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December 2, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider legislation to revise and expand the requirements for federal agency rulemaking and another provision. The Senate is not in session.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  

icebreakersRep. Young Pushes for Increased American Presence in the Arctic. During yesterday's House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation hearing on the U.S. Coast Guard's role in the Arctic region, Alaskan Congressman Don Young used his time to continue his push to expand America's presence in the Arctic. The hearing's objective was to review several recent reports regarding this country's capabilities in the Arctic as well as the recently passed Coast Guard Authorization bill which requires the Coast Guard to report back to Congress with an analysis of its current Arctic capabilities and future needs. Alaska Business Monthly


Readout from DOI's Federal Alaska Science Workshop. The Department of Ulmer 2the Interior today hosted an Alaska science workshop, bringing together top federal policymakers and members of the federal government's science community to discuss how to facilitate the delivery of relevant scientific information to officials responsible for making decisions related to energy development in Alaska. Led by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and former chancellor of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, today's meeting reflects a commitment to ensuring that decisions about the nation's domestic energy resources in Alaska are being made based on the best available science. The meeting was organized as part of the activities of the high-level federal interagency working group established in July by President Obama to coordinate energy development in Alaska and chaired by Deputy Secretary Hayes. Department of Interior   


The Future of Arctic Sea Ice Research and Forecasting.  An ad hoc committee of the National Academies will plan and conduct a public workshop that outlines the current state of Arctic sea ice research, discusses knowledge gaps, and identifies emerging or important new science questions for the coming decade.  Through invited presentations and discussion, participants will examine current observations and modeling efforts of sea ice, and identify (but not prioritize) areas of research and technology advances needed to better understand current and future changes.  The workshop will be designed to bring together polar scientists and agency representatives to explore whether there are new capabilities and infrastructure available to study sea ice in different ways that might shed new light on emerging research questions.  This information may provide the context for future planning and policy development for sea ice research activities.  The committee will develop the workshop agenda, select and invite participants who will contribute presentations and take part in plenary and small group discussions, and moderate the discussions. The National Academies  


Whales Win, Walruses Lose in Warmer Arctic. [based on NOAA's Arctic Report Card]. The Arctic zone has moved into a warmer, greener "new normal" phase, which means less habitat for polar bears and more access for development, an international scientific team reported on Thursday.  Arctic air temperatures were higher - about 2.5 degrees F (1.5 degrees C) higher in 2011 than the baseline number for the previous 30 years - and there was a dramatic loss of sea ice and glacier mass, the scientists said in a telephone briefing. Scientific American  


President Names Alaskan Teressa Balwin "Champion of Change." U.S. Sen. Mark Begich issued the following statement of congratulations to Teressa Baldwin, of the Native Village of Kiana and Sitka, who attended the White House Tribal Nations Conference and was named a "Champion of Change" by President Barack Obama: "All Alaskans can be proud of Teressa Baldwin and her work to inspire young people across Alaska to fight suicide by seeking help and offering a hand to friends in trouble." Senator Mark Begich


AK Native family drawingObama Signs Executive Order on Education and Tribal Colleges. President Barack Obama signed an executive order titled, "Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Education Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities." The signing was done in conjunction with Obama's third White House Tribal Nations Conference, which saw hundreds of tribal leaders gather at the Department of the Interiors headquarters to hash out Indian issues with administration officials. Indian Country Today


Link to Executive Order-Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities is available here.


Polar Geography. Recent and forthcoming articles address topics such as:

why the Barents Sea delimitation dispute was resolved in 2010; frozen water resources of the world; the Arctic Internet; social indicators for arctic tourism; the history of the wilderness idea in Iceland; Arctic observing network social indicators and northern commercial fisheries; linking pan-Arctic human and physical data; trends and assessing data for Arctic mining; oil spill emergency response in Norway; reindeer herders in the Timan-Pechora oil province of Northwest Russia;

Sami place names in Norwegian sea charts; and next steps toward an Arctic human dimensions observing system, plus book reviews. Polar Geography is a quarterly publication of scholarly research on the physical and human aspects of the Polar Regions. Questions or ideas about submissions can be directed to the Editor, Tim Heleniak.


Legislative Actionfutureevents  



No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


Airships to the Arctic VI: A Game-Changer, December 5-6, 2011. The sixth Airships to the Arctic conference explores the forward and backward linkages of the emerging airship industry. The introduction of transport airship will require new locations for transshipment and generate economic opportunities that do not exist today. Just as these other modes of transport spawned an array of input suppliers, this conference examines the supply base of the airship industry. Construction of large transport airships will create the need for materials, engines, pilots, avionics and many other large and small input suppliers. 


AGU Fall Meeting, December 5-9, 2011. The American Geophysical Union's ("AGU") Fall Meeting to connect with colleagues, broaden their knowledge base, and embrace the joy of science.  The groundbreaking research presented at this world-renowned event is critical to advancing our understanding of the natural world and to addressing the challenges society faces as they relate to our science. As an organization, AGU works to unite Earth and space scientists who are dedicated to the common goal: scientific discovery for the benefit of humanity.  One of the most important ways we do this is through the Fall Meeting - an event that embodies who we are as a scientific organization and that is key to helping us achieve our organizational mission, vision and goals. 


National Science Foundation Town Hall Meeting, December 7. The Arctic Sciences Division (NSF) will hold a Town Hall Meeting from 12:00 - 1:30 pm in the ARCUS community room (San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Pacific Room J). Note the change from the AGU program book. The Deputy Director and Program Officers will discuss the Division's portfolio, some recent awards, future directions, and--most importantly--take questions and hear comments from the community. If you have questions, contact


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 16-20, 2012. The symposium was first held in 2002 to connect scientists in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and beyond in an effort to collaborate and communicate on research


activities in the marine regions off Alaska. There will be plenary and poster sessions featuring a broad spectrum of ocean science on issues of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. There will also be speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Workshop: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating Our Growing Understanding into a Research Agenda for Action Jan. 30-Feb. 1 

Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Co-sponsored by International Study of ArcISAC logotic Change (ISAC) and the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. Endorsed by the International Arctic Science Committee, this workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders who are affected by change or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 Conference event. It is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012 Conference "From Knowledge to Action". For more information and to register for the workshop go here. 


Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in Arctic science and policy are also expected. More information to follow. 


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.  


The Arctic Imperative Summit, July 29-August 1, 2012. The summit will be hosted by Alaska Dispatch and will bring together leading voices in this conversation, including residents from the small villages that comprise Alaska's coastal communities, state, national and international leaders, the heads of shipping and industry, as well as international policymakers and the news media. The goal of the summit is to sharpen the focus on the policy and investment needs of Alaska's Arctic through a series of high level meetings, presentations, investor roundtables and original research.


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.


 White House Tribal Nations Conference, December 2, 2011. President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. As part of President Obama's ongoing outreach to the American people, this conference will provide leaders from the 565 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference. This will be the third White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President's commitment to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country.  

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