Arctic Update Header
April 27, 2012


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider student loan legislation and cybersecurity measures. The Senate is not in session. Both the House and Senate are in recess next week.   


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.  


CPC-USARC ChairsChair Bernard Funston (Canadian Polar Commission) and Chair Fran Ulmer (USARC). 4/27/12.  




Senate Votes to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act. The Senate passed a five-year reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday, setting up a likely disagreement with the House over the scope of the legislation. Senators passed the bill 68-31 Thursday afternoon after defeating three amendments, including a substitute favored by Senate Republicans that is expected to resemble the eventual House GOP version. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., worked with Idaho Republican Michael D. Crapo to write the chamber's bill (S 1925). Congressional Quarterly


capitalCJS Bill Approved in Committee, Set for House Floor Action After Recess. The top House appropriator signaled Thursday that the chamber will take up the Commerce-Justice-Science spending bill when lawmakers return in May after a one-week recess. Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said the House will consider the legislation May 8. That would make it the first of the 12 fiscal 2013 appropriations bills to move to the floor in either chamber. Rogers' panel on Thursday gave voice vote approval to the draft C-J-S measure, which would provide $51.1 billion in discretionary spending for the Commerce and Justice departments, NASA and other agencies. The total is $1.6 billion, or 3 percent, below the fiscal 2012 enacted level and about $731 million less than the $51.9 billion version (S 2323) backed by Senate appropriators on April 19. Congressional Quarterly


NSF logoScience, Engineering and Education for Sustainability NSF-Wide Investment (SEES). The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced funding availability for the Arctic SEES program. In the twenty years since the Arctic Council first emphasized the need for science for sustainability in the high north, the Arctic environment and population has changed considerably.  NSF's Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) investment highlights the changing Arctic as a priority area for research, "to meet the needs of present and future generations while substantially reducing poverty and conserving the planet's life support systems." Applications are due by September 14, 2012. NSF 


Muzzling the Scientists Won't Hide Canada's Poor Emissions Record. Canada has cut an odd figure as host of the International Polar Year conference, which draws to an end today. Hundreds of scientists from around the world are in Montreal to discuss the dramatic changes to the Arctic's biodiversity, energy dynamics and ice melt. Canada, in the form of Stephen Harper's government, was not interested in discussing any of these topics, or in allowing government scientists to talk about them either. While the Arctic melts and methyl mercury contaminates the food chain in the far northern latitudes, the government seemed more interested in resurrecting East Germany's Stasi, assigning minders to Environment Canada scientists. Montreal Gazette


Arctic Cruises Need More Information- Report. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is calling on the Coast Guard to release more information to those plying Arctic waters. The board released its report on the 2010 grounding of a cruise ship in the Coronation Gulf that runs between Victoria Island and mainland Nunavut. The Clipper Adventurer was on its way from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and nearing its destination of Kugluktuk when it ran onto a shoal. No one was injured. CBC News


canadian flagSurvey: Canadians Want More Arctic Research: "Canadians overwhelmingly tell us that northern research is critical." More than 80 per cent of Canadians believe northern research can help people make informed decisions about the impact of development in the North, a survey done by the Environics polling firm reveals. The survey, commissioned by the Churchill Northern Studies Centre with financial help from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, was released April 25 in conjunction with the International Polar Year Conference in Montreal. Nunatsiaq Online


More 'Grolar' Bears Spotted in N.W.T. The 'grolar' bear - a mix between a grizzly and a polar bear - has been spotted once again near Ulukhaktok, N.W.T. The sightings are becoming more common - the last one was shot near the community in 2010, and another was found in 2006. Robert Kuptana, who lives in the Arctic hamlet of about 400 people, said a family of three bears was recently hunted by someone in the community. "One is pure white, which is the mother, and there's one with fairly dark fur on it and another one, too, is fairly white but you look at the legs and they're brown, so it's a very different being," said Kuptana. CBC News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               


Arctic Forum 2012, April 30-May 1, 2012. The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. will host the forum in conjunction with its 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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