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Arctic Update January 25, 2013

Arctic Frontiers, January 20-25, 2013. (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is organized as an independent network and a leading meeting place for pan-arctic issues. The network was established in 2006 and later extended. Arctic Frontiers will host the conference to consider three main scientific topics. Geopolitics in a Changing Arctic; Marine Harvesting in the Arctic; and Arctic Marine Productivity.

Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013, Anchorage. Since 2002, scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond have come to the Symposium to communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. Researchers and students in marine science re-connect with old colleagues and meet new ones. Plenary and poster sessions feature a broad spectrum of ocean science. Hear the latest in the fields of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. The Symposium also features compelling keynote speakers, workshops and special sessions.

Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) Workshop Collaborative Research Approaches: case studies and lessons learned. Anchorage, Hotel Captain Cook, Club Room 1, 10 am to noon, Jan. 25th.

The value of collaboration among research organizations is broadly recognized, and there are numerous examples of collaboration occurring at different scales.  Nevertheless, research entities differ in their missions, funding structures, timelines, and processes.  While differences are necessary and frequently beneficial, they sometimes function as barriers to partnerships that might otherwise advance science and inform decisions.  This workshop will feature panelists (see below) representing an array of partnerships in the region who will describe the workings of their collaboration as well as underlying factors, their successes, and challenges that they face.  The audience will then be asked to join the panelists in an exploration of commonalities among the case studies.

Panelists:

Brendan P. Kelly, Office of Sci. & Tech. Policy, Exec. Office of the President (phone)

Jim Kendall, AK Regional Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

Mike Macrander, Science Team Leader, Shell Alaska, John Payne, North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI), Taqulik Hepa, Director, North Slope Borough (NSB) (to be confirmed), Francis Weise, Science Director, North Pacific Research Board (NPRB)

UPCOMING MEETING: The Submarine Arctic Science Program, SCICEX, Science Advisory Committee is meeting in Washington, DC, February 13th-14th. The 2012 meeting considered the state of SCICEX, the value of SCICEX to federal agencies and departments as well is policy makers, strategy and future planning. The event is not open to the public. More information on SCICEX is available here.

Media

arcticcouncilArctic Council's Permanent Secretariat Established. The Arctic Council's permanent secretariat was established in Tromsø, Norway, on Monday when Norwegian foreign minister Espen Barth Eide and director of the secretariat Magnús Jóhannesson, who is Icelandic, signed a host country agreement between Norway and the Arctic Council. The secretariat will be responsible for communication, general meeting preparations and coordination for the Council and working group relations. The establishment of the permanent secretariat is considered by the Council as a significant step in strengthening its work in global discussions and decision-making. Iceland Review

Draft Third Climate Assessment Report. On 11 January 2013, the National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee (NCADAC), the federal advisory committee for the National Climate Assessment, approved their draft of the Third National Climate Assessment Report for release for public comment.  The draft report is available for download - both as a single document and by chapter - at http://ncadac.globalchange.gov. The public comment period for the report will run 14 January till 12 April 2013. All comments must be submitted via the online comment tool that will be available from http://ncadac.globalchange.gov.  The final report is due out towards the end of calendar year 2013

begichBipartisan Coalition of Senators Introduces Mental Health First Aid Bill. A bipartisan coalition of Senators led by Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today introduced legislation to expand mental health first aid training and increase the effectiveness of mental health care across America. The bill is an expanded version of the bill introduced last year by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK). Sens. Begich, Ayotte, Blumenthal, Jack Reed (D-RI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are original co-sponsors of the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013, which provides funding for training programs to help the public identify, understand, and address crisis situations safely. The bill also calls for protocols for initiating timely referrals to mental health services available in communities. Senator Mark Begich

Murkowski 2Murkowski: It's "Way Past Time" for Mental Health Conversation: Senator inquires about 'inroad' on youth intervention, fight against suicide in committee hearing. Senator Lisa Murkowski took part in the first Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee hearing to focus on America's mental health care since 2007 - saying it was "way past time" for the committee to take up the issue - focusing her attention on Alaska's critical fight against youth suicide and the latest efforts to identify mental and behavioral issues early in childhood to improve outcomes across the country, especially in rural America. In her opening remarks (clip one below), Senator Murkowski outlined her recent legislation to prevent suicides in young Americans, adding "I find it troubling that in everything we do that we cannot seem to make inroads" on this long-time priority and national need. Senator Lisa Murkowski

