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May 7, 2012


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate return from recess today to consider non-Arctic legislation.






capitalWeek Ahead: House Returns to Budget Battle. Budget battles in the House and a tough Senate primary are dominating congressional news this week. Democrats are promising a rough markup Monday in the House Budget Committee, which is where Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will offer his budget plan and where lawmakers will grapple over sequester requirements. Also in the lower chamber, the floor debate on spending begins with the appropriations package for the Departments of Commerce and Justice. The House will also debate a transportation package that includes approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. The Hill 


Jane Glassco Arctic Fellowship Helps Northerns Do Northern Research: "We have our own people in our own communities who can do research." At a time when many northerners say they're tired of being researched by people from the South, a program has worked on developing home-grown northern researchers and policy-makers. Over the past two years, the Jane Glassco Arctic Fellowship Program, has helped about a dozen young northerners, aged 25 to 35, undertake and complete their own research projects. Nunatsiaq Online


NOAANOAA to Curb Shell Power. The US Fisheries Service claims that, despite allowing Shell to undertake energy exploration activities in shallow waters in the Arctic this summer, marine mammals and the subsistence interests of Alaskan Natives will be protected. Shell has been issued with incidental harassment authorizations, which NOAA say are informed by the latest science as well as lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.While the US Department of the Interior (DOI) has primary responsibility to authorize exploratory activities on the Outer Continental Shelf, DOI's conditional approvals of two Shell exploration plans for activities beginning in 2012 in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas each required Shell to seek incidental harassment authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act from NOAA as one of a series of conditions prior to commencing any activity. Fish News 


defense spendingUSAF Security Forces Enhance Situational Awareness with Arctic Command, Control Innovation. Airmen at Thule Air Base are adopting a new land mobile radio system, enhancing their communications capabilities.  Known as Terrestrial-Trunked Radio, or TETRA for short, this LMR system's employment will result in enhanced situational awareness, removal of a redundant command and control node, savings of one security forces post, and enhanced emergency services interoperability across all 821st Air Base Group agencies. The new system will enhance emergency services at the remote site. Defense Professionals


Statoil and Rosneft Sign Russian Arctic Agreement Worth as Much as Facebook IPO. Norway's Statoil ASA signed Saturday a potential $100 billion cooperation agreement with Russian state oil company Rosneft to develop Russia's mostly untapped offshore energy resources in the Arctic. Statoil joined Exxon Mobil Corp. and Italy's Eni SpA, which signed similar deals earlier 2011, in a so-called "scramble for the Russian Arctic" following Russia's approval of long-awaited tax breaks for the potentially rich offshore fields. gCaptain 


canadian flagIn High Arctic, Canadian Military Tests Next-Generation Surveillance Technology. Military divers have been preparing the way for research which will take place in Canada's Arctic this summer. As part of the Canadian military's training exercise, Operation Nunalivut, two divers slipped under about six feet of ice in Gascoyne Inlet, near Devon Island in Nunavut. They were checking out the underwater sensors which are part of what the military calls the 'Northern Watch Project'. Alaska Dispatch


More Grasslands, Less Tundra in Alaska's Future: report. Long-term climate shifts will mean the spread of prairie-like grasslands and the displacement of much of the tundra habitat in Alaska and neighboring parts of Canada, according to a report released this week by the University of Alaska. The report predicts climate shifts through the end of the century in Alaska and Canada's Yukon and Northwestern Territories. The two-year Alaska, Yukon and Northwestern Territories Climate-Biome Shift Projects, conducted by the university in collaboration with government agencies and nonprofit groups from the United States and Canada, maps out expected changes for the 18 identified sub-climates in the study area, ranging from sparsely vegetated northern Arctic tundra to rainforest and grasslands. Chicago Tribune

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.

Future Events               


NOAA's Hydrographic Services Review Panel meeting, May 22-24, 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. This federal advisory committee will discuss improvements of navigation services that NOAA provides for Alaska and the Arctic. Topics include new nautical charts and navigation safety, emerging commercial shipping needs, accuracy of land elevation data for coastal management, and natural hazard warning and response for the Alaska/Arctic region. The public is invited, and can provide comments during the May 23 and 24 afternoon sessions. For more information, 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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