Arctic Update Header
August 8, 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.



ulmerUS Arctic Research Commission at the 15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health. This week, commissioner of the US Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer presents a featured keynote address on "Arctic Research: How Does Health Fit in?" Cheryl Rosa of the US Arctic Research Commission is presenting on a featured topic: "Water, Sanitation and Health in the North." The complete agenda is available here.







logo with background2 Reappointed to US Arctic Research Commission. Two members of the Arctic Research Commission have been reappointed by President Obama. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says Charles J. Vorosmarty and Warren Zapol were appointed to seats designated for researchers or academics. Vorosmarty is a professor of civil engineering at City College of New York, and has been a Commission member since 2006.  Zapol is a medical doctor and director of the Anesthesia Center for Critical Care Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served on the Commission since 2008. 

Sacramento Bee


BOEM Moves Forward with Ongoing Arctic Habitat Study. As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to science-based resource management in the Arctic and advancing the focused effort to incorporate new scientific and environmental information throughout implementation of the Five Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the next steps in an important study of the Hanna Shoal area in the Chukchi Sea offshore Alaska. A team of scientists left Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for a three-week expedition as part of a long-term study of marine life in the Hanna Shoal area in the northeast Chukchi Sea.  Previous studies of Hanna Shoal have documented sustained benthic productivity, accompanied by high concentration of water birds, walruses, and whales.  This study will help identify and measure important physical and biological processes that contribute to the high concentration of marine life in this area, advancing BOEM's understanding of environmental considerations such as food web dynamics and potential contaminant bioaccumulations. The Maritime Executive


permafrost Alaska's Arctic Villages Hit Hard by Climate Change: As permafrost melts and coast erodes, villagers scramble to preserve their heritage. Fermented whale's tail doesn't taste the same when the ice cellars flood.Whaling crews in this Arctic coast village store six feet of tail -- skin, blubber and bone -- underground from spring until fall. The tail freezes slowly while fermenting and takes on the flavor of the earth. Paying homage to their connection to the frozen sea, villagers eat the delicacy to celebrate the moment when the Arctic's ice touches shore. Anchorage Daily News


Coast Guard Seal Coast Guard Intercepts Alleged North Pacific Driftnet Pirates. The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard gave U.S. senators a dramatic example of challenges faced by the agency in Alaska as it patrols the North Pacific.Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. on Monday announced that the 378-foot Honolulu-based cutter Rush had been assigned to Alaska waters but was off the coast of Japan pursuing a vessel suspected of illegal high seas driftnet fishing. "I would call this fishing piracy that is going on," Papp said during a hearing in Kodiak by the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. Anchorage Daily News

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.


10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, September 5-7, 2012. The 10th Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region will take place in Akureyri, Iceland 5-7 September 2012. The conference will be attended by members of parliament from the eight Arctic countries and the European Parliament, Arctic indigenous peoples and a variety of observers. The main items on the agenda are:

1.       Arctic Governance and the Arctic Council

2.       Economic opportunities in the Arctic

3.       Human Development in the Arctic: Interplay of Research, Authorities and Residents


The Conference will adopt a statement directed to the Arctic Council, the governments in the Arctic Region and the institutions of the European Union.


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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