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Institute of the North declares 2015-2017 the “Years of the Arctic"
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Written by Federica   
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 08:26

Istitute of the North Logo Istitute of the North Logo Press release by the Institute of the North, 28 January 2015: 

The Institute of the North is calling on partners at the local, state and national level to join it in a new endeavor. The Institute of the North's board of directors met yesterday and named 2015 through 2017 the "Years of the Arctic." With the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the release of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission's draft Arctic policy and implementation plan, and increased global attention, it is important to the Institute that more be done to highlight the relevance of the Arctic for Alaskans and the nation.

 

"What better way to leverage the timing of the Chairmanship, Alaskan interests and circumpolar engagement than by focusing all of our attention on making a difference in the Arctic," notes Drue Pearce, chair of the Institute of the North. "This opportunity does not present itself often and the Institute of the North, in collaboration with partners, intends to increase public awareness, facilitate crucial conversations, and bring the necessary stakeholders to the table for future success."

What this means for the Institute will be monthly programming – the Arctic Policy Forum – that will connect subject matter experts and community leaders in conversations impacting Alaska's Arctic region. Quarterly Alaska Arctic Business Roundtables will further work done in prior years and potentially contribute to the work of the Arctic Economic Council.

Gone (for now) will be the Week of the Arctic, but in its place will be specially designed Alaska Arctic Policy Tours, set to coincide with and complement meetings of the Arctic Council. These 2-3 day events will occur in Alaska's Arctic hub communities (e.g.; Unalaska, Nome, Kotzebue, and Barrow), updating Alaskans on circumpolar affairs; highlighting local concerns for visiting delegations and domestic policy makers; and showcasing the capacity and capabilities of Alaskan communities and businesses.

The signature event for 2015 will be the Arctic Energy Summit, in Fairbanks, but also held will be the Hickel Day of the Arctic on August 18, in Anchorage. In 2016 the Institute will be assisting with the Arctic Social Science Week and hosting the Northern Regions Mining Summit. "Throughout these two years we will be finding ways to add value to the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, connecting it to Alaskan issues and Alaskans to the Arctic Council," says Nils Andreassen, the Institute's Executive Director. "We believe an Alaskan host committee would also be useful during this time, and will be working to develop this further."

 

To join the Institute in naming 2015-2017 the Years of the Arctic, and be listed as an associational partner, please contact Nils Andreassen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

(Source: Institute of the North

 

 
Russia to attend the Arctic Council meeting in Iqaluit
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Written by Federica   
Monday, 02 February 2015 08:30

 

Iqaluit (author:Aaron M Lloyd) Iqaluit (author:Aaron M Lloyd) The Russian Ambassador to Canada, Alexander Darchiev, has given a brief speech about Russia and Canada roles in the Arctic. Since the annexation of Crimea and military support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine the relations between the two countries have been "frozen",  as so much that Canada has suspended all but the most low-level discussions with Russia. Despite that, Russia has announced that a high-level delegation from Russia will attend the Arctic Council meeting in Iqaluit, when Canada will hand over its chairmanship of Arctic Council to US. 

The new appointed ambassador Darchiev has stated that both Canada and Russia are Arctic Power,  and since both are part of the "Arctic 5" they bear special responsibilities an rights to explore and develop the Arctic region.  Because the area is of special interest of both countries, the ambassador underlined the need to have bilateral and multilateral relations, and to cooperate very closely on common issues. The ambassador added in an interview with a Canadian news, "the Citizen" that   "My best hope is we will have a fruitful discussion, not only on Arctic matters, but on our bilateral relations as well" and " I think this would be a good chance to find ways on to how to make our dialogue much more intensive than it is now."

 

 

Read more at OttawaCitizen

 
2015 IASC Medal announced
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Written by Federica   
Friday, 30 January 2015 10:37

Jacqueline Grebmeier (Source: IASC) Jacqueline Grebmeier (Source: IASC) IASC is pleased to announce that the 2015 IASC Medal, which is awarded in recognition of exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic, goes to

 

Jacqueline Grebmeier

 

The IASC Medal Committee reviewed the nominations received and unanimously decided to honor Jacqueline Grebmeier for her exceptional contributions to the understanding of Arctic benthic ecology and marine ecosystem dynamics; her pioneering work interpreting geochemical and stable isotope measurements in sediments; her commitment to the establishment of long-term observatories through international collaboration; and her outstanding leadership and mentorship within the Arctic science community.

Congratulations!

The 2015 IASC Medal will be awarded by the President of IASC during the Arctic Science Summit Week 2015 in Toyama (Japan). The award ceremony will include a short introduction by the President and a 30 minutes lecture by the awardee.

