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October 7, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will continue to consider the currency manipulation bill. The House will consider legislation regarding EPA regulation of cement plants and industrial boilers.


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). An agenda (pdf) is available here.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


OSTP Student Volunteer Program. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently announced that it is accepting applications for its Student Volunteer Program. "Serving as an OSTP Student Volunteer provides an opportunity to experience science and technology policy firsthand while working closely with senior policymakers on a variety of tasks and projects." An overview of the program and a link to application guidelines can be found here


Lots of Holes in the Law of the Sea: Legal Expert: 'A lot more law... will need to be built." A Montreal law professor says the international legal framework meant to govern Arctic waters doesn't have enough teeth. And Canada should stop acting as if it does,  says Suzanne Lalonde, Université de Montréal professor of international law, who called the framework "soft" Oct. 3 at a Montreal conference called "Arctic in Transition." Nunatsiaq Online


permafrostScience Must Guide Offshore Arctic Conservation, Development.Science, not politics, needs to guide decision-making in America's extreme, remote, and fragile Arctic Ocean. If we are to avoid irreparable harm to an ecosystem found nowhere else in the country, we need to develop a comprehensive research and monitoring plan and set aside significant areas for protection. In August, the Obama administration granted tentative approval for industry to drill four exploratory wells over the next two years in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's northern coast. Earlier this month, federal officials affirmed a 2008 oil and gas lease sale that could open to development a vast area located in the even more remote Chukchi Sea. Huffington Post


Alaska Native Eskimos Fight for Land Being Lost to Climate Change: An Interview with Christine Shearer. Christine Shearer is a postdoctoral scholar in science, technology, and society studies at UC Santa Barbara, and a researcher for CoalSwarm, part of SourceWatch. She is managing editor of Conducive, and author of "Kivalina: A Climate Change Story" (Haymarket Books, 2011) Recently Joshua Frank interviewed Christine about her new book, which details the plight of an Alaska Native Eskimo community struggling to save their land that is disappearing as a result of climate change. The Voice of the People 


Healy, Coast GuardCoast Guard Cutter Sails on Science Trip. The U.S. Coast Guard said one of its cutters is under way in Alaska waters on its third science mission this year. The 420-foot Healy is a polar icebreaker based in Seattle. An agency press release said the crew picked up supplies Sept. 28 in Dutch Harbor and headed north. A science team will put out hydrographic moorings and recover others placed on earlier missions. Anchorage Daily News 


Delivering Alaska's Oil Reserves to US Not Getting Any Easier. Problems are developing in the flow of oil from Alaska to the rest of the United States. Based on a falling volume of oil produced from the existing fields in the North Slope, the delivery pipeline from Deadhorse to Valdez is approaching levels of flow which will make it more difficult to deliver that oil. There are fields in the region that are still being developed. Several developments are likely to take place over the next year, mainly in exploration but including the development of the Umiat field. One of the mechanisms that Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has proposed to help encourage industry was to provide a road up to Umiat. The oil reserve for the Umiat field is estimated at 250 million barrels, but the road may take another five years to finish. Alaska Dispatch 


Failure to Ratify U.N. Arctic Treaty Threatens U.S. Sovereignty [Commentary]. The melting of Arctic ice as a result of global warming has set off a race to capitalize on the polar region's suddenly accessible resources and expanding navigable waterways. Yet even as Canada, Russia and others stake their claims to this potential bounty of economic and trade opportunities, the U.S. is choosing to sit on the sidelines. Why? Because it won't sign on to the rules of the game: the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The opponents justify their obduracy by citing a nonexistent threat to national sovereignty. The greater threat to the U.S. lies in its continued failure to ensure it will have a central role on this new frontier. Alaska Dispatch 


Seattle, Alaska in Tug-of-War Over Fishing Fleet. For more than a quarter-century, three Washington-based crab boats named Bering Sea, Arctic Sea and North Sea worked harvest grounds off Alaska, then sent profits south to their Puget Sound owners. The vessels, among the top-grossing crabbers in the North Pacific fleet, are still berthed in Seattle. But they are now owned by Coastal Villages Region Fund, one of six Alaska economic development nonprofits that have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the Northwest fleets that catch crab, pollock and other fish. These nonprofits represent 65 Alaska native communities that have long struggled with high unemployment and poverty. They were launched by a federal fishery council, which vested them with valuable shares in the regulated seafood harvest to help generate seafood jobs and dollars for those communities. And their success is a source of pride in a state that for decades chafed at the domination of its fishing industry by outside fleets. News Observer 


arcticcouncilsweden mapForeign Relations Committee: Testimony of Mark F. Brzezinski, Ambassador-Designate to the Kingdom of Sweden. During the Foreign Relations Committee hearing to consider Mr. Brzezinski's nomination, Mr.Brzezinski stated his desire to work with the Kingdom of Sweden, in its role as chairman of the Arctic Council, to advance US-Sweden common goals. Mr. Brzezinski's testimony is available here.

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


S. 1665, to authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 (Begich, introduced and referred to committee)

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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