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January 12, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate will not hold formal sessions, subject to the call of the chairs.


Draft National Ocean Policy Draft Implementation Plan released by White NOPdraftplanHouse today for public comment. The public comment period on the draft plan will be open until midnight EST, February 27, 2012. Note that the plan contains a chapter (pages 75-84) on "Changing Conditions in the Arctic." The plan, "describes more than 50 actions the Federal Government will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes, which support tens of millions of jobs, contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy, and are essential to public health and national security." 

Media Reviewtodaysevents 


Healy, Coast GuardHealy's History [Letter to the Editor]. The valiant efforts of the crews of the Russian tanker and the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, Healy, progress toward ultimate delivery of fuel to the community of Nome. While the adventure unfolds, we have been reminded of the diptheria serum run in 1925. Both are epic rescues. There is another link to history and to epic events. The icebreaker Healy is named in honor of Capt. Michael Healy, commander of the U.S. Revenue cutter, Bear. The U.S. Revenue Service became the U.S. Coast Guard. Mike Healy, often referred to as "Hell Roarin' Mike" sailed the Bear to Alaska waters following the Alaska purchase in 1867. Healy was of African-American descent and was a former slave. The Bear, under the command of Healy, provided the first United States law enforcement to the newly purchased territory of Alaska. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 


Climate Change Leaves Some Hudson Bay Polar Bears Starving. Experts say the slow formation of winter ice on Hudson Bay this year has pushed some of Canada's polar bears to the brink of starvation and forced them to scrounge for food near old garbage dumps. The bears weren't able to get onto the ice to hunt seals until late November this year, which observers say is becoming the norm. David Barber, one of the world's top Arctic researchers, said Hudson Bay polar bears have lost six weeks of hunting time on the ice due to climate change. CBC News 


Arctic MapHoly Grail or Next Cold War? Metaphors for Describing the Arctic? Anyone following arctic affairs will quickly notice the tremendous repertoire of metaphors and poetic language evoked by the North's with extreme climate and landscape. And not surprisingly, authors of newspaper and academic journal articles alike have made great use of metaphorical tools to describe the state of the changing Arctic. In the following I have grouped some 'Arctic Metaphors' to compile existing witty arctic headlines.  There are two overarching metaphorical descriptions of the Arctic, one referring to the Arctic in terms of 'resources, opportunity and development' and the other in terms of 'conflict, competition and threats'. These two groups fit well with the narrative of heroic exploration and adventure that often informs contemporary politics in the Arctic, as Alison Weisburger described so well in a recent article for the Arctic Institute. The Arctic Institute 


What Next, Barents Cooperation? In its twentieth year of existence, the Barents Cooperation is standing at a crossroads. Since 1993, the Barents Cooperation has stimulated relations, built trust and knit bonds of friendship across the borders in the Barents Region. Cross-border cooperation brought Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Finland closer to each other and can be seen as one of the underlying factors which prepared the ground for historical delimitation of the Barents Sea. Barents Observer 


icebreakers25-Foot Sea Ice Ridge Confronts Alaska Fuel Convoy. What most people take for granted -- how fuel gets to our homes and cars -- is an epic story for Nome, Alaska, where the latest obstacle facing a fuel convoy trying to resupply the town is a 25-foot ice ridge blocking the harbor entrance. The ridge sits inside the frozen harbor at Nome, population 3,500. Its tip sticks about five feet above the rest of the ice, said Andy Mahoney, a researcher with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. It was created when the pack ice from offshore pushed against the stationary shore ice, creating thick pressure ridges somewhat like icebergs. MSNBC News


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 16-20, 2012. The symposium was first held in 2002 to connect scientists in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond in an effort to collaborate and communicate on researchAMSSlogo

activities in the marine regions off Alaska. There will be plenary and poster sessions featuring a broad spectrum of ocean science on issues of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. There will also be speakers, workshops and special sessions. Click here. PS: Senator Murkowski may participate in person... 


Workshop: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating Our Growing Understanding into a Research Agenda for Action Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2012.   Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Co-sponsored by International Study of ArcISAC logotic Change (ISAC) and the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. Endorsed by the International Arctic Science Committee, this workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders who are affected by change or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 Conference event. It is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012 Conference "From Knowledge to Action". For more information and to register for the workshop go here. 


Juneau Arctic Policy Forum, February 2, 2012. The Juneau Arctic Policy Forum will be hosted by the Institute of the North and will highlight the work done to IONdevelop and promote Alaska's role in Arctic decision-making. There will be presentations and discussion about the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Arctic Caucus and results from the Northern Waters Task Force. We also hope to include updates from the U.S. Coast Guard and the University of Alaska. Click here.  


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  


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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 to follow. 


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The APSlogoPolar 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.  


The Arctic Imperative Summit, July 29-August 1, 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


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


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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