US Arctic Research Commission
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February 4, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 

 

The Senate is in session to consider morning business.  The House is not in session.

 

Public comment sought. Strategic action plans are being developed for the nine priority objectives in President Obama's national ocean policy, which include, "Changing Conditions in the Arctic: Address environmental stewardship needs in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent coastal areas in the face of climate-induced and other environmental changes." The National Ocean Council, which is implementing the policy, is seeking public input here through April 29, 2011. Draft plans will be released in the summer of 2011, and will also be available for public comment

Media Reviewtodaysevents  

 

Shell Cancels 2011 Arctic Drilling Plans. Royal Dutch Shell PLC this morning announced it is postponing plans to drill for oil this summer in seas off Alaska, citing shellcontinued uncertainty over whether it would receive federal permits. Shell CEO Peter Voser in an earnings call with reporters said the company would need to spend as much as $150 million without knowing whether it would receive needed permits from U.S. EPA and the Interior Department. "Despite our investment in acreage and technology and our work with the stakeholders, we haven't been able to drill a single exploration well," Voser said. "Critical permits continue to be delayed, and the timeline for getting these permits is still uncertain." New York Times

 

Government Shutdown on the Lips of Senate Democrats, Not Republicans. Senate Democrats are talking about a possible government shutdown more than Republicans, a sign that Democrats are confident they have the political edge on the issue. Senate Democrats have met with senior White House officials in preparation for an intense clash with Republicans over government spending levels and a proposal to increase the national debt ceiling. The Hill

 

Murkowski Names Top Republican on Appropriations Interior and Environment Panel. Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski will serve as the top MurkowskiRepublican on the Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee in the 112th Congress, a promotion that will extend her influence over environmental and energy policy. Already the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Murkowski's new appropriations slot will give her major sway in writing the budgets for EPA and the Interior Department - two agencies she has harshly criticized. Congressional Quarterly

 

Arctic Fisheries Drastically Under-Reported: Report. University of British Columbia researchers say the world's Arctic waters are no longer a pristine frontier crabwhen it comes to fisheries. Researchers with UBC's Fisheries Centre and Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences have crunched the numbers and revealed catches from Arctic waters are 75-times higher than reported to the United Nations. Report author Daniel Pauly says data ranging from limited government reports to anthropological records show small scale, often subsistence fisheries in Russian, U.S. and Canadian Arctic waters totalled 950,000 tonnes between 1950 and 2006. CTV News

 

Warm Arctic Weather Threatens Alaska's Caribou, Dall Sheep. Once more ice coats the brush and snow of Northwest Alaska, and Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Jim Dau wonders how the caribou will fare this time. Twice since 2005, the animals of the Western Arctic caribou herd have been hit hard by ice storms that threatened to lock their forage away beneath a layer of white pavement. After the first of those storms, large numbers of caribou suffered from starvation. Dau described them as dying "in droves." Alaska Dispatch

 

Greenland, Nunavut Want Arctic Protection. Some of Greenland's politicians say they want to team up with Nunavut to demand better protection for Arctic waters, as areas like the Northwest Passage open up to more marine traffic. Several members of Greenland's home-rule government's foreign affairs and security policy committee are meeting with Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak and other leaders in Iqaluit this week to talk about issues concerning the regions. CBC News

Legislative Actionfutureevents
 

No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday.

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 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.
 
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. 

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