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photo: Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent (foreground) and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy
Bay Panorama - photo: Roger Topp, University of Alaska Museum of the North
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photo: Ice and ship at sunset
photo: Sikuliaq moored at Ice Station Juha, 3-25-2015. Photo by Roger Topp, University of Alaska Museum of the North
photo: Scientists tread ice and snow Canada Basin of Arctic, 7/22/2005, photo by NOAA photographer Jeremy Potter
photo: View from the deck of the Sikuliaq, photo: Roger Topp, University of Alaska Museum of the North
6th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations 14-16 July 2015

Final Report - 6th Symposium, (PDF, 871 KB)

Thank you for your interest in the 6th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, co-hosted by the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), July 14-16, 2015 at the Naval Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC.


  • Co-hosted by U.S. National/Naval Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC).
  • A biennial symposium originating in 2001 that focuses on U. S. naval operations and national strategic issues in an "ice-free Arctic”
  • Symposia in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 expanded the discussion to include other nations and the impacts on their maritime operations in an "ice-diminishing Arctic” such as commercial transportation, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, fisheries, and oceanographic research. The continuing reduction in Arctic sea ice extent remains a central focus.
  • In 2007, VADM Morgan (OPNAV N3/N5) provided remarks on Navy's Maritime Strategy, with additional participation from Senator Murkowski (AK) and Commandant Thad Allen, (USCG).
  • In 2009, ADM Allen, Dr. Lubchenco (NOAA Administrator), Senator Begich (AK) and RADM Titley were key speakers.
  • in 2011, ADM Roughead, (CNO) and Senator Murkowski (AK) raised concerns about how current and future shipping activities are impacting the Arctic.
  • In 2013, Dr. Sullivan, Acting NOAA Administrator, ADM Papp, Commandant, USCG,and RADM White addressed changing Arctic maritime conditions.


  • This symposium brings together nationally and internationally recognized experts on Arctic observations, climate change, and maritime operations.
  • High-level opening remarks are anticipated from NOAA, Navy, USCG, USARC, Canadian Coast Guard, and other U.S. and international government representatives; special invitations to be sent to the Alaska Congressional Delegation and from representatives from other Arctic nations.
  • The 2015 symposium program will be influenced by relevant Arctic-related events since the 2013 symposium, including:
    • 2015's peak winter Arctic sea ice extent occurred Feb. 25, 2015, a maximum that is not only early but is the lowest in the satellite record.
    • Despite a modest increase in the age and thickness of sea ice in 2014 compared to 2013, the long-term evidence points to continued global warming and loss of sea ice.
    • The updated USN Arctic Roadmap 2014 - 2030 released.
  • White House released the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region to advance U.S. security interests, pursue responsible stewardship for Arctic region, and strengthen international cooperation.
  • Executive Order 13689: Enhancing Coordination of National Efforts in the Arctic released on Jan. 21, 2015
  • The symposium talks will cover three general topic areas:
    • Latest research on observed and forecast changes of the Arctic sea ice environment;
    • Present and future impact of these changes on Arctic operations;
    • Relevant national and international Arctic policy issues and potential need for additional policy.

2015 Symposium Information

Symposium Hosts

Additional information:
Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colón
Chief Scientist, National Ice Center

Banner photo credits:
Roger Topp, University of Alaska Museum of the North and Jeremy Potter, NOAA

image of text: Hosted By:
National Ice Center logo
U.S. Arctic Research Commission logo
image of text: Supporting Agencies:
The Office of Naval Research logo
National Science Foundation logo
NOAA Center for Satellite Applications & Research (STAR) logo