Arctic Update Header
October 17, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session. 



capital Democrats Continue Pro Forma Protests. As the House continues to meet in biweekly pro forma sessions, Democrats continue taking to the floor to symbolically demonstrate their frustration with GOP leaders and blast Republicans on a gamut of issues. During this afternoon's minutes-long pro forma, Democratic Reps. Russ Carnahan (Mo.) and Gerry Connolly (Va.) were present to call on the Republican leadership to address looming sequestration cuts but were denied the chance to speak. Roll Call


Young, Cissna Face Off at Fairbanks Candidate Forum. Rep. Don Young is facing a challenge from state legislator Sharon Cissna for Alaska's lone U.S. House seat on Nov. 6, but the longtime congressman emphasized on Tuesday that he's in no mood to step down. During a candidate forum hosted by the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Young said he'll run again for the seat - in 2014. "You young guys have to wait in line," he said with a smile. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


arcticcouncilOil Pollution Accord an Expansion of Arctic Council Powers. ANALYSIS: At the last Arctic Council meeting in Nuuk, Greenland in May 2011, the eight member states decided to form a task force to write an agreement on Arctic marine oil pollution preparedness and response. This past week in Reykjavik, Iceland, delegates from the eight Arctic Council member states met again for a fifth round of talks about the legal instrument. More progress was made in drafting the legal document, but more still has to be done with regard to technical specifications. The delegates hope to have finished the agreement by May 2013, when the next Arctic Council will convene. Alaska Dispatch


Arctic MapThe Arctic Dialogue in Brussels: Are we talking about the same 'Arctic?' The number of Arctic seminars in Brussels seems to increase in parallel with the decrease of Arctic sea ice every year. Despite this swell of discussion, the rhetoric used by the different 'Arctic-camps' is often so divergent that one can even question if we are all talking about the same geographical region. A prime example of this is how debates concerning sovereignty and oil and gas in the Arctic are, at least from a Norwegian or Russian point of view, out of touch with current realities. As pointed out in recent articles by The Arctic Institute, both the Environment Committee in the European Parliament and the Environment Audit Committee in the British Parliament have called for a ban on Arctic offshore oil and gas activities in the last few weeks. Greenpeace has made its presence felt very strongly in this arena lately, with protests and demands for a halt in Arctic drilling. Additionally, the French oil multinational Total went public and expressed concern about oil drilling in the Arctic, perhaps no surprise given that Total only has gas projects in the Arctic. The Arctic Institute


Seeking Nominations for NASA Science Advisory Subcommittees. Annual invitation for public nominations by U.S. citizens for service on NASA science advisory subcommittees. SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and in accordance with the Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies signed on December 17, 2010, signed by the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President, NASA announces its annual invitation for public nominations for service on NASA science advisory subcommittees. These science advisory subcommittees report to the Science Committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). U.S. citizens may nominate individuals and also submit self-nominations for consideration as potential members of NASA's science advisory subcommittees. NASA's science advisory subcommittees have member vacancies from time to time throughout the year, and NASA will consider nominations and self-nominations to fill such intermittent vacancies. NASA is committed to selecting members to serve on its science advisory subcommittees based on their individual expertise, knowledge, experience, and current/past contributions to the relevant subject area. SpaceRef


budget University of Iowa Officials Worry Federal Research Money May be Endangered by Budget Cutting. The University of Iowa's top research administrator says he's not keeping one eye on federal budget talks."Both eyes," vice president for research Jordan Cohen said. "We watch it really 24-7." A report released last week from the Congressional Budget Office showed the federal government spent $1.1 trillion more than it took in during fiscal 2012. As policymakers face pressure to cut the budget deficit, they could look to the billions the federal government spends each year on research projects, many of which are on university campuses. Huffington Post

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


inuitconferencelogoArctic/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 museums 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.  


Foreign Policy Panel Debate: "Is the Law of the Sea Treaty in the United States' Best Interests?" October 30, 2012. The American Academy of Diplomacy and the World Affairs Council cosponsor a panel discussion on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.  


U.S.-Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum (2012) Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum 2012, November 13-15, 2012. The Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum is a biannual event with representation from government, industry, academia, Aboriginal groups, and northerners from both Canada and the United States. The forum provides an opportunity for United States and Canadian decision makers, regulators, Aboriginals, industry members, non-governmental organizations and scientists to discuss current scientific research and future directions for northern oil and gas activities. The focus is on technical, scientific, and engineering research that can be applied to support management and regulatory processes related to oil and gas exploration and development in the North. The North Slope Science Initiative and the U.S. Department of the Interior is hosting, in partnership with our counterparts in Canada and the United States, the third United States - Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum from November 13 to 15, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska. The Forum will showcase the value of Northern scientific research in support of sound decision-making for oil and gas management. 


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.


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.

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