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February 7, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) may file a cloture petition to proceed to consideration of the surface transportation authorization bill. The House will consider legislation to consolidate, sell or exchange excess properties. 



Murkowski, Begich File Legislation Prohibiting F-16 Move. Senators Murkowski and Begich introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate today that would expressly bar the United States Air Force from planning or executing the relocation of F-16s from Eielson Air Force Base to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson - and require that just as many, if not more, F-16s be based at Eielson this September. Alaska's entire Congressional Delegation will be sitting down with U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz on Thursday, to further discuss the Air Force's plan and question the reasoning. Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Mark Begich 


budgetGOP Spoiling for Budget Fight. Senate Republicans see a political opportunity in their Democratic counterparts' decision to forgo a budget blueprint this year. As the GOP makes its case to voters to take back the majority, Republicans plan to argue that budgeting is a basic aspect of governing and shows where a party's priorities lie. Roll Call 



Annapolis Sailor on Unprecedented, Around-the-Americas Odyssey. By now, some 20,000 miles into this audacious odyssey, nearly everything onboard Matt Rutherford's boat is either flat-out busted, rotted through, waterlogged beyond repair, or otherwise reduced to ballast. If the insidious Arctic fog didn't do the job, seeping into every crevice of the 27-foot sailboat and all its humble contents, then the rogue waves near Cape Horn surely did. He's down to one pair of pants, the rest having fallen victim to a black mold infestation that also cost him every last book he had carried on board, way back in June 2011, when he set out from Annapolis on this half-crazy mission to circumnavigate the Americas alone and non-stop. Washington Post  


antifreeze fishMedvedev Tells FSB to Protect Arctic Fisheries. Dmitri Medvedev addressed an expanded meeting of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Moscow on Tuesday. Talking about the border guard service of FSB, the President highlighted the need to protect Russian interests and reinforce its borders in the Arctic as well as protect Russian bio-resources. Last October, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Norway to show a constructive approach following the Norwegian Coast Guard's arrest of the trawler "Sapphire II" for dumping fish in the fishery conservation zone near Svalbard. Barents Observer 


Team Monitoring Disappearing Tundra. Research from University of Alberta biologist Isla Myers-Smith and about 30 other researchers from 10 countries suggests that sizable chunks of the alpine/tundra world are being taken over by shrub cover that is increasingly crowding out those plants that many Arctic animals depend on. "Climate warming may well be a reason why this is happening," said Myers-Smith, who is the lead author of a paper published recently in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters. Vancouver Sun


Orca KillerWhat the Inuit Taught Scientists about Killer Whales (Editorial). When I was a kid, I saw a photograph in an old Life magazine of a man standing on the ice somewhere in the Arctic, and a killer whale breaking through the ice, much of the whale's body out of the water, a very short distance from the man. The whale was so close to the man that it was hard to say if the wincing expression on his face was due to being splashed with cold seawater or the thought that he was about to be ruthlessly mauled and eaten by the most vicious and dangerous creature on Earth. Those were the days, of course, when we called these big sea mammals "killer whales" instead of "orcas," a term many people use now to help the animals' reputation and enhance conservation efforts... The Smithsonian Blog  


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Friday.


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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