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Arctic Daily Update: February 23, 2015



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February 23, 2015  
NSAR Tribal Consultations and Stakeholder Outreach meetings for Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, Round 2, 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.

Media
Congress Faces Five-Day Deadline for Funding Homeland Security. Lawmakers will begin returning to Washington on Monday with only five days left to prevent a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Legislation funding the agency is at an impasse over provisions demanded by House Republicans that would overturn President Obama's executive actions on immigration that shield millions from deportation. The Hill

 

Shell in Chukchi Arctic Drilling Regs Require Relief Rig; Shell Sees 'Critical' Flexibility. The Department of Interior today released proposed new Arctic-specific drilling standards for offshore oil exploration. They would require an Arctic operator to have a well cap at hand, but more controversially, a rig on standby that can drill a relief well within 45 days if there's a blowout. The idea for drilling standards suitable for harsh Arctic conditions was spurred by Shell's calamitous 2012 season, which featured multiple equipment failures and a floating rig run aground. Brian Salerno, director of the Interior Department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, says the standards are similar to the permit conditions imposed on Shell during that season, with some additions. Alaska Public Radio 

 

Nunavut Justice Department Taking a Look at Wellness Courts. If Eetooloo Ejetsiak had spent most of his adult life fighting the demons in his head, and those perceived demons around him, in Whitehorse or Yellowknife instead of Iqaluit, he might not be on his way to a federal prison today. Ejetsiak, the subject of a controversial cell-block scuffle with police which was caught on video - a troubled, violent man with a rap sheet more than 100 convictions long - was sentenced in Nunavut court Feb. 18 to three years in prison for uttering threats and assault causing bodily harm. Nunatsiaq Online 

 

New Website: Arctic Virtual Form. The Arctic Virtual Forum is an activity of the University of the Arctic Institute for Arctic Policy (IAP), co-led by the Institute of Arctic Studies at Dartmouth, Hanover NH and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in partnership with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C. The AVF is the outcome of a conference organized in 2013 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Russian and Eurasian Program, "A Euro-Atlantic Action Plan for Cooperation and Enhanced Arctic Security: Conference Report and Recommendations to the Arctic Council and Interested Parties." View the website here.

 

Budget Closeouts, Fleener Confirmation Hearing Among Things to Watch in Coming Week. The big news at the Capitol this past week was Gov. Bill Walker's gas line proposal, one that some legislators fear will create an atmosphere of uncertainty over efforts to bring Alaska's gas to market.

 

FLEENER CONFIRMATION: Sticking with House State Affairs, the committee plans a confirmation hearing Thursday for Craig Fleener, Walker's appointee to succeed Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott should that position become vacant. Fleener ran as a lieutenant governor candidate on an independent ticket with Walker last year. Greenfield Reporter 

 

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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