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Arctic Daily Update: December 15, 2015


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December 15, 2015  
 AGU logoFall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, December 14-18, 2015 (San Francisco, California). The 48th meeting of the union brings together nearly 24,000 attendees, and lots of Arctic research results. The scientific program is here. There will be several Arctic-related "Town Hall" meetings, including those sponsored by NASA, DOE, NSF, ISAC, IARPC, and SEARCH.
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are in session and not expected to consider Arctic legislation.
FirstDecember Voyage Without Icebreaker. "At times, the ice conditions were challenging", company representative Morten Grumheden Aggvin admits to the Independent Barents Observer. "Last weekend, we got stuck for a few hours, but eventually managed to get loose with own help", he adds. The "Tor Viking", an icebreaker and anchor handling tug owned and operated by the Norwegian company Trans Viking, is back in Norwegian waters after having conducted a historical sailing along the Russian Arctic coast. The ship makes it into the record-books as it successfully goes transit through the Northern Sea Route without assistance from Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers in December month. The Barents Observer
Diverse Group Provides Environmental Observations From Remote Alaska Sites. "What we're really relying on here is local knowledge - and sometimes, traditional knowledge,"says Mike Brubaker, referring to the kinds of information posted to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's Local Environmental Observer, or LEO, Network. Brubaker - who's headed up the citizen science-driven project - says it's become an important source of data collected by its 120 members, who come from diverse backgrounds. KUAC
White House New Report Describes Progress and Promise of Interagency Approach to Arctic Research. Today, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability is releasing a report covering Arctic research activities carried out by 16 Federal agencies under the 5-Year Arctic Research Plan issued by the White House in February 2013. Produced by the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), the report describes key interagency activities and accomplishments carried out over a two-year period following the release of the research plan. These efforts focused on leveraging research funding and scientific talent to accelerate our understanding of, and ability to predict, environmental changes in the Arctic. The report details how IARPC enhanced cooperation among the agencies, and encouraged participation from other entities, including the State of Alaska, indigenous communities, universities, local organizations, and international research agencies. The White House
capital Negotiators See $1.1T Deal in Sight. Bipartisan negotiators hammering out the details of a sweeping $1.1 trillion spending bill see the light at the end of the tunnel. Compromise has come slowly as the sides have haggled over partisan policy amendments as well as a separate package - running on a parallel track - to extend a long list of tax breaks to businesses and individuals alike. The Hill
Nunavut Environment Minister Defends Inuit Traditional Knowledge at Paris Conference. Inuit are living proof of the value of traditional knowledge, Nunavut's environment minister, Johnny Mike, told an Arctic-themed conference in Paris over the weekend. Mike used his Dec. 12 keynote address at the Arctic Encounter symposium - a side event at the COP21 climate change talks - to promote the benefits of using both science and traditional Inuit knowledge, or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, as a way to both mitigate climate change and adapt to it. Nunatsiaq Online
Looking at Alaska's High Suicide Rate. Sergeant Slawomir Markiewicz flips through the pages of his notebook containing dozens of names of the victims his unit has investigated. Some are highlighted blue, others are pink. Each name written in blue ink represents a suicide in Anchorage. Markiewicz became the head of the Anchorage homicide unit in 2005. He knew when he took the position that suicides were going to be some of the most common cases. At least that's what his years as an APD officer taught him. But it wasn't until he actually started tracking the numbers that he realized the magnitude of the problem. Alaska Public Radio
Arctic Communities Will Need Help to Deal With Climate Change. Following the signing of a global pact to fight climate change over the weekend, Inuit leaders and Nunavut politicians are pointing out that Arctic communities, like developing countries, are going to need help to reduce their emissions and address the impacts of climate change. Nearly 200 nations adopted the Paris Agreement on Saturday, resulting from the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties, or COP21. CBC News  
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.
