US Arctic Research Commission
August 2, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate will continue debt negotiations. It appears that over the weekend, leaders from the House and Senate and the White House reached a deal. The compromise will lead the congressional agenda.


Media Reviewtodaysevents    


president signingDebt Deal Reached; Major Cuts Coming. President Obama announced Sunday night a hard-fought deal with congressional Republicans to slash the federal deficit by $2.7 trillion over 10 years and lift the nation's debt ceiling limit to avoid a catastrophic default. The pact includes no tax increases sought by the President. With the nation's reputation and credit rating hanging in the balance, Obama said bitterly divided U.S. leaders had finally struck a deal to "end the crisis Washington imposed on all of America." Government Executive


Lawmakers Eye Super Committee. Publicly, most lawmakers say they have no desire to be named to the so-called super committee tasked with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts to the deficit by Thanksgiving. But behind the scenes, some are already beginning to jockey for seats on the 12-member bipartisan panel, which many see as a historic opportunity to overhaul the Tax Code and entitlements. In the Senate, some potential candidates will soon begin to interview with leaders, who under debt-limit legislation will have the power to appoint members to the committee, comprising an equal number of Democrats and Republicans and balanced representation from the House and Senate. Politico


Inhofe Puts 'Hold' on Commerce Nominee. Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma put a "hold" on President Barack Obama's nominee to be Secretary of Commerce. Mr. Inhofe, the Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member, blasted Mr. Obama's pick, John Bryson, for his record on the environment and economic policy. As long as the hold is in place, the Senate won't likely vote on Mr. Bryson's confirmation. The Wall Street Journal


For Alaska's Alutiiq, the Future May be Found in the Past. Sven Haakanson is the executive director of the Alutiiq Museum, Kodiak's Alaska Native culture center where visitors explore 7,500 years of Alutiiq history, language, and arts. National Geographic interviewed Haakanson at the Seventh International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VII), held recently in Iceland. Organized by the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA), ICASS VII was attended by more than 400 delegates, who between them presented some 300 papers and joined discussions in dozens of workshops. National Geographic


Russia May Lose 30% of Permafrost by 2050. Russia's vast russian flagpermafrost areas may shrink by a third by the middle of the century due to global warming, endangering infrastructure in the Arctic zone, an emergencies ministry official said Friday. "In the next 25 to 30 years, the area of permafrost in Russia may shrink by 10-18 percent," the head of the ministry's disaster monitoring department, Andrei Bolov, told the RIA Novosti news agency. "By the middle of the century, it can shrink by 15-30 percent, and the boundary of the permafrost may shift to the north-east by 150-200 kilometers," he said. Radio Netherlands Worldwide


NWT Regulatory Boards Running on Empty. Nearly every regulatory board in the NWT has vacancies to fill, leaving them without the expertise and power to function properly, according to Dennis Bevington, MP for the Western Arctic. Of the territory's 13 regulatory boards, only two are functioning with full membership. Bevington said the blame for this can be placed squarely on the shoulders of John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Northern News Service


Military Exercises Start in Resolute this Week. The Canadian Forces' annual summer Arctic training exercise will begin near Resolute this week, and is scheduled to include a simulated, major air disaster. Joint Task Force North will set up its headquarters in Resolute for the duration of the operation, which will include more than 1,100 personnel from the navy, army, air and special forces along with about 100 personnel from other countries. Divers, Canadian Rangers, Hercules aircrafts and coast guard ships as well as a number of federal departments are expected to participate and/or support the operation. Northern News Service


The Alaska Volcano Observatory Monitors Alaska Volcanoes.  Read about other notable volcanoes worldwide and beyond in Eruptions and the Human Eye at Frontier Scientists   

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.R. 50, Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization (Young, House hearings held)


H.R. 2580, Interior-Environment appropriations bill (Simpson, considered in the House)


S. 1063, Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act (Murkowski, Senate hearing held)

Future Events                     


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 exchanging practical experience in construction and maintenance of engineering structures on frozen ground. For additional information, please contact Lilia Prokopieva. 


Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, September 4-6, 2011."Our Ice Dependent World," organized by the Northern Research Forum and its partners as the Northern Research Forum 6th Open Assembly, will be hosted by the University of Akureyri in the town of Hverager