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Arctic Daily Update: February 16, 2016


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February 16, 2016  
  
Today's Congressional Action:  
 
The House and Senate are not in session.
Media  
The Arctic Council Requests Your Help With "One Health." The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) is requesting your assistance and that of your networks in collecting vital data for its 'One Health' project.  'One Health' is holistic approach - considering human, animal, plant, and environmental factors - to identify health risks threatening the Arctic.  The project team will collect data via an online survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AC_One_Health_Survey) to establish a baseline of the One Health approach in the Arctic region.  The survey aims to improve the understanding of where, how, and why (or why not) individuals and organizations use a 'One Health' model. IARPC Collaborations
 
Collegians From Circumpolar Nations to Hold First Model Arctic Council Meeting at UAF. Carolyn Kozak says she's excited about getting together with about 70 other university students from around the circumpolar north next month in Fairbanks for a first-of-its-kind meeting of youth concerned about the future of the Arctic. "I'm looking forward to looking at the common problems we face together and hopefully coming up with some innovative solutions," she said. KUAC
 
UAF's Walsh Wins International Science Award. A University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist is receiving the recognition of his peers. Dr. John Walsh recently garnered a medal from the International Arctic Science Committee. The prestigious award recognizes Walsh's sustained work in far north. Alaska Public Radio
 
capital US Senators, Top Energy Official Travel to Tiny Alaska Village, Hold Bethel Hearing. A hefty contingent of six U.S. senators, the U.S. energy secretary, Gov. Bill Walker and others traveled Monday in a convoy of more than a dozen vehicles on the frozen Kuskokwim River to the village of Oscarville, population 50. They got an up-close look at a community with big needs and solutions in the works. The field trip in Southwestern Alaska came on a day capped by a Bethel field hearing on energy, an issue woven into almost every aspect of life, from the fuel that powers skiffs in the summer to the heated cables that prevent water pipes from freezing - in the communities that have modern water systems. Alaska Dispatch News
 
Energy Secretary Moniz Talks About Renewables, Alaska LNG. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, on his second trip to Alaska in his current post and his fifth overall, talked about natural gas, renewable energy resources and his agency's work in Alaska in a brief interview Monday. Asked how current low oil prices impact development of alternative energy resources, Moniz said that the low cost of oil "is good for consumers." The average price of gasoline in the Lower 48 is now $1.73 a gallon. Alaska Dispatch News
 
Project to Deliver High-Speed Internet to Alaska Arctic Ramps Up. The main part of a project that aims to deliver high-speed Internet to Northern and Western Alaska will get underway this summer, the first piece of a broader plan to connect Asia and Europe via a fiber-optic cable that cuts through the Arctic Ocean. Stretching across the top of Alaska from Prudhoe Bay to Nome, cable will be laid on the seafloor anywhere from 10 miles to 75 miles off Alaska's northern and western coasts starting in June, and it should take about 3 1/2 months to finish. Alaska Dispatch News
 
Army Corps Launches Review of Proposed North Slope Oil Project. A federal agency is launching an environmental review of plans by the Spanish oil company Repsol to develop what may be one of Alaska's biggest oil discoveries in years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced last week it will prepare an environmental impact statement associated with the Nanushuk project on the North Slope, near the village of Nuiqsut, that the oil company estimates could yield 120,000 barrels per day. Alaska Dispatch News
 
Slap on the Sunscreen: Arctic Ozone Could Hit All-Time Low This Spring. Inuit and other Arctic dwellers who head out on the land in March may want to apply a little sunscreen first. Scientists who study the earth's atmosphere have noticed a significant decrease in ozone levels over the Arctic recently and, with the sun's return in spring, they predict that ozone hole will get a lot bigger. Nunatsiaq Online
 
Arctic Research Propose Plan to Monitor Baffin Bay. A group of leading Arctic researchers is putting forward a plan to conduct extensive monitoring of Baffin Bay, a rich marine environment that is rapidly being transformed by melting sea ice and glaciers. The proposal, dubbed the Baffin Bay Observing System (BBOS), would involve Canada, Denmark and several other nations working together to gather data and analyze conditions up and down the 1,450-kilometre-long waterway that separates Greenland from the North American continent. The Globe and Mail
 
Healy, Coast Guard [Opinion] More Funding Needed for Icebreakers to Protect US Arctic Interests. Climate change and rising sea levels invite all manner of partisan skirmishing and flippant denials. Meanwhile, rapidly melting ice in the Arctic is not the least bit impressed or deterred by ignorant denials of reality. The shrinking ice cap is creating marine passages that shorten trade routes, attract foreign interest, and raise a litany of concerns about U.S. security and sovereignty, marine safety and enforcement of maritime protocols. Seattle Times
 
Norway Supports Project to Reduce Environmental Risk in Arctic Waters. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is providing NOK 14.3 million for a project to reduce environmental risk in connection with oil and gas activities in northern sea areas. 'It is crucial to reduce the effects of human activities on the marine environment in the Arctic. Supporting this project is an important contribution to sustainable development of key natural resources in the Arctic. These resources include petroleum and could offer major opportunities for value creation,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. Arctic Journal
 
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.
 
Future Events
   
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. 
 
Jefferson Science Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series: Exploring Ice on Earth: From Sea Level Rise to Fish Habitats, and IPCC to USAID, February 18, 2016 (Washington, DC). Among all of the aspects and consequences of climate change, none is more easily visualized than sea level rise. It is also one of the most certain future environmental changes, although uncertainties in timing and magnitude of sea level rise create crucial differences in the severity of the outcomes. Among the several variables controlling the future rate of global sea level rise, it is the shrinkage of the world's glaciers and ice sheets that are the sources both of the fastest rates of change and of the greatest uncertainty. And in addition to sea level rise, ice in its many forms controls or influences an extraordinary range of other processes involved in climate change. Interested in attending? RSVP here: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/f4337a48f4ed 
 
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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