Arctic Update Header
March 28, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider and has scheduled a vote on a short-term extension of surface transportation programs. The chamber also starts debate on the Republican budget plan written by Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). Despite Democratic opposition, and some criticism from conservatives that it cuts too little, the resolution is expected to pass easily. In the Senate, the deadline for first- degree floor amendments to S. 2204 are due today.




Oil Drilling in Alaska

Interior Approval Brings Shell Closer to Drilling in the Arctic this Summer
The Interior Department green-lighted a plan Wednesday that brings Shell closer to drilling in waters off the coast of Alaska this summer. The department's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announced that it has approved the company's oil spill response plan for exploration in the Beaufort Sea, located in arctic waters off Alaska's northern coast. The Hill



Coast Guard SealCoast Guard Lays Out Plans to Monitor Arctic Alaska Oil Drilling, Ship Traffic. It's going to be a hectic summer for the US Coast Guard in the Arctic. Even if Arctic drilling protesters, who are expected this summer after stops in Seattle and Dutch Harbor, don't materialize, there will still be plenty to do, according to a Coast Guard report to the Alaska Legislature's Northern Waters Task Force. Alaska Dispatch


To Drill or Not to Drill: Arctic Petroleum Development and Environmental Concerns. As the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly obvious, the Arctic has gained particular attention as being one of the most vulnerable places to the influence of increasing temperatures and changing conditions. Oil and gas activities are simultaneously increasing in the region due to the region's untapped potential, rising global demand for these resources, and new technological advances. With the expansion of these activities in northern Alaska, there have been concerns about the effects of noise pollution on marine life and the lack of oil spill preparedness. Arctic Institute


shellShell Icebreaker Christened in Louisiana Shipyard The largest, most advanced ship ever built by Edison Chouest Offshore will soon leave south Louisiana for Alaska. Elizabeth Itta, a 12-year-old from the northern Alaska village of Nuiqsut, christened the 360-foot-long icebreaker, the (Houma, La.) Courier reported.   

Anchorage Daily News



Village Declares Disaster After Wind Storm. The northwest Alaska village of Kivalina has declared a disaster after a wind storm swept snow into huge piles. Anchorage Daily News


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday. 

Future Events                                   


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.


[Postponed]American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", to occur in 2013, 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. 



USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter 

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