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September 20, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider trade assistance provisions. The House will consider several provisions under suspension of the rules.


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.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


BOEMRE Awards $5.6 Million for Arctic Environmental Study. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the University of Texas at Austin and a team of highly qualified and experienced Arctic researchers for a comprehensive study of the Hanna Shoal ecosystem in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast. The study will be conducted from 2011-2016 and is expected to cost $5,645,168. BOEMRE  


Why I Am A Naturalist. [Opinion] History has shown that though science is fallible, it will do better than any other approach at getting things right. Naturalism is the philosophical theory that treats science as our most reliable source of knowledge and scientific method as the most effective route to knowledge. In a recent essay for The Stone, Timothy Williamson correctly reports that naturalism is popular in philosophy. In fact it is now a dominant approach in several areas of philosophy - ethics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and, most of in all, metaphysics, the study of the basic constituents of reality. Metaphysics is important: if it turns out that reality contains only the kinds of things that hard science recognizes, the implications will be grave for what we value in human experience. New York Times 


ocean circulation-conveyor beltDeep Oceans Can Mask Global Warming for Decade-Long Periods. The planet's deep oceans at times may absorb enough heat to flatten the rate of global warming for periods of as long as a decade even in the midst of longer-term warming, according to a new analysis led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Science Daily 


Northern Sea Route: New Epoch of Global Cargo Transportation. An international marine checkpoint for ships sailing through the Northern Sea Route has opened at the Russian Siberian port of Dudinka, reports the Voice of Russia's Mikhail Aristov. The Russian diesel-electric ship Zapolyarny was the first vessel to be checked there as it transports its cargo of metal to the Chinese city of Shanghai from Russia's Kola Peninsula. The Voice of Russia 


Murmansk Fuels Chukotka Via Arctic Route. The ice-classed tanker Varzuga is now on its way back to Murmansk after unloading nearly 13 tons of diesel in the port of Pevek. A fourth delivery of diesel will ship in October from Murmansk to Chukotka. Barents Observer 


Alaska Arctic: Who Will Lead At the Top of the World? After six years of steering the North Slope Borough through changing times, Mayor Edward Itta has hit his term limits and will step aside to let someone else take charge. Located in the village of Barrow, high above the Arctic Circle and one of America's northernmost points, the mayor's office Itta holds may be remote but it is far from inconsequential. It is here, along hundred miles of coastline hugging the Arctic Ocean that people's livelihoods are directly affected by the oil and gas industry. It is here that new exploration of the outer continental shelf is planned for 2012. And it is here that the region's indigenous people who thrived before Big Oil by living off of the land and sea intend to make sure the marine life that continues to nourish them withstands the impact of industry. For the oil industry, the North Slope is a fickle partner. Sometimes welcoming, sometimes defiant and almost always somewhat skeptical, its posture can both ease tensions or throw up obstacles, as has occurred under Itta's guidance. Alaska Dispatch 


EPA Issues Air Permits to Shell for Arctic Offshore Drilling. Shell Oil won two critical permits it needs to drill in arctic waters off Alaska's continental shelf. The Environmental Protection Agency issued final air quality permits Monday to the oil company for exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. KTUU 


Homemade Russian Boat Sailing Through Northwest Passage. A group of Russian sailors have nearly succeeded in piloting their homemade boat through the Northwest Passage. The 7.6-metre vessel was southwest of Victoria Island on Thursday, crossing from Canada's eastern Arctic territory Nunavut into Northwest Territories waters, crew member Aleksey Skripov said by satellite phone. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                         


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 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.  


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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