US Arctic Research Commission
February 17, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is expected to continue consideration of legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. The House is expected to continue consideration of legislation to fund government operations through the end of the fiscal year.


What's your opinion on what needs to be done to address changing conditions in the president signing Arctic Ocean and adjacent coastal areas? The federal government wants to know what actions you'd like to see included in a strategic action plan that's being developed under the auspices of the National Ocean Council, which was created when President Obama signed an Executive Order last July on National Ocean Policy. A successful plan requires participation and input from a wide range of stakeholders. To this end, the Council has created a website where anyone can submit comments. USARC encourages you to do so.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Treadwell: U.S. Must Actively Study Arctic. The United States must work harderTreadwell to advance scientific study of the Arctic, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell said Wednesday. He told a Juneau audience the work could focus, for example, on oil spill research. Treadwell said the United States needs a robust fleet of icebreakers to compete amid increasing interest in claims and access to the Arctic Ocean. But he said the federal government has chosen "more studies" instead of heading calls from Gov. Sean Parnell and Alaska's delegation in Congress for new vessels. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


The Arctic: Legal Considerations. Captain J. Ashley Roach (ret.) recently gave a presentation for the Center for International Law at the National University of Singapore.The presentation was a primer Arctic issues.A link to Captain Roach's presentation is here.


Iceland Volcano Drilling Suggests Magma Could Become Source of High-Grade Energy. Geologists drilling an exploratory geothermal well in 2009 in the Krafla volcano in Iceland encountered a problem they were simply unprepared for: magma (molten rock or lava underground) which flowed unexpectedly into the well at 2.1 kilometers (6,900 ft) depth, forcing the researchers to terminate the drilling. Science Daily


Classified Missions to Gather Vital Research Data in the Arctic. For decades, USSCICEX nuclear-powered submarines have crept under the Arctic ice, mapping and projecting power in one of the world's most disputed and environmentally sensitive regions. But when this year's vessels set out, some of them will have an additional task: collecting scientific data. Submarine data on the Arctic Ocean have been invaluable to researchers working on the geology, biology and chemistry of these waters. In the second half of the 1990s, as part of the Science Ice Exercise (SCICEX), the US Navy allowed scientists aboard its Sturgeon-class nuclear submarines for special, unclassified science cruises. But the project ended when the boats were decommissioned. Now SCICEX is being resurrected... Nature News

...And see the SCICEX science plan here.


Barrow's Mayor Itta: Dwindling oil opportunities force rethinking of anti-development stance. Arctic Sounder 


Nunavut Leaders Question Narwhal Tusk Ban. Some Nunavut leaders, including Conservative MP Leona Aglukkaq and the territory's environment minister, are demanding to know why Ottawa is banning the export of narwhal tusks from many communities. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has restricted the international export of narwhal tusks and related products from 17 of Nunavut's 25 communities. It cites overhunting in four of the six narwhal populations in the region. CBC News


Melting Permafrost to Emit Carbon Equal to Half All Industrial Emissions: Study. A new study suggests the Arctic is headed for a permafrost meltdown that will release greenhouse gases equal to half the emissions of the entire industrial age. The report, the first to estimate how much carbon will be emitted as the warming Arctic's frozen soil melts, suggests the massive, long-term release will make it even tougher for the world to manage climate change. "This is a lot of carbon," said Kevin Schaefer of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. "Undoubtedly, it will amplify the warming due to fossil fuel emissions." Winnipeg Free Press


Joint Arctic Naval Exercise. Norwegian and Russian military will host Arctic bilateral exercises this year. Barents Observer

Legislative Actionfutureevents

H.R. 1, full-year continuing appropriations. (Rogers- considered on the House floor)

Future Eventsfutureevents      


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


Canada's Arctic Policy, February 24-25.  The Institute of the North will host a policy discussion on Canada's Arctic Policy with Consul Jennifer Loten.  The policy forum will consider infrastructure deficit, circumpolar environmental response capacity, and Arctic marine traffic systems.


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.

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, 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 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.   


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. 

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