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August 9, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the August recess.


98th Meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 9-10, 2012. Today's schedule is as follows:  


8:30 A.M. Meeting convenes (open to public)

8:30-9:30 A.M. Commission business

8:30-8:40 Welcome and announcements

8:40-8:45 Approval of 97th meeting minutes

8:45-9:15 Chair and Commissioner reports

9:15-9:30 Other/miscellaneous


9:30-10:00 A.M. Presentation: "Arctic Marine Activity Overview and Trends", Mr. Zachary Hamilla, Office of Naval Intelligence


10:00-10:15 A.M. Break


10:15-11:30 A.M. State of Alaska

10:15-10:30 Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, State of Alaska's Digital Mapping Initiative Update

10:30-10:45 William Streur, Commissioner of Health and Social Services, State of Alaska's Arctic

Health Priorities

10:45-11:00 Rep. Bob Herron, Alaska State Legislature, Update on Arctic Policy Commission

11:00-11:15 Patrick Gamble, President of UA, Importance of Arctic Research

11:15-11:30 Discussion


11:30-11:45 Senate Update: Address by Senator Lisa Murkowski on UNCLOS efforts


11:45-noon Federal agency updates, Senate briefing(s), NOAA Data Sharing Agreement update, USCG update on cooperative efforts with OCS drilling


Noon-1:00 P.M. Lunch (catered on-site)

Short address by Senator Begich on the Begich Bill (pre-recorded)


1:00- 2:15 P.M. Commission business (continued)

1:00-1:30 Discussion on the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee's 5-Year Plan (Brendan Kelly, OSTP)

1:30-2:00 Arctic Policy Discussion

2:00-2:15 USARC calendar, other


2:15-2:30 P.M. Commission takes shuttle to lower campus


2:30-4:00 P.M. Attend State of Alaska Discussion Panel on Suicide and return to meeting venue


4:00-5:00 P.M. Goals Report Update and Discussion

5:00 P.M. Adjourn


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.



budgetAnnual Budget Guidance Stresses Performance and Priority Goals. The Office of Management and Budget's release of its annual technical guidance for agencies preparing their fiscal 2014 budgets includes new instructions on implementing the goal-setting and progress measures required under the 2010 Government Performance and Results Modernization Act. The 800-page policy compendium titled "Circular No. A-11" also urges federal managers to consider their agency's impact on the economy. In an Aug. 3 memorandum to agencies heads, acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients wrote, "your budget submission to OMB should further the president's goals of spurring job creation and job growth and putting the [nation] on a path to fiscal sustainability. You will need to take a close look at all of your programs, and together we will have to make the hard decisions necessary to create room for the most effective investments in areas critical to economic growth and job creation." Government Executive 


thiniceArctic Sea Ice Stubbornly Stuck Near Record-Low Levels. It may not feel like it in Alaska -- where the state's largest city of Anchorage just experienced the fourth-coldest July on record and farmers statewide are having trouble growing crops in the damp chill -- but the Earth is pretty warm nowadays. The Lower 48 just experienced the warmest month ever on record, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported Wednesday that Arctic sea ice levels remained well below average in July. In its most recent analysis of Arctic sea ice, the center said the ice coverage was a little more than 3 million square miles, nearly 1 million square miles less than the average from 1979-2000. It's just 7,700 square miles larger than last July's record low. Alaska Dispatch


Norway's Emerging Arctic Capital. Norway's northern city of Tromsų has been called "The Paris of the North" for years, but now it's taking on entirely new significance as the "Capital of the Arctic." The country's venerable coastal shipping line still calls twice a day like clockwork, and we thought it was time to pay a visit, too. News and Views from Norway 


Alaska Groups Join Challenge of EPA Oil Dispersant Rules. As Shell Oil continues its years-long wait to conduct offshore exploration in Alaska's Arctic, and as Cook Inlet oil and gas activity undergoes a renaissance, two Alaska-based environmental groups have joined a lawsuit challenging U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation of chemical dispersants used to break up oil spills. Such dispersants sprang to public prominence during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, into which some 2 million gallons of dispersants were deployed. In the aftermath, people who felt the impact of releasing the chemicals into the Gulf was poorly understood have petitioned the EPA to initiate comprehensive safety testing and toxicity research of the chemicals, but new rules have not yet been instituted. Alaska Dispatch 


Circumpolar Leaders Gather for Arctic Imperative Summit: Summit Convenes Decision-Makers on Infrastructure Investment, Natural Resources, Policy and Security During Time of Rapid Arctic Change. Rapid change in the Arctic due to melting sea ice brings new opportunities and challenges. To address the complex Arctic agenda, an influential mix of international, U.S. and local leaders will convene at the second Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-27, 2012, in Anchorage and Girdwood, Alaska. MISSION: Sharpening the world's focus on the short-term opportunities and long-term challenges of Arctic development, the Summit features a multidisciplinary group of experts. By engaging with decision-makers from all sectors, Arctic leaders will be in a stronger position to influence responsible development decisions on their shores. PR Newswire 


Ice Islands A Risk for Offshore Rigs in the Arctic: researcher: "It's alarming." Massive ice blocks breaking off Greenland's Petermann Glacier could eventually crash into future offshore gas and oil rigs - raising a major concern for the oil and gas industry. That's why scientists from Carleton University and the research network Arctic Net want to study the movement of such gigantic icebergs, or ice islands. "There hasn't been anything developed uniquely for these ice islands. So that's why we're trying to find more information on dimensions and also the ways these ice islands drift and deteriorate," said Carleton University graduate student Anna Crawford, who spearheaded the research project, at an Aug. 4 presentation at Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit. Nunatsiaq Online

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events    



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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