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June 12, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will resume consideration of a judicial nominee and the farm bill. The House is in recess.


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ONLINE WEBINAR TODAY, 10 am Alaska time. "Federal Research in the Arctic, A Five-Year Plan"
and focused on the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), June 12, 2012. It will be presented by Brendan P. Kelly, Assistant Director for Polar Science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive office of the President.  At least 13 Federal agencies conduct research in the Arctic. Research by those agencies as well as state, local, industry, and non-governmental organizations is accelerating in Alaska and other parts of the Arctic. Coordination of the Federal efforts is the responsibility of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC). The IARPC's Arctic Research Plan: FY2013-2017 focuses on research expected to benefit from interagency collaboration; considerable research conducted by single agencies is not included. The Five-Year Plan focuses on seven priority areas: sea ice and marine ecosystem studies; terrestrial ecosystem studies; atmospheric studies effecting energy flux; observing systems; regional climate models; adaptation tools for sustaining communities; and human health. This webinar will include a brief overview of the Five-Year Plan followed by comments and questions from participants.The presentation will also describe how to submit written comments on the Five-Year Plan (due by 22 June 2012). Anyone interested in arctic research or in learning about the Five-Year Plan is invited to participate. Further information about IARPC, as well as a PDF download of the full Five-Year Plan, is available at here. For further information, including participation instructions and registration, please go here.


The Ocean Studies Board of the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) is soliciting nominations for individuals to serve on its new study committee on Responding to Oil Spills in Arctic Environments, co-led by the Polar Research Board and Transportation Research Board. NRC requests your suggestions regarding potential nominees to this study committee. In particular, NRC is looking for nominations in the following areas of expertise: oil spill response and recovery technologies, physical oceanography, ice conditions, Arctic ecology and natural resources, marine engineering, maritime transportation, and maritime safety and risk assessment. This study is sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, Arctic Research Commission, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Marine Mammal Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oil Spill Recovery Institute, State of Alaska, and U.S. Coast Guard. If you would like to nominate someone to serve on this committee, please click here to provide his/her name, institution, area of expertise, contact information, and any other comments no later than July 6, 2012. If you have any questions about the study or the nomination process, please feel free to contact Deborah Glickson at or by phone at 202-334-2024. 



Commerce Secretary John BrysonJohn Bryson Takes Medical Leave of Absence. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who was involved in two car accidents over the weekend and suffered a seizure, notified President Barack Obama on Monday that he is taking a medical leave of absence, effective immediately. Bryson's functions and duties have been transferred to Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank, who will serve as Acting Secretary of Commerce. Blank, a native of Missouri, was confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Commerce in March, after serving as Acting Deputy Secretary since November 2010. Prior to arriving at the Commerce Department in June 2009, Blank was a fellow at The Brookings Institution and Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. According to her biography, she was also one of the three members of President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers from 1997 to 1999. Before that, she was a professor of economics at Northwestern University. Politico


The deadline for the submissions of abstracts to the 10th International Symposium on Cold Regions Development (ISCORD 2013) is June 20, 2012. The ISCORD 2013 will be held in Anchorage, Alaska, on June 2-5, 2013 at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers Technical Council on Cold Regions Engineering (TCCRE) and the International Association for Cold Regions Development Studies (IACORDS). The Symposium theme is "Planning for Sustainable Cold Regions" with topics of interest ranging from engineering to policy to education all related to responsible development of cold regions. The detailed topic list can be seen on the attached flyer or at the conference website.


Steller SealNovember 2010 Biological Opinion on the Effects of the Alaska Groundfish Fisheries on Steller Sea Lions and Other Endangered Species; Public Meeting. Yesterday, the Department of Commerce published a notice of public meeting and request for presentations in the Federal Register. NMFS will host a meeting to conduct a panel review by experts contracted through the Center for Independent Experts (CIE) related to NMFS's November 2010 Biological Opinion on the effects of the Alaska groundfish fisheries on Steller sea lions and other endangered species (Final Biop). The meeting will provide an opportunity for the CIE reviewers to receive presentations from NMFS, the State of Alaska, the State of Washington, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and the public concerning new and relevant scientific information that has become available since NMFS issued the Final Biop. NMFS requests that parties interested in presenting such information to the CIE reviewers submit a statement of interest including an abstract of the information to be presented. Federal Register 


Oil Drilling in AlaskaDeveloping North American Arctic Offshore Oil and Gas: A Comparative Study- Part 2. As mentioned in the part 1 of this article, in the 1970s and 80s onshore development and rising oil prices in Alaska and the Northwest Territories led the U.S. and the Canadian governments to allow, and even push for, several exploratory drillings in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. These wells were eventually capped as prices fell and the findings did not warrant commercial activity at the time. New technology, melting sea ice, and a significant increase in petroleum prices worldwide have now led to the reconsideration of these and other Arctic offshore fields by governments and companies alike for economic development. The development of North American Arctic offshore oil and gas is arguably not only a consequence of these international developments, but also determined by a number of internal factors that vary across the region. Simplified, they can be categorized accordingly: federal/regional relationship, commercial interests and viability, and civic interests and engagement. The Arctic Institute 


canadian flagResidents of Canadian Arctic Protest Sky-High Food Prices. Protests against the high cost of food took place across Nunavut and in Ottawa Saturday. The issue has drawn more attention in recent weeks since the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food visited Canada last month. The Facebook group 'Feeding My Family' asked its members in Nunavut to gather outside the main store in their community on Saturday to protest the high cost of food. The group, which was started about two weeks ago, now boasts more than 15,000 members. Alaska Dispatch 


president signingWhite House Rural Council Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary. Today, President Obama talked to local TV reporters from communities around the country with significant rural populations. These interviews come as the White House released a report noting progress that has been made in the agricultural economy and detailing the steps the Obama Administration has taken to help strengthen the farm economy and support jobs in rural America. The report was developed by the White House Rural Council, the Council of Economic Advisors, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, the President announced new investments to help rural small businesses expand and hire. White House Blog 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  



HR 5325, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 (Frelinghuysen, received in the Senate and placed on the Senate calendar)


HR 5855, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2013 (Aderholt, received in the Senate and placed on the Senate calendar)

Future Events               


The Institute of the North hosts Arctic-related events. For details, go here. Three upcoming events, all in Anchorage, AK are: (a) Commercial Applications of Northern Airships, July 31-Aug 2, Federal Research: Priorities and Processes, August 13, and Northern Energy Technology and Science Fair, August 15.


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.


98th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission. Aug. 9-10. Fairbanks, AK. More info coming soon. 


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-27, 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.   

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