital to issuing life-saving storm predictions. E&E News


Which Senate Committee Will Take the Lead on Climate Change Policy? When it comes to climate change, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is beginning to look like a scene from "Les MisÚrables" with Democrats and Republicans barricaded on opposite sides of the issue preparing to do battle. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the panel's chairwoman, has pledged to move climate change to the front burner in the 113th Congress, creating a staff position for a new counsel on climate change while scheduling hearings and preparing legislation on the issue. The panel will hold a briefing on new climate science research on Feb. 13. E&E News


Lawmakers Form Task Force to Press for Climate Change Action. Leading House and Senate advocates of congressional action on climate change announced a bicameral task force Thursday that will seek to influence Obama administration efforts to reduce carbon pollution and adapt to the impacts of an increasingly unpredictable climate. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said the group will work to raise awareness about the consequences of a warming planet and develop proposals for limiting emissions of gases linked to climate change. Congressional Quarterly


NOAAAgency Proposes Recovery Plan for Rare Right Whale. The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed a recovery plan for the endangered North Pacific right whale that focuses on finding out more about the rare species. Before whaling, the population of North Pacific right whales may have been as high as 20,000, but only about 30 North Pacific right whales remain in U.S. waters. They make up the eastern population of the species. An estimated 900 animals are in the western population off the coasts of Russia, Japan, China and Vietnam. Anchorage Daily News 


Hanabusa Named Ranking Member of Native Affairs. On Tuesday, the Democrats of the House Committee on Natural Resources voted to name U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. "I am proud to have earned the confidence of my colleagues and to have this opportunity to better serve Hawaii," Hanabusa said. "Serving as the subcommittee's ranking member is not just a personal achievement, but one for our state as well. It will give me a chance to continue advocating on behalf our nation's indigenous peoples." Honolulu Civil Beat

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Events                      


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.


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.


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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