Arctic Update Header
July 12, 2013
3rd Cargo Airships for Northern Operations Workshop, July 10-12, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "The 3rd Airship Workshop will follow up the achievements of last year's workshop by focusing on potential approaches and actions that would facilitate establishing strong cargo airship business commitments to serving customers in Alaska and other Northern areas. Workshops will consider specific actions that may be initiated."

Opinion: America needs an enemy in the Arctic. "Is the National Strategy for 

the Arctic Region really a strategy, though? Sure, in a generic sense. Admiral 

Wylie defines strategy as a "plan of action designed in order to achieve some 

end; a purpose together with a system of measures for its accomplishment." The Arctic strategy is light on specific ways and means for accomplishing its goals, but it gets over Wylie's bar with perhaps a micron to spare." The Diplomat


Norway weighs broadband for Arctic. "Norway may provide high-speed Internet in one of the few places on Earth where it's not available: the Arctic. The Norwegian Space Center has teamed up with Telenor Satellite Broadcasting to assess the feasibility of a new satellite system covering northern areas outside the reach of current geostationary communications satellites." Associated Press 


The northern lights and the borderless culture in the Arctic. "The northern lights belong to no one. Myth, magic or science, the aurora borealis gives darshan across nations in the region. Could this have inspired the Finnish tradition of Everyman's right, so you can move about freely in the countryside? You can camp where you like, as long as you don't disturb or litter. You can pick wild berries,  mushrooms and flowers - barring protected species - 

to your heart's content; it's free. You can fish where you like.... Everything in nature is everybody's to experience, it's everyone's right to enjoy - responsibly." Times of India 


Senate panel to hold hearing this fall on president's warming plan. "The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing this fall with the administration officials tasked with carrying out President Obama's climate change plan, its chairwoman told reporters yesterday. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was responding to EPW Committee Republicans' criticisms that no administration officials were invited to testify next week at a panel hearing on climate change science. 'I'm trying to keep politics out of this first hearing and trying to focus in on nonpolitical people who are scientists to give us an update on the science,' Boxer told reporters at the Capitol. 'But we will look at political people in the next round.'" E&E News


Coastal revenue-sharing bill to get Senate hearing. "A bill to allow coastal states to share in the revenue from offshore energy development will go before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee later this month. The July 23 hearing marks progress in a multi-year effort by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) to ensure that coastal states share in the billions of dollars in revenue from offshore oil and gas development." E&E News


Port of Anchorage expansion: 10 years gone - what now? "'The (Municipality of Anchorage) was successful in obtaining over $300 million, actually now with the state grants and bonds over $400 million, of which $300 million was spent,' said Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan. 'What's the deliverable for that $300 million? We did not get what we were supposed to be delivered in terms of a construction project.' Moving forward, Sullivan said the project could easily cost another $500 million to $800 million to build the desired 6,000 feet of new dock structure." Alaska Journal 


Nunavut neglect could damage Canada's Arctic claims. "The creation of Nunavut made headlines around the world. The 1993 agreement between Canada and the Inuit of Canada's north established a new territory covering 2 million square kilometres - eight times the size of the United Kingdom. It was supposed to be proof that Canada's treatment of Indigenous peoples had taken a new turn. As the agreement turns 20 this week, Nunavut is the site of a brewing conflict that could harm Canada's claims to the Arctic, place the legal status of billions of dollars of natural resource extraction into question, and fuel social conflict in a population that are normally among the most patriotic Canadians." 


arcticcouncil Opinion: The U.S. should prioritize the Arctic Council. Chris Estep is a student columnist from Kansas City, working as a weekly contributor for The Brenner Brief. "Shipping in the Arctic northern sea route is expected to increase by enormous amounts, and the region is rich with natural resources, like oil and natural gas. The United States would be wise to increase involvement in the Arctic Council, in order to benefit from the economic potential of the area." The Globalist 


Arctic exploration provides window on future climate change. "Climate model projections show that the Arctic Ocean will be completely ice-free by the summer by 2060. However, the record lows in sea ice extent of 2007 and 2012 demonstrated that these projections were too optimistic and some scientists think that we might see and ice free Arctic within this or the next decade. This momentous transformation will undoubtedly have important consequences for our climate, but opinions to the extent of the severity of this change vary." 


SURVEY (to help National Academies)

NAS logo


The National Research Council's Committee on Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic seeks your assistance. This committee will provide guidance on future research questions in the Arctic over the next 10-20 years, identifying emerging issues (i.e., only now becoming possible to ask or address) in different realms of Arctic science and exploring both disciplinary realms (e.g., marine, terrestrial, atmosphere, cryosphere, and social sciences) and cross cutting realms (e.g., integrated systems science and sustainability science).  


To this end, the committee kindly requests your assistance by filling out a short questionnaire (  

Thank you for taking time to provide input to this study. We request your contribution by Friday, August 23, 2013

For more info: (

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday. 


Future Events


The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) are co-hosting this symposium to address the changing state of Arctic sea ice  and associated environmental conditions vis-a-vis emerging or expected naval, maritime, and associated activities and operations in the region.


Meeting is open to all. Registration is $175. DOD participants can register and pay for this without special approval. The meeting is co-sponsored by the DOD, and in your internal request document, we've been advised that you should indicate that this activity is a "Review of Arctic Change Impacts." For Navy personnel, this means that approval by the DoN/AA is NOT needed. 


