Arctic Update Header
December 8, 2011


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are considering the remaining FY 2012 appropriations bills, using the Military Construction-VA bill as the vehicle. The omnibus is expected to be available next week. The Senate may also consider a nomination and payroll tax 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  


House May Include CRs in 'Megabus.' Senior House appropriators on Wednesday said they may punt on one or more of nine remaining overdue spending bills for fiscal 2012 and avoid resolving difficult disagreements by passing continuing resolutions to cover their agencies and programs. The possibility of one or more continuing resolutions being attached to a "megabus" that would wrap up remaining appropriations for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 would signal that congressional leaders want to close this chapter of the yearlong budget fight that has dominated the Capitol. Congressional Quarterly


Negotiators Reach Agreement on $518 Billion Defense Spending Bill. The top defense appropriators in the Senate and House agreed in principle Wednesday night to a $518 billion Defense spending bill that would reduce the Pentagon's request for the deeply troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Lawmakers also decided to preserve development of the controversial Joint Light Tactical Vehicle coveted by the Army and Marine Corps. Congressional Quarterly


[Canada] Should the New $50 Bill Show an Arctic Research Boat Instead of the "Famous Five?" As part of a redesign of the $50 bill, an arctic research vessel will replace the "Famous Five," who won full political rights for Canadian women in 1930.The current $50 note features the five women whose case to have women included in the legal definition of "people" was successful at the supreme court of England - the highest court in Canada at the time. CBC News 


Polar bearPolar Bear 'Cannibalism' Pictured. An adult polar bear is seen dragging the body of a cub that it has just killed across the Arctic sea ice. Polar bears normally hunt seals, but, if these are not available, the big predators will seek out other sources of food - even their own kind. The picture was taken by environmental photojournalist Jenny Ross in Olgastretet, a stretch of water in the Svalbard archipelago. "This type of intraspecific predation has always occurred to some extent," she told BBC News. "However, there are increasing numbers of observations of it occurring, particularly on land where polar bears are trapped ashore, completely food-deprived for extended periods of time due to the loss of sea ice as a result of climate change." BBC News 


Colliding Geopolitics and the Arctic. Climate change is prompting a rethink regarding the geopolitical significance of the Arctic. Yet while 'classical' approaches to geopolitics cast the region as the site of a new Great Game, critical geopolitics suggests exercising caution. ISN 


Soviets as Familiar with Canadian Arctic as Canada? 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. Alaska Dispatch


NOAANOAA Issues Scientific Integrity Policy. NOAA's commitment to science was further solidified today with the release of a scientific integrity policy by Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "This policy strengthens the high standards we work to achieve every day to advance the science that underpins the services and stewardship NOAA provides to the American public," said Lubchenco. "The scientific integrity policy expresses our commitment to produce and use science without distortion, to be transparent and accountable in production and use of our science, and to strengthen our commitment to excellence." NOAA 


FranUlmerFormer Chancellor Ulmer Becoming Arctic Research Scholar at UAA. Recently retired University of Alaska Anchorage chancellor Fran Ulmer will be back on campus next month when she assumes a new role - resident scholar on Arctic research. A former lieutenant governor, Ulmer is already deeply involved in Arctic research and policy. In March, President Obama appointed her chairwoman of the US Arctic Research Commission, a four-year posting. She will continue doing that, with her new UAA role complementing those duties. Alaska Dispatch 



Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

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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