Arctic Daily Update: May 2, 2013
The House and Senate are in recess this week.
Obama Nominates Pritzker for Commerce Secretary, Froman for Top Trade Post. President Barack Obama Thursday tapped longtime Democratic fundraiser and billionaire businesswoman Penny Pritzker to lead the Commerce Department and economic adviser Michael Froman as the U.S. Trade Representative in a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday morning. Obama called Pritzker "one of our country's most distinguished business leaders" and "an extraordinary civic leader" in Chicago. "She knows that what we can do is to give every business and every worker the best chance to succeed by making America a magnet for jobs." Roll Call
Traditional Cultural Tourism Growing in Alaska. Alaska Native villages in the rural 49th state of Alaska are in pursuit to increase tourism. Their culture is an important component in their approach to attract tourists to the Alaska Native villages. American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Executive Director Camille Ferguson gave a keynote presentation on growing cultural tourism in Indian Country at the Chickaloon Native Village Traditional Cultural Tourism Summit, held in her home state of Alaska on April 17 - 19. Native News Network
Health Defects Found in Fish Exposed to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, crude oil toxicity continues to sicken a sentinel Gulf Coast fish species, according to new findings from a research team that includes a University of California, Davis, scientist. With researchers from Louisiana and South Carolina, the scientists found that Gulf killifish embryos exposed to sediments from oiled locations show developmental abnormalities, including heart defects, delayed hatching and reduced hatching success. The killifish is an environmental indicator species, or a "canary in the coal mine," used to predict broader exposures and health risks. Alaska Native News
Coast Guard Helps Deploy Seismic Sensors. The U.S. Coast Guard recently helped placed seismic sensors along a fault near Craig in southeast Alaska. Crew from the cutter Maple worked with U.S. Geological Survey scientists to deploy 12 seismic sensors along a 28-mile section of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault last week. Anchorage Daily News
NORAD and USNORTHCOM to Meet Global Arctic Partners. With emerging political, economic and diplomatic concerns quickly arising in the Arctic, nations with a stake in the region are now investing heavily in the northern frontier to amend a long-running lack of infrastructure and assets capable of dealing with the rigors of the environment. Recognising the demand for joint force integration, senior representatives from the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) are due to address the future of Arctic maritime security alongside fellow regional partners in Copenhagen, from 21 - 23 May, with the hope of finding new avenues towards interoperable technology and tactics. Sacramento Bee
Maine Joins Alaska in Quest for Arctic Influence. ANALYSIS: On Thursday, I mentioned in a blog post that Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company, recently moved its North American hub from Norfolk, Virginia to Portland, Maine. This will be the American port's first direct connection to Europe in 33 years, according to an excellent, fact-filled article in the Press Herald, a local newspaper. Eimskip's decision is in line with its mission to "provide outstanding transportation services through a dependable transport system in the North Atlantic, as well as offering extensive worldwide network of reefer logistics services." Eimskip will also open an office and warehouse in Portland. According to the Press Herald, Eimskip has also been in discussions with Pan Am Railways to achieve freight access to North American markets. Pan Am plans to extend its railways 1,500 feet to reach the port, creating much-needed intermodal capabilities. Building on the momentum of the new port activities, Icelandic President Olafur Grímsson will give the keynote presentation at the Maine International Trade Day on May 31. Alaska Dispatch
Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting to Take Place in Kiruna. On 15 May 2013 the Arctic Council will hold its biennial Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna in the north of Sweden. Approximately 300 people - ministers, delegates from the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States), representatives of indigenous peoples, scientists and observers - will gather in to mark the end of the two-year Swedish chairmanship and the beginning of the Canadian chairmanship of the Arctic Council. Ice News
[Canada] Arctic Voyage Planning Guide Published. The government publishers begin by explaining that the guide, a compilation of data and services relevant to mariners, is not intended to replace official carriage information or products provided from Canadian sources. In case of disparity, the information contained in official publications will prevail. The mariners remain responsible for navigational decisions and safety of their ships. The information provided in this guide should be used together with all other relevant information, as required by law, standards and good seamanship practices. The Arctic Voyage Planning Guide (AVPG) is intended as a strategic planning tool for national and international vessels traveling in the Canadian Arctic. It draws together regulatory information pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and the Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations, 1995 as well as complementary data and information from Canadian federal departments with mandates to support safe navigation. The intent of the AVPG is to provide a comprehensive digital planning tool for mariners considering an Arctic voyage. Marine Link
Nothing to do with the arctic... Just curious to see how many people will view this short clip, as a test of social media...
No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.
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.
Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.
10th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development (ISCORD 2013) (June 2-5, 2013) (Anchorage, Alaska) The International Association for Cold Regions Development Studies (IACORDS) and the Technical Council on Cold Regions Engineering of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) will host a conference on "Planning for Sustainable Cold Regions." Special Keynote Sessions each day include "Bridging the Gap Between Climate Change Science and Engineering Practice"; "The Challenges of the Debris from the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan"; and "Energy in Alaska - Current and Future Projects."
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 (see 6/25 forum titled "US Government Investment in Arctic Change Research"). The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.
5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, July 16-18, 2013 (Washington, D.C.). The U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) co-host this follow-on symposium to address the changing state of Arctic sea ice and associated environmental conditions vis-a-vis emerging or expected naval, maritime, and associated activities and operations in the region. Invited speakers include nationally and internationally recognized experts on Arctic observations, climate change, and maritime operations.
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 sixprevious ice drilling technology workshops held between 1974 and 2006, the Seventh International Workship 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.
The 2013 Arctic Energy Summit, October 8-10, (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.
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 research scientific 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.