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August 1, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider cybersecurity provisions. The House will consider a number of legislative items under suspension of the rules.



budget Defense Spending Bill Would Block Pentagon's Request to Retire Ships. Senate defense appropriators on Tuesday rejected the Pentagon's effort to retire seven cruisers and two amphibious ships, a naval reduction that had the support of the chamber's defense policy panel. As China's military spending grows - and it increases its ability to deny U.S. warships access to key shipping lanes - the Obama administration is taking steps to increase its presence in the Pacific to reassure restive allies. Over the past year, it based a small contingent of Marines in Australia, shifted submarines and other warships to the Pacific, and bolstered Guam. For many lawmakers - including Inouye, who represents a Pacific state - these efforts appear at odds with the administration's determination to scale back its earlier plans to expand its fleet. Congressional Quarterly


Coast Guard Seal Field Hearing to Focus on Coast Guard in Alaska. A U.S. Senate subcommittee plans to meet in Kodiak on Monday to discuss the need for a strong Coast Guard presence in Alaska amid growing interest in the Arctic. The hearing was requested by Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She and the chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Mary Landrieu, plan to take testimony from the Coast Guard commandant, Admiral Robert Papp, as well as others. The hearing is scheduled to be held at the Coast Guard Station at Kodiak. Fairbanks Daily News 


Murkowski Lisa Murkowski Touts US's Arctic Needs in Kodiak Hearing. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is touting a Monday hearing in Kodiak to "showcase (the) Arctic nation needs" of the U.S. Kodiak is a community of about 6,500 people on a 3,588-square-mile island in the Gulf of Alaska about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, the state's largest city. Though home to the largest U.S. Coast Guard base in Alaska, Kodiak is more than 600 air miles south of the Arctic Circle, a distance nearly twice as far as from New York City to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Alaska is home to seven Coast Guard stations other than the one in Kodiak. They are located in Anchorage, Dutch Harbor, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, St. Paul and Valdez. Three are closer to the Arctic than Kodiak. Alaska Dispatch 


Putin Russian President Sees Off Arctic Expedition, States Development Plans. Excerpts from President Putin's speech at an Arkhangelsk dockside follow: "This is a symbolic event for Russia. First, it confirms our growing presence in the Arctic. We will increase our efforts and work in many areas here, developing new deposits and building new infrastructure, above all ports, roads, bridges and so on. Of course, we will also bolster our military presence here too. In all of this work we will strive for a balance between development and preservation of the natural environment. Your expedition is in effect the start of a big new project to give the Arctic a thorough clean-up. On Franz Josef Land alone, as many of you probably know, there are more than 500,000 barrels containing various fuels and lubricants, and many of them are already leaking and rusting. There are 15,000 tons of scrap metal, 15,000 tons in this one place alone! This is a colossal job, and it is work that we will have to do not only on Franz Josef Land, but throughout the entire Arctic from Murmansk to Chukotka. This is a huge but very useful and needed undertaking for our country and indeed for the world in general. MarineLink

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events    


healthmeetinglogo15th 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 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.


Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Field Hearing on U.S. Coast Guard Operations in Alaska, August 6, 2012. The Senate Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee will hold a field hearing in Kodiak, Alaska.  The hearing will focus on the nation's need for a robust United States Coast Guard presence in Alaska as the nation begins to pursue expanding opportunities in northern waters.


98th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 9-10, 2012. Fairbanks, AK. For more information, go to USARC 98th Meeting Draft Agenda 


Week of the Arctic, August 13-18, 2012. The Arctic is front and center in peoples' minds.  Increased maritime traffic and new opportunities for development have brought about more reasons to understand and work toward safe and secure operations both on land and off Alaska's coast. To help Alaskans understand these critical challenges and issues at stake in the Arctic, the Institute convened the first Week of the Arctic last year, drawing over 550 participants to five events in four days. The 2012 Week of the Arctic will take place August 13-18 in Anchorage, Alaska. Week of the Arctic events will include:

The Week of the Arctic's signature event is the annual Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award Dinner on Friday, August 17th. This year we'll be recognizing Red Dog Mine for their sustainable development in the North.


2nd Cargo Airships of Northern Operations Workshop, August 22-24, 2012. Researchers from NASA Ames Research Center will provide insights into the new technologies that form the solid engineering basis for modern cargo airship systems. Speakers from the mining, oil, and gas industries will describe their transportation challenges and how they plan to exploit cargo airships in support of their businesses. Local Alaskan air freight firms will discuss how cargo airships can complement existing air transport fleets by providing additional capability and expanding air shipping services. The world's leading developers of airships will provide design and operational details on new cargo airships they're currently developing and preparing to deploy for commercial service. Representatives from the financial community will present the many options available for what has often been the missing element of airship development and operations, funding. The website will soon be updated. 


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-27, 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.


inuitconferencelogoArctic/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.  


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of  responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.

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