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Arctic Daily Update: April 26, 2016


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April 26, 2016  
Update on the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, April 26, 2016 (Teleconference, EDT). The State Department will host a teleconference to discuss the halfway point of the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The session will also include a Q&A portion. The conference ID is 392140.
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.
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are in session. The Senate is expected to consider the Energy and Water appropriations bill. The House will consider a number of legislative provisions including H.R. 1684, the Foreign Spill Protection Act; and, H.R. 1493, the Protect and Preserve Cultural Property Act.
Management Plan on the Way for Western Nunavut. A management plan is in the works for the Dolphin and Union caribou herd, known in Inuinnaqtun as the Kiilinirmi Tuktuutait, whose range covers areas in western Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Surveys show that in 1997 there were 27,948 animals in the Dolphin and Union herd, but, by 2007, these numbers had dropped to 21,753. A draft estimate from 2015 shows only 14,730 in the herd. Nunatsiaq Online
Muskok Muskox on the Increase at Nunavut's Devon Island: New Survey. There are a lot of muskoxen on Devon Island in Nunavut's High Arctic - so many that the Government of Nunavut's environment department will likely recommend that the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board increase the harvesting quota there. With the help of local spotters from Resolute and Grise Fiord, Morgan Anderson, a GN wildlife biologist, conducted a nine-day aerial "abundance and distribution" survey of Devon Island in late March. Nunatsiaq Online
Contribute to the Preliminary Drafting of the IARPC Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021 by Friday, 29 April 2016. The Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) is currently soliciting information from the Arctic research community and the public to help shape the next Arctic Research Plan for FY 2017-2021. They are looking for funded projects or programs that IARPC can incorporate as Research Objectives and Performance Elements in support of the new research goals. Research Objectives are a specific set of tasks contributing to a research goal (e.g., Improve knowledge of biophysical and chemical interactions and feedbacks as well as their role in the regional context). Performance elements are specific, measurable, attainable activities that demonstrate progress towards achieving the objectives. (e.g., Complete three years of abundance surveys of marine species in the region). This is the best opportunity for inclusion of your information during the preliminary drafting process. A complete draft will be available for public comment during summer 2016. For directions on how to provide input online, see here. To learn more about the development of Arctic Research Plan 2017-2021, see here
White House New US Administration May 'Lose Momentum' on Arctic Priorities. Secretary Kerry is the first high-level US official to take the chairmanship of the Arctic Council since the group's creation in 1996. The final Arctic Council ministerial meeting is scheduled to take place in Fairbanks, Alaska on May 2017 before the US passes on the chairmanship. The United States currently chairs the international Arctic Council for a two-year term that ends in May 2017. During its chairmanship, Secretary of State John Kerry set an ambitious agenda to address climate change, improve economic opportunities and enhance ocean safety. Sputnik News
Arctic Council Seeking Legal Agreement on Scientific Cooperation. The Arctic Council is comprised of the eight Arctic nations - the United States Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. The United States currently chairs the Arctic Council until the May 2017 ministerial meeting scheduled to be held in Fairbanks, Alaska. The framework is likely to cover issues ranging from access to scientific sites, and coordinating funding for scientific activities between governments. Sputnik News
Semi-Subs Pose Biofouling Risk in the Arctic. IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meet for its 69th session last week, and Friends of the Earth International submitted a paper calling for a particular focus on semi-submersible drilling platforms. The paper was prepared by Dr Andrew N. Cohen of the Center for Research on Aquatic Bioinvasions in California. Maritime Executive
Shell in Chukchi Existing Offshore Platforms Strong Enough for Artic Operations, BSEE Study Finds. The U.S Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has determined the designs exisint offshore platforms are strong enough to survive extreme Arctic conditions and sea ice experienced offshore northern Alaska in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The determination was made following a recently completed research study by the BSEE, in partnership with the University of Alaska, that examined the ability of current offshore structural designs to successfully survive sea ice demands under extreme Arctic conditions. gCaptain
Legislative Action 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
Future Events
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.
** New this week ** The 5th Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) project School and Meeting, November 1-4, 2016 (Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA).The major goals of the meeting are to discuss results of ongoing FAMOS activities, and to plan 2016-2017 coordinated modeling and observing projects, with a special focus on high and very high spatiotemporal resolution processes. You can register here.

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