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October 2, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.


SAON Board Meeting, October 1-2, 2012. The Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) will hold a board meeting will be held in Potsdam, Germany. For meeting documents please see here.


Friday deadline for nominees for the Arctic study committee. Please submit nominations for individuals to serve on the National Research Council's (NRC) new study on Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic by Friday, October 5. 


This study (sponsored by federal agencies including the USARC) is designed to provide guidance on future research questions in the Arctic over the next 10-20 years, identify the key scientific questions that are emerging in different realms of Arctic science and exploring both disciplinary realms (e.g., marine, terrestrial, atmosphere, cryosphere, and social sciences) and cross cutting realms (e.g., integrated systems science and sustainability science). The study will also help identify research infrastructure needs (e.g., observation networks, computing and data management, ship requirements, shore facilities, etc.) and collaboration opportunities. 

The 16-member committee will meet approximately four times, including a small community workshop and additional conference calls as necessary, to conduct the study and write a report. The committee will need expertise in a range of areas, such as Arctic marine and terrestrial systems (both ecological and physical), atmosphere, cryosphere (including sea ice, land ice, permafrost), climate/weather, resource management, and selected social sciences. We are also seeking nominations for members who bring some experience in science management, indigenous or traditional knowledge, and international collaboration. To nominate, submit the person's name, affiliation, contact information, area of expertise, and a brief statement on why the person is relevant to the study topic. Please submit your nominations to Elizabeth Finkelman ( no later than Friday, October 5, 2012. 



Researcher Withdraws From Panel Reviewing Pebble Mine Studies. A researcher has withdrawn from participation in the upcoming review of studies released by the group behind a massive mine project in Southwest Alaska. University of Washington professor David Montgomery says the review process is flawed. He says it attempts to evaluate the adequacy of studies released by the Pebble Limited Partnership without the context of a mine plan. Anchorage Daily News


budgetOMB Directs Federal Agencies to Ignore Sequester for Now. The White House is ordering federal agencies to plan for spending in the coming fiscal year as if Congress will undo the looming scheduled automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. The Office of Management and Budget on Friday said, "Agencies should continue normal spending and operations" in early fiscal 2013, which begins Oct. 1. This message came as part of a document OMB routinely issues each year in late September detailing how federal agencies should operate under stopgap continuing resolutions. But the OMB guidance for fiscal 2013 comes with a few special wrinkles. The CR (H J Res 117), which President Obama signed into law on Friday, covers almost all federal operations and does so for six months, a far longer period than most CRs. Congressional Quarterly 


Lifeline for Seaway Marine. RICK Dykstra, MP for the Ontario city of St Catharines, has welcomed the award of a $6 million contract at Seaway Marine and Industrial to conduct repair work on a Canadian Coast Guard vessel, the CCGS Admunsen. "I am proud to be part of a government that is making strategic investments in the Canadian Coast Guard and awarding this work through an open, fair and transparent contract awarding process," said Dykstra. "This work not only supports Canada's future research priorities in the Arctic, but also supports job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity right here in St Catharines."


antifreeze fishStudy: Thanks to Climate Change, Fish May Experience Shrinkage by 2050. A new study that modeled the impact of climate change on more than 600 fish species says that most of those species could shrink by between 14 and 24 percent by the year 2050. Additionally, as the concentration of oxygen in the Earth's waters decreases, some species may move away from equatorial waters toward the Arctic. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia, Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has broad implications -- not only for the Earth's ecosystems, but for the seafood industry as well as sport fishermen. If that doesn't get you excited, take this theoretical figure: in 2011, Alaska brought home 5.4 billion pounds of seafood worth $1.9 billion, by far the most among U.S. states. If that catch were reduced by 25 percent, it would mean a loss of 1.35 billion pounds and $475 million from state fisheries. Alaska Dispatch


How Gorbachev Shaped Future Arctic Policy 25 Years Ago. On Oct. 1, 1987, the president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, made a speech in Murmansk outlining the Soviet Union's Arctic foreign policy. It was delivered within a context of glasnost and perestroika, and book-ended by similar speeches on the Asia Pacific region in 1986, and the Mediterranean in 1988. But, this speech had lasting significance and impact. Frequently referred to as the Murmansk Initiative, Gorbachev outlined six concrete goals and activities to promote the region as a "zone of peace": Establish a nuclear-free zone in Northern Europe; restrict military activity and scale down naval and air force activities in the Baltic, Northern, Norwegian and Greenland Seas, and promote confidence-building measures in those areas; cooperation on resource development, including technology transfer; organization of an international conference on Arctic scientific research coordination, leading perhaps to an Arctic Research Council; cooperation in environmental protection and management; and opening of the Northern Sea Route. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, October 3-5, 2012. AMAP will host a working group meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.


Debate on Arctic Challenges Set for Brussels, October 4-5, 2012.The challenges facing the Arctic during a time of change and global warming uncertainty will be the subject of frank and lively debate between policymakers, Ambassadors from European Union and Arctic nations, polar scientists, and representatives industry and Arctic indigenous peoples groups, at the 2012 Arctic Futures Symposium, taking place in Brussels on October 4th and 5th. High-level speakers include Prince Albert II of Monaco, Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Belgian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders, and Charles Emmerson, Chatham House Senior Research Fellow on Energy, Environment and Resources, and author of The Future History of the Arctic.  Guest speakers will also include Sweden's Arctic Ambassador Gustav Lind, Greenland's Deputy Foreign Minister Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Robert Blaauw, Senior Advisor to Shell's Arctic programme, Bernard Funston, Chair of the Canadian Polar Commission, British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Prof. David Vaughan and Lars-Anders Baer, chair of the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.


Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, October 9-10, 2012. CAFF will hold a meeting in Anadyr, Russia.


inuitconferencelogoArctic/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 museums 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.  


U.S.-Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum (2012) Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum 2012, November 13-15, 2012. The Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum is a biannual event with representation from government, industry, academia, Aboriginal groups, and northerners from both Canada and the United States. The forum provides an opportunity for United States and Canadian decision makers, regulators, Aboriginals, industry members, non-governmental organizations and scientists to discuss current scientific research and future directions for northern oil and gas activities. The focus is on technical, scientific, and engineering research that can be applied to support management and regulatory processes related to oil and gas exploration and development in the North. The North Slope Science Initiative and the U.S. Department of the Interior is hosting, in partnership with our counterparts in Canada and the United States, the third United States - Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum from November 13 to 15, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska. The Forum will showcase the value of Northern scientific research in support of sound decision-making for oil and gas management. 


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.

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