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April 11, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in recess until Monday, April 16. 


Leadership for the Arctic, April 11-12, 2012The United States Coast Guard Academy and the Law of the Sea Institute at the University of California's Berkeley School of Law are sponsoring a two-day interdisciplinary conference on key issues facing global leaders tasked with shaping and implementing policy for the rapidly emerging human activities in the Arctic.The sponsors' goal in convening this academic conference is to provide maritime affairs academics, professionals and law specialists with an opportunity to share their professional views with those charged with exercising leadership on Arctic policy formulation and implementation in the coming decade.  







Russians, Americans To Count Bering Seals.
Scientists from Russia and the United States are gearing up for an ambitious effort to count seals in the Bering Sea. The goal of the U.S.--Russia Collaborative Ice Seal Survey is "to provide the first comprehensive estimates of abundance for ice-associated seals," according to the U.S. agency behind the effort. There are four seal species found in the Bering Sea -- the ribbon, spotted, bearded, and ringed seals -- and all are heavily dependent on dwindling Arctic ice for their well-being. Radio Free Europe



Bering Sea Ice Extent Breaks Records. The Arctic has crossed the threshold from winter into spring. Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced last week that Arctic sea ice reached its maximum extent on March 18 and is slowly beginning its summer retreat. Despite a chilly winter in some parts of the Arctic, the overall ice cover was the ninth lowest since the satellite record began in 1979. That's still a sizeable quantity of ice - 5.9 million square miles, or roughly the size of the United States and Canada combined - but about 200,000 square miles less than the 30-year average. KUCB


Astronauts, scientists challenge NASA's climate change position. 49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent a letter last week to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, stating that NASA's assertions that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change are not substantiated and may damage the agency's reputation. Signed by a group that includes seven Apollo astronauts and two former directors of the Johnson Space Center, the letter expresses disappointment at NASA's failure to make "an objective assessment of all available scientific data," including empirical evidence that may challenge the CO2 climate change theory.   The letter also conveys the group's concern that NASA's advocacy for the theory in public statements and on the NASA website puts at risk "the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA's current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself."  Houston Chronicle 


inuit childrenRural Villages Fight Extinction Once Their Schools Die. An Alaska village fades when its school dies. That's because families with children often move when the school doors shut, sparking a downward spiral that can cost a village other services, such as regular mail deliveries or air travel. Stony River hopes it doesn't get caught in that whirlwind, but if the school closes this summer the village will have plenty of company. Twenty-seven rural Alaska schools have shut down in the last 13 years in a trend that arches from the Panhandle in Southeast Alaska to the tundra in Western Alaska. Alaska Dispatch 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               



Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all areas of arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in arctic science and policy are also expected. More information here


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring IPYmeetinglogotogether 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. Click here


USARC Commission Meeting, April 27-28, 2012. The 97th meeting of the CPClogoUSARC will be held in Montreal, Canada, in conjunction with the "From Knowledge to  


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Action" IPY meeting referred to above. The Commission will meet on April 27-28, and will meet jointly with the Canadian Polar Commission on the afternoon of the 27th, to discuss common interests in Arctic Research. Details here. 


Arctic Forum 2012, April 30-May 1, 2012. The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. will host the forum in conjunction with their 24th annual meeting. Both events will be in Washington, D.C. The Arctic Forum is part of the American Geophysical Union's Science Policy Conference, which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Conference will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions. Within the Science Policy Conference, the Arctic Forum will assess gaps and priority needs for arctic scientific information to inform decision makers in policy formation for three key themes:

                - Governance and Security in the Arctic;

                - Transportation and Energy Development; and

                - Changing Arctic Ecosystems.

The Forum will examine the current state of policymaker and public understanding of the issues. An important goal will be to foster an increased capacity for dialogue and action on arctic science-policy issues.


AGU Science Policy Conference, April 30- May 3, 2012. The American Geophysical Union hosts a policy conference in Washington, D.C. to bring together scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our environment, economy, national security, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to natural hazards, natural resources, oceans, and the Arctic. 


[Postponed]American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", to occur in 2013, The Explorers Club, NYC. For 75 years, the American Polar Society has both documented and communicated polar activities to the interested world. This meeting will bring together the current leaders in science, government, commerce, and diplomacy for a state-of-the-art forecast of the next seventy-five years in a world influenced more than ever before by the destiny of the Arctic and Antarctic. Click here.  


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. Click here.  


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This event 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 healthmeetinglogoindigenous 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. Click here


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-28, 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. Click here


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 inuitconferencelogomuseums 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, click here. 



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