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November 17, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House is expected to adopt the conference report agreement to accompany the first minibus by what may be a close margin. The minibus includes Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-HUD spending bills. The report also includes a continuing resolution to fund government operations after the current agreement expires on November 18th.


The House may also consider a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.


Today, the Senate is expected to begin consideration of the FY 2012 Department of Defense Authorization bill. There will be several controversial provisions.


EPA Science AssessmentNovember 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."


Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Canada-US flagsDeforestation Causes Cooling in Northern U.S., Canada Study Finds. The impact of deforestation on global warming varies with latitude, according to new research from a team of scientists representing 20 institutions from around the world. The surprising finding, which researchers say calls for new climate-monitoring strategies. Science Daily


Education Experts Say House Republicans Lack Urgency in 'No Child' Overhaul. A House subcommittee hearing Wednesday explored setting research requirements in a rewrite of expired federal education law, frustrating education experts who believe panel Republicans are showing a lack of urgency to produce an overhaul. "It's somewhat interesting that on Nov. 16, they are holding a hearing on education research," said Joel Packer, executive director of the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition that advocates for federal education spending. "Not that it's not important, but it hasn't been the core issue in reauthorization, like accountability and teacher evaluations." The Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education met to discuss using research to better inform curriculum, teacher training and other education policy. Congressional Quarterly


oil spill in open oceanRussia's Environmental Safeguards for the Arctic. Part II In 2010 the Gulf of Mexico oil spill prompted Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to put forward a raft of proposals covering insurance against a huge assortment of risks in case of a repeat of such a catastrophe in the future. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last year, President Medvedev said that there was no global international legal mechanism for dealing with the aftermaths of huge disasters like the one in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Russian president, it is impossible to deal with the topic at the moment, because there is no technical solution for it. Second, the question arises as to who is going to pay compensation for losses and will the body formally vested with the task have enough assets to do so? If there is not enough money, then who is going to be liable? Here is where the question of insurance against these kinds of risks becomes important. The Voice of Russia


Polar bearManitoba, Ontario Polar Bears Doomed, Says Expert. Polar bears may survive high up in the Arctic but Manitoba and Ontario's bears are all but doomed, says the world's best-known expert on the species. Wildlife biologist Ian Stirling, who's been studying polar bears for 41 years, believes it is now too late to prevent the iconic Arctic species from being extirpated from the shores of Hudson Bay. Vancouver Sun


Denmark's Arctic Strategy, Sharp Contrast to Russia, Canada. Peter Taksoe-Jensen, the Danish Ambassador to the U.S., gave a talk at Dartmouth on Tuesday entitled, "Arctic Challenges and Opportunities: A Danish Perspective." He warned against viewing the Arctic as the new "Wild West." Instead, he cautioned, "The best way to move forward is to actually have a framework where we can manage the challenges and opportunities by working together." Denmark released a strategy for the Arctic on August 24, 2011. Called, "Kingdom of Denmark Strategy for the Arctic 2011-2020," the strategy applies to the country's entire realm, which includes Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Alaska Dispatch


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 2838, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act (LoBiondo, referred to Senate committee)

Future Events                                   


Airships to the Arctic VI: A Game-Changer, December 5-6, 2011. The sixth Airships to the Arctic conference explores the forward and backward linkages of the emerging airship industry. The introduction of transport airship will require new locations for transshipment and generate economic opportunities that do not exist today. Just as these other modes of transport spawned an array of input suppliers, this conference examines the supply base of the airship industry. Construction of large transport airships will create the need for materials, engines, pilots, avionics and many other large and small input suppliers.  


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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