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September 13, 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.


Senate Ocean Caucus, today. The Senate Oceans Caucus will meet for the first time today. Senator Murkowski is one of the co-chairs of the caucus.

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.


House Republicans Plan to Stick to Fiscal 2012 Spending Caps in Stopgap.

Despite a lingering desire for further spending cuts, House GOP leaders appear content with a budget deal struck at the end of this summer that would make only modest cutbacks. A continuing resolution, or CR, slated for release later this week will keep the government funded into early fiscal 2012 and likely adhere to budget caps set in the debt limit deal (PL 112-25). House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., on Monday reiterated his view that the CR will conform with the $1.043 trillion cap in the debt agreement, or only $7 billion below the fiscal 2011 level. Earlier this year, Republicans had hoped to cap fiscal 2012 discretionary spending at $1.019 trillion. Congressional Quarterly


Cantwell, MariaCantwell Says She Will Oppose Mine if Project Would Harm Salmon Populations. Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington waded into the debate over a proposed hard-rock mine in Alaska, stating Monday that she would oppose its development should the EPA determine it would hurt salmon populations. The EPA launched a scientific review in February of the effect a large-scale development project would have on the Bristol Bay watershed, which is home to salmon runs that yield millions of dollars a year to commercial and recreational fisheries. Congressional Quarterly  


Murkowski LisaMurkowski: Preemptive Veto Would Trample Scientific Process. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement in response to a news report that Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell may seek a preemptive veto from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the proposed Pebble Mine: "Attempts to prejudge development in the Bristol Bay area before a permit application has even been submitted would make a mockery out of the federal environmental review process. A preemptive veto makes no more sense than a preemptive approval. "I am fully committed to protecting Bristol Bay and the fishing industry it supports, but a preemptive veto represents a serious violation of Alaska's state's rights and would undermine the science-based approach long promised by this administration. Senator Lisa Murkowski 


Canadian Ozone Network Faces Axe. A key source of information about the health of the ozone layer above the Arctic looks set to be choked off. In a year that saw the first genuine 'ozone hole' appear in the Northern Hemisphere, atmospheric scientists say they are shocked to learn that Environment Canada, the country's environment agency, has decided to drastically reduce its ozone science and monitoring program. Nature  


New Canada-wide Project to Study Permafrost. Over the next four years scientists and northerners will work together on a project to better understand the frozen land which stretches from Labrador to Yukon. The $4-million project, called Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition or ADAPT, will involve 10 universities, 15 laboratories and many collaborators in Canada and abroad. They'll study the changing permafrost and snow conditions affecting the northern landscape, water, and wildlife as well as their impact on northern communities and industries. Nunatsiaq Online 


Murkowski to Co-chair Oceans Caucus. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she will be co-chairwoman of a new bipartisan caucus focused on oceans. The Senate Oceans Caucus will meet for the first time Tuesday, when other leaders will be chosen. Murkowski says the caucus will educate members with briefings on ocean research and policy. Democrats in the caucus are Mark Begich of Alaska, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Barbara Boxer of California, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Tom Carper and Chris Coons of Delaware, Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, John Kerry of Massachusetts, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Mercury News 


Canada-US flagsUS Coast Guard, Canada, Partner Agencies, Port Stakeholders to Hold Joint Contingency Exercises in St. Marys River. Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie is scheduled to conduct a series of full-scale contingency exercises on the St. Marys River on Wednesday and Thursday. These exercises - involving about 270 participants from Canadian, federal, tribal, state and local agencies - are designed to evaluate the multi-agency, international response to oil spills and maritime security incidents. During the exercises, the public may observe law enforcement patrol cars and boats with emergency lights and sirens activated.  Marine traffic on the river may experience temporary delays due to additional safety and security measures.  Additionally, boaters may encounter safety zones around oil spill containment equipment deployed in the water. US Coast Guard 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                         


Senate Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Committee Markup, September 14. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations will meet to mark up a draft version of their funding bill for FY 2012.


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.


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.    

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