The Arctic This Week: 6 July 2013 - 12 July 2013

The Arctic This Week 2013:26 

Thanks for joining us this week! If you find TATW useful and fun to read, please share it with others. If you’re not a subscriber yet, you can sign up here.

As always, all editorial choices, opinions and any mistakes are the authors’ own. To comment, to point out an error or to request a back issue, feel free to contact Tom, Kevin or Maura directly.

If you haven’t yet, let us suggest that you try out our PDF version, which is easy to navigate and often illustrated with great photos, and our regular TAI news map, a subjective selection of the week’s most newsworthy headlines.

Reads of the Week

Pressed for time? We suggest you focus on these nine pieces.

An article by Andrew Stuhl in the Polar Journal – The politics of the “New North”: putting history and geography at stake in new Arctic futures – provides a critical analysis of North American Arctic discourses from 1910 to 2010. Stuhl argues that scholars must be careful about making references to a “New North,” as  such language has been used to “license political and corporate influence” in the region in the past.

An article by Chris Estep in the Independent Voter Network’s column The Globalist encourages a more active role for the U.S. in the Arctic by framing the Obama administration’s “pivot” towards Asia in the context of environmental protection. The short piece is a refreshing take on the usual arguments for increased American participation in Arctic affairs, shifting the focus from economic gains to innovative diplomacy and effective environmental policy spearheaded by the Arctic Council.

A post by James Holmes in the Diplomat examines the Obama administration’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region. The rationale behind the post’s slightly unnerving title – “America Needs an Enemy in the Arctic” – is that Washington’s “strategy” shouldn’t really be considered as such, given the absence of an Arctic adversary (especially since the strategy is “light on specific ways and means for accomplishing its goals”). Definitely check it out if you want to round out your knowledge of the national strategy and the Coast Guard’s role in Arctic stewardship.

In the Bering Strait, Alaska Native whalers in skin boats are receiving “state-of-the-art transponders” as part of a pilot project under the Marine Exchange of Alaska. The transponders should allow real-time two-way monitoring of ship traffic and the skin boats themselves, hopefully preventing accidents (AD).

In Greenland a fascinating whaling story is developing; the island wants to increase its allowed quota by ten, but doing so could mean, in the view of Danish representatives, that Denmark would need to withdraw from the IWC altogether (Copenhagen Post). The argument developing as a result seems, to my eye at least, to have its center of gravity in lack of consultation; Greenlandic representatives appear to feel that Denmark should not have made such statements of intention without consulting Greenland (KNR, in Danish).

On the energy front, see this concise article by Derek Mead at Motherboard for a good overview of Rosneft’s current Arctic activities. Mead shows how the world’s largest oil company has leveraged new deals with China to settle debts and invest in new opportunities on Russia’s Arctic shelf.

Perhaps the most surprising news to me this week was that berry pickers fly from Thailand to Finland, stay the summer, and fly home with several thousand EUR in their pockets even considering the cost of flights and the cost of living (YLE). Unbelievable resourcefulness.

And in Finnish sporting news, Finnish couple Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen won this year’s Wife Carrying World Championships (YLE). Yes, you read that correctly. Go to the link and watch the video. You will thank me.

The Political Scene


The treaty on maritime delimitation and cooperation in the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean, signed September 2010 between Russia and Norway, came into force this week (AIR, in Russian). Representatives of both countries met aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin in Murmansk on Tuesday to discuss the Russian presence in Svalbard (AIR, in Russian) as well as the continued prospects for cooperation between the two countries (AIR, in Russian). In other diplomatic news, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat and the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development joined forces to establish the Bulgarian Border Dialogues project, a EUR 1 million program designed to bolster cross-border cooperation between Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, and Turkey by building off the successes of the Barents Border Dialogue Project launched earlier this year (BO).

Arctic News Map
Although Edward Snowden’s bid to land in Iceland may not have panned out (CNN), the Arctic may still prove crucial if Snowden is to gain asylum in Venezuela. “There is only one way that is guaranteed to avoid the airspace of the countries that may want to help the United States regain Snowden,” maintained CNN correspondent Phil Black, and that is a long and “potentially risky” flight over the Arctic and Atlantic oceans (AIR, in Russian).

An article by Andrew Stuhl in the Polar Journal – The politics of the “New North”: putting history and geography at stake in new Arctic futures – provides a critical analysis of North American Arctic discourses from 1910 to 2010. Stuhl argues that scholars must be careful about making references to a “New North,” because the use of such language is “not new” and has been used to “license political and corporate influence” in the region in the past. Using similar language to refer to the Arctic today, he warns, risks “concealing or repeating the most troubling aspects of the Arctic’s past.” Artic issues also featured in the inaugural issue of Post magazine – a new journalism project that addresses “the most important issues of the 21st century in the UK.” (You can find the article, titled “Thaw’s Hammer” on page 20).

United States

An article in the Independent Voter Network’s column The Globalist encourages a more active role for the U.S. in the Arctic by framing the Obama administration’s “pivot” towards Asia in the context of environmental protection. While the East Asian countries may be “economically dynamic,” argues author Chris Estep, their less-than-stellar environmental performances (China is the biggest culprit in this regard) leave something to be desired. By increasing its engagement in the Arctic, which offers economic potential as well as environmental protection through the workings of the Arctic Council, the U.S. could be participating in what Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt calls “diplomacy ahead of the curve.” Along somewhat similar lines, if you’re interested in East Asia’s engagement in the Arctic, check out this article on East Asian Diplomacy in the Arctic by Mia Bennett (AD via EOTA) and the first installment in the World Outline’s series on China’s policy goals in the Arctic, which focuses on trade.

A prior redistricting plan for Alaska generated a lawsuit by some Fairbanks residents, but the state may now be close to a plan that would bring that suit to a close (San Francisco Chronicle). Nevertheless, some issues still loom on the horizon for the state. The unfunded liability of Alaska’s public employee and teacher retirement systems (PERS and TRS, respectively), is reaching USD 12 billion as it becomes more costly to provide these benefits and returns on investments remain as low as 0.2 percent (AD). The figure represents the difference between what the state believes it will cost to pay retiree pension and medical benefits, and what the state believes it will have available in its retirement trust funds.


This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the land claims agreement that gave birth to the territory of Nunavut on July 9, 1993 (NN). Although this year’s Nunavut Day was marked with celebrations (NN) including the unveiling of a monument commissioned to mark the anniversary of the agreement (EOTA), relations between Nunavut and Ottawa remain far from perfect. The ongoing lawsuit filed by Nunavut Tunngavik, Inc., the Inuit land claims association in the territory, against the Government of Canada in 2006 for allegedly failing to follow through with obligations contained in the agreement, is evidence of this (Al Jazeera). You can find a detailed discussion of the Northern Jobs and Growth Act, new federal legislation that builds on some of the provisions in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and sets out a procedure for industry to make project applications in Nunavut, via Northern News Services Online.


July 4 marked the first 100 days under new Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond. While critics lamented her government’s “confusing” policy and “unclear” working methods, attributing some of the successes of her government’s first 100 days to “initiatives launched by the previous government” (KNR, in Danish), Ms. Hammond held a very upbeat and optimistic press conference in Greenlandic on Friday about her ongoing plans for the coalition (KNR, in Danish).


Discussion continued in Russia this week over what constitutes Arctic territory, both concerning the continental shelf (including the Lomonosov Ridge) and within Russia’s territorial borders (AIR, in Russian). Reacting against a more narrow classification including only those municipalities with Arctic coastline were Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko (AIR, in Russian) and Murmansk governor Marina Kovtun (AIR, in Russian), who maintained that all territories above the Arctic Circle should be included. Passage of the new bill would leave many Russians, especially those living in the Murmansk region, without certain benefits ascribed to “Arctic” territories as well as access to new government programs designed to foster socio-economic development (AIR, in Russian).


The Students on Ice Alumni Delegation is initiating the establishment of the Youth Arctic Council, a new forum for youth from Arctic Council states as well as permanent participants and observers to voice their opinions on Arctic issues. The project is being initiated through the Dell Social Innovation Challenge. / The Sámi Customary Rights Conference, which focuses on indigenous peoples and conservation, will be held in Luleå, Sweden on the 28th and 29th of August. For more information, see the conference website or Arctic Portal.



65 million years ago, northernmost Greenland was much closer to the Barents Sea, though seafloor spreading has since separated the two regions. This close geological affinity has brought a group of geologists from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to Greenland in the hopes that a better understanding of Greenland’s stratigraphy would shed some light on similar formations in the Barents Sea (press release). The NPD also featured an interview with Petoro’s incoming CEO Grethe K. Moen. While attention is often focused on developing new fields, Moen said Petoro’s priority was still maximizing production at mature fields (press release). Shell is also getting a new CEO in former Head of Refining Ben van Beurden. Fuelfix provides a short bio and discusses some of the challenges ahead for Beurden.

Searcher Seismic has completed a 2D seismic survey that connects the region around existing Finnmark platforms with new lease areas in the southeast Barents Sea (Rigzone).

Det Norske Veritas has won a bid to provide environmental and emergency preparedness risk analysis for Statoil’s Johan Castberg project in the Barents Sea (AB). Statoil got the go-ahead from Oslo to drill the first exploration well in one of its Barents Sea licenses (Offshore). Meanwhile the company is reportedly kicking off seismic studies in the Sea of Okhotsk in cooperation with Rosneft (Upstream).

The drilling rig Scarabeo 8 appeared overnight Monday this week off Ersvika near Hammerfest, the first time a rig has visited Hammerfest in 32 years. The rig is taking advantage of the area’s sheltered waters to perform some tricky refitting (Finnmark Dagblad, in Norwegian).


Finland is providing EUR 20 million to help develop offshore wind farms in its quest to produce 38 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 (Kaleva, in Finnish).


Recovery work continues in the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic where a train carrying crude oil derailed, causing a massive explosion and fire. Up to 50 people are missing and presumed dead in the tragedy and 17 remain unaccounted for (CBC). The explosion and fire were so massive they could be seen from space (NBC). The rail disaster has raised the prospect of increased regulation on the rail transport of crude oil which could have impacts on North American fields that rely on rail to get crude to markets. The accident may also impact the Obama administration’s thinking on the Keystone XL pipeline as rail transport’s risks attract greater attention (Platts).

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation is looking at an ambitious and expensive plan to run a 1,000 km power transmission line around the west end of Great Slave Lake. The line would provide a crucial connection in the region’s grid and also supply power for the area’s diamond mines (CBC).

Tim Querengesser looks at a dispute between the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and the Alberta government over what looked like an oil spill on the Athabasca River. The First Nation published photos showing an oil sheen on the river, but provincial and industry representatives claimed to find no evidence of the spill (Alberta Venture). By the end of the week the mystery had been solved; the oily sheen was likely from an anomalous algae bloom caused by record runoff and high temperatures (press release).

Two European financial institutions, Rabobank and Storebrand, announced that they are dropping investments in a number of companies involved in coal extraction and in Canadian oil sands production (Desmog).

Environmentalists in the Northwest Territories are a bit unnerved by recent federal moves to streamline the assessment and permitting process for resource development projects in the NWT. Some think the new processes will shortchange environmental concerns when weighing new projects (G&M).


Exploration on the Arctic shelf and shale oil were on the agenda as Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller met with his Shell counterpart Peter Voser to discuss the two companies’ deepening relationship (press release). Shell and Gazprom signed a memorandum in April on joint cooperation which has provided Shell coveted access to exploration opportunities on Russia’s Arctic shelf (AIR – Russian). The Energy Ministry reiterated the government’s requirement that all leases on the Arctic shelf be held by state-owned companies and that foreign firms can only be brought on as minority partners in exploration and production (AIR – Russian). Gazprom meanwhile won three new license blocks on the Arctic shelf by a decree of Prime Minister Medvedev (AIR – Russian).

Since the Russian-Norwegian border running through the Barents Sea has been officially recognized, the border region, long ignored due to uncertainties about the border, is attracting a lot of attention from the oil and gas industry. One structure in particular, the Fedynsky High, straddles the border and is the focus of a new seismic study by Eni and Rosneft this year (BO, AIR - Russian). The project also covers two other leases in the Barents and Black Seas that, all told, could hold up to 36 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Upstream).

In the first steps of its exploration campaign in the Kara Sea, Rosneft is setting up a meteorological station to monitor weather patterns as well as a satellite monitoring system to track ice movement in preparation for drilling in 2014 (AIR – Russian). For a good overview of Rosneft’s current Arctic activities, see this concise article by Derek Mead at Motherboard that shows how the world’s largest oil company has leveraged new deals with China to settle debts and invest in new opportunities on Russia’s Arctic shelf.

Lukoil announced plans to modernize its ice-resistant oil dock and facilities at Varandey to service oil from its fields in the Timan-Pechora basin (AIR – Russian).

The Russian Duma passed a package of tax breaks this week meant to facilitate more exploration and production in offshore and Arctic fields. The new law cancels all severance taxes on oil and gas from new fields for up to seven years, after which rates of between 5-10% will be levied on Arctic oil (AIR – Russian). AIR is also reporting that government sources say that Moscow is leaning towards only allowing LNG exports by companies that are cleared to work on the Arctic shelf – in other words, Gazprom and Rosneft (AIR – Russian). Rosneft has been lobbying hard for permission to export LNG, and it looks like Moscow will oblige, though not allowing other companies to participate shows Russia wants to continue to maintain tight control of gas exports.

Anna Kireeva and Charles Digges, writing for Bellona, highlight the comments of the head of the Russian Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resource Usage (Rosprirodnadzor) Vladimir Kirillov concerning safety and environmental concerns regarding energy development in Russia’s Arctic and the government‘s plans to mitigate these risks. And in what some will certainly see as a classic case of greenwashing, Gazprom will be opening an ecopark in the Yamal region to show its commitment to environmental preservation (AIR – Russian).

Thanks to oil and gas development, the Yamal region is booming, so much so that regional authorities have approved requests from 662 different companies to bring in a staggering 57,396 foreign workers in the near future (AIR - Russian).

A mysterious explosion at the Krasnoyarsk hydropower plant on the Yenisei River in East Siberia claimed the lives of two workers this week (Radio Free Europe).

United States

HBW Resources has put out a helpful summary of developments at the state and federal levels involving offshore oil and gas production, including the House of Representative’s recent push to open up more of the US continental shelf for exploration and the Department of the Interior’s intentions to develop more leases in the Alaskan Arctic. James Watson, the US’s top regulator for offshore drilling, will be stepping down this year. A replacement hasn’t been announced yet (Fuelfix).

After Interior Secretary Sally Jewell gave the cold shoulder to Alaska Governor Sean Parnell’s proposal to conduct 3D seismic exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with state and federal funds, Parnell has doubled down. In a new proposal, Parnell says the state will foot the entire USD 150 million bill in this latest attempt to get the federal government to open up areas of the reserve for oil and gas exploration (EOTA). Interior’s position is that the state’s right to explore in the Reserve, established in the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, was time-limited and expired in the 1980s (KTVA). Turns out that the tax figures Governor Parnell and others used to advocate for broad oil and gas tax cuts weren’t technically accurate. Tax cut supporters used the federal 35 percent marginal tax rate, not the effective rate that companies actually pay, which is around 13 percent after write-offs and exemptions (EOTA).

A 600-foot long tank in New Jersey was used in February of this year to test the performance of skimmers in removing spilled oil in conditions where sea ice is present. The tests help the Navy, Coast Guard and others involved in the project identify the strengths and limitations of current skimmers and build experience recovering oil in icy conditions (PN).

Science, Environment & Wildlife


Starting aloft, this week we got to enjoy a couple fresh posts from the researchers studying shorebirds in the Arctic. The Coats Island team was packing up to head home for the season, while the Canning River team took their last week to share some of the ins and outs of camp life. Great posts in both cases, with illustrative photos.

But as any resident of the North knows, there are more creatures than just birds buzzing their way about in the Arctic. One enthusiastic conservation biologist in Yukon identified a dragonfly visiting Watson Lake that hasn’t been recorded in the territory before (CBC), while next door in Alaska troops from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson have gotten some distressing results from their mosquito census; more were captured in June 2013 than in the entire summer of 2012 (AD – scroll down).

Now to the ocean, where we find two new posts (Pew Environment) chronicling beluga whale research in Hudson Bay by a team from Oceans North Canada and Ducks Unlimited. The photos, charts and text in combination do a great job of conveying what it’s like to be there. Nearby in Nunavut, a Brazilian photographer’s rare experience swimming with narwhals is debriefed by the CBC, and in the North Pacific new research has led to the insight that killer whales operate in distinct subpopulations in Alaskan waters with relatively little interbreeding (Science Codex).

On the pinniped front, a coastal town in Arctic Russia is monitoring walruses beginning to come ashore to breed (AIR, in Russian), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) declined this week to list ribbon seals in Alaskan waters as threatened or endangered (ADN). Alaska’s North Slope Borough, meanwhile, has filed a lawsuit against the NMFS for its “recent decision to list some populations of Arctic Bearded seals as threatened under the Endangered Species Act” (Arctic Sounder).

Finally – and only briefly – on land, hunting of caribou in West Greenland has been restricted, now that population-control measures have been achieved (KNR, in Danish).

Where there’s smoke…

Wildfires near the northern Quebec town of Kuujjuarapik (CBC) are drawing a great deal of attention, mostly because they’re the largest ever recorded in the province (KNR, in Danish). NASA provided some amazing satellite images of the affected area late in June. As of 8 July, the fires, which are on Cree lands, had not yet crossed the border to Nunavik (KNR, in Danish). By the end of the week, orders to prepare for evacuation were in effect in Kuujjuarapik (EOTA, in French).

Westward in the Northwest Territories, the town of Wrigley was evacuated due to another nearby fire (CBC). Even in northern Finland, this year has been a bad one for forest fires (Lapin Kansa, in Finnish).

In Alaska, the Stuart Creek 2 wildfire near Fairbanks has given a great deal of trouble; over the July 6-7 weekend it expanded rapidly to cover more than 40,000 acres, and 1,200 people were evacuated from homes and businesses nearby (FDNM, AD). It was believed at first that sparks from military training had ignited the fire, but later in the week representatives from Fort Wainwright stated that “the exact cause of the blaze is unknown” (AD). An interesting piece from Laurel Andrews in Alaska Dispatch interviewed some who chose to stay behind despite the evacuation notice.

Climate and environment

The most headline-grabbing news this week was the dramatic climb of the Shard, in London, by six female climbers from Greenpeace. The building was apparently chosen because of its advantaged position overlooking the offices of Shell in London – the climbers unfurled a “Save the Arctic” banner at the building’s pinnacle at the conclusion of their 15-hour climb (see WP, BBC, Guardian, and the Greenpeace website).

In Canada, what appeared to be an oil sheen on the Athabasca River, causing fears of an upstream petrochemical spill (CBC), appears to have been not that at all, but instead the byproduct of a bloom of blue-green algae in the river (CBC). And in Alaska, an earlier spill in the Aleutian Islands of more than 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel resulted in criminal charges against the parties accused of being responsible – to wit, Adak Petroleum and its facility supervisor at the time (AD). 

Research into the planet’s long-ago past suggests that current carbon dioxide concentrations were, during the Pliocene Epoch, associated with surface temperatures in the Arctic that are 15-20 degrees higher than currently observed (AIR, in Russian, and in English). Other atmospheric and marine pollutants are the subject of study for scientists looking into collateral pollution of Finland and Norway from Russian industrial activity (AIR, in Russian), while the (in-)famous Norilsk Nickel plant is preparing to invest RUB 1.5 billion in what sounds like a massive distillation plant to clean its waste water of solutes before returning it to the regional water supply (AIR, in Russian). Next door, Norway’s oil directorate has released results from a study of the petroleum industry’s nitrogen oxide emissions. Those emissions have apparently been stable, at approximately 30% of the country’s total, since the turn of the millennium (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, in Norwegian).

Moving on to ice and general climate change, NASA’s Earth Observatory provided a great satellite image of melt ponds developing on the Greenland ice sheet, as well as interesting explanations of how such satellite data can be used to understand a great many things about the ice sheet itself. This is timely, as the World Meteorological Organization has marked out Greenland as the place in the world with the greatest temperature increase since 2001 – 1.71 degrees. Perhaps counter-intuitively, this may indeed lead to MORE snow for the island (KNR, in Danish), and it will almost certainly lead to more punishing waves as ice cover on the seas surrounding Greenland diminishes (KNR, in Danish). Other new research in the Journal of Glaciology suggests that increased surface melt, and not faster iceberg formation, is likely to be the dominant process reducing the size of Greenland’s ice sheet in the years ahead (Science Daily). While that may be the case, this year has seen an apparent increase in the number of icebergs drifting by the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, offering a good incentive for tourism. Global News explores what’s behind the change.

When it comes to sea ice, a crowd-sourced estimate of the upcoming September ice-extent minimum is currently at 4.0 million square kilometers (median, not mean, from the ARCUS). And the director of the National Snow & Ice Data Center suggested that the Arctic could be largely ice-free in the summers as early as 2030 (science 2.0). We also learned this week that melting ice makes a great deal of noise underwater (Science Daily), and the weather changes that may be associated with a changing Arctic climate could mean difficult years ahead for many significant cereal crops worldwide (Arctic News blog). Coming up in early September in Tromsø will be a seminar on these issues and others at the Fram Centre.

Expeditions past, present and future

There’s so much to enjoy in the blogs that more and more field researchers are providing these days. In addition to the ornithology blogs mentioned in the wildlife section (and here, from Conserve Wildlife New Jersey), there are more posts coming from a Dutch team on Svalbard that give insight into the challenges of working in a remote location. The PAGE21 team wrote this week as well about their time in the town of Cherskiy, Russia, which – after the disappearance of industry – has become in essence a ghost town. Check out a couple of pictures of researchers in the field as well, from @by_rebecca and @wildlifenj.

In the United States, watch a brief video of the Coast Guard Cutter Healy taking off from Seattle to head north for its research season. The Healy won’t be alone in Arctic waters, but the ship’s crew will likely have an easier time of making their way around Arctic waters than the crew of the expedition rowing the Northwest Passage. A recent dispatch in the Vancouver Sun indicates that the crew of four is having a rough time of it, though they’re close to Tuktoyaktuk.

On Greenland, NASA’s GROVER has passed its most recent round of testing, which was geared to ensure that it can operate autonomously on the ice cap. There are some challenges, however, with things like battery life and mobility (NASA). The students in the Students On Ice program are also preparing to tackle Greenland this summer; check out an introduction to the great program. What seems like a similar program in Greenland itself is also intended to help students develop an understanding for, and enthusiasm about, Arctic science (KNR, in Danish). Students from Nunavut are also doing coursework elsewhere; several have taken part in a geology program in California in the recent past (NN).

Moving eastward to Russia, we find that the expense of rescuing the crew of scientists from Russia’s drifting Arctic research station NP-40 has burned through the budget for the project for this year. That means NP-41 will only be opened if more money is allocated (AIR, in Russian). A separate expedition aboard the Professor Molchanov has a broad mandate and will be collecting research in the Russian Arctic near the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas (AIR, in Russian).

Archaeological expeditions in the Arctic also turned up some good finds recently, both of a Stone Age tool in northern Finland (Lapin Kansa, in Finnish) and of much more modern twentieth-century artifacts from an island in the Russian Arctic (AIR, in Russian).

Two final expeditions of note have a slightly less scientific assignment. A group of students from the Northern (Arctic) Federal University is preparing to head to Franz-Josef Land for the second round of a cleanup initiative (Arctic Portal), and the government of Yakutia is working on a similar initiative to collect scrap metal from the Republic’s Arctic reaches (AIR, in Russian).


Get an introduction to the Canadian Polar Commission and its scientific work through this presentation, delivered via Arctic Summer College. / Check out this beautiful NASA photo of a phytoplankton bloom off of Iceland. / Need an update on all sorts of Arctic science? Check out this week’s catalog of the newest additions to the ASTIS database. / If you’re not yet familiar with the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, get to know it through this article in The Suit./ The Arctic Ocean Review and its 24 recommendations, approved at the Arctic Council’s recent Kiruna Ministerial Meeting, provide a great overview of the most current thinking in integrated management of the Arctic environment. / The Canadian military is helping Natural Resources Canada to develop better maps of the seabed in hard-to-access areas of the Canadian Arctic (CBC). / The North Pacific Research Board is looking for a new Science Director. Fantastic role – if you’re interested, definitely apply – deadline is 17 July! / Russia is considering strengthening its presence on Svalbard, both in the science and tourism sectors (AIR, in Russian). / Bellona offers a very positive review of Russia’s Sayda Bay nuclear waste storage facility. Russia has also proposed the creation of a nuclear island a little bit offshore from Murmansk; it would serve as a temporary secure storage facility before waste is transferred to Sayda Bay (BO). /

Military / Search-&-Rescue

United States

The U.S. Coast Guard’s newly refurbished icebreaker Polar Star, which left for Arctic waters this June, was featured in the Daily Caller and Alaska Dispatch this week, while the Coast Guard Cutter “Boutwell” returned to San Diego on Thursday after a three-month deployment to the Bering Sea. Her crew had been boarding commercial fishing vessels and patrolling the maritime boundary between the U.S. and Russia ( On Friday, the Coast Guard opened its forward operating location (FOL) in Kotzebue, Alaska to prepare for the seasonal increase in maritime activities in the region ( FOL Kotzebue is part of Coast Guard Arctic Shield 2013.

On the editorial side of things, a post by James Holmes in the Diplomat examines the Obama administration’s National Strategy for the Arctic Region (released in May), which Holmes believes “confirms that the U.S. Coast Guard is the logical executor of U.S. strategy.” Yet whether the document actually constitutes a real “strategy” is up for grabs according to Holmes, who maintains that although the challenges posed in the Arctic arena may be “non-military,” Washington should be aware that “Thucydidean motives of fear, honor, and interest” could drive competition in the region.

Registration is still open for the 5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, which is being held July 16-18 at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.


The Government of Canada announced that it has selected KPMG LLP out of Toronto, Ontario to provide outside expertise for upcoming National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy projects (the 3Ds Blog). The KPMG contract, estimated at CAD 500,000 over three years, includes the option of extending up to ten years and incorporating new work packages.


Defense News published an interview with Norway’s Foreign Affairs Minister Espen Barth Eide (who formerly served as Defense Minister). The interview, which is definitely worth a read, focuses on NATO’s role in the High North and Norway’s relationship with Russia. The so-called “divergent” Arctic defense policies of NATO members Canada, Norway and the United States are also discussed in a blog post on the Atlantic Council website.


Russia’s diesel-electric submarine Kaluga has been transferred to the Russian Navy after undergoing repairs (AIR, in Russian). The vessel’s life expectancy has now been extended another ten years. In Russia’s Severodvinsk shipyard, where the Kaluga waited for repair work to commence between 2002 and 2010, Russian and Indian naval forces have begun tests of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, which has been upgraded for the Indian Navy ( The carrier will then begin tests in the White and Bering Seas before being handed over on October 15.

Search & Rescue

A chartered airplane crashed at Alaska’s Soldotna Municipal Airport on July 7, killing all ten on board in what has been called “one of Alaska’s worst aviation accidents” (EOTA). Following analysis of flight recorders (or “black boxes”) found at the site of the helicopter crash in Siberia that killed 24 people on July 2, the Interstate Aviation Committee was unable to recover information from the damaged devices (AIR, in Russian).

Rescue teams in Rankin Inlet located two teenagers who went missing on Sunday after having some mechanical issues with their ATVs (CBC), while another group of teenagers was rescued from drifting ice near Iqaluit. The teenagers had been ice hopping when a large gust of wind dislodged the ice they were standing on, eventually pushing them around 500 meters away from shore (CBC). In Rovaniemi, Finland a dozen dogs were trained in simple water rescue techniques this week (Lapin Kansa, in Finnish).



North Arrow Minerals Inc. has acquired the Mel and Luxx diamond project in Nunavut. Both projects are glacial till deposits and the company will start work at the sites with airborne magnetic surveys this month (Junior Mining Network). North Arrow has also acquired a 55% interest in the Redemption diamond mine project in the Lac de Gras region (AZO Mining). The Nunavut Impact Review Board last week submitted a list of requirements to Areva Resources Canada Inc. that the company must include in its final environmental impact statement for the Kiggavik mine project (NN).

In the NWT, the North Slave Métis Alliance signed an impact benefit agreement for the Gacho Kue diamond mine, a joint project of De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds. The agreement, the first by a First Nations group with the mine, covers issues of hiring, funding and financial compensation for the Métis (CBC). The federal government has found itself the reluctant caretakers of the Jericho diamond mine in NWT after Shear Diamonds abandoned the site without warning last September (CBC).

According to the Yukon Supreme Court, the Yukon government failed to conduct sufficient consultation with the White River First Nation when it disregarded advice from the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board and approved the Tarsis River mining project. The Yukon government may appeal the ruling, saying it is not bound to accept recommendations from the Board (CBC).

In the Northwest Territories, the federal government has awarded a Type A water license to the Prairie Creek zinc-lead project allowing Canadian Zinc Corp. to start mining operations at the site (CMJ, CBC).

Dr. John Sandlos of Memorial University received a $200,000 grant to study the impact of arsenic pollution associated with the Giant Mine near Yellowknife, NWT. The project hopes to better understand the social impact of the mine’s arsenic waste though the eyes of local First Nations communities (press release).


Gold production is up this year from last in the Chukotka region of far eastern Russia, leading many analysts to be bullish on prospects for further mining development in the remote region (AIR - Russian).


Dr. Carol Ann Woody takes aim at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment in an editorial for Alaska Dispatch, saying that the assessment is too conservative and underestimates the impact the proposed Pebble Mine will have on the region’s prolific salmon fishery. Despite the company’s pleas to the contrary, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski thinks that Pebble Partnership is dragging its feet on the planning for the mine and that Alaskans deserve more clarity on the company’s intentions for the site (ADN).


Three environmental organizations have called on the government to continue opposing uranium mining due to the risks of contamination and the problem of radioactive waste (KNR).

If you’re looking for your reality TV fix for the week, you might want to check out “Ice Cold Gold,” a new show on the Discovery Channel which chronicles the travails of eight sufficiently rugged-looking American miners as they search for gold in Greenland (Click the City).


A gold mine in northwestern Finland is for sale (Kaleva – Finnish). The mine has been running at a loss since 2012 and the owners, Nordic Mines, announced they will be restructuring and laying off workers from their Finnish operations (EOTA).

Fishing, Shipping & Other Business News


I’m hoping to find time this summer to read “Billion-Dollar Fish”, a book from Kevin Bailey on Alaska’s pollock boom of the 1980s and 1990s. Pollock, though not a “sexy” fish, makes up 40% of the US commercial catch (Seattle Times has a nice review from Bruce Ramsey). This year at any rate, the pollock fishery is being hampered somewhat by higher chum salmon bycatch than anyone would like (KUCB). The numbers, though not unusually high, have meant closures of some areas to the pollock fleet. And while low king salmon returns in the Tanana River so far this year have meant that fishing now is catch-and-release only (FDNM), numbers of sockeye salmon in the Bristol Bay waterways are looking good so far (AD). That doesn’t mean the fishery itself is doing well, though; a capsized vessel leaking fluids of various sorts into area waters has meant closure of the fishery since 5 July (info dated 11 July via AD – it may have reopened when you read this). Relatedly, public opinion on the proposed Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay watershed seems to lean against development of the mine, at least according to the responses received by the EPA online during an open comment period (ANN).

Things are getting interesting in the Bering Strait as traffic grows year-over-year. Alaska Native whalers in skin boats are receiving “state-of-the-art transponders” as part of a pilot project under the Marine Exchange of Alaska; the transponders should allow real-time two-way monitoring of ship traffic and the skin boats themselves, hopefully preventing accidents (interesting article from AD). In Greenland a different whaling story is developing; the island wants to increase its allowed quota by ten, but doing so without the IWC’s approval (withheld in the last meeting in July 2012) would mean, in the view of Danish representatives, that Denmark would need to withdraw from the IWC altogether (Copenhagen Post). The argument developing as a result between Greenland and Denmark appears to have its center of gravity in lack of consultation; Greenlandic representatives feel that Denmark should not have made such statements of intention without consulting Greenland (KNR, in Danish). Nearby in Iceland, whalers have brought in 33 whales so far this season, and whale products are already on their way to their destination countries. The arrival of one ship in Hamburg was greeted by protests (AIR, in Russian).

Also in Greenland, scientists are advocating a cautious approach to management of two sub-populations of Greenland halibut in Disko Bay and offshore in the Davis Strait. The Greenland Institute of Natural Resources has recommended that catch quotas remain unchanged from last year (KNR, in Danish).

It’s not just Alaska that delivers salmon to world markets, and Norwegian salmon have found themselves (not for the first time) the subject of criticism and, possibly, a ban by Russia. Russian authorities have said that salmon coming into the country from Norway are more full of parasites (in particular, roundworm larvae - yuck) than is permissible. Industry representatives from Norway express surprise and skepticism, as no other recipient country has registered such a complaint (Internat’l Business Times). For Norwegian fish exports to Russia across the board, 2013 has been a slower year thus far than 2012 (BO). But there’s good news for Norwegian fisherfolk: a new rosy-hued movie has been released on Norway’s farmed-salmon industry (Kystens Hus, in Norwegian); and a new cream has been developed that you can slather on your waders to make yourself attract fish while you’re fly-fishing (Gemini, in Norwegian).

Two final tidbits. In Russia, a new vessel is prepared to launch that will serve both as a fishing vessel in the Russian Arctic and as a cargo-shipping vessel to remote communities in that region (AIR, in Russian). And back in Alaska, a new river-to-shelf tracing program for Yukon River Salmon from Kwik’pak Fisheries is, at least in my view, a great innovation likely to help grab market share among customers to whom provenance is important (KYUK).


Several developments of note in shipping are underway around the Circle. There continues to be buzz about the International Maritime Organization’s recent announcement that it expects to have a new Polar Code in place by 2016 (Arctic Portal), while cruise operators themselves (AECO – the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) are demanding better systems to keep them safe in the Arctic; participation in an updated Vessel Tracking System will soon become mandatory for all Association members (AIR, in Russian). Meanwhile the Alaskan Coast Guard is getting stretched by calls to respond to several simultaneous groundings and sinkings this week (AD), and the Norwegian International Ship Register is excited to welcome a couple of ships back to the fold, hoping it will herald general growth in the number of ships returning from “flags of convenience” to Norwegian registry (Norwegian gov’t, in Norwegian).

Onward to Russia, where intra-Russian shipping along the Northern Sea Route has begun in earnest for the year (AIR, in Russian). In recent days on the Northern Sea Route, the icebreaker Vaygach has accompanied tankers Indigo and Varzuga, owned by the Murmansk Shipping Company, on an apparently quick trip from Murmansk to the port of Pevek carrying diesel fuel (AIR, in Russian). Pevek is home to an oil depot which is undergoing renovation and reconstruction (AIR, in Russian). Relatedly, the Port of Sabetta, which will be critical to the functioning of the Yamal LNG project, has been opened to foreign vessels by the Russian government (AIR, in Russian). And much to the relief of the crew aboard, the tugboat Naryan-Mar, which had been stuck in ice in the Gulf of Ob since last November (!!!), was finally able to break free (AIR, in Russian). Meanwhile the museum ship Lenin – the world’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker – is preparing for its decadal overhaul. It will be closed to visitors for 45 days while it undergoes inspection and needed repairs (AIR, in Russian).

Back in the US, two “ice-class anchor-handling vessels” are among a whole fleet of new ships to be constructed by Louisiana’s Edison Chouest shipyard in the years ahead (Upstream Online).


I had no idea cloudberries were such a big thing. But perhaps the most surprising story I came across this week was the news that many berry pickers fly from Thailand to Finland, stay the summer, and fly home with several thousand EUR in their pockets even considering the cost of flights and the cost of living (YLE). What a world we inhabit! In some portions of northern Finland this year has seen a real cloudberry boom, making it a “pickers’ market” for jobs (Kaleva, in Finnish) and meaning that prices of cloudberry products in the markets are a bargain, relative to some years past (Lapin Kansa, in Finnish). Making a match between the foreign berry pickers who come to Finland and the likelihood of an adequate harvest to guarantee jobs for them is an ongoing challenge (Kaleva, in Finnish).

General economic and business news

The derailment and explosion of numerous oil-filled tankers in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec has been a horrific disaster; the Economist has also taken the opportunity to analyze and comment on crisis communications management from the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railways. Further westward, Yukon News talks with two representatives of a growing class of skilled foreign workers who are coming to the territory, trying to make a go of it with jobs that are significantly beneath their skill levels. Compare that with Norway’s Finnmark county, which has opened an English-language website to encourage businesses and individuals to set up housekeeping there. In Labrador, Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak spoke about northerners assuming control of their own economic destiny (The Labradorian), while Iceland is getting a little bit of pressure from outside the country to tighten its monetary policy (IceNews).

Enjoy an interview with the CEO of the Lapland Chamber of Commerce about economic development in northern Finland, as well as in the circumpolar Arctic more generally (EOTA). One source of growth in Finland has been growing investment from Russia; learn about the sectors and projects that are driving this westward flow via Eye on the Arctic.

Other businesses

A new Russian-Chinese joint business to make reindeer products will soon be set up in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (AIR, in Russian). / The problem of illegal logging in Russia’s northern reaches is a serious one, and efforts to solve it are running up against what seems to be the general unavailability of resources (MT). / A new blog is focused on identifying the “Best of Bothnia”, the places and businesses that are worth a visit around the Gulf of Bothnia (Lapin Kansa, in Finnish). / European authorities are concerned about the quality of Iceland’s drinking-water monitoring practices, which may not meet EFTA standards (IceNews).

Health, Education, Culture & Society


In an effort to heal “one of the health department’s long-festering sores: patient complaints,” the Government of Nunavut has launched an Office of Patient Relations in compliance with a motion passed to that effect in March of last year (NN). The Nunavut government has also launched a Community Mental Health program in Rankin Inlet (CBC), and the Government of Canada has announced funding for a community-based project in Nunavut that promotes healthier living to reduce obesity-related health problems (Gov’t of Canada). Grand Challenges Canada also provided a grant to continue research on a tuberculosis vaccine using the genes of bacteria found in the Arctic (AIR, in Russian).

While the ProAgria project in Oulu, Finland is preparing for an international seminar on Arctic food (Kaleva, in Finnish), and food security and agricultural self-sufficiency was a topic of discussion in Greenland (KNR, in Danish), Muslims in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries struggle to observe Ramadan without jeopardizing their health during summer days which last over 21 hours in Finland and Sweden (The Local).


An article published in the Atlantic this week praises the Finnish school system, which manages to be extremely successful while maintaining a non-competitive environment and fewer classroom hours than American schools. Also praised were Finnish attitudes toward gender equality, work-life balance, parental leave and daycare (YLE). Other Arctic countries, Canada and Sweden, made it to the top of the US-based Reputation Institute’s top 50 countries by reputation (IceNews). In a more sobering but nevertheless positive development, Canada’s council of education ministers agreed on July 5 to include education about residential schools within school curricula in Canada (NN). Ensuring that all Canadians learn about the history of residential schools will “contribute to the healing process” in communities across the country, maintained Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak.

Society & Culture

The Russian State Duma is considering a bill that aims to harmonize the terminology used when referring to Russia’s indigenous population, eliminating ambiguities in language and bringing the laws on indigenous peoples together under one body of rights (AIR, in Russian). Moving from ambiguous language to the preservation of language, an article in the Anchorage Daily News highlights Ninilchik Russian, a language spoken continuously in Alaska since the last years of the Russian American Company. Although the language, which has its roots in the original four families to settle in Ninilchik, will soon die out, academics from Fairbanks and Moscow have worked to catalogue and preserve the unique language over the last fifteen years. In Canada, efforts are being made to preserve Inuktitut, including the creation of an Arviat television channel (NNSO) and “terminology workshops” in Nunavik designed to help modernize the language (CTV News).

In Wrangell, Alaska, the Wrangell Cooperative Association (the island town’s federally recognized tribe) is undertaking a project that aims at simultaneous cultural revitalization and economic development, strengthening the community and promoting local growth (Alaska Public Media). Phase two of the project is the creation of a cultural center that will include facilities for teaching and selling various forms of Alaska Native art. In Denmark, the substantial Greenlandic community represented at the recent Roskilde music festival was highlighted this week by KNR.


Transport infrastructure

Invest in EU is convinced that Finland will become a “global logistics hub by 2040”, and an environmental review of the Murmansk Transport Hub has been completed by Rosprirodnadzor, though final acceptance or rejection of said review will not come for at least two months (AIR, in Russian). It also appears as though South Korea and Russia will be working together on the development of Arctic hubs (Yonhap News), but – caveat emptor – the experience of the Port of Anchorage project, which is tied down in lawsuits, far behind schedule and well over budget, demonstrates some of the many pitfalls that attend large port-development plans (AJC). Near Murmansk, the construction of the Lavna coal port may be in question, as a primary investor just sold its share (AIR, in Russian).

I can only say that I’m sorry to have been unable to attend the workshop “Cargo Airships for Northern Operations” in Anchorage this past week; it seems like a simultaneously promising and fanciful idea, which is exactly my speed. Far from Alaska, European aerospace giant EADS is also at work developing airships as a kind of Swiss army knife for Arctic operations (KNR, in Danish). I am so excited to see how this goes, in part because airships seem like such a good solution to the manifold problems of overland transport in the Arctic. In just two examples of such problems, the Susitna Bridge on Alaska’s Denali Highway has fallen victim to some fierce erosion (FDNM), and you can see an image of some serious damage to Yukon’s Dempster Highway here.

News about air transport this week was largely positive. Air Greenland is preparing to replace its helicopters (KNR, in Danish), while Tromsø, Norway, will soon be better-connected to the rest of the world via direct Finnair flights to Helsinki (Finnmark Dagblad, in Norwegian). North Norway will also benefit from dedicated funding to support development of chartered flights from abroad to the region (, in Norwegian), and the Komi Republic and Nenets Autonomous Okrug will also add flights connecting their respective capitals (AIR, in Russian). In Pangnirtung, Nunavut, however, it looks like better security is on order at the airport, after vandals unknown stole some equipment from an airplane (NN, CBC). There is also rumbling from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that the deal to build and operate Iqaluit’s new airport is unlikely to be transparent enough to ensure that taxpayers get their money’s worth (CBC). And in Finland, there’s been a steep decline in passenger air traffic this year from 2012 (Kaleva, in Finnish).


While I can understand the appeal of having internet access even at the North Pole (thanks, Norwegian Space Centre and Telenor), the idea of being unable to escape my email ever, anywhere, makes me want to take to the streets in protest. The idea of providing a reliable connection all the way to 90° north to serve increasing industrial and scientific activity captured the fancy of news outlets around the Circle (The Local and Aftenbladet have articles in English). Greenland is also looking – gratefully, no doubt – at improved cell phone coverage in the near future, as TELE prepares to set up 4G LTE coverage (KNR, in Danish). Rovaniemi is already profiting from 4G LTE service, according to Lapin Kansa (in Finnish).

A couple of other brief notes. On power infrastructure, more detail on a series of floating nuclear power plants proposed for use in the Russian Arctic comes from the Daily Mail, while the northern Finnish town of Posio is glad to hear that it will soon be wired to the grid in Finland (Kaleva, in Finnish). And in civilian housing, residents of the Chukotka town of Cape Schmidt (a nearly-dead former mining town) will be expected to abandon the town and move to another location; the government will pay RUB 90 million to achieve this (AIR, in Russian). And in Yukon, the Tiny House movement is beginning to spread (What’s Up Yukon).


The Greenland Kayak Championships were held in Ilulissat this week (KNR - Danish). The championships included competition for all age groups, as well as “exercises on a stretched leather strap,” in Danish “Øvelser på en udspændt skindrem” (KNR - Danish). And here we see where Google Translate reaches its limits – can anyone help me on this one?

A new extreme sports center will be opening in the northern Finnish town of Oulu and will include facilities for skateboarding and BMX riding (Kaleva - Finnish). Oulu also held its annual barbeque competition this week (Kaleva – Finnish). Finns in Kemijärven are taking advantage of the 24 hour light of mid-summer with the Midnight Sun Rowing campaign to promote healthy and safe paddling on local waters (Lapin Kansa – Finnish). And in other Finnish sporting news, Finnish couple Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen won this year’s Wife Carrying World Championships (YLE). Yes, you read that correctly. Go to the link and watch the video. You will thank me.

If you need a little extra motivation for your cycling regimen, you might want to visit Yukon where cyclist Mac Hollan had to outrun a wolf while cycling 100 km west of Dawson City (CBC).

The town of Fort Smith, NWT, beat out rival Whitehorse in the vote count to win a $25,000 prize in the Kraft Celebration Tour contest. The town plans to put the money towards fixing up the local ice rink which was damaged in a fire in May (CBC).

Whitehorse, Yukon, businessman Rolf Hougen has proposed raising city taxes by one percent in order to help fund the ailing Mount Sima ski hill. The tax increase would raise around CAD 300,000 for the project (YN).

Iceland’s women’s football team is overjoyed that they have made the cut to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Football Championship in Sweden this year (IceNews).

Odd Langeid won this year’s fishing festival in Sørvær, Norway, with a healthy 55 kilo halibut (Finnmark Dagblad – Norwegian).

Arctic Images

This week’s haul on Instagram and Twitter included images of: a salmon carving and the midnight sun in Inuvik (@ecojackiejo); a sort of outdoor frat-house living room on a riverbank in Aklavik (@donaldweber); a gorgeous, sunny Canadian North landscape (@beyondthecircle); the midnight sun over the water at Prudhoe Bay (@maxxx629); a shot of a neighborhood in Longyearbyen (@marionsolheim); a dog yard on Svalbard (Paul Fuller); the skeleton of an old boat by the water in Barrow (@Brimshack); and the fjords of northern Norway (@moman1234567).

There is also an Instagram shot from @upheremag of… I don’t actually know how to describe this concisely. There is fur. A skull.

On Flickr, we’ve got: a beautiful image of a landing float plane (Kristen Olesen); a boat at anchor off of Arviat, Nunavut (Paul Aningat); the Yellowknife River (Flickr user nwtarcticrose); two enormous white dogs looking down on Great Slave Lake (Flickr user nwtarcticrose); and the apparently edible fireweed in Yukon (Bruce McKay).

Finally, a few other images of note. Check out: a Greenland glacier from Dave Levinthal; several shots of a polar bear from Lauren Farmer; an image of sea ice breaking up from Ronny Friedrich; and the coast in Harstad, Norway from @ronnyaa.

And for a quick trip in the Wayback Machine, enjoy this half-hour nature special on Arctic wildlife from 1986, courtesy of Canada’s National Film Board.

The Grab Bag

Now to those bits and pieces that fit nowhere else…

Although it is not in the Arctic, we want to express our sorrow at the devastating explosion that did so much damage in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec this past week (The Atlantic). Our thoughts are with the suffering town and those who have lost family and friends.

Mia Bennett’s post on the checkered history of the first Canadian Arctic Expedition and contemporary efforts to retrace its steps is a well-written and worthwhile read (Foreign Policy Blogs).*** / A fascinating profile of the ship “Albert” and its history in Nunavut is well worth a read in this week’s Taissumani feature from Nunatsiaq News. Congratulations as well to author Kenn Harper, who was appointed as the Nunavut representative to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (Sacramento Bee). / Don’t try to bribe cops in Dudinka with reindeer (AIR, in Russian). / The Telegraph’s recommendations of Northern literature are commendable. / A fire at a gunpowder factory in Finland ended, thankfully, with no massive explosion and no injuries (EOTA). / The expectations of dog owners in Iqaluit will soon be clearer, in the hopes that it will help cut down on future attacks and nuisances (NN). / Barents Observer is on its summer break – enjoy, folks! / The 20th anniversary of the signing of the Nunavut Land Claim was the occasion for erection of a new statue in Iqaluit; picture from @CBCNorth. / The application period for the Gordon Foundation’s Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship is now open; submit before September! / Also on the occasion of Nunavut Day, Google’s Street View unveiled its “tour” of a snowy Iqaluit (Google Canada). / Does Oulu need a public sauna to serve its citizens (Kaleva, in Finnish)? / The Beringia 2013 festival is coming up soon; it is a competition between, and celebration of, marine hunters in Chukotka (AIR, in Russian). / A massive defunct NATO airbase in Iceland is being revitalized as a center for music and filmmaking (Wired). / In Hammerfest, a moon bounce blew away with children inside. Nobody was seriously inured (Finnmark Dagblad). /

Abbreviation Key

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
Aftenbladet (AB)
Alaska Business Monthly (ABM)
Alaska Dispatch (AD)
Alaska Journal of Commerce (AJC)
Alaska Native News (ANN)
Alaska Public Media (APM)
Anchorage Daily News (ADN)
Arctic Info (Russian) (AIR)
Barents Nova (BN)
Barents Observer (BO)
Bristol Bay Times (BBT)
BusinessWeek (BW)
Canadian Mining Journal (CMJ)
Christian Science Monitor (CSM)
Eye on the Arctic (EOTA)
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (FNM)
Financial Times (FT)
Globe and Mail (G&M)
Government of Canada (GOC)
Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)
Huffington Post (HP)
Indian Country Today Media Network (ICTMN)
Johnson’s Russia List (JRL)
Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa (KNR)
Lapin Kansa (LK)
Moscow Times (MT)
Natural Gas Europe (NGE)
Naval Today (NT)
New York Times (NYT)
Northern News Service Online (NNSO)
Northern Public Affairs (NPA)
Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI)
Nunatsiaq News (NN)
Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ)
Ottawa Citizen (OC)
Petroleum News (PN)
RIA Novosti (RIAN)
Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH)
Russia Today (RT)
Voice of Russia (VOR)
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
Washington Post (WP)
Whitehorse Star (WS)
Winnipeg Free Press (WFP)
Yukon News (YN)