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Arctic Daily Update: March 17, 2016


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March 17, 2016  
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.
Today's Congressional Action:  
The House and Senate are in session and expected to consider non-Arctic legislation.
Arctic Research Vessel to Spend Entire Year Studying Sea Ice Decline. A research ship will spend an entire year adrift with the ice floes of the Arctic to better understand the disappearance of the polar ice cap. Scientists meeting in Fairbanks for the Arctic Science Summit warned this week that the area covered by this winter's Arctic sea ice could be the lowest ever recorded, after three months of extremely warm temperatures and above freezing days at the North Pole. The Guardian
New Arctic Resource. The Russian Geographical Society, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Russian Geographic Society Expedition Center partnered to a new website: The Arctic. General topics covered by The Arctic are geography, climate change, infrastructure, population, natural resources, international cooperation, wildlife and environment, economy, and tourism and recreation. See the website here.
F Bowhead or the First Time in Decades, Scientist Examine How Oil Spills Might Affect Baleen Whales. Several days of unseasonably warm weather in late September had Gary Shigenaka starting to wonder how much longer he and his colleagues would be welcome at Ohmsett, a national oil spill research facility in New Jersey. They were working with whale baleen, and although the gum tissue anchoring their baleen samples had been preserved with formalin, the balmy fall weather was taking a toll. As a result, things were starting to smell a little rank. NOAA's Response and Restoration Blog
Russia Weighs Cuts to Icebreaker Funding. The strained Russian economy does not allow for major investments in new icebreakers. The icebreaker program is on the cut-list along with 41 other federal investment projects, newspaper Vedomosti reports. The list was discussed in a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and key government ministers last Thursday, the newspaper writes. Alaska Dispatch News
Food Insecurity: Arctic Heat is Threatening Indigenous Life. The decades-long trend of extreme Arctic warming hit new heights this winter, as a mass of exceptionally warm air invaded the region, raising temperatures by almost 50 degrees Fahrenheit above average in some areas and driving temperatures above the freezing mark at the North Pole in late December. Arctic Ocean ice cover reached a new record winter low last month, putting even more stress on sea-ice-dependent seals and polar bears. Other wildlife populations, including caribou and some seabirds, are declining as species struggle to adapt to a swiftly changing polar ecosystem. Yale Environment 360
Top Military Leaders Get Arctic Engineering Lesson. Top Alaskan military leaders got an Arctic engineering lesson Wednesday afternoon with a stop at the Permafrost Tunnel Research Facility north of Fairbanks. Service members in the uniforms of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Canadian Armed Forces and all three branches of the U.S. military arrived at Fairbanks International Airport on Wednesday to board a bus for the facility as part of an annual leadership meeting called the General Officer and Flag Officer Summit. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Arctic Council Arrives in Fairbanks. Every hotel is booked up solid in Fairbanks this week, and rental cars are hard to find. Over a thousand people from 30 different countries are in the Golden Heart City for a meeting of Arctic scientists and policymakers called Arctic Science Summit Week. One of the highlights includes a meeting of the Arctic Council, a multinational governmental forum created to address the Arctic's pressing issues. Alaska Public Radio
Introduction to the Arctic Oil and Gas Research Center. The Research Center for Arctic Oil and Gas was opened at Ilisimatusarfik (the University of Greenland) on 16th March 2016. The directors of the Center are Professor Anne Merrild Hansen and Professor Rachael Lorna Johnstone. The Center operates within the Institute of Social Sciences, Economics and Journalism at Ilisimatusarfik. The Center will draw together local community members, government representatives, oil and gas companies, NGOs, and academics to examine the social and economic impacts of oil and gas activities in the Arctic with an emphasis on Greenland. The Center is based at Ilimarfik in Nuuk but the directors will travel around Greenland to meet with different communities, holding meetings with invited stakeholders as well as open fora to ensure that all concerned persons can present their views and hear about the Center's work. The Arctic Journal
In This Tiny Arctic Town, Dramatic Warmth Threatens Everything. It may sound strange to someone from the Lower 48, but in interior Alaska, 2 degrees Fahrenheit in early March is balmy. This winter's record-setting warm temperatures are just the latest in an ongoing string of environmental changes for the indigenous Gwich'in village of Fort Yukon, ten miles north of the Arctic Circle in northeastern Alaska. In the Arctic, where the impact of climate change is being felt much faster than in the rest of the world, locals have been noticing changes for years: new flora and fauna, weaker ice, and shorter winters, to name a few. Washington Post
Legislative Action 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
Future Events
Bridging the Future of Arctic Social Science Research, March 23-25, 2016 (Fairbanks, Alaska, USA). The event is sponsored by Arctic Horizons. The Fairbanks workshop aims to explore recent advances and innovations in indigenous science and scholarship in the circumpolar north and its neighbors. The workshop will bring together indigenous experts and researchers from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds to explore the role and contributions of indigenous frameworks and knowledge systems in advancing fields of science and informing global solutions.
