Arctic Update Header
February 10, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.



Arctic Frontiers 2012: An interview with Jason Meyer. During the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsų, Norway in January 2012, Arctic Institute contributor Tom Fries had the chance to interview Jason Meyer, who works at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power. His work involves identifying and testing new and effective energy technologies for the Arctic - often with the goal of providing power to Alaska's remote communities - and assisting them through the development process. His interest in this field began in Vanuatu, anisland in the South Pacific where the local communities have some surprising commonalities with Alaska's remote towns. These days, his work brings him into contact both with the complexities of intellectual property law and with the promise of exciting new developmental technologies. The Arctic Institute 


Yukon Growth Spurt: Territory's Population on Rise. Yukon, a territory in Canada's northwest, was the fastest growing province or territory in the country according to 2011 census results. Yukon's population grew by 11.7 percent between 2006 and 2011, edging out Alberta, which had led the country in growth in the previous two censuses. According to the data, the population growth rate doubled in Yukon and Manitoba because of higher immigration levels in both jurisdictions. Alaska Dispatch 


Oil Drilling in AlaskaWhat's the Hold-Up on Alaskan Oil? My state's ANWR region could produce one million barrels of oil per day if only Washington let us. [Opinion: Sean Parnell] Finally, some welcome news from Washington: With a bipartisan voice, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 7, the American Energy Infrastructure & Jobs Act. This bill ties energy production to key projects that would generate well-paying jobs sorely needed for our economy and our energy security. It also enables us in Alaska to pursue production on a small section of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). This legislation opens 400,000 acres of the ANWR coastal plain's 1.5 million acres-land specifically set aside (by a 1980 federal law) for oil and natural-gas development. The 400,000 acres represents less than 3% of ANWR's 19 million total acres. Wall Street Journal 


Healy, Coast GuardIcebreaker's Good Deed Creates Scheduling Headaches for Arctic Researchers. In November, the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy helped deliver an emergency load of fuel oil to icebound Nome, Alaska. But the unplanned rescue is now wreaking havoc with scientists' plans to use the Healy for Arctic research this year-forcing some teams to consider other options. The Healy was on its way home to Seattle from its final scientific cruise of 2011 when it was diverted to cut a path through the Bering Sea ice for a Russian fuel tanker. Healy helped guide the tanker to Nome in January and then headed to a Seattle drydock for annual maintenance, arriving later than originally planned. Science Magazine 


House Resolution Aims Anger at Feds Over Arctic Wells: Resolution: Seven of nearly 140 have been reclaimed. A state House resolution calls on the federal government to properly plug and reclaim the sites of so-called legacy wells within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The government drilled nearly 140 wells in the reserve as part of an exploratory oil and gas program between 1944 and 1981, according to HJR29 and testimony. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management oversees the abandoned wells. Anchorage Daily News


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


The Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, February 14 2012. The parliamentarians will discuss Arctic cooperation with the Chair of the Arctic Council Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Further on the agenda are issues including oil and gas development and the effect of climate change on human health. 


Arctic Policy Forum, February 15, 2012. This Arctic Policy Forum will feature a compelling panel discussion of the history, current issues, and future plans of IONNORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) in Alaska. This Arctic Policy Forum, hosted by the Institute of the North and sponsored by the Government of Canada, will leave participants with an increased understanding of:
* A 50 year partnership and cross-border collaboration
* Arctic governance and sovereignty
* Public safety; and search and rescue
* Maritime and aviation issues related to the Arctic environment


Pew: Arctic Ocean Energy Development, February 24, 2012. The Pew Environment Group will host a panel discussion on Arctic Ocean energy development. Panelist will be Michael R. Bromwich, former director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement; Edward Itta, former mayor of North Slope Borough, Alaska; Vice Adm. Roger T. Rufe, U.S. Coast Guard (retired); and Fran Ulmer, member of the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, and now Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. Marilyn Heiman, director of Pew's U.S. Arctic Program, will moderate. The speakers will address the challenges facing energy exploration in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, such as oil spill response, Coast Guard readiness, infrastructure needs, and how to best protect wildlife habitat and subsistence areas. Coffee and a light breakfast will be served from 8:30 to 9, and the panel will be from 9 to 10:30 at the Pew offices 901 E Street NW Washington DC 20004. Please RSVP to


Arctic Workshop, March 7-9, 2012. The Workshop is hosted by the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. The meeting is open to all interested in the Arctic, and will consist of a series of talks and poster sessions covering all aspects of INSTAARhigh-latitude environments. Previous Arctic Workshops have included presentations on arctic and antarctic climate, archeology, environmental geochemistry, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history, and more. A traditional strength of the Workshop has been Arctic paleoenvironments. Click here


Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all areas of arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in arctic science and policy are also expected. More information here


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


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 to follow. 


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.


 American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", May 2-4, 2012, 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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