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October 27, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House is expected to complete work on a contractor withholding provision. No legislative work is expected tomorrow. The Senate is in recess this week.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Cantor2012 House Schedule Looks Familiar. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Wednesday that he hopes to focus much of next year's legislative work on jobs and the economy and would use a calendar based on regular, prolonged district work periods. In a "Dear Colleague" letter announcing the schedule, the Virginia Republican said he hopes the calendar will "create certainty, increase efficiency and productivity in the legislative process, protect committee time and afford Members the opportunity to gain valuable input from their constituents at home." Roll Call


House Chairman Considers Adding Measures to 'Minibus' Spending Bill. House appropriators may try to expedite completion of overdue spending bills for the current fiscal year by adding one or two additional appropriations bills to what is now a three-bill Senate "minibus" package. The Senate is expected to pass the first of several minibus bills soon after it returns from a weeklong recess on Oct. 31. Harold Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said Wednesday that he expects conference negotiations on the minibus to begin "immediately" after the Senate passes the measure, and that those talks would be completed "fairly rapidly." Congressional Quarterly


obamaStormy Seas for Obama Ocean Policy. House Democrats signaled Tuesday that they are looking to codify the national ocean policy that President Barack Obama instituted by executive order in 2009 - but Republicans aren't going to make it easy. "It is time for our nation to have an ocean plan," House Natural Resources Committee ranking member Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said at a hearing Tuesday morning. "By harmonizing the existing regulations that govern our coasts and oceans, this policy will allow developments to move ahead more quickly while creating jobs and improving the health of the oceans." Obama's order created the National Ocean Council, along with a task force to identify policy recommendations and various regional planning bodies that seek to serve as one-stop shops for federal agencies and industry and environmental concerns - such as offshore drilling, fishing, recreation and conservation - with federal waters. Politico


Extreme Melting on Greenland Ice Sheet, Team Reports; Glacial Melt Cycle Could Become Self-Amplifying. The Greenland ice sheet can experience extreme melting even when temperatures don't hit record highs, according to a new analysis by Dr. Marco Tedesco, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at The City College of New York. His findings suggest that glaciers could undergo a self-amplifying cycle of melting and warming that would be difficult to halt. Science Daily


Report: Facebook Plans Huge Server Farm in Sweden. Facebook plans to build a large server farm in northern Sweden near the Arctic Circle, taking advantage of the chilly climate to keep its equipment cool, a Swedish newspaper reported Wednesday The Norrbottens Kuriren newspaper said the American social network will announce its plans Thursday in Lulea, site of the operation, which is 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of the Arctic Circle. The paper cited Jan Fredriksson of Helm1 PR, a public relations agency that represents Facebook in Sweden. Business Week 


russian flagRussia to Restore Abandoned Arctic Airport. Russia plans a major interdisciplinary Polar scientific expedition next summer, and to make transport of scientists and equipment between the islands easier, this abandoned airport on the Kotelny Island in the Laptev Sea is reconsidered restored. The airport has not been in use for 20 years. Barents Observer 


Second Alaska Polar Bear Scientist Grilled by Government. The ongoing clash between two scientists and government investigators questioning their work on sea ice and polar bears took a turn this week when agents with the federal Inspector General's office admitted that the men's published observations of dead polar bears were legitimate, according to their attorney. But far from exonerating the scientists and wiping the slate clean, the investigative team put Dr. Jeffrey Gleason on notice that, like his one-time colleague Dr. Carles Monnett, they had referred his case to the Department of Justice's criminal division, said Jeff Ruch, executive director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is defending both scientists. There was no explanation why. After 18 months of inquiry, no charges have been filed and both men remain at a loss as to why they've been dragged through an intense inquiry damaging to their professional lives. Alaska Dispatch 


Polar Bear Eating FishCircumpolar Countries to Work on Polar Bear Plan. Circumpolar countries want to make sure the polar bear will survive in a changing Arctic. Two years from now, Canada will work with Norway, Russia, the U.S. and Greenland on an international plan to protect and research the animals. First, countries will complete their own management plans. CBC News



A Coast Guard Challenge: Arctic Drilling. [BLOG] As I noted in my article in Wednesday's paper, Shell Oil has received several preliminary permits to begin drilling exploratory wells off the Arctic coast of Alaska next summer even as foes of drilling there argue that the severe conditions - ice, darkness, brutal storms - will make it impossible to properly respond to a spill or other problem. Opponents are also challenging Shell's plans for other reasons, including the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from all of the new work and vessel traffic. Some Native Alaskan groups have joined environmental groups in the fight. New York Times Green Blog 


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


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.  


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


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