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May 8, 2013



The Senate will consider a nomination and infrastructure legislation.  The House will consider comp time legislation. 


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.


Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic, May 7-8, 2013, Anchorage.
The US's National Research Council's Polar Research Board will hold a public meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, May 7-8 to discuss "Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic." The agenda for the meeting is here.


Should Alaska Take Over Wetlands Regulation from Feds? Alaska wants to find out if it can spur more development by taking over from the federal government the job of wetlands regulation, promising that the state won't weaken those rules. Gov. Sean Parnell wants to handle wetlands permitting better by speeding up the application and approval process, said Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan. Alaska Dispatch


Dall Sheep Predation Not Likely Cause of Dall Sheep Crash in Alaska's Chugach Mountains. Watching a small band of Dall sheep ewes with a single lamb, Tommy Levanger recalled seeing a small black speck in his peripheral vision. The speck was a golden eagle in a 50-to-60-degree dive towards the lamb. When Levanger first noticed the bird, it was still about 200 feet above him. With its wings folded against its body, Levanger said, "it looked like a missile." Flying a Robinson R44 helicopter near the headwaters of Eagle River, Levanger was hovering about 200 feet above the lamb. He had just dropped off Brianne Boan and wildlife technician Corey Stantorf, who were stalking the sheep over unstable shale, hoping to capture the one-to-two-day-old lamb. The ewes, aware that trouble was approaching on foot, were contouring across the mountain slope, away from the biologists. No one but Levanger was focused on the 15-pound golden eagle, moving at approximately 150 mph, a feather-covered battering ram. Alaska Dispatch 


Finland Creates Sanctuaries for Endangered Seals. With just over 300 left, the Saimaa seal population in Finland is teetering on the brink of extinction. Six new protection areas for the endangered Saimaa seals have been established in Finland's South Savo region. The Tornator forestry company has agreed with the South Savo Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment to set aside 94 hectares as a seal preserve. The Tornator Group owns nearly 600,000 hectares of woodland in Finland, along with holdings in Estonia and Romania. Alaska Dispatch 


NASA NASA Deploys Rover to Study Greenland's Ice Sheet. A NASA rover known as GROVER is roaming Greenland to collect data that may help scientists better understand changes to the ice sheet. GROVER, short for Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, began exploring the ice sheet on May 3 and is expected to operate until June 8, NASA said in a press release this month. "Robots like GROVER will give us a new tool for glaciology studies," said Lora Koenig, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and science advisor on the GROVER project, said in the NASA press release. Alaska Dispatch 


The Arctic is Pushed North. By use of satellite photos and field studies, the vegetation north of the 50th parallel has been studied thoroughly and compared with older data from the same area. The results are described as sensational by researchers and show that the effects of global warming are highly evident in the north. Data from the study shows that the growth season in the northern parts of the globe has expanded with up to 40 days over the last 30 years.  "Norwegian climate and vegetation as we know it today might be totally changed within some decades. The same process is happening in Siberia, in Alaska and in the northern parts of Canada. Mountain plateaus become forest land and the winter period is shorter and shorter every year", says Hans TÝmmervik at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). Barents Observer 


Nunavut to Provide More Suicide Intervention Training. The Nunavut government will partner with Nunavut Arctic College and the Nunavut Teachers' Association to provide more suicide intervention training, Premier and Education Minister Eva Aariak announced yesterday. "The department will work closely with Nunavut Arctic College to develop a rotating training schedule, so that we offer training in all communities over the next two to three years," she said in Inuktitut. CBC News 


Interior US to Release Arctic-Specific Drilling Rules Before Year End. When Royal Dutch Shell PLC sought permission from the US government to drill for oil in the icy water of the Arctic Ocean, it agreed to follow a special set of standards to control oil spills in a challenging environment. Interior Department officials now say they will ask other oil companies to follow similar protocols if they want to operate off Alaska's north coast. Interior Deputy Secretary David  Hayes said Tuesday the agency is working on Arctic-specific rules that should be proposed by the end of the year. RigZone 


arcticcouncil Arctic Council Heads to Kiruna Next Week. The modern Arctic is a busy place. New mines and crowds of tourists drawn by the changing climate jockey for space alongside traditional communities and the lands they depend on. At the crossroads of all that traffic sits the small town of Kiruna, in northern Sweden. Which makes it an appropriate backdrop for the Arctic Council meeting it hosts on May 15. Barents Observer 


Canada's Shipbuilding Program is Too Important to Run Aground on Poor Planning. Will we ever see steel cut on our promised new fleet of Arctic patrol craft and new warships for the Royal Canadian Navy? Yes, but it will require continuing political will in holding to schedules and budgets and resolve in the face of relentless criticism. Reports about the high cost for the design of the Arctic patrol craft come on the heels of the Parliamentary Budget Office warning that the new Navy supply ships are over budget and behind schedule. The Auditor General has announced he will investigate the entire procurement process. The Globe and Mail 


Most Arctic Council Applicants Pose Little Risk [Editorial] We don't know for certain if Canada will use its effective veto on the Arctic Council this month to bar the granting of observer status to the European Union, or any other applicant. But it's fair to say that Canada's Arctic Council minister, Leona Aglukkaq, now faces pressure from those who want her to use her influence to ensure Canada does just that. This pressure comes from a sizeable number of her Nunavut constituents and organizations like Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Nunatsiaq Online 


Integrated Management Strategy Called for in Changing Arctic. A federal interagency working group led by the Interior Department says an integrated management strategy is called for in the rapidly changing Arctic. The report released April 4 by Interior Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes highlights the need for a coordinated approach using best available science to integrate cultural, environmental and economic factors in decision-making about development and conservation. The report came on the heels of a March 27 Senate Oceans Subcommittee hearing held in Anchorage on Arctic marine activity chaired by Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, who said increasing traffic due to declining Arctic sea ice poses greater risks than oil and gas drilling. Alaska Native News 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events


Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.


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."


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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