Using an Environmental intelligence Framework to Evaluate the Impacts of Ocean Acidification in the Arctic, March 31, 2016 (Washington, DC, USA). The intensity and extent of ocean acidification in the Arctic will increase rapidly as atmospheric CO2 levels continue to rise making the region a bellwether for the global ocean during the next few decades. The environmental changes brought on by ocean acidification could pose a significant threat to Arctic ecosystems that are already facing challenges from changes in sea ice distribution, warming and increased freshwater discharge. New ways of collecting and integrating critical environmental intelligence will be discussed in the context of developing resilience and adaptation strategies for dealing with ocean acidification. This event is sponsored by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States.
Bridging the Future of Arctic Social Science Research, March 31-April 2, 2016 (Fairbanks, Alaska, USA). The event is sponsored by Arctic Horizons. The Juneau Workshop, organized in collaboration with University of Alaska Southeast Department of Social Science, aims to explore the contributions and potentials of Arctic social sciences in the emerging synergies that involve humanities, natural sciences, and engineering. The connections we attempt to foster reach mainly into two directions within the recent history of Arctic research.
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.
The American Arctic: The United States as an Arctic Power in Science, Technology and Security, April 1, 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.
Bridging the Future of Arctic Social Science Research, April 14-16, 2016 (Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA). The event is sponsored by Arctic Horizons. This workshop will gather a diverse group of scholars to discuss the state-of-the art in Arctic social sciences and develop visioning scenarios for the future of social science research in the Arctic. The core topics will parallel discussions held at other regional workshops (Portland, OR and Providence, RI), which include: social sciences research and climate change; interdisciplinary research in the Arctic; social sciences and humanities in the Arctic, and applied social sciences research.
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.   
High North Dialogue 2016: The Blue Future of the Arctic, May 25-26, 2016. HND is an annual conference hosted by the High North Center at Nord University, engaging a wide audience of researchers and future leaders of the region. It will address the necessary questions to effectively promote dialogue between interested stakeholders on how to sustainably develop the different realities of the many Arctics. PhD and Masters students can also participate in a week long credit awarding graduate course.
Bridging the Future of Arctic Social Science Research, May 31-June 2, 2016 (Providence, Rhode Island, USA). The event is sponsored by Arctic Horizons. The workshop will bring together researchers working on multidisciplinary natural/social science projects addressing issues of contemporary change in the North with social scientists focused on policy development at a global scale. This focus draws on the expertise of Brown University's Watson Center for International Studies (http://watson.brown.edu ), the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES, http://www.brown.edu/academics/institute-environment-society/about), and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology's (http://www.brown.edu/haffenreffer) six-decade engagement with northern people and northern heritage.

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.
Bridging the Future of Arctic Social Science Research, September 23-24, 2016 (Monticello, Rhode Island, USA). The event is sponsored by Arctic Horizons.  The event will reassemble the members of the National Steering Committee and a small but diverse selection of representatives from the five regional workshops, to total about 15 people. The aim will be to identify and synthesize the core threads of the previous workshops and public contributions proffered between workshops. The target output for the workshop will be a final report draft and outline of steps leading to the final report release in June 2016. The Jefferson Institute will manage production of the publication.
Second International Conference on Natural Resources and Integrated Development of Coastal Areas in the Arctic Zone, September 27-29, 2016 (Arkhangelsk, Russia).The Conference is organized by FASO of Russia, Russian Academy of Sciences, Government of Arkhangelsk region, Arkhangelsk Scientific Center and International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). Conference is aimed at elaboration of research-based practical measures and instruments for realization of human, natural and transport-logistical potential of the Arctic zone, including development of the Northern Sea Route and implementation of models of integrated coastal areas management. For additional information, please email.
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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