US Arctic Research Commission
August 3, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are not in session.

Media Reviewtodaysevents    


 Congress in SessionNew Debt Committee is a Little Like BRAC. The idea of a fast-tracked Congressional vote on deficit reduction that would be forced by the forthcoming Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction is not entirely unprecedented. But the committee does appear to have more power than any preceding Congressional panel. The plan enacted Tuesday mirrors a failed 2010 proposal from Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and then-Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). That committee would have forced an up-or-down vote - without amendment - on a deficit reduction plan put forth by a group of lawmakers, similar to what the recently passed debt deal requires. Roll Call 


Murkowski's Aide Faces Jail Time for Fishing Violation: LACY ACT: Murkowski staff member resigns, agrees to plea deal for falsifying records. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski's fisheries aide has resigned and faces prison time after admitting to breaking commercial fisheries laws. Arne Fuglvog, who has long played an influential role in Alaska fisheries politics, will be sentenced to 10 months in jail if a judge agrees to his plea deal on the charge of falsifying fishing records. The deal also includes $150,000 in fines and an admission of guilt. Anchorage Daily News


It's Time to Arm the Coast Guard [Canadian, opinion]. The canadian flagCanadian Rangers are a vital and colorful part of our northern sovereignty. Their guns are a symbol of authority, not a threat. Now we should think of arming our coast guard. When the coast guard is on patrol under threatening circumstances, such as armed smugglers or even terrorists, their ships carry Mounties to carry the heat. Ottawa Citizen 


Arctic Polar Bear Scientist's Suspension Unrelated to Research Quality. Federal investigators now say a respected Arctic scientist who was suspended from his job at an agency that regulates offshore oil development is under the microscope for his oversight of a recent polar bear study that has now been put on hold. National Public Radio that Charles Monnett has received a notice, dated July 29, from the Interior Department's Inspector General that investigators will question him next week about his compliance with regulations that govern federal contracts, disclosure of personal relationships and preparation of the scope of work. Alaska Dispatch


U.S. Antarctic Program Grantee Alert- Icebreaker Status. On 28 July 2011, Dr. Karl NSF logoErb, Director of the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, issued a "Dear Colleague Letter" describing the current availability of icebreaker support during the 2011-2012 Antarctic field season. As many in the science community may have heard, the Swedish government has decided that it is unable to allow the use of the icebreaker Oden for joint research work in the Southern Ocean or to open the channel through the ice that enables resupply of McMurdo Station (and consequently, resupply of South Pole Station and provisioning of field camps in the Antarctic interior). NSF, along with other federal agencies and the White House, is working to identify and engage a replacement icebreaker to meet the U.S. Antarctic Program's needs. The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS)  


Salazar, Murkowski Head to Alaska Ahead of Spending Bill Fight. Murkowski LisaSenior members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are heading to Alaska ahead of efforts to craft spending legislation for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), the top Republican on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee, said next week's travels with subcommittee Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Salazar will be wide-ranging. The Hill




Legislative Actionfutureevents  


S. 1149, Geothermal Production Expansion Act (Wyden, Senate hearing scheduled)


S. 1494, to reauthorize and amend the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Establishment Act (Boxer, introduced and referred to committee)

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 Hveragerđi, Iceland. Addressing the three 'poles' - the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Himalayan region- the sub-themes represent different  perspectives for viewing the subject of natural ice and evaluating its importance.  The event will consider implications of ice melt on humanity, communities, minds, perceptions and knowledge on ice; International law, 'soft law' and governance on ice.


4th International Sea Duck Conference, seaduckconferencelogoSeptember 12-16, 2011. The Sea Duck Joint Venture has helped sponsor a North American Sea Duck Conference once every three years since 2002. These conferences provide opportunities for researchers and managers to share information and research results, conduct workshops on specific issues, and to hold related meetings. The 4th conference will officially be an international conference and will be held in Seward, Alaska, 12-16 September, 2011, with participants from the U.S., Canada, Russia and Europe, focusing on sea ducks in the North and the Arctic. It will be held at the Windsong Lodge, with three days of presentations and workshops, and there will be a chartered boat trip the last day into the Kenai Fjords to watch sea ducks. Registration is available on the website for the conference and the excursion.


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 Fermo

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. Registration forms are available here


Murmansk Arctic Forum, October 1-2, 2011.  Hosted by the Russian Geographic Society, 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 Arctic in Transition: Regional Issues and Geopolitics, October 3-4, 2011. The conference is organized by the Center for Geopolitical Studies of the Raoul Dandurand Chair, in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Cartier (France), ArcticNet (Universite Laval, Quebec), and the Northern Research Forum (University of the Arctic; University of Lapland, Finland). This high-level international meeting reunites political scientists, lawyers, geographers, historians and practitioners to discuss, first, the socio-economic, political and security issues of developed or developing Arctic regions, and, second, to look at the evolving relationships between these spaces, their peoples, and global affairs. The meeting mainly seeks to adress security issue(s) of the various region(s) that make up the circumpolar world. Three Arctic regions will be highlighted: a) the North-American Arctic (United States (Alaska); Canada (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Nunavik) and Greenland; b) the North Pacific Rim (Alaska, Russian Far East, Beaufort Sea/Chukchi); c) the Barents Euro-Arctic Region (Nordic countries - Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland - and Russia).


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 kivalina girlevent 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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