US Arctic Research Commission
July 6, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will begin considering the FY 2012 Department of Defense appropriations bill. The Senate will continue consideration of deficit reduction legislation.


Alaska Northern Waters Task Force (ANWTF), July 6-9, 2011. In 2010, the Alaska State Legislature passed a resolution creating the ANWTF.  The ANWTF is in the process of drafting a report to the Legislature to prepare the Legislature to be an active participant in a developing federal and international commission on changing ocean patterns.  Several hearings are taking place across the state.  The July 6-9 hearing will be in Kotzebue and Nome.USARC's Fran Ulmer will give testimony. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Russia to Submit Arctic Claim to UN Next Year. Russia said on Wednesday it would russian flagformally submit an application to the United Nations next year in the hope of redrawing the map of the Arctic, giving itself a bigger share of the resource-rich territory. The plan follows a pledge last week to send troops and weapons to its icy north to guarantee its Arctic interests. The formal application to the United Nations would change the region's borders and allow exploitation of the energy-rich Arctic territory. Reuters  


Symposium Focuses on Arctic Science and Policy Needs. The most important usarc logo smallstep the United States needs to take for the future of the Arctic is ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS), U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) told attendees at the 4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, held 20-22 June in Washington, D. C. and co-sponsored by the US Arctic Research Commission and the National Ice Center. With the Arctic region undergoing rapid transformation due to climate change, scientists at the symposium provided details about diminishing ice and other concerns, while U.S. Naval and Coast Guard officers discussed research and operational needs and policy makers called for more resources to deal with Arctic issues and for LOS ratification. EOS.


Offset Recesses Cause Uncertainty, Heartburn. The offset recess calendars of the House and Senate claimed a casualty when the Senate scrapped its July Fourth break. The decision denies vulnerable incumbents an opportunity to be home with constituents and led to concern about what other recesses might be on the chopping block. It might have been bound to happen, but the frustration has been evident for some time among lawmakers, with some contending offset schedules have made deal-making difficult. Roll Call


Judge OKs Habitat for Threatened Polar Bear. Polar bears will have full range of thePolar Bear Eating Fish 187,000 square miles of critical habitat set aside for them as a threatened species, a federal judge ruled, tossing arguments from environmentalists who say the government is not doing enough to protect the species and from the state's oil and gas industries that want to strip away current safeguards. The Center for Biological Diversity was one of several organizations to file suit after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as "threatened," as opposed to "endangered," in 2008. Alaska Oil and Gas Association and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. originally intervened as defendants alongside the federal agency. Courthouse News Service


Wainwright: An Arctic village on the verge of development. On a midsummer night in late June, this village on Alaska's northern coast is in the midst of activities it has engaged in for centuries. At the home of John Hopson, Jr., Wainwright resident and captain of the whaling crew "Iceberg 15," men work outside and women inside, all of them deftly slicing and dicing the remains of a 52-foot whale caught earlier that spring. Head southwest down the beach, and odds are good you'll see some of the younger members of the community (out of earshot of their parents) enjoying some of the true midnight sun in this part of the state. Go a little further, and you'll find a whale graveyard of sorts, the remains of past seasons' catches. Alaska Dispatch


Largest Arctic Iceberg in 50 Years Spotted Off Canada. A massive ice island thatArctic sea ice broke off a glacier in Greenland 11 months ago has been winding its way through Arctic waters ever since. Satellites have now spotted it off the coast of Labrador, Canada, as seen in a new image. The ice island was formed when a 97-square-mile (251-square-kilometer) chunk of ice broke off Greenland's Petermann Glacier on Aug. 5, 2010. It was the largest iceberg to form in the Arctic in 50 years. Live Science

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                    


Arctic Oil and Gas Development, July 12, 2011. The Center for Strategic and International Studies will host a session on the Gulf oil spill and its impacts on oil and gas development in the Arctic.  Topics of discussion will include Arctic nations and their development plans, oil spill risks, and the possibilities for international cooperation to reduce risk of major accidents. Confirmed speakers include Senator Lisa Murkowski, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes, and Chair of the US Arctic Research Commission Fran Ulmer.


Tribal Energy Development at the Federal Level, July 14-15, 2011. Law Seminars International will host a seminar for attorneys, tribes, industry executives, and government officials to discuss energy development on tribal lands.


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  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. 


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 Arctic developed or developing regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The main focus of the meeting 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.


USARC header

Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

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