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Arctic Daily Update: July 28, 2014


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July 25, 2014  


Vote for the USARC (if you missed this Friday). Do you like the Daily Arctic Update? Do you appreciate our efforts, and want to help recognize us? Then please vote for us online here. (go to the bottom of the page and fill in the form).


We're a nominee for the 2014 Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award, from the Institute of the North. As a federal agency, we can't buy tickets to the fundraiser award ceremony, but that won't stop you (or us) from voting. 


We, along with 5 other nominees, were selected based on our long (30-year) length of service, and on promotion of Arctic research that: (1) Supports sustainable resource development in the Arctic; 2) Furthers social license and community support; 3) Supports environmental risk mitigation; 4) Encourages innovative solutions to further economic development of communities; and 5) Respects culture and local/traditional knowledge.


As they say, "vote early and vote often." Thank you!


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. 

capital Today's Congressional Action: 

The House and Senate are in session and expected to consider non-Arctic legislation.




Study Envisions Possible Fallout From a Canadian Beaufort Oil Spill. A well blowout, pipeline breach or vessel accident in the Canadian Beaufort Sea could spew spilled oil westward for months, polluting waters off Alaska and soiling habitat used by whales, seals and migrating seabirds, according to a study released Friday by the World Wildlife Fund. The study, which features an interactive map, examines the trajectories of oil and the resulting impacts from four types of spills: a deep-water well blowout, a shallow-water well blowout, a break in a subsea pipeline transporting oil and an accident with a shipping vessel. In all, 22 spill scenarios were examined. Alaska Dispatch News


Facing Sanctions, Russia Rosneft Won't Join Exxon in Alaska Gas Field. Exxon Mobil Corp. said last week that Rosneft won't purchase a 25% stake in the Point Thomson natural gas field on Alaska's North Slope. Exxon put the option on the table last year during a deal to expand the two companies' cooperation in the Arctic. Russian President Putin attended the signing of this deal and others with Rosneft's Igor Sechin, an earlier target of U.S. sanctions against Russia. E&E News


Iceberg Collapse in Bay of Exploits, Newfoundland, Canada. Video of a significant iceberg collapse in Newfoundland.

Video 4 of 5:  Iceberg collapse in Bay of Exploits, Newfoundland, Canada 
Video 4 of 5: Iceberg collapse in Bay of Exploits, Newfoundland, Canada


[Opinion] Experts Voice Concerns Over New Arctic. Crystal Cruises will be the first luxury cruise line to offer a cruise through 900 miles of waterways lined with glaciers, towering fjords and vast unspoiled landscapes away from mainstream civilization and tourism, north of mainland Canada. For 32 days beginning August 16, 2016 in Anchorage, Alaska, Crystal Serenity will sail the Northwest Passage from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and on to New York City. Crystal Serenity and its escort vessel will be using low sulphur marine gas oil fuel, exceeding environmental regulations. The escort vessel will carry additional safety and environmental protection equipment as well as personnel specifically trained in its use. In addition, it will serve as a platform for a helicopter and zodiacs and be manned by a crew highly experienced in all aspects of operating safely in this unique area. Maritime Executive


Judge Rules Beringia Bearded Seals Improperly Listed as Threatened. Alaska's bearded seals, animals with distinctive whiskers and a penchant for floating alone on pieces of drifting Arctic sea ice, were improperly granted threatened-species status in 2012, a federal judge ruled Friday. The National Marine Fisheries Service erred in using a 100-year projection as justification for granting Endangered Species Act protections to the Alaska-dwelling population of that seal, U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline ruled. Alaska Dispatch News


Tougher Fishing-Net Rules Urged in Finland to Protect Rare Seals; Pastic-Us Curbs Urged in Sweden to Protect Oceans. The Finnish branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature is demanding immediate tougher action to protect the highly-endangered Saimaa seal population. The strongly-worded call follows the third death of a pup since the end of a spring and early summer ban on certain types of fishing nets in their habitat. The seals -- which are endemic to Eastern Finland's vast Saimaa lake system -- are hovering on the brink of extinction with just over 300 individuals left. So far at least seven have died in nets this year. The latest fatality, a pup was found earlier this month, entangled in a permanently banned type of fishing net in Haukivesi, near Varkaus and the boundary of Linnansaari National Park. Alaska Dispatch News


ICC Declaration Calls for Better Cooperation, Coordination Among Inuit Orgs. The Inuit Circumpolar Council's 12th general assembly closed July 24 in Inuvik with a declaration to promote better knowledge sharing between Inuit organizations and the rest of the world. The quadrennial gathering of Inuit leaders from Canada, Greenland, Chukotka (Russia) and Alaska ended in the Northwest Territories community with the signing and adoption of the Kitigaaryuit Declaration - outlining 51 principles meant to guide the ICC's activities over the next four years. Nunatsiaq Online


Comments Sought on Possible Arctic Lease Sale. federal agency is testing the waters on a possible lease sale in the Alaska Arctic. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Friday it is opening a 45-day comment period both to gather information on areas in the Beaufort Sea that have the most promising oil and gas potential, and to learn more about environmentally sensitive habitats and subsistence activities within the planning area. Juneau Empire

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 3110, the Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act. (The President recently signed the bill into law.)

Future Events


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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