US Arctic Research Commission
July 21, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider a House-passed deficit reduction measure, which is expected to fail. The Senate may also consider a short term extension of the Federal Aviation Administration. The House is expected to consider Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations and FY 2012 Legislative Branch appropriations.


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.


Brown Bag Town Hall , July 21, 2011. Senator Murkowski will hold a "Brown Bag Town Hall" to discuss issues such as the budget, appropriations, military operations, Arctic issues, and energy development. The town hall will be conducted via Twitter. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Possible Weekend Work for House Called Off. House Majority Whip Kevin Congress in SessionMcCarthy's office told Members on Wednesday that they no longer must be prepared to be in session this weekend. Members were told the day before to anticipate working Saturday and Sunday. Roll Call


Debt Talks Impede House Spending Bills. The ongoing debate on the debt limit is forcing House appropriators to scale back their goals for moving spending bills through the House. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said he hopes to get two more spending bills through the House before possibly moving to a continuing resolution to give Congress more time to finish work on the fiscal 2012 spending bills. Roll Call 


Sides Edging Toward Short-Term Debt Deal. Members of the Senate's Gang of Six began on Wednesday to sell the group's bipartisan deficit reduction proposal to House Democrats as the likelihood grew that lawmakers would need to approve a short-term increase to the $14.3 trillion debt limit. The pressure of the ticking clock weighed on officials both in the White House and at the Capitol, who cheered the new Senate proposal but acknowledged there was not enough time to enact it before the Aug. 2 deadline to avoid an unprecedented default by the U.S. government. The Hill 


Russia's Arctic Vision, How Different Is It Really? At the same June 30 regional russian flagconference of the United Russia party in Yekaterinburg where Vladimir Putin defended Russia's growing presence in the Arctic, he spoke about his vision for developing the region. He focused on environmental restoration in the Arctic waterways and on natural gas development. First, he called for a "big cleanup" in the region. Putin lamented, "I was in the North last year, and I was terrified by the number of old barrels, once used for fuels and lubricants, which have been piling up for many decades near geologists' stations and military bases there. Sometimes, these barrels become rusty and leaky from age, and the contents pour out. This is impermissible. If we don't start to clean up the Arctic right now, the consequences may be very sad." Alaska Dispatch 


Arctic Also Sees Heat Wave, On Course for Record Ice Melt. This year could be well on its way toward earning a dubious spot in the record books. Arctic sea ice has melted away with astonishing speed in the first half of July, at an average rate of about 46,000 square miles per day, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo. That's equivalent to an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania melting into the sea every 24 hours. MSNBC 


Star Exclusive: Canada Looking at Building Military Bases in Arctic. It is costly to operate in the vast and inhospitable Arctic. But the Canadian military is exploring a way to cut costs and speed up the movement of troops and equipment by building several new northern bases. Along the way it could help to strengthen the country's Arctic sovereignty claims by placing additional boots on the tundra throughout the year. The Star 


Scientist Heads to Nunavut to Find Fish with Legs. There are thousands of Fish legsspecies of animals in Canada, but a U.S. scientist is looking for a very specific one: a fish with legs. This might sound strange, but if he succeeds, it won't be the first limbed-fish he's discovered in the Canadian Arctic. Dr. Ted Daeschler is a paleontologist from Philadelphia who specializes in vertebrate paleontology. He and his colleague from the University of Chicago, Neil Shubin, have been trekking Nunavut since 1999, exploring the peculiar area where it's thought fish evolved into creatures with limbs. Yahoo! News   


Edmonton Firm Wins Contract for Arctic Methane. Edmonton-based Synodon Inc. has won a $350,000 federal contract to use its realSens technology for remote sensing survey services to detect and measure naturally occurring methane seeps in the Canadian Arctic. The project will expand on a successful small scale survey completed in 2009 in conjunction with Natural Resources Canada, and will test the technology's ability to remotely survey large areas of the Arctic. Edmonton Journal 

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 Hveragerđi, 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. 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


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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