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December 13, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will reconvene to resume consideration of Federal Deposit Insurance legislation. The House will reconvene for legislative business and is expected to consider measures under suspension of the rules. 



Arctic Futures Program. Mistra has now (Dec. 11) taken the decision to support a second phase of the Arctic futures program starting 2014 for a period of 4 years. The total grant will be 30 million Swedish crowns and there will a requirement of 25% co-financing, 10 million SEK, (an additional challenge for the participating parties). The deadline is early April 2013. More information to follow from Minstra Arctic Futures.


Groundhog Day on North Korea for Obama. The White House vowed "consequences" on Wednesday after North Korea successfully launched a long-range rocket that appears to put the United States within range of a nuclear strike. The move violates several U.N. Security Council resolutions and forces President Obama to deal with the reclusive communist nation at a time of percolating unrest in the Middle East and elsewhere. The Hill


Coast Guard SealCoast Guard Reauthorization Bill Sent to President. The Senate cleared a Coast Guard reauthorization bill Wednesday after agreeing with changes made by the House addressing standards for wastewater discharges from ships and the future of two icebreaker vessels. The final version of the legislation (HR 2838), which the Senate cleared by voice vote, would authorize about $17.4 billion for the Coast Guard over fiscal 2013 and 2014 and authorize a force of 47,000 active-duty personnel. The Senate action sends the measure to President Barack Obama for his signature, ending a lengthy round of legislative ping pong between the two chambers. Congressional Quarterly


Alaska's Arctic Would Receive Major Boost in Coast Guard Bill: Begich Used Subcommittee Chairmanship to Draft Bill, Fight for Alaska Priorities. Alaska's presence in the Arctic and the future of U.S. Arctic strategy will be strengthened when the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act clears its final Congressional hurdle and becomes law in the next few days. Sen. Mark Begich, who co-authored the Senate version of the bill, said the bill will be a major development for U.S. Arctic strategy. "My colleagues are becoming increasingly aware that the United States must compete with other nations in the Arctic in order to remain competitive in our global economy," Begich said. "This landmark Coast Guard bill includes infrastructure and funding in Alaska to ensure we don't fall any farther behind." Senator Mark Begich


1,000-Year-Old Fragments Point to Oldest Skin Boat Yet Found in Alaska. Pieces of an ancient umiak, part of a trove recovered in an archaeological dig near Barrow around 70 years ago, have just been identified as having come from the oldest skin boat assembly yet found in the circumpolar arctic.The University of Alaska Museum of the North announced Tuesday that Jenya Anichenko, a researcher with the Anchorage Museum, had determined several fragments from the Birnirk site as belonging to the same boat. Radiocarbon dating indicated that the fragments are 1,000 years old. Anichenko said that was 400 years older than the previously known examples. Anchorage Daily News


Alaska Won't Meet EPA Deadline for Clean Air Plan. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation will not meet a Friday deadline to submit a plan to the federal government proving the state will be able to clean up Fairbanks' air by 2014, state officials said on Wednesday. The missed deadline for the detailed plan of measures that will bring the borough into attainment under the federal Clean Air Act isn't a surprise for many - it was discussed in summer 2011 - but it leaves clean air advocates frustrated. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 


AK Native family drawingBegich Expected to Serve on Indian Affairs. Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is expected to serve on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee during the upcoming Congress.The Democratic Steering Committee on Wednesday released the anticipated committee assignments for Democratic senators. The list is subject to approval by the Democratic caucus and approval of an organizing resolution by the Senate. Anchorage Daily News


Carper Replacing Lieberman as Homeland Security Committee Chairman. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) has been chosen to take the helm of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the next Congress. The Democratic Steering Committee made the announcement on Wed. after meeting to approve committee chairmen and members in the upper chamber. The Hill


oil spill in open oceanReport: Dispersants Used After Blowout Had a Few Ill Effects. The Deepwater Horizon blowout of 2010 marked the first time that chemical dispersants were injected into an oil spill underwater. Now a report from government scientists finds remarkably few ill effects from these chemicals. But what if a spill happened in cold arctic waters? Would dispersants do the same thing? That's a question everybody wants the answer to. The industry and government laboratories have just begun research to try to get answers. Cheryl Rosa is deputy director of the Arctic Research Commission, which recently issued a set of recommendations for what needs to be done to improve arctic oil spill response capability. "The amount of dispersant that was applied in Deepwater Horizon was unprecedented," Rosa said. "It was basically the world's supply, from what I understand. And we need to be extremely well informed with respect to the Arctic about how that's going to work. If they get applied, what the toxicity issues are, what the community concerns should be and hopefully this new research will start to get at some of those questions." Alaska Public Radio


S. Korea, Greenland Discuss Ways to Explore Resources in Arctic Region. President Lee Myung-bak and Greenland's Premier Kuupik Kleist held talks on Thursday and discussed ways to jointly explore mineral resources in the Arctic region and develop shipping routes there, officials said Thursday. Premier Kleist of the Danish autonomous territory arrived in Seoul on Wednesday for a five-day visit to seek follow-up measures after Lee's visit to Greenland in September. Yonhap News


LubchencoLubchenco Announces Resignation, Spurs Talk About Who'll Replace Her. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco announced today that she will step down in February, ending a four-year tenure that saw the longtime academic juggle a slate of controversial issues, from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to the skyrocketing cost of weather satellites. Names of several possible replacements have been bandied about among ocean experts who track NOAA issues, including Terry Garcia, Frances Ulmer and Andrew Rosenberg. Garcia, a lawyer, is a former NOAA official who is currently a vice president at the National Geographic Society. He and Ulmer, former lieutenant governor of Alaska, both served on the administration's national commission to investigate the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Ulmer currently serves as Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission. E & E News


Cities of Canadian Arctic Look to Hydroelectricity for Future Power Needs. Iqaluit, the capital city of Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, could run on hydro power in less than 10 years if a proposal from the Qulliq Energy Corporation is approved. Representatives from the corporation were at Iqaluit City Council Tuesday to update councilors on the proposed project. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


Marine Mammal Commission Meeting on Research and Management Priorities, December 14, 2012. The Commission plans to meet with regional management and scientific officials in each of the National Marine Fisheries Service's six regions to identify the most pressing marine mammal research and management needs. The Commission will use these meetings to develop a set of national priorities for guiding federal conservation efforts for marine mammals. Members of the public are invited to attend these meetings and to provide comments concerning priority issues.


**Abstract submission period EXTENDED through December 15th**

Wakefield28th 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.  


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013. Since 2002, scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond have come to the Symposium to communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. Researchers and students in marine science re-connect with old colleagues and meet new ones. Plenary and poster sessions feature a broad spectrum of ocean science. Hear the latest in the fields of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. The Symposium also features compelling keynote speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include

response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.

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