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May 3, 2012


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in recess.


AGU- Kenny, BaltonThe American Geophysical Unionthrough May 3rd, hosts a policy conference in Washington, D.C. to bring together scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our environment, economy, national security, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to natural hazards, natural resources, oceans, and the Arctic. Admiral Kenny and Ambassador Balton spoke recently.



defense spendingClimate Change & International Security: The Arctic as a Bellwether. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) recently released a report "Climate Change & international Security: The Arctic as a Bellwether." C2ES reports that the report examines a recent spate of Arctic-related announcements and actions by circumpolar states, including the United States, Canada, Russia, and several European countries. The emerging security issues in the Arctic, the report concludes, could foreshadow climate change's broader influence on geopolitics globally in the post-Cold War era. C2ES 


Bowhead Whale Hunting BarrowNOAA Issues Protective Measure for Marine Life During Shell's Arctic Exploratory Programs. NOAA's Fisheries service is issuing two incidental harassment authorizations to Shell for energy exploration activities in shallow waters in the Arctic during a limited period this summer. The authorizations specify measures to protect marine mammals and the subsistence interests of Alaskan Natives, and are informed by the latest science as well as lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has primary responsibility to authorize exploratory activities on the Outer Continental Shelf, DOI's conditional approvals of two Shell exploration plans for activities beginning in 2012 in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas each required Shell to seek incidental harassment authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act from NOAA as one of a series of conditions prior to commencing any activity. The Maritime Executive 


NOAANOAA and Partner Scientists Discover Way to Detect Low-Level Exposure to Seafood Toxin in Marine Animals: Discovery has potential human health benefits. NOAA scientists and their colleagues have discovered a biological marker in the blood of laboratory zebrafish and marine mammals that shows when they have been repeatedly exposed to low levels of domoic acid, which is potentially toxic at high levels. While little is known about how low-level exposure to domoic acid affects marine animals or humans, high-level exposure through eating contaminated seafood can be toxic, and can lead to amnesic shellfish poisoning, with symptoms such as seizures, short-term memory loss, and, in rare cases, death. Domoic acid is produced by particular species of marine algae and accumulates in marine animals such as clams and mussels. NOAA 


Hunters Harpoon Three Whales. Norwegian whale hunters have harpooned the first three whales of the year, nearly a month after the controversial hunting season began, the country's Fishermen's Sales Organization said Wednesday. "Three whales were taken off Bear Island on Sunday," Per Rolandsen, of the sales organization's division in Norway's Arctic Lofoten archipelago, said. Norway's whale hunting season started April 1 and is set to last until Aug. 31, but Rolandsen explained that weather conditions had been poor and the vessels had been tied up until now with other fishing activities. The Province


canadian flagMilitary Tests Arctic Surveillance Technology: Sensors, cameras, radar from northern surveillance system. Military divers have been preparing the way for research which will take place in Canada's Arctic this summer. As part of the military's training exercise, Operation Nunalivut, two divers slipped under about six feet of ice in Gascoyne Inlet, near Devon Island in Nunavut. They were checking out the underwater sensors which are part of what the military calls the 'Northern Watch Project'. The $10 million experiment is being run by Defence Research and Development Canada, the research arm of the Department of National Defence. It's combining different technologies like sensors, cameras and radar into a complex surveillance system for the Arctic. CBC News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               



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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