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March 5, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider legislative items under suspension of the rules. The Senate will only hold session for morning business.



PutinWhy Putin's Return to Kremlin Matters to Russia and the World. Vladimir Putin is heading back to the Kremlin - but for the last four years it often felt like he'd never left. As prime minister, he remained Russia's dominant political figure, his drive, sharp tongue and cocky bearing overshadowing his affable but mostly feckless successor Dmitry Medvedev. Yet although he was still effectively Russia's leader, his return to the presidency is more significant than simply switching titles for several reasons: foreign policy, reforms at home, business, and several "intangibles." The Washington Post  



ChinaflagChina to Conduct 5th Arctic Expedition in 2012. Chinese scientists will conduct their fifth Arctic expedition this year, said a senior official with the State Oceanic Administration here Monday. China would like to enhance cooperation with other countries, including Canada and Iceland, in exploring the Arctic and push forward the implementation of joint research agreements, said Lu Bin, senior official with the SOA and deputy to the 11th National People's Congress, on the sidelines of the country's parliamentary session. The country sent its fourth expedition to the Arctic in 2010. China Daily  


[Russian] Northern Fleet Gets Modernized Anti-Submarine Plane. The Russian Northern Fleet put a modernized Ilyushin Il-38N anti-submarine warfare aircraft into service. It is expected that the aircraft will also carry out electronic intelligence duties. The Northern Fleet's spokesman stated that the aircraft will also be used to map the magnetic and gravitational fields of the Arctic Ocean and conduct scientific oceanographic research. Barents Observer  


Alaska's Comprehensive Arctic Policy, Challenge and Opportunity [Commentary] In 2010, the state Legislature formed the Alaska Northern Waters Task Force (ANWTF), consisting of state legislators, leaders from Alaska communities, and representatives of key state and federal agencies. These Alaskans were tasked with examining and reporting the issues surrounding the anticipated increase in shipping, resource exploration and extraction, commercial fisheries and tourism activities in Alaska's Arctic region. How will Alaska confidently confront the challenges and benefits from the opportunities of the Arctic that await Alaskans, while at the same time providing sustainable communities for our families and future generations? The January 30, 2012, ANWTF report to the 27th Alaska Legislature detailed six categories of opportunity: Oil & Gas Development, Marine Transportation, Fisheries, Infrastructure, Research and Arctic Governance. Alaska Dispatch  


Threatened Arctic Lad Aided by Ordinary Citizens: Federal government ended funding for PEARL research lab. If the Canadian government won't help to keep the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) open then hopefully ordinary Canadians will. So far, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) has received about $300 from ordinary citizens concerned about the closing of the research laboratory near Eureka, Nunavut. "We've had donations that range from $25 to $125," says Dawn Conway, executive director of the CFCAS. "It won't keep the station open but enough of them would. It's a drop in the bucket but hopefully that bucket will be filled with other drops." PEARL's yearly budget was about $1.5 million, the bulk of which came from Conway's foundation. When the federal government decided not to continue funding CFCAS, PEARL took the hit. CBC News 


Scientists Launch Probe on Spread of Toxic Mercury in Arctic Ocean. A phenomenon Arctic explorers long relied on for drinking water on the frozen ocean is linked to the latest bad news -- as well as a silver lining -- accompanying climate change. The freshwater trick those ancient travelers capitalized on is this: The surface of old sea ice is a source of freshwater because the saltwater brine it contains melts downward over the years, leaving desalinated water on top. The problem: That process isn't occurring as much as it once did because older sea ice is vanishing rapidly, leaving a larger concentration of the young sea ice that forms and melts annually. Alaska Dispatch 


Russia Canada FlagsCanada Open to Working With Russia on Arctic Sovereignty. Canada says it is open to collaborating with Russia to establish national boundary lines across the High Arctic, opening the door to joint exploration and mapping after years of tough talk from both sides about sovereignty and the ownership of untapped resources. "Canada's North is central to our government's vision for Canada's future," Andrew MacDougall, a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said Friday. "We're actively mapping the Arctic continental shelf. This is part of our plan to defend Canada's sovereignty. We welcome any co-operation." The Globe and Mail  



Subsistence Mapping Project Brings Expert to Arctic. A year into their subsistence-mapping project, staff at the Northwest Arctic Borough continue to check items off the to-do list. This month, that includes hosting industry expert and author Terry Tobias at a public talk next Thursday at 7 p.m. at the National Park Service Northwest Arctic Heritage Center in Kotzebue. "What Terry Tobias has done over the past 30 years of his career is to set the standard for what good subsistence mapping should look like," said Zach Stevenson, subsistence mapping coordinator for the NWAB. The borough began this project last year, in an effort to create a comprehensive guide to the regions subsistence land and how it's used. Modern scientific techniques, buoyed with indigenous knowledge of subsistence grounds, make up the complex undertaking of subsistence mapping. The Arctic Sounder


Legislative Actionfutureevents  



No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic provisions on Friday. 


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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