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Maine – Arctic Forum

October 3, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

The Conference will address challenges and opportunities for Arctic science, business, shipping, security, and governance. The Ocean & Coastal Law Journal of the University of Maine School of Law will publish an accompanying Symposium issue and the conference proceedings.

This full-day Arctic Conference is open to the public. Hosted by University of Southern Maine, University of Maine School of Law, and Pierce Atwood LLP, the event is sponsored by Maine and Alaska’s Arctic Council Host Committees and will feature Maine experts from the Climate Change Institute – University of Maine, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, as well as special guests from the Arctic Council U.S. Delegation, Arctic Economic Council, and the State of Alaska. The program will include a special session on the Arctic Council and U.S. Chairmanship.

A showcase of Maine-Arctic science, education, and cultural initiatives will be on display in the Abromson Center and adjoining classrooms. Participants will have an opportunity to network during the buffet luncheon and the closing reception at the USM Osher Map Library with a special exhibit on the History of Maps of the Northwest Passage.

Conference Agenda

Venue: Hannaford Hall, Abromson Center, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME

Registration & Coffee/Light Breakfast

Opening Remarks

Emcee: David Biette, Global Fellow, Polar Initiative, The Wilson Center

Maine Arctic Council Host Committee Welcome:  Professor Charles Norchi, Director, Center for Oceans & Coastal Law, University of Maine School of Law and Dana Eidsness, Director, Maine North Atlantic Development Office

Welcome: USM President Glenn Cummings

The U.S. as an Arctic Nation
Craig Fleener, Special Assistant on Arctic Policy, Office of the Governor, State of Alaska

U.S. Senate Arctic Caucus
Maine Senator Angus S. King (invited)
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (Invited)

Morning Coffee Break and Maine-Arctic Showcase

Arctic Science: Ice Melt & Climate Change
The Arctic is now experiencing abrupt and dramatic climate change with impacts throughout the Northern Hemisphere.  To foster adaptation and resilience in the face of such change requires climate perspective and plausible scenario-based climate prediction.

Moderator: Anne Henshaw, Arctic Program Officer, Oak Foundation
Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director, Distinguished Professor, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine and Leader Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two
Rafe Pomerance, Chair Arctic 21 and member Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Paty Matrai, Senior Research Scientist, Air-Sea Exchange Laboratory, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

The Public Order of the Arctic

The Public Order of the Arctic is an accretion of claims and agreements by States, non-states, and intergovernmental organizations implicating security, the environment, trade, resources, and indigenous peoples. This panel will appraise trends, decisions, and outcomes that are shaping the Public Order of the Arctic.

Moderator: Professor Charles Norchi, Director, Center for Oceans & Coastal Law, University of Maine School of Law
Ambassador David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Chair of Senior Arctic Officials, U.S. Department of State
Rep. Bob Herron, Co-chair, Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, Alaska State Legislature
Dr. James Kraska, Professor of Law, U.S. Naval War College
Professor Betsy Baker, Vermont Law School & University of Alaska

Buffet Luncheon and Networking (Abromson Atrium, 1st floor with additional seating on 2nd floor)

Arctic Council Overview and U.S. Chairmanship Update
Ambassador David Balton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Chair of Senior Arctic Officials, U.S. Department of State

Afternoon Coffee Break and Maine-Arctic Showcase

Arctic Shipping and Safety
The harsh Arctic environment necessitates special measures and regulations to insure the safety of mariners and to protect the marine and coastal environments. This panel will review mechanisms, regulations, and national and international laws designed to ensure mariner safety and marine environmental protection.

Moderator: Michael J. Daly, Partner, Pierce Atwood LLP
Dr. Lawson Brigham, Distinguished Professor of Geography and Arctic Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dr. Rebecca Pincus, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Maritime Policy, Center for Arctic Study & Policy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Arctic Economic Council Overview
The Arctic Economic Council is an independent organization founded in 2014 that facilitates Arctic business-to-business activities and responsible economic development. It is the primary forum for interaction between the Arctic Council and the wider circumpolar business community. This session will provide an overview of the AEC’s work developing opportunities in marine transportation, telecommunications and broadband infrastructure, responsible resource development,and Arctic stewardship.

Tara Sweeney, Chair, Arctic Economic Council

Concluding Remarks

USM Networking Reception and Arctic Map Exhibit

Venue: Osher Map Library, Glickman Family Library Building, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME



The cost to attend is $45 per person. Registration fee includes the full-day conference with buffet luncheon and networking reception.

Advance online registration is now closed. Walk-in registration will be available at the event.



October 3, 2016
8:30 am - 6:30 pm