Arctic Update Header
June 11, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will continue to consider the farm bill. Voting is expected to begin on Tuesday. The House is in recess this week. 



Better Eating, Better Living in the North: Television chef Rebecca Veevee leads a crusade to bring healthy traditional dishes back to Inuit tables. Inuit TV chef Rebecca Veevee has a dead serious mission: to combat a growing epidemic of diabetes, heart disease and obesity in northern communities by promoting a return to "country food" like seal, caribou and arctic char. But her recipe for getting that message across includes generous doses of humour and a good sprinkling of zaniness. "I like to laugh. I'm a comedian, too," says Veevee, whose lighthearted banter on the show Niqitsiat (meaning healthy eating) is punctuated by gales of laughter. Montreal Gazette


canadian flag[Canadian] Shipbuilding Strategy May be on the Rocks: Delays, budget cuts and poor negotiation position putting $35 billion initiative at risk. The $35-billion federal ship-building strategy touted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to revitalize the industry in Vancouver and Halifax is in danger of foundering. The delivery of one ship has already been pushed back three years. There are also indications the total number of ships will be reduced. Some experts worry the political fallout could mirror the government's difficulties with the F-35 fighter jet. Vancouver Sun


[Canadian] Inuit to Protest Hunger, Costly Food. A head of cabbage for $20. Fifteen bucks for a small bag of apples. A case of ginger ale: $82. Fed up and frustrated by sky-high food prices and concerned over widespread hunger in their communities, thousands of Inuit have spent weeks posting pictures and price tags from their local grocery stores to a Facebook site called Feed My Family. That site is now the nucleus of an unprecedented protest across Nunavut organized for Saturday to draw attention to food prices that would shock southerners. The Chronicle Herald 


The Beginnings of Arctic Science. After the first attempt to find a northwest route from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1819 by Lt. William Perry of the British Royal Navy, there followed three quarters of a century of hard lessons. The hard lessons were about survival in the Arctic; on the location and size of islands; on the behavior of sea ice; on the life of the native Inuit; on the tedium of being confined to a ship locked in ice from September until the end of July; and most of all, avoiding the fatal curse of scurvy. During the 100 years after 1818, there were about 200 expeditions to the Canadian Arctic, and 40 percent of them produced results that led to scientific publications. Most of the commanding officers of the Royal Navy during that period were admitted to the Royal Society of London for their contributions to science. Naval officers were trained to observe and record scientific information, use scientific instruments properly, and collect specimens. The Huffington Post 


NOAA Commissions High-Tech Coastal Mapping Ship. On June 8th, NOAA commissioned the Ferdinand R. Hassler, a state-of-the art coastal mapping vessel to detect and monitor changes to the sea floor. Data collected by the ship will be used to update nautical charts, detect potential hazards to navigation, and further enhance our understanding of the ever-changing marine environment. Ferdinand R. Hassler will operate mainly along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Caribbean Sea, and Great Lakes in support of the NOAA Office of Coast Survey's mission. The vessel will measure water depths along U.S. coasts, acquiring the data necessary to produce navigational charts that help to position America for the next century of maritime economic growth. Hassler will also join the fleet of NOAA vessels that search for underwater dangers to navigation after hurricanes and other emergencies. NOAA 


ScienceResearch Shows Humans are Primary Cause of Global Ocean Warming. New research by a team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and international collaborators shows that the observed ocean warming over the last 50 years is consistent with climate models only if the models include the impacts of observed increases in greenhouse gas during the 20th century. Though the new research is not the first study to identify a human influence on observed ocean warming, it is the first to provide an in-depth examination of how observational and modeling uncertainties impact the conclusion that humans are primarily responsible. "We have taken a closer look at factors that influence these results," said Peter Gleckler, an LLNL climate scientist and lead author of the new study that appears in the June 10 edition of the journal, Nature Climate Change. "The bottom line is that this study substantially strengthens the conclusion that most of the observed global ocean warming over the past 50 years is attributable to human activities." PhysOrg


Diesel Hits Beaches Near Kodiak as Some 20 Workers Try to Limit Impact. Some 20 cleanup workers were on the scene Sunday, working to limit the impact of a spill of some 15,000 gallons of diesel after the 174-foot Army vessel Monterrey hit a rock, rupturing one of its fuel tanks. The spill threatens the Buskin River area, which, the state says, supports the single-largest subsistence salmon fishery within the Kodiak-Aleutian islands region. Sockeye salmon, halibut and Dolly Varden swim in the waters of Chiniak Bay at this time of year, although Steve Russell, the on-scene coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said commercial fishing in the area isn't open yet and there have been no reports of sport anglers in the area. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.

Future Events               



"Federal Research in the Arctic, A Five-Year Plan" and focused on the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), June 12, 2012. It will be presented by Brendan P. Kelly, Assistant Director for Polar Science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive office of the President.

At least 13 Federal agencies conduct research in the Arctic. Research by those agencies as well as state, local, industry, and non-governmental organizations is accelerating in Alaska and other parts of the Arctic. Coordination of the Federal efforts is the responsibility of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC). The IARPC's Arctic Research Plan: FY2013-2017 focuses on research expected to benefit from interagency collaboration; considerable research conducted by single agencies is not included. The Five-Year Plan focuses on seven priority areas: sea ice and marine ecosystem studies; terrestrial ecosystem studies; atmospheric studies effecting energy flux; observing systems; regional climate models; adaptation tools for sustaining communities; and human health. This webinar will include a brief overview of the Five-Year Plan followed by comments and questions from participants.


The presentation will also describe how to submit written comments on the Five-Year Plan (due by 22 June 2012). Anyone interested in arctic research or in learning about the Five-Year Plan is invited to participate. Further information about IARPC, as well as a PDF download of the full Five-Year Plan, is available at here.

For further information, including participation instructions and registration, please go here.


The Institute of the North hosts Arctic-related events. For details, go here. Three upcoming events, all in Anchorage, AK are: (a) Commercial Applications of Northern Airships, July 31-Aug 2, Federal Research: Priorities and Processes, August 13, and Northern Energy Technology and Science Fair, August 15.


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.


98th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission. Aug. 9-10. Fairbanks, AK. More info coming soon. 


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-27, 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.   


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