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February 14, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will continue consideration of a judicial nomination. The House will consider several post office naming bills under suspension of the rules. Behind the scenes, House and Senate staff are reviewing the recently released presidential budget.


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.


Walker the polar bear has a mystery admirer. valentime 



icebreakersOceans Subcommittee Chair Begich Comments on Budget: Welcomes Alaska Priorities. As Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement after initial review of President Obama's FY 2013 budget: "It appears this year's dramatic fuel delivery to Nome got the White House's attention because the President's budget provides the U.S. Coast Guard $8 million to plan and design a new sorely needed icebreaker for America's Arctic. I've made this proposal several times in the past three years and it looks like we're finally but slowly on the path toward new ships. Developing Arctic facilities to advance Arctic oil and gas development, create Alaska jobs and invest in our local communities has always been one of my top priorities and I'm glad the Administration has recognized this need." Senator Mark Begich 


canadian flagRussia, Canada Neighbors? Seabed territorial push could bring borders together. Two Canadian legal scholars have published a study showing how the push by northern nations for extended seabed territory in the Arctic Ocean could soon find Canada negotiating a maritime boundary with a new next-door neighbour: Russia. Most of Canada's borderlands and boundary waters separate this country from the United States, including Alaska in the northwest corner of the continent. Canada also has maritime boundaries with Denmark (between Ellesmere Island and Greenland) and France, which oversees the tiny islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon south of Newfoundland. Nunatsiaq Online


Alaska Editorial: Arctic Future. Alaska's future is in the Arctic. The Legislature in January released the recommendations of the Alaska Northern Waters Task Force. Formed by the Legislature, the task force took two years to create its recommendations. The task force was thorough. The Arctic is the next opportunity for development, with minerals, oil and gas, fisheries and natural beauty. Shipping routes will be established there. Industries, such as mining, oil, fishing and tourism, will be expanding into the Arctic. Juneau Empire 


Drones Over Alaska: UAVs may play big role in developing Arctic. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, often referred to as "drones," don't get a lot of good press. Usually, when a drone makes the news, it's just completed an airstrike somewhere across the world, likely in the Middle East, taking out a structure thought to contain al Qaeda militants. But there's a softer, friendlier side to UAVs  -- they're not all the terrifying, death-from-above variety popularized in media. UAVs, thanks to their small size and ability to be controlled remotely, have been finding their niche doing jobs that are too messy, dangerous, or downright impossible for manned aircraft to perform. Alaska Dispatch 


budgetHigh-End Ships, Icebreakers Compete for Precious Coast Guard Dollars. The Coast Guard is down to one operational icebreaker, a less than favorable situation given the increased role the service is being asked to take in the Arctic. The service used to have eight icebreakers, but all but one have been decommissioned or are in disrepair, commandant Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. told a Feb. 13 Center for Strategic and International Studies conference. A second icebreaker will be ready to return to action next year, he said, speaking just hours before the release of President Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget proposal. National Defense Magazine 


Channeling Arctic Indigenous Peoples' Knowledge Into an Arctic Region Security Architecture. [Opinion] Recently one of my colleagues aptly suggested that an Arctic Coast Guard Forum is needed to enhance Arctic security and cooperation. Her comment was made in response to my article calling for an Arctic Council Security Agreement. I couldn't agree with her more. But I would also suggest that both of these concepts must leverage Arctic indigenous peoples' indigenous knowledge. This article will focus on channeling indigenous knowledge and political organization into a comprehensive security architecture. The Arctic Institute


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


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


** Room Capacity Reached** 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. 


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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