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Arctic Daily Update: January 29, 2016


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January 29, 2016  
   
 
 
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. 
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House is in session. The Senate is expected to consider S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. 
 
 
Media  
 
Scientists Say Murre Die-Off Comparable to Exxon-Valdez Spill. The number of dead common murres showing up on Alaska's beaches is growing, and the scale of the die-off is now on par with the grounding of the 1989 Exxon Valdez in Price William Sound when 22,000 birds were collected. Heather Renner with USFWS says it is already one of the largest die-offs in history and, unlike when the tanker went aground, not many people have gone out to remote beaches to survey for dead seabirds. Alaska Public News
 
New Book Takes an in Depth Look at Greenlandic Names. In Greenland, if you are looking for a Greenlandic name for your child, you can now consult a new book that's rich in suggestions - and history. Kalaallit Aqqi, a new publication from Oqaasileriffik, Greenland's language secretariat, looks at Greenlandic personal names, their meaning and their background. Nunatsiaq Online
 
ocean.jpg EPA Releases Scientific Report Showing US Coastal Waters a Mix of Good and Fair Health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released the 2010 National Coastal Condition Assessment showing that more than half of the nation's coastal and Great Lakes nearshore waters are rated good for biological and sediment quality, while about one-third are rated good for water quality. In almost all coastal waters, however, contaminants in fish tissue pose a threat to sensitive predator fish, birds, and wildlife. The National Coastal Condition Assessment is part of a series of National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) designed to advance the science of coastal monitoring and answer critical questions about the condition of waters in the United States. United States Environmental Protection Agency
 
How Will Arctic Economic Council Shape Business Future of the North? When Canada announced the creation of an Arctic Economic Council during its most recent Arctic Council chairmanship (2013-2015), many voiced concerns about both its mission and and the utility of having such a body given the diversity of northern economies in North America, Europe and Russia. But at the Arctic Frontiers conference being held in Tromso, Norway this week, the AEC's work and mission were lauded by everyone from Kristina Persson, Sweden's minister of strategic development and Nordic cooperation, who called it a key achievement of the Arctic Council, to Borge Brende, Norway's minister of foreign affairs. Alaska Dispatch News
 
permafrost Record Permafrost Erosion in Alaska Bodes Ill for Arctic Infrastructure. Sitting in my office on the banks of the river Rhine, I am trying to imagine what would happen if the fast-flowing river was eating into the river bank at an average rate of 19 metres per year. It would not belong before our broadcasting headquarters, the UN campus tower and the multi-story Posttower building collapsed, with devastating consequences. Fortunately, Bonn is not built on permafrost, so we don't have that particular concern. Deutsche Welle
 
Inuit Circumpolar Executive Members Meet in Canada: Launch Inuit Summits on Wildlife, Education & Economy Duane Smith Thanked for 17 Years of Service to ICC. The executive council of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) met here this week to review initiatives that the organization is expected to deliver on by its next quadrennial General Assembly in 2018. Also at the meeting, ICC Vice Chair for Canada, Duane Smith, announced his resignation after serving ICC for over 17 years. Mr. Smith was elected earlier this week to replace Nellie Cournoyea as the Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC). He will also be stepping down as ICC Canada president. Arctic Journal
 
 
Legislative Action 
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
 
 
Future Events
   
Marine Mammal Commission Arctic Listening Sessions, February 3, 5, 9, 11, 2016 (Locations include: Barrow, 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.
 
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.
 
** New this week** 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.
 
** New this week** 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.
  
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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