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 February 4, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate begins consideration of a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The measure would renew a 1994 domestic violence law that expired in September 2011. The House will consider several health-care-related measures under suspension of the rules.



What Does Vitamin D do for Your Heart? Are You Getting Enough? To have a healthy heart, you know it's important to do things like exercise regularly, eat healthfully and not smoke. But what about take a vitamin? In recent years, research has found a possible link between certain cardiovascular problems and a lack of vitamin D. And guess who's at high risk for vitamin D? Winter-dwelling Alaskans. How does vitamin D affect your heart? Fairbanks Daily News-Miner  


capitalSenate Tries Again to Move Anti-Violence Bill. The Senate took up the Violence Against Women Act Monday, seeking to remedy Congress' failure last year to extend and expand a law protecting women from domestic abuse while broadening its coverage to include Native Americans, gays and lesbians. Both the Democratic-led Senate and the GOP House attempted last year to pass the new version of the 1994 law which expired in 2011. But leaders of the two chambers were unable to span the partisan divide and reach a compromise. With Republican losses among women voters in the November election still a fresh memory, Senate advocates are hoping that it will be easier to find common ground with House Republicans. KWWL


Ulmer 2Fran Ulmer, Chair, United States Arctic Research Commission [Interview]. Extensive research is being conducted in the Arctic, but there is still a lack of public understanding about its ecosystems and their rapidly changing conditions. Fran Ulmer sheds light on the Commission's key priorities for the development of more comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the Arctic's environment, human population, biodiversity and industries. Research Media LTD


Stanford Arctic Thawing Detection Tool. A Stanford geophysicist and his colleagues have developed a new system that should aid scientists trying to map the Arctic's thawing permafrost, where greenhouse gases are escaping into the atmosphere from deep beneath the frozen soil. Those gases speed the pace of global warming, and climate scientists working in the Arctic's icy ground need to understand their sources and how those sources are spreading as the world's climate changes. San Francisco Chronicle


Shell in ChukchiAs the Earth Warms, The Lure of The Arctic's Natural Resources Grows. For all the concern among scientists, environmentalists and others about how melting ice in the Arctic could wreak havoc on local ecosystems, the loudest message about climate change among politicians and energy industry officials who spoke at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromso recently could be summed up as "Bring it on!" This optimistic, even celebratory, outlook on the expected impacts of global warming on the High North--which is warming faster than any place on Earth--runs counter to what most scientists and environmentalists say is unfolding there. But then again, under the thawing ice lies bounty that could fill mouths, and pockets, around the globe. Popular Science 


Chu is Stepping Down as Energy Secretary. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, the architect of the Obama administration drive to promote clean-energy technologies, said Friday that he will step down as Energy secretary. In a memo to Energy Department employees, Chu said he is returning to California and the academic life of teaching and research. He called the department secretary job the "greatest privilege of my life." Congressional Quarterly 


Alaska FlagEnergy is Focus in Legislature. Energy will get plenty of attention in Juneau as the Legislature begin its fourth week of the 28th session. Meetings on the Interior natural gas trucking plan and the Alaska Standalone Gas Pipeline will be held today in House Resources and Energy Committees as the state of the week of work on energy relief. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


No-show Today: A White House Budget Request. Attention wonks: If something seems to be lacking from the start of your week, perhaps it's the fact that President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request is supposed to go to Capitol Hill today. Except, of course, that it's not and a delivery date could still be some time off. The annual request is due on Capitol Hill the first Monday in February. But because of the uncertainties that preceded passage of last month's "fiscal cliff" deal, the administration was "forced to delay some of its FY 2014 budget preparations, which in turn will delay the budget's submission to Congress," acting Office of Management and Budget chief Jeff Zients wrote in a Jan. 11 letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. While the White House is working to submit the request "as soon as possible," Zients said, he did not give a date. Federal Times


Appropriators Say Sequester Creates Hurdles in Writing New Spending Bills. Lawmakers hoping to write a bill to take the government beyond the current continuing resolution that expires March 27 say they can't even begin their work until Congress chooses how to act, or whether to act all, to avert the automatic spending cuts. That's because, they say, any deal on the sequester would almost certainly change the calculations for spending at a broad range of agencies, leaving budget experts no clear way to gauge how much money will be available across departments and programs. Congressional Quarterly


Murkowski 2 GOP Senator Unveils Energy Policy Blueprint. The top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee unveiled a policy blueprint Monday intended to spur debate - and piecemeal legislation - to "reimagine" domestic energy laws and policies by 2020. The 115-page conversation starter by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska outlines ideas for moving the United States toward "energy independence" under seven categories: producing more, consuming less, clean-energy technology, grid and transmission improvements, regulatory changes, environmental stewardship and funding of energy technology advances. Congressional Quarterly 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Events                      


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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