US Arctic Research Commission
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February 28, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 

 

The House and Senate return from recess today.

 

Workshop on polar icebreaker requirements. The National Science Foundation is PRVsupporting a UNOLS workshop today to discuss the "science mission requirements" for a "Polar Research Vessel" that would be of similar ice class or capability as the USCG Cutter Healy. Although "science drivers" are the key focus, among other questions being asked by participants are: (1) How often would such a vessel be used in the Arctic, as opposed to the Antarctic?, and (2) Would construction of such a ship be capitalized by NSF and then operated by a UNOLS institution, or would it be chartered as is the current model for the Antarctic program, with the R/V Nathanial B. Palmer?   

Media Reviewtodaysevents  

 

The Week Ahead: Fund the Government. The House and Senate reconvene after last week's recess, and at the top of their agenda is keeping the government funded. Republican leaders unveiled a short-term spending bill Friday that cuts $4 billion in current spending levels while funding the government through March 18. They call it a good-faith effort to find common ground with Democrats and avoid a shutdown that would begin after March 4 if spending legislation is not approved. The Hill

 

Inspector General Backs NOAA in Climate-Change Dispute. A review of e-mail NOAAexchanges between federal scientists and British academics embroiled in a politically charged dispute over climate change found no misconduct at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to a report just released by the Commerce Department's inspector general. "We did not find any evidence that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data ... or failed to adhere to appropriate peer review procedures," wrote Inspector General Todd Zinser in a letter and report sent Feb. 18 to Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who had requested the review. Government Executive

 

Alaskans Weigh in on Offshore Lease Plan Proposal. Alaska drilling advocates on Friday night dominated a federal public hearing seeking comment on a proposed five-year plan for offshore oil and gas lease sales that includes the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. More than 100 people signed up to testify at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management scoping session covering 2012-2017 but fewer than half had time to make comments during the three-hour session. Pro-drilling forces offered pizza and soft drinks to encourage supporters to arrive early and sign up to testify. The agency took them in order and drilling opponents, including those who arrived more than an hour early, finally got their chance near the end of the session. Business Week 

 

Harper Government Invests in Arctic Research. New research will examine how Canadians living in northern communities can benefit from the sustainable development of Arctic natural resources in a manner that improves northerners' health and wellbeing, while preserving the region's unique environment. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), made the announcement while speaking at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.  "Our government is investing in science and technology to create jobs, improve the quality of life of Canadians and strengthen our economy," said Minister Goodyear. "This investment will help ensure that Canadians in northern communities have the tools they need to prosper and manage the development of natural resources, in a way that respects northern cultures, communities and the environment." Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada 

 

NOAA Names New Director of Storms Laboratory. Steven Koch, who earned his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 1979, will return to Norman this spring as director of the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory. Norman Transcript

 

Clean-Up After Oil Spill Off Norway. Authorities in Norway are working to contain a spill from an Icelandic cargo ship. The impact is not as disastrous as initially thought, but icy conditions are making accurate assessments difficult. DW-World

Legislative Actionfutureevents  

 

No formal action was taken on Friday.

Future Eventsfutureevents    

 

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 504-s@diplo.de.

 

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.  

 

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. 


7th Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences, June 22-26, 2011myvatnThe 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 is 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 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.   

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