Arctic Update Header
May 2, 2013


The House and Senate are in recess this week. 


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.

Obama Nominates Pritzker for Commerce Secretary, Froman for Top Trade Post. President Barack Obama Thursday tapped longtime Democratic fundraiser and billionaire businesswoman Penny Pritzker to lead the Commerce Department and economic adviser Michael Froman as the U.S. Trade Representative in a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday morning. Obama called Pritzker "one of our country's most distinguished business leaders" and "an extraordinary civic leader" in Chicago. "She knows that what we can do is to give every business and every worker the best chance to succeed by making America a magnet for jobs." Roll Call


AK Native family drawing Traditional Cultural Tourism Growing in Alaska. Alaska Native villages in the rural 49th state of Alaska are in pursuit to increase tourism. Their culture is an important component in their approach to attract tourists to the Alaska Native villages. American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Executive Director Camille Ferguson gave a keynote presentation on growing cultural tourism in Indian Country at the Chickaloon Native Village Traditional Cultural Tourism Summit, held in her home state of Alaska on April 17 - 19. Native News Network 


Health Defects Found in Fish Exposed to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, crude oil toxicity continues to sicken a sentinel Gulf Coast fish species, according to new findings from a research team that includes a University of California, Davis, scientist. With researchers from Louisiana and South Carolina, the scientists found that Gulf killifish embryos exposed to sediments from oiled locations show developmental abnormalities, including heart defects, delayed hatching and reduced hatching success. The killifish is an environmental indicator species, or a "canary in the coal mine," used to predict broader exposures and health risks. Alaska Native News


Coast Guard Seal Coast Guard Helps Deploy Seismic Sensors. The U.S. Coast Guard recently helped placed seismic sensors along a fault near Craig in southeast Alaska. Crew from the cutter Maple worked with U.S. Geological Survey scientists to deploy 12 seismic sensors along a 28-mile section of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault last week. Anchorage Daily News



NORAD and USNORTHCOM to Meet Global Arctic Partners. With emerging political, economic and diplomatic concerns quickly arising in the Arctic, nations with a stake in the region are now investing heavily in the northern frontier to amend a long-running lack of infrastructure and assets capable of dealing with the rigors of the environment. Recognising the demand for joint force integration, senior representatives from the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) are due to address the future of Arctic maritime security alongside fellow regional partners in Copenhagen, from 21 - 23 May, with the hope of finding new avenues towards interoperable technology and tactics. Sacramento Bee


Maine Joins Alaska in Quest for Arctic Influence. ANALYSIS: On Thursday, I mentioned in a blog post that Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company, recently moved its North American hub from Norfolk, Virginia to Portland, Maine. This will be the American port's first direct connection to Europe in 33 years, according to an excellent, fact-filled article in the Press Herald, a local newspaper. Eimskip's decision is in line with its mission to "provide outstanding transportation services through a dependable transport system in the North Atlantic, as well as offering extensive worldwide network of reefer logistics services." Eimskip will also open an office and warehouse in Portland. According to the Press Herald, Eimskip has also been in discussions with Pan Am Railways to achieve freight access to North American markets. Pan Am plans to extend its railways 1,500 feet to reach the port, creating much-needed intermodal capabilities. Building on the momentum of the new port activities, Icelandic President Olafur Gr