Better Alaska mapping, more understanding of mineral resources, more study of the effects of thawing permafrost and more help to Arctic communities coping with crumbling coastlines and vulnerable infrastructure are among the tasks that the U.S. Geological Survey plans in its newly released five-year Arctic strategy.Alaska Dispatch News

The research vessel Sikuliaq docked in Nome on July 21 and opened its doors to local visitors. While touring the ice-capable ship -- owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks -- visitors asked questions of the crew and learned about their upcoming missions.

Emily Russell | KNOM
The research vessel Sikuliaq -- owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks -- will be working in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas through November on three research assignments. On its way, it stopped in Nome, where it welcomed visitors aboard. Laura Kraegel | KNOM
Canada announced a new scientific survey on Friday to contribute to the country’s Arctic continental shelf submission. The six-week survey in the Arctic Ocean is aimed at bolstering Canada's competing claims to contested seabed territory in the region.Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic
Some of the largest American companies are backing President Barack Obama’s push for an international climate agreement this year, the White House announced today.Erica Martinson
Gov. Bill Walker hopes he’ll get to see President Barack Obama in front of one of Alaska’s glaciers next month, he said in an interview Sunday.Erica Martinson
A plentiful supply of lemmings, a prime arctic fox prey, along with a joint Norway-Sweden feeding program, have helped numbers rebound.Radio Sweden
Since the 1970s, waves in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea have grown higher and are spaced farther apart. The changes correlate with the loss of summer and fall sea ice and the expansion of open waters, the study found.Yereth Rosen
Warmer water as a consequence of climate change could threaten Swedish shrimp production on the west coast, as the animals could move north to find a cooler environment. A new Swedish study shows that the distribution of the North Sea prawn, also known as pink shrimp, is connected to water temperature, which could cause it to disappear from Sweden’s coasts.Radio Sweden
The Aug. 31 conference that will bring President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and a slew of foreign ministers to Anchorage will be a hybrid event focusing on Arctic and climate-change challenges, according to the State Department. Erica Martinson