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Arctic Daily Update: September 26, 2016


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September 26, 2016  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today's Congressional Action:  
The Senate is expected to consider short-term legislation to fund government operations after September 30th. The House is expected to consider H.R. 5978, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Amendments Act of 2016, among other legislative provisions.
 
Media   
 
Ottawa Not Ready to Back Nunavut's Road to the Arctic Ocean. The federal government is not yet ready to support one of the Government of Nunavut's biggest infrastructure dreams: the 227-kilometre Grays Bay road-port project in the western part of the territory. "As far as the Grays Bay project is concerned, it is not at a stage where it can move forward," Amarjeet Sohi, the minister of infrastructure and communities, said in the House of Commons Sept. 21. Nunatsiaq Online
 
Chinaflag Chinese Arctic Expedition Team Returns Home. China's seventh Arctic expedition using the Chinese icebreaker Xuelong returned to its research base in Shanghai on Monday after a 78-day mission. Xuelong set out from Shanghai on July 11 and has since traveled 13,000 nautical miles to explore marine areas such as the Bering Sea, the Chukchi Sea and the Canada Basin. The team traveled as far as 82.53 degrees north latitude, and for the first time explored the Mendeleev Ridge in the Arctic Ocean. Crienglish
 
Where Ice Once Crushed Ships, Open Water Beckons. This month, as the luxury cruise ship Crystal Serenity completed its pioneering transit of the Northwest Passage, a Canadian expedition announced the discovery of the Terror, a British ship that vanished along the same general Arctic route some 170 years ago.
For the Crystal Serenity, the biggest luxury liner ever to complete the passage, it was smooth sailing on waters that in the Terror's day were covered by sea ice so impenetrable that it trapped the ship and another British vessel as they sought a route across the top of North America. All 129 men on what was known as the Franklin expedition died. New York Times
 
Whaling Symposium to Focus on Ties Between New England and Alaska. New England and the Alaskan Arctic have longstanding connections among whales, the marine environment and human well-being and a three-day symposium will be held next week that focuses on that relationship. The conference will be held in three significant New England whaling sites starting Monday on Nantucket, then heading to Martha's Vineyard on Tuesday before concluding in New Bedford at the Whaling Museum on Wednesday. Cape Cod
 
Arctic Climate Change Revealed in a Luxury Cruise and Haunting Wreck.
In a short piece for the Opinion section this weekend, I explore how two maritime milestones this month encapsulate the profound changes that are under way in the Arctic - both climatic and cultural. On September 3, a high-tech team from the Arctic Research Foundation, using side-scan sonar and an underwater robot to probe a remote Canadian bay, found and began exploring an extraordinary prize - the sunken H.M.S. Terror from the heralded and doomed 1845 expedition in which Sir John Franklin* sought the Northwest Passage over North America but perished with 128 men. The discovery was heavily covered by Canadian and British media, given how the Franklin mystery shook and shaped those countries. New York Times
 
[Blog] Polar Bears Not the Only Animals Affected by Disappearing Ice: Bob McDonald. This year saw yet another dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, with levels at the second lowest in recorded history. The iconic image of a polar bear stranded on a small ice floe has come to symbolize this change in the North, but many other animals and even plants are feeling the changes as well. Ice is a transportation corridor used by animals, plants, and, of course, ice road truckers to get around vast polar regions that would otherwise be inaccessible. Polar bears walk many kilometers out on the ice to hunt seals, and caribou use ice to travel between the thousands of islands that make up the Arctic Archipelago. Plants also take advantage of the fact that ice moves from place to place, driven by ocean currents and winds to spread their seeds and pollen across the region. CBC News
 
He's Watching the World Melt. For more than four decades, Divoky has spent his summers (mostly alone) on Cooper Island, north of the Alaska coast. He's watched the Arctic melt, and he's seen how those changes have devastated the black guillemot, a tiny bird he studies. He doesn't like to see this monumental shift in the Arctic reduced to a matter of square miles or kilometers, as it of course was last week when the US National Snow and Ice Data Center announced Arctic sea ice hit a near-record minimum on September 10To him, it's about the dead birds he has to pluck from their nests and carry in his pockets. It's about the polar bears that now swarm his camp looking for food. It's about the fact an island once surrounded by ice is now surrounded by the sea. CNN
 
Legislative Action 
 
No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.
 
Future Events
 
Arctic Science Ministerial Side Event, September 27, 2016 (9:00-11:30 am) (Washington, DC).  ARCUS, in collaboration with partners, is pleased to announce a side-event to the 2016 Arctic Science Ministerial meeting that will be held at the ARCUS office, 1201 New York Ave. NW, 4th floor, in Washington, D.C. 20005. In-person participation (limited space) and online streaming require registration (here).
 
