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Arctic Daily Update: July 11, 2014


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July 11, 2014  


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capital Today's Congressional Action: 

The Senate is in recess till Monday. The House will consider non-Arctic legislation.



Arctic Council's "Arctic Economic Council." As reported in Alaska Business Monthly, three Alaska business leaders were named as the US national representatives to the Arctic Council's "Arctic Economic Council" (AEC). The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC) Co-Chairs selected the three representatives to the AEC, which was created through the efforts of an Arctic Council Task Force. USCG Captain Jon Spaner was the head of the US delegation to that Task Force, and USARC's John Farrell was the other member. The AEC is intended to foster sustainable development, including economic growth, environmental protection and social development in the Arctic. The Arctic Council states and Indigenous Permanent Participant organizations worked together to facilitate the creation of the AEC. Each Arctic state and Permanent Participant organization will name up to three business representatives to attend the founding meeting. The three US representatives are:
  • Lori Davey, General Manager, Fairweather, LLC  
  • Bruce Harland, Vice President Business Development, Crowley Marine Services, Inc.
  • Gail Schubert, President and CEO, Bering Straits Native Corporation

capital House Passes Sixth '15 Appropriations Bill. The House late Thursday evening passed its sixth fiscal 2015 appropriations bill to fund the Dept. of Energy and Army Corps of Engineers. Passage of the $34 billion measure, 253-170, marks the halfway point in the House's consideration of fiscal 2015 appropriations. The Hill


Senate Confirms Shaun Donovan to Run OMB. President Barack Obama has a new budget chief. On a 75-22 vote, the Senate confirmed Shaun Donovan as the new director of the White House Office of Management and Budget on Thursday - putting him in the middle of Washington's perpetual fight over government spending. Donovan, 48, has led the Department of Housing and Urban Development since the beginning of the Obama administration. Politico


Preliminary Figures Show Dismal Walrus Harvest From Poor Weather. For the second year in a row, the number of walrus harvested for subsistence on St. Lawrence Island is far below normal. "It's about half of what the average take has been over the last 10 years or so," said Jim MacKracken, who supervises the walrus program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which tracks population numbers based on strikes and successful harvests hunters report back. Alaska Public Radio


What Happened to America's Most Important Arctic Ships? The U.S. Coast Guard is facing a dilemma at the North Pole. The service's fleet of icebreakers, ships designed to navigate and cut through ice-covered waters in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, is getting older. The vessels themselves are slowly deteriorating, and by 2020, naval experts say the country's icebreaking capabilities will run out. The powerful ships, which can break through ice up to 6 feet thick, monitor sea traffic, conduct scientific research, and carry out search-and-rescue missions for other nation's ships at both ends of the world. Their presence alone allows the U.S. defend its national security, economic, and environmental interests in the Arctic region, whose vast natural resources have several countries vying for more control. National Journal


On Thin Ice: Inuit Way of Life Vanishing in Arctic. NBC News recently reported on the Inuit of Greenland. Inuit hunters of Greenland are facing significant changes to their way of life in the Arctic. NBCNews


Polar Geography. Polar Geography, a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal covering research on the physical and human aspects of the polar regions, recently published a number of articles that may be of interest. The second 2014 issue included: Marine accessibility along Russia's Northern Sea Route; Polar maps: early eighteenth century vision of a northeast passage; Making Russian Arctic accessible for tourists: analysis of the institutional barriers; The complex fertility of indigenous Sami and non-reindeer-herding settlers in Jokkmokk 1815-1895; and, 'Government closer to the people:' on decentralization in Nunavut. The first 2014 issue included: Introduction: local and traditional knowledge and data management in the Arctic; A framework and database for community sea ice observations in the changing Arctic: an Alaskans prototype for multiple users; Participatory photomapping: a method for documenting, contextualizing, and sharing indigenous observations of environmental conditions; Counting what counts: using local knowledge to improve Arctic resource management; and, Linking local and global: Yup'ik elders working together with one mind.


Giving a Microphone to the Word's Most Remote People. PBS recently published a story on people who depend on several rivers of the world for their survival. One of the rivers was the Stewart of Canada. Scientists are studying the Steward and Yukon rivers and training local villagers to understand "what is normal" and what the problems with the river are. PBS News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


Congress did not formally consider Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events


Implementing US Policy in the Arctic, July 23, 2014 (Washington, D.C.). The subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will host a hearing on implementing US policy in the Arctic. Several agency witnesses are expected to testify. Congressional hearing to be webcast live...


ICETECH 2014, July 28-31, 2014 (Banff, Alberta, Canada). The International Conference and Exhibition on Performance of Ships and Structures on Ice (ICETECH) is organized by the Arctic Section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. The theme of the conference is performance of ships and structures in ice (icebreaking ships, ice resistant structures, and operations in ice) with emphasis and special sessions on looking to the future in a warming world. The conference will cover topics including:Global warming implications to Arctic ships and structures; Icebreaking ships, Naval Architecture, construction, and marine operations; Structures in ice/iceberg populated waters; Construction and logistics in ice-covered areas; Ice management; New offshore developments in ice-covered areas; Subsea pipelines and facilities in ice; Marine systems for offshore drilling and production operations in ice; Codes, regulations and standards; Ice conditions, forecasting and remote sensing; Safety, risk and environmental protection; Escape, Evacuation and Rescue (EER); and Arctic Geopolitics.


Alaska Policy Commission. August 26-27, 2014 (Kotzebue-Nome, 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.  


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. Additional information and schedule to follow.


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 (Reyjavik, 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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