US Arctic Research Commission
December 2, 2010

capitalToday's Eventstodaysevents

The Senate is in session. Republicans continue to filibuster legislation until tax and funding legislation is considered. The House is in session and expected to consider child nutrition legislation and several provisions under suspension of the rules.

Canada-United States Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum, November 30- Canada-US flagsDecember 2, 2010. The Second Canada - United States Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum will examine the current status and future directions for the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, North Slope and Mackenzie Delta. The forum will focus on technical, engineering and scientific research under the following topic areas: safety on northern offshore platforms & escape, evacuation and rescue issues; oil spill prevention in the Arctic; oil spill management in the Arctic; Transportation logistics for exploration and development in the Arctic; ice engineering issues for offshore platforms; environmental conditions in exploration areas; monitoring for cumulative effects in the Arctic; exploration and development in sensitive coastal habitats. 
Arctic Policy 101, December 1-3. PNWER's (Pacific NorthWest Economic Region) newly formed Arctic Caucus is hosting this preliminary meeting in Barrow. The Caucus formed in October to "provide a forum to share information and develop regional policies on the Arctic and Arctic development." 

Media Reviewtodaysevents


Republicans Stop Senate Dems' Attempt to Move Job Bills. Senate Democrats tried late Wednesday afternoon to pass several bills designed to spur job creation but Republicans objected to what they called a political ploy. But Republicans stuck to the pledge to halt any legislation that does not address the expiring tax rates or provide stop-gap government funding. The Hill 


Republicans Kill Global Warming Committee. Speaker-designate John Boehner's office confirmed on Wednesday that Republicans will eliminate the Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee in the 112th Congress. "We have pledged to save taxpayers' money by reducing waste and duplication in Congress," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an e-mail. "The Select Committee on Global Warming - which was created to provide a political forum to promote Washington Democrats' job-killing national energy tax - was a clear example, and it will not continue in the 112th Congress." Congressional Quarterly


House Republicans Plan Less Time in Capitol, but Shorter August Break. Hallmarks of life on Capitol Hill - an August break that seems to never end, hectic Tuesdays through Thursdays sandwiched between leisurely Mondays and Fridays - are in the sights of Republicans planning to significantly change the House work schedule for the 112th Congress. Greg Walden of Oregon, who is leading a GOP transition team, said Wednesday the House schedule for 2011 should be available by the end of next week. Congressional Quarterly


Inouye May Court Moderates on Omnibus as Legislative Window Closes. The top Senate appropriator may need a few unlikely allies in his quest to send President Obama a package of fiscal 2011 spending bills. As lawmakers weigh whether to fund the government through a stopgap measure or an omnibus spending package, Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, is working on a $1.1 trillion package that would include all 12 annual appropriations bills. Congressional Quarterly


Norwegian Cold Water Prawn Fishery Enters MSC Assessment.  Following the prawnsuccessful certification of some of Norway's saithe, cod and haddock fisheries, the Norwegian Seafood Export Council has entered the North East Arctic cold water prawn fishery into assessment for MSC certification. The fishery will be assessed against the MSC standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries, and, if successful, products from the fishery will be eligible to carry the MSC ecolabel. Fish News


Obama Administration OKs review of Shell Oil's Arctic Sea Project. The U.S. Interior Department will resume reviewing Shell Oil's plans to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea next summer and will consider other Arctic drilling plans even as the Obama administration on Wednesday scaled back new offshore exploration in other parts of the country.  Shell's drilling plan will be evaluated under the heightened safety and environmental standards "with utmost caution," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. McClatchy News Service  


Climate Science Chief Sees "Huge Gaps" in Research. From the methane-laden tundra of the far north to the depths of the oceans, world governments need to spend more on cutting-edge research to "get a handle" on how much and how quickly the world will warm in decades to come, says the head of the U.N. climate science network.  "There are huge gaps in the effort as far as scientific research is concerned," Rajendra Pachauri told The Associated Press, pointing to concerns that the Arctic's thawing permafrost is releasing powerful global warming gases, and the oceans might eventually turn from absorbing carbon dioxide to spewing it into the atmosphere.  Washington Post


Unalaska to be Long-Term Home for Shell Oil Spill Response Vessels.  The announcement by the Obama administration that Arctic drilling can proceed next summer will have a significant impact on Unalaska. Though Unalaska is 1,300 miles from the Beaufort Sea, it's still the closet deepwater port to Shell's proposed well site. Currently, the Kulluk modible drill rig is moored in Captain's Bay.  It was brought here in late summer, and now Offshore Systems, Inc. is building a dock that will make the Kulluk and other vesesels that are part of Shell's spill response fleet more accessible and will make storing and maintaining equipment during off-season easier. KUCB


Future Eventsfutureevents

Federal Funding, December 3. The current continuing resolution expires on December 3rd.
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 13-17The fall meeting will include sessions on "Extratropical and High-latitude Storms, Teleconnections, and Changing Climate," "Bringing Together Environmental, Socio-Economic, and Climatic Change Studies in Northern Eurasia," "The Use of Observations for Evaluating CMIP5/IPCC Simulations," and "The Future of Polar Science: The Path Beyond the IPY." 
 NSF logo
Arctic Town Hall Meeting at AGU, December 15.  The National Science Foundation, Division of Arctic Sciences, will host a town hall meeting.  For additional information, please contact William Wiseman
New Congress, January 3. The 112th Congress begins.
Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 17-21. Within each theme (Bering AMSS 2011 promoSea, Arctic Ocean, and Gulf of Alaska), presenters will discuss climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.
National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment, January 19-21. One of the conference themes is "White Arctic/ Blue Arctic."  This theme will address ice changes in the Arctic to consider several questions: What does science tell us about the future of the Arctic? How would issues about the future - white or blue - be resolved? What models and monitoring data will be required to support an emerging management regime that would allow for sustainable use of the Arctic? How can use of the Arctic and its resources be managed in the face of these possibilities?
Arctic Tipping Points, January 23-29, 2011. Arctic Frontiers will host a conference considering the following topics: Ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic; Marine ecosystems and fisheries; Socioeconomic and institutional perspectives; and People of the North.
President's Budget, February 7.  By statute, the president is required to submit his annual budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February.
Arctic Technology Conference, February 7-9, 2011. The Arctic is one of the few places on the globe which still holds enormous new petroleum reserve potential. A recently completed USGS survey estimated that 20% of the world's remaining reserves were trapped beneath the Arctic Circle. OTC's inaugural Arctic Technology Conference (ATC), 7-9 February 2011 in Houston, Texas, will be a truly global event focused on the cutting-edge technologies and innovative practices needed for exploration and production in the Arctic.

International Conference on Arctic Marine Science, International Law and Climate Protection, March 17-18. The German Federal Foreign Office is hosting an event that will take place on the Berlin premises of the Federal Office. The event is co-hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, with additional support from prominent research institutes. The Conference will discuss the legal framework for marine scientific research in the Arctic Ocean at present and in the future. Scholars, scientists and diplomats with an interest in the Arctic Ocean are invited to attend. For more information, please contact

Arctic Science Summit Week, Seoul, March 28-April 1, 2011The 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.
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.
7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011The 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 addresses 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.
Lowell Wakefield International Fisheries Symposium, September 14-17, 2011The 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.


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.  More details to follow.


president signing
Legislative Action


H.J.Res. 101, to make further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2011 (Obey, received in the Senate)

USARC header
4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA
(703) 525-0111 (phone)