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October 22, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session. 



Bowhead Whales: Ancient DNA Sheds Light on Arctic Whale Mysteries. Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, City University of New York, and other organizations have published the first range-wide genetic analysis of the bowhead whale using hundreds of samples from both modern populations and archaeological sites used by indigenous Arctic hunters thousands of years ago. Science Daily


Bowhead Fewer Isolated Pods of Alaska Whales, Packs of Wolves. The bowhead whales that inhabit the vastness of the Arctic Ocean at the very top of the globe appear to have something in common with the wolves that roam the vast wildness of Alaska. All live in seemingly independent groups -- packs for wolves, pods for whales -- but new genetic research shows them to be so interrelated that there is obviously a whole lot of sex going on outside those groups. Wildlife biologists studying the wolves of Denali National Park broke new ground in the study of those animals more than a decade ago when extensive genetic testing led them to the conclusion the wolves of Denali are the wolves of Alaska. Up until that time, many had held to the belief that the park's long-watched Toklat pack and others represented discreet lineages. Not so, discovered world-famous wolf research L. David Mech, who headed a nine-year study with Tom Meier of the National Park Service, Layne Adams of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Bruce Dale of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Alaska Dispatch


Polar bear Threatened Species Listing for Polar Bears Contested in US Court. Polar bears' designation as a threatened species was challenged in a United States appeals court on Friday, with a lawyer for Alaska and other parties arguing that regulators had failed to back up the listing. Alaska and other plaintiffs that include hunters and the California Cattlemen's Association are appealing a federal court ruling last year that upheld the Interior Department's 2008 designation of the bears as threatened because their icy habitat is melting away. Mr. Murray Feldman, a lawyer for Alaska and other appellants, told the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that the government had failed to show how the big white bears likely would be nearing extinction at the middle of this century. TODAY Online


canadian flag Irving Shipbuilding Sets Deadline for January for Arctic Patrol Ship Work. The president of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is applying pressure on Ottawa to sign a design work contract for eight new Arctic patrol ships. Steve Durrell said Friday unless the contract is signed and engineering work begins by January, the company's Halifax Shipyard will have a tough time meeting its goal of cutting the first steel for the project in 2015. "We'll be looking at this day by day," he said. "If it gets delayed a month, it will delay the program a month." Victoria Times Colonist


NASA Keeps an Eye on the Earth's Iceboxes. NASA's Operation IceBridge monitors the polar ice caps so that scientists can study how each interacts with the global climate. Between Oct. 11 and Nov. 17, NASA is conducting Antarctic survey flights, including a trip over the Thwaites Glacier on October 15th.  The Thwaites Ice Shelf, in western Antarctica, is shown here calving. Antarctic sea ice coverage hit a new annual winter maximum earlier this year. This is in contrast to the Arctic, where ice coverage shattered an all-time low in September. Summer Arctic sea ice is disappearing much faster than scientists anticipated amid warming temperatures. Bloomberg


hillary clinton U.S. Eyes Arctic for Future Energy Needs: "The melting icecaps are opening new drilling opportunities as well as maritime routes." We're in living in a "moment of profound change," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Oct. 18 during a speaking engagement at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where she discussed Arctic environmental and resource issues. And her message was that the U.S. wishes to avoid conflict over Arctic resources and to protect the Arctic environment. Nunatsiaq Online

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered Friday.

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.  


Climate Change: The Arctic as an Emerging Market, October 29, 2012. As part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science and Society: Global Challenges series, Jed Hamilton, senior Arctic consultant with Exxon Mobil; Dr. Julieanne Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Date Center; and Dr. John Farrell of the US Arctic Research Commission will discuss the Arctic as an emerging market.


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.


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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