US Arctic Research Commission
May 26, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will vote on a procedural motion to extend the Patriot Act, slated to expire on Friday. The House will continue its consideration of the Fiscal Year 2012 Defense Authorization bill.


International Oil Spill Conference, May 23-26, 2011. This conference's theme of "Promoting the Science of Spill Response" continues the long tradition of providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and lessons learned from actual spill responses and research around the world. This conference will also continue the North American part of the Triennial Oil Spill Conference Cycle established in 2005, to be followed by Interspill 2012 (Europe) and Spillcon 2013 (SE Asia), before returning to North America in 2014.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Senate GOP Stands Behind Budget. Most Senate Republicans are backing their House colleagues' plan for major changes in entitlement programs, shrugging off Democratic attacks as debt reduction talks with the White House intensify. The Senate GOP endorsement of the House fiscal 2012 budget plan (H Con Res 34), as part of a series of symbolic budget votes on the Senate floor Wednesday, comes as Republicans push for deep spending cuts and budget controls in advance of a vote to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling this summer. Bicameral negotiations with the administration, aimed at reaching a broad debt reduction compromise to smooth the way for the debt limit vote, will continue Thursday in another meeting between Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and key lawmakers. Congressional Quarterly


Obama, Medvedev say U.S.-Russian Relations Successfully 'Reset.' President president signingObama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sought Thursday to put to rest any speculation that their relationship is strained, telling reporters in France that the relationship between the two countries has been successfully "reset." Obama, who is in France for a series of bilateral meetings with world leaders and the G8 summit, ticked off a list of areas where the two countries are working together and hailed the Senate's passage of the New START Treaty as proof relations are strong. The Hill


White House Threatens to Veto Defense Bill. The White House has threatened to veto the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill if it keeps the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on life support. The administration, which has been involved in a long-simmering debate with Capitol Hill over the engine, delivered its veto threats on Tuesday afternoon, just as the House prepared to begin debate on the $690 billion authorization measure. The bill does not authorize any funding for the alternate engine, but it contains policy measures aimed at keeping the program alive -- albeit at the expense of contractors General Electric and Rolls Royce. Pratt & Whitney builds the primary engine for the stealth fighter. Government Executive 


Tests Show Arctic Reindeer 'See in UV.' Arctic reindeer can see beyond the reindeer"visible" light spectrum into the ultra-violet region, according to new research by an international team. They say tests on reindeer showed that the animal does respond to UV stimuli, unlike humans. BBC 


Shell Targets Russian Arctic. Following BP's troubles in resolving legal issues shellsurrounding the partnership with Rosneft to drill the Kara Sea, Royal Dutch Shell had talks with energy officials in Moscow this week. Barents Oberserver


Canada, Russia Arctic Tensions Thaw. Russia and Canada aren't gearing up for a tussle over the North, a top envoy from the Kremlin said Wednesday. "There are a lot of issues that can be dealt with on an international level," said Petr Plikhin, deputy chief of mission for the Russian embassy in Ottawa, who underscored the joint interests held by both countries, including sustainable economic development. Toronto Sun

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 1540, National Defense Authorization Act (McKeon, considered on the House floor)


H. Con. Res. 34, establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2012 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2013-2012 (Ryan, measure rejected by the Senate)


S. 916, Oil and Gas Facilitation (Bingaman, Senate committee hearing scheduled)


S. 968, Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act (Bingaman, Senate committee hearing scheduled)


S. 1063, to allow for the harvest of gull eggs by Huna Tlingit people within Glacier Bay National Park in the State of Alaska. (Murkowski, introduced)


S. 1066, to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow importation of polar bear trophies taken in sport hunts in Canada before the date on which the polar bear was determined to be a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (Crapo, introduced)

Future Events     


6th International Conference on Arctic Margins, May31-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.


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,

Alice Rogoff, Dispatch Publisher

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 20-21, 2011.The symposium is co-hosted by the U.S.

Dr. Clemente-Colon

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. Confirmed speakers include the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Research, RADM Nevin Carr Jr., and the Commandant of the US Coast Guard ADM Robert Papp. The forum, largely organized by  NIC Chief Scientist Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon, is a key opportunity for federal entities to discuss their response to changes in both the Arctic environment and associated policies. 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  Intl'

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 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.    


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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