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August 23, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess.


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. 



inuit childrenGoogle StreetView Maps the Arctic. Google said Cambridge Bay, the small Inuit town, with a population of just 1,500, is one of the most remote locations it has covered. The company used its StreetView tricycle to map the town and the pictures will be online in a few months. The search firm was invited to the region by cartographer Chris Kulluk. He told a Canadian TV channel: "For us, it's like inviting people to our home, and also when there's people abroad from Cambridge Bay or Nunavut in the future they can show their friends what their home looks like and what their house is like." In 2010, Google took StreetView to Antarctica, extending the service to cover all of the world's continents. Earlier this year, the search engine photographed the Antarctic huts of explorers Scott and Shackleton. The Telegraph 


nuunavutHarper Arctic Tour Shifts to Nunavut and Science Announcement. Greeted by rain, cloudy skies and a group of Inuit dancers, Prime Minister Stephen Harper landed in Nunavut Wednesday, ready to talk science at Arctic research at a time when his government has been criticized for eroding Canada's research bases. Harper is to make announcements Thursday morning here in this community along the fabled Northwest Passage and he indicated Wednesday that they would be about Arctic research. Two years ago, Harper had to cancel a trip to Cambridge Bay as part of his annual tour of the North to announce the government's intention to build an Arctic research centre in the hamlet.


Canadian High Arctic Research Station. The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) will provide a world-class hub for science and technology in Canada's North that complements and anchors the network of smaller regional facilities across the North. The new Station will provide a suite of services for science and technology in Canada's North including a technology development centre, traditional knowledge centre, and advanced laboratories. The Station will attract international scientists to work in Canada and will strengthen Canada's leadership position in Arctic research. Northerners are engaging in cutting-edge science and technology to address their needs in a changing North. This Station will be built by Canadians, in Canada's Arctic, and will be there to serve the world. The Canadian High Arctic Research Station will be located in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Canada


Arctic Cap on Course for Record Melt: US Scientists. Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder said that the summer ice in the Arctic was already nearing its lowest level recorded, even though the summer melt season is not yet over. "The numbers are coming in and we are looking at them with a sense of amazement," said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the university. "If the melt were to just suddenly stop today, we would be at the third lowest in the satellite record. We've still got another two weeks of melt to go, so I think we're very likely to set a new record," he told AFP. PhysOrg 


parnellParnell's New Senior Fisheries Advisor is Moreland. Stefanie Moreland, a fisheries aide to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, will return to Alaska as the new senior advisor for fisheries, oceans and Arctic policy between the office of the governor and other state and federal agencies. The appointment, announced Aug. 22 by Gov. Sean Parnell, will be effective Sept. 17. Moreland will be based in Juneau, the location of her previous state position. She has held several positions in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, including federal fisheries coordinator and manager of the extended jurisdiction program. The Cordova Times


Russia Moves Ahead with Development of Northern Sea Route. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's administration is trying to get a leg up on development of the Northern Sea Route. Last week, Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev stated to RIA Novosti that the amount of state supervision and control over the Northern Sea Route was "not acceptable," especially in the eastern part. Most of the resources put into the route's infrastructure are funneled into the Murmansk-Dudinka-Krasnoyarsk transport corridors. Murmansk is the largest city in the Arctic, in the far west of Russia, while Dudinka is a port on the Yenisey River. Krasnoyarsk lies far inland, on the Lena River. While this investment takes place, Patrushev admitted, "At the same time, regular shipping in the eastern sector of the Northern Sea Route is practically not carried out. This situation cannot be recognized as normal." The eastern sector needs more government oversight, regulation, and meteorological information to bring it up to speed. This is not a new story in Russia; development east of the Urals has always lagged behind areas of Russia closer to Moscow. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events    


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.


10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, September 5-7, 2012. The 10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region will take place in Akureyri, Iceland 5-7 September 2012. The conference will be attended by members of parliament from the eight Arctic countries and the European Parliament, Arctic indigenous peoples and a variety of observers. The main items on the agenda are:

1.       Arctic Governance and the Arctic Council

2.       Economic opportunities in the Arctic

3.       Human Development in the Arctic: Interplay of Research, Authorities and Residents


The Conference will adopt a statement directed to the Arctic Council, the governments in the Arctic Region and the institutions of the European Union. 

Fifth Polar Law Symposium 2012, September 6-8, 2012. The theme for the symposium is quite open. It covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic. These include:

  • Human rights issues, such as autonomy and self-government vs. self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources and cultural rights and cultural heritage, indigenous traditional knowledge.
  • Local and national governance issues.
  • Environmental law, climate change, security and environment implications of climate change, protected areas and species.
  • Regulatory, governance and management agreements and arrangements for marine environments, marine mammals, fisheries conservation and other biological/mineral/oil resources.
  • Law of the sea, the retreating sea ice, continental shelf claims.
  • Territorial claims and border disputes on both land and at sea.
  • Peace and security, dispute settlement.
  • Jurisdictional and other issues re the exploration, exploitation and shipping of oil, gas and minerals, bioprospecting.
  • Trade law, potential shipping lines through the north-west and north-east passages, maritime law and transportation law.
  • The roles and actual involvement of international organizations in the Polar regions, such as the Arctic Council, the European Union, the International Whaling Commission, the

For more information, please see the Arctic Center


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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