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Arctic Daily Update: February 20, 2015


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February 20, 2015  
Catch the USARC live on  Science Friday public radio or by streaming. Dr. Cheryl Rosa, USARC's Dep. Director, will be on PRI's "Science Friday" today,sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 pm, DC time. The topic is climate change and she will address impacts on Arctic plants and wildlife. See here.
Breaking news...BSEE, BOEM to discuss efforts to ensure safe and responsible

Oil and Gas Exploratory Drilling Operations in the Arctic. Agency reps will hold a press conference call today to discuss latest efforts to ensure future oil and gas exploratory activities on the U.S. Arctic Outer Continental Shelf are done safely and responsibly. Media (only!) may participate in the 2:00 pm EST news teleconference by dialing 1-888-790-3401 and providing the access code INTERIOR.

NSAR Tribal Consultations and Stakeholder Outreach meetings for Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, Round 2 Barrow (Feb. 20), Kotzebue (Feb. 23), Nome (Feb. 24), Bethel (Feb. 25), Unalaska (Feb. 27), Anchorage (Mar. 3), and Juneau (early April, TBD)) The Department of Energy, Office of Indian Energy is announcing the second round of tribal consultations and stakeholder outreach meetings on the National Strategy for the Arctic Region (NSAR), Ten Year Plan to Accelerate Renewable Energy Deployment in the Arctic Region. For additional information, visit www.energy.gov/indianenergy. Tribal leaders and stakeholders are encouraged to provide comments on the draft Ten Year Plan, submitted to IndianEnergy@hq.doe.gov, or by fax to (202) 586-1534 (by March 21, 2015).


capitalToday's Congressional Action:  

The House is not in session.  The Senate is expected to host a pro forma session.


erosion Feds Direct $8 Million to Native Communities to Address Effects of Climate Change.The U.S. Department of the Interior is directing $8 million to helping Native American communities address the effects of climate change. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the funding on Tuesday while in Alaska, where she is visiting Kivalina, one of the Native villages that has been seeking to move because sea level rise and coastal erosion threaten their long-term safety. Huffington Post 


Alaska Deep-Water Port Proposed for Vessels in Arctic Waters. A historic Alaska gold-mining city could be the first place where the federal government invests in a deep-water port to serve vessels in Arctic waters. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to release a study for public comment that suggests expanding the Port of Nome as a first step in improving infrastructure along Alaska's west and north coast. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


BLM Approves Greater Mooses Tooth Unit Oil and Gas Development Project in Alaska. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth Unit project (GMT1), opening the way for the first production of oil and gas from federal lands in the 23-million acre National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). "I am proud of the collaborative efforts that have brought us to this energy production milestone," said BLM Director Neil Kornze. "Today's decision not only opens the way for the first production of oil and gas in the National Petroleum Reserve, but also provides a new energy source for the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. The input of a wide array of stakeholders, especially Alaska Native communities, was critical in bringing this project from concept to reality." Bureau of Land Management


Russian Federation Government Signs Decree on Establishment of Arctic Support Base at 82nd Ship Repair Yard. By the Government Decree (No 243-r, dated February 18, 2015), onshore base to support Rosneft's offshore projects will be placed at the territory of the Roslyakovo-based 82nd ship repair yard (82 SRZ OJSC, Roslyakovo settlement, Murmansk Region), press center of RF Government says. The document has been elaborated by the Ministry of Economic Development. Port News


Research Contributes to Robust Arctic Sea Ice Predictions. A new study may help policymakers and planners with more accurate Arctic sea ice predictions. A group of researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center and IARC's Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning examined 35 global climate models, the most powerful tools for assessing the future trajectory of Arctic sea ice cover. SitNews


US Releases 'One Arctic' Theme as it Readies to Take Chair. The Arctic Council wants to make sure citizens and politicians start looking northward as trade routes, natural resource development and national security issues emerge. 

The United States will enter into the chair position of the Arctic Council in April 2015, taking over for Canada, which held the position since 2013. The chair position is held for two years before being taken by another of the eight member countries. The U.S. is a member thanks to Alaska, along with the Russian Federation, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The politicians working on the council, many of whom are Alaskans, say they plan to use the country's position to bring more public, private, and political attention to an Arctic that's rapidly becoming a focal point for everything from environmental concerns to international trade. Alaska Journal 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  

No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday. 


Future Events

Federal Arctic MTS Activities Update, February 24, 2015 (Webinar/ Conference). The US Committee on the Marine Transportation System will present a webinar on the presidential executive order on the Arctic, the status of the polar code, and CMTS ten-year projection of maritime activity in the Arctic report. The meeting is available at https://www.webmeeting.att.com Meeting number: 8773361839 Participant Code: 7705293


International Symposium on Northern Development, February 25-27, 2015 (Quebec, Canada). The Québec government, in collaboration with Université Laval, will co-chair with the Nordic Council of Ministers the International Symposium on Northern Development. The event will allow for the pooling of knowledge, experience and perspectives in the realm of northern development. It will assemble representatives of the northern countries, the universities and local populations, including the Aboriginal nations, and businesspeople and enterprises. The key themes will be the North as a living environment; the North as a physical territory; the North as a hub of economic development; and, the North as a hub of knowledge training and research.


