US Arctic Research Commission
December 8, 2010

capitalToday's Eventstodaysevents


The Senate will consider impeachment proceedings and hold several cloture votes. The House will consider a number of legislative items under suspension of the rules. 


Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP) December 8, NOPPWashington DC.  ORRAP is a federal advisory committee that advises on policies and procedures to implement the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) and to provide recommendations to the National Ocean Council on interagency activities. Among other actions at this meeting, ORRAP will approve an "Arctic Findings Paper" (see pages 25-28 on this pdf). The agenda is here.

Media Reviewtodaysevents


US Public Asked to Play Judge and Jury for Science Funding. The incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives has selected the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the first target for a "YouCut Citizen Review," in which ordinaryCantor Americans are being asked to identify "wasteful spending that should be cut." For several weeks now, the website of Eric Cantor, the incoming House majority leader, has featured a project called YouCut, in which people are asked to vote by text message and email on a series of proposed spending cuts. Each of the winners has been put to the floor of the House for a vote. The New Scientist


Obey Announces Earmark-Free, $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill. House Appropriations Chairman David Obey(D-Wis.) has unveiled his $1.25 trillion, 181-page spending bill that omits earmarks, freezes civilian salaries and funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "This Committee has done its dead level best within the constraints under which we are operating to make some modest adjustments to salvage some investments which over the long haul just might create more jobs than a tax break for millionaires and adjustments that just might ease the financial desperation facing so many families today," Obey said in his statement issued late Tuesday night. Congressional Quarterly


Rogers Tapped as Approps Chairman; Upton Gets Energy Gavel. Rep. Hal Rogers, a longtime proponent of earmarks, was selected Tuesday to be the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee as the panel faces a changing mission amid concerns about federal spending. GOP sources confirmed that the House Republican Steering Committee chose the Kentucky Republican over Reps. Jack Kingston (Ga.) and Jerry Lewis (Calif.), who also sought the gavel of the historically powerful spending committee. Roll Call


Energy and Commerce Job Goes to Upton; Jurisdiction Decision Pending. The House Republican Steering Committee chose Fred Upton of Michigan on Tuesday as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee for the 112th Congress, despite concerns by party conservatives that his record is too moderate. In selecting Upton, the committee bypassed the panel's current top Republican and former chairman, Joe L. Barton of Texas. Barton was blocked by a GOP caucus rule limiting service as a committee's chairman or ranking member to six years. Upton's appointment must be ratified by the full Republican Conference, which meets Wednesday to consider the recommendations. Still undecided is the bigger question of whether the Energy and Commerce Committee will retain jurisdiction over energy issues, according to an aide for Washington Republican Doc Hastings, who is in line to head the Natural Resources Committee. Congressional Quarterly


Ralph Hall to Chair Science Panel. Ralph Hall is poised to become the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee after fending off a challenge from California Republican Dana Rohrabacher. Hall, 87, on Tuesday won the endorsement of the GOP panel tasked with selecting chairmen, a member of the steering committee told POLITICO. The recommendation will go before the full caucus Wednesday, but the vote is seen as little more than a formality. At the helm of the Science Committee, Hall is expected to be at the forefront of GOP efforts to probe the Obama administration's climate policies next year. Politico


Canada Not Ready for Major Oil Spill: Commissioner. Canada is not ready to respond to a major oil spill from a tanker in its waters, its environment commissioner warned on Tuesday. In a damning report, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Scott Vaughan said the Canadian Coast Guard's emergency response plan is out of date. As well, he said the Coast Guard has not done a national risk assessment of oil spills from ships since 2000, and does not have a reliable system to track spills. AFP


Coast Guard Stresses Ice Safety. U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan reminds people to use extra precautions when planning recreational activities on frozen ponds, streams, rivers and lakes. Ice is unpredictable and dangerous. While the Coast Guard understands winter recreation on the ice around the Great Lakes is a tradition, it is important to take safety measures. Coast Guard


Delegation Announces Grants and Contracts to Alaska Programs. The announcement includes $1.8 million for the Northwest Arctic Borough to create an inventory to catalog subsistence studies from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Congressman Don Young 


House Leadership Sets Vote on 2011 Funding for Wednesday. The office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced late Tuesday that the House will take up a $1.1 trillion continuing resolution funding the government though Sept. 30. House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) released a final draft of the CR at 12:30 am. Democrats plan to send the CR to the Senate where they will attempt to amend it into an omnibus appropriations bill that has been crafted by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii). The Hill


[Representative] Eric Cantor Unveils New Congressional Calendar. Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) plans to introduce a vastly overhauled congressional calendar this morning, one that gives lawmakers a full week away from Washington and in their districts each month. The second-ranking Republican, who is presenting the schedule to lawmakers in a closed-door House Republican Conference meeting Wednesday, is also turning the body's internal schedule on its head, planning to largely limit votes to between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., allowing committees to work uninterrupted during the morning and eschewing late-night lawmaking. Politico


Soil Needs Decades to Recover from a Spill. Twelve years after the spillage at Aznalcóllar (Spain), a team led by the National Museum of Natural Science (NMNS-Spanish National Research Council) states that the soil affected has recovered "reasonably well." Their study of nematodes (microscopic soil worms that are indicators of the biological state of soil) confirmed the "enormous" impact of heavy metals and is useful for predicting the effect of the red mud spillage in Hungary. Science Daily


Legislative Actionfutureevents

No Arctic-related legislation was considered yesterday.

Future Eventsfutureevents


American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 13-17. The 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." 
 NSF logo
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? 

Public Forum on Natural Gas Markets, January 22. The federal coordinator's office for the Alaska natural gas pipeline will sponsor a public forum on gas markets Jan. 22 to help Alaskans better understand the supply-and-demand fundamentals affecting the proposed pipeline project. The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects will bring to Alaska several national experts on Lower 48 supply and demand including shale gas, the effect of federal clean air regulations on natural gas demand, and foreign markets for liquefied natural gas.


Arctic Tipping Points, January 23-29, 2011. Arctic Frontiers will host a conferenceseesaw 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 permafrostEngineering (Harbin, China) will host the Ninth International Symposium on  Permafrost Engineering to be held in Mirny, Yakutia. The aim of the Symposium i s 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.


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