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December 7, 2011


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in session. The Senate is considering legislation regarding a US-Canadian pipeline. The House will refer the National Defense Authorization Act to conference and consider several items under suspension of the rules.


The majority of legislative work will be behind the scenes to complete work on FY 2012 appropriations legislation.  


AGU Fall Meeting, December 5-9, 2011. The American Geophysical Union's ("AGU") Fall Meeting is underway to connect with colleagues, broaden their knowledge base, and embrace the joy of science.  The groundbreaking research presented at this world-renowned event is critical to advancing our understanding of the natural world and to addressing the challenges society faces as they relate to our science. As an organization, AGU works to unite Earth and space scientists who are dedicated to the common goal: scientific discovery for the benefit of humanity.  One of the most important ways we do this is through the Fall Meeting - an event that embodies who we are as a scientific organization and that is key to helping us achieve our organizational mission, vision and goals.



Media Reviewtodaysevents  


BoehnerFinal Government Shutdown Fight Rings Out the Old Year. House and Senate appropriators are laboring to produce a $900 billion omnibus bill by the beginning of next week. Failure to reach a deal would result in a government shutdown when current funding runs out Dec. 16. All sides stand to lose public support from such a standoff, which would confirm to many that Washington no longer functions. House Republicans, eyeing approval numbers for Congress that dipped into the single digits, are keen to avoid a bruising shutdown. The Hill 


House GOP's Package of Budget Bills to Include Two-Year Cycle, Shutdown Avoidance. House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and other Republicans on his committee will introduce a package of bills Wednesday aimed in part at reversing what GOP lawmakers say are incentives that lead to higher government spending. Republicans said they hope to draw Democratic support for the package's 10 budget process measures, which are expected to be marked up early next year. Some of the proposals, such as shifting to a two-year budget cycle, are sure to draw fire from appropriators on both sides of the aisle. Congressional Quarterly


Prosecutors Say BP Didn't Learn From 2001 Crude Oil Spill: FROZEN PIPES: Spill in 2009 recalls one that occurred in 2001. When a BP pipeline froze two years ago on Alaska's North Slope, the oil company had experience with the problem. Prosecutors say BP failed to apply the lessons learned from 2001, when a different pipeline froze and broke open, spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil. BP uses a different frozen pipeline to make the opposite point, that it couldn't have foreseen what would happen in 2009. Its example is from 2007 and involved a pipeline that, like the one in 2009, was feeding into its Lisburne Production Center. When efforts to thaw the pipeline in 2007 failed, BP let it sit until spring, when BP says it thawed naturally with no spilled crude or other environmental damage. Anchorage Daily News 


NOAANOAA Releases Regional Saltwater Recreational Fishing Plans Designed to Improve Fishing, Stewardship and Science. NOAA today released the first regional saltwater recreational fishing action plans designed to help improve fishing opportunities and address recreational fishing priorities in each of the nation's six coastal regions and for the angling community that fishes for tunas and other highly migratory species. Saltwater angling is a treasured national pastime that provides significant benefits - jobs, income and sales - to our nation's economy. In 2010, saltwater recreational fishing contributed $50 billion in sales to the U.S. economy and supported 326,000 jobs in fishing and across the broader economy. NOAA 


Coastal Zone Measure Clears Hurdle. Efforts to get an initiative establishing a coastal management program on next year's ballot can proceed. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell certified the initiative application Tuesday. The initiative committee now must gather 25,875 signatures to get it on the ballot. Juneau's mayor and an initiative backer, Bruce Botelho, has said the goal is to have 27,000 signatures collected before Jan. 17, the start of the legislative session. Anchorage Daily News 


nuunavutNunavut Region to Boost Renewable Power of Offset Climate Change. Nunavut, Canada's northernmost territory, is studying ways to boost its use of hydroelectric, wind and solar power to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate climate change, Premier Eva Aariak said. The territory, about the same size as neighboring Greenland, has "abundant" renewable resources, including summer days with 24 hours of sunlight, said Aariak, in an interview yesterday. The government may consider feed-in tariffs and other mechanisms to promote the use of alternative energies, she said. Bloomberg 


Arctic Sea Freezing Fast North of Alaska But May Be Too Little, Too Late. After shrinking to one of the smallest summer extents of the past 30 years, the ice cap over the Arctic Ocean has been re-growing quickly as the dark polar winter tightens its grip. During November, plunging temperatures refroze an average of more than 30,000 square miles of ocean every day - growing enough pans and floes to cover an area almost the size of South Carolina every 24 hours. That's faster growth than usual, according to records going back to the 1970s. Alaska Dispatch 


Bowhead Whale Hunting BarrowInupiat Whaling, Drilling at Stake in Recent Alaskan Mayor's Race. Independent photojournalists Will Rose and Kajsa Sjölander were on Alaska's North Slope in November to document traditional whaling by the native Inupiat people and found themselves at the height of a highly charged mayoral election season, with whaling and a gargantuan new Shell oil drilling project at stake. Check out a fascinating photo gallery of images from their trip, exclusive to the Los Angeles Times. The two were on hand as Charlotte Brower became the first female mayor for Alaska's North Borough, a regional municipality that covers the north part of the state, a vast terrain with only eight small communities comprising about 10,000 mostly Inupiat Eskimos. The North Borough mayoralty, including the town of Barrow, has significant influence regarding federal decisions about offshore oil drilling and other resource uses affecting the area. Los Angeles Times  


Soviet Subs Cruised Canada's Arctic, Cold-War Era Maps Suggest. The old Soviet Union may have been just as familiar with Canada's Arctic waters as Canadians. Sections of Cold-War-era nautical charts obtained by The Canadian Press suggest that Russian mariners have for decades possessed detailed and accurate knowledge of crucial internal waterways such as the Northwest Passage. Those charts, which may offer the first documentary proof of the widely held belief that Soviet nuclear submarines routinely patrolled the Canadian Arctic during the Cold War, are still in use by Russian vessels. In some places, they are preferred to current Canadian charts. Huffington Post


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R.3568 : Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools Act
(Rep Kildee, introduced)


H.R.3569 : Native Culture, Language, and Access for Success in Schools Act
(Rep Baca, introduced)


H.R.3570 : To promote ocean and human health and for other purposes.
(Rep Capps, introduced)

Future Events                                   


National Science Foundation Town Hall Meeting, December 7. The Arctic Sciences Division (NSF) will hold a Town Hall Meeting from 12:00 - 1:30 pm in the ARCUS community room (San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Pacific Room J). Note the change from the AGU program book. The Deputy Director and Program Officers will discuss the Division's portfolio, some recent awards, future directions, and--most importantly--take questions and hear comments from the community. If you have questions, contact


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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