Jacqueline Grebmeier is Research Professor and a biological oceanographer at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Dr. Grebmeier earned a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from the University of California, Davis in 1977 and went on to receive Masters Degrees in Biology from Stanford University in 1979, and in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington in 1983, specializing in applications of Arctic science to Arctic policy. Dr. Grebmeier earned a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1987. She has played a leadership role in coordinating and promoting national and international arctic research. She recently completed her service as the U.S. delegate to, and a vice-president of the International Arctic Science Committee, and as a member of the U.S. Polar Research Board of the National Academies, and she also served formerly as a Commissioner of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission following appointment by President Clinton. She has contributed to other coordinated international and national science planning efforts including service on the steering committee for U.S. efforts during the International Polar Year. Over the last thirty years she has participated in over 45 oceanographic expeditions on both US and foreign vessels, many as Chief Scientist, and she was the overall project lead scientist for the U.S. Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions project, which was one of the largest U.S. funded global change studies undertaken in the Arctic. Her research includes studies of pelagic-benthic coupling in marine systems, benthic carbon cycling, benthic faunal population structure, and polar ecosystem health, and she has published approximately 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and she has also served as editor of several books and journal special issues. Her research is focused on understanding how arctic marine ecosystems respond to environmental change, particularly efforts to illuminate the importance of benthic biological systems.

 

(Source: IASC) 

 

 
Jobs opening at the Arctic Research Consortium of the US (ARCUS)
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Written by Federica   
Friday, 30 January 2015 09:11

Arctic Landscape (source: Getty Images) Arctic Landscape (source: Getty Images) The Arctic Research Consortium of the US (ARCUS) has two job opening. ARCUS is a 501(c) (3) non-profit consortium of universities and institutions concerned with Arctic research and education. ARCUS envisions strong and productive linkages among researchers, educators, communities, and other stakeholders that promote discovery and understanding of the Arctic.

PROJECT MANAGER: 

This position will primarily focus on the Study of Environmental Arctic Change program (SEARCH: http://www.arcus.org/search-program), an exciting and developing program with a vision of scientific understanding to help society understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic.This position will work with ARCUS staff, agency personnel, committees, and the broader research community to support and implement a variety of activities. The successful candidate will provide professional project management to meet deadlines in a rapidly evolving environment. The candidate will possess strong analytical and decision-making skills and have a strong commitment to support and facilitate collaborative efforts (Tasks, responsability, how to apply and more, please click here).

Executive Director:

The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) seeks an experienced association professional to serve as its executive director. The ideal candidate will have 10 years of senior executive experience in associations, NGOs, or US federal government. They will have a background or experience in science policy and/or scientific membership associations and federal grant administration and reporting experience. A Bachelor's degree is required. International experience, meetings management experience, a CAE credential, and Master's degree are preferred. A PhD is not required.

Incorporated in 1988, ARCUS exists to identify and bring together arctic research community resources to strengthen the community and address the many challenges facing the Arctic and the US. ARCUS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and organized and operated for educational, professional, or scientific purposes to advance arctic research and education. ARCUS has a $2 million annual operating budget and 14 staff. The executive is expected to split his or her time between Washington, DC and Fairbanks, Alaska and may reside in either location(For more information click here

 

 

 
Antarctica: Subglacial Lake Vostok has been reached
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Written by Federica   
Thursday, 29 January 2015 09:31

LakeVostok Location (source wikipedia) LakeVostok Location (source wikipedia) The Russian Geographical Society has announced that Russian scientists have finally completed the second drilling of Lake Vostok (Antarctica) and collected some clean water samples. Lake Vostok is believed to be the largest sub glacial lake in Antarctica, with an approximate size of 50x250  km. According to scientists, the lake has been eclogged in the ice half billion years ago and it may have been isolated form Earth ‘surface for several millions years, bearing good chances to have preserved traces of pristine life on Earth . The existance of lake was predicted by Russian scientists in the 1960s, when the " Vostok Research Station (Russia) was funded in inland Princess Elizabeth Land, Antarctica. A joint Russia-French-American research team has been working on reaching the surface of the lake (to collect samples of water) since the 90s. The surface of the lake ( approximately 4000 m under the ice) was eventually reached a first time in 2012, but the sample of the water collected were contaminated by the chemicals used for drilling. The second drilling was completed few days ago, and sample of clean water from the lake (no contaminated by the chemicals) have been collected. 

 

Here is the press release from the Russian Geographical Society:

On January 25 during the Russian Antarctic Expedition researchers got water samples from subglacial Lake Vostok in Antarctica. This was announced by Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Sergey Donskoy: "After three years of hard work in the extreme Antarctic conditions the Russian polar explorers managed to complete the drilling of the well. Its depth along the length of the ice core is 3769.15m."

It is the second penetration into the relict lake. For the first time, the Russian scientists made their way to Vostok through the almost 4 km ice armor on February 5, 2012. They received the first water samples from the lake then, and found traces of living organisms in them. But drilling fluid from the well got into the samples, so the previously unknown life forms could not be clearly connected with Vostok.

To get clean water from the lake St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics (PINP) has created a special instrument. It is a two-meter titanium tube with a system of water pumping and heating. It can hold a liter of water and weights about 50 kg. The equipment has been thoroughly checked for leaks, the researchers have made sure that the drilling fluid consisting of a mixture of kerosene and freon does not get into it.

"This drilling is very important in terms of our priorities in research activities - Russian scientists are the only ones who can do it. The main objective of the drilling is to take samples of pure water that will get us the picture of what is happening in the lake," - said Honorable President of the Russian Geographical Society, Director of the Institute of Geography RAS, Academician Vladimir Kotlyakov.

 

(source: Russian Geographical Society

 

 
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