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Arctic Daily Update: April 8, 2016


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April 8, 2016  
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are not in session.
Cold Climates and Cultural Connections: Minnesota, Norway and the Arctic.
Minnesota is not an Arctic state. This is probably a surprising opening statement for those of you who came here expecting to learn how Minnesota contributes to America's identity as an Arctic nation. Yes, it may certainly feel like the Arctic when temperatures creep below the range of normal thermometers. And with our snow, you might think you are much further north when you see roads covered for months by a layer of white flakes so thick that it would have caused schools and public offices elsewhere in America to close down immediately. But still, we are not an Arctic state. US Arctic
Arctic Sea Ice Isn't Only Sparser; Its Younger and Thinner Too. Arctic sea ice, which already hit a record low for winter extent this year, is also younger and thinner now than at almost any time since the satellite record was begun in the late 1970s, scientists said Wednesday. As of mid-March, 70 percent of the ice was formed within the past year and only 30 percent was multiyear ice, the National Snow and Ice Data Center said in a report that summarized conditions over the past winter. That is a reversal of the proportions that existed in the mid-1980s, when most ice was at least 2 years old. Alaska Dispatch News
Gray Whale Sentinels of Change: Gray Whales in the Arctic. Gray whales do things differently. Gray whales look different, swim farther, and fight more fiercely than other whales. They owe their distinctive mottled look to a coat of crustaceans that can weigh up to 400 pounds. Their swim from Alaska to Baja and back may be the longest annual migration of any mammal. And they were named "devilfish" by whalers who watched them charge and smash boats to defend themselves and their calves. Juneau Empire
Nunavut Drone Company Prepares to Take Flight. A new startup company in Iqaluit is planning to take to the skies using unmanned aerial vehicles - better known as drones. Drones have become popular among amateur photographers and tourist groups in Nunavut, but Arctic UAV says the technology can do more than capture beautiful images. It's hoping to use drones equipped with infrared and thermal cameras for applications like surveying, mapping, research and even search and rescue operations. CBC News
Legislative Action 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
Future Events
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.
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.   
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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