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October 25, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House is expected to consider land conveyance legislation. The Senate is in recess.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


russian flagRussia Takes the Lead in Arctic Cold War. Russia has all but approved an $8 billion plan to build the first-ever city with an artificial climate, as the country steps up to conquer the planet's frozen waters with its vast resources, and says the Moon and Mars will be next. Named after Umka - a popular late Soviet-era bear cub cartoon hero - the proposed city is to be built on the remote island of Kotelny, in the Novosibirsk archipelago. Situated a meager 1,000 miles off the North Pole, it has been called one of the least hospitable regions of the Earth, with summer temperatures rarely rising above freezing, while plunging in winter as low as -40 C. The initial population is planned to be just 5,000, most of whom will be scientists and workers involved in the extraction and transport of vast oil and gas riches of the underwater Lomonosov Ridge. RT 


Team Says Arctic Ice Shelf Broke Up Before. Arctic shelf ice has been in the news of late due to its shrinkage over the past few decades that most attribute to global warning. Thus, its levels and seemingly constant calving have become ecological barometers that environmentalists have come to use to show just how fast our planet is heating up. PhysOrg 


ringsealAlaska Seal Necropsy: A Search for Answers in Mystery Illness. Scientists hoping to learn what's killing Arctic ringed seals, an affliction that's peppered the animals' skin and organs with ulcers, turned their attention Monday to a fresh seal carcass shot by a Northwest Alaska subsistence hunter. In a cramped University of Anchorage laboratory, veterinarians and assistants in biomedical scrubs carved the big marine mammal into bits, all in the name of science. Alaska Dispatch 


Alaska Native, Environmental Groups Challenging Shell Air Permits. Alaska Native and environmental groups announced Monday they will challenge a federal air permit granted to Royal Dutch Shell PLC for offshore drilling in Arctic waters. Shell hopes to drill exploratory wells next summer off Alaska's northern coasts. The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued an air permit for Shell's drill ship, the Kulluk. Alaska Public Radio 


Icebreaker Has Broken Propeller. A broken propeller at the stern of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis St-Laurent will have to be fixed in dry dock later this fall as attempts to do it in Arctic waters have failed, said a coast guard official. Divers were unable to put the propeller back into position in the waters off Cambridge Bay, where the ship has been anchored since the problem was discovered on Sept. 19, said Brian Leblanc, regional director of fleet in the Coast Guard's Central and Arctic Region. Northern News Services 


canadian flagMP Questions Arctic Ship Spending. In ten years, there will be half a dozen new Canadian ships patrolling the Arctic. Last week, the federal government announced its National Shipbuilding Program. It awarded contracts to shipbuliders in Halifax and Vancouver. It's likely that the first ships launched under the program will be six destined to patrol the Arctic offshore, fulfilling a long-standing promise by the Conservatives to beef up Canada's presence in the North. CBC News 


Arctia to Convert Multi-Function Icebreakers to Meet US EPA Arctic Regs. Finland's Arctia Offshore is making a significant reduction in the flue gas emissions of the multi-function icebreakers Fennica and Nordica. The main engines - eight in all - of the two vessels will be equipped with catalysts and oxidation catalysts, plus the appropriate new exhaust pipe and stack constructions as well as urea systems. In addition, both vessels will be converted to enable the use of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel. Arctia Offshore Ltd has ordered the entire modification project from Wärtsilä. Conversion work will be performed in Helsinki in two phases: structural modifications and the installation of the catalysts' reactors will be carried out in December 2011, whereas commissioning and testing of the systems is scheduled for spring 2012. Marine Log 


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, passed/ agreed to in the House) 

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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