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April 25, 2012


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will resume consideration of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. The House will consider several non-Arctic items under suspension of the rules.


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





Stalling on Polar Shipping Code Spells Disaster, Says IPY conference panel: Move to approve international Polar Code moves ahead at a "glacial pace." No lives have been lost yet in Arctic shipping mishaps, and everyone managed to get off the shoaled Clipper Adventurer when it hit a rock in Nunavut's Coronation Gulf two years ago - but there's little to prevent marine traffic catastrophes from taking place in Arctic waters, say experts at the International Polar Year conference in Montreal. The International Marine Organization, the United Nations body tasked with developing shipping regulations among 167 nations, is dragging its feet on enacting a new Polar Code for ships in the Arctic, said panelists at an April 24 discussion of Arctic shipping. Nunatsiaq Online


AK Native family drawingAFN Opposes Violence Against Women Act Favored in Lower 48. Alaska Natives are lining up in opposition to Lower 48 tribes over the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Lower 48 tribes are pushing the bill hard because it gives tribal courts jurisdiction on reservations to prosecute non-Indians who attack women. But in Alaska, where few Natives live on a reservation, tribes say it would actually take away their power to intervene in domestic violence. The Alaska Federation of Natives held an emergency meeting Monday on the issue and sent a letter to Alaska's Congressional delegation saying the bill "cripples the ability of Alaska tribes to intervene even in an emergency." Anchorage Daily News


Canada: International Arctic Fishery Needs More Research: More international talks needed on Central Arctic Ocean, ministers say. Two federal cabinet ministers said April 24 that more research on fish stocks should be done prior to the development of commercial fishing in those Arctic waters that lie outside the legal control of any single country. "Canada favors an approach that will ensure ecologically and economically sustainable fisheries in the long term," said the two ministers, Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. Nunatsiaq Online 


Arctic Faces 'Significant Challenges,' Polar year conference hears that global warming puts survival of some unique species at risk. A unique, all-season study of the effects of global warming in the Arctic Ocean shows that climate change is reducing biodiversity and posing "significant challenges to the survival of some of the Arctic's unique marine species." The study also shows that climate change is resulting in the increased distribution, through the Arctic food chain, of contaminants such as methyl mercury. The $40-million study, which was conducted by 10 scientific teams from 27 countries, spent 2007-2008 studying open water along what are called flaw leads, or breaks in multi-year ice. Montreal Gazette


UAF Purchases Supercomputer Believed to Be State's Largest: "Fish" will crunch data for Alaska ocean and climate studies. A new computer, assumed to be the biggest in Alaska, should start crunching numbers this summer at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Region Supercomputing Center. The Cray XK6m supercomputer -- big enough to have its own name, "Fish" -- will be able to perform nearly 42 trillion calculations per second. ARSC's current supercomputer runs at about 75 percent of that speed and is housed in a dozen 19-inch standard cabinets. The new computer will occupy two such cabinets (which are more like 2-feet wide, 7-feet high and 4-feet deep) with one additional cabinet for auxiliary systems. Anchorage Daily News


antifreeze fishScientists Issue Call for Arctic Fisheries Plan. More than 2,000 scientists from 67 nations have signed an open letter calling for the development of an international fisheries agreement that would protect the waters of the Central Arctic Ocean. The letter was released by the Pew Environment Group on the opening day of the International Polar Year conference in Montreal. As Pew's Henry Huntington pointed out at the Second International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria, British Columbia, last May, there has to this point been no commercial fishing industry in the so-called Arctic "donut hole" -- the region of the High Arctic beyond the 200-mile exclusive economic zones of the five Arctic coastal states (Russia, Norway, Denmark, Canada and the United States). The reason for that, simply, is that, until very recently, it has been covered year-round by sea ice. That, however, is changing. Discovery

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 4483, To authorize the Director of the National Science Foundation to provide grants to institutions of higher education for implementing or expanding reforms in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in order to increase the number of students from underrepresented minority groups receiving degrees in these fields, and to recruit, retain, and advance STEM faculty members from underrepresented minority groups at institutions of higher education. (Johnson, introduced and referred to committee)

Future Events               


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  


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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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