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Arctic Daily Update: February 5, 2016


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February 5, 2016  
Marine Mammal Commission Arctic Listening Sessions, February 5, 9, 11, 2016 (Locations include: Kotzebue, Nome and Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere else on earth. How is climate change impacting the Arctic marine environment and subsistence hunting of marine mammals by Alaska Native communities? We will focus on these questions at a series of listening sessions in Alaska in early February. Our goal is to gain a better understanding of how climate change is impacting Alaska Native communities and the marine mammals upon which they depend, and hear your ideas on actions that can be taken in response.
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are not in session.
canadian flag Coast Guard: New $1.3 Billion Arctic Icebreaker to be Ready by 2022. The Liberal government expects engineering work on a new heavy duty icebreaker will start in 2017, with delivery of the $1.3 billion polar class icebreaker by 2022, a Coast Guard spokesperson said Jan. 26. The CCGS John G. Diefenbaker, named after the Progressive Conservative prime minister who served from 1957 to 1963, will be built by Seaspan Marine Corp. of British Columbia and will replace the Louis St. Laurent, which Canada launched in 1968. Nunatsiaq Online
GPS Mix-Up Brings Wrong Turn, and Celebrity, to an American in Iceland. When Noel Santillan typed the word Laugarvegur instead of Laugavegur into his rental car's GPS, the New Jersey resident couldn't have imagined that the extra "r" would make him something of a celebrity in Iceland. Mr. Santillan, 28, arrived at Keflavik International Airport on Monday morning after a five-hour flight from New York and was eager to get to the Hotel Fron on Laugavegur, a main street in Reykjavik, Iceland's capital, local news media reported. But the spelling error got in his way, according to Visir, an Icelandic news website. New York Times
Nunavut MP Tootoo Makes 'Icebreaking' Appearance at the Senate. Hunter Tootoo, Nunavut's MP and minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, appeared at an unprecedented Senate question period Feb. 3 to field questions from senators about his department's work. Prime Minister Trudeau has yet to name a government leader to the Senate and two years ago removed all Liberals sitting in the Senate from the Liberal parliamentary caucus. Nunatsiaq Online
Why Don't the Caribou Cross the Road? Why don't the caribou cross the road? That is the question raised by a new study into caribou behavior around the road used for delivery of ore from the huge Red Dog Mine in Northwest Alaska. The decade-long study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, reveals that about a quarter of the caribou that encounter the 53-mile mine road balk at crossing it during their fall migration, causing them to delay their walk south. Alaska Dispatch News
Mapping the Movements of Birds and Beasts. Be they creatures of land, sea, or air, most animal species migrate. Whales, salmon, songbirds, and butterflies all travel thousands of kilometers to and from breeding and feeding grounds every year. Theory and lab experiments suggest migrating en masse can help animals find their way. Creatures traveling together are thought to pool the many directional estimates of the members of a group, in essence tapping into the "wisdom of the crowd." Phys.org
Arctic Council Launches one Health Online Survey. The Arctic Council's One Health initiative is seeking input from northerners and Arctic researchers through an online survey. Dr. Thomas Hennessy, co-chair of the Arctic Human Health Experts Group, says the survey is aimed at helping build networks among Arctic communities by accumulating information on health issues. The Arctic Council wants to learn more about holistic health in the North, looking at how human, animal, plant and environment factors affect health in the Arctic. CBC News
Russia Looks to Create Indigenous Peoples Register. Legislation to establish a unified registry of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East has been submitted to the State Duma, Kommersant reported. The draft law was initiated by Grigory Ledkov, a member of the parliamentary committee for ethnic affairs. An explanatory note to the bill says it seeks to facilitate access to the majority of rights and preferences guaranteed to indigenous peoples by federal law. The Arctic
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
Future Events
Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 8-12, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). The Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE) is Alaska's largest statewide gathering of environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit and for-profit businesses, community leaders, Alaskan youth, conservationists, biologists and community elders. The diversity of attendees and comprehensive agenda sets this conference apart from any other. Each year there are over 80 technical breakout sessions and sensational Keynote Events. There will be a full week of sessions on climate change, energy, environmental regulations, cleanup and remediation, fish & wildlife, solid waste, and more.
Senate Energy Committee Field Hearing, February 15, 2016 (Bethel, Alaska, USA). The US Senate Energy Committee will hold a field hearing in Alaska.  The purpose of the hearing is to examine energy technology innovation and deployment - opportunities for Alaska's energy future.
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. 
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.
** New this week** 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.
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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