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March 9, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session today.  


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 

high-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.





House GOP Budget Impasse Continues. House Budget Committee Republicans emerged from a private meeting with Majority Leader Eric Cantor(R-Va.) today no closer to resolving their internal fissures over the size of the 2013 budget. Cantor and Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) discussed several paths forward with the group - most of which involve lowering the fiscal year 2013 spending cap below July's Budget Control Act number of $1.047 trillion. But Members are still sharply divided heading into a weeklong recess about exactly where to set the mark, and with just weeks to go before their self-imposed deadline to produce a budget, the fate of the blueprint hangs in the balance. Congressional Quarterly


begichBegich Focuses on Arctic Issues. In his address to Juneau lawmakers this week, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich compared the opportunities available in the Arctic as being akin to the state's next "big bonanza," and called on Alaska to play a large role in educating America about the state's role in the new "Arctic economy." "Today, I believe we're at the cusp of a new era of Arctic development, and poised for a renaissance in Alaska's oil and gas development," said Begich, addressing the members of the Alaska House and Senate on Monday. "Nowhere do we enjoy new opportunity more than with Alaska's Arctic resources - oil and gas, minerals, fisheries, tourism, transportation." Begich stated that despite numerous hurtles placed in front of the exploration of oil and gas in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, as well as the National Petroleum Reserve, development is finally coming to fruition. The Bristol Bay Times 


ChinaflagChinese Military Risk Looms, Legislator Says: Begich agrees, says DOD is aware of China's Arctic interests. An Alaska state representative thinks the state may be a risk of a military attack from China. And U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, speaking on the legislative floor and in a later interview, said he thinks that concern is real. During the Cold War, Alaska was considered the front line of defense against the then-Soviet Union, becoming home to several Army and Air Force bases. The state has received less attention, however, as the nation has fought two Middle East wars. Juneau Empire 


arcticcouncilWarming Up to Canadian Leadership of the Arctic Council. Canada has repeatedly touted its capacity as an "energy superpower." First uttered in 2006, Prime Minster Stephen Harper sought to capitalize on Canada's  resource wealth, vying for investment dollars in the wake of the Russia-Georgia conflict. Now Canada aims to attract investment from China, reportedly as a result of the XL Keystone backlash in the United States. Harper said. "We want to sell our energy to people who want to buy our energy. It's that simple." At the same time, the nation has come under criticism for its record on environmental issues such as the oil sands, the XL Keystone pipeline, and its withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol. As Canada prepares to assume the Chair of the Arctic Council in 2013, Arctic observers are speculating as to the direction Canada may take during its crucial two-year tenure. World Policy Blog  


Ulmer 2Senior Federal Officials Begin Charting an Ecosystem-Based Management Framework for the Alaska Arctic. The Department of the Interior hosted a meeting of top federal policymakers and members of the federal government's science community to begin charting an ecosystem-based management framework for the Alaska Arctic that would focus on particularly important ecological areas that support special wildlife, land or water resources, as well as areas important for the subsistence and culture of local communities. Led by Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes and Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and former chancellor of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, today's meeting reflects a continued commitment to ensuring that decisions about the nation's domestic energy resources in Alaska are being made as part of a coordinated management approach that takes into account the cumulative impacts of energy development activity on the natural, cultural and economic resources of the region. Political News


Murkowski 2Murkowski Questions DHS Whether Icebreaker Is A True Priority. Senator Murkowski today asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano whether the $8 million requested for opening work on a new United States Coast Guard icebreaker truly indicates support for Alaska's and America's needs as an Arctic Nation, given the $860 million total price tag for an icebreaker. After pointing out her concern about the relatively small initial down payment on the project, Senator Murkowski asked the Secretary "My question is whether or not the icebreaker acquisition has become a higher priority for this administration ... has icebreaking and our capacity to move forward aggressively taken a higher priority in this administration?" "We believe that the country needs another icebreaker," Napolitano answered, pointing out that the Polar Star is presently in dry dock and not due back on the water for a year and the USCGC Healy will be taken out of service soon.  The question, she said, was finding the future funds for the more resource-consuming construction phase in the years ahead - which will need to come out of operational costs. Senator Lisa Murkowski


Legislative Actionfutureevents  



HR 4154, SAVE Native Women Act (Boren, introduced and referred to committee) 

Future Events                                   



Fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization: Southern and Northern Commands, March 13, 2012. The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. Northern Command in review of the defense authorization request for fiscal 2013 and the future years' defense program. The session may be closed.


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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