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October 22, 2013

The Senate is in recess.  The House will consider the Water Resources Reform and Development Act.

The 2nd Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS Workshop) "School for Young Arctic Researchers," and "Arctic Scientists Workshop," October 21-25 2013 (Woods Hole, MA). "The Forum for Arctic Ocean Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) is an international effort to focus on enhancing collaboration and coordination among arctic marine and sea ice modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists. This collaboration is based on a set of activities starting from generating hypotheses, to planning research including both observations and modeling, and to finalizing analyses synthesizing major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments.  


The major themes of this year's workshop include, but are not limited by studies focused on:

  • Sea ice conditions (drift, thickness and concentration)
  • Atmospheric conditions and circulation regimes
  • Circulation of surface, Pacific and Atlantic water layers
  • State and future of freshwater and heat content
  • Horizontal and vertical mixing
  • Process studies and parameterizations
  • Model validation and calibration
  • Numerical improvements and algorithms
  • Ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry"

More info is available at the project's website: 


Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, October 22-23, 2013. (Fairbanks, Alaska) The next AAPC meeting will include discussion of Arctic policy recommendations and focus on science and research. Public testimony is invited from 11:15am-12:30pm Tuesday, October 22, at the UAF Butrovich Building. Please see for a draft agenda and more information. Meetings are also broadcast on



Elders, Youth Unite for Native-Issues Conference Leading into AFN Convention. Three groups huddled together in different corners of the North Star room in the Carlson Center on Monday. In each group, a handful of people worked to make the tallest, albeit shaky, tower they could by tying together individual pipe cleaners. The unorthodox task was the opening activity of an afternoon work session Monday on financial planning for college at the Elders and Youth Conference that precedes the annual Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


canadian flag UN: Canada Faces Crisis Over Indigenous Issues. Canada is facing a crisis over aboriginal issues despite years of efforts to overcome tensions and address social problems, a U.N. expert who recently visited the country said Monday. James Anaya, U.N. special rapporteur on indigenous rights, said Canada has not narrowed social disparities between aboriginal and other Canadians in recent years. He said disputes over land and natural resources continue to be a source of tension and distrust. Anchorage Daily News


Hyundai Takes Advantage of Arctic Sea Route. South Korea has taken delivery of its first cargo shipped by a Korean firm via the Northern Sea route, as the government looks to increase use of the new shipping route opened up through the Arctic. A vessel chartered by Hyundai Glovis took 35 days to deliver a 44,000 ton cargo of naphtha from Port Ust Luga in Russia to Gwangyan Port, about 350 km (220 miles) south of Seoul, arriving late Monday, the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said on Tuesday. The Maritime Executive 


S. Korea Successfully Completes Pilot Korean FlagService on Arctic Shipping Route. A Swedish oil tanker operated by a South Korean company arrived in the Asian country Tuesday after sailing through the Arctic, a company official said, successfully completing South Korea's first pilot service on the northern polar route that holds large potential for cost and time savings for local shipping companies. Yonhap News Agency


Characterization of Hazardous Ocean Ice in the Arctic. There is an increasing need for fine scale detection and characterization of hazardous ice conditions in the Arctic. ASL Environmental Sciences has recently received funding from the Canadian Space Agency to address this need under the Earth Observation Applications Development Program. The project will develop improved techniques, tools and data products that will enhance the detection and characterization of hazardous ice conditions at fine scales, based on advanced beam modes of RADARSAT-2, and the unique capabilities of moored, upward looking sonar technology. Hydro International


Arctic Policy Panel in Fairbanks Today. The Legislature's Alaska Arctic Policy Commission is scheduled to hold a two-day hearing in Fairbanks starting today. The meeting will include presentations from UAF, public and invited testimony, and work sessions. Wednesday's meeting will be held at 8 a.m. at Pike's Waterfront Lodge in the Binkley Room 2. The meeting consists of work sessions. Both days will be streamed live online at Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Massive Investment for the Russian Arctic Revealed. The Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation plans to amend the Government draft state program "Socio-economic development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation for the period until 2020" by 1 November, 2013, states the head of the ministry, Igor Slyunyaev, when speaking at the 11th General Assembly of the Northern Forum in Moscow. According to the minister, the program will cost 2-trillion Rubles, and the federal budget will provide approximately one-third and more than 1 trillion rubles will be drawn from extra-budgetary sources. MarineLink 


NSR Will Remain Main Arctic Route for Next Five Years: IMO Chief. Use of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) will grow "dramatically" in coming years, but travel on the North West Passage along the Canadian coast will be more difficult, Koji Sekimizu, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) told Russian industry news site Information & Analytical Agency PortNews (PortNews IAA). Sekimizu said the IMO must establish an international standard for vessels travelling on the NSR to promote safety, and that he hopes to adopt a mandatory Polar Code by the end of 2014 that could come into force in 2016 or early 2017. Ship and Bunker


Netherlands Seeks court Assistance on Greenpeace Activists in Russia. The Netherlands has asked the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to order Russia to release 30 people detained during an environmental protest. Judges have so far denied bail to all of them. Deutsche Welle


