US Arctic Research Commission
December 1, 2010

capitalToday's Eventstodaysevents

The Senate is in session, but the schedule is not defined.  Republicans stated that they will filibuster all non-tax legislation.  The House is expected to consider a number of legislative items under suspension of the rules, include a continuing resolution to fund government operations after December 3rd.


NOAA Climate Service, November 30- December 1. The NOAA Science Advisory Board will hold a meeting to discuss the NOAA Climate Service.


Canada-United States Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum, November 30- Canada-US flagsDecember 2, 2010. The Second Canada - United States Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum will examine the current status and future directions for the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, North Slope and Mackenzie Delta.  The forum will focus on technical, engineering and scientific research under the following topic areas: safety on northern offshore platforms & escape, evacuation and rescue issues; oil spill prevention in the Arctic; oil spill management in the Arctic; Transportation logistics for exploration and development in the Arctic; ice engineering issues for offshore platforms; environmental conditions in exploration areas; monitoring for cumulative effects in the Arctic; exploration and development in sensitive coastal habitats. 
Arctic Policy 101, December 1-3. PNWER's (Pacific NorthWest Economic Region) newly formed Arctic Caucus is hosting this preliminary meeting in Barrow. The Caucus formed in October to "provide a forum to share information and develop regional policies on the Arctic and Arctic development." 

Media Reviewtodaysevents


Obama OKs Alaska offshore drilling. In a reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday it will not pursue offshore drilling off the East Coast of the U.S. and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The new plan allows potential drilling in Alaska, but officials said they will move cautiously before approving any leases. Anchorage Daily News

U.S. and Russia Must Cooperate. The Obama administration is mobilizing all its political resources to persuade senators to vote on the New START agreement. The latest offer to reluctant Republicans was an extra $4 billion for nuclear modernization. Yet Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl still won't agree to a vote before January.  As time runs out, the political battle lines are hardening. There is an increasing danger that, whether it wins or loses on this vote, the administration could lose the momentum of its renewed partnership and dialogue with Russia - potentially more critical to U.S. national interests than any one agreement. Politico


Cantor Takes Leave From Ways and Means. Majority Leader-designate Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said he is stepping down from the Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday in order to make room for other Republicans who would like a seat on the panel. "Eric has decided to take a leave from Ways and Means so that other Members have the opportunity to serve on a committee that will no doubt play a major role in the new Republican majority," spokesman Brad Dayspring said. Roll Call


Suicide Conference Addresses Grim Statistics. Rob Sanderson Jr. stepped to a microphone and introduced himself to a crowd of 400 or more Alaska Natives and two federal officials Tuesday in downtown Anchorage. A Haida, he grew up in the Southeast Alaska village of Hydaburg. Population: 340.  In his lifetime, roughly 25 people have killed themselves in his hometown alone, said Sanderson, who is 45. "I've lost three of my best friends that were in my class." Anchorage Daily News


Wild Cards Make Lame-Duck Votes Tricky. Independent-minded senators willing to break ranks on key votes will make the final weeks of the 111th Congress tricky for leaders of both parties. With potential votes on controversial matters - including gays in the military, immigration, taxes and spending - on the Senate's to-do list, Majority Leader Harry Reid will have to work hard to keep Democrats such as Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia voting with the majority. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell must convince moderates such as Susan Collins of Maine and Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, as well as retiring members such as Robert F. Bennett of Utah, to maintain party unity. McConnell has to corral 41 members of his 42-person caucus to block Reid's ability to advance bills past procedural votes. Congressional Quarterly


Arctic Research: Should Oil Firms be Allowed to Fund Climate Change Research? Two oil companies have paid to use a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker for research that could help them make a case for offshore drilling in the Arctic, CBC News reported Tuesday. BP and Imperial Oil paid a minimum of $50,000 a day to use CCGS Amundsen -- which is dedicated to the study of climate change -- for a total of six weeks over the past two years. CBC News 


