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October 5, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider currency manipulation legislation. The House will consider several items under suspension of the rules.


Secretary of Commerce Nomination Vote. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will vote on pending nominations including John Edgar Bryson to be Secretary of Commerce.


Ambassador Nominations. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on pending nominations, including the nomination of Mark Francis Brzezinski to be the ambassador to Sweden.


Natural Resource Markup. The House Natural Resources Committee will markup several bills including H.R. 991, a bill to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow importation of polar bear trophies taken in sport hunts in Canada before the date the polar bear was determined to be a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.


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 agenda (pdf) is available here.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill Despite Some Republican Dissatisfaction.

The House on Tuesday cleared a short-term spending bill to keep the government running through Nov. 18. President Obama is expected to sign the measure (HR 2608) into law before a bridge spending measure (PL 112-33) expires at midnight. The bill, passed 352-66, would set government spending at the $1.043 trillion level agreed to in the debt limit law (PL 112-25) enacted in August. The House, by unanimous consent, took up the amended version that the Senate passed Sept. 26. It would provide $2.65 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other disaster aid programs, instead of the $3.65 billion in an earlier House-passed version. Congressional Quarterly


Arctic MapScientific Approach to be Found for Arctic. The Arctic Scientific Center planned to be set up by the Russian Rosneft oil giant jointly with the US ExxonMobil Corporation will become sort of a technological core for developing the region's ice shelf. Pursuant to the strategic partnership agreement signed earlier, the Russian and American companies will have 66.7 and 33.3 percent interests respectively in the future joint venture. The new scientific center is meant to study the climate and geology of the Arctic, engineer icebreakers and drilling platforms, as well as engage in all shelf cooperation-related projects. The Voice of Russia 


Murkowski Hires Stephanie Moreland as Fisheries Advisor. Senator Murkowski announced she has selected Stefanie Moreland to be her legislative aide covering fisheries issues and Arctic matters.  "Alaska's fisheries are one of our largest economic drivers - employing more people in Alaska than the oil and gas and mining industries combined - so Alaska needs a smart, strong advocate," said Murkowski.  "Stefanie's expertise and Alaska focus will be a great addition to my staff." An Alaskan for over a decade, Moreland joins Senator Murkowski's team from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, where she most recently served as the Federal Fisheries Coordinator, Extended Jurisdiction Program Manager and Economist.  Prior to that, she worked for the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Master's in Resource and Applied Economics from University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Senator Lisa Murkowski  


polar bear icePolar Oceans in Transition. Polar bears will be affected by climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic, but so will India's iconic tigers and elephants. Researchers from Norway, India, Germany and Chile are joining forces to understand what is happening in polar oceans - and what can be done. Mention climate change and the Arctic, and most people think polar bears. But for Victor Smetacek, a biological oceanographer at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, the real symbols of climate change and the Arctic are elephants and tigers, the iconic animals of his home country of India. Eurasia Review 


Readout of Vice President Biden's Meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov of Russia. Vice President Biden welcomed First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Igor Shuvalov to the White House today.  The two discussed United States-Russian relations and Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization.  They agreed on the importance of continuing to strengthen our bilateral relations in a way that promotes the security and prosperity of both countries.  The Vice President affirmed U.S. support for Russia's accession to the WTO and commended Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov on Russia's significant progress in the accession process. The White House 


Coast Guard Commandant Testifies Before House Subcommittee. The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Robert J. Papp, Jr., testified Tuesday before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation about the Coast Guard's acquisition program. The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Frank LoBiondo, received testimony detailing the progress of the Coast Guard Acquisitions program and highlights of recent successful acquisitions. The US Coast Guard  


begichBegich: Sink Rat-Infested Pirate Fishing Vessel. Congratulating the Coast Guard for its successful capture of a pirate fishing vessel on the North Pacific, U.S. Senator Mark Begich suggested the rat infested ship be towed out to sea and sunk. "Please convey my thanks to the crew of the Kodiak-based cutter Munro for seizing this vessel on the high seas and retrieving its derelict driftnet," Begich said in a letter today to Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert J. Papp. "Now that this pirate ship is in custody, I have one recommendation: the Coast Guard should sink the Bangun Perkasa." Senator Mark Begich


Scientists Identify Microbes Responsible for Consuming Natural Gas in Deepwater Horizon Spill: Water temperature played key role. In the results of a new study, scientists explain how they used DNA to identify microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill--and the particular microbes responsible for consuming natural gas immediately after the spill. Water temperature played a key role in the way bacteria reacted to the spill, the researchers found. National Science Foundation 


Strategic Plan Available for Comment-US Global Change Research Program. The public comment period for the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Strategic Plan is now open. Comments are due by Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Every ten years, in accordance with the Global Change Research Act of

1990, the USGCRP must produce a 10-year National Global Change Research Plan, (i.e. a Strategic Plan for the USGCRP). The public comment period invites the public to provide comments and feedback on the U.S. Global Change Research Program Strategic Plan. The United State Global Change Research Program  


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


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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