Arctic Update Header
September 4, 2013


The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics & Environment "The Implementation Plan for the US Arctic Region Strategy," 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., September 4, 2013 (Washington, DC). Featuring:

  • Brendan Kelly, Deputy Director for Polar Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and 
  • David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, and Fisheries 

"Brendan and David will take 15 - 20 minutes to offer some background on the strategy and the process of developing the implementation plan, and will then take questions and comments. They are particularly interested in your ideas and recommendations regarding the implementation plan."


Please RSVP to Carleena Graham: graham@heinzctr.orgThose unable to attend in person can call in to the meeting using the Heinz Center Conference line:


Toll free: 1-888-757-2748 * US Toll: 1-719-359-9723 * Participant Code: 422330



Joint Statement by President Obama and Prime Minister Reinfeldt of Sweden: "Sweden and the United States stress the importance of the work of the Arctic Council. We look forward to increasing our cooperation to protect and conduct research on the Arctic environment, improving living conditions, and encouraging sustainable development in the Arctic, particularly with respect to indigenous communities." White House 



The House of Representatives and the Senate continue their last week of recess before returning September 9. 




Alaska sees record commercial salmon catch. "The commercial salmon catch in Alaska reached a record 260 million for the 2013 season as of last week, up from 221 million in 2005, officials said. During the last week of August, commercial fishermen netted about 24 million salmon, according to a state Fish and Game Department estimate. Much of this year's catch came from Southeast Alaska, with 98.4 million salmon, most of them pinks, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported." Anchorage Daily News 


US govt sees no Oil Drilling in Alaskaurgency among Arctic offshore drillers for 2014. "Oil companies appear in no hurry to return in 2014 to the ice-choked federal waters off Alaska where Royal Dutch Shell's exploration efforts foundered last year, the new head of the U.S. Interior Department said on Tuesday. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who took up the post in April, said that in meetings with the industry on her first official visit to Alaska she heard no sense of 'urgency.' 'I have not heard from any companies an urgency to go forward until they're ready and they are confident they can do it in a safe and responsible way,' she said in a news conference." Reuters 


Sea ice, winds end rowers' Northwest Passage bid early. "The four men trying to row the Northwest Passage from west to east arrived back in Vancouver this weekend after deciding to end their voyage early when sea ice and winds made their trip too difficult to complete... They were aiming to raise awareness about climate change by rowing through areas previously covered in ice, but in the end, they didn't find what they were expecting." CBC News 


Canada's NWT expects new industry will require $600 million infrastructure investment. "Canada's Northwest Territories wants to welcome heavy industry such as mining and oil and gasextraction.But territorial Industry Minister Dave Ramsay says it won't happen without a hefty investment from Canadian taxpayers. Ramsay says the N.W.T.'s requests for federal infrastructure spending add up to $600 million. The territory wants the money to improve roads, airports, bridges and other infrastructure over the next decade." Alaska Dispatch


Naval task force to Northern Sea Route. "A naval task force led by the Northern Fleet's flag ship the nuclear-powered missile cruiser 'Pyotr Veliky' yesterday left home base of Severomorsk and headed for the eastern Arctic. The campaign is part of the Ministry of Defence's and the Naval Command's initiative to fulfill the Russian state's Arctic policy, Commander of the Northern Fleet Admiral Vladimir Korolyov says to the ministry's web site. The aim is to support Russia's status as a leading Arctic power, to strengthen the country's security and ensure its economic interests in the area." Barents Observer 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events


Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Hosts "Comeback Chronicles" a Photography Exhibit by Wesley Schaefer, September 7, 2013 (Washington, DC).  The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop hosts "Comeback Chronicles," a photography exhibition by Wesley Schaefer opening on Saturday, September 7, 2013, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at 545 7th St, SE. The exhibit features a series of photographs taken by Wesley while following dog musher Lance Mackey as he prepared for, and raced the 2013 Iditarod, The Last Great Race on Earth. The show encapsulates the classic mode of transportation with modern enhancements, as well as the strong bond between human and canine.

Admission to the opening and exhibit is free. The exhibit runs until October 12, 2013. Gallery hours are: 9:30 am-9:00 pm (M-Th), 9:30 am-6:00 pm (F), and 9:00 am-2:00 pm (Sat). 


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 six previous ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International workshop 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."


Alaska World Affairs Council: "U.S. Leadership in an Emerging Arctic," 12 p.m. September 10, 

2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). The Alaska World Affairs Council will hold a Tuesday Lunch Program lecture featuring Chair of the US Arctic Research FranUlmerCommission Fran Ulmer and Ambassador David Balton, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.


RSVP to or 276-8038 by Sunday, September 8th.  


Arctic Exchange, September 16-17, 2013 (Stockholm). "The Exchange brings an evolutionary concept in networking and business information delivery. The concept 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 offered, 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, 2013 (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 Arctic Circle, an open assembly for international cooperation on Arctic issues, will hold its first gathering October 12-14, 2013, at the Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavík, Iceland. This event will facilitate working meetings across issues and organizations and provide a forum for discussions hosted by different international and Arctic institutions. Agenda topics will include emerging topics of interest, such as sea ice melt and extreme weather, security, fisheries and ecosystem management, shipping and transportation infrastructure, Arctic resources and tourism."


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: 


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 


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."


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."

USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter 

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)
External links in this publication, and on the USARC's World Wide Web site ( do not constitute endorsement by the US Arctic Research Commission of external Web sites or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities, the USARC does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. These links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this newsletter and the USARC Web site.