Aglukkaq Nunavut MP Defends Her Government's Throne Speech. Although there was no mention of climate change in the Conservative government's throne speech Oct. 16, Leona Aglukkaq, the Nunavut MP, federal environment minister and minister responsible for the Arctic Council, acknowledged that "the science is very clear" that global warming is occurring. In a brief interview from Ottawa Oct. 18, Aglukkaq emphasized statements she made in the House of Commons the day before, in response to questions from NDP MP Meagan Leslie, who questioned the minister's knowledge and commitment to "taking immediate action" on greenhouse gas emissions. Nunatsiaq Online


High North or High Tension? (Opinion) Canadian General Walt Natynczyk, the former chief of Canada's armed forces, was once asked what his response would be if the Canadian Arctic was ever invaded. With a very slight twinkle in his eye he said, "If someone was foolish enough to attack us in the High North, my first duty would be search and rescue." Good humor aside, the general's point is reasonably well taken. The likelihood of a conventional offensive military operation in the Arctic is very low, despite some commentators' overheated rhetoric. While there are many diplomatic and ecological challenges, the odds are good that the international community will eventually find its way to a true zone of cooperation around the Arctic Circle and manage to avoid turning the region -- the last frontier on Earth -- into a zone of needless conflict. But there are issues that must be addressed as competition rises in the High North if we are to avoid high tension. Foreign Policy

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was consider yesterday.

Future Events

 17th Sitka WhaleFest: "Arctic Sea Change: What's Ahead?" October 31 - November 3, 2013, (Sitka, Alaska). "Sitka WhaleFest presents a unique science symposium blending local knowledge and scientific inquiry concerning the rich marine environment of our northern oceans. Surrounded by community and cultural activities, the weekend events include symposium lectures, interactive student sessions, marine wildlife cruises with scientists, a marine-themed artisan market, music, local foods, student art show, and a fun run/walk."


"The Arctic is changing. This is an indisputable fact. How the people and animals who depend upon the Arctic will adapt to change is an open question. How will narwhals and polar bears cope with less summer ice? Bowhead whales may have their world rocked when humpbacks, fins and other baleen whales begin - they already are - feeding in their backyard. The resource users of the Arctic will need to make adjustments and changes to live in this new world. Who will be the sea winners and sea losers? These are questions we will discuss with the experts who are passionate about the Arctic."

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." 


Maritime & Arctic Security Conference (MAS13), November 12-13, 2013 (St. John's, NL, Canada). "For decades the Arctic has received increasing attention from the international community related to factors/considerations such as environmental, geopolitical, strategic, and security. More recently with shrinking Arctic ice leading to the pursuance of off-shore resources and the

opening of northern shipping routes, over a relatively short period of time we are seeing maritime security considerations start to blend with arctic security." 


"With a focus on Economic Development, Security and Public Safety, MAS13 will bring together organizations that play a key role in the execution of Maritime & Arctic Security: whether that role be Cultural, Research, Government Policy/Regulation, Education, Surveillance, Enforcement, and Technology Development/Application." 


Full Conference Agenda 

Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge Request for Proposals Released August 15.  The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Village Safe Water announces a research and development effort to seek better and more affordable methods to deliver drinking water and sewage disposal services to communities in rural Alaska. The three-month long, international solicitation calls for individuals from a variety of diverse fields - engineering, science and research, behavioral science, and innovative design - to organize as teams and submit Statements of Qualifications. Up to six of the top ranked teams will be funded to develop proposals over a six month period next year. Future phases of the project include building prototypes and testing them in lab and field settings. 


For more information about the project please: 



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."

Association of American Geographers Polar Geography Sessions, April 8-12, 2014. Tampa, Florida. Polar Geography Sessions are being planned in areas such as Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic, etc. Contact Scott Stephenson ( for more information, and see attached flyer. 


Arctic Science Summit Week April 5-8, 2014 and Arctic Observing Summit, April 9-11, Helsinki, Finland. ASSW is a gathering for Arctic research organizations. Any organization engaged in supporting and facilitating arctic research is welcome to participate. The ASSW meeting in 2014 will be arranged during April 5-8 in Helsinki Kumpula Campus, in the facilities of FMI and Physics Department of the University of Helsinki. Second circular here


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."
IceTech14: International Conference and Exhibition on Performance of Ships and Structures in Ice, July 28-31, 2014 (Banff, Alberta, Canada). "The focus will be on the general theme of performance of ships and structures in ice - but with emphasis and special sessions on looking to the future in a warming world. Coverage will include technical aspects of offshore operations in Arctic and ice populated waters, as well related ice mechanics, icebreaking and ice resistance, global warming and geopolitical effects, safety and EER, subsea facilities and operations, and other relevant subjects in a polar context particularly in view of current global concerns. Both technical papers and selected panel sessions will be included. We will also continue to host a small commercial exhibition for organizations wishing to set up stand."
Abstract Submission Deadline: November 17,  2013

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