US Arctic Research Commission
April 25, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the spring recess through May 2nd.


Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, today. The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI) Research Board will hold a press conference to announce the release of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative request for proposals. The GRI was established to investigate the impacts and fate of the oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico and affected coastal states.


Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Coast Guard Report: Transocean safety flaws contributed to explosion. Unlike other reports investigating the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf, the initial findings of a Coast Guard report released Friday hardly mention BP. Instead, the report, a result of a joint accident investigation with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, puts rig owner - Transocean - at the center of its findings. 

Government Executive  

NASA Continues to Peek at Arctic Ice. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is still looking at Arctic ice to better understand climate change at the top of the world. Last month, NASA launched the third season of Operation Ice Bridge, which monitors changes in sea ice and ice sheet thickness. Nunatsiaq Online


At the Edge of the Ice, Counting Whales. Kate Stafford, an oceanographer at the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington, writes from Alaska, where she is participating in a visual census of bowhead whales. The New York Times


Submarine Raises Curiosity in Dutch Harbor. According to Unalaska residents, an American submarine that stopped by Dutch Harbor to offload some scientists caused a stir in town Thursday with rumors out about it being a Russian sub with engine or heating problems. But it seems that wasn't the case. It is supposedly a U.S. Navy Los Angeles class submarine dropping off scientists who had spent the past few months in the Arctic. Alaska Dispatch 


Pacific Walrus May Get a Day in Court, Too. The Pacific walrus has become the latest Arctic Alaska species headed for a courtroom battle between environmentalists and the federal government under the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity has notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of its intent to sue the agency for failing to list the walrus as either threatened or endangered under the law. The agency currently considers it a "candidate" species but formally listing the walrus would give it more protection from development through possible restrictions on oil and gas development, for instance. Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.The House and Senate are in recess through May 2nd.

Future Events     


Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee meeting, April 26.  The

John Holdren

President's Science Advisor, Dr. John Holdren, will kick off a meeting of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), the first gathering constituted under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), as called for in President Obama's July 22, 2010, memorandum. The agenda includes: The NSTC Council Charter for IARPC; the State of Alaska's interests and involvement in Arctic research; planning for a federal Arctic research budget cross-cut; discussion of the National Ocean Policy "Changing Conditions in the Arctic Ocean" strategic action plan; discussion of IARPC's role in the National Arctic Region Policy (NSPD66/HSPD25); presentation, discussion and approval of the interagency priority research themes for FY11 and FY12; presentation, discussion and approval of the outline for the IARPC 5-year research program plan. NSTC meetings are open only to Federal employees. 


The Arctic as a Messenger for Global Processes- Climate Change and Pollution (pdf), May 4-6, 2011. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), the University of Copenhagen, and Aarhus University. The conference will include talks by invited keynote speakers, oral presentations selected on the basis of submitted abstracts, poster presentations, and short oral presentations of selected posters. A panel discussion will develop messages to be communicated to the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting that will take place in Greenland one week after the conference. 

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.  


American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium, June 5-14. This policy colloquium brings together a group to consider atmospheric policy. The colloquium will cover policy creation basics, interactions with congressional staff, and information on the current atmospheric policy issues. 


The Arctic Imperative, June 19-21, 2011. The Alaska Dispatch, Aspen Institute,

Alice Rogoff, Alaska Dispatch Publisher

Commonwealth North, and the Institute of the North will host a domestic investment and policy forum titled "The Arctic Imperative." The forum, at the Alyeska Resort in the Chugach Mountains, near Anchorage, will bring together international policymakers, industry, and investment leaders to consider topics just as security, resources, port development, marine shipping, commerce, and trade. The goal of the gathering is to "sharpen the world's focus on the policy and investment needs of Arctic development through a series of high-level meetings, presentations and investor roundtables." Confirmed speakers include Fran Ulmer, Chair of the USARC; Edward Itta, Mayor of the North Slope Borough; Thomas Barrett, President of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company; Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations; Mead Treadwell, Lt. Gov. of the State of Alaska; David Rubenstein, Managing Director of the Carlyle Group; Reggie Joule, Alaska State Legislator; among others. Registration is $2500 for out-of-state participants (includes registration, meals, tax, ground transfers & lodging), and $900 for in-state (includes registration & meals). Speakers are free. Media registration and meals are free.


4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, June 20-21, 2011.  The symposium is co-hosted by the U.S. icediminisharcticNational Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. This symposium addresses present and future impacts of rapid changes in Arctic Ocean sea ice cover on a wide range of maritime operations. The forum, the fourth in a series, is a key opportunity for federal entities to discuss their response to changes in both the Arctic environment and associated policies. Registration is now open.


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.  


7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011Akureyri 

The 7th Congress, "Circumpolar Perspectives in Global Dialogue: Social Sciences Beyond the IPY," will be held in Akureyri, Iceland. The  Intl'

Congress of the Arctic Social Sciences is held every 3 years. 

13th Arctic Ungulates Conference (AUC), August 22-26, 2011. The theme of the conference will be "Challenges of Managing Northern Ungulates." The theme Muskokaddresses 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. 


4th International Sea Duck Conference, September 12-16. The conference is held to provide researchers and managers with opportunities to share information, research, and conduct workshops.


Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011. The 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.    


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future

A technical workshop, organized by Dr. Peter Wadhams, on the physical problems associated with oil spills and blowouts in sea ice will be held at the Istituto Geografico Polare "Silvio Zavatti," Fermo, Italy, on September 20-23, 2011. Scientists, engineers and policy makers are invited to address the questions of how oil is emitted from a blowout or spill, how the oil and gas are incorporated in the under-ice surface, how the oil layer evolves, how the oil is transported by the ice, and how and where eventual release occurs. The aim is to incorporate the experience of those scientists who worked in this field in the 1970s-1990s, when large-scale field experiments involving oil release were possible, and to relate this to the needs of present researchers who are seeking solutions to the problem of a sustainable Arctic oil spill management system. Notably, the workshop will be attended by the oil spill work package of the EU ACCESS project (Arctic Climate Change and its Effect on Economic Systems). Registration forms are available here


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. Details to follow. 


Arctic/ 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. For more information, please email Lauren Marr

USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA 
(703) 525-0111 (phone)