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June 5, 2013


The Senate is in recess for the day. The House will consider the 2014 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. 


10th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development (ISCORD 2013) (June 2-5, 2013) (Anchorage, Alaska) The International Association for Cold Regions Development Studies (IACORDS) and the Technical Council on Cold Regions Engineering of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will host a conference on "Planning for Sustainable Cold Regions." Special Keynote Sessions each day include "Bridging the Gap Between Climate Change Science and Engineering Practice"; "The Challenges of the Debris from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan"; and "Energy in Alaska - Current and Future Projects."

Opponents of Alaska oil tax legislation seek to get referendum on 2014 ballot. Organizers behind the Fairbanks effort to repeal Gov. Sean Parnell's oil tax reform legislation say their blue petition booklets are on track to get the signatures needed to get the referendum on the 2014 ballot. More than 3,500 signatures, 10 percent of voters who cast ballots in the last election, are needed in the Fairbanks area and will count toward the more than 30,000 signatures needed statewide to repeal the bill they call "a massive giveaway." Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Canada's Northwest Territories plans fiber link to Mackenzie Valley. The government in Canada's Northwest Territories plans to start construction on the fiber optic link up the Mackenzie Valley next winter. Finance Minister Michael Miltenberger says it will make the community of Inuvik a hot spot for Arctic research, and also help to better connect northerners. Alaska Dispatch 


Alaska, Hawaii delegations discuss native issues. A discussion in Washington, D.C. on native issues is continuing an alliance between congressional delegations of Alaska and Hawaii, forged by a longtime friendship between two senators. The delegations say Tuesday's round-table continues the special relationship established by Hawaii's late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and Alaska's late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Now funded, work begins to clean tsunami trash from remote Alaska beaches. Trash from Japan's huge 2011 earthquake and tsunami is littering coastal beaches, including Alaska, but only limited cleanup efforts are gearing up during the favorable summer weather season. "We're already behind the curve on that," said Chris Pallister, co-founder of Gulf of Alaska Keeper, which is using a $1 million state grant to clean up marine debris, much of which is from the tsunami, in an area around Prince William Sound. Alaska Dispatch 


Coast Guard monitoring leaky oil containers on ship from China.

A foreign cargo ship with containers oozing oil from China is being held by the Coast Guard at the Port of Valdez until the leaks can be stopped and the chemical composition of the oil determined. The leaking oil, for insulating and cooling transformers, is part of a shipment destined for Venezuela that also includes transformers, Coast Guard Lt. Allie Ferko said Tuesday from Valdez. The ship, the BBC Arizona, stopped in Valdez to deliver steel I-beams. Anchorage Daily News  


Study urges more money to help Nunavut Inuit choose better food. Many adults in Nunavut like traditional foods, but junk food and sweet drinks are also a big - and unhealthy - part of the daily diet. A recent study, which surveyed what 211 Nunavut adults in three communities ate over a one-month period, found caribou, muktuk and Arctic char are the most widely-consumed traditional foods. But it also found high-energy, nutrient-poor foods and sugar-sweetened beverages are widely consumed as well, with sugary drinks providing about three times as many calories a day than recommended. Nunatsiaq Online


New Kirkenes Declaration on cooperation in the Barents region. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the Barents Barents SeaSummit in Kirkenes has adopted a new declaration, 20 years after the start of the Barents cooperation. People-to-people cooperation remains at the core of the Barents cooperation, but the new declaration also places greater emphasis on economic cooperation and the environment. The first Kirkenes Declaration was signed in 1993 and opened the way for cooperation across borders that had previously been closed. The new declaration points out that local initiatives have been essential to the success of the Barents cooperation, and that it is still the peoples of the region who play the key role in the cooperation. Barents Nova 


House Panel Starts Marathon Markup of Defense Policy Bill. The House Armed Services Committee began its marathon markup of the annual defense authorization bill Wednesday, with lawmakers expected to differ sharply on provisions of the $638.4 billion measure that significantly exceeds budget caps allowed under sequestration. Lawmakers kicked off the markup with consideration of the Seapower and Projections Forces portion of the defense policy bill (HR 1960). That section of the bill would raise the cost limit of the Gerald R. Ford carrier, designated CVN-78, modifying the cap from $11.75 billion to $12.9 billion. The aircraft carrier, upon completion, would be the most expensive piece of military equipment ever built. Congressional Quarterly


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


S.1096, A bill to establish an Office of Rural Education Policy in the Department of Education. (Sen. Baucus, introduced and referred to committee) Summary 

Future Events


The Science and Stewardship of Coast Hazards Response in Protected Areas, June 7, 2013 (Washington, D.C.). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists in conjunction with Congressman Sam Farr and responders will highlight how they access and interpret science to keep communities safe and commerce moving through a hypothetical California-based scenario, impacting a National Marine Sanctuary, walking participants through each step of the response.  The scenario will cover:  oil spill response, marine debris tracking and removal, early Natural Resource Damage Assessment efforts, information management, and public involvement.  There will be many opportunities for audience engagement and discussion.


workshop for the revision of the 2004 Arctic Marine Strategic Plan; a 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.  More information will be available on the new AAPC website: here.


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 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.


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 for creating incentives that would facilitate the establishment of strong cargo airship business commitments for cargo airship services for customers in Alaska and other Northern areas. Workshop topic areas will look at specific actions that may be initiated.

5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and icedimArctic Maritime Operations, July 16-18, 2013 (Washington, D.C.). The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) 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 sixprevious 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 - one that 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 on offer, 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, (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.


Community Oil Spill Response in Bering and Anadyr Straits, (November 7-8, 2013) (Anchorage, Alaska). This workshop will bring together a diversity of stakeholders to advance a collective dialog 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 research scientific 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.

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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