US Arctic Research Commission
June 3, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in recess.


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    


Video of the Day: Tugboat Towing an Iceberg Across the Arctic. French icebergtowingengineer Georges Mougin has spent the last 30-plus years trying to figure out how he could tow freshwater icebergs across the Arctic Ocean and deliver them to places in the world where people go without clean drinking water. Using oceanic forecasting, 3-D technology and recently declassified data provided by satellites, Mougin believes he has finally solved the problem he set out so long ago to answer. The Atlantic


House Panel Backs Bill Aimed at expediting Offshore Oil Production in Alaska. Alaskan Congressman Don Young was a special guest of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources this morning, for their Oversight Hearing entitled "Domestic Oil and Natural Gas: Alaskan Resources, Access and Infrastructure." Congressman Don Young


Norway and Russia Signed Agreement on Indigenous Peoples. Last Tuesday, the Norwegian Barents Secretariat and RAIPON signed an agreement on cooperation between the indigenous peoples of Russia and Norway. The agreement is to continue to develop indigenous communities and strengthen their status as a stakeholder in the Arctic. Barents Observer


Road to Umiat Would Destroy Subsistence Lifestyle. Anaktuvuk Pass is an area rich with cultural, traditional and natural spirit. Established in 1949, we're a community that embodies the pride of our Nunamiut ancestors who were the last nomadic tribe to settle in Alaska. We carry this pride with us every day, as it continues to shape who we are and where wAK Native family drawinge come from. Located above the Arctic Circle in the Brooks Range and within Gates of the Arctic National Park, Anaktuvuk Pass is the only home that many of its residents have ever known. Just as our ancestors did, we continue to survive in rural Alaska by carrying out a subsistence way of life, depending on nearby caribou herds to support our livelihood, our diet and our cultural identity. Without these caribou and other plants and animals in the region, residents of Anaktuvuk Pass would not be able to feed their families, forcing them to move away and turning our ancestors' heritage into a thing of the past. Alaska Dispatch


Oil Firm Files Lawsuit Against Arctic Protesters. UK-based Cairn Energy has filed a legal action in the Netherlands, seeking fines of up to 2 million euros a day ($2.9 million) if Greenpeace protesters again disrupt the explorer's drilling plans offshore Greenland. A Cairn spokesman said on Thursday the action was intended as a deterrent after Greenpeace ended a four-day protest which involved protesters hanging suspended from a drilling rig in a plastic pod. Reuters


Presidential Proclamation-National Oceans Month.  During National Oceans Month, we celebrate the value of our oceans to American life and recognize the critical role they continue to play in our economic progress, national security, and natural heritage.  Waterborne commerce, sustainable commercial fisheries, recreational fishing, boating, tourism, and energy production are all able to contribute to job growth and strengthen our economy because of the bounty of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. The White House


Commerce Announces 2011 Regional Fishery Council Appointments. The Commerce Department today announced the appointment of 21 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils - important partners with NOAA's Fisheries Service in determining how ocean fisheries are managed.  The councils, established by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, prepare fishery management plans for marine fish stocks in their regions. The councils fulfill the act's charge to end and prevent overfishing and rebuild fish stocks to ensure sustainable fisheries. NOAA's Fisheries Service works closely with the councils during plan development and also reviews, approves and implements the management plans developed by the councils. NOAA 


House Panel Backs Bill Aimed at expediting Offshore Oil Production in Alaska. The House Energy and Commerce Committee backed legislation Thursday that would speed the EPA's process for issuing air pollution permits for offshore oil and gas exploration, a measure intended to spur Alaskan energy production. The panel approved the bill (HR 2021) by a vote of 34-14. It would set a six-month deadline for the EPA to take final action on air pollution permit applications for outer continental shelf exploration and bar the EPA's Environmental Appeals Board from reviewing decisions regarding such permits. Congressional Quarterly

Legislative Actionfutureevents  



H.R. 2017, Department of Homeland Security Appropriations (Aderholt, passed/ agreed to in the House)


H.R. 2055, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations (Culberson, considered in the House)


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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