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April 10, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in recess until Monday, April 16. 



begichBegich Panel Considers Deepwater Port to Support Arctic Shipping. With ship traffic increasing in the warming Arctic Ocean, many in government and industry contend that Alaska needs its first deepwater port that can host everything from huge ice-breaking ships to small boats while supporting oil-spill responses, rescue missions and refueling operations. But where to put the port, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars? How deep should it be? Should government or industry pay for it? And what other services, such as an airport, ought to accompany it? Those were among the questions considered Monday at a roundtable convened by US Sen. Mark Begich to jump-start talks about how to prepare for new shipping, tourism and resource development off Alaska's little-developed western and northern coasts. Alaska Dispatch 


Four Necessary Arctic Planning and Infrastructure Investments in Alaska. [Commentary] In our last Arctic Policy Commentary, we discussed the importance of Arctic governance in preparing for the challenges and opportunities facing Alaska in regards to the changing Arctic. Today, we will focus on Arctic Planning and Infrastructure Investment. Due to ever-increasing activity related to shipping, oil and gas development, commercial fishing, and tourism, immediate investment in Arctic infrastructure is a foremost priority for Alaska and the entire United States. Action is needed to enable the responsible development of resources; facilitate, secure, and benefit from new global transportation routes; and safeguard Arctic residents and ecosystems. As international interest and activity in the Arctic continues to rise, America's preparedness in the region is of national security importance. The four main Alaska Northern Waters Task Force (ANWTF) recommendations on Arctic Planning and Infrastructure Investment:

  1. Forward base the Coast Guard in the Arctic.
  2. Fund additional icebreakers and other ice-capable vessels.
  3. Continue the analysis and development of ports and safe harbors in the Arctic region.
  4. Support search and rescue coordination centers along the coast to assist federal, state, and local responders. Alaska Dispatch  

Polar bearZoos Want to Import Polar Bears to Save the Species. Polar bears are perfectly suited to life in the Arctic: Their hair blends in with the snow; their heavy, strongly curved claws allow them to climb over blocks of ice and snow and grip their prey securely; and the rough pads on their feet keep them from slipping. The one thing they cannot survive is the loss of the ice, and climate change threatens to melt the summer sea ice on which they hunt. Scientists say two-thirds of the world's polar bears could disappear by about 2050. Washington Post


defense spendingHouse Panels Plan Markups of Defense Authorization Bill. House Armed Services subcommittees will begin marking up the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill during the week of April 23, kicking off what lawmakers hope will be a brisk defense policy debate. The full panel is expected to take up the president's budget May 9. The Defense Department is seeking a topline budget of $525 billion in fiscal 2013. The figure, which includes base defense spending and military construction, is $6 billion less than fiscal 2012 levels. Congressional Quarterly


Coast Guard SealCoast Guard Announces "Leadership for Arctic" Conference Slated for Wednesday and Thursday. The United States Coast Guard announced today that there will be a conference held at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. The conference is set up to take place at 8am to 4pm on Wednesday and to continue at 8am and carry on until 1pm on Thursday. The "Leadership for the Arctic" conference will address marine safety, environmental protection and law enforcement in the Arctic. Alaska Native News 


Walrus IceSea Ice for Walrus Outlook Report Available. The first SIWO for Spring 2012 is now available! This year sea ice type, concentration, and movement will be derived from local observations, satellite imagery, and numerical prediction models including the new U.S. Navy coupled sea ice model. The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO) is an activity of the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook, started in 2010. SIWO is a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice and walrus. The SIWO provides weekly reports from April through June with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the Northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska. Study of Environmental Arctic Change

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               



Leadership for the Arctic, April 11-12, 2012. The United States Coast Guard Academy and the Law of the Sea Institute at the University of California's Berkeley School of Law are sponsoring a two-day interdisciplinary conference on key issues facing global leaders tasked with shaping and implementing policy for the rapidly emerging human activities in the Arctic.The sponsors' goal in convening this academic conference is to provide maritime affairs academics, professionals and law specialists with an opportunity to share their professional views with those charged with exercising leadership on Arctic policy formulation and implementation in the coming decade.  


Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all areas of arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in arctic science and policy are also expected. More information here


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring IPYmeetinglogotogether 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. Click here


USARC Commission Meeting, April 27-28, 2012. The 97th meeting of the CPClogoUSARC will be held in Montreal, Canada, in conjunction with the "From Knowledge to  


usarc logo large

Action" IPY meeting referred to above. The Commission will meet on April 27-28, and will meet jointly with the Canadian Polar Commission on the afternoon of the 27th, to discuss common interests in Arctic Research. Details here. 


Arctic Forum 2012, April 30-May 1, 2012. The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. will host the forum in conjunction with their 24th annual meeting. Both events will be in Washington, D.C. The Arctic Forum is part of the American Geophysical Union's Science Policy Conference, which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Conference will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions. Within the Science Policy Conference, the Arctic Forum will assess gaps and priority needs for arctic scientific information to inform decision makers in policy

formation for three key themes:

                - Governance and Security in the Arctic;

                - Transportation and Energy Development; and

                - Changing Arctic Ecosystems.

The Forum will examine the current state of policymaker and public understanding of the issues. An important goal will be to foster an increased capacity for dialogue and action on arctic science-policy issues.


AGU Science Policy Conference, April 30- May 3, 2012. The American Geophysical Union hosts a policy conference in Washington, D.C. to bring together scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our environment, economy, national security, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to natural hazards, natural resources, oceans, and the Arctic. 


[Postponed]American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", to occur in 2013, The Explorers Club, NYC. For 75 years, the American Polar Society has both documented and communicated polar activities to the interested world. This meeting will bring together the current leaders in science, government, commerce, and diplomacy for a state-of-the-art forecast of the next seventy-five years in a world influenced more than ever before by the destiny of the Arctic and Antarctic. Click here.  


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. Click here.  


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This event 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 healthmeetinglogoindigenous 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. Click here


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-28, 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. Click here


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 inuitconferencelogomuseums 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, click here. 



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