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Arctic Daily Update: August 25, 2014

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August 25, 2014  
 
 
 
 

 

capital Today's Congressional Action: 

Most members have returned to their districts or states for the August recess. The Senate will hold pro forma sessions during August. The next roll call vote in the Senate is scheduled for September 8th. The House is also in recess until September 8th.

 

 

Media  
 

Rare Kotzebue Thunderstorm in 'Weird' NW Alaska Weather. Some Kotzebue residents got a noisy awakening early Friday morning. A thunderstorm drifted over the Northwest Alaska hub community at about 3:36 a.m., according to the National Weather Service, bringing with it lightning and .4 of an inch of rain. For much of the rest of the world, thunderstorms aren't extraordinary. But Fairbanks-based forecaster Jim Brader noted that Kotzebue averages .6 thunderstorms a year, or roughly one every two years, and they hardly ever occur at night. Alaska Dispatch News

 

Steller Seal Study Probes Link Between Climate Change, Contaminants in Arctic Wildlife. If you live in the North and love eating seal and beluga, but wonder whether they contain harmful contaminants, a new research project may offer more knowledge. That's because this new, well-funded study plans to look at whether climate change is increasing levels of contaminants in ringed seals and beluga whales. Melissa McKinney, a researcher at the University of Windsor, received a big boost in funding recently from the federal government, in the form of a Banting Fellowship. Nunatsiaq Online

 

On the Lighter Side: Ice Bucket Challenge: Canadian Edition

 

PM Launches Northern Tour, Announces Money for Arctic Technology. Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched his annual Northern tour Aug. 21 in Whitehorse, Yukon, announcing money for the development of cold-climate technology in the Canadian Arctic. During a stop at Yukon College, Harper announced a new partnership between the college's Cold Climate Innovation Centre and the National Research Council, which will focus its research on resource development in the Canadian Arctic, northern transportation and shipping, and community infrastructure. Nunatsiaq Online

  

Harper Visits UVic-Based Ocean Observatory in Arctic. Prime Minister Stephen Harper got a firsthand view of the latest instrumentation showcasing Canadian science and technology in the Arctic on Saturday. The prime minister made a stop to learn about northern initiatives in ocean science and technology, including Ocean Networks Canada's community-based Arctic ocean observatory in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, as he continued his annual tour of Canada's North. Times Colonist

 

Canada Continues Mapping Shipping Routes Through Arctic. In the world of Arctic navigation, it's all about choices, and the choices are dangerous. Only about 25% of Canada's Arctic waters are mapped. That means for the majority of the Arctic waterways, ship captains don't know how far mountains extend onto the ocean floor, or what large rocks or other surprises lie ahead. That's why the Canadian government's plan to map more of the Arctic seaway is so important, said Capt. Rene Hardy of the coast guard's Des Groseillers icebreaker, which was dispatched to sail alongside Prime Minister Stephen Harper this week in the High Arctic. Sun News Network

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

 

No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events

  

Alaska Policy Commission Meeting, August 26-27, 2014 (Nome and Kotzebue, Alaska) The public is invited to observe the Commission in their work from 8:30am - 4pm. The Commission will accept public testimony on Arctic Policy issues at 11:30am in Nome (location TBD) and 12:30pm in Kotzebue at the Nulla─ívik Hotel. Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign up to give public testimony. All voices and perspectives are welcome and appreciated. For the meeting agenda, additional information, and updates please visit here

 

Polar Code Meeting, August 29, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska/ teleconference). The recent Polar Code meeting held in Seattle had a significant communications breakdown with a combination of wrong phone number and line static. To remedy this situation and gather your input, there will be a presentation on the Polar Code on August 29th in Anchorage, Alaska, on the day immediately following the Arctic Waterway Safety Committee organizational meeting. This meeting will also be held at the UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, ANCHORAGE, GORSUCH COMMONS, Room 106. Teleconference Number/Passcode: (866) 742-8054, Passcode 5667986 Additionally, copies of the presentations can be found on the public docket at: www.regulations.gov, at docket # USCG-2014-0515.

 

World Trade Center Alaska: Arctic Ambitions Trade Mission to Northern Europe, September 4-14, 2014 (Finland-Norway-Iceland). The Trade Mission will visit Northern and Arctic Europe starting September 4th in Finland and ending September 14 in Iceland, with an intermediary stop in Norway. The itinerary includes three days in each country and features visits to Arctic communities. Familiarization with Northern Europe's economies, and in particular commercial development in the Arctic, is the main goal of this trade mission. The participants will gain useful networking opportunities and a wealth of information on these three countries. For registration and information, please contact WTCAK at (907) 278-7233.

 

Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, September 9-11, 2014 (Whitehorse, Canada). The Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region is a biennial conference for parliamentarians representing the eight Arctic countries and the European Parliament. The biennial conference is attended by representatives from the national parliaments of the Arctic states and the European Parliament. The Arctic indigenous peoples are permanent participants to the cooperation. Observers participate from governments and inter-parliamentary organizations as well as from observer states and relevant international organizations. 

 

AOOS Film Contest, Submission Deadline September 15, 2014.

In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) is seeking short films highlighting Alaska's coast or oceans.   AOOS welcomes films of any genre relating to the ocean (i.e. people using the ocean and coast, marine research, marine wildlife, ocean-related policy issues, etc).  You don't need to be a professional to submit a film!   

