US Arctic Research Commission
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January 14, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents

 

The House and Senate are in recess.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  

 
 

Climate Change Forcing Officials to Examine Water, Sewer Problem in Rural honey bucketAlaska. There are still 4,000 homes in rural Alaska that don't have access to piped water or sewer. Many more are using aging systems that need upgrading. And an unlikely culprit - climate change - is forcing government officials and engineers to look at using new technologies to correct the problem. USARC & CDC co-sponsored workshop. APRN

 

Hutchison First Retirement of the 2012 Cycle. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison announced Thursday that she will not run for reelection in 2012, making official a decision that many predicted was forthcoming. According to the Dallas Morning News, Hutchison, R-Texas, said in a letter to supporters that she is making her announcement now to allow Republicans sufficient time to campaign for a seat that is expected to be hotly contested. The winner of the March 2012 Republican primary will likely be the favorite to win that year's general election. Congressional Quarterly

 

Spill Commission's Warning About America's Arctic [blog]. The national oil spill commission report, released Tuesday, makes clear that the oil and gas industry is ill-equipped to handle oil spills and does not have the safety measures needed to prevent them in the first place.  The report also highlights the intense challenges the industry would face if an oil disaster occurred in the Arctic. In particular, the commission raised concerns about gaps in knowledge about the Arctic environment and the difficulty of mounting a major cleanup due to lack of ports, roads and air strips in the remote region.  The US Arctic Research Commission is quoted. The Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog

 

Russia Lays Down Law Over Border Claims. Foreign pressure over border disputes in the oil- and gas-rich arctic region are unnecessary threats, the Russian foreign minister said from Moscow. Moscow is trying to convince the international community that it has a greater claim to the arctic. A 1982 convention gives bordering nations the right to extend arctic claims if the government can prove its continental shelf extends beyond a 200-mile limit. UPI

 

Russia to Draft Program for Arctic Shelf Exploration by 2012. The Russian Government plans to develop a program for the exploration and extraction of mineral resources on the Russian Arctic continental shelf by the end of 2011. Barents Observer

 

Aboriginal Consultation Delay Tender on Key Arctic Radar Chain. The Harper government has put on hold its search for bidders to operate and maintain the chain of early-warning radars that guards against foreign incursions into Canadian and U.S.Canada-US flags airspace in the Far North, Postmedia News has learned. The North Warning System, a chain of 47 unmanned radars that lines the Arctic coast from Alaska to Labrador, is operated and maintained by Nasittuq Corp. under a 10-year, $624-million contract that ends Sept. 30 this year. Industry sources say a number of Canadian companies and multinational defense contractors have expressed interest in bidding on the next contract, including Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin and Raytheon, the U.S. defense giant that became embroiled in the controversy over whether Canada should join the United States' missile-defense shield. The Montreal Gazette

 

Despite Efforts, Suicide Rates Remain High. Despite a decade of work and millions in funding, the number of suicides in Alaska has not decreased over the past 10 years, concludes a report released this week by the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council. In 2009, 140 Alaskans took their own lives. "What you will learn from our report is both inspiring and disappointing," said William Martin, chair of the council, in a letter accompanying the report. The state founded the Suicide Prevention Council in 2001 to advise the Legislature on the "on-going epidemic of suicide" - in 2000 there were 21.2 suicides for every 100,000 Alaskans, or 135 lives lost. Rural Alaskans suffered a rate three times higher than those in urban populations. The Arctic Sounder 

Legislative Actionfutureevents
 

No legislative action was taken yesterday.

Future Eventsfutureevents

  
Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 17-21. Within each theme (Bering AMSS 2011 promoSea, Arctic Ocean, and Gulf of Alaska), presenters will discuss climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fish and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.
 
National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment, January 19-21. One of the conference themes is "White Arctic/Blue Arctic." This theme will address ice changes in the Arctic to consider several questions: What does science tell us about the future of the Arctic? How would issues about the future - white or blue - be resolved? What models and monitoring data will be required to support an emerging management regime that would allow for sustainable use of the Arctic? How can use of the Arctic and its resources be managed in the face of these possibilities?
 

95th meeting of the USARC, Jan. 21, Anchorage. The USARC will meet in the usarc logo smallQuadrant room of the Captain Cook Hotel, starting at 8:30 am. A detailed agenda is now available at www.arctic.gov.
 

Public Forum on Natural Gas Markets, January 22. The federal coordinator's office for the Alaska natural gas pipeline will sponsor a public forum on gas markets Jan. 22 to help Alaskans better understand the supply-and-demand fundamentals affecting the proposed pipeline project. The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects will bring to Alaska several national experts on Lower 48 supply and demand issues including shale gas, the effect of federal clean air regulations on natural gas demand, and foreign markets for liquefied natural gas. Panelists

  

Arctic Tipping Points, January 23-29, 2011. Arctic Frontiers will host a conferenceseesaw considering the following topics: Ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic;  Marine ecosystems and fisheries; Socioeconomic and institutional perspectives; and People of the North. 
 

State of the Union, January 25.  The President will address a joint session of Congress to present the State of the Union.

 

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.
 

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, 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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