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November 1, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will hold a series of roll call votes on the fiscal 2012 'minibus' spending package. The House will consider several items under suspension of the rules.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Minibus Conference Shapes Approps: The trial conference committee will dictate how the appropriations battle will play out. What's a conference committee, again? Leaders on the House and Senate Appropriations committees are slated to meet in a real conference committee for the first time since 2009 next week after the Senate passes its "minibus" appropriations bill, as it is expected to do. The plan is a victory for Senate negotiators who fought for the minibus approach, which combines three or four appropriations bills into a single package. Roll Call


harry reidSenate Preparing Second 'Minibus.' Senate Democrats are making plans to move a second "minibus" of three fiscal 2012 appropriations bills in the coming week as the chamber prepares to send the first such combination to the House on Tuesday. The next spending package - which is expected to combine the Energy-Water bill (HR 2354) with the Financial Services (S 1573) and State-Foreign Operations (S 1601) measures - may also pass with a bipartisan majority. But that package is likely to attract many controversial amendments aimed at Obama administration initiatives favored by Democrats. Congressional Quarterly


Pentagon May Shift Focus to Asia-Pacific. The Pentagon is considering investing more of its funding in military platforms for the Asia-Pacific region and less on tools for counterinsurgency, defense sources say.  The change in thinking is being spurred by a soup-to-nuts strategy review at the Pentagon that was initiated last spring to help the Defense Department navigate budget cuts. The evolving shift will place a premium on military capabilities like ships and long-range aircraft, defense sources told The Hill, and make armored vehicles and lightly armored ships less important. The Hill 


Northern Sea Route Cargo Shipments on the Rise. This year the cargo transportation of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), a shipping lane from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean along the Russian Arctic coast, is expected to reach 3 million tons, which is a record volume since the late 1980's, Andrei Smirnov, an official with  the parent navigation company Rosatomflot said. In the late 1980's the cargo transportation volume on NSR amounted to 7 million tons. However, in the 1990's it declined almost five times down to 1.5 billion tons. Later the growth resumed and in 2010 the volume of cargo transportation reached 2.3 billion tons. The leap is explained by a number of factors, Smirnov says. The Voice of Russia 


Healy, Coast GuardHealy Completes Third of Four Science Missions. The Coast Guard Cutter Healy moored at the Coast Guard pier in Dutch Harbor Thursday having completed the third of four Arctic science missions planned for 2011. The most recent mission was to service passive acoustic, chemical and physical moorings and evaluate hydrographic measurements for the yearly assessment of the western Arctic boundary current which flows from Barrow Canyon to the continental slope of the Beaufort Sea. Passive acoustic moorings measure marine mammal calls. Chemical moorings quantify air to sea gas exchange and physical moorings measure water properties and circulation in Barrow Canyon. 


AK Whaling BoatMonitoring Shows Contaminants Still Pollute the Arctic. 'These chemicals are known to be harmful for humans and wildlife.' Monitoring in the Arctic for toxic substances produced in farms and factories located far to the south continues this year, with scientists like Anya Gawor on the look-out for traces of these contaminants in the Arctic air and waters, and even in tiny sea creatures. Gawor, 24, a graduate student at the Univ. of Toronto, spent this month on board the Canadian Coast Guard's research icebreaker, the Amundsen, as it travelled from Kugluktuk to Quebec City. Nunatsiaq Online


Dr. Larry Robinson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Commerce for Conservation and Management, to Leave NOAA. Dr. Larry Robinson, NOAA's assistant secretary of commerce for conservation and management, and deputy administrator, announced today that he plans to step down effective November 18, returning to academia to resume his work in academic administration and train the next generation of environmental scientists and leaders. Robinson, who assumed his duties in May, 2010, arrived shortly after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and immediately led the coordination of NOAA's work with partners and stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico. He also provided vital leadership to advance the Obama Administration's priorities, serving as the NOAA representative to the National Ocean Policy Deputy's Committee; the National Science and Technology Council Committee (NSTC) on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education; the NSTC Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and other key restoration related taskforces. NOAA   


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 295, To amend the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998 to authorize funds to acquire hydrographic data and provide hydrographic services specific to the Arctic for safe navigation, delineating the United States extended continental shelf, and the monitoring and description of coastal changes. (Young, referred to Senate committee)

Future Events                                   


Gulf Coast Oil Spill Investigation Report, November 2, 2011. The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing titled "BOEMRE [Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement]/ U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team Report." The session will focus on the findings of the investigation into the Deepwater-Horizon Gulf Coast oil spill.


Meeting of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), November 7, 2011. Principals (senior federal officials) will meet in the White House Conference Center to discuss a draft of the 5-yr Arctic Research Program Plan (called for in the Arctic Research and Policy Act) and other federal Arctic research efforts and initiatives. 


Arctic Policy Forum: The Role of Science in Responsible Development, November 15, 2011. Join the Institute of the North for this quarter's Arctic Policy Forum.  This presentation and networking event will focus on science and collaboration in the Arctic and will feature Michael Macrander, Lead Scientist for Shell and Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. The Institute of the North's Arctic Policy Forums are a new way of engaging in Arctic issues. These quarterly networking events  serve to underline and elevate Alaska's role in the Arctic.  Informal policy presentations followed by networking events invite policy makers and administrators, researchers, community leaders and interested citizens together for an informal sharing opportunity. Participants will hear expert presentations on key policy findings and positions; emerging Arctic technologies; and challenges facing infrastructure development in the Arctic. Participants will also have the opportunity to spend time getting to know key stakeholders in Alaska's Arctic.

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.  


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. 


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.


US Arctic Research Commission meeting in Washington, DC, January 25-27, 2012. The Commission will meet jointly with the Canadian Polar Commission on the 25th, and then with representatives from the federal government and other entities to discuss Arctic research issues. An agenda will be provided in early January 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.


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