US Arctic Research Commission
July 7, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider a procedural vote on a non-binding deficit reduction measure.  The House is expected to finish consideration of the FY 2012 Department of Defense appropriations bill.


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 Chair Fran Ulmer will give testimony. 


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


Russia Orders Six New Icebreakers. icebreakersIn the next six months, Russia plans to determine where to build six new icebreakers.  The funding for building the new icebreakers is approved. It is reported that the new icebreakers are needed to support the quickly expanding Arctic shipping. Barents Observer 


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


Russian Expedition Will Map Arctic Claim. A Russian scientific expedition - led by a russian flagnuclearpowered icebreaker - has set sail on a mission to solidify Russia's claim to a resource-laden tract of the Arctic sea floor, in a summer that will see intensified military activity in the high Arctic. Russia has also announced it will station two new Arctic warfare brigades north of 60 degrees - a move that will expand Russia's northern military capabilities far beyond those of Canada. Montreal Gazette


UAF Professor to Test UAV's for Coast Guard. Gregory Walker has been tapped to assist the United Stated Coast Guard (USCG) in testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) for installation on their polar icebreakers. With the potential for a more ice-free arctic looming on the horizon, the USCG is hoping to have a UAV installed on the icebreaker Healy by fall 2012. Walker is currently is the manager of the University of Alaska (UA) Unmanned Aircraft Program based at the Poker Flat Research Range. The Sun Star 


Russia Concerned by NATO, Asian States' Activities in Arctic. Russia's economic interests are threatened by the activities of NATO and a number of Asian countries in the Arctic, Navy commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said on Wednesday. "Currently, a wide range of threats, which may negatively effect Russian economic interests, are concentrated in the Arctic," Vysotsky said. RIA Novosti


US Russia Stir Up Political Tensions Over Arctic. Heavy-hitting US politicians enter debate about the future of the far north, fuelling concerns about a new Cold War. The seventh ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council in May looked like it would be a mundane affair with its focus on signing a new search-and-rescue agreement and handover of the chairmanship to Sweden. But the atmosphere in Nuuk, Greenland, was electrified by the first appearance at such a forum of the United States courtesy of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, and a host of other heavy-hitting politicians. U TV 

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 the 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.


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