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October 31, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will be in session late in the day to consider a judicial nomination.  The House will hold a pro forma session.


halloweenHappy Halloween... 

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


2011 Arctic Ice Minimum
2011 Arctic Ice Minimum

2011 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum video.


Is Alaska Inching Closer to Funding a Gas Pipeline?
Gov. Sean Parnell's surprise announcement last week that he now supports an LNG pipeline project -- the first governor to do so since Wally Hickel was at the helm -- has many wondering what comes next in the decades-old quest to tap the state's vast Arctic natural gas reserves. In his address to the Alaska Oil and Gas Association on Thursday, Parnell said he favors a natural gas pipeline running from the North Slope oil fields to a "tidewater" port. There the natural gas would be liquefied and shipped around the world on LNG tankers. Parnell did not say where he thinks this LNG port should be located. Based on interviews Friday with several state officials and experts, it remains anybody's guess where the line could end up. Alaska Dispatch


ChinaflagDanes Help China Join 'Great Game' in Arctic. Denmark's ambassador to China, Friis Arne Peterson, said Friday in a speech in Beijing that the communist country has "natural and legitimate economic and scientific interests in the Arctic" even though it lacks a coastline in the polar region. He said his government would like to see China given permanent observer status in the Arctic Council, which includes Canada, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and the United States. "I think that others (in the Arctic Council) are likewise willing to do that," Peterson told reporters. Edmonton Journal


Environmental, Native Groups Appeal Discoverer Air Permits. It came as no surprise, but on Oct. 24 two petitions challenging Shell's air quality permits for the use of the Noble Discoverer drillship in the Arctic outer continental shelf landed in the inbox of the Environmental Appeals Board, the panel of judges with final authority over Environmental Protection Agency decisions. One petition came from the Native Village of Point Hope and a group of 10 environmental organizations; the other from the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. EPA had issued the Shell permits on Sept. 25 - the permits cover Shell's use of the Noble Discoverer for drilling the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, starting in the summer open water season of 2012. The permits came in the wake of a previous appeal to the EAB over earlier permits, with EPA having taken account of EAB directives from that earlier appeal when developing the new permits. Petroleum News



Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered on Friday.

Future Events                                   


Gulf Coast Oil Spill Investigation Report, November 2, 2011. The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing titled "BOEMRE [Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement]/ U.S. Coast Guard Joint Investigation Team Report." The session will focus on the findings of the investigation into the Deepwater-Horizon Gulf Coast oil spill.


Arctic Policy Forum: The Role of Science in Responsible Development, November 1, 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 from 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.

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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