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Arctic Daily Update: December 18, 2015


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December 18, 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 expected to consider continuing appropriations legislation.
 
Media  
 
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts. Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the several individuals to key Administration posts, include Marie Greene to be a member of the Arctic Research Commission. The White House
 
We May Resurrect the Mammoth Sooner Than You Think. Of all the varied and incredible possibilities presented by the controversial new gene-editing technique known as CRISPR-Cas9, perhaps the most intriguing are efforts to bring animals back from extinction. Candidates for de-extinction, as the process is known, include species like the passenger pigeon (the last one died in captivity in 1914), the dodo (last seen in 1662) and the sea cow (1768, a mere 27 years after it had been discovered by Europeans.) These projects are not pipe dreams. Huffington Post
 
Report Finds Food Insecurity Complex, Widespread For Some Alaska Natives. In the far north, where wild fish, game and plants are dietary staples and where store-bought foods are sometimes prohibitively expensive, food insecurity is a complex, but widespread problem for indigenous peoples. Addressing that problem, says a new report from an Alaska indigenous organization, will require a complex and widespread approach. Alaska Dispatch News
 
Molecule Found in Arctic Fish Could Improve Islet Cell Transplantation for Type 1 Diabetes Patients. A molecule that mimics a naturally-occurring glycoprotein found in Arctic fish could significantly improve the efficacy of islet cell transplantation for type 1 diabetes patients. Islet cell transplantation can leave people with type 1 diabetes free from insulin injections, but immunosuppressant drugs are required to prevent the pancreas rejecting foreign islet cells. Diabetes.Co.UK
 
Reindeer May Not be Able to Fly, but They do Have Ultraviolet Vision. Glen Jeffery started getting curious when people started sending him reindeer eyeballs.  The eyeballs were being sent to Jeffery, a professor of neuroscience at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology, by a researcher in Tromsø University's department of Arctic Biology who wanted his input. When he examined the eyes, Jeffery saw that the ones belonging to reindeer killed in summer were profoundly different from those belonging to reindeer killed in winter. Those killed in summer had a golden reflection at the back while those killed in winter had a deep blue reflection. The color of the reflection will have a profound influence on the animal's vision. Atlas Obscura
 
GHG Emissions From Canadian Arctic Aquatic Systems Dated for the First Time. For the first time, researchers have successfully dated the carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emitted by ponds and lakes on Bylot Island, Nunavut. The research team observed significant variability in age and emission rates of greenhouse gases (GHG) from aquatic systems located in a continuous permafrost zone. The study, whose lead author is Frédéric Bouchard affiliated to the INRS Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre and the Geography Department of Université de Montréal, appeared in the international journal Biogeosciences. Gas samples taken over the summer showed strikingly different ages and emission rates depending on the size and depth of the water bodies. Carbon-14 dating revealed that gas emitted by shallow ponds was a few centuries old, making it relatively "young". Certain ponds, covered by cyanobacterial mats, were identified as CO2 sinks and sources of CH4; others, with eroded banks, were significant emitters of both GHG. Compared to ponds, arctic lakes were found to release much older GHG--up to 3,500 years old in the case of CH4--but at a much slower rate, at least in summer. Science Codex
 
Alaska Science Forum: Measuring the Highest Peaks in the Brooks Ridge. U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps give you a choice on the height of Mount Isto. Depending on what map scale you choose, the mountain in the Brooks Range is either higher or lower than 9,000 feet. Using a new combination of techniques, an Alaska researcher has crowned Mt. Isto the highest peak in America's arctic, unseating longtime presumed champion Mt. Chamberlain, listed at 9,020 feet. Juneau Empire
 
Bird and Mammal Size Not Important in Adjusting to Temperature. Little birds, warm place; big bears, cold place? Until now, biologists have speculated that it would be easier to maintain body temperatures in fluctuating weather if one has a large body. This was based on thermoregulation studies done by Laurence Irving and Per Scholander regarding Arctic birds and animals in the 1950s. Under their model, it was thought that warm-blooded mammals and birds need to balance their heat production by metabolism with their loss of heat to the outside environment. Nature World News
 
How Arctic Fish Might Benefit From Shrinking Ice. As Arctic ice shrinks, fish will see the region in a whole new light. With sunlight now permeating previously darkened waters, predatory fish that hunt by sight are set to invade in increasing numbers, scientists predict in a new study. Models of past and future climate and environmental scenarios forecast a dramatic rise in light-penetrating polar waters from 2040 onward. (Related: "Extreme Research Shows How Arctic Ice Is Dwindling.") National Geographic
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
 
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.The agenda is available here. 
 
** New this week ** Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 8-12, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE) is Alaska's largest statewide gathering of environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit and for-profit businesses, community leaders, Alaskan youth, conservationists, biologists and community elders. The diversity of attendees and comprehensive agenda sets this conference apart from any other. Each year there are over 80 technical breakout sessions and sensational Keynote Events. There will be a full week of sessions on climate change, energy, environmental regulations, cleanup and remediation, fish & wildlife, solid waste, and more.
 
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.
  
** New this week** 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.   

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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