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October 24, 2013

The Senate is in recess.  The House will hold a pro forma session today.



Arctic Policy Panel Wraps Up Meeting in Fairbanks. A group of lawmakers and experts wrapped up two days of work on Alaska Arctic policy and priorities in Fairbanks on Wednesday. The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission came to Fairbanks to hear from University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers and professors and to work on policy recommendations for a preliminary report due to the Legislature in 2014. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


AK Native family drawing Big Questions Get Asked on Final Day of Elders & Youth Conference. Waylon Abyo asked the question that would keep the elders talking for the next hour and a half: "How do you stay with your tradition?" Abyo, a youth from Pilot Point on the Alaska Peninsula, posed the question during the men's house gathering at the Elders and Youth Conference Wednesday morning in the Carlson Center. The men's house assembly and a parallel one for women were the final events before the closing ceremonies at the 2013 conference. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Moscow: Russia Angrily Rejects US Spying Accusations. Russia on Thursday angrily dismissed espionage accusations against a Russian cultural exchange official in Washington, saying the U.S. claims were unfounded. The FBI is looking into whether Yury Zaytsev, the head of a Russian government-run cultural exchange program, tried to recruit young Americans as intelligence assets, a U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe was still underway. Anchorage Daily News 


Federal Cuts Threaten Heathcare System for Alaska Natives. The 10-year federal "sequestration" plan of steady cuts could devastate the health care system that Alaska Natives rely on, speakers at a conference of tribal leaders said Wednesday. A 2011 law approved by Congress called for spending cuts of about $1 trillion over a decade, with most of the reductions in the so-called "discretionary" portion of the federal budget. Alaska Dispatch


High Arctic Polar Bears Putting Resolute Residents on Edge. Tabatha Mullins might be mayor of Resolute but lately, she's been busy in her other job: polar bear wrangler. Polar bears usually migrate away from the hamlet this time of year but for some reason, a number of bears have been sticking around and making residents a little nervous. Nunatsiaq Online


Norway Petroleum Safety Authority Holds Multi-National Arctic Safety Conference. The meeting is scheduled to take place on October 31st, a day prior to the Arctic Safety conference for senior executives. Participants include those with activities in the High North or Arctic regions. The five countries that have confirmed their participation so far are Russia, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Norway.

"There is a lot of standardization work and technology developments taking place in this area [the Arctic region]," said Director of Audits Finn Carlsen. The Foreigner


Witness the Arctic Fall Issue Available. This issue includes news about the SEARCH and NSF ARCSS programs; articles about natural sciences, social sciences, data management resources, and science education projects; several agency and international updates; summaries of the Arctic Research Logistics Workshop and 2013 Arctic Forum; and a note from the new board president at ARCUS. Witness the Arctic


thinice Study Shows Unprecedented Warmth in Arctic. The heat is on, at least in the Arctic. Average summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic during the last 100 years are higher now than during any century in the past 44,000 years and perhaps as long ago as 120,000 years, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. Phys.Org


International Conference Unanimous That Arctic Code is Needed. The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) recently hosted a St. Petersburg international conference 'Arctic Shipping and Offshore Activities: Responding to Safety and Environmental Challenges' . The conference was attended by key figures with interests in Arctic develoment, including the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Mr Koji Sekimizu. MarineLink


Project to Bring Lightning-Fast Internet to Remote Arctic Advances. A project calling for a transoceanic fiber-optic cable running through the Arctic between Japan and the United Kingdom -- one that could also lead to higher Internet speeds and capacity across much of Alaska -- is taking steps to secure landing licenses to tie into portions of Alaska and Canada. The Canadian company driving the 9,500-mile main line, Arctic Fibre Inc., has applied with regulators in that country for landing licenses, according to a press release from Arctic Fibre. Seven landing points have been selected in the Canadian Arctic, including Cambridge Bay. Alaska Dispatch


arcticcouncil Four New Projects Set Agenda for Arctic Council's Coming Term. After a snowy final day, Canada's Arctic Council summit has wrapped up with four new projects that will lay the groundwork for its two-year term as chair. Officials concluded talks in Whitehorse on Wednesday, pledging to study subjects such as mental illness, gender equality, marine oil-spill preparedness and "adaptation" to climate change. Canada has also pledged a focus on projects that improve the lives of Northerners. The Globe and Mail

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."

Marine Transportation System (MTS) Industry Webinar on implementation of the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, November 1, 2013 (Webinar). The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) Executive Secretariat is hosting a webinar for Arctic marine transportation interests to provide an overview and receive comments on the "National Strategy for the Arctic Region" implementation plan. The webinar is scheduled for Friday, November 1, 2013, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. (Eastern).  Presentations will be provided by NSS, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Department of State. To access the webinar, go to: Meeting number: 8773361839 Code: 7705293


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 


The World Wildlife Foundation hosts the Fuller Symposium on the Forces of Nature.
Speakers from around the world will engage in active discussion around topics including local responses to forces like land grabbing and climate change, evaluation of community conservation impacts, new technologies for catalyzing social movements, private-sector initiatives, and global policy opportunities. Edward Itta is one of the scheduled speakers. The annual Fuller Symposium convenes thought leaders in science, policy, conservation, and development to discuss innovative approaches to complex issues facing our planet. USARC Commissioner Edward Itta will present. 

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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