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Arctic Daily Update: February 24, 2015



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February 24, 2015  

"Unsung Hero" Award Reception, February 24, 2015 (Washington, DC, USA). The Alliance to Save Energy will honor UAF's Professor Cathy Cahill today as an "Unsung Hero" for her work on senate legislation to improve energy efficiency, an issue of particular importance in the Arctic. ASE will honor Cahill, and two others, in a reception, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, in the Kennedy Caucus Room, in the Russell Senate Office Building. RSVP for the event.

 

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   

 

NSAR Tribal Consultations and Stakeholder Outreach meetings for Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, Round 2, 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 in session and expected to consider H.R. 1020, the STEM Education Act. The Senate is in session and not expected to consider Arctic legislation.

 

 

Media

McConnell Moves to Prevent Homeland Security Shutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took steps Monday to prevent a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security by splitting off legislation attacking President Obama's immigration actions from the funding fight. The Kentucky Republican is seeking to fast-track legislation to eliminate two new immigration programs launched by Obama late last year, while allowing a 2012 initiative targeting younger immigrants to continue as designed. The Hill

 

russian flag What is Russia Up To in the Arctic? The Mågerø air defense monitoring base is inside a mountain at the end of an unmarked country road two hours south of Oslo, Norway. With only a rudimentary sentry box, a simple draw gate and a lone soldier guarding its entrance, the installation looks more like the set for a movie about the Nazi occupation of the country than a key link in the country's state-of-the-art defenses. At the end of a long, narrow tunnel into the mountain, in a cavernous room filled with computers and radar monitor screens, intelligence specialists stare at blinking icons marking the movement of aircraft around Norwegian airspace. On an all-too-typical afternoon recently, they watched as two nuclear-capable Tu-95 Russian Bear Bombers floated like fireflies across the top right of their monitors. A few desks away, an airman picked up phone and called Bodø, a military base on Norway's northern coast. Moments later, two F-16s rose to eyeball the intruders. Newsweek

 

Why China is Suddenly so Interested in the Arctic. Officials in China, now the second-largest economy in the world and a major global emitter of greenhouse gasses, now acknowledge that the country is important in the fight against global warming. It and many other Asian nations such as Singapore are also voicing greater concern about environmental changes in the Arctic region, changes they say are beginning to have a major impact back in their own countries. A group of Chinese officials and scientists visited the Norwegian city of Tromso last month for the Arctic Frontiers conference, where 1,400 government officials, scholars and activists from 30 Arctic and non-Arctic countries gathered to discuss climate change and energy matters related to the Arctic. Port News

 

[Opinion] Building Our Arctic Future. The United States' Arctic infrastructure is severely lacking - as is meaningful policy discussion concerning its development. Amid steadily growing opportunities, activity and vessel traffic in the region, this situation is becoming increasingly untenable. Current Arctic capabilities are unable to accommodate domestic pursuits, ensure their safety and security, protect the environment or uphold international responsibilities. Growing activity in Arctic waters is being spurred by the forces of climate change, which are exposing the region's considerable resources. These include: massive energy reserves, fisheries and sea-lanes that offer significantly reduced shipping distances and costs. Such opportunities are enticing Arctic ventures, and vessel traffic and more ships and cargo translate into a greater need for infrastructure and higher risk of accidents. Unfortunately, however, the Coast Guard reports that "there is very limited infrastructure" in the American Arctic. Arctic Journal

 

Norway Foreign Minister in Washington.  Foreign Minister Børge Brende visits Washington for political talks with US authorities from 24 to 27 February. Brende will have meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Deputy National Security Advisor Avril D. Haines and Gen. John R. Allen. He will also meet director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde and the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim. There will also be meetings with members of the US Senate and some of America's foremost experts on Isil, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Ukraine. The Nordic Page

 

US Corps of Engineers Selects Plan for Alaskan Port. The US Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District has released a draft feasibility report and environmental assessment that selects a plan to establish a deepwater port in Nome, Alaska to support increased vessel traffic and economic development in the Arctic. In 2012, the Corps launched the Alaska Deep-Draft Arctic Port System Study to evaluate potential locations on the northern and western coasts of the state, and determine the feasibility of constructing navigation improvements as part of a larger system of port facilities in the Arctic and sub-Arctic region. Dredging News Online

 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday. 

 

Future Events

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."
 

2015 Arctic Energy Summit, September 28-30, 2015 (Fairbanks, Alaska, USA).The Institute of the North's 2015 Arctic Energy Summit builds on our legacy efforts to address energy as a fundamental element of the sustainable development of the Arctic as a lasting frontier.Central to this concept is a focus on providing pathways for affordable energy development in the Arctic and for Arctic communities.

The Call for Presentations ends this Friday.
 
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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