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Arctic Daily Update: January 8, 2016


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January 8, 2016  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House is in session and expected to consider non-Arctic legislation.  The Senate is not in session.
 
 
Media  
 
snow-globe.jpg Winter Sucks, But Close Up Photos of Snowflakes Will Blow You Away. They say no two snowflakes are alike, and Buffalo photographer Douglas Levere wants to prove that each is exquisite in its own way.
With a son on the way, in 2006, Levere was looking for a way to decorate the child's nursery. He stumbled upon Kenneth G. Libbrecht's zoomed-in photos of snowflakes and was inspired. Huffington Post
 
Optimized Arctic Observations for Improving Weather Forecast in the Northern Sea Route. The current reduction in Arctic sea-ice extent causes unpredictable weather phenomena in the Arctic Ocean (strong winds, high waves, and rapid sea-ice movement associated with cyclones) also over the mid-latitudes (heat waves, severe winters, etc.). With such changing background conditions, more accurate weather forecasts are needed to safely navigate along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) and to understand the climatic linkage between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes. However, this is difficult because of the sparse number of atmospheric observations across the Arctic Ocean. As it is highly difficult to make additional observations in Arctic regions because of limited logistical support, a cost-benefit optimized Arctic observing network is required for improving polar predictions. ScienceCodex
 
In Arctic Winter, Marine Creatures Migrate by the Light of the Moon. A few months ago, researchers reported the surprising discovery that marine creatures living in one Arctic fjord keep busy through the permanently dark and frigid winter months. Now, a report in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Jan. 7, 2016, extends this activity to the whole of the Arctic. They also find that, in the absence of any sunlight, it's the moon that drives the vertical migrations of tiny marine animals. The behavior is most likely an attempt by zooplankton to avoid predators hunting by moonlight, the researchers say. e Science News
 
Arctic Architecture. This semester, 14 University of Virginia architecture and landscape architecture undergraduate and graduate students spent 10 days on Norwegian Arctic islands 800 miles north of the Arctic Circle, learning how to design for a harsh, dynamic environment that many see as the next great frontier of development. Assistant architecture professor Matthew Jull and landscape architecture lecturer Leena Cho planned the trip to involve students in international conversations about sustainably developing the Arctic as sea ice recedes, shipping routes open and demand for natural resources and tourism grows. NewsWire
 
Legislative Action 
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
 
 
Future Events
 
Norway-Russia: Bridging for Partnerships in Business, Education and Research, January 12, 2016 (Bodo, Norway). The conference will be devoted to an opening of new academic semester and an upcoming 25 years cooperation between University of Nordland and Baltic State Technical University (St. Petersburg). On the second day the educational project's results "Arctic Bridge: Cooperation on PhD Education and Research Training in the field of Management in Extractive Industries in the High North" will be presented.
 
** New this week ** 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.
 
** New this week ** 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).
 
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?
 
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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