Future Events
Norway-Russia: Bridging for Partnerships in Business, Education and Research, January 12, 2016 (Bodo, Norway). The conference will be devoted to an opening of new academic semester and an upcoming 25 years cooperation between University of Nordland and Baltic State Technical University (St. Petersburg). On the second day the educational project's results "Arctic Bridge: Cooperation on PhD Education and Research Training in the field of Management in Extractive Industries in the High North" will be presented.
"Arctic Matters" day at the National Academy of Sciences, January 14th, 2016 (Washington, DC, USA) This symposium is part of an ongoing initiative of the National Academies of Science Polar Research Board to expand public understanding of why the dramatic changes affecting the Arctic region ultimately matter to us all.  The agenda features engaging presentations and discussions with top Arctic science and policy experts, and displays and interactive exhibits that illustrate Arctic change and its global impacts.  The event is free and open to the public.  There are sponsorship opportunities, and a call for exhibitor applications.  Audience space is limited, so register today; and please encourage your friends, neighbors, and colleagues to participate-as our goal is to reach well beyond the small circle of specialists who typically attend Arctic-themed events in the DC area.   The U.S. Arctic Research Commission is the primary sponsor of this event.
Building upon the preceding Arctic Encounter event in Paris, the third annual Arctic Encounter Symposium (AES) in Seattle, Washington will convene policymakers, industry leaders, and leading experts to confront the leading issues in Arctic policy, innovation, and development. The AES mission is to raise awareness, engage challenges, and develop solutions for the future of a region and a people. The two-day program includes two keynote luncheons, expert plenary sessions, break out sessions, a networking cocktail reception and seated dinner. A closing reception will take place at the conclusion of the program.
2016 Arctic Frontiers, January 24-29, 2015 (Tromso, Norway).The Arctic is a global crossroad between commercial and environmental interests. The region holds substantial natural resources and many actors are investigating ways to utilise these for economic gain. Others view the Arctic as a particularly pristine and vulnerable environment and highlight the need to limit industrial development. Arctic Frontiers 2016 will discuss the balance between resource utilisation and preservation, and between industrial and environmental interests in the Arctic. Envisioning a well-planned, well-governed, and sustainable development in the Arctic, how can improved Arctic stewardship help balance environmental concerns with industrial expansion? How can the industrial footprints from future business activities be minimised? And last, but not least, what role will existing and emerging technologies play in making industrial development profitable and environmentally friendly, securing a sustainable growth scenario for Arctic communities?
16th Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 25-29, 2016 (Anchorage, AK, USA)A valuable meeting focusing on research results from the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, and the Arctic Ocean. Good, in-depth, research from Alaska's marine regions. AMSS. The agenda is available here. 
43rd Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, March 2-6, 2016 (Sitka, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Anthropological Association will be holding its 43rd Annual Meeting in Sitka, Alaska.  This year it is being organized by archaeologists and anthropologists of the National Park Service - Alaska Region.
5th Annual Fletcher Opening Arctic Conference, March 12, 2016. The Opening Arctic Conference builds on the Fletcher School's Warming Arctic International Inquiry series, to bring together high-level thought leaders from across disciplines, Fletcher's hallmark. Staged annually, Fletcher's event continues to address the foreign policy, economic, environmental and security implications of the opening Arctic, while dispelling myths.
Arctic Science Summit Week Arctic Observing Summit, March 12-18, 2016 (Fairbanks, AK, USA). ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations that support and facilitate long-term planning in Arctic research. In 2016, ASSW will be held in conjunction with AOS, which brings people together to facilitate the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long-term operation of an international network of Arctic observing systems.
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.
ICETECH 2016, August 15-18, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The Arctic Section of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) together with Alaska's Institute of the North (ION) will host the International Conference and Exhibition on Performance of Ships and Structures in Ice (ICETECH 16), the premiere international conference on ships and structures in ice. The conference will take place in Anchorage starting with an opening icebreaker reception on the evening of Monday, August 15, and concluding in the afternoon on Thursday August 18, with a possible workshop on Arctic EER on Friday August 19. 
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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