 

102nd US Arctic Research Commission Meeting, September 15-16, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The 102nd USARC meeting will be held in Anchorage. Draft agenda available here

 

2014 Week of the Arctic, October 6-11, 2014 (Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow, Alaska, USA). The Institute of the North will host the 2014 Week of the Arctic. The 2014 Week of the Arctic is a platform for community leaders, subject matter experts and interested stakeholders to learn about the Arctic while contributing to a growing list of priorities and perspectives. Presentations, roundtable discussions and workshops will be held in Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow. Throughout the week, presentations and interviews will be captured on video for distribution through social media and web-based sharing.

 

2014 FAMOS School and Workshop #3, October 21-24, 2014 (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 synthesize major results from the field studies and coordinated numerical experiments. The major themes of workshop include but not limited by studies focused on: predictions; Arctic observational and modeling initiatives; fate of sea ice in models and observations; atmospheric, sea ice and ocean dynamics; process studies and parameterizations; model validation and calibration; numerical improvements and algorithms; ecosystems, biological issues, and geochemistry.

 

Transatlantic Science Week 2014, October 27-28, 2014 (Toronto, Canada). The purpose of the annual Transatlantic Science Week (TSW) is to promote enhanced cooperation between Canadian, American and Norwegian stakeholders in research, innovation and higher education. TSW is an arena where different stakeholders can meet with the purpose of developing long-term collaborations or partnerships. The conference also hopes to strengthen the linkages that currently exist between the research and education domains. Finally, TSW also provides an excellent arena for dialogue between the research communities and policymakers. 

 

Arctic Circle, October 31-November 2, 2014 (Reykjavik, Iceland).

The Arctic Circle is nonprofit and nonpartisan. Organizations, forums, think tanks, corporations and public associations around the world are invited to hold meetings within the Arctic Circle platform to advance their own missions and the broader goal of increasing collaborative decision-making without surrendering their institutional independence. The Arctic Circle will organize sessions on a variety of issues, such as: Sea ice melt and extreme weather; Polar law: treaties and agreements; The role and rights of indigenous peoples; Security in the Arctic; Shipping and transportation infrastructure; The prospects and risks of oil and gas drilling; Clean energy achievements and sustainable development; Arctic resources; Business cooperation in the Arctic; The role of Asian and European countries in the Arctic; Greenland in the new Arctic; Fisheries and ecosystem management; The science of ice: global research cooperation; Arctic tourism; The ice-dependent world: the Arctic and the Himalayas. 
 

US- Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum, November 4-6, 2014 (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada). Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Canadian Polar Commission in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, are hosting the fourth Canada - United States Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum. The Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum is a biennial meeting with representation from government, industry, academia, Aboriginal groups and Northerners from both Canada and the United States. The Forum provides an opportunity to discuss current and future priorities for northern oil and gas research. The Forum will showcase the value of northern research in support of sound decision-making for oil and gas management.

 

Alaska Policy Commission. November 13-14, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska). The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC) has more important work to do in 2014. The Commission will strive to gather public input and engage with Alaskan communities, state agencies, federal partners, and the international organizations working in the Arctic. In order to meet our goals AAPC will convene three in-person meetings over the course of 2014 and focus on implementation and final recommendations. 

 

The Arctic Biodiversity Congress, December 2-4, 2014 (Trondheim, Norway). The Arctic Biodiversity Congress will present and discuss the main scientific findings of the ABA; facilitate inter-disciplinary discussion, action and status updates on the policy recommendations in the ABA; provide scientific, policy, management, NGO, academia, Indigenous peoples and industry audiences the opportunity to collaborate around the themes of the ABA; advise CAFF on national and international implementation of the ABA recommendations and on the development of an ABA Implementation Plan for the Arctic Council; highlight the work of CAFF and the Arctic Council on circumpolar biodiversity conservation and sustainable development; and, contribute to mainstreaming of biodiversity and ecosystem services, ensuring that the recommendations of the ABA are implemented by not just governments, but many organizations and people across disciplines.

 

Arctic Change 2014, December 8-12, 2014 (Ottawa, Canada). The international Arctic Change 2014 conference aims to stimulate discussion and foster collaborations among people with a vested interest in the Arctic and its peoples. Coinciding with the pinnacle of Canada's chairmanship of the Arctic Council and marking ArcticNet's 10th anniversary, Arctic Change 2014 welcomes researchers, students, Northerners, policy makers, and stakeholders from all fields of Arctic research and all countries to address the numerous environmental, social, economical and political challenges and opportunities that are emerging from climate change and modernization in the Arctic. With over 1000 participants expected to attend, Arctic Change 2014 will be one of the largest trans-sectoral international Arctic research conferences ever held in Canada. 

 

Arctic Frontiers: Climate and Energy, January 18-23, 2015. The earth is in the midst of major climate changes. The Arctic is experiencing the impact of these changes more and faster than other parts of the globe. Processes starting in the Arctic may have deep and profound impacts on other parts of the globe. At the same time the Earth's population is rising and with it the global energy demand. New and greener energy sources are gaining market shares, but still the energy mix of the foreseeable future will have a substantial fossil component. The Arctic is expected to hold major oil and gas resources, while the regions green energy potentials are less explored. The Arctic Frontiers conference is a central arena for discussions of Arctic issues. The conference brings together representatives from science, politics, and civil society to share perspectives on how upcoming challenges in the Arctic may be addressed to ensure sustainable development. Arctic Frontiers is composed of a policy section and a scientific section. 

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