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September 12, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider a Burmese import restrictions bill that may be used as a vehicle for extending other federal programs. The House is in session and expected to consider several legislative items under suspension of the rules. 


4th International Sea Duck Conference, seaduckconferencelogoSeptember 12-16, 2011. The Sea Duck Joint Venture has helped sponsor a North American Sea Duck Conference once every three years since 2002. These conferences provide opportunities for researchers and managers to share information and research results, conduct workshops on specific issues, and to hold related meetings. The 4th conference will officially be an international conference and will be held in Seward, Alaska, 12-16 September, 2011, with participants from the U.S., Canada, Russia and Europe, focusing on sea ducks in the North and the Arctic. It will be held at the Windsong Lodge, with three days of presentations and workshops, and there will be a chartered boat trip the last day into the Kenai Fjords to watch sea ducks. Registration is available on the website for the conference and the excursion.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


OcgycoverArctic oceanography publication. The September issue of the journal Oceanography, "The Changing Arctic Ocean: Special Issue on the International Polar Year (2007-2009)," is now available from The Oceanography Society, here. This issue, co-sponsored by the USARC, NOAA, and NSF, contains 30 contributions on a wide range of Arctic-related subjects such as marine geology, research vessels, outreach, science policy, ocean observing, physical, biological and chemical oceanography, modeling, sea ice, and other topics. The issue was edited by Ellen Kappel, with assistance from guest editors Joseph Ortiz, Kelly Falkner, Patricia Matrai, and Rebecca Woodgate.


Size of CR Puts GOP at Odds. House conservatives are gearing up for a fight with Democrats and their own leadership over the size of the upcoming continuing resolution, even as Republican leaders soften their rhetoric regarding President Barack Obama. Conservatives, unhappy that last month's debt limit deal included significantly higher budget levels than those included in Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget, are demanding the CR - and a subsequent omnibus spending measure - stick to Ryan's numbers rather than those agreed to in the debt deal. Roll Call


The Week Ahead: Lawmakers Turn Attention to Jobs. The focus on Capitol Hill this week will be on jobs, as President Obama plans to send his American Jobs Act to Congress, members of the 'supercommittee' will hold their second meeting and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will give an economic address. Obama touted his $447 billion jobs proposal in a speech to a joint session of Congress Thursday night and a follow-up event in Richmond on Friday. He heads to Boehner's home state of Ohio on Tuesday to discuss his plan. The Hill 


House Begins Bid to Roll Back Rules. House Republicans this week will start their long-planned assault on the Obama administration's regulatory policies, emphasizing their view that lowering the cost of doing business will boost the economy and create jobs. Upcoming debates over bills that would rein in the National Labor Relations Board and the EPA are likely to turn heated in the next several weeks, and may bring a rapid end to a tone of civility that GOP leaders sounded last week after their return from the August break. Congressional Quarterly


Lawmakers Dueling Over Proposed Alaska Gold Mine. In a high-stakes battle that pits gold and copper against fish, members of Congress are scrapping over a plan to build one of the world's largest open pit mines in southwest Alaska. Fearing that toxic wastes from the mine could hurt the wild salmon population in her home state, Washington state Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell intends to enter the fray Monday. She plans to ask the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to consider using the Clean Water Act - if necessary - to stop the proposed Pebble Mine project on Bristol Bay. McClatchy Newspapers


Status of Fiscal 2012 Spending Bills. For the 15th straight time, Congress will allow a new fiscal year to begin on Oct. 1 without having enacted all of the regular appropriations bills needed to keep the government running. Very few of the 12 regular spending bills for fiscal 2012 are close to enactment, which also amounts to something of a pattern. Not since 1996 has Congress cleared more than four full-year spending bills before the new fiscal year began. As a result, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has scheduled action the week of Sept. 19 on a short-term continuing resolution, or CR, to keep the government operating, while the appropriations process advances. Congressional Quarterly


Pipeline Spills Put Safeguards Under Scrutiny. This summer, an Exxon Mobil pipeline carrying oil across Montana burst suddenly, soiling the swollen Yellowstone River with an estimated 42,000 gallons of crude just weeks after a company inspection and federal review had found nothing seriously wrong. And in the Midwest, a 35-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Mich., once teeming with swimmers and boaters, remains closed nearly 14 months after an Enbridge Energy pipeline hemorrhaged 843,000 gallons of oil that will cost more than $500 million to clean up. New York Times 


Icebreaker Picks Up Scientists After Eleven Months on Ice Floe. A Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker sets out from Murmansk later this week to pick up scientists and equipment from a floating research station in the Arctic. Barents Observer 


Oil Whale ExxonNo Easy Solutions for Cleaning Up Arctic Oil Spills, Environmental Group Says. Any response to a possible offshore oil spill in the Canadian Arctic would be severely hampered, even more so than previously thought, the World Wildlife Fund says. That's because Arctic ice, lack of daylight, winds and temperatures make it extremely difficult to contain, burn off or disperse spilled oil, the conservation group writes in a filing to the National Energy Board. During the potential Arctic drilling season, it would be impossible to deploy an emergency oil-spill response up to 84 percent of the time, the WWF filing says. "If a major spill were to occur in Arctic waters, cleanup crews would have to spend, on average, three to five days of each week simply standing by, watching helplessly as the blowout or spill continued to foul fragile Arctic ecosystems," WWF program director Rob Powell said last week in a statement. Alaska Dispatch  


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                     


Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011. The 27th Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, entitled "Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change," will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. This international symposium will provide a forum for scholars, fishery managers, fishing families, and others to explore the human dimensions of fishery systems and growing need to include social science research in policy processes. The conference is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program.    


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future Fermo

September 20-23, 2011. A technical workshop, organized by Dr. Peter Wadhams, on the physical problems associated with oil spills and blowouts in sea ice will be held at the Istituto Geografico Polare "Silvio Zavatti," Fermo, Italy. Scientists, engineers and policy makers are invited to address the questions of how oil is emitted from a blowout or spill, how the oil and gas are incorporated in the under-ice surface, how the oil layer evolves, how the oil is transported by the ice, and how and where eventual release occurs. The aim is to incorporate the experience of those scientists who worked in this field in the 1970s-1990s, when large-scale field experiments involving oil release were possible, and to relate this to the needs of present researchers who are seeking solutions to the problem of a sustainable Arctic oil spill management system. Registration forms are available here


Arkhangelsk Arctic Forum, September 21-24, 2011. Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society, the forum will host discussion on Arctic navigation, development of the Northern Sea Route, railway extensions, and construction of a deep-water port in Arkhangelsk.  The official website is in Russian.


The Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics, October 3-4, 2011. The conference is organized by the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul Dandurand Chair, in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Cartier (France), ArcticNet (Universite Laval, Quebec), and the Northern Research Forum (University of the Arctic; University of Lapland, Finland). This high-level international meeting reunites political scientists, lawyers, geographers, historians and practitioners to discuss, first, the socio-economic, political and security issues of developed or developing Arctic regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The meeting mainly seeks to adress security issue(s) of the various region(s) that make up the circumpolar world. Three Arctic regions will be highlighted: a) the North-American Arctic (United States (Alaska); Canada (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik) and Greenland; b) the North Pacific Rim (Alaska, Russian Far East, Beaufort Sea/Chukchi); c) the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland - and Russia).


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.   


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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