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October 4, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 



The House will consider a motion to concur with the Senate amendment to the bill that would extend fiscal 2011 appropriations, as well as bills that would delay implementation of EPA rules regarding cement plants and industrial boilers. The Senate will resume consideration of legislation regarding currency manipulation 


The Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics, October 3-4, 2011. The conference is organized by the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul Dandurand Chair, in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Cartier (France), ArcticNet (Universite Laval, Quebec), and the Northern Research Forum (University of the Arctic; University of Lapland, Finland). This high-level international meeting reunites political scientists, lawyers, geographers, historians and practitioners to discuss, first, the socio-economic, political and security issues of developed or developing Arctic regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The meeting mainly seeks to adress security issue(s) of the various region(s) that make up the circumpolar world. Three Arctic regions will be highlighted: a) the North-American Arctic (United States (Alaska); Canada (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik) and Greenland; b) the North Pacific Rim (Alaska, Russian Far East, Beaufort Sea/Chukchi); c) the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland - and Russia).

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


John KatzGovernor Issues Statement on Resignation of John Katz. Governor Sean Parnell issued the following statement on the resignation of John Katz, director of state and federal relations and special counsel to the governor in Washington, D.C. "For more than 40 years, John has served Alaska with dedication, integrity and professionalism. John's work during his distinguished career has significantly shaped public policy that has made Alaska a better place. It has been a privilege working with John, he will be greatly missed and I wish him all the best in the future." Alaska Business Monthly 


Group Urges Research Into Aggressive Efforts to Fight Climate Change. With political action on curbing greenhouse gases stalled, a bipartisan panel of scientists, former government officials and national security experts is recommending that the government begin researching a radical fix: directly manipulating the Earth's climate to lower the temperature. Members said they hoped that such extreme engineering techniques, which include scattering particles in the air to mimic the cooling effect of volcanoes or stationing orbiting mirrors in space to reflect sunlight, would never be needed. But in its report, to be released on Tuesday, the panel said it is time to begin researching and testing such ideas in case "the climate system reaches a 'tipping point' and swift remedial action is required." New York Times 


Stalled in Senate Since May, Nomination for Deputy Commerce Post Withdrawn. President Obama has withdrawn the nomination of Terry D. Garcia to be the deputy Commerce secretary. Obama had nominated Garcia, an executive vice president at the National Geographic Society and a former Commerce Department official, in May, but the nomination has not advanced in the Senate. Also still pending is Obama's nomination of John Bryson to be Commerce Secretary. Senate Republicans had vowed to block Bryson's nomination until Obama had submitted trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress. After Obama submitted the trade pacts on Monday, a spokesman for the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said that the panel would soon mark up the Bryson nomination. Congressional Quarterly


Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss Last Winter. A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of Earth's protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere. Science Daily 


canadian flagCanada's Commitment to Ozone Study. The discovery of an Arctic ozone hole of unprecedented size is in the headlines at the same time as the news that the federal government plans to cut staff working on Canada's study and monitoring of the ozone layer. The coincidence suggests that the government should perhaps think harder about its commitment to monitoring the ozone layer. The hole that appeared in Earth's protective layer above the Arctic was the biggest recorded in the northern hemisphere. Since the ozone layer works as a shield against the sun's ultraviolet radiation and its absence exposes humans to the dangers of skin cancer and cataracts, the finding is worrisome. Montreal Gazette


Chukchi Lease Sale Stands. The federal government is upholding the 2008 oil and gas lease sale in the Chukchi Sea. The sale was challenged in court and last year, a judge required the Interior Department to complete a supplemental environmental impact statement and then decide whether to vacate the sale. Environmental groups are disappointed in the decision, saying drilling should not move forward until more is known about the Arctic Ocean environment. Alaska Public Radio  


Shell Exes See Icebreaker Being Built in Larose. Shell Oil executives came to Larose for a look at their unfinished 360-foot icebreaker - the biggest and one of the most advanced ever built by Edison Chouest Offshore. Shell awarded the contract for the arctic supply vessel in 2009, in anticipation of recently won permits to drill in the Beaufort Sea off the Alaskan coast. It's designed to stabilize oil rigs and protect them from ice in rough Arctic waters. "You work on it and you hear about it, but eventually you just want to come down and kick the iron," Pete Slaiby, vice president of Shell Alaska, told The Courier ( on Friday during his first visit to the ship. The hull towered more than 30 feet above him at Chouest's Shipyard North American facilities in Larose. Alaska Journal of Commerce


belugaBeluga Whales Are Beautiful, Yet Toxic? The high amount of Persistent Organic Pollutants is threatening the ancient hunting culture of the Arctic. Belugas have always been hunted in small numbers and have been a good source of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids. The blubber and skin together called Muktuk is still a delicacy in Inuit communities but unfortunately this is also where most toxins are to be found. POPs can cause cancer and many other malign diseases in humans and thus the Beluga is loosing it value as prey. A very sad way to put a stop to over hunting, but nonetheless a good picture of the reality of the issue. National Geographic


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


USARC Commission Meeting: New Hampshire, October 5-7, 2011. Ulmer 2 

The US Arctic Research Commission will hold its 96th meeting in New Hampshire next week. The meeting will begin at the University of New Hampshire (Oct. 5th) and will then proceed to the US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (Oct. 6th), and will end at Dartmouth College (Oct. 7th). A draft agenda (pdf) is available here.


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.


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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