US Arctic Research Commission
June 2, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


6th International Conference on Arctic Margins, May 31-June 3, 2011. The International Conference on Arctic Margins was founded by the Department of Interior and what was formerly called the Minerals Management Service. 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.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    

National Science Foundation Nears Decision on Moving. "Welcome to the new home of the National Science Foundation." That greeting, posted briefly on a banner last month at the Victory Center office complex in Alexandria, Va., was jumping the gun. But officials have confirmed that NSF is pondering a move out of its headquarters in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Va. As reported this week in Northern Virginia-based, the 2,100-employee agency requires space to grow its staff of scientists and grant makers, who have bumped up against a rent cap that the Office of Management and Budget has declined to raise. Government Executive 


With Global Warming, Arctic Access Will Diminish by Land but Improve by Sea. Global warming over the next 40 years will cut through Arctic transportation networks like a double-edged sword, limiting access in certain areas and vastly increasing it in others, a new UCLA study predicts. Science Daily 


Melting Glaciers May Affect Ocean Currents. A team of scientists from the University of Sheffield and Bangor University have used a computer climate model to study how freshwater entering the oceans at the end of the penultimate Ice Age 140,000 years ago affected the parts of the ocean currents that control climate. Science Daily


Greenpeace Occupation of Cairn Greenland Rig Ends. Greenpeace campaigners who scaled an oil rig off Greenland in a bid to stop drilling have been removed, the environmental group has said. BBC News


Begich Warns About Loss of Coastal Program. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is warning Alaska leaders that if they let the state's Coastal Zone Management program die at the end of the month, it could hurt offshore oil and gas development in the arctic. Begich, on the Alaska Public Radio Network's Talk of Alaska program Tuesday, said he sent Gov. Sean Parnell and other leaders a letter last week warning of the consequences of letting Coastal Zone Management expire. Homer News


Coast Guard Looks North to Alaska's Changing Arctic. As sea ice melts, Alaska's Coast Guard is looking north to an Arctic future. On Tuesday, Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo made his first trip to Barrow aboard a C-130. The Coast Guard officer in charge of all Alaska operations, Ostebo said it's apparent that environmental changes are reshaping the Arctic ocean ecosystem. The difference is simple: "There used to be ice, now there's water," the admiral said. KTUU


SNC Lavalin to Work on Project in Arctic Russia. Montreal-based international engineers SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. will provide detailed engineering and equipment procurement services for the Kharyaga Phase III oilfield development in Arctic Russia. SNC-Lavalin said Wednesday it was selected by Russia's Globalstroy-Engineering as prime subcontractor for the Phase III task and it will also provide project management support and commissioning services. Montreal Gazette


Coast Guard Alaska Commander Notes North Slope's Search and Rescue Limitation. In an interview with The Arctic Sounder, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo discusses his short visit to Barrow and the branch's possible expansion into an increasingly busy Arctic environment. Ostebo's the new head of the Coast Guard district in Alaska. On Tuesday, he had about two hours to visit the Nation's northernmost city. The tour included a visit to the Inupiat Heritage Center to learn a bit about North Slope history. He dropped in on a Coast Guard-led search-and-rescue exercise held at the local tribal college. In interviews with media who tagged along for the trip to Barrow from Anchorage, he said the Coast Guard has no facilities in the Arctic, not even a port. He heard from Price Brower, of the North Slope Borough's Search and Rescue division. Brower told him about the limitations of their two Bell helicopters: They don't have de-icing capability. That's an obvious problem in an Arctic Ocean that's expected to get busier as oil companies, freight shippers and tourists take advantage of new routes. The rescue squad, which conducts medevacs too, also has two small airplanes. The Arctic Sounder


Murkowski Responds to Interior's New Directive on Wild Lands Designations. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement regarding Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to abide by the prohibition, contained in the 2011 continuing budget resolution, on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) designating new public lands as "Wild Lands."  "I appreciate Secretary Salazar's commitment to me that the BLM will not pursue wild lands designations in Alaska," Murkowski said. "Both the Senate and the House have been clear that Congress retains sole authority and responsibility to designate lands for inclusion in the National Wilderness System. That's how I believe it should be and I will work to ensure that the current ban on creating wilderness - by any name - unilaterally by the administration is continued in the next budget resolution." Senator Lisa Murkowski

Legislative Actionfutureevents  



H.R. 2017, Department of Homeland Security Appropriations (Aderholt- considered in the House)


H.R. 2055, making appropriations for military construction, Department of Veterans Affairs and related agencies (Culberson- rule set for consideration of the bill)


Future Events     


American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium, June 5-14, 2011. This policy colloquium brings together a group to consider atmospheric policy. The colloquium will cover policy creation basics, interactions with congressional staff, and information on the current atmospheric policy issues. 


The Arctic Imperative, June 19-21, 2011. The Alaska Dispatch, Aspen Institute,

Commonwealth North, and the Institute of the North will host a domestic investment and policy forum titled "The Arctic Imperative." The forum, at the Alyeska Resort in the Chugach Mountains, near Anchorage, will bring together international policymakers, industry, and investment leaders to consider topics such as security, resources, port development, marine shipping, commerce, and trade. The goal of the gathering is to "sharpen the world's focus on the policy and investment needs of Arctic development through a series of high-level meetings, presentations and investor roundtables." Confirmed speakers include Fran Ulmer, Chair of the USARC; Edward Itta, Mayor of the North Slope Borough; Thomas Barrett, President of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company; Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations; Mead Treadwell, Lt. Gov. of the State of Alaska; David Rubenstein, Managing Director of the Carlyle Group; Reggie Joule, Alaska State Legislator; among others.


4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and

Maritime Operations, June 20-22, 2011 (downtown DC). The symposium, co-hosted

Dr. Lubchenco, NOAA

by the U.S. National Ice Center and the U.S. Arctic Research

Commission, addresses present and future impacts of rapid changes

in Arctic Ocean sea ice on a wide range of maritime operations. Confirmed speakers include the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Research, RADM Nevin Carr Jr., the Commandant of the US Coast Guard ADM Robert Papp, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. The forum is a key opportunity to learn about changes in the Arctic environment, and the manner in which they are being responded to in terms of policies and practices. Registration is now open.



7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011Akureyri 

The 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 3 years.


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 Muskokaddresses 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. 


4th International Sea Duck Conference, September 12-16, 2011. The conference seaduckis held to provide researchers and managers with opportunities to share information, research, and conduct workshops.


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 

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


Arkhangelsk Arctic Forum, October 1-2, 2011.  Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society and the regional government of Arkhangelsk, 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 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 event 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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