US Arctic Research Commission
January 6, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents


The Senate stands in recess and will reconvene on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011. The House is expected to consider a resolution aimed at cutting Congress' budget.

Media Reviewtodaysevents


New House GOP Majority Wins Changes to Rules. The House adopted a sweeping rules package almost entirely along party lines Wednesday, marking the first partisan fight of the 112th Congress. The resolution requires that legislation be publicly posted online three days before it receives a vote, that committee chairmen be limited to three terms, that each bill include a clause citing its Constitutional authority and that Congressional spending be decreased by 5 percent. Roll Call


A Banker for White House Chief of Staff. Just a year or two ago, a lukewarm glass of water and a stern talking-to from President Barack Obama was the most a bank executive could hope for when visiting the White House. Now Obama may ask one to run the place. Granted that Bill Daley, who many Democrats believe will become Obama's new chief of staff and was spotted at the White House on Wednesday afternoon, is not your typical banker. He's a former commerce secretary, who headed up President Bill Clinton's effort to enact the historic NAFTA treaty, served as chairman of Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000, and happens to be a member of a storied political dynasty in Obama's hometown of Chicago. Politico


Environmental Group Releases New Plea to Save Sea Ice. A new report issued today by the Endangered Species Coalition names Arctic sea ice as one of the top 10 places to save for wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction. The critical status of Arctic sea ice topped a list of 10 areas noted by the coalition as in need of urgent protection. "If we are serious about saving endangered species from global warming, then these are the places to start," said Leda Hula, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. The non-profit group is a national network of hundreds of conservation, scientific, religious, sporting, outdoor recreation, business and community organizations working to protecting endangered species and their habitat. Bristol Bay Times


In the Arctic, Shrinking Sea Ice Sets Early Winter Record. The Big Chill hasn't been working -- at least for the eastern Arctic of Canada and Greenland. Overall, Arctic sea ice covered the smallest area ever recorded by satellite for the month of December -- largely due to record decreases near Hudson Bay, Baffin Island and Greenland, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. Alaska Dispatch


Rep. Young Starts 112th With Introduction of Three Bills. On the first day of the 112th Congress, Congressman Young introduced three bills.  These bills included legislation to delist the polar bear and an endangered species and legislation to use revenues from oil and gas production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for a vast array of renewable energy programs. Congressman Don Young


Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate.  On the first day of the 112th Congress, President Obama sent several nominations to the Senate, including: Daniel Ashe to be Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Kelvin Droegemeier to be a member of the National Science Board, Frances Gulland to be a member of the Marine Mammal Commission, and Cora Marrett to be Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation. The White House

Legislative Actionfutureevents


H.R. 39, to delist the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (Young- introduced and referred to committee)


H.R. 49, to direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program that will result in an environmentally sound program for the exploration, development and production of the oil and gas resources of the Coastal Plain of Alaska (Young- introduced and referred to committee)


H.R. 90, to provide for Federal research, development, demonstration, and commercial application to enable the development of farms that are net producers of both food and energy, and for other purposes (Bartlett- introduced and referred to multiple committees)


H.R. 139, to preserve the Arctic Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present and future generations of Americans (Markey- introduced and referred to committee)


H.Res.5, adopting rules of the 112th Congress (Cantor- agreed to without objection)


H.Res.7, electing members of certain standing committees (Capuano- agreed to without objection)


Future Eventsfutureevents

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, fish 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?

95th meeting of the USARC, Jan. 21, Anchorage. The USARC will meet in the usarc logo smallQuadrant room of the Captain Cook Hotel, starting at 8:30 am. A detailed agenda will be available at by January 7.

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 issues including shale gas, the effect of federal clean air regulations on natural gas demand, and foreign markets for liquefied natural gas. Panelists


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, 2011. The 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.


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.
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, 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 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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