Arctic Update Header
November 15, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will continue to consider the second FY 2012 minibus spending package. The House will consider a bill to reauthorize the Coast Guard. The House is expected to debate on decommissioning the only heavy-duty polar icebreaker that has a chance of operating soon. The Senate Armed Services Committee will consider the FY 2012 Defense Authorization bill, and the Committee is expected to approve an additional $20 billion in defense spending cuts.


Arctic Policy Forum: The Role of Science in Responsible Development, November 15, 2011. Join the Institute of the North for this quarter's Arctic Policy Forum.  This presentation and networking event will focus on science and collaboration in the Arctic and will feature Michael Macrander, Lead Scientist for Shell and Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. The Institute of the North's Arctic Policy Forums are a new way of engaging in Arctic issues. These quarterly networking events  serve to underline and elevate Alaska's role in the Arctic.  Informal policy presentations followed by networking events invite policy makers and administrators, researchers, community leaders and interested citizens together for an informal sharing opportunity. Participants will hear expert presentations on key policy findings and positions; emerging Arctic technologies; and challenges facing infrastructure development in the Arctic. Participants will also have the opportunity to spend time getting to know key stakeholders in Alaska's Arctic.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  



begichU.S. Senator Mark Begich Sent a Letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar urging the department to quickly release a review schedule with real deadlines for Shell's Exploration Plan for the Chukchi Sea in 2012. Begich commends Interior for last week's announcement of new lease sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas as part of the 2012-17 Outer Continental Shelf Lease Plan, but says Shell has practical and logistical deadlines that need certainty. Senator Mark Begich 


Canadian Forces' Arctic Cost Could Hit $1 Billion. The Harper government's Arctic policies don't come cheap. A series of internal Defence Department documents show that the biggest concern isn't getting forces into the harsh region. The annual cost of supplying them with fuel, ammunition, food and shelter could run between $843 million and $1 billion dollars. The documents show the navy, air force and army have begun to grapple with the logistical challenges presented by the Arctic policies. CTV News 


Murkowski 2Senate Oceans Caucus Will Kick Off With Alaska Focus. Senate Oceans Caucus co-chair Senator Murkowski today announced that Dr. Jeremy Mathis - head of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Ocean Acidification Research Center - will be the first expert to address the U.S. Senate Oceans Caucus at its first meeting Thursday. "Alaska has more miles of coastline than the rest of the country combined, and those shores represent a wide range of ecosystems - so we have a large body of knowledge to share," said Murkowski.  "I'm proud that Alaska will lead the way in terms of educating my Senate colleagues as to the issues facing our waters." Senator Lisa Murkowski


Office of Science and Technology Policy: Request for Information: Public Access to Digital Data Resulting From Federally Funded Scientific Research. The Office of Science and Technology Policy published a notice in the Federal Register in accordance with the America COMPETES Act to request recommendations on ensuring long-term and broad access to unclassified digital data that result from federally funded research. Comments are due by January 12, 2012. Federal Register 


president signingPresident Obama Honors Outstanding Science, Math and Engineering Mentors. President Obama today named nine individuals and eight organizations recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.  The mentors will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, awarded by the White House to individuals and organizations, recognizes the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering-particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. By offering their expertise and encouragement, mentors help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow's innovators reflect and benefit from the diverse talent of the United States. The White House 


brysonVice President Biden Swears in Secretary Bryson. At the end of October, the Senate confirmed John Bryson to head the U.S. Department of Commerce, and today, Vice President Biden was on hand to swear in the new Secretary at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Secretary Bryson comes to the job with decades of experience and deep knowledge of American business. The White House 


Drilling Near Our Borders: Is the U.S. Falling Behind? Last week the Obama administration proposed a modest expansion of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in its first concessions on offshore production since last year's Deepwater Horizon spill. The five-year plan would, however, keep Atlantic and Pacific sites off-limits in order to avoid a controversial decision before the 2012 election. As we continue our endless debate on whether we should have more Outer Continental Shelf development and where, all our neighbors have chosen to proceed. Cuba, Mexico, the Bahamas, Canada and Russia are all moving ahead on offshore development adjacent to our borders. gCaptain 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 2112, The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (the first 'minibus') (Kingston, conference report filed)


H.R. 2354, The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (the second 'minibus') (Frlinghuysen, considered in the Senate)


H.R. 3404, to establish in the Department of Interior an Under Secretary for Energy, Lands, and Minerals and a Bureau of Ocean Energy, an Ocean Energy Safety Service, and an Office of Natural Resources Revenue (Hastings, introduced and referred to committee)


H.R. 3407, Alaska Energy for American Jobs Act (Hastings, introduced and referred to committee) 

Future Events                                   


AGU Fall Meeting, December 5-9, 2011. The American Geophysical Union's ("AGU") Fall Meeting 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. 


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.


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 Heath, 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.  

USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

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