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October 24, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House is expected to consider several items under suspension of the rules, including H.R. 295, Mapping Arctic Waters. The Senate is not in session this week.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


offshore oilWe Need Investors to Fill Innovation Black Holes and Help U.S. Economy. When oil was still spewing uncontrollably from the Deepwater Horizon well last summer, philanthropist Wendy Schmidt and the X Prize Foundation issued a $1.4 million challenge calling for better technologies to clean up oil spills. A side from Schmidt's concern for the environment, the need for innovation in this arena was dire. In 1989, teams cleaning up the oil from the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska recovered less than 15 percent of the total. Teams cleaning up oil from the Deep Water Horizon spill were not doing much better. Washington Post 


Russian Multi-Billion Investments in Oil and Gas Development. Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources invested roughly $40 billion USD aimed at providing an "energetically safe development of the national economy" through increasing development of oil and gas. Barents Observer 


canadian flagNew Stealth Fighters Lack Ability to Communicate from Canada's North. Canada's new multibillion-dollar stealth fighters are expected to arrive without the built-in capacity to communicate from the country's most northerly regions - a gap the air force is trying to close. A series of briefings given to the country's top air force commander last year expressed concern that the F-35's radio and satellite communications gear may not be as capable as that of the current CF-18s, which recently went through an extensive modernization. The Globe and Mail 


EPA Issues Final Air Permit to Shell Offshore Inc. for Arctic Oil and Gas Exploration. The permit authorizes air pollutant emissions during Shell's exploration drilling with the Kulluk drill rig and a support fleet of icebreakers, oil spill response vessels, and supply ships for up to 120 days each year. The Outer Continental Shelf minor source/Title V air operating permit limits Shell's emissions of most air pollutants to less than 250 tons per year, which is the "major source" permit threshold in the Prevention of Significant Deterioration program. EPA 


Murkowski LisaSeeking Solutions to Staggering Alaska Native Suicide Rates. Young Alaska Natives hit hard by suicide, sometimes speaking through choked voices and tears, told a field hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that youth are key to reducing the decades-old epidemic among Alaska Natives and American Indians.  At the same hearing today, top officials involved in suicide prevention at the state and federal levels told hearing organizer U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that not enough is being done to address the towering problem. Alaska Dispatch 


Bering Sea Cold Pool Keeps Fish From Moving North. As scientists observed climate warming in the Bering Sea, they suspected valuable commercial fish species such as Pacific cod and walleye pollock would move north toward the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. But that's likely decades off, according to one surprising result from a study of the sea north of the Aleutian Islands. Scientists say a pool of cold water in the northern Bering Sea has been a locked door to the northward migration of pollock and cod, the fish harvested for America's fish sticks and fast food sandwiches. Seattle Post Intelligencer 


AFN: Begich Touts Bacon, Launches Rural Website. Rural Alaska Hub, a web page that's already live, is a way to keep in better touch with the Bush, Mark Begich announced at the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention Saturday. The site, of course, touts his record on rural issues, such as avoiding post office closures and upgrades to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. There's also an Alaska map showing federal funds he's helped to secure in order to improve runways, water systems and other rural infrastructure, some of which came from the federal stimulus act. Alaska Dispatch 


Arctic OzoneScientist Speaks Out After Finding 'Record Ozone Hole Over Canadian Arctic.' A senior Environment Canada scientist whose job may be eliminated through budget cuts has highlighted the importance of maintaining the country's world-leading atmospheric monitoring network after new research showed a record hole in the planet's ozone layer above the Arctic. David Tarasick was among four Canadian authors of the international study, published Oct. 2 in the British scientific journal Nature, that reported on the hole - twice the size of Ontario - in the ozone layer that protects life on Earth from the sun's harmful radiation. National Post 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered on Friday.


Future Events                                   


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. 


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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