US Arctic Research Commission
March 25, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in recess this week.


Media Reviewtodaysevents  


caribouSize of Western Arctic Caribou Herd Revised Downward. Further analysis of aerial photos of a July 2009 Western Arctic caribou herd census has prompted state biologists to revise the population estimate down to 348,000 caribou in a continued modest decline, state biologists said today. The previous estimate of 401,000 caribou indicated an increase in the herd over the 377,000 animals identified in a 2007 census. The Bristol Bay Times


Military Power Demonstrated in the Arctic. Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and a Who's Who of other VIPs braved below-zero temperatures this month to visit a temporary camp on the ice about 150 miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, where two nuclear-powered U.S. submarines are conducting military training exercises. He said U.S. submarines are a powerful symbol of U.S. military power, and the training was meant to ensure that the United States maintained access to the Arctic, home to the world's largest undiscovered oil and gas reserves. International Business Times 


Russian Lower House to Vote on Norway Border Deal. United Russia faced down stiff opposition from the Communists in the lower house of parliament on Friday to go ahead with a vote on a maritime border delimitation agreement with Norway. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg last year inked a deal to resolve a 40-year-old dispute over dividing the Barents Sea and part of the Arctic Ocean, paving the way for oil and gas exploration in the lucrative region. RIA Novosti


Arctic Research Hotter Than Ever. A series of holes hand-drilled into Arctic ice in the middle of a snowstorm at -40 degrees could shed light on everything from northern resource extraction to polar sovereignty to determining weather patterns in Western Europe and the South Pacific.  The Globe and Mail


Russia, Norway to Hold Joint Naval Drills in May. The Russian Northern Fleet andrussia/norway flags the Norwegian Navy will conduct the Pomor-2011 joint drills in the Arctic in May, a spokesman for the Northern Fleet said. "The exercise will take place in the Barents and Norwegian Seas, and will include firing of live artillery rounds at simulated surface and aerial targets, anti-submarine warfare drills, anti-piracy operations, and search-and-rescue missions," Vadim Serga said on Thursday. Russia and Norway held similar naval drills last June to practice interoperability during missions in the Arctic. RIA NOVOSTI 


How Western Diets are Making the World Sick. In an essay published last November in Canada's Maisonneuve journal, physician Kevin Patterson described his experiences working as an internist-intensivist at the Canadian Combat Surgical Hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Patterson explains that in his Canadian practice, where he takes care of indigenous populations near the Arctic Circle, there is a marked increase in the number of diabetic patients he sees. "The traditional Inuit culture of relentless motion and a traditional diet consisting mainly of caribou, Arctic char, whale and seal has been abandoned over this period of time for Kentucky Fried Chicken and processed food and living a life very similar to ours," he says. "[They're] spending a lot of time in front of a glowing screen." NPR


NASA Operation icebridgeNASA Flights Keep On Top of Arctic Glacier Changes: Greenland-based aircraft can judge extent, depth of ice. NASA is sticking close to Earth this year to understand what's happening at the top of the world. Last week, NASA started its Operation IceBridge - the third year that it's sent up a specially equipped, four-turboprop aircraft to study changes in Arctic sea ice in the largest survey of Earth's polar ice ever flown. Montreal Gazette  

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No legislation of Arctic interest was considered yesterday. 

Future Eventsfutureevents    


Arctic Science Summit Week, Seoul, March 28-April 1, 2011. The purpose of Korean Flagthe Arctic Science Summit Week is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science. The Arctic Science Week 2011 is supported by the Korean government, the Korean Research Council of Fundamental Science & Technology, and the Seoul Tourism Organization, among other groups.  


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Homeland Security, March 30, 31; April 6, 7. The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2012 appropriations for departments, agencies, and programs under its jurisdiction.  


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Interior and Environment, March 30, 31; April 6, 7, 12. The Interior and Environment and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2012 appropriations for departments, agencies, and programs under its jurisdiction.


The Arctic as a Messenger for Global Processes- Climate Change and Pollution, May 4-6, 2011. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), the University of Copenhagen, and Aarhus University. The conference will include talks by invited keynote speakers, oral presentations selected on the basis of submitted abstracts, poster presentations, and short oral presentations of selected posters. A panel discussion will develop messages to be communicated to the Arctic Council Ministerial meeting that will take place in Greenland one week after the conference. 

Sixth International Conference on Arctic Margins, May 31-June 2, 2011 at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. The International Conference on Arctic Margins (ICAM) will examine current geological and geophysical research on the Arctic. 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. More information email.  


American Meteorological Society Summer Policy Colloquium, June 5-14. 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 forum titled "The Arctic Imperative: Think of the Bering Strait as the Next Panama Canal."  The forum will bring together international policymakers, industry, and investment leaders to consider topics just as security, resources, port development, marine shipping, commerce, and trade.



4th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations, June 20-21, 2011.  The symposium is co-hosted by the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC) and the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. This symposium addresses present and future impacts of rapid changes in Arctic Ocean sea ice cover on a wide range of maritime operations. The forum, the fourth in a series, is a key opportunity for federal entities to discuss their response to changes in both the Arctic environment and associated policies.


7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011myvatnThe 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 three years. 
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. The conference is 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.   


Operating in the Arctic: Supporting the US Coast Guard Challenges Through Research, Sept. 21-23, 2011. This workshop, held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the US Arctic Research Commission, explored and identified ways in which scientific research and development can improve the ability of the U.S. Coast Guard to operate and carry out its statutory missions in the Arctic region. Participation in this event included state, local and international stakeholders, academics and researchers, and USCG and other federal agency officials. A funding opportunity associated with this activity is described here.


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference permafrostwill be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008.  More details to follow. 


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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