Arctic Update Header
October 28, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in recess.


Northern Border Preparedness and Safety, today. The Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing titled "The State of Northern Border Preparedness: A Review of Federal, State and Local Coordination." The field hearing will occur in Detroit, MI. Regional Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Coast Guard witnesses are expected to testify.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


canadian flagCanadian Submarines May Be Scrapped. CBC News has learned the Harper government is considering buying nuclear submarines to replace its problem-plagued fleet of diesel-powered subs, all of which are currently awash in red ink and out of service for major repairs. The four second-hand subs Jean Chrétien's Liberal government bought from the British navy in 1998 for $750 million were portrayed at the time as the military bargain of the century. Huffington Post 


Denmark Welcomes China in from the Arctic Cold. China has legitimate economic interests in the Arctic, Denmark's ambassador said on Friday, welcoming partnership with Beijing in the rapidly thawing polar region but adding that a possible resource rush would come with obligations. Reuters  


Kip KnudsonTesoro Lobbyist to be Alaska's New D.C. Representative: KNUDSON: Tesoro advocate to take post held by John Katz. Gov. Sean Parnell on Wednesday named Tesoro lobbyist Kip Knudson as his choice to replace the state's longtime representative in Washington, D.C., John Katz. Knudson, 47, said in a brief prepared statement that he was "humbled to follow in John Katz's footsteps." The job, as defined by Katz in his long career, involves supervising a small staff in an office building between the Capitol and Union Station, concurrently tracking hundreds of issues in Congress and the Administration in which Alaska has interests, advocating the state's position without alienating opponents, working closely with Alaska's bipartisan congressional delegation, and giving detailed briefings to parades of visiting Alaska legislators, officials and journalists who found it pointless to go to Washington without stopping by for a visit. Anchorage Daily News 


ringsealExperts Puzzling Over Mysterious Seal, Walrus Disease. Experts in the U.S. and Canada are still puzzling over what's sickening ringed seals and walrus in the Arctic. Dozens of seals have died from the mysterious disease. A small percentage of walrus are ill with something that looks very similar, but no walrus deaths have been tied to the disease. Several labs in the U.S. and Canada have been unable to figure out what's causing the illness in both species. Alaska Public Radio


Feds Eye New Natural-Gas Source. Field experiments this winter into methane hydrates on Alaska's North Slope could determine whether the resource will become the shale gas of the next generation. The work done in Alaska will inform the potential extraction of methane hydrates believed to lie beneath the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico, and if successful, could also provide a feasible way to store molecules of carbon dioxide and remove them from the atmosphere. Politico


inuit childrenClimate Change is Altering the Lives of Alaska's Natives. Climate change has altered the lives of Native Alaskans in the state's interior in dramatic, sometimes dangerous ways. Although the effects of change are well documented along the coast, where higher tides and ferocious storms have threatened native communities, a study by the U.S. Geological Survey has found indigenous people in Alaska's interior also have felt the transformation to a warmer climate during the past several decades of their lifetimes. Inside Science  


Rare Whale Washes Up at Tutka Bay. A rare whale found floating dead in Tutka Bay last week may be from the group of poorly understood Stejneger's beaked whales. If so, Prof. Debbie Boege-Tobin and her students enrolled in the Semester By the Bay program at the University of Alaska's Kachemak Bay Campus are bestowed with an unusual opportunity. Boege-Tobin, and three students, were able to observe the necropsy of the whale on Saturday. They gained an up close and personal look at the 13-foot adult female whose cause of death is unknown. Homer Tribune    


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

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.


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. 


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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