Arctic Update Header
January 19, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 16-20, 2012. The symposium was first held in 2002 to connect scientists in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond in an effort to collaborate and communicate on researchAMSSlogo

activities in the marine regions off Alaska. There will be plenary and poster sessions featuring a broad spectrum of ocean science on issues of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. There will also be speakers, workshops and special sessions. Click here.


Media Reviewtodaysevents 


Congress in SessionHouse Appropriators Optimistic About Fiscal 2013 Spending.  Top House appropriators say they expect to be able to pass spending bills in the months ahead, despite election-year politics and some lingering uncertainty over how much money will be spent in fiscal 2013. "We are going to try to pass the bills, all 12 of them," said Norm Dicks of Washington, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. Senior GOP appropriator Mike Simpson of Idaho said that the House might even pass its versions of all 12 spending bills by June, which would be the fastest pace the chamber has achieved since 2005. Congressional Quarterly



Scientists Seek Origin of Disease in Arctic Ducks. Researchers believe it could be years before we know the origin of an avian cholera outbreak that's killing off eider ducks in Nunavut. Avian cholera is a deadly disease for birds, but doesn't affect humans. In 2006, thousands of dead eider ducks were found on Southampton Island. Since then it has been found in Nunavik and south Baffin Island and has also affected other bird species. CBC News 


begichBegich Responds to President's Plan to Reorganize Government. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today released the following statement after President Obama announced an effort to reorganize and streamline government: "I commend the President for an initiative that helps streamline government in the hopes of working more efficiently and saving money for taxpayers. It's what I did as mayor of Anchorage, and it can result in better service at less cost. "With the current national debt and deficit, we need to make government leaner and smarter. But I have some serious concerns about some of the details, especially the proposed transfer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the Department of Interior. Senator Mark Begich 


New Rural Liaison, Military Fellow Join Begich Staff. U.S. Sen Mark Begich announced today the addition of two key staff members who will support Begich's work on behalf of Alaskans. Agatha Erickson has been named Begich's new rural liaison, and Air Force Major Leigh Hasson has been selected to serve as a military fellow in the senator's Washington, DC office. Erickson is Koyukon Athabascan and a tribal member of the village of Kaltag. She grew up in Hoonah and, after graduating from Hoonah High School, earned a BA with Honors in Native American Studies at Dartmouth. Erickson comes to the Begich staff after working for the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) since 2009, first as editor of the TCC newsletter and later as communications director. Senator Mark Begich 


tsunami japanBegich Asks NOAA for Update on Marine Debris Plans. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today sent a letter to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrator (NOAA) Dr. Jane Lubchenco asking for some answers regarding plans to deal with the debris that is expected to hit the shores of western states, including Alaska, from the devastating tsunami which hit northern Japan last year. "Residents of Alaska and other western coastal states are understandably concerned by the estimated 25 million tons of debris swept into the North Pacific during last year's devastating tsunami which hit northern Japan," Begich writes. "Some wind-driven fishing floats are reported to have reached shore in Washington and Alaska." Senator Mark Begich  


Alaska Salmon Industry Pulls Out of MSC. The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) has announced that eight major primary salmon processors are backing out of the Marine Stewardship Council certification program in October. According to a statement from James Browning, AFDF's Executive Director, the companies will only support the MSC program for Alaskan salmon until the current certification expires on 29 October 2012. World Fishing & Aquaculture 


NOAADr. Robert Detrick Named New Assistant Administrator of NOAA Research Office. Robert Detrick, Ph.D, a marine geophysicist, was named the new head of NOAA's research office today. Detrick will start as the assistant administrator of the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) on Feb. 13. "The person who heads this office guides the innovative and integral research that is the foundation of all we do at NOAA," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "I am especially pleased that we have someone with Dr. Detrick's experience heading our research efforts." NOAA


Trumpeter Swans Flourish in Warming Alaska. Trumpeter swans have something to blow their horns about. After being nearly hunted to extinction by human, the majestic birds (Cygnus buccinator) are now expanding their Alaskan ranges. Ironically, their territorial gains are also related to human activities. As global warming slows the onset of the Arctic winter, trumpeters have more time to raise their young, called cygnets, and can raise them in places that used to be too cold, concluded a team of researchers led by Joshua Schmidt a wildlife biologist for the National Park Service. Alaskan trumpeter cygnets need at least 145 days to grow strong enough to make the migration south to ponds that don't freeze over in the winter. Discovery News 


For the First Time in Decades, Military Takes Armor North. They were Canada's armored workhorses in the dust and heat of Afghanistan, and now the military is taking its LAVs to the snowy tundra. A massive military exercise next month in the Western Arctic will involve light armoured vehicles -- the first time in more than a generation that mechanized units will operate in the North. "Certainly with the new light armored vehicles, this is the first time we've ever gone up in any significant strength to test our capabilities," said Lt.-Col. Bill Fletcher, battle group commander for the Arctic Ram exercise, which runs from Feb. 14 to 26. CTV News 


US Commander: Alaska Fuel Delivery a Hopeful Sign. The commander of the U.S. Northern Command says the international effort to deliver fuel to an iced-in Alaskan city is a promising sign for cooperation in the Arctic. Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr. wrote in his blog this week that the transport of fuel to Nome, Alaska, by a Russian tanker ship is "a historic moment." Northern Command is based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and is responsible for U.S. military operations in the Arctic. CBS News


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                                   


Workshop: Responding to Arctic Environmental Change: Translating Our Growing Understanding into a Research Agenda for Action Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2012.   Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Co-sponsored by International Study of ArcISAC logotic Change (ISAC) and the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University. Endorsed by the International Arctic Science Committee, this workshop is the first in a planned series of meetings that aim to collectively shape and coordinate initiatives for research that directly addresses the needs of stakeholders who are affected by change or who are addressing arctic environmental change. The long-term objective is to enable local people, the arctic nations and the wider global community, including the scientific community, to better respond to a changing Arctic. This workshop is a pre-IPY 2012 Conference event. It is intended to develop a science plan that will feed into and further evolve at IPY 2012 Conference "From Knowledge to Action". For more information and to register for the workshop go here. 


Juneau Arctic Policy Forum, February 2, 2012. The Juneau Arctic Policy Forum will be hosted by the Institute of the North and will highlight the work done to IONdevelop and promote Alaska's role in Arctic decision-making. There will be presentations and discussion about the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Arctic Caucus and results from the Northern Waters Task Force. We also hope to include updates from the U.S. Coast Guard and the University of Alaska. Click here.  



Arctic Policy Forum, February 16, 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



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 APSlogoPolar 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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