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Arctic Daily Update: February 8, 2016


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February 8, 2016  
 
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are not in session.
 
Media  
 
T-Shirt Weather in the Arctic. We crested the northern rim of Alaska's Brooks Range, and from the windows of our truck looked out across the undulating foothills toward the Arctic Ocean. Instead of seeing snow as we had in years past, we were greeted by a landscape already green with spring. We flew by helicopter to our remote camp and shed our heavy parkas. The fish we had come to study had already disappeared downstream to spawn. New York Times
 
capital Committee Chairs to Flesh Out Details of House Agenda. All 20 chairmen of the standing legislative House committees will play lead roles in developing the 2016 GOP policy agenda, as House leaders Thursday announced details of six new task forces. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced membership of the task forces that will focus on national security, a tax code rewrite, a health care overhaul, poverty and welfare, regulations, and constitutional authority. Roll Call
 
Scientists Put the Animal Equivalent of a Fitbit on Polar Bears. Here's What They Learned. To survive the harsh conditions of the Arctic, polar bears roaming Alaska's Beaufort Sea coastline subsist on the equivalent of about one adult ringed seal every 10 days and, to make those fatty calories last, spend most of their daylight hours lounging around on the ice and snow, new research shows. Beaufort Sea polar bears equipped in 2014 and 2015 with Fitbit-like devices and neck cameras revealed their daily routines to scientists studying their food needs. Alaska Dispatch News
 
Arctic Navigation Database to be Launched in 2017. The Arctic Council's Working Group on the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) met in Stockholm on February 1-3, 2016, to discuss the project to set up a shipping database for the Arctic (based on data from the automatic identification system). The database is to come online in 2017, said the press service of the Federal Agency for Sea and Inland Water Transport (Rosmorrechflot)'s maritime rescue service. The agreement on data sharing will be drafted by the inter-sessional working group by September 2016 and will later be considered by a PAME session and presented for signing at an Arctic Council session. The Arctic
 
How Melting Arctic Ice May Have Set Off Era of Vicious East Coast Snow Storms. Does shrinking ice in the Arctic lead to more crushing snow storms along the East Coast? Through a complex chain of events, it's very possible says leading Arctic researcher and seasonal forecaster Judah Cohen. Since 1990, as sea ice has rapidly melted away in the Arctic, crippling snow storms have increasingly buried the Northeast's big cities. The Washington Post
 
Interview: Gov. Walker Outlines Arctic Priorities. 2015 saw increased attention paid to the Arctic from the international community and the state. Issues such as climate change, an uptick in marine traffic and infrastructure concerns have driven many of the discussions among stakeholders so far this year. Over the next several weeks, The Arctic Sounder will bring you conversations with state and regional leaders outlining their priorities for the Arctic in 2016. This week, we hear from Gov. Bill Walker. Alaska Dispatch News
Legislative Actionfutureevents  
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.
 
Future Events
   
Marine Mammal Commission Arctic Listening Sessions, February 9, 11, 2016 (Locations include: 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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
** New this week** The American Arctic: The United States as an Arctic Power in Science, Technology and Security, April 4, 2016 (San Francisco, CA, USA). The Association of American Geographers will host a panel discussion on the American Arctic. In 2015 the United States assumed the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. In recent years, the Federal government began to pay closer attention to the Arctic owing to dramatic environmental and social changes and growing economic interest in the region's vast resources. President Obama became the first sitting US President to visit the Arctic this August. US Arctic Research Commission Chair Fran Ulmer is expected to be a panelist.
 
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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