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June 4, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 



The Senate will consider Paycheck Fairness legislation. The House is not in session today.





Northern LightsNorthern Lights Process Like Untangling Twisted Strands of Spaghetti? A University of Iowa researcher wants you to visualize a plate of spaghetti when you think of the northern lights. That's because Jack Scudder, UI professor of physics and astronomy, and his colleagues have reached a milestone in describing how the northern lights work by way of a process called "magnetic reconnection." Science Daily


Clinton Tours Arctic as Nations Vie for Resources. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sailed on Saturday through a sliver of the Arctic Ocean, where the world's big powers are vying for vast oil, gas and mineral deposits becoming available as polar ice recedes. Clinton boarded a research ship in Tromso, a Norwegian town north of the Arctic Circle, to illustrate U.S. interests in a once inaccessible region where resources are up now for grabs and new sea routes between Europe and Asia are opening up. "A lot of countries are looking at what will be the potential for exploration and extraction of natural resources as well as new sea lanes," Clinton told reporters after taking a two-hour boat tour of the local fjord. Financial Post 


Arctic MapArctic Governance Needs US Support. Dealing with increased energy interest and environmental issues in the arctic will be difficult without the United States, a scholar said. Global climate change is melting arctic sea ice, exposing vast unexplored areas that could hold oil and natural gas reserves. Shipping traffic is expected to increase as new routes develop across the north. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said the trends are making northern countries more dominant in the international arena. UPI 



In Canada's North, Population Remains Younger Than National Average. While the latest census figures show Canada has a higher proportion of seniors than ever before, the North's population is still younger than the national average, according to new data available from the 2011 census. Statistics Canada defines median age as the point where exactly one half of the population is older than the median age and the other half is younger. Nationally, the median age in 2011 was 40.6 years. According to the Statistics Canada census, the median age in Nunavut is 24, the lowest in the country, and the largest group in Nunavut's population is children ages zero to four at more than 3,900. The number of children ages zero to 14 grew by 4.3 per cent between 2006 and 2011, while the number of seniors over 65 grew by 30.9 per cent. Alaska Dispatch 



hillary clintonClinton Urges Cooperation in Arctic: Many nations stake claims to develop region's resources. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday ventured north of the Arctic Circle and urged international cooperation in a region that could become a new battleground for natural resources. On her trip to the northern Norwegian city of Tromso, she conveyed that message of working together in one of the world's last frontiers of unexplored oil, gas and mineral deposits. The region is becoming more significant as melting ice caps accelerate the opening of new shipping routes, fishing stocks and drilling opportunities. To safely tap the riches, the U.S. and other countries near the North Pole are trying to cooperate to combat harmful climate change, settle territorial disputes and prevent oil spills. Washington Times  


TreadwellArctic Oil: 2 Perspectives [ Mead Treadwell Opinion] Re "Offshore Oil Drilling's New and Frozen Frontier" ("The Energy Rush" series, front page, May 24): News that North Dakota has overtaken Alaska in oil production tells the story of shale oil's ascendancy in the country's oil supply. But the potential of Alaska's offshore resources could put Alaska back on top. Some would like us to believe that it's too risky to explore the 25 billion barrels of potential oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. They argue that we should leave nearly a quarter of our known, technically recoverable outer continental shelf resources in place. This ignores science and the facts. New York Times 



ScienceArctic Air Offers Scientist Clues About the Speed of Global Warming. In the 18 years he's been an atmospheric chemist at Purdue University, Paul Shepson has visited the Arctic many times, and through many countries. Now the head of the chemistry department, Shepson made "a trip of a lifetime" to Barrow this March. While Shepson has spent many such trips studying the unique Arctic atmosphere and the chemical gases found there, the big difference this time was the ride. They called it ALAR (Aircraft Laboratory for Atmospheric Research) and it provided his team with both a ride north and a unique vehicle for data collection. Shepson's team used ALAR to collect atmospheric samples from varying heights above the ground, and over a variety of surfaces. Alaska Dispatch 


Alaska Department of Fish & Game Begins Study of Alaska's Wildlife Economy. Alaska's Department of Fish and Game has decided to take a closer look at the money spent in pursuit of the state's wildlife - whether the aim is to watch it, wear it, mount it or eat it. Between hunting, trapping and wildlife viewing, Alaska's wild things draw dollars into the state economy from residents and non-residents alike. What ADF&G wants to know is how much, where, and on what. Independent research firm ECONorthwest initiated the first stage of the study last week, launching an email survey to upwards of 16,000 people. The Arctic Sounder 


USCGlogoCG Details Arctic Shield: Cutters, aircraft to deploy to safeguard Shell drilling, other maritime activity. A new environmental assessment lays out the extent of the U.S. Coast Guard's planned deployment this summer in the Arctic Ocean. The mission is dubbed Arctic Shield 2012, and its scope is impressive, involving multiple cutters, helicopters and other equipment. The Coast Guard plans to lodge 33 people in the North Slope village of Barrow during the mission, which will begin in July and run through October. Arctic Shield will coincide with Shell's much-delayed exploratory drilling campaign in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Coast Guard plans include testing oil spill cleanup equipment, including a skimmer called the Terminator. Petroleum News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.

Future Events               


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.  


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 24-28, 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.   


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