US Arctic Research Commission
February 1, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents


The Senate is in session to consider legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. The House is not in session.


U.S.-Canadian Border Security. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a news conference to discuss a report titled "Security: Enhanced Department of Homeland Security Oversight and Assessment of Interagency Coordination is Needed for the Northern Border."

Tomorrow... Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Advanced Intl' Studies is sponsoring "The Future of the Arctic" in DC. Info and (free) registration here. 



∑Resource Rush: How can energy companies operate in the Arctic without clear maritime borders?

∑The Strategic North: How will regional militarization affect the national security of the Arctic states?

∑Big State, Little State, Non-State, and Foreign State: Who determines the future of the Arctic?

∑The Research Void: Can nations still make good policy without conclusive science?



Dr. David Vanderswaag -Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

Captain J.J. Fisher, Chief of Arctic Policy development, U.S. Coast Guard.

Professor Whitney Lackenbauer, St. Jerome's University, Waterloo, Ontario

Heather Conley, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Professor Ruth Wedgwood, Director of the international law program at SAIS.

Andrew Holland, International Institute for Strategic Studies inWashington,DC.

Willie Iggiagruk Hensley, Author of "Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People.

Julie Gourley, Senior Arctic Official, U.S. Department of State.

Caitlyn Antrim, Executive Director, Rule of Law Committee for the Oceans.

Professor Marlene Laruelle, Central Asia and Caucasus Institute

Anne Mette Vestergaard, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Danish Embassy, Washington, DC.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate climate battle begins with two bills. Dueling bills to block federal climate change rules landed in the Senate Monday, signaling interest by conservative Republicans and centrist Democrats in curtailing the Environmental Protection Agency. But it's not clear whether the presence of two measures creates political momentum for halting greenhouse gas regulations, or instead reveals divides among EPA foes that can't be bridged. The Hill


Sen. Kyl Demands Clarification of START Treaty with Russia.  Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) on Monday called on the Obama administration to work with the Russian government to resolve several apparent disputes over how to interpret last year's New START treaty. Speaking on the Senate floor, Kyl said Russia has implemented the treaty in several ways that are at odds with the U.S. interpretation and that failure to resolve these issues could have serious consequences down the road. The Hill


BP, Russia Oil Plans Encroach on Arctic Parks- WWF. Ambitious Arctic drilling plans by oil giant BP (BP.L) and Russia encroach upon key nature reserves, threatening native polar bear and whale populations, an environmental group said on Tuesday. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said a deal last month allowing BP and Russian state-run major Rosneft access to untapped reserves in the Kara Sea violated the boundaries of two Russian national parks in one of the world's last true wildernesses. The conservation group says the area licensed to the oil majors for exploration through to 2040 by the Russian government snips off some 45 square kilometers (17 square miles) of protected land. Reuters


Arctic Mapping Camp Abandoned Amid Ice Worry. The Canadian government is thiniceabandoning plans for a remote scientific camp on the Arctic Ocean ice this year, citing dangerously thin ice conditions. Over the past five years, scientists have set up ice camps in remote areas of the Arctic Ocean as they gather extensive mapping data that could help Canada claim a greater area of the seabed under the Law of the Sea convention. CBC News


Senators Introduce Legislation Banning "Frankenfish:" Effort to stop genetically-engineered salmon protects Alaska fish. U.S. Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) today formally introduced legislation to banfrankenfish genetically-engineered (GE) salmon. The legislation, and a companion bill that would require labeling of GE fish, are in response to a proposal by AquaBounty Technologies currently under consideration by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "Frankenfish threatens our wild stocks, their habitat, our food safety, and would bring economic harm to Alaska's wild salmon fishermen," Begich said. "Genetically-modified salmon, the first such hybrid to be considered for human consumption, is risky, unprecedented and unnecessary." Senator Mark Begich


Surf's Up: New research provides precise way to monitor ocean wave behavior, shore impacts. Engineers have created a new type of "stereo vision" to use in studying ocean waves as they pound against the shore, providing a better way to understand and monitor this violent, ever-changing environment. The approach, which uses two video cameras to feed data into an advanced computer system, can observe large areas of ocean waves in real time and help explain what they are doing and why, scientists say. American Association for the Advancement of Science


Arctic Drilling Review Begins. The potential for offshore exploration in the Beaufort Sea is a small step closer to realization now that the National Energy Board has embarked on the beginning stages of its Arctic safety review. The NEB, a body of federal regulators, is responsible for measuring the overall safety of offshore drilling in the Arctic to decide whether such projects should proceed. Northern News Service

Legislative Actionfutureevents


S. 229, to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require labeling of genetically-engineered fish (Begich- introduced and referred to committee)


S. 230, to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require labeling of genetically-engineered fish (Begich- introduced and referred to committee)


Future Eventsfutureevents

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.

Fiscal 2012 Budget: Energy Department, February 16.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the Department of Energy.


Fiscal 2012 Budget: Interior Department, March 2.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the Department of Interior.


Fiscal 2012 Budget: Forest Service, March 3.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the U.S. Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture.

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 Dialogue & Study Tour, March 22-24, 2011. For the past four years Norway's BodÝ University Graduate School of Business, the High North Centre for Business and Governance (affiliated with the University), the International Institute of Energy Politics and Diplomacy (MIEP) at MGIMO University in Moscow, Russia, and HBW Resources have hosted an annual Arctic Dialogue and Study Tour.  The tour brings together stakeholders from all Arctic nations (government, industries, academic, native and local peoples) to discuss issues involving resource development in the Arctic, and share common experiences, best practices and solutions. For more information contact Andrew Browning.


Arctic Science Summit Week, Seoul, March 28-April 1, 2011. The 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.

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.
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 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 i s 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, 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.

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.

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