Global Mercury Treaty Will Take Decades to Work. This crackdown certainly has a few cracks in it. Activists have criticised loopholes in a new treaty, signed by 140 countries, that will control mercury pollution. But at least the Minamata Convention on Mercury does commit countries to reducing their mercury emissions. The convention, named for a Japanese city that suffered severe mercury pollution, aims to control global mercury levels. Products like batteries and thermometers that contain mercury will be phased out by 2020, while major sources like coal-fired power stations will have to obey new and stricter rules. The New Scientist

In an Era of Climate Change, Where Will the Fish, and the Money, Go? Like the American pika and some other land-based creatures, fish are on the move as they try to adapt to a changing climate. One place this is happening is the seas surrounding the Arctic Ocean. But precisely how fast, in what direction, and to what effect the fish will migrate from their home turf is a big unknown. Marine biologists and climate-modeling scientists are following their trail seeking answers. That trail emits a scent of money to fisheries operators. Although no commercial fisheries exist yet in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent continental shelf seas, operators know that could change. (Commercial fishing is currently concentrated on the sub-Arctic seas surrounding the Arctic Ocean.) Naturally, they want the potential bounty. So do nations inhabiting or otherwise potentially fishing in the Arctic. In fact, it's one reason (along with its interest in fossil fuel and mineral extraction) why China is trying to secure observer status on the Arctic Council, a committee of eight Arctic states that together shape policy for the region. Popular Science

Chukchi Trawl Survey Sheds Light on Unexplored Waters. Fishing is off-limits in the Arctic, but last summer, a pair of commercial trawlers traveled north to the Chukchi Sea. They were on a scientific mission, to conduct the first-ever comprehensive study of the Chukchi's ecosystem. Franz Mueter is the lead scientist on the study, and he's attending the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage this week to present some of the results. He says his team came back with heaps of samples. Alaska Public Radio

Legislative Actionfutureevents 

No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                     

Development of a 5-Year Strategic Plan for Oil Spill Research in Canadian Arctic Waters, January 28-29, 2013, Calgary. This workshop is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF), a research program which sponsors environmental and social studies pertaining petroleum exploration, development, and production activities on frontier lands. The ESRF is directed by a joint government, industry and public management board and is administered by the secretariat, which resides in the Office of Energy Research and Development, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The workshop is held in an effort to produce a 5-year strategic plan for oil spill research in Canadian Arctic marine waters.

Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013, Anchorage. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.

Alaska Native Language Archive, February 22, 2013, Fairbanks. Please join ANLA and the Rasmuson Library for a Grand Opening Celebration to dedicate the new ANLA public service point on the second floor of the Rasmuson Library. The event will begin with an open house featuring collections in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections, the Oral History Collection, and of course ANLA. This will be followed by a special panel session entitled Honoring Alaska's Native Languages: Past, Present, Future, reflecting on 50 years of Native language archiving at UAF.

The 43rd Annual Arctic Workshop 2013, March 11-13, 2013: Amherst, Massachusetts. The workshop is an annual gathering for international researchers to present work on any aspect of high-latitude environments (past, present, and future). Organizers strive for a relaxed, friendly, and interactive experience, fostered in part by the workshop's relatively small size. Researchers are invited to present their very latest research; the abstract deadline is just a few weeks before the workshop. Student participation is strongly encouraged, with partial support available to those making presentations (limited number of slots).

The Economist's "Arctic Summit: A New Vista for Trade Energy and the Environment," March 12, 2013. (Oslo, Norway) The event is hosted by The Economist. The Arctic Summit will discuss big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance. The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers' meeting in 2013. A high-level group of 150 policy-makers, CEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.

Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.

Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.

One of them is already planned: The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) will offer a one-day career development workshop during the ASSW 2013. Details will be published closer to the event:http://www.apecs.is/apecs-meetings-a-events/assw-2013.

American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics."

Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.

International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.

AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.

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