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March 1, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will resume consideration of the surface transportation bill. The House will consider a resolution regarding the civil rights movement and a resolution to condemn the government of Iran.


Senator Begich introduced "Arctic Ocean Research, Monitoring and Observing Act of 2012" and will reference the legislation when he speaks to the joint session of the AK Legislature on Monday (3/5/12). 



ScienceScientists Protest Cost of Research Journals. Call it the white-coat revolution. But instead of a Tunisian man burning himself about his vegetable cart, it's research scientists protesting the high cost of the Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation journal. In an unprecedented global backlash, nearly 7,700 academics - ranging from renowned professors to graduate students, and hailing from the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, South America and elsewhere - have signed on to a boycott of Elsevier, the world's largest research-journal publisher. The petition calls on the multibillion-dollar, international powerhouse to radically change its business practices and dramatically lower the prices for its more than 2,000 journals, the cost for which the petitioners say is a form of extortion against university libraries and other institutions. Elsevier defends itself by saying that the rigorous peer-review process does not come cheaply, and that any scientist or researcher is free to work outside of it and/or self-publish. Washington Times 


Thickest Parts of Arctic Ice Cap Melting Faster. A new NASA study revealed that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic Ocean's floating ice cap. Science Daily   


russian flagChevron Looks Towards Russian Arctic. New investment conditions and promised tax breaks make U.S. energy giant Chevron catch new interest in the Russian Arctic. The plans for new and more liberal regulations on the access to Arctic natural resources make us interested, representatives of Chevron stressed in a meeting with the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources this week. Barents Observer   


International Shipping Code Delayed, 'Polar Code' taking International Maritime Organization loger to draft than expected. An international agreement on safe Arctic shipping has been delayed. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is trying to develop the 'Polar Code' - a set of regulations for ships travelling through Arctic waters. The IMO was aiming to have it ready this year, but drafting the code is taking longer than expected. Some environmentalists say the lack of a code leaves the Arctic at risk. "The need to increase the regulation of shipping ... is directly proportional to the increase in shipping traffic," said Martin von Mirbach from the World Wildlife Fund. He says the sooner there is a 'Polar Code', the better. The code would be a binding set of international rules for the design and operation of commercial ships in the Arctic. CBC News 


SARRussia to Open Arctic Emergency Rescue Center. The first emergency rescue center on Russia's Arctic coast will open in August, the head of the Russian emergencies ministry's firefighting and rescue department said. "The first center will open this year in August in the city of Dudinka in northern Krasnoyarsk Territory," Maxim Vladimirov said. Russian emergencies minister Sergei Shoigu announced last year the ministry is planning to build ten centers in the Russian Arctic coast to respond to a possible man-made disaster. The centers will combine meteorological, rescue and borderguard duties. 


Part Two: Ocean Acidification. Yesterday in the first of a two-part series, APRN's Steve Heimel reported on ocean acidification being observed along the shores of the West Coast.  Acidification was found at the edge of the continental shelf in 2007, but this is the first time it's been found in the rich inter-tidal zone close to shore. Alaska's ocean acidification is largely un-measured, that's likely to change now.  In today's story, Heimel looks at the circulation patterns that may already be acidifying fish habitat in the Arctic. Alaska Public Radio 


Alaska and Arctic Stand at an Economic Crossroads. [Commentary] Alaska Dispatch Editor's note: The following is an edited transcript of a speech delivered by Scott Minerd, chief investment officer of Guggenheim Partners LLC, at the 2011 Arctic Imperative Summit in Girdwood. He will be speaking to the Alaska World Affairs Council at noon Friday, March 2, at the Egan Center in Anchorage. In the 17th and 18th centuries, there was an economic model which became very popular called Mercantilism. Under Mercantilism, the nations of Europe expanded their territories into new regions and extracted resources from them. Those nations then brought the resources and wealth back to their homes. There were certain benefits associated with being a member of the Mercantilist system. In the areas where the Mercantilists invested, there was population growth, there was the expansion of the rule of law, and there was the development and advancement of technology. But there were also disadvantages that came with Mercantilism. It tended to foster a sense of dependency. There was exploitation of natural resources and there was a lack of commitment to the development of local human capital. Alaska Dispatch


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was considered on yesterday.

Future Events                                   


Interagency Science in the Arctic, March 6, 2012. The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (AACAP) will host a webinar with the National Science Foundation's Erica Key. The purpose of this webinar is to connect scientists with government officials and policymakers. 


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.


The Science of Ocean and Coastal Restoration, March 7, 2012. The Consortium for Ocean Leadership will hold a Public Policy Forum in the Capitol Hill Visitors Center (Room SVC 210/212) on Capitol Hill. This year's theme is the science of ocean and coastal restoration. The Forum will begin at 8:30 a.m. and features 3 panels with various panelists from around the country and remarks by several Members of Congress. Invited speakers include EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Senator Begich, Senator Cardin, and USARC Chair Fran Ulmer. Details here.  


Fiscal 2013 Budget: Native American Programs, March 8, 2012. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2013 budget request for Native American programs.


Fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization: Southern and Northern Commands, March 13, 2012. The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on the U.S. Southern Command and the U.S. Northern Command in review of the defense authorization request for fiscal 2013 and the future years' defense program. The session may be closed.


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  


usarc logo large

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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