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April 18, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider another extension of surface transportation programs. The Senate will resume consideration of a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and legislation to overhaul the US Postal Service.


Law of the Sea-Threat to National Security or Vital to National Prosperity?April 18, 2012. There will be a panel discussion on the Law of the Sea at the Sea Air Space Expo, a program of the Navy League of the United States.  



polar bear iceObama Administration Again Proposes Bush-era Polar Bear Extinction Plan. The Obama administration announced that it is reissuing a Bush-era regulation that sharply limits protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act. Both the current proposal and the previous Bush rule exclude activities occurring outside the range of polar bears - such as the greenhouse gas emissions of industrial polluters like coal plants - from regulations that could help stop the bear's extinction. Today's announcement comes as a result of a court order that struck down the Bush rule in October 2011. InfoZone


Delays May Slow Arctic Claim: UN Commission has more than 40 submissions already waiting to be reviewed. Canadians could be forced to wait until 2030 before a United Nations commission gets around to evaluating this country's claim to millions of square kilometers of natural resource-rich Arctic Ocean floor. Such a delay would hinder plans to explore and exploit the treasure trove of oil, gas and other mineral riches that lie at the top of the world and endanger efforts to peacefully resolve overlapping claims with Russia and other states. Nunatsiaq Online


Healy, Coast GuardBegich, Cantwell Applaud Coast Guard Award to Icebreaker Healy Crew. U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded the Coast Guard's award of the Coast Guard Unit Commendation award to the crew of the Healy icebreaker. According to the Coast Guard, this award is presented by the Commandant to a Coast Guard unit that distinguished itself by valorous or extremely meritorious service in support of Coast Guard operations. The Healy was nearing the end of an eight-month deployment when it was summoned in January to help break through the frozen Bering Sea to help a Russian tanker deliver fuel to Nome, Alaska. Political News 


Historic Icebreaker in Drydock, Future Still Uncertain. The ice breaker that helped found McMurdo Station on Antarctica, was once the flagship of Rear Adm. Richard E. Byrd and performed a record-breaking 39 Arctic and Antarctic deployments is in a Vallejo, Calif drydock as backers of a plan to save it from the scrap yard plead its case. Alaska Senator Mark Begich sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) this week in a bid to save the vessel, an idea that also has support from Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Juneau Empire 


Study: Alaska's Bering Strait Key to Maintaining Global Climate Balance. Alaska's Bering Strait may play a critical role in the regulation of the global climate - including a knack for maintaining the Atlantic Ocean 'conveyor belt' that bathes northern Europe in eon-long kisses of sultry currents and warm wet weather. But squeeze shut the 53-mile-wide narrows between the Pacific and Arctic oceans off the western tip of Alaska - something that occurred during the last ice age when continental ice sheets locked up much of the world's fresh water - and the oceanic engine that stabilizes the home planet's climate becomes much more likely to go on the fritz and stay that way for a long time. Alaska Dispatch 


To the Arctic: Polar Bears Up Close and In Peril. The new film about polar bears, caribou and climate change -"To the Arctic 3D", which opens Friday at the Pacific Science Center - is majestic but deeply unsettling, and hopefully will focus eyes to the North and minds to our planet's future. It gets underwater, up close and personal with a mother bear and two cubs, as the trio romp and increasingly difficult search for food.  We watch through 3D glasses as the sow polar bear puts life on the line to fend off a male wanting to devour her young. Seattle Post Intelligencer 

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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