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October 13, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is expected to consider several judicial nominations. The House will consider legislation regarding abortion and EPA boiler emissions standards. In the afternoon there will be a joint session of Congress to receive remarks from South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.


Arctic Futures Symposium, October 12-14, 2011. The International Polar Foundation (IPF) and the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco will host Arctic Futures 2011. The event is a follow-up to last year's symposium, and will bring together international and interdisciplinary Arctic stakeholders including EU and foreign policymakers, scientists, representatives of industry, indigenous peoples and academics to discuss needs, address challenges, exchange ideas, and network.


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Scientific Challenges in the Arctic: Open Water: As the ice melts, fresh obstacles confront Arctic researchers. Last month, US researchers took a 4,000-tonne gamble when they steered the Marcus G. Langseth through the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. The 72-metre research vessel was not built to plow through ice, so it had never ventured that far poleward before. But the rules are changing quickly in the new north. Managers at the US National Science Foundation (NSF), which owns the ship, decided to send the Langseth into the Arctic after reviewing satellite images that showed that the intended survey area in the Chukchi Sea had been largely clear of ice for four of the past five summers. Nature 


capitalAgreement Scarce Over Appropriations Methods: Chambers and Parties Split Over Approach to Passing Spending Measures. In a House-Senate fight that cuts across party lines, Congressional leaders are divided over whether to pursue an omnibus appropriations bill or tackle the issue in three or four separate "minibus" bills that combine spending measures. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a veteran appropriator, has pushed the minibus strategy, and many of his colleagues prefer the approach because it allows more input from rank-and-file Members and closer consideration of each measure. Roll Call 


ringsealIn Alaska's Arctic, Mysterious Outbreak Kills Dozens of Ringed Seals. A mysterious and potentially widespread disease is thought to have contributed to the deaths of dozens of ringed seals along Alaska's Arctic coast. Scores more are sickened, some so ill that skin lesions bleed when touched. The animals are an important subsistence food, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has proposed listing them as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. In July, biologists with the North Slope Borough's Department of Wildlife Management began receiving reports of ringed seals hauled out on beaches, an unusual behavior since the animals usually prefer the water or ice. Since then, they've found at least 100 seals with telltale mangy hair and skin lesions, mostly while traveling by four-wheeler along 30 miles of Beaufort and Chukchi sea coastline outside Barrow. Alaska Dispatch 


Nunavut Research Center Officially Opens: Iqaluit-based Center Aims to Combine Scientific Research with Traditional Inuit Knowledge. Nunavut celebrated the opening of a state-of-the-art research centre. The Nunavut Research Centre in Iqaluit has been in operation since February, but on Wednesday, dignitaries, researchers and other invited guests were on hand for a special ceremony. "There is a pressing need for cutting-edge research combined with traditional knowledge in the North, administered by Northerners and more and more conducted by Northerners," said Nunavut premier Eva Aariak. CBC News 


Marine Protection in the Arctic Cannot Wait: Global economics, not declining sea ice, is driving ships to the Arctic Ocean. Only international regulation will protect the region, says Lawson Brigham. Most people know that profound change is happening in the Arctic Ocean. Most people would say that this is because the sea ice there is in retreat. But most people would be wrong. Changes in ice cover are only part of a story that is, in fact, driven largely by economics and geopolitics. Despite the headlines, policy-makers, planners and regulators need to look beyond the disappearing ice and understand the economic drivers to grasp the urgent need for maritime regulations to address the booming development of the region. It is true, of course, that Arctic sea ice is in decline. In the summer of 1994, I was part of a historic scientific crossing of the Arctic Ocean, from the Bering Strait to the North Pole and out the other side through the Fram Strait. Sailing in company, the icebreakers Polar Sea and Louis S. St-Laurent encountered nearly 2,000 nautical miles of continuous sea ice. I remember, because Polar Sea, of which I was captain, observed, sampled and broke through much of it. A similar expedition this summer would probably have seen ice for only half that distance - and much of it would have been thinner. Nature  


HarperHarper Government Announces Investments in Arctic Science Infrastructure. The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency today attended the Grand Opening of the Nunavut Research Institute, on behalf of the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. "It is truly a pleasure to be in Nunavut today to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Nunavut Research Institute," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This vibrant new facility will be home to the next generation of Arctic researchers from Canada and around the world, and will provide lasting sustainable benefits for Northerners." Market Watch 


Russians to Spend Billions Expanding Arctic Shipping. Russia is pledging to spend billions on icebreakers and search and rescue bases along the country's Northern Sea route to help turn it into a major shipping lane capable of supporting tankers and cargo ships. At the second International Arctic Forum Sept. 21 to 24 in Arkhangelsk, Russia, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised 10 new search and rescue bases and a fleet of new icebreakers for the Northern Sea Route, also once known as the Northeast Passage. Alaska Dispatch 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


Bioneers in Alaska: RESILIENCE, Adapting to Changing Planet,October 14-16, 2011. Bioneers in Alaska is a local, self organized Bioneers event featuring local speakers and live video keynotes from the 22nd annual Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California. Beaming Bioneers broadcasts practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies to restore Earth's imperiled ecosystems and heal our human community.


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.

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