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September 8, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will continue to consider patent overhaul legislation. The House will consider trade preference legislation. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Norway's Different Approach to Oil and Gas Development. Like Alaska, Norway is a petroleum province that brings in billions of dollars in annual revenues from oil and gas development. But important differences exist in how Alaska and Norway collect, save and spend their wealth, and issue oil and gas leases. About one-third of Alaska's oil and gas revenues come from its royalty slice of production by private companies on state lands and waters. Norway doesn't take a royalty share of its oil and gas production. Instead, Norway makes all of its money by taxing the producers' profit - plus taking a substantial equity share in many projects, plus earning stock dividends from a government-controlled oil and gas company. Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects 


black carbonEPA Funding for Reduction of Black Carbon from Diesel Sources. The U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it is soliciting proposals for a project to provide assistance in developing and implementing assessment and mitigation activities for diesel sources of black carbon in the Russia Arctic. EPA 



Senate Appropriators Draw 2012 Battle Lines Over Programs to Cut. Senate appropriators on Wednesday approved a broad spending outline for 2012 that sets up clashes with House appropriators over which federal programs will be cut. The allocations point to a big struggle over foreign aid and defense spending, with smaller skirmishes over domestic funds. The Hill


Senate Appropriators Advance $31.6 Billion Energy-Water Spending Bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday endorsed its fiscal 2012 spending bill for the Energy Department and federally funded water projects amid debate about how to store the nation's nuclear waste. The $31.6 billion measure (HR 2354), approved 28-2, is $1 billion more than the House-passed version. Congressional Quarterly


Oil Whale ExxonMost Arctic Oil Spills Impossible to Clean Up: WWF. If a major oil spill happened today in the Arctic, it would be impossible to clean it up much of the time, says the World Wildlife Federation. "This hypothetical ability to respond may not really exist" because crews might not even be able to reach the spill, says Rob Powell, director of the environmental group's Mackenzie River Basin Program. Nunatsiaq Online


U.S. Naval War College to Conduct Fleet Arctic Operations Game. The U.S. Naval War College will explore the changing environment of the Arctic region in an operations table-top game, Sept. 13-16. Fleet Arctic Operations Game 2011, sponsored by the Norfolk, Va.-based U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF), will explore many factors that impact the U.S. Navy's ability to operate in the Arctic. Participants will identify gaps that limit sustained maritime operations in the region and explore possible mitigation strategies and long-term solutions needed to address these gaps. DefPro


Committee to Consider U.S. Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill and Piracy Suppression Act of 2011. The Transportation Committee on Thursday will mark up legislation reauthorizing the U.S. Coast Guard, which includes programmatic reforms to help ensure the service can better utilize resources and more efficiently replace its aging assets. Additionally, the Committee will consider legislation to bolster the United States' ability to counter piracy off the Horn of Africa and other high risk waters. The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011 (H.R. 2838), which was introduced on Friday, September 2nd by Coast Guard Subcommittee Chairman Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ) and co-sponsored by Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL), authorizes the service for fiscal years 2012 through 2014, and authorizes a service strength of 47,000 active duty personnel. The bill authorizes $8.49 billion for the Coast Guard for fiscal year 2012, $8.6 billion for fiscal year 2013, and $8.7 billion for fiscal year 2014. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee


research on iceWhy Does an Ice-Free Arctic Frighten Scientists? Arctic sea ice shrank to the second lowest extent observed during the month of August since satellite monitoring began 32 years ago, according to the latest analysis posted by the National Snow and Ice Data Center. "Both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea route appear to be open," the NSIDC reported Tuesday. "Throughout August, sea ice extent tracked near the record lows of 2007, underscoring the continued decline in Arctic ice cover." With only a couple of weeks before the melt season ends and ice cover reaches its minimum for the year, the polar ice cap continues to flirt with breaking the all-time record set four seasons ago. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  



H.R. 2017, The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. (Aderholt, placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar)


H.R. 2112, The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (Kingston, placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar)


H.R. 2354, Making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies (Frelinghuysen, placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar)

Future Events                     


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.


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


Murmansk Arctic Forum, October 1-2, 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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