Arctic Update Header
 January 3, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


After closing out the 112th Congress with one final hour, the House opens the 113th Congress with a quorum call, which will be followed by election of the speaker, the administration of the oath of office and the adoption of the House rules package. The Senate swears in new and re-elected senators. 



** Please note, access to the Anchorage Daily News now requires a subscription.


hillary clintonHillary Clinton Discharged. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has now been discharged from the hospital after three days of treatment for a blood clot near her brain. "Her medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will make a full recovery," spokesman Philippe Reines said in a statement. "She's eager to get back to the office, and we will keep you updated on her schedule as it becomes clearer in the coming days." Politico 


Sequestration Delayed Two Months. The House on Jan. 1 approved a measure that partially averts the fiscal cliff and delays until March $109 billion in automatic spending cuts across the government. The eleventh-hour deal, forged by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., easily passed the Senate early Tuesday. In the House, it passed with mostly Democratic support. Around 90 House Republicans voted for it. It now goes to President Obama for his signature. Federal Times 


Polar bearWyoming Professor Traps Polar Bears, Studies Climate Change. It's not landing on ice in a helicopter next to a sedated polar bear that worries Merav Ben-David, it's getting stuck there. In more than a decade of studying polar bears in the world's farthest reaches, she's never had to spend a night on the ice. She hopes she never will. As her career progresses, the University of Wyoming wildlife ecology professor still goes out on the ice. But, she is also working with the public. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 


Critics Say Grounding Shows Arctic Drilling Danger. The grounding of a petroleum drilling ship on a remote Alaska Island has refueled the debate about oil exploration in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, where critics for years have said the conditions are too harsh and the stakes too high to allow dangerous industrial development. The drilling sites are 1,000 miles from Coast Guard resources, and environmentalists argue offshore drilling in the Arctic's fragile ecosystem is too risky. So when a Royal Dutch Shell PLC ship went aground on New Year's Eve off an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Alaska, they pounced - saying the incident foreshadowed what will happen north of the Bering Strait if drilling is allowed. Anchorage Daily News 


SalmonFeds Sued Over Not Managing King Salmon, Halibut Bycatch Adequately. A nonprofit education organization that offers luxury eco-cruises in Southeast Alaska has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court over the new observer program for fishing vessels working Alaska waters. The complaint by The Boat Company, in Juneau, challenges the National Marine Fisheries Service's program, which is supposed to monitor the discard of non-targeted species in large-volume trawl fisheries. Alaska Dispatch 


Alleged Narwhal Tusk Smuggling Operation Broken Up; Alberta Couple Face 28 Charges. Federal environment officials in Canada and the United States have cracked an alleged smuggling operation that saw scores of narwhal tusks from the Canadian Arctic illegally shipped across the New Brunswick-Maine border in the secret compartment of a trailer. Gregory and Nina Logan of Grande Prairie, Alta., are facing 28 charges in New Brunswick in connection with the alleged export of the tusks of the narwhal, a threatened Arctic whale, to customers in the U.S. - a violation of Canadian and American laws shaped by CITES, an international treaty that regulates the commercial trade in animal parts of vulnerable species. Regina Leader-Post 


belugaStudying 'Whale Snot' To Help Protect Arctic Marine Mammals. Justin Richard spent nearly 10 years as a beluga whale trainer at Mystic Aquarium, where he taught the Arctic marine mammals to voluntarily submit to regular health screenings. But it's not so easy to conduct health screenings of wild whales. So he has taken what he learned at Mystic to the University of Rhode Island in an effort to find non-invasive ways of monitoring the health of wild beluga populations. 


Alaska Arctic Policy Commission to Address Statewide, National Arctic Issues. Kodiak's Representative Alan Austerman and Senator Gary Stevens are two members of a 20-member Alaska Arctic Policy Commission appointed to address statewide and national Arctic issues in the coming years. Alaska Public Radio  


Study: Most Arctic Species Will Benefit From Global Warming. Global warming will benefit most Arctic species, a team of scientists report in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One. According to the scientists, global warming will allow most Arctic species to expand their ranges, and no species are expected to go extinct. The findings deliver a sharp jab to global warming activists arguing Arctic warming justifies costly, government imposed economic restrictions. Forbes 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


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.


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.


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.

USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter 

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)