Today's Congressional Action:
The House and Senate are in session and expected to consider non-Arctic legislation.
There's a Push to Bring Back the Zeppelin in Canada's Remote North.
Canada, with its vast distances and unforgiving weather conditions, never seems more remote than in its vast north. 70 percent of the country's landmass can't be reached via major roads or rail lines. The result is a longstanding logistical headache for residents and those trying to bring goods into the region. But now there is a push for an unlikely, and nearly forgotten, way of moving cargo around Canada's remote frontier. Vice News
Federal Researchers are Investigating Why Common Murres, One of the Arctic's Most Abundant Seabirds, Are Dying by the Thousands Off Alaska.
A closer look revealed that the white patches were emaciated common murres, one of North America's most abundant seabirds, washed ashore after apparently starving to death. "It was pretty horrifying," Irons said. "The live ones standing along the dead ones were even worse." Murre die-offs have occurred in previous winters but not in the numbers Alaska is seeing. Federal researchers won't estimate the number, and are trying to gauge the scope and cause of the die-off while acknowledging there's little they can do. Newser
'The Blob' ... On Winter Vacation or Gone for Good?
Measurements of Northeast Pacific sea surface temperatures suggest an unusual mass of warm water either diminished dramatically or even started dissipating in November. "It's an evolving system," says Nicholas Bond, a senior scientist at NOAA's Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington, identified the increasing sea surface temperatures starting in October 2013. Bond was the one who coined the nickname The Blob in a monthly newsletter in his other role as Washington state's climatologist. Alaska Public Radio
White House Invites Alaskan to State of Union.
When President Obama will give his final State of the Union address tomorrow night in Congress, a 24-year-old Alaska Native woman named Lydia Doza will be among the guests sitting in the First Lady's gallery. But Doza. a software engineering student at Oregon Tech, nearly passed up the invitation. She says she got a call she didn't answer because she was in class. Alaska Public Radio
Alaska Native Expert Reflects on Recent Arctic Studies.
A recent McGill University study was published that suggests Arctic Natives have an inherent mechanism to acclimate to climate changes. Your Alaska Link spoke to Alaskan Native expert Paul Ongtooguk, on what this study implies, and what Western institutions and infrastructures can actually learn from the state's original inhabitants. Your Alaska Link
UMass Amherst Arctic Research Co-hosts 'Arctic Matters Day' in Washington, DC on January 14.
Julie Brigham-Grette, professor of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) Polar Research Board (PRB), will serve as co-master of ceremonies for a free public program, "Arctic Matters Day," at NAS headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Jan. 14. She will also give the inaugural public talk, available as a live online webinar, in an Arctic research seminar series hosted by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States at that organization's Washington office at noon on Friday, Jan. 15. University of Massachusetts Amherst
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
National Security Challenges and Icebreaking Operations in the Arctic, January 13, 2016 (Washington, DC). In partnership with the United States Senate Arctic Caucus, CSIS will host a high-level discussion to examine the United States' icebreaking capabilities in the polar regions, as well as identify emerging national security challenges specific to the Arctic. This conference will analyze the state of U.S. readiness in the Arctic as well as address the questions related to President Obama's announcement in August 2015 to accelerate the acquisition of additional icebreakers.
Ice Floes and Global Economic Woes: The Future of Arctic Shipping Considered, January 13, 2016 (Washington, DC). The Center for Strategic and International Studies host this discussion will analyze the current and future state of play related to destination shipping and transshipment across the Arctic region. As energy and commodity prices have plummeted and global economic growth softens, significant new Arctic investments have also slowed. How has this impacted Arctic shipping? Additionally, on January 1, 2017, the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) will likely enter into force with subsequent adjustments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). How will implementation of the Polar Code impact Arctic shipping? Finally, as Arctic states are focusing on enhanced Arctic maritime safety, stewardship, and domain awareness, there continues to be a lack of Arctic marine infrastructure, particularly in the U.S. What is the latest state of play on improving maritime infrastructure?
