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February 23, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate will hold pro forma sessions today.



SCICEXUK Submarine Data Declassified to Aid Climate Science: The UK Ministry of Defense will declassify submarine data to help shed light on climate change in the Arctic. Environmental data are routinely monitored by Navy vessels, but the measurements are highly sensitive because they could give away positions. A dataset from one submarine mission will be released to give a snapshot of conditions under the ice. It is hoped that further data could be released in future, yielding clues to how the Arctic is changing. Water temperature and salt content are among the environmental data monitored by submarines. BBC News 


US Coast Guard Academy Arctic Conference. The United States Coast Guard Academy and the Law of the Sea Institute at the University of California's Berkeley School of Law are sponsoring a two-day interdisciplinary conference on key issues facing global leaders tasked with shaping and implementing policy for the rapidly emerging human activities in the Arctic.  The conference will be held at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, April 12-13, 2012. The sponsors' goal in convening this academic conference is to provide maritime affairs academics, professionals and law specialists with an opportunity to share their professional views with those charged with exercising leadership on Arctic policy formulation and implementation in the coming decade. The Maritime Executive


russian flagRussia Eyes New Generation Arctic Ships. Russia has made another step towards Arctic exploration. The country's Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced tender for building a navy and creating an infrastructure required for hydrocarbon exploration in the Arctic Ocean. The aim is to build surface effect ships and screen planes. Russia's energy giants, Gazprom and Rosneft, have been licensed to explore the Arctic shelf, while Sovkomflot, the country's leading petroleum and LNG shipping company, is dealing with the construction of ships. The tender was announced by the ministry to design brand new types of watercraft that could be used in the Arctic: speedy river and sea catamarans and surface effect ships. These kinds of ships better suit the Arctic environment and can even replace aircraft, the deputy head of the Aerokhod design company Yuri Shamanin told the Voice of Russia. "These ships can stay in the most remote Arctic areas longer than aircraft. Big ships simply cannot be used in icy waters and at moderate depths. Surface effect ships have long proved their reliability in the Arctic." Voice of Russia


Russia Tells Norway to Keep Aegis BMD System off Vessels. Russia has warned Norway not to get pulled into a possible area of conflict by bowing to U.S. pressure to equip its naval vessels with Aegis ballistic missile defense system missiles. The warning came from Nikolai Makarov, commander of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. Russia hopes to eliminate this threat through talks and greater transparency and military cooperation with Norway, said Makarov, adding that Russia will not accept U.S. vessels equipped with the Aegis system operating near its Arctic territories or in the Black Sea. "We are aware that the U.S. has been prompting Norway to install the missile defense system on its naval ships. Fortunately, Norway has taken a balanced position," Makarov said on Feb. 16. Defense News 


HarperHarper Heads to Arctic to Announce Adult Education Funding for Aboriginals. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is heading to the Arctic in the dead of winter to add some heft to his promise to boost aboriginal education. Harper is a frequent flyer to the North, but he usually goes in the summer. This is his second winter visit as prime minister, coming after a trip to Whitehorse in 2007. In Iqaluit on Thursday, Harper is expected to highlight increased government spending on adult basic education in the territories, federal sources tell The Canadian Press. Global News


Even in Winter, Life Persists in Arctic Seas. Despite brutal cold and lingering darkness, life in the frigid waters off Alaska does not grind to a halt in the winter as scientists previously suspected. According to preliminary results from a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research cruise, microscopic creatures at the base of the Arctic food chain are not dormant as expected. After working aboard the US Coast Guard icebreaker Healy for six weeks in waters where winds sometimes topped 70 knots, wind chills fell to -40 degrees and samples often had to be hustled safely inside before seawater froze to the deck, researchers are back in their labs, assembling for the first time a somewhat unexpected picture of how microscopic creatures survive winter in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Science Codex 


Polar bearNTI Applauds Birth of Nunavut Marine Council, 'Marine areas in Nunavut are crucial to Nunavummiut and Canadians.' Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. vice-president James Eetoolook praised Nunavut organizations for setting up a Nunavut Marine Council, as called for under Section 15.4.1 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. The council, with members from the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, the Nunavut Water Board, the Nunavut Planning Commission and the Nunavut Impact Review Board,  is intended to regulate Arctic marine development. "Marine areas in Nunavut are crucial to Nunavummiut and Canadians, and they have provided food, clothing and shelter for Inuit and their ancestors for thousands of years," said Eetoolook. "The NMC will serve a critical function in providing advice and making recommendations to government agencies, especially given the increasing scientific, economic, military and other activities in Nunavut in recent years." Nunatsiaq Online


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


Pew: Arctic Ocean Energy Development, February 24, 2012. (** New space and additional RSVPs will be accepted**)The Pew Environment Group will host a panel discussion on Arctic Ocean energy development. Panelist will be Fran Ulmer, member of the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling Commission, and now Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Michael R. Bromwich, former director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement; Edward Itta, former mayor of North Slope Borough, Alaska; and Vice Adm. Roger T. Rufe, U.S. Coast Guard (retired). 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


Fiscal 2013 Budget: Native American Programs, March 8, 2012. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2013 budget request for Native American programs.


Fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization: Southern and Northern Commands, March 13, 2012. The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. Northern Command in review of the defense authorization request for fiscal 2013 and the future years' defense program. The session may be closed.


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  


usarc logo large

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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