Arctic Update Header
November 20, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned and will reconvene next week.



budgetLubell: Reject Travel Rules that Stifle Science: GSA debacle has led to government policies that could shackle scientists. Scientists are frugal, especially physicists. I should know: I am one. Actually they're quintessentially cheap. They would rather attend a meeting in Manhattan, Kan., than Manhattan in the Big Apple - just to save a few bucks. So it's remarkable that Congress and the White House are moving ahead in lockstep with policies that shackle government scientists to their laboratories, largely in response to the General Services Administration's lavish spending on a Las Vegas conference in October 2010. Congressional Quarterly


Shop Talk: Pew Research Names New Director: Michael Dimock, a 12-year organization veteran, will succeed Andrew Kohut. Pollster Michael Dimock will succeed Andrew Kohut as director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Dimock is currently associate director for research at the organization, which conducts surveys on politics and public policy and is the flagship project of the Pew Research Center. Dimock, a 12-year Pew Research veteran, has coauthored several of the center's research reports, including an examination of American political and social values and presidential polling from the last several cycles. Congressional Quarterly


capitalGun Groups Battle Over Sportsmen's Legislation: Legislation would make more federal land available for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities. Just when Senate Democrats, the White House and the National Rifle Association finally found legislation they could agree on, opposition from conservatives and a rival gun rights group is delaying passage of a proposal to give hunters and fishermen more access to federal land. With help from the NRA, which is seldom on the losing side of a lobbying battle, leaders of both parties will try again next week to overcome a right-wing rebellion against Montana Democrat Jon Tester's bill. Roll Call


Fatal Oil Rig Accident Unlikely to Revive Safety Bills. Another fatal oil rig explosion last week and the $4.5 billion settlement of criminal charges stemming from the 2010 BP spill drew fresh attention to the hazards of offshore energy exploration, but they are unlikely to revive efforts to pass drilling safety legislation anytime soon, Senate aides said. A Senate bill (S 917) to codify new safety procedures and the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service into two separate agencies stalled last year in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee over a fight about sharing royalty payments with coastal states. Congressional Quarterly


Lieberman Drops Plan to Mark Up Bill to Expand Regulatory Review. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman says he will jettison his plan to mark up a bipartisan proposal to expand regulatory reviews to independent agencies, preferring instead to hold a hearing aimed at laying groundwork for legislation next year. "We're not going to do it up, and mark it up," Lieberman, I-Conn., said of the proposal (S 3468) sponsored by Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to require regulatory analysis by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of independent agencies, similar to OIRA's reviews of cabinet-level departments and their agencies. The measure's co-sponsors are ranking Republican Susan Collins of Maine and Mark Warner, D-Va. Congressional Quarterly


Group Petitions to List Lake Lliamna Seals as an Endangered Species. The Center for Biological Diversity an environmental group based in Tucson, Ariz., has filed a petition for endangered species protection of Pacific harbor seals living in Alaska's Iliamna Lake, 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. The lake seals living in Alaska's largest body of freshwater are the only freshwater seals in the nation and one of only five freshwater seal populations in the world, according to the group's press release. Lake Iliamna, the eighth largest lake in the U.S., is 77 miles long and 22 miles wide with a maximum depth of 988 feet. Alaska Dispatch


Alaska Senate Majority Names Leaders. Lawmakers already have announced some Senate leadership positions including Republicans Charlie Huggins of Wasilla as Senate president and John Coghill, R-North Pole, as Senate Majority Leader. Leadership roles noted Monday for the upcoming session include Anchorage Republican Lesil McGuire as rules committee chair, Sitka Republican Bert Stedman as chair of the Health and Social Services and Finance Committee co-chairs Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, and Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks. Seattle Post Intelligencer 


Climate Scientist Links Arctic Melting to US Weather Fluctuations. "There's a lot of realism to what's happening today and I think I'm not the only one that's sensing that," Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University, said. "This is something that's happening before our very eyes. It's not something that we don't have to worry about for another generation or two. And the fact that there's this link to a place that's so far away and so different from here - you know, the Arctic, people don't think of it being relevant to them. But in fact it really is." Public Radio International

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


Arctic Technology Conference, December 3-5, 2012. The burgeoning Arctic arena offers a host of opportunities for companies that can solve the complex environmental, physical and regulatory challenges it presents. ATC 2012 will include a highly specialized technical program, education courses, networking events, and an exhibition - all deisgned to help ensure that oil and gas professionals throughout the world are prepared to succeed in these challenging Arctic arenas.


Arctic Transportation Infrastructure: Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, December 3-6, 2012. The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group approved a project during the Swedish Chairmanship (co-led by the United States and Iceland) to assess transportation infrastructure. The Arctic Marine and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII) seeks to evaluate Northern infrastructure -ports, airports, and response capability - by inventorying maritime and aviation assets in the Arctic. As part of this project, the Institute of the North is hosting an Arctic transportation infrastructure conference 3-6 December at the Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference theme is "Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic." Participants will include policy makers and government officials; aviation and marine subject matter experts from the private, public, independent and academic sectors; as well as community leaders and Permanent Participants.


AGU Fall Meeting, December 3-7, 2012. The American Geophysical Union hosts in fall meeting in San Francisco. Roughly 20,000 scientists will be in attendance. On December 3rd, there will be a town hall meeting entitled "Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions."The U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) is organizing a Town Hall meeting at the Fall AGU Meeting entitled "TH15G Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions". Ice sheets and ocean sediments hold important climate evidence from the past. International collaboration for drilling in the polar regions requires coordination between science, technology, and logistics.  The research community is invited to hear updates on recent planning by the IDPO/IDDO, IPICS, ANDRILL, IODP, SCAR-ACE, and WAIS initiatives. Opportunities for community involvement in interdisciplinary planning will be highlighted and input solicited. 


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors. Call for abstracts, due November 30, 2012. 


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.


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