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April 2, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


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



Oil Whale Exxon

Harm to Oceans Comes With Huge Price Tag: REPORT: 'Threats to the ocean are unprecedented in human history.'
A Canadian researcher is at the centre of a new international study that puts an eye-popping price tag on the damage being done to the world's oceans and fisheries - a cost that could reach $2 trillion a year by
2100 - from carbon emissions, over-fertilization, over-fishing and other human impacts. University of British Columbia fisheries economist Rashid Sumaila, a leading critic of international fishing policies, is co-editor of the 300-page Valuing The Ocean report released last week at the "Planet Under Pressure" environmental conference in Britain. Nunatsiaq Online


Northern Sea Route Hydrographic Survey Planned: Russia to commission Northern Sea Route hydrographic surveys to identify safe-water routes for large ships. Updated charts of the Northern Sea Route without the 'white spots' will be created in 2015-2016, in addition, the Ministry of Transport is planning to organize this year's transfer of jurisdiction from the Ministry of Defence to FSUE 'Hydrographic Enterprise' or in its own subordinate structure, said the deputy director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport of Russia, Vitaly Klyuev. "We will increase the hydrographic work in the Arctic to the year 2015-2016 to get a real picture of the depths for safe navigation," he said at a news conference in RIA Novosti, devoted to the preparation of the Russian exposition at the World exhibition "Expo-2012" to be held from May to August in South Korea. Marine Link 


New Book Tells Overlooked Tale of US Icebreaker Manhattan. Ask any Alaskan if they have heard of the Manhattan and you're likely to get a blank stare. Granted, it was more than 40 years ago -- but the voyage of the leviathan oil tanker Manhattan through the Northwest Passage in 1969 launched the American rush to Arctic resources. Now, a new book by Ross Coen, "Breaking Ice for Arctic Oil: The Epic Voyage of the SS Manhattan Through the Northwest Passage," tells the story of the ship. As the biography of an extraordinary vessel, the basic story is riveting enough: massive ship built as a fluke gains worldwide attention and becomes famous. Coen takes it further, placing the Manhattan at the nexus of global oil industry competitiveness and then weaving in the age-old question of who has the right of passage over the seas. Even before her bow crushed any ice, she spun the compass on conventional ways of thinking about the technology of moving millions of barrels of crude oil while accommodating nascent ideas of environmental protection. Alaska Dispatch


inuit childrenDoctors, Dentists Flying into Western Alaska Villages to Help. Hundreds of doctors, optometrists, dentists and veterinarians will fan out across 16 villages in western Alaska beginning April 9 in a joint military and medical readiness exercise called Operation Arctic Care. This will be the 18th year of the program coordinated by the Norton Sound Health Corporation. "The medical care provided by the doctors and nurses is usually unavailable in the villages," Pattie Lillie of the Norton Sound Health Corporation said in a press release.  "Health aides and mid-level providers see patients in the village and treat to the degree they can, and anything beyond their scope is referred to Nome or Anchorage.  Having a doctor on site for even four or five days can make a difference." Alaska Dispatch


Report: Shell Drilling Plan Fails to Account for Risk Factors: GAO says company didn't take risks into consideration. Days after the Obama administration approved Royal Dutch Shell's oil spill response plan for drilling in the Arctic Ocean off the Alaska coast, an independent federal report said that Shell's plan fails to take into account the risks unique to oil production in harsh, icy offshore conditions. After years of delays, Shell's plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea as early as this summer has gained momentum as it won necessary permits from the Interior Department. Shell's project would be the first time oil drilling had occurred in the U.S. Arctic Ocean since the early 1990s. But environmentalists, some indigenous Alaska groups and members of Congress have argued that not enough safeguards are in place to contain a well blowout or clean up a spill in rough Arctic conditions. Anchorage Daily News 


NarwhaleNunavut Narwhal Plan Proposes New Management System: More controls, big revisions to quota numbers. Nunavut's first narwhal management plan will bring more change to the age-old Inuit hunt of the tusked Arctic whales. That hunt has been governed by quotas since 1996, but now, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans wants to see Nunavut hunters adopt a new more regulated system for narwhal harvesting. This would change how quotas are distributed and impose new measures designed to keep track of every animal and every tusk harvested. That new approach is spelled out in a densely-worded, 43-page "Integrated Fisheries Management Plan" for narwhal in Nunavut that would come into effect in January 2013. Nunatsiaq Online

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               

Congressional hearing in Anchorage on National Ocean Policy, April 3, 2012, Anchorage, 10 am. The House Natural Resources Committee's
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Oversight will hold a Field Hearing on "Alaska's Sovereignty In Peril: The National Ocean Policy's Goal to Federalize Alaska." More info here. Witnesses include:


hearingPanel I

Mr. Doug Vincent-Lang, Acting Director of Division of Wildlife Conservation Alaska Department of Fish and Game

The Honorable Reggie Joule, Member of Alaska House of Representatives

Mr. Rick Rogers, Executive Director of Resource Development Council for Alaska

Ms. Stephanie Madsen, National Committee Chair of United Fishermen of Alaska


Panel II

Ms. Kara Moriarty, Executive Director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association

Mr. Fred Parady, Executive Director of the Alaska Miners Association

Ms. Rebecca Logan, General Manager of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance

Mr. John Sturgeon, Director of the Alaska Forest Association

Dr. John W. Farrell, Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission



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  


usarc logo large

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 to follow. 


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.


[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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