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August 31, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Canadian Inuit Going Hungry: McGill Study. Six out of ten Inuit in Canada's far north don't get enough to eat or are eating the wrong things, says a comprehensive study by a team of McGill University researchers. They warn preventive measures are desperately needed to help ward off diabetes, heart disease and other ailments which already plague other aboriginal peoples in Canada and the U.S. Increasingly, Inuit are shifting away from the traditional foods hunters brought home. But researchers found people living in remote villages often cannot find or afford the fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products which make up the best part of a healthy southern diet. Montreal Gazette  


Arctic Oil Spill Plan Condemned. Environmental Oil Drilling in Alaskacampaigners have accused an Edinburgh-based oil company of "breathtaking irresponsibility" over its plans for clearing up a possible spill in the Arctic. Greenpeace raised concerns that the oil spill response plan drawn up by Cairn Energy was inadequate for the treacherous conditions in the region. It includes measures such as cutting out blocks of oiled ice which could be thawed in a heated warehouse to separate out the oil, and deploying portable lights to help with a clean-up during winter darkness. Press Association 


Arctic Geologists Wanted; Only the bold need apply. One memorable Arctic trip in a battered DC-3 twin-engined propeller plane still makes Tom Hoefer laugh nervously. "They were having problems with it and the pilot came back ... and said 'If I yell at you that you need to do something for me, I want you to open the back door and I want you to throw out all this fish we have on board,'" he recalled. Welcome to the gigantic deserted Canadian Arctic territory of Nunavut, home to supposed mineral riches and a stupendously challenging climate where temperatures often dip below minus 40 Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit.) Reuters 


My Turn: US Icebreaking Program- where haveicebreakers all the big thinkers gone? [Opinion] In an Aug. 25 letter, Dr. Karl Erb of the National Science Foundation was pleased to find a workaround for continued icebreaking services critical for U.S. science in the Antarctic. Actually, what Erb negotiated was a contract with the Russian Murmansk Shipping Co. to outsource U.S. polar operations. This exemplifies the narrow polar vision held by NSF, preferring foreign interests for our country's science needs in polar regions. Since 2005, NSF outsourced U.S. Antarctic missions to the Russian icebreaker Krasin, the Swedish icebreaker Oden and now, the Russian icebreaker Vladimir Ignatyuk. Juneau Empire 


Denmark's Arctic Strategy Points to Polar Consensus. [Commentary] Last week, the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands) released its Strategy for the Arctic. This marks a culmination of a three year period in which each of the circumpolar states - Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States, as well as the EU - established new Arctic policies in face of the region's rapidly evolving geopolitical situation. While this in itself is significant, the most startling thing is the level of consensus articulated in these nine Arctic policies. For all of the region's diversity of interests, values, resources and cultures, when it comes to Arctic policy everyone is saying pretty much the same things. Alaska Dispatch 


Exxon Reaches Arctic Oil Deal With Russians. Exxon Mobil won a coveted prize in the global petroleum industry Tuesday with an agreement to explore for oil in a Russian portion of the Arctic Ocean that is being opened for drilling even as Alaskan waters remain mostly off limits. The agreement seemed to supersede a similar but failed deal that Russia's state oil company, Rosneft, reached with the British oil giant BP this year - with a few striking differences. New York Times  


Exxon Wins Arctic Deal, Gives Russia US Access Exxon Mobil Corp. snatched away a major Arctic exploration deal with Russia's OAO Rosneft from competitors including BP PLC in a sweeping agreement that for the first time gives a Russian state-controlled company access to energy projects in the U.S. Wall Street Journal

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Events                     


9th International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering, September 3-7, 2011. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk, Russia), the Institute of Northern Mining (Yakutsk, Russia), the Cold and Arid Regions Engineering and Environmental Research Institute (Lanzhou, China), and the Heilongjiang Institute of Cold Region Engineering (Harbin, China) will host the Ninth International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering to be held in Mirny, Yakutia. The aim of the Symposium is to provide a forum for discussion of permafrost engineering issues, as well as for exchanging practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva. 


Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, September 4-6, 2011. "Our Ice Dependent World," organized by the Northern Research Forum and its partners as the Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, will be hosted by the University of Akureyri in the town of Hveragerđi, Iceland. Addressing the three 'poles' - the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Himalayan region- the sub-themes represent different  perspectives for viewing the subject of natural ice and evaluating its importance.  The event will consider implications of ice melt on humanity, communities, minds, perceptions and knowledge on ice; International law, 'soft law' and governance on ice.


4th International Sea Duck Conference, seaduckconferencelogoSeptember 12-16, 2011. The Sea Duck Joint Venture has helped sponsor a North American Sea Duck Conference once every three years since 2002. These conferences provide opportunities for researchers and managers to share information and research results, conduct workshops on specific issues, and to hold related meetings. The 4th conference will officially be an international conference and will be held in Seward, Alaska, 12-16 September, 2011, with participants from the U.S., Canada, Russia and Europe, focusing on sea ducks in the North and the Arctic. It will be held at the Windsong Lodge, with three days of presentations and workshops, and there will be a chartered boat trip the last day into the Kenai Fjords to watch sea ducks. Registration is available on the website for the conference and the excursion.


Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011. The 27th Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, entitled "Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change," will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. This international symposium will provide a forum for scholars, fishery managers, fishing families, and others to explore the human dimensions of fishery systems and growing need to include social science research in policy processes. The conference is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program.    


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future Fermo

September 20-23, 2011. A technical workshop, organized by Dr. Peter Wadhams, on the physical problems associated with oil spills and blowouts in sea ice will be held at the Istituto Geografico Polare "Silvio Zavatti," Fermo, Italy. Scientists, engineers and policy makers are invited to address the questions of how oil is emitted from a blowout or spill, how the oil and gas are incorporated in the under-ice surface, how the oil layer evolves, how the oil is transported by the ice, and how and where eventual release occurs. The aim is to incorporate the experience of those scientists who worked in this field in the 1970s-1990s, when large-scale field experiments involving oil release were possible, and to relate this to the needs of present researchers who are seeking solutions to the problem of a sustainable Arctic oil spill management system. Registration forms are available here


Murmansk Arctic Forum, October 1-2, 2011. Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society, the forum will host discussion on Arctic navigation, development of the Northern Sea Route, railway extensions, and construction of a deep-water port in Arkhangelsk.  The official website is in Russian.


The Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics, October 3-4, 2011. The conference is organized by the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul Dandurand Chair, in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Cartier (France), ArcticNet (Universite Laval, Quebec), and the Northern Research Forum (University of the Arctic; University of Lapland, Finland). This high-level international meeting reunites political scientists, lawyers, geographers, historians and practitioners to discuss, first, the socio-economic, political and security issues of developed or developing Arctic regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The meeting mainly seeks to adress security issue(s) of the various region(s) that make up the circumpolar world. Three Arctic regions will be highlighted: a) the North-American Arctic (United States (Alaska); Canada (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik) and Greenland; b) the North Pacific Rim (Alaska, Russian Far East, Beaufort Sea/Chukchi); c) the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland - and Russia).


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring together over 2,000 Arctic and Antarctic researchers, policy- and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non-government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The conference is hosted by the Canadian IPY Program Office in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada, among other groups. Each day of the conference will feature a program of keynote speakers, plenary panel discussions, parallel science sessions, as well as dedicated poster sessions. The conference-wide plenaries will explore themes related to topics of polar change, global linkages, communities and health, ecosystem services, infrastructure, resources and security. Other sessions will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the application of research findings, policy implications and how to take polar knowledge to action. 


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference will be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008. Details to follow.   


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Heath, August 5-10, 2012. This kivalina girlevent is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and indigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change-health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and, behavioral health.


Arctic/Inuit/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World , October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage museums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature. For more information, please email Lauren Marr.


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