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December 21, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider the conference report to the defense authorization bill. The Senate also will resume consideration of the Superstorm Sandy supplemental aid bill. It also might take up a measure to extend expiring provisions of a surveillance law, commonly known as FISA. The House is not in session. 



Geopolitics of the Arctic. The Center for Strategic and International Studies recently released a course through iTunes U. The course provides an in-depth examination of geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics of the Arctic region, with attention to the U.S. strategic interests in the Arctic and the Russian economic development and security strategies in the region. The course material consists of a series of reports, events, and multimedia tools produced by the CSIS Europe Program on a wide range of topics including security challenges, international cooperation, economic drivers, and environmental concerns. A link to the iTunes U course is available here. 


Young Young to Remain Chair of House Subcommittee. Alaska Rep. Don Young will continue to serve as chairman of a U.S. House subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. Young, in a statement, said the panel intends to conduct "vigorous oversight" of the U.S. Interior Department, as well as promote natural resource development by tribes. The subcommittee falls within the House Natural Resources Committee, on which Young will also continue to serve during the next Congress. Young's spokesman says the Republican also will remain on the House Transportation Committee. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


NunatuKavut Suspends Caribou Hunting. Another aboriginal group is taking steps to preserve the George River caribou herd in Labrador. The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC), formerly known as the Labrador Métis Nation, said it is suspending all hunting of caribou to help the herd rebound. In essence, the council's hunting guidelines and permits will be shelved for one year. CBC News


KerryObama Picks Kerry for Secretary of State, Official Says. President Obama plans to nominate Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts as secretary of state, a senior administration official said, succeeding Hillary Rodham Clinton and putting in place the first member of his second-term national security team. The appointment of Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and his party's former presidential nominee in 2004, has been widely expected since last week, when Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, asked Mr. Obama to withdraw her candidacy for the post. New York Times


NOAA NOAA: 2012 'Virtually Certain' to be Nation's Warmest. As Congress debates whether to spend billions of dollars preparing for extreme weather events, federal scientists painted a bleak portrait Thursday of the current extent of global warming in the United States. In a monthly climate teleconference, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climatologist Jake Crouch called it "virtually certain that 2012 will be the warmest on record" in the United States. Globally, 2012 is on track to be the eighth warmest year on record, while November's Arctic sea ice is the third smallest on record, according to a NOAA presentation. Congressional Quarterly


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts. Yesterday, the President announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts: Ruth David - Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation; Maria T. Zuber - Member, National Science Board, National Science Foundation; and, Laura Skandera Trombley  - Member, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The White House 


caribouIn Canadian Arctic, a Community Caribou Hunt to Feed Those in Need. Getting enough caribou to last the winter is becoming harder and harder for people in the Arctic community of Paulatuk in Canada's Northwest Territories, but a community hunt is helping provide meat for people who can't hunt for their own. "We always shared our food, that was our culture," said Lawrence Ruben with the Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee. "Traditionally also that was our lifestyle, sharing whatever we had. Now it's gotten harder to do that." Alaska Dispatch


Reindeer Get Good News Just in Time. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced a management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) that balances wildlife conservation and energy development in the biggest public landscape in the nation. Western Arctic Alaska is one of the most important regions for wildlife in all the Arctic -- and for migrating birds from around the globe. Among the species that depend upon critical habitat within the NPR-A are our 'real' reindeer, or caribou as they are more commonly known in North America. Huffington Post

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 1, Full-Year Continuing Appropriations [Sandy relief vehicle, including marine debris clean up funds] (Rogers, considered in the Senate)


S. 2367, the 21st Century Language Act of 2012 (Conrad, presented to the president)


S. 2388, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps Amendments Act of 2012 (Begich, passed/ agreed to in the Senate)

Future Events                      


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013. Since 2002, scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond have come to the Symposium to communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. Researchers and students in marine science re-connect with old colleagues and meet new ones. Plenary and poster sessions feature a broad spectrum of ocean science. Hear the latest in the fields of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. The Symposium also features compelling keynote speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.


Wakefield28th 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. 


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics."


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include

response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.

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