Fostering understanding, awareness, and appreciation of the Polar Regions through outreach, education, and research. Penn State University.

U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and Strategy for the Arctic Region Symposium

Posted on

U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and Strategy for the Arctic Region Symposium
When: Tuesday October 20, 2015, 1:00 p.m. –  5:00 p.m.
Where: Sutliff Auditorium, Lewis Katz Building, University Park
The symposium is free and open to the public. An informal reception will follow.
The symposium has been recorded & archieved and can be viewed HERE
The discussion is co-sponsored by the The Polar Center,  Center for Solutions to Weather & Climate Risk, Penn State Institutes of Energy and The Environment,  Penn State Law, School of International Affairs, Sustainable Climate Risk Management, and the Rock Ethic Institute. For additional information, please contact Lara B. Fowler at or 814-865-4806.

1:00 p.m. Welcome Nicholas P. Jones Executive Vice President and Provost Penn State University
1:15 p.m. Keynote Arctic Council Update: Perspective from the Chairmanship Robert J. Papp, Jr. Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired) U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic

2:00 p.m. Keynote Why the Rapidly Changing Arctic Matters to Science Hon. Fran Ulmer Special Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State on Arctic Science and Policy

2:45 p.m. NGA Brings Geospatial Intelligence to the Arctic Elizabeth R. Bernstein Research and Development Scientist, Basic and Applied Research, NGA

3:00 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. Panel #1 Law, Regulation, and Policy in the Arctic Managing Climate Risks in the Arctic: Navigating Trade-Offs Between Diverse Values Under Deep Uncertainty Michael D. Farber Senior Advisor to the Director, U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bur. of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Klaus Keller Professor of Geosciences, Director, Center for Climate Risk Management, Penn State

4:00 p.m. Panel #2 Short presentations followed by facilitated discussion – Moderator: Lara Fowler, Penn State Law, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment Jim Houck Interim Dean, Penn State Law and Vice Admiral, JAGC, U.S. Navy (Retired) David Titley Prof. of Practice, Dept. of Meteorology; Director, Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired) Michael Mann Distinguished Prof. of Meteorology, Director, Earth Systems Science Center, Penn State

5:00 p.m. Reception Katz Building Foyer

Members of the U.S. delegation to the Arctic Council and Penn State experts will discuss the role and interests of the United States in shaping global strategies for the Arctic Region.
The Penn State Symposium on the Arctic: U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and Strategy for the Arctic Region” will feature keynote speeches by retired Coast Guard Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., Special Representative for the Arctic, who leads the effort to advance U.S. interests in the Arctic region as the United States holds the chairmanship of the Arctic Council from 2015-2017; Hon. Fran Ulmer, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and  Special Adviser to the Secretary of State on Arctic Science and Policy.
The symposium will be opened by a welcome speech from Nicholas P. Jones, executive vice president and provost of Penn State. Following the keynote speeches, retired Navy Vice Adm. James W. Houck, interim dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs, retired Navy Rear Adm. David W. Titley, professor from practice in the Department of Meteorology, Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology and director of the Penn State Earth Systems Science Center, will participate in a panel discussion. Other guest speakers have also been invited and will be announced before the event.
The symposium is a timely response to the pressing security, economic, environmental, and energy production issues in the Arctic Region. The rate of ice retreat in the summer of 2015 remained faster than the typical rate for the same months in previous years. The receding Arctic ice sheet is opening access to shipping routes, as well as mineral and oil resources that were previously unreachable. At the same time, interested nations have been expanding their presence in the Arctic. In this past August alone, the United States granted final permission for Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea; Russian company Gazprom Neft put a second well in service in the Pechora Sea; and Chinese shipping company COSCO is also on a path to increase its use of the Northern Sea Route.
The experts at the symposium will explore a wide range of issues, such as:
  • Have any principles emerged since the inauguration of the Arctic Council to guide future proliferation of commercial activities in the Arctic region?
  • What is the leadership role for the United States, which assumed the 2015-2017 chairmanship of the Arctic Council, in the Arctic region?
  • How will the changing natural conditions in the Arctic region affect future geospatial technology developments?
  • What implications do the recent developments in the Arctic region have on U.S. national security and relevant regulatory schemes?
  • How have the major concerns regarding social impacts of climate change been playing out through the lens of the Arctic?
About Robert J. Papp Jr.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. became the State Department’s Special Representative for the Arctic in July 2014. He leads the effort to advance U.S. interests in the Arctic Region, with a focus on Arctic Ocean governance, climate change, economic, environmental, and security issues in the Arctic region as a member of the Arctic Council chairmanship. Prior to this appointment, Papp served as the 24th commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, and led the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security. As a flag officer, Papp served as commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area; chief of staff for the Coast Guard and commanding officer of Coast Guard Headquarters; commander, Ninth Coast Guard District; and director of Reserve and Training.
About Hon. Fran Ulmer
Fran Ulmer is chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, where she has served since being appointed by President Barack Obama in March 2011. In June 2010, Obama appointed her to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. From 2007 to 2011, Ulmer was chancellor of Alaska’s largest public university, the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Prior to that, she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Public Policy and director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at UAA. She is a member of the Arctic Council chairmanship, the global board of the Nature Conservancy, and the board of the National Parks Conservation Association.
About James W. Houck
Retired Navy Vice Adm. James W. Houck is interim dean and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs. Houck focuses his research and teaching on international law and national security law, with a particular emphasis on the law of the sea and the law of armed conflict. He joined Penn State in 2012 after retiring as the 41st judge advocate general of the U.S. Navy, during which time he was the principal military legal counsel to the secretary of the Navy and chief of Naval Operations. In this role, he led the 2,300 attorneys, enlisted legal staff, and civilian employees of the worldwide Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
About David W. Titley
Retired Navy Rear Adm. David Titley is professor of practice in Penn State’s Department of Meteorology and the founding director of the Penn State Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk. He previously served as chief operating officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 2012 to 2013. Before assuming these positions, he was chief oceanographer of the U.S. Navy, where he served for 32 years. He also initiated the Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change and serves on the CNA Military Advisory Board.
About Michael E. Mann
Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. Mann was a lead author on the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He also contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
About Klaus Keller
Klaus Keller is a professor of geosciences at Penn State, with an adjunct appointment as a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University.  At Penn State, Keller directs the Center for Climate Risk Management (CLIMA) as well as the NSF-sponsored research network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM).  Before joining Penn State, he worked as a research scientist and lecturer at Princeton University and as an engineer in Germany.  Keller graduated from Princeton with a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering.  He received master’s degrees from M.I.T. and Princeton as well as an engineer’s degree from the Technische Universität Berlin.