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September 15, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is expected to consider trade sanctions that may be used as a vehicle for unrelated legislation. The House will consider NLRB authority and legislation regarding the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.


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.


The Arctic: A Territory of Cooperation. US-Russia Videoconference on multilateral development of the region, September 15. On the eve of the 2d International Arctic Forum to be held in the city of Arkhangelsk (Russia) on September 21-24, 2011, the Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti) is honored to host a videoconference to mark the two important dates, namely, the upcoming Forum and the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Arctic Council on 09.19.1996. During the upcoming videoconference, the leading officials and prominent experts from Russia and the US will express their opinions on the development of the Arctic resources and expanding transport corridors, as well as the environment issues and multilateral cooperation in the region. 

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.


Arctic Sea Ice Nears Minimum Extent. In the last few days, the decline in Arctic sea ice extent has slowed. NSIDC data show Arctic sea ice extent currently at the second-lowest levels in the satellite record. On September 10, Arctic sea ice extent was 4.34 million square kilometers (1.68 million square miles). This was 110,000 square kilometers (42,500 square miles) above the 2007 value on the same date. The record minimum Arctic sea ice extent, recorded in 2007, was 4.17* million square kilometers (1.61 million square miles). National Snow and Ice Data Center  


Gap Widens Over Missile System. Surviving a tough ratification battle in the Senate, the New START treaty with Russia has sparked a three-way tug of war over missile defense that pits the Obama administration against the Russian government and congressional Republicans. The administration is negotiating with Russia to resolve disagreements over whether the treaty allows the U.S. and NATO to continue with plans to build a defensive missile shield against possible nuclear threats from Iran, North Korea or other rogue states. Politico 


To the Arctic, In Search of the Unknown. After four years, two proposals and months of hunting down equipment, planning meetings, getting federal permits, arranging travel and traveling, I am heading for the Arctic Ocean on the research vessel Marcus G. Langseth. The 12 other members of my science party bring their own years of preparation, hard work, advanced study, funding searches and passion for marine geophysics to our merry band. We waited on the weather for two days, at anchor, in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Now we are making about 6.5 knots against sustained 30-knot winds from the north and 12- to 15-foot waves. We are going north to see things no one has ever seen before. New York Times Science Blog 


greenlandExploring Greenland- An Arctic Oddity. It may lay claim to being the world's biggest island, but Greenland is still one of the least-known corners of the planet. I have flown across that big, icy place - ice covers much of the country and can be 3km thick - countless times en route to North America from London, but it is not somewhere that many travellers venture. Yet this weird and wonderful oddball oasis of sled dogs, musk ox, glaciers and shimmering icebergs is one of the globe's most compelling corners, as I discover when I head above the Arctic Circle. TNT Magazine 


Russia to Establish Arctic Oil Spill Centers. Just weeks after the first super tanker set speed records on the Northern Sea Route, Russia's Emergency Minster urged better environmental protection in the Arctic. Barents Observer 


WalrusAlaska Walruses Changing Behavior Due to Warmer Seas: POINT LAY: As many as 20,000 haul out on a Chukchi sea beach. Scientists have unveiled new video documentation of what they say is another stunning effect of the world's steadily warming oceans: the unusual haulout of as many as 20,000 walruses off the coast of Alaska. The video compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center, together with data from radio collars affixed to some of the animals, could help scientists learn more about the problems posed by shrinking sea ice for the creatures that call the Arctic home. The ice has been documented this year as among the lowest in recorded history. Anchorage Daily News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                         


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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