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Arctic Daily Update: April 15, 2016


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April 15, 2016  
The White House Arctic Executive Steering Committee announces
Mark Brzezinski AESC Executive Director
the launch of its website (www.arctic.gov/aesc) which includes a subscription email service for periodic updates and announcements. President Obama established the Committee in 2015 to enhance coordination of Arctic efforts across the federal government. The website shares highlights, news, publications, policy documents, upcoming events, and links. USARC's Chair, Fran Ulmeris a member of the Committee.
2016 Social and Environmental Determinants of Health in Alaska Symposium, April 14-15, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The symposium will bring multidisciplinary teams of biomedical and health researchers together to discuss translational research, with a goal to expand the INBRE network, and to enhance interdisciplinary and translational biomedical and health research.  Presenters from across the United States will speak on social and environmental determinants of health in Alaska, followed by panel discussions on each topic.  Registration is free.  For more information, please call 907.786.6460 or email kalance@uaa.alaska.edu.
Bridging the Future of Arctic Social Science Research, April 14-16, 2016 (Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA). The event is sponsored by Arctic Horizons. This workshop will gather a diverse group of scholars to discuss the state-of-the art in Arctic social sciences and develop visioning scenarios for the future of social science research in the Arctic. The core topics will parallel discussions held at other regional workshops (Portland, OR and Providence, RI), which include: social sciences research and climate change; interdisciplinary research in the Arctic; social sciences and humanities in the Arctic, and applied social sciences research.
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House is in session and expected to consider non-Arctic legislation. The Senate is not in session.
Delegates of Arctic Economic Council Set Stage for Future. In a historic move at their annual meeting, the delegates of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) adopted foundational documents that set the stage for engagement with the AEC and provide strategic direction for the organization. Russian News Agency
canadian flag Canadian Parliament Held Emergency Debate on Suicides in Indigenous Community. Members of Canada's House of Commons held an emergency debate Tuesday to discuss the suicide crisis in a remote indigenous community in northern Ontario as well as other aboriginal communities across the country. "This isn't just particularly about Attawapiskat, it's about who we are as Canadians and our whole nation," MP Charlie Angus, the spokesman on indigenous issues for the center-left New Democratic Party, told the Commons. Alaska Dispatch News
The Canadian First Nation Suicide Epidemic Has Been Generations in the Making. The Attawapiskat First Nation, or the people of the parting rocks, as they are known in their indigenous Swampy Cree language, number roughly 2,000 souls. They live on a small Indian reserve 600 miles north of the Canadian capital of Ottawa, at the mouth of James Bay's Attawapiskat River. This subarctic First Nation declared a state of emergency after 11 community members tried to take their own lives Saturday night.  Since last September, more than 100 Attawapiskat people have attempted suicide in what local MP Charlie Angus has described as a "rolling nightmare" of a winter. The ghastly toll reveals a grim reality with which a nation in the midst of a process of truth and reconciliation now must reckon. The Guardian
In an Empty Arctic, How to Get the Job Done? With a Drone. When the weather is bad and civilization distant, the best way to count sea lions-or survey fires or oil spills-may be an unmanned aircraft. It's hard to say what the 2,000-pound bull Steller sea lion hauled out on a rocky shore in the far western Aleutians thought about the strange object hovering 150 feet above him. An odd bird? The world's largest mosquito? Whatever it was, he paid it no mind-and that's just what the people who were piloting the small drone, an APH-22 hexacopter, had hoped for. National Geographic
Uncharted Arctic Waters: A New Opportunity for Exploitation, or Conservation? When thick sheets of sea ice began melting in the Arctic waters around Svalbard, Norway, a few years ago, a new expanse of sparkling blue sea opened up. As climate change continues to drive ice melt here on the previously untouched waters of the North Barents Sea, what many ocean conservationists consider to be unwelcome guests are starting to arrive in droves: trawling vessels. And this trend toward more open sea and more ship traffic could have a harmful affect on the North Barents Sea ecosystem, according to Greenpeace. The conservation group is so worried about the detrimental effects of bottom trawling in the waters near Svalbard that they launched their own investigation into commercial fishing practices in the region. National Geographic
Legislative Action 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
Future Events
Service-Learning in Undergraduate Geosciences: A Workshop, April 20-21, 2016 (Washington, DC). Pre-register here to participate in the NSF-funded workshop "Service-Learning in Undergraduate Geosciences" that will be held at the National Academies of Sciences in Washington D.C. on April 20 & 21. This workshop will focus on what is currently happening in service-learning in the geosciences and what can be learned from service-learning in other disciplines.
Alaska Rural Energy Conference, April 26-28, 2016 (Fairbanks, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Rural Energy Conference is a three day event offering a large variety of technical sessions covering new and ongoing energy projects in Alaska, as well as new technologies and needs for Alaska's remote communities. Building on the growing success, the Alaska Energy Authority and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power have joined forces again to organize and sponsor the 10th annual Alaska Rural Energy Conference.   
Regional and Global Implications of Changing Permafrost, April 28, 2016 (Washington, DC USA). There is growing realization of the strong interactions between degradation of near-surface permafrost on the dynamics of ecosystems, and that these interactions together influence local and global environmental, economic, and social systems. This presentation will discuss the use of synthesis science by both the SEARCH Permafrost Action Team and Permafrost Carbon Network to identify and understand the widespread implications of changing permafrost at both regional and local scales.  This presentation is part of the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States Arctic Research Seminar Series.
High North Dialogue 2016: The Blue Future of the Arctic, May 25-26, 2016. HND is an annual conference hosted by the High North Center at Nord University, engaging a wide audience of researchers and future leaders of the region. It will address the necessary questions to effectively promote dialogue between interested stakeholders on how to sustainably develop the different realities of the many Arctics. PhD and Masters students can also participate in a week long credit awarding graduate course.
Bridging the Future of Arctic Social Science Research, May 31-June 2, 2016 (Providence, Rhode Island, USA). The event is sponsored by Arctic Horizons. The workshop will bring together researchers working on multidisciplinary natural/social science projects addressing issues of contemporary change in the North with social scientists focused on policy development at a global scale. This focus draws on the expertise of Brown University's Watson Center for International Studies (http://watson.brown.edu), the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES, http://www.brown.edu/academics/institute-environment-society/about), and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology's (http://www.brown.edu/haffenreffer) six-decade engagement with northern people and northern heritage.

