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August 7, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess.



healthmeetinglogo15th 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 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.



A new version of the Arctic Research Assets Map has been released! The map, developed by the Alaska Ocean Observing System, shows the location of research instruments and monitoring efforts in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas.  The map is intended to assist with region-wide planning and research logistics, and also allow the public to get an visual impression of what type of data collection is taking place in the Alaskan Arctic.  Check out the updated version of the map to view new instruments being deployed this season, and explore the new capabilities allowing users to personalize their view.  More info here.


Coast Guard SealCoast Guard Prepares for an Expanded Role in Arctic: Commandant declares he has faith in Shell's oil spill preparations. The Coast Guard is ready for expanded activity in Arctic waters, including petroleum exploration and drilling, even though the nearest Coast Guard base is more than 750 miles southwest of the Bering Strait on Kodiak Island, Commandant Robert Papp told a U.S. Senate subcommittee Monday. "For right now, we are well prepared, because like we always do traditionally, we have multimission assets that we can deploy, that are very capable, and that are sufficient for the level of human activity that's going on this summer and perhaps for the next three or four summers," Papp told the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. Anchorage Daily News 


budgetMembers Prepare Special Exceptions to 'Clean' Stopgap Funding Bill. Appropriators in Congress are beginning to make their case for including special exceptions in a six-month stopgap funding measure that leaders say they want to move as a "clean" bill without extra provisions. C.W. Bill Young, the chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said he will seek several additions in a continuing resolution (CR) related to defense spending and that he still hopes Congress can clear a separate fiscal year 2013 Defense bill during a lame-duck session. "It just leaves too much uncertainty" to leave the Defense Department on stopgap funding for six months, the Florida Republican said in an interview last month. Congressional Quarterly


Rosneft, Exxon March Toward Russian Arctic. Russian oil company Rosneft said it teamed with Exxon Mobil to work on exploration plans in the arctic regions of Russia. Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports that Rosneft and Exxon "set up a tender for the design and construction of oil rigs that would facilitate their exploration of the arctic shelf." Exxon Mobil and Rosneft in August signed a sweeping deal that included development in parts of the Black Sea and the South Kara Sea in the Russian arctic. UPI 


russian flagRussia to Set Up Northern Sea Route Naval Infrastructure: Russia will create several hubs along the Northern Sea Route to enforce security in the region. The Northern Sea Route stretches along Russia's Arctic coast from Murmansk on the Barents Sea to the Bering Strait in the Far East. Russia will create several infrastructure hubs along the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic to be used as temporary stations for Russian warships and border guard vessels, according to Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev. The authorities have drafted a list of "key double-purpose sites in remote areas of the Arctic seas along the Northern Sea Route" to enable "temporary stationing of Russian Navy warships and vessels operated by the Federal Security Service's Border Guard Department," Patrushev said during a meeting with officials in Siberia. MarineLink 


Fairbanks Researchers Tackle Food Woes of Alaska, Far North. Alaska can be a tricky place to produce food. While it's been done for centuries in subsistence cultures, innovations have hindered and helped develop what's known as Alaska's foodshed. Two researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Monday talked what can be done to build the food production of Alaska and other northern lands during a presentation at the 15th Annual International Congress on Circumpolar Health. The congress, held every three years, brings together health practitioners, researchers, indigenous leaders and other community representatives from Arctic regions around the globe to discuss research and the pressing health needs in the circumpolar north. Alaska Dispatch 


arctic shippingMapping Tool to Help Arctic Response. A mapping tool that could help emergency response in the Arctic launched last week. The Environmental Response Management Application or ERMA is an interactive map, with data layers that can be switched on and off. The various layers have information like offshore lease areas, sea ice extent and critical animal habitats.  With all that information consolidated on a single map, the hope is that responders can act more efficiently and effectively in the event of an oil spill or maritime disaster. A different version of ERMA was used in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Alaska Public Radio

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events    


98th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 9-10, 2012. Fairbanks, AK. For more information, go to USARC 98th Meeting Draft Agenda 


Week of the Arctic, August 13-18, 2012. The Arctic is front and center in peoples' minds.  Increased maritime traffic and new opportunities for development have brought about more reasons to understand and work toward safe and secure operations both on land and off Alaska's coast. To help Alaskans understand these critical challenges and issues at stake in the Arctic, the Institute convened the first Week of the Arctic last year, drawing over 550 participants to five events in four days. The 2012 Week of the Arctic will take place August 13-18 in Anchorage, Alaska. Week of the Arctic events will include:

The Week of the Arctic's signature event is the annual Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award Dinner on Friday, August 17th. This year we'll be recognizing Red Dog Mine for their sustainable development in the North.


2nd Cargo Airships of Northern Operations Workshop, August 22-24, 2012. Researchers from NASA Ames Research Center will provide insights into the new technologies that form the solid engineering basis for modern cargo airship systems. Speakers from the mining, oil, and gas industries will describe their transportation challenges and how they plan to exploit cargo airships in support of their businesses. Local Alaskan air freight firms will discuss how cargo airships can complement existing air transport fleets by providing additional capability and expanding air shipping services. The world's leading developers of airships will provide design and operational details on new cargo airships they're currently developing and preparing to deploy for commercial service. Representatives from the financial community will present the many options available for what has often been the missing element of airship development and operations, funding. The website will soon be updated. 


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-27, 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.


inuitconferencelogoArctic/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.  


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of  responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.

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