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December 5, 2011


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider legislation to limit regulatory authority of the executive branch. In the Senate, there will be several votes on judicial nominees. Most of the work, however, will be behind the scenes to finalize a deal on FY 2012 appropriations.


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 is underway 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. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Drop in Carbon Dioxide Levels Led to Polar Ice Sheet, Study Finds. A drop in carbon dioxide appears to be the driving force that led to the Antarctic ice sheet's formation, according to a recent study led by scientists at Yale and Purdue universities of molecules from ancient algae found in deep-sea core samples. Science Daily 


PappPapp Testifies at Arctic Hearing. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp testified before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation on, "Protecting U.S. Sovereignty: Coast Guard Operations in the Arctic," Dec. 1. During the hearing, Papp discussed issues facing the Arctic, national policy objectives and capacity to support Arctic operations. 



icebreakersU.S. Subcommittee: USCG Needs Icebreakers. The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ), held a hearing last week to examine the U.S. Coast Guard's role and operations in the Arctic. The Subcommittee reviewed several recent reports and analyses of the Service's polar capabilities."As we all know, the ice caps are shrinking in the Arctic, effectively creating new coastline and navigable waters where the Coast Guard will be required to operate," said Chairman LoBiondo. "This opening is already providing significant economic opportunities for the energy and maritime transportation sectors, but has also exposed a new set of risks and challenges to our national security and sovereignty." gCaptain 


Rep. Young Pushes for an Increased American Presence in the Arctic. During today'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 Reauthorization bill which requires the Coast Guard to report back to Congress with an analysis of its current Arctic capabilities and future needs. Congressman Don Young


Reversing US Retreat From the Arctic. [Opinion] As the Arctic ice cap is decreasing in size, the international race for Arctic resources is heating up. The High North countries-including Russia, Denmark, Norway, and Canada-are scrambling to lay claims on previously inaccessible giant oil reserves and begin their development. Richard Weitz, Ph.D., senior fellow at Hudson Institute, recently published a report on the subject that comes to an unpalatable conclusion: "U.S. is dead last in committing resources to the Arctic mission." There are a number of reasons for that strategic blunder. First is the lack of public and government attention to the issue and an unwillingness to allocate resources to Arctic exploration. There are certainly some costs involved-the U.S. spent a total of $5.6 million in the Arctic in 2008-but, as The Heritage Foundation rightly notes, that is "a pittance compared to the billions of dollars of Arctic natural resources that are at stake." The Heritage Foundation


AK Native family drawingMarch of Progress: White House Tribal Nations Conference. Today, the White House hosted the Tribal Nations Conference at the Interior Department. The conference continued the meaningful government-to-government dialogue that has made the march of progress happening in Indian Country possible. During his remarks today, President Obama again reiterated his deep commitment to making government work better to fulfill our trust management duties, support tribal self-determination and empower American Indian and Alaska Natives to unlock the economic potential of Indian communities. This is a promise shared throughout the Obama administration, and today's conference was a great manifestation of the progress we've made - bringing together several members of the President's cabinet, key federal officials from across the administration as well as the White House, and leaders from more than 565 federally-recognized tribes. The White House  


Chairman Young, Ranking Member Boren Introduce Native Empowerment Act. After gathering input from tribal leaders across the country, Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Chairman Don Young (AK) and Ranking Member Dan Boren (OK) have introduced H.R. 3532, The American Indian Empowerment Act of 2011. This bipartisan piece of legislation will enhance the authority America's tribes have wanted over their lands. Specifically, this bill allows a tribe to request that the title to its tribal land be taken out of trust and conveyed to the tribe while also ensuring such lands retain their "Indian Country" status. Congressman Don Young


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered on Friday.

Future Events                                   


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 Health, 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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