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June 26, 2013


"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.
The live webcast is available for remote viewing.
Perspectives on Public Policies in the Arctic Region, International Conference on Public Policy, June 26, 2013, 8-10 a.m. (Grenoble, France).
"Developments in the Arctic have mostly been studied through defense studies, international relations, geopolitics, and to a lesser extent, economics. Public policies of Arctic states in the High North have attracted far less attention, with the exception of indigenous people's rights.


The purpose of this panel is to analyze and discuss:
  • To what extent the climate change and economic prospects in the Arctic have changed public policies
  • To what extent public policies are limiting or motivating economic development, through legislation, infrastructure development, direct or indirect subsidization, particularly in the mining and hydrocarbon sector and in transport (shipping) 
  • The capacity to act by the elected representatives at the local level, and to analyze to what extent citizens and communities are engaged in the development of public policies
  • How conflicting interests between economic sectors are considered (e.g. tourism versus mining, petroleum activities versus fisheries and traditional subsistence)
  • If public policies are shaped by regional frameworks of cooperation and international agreements and norms"


GCI will spend $26 million to bolster cable, wireless in Fairbanks. The president of General Communication Inc., better known as GCI, announced Monday the company is spending $26 million to improve wireless service and bring Internet and cable television to areas of Fairbanks where there is none. The company will spend $6 million this summer and the rest over the next five years. Alaska Dispatch 


While Obama Moves to Curb Carbon Emissions, Svalbard Prepares to Capture Them. President Obama announced his sweeping Climate Action Plan on Tuesday, stressing his commitment to use his presidential powers to require U.S. power plants to reduce their CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, a former Arctic mining town is preparing to test a cutting-edge underground "rock reservoir" to capture and store CO2. Ole Arve Misund, director of the University Centre of Svalbard (UNIS), said that while the wheels were set in motion for the project years ago, shifting energy policies in the U.S. certainly have had an influence on the development of the UNIS project, known as the CO2 Lab. Misund cited the U.S. shift away from coal as a particular impetus for the project. Barents Observer 


Juneau Glacier Looming threat in Juneau, Alaska - Mendenhall Glacier could let loose water surge. Alaska's capital city, once thought to be almost immune from the effects of global warming due to a geologic quirk, now finds itself threatened by a different global warming oddity. Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier hangs over the town's largest residential area, Mendenhall Valley. Like almost every glacier that flows out of the massive Juneau Ice Field, it's been steadily retreating for decades. But concerns are mounting that the shrinking glacier may trigger what are known as "glacial-outburst" floods, where water trapped behind glacial ice suddenly springs free and flows downhill. Eye on the Arctic 


Should aboriginal hunters in Canada have to report number of animals they take? Public hearings on a new Wildlife Act for Canada's Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) wrapped up this month. In the community of Behchoko, a committee of N.W.T. politicians made its last stop of a territory-wide tour to gather input on proposed changes to the law governing how wildlife is managed..."The one prickly issue that's continued to rise the reporting of all of the wildlife that have been taken," said Yellowknife MLA Robert Hawkins, chair of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure. "If you're a resident hunter you have to report, but under treaty rights you wouldn't have to report. So it's a difficult issue that we're going to have to deal with and a difficult issue for the territorial government to deal with." CBC News 


Tourists stranded on ice floe in Arctic Canada return to shore. Twenty tourists stranded on an ice floe drifting in Admiralty Inlet near Arctic Bay in Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, are safely back on shore, rescue officials say. The tourists, with the adventure group Arctic Kingdom, got stuck Tuesday after a large ice floe broke away, but rescue officials told CBC that the 20 walked back to shore after ice shifted and moved back toward land. There are no reports of any injuries. Eye on the Arctic 


Reading Between the Lines of Obama's Climate Change Plan. Anyone who reads a newspaper has probably heard about President Obama's climate change speech [yesterday] and seen more than enough commentary on its highlights. Instead of piling on, I thought it would be enlightening to reflect on five things that are buried in the plan released alongside the speech but could have important consequences. Council on Foreign Relations 


Obama's surprise pipeline remarks spark hopes of enviros -- and industry. About an hour before President Obama uttered his first words on climate change yesterday, no less an authority than Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) admitted she was "disappointed that there's no mention of stopping tar sands" in his speech. But as the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman and a passel of elated environmentalists soon heard, there was a mention: Obama vowed to make greenhouse gas emissions 'absolutely critical' to a final decision on Keystone XL, the 1,179-mile pipeline that has become a symbol for the growing U.S. influx of heavy Canadian oil sands crude. Now the climate activists who have enlisted the mainstream environmental movement for their fight against KXL are seizing on the president's less-than-certain embrace of their cause. EE News


Opinion: Proposed Pebble mine would make a great joke, but world isn't laughing. Three foreign mining executives walk into a bar and say to anyone who'll listen, "We want to dig one of the largest open pit mines on Earth in the middle of Alaska's world class wild salmon fishery. We promise not to hurt the fishery or interfere with the 22,000 jobs and $1.5 billion it generates each year. And one more thing: We're going to leave 10 billion tons of contaminated waste in a pond held by earthen dams taller than the Three Gorges Dam in China -- forever." A good joke? Not a joke at all. In fact, this is the scheme that London-based Anglo-American and Rio Tinto, with their Canadian partner Northern Dynasty Minerals -- called the Pebble Partnership -- have in mind for southwestern Alaska -- a gold and copper mine two miles wide and a mile deep at the headwaters of the incomparable Bristol Bay wild salmon fishery. Alaska Dispatch 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


At 10 a.m., today, June 26, the Science Space and Technology, Subcommittee on the Environment, will hold a hearing entitled "Restoring U.S. Leadership in Weather Forecasting, Part 2"


"The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will weigh in on a Republican proposal to prioritize weather forecasting over ocean and climate research Wednesday when acting Administrator Kathryn Sullivan testifies before the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Environment."



Panel 1

  • The Honorable Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel 2

  • Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Vice President for Research, Regents' Professor for Meteorology, Weathernews Chair Emeritus, University of Oklahoma
  • Dr. William Gail, Chief Technology Officer, Global Weather Corporation, President-Elect, American Meteorological Society
  • Dr. Shuyi Chen, Professor, Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami

You can view this hearing on the committee website.

Future Events


Or did you miss it? Either way, come out to the inaugural BBQ put on by the Marine Transportation community, in conjunction with the Women's Aquatic Network (WAN). 


The event will be held at the Capital Yacht Club, 1000 Water St. SW, Washington, DC 20024, on July 10th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It's accessible from the L'Enfant or Waterfront metro stops. Tickets are $20, and include hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie options, side 

dishes and two drink tickets. Register here"


"Why is this in the Arctic Daily Update?"
Because the "Marine Transportation" community includes the Committee on Marine Transportation System that is working on a report on the Arctic Marine Transportation System, here.


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) 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


Alaska State Society Brunch and Qugruk Forum with Fran Ulmer, Saturday July 20, 2013, 11 a.m. (Mr. Henry's, Washington, D.C.).  "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. 



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."


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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