Sea Ice Modeling: Characteristics and Processes Critical for the

Radiation Budget, March 2, 2015 (Webinar). This webinar is designed for the sea ice research community and others interested in learning about sea ice modeling from the global climate model perspective. The speaker will be Elizabeth Hunke, Los Alamos National Laboratory. More details including registration instructions, will be announced closer to the event.

For more information, contact Betsy Turner-Bogren at ARCUS (betsy@arcus.org).


2015 Public Policy Forum: Predicting and Preparing for a Changing Arctic. March 4, 2015 (Washington, D.C.). The Consortium for Ocean Leadership will host a forum on a changing Arctic.  One panel will discuss the state of knowledge in predicting major changes occurring in the Arctic as well as identifying research and observational gaps.  The second panel will consider the science needs of commercial and community stakeholders living and working in the Arctic.

Confirmed speakers:
Senators Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Angus King (ME), USARC Chair Fran Ulmer and Commissioner David Benton, NSF Director France Cordova, USCG VADM Neffenger, and USN RADM White, among others. Registration required.


 US Arctic Research Commission's 103rd Meeting, March 4-5, 2015 (Washington, DC, USA).


PNWER...Pacific NorthWest Economic Region's Arctic Caucus meeting, March 5, 2015, (Washington, DC, USA). More info to come. 


Arctic Summit 2015, March 12, 2014 (Oslo, Norway) The Economist is hosting the Arctic Summit 2015 where discussions will focus on whether commercial interest in the Arctic is a bubble about to burst. There are discounted registration fees are available for NGOs, government, academics, charities and students. There are also discounts for groups of 3 or more people.


Polar Shelves and Shelf Break Exchange in Times of Rapid Climate Warming, March 15-20, 2015 (Lucca, Italy). The GRCs provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies. The guiding principle of a GRC is to encourage communication and discussion of ideas and new unpublished results at the very frontier of a particular field of research, by bringing together outstanding scientists from academia, industry, and government, ranging from senior experts to Ph.D. students. With the increasing impacts of reduced sea ice and warming seawater conditions in both the Arctic and Antarctic, this conference can act as a forum for potentially transformative discussions for interdisciplinary, international and compare/contrast evaluation of polar sciences. In addition, the Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) will precede the GRC to provide a forum for graduate students and post-docs to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas with experts in the different polar fields of science.


Sweden-U.S. Planning Workshop on Joint Arctic Research Using the I/B Oden, March 30- April 1, 2015 (Stockholm, Sweden). The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Arctic Section is supporting a 'Planning Workshop on joint Arctic Research using the Swedish Class 1A Icebreaker Oden.' This workshop is held in collaboration with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS) and the Swedish Research Council (Formas and VR). The US delegation will be led by Drs. Patricia Matrai (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences) and Peter Minnett (RSMAS, U. Miami), as workshop co-organizers with Dr. Caroline Leck (Stockholm U.). This workshop will bring together those with research and operational/ logistical interests in the Arctic and will discuss a baseline for establishing a new, longer-term collaborative relationship among U.S. and Swedish scientists for Oden-based research in the Arctic Ocean. 


Leadership, Diplomacy and Science: Resolving the Arctic Paradox" April 13-14, 2015, (Medford, MA, USA). The 4th annual Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy International Inquiry on the Warming Arctic will convene high-level decision makers from diplomatic and security circles, cutting-edge energy and science researchers, and social, environmental and business stakeholders to investigate solutions to the Arctic Paradox and promote a sustainable future for Arctic inhabitants within a "High North, Low Tension" policy framework.  Special appearance: the North American debut of the Arctic Circle Assembly's panel "Rising Stars: Young Arctic Energy Researchers".  For more information: WarmingArctic@Tufts.edu


Arctic States Symposium, April 17-19, 2015 (Charlottesville, VA, USA).

ARCTIC STATES, a three-day symposium at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, brings together an international consortium of leading designers and colleagues from allied disciplines to posit the role of design in the rapidly transforming region, and generate critical discussions by sharing recent work that will trace, critique and speculate on its past, present, and future. 


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 23-30, 2015 (Toyama, Japan). The Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) is the annual gathering of the international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. The purpose of the summit is to provide opportunities for coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. The summit attracts scientists, students, policy makers and other professionals from all over the world. 

The Polar Geography and Cryosphere, April 21-25, 2015 (Chicago, IL, USA). The Polar Geography and Cryosphere Specialty Groups of the Association of American Geographers will host its annual meeting in Chicago to consider: current topics in human-environment interactions; current topics in politics, resource geographies, and extractive industries; current topics in Antarctic research; advances in cryosphere research; high latitude environments in a changing climate; an mountain ice and snow.

6th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, July 14-16, 2015 (Washington, DC, USA). Program in development...check back soon. To see the programs from prior symposia, click here
Polar Law Symposium (8th) will be held in Alaska (Sept. 23-24, UAF; Sept. 25-26, UAA). It's sponsored by UAF, UAA (and ISER), UAA Justice Center, UW Law School. Abstracts due 3/15/15. This year's conference theme is, "The Science, Scholarship, and Practice of Polar Law: Strengthening Arctic Peoples and Places."
The Polar Oceans and Global Climate Change, November 3-6, 2015 (La Jolla, California USA.)  The American Polar Society will host this Symposium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  A flyer with a partial list of presenters is available on the Society's website (americanpolar.org) and from the Society's Membership Chairman by email.


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.


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