US Arctic Research Commission
April 5, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Leaders from the House and Senate are expected to meet with President Obama to discuss FY 2011 spending which is set to expire on April 8th.The Senate will consider a tax provision of the 2010 health care overhaul.The House will consider net neutrality regulations.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


CR Fatigue Setting in Among GOP. As the fight over how to fund the federal government through the end of September enters its ninth week, House Republicans are fatigued with the bitter war and are increasingly vocal about how other crucial issues are going unattended. GOP lawmakers and aides said that while they are not ready to abandon the fight over a six-month continuing resolution, they are nevertheless itching to take up other issues, including a new budget bill, the debt limit, gas prices and the situation in Libya. 


House GOP Introduces One-Week Stopgap with $12B in Spending Cuts. Republicans on Monday night introduced a measure to fund the military through John BoehnerSeptember and government operations for one more week. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told his conference about the legislation - which contains $12 billion in spending cuts - during a Monday night meeting, his office said. The move is intended to prevent a government shutdown that would start after Friday unless Congress approves another measure to fund the government. The Hill 


Cantor Says White House Rejects Deal, Shutdown Chances Rise. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) accused the White House of increasing the chances of a government shutdown by rejecting a Republican bid to extend federal funding for a week and finance the military for the rest of the year. The GOP posted legislation late Monday that would keep the government open for a week after Friday's deadline while cutting $12 billion over the seven days. The bill is aimed at buying more time for stalled negotiations on a long-term plan, but it would fund the Defense Department through September. The Hill


Shutdown Preparations Begin. With less than three days before the current fiscal 2011 continuing resolution expires, the Office of Management and Budget has instructed agency leaders to begin prepping their workforce for a potential government shutdown. "We are encouraging you to communicate with senior managers throughout your organizations as appropriate to ensure you have their feedback and input on plans to date," OMB Deputy Director Jeffrey Zients wrote in a memo on Monday to agency deputy secretaries and chiefs of staff. "These communications should be focused on the logistical and managerial issues related to a potential shutdown to ensure that managers are prepared to implement your shutdown plans should the need arise." Government Executive 


Scientists Study Pool of Arctic Ocean Fresh Water: Scientists concerned massive pool of fresh water in Arctic Ocean could alter Atlantic currents. Scientists are monitoring a massive pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean that could spill into the Atlantic and potentially alter the ocean currents
that bring Western Europe its moderate climate. The oceanographers said, on Tuesday, that the unusual accumulation has been caused by Siberian and Canadian rivers dumping more water into the Arctic, and from melting sea ice. Both are consequences of global warming. ABC News


Barents Discovery Boosts Norway's Oil Prospects. Norway's half-a-billion barrel oil find, in the Barents Sea, will help keep up exploration and development activities in the region over the next decade, a senior official said, as it seeks to reverse a long-term production decline. Reuters


Expert Questions Need for a Deepwater Port in Kuujjuaraapik: "I would question if we really even need a deepwater port in Nunavik." The $32 million that Quebec is investing in the creation of a deepwater port near the Nunavik community of Kuujjuaraapik would be better spent on improved charting and navigation aids for Arctic-bound vessels, says the head of a deep sea freight transport company that operates in the Eastern Arctic. "I can't see the feasibility of putting a [deepwater] port in Nunavik and why they'd put it there," said Christopher King, director of operations for Petro-Nav, who specializes in oil transportation to communities in Nunavik and Baffin Island. NUNATSIAQ Online

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday. 

Future Events      



What does the National Ocean Policy mean for the Arctic region?


An interactive webinar hosted by the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment & Policy (ACCAP), at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011; 10:00-11:00 am Alaska Local Time (2:00-3:00 pm EDT)


? Cheryl Rosa, Deputy Director, US Arctic Research Commission, Anchorage, Alaska

? Mary Boatman, Ocean Policy Advisor, National Ocean Council, Executive Office of the President.


Abstract: In July 2010, President Obama announced a commitment to implement a new National Ocean Policy. What does this mean for the Arctic region, which was specifically highlighted in a "priority objective" in the National Ocean Policy? Efforts to address our stewardship responsibilities in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent coastal areas, in the face of climate-induced and other environmental changes, would greatly benefit from input from local and regional experts. We welcome your input to help identify the critical actions that need to be taken to address environmental stewardship needs in the region. Please join us to learn about the National Ocean Policy efforts to develop a strategic action plan for the changing conditions in the Arctic, and to share your comments, questions, and ideas.


Presentation/Slides: National Ocean Policy in Action: Developing a plan to address changing conditions in the Arctic.


Instructions: Pre-registration for the webinar is encouraged. Please fill out the web-form at:, or contact Ms. Brook Gamble, ACCAP's Outreach and Education Specialist, (907) 474-7812, Instructions to phone into the webinar, and to interactively watch a powerpoint presentation on an internet-linked computer are available here:


Advance comment: Public comment, in advance of the webinar, can be submitted here: These will be discussed during the webinar.


Archive: For those unable to participate in the webinar, an archive of the powerpoint presentation and a podcast of the webinar discussion will be available here:





HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Homeland Security, 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, 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.


Spill Response for the Future,April 7-8. SINTEF will host a conference on offshore oil and gas activity's expansion northward. The conference will consider political improvements of oil spill technology, needed improvements, recent accidents, and knowledge-based approaches to development.


Make it Monday Forum- Deepwater Horizon: Presidential Oil Spill Commission Update, April 11. The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce hosts this event that will feature University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Fran Ulmer.  Ms. Ulmer will present the findings from President Obama's Oil Spill Commission and its implications for Alaska, as well as give an overview of her time as UAA's chancellor. 


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.


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.





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