US Arctic Research Commission
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August 16, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 

 

The House and Senate are not in session.


Media Reviewtodaysevents    

  

Interior Weighs Options After Judge Rejects Drilling Policy. Oil Drilling in AlaskaThe Obama administration is reviewing a federal court ruling that invalidated new environmental review requirements for oil and natural gas drilling, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday. Salazar defended steps his department has taken to overhaul oil and gas drilling since President Obama took office. "Our view is that we need to develop oil and gas in a responsible way," he told reporters on a conference call. Congressional Quarterly

  

Greenland Publishes Oil Spill Plans. Greenland's government published a response plan in the event of an oil spill off its coast, a move Greenpeace said fell short of what's expected. Greenpeace in early June said it forced energy company Cairn to stop drilling operations in the arctic waters off Greenland for four days when activists suspended themselves from a survival pod on the company's oil rig. UPI

 

Floating Nuclear Plant Seized in Bankruptcy Proceedings. The Court of Arbitration seized a half-finished floating nuclear power plant. The seizure was requested by Rosenergoatom, a state-owned company that will operate the plant in the Russian Arctic. Ecologists in both Russia and abroad claim the reactor technology is outdated and the idea of a floating nuclear power plant is a high-risk project. Barents Observer

 

Russia Pushes to Claim Arctic as its Own. Four years ago, Russianrussian flag researchers made a bold, if unseen, move. From a submarine, deep beneath the icy waters of the North Pole, they planted a Russian flag on the ocean floor. Russia has the world's longest Arctic border, which stretches more than 10,000 miles. And for Russia, that 2007 research mission was only the beginning of a major drive to claim ownership of vast portions of the Arctic, as well as the oil and gas deposits that are beneath. NPR


GG Praises Nunavut in First Official Visit to Iqaluit. No, Governor General David Johnston didn't eat any seal heart. But Johnston, on the first day of a six-day Nunavut tour, still got to savor plenty of raw caribou, Arctic char and maqtaq in Iqaluit Aug. 15 during a community feast held in his honor. Seal is normally standard fare for such events, but local hunters had none to offer, so there was no repeat of 2009, when MichaŽlle Jean, then the Governor General, famously downed a piece of raw, bloody seal heart during a visit to Rankin Inlet. Nunatsiaq Online   

 

Walruses Again Headed Toward Shore in Northwest Alaska.Walrus Retreating sea ice this summer is again forcing walruses to haul out onshore in Northwest Alaska, say researchers who continue to worry that this increasing behavior will lead to more stampede deaths among young animals that are crushed by adults. Live Science reports that U.S. Geological Survey scientists radio-tagged 40 walruses in the Chukchi Sea this summer. Some are already ashore in Alaska, weeks earlier than in previous years. Anchorage Daily News

 

Canadian Inuit Embark on First Bowhead Hunt in Over a Century. Inuit hunters in Iqaluit, capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, embarked this morning on what residents are calling their first bowhead whale hunt in more than 100 years. Two other eastern Arctic communities also were granted a single bowhead each this year by the Canadian government. Anchorage Daily News 

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

 

No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

 


Future Events                     

      

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 exchanging practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva. 

 

Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, September 4-6, 2011. "Our Ice Dependent World," organized by the Northern Research Forum and its partners as the Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, will be hosted by the University of Akureyri in the town of Hveragerūi, Iceland. Addressing the three 'poles' - the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Himalayan region- the sub-themes represent different  perspectives for viewing the subject of natural ice and evaluating its importance.  The event will consider implications of ice melt on humanity, communities, minds, perceptions and knowledge on ice; International law, 'soft law' and governance on ice.

 

4th International Sea Duck Conference, seaduckconferencelogoSeptember 12-16, 2011. The Sea Duck Joint Venture has helped sponsor a North American Sea Duck Conference once every three years since 2002. These conferences provide opportunities for researchers and managers to share information and research results, conduct workshops on specific issues, and to hold related meetings. The 4th conference will officially be an international conference and will be held in Seward, Alaska, 12-16 September, 2011, with participants from the U.S., Canada, Russia and Europe, focusing on sea ducks in the North and the Arctic. It will be held at the Windsong Lodge, with three days of presentations and workshops, and there will be a chartered boat trip the last day into the Kenai Fjords to watch sea ducks. Registration is available on the website for the conference and the excursion.

 

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 Fermo

September 20-23, 2011. 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. 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. Registration forms are available here

 

Murmansk Arctic Forum, October 1-2, 2011. Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society, the forum will host discussion on Arctic navigation, development of the Northern Sea Route, railway extensions, and construction of a deep-water port in Arkhangelsk.  The official website is in Russian.

  

The Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics, October 3-4, 2011. The conference is organized by the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul Dandurand Chair, in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Cartier (France), ArcticNet (Universite Laval, Quebec), and the Northern Research Forum (University of the Arctic; University of Lapland, Finland). This high-level international meeting reunites political scientists, lawyers, geographers, historians and practitioners to discuss, first, the socio-economic, political and security issues of developed or developing Arctic regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The meeting mainly seeks to adress security issue(s) of the various region(s) that make up the circumpolar world. Three Arctic regions will be highlighted: a) the North-American Arctic (United States (Alaska); Canada (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik) and Greenland; b) the North Pacific Rim (Alaska, Russian Far East, Beaufort Sea/Chukchi); c) the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland - and Russia).

  

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.   

 

15th International Congress on Circumpolar Heath, August 5-10, 2012. This kivalina girlevent is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and indigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change-health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and, behavioral health.

   

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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