14th IATS Seminar, June 19-25, 2016 (Bergen, Norway). The University of Bergen (UiB) is honored to host the 14th IATS Seminar in Bergen, Norway, from Sunday 19 to Saturday 25 June 2016 in co-operation with the Network for University Co-operation Tibet-Norway, an academic network with the universities of Oslo, Bergen and Tromsø as partners. The convenor is Professor Hanna Havnevik, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, and Chair of the Network.
11th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP 2016), June 20-24, 2016 (Potsdam, Germany). The Alfred Wegener Institute has teamed up with UP Transfer GmbH and the University of Potsdam to organize a great conference for you, permafrost researchers. The conference aims at covering all relevant aspects of permafrost research, engineering and outreach on a global and regional level.
Bridging the Future of Arctic Social Science Research, September 23-24, 2016 (Monticello, Rhode Island, USA). The event is sponsored by Arctic Horizons.  The event will reassemble the members of the National Steering Committee and a small but diverse selection of representatives from the five regional workshops, to total about 15 people. The aim will be to identify and synthesize the core threads of the previous workshops and public contributions proffered between workshops. The target output for the workshop will be a final report draft and outline of steps leading to the final report release in June 2016. The Jefferson Institute will manage production of the publication.
Second International Conference on Natural Resources and Integrated Development of Coastal Areas in the Arctic Zone, September 27-29, 2016 (Arkhangelsk, Russia). The Conference is organized by FASO of Russia, Russian Academy of Sciences, Government of Arkhangelsk region, Arkhangelsk Scientific Center and International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). Conference is aimed at elaboration of research-based practical measures and instruments for realization of human, natural and transport-logistical potential of the Arctic zone, including development of the Northern Sea Route and implementation of models of integrated coastal areas management. For additional information, please email.
Inuit traditions are a repository of Inuit culture and a primary expression of Inuit identity. The theme for the 2016 Inuit Studies Conference invites Elders, knowledge-bearers, researchers, artists, policy-makers, students and others to engage in conversations about the many ways in which traditions shape understanding, while registering social and cultural change. The institutional hosts of "Inuit Traditions," Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Nunatsiavut Government, invite you to contribute to an exchange of knowledge to be held in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, October 7-10, 2016. Presentations on all aspects of Inuit studies will be welcome.

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