The event will be a dialogue on one of the four themes of the ministerial: "Arctic Science as a Vehicle for STEM Education and Citizen Empowerment." The event also provides an opportunity to hear from ministerial participants before the closed meetings of the ministerial begin the next day.
 
Two 1-hour panel discussions by an international group of Arctic leaders, including USARC Chair Fran Ulmer, will explore opportunities for advancing the use of Arctic research and education activities to inform worldwide audiences about the changes happening in the Arctic and to help empower Arctic residents most impacted by the complex dynamics shaping the region. An introductory plenary by Mark Brzezinski, Executive Director of the U.S. Government's Arctic Executive Steering Committee will kick-off the conversation.
 
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.
 
National Academies of Sciences..."Scientific Priorities for a Changing Arctic(panel discussion)," September 29, 4:00 to 6:30pm (Washington, DC. The public is invited to a recap and discussion of the first-ever White House Arctic Science Ministerial taking place, in Washington, DC, on September 28. At that event, ministers of science, chief science advisors, and other senior officials from countries around the world, as well as representatives from indigenous groups, will address the collective actions and innovative collaborations 
NAS logoneeded to enhance scientific understanding of the rapidly changing Arctic. This Academies' event and reception provides an opportunity to broaden the conversation to all those interested in the Arctic science and policy. Panelists will include officials from the White House, from the USARC, and others involved in the ministerial discussions.
 
As an exciting cultural addition to the program, producers of a new large format 3D film about Greenland will share their storytelling strategies and the process of using immersive cinema, virtual reality and the perspectives of climate scientists and usarc logo large extreme athletes to expand public understanding of the Arctic environment. Presenters will represent producing partners Giant Screen Films, Teton Gravity Research, and Golden Gate 3D. Support for this event is provided by USARC and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Please register
 here
 
Arctic Economic Council: Building the Bridge Between Arctic Research/ Academia and Business Through Technology, September 29, 2016 (Washington, DC USA). This Arctic Science Ministerial side event, sponsored by the Arctic Economic Council, will explore value propositions for public-private partnerships for effective pan-Arctic knowledge and data exchange. Industry, research and technology experts will convene at the Embassy of Finland to address challenges and innovative tools for building the knowledge bridge between research and business communities. 9:30 am to 11:15 am at 3301 Mass. Ave., NW. Doors open at 9:00 am. Space is limited and RSVP is required for security purposes. Please RSVP by September 26 to anu@arcticeconomiccouncil.com
 
Media Coverage in the Arctic: News from the North: What's Happening in the Arctic is no Longer Staying in the Arctic, September 29, 2016 (Washington, DC  USA). High North News will host on Capitol Hill, a lunchtime discussion on media coverage of the Arctic. The luncheon begins at 12:30 pm, at the Oracle Townhouse, 27 D Street, SE, Washington, DC. RSVP is required, contact Berit Enge (berit.enge@highnorthnews.com)
 
106th Commission Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission. September 29-30, 2016 (Washington, DC USA). The U.S. Arctic Research Commission will hold its 106th meeting in Washington, DC, on September 29-30, 2016. The business sessions, open to the public, will convene at 8:30 a.m. at the U.S. Global Change Research Program, 1800 G St. NW., #9100, Conf. Rm. A, Washington, DC 20006. The focus of this meeting will include reports and updates on programs and research projects affecting Alaska and the greater Arctic.
 
The Alaska State Committee for Research (SCoR) is seeking nominations for inductees to our 2016 Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame. (October 1, 2016). SCoR invites nominations for innovators demonstrating outstanding science, engineering and technology. Alaska Innovators Hall of Fame was created in 2014 to celebrate and honor outstanding individuals who put Alaska on the map as leaders in innovation and contribute to Alaska's growing culture of innovation. Documentation is due no later than October 1, 2016. Please see here.
 
The daylong conference at the University of Southern Maine will address challenges and opportunities for Arctic science, business, shipping, security and governance. Speakers will include Sen. Angus S. King (I-Maine) and co-chair of U.S. Senate Arctic Caucus (Invited); Craig Fleener, Special Asst. on Arctic Policy, State of Alaska, Prof. Charles Norchi, Dir. Center for Oceans and Coastal Law, Univ. of Maine School of Law, Ambassador David Balton, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials and Tara Sweeney, Arctic Economic Council Chair and Executive Vice President, External Affairs, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. Event sponsored by Pierce Atwood LLP and Univ. of Southern Maine on behalf of the Maine and Alaska Arctic Council Host Committees. 
 
