Arctic Update Header
December 16, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate will consider a negotiated spending package to fund government operations for the remainder of FY 2012. The current stop-gap funding measure expires today. The House will also consider a disaster relief appropriations bill and intelligence authorization amendments.

Media Reviewtodaysevents 


capitalShutdown Averted: Deal Reached on $1T Omnibus Package. House and Senate negotiators on Thursday night reached a tentative agreement on a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee announced. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said he expected the conference report to be filed later Thursday for a vote in both chambers Friday. The Hill   


Coast Guard SealThe Coast Guard Gets Omnibus Total in Line With Acquisitions Request. The conference report on the fiscal 2012 omnibus spending package (HR 2055) would provide almost all of the Coast Guard acquisition funding President Obama asked for - and that the service's leader says it needs. The conference report, which was expected to be filed Thursday night, would provide the Coast Guard with a total of $10 billion, $86 million above last year's level. Of that, $1.4 billion would go toward the agency's acquisitions, roughly $18 million less than the administration's request. Congressional Quarterly  


Canada flagBig Transportation Gap Persists in Canada's North: Report. In 2007, when Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. was trying to get its Meadowbank gold mine in Baker Lake up and running, the company had little time to prepare for the upcoming Arctic shipping season. It attempted to move more cargo through Churchill than the Manitoba port was used to handling - more than four times the volume handled the previous year. Nunatsiaq Online


Murkowski LisaSenator Seeks DOI Oversight for Arctic OCS Air. Pollution emitted from drilling ships and support vessels in Arctic waters would be regulated by the Interior Department instead of the Environmental Protection Agency under language inserted into a spending bill by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The Alaska Republican announced the move Thursday and said it will address systemic problems in the EPA permitting process for offshore oil and natural gas exploration. Business Week



Icebreaker Requested to Save 100 Whales Trapped in Russia's Arctic. Off the east coast of the Russian Chukotka peninsula, winter has come hard and fast, freezing parts of the Bering Strait. Fifteen miles south of the village of Yanrakynnot in the Sinyavinsky Strait, 100 beluga whales are trapped in the ice. Hunters have reported that they are in two polynyas and are currently able to breathe freely. However, food and clean water will soon run out, and the whales will likely die of exhaustion or starvation if the ice is not soon broken up. Alaska Dispatch


Canada-US flagsU.S.-Canada Arctic Ocean Survey Partnership Saved Costs, Increased Data.

Larry Mayer, US Scientist 

A recent mission marked the completion of a five-year collaboration between the United States and Canada to survey the Arctic Ocean. The bilateral project collected scientific data to delineate the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the coastline, also known as the extended continental shelf (ECS). The U.S. has an inherent interest in knowing, and declaring to others, the exact extent of its sovereign rights in the ocean as set forth in the Convention on the Law of the Sea. For the ECS, this includes sovereign rights over natural resources on and under the seabed including energy resources such as: oil and natural gas and gas hydrates; "sedentary" creatures such as clams, crabs, and corals; and mineral resources such as manganese nodules, ferromanganese crusts, and polymetallic sulfides. NOAA   


Kookesh Calls Attention to Rural Water, Sewer Issues. With thousands of Alaskan homes still without adequate sewer and water connections, state Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, is proposing a new state task force be charged with solving that problem. Alaska, he said, has people "living in third world conditions" while the state is bringing in billions in oil revenue that was promised would help the state's citizens live better. Juneau Empire 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

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, 2012.   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.



USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter 

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)