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January 31, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will vote on a motion to go to conference on the FAA authorization bill. The Senate will consider congressional insider trading legislation.


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 address the needs of stakeholders affected by or addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, 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





Appropriators Seek Order. With an aggressive agenda and a tight schedule, senior House Republican appropriators plan to urge their rank and file to withhold divisive or duplicative amendments that could derail their bills this year. Appropriators want to move all 12 spending bills individually by early July, they said, but poison-pill amendments could bog down the process and result in another round of omnibus packages that the Republican Conference despises. Roll Call


ChinaflagChina Defends Arctic Research. Defending China's Arctic research mission, Chinese officials and analysts have categorically dismissed a Japanese media report which said the country is "casting menacing eyes on" the Arctic. The Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun carried an article on Jan. 28 claiming that China has been "eyeing greedily" the Arctic, said to be rich in untapped oil and gas, and mulling building a strategic base there for its "resources exploration" and even "naval vessels." Qu Tanzhou, head of the Chinese administration in charge of Arctic and Antarctic exploration, on Tuesday refuted the article. Crienglish


The Great Arctic Oil Grace Begins: Conservationists fear spills in icy waters as Norway awards oil-production licenses. "The race is on for positions in the new oil provinces." That starting-gun quote was fired last week by Tim Dodson, executive vice-president of the Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil. The 'new oil provinces' are in the Arctic, which brims with untapped resources amounting to 90 billion barrels of oil, up to 50 trillion cubic metres of natural gas and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to a 2008 estimate by the US Geological Survey. That's about 13% of the world's technically recoverable oil, and up to 30% of its gas - and most of it is offshore. Nature 


Orca KillerKiller Whales Moving in on Polar Bears' Territory. Researchers say melting Arctic sea ice is enticing more killer whales to Nunavut waters where they are competing with Inuit hunters for food and threatening to replace polar bears as the North's top predators. Scientists from the University of Manitoba interviewed hunters from 11 of the territory's communities about their observations on the habits of killer whales seen in the area. The findings are published in the online journal Aquatic Biosystems. Lead author Steven Ferguson, who is with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Freshwater Institute at the university, said the Inuit are seeing more killer whales. The powerful predators tend to avoid sea ice but that ice is disappearing. Winnipeg Free Press 


Oil Drilling in AlaskaEPA Proposes Waste Water Discharge Permits for Oil and Gas Exploration in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. EPA is now seeking input on two draft waste water discharge permits for oil and gas exploration activities in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The proposed Clean Water Act permits protect public health and the marine environment by placing limits and conditions on the types and amounts of pollution companies can discharge in waste water during oil and gas exploration activities. The proposed permits also require the companies to conduct environmental studies before, during, and after drilling discharges occur to ensure compliance with permit limits. These permits are National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permits. EPA is proposing one General Permit for the Chukchi Sea and one for the Beaufort Sea. The existing Arctic General Permit (GP), which covered oil and gas exploration discharges for both seas, expired June 2011. Companies currently covered under the expired Arctic GP must reapply for coverage and comply with the new terms and conditions under the final Beaufort and/or Chukchi General Permits. EPA 


Inuit Insight on Fear of Killer Whales. Combining scientific observations with Canadian Inuit traditional knowledge has provided new insights on how killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the Arctic eat and behave. Biologists from Manitoba visited 11 Canadian Nunavut Inuit communities and collated information from over 100 interviews with hunters and elders as part of this research. They published their results yesterday in the open access journal Aquatic Biosystems, saying that the increase in hunting territories available to killer whales in the Arctic due to climate change and melting sea ice could "seriously affect the marine ecosystem balance." Discovery


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


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 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


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. 


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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