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May 14, 2012


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House is not in session. The Senate is expected to consider export-import bank legislation and a judicial nomination.






capitalThe Week at a Glance: This week, the House will begin consider of several measures under suspension of the rules including the Violence Against Women Act and the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate is expected to resume consideration of export-import bank legislation. Both houses will work to advance appropriations bills. Congressional Quarterly



Where do Microscopic Ice Organisms Go After Arctic's Annual Melt? Many people who live in the Lower 48 aren't familiar with the Arctic's long growing season. The region's reputation for darkness and cold usually dominates Outsiders' perception of the northernmost climate. But under those sprawling floes, packed into the heart of the sea ice environment, a world of phytoplankton curls its fate round the sun - as much as any California tomato or Florida orange. Frozen though it may be, sea ice is not stagnant. "There is a whole community of organisms that live inside of the sea ice. That includes a lot of microscopic algae," said Columbia University microbiologist Andrew Juhl. Alaska Dispatch 


budgetCanadian Federal Funding Cuts Threaten Arctic Research: Scientists. Last August, dozens of scientists from universities in Alberta, British Columbia and other parts of the country traveled to the Yukon to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Arctic Institute of North America's Kluane Research Station and its $2.5 million renovation. Coming mostly from the federal government's $85 million Arctic Research Infrastructure Fund, the investment in Kluane and several other polar research stations like it was supposed to help make Canada a global leader in responding to and adapting to climate change, resource development and geopolitical issues that are rapidly transforming the Arctic. But now many of those scientists are wondering whether they can afford to use these stations any more. Edmonton Journal


Can Alaska Lead the Way in Crafting Arctic Policy for the Nation? The Alaska Legislature is hanging out a "help wanted" sign for the job of creating Alaska's Arctic policy. The 20-member Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, formed by the Legislature this year, will be tasked with making recommendations on an Arctic policy for Alaska by January of 2014 and deliver a final decision the following year. While the commission contains six legislators - three from the house and three from the senate - as well as a member appointed by the governor, legislators are looking for 13 members to represent various factions of the state, from a mining industry representative to a tribal entity representative. Alaska Dispatch


Whale of a Season; Barrow Crew Land 10 Bowheads. With a few weeks left in the season, North Slope whaling crews are wrapping up what has been a fruitful and safe spring hunt so far. "It's been very good for us," said Eugene Brower, president of the Barrow Whaling Captains' Association. The Barrow fleet has landed 10 whales so far and lost two, all between 27 and 35 feet. These are good- sized whales, Brower said, and the fleet is pleased with its catch. There are currently 35 crews registered out of Barrow. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.

Future Events               


NOAA's Hydrographic Services Review Panel meeting, May 22-24, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. This federal advisory committee will discuss improvements of navigation services that NOAA provides for Alaska and the Arctic. Topics include new nautical charts and navigation safety, emerging commercial shipping needs, accuracy of land elevation data for coastal management, and natural hazard warning and response for the Alaska/Arctic region. The public is invited, and can provide comments during the May 23 and 24 afternoon sessions. For more information, 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.


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


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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