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November 16, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider consideration of the second 'minibus' package, which uses the Energy-Water appropriations bill as its legislative vehicle. The House is expected to consider several non-Arctic legislative provisions. The House Rules Committee is expected to set the rule for consideration of the conference report of the first minibus package so that it can be considered on Thursday.


US- Russia Relations Outlook. The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a discussion titled "The Future of US-Russia Relations: Economic, Political and Security Factors."

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Alaska Teen Leading the Charge to Prevent Suicides. Mt. Edgecumbe senior Tessa Baldwin knows all too well about the staggering suicide rate among Alaska Natives. Baldwin, a 17-year-old from Kotzebue, was 5 when she saw her uncle take his own life. She grew up around the epidemic, which hit home for her again last year when she lost her boyfriend to suicide. "It's just always been around me," Baldwin said on a recent afternoon, seated next to the basketball court at B.J. McGillis Gymnasium. "It's always been an option." Native American Times 


Coast Guard SealCoast Guard Authorization Approved in House Vote. The House on Tuesday afternoon approved legislation that would authorize the Coast Guard through 2014, and also sets a single, national standard for ballast water discharge that Democrats opposed. The bill was approved by voice vote after a motion to recommit the bill failed. The bill is aimed at letting the Coast Guard maintain current personnel levels for the next three years. It provides $8.5 billion in 2012, $8.6 billion in 2013 and $8.7 billion in 2014. The Obama administration has said it opposes the bill because it would decommission the icebreaker USCGC POLAR STAR, although its statement did not specifically say it would veto the bill. The Hill  


YoungRep. Young Votes for Coast Guard Reauthorization; Fights for Key Alaska Provisions Including STORIS Amendment. With Alaska Congressman Don Young's support, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2838, The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2011 today. This legislation authorizes the Coast Guard to spend $8.49 billion for FY 2012, $8.6 billion for FY 2013, and $8.7 billion for FY 2014. In addition to securing numerous Alaskan priorities in the underlying bill, Rep. Young fought on the House Floor to include his legislation, H.R. 1220, which would convey the decommissioned Coast Guard Cutter STORIS to be used as a museum in Juneau. Congressman Don Young


Substandard Dumps Mean Nunavut Doesn't Take Out Its Trash: Report. Smoke from burning garbage was so thick that day that drivers turned on their headlights to see through it. Hunters on the land could smell the reek 15 kilometres out. "That smoke hung like a blanket over the upper section of town," recalled Ron Mongeau, manager of the Arctic hamlet of Pangnirtung. "Extremely nasty." That acrid afternoon in July 2007 was an extreme example of what happens every time Nunavut municipalities try to get rid of their garbage. A report tabled this month in the territory's legislature suggests that none of its growing towns and hamlets have safe, secure waste disposal. Winnipeg Free Press 


Estonian Waterways Board Concluded a Contract with Norwegian Company Trans Viking Icebreaking & Offshore, Which Will Provide a Ship to Help Out Estonian Icebreaker Tarmo in the Gulf of Finland This Winter. The Waterways Board director general said that the 48-year old Tarmo cannot provide icebreaking services at the level required by Estonia in the Gulf of Finland. The ship Estonia has chartered for this winter sails under a Swedish flag. The Baltic Course 


Arctic Air Building in Alaska and Canada, Will it stay there? A core of exceptionally cold air has recently settled into parts of northwestern Canada and Alaska. The map of temperatures this morning across northern North America (above) indicates the severity of this arctic chill. Readings as low as 10 to 20F below zero are common in the areas shaded in purple over western Alaska and the Yukon. Yikes. Washington Post 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 2354, The Energy-Water Appropriations bill (The second 'minibus' package) (Frelinghuysen, considered in the Senate)


H.R. 2838, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act (LoBiondo, passed/ agreed to in the House)


H.R. 3426, Protecting Neighborhoods from the Oil Pollution Act of 2011 (Connolly, introduced and referred to the House Committee on Transportation)

Future Events                                   



EPA Science Assessment, November 17, 2011. The Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing titled "Fostering Quality Science at EPA: The Need for Common Sense Reform."


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.  

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