US Arctic Research Commission
April 8, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Today the House, Senate and White House continue budget discussions to avert a government shutdown.  Authorization for federal funding will expire today unless Congress is able to pass a short-term extension or long-term spending measure.


Spill Response for the Future, April 7-8. SINTEF will host a conference on offshore oil and gas activity's expansion northward. The conference will consider political improvements of oil spill technology, needed improvements, recent accidents, and knowledge-based approaches to development. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Congress in SessionSpending Negotiations Remain at an Impasse. Congressional negotiators remain at an impasse over a final spending agreement, with Senate Democrats saying a dispute over abortion provisions is the only thing delaying a deal, while House Republicans insist spending cuts are the main issue. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the two sides have agreed to cut fiscal 2011 spending by $78 billion, compared to the president's request for 2011. A reduction of that size translates to about $38 billion in cuts from spending levels in place at the beginning of this year. 


Murkowski Steps Up Fight Against Alaska Youth Suicide. Sen. Lisa Murkowski today joined efforts to extend needed funds, service and resources to Alaska's at-risk youth communities - as a co-sponsor of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization of 2011. The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Tom Udall (D-NM), would strengthen suicide prevention efforts for the state, tribal organizations, and college campuses. "Alaska's children are our most valuable natural resource - and they're threatened by an epidemic of suicide. Thousands of Alaskans stood up and chose respect last week, but the first step is to teach and help our children to respect themselves.  I'm proud to join my Senate colleagues in stepping up our fight for Alaska's future." Senator Lisa Murkowski


New Warning on Arctic Sea Ice Melt. Scientists who predicted a few years ago that Arctic summers could be ice-free by 2013 now say summer sea ice will probably be gone in this decade. The original prediction, made in 2007, gained Wieslaw Maslowski's team a deal of criticism from some of their peers. Now they are working with a new computer model - compiled partly in response to those criticisms - that produces a "best guess" date of 2016. BBC News


Murkowski and Begich Meet with Future Coast Guard Alaska Commander. The nominee for command of the Coast Guard's 17th District met with Murkowski LisaU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today, telling her he fully recognizes the critical importance of Coast Guard missions in Alaska.  Rear Admiral Thomas P. Ostebo served at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He told the Senator the assignment gave him a first-hand understanding of Alaska's weather and resource challenges. Rear Admiral Ostebo also met with Senator Mark Begich.  Senator Lisa Murkowski


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts. Yesterday, President Obama announced his intention to nominate the following individuals: Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Deborah Downing Goodman, and Barbara Jeanne Ells to be members of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development; and, William Carl Lineberger to be a member of the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation. The White House

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday. 

Future Events      


Make it Monday Forum- Deepwater Horizon: Presidential Oil Spill Commission Update, April 11. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce hosts this event that will feature University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer.  Ms. Ulmer will present the findings from President Obama's Oil Spill Commission and its implications for Alaska, as well as give an overview of her time as UAA's chancellor. 


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Interior and Environment, April 12. The Interior and Environment and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2012 appropriations for departments, agencies, and programs under its jurisdiction.  


What does the National Ocean Policy Mean for the Arctic Region, On April 19, 2011, ACCAP will host a webinar titled "What does the National Ocean Policy mean for the Arctic region?"  Please join in to learn about the development of a strategic action plan for changing conditions in the Arctic, and to share your comments, questions, and ideas.


The Arctic as a Messenger for Global Processes- Climate Change and Pollution, 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, Commonwealth North, and the Institute of the North will host a forum titled "The Arctic Imperative: Think of the Bering Strait as the Next Panama Canal."  The forum will bring together international policymakers, industry, and investment leaders to consider topics just as security, resources, port development, marine shipping, commerce, and trade.


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.


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


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference permafrostwill 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. 


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.

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