US Arctic Research Commission
March 28, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate return from recess tomorrow.


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. 

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


capitalWeek at a Glance: March 28-April 1, 2011. This week, the Senate is expected to consider a small business research bill and amendments to block the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of greenhouse gases. The House is expected to consider legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, mortgage assistance programs, school vouchers, and pesticide regulations. Congressional Quarterly 


After Break, Still No Deal on Spending. Lawmakers return to Washington this week with the threat of a government shutdown revived because staff-level talks on a long-term spending bill have made little headway. Democratic and Republican leaders are hoping discussions between staff from the White House and the offices of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) - which continued throughout the weeklong recess - will lead to a deal that averts a government shutdown when the current spending bill expires April 8. Roll Call


Freshwater Content of Upper Arctic Ocean Increased 20 Percent Since 1990s, Large Scale Assessment Finds. The freshwater content of the upper Arctic Ocean has increased by about 20 percent since the 1990s, according to a new large-scale assessment. This corresponds to a rise of approximately 8,400 cubic kilometres and has the same magnitude as the volume of freshwater annually exported on average from this marine region in liquid or frozen form. Science Daily  


Royal Navy Personnel Lead the Way in Arctic Survival. The Arctic Training cell from the Commando Helicopter Force departed their home base at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in November 2010 for the extreme conditions of Northern Norway to exercise their Arctic Warfare skills. Based at Royal Norwegian Air Force Bardufoss, 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, their task was to train both aircrew and engineers from 845 and 846 Naval Air Squadrons in the freezing temperatures and snow to ensure they could operate in the most demanding and hazardous weather environment. British Forces News 


Sea Ice Holds Deep Secrets. Research scientist Sönke Maus has used funding under Sönke Mausthe Research Council's Program on Synchrotron Research (SYNKROTRON) to develop a method of taking samples from polar ice without altering its extremely fragile microstructure. He has also laid the foundation for determining how molecular structure affects the mechanical properties of ice. This knowledge is vital for predicting the impact of ice on future activities in the Arctic Ocean. Science Daily


Warming Brings Unwelcome Change to Alaska Villages: CHANGE: Ice cellars melt, water is fouled. Inupiat Eskimo villagers in the Chukchi Sea village of Kivalina rely on wild animals to survive, but a recent arrival associated with climate warming is causing health concerns. Beavers have colonized the Wulik River, Kivalina's main source for water. Beaver feces carry a microscopic protozoa that can cause giardia, known to campers elsewhere in Alaska as "beaver fever." Diarrhea and vomiting are symptoms. Kivalina hunters using the Wulik as a corridor to inland caribou herds have been warned to boil water before drinking it. Anchorage Daily News


Oceans Might be Speeding Melt of Greenland's Glaciers. Dynamic layers of warm Atlantic and cold Arctic Ocean waters around Greenland may be speeding the melt of the country's glaciers, researchers find. "Over the last 15 years or so, the Greenland Ice Sheet has been putting a lot more ice into the ocean," said Fiammetta Straneo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in Massachusetts, who has spent years studying the ice-coated country that is currently responsible for about a quarter of worldwide sea level rise. MSNBC 


parnellParnell Appointments Include Kotzebue, Barrow Residents. Gov. Sean Parnell today announced appointments to the Alaska Pioneers' Homes Advisory Committee, Alaska Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, Alaska Mental Health Board, Statewide Suicide Prevention Council, the Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and the Board of Directors for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority/Alaska Energy Authority. The Arctic Sounder 


U.S. Navy Scrambles for Piece of Arctic Pie. The U.S. Navy is staging the aquatic-equivalent of a dog-and-pony show in the Arctic Ocean this month with a small fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. The military exercises are designed to bolster U.S. claims on emerging - and likely lucrative - commercial opportunities in the region, which have attracted intense interest in recent years as global warming accelerates what appears to be the permanent loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Forbes


Sen. Murkowski Hires New Energy Committee Staffers. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is pleased to announce three new additions to her staff on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Annie Medaglia is a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of State who recently began a fellowship rotation with the committee. Previously, she worked on issues dealing with the Middle East and South Central Asia for State's Legislative Affairs Bureau and energy security issues in Europe, Central Asia, and China with State's Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy. She received her Masters in Public Policy and Bachelors in Foreign Affairs and Spanish from the University of Virginia. Senate Energy Committee  

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No legislation of Arctic interest was considered on Friday. 

Future Eventsfutureevents    


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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