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Arctic Daily Update: August 2, 2013

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August 2, 2013  
 
 
 
 

North Slope Science Initiative: Request for Assistance "Scenario Planning for Energy and Resource Development on the North Slope" is now available at Grants.govThe RFA is announced as Opportunity No. L13AS00170 and is open until August 23, 2013. You can also download the RFA here.

 

"Effective decisions about research and monitoring programs (in academia, as well as in government) are most effective when based on plausible future social-ecological system expectations.  The future of Arctic America is difficult to accurately predict, particularly in an era of intense global energy development pressures and rapid climate warming, but it will surely be characterized by highly consequential and unprecedented changes.  Scenario planning is an effective tool in situations of high uncertainty and significant decision impacts.  The North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI) will be partnering with the award recipient university personnel to use scenario planning to systematically assess of a range of energy and resource extraction development scenarios for the North Slope and adjacent seas through 2040 in a manner that will contribute to our mutual understanding of the potential future state of the social-ecological systems of the North Slope and adjacent seas."

 

Note: only institutions of higher education under the Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Units (CESU), Joint Venue Venture Agreement, may respond to this opportunity.

 


Media   

     

US State Department publishes online Arctic Events Calendar. For the first time now, the US Department of State's Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs has published its Arctic Events Calendar online. Future publications will also be posted to the Arctic portal at the State Department Website. The United States will assume the Arctic Council Chairmanship in 2015-2017. State.gov (for general site) and the calendar is here.

 

Congress pushes EPA on giant Alaska mine. "Republicans in Congress hope to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from blocking the gigantic Pebble open pit mine in Alaska, proposed for one of the last places left on the globe to support huge runs of wild salmon. EPA opponents in the House of Representatives held the first congressional hearing over the proposed copper and gold mine Thursday as the contentious issue gains increasing national attention. 'A pre-emptive veto by EPA would set a dangerous precedent and could have a chilling effect on similar projects throughout the nation,' said Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun, who chaired the science and technology subcommittee hearing. 'Investors would be wary of funding projects if they believed that a federal agency could just say no at any time prior to permit applications.'" Anchorage Daily News

 

Opinion: Will Team Obama ignore the rule of law and preemptively veto Pebble mine? "Today in Washington, a landmark environmental law is under attack. Politically motivated groups are pressing the Obama administration to ignore the National Environmental Policy Act and rush a decision on a copper mine in Alaska. This lobbying and PR campaign is probably the greatest threat NEPA has faced since it became law more than 40 years ago, but public awareness is low. How has this threat gone unnoticed? Probably because the company proposing the mine - the Pebble Partnership, where I serve as CEO - isn't the one putting NEPA in danger." Fox News

 

Opinion: A Republican Case for Climate Action. "Each of us took turns over the past 43 years running the Environmental Protection Agency. We served Republican presidents, but we have a message that transcends political affiliation: the United States must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally. There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth's atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected." NY Times

 

Arctic sea ice loss could threaten even land animals. "The melting of Arctic sea ice as the climate warms is such a dramatic change to northern ecosystems that it will have a serious impact not just on ocean dwellers such as whales and seals, but land animals such as caribou and foxes, scientists say." CBC News

 

Alaska Flag Alaska panel plans summit on 'federal overreach. "A state advisory panel is holding a summit this month on Alaska's relationship with the federal government and areas of perceived overreach by the feds. Republican Sen. John Coghill of North Pole said Thursday that the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Areas isn't interested in just having a complaining session during the Aug. 12-13 summit in Anchorage. Coghill serves on the panel, and said there are several goals for the meeting. During the last session, in which the issue of perceived overreach occupied a fair bit of time in the GOP-controlled Legislature, Coghill said it became apparent there needed to be a history review to better understand agreements the state had made with the feds, as well as court cases, rather than address the issue through piecemeal resolutions." Anchorage Daily News

 

Murkowski releases Interior bill, addresses Alaska needs. "Senator Lisa Murkowski shared the results of her negotiations with Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) through the release of Friday's draft FY 2014 Senate Interior Appropriations Bill. With the Department of the Interior managing a majority of Alaska's lands, forests and waters - in addition to providing oversight of many services and programs for Alaska Natives and tribes - Murkowski was able to leverage her position as Ranking Republican on the Committee to prioritize Alaska's marine concerns, Alaska Native health care needs, legacy wells and resource development, and public safety from natural disasters like wildfires and volcanoes." Alaska Native News

 

Commanding generals visit US Army's Arctic warriors. "The tour gave these leaders an in-depth look at how Alaska's strategic location, unique training capabilities and dynamic relationship with the local civilian communities make 

U.S. Army's northern-most outposts a significant national asset and world-class 

power projection platform for military operations anywhere in the world." DVIDS

 

Walker to stage run for governor as an independent. "Anchorage attorney Bill Walker is dropping his Republican primary challenge to Gov. Sean Parnell and instead will run for governor in 2014 as an independent, he announced Thursday. At a news conference at his downtown Anchorage law office attended mainly by supporters, including Democrats, Walker said he intends to remain a registered Republican even as he faces off against Parnell and a probable Democrat." Anchorage Daily News


Legislative Action

  

Yesterday, Sen. Murkowski released the draft of the Fiscal Year 2014 Senate Interior Appropriations bill. The bill would increase funding for the EPA and Department of Interior (Bloomberg BNA). For more information, view her press release, or the full bill text


Future Events

 
**New This Week**
 
FranUlmer
"2013  Environmental Intelligence in Maritime: Preparedness for Arctic Drilling," August 8, 2013 (Anchorage, Alaska). "While Alaska remains the land of opportunity for oil and gas reserves, the challenges to access its vast reserves persist. Join NAMEPA to discuss what industry, regulators and environmental groups are doing to realize the potential of the region."
 
Invited speakers include Representative Don Young and Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer.

"Presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops are held as part of the Week of the Arctic, varied in form to reach different audiences and achieve multiple goals. The Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award dinner is the signature event for the Week of the Arctic. In recent years, the Award has been given to Red Dog Mine (2012) and Jacob Adams (2011). The award was created in 2000 to recognize individuals and organizations that make outstanding contributions toward sustainable development in the Arctic. Join us as we present CH2M Hill this year's Award. The Week of the Arctic culminates on Sunday, August 18 with a champagne toast in celebration of the Governor Walter J. Hickel Day of the Arctic."

**Updated**
 
101st Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 26-27, 2013 logo with background (Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Alaska). The 101st meeting of the US Arctic Research  Commission will be held in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska. A meeting agenda is now posted on the USARC website, www.arctic.gov

 

You can also view the 101st Commission Meeting announcement in this entry at the Federal Register.

 

Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Meeting, August 28-29, 2013 (Unalaska, Alaska). The 3rd meeting of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will, among other things, continue its mission to positively influence federal Arctic policy. "Toward that end, the Commission will compile a list of all the current federal programs that directly affect Arctic Alaska and Arctic policy, and track and thoroughly investigate each program. These findings will inform the Commission's Final Report."

 

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."

 

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 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."

  

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: www.whoi.edu/projects/FAMOS

 

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." 

 

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 • 4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510 • Arlington, Virginia 22203 USA • 703.525.0111 • info@arctic.gov  arctic.gov

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