Among the many confirmed speakers are:

Alaskan Senators (Lisa Murkowski
and Mark Begich)
Murkowski Begich
USCG Commandant ADM Robert Papp & Navy Oceanographer RADM Jon White
Papp White 
NOAA's Acting Director, Kathy Sullivan, AK LT. Gov., Mead Treadwell, USARC Chair, Fran Ulmer, and Canada's Minister for Political Affairs, Sheila Riordon
SullivanTreadwell FranUlmerRiordon


"This month's guest will be 
Fran Ulmer, the Presidentially-appointed Chair of the United States Arctic Research Commission. As Alaskans know, Fran Ulmer has also been, at various times, the chancellor of UAA; the Lt. Governor of Alaska; an Alaska state legislator; and the mayor of Juneau. We'll brunch for 30 minutes, then give the floor to our speaker. Under the banner, 'What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic,' Commissioner Ulmer will address Arctic shipping, research, climate change, and oil-spill prevention and response--all followed by questions and answers from the audience."

"Presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops are held as part of the Week of the Arctic, varied in form to reach different audiences and achieve multiple goals. The Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award dinner is the signature event for the Week of the Arctic. In recent years, the Award has been given to Red Dog Mine (2012) and Jacob Adams (2011). The award was created in 2000 to recognize individuals and organizations that make outstanding contributions toward sustainable development in the Arctic. Join us as we present CH2M Hill this year's Award. The Week of the Arctic culminates on Sunday, August 18 with a champagne toast in celebration of the Governor Walter J. Hickel Day of the Arctic."

101st Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 26-27, 2013 logo with background (Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Alaska). The 101st meeting of the US Arctic Research  Commission will be held in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. The meeting agenda will be posted on the USARC website,, closer to the meeting date. 


Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, August 28-29, 2013 (Unalaska, Alaska). The 3rd meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will, among other things, continue its mission to positively influence federal Arctic policy. "Toward that end, the Commission will compile a list of all the current federal programs that directly affect Arctic Alaska and Arctic policy, and track and thoroughly investigate each program. These findings will inform the Commission's Final Report."


7th International Workshop on Ice-Drilling Technology, September 9-13, 2013 (Madison, WI). "The event is sponsored by the Ice Drilling Program Office- Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDPO-IDDO), International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), International Glaciological Society (IGS). Following in the footsteps of the six previous ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International workshop on Ice Drilling Technology will take a comprehensive look a the latest innovations in ice drilling technology, including ice coring, borehole logging, subglacial sampling, core logging and handling, and field logistics."


Arctic Exchange, September 16-17, 2013 (Stockholm). "The Exchange brings an evolutionary concept in networking and business information delivery. The concept is designed to meet specific business objectives during two days for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic communities addressing key issues such as sustainable business development and regional protection. As more and more data has confirmed that the Arctic is extremely rich in oil and gas reserves, locations such as Greenland and the Barents Sea have seen a huge growth in interest from the hydrocarbon industry. Despite the opportunities offered, there are many challenges that may hinder operations. The presence of cold temperatures, ice and a lack of infrastructure pose logistical problems that make exploration expensive and risky."


The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit, October 8-10, 2013 (Akureyri, Iceland). "The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit is a multidisciplinary event expected to draw together several hundred industry officials, scientists, academics, policymakers, energy professionals and community leaders to collaborate and share leading approaches on Arctic energy issues. Building on the work done at the highly successful 2007 Arctic Energy Summit and Technology Conference, the 2013 Summit will address energy extraction, production and transmission in the Arctic as it relates to three thematic areas: richness, resilience and responsibility.  The 2013 Summit will be hosted by the Institute of the North in cooperation with local host Arctic Portal."


The Inaugural Meeting of The Arctic Circle, October 12-14, 2013 (Reykjavik, Iceland). "The inaugural Arctic Circle will be held October 12-14, 2013. Subsequent Arctic Circle gatherings will be held in a different Arctic location each year, so that participants can become familiar with the challenges, needs and opportunities presented by these unique environments. The agenda for the first Arctic Circle gathering will include plenary sessions with international leaders on emerging topics of interest, such as: Sea ice melt and extreme weather; Security in the Arctic; Fisheries and ecosystem management; Shipping and transportation infrastructure; Arctic Resources; and Tourism."


The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) "School for Young Arctic Researchers," and "Arctic Scientists Workshop," October 21-25 2013 (Woods Hole, MA). "The Forum for Arctic Ocean Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) is an international effort to focus on enhancing collaboration and coordination among arctic marine and sea ice modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists. This collaboration is based on a set of activities starting from generating hypotheses, to planning research including both observations and modeling, and to finalizing analyses synthesizing major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments. 


The major themes of this year's workshop include, but are not limited by studies focused on:

  • Sea ice conditions (drift, thickness and concentration)
  • Atmospheric conditions and circulation regimes
  • Circulation of surface, Pacific and Atlantic water layers
  • State and future of freshwater and heat content
  • Horizontal and vertical mixing
  • Process studies and parameterizations
  • Model validation and calibration
  • Numerical improvements and algorithms
  • Ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry"

More info is available at the project's website: 


Workshop: Community Oil Spill Response in Bering and Anadyr Straits, November 7-8, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "This workshop will bring together diverse stakeholders to learn more about and respond to community desires to be part of oil spill first-response efforts that help protect food security and other local resources; come to agreement on the multiple roles local community members can play in responding to oil spills; and create an action plan for moving forward on this topic. The workshop is sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society." 


Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Rovaniemi, Finland). "The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest scientific research and knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross-cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic."


International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences, May 22-26, 2014 (Prince George, British Columbia). "The International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA) announces the 8th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VIII).  ICASS is held every three years, bringing together people from all over the world to share ideas about social science research in the Arctic. ICASS VII, held in Akureyri in June 2011, attracted 450 participants from 30 different countries.  ICASS VIII's theme is Northern Sustainabilities. By using the plural, we underscore both that "sustainability" has social, cultural, economic, political and environmental dimensions, and that definitions of the concept vary."


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