The Symposium is cohosted by the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), and addresses present andfuture impacts of rapid changes in Arctic Ocean sea ice cover on a wide range of maritime operations. The forum, the fourth in a series, is  akey opportunity for federal entities to discuss their response to changes in both the arctic environment and associated policies.

This year's event builds upon:
- The April 2001 inaugural symposium, "Naval Operations in an Ice-free Arctic," sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), NIC, the Oceanographer of the Navy, and USARC;
- The July 2007 "Impact of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations" symposium, cosponsored by NIC and USARC; and
- A June 2009 gathering at the U.S. Naval Academy.

The first symposium focused primarily on naval operations and national strategic issues, but since 2007 the symposia have expanded the discussion to impacts on other maritime operations such as commercial transportation, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, fisheries, and oceanographic research.

This year's symposium continues the discussion vis-a-vis recent events that include (please click here to see links to resources for the following topics):

- The continued downward trend of arctic sea ice extent and total volume including significant loss of multi-year ice;
- The response of U.S. agencies to the National and Homeland Security Presidential Decision on arctic policy, such as the Navy Arctic Roadmap, the ongoing U.S. Coast Guard's arctic requirements and planning efforts, and NOAA's Arctic Vision and Strategy;
- National Ocean Council development of a strategic action plan on "Changing Conditions in the Arctic," one of nine strategic action areas identified in the 2010 National Ocean Policy;
- The Arctic Council Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) Task Force development of an Arctic SAR Agreement;
- The IMO development of a Polar Code for vessels operating in polar waters;
- The increased interest in government as well as private industry joint arctic oil spill response research;
- The expanded energy exploration activities as part of BOEMRE lease sales in the Chukchi Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and the Beaufort Sea;
- The IMO/IHO/WMO establishment of five new arctic NAVAREAs/METAREAs for maritime safety information services;
- The International Polar Decade proposed by the WMO Executive Council; and
- The mounting calls for U.S. Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The symposium provides a unique high-level overview of the latest activities and plans of key agencies in response to an increasingly accessible Arctic Ocean. It also serves to further publicize results and outcomes from efforts such as the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (AMSA) and the CNO Naval War College Global Shipping Game. As in prior symposia, the 2011 gathering will continue to provide an opportunity to review changes in arctic sea ice conditions observed over the previous two years, evaluate advances in sea ice seasonal and climate forecast model predictions, and discuss the impact of environmental conditions on naval and maritime operations.

The symposium is open to the general public with a limited number of registrations available on a first come first serve basis. To register, please click here .

Or contact:
Pablo Clemente-Colon