Arctic Update Header
June 14, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will continue to consider the farm bill. The House will hold a pro forma session today.


Law of the Sea Convention, June 14, 2012. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing on the Law of the Sea Convention.  



BSEEBSEE's Watson to Visit AK Offshore Site. Director Watson Visits Arctic Drilling Rigs for First-Hand Look at Safety Equipment, Meets with Alaska Native Community Leaders, Shell Officials; Today holding media conference call to discuss visit and BSEE inspection and oversight activities. As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to safe and responsible offshore energy exploration and development, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Jim Watson today visited the two drilling rigs that Shell has proposed using for exploration activities in the arctic this summer.  Docked in Seattle, Kulluk and Noble Discoverer are currently undergoing thorough reviews from BSEE engineers and inspectors, as well as Coast Guard safety inspectors. MarineLink


 canadian flag[Canada] Iqaluit Coast Guard Center Open for Season: Officers Say Center Could be Open Year-Round Because of Longer Seasons. The Coast Guard's Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre has opened for the season in Iqaluit. By next week, the Centre will be fully up and running. Each summer, the Canadian Coast Guard operates the Iqaluit station to communicate with all ships entering Arctic waters, from Greenland to Alaska and north of the 60th parallel. "We provide safety services, which means that we maintain radio watch over international distress and safety frequencies for all this area," said J.P. Lehnert, the officer in charge of Iqaluit's Coast Guard office. CBC News 


Arctic Warming on the Rise North of Siberia. Researchers in Sweden say they have found evidence that the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia is emitting carbon dioxide into the air, rather than consuming and storing it had in the past. Iréne Wåhlström, a researcher at Gothenburg University, has studied the East Siberian Sea north of Siberia. She says the Pacific contributes a lot of water to the eastern part of the Siberian Sea. This is where photosynthesis takes place during the summer, a process that consumes carbon and ultimately decreases the level of carbon dioxide in the water. The process frees up the water to take in and store more carbon dioxide from the air. Alaska Dispatch 


Coast Guard SealCoast Guard Cutter to Get New Commanding Officer. The Sitka-based Coast Guard cutter Maple is getting a new commanding officer. Coast Guard officials say Lt. Cmdr. Fred Seaton will take the helm from Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Gray during a ceremony at 5 p.m. Thursday aboard the 225-foot cutter in Sitka. Seaton is taking his Alaska assignment after serving as the operations officer for the Seattle-based Coast Guard cutters Polar Star and Polar Sea. Anchorage Daily News 




Raytheon Receives Contract to Link Navy Multiband Terminal to US Air Force's Polar Satellite. Raytheon Company (RTN) has received a $19 million contract to modify the Navy Multiband Terminal (NMT) to link it with the Air Force's Enhanced Polar Satellite (EPS). The link will allow U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters to overcome communications gaps in the remote polar region. EPS will provide continuous coverage for secure, jam-resistant, strategic and tactical communications to support peacetime, contingency, homeland defense, humanitarian assistance and wartime missions. Space Ref 


AmstrupWinner Announced for the 2012 Indianapolis Prize. The world's leading award for animal conservation goes to... polar bear scientist Dr. Steven C. Amstrup.  The Indianapolis Zoo selected Amstrup to receive the 2012 Indianapolis Prize.  Steve Amstrup is widely regarded as the most important and influential scientist working on polar bear conservation today," said Michael Crowther, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo. "By bringing greater awareness to the polar bears' plight and plausible solutions, he has created a lifeline for the entire species."  In 2007, Amstrup led an international team of researchers to assess the likely future impact of global warming on polar bears. The group's nine reports, relied on by the Secretary of the Interior, became the basis for the 2008 listing of polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This listing is significant because the polar bear is the first species - and only species to date - to be listed on the basis of threats posed by global warming. WIBC 


New Plan Could Protect Birds, Caribou, Polar Bears, Belugas, and More Wildlife From Drilling in Alaskan Arctic. For the first time ever, the government is crafting a management plan for the nation's largest tract of land, a 22.8 million acre reserve in northern Alaska that supports a bevy of wildlife-and the public has until Friday to voice its support. Walruses haul-out along the Arctic coast, belugas give birth in near-shore waters, grizzlies and wolves hunt caribou and other prey on the tundra. And there are birds. Hundreds of thousands of the winged creatures make their way from five continents to nest each summer at Teshekpuk Lake and surrounding wetlands. The area supports tens of thousands of molting snow, cackling, greater white-fronted, and Canada geese, and up to one-third of the world's Pacific black brants, nearly 40,000 individuals. It's a haven for vulnerable species, such as the spectacled eider and yellow-billed loon. The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska isn't only rich in wildlife-it also holds stores of oil and natural gas. With the new management plan, the government has the opportunity to balance energy development with safeguarding wildlife and critical habitat. Audubon 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


 No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.


Future Events               


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.   

USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter 

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)