Future Eventsfutureevents

Federal Funding, December 3. The current continuing resolution expires on December 3rd.
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 13-17The fall meeting will include sessions on "Extratropical and High-latitude Storms, Teleconnections, and Changing Climate," "Bringing Together Environmental, Socio-Economic, and Climatic Change Studies in Northern Eurasia," "The Use of Observations for Evaluating CMIP5/IPCC Simulations," and "The Future of Polar Science: The Path Beyond the IPY." 
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Arctic Town Hall Meeting at AGU, December 15.  The National Science Foundation, Division of Arctic Sciences, will host a town hall meeting.  For additional information, please contact William Wiseman
New Congress, January 3. The 112th Congress begins.
Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 17-21. Within each theme (Bering AMSS 2011 promoSea, Arctic Ocean, and Gulf of Alaska), presenters will discuss climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.
National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment, January 19-21. One of the conference themes is "White Arctic/ Blue Arctic."  This theme will address ice changes in the Arctic to consider several questions: What does science tell us about the future of the Arctic? How would issues about the future - white or blue - be resolved? What models and monitoring data will be required to support an emerging management regime that would allow for sustainable use of the Arctic? How can use of the Arctic and its resources be managed in the face of these possibilities?
Arctic Tipping Points, January 23-29, 2011. Arctic Frontiers will host a conference considering the following topics: Ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic; Marine ecosystems and fisheries; Socioeconomic and institutional perspectives; and People of the North.
President's Budget, February 7.  By statute, the president is required to submit his annual budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February.
Arctic Technology Conference, February 7-9, 2011. The Arctic is one of the few places on the globe which still holds enormous new petroleum reserve potential. A recently completed USGS survey estimated that 20% of the world's remaining reserves were trapped beneath the Arctic Circle. OTC's inaugural Arctic Technology Conference (ATC), 7-9 February 2011 in Houston, Texas, will be a truly global event focused on the cutting-edge technologies and innovative practices needed for exploration and production in the Arctic.

International Conference on Arctic Marine Science, International Law and Climate Protection, March 17-18. The German Federal Foreign Office is hosting an event that will take place on the Berlin premises of the Federal Office. The event is co-hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, with additional support from prominent research institutes. The Conference will discuss the legal framework for marine scientific research in the Arctic Ocean at present and in the future. Scholars, scientists and diplomats with an interest in the Arctic Ocean are invited to attend. For more information, please contact

Arctic Science Summit Week, Seoul, March 28-April 1, 2011The purpose of Korean Flagthe Arctic Science Summit Week is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science.  The Arctic Science Week 2011 is supported by the Korean government, the Korean Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology, and the Seoul Tourism Organization, among other groups.
Sixth International Conference on Arctic Margins, May 31-June 2, 2011 at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks.  The International Conference on Arctic Margins (ICAM) will examine current geological and geophysical research on the Arctic. Topics include: hydrocarbon potential and gas hydrates; science issues relating to UNCLOS Article 76; geodynamic significance of Arctic magmatism; vertical motions in the Arctic, tectonic, and glacial; geology and palaeogeography of the Arctic continental margins; evolution of the Arctic Ocean basins, including plate reconstructions, magmatism, and sedimentology; modern Arctic environments, including geological, climatic, and oceanographic processes; recent advances in Arctic research technology.  More information email.
7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011The 7th Congress, "Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences Beyond the IPY," will be held in Akureyri, Iceland.  The International Congress of the Arctic Social Sciences is held every three years. 
Holocene Glacier Variability from the Tropics to the Poles, July 20-27, 2011. Glaciers respond sensitively to climate change. Recent (Holocene) glacier fluctuations are a valuable proxy for terrestrial interglacial paleoclimate conditions. A main challenge for interpreting paleoclimate from past mountain glacier extents is distinguishing local and regional patterns from global signals. Reconstructing Holocene glacier extents involves many disciplines including terrestrial and marine geology, geochronology and glaciology.  Organizers hope to facilitate an inter-hemispheric comparison of glacier records including locations in the Tropics, European Alps, American Cordillera, Southern Alps of New Zealand, Himalaya and Polar Regions and to identify future research questions and directions. For additional information contact: Meredith Kelly.
13th Arctic Ungulates Conference (AUC), August 22-26, 2011.  The theme of the conference will be "Challenges of Managing Northern Ungulates." The theme addresses the difficulties of managing ungulate populations that are faced with the unpredictable effects of climate change and an ever-increasing human presence on the land. The conference will also focus on the challenges associated with developing recovery actions for declining caribou and reindeer populations that are an integral part of Aboriginal cultures and ways of life. 
9th International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering, September 3-7, 2011. The Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk, Russia), the Institute of Northern Mining (Yakutsk, Russia), the Cold and Arid Regions Engineering and Environmental Research Institute (Lanzhou, China), and the Heilongjiang Institute of Cold Region Engineering (Harbin, China) will host the Ninth International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering to be held in Mirny, Yakutia. The aim of the Symposium is to provide a forum for discussion of permafrost engineering issues, as well as for exchange of practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva.
Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011The 27th Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, entitled "Fishing People of the North: Cultures, Economies, and Management Responding to Change," will be held in Anchorage, Alaska. This international symposium will provide a forum for scholars, fishery managers, fishing families, and others to explore the human dimensions of fishery systems and growing need to include social science research in policy processes.  The conference is part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sea Grant program.


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.  More details to follow.


president signing
Legislative Action


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.

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