Arctic Update Header
September 9, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will be in session to consider morning business. The House will consider the fiscal year intelligence authorization bill and speeches to commemorate the September 11th terrorist attacks are expected.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Arctic Offshore Drilling Needs Inuit inuit childrenInvolvement At Every Stage: Oceans North. "Apt and timely" is how Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kantami describes the analysis and policy recommendations on Arctic drilling, which were released today by the Pew Environment Group's Oceans North Canada. The report, "Becoming Arctic-Ready: Policy Recommendations for Reforming Canada's Approach to Licensing and Regulating Arctic Oil and Gas", looks at what Canada needs to consider before Arctic offshore drilling goes ahead. The report makes 11 policy recommendations for consideration at the National Energy Board's Arctic offshore drilling review, whose roundtable meets next week in Inuvik. Nanatsiaq Online


Alaska Pushes Back Large Oil, Gas Lease Sale: Reasons Include Potential for More Acreage. Alaska is pushing back what it says will be one of the biggest oil and gas lease sales in the U.S. this year, citing the potential for more acres to be added and a desire to give companies more time to prepare bids. Earlier this summer, the state announced plans for a 14.7 million-acre lease sale involving state lands and waters. It said the acreage involved, covering roughly the size of Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut combined, would include 2 million acres in the Beaufort Sea as well as leases adjacent to the federally controlled Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Washington Post


Iceland and Greenland to Cooperate on Oil Exploration? Prime Minister of Greenland Kuupik Kleist was on his first official visit to Iceland this week. Greenland is striving for full independence from Denmark and a more solid economy is a prerequisite. Greenland has commenced oil exploration and are keen on cooperating with Iceland and Norway in that field. Exploration for oil and gas has begun to the west of Greenland and Kleinst told Morgunbladid exploration to the east of the country might begin in 2012 or 2013. Iceland Review


House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Passes Coast Guard Reauthorization. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed H.R. 2838, The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011 out of committee today. This legislation authorizes the Coast Guard to spend $8.49 billion for FY 2012, $8.6 billion for FY 2013, and $8.7 billion for FY 2014. Alaskan Congressman Don Young worked hard to ensure that several provisions important to Alaska were included in this legislation such as the Alaska delegation's Maritime Lien Reform Act (H.R. 1210). "This is a crucial bill for Alaska and I thank Chairman Mica for passing this important piece of legislation out of committee," said Rep. Young. "With close to 44,000 miles of coastline, the Coast Guard plays a vital role in the everyday lives of countless Alaskans. That is why I am pleased the Committee supported several key Alaska provisions like the Maritime Lien Reform Act and the Jones Act Waiver for the Ship and Dry Dock in Ketchikan. This legislation gives the Coast Guard the resources they need to ensure our coastlines remain both safe and secure. I look forward to working with my colleagues in both parties to make sure this legislation passes the full House." Congressman Don Young 


icebreakersAlaska's Coast Guard Gets Funding for Aircraft, Icebreaker Work. Millions of dollars for Alaska have been included in the Department of Homeland Security's 2012 appropriations bill that passed the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee today on a bipartisan vote, including that of Senator Lisa Murkowski - a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  The DHS appropriations bill now goes to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. The bill includes $10.351 billion dollars to help fund Coast Guard operations nationwide, including two separate allotments of $18.3 million dollars for aircraft replacement.  As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murkowski requested funds for two H-60 Jayhawk helicopters - one to replace the HH-60 Sitka aircraft tragically lost in a crash last year, and another to give Kodiak the full fleet the Coast Guard indicates it needs. Senator Lisa Murkowski 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 2838, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act (LoBiondo, ordered to be reported by House committee by voice vote)

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.


USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)