US Arctic Research Commission
February 10, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is expected to consider trade adjustment assistance. The House is expected to consider a resolution directing standing committees to review administrative regulations to consider their effect on jobs and economic growth.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Environment, Energy Are Targets of Republican Cuts. House Republicans targeted environmental and energy programs in a preview of what they say will be an austere spending plan for the remainder of fiscal 2011. The partial plan released by Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., would provide far less money than President Obama requested for a host of programs. But the committee did not provide comparisons to current funding levels or fiscal 2010 spending, making it difficult to gauge the severity of the proposed cuts. Congressional Quarterly


Eni Starts Alaskan Oil Production. Italian energy company Eni announced that it italian_US_flagstarted production at an oil field in the North Slope of Alaska in shallow waters. Eni said it started producing oil at the Nikaitchuq field. The field marks the first arctic project for the Italian energy company and holds an estimated 220 million barrels of oil. Full development, the energy company said in a statement, comes from 22 onshore and 30 offshore wells. Average water depth for the offshore section is about 10 feet and the company said facilities tied to the field are designed to minimize the impact on the environment. The PoliJAM Times 


Requiem for the Bears? [Editorial] In a recent article, I wrote about the unusual weather patterns of the last two winters, with excessive cold and snow in the eastern United States and western Europe occurring at the same time as unusual warmth in parts of the Arctic. One thing I did not mention in that article was what the likely effect on Arctic wildlife would be if this sort of thing continues. A new study offers an ominous forecast for one flagship Arctic species, the polar bear. Bears in some parts of the far north are under increasing stress because of climate change. These bears do most of their feeding during the winter as they venture onto the sea ice to catch seals. But with the ongoing decline of that ice in recent decades, life has gotten harder for many of the bears. New York Times 


Finland to Increase its Input in Arctic Region Cooperation: Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb adds momentum to collaboration with Russia during visit to St. Petersburg. Finland wants to increase its presence in the Arctic region and aims to strengthen its cooperation with Russia. "Let's keep the Arctic region partnership free from red tape", Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb (National Coalition Party) said in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. Stubb was speaking at the "Finnish-Russian Arctic Partnership" seminar at the Russian Geographic Society in St Petersburg on Wednesday. The Arctic partnership program, which was officially launched at the seminar, was initiated by Finland. Its exemplar could well be the cooperation between Russia and Norway in the same Barents region. Last autumn the two countries reconciled their decades-old border dispute in the extreme north and agreed on a strategy of shared energy resources. Helsingin Sanomat 


Greenland- Arctic health on the agenda. The first ever Arctic Health Ministers' AK Native family drawingMeeting will take place on 16 February in Nuuk, Greenland. The meeting is titled: Shared Challenges, Different Solutions: Arctic Health Cooperation in the 21st Century". Key issues of the meeting are to strengthen and develop health collaboration between the Arctic Countries. Greenland's Minister of Health Agathe Fontain and Denmark's Minister for the Interior and Health Bertel Haarder are hosting the meeting, which is attended by delegations from Arctic countries and Arctic indigenous peoples' organizations. ISRIA 


Finland Expand Arctic Cooperation with Russia: Possible establishment of joint shipbuilding enterprise to build high-tech Arctic vessels. Finland wants to place itself as a key-player in the Arctic; establishing EU's Arctic info-centre in Rovaniemi, holding Arctic Summit this year; developing its infrastructure towards Arctic Oceans and this week initiates political and economical ties with Russia in the Arctic. Barents Observer 


Take a Number, Mr. Walrus. [Editorial] The Pacific walrus is imperiled by climate change, which is melting its icy Arctic home, and merits protection under the Endangered Species Act, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service said this week. Yet protections must wait until threats to higher-priority species are addressed, the agency said. "The threats to the walrus are very real," Geoff Haskett, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Alaska region, said on Tuesday. But he added that the current size of the walrus population and the animal's ability to shift to land during periods of heightened warming "make its immediate situation less dire than those facing other species such as the polar bear." New York Times

Legislative Actionfutureevents

H.R. 574, to prohibit the Secretary of Interior and Secretary of Commerce from authorizing commercial finfish aquaculture operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone expect in accordance with the law authorizing such action (Young- introduced and referred to committee)


H.Con.Res.15, expressing the sense of Congress that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service should incorporate consideration of global warming and sea-level into the comprehensive conservation plans for coastal national wildlife refuges (Christensen- introduced and referred to committee)


Future Eventsfutureevents      


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.


Murkowski Alaska State Legislature Address, February 24. Senator Murkowski will deliver her annual address to the Alaska State Legislature.


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 Bod? 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.   


Operating in the Arctic: Supporting the US Coast Guard Challenges Through Research, Sept. 21-23, 2010. This workshop, held on 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 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.   


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. 

USARC header
4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 510
Arlington, VA 22203, USA
(703) 525-0111 (phone)