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March 8, 2013

Today's Eventstodaysevents  


The House and Senate are not in session.
Boehner Warns Senate Against Loading Up CR. Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that the Senate will be toying with a government shutdown if it makes drastic changes to a continuing resolution passed Wednesday by the House. The CR, which makes changes to defense spending to alleviate sequester cuts to military readiness, awaits Senate action, and the chamber may add more spending bills to the package. But Boehner warned against adding anything overtly partisan.
Roll Call  
Public Comment: The draft report, entitled "Arctic Marine Transportation System: Overview and Priorities for Action," is now available for review and 
comment until April 22, 2013. The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) draft  document is available on the CMTS website ( Substantive comments and/or questions regard
  ing the draft report should be submitted to The public comment notice (pdf) is here.

Proposal to protect polar bears fails. A proposal to ban international trade in polar
polar bear mattbear parts was rejected yesterday at a major conference in Bangkok of wildlife trade, highlighting the difficulties of reaching a global consensus on the protection of many kinds of endangered wildlife. The proposal was put forward by the US and Russia, but was opposed by Canada, Greenland and Norway. LA Times 

capital Senate Appropriators Eye Omnibus Approach for CR. Senior U.S. Senate appropriators signaled Thursday that their version of legislation to keep the government open beyond March 27 would include a full defense spending bill - and potentially other full agency funding measures. "I've been talking with Sen. Mikulski about whether it's possible to put more of the regular appropriations bills on it," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told reporters Thursday, referring to panel Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. "We in the Senate have done our work on the appropriations bills, with one exception, and I don't think it makes sense to throw that work out the window," Collins said. Federal Times 


Law Gives Tribes New Authority Over Non-Indians. American Indian tribes have been tried everything from banishment to charging criminal acts as civil offenses to deal with non-Indians who commit crimes on reservations. Ever since the US Supreme court ruled in 1978 that tribal courts lack criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians, tribes have had to get creative in trying to hold that population accountable. They acknowledge, though, that those approaches aren't much of a deterrent, and said most crimes committed by non-Indians on tribal land go unpunished. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


UAA to Host First Ever Alaska Native Studies Conference April 5-6, 2013. UAA will host the first ever Alaska Native Studies Conference, "Alaska Native Studies in the 21st Century: Transforming the University," on April 5-6, 2013, on the UAA Anchorage campus. The conference will feature over 30 panels, workshops and presentations that focus on culturally responsive education, languages, identity, land claims and the arts. Alaska Native News


Canada flagScientists Say Canada's Glaciers are Headed for Unstoppable Thaw. Canadian glaciers that are the world's third biggest store of ice after Antarctica and Greenland seem headed for an irreversible melt that will push up sea levels, scientists said Thursday. About 20 percent of the ice in glaciers, on islands such as Ellesmere or Devon off northern Canada, could vanish by the end of the 21st century in a melt that would add 1.4 inch (3.5 cm) to global sea levels, they said. Governments are trying to understand every possible centimeter of sea level rise caused by global warming, to plan how to protect cities from New York to Shanghai or low-lying coasts from Ghana to Bangladesh. "We believe that the mass loss is irreversible in the foreseeable future," assuming continued climate change, the scientists, based in the Netherlands and the United States, wrote in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. NBC News


Global temperatures highest in 4,000 years. And over the coming decades, temperatures are likely to surpass levels not seen on the planet since before the last ice age. New York Times


Pollution Potential is an Issue in Arctic Lawsuit. A lawsuit filed in late February in U.S. District Court in Anchorage challenges an oil industry project permit that seven residents of an Arctic village feel poses a threat to their traditional hunting and fishing grounds. The case challenges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' approval of an oil development project involving a CD-5 drilling project north of Nuiqsut. The Cordova Times


icebreakers [Canadian] Feds Announce Mega Deal for Arctic Ships. Ottawa's plan to bolster the navy's fleet nudged toward the drawing board Thursday after it signed a contract to design the next generation of Arctic offshore patrol ships. The deal with Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax is worth an estimated $288 million and divides the design work into seven phases including engineering and project management before the vessels can be built. The Province


Subsistence Concerns Over Arctic Development Dominate Marine Mammal Talks. Royal Dutch Shell may have called off its plans to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic seas this year, and ConocoPhillips may plan to not even begin drilling in the Chukchi Sea until 2013, but people aren't forgetting about Big Oil's designs on offshore development in the warming Far North. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual Arctic Open water meeting on Thursday, local stakeholders repeatedly voiced their concerns to representatives from both companies-even if it strayed from the intended agenda of the meeting. Alaska Dispatch 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      


The 43rd Annual Arctic Workshop 2013, March 11-13, 2013: Amherst, Massachusetts. The workshop is an annual gathering for international researchers to present work on any aspect of high-latitude environments (past, present, and future). Organizers strive for a relaxed, friendly, and interactive experience, fostered in part by the workshop's relatively small size. Researchers are invited to present their very latest research; the abstract deadline is just a few weeks before the workshop. Student participation is strongly encouraged, with partial support available to those making presentations (limited number of slots).


The Economist's "Arctic Summit: A New Vista for Trade Energy and the Environment," March 12, 2013. (Oslo, Norway) The event is hosted by The Economist. The Arctic Summit will discuss big issues concerning the region: chase for natural resources, impact of climate change, emergence of new trading routes and the need for responsible governance. The summit has been designed to focus attention and to promote constructive thinking prior to the next Arctic Council Ministers' meeting in 2013. A high-level group of 150 policy-makers, CEOs and influential commentators will spend a day tackling the issues at the heart of the Arctic's future, in discussions led by James Astill, environment editor of The Economist and author of the special report on the Arctic.


Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, March 12-13, 2013, Washington, D.C. The Standing Committee of the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region will hold its next meeting in March. One of the main priorities of the Standing Committee was originally to support the establishment of the Arctic Council. The new organization, representing the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA) and the European Parliament was founded on 19 September 1996. Since then the Committee has worked actively to promote the work of the Council. The Committee participates in the meetings of the Arctic Council as an observer.


Lecture: Melting Ice: What is happening to Arctic sea ice and what does it mean for us? March 20, 2013, Washington DC. The National Research Council is sponsoring the 14th annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture, to be given by Dr. John Walsh of the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks. The lecture, which starts at 5:30 pm in the Baird Auditorium, in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (10th Street and Constitution entrance) is free, and open to the public, but pre-registration for planning purposes, would be appreciate. Please contact Pamela Lewis ( with questions.


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013, Anchorage. 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.


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics." 


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. 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.


Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.

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