"Arctic Matters" day at the National Academy of Sciences, January 14th, 2016 (Washington, DC, USA)This symposium is part of an ongoing initiative of the National Academies of Science Polar Research Board to expand public understanding of why the dramatic changes affecting the Arctic region ultimately matter to us all. The agenda features engaging presentations and discussions with top Arctic science and policy experts, and displays and interactive exhibits that illustrate Arctic change and its global impacts. The event is free and open to the public. There are sponsorship opportunities, and a call for exhibitor applications. Audience space is limited, so register today; and please encourage your friends, neighbors, and colleagues to participate-as our goal is to reach well beyond the small circle of specialists who typically attend Arctic-themed events in the DC area.
The U.S. Arctic Research Commission is the primary sponsor of this event.
SMARTIC Game Night, January 14, 2016 (Washington, DC). As climate change drives rising temperatures, sea ice is decreasing and the Arctic Ocean is opening up, creating new challenges and opportunities for stakeholders in the region. The Strategic Management of Resources in Times of Change (SMARTIC) activity is an interactive simulation where players take on the role of key Arctic stakeholders, setting resource conservation and development priorities based on changing conditions. Come and practice your negotiation skills as you try to resolve conflicts, manage competing interests, and respond to crises in the Arctic Ocean region! SMARTIC is a project of the PoLAR Partnership. The PoLAR Partnership is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DUE-1239783).
Far from being a remote planetary 'deep-freeze', the Arctic region today is recognized as a dynamic environment that has played a major role in the evolution and spread of animals and plants as well as the migrations and development of peoples and cultures. This presentation begins by investigating why Late Quaternary megafauna like the mammoth and the woolly rhinoceros went extinct while others like caribou and bison prevailed. What caused these differential outcomes? And what was the role of humans and climate in the dramatic changes that took place subsequently?
ARCUS Arctic Research Seminar Series: Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette, January 15, 2016 (Washington, DC, USA and Webinar).The ARCUS Arctic Research Seminar Series brings some of the leading Arctic researchers to Washington, D.C. to share the latest findings and what they mean for decision-making. The seminars are open, and will be of interest to Federal agency officials, Congressional staff, NGOs, associations, and the public. The inaugural seminar (Friday, 15 January at 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time) will be presented by Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette, Geosciences Professor at the University of Massachusetts, and Chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Polar Research Board.
East-West Arctic Cooperation During Times of Global Tension, January 15, 2016.
Can the United States and its allies cooperate with Russia, China and other Asian nations during times of tense relations - or will cooperation on common interests in the Arctic succumb to the more familiar geopolitical tensions of the Cold War era? Stimson will host this event. Vice Admiral Charles Michel, the Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, will deliver a keynote speech on the new Arctic Coast Guard Forum established to promote maritime safety and security cooperation in the Arctic. Following VAdm. Michel's presentation, a panel of experts will discuss the progress and challenges to future East-West cooperation in the Arctic region.
Building upon the preceding Arctic Encounter event in Paris, the third annual Arctic Encounter Symposium (AES) in Seattle, Washington will convene policymakers, industry leaders, and leading experts to confront the leading issues in Arctic policy, innovation, and development. The AES mission is to raise awareness, engage challenges, and develop solutions for the future of a region and a people. The two-day program includes two keynote luncheons, expert plenary sessions, break out sessions, a networking cocktail reception and seated dinner. A closing reception will take place at the conclusion of the program.
2016 Arctic Frontiers, January 24-29, 2015 (Tromso, Norway).The Arctic is a global crossroad between commercial and environmental interests. The region holds substantial natural resources and many actors are investigating ways to utilise these for economic gain. Others view the Arctic as a particularly pristine and vulnerable environment and highlight the need to limit industrial development. Arctic Frontiers 2016 will discuss the balance between resource utilisation and preservation, and between industrial and environmental interests in the Arctic. Envisioning a well-planned, well-governed, and sustainable development in the Arctic, how can improved Arctic stewardship help balance environmental concerns with industrial expansion? How can the industrial footprints from future business activities be minimised? And last, but not least, what role will existing and emerging technologies play in making industrial development profitable and environmentally friendly, securing a sustainable growth scenario for Arctic communities?
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA