Opening the Arctic Seas: Envisioning Disaster & Framing Solutions

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Opening the Arctic Seas: Envisioning Disaster & Framing Solutions

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 to Thursday, March 20, 2008
Durham, New Hampshire

Meeting Goals

To identify key strategies, action items, and research needs that will improve the ability of Arctic Nations and communities to prepare for, and respond to, marine incidents in the Arctic.

See common recommendations concluded by workshop participants here>>

Workshop Final Report Issued January 2009 Here >>






Arctic Search & Rescue Envisioning Disasters and Framing Solutions Plenary Session
Larry Trigatti, Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment: What Is Driving Arctic Marine Use??
Lawson W. Brigham, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Opening the Arctic Seas Arctic Peoples – the Saami
Gunn-Britt Retter, Arctic and Environmental Unit, Saami Council

Arctic Peoples
Charles Johnson, Alaska Nanuuq Commission

Arctic Tourism: Past, Present and Future
John Snyder, Strategic Studies, Inc.

Oil and Gas Activities in the Arctic
Dennis Thurston, Minerals Management Service

Arctic Biological Consequences or Implications
Jeep Rice, NOAA




Cruise Tourism in the Arctic: Recipe for Disaster? by The Arctic Institute, Center for Circumpolar Security Studies 2/2/2012

2010. Oil Spill Prevention and Response in the U.S. Arctic Ocean: Unexamined Risks, Unacceptable Consequences, Nuka Research and Planning Group LLC, Pearson Consulting LLC and The Pew Charitable Trusts

Abbreviations/Acronyms List

19th IAHR International Symposium on Ice
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 6-11, 2008

2007-2009 International Polar Year Alaska: North by 2020: A Forum for Local and Global Perspectives on the North (University of Alaska, Fairbanks)

Advancing Oil Spill Response in Ice-Covered Waters
Prince Williams Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute and U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA)

Arctic Symposium Speaker Presentations
Washington DC, July 10-12, 2007

Biological Effects of Oil-in-Ice, JIP Project
Add-On Project to SINTEF's Ongoing Oil-in-Ice Joint Industry Program (JIP), April, 2007

Circumpolar Map of Resources at Risk from Oil Spills in the Arctic

Cruising to the End of the World
John Snyder

Executive Summary of the AMAP Oil & Gas Report
Dennis Thurston, Chair

Ice melt means spike in CG Arctic operations

Impact of Spilled Oil in Sea-Ice Communities
Coastal Response Research Center/NOAA project proposal

Increased Need for Arctic Oil Spill Prevention and Response Preparedness
Dr. Amy Merten, Co-Director, Coastal Response Research Center, NOAA Office of Response & Restoration (OR&R)

JIP Oil in Ice Workshop
Svalbard Norway, April 22-26, 2007

Modelling the interrelationships between permeability, effective porosity and total porosity in sea ice
Chris Petrick, Pat J. Langhorne, Zhifa F. Sun (Science Direct)

Numerical Modeling of Oil Fate and Transport in Ice
Poster by Whitney Blanchard, Dr. Mark Reed, Dr. Nancy Kinner, Dr. Amy Merten

Oil transport from the Russian part of the Barents Region (January 2005) - Alexei Bambulyak and Bjørn Frantzen, Svanhovd Environmental Centre

Oil transport from the Russian part of the Barents Regions (January 2007) - Alexei Bambulyak and Bjørn Frantzen, The Norwegian Barents Secretariat & Akvaplan-niva AS

Research and Development Priorities: Oil and Ice Workshop
Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute, November 4-5, 2003

St. Lawrence Island Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) "Removal Action Report"

The Changing Arctic: Indigenous Perspectives (ACIA)

Thinking about the Arctic's Future: Scenarios for 2040
The Futurist

Where the Sea Breaks its Back - Corey Ford

Workshop to Determine the Scope of an Experiment Oil Spill in Pack Ice
Helsinki, November 1-2, 2005

WWF: Oil Spill Response Challenges in Arctic Waters

Mapping Images

View Arctic Vessel Traffic - 2006 Summer Season (Shockwave file) here>>
Provided by Canadian Coast Guard, Icebreaking Program

View AMSR-E Sea Ice Concentration which shows ice moving from the Arctic Ocean, through the Bering Straits, and south into the Bering Sea (John Whitney) here>>

View a political map of the North Circumpolar Region showing national boundaries, country names and oceans here>>


Great Bay Conference Room
New England Center
15 Strafford Avenue
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824
603.862.2801 / 800.590.4334


New England Center
15 Strafford Avenue
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824

Participants do not need to make their own hotel reservations. Center organizers have a block of rooms. Confirmations, along with other workshop details will be sent prior to the workshop. ($109 regular/$89 government)


For a map of the UNH campus, click here>>

For driving directions from the nearest airports, click here>>


The Manchester Airport (in NH) is about 40 minutes away. Boston's Logan Airport is about 90 minutes.

If you would like assistance in making your flight arrangements, please contact Patty at University Travel at 603.868.5970.

Airport Shuttle

Flightline - 800.245.2525

Please note: Center organizers will arrange airport transportation. Please forward your flight details as soon as possible in order to be included in shuttle opportunites. You will receive a confirmation via email.


NOAA & U.S. Federal employees, please contact Amy Merten as soon as possible.

Foreign participants, please contact Kathy Mandsager for approval. The reimbursement form (in Excel) is here>>

Organizing Committee

Douglas Bancroft, Canadian Ice Service, Environment Canada

Ole Kristian Bjerkemo, Emergency Prevention Preparedness & Response (EPPR)

Lawson Brigham, US Arctic Research Commission

Larry Hamilton, UNH, Professor Sociology

Nancy Kinner, University of New Hampshire/Coastal Response Research Center

Bjørn Kristoffersen, StatoilHydro Barents Region

Kari Lampela, Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)

Tom Laughlin, NOAA Office of International Affairs

Lexia Little, US Coast Guard, Stanford Graduate Student

Amy Merten, NOAA /Coastal Response Research Center

Andrew Tucci Andrew, US Coast Guard

Mark Meza, US Coast Guard


Biodegradation Potential of Oil in Arctic First-Year Sea Ice
Whitney Blanchard's Project Paper

There’s an oil spill in the Arctic Ocean. What do you do?
Interview with UNH Co-Director Nancy Kinner on Alaska Pubic Radio.
Monday, March 17, 2008

Global Warming Melts New Sea Lanes for Norilsk, ConocoPhillips
Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shell, Conoco say they're sensitive to Chukchi concerns
Reuters, February 25, 2008

Questions?  Please contact: Kathy Mandsager at or 603.862.1545

Norway, Canada, Denmark and Russia are all actively pursuing drilling and extraction of oil and natural gas from the Arctic in newly opened passages through and beneath existing pack ice. The US government and many American oil companies are pondering whether to pursue a similar course of action. Even if they choose not to do so, our natural resources in the Arctic are likely to be impacted by spills resulting from maritime transport through American waters. The Norwegian agency SINTEF is leading a multi-national research effort to develop technologies to improve spill response when oil is released in the proximity of the ice. This $6 million effort, which will culminate in two planned spills in the marine environment of the Norwegian coast, is funded by a consortium of oil companies and governmental agencies. [N.B., Such deliberate environmental spills are forbidden in the US.] The Center was invited in 2006 to serve as one of the few research-focused entities on the steering committee for this effort. The Center, NOAA and SINTEF are conducting experiments to answer the following questions:
  • What are the transport and degradation processes (partitioning, diffusion, and biodegradation) and rates that govern the fate of oil components frozen in ice?
  • How does the change of the structure of ice affect transport?
  • What are the exposures (e.g., composition, concentrations and durations) to which ice-associated organisms may be exposed?
  • How will response options affect transport and biodegradation processes?

Due to the Center's involvement in this Oil-in-Ice partnership, UNH has sent graduate student Whitney Blanchard to SINTEF for the Academic Year 2007-2008 where she will learn the state-of-the-art in ice modeling from the world's leading experts. The product resulting from this student's Ph.D. dissertation will be the incorporation of the biological data into the SINTEF fate and transport oil-in-ice spill response model, another example of integrated modeling. For more about Whitney's experiences at SINTEF, click here>>