Arctic Ambitions V: International Business Conference & Trade Show, October 4-5, 2016 (Anchorage, Alaska, USA). This once-a-year event uniquely focuses on business and investment opportunities flowing from developments in the Arctic. With interest in commercial development in the Arctic growing rapidly, WTC Anchorage initiated the Arctic Ambitions conference five years ago to address issues such as innovation, investment, infrastructure development, transportation, natural resources, and trade. At the event, corporate executives and senior government officials from across the Arctic, and around the world, make presentations and participate in panel discussions. This year's conference also includes a Trade Show and B2B Matchmaking Session. For more information, please contact Greg Wolf (greg@wtcak.org) or call 907-278-7233.
 
56th Annual Air & Waste Management Association Conference October 5-7, 2016 (Juneau, AK USA). Come join us at the Pacific Northwest International Section's (PNWIS) annual conference in Juneau and connect with many of the region's top environmental professionals. Catch up on the latest developments in arctic related regulatory policy and law, environmental science and technology, environmental modeling, and other topics over three days of parallel technical sessions. PNWIS is a catalyst for environmental leadership by providing a neutral forum for discussion, education, and networking on technical issues relating to environmental management in the U.S., Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Exhibitor booths will be on display and you can attend a keynote speech by the Deputy Commissioner of the AK Department of Environmental Conservation, Alice Edwards.
20th Biennial Inuit Studies Conference: Inuit Traditions. October 7-10, 2016 (St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador). 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.
 
Arctic Circle Assembly. October 7-9, 2016 (Reykjavik, Iceland). The Arctic Circle is the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. It is an open democratic platform with participation from governments, organizations, corporations, universities, think tanks, environmental associations, indigenous communities, concerned citizens, and others interested in the development of the Arctic and its consequences for the future of the globe. It is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.In addition to the annual Assemblies, the Arctic Circle organizes Forums on specific areas of Arctic cooperation. 
 
Arctic Technology Conference, October 24-26, 2016 (St. John's, Canada).  Founded in 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is the world's foremost event for the development of offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. The Arctic Technology Conference (ATC) is built upon OTC's successful multidisciplinary approach, with 14 technical societies and organizations working together to deliver the world's most comprehensive Arctic event.
 
Fulbright Arctic Week. October 25-27 (Washington, DC) The 18-month Fulbright Arctic Initiative supports U.S. priorities on Arctic issues and increasing mutual understanding between Americans and those in other countries. As a culmination of the program, 17 scholars will be presenting their work at public events. Other invited speakers will include officials from the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Arctic Executive Steering Committee, and U.S. Arctic Youth Ambassadors, among other. For more information, please visit the Fulbright Arctic Week website and/or register your interest for updates
 
October 25, 2-5:30pm - Smithsonian Natural History Museum
October 26, 2-5pm - Arctic Policy Dialogue at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
October 27, 9am-4:30pm - Fulbright Arctic Symposium at the National Academy of Sciences (Constitution Ave. location)
 
Towing Safety Advisory Committee, October 2016 Meeting, October 26-27, 2016 (Washington, DC USA). The Towing Safety Advisory Committee will meet in Washington, DC, to review and discuss recommendations from its Subcommittees and to receive briefs. This committee is established in accordance with, and operates under the provisions of, the Federal Advisory Committee Act. As stated in 33 U.S.C. 1231a, the Towing Safety Advisory Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Department of Homeland Security on matters relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety.
 
Converging Interests: Maritime & Arctic Security & Safety Conference (MASS16), October 27-28, 2016 (Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada). MASS16 will once again focus on the challenges associated with both northern and maritime environments. The aim of the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador supported international conference is to promote stakeholder collaboration, technological innovation, harsh environment research & development, and world-class education efforts that are contributing to various components of northern development. 
 
The 5th Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) project School and Meeting, November 1-4, 2016 (Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA). The major goals of the meeting are to discuss results of ongoing FAMOS activities, and to plan 2016-2017 coordinated modeling and observing projects, with a special focus on high and very high spatiotemporal resolution processes. You can register here.
 
Annual Scientific Meeting 2016, December 5-9, 2016 (Winnipeg, MP Canada). ArcticNet will host its 12th Annual Scientific Meeting. The ASM2016 will welcome researchers, students, Inuit, Northerners, policy makers and stakeholders to address the numerous environmental, social, economical and political challenges and opportunities that are emerging from climate change and modernization in the Arctic. As the largest annual Arctic research gathering held in Canada, ArcticNet's ASM is the ideal venue to showcase results from all fields of Arctic research, stimulate discussion and foster collaborations among those with a vested interest in the Arctic and its peoples.
 
POLAR 2018, June 15-27, 2018 (Davos, Switzerland). POLAR2018 is a joint event from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). The SCAR meetings, the ASSW and the Open Science Conference will be hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL under the patronage of the Swiss Committee on Polar and High Altitude Research. The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF is organizing POLAR2018.
 

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