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February 8, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may file a cloture petition to proceed to consideration of the surface transportation authorization bill. The House will consider legislation to consolidate, sell or exchange excess properties. 



NOAANOAA Grapples with Uncertainty Over Obama Reorganization Plan. When President Obama last spring released a video soliciting ideas on modernizing government to better compete in the 21st century economy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was about to get thrown into the mix. "Move NOAA from DOC to DOI," read a suggestion tagged No. 1979 and ranked No. 1439 in the White House compilation. "I think it paints a bad picture when we are supposed to be managing and conserving marine resources and we are under the Department of COMMERCE" rather than the Interior Department, an anonymous NOAA employee said in the submission. Months later, after a lengthy consultation process, such a transfer ended up a part of the Obama administration's proposal to seek congressional approval of authority to consolidate six major business and trade agencies. Government Executive


caribouWining, Dining, Pipelining. Rep Louie Gohmert, patron saint of amorous wildlife? The Texas Republican, who's not known as a champion of animal rights, says his primary concern in the development of a massive Alaskan oil pipeline is the love lives of the caribou surrounding the project. Gohmert launched into a lecture during a House Natural Resources Committee meeting last week about the need to protect the poor caribou. But here's the catch: The evil force against which he wants to defend the creatures is the halting of the flow of oil through the pipeline. That, he says, would be akin to throwing cold water on what sounds like a randy spring-break party happening among Alaska's caribou population. Washington Post


Obama Administration Outlines Arctic Energy Policy Initiatives. Obama administration officials announced a series of initiatives that they said are aimed at bringing the best available science to energy-related decisions in the Arctic. The initiatives include development of an Arctic environmental emergency response mechanism by this summer, they told the Alaska Forum on the Environment in Anchorage. A third initiative will continue efforts which the DOI official and Arctic Research Commission Chairman Fran Ulmer began in December when they convened top federal policymakers and federal scientists to discuss ways to improve the delivery of relevant scientific information to officials responsible for Alaskan energy development decisions. Hayes noted that he and Ulmer will hold a second meeting this spring with scientists, non-governmental organizations, oil and gas officials, Alaska Natives, and state and federal decision-makers to enhance collaboration. The meeting will facilitate dialogue and collaborative science planning  between and among the scientific community and federal agencies involved in oil and gas development decisions, he explained.  Oil and Gas Journal


Arctic MapUS, Canada See Continental Block Arctic Council. The United States and Canada should march in lockstep at the Arctic Council, as the US helps to develop natural resources in Canada's North, say Canadian and US officials. "We look forward to developing a common agenda at the Arctic Council, which we can advance during these four years of a shared North American chairmanship," said Richard Steffens, Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the US Embassy. Mr. Steffens was speaking as part of a Feb. 3 panel at Northern Lights 2012, a four-day conference in Ottawa focusing on the Arctic and the North. The panel also featured the heads of mission of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as Canada's senior Arctic official, Sheila Riordon. Embassy


[Canada] Embedding with the Military for 'Arctic Ram.' [Blog] It can get down to -60 C in the tents at night, Canadian Military officials warn journalists interested in embedding for the northern training mission Arctic Ram. Well, with the winter Canada's been having so far, I'm not too worried. The lowest it's forecast to go this week is -26 C. Bring it on ...  maybe? About 1,500 troops, mostly from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, are heading north to train in winter parachute jumping and other cold-weather winter warfare skills. I and photographer Ryan Jackson will be joining them from Feb. 13 and spending two nights sleeping in tents and watching their work. Edmonton Journal


Oil Drilling in AlaskaBSEE and NOAA to Complete Arctic Oil Spill Response Mapping Tool. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today they are partnering to enhance the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMAŽ) for the Arctic region by summer 2012. ERMAŽ is the same interactive online mapping tool used by federal responders during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This effort will help address numerous challenges in the Arctic where increasing ship traffic and proposed energy development are increasing the risk of oil spills and chemical releases. ENews Park Forest


ANTHC Launches "LEO." The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium recently launched the Center for Climate and Health: Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Program. Climate change is having major impacts in Alaska communities. Monitoring potential climate events is important for understanding impacts and for adaptation. The LEOs are the eyes, ears and voice of climate change in Alaska communities. Check out the website here


Legislative Actionfutureevents  



H.R. 3532, the American Indian Empowerment Act. (Young, subcommittee hearing held)


H.R. 3973, to facilitate the development of energy on Indian lands by reducing Federal regulations that impede tribal development of Indian lands, and for other purposes (Young, introduced and referred to committee)

Future Events                                   


The Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, February 14 2012. The parliamentarians will discuss Arctic cooperation with the Chair of the Arctic Council Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Further on the agenda are issues including oil and gas development and the effect of climate change on human health. 


Arctic Policy Forum, February 15, 2012. This Arctic Policy Forum will feature a compelling panel discussion of the history, current issues, and future plans of IONNORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) in Alaska. This Arctic Policy Forum, hosted by the Institute of the North and sponsored by the Government of Canada, will leave participants with an increased understanding of:
* A 50 year partnership and cross-border collaboration
* Arctic governance and sovereignty
* Public safety; and search and rescue
* Maritime and aviation issues related to the Arctic environment


Pew: Arctic Ocean Energy Development, February 24, 2012. The Pew Environment Group will host a panel discussion on Arctic Ocean energy development. Panelist will be Michael R. Bromwich, former director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement; Edward Itta, former mayor of North Slope Borough, Alaska; Vice Adm. Roger T. Rufe, U.S. Coast Guard (retired); and Fran Ulmer, member of the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, and now Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. Marilyn Heiman, director of Pew's U.S. Arctic Program, will moderate. The speakers will address the challenges facing energy exploration in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, such as oil spill response, Coast Guard readiness, infrastructure needs, and how to best protect wildlife habitat and subsistence areas. Coffee and a light breakfast will be served from 8:30 to 9, and the panel will be from 9 to 10:30 at the Pew offices 901 E Street NW Washington DC 20004. Please RSVP to


Arctic Workshop, March 7-9, 2012. The Workshop is hosted by the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. The meeting is open to all interested in the Arctic, and will consist of a series of talks and poster sessions covering all aspects of INSTAARhigh-latitude environments. Previous Arctic Workshops have included presentations on arctic and antarctic climate, archeology, environmental geochemistry, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history, and more. A traditional strength of the Workshop has been Arctic paleoenvironments. Click here


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.


 American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", May 2-4, 2012, 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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