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December 12, 2011


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider to ambassador nominations. The House will consider a number of legislative items under suspension of the rules.


Media Reviewtodaysevents  


ANWRMore Shrubbery in a Warming World. Scientists have used satellite data from NASA-built Landsat missions to confirm that more than 20 years of warming temperatures in northern Quebec, Canada, have resulted in an increase in the amount and extent of shrubs and grasses. Science Daily 



500 Miles From Help, Preparing for the Worst in a Remote Arctic Village. In a small town set not far above the Arctic Circle, residents of Kotzebue, Alaska, brace themselves for a worst-case scenario that looms uncomfortably close: an oil spill in the frigid, remote waters of the Chukchi Sea. This fall, they and a variety of federal and state agencies, including NOAA, imagined what would happen if a fuel barge broke up, spilling 400,000 gallons of oil onto the northwestern Alaska coast near Kotzebue. Would subsistence hunters in the area be affected? What would happen to nearby whales, seals, or shorebirds? NOAA 


Putin MedvedevRussian Strategy for Svalbard Ready. The Russian governmental commission for securing Russia's presence in Svalbard has adopted a proposition to increase the country's presence on the Arctic archipelago. Part of the strategy includes a research center-- the Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography. Barents Observer 




icebreakersCan U.S. Lawmakers Stomach the Cost of New Icebreakers? The U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, part of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, held a hearing earlier this month on U.S. Coast Guard operations in the Arctic. The chief topic of concern was icebreakers. As I reported back in February, the U.S. will be without heavy icebreakers for at least two years. The USCG's District Seventeen covers all of Alaska. It is divided into two sectors, Juneau and Anchorage. The USCG has an air station in Kodiak and Sitka, both in southern Alaska, where operations are concentrated. The USCG helps to safeguard the numerous fishermen in the seas, perform search and rescue operations, and protect sensitive maritime areas like sea lion rookeries. Alaska Dispatch 


Should Alaska Consider Arctic Shipping to Get Natural Gas to Market? Independent oil and gas analyst Pedro Van Meurs is no stranger to trying to help Alaska get its huge reserves of natural gas to market. He's been trekking north for about 15 years now. He's worked for two governors and has sat through hours upon hours of legislative committees, listening to the seemingly endless partisan bickering over Alaska's taxation policy. The pinnacle may have come in 2005-06, when then-Gov. Frank Murkowski, with Van Meurs's help, introduced a plan to get Alaska gas to market that involved locking in oil taxes for up to 45 years. Alaska Dispatch 


canadian flagIf Canada Wants to Show its Sovereignty in the Arctic, Look to the St. Roch. [Opinion] Vancouver's decision to put some much-needed money into restoration and repair of the building housing the historic RCMP schooner, St. Roch, comes at an interesting time for Canada. The federal government is spending a lot of energy trying to bolster its sovereignty claims to the Arctic just as global warming is reducing the permanent ice pack and other countries are renewing their interest in a northern trade route and increased resource exploration. Most Canadians likely are unaware that one of the country's strongest links to those claims is sitting right here in Vancouver in the form of the restored St. Roch. The city is planning to put $1.4 million into repairing the St. Roch's A-frame home at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, as well as put in a new fire suppression system. The vessel was the first to transit through the Northwest Passage and the first to circumnavigate North America. Vancouver Sun  


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered on Friday.

Future Events                                   


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 16-20, 2012. The symposium was first held in 2002 to connect scientists in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and beyond in an effort to collaborate and communicate on research


activities in the marine regions off Alaska. There will be plenary and poster sessions featuring a broad spectrum of ocean science on issues of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. There will also be speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Workshop: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating Our Growing Understanding into a Research Agenda for Action Jan. 30-Feb. 1.  

Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Co-sponsored by International Study of ArcISAC logotic Change (ISAC) and the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. Endorsed by the International Arctic Science Committee, this workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders who are affected by change or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 Conference event. It is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012 Conference "From Knowledge to Action". For more information and to register for the workshop go here. 


Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all areas of Arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in Arctic science and policy are also expected. More information to follow. 


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring together over 2,000 Arctic and Antarctic researchers, policy and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non-government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The conference is hosted by the Canadian IPY Program Office in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada, among other groups. Each day of the conference will feature a program of keynote speakers, plenary panel discussions, parallel science sessions, as well as dedicated poster sessions. The conference-wide plenaries will explore themes related to topics of polar change, global linkages, communities and health, ecosystem services, infrastructure, resources and security. Other sessions will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the application of research findings, policy implications and how to take polar knowledge to action. 


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. Details to follow.  


The Arctic Imperative Summit, July 29-August 1, 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.


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This kivalina girlevent 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 indigenous 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.


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 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. For more information, please email Lauren Marr.


White House Tribal Nations Conference, December 2, 2011. President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. As part of President Obama's ongoing outreach to the American people, this conference will provide leaders from the 565 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference. This will be the third White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President's commitment to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country.  

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