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September 16, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is in session to consider morning business. The House is not in session.


4th International Sea Duck Conference, seaduckconferencelogoSeptember 12-16, 2011. The Sea Duck Joint Venture has helped sponsor a North American Sea Duck Conference once every three years since 2002. These conferences provide opportunities for researchers and managers to share information and research results, conduct workshops on specific issues, and to hold related meetings. The 4th conference will officially be an international conference and will be held in Seward, Alaska, 12-16 September, 2011, with participants from the U.S., Canada, Russia and Europe, focusing on sea ducks in the North and the Arctic. It will be held at the Windsong Lodge, with three days of presentations and workshops, and there will be a chartered boat trip the last day into the Kenai Fjords to watch sea ducks. Registration is available on the website for the conference and the excursion..

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


OcgycoverArctic oceanography publication. The September issue of the journal Oceanography, "The Changing Arctic Ocean: Special Issue on the International Polar Year (2007-2009)," is now available from The Oceanography Society, here. This issue, co-sponsored by the USARC, NOAA, and NSF, contains 30 contributions on a wide range of Arctic-related subjects such as marine geology, research vessels, outreach, science policy, ocean observing, physical, biological and chemical oceanography, modeling, sea ice, and other topics. The issue was edited by Ellen Kappel, with assistance from guest editors Joseph Ortiz, Kelly Falkner, Patricia Matrai, and Rebecca Woodgate.


Offshore Drilling Agency Rejects Idea for New Hierarchy at Interior. The Interior Department's top offshore drilling regulator said Thursday that portions of a House proposal to codify his agency's reorganization would add what he called unnecessary layers of bureaucracy. Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), said the department has significant concerns about a proposal to create two new presidentially appointed positions. Congressional Quarterly


The Arctic: Directions and Mechanisms of International Cooperation. Russian news and information agency RIA Novosti hosted a Moscow-Washington video linkup The Arctic: Directions and Mechanisms of International Cooperation. The event coincided with the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Arctic Council and the run-up to the second international forum The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue to be held September 22-24. Climate warming and the melting of ice are opening up new opportunities for access to the natural recourses of the Arctic region. Could the Bering Strait become an important navigable passage? How best to organize environmentally friendly hydrocarbon production? Experts discussed these and many other questions during the Moscow-Washington linkup. NIA Novosti 


Oil Whale ExxonOil Spills Top Concerns at NEB Round Table. At a major gathering of stakeholders of offshore drilling in the Arctic, community residents and leaders within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region voiced their concerns for preventing, responding and cleaning up after a blow-out. The National Energy Board of Canada event drew more than 175 participants to Inuvik for the final discussion on offshore drilling in the Arctic before it releases a public report later this year. The round table comes after a year and a half of consulting with communities and calling for information on what Northerners and other Canadians would like to see in future applications for drilling offshore in the Arctic. Northern News Service 


Feds [Canada] Confirm $67.3 Million for ArcticNet Research Network. The ArcticNet research network is seven years closer to fulfilling its ambition to become Canada's first national polar institute. The Quebec City-based group brings together more than 30 universities, Inuit organizations like Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Government of Nunavut and the Kativik Regional Government, other government agencies and hundreds of researchers in its studies on climate change and its impacts in the Arctic. Nunatsiaq Online 


Seal Brendan KellyEU Court Rejects Inuit Challenge of Seal Trade Ban. Europe's top court has rejected a bid by Inuit seal hunters and fur traders to strike down an EU ban on products derived from the Arctic animals. The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice refused to hear the challenge brought by 17 organisations, including Canada's largest Inuit group, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), according to a 12-page decision dated September 6. SKNVibes 


Russia, Canada Oppose Arctic Militarization. Russia and Canada are both opposed to militarization of the Arctic, the head of Russia`s General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, and the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces, Walter Natynczyk, said. The Arctic should remain a territory for safe cooperation, Mr. Makarov said. Natynczyk added that as neighbours divided by the North Pole, Russia and Canada should work together for a safer environment. The Voice of Russia 


Agencies Directed to Take Action to Encourage Iceland to Change Whaling Policy. Today, in a report to Congress, the President concurred with the Secretary of Commerce's recommendations and directed federal agencies to take actions to encourage Iceland to change its whaling policy. In July, then-Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, in line with requirements under the Pelly Amendment of the Fishermen's Protective Act, issued a certification stating that Iceland's policy of permitting its nationals to engage in commercial whaling and export of endangered fin whale meat is diminishing the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission conservation program. The IWC adopted a commercial whaling moratorium in 1982. NOAA  


Presidential Memorandum

Corresponding Message from the President to Congress 


Coast Guard Conducts Oil Cleanup Exercise in Dutch Harbor. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory demonstrated the cutter's Spilled Oil Recovery System in Dutch Harbor to showcase its pollution response capabilities for the Coast Guard's Aleutian maritime partners Tuesday. The demonstration coincided with the Hickory's annual oil spill response training and tested the crew's proficiency at operating the SORS equipment. "Buoy tenders like the Hickory provide the Coast Guard with a wide range of capabilities," said Capt. Adam Shaw, 17th Coast Guard District chief of prevention. "The ships can operate in mild ice conditions, conduct essential maintenance to navigational aids, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime pollution response missions. Having this diverse ability to respond helps the Coast Guard ensure the maritime safety of Alaska's mariners and environment." Coast Guard 


Critical Satellite Funding Receives Senate Committee Support. Recognizing the critical public safety need for accurate weather forecasting in Alaska and across the country, U.S. Sen. Begich today praised the Senate Appropriations Committee for approving the FY 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill allocating $920 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System. Senator Mark Begich 


Presidential Nomination Sent to the Senate. President Obama nominated Michael Anthony McFaul to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Russian Federation. The White House


Letters of Intent Requested- R/V Sikuliaq The Oceanography Section (OCE) of the National Science Foundation requests letters of intent for the Research Vessel (R/V) Sikuliaq, which has been added to the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) scheduling system. In order to assist in planning the first series of research cruises, 2-3 page letters of intent are due by Friday, 30 September 2011. R/V Sikuliaq

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 2219, the Department of Defense Appropriations bill (Young, placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar)

Future Events                         


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future Fermo

September 20-23, 2011. A technical workshop, organized by Dr. Peter Wadhams, on the physical problems associated with oil spills and blowouts in sea ice will be held at the Istituto Geografico Polare "Silvio Zavatti," Fermo, Italy. Scientists, engineers and policy makers are invited to address the questions of how oil is emitted from a blowout or spill, how the oil and gas are incorporated in the under-ice surface, how the oil layer evolves, how the oil is transported by the ice, and how and where eventual release occurs. The aim is to incorporate the experience of those scientists who worked in this field in the 1970s-1990s, when large-scale field experiments involving oil release were possible, and to relate this to the needs of present researchers who are seeking solutions to the problem of a sustainable Arctic oil spill management system. Registration forms are available here


Arkhangelsk Arctic Forum, September 21-24, 2011. Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society, the forum will host discussion on Arctic navigation, development of the Northern Sea Route, railway extensions, and construction of a deep-water port in Arkhangelsk.  The official website is in Russian.


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).


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.   


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.


Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011. The 27th Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, entitled "Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change," will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. This international symposium will provide a forum for scholars, fishery managers, fishing families, and others to explore the human dimensions of fishery systems and growing need to include social science research in policy processes. The conference is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program.    

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