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January 20, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.


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.


Our Coastlines are the Frontlines, January 20, 2012. Senator Lisa Murkowski will host a tsunami debris fact-finding roundtable to address the recent wave of debris and to prepare for the debris wave NOAA has predicted will arrive in Alaska in 2013. The event will be webcast here.

Media Reviewtodaysevents 


Harp Seals on Thin Ice After 32 Years of Warming. Warming in the North Atlantic over the last 32 years has significantly reduced winter sea ice cover in harp seal breeding grounds, resulting in sharply higher death rates among seal pups in recent years, according to a new Duke University-led study. Science Daily 


Helsinki Shipyard Lays Keel of Ultramodern Icebreaking Supply. A keel laying ceremony at the Arctech Shipyard, Helsinki, Finland on January 19 marked the start of construction of an ultramodern multi-functional icebreaking supply vessel. The ship is specially designed to service the oil drilling platform located on the north-eastern part of the Sakhalin Island shelf, near Russia's Pacific coast. It is being built under shipbuilding contracts signed by Sovcomflot (SCF Group), Russia's largest shipping company, and Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Oy -- a joint venture between Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (OAO OSK, as abbreviated in Russian) and STX Finland. As a result of this cooperation, Exxon Mobil is due to have two ideal, year-round, supply vessels for its Sakhalin-1 oil drilling project, operated by its Russian subsidiary Exxon Neftegas Limited. Marine Log  


Thawing Tundra a New Climate Threat. A significant source of greenhouse gases has started leaking into the Earth's atmosphere from an unlikely place. Above the Arctic Circle, land frozen for tens of thousands of years has begun to thaw for the first time. Current estimates indicate that perennially frozen ground, called permafrost, holds more than twice the amount of carbon present in today's atmosphere. As permafrost thaws, a huge amount of this stored carbon could be released as carbon dioxide or methane gas. PhyOrg 


National Strategy Proposed to Respond to Climate Change's Impacts on Fish, Wildlife, Plants: Public encouraged to review and provide comments. In partnership with state, tribal, and federal agency partners, the Obama Administration released the first draft national strategy to help decision makers and resource managers prepare for and help reduce the impacts of climate change on species, ecosystems, and the people and economies that depend on them. The draft National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, available for public review and comment through March 5, 2012, can be found on the web at NOAA 

Murkowski Calls for Japan Tsunami Debris Roundtable. Buoys that once held strings of farmed oysters in Japan are washing up on the shore in Yakutat. Visible specimen of debris float in the Pacific Ocean, carried there by the earthquake-induced tsunami that washed over coastal Japan in early 2011. Sen. Lisa Murkowski plans to hold a tsunami debris fact-finding roundtable to address this recent wave of debris and to prepare for the debris wave NOAA has predicted will arrive in Alaska in 2013. The event, "Our Coastlines are the Frontlines" will be webcast statewide from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Juneau Empire 


Petition for Coast Management Program Receives More Than Enough Signatures. Organizers of a citizen's ballot initiative to restore Alaska's Coastal Management Program have well over the number of signatures required to  put it on the statewide ballot, says Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho. Botelho and Kodiak Island Borough Mayor Jerome Selby are among several local officials who formed the Alaska Sea Party to bring back a coastal management program.  The Parnell administration shut down the program last summer, after the legislature and governor's office failed to reach a compromise to renew it. Alaska Public Radio 


MCAF Establishes Alaska Monitoring Program for Japan Tsunami Debris. The Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation (MCAF), which has conducted more than 72 marine debris cleanups throughout Alaska, is establishing a monitoring program to locate and identify Japanese tsunami debris making landfall on Alaska's shores. "The monitoring program is designed to examine beaches in a systematic manner and tabulate the number of objects arriving on Alaska beaches.  In addition, we will also use a random sampling technique to detect statistical changes in the overall volume of debris which could be attributed to the tsunami," stated Dave Gaudet, the MCAF Marine Debris Program Coordinator. Alaska Business Monthly


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


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 Policy Forum, February 16, 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


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 Action" IPY 


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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 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.  


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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