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Arctic Daily Update: January 19, 2016


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January 19, 2016  
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House is not in session. The Senate is expected to consider non-Arctic legislation.
Healy, Coast Guard Coast Guard Takes Steps to Acquire Long-Sought Icebreaker for Arctic. The Coast Guard inched closer last week to acquiring a new heavy-duty icebreaker for the Arctic. Admiral Paul Zukunft, the commandant of the Coast Guard, announced Wednesday that the military was beginning discussions with ship architects and builders to advance early stages of acquiring a new icebreaker to supplement the nation's dwindling fleet. The Coast Guard also released a draft wish list of sorts, detailing its hopes for a schedule, design requirements and a long list of questions for the shipbuilding industry. The Coast Guard will have an industry meeting day in March to discuss options. Alaska Dispatch News
Meet Greenland's New Rep in Canada: Inuuteq Holm Olsen. Greenland has a new representative in Canada - Inuuteq Holm Olsen, who also represents Greenland's interests in the United States. Greenland said Holm's presence in Canada will be useful in expanding co-operation with Nunavut and the Maritimes. The Greenland government announced Jan. 18 that Holm, who visited Ottawa last week, has now also been accredited as an official representative to Canada. Nunatsiaq Online
Animals Die in Large Numbers, and Researchers Scratch Their Heads. Are die-offs occurring more often? To the casual reader, it can certainly seem that reports emerge on a regular basis of thousands of animals of a species suddenly dying. The latest victims are common murres in the Northeast Pacific. They have been dying for months, but estimates of the toll jumped sharply when David Irons, a retired United States Fish and Wildlife Service biologist walking a beach in Whittier, Alaska, found close to 8,000 dead birds in early January. New York Times
Researchers Investigate Causes of Seabird Die-off Along Alaska's Coast- and Inland. The seabird known as the common murre lives along the North American coastlines, feeding on nutrient-rich small fish such as capelin and herring. But murres are dying by the thousands throughout southern Alaska - apparently because they're not finding enough food. "Why are they starving?" says Robb Kaler, a migratory bird expert with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage. "We know what's going on. We just don't know why - the mechanism to indicate why are they starving." KUAC
Inuit Led Pikialaorsuaq Commission to Study the Important Northwater Polyna. The Inuit Circumpolar Council, Office of the Chair and the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Greenland have initiated the Pikialaorsuaq Commission to consult with Canadian and Greenlandic communities that are most closely connected to the North Water Polyna (Pikialaorsuaq in Greenlandic). The Pikialaorsuaq Commission will be led by three Commissioners, who are having their first organizational meeting today in Iqaluit. The Commissioners are: ICC Chair, Okalik Eegeesiak is the International Commissioner; former Nunavut Premier, Eva Aariak has been appointed as the Canadian Commissioner; and, former Greenland Premier, Kuupik Kleist is the Greenland Commissioner. Arctic Journal
Monterey: Naval Postgraduate School Drone Checks Arctic Ice Loss. Monterey - When you are flying a drone over the Arctic ice cap you need warm clothing and armed sentries to ward off prowling polar bears. Naval Postgraduate School polar meteorologist and professor Peter Guest spent more than 40 days late last year as the only scientist from NPS in a group from the U.S. and other countries researching the region's receding ice cover. It's a part of the world the United States and other nations are showing great interest in. Mercury News
Legislative Action 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.
Future Events
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?
16th Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 25-29, 2016 (Anchorage, AK, USA)A valuable meeting focusing on research results from the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, and the Arctic Ocean. Good, in-depth, research from Alaska's marine regions.The agenda is available here. 
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.
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.
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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