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June 12, 2013


Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Workshops, June 10-14, 2013 (Reykjavik, Iceland). PAME hosts 3 workshops: a scoping workshop for the revision of the 2004 Arctic Marine Strategic Plan; an AMSA II(C)/AMSA II(D)-PSSA bridging workshop; and an ecosystem Approach to Management workshop.


A Top of the World Conference, June 12-13 (Barrow, Alaska). The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will meet in Barrow. Agenda items include the Indigenous Stakeholders Forum, remarks by Sens. Begich and Murkowski and Alaska Lt. Gov. Treadwell, and an update on the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. You can view this Conference through the web-stream at or listen by phone at (855) 463-5009.

What to make of a warming plateau. "As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming. The rise in the surface temperature of Earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace." New York Times 


arcticcouncil Arctic resources drawing outsider states in. "On May 15, the eight member states and six permanent participants of the Arctic Council granted six non-Arctic states permanent observer status: China, Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore, and Italy. The admittance of six states that are geographically removed from the Arctic has raised concerns that the council's core values of environmental protection and sustainable development will be diluted. Although observers on the council do not have voting rights, they do have the ability to make proposals and influence policy... Much of the concern is driven by the belief that the energy demands of rising economic superpowers, notably China and India, will have deleterious environmental impacts." Winnipeg Free Press 


Norway awards Arctic oil licences in northwards push. "Norway awarded 24 oil and gas exploration licences on Wednesday, mostly in the Arctic Barents Sea, potentially offering some impetus to a northward push in the search for energy that has been held back by rising costs and taxes. It granted licences to 29 companies, including international majors Royal Dutch Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, Total and local heavyweight Statoil, in hopes of reviving oil production that is on course to fall to a 25-year low this year." Reuters 


Alyeska president talks oil throughput at luncheon. "As oil production continues to drop, the costs to operate the trans-Alaska oil pipeline are continuing to rise, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. President Thomas Barrett said Tuesday. Speaking to the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce's weekly luncheon, Barrett said dropping throughput has raised issues along the 800 miles of the pipeline, from wax buildup inside the line and snow buildup on cooler storage containers." Fairbanks News-Miner 


Alaska Flag Deadline looming, Alaska oil tax repeal petition gains momentum. "In the wake of announcements by BP and other oil majors of large investments in Alaska, opponents of Senate Bill 21 that cuts Alaska's oil taxes are racing to gather signatures for a repeal referendum. The bill's supporters, meanwhile, are mobilizing to keep the new tax system in place. If SB 21's opponents can collect 30,169 signatures, equivalent to 10 percent of voter turnout in the 2012 general election, by the July 13 deadline, as well as fulfill geographic requirements, the referendum will appear on the August 2014 primary ballot. SB 21 is set to take effect this coming January." Alaska Dispatch 


Canada's Northwest Territories investigating medevac response time. "The health department in Canada's Northwest Territories is investigating why it took five hours for a medevac to arrive in the community of Trout Lake after a boating crash two weeks ago. Air Tindi has King Air outfitted as medevacs to respond to emergencies, but Trout Lake is one of three communities that doesn't have a runway long enough for that type of plane to land." Alaska Dispatch 


Q&A: Scientist Doug Wallace has an ocean of concerns about climate. Based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Dr. Wallace, the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology, gives a Q&A on his research. "I do have a concern right now that, while climate change in the Arctic is an economic opportunity, somebody is going to pay the price and that could include Canadians as well." The Globe and Mail 


Russian rescue mission reaches drifting North Pole station. "A Russian nuclear icebreaker has reached a drifting polar research station and is preparing to evacuate its stranded scientists, a spokesman for the ship's operator Atomflot said on Monday. 'The trip to the ice floe took seven and a half days,' the spokesman said, adding the icebreaker Yamal forced its way through the ice at speeds up to 8 knots (15 km/h). The researchers and equipment from the North Pole 40 (SP-40) station are to be evacuated to the Russian Arctic city of Murmansk. RIA Novosti 


Arctic governments stand by as deadly pollution spews from Russia's Nikel mine. "The nickel mine in the aptly named town of Nikel in northwestern Russia is usually notable for three things: it's big, it's a massive source of pollution, and, for more than 20 years, it's defied all attempts to change...The presence of organizations such as the Arctic Council and the Barents Council means countries are increasingly trying to tackle Arctic issues as a group, but disagreements still arise." Nunatsiaq Online 


How much carbon can the world's forests absorb? "According to this analysis, intact forests and those re-growing after disturbance (like harvesting or windthrow) sequestered around 4 billion tonnes of carbon per year over the measurement period-equivalent to almost 60% of emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production combined." 


As Arctic ice melts, disease spreads. "Claire Heffernan, a veterinarian and a specialist in global health and disease interaction between animals and humans, said that as the climate warms in Arctic regions, more and more diseases from Europe and elsewhere are spreading there, threatening both animal and human populations." 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


The House Committee on Natural Resources will markup as many as 14 bills today. Items of note in this slate are:
  • H.R. 740 "Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act" (Young of AK): To provide for the settlement of certain claims under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. 
  • H.R. 1548 "Native American Energy Act" (Young of AK): To facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing Federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands, and for other purposes. 
  • H.R. 2231 "Offshore Energy and Jobs Act" (Hastings of WA): To amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to increase energy exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf, provide for equitable revenue sharing for all coastal States, implement the reorganization of the functions of the former Minerals Management Service into distinct and separate agencies, and for other purposes.
To see the full agenda or watch the live webcast, visit the Committee Site

Future Events


**New This Week** 
White House Roundtable Discussion with Federal Government Officials, National Strategy for the Arctic Region, June 14 (Gorsuch Commons #107, Univ. of Alaska Anchorage, 2:00-5:00 p.m.).
"On May 10, 2013, the FranUlmer President
signed the National Strategy for the Arctic Region. At that time - recognizing that successful implementation of the National Strategy will depend upon productive collegial engagement with Alaska Natives, the State of Alaska, Members of Alaska's congressional delegation, and other key stakeholders - the White House announced that it would host initial meetings in Alaska in June to discuss how best to move forward. Please join us for a roundtable moderated by Fran Ulmer, Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission." 

Participants include:
  • Nancy Sutley (Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality)
  • Kathy Sullivan (Acting Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
  • David Hayes (Deputy Secretary of the Interior)
  • Tommy P. Beaudreau (Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)
  • Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo (U.S. Coast Guard)
  • Ambassador David Balton (Department of State)
  • Tony Ceraolo (Director, Maritime Security & Director, Arctic Region Policy, National Security Staff)
  • Brendan P. Kelly (Assist. Director, Polar Science, Office of Science & Technology Policy, EOP)


For further information, please contact:

Brendan P. Kelly                                           Fran Ulmer               or        



**New This Week** NOAA Arctic Science Days, June 19-20, 2013, 1-5 p.m. (Silver Spring, MD). "The NOAA Arctic Task Force will be hosting Arctic Science days for two afternoons to learn about the range of activities NOAA has going on in the Arctic region. These two afternoon sessions will be framed around the six goals laid out in NOAA's Arctic Vision and Strategy. On Wednesday, we will cover sea ice and weather prediction, as well as basic scientific research. Thursday will focus on partnerships, stewardship, as well as navigation and emergency response." Location: Silver Spring Metro Center, Building 31315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, Room 12836. Remote webinar access will be made available for this event.

AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013 (Washington, DC).   AGU logo

"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. See the 6/25 forum titled 'US Government Investment in Arctic Change Research.' The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D.C.-based international nonprofit scientific association." The USARC is a co-sponsor of the Arctic forum, through ARCUS.


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."

"The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) will co-host this follow-on 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. Invited speakers include nationally and internationally recognized experts on Arctic observations, climate change, and maritime operations."

101st Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 26-27, 2013 (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. 


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 workship 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."


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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