US Arctic Research Commission
April 26, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate have adjourned for the spring recess through May 2nd.


HoldrenInteragency Arctic Research Policy Committee meeting, April 26.The President's Science Advisor, Dr. John Holdren, will kick off a meeting of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC), the first gathering constituted under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), as called for in President Obama's July 22, 2010 memorandum. The agenda includes: The NSTC Council Charter for IARPC; the State of Alaska's interests and involvement in Arctic research; planning for a federal Arctic research budget cross-cut; discussion of the National Ocean Policy "Changing Conditions in the Arctic Ocean" strategic action plan; discussion of IARPC's role in the National Arctic Region Policy (NSPD66/HSPD25); presentation, discussion and approval of the interagency priority research themes for FY11 and FY12; presentation, discussion and approval of the outline for the IARPC 5-year research program plan. NSTC meetings are open only to Federal employees.


Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Appropriations Process Expected to Heat Up in May. House appropriators may begin unveiling draft fiscal 2012 spending bills next month, intending to get the annual process for doling out funds to agencies back to a more orderly process. The Appropriations Committee has not yet released an official schedule for subcommittee markups for the fiscal 2012 bills, but the panel's leaders have been pushing to get an earlier start on the measures. The fiscal 2011 appropriations process broke down last year amid election politics and bitter debates over spending. As a result, Congress didn't wrap up final fiscal 2011 appropriations for the entire government until April 14 (PL 112-10), more than halfway through the budget year. Congressional Quarterly


Budget Cuts, Curbs on Regulation Highlight Boehner's Spring Agenda. Speaker John A. Boehner vows to press, between now and August, for implementation of the House-passed budget resolution, for expansion of offshore oil drilling and for completion of free-trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. During factory visits on Monday and in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday to the Dayton, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Boehner, R-Ohio, emphasized the spending cuts proposed in the House's fiscal 2012 budget resolution (H Con Res 34), which he dubbed the "jobs budget." Congressional Quarterly


10 Natural Wonders to See Before They Disappear. The Arctic is listed as one of the places to visit before it disappears.  Scientific vessels and stations are listed as sites to see and modes of transportation. MSNBC


Russia To Create Scientific Center on Svalbard- Chilingarov. Russia will create a scientific center in Barentsburg in the Svalbard Archipelago, polar explorer parliament member Artur Chilingarov said on Tuesday. "A decision is being discussed on building a Russian research center on the base of the existing observatory," Chilingarov said. "This will be in Barentsburg," he continued adding that the construction may begin next year." RIA Novosti


Commerce Department Appoints Marine Fisheries Advisors to National Committee. The Department of Commerce today announced the appointment of three new public advisers charged with counseling the Secretary of Commerce and NOAA on national saltwater fishery management and laws that protect marine mammals, sea turtles and other ocean life. NOAA   


NOAA Fisheries Service to Update Guidelines to Promote Safety in Fisheries Regulations: Comments sought for improving safety at sea. NOAA's Fisheries Service is asking for public input as it starts the process of updating the national guidelines that promote the safety of commercial and recreational fishermen in federal waters. These guidelines are used by federal fisheries managers as they draft fishing rules and regulations around the nation. Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act that guides fishing in federal waters, National Standard 10 states: "Conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, promote the safety of human life at sea." NOAA

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.The House and Senate are in recess through May 2nd.

Future Events     


Alice Rogoff, Alaska Dispatch Publisher


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. icediminisharcticNational 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. Registration is now open.


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.  


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. 

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 conferencewill 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 contactLilia 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.    


Advanced Workshop on Oil Spills In Sea Ice: Past, Present and Future

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, on September 20-23, 2011. 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 availablehere


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. 


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


The Arctic as a Messenger for Global Processes- Climate Change and Pollution (pdf), 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 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 just 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. Registration is $2500 for out-of-state participants (includes registration, meals, tax, ground transfers & lodging), and $900 for in-state (includes registration & meals). Speakers are free. Media registration and meals are free.

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