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 February 1, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Today, the House meets for a pro forma session. The Senate is not in session. The Senate will reconvene on Monday. Senators will then begin consideration of a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act for five years. 



begichBegich Bill Would Share Arctic Revenues With State, Alaska Natives. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) yesterday introduced a bill that would send billions of dollars in offshore energy revenue to Alaska, its local governments and its Native people. The bill would provide 37.5 percent of bonus bids and royalty from energy development -- both conventional and renewable -- off Alaska's coast to help shore up public-sector infrastructure, mitigate development impacts and bolster emergency response capacity. E&E News


Legislator Aims "Lucy Lawless bill" at Environmental Activists. An Alaska lawmaker has introduced legislation that would make it a felony to interfere with permitted oil and gas, timber or other development projects. Rep. Eric Feige is calling HB92 the "Lucy Lawless bill," after the actress who last year boarded a Shell drill ship before it left New Zealand for the U.S. West Coast. She and other Greenpeace activists were arrested. Lawless, from New Zealand, is best known for her TV series, "Xena: Warrior Princess." Anchorage Daily News


Alaska Senate to Hear Testimony on Federal Overreach. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on federal overreach on Friday. Legislators are meeting to gauge public opinion on SJR2, which lauds the governor, attorney general, and natural resources commissioner for protecting the state's authority on managing its resources. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Blending Former Prisoners Back Into Alaska Society. The tide is slowly changing on how Alaskans view prisoner reentry and rehabilitation, and the people involved hope it may spark dialogue in Alaska communities. Four local prisoner reentry coalitions have formed across the state in recent years in an urban hub like Anchorage along with the Mat-Su, Kenai and Juneau. But now that's shifting to rural Alaska-specifically the rural hub of Dillingham. The Western Alaska community of about 2,300 on Nushagak Bay is working toward getting a coalition of its own, with the help of a massive grant from the US Department of Justice. Alaska Dispatch


canadian flag More Autonomy on Horizon for Northwest Territories of Canadian Arctic. An agreement with the federal government to extend more province-like powers to Northwest Territories is expected to be signed in the coming months. The deal would give the territory more control over its land and resources. Under the Canadian federal system, Canada's three territories-N.W.T., Nunavut and Yukon-have fewer powers than provinces to manage public lands and natural resources, raise taxes, and borrow money. "We're very close to the finish line," Northern Development Minister John Duncan said in Ottawa Wednesday morning. Alaska Dispatch


arcticcouncil Arctic Council Should be Cautious About New Observer Hopefuls: Inuit Org President. Many are knocking but few should enter, says Terry Audla, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Speaking to an audience of 120 or so bureaucrats, political aides, consultants, scientists, students and diplomats during a panel discussion in Ottawa Jan. 30, Audla said the Arctic Council should be cautious about opening up observer status to applicants such as China and the European Union who haven't always respected indigenous rights, both abroad and at home. "It's a dilemma," said Audla, considering the Inuit tradition of dialogue and negotiation. Nunatsiaq Online


Despite Setbacks, Shell Remains Focused on Alaska. Shell's controversial plan to explore for oil in the Arctic offshore Alaska has suffered multiple setbacks, from lawsuits and pressure from environmental groups to equipment failures and difficulties with regulators. It even looks as if there's a chance the company may not drill this year as its two drilling rigs need work before they can be re-deployed. The company is also awaiting the conclusion of internal and external reviews into their performance last year. Wall Street Journal


arctic shipping Study Names Nome, Port Clarence as Best Region For Deepwater Arctic Port. The state's long held dream of an Arctic deep water port has moved one step closer to reality. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a draft report Wednesday that names the Nome/Port Clarence region as the best location for the port. It will be the subject of an upcoming feasibility - level study which will help further determine a site. Alaska Public Radio


Canada's Arctic Leadership Stint Worries Drillers, Shippers and Environmentalists. Canada will begin a two-year stint at the helm of the eight-nation Arctic Council amid a clamour of competing calls for leadership, as the ice recedes and the race heats up to extract resource riches while protecting a fragile and now-exposed environment. While there's near-unanimity that Canada will need to lead when it takes over from Sweden in May, the direction and pace remain in sharp dispute. The oil industry wants to get busy drilling; ocean shippers are eyeing cost-saving shortcuts across long-frozen seas, while environmentalists fear the melting polar pack leaves the Arctic vulnerable to unrestrained ravage. The Globe and Mail


Job Announcement: The State Department recently released a solicitation for applications for a Bering Strait Commissioner. The announcement remains open until February 12th. Please see USAJobs for more information.


US Carbon Emissions Fall to Lowest Levels Since 1994. America's carbon dioxide emissions last year fell to their lowest levels since 1994, according to a new report.Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 13% in the past five years, because of new energy-saving technologies and a doubling in the take-up of renewable energy, the report compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) said. The reduction in climate pollution - even as Congress failed to act on climate change - brings America more than halfway towards Barack Obama's target of cutting emissions by 17% from 2005 levels over the next decade, the Bloomberg analysts said. The Guardian

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Events                      


Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013, Anchorage. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.


Alaska Native Language Archive, February 22, 2013, Fairbanks. Please join ANLA and the Rasmuson Library for a Grand Opening Celebration to dedicate the new ANLA public service point on the second floor of the Rasmuson Library. The event will begin with an open house featuring collections in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections, the Oral History Collection, and of course ANLA. This will be followed by a special panel session entitled Honoring Alaska's Native Languages: Past, Present, Future, reflecting on 50 years of Native language archiving at UAF.


The 43rd Annual Arctic Workshop 2013, March 11-13, 2013: Amherst, Massachusetts. The workshop is an annual gathering for international researchers to present work on any aspect of high-latitude environments (past, present, and future). Organizers strive for a relaxed, friendly, and interactive experience, fostered in part by the workshop's relatively small size. Researchers are invited to present their very latest research; the abstract deadline is just a few weeks before the workshop. Student participation is strongly encouraged, with partial support available to those making presentations (limited number of slots). 


The Economist's "Arctic Summit: A New Vista for Trade Energy and the Environment," March 12, 2013. (Oslo, Norway) The event is hosted by The Economist. The Arctic Summit will discuss big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance. The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers' meeting in 2013. A high-level group of 150 policy-makers, CEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. 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. 


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.
One of them is already planned: The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) will offer a one-day career development workshop during the ASSW 2013. Details will be published closer to the event:


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics."


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association. 

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