Arctic Update Header
December 6, 2011


Today's Eventstodaysevents 



The Senate will consider a judicial nomination. The House will consider legislation to require congressional approval of federal regulations if they have an annual economic cost of $100 million or more.


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  


Shell About to Unveil Massive Icebreaker. A longtime Shell contractor has nearly completed a massive, custom icebreaking ship for the company's drilling projects in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. The icebreaker is part of a specialized fleet Shell hopes to deploy for exploration drilling next summer, if it can clear legal and regulatory hurdles. Anchorage Daily News


russian flagNome Fuel Solutions Highlights Acute Shortage of U.S. Icebreakers. A Native corporation's decision Monday to ask a Russian icebreaker to deliver an emergency shipment of fuel added an exclamation point to Alaska demands that the U.S. Coast Guard boost its Arctic presence as climate change opens ice-locked regions to development. "This is an example where we have to increase our icebreaking capability and have the ability to receive fuel in these ports, because we're going to have a lot more activity up north," said Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska. Coast Guard has reported an increase in vessel traffic through the Bering Strait and expects more as tourism, Arctic shipping and petroleum development ramp up in coming years. Alaska Dispatch


Icebreaker Polar Sea Need Not Be Mothballed Says Vigor COO. The Polar Sea, the heavy icebreaker that the U.S. Coast Guard plans to mothball, is in excellent condition and could be returned to active service in two years, giving the government a decade or more to search for longer-term solutions, a representative of America's shipyards told Congress last week. The United States currently has no active heavy icebreakers and one medium vessel to protect rapidly intensifying national security and economic interests in the Arctic and Antarctic. Marine Log


Northern Communities Endangered, Experts Say. A "wave of tumultuous change" is threatening remote Arctic communities, says Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who was nominated for a 2007 Nobel peace prize for her work in linking climate change to human rights. And the culprit, she says, is climate change. "The overall invasion of new species, of new tourists, of workers who are on these ships are concerns for everybody living up there in terms of safety, security and health," said Watt-Cloutier, a visiting scholar at Mount Allison University in Sackville. The Expositor


HoldrenCongress Reprimands White House Office Over China after office ignores restrictions on dealing with Chinese regime; budget slashed. A recent dispute between a powerful congressman and the executive branch about how the United States should deal with China-and what technology it should share-reached a decisive conclusion recently. The White House's science office took a body blow, with 32 percent of its funding cut after it decided to flaunt Congress. The controversy began early in the year when Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.10), an outspoken critic of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), inserted a clause into a spending bill that prevented the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NASA from engaging in bilateral cooperation with China or any Chinese company. The Epoch Times 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

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.  

USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter 

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)