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September 21, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider trade adjustment assistance. The House is expected to consider several legislative items under suspension of the rules and may turn to appropriations legislation.  


ANWR, Jobs, Energy, and Deficit Reduction. The House Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing titled "ANWR [Arctic National Wildlife Refuge]: Jobs, Energy, and Deficit Reduction." Panelists include: Senator Murkowski, Senator Begich, Congressman Young, and Governor Parnell.


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.

Media Reviewtodaysevents


NOAA Researchers Release Study on Emissions From BP/Deepwater Horizon Controlled Burns. During the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill, an estimated one of every 20 barrels of spilled oil was deliberately burned off to reduce the size of surface oil slicks and minimize impacts of oil on sensitive shoreline ecosystems and marine life. In response to the spill, NOAA quickly redirected its WP-3D research aircraft to survey the atmosphere above the spill site in June. During a flight through one of the black plumes, scientists used sophisticated instrumentation on board, including NOAA's single-particle soot photometer, to characterize individual black carbon particles. NOAA 


begichIt's "Go Time" on Arctic Energy Development. [Senator Mark Begich] As Congress continues to work on job creation and deficit reduction this fall, development of Alaska's Arctic energy resources stands out as a way to tackle both challenges at once. Although I have often criticized the "whack-a-mole" regulatory hurdles Alaska has faced for years, recent plan and permit approvals, as well as statements and visits from federal Cabinet members hold promise for real progress over the next several months and years. Peninsula Clarion


Whales Take Northwest Passage as Arctic Sea-Ice Melts. Skeletons, DNA samples and harpoon heads have all suggested that bowhead populations living on each side of the continent did meet and mingle. Now, research published in the journal Biology Letters has used satellite tags to provide confirmation. The work may provide insights into the development of Arctic cultures in which bowhead hunting plays a central role. BBC News 


caribouCaribou Protection Vital to a Way of Life. [Opinion- Sarah James] This year is the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking the people of Anchorage about a new management plan for the refuge. I hope you will join me in calling for permanent protection of the refuge's coastal plain from oil development. Here's why I need your help. Anchorage Daily News 


Swedish Oil Spill a Preview of the Alaskan Arctic? A massive oil spill announced this week off the coast of western Sweden feels like an ominous harbinger for America's Arctic Ocean. Just days following the spill near the Swedish island of Tjörn, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued air permits for Shell Oil's plans to drill in the Alaskan Arctic in 2012. EPA issued the permits despite the fact that Shell's oil spill response plan for the region's icy, remote waters is totally inadequate. Sweden's disaster serves as a cautionary tale for America's Arctic Ocean. EarthJustice 


Pan-Arctic Police Meet in Iqaluit to Talk Crime. Police chiefs from Canada, the U.S. and Greenland will be meeting in Iqaluit this week for the first ever pan-Arctic meeting of police chiefs to look for solutions to high crimes rates within their communities. Officers in the north tend to see a high level of crime in isolated communities and according to RCMP Chief Superintendent Steve McVamock whether Canada, the U.S. or Greenland the main root of the problem is drugs and alcohol. CBC News   

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


S. 1546, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act. (Lieberman, Senate committee hearing scheduled) 

Future Events                         


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 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.  


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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