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Arctic Daily Update: February 27, 2015


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February 27, 2015  

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.  


NSAR Tribal Consultations and Stakeholder Outreach meetings for Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, Round 2, 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 and Senate are in session. The House and Senate are working to finalize the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill to fund operations for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015.



russian flag Application for Russia's Arctic Shelf Claim Out for Bid. Russia has announced a tender offer for preparation of documents to back its claim with the United Nations to expand the boundaries of its continental shelf in the Arctic. The Ministry of Natural Resources has announced a tender offer for edit of the application for extension of the Russian shelf in the Arctic. The tender offer, which carries a 120 million-ruble ($1.96 million) price tag, closes on March 13, RIA Novosti reports. According to the tender offer, the Ministry of Natural Resources wants to have a draft application updated to include new data gathered during scientific expeditions in 2014. The application should take into consideration Denmark's application materials, as well as comments from Ministry of Natural Resources and other interested parties. Alaska Dispatch News


House GOP Faces Another Whip Test on DHS Punt. When in doubt, punt. That's the latest plan from House Republicans, but even trying to pass a tried-and-true congressional maneuver might be a tall order for the GOP's fractured conference. They met again in the Capitol basement Thursday night and settled on a game plan: a three-week continuing resolution stripped of all provisions blocking President Barack Obama's immigration action, as well as a separate motion to go to conference with the Senate. Roll Call


Arctic Barge Nears Russia After Months in Ice. An unmanned fuel barge that got stuck in Arctic sea ice last fall has now made it almost as far as the northern coast of Russia. It sounds like the makings of a children's book: the long, unexpected journey of a little barge called the NTAL-2. Alaska Public Radio


Alaska Farmer Turns Icy Patch of Tundra into a Breadbasket. The Alaskan tundra might not seem like much of an agricultural hotspot, but one farmer in the frigid town of Bethel believes he's found America's newest breadbasket. For the last 10 years, Tim Meyers has been coaxing an enviable quantity of fruits and veggies from just four acres of land. Last year, he produced 50,000 pounds of potatoes, beets, carrots and other vegetables. He sells it at his year-round biweekly market and to local grocery stores. National Public Radio


Rosa Call of the Wild. The Japanese tourist had decided to take a solo beach-camping vacation at the northernmost point in the United States: Point Barrow, Alaska, 1,200 miles from the North Pole. There were problems, though. The thick sea ice had hidden where the beach stopped and the water started, so his tent was planted on top of the Beaufort Sea. And there was a hairier problem wandering about: polar bears. Cheryl Rosa [US Arctic Research Commission Deputy Director], V97, was also in the area for the first time, working on her dissertation about the health of Arctic bowhead whales, which the Native Iñupiaq people have hunted for thousands of years. It was 2000, and she had moved to Alaska to pursue a combined Ph.D. and wildlife residency at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Veterinary Medicine


Frozen Debris Lobes New videos on Frontier Scientists feature scientists who study frozen debris lobes (FDLs), slow landslides in permafrost. There are 23 FDLs looming upslope and less than one mile from Alaska's Dalton Highway. In recent years some FDLs have exhibited increased motion. The massive geohazards potentially threaten state infrastructure - the Dalton Highway is the only road connecting Alaska's interior to the North Slope. Watch the videos at www.FrontierScientists.com


Concerns Over Future of Joint Russian-American Weather Station. The future of a climate change monitoring facility in the Arctic run jointly by Russia and the United States is under threat following tensions between the nations. The Hydrometeorological Observatory was developed through a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in America, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet). Siberian Times


UK Must Appoint Arctic Ambassador or Risk Being 'Outmaneuvered'- MPs. Britain should appoint an ambassador on the Arctic or risk being "outmaneuvered" in the region by other countries, a committee of MPs from Britain's upper house said on Friday. As a near neighbor of the Arctic, Britain's recent engagement with the region has been "too hesitant and cautious" a House of Lords Arctic Committee report said, while countries including France and Japan had already appointed ambassadors. Reuters


Alaska Science Forum: Lie on Ice at the Top of World. On a February day long ago, a family living in a sod hut near the Arctic Ocean saw blocks of sea ice bulldozing their way onto shore. Winds shoved more ice until the mass towered above them and started dripping water through a ventilation hole. The father urged his family outside just before a slab fell on the hut and crushed him. An ivu - the Inupiat word for mounds of ice that sometimes plow onto land, powered by winds and currents - is not often fatal, nor is it common these days. But stories of a few like this one from 1890 are now preserved on audio and some video in a recently completed project. Juneau Empire


Legislative Actionfutureevents

No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events

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).  U.S. Arctic Research Commission will hold its 103rd meeting in Washington, District of Columbia, on March 4-5, 2015. The business sessions, open to the public, will convene at 9:00 a.m. The focus of the meeting will be on Arctic policy issues, and on programs and research projects affecting the Arctic. The agenda is available here.


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

2015 ESSAS Annual Science Meeting, June 15-17, 2015 (Seattle, WA, USA). This symposium, to be held at the University of Washington, is intended for interdisciplinary scholars who will be prepared to discuss their research in the sub-arctic North Atlantic, sub-arctic North Pacific, and the Arctic Ocean that bears on the issue of how changes in sea ice are likely to affect these marine ecosystems. The symposium will also consider the people who depend upon these ecosystems and how they may be able to cope with the changes in the ecosystem goods and services that are coming. These goods and services include the availability of transportation corridors, the availability of subsistence foods, and the opportunity for commercial fishing. To put the present day in a longer perspective, the symposium will include a session on the paleo-ecology of people in sub-arctic and arctic regions that were forced to adjust to changing sea-ice conditions in the past.

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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