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Arctic Daily Update: February 17, 2016


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February 17, 2016  
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are not in session.
Iceland Asking for IASC. The Icelandic government announced yesterday that it would like to see the home office of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), a non-governmental, international scientific organization, to Akureyri. (See more about the organization below.) The IASC office is currently located in Potsdam, but is due to move in the coming years. Reykjavík is prepared to allocate 35 million krónur ($270,000) between 2017 and 2021 to fund operation of the office in Akureyri, according to a statement released by the prime minister's office yesterday. The Arctic Journal
Call for Proposals. Proposals are now being accepted for Breakout Sessions at the Fourth Arctic Circle Assembly to be held October 7 - 9, 2016 in Reykjavík, Iceland. Participation will be granted based on session topic, area of focus, goals, and room availability at the Harpa Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Center. When proposals are submitted, 50% of speakers need to be confirmed. The Arctic Journal
beluga Researchers Record Arctic Ocean Belugas Diving to Depths of Nearly 3,000 Feet. Beluga whales off Alaska's northern coast target Arctic cod and will dive to great depths to reach them, according to data collected over 15 years that provides insight into their foraging patterns in the remote region undergoing profound changes from climate warming and a loss of sea ice. The dive information on two U.S. Arctic Ocean beluga populations showed the white whales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas diving as deep as 900 meters -- or more than 2,950 feet. Alaska Dispatch News
Meet the Giant, Flightless Bird That Once Roamed Arctic Swamps. Back when the Arctic was a swamp - about 53 million years ago - it was home to a flightless bird with a head the size of a horse's. This strange creature is described in a recent study from the journal Scientific Reports. Researchers don't have all that much to go on: Their study is based on a single toe bone found on Ellesmere Island back in the 1970s. But they say it's a perfect match for toe bones from a bird known as Gastornis that lived in what's now North America around the same time period. In fact, many scientists have classified it as such since it was first found - but this is the first time the toe has been analyzed closely. The Washington Post
capital Senate Confirms Ambassadors as Ted Cruz Relents. Just as the Senate was departing for the Presidents Day recess, presidential hopeful Ted Cruz relented on a blockade of political nominees at the State Department. The list confirmed by voice vote Friday includes Thomas A. Shannon Jr., to be undersecretary for political affairs and Brian Egan to be legal adviser, as well as Azita Raji to be ambassador to Sweden and Samuel D. Heins for the posting in Norway. Roll Call
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
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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External links in this publication, and on the USARC's World Wide Web site (www.arctic.gov) do not constitute endorsement by the US Arctic Research Commission of external Web sites or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities, the USARC does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. These links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this newsletter and the USARC Web site.


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