US Arctic Research Commission
February 3, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents


The House is not in session.The Senate is expected to consider the FAA authorization.

Speech: National Indian Education Legislative Summit.  Senator Lisa Murkowski will address the National Indian Education Association Legislative Summit to discuss the 112th Congress and the opportunities to advance Native education. Senator Lisa Murkowski

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Arctic Mercury Mystery: Meteorological Conditions in the Spring and Summer to Blame? More mercury is deposited in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) think that one explanation for this may lie in the meteorological conditions in the Arctic spring and summer. Science Daily


Suicide Council Seeks Input for Long-Term Plans. Suicide prevention specialists will solicit input during the next three months as they prepare to help guide long-term statewide prevention plans, a state director said Tuesday. The effort comes at the end of a year-long solicitation, said Kate Burkhart, executive director for the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council. It arrives less than three weeks after the council cited alarmingly high rates of suicide here, particularly among Alaska Natives. Burkhart told a joint legislative health panel Tuesday that public awareness - and discussion - of Alaska's chronically high suicide rates grew exponentially last year. That's a good thing, she said, as groups and community leaders are now collaborating more to "maximize resources" used to fight the causes of suicide. She said the discussion also helps those engaged in prevention feel less isolated. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 


ASRC Energy Gets New CEO, and he's from Point Hope. ASRC Energy Services has named Jeff Kinneeveauk its president and chief executive officer, succeeding Mark C. Nelson, who retired, a written statement said. Kinneeveauk has worked full time for the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. family of companies since 1997, and began his relationship with an internship in 1995. AES is a subsidiary of ASRC. Since 1999 Kinneeveauk has served in a variety of management positions, most recently as senior vice president of shareholder programs. He also held the position of senior vice president of operations and maintenance. The Arctic Sounder


In Alaska There's Reluctance to Accept End of Earmarks: LEANER TIMES: Tough row to hoe for special projects, infrastructure. For Alaskans, the recent ban on federal earmarks brings to an end a decades-long era in which the state has routinely, and heavily, relied upon those funds for basics like roads or sewer systems. State and community leaders knew this day was coming, given the escalating political rhetoric. But many weren't quite ready for it and worry about what it will mean for them. Anchorage Daily News


Rahall: Challenges and Needs in Indian Country. With the convening of the 112th Congress, I became the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. Although I have left the Natural Resources Committee after having served there for more than 30 years, I intend to remain an active supporter of Native issues. We had many accomplishments under my leadership as chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. During the past four years, Congress, with your help, permanently reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and enacted the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, resolving the Cobell v. Salazar and four water-rights settlements, into law. Additionally, the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a legislative fix to the Carcieri v. Salazar litigation, several native-recognition bills as well as the tribal self-governance bill. Indian Country Today


Interior Unveils New Scientific Integrity Policy. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday announced new scientific integrity rules in response to President Obama's 2009 call to end political manipulation of science. The rules, which take effect immediately, prohibit non-scientists in the department from modifying scientific findings, and spell out criteria for hiring scientists and evaluating their job performance.  The policy is designed to clarify the role of science within Interior's broad and diverse mandate. It defines the responsibilities of all workers -- including contractors and volunteers -- in maintaining scientific integrity, and goes over how to avoid conflicts of interest. Government Executive


Legislative Actionfutureevents

Yesterday, Senator Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation to allow subsistence users of "natural resources" to receive compensation for damages to their subsistence resources in the event of an oil spill.  The value of subsistence resources has been difficult or impossible to quantify in a cash-dollar amount. The text of Senator Vitter's amendment is below.


S.AMDT.25 to S.223 (FAA bill) 

(Sen Vitter - submitted)

Full Text:


At the end of title VII, add the following:


    (a) Definitions.--Section 1001 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ``(45) BARTER.--The term `barter' has the meaning given the term in section 100.4 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).

    ``(46) SUBSISTENCE COMMUNITY.--The term `subsistence community' means an Indian tribe or other community in which there exists, as determined by the Secretary, a legitimate system of bartering natural resources taken for subsistence uses.

    ``(47) SUBSISTENCE USE.--The term `subsistence use' has the meaning given the term in section 100.4 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).''.

    (b) Subsistence Use.--Section 1002(b)(2) of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2702(b)(2)) is amended by striking subparagraph (C) and inserting the following:

    ``(C) SUBSISTENCE USE.--Damages for loss of subsistence use of natural resources, which shall be recoverable by--

    ``(i) any claimant who so uses natural resources that have been injured, destroyed, or lost, without regard to the ownership or management of the resources; or

    ``(ii) any subsistence community the bartering system of which is negatively affected by a discharge of oil.''.

    (c) Gulf Coast Natural Resources.--Section 1006 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2706) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ``(h) Gulf Coast Natural Resources.--Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, for the purpose of making payments of damages described in section 1002(b)(2)(C), the Administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility shall complete an assessment of subsistence communities (including the Vietnamese community) in the Gulf Coast region to determine the quantity and value of natural resources harvested and retained for bartering within each subsistence community.''.

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 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.

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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