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Arctic Daily Update: February 10, 2016


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February 10, 2016  
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 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.
 
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are in session.  The House is expected to consider H.R. 3293, the Scientific Research in the National Interest Act. The Senate is expected to consider non-Arctic legislation.
 
Media  
Russia to Make UN Claim to Arctic Ocean Seabed. A senior Russian government official on Tuesday formally presented to the United Nations his country's claim to Arctic Ocean seabed, including an area under the North Pole. The presentation by the official, Sergei Donskoy, the minister of natural resources, followed a long Russian effort to secure the territory -- and mineral rights -- under the polar ice cap. Alaska Dispatch News
 
Crew Maps Polar Bear Dens on Alaska's North Slope. When the tundra freezes, the North Slope gets busy. It's the travel season, the time of year when oil producers can put in ice roads and move heavy vehicles over the frozen ground. But before any of that can happen, one task comes first: looking for polar bears. On the North Slope, bears have the right of way. Alaska Public Media
 
budget Obama Budget Reveals Alaska Flashes. President Obama delivered his final budget to Congress this morning. It has a picture of Denali on the cover, and several big-ticket Alaska items among its pages. Deputy Interior Secretary Mike Connor says the budget includes a proposed 10-year,$ 2 billion coastal climate resilience program to help states and communities adapt to climate change. Alaska Public Media
 
Record Ozone Hole May Open Over Arctic in the Spring. Lingering atmospheric pollutants and a blast of frigid air have carved an unusually deep hole in Earth's protective ozone layer over the Arctic, and it threatens to get deeper. Atmospheric scientists are analyzing data from weather balloons and satellites for clues to how the ozone will fare when sunlight-a third factor in ozone loss-returns to the Arctic in the spring. But they are already worrying about how extra ultraviolet light might affect humans and ecosystems below and wondering whether climate change will make such Arctic holes more common or severe. Science Magazine
 
Healy, Coast Guard Obama Wants New Icebreaker. The two polar class icebreakers are more than 40 years old.  One of them, the Polar Sea, has been laid up at a Harbor Island shipyard since 2010 while its repair is debated. President Obama promised a new polar-class icebreaker last September during a visit to Alaska's Resurrection Bay near Seward. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
 
Future Events
   
Marine Mammal Commission Arctic Listening Sessions, February 11, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere else on earth. How is climate change impacting the Arctic marine environment and subsistence hunting of marine mammals by Alaska Native communities? We will focus on these questions at a series of listening sessions in Alaska in early February. Our goal is to gain a better understanding of how climate change is impacting Alaska Native communities and the marine mammals upon which they depend, and hear your ideas on actions that can be taken in response.
 
Senate Energy Committee Field Hearing, February 15, 2016 (Bethel, Alaska, USA). The US Senate Energy Committee will hold a field hearing in Alaska.  The purpose of the hearing is to examine energy technology innovation and deployment - opportunities for Alaska's energy future.
 
ARCUS DC Arctic Research Seminar Series, February 18, 2016 (Washington, DC). Does it seem as though the weather gods have gone crazy lately? It is not your imagination. The question on everyone's minds is why? And is it related to climate change? In this presentation, I will explain new research that links increasing extreme weather events with the rapidly warming and melting Arctic during recent decades. Evidence suggests that Arctic warming is causing weather patterns to become more persistent, which can lead to extremes such as droughts, cold spells, heat waves, and some flooding events. 
 
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.
 
15th Annual Arctic Health Science Seminar, April 1, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The American Society for Circumpolar Health will host the 15th Annual Arctic Health Science Seminar in Anchorage, Alaska. This event will include the annual meeting of the American Society for Circumpolar Health, the Robert Fortuine Memorial lecture, and the Albrecht Milan Foundation will provide the Albrecht-Milan Emerging Professional Award to one of the Arctic Health Science Seminar presenters. The call for abstracts is open through Monday February 29, 2016.
 
** New this week** The American Arctic: The United States as an Arctic Power in Science, Technology and Security, April 4, 2016 (San Francisco, CA, USA). The Association of American Geographers will host a panel discussion on the American Arctic. In 2015 the United States assumed the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. In recent years, the Federal government began to pay closer attention to the Arctic owing to dramatic environmental and social changes and growing economic interest in the region's vast resources. President Obama became the first sitting US President to visit the Arctic this August. US Arctic Research Commission Chair Fran Ulmer is expected to be a panelist.
 
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.
  
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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